Because, I miss you…

I really have no idea where to begin from, and I’m not sure if people would like to read it, but I’d like to notify the readers, that, this essay is as a small gift of thanks to my friend, Rasheeda.

There’s no once upon a time in this story, I’ve known Rasheeda since I was a kid. It’s simple; I and Rasheeda have been living in the same area since childhood just until yesterday. We have known each other since we were babies crawling here and there in the masjid. Then we joined the madrasah and had our own girls group of the mohalla (area). Time passed and we used to play with each other/ be with each other for like every day.

When teenage hit us, there came times for sleepovers and gossips. Girls will be girls, there’s no denying it. So, there used to be cat fights (amongst all of us), I don’t mean physically, but saying stuff and cold wars, that kind. But even then, I don’t know why or how we still stayed along in a group.

In all of this growing part, we graduated from schools, and then from colleges and got into universities (except me, still in college – no comments on that) . We enjoyed getting older, because now no aunties will tell us not to sit in separate thaals and go to our moms (Just kidding! :D) Taking the oath of misaaq was one part of growing up, because it really meant we have to be serious towards studies and life, and we have to act mature, somehow all those parts in life went well. I believe growing up brought us closer to each other’s heart.

Naturally, no one can live without friends, even if we don’t say it, we want our friends to listen to our scored goals and the missed ones too, and our times of hardship and happy days, we like it when they appreciate, and are consoled even if they just keep a warm hand of comfort on our shoulder. At the end of teenage, our ‘girly-group’ transformed  into a ‘club’, our park walks became dining out on occasions, our gossips jumped from who hit whom to who went out with whom, but, one thing remained the same, we laughed the same way like we did when we were kids.

Although our physique changed and we became different people now, but we stayed together, we enjoyed each other’s company, actually relished it, it was something special, actually it IS something special that I can’t define.

Time ran so fast it came to the part of engagements. Well, Rasheeda was the first one to get engaged from our group. We were all happy that now we are adults and have become mature with time. Who knew that we will all miss being together one day?

Day before yesterday, it was the last function of Rasheeda’s wedding, sorry if I’m jumping from engagement to the wedding, but it seems like she got engaged just some time ago and now, she is happily married.

I don’t know Rasheeda if I was ever a good friend to you, but you ARE to me. You might laugh now, I couldn’t sleep right now, I miss you. I miss you singing 9XM songs, I miss your smartness, I miss your cries, I miss you being bossy, I miss your enthusiasm, I miss dancing in the rain with you, and I miss your smile, I really miss you – already.

I think about your home, it’s such a big part of my childhood, I miss you being there. Apart from all the differences we have had, you were a really good friend to me, and to see you away I really don’t know how to react. I will miss your place beside Fatema – Muslim in the thaal. I will miss you every time as I pass by your building (which will be every day).

Yesterday as I hugged you the last time, I really didn’t want to let go of you, you are so much to me, you don’t even know. I know we haven’t been like best friends and all, but even then I will miss you like A LOT (Have I said this like the hundredth time till now?)

Life is really bitter sometimes, I really don’t want to be away from you.

I’d like to quote some lines to you;

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I pray that your each and every day passes with a light heart, that no troubles bother you because I know you are great at tackling them 😉 .

I wish that every day you light the days with your radiant smile, and live a happy contented life under the Saya Mubarakah of both Maula. Ameen.

May Allah grant our Maula a long, healthy and prosperous life till the Day of Judgement. Ameen.

Take care.

With lots of love,

Yours truly,

Ruqqu.

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And, you’re beautiful even when you fall…

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It is this morning that I love,

Where greens in garden spring along,

From small to tall, they all appeal,

And, refresh me on the morning walk.

 

When fall arrives and they die out,

From green to yellow to orange they change,

With purple, pink and red on side,

They show their beauty one last time.

 

Dew rests on leaves, washing them out,

And Sun gives them all, a hot, warm bath,

Glistening and glowing with colors all kind,

Making a sad heart happy with last good bye.

 

And, when autumn sojourns, clearing them out,

The last look of love is never forgone,

Hustling with wind, the leaves fly away,

And so, they’re beautiful, even when they fall.

 

From New Jersey, with love.

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

 

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Inni Wallahe Ohibboka Ya Maula!

As it dawned on Wednesday, 2nd September 2015, my home seemed like a fish market, we all were in a hurry to get to Hyderabad. All in all, we left home by almost 7.30 am. The plan was, that Syedna Ali-Qadar Mufaddal Saifuddin Maula TUS was directly coming to Hyderabad from Karachi airport.

We reached in time and got the sharaf of waaz of Urus Mubarak of Syedna Idrees Imaduddin Maula RA in Hyderabad; in bayan Mufaddal Maula TUS explained the position of a leader. He (TUS) told that the leader is like a lion, the protector from evils, the King of all, He whose one roar can make everyone silent. And, when I read this quote I knew exactly what Maula TUS tried to tell us, ‘I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.’ ~Alexander the Great

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay in Hyderabad while Maula TUS was there, and came back to Karachi by evening, none of us knew if the city of Karachi will get His blessings too, but on the inside everyone prayed that He would bless our city too. By weekend, we knew the stay in Karachi for a few days was confirmed, and the arrangements and preparations had begun as soon as the news came in.

On Monday morning, 7th September ’15, Maula TUS flew to Burhani Industrial Park and then Burhani Recreational Park in helicopter; the parks were inaugurated by His Holiness. Around 1.15 pm, Maula TUS came to Karachi.

In the evening of 7th, thousands of mumineen did deedar of Maula TUS at Naadil Burhani. Each heart was rejoiced as Maula TUS gave salami to the crowds in the ground. The cricket match of Saifee Burhani Games commenced. While the match went on, Maula TUS enjoined on mumineen to keep this ground as a ground, since health is very important, and no other thing should take this ground’s place.

I and my few friends hurried to Hasani Masjid- Clifton, where Maula TUS would offer Magrib/ Isha prayers. Luckily, we got through the excited crowd and prayed after Maula’s Imamat.

