Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i believe in happy endings


I believe in people
I believe people do good
I believe good things happen to good people
I believe people make mistakes and come out learning from them
And I believe in happy endings

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

ITS WINTER


i am a winter person. maybe its because i havent seen real winters since karachi rarely has cold weather. the temperature falls min to 3,4 on extremely cold days and that too doesnt last long.
so anyway, i am posting these stylish winter wear because i am might be going to lahore on a class trip with my students, thus the clothes.

i love the colour and shape of these shoes. the brand is prediction, check them out if you want.

i love these simple short coats that go on all kinds of jeans!

check this sweater out! i love the way it drapes over your body.

Monday, November 29, 2010

here's to you


I think a part inside of me died after the break up. As happy as I am today, there are moments of sadness and stillness. It sometimes feels like life isn’t moving or progressing. I don’t want to be back with him, neither do I regret my decision. What is sad is when you get used to a person even if you’re not in love with them, you’re so used to them that it pains when they are not around.
There are times when I feel like screaming at him, hitting him so hard that he falls other times I just feel like calling him up. But there’s nothing left to say. Literally nothing. There’s a void that cannot be broken and silence that cannot be shattered.
So here’s the last time that I am ever going to write about you. I don’t hate you, I don’t love you either and I am not indifferent. I am in no man’s land. I am in a place where you exist in tiny fragments of memory and I think of you when someone brings you up or I am extremely lonely. You are you. You will not change and it was foolish of me to expect you to. You are your own person. You are beautiful yet ugly in many ways. You gave me happiness when it was needed and tears when they weren’t. But it is time to let you go. Your rose has withered and died. Your cards have been torn and thrown. Your photographs deleted. I once knew you, a long long time ago. But after spending ten years, I feel I still don’t know you. I know anymore what you’re next move will be or something that’s on your mind. We made memories together and now their nothing but that. They were moments spent with you, with real time and people and now they’re somewhere scattered with millions of other memories. So here’s to you and I. here’s to the time that you and I once spent together that is never coming back. Maybe one day we can meet and laugh at these moments.
But I think it’s time for new memories now. It’s time to let go of the old ones and start fresh. I want new memories and new moments with someone else. So do you. And you will. Inshallah.
So, here’s to you and your ambition, career, love and life. Like I said, I don’t hate you but I don’t love you either. There were tiny pieces of us that I want to let go of, pieces that just lingered in my mind and it’s time to get over with this. So do what you do best… make someone’s life wonderful like you did once to mine……………………………………………….

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it is in times like this that i think....

A very interesting discussion popped up at our dinner table on Eid. Actually very interesting is the word.
My uncle who is a sweet creature is also conservative and rather tapered in his thinking, something that I discovered only recently. He mentioned a friend’s son who after spending four years at Oxford studying engineering now wanted to switch to philosophy. Kudos to such men. He mentioned this incident with such distaste and horror that I almost laughed out loud. He also stated how the boy had wasted money, time and a person’s seat. LOL. When people in the twenty first century talk like this, you really wonder if they’re in the same time frame.
Anyway, his words gave way to a very amusing battle at the dinner table. He verses all of us. My younger uncle, who is the cool one, also sided with us.

Me: so what chacho, education is never a waste. He’s going to be a better and wiser man, more educated and intellectual. This will give him more perspective on life because he will have studied two very different approaches to a career. And sometimes, it takes you all that time to realize what you were studying wasn’t right for you.

Him: this also shows his careless attitude. Rather, the fact that he wasn’t focused. His father spent so much money on his education.

Me: there’s a good chance, he’ll get a scholarship for his philosophy degree because he’s from Oxford.

Cool chacho: of course. It is not criminal to not want to pursue your degree. One has a choice to practice what he has studied or not. It is entirely up to him. I think its ok.

Mum: yeah, actually that’s true. A lot of people do that.

This continued for a while until it was time to get up and wash our hands. That day I discovered what people think about education and career. If a math grad student of Canada opts to teach at an A-level school, she is considered foolish. People think her six intensive years and the large amount of money invested in her education was a wrong idea. In her defense, she claims she has a small child who needs her and school job is the right thing to do at the moment. What people fail to understand is how well a mother she will be to her children. Her intellect and knowledge will be instilled in her children. I believe women in our society should work and make something out of their life. But what I suggest more strongly is that they educate themselves. My friends fight with me that they don’t need to go for their masters because their husbands won’t allow them to work. It really doesn’t matter. Your MS or MBA might be useful later. Education is never ever a waste. Life is short and unexpected. You don’t know what is going to happen and what if someday you realize that you have to work. Your education will be your strongest tool to help you rise. The value of good education can never be understated. It is what either holds us back or pulls us through!

Friday, November 19, 2010

a failed yet surprisingly good attempt


Did i mention my recent graphic endeavors? i think i did, a few posts earlier. i teach Art/design at a school and do freelance graphic design work for friends and people. A close friend was starting her own line of cupcakes and wanted me to design her logo. After many failed attempts, VIOLA! here's what i finally made. Hope you guys like it!
i really liked these colours, although she only chose one..

