Good memory takeaways

Looking back and taking wonderful things forward…

A bonfire for writers and poets’ meet-up of Arts and Literary Guild at Mazhar Nisar’s house. 

When we look back, it depends on our present mood, whether we remember the ‘good’ parts or the ‘bad’ ones. If I’m in a good mood, then I’ll only remember the wonderful things in my past. When I’m in a bad mood, only sad things will be remembered.

Why is it?

 I think it is physics.

 It is a wavelength which we ‘connect’ to. So, make sure your present feelings (and wave lengths) are good. Then whatever you recollect, will be good too.

How’s that for a theory?!

Anyhow, I feel like sharing some recent happy events, and share what we both can take away from these. 

1.    Aroosha’s baby’s birthday:

(Teacher and student’s takeaway.)

‘I’d love to see my student as grown ups!’ I often thought, while teaching my little students, specially these forth graders. – In fact, every grade I’ve taught was the same. Of course, I knew, it wasn’t possible. But I did tell them:

‘If you ever see me, do come and meet me.’ I would add,

‘Remember that you will be changing a lot with time, I won’t be able to recognize you. So, you will need to tell me, and reconnect.’

Many of them have done so.  They came up to me at different times in my life and I can’t tell you how happy I’ve felt seeing them, all grown up leading successful lives. Naturally, my Facebook is full of many of my old students.

I always say that ‘Teaching is the next best thing to motherhood.’

So, when Aroosha invited me on December 31st. 2018, I was able to attend the party, and it was great. I also met several other students, and her brother.

My student and his mother. 

Student’s  take-away :

  1. Stay in touch with teachers.
  2. Do involve them in your life events.
  3. Do ask them if ever you need any mentoring later on in life.
  4. Please do understand, if they cannot accept every invitation.
  5. Also, understand, if a teacher attends one student’s function and cannot do so with others. It isn’t about you, it is something happening in their own lives, which they can’t share with you.
  6. Whenever you have an old students’ gathering, do invite your teachers.

Teachers’ take-away:

  1. It is easy to be connected with students these days. It is a good way to see how the students are doing in life.
  2. Assuring them, that you are there for them is vital.
  3. While teaching, keep a time and space to reach out to your students. Be available. Money isn’t everything. These beautiful human beings are far more important.
  4. Students need our mentoring, in their lives.We know, there are few counselors here.
  5. Many of our students come from broken or breaking homes. Our few words of support can make a big difference.
  6.  Perhaps, you can help if a student is in depression or harboring suicidal thoughts, you can change their minds.
  7. I’ve had students helping me later on in life too. Just as I was there for them, they have been there for me too.  I had helped a student once. Later, on I had to leave due to surgery. This same student would ring me daily and keep me cheered up. Another student, Mahru sent me prayers to help me heal. Many of them sent me cards. So, it is definitely, a two-way relationship.Once, a student Roheen was in UK when my husband passed away. She asked me hows he could help me. I asked her to be in contact with my daughter there. So, now they are friends too. Recently, Gul Noor and Taha Asif reconnected with me. Oh I could go on and on…. 

Writer’s Bonfire Meet-up 

(Writer’s perspective and being a guest.)

Imagine having a bonfire in the cold drizzle?

How could it be?

It was amazing!

This bonfire was there in the drizzle as we sat around it. Yes, it was very warm. 

The Bonfire was hosted by Mazhar Nisar, who is a PTV World newscaster, and a wonderful poet. He is a member of Arts and Literature Guild  of Shabnam Riaz. As you know, we have these meet-ups and we join each other’s group events. A bonfire was much talked about, and we all were looking forward to it.

The date fell on a cold, rainy ‘dismal’ day. But thanks to everyone’s determination, especially that of Mazhar, and Shabnam, it turned out awesome!

Sahil Faraz singing his composition. You can find his songs on my Instagram. 


 Mazher had asked Sahil Faraz to sing some beautiful songs. There we sat and enjoyed his melodious and heart -warming songs.  I specially loved his own composition. The food, the music, and finally each writers’ and poets’readings was really heart warming.  Mazhar had ordered delicious barbecued food for us, and of course we ate well.

It turned out to be a real memorable evening.

Your take away:

  1. When someone invites you, try to accept.  Even if you have apprehensions of distance and weather. Just go well clad. Put on really warm clothes and keep good shoes in your car. (Trust the host to manage. Otherwise, help.)
  2. Remember, if you don’t go, probably, others wont be going too, and it could spoil the party.
  3. Once there, get into the mood of the event. Be sporting and help the host.
  4. Yes, you will get plenty of memories to takeaway!

Rashid, son of Abdul Rahim’s wedding. 

(Domestic help relations.)

Abdul Rahim whom I’ve known for twenty years. 

It was Rashid’s wedding, the only son of Abdul Rahim; who has cooked in my home for last twenty years or so. He has always been there for me. He lost his wife, four years ago, a little after my husband passed away.

He is the one who said he needed no pay, when I had no money. So, naturally, I went to attend his son’s wedding, just as I’ve attended both his daughter’s weddings in good times too.

It felt wonderful to see how much Rahim has taken care of his Bhabis who lost their husbands – (his brothers). Both were there, being given prime respect and place in the event. So, goodness is in the nature of humans, being rich or poor doesn’t matter. He of course, had me sitting on the stage with the bride to have the food with her, and his daughters.

They gave me so much VIP treatment. Rashid’s boss too had helped him with this event. It was Rashid who had called me when my husband died, asking me, ‘How much money do you need?’ I said, ‘what does it matter?’ He said, ‘my boss is very rich, he will help you. Just tell me how much you need, I’ll get it for you!’

Rahim’s daughters with the bride. 

Of course, I wasn’t going to take from him, but his saying it was enough for me.

This is the kind of people they are.

Your take away:

  1. Always keep staff who is recommended. Be straight, fair and just with them.
  2. Be kind and supportive with your staff.
  3. Do attend their life events. It means a lot.
  4. Naturally, they too will attend your life events.
  5. Understand how hard it is to manage in these times. Do as much financial support as possible. If cash isn’t possible, then give gifts. For instance, whenever they go on leave, hand them a gift to give the wife, or mother, so they don’t have to go home empty handed. (I’m sure most of us have so many things lying in our homes.)

Mansoor Rahi and Asrar Farooki gifted me paintings: 

(Mentors and colleagues)

Paintings gifted by Mansoor Rahi 2018 and 2019 . 
Mansoor Rahi, gifting me his painting on his birthday. How could I not have him as my mentor? I’m blessed by such great mentors. May I learn more than their art from them!

Yes! Actually. I’m so thrilled. Here I am so happy with them. Sir Mansoor Rahi gifts us with his paintings every year on his birthday on 1st January. It was the same this time too.

