Chapter 1: 7pm
Ali Is at his table sitting in a small chair and two candles are lit there because his town is suffering one more load shedding in electricity .It is part of the life he is living in his war hit country that figures no where in the world map yet it exists geographically on the very face of earth .well Ali doesn't want to disclose the name of his country to keep of the controversies that will come up .His country has no mans lands and barbed wires with no defined existence of his motherland he lives in .Ali is a youth passed out of his college waiting for a job like other youth anywhere in any corner of world .But this part of world doesn't deliver jobs so easily as wars mean much .Life succumbs to broken infrastructures broken establishments meager business. Yet Ali is an enthusiastic guy determined to do something constructive for humanity.This is me Ali and I am writing this in my diary that I am treasuring for world to get enlightened .By enlightenment I don't talk that in vanity but by that I mean my subtle experiences for world as I feel them here in my land of which others are alien .My friends say their lives make a difference when Ali writes, I hope and I am sure Ali will make a difference.Well my scrap book will be adding chapters as life adds its chapters to let you feel the threads woven in our life here.
Gun fires over here are a thing of routine , we have been born amidst this war which is there as you go shopping . we have accepted it unwillingly because we have to despite the post traumatic stress disorders it gives us .psychiatric clinics are full with people who have lost their dear ones in the gunfires whose bullets don't know who is killed .I ,ali part of this land travel through villages ,towns , cities of my country see the eyes of mothers who lost their sons fighting for the freedom of their motherland but things turned out slowly different as different people sold their blood to occupying forces .The lives over here are torn and going on a course that war hit nations do .yesterday I went to a village on a routine work of mine and had the chance of visting a home of tribals up in hills .The tribals over here live a nomadic life and travel with their cattle over hills and mountains rearing their livestock .They have lived in mud hatched houses ,no electricity ,no health facilities they rot like corpses when they get ill . As I often see them I wonder what kind of life.
Inspite of the odds life goes on with colour yet the intellectual metamorphoses succumbs .People are more often taken to make more and more money because of the uncertain political situation .I seldom get a company of people who really dive deep in intellectual inferences to make their lives more meaningful .A chaotic situation indeed because wars affect in every possible manner they can .Our language is dying, suffocating as the institutions claiming to persevere it is itself eaten by war which breeds incompetence .wars leave in one way no place for intellgensia .
Chapter 3 Chores
When I finish my daily work I often think what is there to do as a meaningful productive action to benefit myself and the community .I have often realized that the more humans get obsessed with earning their meager livelihoods the more it drains them off everything .As you will go down markets you will see how people have grown impatient over little matters .All they think is to make more and more .Towns ,cities over here are unplanned growing fast as junk and crap.The best place I have thought
And worked out to spend my leisure time is corner of my room and my laptop which is my window to the world where in I connect my considerably feeble internet gprs to connect to the globe and let other humans know how is life here on our side.I do have to study for my medical career to be a medical doctor incessantly yet writing books is a part of me which I cant live without .My grandpa who has been a vetern lawyer tells me fables how he used to go hunting and how their life as youth was healthy and adventurous .I was always of hunting and horses yet the scenario over here prevents me to nurture this passion .The best friends for me over here are writing and reading literature.
Chapter 4 concrete jungles
The buildings are coming up fast in view of the commercialization yet neither the govt governing us or people do have an idea where these concrete jungles are taking us , these jungle have sucked our rich rice fields and the country side , a saner person would surely cry over this plight .As I grew up I always thought of publishing my own work because I started writing since the age of 11 and I always felt how writing was such a powerful platform .But the publishers over here more or less require plots that will fetch them money while I don't write for me money because I believe in presenting art that can enlighten .So writing on the internet has come to me a boon .What means superiority over here is possession of cars and land which to me appears not much .Need and greed are two different things .Life over here takes us to the very point which I had read in a book where people had been portrayed in future staying inside their homes and not seeing each others face where there was no concept of society and yes we have almost achieved that over here and the best things to drag you out of loneliness is electronic media .The telly has turned out to be the inseperable part of human life .
Chapter 5 9/11
It means nothing but ninth of November and yes I have travelled around a continent , I have seen humanity has just love .I am a Muslim and in the backdrop of the Sept attacks on twin towers in u.s there were backlashes on Muslims wherein we were stereotyped as inhumane and barbaric .Yet the humanity in spite of every cooked up misconception against Islam came to know that yes it is a religion of peace and universal brotherhood which some black sheep in the community want to distort and harm .Guns have nothing to solve and wars have nothing to give except deaths ,pain agony suffering .Islam denounces every act of terror .While my education tour to china I met people from every part of the world and every culture , I cherish all the moments we had together .Lawerence from canada , travis from south Africa , ema from u.s , dagmare samadi goenaga from costa rica , Pablo from mexico , evan orsadan from Israel , Justine from france all are some of the names of the beautiful people I have seen the humanity with .I always pray for their well being .I have discovered whole new phase of life with these and many more beautiful people in humanity
I have learnt hatred comes from lack of knowledge and I advise every one never to trust television . To sell the news one part of humanity is made enemy of other while in reality we are the same .Our colour , caste , creed ,region nothing matters , there is no difference , no one has superiority over other , Before GOD we all are same as Islam teaches it fundamentally .
