Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Favorites’

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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I love you “too”…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 29, 2009

A few days after I came to Karachi for my studies, I talked to Muneeba on phone. After asking about how she was, if she was missing me or not, how her school was going and what she did the whole day, I was just about to hang up the call when she got my attention and said “Chachoo”, I replied “Ji Beta”, and she said “I Love You too”. This was the first time I heard her say this sentence (with an extra ‘too’ at the end), and it made me cry and laugh at the same time. What amazed me was the way she inserted this sentence into our conversation, and the way she got my attention just to say this one sentence. She must have been eagerly waiting for the right time to say this to me throughout my conversation with her. She must have planned to say this to me before the call ended. I knew straight away that this sentence came right from her heart. I knew that she really meant it.

Days went by. I usually talked to her every alternate day or sometimes after a gap of 2 or 3 days. Whenever I said to her that I love you, she replied I love you too. She probably had understood by now what the “too” meant. But it was always her who got to say this “too” after saying “I love you”.

A couple of weeks back when ammi was coming to Karachi, she told Muneeba that she’d be meeting me here as well, and also that my birthday was approaching, hence Muneeba should make some cards for me. How could Muneeba waste such an excellent chance of sending me something? One day when she returned from school, she silently went to her room and made a lovely landscape at the back of one of her class work sheets. That’s probably the only paper she found to work at. She didn’t want to waste any time or to ask anyone to give her a piece of paper. She drew a house, a lot many stars and a moon, and above all, she glittered it. Another day when ammi put some receipt on a table, Muneeba got hold of it and made a lovely flower at the back of that receipt, checked her work herself, gave herself a star, and glittered it as well. No one knew she had started making gifts for me, but she was silently collecting her drawings for me.

When ammi’s departure for Karachi was only a couple of days away, she asked Muneeba if she had made any “card” for me, which she hadn’t. She had only been making drawings at the back of papers. She must have felt disappointed because as soon as she realized the fact that she hadn’t made any card for me, she asked her mother to give her some piece of chart paper to work at. She found a blue chart paper, which she made into a great card. On the front of this card she drew a beautiful butterfly and colored it, drew some flowers, and a sun and clouds, and some grass, and colored them all. Inside, she wrote:

Dear chacho

I miss you

I love you

From Muniba.

It was only later that everyone at home found out that Muneeba had not only made one “card” for me, but had also been working at drawing at the back of her class works. This was when everyone came to know that it wasn’t one card, it was three of them. When ammi handed over these cards to me, I didn’t know if I should smile or cry. I immediately said out loud, I miss you “too”, I love you “too”. That’s when I realized that it was the first time I got to say I love you “too”. Muneeba said it to me through those cards, I’m saying this to her through this post.

Muneeba, I love you “too”.

 

 

The cards that Muneeba made for me…

 

Front of the card

Front of the card

 

Inside

Inside

 

The landscape

The landscape

 

This picture speaks for itself

This picture speaks for itself

 

Related Post – – -> چاچو  بیٹی  ہوں ۔ ۔ ۔

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انمول ۔ ۔ ۔

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 27, 2009

ایک  تحفے  کی  قیمت  کیا  ہوتی  ہے؟  کیا  وہ  تحفہ  قیمتی  ہونا  چاہیئے،  کیا  وہ  تحفہ  ہماری  پسند  کا  ہونا  چاہیئے،  کیا  وہ  اس  انسان  کی  پسند  کا  ہونا  چاہیئے  جسے  آپ  تحفہ  دینا  چاہتے  ہیں؟ کیا  یہ  سب  سوال  عجیب  ہیں؟ نہیں،  ہر  گز  نہیں۔ ان  میں  سے  کوئی  سوال  عجیب  نہیں  ہے،  بلکہ  ان  تمام سوالوں  کا میری نظر  میں  صرف  ایک ہی جواب  ہے۔ اور  وہ  یہ  ہے  کہ  اس  دنیا  میں  کوئی  شخص  کسی  تحفے  کی  قیمت  کا  اندازہ  نہیں  لگا  سکتا۔ تحفہ  تو انمول  ہوتا  ہے،  تحفہ  بزاتِ  خود  کسی  کی  پسند  کا  نہیں  ہوتا،  بلکہ  یہ  تو  تحفہ  دینے  والے  کی  نییت  ہوتی  ہے  جو  اس  تحفہ  کو  پسندیدہ  اور  انمول  بناتی  ہے۔ ۔ ۔

