Posted in heartbreak, human nature, Life, reflections, sorrow

Simba

“No! No, Simba is not going anywhere”, I said firmly gazing upon my European, snow-white pussy. The adorable creature purred and looked at me with those innocent grey eyes that pleaded silently to not send him away. The scene changed and I could see Simba stretching out his paw playfully towards my hand, meowing cutely. And yet again, a darkness ensued which was followed by another sequence of events that could see me crying and hoping it was all a dream. Simba was going away. I cried harder. “It is just a dream”, I assured myself. “Just a dream”, I repeated. It got dark again. And with a jolt, I woke up. Well, it was a dream. But it depicted one thing right, Simba had really gone. And the moment that crushing truth dawned over me, I cried myself back to sleep. It had been three days since my beloved cat was given away to the Sharjah municipality. I had not cried once since, or maybe I did, but I did my best in reasoning the need of giving him away and focused all my attention on other ‘important’ things. I tried hard in not giving in to emotions like the rest of my family members, who remarked on his absence in every few hours. I avoided thinking of how my mornings started with him prowling in my way, waiting for me to feed him, of how I was his favorite when it came to communicating via his meows, of how my bed was his favorite, cosy spot to take an afternoon nap on. But dreams are in fact mostly a manifestation of our deepest desires and fears and a portrayal of our best and worst memories that we so successfully conceal when we are awake.

I still remember the first day I had met him. Those days I could not stand the thought of living under the same room with a cat, or any pet for that matter. I was so afraid of cats that I used to jump a mile away on contact with his fur. My face used to burn, my ears used to twitch and my heart used to race when he came near me. But within a week, he won my heart. His mischievous eyes that also reflected the innocence of a 2-month old kitten and his playful attitude warmed my heart towards him and made me find a new companion in him. I named him Simba because of the grandeur with which he walked, always reminding me of the cute lion cub, ‘Simba’ of ‘The Lion King’.  I never knew before that the presence of a tiny animal could affect my life to such an extent. Simba had become the baby of our house. He got the most attention from everyone. His charm worked on people in such a delightful way that our relatives used to ask about his well-being every time they called from India.  I am not sure whether those who have never owned a pet would be able to relate to my emotions but I can guarantee that anyone who has ever loved and cared for an animal in this manner would be able to understand exactly what I am talking about.  A strange bond forms between a pet and his family, which can just not be explained. It can only be felt. To compare it to the bond between a mother and a child, or two friends would still be inappropriate because this is just something different, yet intense. A new lesson life has taught me is that love, companionship and attachment are not dependent on how similar two individuals are. It does not depend on race, culture, religion and in this case, species of origin. It is a magical connection that just happens and its longevity depends on how much we value it and how much effort we take to maintain it.
                                                        

When we took him in our house, none of us ever thought we would have to part with him so soon. But certain unavoidable health problems are associated with cat fur that forced us to make this decision. The pain of his separation still lives in all our hearts, yet nobody talks about him anymore. All of us are trying to move on and giving each other hope that he is fine and that soon we would be fine too. It is almost as hard as losing a human companion. Every place I see in the house still reminds me of those two years spent with him. I can sometimes almost see him right there, lying on the couch, or climbing on the fridge or looking at the world outside from the balcony.  And to think that now he is out there, facing it all alone without us makes my heart ache. I do not think I would ever be able to forget him. He was my first pet. And also my last. 
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Posted in addiction, food, health, modernization, World