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

modest beginnings


There are things that only time can teach and heal. I never thought that I would have to end a friendship of more than ten years following an engagement of three years. But I did. And it happened so smoothly with mutual consent and understanding that it still sounds astonishing when I tell my friends.
While we were fighting, arguing or rather growing in different directions, a friend at work told me to follow my instinct. Her exact words were ‘just because you grew UP with someone doesn’t mean that you have to grow OLD with them. They are and will be special but they don’t have to be a part of your life. Your life with them was till a certain time, its time your life took a different direction’. I don’t think I can ever forget her words; they gave me courage and hope.
I am a strong believer of fate and reasoning, which is why I believe whatever happens, happens for a reason. And as time is passing, I feel it’s becoming clearer. The reasons for not staying together are more obvious than ever. He wanted me to stay in touch but I refused. I want this part of my life to get over forever. I don’t want any reminder of him in my life anymore. There are books and art work that he gave me, which will be difficult and painful to throw. There’s an entire box of our childhood days in my cupboard. Cards he made for me, things I wrote in his diary, photographs we took together. I haven’t had the courage to touch those things yet, but the sooner I do the better. Some people say you should live with your past, because you can never let go. That’s probably true, but I want to free myself of at least material things, memories I will have forever. There are so many things that remind me of him that I have to shut myself for a little while to remember then forget them.
The most painful part is to tell people who were least expecting it, then to bear their shock and questions. Recently, I attended a close friend’s wedding and I had a minor breakdown inside. I was truly and deeply happy for her but the thought of what could have been made me really sad especially since she was our mutual friend and had witnessed our relationship.
Anyway, God is kind and just. When he closes one door, the other one opens. I have supportive friends who bake me brownies at two in the night and stay till dawn to hear my aching heart. My brother pinches my cheeks and orders movies with me to calm my growing restlessness. My parents in their own way have come around. My mother who is cool and tolerant tells me it’s alright. My father with his quiet and silent demeanor agrees with my decision. My work is fun and I love the kids there. Free lance work keeps popping from random sources. My sketchbook came for the international project, which will keep me busy till January.
And inshallah there will soon come a time when I’ll look back, smile and laugh at this…

Friday, November 12, 2010

life with kids


i recently started my own module called cartoon making. the photo above is of my students work. they made their own cartoon characters and then painted it.
i loved their work so much that i decided to share it with everyone.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

time without any consequence

I had to let you go
Because I loved you, I let you go
Time and many reasons
Came in our life
I want you to pursue your dreams, everything that you had told me once
I know you’ll make it big one day
I know
And when that happens, I ll be most proud of you
But for now, we cannot be together
I was your friend and I’ll always be
But its time for me to let you go……and for real this time

Sunday, October 3, 2010

i miss you

I got my pakistani drama taste from my nani. She and I used to spend hours watching dramas together. I remember, I was in the sixth grade and PTV used to show all these long plays by Anwer Maqsood, Bano Qudsia and Ashfaq Ahmed and I used to be up watching them because we used to sleep together. I don’t think I quite understood the adult themes and subjects but I was interested. Often I used to get scolded by my mum for watching them because she thought the influence on my innocent mind wouldn’t be very appropriate.
Nano today I watch dramas happliy because of you. It is you who put the taste of good literature into my head, fancy poetry and classical music. You used to explain the meaning of intellectual themes behind Anwer Maqsood’s plays. You would tell me not to read manto and ismat chughtai and when I told you I did, you seemed happy. It was like you wanted me to rebel and read so I would agree with you.
You interpreted Ghalib’s ghazals for me when a class assignment required me to do so. You taught me how to recite and understand. You were proud of me, I know you were. Your love for Noman Ijaz and Baber as brilliant actors always baffled me.
I still remember your shocked face when I recited the entire gar mujhe yakeen ho by faiz ahmed faiz, you couldn’t believe it. Nano, remember you used to call and say ‘ hira! Come early tonight, we’ll watch that long play, its by umera ahmed’.
The discussion that we had about dastak na do, one of your favourite books. Infact, it was you used to narrate umera ahmed’s stories to me and get me interested to the point of actually reading the book myself. I remember nano. I remember all of this, your passion and craving for literature. Your favourite ghazal was aaj janay ki zid na karo, you loved listening to it..

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

TODAY

Today I shopped. Bought my dress.
Today I slept. My phone didn’t ring. No calls from the man.
Today I was upset then quickly recovered.
Today I found MY university and some aid. That made me excited.very
Today I felt independent and strong.
Today I decided. Am sure. Theres no turning back. There cant be any regrets.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

dream of an impossible...