Later, on Asrar Farooqi who is known for his Rawalpindi cityscenes, offered to gift me a painting. It was too good an offer. 

Asrar gifted this painting to me. He also helped me so much during my painting exhibition. 

Your take away:

  1. Stay connected with your mentors, give them their due respect and regard.
  2. Do help your colleagues whenever possible. (Always do it for Allah’s sake.)
  3. So, if they gift you with their blessings. Take it happily! 😉

Alhamdolillah, life can be good. So, keep thinking of these parts, while you get some nasty bits to bear in life.

Koi baat nahi, sab theek ho jata hai. Insha Allah. (Don’t worry, everything will be fine, God-willing.)  If nothing else, there would be plenty of takeaways in the form of lessons to be handy for rest of one’s life! 😉

Mansoor Rahi’s painting gifted last year. 

Stay blessed, my wonderful Reader. I’ve really grown to love you all. More so, for reading my blogs, even when they are soooooooo long!

Elephant in the room?

Why is nothing being done about about population planning in Pakistan? 

Everyone is ignoring the monster of over-population. Our people are producing like rabbits. So, it’s a rabbit in the garb of an elephant in the room!

Nathalene and I are seated here during a session of SDPI at Margalla hotel on 5th December,2019. 

On December 6th I was invited by Nathalene Reynolds of SDPI, to be a discussant at their panel. It was truly an honor to rub shoulders with a panel chaired by Muneeza Hashmi the daughter of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Alys Faiz. She has served for many years as the head of Hum TV, Lahore. The topic was Redefining the Roles of Civil Societies in South Asia. All the speakers shed light on various interesting and alarming aspects of these organizations.

The presentations of speakers were extremely interesting and fascinating, dealing with topics like child right protection, hardships of  ‘haris’ in Sindh, and issues faced by Civil Societies in general, the world over.

As I sat listening, I realized, that the reality is that the civil societies emerge due to negligence or inability of government organizations to fulfill the urgent needs of the society. These are organizations made by the people on a no-profit basis, to fill that gap. 

Most of these societies wouldn’t be needed if the government allocated the required amount of funds for health and education in our country. Therefore, the insufficient funds for Health and Education, have resulted in most civil societies, today.

So, the need of the hour is for the government to allocate at least three times more funds for health and education, as compared to what they are allocating now.

All that effort being put for health and education by the Civil Societies, could be put in fields of even more importance.

In Pakistan, at the time of partition, Civil societies helped with resettling of refugees. When that was completed, they started helping women and children, and in health care.

Now, these societies are working to establish orphanages, clinics, hospitals, schools for underprivileged children. Happily, I found out that many organizations are working through out the country. Edhi has worked at a large scale, followed by innumerable others. The list is long. However, this list need not be doing the work of the government. Especially now, when more tax payers are there paying taxes. 

Redefining role of civil societies:

We need to redefine the role of Civil Societies by placing more emphasis on the two factors which could get us out of a lot of trouble:

  1. Family planning.
  2. Research.

Family planning:

Today, the South Asian countries have one fourth of the world’s population. We are busy weeping and wailing about this problem and that one. All of them have the same root cause: over population!

 Let the civil societies handle the monstrous issue of over population and family planning because that is what the government isn’t doing at all. This is the most urgent need of the hour. 

The need for research:

The other element is that of research. There is no authentic source of research in our country. Nothing is reliable. Without research we cannot know the gravity of any situation. Therefore, this is essential. (Here is an opportunity for a new entrepreneur.) 

One follower of mine, shared this picture of me, 
on Instagram, 

As I spoke, I looked at the elder persons in the room and asked them, ‘isn’t it true that the country did aggressive campaigning for family planning, ‘Bachay do hi achay’ (two children are good enough.) Now, the most they can say is ‘waqfa zaroori hai.’(Space between children is important.) They dare not talk about family planning. Why can’t they say that prevention is vital. I do not propagate, nor believe in abortion, only contraception and prevention.  A strict regimen for prevention of more than three pregnancies in every woman in our society is a must. This must be given primary importance.

Here is an amazing statistic that I found online regarding having three-children-families only. Notice, Pakistan’s name is no where here. Let us work towards having our name in this list, with the fastest improvement.

Our society is amazing, they don’t think of Islam while being corrupt right left and center, stealing, murders, child abuse, honor killings, usurping women’s properties, and everything else going on.  But Islam comes in while even thinking of family planning! (I wonder if it would have come into this issue, had the men had to produce those brats, feed and clothe them while being dependent on a stingy husband to deal with too!) This issue has got to be addressed, otherwise Pakistan in particular, and south Asian countries in totality will never get out the dilemma of poverty.

Epilog:

In Peshawar in 1994, I met a doctor while doing research for an article. He told me that he had just completed his degree in Preventive Medicine from England. I was intrigued about this subject. He explained it like this: 

‘Supposing a bridge is broken. Instead of repairing the bridge or building a new one, you say, ‘don’t worry, when someone falls, I’ll pick him out of the river.’ (That is what our Civil Societies are doing right now!) They are saving humanity by getting them out of the water. Then educating them, and feeding and clothing them!’

We have to think that the bridge needs to be built up. Secured. Control the number of population to the extent that is needed. Otherwise, you will constantly be needed to get people out of the river!

So what can be done?

  1. Change your mindset first. Brain storm how you can make a difference in our society. The need is to change the mindsets of people, specially educated and uneducated ones. Each one of my readers is now at a place in society where you can make a difference in one way or another. 
  2. Do campaigning for planned-parenthood at every level. All of you are in contact with people of lower socio-economic groups, influence them to not have more than two or three children.
  3. Give bonus for education of two children only. (That will send a silent message to others.)
  4. Organizations should facilitate parents with fewer children: 
    •  Give warnings to personnel having third child.
    • Facilities of health and education in factories for two children of workers.
    • Schools offering free education of two children to teachers and employees.
  5. Organizations offer good accommodation facilities to employees with two children only.
  6. One or two maternity leaves only.
  7. Health workers and contraception facilities to be offered free of cost to every home in country, whether it is in rural or urban areas.
‘Whenever I walk in a room,everyone ignores me.’

At personal level each of us must convince and facilitate staff at home and in organizations, about family planning. Be totally, unsympathetic to persons talking about having had so many children.

I know of the village of Tamman where people have few children. They are conscious of this fact, and it is done for many generations to reduce division of agricultural lands.

Stay blessed, my wonderful reader, we’ve got to stop producing like rabbits and think at a national and international level now. 🙂 

Closure


A closure helps you to move on….

‘Ever tasted a bad-tasting chalghoza (pine-nut) – or any BAD nut for that matter?’

What do you do? Keep it in your mouth to savor the flavor, or quickly spit it out?’

