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Masoom

The World Of Thoughts

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February 2017

….. a lost deal

On 15th February 2015, gazing at the crowd that emerged outside the Adelaide Oval, it was so hard control thoughts raising in my mind. One after another, with every new face I saw, my mind diverted to a new thought, new reason or a new theory. It was all about blues and the greens. Indeed, the blues were majority over greens but every soul there was just for love of cricket. However, along with love for the sport, I did sense hatred, such hatred could never be compromised by love,  that can be understood in the shed of humanity or rather any other good factor.

Every slogan was responded with another and sounds roared outside oval just like warning that a war is about begin.  We walked from east gate to wast gate as we were waiting for gates to open. Gliding between groups, we could easily figure out the aggression, the heat and the so called patriotism for their own country. It wasn’t even hard to notice the families with oldies and kids holding flags of their respective country or as I say flags of hopes. Hope, that was driving everyone through the scorching heat, getting into crowd and pushing theirs tonsils to the limit so that everyone hears the name of their country. The passion either for the sport or the patriotism for the country was subdued but just looking at the opponent’s crowd.

I was in my casual plain clothes so it was hard to figure out what nationality I belong to as I am not a big fan of face paints or any another mockery to represent love for my country or cricket. However, I was with my better half, Shaily and other few other friends and she being one crazy fan of Sachin, she had temporary tattooed ‘SACHINIST’ in her neck to portray the love her favourite sportsman. She also did carry our pride along, The Indian Flag.

By now, you would have known that this blog is written by an Indian and if you are a Pakistani, you would surely assume that I probably would be biased in the further content of the blog. I can safely say that I won’t be biased as these are merely the facts that I faced on the game day or more than facts, my thoughts. But please don’t consider my love for India to be biased, because I cannot see my country losing in any game.

As I was taking about flags, I do recall something very strange. A man standing in left corner of the east gate gulping BBQ chips so fast as if someone else will claim them and he will be left hungry for the rest of the day. His love for chips was justified with the size of his belly and leaving the top three shirt buttons open was enough for me to conclude that he wasn’t a local. Moreover, he was wearing  denim jeans on 41 C day and I did hear him complaining to his friend about the no chilli & pepper over the chips. He was Indian as he had an indian flag over his shoulder. When he was done with the chips, was about to that leave the container right on the floor before he saw a security man observing him. He moved his head looking for a rubbish bin and  found one right across the floor which was about 5 steps away. He utilised it to which I was very thankful.  But next moment, after he was done licking all the remaining barbecue sauce from his finger, he wiped his hands with the Indian flag rushing towards the crowd he knew. He raised his voice, synchronising with the slogan and waiving the flag with his dishonesty. Now, if u are indian you might be upset, so was I. There was nothing I or you could do. I just stood their stunned and out of words.

The gates were now open and I saw people making through into the stadium and finding their spot. Each and everyone entering the stadium felt what they are about to witness is going to be history regardless that this happens every four years. Soon we were united with our friends who had hard time finding a parking spot. We made our way to the top floor to our allocated seats. While we were climbing stair, I heard humming, getting louder and louder. We haven’t yet reached the top floor and haven’t seen the ground yet. Almost out of breath, we reached the lobby and that humming sound got even more louder as we were every close to the ground. We got to our section 535, walked through the corridor following the bright light from the stadium and that humming sound. Right at the last step, I noticed that green bed where the history was about take place. Players were standing straight up facing flags and then I noticed that the humming sound was actually Pakistan’s national anthem. None of us moved from that moment until that came to an end. Right at the end of anthem, there was a roar of cheer from the fans. Within seconds, the Indian national anthem begun! My right hand got on my heart with respect and my tummy tucked in pushing my chest out with pride. Don’t ask me why!!!! But rather abrupt scene during that moment got to my attention that almost all the Pakistanis was actually seated. I was angry and shocked. I couldn’t wait for the anthem to finish so that I could cheer up so loud that all those seated would stand up with just like waking up from a horrible dream. However, my voice was not at all heard as it was dominated by the other fellow Indians. I turned with anger to walk towards my seat and the cheering hasn’t yet finished after national anthem and I saw a Pakistani man standing in the middle of other Pakistani, clapping fiercely for the national anthem and for all Indians. I looked into his eyes and we exchanged smiles. My anger was brushed away and I felt warmth, peace and respected. I am pretty sure he wanted Pakistan to win as much as any indian wanted India to win. His act gave me hope that those dumb who were disrespectful to my national anthem will learn one day. One day!!!

