The Price of Love

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Observing Muharram away from home for the fourth year in a row – it grows on you, as I mentioned to someone. A small group of people from India, Pakistan, UK, Philippines, Iran with not much in common except the strong bond that brings them all together every night – the love of Ahlul Bait, the Progeny of Prophet Mohammad.

I was honored to host the first four Majalis in Manila for this odd group of 18-19 people at my place. Today was the fourth day, the last at my place.

My youngest son just came up to me, after everybody had left. He always offers me a tissue and gives me a hug everytime he sees me cry, during Majlis or when praying. Today he asked me, ‘Why do you cry when you listen to the Majlis?’ ‘For the love of Imam Hussain, my dear,’ I tried to answer him. ‘So love gives you pain? Because it makes you cry!’, said little S thoughtfully.

And it got me thinking that it all comes down to this – when all is said and done – Grief really is the price we pay for love!

Dear #Zoheb #Hassan

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Dear Zoheb,

Listening to Coke Studio’s version of your song, Chehra, was a very painful experience! Not that one kept thinking of Nazia, but also what she might have said to you listening to all that noise! I assure you, I even listened to it for the second time.  I really do believe wholeheartedly in giving second chances.   Your original, was such a romantic soulful melody! It was all about Zoheb Hassan! The coke studio version is no where close! It is, dare I say, nothing but a lot of noise, and your own voice, seems to be coming from a distance far far away!  Maybe I did not like the new version because, like all your fans, I am so used to just Zoheb being the star of the show!

While I welcome your return to the screen, but pray dont ever do this again……ever! For the love of Nazia and Zoheb on which us 80s kids thrive! For the love of all the times we would all pray to get a chance to listen to your song every time ‘naghma‘ (song) break would flash on the only state-run television screen! We did not have online collections/recorded videos so if you remember we only lived on those moments of joy to see you both on the screen! and we LOVED your music!

For the love of my memories of Nazia and Zoheb (The only man I ever admitted to my father of liking), I now present to you the original Chehra – does it not drown out all the noise around you? I am now listening to it on repeat – such is the ill fate of all my favourite songs!

Enjoy and you’re welcome! ;)

Here is the link!

 

 

 

I carry your heart with me

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I am reminded today of  a few lines from one of my favourite poem by E.E.Cummings

 

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go,my dear…
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)

Ah, what if

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I was in school earlier today, to read a book to my 6-year old and gathered every other child whose parent did not turn up.  I guess, a working parent would understand this situation and can empathize better! Also, because I cannot go every Wednesday, the scheduled time for book reading with parents.  Its always a special day, for both me and my son, when I do actually make it.

We read many books, as I read out each child’s favourite who gathered around the table, but the one I liked most was about Mr. Bear who wanted to dance with the moon.  Mr. Bear was afraid to ask, because the moon is ‘so special’.  The book then shows you how little Mr. Bird suggests to him to try.  After all, how would he know if he never tried!

Wasn’t that a nice reminder to start my day with! We want all the wonderful things to happen in our lives, but sometimes, the sheer wonder of our awe-inspiring dreams make us hesitant to even try.  ‘Too good to be true‘, we check our thoughts.  But as wise little Mr. Bird reminds us, we should always make an effort and take the first step.  How else would we know it will not work if we never try? Moral of the story: it works when you ask!

 

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Far from the madding crowd

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My dearest Pakistan

I may have been away for almost four years now, but my heart still lies in Pakistan.  While I may be far from the madding crowd, my mind is constantly on what is happening in my country. I too get worried when I see the political antics and since my sources are limited to the crazy media, and word of mouth, it probably makes it worse.

I shall only say this – to all those who love Pakistan.  It is not easy being a patriot in the given situation.  Patriotism, like I mentioned to a friend yesterday – is like your Great Love.  It is loony, crazy and totally confusing! Hang in there, do not lose yourself amidst the ongoing stampede of what you thought was your political ideology.  Politicians, like any other person, disappoint us.  Anybody you consider a ‘hero’ will disappoint you – with great expectations, comes greater disappointment.  We do not fail with mistakes, we only learn to make a better decision next time! In a chaos, holding onto yourself and your patriotism is difficult, and there is no quick fix to the solution.  But remember that things do fall back in their place in their own good time.  This too shall pass. I hope.  One day!

 

Burning Bridges

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We often burn our bridges – seems like the best option, in addition to sounding so fancy.  There are so many problems with this one though.  Life is too short, there are only so many ways to cross (often times one-way, no way (!) or dead ends) and sometimes you do not even have much options to fall back on!

A bridge well-crossed gets better over time. It may not always be the easiest thing to do.  It may not always be your first or your best choice.

Do not burn your bridges, there was a reason why they were built in the first place.  Do not push through, knock down or walk over – you hurt both people as well as your reputation!

 

Book of Answers

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My sister was telling me about her little daughter who recently got a book from a friend, and now every time she has a question, she refers to the book which she calls, ‘Book of Answers’.  Ah, to be a child once again! I wish I had a book like that too.

And then it got me thinking – as my 6-year old would have said it – Kya hota agar meray pass bhi Book of Answers hotee?  (‘What if I had a Book of Answers too’). It would have made our lives so much easier! Have a difficult decision to make, pls go to page 5, para 30.  Need to decide which road to take as you stand on a bumpy fork in life, open page 12, para 67. Don’t understand the entangled web life throws us into, please open page 84.

But perhaps the constant battle between how we choose a reaction to our destiny is what life is all about – to live our challenges, and to make our own decisions so we live our answers! Right or wrong, whatever decision we make – we live it! And perhaps this is why our life, the one with multiple answers to a given question is far more interesting than any other book we would have ever lived!

(I still dont mind having a Book of Answers though, dear God!)