Heartaches! (Guest Post)

Having learned from experiences of past 27 years, I’m certain there’s nothing more troublesome than heartaches! If you’re financially weak, you can make up for it one way or the other. If you’re disabled, you can learn to use other body parts efficiently to compensate for the missing one. If you get robbed, you can build from the scratch and be in possession of the same thing again. But, there’s one thing that is extremely damning & mighty difficult to cure. You guessed that right. Heartache!

I was only 5 when I first came across this feeling! Someone very close to me, with whom I had spent a major part of my childhood, suddenly left the world. Being a child, the concept of death wasn’t much clear in my mind, because what I used to observe every day was that, whoever leaves in the morning, for sure gets back in the evening. Abbu would go to office in the morning, he was back by 5 p.m. Uncle Umar & Naeem who lived next door, would do the same. So there was no reason for me to believe why the person who died, won’t come back. Unfortunately though, the wait kept getting longer and longer & eventually I came to terms with the fact that they’re not coming back! The moment I realized that, I felt something missing in myself. That ray of hope suddenly got swapped with a mysterious pain, which never seemed like going away. That was my first heartache.

As I grew older, the frequency and intensity of heartaches started multiplying exponentially. One big reason for that was, and still is, my tendency to be extremely emotional. Whenever, there’s a dispute between my heart and mind, I go with the heart 11 times out of 10 and it proves to be my Achilles heel every time. Having said that, if someone asks me, whether I would want to change that Heart-Over-Mind thing in future or not? My answer would be a straight NO. ALLAH ne bnaya he aisa ha to phir change kyun karen khud ko? When we start interfering in ALLAH’S default system, we mess it all up. I tried doing that once & ended up landing myself in an even bigger chaos. Since that day, I decided never to pretend & just be myself, whatever the situation maybe.

Let’s now divert our attention towards the WORST heartaches! Ones that keep killing you from inside and you have no clue what to do. May ALLAH keep everyone away from the misery of such heartaches. Aameen.

Worst heartaches, imo, are those, in which you’re the only one suffering. Yeah, that’s my kinda heartaches. In my entire life, I don’t think I have ever shared a heartache. It has always been one way traffic and it sucks lol. Actually, I’ve never had the courage to express my feelings to people I love(d), but this is more of a psychological block than a natural tendency and can be worked upon. What you do is, you keep building castles in the air, expecting the person you love, to come to know that you love them, courtesy of a divine help, a miracle to be more precise. But that never happens and eventually when they leave, you get nothing but another massive heartache. My suggestion; don’t wait for miracles. Say ‘BISMILLAH’ and be a miracle YOURSELF. I’ve learned it the hard way. You shouldn’t.


Now that we’ve cursed heartaches a lot, let’s talk a little about their positives too. Positives of heartaches? That’s got to be the biggest oxymoron ever, right? No, it’s not. Heartaches do have some positives too.

When your heart is in utter dismay and you feel like getting sucked down in a horrific quagmire, that’s when you turn towards ALLAH SWT. That’s when you do wuzu and cry your heart out in front of HIM. That’s when HE welcomes you with open arms and that’s when you understand the actual meaning of the famous ayah of Surah-e-REHMAN: So which of the favors of your Lord, will you deny?

In my case, the person who benefits the most when I’m suffering from a heartache, is my Amma. Because I know one thing for sure, when Amma is happy with me, ALLAH SWT is also happy & when ALLAH is happy, heartaches are bound to fade away.

Heartaches compel you to listen to your Amma. That’s when you’re willing to help her do laundry too :/ And she does get surprised! I mean, someone who wouldn’t bring you a glass of water, is suddenly seen doing laundry for you! Wouldn’t that turn your world upside down? It would, for sure. Ab samajh aaey heartaches k positives? 😛


To My ‘soon to be married’ Best Friend..

Six years since we met, it has been a beautiful journey till now. I can’t believe its your big day tomorrow. The day you have been waiting for since your childhood, the day we have been planning for so long and today, when the day has arrived it actually feels something else. It makes me feel happy, sad and jealous at the same time. Tomorrow is the day you are going to start a new life. All of a sudden someone would mean much more to you than everybody else. You will make new memories with him and our memories will slowly fade away.

Today all our memories came flooding back to me. We were inseparable. Such a beautiful little family we had become. Or perhaps more than a family. We have literally grown up together. Experienced the world together. Laughed, cried and laughed till we cried together. Loved and cared for each other at our worst because when nobody else understood us, only we knew what pain we were going through. It makes me smile how our friendship had been tested numerous times but the best thing is that every time we never even thought of giving up on each other. We forgave each other without even asking for explanations or being sorry. Encouraged, protected and defended each other against all the odds and threats. Bunking classes, late night movies, funny rickshaw rides, our shopping sprees, cracking silly jokes on others, mimicking Amber Mall (our hostel warden), acting pregnant and drunk, long walks, telling each other horror stories, dancing like maniacs and what not! All this made our friendship grow super strong.

How powerless we were that we could not stop the time until it drifted us apart one by one and everyone got busy with their professional lives. But even though we are hundreds of miles apart our hearts still beat together. We never fail to understand each others silence even on the phone calls and text messages. And when we talk, we do not take a second to turn into the same crazy kidults we once were 🙂

Thank you for giving me so many wonderful memories to cherish for the rest of my life. You guys are my lifelines and will always be. I live because you guys helped me. I love because you guys loved me. And hey you! The bride to be! We wish you all the happiness in the world. You are one crazy person but try to be a sensible wife 😛 We will always stand by your side no matter what.

