This is life in todays’ world.
It has been a roller coaster time for all. I’m sure you will connect with me, no matter where you are living and which place in life you are. Things are quite topsy turvy. This post is an amalgamation of the good, the bad and the ugly; both in personal, national and international terms.
Let me tell you what I mean. (I’ll try to keep it brief.) I’m still processing it all, or I won’t be able to function normally.
Lots of good has been happening in my life.
Arrival of two grandsons within two days:
Starting with the great news of having two grandsons within two days on 13th October and on 16th October. (When Zyem was born in Canada, it was 13th but here in Pakistan it was 14th, 1.30 am.) So, it was a great thing to celebrate. Particularly, since we have had only girls for almost four generations (from my maternal side); You see, my Mom is an only child, same with me, then I have three daughters. Two of my daughters (Nataliya and Nadiya) have had two girls. So, now we have two boys in our family, by the grace of Allah. Main thing is that all are in good health.
Successful trip to farm in Okara
Three consecutive years after my father passed away, we have been facing setbacks. Mum constantly told me to get rid of it. But I really wanted to carry on with my father’s legacy. It was a challenge for me to manage it as well as my father, because he had an outstanding record. We lost a mare in the first year, (after my father’s death, and then the manager Maskeen also passed away. None of the mares were conceiving and things were rough. The costs are constantly rising and one wondered if all this was worth it or not. I bought a mare we named Beauty from Mona Depot, mentioned here. In February 2023, we bought another mare, and named her Malika.
Now I saw Malika for the first time. The good news is that all three are expecting now.
You bet, there are several issues to combat with even now, but all in good time. Meanwhile just watch my vlog about my Okara trip:
Publication of Allama Iqbal’s Message from the East.
If the present times are tough and gloomy, they were far more tougher and gloomier then, in 1923. It was just after the first world war. Muslims of India who had been the rulers in Mughal era, in the last century were being ruled by the British, and they were now living with Hindus of the Sub-continent. It was a hard time in both the East and the West. In these times, Iqbal decided to write this book as an answer to Goethe’s plea to the East for Spiritual strength. (He was a fan of Hijazi of Iran.) Goethe had even called his own work a Divan, as was the tradition of those in the East.
Anyhow, my Tulip of Sinai mentioned here, was published in 2017, now finally its sequel is published in 2023. I was very keen to have a proper book launch on 9th of November, 2023 which is birthday of Allama Iqbal, born in 1877. Couldn’t end up doing it, but held a soft prelaunch opening with a live chat about Allama Iqbal and his work with Rao Abdullah on Instagram. I chose him because he is very conversant about Iqbal’s work and is a young man. Which is my target reader.
Basically, I’ve worked hard on the project of Allama Iqbal’s Payam-e-Mashriq or Message from the East, believing that if Iqbal’s poetry could help bring about our country’s existence, it can help save it now too.
Here is a YouTube video of my book launch and painting exhibition of Tulip of Sinai:
More about my latest publication in another blog post.
As we watch the news, it is a hard time for all of us living in Pakistan, to come to grips with what is happening, both locally and globally. First, there was a big blow to know that Imran Khan has been put in the lock up – that was several months ago – but we are still coming to grips with it. He has been bulldozed with over two hundred claims to dishonesty. All this for a man, who is anything but that. On top of it, Nawaz Sharif has landed back in Pakistan on 21st of October. (I know that the great number of crowd that came to receive him, were each given Rs.5000, free meals and transport.) So, this is the scenario. People are still being kidnapped and disappearing. God help us all.
Here today, black is white and white is black, and don’t you dare say it is not! I’ve felt bewildered, overwhelmed and upset with all that is happening around me. Wondering how can I come to grips with the truth within all this horror and lies, locally.
While we are still grappling with these realities in Pakistan, due to which more and more people are trying to move out of the country. more horrid developments are taking place globally.
Israel war on Palestine and global insanity :
You and I’ve got to find a place for some sanity with what’s happening in the world of today. Lots of trouble with war declared by Israel on defenseless Palestine. We are silent observers of Israel who has spent last seventy years, daily harassing (and killing) Palestinians in every possible way. Killing young teenage boys, harassing women and looting their olive trees, business and making their lives miserable. Thousands of lives have been regularly killed every year;
So when Hamas gave them a touch of what they’ve been doing all this time, Israel has lashed out with a ‘defense attack’ to be remembered for a long time to come. They are backed openly by USA, UK, France and Germany. So, for the past month, we have been witness to ruthless killing of Palestinians. Hospitals, schools and camps blasted. In one case killing 500 persons, including doctors, nurses, patients. This is just one of many incidents.
The whole world watches as another holocaust takes place before our eyes, (yes, the social media and television channels have shown us every detail.) Crimes committed by those very people against whom the holocaust had taken place. (All these years, they were getting sympathies for what they went through.) Israelis have done worse than the holocaust on Palestinians who had initially welcomed them into their land giving them protection and sharing their own land with them!
It reminded me of a saying, by Hazrat Ali, ‘beware of the evil perpetrated by the one you have favored.’ (Uss insan kay shar say bacho, jiss pay tum nay ehsan kiya hai.’)
Roald Dahl wrote in his book Going Solo, how he landed in Palestine, there he met with a jew in 1941, when asked what was he doing here? The Jew said that the Palestinian owner of that land had permitted him to use his land for growing crops and to live there with around forty orphans. They had survived the holocaust and needed some place for protection. He also told Roald Dahl that he intended to stay here. (Within Palestine.)
Somerset Maugham also mentioned this in a novel of his, where he mentioned how much ill feeling a receiver of favor, feels for the one who has done a favor to him. So much so that he does everything to avoid meeting him.
Strange times we are living in….
Whether we look at it individually or globally, there is a lot of tension in the air. In Pakistan and the rest of the world, there have been several months of tension and depression. As we go about our lives, we have to be careful about what we say or do. So, ‘freedom of speech’, particularly in Pakistan has become a myth. In Pakistan, the social media and print media, was always strong, and the television channels were also free. Now, all these are under a strict surveillance. Those who don’t toe the line, get it well and proper; There have been several individuals who have paid with their lives, others who are missing, and still others are in unimaginable conditions.
Yes, the life in this world of today. Is difficult. Whether you look at it locally or globally.
We call this a democratic world? Not at all!
It is the jungle law now. Might is right.
Quite the Pide Piper game.
Suddenly, this world is full of hatred, intolerance and venom.
Islamabad Literary Festival
As usual, I was busy elsewhere, and missed the first two days. However, I did manage to be there on last part of it on third day and it was awesome. Good to see the youth of our country being so enthusiastic about it. I loved the session on film making which had Sarmad Khoosat in it: You can see the talk about creativity in this vlog: (You can go towards the middle and end of it.)
I loved the words of Anwar Masood about Allama Iqbal, in the closing session of the festival you can see it here in my #31st vlog:
Stay blessed, my wonderful readers, I have great love and regard for each one of you. So much is still left to share with you, hopefully soon.