The Conflict

It is disturbing.

The conflict between Israel and Palestine has now stormed into the compounds of one of the holiest sites of three world religions- The Al-Aqsa mosque.

Stock photo- Al-Aqsa mosque, East-Jerusalem.

The pictures and videos of the raid have been disturbing as they have always been in the class between the two parties since 1946. But this time, seeing the police beat Palestinians who are praying in the mosque has been heart-aching.

What disturbs me more is the way the powers of the world have been quiet through the more than 7 decades. It’s been more than 7 decades! And people are dying in the conflict! The Uno cards seem to be more powerful than the global organisation of the same name.

Many people are pouring in their support towards the Palestinians. Many are even showing support to Israel.

The support towards Palestine is understandable. They have been removed from their homes and have, through the years, had to give up everything of theirs to the Israeli forces. They don’t have money or any legit security force to even stand in front of the highly advanced and well-equipped forces of the occupying Israelis. They deserve your support and prayers. They need it.

On the other hand, you have Israel– the State which has one of the most advanced militaries in the world with all kinds of weapons in their arsenal which are being put to use on the stone-pelting Palestinians. They have the best banking system in the world and thrive with immense businesses and power. Why would they need support from you? Or anyone?

Check the maps of the region through the years. And tell me, who is being oppressed and who needs support? (Source: MSNBC)

The history is open to read for anybody willing to. You’ll even find newspapers dating back to 1946 if you walk into a decent library. So I’m not gonna talk about that. I’m gonna talk about today.

Today, as of 12th May, 2021, 2 people have been killed in Israel by rockets launched by Hamas- the independent militant group of the Gaza strip in response to the raid at Al-Aqsa mosque. The Israeli forces launched an air raid on the Gaza strip in retaliation, and 28 Palestinians (including 8-9 kids) have died. Israel says it’s the militants who have died; The Palestine says civilians died, too.

Among the 2 people killed inside Israel, one was an Indian. And the Israeli embassy in India has talked to comfort the family of the woman in India.

The conflict is clearly an apartheid by the stronger force. The issues are that places of religious importance are being turned into battlegrounds, innocent worshippers are beaten, and the humanitarian crisis doesn’t seem to end. There is no remorse or apologies post innocent-killings of dozens and hundreds by either side. The arrogance of the Israeli Prime Minister is harsh, pathetic and disgusting.

And if you fail to see it and acknowledge it, I feel pity towards your disability to understand.

Speak and Pray for humanity.

Pray for the needy.🙏

.

Peace. ☘️

Stay Safe India

Stock photo

Hi readers. I haven’t been posting these days. Honestly, I am finding hard to write on a topic.

Things have been worrisome in India. If you stay here or follow the global news, you must be aware of the 400,000+ Covid cases rising everyday. And that’s just the “official data” that the government has given, the real numbers are hidden and more.

Let me give brief description of a day in India in April, 2021 if you don’t know of it:

You wake up from the sleep and check your phone to get to know more people have died in the past 24 hours due to Covid than ever.

All your social media feeds are filled with people posting about the need of beds and oxygen supplies.

The politicians and the government continue to hold mass gatherings in name of elections and rallies and whatnots– completely ignoring the misery of the thousands panicking and dying in illness.

The twitter and Facebook authorities block and censor the users posting about the need of beds, medicine and O2– all of which are being extremely overpriced by the black market.

You get a call from someone you know, asking if you know anyone who can donate plasma– or worse, that their family members/friends have died.

Twitter: 1st May, 2021

It’s extremely worrisome and hectic. It’s chaotic and cumbersome.

Yet, where lockdowns are imposed or not, people are roaming around without properly worn masks. Some even carry their little kids out, unmasked, into the crowded marketplaces to get groceries.

It worries me so much. Don’t they know what’s happening around? Don’t they read the news? Don’t they love their families?

How can you, being an adult, right-minded parent, be so irresponsible of your child?

