An Year Away from WordPress (Blogging)

I wrote my last article in 2019, a lot has changed in one year. In short, I lost two people dear to me in late 2019 – My uncle (Dad’s Brother) and my aunt (Mom’s Sister) both died due to illness, may their souls rest in peace. The other highlight of my year was my fight with depression and anxiety, my time away from blogging was a result of my disinterest from interaction with the world. Depression and anxiety mixed make up a fatal poison, from being disgusted in myself to being doubtful about every idea and thought I came up with, i have been setback wholly.

My Cauldron of Ideas was empty as I tried to cope with my situation, folks it is really difficult to live with a wrong decision sometimes. Mine was to choose a wrong career path, some may think it is easy to change careers but not from where I stand. I belong to a culture where there is a lot of peer pressure to have a sustainable earning at my age. Most of my friends have jobs and are settling into practical lives. Coupled with this is the inevitable truth of living in a 3rd world country, in third world countries mistakes inflict heavy damage and are not revertible easily. My quest to change my career and to not give much importance to my current degree is a sort of taboo that many have to deal with but avoid due to the same societal pressure. For a Pakistani kid from a middle-class family it is no less than a revolt, even a sin to for example, opt for a degree in arts and not some sort of sciences.

No 23 year old has the freedom to take charge of his life without upsetting someone, my best friend dropped out 3 years into college and his father didn’t speak to him for 8 months. I due to the same fears have never revolted as such, in fear of  disappointing my father who has raised me up with love and spent a small fortune on my education and to disappoint my mother, who cares too much about my future that such an act of defiance from her only son would traumatize her (due to the uncertainty of my future). I don’t blame them, I blame this capitalist world where some innocent mistakes are punished like a murder sentence. The reason I chose this career in the first place was because of my reality of being born in third world country where there are barely any jobs or at least respectable jobs for people other than Engineers, Doctors and Teachers. Living in such a place your fears are about where your next paycheck is coming from not what your passion is.

Growing up, like any other kid I was sure that I was destined for greatness, some part of me still thinks that I am. Never did I imagine then that the difficult part of greatness was not to achieve it but to know what your greatness is. Life is a greater teacher and time is a great test, life has taught me that greatness is not fame, wealth, heroism or leaving a huge legacy, greatness is subjective, some may find it in fame and glory yes, some may find it in watering a garden to life, or adopting an orphan, raising a wonderful kid. Greatness does not need to be materlistic, in the popular Hollywood film “The Last Samurai”, the famed Samurai Katsumoto says “The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life.”

I watched this movie when I was 7, I re-watched it 3 years ago and today is the day I understood what this line meant, it means that purpose and greatness are what you make of them, no goal is greater or lesser if your heart leads you to it. If living in a farm filled with animals and vegetables near a creek makes you happy, go for it. No amount of millions will make you as happy as you’d be in that farm.

Fighting with depression and anxiety I lost hope for any sort of greatness, I submitted to the idea that maybe I was to live an average life, or that God was punishing me for my ego as I had thought less of some people just because they lived life differently. My ego shattered and my self reflection turned to doubt and contemplation. What I thought about most was that all of us are living life through our own view, for us we are the center of our life, for others we are just a part of their lives. I am the main hero of my life, but for someone else I might just be an extra. My illusion that greatness is an objective truth was gone, if my greatness was only paramount to me, why should it be dictated by others?

Why does the average person not find greatness in the craftsmanship of a carpenter? Why is a an office job at google or some fortune 500 company considered a jackpot, but someone with a flower-shop is called “unambitious”? 3 years of being unhappy studying in the most prestigious Computing School in my country is a complain not many would sympathize with. Anyone who I have opened to about my unhappiness has either reminded me of my “luck” or “privilege” to be in such an institution, am I not allowed to complain if I am privileged? Imagining what I could have done or become if I was involved in studying something I was passionate about has led me to many sleepless nights.

2020 starts, Covid-19 arrives, the world is at a halt, people are dying and Universities are closed, one month away from University, most of my depression is gone. The uncertainty of not being able to tell what will happen in the next 6 months has set me free, I don’t feel chained to the system. The system that tells me to break my sleep, take a shower, swallow my breakfast, rush to the bus stop and sweat my way to college all in the span of 30 minutes has no control over me. The urgency to make my time count, the clock ticking deadlines have all vanished, all is left is bliss. Ignorance is bliss they said, rightly said. During these days, I had the most productive time of my life, I read books, learned to make 3D digital art to such a point that it would develop into a passion. I made peace with the fact to take life one challenge at a time, and never to take a challenge that I know I don’t want to waste time with and to walk away from something that isn’t up my alley.

