Random thoughts

Alone or Lonely?


40589432_2133427946690486_3886131738505641984_nSometimes, I see Mom struggling with her sleep, to give me company. When I say, ‘Mom, why don’t you go to sleep?’

‘Then you will be all alone!’ She says.

‘Hey, I don’t mind being alone at all.’ I keep trying to convince her.

Being a widow doesn’t mean that one is all alone. I mean, just remember, when hubby dear was alive, how much time did we spend together anyway? The man went to office, then his sports and other activities. Yes, we had meals together, mostly. But there was a lot of time spent on one’s own even then. So, it is okay, to be alone. I remember there were times, when kids were small and I was on holiday from my job, I’d look forward to some ‘me time’ alone.

I’m sure you do, too.


It was something for which one often yearned. Specially, us writers and artists, do need time to collect our thoughts.

I’m sure everyone does.

Why do you think, Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) spent forty days and nights in the cave of Hira?

We all know it is possible to be really lonely in spite of being with company. You can be in the middle of a swinging party, feeling lonely and lost. So, it is not about being alone at all. It is all about being comfortable with yourself.

Are you comfortable with yourself?


Why do we put on this loud music, television, YouTube videos, and what not, just to distract ourselves or to entertain ourselves? I suppose it is a bit of both.


Dr. Wyne Dyer often welcomed silence, as he believed, then you were in the presence of God. Isn’t that precisely so. I mean, half the time, I’m talking to myself, I get confused if I’m talking to ‘myself’ or to Him.

I know, one thing He certainly talks to me. All those ideas that come to me from nowhere, definitely come from Him. I heard this two-hour amazing talk by Ashfaque Ahmed at the National Art Gallery in F-7, when he spoke about the creative process happening straight from Allah. Only God could make man do all those magical creations, like the Sistine Chapel paintings, and so many other things.

Many times, the visions I receive, are unrelated to what I’m doing, and then there is this idea sitting right in the middle of the room from no-where.

51slT2QxAGL._AC_US218_I’m reading a very interesting book these days gifted to me, ‘Big Magic – creative living beyond fear.’ by Elizabeth Gilbert. Yes, the same one who wrote that block buster book ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’ Which later was turned into a movie, with Julia Roberts.

So, ‘you probably don’t need it!’ my Nataliya said to me while handing to me. Its true. I’ve never been in any ‘fear’ about my creativity. I mean not really. But just a bit. It has never consumed me, it has only challenged me and pushed me further.

I’m not afraid of failure.

Both ways, I gain.

Failure certainly teaches one more.

But success is definitely more pleasing.

So why worry!

The worst thing is: to not be doing it.

So, I’m sure you’ve seen many of my goof-ups – lots of them online – it is okay. In my twenty-five years’ career in free-lance journalism, there were many goof-ups. Some on my part, some on the part of the newspaper or magazines. It happens!

Much better than not happening at all!


Here is the legendary Bulle Shah, telling us to stop getting angry, tell the truth and clean up your inner selves. This is what I mean, how can we clean up our inner selves, if we are busy with other activities and being with other people. It is vital to be alone with one’s self and do some cleaning up. That is when space is created for your inner creative self. When you can begin to function as your own self.

Creative process only happens when we are alone. That is when ideas find the space within us to penetrate.

As teenagers, people are usually very keen to be part of the ‘in’ groups in the school. As the Academic Coordinator in Roots for the O’level students, I witnessed a lot of that. I found myself observing students keenly, and often invited them to my office to discuss any issues they had. Sometimes, for no reason at all except to satisfy my own curiosity about the student. Especially if they intrigued me. I’d invite them in just to talk to them.

my heart1_green.jpg

I used to observe a student who would always be alone. There would be a group of young boys and girls chatting at the other end of the class, but this young man wouldn’t join them. I began to worry about him, so I called him to my office. I found him to be intelligent  and quite mature. In fact, so mature, that I realized, he had chosen to sit alone, rather than to keep that kind of company which he himself didn’t like.

Wow! I was very impressed. It also means that he was a strong young man. I hope his mother knew what a gem she had brought up. I love this kind of confidence in a human being. To know what one wants; and to fearlessly go for it. – Also to happily pay the price for it, if needed. I am sure this young man was never ‘lonely’.

40343037_2128144227218858_4561215677343465472_n.jpgThis is what I mean.

Be complete within your own self. Be satisfied with your own choices, because you made them consciously and with great deliberation.


Then if you find the right company, fine. If you don’t, that is great too, because you are already in great company.


Your own!

May I confess, I’ve grown to care deeply for my readers now. Stay blessed.



Note: Photographs of landscapes and stones by Sarmad Sarosh, rest of photographs by author including the rooftop mountain one.  Punjabi Bulle Shah poem taken from WhatsApp forwards, photograph of book from Amazon.books, Rumi poem on my painting, photograph by author/artist.



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  1. Nataliya says:

    Love this mama !

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Thank you janu. I’m so glad. Living abroad, I guess one has more of it. Yet it can be beautiful too.
      Love and hugs.
      PS: By the way, enjoy your peace while you can, I’m about to be on my way…. 😉 soon! IA.

    2. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Love you my jan. Who else could know about it? Living abroad in such a beautiful place, and long work hours of husband. I really admire you my jan.

  2. Danyal Haroon says:

    This blog is very inspirational! Loved reading it.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Dear Danyal,
      I’m so happy you liked it too. Being only children, we have a lot of it. The good thing is one gets very comfortable with one’s own company.
      Your comment really means the world to me, as you are young, talented and vibrant, and I really admire you.
      Lots of love, and stay blessed young man. 🙂

  3. Thought provoking write up Shireen.
    I have become more quieter over the years. And I am enjoying it but my kids are not approved of it. They say mama you have become boring.
    Now as my children are growing up and are having life of their own and becoming more agitated if I correct them or interfere with them. I feel i like to do things which I always wanted to do.
    Writing is one of them. Seeing Allah’s nature is another and surprisingly wanting to see it alone and being quiet.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful thoughts with us.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      My dear Kiran,
      You make my writing worth while with your comments. Really means the world to me to know that I’m not alone with my thoughts. We all feel the same things, only we are hesitant in expressing them, wondering how others would react. These are such ‘normal’ feelings, for the stage of life we are in. In this scenario our art classes are a great boost for us. So glad we met. Thank you so much for your comment. Stay blessed, lovely one.

  4. Awesome! Love this. Its important to say this. Don’t forget to send me email with details as discussed today. I really want to do it for you. You’re amazing! All the best.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Nadiya my jan, I’m so glad you liked it. All right I’ll try to do it right now, before I get back to my work. Love and hugs.

  5. Lovely piece of writing and very inspirational.

    1. Shireen Gheba Najib says:

      Thank you so much for your comment. I am so glad you liked it.

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