Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A glance back in our memory archives..

Asalam O Alikum and greetings Dear Readers,

Hope you all are doing great with the grace of Allah, in all that you do and where ever you are. :)

I peeped in to say a cheerful hello and to prepare you for the next post, that will be, New Year Resolutions! Oh yeah, its been a tradition I never keep up each year. But I don't like giving up and that to without a good fight, so here I found myself a couple of week back making resolutions. But from the past I have learnt to keep my expectations to a minimum and make reality the ground on which i'll base up my resolutions.

Whats the point in sharing them with you all. Well of course number 1 is that I want to bring the good in the life of others that i find for myself, and number 2 is obvious, I need you as a witness to them, to remind me in case, you know ;)

So lets keep the rest to later while you all take care, give it a rest, its been a year and you too need a lil time off. Take a seat, enjoy life and glance back and reflect.
Today I am thinking tolerance is a gift more precious than silver or gold. You guys think on it too.
While I take my leave with a promise to catch up with you all soon!!

Fiaman Allah!

Aunts Like You Are Precious & Few!

I am some of the lucky people who from the time they open up their eyes are surrounded by affections and love, everyone feels a duty to carry them, to pamper them, and sing them lullaby to take loads of their pics and bring them every gift they ever wished for! Ah alhamdulilah those were the glorious days J.

There were many special people who made my childhood a bright colourful rainbow, and who still make my life special and who will always make it special in my memories, forever. Among them are my parents, sibs, aunts, uncles, relatives, teachers and many other special people. Today I write for my aunts! Those special fairies who made my world magical in the true sense!

Allah blessed me with a sweet lil angel niece 2.5 months back and the pull of the relationship, even before her birth, was great, simply an awesome feeling, a relation that cannot be described in mere words. I haven’t yet touched her, took her in my arms or kissed and cuddled her but I can imagine as if she is here in my arms. And after I tasted the delight of being an aunt, I think I can never ever repay the love and care I received from my aunts. They had been like a mom to me. All I have is gratitude and love for them in return. And the hope and desire to love them more and to be there for them always.

To my sweetest Nuni, I sometimes call her ammi in my excitement or in the flow of conversation. Nuni, who know me by heart and with whom I can’t lie. Who had been everything from  a friend, a playmate, our staunchest supporter even when the government (nani maa) was in an angry mood with us. With whom we had all our adventures and mischief, and still have them, who had been for us always, even now when we are old girls!!

To my iffu, who had been my inspiration on how to talk, to take on airs and act old Shakespearean acts, we used to listen with awe to Huck Finn and other classics she read us, who played the airhostess with us, plucked flowers and taught us many many things, and who had been quite frightening when there used to be a book and pen between us!

The nights when we used to listen to all the wonderful-land stories again and again and so many time that you and Nuni used to be exhausted and our demands never ceased! Oh my fairy godmothers I love you! You had been and are my heroines! Oh, I can write a whole book recalling all those times. J

To my Bari khala, who nursed and pampered me when I was a toddler, who cared for me and who taught me, who had always been the counsellor and a very good advisor, and an everlasting motivation. To my tanu, my friend, my aunt, my lil girl, eventhough she’s the elder one. With whom there was a sisterly bond. The gossips we used to have. The movies we used to watch together. The lectures we used to give to all the rest! :D The captivated audience I used to be when I saw her paint so beautifully. She was the best artist in the whole world to me, which I used to boast among my friends! I miss you so much Tanu.

To my beautiful ladies I owe you so much. I owe you my happiness, my dreams, the rich gifts of trust, care, confidence, self esteem, and precious memories to cherish you gave me are the best I have ever received from any one. Thank  you so much my honies, I love you all a LOT!!!

Truly, only an Aunt can give hugs like a mother, can keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend! J
Hey, this doesn’t means uncles aren’t great I have awesome uncles, but this post is written by a khala for her khalas J I’ll take over the role of an uncle someday and you’ll surely have an insider’s account on it too! Till then So Long! Take care and enjoy the storming winter and here have hot cocoa, that Wk made specially for me. J

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Back after so long...