اگر  یہ  سچ  ہے  کہ  تحفہ  دینے  والے  کی  نییت  ہی  ایک  تحفہ  کو  نایاب  بناتی  ہے،  تو  پھر  اس  شخص  کا  کیا  حال  ہوا  ہوگا  جب  اسکا  تحفہ  کسی  نے  کھول  کر  دیکھا  بھی  نہیں۔  اس  شخص  پہ  کیا  گزری  ہوگی  جب  اس  نے  پوچھا  ہوگا  کہ  تحفہ  کیسا  لگا  اور  اسے  آگے  سے  جواب  ملا  ہوگا  کہ  میں  نے  تو  تحفہ  کھولا  ہی  نہیں۔  اس  شخص  کا  دل  کتنا  ٹوٹا  ہوگا  جس  نے  اکیلے،  ایک  انجان  شہر  میں،  اتنی  ہمّت  کرنے  کی  ٹھانی  کہ  وہ  کہیں  سے  بھی  ایک  ایسا  تحفہ  لائے  گا  جو  اسکے  خیال  میں  اسکے  دوست  کو  بہت  پسند  آئے  گا،  فقط  یہ  سننے  کے  لیئے  کہ  ابھی  تو  میں  نے  وہ  تحفہ  دیکھا  بھی  نہیں۔  کیا  اس  شخص  کا  مان  نہیں  ٹوٹا  ہوگا  جب  اس  کا  بھیجا  ہوا  تحفہ  کسی  نی  پڑے  رہنے  دیا  ہو گا۔ اس  شخص  کے انتظار  کی  کیا  قیمت  لگایئے  جسنے  تحفہ  بھیجنے  کے  بعد  اگلے  دن  شام  گئے  تک  صرف  شکریہ  کہ  دو  الفاظ  سننا  چاہے،  مگر  اسے  سننے  کو  ملا  کہ  میں  نے  تو  وہ  تحفہ  کھولا  ہی  نہیں۔ ۔ ۔

اس  جرم  کا  ارتکاب  کرنے  والا  شخص  ہوں  میں۔  ۲۵  اپریل 09  بروز  ہفتہ  میری  ۲۵ویں  سالگرہ  تھی۔  رات  کے  ۱۲  بجتے  ہی  مجھے  دوستوں  کے  میسج  آنا  شروع  ہو گئے۔  ان تمام میسج میں  اس  دوست  کا  میسج  بھی  شامل  تھا  جس  نے  مجھے  تحفہ  بھیجا  تھا۔  مجھے  معلوم  تھا  کے  اس  دوست  نے  مجھے  لاہور  سے  تحفہ  بھیجا  ہے،  حالانکہ  میں  نے  اس  دوست  کو  کئی  بار  تحفہ  بھیجنے  سے  منع  کیا،  مگر  شاید  میرا  اپنا  بھی  دل  تھا  کہ  میرا  دوست  مجھے  تحفہ  بھیجے۔ پہلے  میں  نے  اپنے  دوست  کو  اپنا  پتہ  نہیں  بتایا  تھا،  مگر  پھر  اچانک  بتا  دیا۔  میں  نے  اپنے  دوست  سے  پوچھا  بھی  کہ  کیا  تحفہ  بھیجا  ہے،  مگر  اسنے  انتظار  کیا  کہ  میں  خود  تحفہ  کھولوں  اور  دیکھوں  کہ  تحفہ  کیا  ہے۔  میں  رات  کو  اپنے  دوست  سے  بات  کرتا  رہا،  اپنے  دوست  کو  یہ  بتاتا  رہا  کہ  مجھے  کتنی  خوبصورت  دعایئں  بھیجی  جا  رہی  ہیں،  اپنے  دوست  کو  بتاتا  رہا  کہ  میرے  دوسرے  دوستوں  نے  مجھے  نظمیں  بھیجی  ہیں۔  اس  وقت  وہ  دوست  یقینن  یہی  سوچ  رہا  ہوگا  کہ  جب  میرا  بھیجا  ہوا  تحفہ  اِسے  ملے  گا  تو  کیا  یہ  اس  وقت  بھی  اتنا  ہی  خوش  ہوگا؟  اس  وقت  میرا  وہ  دوست  یقینن  اس  انتظار  میں  تھا  کہ  کب  اسکا  بھیجا  ہوا  تحفہ  کھولا  جائے  گا ۔ ۔ ۔

اگلا  دن  ہوا،  دوپہر  ہوئی  اور  پھر  شام  ہوگئی۔ میں  اپنے  دوست  کا  بھیجا  ہوا  تحفہ  دیکھے  بغیر  امّی  سے  ملنے  خالہ  کہ  گھر  چلا  گیا۔  امّی  ان  دنوں  لاہور  سے  آئی  ہوئی  ہیں۔  یونیورسٹی  سے  واپس  آنے  کے  بعد  میں  نے  صرف  کھانا  کھایا  اور  اپنے  دوست  کے  بھیجے  ہوئے  تحفے  کا  سوچے  بغیر  ہی  ہاسٹل  سے  نکل  پڑا۔  پتہ  نہیں  کیوں  مگر  مجھے  اپنے  دوست  کا  وہ  تحفہ  اس  وقت  ذہن  میں  ہی  نہیں  آیا۔  شام  کو  جب  اس  دوست  نے  مجھ  سے  پوچھا  کہ  مجھے  اس  دوست  کا  بھیجا  ہوا  تحفہ  کیسا  لگا،  تو  میرے  پاس  صرف  یہی  جواب  تھا  کہ  وہ  تحفہ  تو  میں  نے  کھولا  ہی  نہیں۔  میں  یہ  کہتے  ہوئے  شرمندہ  تھا  مگر  اس  وقت  بھی  میں  نے  یہ  نہیں  سوچا  تھا  کہ  میری  اس  حرکت  نے  میرے  دوست  کو  کتنا  دکھ  دیا  ہوگا۔ ۔ ۔

