RSS

Breaking the hiatus.

Back in early 2015, I was doing a clinical ckerkship at Hospital in Dallas for which I had to take the local train. I was told countless times before leaving my home country (Pakistan) that I take off the Hijab during my stay because of the sheer discrimination that prevails against those who wear it. I still, however, went ahead with it thinking that for Whom I was doing it will protect me, Inshaa’Allah; and He did with His infinite power. The people I met were kind and courteous and not a day went by where I wasn’t met with a jolly hello or a simple act of kindness like offering to press the floor button inside an elevator and likes thereof, Alhamdulillah. But then, one incident occurred in the aforementioned train where I had an encounter with middle aged man. He had been staring at me every now and then and I did feel a little nervous. Just when I was standing to leave, he came over and asked me out of nowhere if I did the Hijab because my “husband” asked me to. Befuddled at his statement as I was single, I replied that I was indeed single and as a matter of fact, none of the people in my household did the Hijab. He seemed to have been taken aback and responded that he never thought it was done out of something other than force. That’s when the real talk started. He learned the real essence of the Hijab and how people who dawn it amostly do so because Islam asks them to. It’s kind of like how Jews eat Kosher out of choice because they want to without being accountable to anyone but God. He understood and then commented how he thought anyone who wore the Hijab would be hiding a bomb under the trencthcoat and I pointed at my labcoat and gave him an ironic yet funny look. We both had a little laugh without either of us getting offended and the argument settled with him understanding how false perceptions from the media and other weak sources can be busted by a simple conversation. He ended up saying “Thank you, God bless you.” And that’s when I realized the power of a simple conversation as long as one is open minded to diverse views. It can really do wonders.


I hope we all can, including myself, can engage in such coffee table chats among ourselves and really promote a deeper understanding of ourselves and others not only as ambassadors to a beautiful religion but also as humans.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 
Image

Self control. 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Dear 2016, where were you?

lookinginward-6739

Yes, that’s right. I’m in utter awe and wonder as to WHERE this year went by or if it even existed to begin with. I guess the upcoming two months are going to compensate for the dearth of mental stimulation that I was fazed with. Up until October, I had felt utterly dissociated from the happenings around me. The journey has been a surreal trail of events that I felt a spectator to rather than a protagonist. I couldn’t have imagined being so obsessively indulged in a cause that served… or rather severed my career goals. I was feeding my mind information that I was hopelessly binding into my failing memory and the only tears and angst I ever felt were defined by numbers and statistics. I found me telling myself that the months’ long fiasco served for something long term that treads beyond fulfilling my insatiable ego; it was merely for others around me. But I doubt that was the case because if it were, I would have relished the moments I spent binging on the facts about the human body and the ever evolving protocols that address to sustain it.

I now realize I really didn’t enjoy this turbulent voyage. I’ve had friends who had rafted this wretched boat before me and few chose to stay and guide me through. I’m ever grateful for that, but dear oh dear, now that I am slowly reuniting with the layer that surfaces in private and asks me questions that I can’t evade with vague responses, I’m genuinely perplexed. During the months of “dissociation”, I had turned a rather sour cheek to the incertitude that mantles a sound relationship with myself, my loved ones, my passions and my community. I realized that I had stigmatized myself by not being ahead in the competition that plagues medicine grads in order to make it big in this world. But what troubles me is how could I let an ego syntonic motive drive the process. I regret that I didn’t have better and clearer intentions behind all the time, health and sanity that I invested in the process.

And now, that it’s (hopefully) over for the time being, a tornado of suppressed ideas, insecurities, errands and what not are swiftly inundating my mind to the point that every fleeting thought seduces me completely for a minute before another pushes it away and grasps me all over again. I wonder how someone during a manic episode or that with ADHD might feel. They’ve amassed a newfound appreciation from my end. Regardless, I hope I can piece them all together into a well concocted fabric throughout the remains left of this year. Perhaps, it’ll weave a period of 10 months into the remaining 2. It seems exhausting, yet exciting but hopefully, it’ll help mend the splits in my persona little by little. So from me, a very happy new year (belated for you as it is).

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on October 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The post-graduate phenomenon.

