Monday, January 30, 2012

Show Me the Meaning of Being Lively

It is sometime in the month of november, 2008. The day is saturday and it is the last lecture before the final exam. The dial on the wall shows it is 9.25 A.M. and we are waiting for our English class teacher. Yes, being a non-English speaking country, we need English lectures even at Ph.D. level. It is more of a communication and writing class. In comes the teacher, sits as usual. and out of the blue, he says today is going to be a debate. We are surprised. How can he? The topic is "Life is Absurd?". Even though nothing pleases me more than an extempore writing, the exact opposite is true when it comes to speeches and that too an impromptu one. But unfortunately or fortunately, I am not feeling well and can not take part or else I would have liked to utter a few incoherent sentences in my blabber.


By tradition, the seating arrangement in the classrooms all over Pakistan is that boys sit to the teacher's left while girls sit to the teacher's right. The brightest or most interested students usually sit in front rows while the most disinterested ones sits on the back benches. Anyways, it is time to start. The the Lady moves the motion as expected. She is one of my class-fellows who always sits at the back row and promptly replies any question that is asked by the teacher, changing the very definition of back-benchers.  The teacher calls her as the Lady at the Back. Coming from one of the best women colleges in the the sub-continent, she has a fine accent and is vastly knowledgeable as well as being resourceful in the English language. And that is why I admire her even if her constant questioning during the lectures put me off during the class. Well, she is actually against the topic and she says that life is not absurd. Most of the times she uses Islam in her arguments, and i agree with her every word even though I would like her to speak outside the context of Islam as there are 80 percent non-Muslims living in this world. But none the less, she is as usual impressive in her oration.

There are a few others as well who speak on the topic and most of them are against it and using the same arguments. Only two or three persons speak in favour of the motion but can not defend it with solid arguments.

Then when all seems settled, and we are thinking that life is not absurd after all, the Lady springs to her feet and announces that she wants to speak in favour of the motion. I am disappointed. She speaks. Speaks of the maids in her home, the children, the beggars  who have no aim in their life. They are only waiting for death to come and in between they are pretending to live their lives. But i am not convinced. I think everybody has an aim in life. Everything in this world is for a reason. Even beggars have small targets to achieve. So I do not buy her arguments. And the year ends on my being in disagreement with the Lady.

Faces of Life
     2003                                                                                                         2009 


Fast forward or may be slow forward to 2012 and the events of the last month or so, lead me to change my opinion.  Life seems to be absurd. We do not have any aim in our lives. We work hard for our school, college and university studies and then we go from pillar to post to find a good job and then maybe a spouse and then children. Then we do every fair and unfair thing to make our children happy and succesful. and then we retire,  sent to old homes and wait for months to see our own children for whom we sacrifice everything. And in the end death comes to us while we say to ourselves that oh, life was so short.

Now after 3 years, I feel like first she was wrong and I was wrong and we both agreed on the wrong thing. Then she corrected herself and I stood firmly on the wrong thing and did not agree with her. But now I think she was right then and I was wrong.

What is your opinion about this? If you think Life is Absurd, leave 3 comments. And if you think Life is not Absurd, leave 5 comments. In the end we will decide on voting.

74 comments:

  1. - yes Life is absurd, see you posted a whole post on lady at the back and sighs she doesnt have an inch of knowldge about it... ;-)

    life is absurd. tch tch :-P


    PS..cant help you in that at all. :-P

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    1. hahahaha...yes she doesnt know it :P life is absurd... you can tell her :P

      PS. you can help in that all if you want to :P

      Delete
  2. Life is absurd. There are a lot of things that were coming in my mind when I saw the topic. Very interesting post. :)

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    1. i am glad you enjoyed it and lot of thinking :) have a nice weekend :)

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  3. I'm going to leave four, because I think life is both absurd and not absurd:

    1) In the end we die, no mater how well or poorly we've lived our lives.

    2) There is no fairness to life. Some innocent children get cancer, people are murdered while trying to help others, houses of good families are leveled by tornadoes. And very bad people sometimes prosper and live long, privileged lives.

    BUT

    3) In a broader sense, how you live your life does make a difference. Everything good thing you do has a positive impact on other people and on the planet and is worth doing just for that reason.

    4) Love. It's everything. Romantic love, familial love, friendly love, love for the world and it's inhabitants. We're all one big family, all kin to each other and are connected to each of our brothers and sisters and to the universe. That gives shape and meaning to life.

