About Yasmin Elahi

I am a typical Pakistani woman, just a face in the crowd! Writing is a hobby with me, something which I do randomly and enjoy thoroughly. My full time jobs are being a homemaker, a mother and a grandmother... jobs I find more fulfilling than anything else in the world.

Vacation with a difference!

Children of all ages are happy these days. Exams are over, results have been announced and hopefully all of you have passed with flying colours. After appearing for your final exams in the sweltering summer heat and the hard work you all put in throughout your academic year, you all deserve respite from the tedious school regime the annual summer vacation provides.

Friends, just like you, your parents also look forward with anticipation towards these relaxing months. For mums, vacation means no pulling out sleepy children from their beds to get them ready in time for school, no pressing uniforms daily (and sometimes washing them too) and no packing lunch boxes and filling water bottles. In the evenings also, they have more time for themselves, as they do not have to help the children in finishing their homework and assignments, as well as making sure that they have dinner on time and do not stay up late

For dads also these months are a respite from dropping grumpy children at their respective schools, helping them out in subjects they find difficult and catering to their endless requirements for school projects.

Friends, have you ever noticed how quickly the charm of the much-awaited months wears off for your parents? Hardly a fortnight into the holidays and you find your mothers at their wits’ end, complaining about the extra workload they have to bear. With no strict routine to follow, you all get lazier than usual and create a mess in every corner of your home. Late breakfasts have to be served and in these hot summer days, that is an extra burden on your poor mother.

Fathers are also vexed as they find the house noisy late into the nights and have to settle the arguments between siblings on nearly a daily basis. The television remote, which was theirs’ solely to flip through their favourite channels late into the night, is often nowhere to be found. It also has to be shared with the kids, who want to watch programmes of their choice (even if daddy misses the news or his favourite ‘talk show’).

This frustration is definitely not one-sided. A couple of weeks into the vacation and children feel frustrated and complain that their parents are getting irritable and they are being scolded unnecessarily. Friends, what you fail to realise is that your parents are not on vacation like you! They have to carry on their normal life with their day to day responsibilities, both at home and at work.

In the intense heat of these summer months, parents are simply drained out of energy. The change in your routine proves to be an extra stress for them. With all the free time you have at hand, you unintentionally create problems for your parents, which you can easily resolve with only a little consideration for them.

This year, let’s join heads to think of some simple steps to make this vacation as enjoyable and relaxing for your parents as they are for you. Here are some tips which will keep you happy and your parents stress-free during these holidays.

Set a mutually acceptable time-table

The most common complain mothers have during holidays is that the children stay up late and then get up late in the mornings, sometimes even around noon. For them, this means serving late breakfast and making beds high past noon, as well as clearing up the mess you created during the wee hours of the nights you stayed up.

Sleeping an hour or two later than your school days routine may be acceptable to your parents, but if you stay up the whole night you are not being fair to them.

As soon as holidays begin, discuss with your mum a mutually acceptable time for getting up. Help mummy with breakfast and opt for a simple breakfast you can manage yourself instead of vexing your mums with demands for an intricate meal. Fruits, a bowl of cereal, bread slices with butter, jam or your favourite spread with a glass of milk can be a simple menu for your breakfast which you can have without any help.

Be helpful

Vacation gives you more leisure hours than your usual routine. You have every right to enjoy this free time according to your wish, but try to be considerate to your parents too. Helping mum in her daily chores, clearing up your room, setting and clearing the table at mealtimes, are small gestures from you which will make your mum more than thankful.

You can polish daddy’s shoes, help in washing the car or just give him a good foot massage when he comes home from a tiring and hot day at work.

Help your parents in the yearly summer cleaning. Assist your mum in clearing extra clothes which you won’t wear anymore from your wardrobe, clear your drawers, study table and shoes/toys racks of the things you can easily give away. Your dad may need your help to sort out and file important documents, bills etc, a task, which he never finds time to do.

