Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Life’

The Dream – A Short Story

Posted by Haris Gulzar on December 8, 2010

I’m copying the following from a friend’s note on Facebook. I found it totally worth sharing.

–Once upon a time there was a man in the jungle enjoying a nice day watching the equatorial lush green foliage and the exotic animal life. Suddenly, the man heard the movement of a lion behind him and so ran for his life. But the man couldn’t escape and came face to face with the lion. As he was thinking quickly of another way to escape, he saw a deep well to his right. His options were narrowed between drowning in the well and being chewed by the hungry lion.

The man decided to jump into the well hoisting himself with a rope tied to the top of the well for drawing water. As he reached the bottom of the well, the man saw a huge man-eating snake taking a nap at the bottom; the man pulled himself up in the middle of the well, suspended between a hungry lion on the top and a sleeping snake at the bottom.

Meanwhile the man noticed that two mice, one black and one white were chewing the rope he was hanging on, making it thinner and thinner. The man began to swing with the rope hitting the sides of the walls of the well periodically. Suddenly he felt something sticky on his shoulder, as he examined what it was, he found that it was honey. Upon looking around the well he noticed a bee colony on the wall of the well.

The man forgot the dangerous situation he was involved in and started licking the honey to his satisfaction. He suddenly remembered where he was and jumped out of bed. The man was dreaming all along. The man went to a Sheikh to interpret his dream. The Sheikh laughed and asked him: “You do not understand this dream?” The man replied “Yes sir, I do not.”

The Sheikh said “The lion that was chasing you is the Angel of Death. The well which housed the snake is your grave. The rope in the well that you were hanging on is your lifetime ticking away. The Rodents chewing your rope, the black and the white mice are the day and the night. The man asks “The honey, Sir, What is the honey?” The Sheikh replied “The honey is the life of this world and its temptations which made you forget that there was death behind you and a grave ahead of you. You end up in the grave while savoring the taste of the honey until you find yourself standing trial for your deeds in a Court of Law of the most Just kind.

The above narration was just intended to remind us that we are also busy licking the honey (lost in the temptations of this world) while our life time is ticking away. Some day (sooner or later) we will also face the angel of death and will be carried to our grave!

Say: “Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you, then you will be sent back to (Allah), the All-Knower of the unseen and the seen, and He will tell you what you used to do.” {Surat Al-Jumu`ah, Verse 8}

Think and Reflect.

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The two sides

Posted by Haris Gulzar on October 24, 2010

There are always the two sides to every action we do, or every decision we make. One is what our mind thinks should be done, and the other is what our heart asks us to do. The two paths our mind and heart wants us to choose may not always differ, but they may not always be the same either. More often than not, the paths differ when it is about another person related to you, when you want to save a relationship, when you want to trust and compromise, and when you want to explain your point or be explained by the other person…

We are humans. Mind vs Heart We make mistakes and we know that we cannot be perfect. Still, we expect others to be perfect, we expect perfect love, we expect perfect trust, perfect friendship, 100% possession and what not, and we demand for explanations if the other person doesn’t come up to our expectations. This behavior I think is natural, and this is where the two sides come into play. Expectations is what our heart has. Perfectness is what our heart desires, loving and being loved is to do with heart. Trusting a person involves the heart of the person who is putting his trust into another person. These concepts are all abstract and only understood by a heart. They probably don’t have anything logical in them. You might still trust someone even after being betrayed. You might still love someone even after being hurt. You might still care for someone even if you don’t get care in return. Seems absurd, but I’d say this is natural. Against this, your mind might think to take revenge, to hurt the person who hurt you, or to leave alone the person who doesn’t care for you. Our heart lives in a perfect world where there is nothing logical, whereas our mind puts logic in our decisions.