To that, if you question them, or even if you ask them why aren’t they wearing a mask, they’ll answer this-

"Bhagwan/Allah bachane wala hai. Zindagi-maut toh usi ke haath mein hai"

Translation: “God is the savior. Life-death are only in His hands.”

I become speechless as they walk past me back into the crowd.

.

Answer me this: can you take the blame for murdering someone you know?

If not, then please stop this stupidity.

To whoever reading this, I beg you to use some common sense and do the right thing by following the protocols correctly. To you, your life might not be very precious, but for some, it is. And your carelessness can get many others onto deathbeds.

Mask up when you go out or stay indoors. And for the sake of whatever you love the most, DO NOT KILL OTHERS by your irresponsible attitude.

Thank you. Stay safe.

Peace.☘️

Sabr- Patience

source: stock

“Good things come to those who wait.”

The above line on patience is well known. Yet, it remains a challenge to see people imbibe it in their own lives.

The younger generations seem to have an excessive difficulty in following it, yet we are the ones who need it more than our boomer parents.

“Sabr” is an Arabic word translating literally to ‘patience’ which is much used by the desi parents to their kids.

I can go on to talk about the importance of sabr in the religious texts and traditional beliefs of the society but who’s kidding? You’re not gonna read that! So, I’ll talk about us.

We have been spoilled with the world at our tips. We all own atleast one device with internet connection and we often spend most of our hours engaging with it, and let’s face it– we don’t like to wait to get anything done.

Yet, we are the generation who has been affected by two recessions– the 2008, and the 2020. Agreed that some have made big in these times, for the majority of us, it has been a setback.

source: tenor

The two “once in a lifetime” recessions meant that a lot of us had to take another year off from taking that leap to work on our plans, another layoff, another year to wait for the university, another year before that grand marriage, another year to wait for that dream overseas vacation.

Sabr should be more important to us than to any of the older generations. It’s important to let ourselves take a breath of hope and let the things be as they are. Let the worries flow as we go through.

source: pinterest

An old friend once said something I’ll quote here:

“Asif, stop being so hard on yourself. You can only control what you can.”

And really. Tell me, can we control the times we go through? We can’t, right? So why do we stress ourselves so much– physically and mentally to turn it around in our favour?

Sometimes, it’s hard to, but we need to understand that we can only control little that is in our hands. And when things aren’t, we must just try to stick through with our daily routine towards the bigger goal and just go through the time.

And about the #fomo, you know what? 5,10,15 years down the line, it won’t matter. It’s important to work towards our goals– buying that house, or that dream car, or getting your start-up established. But remember the quote I opened this blog with:

“good things come to those who wait.”

And honestly man, if it doesn’t make you wait a bit more, is it really worth it?

source: tenor

Peace.☘️

Self care

Hello, dear readers! How have you all been? I’ve been busy with my end semester exams and assignments these days (some are still ongoing), hence I was unable to find time to blog.

In this blog, I’ll write about something that’s important but hardly talked about- self care.

Most people are of the notion that self care primarily involves being selfish. However, while certain aspects require you to stand up for yourself over entertaining others, it isn’t selfish altogether.

Why should you practice self-care?

In one sentence- “because you are worth it”.

Recall the many people, roles and responsibilities you take care of everyday– taking care of your kids, your parents, your siblings, your bills, your studies/career/job/household, your SOs, your pets, your friends, your property, and what not!

Doesn’t the care taker also require to take care of himself/herself?– Of course, yes!

Self care makes you feel good about yourself and that instills a sense of happiness in yourself. And only when you are happy with yourself, you are able to make others happy around you and take better care of them.

How to practice self-care?

This varies from person to person. If you ask me to summarise it:

Self care is, primarily, the art and responsibility of taking care of yourself and doing things that keep “you” happy.