India has opted to bat first and game is now about to commence. R. Sharma and S.Dhavan, both inspected the pitch to their knowledge. The bowler is scrubbing the ground to make a mark so he knows where to start the run. And then goes the countdown with different face with but of the same race. 10, 9, 8……….3,2,1!!!

Rest was history and we all know the outcome. My observation was not on hold as the game commenced but its just too much to put it in this blog. In the second innings, Pakistan had hard time to cope with Indian bowlers. Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma and Ashwin were the heroes of the evening. After fall of Shahid Afridi, there wasn’t much hope left for Pakistan. Most of the Pakistanis thought of avoiding the traffic after game and started to make the way outside.

While they were walking done to the exit, we couldn’t wait to get to the Pakistanis fan zone and say good bye.  It felt really good cheering for the victory. I have lost my voice cause of shouting but the joy of winning didn’t take me let me down.  I am tired and exhausted but I wanted to show them show them how much I love India and wanted India to win.  Few Indian got abusive and rude out of excitement which was not called for. All I did was to smile  and wished good bye. All I cared about was we won again and we will again. However, right in the middle of this drama, I noticed something that hold me back. That made me think about the impact of our acts. I saw a little girl, aged 5-8 looking at all of us. We were about 50-100 Indians at the edge Indian Fanzone. She looked confused and angry at the same time. I bet she had no clue about cricket. All she knew was that all the greens are loosing and so is she as she was wearing a green t-shirt. Her parents seemed to be mush sophisticated and they did clap when India got one wicket. While we were there she did ask he dad something pointing at us and her father said something in her ear.  Her reaction didn’t change as she was still confused. To my thinking and I wish her father told to avoid us. As one more wicket was gone, the cheering got louder and louder and Indians were about to taste history. Her parents now started packing up as it was next to impossible for Pakistan to get the game. She continued looking at the whole Indian fan zone and I so curious to know to know what was she thinking about. So her confusion turned to angry and I thought soon that angry will turn in to hatred. I stepped back. I walked my way back to my seat grabbing Shaily along. She asked me why and I said that I am feeling very tired. Walking back to the seat, I thought what were doing to that little girl is no different than what India and Pakistan has being doing to each other since independence. I can’t stand to be the part of that group that was feeding hatred into her. I cant stop thinking about that girl. I so wanted to know what her father told her about us. What we were doing was right but actually was way to much for just wining a game. But again, India winning against Pakistan is just winning its way more than winning.

The rivalry between two countries for cricket is surely something that will never go unnoticed and trust me, not other event on the face of the earth can bring Indians and Pakistanis together but cricket and if this possible, why not we try to brush our flaws and bring something better out of this. I was angry the fellow you wiped his hands with Indian flag, I was disappointed with the fellow Pakistanis who disrespected Indian National Anthem but somehow we all together are not understanding the basics of humanity. We all can argue on how politics dominates a sport like cricket on both ends but he have a brain and a heart that drives our desires, let focus both towards betterment of this world and the issues we are facing between two nations. Their are documented differences between these two nations and he past is painful but we need to heal, heal for the future of the next generation, for the future of the brains and heart we are feeding now.

How? is the question, Well, as one the greatest ancient scholar of India, VivekAnand said ‘Change the subject, the object is bound to change. Change yourself first, the world is bound to change.’ We all need to empower love and friendship, swap the words from hate to love, pick our mistakes first before pointing others and also to forgive. It is hard, but once you can do this, you have achieved wisdom and you are worth of the education you have acquired.

…. and for cricket and every other sport, always remember, ‘An educated man enjoys the game more than his team, regardless winning or losing’

 

it’s hard….

21st Oct 2016

I hope my read makes you feed good.

I myself have been sad from past 18 months – I am still trying to find my self. 

I broke up with my ex last year and a piece in me, kinda died. I work and I am living my life, finding myself, finding a reason of existence.

I have been reading and putting my thoughts down and to be honest, we can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.

Yes, you will be the keep between your friends, You will have to loose some and gain some – Its not a game or a claiming agenda of which friends be yours or his/hers. You don’t have to get reasonable with any of them – they have their reasons to believe in what good they saw you in you and what stories they heard. Every story has two sides which may be you are inclined to let it out. I would say don’t do it, respect yourself! The world may need to know both side of the stories, but your friends won’t. So wait for them to catch up with your or simply, just move on.

