What It Feels Like Being 25 - Mahnoor Soomro
The age when only your laptop has the privilege to go to sleep while you just crave for a little rest. You have unending deadlines and a plethora of applications to fill when you suddenly remember the paid course you enrolled yourself for, but forget to follow up on. Your resume has been updated for the 1,000th time and you have written 9,999 cover letters but still people doubt your efficiency.
You can expect only two types of questions from almost every person you meet.
A. Have you gotten engaged?
B. Have you gotten a job?
You need to choose A / B , both of them or none of them.
You have joined a million whatsapp groups but they are all in silent mode. Your display picture hasn't been updated since the ice age and your Whatsapp status still says, "Hey there! I am using WhatsApp".
In the evening you get an email from your boss asking for an update on the project you have been assigned to and you almost drop your phone because you haven't worked on it yet. In the middle of this panic, suddenly the doorbell rings and an unwanted, uninvited guest steps in - “bus yahan se guzar rahe the to socha aap se milte hue jaen” [“I was in the area so thought I’d stop by”]. Now you are expected to prepare a whole deal of restaurant style dishes on short notice. Meanwhile, your mom and dad engage the guests in polite chit chat on all the useless topics in the world. Then you serve them with a perfectly angled smile just to hear - "ap ki beti bari ho gai hai, buht kaali aur moti thi jab bachpan me dekha tha" [“You daughter has grown up, I remember she used to be dark and fat in childhood”].
Even after that crash course on cooking,Your mom still wonders whether you will ever be able to perfect the coveted "Gol Roti”. You always wonder why the roti has to be GOL always when it can be triangle, square, rectangle or even rhombus. This is the age of creation mom, but you won't get it since you are living on an old operating system - older than windows 7.
You still aren't responsible enough to wake up by your own alarms - mom’s shouting still does the trick though.
The list of your to-be-watched series and movies is increasing like dollar rates in Pakistan. But you don’t have the time to watch them in this life. So Jahanum might be the only place to do this in the hereafter because Netflix and Prime Video are banned in Jannat. You have a separate folder with the title "Rejected", where you save the record of all those strangers that your well-wisher aunty tries to fix you with. The memo notes in your phone have reached their ultimate limit and it freaks you out the moment you open them.
The desk where you spend most of your time has more wires than books. Even though you have no clue where the laptop charger's plug is, you're satisfied because at least the pin is visible for you to charge with. One of the biggest dreams of your life is to charge your phone to 100%. Your phone gallery has more screenshots than selfies. Life seems to be more reliant on a high-speed internet connection than on oxygen at this point.
You have planned - and cancelled - 10,000 national and 12,000 International trips, yet ended up accompanying your parents for their cousin's uncle's brother's daughter's marriage because they insisted "apni beti ko zaroor leke ayega" [“You absolutely have to bring your daughter along”].
There you meet your distant cousin, whose name you don’t remember, but she is giving you a lecture on why you should get married as soon as possible while she puts her 7th child to sleep.
One morning you wake up and find your first string of white hair and end up at the hospital with a heart attack. The doctor advises you to stop using unnecessary chemicals in your hair and to keep them away from hair dryers, straighteners, rollers and sprays. From the next morning onwards, along with breakfast, your mom serves you a mixture of oil, yogurt and egg.
Your birthday has become the most unpleasant day of your life. The most random people in your friendlist spam your Whatsapp with messages like, "Happy Birthday, I love you". Some go beyond this and bring balloons with the cake you only cut but never eat.
When at last your birthday is over after all the fuss and when you count your years for like a trillion times, you get one more surprise - you haven't turned 25, you have turned 26 my girl. And you pass out on the thought that you are closer to 30.
Happy birthday to all Vicenarians!
Mahnoor is an Environmental Engineer by profession and an avid reader by passion. She loves reading books on feminism, religion, history and politics. She believes in breaking stereotypes and support women empowerment. She runs a bookstagram as well. You can reach out to her on her instagarm handle @readistan."