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Bang Bang Theatrical Performance: Hua Kuch Yun

So, Hua kuch yun, last night was a fantastic night. 

Around 5 in the evening, while I was completely wrapped up in my work, my cousin brother yelled from his room,  ‘We have to be at Alhamra at 7:30, Apaaaaa. Not a minute late! Tayar ho janaaaaaaaaaaa’ 

Ami hazoor and khala sitting in the middle space, veranda, conversed to each other like this, ‘ye kia kehraha hai?’ Kuch samajh aii is lerke ki..? Kitna tez bolte hain aj kal ke bache.’

‘Achaaaaa. I’ll be ready’ I replied back from my headquarters on the other side of the veranda. ‘Agai hai samjh mama mujhe is kiiiiii. Play ka keh rahaaaa haiiiii’. I assured my mother I have deciphered his unclear voice as I scanned the papers before me. ‘Mai tayar hi hooon, Basittttt. I haven’t changed my kapray after returning homeeee. Chala jayengeee.’

Okayyyyy. The long distance conversation between me and my brother ended calmly with no objections raised. More so, because the theme of the play was partition as mentioned a day earlier. Absolutely looking forward to it, I concluded my work, by leaving the tripod, the camera and all the papers along with my laptop right there on the bed. A very serious mistake for when I returned all tired, it was all still there. Magically. We took the time to offer Isha and around 7:20 pm we were on our way to Alhamra Art Council. 

The play scheduled to start at 8 pm, actually started at 9. But once it started, I wished it to be longer than 1.5 hours. what a performance and what a fantastic screen play! It was all bang bang with pure intellectual and artistic gratification for me. Keywords: Intellectual and Artistic Gratification. The writer Sajid Hasan Sahib and the director Dawar Mehmood amazed us with the very first scene being extremely enjoyable and creative. On the grounds of ethical reasons, I cannot disclose the scene I recorded that blew us away. In fact, not one but many scenes caught our attention for their creativity and magic of extraordinary performance.

Everyone was mesmerized and so was I. And though the story was written with just the right amount of comedy and fun, it still managed to make us teary towards the end of the play. I am not going to reveal it rather encourage the citizens to go and catch the play when it screens in your city.

On our way back, we talked about why was the hall not full and why did some people leave during the play despite it being a good story? It is my humble opinion that such theatrical performances are not necessarily for the educated and upper class who can afford to pay for its expensive ticket. Rather, such well written and thought provoking plays challenge citizens and draw a fine line between people who are really mentally educated and respond to literature alongside art and history. And citizens, who connect more with regular entertainment than meaningful one. And that is okay. It shouldn’t terrify us or discourage. Hail more. 

We need more plays like this. More theater like this. More intelligence, and more meaningful art. My request to the actors that made this memorable for me, kindly, don’t go on wasting your potential in TV dramas ever. Stick with such meaningful themes in theater, for you were on fire last night with your dedication on stage.

Bravo!

Note:  The images have been taken with my cell. Because I had been busy taking pictures all day at Wazir Khan Mosque, I decided to leave the camera at home at night. So sorry for the low quality pictures. Understanding required.

An Open Letter to the Broken Hearted

We all have our own paths to tread – our own mistakes to make – our own lessons to learn. This is your path, no one else’s. These are your lessons, no one else’s. So learn them by heart.

Do you remember how it had all begun?

This world did not leave you; it was you who had left this world and its glamorous ornamentation. You had made that choice for Allah with a firm determination. I know it’s been long and you are tired of failure and frustration, but don’t be so quick – yet – to mess with your prioritization. Revisit, revise, review, and never forget why you had undertaken this expedition.

Do not stop. Do not pause. Do not take time-out for scrutinization. Do not let any hindrance push you away from your final destination. If you have fallen, get back up. If you have lost, try again. Take another chance, another leap, and another plunge. It’s not unusual to find pleasure through pain, victory through defeat and love through separation.

So you are going through some tough conditions? And are not up to the mark with society’s expectations? On the other hand, you are not doing so well even in your religion? Failure is constant, and rejection is coming at full force from every direction? And your life is going haywire – not at all the way you had put forth to Him in your proposition?

But… Hold on a second’s fraction.

Your life is going exactly the way Allah has planned in His Preserved Scripturum; sorrow, failure, grief, the feeling of pain so intense that you wonder whether you are dying of apprehension; it is all from Him.

