Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Living Ad.

In my college days I used to be very much bothered by the children who were made to stand in hot sun and hand out ad papers of some particular shops advertising huge discount etc to the passerby. Most of the people, who were in a hurry, often pushed them or scolded them for hindering their brisk pace. One of the boy who must have been around 8 yrs once stood there handing out ad papers to people and I have never been able to forget his embarrassed dark face ever since- especially the embarrassment on his face. When I came back home I could not study so jotted down a few lines about this living ad…

The living ad

He stood on the path

No one offered him a chair

The path was burning hot

Yet his small black feet were bare

Full of embarrassment he handed ad cards

To the people who passed by

The owner of the shop sat calmly

For this act of his he was not a bit shy

No one bothered to give him food

Nor anyone offered a bit rest

Under the burning sun everything was dry

Yet the dark eyes seemed wet

Though the young soul was suffering

No one was bothered or sad

He was nothing more than a signboard

For people moving on – he was just a living ad.


Farida Rizwan

Sunday, March 28, 2010

An amazing man...

Yesterday I was musing over the relationships, religious restrictions, societal hindrances etc and I wrote a poem as though I am trapped in a cocoon and cannot easily have my freedom back. Today morning my son showed me a video of Nick Vujicic ... was that a hint from God to me? I am sitting here feeling totally ashamed for having felt my marriage to be a strong cocoon around me which has taken away my freedom.
Today Nick has taught me a great lesson in life... even though he may never know I exist and I may never get to meet this amazing man, I know he has made a huge difference in my life.

Here is the link to his website

Nick is one of those few people who makes me feel proud of being a human......

Monday, March 22, 2010

Because that's the way it has always been done.

Most of us do some silly things just because people have been doing it and our parents insisted that it was the right way to do it. While bringing up my son, I allowed him and also encouraged him to question me when he feels something I am doing or telling him to do looks meaningless. A child who had no curtains of prejudice blocking his views showed me how foolish I have been at times... and to wonder I thought I was not superstitious. How many of us do things the way it is done just because we assume that is the only way it has to be done.. I welcome you to share your experience of this behavior we all exhibit. Be it considering spilling salt an evil sign or putting a horse shoe for good luck, what ever it is mention one incident which makes you laugh when you think back over it.

Let me share one of my experiences with you all today. I say just one because I do not want to look silly by sharing all my silly experiences with you.. LOL

I grew up respecting books a lot and most of my classmates’ worshipped books once in a year. Books were considered holy and as I loved books a lot myself, like usual I never questioned this act. We never touched the books with our feet and if we ever accidentally did touch it with our feet we would touch the book respectfully and kiss it. This went on in my life till one fine day my son asked me why I do it. I told him what I believed until then .. but as I was explaining to him that books impart knowledge so they are to be respected and worshipped etc etc I felt I was being very silly. Off course Rayyan found all this very funny because for him books were inanimate objects who would never know whether we love or hate them. His idea was to save that love for someone with a heart… and I learned my lesson.

Gorilla Story

Once, an experiment was conducted on few Gorillas. Five Gorillas were kept in a cage and a bunch of bananas hung over the cage just above their reach with a stairs leading to it. Before long, a gorilla went to the stairs and started to climb toward the bananas. As soon as he touched the stairs, all the gorillas were sprayed with cold water. After a while, another gorilla made an attempt and got the same result—all the gorillas were sprayed with cold water. Every time a gorilla attempted to retrieve the bananas, the others were sprayed. Eventually, they quit trying and left the bananas alone as the other Gorillas began to attack the one that tried to climb the stairs.

One of the original gorillas was removed from the cage and replaced with a new one. The new gorilla saw the bananas and started to climb the stairs. To his horror, all the other gorillas attacked him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs he will be assaulted. Next, the second of the original five gorillas was replaced with a new one. The newcomer went to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer took part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Next the third original gorilla was replaced with a new one. The new one goes for the stairs and is attacked as well. Two of the four gorillas that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest gorilla.

After the fourth and fifth original gorillas have been replaced, all the gorillas that were sprayed with cold water were gone. Nevertheless, no gorilla will ever again approach the stairs. Why not?

