(Although this article was written for children but sometimes adults need this lesson too. I must admit that I myself am not a very orgnized person, maybe I wrote this as a reminder for myself!) 

The van driver was blowing his horn repeatedly as Rehan frantically searched for his science journal! Only last night he had finished his assignment and kept the journal … if only he could remember where!
Giving his room one last searching look, he picked up his bag and ran to catch the school van. Disappointment was written large on his face as he stared glumly out of the window.
“Why don’t I find my things on time?” he wondered to himself. He had worked so hard on the journal, neatly drawing and labelling diagrams till late into the night. But instead of getting the praise he was expecting from his science teacher, he was reprimanded by her for not submitting his homework on time!
We often see that some of our friends always appear relaxed, are always punctual, whether it is attending an event or submitting an assignment at school. They are not jittery or nervous during examinations and seem to enjoy life better than us. This is because they are better organised than us and follow some rules which lead to a more successful and meaningful life. If we want to lead a well organised life, some habits have to be cultivated consciously.Organize inside20042013_CMY


Often when we are in a hurry or in a lazy mood, we keep our things in the wrong place and then waste a lot of precious time and energy searching for them. Usually it becomes a habit for which we have to pay a price.
To lead an organised life, we should make sure to keep things back in their proper place. Instead of keeping his journal in his bag after he had completed his assignment, Rehan left it on the carpet. And when he changed for the night, it got buried beneath his clothes because he did not put them in the laundry bin (which Mummy told him repeatedly to do!). Had he not been so careless, he would not have to face embarrassment at school.


Clearing clutter usually makes life more organised, because the fewer things we will have, the easier it would be to manage them!
Often we are reluctant to give away stuff we have a vague feeling we shall use sometimes in the future. This results in utilising more space for things (clothes, stationary, books, shoes, toiletries or any such thing of our personal use) and wasting time on managing them.
The rule of the thumb is to ask ourselves, “Will I need it this week, this month or this year?” If the answer is “No” to all the options, we should just give the thing away, especially if it is not too expensive to replace. If you have not used something in six months, you may or may not need it again, and if you have not needed something for as long as two years, you are definitely not going to needed it. So, why keep it?
Often after keeping something for years, when we try to use it, more often than not, it is outdated or no more in a working condition.
“The bottom line is, if you do not use it or need it, it’s clutter and it needs to go,” Charisse Ward


Often when we are trying to do more than one thing at a time, we cannot concentrate on our work properly, resulting in a downslide in our performance. A well-organised person does one task at a time according to his/her priority. We should be clear about what has to be done and what is just a pastime.
For example, while doing our homework, if we keep our cell phone within our reach and keep on replying to friends’ forwarded messages, our quality of work will suffer.


Planning ahead is an important trait of an organised personality. But we should be realistic in our plans. There are times when we plan to do a lot but in the end, we find a big part of what we had aimed to do undone.
Are we being over enthusiastic and planning to do more than what is possible, or we are not utilising our time properly? This is a question which only we can answer.
Practically, planning our daily, weekly and even monthly goals and trying our best to achieve them will make life more organised and tasks more manageable for us. We should make it a habit to assess ourselves regularly to find out whether we are carrying out our plans effectively.


Another key to lead a well-organised life is to manage your time in the most fruitful manner. To make the best use of your time, decide on what is the most important thing you need to do right away. Leaving your homework or preparation for a test unfinished, just to watch your favourite TV show or to chat with a friend, is not a sign of an organised personality.
Schedule your time each day to work on your top priorities and then stick to your plans. Often we are at a loss because we find ourselves unable to finish our day to day tasks. This is often because giving in to temptation usually results in wasted hours which we regret later on.
The famous columnist Harvey MacKay said, “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”
Well-organised people are usually successful in life. Remember that the door to a successful future often opens with a combination lock. We can open it only when we use the perfect combination of planning, hard work, discipline, proper usage of time, sincerity, dedication and yes, Divine Help and a bit of good luck too!

HAPPY NOBOBORSHO to all my freinds out there in Bangladesh

A very Happy New Year to all my Bengali friends… specially those out on there in Bangla Desh. Wishing you all a blessed life, peace and prosperity!