Spit it out!

What actually happens, is that you tend to keep it in your mouth longer. You can’t believe it isn’t that tasty nut that you were getting earlier. The previous ones were really delicious. This one isn’t.

You are wondering if I’m talking about that bad nut – or that bad thing that happened in your life.

Both!

It’s about that shocking development in life, it may be getting downsized from your job, or ending a relationship. I’m talking about the closure that is necessary to move on in life, and how to do it. It is usually, a loss of some sort.

Whatever!

Treat your wounds:

Ever been injured? You have. So you know how it is: you need to recuperate. You go into hospital, get treatment and also get a lot of attention.  So, what do you do with an emotional injury? Do the same! Take a break. You need time to recuperate from it.

So, try to treat it like a wound, and treat it.

Look,  I don’t know your problem. But I do know the process of closure to move on. This is how you do a closure:

It is a simple ‘one, two, three’ process:

1.     Face it and accept it:

 Once you have recognized it and realized it, please do not stick around there for too long! (Or you can damage yourself in the process.) Then take the steps needed to close it. Take out your personal journal and write down, all the points which have convinced you where you are. Please do not get carried away. Try to keep it crisp and short. I know it is hard. The point is to get out of it,not get more into it!

2.    Learn your lessons.

Sit down again. Write down what you are going to take away from this experience. Yes, you are going to come out brighter, shinier and wiser. Believe me, there was a reason why Allah Mian put you through this process. Say two naffals and ask God to to show you why He made you go through this experience. If you can’t understand any of it now. Still do ask Him. It will come to you in time. Write now, you just have to sanely walk away from this pain-zone. 

‘Pray that you may find out what it is that Allah is trying to explain to you through this experience.’ My friend Seema always says. Good point!

3.     Fill in the gaps in your life.

Always when suddenly, you find yourself out of a job or out of a relationship, you realize how big a chunk from your life, you were giving to it. Now, there is this huge gap in your life where that ‘chalghoza’ stood! Ummm lets call it something bigger…. What can it be? An Alien.

Of course, it was an alien, because actually, it didn’t belong in your life, and you had given it that space. So, all those times that you gave to the alien will now need to be filled up with some other wonderful activities. Make a list of all the wonderful things you will be able to do now. Starting with all the friends who were getting neglected, all the trips you had not gone to, and all the parties that you couldn’t attend earlier. Look at the bright side, now you can finish that book and watch that movie!

See?

Not so bad at all!

Remove the debris:

All those things, which remind you of –you-know-who just chuck them out. Give to a charity, or your staff. Or go and return it to the person or organization. Remember it is all now a debris of all that it was in your life. So, when a building falls, you remove the debris, to build a new house there. Simple! Right now, you are ‘removing the debris.’ Do it ASAP.

Do, not be condescending of all the good times. Don’t. Keep your perspective. Remember the good times as good times, and bad times as bad times. It was great when it was great. Now, it is bad.

So make a quick closure and get on with the rest of your life. I mean we don’t have much time to waste here in this world. Hurry up and get on with it!

Recovery process:

  1. Recognize the five stages of grief: Whenever there is a loss of any kind, one is bound to go through the five stages of grief: denial, anger, blame, depression and finally acceptance.  Try to start with acceptance. (Then you can skip the rest, hopefully.) By the way, these stages aren’t always in the same order. It is different for everyone. But starting with acceptance makes you go through the rest very easily. ‘Allah ki marzi thi!’ (it was God’s wish!)
  2. Say a big ‘Alhamdolillah’ and ‘Thank God!: Count your blessings.  Just count everything you have. You can stop at five, ten or twenty. Hurry up. You have things to do…
  3.  Go out and give something to a less fortunate person: Do it with your own hands. Don’t just sign a check, or give online. Okay, do that first, then take a meal and go and give it to someone yourself. That will give you the greatest happiness. (It will give you the greatest happiness even when you are already happy!)
  4. Meeting with yourself: You are now ready to embark on your new life! Jump up and down and do some exercise, then get that journal, and plan your whole life out, (without the – you-know- who-or whatever-organization- it-was). Remember: it has now got to be a BETTER life for you! Also, pray for the well-being of the unfortunate organization or the you-know-who, too. We are being very magnanimous here now!) jokes, aside, this is important also. 
  5. Decide to do no foul mouthing: You cannot go fast out of that zone by talking against the person or management. Remember, it was never all bad. So, keep it that way. Go out into your new life, with your honor, dignity, grace, poise, peace-of-mind, happiness, all intact.

I’m dying to say something that I said when I was very small and my mum gave me a good beating.I said, ‘phoo makhi baitha!’ – apparently, someone had taught me that. So, I got another whack for that! Now we sit and laugh about it. I’m sure I didn’t find it funny then, at the age of four!

Now, I do.

So, a time will come when all this will be a thing of the past. You will be into your future.

You will look back at this time, and thank Him for His blessings. So, Stay blessed, my dear one. You are great. 🙂

Ejaz Art Gallery

One of the most happening art galleries…

I love the way the tree was saved while building the gallery. 🙂

Ejaz Gallery is located in Gulberg, Lahore.  The owner used to have a framer shop in Gulberg, near Mini Market. Then it grew into an art gallery, and there was no turning back. Lately, it has become one of the most prominent Art Galleries of Lahore. About ten days ago, I was in Lahore, and walked through this gallery.

An exhibition of the Iranian artist was on, Fairy, my friend took me over. She is herself a great art connoisseur and her house is full of original works of art. It was just great walking through the gallery, with her. Let me take you along .

What I like most is the fact that the owner takes pride in his back ground of starting out as a framer. So, he has put ‘framer’ at the bottom of the board declaring it as Ejaz Gallery.

Saeed Akhtar is one of the most dynamic portrait painters in Lahore. He has devoted his life to painting of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Here are some of his other works. 
Loved this unusual and very realistic painting. 

Mashkoor Raza of course, who was a student of Hajra and Mansoor Rahi in Karachi School of Arts. 
 
This is made with wool, yes can you believe it? 
Set of three panels, which have to be seen. 

I love it when a person is grounded and candid. After all, that is what true art is all about. It is being candid in an artistic way. A moment of contemplation, an accumulation of thoughts and pride in one’s self. Pride in one’s city,  back ground, and ideas.

Stay blessed, my wonderful Reader, do follow your passion. Make time for it, and also to see how others are working in their fields of interest too. I came back very inspired. How about you? 🙂

Categories Art

Ending 2018 – starting 2019 !

Loved going to this Mustard field midway between Islamabad and Lahore. 

