Hear a little less, worry even lesser, cringe never, so you die only once…
Before that make sure to stay alive!
I brought raw wood paper from Fairy Meadows last year and wrote my own saying on it and sent it to my brother. He loved it. This time I brought Papyrus from Egypt and wrote a few thoughts on them and sent them to some of my family around the world. They really appreciated.
Now that all the dispatched pieces of paper have reached their destinations, I thought I’d share the lines I wrote to them here too:
Clean your window thoroughly, or the whole view of the world gets hazy…
and do not worry about how ever long it takes for you to clean it!
Sometimes you see your life right before you… what you were and what you are now…and the reason for that comparison you never made before… and that certain divide, before which you are something else, which now you can’t claim to be… No matter how extricately you try to justify that marked divide, it refuses to coalesce. It stays!… and then in the end after all the tireless efforts you submit to it…you submit to the new blues of the sea… now this is you… there is no now there is no then… there is no comparison… this is you!
Its Eid tomorrow..everyone is busy with preparations for the celebrations. Chand raat (the night before the Eid on which the moon is sighted) is a festivity in itself. But for some reason I wasn’t excited. Anyway I went out with my sister to get gas filled in my car, in case it isn’t available tomorrow. My mother accompanied too. As opposed to routine, she didn’t carry her purse or cell phone..may be relied on us a little too much. I was in my night pjs and was least bothered about anything (my justification for not carrying any money:p) which by the way, is totally unlike me…but yes relying on my sister’s purse at any time of year is absolutely me. Nonetheless, she gave out some extra tip to the guy at the gas station, for eid. Right at our main gate, we decided to not enter home and go get bangles instead… Another deserving looking man there asked for money, and got his share. At the market, I wasn’t getting out of car, because a) I was really not bothered about anything, or may be too bothered about something, and b) was inappropriately dressed. But eventually I decided to follow tracks of my two companions, and found them buying bangles of beautiful colours. I couldn’t resist, so I bought some too, and instantaneously felt better and right in the mood…
While we were paying, we saw a woman with fresh mehndi (henna) on her hands. My sister got really excited about that…but meanwhile we figured this was the last of money in her wallet. so, some bangles were dropped out.. and we went on our mehndi quest. Everyone was getting gorgeous designs made. My sister got it too…while I looked on…tempted but knew there’s nothing we can do..pretty much back into my not bothering about anything mood, when we had to leave. and my mother said you should get it too. Right, as if I can!.. and I am just leaving when everyone around started shouting for trying to leave without mehndi. The pathan selling clothes next to me said you have to get it, he wouldn’t let me leave, he’ll pay for me. A woman whose daughter was getting mehndi done, grabbed me and said she is paying and that I am not going without mehndi. and the guy stitching dupatta’s (scarves) actually paid the mehndi person immediately, and told me to pay him whenever I come around next time because he is always there… I wouldn’t want that, borrowing money from anyone..but I gave in eventually, because really nobody (including my mother and sister) would let me go.
And suddenly people I knew and I didn’t know were so happy and smiling because I was getting mehndi on! That just made my day!.. When mehndi was being put on, my hands got sweaty, because of the sudden energetic activity around me and also because they usually are (shh.. embarrassed)… and the mehndi person told me that its a sign of wealth!…. given what just happened, we all laughed at the irony of that statement!
I am all excited about Eid now :)
I was surprised to see the traffic in the morning…All cars stuck because nobody was willing to give anyone any space. Well, ofcourse I wasn’t really surprised, but it always gives me a heart break to see this mess, definitely haven’t gotten used to it in all these years. So I got down to express my anger my way…
Just that someone else might take up our space on the road is such a frightening thought for us…we refuse to understand it could be for our own good to give way. Then I think may be, we are a frightened nation…may be we believe somewhere in our subconscious that if someone takes our place/right, we’ll lose our right forever and never get it back…may be that’s why we scream at others.. to defend our rights?… because we are frightened?…. may be!…
I see we are ready to kill on roads, crush those who are walking or who are on bicycles..and God forbid one gives way to pedestrian or those on bicycle and slow down in the process!.. are you even partially prepared to take the wrath of those cars behind you, you got them a few seconds late, are you really ready to hear them swear, or get glared at to the soul…but thats only if you are lucky…i have seen hand gestures, and fountains of saliva pouring out of their windows…uhhh..because there is so much anger to express…in such little time… we’ve got so much to do in a day!
And then we are ready to kill in the name of blasphemy…and kill even those who do not share an opinion on the insulting stories about the Prophet. May be we are a ready-to-kill nation… why else would we be so ready to kill here?… because we love our prophet?…or because we follow him?… a little too much we follow him, don’t we? I condemn the insults and the falsehood of them, but I choose to forgive the ignorant. They didn’t know a tiny bit about my Prophet. I pray for them to come out of darkness. Of what I heard, the Prophet forgave. Of what I’ve read, the Prophet prayed in the favour of those who considered him their enemy. He believed in giving others their rights. He believed in giving, in spreading peace… I don’t see us follow him..not on roads, not in politics, not in schools, not in marriages.