I dream of the impossible…..
I search for a romance that cannot exist….
I cringe over a heart that has been broken….
I love an impossible man…..i envision the unattainable possibility….
I search for love that was never there….i look for you but you’re not there….
I hallucinate all the time…I dream of you quite often these days….then again I dream over an impossible
Man……
They say that man is ungrateful. He is. They say man always wants something that he knows he cannot have. He longs for the things he knows are just not possible. But I never thought that I would be that man. But iam. Today iam that man, who wants more from life. Who is no longer satisfied with mundane. This man that’s inside me, wants a miracle…..a dream for the impossible to suddenly become possible………

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

THE UNEXPECTED

It is shocking to hear that not only has a plane crashed but all the passengers have demised. Someone was talking about how their daughter who was to be married in a few days, was on that flight. Can you imagine the dilemma her parents must be going through. There were honeymooners on that flight who had thought otherwise about their future. There were fathers and brothers, whose loved ones must be grieving, some loudly others more openly.
No one knows exactly what went wrong up there. As usual the media and the government lashed out at each other, playing a blame game. But really, what happened up there? There are unanswered questions that should not be ignored. Why was the plane not given clearance at the Islamabad airport? Its not like the plane had any security threat to the aviation. And if this did take place, why didn’t the thirty year experienced pilot aim for other airports at pindi or chakwal? And if the weather conditions were so rampant, why wasn't the pilot warned or told to land at nearby bases.
If this is another example of recklessness by the aviation authority or any other source then its pointless to even talk about it because Pakistan is prone to such incidents. But when an incident so large actually takes place where not a few but hundreds of lives are lost, is truly despicable to narrate.
And its humourous how, we slowly succumb to such accidents. We don’t feel the intensity of the pain, until something happens to us. After asar, as I was praying for the deceased, I tried to imagine what the ambiance must be in their homes. How utterly devastated and shocked must be their family members. And there's nothing that can ease their pain except to find patience in Allah’s words and will.

Monday, July 26, 2010

annoyance

stranded from your room means:
- You sleep on your couch, mums bed, wherever you can find space basically!
- You have to watch tv in your brothers room, which has a permanent smell of cigarettes…
- Your laptop charger migrates from one switch to the other…
- You cannot sleep, drop crumbs on your bed or put your head out in the window for a free blowdry!!!ugh…
- You cannot dance in your pj’s…or pretend to do otherwise!!!
- You entertain your friends in the lounge..with your mum hearing every word…and repeating later…
- You cannot have private conversations with god
- You scatter reminders like scarfs, pins, pens, notebooks everywhere to show that you’re NOT enjoying stranded life…
- You shower in your dad’s tub..mainly because you share his bathroom….. Ugh…

Thursday, July 22, 2010

i wasnt prepared for this.....

Designing a logo is not a piece of cake. Who said it was anyway? I, coming from a textile background, where computers and software's are considered an alien almost evil concept. We always drew and sketched everything.literally EVERYTHING. Even if we had to show stripes or checks, we would use a ruler whereas macro-media freehand would take seconds.SIGH…textile background.
So imagine my dilemma where I have to design an actual, real and existing logo for my school newspaper. Am I excited? LOADS….but iam hesitant and new to the software. I have made many and many preliminary sketches but I have no idea how to take it on the software. I don’t know how to make the T into a tree and elongate some letters. Tragedy of life. So I am struggling like a baby does with a rattle that is new to him.
What was I thinking when I told my boss that I would master the software in just two months and show him not only logo designs but ideas for the newspaper layouts. CRAZYYYYYYYYYY I must have been. When I change the colour of the letter, something else goes wrong. When I try to change the style, the whole thing changes. FRUSTRATED is the word on my mind. Not too mention, there are like hundreds of fonts to choose from. I like almost every one of them. Sometimes I go for the funky one then realize it’s a newspaper. Then I change it to a more sophisticated one realizing its also a newspaper for children. This happens all day and its time to sleep. A new day brings more ideas and rejection of the previous ones. What to do. ???
I have less than ten days to make not one logo but logo’s that hopefully my colleagues will select who are on the editorial board. I sometimes wonder how I got myself on the editorial board in the first place. I don’t know a thing about writing. Its true I wrote my entire dissertation, a pretty long one and got a decent grade on it too, but writing articles and proof reading them is a different genre. Teaching how to paint, draw, abstract..this is my forte, certainly not writing. The head of the board will flip if she sees me checking articles for errors, she’ll probably recommend that I be removed immediately. Lol...
These discussions take place almost every week and it’s a good chance for one to catch up on his sleep. I on the other hand, can never dare to attempt but I do drift off into my trial of thoughts to be suddenly awakened by a ‘ what do you think?’. uHH… ‘I don’t think I was listening while dreaming about chocolate cakes and Thai massages.
When they told me that my job was just to be a ‘sort of’ creative head of the magazine, I had agreed willingly. Then to be rudely awakened from slumber on a holiday by a state of the fact SMS summoning me to attend a meeting was not what I had in mind. Anyway I went (on time), to be informed the meeting was an hour late.great. imagine my delight. Finally the meeting happened exactly an hour later.FINALLY. again I was wrong, I thought to myself, how long can a simple newspaper meeting be for? An hour at the most. We were done after two hours and I thought I could go home but the FOREIGN girl had to call on a meeting of her own. Lovely. Why don’t we spend the night at your house too? Turns out she was confused about the content and how to deal with it. After many sessions of reassuring her that we were all in fact new to it, the female insisted on another session.AAGHHH!!!!
So I don’t know whats going to happen this semester. Either I will be banging my head against the wall or hopefully find myself out of the editorial board.

