Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Within minutes, the world of those 152, comes crashing down...

7 a.m.
I woke up, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, telling myself that I couldn't go back to bed. It was the same old morning; pretty weather, little sunshine and slight chances of rain. I had decided to go to SIUT today for volunteer work and for that I needed my coat. I spent almost an hour looking for it...It was a very annoying situation, and I was close to tears when I couldn't find it. Without that one coat, I couldn't have done what I wanted to do. That coat was the MOST important thing to me at that time.

And the moment I found it, I was literally jumping up and down! I was extremely happy; the thing that was hell important to me was in my possession once again. All this while, I didn't even have the slightest idea, that today so many families would be losing something more precious than anything in this world; And they would never be able to get them back again. I remember my eyes welling up with tears when I couldn't find my coat (a-not-so-big-issue). I wonder how those families would have coped up with their loss- something irreplaceable.

Margalla Hills- the most beautiful spot in Islamabad, turned into a deadly place today for those 152 passengers. A place which gave you a reason to live, ended up being the last place for those 152 people. Words cannot replace the loss of those families and neither can tears.

I was packing up brochures in the RGO office, when all of a sudden our supervisor switched on the television.

"The morning Airblue flight from Karachi was preparing to land when it went down in the fog-shrouded Margalla Hills to the north of Islamabad."




Plane crash. Air Blue. Karachi to Islamabad. Margalla hills.

Each word slowly processed in my brain. It was something hard to take in. I had been on the same flight last year, and even this year. I could have been one of those who lost their lives today. I was just a bit lucky.

My mum told me that there were three IBA students amongst those who died. Moreover, she told me of a family who lost their daughter; She was an air hostess, and she had been supporting her family through hard times. According to her parents, she was the son of their family. There was even a newly wed couple amongst the dead, who were going for their honeymoon. And then recently, I just got to know that an ex-mamaian too passed away. No-one survived. 152 lives- lost forever.

How the plane crashed, no-one knows. The beautiful weather, the magical rain, the mesmerizing Margalla Hills- everything lost it's charm.

All that was left was - Smoke, Tears and Pain.

Everything ended.

All of a sudden, our faith in God was strengthened more than ever. Once in a while such incidents do open our eyes and make us realize how temporary this world is, and how fake our lives are.

May the souls of those who died in this tragic incident rest in peace and May God give patience to their families to bear the loss of their loved ones. Amen.

PS: Death is something none of us can run from. None of us can predict it either. Live your life as if any moment could be your last moment. Make the most of this life. You're lucky not to be amongst those who took this flight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-10785292

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Optimism at its best!



This is something that was forwarded to me by my uncle. It motivated me like hell, so i thought of sharing it :)

-When the Snake is alive, the Snake eats Ants.
When the Snake is dead, Ants eat the Snake.
Time can turn at any time.
Don't neglect anyone in your life.

- Never make the same mistake twice.
There are so many new ones.
Try a different one each day.

- A good way to change someone's attitude is to change our own.
Because the same sun melts butter and also hardens clay!
Life is as we think, so think beautifully.

- Life is just like the sea, we are moving without end.
Nothing stays with us, what stays with us are just memories of some people who touched us as waves.

- Do you want to know how rich you are?
Never count your currency, just try to drop a Tear and count how many hands reach out to WIPE that - that is true richness.

- Never change your originality for the sake of others.
No one can play your role better than you.
So be yourself, because whatever you are YOU are the best.

- A baby mosquito came back after flying the first time.
His dad asked him "How do you feel?"
He replied "It was wonderful, Everyone was clapping for me!"
Now that's what is called Positive Attitude.

Let The Rain Fall Down



It's been raining cats and dogs here in Karachi.

I had my hopes high, that I might just end up seeing another rainbow, but all in vain.The sun was out of sight ( Yes, for us Karachiites, it's like heaven not having the sun over our heads) and all you could hear was the pitter patter of the raindrops crashing against the window sill. Luckily, KESC (Karachi Electric Supply Corporation) has been merciful and this time we weren't tortured by the frequent load shedding.

My devilish sisters have been dancing out in the rain since an hour, and are still not over with it. According to them such a time won't ever come again (though it has been coming every year consistently) :P. On the other hand, My mum has been cancelling all her schedules because of this rain; And she, unlike my little sisters, despises rain. I have been doing nothing but sitting idle; texting, eating, facebooking and sleeping (in short: a very not-so-productive day). Seriously, I am no longer interested in the rain. The gloomy sky mesmerizes me more, because it just reminds me of the miseries of hundreds of people out there, who are not as lucky as I am.

