Goodbye, Mr. Chips

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When my cousin who’s about to complete his University expressed his dislike for James Hilton’s Goodbye Mr.Chips, I became defensive and wasted no time in suggesting that story is not that much boring and while we were busy sharing our thoughts, my uncle who himself read this story in his intermediate course intervened and also showed his lack of interest about the atmosphere in Mr. Chips.

It’s been thirty years that Mr. Chips is a part of intermediate course in my country and for some time a debate is going about removing it from syllabus.

Mr. Chips is a story of a school teacher about which it’s said that Hilton created this character after his father.

Originally written in 1934, the story is adapted into cinemafilms and two television presentations.

When some people are of the view that it should be removed and replaced by some modern tale, my mind takes me back to the time when our teacher would ask one of us to read a chapter from Mr. Chips and later she would translate it in Urdu for us.

At the end of lecture we were asked to prepare notes from guide books.

It was her way of teaching literature and this is the common way in which the novella is taught to our students in colleges.

Eminent Professor Bhem Singh Dihya from India always reminds his students that literature is a study of life and we cannot study Mr.Chips without establishing its connection with life.

In life, we often meet persons like Mr. Chips. They’re ordinary in appearances but they possessed some some special qualities.

Hilton’s character Mr. Chips knew how to teach languages and with this quality, he succeeded in leaving strong impact upon generation of students in his time.

Mr. Chips was a sincere soul and as a teacher, he did hardwork to achieve a high status at a Brookfield school.

How can we say that the world of Mr. Chips has grown old when themes of sincerity and hardwork towards one’s job are still relevant in our society of 2018?

Another criticism which is put forward by the opponents of this story is about love affair of Mr. Chips. They consider Katherine and Chips relation dull and boring.

Unlike modern tale of Twilight series, the love affair of Katherine and Chips was such that there’s lack of show of emotions in it but the reader needs to study the underlying theme in this love story of Katherine and Chips.

Katherine’s influence changed not only chauvinistic attitude of Mr. Chips but also altered him in a way that he became more effective teacher in a class.

How can we consider such kind of love dull when its influence alters personality to that much extent?

It somehow takes me back to 2008 when suicide attacks were common in country.  Once it happened that while we were in class a suicide blast killed dozens of policemen near our University. Confusion erupted among students and phones started to ring immediately. Other teachers informed our Professor but he continued giving his lecture.

Our minds were so occupied with the situation outside that we didn’t grasp a thing from his lecture.

Now, there’s a scene in Hilton’s story where Mr. Chips in the midst of bombing not only kept on teaching Latin but also carried on cracking jokes so to divert the attention of frightened students in his class.

Our teacher on that day in our University class didn’t try to calm us down. He only wanted to complete his lecture and though he succeeded in doing so, he unlike Mr. Chips failed to leave any impact upon his students.

When my cousin is of the view that reading Mr. Chips is a mere waste of time, I’m of the opinion that it’s not the time to say good bye to Mr. Chips. Literature never gets old. It can’t be associated with certain time period and keeping this in view we still can learn a lot from Mr. Chips.

 

 

 

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Framed memories

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I was sure, I could

go back in time which was mine

with framed memories,

I feel the passage of time

but can never reverse the clock.

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Image Courtesy: Little Miss Chris

Ways to attract happiness in life

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(I usually write short posts. This long post of mine was sitting in my laptop for some time. Today, while going through some of my drafts, I discovered it and decided to post it anyway. Points discuss in this post are not new but what I wrote about them is what I feel)

Human beings, marvel of Divinity are wired in a way that if on a certain day they are feeling good then on very next day with no apparent reason they feel themselves losing interest in their lives.

When down in the dumps and feeling sad, they are in search of something to chin them up.

Below are six points which can be embraced to get rid of this sadness of mood in life.

1. Make your own grateful list

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We don’t realize and we often ignore but there are lots of things in life for which we must need to show our gratitude.

For instance, while walking up and down the stairs we hardly notice that how firmly our feet hold the weight of our bodies. Any time we could lose our balance and we could fell from stairs and on every day if you are easily walking up and down the stairs without meeting any kind of accident then you are the one who is lucky and you need to show your gratitude for this.

According to an estimate there exist some 783 million people who don’t have access to clean water and if you are the one who is drinking clean water then it is a nice gesture to show your thanks and gratitude for this abundance of water in your life.

Make your own notebook or diary. In the night, make it your habit to list down three things for which you are grateful for.

At the end of the week or month, while going through it, you’ll find yourself discovering some very interesting things in your life which you haven’t noticed before.

Believe me showing your gratitude, and saying your thanks for hearing the chirping of birds and listening to the rhythmic tick-tock of the clock in your room would never allow you to feel sad next time.

2. Spend time with family

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From Jane Austen to Arthur Miller and from Thomas Hardy to Charles Dickens, every great writer of English literature has laid stress upon the importance of the institution of family.

If there is anything common to the success of people around the world then it is nothing but the support of their family. In fact, the relationship which we share with our parents and siblings is priceless.

Harry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire was once in need of some guidance. In the form of Ron and Hermione, he had some good friends but he needed to seek help from some father-like figure.

Rowling through her beloved character Harry Potter has also presented the importance of family in life. A family is a bond which never allows us to lose our spirits.
So, next time when you are sad, try spending time with your family because

• Family is there to support you in your bad times.
• Family is always there to protect you from evils of the world.
• Family is never late to share your feelings of happiness.
• Family is always there to give you confidence.

3. Go for a walk and embrace sunlight

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When down and glum, go for a walk. There is such a magic and attraction in the natural beauty that with its therapeutic power it purifies our minds.

