Wandering Venture

Grey Street (Credits: This)

‘Is this a dream or reality?’ I am sure some of you, if not all, may have asked themselves the same question in an intricate day-dreaming state of mind.

I am standing right now beside these tall ancient buildings, asking myself the same question. The buildings are dark brown with just the right amount of golden shade that adds to their glory. Its not easy to look towards the top  without straining you neck, but it is worth it. Doing that makes you feel small, almost too tiny to meet eyes with your own conscience.

I am confused. I can’t decide whether to reflect myself in the magic of these buildings that are connected to each other but feel so apart, that they seem lonely. Or to look at people, walking hand in hand, in pairs and in groups, with smiles on their faces talking to each other, enjoying each other’s company better than the silence of these buildings. And listen to the stories being told by their eyes casting sorrowful shadows that are mismatched to the big upward curve of their lips.

At places between the main road with tall buildings, there are narrow streets that emerge out of nowhere. Strolling on these streets is a totally different experience. I feel like I am inside a historical Hollywood movie, in which wars are fought and traditions are preserved. The walking paths here are made of bricks and carry small vintage cafes, pubs and restaurants that give out a strange homely feeling. Everything is perfect, the architecture, the colors and the classical smell. I walk closer to the wall along one of a vintage cafe with old furniture, some torn up books and a piano in it’s window and touch it. And wonder if it is just me, ……or anyone else can also hear sobs?

Well, may be it is just me. I am a traveler not a tourist, so I tend to feel things no one else can. I am not even sure if those things are real or is it just my own reflection that I see in places that own footsteps of people from thousands of years ago.

I pause for a second and take a deep long breath, trying to take in the air that smells of the past. Standing there right beside my eyes; Centuries pass, faces walking along these paths change, some colors fade and some are brightened, spellings on the name boards at the front of little shops are shuffled to form other words and melancholy… it lingers in the air of these streets. And Within a blink of my eye, it all comes back to the present. Its just a street, a normal street that quite conveniently takes you to your destination. Right. But where would it take you if you don’t have any destination at all?

After wandering around for the whole day it is time to go back. But the strange thing? My heart. It used to be active, mostly to cry and be sad but it was active. Active is being alive, no? And right now, after seeing so much, I feel like I have seen nothing. Do I feel sad now? I do, yes. Do I cry and ask for help? No I don’t. Because there is no one. Absolutely no one. Just the silence and empty heart beats. I laugh now, I tell jokes. I am funny. Because, I guess I have no other option. Not being funny asks for someone to listen to the reason of not being funny and there is no one. So hey there lifeless buildings and silent streets, You are about to be discovered some more by a traveler who is not alive anymore.

 

 

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Happiness- My unusual side

Me and my husband- Newcastle upon Tyne beach
                Me and my husband- Newcastle upon Tyne beach.

Happiness.

When a poor little girl, hungry for two days, wander from street to street in search of a single morsel of food, gets to a heap of rubbish and see a half eaten piece of bread. The shine in her eyes, that’s happiness.

When a father of two, who spent last ten years in a far off country to spend money for his family, climbs down the plane stairs to meet his children. That excitement on his face, that’s happiness.

When a rich businessman, after earning a truck load of money after an international tour for a month, enters his home at night to eat a simple meal prepared by his mother. The peace on his face, that’s happiness.

When a father, after waiting outside an operation theater for hours, hears a good news of a healthy daughter, that one drop of gratitude in his eyes. That’s happiness.

A hug by your father when you get good results, an excited scream after winning a game of ludo with your cousins, chatting uninterruptedly with your siblings while sharing a meal, simple moments of rejoice that we often ignore, that’s happiness.

Happiness can be triggered at any moment any time of the day with simple happenings. We often mistakenly associate it with big achievements in life. Or a state that remains forever long. We just have to fight with our selves to let ourselves feel it in a full way. All who laugh out loud every time are not necessarily happy and all who just smile when everyone laughs, are not sad.