The past few months have taken a rather strenuous toll on me. As with most of my peers in medschool, the idea of proving your worth to your own self, if not to anyone else, masks a great deal of pressure packed with tumult. The many months’ worth of hard work that one puts in will be gauged in mere fleeting hours and as unfair as it may seem, one has to comply and push themselves to the limit to get over that barrier. With the system that I mentioned, bear in mind that one has to be open to the predicament of failure no matter how incandescent their outcome might seem. In this journey, nothing is predictive while paradoxically, every step leads to somewhere. But the one thing I’ve rarely seen anyone do is give up. It’s the hope that has driven thousands before us to pursue and succeed and it’s the same hope that coaxes us to move on with the baggage of step-downs and otherwise. We persist hoping that someday we’ll be able to make a difference in healthcare and the years we are putting under the chopping block serve for something worthwhile not just for us, but more importantly, for those around.
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 9, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Midway.

I miss the writing spells that would spontaneously cast themselves upon me owing to the serious of lack, or none of posts, this year. I’ve had many passive ones over the past months, especially as I had traveled for more than 2 months this year. However, a wretched potion, called “realistic goals” proved far more potent an antidote to the said spells. As of now, I feel secluded and burdened by the expectations that I’ve set for myself. Which is maddening at some points, but I know I’ve made it far enough to realize it’s too late to go back. That being said, I’ll be back soon.

I know barely anyone reads this page but the spillage here is something that I choose to not advertise in my social circles. I feel that the fluidity my mind assumes is best when it’s just for myself, and there is a satisfaction in writing without an ounce of narcissism or feeling weighed down by the idea of impressing an audience. It’s like a gift I give to myself and my does it feel heavenly.

I’ll back to furnish you soon, dear. Till then, au revoir!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

The lost art of giving.

A few days ago I happened to embark upon a conversation with an acquaintance, who, albeit has been a significant part of my social circle at college, was never a person I had much common ground with so as to extend my hand of friendship. We have had almost zilch idea of each others struggles and our conversations were parochial to few whiffs of jokes or satire that we exchanged through the barricades of our persona. As little as I was aware of the battles he was thwarting, I was certain that he was an open book if his psyche was probed adequately. We somehow started talking one day and in the midst of our conversation, I took advantage of his characteristic openness and ended up doing a psychoanalysis that somehow left him surprised. Truth be told, anyone with some experience could have done so but because of his utter surprise, we ended up delving in the so-called complexities of his life a little deeper. Here is a little snippet that really got me wondering how each of us play our part in this world and how it affects us and others.

He asked me about my definition of friendship as I did the same. And these were the contrasting views we shared. Mine being the green speech bubbles.

Screenshot_2015-11-04-20-58-07

What I’m about to write is in no way meant to demean him, however, it really hit me how the way each of us looks at a common element objectively shapes how we feel and make others feel around us. The guy, lets name him D, saw friendship solely as a relationship that endows him with the care and protection that he felt he deserved. He adhered to such an ideal so strongly that when I asked him what if the a possibility of otherwise arose, he simply replied that it would shatter him. I gathered that he saw friendship as an idealistic bond that wouldn’t faze him at the hands of the realities of life. On the contrary, my idea of friendship reflected upon the participants as two individuals who appreciated their differences and bore the future possibility of parting as situations and people evolve. I too, once bore the perspective D has and it took me a couple of serious rough patches to recognize how we demand from people who claim to love to us things beyond their control and feel pathetic as well as make them miserable if they don’t slide down to the exact same expectations that we initially attached to them. It’s not just with D; this is a stigma prevailing among the generation Y. We somehow attribute mind reading properties to our close family and best friends that they would just magically understand everything we feel and tend to us the EXACT same way as we do to them. We define true love as the one that’s reciprocated in it’s entirety or otherwise there is no love at all. We have forgotten the unique way each of us is mentally and physically fashioned and how we love the people in our lives. And most importantly, we are just so self absorbed thanks to the wonders of today’s world that we have forgotten the meaning of actually playing our role of benefiting others. We barely do anything for others without the expectation of anything in return. The favors we do many a times are contracts in disguise. The purity in the acts of kindness has been soiled with our hopes of gaining benefit out of them and this has harmed no one but us.

Following the aforementioned notions, what else will we feel but miserable? We have begun to hate the people we once loved, family ties are being jeopardized, friendships have resorted to nothing but flaunting on social media and meaningless “I love yous”, divorce rates are the worst ever, sibling relationships have become nothing more than robotic coexistence. Let’s ask ourselves, when was the last time we called someone to ask how they were and went out of the way for a friend without having expectations? When was the last time you and I ever said a kind word or smiled at someone in the hopes of brightening their day? When was the last time were you and I actually were there to mentor our younger siblings or cousins instead of burying your nose in our phone screens? When was the last time you were genuinely happy for a friend rather than feeling a tinge of jealousy when he/she succeeded in something? When was the last time you just felt the sheer joy of just helping someone dear instead of doing something with a heavy heart or simply out of pressure? Or rather, when was the last time you actually felt happiness in its unadulterated form? The answer really does lie sharing the joy and love because it DOES reflect back; maybe not via the same channels but perhaps through different mediums; those that God decides you need in order to feel the satisfaction and happiness in life. If only we could just focus on giving. It’s a reminder for myself the most because I struggle with all this back and forth. But really, we would be doing ourselves a huge favor with this practice because as the daying goes “if you give a little love it all comes back to you”. (Inshaa’Allah)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Making some MEANINGFUL memories.