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    1. hahaha..yes you left 4 comments :)

      surely we will die ..every body will...
      life is sometimes really unfair...
      but its part of life..part of the struggle we call life... love is the bond through which life is held together otherwise it would be acomplete anarchy... thank you for liking and giving you valuable comments :) have a nice weekend :)

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  4. Yes life is sometimes absurd...btw, good post.

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    1. Thank you for liking it... :) have a nice weekend :)

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  5. It's absurd you're too unwell to take part. It will be all the poorer for that.

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    1. yes unfortunately i could not take part that day :(

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  6. that was a philosophical attempt Israr SUPERB write up!
    1.well in my opinion life is not absurd in any form their is always a difference of thought which take birth with changes of our surroundings sometimes thing are not according to what we expect from others or nature. life is not that much long to attain the highest possible perfection in it. it all depends how we infer the logic to being lively.....

    2.the more simpler example is ECOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS... everyone is dependent on each other the situation the case may be change like a food web.

    3.i want to state a line by Sherlock Holmes about life "ALL LIFE IS A GREAT CHAIN ,THE NATURE OF WHICH IS KNOWN WHENEVER WE FOUND A SINGLE LINK OF IT" So. i think we need to search the link to live lively .

    4.apny liye to sbhi jeety hain dosroon k liye jeena hi zindgi ka asal nam hai.

    5. and i was not expecting this from such a lively person :P :D

    STAY HAPPY AND BLESSED :)

    WRITE MORE N MORE N MORE N MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE :)

    BEST WISHES :)

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    1. thank you almas...i became a philosopher in your company :P

      yes i agree sometimes things are not what we expect from our surroundings...
      everybody is dependent..nobody in the world is independent... the richer, the more dependent...
      I never knew you liked Sherlock HOlmes :)
      chalow apne liye nahi jeeta :P
      hahahaha..what i did? you should expect things like these :P

      Delete
  7. wow that is you israr in 2003 quite change from desi to welayati look han ? :P
    i think the old one is more pure one coz life is becoming so impure with the passage of time dont know why ... i think i have to find the link for it too like Sherlock Holmes :P :D

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    1. hahaha... yes that was me back in 2003... :( kabhi hum bh khubsoorat they :P

      artificiality is the name of change...people call it civilization :(

      yes you can find link for it... Sherlock Almas :P

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I read your long comment...but you deleted so no reply :)

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  9. I just wrote a long comment but I changed my mind about posting it, the reason is that I don't really know. But "absurd" is definitely not an adjective I would apply to life. And my comment was connected to the fact that we should not confuse the spiritual life and the physical life, they seem to me to be different things.

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    1. yes that is the point...we cannot know all about life... everything is so vague...yes spiritual and physical are different but see one cannot live isolated in one :(

      Delete
  10. somtimes it seems to us that life is just an Absurd, i think it is just due to circum stances. Allah almighty created the each n every thing for a purpose, nothing is useless......... it is only man among the whole universe who is wasting his period of life in useless activities i think.

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    1. yes circumstance make life absurd sometimes...

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  11. I agree to Maria in that sense that we should live for others, do somthing for the people around u. it will give u satisfation n hope in all dark aspects of life then u wlll be sured that life is not Absurd.

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    1. yes we should live for others only if they pay us :P

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  12. Allah calls whole mankind to come to the right path,even there is a purpose ov the life ov a non-muslim,he has been rewarded a period of time to recgonise the actual Lord of this universe. Just open the Quran, read it,understand the message of ur creator n play ur roll.

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  13. sometimes when we lose hope then we think that life is absurd as Iqbal says:
    na tha kuch to khuda tha kuch na hota to khuda hota
    dboya mujh ko hone ne na hota men to kya hota?
    but at the same time he says:
    millat se apni rabta istwar rakh
    pewasta reh shajar se umeed e bahar rakh
    so life is toooooooo much important.dont waste it, keep the candle ov hope enlighten n live for the noble cause.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. it is not Iqbal...its Ghalib :)

      yes i am pewasta with shjar...but sometimes branch fall from the tree :p

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  14. in my opinion the life of modern man is being turned to absurd, all ov us are wasting the precious moment ov our life. life is too short,evaluate it, enjoy it and try to do something for the bettermen of mankind.
    zindgi zinda dili ka nam hey
    murda dil kya khak jia karte hen-:p

    ReplyDelete
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    1. chalow bhago... zinda dill pepsi peetay hai :P

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  15. i was in hurry, couldnt read the comments before posting, please ignore if there is some spell errors......... keep writting, Best ov luck.