Then, on 8th of September, Tuesday, the day began with Fajr prayers in Taheri Masjid – Sadar. After the prayers and deedar, the MSB staff, students and alumni proceeded to Al-Madrasa-Tus-Saifiyah-Tul-Burhaniyah Hyderi campus, last minute work was going on for Maula TUS’s arrival in the madrasa.

In not more than 18 minutes, Mufaddal Maula TUS did an overview of the whole school, He TUS looked inside every classroom, every lab. Since I was standing by the counter, where shehed (honey), water, and many things were kept for shifa, I was right in front of Maula as he said shifa to all the things, never in my life have I ever been so close to Maula TUS. And then, Zohar Asar prayers were offered in Husami Masjid – Barakaat-e-Hyderi.

Later that night, Governor of Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ibad conferred doctorate degree upon Mufaddal Maula TUS in a convention organized by University of Karachi (KU) at Governor House.

9th September started with Fajr prayers in Adam Masjid – Old Karachi, and at night Saleh Masjid was blessed with Magrib/Isha prayers in the night of Milaad Mubarak of 51st Dai Syedna Taher Saifuddin RA. A noorani procession was held in Naadil Burhani, the sight was amazing, and the cries of ‘Maula Maula’, ‘Maula Aik Nazar’, ‘Labbaika Ya Dai-Allah’ and ‘Inni Wallahe Ohibboka Ya Maula’ are still ringing in my ears. The Moukib (procession) was truly something that the mumineen of Karachi will never forget.

The day of Milad dawned on us, and the news which none of us wanted to hear was clear to us when Maula TUS gave wada nu salam (the last words) to all of us. When I heard the waaz, I felt every word, every zikr, every sentence was meant for my soul. Many of us did deedar from the terrace of Masjid, which was like the do or die thing but at that moment no one cared, the want of Aik Nazar gave us the spirit.

As I sat for jaman (lunch) with my mohalla friends, we came up with a plan to do last deedar as Maula TUS would leave for airport from a zyafat nearby. We, and many mumineen stood on the road waiting for Maula TUS as He’d come towards the car. Not once, not twice, not even thrice, it was definitely more than that, I ran after the car, seeing the last salami of Maula today, my feelings can’t be put to words. As much as I’m thankful, my heart is grieving on Maula TUS’s departure.

This safar has changed me like no other, I guess, some things can never be explained, and maybe never be understood by any other person, except Maula TUS himself.

As these days pass, I wish to do His deedar again and again, until there is no other day.

May Allah, grant our Maula TUS, a prosperous and healthy life till the day of Judgment. Ameen.

Amate Syedna Maulanal Mannan,

Ruqaiya Mulla Mustafa Lokhand Wala.

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What do you hope to achieve in your lifetime?

We’ve all born up with, or at least I can say that I’ve born up with- fairy tales, a place where magic existed, and anything could be done by a swish swash of a wand; there was an outside world- so called Narnia and a school named Hogwarts. Life went on, and then I started to realize, that those places and things were mere imaginations, those were just illusions that are not the meaning to life, that’s not the core of it, there’s something else besides being a hero.

Like all children, I had my own fantasy world (of course); being the youngest of my siblings, I never had anything to worry about. I was always pampered and got whatever I wanted. I was not an outspoken person; I had such ideas and elements in my world that no one would believe I would think of. The fantasies made me feel that my life would be the same, but seriously, would it?

Humans are unique creatures, aren’t they? I don’t know if there’s one definition to them. Of all the creations of God, humans are entirely distinctive in features and habits. There are many theories of how humans evolved from other animals, but then, humans have this most insane thing in them, yes, I call it insane, because this particular thing has the ability to do anything, absolutely anything; it is the mind, yes. This is where I disagree to the fact that humans evolved from animals, if so, one aspect to that is; why would it be taken as an insult if one called us an animal?

The point is; that humans have the ability; to think, visualize, weigh the options according to their priorities and likes/dislikes, and act upon it. Animals do that too, but they can do it to a certain extent, they can’t go across their boundaries to do something mind blowing. It is the humans that can bring peace, and then, at the same time, mass destruction as well. It is the humans, who have the ability to go as far as the moon. It is the humans that can turn mere particles into sky scrapers.

I’m sure we all know what a human mind is capable of doing. This brings us to reason out; why humans are born different? Why do they have a particular race in life? What is the meaning to their live? Will they be particularly accounted for what they do? And so, the questions arise one after another.

A few years ago, I started to write on a blog with my school-mates. There, I wrote an essay (or you could call it an autobiography), which was; ‘it’s fun to be me’, and one of my teachers commented there, ‘Knowing oneself is a life-long process of discovery. It’s good to realize your own strengths and shortcomings. That is the key towards self-development.’ That’s what struck me; our process of experiencing life is the same thing. It works the same way, as we proceed to take steps in our life one after another, we come down to various perspectives, we understand ourselves in a better way and hence, the motive of our life.

The first revelation that came upon Prophet Mohammad PBUH was,

“Proclaim! In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-
Created man, out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood;
Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful,-
Who taught (the use of) the pen,-
Taught man that which he knew not.”

It was a clear order, to acquire knowledge and then, spread it to others. When we study or wade through the words of wisdom, at first, we accept what is brought to us and then, we ask of how and why this or that happened, which enables our mind to open up. When we talk in religious terms, there have been people who were astray and then as time passed they became religious, on the other hand, there have been people who were born in a religious environment but they found ‘their’ meaning of life something else. Every mind is given a certain time (age), to use his mind and contemplate with what he has observed in his time.

I’m not a scholar, and I do not have the sound reasons to argue about the theories of life evolving from a unicellular organism to a very well developed one, but with what I have grasped and what my mind tells me is that if humans are extra-ordinary, then there’s definitely a reason to it. I am, in the process of learning, everyday my mind perceives a new thing, and it makes me wonder and ponder.

It is my mind that instructs me, to dive-in, in the sea of knowledge and achieve the task of knowing of my existence here.

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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A Real Rainbow- A group of treasured Friends!

