Granted?

How many times have we heard of greatness? Of being something of value. Of being looked upto. But while we pray for such things, do we realise what would happen if all of that turned true? How would life be? Would it be some journey we are ready to embark on?

“Zindagi shamma ki surat ho khudaya meri”
It was pretty easy to pray for. Being a candle in a society. Being light. But did any of us realise what would it be like, burning like a candle to enlighten? What would it take to be that much to a society…

And what if some day we actually stumble across our destiny. If the prayer was accepted at some point of life, would we accept it? Would we be able to do justice to the work we have called upon us? To the responsibility we have asked for?

Do we mean every word we speak?

If not, then why yearn in the first place?

Farce

Only when I write do I realise how long I have deprived myself of the pleasure. Everything is messed up as always is. And penting up emotions inside causes further distress. This all makes you feel so tired, useless and dependent. And shall I tell you what the ultimate helplessness is? Not being able to cry!

It all feels like I were a ship right in middle of some ocean and a hurricane strikes. A purposeful strike. Till you are shattered. As if it were a test of strength. An evaluation.

And sometimes you do break up. Not because of a storm, not because of being hit or tested. But because when you analyse the situation you find yourself all alone. Everyone ever categorised as dependable is nowhere near. And suddenly you realise no one is actually bothered about anyone but their own selves. You are supposed to fight your battles single handedly! Alone.

Everyday you get blamed, labelled, pointed at, backbited, … and so much more but you go on thinking that there still are some who fall on your side. Friends, Family. We tend to think they would never betray. But once you find the truth about those chosen few where do you go? When you know no one’s out there for you, whom do you turn to?

Relations are all farce…

 

Owned?

The fault was in destiny. The day which bore her a burden forever. Cause when everyone was speculating a baby boy, out came a girl! The most common form of heartbreak once you get married. Everyone accepted her half-heartedly. The first thoughts associated with her? “She is a burden on our shoulders. To be married off someday.”

The years following her birth were not as deadly as the first day but she was still treated as a burden, constantly being reminded of it. While her brother had permissions to do anything, it was all vice versa with her. She was hindered for doing anything and everything. And the most common aphorism to follow? “You have to live with another family someday. All this would not be tolerated there. Hence be in  your limits.” Even before being married, she was bound by the idea of marriage. Her flight delayed.

All through she was taught how to do household chores. And above all, she was taught to be doctile. How she should never argue back. How she should not look anyone in the eye. How … blah blah blah. All this while she thought maybe marriage is the end to all this torment. Maybe it is not as bad as they show. Maybe …

And atlast the day did arrive. The burden was off from her parents’ shoulders. She was being married off. And she? Naive as she always was, she was dreaming. She thought her prince charming had just saved her from an unpleasant life and hereon everythibg would be smooth. Like a fairy tale. Alas! Life is no fairy tale…

With marriage came responsibilities. And soon it dawned on her that she had no help there. She alone had to manage everything. And then you could not say no to your husband. Angels will curse you all night. She wondered why was only the wife cursed? All day she toiled hard and all she got at the end was curse and displeasure? For what did she do all this then?

Gradually she realised that though she worked as hard as her husband, she had to work at home too. He won’t move as much as a spoon. While he got to rest, all she got was more work. And displeasure of in-laws too. She wondered why only a woman was supposed to work at home? Was God biased or humans? She forgot our society believes in male chauvinism.

As some more time passed she was blessed with a baby. A baby girl. All her in-laws cursed her for bearing a girl child. Blaming her for being responsible for this tragedy. But what was her fault in it? How could she know what she bore. Yet no one thought about it. And instead of celebrations there was gloom in her house. It was another tragedy for them. But not a soul remembered what she had undergone to bring the life to this world. No one acknowledged her patience or tried to share her pain. It seemed she was unwanted. Surrounded by a whole lot of relatives and still alone.

As the birth of girl was gradually accepted, life began to be normal. But when the baby would cry, it would be her job to pacify her. Even after the baby was born, she alone had to take its care. When it would cry in night, she would be awakened to pacify it. She wondered why her husband could not have changed a diaper or fed it with milk that lay nearby?

