Weekly Writing Challenge: A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Words

After three long years of waiting, Mark finally headed home. The war had come to an end, and so had Mark’s service in the army. Mark stared out of the window, trying to contemplate all that had happened in the last few years. He had been waiting for this day for so long, to escape the horrors of war – the revolting sight and smell of blood and burning flesh, the raging hunger, months of freezing nights, days of lying spread-eagled under thorny bushes, months of agonizing thoughts after so many brutal killings, and the constant feeling of impending doom.

They say that wars can make men become wild savages who are nothing like who they had been before, but Mark was not among those who took pleasure in killing. He hadn’t been able to fit in with the rest of them, those who relished every kill. As time went by, Mark had gotten quieter – a prisoner of guilt and repulsion. He was careful not to let the others see how he felt, and so he had mastered the art of bottling up his emotions. Loneliness, repulsive nightmares and an insatiable yearning for his family had often kept him up at night. To be away from his family was the utmost test, Mark would try to picture his family but the images kept getting blurry and the memories vague as time wore on. They say that time heals all, but apparently, this could not have been more wrong. He had left at a time when his son Rick was starting school, and Dolores, his wife, had another baby on the way. There were times when Mark despised himself for missing out on his family’s lives, but he knew that it had never been in his control.

So much had changed now. He thought about Melissa, his daughter, whom he had not even seen. ‘I am a stranger to my own children’ he thought dejectedly. The letters from home had been few, and he had read every one of them over and over again, tracing his fingers tenderly along the lines.

Coming out of his reverie, Mark realized that the plane had just landed. Twenty minutes later, he was in a cab and going back home for the first time in three years. A strange sensation assailed Mark – he was happier than he had been in a long, long time, but at the same time, he felt somewhat apprehensive. ‘Will I be greeted with open arms, or do they hate me for not being there for them?’ he wondered.

Soon, Mark stood outside his doorstep and stared at his house for the longest time. How he had missed home! He paused, took a deep breath, plastered an awkward smile on his face, attempted to ease his face in what he hoped was a relaxed expression and rang the doorbell. He heard hurried footsteps, laughter and then the door opened. For a moment, he stared at his family, and they at him. For the first time in years, Mark’s face stretched in a genuine smile and in that moment, he rediscovered happiness – being reunited with the ones his heart had been aching for so very long. “Funny how you can’t seem to smile the way you used to, long suffering, huh? I see a permanent frown” Dolores joked, her eyes water – Mark’s misgivings fell away. The family stayed up late, catching up on each other’s lives, drinking in each other’s words and thanking the heavens for being together once more.

The next morning, before dropping the kids off at school, Dolores made Mark pose for a picture with Rick and Melissa. The three bore an uncanny resemblance – the same scrunched up foreheads, and the same faltering and conscious smiles.

Mark, with Rick and Melissa

 

Mangos in Manhattan

The assertions made in this post do not necessarily apply to the youth as a whole but rather address the majority (or minority, your word against mine) of Pakistani youngsters that use Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking medium to embarrass themselves, their country and their people, including myself. Aur agar kisi ne kaha k in mae se koi bhi baat jhoot hai, tou dharti maa ki kasam mae tumhari facebook se he examples nikal k isi blog mae post karun ga. 

Dear Youth of Pakistan,

This is you. Yes, I said you. I am you from a parallel dimension where you are more mature and less stupider. You may read more about the Multiverse Theory here if you are so curious as to how that’s possible. Anyways, that’s not important. Here is what’s important. You are fucking annoying! Not only that, you are an embarassment. You are a shame to have around…

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Panic attacks and more!

It hath been often said, that it is not death, but dying, which is terrible.

So, you’re probably wondering why my very first blog is turninging out to be so morbid.. :/

ahh, where do I begin? Monday the 13th of August 2012, also being referred to as the “Dooms Day”, is just a day away. It is the Day of Reckoning, the Day of Both Extremes, the Day of the Dead, the Day of Truth, the Day of Regrets, the Day of Triumph, the Day of Failure, and also as my friend Sarin said, it is “the Day the Earth stands still”. Quite simply, it happens to be the day when the CIE results for this year’s May/June session come out – eeeep!

The funny thing is, it COULD be the best day of your life(if you get those clichéd Straight As/A*s) or it COULD be the worst day. Basically, in the days leading up to the result, we’re all hanging by a thread. No one is really sure of just how well they did in the exams. We become victims of panic attacks, insomnia, depression, anxiety and much much more!

I keep raking my brain, trying to remember how my exams went but this feat proves to be so tortuous that I’m left quivering and shaking uncontrollably. Quite frankly, deep in our hearts, we all have an inkling of what awaits us on the notorious day. Those of us who actually did study relentlessly(the way we ALL should have!), have the comfort of knowing that they did their very best while knowing that the hand that fate deals is not always fair. Those of us who did not study relentlessly out of laziness, or some other unexplained reason, frankly we know we’re screwed.

I have been(as many others have been) engulfed in a feeling of nothing but dread, hopelessness and regrets. My sleep has been snatched away and about a trillion regrets are flitting across my mind; If only I had studied everything thoroughly, if only I hadn’t gone to that party, if only I had not slept all day long, if only I had done every past paper.. – well, you get the drift.

Coming from a family of over-achievers has multiplied this state of impending doom. The pressure from the family, friends and all those relatives who ironically remember us on the-day-that-must-not-be-named is hellish indeed.

I remember how in the Oct/Nov session, after my Pakistan Studies exam, my Mom came to pick me. My exam had NOT gone well.

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Mom: Soo, how’d it go?

Me: ummm..okay.

Mom: just okay??!!!?

Me(backtracking): oh, I mean, it went good…

Mom: just good? you mean it’ll be just an A, not an A*????????

*facepalm*

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Need I say more? 😛

Anyway, all the very best to everyone out there, let’s keep praying and hoping for the best! *fingers crossed*

Cheers!