D(ANGER)! http://dawn.com/2011/04/03/behaviour-danger/

            Anger is as natural an emotion as happiness, grief or fear. In fact, it can easily be called one of the most common human emotions. 

           Nobody can claim that he or she has never been angry in his/her life. We are often angry when we can not control our circumstances or with people who do not come up to our expectations, or have hurt us with their indifference or bad attitude.

We have the right to be angry when we have been provocated emotionally or physically. But we do not have the right to be cruel!  Often, in white hot rage, we forget the fact that there is a very thin line between being angry and being cruel or rude. It’s a common sight to see angry people throw away all norms of civilization to the air. They utter words or sling allegations which they do not really mean; words which they regret bitterly when their temper has cooled down. But often it is too late, because they have caused an irreparable loss to their relation with the person on whom they have vented their fury.

Some times frustration and disappointment is building up inside us on a particular person or circumstances, but unfortunately in a fit of rage we target the wrong person. And the unsuspecting victim of our fury is hurt beyond words! A close friend Salima’s only son has settled down abroad and she feels let down and disappointed as she and her husband have to live all alone at their age. Her caring daughter daily carves out time from her responsibilities to help out her aging mother. And as she is a teacher in a reputed school, this is not an easy job for her!

Last week Salima called and told me in an anguished tone, “I don’t know what got into me that day. I had been asking Seemi (her daughter) to take me to my doctor as my arthritis was getting worse by the day. But she could not come immediately as her husband was down with high fever. After a particularly restless night, I called her in a fit of anger and told her that it was good that she had no children. When she didn’t have time to look after her sick parents, how could she have taken care of her children? Oh! How could I be so unkind to my darling? I told her later that I was sorry and she still comes to help me out. But she is no more her cheerful self, just stays tight lipped as she carries out her usual chores, but I can clearly read the pain in her eyes.” Salima’s distress reminded me of a quote, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret!”

A true incident related in a magazine by a devastated father moved me to tears. This fellow had bought a new car after years of savings and was very particular about its maintenance. One day, he found his seven year old writing something on the car with a sharp knife. In a fit of rage, he hit his son so hard that the little boy fell on the road and gashed his forehead.  The father’s anger vanished when he saw the blood flowing profusely. He rushed his little boy to a nearby hospital where he got seven stitches on the cut. The doctors further said that they would keep the boy under observation to rule out any internal brain damage. Feeling ashamed of himself for his cruelty to his son, the man was staring with a dazed look at his cherished car when suddenly he burst into tears. His son had written on the car, “I love my Dad and his awesome car!” The son was released from the hospital after a few hours, and in a couple of days was hale and hearty but his father kept wondering whether the emotional scar he had created in his son’s soul would ever heal!

To hold our temper in provocation needs a lot of courage. A famous saying goes, “The strongest man is one who can control himself when he is angry”. This does not mean that we should not be angry at all. Although we are taught from our childhood that it is a part of good etiquette not to exhibit anger openly, pent up anger is like a toxin which harms our physical, mental and emotional health. The point to remember is that we can either scream at the top of our voice when we are enraged or express our displeasure in a calm voice. According to Lyman Abbott, “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry!

The next time you are angry just remind yourself that you should not enter the danger zone. The zone when in utter rage you hurt the people you would not even dream of harming in normal circumstances. Because according to Aristotle, “Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way…. that is not easy!”

 

 

 

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WHEN I SHALL GROW UP!!

It is a part of human nature that we are never satisfied with our circumstances! We either yearn for the days that are to come or pine for those which have already past.

As a child, my biggest dreams were to free myself from the shackles of childhood, which in those days I considered a sort of prison. ‘Growing up’ seemed to me a solution for all my problems; the end of all the disappointments, frustrations and pains relating to childhood. I soothed myself by dreaming that all my woes would end ‘When I shall grow up’; the golden times when I would have no school, no homework, no don’t do this and don’t do that, eating whatever and whenever I wanted to and sleeping and getting up according to my wish!

          Grow up I did, but alas! None of my dreams were fulfilled. The problems were still there, only they had changed their faces. Although I was free from the shackles of childhood, free from the clutches of Ammi and had stepped into a married life, I found out that after tying the knot, I had also assumed a new set of responsibilities.

House-work took the place of home-work, and I found running a home, looking after my children and making ends meet, more tiring and demanding than going to school or college. The do’s and don’ts were still there but the end receivers had changed. This time it was me who was the admonisher and my (poor) children the admonished.

And Oh! All the chocolates, cakes, ice creams and cold drinks I had once intended to devour, after I got out of the watchful eyes of Ammi, seemed to beckon to me whenever I opened the refrigerator! The urge was still there, and I was free to eat as much as I wanted to, but this time my enemy was the pointer on the weighing scale and an ever increasing waist line.