جب  میں  خالہ  کے  یہاں  سے  واپس  ہاسٹل  آیا  تو  کمرے  میں  گھسنے  سے  پہلے  ہی  میں  ہاسٹل  انچارج  کے  دفتر  میں  گیا  اور  اپنا  تحفہ  وصول  کیا۔  میں  چاہتا  تھا  کہ  اپنے  دوست  کو  کال  کروں،  اور  اس  سے  بات  کرتے  ہوئے  اس  تحفے  کو  کھولوں۔  اس  وقت  جب  میں  اپنے  دوست  کو  کال  ملا  رہا  تھا،  مجھے  احساس  ہوا  کہ  میں  نے کیا  حرکت  کی  ہے۔  اس  وقت  مجھے  رہ  رہ  کر  یہ  خیال  آ  رہا  تھا  کہ  میرے  دوست  نے  مجھ  سے  صرف  اپنے  تحفہ  کا  پوچھنے  کے  لیئے  کتنا  انتظار  کیا  ہوگا۔  اس  وقت  مجھے  احساس  ہو  رہا  تھا  کہ  میں  نے  اپنے  دوست  کے  انتظار  کو  صرف  ایک  دن  نہیں  بلکہ  شاید  کئی  صدیاں  بڑھا  دیا  ہوگا۔  اس  وقت  میرا  شدید  دل  کر  رہا  تھا  کہ  میری  جلد  سے  جلد  اس  دوست  سے  بات  ہو  جائے۔  شاید  مجھے  میرے  کئے  کی  سزا  مل  رہی  تھی۔ میری  میرے  دوست  سے  بات نہیں  ہو  سک  رہی  تھی۔ ۔ ۔

غلطی  کے  اس  احساس  میں  جو  مجھے  اس  وقت  ستائے  جا  رہا  تھا،  میں  نے  اپنے  دوست  کے  لئے  ایک  نوٹ  لکھا اور  اس  سے  معافی  مانگی۔  اس  وقت  نا  جانے  کیوں  وہ  معافی  بھی  بہت  بے  معنی  سی  لگ  رہی  تھی۔  اس  وقت  مجھے  احساس  ہو  رہا  تھا  کہ  ہم  کسی  کے  جزبات  سے  کھیل  کر  معافی  مانگ  لیتے  ہیں،  اور  نا صرف  اس  دوست  کے  جزبات  کا  مزاق  اڑاتے  ہیں  بلکہ  اس  دوست  کو  مجبور  کر  دیتے  ہیں  کہ  وہ  کھل  کر  شکوہ  بھی  نہ  کر  سکے۔ اس  وقت  میں  لگاتار  یہی  دعا  مانگ  رہا  تھا  کہ  میرا  دوست  خیریت  سے  ہو،  جلدی  سو  کہ  اٹھے،  میرا  نوٹ  پڑھے  اور  مجھ  سے  بات  کرے۔  شاید  مجھ  میں  اتنی  ہمّت  نہیں  تھی  کہ  میں  اپنے  اس  عزیز  دوست  سے  زبانی  معافی  مانگ  سکتا،  اس  لئے  میں  چاہتا  تھا  کہ  میرا  دوست  وہ  نوٹ  پڑھ  لے۔ اس  وقت  میں  سوچ  رہا  تھا  کہ  ہم  سے  کیسے  انجانے  میں  ایسی  غلطی  ہو  جاتی  ہے  جو  غلطی  ہم  کبھی  جان  بوجھ  کہ  کرنے  کا  سوچ  بھی  نہیں  سکتے۔  شاید  ہم  انسان  ہیں  اس  لئیے۔  اس  وقت  اپنے  آپ  کو  تسلّی  دینے  کا  مجھے  صرف  یہی  زریعہ  نظر  آیا  کہ  میں  اپنے  آپ  کو  یہ  کہ  کر  بہلا  لوں  کہ  غلطی  بھی  تو  انسان  سے  ہی  ہوتی  ہے۔ ۔ ۔

