Nationalism has no religion

I am an Indian, part of a country that identifies itself as the largest democracy in the world. Known for its multi-ethnicity, I grew up knowing unity in diversity. And I refuse to give up my identity of being an Indian, being a part of a secular nation, being able to celebrate festivals year-round from Diwali to Eid to Christmas, all one some or none. I refuse to be questioned about my interests in favour of my nation. I might be born in a minority, but my heart holds as big a love for my country as the self-proclaimed nationalists might have or maybe more. 

My love for this nation is in the service I intend to render within my professional capacities. I might not be serving on the borders but with all due respect, I intend to build a nation where people work honestly and justify their jobs. We are after all a part of the social cycle with each one meant to be doing a job. I, therefore, intend to draw my salary with a heart knowing that I didn’t bypass my duties towards the job I have taken, knowing that I paid my taxes honestly.

My nationalism is in the idea of no corruption, no exploitation. From not bribing for the smallest things like a train seat to not hoarding money and land by wrong means for another few generations to come. My idea of nationalism is to raise that coming generation to serve the people of this country born to whatever religion, to respect fellow human beings, to be kind to everyone, to smile when you see your neighbours, to be hard-working individuals, to preserve the heritage and nature that constitutes this beautiful country. My idea of nationalism is to conserve the resources we are endowed with in light of fair share for future generations.  

I can be of any faith, and proudly so but I will be an Indian the day I don’t litter the roads and neighbourhoods with the filth of my existence in all the possible ways. Filth like the garbage that I do not twice think before springing on to my physical environment, filth of my bigoted narrow mindedness which differentiates between which neighbour I want to live with based on whether they adorn a white, a saffron or a green attire, filth of my attitude when I teach my kids to not share their lunchboxes with so and so kids, filth of my heart where I secretly and pompously rejoice in inflicting harm upon certain section of society, filth of my pseudo-intellectualism where I mistreat people below me in notion of superiority, where I underpay my househelp and not think twice for blaming her of theft for a misplaced item at my home. 

I refuse to be questioned by such nationalists who wrongly occupy lands flouting many norms and rights of many people to build institutes, hospitals, hotels and so on. I refuse to accept you as Messiahs of nationalism. Don’t say that you hoisted a flag this 15th August and proved your love for this nation. Say it the day when you worked towards the right to equality of the countrymen. I refuse to accept people who are abusive, violent, dishonest, corrupt, blinded by warped believes to be torchbearers of nationalism.

It is the idea of freedom, fairness and judiciousness, right over wrong, beyond the vices of lies, painted in colours of different identities existing homogenously, the idea of servitude and awareness that I want to represent as a nationalist.

I will claim myself to be a nationalist the day I identify what is amiss in the conduct of the country, where every individual holds himself responsible for wellbeing of its nation. Where it is simply not an indicator of any heroic image to play blame game and debate which government to choose. I won’t identify myself as a nationalist failing to prevent the country die a death in hands of dirty many things because I as an individual didn’t want to bring to action the heavy weighted claims I made on the social media platforms, in evening gatherings over tea.

My nationalism is not about sharing multiple posts on social media hurling abuses on humans named differently to me or my religion, it is about every tiny inconspicuous action that I take towards humanitarian causes, towards environmental awareness, towards peace and love that I say makes me a nationalist. And I dare say, these things will percolate beyond borders, beyond food habits, beyond lifestyles, beyond names or identities. I want to identify to that nationalism. My nationalism has no religion indeed!

Happy Independence Day 2019. Be the change you want to see in this country!

Kind of your own kind

I am writing this neither to brag nor to prove anything but to strengthen something I have lived by and believed in wholeheartedly. For those who know me, and those who do not, this is not my ‘holier-than-thou’ rant. This is something I want the world to know. This is my voice for all the small things that make the world a better place, and us a little better person.

So when I reply to your messages with an extra smiley, I am not, I am not being too easy but just being very very kind. Because I believe in kindness that ranges from a smile to a mile or more.

When I meet you for the first time and seem too friendly. And you want to call it too needy, just know it is all about love. I don’t need anything from you when I say a gentle hello, or give you a smile, or return a hug or even exchange numbers. I don’t believe in doing good in expectations of return. There are enough people out there just befriending you for that reason, I have never been and will never be one of those. I will make you a friend to keep you in all walks of life. And if we happen to just know each other, I will still be one thing i.e. kind.

