The thin line!

Today’s topic is very sensitive, critical and much needed to ponder upon. Its about differentiating between our emotions for people around us and how we react to them.
Before I start, I’d want you to think of one incident or a time period in your life where you had to really really fight the battle of mind and heart. Take a minute. Or two. Or may be 5. I don’t want you to get depressed but just reflect upon what you had to do.

Ok so here we go.

We have all heard about several words like sympathy, empathy, care, love and attraction. And we all have different ideas and meanings associated to these words. Most of these emotions or gestures are inter connected, mixed and dependant upon each other. So for instance if you care about somebody, you show empathy. Or if you are attracted to somebody, you start caring about them and are empathetic to their needs. Now here comes the real game when you have to cleverly choose how to act and react in a certain awkward or non awkward situation when it comes to your near ones, your friends and acquaintances.

Have you ever experienced a time when doing favours once or twice has led you to constant favours because you are immune to do so and you feel it has become your responsibility? Have you felt that your sympathy is taken as care and love by the other person and he/she feels like you love him/her too? Have you ever tried to get away from the feeling of betrayal and not being able to get away because you don’t want to hurt someone? If you have gone through ANY of this, THIS post is a MUST READ for you.

Its a brief learning experience that I want everyone to benefit from for future references whenever they feel themselves indulged in such situations. There is a very thin line between sympathy and care. Between love and attraction. We misunderstand and linger on to these emotions till we are done with them. So how to identify what? Its a simple litmus like test but for that test, your conscience needs to be clear enough to get perfect results. If you are socially active, helping people here n there, being accommodating to friends, trying to cheer everyone up, chances are you will show sympathy to people in need. The second stage to identify is having conversation with such people. If they keep ranting about bad things in their life, share financial problems, parent issues, work related issues, use abusive language, chances are they are trying to gain your sympathy and later on will become parasites. They will depend upon you for their emotional and financial needs. Later on hurting you to the core that you won’t have anything left.

This identification comes with time and experience. No one can teach you but YOU yourself can master the art of differentiating between your own reactions. Everything lies within you. You just need to be truthful to yourself.

 

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Old friends vs New friends

Friendship is a complicated subject to talk about when there are so many categories of friends that we as a social norm identify and categorize friends in. But I felt like pouring some of my personal observation and share experiences about new and old friendships.

We usually start making friends when we are in pre school. Someone sitting next to us who we share lunch with or have seen crying and trying to make smile becomes our friend. We move on with schooling meeting new kids around and our priorities of making friends keep changing. Puberty hits and all of a sudden we need some more personal space to share our tiny little secrets so we evaluate friends on the basis of who are they connected to and if your word will be leaked out by any. Most of us make great friends during school and college and sometimes university as well. But as we step into professional life, we tend to lose touch with pretty much all of them. Work, responsibility, family and romantic relationships take over our minds and hearts leaving no or less time for good old genuine friends. You are not alone. Your friends are going through the same stage.

What I realized and felt from my experiences is the fact that sharing secrets, discussing life issues and relationship problems and seeking advise from long term friends and mentors is better than sharing with a completely new person. I don’t oppose the idea of seeking a counsellor for psychic help as that is something completely different but when you want to discuss something intimate and something sensitive, do it with people who have known you for long, who have seen you going through rough patches and have seen your actions and reactions live. Old friends are blunt about what they say. They are less courteous and very informal because with time you develop this comfort with them and the surity that they will lend an ear to what you say. New people met at work places or some random meetups could be good for having intellectual conversations, chit chats, casual talks but we always approach people we have known for long for better advises.

Another thing with new friendships is the fact that they can only advise you on the basis of the information you share with them. Since sharing information is in our control, we may be passive aggressive and completely negative about a certain situation hence making the new friend feel like we are victims or have been through miserable times all our lives. The advice you gonna get will be pretty much based on sympathy then hurting your self esteem in long run. However with old friends, they can always correct you and say in your face that you are not the only one facing issues and they will have examples of YOU coping up with difficult situations reminding you that you aren’t a victim but a fighter. That you are the master of getting over trials with dignity. That you have the power of controlling circumstances your way.

Seek support from good old sincere people around you. Rebuild connections with lost friends who you know for sure that they will bring positivity to your life. Seek people having no interest in knowing your story for gossip but for bringing goodness to your life. I am glad and Alhamdulillah super blessed to have the ability to reconnect with some amazing people in my life and I am sure there is atleast one person in everyone’s life who is always there selflessly!

 

 

 

You are your best teacher!

I guess the writing spree is taking my mind away from a lot of stuff and helping me convey some messages through this blog :) I had a very insightful and casual meeting today with a dear friend and my mentor for past 7 years. From the 3 hour long conversation/lunch that we had, one thing that I was able to extract was self learning. Learning about yourself by teaching yourself something. I know the idea sounds complicated but let me share a very basic example here.