She soon resumed her job too. Now she was handling too much together. House hold work, office, a baby, in-laws and a husband. She kept wondering why she had to be subdued and doctile. She wondered why women were doomed to this fate. Why was God partial to her gender? If her husband could rest after office why could not she? Why could she not go out and enjoy? Why could she not live?  Why were all bindations imposed on women only?

She had no answers. All she knew was that it all was unjust. Whether God was partial or the society, but she deserved much better, much more. And one such day, when she was tired of asking for her rights, she broke off. She broke all her chains that didn’t let her do her choice. She flew off away that day. Cause that day she realised life could not be what people say.  And your husband cannot be God. A wife has as much rights to rest and recreation as her husband. But still women feel chocked up, exhausted and sick.

A caged bird never sings of green fields.

A bird in a case can never love it’s owner.

 

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Weakened

When we hear about someone committing a suicide we judge them. That they are weak and incapable to manage and adopt as one should. That they chickened out of something simply because they did not have the guts to go through it.

But then who knows what was going on in their mind? We never get to know the calamity that might have befallen them. We criticise them simply because they accept and show that they are weak. That they are only humans.

No one can just go on and on. Everyone has a breakpoint somewhere. And by idealising what behaviour one should choose we are further promoting suicides. Because when someone knows they have fallen weak or failed at something, they know they won’t be accepted anymore. It is not their weakness  that kills them. It is our stereotyping that does.

Break Point

Everyone studies in schools about malleability of metal. Of how you can hammer and bend it without it breaking. But that is only upto a limit. After that it would inevitably break and fall apart.

Humans have this property of malleability too. We adjust and adapt very easily to circumstances. Making adjustments and compromises. We do all this so easily and put in so much effort into our desired work. For desired outputs.

But when you work too hard and listen to every critic without shouting back at them, you tend to play with your limits. And suddenly even a small incident triggers chaos. You reach your break point and snap! Broken and fallen apart. Just like that.

And then the going back is all the more difficult. Cause you feel so tired. Hopeless. And given up on everything. For beyond a point, stretching yourself is more harm than good result.

Views

The eyes of world saw different. Everything for them a blunder. It was as if they were at war with everyone; everyone who tried to do something unconventional. Because they see such people as a threat. That maybe they would redefine what society has already described. Maybe the current ways of life would be challenged by something more thoughtful, more appropriate.

These are the very same people, who when asked about religion say, ” In matters of religion brains are not to be used”. But if  this statement were true, then why at all did Almighty give us brains? Or do they consider this a joke from Him, that you might possess brains but shall not use it.

These are the very same people who criticise for the sake of it. Criticism is something which brings the best out of people, which makes people work on areas they are weak in. But such people criticise only to bring people down. All they want is to makes others feel less privileged so they can rule. Hence they say that you are a zilch. They drag you down, not up.

And these are the people who talk about inhibitions and boundaries. How one should always be in character. They define a behaviour for everyone and whoever does not follow is an outlaw doomed to be criticised and rebuked at will. They mock and laugh at people’s unconventional choices so they may dominate and others may not.

These people never understand the difference between literacy and education. And the quest and insatiable desire for knowledge is unknown to them. Education for them is gained only in classroom and personal interactions a sin! Such people do not understand the value of an experience shared by someone. They do not understand we can learn even when we talk to someone elder or someone who has gone through something.

For a male conservative and orthodox society, every interaction is harmful and every gaze lust. They cannot bring themselves to understand that the intentions matter too. And when the intention is gaining knowledge and learning it can never be wrong!

Azaadi

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A protest. A ruckus. A new trending news. An uproar against. An arrest!

All these events followed only a basic fact – death anniversary of a convict. An alleged terrorist who tried to blow up parliament of democracy. Anti-nationalist. And a little mass of a university gathered to pay their tributes to the terrorist guy. They speak in his favour, call the judgement a judicial killing, taint the hands of leaders and judges red with his blood. Call the convict a martyr. And what do they ask for in these protests? Azaadi!