“Because that’s the way it has always been done.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Emotional Blackmailing

Click Here to know how to identify and avoid being emotionally blackmailed by your loved ones.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The lost in 'Gloom Doom era of my childhood....

In the days when I had decided that I am not going to talk much but going to stay in quietness, lost in gloom and doom, I started playing games a lot. I was so angry that I had to cycle fast or run some distance to be quite with out talking out. My grandmother was happy that finally I had learned my lesson. She kept telling everyone “ see all she needed was a good thrashing to learn to behave”. No one listened to her and no one was happy about this, not even my dad. If looks had any heat she would have been burnt then and there with the look I used to give her but I never answered her back or anyone for that matter. My aunt and mommy were worried for me and they told me it was OK if I threw another tantrum and shouted at the top of my voice rather than be quite and angry. I did not listen to them and also stopped playing much with my sister, so my sister started spending more time with her friends. No one ever allowed anyone to hurt Julie and she was finally secure in our home. Especially my aunt became very protective of her since it was kicking Julie (though it was never proven I will always know it) that was the base of all the chaos.

I went on getting better and better in my studies because to be silent I had to either read or play. When I was done with cycling and running I started studying everything and then revising them and almost had the books memorized. I never knew until then that I used to spend so much time arguing and chatting. I cannot say how many months this silent protest lasted but slowly I started speaking normally again but still I carried the angry look most of the time….

In school, we were having good time with our new sports instructor. He was very strict but at the same time good trainer. Many kids who never participated in physical activities were pulled into the games by him. He never allowed any excuse until he was sure that it was genuine one.

I used to give excuse of my club foot and not play much in school and never participated in the mass drill they organized every Saturday. I never wanted to be in competitions where others could mock my club foot or beat me badly in games. I played alone.

The new trainer told me I had to do as much as possible and take rest if I truly had pain in my leg. We had a little argument but he won because he knew I used to walk quite long distance to school sometimes instead of waiting for the bus and also when I wanted to, I played quite well. For once there was a person who could not see my disability. To him I was like any other kid. He made me sweat it out and run like everyone. Initially I thought he was my enemy.. not in the category of my grandmother or God but just a tiny bit of enemy but later on I realized that I loved the way he treated me. No special kid treatment. Tough on me, forcing me to show my best, challenging me to reach a target and I knew this is the way I wanted people to treat me.

One day he told me to come and meet him in the lunch time after I finish my lunch. I knew he had some plan for me and by now I had started to trust him a lot. The title of tiny enemy did not stay on him for long ; soon he was considered the best person I had met since meeting Mr. Right.

To be continued

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Horror Flick now

Sharing an email with you... this is not something new but brings a smile on my face whenever I read it..

Think twice next time you jump into a strangers car !

This story happened about a month ago, in a little
town in Mexico, and even though it sounds like an
Alfred Hitchcock tale it's real.

This guy was on the side of the road, hitch hiking, on
a very dark night and in the middle of a storm. The
night was black and no cars went by. The storm was so
strong, he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him.
Suddenly he saw a car coming towards him. It stopped.
The guy, without thinking about it, got in the car,
closed the door and then realized there was nobody
behind the wheel.

The car started slowly. The guy looks at the road and
sees a curve coming his way. Scared he starts to pray
begging for his life. He hasn't come out of shock,
when just before he hits the curve, a hand appears
through the window and moves the wheel. The guy,
paralyzed in terror, watches how the hand appears
every time they get to a curve.

The guy, gathering strength, gets out of the car and
runs to the nearest town. Wet and in shock, he goes to
a cantina and asks for two shots of tequila, and
starts telling everybody about the horrible experience
he just went through. A silence enveloped everybody when
they realized the guy is crying and isn't drunk.

About half an hour later, two guys walked in the same
cantina and one said to the other. "Look Pepe, there's
the jerk that got in the car when we were pushing
it!!! "

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A brave little woman....

