Allah Knows Best

We were reading Ghalib the other day in school. And according to him, death is the solution to all our sorrows, pain, troubles and problems. He says that all our life we are bound in this cycle of tension and worries. We start from worrying about small things like riding a bicycle, go on to worry about our studies and future, after studies we are afraid of our jobs, after jobs comes marriage, then we have kids, their worries occupy us, then they grow up, get married and so on. The cycle goes on. And you keep on worrying, not stopping for a second. Every day grief grips you tightly with its strong claws and you are not able to free yourself despite trying. The only solution is death. death is what frees you from all your pain. The hold of grief weakens when you die. And you are let go. Every pain that you have lived in your life, whether it is of love, hatred, friendship, family, relative, school, studies, future, teenage, youth, adulthood, etc. Your life ends and you are finally free of everything.

For the first two minutes I was agreeing with him. Then it hits me. He is wrong. Very wrong, indeed. Our lives do not end after our death. In reality that is when they start. We enter in another lifetime, where we are answerable to every single deed we have ever done. Death is not an escape. It is not a gate to freedom. It is just a passage from one life to another. We have to answer to our Creator. Our Sustain-er. Whatever we do in this life will have its consequences there. We will have to answer what we did with our live. How we lived. Our real life starts after death. Life is like our course book which we have to learn by heart. And death is the car which is taking you to your examination center. Then comes the exam. It will be the exam of our lives.

He knows. Every shard of glass that went inside you, pierced your insides and you felt like you will never be the same again, He knows. For He never lets anyone go through what they cannot handle. He had a reason. Whatever happened, happened for a reason. Allah knows. And Allah cares. It was for your benefit. Like the time when you got less marks in your exam, it was because He wanted you to study Psychology instead of Physiology and help that kid across the street. When you did not get the new clothes, He was saving the money for your Dads surgery. When you did not get admission in the college you wanted, He wanted you to study at Oxford. When you had to move across the continents, He wanted you to know what great friendship is. So the next time you feel like hitting your head with the walls and think that the world you knew has vanished. That the only way to get rid of everything is to die. Do know that it is NOT. Allah knew that you will be able to handle it, that is why you went through what you did.

Allah says:

 “and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Qur’an Surah Baqarah 2:216)


Dream It. Believe It. Achieve It

Why do we dream ? Our dreams are things that we would want to do in our life. Things that we secretly want or the life that we imagine ourselves in. Things we would like to become. Things we would like to have. But if we don’t get it because you do not get everything. What happens then ? Your own dreams become your worst nightmare and you wish that you would never have dreamt.

People say that nightmares are the one that are fearful but dreams should be feared more. Because if what you dream, you don’t achieve it, you are broken in pieces and that is the worst kind of fear anyone can imagine. Nightmares are horrible thoughts and things that you see just like an enemy that you know is not good for you but dreams are like double faced friends. You think that they are your best friends when at the end of they day, they stab you in the back.

When you dream, it is like you are creating a very high building. A skyscraper. And when reality hits you, that building comes down crumbling and no amount of hard work can save it. Because dreaming is not hard work. It is more like the shortcut of just wanting things, not going after them. Because people who want things, go after them.

Maybe that is enough reason for us to live in reality. I remember once someone said to me that you should even dream by first looking at what you can dream. What the hell ? Right ? I mean, now even dreams have prices. It is true that you dream when you know that you can get them. Reality is cut throat but it keeps you on the earth and does not let you fly to the seventh sky. So if you ever by mistake fall down, you will not get bruised badly.

There is a dreamer and then there is a realist.

But then if we do not dream then how are we suppose to live ? Because dreams are your beliefs as well. So if you do not dream, it is like not believing. It is as if you are hopeless, that you have given up before even trying. How can you be so sure that you will not achieve it ? How do you know that you cannot do it ? Have you seen the future ? Do you not believe in the person who created you ? Believe in Allah. In life things tend to workout from the least expected ways possible. Ways you had never imagined. When thousands of doors close on you, another opens up.

I think today I can say that yes, it is okay to dream. Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it. Your determination and your belief in them will get you to your dreams. So one day, you will wake up and will be where you always wanted to be. Your bubble will not burst. And then all that remains are the times when you did not believe in yourself and all the obstacles that came your way.