Your efforts will make your parents happy and also de-clutter your home. The best benefit will go to the needy persons who will find your extra stuff a luxury they cannot afford.

Do not be rowdy

Children usually stay up late and tend to be noisy when left on their own. When you are choosing activities for your late night sprints, chose those which will not cause disturbance for your parents.

During the hours you stay up, if you are watching your favourite show on television, be careful to keep the volume down. If you are playing a board game, such as ‘Ludo’, ‘Carrom’ or ‘Monopoly’, make sure that you are not making a lot of noise. It’s natural for siblings to argue and sometimes quarrel, but try to settle your differences amicably instead of running to mum and dad on trivial issues.

If your parents do not sleep soundly at night, they will not be fresh to start their daily chores. Remember that their day will start on the usual hour, and they will already be stressed out when you wake up. This will bring on scolding sessions, which neither you nor your parents will enjoy. So instead of sulking around on the reprimands you get on a routine basis, try to understand the reasons of your parents’ moodiness and quick temper.

Do things together

Vacation should bring enjoyment for your parents too. After all, they toil around the year to make your academic year a success. There can be many activities which you can enjoy with your parents as well as make your vacation creative.

Hunt for DIY’s (do it yourself) projects on the internet. Choose the ones which are cost-effective and in which you can use some things already at home. Involve mum and dad in these projects, they will really enjoy this activity and you will also end up finishing it better.

When I was a schoolgirl, summer vacation was the time when Ammi used to teach me and my sisters new stitches of hand embroidery, an activity which we thoroughly enjoyed. Learning to stitch on missing buttons and simple mending steps will make you feel more co-operative towards your mum.

Your dad can teach you cycling and if you are lucky enough to have a garden, you can learn gardening tips from him. Mum would really love it if you help her in planting herbs and flowers in small pots. Paint the pots in bright colours, place them on your entrance and help her in watering them as per their requirement.

After dinner is over, you can play a game of Scrabble, Ludo or any other board games your parents enjoy. Picnics, a visit to the zoo or an evening at the beach or a park, are some activities which you can enjoy with your parents. They will feel refreshed and relaxed after the outing as we all need a change from our day to day routine.

Surprise your parents with a day-off!

Friends have you ever thought of giving a complete day off to your parents? Plan a Sunday in which you serve them a simple breakfast in bed, make your own beds and clear up the house for them. You can give your mother a respite from the kitchen and assure her that you will be happy enough to finish the left-over food in the refrigerator.

You can insist that they go on an outing on their own. If you can manage to stay back with your siblings at home (and your parents are comfortable with it), you can do so. Otherwise, plan to spend the day with your grandparents, while your parents have a full day to spend the way they like, indulging in an outing or activity they enjoy, something which will be a luxury for them.

Friends, life is not as easy for your parents as you think it is. They have to fight on many fronts to keep you happy, safe and comfortable. This summer holidays, in addition to your own activities, give them time to relax and rejuvenate to face the tough routine of the year ahead. Let this vacation be different, so that mum and dad look forward to the next vacation too!

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 7th, 2018

 

 

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Attitudes: Insensitive sympathies…http://dawn.com/2011/12/18/attitudes-insensitive-sympathies/

The only predictable fact about life is that it is totally unpredictable! Consoling (or trying to do so) people who have lost a near and dear one has some norms. But often, in our eagerness to ease their pain, we forget these norms.

Yasmin Elahi

Death has different ways of striking and carrying away the people we love dearly. Sometimes it comes on tip toes from behind, taking us by surprise, hitting like a tsunami, destroying our peace of mind and happiness in just a moment and leaving us agonised and dazed by the intensity of the pain it creates.And on others, we watch in despair and anguish the ebbing away of the tide of life from a cherished person, hoping against hope that some miracle would stop it from striking.