You can’t understand God’s love till you understand pain; till you find out the reason behind suffering, and loss, depression, anxiety, and the reason why you keep turning in the middle of the night in great agitation.

And you can’t understand God’s love till you learn to appreciate pain, for pain detaches us from this world and pushes us out of our comfort zones on a hunt to feed our hungry souls that are near-destruction; death loses its petrification; sin loses its temptation!

And when you are feeling extremely low, just remind yourself that Allah has always helped you, and has never abandoned you in any situation.

And remind yourself that Allah always keeps His special gaze on the one who is suffering from consternation.

And remind yourself that when you are heartbroken, it’s easier to connect with Qur’an, and it can truly feel like Allah is there for your consolation.

And remind yourself how He has sent random people to comfort you when you were crestfallen. They wouldn’t know, but He knew. And they would always say the right things to your heart’s satisfaction.

And remind yourself how He has decorated His sky for you with magnificent moon and little twinkling stars and makes them follow you wherever you go so that no matter how lonely and sad you feel, no matter how abandoned you are, you can always look up, and find them in their spectacularation.

And remind yourself of your late-night prostrations. Remind yourself of those tears of desolation. And of those guilt-ridden conversations, admitting that you have failed, yet again, in desperation. Remind yourself that, no matter how great the fall, He has always taken you back without any complications.

To experience pain is a gift of nature. It has the power to break us, for the sake of spiritual liberation. So, really, if you are broken, or shattered, and if you don’t understand anything anymore and are too scared to even plan anything out, that’s a beautiful manifestation. Leave it to Him and trust His formulation.

I do not own this article that perfectly reflects my inner world, my mind. It has been penned down by a ZA student and I came across it online. May Allah bless this soul, who has expressed such wonderful honest feelings to bring comfort to the heart. 

Elements of Art

There are seven elements of art. Seven beautiful revelations. 

Line: a mark made on the surface. 

shape: something made with lines, geometric or organic in nature. (notice the shape of the strokes made, as well)

Space: The way artist has used and placed the subject in the space on the canvas. Observe the positive (space occupied by the subject) and negative space (space outside the subject’s placement).

Value: The darkness, and the lightness of the colors. The varying degrees of colors used in the painting/art.

Form: 3 dimensional objects/subjects. 

Texture: The surface quality of an object or paint. 

And Color. Color is emotion. 

Before I knew these elements, I had a very limited and almost like an outsider’s position or view of the paintings. It was as if my eye could see the art, and admire it,  but had no way to really look inside the painting and understand its math. Ever looked at E = mc with admiration but still wondered what sorcery lies behind the equation? Or what does E mean to begin with? It is not the message, but the technique that you must grab. It is like that for the art world. You need to mentally dissect it to fully appreciate it.

I want you all to take a minute, and look at these famous paintings again. Only this time, with the knowledge about the elements that made these beauties come into being. It makes a huge difference, in your appreciation and understanding of the artwork and the art experience above all. You will also notice, which artist has taken up which element to play up in his paintings in order to develop a unique style of their own.

I promise you, after studying these elements, the way you look at any painting will dramatically change. As now you will be able to analyze it.

Give it a try. Have fun.

The Starry Night, oil on canvas by Vincent van Gogh. 1889.

 The Scream by Edvard Munch. 1893.

Girl with a Pearl Earring, an oil painting by 17th-century Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. 1665.

Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton. Oil on canvas. 1895.

The Persistence of Memory (1931) by Salvador Dalí.

Water Lilies by Claude Monet. 1916.

Observe Picasso’s work if you wish. You will see a different world within a world. And Leonardo’s masterpieces. 

Heart in a Bowl – An Oil Painting

Have you ever tried to paint something disturbing? And actually felt quite good about it..

There has been murder and mayhem in my painting.

Those of you who have been following me ardently on instagram know me as as someone who recently discovered the wonderful world of art. And ever since I picked up paint brushes, you all have seen me paint flowers and pretty landscapes only.

Two nights ago, there was a dramatic change. I painted my first proper oil painting for myself, and I diverted from the usual flowers to paint a human organ. 

A heart in a bowl, served with an apple, on a table by the flower vase.

Sweet settings, sweet colors but in reality when you think about it, there is nothing sweet about it at all. 

  

I have already explained on instagram how horrified my family was to see it. 

I am very grateful for their horrors.

How did it comfort me?

Usually when I paint flowers, I ask everyone at home how do they look. But this time, I was filled with so much calm and certainty about how I felt while painting it, that I just… reveled in its disturbing beauty and personal meaning for me. I am sure it resonates with many. This is the first time, I noticed that I have accepted my art without needing another’s acceptance. This is also an indication I have transitioned from painting impressions to expressionism. Or perhaps symbolism. Is it? I should learn and discover more.

Art is beautiful, in every form. And it may sound funny, or odd, but I think now that perhaps artists paint to test people’s wit and reflective state of mind. Their IQ, their depth. Art is not there to amuse you or present to you a piece of decoration for the wall. It is there to test you. Our growth depends upon it, Just like other subjects of knowledge out there. So much to learn, with so many meanings to discover. So many.  

Live up to speed with who you really are: The best of you

Originally written in summers, probably in June or July.

Bumblebee. Happy bumblebee. Ooo I like saying this word.

Do you often see the quotation, “Be the best version of yourself” and really feel it resonate within you, but do not know what is it or how can you possibly be the best version of yourself on a more stable basis? Here is a positive dose for you fresh from the oven of my inspired life.

Who am I? is perhaps the most pondered upon and the oldest question in philosophy. A question that if you seriously sat down to think about, would make you realize that it has no bottom.  And usually when humans fall into the hole of deep thinking well, with no bottom at all, a sense of pessimism engulfs them.

I have been there. A hundred times. And I have done that right, perhaps only a few times. But out of that well, when you emerge, you come out a victor no matter what you have learnt about yourself. So, today morning when I saw a post shared by a friend on Facebook, that spoke about a positive message for those who feel confusion about where are they in life, I instantly knew what my answer for that is and wanted to speak my two cents.

Who am I? I am many things. We all are many things. Many things wonderful. But who are we on the core level is the same for all of us; we are brilliant human beings capable of great love. Capable of great goodness and our purpose is to create glee and live joy in this life time on planet Earth, to share it with others, to like for others what we would like for ourselves. Our calling is to be the best of who we are and lead a ridiculously fulfilling, authentic, fun and one satisfying life. But why then, is it sometimes almost like a battle to live a positive life? Comparison is a thief of joy, so is depression, sadness and complaining. Also, when you do not embrace who you are, spiritually, physically and mentally, you feel a gap between where you are and how you would like to be or want to be. So in a way, you are your own enemy, there are no others.

I expressed in my last post how people find me totally a good positive influence and it has really become my true radiating energy. When I say this, it doesn’t mean I do not face blues or face energy fluctuations. As it happens, I am a human like you all, and next you know what I mean, but because of my constant love and pull for the wonderful life around me, I do manage to get back up on my feet after facing some blues.  In other words, when I connect to the positive energy within me, I am on my path. I am with my best self and smiling.  And because I am beginning to understand my energy and commit to it more on a daily basis, I recently received a positive comment from a friend who said she loves me for encouraging her to live positive. I had been meditating for awhile and I realized, okay, this is another best part of me that something I have to live up to speed with and when it came to uplifting another person, I regained some of my own perspective. Isn’t that wonderful how the so called teacher also gets to learn in the process? In this way, we all are students.

It is very  important to recognize who am I (you are love and light), and then maintain your connection with your own higher self (the best of you, not the perfect you but the best you) in a successful way and live the way you want to live. At first it seems all wishy washy and a daunting task, but there is great power and happiness in recognizing your core. Make a habit of meditating daily. Never ever, underestimate the power of  meditation and finding your balance. It is like that calibration system often found in smart phones. Same way, meditation provides you opportunity to find balance and recognize your energy. All is well. To sum it all up:

1- When you are centered, the world is your oyster. There is much love and happiness and sincerity to go around in this world. You have to see this all through the eyes of your higher self. There is happiness beyond any measures and abundance beyond your imagination. You can always choose your peace. Peace, not resignation.

2- When you see someone happy, living the best of life that they have created, and you feel glad for them, you are seeing them through the real higher self eyes. Your energy is purest and highest when you are being real loving you. It is also when you have truly mastered your connection with your self and it is a sign that your own happiness is flowing towards you and through you and you do not radiate hate at all. It is all love. Pure love. 

