From the heart

Want To Go Back!

Tears in my eyes, and my heart and mind choruses, ‘I want to go back.’ There is nothing that I hate about this place but even then it doesn’t at all feels like home. The home where I grew up, where I was nurtured, that is the place which depicts my personality.

Tears roll down my cheeks, on and on. Today nothing could make me feel better, no coffee, no chocolate, no hangout, no feast, no friends and no love. I see nothing around but only that I want to go back. I miss the people there I met, the places where I went and the home where I lived, which now sadly belongs to someone else. I don’t know for how long will I keep feeling this way?  But whatever it is, I cannot help these feelings.

I want to escape, run as fast as I can, not care about what others would say but I just want to go back! I am crying silently, facing away from people, afraid to let anyone know about it. The reason for this silent cry may seem silly but I want to back!

Two and a half years and still not used to this place. Everyone says that, ‘this is my homeland’ but I say, ‘that was where I felt home’. So alienated I feel here, like a stranger in a family whom no one recognizes and accepts.

A new ray of hope comes. I dry my tears and say to myself, ‘I will go back In sha Allah!’ I don’t know how, I don’t know when, but I do know whenever my Allah Wills it to be the right time.

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From the heart

Jumping Castle

Last week at the park, looking at my niece enjoying herself inside the jumping castle I was reminded about my childhood. She was completely enthralled in there, laughing and jumping. I too used to spend hours inside the jumping castle. It felt like a different world. Once inside I always anticipated remaining in there forever no matter how much my parents demanded me to come out.

I jumped and jumped bouncing back again each time I came to the initial level. Then I was pushed back higher into the air never dreading about getting injured when I dropped back to the start level. I had no fear of reaching the height because I was confident that I will remain safe no matter how far I went.

Just at that very moment I got myself into thinking that life must have been easier if it too followed the concept of a jumping castle. No matter how much ahead we went, coming back to square zero wouldn’t have been so painful. And then, each time we strived again to move forward, life would push us further ahead like a rocket launcher sending its rocket high up into the air.

Well, life really can’t imitate a jumping castle but our positive thoughts could seriously make it work like one. Let us not think about the failures, the losses, the grief, the betrayal, the hurt or the negative consequences. Let us just keep faith in ourselves, in our ability; in our life and most importantly, in Allah, that whatever will happen, it will be for the good. Falling back is a part of life, but remaining strong and not letting ourselves get hurt is all up to us.

“Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game!” – Babe Ruth

Inspiring To Read

A Crowd Lost Friend

The night was cold and wet. It was raining heavily. There was Sara, laughing over what I had just told her.

  “Oh my gosh, Khadijah is it true? You were never so naughty during our school days.”

  “Ofcourse I was, but the only difference was that I was not daring and was always frightened of getting into some trouble.”

  Sara was still laughing uncontrollably. “But that was seriously mind blowing! I wish I was there to witness it live rather than getting it to hear from you.”

  And all I did was to look at her smile.

 “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!”

I woke up from the call of the Fajr prayer. Amused at my dream, I was drifted towards the memories of my school days. Those were the most delightful days of my life, the most carefree moments. And to spend them together with me was my best friend Sara.

The dream I just saw was so vivid. I thought.

“Ammi always says that dreams before Fajr prayer comes true,” I said to myself, “I really wish it does.”

“Whom are you talking to dear?” It was ammi. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I never realised when she entered my room.

“Nothing ammi, I was just wondering whether dreams before Fajr have some connection with our real life or not…”

“Well, I have heard they do. But who knows, probably it must have just been a myth.”

“Hmm. But I hope it is not.”

‘Dear Sara,

How are you? I still remember our fun filled times at school. I doubt if you even miss me now…’

“Khadijah are you ready? We are getting late.”

“Yes brother, I am coming in a minute.”

I quickly closed the lid of my laptop, grabbed my bag and left for university.

While on my way to university, I recalled that chilled winter night when it was raining and, Sara and I had sneaked out just to get wet in the rain. That night we had talked for hours, pouring out all our sorrows to each other. After that we had felt so relieved and light hearted like as if there was nothing more to trouble us. The dream I saw today morning had so much resemblance to that night.

“Alright class, before you disperse, I would like to assign you all a project. Make a presentation on any disease, its symptoms, treatment etc, and submit it to me by next week. In addition, I would like this project to be done within groups. So better start working from today.” That was Sir Arshad. He teaches us Biochemistry and is one of the most motivational teachers I have ever come across.

Ms.Pushpa was one such teacher at school and every student looked up to her. Sara and I were one of her favourite students. Ms.Pushpa was impressed with the way we both worked together.

During lunch break, all my friends were busy chattering. But I was unable to stop thinking about Sara. I was awing about what kind of person she must have turned into now. Would she be the same Sara I once knew or must have transformed in to a totally different person.

‘Zoom, zoom!’ My cell phone buzzed loudly.

I excused myself from my friends to answer it.

“Assalam-u-alaikum!”

“Walaikum Assalam! Khadijah be there at 5 ‘o’ clock sharp.”

“Don’t worry, I’ll be there before five in the evening.”

“Good! So see you at the other end. Allah Hafiz!” And with that the call was disconnected.

That was Bushra, my schoolmate, ex-classmate and a really good friend. Despite being busy with her studies and her university life, she is always there to lend me a listening ear. It was Sara’s birthday today and all of my school friends had decided to throw her a surprise party.

I left university early in order to reach the party on time. I got into a taxi and headed towards the surprise birthday party for my dear friend. On the way I stopped at a gift shop to get Sara a present.

“Khadijah I want you to gift me this locket on my sixteenth birthday. You know how much I love chains and locket,” Sara’s eyes were sparkling with excitement.

  “But I’m giving this to you right now. Your birthday is months away and I can’t wait till then!”

  “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” And she suddenly hugged me.

“Ma’am would you like this chain and locket to be gift wrapped?” The salesman inquired.

“Yes, please.”

While getting back into the taxi, I wondered if Sara still had the same taste and will she treasure my gift just as before.

Almost all of my friends were already at the party when I reached. Seeing that I assumed I was late and felt nervous and anxious at the same time. Once inside the party hall, I looked around in anticipation to see if Sara was already there. She was nowhere to be seen. Glad to not miss the surprise part, I walked over to my other school friends.

Sara arrived after several minutes and was stunned to find us all there. She was not alone but was being accompanied by two girls who were walking side by side beside her. They were her university mates and they had given their utmost help for executing our surprise plan successfully.

I walked towards Sara to wish her and present her the gift. I was looking forward to getting a warm hug but was instead greeted with a handshake. I asked her for her well-being, she did the same and that was it. She was then led towards the cake by her newly found friends. I felt ignored and was utterly disappointed. And that was when I knew I won’t be able to stay any longer. I left the party smirking and telling myself that she has got really caring friends with whom she is happy.

At home, I was done with my studying and was now planning for the assignment. I will talk to my friends tomorrow about the assignment. I thought.

It was already eleven and I was feeling tired and sleepy after such a long day. I lied down on my bed, and was running my thoughts over today’s events when my cell phone buzzed. This time it was a text message.

‘I’m very cross with you! How dare you left the party without eating my birthday cake? I was so badly longing to talk to you. Now you better meet me tomorrow. There is so much awaiting to be told to you.

Love,

Your best friend Sara.’

I couldn’t help but beam with happiness. My best friend still valued me.

‘At times we may not be in contact with the closest of our friends. It never means that they have forgotten us but rather, we have just lost them among the crowds of this world.’

(This short story was written for ‘All Pakistan Aspiring Writers’ Convention 2012 -APAWC LUMS)