Hi, Everyone! I’ve grown to love you all so much. What amazing folks you are, in spite of your heavy back-to-back busy days; you give me time. Your Instagram comments make it all worthwhile. Such amazing bloggers as Tamania (Urdu Mom) and Shehzeen, and many others like Anum, have bowled me over. Most of all, I love your comments here on my blog posts. Specially Kiran. Thank you all so much. I was deeply touched, when I saw a  post on New Year’s eve by a follower who remembered me and my family while standing in front of Kaaba. (I loved it when she wrote, ‘shireen, mother of Waliya.) This sight became hazy as tears of gratitude misted my vision.  How much my Allah has blessed me to have such readers and followers! Truly humbled.

Honestly, you all rock!My blog posts are a sharing of our mutual experiences, while living in this world of today. Feeling good that others too are in the same type of boat, and we aren’t alone.  We laugh, we cry, we bond with each other. We share our moments of revelations, our moments of panic and our moments of joy.

Alhamdolillah – and Subhan Allah!

I’m glad the Instagram pictures will give you an idea of all that I’ve been up to. So, I’ll keep it brief here. (If that is possible for me… I’m trying!)

Wedding Season:

December was all about weddings! (And blasting one’s budget.)

I attended three functions in Lahore, hosted by my friend Ayesha and her husband Shahid. It was their son Azeem’s wedding, he has worked in one of the top-most international oil companies, and studied from Harvard. Having known the groom from the time of his birth, it was fun attending the wedding. I stayed with my good friend Riffat and her husband Naim bhai whose hospitality I’ve enjoyed always. His stuffing me with fruit every morning, is always a treat.  Our chit chat is full of humor and fun.

Nikah sermon by Shehzad:

 The nikah ceremony of Azeem and Rehab was great. The sermon itself was the best I’ve heard in my life. The young man Shahzad who has a PhD in study of Quran, from USA, spoke about the relationship between spouses:

I loved capturing this moment between the new husband and wife!

During the sermon, Shahzad mentioned the importance of tolerance, being forgiving, not keeping score, importance of fidelity ( belonging completely to one another,) and being each other’s source of comfort and tranquility as mentioned in verse 21 of Surah Rum.

Then, every few years to ask yourself:

 ‘will she, (or he) marry me now, if she had a choice?’ – wow, that was a big one! I just loved his casual and ‘straight from the heart’ way of speaking which was in Minglish – a combination of English and Urdu.

Loved it. (If I ever marry again, I’d ask him to be there! – just kidding of course!)

 In between the functions in Lahore, I managed to meet my dear friend Fairy, whenever I could. We’d meet late night and afternoons, at her home which is the picture of grace and beauty.

While being very elegant, it is very comfortable. As you plonk yourself comfortably on these sofas, the hosts make you feel as if you are the most important one in the room! My friends and I have so many memories of lovely afternoons and evenings spent in this room. 

Most of all her home reflects her taste. Fairy is the epitome of the ultimate in thoughts and well being. A teacher of Holy Quran at Al Huda for many years, she teaches the complete Holy Quran in Ramzan which is called ‘dawra-e-Quran.’ Also, throughout the year, she teaches on a daily and weekly basis. She is down to earth, loving and very grounded. She, has always been there for me during my down periods of life. May Allah bless her.

I’ll do a full blog post on her home soon. 

Tanveer, my BSc friend, arranged a get-together at her place, so I could meet our mutual friends. There was Yasmin Anwar and Shehla (Tabassum couldn’t make it due to guests). We sat and wondered at how long we all have been friends.

Tanveer and Pervaiz bhai here;  I was there on their wedding, later we all were together in Karachi, when my husband and he became good friends. In fact, my husband taught him how to use computer for his business. So, this time when he learnt from me how to download the Careem app to his phone, I felt a real dejavu. I looked at Tanveer and shared my thoughts with her. 🙂

Parvaiz bhai, went to make tea for me. This has been his tradition right from the time they got married. He (a prominent business man of car’s spare parts in Lahore,) has always prepared amazing tea for me. 

So, later on I managed to meet Tabassum and Saadat bhai also. I wanted to go by Careem, but it was a late foggy night and my friends were apprehensive.

Tabassum and Saadat bhai it was great being with them, and having an impromptu dinner with them. His sister Api gave me her recipe book and pickles. 

I couldn’t understand why can’t they let me go by Careem? I said, ‘But why? Isn’t it great being our age? What’s to fear?’ I had a good laugh. But they didn’t find it funny at all. Riffat sent me with her driver, in her car. Okay, so with Tabassum asking me to teach her how to send her current location link on WhatApp, I explained by sending her pics of each step, till she ‘got it.’ So, I went through the crazy labyrinth of Lahore roads to her home, with Google’s help! (Thank you Google!) There, I asked her to take me to Mum’s oldest friend, living near her home in Kot Lak Pat. So, I met my Aunty Surraya who was present at my parent’s wedding. 

My aunty Surraya Waqar and myself, thrilled to meet each other. 

Ten Golden friendship rules:

We counted the years, and the quality of our friendships, (lasting for over four decades.) We have never had a single fight or misunderstanding.

Actually!

Here’s why:

  1. We have loved and accepted each other as we are.
  2. Just laughed off and enjoyed each other’s idiosyncrasies.
  3. Have always been there for each other.
  4. Never counted how many times who visited whom.
  5. Learnt good values and ideas from each other.
  6. Enjoyed each other’s company.
  7. Understood, if another couldn’t ‘make it’ to a meeting.
  8. Made allowances for each other, no matter what.
  9. Kept each other’s confidential sharing of situations.
  10. Gave gifts to each other, no matter how big or how small.

Directing 101 classes:

Returning back to Islamabad, and dashing off to my Directing class, it was a treat as usual. 

View this post on Instagram

Directing 101 class this evening.

A post shared by Shireen Gheba (@shireengheba) on

 You all know of my Screenwriting 101 classes for beginners written here, which I attended last October. Now, it was the next one on Directing 101 from December 3rd till 27th . . It was another amazing session.  Imagine studying about something where you get ‘homework’ to watch movies! Yes, great.

 We were shown scenes from epic movies, and some unknown ones (for me). The age difference among us students was evident when one of my ‘class fellows’ asked ‘who is Clint Eastwood?’ Of course, they were shocked at my ignorance of several young stars of today! Our class was divided into two,

  • Those who were okay with violence in films.
  • Those who weren’t.

We saw Arsalan’s amazing film on YouTube on the APS students. It gave us goose bumps. Yes, it is one talented group here.Loved being part of it. We all are full of plans. Lets see if anything comes out.

After attending the course, we appreciated our instructor Mian Adnan Ahmed’s work in his film ‘Heal’ even more.

Mansoor Rahi’s birthday on 1st January 2019:

I took this pic from the documentary, really liked it. Just love the way they support each other while pulling each other’s leg too. 