A few days back I wrote a post titled Explanations and got different comments on that post. Different point of views I must say, for those comments open to us the different ways of thinking people engage themselves in. One of the comments I got to that post said that people even lose their friendship and don’t listen and make stupid assumptions based on something told by someone else. I just can’t agree more to this comment, for the reason to this behavior, I think, is the conflict between heart and mind. Your heart doesn’t expect that person to do what you heard was done by the other person, but your mind wants to take revenge and puts those stupid assumptions before you. You want explanations from that person, something your mind desires, whereas the other person expects you to understand without any explanations, something that the heart desires.

My friend Ali Adnan wrote a post titled Perfect Trust in reply to my post. This post, I think sort of answers the points put forward by him. My friend says perfectness is not meant for this world, whereas I’d say, perfectness IS meant for this world, its just that this world itself has two sides to it, one where our mind lives, a world of logic that is, and one where our heart dwells, the world of perfectness…

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Those who matter – 3

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 22, 2010

I never thought I’d write about this person when I started writing about the people who mattered in my life. But that’s what life is all about I guess. Who knows who’d be living the very next moment…

Muhammad Umar Khan. I first met him on the 5th of June 2008 at the PC hotel Lahore where we gathered for our group discussion and interviews for IBA admissions. That entire day was enough to make the 10 or 11 of us become friends of each other, because we all were to be part of the IBA hostelite family once selected. I had my interview taken ahead of everyone else because of the alphabetical order and I wasn’t allowed to see my other fellows waiting to be interviewed, so I could only exchange mobile phone number of Umar, that too in a hurry, before I left the hotel. Hence, Umar was the person I communicated with for anything related to IBA before we actually submitted our fee. I would ask him if he is planning to join IBA or waiting for other options, or if he’d start his job? I’d ask him if he had filled out all the forms or not? I’d ask him if his other class fellows who got selected for IBA were willing to join IBA? I’d ask him to stop thinking much and to make up his mind once and for all and submit the fee…

The second time we met each other was on the 30th of July, 2008. That was in Karachi, when we had our orientation. The journey started from there. I moved into my hostel room on the 31st of July 2008, and Umar moved in on the 1st of August. We would just sit together in the TV lounge and talk about everything. We would go to the market together. We would wait for each other before we had our meals in the mess. We would be found in each other’s rooms more often than being found in our own rooms. We would make project groups together. We would participate in competitions together. We would walk to the campus together and would come back to hostel together. Umar Khan was one of the closest friends I had at the IBA.

I also wrote about one of the experiences I had with Umar in a competition held at the IBA. That post can be found here. Before summer vacations were to start, several companies came to IBA for recruiting our seniors and for our internships. One of them was GSK who, when they came, gave the attendees some gifts. Their gifts included a small tension reliever ball, that we played catch catch with :-P. I remember whenever I went to Umar’s room, I got hold of that tension reliever ball of his and would throw it on his room walls as hard as I could and would catch it. Sometimes he would sit on his bed and I’d stand in front of one of the walls and would throw the ball on another wall in such a way that made it difficult for Umar to catch it, and Umar would have to dive on his bed to catch the ball.

We also used to celebrate our birthdays at the hostel, though it was always a four or five member gathering, but we would bring cakes and would cut them at exact 12 midnight. We used to take pictures and make videos of those celebrations using Umar’s mobile. He just had his 24th birthday on the 2nd of April this year and I remember Shahid and Waqar trying to get hold of him and me making a video of the entire event, to make him wear things we brought for Umar that he didn’t want to wear :-P.

Umar was one of the luckiest guys from our entire batch at IBA who got a job before the exams ended. He started his job on the 12th of July in Karachi. On the 27th of July, I had a chat with him and he told me he’d be coming to Rawalpindi to attend to his mothers surgery, and that he might also come to Lahore over the weekend. I asked him to stay at my place if he does come to Lahore. He told me the details about his mothers operation and that he had taken three days off from office and would be flying the next morning.

That flight didn’t allow him to see his mother get well after the operation :-(, in fact, it even took him away from his family. The ill-fated airblue flight from Karachi to Islamabad had one of my best friends in it, and that flight took him away from all of us. A few days back I was going through the pictures of my stay at IBA and was recalling the times we were together. The pictures at the beach, at the restaurants, at ice-cream parlors, at the hostel, in the funniest of poses.