I started writing when I was about 11 years old. I started my blog 8 years ago and just before writing this post I opened some of the oldest posts of mine and my my my! that young little energetic person inside me who was always supremely positive slapped me on my face and told me what the hell I had been doing all these years till date? Literally there are lectures and positivity flowing words of wisdom that I said back in the days when I was barely a graduate and after having an experience of so many years, I still feel that there is a lot that I could have taught myself which I didn’t.

The primary rule to be able to teach yourself something is to be HONEST to yourself. That is the key to open the learning opportunities from you. Trust your Gut feeling, Learn to say NO to what you dislike and value your being for who you are for how ALLAH has created you. Irrelevant to the fact that what improvements are needed but first is to put your stance above anybody else because no one should ever manipulate you to the core that you feel miserable about yourself. Nobody owns you but your Creator and you don’t owe anything to anyone. Whatever good is done is goodness inside you but NOT an obligation on you no matter how much you care about someone. So understand that in the book of life, its you who comes first. Without being arrogant or vulnerable but by being humble and kind.

Everyday you teach yourself something to reflect upon later. Forgive yourself first before you can forgive others :)

 

 

 

 

The other side

It is very difficult for someone to stay strong and calm at the same time. It gets worst when you have to hide so much inside you and wear a mask of happiness to please everyone around you. Your reactions aren’t timed and they erupt at the worst possible moments. You start losing control over your emotions and you cry in the corner of your room not knowing the reason of your sadness and misery. There is so much pain in you accumulating over time that you are unable to convey to anyone around you and all you do is destroy yourself. Neglect yourself. Hate and berate yourself for being unjust to the people you love and care about. You are so scared from inside that you fail to even express your love for your loved ones and hatred for people who have given you miserable time. You are just numb. Completely numb.

This story is mine. This may be yours too but hardly any of us bring about this side of ours when we are fighting a battle of our own inside us. Each one of us is a warrior in some or the other way. We have fears, regrets, grudges, anticipations, expectations and plenty of other stuff running in our blood pumping through our hearts and signalling our mind to make right and wrong decisions. We have to overcome our fears, fight our own fights, live our own life and once we are absolutely sure that our own impact is sustainable, we help others fight their battles. But first we need to fix ourselves.

Crying isn’t a sign of unhappiness. Sometimes all you need is a detox of overwhelming emotions inside you. I cry when someone praises me or appreciates me. I cry when I get hurt. I cry when I miss my dad. I cry when I see someone doing good deeds. We all have a different level of tear tolerance and I guess I come in the category of least tolerant ones. If you feel this is a serious problem and you are unable to fix it on your own, you MUST see a counselor and there is absolutely no harm in doing so. Improving your mental health is as important as seeing doctor when you feel something has hit your stomach and your digestive system won’t function properly.

Be grateful. Appreciate every single happiness that comes your way. Shukr always gives you more from divine. No matter what it is. Even if its a trouble you have come across. Even if GOD is limiting you from something. Even if its loss of a loved one. Even if its failure in Exam. Just say shukr to GOD for what everything else you have been blessed with as thats the only key to happiness and contentment in life. :)

 

Bila Unwan :)

Rivayat hai maqam-e-arsh ka eema’n dareecha hai.
Sabar ki aik kunji aur diyanat ka saleeqa hai.
Yehi aagosh mai main seekh ker tumse mukhatib hun.
Mere farzi rawayye bas tumhi ko yaad aayenge.
Zamane ke niralay rang apna rang dikhayenge.
Tumhe sab bhool jayenge.. Tumhe sab bhool jayenge..

Kabhi mehnat mushaqqat ka koi qissa baya’n hoga..
Wo apni kaahili ki daastan sabko sunayenge…
Karenge jhoot k sazish bharay qisse baya’n apnay..
Ameeron ke khazeenon pe wo apna sar jhukaenge.
Tumhari saaf goyee ko hansi mai wo urayenge..
Tumhe sab bhool Jaenge.. Tumhe sab bhool jaenge.

Amal ki aur ilm-o-hunr ki qaaim karo misaal..
Qaail karo ge unko jinhe hai nahi khayal?
Taleem ke darje pas mukammal he kiye hain.
Shayad ho tumhe qudratan is baat pe malal.
Tumhare faiz ko wo mehfilon mai chhor aayenge.
Tumhe sab bhool jayenge.. Tumhe sab bhool jayenge..

Why I do what I do.

Its been ages since I wrote something about myself, my life, my routine and stuff I have been doing lately. There is much to catch up on with you all and here I am once again with my latest post about what I have been doing lately that keeps me busy from coming here and talking to you all :)

I have started a couple of new ventures including a clothing brand called Taarkashi clothing and a small startup of desi mithais like Monthaal, anday ka mesu and malai khajas. For those who don’t know what these yummy sweets are, better check out the pictures I am posting along with this post. :)

The question is why? This has nothing to do with the fashion trends or being a part of the hustle bustle of women working from home and doing online businesses and generating income out of it. All of these things are definite outcomes that appear as perks when you are working online. I was always a people’s person and meeting people, learning new things from them was something I liked. This customer relationship management made me realize how sensitive the whole procedure of trusting someone online and making a purchase of thousands of Rupees where you are almost unsure of the credibility of the person sitting on the other end merely displaying her account number. Phew! Thanks to a few online groups that helped me gain reasonable credibility and I was considered a trusted seller. Meanwhile I came across couple of cases where it wasn’t anybody’s fault but yet I had to compensate since the customer is always right haina?