And when I stand for you, despite being bullied or bulldozed by your acts, knowing how much you hate me, don’t take me to be too weak. Nor was I trying to be simply good or come to terms with you, it was because I don’t like injustice prevailing.  I am just someone who believes in speaking my mind for right no matter for whom. Know that if I do believe in something and you are on the same side of the line, we will be on it together!

If I message you 2am in the morning suddenly ‘coz something of your benefit crossed my head, don’t feel that I should just get a life. Well, in fact, this is what my life is about, being helpful no matter how insignificant.

The time I question the norms, the ones that are oppressive and offensive, don’t see me as arrogant. I have long heard that name, I am but a fighter.

And when I give my heart soul blood sweat whatever it takes to a job, I am not a nerd, not even workaholic. Maybe I am not even passionate, but really really dutiful, because we will still need such people to run the earth when robots take over. And I like to do it with my heart and soul, it fetches me some good night’s sleep!

I don’t congratulate either to just do it, I mean it when I say I am happy for you. I really am because I have learned to be happy for myself above all. You, you or you, none of your success, happiness bothers me or makes me insecure. I have learned to be thankful for whatever my small world has.

And know that when someone bullying you affected me, and I stood for you, I wasn’t being heroic. It is my take on something I had wanted someone to do for me once.

Or if you thought, me not questioning you stealing my work or calling you out in public, is what made me vulnerable, well I believed in your bigger image than that act. I believed also in second chances.

And when I do not respond to your meanness the same way, know that I am not foolish. I know every damn time you cross me, I am also not illusioned, all I try to do is not be you.

So when you see me do something, don’t you see me with glasses of bias, which all of us have so conveniently used that it is now a part of our vision. For once, put those glasses off and see me exactly for what I do. Good or Bad!

I am very very binary that way! There are no shades to me when it comes to goodness, either you are good or you simply aren’t.

I have believed in words making a difference, a smile making it easy for someone, a gesture changing the mood, a kind act being very uplifting. I am ready to see the world go berserk, go badass, go selfish. I still would like to heal it in my own little ways. You can call me names, I will still be the light people seek in darkness, a log for the drowning, that last train which takes you home, a little joy that comes from money in the pocket of an old jacket, that everything little and subtle.

Be kind!

P.S.

Let’s just say this world should not become a place where being an influencer is easier than being kind!

A big cheer to everyone out there who think their acts of goodness go unnoticed!!

I know no changes

Screenshot_20180903-000721__01I know no changes, I don’t like them either,
Outgrowing on promises once made,
Rewriting memories with new people,
And then rewriting them with more new ones.

School to college to the office,                      Things people, relations and the bonds,      Their value, place, affection, and the importance,                                                                I don’t like outgrowing on any of these.

I stick to the words people said, I like to believe they will remember them too. I am fond of relations that keep the fragrance alive in years, of those who may embrace new people in their lives, but still value the old ones. For with these old ones we lived those moments, made numerous memories, filled slam books, diaries flooding with promises to be there forever no matter what. And then we walked on our own paths, faced our own struggles, and let go of the old ones like they were added burden to life. For most foolish reasons, I don’t find this letting go so easy. I love people and when I do I want to keep them forever. There isn’t living in the moment for me, I don’t believe in out of sight out of mind, I seek the longest talks until the heart brims with emotions, honest bondings over the weakest moments. I know not letting go, loving half-heartedly, being okay!

I do not like to make friends, confide in them, be their confidant just to move on to make new ones. Of course, I equally love meeting new people, knowing them, befriending them but not to let go of the ones who meant life sometime somewhere. It is why I don’t like changes, they inevitably change people. The ones who saw us grow, who were the part of change but when it happened they, ironically, were no longer there. Sometimes distance changes them, sometimes they change the priorities, sometimes they really didn’t mean the things they said and sometimes you change too much for them.

But some of them will stick around, in your changed version or theirs, they will still say the same things they once used to. The words will ring the same rhythm in heart and add the same music to life with people like them around. I like these people. I love them for the integrity of soul and heart. I know for a fact that they make efforts known and unknown to keep the warmth going, they overrule the differences that grow with time and distance. They are the ones who will keep coming back to look for you, they will warm your heart everytime you talk or meet, they will help you smile in sad times, and make you laugh on silly jokes. They will be your guide, they will be the crybaby too, they will value exact reasons year after year to keep you in their heart and life and they will be honest then, now and forever.