Hi dear followers and readers!
I am back after a big, quite some unintentionally long break. A lot happened, a lot is happening, that I will share with you all in the coming days, InshaAllah! Let’s start with today's tale, it was the reason that charged me up to greet you all again and share it here, something which I had been longing for. Today's moral is to look for the lil buds that sprout amid the rocks!

But before I start, I want to say that I've missed you all a lot and its great to be back! :) 
Thank you so much to all my avid readers, esp Nuni, Maria and Salman for always asking from time to time and motivating me :)

The past few months had been very hectic at workplace, it left me tired and over stressed. Today was no different I was feeling very blue. We left late, as per the ritual and on the way back I was thinking how fast the week has flown and how much I have to achieve yet. The strands of thought lead me astray and I lost track being bitter.
I was gazing listlessly outside the window when I saw a cripple sitting in the middle with two guys on a motor bike and carrying crutches in his right hand. The sight stirred me. Here I was sitting comfortably and warm, blessed with health and youth and there was he, uncomfortable and broken. I was ashamed and the guilt had not left me when I received a call from my dad's cell. I picked it up uncertainly, as it had been long since Baba called me. He had been very ill the past few weeks and very weak. I was so heartened to hear the tone of his voice for it sounded fresh! Alhamdulillah!

As we travelled further and I was the only one left in van I missed the company I seek the most. I was in thoughts when the coughing of our van driver revived me to the present. The driver waits for us downstairs in the cold daily while we sit late hours in office. At this I felt the guilt again, along with my colleagues I am also responsible and accountable for all those who serve me.

The feelings for the ordeal of our fellow beings' made me sad and grateful at the same time. A few moments ago I had been so ungrateful. I thanked Almighty from my heart for showing me His signs. This has always been His way with me, to let the beads of His wisdom fall my way one by one. I am not capable enough to comprehend His wisdom and blessings but I always realize the error in my ways by picking them.

When I entered the doorway, a surprise awaited me. Amma, my mommy, was cooking my especial favorite!! :) As the wafting aroma left a smile on my lips I thanked Allah almighty for all His blessing. And oh I also felt a pang somewhere in my stomach urging me to fresh up and be seated at the table soon! But that's of not much importance now as I am properly fed!
I reflected upon my journey, it hasn't only been a journey I covered in distance, from office to home. It has been a journey of thoughts, a changed state of mind and soul that left me contemplating. And then something, rather an expecting sms, brought a smile and satisfaction to me, oh yes because it inspired me to share it with you.

When we have the chance to count all our blessings and be grateful, why is that we chose to be the ungrateful lot. Why we chose to displease our Lord, when we have the choice to please Him. And yet we complain, and complain.
The choice is simple. The choice is in your hands. Be grateful and please Allah, please Allah and gain more of His favors! Subhan Allah! Be ungrateful and the rest you can figure out!

So all my dear friends, it's a simple matter of changing our minds, feel pleasure in what Allah has blessed you with, and you will be happy and live your life to the fullest. Believe me you will find happiness and gratitude, inner peace and satisfaction, something which is one of the most prized blessings that are sought after.

Take good care of yourselves and care for others, it’s the best gift you can give to anyone, and in return win their hearts!
Catch you soon with lots and lots more!!
Sweet dreams :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mera Pakistan... Zindabad Paindabad!

In the past few days I had little time for the current affairs and what’s been happening around. That’s quite a statement for someone living in Karachi where every second person is talking about what’s going on in and outside the city!

Today I heard about the tragic incident involving a mob burning a mini bus with passengers in it! It was horrible, shocking and terribly saddening. I was speechless. Are we human anymore? I questioned myself. I thought it bears similarity to incidents at the time of partition in 1947, that shamed humanity. The only difference this time was, that both the victim and the predators were of the same nationality... This situation is indeed shameful. 
Some decades back, we fought for this land, which meant the world to us, and now we are fighting over this land. Killing and terrorizing our own people. Morbid isn’t it?

Its past midnight and I can hear the firearms, crackers and fireworks still going on in the background, their sounds muffled with the patter of rain. I wonder if 14th august is just to be celebrated with a weeklong decorations, emptying the guns, colourful TV shows, singing the national anthem followed by a two minute silence when more than half of the nation is already mute sleeping. And the patriotism ends here, to be revived next year.

