Tag Archives: inspiration

Is giving up an option?

Every time I’m at the verge of giving up, my mom slaps sense into me.

Literally.

Her hand is so heavy that she could send me back to Pakistan with the flick of her finger. But every time I say, “I can’t do this.” She makes that face where she clenches her jaw and her eyebrows knit together and she shakes her head.

“A warrior riding a horse has the ability to fall,
not an infant who’s barely learned how to crawl.”

She says the quote in Urdu with such authority that I get goosebumps. I try to argue with her, but she whips out another quote or poem that gives me a surge of confidence, but it lasts as long as her words do. I get the poetic genes from my mom and the storytelling genes from my dad. It’s a weird combination, but it works out for me.

Every time I fail, mama tells me the story of Queen Saleena. I’ve altered the story so many times in my mind, to fit my needs, that I can’t recall how the original one started.

Queen Saleena, the Fifth Emperor of Halacin was a tough leader. She would make the earth rumble with her presence. People feared her, but they wanted her throne. They believed that a woman was incapable of ruling a kingdom as big as Halacin. But the Queen held so much power in the tips of her fingers that everyone feared her.

One day, all the emperors of all the other Kingdoms came together and decided to overthrow Queen Saleena. They gathered their armies, collected their soldiers and went straight for the palace. Queen Saleena was taken off guard, her advisors turned against her and fought her out of her kingdom.

Queen Saleena being brutally wounded and hurt fled from the battlefield and ran into the deadly forest. There she sat under a tree and tended to her wounds. She couldn’t believe what had happened. How could someone a strong as her, be subjected to such weakness. The Queen wanted to give up, so she decided to leave Halacin and settle down in the mountains of Alani.

But as soon as she rose to her feet to flee, she saw a little bird with a broken wing, sitting on a tree branch, with a lion cub lingering beneath it. Every time the poor bird would try to fly, she would lose her balance and scurry back to the tree. She was afraid that if she fell the cub would eat her. The bird tried to escape, ten times, and each time she would give up and hide behind the branches.

The eleventh time, the bird didn’t care. She flew as high as she could, even though she squeaked because of the pain that her wing was causing her. But her flight didn’t last, and she was slowly descending to the ground. The cub saw the opportunity and leaped into the air to eat the bird. This time the bird didn’t run away, instead, she came down with force and slammed her beak into the cub’s eye with such intensity that the cub started bleeding. The cub became blind in one eye and ran away, disappearing into the forest. The bird then flapped her wings and with hustle reached her nest.

The Queen, seeing how brave the bird with the broken wing was, rose to her feet, took her sword and raced back to her kingdom, where she fought and won.

Queen Saleena does not exist but her story is powerful enough to shake mountains. My mother always says that giving up is never an option. Take another route, build a road, swim and drown, fall and crash…. But don’t ever give up.

Not now. Not ever.

Picture from Pexel

I am not special

I’m a disgrace.
A flaw.
An error.

I know this because I’m not a doctor, or lawyer or an engineer. I have a bachelors in biochemistry but besides that, I’m nothing special. I come from a degrading, toxic culture that praises career as if it’s a rank. As if it’s a cast. And according to that cast, I’m an untouchable. I belong on the bottom of the pyramid.

Even before I was born, probably when I was in my mother’s womb, my parents decided that I would be a doctor. It was tattooed with invisible ink on my forehead, so everyone could see. Everyone did, except me.

Ever since I was young, I had the words rehearsed and whenever someone would ask me what I wanted to be I would smile and say “doctor.” The word sounded sacred like my saying it would make the oceans part or the sky would unveil and would pierce through. I never knew what a doctor was, but in my overactive imagination, as a child, it was close to something divine. Something that was as powerful as a magician. As strong as a beast.

I was convinced that if I was a doctor, I could be equivalent to a revolutionary, who had authority and could win people’s hearts. I made myself believe that I wanted to be a doctor. That it was something I was destined to be. And maybe if I hadn’t gone through that downhill/midlife crises, (I go through that every month), I would’ve been in Med-school right now probably doing my rotations.

I don’t exactly know what pulled me away from the Med-track, but I couldn’t stand taking another science class. It was like I was dragging myself through every hour of college as you do to your body when it’s tired and you have to make it to the finish line. Don’t get me wrong, I love science. Physics is very intriguing. It makes you think outside of the box, where you’re just a puzzle in a maze that’s part of a bigger puzzle. I love chemistry too. Knowing that I’m made up of carbon and hydrogen, yet I have the ability to think for myself and reason. Biology has always been my weakest subject, besides gym in high school of course.