‘Always’ is not a word suitable for it. Nothing can stay always. Nor does happiness. Restless souls like me keep sitting on a pile of happiness all their life while screaming that we don’t get it. It is us who can decide whether we want to be happy or not. It is like a switch that you turn on when you feel yourself worthy of it. When I was here, In Pakistan, I was in a constant state of depression because I never wanted to get out of it.Small bursts of laughter couldn’t change the state of constant denial in my mind.

I still punish myself sometimes by not feeling happiness around me. By pushing myself towards depression may be for showing loyalty to my life long friend. It feels good sometimes. You can even feel happiness in extreme pain. I definitely can.

Sitting in peace on green fresh grass while staring constantly at the beautiful blue sea water flowing to and fro, that’s my idea of happiness these days. I have started enjoying my solitude equally as I enjoy the company of the person fate has blessed me with. May be life can not get any better that this.

This article is written in response to Dungeon Prompts.

 

 

 

Other Side To The Story !

Peshawar Attack 16-Dec 0063

Once upon a time there was a man who lived happily with his family, a wife and a son. One day his son went to school and never came back……….

Oh no you are guessing it wrong. Lets read the story once again.

Once upon a time there was a man who lived happily with his family, a wife and a son. One day his son went to school and never came back BECAUSE some soldiers were searching for a terrorist and during this search operation, many children were killed that day.

The same day while that man was carrying dead body of his son in his arms, a drone attacked his home and killed his mourning wife.

On 16th December, that man along with his friends invaded a school full of students. They killed hundreds of them. Put bullets in the shining eyes of children until all the dreams of a shining future came out in the form of boiling blood. Grabbed two children and cut their necks with sharp knives until their innocent souls left their body and they turned cold. Made bullet holes in heads, chests and backs of children crying with fear, delicate children who were used to cry with pain on minute injuries. Burnt a teacher alive in front of her students.

And while doing that, their hands didn’t shiver but their faces turned black and cold after they were killed.

All that was left in the school that day, were books drenched in blood and floors piled up with dead bodies….. Sky never fell down and earth never cracked open.

They witnessed. They cried. Everyone cried that day.

Because everyone knew what happened. Sometimes, similar things happen in other parts of our country and no one cries. Because no one knows what happens there.

Except the sky and the earth….. And Mothers who are left to mourn their children forever.

——————————————————————–

Everyone knew the story. I just explained the other side as well. I had always think, what thing urges these terrorists to do such things like to attempt suicide attacks. After all, they are plain humans like us. The same emotions, the same heart and same bodies. No wings or extra ears. Then what happens in their life that they kill themselves and kill many others along with them. May be they suffer with the worst kind of mind disease that is born with the death of their whole family. Revenge mixed up with this sickness can do devastating things like ‘Peshawar incident‘ and the famous ‘9/11‘ !!

May be, the simplest way to eradicate all this nonsense is not through the “revenge taking cycle“. May be the way is to change the whole system of “War against terror” started by America. No one is stupid enough to notice that this system is producing more and more terrorists instead of eradicating them. Killing the innocent along with the guilty, Oh no this isn’t the way !

Stop lighting up candles and pray for the martyrs, for our nation, for our country.

War, terror, fighting, killing…… No good can come out of all this. War is never the solution.

Peace, Patience and hope…. That’s the real solution.

Fire, Water And Humans !

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A fire festival in Fukushima.

Fire and water, two opposite forces forever lost in epic revelry. Fire seems to be the destructive one, which strangely proves out to be  the most fruitful while providing food to humans. Water be the constructive one, floods away civilizations with it. Isn’t it strange ? What force urges these to change their entire nature ?

That was the question that hopped into my mind a couple of weeks ago. It was 7 in the morning and I was sleeping in my room with air conditioner turned on when suddenly a pungent smell entered my nostrils and woke me up. It took me a while to figure out what had forced me to wake up and when I recognized that smell, I turned my neck back and here it was. With all it’s glory it was fiercely shoving it’s orangish-yellow sparks up towards the roof as if it will consume everything coming in it’s way and turn it to black ash.

