Monday, October 27, 2008

The Final Acceptance

by Ayesha Parveen 24 Oct 2008
Category: Others
This story has been read 251 times.
Shravan, at the age of forty, left his village. Unable to accept the injustice done to him by his father, he severed all ties with his family.

Throughout, Shravan’s younger brother Rahul had been their father’s favourite, although he had done nothing to earn it. Even when their mother was alive, Rahul managed to get the bigger share of everything, starting from parental affection to sweets. Perhaps, the reason lay in one of the most deeply-rooted biases in Indian society: the shameless worship of light complexion. Rahul had fair skin but Shravan was dark.

Not allowing his parents’ favouritism to ruin his self-esteem, Shravan had worked hard in school, excelling in academics as well as co-curricular activities. Nevertheless, he would often feel sad about his parents’ injustice; his father, in particular, would socially flaunt only Rahul.

While in school, Shravan’s best friend had been his neighbour, Deepa. It was she who seemed to understand him totally and had always supported him. For Shravan, Deepa, over the years, had become more than a good friend; he secretly nurtured hopes of marrying her. However, not all dreams in life are meant to be fulfilled, and Deepa, after appearing for the intermediate examinations, married the son of a rich land-lord from a nearby village.

Hurt to the core, Shravan, nevertheless, accepted the reality and wished Deepa the best in life, consoling himself with the thought that she had loved him at least as a friend. Putting all his energy into running his father’s business, Shravan was comfortable with himself. As the years went by, some of his friends and an uncle started persuading him to get married but his answer was always in the negative; Shravan knew he would not be able to love anyone, other than Deepa, as his wife.

Rahul, meanwhile, had completed his studies and married. However, he remained as irresponsible as before and kept on getting and losing a series of jobs in the city he had moved to with his wife. By this time, Shravan’s mother had died and his father had become seriously ill. Shravan nursed his father back to health and for some time, it seemed that the old man was at last proud that Shravan was his son.

Then, one day, Rahul and his wife returned and very soon Shravan understood that Rahul was still their father’s favourite. Although he was hurt, Shravan accepted this fact and went on with life.

Exactly three months after Rahul’s return, the full amount of three hundred thousand rupees was stolen from the family locker. The key to the locker had been with Shravan’s father, who would put it under his pillow when he slept at night. Being an old man, he would not lock his bedroom door at night as he felt he might need to ask for assistance if he became unwell. Moreover, only his two sons and the daughter-in-law were in the house, along with him, at night.

The police came for investigation and when Shravan’s father was asked if he suspected anyone, after some mental deliberation, he said he thought Shravan had committed the crime out of jealousy for his younger brother! As the bewildered Shravan was being taken to the police-station, Rahul broke down and confessed to have stolen the money. He added that he had done so as he had incurred debts in the city.

Parents are supposed to love and protect their children. Here was a father who had all along been unfair to his son. Shravan decided he no longer wanted such a parent. He had loved Deepa like he had loved no one else but Deepa had chosen another man. So, is there nothing constant, nothing true in life? As he lay awake the whole night, in the darkness, bereft of all human love, he felt a re-awakening of another love: it was the love that had stayed dormant in him for years.

Yes, Shravan would now live for that love. In the morning, he told his stone-faced (stone-hearted as well, needless to say) father that he was leaving the family and the village for good. Cutting all earthly ties, Shravan, whole-heartedly and finally, accepted the one constant in his life: the love in his soul; the love that was manifested through both joy and sorrow; the love that would never reject him.

Shravan understood:

“Vaasudeva sarvam iti”
(Bhagwad Geeta, 7.19)

Thursday, October 9, 2008


by Ayesha Parveen 09 Oct 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 131 times.

Education should enable a person to deal appropriately with the various situations he faces in life. Thus, the primary difference between an educated person and someone who lacks education, is in manners. After reading some of the comments given on some posts, I am in no doubt that some so-called educated people have forgotten the true meaning of education.

Each person has the right to express his views but no one has the ethical right to insult another. If our opinions differ from someone’s, we can criticize his point of view, but should never make a personal attack. However, we have some readers (perhaps some of them are co-writers as well) who have the impertinence to question a writer’s manhood or call him a hypocrite if his views do not conform to what they want to read! By their use of language, by their choice of words, these abusers prove what they are: the scum of literary society. I do not think anyone who claims to be educated will call such deranged people even civilized.

Such abusers, beware! Life has an uncanny rule of paying you back exactly when you least expect retribution.

Once More

by Ayesha Parveen 09 Oct 2008
Category: Lifestyle. This story has been read 102 times.

How happy we were, together,
When you were snatched away from me;
Going through the maze of life, together,
But you were snatched away from me!

Every little work I did, was really done for you
And happiest was I to see you smile;
The twinkle in your eyes, or the deep thoughtful look
Clearly showed you had me in your mind.

I still remember the day, that glorious day,
When you first held my hand
And gave me a bright, yellow sunflower:
Your first gift to me.

Those innocent days of childhood,
Times so pure and full of love
Soon turned to days of duty and cares;
We were happy, though, only to have each other.

And yet, you were snatched away from me!

The love we shared, the enriching of one another;
Has it all turned to nothing?
When I look around me, you cannot be seen!
Your promise, to be by my side, broken?

I knew God when I loved you
And we worshipped Him together;
The same God has snatched you from me!
Now I ask God: why, and for how long?

In my own way, I hear the answer;
Somewhere deep within me, I know:
When the facade of time breaks away,
When my duties here are done
And I, weary, am released at last;
We will be together, I know for sure;

You, by my side, once more;
Not to be snatched away again.