Its not end of the world. There are still some wonderful people left in this world! They are diamonds in the rough, but they’re around! You’ll find them when you fall down– they’re the ones who pick you up, who don’t judge, and you had to fall down to see them! When you get up again, remember who your true friends are, but that doesn’t mean that the past connection you had were in vein or considerable not good with you, but perhaps some time is better to accept that your life has different expectation and it good for you to get moving.

Relationships are to two kinds, the ones we are born with and other are the ones we choose for ourselves.  The first one relates to your mother, father and siblings and the second ones are with friends, partner and the rest. The first one are from nature, gifted and blessed but the one we choose for ourselves are what drives our future. Your company of friends defines your thinking, your partner defines our future and your child’s future. So what do you define for yourself? – Only your principles and belief.

Want to define yourself in your on terms? Choose your friends and partner wisely – evaluate your relations but don’t judge them. If any of them are causing grief, struggle, hiatus, anxiety, then you should re-evaluate!! Everyone’s life consist of hardship, but no hardship should be from a relation that you choose for yourself. Choose Wisely!!

We are humans and this being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor…Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.

 Have faith and just keep breathing, in the end, everything is going to be fine..!

….dubai

I visited Dubai for approximately week to visit few friends and for leisure. I was pretty much relaxed during the trip and was solo most of the time when exploring the major tourist attractions as most of my friends were busy with their business work. It was one of such evening where I wanted to try out a cuisine which I might have not tried in the past. I was right around a busy street but multiple options but I was in kinda of dilemma of the taste I preferred and the restaurants around. I was hungry but I wasn’t prepared to just of for any randoms. 

The first option that I picked was an Asian cuisine but it’s the tag line stated “Asian fusion”, it tempted me at a certain level. I have tried it in the past but well, as it was fusion, it was expecting it to be different. I approached the main counter where I was greeted by as Asian lady. She was somewhat struggling to communicate in English but somehow I comforted her so she could advise me better.  I checked the menu for sometime and the details of each dish was somewhat basic with bit of extra added ingredients. She insisted me to try for of their specials but I know how food works so could easily figure out what the taste would be like. I hesitated to use her hospitality any further as I was sure that I wasn’t going to ahead.

After almost trying to few other restaurant with same curiosity, I was disappointed. Dubai surely had a lot to offer, but it was me being very picky on that odd evening. Perhaps, this as due to my holiday mood and didn’t want to settle for basic. Finally, I saw a Mexican restaurant and my love for that cuisine has always been on my top of priority. I walked in and as I was starving, I could notice the wonderful food other customer’s were eating. It dint take me long to finally conclude what was my dinner that evening. 

I sat on a table, relaxed myself, checked my phone to check if I have missed any update from my friends. I was expecting them to join me but wasn’t sure how long they were going to be. I sat on table which could easily accommodate at least 4 just in case if any of my friends could join. Right after I updated on the our whatsapp group of my whereabouts, two of my friends self invited themselves. Apparently, they were that far from that place so it worked out fine. I couldn’t wait so I ordered a drink with some side of corn chips, guacamole and salsa. I instructed the waitress to hold on for the mains as I was expecting more company. I anticipated how satisfying those chips would be as I was super hungry. 

While I was admiring the ambience of the restaurant, I hold my eyes on a girl across the table who I knew eventually knew as Saddaf. She had the most admiring smile and the veil on her head was so perfectly done, I couldn’t imagine the years of practice she had to wear it so graciously. She was beautiful in everyday but to justify her beauty, she had lovely eyes – the ones that you would drown in. Her elegance when she was paying attention to her friends conversation was just breathtaking. Her respect for her food when picking her next bite and her discipline for eating that bite was again, just admirable. It was as if all the all the etiquette of a pious Muslim girl was just visible through her.

It didn’t take long for me to notice that I was just lost and unconsciously staring that at her. I was smiling and really wanting to just keep staring but I of course couldn’t. I really wanted to go up to her and tell her, how beautiful she was but I know even I was as hot and good looking as Thor, I wouldn’t build up such courage. I acted smart and kept peeking at her while I was just looking at everything else.

At one point, finally she saw me and our eyes met. I surely looked like a creep as I couldn’t stop smiling. She was then conscious of me looking at her but she looked away with her. I thought she smirked but I believe that was just my wishful thought. She was then actively involved in talking to her friend, laughed louder while adjusting herself. I couldn’t notice as she adjusted her veil which didn’t not really required any attention. She didn’t look at me again as I think she knew I was looking at her.