When it comes to the passing away of our loved ones, the sorrow it causes has the power to sweep off the feet (though momentarily) even those of us who are emotionally strong. Only time can heal the heartache we experience. But this is also the time when we expect and need maximum emotional support from friends and family, and more often than…

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A Simple Guide to Popularity

All of us want to be popular among our family, peers and teachers, but very few of us know the simple tips which make us better-liked than others. We usually look up with admiration to people who are more popular than us and sometimes even envy them.

It may interest you to know that we only have to follow some simple rules to gain popularity. Read and follow this simple guide to popularity and gain admiration within your social circle in no time.

Share and care

Generally, people who have a high graph of popularity are quick to share their blessings with their acquaintances. Whether it is a book, a gadget or a meal, they like to share their belongings with people around them and even happily give these things away, whether as a gift or a loan.

meal, they like to share their belongings with people around them and even happily give these things away, whether as a gift or a loan.

Popular people also love to share their joys and sorrows with friends and family. They are sympathetic when they find their friends in a problem and always try to be first to congratulate others in their moments of joy. They are quick to show people in their circle that they are an important part of their lives.

Caring for people around us endears us to their hearts. A kind word, a sincere advice and a helping hand in difficult times, and sometimes even a gesture as simple as offering to carry someone’s load, are small acts which have far-reaching effects.

Try to visit the aged in your family, especially when they are not well or at least call them from time to time. These small acts will make a special place for you in their hearts.

Always remember that a soft voice, which expresses a logical view, is more effective than a loud one. Soft-spoken people are usually popular as everyone feels more comfortable in talking to them.

Politeness always pays

Being polite is the easiest way to win over someone. It may be holding the door for the person who enters a room or car, offering your seat to an elderly person who cannot find a place in a bus or standing up when someone older than you enters the room. These are endearing gestures, which people do not forget easily.

Always try to be the first to greet friends when you meet them. Take interest in their activities and ask simple questions to show that you give importance to them. Listen politely and never interrupt someone when they are speaking. Always wait for your turn when you are in a discussion.

Remember, ‘Thank you’, ‘please’ and ‘sorry’ are magic words which are a mark of politeness and good upbringing. Using these words habitually will add to your popularity.

Be a good listener

Most of us seem to be in love with our own voice. Instead of listening attentively to what our friends or peers have to say, we like to speak non-stop without caring whether people around us are interested in what we are talking about or not!

Most of the times, it is better to take interest in what people around us are discussing. When we listen with interest, we are bound to gain knowledge and learn to perceive things with an angle different from ours. When friends are talking about their problems, only if we listen attentively, we will understand their troubles better and be able to give out a word of advice where needed.

While discussing a current issue or a hot topic, we usually get over excited and raise our voices to try to drown out those around us. Always remember that a soft voice, which expresses a logical view, is more effective than a loud one. Soft-spoken people are usually popular as everyone feels more comfortable in talking to them.

Light the world with a smile

Have you ever wondered why you take an instant liking to a new teacher if she enters the classroom with a smile on her face? Often we have to go to a party or wedding where we know very few people. On entering the venue, as we look around for a seat, we are instinctively drawn to a person with a smiling demeanour. We are more comfortable with a doctor who wears a smile on his face.

Remember that a smile has a magnetic and endearing power. It is also highly infectious and has the power to cheer up people around us. Learn to smile even if you don’t feel like doing so. All of us have problems, but wearing a sulking look will not solve them in anyway. People who have a smiling face are definitely more popular than those who habitually wear a frown.

Be helpful

Helping out people around us is a very endearing habit. You may help a classmate in subjects he/she finds difficult, help your mum by sharing her workload, take care of your younger siblings or run an errand for your grandparents or an elderly neighbour.

You may be better than your parents or grandparents at computers, tabs or cellphones. Never complain if they ask for your help repeatedly. Consideration for others with a quick helping hand is a simple quality which makes one popular.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Kindness is cool

Speak lovingly with your younger siblings and cousins, and be kind to them. Take interest in their activities in order to show how much you care for them.

