I write because….

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During exams of my seventh grade, I was asked to write an essay over the topic of library. In those days I didn’t own much books but I often dreamt of having a large and airy library at home.

I wrote an imaginary essay in which I gave desription of my ideal picture of library with two large windows which I imagined opened in garden of my home. I was supposed to write that essay in Urdu and thirteen out of fifteen marks were considered highest in class.

In her remarks, my teacher wrote excellent work on my paper.

I kept that paper for a long time but later lost it during shifting process of my home.

Two weeks ago, I was reading George Orwell’s essay in which he mentioned that he had a lonely child’s habit of making up stories and holding up conversation with imaginary friends. Reading this reminds me of that library essay and I thought I could relate to him for there is this magic in imagination that in most desperate moments of my life, I have always found refuge in secret heaven of my imaginary world.

I write because it gives me an excuse for reading.

I scribble because it provides me glimpse of my own thought process.

I write because it keeps me alive.

It sounds like a cliche but it’s been some time that wtiting has become more of a life line for me. I have found the sensation of giving birth to words painful but the next moment when I saw words on previously blank screen of my laptop, I feel proud of myself.

My mother often scolds me that I also need to learn to explain myself through oral communication which I think I’m quite capable of doing for it seems funny but whenever my mother is furious, I get afraid of her temper and lost control over my speech.

I have no idea of the count of words I have typed so far. I have been interrupted twice and have lost control of my stream of thoughts whose speed I was unable to control. My fingers didn’t keep pace with it.

This post of mine wasn’t suppose to go like this. There were many things which I wanted to write but right now when I’m not able to recall any single of them, I’d like to mention that I write because through writing, I’ve explored many new dimensions of life.

I simply write because writing has provided me with this opportunity to embrace life…

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My travel story

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In my childhood when roads were not good the journey towards my native city was long. In those days Motorway was not constructed and eight to ten hours of journey through grand trunk or GT road (South Asia’s oldest and longest major roads) left my parents exhausted. On the other hand we children remained energetic for the mere idea of meeting with cousins and uncles kept us excited.

With time lot has been changed but my nostalgic feelings towards my city and late grandma’s house remained same.

It’s been some time that we wanted to take break from our monotonous hectic routines and this past week when our parents decided to arrange a trip to Attock, I and my sisters got excited.

It was early in the morning when we started our journey.

Province of Punjab is known for it green fields and as we were travelling between its two cities, we saw many beautiful scenes.

After every ten to twenty kilometers, I very much liked to stop and wanted to capture pictures of every scene but my mother reminded me that it would slow down our speed for at home the lunch was ready and every one was anxiously waiting for us.

In golden gleam of October sun, the road ahead was shining. I saw many villages where farmers were busy working in their fields while their cattle were enjoying eating food.

I saw workers along the road were busy in painting tree trunks white. At that time I didn’t understand but later I came to know they were doing this to protect tree bark from splitting and cracking.

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While the car was travelling on Motorway, I captured this image. White painted trees are visible in this picture.

After four hours we left Motorway and covered rest of the distance through GT road.

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I like this canopy of green leaves. The road ahead was looking neat.
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Sitting in front of car my mother kept on reminding me that my phone was not good to capture images but when I saw these horses and couldn’t resist capturing this picture.

This year on August 6, while writing a post on my blog,  I unconsciously mentioned my desire to observe reflection of sunlight in sea and this past week when I visited Attock river, I captured this effect of sunlight in water.

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I was happy and amazed for this picture is very near to the picture I saw somewhere on internet.

My favorite moment of family gathering is moment of picnic. We were some thirty people who went to river Attock and to river Haro on two different days.

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On that bright day the sun was shining. In the pictures the river looks calm but due to its unpredictable level it was dangerous to go near.

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On that day, I didn’t wear my joggers and in order to cross this mountain of sand, I took off my sandals. Sand was warm but I enjoyed my walk.

This is an old Attock bridge that was built in 1883 during English rule in subcontinent. The upper level of bridge is still in use for train movement. It’s been some time that the lower level of bridge is not in use for heavy traffic but still motorbikes and cycles from nearby villages use this bridge.

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While we were getting ready for picnic, we heard the sound of tain. I immediately got hold of my phone and tried to make small video on my phone.

What you give is what you get. We waved hands at the passengers in train. They looked grateful and waved back at us.

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Sitting on a rock, I particularly enjoyed feeling the sensation of cold water on my feet.

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While looking at the foamy waves of water, I silently thanked God for making the world beautiful.

Attock Fort is an important historical place which was built during Akbar reign from 1581 to 1583.

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In this picture the outer wall of Attock fort is visible. It’s been a long time that visitors are not allowed to go inside.