We need a lot of change, a colossal change to bring our country out of this chaos; a 360 degree turn. I thought to myself, it’s unattainable. I must confess I lost hope, thinking on it. Just when all seemed gloomy and dark, like the scene outside my window, a little flame of hope erupted within me. Darkness precedes light! Yes it does.

We are a very fertile nation, be it in any area we need to explore this fertility. The same carries for our youth, the fruit of our forbearance. The only hope in this hour of need it seems!

All is not lost yet. Indeed it’s a huge task but I am not asking for more, let’s start at the basics. 

Instead of raising our fingers and voices pointing and exposing the faults in others, in our system, lets start with ourselves. 
How selfish we have been to the country which is providing us, to this immense blessing of Allah SWT. How ungrateful we are and have been. Let’s begin by tolerating each other, treating each other like how we want to be treated. Love and patience is what we require with the zeal to improve ourselves and improve our nation. We must be an example, a lead whom the rest should take inspiration from and follow.!

We will have to do it, for ourselves and for our future generations, so that time may remember us as those who took one step forward and contributed towards saving Pakistan, when it needed our help the most!

I see Google, adorned in green twinkling with stars, the crescent and Minar-e-Pakistan representing the G and L in it. 

There is always hope, a lot of horizons are waiting to be explored, challenges to overcome and goals to achieve. Lets take up the challenge and Insha’Allah we will succeed in delivering the results, the dreams we hope. If we truly believe in ourselves and our capabilities, if we want a positive change, we will have to change ourselves and influence others for good as well! 

Pakistan Zindabad!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

For a very Special Sis...

Dearest Appi,

I wanted to write you a letter on your birthday, to make up for my absence by your side, on your special day for the first time. 
I wanted to wish you the perfect way, I wanted to be there with you, to be able to hug and kiss you, to have fun secretly wrapping up your gift and baking a devils chocolate cake for you and, to surprise you with a big 'happy birthday Appi'!!!

So here goes the unfinished letter, the half wrapped gift, the greeting i wanted to surprise you with...

A special greeting for my beloved childhood companion, my dear counselor, my all time best friend.. I'm missing your laughter, your mischievousness, I am missing the  skirmishes i had with you and then making up with you after all the fights. I'm missing you sweetheart, like i miss the chocolate chips in my cookie! :)

I wish you lots and lots of love and happiness, and pray your life be filled with it. I wish you peace n joy and make a prayer that may Allah SWT increases His blessings on you and your family. May you always blossom, healthy and cheerful, may the shadows of worry and miseries stay away from you, may you be successful in both worlds, may He fill your life with loving and caring people and may He fulfill all your wishes and dreams... ameen suma ameen. 

With all the evergreen memories, freshly fragrant with me, I wish you a Very Happy Birthday Dearest BK! :) 
Many happy returns of the day!

Lots and lots of love, hugs and kisses!
from yours ever, 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Put the Glass Down...

A chemistry professor decided to teach his students a different lesson one day. Holding a glass of water in his hand, he asked the students, “How much do you think this glass of water weighs?” “500 grams!” came a voice from the back. “600,” said another student. “I don’t really know!” said the professor, holding the glass up to make sure everyone could see it. “And unless we weigh it, we won’t know.” With the glass still in his outstretched hand, the professor continued, “What will happen if I hold it like this for a few minutes?”

“Nothing!” came the reply. “Right, and if I hold it for an hour like this, what might happen?” “Your hand will begin to hurt,” said a student. “Indeed. And what would happen if I held the glass in my hand like this for 24 hours?”
“You would be in tremendous pain,” said one student. “Your hand will probably go numb,” said another. “Your arm will be paralysed and we’ll need to rush you to the hospital!” said a student on the last bench.
“True,” said the professor. “But notice that through all this, the weight of the glass did not change. What then causes the pain?”
The class went quiet. The students seemed puzzled.“What should I do to avoid the pain?” asked the professor. “Put the glass down!” said a student.

