Sunday, January 29, 2006
Someone telling you that they care for you genuinely, without any reasons, any strings attached, is one of the most wonderful feelings on earth. I'm too careful with intimacy, it seriously scares me because I feel very inadequate. I'm afraid of either putting too much effort or not being bothered at all. Love does come naturally, but the handling doesn't. Some learn with experience, some get shelled in out of fear of rejection and betrayal somewhere down the lane. I'm part of the latter group. I've spent a good part of my life sheltering awar from intimacy. It requires of us to become vulnerable to a certain degree, to bring down our defences and let the world see through us. I've never reached that point in my life because I'm just too insecure and unsure of myself. This is not to say that I have low self-worth. I don't even know what it really is, because according to psychology low self-esteem breeds lack of confidence and habits of seclusion. I do have them from time to time, but its not consistent. My confidence is always fluctuating, it has got more to do with people, rather than my own experiences. I might come across as a very confident, daring person at one time, while a complete nut-case, coward little child at another. I often feel that there is something gravely wrong with me. Its no use going over the internet with this thought because I'd probably end up diagnosing myself deadly disorders that just sound funny.
So coming back to the point, its an amazingly incredible moment when someone tells you that they truly care for you, for reasons they don't even know themselves. I never knew such a thing existed. I mean I've lived life and I've been with people of all sorts (almost!), I know quiet alot about natural human instincts and ways and to top it all, I have a scrutinizing eye that searches blank expressions for meanings and pursed lips for words...yeah so I guess I can say that I'm vaguely aware of how an average human being functions. And the jist of my conclusion is that this world is structured around using people for its own advantage. Its everywhere, just go outside in the sun, run into any crowded place swarming with people and you'd find yourself nodding your head rhythmically, astonished at my prediction. Isolating others from my generalisation, I've been through this myself. No, not in taking advantage but in being taken advantage of and the people who think that I don't realise that are well...just plain dumb. So no one should really blame me for forming this highly eccentric view of concern. Unfortunetly for me, I've only been exposed to the ugly side of concern. It is warm and loving but behind it is always a motive that you wouldn't want to dig out. Quite naturally, thats why when someone today said something to the effect that she really cares for me, I was slightly taken aback because I did not expect it to be this pure. That certain person had voiced this numerous times before as well but I always let the loving comment pass because I thought it was a one-time remark made out of courtesy or plain pity. I did not believe it in the first place, even when I desperately wanted to. I wanted to hold onto it but I deliberately refrained as I thought it was said only because of the loved-up mood of the moment. I did not realise that certain someone who I've known only for a year could become so selflessly close to actually care for me! Its a whole new concept for me and admittedly I'm glowing in the knowledge of this fact. I've harboured this misconcetion about that person for as long as I can remember, but I could never find the guts to ask, because there was this fear of appearing too stupid. But today I thought I'll just throw my hand in the cold, shiver and come back all aware! Fortunetly, as it turns out...I am aware and I am happy. Jazakallah for adding something warm to someone's life.
posted by Niqabi at 12:39 PM
Friday, January 27, 2006
So much is going on and so little time to reflect and analyse. For starters, I've been insanely busy with studies. I come home around 8 ish and after that I'm only eager to go to bed. I've not been spending alot of time at home lately and that's been helpful in making up my mind over certain views. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of isolation to think clearly. Although you can make up all the theories in the world, but putting them into practise is something horribly different. I've seen this happening, I've been through this cycle of 'thought and revealation' when you extract sense out of the tense circumstances but when it comes to actually playing your part in real life, you're caught off guard. Its irritatingly ironic!
And now I've come to the point that I deliberately stop myself from thinking because what I imagine and what actually happens are events of two different worlds. Predictions, intutions...all crap. Taking life head-on....not an easy job. I wish I could just take a back seat from all the noise and clatter and get off whenever I want. Another problem is striking a balance. I'm hopeless in that, I don't know how much to give, when to give, whom to give; what to do...! I say there are just too many choices and options to choose from, which makes us more accountable and responsible for our problems and miseries. We bring on everything ourselves.
posted by Niqabi at 9:59 AM
Friday, January 20, 2006
Sometimes in life you realise that its just love that matters. Love between family. I wish I hadn't been this ignorant and I wish I had been more giving. Because you lose your chances and there's no greater pain than the pain of regret.
posted by Niqabi at 10:48 AM
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Eid Mubarak to all those who're celebrating their Eids tomorrow, i.e 11 th January '06. I'm fond of Eids but not in a very apparent way. I don't go leaping around on the sofas with joy. Yes, I used to do that when I was young but now I'd rather sit near the heater and think about the transition the world went through in general, since the last Eid-ul-Adha. I think this is going to be the coldest Bakra Eid because Lahore's temperature has been unusually chilly this year. A few days ago it dropped to a frozen minus 2 and I was in a state of bliss. Its very strange, the way weather's been acting lately. Last year's summers touched a boiling 49 degree C. I remember that during summers I said I wouldn't mind freezing to death, but now realising its true horror...its so darn scary!
