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

The Others…

When we go out, out of our home, school, college or whatever is our comfort zone, we reach the zone of ‘The Others’.

Whenever there are unfamiliar people around us, we are in the zone of others. This zone makes it’s first appearance the day we enter this world. Initially it envisages the whole world…from our parents to everything except us. Then gradually the zone starts shrinking.

We become comfortable with our parents, our nanny…slowly slowly the comfort zone of expands to our siblings and a few uncles and aunts. Then we enter the play stage where we gain a few others friends entering our lives from the ‘others’ zone. A few people keep on crossing the path, yet the zone of ‘the others’ remains bigger and stronger than the comfort zone.

While we are learning how to make friends, we are learning what the ‘Appropriate ways’ of behaving name it mannerisms or etiquette. The times passes by while many things are gushed upon us by the society which includes what are we expected to do, how are we expected to behave, who are we expected  to be with and the list continues.

We grow up and so does the list continues, it brings people within our comfort zones and deletes a good few too. The more we learn that how are we ‘expected’ to be, the more difficult the zone of the ‘the others’ begin. We eat, sleep, drink, write and eventually ‘Think’ the way we are ‘Expected’ to.

This anticipation is what acts as a trauma of our generation and perhaps the generation before us as well. The trauma which has transformed our thinking pattern and it now only takes the route which is the ‘Right route’. Now, our cognition is programmed to work in the direction that is already encrypted by the society. Our physical actions are in the zone of ‘the others’ when we’re around strange faces, but our cognition is in a constant state of flux and distress. Flux i.e. whether to approach a situation the way we want to or not? Distress because we won’t choose any way which is different from the one prescribed by the norms.

How traumatic this constant pressure is… excruciating the soul and the mind, while the body appears perfectly apposite and tranquil. This zone of ‘The others’ has captured not only our mental stability but also the innovation and creativity which every soul possesses.

We can’t wear, eat, sleep and “Live” in a way which is not stipulated by the norms. I don’t say that we should defy the norms, but I firmly believe that to live a “Free Life” we ought to let the mental processes float beyond the imaginary boundaries of the society. Only that way we shall progress, prosper and actually attain Freedom!

 

Pakistan….A day of Sadness

Reading a novel makes us sentimental….A news piece makes us restless…. A beggar invokes frustration & guilt….

Countless emotions and thousands of expressions….

When you see a child who was martyred in Gaza, you cry! You feel sad or at least heavy hearted for some time. When you find a dead cat laying at the corner of a street in a puddle of mud…you feel disgruntled with the lack of empathy shown by the people towards this little body.

Many other small moments can be exemplified as the ways we feel and express our emotions. But I believe I should rather come to the point which needs more emphasis than the background theory behind it.

So we feel pity for the destitute, anger at the government, fiery when someone pinpoints our religion…but the question is do we realize we can be the cause of such intense emotions for others?

You might feel quizzical over this question raised, but we all are somewhere the cause of provoking such negative and fierce emotions in others. The question is who those ‘Others’ are? Who are the prime targets of our unconscious provocative actions?

We all protest against the religious and cultural ethnocentrism shown by ‘The Westerners’ towards our ‘culture’. But do we realize the magnitude of Ethnocentrism practiced by us? Do we ever observe what happens when we treat someone from another subculture as an alien to ours?

Ever tried to be in the shoes of the ‘Muslims’ we segregate as Shias or Sunnis, the ones targeted as a ‘Cultural Deviant Group’ just because they follow their own beliefs. When a Christian criticizes a Muslim, this is sheer Cultural & Relational violence. But what about when we crack jokes about the Aftar timings of a Shia who probably is a part of our social group? The Muharram and Shia Mournings not accepted? Or the other way round, When Shias show abhorrence with the way Sunnis perform their Religious requirements/Ibadat?  Isn’t this also Cultural Violence, rather an extremity because here the target is of the same religion and just another Sect!

The man of a Thousand Emotions…how could you not witness the cruelty you perform when you segregate the men in the black dresses from the men in white in Muharram? When you loathe them for the way they pray?

Oh don’t you remember they pray to the same Allah? They bow down to the Same Lord….Our Lord…Our Allah!

This is sheer violence…when you see the men mourning over the death of Hussain (R.A) and don’t feel the pain. I am a Sunni, but does it lessen the pain of the Shuhada-e-Karbala? The beloved Grandson of Our Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) martyred brutally ….it makes my eyes wet too, it makes me tumultuous and tears away a portion of my heart too.

Though we differ on certain arrangements in Islam with the Shias, but the core beliefs are the Same! Same Lord, Same Prophet (P.B.U.H)…yet no pain?

More than a 4700 Shias have been martyred so far in Sectarian Violence in Pakistan, since 1989. Today November 22nd 2012, a day when 4 blasts were recorded in 4 provinces while 3 were targeted at the Shia Majalis. Isn’t this sheer brutality against our Muslim Shia brothers and sisters? Islam orders us to love, tolerate even Non-Muslims and what do we do? We demarcate a boundary between Muslims as the ones We accept & the ones We don’t?

Whenever a blast or a bullet thrashes the flesh of a Shia…the blood & the flesh leaves a wound on the body called Pakistan. When this body is full of internal wounds, what’s the need of external forces against this Islamic nation?

The internal wounds will gradually weaken it till the body deteriorates and falls down itself…but when it falls down, the cause will be these inner organs….

The cause will be these countrymen, the men of thousand emotions & still Heartless!

 

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’!