Below listed are certain activities that you can perform to practice self-care:

  • Eat healthy or things that you love.
  • Treat yourself with a rejuvenating spa, a facial, a nice haircut, or a manicure.
  • Have an ice-cream with a brownie.
  • Watch your favourite movie/tv show in peace.
  • Pray/meditate/excercise/do yoga– alone or with the community.
  • Call your bestfriend/loved ones and talk about random things. You may visit them, too!
  • Pop some bubble-wraps.
  • Get a power nap.

Remember- it just needs to be something that makes you happy. And shouldn’t take much of thinking.

Just give yourself a break, and chill for a moment.

Peace!☘️

Hope

One day, I’ll be healed.

I don’t know when that’ll happen- or if I’ll be healed at all.

Chances are that I may not. But something tells me that I will.

Eventually. Someday.

This pain that holds me, that feeds on my soul and drenches myself of me, everyday, in it’s own random pace, in fits and starts, would, one sunny day, be gone forever and shall never return.

One day, I’ll stop looking back at the paths I have walked past, stop looking down into the old pits where I’ve dwelled in despair, and run with gait in the present tread, joyously towards the promise of a happy, non-volatile future.

Someday, these bruises on my memory shall cure and conceal and it’ll sting no more to remind me of their existences begone.

That day, I’ll laugh– wholeheartedly and genuinely. I’ll cry– and I’ll scream and shout at the joy of being able to feel.

Because it’s been really long. This misery, this pain, this wrench– it’s stayed for years now. And despite the efforts, they seem to keep on increasing all this while. They’ve definitely overstayed their stay; to such that they have now started to address me as their home– I’m not.

I’m not what I am going through. I’m not what consumes me. Beneath it all, beneath these tentacles and shackles of the yearnings and their causes, there still is a child of the soul, holding on, fighting with all he has got. He’s wounded. He’s crying. But he’s not giving up.

He is alive. And so is the hope–

Tiny David shall slay the Giant.

Someday. One day. Eventually.

Cost of Miscommunication

Today I want to apologise.🙏

If you’ve read my blog on “Apologies in the modern day“, you’d have also known of the personal example I gave there.

A couple of days ago, I happened to talk to one of those people. And after the talks I realised what miserable deed I had performed.

I presumed that they were partying when I was sulking. But the truth was far from what I knew— A friend had some serious issues and was low. The others gathered around him for support and put up a cheering little environment to make him feel better.

I apologised to them right away and am apologising to them again via this blog. I wrote about that in my blog so the apology also requires to be public.

I'm really ashamed and apologetic of the miscommunication and my words which may have hurt you. I felt absolutely terrible when I got to know of the truth and still feel apologetic. 

I'm really sorry.
🙏

This incident tells us how dangerous miscommunication and misinformation can be.

And if someone reads my blog seriously and looks up to it, I’ve some requests to you-

I request you all to consider communicating and talking about something with someone before we conclude anything.

And please, NORMALISE THE CLEARING OUT OF MISCOMMUNICATIONS. 🙏

Let’s normalise the act of going out of our way and “talking” over the topic that has bugged/ troubled you.

Agreed, it is easier to just hold back and conclude. But it isn’t justified. Remember that the person and the relationship you have with the person is worth much more than your pride and misinformation.

Also, if someone walks upto you to try to clear out something that they felt bad about you, please be the bigger person and understand that it takes immense trust and courage to come up to talk about something. Don’t judge them or foul talk behind their backs. They chose you over their pride and walked that extra mile to keep you intact in their lives.

Remember- the world needs kindness and the relationships are worth much more than we often value.

Forgive. 🙏

To The One,

Dear ………………,

Hi. I’m Ted Mosby. I know you don’t know me right now. But someday you will. Someday we’ll meet and you’ll know me and we’ll fall in love. It’ll be the best thing that has ever happened to either of us and unlike all the other times, this time it’ll stay. All of this, is just I-don’t-know-how-many years away. However, I’m here, writing you this letter today in the February of 2021– on the eve of Valentine’s day.