Forever is my thing. And this is exactly why I know no changes!

Self Doubt

Reiterating from a recent incident, I had a presentation in a conference a few days back. And as much as I love the stage and talking and facing an audience, I in my opinion totally ruined it. Although I have a couple of justifications for why the things happened the way they did, a lot of introspection made me realize it all happened because for some reason self-doubt crept in me.

So usually when I am crisp and clear about my points during presentations, talks and all, someone picked on me in front of the whole audience stating not to beat around the bush and waste time as soon as I got on stage before I even started speaking. Well for firsts, my paper was duly reviewed and shortlisted by a panel with probably something in foresight that found it worthy to be presented or at least I assumed so. Second, no one travels so far, sparing days from a bundled schedule to talk through one’s hat and even if someone does hospitality at your end demands dignity. But since I was not ready to face a situation like this my thoughts got ruffled. As much as the pinpointing made me nervous, there was a bigger latent force that led to what followed as an irresolute voice and presentation. And this force was me already questioning my worth which let him take over my mind. The external and unworthy and undeserving and non-existent sources only affected me because I questioned my worth.

I believe there are no apologies to rudeness and there is no excuse for failures. While I had no command on the first one, I definitely had an unprecedented control over the second. So, I knew I have read well before writing the paper and had worked hard on the presentation, practiced and rehearsed the things even anticipating an applauding audience. And practically when nothing was absolutely flawed in my efforts, there was one thing which kept on making me question them. I could not completely accept that it was a good effort, that it was also okay if I missed on something and it was acceptable if not everyone in the audience agreed. But since I was presenting a review paper and there were other people presenting their own research, I found myself in the middle of questioning if what I got was good enough to compete.

Self-doubt and lack of self-worth took over me and absolutely wrecked my brain to fall victim to that last nail in the coffin. I felt terribly bad after the presentation since so much effort had gone into it but I learned much more from it- First, never undermine yourself and your efforts if you had sincere intentions to start with. Second, take over your subconscious mind. And note this, it is such a powerful tool that it would do magic if you learn to. So start believing, envisioning an applauding audience for real. Picture yourself taking over everyone else, imagine best that your endeavours have to offer. Third, build a shield around you that nothing on a professional front attacks you personally. So no matter who so ever tries to pull you down, you know your worth is so much more than their doubts about you and above all your doubts about yourself. And last but perhaps the most important, the excuses might balm an ailing heart for some time, but healing comes from within and that shall come with acceptance of being flawed. Feel proud of yourself that failure is but the first attempt in learning and it doesn’t matter if you fail or win, what matters is you gave your best shot and made sincere efforts.

So here it is to everyone who has had a similar experience. Here is to failures and flaws that we need to embrace. Here is to efforts that make us worthy and here is to success that is not so far. Cheers!!

A friend in heaven

As usual days there were usual talks and updates on the group about everyone’s whereabouts. This particular group is special because it only brings out the best in each one, it doesn’t judge you at any moment and you are sure you will get the fairest advice here. Like all days we talked and told different routine stuff laughing, sharing and loving. I was off to Kerala, Fareya submitting her thesis, Jowairiah busy with kids, studies and so was everyone else occupied in one thing or the other. And then she messaged us to pray for her because she wasn’t feeling very well. She informed of the miscarriage she had and how she was now travelling to Delhi from her in-laws’ place. I was low on the network so just read and could not reply. Rest of them replied to her and assured she is going to be fine. It was just another message where we share and pray and things go fine. But this time it wasn’t the plan, next evening almost 24 hrs later I opened facebook only to find a post that Khursheed had left for her holy abode. To my dismay, it wasn’t acceptable and I picked my phone quickly to message in the group hoping it was not my Khursheed. But He had bigger plans, and we had lost her. Little would my words do justice to what the loss meant to us or to her family, it only left everyone numb enough to even register what just happened.