اور  پھر  میری  بات  اس  دوست  سے  ہو  گئی۔  اس  دوست  کے  فون  اٹھاتے  ہی،  اور  اس  دوست  کی  آواز  سنتے  ہی  اس  بات  کی  تسلّی  ہو  گئی  کہ  وہ  دوست  خیرییت  سے  ہے  الحمدللہ۔۔  حالانکہ  اس  دوست  کی  آواز  پوری  طرح  ٹھیک  نہیں  تھی  اور  اس  آواز  میں  دکھ  کی  سی  کیفیت  نمایاں  تھی،  مگر  میں  نے  اس  وقت  اپنے  دوست  سے  یہ  بات  کرنا  مناسب  نہیں  سمجھا۔ اس  دوست  سے  بات  کے  دوران  ہی  میں  نے  وہ  تحفہ  کھولا۔  میرے  دوست  نے  میرے  لئیے  ایک  ایسی  کتاب  بھیجی  تھی  جسکا  جانے  انجانے  میں  اس  دوست  سے  اتنی  دفعہ  ذکر  ہوا  تھا  کہ  اس  کتاب  کہ  نام  پہ  ہی  میں  نے  اپنے  بلاگ  کا  نام  رکھا۔  وہ  کتاب  تھی  امر  بیل۔  اس  کتاب  کو  دیکھ  کر  میرے  پاس  الفاظ  نہیں  تھے  کہ  میں  اپنی  غفلت  پر  شرمندہ  ہووں  یا  اپنے  اس  عزیز  دوست  کو  اس  خوبصورت  تحفے  کا  شکریہ  کروں۔  میرے  بلاگ  کا  نام  صرف  اس  وجہ  سے  امر  بیل  نہیں  ہے  کہ  مجھے  یہ  نام  اچھا  لگا  تھا،  بلکہ  اسکی  ایک  بڑی  وجہ  یہ  ہے  کہ  میرے  بلاگ  کا  یہ  نام  میرے  اسی  دوست  نے  تجویز  کیا  تھا،  اور  وہ  بھی  اسی  ناول  پہ  مبنی  تھا۔  میرے  اسی  دوست  نے  ایک  دفعہ  امر  بیل  سے  ایک  اقتباس  مجھے  سنایا  تھا،  اس  دن  کے  بعد  سے  مجھے  کہیں  بھی  امر  بیل  کا  کوئی  حصّہ  کہیں  بھی  لکھا  ہوا  ملتا،  میں  وہ  اپنے  دوست  کو  سناتا۔  میرا  اس  ناول  کو  پڑھنے  کا  اشتیاق  بڑھتا  جا  رہا  تھا  اور  ٹھیک  اسی  وقت  میرے  دوست  نے  میرے  لیئے  یہ  ناول  بھیج  دیا۔ ۔ ۔

فون  پہ  تو  میرے  پاس  الفاظ  نہیں  تھے  جن  سے  میں  اپنے  اس  دوست  کا  شکریہ  ادا  کر  سکتا،  نا  ہی  کوئی  ایسے  الفاظ  موجود  ہونگے  جن  سے  میں  اپنے  دوست  کو  یہ  بتا  سکوں  کہ  میرے  اس  دوست  نے  مجھے  کتنی  خوشی  دی  ہے۔  میں  شاید  الفاظ  میں  یہ  بات  نہ  کہ  سکوں  کہ  میرے  دوست  کا  یہ  یاد  رکھنا  کہ  مجھے  یہ  ناول  پڑھنے  کا  شوق  ہے،  اور  ایک  انجان  شہر  میں  اس  ناول  کو  ڈھونڈ  کر  مجھے  بھیجنا  میرے  لیئے  کیا  معنی  رکھتا  ہے۔  میں  شاید  اپنے  دوست  کو  یہ  نہ  بتا  سکوں  کہ  مجھے  اس  وقت  وہ  تحفہ  کھول  کر  کتنی  خوشی  ہو  رہی  تھی ۔ ۔ ۔

دوست،  کوئی  لفظ  شاید  اس  بات  کو  بیان  نہ  کر  سکے  کہ  اس  تحفے  کی  میرے  لیئے  کیا  قیمت  ہے۔  میرے  لیئے  یہ  تحفہ  انمول  ہے،  جس  خوش  دلی  اور  جس  نیّت  سے  آپ  نے  یہ  تحفہ  بھیجا،  میرے  لیئے  وہ  انمول  ہے،  اور  جس  دوستی  کے  لیئے  آپ  نے  مجھے  یہ  تحفہ  بھیجا،  میرے  لیئے  وہ  انمول  ہے ۔ ۔ ۔

Posted in Urdu | Tagged: , | 6 Comments »

Love Defined…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 21, 2009

I copied the following pictures from a friend’s album. Couldnt resist posting them on my blog as well. It is really amazing to see how children think and observe, how they remember and apply things when asked, how they relate love to what they observed and what they experienced. Probably a good piece of learning for all of us as well.

 

Posted in Adopted, English | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

I have learned that…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 13, 2009

One of my friends on Facebook shared this note with me. I must say, these are great words…

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I’ve Learned…
That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

I’ve Learned…
That when you’re in love, it shows.

I’ve Learned…
That just one person saying to me, “You’ve made my day!” makes my day.

I’ve Learned…
That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world.

I’ve Learned…
That being kind is more important than being right.

I’ve Learned…
That you should never say no to a gift from a child.

I’ve Learned…
That I can always pray for someone when I don’t have the strength to help him in some other way.

I’ve Learned…
That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with.

I’ve Learned…
That sometimes all a person needs is a hand to hold and a heart to understand.

I’ve Learned…
That simple walks with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.

I’ve Learned…
That we should be glad God doesn’t give us everything we ask for.

I’ve Learned…
That money doesn’t buy class.

I’ve Learned…
That it’s those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

I’ve Learned…
That under everyone’s hard shell is someone who wants to be appreciated and loved.

I’ve Learned…
That the Lord didn’t do it all in one day. What makes me think I can?

I’ve Learned…
That to ignore the facts does not change the facts.

I’ve Learned…
That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you.

I’ve Learned…
That love, not time, heals all wounds.

