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#01 Imprints

Ever “pictured” yourself sipping on some coffee on a chilly afternoon, with mild sunlight caressing you’r cheeks, highlighting you bangs? Ever held yourself poised like you are being noticed, if not admired?…Like there’s an invisible camera focused at you?

Yeah. We’ve all pictured that ish, alright!

As innocent as it may seem, these are actually hints of something super crazy going on inside your head. These are imprints of movies and fake realities expressed through social media, growing on you. Like a parasite. If you let it impact you enough, you stop being your original self and create this artificial facade around you that starts identifying with you. Lets take a closer look (Warning- Sarcasm ahead, read at your own risk):

#01 One does not simply focus on work unless they are wearing geeky glasses, holding coffee and dressed in neutral tones. uh uh!

#02 Because your hair has to compliment your outfit and your outfit has to compliment the curtains and you have to be picture perfect while looking out of the window. (That reminds me of an incident while we were travelling through some Tuscan landscapes via train, and one of my friends was trying to get the best shot of herself by the window. every time she posed, her facial expression would become saint-like, her eyes as though lost in contemplation upon the wonders of human existence, lost into the wilderness…all… just for the perfect profile picture. What really put me off was that she was so unlike herself during this whole performance. Why? WHY?)

#03 Guess who I ran into the other day?…Success. Dressed in its best, formal and corporate look. Looking so fresh after the really stressful day at work, but hey….guess who rocks at meeting deadlines?…guess who’s spending more time at work than home? Guess who’s enjoying their career? (Not) (Psssst…Success). Ever seen those ads of personality development workshops, where they teach you how to be a good entrepreneur and stuff?. Most of the pictures of ” successful”‘ people are always in blazers and yeah, don’t forget to notice the grey tones of the office space behind them, with their “cheerful” team out-of-focus, at the back. Just type ‘Successful People’ on Google and click Images…you’ll know what I mean.

#04 The work desk! Off course it has to have a succulent, even if you have no idea how to take care of it! I mean seriously guys! If I had put a shred of effort I put in taking care of them succulents, in my work, I’d have had a breakthrough in my career by now. The coffee is all set on the table with that leather cover notebook and my mac! Without these how can anyone begin work? Oh wait. I almost forgot, time to click the arrangement and post it on Instagram, no?

#05 Walking down a street after uni or work? but the reel plays a different scene in your head. You are swaggering down the middle of the street, in slo-mo, to some imaginary beats that only you can hear…because you are what, “self -made”?

#06 Breakup. The mess in my room is legit,okay, because I had a heart break. And I haff to help myself to some ice-cream, call my best girl over and watch some chick-flicks, because that is the only home made remedy for moving-on. Seriously!

#07 What?…firstly I suffered a break up and now Mom’s yelling that I don’t do my chores and I’m being irresponsible!..Nobody *sniff*….understands *sniff* me….Aaaaaand with that its time to fling myself onto my bed and pull a blanket over me, hug my pillow and cry much! Coz isn’t that ish what you’re supposed to do?…normally? Also don’t forget to notice that although I’m crying, I’m damn pretty at it!

#08 Looking outta the window – part 2. This time I’m looking out and my braid/bun/hair is more in focus to the imaginary camera positioned behind me. No. We don’t shoot faces. We’re way too mysterious for that.

Movies and the like, have to potential to imprint on us. We’re all confined to this artificial sanctuary in our heads. Held hostages in our own minds and before we know it we are already being played puppet. Its true that the things we watch, the books we read are all a part of us, and they help in building us. But we must not leave the real Mad-Eye Moody locked up in the trunk! We go beyond just absorbing these trinkets from movies and decorate ourselves with it. What we fail, however to realize is that its all playing in our heads.

To put it simply its like a background task running in our computers. I mean, we buy a laptop with great specs and good memory space for it to run smoother and faster, but there are these background tasks sometimes, which slow down the speed or heat up your device in the middle of your main task. Its easy to run a cleaner and get rid of these tasks. But just like that, these cookies we pick up from the years of entertainment and societal reality that we are a part of, rubs off on us. And that’s not always healthy.

Experiencing a break up, for example, leads to transformation and does not necessitate a messy room, but our mind thinks that its matches well. We must rise above ourselves, we are designed for it. Its said that our surrounding is a reflection of our mind, so how about reverse engineering this formula and de-clutter our space, to clear the clutter in our mind, instead of some ice cream and silly chick flicks? A portion may be good, but sometimes we dangerously allow so much of these skewed ideas to own us that one might actually start “liking” to cry…yeah it happens! We might start enjoying the break up without even knowing that we are. Almost as if we expect the movies to lend some sympathy to us. Its nothing but that. A perfect breeding ground for self pity.