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  16. I think that life is not absurd. Its been calculated to the last second and we are just living our part. Everyone has their own purpose, which should be coinciding perfectly with what roles have been given to us, as those thoughts are being implanted into us. Besides, one can openly see Karma in action. If not in the short term, definitely in the long term. Truth is strange but definitely not absurd.

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    1. hmmm...right... we are playing our roles...but sometimes it is not according to the script that we have so :)

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  17. Life? Absurd? i would say 50/50 you know..

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    1. i would agree with what you said if i were you :)

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  18. It depends on the circumstances and situations actually. So there cannot be a definite answer :)
    Why is it that all the boys sit on the left hand side and the girls on the right? I'm curious :P

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    1. circumstances makes us beleive so :P

      well i dont know for sure..but in our Parliament Senate etc, the Treasury members sit on the right side and the Opposition members sit on the left side... so now you got it right? :P

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  19. Let's some things are absurd some things aren't

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    1. thats very diplomatic answer...not accepted :P

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  20. Israr – apologies – forgot (until today) to return here as for some reason you are not moving up the blog list.

    Is life absurd?

    1. All life, whether flora or fauna, is dependent on procreation for survival of the species – suggesting that our only purpose is to replicate our own kind. How absurd - for to what end?
    2. If we accept/believe that we exist on earth as a step to Heaven (although some religions do not hold to the concept of Heaven) and that near all religions worship the very same God – why do we do battle against our fellow man in His name? How absurd is that (?) and how He must weep.
    3. How absurd is it that all men are not born equal and moreso that mankind appears content with this and allows it to continue - which begs the question “How can we look the other way when our fellow man is in need by accident of birth?” How absurd we are!

    Despite the gloom of the above I must state that I am more than happy to be alive and love almost every minute of my life – how absurd is that (!)?

    Anna: o]

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    1. i dont know what happend to Blogger... i feel like many of my blogger friends are not commenting here anymore :(

      yes procreation is must for survival..agreed...
      yes but see we use religion only as a pretext for some worldly gains...or people of the same religion would never fight...
      .... yes life should be enjoyed to the fullest and other humans should be helped to the best of our abilities..but there is a time in life when one feels like there is no meaning to life :(

      have a nice week :)

      Delete
  21. We cannot say our life is completely ridiculous or absurd, because if life was so difficult than there would not be a human race so far from the beginning. Life is beautiful except for few circumstances which keep us in a muddled and a morose state. We learn from many life experiences and its a cycle that happiness comes after sorrow and sorrow after happiness.

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    1. Welcome to our blog.... thanks for reading and liking the post :)

      yes you are right ..its not that much difficult... but there are circumstances..when one feels like there is no meaning to life... it comes to everybody at some stage of life... and then we move on with life...sometimes its absurd sometimes its beautiful :)

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  22. Your blog has the word that describes life, Muhammad: Life is mysterious! Because it is mysterious I cannot say whether it is absurd or not absurd. I can say that I really liked this thoughtful post and the comments it generated.

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    1. hahaha... i almost forgot about that...yes life is always a mystery... thanks for reading and liking the posts and yes the commentators here are really nice people giving their opinions about the topic :)

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  23. LIFE IS FRICKING ABSURD. like seriously. :s
    good post! :)

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    1. welcome back lady... :)
      yes life does look absurd at times nahi?

      Delete
  24. Salam, Israr. I'm here! :))

    Firstly, thanks for having your pics posted here. The Now and Then looks or faces of life (quoting you). Looking at the pics will bring back sweet memories, right?

    Secondly, about life, I think sometimes it's absurd, sometimes not. In this journey of life, we go through many phases and it's likely we face the absurdity at any time. But then again, we live a life. :)

    Thanks a lot for sharing another interesting and brilliant write-up. :)

    The last paragraph makes me chuckle. Hilarious YOU!

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    1. W.salam poetess...welcome back to our blog after a long long time :)

      welcome... i thought i should share my own pictures...to get some free publicity :P
      yes it does bring back memories... (sweet or not is another matter :P)

      yes we have to live life... absurd it or not... but sometimes i do feel its all so absurd...

      thank you for reading and liking it :) your comments are really valued :)

      i am glad it made you smile :)

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  25. first of all sorry israr 4r being against u....totally disagree with urs...coz ve seen or seeing lot of people living n ths world without any reason/aim...noticeably the poor people jus eating,sleeping...when i ask one i met(my bro's maid) "whz ur aim?" the person looked at me weired and i thought "did i ask anything wrong?"...they dont even ve any idea why they r into ths world....so my answer is atleast 30% of people n ths world r absurd....