His memories are never ending and ever lasting. I pray that his soul rests in peace at the highest of places in Jannah Insha-Allah, and that Allah gives sabar to his family. Ameen. Umar Khan, you will always be remembered Insha-Allah. I miss you…

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Those who matter – 2

Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 22, 2010

When I came back to Lahore after my final exams ended around mid June, I met one of my street friends who started off his conversation by asking me if I came to know about Omer. I asked him what happened and was told that Omer passed away a week back. Omer was another street friend, exactly my age, as in we had the same date of birth. We’ve played so much cricket together and have spent so much time together that it was extremely difficult for me to even believe he is not living anymore :-(. I remember when we used to sit late in the evenings after our matches were over, and we used to discuss what we wanted to become in our lives. We would discuss our options and which Universities we could apply to. I remember him telling me that he cleared the entry test for Army and that he had decided what he wanted to become.

We used to organize cricket matches amongst the adjacent blocks of the society we lived in. We would just walk to the streets of other blocks, find boys playing cricket there and would ask them if they wanted to have a match with our team. These street matches were starters to big matches that were played in grounds on Sunday mornings. We would fight on the stupidest of things such as if the bowled ball was a no ball or not, and if the runner had completed the run. I even remember us backing for each other if any of us got engaged in a quarrel or something. He was an extremely good batsman and lead our team most of the times. I just can’t stop visualizing his face right in front of me every now and then. We used to be together for most of our evenings, specially in Summers.

But then he joined Pakistan Army, and I started my Engineering studies. Another street friend left for abroad for his studies, and yet another friend went to GIKI for his studies. That was when the members of our cricket team chose their own paths, and though we still met but not that regularly. But Omer and I met a bit more frequently whenever he was in Lahore, maybe because we were the same age.

This friend who told me about Omer’s death told me that Omer was the commanding officer of his sepoys at Siyachin post and was coming back after completing his term there when he slipped off the mountain :-(. Although his body was recovered but he had fatal head injuries and he couldn’t survive. It is just so difficult to believe that the person I’ve spent my childhood with is not living anymore. He is one person I probably won’t forget, not in my near future atleast. May Allah grant him Jannah and me his soul rest in peace. Ameen

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Those who matter – 1

Posted by Haris Gulzar on July 15, 2010

Life has to end, but no one knows when. At times it only shocks us to come to know about someone who passed away, after which we realize how important that person actually was. Yesterday, while having dinner with my friends, we somehow touched upon the topic of sudden death and recalled people who died suddenly, only leaving people behind them shocked…

One of my teachers at IBA, Dr. Iqbal, recently passed away. It was nothing less than a shock to come to know about his death. Though he did have white hair and aged skin, but he was healthy. Not only healthy physically, but from heart. He was probably the most soft spoken person I ever met. He unfortunately did not have any children, and at times during his lectures, when he needed to give examples to explain his point, he would take examples from his life. He would always try to be as realistic as possible. He would even tell us table manners and etiquettes, he would tell us how one should be dressed up. He would tell us how we should use words such that the other person gets the message without feeling bad about what we want to convey. We usually did not like his teachings as we thought they weren’t too related with the course contents, but I guess we were wrong. He taught us Business communication and Negotiation, and I can so relate to his words and how each of his lesson was so important.

Dr. Iqbal had close association with hostelites. He even came to the hostel one day at around 8:30 in the morning and had breakfast with us before his class was due to start at 9:00 am. He always open heartedly invited the hostelites to his place. As I mentioned earlier that he did not have any children, he would at times ask us more than once to visit his place, specially on Sunday mornings, and to have Sunday breakfast with him. A few of us hostelites planned a couple of times to visit his place but somehow those plans couldn’t be implemented. This is one regret I have, not being able to visit his place even after he invited us so many times…

He died from a cardiac arrest. it is still hard to believe that he is not living anymore :-(. May Allah rest his soul in peace. Ameen