Simply love this couple who is so down to earth, great, full of humor and love. They are so talented, so disciplined in a very nice sort of way, and so focused. They are clear about where they are, and where they want to be.

And…

They are unstoppable.

Mansoor Rahi’s birthday falling on first of January, every year have us all drawn to this function. Why? This is why:

  • We all (his students and friends) are invited for lunch by Mansoor Rahi.
  • He gifts us his paintings. – yes, to every one of us!-  And to his guests.
  • We are given some more of his pearls of wisdom.
  • This year, there were two documentaries shown:, one on Mansoor Rahi and other on Hajra Mansoor.
  • As usual there was delicious lunch of chicken palao, salad and korma,  finished off with gulab jamuns and cake for sweet dish.

It is always Aania who manages the event in her smooth manner. I was asked to host the program, and everyone listens so sweetly, that I feel like going on and on. Ofcourse, we all love hearging from our mentor about why two things are the most important.

Two factors to follow your passion :

Mansoor Rahi has always insisted that we have to take care of two things when we want to follow our passion in life:

  1. Take care of your health:
    1.  Drink plenty of water,
    1. Sleep on time,
    1. Take a healthy diet
    1. Do plenty of exercise daily.
  2. Lead a disciplined life.

He said, ‘I’ve met many artists in my time who left this world prematurely due to not following a balanced life pattern. Excess of drinking, drugs and lack of sleep and proper diet, ended their lives and their output. This is why if you want to make something of your life, make sure you mind these two factors. Only then can you pursue your passion in life.

We all come back home, inspired, satisfied and dying to get to our canvases to start painting again.

Quite a good start to the new year, isn’t it? How was yours?

Do let me know, I’d love to know how your life is going. Stay blessed lovely and handsome ones.  🙂

Holidays – opportunities for bonding with children.

If life is difficult for us in these times, consider how hard it is for our children. Remember ‘for love, you need time’. When you get the time, don’t throw it away, by putting children into ‘summer classes’ and ‘winter break activities’. Spend the time with them. Otherwise, later on don’t wonder why there is no bonding, no caring. How can it be when at every opportunity you are looking for ways to get the children out of the way?

Come to think of it, how much time, do we have with our children? Most of the time, one is telling them, ’get up’, ‘get ready’, ‘have food’, ‘time for school’ ‘Finish your homework!’ So, after all that is done, how much time is there? Even when it is there, we are busy with something or the other.

So, while making the weekly, plan during summer or winter vacations do plan for activities with children. Cook nice dishes for them, arrange fun activities. Let them feel important.

Remember when you have guests, then you are with them, your children are not getting your attention. So, when you give time to your children, it means giving your full attention to them also.

Every summer, I’m being asked about classes for art or other activities, where mothers can put their children. Why?

Why not take every vacation in school as an opportunity to bond with your child at home? In fact, many times, I’ve taken the children with me by taking leave from school. I believe, our children learn more through travel. 

One of our most memorable holidays in USA, here we are at the Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. 

Lots of time, I’m asked how have I got such lovely daughters, well it is because I had special ‘family time’ on a daily basis with them. During vacations I planned out lovely outings and activities for us to do together. Even on weekends we went on outings. Such outings and activities are important for bonding among family members.

If such times are not planned properly, I knew we would mostly get on each other’s nerves. (That doesn’t mean we never got on each other’s nerves. We still did some times.) So, it was best for us to balance it all. If there were ten days of winter or spring break, I’d make a plan for activities for at least four to five days. If possible, we would bring their father also into our plan. Otherwise, we went on our own. I’d get a tourism department brochure on places to visit in the city. (Remember, it was the time before internet.) Then I’d check out the activities and events in newspapers. Most of the time I knew what was going on, as I was writing about many events, in magazines and newspapers. So, we’d mark out what we wanted to do:

Yes, they are rather grown up now, but this is how its always been – right from the time they were babies. Here we are in Nathiagali when we went for two days, and stayed at this beautiful and charming place. 

Before leaving:

  • Just get the house tidied up, so we come back to agood neat home.
  •  I’d make sure there was food in the ‘fridge. Mostly, I’d take along snacks, or even a meal to be taken as a picnic.
  • We would often use the opportunity to eat out.
  • Usually, I’d have the food cooked a day before.
  • Water, (yes, there were no mineral bottles then.) Juices, and we were ready.
  • Sometimes, we’d take our pets along too, if it was an outdoor location.

Where to go?

  • Art gallery.
  • Zoo.
  • Puppet theater.
  • Funfair.
  • Fun land.
  • Museum.
  • Science museum.
  • Folk heritage.
  • Have a picnic in a beautiful spot.
  • Watch movies.
  • Take them for theater plays.
  • Specially, take them to book fairs.
  • Take them to literary festivals, and get them books.  

Points to keep in mind:

  • Keep it short and crisp, if needed. Avoid dragging an event. This will make them hate such outings.
  • Keep it fun.
  • Have their favorite snacks hidden in your purse, to give when their moods get bad.
  • I’d ask you to keep your personal calls and smart phone time, totally limited. (I’m being realistic enough to not ask you to avoid altogether.)
  • Do not take your maid with you. Do everything for your children yourself.

Indoor activities:

Of course you don’t go out daily. So, have indoor activities too. Let them help with household chores too. Then all of you can do something together. It can be any of the following:

  • Reading out the holy book, (one person reads andeveryone listens.)
  • Cuddle up on the carpet to watch a movie,
  • Play a game.
  • Sing songs together.
  • Dance together with music on full blast.
  • Just talk for hours, if you feel like it.
  • Share important events in life with each other.
  • Cook their favorite meal with their help in the kitchen. 
  • Throw a party, with party games in it. Let it all be a family event, where each person does something. (Instead of leaving all the work for you alone.) Remember to give them full credit during the party. One child can lay the table, other can make the salad and sweet dish. One of them can serve the cold drinks to the guests. Everyone can help clean up afterwards.
  • Cleaning up, or sorting out clothes, cupboards and drawers.
  • Planning and doing a new setting of lounge or the kid’s bedroom.

There are times in life when you do not have to play your role as a parent too much. Just be a friend to your kids, play silly games with them. I tell you, laughing together is the best medicine for all.

Having a favorite breakfast together. 

Stay blessed, lovely ones. Parenting can be so much fun, if you let it be so. 

Over three trimesters of life.


 Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Ever since Prime minister Mahatir became the head of state of Malasia, I’ve been pondering. I mean, he is ninety three years old, and is elected as prime minister for four years? Till the age of ninety seven? (He was born in 1925!) 

Here is a man who has completed three trimesters of life and now starting out as a prime minister?! He is on to his 90-plus years already – along with his wife. He isn’t existing , he is living it out! 