I’ve Learned…
That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am.

I’ve Learned…
That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile.

I’ve Learned…
That there’s nothing sweeter than sleeping with your babies and feeling their breath on your cheeks.

I’ve Learned…
That no one is perfect until you fall in love with them.

I’ve Learned…
That life is tough, but I’m tougher.

I’ve Learned…
That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss.

I’ve Learned…
That when you harbor bitterness, happiness will dock elsewhere.

I’ve Learned…
That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her, one more time, before she passed away.

I’ve Learned…
That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them.

I’ve Learned…
That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.

I’ve Learned…
That I can’t choose how I feel, but I can choose what I do about it.

I’ve Learned…
That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, that you’re hooked for life.

I’ve Learned…
That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.

I’ve Learned…
That it is best to give advice in only two circumstances; when it is requested and when it is a life-threatening situation.

I’ve Learned…
That the less time I have to work with, the more things I get done. 

Words by Andy Rooney

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Posted in English | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

It doesn’t Interest Me

Posted by Haris Gulzar on March 9, 2009

I copied the following post from here. Found it really good, hence posting it on my blog as well.

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It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Poet- Really no idea but its not mine. Jott it down long time ago.

————————-

Posted in Adopted, English | Tagged: | 4 Comments »

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

Posted by Haris Gulzar on March 1, 2009

When things in your lives seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things–your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions –and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.”

“The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.”

“The sand is everything else–the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.”

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first–the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.” 

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked.”

“It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

Posted in Adopted, English | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Let me entertain you!!

Posted by Haris Gulzar on February 26, 2009

I am not really sure what to name this post. I had many options to choose from as the title of this post. The options I was confused amongst were:

1)      Battle of Minds

2)      The Perfect Blend

3)      Let me entertain you

4)      A team apart

5)      It’s the journey that matters.

The first option was too trivial, and you’ll know why in just a short while. The remaining 4 options were the cause of my confusion, and again, you’ll know the reason as you read through the post.

The Beginning:

I’m not sure about the exact date, but it was probably the 2nd or the 3rd of February 2009 when we came to know that Pakistan Tobacco Company (PTC) would be coming to IBA campus for the Battle of Minds (BOM) competition (and hence the reason why the first option was a very trivial choice to be the title of this post). This was the 2nd time PTC was holding this competition at the National Level. PTC was to short list 4 teams from each university. These teams were to compete amongst themselves, and the winning team was to go to Islamabad for the grand slam round, hence one team from each university was to participate in the grand slam. There were 6 universities from across Pakistan that PTC was holding the competition at. These universities included IBA, the GIKI, the UET Lahore, LUMS, NUST Business School, and NUST college of EME. The trailer looked good enough to motivate us to make a team and register for BOM, and so we did. Two of my hostel as well as class mates, Shahid and Umar (both Electrical Engineers from NUST college of EME), already knew about PTC and the BOM, and were interested in participating. So it was the 3 of us hostelites wanting to try our luck, but the team was supposed to be a 4 member team. The 3 of us, although did bring some academic (I am a Software Engineer from FAST-NU Lahore campus) and geographic diversity, but unfortunately had the same gender :P. I asked a female Karachiite, Sarah, a BBA-Marketing from IBA if she was willing to join us for the competition, and to our surprise, she agreed to team up with us :D, bringing in even more academic and geographic diversity, and obviously, the gender diversity as well :D. We were all set for the competition.

It was supposed to be the 19th of Feb when PTC was to visit IBA campus to give away the team registration forms, and 20th Feb was the last date for team registration.

19th Feb:

It was the engagement session, as they had named it, the first of the rounds of BOM, where they first introduced PTC; well, it wasn’t only just an introduction of PTC but a little more than that, and later gave some details about the BOM competition held in 2008. PTC gave away T-Shirts, and obviously the team registration forms to those willing to participate. We later had a Hi-Tea (this obviously is always worth mentioning :P)

20th Feb:

The team registration forms that we were given included a detailed personal information form as well. We had to fill in our academic background, our extracurricular activities, our achievements, our work experience etc; it was more of a CV on PTC’s format. We made it heavy on extracurricular activities, not that we exaggerated, but we put in all the smallest of activities that we ever participated in, and the reason was that someone had told us that PTC not only considers GPA, but also gives high weightage to the extracurriculars. We also had to decide on a team name and the team leader. We probably gave more than a couple of hours to decide the team name because all four of us would just not agree on one name. And guess what, the team name that all 4 of us finally agreed on took us only 2 minutes to finalize. Shahid suggested it; the other 3 were like, “OHHH PERFECT”. The name was to be “The perfect blend” (Hence the 2nd potential title of this post), and who else was unlucky enough but me to be named as the team leader :P. Well, I was actually a self proclaimed team leader, but no one from the other 3 members had any objection, so there I was. And the reason I say I was unlucky, well; this is another secret that will be revealed shortly. So, we filled the forms to the best of our capabilities and submitted it, hoping for the best, this was the max we could have done at that point.

