When you lose your loved one to death.

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It is not about the one who dies, it is about the one who is left shattered. Death– An inevitable event that happens in one’s life. A death is never a pleasant occasion. An event where the family is plunged into despair. Death– it send chills down spine hearing the loss of a loved one. To accept the fact that, the person is no more around you becomes hard. The person who used to wake up with you every morning, drinks tea with you every evening has gone to another world. A world no one knows a lot about. A world that frightens us. It becomes even harder for us to contemplate a future without them.

We are all left shattered at one point in our life or we will be. It becomes hard for us to expose ourselves and remain the same. A death of a loved one can change us forever. We never really heal from that shattered heart. We never recover. We move on but never come out of their thought. We, being the closest to that person, are completely devastated. We feel like we are lost. The mind cannot fathom the situation. The thoughts are clear and blurry at the same time. Most of the people realize the wrongs they have done to that person. Perhaps, they will never get a chance to make things right. That makes it even more stressful. They will be forced to live through a guilt-ridden life forever.

The mind plays with you. It reminds you of the good times you have spent with them but this time tears roll down through your cheeks. We befriend silence. We find peace in not disturbing our thoughts and maintaining a silence. It is hard for me when I see someone who is going through this phase. I don’t know what that feels like, but I know it surely is not a pleasant feeling. The thought of my loved one not near me can fill my heart with fear. The feelings of a husband who lost his wife could be immense. They have lost their better half.  They have lost their life-long companion. When a person knows you well and has been living with you for a long time, their mind, body and soul are almost in sync with yours. The detachment that happens can literally break down a person.  They have lost someone who knows them well, their dark and dull side, and their happy side. The dreams they have built together, breaks down half way.  There will be a void created inside their heart. A space no other person can fit. A space that was made by that particular person in his or her own shape. It will exist for long. Perhaps, forever. Like I said one doesn’t completely come out of that despair.

A heart that is in pieces now due to losing someone to death can never be made into one again. You start putting on a mask. You smile when the world smiles and you cry when the world cries. But deep inside, you have become emotionless. You have become strong and weak at the same time. Strong so that you can move on but an utter of his/ her name can bring back the mountains of emotion to your heart and that weakens you. These are the emotions you were trying so hard to hide. Yet you feel helpless when you hear others talk about them. You lose yourself mentally and physically. The hollow space in your heart starts to shrink day by day but a mere sight of something related to them, enlarges it. At this point you become weak. Your sleeps are constantly disturbed. You toss around the whole night and that does not help you. You slowly become insomniac. At other times, you find yourself, standing with their belongings in your hand. Your heart skips a beat when someone, who has their scent, passes by. You easily identify that and look around to find who that is. At this point you end up thinking of your loved one. Some people find comfort in penning down their emotions. Some others go into hibernation, for months. They become depressed. Their loved one has died and you have survived. But it’s more like you have died too. People detach themselves from the worldly affair and indulge themselves in prayers. They constantly pray to have the departed soul blessed.

You think a lot about things you must have not thought before. You anticipate about certain things. You are constantly in fear. Anything you do, anywhere you go, and fear haunts you. Probably you have been doing that for years and going there for years but now it frightens you to do the same. The look you have in your eyes, always searching, never ends. The trauma hits you very hard and nothing appeals to you anymore. You try to come out of their web of thoughts but in vain. People around you can see and feel the pain in your eyes yet they are helpless.

I, at times think what my life would be like without the people I love. My parents mostly. I always see them appreciating each other and that makes me realize how happy they are with each other. They have been my support system and their death can literally cause me a lot. I have seen many a times my dad assuring my mom that she has been a good wife, a good daughter and most importantly a good mother and she should not worry about her deeds. That is like kind of assuring someone, you die as a good person. To an extend that thought heals you. When you know that the person has gone after fulfilling his/her jobs responsibly. If you lived as a good person, you certainly shall be remembered for the goods you have done. And thinking about the good things they have done, makes the pain lighter.

If rivals were to unite.

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Now that both India and Pakistan celebrated their respective Independence day, I would like to share some awesome things that would have happened if India and Pakistan were still together.

Let’s talk politics first. If the Pakistani and Indian government were to work together, we would have established the much wanted peace in the country as there would not arise a question about the inequality or discrimination of minorities in both the countries.  RAW would not be held responsible for any killings in Karachi or insurgency in Baluchistan. And no Ajmal Kasab would have hanged in India. We could replace the word ‘terrorism’ with the word ‘peace’. Hence, terrorism problem solved.

Let’s talk Kashmir next. It would have become one of the best and safest tourist spot on the face of the earth with no political tension. This place is now under high security as it has become one of the via spot for terrorist to sneak in to the country and out of the country. The scenic beauty of Murree could compliment the snow covered hills of Kashmir. For the honeymooners, they cannot ask for another better place. With no border and security issues, it would have been an easy travel  for them.