Never be harsh or rude to your maid, driver or any other person employed by your parents. Listen with sympathy if at times they discuss their problems with

you. Help them out whenever you possibly can.

Give away your extra toys, clothes and books to the needy people around you. They will be more than grateful for your compassion. Remember that kindness always pays back positively.

Personal grooming is paramount

At first thought you may feel that this tip is not related to popularity. But in my opinion, a person looking fresh and neatly dressed is always better liked than those who do not care about their personal hygiene. We usually shun people who smell of perspiration, have a foul breath or are generally untidy.

Keep your nails trimmed neatly and hair properly brushed. Shower daily, brush your teeth twice a day and be sure to use a deodorant when going out. You do not have to spend a lot on these things; only adopting healthy habits will make you well-groomed and attractive to others.

Try out these simple and easy tips to be better liked in your circle. I am sure you will find your graph of popularity rise in no time.

Published in Dawn, Young World, October 7th, 2017

Bounties Unbounded

https://www.dawn.com/news/1408510

What comes to your mind when you think of Ramazan? Some of you associate this month of fasting with lips parched with thirst and a stomach growling for want of food. Others do not find fasting as difficult and look forward to the mouth-watering pakoras, samosas, fruit chaats and other goodies mummy prepares so lovingly in Ramazan.

Only the more compassionate among us will feel a surging sense of sympathy for the less privileged around us, and how hunger for them is not an option but a part of daily life!

The holy month of Ramazan brings with it countless blessings for us. As you all know, fasting is the third pillar of Islam. Much is written and said about the spiritual blessings of this sacred month and how most of us come out of this month a better and more considerate person.

There can be no two opinions about the spiritual gains of this month, but before I write about them, I would like my friends to know about some additional benefits as well.

Physical benefits of fasting

While we all consider fasting a religious obligation, only a few of us have an idea about the physical benefits we derive from it. Fasting is a healthy practice, but only if properly implemented. It promotes elimination of toxins from the body, making the internal organs healthier.

When we are fasting, the digestive organs get proper time to rest instead of being constantly at work when we go about eating all day. The enzymes, which are required to break down the food we consume, get more concentrated as they do not have to work on the junk food most of us habitually munch on. This leads to better absorption of the nutrients in the food we eat at iftar.

Some experts assert that fasting promotes resolution of inflammatory diseases and allergies. It reduces production of insulin and the pancreas has to work less. Another benefit of fasting is that it tends to bring down blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

Fasting also helps to reduce excessive body weight. The first response of the body to fasting is the breakdown of glucose. When the store of glucose is exhausted, ketosis begins. This is the breakdown of fats stored in our body to release energy. And this in turn brings down our body weight.

It has been observed that fasting reduces craving for processed foods. It promotes the desire for natural foods, especially water and fruits. Fruits increase the body’s store of essential vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A and E are good antioxidants, which help to boost our immune system.

Fasting promotes healthy eating habits and a healthy lifestyle. Although we all love the fried snacks which are usually a part of our iftar meals, we should be particular about not overeating them. Try your best to avoid too rich and oily food items and opt for natural food and a lot of liquids instead. By sticking to a balanced diet in Ramazan, we can derive the maximum physical benefits from fasting.

Moral benefits

The holy month of Ramazan comes as a blessing for us, as it enhances our moral values. We learn to be more compassionate towards the needy people around us who often go hungry. They may be fasting too, but hardly have enough food for sehr and iftar. By giving away as much alms as we can (or when our parents do so), we learn to care and share with others in need.

We also feel empathy for the fasting helpers in our home and try our best not to burden them with unnecessary workload. Out of compassion for them, we perform many personal chores ourselves, (something we do not habitually do) to make their fast easier for them.

Try to nurture these feelings of sympathy even after Ramazan, so that we are a better and more considerate person throughout the year.