The friends we meet in the path of life make the trip worthwhile..
It happened so, that I shifted to Dares-salaam last year, but the feeling was different this time. Maybe because, I was leaving home for good and I had no idea about when I will return back. Although I was heading to a land where I had lived my early childhood, yet I stored fear underneath the smiles and exhilaration shown on my face. I wasn’t so sure if I would easily manage to settle down here. Because, all I was lacking with, was FRIENDS. Only if I would have been in contact with my school friends back here (in Dares-salaam), it would not have seemed so difficult to fit in. Eventually, I managed to do so.

As A-levels started a month later, I met two of my very old long lost friends. (Both named Zainab). Coincidentally, they had also applied and got in the same school and class as mine. That day was a delightful one. I was so pleased to see them after all these years. Imagine how you would feel when you see someone you know, after a long gap of 10 years- where you can actually see the transformation taken place, from how cuddly and cute they used to be in grade 1 to how lady-like and beautiful they have become now. As a year passed by, both the Zainabs and I turned out to become very close friends. Or let me put it this way, we became more like “overly attached sisters”.
Apart from these two, who knew I would meet other new people too. Someone who would turn out to be so important to me in a matter of few days. A series of events followed. What came about now was that both the Zainabs along with some of their friends were planning to go to Selous (a place in south Tanzania) during Eid. So they had also asked me if I was interested to join in for the trip and more to my surprise I decided to tag along with them. However, it weren’t just us girls, but a group of 4 boys too who already were friends with both the Zainabs. Abbas, Juzer, Qusai and Mustafa were initially strangers to me but with time turned out be excellent company and long-lasting friends. I was pretty much comfortable with the girls. But I wasn’t so sure about the boys. However, being considerate enough, they tried making me comfortable in every way they could. As they might have realized how awkward it was for me to come up from nowhere and suddenly end up in Selous with them.

Well, as it was, all 7 of us packed our bags with excitement and thrill to board on an adventurous trip which was of 2 nights and 3 day of camping, enjoying ourselves, making memories and most importantly taking selfies on the very day of Eid, the 17th of July                                                                                                                                                                             IMG-20150719-WA0002

Day 1: The journey started off slow and lazy and the roads seemed never-ending but the music conquering our moods and a slight hum from here and there made the journey worthwhile. It was dark enough when we reached and the jungle looked silent and spooky from all sides. But as we were tired from the long ride, everyone hurried off to get fresh and grab food. Dinner that night was sururu and hajam along with soft drinks of course. (Sururu is a barbecue dish where small pieces of meat are aligned on a barbecue stick and cooked on coal. Hajam is a traditional chapatti. It is served with chili and tomato sauce). Though not so luxurious, but the food made s all satisfied after which we were off to play a few games. Everything seemed nice and serene and I had forgotten for a while that I was away from home and was actually amidst a jungle with my friends beside me. Each moment felt so lively. We played, chitchatted, giggled and made the most out of it.

Day 2: the day started off beautifully as we witnessed the sunrise of Selous, who would want to miss that sight?!  Where the very first rays of the sun kisses the grasslands making it glow and the lakes to sparkle, when the sky turns golden and the clouds seem to shine. Oh what beauty it is to view the sunrise! Breakfast for the day included left overs from the previous night along with nutella sandwiches and tea.  After which we set off for the game reserve. The Selous game reserve is Africa’s largest game reserve and one of the favorite wildlife viewing areas.  The rivers and lakes of Selous are the heart of a park that hosts some interesting species of animals including elephants, wild dogs, buffaloes, hippos, crocodiles and fantastic prides of lion together with over 440 known species of unique and beautiful birds.  The park is home to a very good population of Giraffes, hyenas, sables, baboons, wildebeests, zebras, impalas, and vervet monkeys.  It took us 6 hours just alone for safari but one worth our time and filled with nature of the beauty of Allah.  We came across exclusive species of animals along with their habitats.  It was as magnificent as one imagines it to be.  All 7 of us along with our guide had been enjoying the drive as thoroughly as one could do so.  We lived each moment there in Selous to its fullest and would never mind going back there again.  We were satisfied – with simply no regrets! Day 2 ended up being even more thrilling and adventurous, dinner for the night being barbecued chicken along with French fries, a rare combination it was. Later we stayed up all night playing games, star gazing, chatting and getting to know each other more.

Day 3: unfortunately this was our last day and packing up was in process, breakfast being served as Nutella sandwiches along with sausages this time.  After which we took off for Dar-es-Salaam.  This trip proved to be one good justification to why and how we have all got so close.  Although it was a short trip, these 3 days changed so much in our lives. I found true friends. We have gotten along so well, that they mean so much to me.  I am grateful to them that they have helped me fit in and enjoy being part of their small family – of closely attached friends.

So, this is how we molded a small group of ours.  Our bond is pure and treasured.  Life seems so meaningful and colorful when we have such friends.  Because, “FRIENDSHIP” is itself a rainbow between hearts sharing 7 colors: love, sadness, happiness, truth, faith, secret, and respect.  All 7 of us stick together no matter what. We stand by for one another.  Our journey is endless. Our paths are one. We are together, all as ONE.

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Alefiyah Rao.

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Enlightening Souls

There are very few people in this world who are still remembered because of their purity and positive traits. We read and recall, commemorate and commend the names of exceptional people whose tireless and selfless effort brought comfort and peace and illuminated the lives of the suffering humanity. They die but their death makes them immortal because they remain alive in our hearts. They die but their doings smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

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It was like life came to a halt after my nana’s death on 16th Rabi-ul-Awal. After I returned to Karachi, for months I have been avoiding anything that reminded me of him. Especially the dreadful fact of arriving at nani’s exactly 5-8 minutes late after his death. However, maybe because of the positive vibes of Maula’s dua mubarak that bestowed him after the araz, the date of death & the fortunate events that took place for him even after his demise & summing up this avoidance is the reason I plucked up courage to finally gather my thoughts and unzip the bag I had filled of his things which I carefully carried along while returning. It was like opening a beloved treasure of his shabby diaries, old dull filmed photographs, his personal stuff, one of his shirts & an Olive-Green sweater that hangs in the corner of my wardrobe now. Oh such a charming handsome gentleman he looked in it! Indeed, our family lost a pure gem.