I cannot begin writing how much I loved her, how dear she was to my heart or no matter if I had not seen her in years, her image of a happy and ever smiling face lasts in front of me as her only image. I can recall the first time I met her, I went to our temporary accommodations where she was residing and I posed to be a senior only to rag her for fun. She did figure that out in a while and laughed so loud at it that I loved her more. Later to know that she became my first roommate as soon as we were allotted the rooms permanently. So officially becoming the first member of my family away from home. We went on to clean the room together, arranging beds and tables for the rest of our roommates to arrive. I never knew I would even write all this but now I want to, maybe all the details that my forgetful brain could remember, in her memory.

One thing extremely noticeable about her was she wore the smile of a kid from a distance whenever she would see you. And then she would adore you for absolutely negligible things making you feel great about urself every now and then. Sometimes she would get upset and come sit ask for your advice. And sometimes she would do the same mistake again only to come and tell you ‘Gussa mat hona’. Her laughter at small gestures was adorable, to say the least. And all those who have known her would undeniably say she was one of the most innocent people ever met. If you could call her beautiful inside out, indeed she was. Only that she didn’t know how beautiful she was. I am sure you were as beautiful as Heena Aapi or Moon Aapi (Her elder sisters). I am sure they would agree. Khursheed held a special place in everyone’s heart she met. She touched everyone’s lives very closely. There are very few people in this world who have a heart as pure as her- having no hard feelings against anyone, admiration, care, love, selflessly sharing attitude, genuinely wishing best for everyone.

When she wanted to move to another hostel in 12th from our hostel, I remember her being so tensed about disclosing this to us because she needed to hit reading room more than any of us ever did. And when she told us, like very mature, adult people, we accepted it without inhibitions. Or maybe we knew she would keep coming back to us the same way. And trust me latter happened to be true. Her room never really changed and she kept coming back to Old Wahidia Room No. 6 as always, only laughing at herself more to have even moved out in the first place.

She was our very own Shakespeare with all the dialogues on her tips. Every time she would enter the room, she would chant ‘Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears…I come here…’ And then you scold her for anything and she would chant again ‘My heart bleeds…’ She was a woman with a soft heart yet strong beliefs making her all the way more special. Taking things so easy on herself when you point something she needs to work on, accepting her flaws, and working for the betterment. Whenever we used to chat in the group she would always mistype words making us laugh at nothing and of course her. But my loveliest Khursheed laughed at herself with us. She was adorable in every little way.

I remember her talking loudly in the room and me getting angry at her coz I would wake up from the sleep, but then she would hug and kiss me as a way to apologize. Only that she never stopped talking loudly, and then her arguments about having body ache just not to go to school. But at the same time, putting day and night’s hard work to crack the medical entrance. I knew her befriending many people in the hostel, from batch mates to juniors to seniors than anyone of us could and becoming dear to all of them so easily. I am sure she made a lot of difference in everyone’s life and taught all of us some very valuable lessons in most innocent ways.

She was brave and loving. I remember her love for her father and brother and how much it hurt her to lose her father but what a brave front she had put to it. She was undoubtedly firm on faith and that is what kept her going. I am glad she chose right people in her journey and left behind the right ones to pray for her. I am thankful to Allah to have given me a chance of knowing her. If I will be half as pious as her it would be a blessing. I pray for her because she loved me with all her heart in my ups and downs, for she stood brave, for she was the most loving, hardworking, deserving person. She made a beautiful wife and a doting mother and it is hard to say what family must be going through now but I pray they find their share of peace and love.

I don’t know how to even put into words what has she left behind with us in our hearts but it is something we are going to treasure in her loving memory. I hope and pray where she is now is a much better place than this world. Missing would be a small word to put what it feels like to even think of her being gone and no longer commenting on that group. But what she has left behind is so much of goodness, it is definitely going to last long.

May your smile never fade, I love you a lot. We love you a lot Farah !!

P.S. I still have the card and gift you got me in Delhi. I am going to miss you sharing my blog posts always my fellow writer. The love you left will keep it all going. Rest in peace, my dearest friend.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un

“We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.”

HALL OF EXAMINATION – The tale of a gigantic gig!

Teaching has introduced me to the other side of the table as well. It has taken me to what you call the frontline of college time- an examination hall. Call it whatever, but once a performer is now some spectator there. And never have I ever seen so many spectrums of emotions, behaviour, aspirations as much as in an examination hall.

