Bring it on…2014

As the sun set for the last time in 2013, I decided to look back at the kind of year I had.

1. I began in high spirits. JANUARY saw me planning to form a new company with some of my friends. I was excited at the prospect but also a little anxious. I didn’t know if it was a good idea and wasn’t sure what the future held. I was nervous.

2. FEBRUARY cured all my tensions, anxieties and fears about the company; just like that. My health deteriorated and I was advised complete bed rest by the doctors. All my previous problems vanished along with all my previous plans. But obviously this had its negatives. I did not know what to do, and had no idea how or when I would be able to get up again.

3. In MARCH this problem was gone as well. I was not as confused as I had been. The doctors told me that I was not getting up any time soon. The certainty was great. Now, I knew where I stood and I could plan the future fairly certain that I was going to stay in bed for quite a while. But obviously this was not enough. I still had the problem of what to do. I knew I wasn’t getting up soon but I wanted to know how or when I could get up.

4. APRIL solved that problem. I was told that I needed to get surgery and only then would I be able to sit again. The clarity was wonderful. However there was a downside. I hate surgeries especially when I am the one being operated on. And I was scared.

5. MAY took care of the fear. When I decided that the surgery was not possible in Pakistan, I had the much bigger problem of how to arrange my surgery in UK. The amount of money required was huge and I had no way to arrange it. And then there were all kinds of other issues. So my fear of surgery was forgotten. Obviously it was replaced with other, bigger concerns; most of all, where to get the money from.

6. JUNE brought with it all the money I needed, and that too from a source I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. My problems were solved. But there was a downside. Now I had the problem of arranging my trip. And that was a task that looked huge at that time.

7. JULY reduced the enormity of the task as one after another of the issues kept getting resolved. And by the end of the month, I was ready to fly. Now my mind was struck with anxiety again. I wondered how hard it would be in the UK.

8. AUGUST saw me land in the UK and I had the time of my life. The hospital was great, the staff and doctors thoroughly professional, and spending all day in the midst of pretty goris was not the worst of it. However, there still was the issue of the surgery and my old fears and anxieties of March were back.

9. SEPTEMBER put an end to all the anxiety again as the doctors told me that I would not need surgery after all. That I would be back to my healthy self soon. I was excited. I even started writing a novel. The concern now was that my stay was being prolonged and some new complications were raising their ugly heads. With time, money and patience running out, I did not like the situation.

10. OCTOBER resolved the issue as I finished my novel and flew back to Pakistan feeling better than I had felt all year. I was allowed to sit for a few hours a day and then see how things went. I was positive about my chances but still a little scared about how soon I would be back to sitting for as long as I wanted.

11. NOVEMBER was great. My sitting time kept getting longer and longer until I was almost back to where I was in January. I felt a deep satisfaction. And my old concerns were back now. What to do with my life? Should I start thinking about the company again? Or try to get my book published? Or something else? It was taxing on the mind.

12. DECEMBER proved up to the task as all the other months had. It erased all the concerns of the previous month. My health deteriorated again and now I am again on bed. Complete bed rest and I have no idea how or when I would get up. But I am not bothered. I know there is JANUARY just around the corner.

2013 has taught me that there are always troubles but they are always resolved and then always replaced by new troubles which are in turn resolved and replaced by still new ones. That’s life. It’s how you handle the troubles and what you achieve despite them that counts. I can’t wait for 2014 and what it will bring. Bring it on!

2013

As the sun set for the last time in 2013, I decided to look back at the kind of year I had.

1. I began in high spirits. JANUARY saw me planning to form a new company with some of my friends. I was excited at the prospect but also a little anxious. I didn’t know if it was a good idea and wasn’t sure what the future held. I was nervous.

2. FEBRUARY cured all my tensions, anxieties and fears about the company; just like that. My health deteriorated and I was advised complete bed rest by the doctors. All my previous problems vanished along with all my previous plans. But obviously this had its negatives. I did not know what to do, and had no idea how or when I would be able to get up again.

3. In MARCH this problem was gone as well. I was not as confused as I had been. The doctors told me that I was not getting up any time soon. The certainty was great. Now, I knew where I stood and I could plan the future fairly certain that I was going to stay in bed for quite a while. But obviously this was not enough. I still had the problem of what to do. I knew I wasn’t getting up soon but I wanted to know how or when I could get up.

