Reading the right texts!

-Good books like good friends, are free and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.-.png

Reading books is a favorite hobby of many people both young and old. Reading provides relaxation, especially reading novels and other such literary genres that are particularly meant for the purpose of leisure. But not all reading is good for the mind, body and soul. Reading books filled with obscene language has a bad effect on the mind and also strains our relationship with Allah(SWT), as indulging in anything indecent is not permissible in Islam.

The extent of obscenity in literary works can be seen in the way in which every random book targeted towards the youth is as a matter of fact filled with filthy language. Have being a student of English Literature, I have come across and read many fictional literary texts of the old school authors that are really decent and modest in nature. Continue reading

Alhamdullilah for series – A review

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Whoever among you wakes up (in the morning)
safe in his property, tranquil in his heart,
healthy in his body, and has his daily nourishment,
it is as if all of this world has been chosen for him.
                                        — Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)

A thought-provoking quote by the most pious soul to have ever lived. In this world of wars, enmity, falsehood, lies and deceit, having the basic necessities of life fulfilled should be nevertheless considered as a blessing from Allah(SWT). Remembering, accepting and counting every blessing Allah (SWT) has bestowed on us, only teaches us to be more thankful for all we have in our lives that many others only yearn for.

I volunteered to review this journal, as I found it way to awesome to resist. The journal “Alhamdullilah for series” (A Muslim’s mini gratitude journal), is a product of the website Ayeina. The website is run by two very artistic sisters from whose names the portmanteau word ‘Ayeina’ is derived. If your mother tongue is urdu, then you will know for sure what ‘Ayeina’ means — A mirror. And that is exactly what the motto of the website is “Believer is the believer’s mirror”. Continue reading

Now and Then…

                   I remembered a nice quote of Albert Einstein—”The monotony and solitude of a quite life stimulates the creative mind”. That’s exactly what happened with me and hence I transcribed this post. Looking back and contemplating over the years of my life, I realized how certain things or rather some significant incidents in life refined and reshaped my choices. Just reflecting on a few of my preferences I was amazed as to how they have altered. Having such a supportive hubby has made the ride of life a worthwhile one

technology, time, clocks, vintage, dirty, steel, glass, wood, table, desk, bokeh, still

Things that changed:
               First of all being married taught me to be less of a self-obsessed person. I learnt to put the wishes and likes of others before mine. I left my lazy caterpillar cocoon, and started working for real (home-making). Learnt to cook and clean— a change I am myself astonished at. I can now cook some really nice Indian delicacies that even my granny cannot :-P. I am still in the process of shedding my introvert skin, but that’s my innate ability to feel lonely in a group of people.

              This is a real deal of a change— I no longer like Disney princesses, or for that matter Disney movies or stuff have stopped exciting me. I am growing old I feel. I giggle at the fact that if I leave my window open for Peter Pan I might instead be welcoming a burglar. And I believe there is no Never-land, and no fairy God-mothers out to help the righteous. There is only a war-land on this planet and pitiable Syrian refugees I see on the high streets of London. Disney you misled me as a kid!!!.

             I have learnt to stop squandering money on useless stuff. At one point of time I would irk my parents until they gave up into my demands. Now life has taught me to think about the less fortunate before I throw tantrums to Allah(swt) in my prayers. Next, I have stopped doing random searches on Dr. Google and diagnosing myself with maladies.

             Albeit I still have a soft-spot for soft toys but that’s withering away gradually. I have stopped complaining about my food— because I am the one who cooks, ergo I cannot be complaining about such a great chef there :lol:.