23rd Feb, 5:00 PM:

The fun starts. I was fast asleep when I got a call on my mobile, a call from Islamabad. I received the call, still being half asleep, when I heard the other person say something about “The Perfect Blend”, and my eyes went wide open. I was quick to say that I was the team leader of The Perfect Blend, to come to hear from that person that our team was shortlisted Alhamdulillah. We were among the top 4 teams that were shortlisted to go to the next round. Around 60 teams applied from IBA, and getting shortlisted, as we thought, did not only have a very low probability, but it was out of question as well, but jisay Allah rakhay, usay kon chakhay :). I informed my team about it, and it wasn’t long when we had changed facebook statuses and had sms’es coming from all those who got to know of our selection. My team and I were happy Alhamdulillah.

The 2nd round was to be held on the 25th of Feb, and we only had 2 days, in fact, one and a half day to practice for the competition. But as if we cared :P. We were probably happy enough to digest the news of our selection, that looking at, or researching for any practice material would have been the last of the thoughts to come in our minds.

24th Feb:

The fun escalates. The three of us hostelites gathered in my room for something that was to be called “preparation” for the coming day. The competition was to have a case study, and some questions following it that needed to be answered. We downloaded a small, or rather a very small case study, and started solving it, only to find ourselves engaged in arguing every now and then, and sometimes loudly too, in trying to convince each other. Soon, our 4th partner suggested that it’d be great if we sang a song while introducing ourselves at the start of the competition, as if the case itself wasn’t enough of headache for us engineers. Our 4th partner being a marketing graduate had participated in a couple of competitions of the same kind during her BBA, and hence had a good idea of what awaited us. The song she suggested was “Let me entertain you” by Robbie Williams (and hence the third option from the possible titles for this post). She knew what possibly could be a great start to such a competition. It was 3 people sitting in my room who weren’t sure if they can even think about singing a song in front of quiet many people, and it was the 4th member of our team who was constantly trying to convince us that it was the best thing anyone could have done to impress the panel upfront. This is where I thought I was a bad team leader, or rather an unlucky team leader, who hadn’t even imagined ever if he’d start off participating in a formal competition with singing a song, along with 2 other people sitting right next to him, convinced that they would be the last person on this earth to sing a song, that too, such an up-beat song, and one whose lyrics weren’t only difficult to understand, but were impossible to sing.

This day was to prove a long day for us. One of our seniors, who had participated from IBA in BOM 2008, told us that we should think of a team logo and a tagline before hand, as we might be asked to come up with these things for the introduction part. The time it took for us to come up with different suggestions for our team name was nothing when it came to deciding the tagline, although the logo part was easy. Shahid was artist enough to come up with at least 20 different excellent logos, and we soon finalized on one logo. The tagline that was finalized after much discussion was “A team apart” (hence the 4th potential title for this post). This tagline was simple had it only been one person thinking on making one, as they say, too many cooks spoil the broth :P.

It wasn’t till the dates changed that we finally decided that we will sing a song. Sarah was to take the lead, and the three of us only had to sing the chorus, that is, we only had to say “Let me entertain you” for a total of 4 times, THAT WAS IT :D. This was some relief, though the BIG DAY was still to come. The competition was to start at 9:00 am, and we had to report at 8:45 am.

25th Feb:

The fun reaches its peak. We were on time and were called in at about 9:10 am for the competition to start off. Some formal initial briefings took place, after which we were asked to introduce ourselves. My team was the third in line. The two teams before us were good and confident, but both of them didn’t sing a song. And then, it was us. Each of us introduced ourselves, where we belonged from, some of our academic and extracurricular achievements, and how we were different from others (remember that all-sort-of-diversity that our team had :P), that was when, against all odds, I announced that our team had prepared a song, yeah it was me to announce this. AND WE DID IT, and I thought it was good. This lead over other teams wasn’t to remain for long, as the 4th team had also prepared a song for their introduction; that was when I realized how correct our BBA partner was who had an idea of what was selling in the market.

We were escorted to the room allotted for my team, handed over the case studies and all the required stationary, and were given 90 minutes to read and solve the case study, and to make a presentation. The time we were given was just about enough, or probably we didn’t “practice” much :). We decided to first read the case individually and then discuss important points out of it. Coming up with solutions for the questions wasn’t really difficult (though coming up with the right solutions was :P), 90 minutes were gone in like 20 minutes :D, though we managed to make the presentation and be on one page about what we thought the solutions were to the questions we were asked.

The part of this competition that I enjoyed the most starts from the point we were asked to put our pens down and handover our presentation to the PTC staff. We were to present our solutions after two other teams, so we had more than an hour to relax and to have fun. Umar’s mobile had quite a collection of both English and Urdu songs. It was sort of a farmayishi program. One after the other, we used to say, Umar wo wala gana hai? yaar Umar wo wala gana laga do, yaar ye gana dubara sunna hai and so on… But how was it possible for me and Shahid not to sing, especially when everyone around was in singing mood. These 60 minutes or so were probably the most fun we had throughout the competition, but the fun wasn’t over yet. The climax was yet to be seen.