          My dreams of sleeping and getting up according to my mood were also shattered. Back in my childhood days when Ammi came to my room in the morning, scolding, switching off the fan and pulling back the curtains she seemed to me the greatest of all tyrants. Why couldn’t I sleep for an extra hour or stay up late at night if I wanted to? These were the rebellious questions that crossed my mind. Lights had to be put off at a particular hour and being a book worm, I often had to hide in the bathroom with my un-finished story book.

After marriage, I was blessed with children and life as a mother became more hectic. I had hardly any time for myself and sleep became a very precious commodity! The youngest didn’t want to sleep when I was sleepy or he was hungry at the oddest hours in the night! At dawn, when he finally decided to call it a day and go to sleep, it was time for the older children to be sent to school. Mornings always seemed a race against the clock, as my ears strained for the dreaded horn of the school van as it hit the kerb. Since I was a full time home-maker, even on holidays it was impossible for me to get up late; the never ending ringing of the telephone and door bell had to be attended. This much to sleep according to my mood!

          Memories of a particular Sunday when I failed to get up when the Maasi (maid), rang the bell are like a nightmare. Presuming conveniently that I was not at home, she left and I had to do all the additional work myself. After washing the nappies and doing the pile of dishes, I picked the garbage bin and stepped out to empty it. But the sight which welcomed me at the entrance of my apartment made me feel like cursing myself. I had missed the milkman too! And he had left packet of the milk at the doorstep. The silly cat, taking it to be her breakfast, had dragged the packet all along the entrance. I had lost the milk as well had to clean up the mess she had created!

I felt like crying out aloud but had to remind myself that I was no more a child and could not give way to my feelings whenever and wherever I wanted to do so! Picking up the bucket of water and a brush, and pretending to ignore the amused eyes of my prying neighbour, I started to scrub the floor viciously as if venting out my anger at my adulthood and the hardships it had brought with it.     

In the days when I was busy rearing children there always seemed to be a race against time. I consoled myself by thinking that once the children grew up and settled down in life, I shall have a lot of time for myself. I shall catch up on my reading (which had always been an obsession with me). But, with the passage of time, I have learnt otherwise.

With married sons living in a joint family, and a very good relationship with my daughters in law, life still doesn’t seem to give me the respite I had looked forward to! Although the daughters in law want to take over the running of the household I do not want to let go! Hasn’t this house been my domain for a good part my life? I simply can not bring myself to relinquish the power I have enjoyed for such a long time. I may have a passive role, but I want to keep my interference and opinions (read final word) in all matters, small or big.

The nights are usually restless, sometimes due to my arthritis and others due to bouts of insomnia, and my doctor says I should watch my intake of sugar as I my blood glucose levels are on the border line of diabetes and excess weight could worsen my arthritis! So, though a good figure is no more a priority for me I still can not have the cakes, chocolates,  ice creams and cold drinks which always have been my Kamzori (weakness)!

          There are days when I plan to relax with an interesting book and as I settle down in my couch to spend a quiet afternoon reading, the daughter in law peeps in. Would I look after the baby while she is going for shopping (or visiting an ailing relative or any other outing where the children can not accompany her)? She asks with a sweet smile.

The school going children are having there afternoon nap and would have to be served milk and biscuits when they get up, and I have to make sure that they finish their mugs. My heart sinks as I hold the bundle of mischief which comes tumbling down into my arms, but keeping my smile as sweet as her’s, I say, “ Sure darling, take your time, I will look after the children”. As she leaves the room, I sigh resignedly and put away the book I was planning to read. I may adore my grand children, but at my age, having them to myself for a good part of the day, can be quite tiring for me.

 On the threshold of old age, I have finally realized that responsibilities and restrictions are part of a healthy and fulfilling life; they are always there but only change faces with the passage of time! What a fool I was, not to make the most of the golden days of my childhood; the days when the only responsibilities I had were going to school and doing my homework and Ammi took care of the rest!

 

 

 

SWEET SIXTY! (http://dawn.com/2011/10/09/sweet-sixty/)

It was my 60th birthday. The day went by as usual but in the evening as I stepped out of my room I was surprised to see my children and grand children excitedly gathering in the living room. They showered me with gifts, cards and flowers as I sat a bit dazed. Sixty years! That’s quite a long time to be around. When I retired to my room at night a sense of nostalgia seemed to seize my heart.

Although moved by the loving gesture of my family, I felt strangely sad for all the years that had flown by and the time that would never come back; for the loving faces that were once an integral part of my life but had long since left for their heavenly abode; for the opportunities in life which either did not come my way or were missed. So much water had passed under the bridge. Sad I definitely felt but thankfully there was no remorse, no wish to go back and do things all over again. I was content with my life and satisfied with whatever it had dished out to me.

