To be 'busy', says someone wise, is not enough. Ants, in all their wisdom, are busy too. What matters, is what one is busy with. In that spirit, my busy-ness can be put under several heads. Work is interesting. My unit has expanded which essentially means more people to concoct work for every morning. Management, my loves, is annoying. What you do matters little, what those who work for you do matters extensively. I find myself torn between my own work and supervision of others. Either one wins out or the other, a balance between the two I have not yet found.
I tried acquiring hobbies to while away the little free time I get post-work. While in NY I used to 'make' things. First earrings, then useless but pretty things to decorate my room with and finally magnets to give to my friends as a personalized farewell gesture. It's testament to my life in Islamabad, I suppose, that I feel no desire whatsoever to make a personalized anything for anyone these days. Or maybe it's just me. Either way, that particular pastime was a no-no. So then, I spoke to a friend who is a cartoonist/illustrator about drawing lessons. He agreed to teach me, but we're still working on juggling our timetables to fit that in. If we work it out, blog-writing takes another hit, as it will if I follow through on last month's resolutions and take singing lessons. Unfortunately, acquiring an 'ustad', I have discovered takes a lot more effort than the singing does. Teachers, in this part of the world, demand patronage in the form of time. And as we all know, this officious white-rabbit has many luxuries but time is not one of them. So singing-is-shelved for the next month (maybe). In the meantime I continue to hum in the shower, and sing along to songs at parties.
Speaking of parties, I went to a really sleazy one over the weekend. Sorry Islamabad, but I'm getting a little tired of putting up with your crap simply because I want to dance. First, I can't understand this predilection for trance-electro-crap music. I mean there's only so much you can do on the floor with a eight-beat combination that keeps playing for 20 minutes with minimum variation. And then why-oh-why must you insist on pandering after your colonial masters when it comes to your taste in songs-to-dance-to? Don't get me wrong, I'm fond of house music, club beats are fun too, but why do you turn purple and look like you've been told to swallow a particularly nasty pill when you're asked to play bollywood songs?
Also very disturbing, is this strange tendency in Islamabad of bringing prostitutes to parties. Now I'm not talking about women who sleep around so much, if they started charging for it they'd make a fortune. I'm talking about people my friend J took great delight in pointing out to me as proper, err, professionals. Garish, a little too made up and dressed in naked, tasteless western clothes, what actually shocked me was how very young they looked. One, gyrating on the dance floor with a man easily twice her age, looked about twelve. Maybe thirteen if you upped the make-up. One more argument for legalizing parties (and alcohol) methinks is then perhaps we can keep the riff-raff away from all this. So kids under 21 (or atleast 18) can go to school and study, not get drunk, drive and then kill themselves on the way home from some sleazy party or the other. And before you ask, I did not know the boy-who-died, but I know his family and their loss is both tragic and such an utter waste.
Aside from dithering about hobbies, and attending sleazy parties, I've been re-decorating. My house now has new curtains, new cooking equipment (and a new resolve to cook some more), new cushions (matching the curtains), new lamps (a'la Bangladesh) and assorted things-up-on-the-wall including family photos, masks galore and other collected items. All in all, I'm happy. I think it looks very pretty. The only blot on my household happiness, however is that my maid decided to disappear to the village to attend a wedding (or some such thing). Going home to a house sans servants means lots of dishwashing and housecleaning I don't much appreciate. Add to that people popping by for lunch/dinner/tea and guests staying over, I've had a very, err, fulfilled home life.
Finally, I've signed up for a self-imposed torture program at Metafitnosis. Amir and his crew pitch their work out routine as 'Pakistan's hardest workout', and for the past six days (and counting) untold aching muscles would clamor to agree. I hurt in places I never knew it was possible to hurt. But though it sounds cliched, it's good pain, and I'm happier for it (except when my back screams in agony, or my thighs try to commit suicide, or my shoulders pray for a massage-they-don't-get). It's not really working. In fact, I suspect muscles atrophied from disuse are actually swelling, however I'm sure it'll have an affect (eventually) and a newer swelter post-torture me shall emerge. Assuming I survive ofcourse. So *cheers* to that.
So that's where I've been. What's up with you?