Remember Ustaad Ghulam Ali sahab's ..
Toh Kya Yeh Tay Hai Tujhe, Umr Bhar Nahi Milna
Chalo Zamane Ki Khaatir, Ye Zabr Bhi Seh Le
Kabhi Mile Bhi Agar, Toot Kar Nahi Milna
Ye Kon Chupke Se, Tanhaiyon Main Kehta Hai
Mere Baghair Sakoon, Umr Bhar Nahi Milna
Rah-E-Wafa K Musafir, Ko Kon Samjhaaye
Kay Is Safar Mein Koi Humsafar Nahi Milna
Juda To Jab Bhi Hue, Dil Ko Yun Laga Jaise
Ke Ab Gaye To Kabhi, Loat Kar Nahi Milna
Toh Kya Yeh Tay Hai Tujhe, Umr Bhar Nahi Milna
I follow a lot of these Dark Academic themed or Tumblr-screenshot-posting pages on Instagram. The majority of them coincidentally turn out to be run by Desis (aka people from the Indian subcontinent.)
And these people (and me along with them) mostly post about love, yearning, little touches, and just everything from the softest sides of Tumblr.
So I couldn't help but wonder, is it really a coincidence? Or is it because we rarely (in my case, never) get to see these things in our real lives? Because we live in countries that-- let alone gay love, haven't even gotten entirely on board with straight love? This seems to be the messaging I'm surrounded by: teenage romance is forbidden. Good kids don't date, they study. This isn't one of your fairytales, it is real life now. It's not rainbows and roses. It never will be, in fact; that's not "practical". Art is useless; if you're not earning money you're wasting time. It's a harsh world out there. Marriages are a balance between tolerating, making passive-aggressive jabs and loving each other in a this-is-what-married-people-are-supposed-to-do way and not in an intentional, thoughtful and romantic way.
Basically the dynamic between married (usually older) couples is such that it leaves no room for casual touches and affection.
(I know I can't generalise, but I live in a relatively small town and that seems to be the case here. I'm sure it's different in bigger/metro cities like Mumbai or Delhi, but this has been my experience in the 2-3 cities I've lived in so far.)
My point is, We've got all this love but not many ways to express it. We have ideas for what we want our lives to look like but our reality seems so far removed from it. So we let our dreams consume us, and we let it all out by daydreaming and yearning and creating this whole aesthetic online space where the idea of it can at least be tangible. (and where you can find like-minded people, the kind you hope to one day meet IRL)
There is no distance between us, like the small alleyways of the Walled City of Lahore. And when you smile, you are the architecture of old Delhi coming to life. I am a fortress, and you are the Palace of Mirrors. Looking up to you is like cold mornings and tea in clay cups. You smile like eagles flying above a Mosque while the sun sets. You speak the language of poetry, and I sit in the sun admiring it. You are the feeling of running to catch a train, and trucks painted in every color of your soul. I am a voyager and you are my homeland.
Twenty-One Going on Sixteen.
"Anger doesn't really cover what I feel, though... What's the word for when someone drinks so much, they are ruining your best friend's life? Or the word for a man so vengeful about his own past that he wants to destroy your future? What's the word for a woman who was sick for months, but refused to go to the doctor until it was too late? The word for a girl at school whose personal mission is to mess with your head? Anger's not the right word. Rage. That's what this feeling is, eating me up."
- All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (2022)
The worst is yet to come. The best is yet to come. The updated you is yet to come.
Having some weak moments overwhelmed by the existential crisis, processing all the negativity to the extreme, belittling yourself based on your decisions, replaying other's hurtful words uttered to you or about you... these are all just temporary moments. Please do not, I repeat do not believe what your mind and heart tells you past 9 pm because they are so tired of the day-things that they spice up even the normal dish to the nth degree. And this is so so so dangerous for your soul.
I'm not what I was a few moments ago. And that's the beauty of nature; to evolve and grow.
Allow yourself to make mistakes. Allow yourself to learn from these mistakes. Allow yourself to step out of your little bubble for a second. Allow yourself to outgrow your own self. Allow yourself to have some weak moments. Allow yourself to be a human.
You know what? The scariest as well as the most beautiful thing in this universe is time. It never stops. So these moments will also pass.... As always. But, please! Do not let them consume you. Do not let them feed upon your insecurities, and weaknesses. Do not let them parasitize your tired heart and mind. You owe yourself the love and trust you put in others. You owe yourself these moments. These so called weak moments. That's how you are gonna appreciate your next breaths. That's how you're gonna realize how strong you are!
Don't let these temporary circumstances and people feed upon your insecurities. Don't let these things consume your soul. A weak moment-you are more than that.
You make me do
Known as Madar-e-Millat or mother of the nation. She was crucial in the Pakistan's fight for independence.
And founded Jinnah Medical College for Girls.
Too much labour
Pakistan's first female architect. She went from designing shiny corporate structures such as Karachi's finance and trade center.
To helping build shelters for those affected by earthquakes (since 2005) with the resources they had available.
All day everyday
Zennat Haroon Rashid
Founding member of the Woman's national guard in Pakistan.
Her daughter created the "Zeenat Haroon Rashid Writing Prize for Women" in her honour. Which works to support women who want to pursue writing as a career.
Therapist Mother Maid
A member of the Woman's national guard in Pakistan who helped to support and aid women who had been abandoned during the partition.
Nympth and a virgin
A renowned ceramist who themed her work around the earth. Founder of LAAL, an artistic movement to promote and preserve Pakistani art and culture.
Nurse than a servant
One of the first members of the Woman's Action Forum (WAF) who worked to help woman fight for their rights.
Just an apandage
Pakistani actress, playwright and director. Founded the Ajoka theatre in 1984, which stages social themes in theatres, on the street and other places in the public.
Live to attend him
Pakistani world renowned author, essayist and playwright. Well known for her novels which reflect her personal experiences of Partition, her life in Lahore, diasporic stories, identity etc.
So that he never lifts a finger
Begum Ra’ana Liaqat Ali Khan
The 1st First Lady of Pakistan, became the first Muslim female delegate to United Nations. In 1954, she became the first woman ambassador of Pakistan and was sent to Netherlands. In 1973, she became the first female governor of Sindh and later on, the first Chancellor of Karachi University and Sindh University.
Begum Ra’ana was awarded Nishan-e-Imtiaz. She was also given Order of Merit of Italian Republic, Order of Orange Nassau, Netherlands and the UN Human Rights Award 1978.
24/7 baby machine
Dr Sania Nishtar
She is the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection and the Leader of Global Health and Sustainable Development.
Since 2018, Dr Sania has been the leader of the poverty reduction program in Pakistan called Ehsas, which strives to provide livelihood and improve the social situation of many people in the country.
So he can live out
Muniba Mazari Baloch
Due to suffering a spinal cord injury at 21, Muniba used it as fuel to encourage women and girls that have experienced discrimination or violence to not fear or fight the pain.
She is as Pakistan’s first National Ambassador.
His picket fence dreams
Pakistani politician, lawyer, and human rights activist. She chaired the Bar Association of the Supreme Court. She has won numerous awards for her work on human rights, including the Martin Ennals Award.
It's not an act of love if you make her
A beloved Pakistani principle who was held hostage at her school with her students by terrorists.
Although she had the opportunity to escape and save her own life, she chose to save her students.
"They are my children and I am their mother.”
She fought for them but unfortunately lost her life that day, on December 16th 2014.
You make me do too much labour
Pakistani activist for women's rights to education. Fighting for her right to education since she was a child, getting shot in the head by the Taliban for her efforts.
She continues to fight and was the youngest person to be awarded a Nobel peace prize.