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!)
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- We have loved and accepted each other as we are.
- Just laughed off and enjoyed each other’s idiosyncrasies.
- Have always been there for each other.
- Never counted how many times who visited whom.
- Learnt good values and ideas from each other.
- Enjoyed each other’s company.
- Understood, if another couldn’t ‘make it’ to a meeting.
- Made allowances for each other, no matter what.
- Kept each other’s confidential sharing of situations.
- 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.
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:
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.
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:
- Take care of your health:
- Drink plenty of water,
- Sleep on time,
- Take a healthy diet
- Do plenty of exercise daily.
- 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. 🙂