Our maid usually comes in the morning to clean up the house, while my mum is away at the hospital. This morning she wasn't there. Though it wasn't something unimaginable, the question why she didn't come was bugging me. In the afternoon when she arrived, I guess out of curiosity, I asked her a very foolish question.
"Why didn't you come in the morning?"
She looked at me and smiled. After a minute, she said:
"Beta, We're not as lucky as you all are. You might be enjoying the rain, sitting here in your cozy home but we have to bear a lot of hardships. The rain is not a blessing for us."

I was lost for a moment.

And I felt bad. Since then I was actually praying for the rain to stop. So many people get electrocuted; So many scanty settlements, which are home to thousands of people, get destroyed; Construction of roads which has been on the move since ages gets further delayed; The inefficient drainage system increases the miseries of the not-so-fortunate people; Those poor stray cats have no where to go (I wonder how they get along in the rainy season); The livelihood of so many people gets interrupted......

But I guess everything has negative and positive aspects. The rain is,indeed, a blessing and that is something one cannot deny.

When I was young, I used to pray like anything for the rain.As soon as the vacations would start, I'd constantly pray for it. I loved the rain just like my little sisters. With the rain, who could forget the delicious pakoras and samosas with home made chutneys! It was a relief from the scorching heat of June. But for some, it just meant destruction. So let's just pray that when it rains, everyone gets a share of their happiness. Nothing could be better than a little rain with yummy pakoras and a happy ending :)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Live life to the fullest!

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down, probably will. You'll have your heart broken and you'll break others' hearts. You'll fight with your best friend or maybe even fall in love with them, and you'll cry because time is flying by. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you've never been hurt. Life comes with no guarantees, no time outs, no second chances. you just have to live life to the fullest, tell someone what they mean to you and tell someone off, speak out, dance in the pouring rain, hold someone's hand, comfort a friend, fall asleep watching the sun come up, stay up late, be a flirt, and smile until your face hurts. Don't be afraid to take chances or fall in love and most of all, live in the moment because every second you spend angry or upset is a second of happiness you can never get back."

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Islamic Veil and Me



As soon as you see a lady, with a head scarf on, enter into the same room in which you are present, the first impression that you would get of that lady is- "UFF! Another religious freak". And the second thought that enters your mind is this- "Of course, she belongs to a conservative family, where parents don't allow their daughters to go out alone on their own and are extremely 'religious'."

This is what you extract from the first sight of that person. And then most probably you decide to keep a distance from her. On the other hand, if the same lady would have entered the room in the same way without a hijab, you would have probably mingled with her a lot sooner.

I have started taking hijab too, and just when I had spent two days in this attire, I ended up facing a lot of questions.

Hijab according to islam (whichever sect you belong to) is something very necessary for a woman. Islam doesn't force women to wear a 'burqa', but covering the head is a must. I wear loose clothes, and I don't wear a 'burqa', but I do cover my head. And that is perfectly fine according to what the Quran has laid down and what the Prophet has said.

I would like to quote a few verses from the Quran here.

Quran says in Surah Nur, Chapter# 24, Verse# 31:

“And O Prophet, enjoin the Believing women to restrain their gaze and guard their private parts and not to display their adornment exceot that which is displayed of itself, and not to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their adornment except for their husbands…………”

Quran says in Surah Al-Ahzab, Chapter# 33, Verse# 59:

“O Prophet, enjoin your wives and daughters and the women of the believers that they should let down over their faces a part of outer-garments; it is expected that they will thus be recognized and not molested. Allah is Forgiving and Merciful”

I guess the above verses from the Holy Quran, make my reasons clear for taking Hijab. It simply means that it is an obligation to cover yourself. If we have entered the folds of Islam, we are bound to obey the commands of The Almighty, and follow the Holy book and the Prophet. And I decided to act accordingly.

But the moment I started taking hijab, the perspective of many people changed towards me- like hell.

