You don’t BECOME Parents, you LEARN TO BECOME one!!

Why parenting should be learned?

When I hear about people bearing more than four children, I ask myself, “don’t they have anything else to do except reproducing more kids, did they even think about the financial pressure they will be undergoing” and many other questions like these give me a headache. The reason I am mentioning financial thing here is because there are some couples who do at least think about it. But one thing that people do not ponder upon is how are they going to carry out the upbringing of their child, what behaviors should they be instilling in their kid, what and how different life skills they will make their child aware of, and most importantly, the list of do’s and don’ts when the child is around.  People do have this idea in their minds that my son will become an engineer when he grows up or my daughter will become a doctor, not realizing that it’s a newly born baby you’re talking about; not a puppet who you can have control over.

Our parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, just had this concept in their minds that the main aim of a marital relationship is to have kids who can later support their parents when they grow old. So, basically it’s all a game of keeping one’s lineage and name of the family.

Now, the question is what to do with a lineage where the individuals become mentally challenged, or do not marry just because their beliefs about it are totally disrupted? The most essential element that keeps on getting overlooked generation after generation is the role of parenting in shaping the minds of children and ultimately their entire lives.

Couples having kids at home often do not realize what language they are using, what tone they are applying in their speech to address others, how are they interacting with each other and with other members of the family, etc. They ignore the fact that children notice even the minute gestures and learn instantly. You keep telling a child that lying is a bad habit, but if he/she sees you lying at any point, the child will forget what you told him/her verbally and will follow your actions.

Having children is not all about feeding, clothing, cleaning, and sending them to school. Parents aren’t merely responsible for all these. There are some other important things that parents need to learn in order to give their child a better life ahead, and unfortunately, all these critical points are often not even pondered upon.

Parents don’t realize how their actions and behaviors affect their children psychologically. Even the little arguments amid the couple can distress the kid, and we see so many couples who fight or father being violent towards the mother, all of this plays a significant role in shaping the mindset and personality of a child. When a child sees his father being harsh, and in extreme cases, being violent towards his mother, the child will either take on his father’s personality and will believe that a man has to demonstrate his power over a woman, or will think that having relationships sucks and he shouldn’t have one.

On the other hand, when a child sees his father and mother being in a respectful and loving relationship, he/she seeks this kind of a bond later in life and proves to be a reliable partner.

I believe that parenting should be a separate course at university level where all students, both male and female, study it on compulsion. And why do I think so? Because educational institutions are responsible for the development of life skills and professional ones to move ahead in life, and since everyone has to reach this stage of becoming a parent sooner or later, therefore they must be aware of how to be a good parent. You need education for everything; we are taught how to speak in the early stages of life, how to write, how to do math, how to make friends, how to do a particular business, how to learn a second language, and even how to have sex. So, when everything is taught and learned, why is this subject of parenting considered unworthy of being taught to the kids who later will have to shape the minds of their children.

Parents make mistakes; nobody’s perfect. And parenting is not a joke either. Our parents do their best to accomplish our dreams and necessities. But, sometimes they go far in fulfilling our materialistic desires and forget about what’s being fed in our minds and souls. Food for the soul and mind is as important as food in the tummies, or maybe even more than that. I have seen many poor parents too, who know how much they can give to their kids and their kids also understand them and deal with the situation patiently, why? Because their parents taught them, not only by words, but through actions.

Reproducing kids is not difficult, everyone does that; what really matters is what you give to your child, and how you make him/her see the world, and that starts from the very time your baby is in the womb. It hears everything and feels everything! Many of the mental issues arise when kids suffer from the daily fights amid the parents, separation, divorce, etc. To get hold onto these problems and give our next generation the best we can, we should all learn parenting skills and fill those gaps what our parents couldn’t provide us emotionally and mentally. I can’t stress this enough, but I’ll say it again, YOU DON’T JUST BECOME PARENTS; YOU LEARN TO BECOME ONE!!

I Fell In Love with an Artist!

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.

-Thomas Merton.

Art is such an indescribable term for me, maybe because this three letter word takes me into its depth where there are no words but the intensity of emotions. Art, as you all know, has different forms to express one’s feelings and thoughts. Painting, writing, singing, acting, photography, calligraphy, etc. are all various forms of art people find refuge in whenever they are sad, depressed, or really want to share something that they cannot merely do by speaking to somebody. Art takes us through the dark tunnel that we feel we aren’t yet ready to face its darkness or maybe are afraid of it. Depending on a person’s aptitude, art finds its way to the heart of the person and guides him/her how to express oneself in a much meaningful and touching way.

When I was in school, I used to see many of my classmates and schoolfellows doing an amazing job drawing and painting stuff, or entertaining the entire crowd with their beautiful and melodious voices. I used to think “these people are so damn talented, what talent do I have?” It was sometimes frustrating to see myself studying all the time with no such skill that others had. I tried to draw, but no luck! I even tried singing alone in my room and recorded it, but naah! Didn’t like it at all! I was like, leave it! Maybe I’m just born to learn Biology and do math all the time! I never realized any of my artistic talents unless one of my English teachers gave me a writing task to do, and when I showed her the piece I had written, she said, “You are great at writing, Mahwish! Never stop doing it.” Her words still ring into my ears telling me that I am good at expressing myself and whatever I feel through words.