One of the PTC staff members came to our room, and this obviously meant that it was our turn to present. I was to go first, Umar was to follow me, next up was Sarah, and last to come in was Shahid. Somehow, we didn’t present as we had planned. Something went wrong; deep inside ourselves we knew that we’ve lost it all. We knew we won’t make it through this round. Our presentation took almost 25 minutes, and we were back in the same room we had been sitting in since morning. We were served with lunch, and were told to report back in another 60 minutes for the results. Lunch was good, good enough to cheer us all up after a bad presentation, good enough for us to enjoy it. This was when Sarah very rightly and truly said “It is the journey that matters, not the destiny” (the final option for the title of this post). If words can really express it, this saying made my day.

It really is the journey that matters, and not the destiny. That was when we recalled each and every moment that we had been through for preparing for this competition, talking to seniors and asking them about BOM 2008, sitting up late and deciding if we’d be singing a song or not, practicing it over and over again with one of us giving the beat, and others shouting LET MEEEEEE EEEEE ENTERTAIN YOU, synchronizing ourselves for the gap between repeating the chorus lines, quarrelling over a case study, deciding team names, deciding a team logo, the tagline, the presentation flow, who’d speak on what, and obviously the singing and the ghazal session and the jokes session before we had our turn to present, it was all just too great, just unforgettable. It most definitely is the journey that matters.

Soon all 4 of the teams gathered again to hear the results. My team was not expecting any good news; all four of us were prepared to be told that we had lost. AND GUESS WHAT!!!!! WE LOST 😛

The Ending:

All the participating teams were given a key chain cum 2GB USB. The winning team was most definitely better than us. This competition gave us a lot to learn from, and for me, what I think was most important of all, this competition taught me how to play a role in a team, how to be a good team member, it taught me how memorable the time spent with your team can be, and obviously, that it is the journey that matters, and not the destiny.

I am still not sure if this post should really be named as “Let me entertain you”, but this competition has also taught me that spending time on deciding team names, logos, taglines, and similarly, post titles is not a good place to spend our time at, we should rather be “practicing” instead :P. Thank you so very much my team members, Sarah, Shahid and Umar, for making this competition so memorable for me. I hope I haven’t missed out on any important detail of the competition :), and apologies to all the readers who have read so far, I never thought this post would go this long, but I somehow couldn’t control my words :).

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چاچو بیٹی ہوں ۔ ۔ ۔

Posted by Haris Gulzar on October 13, 2008

حال ہی میں پڑھائی کے سلسلے میں مجھے کراچی منتقل ہونا پڑا۔ گزشتہ ۱۲ سالوں سے میری رہائش لاہور میں رہی ہے، اور اپنی فیملی سے دور رہنے کا یہ میرا پہلا تجربہ تھا۔ میرا داخلہ پاکستان کے مشہور ادارے آئی بی اے میں ہوا تھا اور جولائی کے اخیرلے دنوں میں میں لاہور کو دو سال کے لئیے خیرباد کہ کر کراچی آگیا جہاں مجھے آئی بی اے کے ہوسٹل میں رہنا تھا۔

میری بھتیجی، منیبہ، جسکی عمراکتوبر ۲۰۰۸ میں ماشااللہ ۵ سال ہو گئی، میرے بھائی کی بڑی بیٹی ہے۔ منیبہ کی پیدائش سے لیکر گزشتہ جولائی تک اسکے ساتھ گزارا ہوا ایک ایک لمحہ ان تین مہینوں میں یوں میرے کانوں میں گونجا ہے، جیسے میں کراچی میں نہیں بلکے منیبہ کے ساتھ ہی لاہور میں ہوں، اور ہر پل اس سے کھیل رہا ہوں۔ آج بھی جب منیبہ سے فون پہ بات ہوتی ہے تو وہ مجھے ایسے مخاطب کرتی ہے جیسے میں اسکے سامنے موجود ہوں۔ ابھی چند دن پہلے میری اس سے فون پر بات ہوئی اور وہ مجھ سے بولی، "چاچو، وہ جو ہم نے چنے کا پودا لگایا تھا باغ میں وہ مر گیا، مگر جو پودا ہم نے گھر کے باہر لگایا تھا وہ ابھی تک ٹھیک ہے، اور میں نے مالی بابا کو گوڈی کرنے کا بھی بول دیا تھا"۔ اسنے مزید کہا کہ "آپ جب واپس آؤ گے تو اس پہ چنے بھی لگے ہوئے ہونگے، پھر ہم وہ خود بھی کھائیں گے اور سب کو کھلائیں گے"۔ میں صرف اتنا کہ سکا کہ جو پودا بچا ہے اسکا خیال رکھنا اور اسے پانی دیتی رہنا۔

منیبہ چھوٹی سی تھی جب میں نے اسے یہ سکھا دیا کہ اگر کوئی پوچھے "کس کی بیٹی ہو؟"، تو اس سوال کا صرف ایک ہی جواب ہے۔ "چاچو بیٹی ہوں"۔ بلکہ مجھے یہ مخصوص جواب سننے کے لئیے کوئی سوال نہیں پوچھنا پڑتا تھا۔ میں صرف اتنا کہتا، "سب کو زور سے بتا دو۔ ۔ ۔" اور منیبہ با آوازِ بلند یہ اعلان کرتی، "چاچو بیٹی ہوں ں ں ں ں ۔ ۔ ۔" اور میرے گلے لگ جاتی۔ کچھ ہی عرصے میں جب منیبہ کو اس جملے کا مطلب پتہ لگا تو وہ یہی بات جزبات کے ساتھ بولتی۔ اپنے ہاتھوں کی مٹھی بند کر کے، ہاتھ ہوا میں بلند کر کے نعرا لگاتی، "چاچو بیٹی ہوں ں ں ں ں"۔