Have the courage to go after what you dream. Change the reality of your life by going for your dreams. Instead of living the reality, change it. Because it is better to live with the fact that you went after your dreams then to live with regrets of not dreaming. 

Like Henry David Thoreau said:

If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. “

Dream like a king. Work like a donkey. Believe like a crazy person. And one day the world will be yours.


A Letter To My Dad

February 14, 2013

Dear Abbu,

I do not know from where to start, so I guess I will start with I love you. I love you to moon and back. And honestly, I never can imagine my life without you. You are the most important person in my life and will always be. I love how when at 10 in the night (which is late for you) I tell you I need something, you always go get it for me. I love how you always crush my hand every SINGLE time I shake yours. I remember I use to tell every single person that my dad is a Gold Medalist because I always have been so proud to be your daughter.

Abbu, you are my everything. You are my one in a million. I do not need the moon to come out or the sun to shine because I have you. You are better than Koh-I-Noor ( the worlds largest and priceless diamond), Bugatti Veyron, Taj Mehal or all of my favourite books. I love books and writing. You and mom are the only two people who are better than any book, any piece of writing, any poem, any poet and any author out there in the world.

I cannot compare you to anything in this world because you simply are one of a kind. I look at you and I see a person beyond awesome. I see someone whose kindness to strangers amazes me everyday. Who is calm before the biggest storm comes, at even the worst disasters or Huzaifa crashing his car for the millionth time.  I see kindness, compassion, determination, calmness, hard work, beauty. I see perfection.My deepest desire is to be exactly like you, like the person who has loved and pampered me for the past 17 years and will always continue to do so. I love you. I love the guy who would not notice that he needs new shoes or a new shirt, who would think ten times before buying a single thing for himself and would not think twice before getting the same thing for his kids.

I remember once, someone said to you that all your kids have the latest cell phones in their hands whereas you use the same old one, why ? You laughed and said, well their dad is an Architect and mine, unfortunately is dead. I wish I could have met Dada because I bet you are exactly like him.

It is amazing whoever meets Asad Latif Piracha, even for the first time says, what a remarkable man. Well, I happen to be the daughter of that same remarkable man, and the ONLY one.

When other fathers were stopping their daughter from doing stupid things, you were prompting me and were fully involved. I remember how you always dared us to see who goes the furthest in the sea. The day when you took me to the Bakra Mandi in Pakistan on my insistence. When you made me drive your car at 11. When you showed us Abu Hamour on the bonnet of your car. I, now realise that you have never given the authority to Huzaifa to mind me, at times it is the other way around. I never knew that a thing called discrimination existed between sons and daughters in the world because I am the one being favoured at home.

Every “My favourite personality” or “Role Model” essay has been written on you. Growing up I have always wanted to be like you. The way you smile, a very rare one once in a while and I can sense it being sent from your heart. You know why I love Math, because you love Math. Why I eat peas, because you eat peas. Why money is not important to me, because it is not important to you. Why my anger is so impulsive, because yours is as well. Why I have 1.5 sketching skills, because you have like 100% sketching skills.

I am sorry. For all the times I was a jerk, brat and an ass. For things that I have done wrong. For being a disappointment at times.

Thank you. For asking for a daughter from Allah. Thank you, for loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you, for ignoring all my mistakes. Thank you, for never scolding me. Thank you, for always taking my side. (Please, continue to do so in the future) Thank you, for never imposing anything on me. Thank you, for believing in me. Thank you, for letting us do things our way. Thank you, for being who you are. Thank you, for being my dad.

I promise to be a better person. Well, I promise to try and be like you, that will automatically make me a good person. I promise you that one day, I will make you proud.

Happy Birthday ! May you live thousand years more. May the worlds happiness and success be yours, today and always. May you always remain like you are today.

I am glad that I am your daughter and that I can look up to you anytime. I hope someday I become exactly like the person you are today.

Yours always,
Your one and only daughter.

P.S. Happy Half A Century ! That does make you old.