4. APRIL solved that problem. I was told that I needed to get surgery and only then would I be able to sit again. The clarity was wonderful. However there was a downside. I hate surgeries especially when I am the one being operated on. And I was scared.

5. MAY took care of the fear. When I decided that the surgery was not possible in Pakistan, I had the much bigger problem of how to arrange my surgery in UK. The amount of money required was huge and I had no way to arrange it. And then there were all kinds of other issues. So my fear of surgery was forgotten. Obviously it was replaced with other, bigger concerns; most of all, where to get the money from.

6. JUNE brought with it all the money I needed, and that too from a source I could not have imagined in my wildest dreams. My problems were solved. But there was a downside. Now I had the problem of arranging my trip. And that was a task that looked huge at that time.

7. JULY reduced the enormity of the task as one after another of the issues kept getting resolved. And by the end of the month, I was ready to fly. Now my mind was struck with anxiety again. I wondered how hard it would be in the UK.

8. AUGUST saw me land in the UK and I had the time of my life. The hospital was great, the staff and doctors thoroughly professional, and spending all day in the midst of pretty goris was not the worst of it. However, there still was the issue of the surgery and my old fears and anxieties of March were back.

9. SEPTEMBER put an end to all the anxiety again as the doctors told me that I would not need surgery after all. That I would be back to my healthy self soon. I was excited. I even started writing a novel. The concern now was that my stay was being prolonged and some new complications were raising their ugly heads. With time, money and patience running out, I did not like the situation.

10. OCTOBER resolved the issue as I finished my novel and flew back to Pakistan feeling better than I had felt all year. I was allowed to sit for a few hours a day and then see how things went. I was positive about my chances but still a little scared about how soon I would be back to sitting for as long as I wanted.

11. NOVEMBER was great. My sitting time kept getting longer and longer until I was almost back to where I was in January. I felt a deep satisfaction. And my old concerns were back now. What to do with my life? Should I start thinking about the company again? Or try to get my book published? Or something else? It was taxing on the mind.

12. DECEMBER proved up to the task as all the other months had. It erased all the concerns of the previous month. My health deteriorated again and now I am again on bed. Complete bed rest and I have no idea how or when I would get up. But I am not bothered. I know there is JANUARY just around the corner.

2013 has taught me that there are always troubles but they are always resolved and then always replaced by new troubles which are in turn resolved and replaced by still new ones. That’s life. It’s how you handle the troubles and what you achieve despite them that counts. I can’t wait for 2014 and what it will bring. Bring it on!

Confused?

Some people are born confused, some achieve confusion and some have confusion thrust upon them. I guess these three categories more or less make up most of the population of this planet. Everyone seems to be confused. Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe it is just me who is confused and in my confusion, I cannot find an iota of sense in what people are doing and thus come to the conclusion that everyone is confused. Are you Confused?

Welcome to the club.

Maybe we have lived a lie for so long now that a situation, a quote, a written sentence, anything with the tiniest semblance of truth confuses us. Maybe we have lived for so long believing in untruths that anything else is beyond our understanding, inexplicable, unacceptable. Maybe that is why we prefer small talk over serious discussion, entertainment over profound literature, gossip over debate, sleep over thinking, television over books, the list is endless.

Maybe this is wrong, maybe not. I, in any case, am in no hurry to find out. I am busy, I have to watch TV and then go to sleep.

Are you confused?

Some people are born confused, some achieve confusion and some have confusion thrust upon them. I guess these three categories more or less make up most of the population of this planet. Everyone seems to be confused. Or maybe they aren’t. Maybe it is just me who is confused and in my confusion, I cannot find an iota of sense in what people are doing and thus come to the conclusion that everyone is confused. Are you Confused?

Welcome to the club.

Maybe we have lived a lie for so long now that a situation, a quote, a written sentence, anything with the tiniest semblance of truth confuses us. Maybe we have lived for so long believing in untruths that anything else is beyond our understanding, inexplicable, unacceptable. Maybe that is why we prefer small talk over serious discussion, entertainment over profound literature, gossip over debate, sleep over thinking, television over books, the list is endless.

Maybe this is wrong, maybe not. I, in any case, am in no hurry to find out. I am busy, I have to watch TV and then go to sleep.

