Just so grateful for these happy moments of joy.
When I’m getting involved with ‘lots to do’, I just fast-forward myself by asking, ‘How will I feel afterwards?’ If my answer is: ‘Yes’. Then I just go ahead with it.
I know I can squeeze most of the activities; The trick lies, in delegating, and prioritizing of course. Remembering too that special occasions are for enjoyment and relaxation and not to get exhausted with. So, I’ve found that keeping things short and to the point works well.
Lots went on in the last few days:
- My mother’s 84th birthday on November 7th, 2018.
- Work in progress on next book: Message from the East on Friday, 9th of November.
- Celebrating Allama Iqbal’s birthday at Shireen’s Studio, (on 10th)
- Attending Word Camp by WordPress on 10th, also.
- Brunch at my place on Sunday morning on 11th with a wonderful writer and relative.
- Behbud Meena Bazaar, on Sunday, the 11th.
My mother’s 84th birthday on November 7th.
So, I managed to take her for an outing, and we had a nice time. She loves chrysanthemums so I got her a bouquet of those along with the perfume and suits. She is such a gem. So patient and so loving always. Here are the pictures that Waliya took of us:
Progress on Iqbal’s book and the First World War:
Naila my friend and co-editor had time on Friday, so we sat in her drawing room and worked four hours straight on the book. As usual, it was awesome. There are moments during our editing when we get quite overwhelmed. We can’t help going all gaga over it. The most appropriate one I found was something I’d love to share with you. It is directly connected to the First World War, which had just ended five years before this book. The book was originally published in 1923.
The West is remembering its’ dead in the First World War. It is now exactly one hundred years since the end of the First World War. I want to share this poem by Iqbal written almost a hundred years ago, with you. (You can feel the remnants of this horrific war in this poem.)
The Wisdom of the West
The story goes that In Iran
A worthy man, Intelligent and wise,
Died, suffering great agonies,
Departing with a heart Full of distress and smart,
He went up to God’s throne
And said:” God, I am one
Grieved at the way that I
Was made to die.
Your Angel of Death is
Supposed to be a specialist,
And yet he has no expertise,
No knowledge of the new skills that exist
In the fine art of killing.
He Kills, but does it so clumsily.
The world is going rapidly ahead.
But his growth has stopped dead.
The west develops wonderful new skills
In this as in so many other fields.
Fine are the ways it kills,
And great are its skill’s yields.
It has encompassed even thought with death.
Death is all its philosophies’ life-breath:
It is what all its sciences devise.
Its submarines are crocodiles,
With all their predatory wiles.
Its bombers rain destruction from the skies.
Its gases so obscure the sky
They blind the sun’s world-seeing eye.
Its guns deal death so fast
The Angel of Death stands aghast,
Quite out of breath In coping with this rate of death.
Dispatch this old fool to the West
To learn the art of killing fast – and best.
Allama Iqbal was born on November 9th 1877 and he died on 21st April 1938. His poetry isn’t one of those easy poems, yet his ideas are so powerful, that almost everyone gets very emotional while talking about his work. The small gathering at Shireen’s Studio on tenth evening was to remember his work, and his contributions to our lives today.
Sarmad Sarosh who is a producer at PTV World, was there with his narration of Aik Arzoo which he had already shared in our WhatsApp group in a voice recording. He is so fluent in Urdu, so on our insistence he read out another beautiful poem Tasweer-e-dard by Iqbal for us. Adnan Ahmad sang two of Iqbal’s poems, which felt really great. Col. Abrar had brought his paper on a comparison of Nietzsche with Iqbal, which he read out for us. He had written it for his presentation in Staff College, (the prestigious army institution in Quetta.)
It was a wonderful discussion that followed, and we came to the conclusion that more of such events need to take place. More people who do not understand Iqbal should attend these events, only then will they get to know what his work is all about!
I wondered how to make such events more interesting for the youth? Anyhow, I had prepared extra yummy snacks for the event. Everyone felt that I should cut the cake, I had decorated the area with balloons (which were there from Mum’s birthday. 😉 ) So, we enjoyed the haleem, pakoras, sandwiches, and cake with tea.
Col. Abrar said, ‘Today, I’m sure Allama Iqbal would be very happy to see that he is being remembered so fondly.’