Though I loved writing, I was never so fond of poetry. In fact, I used to feel cringe while reading some. There have been hardly two or three poetic verses that I really loved during my school and college time. But, during my masters, I don’t know what happened, my mind just wandered and I ended up writing a poem. And that led me writing more; one after another. Gradually, poetic verses used to flow into my mind and I instantly used to pen that down on my notepad so that I don’t lose them somewhere in the midst of all the thoughts. It wasn’t just the words I needed to express myself more; I even began to dream about sitting before a canvas board and painting my feelings out on it. Sometimes, I found myself singing lyrics of my favorite songs in my mind. The more I saw myself doing all these artistic stuff in my dreams and imaginations, the more admiration I had for all the artworks that have ever been made and for all the artists who did such miraculous jobs that literally blow one’s mind.

You all know about Vincent Van Gogh? God! What an artist was he!! A Dutch painter; one of the most influential one in the history of the western art. Though his artistic life was short, his new approach to painting impacted many artists that came after him.

This piece called “Starry Night” is one of his productions where he made use of a broader paintbrush and painted the scene in a style making every object appear to be moving or very much alive.

I don’t know if I can say anything about who my favorite author is as I feel I haven’t yet read that many books and there’s still so much to read and explore; but I found Khalid Hosseini to be that author I can’t forget. This is because the novels he wrote literally made me cry. The way he narrated the stories, the detailing of even the irrelevant things in such a way that the reader just dives into the depth of his words, is just amazing!! “Thousand Splendid Suns” and “Kite Runner” are some of his outstanding works. I never thought that a book would be able to make me cry but these pieces did!

Kite Runner

One thing that really inspires me about art is, where the mouths get bound and are unable to find the most appropriate words or someone who can really understand, at that moment, art kicks in! The painter grabs its paints and the brushes and put all of his heart on that canvas board, the lyricist plays with the rhyming words in his mind and give it a shape of a song, the singer uses his voice to touch people’s hearts, and the writer uses his words and allow them to flow in order to convey a message or just put their feelings out on a piece of paper!

Forms of Art

This love for art makes me love the greatest of all the artists, GOD, the creator of everything! Everything in this universe is the manifestation of art. Every creation speaks how great of an artist is its creator! When I look at nature; the lush green trees, beautiful rivers flowing, huge mountains, soft petals of the colorful flowers; all of this make me think how God must have used His powerful paintbrush to create all of these amazing sceneries. When I listen to the birds chirping early in the morning, the sounds of the insects at night when everyone is sleeping peacefully, whistling of the breeze, that voice of the waters flowing, thunder of the clouds and many more; I feel in them God’s way of telling what a perfect sound-maker He is. And the scriptures He sent to different communities and groups of people at different times illustrate what an impeccable author He is! And in humans, He created some of the great painters, musicians, authors, actors and people with amazing talents; no wonder He gave a bit of His own artistic powers to us for the sake of expressing ourselves and our love for Him too! I can literally say now that I fell in love with an artist, the greatest of all!

A letter to all the brown men…

Dear men of my color, though there are a lot of things about you that disturbs me from within; and some of them aren’t your fault because this is how you have been conditioned, there’s one thing that I find so common; some of them from my own experience while others are just the things I have been hearing from around a lot. And the good thing is that some men even accepted that on my face, so yeah, the thing I’m going to talk about here is very much true!

And the issue is, why do I see huge wings ready to take you up in the sky on your back whenever some girl makes the first move on you? Why do I feel that ego boost to the extent that you forget your flaws? Having no interest at all is one thing, but even if you are interested, but the girl makes the move first, why does that become an eraser for all the feelings you first had? You crave for people’s attention, and the moment you start getting from anyone, you show your true colors to that very person!

I have been reading many statuses from girls these days on social media asking whether it’s alright for them to make a first move on the guy that they admire. Why do they even have to ask such a question? There’s a whole history behind it, of course! This is because our society and culture never ever normalized that females can confess her feelings first or propose the guy; even though they admit how Bibi Khadijah (Peace be upon her) proposed our Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W). But when it comes to real life, Oh Please! And why can’t this thing be normalized? The utmost reason I find is the attitude of the males in our society. There’s something in their psyche that restricts them naturally to say YES to a girl who confessed her feelings first.

When I developed first crush in school, I never had the guts to tell my feelings to him but he got to know that from the way I used to look at him. God! Sometimes, I hate my expressive nature. When I was doing my masters, and confessed my feelings to a guy, though I got a rejection, somehow we turned out to be friends and later on, he advised me not to confess my feelings ever again to any guy!! And when I asked the reason, do you know what he said? He told me that, “Mahwish! Guys are weird in this matter. Even if we are already interested in a girl, but if she’s the one coming up to us first, our feelings just go away!” And I was like, “Ridiculous! Simply, ridiculous!”