Happy woman's day to many of the wonderful women I know...
It is a sad situation that today when I decided to post about a woman who needs to be applauded Nujood Ali came into my mind... it is sad because we should be celebrating her bravery on children's day as she is yet a child. Yet this child has done something many women hesitate to do. So applauding her and sending a message to those who suffer silently... WHERE THERE IS A WILL, THERE IS A WAY.

Few days ago an article in the news paper struck me and I was lost in admiration for the girl who really took the step to seek her rights. As the world celebrates woman's day I would like to share the story of this brave girl here with my blog readers. A tribute to a brave little woman on woman's day.

This story was printed in Glamour magazine by Carla Power
At first glance, you’d never guess that Nujood Mohammed Ali is Yemen’s most famous divorcee. She is slight, with a shy smile and coffee-color eyes. Ask what makes her laugh and she says, “My divorce.” What else? Tom and Jerry cartoons—she is, after all, just 10 years old, and loves playing jacks and dolls with her favorite sister, Haifa. Nevertheless, this year Nujood became Yemen’s first child bride to legally end her marriage. “I wanted to protect myself,” she says, “and other girls like me.”
Yemen is full of child brides. Roughly half of Yemeni girls are married before 18, some as young as eight. Child marriage, common in South Asia, sub- Saharan Africa and Middle-Eastern countries such as Yemen, is dangerous for brides and their children. As Glamour interviews Nujood with the help of a translator, an 18-year-old neighbor, who was married at 13 and now has four children, sits listening. Her toddler cries, and she swats him away. “They married me very young,” she explains. “I don’t have time to be a gentle mother.”
Before her marriage, Nujood loved school—specifically math and Quran classes—and made her father promise not to pull her out to be wed. But when she was nine, her parents arranged a husband for her. Nujood was dazzled by her wedding presents: three dresses; perfume; two hairbrushes; and two hijabs, or women’s head scarves. The groom, a 30-year-old courier, gave her a $20 ring, which Nujood says he soon took back to buy clothes for himself. She tells her story sitting on a grubby mattress in one of two rooms shared by her nine family members in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. A bare bulb illuminates a clock on the wall. It’s nearly midnight, but Nujood’s beloved Haifa, nine, is still selling gum on the street corner. Their father, Ali Mohammed Ahdal, a former street sweeper, has 16 children, two wives, and no job.
Poverty often leads to child marriage since a typical Yemeni earns about $900 a year, and marrying off girls means fewer mouths to feed. Then there is a question of honor. One of Nujood’s sisters had been raped, another kidnapped. When her father heard the kidnapper was eyeing Nujood, he thought marriage would save her. Instead, she says, she was beaten by in-laws, and nights were a hellish game of tag, with Nujood running from room to room to escape sex with her husband; he raped her anyway.
Nujood begged for help. “I was sad and angry,” her mother, Shuaieh, says, “but I still felt [her marriage] was the thing to do.” It was Nujood’s “auntie”—her father’s other wife, a beggar who lives in one room with her five children—who told the girl she might look for justice in court.
Two months after her wedding, Nujood returned to her family’s house to visit Haifa. When her parents left for the day, Nujood did something virtually unheard-of in Yemen: She went out by herself and took a bus and a taxi to Sana’a’s main court. All morning she waited, until a judge saw her sitting there. “I want a divorce,” Nujood told him. The story of Nujood’s audacity spread to Shada Nasser, a human rights lawyer. “I didn’t believe it,” she says. She asked why the girl needed a divorce. Nujood’s reply: “I hate the night.” Nasser agreed to take the case free of charge. “But you must smile,” she said, “and you must trust me.”
Nujood’s is only one of Nasser’s high-profile cases. When the 44-year-old started her career in the 1990s, hers was the first female law office in Sana’a. Nasser built her practice by offering free services to imprisoned women. “Yemeni women have few rights,” Nasser says, “and they don’t know those they do have.”
Women like Nasser are vital in Yemen, which has one of the world’s lowest rankings for gender equality, according to the United Nations. In Sana’a, women’s faces are usually hidden behind scarves, and walking or driving alone can be dangerous; only one in four Yemeni girls makes it to secondary school, leading to an estimated 65 percent female illiteracy rate.
Yemeni law allows girls of any age to wed, but it forbids sex with them until the indefinite time they’re “suitable for sexual intercourse.” In court, Nasser argued that Nujood’s marriage violated law, since she was raped. When Nujood took the stand, “the judge asked if she wanted to resume the marriage after a ‘rest’ for three or five years,” recalls Nasser. “No,” Nujood said, “I hate this man, and I hate this marriage. Let me continue my life and go to school.”
Last spring, a week after Nujood’s trip to court, the judge granted her historic divorce. Her story made world news; more critically, it reached other child brides like Nujood—at least three of whom have since asked for divorces of their own.
In honor of Nujood and Nasser, Glamour has chosen the GWCC to be the recipient of money raised through the 2008 Glamour Women of the Year Fund initiative; donations that readers make will help child brides and girls at risk of early marriage finish school. “Yemeni people are receptive to educated women in the workforce,” al-Mutawakel says. “When a woman can contribute, they’re encouraging.”
Nujood’s divorce reinforced her spirit. “It made me strong,” she smiles. “Now my life is sweet as candy.” Back with her family, she says she wants to be a lawyer; two foreign benefactors have agreed to pay for her school supplies and higher education. This fall, Nujood went to school for the first time since her marriage. On that day, in her brand-new uniform—a bottle-green robe and a white hijab—Nujood stood with Haifa in the sunny schoolyard, waiting for her hard-won childhood to begin again.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Silent Love........

