Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Life Is Just A Day or Two

The thing about time is... as much as you ponder, as much as you stare at your timepiece and try to quantify the ephemeral second, you'll never be able to figure out a way to pause or extend that moment. That secondhand will always move forward. Stand as still as you wish and the Earth below you will never cease its pivot. Your world is miniscule. My time is meaningless to the Earth's Timekeeper. 


I remember this day. Graduation. I remember Mama's soft kiss on my cheek, her wide grin. I wasn't counting down seconds then. I wasn't wishing for more.

Today, I am. Today, I discover deep voids in my present and my imagination of the future. Mama will not be alive to see me graduate from college. Mama will not be alive to witness my marriage. Mama will not be alive to be the grandmother to my children. Her time is over. Her seconds are memories I wish I had memorized.

But that's the reality of life. It's not certain. Time is not guaranteed. It's not something we possess - it's not something we control.

Mama would always tell me "Ek do din ki zindagi hai" - Life is only a matter of one or two days. She'd say this even when she was healthy and happy, just to remind me to not be trapped in the trick of time. To remind me to reckon my blessings every second of every day.

I know Mama is watching over me. I'm speaking to her as I type these words. Her eternal residence is in my heart. But the reality is, her life, her residence here has disappeared by the will of Earth's Timekeeper.

I can't pause time. There's no use wishing for another second because it'll never exist. All I can do is remember Mama's wise words - that our time is just a matter of days. Our life is just a speck on this Earth. All I can do is remember these moments and be grateful for the time I so often took for granted.

All I can do is remember Mama - and in those memories, in these darkest hours, I can hope to discover the brilliant light within myself - within this world, within her - that can never be dimmed.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dear Mama ~ A Spoken Word Poem



In memory of my mother, Shabana Malik, who passed away August 16, 2014.

To read the lyrics, click here.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

#ISpeakOutBecause Silence is Complicity

Join Muslim Public Affairs Council's campaign. Speak out.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Missing In Action: Writing the Poetry of Life


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

If You're Not at the Table, You're on the Menu

Sitting in the President's chair in the Roosevelt Room inside The White House.
As one of fifteen delegates chosen from across the United States to participate in the Muslim Public Affairs Council's 2014 Government Young Leaders' Summit, this past week, I met with a Muslim Republican lobbyist from Microsoft, Al-Jazeera producer Laila Al-Arian, policy advisors to the Secretary of State John Kerry, senior Fellows at Brookings Institute Shadi Hamid and Khalid Elgindy, the Civil Rights division at the Department of Justice, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Counterterrorism Center, and President Obama's National Security Council at The White House.

These weren't just meetings for the sake of taking photos or shaking hands. This was discourse and debate with some powerful policy influencers and decision makers. Perhaps most important, this was an opportunity to experience D.C. for what it is -- what it means.

On our very first morning, our delegation was asked to participate in an introductory exercise. It didn't take long to realize I was the youngest in the room -- and likely least politically experienced. Having everyone introduce themselves as law-school pursuing, thesis-writing, think-tank working, politics-loving individuals was impressive and intimidating to say the least. I was discouraged, but I stuck to my piece. We were asked to introduce ourselves to each other as we would introduce ourselves to the high-level officials we were expected to meet during our Summit experience:
"My name is Aadil Malik, I'm a rising sophomore at West Chester University of Pennsylvania where I'm pursuing my Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Government. I'm actively involved in my state and local government, where I've worked for PA-13's State Senator Andrew E. Dinniman. Currently, I work in the Marketing department of a multi-billion dollar financial services corporation located in Delaware, where I'm learning the values of public relations and the fundamentals of micro/macro-marketing. I'm also a spoken word poet and have performed at live events across the Philadelphia region. One of my main beliefs is that in this world of rapid innovation, there is room for creativity in politics -- be it in the diction of our speeches or in the implementations of our policies. I aspire to be a leader who demonstrates that."
One of the leaders of the Summit remarked that I should keep in mind who the audience is -- that perhaps it would be best if I left out my passion for spoken word unless I was gearing my introduction to, say, an artist. She was right. Why would Eric Treene at the Department of Justice or George Selim of the National Security Council be interested in my passion for spoken word poetry... during a Young Leaders' Government Summit?

