An Eventful Start to the ELP 2015 US Visit

NYTWA

New York- A City Full of Diversity and Colors

New York – a city full of diversity and colors is home to innumerable cultures and a variety of restaurants. In a very short span, you get an opportunity to experience so much life and activity that going anywhere else may seem dull and boring. That is the one downside, if any, of experiencing New York City.

The fast-paced life of Manhattan, where everybody seems to be on the constant move, appears quite an attraction. The incessant stir and pace gives off a clear message to keep up, to build and work towards the next big thing, otherwise you will be destined to fall behind.

The First Formal Meeting

Preparation for the Emerging Leaders of Pakistan (ELP) fellowship’s formal meetings proceeded with many expectations and preconceived notions.

The very first meeting of the fellowship creates an excitement and curiosity that touches the sky. Out of utter inquisitiveness, you start visualizing the characters you are expected to meet. You picture individuals dressed in tuxedos, with a classic look straight from the 1920s, flaunting neat hair and an elegant persona, and possessing a capitalist and domineering attitude. To ones utter surprise, however, the reality of ELP’s New York City visit is the complete opposite.

For the first meeting, we were greeted by a grey-haired man, flaunting a ponytail, neck imbued with huge pendants, fingers assorted with a variety of gemstone rings, and dressed in jeans and a t-shirt that read, “JUSTICE.  RIGHTS.  RESPECT.  DIGNITY.”

NYTWA2

Shattering all our preconceived notions, this very man is one of the most prominent rights activists in New York City. With a solid and assertive voice, he talks not about Adam Smith or Milton Friedman but about Marxism and Lenin as his mentors and Fidel Castro and Che Guevara his inspiration.

This man is Mr. Tariq Javaid, the Co-Founder of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA). His story is indeed inspirational, overwhelming, and a result of many years of untiring and dedicated efforts. His struggle is quite exemplary. However, his life before being a taxi driver is quite eventful.

From being a political party worker in Pakistan to working as a DJ in Germany, Mr. Javaid then worked as a photo journalist in New York City before he started driving a taxi.He forewent all his ambitions and aspirations for the cause and thus, has uplifted the lives of New York City’s 50,000+ taxi drivers through his non-profit union.

NYTWA’s latest tremendous achievement was the passage of legislation  safeguarding the rights of taxi workers. Through Mr. Javaid’s efforts, the taxi drivers have been heard from the JFK Lot to the Mayor’s Office!

Despite all odds including acts of harassment, robbery, and assaults on NYTWA and its members, Mr. Javaid is determined. He stands tall and firm to ensure and protect the rights of taxi drivers in the future.We learned from his example, it takes courage, patience, and perseverance to achieve what you believe.

The inspiring story of the NYTWA Co-Founder’s struggle rejuvenated the spirits of the ELP fellows and sent out a strong message to continue working for the respective causes, against all odds, with renewed commitment, zeal, and vigor. The meeting help hugely in setting the stage for the upcoming meetings, since it shattered some of the stereotypes linked to social and economic penchant of American people. It also helped us feel comfortable at the rest of our meetings. Most importantly, the meeting consolidated the idea that people in the United States are open to difference of opinion and diversity of thought.

The Article originally appeared Here on ELPAK.ORG

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Pain ― a pesky part of being human

“Pain is a pesky part of being human.” ―  C. JoyBell C.

When you are in pain and you got no control over. Bear it! Live it! Sustain it!

Let everything out there disfigure you badly, torment you tremendously and scar you exceedingly. You got no control, and giving as well as you get is never an option. Some people are too prized to be paid back in the same coin. Since you are only because they are!

Left with any choice to overcome the ordeal? Nay! Bear it. Live it. Sustain it.

Let everybody out there take turns my love! One at a time!

Piercing through the wounds, pricking deeper into injuries, stabbing the hell out of every opening inside your mortal existence!

Let everything and everyone around crush you into nothingness.

For how humanly long can you numb your pain after all; for a while, a minute, a day, a week or more? The earlier the better! The longer you try and numb, the severer it does feel once you let go.

There is no delaying more.