Friday, July 9, 2010

IS MONEY EVERYTHING?

Is money everything? Is money really something that makes people kill, get killed or die for? I know the world is running crazy after it. Sometimes I wish I had more money too, the things that I can buy with it just tempts me beyond control. God tells us to distribute money, give it, share, help those without it. But how many of us actually do it.
Now, that my salary is what I mind, my mind is full of ideas and ways to spend it. I am thinking vacations, ways to improve my room, paint and buy new things. The new I and touch phone is what everybody wants and maybe what I want too. I never thought about giving maybe half of my money for charity maybe. There are maids in my house that would benefit immensely from it. I know girls who can get married by purchasing dowry for their wedding. There are people and places this money can go to. Why don’t I think about these days because I don’t or maybe I don’t want to? Or maybe its because of the people that I am surrounded by. When my khala gave me kind advice to do an Islamic course for a few months, I was touched. There are people in my life who just don’t tell or advise me to spend it recklessly.
You know I can certainly live without not owning a diamond or diamonds in my life. I can certainly live without a nice car or expensive jewelry. I don’t pay much attention to clothes or accessories considering I am coming from a textile background. But I just don’t, I have a total of ten nice clothes to wear outside and when I make new clothes, I throw out the old ones, coming back to ten clothes. I spent an entire semester teaching, wearing my ten clothes. I would repeat them everyday and would never care two heeds about it. I have a total of four shoes, including fancy and casual. People might think I am stingy or frugal or outrageously parsimonious but I have never cared. God will give always give you as much as you deserve and the amount best for you.
There are friends who left careers and switched because of financial gain. I wont judge because their my friends and it’s their decision end of the day. There are people who say they wanted to become a chartered accountant only and only because it pays more. Once you’re qualified, you have your hands on cash. The same person never got to become one after repeated attempts and trials. Maybe it was because his intention was always wrong. Like I said, who am I to judge but people always surprise me when they do that.
And there are people who think by doing their masters; they would be wasting time, money and effort. In today’s time and world, where recession was the new black, world analyst’s were advising young students and fresh graduates to go for another degree because by the time they were through, they would have more chances of a better job thus better future.
My fiancĂ© doesn’t earn much. It bothers me at times, when I am most miserable and horrible a person, otherwise I let the thought go. But when I talk to him, he assures me and reassures me that things will turn positive one day inshallah. He has plans and he is ambitious and that’s what assures me that even if we don’t own a mansion one day, or cannot afford vacations every year, at least he tries. He tries and he loves what he does. He is truly one of the few people I know who wake every day with a smile and look forward to it. He may earn less but the satisfaction that he gets makes him richer than many.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

modest beginnings

I knew I would be rewarded and compensated one day for choosing my apparently flawed career. When I joined school, six months back in January, my salary was very low. It was half of what my friends at textile companies and designer houses were getting. They asked my salary and were appalled at the figure. They told me it was too little and I was being exploited. My own brother ridiculed me for teaching and said I was basically wasting my degree. A month later when a design house offered me a job that would double my salary, I said no. my fiance said I was being foolishly romantic. He of course respected my decision but was baffled by it. He told me I could do a lot with my new salary and I should be practical. He laughed when I told him that job satisfaction was way beyond money. I told him that I love my job and I don’t care if they pay me less. I get to teach, help and learn. I don’t think I would have been able to work with government school children with any other job. But, I did and I’ll always have this experience with me. I saw myself rising. I rose with each day that passed after the previous. I worked hard and silently prayed to god. I did everything that I was told to do. And god, being merciful that he is, answered my prayers.
Today my salary is more than my friends. It took me only six months to get where I wanted to be. People tell me I am silly, But I am not. I strongly believe if you are passionate about something you shouldn’t care about money, if you are good at something, you will become successful. But to chase a career because it has more monetary benefits, that is silly. Honest hard work always pays off, is something that I have learnt in the past six months and of course sincere prayers.
I went through a very difficult and rough time last semester at art school. I did miserably in both my thesis and lost all confidence in designing. Even today, I am unable to shake my inability to design something. Its just an insecurity that resides in my head but I am unable to let go. This rather tragic episode compelled me to decide on a different career path. My past teaching experience led me to believe I could do it. And through teaching, I wanted to help academically weak students and otherwise challenged students.
Today I am happy to tell my friends and fiance that with a little patience and determination, I alhamdolilah got what I wanted. I didn’t run after money neither did I complain about my job. Most of my friends complain about how boring and insipid their job is. They whine and grumble about how their creativity is challenged and minimized. I always smile inside when this conversation occurs.
I learned the hard way, but I did learn. Its not like I didn’t pray and work for my thesis, I did, yet I got a crappy grade. The truth is, there are things that are just beyond my control and comprehension. I had never planned on becoming an art instructor yet today I am most content on being one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