I’m wondering if it can be like the nine lives of a cat?  With each ‘life’ a decade?

All my life I’ve been reading books and taking support and guidance on many topics including ages and stages of one’s own and children’s ages. I noticed that there is  a lot of  guidance and support in early stages and adulthood. Later on, we are left on our own.

First trimester of life – 1 to 30 years:

One to ten years:

Each and every month and year has loads of books written on every stage of these ages.

Ten to twenty years:

Lots of books and videos would be around for how to care for teenagers, and their social, emotional and physical needs.

Twenty to thirty years:

This one is considered to be the peak of life, and has a great deal about becoming an adult. There are many books on how to take care of yourself, and your body. Your social, emotional life is also dealt with, and specially finding the right life partner. All data is freely available. All fiction, movies, and videos are full of this prime time of life.  (As if no other life is really worth having, or worth documenting!)

Second Trimester of life – 30 to 60 years

Mixed ages here!

Thirty to forty years:

Most of us dread turning thirty. As if it is the end of youth or something. Once over the tip of 29 into 30 years, one realizes it isn’t bad at all. The starting years of career, ending of education and specialization in fields of interest, and the growing family are all well documented in books. You still feel great. You feel physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually fine, actually, quite on top of the world!  (I discovered I could write in my early thirties.)

Forty to fifty years:

Bilal on the right turned forty, and has worked in Microsoft. Loves music, books and inventing. 

Suddenly, with a bang you are forty!That is quite shattering, but then, you again realize it isn’t bad at all. All that ‘propaganda’ wasn’t correct. Forties can be pretty cool too. You are beginning to get a bit of a paunch, but never mind! You’ve most probably found your life partner and are well adjusted in career and children who are well settled in schools. Life is really good. You are getting to middle and senior posts in your job scene. Yes, books are getting fewer now. More books are there about illnesses and ‘how to reduce’.

Fifty to sixty years:

Every decade of life you enter with apprehensions, as it is a ‘no-mans-land’ with few well known personalities to help you through them. Thanks to internet, now we know ages of most actors and we know Ellen, Opera Winfrey, Bushra Ansari, Saba Hameed, Humayun Saeed, ShahRukh, Salman Khan, Aamir Khan and many others are in this range too. Look at them, they are amazing!

Mostly, one is at the peak of one’s career at this time of life!

Third trimester of life – 60 to 90 years.

Now, its beginning to get scary, isn’t it? All those folds cannot be hidden anymore. You realize, you’ve got to move those muscles or else! Either ‘move it, or lose it!’ So, stay active and do everything that you’ve always wanted to do now. 

Sixty to seventy years:

I’ve known of Kentucky chicken guy who began his first franchise at the age of sixty two years. I’ve known of a publisher beginning her business at sixty five. Also of an artist who began painting at this age, and continued till she was over a hundred. Sixty has been the ‘retirement’ age too. You turn senior too. If it gets you to the front of the queue, then its okay! Also, it means you can be your own boss now on. 

Seventy to eighty years:

Mansoor Rahi and myself the instructor at the studio. He is a living legend in the field of art today in Pakistan. 
Hajra Mansoor and myself in her art gallery and studio. 

My mentors Hajra and Mansoor Rahi are in this age group. Both are blooming with good health. They are living legends in the art scene of Pakistan, and live in Islamabad. They are living in their own home, running their own art business, travelling abroad and within the country. They regularly hold exhibitions and hold art classes twice a week. They have a daily routine of working on their art work from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm daily. I find them going for walks, drives, traveling, and leading an active successful life. Only last week they went over a thousand kilometers by train to Karachi, for an art exhibition with their students. 

Eighty to ninety years:

My mentor Shahida Azeem, a great philanthropist lived to eighty-eight years of age, working on her organization Mashal, for the under privileged children. I’ve written about her in this blog post. She walked independently right till the end. In fact, I could hardly keep up with her activities. All the time she was organizing private or Mashal functions and inviting me over. I’d often have to excuse myself from her programs. (So, she would send me my share of food, if it was a dinner at her place.) She was just lovely. 

There are no books to help one through these years, today. You are on your own.

Ninety years onwards to hundred!

My father literally walked out of the ICU last month. 

As I write this blog post, and reach this point in my writing, I want to share these current personalities:

  • We all know of Dr. Mahatir Mohammad (ninety-three years old,) the current prime minister of Malaysia, and his ninety-one year old wife.  He recently took office, so he is looking forward to taking care of his country for four years at least.
  • Then there is this 106 year old blogger in Sweden who lives alone and takes care of herself.
  • I know a Ninety-five year old lady who lives alone in F-10 Islamabad. She invited me to tea with her literary friends. Loved it. She has a staff who takes care of her, a driver who drives here around too. She moves around with the help of her walker.
  • My own father was driving around till age eighty-seven years, here in Islamabad.  
  • Ninety-eight years old yoga instructor:

Just remember, all these are persons who did what they wanted to do. They stayed involved with activities and kept their minds (and bodies) active in constructive ventures.

Now, get ready to make your new-year resolutions, keeping all this in mind. Plan out your life like the nine lives of a cat! Lots of love and best wishes to all of you, my amazing readers. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

Car maintenance tips for girls!

Hi my delicate drivers! Most of us  want to drive a car, so let us be responsible for maintaining it too. I’m telling you, it is not that big a deal. Watch the guys … do they repair the car themselves? No, they don’t! Precisely, they get it done.

So, can you!

Here is what you do:

  1. Always go to a recommended place. Get a reference from a good friend..
  2. Be courteous, and not condescending. If you don’t know something, just ask or Google it. There are YouTube videos for every problem under the sun, (and under the bonnet too!) You can ask the person frankly. Also, write down what work he did on your car. Let each experience be a learning experience. 
  3. You can go with someone in your family first, just to get ‘acclimatized.’
  4. I’d suggest, you dress with least make up and accessories, and in grays and browns, so you just blend in with the environment at the workshop. 
  5. Try to get the work done when there is least rush at the workshop (and in your life too!) This time can be coordinated with the workshop owner or mechanic.
  6. Generally, you can get your car service, oil change, tires’ repair or change, and minor repairs done yourself. Most of this work can be done at the petrol stations.
  7. Going to the big workshops of known companies is very easy. I’ve been to Toyota Motors in Karachi, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, they are good. I’m sure it is the same for Honda, Suzuki, Audi, and others. All you do is wait in an air-conditioned room, sip a cup of coffee as you browse through that book you wanted to read.  – Don’t tell me you forgot to bring the book along? Okay, then you can read my blog posts, on your mobile phone, as you wait! 😉
  8. Smaller workshops are fine too:
    Just cut out the ‘air conditioned room’,  so be ready to rough it out. (Even in the heat of summers, and cold of winters – kutch nahi hota! Good for the skin pores.)
  9. You will find the courtesy of the workshop owners is here too. 
    • I’ve got maintenance done by a small workshop owner named Rashid who was also the picture of courtesy. He would come to the home too, to do my car repairs. Also, if I had a car breakdown, he would come over to help wherever I was. So, this was in Dhok Choudhrian, near Safari Villas, Bahria Town, in Rawalpindi.
    • The other was in F-10, a very good denting painting guy, Imran. Later, I heard he had moved to Saudi Arabia.
    • There was Muhammad an expert electrician in F-10 (he is now in Peshawar.) He would even go to my daughter’s college, get the car, then return it after repairing it.
    • Farhan, of Chaudhry UPS shop in F-10, has helped me with all my battery problems, even with UPS at home.
    • I’ve had these young men coming over to my home to repair the car even at eleven pm. Our people are amazing, may Allah bless them.  