I wouldn’t rant about giving a marketing/customer service lecture. Conclusion being , this is an interesting industry and has much more potential to grow than we can think of. Its all about better relationships. Promptness. Greetings and being accommodating. Its all about consistency and not losing temper. A life long lesson on building up an emotional asset I would say. Nonetheless this has done my emotional grooming at such intricate levels that makes me believe that practical situations teach you a lot more than you can expect.

Now coming to the sweets business. Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? I lived my childhood eating the best of the best sweets in town and always wanted to share the taste with everyone else around me. Reason being there so much said and told about the old city area of Karachi which I cannot either relate to or am not ready to admit despite quite a few things being true. I decided to deal the situation in a whole different way. Distributing sweets is a part of our culture on the occasion of happiness or even after meelads and religious sermons. Its a gesture to show that you want to share your emotions with everyone else. Keeping that in mind and remembering my childhood tastebuds, I thought to give it a try and see how many more folks like me have lived a similar sweet toothed life? :) Turns out it is more than i expected to be. There are so many people who share the same taste-buds like me and are willing to try what I have liked. Started off with trials and bingo! Every week we deliver sweets around the city.

Life is all about these little things we do, small portions of food we share, making online interactions productive and not getting lost in the competition. Life is all about being happy. Being persistent. Being grateful for what we have and what is yet to come :)

More updates to come soon. Stay tuned.

mind blowing anday ka mesu prepared from eggs, sugar and ghee.

mind blowing anday ka mesu prepared from eggs, sugar and ghee.

Monthaal prepared from chanay ki daal , dry fruits and khoya.

Monthaal prepared from chanay ki daal , dry fruits and khoya.

scrumptious malai khaja all the way from m.suleman sweets kharadar.

scrumptious malai khaja all the way from m.suleman sweets kharadar.

Chapli Kabab ki kahani

A lot of our stories revolve around food. This is one of those heart touching stories that a friend narrated yesterday and his simple act of kindness has elevated my love for chapli kababs even more. :)

It all started off with a small conversation about who is a bigger fan of Chapli Kabab? I said me, he said it can’t be me because its his first preference above anything else. When we couldn’t decide on who to give the trophy to, he told me a soul touching – yes soul touching story that I’d like to share with you all. (Its going to be a narration by him from here onward.)

I had a group of friends in college with whom I can say I have spent the best days of my life. It used to be four of us. Me, Atif, Shayan and Asad. Asad was probably the best among us when it came to tutoring and making our concepts clear while rattofying for papers. In short he was THE nerd of our small clan. Not only he was a nerd but he was someone who had his hands on animation back in 2004 which was a major achievement to his credit. Combined studies, classroom dialogue exchange, helping other students and having fun was all we knew at that time. Time passed by and everyone chose a career path for themselves. We all were excelling in our own fields having a great life thinking if we meet after years, it would be a pleasant surprise.

I had no idea that hoping for surprise would land me into something unexpected and nerve wrecking. So here comes the best part. I have always been a fan of chapli kababs and there was a small restaurant near my house where I would go and have Chapli Kababs occasionally. For some reason I wasn’t able to pay a regular visit to the place and after years I decided to take my wife to the place that I like the most. We sat down, making sure we make it our special moment. I was busy talking to her when the waiter came to my table with the menu card in his hand. He saw me, I saw him and everything just died for a moment. It was none other than Asad. The same Asad with whom I had spent the best days of my college. He was equally shocked as I was. He left the restaurant and went outside, sat on a bench and started crying like never before. I came back to my senses, went up to him and tapped his shoulder. I sat beside him, asking him how he was, making sure I don’t say anything that would make him feel miserable about where he works now. After making him feel comfortable that I am the same old friend of his I asked him why he never approached any of us to which he told the whole story about how he had to go through some family issues that compelled him to leave everything, stop his studies and earn money at any cost. He had lost touch with every thing, every skill he learnt was useless as he had forgotten it all. He had become a waiter and he wasn’t willing to move on from that restaurant.

A little bit of maths that I had learnt, I asked him how much he was getting per month and how much tip would customers pay. Also he told me the commission paid per table served so that added to his income a bit. As little as I could do, I told him that I will make sure you earn the maximum amount here as I will come here daily as your customer no matter how much you hate seeing me. I recommended friends and family to have the chapli kababs from here ( without a doubt they are the best ). I made him feel he was one of us and there is nothing in the world that could change the bond that we had.

Today when I go and eat at that restaurant, he doesn’t come and serve me but he stands far away, looks at me and smiles saying Thank you my friend for everything you did :)

Interesting no? :) So how many of you would go and have chapli kababs there? :D I would!

chapal