Happiness is all that matters

Its uncharacteristic for me to hate, but sometimes I am engaged in a fleeting moment of the emotion, catalysed by thoughts of a painful moment in my life. And then the  time comes when I realize that I’m not such a person, to hold so much ill-feelings towards a person that I actually hate them. I’m just waiting for myself to be completely free of that attachment. Things happened for a reason. “Every person that comes into our lives come for a reason, some come to learn and others come to teach”. I have experienced both, and a colossal change occurred in my life post-departure. 

 In the weeks following the conclusion of what was, I thought I would never get through this. The vacuum that existed in my life seemed bottomless and days seemed gloomy, despite the sunshine. But now, I do believe that our lives have gone on, just as normal. I am content and look forward to what lies ahead. Life sometimes comes to a pause, its up to us to resume the journey. We heading in different directions, and I no longer will question what could have been. All that matters is that we happy.

 I have formulated goals for my future, and will strive hard to work towards achieving it. Its been said that one of the best gifts to a person, is dua for them without them knowing. And that’s what I give of myself, dua and best wishes. And forgiveness of course…sometimes we don’t realize our mistakes and never will, until someone points it out to us. However, its best that I leave things as they are. Hold no grudges, and walk on in life. 

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To the one I care about, but know I should not. You came into my life uninvited. There were times when I hated you being there. An obligation I had to fulfill, until the time passed and came to a halt. Sleepless nights and endless thoughts. Prayers and confusion. Why did you come, when you didn’t really care? Why the pretences and the wasted time…why did you bother? Surreptitiously you made your way into my life, then walked away when I felt something was there. You were cold and cowardly. I expected more from you, but you left me with nothing more than disappointment. A gap that I had to try and cover up. For all your words, which I now deem false, you cared nothing when I needed someone most. No words of comfort, no prayer though small. I kept waiting in the hope you would turn up. But all you gave me were signs of your time carelessly spent. Words of hurt, unconsciously said. The implications were all too clear. You wanted to get something across. For now satisfaction can be yours. I get it all too clearly. For the very reason I never let anyone in, for all the fear…You proved me right. You are just like all the others. I now fall deeper into the abyss of darkness. I gave you credit most of the way and defended you in times of need. You gave up too easily. Ironically I lasted longer than I thought I would. Although I feel what logically I should not, Im glad things didn’t progress any further. I now see you for what you really are. I always knew, but like many of the unexplainable things in life, I opened the way and allowed you entrance into my life. I feel a loss, sometimes regret. But then I wonder, why me? I shall not grant myself permission to feel regret for Im not the one who did any wrong, who hurt and caused further mistrust. Carry on enjoying your life, but remember who you are. Your actions will have consequences. Remember your status in the eyes of the One most Great. Your knowledge, you supposed to spread. You are supposed to be the one to spread light, inspire and bring people closer to Him, but what have you done? Forgive me if I am misjudging, perhaps if I knew you longer I would have known otherwise. Unlike you, although we no longer share a part of each others life. I still care. And in my heart I pray for you more often than you may know. I have faith in the One most High, and still wish and hope for you the best in life. Even though we no longer have contact, no matter what you do, there is a person out there that believes in you and one that knows through prayer, you will be the person she thought you could be…

Taare Zameen Par- Every child is special

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Award winning movie and director for the year 2007, this movie is truly remarkable in every sense. Ten year old Darsheel Safaray was nominated for best actor in both the critics and popular category, alongside major stars like Sharukh Khan. Darsheel has made history in more than one way. He was given the award for best actor in the critic’s category at the very tender age of ten. More outstanding is that this was his debut performance. When watching the awards, I was a bit skeptical when they announced that he was the recipient of the award. But after watching the movie, I feel that he truly deserved it.

A very thought provoking and touching movie in many ways. I’m not a person that usually expresses my emotions in tears, but I was left teary eyed at various parts of the movie (I was successful in using the blanket as my cover so that no one would catch me on the verge of crying. Good thing I made the choice of taking the single seat for tonight).