An Excerpt: Casual Vacancy

The mistake ninety nine percent of humanity made as far as Fats could see was being ashamed of what they were: lying about it, trying to be somebody else. Honesty was Fats currency, his weapon and defence. It frightened people when you were honest; it shocked them. Other; Fats had discovered were mired in embarrassment and pretence, terrified that their truths might leak out but Fats was attracted by rawness, by everything that was ugly but honest, by the dirty things about which the likes of his father felt humiliated and disgusted. Fats thought a lot about messiahs and pariahs; about men labelled mad or criminal; noble misfits shunned by the sleep masses.

The difficult thing, the glorious thing was to be who you really were, even if that person was cruel or dangerous, particularly if cruel and dangerous. There was courage in not disguising the animal you happened to be. On the other hand you had to avoid pretending to be more of an animal than you were: take that path start exaggerating or faking and you became just another Cubby, just as much of a liar, a hypocrite.

                                                            -J.K.Rowling in Casual Vacancy


An Excerpt: The Word Shaker

There was once a strange, small man. He decided three important details about his life:
  1. 1.       He would part his hair from the opposite side to everyone else.
  2. 2.       He would make himself a small, strange moustache.
  3. 3.       He would one day rule the worlds.

The young man wandered around for quite some time, thinking, planning, and figuring out exactly how to make the world his. Then one day, out of nowhere, it struck him-the perfect plan. He had seen a mother walking with her child. At one point, she admonished the small boy, until finally, he began to cry. Within a few minutes, she spoke very softly to him, after which he was soothed and even smiled.
 The young man rushed to the mother and embraced her. “Words!” He grinned.
But there was no reply. He was already gone.
Yes, the Fuhrer decided that he would rule the world with words. “ I will never fire a gun,” he devised, “I will not have to.” Still, he was not rash. Let’s allow him at least that much. He was not a stupid man at all. His first plan of attack was to plant the words in as many areas of his homeland as possible.
    He planted then day and night, and cultivated them.
    He watched them grow, until eventually, great forests of words had risen throughout Germany…It was a nation of farmed thoughts.
While the words were growing, our young Fuhrer also planted seed to create symbols, and these, too, were well on their way to full bloom. Now the time had come. The Fuhrer was ready.
     He invited his people toward his own glorious heart, beckoning them with his finest, ugliest words, handpicked from his forests. And the people came.
They were all placed on a conveyer belt and run through a rampant machine that gave them a lifetime in ten minutes. Words were fed into them. Time disappeared and now they knew everything they needed to know. They were hypnotized.
Next, they were fitted with their symbols, and everyone was happy.
Soon, the demand for the demand for the lovely, ugly words and symbols increased to such a point that as the forests grew, many people were needed to maintain them. Some were employed to climb the trees and throw the words down to those below. They were then fed directly into the remainder of the Fuhrer’s people, not to mention those who came back for more.
The people who climbed those trees were called words shakers.
The best word shakers were the ones who understood the true power of words. They were the ones who could climb the highest. One such word shaker was a small, skinny girl. She was renowned as the best word shaker of her region because she knew how powerless a person could be without words.
That’s why she could climb higher than anyone else. She had desire. She was hungry for them.
One day, however, she met a man who was despised by her homeland, even though he was born in it. They became good friends, and when the man was sick, the word shaker allowed a single tear to fall on his face. The tear was a made of friendship-a single word-and it dried and became a seed, and when next the girl was 
in the forest, she planted that seed among the other trees. She watered it every day.
At first, there was nothing, but one afternoon, when she checked it after a day of word-shaking, a small sprout had shot up. She stared at it for a long time.
The tree grew every day, faster than everything else, till it was the tallest tree in the forest. Everyone came to 
look at it. They all whispered about it, and the waited…for the Fuhrer.
Incensed, he immediately ordered the tree to be cut down. That was when the word-shaker made her way through the crowd. She fell to her hands and knees. “ Please,” she cried, “You can’t cut it down.”
    The Fuhrer, however, was unmoved. He could not afford to make exceptions. As the word shaker was dragged away, he turned to his right-hand man and made a request. “Axe, please.”