It’s been some time that I read somewhere that a person who don’t know about his family roots is not confident in practical life. I have myself experienced that whenever I get a chance to meet with my extended family, I feel myself fresh and more confident.

I’m grateful to God Almighty for this blessing of beautiful blood relations in my life.

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Gratitude post

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It’s not me that’s for sure but my younger sister is of the view that just like a girl in the picture, I could spend long hours reading a book and that too on my favorite couch in drawing room.

There’s nothing special about this sitting arrangement in my drawing room. It’s only this that this little space is quite secluded from the rest of home and while reading or writing, I could move my head and can observe reflection of sunny sky in green garden outside.

Not always but at times this sitting posture of mine reminds me of Jane Eyre. It’s not that I can relate to her but when Jane in order to escape bullying of her cousins hid herself behind curtains of large window in library, I felt her pleasure in escape which she found in reading book.

I was supposed to write this post earlier but delayed writing it for in these past two or three days, I was busy enjoying the positive effects of a change which I had tried to bring in my behavior.

For some time I was trying to act boss at home. My bossy behavior was making my youngest sister and niece quite annoyed of me__ I have little patience for tolerating mess and kids have lot of stamina for producing it.

Recently, I have decided that instead of changing people in my surrounding why not try to change my own behavior.

It’s seven thirty in the morning when sitting in my favorite space in home, I’m writing these lines and feeling grateful for bringing this change in my behavior. I have stopped being bossy and have noticed that without shrieking and showing any kind of attitude, I can exercise my power on others with patience and respect.

I’m so happy for I’m able to bring this change in my behavior and I’m happy that while writing this gratitude post and I can observe shades of early morning sun outside.

On the other side of a street there’s a large tree whose green leaves among top branches are shining in mellow sunlight. Towards the bottom of tree where the early morning sun has not get an acess yet, I can see some shades of darkness.

But, I’m not afraid of them for I know once the light decides to appear then the darkness of night finds no room to stay.

Previously, I was trying to change behavior of people in my surrounding but I’m happy for this dawn of light upon my thoughts which has taught me that it’s always better to bring change in oneself first.

I’m happy and I’m grateful that I’m able to bring change in my behavior first.

Image Courtesy: Google Image

Gratitude journal day 1

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Yesterday, I came across a post on huffingtonpost. It was about benifits of keeping gratitude journal. The idea of maintaining one seemed nice and after reading it, I thought it’s been a long time that I haven’t sit and spend some time over this topic and thought to maintain my own online gratitude journal for atleast three consective days.

It’s ten in the morning when I’m going to read and make some changes in a draft which I wrote two and a half hours ago. The list is in no particular order and I’m going to keep it the way in which my stream of thoughts bombarded my mind this morning.

  •  I’m grateful for watching cricket match on TV with my siblings. After a hectic day watching this sport in evening helps in relaxing our minds. More than anything else it’s the first international match with foreign players playing here in Pakistan since 2009 terrorist attack on the then visiting Sirilankan team. It’s been a long time and people are looking happy about the return of cricket in country.
  • I’m happy and blessed to have a wonderful elder sister who despite being married always finds time in hearing my long speech on phone. She lives in another country but due to whatsapp and her caring nature she always seems near.
  • After watching some videos on youtube about killer whales, I explored a lot about them on internet. It feels good to learn about whales who preferrerd to live in families. The mother whale whose average life span is estimated somewhere around 90 years took care of her children throughout her life. I’m grateful for my internet connection which has helped me in exploring a lot about whales.
  • My Samsung Glaxy Tab is of Red color. I also have my mobile phone but I preferred to set morning alarm on my tab. I’m grateful to it for waking me up 5:30 in the morning. Offering the morning prayer is best way to strengthen your bond with God Almighty.
  • I’m grateful to hear all these morning voices outside. Sitting on top of trees, birds are chirping. Somewhere near the gardner is busy mowing lawn grass. It’s seven thirty and it’s school time. Two or three houses from my home, crow is sitting on wall. It’s harsh voice is giving background touch to noise of cars and motorbikes on road. I don’t mind hearing all this disturbance. It shows that life never rests, it moves on.
  • The sun is shining and the day is bright, I’m happy to start a brand new day

Image Courtesy: Google Image(Scrapbook Adhesive)

It’s been almost an year that I wrote this post titled happiness is… on my blog. The list in a post is very close to my heart. My apologies for not creating hyperlink here.

https://valiantwarrior.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/happiness-is/

 

When Breath becomes air

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Life is finite. I knew it well but never thought of reading an experience of a journey of life that would suddenly culminate at the young age of thirty six, “When breath becomes air” by Paul Kalanithi is an autobiographical account of a neurosurgeon who at the peak of his career discovered that he was dying of lung cancer.