Illustration by Ahmed Amin

Economic benefits

If you observe closely, you will find how people with financial needs look forward to Ramazan and the economical assistance it brings for them. People usually give away a major part of their zakat in this month. As you all know zakat, the fourth pillar of Islam, is a fixed percentage of our wealth, which is obligatory for all affluent Muslims to distribute among the poor on a yearly basis.

During this blessed month, even the underprivileged manage to have wholesome meals as many people give away provisions for the whole month. They happily buy new clothes, shoes and other items of necessity from the money they receive from their well-off Muslim brethren, luxuries which they cannot afford otherwise. Debts are cleared, entrepreneurs set up small businesses and hard-up parents usually plan weddings of their children from these donations and alms. NGOs doing complimentary social work also depend heavily on the funds they receive during Ramazan.

Social benefits

Ramazan is the perfect time to strengthen ties with our family. In the fast-paced lives we all lead, during the normal months, we seldom have meals together or do so in a rush.

Ramazan is the month when all gather at the iftar table before the call for the Maghrib prayers. We talk more to each other, share our day to day activities, while parents and grandparents will have some quick word of advice or stories of their own to share.

Boys are usually particular about praying with the congregation during Ramazan. They also go to the mosque with their fathers for Taraweeh prayers. This helps them to be better acquainted with the neighbours and make new friends. Some mosques have arrangements for ladies also.

Sending trays of iftar snacks to neighbours is something most of us practice. This promotes a feeling of goodwill and often becomes the reason to strike a new friendship.

Iftar parties also help us to connect with relatives and friends. This strengthens our social ties with them.

Spiritual benefits Last (but by no means the least), are the unending spiritual benefits of this sacred month.

The Holy Quran says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn piety and righteousness” (2:183).

Fasting is not only abstaining from food and drink, it also teaches us to keep away from all bad deeds. We shun quarrels, unnecessary talking, telling lies and learn to exercise self-restraint in all walks of life.

Fasting inculcates in us a natural desire to perform good deeds. We feel closer to our creator and often take out time to ponder on the message of the Holy Quran as we recite it more during Ramazan. Fasting is a blessing in disguise for those of us who are irregular in your daily prayers. As the holy month starts, resolve that we will pray five times daily even when it is over.

The blessings of Ramazan are innumerable and I have tried my best to emphasise on those which my young friends can comprehend easily. In the end, I would like to quote two Hadiths about this month, so that you can understand the unbounded bounties of Ramazan.

“Every action of the son of Adam is given manifold reward, each good deed receiving ten times its like, up to seven hundred times. Allah the Most High Says, ‘Except for fasting, for it is for Me and I will give recompense for it, he leaves off his desires and his food for Me.’ For the fasting person, there are two times of joy; a time when he breaks his fast and a time of joy when he meets his Lord, and the smell coming from the mouth of the fasting person is better with Allah than the smell of musk.” [Imam Bukhari]

In another Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) says, “Ramazan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah, the Mighty, the Exalted.” [Imam Tabarani]

A very happy and blessed Ramazan to all of you with prayers that Allah accepts our fasts, forgives our sins, guides us to the right path and brings all of us closer to Him, not only in this month but always! Ameen.

Published in Dawn, Young World, May 19th, 2018

ماں

 

درد کے صحرا سے لی مٹی

اشکوں کی نہر سے لیا پانی

ہمت وعزم کے پہاڑ کی چوٹی سے

اٹھائی کچھ ان چھوئی پاکیزہ برف

ملایا اس میں پھر کچھ وفا کا رنگ

اور ایثار سے گوندھ کے اٹھایا خمیر

شاید یوں اللہ نے بنایا ہے

ماں کا وجود

خوشی سے سہتی ہے وہ ہر غم

اپنے لال کو دکھوں سے بچانے کے لئے

کرتی ہے وہ اپنی نیند قرباں

اپنے بچے کو چین کی نیند سلانے کے لئے

سائیباں بن جاتی ہے وہ

زندگی کی دھوپ میں

 اللہ کا عکس ہے پنہاں دیکھا

ماں کے ہر اک روپ میں

زندگی بھر ممتا کے دکھ سہتی ہے وہ

اور اکثر یہ بھول جاتی ہے

کہ وہ صرف اک ماں نہیں

انساں بھی ہے !