Moving on to Bollywood, we have had an unlimited supply of Pakistani actors and singers in Bollywood. We would have wonderful and good looking Pakistani actors along with wonderful great musicians. Talk about Imran Abbas Naqvi or Fawad Khan for that matter! Who does not love Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan? Over the years, they have become a part of Indian Film industry. Pakistani actors and singers have immensely impressed the Indian audiences with their amazing acting and vocal skills.

Lastly, the big matches! An India Pakistan match surely does give an adrenaline rush. No arguments on match fixing, no calling bad words during the match, no bad gestures shown. In fact the team together would fight against another team. Both countries have produced some real good players. Combination of Indian batsmen and Pakistani bowlers is the best combination anyone can ask for. Therefore, this team would top the ICC ranking for the coming decades too.

With this I would say, this imaginary country would be the best and the most peaceful country in the world. The fact that they are near us yet we have no access to them does hurt. Together we could do wonders. We would have become the biggest, the largest, the highest and so on in innumerable areas.  Today only togetherness and humanity can do this job. The governments should know one thing. We normal people love each other. They have done no harm to us to hate them. It’s purely the politics that makes us hate each other. Only if the government would bother to look down from their throne, would they realize this. In the end, it’s the people of the country that got the governments in their position today so that they serve us the way we want. Both the countries have lost so many innocent lives in the recent years. People die for the things they have not done while the real culprits are hidden under the table. Kids are being shot and killed in schools and almost everywhere because of the fact they would grow up and fight against terrorism. Both the PMs of the country did not forget to wish on the Independence Day but that’s all that exist between our countries. Both countries go back to how they were in no time. Existence of extremism never had a good ending. It never had an ending at all. It’s our turn. People like us can do a lot. Step by step things can get wider. Every step counts. I dream of the day when India and Pakistan are no longer the so called rivals.

Lessons I learned.

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What my dad taught me– To be kind. To be patient at your worst. Never belittle anything. Everything and everyone comes your way with a purpose. Always wake up early. Read a lot. Write a lot. Feed the poor whenever you can. Make money. Save money. Use money for uplifting the less fortunate. Never go behind class. Never buy luxurious things. Always buy what you need. Not what you want. Try hard. Nothing comes easy and what comes easy is not worth having. Always stick to your first instinct. Take risk. Feel the pain. Cry out loud. Fail. Fail. Fail. Fail. And then win. THANKS A TON DAD!

What my mom taught me– To smile. To be the main priority of your life. Failing is just another step close to winning. To dress modestly. To speak out your mind. To never stand for anything wrong no matter how good it looks like. To be courageous. To reason and to question everything. To cook. To think twice before speaking. To find happiness in life. THANKS A TON MOM!

NANI WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU.

Dry Flowers and Colors.

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They still smell good. They look adorning and beautiful. Some are little bit discolored, some are of its original color except that it had become a bit darker than how it was and some have become little lighter. They stay up right above my white board, giving an intense feeling of what all it had gone through before it got dried. Some has leaves all curled up and has been in that position for longer than a year. The roses are hanging its head down. This reminds me of how beautiful a life is, before the age knocks it down.

A new life is born as the flowers blooms from its bud. Utmost caring makes the plant a good one. Watering daily, speaking to the plants from time to time (yeah, they do hear if in case you thought they do not) and hugging the plants makes it grow faster. And there it is! You see a tiny bud at the tip of the stem. It takes around 80-90 days for the flower to bloom. And seeing the flower bloom with the naked eyes could be the “one of the best” sight. It happens at night and with the help of sun light as well.

I personally cannot resist plucking flowers. I try not to pluck them but in the end one can see me with a hand full of flowers. It kind of makes happy. Having flowers all around me always makes me feel rejuvenated. I not only pluck them, but also retain it in the most beautiful way. At times, I feel bad and sad because those beautiful lives are no more spreading any beauty. Indeed, dry flowers have its own beauty. Normal eyes take time to realize this.

Similarly, life has its own beauty. From the moment you start breathing till the moment you become old like a dry flower, you go through different levels of growth. Initially you are a bud, whose survival greatly depends on the external activities that is done to preserve you. It is hard to explain what those external activities do to you but it definitely has an impact on you. Perhaps, this impact can last a lifetime.

That’s when people start observing how different you are from others. Just like how people differentiate roses from tulips. They look closely to see you smile and move your tiny body around. The flower has fully bloomed now. The tiny human plays around and cheers the life of the people around him. He knows not what he is carving in their hearts. Like I said blooming is the one of the best sight, watching these tiny humans play around also enlightens one’s mind and body. No one thinks of what he is going to be in his future but they enjoy him in the present. I hesitate to pluck flowers only because I know I’m not letting it grow.