As a child I would look up in awe at my 30 plus mother and wonder how old she must be feeling. At that time, 30 years seemed a far way off. But when I reached that age, I laughed at myself as I remembered my feelings for my mother because at 30 I felt young, strong and full of life. I realised that in her 30s, my Mom must have felt the same. Abhee tou mein jawan hoon… I would often hum to myself, but I strongly doubted whether I would manage to live to 60. Thirty more years felt too far away.

Years fly and life moves on! Here I am at 60 plus, in fairly good health except for normal age related problems like arthritis and insomnia. Living in an extended family with my married sons, I categorically refuse to take the golden hand shake, trying to remain as active as possible. Although each passing year does take its toll, I consider each day I can carry out my daily chores a blessing, each additional year a bonus. As Maurice Chevalier says, “A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world.”

What do women usually feel when they reach this landmark in life? Rehana sounded sad, “I spent the prime of my life working endless hours, giving tuitions to supplement my husband’s income, because we wanted to give quality education to our two sons. I looked forward to the time when my sons would get good jobs and I would sit back and relax. But all my dreams remained unfulfilled. My sons migrated abroad in search of greener pastures. Now that we are old, I and my husband feel lonely and let down. The sons come every two or three years with their families and send lots of money but can this make up for their absence in our day to day life?”

Shireen has other complaints, “After retirement, I really miss the busy days when there was so much to do. Trying to create a perfect balance between my job, children, household chores and personal life, I often thought 24 hours were not enough for a day. Now I sometimes don’t know how to spend my time. Praying, reading and gardening are some of the activities that keep me busy — things I had always wanted to do but never had enough time for. Maybe this is one of the advantages of being old.”

Reema sounded very practical. “At this age there is so much to look back on, but not much to look forward to. With advancing years, I expect a far less active life, failing health and the inevitable end. But I have a rich past and feel that I have led a full life; so when the end comes I shall be content to slip away peacefully. I do not regret my life and believe that it is a privilege to have lived all these years.”

When asked, a relatively young friend said with a naughty smile, “I have yet to reach 60 to understand what you are feeling but it reminds me of my father who lived to be 80 plus. Whenever anyone asked his age he would always say, ‘I am 50/ 60/ 70 years young’. He never used the word ‘old’ for himself and he died young at heart.”

I totally agree with this frame of mind. With so much more to do, so many stones unturned and goals yet to achieve, I have no time to feel old, sick or at the end of life at 60. According to Sophia Lauren, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.

When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” The number of years I have lived do not matter. I shall only grow old when I desert my ideals!

SWEET SIXTY! (dawn.com/2011/10/09/sweet-sixty/)

   0

It was my 60th birthday. The day went by as usual but in the evening as I stepped out of my room I was surprised to see my children and grand children excitedly gathering in the living room. They showered me with gifts, cards and flowers as I sat a bit dazed. Sixty years! That’s quite a long time to be around. When I retired to my room at night a sense of nostalgia seemed to seize my heart.

Although moved by the loving gesture of my family, I felt strangely sad for all the years that had flown by and the time that would never come back; for the loving faces that were once an integral part of my life but had long since left for their heavenly abode; for the opportunities in life which either did not come my way or were missed. So much water had passed under the bridge. Sad I definitely felt but thankfully there was no remorse, no wish to go back and do things all over again. I was content with my life and satisfied with whatever it had dished out to me.

As a child I would look up in awe at my 30 plus mother and wonder how old she must be feeling. At that time, 30 years seemed a far way off. But when I reached that age, I laughed at myself as I remembered my feelings for my mother because at 30 I felt young, strong and full of life. I realised that in her 30s, my Mom must have felt the same. Abhee tou mein jawan hoon… I would often hum to myself, but I strongly doubted whether I would manage to live to 60. Thirty more years felt too far away.

Years fly and life moves on! Here I am at 60 plus, in fairly good health except for normal age related problems like arthritis and insomnia. Living in an extended family with my married sons, I categorically refuse to take the golden hand shake, trying to remain as active as possible. Although each passing year does take its toll, I consider each day I can carry out my daily chores a blessing, each additional year a bonus. As Maurice Chevalier says, “A comfortable old age is the reward of a well-spent youth. Instead of its bringing sad and melancholy prospects of decay, it would give us hopes of eternal youth in a better world.”

What do women usually feel when they reach this landmark in life? Rehana sounded sad, “I spent the prime of my life working endless hours, giving tuitions to supplement my husband’s income, because we wanted to give quality education to our two sons. I looked forward to the time when my sons would get good jobs and I would sit back and relax. But all my dreams remained unfulfilled. My sons migrated abroad in search of greener pastures. Now that we are old, I and my husband feel lonely and let down. The sons come every two or three years with their families and send lots of money but can this make up for their absence in our day to day life?”

