Saturday, January 08, 2005

Six Degrees of Blogging

Well, at first I had no idea what a blog was. So I Googled it. Then I started reading all these other blogs and I was like well, I want one too. And even though I have been writing diaries and journals ever since I could write, I have always had one problem....CENSORSHIP. Does anyone else have this problem, or am I more vulnerable to it because of my Pakistani upbringing. You know where you shouldn't hide anything and paranoia is a trait that is actually cultivated in every offspring. You know that voice in the back of your head that says "What if someone sees this, what will they think?" Even now I am typing and I can feel the restraints kicking in and it is taking all of my willpower to keep going. Well maybe not that dramatic, but you know what I mean...or at least you do if you grew up like I did.

Growing up in a Pakistani household was not bad at all. Actually for the longest time I really didn't think of myself as any different than anyone in my school. There was a big desi community in Tulsa but there were none in my class. But as I grew older and especially when I went to high school, I saw people going out and staying out till all hours of the night. Looking back I really didn't mind....but it makes me wonder, what if my kids do and what will I do? I guess I'll tell them, "If I can do it you can too." I think parents have to make their kids realize that the Pakistani culture is a rich one and they should not let anyone make them feel inferior just because they can't do the traditional Amreeki things, like dating and all that. And you gotta let your kids know that there are other ways to have fun. Right now I can't think of them, but you know when the time comes I'm sure I'll come through. No but seriously, I am human (though my sister has doubts sometimes!), so I am not gonna pretend to be some saint and say that I didn't feel left out at times. I did and lemme tell ya, it does not feel good to be left out, when after a while people stop inviting you and you spend each weekend at home watching TV, or worse.....doing your homework. But I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that I really did not have any Pakistani friends my age. I have seen that in the bigger cities that have a more diverse population, kids tend to stick to their own ethinic groups, thus retaining their original culture and at the same time creating a hybrid of the old and new. But I think that it is healthy to have friendships with all kinds of people. You have to keep in mind (and this is to all those self-righteous people out there who think that they just sprouted out of American soil), everyone in this country has immigrant roots. The only true Americans are the Native Americans, and the rest are all implants. Growing up in America shelters you somewhat. You think that America is all there is in the world. I rememeber being amazed one time when I was young as I was watching TV and seeing other big beautiful cities such as Dubai and Sydney. I mean, I thought that places like that were only in the U.S.! Before you think, "Geez, what rock has she been living under," you have to understand there are a lot of people like that who have that same ignorant thoughts. They think that that the rest of the world is a third-world country. And that is such a pitiful and distorted view of the world it ain't even funny.

But anyways, I think we got to remember that there is a world out there apart from the U.S. The internet really makes you realize that. I mean, I surf the net and there are SO many things out there, it only seems to make me feel even more ignorant and uneducated. Countless books, movies, songs, places, histories.....the list goes on and on. It makes me feel impatient and restless, knowing that there a gazillion things out there yet that I have not yet experienced. Yet at the same time I love it. Imagine if you knoew everything...maybe some people would like that, but personally I think that you would just be sitting around waitng to die. I mean there would be no joy of learning of discovery.What a sad existance. But don't despair! I have yet to meet a person that knows it all...(though I have met people who think they know it all...*grimace*). So we can rest assure that there are plenty of things out there to see and discover to keep us occupied in this life. All these blogs out's wonderful that people all over the world have a platform on which they can share their thoughts and dreams and experiences. So now we can not only learn from textbooks, we can learn from people all over the world, without even leaving our home. But even through all the advances in technology, I still think that we should all take a chance to go out and actually see the world and talk to real people and have real hands-on experiences. In my opinion, that is what life is all about....wouldn't you agree.....why are you still sitting there? Go live your life!


Anonymous said...

hi aishbele..can i ask why s ur blog naame aashi?

Aishbelle said...

Yeah my real name is Aisha but my family calls me Aashi sometimes as a nickname.

Ashi said...


Why did it feel like I was reading my cosmic twin's thoughts while I was going through your blogs. Only thing, your thoughts were more clear than mine. I mean, it's amazing how I could identify the passion to send hand-written letters, to feeling like an outcast at times (I'm amazed even to know that Pakistani & Indian parents give more-or-less the same upbringign to their kids).

wait...let me not make your comment into my blog. :) I'll see u around soon again.

Just, please don;t stop blogging. Your words have just given me a new ray of hope, a better perspective to issues that were haunting me since God knows when.

Take care and Ramadan Kareem!