Apart from hijab being a religious obligation, another reason why I actually started taking a hijab is this that I felt inclined towards doing so. I don't belong to an orthodox family, in which parents force their daughters to wear a 'burqa' when going outside. My parents have never ever forced me to do such a thing, neither has any friend of mine. It's just that sometimes you feel like doing something, all of a sudden. Sometimes your conscience just shakes you, and makes you realize that you're doing something wrong. And that is EXACTLY what happened to me, and the next day I decided to do what I wanted to do. We all believe in 'free will', and are totally against any form of 'oppression'. Then it was my 'free will' that made me do something that I desired. Hijab is not an oppression, neither does it seclude one from her surroundings. Instead I would say that it is something that makes a woman more confident. I want to make my own decisions, and I guess this is one life-changing decision that I have made. I've received negative and positive responses from many people, but that hasn't affected me in any way. Wearing a hijab makes me feel more secure and now I feel more confident while I venture outside on my own. In the western world women can wear bikinis (they have the free will to do so) and no-one ever gives them similar responses as given to a lady who decides to cover her head. I don't understand, why we have to face such responses; if they decide to expose their bodies, then I decide to cover it up properly. The only difference is of the thing that they want to do. But 'free will' is there, in both cases.

So yeah, it's better if a person would be judged by her character, rather than by the way she dresses. If she looks decent enough to be approachable, then i guess it's perfectly alright. Covering your head, isn't being an extremist. It's just about practicing your own will. I did that, and I'm quite satisfied with my decision!

PS: I am not a religious freak.

When I was one-and-twenty

A lovely poem. Thought of sharing it :)


When I was one-and-twenty
I heard a wise man say,
'Give crowns and pounds and guineas
But not your heart away;
Give pearls away and rubies
But keep your fancy free.'
But I was one-and-twenty,
No use to talk to me.

When I was one-and-twenty
I heard him say again,
'The heart out of the bosom
Was never given in vain;
'Tis paid with sighs a plenty
And sold for endless rue.'
And I am two-and-twenty,
And oh, 'tis true, 'tis true.

A.E. Housman

Monday, July 19, 2010

Untitled

I've got this weird feeling right now, thanks to my dearest friend, which I have been trying to release through many ways but all in vain. Went shopping with my mother, for the first time (enthusiastically) started taking hijab, and even spent quality time with my family (usually I don't do this so it is a BIG deal). But still I feel awkwardly weird. People often say that if something is bothering you a lot, you should try to divert your attention from it, think about something else and blah blah blah...Today, I tried all that crap, and in the end realized that it's nothing but sheer nonsense. Close to me, the best way to get rid of something is to release it somehow. And that is why I guess I would be releasing this mountain of emotions here, in a not-so-mushy language.

So it all started when I met someone very normal, just like the other billion people surrounding me, who had nothing in him cept brains (yeah, the REAL ones). June 2009 seemed to be going pretty well, with his entry in my life, because he was supposed to be someone I liked 'using' in order to release my emotional frustration. One month passed by, and we had this chemistry between us, which brought us even closer. Before that I had been a very non-sharing type material, who liked keeping stuff to her own self; but here he was- charismatic, intelligent, sensible (so unlike me) and caring. I was hell envious of him and his goodie persona, and I couldn't do anything cept drool over how perfect he actually was.

And then it all started.

I started confiding too much; Not that I regret doing that now, but I made myself too vulnerable, and open to getting hurt. After all, I was a normal teenager! (not that I'm proud of it) I would just go on and on and on, releasing every single burden off my mind, and it helped. It helped a LOT, but then I just realized that I had lost one very important thing- the fact that it was MY life. I just couldn't hide anything from him, and might be by releasing certain things I made a fool out of myself in front of him. I had a very abnormal life, yes, hell abnormal. Problems seemed to be following me wherever I went, and I just loved making my life even more complicated than it already was. And there he was, with his simple life- yeah, the happy-go-lucky type. He would knock sense into me and help me in figuring out solutions to my not so problematic issues. And then I just started relying over him, for everything. Every problem seemed a mystery to me, and I wouldn't care about it because I knew that my friend would eventually chalk out a solution to it. Half a year went by, and my friend started taking this reliance upon him, as some sort of an insecurity of mine. I became too clingy, and that raised barriers between us. I was becoming unbearable for him, and he decided to shake this burden off him (not that I blame him for this).

JUST after a month, we were friends again. Yeah, my problems, his solutions and life was going very smoothly. It still is, though with a few changes. He's been there for him at every moment- frustrated, angry, pissed- but he still remained with me. Now that I want to make decisions on my own, I have this decidophobia- whether I should do it or not. Sometimes I don't agree with his opinions, but my previous mistakes always remind me of the fact that I'm prone to faltering and he isn't. We've had arguments,resulting in me giving up every time. The thing that he doesn't understand now is this, that I want to make my own decisions now. I want to make mistakes once again and learn from again. I'm done with the spoon feeding, now I want to use my own brains. Before this I was foolish, might be I still am, but I miss making stupid decisions. They made me learn so many things which I wouldn't have learnt by any other means. I can't say this to him, because I know he's already done a lot for me. If only he reads this post.

