Are We Living A Good Life?

For me and my family, yesterday was a day filled with melancholy, gloom and silence.  One of our uncles, my father’s best friend and a gifted man passed away due to a sudden heart attack. As the night lurked inside the house, my thoughts started jumping from one end to another. Stories, emotions, people and roles, everything prowled inside my mind. How an able, humble, intelligent, social and a perfectly functioning man was reduced to a frozen dead body? What is it that actually makes your life peaceful till the time you perish?

Today, I’ll sum up some of these thoughts (gathered from my favorite authors & psychologists) my ideas to live a wholly contented life before the time runs out (though I myself don’t follow all of them, but that just means I need to try harder) 😀

Should I go for it?

The first thing that I consider as the biggest problem of life is ‘dilly-dallying’. You keep on vacillating between two decisions, two opportunities, two issues and two choices. A lot of time this irresolution gives you either regrets or takes a good chunk of opportunities away from you. So, when the time comes just believe in your thoughts, calculations & instincts.

Paulo Coelho says:

“ When we least expect it Continue reading

Deceiving Others or Yourself?

Cover your head, close your eyes or keep a beard….is this going to boost your religiosity? Is this what religion is all about? Is this what measures your piety?

Going a notch higher on the ‘piety’ scale is all that matters! But what we forget in the middle of this struggle to go higher is that Piety will be measured by the Lord and it should solely be ‘For’ the Lord. Creating perceptions of Piety in the eyes of the observers won’t give you anything but some acclamation by the spectators. He knows your heart, your intentions inside out! He will judge you on the basis of your intentionality rather than your pretentiousness. He will gauge what you think and feel before judging your actions.

You can keep two faces; one for the world and one for yourself, but for Him it’s the latter which matters. Not the manifestation rather it’s the insinuation which counts! Friendly conversations, commendations, adulations or helping gestures, nothing matters if the objective is to earn a certain reputation ‘only. Hypocrisy is a trait which can take you to places in this life and make you stagnant when it comes to afterlife.

It’s not about letting go off the thought of creating a reputation rather it’s about bringing your thoughts in line with your actions.

Many a times we try to purify our repute but what we forget is that pristine intentions are necessary for actually a good reputation in front of the Lord.  Our Lord gauges us on what we are not on the basis of what we look like.

We can manipdeceptionulate the way our friends see us but the Lord looks at what we actually feel inside. We can have a beard to deceive others but our sins and intentional sins are all like an open book for Him.

It’s very convenient for us to use words like ‘diplomacy’, indulge in gossips and backbiting and backstab others. No matter how skilfully we execute our small acts of treason and hypocrisy, we can’t escape the results in Afterlife.

I’m not saying that negative emotions ought to be displayed but rather I’m asking you to tone down your internal emotions. Tone down, think and try to set right your priorities. Try to set them in accordance with your goals in life; don’t deceive yourself and the world. If you think that afterlife is important and yet you indulge in this self deception, then you need to explore and reorganize your deeds and actions. Self deception is where you deceive the world with a religious image and actually stick to immoral motivations, but this won’t help. Calm down, reiterate what’s important and then decide whether it’s the Lord, the people and/or this world!

I Voted For a Better Pakistan & You?

So 11th May 2013 is finally over! It was the day we all expected to be the day of ‘Change’ and revolution. My spirits were high as I had been to a few PTI jalsas before, and just like any other enthusiastic Pakistani I was looking forward to a Naya Pakistan. Another special thing was that I had voted for the first time in my life and I wanted to make it a memorable one.

IMG_5463So, while everyone was glued to the television channels, I decided to go around Lahore and enjoy the election fever. Before leaving, my father discouraged me & said “Everybody will be lazy and clumsy; you won’t see much on the roads”. But, ignoring his advice, in a few moments I was wearing a PTI cap and roaming around the streets of Lahore. From Chauburji to Mall road, I was there to witness the political fervor of Pakistanis! I grabbed my camera while going for a ride, just to capture any extraordinary sight I might encounter on my way.

I stopped by at a shop in Gawalmandi to grab some snacks and a cute 13/14 year old waiter ran towards my car. Before I could place any order, he said ‘Baji, abhi aya’. He ran away and came back with a PTI badge.He quickly placed it on his shirt and tried to rub away the dirt while giving a pose for my camera. His eyes were filled with exhilaration and anticipation. Despite of the fact that he was underprivileged, illiterate and life had been very hard on him, he was still optimistic about these elections. He wasn’t familiar with words like ‘rigging’ and ‘corruption’ but he had faced much more atrocities than what we had stumbled upon in our lives. If this boy could be sanguine about a better Pakistan, what’s stopping us from actually working for it? This thought actually moved me!