I guess I need to change my own mindset first to change the mindset of others. I am embarrassed to tell people that I’m an author and a blogger. Yes, I’m looking into research, preferably clinical or STEM cell research, it’s not as superior as having a doctor in front of your name. Sometime in the oddest of all times, I have that strong desire to get back into the medical field, but that feeling lasts as long as my nap does. I guess I’m still trying to figure out what I want like Van Gogh, the painter when he was twenty-four. Life shouldn’t be counted in years and you definitely shouldn’t do something because others want it, or because it’s trending.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle we face is the person staring back at us through the mirror. That’s a barrier we need to break. That’s the person we need to work on. Its’ not easy, but then again, nothing in life will come easy…

Picture from Pexel

Why are you dreaming?

Why are you dreaming?
What will people say?
Burn away your dreams
or the world will burn you away.

Scorch all your wishes
and lower all your skies
these people will only hurt you
why do you even try?

Drench yourself in doubts
like you always do
you can move mountains
but no one will see this beauty in you.

Maybe, just maybe….
for once….

Let all those mocking voices fade away
you are a dream in itself
why would you let someone else
dictate your way?

Listen to those voices
echoing in your mind
telling you to believe in yourself
because you’re one of a kind.

Don’t stop dreaming

Picture from pexels

Random facts about me…

I was born in Pakistan, and I came to the US when I was 4 years old. It’s been a back and forth journey ever since.

The fastest I’ve solved a Rubix cube is thirty seconds.

I’m learning how to play the guitar (and so far, I’ve mastered twinkle-twinkle little star).

I’m learning how to be ambidextrous. Yes, I can write with both hands… well kinda.

I usually don’t order food, because I like eating what other people order.

I have a bad habit of half-ing food. Meaning if I buy something I’ll only eat half, no matter how hungry I am.

I have claustrophobia and agoraphobia.

I dislike wearing makeup. I feel like I’m wearing a mask and hiding myself.

I hate wearing shoes. I like walking barefoot because I feel like I’m closer to Mother Earth.

I can daydream for hours and hours, and I would never get bored- that’s why I’m messed up in the head.

I love lying down on the grass and gazing up at the sky.

I love flowers, but I hate plucking them because I feel like they look beautiful when rooted to the ground.

I love the rain, even if it’s cold. I love the way the drops touch my skin and bounce off. (That’s why I never carry an umbrella and end up getting sick).

I’m scared of animals (and occasionally humans).

I love reading and writing. My phone is filled with unfinished novels, poems, and stories that I won’t ever publish.

I’m very passive aggressive. I could be dying, and I still won’t tell you why I’m mad.

I bite my lips and the insides of my cheeks when I’m nervous. If I’m scared, I’ll practically chew off my lips.

The thing I look in someone when I meet them for the first time is the way they smile.

I get cranky and mad if I don’t sleep well.

English is my least favorite subject. History and math are my most favorite subjects. I get excited when I have to solve algebraic equations.

I dislike seafood: I hate anything that’s not fish, including shrimp and crabs.

I love walking. I could walk all the way to California from NYC.

I’m not a morning person, nor am I a night person. I’m more of an evening person.

I like peeling lemons and eating them like oranges.

I love talking to myself. The voices in my head are more appealing than most people I know.

I don’t have a favorite color.

I’m a very sporty person. I love playing cricket, volleyball, badminton and now tennis.

I wear glasses, but you’ll barely see me wearing them.

I’m very sensitive to smell.

When I was young I had so many imaginary friends (I use them as my characters now).

mee

Here’s a random picture of me when I was young…

The Ant and the kingdom

In the forest of Halacin lived a little ant who had to work hard to store food for the winter. He would leave his little sand castle built beneath the tree leaves, go out into the forest and scavenge for food, but he was always scared because he was small. He was afraid someone would unconsciously step on him. One day he saw a falcon flying in the sky and he said to himself, “I wish I was that falcon. I would never come down, and I would never be crushed beneath these Halacin animals.”

The falcon flying in the air was a soldier of the kingdom. She had to protect everyone and in case of danger, she had to warn the animals of the kingdom. She was tired of flying and she wanted to kiss the land. One day while she went on her daily round she saw the lion and said to herself, “if I was that lion I would be scary and fierce, and everyone would run away from me. I would never leave the ground.”

The lion was the most dangerous animal, and everyone feared him, but he had no friends and he wanted to be loved. He wished the animals would see him for his personality, not the rumors everyone had spread around him. One day the lion was going home, and he saw the big-grey elephant, who was surrounded by so many people. He was jealous, and he said, “I wish I was that elephant then everyone would like me.”

The elephant who was the most liked animal in the kingdom was tired of all the animals around him. He wanted to be alone. He needed time to think for himself, but the animals would surround him and never let him go. One day he saw a tiny ant carrying food on his back. The ant was so small that he disappeared somewhere beneath the leaves. The elephant gaped at the disappearing ant and said, “I wish I was that ant. I would be so small that I could easily disappear.”

Photo by Nandhu Kumar from Pexels