So, I didn't introduce myself to anyone I met as a poet... even when there were moments I actually could have; we met with Congressman André Carson of Indiana, and somehow, hip hop entered our dialogue and he asked, "Any of you got flow?"

The conversation all week centered around a common theme of identity and values. And words -- more than anything else, a phrase commonly repeated among all branches of government: "Words matter. Terminology matters."
"Are you the Muslim Republican, or a Republican who happens to be Muslim?"
"Are you a Muslim congressman, or a congressman who happens to be Muslim?"
Words reflect values. Terminologies brand identities.

Speaking with Congressman Andre Carson of Indiana.
I ended the summit with a notebook filled, yet many of the thoughts aligned to two distinct theories on values & identity: in the field of public service, (1) your values should become your identity or (2) values should drive political identity, not become them.

In other words, some argued that, for example, a Muslim congressman should be just that, and not fluctuate his own personal beliefs for the sake of political identity. Others preferred the second approach -- in this case, a Congressman who happens to be Muslim.

These weren't arguments of political nature or debates of the separation of church and state -- this was  primarily discourse about language and its effect on behavior.

I bring this up because throughout the entire summit, as I jot down notes and engaged in political discourse, I battled my diction, my identity. The Summit leader who recommended I leave out my 'passion for poetry' when introducing myself didn't mean any harm; again, she was right. I'm glad she told me, because without it I wouldn't have struggled and I wouldn't have learned.

She was right. Eric Treene of the DOJ or George Selim of the NSC could likely care less about my passion for poetry as we have a roundtable discussion on civil rights or lethal action. But the thing is, I care. And I had a reason to care -- a passion to change the way we view and engage political discourse.

Whether poetry drives my politics or politics is my poetry, whether I'm the poet politician or the politician who happens to be a poet -- I'm a poet. It's what I do.

It's more than performing words that rhyme or being an 'artist', it's values: it's the power of reflection, empathy, integrity. It's being human. It's cutting through, as Orwell says best, the "verbal refuse" and getting to the point. It's writing a powerful speech not because you want to be powerful, but because you mean it.

It's not a hobby. It's not just an interest. It's a method. It's an identity. And too often, by being at the table - we make sacrifices to it. We shouldn't.

At the end of the summit, I returned home to a mother wearing hijab covering a bald head. She exposed her head for the slightest second and said, "Look." Just in a matter of four days, all of her hair became victim to chemotherapy. I returned home to a father under the influence of pain killers, just trudging along day by day. I returned to a house on the verge of foreclosure. I returned to reality.

I learned a lot through my summit experience by 'being at the table'. I learned that I no longer want to be on the menu. I learned that as tough as my realities are, I must be grateful for them. Those realities are what shape my values. Those values are what become or drive my identity.

As I said before, I met with some powerful policy influencers and decision makers this week. But behind those identities exist values. Behind those values exist stories. Behind those stories exist realities -- whether you're someone like Al-Jazeera's Laila Al-Arian and fortunate enough to share those realities in the limelight without the consequence of political incorrectness, or whether you're Congressman André Carson, whose stories are somewhat hidden, whose values are motivators to his political identity.

Regardless, those realities exist.

And as I strive to retain my seat at the table, I promise myself to never sacrifice those realities, never forget I was once 'on the menu', never hold back my values, and always stay true to my identity -- as a poet, as a Muslim, as a politics-loving teenager, as a son, and as a human being.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Writing Saved My Life


Two days ago, I completed my first year of college.

Reflecting on any aspect of my past has always been a difficult task for me. I'm overwhelmed by the thought of how much can change in what seems to be such little time. There is so much to remember and make present again – so many feelings and relationships born and lost. What makes it even more difficult is having to battle the elusive façade of time.

Eight months feel like a few minutes. Today is tomorrow's yesterday.

Each vision of my past becomes limited to brief vignettes and I inevitably lose sight of who I once was. I may still feel like the same Aadil I was in that first class on that first day of the semester. I still go through the same motions, sleep in the same bed. Yet the fact is I have changed; what I perceive as even the most subtle differences have actually had serious influence on my life. Reflecting on these changes -- good or bad -- can carry a pain that is hard to endure, but I’ve learned that writing is the panacea... the cure... the savior.