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He saved all the cards I bought/made for him.

I knew about his diaries which he had told me about. But it holds much more meaning to it now, as he is no longer here.  It was like he had left his entire life for me to ruminate on. It is now I understand the quote, “when you keep a diary, the diary keeps you”. Flipping some sepia toned pages of one of his Maroon leathered diaries, I am so moved & inspired of his thirst for knowledge & his occasional habit of writing & jotting down meaningful stuff. He wrote great English but Urdu-the qaumi zabaan was his favorite! There is a heading with ‘Enlightening Souls’ on the front page and below is food for thought which I would love to share (some of it):

“KHUSH REHNE KA FUN”

*Asal khushi dolat se nahi khareedi ja sakti. Kabhi ye mat socho keh dolat tum par muskurahaton kee baarish keregi. Khush rehne ke liye bare bare waqeyaat ka intezaar mat kero. Khushi choti choti baatein aur ittefaaq se janam leti hain.

“MUSKURAHAT”

-Thakay huway insaan ke liye aaram

-musibat zada logon ke liye roshni kee kiran

-be dil aur mayoos ke liye behtereen tohfa

“Mathematics with Words”

*naseehat + burhapa= buzurg

*degree + achi nokri= shadi kee umeed? LOL

*aadmi + akhlaaq=insaan

*ashraf-ul-makhlooqaat – aqal= animal.

“JOKES”

Aek bachay ne apni ami se kaha, abu kitne boorhe hogaye hain bilkul dada kee tarha. Aur aap tou itni khoobsurat hain. Ami ne khush ho ker bache ko 10 ka note diya aur kaha, “jao ice-cream khaa lo.” Bache ne muhn banate huway kaha, “lekin abu ne tou 20 diye the! ;( “…..

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“KIRAN KIRAN ROSHNI” (There are a load of them. Just sharing a few)

*Raat ke baad din zaroor tulu hota hai, aur jo raat sabar se guzari jai, uski subah bohaut haseen hoti hai.

*Itna uncha mat uro keh sooraj kee garam shuain tumhe pighla dein aur tum bejaan sheh kee tarha zameen par aa giro.

*Baarish Cheete kee jild ko bhigo deti hai magar uske dhabbay nahi dhoti”

*Dunya darya hai aur aakherat kinara. Kashti taqwa hai aur log musafir.

*Ye dekho ke galati kia huwi. Ye na dekho kis se huwi.

*Burhaape se pehle jawani aur jawani se pehle burhape kee ganimat jano.

*Bachon ke saath bache banjao aur unko zindagi guzarna sikhao.

*Sab se bari fateh apne nafs ko qabu kerna hai.

* Pahaar se girh ker utha ja sakta hai magar nazron se nahi.

*Kisi ka dil mat dukhao kyun ki, usmai khuda rehta hai.

*Agar kisi ke dil mai jaga banana chahte ho tou uski izzat kero.

*Bure logon ke saath bethne se behtar tanhai hai.

*Ilm aesa baadal hai jisse rehmat barasti hai.

*Agar bara banne ki khuahish rakhte ho tou pehle chota banne kee koshish kero.

*Jo tumhare saamne doosron ki burai kerta hai who doosron ke saamne tumhari burai kerega.

*Baarish kee tarha raho jo phoolon par hee nahi, kaaton par bhi barasti hai.

*Insaan ka Insaan banjana uski jeet hai.

*Pehli naakami se na ghabrao. Yahi tumhari urooj kee pehli seerhi hoti hai.

*Dunya mai woh shaksh kamyaab hote hai jo apni galtiyon ko na dohrai.

“MOHABBAT”

-daulat se ho tou maraz ban jati hai,

– Khuda se ho ton bandagi ban jati hai,

-ustaad se ho tou roshni ban jati hai,

-waaldein se ho tou ibadat ban jati hai,

– inke ilawa insaan se ho tou zindagi ban jati hai.

“BHOOJO TOU JAANEIN: RIDDLES”

(I’m writting down some interesting riddles he has jotted down, lets see if you guys can come up with the answers)

* Bigray baal, aur kamar par patti hogi, kisi kone mai leti hogi.

*sab sakhyon(friends) ka dekha khel, kamar pakar ker diya dakhel.

*Chao se ussay galay lagaya, lekin usne tou gala dabaya.

*Ek abba ke so betay. Gol matol ek hee jesay. Chalay bhi sab ek hee sath, sab ke pait mai ek suraakh.

*Janaab-e-aali, sar par jali, enteries bari magar pait khali.

*Mun khula tou bigri huwi shakal banai, magar shukr kia woh jab bhi aayee.

This is it for now. Hence,

Never has a day passed when he hasn’t crossed my mind. But I’m pleased by the fact that I have a load of his photos of almost every moment & that I spent a satisfactory amount of time with him-but not satisfactory enough.

It is true, people leave a void– every space irreplaceable–but the motions of life continue. We can only repay them by learning from their traits & practicing them. Therefore, enlightening our soul as well as the souls around us.

Sarrah M.Mustafa Malirwala.

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The pressure cooker!

6740_pressure-cookerRemember the movie ‘3 idiots’; the part where Rancho (Aamir Khan) says to his Principal that; “the place where we study is a university, not a pressure cooker”? Well, to be honest, even if it’s not the institutes that put that pressure, the mind always does.

We humans are always fighting; fighting for money, fighting for power, fighting for a rank and fighting to make a place- to make a name in this world. So basically, life is a pressure cooker.

In every part of life, may it be our childhood- adolescence-old age, we encounter difficult situations. At that very moment, it seems like that is the most crucial time of our life, with or without that thing, makes our future.

In childhood, I guess we all have done a lot of troubles and hidden from our parents for doing it. My favorite action used to be emptying toothpastes. I used to relish doing it and I never wanted to get caught (like obviously). I used to act all innocent in front of my mom, and getting a bad lecture from my mom would be like life and death situation to me; taking saliva down my throat would be even so painful to me. Now that I think of it, I laugh over it.