But anyway, winters are infinately better than summers. There's absolutely no question about it, atleast in our part of the world. There's only one disadvantage of winters and that is, extreme cold. But its generally easier to get stuff done in Winters. For example, wearing niqab comes as a blessing in winters. If nothing it keeps the cold away from your face. Whereas in summers with a roasted sun staring at you till 7, its so hard to make it seem desireable. The only thing that gets me going is the realisation that Hell fire would be infinately hotter than this heat. Although, this type of argument might not make sense to someone who's against the whole idea of niqab in principle.
Coming back to Eid, we're housing our entire paternal family for Eid's main meal tomorrow. We're thirty three and thats alot! But considering that we haven't done this ONCE before...its justified, I guess. I'm making Russian salad and serving pepsi/seven up. It took my entire day just to make the 'cutlery arrangements' for such a huge get together. Its enjoyable but its very tiring. I think we, as Pakistanis should completely revolutionalise the whole 'Dinner' system in our society. Each family should bring one edible dish, this way they'll be no burden on the lady of the house (not to forget her poor daughters as well). The One Dish system is practised some times but for the most part, its rejected because that way 'everyone' has to make a little contribution... which is precisely what people hate doing. Ever since I turned 14, all Eids have been the same, more or less. I don't know why though because when I was younger, each Eid was distinct in its own way and much more festive. Just because I'm older doesn't mean Eids should get boring! I can so accurately imagine tomorrow's Eid day. Everyone would be sitting around the lounge, eating dry fruit and cracking equally dry jokes then laughing over them as if they're the best one-liners the world has ever heard. Eid means the entire family forced together under roof, which they may/or may not willingly do otherwise, talking about random things that range from the next wedding to washing kids nappies. Discussions take a complete 180 flip and nobody even notices! Someone could be talking about Musharraf when a certain someone would mention the latest medicine for back ache and everybody would start contributing their own two penn 'orth complete with a tilted head and knitted eyebrows. Its so funny how older people always want to appear as the all-knowing. Just being older in years doesn't mean that they know everything that is to know. I think this is a huge difference between the young and the old. If a young person doesn't know about something, he/she would accept it and will be willing to learn, whereas an older person would prefer to pretend and give baseless information than to accept their inadequacy. I've often caught them in this situation so I'm talking from experience. They clasp their hands together, stare in the abyss with a distantly philosophical look in the eyes and then slowly part their lips to let an ocean of wisdom flow from within...Its just so funny when instead of wisdom comes out some gurgling noises that finally form words and then sentences that are well...lets just say not very sensical or not quite relevant in the context of the discussion. These people have a way of bringing down everything to their old childhood and how they excelled at this government school and used to walk millions of miles and cross tens of canals before they reached the school. And how hard they've worked all their lives and how deserving they are in everything and how much experienced they've gain and how younger people don't listen to them and how if these younger people don't listen they'd end up living on streets and how life is like one long dream and how we should all live are lives like them and how everything should be just about them...and oh Allah, the list goes on and on and on!
I'm sorry but I just needed to write about this common trait found among most older people. Its funny and I often laugh watching them but I so hope that I don't end up the way they have...Insha'Allah and Ameen.
posted by Niqabi at 9:09 AM
Friday, January 06, 2006
Real life meeting...
And I had the most wonderful time ever with Zainab and Aysha and Ushi. Even though the meeting was only for a mere 20 minutes I think, but I'm always always going to remember it. The adverse circumstances helped in building up the excitement; the timings weren't matching, either they'd be busy or I'd be swamped up with something. And inviting them at our place was out of the question. They had their entire days booked. It wasn't even planned, I casually asked my aunt and being the sweet person she is, she agreed at once to take me to their place. So we just drove over and met. I never knew that I could feel at ease with people I've never met before, but I just did and it felt so nice. So so nice and warm. Just so you know, zainab and aysha are two sisters that I got to know through their cousin's blog (Ushi). Eventually I convinced Zainab and Aysha into starting their own. Both did, but Aysha has closed hers down because she got busy with university and all. Zainab is my postal buddy, she and I have exchanged numerous letters. So I knew pretty much everything about them but just hadn't met in real life. It felt so awkward standing at the gate with two very tall people, hugging them and meeting them for the first time ever but having known them for so long. But once we all got down to sitting, all the nervousness and anxiety just evaporated!