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    1. thank you for reading and liking it... well in fact you are AGREEING with what i am saying...

      first i was thinking that life is not absurd..but now i say it is absurd..and you too agree with that ...so we are in agreement :)

      yes exactly...there are lots and lots of people who have no aim in their lives...while there are others like us whose aims are not wroth calling aims... :)

      Delete
  26. There are diffident ways of looking at things from lot many angle. The question whether life is absurd or not depends largely on our view of life, the memories and values we cherish, and how we grow in our sensibilities through pleasure and pain...! Most of the people find life absurd and senseless since they find reality as boring and deprived of actual pleasures and enjoyment! And that's why we tend to escape into the dreamy world at occasions and fictionalize now and then....it's a very essential tendency! Nothing bad about it if we are capable of differentiating and understanding the dichotomy between illusion and reality! (That was a mouthful...I am little sensitive to these topics:)

    For me life is not absurd...but I wont say that it's beautiful too...in fact a kind of melancholy always runs though my mind, but sometimes I enjoy that too....I find some of the most gratifying moments in my passions and interests. We all get it...I think beauty and art can add value to our survival as famous C. S. Lewis says "Beauty and art has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival." Isn't that exactly reason why you find pleasure in letting out your creativity in this blogosphere?

    Good thinking Israr....I am so happy that you made a post on this probe on this existence:) And sorry for missing this post...slip of attention;)

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    1. yes it does depend largely on our views and cicrumstances and surroundings and the people around us and the environment etc etc...so many variables that affect this thing...cultural bias and social as well as finanacial status is also important...

      its good that for you life is not absurd...i wish it becomes beautiful for you one day :) and the sadness goes away...

      thank you for reading and liking it... see i was right... you have a very precious opinion about the topic and i am glad you shared it with us :)

      Delete
  27. Hello Israr.
    I read this post before, but I've been having trouble with some blogs and not being able to comment.

    What a can of worms you have opened here, my friend.
    In theory, life for us begins from the time of conception, but for argument sake, I'll say life's journey begins from our birth and ends with our final demise. With each year we not only grow older, but become more knowledgeable & understanding (notice I didn't say wiser...I'll save that can of worms for another day! LOL) As we age, we travel life's path, leaving our footsteps along the way. We make decisions that impact our lives in one way shape or other...sometimes good, others bad. Life will never be completely perfect because we are living in times where perfection simply does not exist. What we are forgetting is that life is a gift from God and we should embrace it to the best of our ability. Life is what we make it, so when all is said and done, one could conclude that life is both absurd and not absurd.
    Let's use me as an example: I live, eat, breathe love. Some might even say I am obsessed with love...is that absurd or not? (smile)

    Nice photo by the way. I can see the progression from teenage boy to young man. You look like you lift weights too!
    Thanks for sharing another thought-provoking post.

    One final word, when you get a chance, please come to my blog...I have a special gift for you.
    Award Time...Sharing The Love Again!

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    1. Hi Andy..

      I am not sure whats wrong with blogger as most of my friends are not commenting and saying that they cannot see my blog in their dashboard :(

      well a person like you can surely write a book on the topic and its good that i stimulated your mind to write a few lines for our benefit :)

      yes being wise is a difficult thing and very few ever get wiser with age...:)

      yes sure you are obsessed with love and we are obsessed with your poetry :)

      hahaha...call it metamorphosis or anything...change is inevitable in life :)

      Delete
  28. I'm sorry that Blogger did not update this post in my reader :( However, I'm glad I didn't miss it because it's truly thought provoking and wonderfully presented!

    1 ~ Life

    2 ~ is

    3 ~ absurd!

    Hope that answers your question and counts as three comments :P

    The lady in your story sadly reminds me of my sister-in-law. One time she blurted out (as she normally does) "You are a nobody" if you don't graduate from High School AND College. Although I understood the jest of that thinking I also found it to be highly inappropriate to utter. I believe that everyone is a somebody, in my book.

    Not everyone is blessed with enough intelligence and/or finances to attain higher education. We can't all be doctors or lawyers. Someone must deliver our mail, pick up the trash, etc. It was a derogatory comment for her to make, especially within the close proximity of her children's ears.