3. Whenever someone is living the best of their lives, appreciate it. Celebrate it with them. it only means they have mastered the art of living happily, and are living up to speed with who they are. If you are not where you wanted to be, it is not because what you want isn’t there, no one is keeping anything away from us, it is only when we repel it ourselves and not live up to speed with our own desires and aspirations or just choose to feel anxiety instead of peace. Listen to the voice inside you that is always fun, always good, always sincere and always pointing you towards the direction where your bliss is. That voice is God, guiding you gently and telling you, chin up. You are not alone in this.

So make a resolution today not to let any negative emotion cripple you or keep you away from being who you are. Embrace positive vibes. There is great magic in optimism. It is your true energy. In fact, it is the only true energy.  Rest of the versions are just shadows, often created by negative emotions over time and perpetuated. 

Smile and B.e.l.i.e.v.e.

Blemishes are beautiful too.

A lot of things are going on in my mind right now, 

1- The big canvas that I just ruined.

2- My dreams.

3- And my own voice that has been living inside my head for a long now, trying to gracefully manage it all. But I guess, it is okay to speak about it all. 

Depression.

I just came across a video on Facebook this morning, and the information I learned through that video hit me deep.

Effects of Depression & Anxiety

1- Depression makes one so tired 24/7. Anxiety keeps you awake 24/7.

2- Depression makes you have no motivation. Anxiety makes you feel terrible for not doing anything.

3- Depression pulls you one way, anxiety pulls you another.

4- Anxiety keeps you from having good relationships. Depression makes you not care.

5- You have constant arguments with yourself..

You see, ‘Depression & Anxiety’ are so subtle sometimes, that you don’t really realize they have been a part of you until you understand the signs or watch a video on it.  In fact, even if you do realize, you try to shrug it off in order to live in denial, for the sake of appearing composed and calm. Does this make any sense? For me, not being able to paint this morning was an alarming sign. Art enters people’s heart through sadness. My case is totally opposite. Happiness and love around me makes me and my ability to paint radiate.The amazing thing of all is, so many of us are going through it on daily basis. So many of us, yet we keep it all inside. That is really brave. Yet, I need to tell myself first and foremost, and then anyone else, that it is also very fearful and not a healthy way to live.

Where does that lead us? I searched online how to cope with it all. And the best and most practical advise was, “talk about it with someone you want to share it with,  talk, talk and talk.” And that’s the main problem. We are not encouraged in our society to talk about our problems in an open way. We are not given a space apart from “online” world, to have a conversation with someone face to face about it and just don’t let it eat you. 

My conversation with someone in the morning came to my mind. I realized I wanted to talk about something, and the person wanted me to further suppress my  already suppressed my thoughts in that particular moment and save it for later. I see the same thing around me at home sometimes, when I want to talk but no one is actually interested in sitting down and having a heart to heart because of their own thoughts. The love is big. The love is really big, and I am so blessed to have a family that loves me this much but something is missing inside all of us. People no longer have breakfast together or have dinner together in our society as a family. It seems like we all are running away from real life and in an attempt to reach the happy cloud, we are just not being there for each other in times when we really do need to be there. The result is, people have to pay to therapists and get more depressed because therapists are not people who matter to us personally.

Is it not a part of being a human to be not so perfect and let each other, your parents, your friends, your colleagues, your every possible intimate connection know that wait, listen to this, can you listen? Can you feel this wave crashing at my sanity shore and making me feel like I need to rise and speak and speak but my own ears aren’t listening? Can you listen to it for me and prove to me we all are humans, we all are here to feel not just bravery but fears too. We all are here not to just win, but lose too. We all here not to just always appear strong but weak too? We wouldn’t be humans if we deny ourselves all the darker emotions along with the sparkly ones. 

I do not know what am I going to do in the next moment, the next hour, or tomorrow. But I am telling myself in this moment, that I need to be myself. And to be myself, I have to tell myself that it is okay to feel all you are feeling and not try to be perfect. Do things right, respect all, be honest, and be kind. But not to just others, but also to yourself. So it is okay to not feel okay sometimes. Stand in this moment, do not be so still that you are considered a dead, do not move so fast that you are deemed as reckless. Just stand, look at your hands and pray, you were brought here for a reason. 

I don’t think I have ever publicly admitted that I think I am depressed, or suffering through some anxiety. But that’s exactly my point: we hide the parts of us we ought to be revealing, to live authentic lives. We forget, blemishes are beautiful too. We forget.

I am going to publish my unpublished post next that was written in between May or June. My natural human anxiety made me play it down. I owe myself and my thoughts this honor to have them published without any judgement from my own inner critic.