Similary, success, and all these other concepts that we like identifying ourselves with are just concepts taking our shapes, when we are designed for more than that.

Its indeed a skill to navigate through these, I find myself falling victim to these ideas less often than before and it all takes one realization. Do let me know how many of you can actually relate to my rant, and how you have found yourselves imprisoned by these ideas and how you free yourselves from it.

“So that is my theory, that these moments of impact define who we are. A moment of impact. A moment of impact has potential for change, has ripple effects far beyond what we can predict.” – The Vow

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers withing yourself that you have built against it.” – Mawlana Jalal-Al-Deen Rumi

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The Perfect Myth

Human beings can only tend to perfection, but cannot be entirely perfect. Thus our understanding of perfection is also imperfect.

Perfection, in this world, cannot last. That “Perfect” vacation spot is ruined by mosquito bites, but the Instagram post of the vacation (with added filters off course) may appear to have the most perfect smiles. We humans are just too good at masking the imperfections, its our favorite hobby.

Now, when out idea of perfection itself is so skewed, everything we look at through this imperfect lens, is going to look nothing but…imperfect.

One day Moses(PBUH) asked Allah to reveal himself to him. Allah said “Look at that mountain as I send my name upon it. Then Allah sent down His name upon a nearby mountain. That instant the mountain exploded out of submissiveness and Moses (PBUH) fainted. Allah sent only His name on a mountain and the mountain was reduced to dust. If Allah were to reveal his entire self to his creation, in this world, then we would all just cease to exist, probably even before catching a glimpse.

Just like fire. Fire gives us the necessary warmth, guides us with its light, but you cannot touch it or feel it without getting burnt.

The greatest gift that man has received from Allah is humility. Its there. In all of us its there, in some more than the others. We just need to dive within and embrace it with all of our imperfections. It is humility that helps us realize that its perfect to not know or have everything. If our cup was already full, then there wouldn’t be room for more.

The knowledge that Allah gives us is cherry picked for us only so that we may find our way back home to our Beloved. It works just like a map that takes us back home. Yes, my bed is cozy and nothing can beat my mother’s cooking. I will have all the luxury I’m used to, in my house. But in the end it is our loved ones that make it Home. Similarly the comforts and pleasures of Heaven are a good motivation to get there, but the main reason to go there is to be re-united with our Beloved….with Allah….and experience Perfection.



The Void

Ever had that feeling that you have all you need in your life now but you’re still restless?..like there’s a void punched right through you?….

Our bodies are from this realm, The Material World, and we satisfy it with food, passion, entertainment…and we go so far in consuming these as to stuff’em into that void. But that void…is in our soul..and our souls are from another realm. No amount of stuffing is going to satiate it. It needs food too, the food of revelation…contemplation…and that of gratitude and of repentance. How starved are you?..

Darkness, The Canvas of Light

Prayer is better than sleep | This is one of the most simple yet profound advice we hear everyday in the Fajr Athaan (Dawn call to Prayer). We are literally commanded to wake up in the early dark hours of dawn, to connect with our Beloved. Similarly…figuratively speaking, when you are going through a meltdown or an emotional struggle, where you have lost all appetite and all you want to do is curl up in bed, use the same advice and go connect with your Beloved.

Night, is similar to dark times. It won’t last long. Just as the dawn prayer commemorates the good news of the coming day, the conversation and connection you establish in your personal darkness, will help you acknowledge the coming of light…..the coming of your personal Dawn!

Break Free

So I found this broken pot lying in dirt. Almost instantly I felt a connection. I brought it home and turned it into a Moroccan themed (At least I’d like to think so…) miniature garden.

I realized something. Allah breaks us for a reason. It’s just a matter of time and realization that we are in a much beautiful position for having been broken. That some serious transformation is due.

Today this piece is the center of attraction in my home garden. An eye catcher. Every time someone compliments me for it, I try to remind myself of how this thing was lying in dirt….broken.

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” -Jalal-al-din Rumi

Fish in a Bowl

A fish born in a bowl has no idea what the ocean’s depth is. It lives as if the bowl is the ocean. The bottom of the bowl is reached even before the wake disappears.

It’s is not in the ability of the fish to go exploring for the ocean, but it is indeed in our ability as a human to go exploring for our origin.

Are you following an idea, a religion, a culture, a society because you were born into it? Are you being a fish in a bowl?

“My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there.”    – Mawlana Jalal-al-din Rumi