I hadn’t seen such a big fire live in front of my eyes before. I am so afraid of fire that I had never lit up the stove for cooking food by myself ever in my life. Witnessing this kind of fire that closely was a night mare. I got up and ran outside shouting for help. My room was all covered in thick black smoke and when I opened the door that smoke started spreading all over the TV lounge. My dad figured out what has happened and turned the main switch off. My mom and brother filled up buckets with water but when electricity supply was cut off, the fire extinguished slowly by itself. I stood there with shivering legs and thumping heartbeat and it took me some hours to get back to being normal.

Our Ac got burnt but there was no other loss by the grace of God. The story may be told dramatically, but it is hundred percent true. That scene still give me shivers whenever it flashes back into my mind. If I wouldn’t have got up that time, the smoke would have made me unconscious and I might not be with you right now, telling you stories.

The Pakistan Floods
Children affected by flood in Pakistan, waiting for the rescue teams.

On the other hand, there is water, which has recently played havoc and drowned whole lot of  villages and cities in Pakistan. Watching footage of families standing on roofs of their destroyed homes, waiting for getting rescued, watching their animals and luggage flowing away with water. Watching a mother crying for her daughter whose dowry flooded away– It breaks my heart. Army troops are still busy rescuing hundreds of families affected from this devastating flood.

We sit here and watch them suffer. Say some sympathetic words and change the channel. And we are Humans.

What force urges things to change their nature ? I have no idea but, if this force is strong enough to change HUMANS, It sure can prove out to be a weapon of mass destruction.

 

In My Dreams….

hidden-falls-natural-scenery

In my dreams I envision a place. A place that is not a magical wonderland nor it is a place where possibilities meet impossibilities. It is a place where I can do whatever I want, outside the walls of my home, and there is no one to judge me. Where cultural narrowness widens up and embrace me in its arms. Where I can breathe freely without heavy burden of boundaries occupying my mind.

Religion is never the problem. Religion is just a code that defines an individual’s life. Culture and traditions are what define rules for free societies, just to abandon them in an eternal invisible dungeon.

In the society where I live, I can’t step outside the walls of my home without a male person with me. Not because anyone of my family forbids me to do so. But because my society forbids me. Once a girl of my age steps outside, people start judging. They start binding their darkest thoughts with our emotions which results in massive destruction eventually. This isn’t happening all over my country. Their are many modern areas where going out alone is nothing like a problem for a girl. Girls appear to be satisfied with these cruel set of invisible rules but I may have a problem as I have proved to be weird in every sense.

When going out with my husband or father gives me a sense of protection and security, it also makes me valuable and respectable in the eyes of society. It makes me feel comfortable and I don’t have to worry about anything because taking my care is their responsibility then. And I admit, I wouldn’t be able to fight with the abnormalities that would have flourished in my society if girls would have been going out alone. This balance in nature is essential and here in my society, the balance come just like this way. Sometimes restrictions are good.

I can’t think about changing the norms because I won’t be able to handle the abnormality in balance of nature. I can just talk about my wishes and dreams. If I don’t like one thing out of many good things in my society, I have a right to express it but still, at the end, I end up loving it more. After all, no matter how many bad traits your beloved posses, you can’t stop loving him.

In my dreams, when I feel lonely, I want to go outside a take a walk instead of siting in my room, crying like a baby. I can’t go out in the morning to jog and I can’t throw out my frustration by running hard. I can’t wander in the city, I can’t stare at the birds and trees while sitting in a quiet corner. I can’t listen to shouting kids while passing by them and I can’t be a part of those silent sea waves that touch the beach. I am free but I feel like I was born in a prison and since then, I have been living in it. I know how beautiful the world outside is but I can’t go and feel it. I want to enjoy my loneliness instead of detesting it.

In my dreams, I just see that when I step out, people don’t judge me. Women don’t roll their eyes weirdly and men don’t start whispering and staring. I just want that people consider me as respectable as they do when I am with my husband or father. I just want that they clear out their minds and eyes of bad judgment and let me do my work. I just want a society where no one feels a need to poke into the lives of others.