My passion is not specifically 3D art, my passion is identity and expression. I need to accept what makes me happy and pursue it. My passion is history in the capacity that History is the identity and legacy of millions of people that have walked the earth, the stories that they left, the triumphs and defeats, the poems and literature, the art and thoughts they sewed into the fabric of life. The discovery of all this, the awe that it brings to me is my passion. I can one second be entranced by a piece of music, spend all night thinking about some speech made by someone, or walk all day cooking arguments about a historical narrative at any moment. When I started this blog, those were one of the most amazing 3 months of my life, my writing was being read, commented on and loved. To be a blogger is a responsibility, you owe it to your writing and your readers. I made some friendships here an year ago, friendships I have abandoned, promises I have broken, words I have left unsaid, I apologize to them all.

This is a toast to new beginnings, a toast to my journey to greatness and hopefully some part in yours. Today I make a promise that I intend to keep, that I will write my mind not fearing that it will be judged but fearing that it will be left unread. There is no regret bigger than not saying what you wanted to say.

Melody of the Week

via Melody of the Week

I decided to started this section because:

  • I always listen to music whenever I read or write, some people think it diverts concentration, but I think it soothes the soul and puts you in a place the article you are reading or writing wants to.
  • Music is food for the soul, I think everyone should enjoy music and I want to share what I hear and like so that other people can listen to it too and enjoy it as much as I did.
  • I want to appreciate the people who have helped me grow as a person and writer on my fairly new blogging journey, honored to have known all of you.

P.S. if you look at my blog’s header you might see the shape of a guitar.

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Galloway Forest Park, Scotland

 

Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé hí

This is a rendition of “Ar Éirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé hí” sung by Maria Mccool.  I was introduced to this an year ago and fell in love. I always loved bagpipes, Gaelic music and folk. This is a beautiful masterpiece.

The video belongs to Maria Mccool, uploaded by her, I will just share the link. Do listen to this, this will bring you near to heaven, or really down to earth. Not bad for a song right?

Whenever I hear this, I always feel lost, lost in the Irish or Scottish countryside. I believe that music is just as natural as the cold crisp air, the smell of lavender or wet soil. You will agree that when you hear this, it will always alert the part of you that loves nature and all its beauty. A very special mention to Katherine, a dear friend and a great blogger.

She is a genius blogger and a beautiful soul, her posts are unique, fun to read and honestly brilliant.

Check out her amazing blog by clicking the link below:

https://wordscat.wordpress.com/

The english translation for this song is here:

http://www.celticlyricscorner.net/dervish/areirinn.htm

Liebster Award I

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Q & A


     Q.What do you think happens after death?

  • Our Souls go to a special place created by God and they rest there until the day of Judgement.

     Q.What’s your favorite sport?

  • Football (Soccer), I always feel relaxed and forget all my worries watching or playing Football.

     Q.What would you say to your 18 year old self?

  • Forget what society will think, don’t worry about the future, or money, just do what you are passionate about. If you choose what you’re passionate about you may earn a little less but will live happy and proud, but if you choose whats financially safe, you may be rich but you’ll never be truly happy.

     Q.Are you an insomniac? If yes, what keeps you up at night?

  • Yes, thinking about the past sometimes, regrets over bad decisions, especially the one about choosing the wrong career. Worries about the future, about life or usually the feeling that I am wasting my life and could be much much more than I am right now. Sometimes even when I can’t keep my eyes open, I stay up all night afraid of the new day thinking that I wasted all the previous ones.

     Q.Do you think introverts are better thinkers than extroverts?

  • No, they just spend more energy on logical thinking rather than emotional thinking compared to extroverts, plus I believe extroverts are as good thinkers as introverts if not better in the regard that they understand other people better and in several cases make emotional conclusions rather than logical ones and sometimes that helps.

    Q.How would you prioritize the following (beginning from the thing that tops the          list to the one that comes last) : Money – Family – Love – Career – Friends.

  • Family – Love – Friends – Career – Money

    Q.Narrate any incident that you’ll never forget?

