Rain, fog and Sun

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In rain, these flowers looked magical.

In these past days when one after another, rain, fog and sun appeared, this week for me has become memorable.

On Monday evening, it rained.

Weather was so pleasant on that day that I who normally hate getting wet in rain, asked my niece to come and join me outside. 

A puddle was formed on street and I didn’t mind standing in it.

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Water found its way inside my sneakers and my socks got wet.

At that moment, I looked at my niece who was enjoying playing with leaf in water, she was considering it a boat.

On seeing that, I decided to enjoy the moment anyway and allowed water to find more ways to wet my socks.

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Reflection of trees in water on street looked beautiful.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were cold and foggy days. They didn’t allow us to explore much outside.

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Even this Saturday morning there was fog in sky but later sun appeared with all its might.

Under the canopy of yellow shine, earth got warm and calm today.

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This is an outside view of library. While taking this picture, I inhaled the sweet fragrance of yellow flowers in air.

Sitting in a park observing shades of sunlight on grass, I thought how different facets of Mother Nature has successfully allowed themselves to fuse in a single week.

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When it rained, it was cool.

When there was fog, driving was difficult and today with the sprinkle of golden sunshine on earth, each and everything regained its lost vigour.

Divinity in its might is kind and diverse, It has many colors. If a certain day is dull than a next day can become fun.

Brilliant integration of fog, rain and sun has made this week beautiful for me.

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Even Jack and Jill while fetching water from well were also looking happy today.


Word of the day: Integrated

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My student is making progress.

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When mother of my six year old student initially came, she was  worried about her kid who was reluctant to write with her.

Her son was enjoying doing reading at home. He could answer comprehension questions well but when it came to writing, he simply refused to express his thoughts.

Mother wanted my help and I was eager to try.

On first day, before starting our class, I took him to window and asked him to explain what he was seeing outside, he replied that the grass was green and the sky was blue with white fluffy clouds in it.

It was our warm-up session. After he did reading from manual, I encouraged him to move toward workbook and worksheets.

At first, he got confused because I was asking him to do something which was a least favourite thing for him.

In order to show my love for him, I gave him a quick hug which brought smile on his face. Later, I asked him to give me a high-five so that I could check his energy level.

He liked that activity.

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Before start of the class when I was going through this worksheet, I prepared some questions that could help him in writing better about picture but it didn’t require much effort on my part as being a kid, he loved imagining what was going on in a house and wrote about a person who was sleeping in it.

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This, I’m poem he composed is lovely and close to my heart.

I’m happy that my student is enjoying doing writing with me.

I’m small and my age is six.

I wonder why the sun is shiny?

I hear your secret.

I see a walking monster.

I want a new pencil box.

I’m small and my age is six.

I pretend to be a spider man.

I feel hot.

I touch pencil.

I worry that shopkeeper won’t give me a bat.

I cry when my sister hits me.

I’m small and my age is six.

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.

 

 

 

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

Wisdom tooth extraction means

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After the extraction of my wisdom tooth, I’m doing good and feeling well but yesterday my harmless playful act of throwing some drops of water on face of my younger sister was enough for her to conclude that during the process of tooth extraction, I’ve also lost my wisdom.

It so happened that in this past week, I was feeling that the tooth at the end of my upper right jaw had gone sharp at its edges and while chewing food, its sharpness was creating pain in my mouth.

On examning, my dentist told me that due to decay the tooth was in really bad shape and removing it would be the best option.

Sitting there on a doctor’s chair, I was in shock. The mere word of ‘extraction’ created a picture of injection in my mind.

My prior experience of watching tooth extraction of my mother was making me nervous but my dentist was kind enough to remind me that I would feel no pain during the process and after preparing myself for a day, I went for the treatment in the evening.

On our way to a doctor, my parents kept on sharing their own experiences with me. My father never forget to remind me that dentist before using injection, applied some kind of spray in his mouth which didn’t allow him to feel any kind of injection pain.

Dentist never used any spray for me and what I experienced during the process of having two shots in my mouth was a pinching sensation and afterwards complete numbness.

When I received my first shot, my mother who herself was looking afraid asked me if I was doing well and in response I gave her a smile but after receiving second shot of dental anesthetic, I kept on shivering with shock for ten to minutes in waiting room.

Now that the area around my ‘tooth to be extracted’ was completely numb, I didn’t experience any pain but lots of pressure on my jaw, I could hear the sound of different tools working to lose my tooth in its socket.

The view of two dental assistants looking alert while surrounding me made me uneasy for a while. The whole process took some minutes but as I experienced lots of pressure, I thought it was way too long.

All’s well that ends well.

Prior to my visit to a dentist, I’ve this view about dentists that I considered them heartless in their act of using sharp needles in patients mouth but my views were largely based upon second hand experiences and on getting first hand experience, I would say that dentists are not that much scary.

Going back to the incident which I mentioned in the start, my sister was angry because she didn’t like the way I threw water on her and in her anger thought I’ve also lost my wisdom with my wisdom tooth.

I didn’t mind her conclusion because I’ve understand the meaning of the term which I read in my literature class.

‘Rite of passage’ marks an important event which can change the direction of entire course of life. After getting free of my wisdom tooth, I’m once again enjoying eating my food. Brushing teeth is no more an issue.

My sister is angry but I’m happy because wisdom tooth extraction has proved ‘rite of passage’ for me.

A letter from past

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August 10, 1983

My dearest daughter Amanda,

Hope you and your mother will be doing good and summer would have subsided there. It’s also possible that it would be raining and you out of your habit will be taking a shower and playing in rain.

I miss you a lot especially the way you used to get angry with me and your small words, I miss everything.

I know you can’t write now but can ask your mother to sometimes write letters to me.

Ok my love

Lots of prayers and love for you and your mother and don’t forget grandpa loves you.

 

 

 

Some random thoughts

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When the mother board of my touch screen mobile phone got corrupted, I lived months without mobile and I’ve lived without social media and believe me, I’m very much alive.

It’s been more than a year that I made my last tweet on Twitter and today when my blog got published on a newspaper website, I thought to share the link on my twitter account but I was totally blanked how to tweet.

Social media and mobile devices help us in making connection but at times life seem easy and free in their absence.

Well, these days I have this old mobile phone with buttons to make call. Right now when it’s fulfilling my basic needs of receiving and making calls, I’m happy and contended.