Shades of God ..

I called my brother today. I needed to pay my rent at least. I didn’t want to ask any friend for help before I could look at my own ones first. Although I knew that my older brother is going through financial troubles too, I still thought it was better than asking from a friend; friends here would not have refused me either, they are very helpful in other things too and I help them all the time when they look to me for anything. So we were talking and he asked me himself about how I am going to pay for my rent. I told him the truth that I have nothing to pay for anything, not even for the food. He asked “what I am eating if I don’t have any money?” And I told him that I was having dinner at a friend’s home for sometime now. To which he asked about my breakfast and I told him that I am not having it. His next response, which actually was scolding, flooded my eyes but I apparently managed to keep my voice normal. He kept scolding me, saying have I lost my mind, have I gone mad.

I hadn’t gone mad. But he kept scolding me for a couple of minutes.

And then some more ..

And then he said that he has transferred me some amount in my bank account online then and there and asked me to go out immediately and buy bread and other grocery to cook food.

My eyes were still flooded. And I was struggling more to keep my nasal tone normal ..

I guess I just did ..

I had prayed to God to help me. He did. I wanted food (and money for rent). So interestingly He didn’t just get me the food via my brother, he provided me food from another unexpected source within half hour of my conversation with my brother: A friend called and said that I am invited in Masjid for a Valima feast. I never saw this coming!

I think God just showed me that He can feed me not from an expected source but also from an unexpected source about which my mind can never think of; he showed me that He can create more than one way to help His creation. “Then which of the favours of your Lord will you deny?” (Quran)

He sure does things mysteriously! I had a good feast tonight. I could pay my rent now and be relieved for some more time. I can never be thankful enough to the almighty Lord.

Shades of Life ..

Come to a point where I have nothing left to spend on food. It is interesting that you have wi-fi but not a penny to eat. I have my rent due on Sunday and for the first time my landlord reminded me to pay it on time. Shades of life: sometimes you have plenty, and sometimes you are penniless.

I prayed to God today: in this state of indigence don’t let me ask for anyone’s help but Him; don’t let me throw my hands for help in front of anyone but Him.

I am sure He is listening. He is all I have and He knows that too.

Random Rambling

I haven’t written anything about anything lately. I have been wanting to write a lot but the thoughts in my mind did not really come straight to take the shape of words here. There are too many thoughts, such as that of a kid I met who was selling story books in the streets of Karachi — the books he cannot read himself; and the 3 siblings (Kamran, Sundus and Ayesha) I met who were selling boiled eggs on Mall Road in Murree — Kamran having the age of eleven wishing to join army, Sundus with the age of ten dreaming to become a medical doctor in army, and Ayesha being the youngest of all siblings having age seven just aiming to follow her older sister Sundus. God help them to achieve their dreams!

Few days back I saw a stray cat downstairs in my garage. She was milking her baby kitten when I first threw my glance at her. It seemed that the kitten was recently born– not older than a week maybe. The mother cat meowed when she saw me staring her. The soft meow pushed me to go upstairs and take a piece of chicken meat escaping my mother’s eyes to feed the mommy cat. Mother is not against feeding animals, especially cats. She is only concerned about feeding them in the boundary of the house because then they spoil her plantations and foul the stairs and around by keeping their presence there permanently after getting fed on daily basis. It has been more than a month now and since that day whenever that cat finds me downstairs in the garage where she often sits and sleeps, she walks herself near to me and meows for food. I have been feeding her and her kitten secretly who is now a little grown up. I feed a few more random cats here and there in the street sometimes.

But here is the funny thing. I have also been feeding a dog in my street for some two years. The dog is white and big now. I have known him since he was born in a house at the end of my street. The family kept it till he got a few months older, and then they let him loose. He hasn’t left the street since then and the family hasn’t stopped caring for him either, feeding him most of the days in the week. He is nearly 3 years old. But I have been friend with him for two years only. I don’t let him touch me and I don’t touch him either for hygiene reasons. Though he is bathed by that family sometimes. So whenever he sees me passing by, he wags his tail always, and sometimes even follow me down the road till I reach home. I have secretly named him Delfino. So one day a few days ago I was coming home around midnight and Delfino caught me at the corner of the street. I had some stuff in a plastic bag in my hand and Delfino thought it was something I was bringing for him to feed as sometimes I do, so he started following me. A few steps ahead, and another stray cat whom I occasionally feed too saw me with the plastic bag and began to follow me besides Delfino. Not a few steps later “Asma” and “Kallu”, two of the old cats in the street named so by a neighbor, added to the queue of strays following me. The queue was soon joined by that cat and her kitten who are found in my garage these days most of the day. So it was like, I was walking down the road in my street for home, and I had 5 cats and a dog following me. It was funny because all of them had appeared in no time from no where one by one.

I was troubled lately. Stressed, maybe. I don’t know. I wasn’t feeling well. So many things were streaming in my brain. I had trouble sleeping too. I couldn’t focus on one thing or another. I have been staring at the faces of random people and thinking how their life is like. Are they happy? Are they healthy? I don’t know.

During my graduation days I had an Iranian friend in England whose name was Sadegh. He would frequently use the expression “I don’t know”. Lately I too have been using this phrase a lot; when a horde of questions pop in my mind and I couldn’t answer them, I say to myself “I don’t know”. I think I have been missing Sadegh for one. Secondly, I really don’t know “whys” and “whats” about many things. Things like, why it feels to do good and still not do enough? Why is it not enough to be just good? What is it that makes you feel good if doing good is not good enough? Maybe the answer lies in the endless cycle of doing-good. I don’t know. Thank you, Sadegh. If it weren’t for your favorite expression, I would be lost in making wrong answers. Now I silent myself with your favorite expression. Maybe it is for the best.






28 Years

28 years have passed now. And sometimes I wonder what exactly I have done in all these years. I am not sure how to answer. If anything, I haven’t been able to achieve so much of what I wished to achieve. But this does not mean that I am unhappy with what I am now or how things are around me. I have to say that I am very much happy and contented; I am better than millions of people; or maybe billions? Quite different are the feelings of being incomplete and these feelings originate from the unaccomplished or half-accomplished objectives I planned sometime somewhere in life. I think having these feelings are still natural and not relevant to materialistic desires and cannot be tantamount to being unthankful.

It’s Painful!

I saw this new guard in my street today who came only for a two-day duty. This young guy was so awful sick as I talked to him! He has similar illness as mine and is incurable on permanent basis. He was so worse and in deep pain yet working to feed himself. Seeing his life I said to myself I wouldn’t have survived if I were him .. working as an underpaid guard with even no access to clean water and even no place to sleep, and much more! Not that his sickness was any different than mine, I still was in better place than him with access to health facilities and a roof under which I can sleep sound; even a lot more that I have and he doesn’t: like, having family and friends. He barely have any, and apparently no parents at all whom he lost 18 years back when he was 4. Seeing his pain — knowing the worse of it personally — and empathising him just made me wept while standing there. Fortunately it was dark. I prayed silently!

I then brought my medicines to give them to him and he was happy. I asked him if he has cell phone so I can have his number and provide him meds on regular basis. But he didn’t have a cell. So I asked him that since he is leaving tomorrow morning, he can still come to me anytime, in fact he should come to me again, and I will give him meds when the ones he got now are finished.

We need to fix our healthcare system. We need more empathy, we need to be more responsible … we are not doing anything … It is painful even more now with the pain I go through daily!