Ihsaan is a nine year old boy suffering from dyslexia. None of his teachers or parents are aware of his condition and mistake his ‘misbehaviour’ and lack of progress in school to be due to laziness and a very laid back attitude towards his school work and life in general. After endless complaints from the school, his father decides to send him to a boarding school, thinking this to be the solution to Ihsaan’s lack of discipline.

Ihsaan is clearly distressed and does not want to leave home. His mother’s love for him is clearly visible, despite his unacceptable behaviour. She has no choice about him going to boarding school once her husband has decided that he will have to go. Unwillingly and with a heavy heart, he is left at the boarding school to begin a new life.

The vicious cycle starts once again and he is repeatedly reprimanded by teachers for not paying attention in class and his lack of knowledge. Ihsaan becomes extremely withdrawn and limits his interaction with his schoolmates to only one boy. A friend who supports him from the very first day, and is a ray of hope in his bleak life.

Good fortune shines on Ihsaan when his art teacher is replaced. The new teacher, Nikumbh (Aamir Khan who is the director of the movie) realises that Ihsaan is having problems and delves deeper in an attempt to help him. It is he who discovers that the boy is suffering from dyslexia, a condition which he suffered from as a child as well. Nikumbh goes out of his way to help Ihsaan overcome his problems and gain confidence in himself. The movie ends on a very positive note, and shows the bond that was created between them because of Nikumbh’s efforts to help him succeed in his life.

There are so many things to be learnt from this movie. One of the most important things I feel, is that despite any form sickness if one has support, love and care you will be able to overcome it. Talking from experience, I have witnessed the power of love and care in one’s life. In times of difficulty, we should support each other. Be united as one unit…and never blame each other for things that happen in life. This support breeds happiness, something which we all seek in our lives.

The tag line of the movie is that every child is special. In this very fast paced life of ours, I have noticed that parents are putting an increasing amount of pressure on their children to exceed in every facet of their life. Kids in grade one and two are under stress, the kind that I only experienced once I reached high school. Why the need to push them to excel in school? Especially when they are not the intellectual type and perhaps are more creative, rather than logical (as it was and I often think still is in my case).

Our lives have been reduced to a competition, and everyone wants to come out as the winner. I have no qualms with winners; I too would love to be a winner. But in my short life of almost twenty one years I have realised that it’s not always about coming out above the rest. It’s about doing the very best that you can. Doing enough to satisfy yourself and not the world around you. Your best may not be enough to be a winner, but it is YOUR best after all. We aren’t all cut out for the same things in life. If we do what we enjoy, then we will excel in it. And more importantly is that we have to be good human beings. We need to live life to the fullest, enjoy it…let out the child in you! And for those who are still young, their youth should not be taken away from them. Let them live their lives as children, that’s what they are.

On that topic, it saddens me at the way our youth have become. I am well aware of the declining quality of the next generations, but this time I’m talking about kids between the ages of five and ten not even the ones in their teens. Although I am almost twenty one there are kids who in comparison to me care so much more about their appearances. They cannot leave their homes if their clothing, shoes and bags are not coordinated. I’m talking about kids over ten years younger than me! I remember going with my little boy cousin to McDonalds one night for ice-cream. He was about ten at the time. Not having the time to change, he remarked “How embarrassing, I have to go in with my slippers!”
Come on, a ten year old with slippers, there is nothing even close to embarrassing about that.

Little girls will not play in the sand for fear of getting themselves dirty and prefer to sit around and pretend to be women. Their quirky, but often rude remarks which come up during conversations (the ones going on between adults), are often just laughed at and brushed aside. At their age, if I had to make those same remarks my mother would have no second thoughts about slapping me for my misbehaviour. And although I’m so much older now, I won’t even try to butt in or be rude!