I miss making mistakes. I miss laughing at my foolishness after a stupid act of mine. I miss making a fool out of myself. I miss being care-free, not caring about the outcomes. I miss everything.

I want to be clumsy. I want to be human in the real sense again.
Though you still mean everything to me :)

PS: This was the least mushiest thing I've ever come up with. Please bear it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Decidophobia And This Society


I wonder why life is so complicated...or is it that I like to make my life complicated...But all that I know for now is that I want to do so much but all that enthusiasm vanishes when I realize that I have so many 'realistic' (not imaginary) hurdles in my way. Tonight after offering my prayers it just struck me that i should be taking a hijab, and just when this thought crossed my mind, another thing hit me: Would I be able to cope up with it? What would my friends say when they'd see my head covered?

This society is slowly and slowly (though I don't know whether unknowingly) depriving us from our free will. This might be sounding weird but it's true! Before doing anything we do think twice about what people will think or what kind of a personality would I be portraying in this society. And all these queries eventually stop us from doing what we actually 'want' to do. So are we free? Physically, yes. Mentally, NO.

I wonder when I would overcome this habit of caring too much about the opinions of others. And I know out there, there might be millions of people facing the same problem. Can life ever be simple?

Life's Unanswered Questions..



I am really confused. I have always read about racism, different sects, religious differences but never did I pay that much heed to it, since i felt that I would be perfectly fine with my own beliefs and within my own little bubble. Now as I grow up I realize the complication of these differences. You can't say that other person's wrong, neither can you say that you are absolutely right; But then WHO is right?! Is there even an end to this ongoing vicious cycle in which one opposes and the other has an answer prepared for it all the time? Can a child feel mentally secure over the fact that whatever he's following is actually what he should be following? When would we know what is right and what is wrong? Or will we all die in this confused state of mind, in a quest to figure out the solutions to these unanswered questions?

The following is a paragraph I just read, and thought of sharing it here:

"The Succession to Muhammad concerns the various aspects of successorship of Muhammad after his death, comprising who might be considered as his successor to lead the Muslims, how that person should be elected, the conditions of legitimacy, and the role of successor. Different answers to these questions have led to emerging several divisions in Muslim community since the first century of Muslim history; the most important of them are Sunnis, Shias and Kharijites.

From a historic viewpoint, with Muhammad's death in AD 632, disagreement broke out over who should succeed him as leader of the Muslim community. Umar ibn al-Khattab, a prominent companion of Muhammad, nominated Abu Bakr. Others added their support and Abu Bakr was made the first caliph. This choice was disputed by some of Muhammad's companions, who held that Ali ibn Abi Talib, his cousin and son-in-law, had been designated his successor. None of Muhammad's sons survived into adulthood, therefore direct hereditary succession was never an option. Later, during the First Fitna and the Second Fitna the community divided into several sects and groups, each of which had its own idea about successorship. Finally, after Rashidun caliphate turned into Monarchy and Sultanates, while in most of the area during Muslim history Sunnis have held the power and Shias emerged as their opposition.
From a religious viewpoint, Muslims later split into two groups, Sunni and Shi'a. Sunnis assert that even though Muhammad never appointed a successor, Abu Bakr was elected first caliph by the Muslim community. The Sunnis recognize the first four caliphs as Muhammad's rightful successors. Shi'as believe that Muhammad explicitly named his successor Ali at Ghadir Khumm and Muslim leadership belonged to him who had been determined by divine order.
The two groups also disagree on Ali's attitude towards Abu Bakr, and the two caliphs who succeeded him: Umar and Uthman Ibn Affan. Sunnis tend to stress Ali's acceptance and support of their rule, while the Shi'a claim that he distanced himself from them, and that he was being kept from fulfilling the religious duty that Muhammad had appointed to him. Sunnis maintain that if Ali was the rightful successor as ordained by God Himself, then it would have been his duty as leader of the Muslim nation to make war with these people (Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman) until Ali established the decree. Shias contend that Ali did not fight Abu Bakr, Umar or Uthman, because firstly he did not have the military strength and if he decided to, it would have caused a civil war amongst the Muslims. Ali also believed that he could fulfil his role of Imam'ate without this fighting ."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succession_to_Muhammad

