Have you ever scratched beneath the surface?

In life, there are times when we think about ourselves and our situation and exclaim – “Hey I never imagined I’d be in this situation or I never dreamed that I’ll be doing this with my life”. We look around us and think of our choices and say, “Wow I never thought that such and such would be important to me or that I have these qualities as a part of my character.”

This feeling might not overtake us very frequently. More often than not we just let our life rush by us, as we run the rat race or just spend time chilling as they say. We do what we do and just accept that life is a series of random events and we are where we are today as a matter of coincidence or the like. There are probably very few occasions in our life when we actually sit down, take time out and look back at our lives and reflect. We hardly ponder about the effects of those little matters which seemed random or pure strokes of luck (the good type or the bad type) at that time yet have caused you to be where you are right now.

“Pray why should we bother with the past,” you ask me, “It is this moment that is really important and we might as well just live in this moment.” Well, you are right there, this moment is important but a few years down the line this very moment could decide what you are doing then. What is random today is the reason you are where you are tomorrow. As you look back, life seems to be a script that you lived, as Shakespeare implied when he said life is a stage. But I’d like to ask a different question.

It is obvious every person considers his life to be important to himself if not to anybody else. Every individual holds himself in high regard feeling that he should have a good life. We spend our entire lives pursuing that good life. But why do we have this sense of entitlement? Why do we think that, we can’t believe we are here or can’t understand why we aren’t somewhere else? After all, we didn’t choose when we are going to be born; we don’t choose when we are going to die. We don’t have a choice in, whom we are born to nor can we question why India or Middle East or Africa or anywhere else for that matter. It just happened and we just accept. We can always say that I wish I was such and such or so and so but like you and I know that is just a wish. Escapism at best.

Among us there are those who will leave a legacy behind, but I wonder about the countless billions that came to this planet. Who were these people before us? Nameless and faceless they played their part in making the earth go round. Surely among them were good people, good fathers and good mothers, intelligent children, creative individuals, who lived out their time maybe in poverty or may be in wealth, maybe in health or maybe in sickness and when their time came left the planet for good. Like them we too came on this planet and we too shall leave when our time is up. We don’t remember them as we remember Gandhi or Newton. Every generation can hardly remember more than a generation or two or maybe three that preceded it.

Then in reality we need to question ourselves to whom does this life matter? Why should we be alive even and what is our purpose? For we can for ourselves make up a purpose – to be wealthy, to be recognized or just to be plain happy. But we know that there were many who never got there and died trying in the purpose. Each and every one of us knows about the lowest common denominator for all of humanity – death but when is each person’s appointed time, we humans don’t’ have a clue! Logically speaking this abrupt end to life should in fact make our life purposeless for why bother with something that is limited in and of itself. No human being can deny the reality of death but very few wonder what is to happen after.

Thus I invite you to take a few moments out of your day and contemplate your life (the past and the future) and ask yourselves to where you are really headed.

As for me, three lines from the noble Quran keep running through my head as I write this –

“By Time. Verily entire mankind is in loss. Except those who believe [in a meeting with their creator] and thus do righteous deeds, and enjoin the truth and enjoin patience” [Asr (103):1-3]

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You should wiki – Work Function

This has been a long time coming. To be honest as I type this today I have been wondering what has kept me away from blogging for so long.

During my hostel days my roomie (let’s call him Aditya) and I agreed on the fact that we were unfit and had to do something about it. We decided jogging would be a decent option as there wouldn’t be the ignominy of making a fool of yourself at a team sport nor would there be a need of waiting in long queues to use sparse gym equipment.  You didn’t really need technique or finesse to jog and there was ample space. Thus at the beginning of every semester we would jump out of bed or atleast open one eye to see if the other guy is awake. A little coaxing and cajoling later, we would finally hit the dirt so to say and jog.

As it was with these endeavors, the drive to do it would last for the first couple of weeks of the semester. During this brief period of self contentment we would look into the mirror and say – I know I have as many chins as a page from the Hong Kong telephone directory, but at least I’m doing something about. But like I said this was a brief period and usually by the third week we would begin to get lawyered.

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What is lawyered you ask? Lawyered is this little voice in your head that breeds of your contentment. This voice lulls you into such a feeling of self worth and comfort that you feel any more effort than what you already put in is a gift to mankind. Lawyered is also the same voice which gives you a number of reasons to not pursue the afore mentioned path of self improvement or as a matter of fact anything out of the ordinary. Usually the arguments in your head are so convincing that you do give up.

So it has been with this blog. Every single time I would think that I should write, my personal lawyer would give me many reasons to desist. But today I decided to lawyer him back. I have decided to put to rest the doubts that besiege my mind when I think of blogging.

Here we go.

You cannot express yourself well enough?

I’d like to think of my high school English teachers who thought I was good at this sort of thing.

You don’t have sufficient skill in English language.

Most rappers don’t either but that aint stopping none of em busting up dem rhymes bout the hood.

What will you talk about?

I’m a 22 year old Indian muslim studying in the UK, engaged to be married, a bit of a socialist and supporter of sustainable energy. I should occasionally be able to find something or the other to talk about.

Who will be your audience?

Anybody who finds this link and reads what I have written. I have decided not to be very bothered by this audience business. Like Columbus who sailed the ocean blue in the year of 1492 I am out to find those Indians. I will be content if I can get a couple of stalkers (ringing me up at odd hours) out of this exercise.

And thus we have it.

My first blog post!!

Hopefully this high should last me more than the first two weeks as it was with the jogging. As of now I have no plans as such and hope to let this blog develop a mind of its own. Before the next time though – in the comments sections below – let us know how have you been lawyered, what have you always wanted to do but have never got around to doing because of the quality of the opposition. May it be as mundane as brushing your teeth in the morning or as exciting as jumping of a building with a faulty parachute. Let us know how you have won. It should definitely be useful to the people reading.

Until the next time!

Salam

PS: – If you are still wondering –  I have managed to lose weight by the dint of my hard work and the sweat of my brow. I have now moved up from jogging to push ups. So there!