Friday, December 11, 2015

Hik Nuktay Ich Gal Mukdi Ay

He alone ... is the Observer,
He alone is the observed!
There is none ... but He ... 
in the World of Existence. 

- Ibn al- Arabi

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Out of all the myriad of feelings and emotions, disillusionment holds a special blue significance. 
When we bring into frame the factors triggering the emotion, the blue takes many different hues: from the teal of the algae slowly eating away the heart, to the azure of a cold give up. In some cases, however, the feeling comes as such a wholesome package of being let down and disappointment, one can do nothing but embrace the entire spectrum of blues. 
Don't get me wrong. We're not talking about an ordinary, every day dismay here. We're talking about the disappointment delivered by a broken trust which we so rarely bestow upon people; faith, which we hold so dear, we spend years holding close to our chest - never letting many claim it. We overestimate the size of person and the fall hurts. 
As soon as the snap subsides, our consciousness begins echoing with a certain knock of incredulity every so often which makes us keep questioning our entire foundation of reasoning for having to face this strong a blow. With every knock comes this swallow of bitterness, which we push down our throats while the bitterness stays, stinging our tongues. It drips down from our words, it drapes around our gaze. 
We stare back at our own reflection with surprise. This is another disappointment.
The blue deepens. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

How Much To Pour of Your Self?

Being a sensitive person can be a confusing, complicated thing in this still harsh world. It feels intuitively right to open, to feel, to enhearten our daily life, but the world is still vibrating at a more armored and edgy place. It is not yet attuned to the ways of the open heart. So what to do? We don't want to deaden our capacity to feel, but if we feel too much, we get run over by an often heartless world. I have found my best answer in three places: 

Selective Attachment: carefully discerning between positive and negative individuals and environments, and only attaching to those people and places that can hold our tender heart safe. 

Strong Energetic Boundaries: being physically and emotionally charged, so that we can more effectively repel unwelcome energies. 

Conscious Armoring: learning how to put on armor when necessary to manage the world and difficult situations, and, consciously removing it when it is no longer needed. 

If we cultivate these practices, we stand a much better chance of preserving our sensitivity. Once we lose it, we lose our connection to the moment altogether. Here's to a sensitive way of being! What a courageous path. 

- An excerpt from 'Spiritual Graffiti'

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Feeling Eridanus

No gravity,

are the words on my mind,
clinging to me, 
like an unruly bougainvillea vine. 

It's hard to describe the feeling.
Or perhaps, it's only futile to do that. 

Well, what does it matter?

Anyways, do google "Eridanus".

It made me feel accompanied.

Keep well.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Journey Between Caterpillar to Butterfly

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of Allah never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full. 

- Rumi

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fetch The Horizon

To be a sensitive individual in a, generally, unforgiving world can trigger situations demanding considerations of great depth and resonance.
While endless intellectualization of the details and enormous question marks of our lives comes natural to us, it is the ability to harbor faith into the unresolved as not a sphere of fear, which is the ultimate act of Becoming.
Today I came across a passage of a letter Rainer Maria Rilke wrote to a struggling young poet, and for a moment there I was the only addressee of this letter.
I've read it uncountable times since then and would like to share it with you too!

Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away... and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.... be happy about your growth, in which of course you can't take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don't torment them with your doubts and don't frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn't be able to comprehend. Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn't necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.... and don't expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it. 

Fetch the horizon, I think to myself as I conclude the read. 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Dil Ka Rus

The fortune of leading the pack of volunteers in a mentoring initiative for the development sector brings with it a fair share of clarity of thought & action, enriching life with plenitude moments of gratitude. 

I haven't, lately, been sharing at this place happenings from my life. 
Today might be a deviation.

Following is an excerpt from a whatsapp conversation between the mentor team leads and myself, and has been reproduced here with gratitude to the team who urged this entire conversation be saved as a document about the balance between the art of dreaming while not escaping reality.
The concern posed was how to keep a rational approach while training male and female mentees for goal setting in life since females do not get an equal opportunity when it comes to careers:


I've realized we give our girls dreams that may not come true. Like you can become an astronaut & what not. Girls boys are equal but they have commitments that demand otherwise, like kids & home.

How do we balance the dream & reality?

Our education system as well as work places, act blind to this.


How many boys who want to become astronauts become astronauts?

The ratio of un-met goals isn't starkly different between the genders.

The issue arises when we, in an attempt to make future a pretty sight for the kids, create an alternate reality world. Our job is not to provide them with dreams. Our role is to make them understand the virtue of commitment and the honesty of act. Whatever they do, be it flying a spaceship or raising a toddler while plucking cotton in a cotton field, do that knowing fully well that you're doing your best.

The problem is that we place our goals outside ourselves :)

Jobs - Careers - Position - Status - These are, at best, the addendum. Whenever we encourage children to dream in terms of these we put a limit on their potential as a human.
Our Prophet, whom we call the best sample of a human, tied his own shoes. Washed his own clothes. Ate nothing but dates dipped in water. Wiped his blood when the body was pelted with stones. 