Love You.

Living the Old-Fashioned Way!

Each one of us has a tendency to compare old to the new. Living and interacting with parents and grandparents builds up that tendency in all of us. Especially when you face tough times, you often look to your elders (whom we often call old-fashioned) for ideas to face troubles.

Power outage is not something unconventional in Pakistan. But in Islamabad, it is less likely to happen that you spend days without getting electricity supply. Fortunately (No it’s not a typo), yesterday evening there was a serious electrical glitch in our area due to which we had to stay up all night. I never knew karma hits back that quickly because just a few hours back, I mocked my bhabhi, who recently went to Karachi to spend her Eid holidays, after she told me that power supply had gone haywire since three days due to the rain.

You all must be thinking what was so fortunate about staying up all night. It was the conversation I had with my parents last night about their childhood, which took me to a completely different dreamy world. The world where families were more connected to each other than to the world. Where loved ones used to interact with each other personally and not through social media. When relationships were much more than just a ‘Facebook Status’. When people understood each other through facial expressions and as Baba put it ‘Jab makaan kachay aur loag sachay hua kartay thay’

I wish I could put it like Baba did. He recalled how they used to sleep on a damp chattayi, which felt better than an air conditioner, in summer nights. He loved dropping oil drops in rain water to produce colored clouds. They used to sit in row and have food together while ‘Bismillah’ and ‘Alhamdulilah’ was considered the most important part of their meals. He seemed nostalgic explaining how Daadi (My Grandma) used to apply talcum powder on him every time he took bath. Baba Sain (My Grand Father) used to give them each 50 paisas daily as their pocket money. Bedtime stories, slingshotting, gulli danda, paper boats racing, hide and seek and what not! All these little moments of happiness sounded so much valuable and exciting to me.

Last night I realized that ‘electricity’ is no doubt a blessing but it has distanced us from our family in a way that we don’t even have time to sit and have face to face interaction anymore. It made me wonder that we have so much to explore and learn from our parents and grandparents but too little time to do that. Everybody is in a rush. Life is speeding up and so is our inner angst. We want to be more and more productive and cram in as much as we can but at what cost? We are just focused on getting things done losing all the little valuable moments we could live in between.

So let’s try to let go of the inner rush and allow yourself to experience joy, connection and love so that you have something to cherish as you age. Let’s inhabit this very moment and make it valuable with our loved ones. Let’s not just survive. Let’s live! Like the old-fashioned used to.

Much love.

Dear Me!

I read somewhere today that we get to know a lot of people in our life but hardly we get a chance to know ourselves. So this one is to meet myself..

Dear Mashal,

You have had amazing 25 years of life. You met so many different people some stayed, some left, some taught you great lessons and some just filled your life with happiness. Allah has been very kind to you. Yes you had been through tough times but HE was always watching over you, protecting you and eventually made you realize that hardships are just to make you stronger. You won’t deny that those experiences actually taught you amazing lessons.

Know that your scars are beautiful in their own way, your imperfection is beautiful. The best thing about you is that you are a crazy optimist. You look at the brighter side of the picture first and think everything is going to be fine and get settled as it is destined to be. You cherish very little things in your life yes you do sometimes ignore the bigger things, but its okay. You still have a lot to learn and you are doing good.

At times you feel you’re weird and stupid and crazy but that’s okay. All this is what makes you different. But hey! Stop expecting from people too much and getting yourself hurt every time. Not everyone on this Earth is worth it. You are lucky to have a bunch of people in your life you can confide in but you trust people way too easily and expect from them way too much. You need to change that!

You love to love people around you. You love to make them happy no matter what it takes! This is why you get rewarded by Allah. Yes you do get stubborn at times which is why you have silly fights with your Amma, Baba and Brothers a lot but I am happy that you are trying to work on that too. Changing yourself for the ones you love is not a big deal after all.

Know that nobody is ever going to completely accept the person you are, except for yourself. Deal with it! You can’t please the whole world. Keep making mistakes, that’s the part of growing up. But don’t try to hurt yourself for the ones who don’t deserve it. Those who do, won’t let that happen anyway.

Keep spreading love and smiles! =)


Lets Begin…

You all must be thinking what made me get started with writing. Those who know me well might have to think twice to make themselves believe that I have started a blog. Not only that but I am also expecting my closest buddies and siblings to say Tu aur Writer?! *bursting into a crazy laughter.* But here I am…

I have been into reading since quite a long time now. I belong to a kind of family where parents usually believe that their responsibility ends after they send their children to attend the best school and college in town. They expect them to turn out to be the best because they have provided them with the best opportunity in their capacity. Unfortunately, most of the middle-class parents fail to realize that the initial learning of a child begins at home not school. And that the parents too, in addition to the teachers, have to invest some time in bringing up their kids.

That does not mean i am complaining that my parents did not invest their time and energy bringing me up. NOT AT ALL! Their lives have literally been revolving around three of us since day one and they have brought us up in such a way that if I manage to be half the parent to my kids that they have been to us, I would be one crazy proud mom!

Oops! I think I got carried away.. Anyways coming back to reading and writing. All I wanted to say was that along with teaching us to eat with a spoon and fork, respecting elders, keeping our fingers out of our noses and using expressions like please, thanks & sorry much often, parents usually forget to work on developing reading and writing traits of their children. Probably that is the reason it took me almost 23 years to realize reading and writing play such a significant role in shaping one’s life.

About the magic of reading, I found out that it takes you into a whole new wonderful world. Lets see what wonders writing does… CHEERS!