Shireen has other complaints, “After retirement, I really miss the busy days when there was so much to do. Trying to create a perfect balance between my job, children, household chores and personal life, I often thought 24 hours were not enough for a day. Now I sometimes don’t know how to spend my time. Praying, reading and gardening are some of the activities that keep me busy — things I had always wanted to do but never had enough time for. Maybe this is one of the advantages of being old.”

Reema sounded very practical. “At this age there is so much to look back on, but not much to look forward to. With advancing years, I expect a far less active life, failing health and the inevitable end. But I have a rich past and feel that I have led a full life; so when the end comes I shall be content to slip away peacefully. I do not regret my life and believe that it is a privilege to have lived all these years.”

When asked, a relatively young friend said with a naughty smile, “I have yet to reach 60 to understand what you are feeling but it reminds me of my father who lived to be 80 plus. Whenever anyone asked his age he would always say, ‘I am 50/ 60/ 70 years young’. He never used the word ‘old’ for himself and he died young at heart.”

I totally agree with this frame of mind. With so much more to do, so many stones unturned and goals yet to achieve, I have no time to feel old, sick or at the end of life at 60. According to Sophia Lauren, “There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love.

When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” The number of years I have lived do not matter. I shall only grow old when I desert my ideals.

Ammi Ki yaad mein (Urdu)

Aside

اے ماں ترا خاموش سی ہستی میرے لئے
کسی نعمت کسی دولت سے نئیں تھی کم
ترے سیے سے جو اٹھتی ممتا کی مہک
دل کے زخموں ک وہ مرحم سے نہیں تھی کم

کیا ہوا خاموش اگر تو رہتی تھی
مرے دکھوں کا تھا بوجھ ترے دل بہ
تو سمجھتی تھی مری زیست ہے کتنی مشکل
درد مرا تو سہتی تھی ابنے دل بہ

مرے ہر دکھ کو تو یوں محسوس کیاکتی تھی
دور ہو کے بھی تو دور نہیں تھی مجھ سے
بے زبانی کی زباں میری سمجھتی تھی تو یوں
جانتی تھی تو وہ جو کبھی میں نے کہا نہ تجھ سے

دوریاں تجھ اور مجھ میں بہت تھیں لیکن 
مظترب میں تھی یہاں تو تو بےچین وہاں
ٹھےس لگتی تھی ادھر ٹیس اٹھتی تھی ادھر
زخم لگتا تھا یہاں درد ہوتا تھا وہاں

میں نے سوچا تھا تو جب بھی ملئگی مجھ کو 
ہوئے جو مجھ پہ ستم یہ میں بتاونگی تجھے
ترے ممت بھرے سینے مےں چھپا کہ چہرہ
خوب رؤنگی میں اور خوب رلاؤنگی تجھے

اپنے نرم سے ہاتھوں سے تو پوچھےگی مرے اںسو
یوں بڑے پیار سے دیگی تو تسلی مجھ کو 
نہ رو بیٹی میری ابھی تو میں زندہ ہوں
اپنے ممتا بھرے اںچل میں سمو لیگی مجھ کو 

لیکن ایسا نہ ہوا تو بھی مجھے چھوڑ گئ
دھوپ عم کی ہے کڑی اور ترا سایہ بھی نہیں
ترے جانے سےزخم مرے یوں چیخ اٹھے 
ان دکھن جو کرے کم کوئ مرحم ہی نہیں

غم کی راہوں میں کو ئ اور سہارا تو نہ تھا
تجھ سے ملنے کی امید ہی کافی تھی مجھے
زیست پہلے بھی مجھ کو کوئ اسان نہ تھی
ترے جانے سے یہ مشکل اور بھی مشکل ہے مجھے

میرے اشکوں کو ہے حاجت ترے دامن کی
دل کے زخموں کو ے ممتا کے مرحم کی طلب
یوںمصیبت میں تنہا مجھے کیوں چھوڑ گئ
کچھ تو بتلا مجھے یوں موںھ پھیر کے جانے کاسبب 

درد سہہ کر مجھے ہنسنا تھاسکھایا تو نے
ہر قدم پرمیری ہممت کو بڑھایا تو نے
سر اٹھا کے مجھے جینا تھا سکھایا تو نے
بن تیرے کیسے جیوں یہ نہ بتایا تو نے

 

THE FINAL GOODBYE!

 

                    Nearly two decades have past since that eventful day; but even today I can vividly recall the minutest details! I was coming back home (to Karachi from Dhaka) and she had come to the airport to bid me farewell. Those moments are firmly imprinted in my memory, her beautiful face looking drawn and exhausted; and her lips moving silently, as if in an intense prayer. After embracing her one last time, I tore myself away from her, and trying to hide my tears, turned to enter the departure lounge. I remember looking back over my shoulders after every few steps, just to catch one last glimpse of her. Just the knowledge that she was there and praying for me, was in itself a great solace!