I’m not saying, ‘don’t take help from the men in your family,’ just that when they are busy, you can do it too, and not bother them. Frankly, I’d started repairing my car, even when my husband was alive.Since he was an engineer and brilliant at this work, it really tickled him. But as he became very senior in his office, I knew he was getting too busy. I didn’t like using the official drivers to do my car either. (As a writer, I enjoyed doing anything outside the box anyways.)

Warning:

Car maintenance takes time. 

Time spent on repairs will be a lot more than you expected. Do, keep asking, but be prepared for delays. Last time I went, every half hour the guy would say, ‘half hour only!’ – It actually took several ‘half-hours!’ So, cool it! No point in being flustered. You also want the work to be well done. So, take more time than expected, with you. It also makes you realize when the men folk go to get the car done up, why they take so long! Do go in the first half of the day, for car repair work.

Daniyal Waqar’s office in his workshop. 

 You know Daniyal Waqar who is an auto engineer, he had this garage. Now, he has a new garage with his own name called DW Garage, since October 2017. 
It was a very pleasant surprise to meet an educated auto engineer, in his workshop some years ago.

I’ve seen him working there with BMWs, Audie and Mercedes too, and why not? He was the supervisor at Toyota Motors . He has studied about automobiles and has done courses from Dubai, which includes special courses on Audie cars. He is paying special emphasis to the high tech maintenance requirements of the modern cars. He regularly trains his workers about new technology and methods of car repair.

At this young age, he is a young and brilliant entrepreneur with his own business. His workshop is on the road to D-12, after E-11, Islamabad.

I’m not saying, ‘don’t take help from the men in your family,’ just that when they are busy, you can do it too, and not bother them. Frankly, I’d started repairing my car, even when my husband was alive. Since he was an engineer and brilliant at this work, it really tickled him. But as he became very senior in his office, I knew he was getting too busy. I didn’t like using the official drivers to do my car either. Simply because I don’t believe in using government equipment or personnel for one’s personal use. (As a writer, I enjoyed doing anything outside the box anyways.)

December 16th 2018

Did you think of it like this?

This date should make every Pakistani contemplate for a while. Just as we celebrate our good times; a wise nation also ponders over its failures and mishaps. A wise nation learns from its mistakes, and makes sure these are never repeated in living history again.

In today’s world it is enough to be progressive and economically strong.

Let me share with you some things that I really want to share, it was the darkest night of my life:

Flash back to December 16th 1971:

It was the darkest of dark nights, even though, the full moon shown brightly outside. I ran out of the room which was very dimly lit.

These were ‘black out’ nights.

 Appropriately so.

 While sitting inside, it had got unbearable for me to sit and watch the picture of Gen. Yahya on the black-and-white television set. He was announcing the surrender of Pakistan to Indians, in East Pakistan. Tears poured down my face as I rushed outside. I ran in to the shadow of the moonlight, next to a wall. I sat down on the ground, my legs unable to carry me anymore. I lent against the wall and cried my heart out.

From the shadow where I sat, I could see my cousins, coming out of the room calling out for me.

I didn’t answer.

Totally heartbroken, I knew my country had broken into two.  Though a school girl still, the enormity of those moments were too hard to bear.

How could I not feel it? My own father was in East Pakistan.  He was in the throes of it. My maternal grandfather was in Dhaka. The city had been under air attacks for days. My Dad’s younger brother Jafar Khan was in Jesore. My Bengali best friend Naheed Rehman was in Dhaka too.

 There was no communication with anyone.

Were they alive ?

We were living a nightmare….

It took months for my mother and myself to find out finally, that my father and uncle and my grandfather were alive. What we went through those months can only be felt by anyone who has gone through it.

I hope no one ever knows how it feels.

Alhamdolillah, my loved ones made it. But many others didn’t make it through that terrible night.

The night my country broke into two!  December 16th,  1971.

Fast forward 2014, Islamabad, Pakistan.

I’m driving home from my day at the job in Finishing School,  next to Fatima Jinnah Park, Islamabad. I put on the radio as I drive home. A man is talking about something bad that happened to some school boys … I reach home wondering what?

As I put on the television, bit by bit the terrible news keeps trickling in.

Another nightmare is unfolding.

This time:

My heart broke into two. 

Why? Because my heart is in those bodies of young children brutally killed.

Today is December  16th , 2018.

I’ve prepared a blog post to upload, but can’t.

Not today.

Not on December 16th 2018. There is too heavy a load on the hearts and bodies of every Pakistani today.

If this pain isn’t there, then it should be.

Alive nations remember their faults and follies, and learn from them. Otherwise, such things can happen again.

Alhamdolillah, my parents today are living to a ripe age, having given their best years and their loyalty to their land. 

History has a way of repeating itself.

So, what can we do?

Firstly:

Never forget the sacrifices made for us. Many families are still bearing the brunt of those sacrifices. May Allah give strength to the families of the ones affected by the APS tragedy

We can do this:

  1. Become the best version of yourself, to help our country become strong.
  2. Stop arguing and criticizing each other.  (for arguing only weakens a team,) and do our bit to build Pakistan into the strongest economy.
  3. Be the most honest and bravest form of ourselves.
  4. Use all talents and creative ideas for progress and development.
  5. Even if you live abroad, do something for your home country which no one sitting here can do.

I know, you are capable of all these things. Whether you are living abroad or in Pakistan, please do whatever you can to pay homage to the suffering that your forefathers did for this land. We owe this much, to the sufferings of the families of APS students and teachers killed during that ill-fated attack. Let us pray for their strength. Find some way to make this country a developed one. 

Today, I sit here in the winter sunshine, enjoying the fruits of sacrifices of our forefathers. Let us do our bit to leave a legacy for our coming generations too.