At that moment, the word shaker twisted free. She ran. She boarded the tree, and even as the Fuhrer hammered at the trunk with his axe, she climbed until she reached the highest of the branches. The voices and axe beats continued faintly on. Clouds walked by like monsters with grey hearts. Afraid but stubborn, the word shaker remained. She waited for the tree to fall.
But the tree would not move.
   Many hours passed, and still, the Fuhrers axe could not take a single bite out of the trunk. In a strange nearing collapse, he ordered another man to continue.
Days passed.
    Weeks took over.
    A hundred and ninety-six soldiers could not make any impact on the word shaker’s tree.
   “But how does she eat?” the people asked. “How does she sleep?”
 What they didn’t know was that other word shakers threw supplies across, and the girl climbed down to the lower branches to collect them.
It snowed. It rained. Seasons came and went. The word shaker remained.
    When the last axman gave up, he called up to her. “Word shaker! You can come down now! There is no one who can defeat this tree!”
     The word shaker, who could only just make out the man’s sentences, replied with a whisper. She handed it down through the branches. “No thank you,” she said, for she knew that it was only herself who was holding the tree upright.
No one knew how long it had taken, but one afternoon, a new axman walked into town. His bag looked too heavy for him. His eyes dragged. His feet drooped with exhaustion. “The tree,” he asked the people. “Where is the tree?”
An audience followed him, and when he arrived, clouds had covered the highest regions of the branches. The word shaker could hear the people calling out that a new axman had come to put an end to her vigil.
“She will not come down,” the people said, “for anyone.”
They did not know who the axman was, and they did not know that he was undeterred.
He opened his bag and pulled out something much smaller than an axe.
The people laughed. They said, “You cannot chop down a tree with an old hummer!”
The young man did not listen to them. He only looked through his bag for some nails. He placed three of them in his mouth and attempted to hammer a fourth into the tree. The first branches were now extremely high and he estimated that he needed four nails to use as footholds to reach them.
“Look at this idiot,” roared one of the watching men. “No one else could chop it down with an axe, and this fool thinks he can do it with-”
The man fell silent.
The first nail entered the tree and was held steadily after five blows. Then the second went in, and the young man started to climb.
By the fourth nail, he was up in the arms and continued on his way. He was tempted to call out as he did so, but he decided against it.
The climb seemed to last for miles. It took many hours for him to reach the final branches, and when he did, he found the word shaker asleep in her blankets and the clouds.
He watched her for many minutes.
The warmth of the sun heated the cloudy rooftop.
He reached down, touching her arm, and the word shaker woke up.
She rubbed her eyes, and after a long study of his face, she spoke.
“Is it really you?”
Is it from your cheek, she thought, that I took the seed?
The man nodded.
His heart wobbled and he held to the branches. “It is.”
Together, they stayed in the summit of the tree. They waited for the clouds to disappear, and when they did, they could see the rest of the forest.
“It wouldn’t stop growing,” she explained.
“ But neither would this.” The young man looked at the branch that held his hand. He had a point.
When they had looked and talked enough, they made their way back down. They left the blanket and the remaining food behind.
The people could not believe what they were seeing, and the moment the word shaker and the young man set foot in the world, the tree finally began to show the ax marks. Bruises appeared. Slits were made in the 
trunk and the earth began to shiver.
“It’s began to fall!” a young woman screamed. “ The tree is going to fall!” She was right. The word shaker’s tree, in all its miles and miles of height, slowly begin to tip. It moaned as it was sucked to the ground. The world shook, and when everything finally settled, the tree was laid out among the rest of the forest. It could never destroy all of it, but is nothing else, a different-coloured path was carved through it.
  The word shaker and the young man climbed up to the horizontal trunk. The navigated the branches and began to walk. When they looked back, they noticed that the majority of onlookers had started to return to their own places. In there. Out there. In the forest.
  But as they walked on, they stopped several times, to listen. They thought they could hear voices and words behind them, on the words shaker’s tree.
                    -The Word Shaker by Max Vamdenburg in the book, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
P.S. Through this book I got to learn more about the power that words hold. Words are the best weapon and if you have it, you have everything. You can buy every kind of weapon but you cannot buy words. Treasure it, if you have it.