                When I was married in 1970, it was just that I had migrated from one part of Pakistan to another, i.e. from Dhaka (East Pakistan) to Karachi (West Pakistan). But as destiny would have it, only after a year, Bangladesh was created and I found myself a foreigner in the city I was born in, had spent my childhood days and my school and college life; the city which I loved dearly.

                  With the passage of time, requirements of passport and visa, the ever rising cost of traveling with a growing family and my commitment to my children’s education, made my visits to my parents further and further years apart.

               On that particular occasion, I had gone to Dhaka to visit my ailing father and due to some personal circumstances my visit was a very tumultuous one. And the last night of my stay was particularly heart breaking! I could take the tension no more and broke down in sobs in my mother’s arms. My marriage was on the rocks and I could easily read the writing on the wall. And Ammi, (to whom physical touch simply did not come easily), just held me gently and lovingly murmured soothing words in my ears. And inspite of the heartbreak and the fear of the unknown, my taut nerves calmed down for a while and I dozed off in her loving arms.

            With a heavy heart, I boarded the aircraft trying to keep the thrill of her touch alive! Since my childhood days, it had always been a precious and cherishable moment, whenever Ammi hugged me tightly to her bosom or kissed me lovingly.

            It was not that she did not love me or my siblings! Ammi was a very caring mother in every way, but she was just different from others in every thing, trivial or important. If we go by the institutional standards, she was not educated, but her insatiable thirst for reading, gave her the vision and knowledge most woman of her generation lacked. A staunch Muslim she taught her children to have a firm faith in Allah! A fierce patriot, she had instilled in us a deep love for Pakistan, a love which keeps me restless to this day!

          Popular equally among her family and in-laws, Ammi’s wise and practical advice was sought and respected by all the people around her. She was a perfect home- maker as well as a very social person, juggling her time between her children, home and her social commitments.

           A few weeks after my return, the inevitable happened. My marriage, which had been shaky for years, ended in a divorce. Though I was shattered and heart broken, somehow that last night in Ammi’s arms helped me face this harsh stage of life bravely. I took my grief with pride, my head held high, refusing to give in to self pity (or allowing anyone else to pity me!). I must acknowledge that my children and family gave me unquestioning support which made that stage of life bearable. 

              After the initial pain had died down, I resolved to start my life all over again. Thinking that the worst was over, I started picking bits and pieces of my broken life. Though outwardly I tried to appear calm, I was just waiting for Ammi to come to Karachi. I could show my raw emotions and my anguish only to my mother, shed my tears hiding in her loving bosom!

          And then the tsunami came crashing down upon me!

          The innocent sounding ring of the phone bell on that eventful morning on the second day of Eid, brought devastating news from Dhaka. Ammi, who had talked to me only the day before, had consoled me with the news that she was coming to Karachi the following week, had past away peacefully in her sleep! All her life she had loved to be different, and in death too, she had chosen to stand apart from others. No serious illness, no doctors, no rushing to the hospital! No, she would have none of these! She had gone to bed as usual (the Eid Day) and just refused to get up in the morning.

               And never in my life had I needed her more! All the tears that remained to be shed, the anguish that remained to be expressed, just died down deep inside me.

            Memories of that day are like a hazy nightmare! Friends and relatives were surrounding me, offering their condolences but I just sat there wordless, numb with pain and trying to fathom the cruel reality. A dull throbbing pain kept tearing my heart to pieces, my eyes burning, but the tears just refusing to come!

            How can you let go of someone so dear to your heart… let go without even saying goodbye? When you live abroad away from people who are an integral part of your life, how can you even say whether you will ever see those beloved faces again? For months, I was overwhelmed with grief, as memories of that last night in her arms tugged at my heart and kept me awake and restless at nights. Ah! Only had I known that it was the final goodbye, I would have clung closer to her that night and not wasted even one of those precious moments in sleep!

KILLERS ON THE LOOSE!!

20thApril 2012:

My heart is breaking with pain and my mind is bursting with anger! Not only Pakistanis, but people all over the world have heard the saddening news about the Islamabad bound Bhoja Air’s Boeing 737-200, which took off from Karachi and crashed (at 7.10AM) in a small residential area, killing all on board!

Yes, I have written those words in red, because I want all my readers to know that the passengers were not just killed, they were murdered in cold blood! And maybe, the color of blood could describe the anguish and emotional trauma I have been going through, since the moment I heard the news!

No, none of the people on board were my relatives or friends! To be more precise, I do not know any of them, by names or by faces. No, they were not even relatives’ friends or friends’ friends, but still my heart cries out in anguish!

