Category Archives: moral based stories

Realization of others

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My four years of undergraduate journey at LUMS have finished. In this course of time, I have observed a lot of people, became friends with a few while others left me in the middle of the journey. These four years life in a hostel, away from family has taught me several things and one of which is realization of others which I felt about writing today.

There were some friends who acted as free-riders in group projects/teamwork without realizing that other person is equally busy with other courses and when ever I used to make them realize, they got angry. Being friends doesn’t mean that you should take the other person as granted, instead a true friend should work equally hard in order to divide the burden.I have often experienced the free-riding/loafing problem which has made me immensely sad. I have also seen a lot of classmates who at the time near exams used to act extra-friendly in order to be given notes and be taught the exam material and acted as complete strangers right after the exams. Although these people have made me think about the nature of human kind and whether the competition of ‘being the best’ makes one not realize the others humans and instead hurt them, I have also been blessed with a few good friends who were always there for me in thick and thin. They have made my journey of LUMS alot more better and would like to thank all of them for their presence in my life.

I believe that life is very short and instead of exploiting others in order to stay ahead in competition, people should not use others for their own gain and leave them once the work is done. We should treat others just the way we want others to treat us as reciprocity or karma is a spiritual principle. If one is taking the help of others,he should be thankful of the other person’s act of kindness instead of forgetting it.

Life

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Life is so busy that we rarely get time to sit back, reminiscing old joys or simply enjoying an afternoon tea. While in present we tend to think about the future and how to make it better. But how fool a man is, little does he know whats gonna happen with him next. But it would not be justice to put the entire blame on a man as this is how the world expects him to behave. As an Asian student, the society expects him to study hard and get the best grades he can. The teachers, parents and even the distant relatives want him to study and study. But what if he has some other talent say painting, No one really cares about it.
India has the highest number of suicides committed by students because of extreme competition and pressure to study. And when asked by elders why do they want their child to put in so much of the efforts, their answer is that it will lead to a better future. My question to all those parents is that what if the child develops an incurable disease because of extreme stress? So, why ruin the present for the future so unpredictable? Every child is different and will reach where he is destined to.
As soon as a man starts working, he sets goals for himself: promotion or to become the CEO in say the next seven years.And for this he might tell lies, do unnecessary buttering or get involved in organisation’s politics. He destroys his current peace of mind for the future peace. I am not saying that every one in the top position does that…No…but many do.
Every day I observe so many people in Coffee shops having a cold coffee or a dessert while busy on phone, arranging meetings or writing reports and I am one of them as well. We are always thinking about the future…completing work before deadline to avoid future penalty, to get greater pay, future recognition etc but do you ever think that this stressful life has an adverse affect on our health!
We need to take out time for ourselves from the busy routine we are expected to follow. We should learn to live in the ‘present’ and find joy in the small things happening around us before it is too late. We need to slow down and take a break to find our purpose of existence rather than doing things because of societal pressure.

Time changes all-Part I

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16th December 1980: ‘Ding-dong!’, the door-bell rang. I was in my bedroom preparing for my Bachelors final exam. ‘It must be someone from Citi Bank claiming to confiscate our home as the loan taken by Abba has still not been paid’ I thought to myself’.

“Rashida switch off the lights and pretend as if no one is at home.” I whispered to my younger sister.

Ever since I remember, we have been living in the same two bedroom apartment in Nazimabad. Abba was an accounts officer in a small government organization and amma used to teach Quran to kids in the neighbourhood. In this way, my parents earned monthly income just sufficient to meet our home expenses and to get me and Rashida a good education. Four years ago,  Abba took a loan in order to  pay the fees of my four-years university education. However, he did not get the salary raise which he was expecting due to organisation’s politics and thus has been unable to pay back the loan.

“Bhai, for how long do we have to lie and make excuses to the bank. Why can’t   khala pay the loan for us?, Rashida asked me. Rashida was right but she was only in grade 5 and didn’t know anything. Khala was the principal in a renowned school and used to live in Defence. But she has stopped helping amma since the time amma fell in love with abba. She used to call amma often, not to generously help us but to know about our financial condition. All my maternal relatives were against this marriage as according to them abba was not of their status. Since the marriage, amma’s relatives broke the link with her including khala. Rashida would know this all when she grows up so for now I diverted her mind into cartoons.

It seemed that the men on door had gone as there were no more bells and door knocks to be heard. I timidly stood up and switched on the lights. When I went near the door, to my surprise, I saw an envelope which was slid from the door. It read ‘Jarir Sons’. What is this…? I thought to myself. I slowly opened the envelope and found a letter with ‘Congratulations’ written with a large and bold font. ‘You have been shortlisted for the position of an Assistant manager for the Electrical department in Jarir Sons. Interview is to be held tomorrow in Pearl Continental at 8:30 a.m.’ Oh my God!! I was flabbergasted as I just applied for this position knowing that I wouldn’t be selected four months ago and have completely forgotten about it. Amma Abba both have remained tensed the whole year due to the payment of loan but this news made them extremely happy.

Next day I went for the interview and within two weeks I got a positive reply. I had been selected for Kuwait branch of Jarir Sons for this position out of 250 applicants. “Things are to change for good, my son” exclaimed abba. And they surely were. God helped us in time when we needed it the most.