Today, I fear examinations, I fear losing my dream, the dream that I see in all my loved ones’ eyes; I fear of breaking them. I think all the time, what if I don’t do good enough, what if this, what if that and these questions drive me crazy eventually. It’s said that, “ من ذن بك خيرا فصدق ذنه – man zanna bika khairan fa saddiq zannahu” (when someone has good expectations from you, you should make them come true). As I thought of this saying, I went back past to last year when I was about to give the second year of the O levels Examinations.

Before the exams had to begin, the school principal told us a small story of a deaf frog (I hope I remember it right). I don’t remember his exact words, but the plot of the story was that; there was a race held among frogs, at the end of the race they had to climb a hill. Many frogs took part in that race and among all the kinds of frogs, one was deaf. Well then, the race begun and all the frogs bing-boinged and jumped along the race-track. There were a lot of cheers and a lot shouting from the crowd while the participants were climbing the hill. Soon, the race came to an end. Do you know who the winner was, it was the deaf frog. The principal – Janab Ash-Shaikh Ammar Bhai – one of the persons who had a lot of expectations from us, gave each of us a lesson. He told us that in all our times when we want to achieve something big, there are going to be people criticizing us for what we do; never listen to them, listen to your heart, to your Allah who created you, He is your right guide. The only reason the deaf frog won the race was, he couldn’t listen to what people said, he didn’t hear the criticizing comments passed by them- the only reason he won was – he was ambitious. He was dedicated to his goal and he earned it. It was a lesson for me to learn and remember whenever I would be fighting with the pressure cooker.

So then, I learnt this that; no matter how much and how loud we whine, life is always going to be a pressure cooker, be the stubborn potato and never let it boil you!

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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Navratan.

After school got over, I always felt that you can’t let go of those people you knew for your entire life. Well, it’s true, you can never let go of those people, but you ought to meet new people in life and get along with them, that’s how life is.

Coming to Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, I came into an entirely different environment. At school, I met people from my own community but now I got to know people from other communities as well. At first I didn’t know how to respond, there was no hesitancy in means of shyness of anything, but I felt unsure about what I should say; not knowing what they would think about me. With time, I got close to them; and, they to me. I gradually learned that the thin line that I had made between me and them, had slowly vanished into the air, and in no time we had become a crazy bunch of people.

I would never compare my friends, from those who were in school and now in college, but, I know I’m very fortunate in finding good friends here too. So, I call this group of nine crazy people (which includes me) as Navratan.

‘Navratan’ was a term applied to a group of nine extraordinary people in an emperor’s court in India. Some well-known groups are in the Raaj Sabha (court) of King Janaka, Emperor Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) and in Emperor Akbar’s “Darbar”.(Source: Wikipedia)

The literal meaning of Navratan is nine gems. All of them are gems to me. Coming from an O levels background there were a lot of tussles and wrestles with studies, because the way of learning was very distinctive in means of wrote-learning and ‘rattafying’ (learn something by heart by continuously repeating it). However, I dealt with this dilemma with a little spirit inside me and a lot of encouragement from them.

These are my gems;

First of all:

Aquamarine.

Aquamarine.

Aquamarine; this is the stone to help you be in touch with your spiritual being. This stone is used in deep meditations. It has been called ‘Water of the Sea’. My seat-mate Zahra is like an Aquamarine. She always leaves me with a sense of spirituality. Her sense of humor leaves me awestricken and for her all-time good words we call her our senior citizen. I believe her novel-reading habit has made her a detective, knowing what ever is in our hearts. 😀

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Blue Opal.

Secondly:

The Blue Opal; Opals contain water, which makes them very sensitive to heat. They are soft and can be cracked or chipped easily. Opals should be stored in moist absorbent cotton. And, so should my soft-hearted Atyaba. She’s a strong one on the outside, but emotional and sentimental on the inside. Whatever we say, she stays the same but we can read it from her expressions when something is wrong. A true hard-worker she is, never letting anything make her hopes down. 😉

Then, comes;

Spinel.

Spinel.

Spinel; the name “spinel” is derived from the Greek word for spark, in reference to the fiery red color of spinels often used for gems. Hareem is just like a Spinel, she gives hope when I’ve lost it all; gets me out of that emotional trauma by acting like she is facing the same situation! She’s the stylish one in us. 😀

Then is;

Alexandrite.

Alexandrite.

Alexandrite; Alexandrite is a very rare stone. It was named after Alexander II of Russia as it was found on his Coming of Age Day. My friend Famiya is very much like an Alexandrite; a very rare person. At first, we used to call her ‘Famiya Bacche (child)’, now that I see her true form I realize she has changed colors like an Alexandrite, at last coming out of her shy-shell.

This brings me to;

Diamond.

Diamond.

Diamond; it is the hardest gemstone and one of the most valued. The diamond in our treasure box is Rabail. She is our very own ‘WOODERA’ (land-lord). The fact that we call her by this name is, she is very rough and tough- totally a tomboy by behavior. 😀 But, let me tell you, her intentions are very innocent. No matter how hard hearted she might look to you, if you know her truly you’ll know you are in a great company.

And, then;

Ruby.

Ruby.

Ruby; the ruby is considered to be the most powerful gem in the universe. I find Aamna the most mature one in our group. She has a good control over herself, unlike all others (this is no means of insulting anyone else). To have her, brings contentment and peace. It’s always good to take out the tension of the pressure of studies and she has always been there for that.

Next up is;

Sapphire.

Sapphire.

Sapphire; Sapphire is a Stone of Wisdom, a royal stone of learning, mental acuity and psychic activation, a seeker after spiritual truth. Najia is very similar to a Sapphire. She has a God-gift, that she is truly a genius. She is a very diligent student and a wise one. Having her around, always gives me motivation to study more and more.

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Topaz.

And;

Topaz; Topaz is one of the twelve breastplate stones of the High Priest referred to in the Book of Exodus. Thinking of Topaz, made me think of Wajiha. She is a very good friend to me and her silly jokes literally make us laugh our hearts out. At times, she underestimates her own potential but knowing her for almost a year I believe that she will face all the problems and tackle them being a strong Topaz.

