WHO ARE YOU?

Are you the night or the day

or something similar to grey

does your thoughts conform to what you portray

or is it just a reflection of what they say

I came across a status on Facebook that says, ‘In one sentence, who are you?’. I thought for a while but could not summarize the story of my life in just one sentence. This kind of irritated me because I always like the use of minimal words to convey powerful message but alas! I am speechless, clueless to what could possibly the answer to this. So I decided to ask the same question from my different friends to know their responses.

When I confronted others with the same question, I found them as dumbfounded as I am, even some were intimidated by such a question after so many years of friendship. From there on, it became interesting. I got several answers but not the one in a single sentence, rather in form of different words. But it did one thing, it made me realized how oblivious we are in knowing ourself, reflecting on our personality and how approving we are to others’ opinions of ourselves.

But it all took me back to the question to ‘Who Am I’. It took me time to realize that I am a person of conflicting opinions, with varying moods, too involved or detached at times. Hence, I figured out: “I am too predictable in my unpredictability”. I could not think of something more appropriate than this to define me.

However, I realized Self-knowledge is the most powerful yet rarest form in our times. We are so involved in knowing and exploring the outside world that we forget to look inside. All our desires and dreams are inspired from the conformity with the popular. I believe there comes a time in everyone’s life where all things feel superficial, where we happen to explore the ‘I’ inside us….But we are too afraid to take on this journey, too afraid to meet the real ‘Me’ because the fear of unknown rules us.

would you dare to take on this journey of self discovery? If yes, there is a possibility you might surprise yourself with it. Go for it. 

Change

(This post is not well written, its just a first draft to write down different thoughts going through my mind)

What I like about change is, it is permanent, constant, new, uncertainty. The routine life and the predictability puts an end to the excitement for something new, hope for better. Whereas the uncertainty gives unlimited scope for the good and bad yet to come.

November is love, the harbinger of change, the renaissance point where life takes a turn for the better. Like the previous year, a new job, new people, new beginnings mark the start of this month. From journalistic writing to academic last year, here I am in advertising this year. Writing, my one and only inspiration, that brought me here. The freedom to use my ideas with creative play of freedom was enough to make me choose this job. But advertising is so much different and fun industry.

I like the fact that I will get to improve my writing, my editing and proofreading in this job – things which have been neglected for over a year in the last job. There was a time I could write 1000 words within 20 minutes but now, it has become difficult to pen down even 100 words.

Things have changed drastically over these two years….I have experience a whole new learning but still could not find it satisfying. Maybe, I can’t track down my progress…maybe the bitter experience and harsh realities of life have dawned on me at wrong time…maybe I had stopped looking ahead and achieving ….maybe I became too adaptable to my circumstances..or just maybe….

But now, I am grateful things are going as per my instinct….I am experiencing 360 degree change with this new job.The nature of work, the people and the environment is quite the opposite to last one but yes, its uncertain. There is this element of unknown which is yet to be discovered. As long as the drive to discover the unknown is there, I am here, ready to learn and take a different look at life…from a creative perspective this time. And the journey begins here……..till the next change comes.

Journalism Today?

What constitutes good or bad journalism is a debate for some other time, but the bigger question here is: what essentially is journalism today? As a media graduate, I find it quite overwhelming and at times confusing how the news makers have become the consumers and vice versa. Although the innovation calls for greater interactivity, it puts a big question mark on the responsible and credible nature of journalism – especially in our country.

Before I proceed, I must tell that I am severely criticized for being critical of the local media and the practices of journalism in Pakistan. I acknowledge that our media is still in its infancy stage and would take more time to develop but I do think also that the initial years are very critical for anything to take on the right course. Ironically, such is not the case in Pakistan.

First of all, let’s talk about electronic media – the over expanding business reflecting our free society. From the current affairs programs to the re-enactments and essentially the news, there are serious flaws in relation to authenticity, objectivity and ethical practices of journalism. Taking on the example of PTI’s Azadi March, the opinion of the two big channels seems conflicted on the same issue. Does journalism in any way gives the news makers the authority to be pro or anti of a situation or even take it to personal level? I think there are more intellectual people to answer this one.

Now take a look at social media: the magic tool to bring you all the news, essentially rumors, today. With the interactivity and accessibility of social media, the role of journalists has expanded beyond the traditional means. Now, we have got the option not just to deliver news but also to communicate one’s thoughts and encourage public discourse and literacy. Not only journalist, but all the other users have got the option to have their say in bigger events in the country. But as much as this has delivered the news makers and people the option to spread the right word, it has become a propagating tool for the wrong and malicious content. The option for easy content generation has also paved the way for sensationalism which contradicts the very essence of journalism. Although it is easy to understand the naivety on the part of general public to believe everything they see and then share on social media; it is sinister for the media personnel to do the same. The very quality of ‘being skeptical‘ seems to be somewhat lost amongst the journalist, whether a freelancer or on-field, which put questioning the information on a later stage. I daily see updates on social media which are found to be not true but shared in greater numbers.

The default lies not only in the practice of journalism in our society but also in teaching journalism. Telling the theoretical perspective of the media is not enough in a content-driven environment today. There is a need to reinvent our perspective on journalism studies while incorporating the essentials of taking the lead in a changing environment. We must know that what journalism was a decade ago is not what it is today. The good and bad thing about journalism is: it is ever changing – but our academic strategies are still the same.

As affiliated with an academic institute of Media Studies and an enthusiast of journalism, I feel responsible to contribute to the development of this profession. Why couldn’t we take a more critical and analytical approach to teach the future generation the rights and wrongs of journalism, to not just be a voice but a distinctive one, to identify with greater journalism goal of public interest rather than corporate or personal interest. Yes we can, and it is high time we realize this too. Ours is not the only nation that has more in the name of ‘distracting-news-content‘ but we should now move towards better now than popularizing the cause of ‘Free (notorious) media‘. We can learn from Stony Brook University’s “News-Literacy” class and can apply similar models here. This might take time but would definitely initiate a process; a right in the right direction.

Choice

Be careful and walk slow

World is worse there, don’t you ever go

I asked how you know

They said that’s the conventional flow

I argued, you might be wrong

They said, the wise believed that for long

I objected to explore and walk my way

They said, you will falter and go astray

I reiterated my decision to take the risks

They said; better live with regret than going that way

I was unconvinced to their call

They said someday you will fall

I said, your perspective is small

They said, you don’t know it all

With an unchanged mine, I decided to go

and a loud laughter then followed

When I Lived

Through the winds and storms,
with struggle and courage,
I dreamt and I chased,
I succeed and i failed,But,

Through it all…I lived

My moments came and went by,
My fear won and broken thy,
With despair and hope,

I won and i lost, But,

Through it all…I lived

today a time arrived,
Emptiness fills my life,
No passion and no worries,
No truths; no lies,
Lost the courage of mine,
To the coldness of times, But,
Through it all…I lived.

And Now in mid of all this,
When i reflect the choices of mine,
Are the stories of unknown times,
With answers hard to find,
and unable to fill this emptiness,
I sit and think…WHEN I LIVED?