Years pass by, the tiny human grows up to be a fully grown up human. He carries with him what has been inculcated within him, during his early stages of his life. The rest of his life, he lives through his lessons or/ and makes new lessons. Flowers become fruits and the seeds are sown again to make a new life. Imagine a whole lifetime of spreading happiness and only happiness. But even then, the dry flowers depicts that, happiness cannot last forever. I still stare at them, watching the little shades they exhibit. It clearly shouts, once you get the color of life, it is hard for it to fade away, even if it does fade away, it does not vanish off. Sometimes these colors become darker and at other times it becomes lighter. A little bit of black and white still remains even when the head is hung down.

Respect your young ones!

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They say we should respect and obey our parents.  One must be thinking if it is necessary to teach our children that, since they tend to love and respect their own parents either ways. But I must admit that certain things need to be taught before kids grow up. As they say respect your parents, I would say respect your children. Let them understand the meaning of respect not from elsewhere but from home. Most of the parents complain that their children do not obey them and respect them. I would ask those parents if they have taught him what respect is. Because, a child, growing up seeing his father respecting  his mother and vice versa will definitely grow up to be respectable person, who also gives respects than just taking it.

There are certain things that as a parent they should be teaching their children. No matter what happens, unless and until they don’t teach them those things, one cannot expect that child to be a good person. Respecting own parents and elders is the main thing that has been complained about these days. One should not forget how busy the parents were trying to earn for the family but they got little time or no time to be with the family. This in fact matters. Spending time with the family and I insist on spending quality time with the family teaches a lot of valuable lessons which children don’t study in school.

When children are not aware of those valuable lessons they tend to live their life in the way they like. Certainly no one has issues with that, but this way of living greatly impacts their parent’s life. As the parents grow old, the children may become impatient with their inability to hear properly or become little annoyed at everything they say or want. This may lead the parents to the old age homes. As the child becomes too impatient with his own parents and when his wife says that his parents are troubling her and not letting her watch her favorite serial, the son, eventually becomes something no parents would want their son to be.

It is hurting when I see old couples in the old age homes. Some of them are not aware of where they are as they patiently wait for their beloved son and daughter to come over and take them. Some of them know where they are and why they are there. Those parents might realize now that they should have brought up their sons and daughters with love and respect and not by feeding money. A child is definitely the best thing that can happen to anyone. But bringing up that child and teaching him lessons of life are one of the hardest things, but in the end, is always worth it.

Love your children and do not hesitate to show it. This does not mean buy them whatever they like. It simply means to ask them how their day went. Ask them how bad or how good the day was. Ask about who sat next to him in school. Ask about what new things he learnt. Once he understands that you are concerned about him, he will start considering you. Merely paying his fees and giving him money whenever he asks won’t make anyone a good parent. That makes him think you are a bank and comes up to you only when he is running out of money. This means you look like a dollar sign to him and not like a parent.

Parenthood is an art one should try to master at. It is hard but it definitely gets easier when you do good things. Parents might do things thinking it is for their children’s future. But these days no one wants to inherit what their parents have saved for them. They want to create. They want to build up their own future. This is when parents become an additional pain in the neck. Some parents brag about how hard they worked to make this life possible. But those parents should have said all that long back when their children were young.  It would have definitely made a difference.

Lastly I would like to remind those parents who complain about their children, take a moment and go back in time and think if you have taught him things that you are asking from him today.  Probably you did not and that is why today you are asking that from him when he should be giving it himself without anybody asking.

It is true kids are held responsible all the time but it is high time; we bring those parents who ruined the life of their children out.

Partyyy Timeee!!

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Back then, we used to get excited a week ahead of the class party. This was one of the times of the year, we wore our colorful attires to school. Friends plan about what to wear, what color to wear, what food to bring and let’s not forget the music. Music played a big part during class parties. Half of the day was like a normal class day. And the other half would be utilized for the class party. And the bang begins right after the break period. With the music on with a high volume, the preparation starts.

This usually was held during the last months of the academic year. While most of us stuck to the traditional Indian dress, some of them would turn up with mind blowing stunning dresses. This is a time when enemies become friends for some few hours. Though you haven’t spoken to her for last three months, you definitely would be ready to give a hand while making the tables ready.

Decorating classrooms starts during the break period. The classroom door used to be shut and someone would be made to stand near the door so that no one other than us gets in to see whats going on. We blow balloons and hang them around the class. We arrange the desks and benches in a way they are moved towards the wall, leaving a space in the middle. We sweep the whole class and remove any kind of dirt and rubbish stuff thrown to the floor. We hang a chart on the door of the class with a welcome note to all. This was fun because it’s all colors around. Colorful balloons, colorful food, colorful dresses worn by students.