Following this protest whole of the nation goes up in arms against the students and the university.
“How come university approved such an event?”
“And how dare people call for Azaadi and remember a terrorist? ”
“All these are traitors. Only worth throwing out of the country. Send them to Pakistan, or Afghanistan or anywhere.”
“They should be charged with sedition and tried under anti-terrorist laws.”

The whole nation united against these few voices. Deeming them unfit for the country and a waste of resources. They were misusing the freedom of speech and the democratic nature of nation. Bloody  *************!

Eventually the uproar of people due to constant telecast of the event by news channels led to arrest of the student union leader. And the telecast was definitely not neutral. It was laden with all kinds of hate speech a person speaking as VJ can. Influencing people’s mind to what they desire. Sedition charges were levied upon the student. Was the nation satisfied now?

In all this chaos and confusion, uproar and call for shutting down the university people forgot to do their homework. They simply relied on what the news anchors and social media fed them with. Their own knowledge of the incident was almost nil! Oh, isn’t media there to educate us only? Well maybe! But all the country’s media cared about was their TRP. They didn’t mind blowing a news out of proportion or speaking to influence because their primary concern was their TRP not truth.

Nobody asked the student body why they had held the event. Or why they were supporting a convict who has been hanged three years earlier. Nobody bothered to know their side of the story. Because the society believes in being with the flow. Go where the crowd is going and mimic them.

The students had decided to hold the protest in their sane mental states. All they wanted to project was the real nature of conviction of the aforementioned. All the evidence presented was circumstantial. And even the judgement mentioned that the conviction is taking place for collective conscience of society. Did any member of the society read the judgement before declaring Afzal Guru a terrorist? (You don’t even need to file an RTI. The judgement is easily available all over internet!)

When the students called for Azaadi they did not mean to draw a new line of international border. They wanted the country and the world to recognise Kashmir as a conflict. They wanted the world’s largest democracy to end the human rights violation that happens there day and night. They want Azaadi from AFSPA, from PSA and from all other draconian laws that permit army to kill anyone anywhere without being held accountable for it.

The meaning of Azaadi is not bound to borders only. Kashmir wants Azaadi from army men beating a 3-year old to death and then roaming free without any conviction. Kashmir wants Azaadi from army shooting a 16-year old while playing in the park and never being held accountable. Kashmir wants Azaadi from army entering a village and raping all its women, then stubbornly  denying all the charges.

Kashmir is fed up of politics and false promises, of all the hypocritic people calling Kashmir an integral part but never  raising their voices for the atrocities done there. People of the world or of the country have done nothing to make them their own. Not a soul from civil society raised his voice of concern when mass graves were found in Kashmir or when army men were found guilty of fake encounters. Why did they all not raise their voice against the violation of rights then? Was Kashmir not an integral part then? Were people living there not humans? No one has any right to call Kashmir their own. Kashmir wants to be Azaad!

And for all those whose pride takes a dip in admitting Kashmir as a conflict zone, switch off that idiot box, move over your prejudice, and read about Kashmir.

“Kashmir Ki Azaadi Tak Jung Rahegi!”

Heart Break

Some days you need to be hurt and broken by the very best people you love. Not to cease the relations but to realise that the best people can also be standing opposite to you some day. Some day you might have to fight your own for your dreams or for the truth. And some days, just for the sake of it.

Unless your heart is broken, light cannot enter.

How Long?

Sitting up all night, drenched in sweat with the forehead lines visible. Evidently stressed. Overthinking a scenario and indulging in “what-ifs”. No work is produced. All that happens is high production of adrenaline, with  a throbbing pain in head and a heartburn. Sometimes all this leading to pain in chest. No, its not a heart attack due to high cholesterol levels, it is due to stress cardiomyopathy. Due to excessively high levels of adrenaline in heart muscles causing them to get numb, rendering them nonfunctional.

