06 Jul 2022


 Your perception of me is a reflection of you; My reaction to you is awareness of me

By Maham Ayaz


BS Law


Evelyn is sitting on a bench in a secluded park of the Seventh Avenue. She is alone, lost in her own world. The world right beside her on the national highway is moving on such a fast pace, but she looks like the still water of the pond. I keep on staring at her, she is like an art piece sitting there, and so in her own world that I’m afraid if I will say something the stillness, the calmness of her world will be shattered, just like how the still world of pond is by a ripple of pebble. So, I let her be in her world, she deserves to be alone after what happened.

She is the person I respect the most. She is always the happy person, helping everyone who is in need and also at the same time she has got her life together. She is the person who has her life set because she knows how to deal with every kind of situation or should I say, knew how to deal with every situation.

Today, in the morning, when the world was waking up and starting its day. People were getting ready to welcome the new day and so was Evelyn. She was in her room choosing what to wear for the day when she received a phone call. The call she would regret picking up. The call that turned her whole life, in that very moment, upside down. “Hello”, she says and then she is silent. After one minute of deafening silence she starts crying. The tears are streaming down her face, it feels like the tears will suffocate her. She instead of wiping them off let them run down her face. She is tired. She is tired of this world, she is tired of always pretending. She wants to give up; she is so close to taking her own life. While she is in her own thoughts, her phone notification goes off. She checks her phone and it is a message from Luca, the guy in her class. “Hey, you must be done with the work, obviously, send it to me. You should help us out who haven’t got their life together, says the message.” She burst out laughing, her emotions are really not stable today. She thinks how the world is so not aware of the people living right with them. How they only think of themselves not others. How can they be so selfish.

Evelyn wants to reply to Luca, “No! She doesn’t has her life together.” But instead she shares the file of the assignment and says nothing, this small interaction with another human being brings her back to what she was doing which was choosing clothes for the day. She gets to work, dresses up and leaves for the university.

I greet her at the main gate of the university. “Hey Evelyn, You look great in that emerald shirt.” she politely replies, “Thank you Harry, that’s kind of you” and leaves. I did not think that something was wrong with her because she looked normal or maybe we all normal people do look normal even when we are breaking inside.

We have a class together, Philosophy, it is the subject I love. I love everything about it, the way we perceive the world is explained very beautifully by philosophy. The world is not just appearance but rather it is the collection of thoughts and actions. The thoughts and the actions which are so distinct for every person and so in depth that to understand the world one has to understand the philosophy behind it. The world is not simple, it is so complex like nexus of millions of points without any one right answer. This is why it is beautiful but terrifying at the same time.

The class starts, the topic is perception. We discussed Nietzsche, Russell and other many great philosophers. Evelyn is seen to be very on the edge during the whole class, and she keeps on targeting the world in her arguments that how the perception of world is always wrong. This is unlike her, she is not the person to argue on one point throughout the class.

The class ends, I am gathering my things when I overhear a heated argument between Luca and Evelyn. This shocked me at first because it’s the Evelyn, the person who never had a heated personal argument with anyone. I turned around and start moving towards them. I notice they have gathered a number of people around them. When I arrived there, our eyes meet, and something switches in her stance. She stops speaking, picks up her bag and leaves the scene. I run after her but stop when I see her sitting alone at the bench.

I do not know, if I should disturb her or let her be. She looked so calm and still but so fragile. In the end, I decide to go and sit beside her on the bench. “Hey Evelyn.” she replies with the same greeting but without any emotion. That intrigues me; this girl is always full of emotions. Be it happiness or just being polite. I thought that’s her nature, but that is when I realized how wrong I was. That one reply from her made me realize how wrong I perceived her, and I thought I was smart.

“What happened Evelyn?”, and that’s when she looked at me with those round almond shaped brown eyes and said “I am tired of people perceiving me the way they want to, I’m sure you do the same.”. “But it’s not right, you perceive as you want to.” Your perception of me is a reflection of you and not actually me and today my reaction to Luca was an awareness of me because I am tired of world thinking that I got all my life together just because that’s how I am in front them. I am just like them, a normal person. All of us are normal people so then why think of me differently”.

That struck me, I never thought that way and now as I was sitting there I realized, how wrong all of us are. How self-obsessed all of us, all we think about is ourselves and how we want to think of people.

( The subject essay stood first in the essay writing competition held in Bahria University arranged by Bahria Creative Platform)