It’s been some 6-7 years since I’ve been searching for you– in places, in people, in cafés, in faces. All this while, I have kept running into wrong people and kept loosing pieces of me to them as they separated. To fill up the void, I had to take new things to make up for the lost pieces of myself.


Today, I am hardly 10% of what I was made of 7 years ago. Today, I’m mostly an amalgamation of my lessons and upgradations I instilled in me over the years. I don’t know how I’d regrow the 10% of my old self. I don’t even know if it’s possible to do so. But I shall keep all the precautions to contain this little piece of me carefully for you, for us.

Agreed, that today I am a way matured individual and am in many aspects better than who I was. Someone told me that you need to be ready to welcome important people. 7 years have readied me much, and if it’s required, time shall ready me further more before you announce your arrival into my life.

But you know, this old 10% is precious. It has my childishness, my innocence and my beliefs–
including the belief that gives me hope you that you’re still out there, somewhere in the world, pacing towards me as I am moving towards you, day by day, in one of the many strange ways of the Universe, as quickly as possible– the belief that there still is a chance at a love that stays.

A major part of me compels me to think of the practicalities of the world and tries to make me surrender to the idea that it isn’t necessary to find you. Like it makes other practical answers to taxation and politics.
But somehow, that little kid of 10% strength still holds on to the swords and subdues the Giant of practicality. I guess, that’s the power of hope– it slays humongous Giants by tiny feathers of miracles.

I just wanted you to know that, while today I know nothing of your whereabouts or when we shall unite, I am with you. On all of these days. On each of them- happy or sad, dull or fresh. Because I love you. I’m always going to love you, ’til the end of my days and beyond. You’ll see.


And I shall be with you forever– and if possible, to beyond. Because what I know for sure is that we’re gonna be the best things to happen to each other and no matter what, we never get enough of anything that is good and I need these extra days with you.

For today, I wish you a happy valentine’s day and I hope to reach as quickly as possible to you so that we can have the rest of our lives as the best of our lives.

Yours already and for ever,

Ted E. Mosby.

How I’ll spend Valentine’s day 2021

Hello, beautiful readers! I hope you’re all doing well.

February is here. The month of love and valentine’s. I’m sure you all have some great plans in mind for the valentine’s day and are already celebrating the week leading up to it.

And in case you don’t have a plan or a valentine, you can read my blog! (laughing wink emoji).

So, here’s what I (a single individual) have in mind for the day:





1. Sleep till the noon

Having valentine’s day on a Sunday is a boon for both the couples as well as for us single people. No online classes, no WFH, no office visits means there’s no reason to wake up early. Sleep till you want. Anand hi anand!

2. Enjoy Brunch

or the late breakfast, if you wanna call it. The point is, who cares! I can eat whatever I want and call it anything I want. Poha in milk? Daal puri with jam? Mutton nihari? Who knows! I haven’t decided on the menu yet.

3. Watch some movies

I watched Joaquin Phoenix starrer “Her” a few days ago and it was beautiful. I am thinking of re-watching Ranbir Kapoor starrer “Barfi!” & “Rockstar” on the day. Or maybe just random episodes of HIMYM!

4. Nap peacefully

Cold day, warm blanket and a sweet nap. Do I need to say anything else?

5. Enjoy warm coffee and a pizza

Devour a box of cheesy pizza with a creamy, frothy hot coffee in dim lights and-

6. Listen to Ustad NFAK’S gems

I don’t judge people normally, but if you are a desi and don’t value Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab’s work, kindly don’t let me know that or you may not hear from me again. Ustad sahab is an emotion and is not just any other musician.

Check out my favourite NFAK's gems here.

7. Check instagram and sleep peacefully

Once it’s bed time, I know I would check the stories and posts of people in my IG and maybe I’ll feel down for a moment. But then, I hope I’d recall how happy and content I am on my own and doze off to end a Happy Valentine’s Day.