But what was causing this amount of stress to lead one to a heart attack? Mismanagement. When resources are mismanaged or used up in less important areas, this is bound to happen. Resources are exhausted in those unimportant jobs and the most important stuff remains pending. Voila! you reach the worry stage where you are fretting about that should be done. What measures should be taken to curb the problem in the bud.

Working frantically. All should be done on emergency basis. Everything is termed urgent. Adrenaline effect. But certain things do not work as expected. Some small things turn up to be large to work on. Some are difficult to deal with. And with some motivation is lost. And this emergency status on all kinds of work causes fatigue. So, if earlier you were doing x amount of work in certain number of hours, now you work  {x-work that could have been done in time used in worry and rest}. The production levels reduce. And the work pressure increases with inverse proportionality. The less work accomplished, the more the pressure.

This exhaustion further delays the progress of work. Work gets stuck at a place as you tend to refresh the mind. And when you are refreshed, alas! time remaining is too little. Now what can be done? What methodology should be applied so one may accomplish all in time? Work untiringly. Nothing else can sort the problem. And working like this under immense pressure makes the work proceed fast.

Work accomplished, Now time for presentation. Everything finishes up well.

But on the return trip, heart suddenly meets a failure. Unable to pump. The muscles turn numb. Though the muscles recover within days, but how long will the heart bear it all?

Unfestive Festivals

Eid-ul-Fitr-moon-2013

The month of festivities is here. Today, the first of Ramadan. Celebrations. Joy fills up every household. Special preparations are made. Exotic dishes prepared. Early morning feasts. Late night prayers. Everything turns blissful and beautiful. Blessings pour in purifying everyone and everything.

No soul is left without being blessed. But the joys are not equal for all. Blessings don’t vary, but conditions do! Some people get exiled by choice. And for them, it is equally challenging. While people at home have the ease of getting up and eating whatever dishes mom has prepared, people in stranger places wonder what they would even eat. No cook comes in that early to serve food. And the hectic schedules render you incapable of cooking yourself, especially at the morning meal. And the folks who like in hostels, it is almost a nightmare. “Would they even serve food or we have to fast by drinking water only?”

Living away from home can be a nightmare in such times. With nothing to eat in mornings and nothing special to open fast with, even the toughest souls miss home. Every soul in such exiles secretly wishes to be home and enjoy the blessings. But had it been as easy as to say so, who would not go back home?  Many  a times people can only yearn for this with no way to do so. Responsibilities, work, studies, there is always something to bind them. And their clutches are too strong to be broken easily.

Another issue that creeps up is that at most of the places they would not have a mosque nearby. Hence they either need to travel a lot to get to one, or rely on some prayer app for the timings. Though they prove to be a huge relief, there is always a sense of ambiguity as to whether the app timings are correct or not. This notion brings forth another problem. What if the app shows iftar timings earlier than the actual? Or what if they are late?

The apps are doubted because they have static calendars. On 30th Shaban, apps displayed the date as 1st Ramadan. How much can such apps be trusted? Can somebody really rely on them for pre-dawn meal and iftar timings? Not really! That gives people another reason to miss home. Azaan from a nearby mosque would mark the start and end of their fast. Newspapers would carry timings for the whole month. There would be reminders everywhere. And in these exiled lands, there is not even one! Barren.

Living away is not only a matter of freedom. It also carries along difficulty. Sometimes it symbolizes a test, sometimes punishment. Many people view it as a preparation for future life. Maybe there is something harder to face. Hence this preparation. Maybe they sinned earlier in lives, hence this punishment. And for many, it is a trial. A difficult one.

Not all can really survive in a foreign land and pray with happiness. More often than not, tears accompany every prayer. Sometimes even without prayers. Consoling selves with the thoughts of how much Allah loves them. That He is creating a means of forgiveness for them. That if this is a trial, they for sure are on the right path!

And many of them would stay up all night so they may not miss pre-dawn meal and fajr prayers.

May all such souls be blessed with immense strength and patience to endure it. To survive a plethora of memories and celebrating unfestive festivals!