CHAPTER 6 Don't mess with zohan
It's the movie I saw when I was in college and admired the way Arab Israel conflict had been really presented .It was awesome , a conflict that really didn't exist .In Beijing me and Pablo watched this movie together we laughed and enjoyed , then we had a game of billiards together .I met Bryan from Manchester he was on a tour to Beijing , he was a nice person , He had lost his dear friend in gulf war it brought tears to his eyes when in the midst of our conversation we came to it .Wars leave scars unhealed .i could understand his pain as I lost my only elder brother too though of a natural illness in the heart yet I knew what it meant to loose a near one .Bryan was a very social person with large number of friends , he said ali my grandfather taught me never burn bridges and be in contact with friends he had , yes he was right .
Later that evening me and my South African friend Travis went to the Beijing food street where you get all the weirdest stuff.
It was late feb and a little cold we wandered around that area it was pleasant and travis and me talked about cricket , i always admire hashim amla i told travis , he too agreed and said he indeed is a nice fellow .During my discourses and meetings with my friends across globe i have found a large difference in the expression of emotions , here back in our place in subcontinent we are expressive in our emotions while in west , even in germany france etc feelings and expressions are expressed differently
in West may be i am wrong but what i have realised till now people say dont push hard in any kind of relation when u express love in words two or three times any way our souls are alike yet i am still in the process of understanding human behavior ,i have so many questions to ask yet may be when i find more freinds i will ask them .
7 .SWEET OCTOBER
its fall now back in my country and leaves of willows have gone yellow , i have urge to go in mounatins and converse with nature and stabilise my soul inside .A cup of coffee is my favourite but i cant find a good brand here so i rely on water it rehydrates me and cause jitteriness.our political situation here is a bit settelled these days and we are having a moment of peace , its afternoon and sunrays start entering my room through window.I am happy with internet in our lives although many people complain about it yet people like me can share their work with rest of world for which we work so that this work makes our world a better place .Today i had to pause while i was writing .Night has fallen outside and its wonderful to write inside my wooden balcony , winters are coming and it will be cold , people here in war trodden places dont have much facilities yet native infrastructure to keep us warm, days are sunny with temp around 25c yet nights get very cold like 2c .These winters have one unwelcome thing in them that is our house windows have to remain shut because of cold that leaves inside room view as dark and gloomy .our traditional tea called as the namkeen chai ,chai in urdu means tea and namkeen is salty as we add salt to it instead of sugar .It sounds a bit weird being used to sugar in tea yet its an elixir to keep ourselves warm .There used to be a big kettle like thing known as the samovar which was used to serve the tea hot as it had built in chamber to keep hot coal but its no more used now , they say its a fast world so why trouble ourself, now the tea gets cold by the time it comes to cups as the emotions here which get cold by the time they are expressed .We cant spend these beautiful evenings any where in nature as people have forgotten wether there is a thing really like that because twenty years of continious gunbattle have rendered our
psyche paralysed and anhedonic
8.Walk In hills
Yesterday evening was the time I decided to have a walk in hills where I had not been since long .I met autumn , he was gathering his belongings he said it was time for him to leave as winter was arriving by the next train .It made me sad he had been here with me all season of fall we had gathered cicadas together ,we had basked together in mellow sunlight , we had grazed sheep in meadows , we had enjoyed falling golden leaves and incense of dry hay .It brought tears to both of us ,he promised that he would come next fall but I sighed and said may be I am there or not .He knew humans don't last long .He still with deep rooted love for me said Ali keep warm in winter for he is cold .He said God keep u Ali .I thanked him and prayed for him too , it rained lastnight and I know he has left .Winter has reached I feel as there is numbness around .Apple orchards here in above hills near my home are all sheer nature and one comes back to life when he walks through open life giving orchards.our towns and cities have turned unmanaged with buildings rising above each other and traffic jam filled roads that have nothing to give you except mans own created mess .
A void is coming up between the new generation , our elders have left for heavenly abodes we don't have the elixir of their love and experience and I always feel it badly ,although life may have evolved developed as one may call it but peace is no more.
now as days go on weather is hanging slowly , winter has arrived and its getting numb and cold .It may snow any time and then life turns more stagnant here.Villages will get cut off from towns and cities as snow falls .our child hoods were free snow wouldnt matter , we would go out in chill and freezing temperatures to play cricket .i often ask to myself what is growing up?restrictions and formalities i think?whole world is sleeping as i sit at my laptop which is now a notebook for me a magical notebook .
It has been twenty years since guns started to fire in our land and peace left us .when I was a boy I often questioned to myself what is peace?why is it so important ,I really didn't know where to start defining it.Guns would fire anytime in our town and our childhood grew up amidst curfews and shootings .People loosing lives like nothing , blood washing those roads ,twenty years of turmoil do turn the senses numb .In medicine they
Call it post traumatic stress disorder where in people do suffer psychologically from pain and flashbacks with depression .Mothers lost sons ,children their fathers , wives their husbands for bullets don't differentiate ,it doesn't know who you are .It doesn't matter to sharpnels in the hand grenades who is rendered lame or whose childhood is snatched away ,landmines don't see is he a jewish child a Christian or a Muslim .