Teachers table is kept in the middle with a huge cake with the class name written on it. This used to be main attraction. This is surrounded by the delicacies the students brought. Biriyani was one another main thing. Biriyani usually was my item. Because my mom makes the best one. May be. She always made this and a certain kind of pasta with spaghetti. These two were always in my basket. And my mom happily prepared this for me and my sister. There used to be ice cream which we used to order few minutes before the party kicks off. The tantalizing aroma of colorful sweets was another thing that made us stay till the last bell of the day. Sweets were distributed at the end of the party. We slowly enjoy and have them all.

One of us might have brought a camera. Let me make it clear again, one of us who had a camera back then, would bring it with her to capture the fun we were having. This also was not necessary. Only if she brought, we would take photos at the end of the party. We all would look half like a zombie by then. This was not a matter of concern. And this camera was shared by two to three other classes, who would, beforehand request to have it during the party. The next day we would eagerly wait for the girl who brought the camera, to get it printed and we pay her for each copy of photos. We happily took to it to home and showed our parents the photos.

We happily shared all what we had. From balloons to cameras to sweets to finally clean the classes. Yes, we would go clean up other classes at the end if we were done with ours. I should say my sister used to come up and call me to help her clean her class and re-arrange the desks and benches. Having eldest sisters always meant treating them like a second mother. There was nothing beyond eldest sister’s word. And I was an obedient younger sister; therefore, I was always seen in my sister’s class after my class party.

Today, I see one thing in common among school kids. They are all up for the class party. They also make sure that their gadgets all ready. The I phones, I pads, and tablets are all charged 100% the night before. I hardly see any cameras with the students. And they don’t really wait like how we did for the photos. They are instantly uploaded on the social networking sites. One can easily download them on their electronic gadgets and move them right to left while showing it to their parents. Any money wasted?! Absolutely No.

Instead of preparing a week before, students get most of the food from out. There has been a changing trend in today’s class parties. Taking photographs becomes an unavoidable part of the party. Uploading them on social platforms becomes a matter of time. I really doubt if the students today have a healthy class party like we did. Rather than posing and pouting for photos, I do not see any fun in today’s these so called class parties.

I really doubt if those days would be back because as invention goes on to other levels, there is a very less possibility of doing things the old way. School kids today are brought up in a much better way. This also makes me think whether the value is going down. Today, students rely much on gadgets. A small party back then was something we always waited an entire year for. I do not see that today in those young faces around me.

However, I feel blessed to be in that generation, that I still get excited when someone calls and talks to me about our old school class parties.

Mind your Business!

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They are your relatives, neighbors or even best friends. So definitely they will call you or inform you about their daughter’s big day. They will not let that happen without your presence unless you are that annoying kind and they do not want you to ruin their daughter’s marriage. Which most of us do, sadly. They would surely want everyone to attend the function and make it a wonderful evening. Now how can you even think of them not informing you? Or wait…may be there is something behind that?? Hmm let’s see why these people do not let others involve in their life matters. Or even for that sake in any matters.

Typical Indians think they have the full right to know about whats going on in their neighbor’s daughter’s life. Or even that daughter’s friend’s life. Or even may be that friend’s cousin’s life. Yes I’m talking about how jobless and daunting people are and how much they enjoy creeping into others soul.

One thing missing in our life is self- respect. Once we start respecting ourselves, we tend to respect others as well. The moment we think highly of ourselves and low of others, we lose this attribute that make us humble. This humanly behavior comes when you realize you are just like any other person who is struggling to make the ends meet.

 The people you meet, regardless of who they are, are battling themselves to find a spark of happiness and joy in their life. They might be struggling as well. That does not make you have an upper hand on them. We are gifted with a mind that allow us to explore and think and a mouth to talk. Most importantly, to talk and to make things right.

Pay a visit to your relative. Ask how they are doing. Talk about how things are at your end. Talk about the good things. Try to know if they are in any kind of pain. And if they are, be the cure for that pain. Never be the reason for their pain. Do not ask when will be their daughter’s marriage. Stop talking about those good looking guys you have come across or that dollar guy from neighborhood who just flew from US to home for a vacation. Try to know and learn their expression. If you find a spark of happiness go on. And if you find them distressed stop. Stop right there! Quit assuming for once and get to know them!

It is a very common thing in India where I hail from. People do not really care about themselves. They are always interested in others life. Ask them if you want to know anything about the auntyji’s daughter who is staying two doors next to yours. They might as well know about your daughter’s future plan! The ones she herself has not made yet.Who knows! They master the art of secretly learning about others life and secretly spreading it around.

For once mind your own god damn business. And if that hurts you, go on and take care of the people who want to be taken care off. Trust me there are millions of them around who would like to be noticed and helped.

Least you can do is give them your hand and voice and help them raise above their misery, than create a misery in others life. 🙂