Lastly;

Pearl.

Pearl.

Pearl; the pearl is the oldest known gem, and for many centuries it was considered the most valuable. Unlike all gems, the pearl is organic matter derived from a living creature – oysters and mollusks. I am their Pearl; every day, as I go to college and move to the crowd standing near the main gate, I see them smiling at me. Just like they are special to me, their smiles bringing me utter happiness, telling me, I am too.

Together, we give hope to one another, strengthen one another’s hopes and share it among us all. We help each other and take out new tactics and schemes to deal with studies and all other things that jump out of nowhere at us from time to time.

So likely,

Friends are true gems.

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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Life goes on…

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Sometimes, I sit down and think, of all that has happened in my life. At one place I was a shy person, who would be forced to talk, and, at another I was quite the opposite.

As time passed, I blend myself in the colors of life, acquiring something new each time for a different situation. Each day brought a new role for me in life. One day I was a mere student in my school and the next day the head girl of the entire school. I don’t think so that I played each role with perfection because I’m a very lazy person. Those who don’t know me personally often don’t believe that I could be a lazy person, maybe because at times I am able to save the day at the eleventh hour (lucky!).

Life went on as the sun went down each day, throwing random things at me all the time. I fought for catching on everything but I simply used to end frustrated and drop the simple catches being Umar Akmal.

I always used to think that life should be called a problem. It gives nothing to you. But, growing up gave me one thing, it made me understand that life is a chance given by Allah; you ought to remember His message.

Being a child I thought of being a hero, saving people and doing what-not, but being a teenager my views changed completely. I don’t know who should be put to question for that, maybe I should be, because I had my every right to do anything. I’m proud of some things I did, and even saddened at my foolishness when I messed up everything.

Will I ever learn to be a mature person? (Haha that is an essay in itself) What I simply do, is wake up every morning, do something good, and put my head to rest; that is good enough, isn’t it? Well, to be true it’s not even near good.

Few months ago, I read a letter in my Easy Urdu class with my teacher. It was a letter from Sir Syed Ahmed Khan to his students, which means this happened way before independence. Coming down to the point, every word of that letter touched my heart. His words taught me how we never realize the importance of time. We think it will always be the same way; the sun will go up every morning, the stars will be lit up every night, the clock will tick every second and we will enjoy ourselves every might. Everything might go on the same, but we miss out on the part, that we won’t. He said that, ‘my life should be a notice board to you all, “Beware! Don’t go this way.”’ He meant that he had not given the time to study and learn that he should have, but, we should. Of course a well-educated person like him couldn’t be like this, he being so humble, explained it all so well.

We don’t value the words of our own people, but most of the times, it is them who inspire and motivate us. If there’s one major thing his letter taught me, it was;

Life goes on…

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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The incident that silenced the nation.

I don’t think there might be anyone who must not have heard about what happened day before yesterday. When I heard the news, for a second, I felt feeling-less, do you know why, it’s because these constant bomb blasts and open-air firings have made my heart so hard, that, for a second I did not think of them. I didn’t think what must have happened.

When I write here, I never lie, I tell what I feel. I say exactly what my heart holds inside. The breaking news was clear, over 84 students had been shot and killed, and a few teachers too. The news seemed like an everyday routine thing. Just then, there came pictures, not a few, a flood of them came one after another. One showing, a parent taking his young son to school and the other showed that child, lying on the ground, with his eyes closed, and blood all over him. His father who had dropped him to school that morning was holding his son in his arms and crying because he didn’t know he had brought him that day for this reason.

The nation lost its flowers; the flowers that once bloomed in the garden, were plucked out and burnt to ashes. That moment, I heard a bell ringing, it rung so loud, that I went to my room, closed the door and sat on my bed in silence. I closed my eyes and I could see, I could see these cruel people going to each class and firing each child in the head, I could see them taking out children that were hiding underneath the desks and shot each one of them.

The hard-heartedness had vanished, tears rolled down as I thought of that incident. Those young children who survived this heinous massacre lost their childhood. They’ve lost their innocence; God knows what they must have seen and what situation they must be in. You know, I’m not a ruthless, cruel person, but, these incidents are unbearable for me, I see my people dying every day and there’s nothing I could do about it. So, I created a wall, but when I saw these young ones my heart couldn’t hold it anymore, it was just too much.

What must have been going on those parents whose children were taken away from them forever? They must have lost themselves when they would have known that their meaning of life was gone. For those who earn, so that their child gets good education and one day he’d shine like a star and have a better life then they did, their dreams went in vain, their dreams, were crushed by these people.

These people who came to each classroom and said, “Allah-o-Akbar”, do you call them Muslims? Do you call these people Muslims who took lives of guiltless children? Don’t they know that Prophet Mohammad PBUH loved children? Oh and besides that, Prophet Mohammad PBUH never fought unless it was needed, he would not even hurt those who hurt him the most. So, do we call these people Muslims? These people; do this in the name of Muslims so that they can make a bad name of true Muslims. They are nothing but beasts, yes beasts, I’m sure you remember what happened in Karbala, when Imam Husain A.S took his 6 months old son out, so that maybe one of the enemies might have mercy on the child and would give at least a drop of water, the enemy didn’t give water, in fact, the young soldier was martyred by an arrow.  The ones who did this hideous act, were like the enemies of Imam Husain A.S, they were so-called Muslims.

Every dark night is followed by a bright day, and this cycle goes on, I being a Pakistani openly condemn of this terrorist attack and solemnly feel that we all must bring a change. We must not let them fear us, we have each other, and together we can reach the sky. This incident has silenced the nation, but, we can overcome this. We can overcome all of that we lost and start from a fresh page. We must stand together so that people like them can’t harm us again. A small brick can be drifted along, but together, we will make a wall, we will build ourselves up so that whatever they do does not affect us.

Because, ‘united we stand and divided we fall’.