Have you ever wondered how the first day of this year felt just as if you had stepped into it yesterday; and before you even know it, you’re almost halfway through those 12 months? It’s something that I’m sure strikes most of us so often but, like every other pensive thought we brush it off and indulge in matters of “utmost importance”. For instance, catching up with the next season of “Friends” for the umpteenth time, or instant messaging gibberish with the same old friends who we left an hour back in school, thinking that we have meaningful relationships and are not alone when in fact, we are just curled up in the corners of our rooms. To surmise, we are mesmerized with the idea of subconsciously and purposelessly waiting for death as it drags antithesis to the second hand of the clock. Such a life, right? I’m certainly a victim of all that I’ve mentioned and I can’t claim to not see this trend instilling itself in others. Some beautiful souls of the present generation have resisted this leviathan of a gadget life that is drowning us into the ocean of waste and have emerged above us all. Their minds are not clogged with superficial trinkets and they’re OUT there (pun intended) making a difference. I don’t think it’s too late for us (especially, me) to do that too. We as a generation are far too selfish. But I really wish to absolve myself from this burden.

I, albeit being the eldest of my siblings, am youngest in the family. Having been adopted by my grandmother ever since I was 2 months old, I was brought up by my grandparents and my aunt. As elder as my grandparents were then, they’ve only grown more frail with the passing days. But Allahumma Barek Alayh, they’re still far more active and productive than I could ever imagine to be. Partially, because they don’t know how to use cellphones and laptops and can manage with conventional means and still manage to do better than us. However, with each passing day, with all their close relatives and friends leaving them by treading their journey towards the Afterlife in their graves, my grandparents too are suffering from loneliness. The most painful bit is when they themselves are aware that Malik-ul-Maut is going to knock on their doors very soon. Sure, it’s easy to say they’ve lived a good life, but isn’t it that they’ve a heart too? With their children managing their families and their grandchildren (including myself) submerged in the virtual social life, who do they talk to? It occurred to me when I was weeping while watching the epic “Brookes was here” scene from the Shawsank Redemption on repeat and I realized that we have our ignored “Brookes” in multiples within the vicinity of our place. Overwhelmed by all the emotions I experienced as poor Brookes committed suicide, I decided to sit with my grandfather during my study break to simply talk to him.  Little did I know that I would be fazed with him spilling  a treasure of stories, ideas and knowledge that I never bothered to acquire. I couldn’t talk to him for more than an hour as I had my dreadful semester exams right around the corner, but what made me penitent was when he thanked me for talking to him and how he couldn’t share it with people as they wouldn’t understand. I felt utterly  ashamed of myself for being such an ignorant grand daughter. Nevertheless, just like the kind of people I had mentioned earlier, I let that rueful moment wear off as I drugged myself with the elaborate course of medical school until day before yesterday.

It was around 3 o’ clock in the afternoon when I heard my grandfather’s voice muffling through the walls of his room. Curious as I was, I placed my ear on his bedroom door to peek into what he was intimately saying. And what I heard utterly took ma aback! Within the the darkened room, he was giving a powerful speech on history, politics and partition times. His words were impregnated with a fervor ever so idiosyncratic of him. I immediately hopped in his room to see he was doing it all alone. It again saddened me while exciting me simultaneously and I heard him out. It was only after that I realized that as he’ll turn 88 tomorrow, Inshaa’Allah, the best gift I could ever him and myself would be to spend at least an hour of a day with him. Away from the meaninglessness of the social media and dangling friendship. Just for a start. Inshaa’Allah. I’ve some activities planned with him and I hope to execute them so that maybe, JUST maybe, I try to make up for all the times I ignored the happening world residing within his chest and maybe rise above the abysmal version that I presently hold of myself. Hopefully, throughout the process, the next half of 2015, as it gushes past by us, is marginally turbid with some meaningful memories that even if I try, can’t be let gone. Ps: A little figment of his mind if you wish to read. His poetry about his village.

11130198_356730497848381_1958688203897131441_n Out!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on June 6, 2015 in Uncategorized