I was really happy to know that Alhamdolillah Pakistan is one of the happiest countries in this region,( according to a recent survey.) I’m sure we can make it one of the strongest and most progressive country in the region too.

Stay blessed! Freedom and progress are two priceless commodities. Both come with a price tag. Yes, each one of us has to work hard for it, on a daily basis 🙂

Let’s make our 2019 Annual plan.

I did this painting last year, really want to do more work this year. 

Hi Everyone! I really hope you all had a wonderful year. Alhamdolillah, I’m sure you achieved alot. Mine was awesome too. (It wasn’t exactly as I had planned, I’d like to say, it was even better!) So, how was yours?

 Especially, I want to wish you this season’s greetings. So, before we get busy with all the fun of ending this year, and beginning the new one, let us do an important exercise.

 Let us plan out next year now.  

Why make the Annual plan now?

 This exercise won’t take more than fifteen  minutes.  If not, then even five minutes are enough for you to brain storm now and decide what you want to achieve next year.  Sit down and write the stuff you wanted to do, but couldn’t achieve this year. In fact, it can be the first point! 

So, when the year begins you are clear where you are going!

A quick round up of 2018:

Time to sit down and reflect.

First the 2018 Successes:  

Well, I’ve made a list of all the things that made me feel very happy this year. How many points did you make? (Be smart, write the sad ones in such a way that they may look like successes too!) For instance, my mother fell in February, and that really shook me. So, I just noted that when she fell, how wonderfully she recovered, in spite of it. See? So, it is more of a success in dealing with a crisis, than a setback.

Be kind to yourself during this process.

Of course, be your own trumpeter and wallow in all the successes this year, which were planned or unplanned. Yipppeeee! Keep it short and sweet. 5 to 10 points are enough. (- As you can imagine, mine went up to a hundred! (Do I exaggerate sometimes?) Well, if it makes you happy do it. But remember, we are preparing our next years’ plan! Stay focussssed!

  • The super best part was when my Waliya got engaged, and my third son-in-law to be got welcomed into our family. Alhamdolillah!
  • Then, the time Nadiya spent three weeks with us, before leaving for Canada. (I went to Lahore to see her off too.) Alhamdolillah, Haaris and Nadiya are well settled in Halifax now.
  •  The best parts were the gifts that my friends Sabahat, Shabnam, Shagufta, Ayesha and Fatima helped me in giving the CSS school.  ( it is a school for under privileged children) We did it for Eid-ul-Fitr. I even had an online donor Dr. Maira who paid for the teachers’ clothes. I realized how generous you all are. Also, there was Sana, from Australia who paid up for education of a student in Mashal. Nataliya and Bilal decided to pay for tuition of my domestic help and manager, Hasnain. I was also now able to pay for education of two students, one in Mashal and one in CSS school. It is a great way to give sadqa or charity. 
  • Then the tree plantation of 200 trees that we did with Shabnam Riaz of Arts and Literature group. It was awesome.
  • Yes, my friend Shagufta reminded me of the Rain water conservation project that I did too. The blog post on it is here.
  • The Screenwriter 101’ course, and now the Directors 101 course which I’m doing. (Learning is very important)
  • Workshops, art classes and meet-ups of writers at my Shireen’s Studio. (Teaching and sharing knowledge is very important too!)
  • The wonderful stay of my tenants, and the leaving of one, who is also in Halifax, and joined Canadian Airlines. The arrival of some wonderful personalities now. Finally, getting rid of one horrid tenant. MayAllah give them hidayat! Yes, I should have written one blog post on them! Grrrrrrr! Some people can be obnoxious, but why should I bother my pretty little head writing on them! (See?  How smartly I put it in successes?) 😉

Year 2018 Failures:

  • I wasn’t able to publish my second book, Allama Iqbals’ Message from the East,  this year.  Even though the work has begun, I’ve done more than half the work. I was unable to achieve the goal, due to several factors including my immediate family, and lack of finances. So, I had to postpone my goal. 🙁
  • Should have done more paintings this year, though I made quite a few. that was because I was unable to attend the art classes at Hajra Mansoor and Mansoor Rahi’s gallery. 
Choose your path carefully next time. 

 Forgiving others and oneself is important.

I don’t know why we expect perfection from ourselves? It is okay to not be able to do everything! Kutch nahi hota, jo hota hai, achay kay liye hota hai. (Whatever happens, happens for a good reason.) I really believe that one.

Best thing is we are alive and kicking right now.

Your turn:

  1. Just roundup year 2018 with its’ successes and failures’ round up, along with lessons learnt. (Keeping it short, sweet and to the point!) Remember to forgive yourself for all the shortcomings. 

Special thank you to my readers:

You know? I can feel that you all pray for me. My family and I wouldn’t be very far but for your prayers for us. In the same way, I also pray for you all’s well being too. I wouldn’t be here now, if it wasn’t for that! So we are here for each other. Thank you so much!

Your plan is actually the choices you plan to make!

We are ready now to prepare for the coming year:

2019 Annual plan:

Why can’t we make an Annual Plan for ourselves, just like every institution? If you are a working person, you know how detailed it is. That is why they get so much done.

How many of us do it for our personal lives too?

As the quote from Quran says: Allah will  help those who are ready to change themselves to get something done!

I love this quotation:

Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow.

 You can’t work unless you have a work plan!  If your plan is ready, the majority of the work will get done. Especially, plan the financial aspects of it. As you know,we did the weekly plan here, and the monthly plan here. Now, our annual plan can be in the same pattern.

Goals of the 2019:

As you did for the monthly plan, just make a random list of what you want to achieve in 2019 :

Sr. no. Goal/ project Time required
1. Physical:
Financial:
Social/emotional:
Intellectual:
Spiritual:  
 
2.    
3.    
4.    
5.    
6.    
7.    
8.    
9.    
10.    

Like semester system in institutions, let’s keep it in four batches of three months each:

Annual plan of 2019

Sr. No. Months: Remarks.  
     
  Jan:    
  Feb:    
  Mar:    
     
  Apr:    
  May:    
  Jun:    
     
  July:    
  Aug:    
  Sept:    
     
  Oct:    
  Nov:    
  Dec:    
       

Ever thought of making a five or ten year plan?

The other day, I heard Bill Gates saying that people do not realize the value of the ten year plan;  People do not realize how powerful it can be. So, we are going to go for it too.

As usual, we are doing everything in reverse order. Chronologically, one would sit and plan out one’s lifetime goals. Then put them into the ten year plan, then the five year, then the annual one, and then the monthly and weekly ones. – If you know what I mean! Those of you with small children, would be able to do it noting the ages of your kids at that time too!) It is fun.

I’ve done five year plans. It is even more fun, when you look back on it later on.

Stay blessed my Readers. I’ve grown very attached to you all. You rock! 🙂