Tag: people

From a Formerly Disillusioned Pakistani

The Sounds of Freedom by PSO

Today is the 75th independence day of Pakistan. This dear little country, so often dwarfed and swept under the rug with her neighbour India, has completed her 74th year as an independent state.

I find myself so often changing my opinions on this matter. Two days ago, when I was reminded that the independence day was near, I felt disinterested. What independence? Have you seen the state of the country? Have you seen the state of the people? Then yesterday, I saw a delivery man riding his bike proudly adorned with small flags of Pakistan on both its handles. And today, the 14th of August, I woke up to wishes of a happy independence day. I thought again, is the country happy? Are its people happy? Does this day deserve celebration? Why did the separation happen at all? Maybe it would’ve been better if it hadn’t. At least these two countries wouldn’t be ceaselessly bickering over every issue. So much blood could’ve been spared. Think of how bloody the events of the partition were…

Then it ocurred to me, would those people whose blood was spilled, want us to treat this day with such disdain? Would this day matter to them? Of course, it would. Why? Because they believed in the purpose behind the partition. They believed they deserved a land to practise Islam with freedom. They believed that they mattered.

So much of this has now been reduced to “What independence? Have you seen the state of the country? Have you seen the state of the people?” And perhaps, intentionally. We have come to believe our country, its purpose, its people don’t really matter much anymore. Where are we on the map? How many awards did we win in the Olympics? How does the world look at us?

Well, is that why we fought for independence anyway?

There are good people. And there are bad people. Neither of these define the country. What defines the country is its founding principle? Why did Iqbal voice his dream? What exactly was his dream? A land of Islam, by Islam, for Islam. Not even Muslims. Islam. Not a land of the people, by the people, for the people. A land where the word of Allah could be propagated and hailed with freedom. A land where people of Allah could worship Him and invite others to worship Him. Where the Azaan could soar high and proud.

So now, when I say, Happy Independence Day to my fellow Pakistanis, I say it with a proud, hopeful heart. Proud that we’re still standing. Hopeful that we will be able to restore our country to its intended glory. I don’t say it from a nationalistic perspective, I say it from a Muslim’s perspective.

This isn’t to say that all is well. This is to say that all can be well. If only we remember why we gained freedom in the first place… If only we remember it was Allah who made this happen the way it did… If only we remember to live in the present, to better the present, to create the present.

Go now, please.

But that is not how things are. That is not how life is. That is not how people are. And that is not how you should be.

Listen to me. Listen now. Stop whining and lend me your ear – the right one. Now listen, once and for all – though I shall not hesitate repeating it for you all life long, whenever you might need to hear it – and I know you will. As will I. Nasiyaan, yes? So listen here.

Childhood is good. Golden, for most. And they later lament growing up. But dear God, if we were not to grow up, what would we do of our childhoods? We absolutely had to grow up so that our childhoods might be of some use.
For some, it is not good. It turns them blue forever. The strong ones turn the blue into a brighter shade. The weak ones let it dim, further dim, into grey. Even weaker ones ink it black.

Childhood is gone. It had to go. It came to go, as all mankind. We come to go. But between coming and going, there is a lot to be learnt and taught, a lot to do, a lot to let happen. So learn. And teach. And let life happen. Then learn more. And teach more. Learn by evolving, teach by being. Do something. The world will not accommodate you by itself. You have to make your own space. Criticize all thoughts, yes. But do it for a purpose, take something from it. Don’t do it for the sake of criticism, don’t do it for the sake of uniqueness, don’t do it for the sake of rebellion. Do it to actually do something.

And please, do something. You cannot let things be. It is in your power to bring a change. Do something as small as voting, or as big as introducing a reformed educational system. Don’t just badmouth the politicians, or politics itself. Do something about it. We write, we think, and we read. But what do we do? Study, if you’re doing that, but think, and plan on what you’ll do when you’re able to. And take my word for it, you can always do something. You’re small, but you make the universe. It is people like you who do great things, things that impact the world.

You cry about people wronging you. And you cry about people being ignorant of your affections, ignorant of the world, ignorant of people. You cry about people coming and going. Rise above that. Hold your heart. Look to those who are with you, and there are always some who are with you. And when no one is, He is. People are people. For others, you are people. It is okay. Rise above that. Life is about so much more.

You cry about messed up circumstances. Take my word for it, circumstances are so much worse in our heads than they really are. So don’t think too much. You’ll only tangle the wool more. Settle on something which gives you peace, and hold on to it. Faith gives you peace. Hold on to it. Circumstances don’t shape what happens to you, how you deal with them does. So deal. All will happen as you want it to, if you can hold on long enough.

And you. Stop crying. Pull on a strong countenance. Move forward. Flashbacks are flashbacks, don’t let them deprive you of the present. Sad thoughts are your own thoughts. Don’t let them dampen your spirits. Don’t indulge them. Do not.