“Well said!” exclaimed the professor. “And that’s a lesson I want you to remember. The problems and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. But think about it a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything. It’s important to remember to let go of your problems. Remember to put the glass down!”

We may not have been in that classroom that day, but it’s a lesson we would all do well to remember. Put the glass down! Always. It’s not just problems and worries. Sometimes, we feel hurt and betrayed by a friend. And we carry that grudge through our lives. It grows and causes us anguish and pain. Learning to forgive – and forget – is not just good for the other people, it’s great for you. Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in jail and when he was finally freed, you can understand how angry and vengeful he must have felt. But guess what? When he became President, he invited his jailers to be present at the inauguration – in the VIP seats! If he could forgive after 27 years of suffering, surely we can too.

It is the same with our fears too. A failure or an incident in early childhood becomes a deeply entrenched fear over time. Fear of public speaking, fear of Maths, fear of rejection. You name it, and chances are, we have it. Someone gave us that glass to hold when we were little kids – ‘you are clumsy, you are no good, you can’t do it’ - and we have faithfully held on to it all our lives. ‘I can’t’ - becomes a thought that stays in our mind and grows – leading us to complete paralysis. Time to put the glass down!

The story goes that there was a hardworking man who lived a contented life with his wife and children. Every evening when he returned from work, he’d follow a ritual. Outside the door to his house were three nails. On the first one, he’d put his hat. On the second he’d hang his coat. And on the third nail, he’d unwrap an imaginary turban from his head and ‘put’ it there. A friend happened to see this and enquired what he was putting on the third nail every day.

“Those are my problems, my worries and my anger,” said the man. “I have lots of that at work, but when I come home, I remember to take it off – and leave them outside. I don’t take them home with me.” Maybe you should learn to do that too. Starting today. Put the glass down. And see the difference!

Courtesy Nuni!

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Keep Going With Your Ideas After the Excitement is Over

At many points in our life, we are possessed with ideas, we think, we aspire, we plan. And we achieve their transformations as well. We work hard and put all our best efforts in the attainment of our goals, we go to the limits and do all in our power to make them come true and reach our destiny.

Although, it’s not always as it seems, there are phases when we lack the vigour to proceed, when we are disheartened, or nothing seems to work in our favour. In these types of situations we need motivation and inspiration to keep us going, driving us forward with the same intensity of hope, courage, zeal and enthusiasm towards the accomplishment of our ideas.

So let’s take a look at how to overcome our fears and apprehensions and uplift our dampened spirits, by taking into account the positive side of the turn of events, so as to stimulate a progressive energy within us that will channel us towards our goal.

1. Be Realistic in Your Approach – There is a Big Difference Between Aims and Wishes: 
When you plan, involve both your mind and heart. Be realistic about your idea and aims. Plan what you can achieve keeping in mind your capabilities and strengths. A task well planned is a task half done. Keeping your goals within your reach and setting practical deadlines will help you in taking things one by one and to effectively deal with the challenges that come in your way.

2. Imagine the Final Moment of Rapture of the Materialization of Your Idea:
You should never stop dreaming! Visualize the moment when you will fulfil the potential in your idea and turn it into reality. Imagine the sense of euphoria, the utter joy and pride you’ll feel at that particular moment. The sensation will give you a lot of motivation and positive energy that will always steer you towards your destiny and the realization of your dream with fresh dedication and passion.

3. Set Reminders Where You Will be Able to See Them Regularly:
Human nature is prone to laziness. In order to remind yourself that you have a goal to reach, keep physical and tangible reminders, other than your deadlines or milestones. For example you dream to be a famous painter someday and recreate a special place or scenery. Keep a photograph of that place where you can see it daily or from time to time, it will keep you focused on your idea.

4. Spare Time Reading:
Utilize your spare time in reading stuff and knowing more about the idea that you are planning. Staying well informed about the idea will increase your interest and will keep you well prepared.

5. Self Confidence:
Seek your ideas with a true and devoted heart. Always hope for the best and have complete faith in your abilities. Self confidence and a positive attitude are your firm support on the ladder to success. When you can dream it, you can achieve it!