And then comes the have-to-have accessory. Kids from the age of eight are already given cellphones, that too the model of their choice. What’s the purpose of it? Do they really require cellphones at such a young age in their life? Perhaps their social circles are very extensive and without cellphones their social lives would dissipate. That’s the only way to keep in contact and get all the latest news. No cell phone, no reason to live. (Those last few sentences are dripping with sarcasm!).Where have the ‘kids’ in the twenty first century gone to?

In this race of life, we need to step back and breathe a little. Everything is too advanced, including the new generations. We need to approach life in a different manner. Stop trying to be on top of the pyramid. If we are a little lower down, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have a life or that it is worthless. Perhaps the ones lower down, living life more simply are the ones who are really successful. Successful because they have got what everyone forgot our purpose is-to try and discover happiness. How long will that high status last, or getting that ninety percent in an exam? The elation fades away…But if you have happiness you are fortunate, for it encompasses all the great things in life…such as faith, love, care, contentment, warmth and laughter.

Respect leads to peace

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As a society and amongst our youth, we are moving towards social degradation instead of developing and improving our lives . I have noticed for the umpteenth time that we have no respect for other cultures or religions. Respect should be inculcated in our youth, not just towards our elders but towards other people, irrespective of how we may differ from each other. Being different is not a criteria for us to insult and taunt other people.

We fail to realise that we are all composed of the same matter. It is not our outside appearances that count, but what lies deeper down inside, our hearts. Have you ever noticed that a person with conventional beauty, but who has a cold personality is not at all attractive? While someone who may not be that beautiful, but who is warm hearted, generous and always pleasant to be around is so much more attractive. When we delve into the gist of it, we are all the same. The feelings that we experience are homogeneous, irrespective of whether we originate from the Africa, India or America, whether we are Muslims, Christians, Jews or Hindus.

We need to foster a culture of understanding and respect in all of humanity, not just the youth. At times the behaviour that people exhibit is a reflection of the kind of background that they come from and the type of people that they are surrounded by in their home environment.

We always question why the world is turning out to be so full of hatred and enmity. This is one of the reasons. Respect is fundamental to the structure of peace, and we fail to possess this quality. The emphasis on respect is important both from an Islamic as well as secular perspective.

I have touched upon this subject numerous times during my studies. Apart from the economic benefits of tourism, it also serves to unite people worldwide. Tourism involves the interaction of people from different backgrounds, lifestyles, religions and race etc and the importance is on developing relationships between one another in an attempt to promote peace worldwide. Never forget that wherever we may be in this world, the behaviour that we exhibit towards others is an indication of the type of people that we are. And at the same time, in an indirect way we represent our countries and religions.

It is important that we strive towards understanding people from an international point of view. We need to educate ourselves about other people. This can be done through higher education or even simpler, by doing research, reading a lot of literature about various cultures, lifestyles and religions and even interacting with people and showing an interest in them. A little knowledge goes a long way and a kind word or smile to someone can have a major impact on their lives. Lets try to make the world a happier place, even though it may be in a small way. There’s one common factor among the majority of us, and that is to live in peace. Let us make a concerted effort to work towards this.

Education- a human right

I’ve just registered to study for this year and in the process got thinking about the education system in our country. Education is a basic human right which should be awarded to citizens of all financial backgrounds. It cannot only be limited to those who are financially well off and can afford it. There are options available for bursaries, but that doesn’t guarantee that all those who cannot afford to, but want to study will be allowed the opportunity.

As with other things in life, the irony is that in general those who are dedicated and hard workers cannot afford the exorbitant fees, while those who adopt a very relaxed and care-free attitude towards studying have easy access to it. Its another one of life’s challenges which we have to fight to get through. There are often narrations of very successful people in this world, who battled to get good education, and yet in the end they have risen above the rest. Life is not smooth sailing, we have to learn how to tackle the greatest of waves and come out alive (and smiling of course!).