Scientists are agreed that there exists a healing power in sunlight. Try observing the shades of sunlight and try looking at the majestic beauty when the slanting rays of mellow sun come filtering through the leaves.

People who are in love with nature would start loving themselves and once they fall in love with themselves, the realization of the importance of their very existence emerges before their eyes which in turn would never allow them to feel sad again.

Next time when you are sad, go outside and standing beneath the sun, try to feel the warmth of sunshine. It appears absurd but standing there and appreciating the warmth of sunlight, you’ll be happy to find yourself shedding the very leaves of sadness.

4. Become a kid

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Feeling downhearted and dejected? Go and become a kid.

Yes, it is true, for spending time with kids helps us and takes us back to that innocent period which we have left behind in the rat race of our lives.

You are still feeling yourself getting short of ideas? Don’t worry; try watching cartoons or what about doing some colors in the coloring book?

Kids have the power of imagination. Try imagining what you are lacking in your lives.
Don’t lose your spirit. Remember, becoming a kid is an excellent way of attracting happiness in life.

5. Write down your thoughts

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Some researches have shown that people who are in habit of writing journals or doing blogging are less likely to feel themselves alone. In fact, they are more connected with their surroundings as compared to those people who are not in habit of writing down their thoughts.

Writing is a key to become systematic in life; it keeps you motivated and at times helps you in unveiling those beautiful aspects which remain obscure in the hurriedness of life.

Blogging is one such kind of positive activity which not only keeps your mind active but helps you to interact with different kind of people around the world. Once, you start doing blogging, the urge to share the beauty of Mother Nature in the form of writing and photography would never allow you to feel sad again.

Gloomy mood welcomes sad thoughts. A dejected person finds it hard to see light at the end of the dark tunnel, he is in need of some friend and pen and paper is one such friend which in any case never let you down.

6. Watch movies

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Some people prefer reading books over watching movies but when down in spirits, it’s advisable to watch your favorite movie. There’s this kind of power in movies that you not only find yourself laughing at some comic scene but also find yourself pondering over some inspirational quote in the movie.

Watching a good movie with family and friends is a fun process, it soothes down nerves, and it relaxes our mind.

Apart from reading books watching movies can also be a source of attracting happiness in life.

So, in the presence of all these opportunities to attract laughter in life, there’s no need to become sad anymore.

Now what do you think about these ways of becoming happy? Do you have any other idea to attract happiness in life?

Image Courtesy: Unsplash

What is it that you require to become a writer?

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Is it about ‘writing space’ or is it about some kind of ‘inspiration’ that is necessary to write? Is it only good imagination that gives rise to powerful writing?

Lately, I’ve been trying to find answers for these questions and have recently came across a tedtalk by Markus Zusak on yout tube.

Zusak who is an author of New York Times bestseller The book Thief explains that these are problems in life for which a person wants some solution and in order to get away from them, he becomes a writer.

This phenomenon sounds interesting to me and Harry Potter’s writer J. K Rowling came to my mind. Prior to publishing her novel, Rowling was going through lots of troubles in her life. She was a single mother and in absence of any kind of permanent job, she was in need of money.

Rowling’s strong imagination was the reason behind her success but that were also problems in her life which compels her to use her imagination in an effective way.

Reign of Queen Victoria in England is famous for its novelists and Charles Dickens is considered one of the greatest English writers of his time. When his father was in debtors’ prison, Dicken left school to work in factory. Dickens’ was quite young when he was forced to live a life away from his family and while working as a child, he experienced the problems which poor working class faced in society.

Facing issues and on getting first hand experience of life, Dicken with the help of his imagination created some unforgettable characters in literature.

Wilkins Micawber, Ebenzer Scrooge and Oliver Twist are considered some of his memorable characters.

An author while writing her memoir writes

” My sharpest memory is of a single instant surrounded by dark”

Which means that these are dark moments in life which leave strong impression on our minds and writer is a sensative person to express his emotions well from such moments.

Tolstoy in Anna Karenina writes

“Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Which shows that in unhappiness there are many shades while in happy moments we often don’t find much which can stir or move our soul. Troubles in life provides us with many ideas to get away from them.

It’s not always necessary for a writer to own some perfect writing space, it’s anywhere that an idea can struck him.

Going back to that tedtalk by Markus Zusak, he tells that while writing a draft for his book, he literally tore and threw away many pages. He was confused about selecting his narrator and while looking at the pile of crumpled papers, an idea came to his mind.

Previously when he was considering taking girl to be his narrator, he was facing lots of issues but when he decided to make death a narrator of his book, everything went smooth.

It was out of the box thinking and once the novel was well received, he concluded that his journey of writing The book thief was not easy. He was sure that problems helped him in creating such a compelling piece of writing.

Have you read this book by Markus Zusak? Do you agree that these are problems in life which often helps writer in his writing.

Image Coutesy: Unsplash

Imagination

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When I was young, we for some time lived in a home where there was a small neat garden.

I liked doing cycling in sunlit court-yard of that home.

There was enough space in a house for playing but my favorite spot was in the garden.

In the evening, I would take my kitchen toy set with me and after plucking some leaves, I loved to make my own very food under the green shady leaves of tree.

Child as I was, I imagined my cooking pots were real. Those were the days when I considered real world was fake.

With the passage of time my perspective has changed. Today, I know that real world is not fake but my belief has become more strengthen in a fact that with little bit of effort, I can re-create my life from my imagination.

This past Sunday, I was under weather and for some change decided to go outside with family. Once in a car, I observed street ahead, it was all covered with fallen leaves. I thought of changing season and imagined that fallen leaves were my own past days which I had left behind only to move forward. This very thought gave me such strength that I found myself quite energetic during rest of my day.

After all Roald Dahl is never wrong when he writes

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

Image Courtesy: DevianArt