6. Remember the Past as its Remembrance Gives You Joy:
Everything happens for a reason, the hardships and unfruitful attempts come in your way to strengthen, prepare and polish you. So don’t be discouraged or abandon your ideas. Gather along your experiences, either good or bad, learn from them and cherish them. The toils you take in bearing your failures lead you to success.

As related by Abu Huraira RA, “Allah’s Apostle (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, ‘If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials’." 
[Translation of Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 70, Number 548]

7. Treat Yourself at Every Step You Climb Towards Success:
Every step towards your goal counts. Enjoy each and every successful attempt towards the fulfilment of your idea, truly and wholly. These moments of joy will act as stimulant when you are low and will drive you forward.

8. Seek Help and Guidance from Allah:
Allah is our best hope and guide. Put your trust in Allah, be grateful to Him and ask from Him for His favour and help. Praying consistently for success will keep you determined. You have to do your best with complete faith in Allah; He listens to our prayers and has power over all things.

When you have taken a decision trust in Allah. Verily Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). If Allah helps you none can overpower you, if He forsakes you who is there, after that who can help you. And upon Allah let the believers rely. 
Al Quran [3:159,160] 

In the end let me share with you two thoughts I found very motivating and encouraging.

The question was once asked of a highly successful businessman: “How have you done so much in your lifetime?”
He replied, “I have dreamed. I have turned my mind loose to imagine what I wanted to do. Then I have gone to bed and thought about my dreams. In the night I dreamt about my dreams. And when I awoke in the morning, I saw the way to make my dreams real. While other people were saying, ‘You can’t do that, it isn’t possible,’ I was well on my way to achieving what I wanted.”

As Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the U.S., said: “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nourish them through bad days until they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.”

Be a Productive Muslim, keep working towards your goals with zeal and have faith in yourself. Don’t let any obstacle in your path divert you from realizing your idea! Insha’Allah success will be yours.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Through March 1940 to March 2011

23 March 1940: Pakistan Day, the day when the existence of Pakistan was first demanded. The dream of a nation was said out loud and formed up in black and white. The flight of Iqbal’s falcon was the flight of the mind and souls of masses. A dream materialized into passion. A passion so fierce that it united the Muslims all over the subcontinent to write a new chapter in the book of history. 

23 March 2011: Pakistani cricket fans all over the world were rejoicing Pakistan’s excellent performance in the World Cup. Every individual from the youngest to the oldest was excited at the prospect of Pakistan’s encounter with West Indies in the Quarter Final. People were glued to their television screens and cheering every falling wicket. Every Pakistani wanted their team to win, the team that had been scorned and mocked a few months ago was everyone’s hero now. Whether an avid cricket fan or not, we all wanted the 'Men in Green' to leave the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium victorious. And the 'green caps' never failed our expectations, not even for a single over. It was a dedicated team play, the unity, determination, the cool and composure of our team that showed brilliantly throughout the tournament was the reason we achieved such a superb win. In the presentation ceremony jubilant Shahid Afridi gifted the Green Cap triumph to the Nation on Pakistan Day doubling the reason to celebrate....

Back in 1940 the nation that was struggling for a Free Muslim state, was basking in the glory, standing together as a united front, supporting their champions in the World Cup uplifting the green and white crescent and star emblem flag. That day we were one, just like the Pakistani team, strong and connected. We weren’t people divided into 5 provinces, we had the same interest, one hope, one desire. A single soul, our hearts beating together, pumping up joyfully, we were one, cheering our super eleven, forgetting all resentment towards each other. Yes, we were a nation in the true sense then.

At that moment I felt  that we started strong and have grown weak in the middle, it’s time to put our differences behind our back and to face the challenges that comes our way. Challenges that have tried us severely and have left us broken. Remember 1940, we fought for identity, sovereignty and rights, we fought for Pakistan. Now we are fighting over Pakistan. The identity we proudly upheld once is lost somewhere over the decades, the values we treasure seemed stolen, the courage and valor, that honesty and faith nurtures in a nation are extinct.