  • Since there are several sad and happy ones, I’ll narrate a happy one. In Fall 2014 I had applied to a few Universities in the US, it was March 2015 now and I had not heard from any of the universities till yet. Then on one one fateful day, 28 March 2015, my birthday I woke up and the first thing I did was check my phone, there on the top of my phone screen was an email notification from Furman University. Goosebumps on my arm, I read “Dear Osama, Congratulations for being Accepted….” this was the only line that mattered, I ran to my parents room, gave them the news, they were ecstatic as I was, it was a mixture of congratulations with Happy Birthday, this was the best birthday present ever. That was one of the days, I had no worry, regret and not a drop of sadness, I was happy, just pure happy.

     Q.What’s your unpopular opinion?

  • One opinion I have that I feel would be unpopular among most people since most people act the opposite way, is that you should no have no public pride about your religion, nationality, wealth or social status compared to others. Yes, being happy or feeling lucky to be born in a certain social set is fine, but being proud that you are better than others just because you were born in a rich or religious family or just because you have a certain nationality you are better than the people of other countries is just your ego and radical thought speaking, believing that just because you just belong to a certain group makes you a better individual. No it doesn’t, your individual actions despite what group you belong to should make you good or bad.

    Q.What’s your MBTI personality type? 

  • ENFP (The Campaigner), a psychology professor gave this test to my dad (this is when this test wasn’t free and wasn’t on the Internet), it was like magic for me then, so accurate, I just wish I had taken career advice seriously from it too.

    Q.Define adolescence in one word based on your experience?

  • The day I found out that my sister would be getting married soon, I realized that we weren’t kids anymore, life’s responsibilities and expectations were just at the doorstep.

Questions


  1. What is your dream in life?
  2. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
  3. What is your favorite travel destination and why?
  4. If it were possible, which era in history would you like to experience and why? 
  5. Would you prefer dying as someone who is famous and admired or someone who is unknown but loved?
  6. What belief, philosophy, phenomenon, tradition fascinates you the most?
  7. Which fantasy/science fiction world would you like to be a part of?
  8. When or how do you think does a person achieve maturity? 
  9. Which person inspires you the most?
  10. Mention one social norm that you think shouldn’t exist.

My Nominees for Leibster Award :


  1. Kate Frantz
  2. Rameen
  3. Jaya Singh
  4. The Fella Twins
  5. Sindhuja Manohar
  6. Esoterica
  7. The Sparkling Words
  8. Samantha Rose
  9. Fariha
  10. SheBeShe

I would firstly like to apologize to Nameera, who so generously nominated me for this award two months ago. I was delayed in thanking her and posting this due to University Course Work and a long episode of depression. Nevertheless, I feel truly honored and humbled to have been nominated, this nomination is much more than I deserve as a blogger.

The Questions were very interesting and I tried to answer them to the best of my understanding.

Thank you so much for this wonderful nomination Nameera

She is an insightful and very talented poet and writer, do check out her amazing blog for beautiful and soul stirring poetry.

Rules


[Leibster Award]

  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Include award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers and share your post with them so they see it.

 

Verse of the Week

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“I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

via Verse of the Week

Melody of the Week – In Dreams

I decided to started this section because:

  • I always listen to music whenever I read or write, some people think it diverts concentration, but I think it soothes the soul and puts you in a place the article you are reading or writing wants to.
  • Music is food for the soul, I think everyone should enjoy music and I want to share what I hear and like so that other people can listen to it too and enjoy it as much as I did.
  • I want to appreciate the people who have helped me grow as a person and writer on my fairly new blogging journey, honored to have known all of you.

P.S. if you look at my blog’s header you might see the shape of a guitar.

 

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In Dreams – Lord of the Rings

This is “In Dreams” composed by Howard Shore and his wife Elizabeth Cotnoir, sung by a boy church choir for The Lord of the Rings films. The Lord of the Rings has a great part to play in my life, I grew up watching it, it introduced me to the world of imagination and fantasy, I owe my interest and passion for creativity and fantasy to Lord of the Rings, the characters, the music and for the story. This for me is one of the best songs ever. This is eternal bliss and beauty.

I edited this video with lyrics and pictures of my choosing to show what goes through my mind whenever I listen to it. I hope you like it as much as I do. Watch it in HD for the best experience

Whenever I hear this, I always feel like a pure romantic, lost in the beauty of nature, winter and separation. I believe in the idea that the beauty and magic of reuniting with something you love (a person, a place, a state of mind) is only as good as the separation, the greater the separation the more powerful the Reunion.

A very special mention to Holly , a dear friend and a great blogger.