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A mere update

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 29, 2010

This is my first post for this month, and probably the last as well. I seem to have lost the vigor I once thought I had. I just got free from my Mid Term exams yesterday and so wanted to write about something today but the more I thought of putting words down, the more I had to try to find words. All this time that I couldn’t write, I have been collecting pointers for the topics that I thought I’d write on as soon as I get some time. Those topics are right in front of me, but I don’t know what to write. And I seriously feel bad at myself for this :-S

Anyways, its only about less than 2 months remaining after which I’d be an MBA Insha-Allah :-). This semester has been busier for me than I thought it would be. Now, I only have my last finals (of my life??) remaining. The last of exams, EVER (maybe, maybe not). And I suppose the coming month will, although be even busier than what I have experienced so far but, bring with it all things that will make my stay here just so memorable. We’ll have our farewell, our hostel Alumni dinner, the batch pictures and etc. Anyways, lets hope for the best. Currently, I’m only counting days before I’ll hopefully re-join my family Insha-Allah.

This month I even had a 3-day short trip to Lahore (over the weekend) where I was to conduct a 2-day workshop, along with my team. So I did get to see my family at least, although not for long. I only got to see Muneeba for a maximum of five hours during this entire stay because I usually left at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning for the workshop and returned late at night. Though this trip did surprise everyone as I hadn’t informed anyone of my arrival. Couldn’t also meet a lot of friends whom I wanted to meet, probably because I didn’t tell them I was coming, otherwise we might have had a meet up.

All in all, things have been REALLY busy. All the projects, the assignments, the tons and tons of reading materials, the classes at one campus or the other everyday, the exams, everything has been coming so fast on me, but there still seems to be a lot of time remaining before my finals would end. Although Insha-Allah, I am hopeful that this all would be worth it. Do remember me in your prayers. And do stay around, I’ll Insha-Allah be back with more stuff. Not sure when, but I will Insha-Allah :-). Take care!!

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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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Psychological Hideouts

Posted by Haris Gulzar on November 6, 2009

Since our childhood, we’ve needed someone to share our feelings with, to share our secrets with, to gossip with, to talk to, to just do anything we feel comfortable about doing and can’t do alone. For some people, that special person is their mother, for some it is their father, and for some it is their siblings. They would just come and share everything with their special person.

For children who just started going to school, they would come back home and say everything they faced to their special person, which mostly happens to be their mother, as she’s someone easily found at home. They would tell about what other students had for lunch, who they sat with in class today, what they studied in class etc. These are things these children really want out of them as soon as possible. They want someone to listen to them. They want someone to give them time. They want to be paid attention to. And this special person is the one who pays attention to them.

These children then grow older and make friends. Friends who not only sit together in class, but someone who they want to meet every day. Friends to enjoy their time with. To share things, the scope of which now has increased with time. The scope of their discussions now includes trusting each other with things only a few people know. They share their observations, their knowledge, and along with it, their secrets that they don’t want to stay only with themselves, but to be known by a few others as well. This is where the special person comes in for these grown ups. They find their psychological hideout in their special person.

A time comes when people share things with their parents as well as their friends. Their special person is not limited to one person, but a few of them. This is when the shift in special person is about to happen. You start sharing things more with your friends than with your parents. Its not that you don’t trust your parents anymore, but you naturally want to spend more time with your friends and want to share things with them. This I guess is natural. You spend more time away from home when you enter university, and the only time you spend at home is when you come for dinner and sleep.

But then, you experience things that you really want to share with people, but you don’t know who to share those things with. You have perfect and trust worthy friends who have been there for you whenever you have needed them to help you. You also have your parents who wait for you everyday to return from your university/work and they would most happily listen to what you have to say, but still you try finding someone else to share your feelings with. You have everyone to talk to, but still you feel as if you don’t have anyone to share things with. Your friends instantly feel that you’re not ok, and that there is something disturbing you, but you insist on being ok. Your parents try probing you about what’s wrong but you insist on everything being perfectly alright. What do you do in such a situation? Where do you find your psychological hideout in this case? Does it really happen at some point in time in your life?