In here, a student teacher combat is full-fledged, you try to snatch a copy, pinpoint someone, or pass a cautioning stare and a great stock of expressions pile up from these virtuous creatures. Some even dare put a fight with an equally charged glance which would make you regret why did you even touch the answer booklet. Some would be too ashamed apparently ready to melt. Some would be unapologetically confident exercising their birthright to help or be helped. And some would smile as if you have caught them in the noblest of acts. Then few of them would be really nervous because no matter what you say these students just cheated because 97/100 was a shame man!

And then another lot would enjoy the sleep of their life, too unruffled to be shaken by the storm rising here. Some would simply stare at the blank on the wall configuring what to do with their lives that very moment. Some would urge to pee endlessly, their bladders almost bursting, rushing to washrooms to the rescue of hidden treasures. Return from there would be no lesser a victory if the cheat chits had what they wanted. Walking in like a triumphant, they would exchange glances with each eye in the hall and express the joy. Some fellow-seekers would even raise eyebrows as a hint to pass on the wisdom.

Few sincere ones would be engulfed writing so diligently as if the end of life was at the doorstep and your wife had you sign the cheque for shopping. Some who were awake the whole night cramming things would be regurgitating like anything, with pen racing faster than the fingers could hold, resulting in pure genius on answer sheets only amplifying nightmares of the teacher. Some would reassure that you aren’t looking at them while they take their chance to cheat. Alas, they fail miserably in cheating and otherwise too. Few spring out straight from a fashion parade or heading for a date later, caressing hair with utmost care, conscious while writing or leaning or looking around. They would also enjoy their moment of assertion when they catch you looking at them. Exams are too L.S. for this lot. Some would keep looking at the watch for the time to end, and some would write endlessly till the last second, last page and last drop of ink. They have so much to tell that a lifetime would be less. But then amongst these are some who have genuinely toiled through the semester to learn and excel.

And there will be so many new types with each invigilation duty that it is so exciting to know that you are now on the other side and past this trauma. You have rights to scold, shout or even dismiss without a pinch of guilt (or not so much). But as much as the students drag through each second of these three hours, you do even more helplessly. And in the end, all that is consolingly exciting about the duty in examination hall is witnessing these myriads of emotions.

#MeToo

Bathed in pity and daunted by shame,
Succumbing to an undone crime and unsought blame,
Expected to ignore, accept, forget and hide,
The silent cries, raging hurt, bruised soul and disturbed mind,
Girls as young as few months to women of ripening age,
Gazed, groped, harassed, assaulted, raped by men saintly and sage!

Playing in the lawn a guard particularly liked her frock and apron falling on the chest, and the baby girl thought someone adored her frock. Somewhere in the school, a teacher made leering comments about donning a bikini in sports week and a grown-up her thought it was some weird sense of humour because guru’s morals were not to be questioned. Somewhere amidst adolescence dancing on a friend’s birthday, she found a friend’s father cutting through the angles of her body. It felt outrageous but then they said ‘respect your elders’. At home in a function, an uncle acted asleep in the nearby room until when she woke up to find him groping her breasts and sliding his hands under her dress. In College she found a casanova staking her body and pride, so did a workplace where a middle-aged man watched porn secretly on his work desk and in the copy room where they discussed the types of women in the office (of course their bodies and clothes because who cared they could also be educated and achievers). On her way back from tuition someone hit her hard on her butts on that street where she grew up playing. On the way to her friend’s house, a group of same-aged boys tied her and her friend with a rope in the middle of a market, with passersby paying no heed to the commotion. Another gross man simply unzipped his fly seeing a naive child robbing her of the innocence. Somewhere on the streets, she felt ashamed buying bananas because the perverts won’t leave her from the filth in their rotten brains. In the bus, someone constantly pushed from behind, and late at the office that colleague kept humming a steamy song in the silence of basement.

She kept mum through all this time ignoring and accepting what came her way because she thought if she spoke it would be a shame on her because this is what they taught her. She kept agonizing, crying in the dark and silent nights, wearing a smile in the light. She kept silent out of fear because police and society would question what was she wearing, what time was she out of her home, where does she go, whom does she befriend, why does she speak? And because if she does dare to speak your squad would be ready to moral police, you would through acid on her, or at best cut her into pieces because your spineless self would not be able to take the strength she mustered and stand she took.

She is the story of every girl born in your homes. What you subject others to outside your walls has already happened to someone whom you keep protected from the bad world outside. Your hypocrisy is what makes the situations worse bcoz if you thought you are the only one you aren’t.