She is a genius poet and a beautiful soul, her symbolism and wordplay is the finest I have ever read.

P.S Holly, the red leaf trees symbolize the wildness and beauty of your hair, personality and poetry.

Check out her amazing blog by clicking the link below:

https://houseofheartweb.wordpress.com/

 

via Melody of the Week

Verse of the Week – Cassandra Clare

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“Whatever you are physically…male or female, strong or weak, ill or healthy–all those things matter less than what your heart contains. If you have the soul of a warrior, you are a warrior. All those other things, they are the glass that contains the lamp, but you are the light inside.” ― Cassandra ClareClockwork Angel

via Verse of the Week

Understanding Children

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Children are people at the peak of their curiosity, wonder, excitement and their ability to learn, develop habits and adapt. Children will ask questions of every nature: funny, insightful, innocent and sometimes they will have these genuine moments of brilliance and ingenuity that will often surprise adults.

The way society is shaped up and the unfortunate firm belief of adults that they are “mature” has always supported the notion that the decisions and problems of adults are more important than those of children. Since the advent of family structures, values and the importance and responsibilities of human relations, children have always been at the bottom of the food chain. Adults always consider what kids do or say as childish behavior, they poorly generalize all the potential and intelligence of a curious young human being to a set of behaviors they expect him/her to have.

I know that children are of course inexperienced and naive, but that does not mean that what they do and think is any less important to what adults do or think. How many times do we attribute a child’s action to just childish behavior? “oh hahaha he/she is just a kid” or “Don’t worry, kids always do stupid and funny stuff”. These are the moments adults neglect their children’s actions and think that their negligence won’t have any long-lasting effect. I often wonder that do they forget how it was like to be a kid? During childhood you are in this ultra sensitive period where people create their impression on you. I will never forget the cousins who didn’t play with me just because I was a kid, the cousins who laughed at me when they caught me doing something stupid or when two of my elder cousins were bullying me by saying that my dad was short in height and their dads were tall and consequently I would be shorter than them. Just for curiosities’ sake, I am taller than both now, but not that it matters because something materialistic like height doesn’t matter to the wise.

I remember when I wanted something and how my parents couldn’t afford it and they would still try to manage the best for me. People think children don’t realize things like this but they do. A child may not know he is being fooled at the time he is being fooled but he realizes it later and may resent you. People think that always stopping a child by making a “harmless” lie or story is a legitimate parenting technique, they need to think it over. Yes, telling your kid’s that when they were born, the angels came to drop them off from the sky is fine because they will discover the truth when they grow up and telling them how a baby is conceived would mess up their childhood and they wouldn’t probably understand. But telling a kid something like don’t go outside “the old man” will kidnap you, or sleep early or the ghosts in the closet will come out. How many of you still race to your bed after turning off the lights? to hide under your blanket so that the ghosts won’t catch you? Some children are afraid of ghosts and the dark and carry these fears even into adulthood, due to the negligence of an adult, who just thinks telling the kid stuff like this will not affect him because he is just a kid.

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I am my parent’s only son and I have a younger sister, childhood was tough to me in the sense that I did not have anyone to play with and my parent’s were really over protective of me and didn’t let me play outside (I don’t blame them for this, because both my parent’s parents had raised them in certain ways, my mom was always fearful and my dad’s father was strict and my dad was brought up with the feeling that “you should enjoy time with your family instead of with people outside, good people don’t spend time out on streets, they study and keep it simple”). So I always looked forward to playing with my cousins, I had only one cousin who was my age, others were older and they were friends with each other and not me, I was always trying to find their favor so that they would give me time or consider me as their play friend. I was never fully accepted by them and I would get needy and jealous. The thing is that, we always make excuses to kids, that we are busy or this is not for kids and every kid has a limit of being neglected, we shouldn’t neglect a kid beyond his/her breaking point. I will always remember the cousins who treated me nicely and who didn’t.

The point is, no one takes anything related to kids fairly seriously, “it’s a kids fight”, “kids always cry”, “He is such a spoiled kid”. I don’t think people understand that kids can have psychological problems like stress, depression, anxiety or social pressure. I don’t blame older parents because they were truly oblivious; they thought kids don’t face psychological problems not because they were arrogant or careless but because of the assumption that “kids are weak and act on impulse and desire and that all they do is because of the childishness in them”. This assumption has become a part of our social common sense feeding upon the passing of time. This by far is the worst thing to assume about kids, instead of talking to kids and helping them, parents scold them or beat them. When an adult makes a mistake, he/she just says “Oh sorry” but when a kid does it “stupid, naughty kid, didn’t I tell you to behave?”.

Most kids are misunderstood, I have seen numerous times that a parent was scolding their kid for being naughty but the kid was either trying to do the right thing, or at least he/she thought he/she was. Once my aunt was sick and my cousin who was 5, realized that his mom was sick and in bed so he decided to be the responsible man in the house and he started cleaning the house. While cleaning he dropped a plastic bottle, spilling the liquid inside, he couldn’t reach the napkins so he decided to carry the liquid by cupping it in his hands, it took him 5 turns to carry the liquid from the floor to the sink in the other room, he left a trail of spilled liquid and his mom scolded him when she found out he had made a mess. The poor boy only tried to do his best to care for his sick mom. If an adult had spilled it, his mom would have asked how it had happened first and probably ignore it as an honest mistake, but in the case of kids it is always considered a naughty act at first impulse because kids are “always meddling and wreaking havoc for them”. The irony is that the same adults who think kids are impulsive, are the ones who judge kids impulsively.

Kids are completely developed personalities which adapt and grow as they become adults, the key to understanding children is the same as understanding anyone and that is to see and judge them by putting yourselves in their shoes. Kids have ego, humility, self-respect, expectations, ambitions and perception. When you scold a child in front of his/her friends, he/she would feel equally humiliated compared to a grown human being disrespected in front of his friend and colleagues. The assumption that kids don’t get depressed or stressed just because their problems are small compared to yours, or that their social interactions and what they face are easy and childish. Let me tell you, you are wrong and this is affecting your kid, being a nerdy naive kid and trying to be accepted by others is hard as any other thing. Don’t just tell your kids to stop complaining or crying, ask them what’s wrong and help them as a friend. If they do something harmful to themselves and they are sad, don’t scold them, console them. Would you scold a person who is unhappy or would you sympathize with him/her? Kids who are irritating and needy are always unhappy inside.

Lastly, the problem with society is that it needs to recognize that psychological pain is as grave as physical pain. Most society doesn’t acknowledge this for adults, they probably don’t acknowledge this even a little for kids. Children face stress and depression more grave than ours. I was relentlessly bullied in school because I was fat and the boys would make fun of my “fat ass”, I was scared, naive and didn’t tell my parents about it, fearing that if the boys found out they would bully me more or worse beat me up. I got irritating and hot-tempered at home then, I didn’t want to study, I didn’t want to meet anyone. Video games and books were my only salvation back then. My parents scolded me for not studying, I was so weak that every time I tried to argue back I started to swell up and didn’t argue further. They misjudged me, like all adults misjudge kids, not because they didn’t care, but because they didn’t know, because kids don’t know about therapy or that they should disclose their problems, they only know fear and when adults scold them or caution them for every mistake, how do you think a kid would learn to accept his confess his mistakes and accept them? Just because a kid is a child and apparently has no big worries in life, like you do, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have weight on his shoulders like you do. No problem is bigger or smaller for the one who is facing it.

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I am 21 years old and my best friend is my 14-year-old cousin, we have been best friends since he was 5. His mom and brothers think I am a loser who doesn’t have any friends his age, maybe I am a loser for others in this sense, because I really don’t have many close friends my age, my past has scarred me but not damaged me enough that I would give up my principles by abandoning the innocent for the fun and ecstasy of the misled   and become like the people I always hated(the one’s who only cared about height and status), I enjoy the innocence of his company, the insight-fullness of his questions, his love for me. I feel proud to make friends with a happy innocent soul. I understand him, give him advice. He has the same situation I had, he has brothers way older than him, and no cousins his age either, I was the friend he needed and came to. I will always be his friend so that he never feels like I did. Be your children’s friends, hear them out as you would hear out a person’s last wish on his death-bed, answer them as if their question was as important as the one that would win you a million dollar lottery and try to understand them as you would try to understand a wise scholar.

P.S I love my parents, I am nothing without them, whatever I have, I owe it to them. I don’t blame them for anything, because it was not their fault that I was bullied, they always did the best for me according to them and the way they were raised. It was the bullies fault and of society, that we have not developed or matured enough to understand children properly.

 

 

 

 

 

Verse of the Week – Kahlil Gibran

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Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow. ― Kahlil Gibran

via Verse of the Week