When faced with some serious struggles in my life, writing allowed me to document them. To document the voice of the version of me who felt deeply depressed.

In only the first few weeks of the semester, I got into a car accident while commuting home, was diagnosed with multiple staph infections, spent consecutive days visiting the doctor and the ER, had a severe allergic reaction to the drugs I was taking to treat the infection, and was forced to acknowledge that my parents’ health conditions were worsening -- my father, disabled; my mother, diagnosed with cancer -- all which had a negative impact on my academic performance.

Many of these misfortunes brought even harsher consequences; I was forced to risk my full-tuition scholarship by withdrawing from a major course. I needed to maintain a 2.5 GPA in order to keep my scholarship, and by the middle of my first semester, my GPA had dropped as low as 2.0.

I began to feel hopeless and absent. The adversities took a toll on my attitude and mental strength. I was depressed.

In one of the exercises in my first semester Critical Writing course, Professor Bridgford asked us to write a letter to ourselves ten years ago, and ten years from now:
“To the Aadil (Ten Years Ago), You probably are still lost in fantastic but vain delusions of becoming an astronaut or firefighter. You probably cry passionately about losing a HotWheels car or Daddy not letting you buy one from every store that carries them. Your biggest struggle in life is figuring out how to beat the first level of Nintendo 64’s Gemini. You wouldn’t have dreamed of the day you would be writing this letter to yourself in your first college Critical Writing class… 
To the Aadil (Ten Years From Now), Quite honestly, I just hope you are happy not only with who you are but what you are doing. I hope you have remembered the principles of love and respect that allowed you to reach age eighteen. Love your parents. Love everyone... and do your best.” 
Ironically, the Aadil who wrote to his past-self and future-self is now also a past-self. It’s the same notion that author Tim O’Brien aims to expose in The Things They Carried: writing makes things present again and saves us from any severe alterations in our lifelong relationship with ourselves.

Often in the face of adversity, I tend to lose hope for a future free of my present struggles. What writing allows us to see is proof that a better tomorrow always exists. Always. Even this is a past. Writing allowed me to see that -- to understand that every pain is a tomorrow's past. 

By the grace and mercy of God, I managed to complete my first semester of college with a 2.9 GPA. But I was bruised and battered. I had lost 10 pounds. My parents were sick. I was tired. Unhappy. Depressed.

Lifeless.



In my own writing in my journal, in my essays, in my poetry, I can hear the dilemmas I faced. I can see myself reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar in that hospital waiting room with a staph infection pinching my leg, knowing all too well that the “world itself is the bad dream” (pg. 276).

I can look back to the letters I wrote to myself, or the letter I wrote years ago to a friend who died too young, or the letter I wrote when I was just nine years old to my uncle who drove me around the busy streets of Lahore, Pakistan – drunk. I can look back to those versions of myself writing in my journal, feeling those temporary emotions, and have written proof of how things are always changing. That all struggles in the present are tomorrow's memories... 

It is more than remembering who I once was; writing is about building a relationship with that past self, the thoughts I once carried, and growing into a better human being because of it. Yes, there is an irony that exists in reflection, as all moments in time become just another past-- but writing allows me to celebrate that irony and learn in spite of it.

That is the power of writing: to show how each adversity is temporary, to expose the ironies of our thoughts, to expand our perspective, to keep our pasts – regardless of how painful – close, and to build a relationship truer than the reflection in the mirror.

Two days ago, I completed my first year in college. I type these words sitting in front of my mother, watching her sleep away the pain of cancer. I type these words hearing the morphine-induced snores of my father. I type these words knowing that the struggles in front of me are not the end of the world. I type these words knowing they are being etched into another past for a future version of me to read and learn from. Things will get better. And things will get worse.

But right now, I'm here. Typing these words two days after taking my last final exam. Ending the year with strong As and Bs. Boosting my GPA from a 2.9 to a GPA almost worthy of making my college's Deans' List. But beyond those 'paper-happinesses', there's a very real, sincere, genuine happiness. I recognize how blessed I am to be where and who I am at this very moment. What a blessing it is to see your appreciation of the things I say or do, my project, 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry... what a blessing it is to meet amazing people, to build new relationships...

