every time i sit down to complete my thesis, i am left with nothing more than sinking feelings and hopeless sensations.
ive been thinking a lot about boundaries and the idea of nations recently. actually, thats a lie. this is all i ever think about. but these days, ive been thinking about it more than i usually would. i think its because of my own uncertain standing in the whole america vs pakistan (i have about ten million pro con lists in my head) as a post graduation home debate as well as writing my thesis, which deals with the growing threat of the taliban in pakistan. being a political science major and a holder of a super unhip green passport (which to this day causes me to hold my breath when i go through immigration at jfk) forces you to think about boundaries, and more importantly, how you can surpass them if you so wish.
at home, youll hear a lot of people say, ‘thats just how its done here’. this is a religious country after all, it was formed on the basis of religion. obviously everything will be muslim centric, obviously women will be treated differently than men, obviously the minorities will be treated as minorities, obviously there are only super rich people and super poor people- thats just how its done here. you cant argue with logic like that- maybe thats why it has stuck so well.
this summer, i went home with the intention to create foundations for my epic post graduation homecoming, where i could return to the normal i knew and didnt have to deal with things like:
02. driving on the wrong side of the road
03. assholes that confuse palestine with pakistan (it happens so much its ridiculous)
04. assholes that say stuff like, ‘i love chicken tikka masala’ or ‘i love bollywood*’ when i tell them where im from. i mean sure buddy i like burgers but what does that have to do with how i thinnk about america? and shit, im also not a fan of your old president, but that dont mean i hate texas! (i aspire to go to texas one day, i view it as the american sun, with the rest of the states being the planets)
05. SLOW SAINT PAUL DRIVERS (going at ten when the speed limit is thirty five is not okay)
06. being accosted to go to church/mormon temple/evangelical potlucks at an average of one awkward accost per week.
and many other strange things about this country that i now dont care as strongly about/find funny/have now forgetten.
but when i went back home, i saw that i no longer fit in at home with the ease that i once used to. moving back would be a life of angst and ‘why is this place so fucked up’ and ‘what do you mean i cant go out without a male chaperon’ and ‘wow did that guy just say he doesn’t believe in dinosaurs?’.
and what kind of life is that? not a great one i would say, not a great one at all.
privileged kids who study abroad are called ‘foreign returns’ when they move back to pakistan. i feel i might have became a bit too foreign and may in fact, no longer be able to return.
i fear about the fact that there is no longer any room left for me in my own country.
*bollywood is indian. pakistan has lollywood (i kid you not) and the industry is in a bit of a bad situation. but but but but lollywood cinemas paint their own posters (as compared to printing real life actors) and i dont know about you, but i think they are pretty damn fantastic.