I can't carry off small talk well and neither am I a good conversationalist. I'm much better off observing people, atleast thats what I believed until now. But this one small slice of socialisation has forced me to think otherwise; talking is so much better, so much more relieving and so much more...memorable.
Jazakallah for the hospitality and for being so welcoming :D
posted by Niqabi at 11:44 AM
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Its been one long break from blogging. I'm done with exams and every other officiality on earth but still its hard to manage time for blogging. I remember there was a time, not so long ago, when my life revolved around blogging. But not anymore, its rather the other way round now. The way it should be; blogging revolves around my life. Its good to be busy with constructive activities that are actually contributing something to make me a better human being. I don't despice studies and I don't condem education but I just think that alot of times we go a little over board in emphasizing them.
Coming back to the post, I've been busy attending/housing a jamat from South Africa. They were seven ladies in total and masha'allah 4 of them were in their early twenties. It's just so pelasing to the eyes to see such young people spending their youth on strengthening their Iman. Its a blessing, honestly. To be aware and to have the realisation in our hearts of our true purpose in this world. Our true purpose is not to 'give up everything in the name of Allah' and walk out on everything and everyone. Although, it could mean altering our present life style. Its not about going to an extreme either; its about striking a balance, its about having that awareness in our hearts and acting accordingly. That is it basically. Unfortunetly, we're not even properly aware. How could we ever set things right when we don't know everything that we need to know? But even more importantly, we need more 'amal'. We need more action and we need more repetition. We've been studying about Islam ever since we started school. Everyday, all round the year. But how many of us have actually sat down with our head in our hands, thinking about it? Analysing it? Thinking of ways with which we can bring it in our lives? We hear about Islam, we hear about salah, we hear about being honest, we hear about encouraging others on good deeds, we hear about being generous, we hear about the greatness of Allah, but do we ever utter these words ourselves? Do we ever talk about Allah and His attributes? This kind of boring religious talk is left for the stoically emotionless moulvis and mullahs to do on the Friday khutbah or on a late night T.V program. Its associated with them. We consider these mualvis to be pious and honest and respectable but we never want to be like them. Why? Because the version of religion that they paint is...without fun, without any traces of excitement, basically without life. And we don't want to get into all that Holy stuff just as yet, because we're young and we're energetic and desperate to have 'fun'.
I believe that at the heart of all this religious talk lies the element of 'love'. Love comes naturally to all human beings. This is one of the most powerful emotion that can make a man touch all extremes. So it is through the love of Allah that we can truly gain an insight into our religion. The first step is to establish an extremely strong relationship with Allah; to submit ourselves totally at His command and to love Him the most. Because when we love somebody it becomes easier for us to follow his/her ways and wishes. We try our darnest to be close to him/her and associate ourselves with him/her in all ways possible. Similarly, if we love Allah then following His commandments would come naturally to us. We will be willing to make sacrifices for Him and we'd do everything according to His wishes. And that's basically what He wants from us. Now, how to attain that complete and strong bond with Allah? Since He is not apparent in any physical form, the only way we can achieve that is by talking about Him and His greatness. So the answer lies in repetition. And when we repeat this over and over again, there will come a point when we'll actually start loving Allah. We need to talk of Allah as often as we can and we need to follow His orders. If we follow a blend of these we wouldn't be needing any anything else to sustain our spirituality. And once the spirituality is fed, our hearts will be at peace.
I know my posts have taken a very sermon-like tone but these days I'm trying to get at something. I'm trying to make sense out of all this and for that I need to write out my thoughts and my perception of religion. You might not agree with me :)
posted by Niqabi at 11:37 AM
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Interests: World War II, Jews, Hebrew, ancient sites, Muslim rule in Spain, revolutions, Vatican city and Islamic literature.
Books: The black album, Portofino, Ladies coupe, In beautiful disguises, The buddhist of Suburbia, The hidden life of Otto Frank.
Contact: niqabified [at] gmail [dot] com
Quote: "We plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners"