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Mush things: Magic And Miracles

its 2am and the city is asleep.
and like they say, the only ones awake are those in love or those looking for it or those healing from it.
but theres a last kind too, those talking to You.

Dear God,
send me your miracle because you know better than anyone else i need it.
send me your miracle because i believe you can change hearts and open doors.
send me your miracle because i know youve been watching my tears and listening to my prayers, every single one of them. the ones in quiet solitude, the ones in busy crowds, the ones in joy, the ones in gratitude, the ones in longing, the ones in sadness and the ones in desire.
send me your miracle because all the ones i see remind me that you must have one for me too.
send me your miracle because my biggest dreams can be your smallest commands.
send me your miracle because in this vast universe filled with burning stars, you still kindle my spark.
send me your miracle because the path to unraveling my destiny is only in your hands.
send me your miracle because you can make happen what we can never imagine.
send me your miracle because i believe in your magic.and i believe in You.
and magic and miracles only come to those who believe in them.
With endless faith in my heart,
Falak

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Mush Things: Naked Souls

The greatest level of emotional intimacy has got to be vulnerability. If sex is the highest level of physical intimacy, then vulnerability is the equivalent emotional nakedness.
Our generation prides itself on its ability to not dive deep into relationships, to keep things simple, to stay detached and unemotional, because thats the new cool.
Thats exactly where i would like to move away from the crowd, because when it comes to this, i’d rather be old school. I cant do detached and flings and cold emotions and half assed relationships. I wear my heart on my sleeve and cant lie about who i am. I’d rather cut off than pretend to be someone im not.but that also means i cant hide parts of myself away.

Vulnerabilities are so extremely personal. I think thats the last part of yourself that you open up to someone. When they’ve proven themself worthy of your trust, when you’ve found a certain comfort level with them and after a significant amount of time has been invested into your relationship, do people usually think about delving into their vulnerabilities. And that probably is the smart thing to do. Because opening up your vulnerabilities, is basically baring your soul. Opening up about your insecurities, mistakes, anxieties, fears. In a world thats so quick to judge things and people, these kind of things are a big risk to take. Once you tell them, about what scares you, what your deepest fear is, what you still cant forgive and forget, what truly does make you insecure, what your biggest regrets are, the moments that follow are the ones that can really intimidate you because they will determine that persons place in your life and where your relationship will go now.

They can mock you, they can be horrified, then can belittle you, they can judge you, they can get scared and back off, they can throw it in your face later, they can use it against you.
OR they can embrace you, accept you, understand you, comfort you and take your trust in them to a place of security and loyalty.
Noone really ever knows how anyone will react. This could go both ways. And it is for this reason that opening up this part of oneself is what people reserve for a selected few, if any at all. Why would you hand your weakness to someone else ? Why would you give someone the power to break you? Why would you let them hurt you where it hurts the most?

But why is it that vulnerability is synonymous with weakness? Why is it the last step of opening up to someone?

Sharing your vulnerability shouldnt be weakness. Im not sure if it can be strength, but i dont want to think of it as weakness. It requires great courage to bare your soul. Especially when the whole world is trying to tell you things about being self sufficient and to not worry too much about the emotional spectrum. In handing someone your weakness, you become stronger knowing where the next blow could come from. In giving them the power to break you, you prepare yourself to be shattered. In letting them possibly hurt you where it hurts most, you actually build an immunity for the pain.

It shouldnt be the last step in opening up to someone. It should be the first. Afterall, if this determines whether or not they are capable of sharing a relationship with you, then why wait till you’ve grown attached to them and have started to trust them and see them as an integral part of your life? If this is the litmus test, lets get it done with right in the beginning. So we know who to hold onto and who to let go. Why waste all that time building up a relationship and investing time into it, only to find out they never deserved it in the first place?

This time, i’ll start from the end. This time, i’ll bare my soul to you before i let you in my heart. This time, will you be good enough to last?

Love,
Falak

6

Mush things: Of belonging and being

Nobody ever is yours and truly yours alone. Unfortunately, contrary to what they may want to promise you, its just not possible.

Our lives are an intangible mess of intricately entwined relationships. You can never isolate yourself from all of them for any single one. Nobody can belong to one person alone.

They belong to their God and then themself. They are their parents’, their siblings’, their friends’, their spouse’s, their children’s, their boss’s. They belong to their past; their mistakes and lessons, their todays; their struggles and efforts, and their tomorrows; their hopes and dreams.

Unless you both are living in an extraordinarily unreal setting, or some kind of warped existence where only you both exist, such as your own little independent island thats disconnected from the rest of the world, its not happening.

But even then, how long would that last? How long can you both live till a third being takes claim? How long till the very company that you so craved starts suffocating you and you realise that you do need someone or something else to belong to?

Consider this utopian setting: just you both on an island, and somehow self sufficient. You would live together and then maybe eventually get married, if you believe in that kinda stuff. If you do, then that means you acknowledge God and religion, and somewhere there is a part of you that in its devotion to God, belongs to God.

Or maybe you would eventually have children. And then things really change. People react to parenthood with a kind of unexpected love that supersedes all. The ones that have never really felt emotions evolve into selfless beings with a profound newly discovered love, and the ones that have always understood the emotional spectrum, love deeper and harder. And you belong to your children now.

Either way, your solitary claim on them and their solitary commitment to you, doesnt apply anymore. It could, but you’d have to take out the “solitary” clause from it.

Or even worse, you’d get tired of having each other and noone else. You need more than one person in your life to maintain a healthy state of mind. I dont think i need to explain this, theres countless articles and pieces written out there, that tell people in relationships and marriages to not make ‘your significant other’ the center of your world. That can work only so long before your universe crashes. They can be the moon that comes, shines and goes. They cant be the sun to light everything up, day and night.

When its not possible even in an ideal imaginary world, then in this flawed and twisted world, its just a sweet nothing. And all i can say is that, if somebody, in all their honest innocent love, vows to you that they are ‘only yours’, then consider them as someone who could give you the world IF they could. But they CANT.  And for the sake of your emotional sanity, dont believe it when they say they are ‘only yours’, because they ARENT. Just because they could, doesnt mean they can. In the wise words of Miss Maqsood, ‘Such is life’ 😦

And maybe that is why we say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return.” in the most upsetting and heartbreaking of life’s incidences such as death.  To remind ourselves, ke jab hum khud ke nahi ho sakte hain, toh koi aur hamara kaise ho sakta hai? Jo khaliq ka hai, woh makhlooq ka kaise ho sakta hai? Shayad mohobbat ki yahi kashish hai, ke jo hum khud ke liye nahi kar paatey hum woh doosrey ke liye karna chahte hain.

On these little poetic urdu lines, that are making me feel like a proud  Ghaliba right now, i will sign off.
Love, Falak

3

My Tryst with Cricket

Disclaimer: Too long.

It all began when I was born in a cricket frenzy family. Growing up, I played cricket more than I ever played with my dolls and toys. With plastic bat and ball to hardcover textbooks to proper bat n ball. Then on the Playstation. . Oh also those cricket cards, remember those?
I know the rules to gully cricket, courtesy of my brothers they always took me in their team (Well they had no choice after destroying my doll houses). I played cricket in our hall with my brothers cautiously, trying not to break any of Ammi’s precious show pieces and vases.

My Dad and uncles are chalte phirtey encyclopedias of Cricket (like almost every other Indian). Never mention anything about cricket in front of them and expect for the discussion to end soon. Mention a player and they will give you his cricket shajra (Shajra- Genealogical tree).
Usually on fridays, after the friday prayers, all of them sit together and watch an old match highlights (usually IndVsPak Sharjah tours) and reminiscence the on field rivalry and sledging. This goes on for hours without any break, they will take a break only to youtube the clip where Azharuddin is seen telling Afridi “Zara time deke daalo na baday bhai” or Javed Miandad’s on field comments.
If any of us (the kids) are present there, one of my uncles will without fail explain the greatness of a particular shot of a particular match. There’s no easy way to end the Cricket discussions at my household.
With this madness at hand, it was natural for me to get infused with the passion for the game. I don’t remember when or how I became one of the active participants. Besides playing with my brothers and cousins, I never followed a match on TV. I knew the basic rules and all but never followed a match.

I guess it changed when India reached the final of Natwest series in 2002 and beat england by two wickets or so. Who does not remember that match? If nothing else, for Ganguly’s celebration after the victory. 😉
And after that, I started following India’s matches regularly, now I learned about the minor differences between Test and ODI matches. I started picking up tidbits of information from the discussions at home. Polished my General Knowledge of Cricket, I learnt why Dravid was the Wall and Shoaib Akhtar the Pindi Express, Gilchrist-Gilly etc.

While I was learning about the game, the 2003 World Cup started. That Tournament was the first one when I was pumped up for each and every match India played and other big matches as well. Everyone used to gather at our place after their office hours, and our hall was filled for every match. I was so into the game that I remember asking my maulvisaab (our Quran tutor) to pray for India’s victory. Well, even he was a cricket fan and while teaching us, he’d ask us to update him with the score 😛
And when India reached into the Semi’s, I took matters in my own hands and started praying for India’s win. (Do not give me that look, I was a kid, for God’s sake!)
This was the time when I started betting with one of my uncles :$ Yes, I did that as well.
And then came the finals, my my my that was the time when I learnt what it was to be heartbroken! On a side note, does anyone remember Zaheer Khan’s mom’s message for him before the finals? That was Aww-worthy.

Then there was a drop in the team’s performance after the world cup and I lost interest for few months.I was lured again into the game with the influx of some new players; MSD n Irfan Pathan and others. Pathan’s almost all rounder performance against Pakistan in 2004, I guess, made me his fan.
Anyone remember that 183 of 140 balls or something by Dhoni against SriLanka? I remember the joke that was doing rounds in our family after that victory “Dhoni, dho diya sabko!”
In 2007, with many expectations and high hopes, I supported the Indian Team in the World Cup only to be heartbroken once again. </3
And then then then Dhoni was made the Captain, and this was the time when I was more than ever into the game, one of the reasons was until then, I’d no one in my friends circle who used to watch cricket, then I met two other cricket fans and we religiously watched every match and discussed it on the phone and the next day in the school. We kept record of bowling figures and runs. Inaugural WT20 will be remembered for three things, first and foremost Yuvraj’s Six sixes to Stuart Board. Khekhe. Secondly of course because we won
and thirdly for Dhoni’s captaincy. Remember my bets with my uncle? Well, they were fruitful now 😛
I was up the whole night to witness Indian team’s return to India after winning the cup. I’d school the next day 🙂
At this point, no matter who played, if anyone from my family wanted an update on score, they’d call me up. Yes, I had transformed into that person.
And then came the IPL, it didn’t really entice me initially but it grew on me.

Fast forward to 2011, World cup now clashed with my 12th Boards. Yep. My Chemistry tuition sir was asking us to set routine for preparation now with zero distractions and say goodbye to TV, and I, of all the girls in the room, utter in a low voice “But Sir, World Cup is going to start.” He looked at me, smiled his usual smile and replied “Kyun betey? Unless you are betting on the games you needn’t worry about those and focus on your studies.” Well I was betting, with my heart and soul on India’s win.
Khair, that didn’t prevent me from following the matches. India’s group match against England was at the crucial stage and I had to go for Physics’ tuition. We had a test or sort of a test in the class that day, but I was the first one to get there and I put up a condition for writing the test, well it was, Sir would update me with the score if he wanted me to write the test. *shrugs*  Well he did update me, also explained me the necessity of keeping cool like our Captain Cool in the crucial hours. Then the journey to Semi finals was made with few ups and downs. But we’d beaten the defending champions (Australia) and then  came 26th March, Ind Vs Pak, lol, in that game I was neutral, I promised myself I’d be okay even if we lose this. No problem. But we won, and I was teeny meeny sad that Pakistan lost.
2nd April 2011, I still had one exam to go, but supporting my team was my priority then. And I couldn’t have been anymore ecstatic than I’ve been on that day. I could feel the adrenaline rush, if I were in India that time, I’d be on streets with the Indian flag going all Kajol like from K3g “HUM JEEEETGAYE!” But sadly I was not. Hahaha!

2011-2014, my years went in a jiffy. I don’t remember watching any match, except for any one here and there and IPL matches every now and then. I was up to date with stats and trivia but rarely switched on the TV to watch cricket.
With 2015, the cricket enthusiast in me was reborn, I was prepped up to support my team in defending the title. But khair we all know what happened.
This time I had my exams again, and I somehow managed to butter my HOD in flexing the timings for the practical exam whose date clashed with India’s match against Bangladesh (Pros of being a favourite student :P), and for another knock out match I was updated every few minutes by our lab assistant. Khair to say that I was heartbroken at India’s exit will be an understatement.
Then IPL came to my rescue and cheered me a bit (a bit because I was supporting SRH). Also that we’d WT20 coming up consoled me then.
While I waited for next year, I started following the game regularly.