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Life in a hostel

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 16, 2009

I have been thinking to write on this topic since long, but sometimes I didn’t get enough time and sometimes other posts that somehow took priority came up. Today, I think I finally have enough time to write about how it feels to live in a hostel…

At home, even if you’re not home for the entire day, and return only at night at the time of dinner or even later when almost everyone has gone to sleep (except your mom who always calls out your name even if you step in silently enough to make sure you don’t make a sound), you still feel at home. But at the hostel, even if you have all the time in this world to stay back at the hostel, you still don’t feel at home. The feeling that someone is waiting for you at home, the feeling that you have when you think about going home and sharing a news with your loved ones and to be able to see their facial expressions and reaction to that news, the feeling of feeling everyone so near you, is what differentiates between living with family at home, and living in a hostel.

At hostel, there is almost no check on you. You can do whatever you want to do. You’re free to do things at your will. Dining out with friends till late night, not sleeping until it is 2am in the morning and then sleeping until 10am (obviously when there is no class in the morning), watch as much TV as you want, waste as much time as you want. You’re all by yourself. Which definitely is not the case at home. If you don’t have anything to do, mom has a bunch of tasks for you already. You have to be in bed by a set time because any light found switched on after that, and you very well know what’s next. You automatically remember all of your prayers when your dad is at home (though this makes me think if we pray for Allah from our hearts?). You cannot be late dining out with friends after some pre-decided and agreed upon time, because even if you have the keys to the entrance gates, your mom still waits for you.

When you’re staying at a hostel, more often than not, you want to skip your classes. Sometimes because you don’t feel like going, sometimes because you couldn’t wake up on time, and sometimes there is a whole lot of new justifiable reasons in your mind that convince you not to take the class that day. But that just is not an option when you’re at home. You’ll sleep on time, hence you’ll wake up on time, so missing the class because of oversleeping is out of question. And because you wake up well before time, you always want to go to attend your classes because sleeping doesn’t remain an option after you’ve become all fresh. And besides, if you stay at home after coming up with a great excuse, your mom will somehow know it and will make you very well realize your mistake by only asking you to do things, that you’d prefer taking classes over them!

And when you’re at home, you know how everyone is doing because there all right in front of you. Which is not the case when you’re at a hostel. At a hostel, whenever you get to talk with people back at home, and you inquire about everyone’s health, everyone is always just perfectly fine. Even if God forbid they aren’t, they’ll never tell you and pretend they’re OK. And when you get a chance to visit everyone, that’s when you get to know if someone from your family has even stayed a night at a hospital because of not feeling well. While being at a hostel, you can only pray that everyone is actually just perfectly fine Insha-Allah.

Though life at a hostel has many positive aspects to it, but almost all of them have equal number of negative aspects as well. You get to decide your own schedule, but because there is no check on you and no one forcing that schedule on to you, you almost always tend to deviate from that schedule. After all, who cares. At a hostel, you either under-sleep, or oversleep, you either under-eat or you overeat, you either under-utilize your time, or find yourself short of time.

When I went to Lahore for my summer vacations and my mom unpacked my suitcases, the first comment I got from her was “Haris tunay tou buhat achi packing ki hai” (Haris you’ve packed your stuff very well). This was a sign of appreciation :-). When I tell them I have to clean and mop my room almost every alternate days at least, and have to wash and press my clothes as well, they hardly believe me. But still, life at a hostel has its own charm. Life at a hostel has its own glamour. And sometimes, when you know your vacations are coming near and you’ll get a chance to see everyone, the enthusiasm with which you wait to meet everyone is just unexplainable. That feeling is something one can only feel if he has lived in a hostel. Life in a hostel is an excellent experience in general I’d say. I hope I miss this time that I’m spending at my hostel, the same way as I miss the time I have spent with my family…

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Respect for humanity

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 2, 2009

It was a holiday today in Karachi due to heavy rains and floods across the metropolitan, but IBA was open. Some of you might be aware of the fact that IBA has two campuses, one in the sadar area of Karachi called the City Campus, whereas another inside the premises of Karachi University called the Main Campus. The hostels are at the walking distance from the Main Campus, therefore at times you have to travel to the City Campus if you’ve taken a course that is offered there.