9th may

Nearly three weeks have passed to the MURDEROUS flight but my pain and anger refuses to abate….!!!A plane grounded for ten years sold and bought by greedy airlines, tormenting photographs of grieving relatives carrying back the coffins of their dear one, are making my rage and frustration grow by the day!!!

My heart goes out to the family members who are facing the anguish of the loss, but today I would like to state this cruel fact clearly! Incidents like these would go on in Pakistan because of the insatiable lust for money of a bunch of heartless people! To make an easy and fast buck, these greedy people can stoop to any level! Because they know that here in Pakistan, they can get away with anything and everything. Only a fat share from their easily earned money passed under the table, can quiten the voices of those people who can stop or punish them!

I request to all those out there who are still grieving for their murdered loved ones; please let not this be the case this time. There should be a limit and an end to these atrocities! Wipe off your tears and transform them into white hot rage! The best tribute you can pay to the departed souls of your dear ones is to make the cruel owners of the Bhoja and Shaheen Airs face the music of their crime!  The buyers and the sellers of the death trap they were calling an aircraft, are equally responsible for murdering your dear ones!

Sue them, drag them to courts and squeeze out of them every penny of the dirty money they have earned at the cost of the flesh and blood of people vibrant with life! Get the licenses of the Bhoja Air, Shaheen air (and all airlines who are operating dangerously old planes) cancelled. (And readers please note that Shaheen and Airblue are still operating these aircrafts!) The owners of the private airlines, the CAA and the related authorities of the Pakistan government, are all “Killers on the Loose”, as they have turned a blind eye to the operation of these planes!

Do not accept compensations! Who can compensate for the shattered dreams of the families of the newly wed couple who were going to their honeymoon! Who can pay for the anguished tears of the sister who wept inconsolably on her brother’s coffin? (And these are only a couple of examples from the 123 stories of the victims!) You have buried your near and dear ones but there are open doubts whether it really was the person or only pieces of corpses put together to complete a dead body!

Though I can only try to fathom the depth of your pain, but I request you to make this pain a tool to make sure such incidents are not forgiven by us!

Join hands against this callousness, form action committees and work on the basis of eik aur eik gayara (one and one make eleven)! Those of you, who have money to spare, create a pool and employ the best available lawyers against these airlines! Those who can not spare the money, create support groups to help out each other! And I request you to strike while the iron is hot! Because I feel sad to say that we Pakistanis have a very short memory! Today, the pain and anguish is nationwide, but tomorrow this will not be the case! We shall quickly move on to some other news, tragic or happy!

If the heartless people who have played havoc with the lives of both the murdered and the survivors get away this time, remember they will keep on striking under changed names! If you prefer to remain quiet and just grieve in silence, remember that you are strengthening the hands of these brutes and History will hold you equally responsible for this crime!

Na samjhoge tou mit jaaoge ae Pakistan walo

Tumhari daastaan tak bhee na hogi Daastaanon mein!!!!

(This blog was snt to many publications, but I am sad to say that it was turned down saying that the language I have used is too HARSH!!!! But I still say that no words used can be “Harsh” enough for this callous attitude of our private airlines!)

KILLERS ON THE LOOSE!

 

20thApril 2012:

My heart is breaking with pain and my mind is bursting with anger! Not only Pakistanis, but people all over the world have heard the saddening news about the Islamabad bound Bhoja Air’s Boeing 737-200, which took off from Karachi and crashed (at 7.10AM) in a small residential area, killing all on board!

Yes, I have written those words in red, because I want all my readers to know that the passengers were not just killed, they were murdered in cold blood! And maybe, the color of blood could describe the anguish and emotional trauma I have been going through, since the moment I heard the news!

No, none of the people on board were my relatives or friends! To be more precise, I do not know any of them, by names or by faces. No, they were not even relatives’ friends or friends’ friends, but still my heart cries out in anguish!

9th May

Nearly three weeks have passed to the MURDEROUS flight but my pain and anger refuses to abate….!!!A plane grounded for ten years sold and bought by greedy airlines, tormenting photographs of grieving relatives carrying back the coffins of their dear one, are making my rage and frustration grow by the day!!!

My heart goes out to the family members who are facing the anguish of the loss, but today I would like to state this cruel fact clearly! Incidents like these would go on in Pakistan because of the insatiable lust for money of a bunch of heartless people! To make an easy and fast buck, these greedy people can stoop to any level! Because they know that here in Pakistan, they can get away with anything and everything. Only a fat share from their easily earned money passed under the table, can quiten the voices of those people who can stop or punish them!

I request to all those out there who are still grieving for their murdered loved ones; please let not this be the case this time. There should be a limit and an end to these atrocities! Wipe off your tears and transform them into white hot rage! The best tribute you can pay to the departed souls of your dear ones is to make the cruel owners of the Bhoja and Shaheen Airs face the music of their crime!  The buyers and the sellers of the death trap they were calling an aircraft, are equally responsible for murdering your dear ones!