عورت بھی ہے !

لیکن کبھی یوں بھی ہوتا ہے

ممتا کے دکھوں سہتے سہتے

 تھک سی جاتی ہے وہ

اپنے منصب کو بھول کر

زندگی کے دامن سے

چرانا چاہتی ہے کچھ رنگ

اپنے بے رنگ خوابوں کو سجانے کے لئے

لیکن یہ لغزش ہوتی ہے بس

چند لمحوں کے لئے

کہ فرض کا آہنی ہاتھ

اس کو جھنجھوڑ دیتا ہے

اور یاد دلاتا ہے

کہ

یہ خواہش اسے زیب دیتی نہیں

کہ وہ انساں نہیں

عورت نہیں

پہلے اک ماں ہے

ماں!!

جس کو بنایا ہے اللہ نے

درد سے

اشکوں سے

وفا سے

اور

ایثار سے !

رنج و غم کو اسے گلے لگانا ہے

اور اولاد کے لئے مٹ جانا ہے!

یاسمین الہی

You are a murderer!

YOU ARE A MURDERER!
You are a doctor, and yet you let someone die…just like that!
All you cared for was your fees… You were only bothered about your bloody fees…
You should be ashamed of yourself. Your degree should be torn and then burnt into the fire and your PMDC registration should be canceled right away and you should be hanged till death…because you were part of this murder!
I am a Pakistani and these above lines are wrenched from the bottom of my heart. I just found out that a woman died in a hit and run case yesterday, in Karachi, near Sea View. I am sure you all must be aware of this tragic incident; I am not going to focus on the mad driver who didn’t stop his car and instead, ran all over her and didn’t even stop for one second to look back at what he had done … He’s a murderer and he will rot in hell…
I am not going to comment on that bloody desperate thief who came forward to see the severely injured woman on the road…And in the pretense of providing a helping hand, he STOLE her mobile phone…without even thinking for one second that her phone could have been used for locating her family…or her family would have died a thousand deaths when they would have tried to contact her and her phone would have been turned off because that’s what thieves do, right? No… I am not commenting on this either…
I am commenting and condemning this DOCTOR who refused to treat her when the eye witnesses and some police constables took her to the nearest medical center. This DOCTOR had the audacity to refuse any kind of treatment because all she was worried about was the fact that the woman’s family was not there and her main question was that “Who would pay my fees?” That patient was dying… I am sure no one could have saved her…but at least some HUMANITY could have been expected from that DOCTOR…right?
My hands are cold right now, my eyes blurry with tears…I am mourning the death of humanity in our nation… our nation has stooped to the lowest levels and I really don’t know what to do now…my head is pounding with the images of this accident site and some flashbacks of the sanitary worker that died when THREE DOCTORS refused to treat him in Umerkot few months ago…but above all…my heart is HURT at the inhumanity of all these doctors… It’s killing me because I am a Doctor myself and we take OATHS to protect people. We have pledged to keep people’s safety and benefits before our own…and in cases of emergency…we are bound to come up front and take control…without thinking about money or any other superficial things!
It is my humble request to all, who read this post… Please do something… This nation is dying… Please please please become someone’s light instead of prying it away from them…
To all the doctors out there, don’t forget that YOU were bestowed with the power of healing… YOU were entrusted with the amanat of taking care of people before your own needs… YOU are going to be held accountable too!
Think a thousand times before you refuse treatment to any patient next time…
Dr.Ayesha Ansar Khan

تم نہ جان پائوگے

 

شہر کے دوکاندارو ۔۔۔۔۔ کاروبارِ اُلفت میں
سود کیا، زیاں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے
دل کے دام کتنے ہیں ۔۔۔۔۔ خواب کتنے مہنگے ہیں
اور نقدِ جاں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے

