Look Within!

There is nothing outside of yourself, look within. Everything you want is there-you are That.
– Jalaluddin Rumi 

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The First Attempt

Life plays its best card when you expect the least. If I state of my forgetfulness towards the experience of being a first timer at something, I wouldn’t be lying. I have been doing what I have been doing for quite a long while now, everything. Intervals might have come in between but I hadn’t made my first attempt anything until this very week. I had forgotten if nervousness could make one’s heart beat a little faster, anxiety make her look at her own composition thirty times in an hour or if she would wander of making a good fool out of herself in front of everyone. A much needed reminder is what I got this week.

Upon being asked by the president of the university’s English Club and a fellow Student Council member who commended my writings, I ended up making a submission for the Spoken Word Poetry Competition. I had made my endeavours in poetry and so I submitted one of my pieces. Aimless Drifting. To my surprise, it was shortlisted for the top eight which were going to be recited at the competition. There came the harder, the first timer part of the contest. I had been on the stage too many times, enough to have forgotten the count, I had acted, spoken, hosted and voiced for silent mimic characters. I had made the morning announcements, presented shows on the radio and conducted interactive sessions too. However, the one thing I had never done until this week was reciting a poem. I wasn’t asked to read Wordsworth or Keats in front of the class which I have been doing since school, I was told to recite a piece of poetry that I composed myself, aloud and before a huge audience that turns out every university event. Top it all up, I was the last speaker for the day. After quite a long, some two years I felt the vibes of a first timer.

I wrote the poem on a piece of paper, read it countless times, altered my tones, adjusted my rhythm, made of speaking no word incorrectly for no matter what I do I would always be a non-native English speaker. I timed myself and then worked on tones, rhythm and pronunciations again. One of our faculty members who is the acting consultant to the English Club has taught me one of the courses in the sophomore year. I recited the poem before her, a teacher I share a good bond with. She approved of everything I was worried about. I questioned her on my number on the list of speakers. She told me that she wanted one of her best at the end. I told her that she was being too optimistic, I couldn’t match the literature students in their spoken word excellence. She shrugged me off and I returned to reading, reciting, practising for my first ever Spoken Word poetry Competition. I would lie if I speak of confidence in myself. I was nervous and anxious because I was a first timer and… I wasn’t a literature student.

Even if took out the batteries, only the needle on the clock would stop moving. Time would march forth and so it did. I didn’t take out the batteries, going by the logic – I’m an economics student, we put logic first. The event kicked off and the contestants made it to the podium, on after another while I listened to their refined voices syncing words in flawless rhythms. I was sitting in the green room, backstage with all the other participants, evaluating each speaker according to my own senses and understanding. I found them overwhelmingly stupendous. Time kept ticking over. Boom, it was my turn, the announcement was made. I marched my way from the green room, onto the stage and to the podium. Hall lights and the stage lights were switched off to create and ambiance, only the foot lights of the stage were lit, the crowds gave a welcome applause, the mics were settled and the projector was set to screen the background imagery I had provided. I looked at the audience once, took a deep breath and began to speak if not really recite the poem. Applause broke again once I finished, with a briskly beating heart throughout. We maintain the decorum of courtesy, we applaud. We had our faculty consultant, my teacher, recite her own composition, the principal and the jury making the speeches and recitations before the results were announced. The jury spoke with their poetic wisdom, I understood what they meant to say. The wait was over and our winners were announced, the most deserving of all had won their ranks. I was delightful that two of the top three ranks were given to my friends from the school of literature, those who deserved it. Merit matters, it matters as much as democracy does.

Appreciation is worth millions, it is an act of kindness I believe. I felt overjoyed on being recognised for the attempt I made. The words of kind appreciation spoken by the jury and the principal for all the first timers weren’t exclusively for me but they were for a first timer and that I was. It was more than heartening to hear that none of use read or sounded like a first timer. It was overwhelming to hear the Principal make a request for all the poems to be published in the coming year’s University Magazine, before the whole audience. The culmination of my first endeavour was sprightly and inspiring. I will always remember, as I remember much from all my first attempts in the past, the one hug that the club consultant had awarded me and that one appreciating pat on the back from another literature professor with the words, “It was great to see you on the podium today. Didn’t know our economics students were participating too.”

It is important to be a first timer, from time to time. They are needed to realize the importance of keep discovering one’s potentials, as important as a daybreak. I am thankful to the moment I responded positive to my fellow Student Council member, a good acquaintance.

 

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Three Word Story: The Lantern

Too many ideas spinning yet I can’t convince myself to write about anything. People would generally refer to it as the Writer’s Block. However, the case is quite different from my perspective. Writing is something very natural for me. It is a way of expressing my thoughts and opinions which I generally don’t voice. The name of this blog, Facts And Commentary, is very self-explanatory in this regard. I observe, contemplate and then make a comment through the medium called writing.  For the past two days I have made at least ten drafts on ten different thoughts but have failed to complete even one. A troublesome situation it is. I am doubtful of my own thoughts perhaps, and that’s not that problematic… I believe.