Sue them, drag them to courts and squeeze out of them every penny of the dirty money they have earned at the cost of the flesh and blood of people vibrant with life! Get the licenses of the Bhoja Air, Shaheen air (and all airlines who are operating dangerously old planes) cancelled. (And readers please note that Shaheen and Airblue are still operating these aircrafts!) The owners of the private airlines, the CAA and the related authorities of the Pakistan government, are all “Killers on the Loose”, as they have turned a blind eye to the operation of these planes!

Do not accept compensations! Who can compensate for the shattered dreams of the families of the newly wed couple who were going to their honeymoon! Who can pay for the anguished tears of the sister who wept inconsolably on her brother’s coffin? (And these are only a couple of examples from the 123 stories of the victims!) You have buried your near and dear ones but there are open doubts whether it really was the person or only pieces of corpses put together to complete a dead body!

Though I can only try to fathom the depth of your pain, but I request you to make this pain a tool to make sure such incidents are not forgiven by us!

Join hands against this callousness, form action committees and work on the basis of eik aur eik gayara (one and one make eleven)! Those of you, who have money to spare, create a pool and employ the best available lawyers against these airlines! Those who can not spare the money, create support groups to help out each other! And I request you to strike while the iron is hot! Because I feel sad to say that we Pakistanis have a very short memory! Today, the pain and anguish is nationwide, but tomorrow this will not be the case! We shall quickly move on to some other news, tragic or happy!

If the heartless people who have played havoc with the lives of both the murdered and the survivors get away this time, remember they will keep on striking under changed names! If you prefer to remain quiet and just grieve in silence, remember that you are strengthening the hands of these brutes and History will hold you equally responsible for this crime!

Na samjhoge tou mit jaaoge ae Pakistan walo

Tumhari daastaan tak bhee na hogi Daastaanon mein!!!!

(This blog was snt to many publications, but I am sad to say that it was turned down saying that the language I have used is too HARSH!!!! But I still say that no words used can be “Harsh” enough for this callous attitude of our private airlines!)

AMMI KI YAD MEIN!

10th February comes every year to refresh memories of Ammi,s sudden demise. The initial deep pain has over the years changed into a dull thud, embedded deep inside the heart….but memories of her charismatic personality, strong values and unending care are as fresh as ever! Rest in peace Ammi, you and your love lives on in our hearts. May Allah grant you the highest rank in Jannah! Ameen

Today I feel like reposting the nazm I wrote for you immediately after you left this mortal world. The pain, anguish and helplessness of those days have subsided over the years, but I miss you Ammi  and I love you.. more than I can express in words!

  Ae Maan teri khaamosh si hastee mere lye

Kisi neimat, kisi daulat se nahin thee kum!

Tere seene se jo uthti thi mumta ki mehak

Dil ke zakhmon ko wo marhum se nahin thi kum

Kya hua khamosh agar tu rehti thi

Mere dukhon ka bojh tha tere dil par

Tu samajhti thi meri zeest hai kitni mushkil

Dard mera har ik sehti thi Tu apne dil par

Mere har dukh ko Tu yun mehsoos kya karti thi

Dur hoke bhi Tu dur nahin thi mujh se

Bezubani ki zuban meri samajhti thee Tu yun

Janti thi wo jo kabhi mein ne kaha naa tujh se

Duryan tujh mein aur mujh mein bohat thein lekin

Muztarib mein thi yahan toTu thi bechain wahan

Theis lagti thi idhar… tees uthti thi udhar

Zakhm lagta tha yahan…dard hota tha wahan!

Mein ne socha tha ke Tu jab bhi mileigi mujh ko

Hue jo mujh pe sitam ye mein bataungi tujhe

Tere mumta bhare seene mein chupa ke chehra

Khub roungi mein… aur khub rulaungi tujhe

Apne narm se hathon se Tu pocheigi mere ansoo

Yun bare pyar se deigi Tu tasalli mujh ko

Naa ro beti meri.. abhi to mein zinda hun

Apne mamta bhare anchal mein samo leigi mujh ko

Lekin aisa na hua Tu tou mujhe chor gayi

Dhup ghum ki hai kari aur tera saaya bhi nahin!

Tere jaane se yun zakhm mere cheekh uthe

Unki dukhan jo kare kum, koi marham hi nahin!

Ghum ki rahon mein koi aur sahara to na tha

Tere milne ki umeed hi kaafi thee mujhe

Zindagi pehle bhi mujh ko koi asaan na thi

Tu nahin to ye zeest aur bhi mushkil hai mujhe!

Mere ashkon ko hai haajat tere daman ki

Dil ke zakhmon ko hai mamta ke marham ki talab

Yun museebat mein mujhe tanha Tu kyun chor gayi?