Where were the dreams? Did he not have any dreams?  

He had. And his were like we should have ours - he was assigned a job, he HAD to do it to the fullest of his capacity.
If they have dreams to fly high, it is beautiful. 

Tell them to grow their roots first. So that one day if the wings can't take the pressure of the opposing gale, they don't fall face down. And this can only be done when their strength comes not from their target residing far away in future, but from the character they're harboring right now.

I had a friend who couldn't get into medical college. She spent 4 years coming to terms with the set back.
The point is, how good is the dream of becoming a certain professional when ander ka insan is so vulnerable? :)
Ander ka insan strong karna asal issue hai. Professional qualifications, for girls as well as boys, come second.
Quality of the person, that is our only reality. 
Make the reality strong and dreams will mould themselves around.
The first hero speaker I listened to at my first Rahbar cycle had shared something that I  find absolutely beautiful ....

He said that his father had always taught him one thing, that if everything in life fails and he - the son, ends up with nothing but a "گنے کے رس کا ٹھیلا" (gannay kay rus ka Thaila), his should be the best drink serving Thaila of the town. 
Dil ka rus nikalna, ganna samajh kar; the old man had taught his son.
I loved it. :)

Documented here for personal reference for future. 

Any feedback is more than welcome. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Ja Namazi, Dekh Li Teri Namaz!

Do din bhi agar meri si halat ho jaye
Maalom shab e gham ki haqiqat ho jaye
Bejurm o khata mujh ko mitanay walay
Allah karay tujh ko mohabbat ho jaye

Ab sabr karo nala e paiham na karo
Jab mein he nahi hoon to mera gham na karo
Yeh apni ruswai hai apne haaton
Lillah meri laash pe maatam na karo

Wo un ko mera marg e nagahan nadeeda nadeeda
Sub ke hoonton pe tabassum tha mere qatl ke baad
Jaanay kya sooch ke rota raha qaatil tanha
Wo un ko mera marg e nagahan, nadeeda nadeeda

aur jigar bey chain laikin guftugu sanjeeda sanjeeda
ajab masti bhari aankhein magar tarseeda tarseeda
sar e baali tabassum lab pe dil ranjeeda ranjeeda
manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

tamasha dekhiye mayree lehad se sar nahi uth'ta
mujhe khud he mita baithe hein, aur khud he pasehmaan hein
manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

yeh kab se aa gayeen tabdeeliyan khayalon mein
huzoor kab se ghareebon kay khairkhuwah howay
manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

dam-e-akheer qayamat yeh dha raha hai koi
ke mout aanay ko hai, aur ja raha hai koi
mere khuda, mujhe thori si zindagi day day
udaas mere janazay se ja raha hay koi, dekho
manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

sabr-o- qaraar chheena, surat dikha ke tu ne
barbad ker dia dil, dil mein sama ke tu ne
basti ujaar dali, basti basa ke tu ne
aray apna bhi dil dukhaya, mujh ko mita ke tu ne
ab, manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

bohot badnaam hoga hashr mein tu naam ke badle
unhein shohrat se kya matlab, jo hein Allah ke bande
yeh niyyat chor meri bandagi, dekhein jahan walay
mazaa jab hai ke dunya per na ho zahir tere sajde
Khuda ki tu ibadat ker magar posheeda posheeda

sajdoN ka sila jannat maange
Allah se yeh ujrat maange
karta hai ibadat ka souda
zahid na hoa mazdoor hoa
bus! Khuda ki tu ibadat ker magar posheeda posheeda

kya ibadat hai teri jab ke tu yaksu he na tha
Rabb to mojood tha, ay shaikh wahaan tu he na tha
dil hai behatka hoa bekaif nazar aata hai
tu ibadat mein bhi dunya ki khabar rakhta hai

aik din Majnu ka aisa haal tha
yaad e Laila mein sarapa choor tha
khaak e sehra chhanta phirta tha wo
wahaane Laila her ghari karta tha wo

hoshiyari dekheiye deewane ki
sair karne chal dia veeranaey ki
aadmi aik parh raha tha wahan namaaz
dil mein kuch rakhta na tha sooz o gudaaz
ker raha tha wo namaz e Haq adaa
majnu us ke samnay ho ker chala
khatam ker ke phir namaaz us ne kaha
tujh ko doon is fail ki mein kya saza
aa gaya meri ibadat mein khalal
samnay se tu gaya mere nikal
bola Majnu ke mein ne Laila ki qasam dekha nahi

bola Majnu ke mein ne Laila ki qasam dekha nahi
warna samnay sajde ke mein aata nahi
bola Majnu ishq e Laila mein sarapa choor tha
aur dekhne se mein tujhe majboor tha
per tu Khuda ke samnay kaisa juhka
apni aankhon se raha tu dekhta
mujh ko to hai ishq fani zaat ka
tujh ko to hai ishq hai Maula zaat ka
kia isi ko kehte hein sooz o gudaaz
kia isi ko kehte hein sooz o gudaaz
ja namaazi dekh li teri namaaz
bus! Khuda ki tu ibadat ker magar posheeda posheed