2016, it promised to satisfy my heart with various tournaments. Started with one against Australia,followed by Sri Lanka’s tour and then the real madness began with T20 Asia Cup.
And when we won that cup, I was more than pumped for the upcoming WT20.
We lost the first match against New Zealand, I was disheartened. But nope, ain’t nobody got time to be sad after one defeat. So I was there supporting my team with full josh o jazba. Mahn oh Mahn were the matches nail-baiting! God! Those matches had stress written all over them. Every boundary by opponents teams n every catch drops by our team, brought the heart into my throat. Those feels.
Especially the one against Bangladesh. Heart was not in the  throat but in the mouth. NO exaggeration. AT ALL. Stress levels were at peak. I couldn’t sit still in the last few overs. I was chatting with a friend while watching the match, and because I had phone in my hand, I didn’t chip off my nails. Even after we won that thrilling match, my heartbeat didn’t get back to its normal pace for an hour or so.

image1(1)image3image2Snippets of the chat I had while watching the match. *Hides face*

Then, the next match, Kohli’s chase made me a proud Indian cricket team fan.
In Semi-Finals, we had enough score but the West Indian team were better than us that day and it was their day. We had few bad moments in the second innings but it was their day. Not gonna be a sore loser.
And I was more than happy that they won the final coz to be honest, they deserved it. They they had to show their board their capabilities and that they could win without ANY help from the WICB.

One thing, that this T20 world cup changed for me was my appreciation for Kohli. It’s not like I disliked him earlier, I always accepted that he was a good player but this tournament really changed something about my perspective of him. The way he carried the batting line up was really amazing. Falling of the wickets didn’t really upset me unless it was his or Dhoni’s. There were times when I wished the opening batsmen were out instead of wasting balls. For me, in T20WC, bowlers, Kohli and Dhoni were the stars.

And now the ipl has begun, I haven’t really seen a single match yet. Because exams.
But insha’Allah once I’m done I shall catch up with the madness. And this year, I won’t be supporting Hyderabad anymore. Sorry. They are the Pakistani team (no offense padosis) of IPL. Good on paper and you know how on field. So no thank you.

This is my affair with the game. And I don’t think it’s going to stop anytime in the near future. To many more matches that we shall play and trophies we will win! 🙂

I know this is probably too long, if you’re reading this, Thank You. I tried, I really tried to cut it down but I couldn’t. 😦

How’s the garmi treating y’all?

4

Two things every girl MUST do before shaadi!

The blog has been left abandoned for long now, and way too long by me.

Miss Maqsood has one of the most amazing patience levels in the world to chase after me for writing a post, and especially this long. That’s why shes my BFF ❤

Okay, so today, im talking from personal experience. This is mostly applicable to girls from the Indian subcontinent, those who grow up with a life plan that more or less looks like:

School- (college/ high school) – (degree/uni) – (masters/taking a break) – shaadi.

Everybody is entitled to decide how they want to spend the rest of their life, and if this is what you want to do, then its YOUR choice, and you’re no lesser than anyone going on a different road. That should go without saying, but it doesnt (unfortunately).

For us girls, somewhere between shaadi and padhai, I highly recommend sneaking in 2 more things: work and living alone.

1-Work: I think every girl should work at least once in her lifetime. A proper professional job. Or if that’s too much, then a part time job. Even its for a few months. Even if its not your field of study. Even if you’re not a career oriented woman. Even if you don’t plan to ever do it again. But at least, ONCE.

This is for a variety of reasons. It emboldens you. Opens a door for you into the big bad real world. Gives you exposure to different kinds of people and teaches you how to deal with them. Introduces the world of politics, powerplay and office politics to you. Makes you realize the kind of commitment that a job needs. Helps you learn to value and respect the people that earn for you*, and go to a job for their ENTIRE LIVES, every single day, with no end in near sight. Encourages you to discover yourself when you draw the line between what is acceptable and what is not. Pushes you to keep going and work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Teaches you the value of time and punctuality (Because if you’re not on time, you lose money). Teaches you dedication and responsibility, to wake up and go, regardless of what fight you had with your significant other, regardless of who died, regardless of when you slept, regardless of how sick you feel ( Cuz if you don’t show up, you lose money ). Teaches you the value of hard earned money. So the next time you spend on a fancy lunch or splurge on a branded perfume, you remember how many hours of work it would actually cost you.

