In life more than in death!

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Of late my social media timeline has been full of people writing in the memory of their loved ones they have lost recently. Some writing poetic lines for their friends, some for their family.

It got me thinking – I wonder when was the last time they met or spoke to that person? Do we, in our lifetime apologize to those we hurt? Do we tell the ones we love how much we love them? And when we are aching to speak to someone, do we reach out to them? In the rush of our maddening lives, often times we tread upon those we care for most. There will always be time to make up, we might think. Life is so fragile and unpredictable, there may not be anytime! I would rather that my friends and family care for me while I am alive. I try and do the same for the ones who mean most to me. For the complicated ones we may have tread upon in the circus of life, maybe it’s time we reflect on making up in life, than regret in death! Every person deserves respect and everyone should be given a second chance!

I am reminded of these beautiful lines from my favorite Browning poem:

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
..
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
….
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

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Just read and could not agree more:

The short-term pain of accepting the truth is far better than the long-term pain of believing in an illusion.

Truth be told…

Who is the Muslim’s Pope – asks my 7- year old…

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By now, most of the readers would have heard about Pope Francis visiting the Philippines #PopeFrancisPH

I was showing his videos to J&S my boys aged 13 and 7 respectively. I was showing them how much respect I have for the Pope for the way he interacts with people of all ages, color and creed – how he keeps a smile on his face, and blesses everyone as he meets them.  My 7-year old asked me, who is a Pope.  Out of convenience, I told him casually, ‘well, think of him as a Maulvi’. ‘Oh okay,’ he said thoughtfully. ‘So mama, who is our Pope in Pakistan?’

His question, which came as a painful shock to me, left me speechless.  I wish I could show him one religious leader in Pakistan who is loved and respected as much as the Pope, even the Muslim Ummah if you please, and who in return would treat people with this much love and compassion.  I give up.  Can you think of one such name? Will somebody please stand up?

 

 

 

 

When your life flashes before your eyes

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This December of 2014 when I went to Islamabad – I brought back with me to Manila all my greeting cards and letters, saved since as long as I remember! Oh what a flashback it was indeed! It was as if my life was passing by me in a jiffy! Some brought a smile, some a tear or two. Life is short and slipping away at a speed faster than we can ever catch up with.

…and it got me thinking – It will be almost like the promised Day of Judgement where our life and deeds will be flashed before our eyes! I sincerely hope and pray that it’s a life worth looking at – in front of the One we all long to meet!

Until that day – it’s a constant struggle of self learning and self improvement! Don’t we all want to look our best when we meet the One Beloved. I hope it’s a meeting worth all this effort! Dear God.

The art of conversation with your boys!

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Please don’t be fooled by the title of this blogpost! I’m still struggling with the subject with the three boys in my life: hubby, 12 year old J and a 7 year old S.

I bought this pack of ice breaker cards a few days back and what better way than to bond with each other at bed time! So me, J and S, we all sat down. The youngest wanted to go first so he picked up the first card. It read, “tell us about your crushes” J and I burst out laughing, S screamed at us, embarrassed and not very happy at the idea (in retrospect it was very mean of the mom to laugh out loud too). The cards were flying all over my bed by this time, having collected them all, a suspicious 12 year old and a still sobbing/grinning S (yes we can manage both emotions with a 5 second interval) I said hey boys let’s start again – it’s ok if S doesn’t want to answer this question. So we all took our turns, then comes S’s turn once again. He picked up the second card. It said, ‘how do you express your lov…” He stopped reading, threw the card and screamed again, “why am I getting love cards” By this time J was rolling down the bed laughing, I was stifling my laughter (read roars of laughter) I finished the card for S. “It says How do you express your love for God”. Oh come on boys, this is such a lovely question. S refused to answer and so I helped him. I heard myself tell S, “The best way to express our love for God is to thank Him for all his blessings” Ah, this seemed to settle S but he still looked suspiciously at the cards. Soon we all had about 5 turns each! And that’s when I called it a day. As my mom says, better to stop while you are still having fun so you look forward to it next time! S was the first one to protest, he still wanted to play!!

I took a photo later, of the first card, which threw us into fits of laughter but also led the way for a great time where me and the boys had so much fun sharing our fun facts! You should try it too sometimes!

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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!