My thoughts were abruptly interrupted by my own desires of those chips I ordered. The waitress smiled and consulted me if I wanted anything else and inquired about when my friends would be there. I gained her trusted and told her that they will be here any minute. My mind forced to ask her about the girl across the table but again I knew I would never do that. I really didn’t want to miss any opportunity to know more about this girl. I couldn’t stop myself to eavesdrop what they were talking about and when they were ordering their final dessert. At that time, I knew my newly crafted wishes were about be shattered as its not long until she will be heading out. 

Finally, My friends arrived within next 15 minutes and we started chatting. My attention was deviated between the conversation with my friends and the lady whose presence has acquired my attention since I got in the restaurant. My friends were just talking about how the day has been for them and what were the plans after dinner. We ordered mains and drinks and I couldn’t help my self notice the bill on the other table waiting to be cleared. Within five minutes, bills was sorted and the group was just about to close the conversation to walk out. My friends did notice that they don’t have my complete attention and rather ignored as the food was more vital then my presence. Within a minute, the ladies started walking out, passing on their appreciation to the waitstaff. I did notice Saddaf jotting down something on what it looked like a feedback book. I was bit sad that I could approach her or get to know her. After she was gone, we finished our meal headed out. As my friends were finalizing the bill, I started browsing the feedback book and noticed what she has put on. It wasn’t hard to find as her hard writing was just like it was printed with some fancy cursive font in a word document. While I was writing my feedback, I overheard the wait staff handing over a work ID over to the counter and it was from saddaf’s table. I tried to get a peek while the other waiter admired my curiosity. He left it on the table facing in away I could see the name and the face. Guess what, it was hers! I acted smart straight way and mugged her number straight away. We walked out to a Sheesha joint and before I could forget her number I texted her straight away.

“hey, this is Masoom, I found your work pass and handed over to counter at the restaurant. Please arrange to collect it.”

“Who is this?”, she replied.

“I just had dinner with my friends at the same restaurant where you were, noticed your forgot so handed it in to the staff?”

“oh thanks, I will get it picked up”

I was expecting a bit more appreciation for the act that I didn’t even perform. I didn’t find the pass but I claimed it to be me. Regardless,  I over heard the waiters coming to the conclusion to she will come back to get it and had no intention to attempt to contact her. Beside they dint have her contact number and I am sure they wouldn’t have checked the feedback book simply because they did not give her as much attention as i did.

“how did you get my number? are you from the staff?” she asked.

“Nope, they didn’t even bother to contact you as they didn’t care but as I was writing the feedback, I noticed your number. Before I could tell them, they got busy and didn’t care about my suggestion”

“Wow, that’s kinda weird but thank you very much” Finally I was appreciated.

“My apologies if I have perturbed you with my sudden text. Rest assured, my intention wasn’t to bother you” –  well, I lied.

“Cheers”

We called it end of the day around at midnight after few good session of Sheesha and we were headed home. I have not be anxious about no more messages for her as at-least I was happy to just help her. We went home and my friends were out in no time, of course work had occupied their energy to be active for late night session as we used to do in college. I had no intention to loose any sleep and I was looking for another good day in the enticed city, Dubai.

The next day, I received messages thanking me with prolonged text and explaining how vital was for her to be on time at work and she couldn’t have afforded any delays. We chatted well that day and the day following and later in the end of my trip, we caught up for a coffee.

Today, we are in touch as a well wisher to each other and are friends who can talk with ease. The era we are in now, it is considered to be creepy if you are staring and smiling at someone, but if you keep your heart open, a clean mind and pure soul, you will find good people everywhere.

….and how can we all forget the proverb by Mother Teresa,

“Peace starts with a smile”

Racism, what’s that?

 Why do we hate?

~ We hate because we are taught to hate. We hate because we are ignorant. We are the product of ignorant people who have been taught an ignorant thing which is that there are four five different races. There are not four or five different races, there is only one race on the face of the earth and we are all member of that race, its the human race but we have separated people in to races so that some of us can see ourselves  as superior to the others. We thought it would work but it hasn’t work and its bad for everyone. Its time to get over this business. There is no genes for racism, there is not genes for bigotry. You are not born as a bigot, you have to learn to be bigot. Anything you learn, you can unlearn. Its time to unlearn our bigotry. Its time to get over this thing and its best we get over this pretty soon. I am an educator and it’s my business as an educator to lead people out of ignorance. The ignorance of thinking that you are better or worse then someone else because of the amount of pigment in your skin. Pigmentation has nothing to do with intelligence or with your worth as a human being. 

It’s time to get over Racism!

~ Jane Elliot

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