A patriotic Pakistani,

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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TAARE ZAMEEN PAR

You must be thinking that I am going to write something on the movie ‘Taare Zameen Par’. Well, you can say so… I am actually going to write something like that movie, but not exactly the same story where you see a child’s life changed. A story of a boy who was nil but had a will, wanted to win, SO WHAT WAS HIS SIN ?

There was a boy who struggled in all subjects and wasn’t able to easily pass his exams. He found all subjects difficult, and was belittled by his teachers and classmates. Slowly and gradually he was losing hope, his effort towards studies was decreasing day by day, month by month, or you may say teacher to teacher. His parents thought he was studying well but in school he wasn’t, his mind would stay in other things, always wanting to be out of the class, his homework would be incomplete on daily basis. Whenever his result came, he used to be shocked because for him it was the most he could study. From grade I-V, no class teacher understood him, in fact, just criticized him and made him lose his hope for achieving better grades.

He was always running away from books, and always unwilling to go to school, but he was good at something, which a teacher knew, who was there for him for 3 years since class 6; that boy’s situation totally changed when that teacher became his class teacher and English teacher in class 6. He didn’t know but he was changing his perspective towards studies. The teacher had an amazing teaching style and she was different than other teachers, that teacher quickly observed that, that boy was happy but wasn’t contributing to class activities or discussions.

Concerned and worried the teacher called upon the boy’s parents and older brother, and made them believe that this boy didn’t show any sign of low intelligence, because he was good at other things but not studies. The teacher made him study well, that boy was good at English (the subject which was taught by that teacher) but wasn’t good at other teacher’s subjects which made his result low graded, he did know the teacher was a blessing for his class and for him.

Later that boy came first in a couple of things, but as always not good at studies.

When he was in class 10, it was his last day of school; many teachers were there in the class to say a final good bye to that boy’s class and him. A teacher psychiatrically said to another teacher “sir, there are some students in class 9, who want to stay in class 9”, (he meant that there are students for whom they do not hope to pass the exam creating a way to degrade students). Another teacher replied “not only class 9, there are students in this class too”. Everyone was just laughing because it was a general talk, no one was pointed out, but there was another teacher who replied “sir, it is good for us, because it would be easy for us to take pictures in school”. That day, that boy had promised himself that he would bring a good result and show it to that teacher who believed in him and those who had taunted. And yes it did happen, that boy didn’t score something big, but it was something good for him than the results of previous classes. The moment when the teacher didn’t give a good impression taunting to a student who may have prayed for her, and yes he did pray, just for the students who were there after him in school, so that they don’t face these kind of difficulties.
That boy was the one who had won first prize in School Photography Competition and was the one who used to cover all the events of school.

Yes, you may have got a hint about who is this story about…
The teacher who changed the boy’s life wasn’t Ram Shankar Nikumbh, the teacher was Maryam Bhen Sadriwala. Who is missed by the students till now, and those who haven’t studied under her, wish they would have done so.

taa3d

And, you may also be thinking that the boy who was changed by the teacher would be Ishaan Nandkishore Awasthi, in this story that boy was ME, Myself.

sahara

“TAARE ZAMEEN PAR”, what does it mean actually, does it mean that the student are in a form of star on land, On Earth ?
YES ! We are one of the bright stars which live on EARTH, who are not just floating in the sky. Just shining just for a reason, just to give The MOON a company. The Moon is a teacher, who gives blessings to the bright star, you may also believe the Moon gives light to them. The biggest achievement for a star is to become a shooting star, move from one place to somewhere higher. On Earth, shooting stars are made by teachers like :

Maryam Bhen Sadriwala, THANKS to you, MAY GOD BLESS YOU.
Now I pray, which I prayed from my childhood, in the assembly of school. No prayer is prayed without this prayer.
In the end we should all pray that may Allah grant Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Aqa, who is our ultimate teacher, who lights our ways and gives guidance to us, a long, healthy and prosperous life till the Day of Judgment. Ameen.

Huzefa.A.Hazari – MSBIAN TILL DEATH

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To SUCCESS!

Many students think that being a good student means just showing up for classes, taking a few notes, reading the textbooks and studying right before the exams. But, that’s not all…

I had my midterm examinations a week ago. Today, was the day script-checking was to be done in class. Overall, the exam didn’t turn out so well. My chemistry teacher knew how frustrated we were during the exams. He could see the amount of disappointment on our faces. So, as per his habit, he decided to motivate us through a slide show. The slide show consisted of messages which were to reach each student to his/her core. He started with “WAY TO ACADEMIC SUCCESS”.

He explained to us how the geography students would rather ask, what is the ROAD-MAP to success? The mathematics students would ask, what is the FORMULA to success? The chemistry students would ask, what are the REACTANTS and PRODUCTS of success? The nutritionists would ask, what are the INGREDIENTS for success? These questions are just questions. Have you ever thought over the answers to these questions?

Well, the answer is simple. Keep on trying again and again. If you don’t succeed this time, that doesn’t mean you will never ever succeed in life. It’s just that you were not perfect in the way you did it last time. Scoring less marks in an exam doesn’t mean you are wasting your time studying for no reason, it means now you have a reason to start again fresh. Failing to succeed in one exam doesn’t mean you give up and let go. It actually means that it will take a little longer for you to get there. Believe, there is always a way. Due to disappointment, sometimes you think God has abandoned you. But, it means God has a better idea in waiting. You need to have an optimistic mind in this situation at all times.

Sometimes you think all sorts of study curses have come over you. You cannot succeed further. You seem to be loser in your own eyes. Thinking of yourself being an academic dwarf. But this is actually the time to seek and stand on the shoulders of academic giants. You need to figure out what the wrong things were, which robbed you on your way to academic success. Take your time and ponder really hard. Think of what you have done. Meditate! Decide what you want to do.

Academic success depends on your attitude! You need to contrast yourself with the focused high achievers. Your motivation meter should always be HIGH. Class participation counts. Seek help from peers and teachers. You should understand the importance of TEAMWORK. Because academic success is a ladder, where you climb step by step. Each step taking you higher and higher. It is said, “You can’t climb stairs and chew gum at the same time”. It is wise to climb stairs first, as it requires more hard work. Once you reach the top, sit and chew gum, looking back towards all your achievements. Similarly, leave all distractions aside to help maintain a clear focus. Once you reach your goal, sit, relax and enjoy to your heart’s content. Learning strategy also counts! Sometimes you can’t attain success with the same old, failed strategies. So, change your way of learning. That might prove helpful. If you are waiting for the right time, it is NOW.