And now I realize why people don't discuss religion and why they blindly follow what their ancestors have been following. Because they know that in the end all that they'll be left with would be a puzzled up mind.
May God help us.
Amen.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Reminiscing the Good Ol' Times



9th July 2010 marks the end of the SUPER-AMAZING time i spent in this one 'summer camp' volunteer work. Sadly. When it had started I never knew that I would get so addicted to everyone and everything. And now when it's over I feel incomplete. The kids with faded smiles, faintly twinkling eyes, worn out faces have become a part of my life in such a way that now even if I try to erase the memories of this one experience I would never be able to do so. I fell in love with the kids, made new friends, and realized how hard it is to teach someone something 'valid'.

Yousuf Goth :
Had to convince my mum and go to NIC. Pure Khwari- Seriously! But in one day teaching at Yousuf Goth turned out to be the most amazing thing that ever happened to me :) Uroosa, Hafsa, Amyn, Sabih, Tanvir, Umer and Bilal- they were patient enough to bear my tantrums and I , strong enough to bear their almost-unbearable sarcasm (Hint: Bilal and Sabih). Uroosa's 'motherly' advices :P and Hafsa's scolding kept me in control; Amyn's so-not-grammarian attitude shocked me beyond words. And poor Amyn never understood Sabih's urdu sarcasm :P (dude, you have no idea how well he targeted you :P) ; Umer's innocence :P convinced me to give him the title of the 'shareef-est' Grammarian ALIVE :P ( or as Uroosa says: "He's from SPRINGFIELD"- so the shareef-est Springfield-ian :P); Tanvir was someone whom I always misunderstood (Sabih knows in WHAT way). Well, his silence even had an effect on me :P Sabih's confidence in himself was something to get inspired from. Though the play didnot go very smoothly, but still it was a success. His sarcasm was bearable to an extent :P though I still havent forgiven him for uselessly victimizing the so-much-better-than-patrichians 'mamaians' :P And last but not the least, Bilal Ahmed Khan. I still hate you for your witty comments, and not-so-hilarious-according-to-me statements which specifically targeted me! Paulians should learn to respect mamaians. Or else..........

Kher, I love you all (don't take this in the wrong sense :P) and I’m definitely going to miss each one of you! I only got to spend four days with you all. If I would have spent three whole weeks, I would have definitely lost my mind (Don't be surprised, I DO have one :P)

<3

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

“Guess I'd rather hurt than feel nothing at all”



The greatest thing you'll ever learn,
Is to love and be loved in return.
~ From "Unforgettable with Love" by Natalie Cole

It’s true that at this age, understanding the true essence of love is almost impossible. What we may think is ‘true love’ might turn out to be nothing but infatuation, or in other words just a ‘crush’.

Almost every other person is this world is in search of that one person, who would give them the oh-so-amazing sensation of floating amongst the clouds, or being the luckiest person alive. When you ‘fall’ in love, you feel as if you’ve found the purpose of your life; the world which was once upside down turns back to normal. Even when everything is going the wrong way, the support of that one person is enough to face all those challenges because then you realize that you’re not alone. This might sound too movie-ish or book-ish, but this is something you just cannot deny. I know life is not like a movie (like Titanic) or a book (like the Alchemist), neither can one have a love story similar to Romeo Juliet, or Heer Ranjha. Instead everyone has a story of their own, filled with hurdles, hardships, happiness, sorrows and might be a not-so-happy ending.

The biggest fear of a person is to be left alone with no-one to share his happiness or sorrow with. We can go on building up that mountain of emotions within us; we can go on pretending that we’re strong and unbreakable; we can go pacifying our very own soul that we can live on our own in this selfish world.
But deep inside we all know that we need someone to share the story of our life with; someone who’d scold us madly when we would do something stupid; someone who’d knock some sense into us; someone who’d wipe our tears, kiss us on the forehead, and tell us that everything is going to be alright.
And we all need that special someone.

So yeah, even if it turns out to be an infatuation or even a simple ‘crush’, give it a try.
If you truly love that person, there’s no way that anything…yeah, anything whether it be religious differences or this cruel society, would come between you. Because when you love someone, you think beyond all this, and the entire universe helps you in achieving what you truly desire. This isn’t just a line from the Alchemist but a fact of life. If you know that you cannot live without someone, that simply means that the person is now a part of your body and your soul.
And you cannot live without a part of your own self. Can you?