Take that chair, pull it out, set your head down on it and think hard. Only five minutes. And then leave the seat with a plan. They tell you planned lives are boring. Don’t believe them. You can plan blank spots too.

This is how it is. But don’t believe me. Go now.

People and places make for experiences

The years I’ve spent in this world have taught me a lot. People have given me lessons to treasure, places have lent their experiences to me and I always find nature willing to contribute to my knowledge, wisdom and experience, of which I have little at this age.

There’s one friend who taught me to think in a twisted way. She thinks a lot-unnecessarily. And then she worries. And then she becomes crazy over all the worst possible outcomes of whatever has happened. She taught me to control and direct my thoughts. But she also taught me to think in a twisted way. About every aspect of everything. I control it, but I find it useful at times.  She also taught me to value little things. To accept one’s shortcomings, though she often doesn’t do that herself. She taught me to accept situations, and do something about them rather than fretting over them in a non-productive way. She doesn’t do it, but she taught me to, unconsciously.144350-Real+life+experiences+quotes+(

Then there’s this other friend who is apparently very careless, but at the same time, very responsible. She gives me maturity. She taught me to take everything together, to balance life. I haven’t learned to do it completely, but I’ll get there. She also taught me to cope with whatever life throws at us. I see her struggling and I see myself struggling and I see both of us getting the better of situations we never thought we’d get through. She has a love-hate relationship with life. And in all her uniqueness, that relationship suits her. She’s one of the most thoughtful people I’ve met, and one of the most productive as well. She might not have the best of everything, but she makes the best of what she has. She’s obviously a treasure.

A third friend, who is equally important for me, taught me respect. For everything. Having gone through some very tough situations in life, she’s the most realistic person I’ve come across. She might not be very optimistic, but it saves her from getting crushed by expectations. No, she’s not hopeless-just realistic. She plans the future but she keeps it loose enough to accommodate changes and spontaneous decisions. She expects from life but she keeps it real enough to be able to cope with disappointment. She’s traditional but she keeps the world on track. She teaches me time and again, to plan, to expect but to keep it real at the same time.

There’s another friend I love, and she taught me to express. She taught me to not restrain myself unnecessarily. She taught me that life is not all about rules, it’s not all about others and yet, it’s not all about ourselves. It’s about itself, in reality. She’s the windUntitled

Everyone I know or meet even if very briefly, they teach me something. Passing people teach me too, sometimes by their appearance, sometimes by the phrases of their conversation that the wind brings to me, and sometimes by the way they look at me, other people or the environment. The people I encounter in public transport, they speak volumes without actually speaking too. They teach.

Nature teaches too. My university is the best place I’ve been to. It has trees that whisper secrets, and some of them don’t even need to whisper. Their majestic roots and beards speak for themselves. And oh those twisted trees in the park, they have a very weird structure with which I do not agree. And that is what they teach me. The other trees? They teach me that we’re here to stay whether we like it or not. And that we get through tough times. We’re never tested for more than we can bear. The little ones teach me that we’ll grow-with all the chaos to the side, we’ll grow and we’ll grow strong.

The buildings have a lot to tell us too. They’re old and huge and open. They have cracked walls and tall windows. And then there are the new buildings in contrast to them, with their shiny glass and fresh paint, new desks, clean boards and modern architecture. The library is huge. There’s a world of volumes in there. Its massive structure has been standing for decades, and it has a withered look but it remains poised. It tells me it has experience. That with age comes elegance, comes experience, comes wisdom. There’s a long path that goes from the main gate of the university to the faculty of arts. It teaches perseverance to everyone who walks on it. owing to its length and traffic… I find the path beautiful. I refer to it as the path of the righteous, since it’s so long and straight and tests our patience to limits.

My point here: Everything teaches everything. Provided we’re willing to learn.

An attractive storm

swanny

When colours collect dust
And words are concealed
When beauty is shaded
And the clouds are heavy grey

When a path leading to gardens
Becomes one going to graves
And when flowers turned to gold
Are crushed underneath feet

When diamonds cut to perfection
Join the coal once more
And the gold and the jewels
Are met by graves on hills

The world becomes sinister
People deprived of passion
All words and colours twisted
Into an attractive storm…

~Moniba.