AwFULLY FullFiLLinG chOColAte

Awfully chocolate. That’s a really nice name for a chocolate store. Today while browsing through readers digest in the bathroom, I ventured upon this article. A woman in Singapore decided to start her own chocolate cake business after not liking the taste of chocolate in the city. Chocolate is something that must be perfected. The chocolate that you desire must be perfect, not too sweet or bitter. Not too thick or chunky, it should be perfect. As I read, I could totally relate to her. She left her job and started experimenting with chocolate with a chef. It took her a year to complete the project and it was worth the wait. The cake turned out to be perfect. The best thing about her cake according to her is that its made from scratch. Everything from the icing, to the chocolate is made by her. She doesn’t use processed cocoa but rather makes her own. The cake doesn’t have any icing or embellishment, it’s a simple,mouth watering and devouring chocolate cake.
This reminded me a lot of the Bombay bakery in Hyderabad that people are so unbelievably crazy about. I have never been there but have had the cakes to tell you that their delicious. The bakery is famous for its small opening through which your order is placed and you receive the cake. There are no displays or avenues to sit. A long line awaits these cakes everyday, and more often than not people go empty handed because they are simply late. I really like their lemon cake, It is soft, crunchy and has a nice crisp icing made of lemon and sugar.
Coming back to Karachi,I have lived here for more than twenty years and still haven't had the perfect perfect chocolate cake. It would be unfair to say there arnt any, but there is simply no perfect chocolate cake here. Most of the cakes taste good because of their icing. The fudge is scrumptious but removing that, the cake will taste plain and will be devoid of chocolate. Nandos boasts a cake that is truly heaven to the senses but its fudge is the main element. Pie in the sky has a variety so great that it becomes almost impossible to choose the right one.
In the past few years I have tried to perfect my chocolate fetish. I have emphatically searched for the ideal chocolate cake recipe but was unable to find it. I tried those recipes, one after the other, but all went in vain. The cake was never what I wanted to eat. The icing was never too smooth and the taste never that great. Another thing I realized was the chocolate that I was using, it wasn’t right. Cocoa powders being sold in the market were very average, especially the Pakistani ones. Cooking chocolate is another dilemma. The branded ones were highly expensive and local ones were nothing to brag about. Betty crocker is a real blessing when it comes to chocolate but sadly her cakes leave an after taste as you eat. It is the most convenient thing when baking but is not the real thing. I came across many chocolate books and recipes during the years. They always looked tempting in the book, but the real picture would be another story. So as I read the article, I wondered whether I would be able to accomplish my perfect chocolate cake. It is next to being impossible and with my non existent cooking/baking skills it would not be an easy challenge to achieve!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a new perspective


My teaching endeavors are expanding. Six months back I was a student myself, running down stairs, sketching, designing and then inevitably being rejected by the senior authority of course. Now I am the teacher. I am no longer compelled to meet deadlines neither am I late for class. Of course I have deadlines, but of a different nature. And I am actually enjoying myself. I enjoy working in a school, teaching imparting skills and knowledge I recently acquired myself. The best part about my job is the liberty to teach kids anything I want. The freedom that my employer has given me is a true blessing. So, now here’s the moment where I am deeply perplexed. I want to teach them studio art alongside art history lessons and design principles. I want to show my kids great movies that have left an impact on me. Some brilliant animations and cartoon series. I want to inspire my children to become something. The problem is, most of my students take the class for granted. I have caught them hiding in their classes, doing homework while I thought they were in the bathroom. I guess it’s not their fault. It’s what and how I teach them that makes them like me and my subject.
Last semester, I had a student who made problem child look like a saint. He would not listen to me, touch a paper or pencil. He would just sit in class and laugh with his friends. My first month of teaching and being new to the field, I lost my temper with him. I threw him out. Next time I isolated him from his friends. Third time I forced him to draw. With my behaviour, I saw his attitude becoming worse every week. I was angry, hurt and mostly confused. I just didn’t know how to control him. I decided to seek help and went to the learning skills program head to consult about the boy. That day I learnt a lot. I learnt how he had symptoms of dyslexia and was behind most of his classmates. He couldn’t write well and was being tutored by the school’s special learning program instructors. She told me how he craved attention because he didn’t get any at home.
Feeling sorry him wouldn’t have helped him. I decided to give him the attention he desired. You know, by talking to students privately about their behavior can really help them sometimes. I asked him why he misbehaved and didn’t do any work. I told him I would let him sit with this friends as long as did something in my class. I knew he wasn’t capable of producing quality work so I gave him something he was comfortable with. And most of all, I let him be. And I realized that’s exactly what he really wanted. After that day, I never pushed or scolded him. Surprisingly, he never gave me any trouble. Every week, he sat happily with his friends and worked on a collage, sticking pieces of paper he had coloured himself. Maybe it wasn’t therapeutic, but it was definitely comforting for the child. I also learnt that almost every teacher disliked him and threw him out of their class. I knew then the reason for his misbehaviour. He knew the teachers didn’t respect him and that provoked him to further mischief. I am not sure if I won his respect but I did win a silent trust or maybe approval. I knew he didn’t enjoy my subject, but his giving in and making an effort was good enough for me. Next semester, I won’t be teaching him but I’ll definitely see him around. And I hope I’ll be able to help him more just like he helped me to see things from a different perspective.