The enthusiasm

Before leaving this boy said “Baji!” and I thought he was going to ask for some money. But astonishingly he requested me to give him a cap of Imran Khan with Balla (bat). While, handing it over him, I felt pity for my own materialistic approach and yet was amazed by the gusto with which he was celebrating these elections.

Around 3:00 p.m. a lot of bikes, cars and people on foot started marching around these areas. These groups were chanting names of their leaders and I could sense their optimism for a better Pakistan. Their eyes gleaming with passion, each one of them wanted to revive the spirit of Quaid.

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As I passed through Jain Mandir, I saw a Sitta-wala hawker with a flag of a political party. I stopped my car, stepped down to take his picture. He was a 25-30 year old man, all sweaty, sun burnt and skin of his palms almost burnt due to repeated exposure to fire. I went to him and inquired “Apne yeh jhanda kyun lagaya?”. He looked at me with some

surprise initially and then a dazzling smile took over those expressions. “Pakistan ke liye lagaya!”  he said. I was so moved by these words that it actually gave me goosebumps. I quickly took a shot and went back, but my mind was stuck there. I was living an extravagant life and enjoying every possible luxury and yet I was disappointed. While, these individuals were facing excruciating pains to earn a full meal and still expected something out of these elections.

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The moment I reached mall road, I was surprised to see that it was full of life. Kids, boys, men and women wearing PTI & PML-N souvenirs were all around. It seemed that the scorching heat and the corrupt leadership couldn’t mar their zest to come out and work for their parties. As I took out my camera to take a snap, they all started chanting their slogans and gave their best smiles even in those sweaty t shirts. This was exhilarating and quite different from the gloomy picture my father had painted from his past memories.

This was my last stop and I went home after that. Shortly, results started coming out and my friends were texting me and cursing the election commission of Pakistan. But I wasn’t concerned about the results anymore; I was already stirred by the vigor and zest I had just witnessed.

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When after enduring pains and sorrows, illiteracy and despair, if these people out there can hope for a better Pakistan then we have no right to complain. We can’t whine about rigging and corruption until we give in our honest contribution for a better Pakistan. We all need to work for the revival of Pakistan, a country created for prosperity and now marred by terrorism and bloodshed. If we all grow out of our petty issues and vouch for betterment, only then we can have a better Pakistan. I’ve decided to play my part genuinely for a better Pakistan; no flamboyant heroic claims rather candid conduct with a tinge of patriotism & love amalgamated with progressiveness. Let’s do it and make a better Pakistan together, for us and for everyone out there! A better Pakistan where there will be equality & peace!

Hunger

What meaning do we derive from life? Do we see it as a course of attaining our desires? Or is it a path to perfection?

I see hundreds of people in the world running around to get what they want…let it be happiness or material things; they’re all concerned about getting their wishes fulfilled. But many a times this urge crosses the line between wanting and lusting. Yes, Lust for happiness, hunger for money, the craving for power….

I know that ‘lust’ is usually used in a pervert meaning but I use it here to define a Want with a Negative Connotation. That’s where many of us cross the line between ‘wanting something’ and ‘obsessing about something’.

This ‘Lust’ is evident, presenting itself in different disguises ubiquitously. Display of this hunger can be observed if we just look at the camouflage of others and ourselves for that matter…

I saw it in the brothers fighting for inheritance.

Noticed the how cautiously the children divided jewelry of their ‘Late Mother’. Everything was right except the hunger, corroborated in their gestures!

Isn’t it discernible in the pejorative comments of a politician about a party which he joins a few days later? Sadly these ministers don’t even bother to hide their yearnings!

Love is the weapon used commonly for this concealment….It was there masked as love, when a mother tried to avoid the marriage of his son with the fear of losing him.

Marriage for the sake of beauty, money or sheer attractiveness…it’s the marriage of desire not of emotions.

The presence of envy in the gaze of a sister! The jealousy secretly sneaks out from the corner of her eyes when she adores her gorgeous sister.

I saw it when a priest said he was devoid of the worldly desires while grabbing the meaty delights presented to him.

Its everywhere, in me, in you and in all of us though the quantities may differ.

I don’t say that ‘Wanting’ or ‘Desiring’ is a sin in itself. But perhaps the moment you start concealing your hidden motives from the world, you’re crossing the line between ‘hunger’ and ‘aspiration’!