Spring is a new beginning…
Spring is a time of fresh beginnings and of hope. It is a time of flowering of all your efforts. It is the time when you are ready to come close to the fruits surfacing from your efforts. Most of all to look into a lovely fresh start in your life.
Islamabad’s Ninth Avenue or the Agha Shahi Road has a short span of blossoming spring. It is amazing for a few days and hopefully a couple of weeks, you will find lots of cars stopping by the roadside, to capture these moments of beauty:
So, this is a glimpse into the spring in Islamabad which I love. As far as spring in my life is concerned, it has come in several ways….
The Engagement ceremony of my daughter:
It was an awesome moment in my life when finally my daughter agreed to marry a young man named Roshaan. She is a very strong minded person with a mind of her own. No amount of cajoling worked with her, for all the earlier proposals. Allah has been very kind and benevolent in bringing really wonderful persons to my doorstep to ask for the hand of each of my daughters.
Alhamdolillah, the first two daughters are well settled, and now I can feel good that, my youngest has found her soul mate too.
As a mother, I feel more relaxed, to find such a wonderful family interested in my daughter.
May God bless them all.
So, this has been the major form of spring in my life. Another beginning in my life.
Art Classes in my Studio:
As you know, I’ve been taking part in going for Art classes for many years now with the great Mansoor Rahi and his wife Hajra Mansoor. Both of them are icons in the field of Art in Pakistan. Sometimes, someone one approaches me to teach him art and I open the doors of my Studio, which I fondly call Shireen’s Studio, (its my Facebook page also.) Off and on, I have students coming over, and I love to have the exclusive art classes for those who want to learn at my studio.
These days I have Daniyal who is a teenager, he is very patient and diligent with his work. I’m impressed by his style of work which is very detailed and intricate.
During the beginning of March, my friend Naila called up saying she and her father would like to join my art classes. He is a retired naval officer who recently lost his wife, and really needs to start a new life at eighty-eight years of age. He has moved from Karachi to his daughters’ home in Islamabad. She wanted him to make a fresh start by learning something new. He has never painted in life before, yet is willing to give it a try.
This is something I’ve always wanted to do. To have a place where, art is used for healing and bringing peace into one’s life. Yes, a form of self-enrichment center. That’s’ what I call my Studio: A Center for Self Enrichment. Art is like music for one’s soul. We all need something to hold on to, especially during the stormy parts of our lives.
At any given time in life, we are going through some wonderful things and also some unpleasant ones. The proportion of each side keeps changing but there is a bit of each at almost all times. As such, we all need to have some captivating activities in our lives, in which we get lost for a while, returning to our lives feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Mansoor Rahi’s book launch and Exhibition of paintings:
It was Mansoor Rahi’s book launch and painting’s exhibition on the same day of my daughter’s engagement. The engagement was held at home, a lunch for family and friends, where all the food was cooked at home – including the heart shaped cake I baked for my around forty guests. Since I had agreed to speak at the event at the National Art Gallery, on Hajra Mansoor’s request, I had to leave some of my guests at home to be there at PNCA on time.
Here are a few glimpses of that event. All the speeches had live coverage on Facebook too. It was an honor to be among such well known speakers like Arjumand Faisel – owner of Gallery 6, (the top-most gallery in Islamabad these days,) Jamal Shah, Director of Pakistan National Council of the Arts, Mansoor Rahi and Danish Rahi the writer of the book being launched.
Generation Rahi then celebrated the great milestones of our mentors. Book launch of book on Rahi and Exhibition of paintings. Hajra Mansoor received a Life Time Achievement award at Jamshoro University this February, out of sixty artists participating from different countries of the world. The tribute which was also given by PNCA during 9th National Exhibition to both Mansoor Rahi and Hajra Mansoor. So we all celebrated all these wonderful achievements by having a party for them.
My Child Nadiya and her husband Haaris decide to move to Canada:
It is a fact that many youngsters from our region are flying Westwards towards greener (icier?) pastures. When I was told that my daughter and son-in-law are moving to North America, I got sad. I’ll really miss them just popping in. Blissfully, during last two years we had the joys of living near to each other. They had settled in Lahore, having a wonderful job, and life there. Often.
Recently, both of them have had amazing trips to the mountains of Pakistan. They have gone to many small trips to different valleys. Both enjoy such adventures. Here is a trip to Kel and Neelum valley:
One can only be grateful to God, and hope it will be fine in Canada too. I know one thing, they will have a great prime minister in Justin Trudeau. I believe him to be the best prime minister in the world today. Thanks to our times, we can use Skype and WhatsApp on a daily basis. Alhamdolillah. I bid a farewell to my children, hoping for a good time there.
Here, life has been really good for them, and one wishes them a similar if not better life there too. It isn’t as if they were having a rough time here. Life has its challenges where ever you live. By moving you just try to tip the scales to better options and lessor challenges. I shall be bidding them farewell in a week’s time.
So actually, they will be seeing another spring there, as April is a good month for the snows to melt and have the blossoms in full bloom there too.
Leaving them to the protection of Allah, I wish them ‘Fee Aman Allah!’
We were talking the other day, feeling grateful that times are so much better now. It is just that one wants well-being of one’s loved ones, while they are far. We also promised each other to tell all even while living far apart. Yet to honor and trust each other’s judgment for withholding certain things, while life slips up a bit. There are hardships that each of us have to face in our own lives. Having loved ones nearby in spirit is what really counts.
One thing is certain, she will miss our cat Muffin a lot. (More than us???)
The important thing is to feel the same intensity of love and belonging while we are far from each other, as we do when we are nearer. 😉
It is all another form of blessing if our love for each other remains the same!
That’s the way, we are truly blessed. How do you feel at such times? 🙂