Things that remain unchanged:
              Updating every detail of my day to my dear parents (even if the neighborhood cat pays a visit to my backyard). Bugging off hubby dearest with all minute details of the day lest I end up in a tummy ache if I do not update something to him. I still stare at my collar-bones to see if I have grown fat over night. My love for books is one true love of my life— the only change is I have started loathing Chetan Bhagat’s books, and as maturity is getting in my blood Khaled Hosseini’s books interest me more. Talking to Allah behind closed doors! has till remained the same. Mashallah he is my best friend. Fretting and getting anxious for stupid things has increased all the more. 😆

                  That’s my now and then list. Oh! Ya my awe of the Egyptian pyramids remains the same. Hmm… Once in a while it is good to reflect on the changes your life has taken and pat your shoulder for the positive ones :-).

 

Remember your roots

Petrichor — a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. Hmm!!! That smell is nostalgia for many of us, I believe. Or atleast it certainly takes me down the memory lane. Of a childhood, very well-spent, in a small yet sentimental ancestral house. Memories of water laden streets after that first heavy rain. Making paper boats out of newspapers, and sailing them in the muddy waters. The hot and crisp potato fritters made by my mother. Melting the bottoms of candles to stick them onto lids of steel tins, after a power cut. My quite old tomcat napping at the threshold of the door. Hmm! every thing makes me yearn for my country.

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My grandfather always annoyed me, asking me the same question repeatedly — “Do you remember Sir Walter Scott’s poem, Patriotism?” — Breathes there the man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said ‘This is my own, my native land’. I pulled on from there and completed the stanza. And he would inhale snuff from his snuff box, and reminiscence about old days. The snuff box is still preserved beside his thick nerdy glasses. It is he who has perished. I do miss his annoying habits sometimes. I now think of the many people who have dead souls, that never pine for or never favor their own country.

Every one of these beautiful memories of mine are linked to what was and will always remain ‘homeland’. Here in London is what is my marital home, but London can never be homeland. It is a foreign land. And even if it does accept me as its citizen, I will be a British Indian, never a Britisher. Many years from now InshaAllah if I live to reminiscence about my London days, then every memory will identify with my hubby — of the very happy days spent with my dear husband and a few good friends I made here. Perhaps as one grows older, the urge to return to roots gets firmer and nothing soothes the soul as the sight of homeland.

I very well know that India can never be what England is. Indians cannot forgo their desi accent. Yay! even Abdul Kalam spoke in a heavy Tamil accent. Indians can never stop staring at anything awe-inspiring. They can never be as civilized as to satisfy themselves with a smile, where a hard laugh is demanded. India can never have British winters. India can never have spick and span streets, like those of Britain. India might never have that fast a railway service as the tubes of London.

But then! Can Britain give me a taste of the succulent mangoes in the hot summers?. Can the kids of England sail paper boats in rain water as our Indian kids do?. Can one see portable vending carts selling vegetables in the streets of London?. Can one hear the sounds of azaan straight from half a dozen mosques, here in London?. The laughter and gaiety the Eid day brings, London can never gift me that. I can never identify the British countryside with the magical world of Malgudi, I read about in my childhood. Eating ice apples on a hot May day with my grandpa is what only India can give me.

Britain may be: richer, powerful, magnificent and stupendous. But India shall always remain the country that made me what I am today. Being a Muslim in India is a bit worrisome, but that is a completely different story. Putting politics at bay, India has a soft-spot in my heart. I shall never feel ashamed of being her citizen. On the other hand, Britain is really great, I love the comforts and luxuries it has given me. I love the cosy British homes with all the contemporary conveniences. But balancing love and liking is all what life is about. Forgetting that part of life which was one’s foundation after reaching the top, is like deceiving the self, into believing in something that never was. Immigrating to a more prospering country, and forgetting where roots lie is a sign of hypocrisy.

This love and yearning for the roots and homeland grow deeper,as years go by, or perhaps when you never get a chance to return back to where you came from. Maybe that was what made Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor, deported to Rangoon by the British pen down his final verses as

Kitna hai badnaseeb Zafar, dafn ke liye,
Do gaz zameen bhi na mili ku-e-yaar mein…

(How unlucky is Zafar, he could not even obtain
two yards of land for his burial,
In the beloved land…)