Success is the aim behind each time you try. Always believe, the largest room in the world is the room of improvement. So, work hard! Focused, hard work is the real key to success. Keep taking the next step towards competing it. The most important thing is being passionate about what you are doing and always give it your best shot! Because, you never know how close you are to your goal. Believe, if you can dream it, you can do it. JUST GO FOR IT!

success

Alefiyah Rao.

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Forever Friendship…

School life is the best part of life. There was a time, when I used to meet my friends everyday at school. We used to spend so much time together. We had promised each other that our friendship will always be cherished.

Today, although we are physically distant from one another; all of us busy with our own daily schedules, but we still take out time for each other. Just a short chat sometimes proves to be a delightful way of promising a good day ahead.

As I speak of myself, at the moment I am living in Dares salaam, Tanzania along with my family. I shifted here a few months ago. Leaving my friends behind in Karachi was as difficult as it could be. The only reason because of which I feel incomplete, is, THEM. Those friends of mine are more precious to me than diamonds and gold. In fact, it is their friendship which I promise to treasure throughout my life.

A few days ago, I was sitting idle at home, and so, scrolled down the photo gallery in my mobile phone, during which, I came across a few memorable pictures of me and my friends. I was so ecstatic as I gazed over those photographs which brought back screens of memories, laughs, cheers, joys, hugs, wishes, excitement and smiles. I could see each one’s eyes shimmering out of contentment and happiness. Those days were special. Those FRIENDS are SPECIAL. They are the ones who complete me; each one having something unique in their own way. I really miss them.

Sometimes in life, you come across special people; people who change your life just by being part of it, people who make you laugh until you can’t stop laughing, people who make you believe that there really is good in the world, people who convince you to look at the brighter side, people who boost up your courage. And, most importantly, they are the people who make you believe that they will always be there for you, no matter what. Your bond with such people is what FOREVER FRIENDSHIP is.

If you are fortunate enough, like me, to find such valuable friends in life, they will definitely make you feel happy and complete. So, believe that you have a FOREVER FRIEND. As, FOREVER has NO END.

Friends

Alefiyah Rao.

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Victory is not an ice-cream you can buy, it’s a goal you have to achieve.

Victory!

Victory!

The March that began in August has continued to September also. The literal meaning of March in August is that the long march held in August. While, on the contrary it also means to bring two great months’ histories together. On 23rd March 1940, Pakistan (Lahore) resolution was passed. In that resolution, the Muslims of the sub-continent demanded a separate homeland for themselves and then after 7 years from then on 14th August 1947, the Muslims got a nation for themselves, Pakistan.

Over the years, in 67 years after independence, Pakistan has gone through many crucial situations. But, even then it has had enough strength to go ahead; the strength that came from the people of Pakistan, the strength of patience and determination. Then, a time comes when one can’t hold it anymore he needs to get that insecurity out of his mind, he demands for peace and justice. In those times when one wants a true leader, they fortunately get one but, it’s not easy. It’s not easy to change that old corrupted system in just minutes or hours. It takes time to change.

Imran Khan is an ideal leader. He says that I’m not against any particular person for own purposes. I want that our people should get what they deserve. Let there be fair elections and then, if you win you can have that seat. But, if you don’t you can be a member of the Parliament. However, the mean politicians disagree for their own good. They think, that Pakistan is for them and if they rule they have the right to do whatsoever they want.

The participants of the long march should be appreciated. They’ve stayed there day and night protesting against the unlawful set of demands set by the government. They fight for justice and peace and that is every person’s right in the country.

Majority of the Pakistanis want a change. They want a change that makes them feel secure. They want the country to prosper. All we demand is re-election that would be done under strict examination. And then, we all know we will be satisfied with the result of that. As these political happenings have changed the whole situation of Pakistan, a thought came across my mind, ‘Victory is not an ice-cream you can buy, it is a goal you have to achieve.’ Victory comes from rage, determination and hard work. Bringing these elements together one can achieve his goal of ‘VICTORY’.

For all those who stand firm in their faith for having a bright future for Pakistan.

For all the dedicated Pakistanis!

Victory!

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

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Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Has it ever happened to you that you forget to wish your best friend on his/her birthday? No, it wouldn’t have, I believe. Such a mean friend I am that I can’t even wish my best friend happy birthday on time and I realize this is the second time I have done the same thing.

I know I am the meanest friend and I don’t even deserve to be forgiven after doing the same thing again but I still would apologize to you. You would give a change to at least apologize, right?

Friends are people who play a major role in our lives. They tease you, play with you, they are there for you in your pleasurable moments and even those times when you don’t have the courage to go to your elders and tell them that I’m stuck in a problem. For me, you are that friend; a friend who is always there for me, a friend who inspires me and motivates me, a friend that tells me ‘I can do it’, and, a friend who I can count on at any time.

I know it seems absurd that you forget that friend’s birthday who means a lot to you, but, I want you (my friend) to know that I have never forgotten you and never will. I’m really sorry and you surely deserve a better friend who can at least remember your birthday. Again, I apologize because I don’t want to lose a wonderful friend like you for a foolish act I did.

Do you know I’m jealous of you? Yes, I am, because, for me you’re perfect. You never make mistakes. You have the easiest and quickest solution for my complicated problems. You’re not lazy like me. You have always got everything organized. You’re the first one to wish me on my birthday and the imperfect, immature me is the last one to wish you.

It’s not that you don’t mean anything to me and I didn’t wish you, it’s my mere foolishness and I am so embarrassed that I couldn’t even do this much.

Happy Birthday! May you always stay happy and stay blessed under the Saya Mubarak of Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin Maula TUS.

Your very foolish but grateful friend,

Ruqaiya Lokhand.

Dated: 3rd September 2014.

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