Yasmin Elahi

14-4-2014 (I posted this blog 2 years back but would like to re-blog it again on the Bengali New Year. Yesterday my brother called from Dhaka and he was talking about the enthusiasm with which people were preparing for Noboborsho, about the mad rush at the shopping centres and the resultant traffic jams which have become a pain in the neck for all the Dhaka city’s residents!!)


An old (and close) friend Nusrat Awan, from my Dhaka college days messaged me early in the morning wishing me A Happy Bengali New Year… or Shubho Naubo Borsho! Her message opened the gates to a flood of memories and I found myself taken back way back into the past, to the days I studied in Viqarun Nissa Noon School back in the 1960s!

V.N. Noon School was considered one of the most prestigious schools in Dhaka in those days, and our…

View original post 1,080 more words

Ye Koi Na Jaane! Ghazal in Roman Urdu

Jo Labb pe hansee hai sab hi dekhte hain
Jo dil pe guzarti hai koi na jaane

Hujum mere gird doston ka hai phir bhee
Mein Tanha hun kitni ye koi na jaane

Tanhai mein aksar hum rote hain kitna
Jab mehfil mein bethein ye koi na jaane

Ye bechein din aur ye bekhwab raatein
Huin kyun muqaddar ye koi na jaane

Thapak ke sulana har nayi aarzu ko
Hai dushwaar kitna ye koi na jaane

Kabhee ye bhee phoolon se zyaada tha naazuk
Hua dil kyun pathar ye koi na jaane!!

Ye Koi Na Jaane! Ghazal in Roman Urdu

Jo Labb pe hansee hai sab hi dekhte hain
Jo dil pe guzarti hai koi na jaane

Hujum mere gird doston ka hai phir bhee
Mein Tanha hun kitni ye koi na jaane

Tanhai mein aksar hum rote hain kitna
Jab mehfil mein bethein ye koi na jaane

Ye bechein din aur ye bekhwab raatein
Huin kyun muqaddar ye koi na jaane

Thapak ke sulana har nayi aarzu ko
Hai dushwaar kitna ye koi na jaane

Kabhee ye bhee phoolon se zyaada tha naazuk
Hua dil kyun pathar ye koi na jaane!!

Communication issues: Rules for a healthy argument

      (This article was published in the Young World, Dawn Inpage Magazine for children, but somehow I feel that grownups like me need this lesson more than children do. Making an argument an ego matter, we are often rude and try to belittle people who do not agree with us!)

          According to George Bernard Shaw “The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it”.

Arshad and Hammad are not on speaking terms for the last two weeks. Reason? They had entered into an argument on which player in the Pakistani Cricket team was responsible for the defeat in the semi- final of ICC World Cup. Each one was defending his favourite player and slinging allegations on the other’s favourite. Although they were close friends, the argument finally became an ego matter and resulted in a quarrel.

An argument can be defined as a difference of opinion among two persons (or groups), when each one tries his best to prove that his views are right and those of his opponent’s are wrong. Too often we see a healthy argument change into a heated debate, or worse still into an ugly fight. We can get into an argument on petty issues with friends, siblings, parents and sometimes even with complete strangers.

Although we do not like to lose once we have entered into an argument, we should realize and understand that every individual has a different opinion depending upon his/her age, education, social and moral values and family and religious background.  The ultimate goal of an argument should never be a contest to see who is the winner , it should be a means to let other see your point of view and trying to make them agree with you (or convince you if you are wrong). To make an argument a means for improved knowledge and a door to better communication there are some rules which should be followed strictly.

Questions like ‘Why?’ ‘How’ and ‘When’ not only make an argument informative, they may also correct some myths and wrong believes of your opponent. But before making any statement, be dead sure that you know your facts properly. Making a claim that is false would make your case weak and you will end up losing even though most of your views were correct.

Talk politely but firmly. To convince others during an argument and make them share your view, stress your points with full conviction. You should show that you are confident about what you are talking about. Keep your mind and voice under control and talk with dignity. Raising your voice over your opponents, insulting him, becoming aggressive and/or flying into a rage, only proves that you have a weak stand and are running out of rationale facts. A calm attitude and a normal voice level will go a far way to strengthen your argument.

