This post has been inspired by quite a few incidents, both in real life, as well as in stories I’ve read or heard about or seen in pieces of fiction based on real life. It addresses several issues, such as the insensitive double standards of women, especially those in the conservative (read backwards) setting of our culture, or the irrational expectations people (in general) have from other people (read every single person they come into contact with). Read the rest of this entry »
Main namaz nahin parhti. Bhool gayee hoon kaise parhte hain.
Lekin mujhe iss baat ki sharmindagi bhi buhut hai.
Ho sakta hai shaitan isi sharmindagi ko istimaal kar k mujhe namaz parhne se aur rok raha hai, aur yeh cycle isi tarha chal rahi hai.
Lekin mera bhi kuch kam qusoor nahin. What’s stopping me from saying my prayers? What’s stopping me from re-learning, especially when I know that the last time it took me hardly 3 days to re-learn.
Har roz main niyyat karti hoon k iss baar when I am home for the whole day, I will take out my class 9 Islamiyat book and see how prayers are said, and then will start saying my prayers. Come that day and I need to catch up on my sleep and do my laundry and what not. Come that night, the circle of guilty planning begins yet again. And there goes another week, another month, another season, another Ramadan.
Iss baar tou rozay bhi chhoot gayay thhay mujh se, I was not well at all, was on pills for blood deficiency and what not, couldn’t walk the length of my house from drawing room to bedroom without beginning to pant – i was basically 92. I kept telling myself I’ll pick up from the end of Ramadan once I get back into my routine of the workaholic life I love, running around, meeting fast approaching deadlines, getting work done. It din’t happen.
Part of the reason I do not pray is also the fact that I face a lot of contradiction in my mind about the balance which one can or must strike between, say, listening to music, and praying. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I think of saying my obligatory prayers, I get ashamed of the Maliha who loves to sing, sings, loves to act, acts, hangs out with mixed sex company, covers her head not. And that when I say my prayers, or when I used to, I felt ashamed of this Maliha. And that when I sang, or acted, or laughed with a male friend, or wore clothes to look and feel good, I felt ashamed of the Maliha standing in the corner, eyeing me so intensley as if ripping my clothes off, questioning my lack of practice of saying my prayers.
Another reason I feel unable to pray was that I felt that I turned to prayer only when in trouble or pain. Only when I wanted something only He could give me. So part of my guilt also told me I had no right to pray when I pray only selfishly.
So the other day, after a million or so days of contemplation as to which road I should choose, as to whether there is a possible balance which I could strike, as to whether striking such a balance is the right way to go or not – I started talking to God. Every day I used to ask Him to make me stronger enough in my intention to be able to put it to practice. Every other day I asked Him to help me make room in my busy schedule for that Islamiyat book and its chapter on namaz.
It did not work. For a long time. While on the one hand shaitan is to be blamed, I am no less guilty. I allowed shaitan to keep me from my duty, from my right to worship whom I please.
But the guilt was killing me. So I tried to talk to God yet another time. And this time, He gave me an answer.
I asked him to make me pray. He guided me that praying is not something at odds with music, or with feeling happy, or with laughing. If nothing at all, it was a way of thanking Him for all that I have. And I have a lot.
I may not have my music classes, I may not have a family that understands and lets me understand that music or acting or taking time out formyself does not mean I’m an awara besharam larki in the wrong culture. But I have education, I have the ability to comprehend, I have the kind of family who would at least hear me out (the number of times and ways i need to talk to them is another issue), I have friends, I have information, I have passion.
And I am thankful to the One and Only – Allah.
And though I have yet not started saying my prayers, or picked up that Islamiyat book, I know I am one real strong and big step closer to that. I’m almost there, God, I’m almost there. I can do it, I promise You, but I can’t do it without you. So don’t take my life yet, grant me the opportunity to take the few mroe small steps left over, and make this part of my routine. I know it is for my own benefit.
When I first sat down to pen these thoughts, it was coincidentally the time when Veena Malik was quite famous for the fatwa that mufti was dying to pass on her and how she stood her ground and the whole debate. My inspiration to pen them down, however, were my own experiences and mental debates.
There have been times when people have told me off for my interest in music, or my tendency towards acting, or my higher level of ease and comfort with and in the company of guys as compared to girls, and my natural need to hang out with guys cos they do not spend every second of their company bitching, but know how to chill having left all their worries behind them in that moment of company. Read the rest of this entry »
it was always like this.
he always judged her. they always judged her.
they told her she could do better.
she knew this. but, Read the rest of this entry »
she knows you’re trying to help her. she wants you to help her too. but all your efforts and all her wants are futile and pointless.
if you try to help her, talk to her, about things other or the same, it will only hurt her more. you will touch her and she will bleed tears. Read the rest of this entry »
I first heard this song (cover by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman) when I Read the rest of this entry »
i used to listen to this song over and over again. i had not yet made sense of the world but i knew how to press the rewind button on the tape recorder and what it did. and every time this song faded away into its end, i used to try and follow it right into the tape recorder, wondering sadly where he was going away and why.
(the next song on the cassette used to BLARE out so loud i used to run for cover, my being having jumped right out of my skin, while my parents used to rush to the room from the kitchen wondering what had happened).
Sway – Michael Bubley *spelling*
I like to hold your hand – the Beatles
mal: Does music transport you to some scene in your head? Does it make you smile with tears in your eyes as something within you craves to be dancing already? That kinda goosebumps
Riza: I am not a girl (and some more stuff)
mal: It had nothing to do with gender. You just insulted the goosebumps. Now apologize.
Riz: I’m sorry.
I must sing. I must sing or else i’d die. The relationship between myself and the voice that needs to be heard and recognized runs deeper than family ties, thicker than blood, and stronger than power itself.
It has to be better than even sex when music evolves right within you as you listen to it, making you smile with a tear in your eye, and goosebumps ripping at your skin…your mind curving in a dance in the moonlight and water it imagines…
I admit: jealousy, plain outright jealousy burns me up and i cant think straight when i see people my age making the news already with petty stuff!!
It’s not about what i like. It’s about what i can do, and i can do a lot. Trouble is, i feel unable to anticipate what they, the judges, would like/prefer. I thought Hadiqa Kiyani as one of the three judges would help get a balanced judgement as she’d more readily appreciate (my) tendencies toward english music, but turns out she wasn’t here at the city campus for audition. So let’s see. I think i have time abi 🙂
Update: The year is 2010 – April or May of this year, the organizers of this competition called me to inform me that i had been selected for the next round/season (recorded). but i had to decline the offer cos their terms and conditions were WAY too demanding – they did not care that i had studies/classes to attend and they demanded i stay available 24/7 for the next 4 months. so… : )