To MOVE ON.

Yes, I'm still struggling, but I'm stronger because of it.

And I hope through these words I write (or have written), you find solace in the proof I've provided that a better tomorrow awaits.

I sincerely hope this inspires you to write your own proof.

For indeed, with no exaggeration:

W R I T I N G  S A V E D  M Y  L I F E.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

SKINNY | Week 10 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry



Do you know how much it hurts? Do you?
Do you know how much it hurts to look in the mirror
And not be happy with what I see,
but only see what I hear I’m tired.

And frankly, I’m fed up.
Because I try so hard to do so much
And the only thing you see is my weight or lack of it

And it’s just never enough.

I’m skinny. Yes, I know.
I weigh only 119 pounds.
Only. Only.
I weigh only 119 pounds.

Do you know how much it hurts
To look in the mirror
And only see what you tell me
Only hear your questions:

Why are you so skinny
You’re so skinny
Stop being so skinny
Don’t you eat?
Do you not like food?
Are you not fed?

I’m fed up is what I am!

Why can’t I be happy?
Who are you to judge?
Why must you make me feel insecure?

Why must you make me feel uncomfortable in my own skin?
Skinny
Skinny
You’re only 119 pounds?

I’m fed up.
Skinny
Scrawny
Skeleton
Stick

Do not let my toothpick frame deceive you
Do not think that my heart is not thick

When I look into the mirror and see strength
It isn’t because I don’t see my ribs or because my biceps are big
It’s because I know that person who stares back at me
And I’d still know that person if he was ten pounds thicker or lighter 

Skinny
Scrawny
Skeleton
Stick

I used to measure my arm against my dads wondering when mine would be as thick
I would lie about my weight, say I’m 119 plus 8
I still suffer at your judging gaze.

Do you know how much it hurts?
To try so hard to do so much
But only be remembered as skinny?

My own family
My own uncles and aunts
Skinny, skinny, skinny
That’s all they know
That’s all they tell me
That’s all they see
Only 119 pounds

When will you see me?

I wish I could strip you away from your skinny eyes
Your thin perception, I wish I could squeeze it out
 I am only 119 pounds
But please do not for one second
Let that number deceive you
Make you believe I am weak
That number does not bespeak
Or quantify my strength

I am only 119 pounds
In flesh and bone

I am only 119 pounds
Each pound grounded in faith

I am 119 pounds.

And I’m proud of each pound that covers a passionate heart,
A hungry mind, and a strong tongue
That packs a powerful punch.

Do you know how much it hurts to look in the mirror
And try to skin your skinnies up
 Skin them to their absolute root
Peel your skinny words
That make me poke at my ribs
That make me measure my wrists?

Do you know how much it hurts to look in the mirror
And pray that one day
You’ll see the man that I see?

That I am.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

OUR GENERATION | Week 8 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry


I can’t sleep.
I can’t sleep as if insomnia has overtaken me
Taking me away from an approximate 8 hour escape
That allows me to free myself and
Flee from the harsh realities in my harsh reality
Of a life that never seems to ease.

Oh, what it is to dream.
Dreams.

Oh, what is to dream of days
Where societal change can actually be put into action.
False leaders taking on the roles of frauds and merely acting
Like they’ve devised a plan that they will act in
Speaking with fictitious tongues
Like this desired reformation will actually be active.

 You do the math.

Nothings adding up
Like inaccurate sums,
Subtraction can’t even take away
From the complications I see everyday
That seem to multiply in number
But only divide us even more.

You do the math.

1 Palestinian throws
2 stones at an Israeli home,
3 shots fired
4 trigger-happy troops tear through bones.
890 civilians in Pakistan killed by deadly drones.
154 detainees remain chained at Guantanamo.
Yet the only chains we devote our attention to is the one who claims he’s different,
The only struggle we seem to care about is whether we’re swag deficient.