kia isi ko kehte hein sooz o gudaaz
ja namaazi dekh li teri namaaz
khuda ki tu ibadat ker magar poshida poshida

le ke tasbeeh aur musallah aik aabid chal diya
dhoondne Allah ko sehra mein wo rehne laga
aik hiran bhi saath mein us ke wahaan rehne laga
aur usi sehra mein wo bhi dorne phirne laga

aik din zahid ne pocha yaar ye kya baat hai
arsa e muddat se tera aur mera saath hai
tujh ko bethe dekhta hoon aur na sotay dekhta
ja baja phirta hai tu aur ya ke rehta hai khara

sun ke bola yeh hiran! ta'ajub ki kya baat hai
aashiqo ke wastay kya din hai aur kya raat hai
mere andar mushk hai mein is liyeh rehta hoon mast
tere ander ishq hai tu is liyeh rehta hai mast

mushk ki khushboo se hardam doorta phirta hoon mein
apni aankhon se Khuda ko dekhta rehta hoon mein
Us se milne ka tareeqa aa tu mujh se seekh le
ishq mein hasti mita de phir tu Allah dekh le

Khuda ke waste zahid na ker numa'ishi sajde
Khuda ki tu ibadat ker magar posheeda posheeda

jahan tak ho sakay mazloom ko ronay nahi dete
aur kisi nadaar ko bhooka kabhi sonay nahi dete
bakar e pardaposhi khalq per khone nahi dete
khabar is haath ki us haath ko honay nahi dete
sakhi khairat karte hein magar posheeda posheeda

tumhare samnay betha hoa hoon sakht mushkil mein
musafir jaisay aa jata hai wehshatnak manzil mein
bayaan karte hoay darta hoon jo kuch hai mere dil mein
buri kuch aur to baatein nahi hein teri mehfil mein
magar yeh chupke chupke guftugu posheeda posheeda

aur kisi ghar ki taraf takna kabhi phir mur ke ghabrana
kaheen per chandni ko dekh ker saaye mein chupp jana
qamar aik he na kya laakhon sitaro ne na pehchana
ajab andaaz se waday pe unka raat ko aana
dabay paaon nazar behki howi posheeda posheeda

manaya ja raha hai mera gham posheeda posheeda

Poet: Ustad Qamar Jalalwi

Ja namazi, dekh li teri namaz!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

In The Language of Dream, Gesture, Symbol, Memory

"At lunch, I think about your hands, and that’s it. That’s my spine unloosening for the day. That’s all the ocean in my belly heading straight to the shore of my throat. I think about your hands and suddenly, I don’t know what to do with mine. Suddenly my fingers are not my fingers but the empty space between them where yours should be. I am all missing, I lose myself for the day and leave to find you. I misplace my throat because it is clasped in the cup of your hand. I leave my bitten lips on your bedside table. My thighs have the ghosts of bruises unfurling into poppies, like bloodstains on snow. I break things because I am shaking and I am shaking because you are not with me and you are not with me because we are just learning to touch each other through the spaces between us. It is violent that we cannot touch each other, yet. It’s a war crime. It should be illegal that my fingers still haven’t learned the notches of your back. I think about holding your wrist in the O of my thumb and my index finger. I think about kissing the blue veins there. I think about careful mouth touches, and the tender of you. The warm, soft hollow of you, and how I lose my bottom lip wondering about yours. I’ll kiss you there, I promise. I promise.”

—Azra Tabassum, "These wrists, these eyes, these praying hands."

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Life And Death Of Most Of Us

Most of us will settle for fine.
Most of us will stream mp3s instead of asking a friend to play the guitar.
Most of us will run on a treadmill at the gym instead of going to the park.
Most of us will watch 10 second videos on a computer instead of going to a play.
Most of us will eat something we can throw in the microwave instead of learning to cook.
Most of us will aspire to being known, to being famous for just a little while.
Most of us will be willing to be embarrassed, to hurt ourselves, if it means being known.
Most of us will be more concerned with that, with being known, than being remembered by anyone special.
Most of us will decide that it's too soon or too late in life to go after what we really want.
Most of us will never actually sit down and think about what we really want.
Most of us will spend more time reading status updates than we spend reading books.
Most of us will take more pictures of ourselves than actually looking at the world around us.
Most of us will take the one unique and precious life we've been given and spend it being, just ok.
Most of us will make do.
And you will meet most of us and when you do, remember this.
Be the few.
Be the few.

- Iain Thomas, 
The Life And Death Of Most Of Us

For years I belonged to most of us, until one day I no longer did.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Rabt, Zabt

"One of the righteous has said: "He who really knows [arif] is too preoccupied with the One he knows [ma'ruf] to be concerned with acceptance or rejection, praise or blame."

- Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani

Thursday, February 26, 2015


حاصل عمرم سه سخن بیش نیست

خام بدم ، پخته شدم ، سوختم

مولانا رومی

The summary of my life exceeds naught three sentences:

I was raw. I stewed. I cindered.

Compromised translation: mine.