We are beautiful, we just need to apply the rules of this society in a positive way rather than being negative. I guess this little wish of mine isn’t that bad. Or may be, that wish will remain in my dreams forever.

 

 

 

The Realistic Fiction – A Memoir

One of the other gloomiest nights wears on to a morning. She rolls her fingers over her already half-opened eyes and pulls her husband’s arm softly aside to get out of the bed. After a while, she was fastening the laces of her pink Nike trainers and ready to jog ! She knew, she’d run so hard today that her feet would feel wounded and her legs would hurt like hell. Her breath would feel irregular for hours and her heart would beat in her ears for long. And after all that, she won’t still stop. She’d jog until all the energy inside her body would be drained out. And today wasn’t different from the other days that had been creeping slowly.

Why such torture on her own self ? She had no concrete answer.

With his head filled with confusions, he turned the page. He had started reading this fiction written on a beautiful white leather covered diary but after reading only the first page, he felt some things strangely familiar. As if, he actually knows the heroine of this story…. As if….

May be, to trick her mind into thinking about her tired body rather than her ruptured heart full of fears of the future and guilt of the past. May be, to get rid of those painful anxiety attacks and depression disorders. Or maybe, just to distract herself from her own self. Sometimes, the un-satisfying reasons you give yourself are not important enough.

“I can’t have a child. I am not able enough to bring a new life into this world. For all my life I have done nothing but to hurt my loved ones. I can’t be a parent I am a total mess”

For years, these small sentences were often followed by painful cries while she’d go to sleep at nights, with needles tingling all over her body and rapid breaths getting out of control. Her husband would sit aside holding her hands and pushing her head against his chest. Sometimes, silent presence of a loved one is better that a thousand empty words. He was her doctor, her friend and her faith.

The day when their baby was born, her eyes smiled while staring at his eyes with pride. The pride of winning the battle against anxiety and depression while fighting together, the pride of loving and being loved innocently and purely — and most importantly, the pride of being a Mother !

He couldn’t find himself strong enough to read another hundred or more pages. This fiction was not a fiction, as this diary was not just a diary. 

————————

I am sitting in my bed today watching Mother’s day programs on Tv. He comes rushing towards me and hides himself  in my embrace, as he used to do when he was a kid.

I love you, Mama ! I won’t be able to thank you for the priceless love you have given me in all these years, and I want to tell you that you are important to me more than anyone in the whole world. Everyone loved you mama, they just didn’t express their love the way you needed. I don’t want to be like them

Saying these words, he hands me over a copy of this famous magazine. I open that half folded page in curiosity and there I see, my 25 year old story published in a neater version with my name.

I recalled, I was scared of writing diaries because the thought of getting exposed and judged frightened me. That’s why I started giving my daily anecdotes a color of fiction.

He understood my ‘fiction’ when nobody could. I wonder, how many more strange habits had he taken from his father ?

Inspired by The Daily Post.

The Real Face Of Real Terrorists

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-ATTACK
A Palestinian girl stands in a destroyed building following an Israeli military strike in Gaza City on July 08, 2014.

With red bulging eyes burning like hell, his distressed slow steps dragged his dead body into the class room. His beloved students got amazed as they took a glance of his miserable self in contrast to the usual polished and well dressed one.

Every student in this class loved their teacher ever since he had been teaching them. Their hearts literally missed some beats as he spoke out in a broken voice, again, very unusual as compared to his usual soft polite voice.

“How are you all”

“We are fine Sir !” They all spoke out at once. The pin dropped silence scattered for a second and then settled itself back.

He never used to teach them in ordinary ways i.e by reading from books or through cramming. He had his own style. He would usually tell them an incomplete story and then students would ask questions to complete that story extracting all the hidden lessons inside.

Listen to my today’s story carefully students, it is real and the topic is sensitive” His voice felt hollow as he continued.

The world’s most “moral army” of Israel committed a new massacre this Sunday, November 18, 2012.