Insensitivity has limits. You cannot pretend any longer that you don’t care. Imaginary anesthesia of pretentiousness ceases to act any effectively.

Pain takes over. Intense, acute and excruciatingly maddening.

The entities that cause hurt and inflict ghastly pain could quite possibly be the same ones who rendered happiness. A lot of exultation, ecstasy and jubilation.

Isn’t it quite harder when it comes to remembering happiness?

The pain lasts. It is highly harder to forget in contrast to happiness. The latter is very hard to remember, unfortunately.

Chiefly because pain leaves scars, happiness doesn’t leave any mark.

The scars stay forever; keep torturing and reminding and refreshing the painful experience and the person behind the agony.

You forgive but you can never forget.


I self-center you more than ever

“Missing someone, they say, is self-centered. I self-center you more than ever.” ― Saša Stanišić

Is there a remedy to attain immunity from missing someone? Do they even prescribe something of the sort? Find me that goddamn chemist, would you? Because I’d gladly take notes, start that darn drug right away.

Listening to every single advice and open to all words of wisdom of how to rid of someone you can’t stop thinking about and walk away from someone you just can’t stop loving.

I have got an idea. Why not let’s just tear each other apart, limb by limb? Haven’t we been doing this already? Then, how about stitching our scars later on and gaps and breeches together and ending up making everything into something that is awful to ever fix or mend or bring back to original?

And I would never be upset about it ever again. Aren’t we already done with getting excessively down and out every now and again?

How I keep telling myself that I have crossed the bridge and keep reminding myself that I have left nothing intact by burning everything behind.

The ashes however fly with the wind and blow back into where they belong. Right back to their home, and I always anticipate you showing up, in vain.

It’s so quiet without you around. And I hate you. Yes I hate you. For, I have decided to befriend the calm and composure of even the noisy environs. And I have opted to embrace the chaos and mayhem within.

I choose not to symbolize the definition of false hope. Hope, the whole world seems confused about whether to categorize it as life or the ultimate treacherous illusion. Ironic, right?

And I still keep pretending that everything will be alright. I will be alright. I don’t care. I hate you. And I don’t care, my love!

– Regretfully yours.

Disclaimer: All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. I swear. *wink wink*


I can’t rhyme anymore

“You’re the reason I can’t rhyme anymore.”

I always keep repeating to myself that I shall not write about you, not any more. But the moment I stop writing – I have realized – I stop writing at all, once and for all and I write none.

I write about you. I write about it every now and again, and keep it deep secretly under the closet.

I can’t understand whether I am too afraid to say this all in your face. And I can’t fathom, if that insinuates my cowardice or my excellence in keeping secrets.

I have started loving similes since I created them in bulk, unheard and unsaid; and a million metaphors that end up nowhere – unseen and unread.

Similes and metaphors describing your smoggy eyes and wavy hair, memories and distance – distant memories to be precise, delusional hopes and everything else cherished and regretted.

Certain tales are better off unspoken, and unheard. Or at least our parable is the one.

You always said it out rightly from the very outset. And you jazzed around your point of view straightforwardly. And you danced around the truth so convincingly so you never have to break anything – or anyone.

But even then – you’re definitely not the one to blame – my parts and pieces feel bent and broken, at the mercy of 24/7 harsh weather in my mind, and scattered to whatever the rains and storms happen to pass. I feel like a building standing without the firm base ready to fall apart without anything holding it up.

Missing someone, they say, is self-centered. I self-center you every single second of every single day.

Every single piece of fiction is a reminder of thee and I want you to read; every second note of poetry – merry or melancholy – makes me crave to read it aloud to you, out rightly ignoring the very fact that it could pretty much be a nuisance on thy part.

So what am I left with? Build a sand castle along the shore, transcribe everything I wish over the sand, graffiti my thoughts in invisible ink on every wall around, build the virtual bridge and forget what I left underneath.

Even if it means, I am the one drowning under there in waters which are dry and lifeless enough not even capable of an absolute kill.

Anyway, all that is happening is for your good. You don’t have to watch me fall apart, and I don’t have to let you hold me together. And I am not falling apart either. So you don’t have to hold us together.