These incidents are all that have happened to me or my dear known ones, and as a matter of fact, I am sure all the beautiful brave girls out there would relate to it, and in fact to much more not even touched here (pun intended). It is neither ignorable nor acceptable, it is critical, it is outrageous, it is outright appalling, it is hurtful, it is extremely sad and if we can’t see its severity, we better look for the place in hell and die out of shame.

P.S. To all those men who aren’t the same and women subjected or not subjected to this –

Kudos to the men who respect women and bravo to the women who withstood the pain. More power to you!

A town that Pauri is!

Of winter breeze, and snow flakes,
Floating clouds and mountain capes,
Some of dewy leaves and glistening flowers,
Chirping birds and fading stars,
Crimson sky unveiling the blue tint,
That apple tree in the lawn, grape vine, plums, peaches and mint ,
Narrow paths strewn with autumn leaves,
Of dew drops beaded on the eaves,
Tiny sparrow taking the humble flight,
Shaded orchards, damp forests, open meadows wide and bright!

Of a longing heart and craving mind,
Of an abode – serene and endearing!
Of blessed memories of a bful town,
A place heavenly, unruffled and rare to find!

LITTLE TOTO CHAN

A few days back I read a story extremely fascinating about this little girl Toto Chan. She was adorable in so many ways, for her inquisitiveness, innocence and empathetic nature. What really caught my nerve was that I had known someone like her all my life. I have seen her bloom from a little bundle of my joy, envy and support to a sincere, hardworking and honest human being. I am sure Toto Chan would have made a girl like her.

Some people are special in all the known ways. You may fight with them, scold them, hate them in a childish verve but you can never love them less.

Ariba has been one such person to me. I remember the day she was born. I woke up to find my mom missing and asked my uncle where she was. I was told God has sent a little angel to our place. Little curious, a lot doubtful and very fascinated by the news I was taken to see the little angel. To my wonder she was a red, delicate piece of art. I knew I would admire art for rest of my life without any doubt.

The new found joy was brought home and kept under utmost care. This tiny piece was a super active being. Brighter and cleverer than many kids, she would do all adorable stuff. But she was also a big deal to be dealt with. I remember my father strolling for hours to lull her to sleep, she would fit in his long overcoat in the winters. I rejoiced her presence nevertheless.

Growing up she was one of the smartest kids seen, and active like mind flashes. I remember her just being saved from an electric shock when she dipped herself in hot boiling water still connected to electric supply. I returned from school to be informed she had been burnt badly and my father was lulling her to sleep. It broke my tiny heart to see her hurt. My little bundle of joy was in pain. But what could stop her despite this. 2 days later it was eid and she was back on feet with same zest, entertaining every guest, garnering all praises and admiration.

She never failed to catch attention, one of the most loved children. Ms. little had her own set of three kids whom she would bathe each day, pamper and love. They happened to be an onion, a tomato and a potato who resided in a bathing tub. She would call all the aunties in colony as Bhabhi and invite them to my place every now and then. Scared that mom may get irritated after a while she started inviting them and asking them to excuse themselves saying, they have had tea and snacks already before coming.

Growing up we had endless fights. Pulling the bare minimum of hair on our heads to what not we nearly killed each other. Sometimes I would wonder why does she even exist coz then I had to share Maggi and chocolates with her. And I would complain to mom to which she said, having a sister is a blessing and both of you would grow up to be best friends. I think she was true to every single word.

Ariba on the other hand had her complaints about not been trusted and loved much as me being first child. To this I think were other dimensions too which she could not see, I was expected to be more responsible and more adjusting. She had her own ways of doing things. I remember her fighting for me with kids in colony to rescuing me from mom’s wrath at bad times. One of the guys in our colony once hit me with a stone only to be instantly pelted back with a stone right near his eye. My little don had no space for sibling rivalry when it came to outsiders. She was all ready to beat the shit out of anyone who touched her sister. She even rescued me from mom for my mistake once saying she will only eat if mom doesn’t beat me. How ingenious and sweet was that. But that wasn’t all, there were our share of sibling moments too. When it came to fighting poor me was beaten always with her shrieking and crying to call mom’s attention at her pity state. And guess what who was actually thrashed was the other one dude. And then on some days mom beat me (which was anyways too rare, enough to be counted on fingers), and I would lock myself inside my room. And then Ms. Mischief would look for all weird reasons to make me open the door only to mock at me jeeringly. Huh that was cruel, utter evil.