Monday, June 14, 2010

students in trouble


SUKKUR / TOBA TEK SINGH/ ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said the government was in the process of sending special planes to bring back home the Pakistani students stranded in Kyrgyzstan.
Today is indeed a sad for many students and parents. Can you imagine students being targeted and killed? I never knew students of my country were studying in a country like Kyrgyzstan whose political state is worse than ours. And not just a few but more than 1500 students have gone there to study engineering, medicine and other related subjects. What is wrong with the world? I mean can they at least not kill innocent students who have to come to their country just to seek education which is probably more expensive in their. It is shameful and disgusting, Sad and tragic.
It is also a slap on our own education system. Why do students have to go to a neighbouring country like Kyrgyzstan to study engineering or medicine when we have schools and colleges ourselves? It is obviously insufficiency that compelled most parents to send their loved ones there. I am very disturbed by this news because being a student I can understand what goes in the mind of one. And the two that are dead, I am sure that they wanted to flee but the situation must have been out of control. The other lucky ones were warned by their classmates who took a flight back home to Lahore. I also learnt that Pakistani students have to carry their passports on them wherever they go so they can escape the country if there’s political unrest.
Can you imagine what state the parents must be in to learn their child who was to return in a year’s time is never coming back? I bet they had never anticipated this day. The child must have had abundant dreams and aspirations of his own.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

conversation series part 1

i want to tell you


Ok, I won’t write a sad piece about you because if you were to read it, you would be horrified for having read such morbid words about yourself. Nano, you have no idea how much I miss you. I never thought I would but I do, miserably. A part of me aches and cries for you while the other part sometimes disbelieves your disappearance. We have spent such serene and countless moments together that its difficult and painful to think they will no longer take place. There was a time when I could’nt keep you on my display picture in my cell phone but I knew that one day I would be able to. And guess what nano, I can now. You’re the first person I see when I get up and the last before I sleep. And I pray for you. I pray that you’re in a wonderful place.ameen.
You’ve come to so many peoples dreams but never mine. I want to see you nano, I want to know that you’re at peace, wherever that is. I know that mumma saw you and so did maliha, but never i.
Our new house is beautiful and if you had been here the first thing you would have noticed would be the height. Yes we live on the 9th floor now. You would have screamed the first day and a week later, you would have been fine. That’s how you were, a drama queen. My drama queen. Guess what, I have your tv now. Everyone makes fun of it. So what if its tiny, we have seen so many dramas and movies together. My brother says its smaller than my laptop screen. So what right? You always thought somebody would buy it. Well, ive kept it for now.
Guess what nano, I have applied for a scholarship in america. I know you wanted me to visit mama and inshallah I will. I wish it had been the two of us, remember our plans of seeing the world, Especially india. Remember nano, how you told me that if I travelled with you, you wouldn’t feel insecure or scared. I would tightly clutch your hand and off we would be.
I miss talking to you at night. I miss your questioning me after my return especially from dadi amis house. And most of all I miss you. I know mumma does too. That’s why we don’t talk anout you a lot. We mention you but quietly digress from the subject. I have seen her cry sometimes, when her old friends call who don’t know about you. We didn’t tell everyone you know. I didn’t tell my friends. It was too painful nano, to mention your death. I couldn’t do it. The first time that I came to your grave, I cried silently. It was the second day of your death. The memory fresh in my mind. Your grave was silent and peaceful. I stood there quietly with my parents. Watching you, your name that was there. I said a small prayer for you. I didn’t want to leave. I stood there long after my parents left. They called out to me, but I didn’t want to move. Time was frozen. I was frozen. Then mama came and he and mumma cried together. I left because I couldn’t bear it. I kept mourning for you silently, never shedding a single tear. But something happened. On the day mama went back, I unleashed myself. I locked myself in the bathroom and cried for you.i cried like a baby, tears became streams. A puddle gathered below my chin and wet my clothes. No one saw me cry nano. I wanted to mourn for you in my own way. That night, while trying to fall asleep I cried again only this time louder. No one heard or saw me. I fell asleep thinking about you.
Then mumma and I started to wind up your house. Can you believe it nano? We were putting away all your things, donating them like they were never yours. I helped mumma once and saw your pictures. Guess what? I kept them all. I have pictures of your trips and childhood. You live in my wallet too. You, nana and dada, the people who are now gone.
Then one day, your house was empty. I slept in it for a few days until we had to give it up. The apartment that you loved, lived in and cherished was devoid of every object that ever belonged to you. It became a ghost house. Then one day we closed it, locked it and moved like we never lived there.
Nano, our new neighbours are weird. You wouldn’t have liked them. But you would have loved our new place. You and I would take long walks and shop at the store. Of course you would find everything expensive.
You and I would have shared our room together, of course there would be fights almost everyday but so what right? We would gossip, vent and voice our thoughts.
But you’re gone now. I was in school when I got the news, studying for GRE. I couldn’t concentrate on the math section when suddenly my brother called. He sounded gravely serious. I asked him why he called. He said you had just passed away. It took every nerve in my brain to process that. I was numb, dead for a minute.
When I think of these memories, I cry. The pain still exists. It seems like only yesterday when you were diagnosed with cancer. The chemo was working. The doctors were positive. They said you would live. You had hope. We had hope. But god had other plans. Life alhamdolilah is great but sometimes it seems to lack something and that’s you. Nano, ammar never ever talks about you. You know, he cried at the grave. He didn’t tell anyone but I found out.
We continue living but deep down, you are missed. At any birthday, wedding or celebration you are thought of. How can we ever forget you nano? You are the coolest. As I write this, again tears roll down my face. But I want to write to you and about you. I still want to have our conversations. You’re not dead to me nano. You can never be. And I know when I’ll miss you the most. The day that you dreamt of witnessing_my wedding day. I know you wanted to see me as a bride and give me away. So what if you’re not here, I’ll still remember you. And inshallah, one day I’ll tell my kids about you. The stories that I heard growing up will be passed down to them. NANO, you will always be remembered…………..its a promise……….
I LOVE YOU