Should love be expressed openly or not? The topic comes under debate quite often. Many believe that eyes speak the language of love better than words. Some argue that words are hollow, it is action that counts. So, often we see people who love someone quite passionately, but unfortunately the person being loved will never know about this. One of the main themes of our Bollywood love triangles is this hidden love, which ends with one corner of the triangle sacrificing in the end.
Me thinks.. love should be expressed openly. We cannot depend on the spiritual connections or the divine vibes making the other person turn around by just wishing them to. Easier said than done! Most of us end up being tongue tied when we want to express our passionate feelings. What makes us hold back? Is it the fear of rejection?  Is it the fear of not being understood? Shyness?

Silent love 

Love is great; for sure it’s a matter of pride
But what is love if in heart it has to hide?
When it lies hidden failing to achieve its goal
How can it then console a poor craving soul?
Like, though in abundance is the frothing water of sea
It fails to ease the thirst of even a soul- tiny and wee
Lots of water but not a single drop to drink
What a huge waste if you do care to think
Though natural and for nobody’s fault
The poor monstrous demon is so full of salt
Someone close to it as close as its shore
Fails to have a drop even if parched to core
If not like the salty water of sea vaporizing
Then metamorphosing to gray clouds on rising
Coming down again as rain so sweet and pure
The thirsty and parched, now it has power to cure
So should love, out of our hearts flow
Along with our soul the face should glow
Like rain filled clouds roaming the skies
A yearning and lovely look must float in eyes
Sweet fragrant words from tongue should rain
Bearing the power to free any soul from pain
As rain adorns with green the dry parched earth
So will confessed love give life a new birth.
If not what is love if hidden in thee?
Like the wasted salty water of sea.

Farida Rizwan 
(written when she was in love ;) )

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sorry Plight of Almighty ...

Sorry Plight of Almighty

My Lord! There was a time when you were a Almighty
Of you helping others there was a possibility
But now I cry over 'your' sorry plight
Where you have lost all your might

Say, my reverend almighty God
Do you need me to help you???
In your pie should I prod?
Answer me ‘O’ Lord, give me a clue

I can be a commander, I can be a leader
But can I equal you ‘O’ Creator???
You, who with a glance, can pound mountains to sands
Do you need my petty help to win you lands??

You great Almighty who created everything
Do you need me to save your sacred buildings??
Of everyone’s hatred your name is now the issue
‘O’ my Lord what have they done to you….

People are running with swords to keep your name clean
With blasphemous blood they are washing the scene
Not realizing that if God is genuine
Than to all blasphemous words he is immune

I know not where do I belong...
Whether I am right or am I wrong
As a mute creation my Lord, created by you
I am lost in thoughts ‘what I should do??????’

By Farida Rizwan


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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