Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Archive for February, 2010


Posted by Haris Gulzar on February 26, 2010

Students tend to guess the answers a lot. Specially when there are questions where you have multiple options to choose from, and more importantly, when there is no negative marking if you get a wrong answer. But the question is, is guesswork right? Is it allowed?

A few days back I had a discussion with a friend if guessing is really allowed in Islam or not. Although I consider it totally allowed but I didn’t have any arguments to support myself. My point is, why would it not be allowed? I mean you’re just taking your chance. May that be a random guess, or an educated guess. But the argument that my friend had was that we are doing something that we know isn’t correct. As in the answer we’re marking, we aren’t sure if that answer is really the correct answer. He said we should be true to ourselves and to our creator. If we don’t know the answer to a question, we should face it instead of guessing the answers. But does it really have to do anything with religion? I’m not too sure really…

That friend of mine gave me the example of himself. Whenever he randomly marked the answers, the results weren’t too good, and whenever he didn’t do any guesswork, the results were far better. He said this was because Allah is seeing us and HE knows if we’re being true or not. But how can we be untrue to ourselves if we put random answers and do guesswork? But frankly, I don’t have any references or arguments in favor of my argument. I only think guesswork should be allowed, in fact I think religion doesn’t have anything to do with it or does it?? I mean obviously whatever we do IS guided by our religion but why would guessing be wrong :-(. If I randomly answer a question that I don’t know, and suppose I get the answer right, doesn’t it mean Allah helped me? Or does it mean I foul-played?

Are we making our religion difficult for ourselves?


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Lessons Learnt – Part 2

Posted by Haris Gulzar on February 21, 2010

This semester is taking up too much of my time. One thing that I have really learnt while living at a hostel is how to manage time, as I said in my previous Lessons Learnt post. I don’t know if it has to do with living at home or living away or not but for me, hostel life has really taught me how to distribute time to what needs to be done, keeping in view the pending tasks. It has been good so far but I really hope it continues in a seamless way Insha-Allah. One of the most comforting thoughts that comes after I think about all the difficulties in managing my time is that this going to be my last semester here Insha-Allah… 🙂

Here are a few more lessons that I think life has taught me. Click here to read Part 1.

1) Learn to fail. Failing is the best form of learning. Any task that we take up, we should have in mind the fact that we can fail and the task might not be completed. Although this thought might hinder your performance but if you fail without expecting to fail, it hurts bad. This thinking should never hinder you from doing what you want to do, and above all, the failure should be taken as an experiment and a way to correct yourself from making the same mistake in future.

“I have not failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. ~Thomas Edison

2) Learn to Forgive. One of my teachers once said that we should only take good memories with us and leave behind the bad memories. Although very trivial, but it is just so true. Life is unfair, and we should accept it. I don’t know how many of you would agree with me that a lot of times we feel undone or treated unjustly but that’s what life is all about. This doesn’t mean you should not try to get what you deserve, but taking revenge is not always the right policy. In fact sometimes forgiving is a better policy and teaches the opposition a lesson that couldn’t have been taught otherwise.

“Always forgive your enemy, nothing annoys them so much”. ~Laura Moncur

3) Apologize. Listening to what others have to say can more often than not tell you where you were wrong and what and how things should have done. We should accept our mistakes if we made any and should apologize if what and how we did things hurt someone. We shouldn’t stick to our position and enforce our stance onto others. At times we do/say something without realizing the intensity or the different interpretations that others can have out of it. Although the right sorts of people shouldn’t need an apology and should understand you, but it won’t degrade you if you apologize.

"If you even dream of beating me you’d better wake up and apologize." ~Mohammad Ali

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When there is will

Posted by Haris Gulzar on February 14, 2010

“One starter platter, one large Pizza and a Salad bowl”. She finally placed the order.

They fought for at least 10 minutes before deciding who it would be to call the waiter and dictate the menu for lunch. She probably had the best choice amongst all those present, making her the victim of deciding what should be ordered. She even knew what everyone would like.

They were seeing each other after 8 years. I saw them after 16 years. I was only in touch with one friend leading me to having a lunch with the other three who I knew but didn’t remember very well. Although it was really astonishing and amazing to know that they remembered me fine. Their explanations about how I used to be back then, the stupid things we would go around doing at school, our old teachers; a couple of whom had died already, our other class fellows, everything we talked about was just so nostalgic and clearly recalled in my mind that I could visualize and see everything happening in front of me again. Everyone settled in with their lives, some of them working abroad, some happily married, some still studying and so on…

I did remember her name but couldn’t associate her with any of the faces I could recall from my memories of that time of school. Whenever we discussed about our other class fellows and discussed any incident associated with them, she would point to her neighbor with her eyes wide open, as if they both recalled something they shouldn’t be discussing in front of everyone, and then they would burst into laughter, giving each other a hi-five. She wasn’t different from other girls. She would talk, laugh, pass witty comments and would do just about everything that any other ordinary girl would have done after meeting her best friends after 8 years.

“Did someone order for the ice-cream?” Inquired one of the friends.

“No I’d order for it when the meal is served”. She said.

“But it’d seem odd yar, we don’t want to be eating Pizza’s with you waiting for your ice-cream. Call a waiter and order your ice-cream flavor immediately”. She was rather ordered than requested.

And there started again the fight about who’d call the waiter this time. They didn’t let go the possibility of making use of any passing moment to its fullest. They were thoroughly enjoying this meeting.