منیبہ کہانیاں سننے کے معاملے میں دوسرے بچوں سے کچھ زیادہ مختلف نہیں ہے۔ روزانہ نئی کہانی کی فرمائش، اور فرمائش بھی ایسی کہ کہانی میں پنکھا، ایک ۳ سال کا لڑکا، اور بارش کا ذکر آنا چاہئیے، یا پھر ہرے رنگ کی الماری اور سکول کا ذکر ہو۔ اور اکثر یہ فرمائش کچھ دنوں بعد دھرائی جاتی۔ اب ظاہر ہے ایسی فرمائشوں کے لئیے کہانی اسی وقت تیار کی جاتی ہے اور سنا دی جاتی ہے، اور کچھ دنوں بعد یاد بھی نہیں رہتا کہ پچھلی کہانی میں کیا سنایا تھا، مگر اکثر منیبہ ضد کرتی کہ میں حرف بہ حرف وہی کہانی سنوں گی۔ بلکہ اکثر پہلے منیبہ مجھے وہی کہانی سناتی جو اس نے کبھی مجھ سے سنی تھی، تاکہ میں یاد کرلوں اور پھر اسے سناؤں۔

اتوار کی شامیں خصوصاً منیبہ کے نام ہوتی تھیں۔ شام کا ایک سے ڈیڑھ گھنٹہ منیبہ کے ساتھ پارک میں گزرتا تھا۔ "چاچو میں اس جھولے پہ جا رہی ہوں" بولتے ہوئے وہ ایک جھولے سے دوسرے جھولے کی طرف بھاگ جاتی۔ کبھی اگر خود جھولا نہ لے سکتی ہو تو زور سے آواز لگاتی "چاچو ۔ ۔ ۔" اور ہاتھ سے بلانے کا اشارہ کرتی۔ جب میں پاس پہنچتا تو کہتی "چاچو تیز، اور تیز، بہت تیز ۔ ۔ ۔"۔ اسکے چہرے پہ ڈر کہ آثار نمایاں ہوتے مگر باوجود اسکے وہ جھولا مزید تیز کرنے کا بولتی رہتی۔ اگر میں کبھی بولتا کہ بس اب واپس چلیں تو وہ بولتی "چاچو بس ون مور (چاچو بس ایک اور) ۔ ۔ ۔" یا پھر بولتی "اچھا بس ون لاسٹ (اچھا بس ایک آخری) ۔ ۔ ۔"

منیبہ صبح سکول جانے سے پہلے مجھے تقریبا ہر روز اٹھاتی اور بولتی، "چاچو لمبا چکر لینے چلیں؟"۔ لمبے چکر کا مطلب ہوتا تھا کم از کم آدھا کلومیٹر کی والک، جو سکول روانگی سے قبل منیبہ کو بہت اچھی لگتی تھی۔ اس لمبے چکر سے ملتا جلتا ایک چھوٹا چکر بھی ہوتا تھا، جس پہ میں منیبہ کو راضی کرتا تھا اگر میرا لمبے چکر کا دل نہ کر رہا ہو۔ چھوٹا چکر صرف اپنی گلی کا ایک چکر ہوتا تھا، مگر منیبہ کو لمبے چکر میں کہی خصوصیت نظر آتی تھی۔ لمبے چکر کے دوران وہ اچانک بھاگنا شروع ہو جاتی، اور پھر رک کر بولتی " آج میں کل سے تیزبھاگی تھی نا؟" اکثر وہ میرا ہاتھ پکڑ کر مجھے اپنے ساتھ لے کر بھاگتی اور پھر بولتی "دیکھا مجھ میں پاور آگئی ہے نا؟"

گھروں میں بچوں کی الگ ہی رونق ہوتی ہے۔ اگر صرف چند دنوں کے لئیے بھی بچے نظر نہ آئیں تو سارے گھر میں ایک اداسی سی چھا جاتی ہے، ایسا لگتا ہے جیسے کرنے کے لئیے کچھ نہیں رہا۔ اور جب میں یہ سوچتا ہوں کہ میں دو سالوں کے لئیے لاہور سے کراچی آ گیا ہوں اور اب صرف عید یا بقرہ عید پہ ہی تمام فیملی سے ملاقات ہوگی، خصوصاً منیبہ سے، تو دل بیٹھ سا جاتا ہے۔ مگر منیبہ سے آج بھی اگر میں فوں پہ پوچھوں کہ آپ چھوٹی تھی تو کیا بولتی تھی، تو وہ زور سے بولتی ہے ۔ ۔ ۔ "چاچو بیٹی ہوں ں ں ں۔ ۔ ۔"

 

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