کوئی کیسے ملتا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ پھول کیسے کھلتا ہے
آنکھ کیسے جُھکتی ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ سانس کیسے رُکتی ہے
کیسے رِہ نکلتی ہے ۔۔۔۔۔۔ کیسے بات چلتی ہے
شوق کی زباں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے

وصل کا سکوں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ ہجر کا جنوں کیا ہے
حُسن کا فسُوں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ عشق کے درُوں کیا ہے
تم مریضِ دانائی ۔۔۔۔۔ مصلحت کے شیدائی
راہِ گمراہاں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے

زخم کیسے پھلتے ہیں ۔۔۔۔۔ داغ کیسے جلتے ہیں
درد کیسے ہوتا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ کوئی کیسے روتا ہے
اشک کیا ہیں، نالے کیا ۔۔۔۔۔ دشت کیا ہیں، چھالے کیا
آہ کیا، فُغاں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے

جانتا ہوں میں تم کو ۔۔۔۔۔ ذوقِ شاعری بھی ہے
شخصیت سجانے میں ۔۔۔۔۔ اِک یہ ماہری بھی ہے
پھر بھی حرف چُنتے ہو ۔۔۔۔۔ صرف لفظ سُنتے ہو
اِن کے درمیاں کیا ہے ۔۔۔۔۔ تم نہ جان پاؤ گے

۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔۔
جاوید اختر

 

The Cousin Connection

(https://www.dawn.com/news/1321263)

Cousins are to life what colours are to a black and white sketch on a canvas. Just like lively colours make a painting a joy to the eyes, cousins add enjoyment and pleasure to our lives.

They are always an integral part of our extended family. Whether we connect with them day to day, or we meet them after a number of years and whether we live in the same city or continents apart, we share with them a bond which defies age, distance and time.

The best thing about cousins is that you never disconnect with them. Discussions come naturally even if you have met after weeks, months or even years. You pick up a conversation as if you had only talked a little while ago. You talk spontaneously about common interests, your recent activities or important news about the family without any awkward moments.

A relationship with no match

Sometimes cousins are like siblings, sometimes like friends and most of the times, they are someone in between these two. And yes, they can be strong competitors and in extreme cases foes too! But most important of all, they share common ancestry and history. Whatever the status of our bond with them may be, they are an inevitable part of our lives, adding all the flavours of spice to it and making it more enjoyable.


Celebrating the unique bond shared by cousins


Cousins may be not as important a part of our lives as siblings are, but the knowledge that we can connect with them as much as and whenever we want to, brings them closer to us. We can freely discuss our problems with them (without the fear of being reported to an elder) as they will always lend a sympathetic ear and are ready with some good advice.

With a sibling you do not have a choice. Accept them as they are your only option. We live day in and day out with them, sharing strong ties of love, care and sacrifice. But at times it can be a bumpy relationship where you are fast friends one moment and fierce foes the very next. Although instinctively we are always ready to help and defend siblings against all odds, we also fight and argue on petty issues.

With cousins the scenario is totally different. Your likes, interests and preferences match with some of them and you may not look eye to eye with others. This strongly defines how close you are to them or the bond of friendship you share with them. This factor also strongly affects the amount of time or activities you share with them.


Cherish your cousins, they will be one of the sincerest friends you can ever have and the bond with them wouldn’t get weak with time and distance


You can always be yourself and feel comfortable when cousins are around, because you never feel the need to impress them with your looks, dressings or thoughts.

The relationship with cousins keeps changing with time and age, and can be strange in many ways. We grow up together playing weird games, getting in and out of trouble due to our silly mistakes and antics, sharing and fiercely guarding secrets, and loving each other with all our good and bad traits.

But we have differences as well! We can be arch rivals as we strive to compete with them in all walks of life, ranging from getting more importance from elders to performing better at studies or to be more popular among our peers.

