Life is…

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I can feel the cool breeze stifling through my hair, the horizon is smeared with a multitude of colors I, honestly, cannot identify; I praise the diversities of Allah’s creativity. Walking down a winding trail, I watch the dew drops glisten in the twilight’s shadow; Life seems beautiful. I see innocent 4 year olds walking towards their first school, nursery or whatever they wish to call it these days. A faint smile crosses my lips; it is hardly the break of winter, and they are clad in coats, mufflers and heavy hats. I bet even if it gets unbearably hot at noon, they won’t take it off only because their mama had told them not to. I smile at the purity of innocence. Life is beautiful.

A random memory flashes by my mind, and I sift through it, leaf by leaf. The leaves having turned yellow, are withering away with the robust wind. It is a sad yet astonishing sight, watching the flakes of green mantle chip away withstanding a rigorous battle. I couldn’t help but be reminded of my visit to a specialized facility. I had well acquainted myself with a balding cancer patient and his courageous fight for survival, even if no hope was about. A lifetime of dreams, decades of efforts, splintered away on account of a deadly disease. I remember mumbling a silent prayer in favor of the poor soul. I see Chippa Service carry the dead bodies after a heartrending calamity, I watch a mother cry her heart out, the pain of a sister, I witness the sorrow of a wife, the suffering of a man; All of a sudden, life seems to be tragic.

I watch snowflakes which indicate the peak of yuletide season. I crack a smile as one of the flakes latches unto my eyelashes. I see a handicapped man, dragging himself along the road in dead cold night, begging so that he may have a dry crisp of bread. A cold shiver ran through my spine. I see an orphan on the street; I could see his pain as he were eyeing happy families walk down the street. I cannot dare to comprehend the horrors he would have seen in his short counted breaths of life, the cruelty which may even cause us to question our priorities. As I look closer, I could see the dark specks of psychological torture, swimming within his glowing orbs, my heart cries out. It was rightly said, “Eyes are the windows to the soul.”  Life just tuned cruel.

I remember those damp and moist summer days, with the strong sun, and inexhaustible purge of heat. I made a trip down the street to buy myself a bun and a pack of milk which had me soaked from head to toe. I see a flood victim, homeless, starved with no access to medical facilities. Nowhere to go, none to hear his plea except the Creator, I see his ordeal, I can see the suffering, yet I am unable help him. I see a poor woman, who was maliciously wronged. I am ashamed that I have failed as man of her nation to provide her the protection she deserves. Life feels suffocating.

I see a teenager disrespecting his parents; the very same mother who had taught him how to walk and talk, who nearly died giving birth to the damned soul, the father who had the hardest day at work yet when the apple of his eye cried at night, he held him till 3 a.m. — all of the sacrifices, disregarded. I see an offspring hitting his parents, his own parents, I am stunned. A few years ago, the very same parents had rejoiced at the birth of their newborn, and now they curse it. I want to scream out in protest, but I don’t feel any sound coming out of my throat. Life seems ‘paradoxical’.

Dark clouds covered the vast expense of sky; I sense a heavy thunderstorm at hand. I can already hear rather than see the first crack of thunder. It reminds me of an encounter I had with an aching heart. There seems to be something bothering that ostensibly normal being. I had the misfortune of learning yet another lost, unheard tragedy. My heart questioned if it ever ends. Later on, I come to learn of what sort of fruit unheard cries had bore. The oppressed outdid the oppressor. I guess the people deem it justified to point the fingers at the wrongdoer, the latter one of course. I silently ask myself, why a soul was wronged beyond measure in the first place and then left off to fend for itself in the shallow depths of anguish. Life can be sadistic.

A homeless person caught my eye – Long unkempt dirty hair, dressed in an assortment of rags, I bet a cleaning towel knotted upon my spare bathroom’s useless tap is cleaner as compared to his overall. He holds a old ruffled bag; I presume it contains a handful of objects which sum up as his entire belongings. I see a child, hardly older than six, surfing through the mountain of trash at the roadside. The poor soul is picking up dry locks of fruit peels and a rock hard piece of discarded bread to satisfy his impending hunger. I felt a tear escape my eye; Life just turned miserable.

I see a beautiful innocent female walking modestly minding her business, I see people gaping at her as if she is a piece of steak to be feasted over, I am disgusted further than the limit of expression. I see a betrayal of the worst sort, I am taken aback. What else does one need to feed his carnal desires? Isn’t halal enough? I see two individuals fighting over personal whims. I see two groups arguing, each one of them seem to having forsaken the path of truth, yet claiming to be the guided one. I cry out to myself, asking if personal ego and self-righteousness was more important than piety of soul. Life felt sick.

I finally decide to take a long walk; I get out of my apartment and head towards my favorite spot on the corniche. It’s around 2 kilometers from my place, and considering the briskness of night, I decide to stop by my favorite coffee shop. I grab a Coffee Mocha, and tread to my destination — the spot behind the circular enclosure of date trees. I set aside my bag, an annoying yet useful habit I’ve adopted recently, carrying a bag that is, on the arc shaped bench and landed myself on the stone railing. I gaze at the murky ocean, gleaming in the moonlight; I can see the tips of the dark waves, sparkle. I am fascinated; the moon, having no magnificence of It’s own, yet I can see a vast imprint of the alluring moonlight, on the dark extends of marine surface. I marveled at the fact that it reaches upto places so far away yet possess no radiance of its own.

I spent the night at that spot, gazing, thinking, and reflecting.  At last the dark clouds of insularity began to fade out of the picture; I felt gears turning in my head. I recall reading somewhere – even midnight sun rises somewhere in the north during darkest of the hours. I wonder why I had forgotten to focus on the bigger picture. I had restricted my vision within a narrow frame; I had completely missed what it aimed at. There is always a lesson to be learned, from the direst of the situation, if only one is heedful. Also there is always a way to counter every obstacle, given one is conscientious.

It is true, life is full of hardships, trials, tribulations and one time too many sacrifices, but there is also the fortune of primal human sentiments of joy, compassion, empathy, mercy, innocence, faith and love. It is rightly said in order to live a contended life, take a peek on the state of the lesser privileged. I came down to a golden conclusion; Yes, there is darkness and suffering in the world, and yet I am blessed enough to be spared of it. Consequently, it is my duty as a human being to eradicate at least one vice of my habitat, and pray to Allah Almighty, supplicating for the power to do so.

Life is beautiful; don’t let it go to waste.

Fahad Sohail

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