And then I definitely was her all time inspiration (touch wood) and of course wage less labour to cover her books and make her posters, apply mehndi, make cards etc. She would return the kind favour with disgusting the thing done or made. Every time we would have a fight over her thanklessness but I knew who would do if not me and had a saintly last laugh.

I remember her craze of getting married (I don’t think that it lasts any longer), and on top of that she would always tell me ” Appi tu mere baccho Ki Khala banegi na?” And I know she might not abide by this now but her craze for marrying a wheatish complexioned guy who would have a stubble was insane. She seemed to be inspired seeing one of my father’s friends. I wonder if our childhood dreams comes true sometimes..haha!!

And who would know this better than mom, how difficult was it to dress her up for school. She rarely left the school without a slap I guess because she would test mummy’s patience to last stage. Sometime she didn’t find her clothes ironed, sometimes shoes not polished, sometime pony tail not good enough and so on. Making food for her was another task. Half the things would never satiate her taste buds. And of course there weren’t enough clothes in her closet ever. Tough time shopping for her as well because firstly she never finds what she wants in the market and if you buy her something she might rarely end up liking it. I wonder and warn the guy who is going to take her. Trust me she is special and difficult. I don’t think anyone has been as pampered as her of us three. Adjusting isn’t her cup of tea.

And you might as well know (which you definitely will discover) she is a perfectionist yet generous, tough on outside yet kind at heart, outgoing on surface yet sensitive and sensible at core, notorious yet helpful, head strong and ambitious yet honest. She is a little ball of fire living life on her own terms yet spreading love and concern for everyone.

Her stories of mischief and notoriety are endless, from behaving as if possessed when taken to a relative’s place, to breaking things, to kicking me, to fighting with our mutual bundle of joy Adeeb, to lying flat on a road in market for buying a doll. My parents sure did a commendable job raising her. Only thing she relieved them from was studies. Self-efficient, hardworking and excelling every single time was what could define her journey as a student to selection in IIT, campus placement and now finally to US on a scholarship. She definitely made them more than proud. And I believe will keep doing that for rest of her life.

I could not rejoice a person as much as her. And I pray Allah bless her with the best all her life here and hereafter. May she be amongst the righteous ones. May Almighty protect her against the evil eye and bad influence In sha Allah.

Eat, Pray, Love…Go get the new heights my little piece of mischief!

Infectious

When the destiny seems bleak, live each day, make the best of every moment!

She smiled with an utmost ease,
With Soothe glimmering in her eyes,
Poised and untouched like a fresh flake of snow,
Humble yet so noticeable, I watched her tread her way through the row!

They said she was a mystery,
I wondered if she was but undefinable,
Like a shadow lingering even when sun hid behind the clouds,
And a scent suffusing like the mud of first rain,
Because I saw her glide like the first ray of sun,
Subtly warm yet so stern!

They said she never talked,
I wonder why wouldn’t she?
She said she once talked and they refused to hear,
When she wept and wept, until the tears gelled like that pearl shining in her eyes,
She said gone are the days when she cackled and cheered across those streets,
Playing and frolicking from a kid to a lady,
When they cut through her with their gazes so shady!!

They said she never made friends,
She said she did but that made her sad,
For they all spoofed her like that snow flake, left to fall and melt,
Accusing this pure snow being dirtied by a bulk of mud,
Yet she smiled with melancholy entrenched, cause they heaved on her that mud!!

They never told how they raped her in the silence of that chilly night,
‘Coz she rose from that heap of mud forthright,
And the next morning, she shone like that first ray of sun,
Her tears through the night crowning her high held head,
For when they mocked at her vulnerabilities,
She glided like that sunray – unstoppable and unheld!!

They fed her with qualms to feed like a leech,
And she tweaked the gloom in a blink of an eye!
She smiled with that utmost ease, infectious – dangerously infectious,
Thrusting on the evil hearts, weight of the seas!!

They still spoke the words, now falling naive,
‘Coz I just saw her rise from ashes like the smoke,
Fall from sky like a blaze, Infecting the air around,
As she became her own light through that haze!

When the destiny seems bleak, live each day, make the best of every moment!