Kuch to batlaa mujhe yun mun pher ke jane ka sabab!

Dard seh kar mujhe hansna tha sikhaya Tu ne

Har qadam par meri himmat ko barhaya Tu ne

Sar utha ke mujhe jeena to sikaahya Tu ne

BIN TERE KAISE JYUN? YE NAA BATAAYA TU NE!!!

(D)ANGER!

                            

          Anger is as natural an emotion as is happiness, grief or fear.  Nobody can claim that he or she has never been angry in his/her life. We are often angry when we can not control our circumstances or with people who do not come up to our expectations, or have hurt us with their indifference or bad attitude.

We have the right to be angry when we have been provocated emotionally or physically. But we do not have the right to be cruel!  Often, in white hot rage, we forget the fact that there is a very thin line between being angry and being cruel or rude. It’s a common sight to see angry people throw away all norms of civilization to the air. They utter words or sling allegations which they do not really mean; words which they regret bitterly when their temper has cooled down. But often it is too late, because they have caused an irreparable loss to their relation with the person on whom they have vented their fury.

Some times frustration and disappointment is building up inside us on a particular person or circumstances, but unfortunately in a fit of rage we target the wrong person. And the unsuspecting victim of our fury is hurt beyond words! A close friend Salima’s only son has settled down abroad and she feels let down and disappointed as she and her husband have to live all alone at their age. Her caring daughter daily carves out time from her responsibilities to help out her aging mother. And as she is a teacher in a reputed school, this is not an easy job for her!

Last week Salima called and told me in an anguished tone, “I don’t know what got into me that day. I had been asking Seemi (her daughter) to take me to my doctor as my arthritis was getting worse by the day. But she could not come immediately as her husband was down with high fever. After a particularly restless night, I called her in a fit of anger and told her that it was good that she had no children. When she didn’t have time to look after her sick parents, how could she have taken care of her children? Oh! How could I be so unkind to my darling? I told her later that I was sorry and she still comes to help me out. But she is no more her cheerful self, just stays tight lipped as she carries out her usual chores, but I can clearly read the pain in her eyes.” Salima’s distress reminded me of a quote, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret!”

A true incident related in a magazine by a devastated father moved me to tears. This fellow had bought a new car after years of savings and was very particular about its maintenance. One day, he found his seven year old writing something on the car with a sharp knife. In a fit of rage, he hit his son so hard that the little boy fell on the road and gashed his forehead.  The father’s anger vanished when he saw the blood flowing profusely. He rushed his little boy to a nearby hospital where he got seven stitches on the cut. The doctors further said that they would keep the boy under observation to rule out any internal brain damage. Feeling ashamed of himself for his cruelty to his son, the man was staring with a dazed look at his cherished car when suddenly he burst into tears. His son had written on the car, “I love my Dad and his awesome car!” The son was released from the hospital after a few hours, and in a couple of days was hale and hearty but his father kept wondering whether the emotional scar he had created in his son’s soul would ever heal!

To hold our temper in provocation needs a lot of courage. A famous saying goes, “The strongest man is one who can control himself when he is angry”. This does not mean that we should not be angry at all. Although we are taught from our childhood that it is a part of good etiquette not to exhibit anger openly, pent up anger is like a toxin which harms our physical, mental and emotional health. The point to remember is that we can either scream at the top of our voice when we are enraged or express our displeasure in a calm voice. According to Lyman Abbott, “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry!

There are times when we realize that our angry outbursts are affecting negatively our relationships with family and friends. This is the perfect time to seek out and follow anger management techniques, something which will change the way we express our anger.

Count to ten: This is a very old technique but it works. When you feel that your temper is rising, (before it gets the better of your senses), count slowly from one to ten. At the same time take deep breaths and try to relax. More often than not, you will have cooled down considerably by the time you reach ten.

Move away: Try to move away from the person who is provocating you. Go to another room for a while, sit down in a comfortable chair and try to think of ways which could improve the situation. Writing down the reason for your anger is also helpful as you calm down when you pen down your emotions.

Exert yourself physically: Going for a brisk walk, jogging or engaging yourself in any other physically activity, dampens your temper as you get a physical outlet for your emotions.

Do not accuse: Often in a rage we sling accusations at each other which detoriates the situation. For example instead of saying vague things like, “You never understand my feelings”, be specific and tell the person you are angry with the reason for your anger i.e. “I am upset because you forgot my birthday”.

Do not bring up settled issues: A blunder most of us make when we are angry with some one is that we remind them of quarrels long settled. Instead of arguing about past differences and making the situation more volatile, focus on what the issue is at present and try to thrash it out with a cool head.

The next time you are angry just remind yourself that you should not enter the danger zone. The zone when in utter rage you hurt the people you would not even dream of harming in normal circumstances. Because according to Aristotle, “Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way…. that is not easy!”