    The reason why I bring this up is because afterwards, when she left the room, I said to my mother and father that even college educated graduates can't find work in their chosen fields. A degree is not a free ticket to work in the area of your training. Many have to resort to jobs that, according to my s-i-l, are the nobody jobs of the world . . .

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    1. welcome back...

      no for you it should be 30 comments as a penalty for being absent for so long :@

      yes the universe needs an order and in this order everyone of us living or non.living things, play our role to keep it going... seemingly unimportant things are also important but we humans dont realize their value unless they vanish... trees, animals, sun, moon, insects everything is important...

      well i dont believe college or university education can make us better humans...

      http://afficer.blogspot.com/2011/07/mothers-tribute-to-her-son.html

      Edhi never graduated from a college but he is a better human than most of us... so the point is we never know what or who is better or worse... but again we the humans have such limited capacity to think and understand ...

      thank you for giving your opinion on the topic.. :)

      Delete
  29. “Life is absurd” for those who are over pessimistic, specifically, when they don't want to explore the Nature in the true sense. Without finding out full meaning of life, absurdity is a natural outcome for them.
    The best solution for this class of people simply is --Stay high on drugs and pass through the life cycle with no achievement at all.

    ****The other class of people feels there is definitely a logic and philosophy behind the creation of life on the planet Earth or elsewhere. ****
    By the way:
    *****From religious point of view, the life is a test for us, and if we go through the Holy Qur'an - we'll know the truth for sure.
    For example: Just understanding Surah Rehmaan from the noble Qur'an, we know a lot. ****
    The Qur'an is the word of God which gives a complete code of life to the entire humankind-- there is no absurdity.

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    1. but circumstances make us pessimistic... sometimes one feels so helpless and one doesnt see any purpose of life...nothing at all to do in life... life does seems absurd... even for filthy rich people this happens...
      hahaha... drugs are so expensive tariq bhai...only the rich can afford it :)

      from the religious point of view there definitely is a pattern to everything but as the case is, most of us are not very well versed in religions, we never bother to study it and we think the mullahs is what religion is all about....

      Delete
  30. Well it isn't absurd.
    Everyone has aim and that's what life is for.If we think poor people don't have any aim,I'd consider it wrong.Death is a truth which is unavoidable but meanwhile the journey from birth to death is given us to live it up.Aim doesn't limit particular field..It can be taken as general.Lil joys can be added to same :)
    BTW my blog isn't dead anymore.I've posted butterfly effect part 3 and hopefully will post next part on sunday :)

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    1. yes death is unavoidable.. and yes poor people does have an aim..but still sometimes it does seem absurd... welcome to back to blogger..i am glad your blog is not dead :) i was thinking of writing an obituary :P

      the butterfly effect is back..yayye :)

      Delete
    2. hahaha Phew i came back before receiving an obituary

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    3. haha..i am glad you came back... one more hour and the obituary was going to press :P

      Delete
  31. i am agree with you Bro.
    Life is not absurd but sometimes it does seem absurd.

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  32. Like you said , life absurd nahin 'hoti' par kabhi kabhi absurd 'dikhti' hai .
    Hope you are doing good Muhammad :)

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    1. hello kavita... welcome back .... i think you have not been posting for a long time now.. why?

      yes life sometimes seems really absurd.... i am doing good.. what about you?

      Delete
  33. Life is weird, it is absurd, it is every feeling put in a bag together and mixed until they blend with each other perfectly!

    Yeah so, LIFE IS ABSURD! :D

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    1. welcome to our blog...

      yes life is absurd sometimes and sometimes seems precious...thats absurd :P

      Delete
  34. The lady at the back. How mysterious that sounds. Reminds me of Irene from Sherlock. :-)

    Life is interesting. It is absurd for those who don't take the time out to understand it. There. Had to add my penny worth of thoughts.

    I am visiting this space after so long. Your updating isn't very regular now, is it?

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    1. hahaha...sherlock holmes...that may be the Scandal in the Bohemia?

      yes everything around this blog is mysterious :p

      yes sure your thoughts are as always precious and needed very much on this blog..thanks for reading and giving your opinion on the topic :)

      many people are complaining about this now... i think some problem with blogger other wise i am updating regularly..(by my standards :P )

      Delete
  35. Recently i created Fb page www.facebook.com/PearlInDarkness for blog so that i can stay in touch through small updates incase i couldn't log in to blogspot.Please like it :)
    Btw I've posted butterfly effect part 4 too. :)

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    1. ok boss :p i have joined the facebook page :) hope you recognized :)

      Delete

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