Cousins of all ages

The age factor also strongly affects the kind of relationship you have with a cousin. You turn to the older ones for help when you are stuck in a problem, pamper and cuddle the younger ones and build a lifetime bond of friendship with those who match your age group.

Joys of sharing and caring

Cousins are witnesses to our achievements and failures. Always quick to encourage and reassure, they will celebrate with you in happy moments and lend a shoulder to cry on in sad ones. With them you share common family tragedies and take pride in the accomplishments of members.

No family gathering is complete without cousins. Whenever you are invited by an uncle or aunt, you instantly ask if so and so (one of your favourite cousins) is coming. It may be playing in-door or outdoor games, laughing till your stomach aches at something amusing you witnessed or just doing small talk, cousins always make attending a family gathering worth your time.

At weddings or larger gatherings, you find it very natural to sit in a group, sharing a common table, where you can crack jokes, share interesting experiences from your common past, pass remarks on other guests or just share what you have been doing recently.

When we are growing up, we take cousins for granted. Playing pranks at each other, sharing family jokes and laughing at them till tears roll out of our eyes, planning and enjoying get-togethers and overnight stays at our grandparents, enjoying grandma’s cooking and grandpa’s stories of his youth, we spend quality time together which at that stage of life seems to be endless.

And time flies by …

Like all good things, this memorable phase of life flies by with the passage of time. As years slip by and we enter adulthood, the childhood memories of the time we spent with cousins are often the most cherished ones in our treasure box of memories.

I belong to a large family and often share with my grandchildren interesting episodes from my childhood days. We were a big (and mischievous) lot and fell into different groups according to our ages. And each group looked up to the senior ones with respect and awe, as we considered them more experienced, learned and wiser than us. Whenever I had a quarrel with a cousin, I remember turning to our eldest cousin for arbitration, and her word was the final one as there was no question of an argument!

Family jokes, incidents which I would not like to share with everyone, the time I spent with cousins at our grandparents’ place, or the vacations which we enjoyed together, are all important pearls in my chest of memories. At the twilight of life, I often look back on those moments and cherish them fondly.

Marion C. Garretty so beautifully summed up the relationship between cousins, “A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost”.

So cherish your cousins, they will be one of the sincerest friends you can ever have and the bond with them wouldn’t get weak with time and distance.

What are you waiting for? Call them and text them the moment you put this magazine down, go and meet them this weekend and make memories that will light up your life when you all are living separate and busy lives.

Published in Dawn, Young World March 18th, 2017

Quran’s description of a Good Muslim

مومن تو وہ لوگ ہیں کہ جب ان کے سامنے اللہ کا ذکر ہوتا ہے تو ان کے دل ڈر جاتے ہیں ، اور جب ان کے سامنے اس کی  آیتیں  پڑھی جاتی ہیں تو وہ آیتیں ان کے ایمان کو اور ترقی دیتی ہیں، اور وہ اپنے پروردگار پہ بھروسہ کرتے ہیں۔ جو نماز قاٗۃم کرتے ہیں ، اور ہم نے ان کو جو رزق دیا ہے ، اس میں سے فی سبیل اللہ خرچ کرتے ہیں ۔ یہی لوگ ہیں جو حقیقت میں مومن ہیں ۔ان کے لٹے  ان کے رب کے پاس بڑے درجے ہیں ، مغفرت ہے اور با عزت رزق ہے۔

سورہ انفال آیت ۲۔۔۔۔۔۴

 

FOR Believers are those who, when Allah is mentioned, feel a tremor in their hearts, and when they hear His signs rehearsed, find their faith strengthened, and put (all) their trust in their Lord; Who establish regular prayers (namaaz) and spend freely out of the gifts We have given them for Sustenance; Such in truth are the Believers; they have grades of dignity with their Lord, and forgiveness and generous sustenance.

Al- Quran

Sura e Anfaal

Ayat no 2-4