For many more reasons like this, I suggest every girl works. After a few months at work, something that you had no idea about, will become heartfelt appreciation you will have for the person who earns for you*. It also gives you a deeper understanding when you deal with the relationships involving these people, which usually is the father or husband. We hold a lot of expectations from these men that play central roles in our lives. To be there for the small and big occasions, to take an off when we need them to, to give us time, to remember and honor the little joys of our lives. These things often turn into the causes for fights or us being naraaz with him. But once you’ve worked, you realize that to get a leave isn’t as easy saying “Here. This is my letter. Im going on holiday”. You realize that to get time off isn’t as easy as walking out of the office as soon as its 5pm. You realize that work can be very demanding and stressful, and in the midst of all this sometimes, birthdays and graduations take a back seat. You realize that although IDEALLY, work shud stay in the office, it cant always. Sometimes it comes home, or sometimes the husband/ father cant come home. You will UNDERSTAND now. Because you’ve been through it. And that understanding makes your lives so much easier and your relationships so much stronger.

*(since you wont be working yourself, I think its safe to assume you will be dependent on SOMEONE)

 

2- Live alone

Whether this is in a hostel, or a few months away from home for your education, or just managing the place while your parents are away, every girl must give it a shot before she gets married and moves in with a guy.

You would say “why bother, when its gonna be the same thing all over again?” Well, it teaches you so much and prepares you for the responsibility and the hard work that goes into managing a home. It helps you appreciate your family while you live with them. And if you do get married, then you wont get overwhelmed; mentally, physically and emotionally.

Family is a blessing. You can walk in from a long day, theres always delicious hot food to eat. The room will always be tidied. Your bedsheets will always be clean. Nothing is ever lost because mom always knows where it is. The kitchen is always stocked up on the food you like. Theres always money to borrow from dad. Everything is always in working order. Theres always a familiar face around which gives a deep sense of comfort, whether you share everything with them or not. Theres always someone to blame if something goes wrong.

When you live on your own, you are the only person responsible for what happens and what doesnt. You learn that if you want something, then you have to get up and do it. If theres no food, then its your fault that you didnt buy it or cook it. If theres food rotting away, then you didnt throw it out. If the internet is cut, then you didnt pay the bill. If the ac isnt working, then you didnt get it fixed. If the house is dirty, you didnt clean it. If theres noone around when you are breaking down, then its cuz YOU decided you were brave and strong enuf to be on your own. You realise that running a home isnt easy. It takes a lot of thought and effort, and to have your head in your place. The only person who will be accountable for anything that happens in that house will be YOU. Paying bills and controlling finances isnt easy. It teaches you to prioritize your spending and manage it. And if you end up being stupid, then you end up without money. You learn to manage your time, between your studies/ work, taking care of the house and doing the things you want to.

You realise what it must have been like for your mother, efficiently managing every bit of your family, from fixing your dress to finding dad’s wallet to cooking for family dinners to making sure the house always looks like happiness. You realise what it must have been like for your dad, from paying the bills, to buying what each family member wants to making sure the house has what it needs.

Even if you’re not going to get married, and plan to live with your family for the rest of your life, then some time away can definitely help put things in perspective. If you plan to live alone, then you know now, how truly well your parents always managed it. More power to you for being so independent ❤

And if you are going to get married, then this is just half of what you will be doing in the near future with your significant other. And it does get easier then, yet at the same time a little more complicated. Because when you add another person, brought up in a house different from yours, to the equation of managing a home, things tend to get, a little, messier. No matter how similar you both may be, everyone has different preferences, spending habits, eating habits and and so many other habits in the way they do things or like them done. So now, not only will you be managing your money and your home, you will be taking care of his money and his home. Over time, while rubbing off each others edges, and molding your own ways, that place will become ‘our home’.And I hope and pray, its only half as daunting as I made it sound.

May you all always find love and contentment in your homes and lives ❤

Disclaimer: In no way am I a supporter of gender roles, but lets face it, life looks like this for most girls in 21st century India, by their choice or by default. And in the very first part of the post, i have clearly mentioned this post is applicable to girls whose life plan looks a certain way. So even if you want your life to look like “Ki and Ka”, Im sure Ka would love it if Ki appreciated and realized how much work he has to put in to run the household 😀