I can’t sleep in a world whose youth is so prone to
Disowning the fact that we’re grown and condoning
Violence, open your eyelids!
The defiance is peaking and the silence is speaking,
Bazaars are blown to pieces,
Yet we stick to listening to rappers who spit feces,
To Pastors twisting the teachings of Jesus
Who preach Leviticus without Ephesians.
(Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. Lev 18:22) 
(In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace. Eph 1:7) 

Hypocrisies galore!
Jesus walked a decade ago
Yet Yeezus claims the egregious.
Radio is the modern day plague, preaching alphabetical diseases
Children hearin’ F that B before they even learn ABCs...

Kids hearing the click of the gun
Before the clack of their tongue
Teen mothers with daughters and sons and fathers who run
We’re stuck wondering if society should control the glock
When our sons can’t even block their own cock

Scholars screaming rape culture
Poets writing culture rape
Politicians raping truth
Culture raping by our youth

A culture fixed on impressing the oppressors
Depressing the impressers
Tongue twister
But do we ever care to think about who twists our tongue?

I can’t sleep!
You do the math!

You do the math and tell me if this makes sense

Record companies presenting the opportunity for fake rappers to make cents

Dollar bills
 to kill, contaminate, and pollute the airways with messages
teaching the youth to fill their airways 

Their ways of campaign is too blunt 

And the youth abides by it like Constitution

What’s your contribution?
Glorifying rape and prostitution?
But even a prostitute could turn on the radio and get turned off...


Turn down for the teenage girls claiming to be unaware
that they’re half naked in their underwear as they flaunt on Instagram
Turn down for what?
Turn down for the same group of girls who grew up playing Follow the Leader
Now as future LEADERS of tomorrow
Use vulgarity as their only means of gaining FOLLOWERS or fans
Knowing the allure of a man lies behind a selfie cam

And I’ll be damned if my sister becomes a product
Of my generation’s conduct
The concept of viewing women as objects
When they dress provocative
We as men are applauding them
So we are not better nor worse
Its as if we are dying of thirst
Feeding into this
Further diminishing their worth

Turn down for what? Turn down for what?

Turn down for those who oppose settling differences with rationality
Becoming overnight 'WorldStars' for gore and brutality
But its not always the youth's fault
Blame the parents for failing to be teachers
Turn down for the leaders who don’t lead by example,
how you gonna tell me a leader raised Sharkeisha?!

I can’t sleep
I can’t hide under the covers until I uncover the corrupt state of our culture.
Yes, OUR culture.
Yes, OUR corrupt culture.

I can’t sleep.
And I’m tired of being awake.
I’m tired of making mistakes.
Every mistake matters.
Every matter makes mistakes.

Yes, every seed planted blooms a rose with many thorns,
But without us feeding that seed with water, that rose is never even born!

Oh what it is to dream
Where societal change can actually be put into action
Where we don’t ostracize those who challenge the stereotype
Where the words I speak are not detracted and redacted because
I happen to be black or Muslim, 16, and politically active.

We as a youth must grasp our future under our control
And not let our generation be confined to false roles,
But defined by true goals --
Stories of a yesterday that deserve to be told.

I can’t sleep
I can’t dream
You do the math
Divided we stand
United we fall
Until WE ALL WAKE UP.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"MOTHER" | Spoken Word | Week 6 of 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry



LYRICS

Mother,
They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.
So, I went searching your sole.

I started at your toes,
Those on which you’d so cautiously tiptoe your way from my crib—
Your silent consideration. Your loud love.

And I made my way to the crevices and wrinkles of your feet
Lines with more depth than the Pacific
Lines that told stories of infinite grace, infinite love.

And how those lines curved – Drawn by the ink of the divine.

Lines that left their prints in places I longed to know.
Places so foreign. Struggles so severe.

I longed to follow those lines wherever they led me.
I’d follow them to the day they stepped on that airplane set to fly to the United States
Leaving behind a homeland
Leaving behind memories
Leaving behind kin

I’d follow those brave lines
I’d follow them until they took me to the first time they touched this Earth.

I followed them to your heel.
And that’s when I saw it, mother.

I saw you standing firm
Bearing the weight of a child
Knowing well what it meant.
Knowing well there was no scale
Large enough
Heavy enough
True enough
Real enough
To measure the weight of motherhood.