Today, while coming back from the City Campus on a public transport, when the conductor asked me for the conveyance charges, I handed him half the ticket charges and claimed to be a student. I was accompanied by a fellow hostelite. The conductor returned me the money saying that the student discount was not applicable today because of the announced holiday. I told him that I was coming from my university and that it was open so I should be allowed to avail the student discount. One of the passenger shouted at the conductor and asked him to give me the student ticket. The conductor asked me to descend that bus and take another bus because he could not accept the student ticket on a holiday. The person that shouted earlier at the conductor stood up, and slapped the conductor right in his face.

Everyone in the bus was taken by surprise. That person, all of a sudden, had become just too emotional. He grabbed the conductor by his collar and shouted at the top of his voice to accept my student ticket. My fellow hostelite and I tried to stop the quarrel but the shouting man was too healthy and emotional for me to even try going near him :-(. He hit the conductor a couple of more times and kept on shouting at the top of his voice. How dare you ask a STUDENT to get off this bus. I’ll show you what STUDENT unity is. Do you want me to tell you what STUDENT unity is? Accept the STUDENT ticket or else I’ll tell you what a STUDENT can do?

By this time, the driver stopped the bus and came to try his luck to stop the quarrel. A lady from the ladies compartment also started shouting, but I guess she was in favor of the conductor. All I could understand was, a very serious fight broke out between that person and the bus staff, where most of the passengers were either trying to stop the fighting people by hand or at least by words. My fellow hostelite and the driver finally got the shouting person sit at his seat, but he continued to utter words in disappointment. You should know what STUDENT rights are. You should know what STUDENT unity is. You should support other STUDENTS if you see something happening against them.

I ask, is this how you take your rights? Is this how you show your unity? Is this how you tell what a STUDENT can do? Is this what a STUDENT is supposed to do? Besides, that person later told us that he was a teacher. I was amazed to know this. A teacher, telling students how to take your rights, in fact, demonstrating it in front of at least 15 people, including ladies, and shouting at the top of his voice about what STUDENT unity is. I thought I knew what a STUDENT is. But this teacher proved me wrong…

The person travelling with me said, for being quiet for long after the incident happened, that “Respect for Humanity is something I have at the top of the list in my dictionary” (and that’s where I took the title of this post). Why do we forget the respect for humanity? Is the conductor not a human. A couple of posts back, I wrote a post titled “Do takay ka aadmi” where I mentioned how a parking ticket collector was treated by a rich man, thinking that he had all the rights to insult a poor man. By all means, the conductor was right in claiming the full travel ticket because the government did announce a holiday for all schools and universities, but for some reason, my university was open. It supposedly becomes my duty to pay the full travel charges, but my try to save some bucks got the conductor beaten :-(. I thought I had a justified reason for paying the student ticket as I was coming from after having a class and because my university was open, but this was not the conductor’s fault. At least not something that he got beaten for.

The lady from the ladies compartment, soon after the fight was over, handed some money to the conductor for his shirt that got torn during the fight. I really hope that emotional teacher saw this and that he felt that he was way too harsh. One thing that I noted specifically was, the conductor, never for once, used any harsh words or attacked back. He stayed at the back foot, defending himself. He had a slight smile on his face, the one a person has when he is shocked with something happening to him. He never showed his anger. Later that person asked the conductor of how his shirt got torn off because he had only grabbed him from his collar, the conductor smilingly replied and asked that person to go home and have a glass of cold water. I think this is how you show what you can do.

I paid the conductor our full ticket and apologized, but the harm that was done to him was probably way more than what our sorrys could have healed. I hope Allah forgives me of the mistake I committed, for my intention was not wrong, and Allah knows our intentions.

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