I felt that Pakistani nation is like Pakistani cricket team, its a cornered tiger, which when once roused, can shatter its enemy into oblivion. Just like Rameez Raja wrote about Team Pakistan:

"This team doesn't stop to amaze me. A knockout game was supposed to rattle the nerves and test the temperament. It not only passed the mental test without a fuss but laid to rest any suspicion of its class. It was a devastating win that punched the West Indies into oblivion and pushed Pakistan closer to greatness."

Similar are we, its the need to rise up, to once again spread our wings and fly, the flight of falcon. To stand up to the wrong and injustice and not allow ourselves to act as a toy and play into the hands of our enemies. Lets match our forefathers in character and grit, difficult as it may be, and make our nation a 'Nation' in true sense. Rise and live like a nation that is alive, thriving and cultivated. That can fight for its rights not over its rights. Don't let this feeling of helplessness and deprivation overwhelm you. Because our land needs a change! A better and independent Pakistan!

I'll end here wishing all the best of luck and vigour to our youth and people, and similarly to our team. May Allah bless us with success on all fronts and protect Pakistan and give us strength to deliver the lost sovereignty to our nation and country. Ameen

Good Luck Pakistan and Team Pakistan!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

There is always a Silver Lining to the Blues...

Sometimes its just a stray thought, a daily happening, a word we overhear or any little thing that plunges us into the blues and we feel desolated from our surroundings, separated from the rest of the people around us. As if we are marked out to be tried again and again.... At such times it’s hard to disguise the sadness within and laugh and joke with the rest. We may wonder, why it has to be me? At those time the river deep within just wants to gush out, tearing down all the barriers that have been blocking it for so long....

Some days ago I felt deeply afflicted and in my distress the cheerful side of my disposition took over and I started wondering if there could be a way to find out the secret of happiness somehow? To capture and learn it, so that I may be able to thwart the sorrow and despair that affects me. I directed my thoughts so as to break away from the glum mood, to live my life! And comprehension suddenly dawned, as my thoughts whispered out the secret to me, and do you know what it was? I realized that I, hold the key to my happiness!

The choice of being bitter or better lies with me, and it is my decision that affects my happiness. It’s my outlook towards life that makes it beneficial or sore, for me and others around me. I know that life isn’t all smooth and pretty, it maintains equilibrium, because too much sweet is spoiling, isn’t it? The good times and the hard times just balance it out perfectly for me. Without the hardships and trials, I wondered, how will I learn to value the reward and happiness that I reap, and be grateful for it?

Sometimes only a little good news tells us that there is happiness and goodness around. That is exactly what happened with me. As I was on my way back to home, I got a message from a friend, informing about the birth of a girl to a close friend of mine... This news just changed my mood completely! Just like the shining sun that emerges from behind the clouds after a dark storm, rejuvenating the beings!

I realized that in my dissatisfaction and grumblings, I have forgotten how rich I am in the countless blessings Allah has bestowed upon me! What an ingrate I had been to weep a tear and never comprehending what  damage I was doing to myself, because of my bitter thoughts!

My stranded and tangled thoughts connected together, showing that a clear road lies ahead. I understood that in the remembrance of Allah, in seeking help from Him, believing that you will always be helped, there lies all the success and peace!

Relief, swept over me, wave over wave, as I realized that Allah has guided me to khair again, that He has not deserted me! That beautiful feeling strengthen my faith, I came to know deep within my heart that these tough experiences are to train me strong, rather than breaking me apart. It is to bring me closer to my Lord, rather than distancing me away from Him!

Remember, there’s always a silver lining to the darkest cloud, I didn't understand it when Iffu first told me the meaning of this idiom, but now I know it means that there is always hope to look forward to!. Listen to the voice that speaks softly in the times of despair and be grateful to Allah for all His countless blessings and favors! Because Allah grants more to those who are thankful for what they have got and bear with patience what that has been taken away from them.
It was on this journey that I grasped in truth , “worry ends when faith begins”!

It was only yesterday when upon reading this Hadith, that I decided to share my journey with you, hoping that may be in any modest way it'll help you to strengthen that perpetual connection with Al Rehman...

Narrated Abu Huraira:
Allah's Apostle(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said, "If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials."
Translation of Sahih Bukhari
Volume 7, Book 70, Number 548: