Friday, 22 April 2016

A woman

I am a woman and I am being told not to be a feminist. I am said to be different because I am supporting the rights of a woman. Do you think the damages behind what you are saying? I already live in a patriarchal society that pushes the woman down because they go like, ''omg a woman can't lead, she can't do this or that because women simply don't do that.'' Am I not being judged for being the opposite gender? Trying to find my own place while trying to uplift others who find they depend on men, that is a fat big no. They can support you but you do not depend on any man to show your worth.

Can't being go out alone in the night for a walk because I can be attacked by any man who is hungry of his lust. Is this what you want me to go through? I have my inner and outer struggles as well, thank you world for being that way. If a woman is poor, she is regarded in a different way, if she is from the middle class, she is put in a pedestal where she is questioned but if she is rich, she can do things without having to give any sort of explanation. Why not give the power to each woman equally? Or try to see all as one? Being a woman is tough because I always have to be there and see how a man is being admired as the strong gender, I agree he is strong physically but most of the times, I can walk on the same path with him and do better.

It is never ending for I see young girls being taught to just cook and be docile. They are never taught to be fierce to compete with this discrimination which will always teach them to be behind and not ahead. Most of the posts or talks I see is, ''respect her because she is somebody's mother, sister or daughter.'' How misogynistic of you! Isn't she a human being like you first of all? But you were taught to see her as somebody has some other identity before and then a human being. I do not blame you but this is why feminism is needed as we do have our rights but we had to fight for them to get them recognized in your eyes.

Also as they say, the truth is infront of your eyes but we have to rub in your eyes for things to work out. It is surprising how when a woman succeeds, people are stunned. We are humans like you, humans. Women are being sold as sex slaves, some of them are victims of the domestic violence and others are being raped but can't speak out for they do not have the support for when a woman speaks out of her agony, ''she brings disgrace to the family''. And this is how it has been since the beginning for a woman's word has no value and you tell me, feminism isn't needed? Who will speak out for us? I am being put aside because I am a woman.

I am being judged by the way I dress, if I wear short clothes, I am judged. If I wear a scarf, I am judged and if I cover myself up completely, I am judged. I never saw the opposite gender supporting us that much and this is why I stand up for myself and I am going to show that a woman is not a showcase to be placed in the house but she can go out and be a free person. A 22 year old paralysed woman was raped by a staff member in PIMS, now tell me that her clothes were revealing. Some men are so disgusting and I am a woman who is watching everything but will speak out. It isn't about the god damn clothing but the mentality that is sick.

After wearing the abaya full time for some months, I put it in my mind that men won't be staring anymore but they still do so it is from my own experience that I am speaking. We always have the eyes on us and are being ogled. WHY? Because I am a woman and we do not speak about it openly because it is considered as taboo. It is not going to be the case anymore because when I can see how I can't even say things at all and it is high time that the shackles have to change. Raise from what you have been taught that a woman will be doing all my household chores because I am a man, consider her as your human fellow.

And finally I am a woman who is being oppressed and that is why I will teach and empower other woman to believe that they are much more than what they think they are for a woman gives birth, raises her children, gives comfort to anybody and is what you are scared to give power because most of the time, she does better than you for she is a woman, a gentle being but fierce when you snatch her rights that she always have to remind you of. She is a woman that according to the religion of Islam, heaven lies under her feet when she is your mother. She is a woman that you look down to but she will raise, she will. I will make her raise for I am a woman like her.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Moving away

This has been one of my big decisions to move away from everyone to pursue a new experience, change and career. In my mind, the scenarios were different though the reality is actually so bitter and awakening. It has actually been helping me to be more open minded or patient in so many ways but yet there is always something missing.

When I think how everything happened so fast last December that I didn't meet everybody to say goodbye or mention that I will be back soon. Or when I looked in my parents' eyes, it breaks my heart to say that I was selfish in some way to decide to move. I always say that I am fulfilling my dad's dream but I left him alone, who does he even scold to wake up for Fajr or to sleep every night? How does my mum walk past by my room and not feel that one of her kids isn't around? How is everybody surviving without me at home?

My group of friends did have an idea that I was planning to move but not that soon. Some knew that good and surprising news through my TV interview, some weren't even believing that my departure was in two weeks and some even thought that I was joking around as things never happen fast with me. I still remember how the idiot of my life, Tahirah who sounded so devastated on the phone when I let her know that I am not going to be around for a long time. I broke so many hearts which I have been realizing some days ago.

All I heard was, ''we are happy for you because you are so happy. We are proud of what you have achieved. Do not forget us even once else we will haunt you'' before leaving. Nobody even said that things would not be the same without you or we are hurt by this but then I sit down and ponder or even read my messages, I get the notion that I have been hiding my feelings way too much and not reciprocating the love back of those who are still there to care if I am doing well in a strange land where everything is so different for me.

When it comes to the guilt part, I kept feeling guilt about everything every single day, I missed so many important occasions, I am not here when my loved ones are in pain or crying. Those days when my best friend had her first heartbreak, all I could do was be on skype with her to console her with words and watch her cry her heart out, I used to give her my shoulder to cry on and hug her to let her that things will be fine but I felt so helpless that I wish I could take a flight and get back but one can't help with such situations.

I missed birthday parties, first formal presentations and so many important events of the people whom I am close to though I still sent words to show that my presence is still there even my absence is still so visible to everybody. One of the biggest blow on the heart was when I missed my brother and dad's birthday and all I could do was just call and wish them a long lifetime of success and happiness. I used to organize every single birthday event for everybody when I was around so I guess that I am always going to feel left out.

Well it's going to be like this for the remaining 3 years but I feel that I am a bad friend, daughter and sister. What do you say to your friend who says that if you were here, things would be better? Oh well, I am sorry, I left because my career is more important than everything that I left behind. It was easy to think with the mind that this will happen and it won't affect me but it is eating the inside of my intestine everyday and I can't help the feelings from making the heart so heavy. So many situations with questions and no answers.

Though there is this thing called loneliness that just doesn't seem to pass out. I am definitely surrounded by new people to hang out with or spend time with but then it isn't the same like the ones whom I am used to as I take time to get along with anybody. It's nice to sit down and laugh for hours but it will always remain as memories that I will carry someday as well. Nothing stays constant at all and time just passes like a bird is flying in the sky where suddenly you don't see it anymore as it was just a temporary phase.

Trying to fit in is what I did but then I got the point that it won't work because this is not home. I have definitely got a lot of experiences so far which opened my eyes. I got even more confident in what I am doing, got over some of my fears, discovered that it isn't that hard to be independent and left the toxic vibes behind. It isn't that hard to stand on my own feet as nobody can help me until I help myself. There is always the constant change in everything that I go forward to do and it makes me then breaks me and it's a whole circle that repeats then I finally get the grip of it.

Despite every point that I mentioned, I am glad to have everyone who still sticks around and pesters me to come back which will definitely happen with God's will. I definitely got new friends but you people are home and recognize who you are.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The art of talking

It's been years that I have been trying to figure out how can people be constantly talking to others with ease all the time? It's definitely an art that I haven't mastered until now. It's either I talk less or a lot to new people, acquaintances or even my close friends. There has to be something that I haven't discovered in my 20 years of surviving in this life where I can hear words all the time but I indulge more into thoughts than words.

On the other side, I can go to different places and get along with some new people like I have met them for years and be comfortable because there is the common ground but at times I will land to a place where I can be there among people but they won't even notice that I am around because I won't even mutter a word. It's because either I don't feel connected or I just observe how others are around me. It's in my nature, I guess that people are surprised when they see me not talking at all then talking a lot later on.

I was told during my childhood, I was the loud and bubbly kid ever because I was the only kid of my parents back then then my brother came along and it was the happiest day of my life when I held him in my arms as my mother still talks about it until now, how I wasn't being mischievous at all and smiling at the little baby and calling everybody to look at the little creature that I was intrigued by. Ever since I knew that he was not like other brothers, I came to learn that he is autistic, I became quiet for a long while because he was my baby too.

That made me quiet and then loud, it's time that made me start talking again but then I became selective with the people that I talk to and I was okay with it. I am a shy and reserved person that get remarks all the time, ''you are so rude'', ''god, so arrogant'', but the actual thing is that I take time to open up to others and it will be like that all the time. I can't even stick to a conversation at times or just smile to pretend that I am having an interest in what you are saying when it's the contrary. I can't even talk to a wall if I get all quiet and moody.

The long road of getting this art of talking helped me when I changed schools and moved countries, I learnt that it's not bad to be speaking to new people. I have eventually found people that I can relate to or talk to. All I needed to do was find that common ground where I could stay friends with those people that I talk to, for a long time. I tend to get detached or attached because my mind keeps on thinking and simply don't stop as over-thinking is my middle name. I think a lot and talk less of what is on my mind as words are precious to me.

Being known as the quiet person to people and the talkative or crazy person among my close friends or group of friends where they go like ''can't you shut up for a while?'' is all good with me as I need to get used to you to be talking for hours or just be quiet when things aren't going well or I am angry at you. I still can't explain things or defend myself as I am not good at it so I just give the silent treatment as it helps me to sort out where I went wrong or where you went wrong, at times it's bad because I should talk when things go wrong but I don't.

Some days ago, I came across this quote, ''if somebody doesn't understand your silence, it means that he hasn't understood your words'' so I figured out who are the ones, who actually understood who I am, in fact. I will always be noticing you from afar before approaching you and it's always fun in a way to be revealing myself slowly by slowly as I do not like rushing things at all as things could get ruined then. I won't deny that I tried fitting in what others do but I eventually got the point that I am losing myself and stopped right there.

To get along with who I am, I took time as I used to think that I am not good enough as why can't I be like that girl who is all lively but I realized that I invest myself in people who are worth it at the end of the day. I am completely different from my father or mother who can even speak to the Prime minister and I can't speak for long to you if I don't know you.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Swimming along.

It's all about knowing where your priorities are, swimming along with all your problems and worries is a big thing for you and I. One cannot say that he or she isn't surviving well as there is always a ray of light at the end of tunnel every single day. Holding on to that faith that things do get better helps the confidence that is dying in you.

I always imagine life like a swimming pool where everybody is swimming at a different speed, some are swimming very slowly and some are swimming very quickly. The waves will always push us here and there, one just has to learn how to control his or her pace to move ahead else you will always stay behind. Feeling the warmth, heat, coldness is a process of knowing whether you are alive or not for there has to be a change to know the difference in what is going on.

Stopping at least to put your head above the water is fine as well as one needs sometime to think on where he or she went wrong in their process of surviving, surviving is the first step to living. Living is a big word for there are few people who are living for real. Most of us are either copying others or are being forced to do something to pass the hours. Do ask yourself if you are living out of joy or to succumb that sadness that is hiding to creep on you at odd hours for this is what happens all the time.

Observing how the water gets to what level of your body is important as well for the water can be at your tummy so you know that things are going alright, the water can be at your shoulder, you start realizing that things are going okay, the water can be at your nose, you start panicking for things are going haywire and being an adult, you don't know what to do and start overthinking about thousand solutions that do not relate to the actual problem when you should be thinking of just one simple solution to what is affecting you.

Also when somebody asks you if you had a productive day, you just want to swim ahead because you don't want to lie for you procrastinated most of the hours, it's very rare that somebody has a really productive day, well we all control a nation called procrastination if you look at the clear picture, it's time to face the reality and oh yes we are like that and there is no shame in that for one can never be perfect and it's completely fine.

So let's just keep on swimming along with what life gives and put in our mind, 'bring it on' for we are ready for what is waiting us. It's all about bracing the storms that is hitting or will hit the sea and we do not have any helper at times, we do have friends but then they do not always know what is going on with us so we are our own best friend all the time, kudos to each of us for bearing ourselves all the time.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Chapel Hill Shooting.

I am still not at ease since I heard the news last night about the Chapel Hill Shooting and the mass media isn't making a huge claim about anything. It is so disappointing to see that Muslims do not have the same human rights as others. It's like every time we have to say 'hello we are humans too no matter what'.

After watching the video of the elder sister of the young boy and his wife, along with his wife's friend, I couldn't help but weep for them. It's been only 6 months that the young boy got married and now they are dead. They didn't even see life well yet, I can imagine how their dreams have been shattered when they were shot. They were newly wedded couple who barely spent a year together for god's sake and the other young girl was studying for her upcoming future with so much ambition and passion.

One can make a vision what she wanted to do for her family after her architecture studies, I can feel her completely because she was just 19 like me yet humanity is decreasing every single day and it makes me so angry to see how the news headlines are 'North California man charged in the Chapel Hill Shooting death of 3 Muslim students'. He is a bloody terrorist or killer. Also why do they have to bear for a violent white man who lost his mind? I can't feel the unimaginable pain of those parents and family.

That is a lifelong pain, torture, agony, loneliness, regret and deep sighs for them. Nobody can pacify or console them, it is so hard in such situations where somebody so dear just gets killed for no valid reason and the law is being lenient because he is a white man and ofcourse, he will be treated as a king and have that superior position as this has been happening since 9/11 and nobody simply cares. It is only after the events that everyone goes like 'if only, seriously if only' and speak about it for a day and forget it later on as if it doesn't concern them.

There are so many questions that have to be raised after this incident because no human being deserve such an act as it is so horrible. Do we really have to be judged because of our religion or skin color? Isn't the black, brown and white people the same? How can this world run like this with humans dying and others continue with their daily routines? Why is the news headlines being so biased for the Muslims and not for the white people? Do we have to be white to get our voices heard? Will candlelight marches and protest walks help?

One can do strikes but after some days or months or years, it's the same thing again and it's not a big deal because it's Muslims who are dying or will die. Where is all the sympathy gone? Remember how everything was exaggerated when Who Is Charlie happened? Here is the hypocrisy, everybody is being negligent now, wake up people, it's high time. It might be your brother, son, cousin, neighbor, father, sister, mum or any of your closed ones tomorrow and you will weep so get up and do something for once.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Dear Mahanoor.

Dear Mahanoor,

I have been meaning to write you a letter and give it to you tomorrow when we see each other but then I had to tell you what you actually mean to me. To be honest, you are one of the most loveliest human beings that I have ever seen and spent time with in my entire 19 years of existence. That heart of yours is so pure that I feel so fuzzy and warm inside.

To begin with, 4 years of friendship where we always understood each other and argued, then there were days when we didn't talk to each other because of I don't know what went wrong but still whenever we start talking, nothing else mattered. Not even a single fight or misunderstanding which I am so grateful about it. You have always been my backbone and didn't care about whether I bother you during the day or night.

Then when I came to Karachi, you came the exact day just to see me and you hugged me. The words that you uttered, still in my mind, ''finally my dream came true''. I am not even allowed to say thank you but thank you for making me feel special and waiting for me in the sun for an hour. At that moment, I didn't know what to say or feel because you are just so loving and caring. Everything seems meaningless when you are around.

Also you would break rules for me and make sure that I am safe all the time, making everything look like I am not away from home. You are home to me, people can be home too like I did mention to you. Selflessness is so filled in you that I can literally drown in it and I would be saved by you again because you are that anchor for me. That is love, you understand what is love completely and I am always stunned how you do. 

Being silly teenagers that we were, we definitely grew up from our mistakes, confusion, pain and self destruction. Holding each other's hands, we did it and we will keep on doing so, now that we are so close to each other, being in the same vicinity. I just feel it when you send me a message even if there is no wifi, it's just that I am connected to that soul of yours that you will discover how beautiful it is in some days because I am here for that.

'I am a sticky lover so don't cry', I am definitely that person who will not leave you because I was born that way. It doesn't matter if there is a power cut, riot, strike or fog, I am there for you and I know it is likewise. Just that we are similar in so many ways that we understand each other so well, like you looked at my face in the supermarket last Sunday and said, 'do not worry, Nasra, the gate will still be open.'

Last but not least, I love you more than I will ever express in words but I will do so in so many actions that you will always be smiling. Do thank Aunty for giving you birth or I will do so in some hours when I see her. And basically you are my everything so I am going to stop being formal. 

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Between my mind and heart.

I always have this war waging between my mind and heart. My mind says something and my heart say something else. Why does my mind says that you are ruthless yet my heart says you are nice and romantic. It is confusing me even more and I don't know what to trust, my mind or heart.

It's like I was given a heart to be naive from what others do or say to me and I have a mind to distinguish who is good or bad but I decide not to use my mind most of the time because I fear that people will call me heartless like I once called my cousin heartless because she did not talk to me for a week as I got her in trouble by eating my grandma's food and she was punished. She was so hurt that she couldn't stop crying and I don't want to be in the same position as her.

When I listen to my heart, I am so good that I am not able to say no to anybody, I always say yes because I do not want to hurt anybody. People wonder why I can be so lovely but I am not, I can't explain so because I do not find words to say what I am going through then. It's difficult for a shy person like me to say that my heart is too soft and I love my fellow human beings whether they are good or bad to me.

At times I get tired because I can feel my mind and heart fighting between each other. I do not understand what to do then and I just fall down on the floor and fall asleep. It's a hard situation for me every time I have to interact with people that I love and acquaintances whom I meet from time to time. I will be able to know what my heart and heart are telling me while growing up because they guide me somehow.

My mind and heart are my assets, no matter what. My mind helps me to think logically and my heart makes me of what I actually am. I can't always be what people expect me to be because things do not work like that.