My sister told me about this book and after reading its review on internet, I placed an online order. Once, I got the book in my hands, I finished reading it in two days. It’s an easy read but the deeper meaning of life which Paul’s want to narrate through his experience demands us to not only read but ponder over his words.

Here’s this quote from his book in which he shares his thoughts about life. He writes

“There is a moment, a cusp, when the sum of gathered experience is worn down by the details of living. We are never so wise as when we live in this moment.”

In the beginning Paul was confused about choosing his career. He loved literature and he loved doing writing but in order to understand the mysteries of human brain, he decided to pursue his career in neurosurgery.

I would recommend this book to medical students and to anyone who’s interested in reading about medical cases. There’s an account of real life dramas that happens in corridors of hospitals. Paul’s gives us an account of details he witnessed as a medical student and also describes his experience of saving many lives as a senior neurosurgeon.

The best thing about Paul’s writing style is his way of mentioning quotes from literature that goes well with his life experiences. He was a doctor and he was aware that his illness of lung cancer was life threatening yet he did his best to fight off his disease. He continued doing his job till his body became too weak to carry weight of struggles of life.

Sunday Times considered it a powerful and poignant tale. There are many passages which I liked to read again and again but reading this one passage where Kalanithi was bidding his final adieu to his dream job of neurosurgery left me speechless.

“I left the OR shortly after, then gathered my things, which had accumulated over seven years of work___ extra sets of clothes for the nights you don’t leave, tooth-brushes, bars of soap, phone chargers, snacks, my skull model and collection of neurosurgery books, and so on. On second thought, I left my books behind. They’s be of more use here.

On my way out to the parking lot, a fellow approached to ask me something, but his pager went off. He looked at it, waved,turned, and ran back in to the hospital___”I’ll catch you later!” he called over his shoulder. Tears welled up as I sat in the car, turned the key, and slowly pulled out into the street. I drove home, walked through the front door, hung up my white coat, and took off my ID badge. I pulled the battery out of my pager. I peeled off my scrubs….

This book has taught me that life is finite. There’s a certain amount of time that’s been allotted to all of us on this earth but “Cease not till death” should remain our approach in life.

This post is written in response to daily post Finite

My brother

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Thank you Dorothy for this lovely picture

December 2, 1997

Today, Alen woke me up early. He knew well that I slept late in night but all he care about is discipline in life.

At times, he’s bossy but mother is always on his side and has given him every right to bring discipline in my life.

How could a big brother be so ruthless in waking his younger brother for a bicycle ride and that too seven in the morning?

I read somewhere that a child’s prayer is readily heard. God please help and take my brother away from me, he’s strict and I want freedom in my life…”

August 9, 2017

I just saw an old note in diary. Twenty years ago, I didn’t know the importance of Allen in my life and today when I bid him farewell, I realized his importace in my life.

Alen was my big brother, he was my friend but more than anything else he was the son of soil.

Thank you Alen for making me what I am today

May you Rest in peace bro

(174 words)

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The above story is in response to flash fiction for aspiring writers hosted by PricelessJoy.

Shimmer

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As the sea shimmers in the sunlight so do the words in darkness of night.

The word shimmer reminds me of Wuthering Heights, the book whose abridged version, I read in my college days.

Last year, I chanced upon the book and finished reading it in ten days. The novel with its complex psychological characters and soft flow of thoughts is my all time favorite.

The daily post asks us to write something about the word shimmer which takes me back to an interview of a Canadian actor. Sergio Di Zio shared a little secret about his reading habit.

He explained that while reading any book, he’s in a habit of taking notes. So whenever he finish reading book, he not only writes his thoughts about book but also writes about the environment in which he read it. Jotting down thoughts in this way, he keeps record of his own memories.

From that day on, I have also started practicing this routine and whenever I read my thoughts at the end of books, it gives me a strange pleasure.

For me it is a precious feeling which reminds me that words are powerful because they joined to form a thought which can bring “shimmer” in our lives.

Here is a note from a book Whuthering Heights.

“July 18, 2016

It’s 12:40 p.m, I started reading this book on second day of Eid. It’s a journey of ten days which could be less, if I didn’t get under weather.

Reading the book was an unforgettable experience.”

Now reading this note reminds me that how I caught flu which got so worse that I was bound to bed. It was late in the night on July 18 when I finished reading it. It was a hot month of summer. At night, I couldn’t read the book in bedroom for the lights were off and others needed to sleep.

So, while everyone slept, I sat outside in sitting room and enjoyed reading the book in the calmness of night.

You see a single note can remind you of a lot of memories. Memories are precious and what’s more beautiful than saving them at the end of a book and that too in your own handwriting.

I very much like to see the shimmering rays of sunlight in sea. I can’t visit sea because it’s not in my city but rereading these notes in books is my sorce of getting happiness which brings shimmer in my life.

This post is written in response to daily post Shimmer