Mother,
I’d keep my door open at night
Mother, I still keep my door open at night
Just to hear your footsteps
Singing across the hall
To see if your son has slept.

To see how your son grew up from that child
Whose tears woke you up
Whose small body you cradled with love
Whose body you placed in that crib
Whose eyelids you’d stare at until the moment they met
Whose tears you’d wipe away.

Mother,
Remember when those girls called me names, mother
They chased me as heroes do criminals
As predators do prey, mother
I ran with shoelaces untied on concrete thick
Those girls called me names
Names that escaped that kindergarten playground
Names that followed me all my life

Those girls chased me
Those girls called me names
And I had cuts and bruises on my slim arms and legs to prove it, mother.

Those girls called me names
And I prayed for them mother
I prayed that they’d grow to be women like you.

Carrying the weight of a child
Mother, you carried me home that day
Mother, you carried my bruised 40 pound body for that entire mile.
You carried me for nine months, mother.
You carried my twin who could not, did not survive.
You carried me through pain, despite the risk of that pregnancy.
You carried me and gave birth to me despite the risk of me not even being born alive.

You carried me day in and day out.
You carried me despite my weight,
Despite what weighed on your shoulders.

Mother,
I know that arthritis is not just pain.
I know that cancer is not just a diagnosis.

Mother,
I pray for the hour those feet find rest.

I see those stories in those thick lines
Those turned toes
That firm heel.

I see those stories, mother.

Mother,
They told me I’d find heaven under your aching feet.
They told me that’s where heaven is.

And they were right.
I see heaven.

For heaven exists under the blessed feet on which you stood
To raise your children
Wipe our dripping tears
Forgive us for our shortcomings
And applaud us for our best.

Mother, Heaven is under your aching feet.
Heaven’s hills and plateaus
Seas and oceans
Beautiful bounties
Are in those lines, toes and heel.

And I am forever in your loving service
For heaven is where I long to be.

Monday, February 24, 2014

"A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT" | Week 5

Dear Mr. President, let's be real.

I've never worked as hard on a poem as I have this one.

This poem is not a criticism of policy or your actions. This poem is a criticism of diction.

Please let me know what you think, and feel free to share.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

"DEATH" | Week 4 | 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry



Death is unavoidable. I wrote this poem to ask the questions we should all be asking ourselves --we will all die, but what will we be remembered for? What will happen once we're six feet under the ground?

"Who will you be when you no longer are?"

Please let me know what you think, and feel free to share. Music credits to EefzBeats.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Education" | Week 3 | 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry

I was sixteen, sitting in Dr. Thelman's chemistry class reviewing a test I had failed when I decided I would write and post a spoken word poem video about education on YouTube. In the video, I criticized the "system of education" - the standardization of curricula, the use of textbooks, and certain types of teachers.

That poem has received some attention over the years, yet it has become something that I somewhat regret writing. I no longer agree with many of the views in that video, because I've had a chance to reflect on what 12 years in school has meant for me.

I hope this serves to inspire many students still in school to become "big fans" of themselves, and take control of their own education. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share.

"Growing Up" | Week 2 | 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry

My cousin Faisal Sardar Malik is going to Parris Island, SC tomorrow for bootcamp for Marines. I said goodbye to him today, and decided to dedicate Week 2's poem to him.

This is definitely a different type of poem than last week's, but that's the point.

Before you call me a softie 2 minutes in, please watch the whole video! :) I hope you enjoy. Please comment below what you think!

Thank you for your continuous support.

(music credits: "when worlds collide" by summer heart)

Monday, January 27, 2014

Responding to Homophobia

Recently, a Facebook friend of mine made some comments about homosexuals in America based on false information.

I didn't take it too well. Read my response below (click on the image).



Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Myself" | Week 1 | 52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry



Yes.

52 Weeks of Aadil's Poetry is here.

After a lot of thinking and preparing and procrastinating, I'm finally starting this daunting task. One topic. One poem. Every week. Just like my photography project "365 Days of Aadil's Life", this project will allow me to express myself, how I feel each week, day, and moment. I hope that those who join me on my journey and watch my poetry can take something valuable from this. I sincerely thank you all for your support.