          While discussing controversial issues it is better to let your opponent speak first. Listen carefully and let him state his views clearly. Never interrupt him before he is finished. In this way you will have a better understanding of the other person’s views and why his opinion differs from yours. When your turn comes to speak, you will be able to express yourself in a more convincing manner and have a better chance to get your point through.

          Never under estimate your opponent. Don’t think he/she is silly, obstinate or not as intelligent (or educated) as you are. Many arguments are won by showing respect to the views of the person with whom you have a difference of opinion. Never make it into an ego matter. The ultimate aim of an argument should never be belittling the person you have a difference of opinion with; it should always be a step towards better perception of a controversial issue. You must realize that it is not necessary that you are always the one who is right, so keep your mind open during an argument.

          Never, I repeat NEVER argue just for the sake of an argument. Some people just love to disagree with the people around them. They have the unpleasant habit of entering into arguments on every topic and with everyone they come across. They will differ with you in all matters and trap you into joining them in the controversy. But beware of these people! Don’t accept every invitation to enter into a discussion. First, search your mind to find out if you have any idea about the topic of disagreement; whether you can talk about it or not. At times it is better to keep quiet and listen, instead of uttering something foolish which you will regret later. An anonymous saying says, “People who know the least always argue the most”. Avoid being one of those people.

          The ultimate goal of an argument should never be a proof of who is cleverer or has better knowledge. It should not be considered as a contest in which winning is very important. Realizing the fact that each one of us has a right to his/her own opinion, we should let it be a means of communicating which each other and sharing our views and thoughts. Always remember that people are more important than views. You may lose a good friend by being obstinate or unrealistic.  After an argument, even if you have won it, you may be the real loser if in the end you find that you have lost a close friend!


یہ کوئی نہ جانے

جو لب پہ ہنسی ہے سب ہی دیکھتے ہیں
جو دل پہ گزرتی ہے کوئی نہ جانے

ہجوم مرے گرد دوستوں کا ہے پھر بھی
میں تنہا ہوں کتنی یہ کوئی نہ جانے

تنہائی میں اکثر ہم روتے ہیں کتنا
جب محفل میں بیٹھیں یہ کوئی نہ جانے

یہ بیچین دن اور یہ بے خواب راتیں
ہوئے کیوں مقدر یہ کوئی نہ جانے

تھپک کہ سلانا ہر نئی آرزو کو
ہے دشوار کتنا یہ کوئی نہ جانے

کبھی یہ بھی پھولوں سے زیادہ تھا نازک
ہوا دل کیوں پتھر یہ کوئی نہ جانے

EIK MEHERBAAN HAI MERA! (For those who can not read Urdu) Nazm from ANKHAI BAATEIN


Bekhwaab taareek raaton ki tanhai mein

Dard jab hadd se guzar jaata hai

Roshni dur tak nazar aati nahin

Umeed koi bhee bar aati nahin

Eik meherbaan hai mera

Jis ke narm seene mein chupa ke mein chehra apna

Bahaa leti hoon chund aansoo

Aur keh deti hun saare apne dukh such

Par wo ajab dost mera

Karta nahin mujh se koi bhee sawaal

Kehta nahin wo kuch bhee mujh se

Bas baree khamoshi se

Sunta rehta hai mere shikwe saare

Aur apni narm si aaghosh mein

Bohat pyar baree narmee se

Jazb kar leta hai mere saare aansoo

Baant leta hai wo sab bojh

Jo hain dil pe mere

Mera takya jo mera ghumkhwaar bhee hai!

Mera takya jo mera humraaz bhee hai!!



In the sleepless dark nights of pain and despair, 

When my heartache knows no bounds,

I can not find any light in my path,

Nor do I have any hope left in my heart,

I have a well-wisher,

In whose soft bosom I hide my face,

And shed a few tears,

And share with him my pains and sorrows,

But strangely this old friend of mine,

Never asks me any questions,

Neither does he say anything,

But very queitly,

Listens to all my complaints,

And with great love and care,

Allows all my tears to sink into his soft bosom,

In this manner he shares with me

All the pain my heart is heavy with,

My pillow who shares all my pain and woes

My pillow who is a keeper of all my secrets!