When food kills…

There are few things in my life that never fail in giving me an immense amount of pleasure, food tops that list. I am, what most people call these days, a foodie. And to be precise, a fast-foodie. I crave beef burgers, cheesy pizzas and cheesier, saucy pastas. I have tried them all, from McDonald’s to Burger Fuel, Pizza Hut to Papa John’s and Vannelli’s. But I am not proud. I am not proud of sabotaging my health so successfully. I am not proud of losing all sense of control of my diet when I pass by KFC and the aroma of crispy fried chicken pulls me towards the long queue of people waiting to place their order. People who, just like me, have fallen into the unhealthy food routine. Despite my repeated attempts at eating well and keeping healthy, I somehow always find myself eating those fries again. I keep saying to myself, ‘there is a lot of time to lose weight, I don’t need to hurry’ or ‘I am not that overweight, look at her’ but no matter how much I lie, I now know that things are not right. I am glad I have accepted now that I need to take this matter seriously and work towards getting fit. I have been hitting the gym for a year now. I did manage to lose weight to the point that I started getting compliments and I became complacent and started eating the junk again. But I saw a video today morning, a speech which made me realize how people like me are falling prey to the marketing antics of fast foods. The increasing profits of fast food corporations mark the increasing exploitation of people’s health.  The fact that disgusted me the most was how these corporations target young children and teens as a part of their marketing strategy. The heavy presence of their advertisements on TV channels and social media in the form of special offers and discounts never fails to grasp attention. Also, the ease of their availability and feasibility make them the top choice of food for those dining out. Another shocking fact about these foods is that the more we eat them, the likelihood of getting addicted to them increases. They are composed of high levels of sugar and sodium. Ingesting sugar stimulates the brain in some weird way that releases dopamine in the blood. These increased levels of dopamine are responsible for the emotion of pleasure we might have encountered on eating junkies. 
U.A.E ranks 5thin the list of most obese countries in the world.  In this country, 3 in 5 children suffer from childhood obesity. Who is to be blamed? Honestly, nobody but ourselves. It is the parents’ fault that they do not inculcate the right eating habits from the young age and our fault that despite being warned about the associated risks of eating fast food, we still engage in destroying our body. In this fast-paced era, we just do not find time to cook at home, but we have time to come up with all the excuses in the world.
What we need to realize is that this is our body we are talking about, our most prized possession. And nobody would value it till we ourselves take care about it. People can go on marketing, others can go on eating, but if we care about ourselves and our children, we need to take control of our life and be the change we want to see. We can still love eating, but we need to decide the quality and quantity of the food we intake. We need to form a balanced lifestyle and stick to it. We need to find time to do all this. We need to make sure our mind and body listens to us and not the female model on screen bingeing on the big fat burger (which, she probably never even ate in her life, considering how she looks).
The video truly inspired me and I hope to exercise more self-control than before. I would still eat my favorite foods once in a while, but will start exploring new, healthier alternatives that can stimulate my taste buds yet keep me alive for a longer span of time.  Grilled chicken kabobs. Served with hammous. Dinner. Perfect.
P.S: Check out the links I have shared  below to understand what I am talking about.

Posted in addiction, New age, technology

A Cellular Addiction

BAM!!!!!! I sighed in frustration when I looked at my 3 month-old Xperia Ion lying dead on the ground after a fall from the table. This was not the first time. Unfortunately, my cellphone has been sustaining these random injuries for a long time, thanks to my negligent attitude (which also is always  the “hot” topic of discussion with my Mom 😛 ) . I finally succumbed to the necessity of giving away my cell to the Service Centre sulkily. You know what that means? That I had given away half my life. The mere realization that I would not be able to WhatsApp now for the next 15 DAYS caused me so much anguish that I couldn’t savor the delicious Chicken Pasta I had that night for dinner. All I could think of, was how I would manage 2 weeks without my Xperia. It had everything that I needed in my daily life, my contacts, songs, notes, reminders, class time-table, season 7 of Supernatural and so many other beloved Apps that I had downloaded with so much of excitement from the Google PlayStore. And all of this was taken away in half a second. I stared grumpily at the guy smiling at me from behind the Customer Service counter, cursing him under my breath.

I went back home, tired. It was bedtime soon and I was so drowsy that I thought I would sleep as soon as I hit the bed. But I was sadly mistaken. My sleep was disturbed with my unconscious efforts to take my cell from under the pillow and check my notifications, only to realize that I no longer possessed one. Once it was morning, I got dressed for college and boarded the bus. The bus ride, as expected, was very unpleasant because I had to endure one whole hour of gossip in Malayalam ( a South Indian language I very much do not understand) from the girl sitting in the seat behind me. If only I had my cell, I could drown her bellows by the soothing songs on my playlist. By now, you may have guessed how my day would have proceeded. I had to stick around with my friends all the time fearing I would lose them and would have no way to contact them. 😛 .

But then, surprisingly, at the day’s end, I began to realize that I can actually have a very good, stress-free day without a cell too, only if I stop cribbing about it. It was stress-free because I found time to do the tasks I always neglected due to the times wasted in texting friends, and listening to the same dumb playlist again and again. There was no worry now. No complaints from friends that I did not reply to their senseless messages, or did not respond to their annoying missed calls. I had a simple, honest excuse – I do not have my cell. I was finally able to read half of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’, which I have been trying to complete since around 2 months now. I also got the time to write this post in a peaceful state of mind. And, I also STUDIED (my mom shoukd read this 😛 ) .