I decided on playing my favourite game, given the troublesome situation I am faced with. I have grown Fond of this kind of storytelling, I presume. I captioned the following picture for my Three Word Story:

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Three Word Story: Find Your Legend.

The story or the caption as it is, is inspired from Paulo Coelho’s classic, The Alchemist. I have read this book five times and wouldn’t mind a sixth read either. Each one of us has a personal legend of our own. Our lives have a purpose, we bear a destiny defined by the decision we make to cross the path to our fate. However, the personal legend needs to be sought if not through omens as in case of Santiago, through contemplations and interpretations of the patterns of our own nature. The path the self-discovery is never-ending; however, the journey must continue. I agree with Coelho when he says, “Everyone on Earth has a treasure that awaits him!” And that treasure is the realisation of his personal legend!

If I had to make one book recommendation to anyone, it would be” The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Eid Mubarik

Greetings to all on the asupicons occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, and smiles. 

Eid is the occasion to meet and greet everyone we usually don’t call on. I have been away from here, for long enough. And so, what better day to make a return than Eid? None! 

Eid Mubarik to everyone everywhere. May we all nurture the spirit of sacrifice and giving in ourselves. 

The Journey

Life is no bed of roses

Many challenges it poses

It is journey each one makes, arduous and long,

At the summit, begins the race when bangs the gong

Along his chosen path one begins to stride

With nothing but courage for the ride

Many cross his path, he befriends a few

Each gifts him with an understanding, all new

His road may be the route taken by many

Or perhaps a path never chosen by only the uncanny

He is none else’s shadow,

Unlike he finds in the meadow

He is blessed as are they

But never in the same way

It is nature’s law

None is without a flaw

None is without a quality

That’s nature’s generosity

His life is, this, his own

A unique flower of an ordinary seed sown

Through the woods, across the vale

Following the light, with the gale

He walks his chosen path, his destiny

Falls the water in magical symphony

Blossoms the morning glory

Whistles on the bank, the ivory

Tweets the humming bird, the melody,

Tells the world how he moves slow and steady

Hops by the little bunny

Tells all time is money

The cliff knows the tale of his tribulations,

It has seen the rainbow of his jubilations

Miles from the summit comes the traveler,

Wiser and stronger, now a battler

At the edge of the cliff, the vale looks greener

Above his head, the sky looks brighter

Wind fondles with his hair now so white

A feeble smile blooms, eyes so bright

His wrinkles testify his endeavours

Hair that speak of the trials

For his wins, he now smiles

Acceptance sparkles in his eyes

All regrets, it certainly defies

Writes the book, the last leaf

Acceptance heals all the grief

For the forgone, a reward is must

Because only the Almighty is Just!

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Better Than The Best

Much is queer about the human nature. What is very interesting, ironic and queer is that no human is perfect, perfection is only the Almighty’s trait, yet a human always seeks better than he already has, better than the best. Be it his material needs or spiritual pursuits, all a man wants is what is better than what is in his possession already. That is no disorder if one tries to state of it as one, it is nothing odd either. It is universal to every being called human and for this very reason, satisfaction is elusive to him! Acceptance is not everyone’s attitude, it is an essence of nature that not many have. Humans never look down and take satisfaction and be grateful for being blessed more than the underprivileged, a man always looks up envious of those blessed more than him…. The faint distinction between wants and greed is thus delusional. It is but human nature to seek more, want better….A said the poet,

Hai justujoo keh khoob sey hai khoob-tar kahaan

Ab theherti hai dekhiye ja kar nazar kahaan

  • Maulana Altaf Hussein Hali

To seek the better than the best is the quest

Have to see now where the sight will rest

  • Translated by Zahra

 

Better Than The Best

Three Word Story: Wall

Good day, everyone around the world. Hope you are having a good week. Ask me, can’t wait for Saturday – that’s weekend for me! Don’t have many plans for that but a weekend is a weekend no matter what! Don’t you agree? I bet you do!

Here I am typing again. I found a picture again and so here is a three word story on “Wall!” Walls brings much to one’s mind, many kinds of thoughts and perceptions. What do you perceive when you think about Wall? Apart from the blue tinted walls of your bedroom, those are mine, and the Wall Street Journal of course! Wall can be a hindrance or a protection. We can break all walls if we wish and we can make one strong wall if we want. With Unity, yes we can! United we stand, divided we fall. Without unity all our assaults are weak and all our defences are frail.

Here’s the picture:

wall

And the Three Word Story is: Together We Can!