The lady of her choice

Choice : انتخاب : Intikhab 

Birthdays are the best society devised concept to boost your ego. Don’t believe me ? Self-introspection is all you need and you’ll realize that the most attention showered on you by your dear ones has to be on your birthday – go scroll your facebook and whatsapp profiles on your yaum-e-paidaish and you’ll end up agreeing to it.

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So, as I turned 21 today (umm, mental age doesn’t count) and was bombarded with wishes as soon as the clock ticked 12 and being a lark in the world of night owls, I wondered who devised the concept of wishing people at 12. Whyy don’t people love their sleep ? As the messages started pouring in and I was made to count my “achievements”, remarked about my seamless transition from a girl to a young lady and sung paeans of my trysts with daily survival, the realization of significance of my birthday dawned upon me. Is it the manifestation of my successful survival of the brutal world or does it mark the anniversary of beautiful journey undertaken by a lady which marks the onset of a new stage in her life – the mother. After all, motherhood is not a cake-walk and requires a lot of mental and physical preparation by a woman no matter at what point of her life she undertakes this decision.

Motherhood isn’t really an easy path to choose especially when it takes difficult turns in your life trajectory where the lady has to make serious choices with reference to her future course of action. It’s no more what you read in fairy tales or the bed time stories which used to be recited to us by our previous generations – over simplification of isn’t something which comes naturally to us.  Even in current times, we rarely hear of late motherhood.

Turn 25 and you’re packed off to the best suitor who’s well settled and earns enough to cater to your and his needs combined – shush, girls from good families don’t question back – it’s against our sanskaar. The family circle gets completed within a few years of the holy matrimony and ta-daa you’re gifted with a mini-you.

Late child-births are laughable and a serious dining table topics, also not to miss out that the trips to fertility clinics are made most of the times by the mother in laws of the family with the bahu in tow because “there can be nothing wrong with jigar ka tukda (read-beta) of the khandaan”.

But does anyone care to ask girl if she’s ready for such a drastic change in her life ? No doubt, the female is made conducive to carry another body inside her but is it really what she would wish to choose if given an option ? Mental preparation for birth decisions by a woman is a subject which we absolutely refuse to broach. It has been the norm since generations so why question it now ? Haven’t the women of the past been able to adjust to these circumstances naturally with enough gusto, why do the “strong women” of today  need time and choice to prepare for something which is anything but natural ?

We, as a society need to learn to respect the choices made by all the ladies out there- child or no child or a child only when they’re ready. Also, next time someone comes and compliments you – ask them to thank your parents for making you a wonderful person that you are. Your existence today is an outcome of the brave choice made by a woman whom you love to brush aside every now and then.

Birthdays are not just a day of your celebration in this world but also the struggles of your mother. 

 

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Jazbaati Samaan

جذباتی سامان : Emotional Baggage : Jazbaati Samaan 

I heard this phrase for the first time when I was almost done with my schooling and was gearing up for college – a teacher whom I always projected  as a Cassandra once proclaimed that “emotional baggage” shall soon become an important theme of study. Without paying two hoots to what he had to say, I moved on  imagining life to be all ha-ha-he-he because the best years of the life were knocking down at the doorstep.

But today, as I sit contemplating the 2.5 years of “Adult” life, I am forced to go back to the same class where I can still hear the words reverberating in my ears. “Emotional Baggage” or the Jazbaati Samaan as I like to call it is our generation’s most prized possession, isn’t it ?

But what exactly does it comprises of ?

The insecurities which we are afraid to share with ourselves since it’s too dark and ugly to be shared with anyone or the unprocessed negative emotions rolled up in a trunk waiting to be exploded at the slightest drop of a hat.

Why is it so difficult to let go toxic vibes which we continue to feed day after day being reclusive and withdrawn in our own shell which is too fragile to handle. Is breaking away from such shackles really that threatening ?

Is finding solace in unveiling of the emotions that difficult ? The questions continue but still remain to be unanswered but we need to acknowledge that the battle is never won alone. Seeking help and sharing about your feelings is not going to give you away as a meek personality.

The plague of self doubt needs to be exterminated. The world is all embracing and worth living only if you decide to make it one. 🙂

Kya lab sach mei azaad hain ?

آزادی : Azaadi : Freedom.

Let me begin by reminding that when we were struggling for independence some 70 odd years ago,we were promised FREEDOM. An incredibly tempting verb which lured several people to give up their lives so that the future generations wouldn’t have to face what they did. And hence,when Pandit Nehru – the first Prime Minister of Republic of India announced :

 “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.”

