Amar Bail

A plant of eternity

Posts Tagged ‘Qismat’

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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Back to where I was…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on September 1, 2009

And it happened again. I so wanted to write about many things. I wanted to write about how I had started missing everyone at home while still being with them, just because of the feeling of having to leave them. I wanted to write how I knew I’d be missed and how I loved this feeling. I wanted to write about the 3.5 months I spent with my family in Lahore, and about how it felt to leave them all again and come to Karachi. But I couldn’t. I was busy. As I mentioned in my previous post, my Grandfather had an operation which went fine Alhamdulillah. He is recovering with the grace of Allah.

My flight was exactly when my grandfather was due to have his operation. Though I met him before leaving but he didn’t recognize me. Besides, he was sleepy as well. I wanted to specifically go and meet my grandparents before I left, which I did but the occasion became somewhat unexpected :-(. I wanted to meet my other relatives, which I again did, but at the hospital rather than their homes. I wanted Muneeba (my niece, for those who don’t know) to see me off at the airport but I had to pack up and leave very early from home because I was to go to the airport directly from the hospital, and hence Muneeba couldn’t have come along.

I wanted to write a post from Lahore before I left, but that was not to be the case. Anyways, Here I am now, sitting in my room at the hostel. Classes have started and I think I’ll be busy yet again :-(. As one of my very best friends mentioned, when we were discussing how time flies, that another 100 days have gone by. I hope my time here at Karachi, away from family, flies by as fast as my vacations did. I hope I stay in touch with my blog, and with all other blogs that I try to read regularly. I hope my grandfather gets well very soon Insha-Allah, and I hope that everything stays good back at home Insha-Allah…

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Prayers needed

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 29, 2009

This is to request all my readers to please pray for the complete health of my Grand father. He fell and broke his hip bone while going to the Masjid for Isha prayers. He has been admitted to the hospital and will have to undergo an operation tomorrow. What disturbs me the most is, that he can’t be given anesthesia because of his age, and the lower part of his body will only be made unconscious for the operation. Otherwise he’ll be conscious.

I hope he gets well soon Insha-Allah. May Allah give shifa to him as soon as is better for him Insha-Allah. Do remember him in your prayers.

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Going back home…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on August 1, 2009

He went to a corner of that big workshop garage, grabbed his pants and his shirts from the hanger, changed his clothes and got out of his all dirty and stained shalwar qamees, approached the front deck where other mechanics were sitting, took out his clean shining black slippers along with a green shopping bag from beneath the deck, took out the small piece of soap and a comb from that shopping bag and went straight to the wash basin adjacent to the deck. The smile on his face was so noticeable that one of the other mechanics asked him, “tera abba aagya kya?” (Is your father here already?).

He thoroughly washed his hands and face and looked at the mirror from all possible angles to see if his face is all clean yet. He wet his palms and strolled them in his hair a couple of times, grabbed his comb and struggled through getting his hair back in shape. He looked so neat and tidy as if he was now ready to go for work, but things were actually exactly the opposite in this case. He was going back home. He smilingly went to each and every person present there and shook hands with them. One of the mechanics tauntingly asked him to clean the mess on the deck before he left but he, without saying a word, just kept his hand forward offering the other person to shake hands with him.

His smiles and happiness was truly justified and needed no explanations. Earlier that day, I saw a “senior” mechanic ask him to loosen a bolt, which even after trying his best, he couldn’t. His ear was given a 360 degree rotation along with a slap on the back of his neck for not having enough power to loosen up a bolt. He was made fun of. Other senior mechanics laughed at this so bold and brave action of slapping this kid, who was hardly 15 years. Seniority at this workshop probably came from having the authority to shout at and use free hands on junior mechanics, and make fun of them.

He was also asked to hold a lamp and point it exactly where the “senior” mechanics were working, and if his hands just dropped slightly, he was dealt with all the authority that those “seniors” had. And even after all the torture he was made to go through (though I seriously think he was immune enough to feel it torturous), he kept on smiling and laughing with others. Not only did he perform his job related to the workshop, but he also brought tea a couple of times for his “seniors”. In fact, this was probably also part of his job. No doubt he was happy at the end of such a long day…

وہ  حیراں  ہیں  ہمارے  ضبط  پہ  تو  کہ  دو  قتیل  ان  سے

جو  دامن  پہ  نہیں  گرتا  وہ  آنسو  دل  پہ  گرتا  ہے ۔ ۔ ۔

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Things aren’t good up here…

Posted by Haris Gulzar on April 9, 2009

The intensity with which I felt the pain is just not possible for me to describe. I literally sat there for at least 30 seconds, holding my head tight with both of my hands, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. I hadn’t even woken up completely when my eyes were forced wide open for a couple of seconds, and then forced back closed for those 30 seconds that I sat there. This was how I was welcomed at the IBA hostel. They say, hostel life teaches you a lot, and I can’t agree more. It sure does teach you a lot. The most important lesson it teaches you is to adapt yourself to the environment.

Well, basically, the washroom entrances here at IBA hostel, if measured from the entrance step to the top of the door, are a maximum of 6 feet tall. That’s the maximum high they are. And fortunately or otherwise, my height is 6 feet and a couple of inches. You can very well imagine what went wrong, especially when someone is new to the place. Sometimes we learn things the hard way.

The story doesn’t end here. It wasn’t only once that this incident happened with me. What’s worse is, the washroom entrances aren’t of a constant height, and some washroom entrances are even less than 6 feet high. I was very well aware of bowing to an extent before entering or leaving the washrooms, but luck had it once more for me :(. This time I was hurrying to catch up Maghrib’s congregation and was leaving the bathroom area after performing ablution that I got hit again. It was even worse this time. This time it was another of the bathroom areas to greet me. I was fumed up to such an extent with this incident that I went straight to the office of the hostel incharge the very next morning to complain about the bathroom entrances being shorter than the height I reach even after I bow :(.