Enjoy.

AM

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Because I Watched Every Film and TV Show in 2013


2013 brought some of the best motion pictures and television shows in history - from Dallas Buyer's Club to Gravity, from Breaking Bad to House of Cards. I've never found myself as immersed in film and television as I was this past year.


With Tina Fey and Amy Poehler (two of my favorites!) hosting the 2014 Golden Globe Awards tonight, I thought I'd make my predictions (and hopes) for winners tonight, especially considering I've watched almost every film and show nominated.


BEST DRAMA

12 Years a Slave - Though Gravity may end up spoiling this win, 12 Years a Slave deserves this award for its depiction of a brutal history through film.

BEST MUSICAL/COMEDY

American Hustle - I haven't seen it, in fact I haven't even seen The Wolf of Wall Street yet (I plan on watching both this upcoming weekend), but I think I can make the bet that the amazing cast of Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, and Christian Bale deserve this award.

BEST DIRECTOR

Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity - No doubt about it, Alfonso Cuaron deserves this award for an unbelievable, groundbreaking direction. However, had Spike Jonze been nominated for Her, he would have deserved this more.

BEST ACTRESS (DRAMA)

Sandra Bullock, Gravity - I'm not so sure if this was Bullock's best performance, but she definitely demonstrates impeccable control of the film... and the emotions are real.

BEST ACTOR (DRAMA)

Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club - This category is definitely the hardest to choose a winner. Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves this just as much as Matthew McConaughey, perhaps even more, but McConaughey's performance as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyer's Club was what I believe to be his career-best.

BEST ACTOR (MUSICAL/COMEDY)

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street - If not Leonardo, then please give it to Joaquin Phoenix.

BEST ACTRESS (MUSICAL/COMEDY)

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said - I love Julia Louis-Dreyfus. I'm biased. Realistically, though, Amy Adams will most likely win for American Hustle.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle - Who doesn't love Jennifer Lawrence?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jared Leto, Dallas Buyer’s Club - More than any other nominee in any other category, Jared Leto should and will win Best Supporting Actor for his incredibly accurate portrayal of a transsexual AIDs patient.

BEST SCREENPLAY

Spike Jonze, Her - Here's one that I'm really rooting for. I don't think many are expecting Spike Jonze to take Best Screenplay considering who he is facing. However, Jonze's Her contains such beautiful direction, score, and dialogue... it is such an uncomfortable must-see film. It deserves to win this award.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Despicable Me 2 - I loved DM2, such a beautiful family film that carries a delivers a sophisticated message with such cuteness.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Ordinary Love,” Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom - "All the beauty that's been lost before, wants to find us again."

BEST SCORE

Hans Zimmer, 12 Years a Slave 

BEST TV COMEDY

Parks and Recreation - Amy Poehler is just the best.

BEST TV DRAMA

Breaking Bad - This is a tough choice. Television this year was incredible, and Netflix's House of Cards should win this category. But, it has only started... and without a doubt will see many more nominations in the future. What Breaking Bad has accomplished is extraordinary, and as a final ode to the show - it deserves the highly coveted Best TV Drama award.

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV DRAMA

Taylor Schilling, Orange Is the New Black - I'm a huge OITB fan, and Schilling's performance is Golden Globes' worthy.

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV COMEDY

Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation - Leslie Knope is the greatest.

BEST ACTOR IN A TV DRAMA

Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad - Kevin Spacey will be winning this in the years to come, but Bryan Cranston's impeccable portrayal of Walter White in all seasons of Breaking Bad deserves a standing ovation when he accepts Best Actor tonight.

BEST ACTOR IN A TV COMEDY

Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory - I don't watch The Big Bang Theory but from what I've heard and seen, this one goes to Parsons.

BEST MINISERIES

American Horror Story: Coven

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN TV

Sofia Vergara, Modern Family 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN TV

Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad - As much as I want Corey Stoll to win this award and think he deserves it, I can't wait to see Jesse Pinkman accept this award... and like Walter White, receive a standing O.

Thank you to all nominees for creating an incredible year of film and television.