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Die Slowly or Take Charge


He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it,
who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know,
he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.


Brazilian poet Martha Medeiros




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...BUT (Oh, never mind!)


I watched a film last evening that portrayed a rather stark reality about two countries, and how the people from each, end up shooting each other most illogically. Although, the premise was something one cannot ignore, I quite seriously think that the more we inject violence into the world in form of words or visuals, the more the same violence will come back and not just stare us in the face, but bite us in the face. In order to avoid finding ourselves embroiled with our minds in a space of utter discomfort what we each need to do instead is practice peace, peace in our minds first, and then amid our immediate surroundings. Sagely banter might not meet with great success, and neither my thoughts are quite the solution to the growing restlessness the world over, yet I think it might just be a leveller, and a leveller in times of whipped up emotions is far more a service to mankind than showing people images of blood and guns and producing in them an imagined dread that this might possibly happen. One cannot escape the fact that each of us is violent, and when dared, do we resort to using that violence without thought or reason. Similarly, the more one tries to supress, the more one resists, and resistance, as we are aware only ends up in destruction. But my question is – must we push ourselves to such a situation? And my answer is: Not really, and I say so most confidently because not everything is as awful as it is made out to look.

However, I feel as creative people, people armed with skills, authors, artists, filmmakers, whoever one may be, we must strive to bring positivism to the world by playing our part in it quietly. We must remember it is only the fearful who scream, and screaming attracts unnecessary attention. It lets others peek into our fears and allows them to have a better grip on us, and it is not uncommon knowledge that people are constantly exploring for an opening to exploit our weaknesses, first against us, and then quite obviously for their own benefit.


Let us be cool. Let us be calm. Let us not forget that when something harsh is being said about someone, or something ill is being planned on someone, it affects everyone. Let us all live in peace. Together. As human beings rather than those divided by faiths and creeds, regardless to whatever degree the provocation may be, and from whatever quarters. 

Let us keep peace. Let us be peace.

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Ali Zafar - Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital

Cancer is something that is eating into people at an alarming rate. Not just because of the polluted air we breathe, the contaminated food we eat, but because of the stress caused about by the mere manoeuvring in daily life. What hits the heart the most is when innocent lives, that is children, are struck by it. Then it not only makes us feel helpless, it also makes us want to ask our almighty, why? Why the naïve souls?


Several celebrities make it a point to support causes in order to further their brand, and to make the public feel that they have a heart. Then there are the celebrities who do without fanfare and pomp, who know that they are merely a tiny component in the wheel of life, and what they do, they need to do for our own selves and not to prove a point to the world. That is what my brother Ali Zafar has been doing, and doing most silently for as long as one can imagine.


What good the right hand does, the left hand does not have to know, is something we are taught early on in life, and it has a far more inherent connotation than meets the eyes. It instils in us, for starters, the very essence of respecting human lives over our own lives, and to so do without a murmur, and do without expectation or acknowledgment.


My brother was at such an event, the Lahore Auto Show, to reinforce the fact that he stands strong with those who matter, and that one does not have to ask him, because one can see that he is there to give his unflinching support to anything at all that needs his support.


He spent time with the children. He drove them around. He offered them hope that they are loved – and the very touch of a person who is filled with love can heal more than any medicine, and that love is something my brother bestows on everybody, and that is his love that we have all learnt to treasure.


“No better feeling.” He said in his own words after driving them around.


Need I say more?




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