The Memorist (Zainab Chaudary) was born a June baby in 1982, in Karachi, Pakistan. A Jersey girl from the age of 1, she's lived in Europe and traveled around the world, making up obscure travel rules as she goes. In her spare time, she is a bibliophile (understatement of the year), a nerd, a dreamer, a nostalgist, a scribe, and a connoisseur of experiences.

About this Blog // My brain works like a mushy tangential Venn Diagram. Hilarity (sometimes) ensues. Please be patient while organization of my brain is under construction.


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Europe, Life, Musings, Nostalgia, Travel

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    Dear bright-eyed bushy tailed expat-to-be,

    You’re on your way. I don’t know who you are or what kind of person you are or where you’re from or all your reasons for trying to escape from your life, but one truth is self-evident: you are escaping from something. You may not realize it, but there’s something inside of you that is willing to uproot itself in order to get away from something. It could be a bad relationship or a dull life or reality or a job or a rut or your family or something you are not even aware of yet; something that arrives and hits you 6 years after you’re already back, smacks you in the face with its blatant obviousness. And you’ll go back in time in your head and rethink everything and synapses in your brain will rewire. And that’s fine. Synapses in your brain will never be the same again anyway.

    But here’s the thing: whatever you’re escaping from will come back to you. You can’t escape it forever, no matter how far you travel or how long you stay away. Because when you uprooted yourself and took off, you forgot the soil that still clings to you and the molecules from the earth which composed your being as you grew. Funny thing is, you’ll never find a place where those roots can settle in again – they’re like square pegs trying to fit into round holes. It will seem like this is the place where you can live forever, where you can build a life. But that earth and those stars will always seem foreign to you. The constellations are not the same as they were back home when you were young.

    So you’ll come home, eventually. But your roots no longer fit there either. The ground has shifted and changed – or maybe you have shifted and changed – and other trees are in your spot. The constellations are the same as when you used to look up at the stars and dream as a kid on warm summer nights, lying flat on your back on the grass in your backyard and thinking about your future, your life, your adulthood – but you are not the same. You are no longer that willfully oblivious child.

    So you’re stuck, like an insect preserved in amber, neither here nor there. You either stay on in that place you once used to call home and let it break your heart over and over again, or you travel again, further out and longer between, until you stop feeling and you stop remembering, and the broken heart is replaced with the newly-made contentment of a life well-lived.


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Life, Psychology, Science, Technology


    Two weeks ago, I quit. Cold turkey.

    I am not a smoker or a drinker. I don’t use drugs and will cut myself off from caffeine if I feel myself becoming too dependent on it. That’s the point really: I don’t do addiction because I don’t like losing control. But if 2014 has taught me anything, it is that nothing is ever under control for long, and that addiction can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Continue Reading


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Musings

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    When you’re a writer, ideas flit across your mind on a daily basis. Some are fleeting and ephemeral, difficult to pin down and wrestle. Other flesh themselves out slowly, taking time to shape themselves as clay on your potter’s wheel.

    Then there are days when ideas smack you in the head, over and over, insistently, until you give up and allow them escape onto paper or computer screen. An entire day filled with a confluence of events that isn’t so much a gentle nudge from the universe as it is a goddamn shove off a cliff. As Ray Bradbury once said,”you’ve gotta jump off that cliff all the time and build your wings on the way down.” Continue Reading


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Magic

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    It’s funny how certain things from childhood become seared into your memory while others slip away. What makes those certain things stick? And is it those particular memories that created you as a person, like hands shaping clay? Or is it the person you are now that defines what memories are important to you and therefore worth remembering? Continue Reading


    AUTHOR: // CATEGORY: Everything, Family, Magic, Pakistan


    12+ hour flights have a way of disorienting you. Your legs, asleep from their cramped position behind someone else’s seat, take a few minutes to wake back up as you mentally instruct them: walk, forward, left, right, left right. You walk past fellow passengers in line for immigration, for baggage claim, sheepishly practicing non-acknowledgement of people you’ve spent the last entire half day with, 12 hours of non-intimacy in an intimate space. Airports in foreign countries ooze difference, subtle. Like a color-blind person who knows something is slightly off, you navigate the throng of people, of new faces and different languages. Continue Reading

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