Friday, June 4, 2010

its cruel


Some relationships are just not meant to work out. It seems cruel when a seemingly happy couple breaks up because one of them is not happy. But is it justified? Is it justified to break your boy’s heart simply because you’re not happy? Or should you stick around for his happiness. The compromise would be a high price to pay. But can you spend an entire life with a man you have ceased to love. It really does sound cruel. A few years back, some close friends had hooked up silently, surprising and disappointing many. They had been the talk of everyone’s conversation, attending parties and enjoying concerts. Some had anticipated they would not make it. They would eventually drift away as most couples do. And so they did. The girl too mature for the boy decided to end the relationship. Although I could never make sense of her reasons, a part of me understood her emotions. It’s cruel to tell someone that you’re not in love with them anymore. It’s biting and extremely painful. It’s almost like giving a toy to a child and asking him to give it back. But can anyone control their empowering emotions. Can you stop yourself from feeling a certain way? Can you help it if you’re really not in love with someone? You respect and revere but not adore and worship. It’s harder for the person who has to bear it. It’s probably harder for him to recover from the shock, misery and agony. But will that person ever understand or forgive. He will be bitter for a long time, might not love at all. But if we empathize or decide to, we might be able to love or even forgive. The couple that I mentioned is still around. The girl is seemingly happy, working, focusing on her career. The boy is much better. He was in a terrible state for a long time. He couldn’t eat, sleep and talk for a long time. We all tried to counsel him, told him he would be better off than her. But when you don’t want to listen, there’s not much friends can do.
Sometimes the reasons for a break may seem silly but are important for the concerned people. Sometimes couples simply can’t understand each other in spite of knowing for years. They change in ways they never noticed. Their habits, lifestyle and priorities change. And they change for the better. Ok I am not talking out of context here. I always wondered about the real story of 500 days of summer. What the girl does to the boy may seem cruel but it was something that had to be done. I don’t think it was selfish of her, she just didn’t love him. And when she finally found love, she didn’t take a second to settle down. But it was so hard for the guy. He never really got over her. It was hard for him yes I know. It’s always hard but things always work out for the best don’t they? That’s why we break up and make up, so we can be with other people.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COMEBACK