But I wish you would. Though, it’s a lot better that you aren’t. And it’s a lot better that you won’t, and very importantly for your own good.


Melancholy melody and pensive poetry

Touching notes of melancholy melody,
playing over the headset,
whisper into the ear so earnest.

Moving pieces of pensive poetry,
couplet, eulogy, sonnet, elegy,
inscribed onto the pages so pretty.

Sailing through the eye,
hover over the mind. Defy?
Piercing through the heart,
penetrate into the soul. Set apart?

Reminding of blurred images, hazy places,
elapsed memories, foggy faces.
Intimating of delusional hopes, unmade promises,
busted dreams, unfulfilled desires.

Prompting of assumed friendship, ephemeral kinship.

Touching notes of melancholy melody,
moving pieces of pensive poetry,
rejuvenate nostalgia, fuse reminiscence,
revive hopes, renew dreams.

Touching notes of melancholy melody,
moving pieces of pensive poetry,
enliven friendship, revitalize kinship.
rekindle infinite love, and companionship.


I want you in your entirety

“Love has nothing to do with keeping those you love around”, they say. Dare I disagree?

It has a lot to do with that I swear. For, the moments spent with the loved one around are magical. The delightful company is beyond paranormal, mystic.

You wish you lose sense of all. And flow with the stream, getting carried away in your emotions losing all control, driven away with the wind to no man’s land where there is no one to judge and no one to grudge. And all that is left and all that matters is all of them in their entirety.

Where consequences become inconsequential and the sense no longer makes any sense and what you end up attaining is insane level ecstasy.

Notwithstanding you’re not a moth meant to burn and blaze, still after all this, all you crave is getting completely consumed into the flame, and cease to exist. And begin to coexist.

You wish times could stand by and places could fly. Since your souls already take off for a journey high over vales and places you have never been to before.

You wish you could dissolve into them and transform into one single entity like the moonlight dissolves into the sea and ends up in an absolute majesty.

Possessing someone, they say is not a fair deal.

However, when you possess me and I possess you and the sense of possession even for mere mortal second, however short-lived it may be is unimaginably euphoric and inexplicably ecstatic and exotic.

I have had the taste of obsession, relinquished myself of drinking on the idea of sustaining reputation, since it’s not just about infatuation.

It definitely is about something beyond any realms of obsession, madness or just the corporal fascination.

The sensations you invoke have been invoked by none, ever. And it’s not certainly a passing fancy. What fortifies the passion is the reason that sensations from the barter of the minds, thoughts and dreams emanate. And a lot more that words fail to elucidate.

I possessed for some moments and got possessed. I really did. And in your entire entirety.

I definitely had you in all your entirety. Your fullness and halfness. Your parts and pieces. The sides you hide from yourself and the sides you hide behind. I have had you in all your entirety and without having to touch you for even once.

A woman of multi shades that you are and I have had you in all your colors. Your goodness and your depravity. Your madness and sanity. Your lowliness and vanity. Your laughter and anger. Your grace and grandeur. Your whims and your certainty.

I have had you in all your entirety. And I wanted it to last. And I wanted it bad.

I have had you in all your entirety. I have had you in your breaks and scars, parts you have left behind and pieces you have yet to find.

I put you apart into the pieces and wrap myself up in them having knit the unbreakable knot and keep you within once and for all. Until all that is left around of you is me, and all that is left around of me is you.

I have traced the thoughts of your heart and the pulses of your mind and pull them out thread by thread until all that is left is you and me.

I have had all of you all at once and then pieces of you scattered into days after you’re gone so that there is always a piece of you that is part of me. I have had you in all your entirety.

I want you in all your entirety. I want you in all… and I want it bad… and I want it to last… and I…

Zdzisław Beksiński (copyrights inherited by Muzeum Historyczne w Sanoku) - 1984

Zdzisław Beksiński (copyrights inherited by Muzeum Historyczne w Sanoku) – 1984


Friendship not forever lasts

On the crossroads of life,
With an affinity did friends meet.

But time betrayed in such a way,
One went this way, other went that.

A ship was there, that drowned;
Though its planks kept floating.

A flock was there, that scattered.
One went this way, other went that.

– Translated from Sindhi