Oh and about the traffic, the traffic warden finally came to help the congestion into some direction…and ofcourse heard the ranting from the overly energized poor sufferers in the traffic…not to forget with the hand gestures… That Dog!!!!! who had to lead the flock in a direction…because we are too blind and deaf and paralyzed in heads to move in any order.. my poor suffering nation.. and we wait for a better leader to put us in a direction. Do you really think a certain khan will turn us humans suddenly.. Because if anything, we’ve had a leader for quite a while..to put us in a direction…who we are keen and ready to kill for…whose name we are trying to guard and keep in high esteem… if only we realized, he is not dependent on us to keep him safe… we, on the contrary, can depend on him… to open our eyes…to rid us of our blindness…to see light before we are dirt.. We are given a chance to be more than just a herd of sheep in the wild!
and then we start teaching him, little by little.. about whats appropriate and whats inappropriate, about what is right and whats wrong, and about what is to be said and how, and what not and how not!
Who decides what is appropriate anyway?..or whats right. In case of that child, our threshold for honesty decides things for him…we may be strong proponents of wanting to hear nothing but the truth…but the truth is that there is only a degree of honesty that we can swallow and digest…and that is when we start categorizing things as appropriate and inappropriate for ourselves and our kids ..and we manage to narrow down their potential horizon to our own level..
we teach them morals, ethics, politics…we try to teach them to be perfect…they spend their lives in that same complex trying to learn to be perfect..only to find out in the end that they are nothing close to perfect…they are only who they are…and then this other search starts!
Its impressive to see kids talk about things out of nowhere…that reflects the person in them… I said impressive because we, being non-kids, are incapable of doing that…so much in the fear of truth and the rest in the fear of society.
On another slightly different note, I totally understand how parents have to start telling their kids how to behave in certain kind of setting…but to be honest somehow it doesn’t come across as the most wonderful idea to me, on the contrary, when we tell them to not say something, and when a kid has to think twice about what he has to say or should he say this because he has had a conversation about whats appropriate and whats not… i think that it has a bearing on their confidence and their questioning abilities…where your questioning abilities really are half your knowledge and intelligence….and your confidence reflects in your beliefs and in the translation of the knowledge you gain… and I think when we tell kids about appropriateness, they start to move along conformity…they tend to understand a situation more than question it.
I am not a parent so I cant understand parents’ position, or suggest anything from an expert point of view, but I have been a kid of the kind who has been conscious of appropriateness… I always felt myself questioning myself only, and thinking a few times before saying something, while the world had moved on to the next subject already….I am in my mid twenties now…and it has taken a lot of effort to try and lower down the voice of appropriateness in my head… although I understand the importance of it, given we are a part of this society and we must know the ethics of being in one… but IF we are so ethical, morally correct and on a good behavior with others generally, then our children will automatically learn to be that way…then why worry!
So let your kids speak their heart out; their heads shouldn’t have moral police sirens ringing in them all the time, drowning down their real inner voice…always stuck between the rights and wrongs of it…I don’t want that they realize after time has passed that they should’ve taken some action instead of sitting there thinking if this is right or wrong …
If anything, lets try measuring the degree of honesty we can take…If anything, lets do some ‘work out’ to redefine our threshold level.
A really good friend had been going through some problem for a while… couldn’t work up the courage to tell to some very important people… It’s something she couldn’t keep avoiding for life too, because some action had to be taken, and she had to initiate the process all by herself, hoping things may take a turn in her favor automatically,knowing they won’t. I know how hard it has been for her, taking it all alone..without any support by her side to confront all those who matter. On and off, she’d be sharing with me, and keep getting advice from me…but a few days earlier I refused to give in to her fears anymore, so I pushed her into it, outlining the whole plan, she agreed because she knew deep (and shallow) inside that this is the right thing…. right time, there never was!… So I kept texting over the weekend to keep her in the now-or-never ( and ‘never’ being not even an option) frame of mind that its time! and to give her all the support in my capacity… Turned out, she spoke up, and some heard, if not all, but she did initiate a process that could change things for her, she took life in her hands, and I am proud of her…
I received a thank you text today for the twentieth time since then..enough already woman, with my hero self smiling all the way…but this time she also said that this step meant more than just saying something, it meant courage which she thinks is beginning to develop now. Excited I told her to just thank God, she needed help, HE sent it…where I am just glad I was a part of this process, He chose me to be of use, and that too to someone like her…. and why did I say someone like her? I thought about it immediately…and here s my little story.
I had always been into singing, alot of people around me would tell me I sang really good, out of whom, ofcourse family is to be ignored they exaggerate, friends, split into two categories: one, those who appreciated and said I sang great were always ignored because they…what?.. exaggerate… good!… two, those who would make fun of my singing, for either my choice of songs, or the ability…they were the real friends, because they said what others couldn’t, they made me feel not-so-good-enough for a change, and without noticing got hold of my weak point, to break free of what I needed courage…. some three years passed and I met a person who I could have those fun light positive chats with, and who one’d like to meet more often…so this new friend being a recognized musician at college, randomly not just encouraged me but pushed for the auditions of some classical singing event taking place…and I agreed because deep (and shallow) inside me I knew this is what I wanted, it was already senior year, I knew it was now or never (and ‘never’ not being an option ), I went for it…and I still remember the night of the event, the audience cheering and giving a round of applause for…me…my singing…WOW… you know whats WOW-er, the audience included all the people who once would make fun of my singing :)… that right there gave me a moment of realization: that I have to perform my bit in this world, that others are just an audience, ready to condemn at some point, ready to appreciate at another, but I have to do my bit, there is no running away. And an even bigger realization that God sends help through some people, who push you across your boundary of fear, and on the other side of that boundary courage is waiting to meet you.
Once, I was on this side of that boundary, and my friend pushed me…and now she was on this side…and I am so lucky that I lead someone like her on to that other side.
Would you call it karma? …. may be its just friendship!…What do you think?