I guess I really had become some sort of an addict. And I guess although this addiction was not killing me, it was definitely killing my time. I just hope I am able to manage my time efficiently even after I get my Xperia back 😛 I now know what famous keyboard player Ken Hensley meant when he said, ‘ It is hard to understand addiction unless you experienced it.’

Posted in Life, musings, reflections

Random musings ….

Actions speak louder than words. I do not know how true that is but that is what most people say. However, I beg to differ. I believe actions reciprocate what we say. Actions can manage to have an impact on someone only when they are defined by our articulation. There is this famous quote in India that says words are comparable to an arrow which is released from its bow, once released it cannot be returned back. Thus we are always advised to think twice before we speak. I never really appreciated the significance of these sayings, but now, at this stage of my life, I wish I had.

On my vacation to my home place Hyderabad six months ago (this also being the reason why I had so regrettably abandoned my blog), these were the thoughts occupying my head very profoundly. Everywhere I went, shadows of my past stalked me. And all I could think of was, ‘if only’ I had not said that, ‘if only’ I had not done that. I sometimes wonder, when will such a time come in my life when I would no longer need to say ‘if only’. When will I be content? Is it me who is flawed or is it just this world?

Revisiting places close to our heart can be a very weird experience. One moment we see ourselves smiling, recollecting some random day spent in bliss in the same place, and the next second brings with it a sinking feeling of painful nostalgia. I gulp down my tears and try hard to brush it off my mind, and erase the sequence of events that replay from time to time but unfortunately an invention that aids in selective memory loss has still not been invented.

 However, the undeniable fact is that I am what I am today because of those bittersweet experiences which have made all the difference. The difference that will last a lifetime. 

Posted in nature, personification, Poems

The Morning Star

BY LUBNA MARYAM

A ball of fire I am
For young lads Arthur and Sam
My shine, my warmth, my sparkle
Falls upon everyone living in this circle

I am a beauty when I rise
People call me the star that never dies
I am a mystery when I set
Truth is, I never get rest

I burn forever, yet I give hope
I give life, I am a hero
Dazzling the lush, green slope

I illuminate the deceiving darkness
And heal dead hearts and sorrowful souls
I am the bringer of light
I am the healer of plight

A ball of fire I am
I am the golden sun.

Posted in human nature, Life

This Strange Thing Called Loyalty

Loyalty. The word is enough to scare the wisest, physically strongest, and so many so-called powerful people away. Everyone demands loyalty, but sadly nobody practices it, atleast, not anymore. I do not know whether it is evolution that should be blamed or simply the devil that exists in every human’s heart which appears at the slightest provocation, nevertheless I feel so disappointed and helpless. Absence of loyalty is the sole cause of all the evil and sorrow in the world. Why is it so hard for us to be loyal to our family, friends and loved ones? Why has the world reached such a stage where loyalty has become a phenomenon so rare that it calls for a round of applause? I thought traits such as loyalty are inherent in human nature. I thought this is what sets us apart from animals and other living beings. But still wherever I go, I see a disloyal friend, a husband cheating on his wife or vice-versa, ministers in a democratic setup betraying the community at large, a brother killing his own brother to claim inheritance and so many more heinous crimes that make me feel ashamed of being human. Lust, greed of power and addiction of vices are destroying the morals of the society.





I don’t claim that humans should be angels, but all I want to know is, why can’t an act of loyalty be reciprocated easily? Why is a loyal person suffering at the end of the day? How can someone simply just forget all those years of love, care and trust they received from someone and move on to satisfy their desires? Being loyal is almost being foolish these days. I heard there are really good people in the world too who care more about others than themselves, but I have not yet come across them. The only loyalty people possess is towards their aim of fulfilling their dreams. They are so blinded by the riches of the world, they forget that death is inevitable. Death takes all, and in the end it is not their royalties they take with them to their graves but their deeds. What is left behind of them is the image that conjures up in people’s mind when their name is mentioned. If only, people got the hang of this idea and worked towards it, if only they learnt how to resist their temptations and kill the devil inside of them, then the world would have been a better and happier place to live in. The clouds of negativity that surround us would cease to exist and the sun’s rays would shine upon everyone and warm their souls. If only I could practice what I preach. If only.