Déjà vu

Storming of the Bastille, 1789

Ironic that we chose July 14th to be the day of our History class re-union. The First topic we read in that class was the French Revolution, and Bastille day with all it’s ideals of Liberte, Egalite and Fraternite was the day we met again.

I remember going to class that first day of history and being surprised to find 15 or so teenagers listening attentively in a history class. I was accustomed to cries of “Kab class khatam ho gi” and “this is boring” in Pakistan Studies classes (even though we had the best Pak St. teacher ever back in 10th grade), so to find people who were interested in the lecture (or were remarkable actors =p) was very strange. The difference between compulsory history, and studying history with your own free-will I guess. Later on in the course of A-levels, as the curriculum became tougher, our class did evaporate until it was just me and Aiman on a lot of days, but still the memory of “our” French Revolution days lingers.

Today I re-visited my past. My jaded routine of books, words and langue Francais was interrupted, though the setting was different: the quaint red-brick F-8 building that we called Westminster was instead a spacious F-10 house, which lacked the character the old building had…Yet it was adorned with the same style of printed words of encouragement, in different fonts and size,  it had the same cobalt blue chairs, the same flurry of MUN names and  but only some familiar faces. I met up with old friends from History class. It was very “déjà vu”, all of it…But then this had all really happened before.

As we sat there discussing development ideas, anthropological concerns, philosophy and what not, it all came rushing back. It was like I hadn’t really left. The “new” me was suddenly the same shy A-level student who used to sit in the intellectually engaging environment noting down book recommendations and tossing her own two cents occasionally. I’d loved the writing parts most about that class especially the extra-curricular ones because they challenged me to read works I would not have usually read (for example this one assignment we did on Sartre)…

All this got me thinking though, it’s so interesting how all of us have distinct personas in various settings…We might be the same souls, but with each person we’re a little different version of ourselves: the deferential daughter, the loving mother, the encouraging wife, the funny friend et cetera–All these microcosmic versions of ourselves merged into one, our soul…

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5 Replies to “Déjà vu”

  1. Ah… interesting post Maha… Love the last paragraph!
    “All this got me thinking though, it’s so interesting how all of us have distinct personas in various settings…We might be the same souls, but with each person we’re a little different version of ourselves: the deferential daughter, the loving mother, the encouraging wife, the funny friend et cetera–All these microcosmic versions of ourselves merged into one, our soul…”
    This gets me thinking too!=)

    1. 🙂 Yes, it’s interesting from a psychological and philosophical point of view. Thanks for commenting, Abeer <3! Your blog is a constant inspiration and food for thought

  2. 🙂 I love the last para graph too maha. But I am so happy that we met. Although somehow the over-excessive doze of intellectualism didn’t do me too good. I will tell you all my feelings once we get to talk more.

    But ofcourse I did notice that we both had shifted “back to our old selves”. You and I are so different in our new places. Confident and what not but I guess that some fears do remain.

    1. Thanks, Aiman! I came across a really nice quote btw:
      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” (Marianne Williams, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”)

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