The wars see phases and people get different agonies and pains .It has been twenty years my land has been in warfare wether sometimes tanks or guerilla .Human lives can't be bought and humanity is priceless .I see candles burning in churches and people praying in synagogues while I kneel beside my fellow men in sajdah I.e prostration and ask ALLAH [GOD]to keep my brethren in humanity whether they be in Jerusalem or Rome or Syria ,anywhere in the world safe .
9.WILLOW AND THE BROOK
Golden sunlight in the hills with leaves curled up under feet .Evening sun setting at the back and the incense of grass filling up the senses .I have found solitude this great companion for I have lost the connection remaining in this noise to my soul as it has turned the ears of my soul deaf.Iwish I had my home high up here in these hills .writing is an exploration where in I fear sometimes for I haven't traversed these paths earlier.I have been questioning myself constantly what it means to be refined and civilized ,to be polished in intellect I don't know where is the goal.Walking I came up to a brook the sun was setting by the willow and green weed decorated the floor of the brook ,this willow has been there since my childhood , it saw peace and it saw war .It welcomed me when I stood infront of it .Its bark had burnt on the outside may be a fire by gypsies or its heart burnt inside out because of the war.
My watch said 4.30pm and I heard the azan i.e call for prayer, Muslims pray five times a day bowing their heads to the creator of heavens and earth ALLAH (GOD)I had my prayer mat with me , I spread it on the ground and said ALLAHU AKBAR which means ALLAH is the greatest with it I began my prayer .
Birds were out there free in atmosphere flying in the blue sky that turned red by the far corners with the setting sun , I wondered birds to be more responsible than us as they don't wage wars wherein metal pieces kill dear ones .
By the time watch said 5.30 pm I started leaving that place and thinking to myself those who cant understand our silence cant indeed understand us really
10. P.S culture
It is not the usual P.s we use to describe crux of the situation ,its pseudo sophisticated culture which subtly grows in certain places wherein people consider themselves to be inferior than a culture or nations whom they consider to be far superior .It has grown and grown in my land since we got electricity and we had vedios of Michael Jackson .This P.S culture has absorbed in itself the wanabe ideology as its major part .P.S culture doesn't see what nourishes the original culture and its identity yet apes blindly and shuts down all its windows of reason .P.S culture doesn't see what it needs to evolve , yet it just wants to be the "x culture or the superior culture which it apes .The subtleties of P.S culture are difficult to be described in detail , yet we can vividly see it as I move from my town to the so called city or when I go to airports .A friend of mine rightly said ,enlightenment brings simplicity.
By the setting sun of evening me and my friend zaffar went to the mountains again as a part of my off an on routine to enjoy nature .zaffar joined me after pretty long time almost eight years. Didn't know friendships stand that long .We sat by a rural restaurant broken chairs and a round table ,chickens , roosters were pecking grains by my side and fowls occasionally crowed in their delightful voices , I fine grained my biscuits and gave it to young chickens I often wonder how magical and healing is nature.Zaffar seems lost in his ideas and I seem to agree with him only on few points and I till now never could understand his definitions .He keeps somethings to himself and doesn't say them , he listens picks up what he needs .we walked in the meadow with dry grass and I loved the soil , it was incensed with balm of nature .The old water reservoir was dry and people had damaged everything they could ,thrown scrap all over in it and taken away its metal sheets of roof to sell it and get money a thing quite common in worn torn lands and idiosyncratic mindset of people out there. All rules them is personal motives and greed .
A thing I am still researching in why does such kind of mindset takes its roots deep in the psyche of people in war areas .A simple
answer may be survival but its not that simple
urdu is a language that although is not my mother tongue yet I have studied this language in and out and it is a very deep and rich language with its litearure that expresses the depth of human emotions. The Urdu literature expands and encloses every aspect of human life .P.s culture is killing my own mother tongue, people thin k its inferior to speak their own mother tongue, a strange thing yet true of the closed society that results out of being in seclusion for long .Refinement of the societies is a process which I am yet to understand as I have meager knowledge of sociology .The love for knowledge was never there in my land yet few people did contribute , here books don't matter it matters how many cars do you have .It matters what job do you have but it doesn't matter how deep you delve in knowledge .Philosophy here is lunacy .Khilal Gibran has been my friend here in this land , I take his works in his book and go to the incensed meadows which are about to shrink with monstrous expanding towns .Here I am not boasting of my self as a highbrow but what I feel I write .
Here high up in fields on hills lives a subtle farmer called zulqarnain ,I wonder what a magnificient character he is .I sometimes meet him in sunny afternoons while he is ploughing his field.zulqarnain says I love people yet I don't give name to my relation .He meets people who needs his help in night yet he doesn't say to any one .A philosophy which I have to explore .I ask him about it he says I don't want anyone who needs me see my face and think that I am great , they shouldn't see my face .Healing love and affection should reach them not my vanity which I may fall if they think I am something great stuff , its my duty to relieve them of pain to heal humanity.