We were elated. We were free. The much awaited Azaadi had finally arrived. Nobody wanted to have a taste of it they wanted to devour it. But almost 70 years down the lane, I still wish to question the concept of azaadi.16388369_1002843316483192_5396588553031423027_n

The leaders only prefer the bird’s eye view of the situation and are contented with the belief that India’s shining. We live in a country where the state interferes in the eating habits of the people and firmly believes that it has the right to do so. A country where a mob gathers to kill wreak havoc in the life of a person because he allegedly consumed beef. And witnessing an army official using human shield and getting recommendation for the same, is the kind of azaadi which we looked forward to. Women are unsafe even in the protective walls of their home. Farmers are forced to sit on repeated strikes and committing suicide seems like a lucrative option than working on their field.

Despite all this, we are still expected to keep ourselves locked up in our AC rooms and sing long tales of heroism of our leaders,raising your voice is equivalent to putting your nationalism at stake, questioning anything my friend, is beckoning the devil.

On an ending note : A beautiful poem by Faiz Ahmed Faiz ( and an equally amazing artwork by Mr.Shiraz Hussain )

Bol, ke lab azaad hai tere,
Bol, zabaan ab tak teri hai,
Tera sutwan jism hai tera –
Bol, ke jaan ab tak teri hai.

Dekh ke aahangar ki dukaan mein
Tund hai shu’le, surkh hai aahan,
Khulne-lage quflon ke dahane,
Phaila hare k zanjeer ka daaman.

Bol, ye thora waqt bahut hai,
Jism o zabaan ki maut se pahle;
Bol, ke sach zinda hai ab tak –
Bol, jo kuchh kahna hai kah-le!

 

Masroofiyat

“Bahot Masroof hain janaab,aajkal.. Kisi ke haath kahan ate hain?”

Masroof :مصروف : Being busy/engaged.

We live in an era where nobody has got time for anybody. You chalk out a schedule for your day to day activities because leading life without “a plan” is just not our thing,right? So , eventually we become our own slaves,happily giving up our desires,because we just don’t have time for such stuff. Or maybe because we have saved sometime in the future for that? Par kise hosh ki kal kya ho? Kya pata is duniya mei hum ho na ho? 

Whoever you meet is so busy in their lives that it is even difficult for them to answer your phone call because “masroofiyat hi itni hain ki phone ka kya,time ka hi pata nahin chalta. Kab nikal gaya“.

Or maybe it is our new self-invented Indian thing,just like “missed calls”,our contribution to the world. Act as if you don’t have any time in the world and the person in front of you will bow down , after all, we have loads of work to do. Why should we be the first ones to initiate?

So,next time if someone tries to play the busy card, reply with the given couplet (it might make their day 😉 ) :

Itne kahan masroof ho gaye tum,
jo dil dukhane bhi ab nahi aate.

 

 

Riwaayat

After a long time , I finally picked up my copy of “City Of Djinns”by William Dalrymple .

Cursed myself for not having this gem in my bookshelf before. Well,procrastination indeed is a devil. So, while reading the book I came across the mention of Ahmed Ali’s “Twilight in Delhi”which is another masterpiece. It’s available in stores and if you’re an Urdu Connoisseur and have a strong desire to know about life in Delhi before partition and independence then this is the book for you.

I reminisced about the galis and koochas of The Walled City and within no time I ended up googling about the Havelis of Old Delhi. ( you can have a look at them here : http://olddelhiheritage.in/category/haveli/ ).

The Havelis and the fluent Urdu which were once the jaan of Delhi now merely form a part of its long lost “Riwaayat : روایت : tradition”

Our Riwaayat which we have allowed to be ransacked with time and now nothing but dilapidated structures remain. ( The owner of the famous Ghantewala Sweets in Chandni Chowk closed it down recently owing to “system failures”)  I wonder who is to be blamed? The ignorant owners who failed to preserve their viraasat or prefer to exchange it for a few shellings because they are in dire need of money only to end up buying a new bungalow in Lutyens Delhi or to lead a happy life with the “sahebs” who not a very long time ago ruled them. (Ah,talk of the slavery blood still running in us)

What should I feel more sorry for? The havelis which are now ruins or the replacement of chaste urdu by “Kaarkhani urdu”as Ahmed Ali likes to call it.

Melancholy for the Riwaayat which was been uprooted and dispersed.

Aaghaaz

Wondering what does this word mean ?

Aaghaaz is an urdu word pronounced as “Aa-gh-aa-z”,the gh is “غ (ghain)”in urdu which means “onset/ beginning” and since this is my first post of the new blog so I decided to call it that.

My desire for writing has made me start another blog,not very sure what I would be writing here ( here’s the link to the original one : writerssection.wordpress.com which was created when I was 14).

Happy reading. 🙂