I and Myself [Part 2]: Realization

I stop to think a while
And then I realize…
Running away never helps
We humans, we
Like to complicate everything
If something disturbs me
I should just admit it
And deal with it
Accordingly

So I went back to sleep
I dreamt again
I dreamt of the past, the present, and future
I dreamt of monsters, dead and alive
I dreamt of birds, and kites and hives
I dreamt of people
Ones I knew and know
And even those I have yet to meet

I dreamt of dreams and reality
I dreamt, and dreamt
Peacefully
I knew now that
It was okay to dream
It was okay to feel
It was okay to want
It was okay to be

I learned to stop
Stop being so harsh
On my own self
I learned to accept
Finally
My own reality
And that it was okay to just be
The way I am…

Sometimes I hate exploring

There are times… When I hate exploring. The world, the world wide web, people, myself… It seems to bring out a lot of bad stuff. I explore the world, I see evil, I see difficulties, I see sinister propaganda, I see so many global problems that won’t be solved any time soon. I explore the world wide web, I see dirt, ’nuff said. I explore people, I see depression, confusion, hatred, uncertainty. I see almost everyone lost, unhappy… And then I explore myself. I see the same.

It’s said that that’s what growing up is. My brother always tells me, you’ve seen nothing yet. You don’t know the world. Well guess what, bro? I seriously don’t think I want to know anymore than I already know. And I know much more than you think I do. I’m not that naive. I want to believe there’s a better part of the world. It’s strange that the bad covers the good so heavily everywhere. I’ve done my digging. I know and I see the good. I’m the kind of person that looks for good in everything and everyone. Yes, it can be disappointing at times, but I think it’s better. Better than what everyone else who sees one side must go through.

If I put my clear and positive glasses on, and then see the world, I see beauty, I see passion, I see the wind. I see exquisite distinction in everything; every leaf, every twig, every surface, every creature. The view then, is breathtaking. If I then explore the web, I see benefit. And if I explore the people, I see love, I see warm and beautiful emotions, I see the reasons behind everything, I see care, and need. And then I delve into myself. I see wonder, I see excitement and talent, and I find myself yearning to do everything that I can for the world and its people and then my mind goes into hyperactivity. 

I try not to get discouraged from exploring. It can be a delightful thing. So I’ll keep on exploring the world, its people, myself, because that’s how I can understand everything. Why the world works the way it does, why people are the way they are, and finally… Why I am what I am? I know the answers to almost all these questions. But I want to discover them again, all by myself. I’ll go on looking for all the different shades of the colours of the world. I’ll look into everything the world has to offer. And hopefully, I’ll be able to make my dent here. A beautiful dent. Hopefully, after taking everything, I’ll be able to give my everything too… To the better of this world.

In the end, I reach the conclusion that perhaps… It all depends upon the person. It’s true that we usually see what we look for, or what we want to. I’ll say the cliché thing here: Be the change that you want to see. Peace.

I saw her. She was there.

225913-i-saw-her-standing-there-but-then-she-was-a-zombie

I was there.

I saw her.

She was smiling.

And talking to people.

And laughing at jokes.

Nodding her head at  whatever they said.

Shaking it at every lamentable event.

Fussing with her scarf every minute, just as she always did.

I was there.

I saw her.

She was walking around.

Meeting people.

Hugging and kissing those she loved.

Playing with the children.

Giving them sweets, as she always did.

I was there.

I saw her.

She was alive.

And then I saw her.

She was still there.

She was dead.

 

Lost times, lost people

I have a friend. She holds on to stuff. To the past. She saves them and looks after them as if her life depended upon them. She doesn’t let anyone throw them away. Not even when her drawers have no more space in them. No, the past stays with her. I ask her, why? And she says, well she doesn’t say but I assume, that it’s because she feels if she throws the stuff away, they’ll take the memories with them. As if throwing them away will somehow lessen their importance. And even if there is no significance to the memory, if the object tends to make her even a little bit nostalgic, she’s keeping it. So you can imagine, all sorts of scraps of paper, and beads, and diaries, and threads, and buttons, and letters, and small things are stuffed in that drawer. Paper chats from school days, and college days, letters from friends, acquaintances and relatives, useless drawings and doodles by self or friends… Diaries full of offending comments by people, lovely text messages, amazing narrations of amazing events, memorable conversations with random or dear people… You name it, it’s there.

I find her habit rather silly. Because I believe we should let go. We can only start living today if we let go of yesterday. It is true that our yesterdays make our todays, but that does not mean that we start giving them so much significance that they slowly and eventually seep into our todays in ways that may affect our tomorrows.

I used to be like that too. Saving pieces of paper, tissue, and filling up diaries of events that may or may not matter and then save them, keep them dear to life. But I realized then,  that those things are only cluttering my mind and cupboards. That I need to clear space to let new experiences take their place. That I need to let go of people and make space for those who might actually matter. So I cleared up the boxes, emptied the cupboards, and threw away the useless scraps of paper. I am currently in the process of clearing my mind too. Erasing negative emotions is proving to be very hard. And letting go of people? Lets just say… It’s too easy to let go of some, and way too hard to let go of some others. And it isn’t possible to just tell yourself to hate one and love another. Not if the heart isn’t willing to. But that wasn’t really the point of this post.

The point is, it’s good to de-clutter.