Pakistan’s Father Teresa

Google honors Abdul Sattar Edhi‘s birthday on their homepage. He would have been 89. When I saw it, I felt very sad and nostalgic for the man we have lost.

Often dubbed as “Angel of Mercy” and also known as “Pakistan’s Father Teresa,” Edhi Sahab (Mr. Edhi) lived a modest and monkish life since his early youth. He founded the world’s largest volunteer ambulance network in Pakistan, the Edhi Foundation. And his death last year on July 8, 2016 deeply saddened me. Although my family and I donate to his foundation a lot, I feel sad that I never even bothered to meet him. However, I can honestly say that he is my biggest inspiration and I aspire to be more like him.

I am really glad Google is commemorating him today and showcasing his philanthropic work for the whole world to see. I know that Edhi Sahab (Mr. Edhi) very much disliked being in the spotlight, but I believe he deserves recognition and praise for being the humanest human in a world struck by hate and cruelty.

Truly, this world is in dire need of kindness, selflessness and humanity. It needs more people like Edhi Sahab, because our world is stricken by war, religion, color and hate. Especially now, with the news of the travel bans and talks of building walls to divide us all.

Here are 7 things you didn’t know about Abdul Sattar Edhi:

  1. He created his exceptional foundation out of nothing when he was only 19 years old and penniless. (Slogan: Live and help live)
  2. He lived a modest and humble life from his childhood till his death. (He worked for free, didn’t take a salary, and only owned two suits of clothes)
  3. His humanitarian work didn’t just limit to Pakistan. In 2005, he raised $100,000 for the victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. (He was always actively involved in International affairs)
  4. He was offered treatment abroad, but he insisted on being treated in a government hospital at home.
  5. He left behind 20,004 children. (He only has 4 biological offspring, but he adopted 20,000)
  6. His parting words were: “Take care of the poor people of my country.”
  7. Many have debated time and again that he has been overlooked for the Nobel Peace Prize and he should have been awarded in his lifetime, but Mr. Edhi never showed any interest in it.

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Two Roads Diverged In a Wood, And I

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

Hello, world.

I am in Savannah, Georgia. Starting my postgrad- Masters in Writing at SCAD (short for Savannah College of Art & Design).

I feel like I’m on a really fast roller coaster (even though I terribly fear them), and things seem to be flying like a rocket for me ever since I left Pakistan.

I honestly have no words, because this is a big change in my life. When most girls my age are forced to marry and start a family, I have been given the choice of living abroad, in the good old US of A, and take my future in my hands.

I had given up, truly. When I got the acceptance at SCAD and expressed my excitement to go there, my parents and family did not agree. In their eyes, I was 26 and unmarried, getting old and nearing my expiration date. However, one day in November, my parents just came up to me and told me that they will support my decision to go to SCAD despite what everyone says or thinks.

And so, I applied for and got my student visa, and here I am. I’ll march my band out.
I will beat my drum,
And if I’m fanned out,
Your turn at bat, sir,

I can sing this whole damn song, and I have realized that I am a theater nerd as well.

To new beginnings!

xoxo

Rantings

I’ve been standing at a crossroad in this phase of my life for a very long time now. And I guess, I’ve procrastinated a little (okay, a lot). And it hasn’t helped. Neither has family for that matter.

When should parents back off from trying to control their child’s life? I feel as if I am still their puppet. I try to break free but they won’t keep their hands off of me, and I just trip over and fall each time I make a run for it.

Asian parents are more controlling than the average parent, and I guess one can’t really get them off their backs so easily. Especially Brown parents. Also, especially in a stupid society like Pakistan’s.

But when is enough enough? When do we finally say no? When do we take back our own lives? I want to be the grownup they’ve raised me to be. But HOW do I get this past the thick skulls of theirs? My parents are full of contradictions. On one hand, I am old enough to have 3 kids by now, a house and a husband of my own. But, yet, I am too naive to make my own decisions and too young to take control of my life.

When will parents let their kids finally grow up?

The Richest Poor Man

In Journalism class, many many moons ago, we were asked to select a living influential person, or a celebrity, and write an obituary on them. While my classmates preferred to write on actors and singers, I chose Mr. Edhi. I have always been inspired by him to be a better human. I hope I always am.

Around 2 weeks ago, we lost him. A very remarkable human being, arguably one of the biggest social worker, humanitarian and philanthropist of his era, left behind a whole nation in mourning. What a terrible, terrible blow for us.

The nation’s hero, in the truest sense. He was probably the only good thing (of a few) to come out of this place we call Pakistan. He gave up everything to help the poor, devoted his entire life for the destitute. I feel ashamed, for I am not even half as great, selfless and modest as he was. I hope I always would be encouraged to be more like him.

His passing away is a huge loss for humanity indeed, not just for Pakistan, but for the whole world. One thing I know for sure. Angels do walk on this earth amongst us.

Here is a link to his exceptional foundation that acts as a safety net for the poor, needy and helpless that he created basically out of nothing.

May he rest in peace. Amen. 💔❤️

 

The Wizarding School of my Dreams

What to do when your dream school rejects you?

I always knew Durham as Hogwarts, as parts of the Harry Potter films were shot there, such as this famous scene from the first movie.

harry_potter_philosophers_stone_58

However, it was my last year at college, and my Advanced English teacher, born and raised in UK, asked me about my majors for undergrad university. It was a routine check up for the whole class.

Since I was a shy student, she barely knew anything about me. I told her I wanted to study Creative Writing, and that I was passionate about it, and so, she asked to read my poems.

Later, she called me to the teacher’s room, and we talked for a long time. She was the first and only one to recommend Durham. It’s been almost 6 years since we had that talk, and however I don’t recall much, I do remember her exact words: Durham is Harvard for writers. 

And so, keeping in mind our conversation, I applied to Durham University last month for their Masters program. I was unsure, of course, because Durham is one of the best institutions in the UK.

I hadn’t received a word on the update of my application, and it had been over the usual 6-month period, so I emailed them today. I woke up to find their very bittersweet rejection.

Sure, I am not the best writer out there, but a part of me wasn’t expecting it… Sigh.

There could have been a hundred things they didn’t like about me and honestly, I would have preferred if they had disclosed the reason why I didn’t make the cut.

Was it my writing style, was it boring? Were my poems not professional enough? Dear God, I hope there weren’t any grammatical mistakes. Did my personal essay put them to sleep? Was it my IELTS score? Was my resume not up to point, or was it just me in general? The fact I am an international student and of Pakistani origin?

Any of these could be the reason I didn’t make the final decision, and I really wish they had disclosed what it was. Because these questions will definitely haunt me for a long, long time.

Nose piercing? 

In Pakistan, usually girls about to get married get their noses pierced. In my family, unmarried girls are not allowed to, as all the grandmas say it’s a sign of the girl being engaged. That’s what I was told all the time I was growing up.

However, all my younger girl cousins had their piercings done last year. I wanted to, as well, but mom reckons I’ll look really above my age as I’m not skinny and thin anymore. True, I’ve gained a couple of (okay, a lot of) pounds in the last two years, and I’m not skinny as I used to be. 😐

My mom has a point, too, I guess. Because I’m 26 in August soon. And she’s frantically trying to find me a husband. And because of my fatness, I’m having trouble keeping the attention of potential proposals. 😏

Ugh. Tbh, I really just wanna get it over with. 😐😐😐 I’m a huge scaredy cat when it comes to something involving needles and skin and pain. 😟 and sometimes, I just change my mind. What if I look stupid with a nose ring, what if it makes my nose look fatter? All these questions keep me overthinking up at night… 😕😕😕😕