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- The “ShehenShah e Qawwali”

I don’t think there’s any desi person who doesn’t know the name of this legend.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab was born in a qawwal family in Punjab where his father, Fateh Ali Khan sahab wanted him to become a doctor or an engineer as Qawwals were not respected in the society. Thankfully, he chose to continue the family business and went on to become the most celebrated Qawwal anyone has ever known.

You can google the achievements this legend triumphed in his short life, on your own. But to give you an idea, he was called “Budai” (the Singing Budhha) in Japan.

Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab's songs are like wine. The older it gets, the better it tastes. ☘️

-Not to mention, as you age with newer experiences everyday, you understand the songs even more.

Here are some songs by the legend that I’m hooked to these days:

• SAADGI TOH HAMARI ZARA DEKHIYE

A qawwali that pierces through your heart while healing it, “Saadgi toh hamari zara dekhiye,” is an excellent work by a gem of a lyricist. If you hear the complete 18 odd minutes long qawwali, you’ll be humming it for days on repeat!

Personal favourite lines:

Zikr ek bewafa aur sitamgar ka tha.
Aapka aysi baaton se kya vaasta?
Aap toh bewafa aur sitamgar nahi,
Aap ne kis liye muh udhr kr liya?”

• SOCHTA HUN (DEKHTE DEKHTE)

Maybe you have heard Atif Aslam’s version of Dekhte Dekhte, and stumbled upon this gem while searching the newer one and have been admiring the khyaal of the Ustaad eversince, like me. Or maybe you got it in your recommendations by the YouTube algorithm.

Either way, when you hear the original, you realise what quality of a qawwali it is.

Personal favourite lines:

"Gayr ki baat tasleem kya kijiye,
Ab toh khud pr bhi humko bharosa nahi.
Apna saaya samajhte the jinko kabhi,
Wo juda ho gaye dekhte dekhte."

•LIKH DIYA APNE DAR PE KISI NE

This is the latest gem I’ve discovered from the Maestro, and boy, oh boy! I love it!

I don’t think I’ll be able to say much about it other than it resonates beautiful in today’s time of hookups and ONS where love is rarer than ever. Go and listen to it yourself.

Favourite lines are as follows:

Humne ki arz "ae banda-parvar,
Kyun sitam dha rhe ho ye humpar?"

Baat sunnkr hmari wo bole:
"Humse takraar krna mana hai"

•DILLAGI

I found this one when Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Nusrat sahab’s nephew released his version of it. I searched for the bollywood version and downloaded  this one by mistake and now Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s song seems tasteless.

The best part of the Qawwali is the sargam. You don’t need to understand urdu to appreciate an immaculate sargam.

Personal favourite lines:

“jo ulfat mein har ek sitam hai gawarah,
Ye sbkuch hai haasil wafa tumse warna.

Satatey ho din-raat jis tarah mujhko,
Kisi gair ko yun sata kr toh dekho.”

• SOME VERY HONOURABLE MENTIONS:

  • Mast Nazron se Allah bachaye
  • Hai Kahan ka Irada tumhara sanam
  • Mast Qalandar
  • Afreen Afreen
  • Ye jo Halka Halka Suroor hai

In the end, I’ll like to apologise sincerely as I know my humble blogpost is no match to contain the praises of an absolute LEGEND of Legends. Gustakhi maaf!🙏

(P.S.: the names have been enlisted randomly and in no way is indicative of the beauty of the Maestro’s art.)

Apologies in the Modern Day

Hello dear readers.


About a week ago, I was teaching this lesson to my student from his English stories book. The book’s name was “A magical place 6” by Orient Blackswan publications and the lesson was called “The Musical Pigeon” by Gerald Durell.

(The first page of the story)

The story was about a pet pigeon with a peculiar taste towards music and dancing. It did not know how to fly so he used to follow his masters by walking around.

