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one thousand words

A fusion of business, art, fashion, politics, and food.

Black Coffee, White House

After successfully completing my first week at Merrill Lynch, I exited the office around 3PM. I’d been getting out of the office before five most days, but getting out early on a Friday with great weather was refreshing. (Scratch the weather statement; I’m already starting to sound like one of those boring office junkies, aren’t I?) Instead of walking about a block over to the McPherson Square Metro station, I decided to roam the Northwest quadrant of D.C in search of a restaurant to take home some food. I had to admit after six weeks of winter break involving large numbers of home-cooked meals, I began missing Pakistani food. I walked into a small Indian restaurant in hopes to find something similar and completed that task.

On my way back to the Metro, I stopped at a map to see what else was in the area. I suddenly saw that the White House was located a couple streets down from where I intern. After about a minute of walking, I saw the White House. I’m still not sure how I didn’t realize that the White House was so close, and didn’t happen to look to other way when I exited the Metro every morning.  I walked over to the White House and saw that a protest was going on. There were people holding up signs and chanting slogans to get leader Mubarak out of Egypt. Egyptian flags held by protesters flew in front of the high-standing American flag that decorated the White House lawn. After spending the day researching the current economic market and the future of different stocks, I felt suddenly revitalized (If only the office coffee had such capabilities). After experiencing the protest for a while, I started on my way home.

On the phone with a Chicagoan close to me, I began to think about why exactly this city felt so alive to me (this quickly became a rant received by the patience on the other end). There are no impressive skyscrapers, awe-inspiring bright lights, and overall there really isn’t too much city-esque bustle. The energy in D.C. doesn’t come aesthetically but rather from a deeper source. This city cares.

On my way to dinner last Sunday night, I walked passed an organization that handles massive quantities of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms that are seized. Tuesday, I plowed through a mob of pro-life high school students on my way to work. On my way to workout on Wednesday, I walked passed TVs of CNN playing major headlines. Simply being around such charged people and institutions is beyond energizing.

For those who’ve solely visited the District of Columbia: the monuments, Smithsonians, and other sites of visit don’t begin to stand as a testament to the vibrancy of this city. I can comfortably say that I’m much more excited about the city aspect of this semester than I was before I left.


Random entertaining occurrences of the week:

  • A woman’s purse getting stuck between the Metro doors (sounds terrible, but it all worked out).
  • An Indian man (as in, FROM India) at Merrill asking me where I’m from and upon telling him I have a Pakistani background, asking me if I’m Jewish.
  • Walking back from Target with insanely heavy groceries with my roommate and friend, almost not making it. (One of those, “you had to be there”)
  • Metro people watching. (This one deserves an entry of its own, which I’ll hopefully sometime get to)
  • Going into the senior financial advisor’s office to drop something off and seeing
  • “ALEEZA (uh? leeZ uh?) NEW INTERN” on his notepad in kindergarten style handwriting
  • Spilling an entire cup of coffee on my desk and somehow cleaning it up before anyone noticed.


Making Global Labor Fair

I don’t necessarily agree with everything said but the general idea is good and the rest is interesting and informative. 

""We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time." —T. S. Eliot"
- Easily one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite poets. 

Companies aren’t charities


This is a poem I wrote for one of my classes this week, inspired by The Old Guitarist by Picasso (seen earlier on this blog) 



Bittersweet notes twinge through the air

as my fingers extend the plane of strings


Feel me through this,

this which is all I have


Play you a light melody

two, three, four more coins


I cannot lie to these streets

the blue is raining,


and through these sparse notes


we sing


Let me write for you a symphony 

in exchange for the simplicity of you


Feel me through this,

this which is all I have 


Take me back

through true redemption


Calculate the seconds

They will burn


Ice me with this new blue. 


picture I look in New York on Wall Street, May 2010. 

picture I look in New York on Wall Street, May 2010. 

The Hollow Men by T.S. Eliot

A penny for the Old Guy

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

Shape without form, shade without colour,
Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

Those who have crossed
With direct eyes, to death's other Kingdom
Remember us -- if at all -- not as lost
Violent souls, but only
As the hollow men
The stuffed men.


Eyes I dare not meet in dreams
In death's dream kingdom
These do not appear:
There, the eyes are
Sunlight on a broken column
There, is a tree swinging
And voices are
In the wind's singing
More distant and more solemn
Than a fading star.

Let me be no nearer
In death's dream kingdom
Let me also wear
Such deliberate disguises
Rat's coat, crowskin, crossed staves
In a field
Behaving as the wind behaves
No nearer --

Not that final meeting
In the twilight kingdom


This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man's hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.

Is it like this
In death's other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.


The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms

In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river

Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death's twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.


Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o'clock in the morning.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

                    For Thine is the Kingdom

Between the conception
And the creation
Between the emotion
And the response
Falls the Shadow

                    Life is very long

Between the desire
And the spasm
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow

                 For Thine is the Kingdom

For Thine is
Life is
For Thine is the

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

Your Love is a Song by Switchfoot

Although I recently stumbled upon this song, I can say I’m in love with it. Thanks goes to Saud Beig for the discovery. 

In Arabian Desert, a Sustainable City Rises