Be There, Where It Matters The Most

- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Oct 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 561 times.

Most of us are there for our family and friends; some would help an acquaintance or even a stranger. However, are we present for ourselves? Often we let people hurt us or allow situations to dictate terms to us. In doing so, we let ourselves shrink within, even though we may pretend to be happy and successful on the outside.

An ordinary person has the capacity to make his own choices and try to lead a life based on his principles. Unfortunately, though, most people give undue priority to the opinions of others in matters of their own! Many amongst us let others use their words or actions to make us retreat; in the process, only we become losers. If only a person shows the courage to stand up for what he honestly thinks to be right, he becomes his own best friend and can deal with whatever negativity he is being assaulted with.

If you try to express your views, you might be called ‘ignorant’ by an uneducated degree-holder. When you have the courage to choose a path for yourself, you might be called a ‘hypocrite’ by a perverse whose sole aim in life is to try to hurt or humiliate others. We should not let such experiences stop us from being ourselves, for there will always be pretenders who will envy you for your courage and integrity, trying their level-best to destroy your self-esteem. If we can still dare to lead our lives based on our choices and express our values and thoughts without being unfair to anyone, our assaulters (leading pseudo-lives) will automatically be defeated.

By being a genuine person, you will make a positive difference to people who will emulate you. If you are present for yourself, a day will come when kindred souls will say you have the healing touch and a deep affinity with humanity. Let us be there for ourselves, for our core-values, our dreams, our hopes. In the long run, that matters the most.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Should We Let Religion Be Dumped On Us?

by Ayesha Parveen 03 Oct 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 302 times.

How often do most of us make the mistake of labelling a person a Hindu/ Muslim/ Christian etcetera, based on his name? Perhaps, we do so every other day. The moment a person’s name is mentioned, most people start identifying him with the generalized characteristics of his community-background and take it for granted that he follows the dictates of what they consider to be ‘his’ religion.

Does a doctor-couple’s son automatically become a doctor? Obviously, he does not; he becomes one only if he decides to be so, works hard, becomes qualified and practises that profession. He may very well choose to be a business-person. The same logic applies to religion, something even more personal than profession. A person may or may not practise his parents’ religion (or any religion) and he certainly cannot be held responsible for the name his parents have given him.

Thus, it is only common-sense, not rocket-science, that a person’s natal-background is not synonymous to his beliefs or ideology. No one is born with either Hindu-chromosomes or Muslim-DNA or Christian-genes or any such thing. Yet, out of sheer habit or thoughtlessness, most people do the labelling, perhaps unaware of how insensitively they are behaving, all the more so if the person they are identifying in terms of religion, is secular in belief or has non-denominational faith.

Thousands of years ago, in India, on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, a voice was heard:

“ Sarva dharmaan parittyajya……”

That voice resonates in the hearts and minds of some select-people, who (regardless of the ‘communities’ into which they have been born), belief and practise what the owner of the voice has said. Would it not be unfair to put religion-based labels on such people?

Friday, October 3, 2008

How Detached Should We Be?

- by Ayesha Parveen 01 Oct 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 219 times.
A friend has recently told me to learn to be detached, adding that it is essential to be so when we interact with people. This has set me wondering how important it is to be detached and if it is either desirable or possible to be totally so.

If being detached is necessary, would it not mean neither getting involved with people emotionally nor letting situations affect us psychologically? It seems that this would include not loving people as well as being non-judgmental about what is right and what is wrong. It is practically impossible to be such and would do us no good. People need to reach out to one another in joy and sorrow and each person definitely needs to have a set of values of what is acceptable by his conscience and what is not. Total detachment from others would cut a person off from the mainstream of life and is thus not desirable, unless the person concerned has chosen to be a hermit.

On the other hand, too much of attachment has its own disadvantages. Often we see people becoming emotionally-dependent on those they are attached to. This leads to pain on separation or the loss of the loved person. Moreover, some people exploit those who are dependent on them, even if only emotionally. Had attachment not been there between people, none would suffer from heart-ache. If we get emotionally attached to negative situations we cannot change, we feel helpless, often falling into despair.

So, what is humankind to do? Do we negate all the finer feelings, of love and trust, which make us different from other animals? Should we stay detached when we see a grievous wrong being done or a person in excruciating pain?

Perhaps the best approach is to maintain a balance between being detached and getting involved. If we can help a person, by all means we ought to do so. That much involvement is desirable. Beyond that, it becomes risky; if we start expecting a return, we are often hurt. In cases where we cannot bring about changes, we should accept the fact that certain things in life are not within our control.

To love our near and dear ones is positive emotional-attachment and is encouraged for happy, healthy relationships. However, detachment should come if and when such relationships change into something either unhealthy or unloving. Good friends and loyal family are reality, but perhaps rare. When genuinely needed, we should stay detached, for, as Shakespeare has said in “As You Like It”, (Act 2; scene 7):

“Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly.”

Let Go

by Ayesha Parveen 03 Oct 2008
Category: Others.
This story has been read 133 times.

Let go of him if he wants to move on,
If he chooses not to look back;
Let go of days meaningless now,
Those moments of joy turned to pain;
Let go of all that you know
Will not be with you from tomorrow.

Then see what life gives you:
Treasures so beautiful, you wonder!
The joy of acceptance, the courage to grow,
Something that lasts and is true;
Someone saying, "Till we meet again,"
Only, if you let go.