Another incident of the same nature occurred when I was walking in the nearby Rangers colony while reading some message on my mobile and hit straight into a window of a room. Im not sure if I was lucky or not, because that window wasn’t of glass, but of iron. This blow wasn’t that bad as those mentioned above. The window I struck into was quiet high, but I stood even higher, and this also happened in Karachi (yeah my experience here at Karachi hasn’t been so pleasant).

These are only some of the recent happenings with me, the story of my height and the associated luck is quite old. I remember when people would accuse me of concealing my age back when I was in school. I have always had to stand in the last row of all the important group pictures. Recently we had a PTC Battle of Minds competition (details here) at IBA, and my team was one of those shortlisted for the competition. Though we couldn’t make it to the next round, but for the group photo at the end of the day, I was standing with my team, the photographer was just about to hit the button when he came up to me and asked me to move a bit towards the rear end of the group because I was tall and there were people who weren’t properly visible because of me.

Whenever there has to be a row of people for a group photo, I have to stand at the back. Why don’t I deserve to stand right at the front and pose :). I even had to stand in the last row of the batch photo at FAST-NU. That was the most memorable picture of my life so far, the picture for which I waited four years, the picture that has all of my friends in it, and yet I have to struggle finding myself in that picture, only because I’m tall, that’s cruel.

There definitely are some positive aspects of being tall, especially when I don’t have to struggle too much to lift children high enough so that they can touch the fan, which children like the most, but there are more negative aspects as I have experienced, as there are positive aspects to it. It specially gets bad when my height becomes my own enemy and makes me suffer, and sometimes suffer too much…

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A tiring day!

Posted by Haris Gulzar on March 3, 2009

Many of my hostel activities such as washing clothes, cleaning the room etc are scheduled for Tuesdays and/or Fridays, as I only have one class on these days. Today, Tuesday the 3rd of March 2009, was not to be any different. But it was Monday night that I found out from a fellow hostelite that both the washing machines were out of order. I was almost out of clothes as the last time I washed my clothes was the 10-day-back Friday. I couldn’t afford not to wash my clothes today. Although Monday evening set me back a bit when I came to know about the washing machines being out of order, but it wasn’t to turn out that bad today, as one of the Administration members told me that one of the machine was “somewhat working”. This “Somewhat working” term also needs a bit of explanation. The working machine’s drainage system was malfunctioning, and the admin people had put a steel wire inside the machine, replacing the knob that switches between the drainage and the two-way or one-way washing programs, pulling which, you could get the water drained. And by the way, just pulling the steel wire, holding which was an art in itself, was not as easy it seemed, it required a separate scientific knowledge.

I had a good lunch, a one dish Murgh Chanay buffet lunch that I ate up to my capabilities :), probably because I had a slight idea of what was coming. Soon after having lunch, I took the bucket that contained the to-be-washed clothes, grabbed the washing powder and went straight to the laundry area. Washing wasn’t much of a problem because I was mentally prepared for that steel wire pulling mechanism. The dryer, out of the blue and against all odds, and amazing me to the extent it could have, was working perfectly fine. It usually took four or five attempts to start the dryer, but it worked like a charm today. This was some relief, because I have also seen times when I had to manually dry up my clothes because restarting the dryer over and over again, hoping for it to work, took more time than I could manually do the rinsing and drying. Tuesdays and Fridays prove even better for washing purposes because there isn’t much rush for either the washing machine or for the empty ropes on the hostel terrace. The ropes were vacant when I went to the terrace to scatter my clothes. It was a windy and a hot afternoon. The temperature was about 30 degree Celsius, and the wind was blowing at about 21KM/h (According to google weather :P), a good sign for those who just did their washing, for the clothes won’t take long to dry up completely. Soon after I started scattering my clothes, I realized that I was short of clips to hold the clothes on the rope. In fact, I was not short of clips, the clothes were far more than there usually used to be (as I mentioned earlier, I washed my clothes after almost 10 days instead of 7 days :P). I didn’t have any other option but to take the risk of hanging the clothes without the clip in such windy weather.

It was almost 1615HRS, when I returned to my room to start with the room cleaning stuff. I usually do not take the pains of cleaning my room from beneath the bed and from behind my study table, but I don’t know what forced me to move the study table out of its place, move the bed to the other end of the room, and start cleaning from these rarely considered corners as well. It took me at least another 10 minutes in doing so. This dry cleaning was not the end of it, I wet cleaned my room as well (yani ke pocha bhi lagaya, whatever it is called in English :P), and that too twice, to make sure the newly discovered rarely-touched corners don’t get to complain at least in near future. Getting done with room cleaning almost always brings good feelings as the shining tiles give a good look to the room. I was exhausted, totally dehydrated. I washed my hands and drank lots and lots of water, thinking this was the end of the tiring chores, but as if it really mattered what I thought.

A maximum of five minutes would have passed after the water I drank helped me recover from my exhaustion, that Umar (a fellow hostelite) sent me an sms saying “Check if your clothes have fallen off rope, there are some clothes lying there”. Who else could be this unlucky, it had to be me, it was supposed to be me, and it was me :(. A couple of vests and a shirt were lying down. These pieces of clothes now make the contents of the bucket that contains my to-be-washed clothes.

My room is still messed up a lot with books and my lecture notes scattered throughout my room, with a load of other small stuff that destroy all the shiny look of my room, and it’ll probably take another couple of hours to put everything back to its place, it will probably be the coming Friday :(.

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