(a picture from the tale)

It was a cute little story designed well for the tender mind of its 12 year old readers. What paragraph stayed with me, a 24 year old, was this:

It made me question the worth of apology in today’s world. That little dumb creature couldn’t speak a word but his apology was felt nonetheless. It seemed to be expressing with everything it had how sorry it was to make its human angry. It stayed at the door, begging for apology for its folly in its own cooing ways- by looking inside the room with its tiny eyes.
All of this not because it understood what it did, (Of course, how would a bird understand what a map or inkpot is?) but because it understood that whatever it was, its human didn’t like it and was upset about it. Hence the apology.

I reflected it in my own terms. I have people around me and I have my bunny. If my bunny does something to which I need to be strict, she’d understand and try to apologise by bowing her head down and licking my hand most vigorously in a characteristic manner. To appease me to forgive her.

The humans around me– well…
Let me ask you two simple questions:


Question 1: How often do you say sorry in a day?


Question 2: How many of those sorries do you remember by the night?

I feel pretty sorry about the use of “sorry” in our day to day conversations.

Sorry was a word derived from “sorrow” to express the state of guilt and sorrow of someone towards someone else in response to a sad situation the concerned person is in (put by the person expressing the apology, or by some other person). Today, it seems to have become just another word in our lingo.

Scenario 1: You are rushing to the metro. Your elbow hurts a commuter. You shout a “sorry!” with or without turning your head and board the train in time. 15 minutes later, you don’t even remember the incident or the person. You didn’t even bother to ask if they were okay. You just said sorry and rushed away.

Scenario 2: You are having a good time hanging out with your friends. You are happy and everyone’s having a good time. Some underprivileged person puts his hand to you asking for some change. You say sorry and move ahead with your group. Five minutes later you don’t remember someone had asked you for help.

Scenario 3: You are at the college or your work space. And being the heart of the group, you crack a joke on a colleague and laugh out loud with everyone else. You say, “sorry, not sorry!” and you all cherish the good time. Even right after laughing, you don’t realise you said a sorry.

Simple experiment: count the number of times you say “sorry” in a day.

If you say a lot of sorries and you don’t even realise until you started counting, you are amongst the ones who have devalued it. And if you don’t say sorry at all, I’m sorry for you.

I don’t know who needs to know this, but: a sorry losses its weight everytime it is repeated to someone, while forgiving a person time and again gets heavier.

Yeah. It’s my own quote. I learnt it the hard way.

I recently forgave an ex bestfriend for something which was pretty tough on me, even when I had all the reason not to.

Their apologies were shallow with respect to the action they committed and it hurt me immensely. I sometimes thought if they were feeling too guilty to come up to apologise. But that was cleared when the pictures of them having fun with their company blasted on the social media stories.

They were enjoying when I had been continuously declining invitations and lamenting in my room– for months now. The guilt was definitely not there on their end. The apology was merely ‘said and done’ and was hardly felt.

So, I asked myself if I needed to hold onto my decision of not forgiving them and what significance it held.

It was pretty evident that it didn’t matter to them anymore. They had dusted off the topic and the apology and moved on with enjoying their lives. But it was not the same on this side.

I realised that my decision to hold onto my pain and the decision to hold my forgiveness was not bothering anyone else but me. It kept suffocating me and kept my heart feeling heavy. So I let go of it for myself. I sent them a voicemail to finish it off.

I forgave them. Not that their incomplete apologies were accepted, but because holding onto it was hurting me.

Nevermind. The point of this blog isn’t to tell you what happened to me but to give an insight of what apologies have come down to today.

Today, apologies are merely said than being felt. People seem to say “sorry” as if it’s just a duty to fulfill, they don’t feel the essence of it or try to understand what the other person is going through because of them.

I’ll quote something from TVF’s Official Bhootiyagiri:

You can’t ask an apology the size of a jacuzzi (tub) after committing a mistake the size of the Pacific Ocean.

If you can’t value the other person, atleast undertake the responsibility to understand the weight of your deeds and it’s corresponding apologies. Because if you don’t do it, your apologies feel more like a mockery.

And please, for the sake of whatever higher being you believe in, remember that your actions have an effect on other people around you– whether you realise it or not.

Peace.

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