Limits

There is a limit to everything; or is there? A point beyond which ordinary people never even think of going! But do people not cross it because it is the limit, or does it only seem like the limit because they don’t cross it? There are some who dare to tread beyond limits, who discover new possibilities and as a result neither they nor anyone they influence can ever be the same again. They change everything, set new standards; they stretch the limits or maybe just show that there weren’t any limits in the first place other than in our minds. But then it becomes a habit, and living within any boundaries becomes boring. They seem to take on a burden; the burden to keep stretching the limits and prove that nothing….absolutely nothing is impossible. They do this step by step, limit by limit; one boundary at a time. It’s not the extraordinary who survive beyond the limit. It’s daring to go beyond it and surviving that makes one extraordinary.

There is a limit to everything; or is there? A point beyond which ordinary people never even think of going! But do people not cross it because it is the limit, or does it only seem like the limit because they don’t cross it? There are some who dare to tread beyond limits, who discover new possibilities and as a result neither they nor anyone they influence can ever be the same again. They change everything, set new standards; they stretch the limits or maybe just show that there weren’t any limits in the first place other than in our minds. But then it becomes a habit, and living within any boundaries becomes boring. They seem to take on a burden; the burden to keep stretching the limits and prove that nothing….absolutely nothing is impossible. They do this step by step, limit by limit; one boundary at a time. It’s not the extraordinary who survive beyond the limit. It’s daring to go beyond it and surviving that makes one extraordinary.

Shuntoo….Jesus or Jinnah?

“His name begins with the letter J. He was born on the 25th of December. He brought a message of truth, courage, faith and discipline to a people who had gone astray. They listened to him and then crucified him. After he had gone, every one of them began to use the power of his message to achieve their own selfish aims. He is still remembered with reverence but his message has been forgotten……abused in a manner that makes his spirit shudder. I wonder if he cries when he sees what became of his dream.”

I asked Shuntoo if he was talking about Jesus or Jinnah.
“Both. ” he said

Normalcy, a curse

Normalcy must be a curse. I mean, who, in their right minds, would want to be normal? Normal things don’t matter, we don’t even notice them; they are non-entities.

By simply continuing to work in a manner considered normal by the world not only makes one cease to be of any significance, worse still, it makes one become a part of the whole process, the system in which the world operates and is there any doubt that it must be a pretty terrible system that has given rise to the world we see around ourselves today?

So, being normal makes one a part of the problem, being abnormal is a step that at least creates a possibility that one might becomes a part of the solution.

Idleness

There is a strange pleasure in idleness. It is the stuff dreams ought to be made of. I wonder why we always dream, whether asleep or awake, of doing something, of some sort of action. I wonder why we are so concerned about what we want or need to do at a certain time, on a certain day or in our lives as a whole. I wonder why we give action as opposed to inaction so much importance. The reason I don’t understand these things could be my lack of knowledge; it is probable that I am unaware of some truths that the world discovered centuries ago making them more prone than me to live a life under the enormous and continuous pressure of action. But it could also be that the world has missed some very important facts.

Am I mistaken or do the Zen Buddhists, Hindu yogis and even Muslim saints always preach meditation as a fundamental part of life involving spiritual elevation. If I am not mistaken, doesn’t it mean that a complete abandonment of all external stimuli and internal thoughts is the ultimate way to clear one’s mind and the first step towards spiritual illumination? In other words, idleness is necessary to get the clarity required to act properly. We, on the other hand, have such disdain for idleness that we have totally lost this beautiful habit and resultantly spend our lives always on the go. We are always running after something, and when we find it, well…we start running after something else. Most of us then end up sick, confused, frustrated, sad and out of breath. There is a lot of wisdom in the life of the yogis and the Sufis. Isn’t it about time we took a break from our race and rather than finding solace in the self-help books based on their teachings, follow the most basic teaching of these sages; without the slightest trace of guilt for being idle?

I don’t know, I just think this might be true. As for me, I am not consciously chasing any spiritual illumination, though it might come as a side-effect. I am idle, but that’s only because…..I am lazy, and not ashamed of it.

He never thought….

He never thought he was capable of it. But when the time came he overcame all the obstacles. He never thought he was capable. But when the opportunity came he grasped it with both hands. He never thought he was capable. But when he came face to face with challenges, he was up to the task every single time. He never gave up. He never gave in. He kept moving forward. He kept falling. But he felt getting up again. And he kept moving. He never thought he was capable. But, more importantly, he never thought he was incapable either. Maybe the secret lies in not thinking what you can or cannot do. Maybe the secret lies in just doing it and finding out.