Verses Putting Flooding Waters To Sleep.

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I could sense it coming.
The black waters became even darker.
Agitated waves gathered in circle
And started their tumultuous ritual
As if my life had become an offering for their ultimate sacrifice
I could see the build up helplessly from the shore.
Each star, as if aware of my fate, closed their eyes and were no longer shining

I could sense it coming.
Oceans had gathered and started marching on my soul
Each wave, like footsteps in mud, left deep scars in my heart
The path I had drawn and protected all along started to fade.

When all light disappeared and vanished around me
I looked at my footstep and grabbed the last surviving candle
Together we sat on the cold floor and against all Odds
I opened The Book and reading from the first page I saw, I whispered to the flame

He it is Who sends down water (rain) from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture

With it He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date-palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit. Verily! In this is indeed an evident proof and a manifest sign for people who give thought.

The flame was no longer dancing against the blowing wind
Each of these words like a lullaby had appeased the storm coming
Like the finger of the artist rubbing blackened spots
Each verses recited softened dark waters with their light

And He has subjected for you the night and day and the sun and moon, and the stars are subjected by His command. Indeed in that are signs for a people who reason.

I opened my eyes and gazed towards the sky
A tapestry of light was hanging over my head
The crying seven seas were now deeply asleep

And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.

When my frailing whispered voice blew away this mountain of pain
I stood firm and dared staring my nemesis in his eyes
Sincere tears had defeated flooding waters
A dying candle had defeated a dark moonless night
The words of the creator had put one creation to sleep
And revived another to raise above its plight
And Remember. Always Remember :
Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity
(Verses from Surah An Nahl)
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On the pleasures of traveling

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Sitting in the waiting area, next to the boarding gate of my Paris bound flight, I was slowly enjoying my first espresso of the day while reading the Autobiography of Malcolm X.

I have been traveling alone from a very young age and I guess this constant exposure to airport chaos made me develop some ‘traveling’ habits that I have now begun to enjoy immensely. For instance, I have become one of those travelers that truly enjoy reaching the airport early in order to get done with security and appreciate some quality time in the boarding area. By quality time, I mean perpetuating the same tradition again and again: order an espresso, grab a nice book, make some goodbye calls, read some Quran and if possible, write something meaningful.

As I took out my laptop to write these words, I started thinking about the ‘actual’ reason behind the current state of happiness I was in. On the first look, the most obvious reason was the fact that I was going back to ‘my’ city. Paris is where I was born and where I lived most of my life. My family, my friends, my university, my house, most of my childhood memories are all somehow related to this city.

Surely, family and friends had a big role to play in my happiness. But the more I thought about it, the more I became convinced that they alone did not explain entirely the complex feelings I was experiencing. My parents had just come to Montreal to visit me and so did my sister. Although it’s always a pleasure to spend time with your family, the fact that I had spent my entire summer with them made me feel a tad less excited about meeting them. I was more looking forward to spending time at home as a family ‘together’ rather than meeting them individually per say. The only member of my family I had not seen in a long time was my brother and I guess he, along with my best friend were the sole reason behind the excitement I could attribute to meeting individuals during this trip.

What made me feel so excited then? I thought. As I was typing vigorously on my laptop, I had not realized that the waiting area had started to get filled. I raised my head and saw a family sitting in front of me. The father was reading a book, while the kids were playing on their tablets. On the side, other travelers were walking in order to reach their respective boarding gates. This is when I came to a realization.

Beyond having a destination to reach to; beyond the joy of meeting family, friends, or fulfilling the purpose of the travel you’ve just started, it is the journey itself that makes traveling so enjoyable. I haven’t even started my journey ‘physically’ speaking as I am still sitting in Montreal. Yet, I have already started to taste flavours of this journey.

I wonder why I don’t always experience those flavours in my day-to-day life. Nothing extraordinary happened in this journey so far. I have drunk an espresso, which I do everyday. I was reading a book, which is also an activity I often engage myself into. I wonder then, why activities performed in daily life, when performed while traveling, suddenly become so meaningful.

The answer I came up with was a logical one. The difference lied in the shift of my state of mind. Because I knew I was going to travel, I was somehow able to disconnect myself with all responsibilities that tied me to my everyday life. There was no thinking of patients, clinic, lab, classes, and my entire attention span was recruited for tasks that had very little to do with my professional, or personal life. Whatever I was doing in that airport, whether thoughts or actions, was motivated by a passion, an emotion or an intellectual thirst. None of my thoughts originated from a need imposed by my status in the society. I wasn’t a clinician anymore. I wasn’t a student anymore. I wasn’t a tenant, I wasn’t a friend, I wasn’t a community member, I wasn’t a teacher. At that moment, I was none of them. I was just whatever I was after all labels attached to my existence were detached. In some ways, I was experiencing the lightness of becoming a child again, while still keeping the intellectual ability to think and analyse my environment as an adult.

I heard the announcement. The ground staff carefully opened the gate for passengers to board on the plane. Two hours had gone and I didn’t see time passing. It’s time for me save this word file and to post it on my blog. My journey hasn’t really started yet and I already have learnt so much. I hope each day of this trip can bring many lessons on life and its intricacies. And most importantly, I hope I can learn from these lessons and become a better human being.

A place without you, is no place to call ‘home’

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Dear Pakistan,

Your soil’s fragrance never fails to enchant me
The wind of your coasts never fails to soothe me
The majesty of your mountains never fails to elevate me
The resilience of your people never fails to inspire me

The sound of your streets never fails to make me sway
The sight of your colours never fails to make me dream
The smell of your food never fails to make me fly
The touch of your land never fail to make smile

And even though years have passed since we last met
I have always cherished memories of our encounters
And wherever I lived, I kept bits and pieces of you
For a place without you, is no place to call ‘home’

Happy Indepence Day!
May your crescent and the star always shine.

Only from afar

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Dur se roshni ke shole ishara e rah e rast lag rahe the

From afar, all sources of light seemed to point towards the right path

Dur se har ankhein hame noorani sitareh lag rahe the

From afar, all eyes I met, seemed to shine like stars in the sky

Qareeb dekha to ankhun me cheragh e hasad jal rahe teh 

When I looked closer, a fire of resentment in those eyes, I saw

Reza, dur se hi tumhe Aag aur roshni, donon ek lag rahe the

Reza, Only from afar, do fire and light, to you seemed alike.

A Silent Turmoil

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When the wind of hardships blows from the west

They awaken oceans deeply burried within me

Their anxious waves come bashing against edges of my sollitude

Giving rise to a muddling noise echoed deep within my depths

While this deafening concert takes place within me

A mere spectator of my afflictions I become

And like a gentleman enjoying a tragic play, I stay calm and still

I remain silent to absorb this overwhelming turmoil

Identity.

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– “Would you say you’re Pakistani?” He asked with a hesitant voice.

– “I don’t know to be honest”, I replied. “Sometimes I feel so distant and different from most people I know in Pakistan that the only phase of my life I feel has ever had close ties with its soil, was my childhood. Yet, there are also times during which my heart is filled by nothing else but a unique and unfading patriotism for this land. During those moments, my heart roars and rejoices at the sight and sound of the land it came from.”

– “And when exactly do these moments occur?” He asked with a curious smile.

– “Whenever Pakistan Cricket team walks on the field and I can see our Cricket fans waving our flag. Whenever I see that crescent and star, and I listen to our national anthem, that’s when I am nothing else but a true Pakistani.”