20th May 1981: I completed my Bachelors in Electrical engineering and went to Kuwait the next week to start my job. During last year, we got the final notice from Citi bank to leave the home as the loan wasn’t paid yet. Hence we rented a small cottage nearby.

My job career was about to start. I was scared in the beginning but I knew I had to work hard and get my parents not only the home back but also to get them respect from my amma’s relatives. Initially it was hard for me to adjust in an unknown Arab speaking country but I worked with full determination. I used to get back home at 6 pm and used to teach Physics and Mathematics tuition to earn extra income.

I got promotion after six months of work and immediately paid the Citi Bank loan. Now half of my aim of coming here was accomplished as we got our home back.

I got a call from amma late at night telling me that khala called her and was stunned to hear that Hassan has got a job-that too in Kuwait and have paid the loan. “Amma, one day I will get you your respect back and tell your relatives that marrying Abba was not a wrong decision. It is not the status or the wealth that matters but love.” I told her after which she got emotional and prayed for my success.

I worked in Kuwait for 10 years in which I saved a decent proportion of my income and came back to Pakistan because of Kuwait-Iraq war otherwise my job was stable and I was satisfied. During this period of time, we shifted from Nazimabad to Defence. Rashida got admission in a good college and I asked Abba to take retirement as I would handle all the household expenses. Moreover, as amma’s relatives came to know about our status upgrade who once humiliated abba of his low status, called her and asked to forgive them. Amma has forgiven everyone and Khala now visits our home quite often.

Jan 1991: I have settled back in Pakistan and have got a job in Abott. Both my objectives of going to Kuwait have been fulfilled. Time definitely changes everything. But from the experience of my parents I have realized that it is the wealth that the world is running for. Once you gain wealth everyone will become your friend and if not, then people will humiliate you just like in amma’s case.

To be continued….

No room for regret…I wish I had another life to live

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Here I am on the hospital bed recalling my entire life. I can hear the cries of my parents and my nearest friends but I cannot move or tell them how sorry I was for all the mistakes I made and the people I ever hurt. I belonged to a Muslim family. My grandparents were very religious and always used to advice me to pray five times a day and to be a good Muslim however I took things for granted and never took their advices seriously. My ambition had always been to become a successful business woman with fame, name and money. I considered my grandparents to be old fashioned and since my childhood I dreamt of achieving success. Nevertheless I had been thankful to God for blessing me with good memory and capacity to learn. It was in grade 6 when I came first in class and it was that day I promised myself to work hard in order to get into a good university as I knew my parents weren’t wealthy enough to afford my university fees. With each passing years I could see myself achieving more awards and going away from God. I did not want to be like my parents who thanked God as they were satisfied with their mediocre lifestyle. With time I left my old sincere friends and befriended the girls from popular group in order to gain fame. I remember playing cards with them at the time of Maghreb instead of praying namaz, listening music and dancing late at nights because if I left the game and went for namaz I would be considered odd one and I did not want to be that. My mother always used to tell me that this world is temporary…it is nothing but like our exam. The more we indulge in materialism the more we will go away from God. Life is beautiful if we get ourselves close to God. However I was young, proud and I thought I had plenty of time to Taw bah and everything will get fine in the end. In grade 10, I even took off my hijab because I wanted to be like majority of other girls. I knew I was doing wrong but my evil side forced me to do it. To my surprise I gained even more attention as I looked more beautiful; and made a lot of affluent friends. As I could see my dream of becoming successful come closer I decided never to wear my hijab. Despite the fact that I was good at studies, famous in college and used to win several awards but I had lost my identity of being a good Muslim. Even though I was still a Muslim by name but I did not practice any of the religious activities as I had no time for it. On a quick note, I got into Harvard Business School with hundred percent scholarship and after graduating I got a good job.  Where ever I used to go people used to praise me of how multi talented I was except for my parents. My parents were worried about my akhira (the life after death) because even though I might be a good business woman but I was not a good Muslim. I got so busy with my career and success that I had no time for my parents’ advices. Furthermore, over the period of time I became arrogant because I had achieve everything I wanted.  It was the last day before I got hospitalized that I became angry at my mom for continuously telling me to do Taw bah rather than praising me on my success. I left the home with anger and I was driving at 150miles/hr to the meeting when my car got hit with the truck .The last thing I remember was my head hitting the stirring and me realizing that my life is over with in the blink of an eye.

Now I am in coma and I heard the doctors saying that my survival chances are 0.5%. My mother is standing near me reciting Surah Yaseen and asking Allah to forgive me. This is time I realized that life is just a temporary journey where we have been sent to become good people. Even though there is Satan encouraging us to do things which are sinful but we should have a strong nafs to control ourselves. I wished I had balanced the world with Deen, prayed Allah and not listened music. I wished I had not taken my hijab off because the people in this world will forget me some time after my death but the punishment I will receive in Hell will be forever. I was blessed to have been born in a religious family but I did not listen them. All the worldly glitter attracted me to commit sins. I remember my grandmother had a smile on her face while she was dying but I am scared…so scared of death. I don’t know what is going to happen next. I wish I had another chance to live where I could become a better person and tell other Muslims of not doing the mistakes that I had performed.

To all my western impressed Muslim friends

Written by: Mehak Ali

P.S. Forgive me for anything I have written wrong.Comments are always welcomed.