WordPress Word Camp in Islamabad and Seattle:
Can you believe it? There I was, wanting to attend the conference in Seattle, and here I was attending it on the same day in Islamabad! November 10th, 2018. Not surprising, as I found out that WordPress now holds 32% of world’s web users. So, they are having such events all over the world.
The future certainly holds more expansion. The sooner you join in the better for you all.
The conference in Bahria College, Islamabad was interactive and informative. It was also informal and welcoming. Due to the event at my place, I couldn’t attend the whole of it. I found it very interesting, informative and opened my eyes to how much I can achieve through it.
As a writer, I’ve been wondering what I’m doing here. Blogging twice a week for free. Yet, writing is my passion. That is all I’ve done for a major part of my life. Writing for leading dailies of the country has been very satisfying. WordPress has opened a whole new world for me.
Why I love WordPress:
- I specially love the latest corrective guidance that I get while writing a post. How I’m informed about the ‘readability’ whether it is ‘good’ or ‘ok’. I love responding to its’ corrective information. Previously, while writing for newspapers and magazines, once the article got printed, one naturally couldn’t add or subtract anything. Here you can. I just LOVE it.
- Added to this, are the ads which shall hopefully be re-reimbursing my efforts.
- It is so much fun to be able to tell anyone anywhere in the world to look up such and such blog post of mine, for details on a particular topic. It has global presence and access.
Frankly, my readers’ responses, comments, likes are enough reward for me. Many of my readers do nothing here, but when I meet them, they tell me how keenly they read my blog posts. Some send me messages through my daughters living across the world. One of them even got me out of my high cholesterol count, (by sharing a tip on taking a teaspoon of isafghol with honey in a glass of water, first thing in the morning.) Others, warned me against going to places alone. Which was very right. I love it all.
The love, care and sharing of information and trust. What a beautiful smaller world we are in now, my daughter Nadiya attended their conference in Halifax in Canada, and on 11th Novemeber she also attended it in Seattle. (I’m sharing some pictures of the Seattle Conference here, taken by her and Nataliya.)
In the Islamabad conference I was shown that it is the ideal forum for introducing and sharing the products that my Studio offers. These include the original paintings and books. In the pipeline I have many things which shall be a nice surprise for my readers and visitors to my website.
During the question answer session when I remarked that I’m attending this conference while two of my daughters are attending the one in Seattle, I received a resounding applause!
Suggestions for next WordPress Conference in Islamabad:
Next time, I definitely plan to attend the whole of the day. It is hoped that different halls would be available, and one would be able to choose which topics to attend. I am naturally more interested in the ‘content’ rather than the technical dynamics of it. Yet, my web developer and technical adviser Muhammad Asif, I’m sure would want to attend the technical side of WordPress. I had to dash back to my Studio where I was in time to receive my guests for the Iqbal Day event there.
Early next morning I was having some wonderful guests, Sabahat and her daughter Burqa for brunch. Don’t worry, my cook had already cooked delicious food for them: Haleem, carrot halwa, potatoe bhujia and keema. My domestic help and ‘savior’ Hasnain had everything in control as usual. God bless him. Haroon and Uzma were the cherry on the top when they joined in from their own ‘breakfast out’ and so our group was complete. Always love to spend my weekends with Haroon and Uzma who are now more of my closest friends. The moment I saw off Sabahat who was off to her home town near Faisalabad, Waliya and I went off to the Meena Bazaar.
Behbud Meena Bazaar:
As you might have gathered, I’m not much of a shopper. However, I went to complete my daily step count in my phone’s app. Also, to get something from Asif bhai’s Khaddiyan stall. He brings this handmade cloth with hand embroideries from his shop in Bahawalpur. The handmade sweaters were a disappointment, or perhaps the best ones had got sold. Usually, I love getting gifts from them. Overall, Behbud does everything for under-privileged women and children and that is what matters the most.
The entry fees of Rs.200 per adult was a heavy one. I wondered how much they had earned just from that. Since it was all in a good cause, so one didn’t mind. On return, I asked my staff to go and enjoy the funfair, while I stayed home to take care of my parents. After all my staff deserves an outing too. (Yes, I’ve bought them a motorbike so they can go out to do small chores or for outings too!)
So, dears, I returned to rest in peace. No I didn’t die. Just relaxed and dozed all evening. Spent an easy evening with my parents and watched television.
So this was my weekend – absolutely awesome – how was yours? Stay blessed lovely and handsome ones!