The Israeli aircraft bombed a 5-storey building in Gaza City, a building that houses 40 people, belonging to the Dalou family: 12 people died in the Dalou family, among them: six children, three women and two seniors. There were 25 wounded.

And the atrocities continued—

As the Israeli military’s “Operation Protective Edge” entered its third day, the death toll in Gaza continued to mount. As of this writing, at least 81 Palestinians have been killed in three days–among them 22 children-and over 550 injured as a result of the air force dropping hundreds of bombs. A driver for journalists was killed, as were Palestinians watching the World Cup at a beach coffee shop.

Zero deaths of Israeli people has been recorded so far.

The typical Israeli crimes against the children and civilians, a new massacre against humanity…

And a new silent complicity of the countries that claim to defend human rights.

A piercing cold silent breath followed his voice as he stopped and searched for questions in the scared eyes of his students who were sitting still while holding their breaths.

Sir, After all the atrocity of US on Iraq, India on Kashmir and Israel on Palestine, why do they still call us Muslims as terrorists?” A sad innocent student finally spoke out.

“Because my son, they needed some solid base to aim their atrocities at, and to blame weak and innocent people by exploiting them on the basis of religion. They have to hide their terrorism by calling Muslims doing Jihad as terrorists”

Sir, What exactly is Jihad ? As non-Muslims claim that every Muslim doing Jihad is a terrorist, Is this true ? “

“Let me make it clear for you.

What is Jihad:

1- Travelling to another Muslim majority country like Palestine where non-Muslims have invaded and they are doing barbaric activities and injustice, and fighting against them with weapons is Jihad.

2- Spreading the word about the atrocities of non-Muslims doing atrocities on Muslims, or about the bad activities happening in one’s own country by writing or speaking on radio or reporting or by any means, is Jihad.

3- Striving against the evil desires of the soul is a kind of Jihad.

4- Spending wealth for the greater good of people who are under oppressive rule, who are not free to do anything. is Jihad.

What is NOT Jihad:

1- Suicide bomb blasts is by no means called as Jihad.

2- Fighting with the innocent people with weapons, without any reason is not Jihad.

3- Forcing non-Muslims to enter in Islam by using force is not Jihad.

4- Spreading hostility and destroying peace by any means is not Jihad.

And about the other part of your question. No, every Muslim who truly does Jihad is called as Jihadi. Unfortunately there are some people,extremists to be precise, who have no idea what Jihad is and they spread terrorism on the name of religion and Jihad. These are the people who are responsible for making an image of ‘terrorist’ for every Muslim in the minds of people all around the world.

“What should we do Sir, to fight against the atrocities of Isreal? How can we play our part?”

“You are the young pure future image of Muslims my students. Hold your pen and tell the world about the real face of terrorists. Fight against them, if not with the sword, then with your pen and tongue.You have to fight until they stop their barbaric actions on innocent people. Tell them, Islam is about peace. Tell them how the real face of terrorists look like”.

His breath started clustering in his throat and tears came rushing out of his eyes.

“Sir, are you alright? ”

“No, I am not alright. I have lost my only 4 years old son in the bomb blasts of Israel. I am not fine, because I couldn’t save my son as I was teaching my students at the time he was taking his last breaths. I won’t be fine till Israel stops killing innocent people in Palestine and I won’t be fine until every human being on this earth stops killing other human being on the name of religion and geographical boundaries. I won’t be fine until ‘humans‘ start practicing ‘Humanity‘ ”

Say NO to the Terrorism of Israel with Me !

A photographic journey to the terrorism of Isreal (Source) :

Israeli attacks on Gaza 19 - A Palestinian medic evacuates a boy hurt during Israeli attacks Israeli attacks on Gaza 13 - Funeral in Gaza City Israeli attacks on Gaza 10 -  More civlians butched by Israeli forces in Gaza Israeli attacks on Gaza 8 - Man killed by Israeli warplanes Israeli attacks on Gaza 7 - Young boy killed by Israelis in Gaza Israeli attacks on Gaza 5