Two scoops of strawberry ice-cream was what she ordered I suppose. “You have your meal first ma’am and we’d serve the ice-cream after that” responded the waiter.

“No you serve it with the meal, because they’d all have Pizzas and I’d only have ice-cream”. She said with her hands pointing to the other four people sitting around a circular table.

Everyone knew she couldn’t eat anything available except the ice-cream that she had already ordered. The starters were here already. “Self service everyone”, announced the person sitting at my left and took a piece of garlic bread.

“Couldn’t you ask the ladies to start first?”. Her neighbor said angrily and took hold of the garlic bread basket.

The Pizzas were delivered soon as well. “Make room”, she said while starting to move the empty plates and sauce bottles aside to make room for the Pizza pan.

“Move your plate forward”, I said and put a piece each in their plates.

“Won’t you even taste it?”. I inquired. She brought a trace of smile on her face and shook her head. When everyone was busy deciding if they should use the knife and a fork, or just hold the Pizza piece in their hands and byte it, she was served with her ice-cream as well.

“Why don’t you eat anything?”. The person sitting on my left asked.

“Because I can’t”, she replied.

“Yeah I have been thinking about asking this. It seems everyone else knows but only I don’t know why you’re avoiding eating anything at all”, said the lady sitting next to her.

She smiled, she probably wanted to say something when he intruded again. “I asked her before as well but she said its a long story and that she’d tell me about it later…”

She put her ice-cream bowl on the table, stretched her left hand behind the lady sitting next to her, took a deep breath and very confidently said “I have been fighting cancer for the past two years”.

She had a lazy smile on her face. She was trying to control herself. “Two years”, she said, slightly raising the two leftmost fingers of her right hand. She tried to smile back again but this time, she couldn’t control her tears. She unfolded the tissue she had in her right hand, one that was probably served with the ice-cream bowl, held both ends of the tissue in her hands and kept it on her eyes. Everyone started to cheer her up. They all knew that there was something wrong, but they probably didn’t know the scale and intensity of her illness. It was a shock for everyone.

“Only I know how painful those two years were for me and how I have spent them”, she said, still trying to gain back control on herself. “Anyways”, she said, “I am recovering now Alhamdulillah, and it won’t be long when I recover completely Insha-Allah”. She was confident. She had will. She had determination. I could tell from her face that she had fought hard, and that she had fought well. She was destined to win Insha-Allah. That was when she also reminded of a couple of teachers from that time who had already died. They even recalled meeting each other on the funeral of one of the teachers, almost about 10 years back.

“Guess who this bride is?”. She took out a passport size picture from her purse and gave it to the lady sitting next to her.

“Don’t tell me its you…”. Exclaimed that lady. To which she nodded and brought that girlish smile back up on her face.

“Show it to me too”, said the person sitting next to me, and was handed over her picture. She took out another picture from her purse in the mean time.

“This is my son”, she told him, taking back her wedding picture.

“Give it to me”, asked the lady sitting next to her. “Awwww shoo cutteee”, the lady said when she was shown the picture. “Whats his name?”, the lady inquired.

“Ahmed”, she said. She was back to normal again.

“So when are we meeting next?”. I asked. “And who’s planning for our next meeting, just so that the venue is mutually agreed upon and we don’t flop the plan?”.

“So what you’re saying is our plan flopped today?”, asked the lady sitting at my right.

“No it didn’t but I’m not in favor of such short notice plans”, I replied.

“Lets have a one dish at someone’s place”. We were now done with paying the bill and were getting up when she said this, totally letting go of the fact that she almost cried a few minutes back.

“Remember how we met at that place back then and you came to pick us but didn’t come inside that place…?” She asked inquisitively, pointing at the lady who was sitting next to her, and they burst into laughter again…

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Home and Away

Posted by Haris Gulzar on February 9, 2010

Well, It was a wonderful trip to Lahore. Exciting 22 days. I got to spend time with my family, with my nieces and nephews, with friends and x-colleagues and everyone I wanted to be with, at least for a while. I enjoyed the cold weather there, the heavy fogs, sleeping till late in the morning, making plans at run time, joining friends on short notices. It was all fun. I got to be me back again for a short time 🙂

The train trip was the foggiest I have ever had. I was greeted with welcome home cards made by Muneeba. She always has lots of cards ready for me. She even hadn’t done her homework for that weekend because she was waiting for me to help her do it. Abdullah remembered me, he at least knew I was someone close. Ahmed didn’t at first recognized me but soon got accustomed to seeing me and then would come to me whenever I called him. I got to stay at my dadi’s place for a night as well. I even travelled to Faisalabad and to Gujranwala to meet relatives there. The dinner menu mostly used to be what I ‘farmaish-ed’ for :-P.

Although I didn’t have internet there but I didn’t feel the need of it either except only when it was about the course registration and issues relating to IBA. I was on a total vacation. Although I did want to write about several things and check my blog occasionally but I didn’t feel the urgency. I had probably made up my mind to leave everything until I return. In fact, not having internet was probably a blessing for me because it just consumes too much time on things you can live without but spend time on if you have internet.

My blog also had its 1st anniversary on the 2nd of Feb. Couldn’t celebrate it because of unavailability of internet, otherwise would have at least written a post that day. Just for your information, I could only write 85 posts in this one year. I hope to be more regular this year Insha-Allah. Lets see.

Anyways, vacations are over. This semester seems to be the toughest of all, but Insha-Allah this is my last semester here. I hope I re-organize myself and manage my time, because that’s the most difficult thing I find being a hostelite. I hope you all have been good. Thats it for now!!

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