Ok, I haven’t blogged for the longest time possible. Lack of time, no laptop and a schedule so busy, almost impossible to do anything. I have loads to tell and report. Yesterday I had a first student exhibition. I teach the seventh and ninth graders art and this semester, they produced such amazing work that my head was like, hira ‘you have to show this work to the entire school’. And I could’nt agree more I said. So off I was ordering paper, mounting, labeling each students work. And my entire week went doing work I had done back at art school and had swore then never to do it again. SIGH! But guess what. It was totally worth it. Every bit of it. My principal called to tell me that he loved my work. He said it was simple and beautiful. Imagine my delight. I guess hard work always pays off…………………………
I am glad that I joined this school. I get to do so many things in my spare time. Because I get to come home early, it gives me plenty of instance to spend time with my family, especially my mom. Then there’s free lance work of course. I am dying to design something especially something in print.
I think this semester I have been able to help kids in the way I wanted to. Seventh grade has the cutest kids possible. Boys are yet to be boys. Girls are already on their way_ Clash of gender. And these kids are so much fun to be with. Please ignore my digressing, I have so much to report…..
And let me talk about the teachers. Everyone is so funny here. There are teachers here who have been here for more than ten years. Its like a sorrority and membership is closed. They laugh, talk, sit and eat only with eachother. I call them the cullen clan. Theyre a lot like vampires. Then there are the urdu teachers who nobody really likes to hang out with. They have formed their own gang and usually seem quite happy on their own. Of course the math teacher also known as nutty professor is totally crazy! I think people who are surrounded by numbers for a very long time somehow get affected by it and so is his case. Then theres psycho. There are teachers who yell, scream and make students cry. And psycho is one of them. His heart is made of gold or so I have heard but his tremper is ferocious. So if a poor child forgot to tuck his shirt or had the audacity by running downstairs simply because he was late for class will get pyscho’s wrath. I think sometimes we forget that we were children too. I think we get so caught up in rules and ‘apparantly the right thing’ that we ignore a childs ignorance and unawareness.we reprimand him for not knowing what it might do to him. We berate and scold in front of friends without thinking about the childs psychological state.one of the kids in my class was called tony by his friends because he was short. He was also a learning skills student meaning he took his classes outside the classroom with a teacher devoted to students like him. So everyday when the rest of his classmates would study science in their classroom he would be sent to the library. And he knew there was something different about him. Once when I heard him being called tony, I told my class not to call him that. But later, a kid told me that he likes being called that and it struck me why. He wants his classmates attention. He wants to make friends and be acknowledged just like the rest of us. Its strange how he would let his fellows call him something hes not responsible for. :/

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I BELIEVE AS I SEE.....

Today was another of my government school/ social work days. I have started twice a week now and I am actually beginning to like it. More like enjoy it. But there are strings attached. Strings that are long, heavy and almost impossible to detach. These kids for some reason distrust my co-worker and me. On one hand, they idolize us and on the other, they feel we’re from planet mars. They rush to shake our hands, give us a hug and crack jokes. They cannot wait to tell their weekly stories. Who is taking part in which competition? They smile and their eyes gleam with gusto and excitement. But their work speaks a different language. When asked to express, their mood dampens and enervates. The paper opens a door into their homes. A window into their monotonous and troublesome lifestyle. A juxtaposition of poverty and illiteracy. Joint family systems. Domestic violence and physical abuse. These children are a victims of these conditions almost everyday. Neglect and ill treatment. Some are discouraged to study. Their families want to curb their education. Others are forced to work after school. Boys are used to provide income to their families.

But what strikes me as appalling is how they still come to school, cheerful and enthusiastic. I don’t know how they keep their problems aside to learn the fundamentals of life. It certainly shows a deep sense of maturity and integrity on their part. And as much as I am surprised to see their behaviour, I am also impressed. Knowing that they will get a spanking for no unknown reason, they happily draw colourful fruits and vibrant faces.

I think every week, I find myself learning from them more than what I can give them to learn…………

I don’t know how many of them will make it to college or even university. But I am really glad that I am here to witness this side of these children…..

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

IAM CLOSER TO THAT PLACE....

people don't understand why i teach. they're surprised when i tell them that i have a bachelors in design. they ask me why i don't work for a mill or a design house. they simply dont comprehend how i settle for less.....but today if they had been with me, they might have understood. they would have understood the satisfaction i get by making the little ones learn. mostly i learn from them.
today i learnt a great deal from them. my co worker took me to this goverment school to see their art curriculum and the trip was so inspiring. he told me it was going to be beautiful and it was. he was right. the children were beautiful. they were intelligent, bright and waiting to be loved. their work was breathtaking. fresh and out of the box. they were welcoming and intuitive. insightful and meaningful.
while we worry about which car to buy and what brand is better, these kids struggle with daily neccessites of life. in an assignment where they had to draw their desires, one child made fruits, food and clothes. i cannot get over this. its a selfish and man eat man world and we are an integral part of it. while we race for the first and second position, there are children around us whose issues are greater than ours. while we grieve for grades and scholarships, some of these children might not even make it to college. whats going to become of them. who is going to look after them? while we sit and watch greys anatomy, episode after episode, waiting for mc dreamy to appear in our lives, these kids are beaten and abused everyday. they are victims of incense, molestation and neglect. yet their happier than us. they smile more often. a hug and a simple hand shake makes their day.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

AWAY......FAR.....BEYOND

its been almost a month since i started teaching. and i finally feel like iam home. iam home. this is home. there are inspirations and aspirations. mentors and teachers. students who are yet children.
i feel like iam actually progressing with my life. not stagnant anymore rather forthcoming.
i have god to thank.
i have people who i owe
i have friends who i love
i have family that is irreplaceable
i learn and teach,a lesson everyday.........
sometimes it takes a while for your nightmares to diminish and cease. sometimes it takes more than you thought it would.... but they do... and when they do, you know exactly what life has taught you.....