You know what the most unfortunate thing is, that I can’t even say this trend should get normalized in our culture, that’s because I don’t trust the guys, and I really don’t want any girl to go through the hurt and torture resulting from the arrogance and pride shown by the person they stepped up for. It’s not the rejection that hurts, it’s actually other bitter sentiments that follow; guilt, extreme guilt to do such a thing, and then there’s a strong feeling that she gets that she isn’t not good enough! All of this destroys her and her self-worth.

In the end, I would just like to say that don’t get offended as I just talked what we girls go through and not what guys undergo when girls do the same thing with them. This is because that percentage is still low, as in our society, it has been conditioned already that men are the ones to take the first step, always, while women cannot! So, dear men, please don’t give those mixed signals, girls are emotional! And if a girl approaches you with sincerity and respect, and you too like her, go for her! Breaking her heart and throwing rejection on her face won’t make you a Superman or something!!

THAT FIRST TIME!

There’s always something about the FIRST TIME, something memorable and too hard to forget. The strength of its ‘being always in the back of the mind’ is equally associated with the good and the bad times. The first time you rode a bicycle, the first time you fell in love, the first time you got paid, the first time you got your periods, the first time you had an argument with your parents, the first time you got harassed, the first time you had sex, and many other FIRST TIMES that you had, all of them left a deep impact on you and your personality.

The First Time

One amazing FIRST TIME I remember was when I got paid. The excitement was at its peak as it gave me the sense of independence. “I can do whatever I want”, that’s what I thought and fortunately, I am still on the path where I believe that one needs to be independent enough to take care of oneself and others too. I’m not talking about run after money and get rich, but working on yourself and your skills to get independent and confident must be everyone’s goal.

The FIRST TIME I debated before the entire crowd at my school, was the time I realized how important it is to have confidence within oneself. When I saw numerous eyes looking at me, some were recognizable while others were unknown to me; I felt my heart thumping hard and breathing rate went high. But, in me, there came a fear of giving up and that too right on the stage where everyone looked at me, so I somehow got hold onto myself and my anxiety, and allowed my mouth to speak what I had to and my body to act all normal and confident. When the thing passed, I sighed with relief and felt that I can do it and it led to more debates that I did at school and was appreciated!

The FIRST TIME I learned to ride a bicycle; the thing wasn’t even mine. It was my little brother’s gift from my father. I always wanted to have one but I never asked for it from my parents as deep inside, I was always scared to try stuff like these that could hurt me in some way. I always had the fear of falling and still do. My brother taught me how to keep a balance and ride that thing. At that moment, I learned that unless you try something new and scary, you never give yourself the opportunity to grow and the fears that reside in you become stronger every day.

The FIRST TIME I got catcalled was a very puzzling experience for me. At school, a bunch of senior guys smiling and whistling at a girl (me) who was three years junior than them, was something my mind couldn’t accept at that time. Also, I never had such an experience before nor did I ever know that such a thing happens! When my irritation intensified, I went straight to one of the guys and asked him what the matter is. Of course, he denied that he and his friends were doing such a thing, but after that, none of them had courage to even look at me again.

The emotions linked to all the FIRST TIMES are always fresh; you name a situation and I will instantly feel all those sentiments I had at that particular moment you referred to. This is because these are the times that taught you something; something that helped and benefited you in the later days to come. These are those special moments when God introduced some good and bad but unknown experiences to your soul. He made you familiar how life’s going to be, how people do things either to please you or hurt you, how various things are done. You always learn from the mistakes you made the FIRST TIME. Embrace all the FIRST TIMES of your life; whether good or bad, with open arms and get to know the secrets of the nature!

…and they lived happily ever after!

This phrase takes us all back to our childhoods when we got familiar with the beautiful princesses, charming princes, evil witches, supportive fairies and other creatures. We heard, read and even performed skits based on these fairy tales and therefore we still remember almost all of them. These fairy tales were similar and different in many ways but this is not what I’m going to talk about here!

Thinking about all those fairy tales, I asked a question to myself, “Are these stories worth reading as a child?”  I mean, just take a look at some of the famous fairy tales that all of us still remember.

Cinderella

A girl named Cinderella, treated cruelly by her stepmother and two stepsisters. They go to the ball leaving her behind. The fairy god mother appears and presents her a beautiful dress with matching shoes along with a pretty carriage that could take Cinderella to the ball. At the ball, she gets to dance with the Prince who falls in love with her but Cinderella needs to go back home before the clock strikes 12 otherwise all magic will vanish. When she runs away, her shoe remains there that the Prince keeps to help him find Cinderella. He searches the entire town and finally reaches Cinderella’s place where the two stepsisters try so hard to fit in that shoe but can’t and then Cinderella steps forward, wears the shoe and goes away with her Prince Charming!

Cinderella Story

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A girl, very fair, has a stepmother who is considered to be the fairest in the whole town. She has a magic mirror to which she asks, “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” to which the mirror replies that she is the fairest of everyone. When her stepdaughter grows and becomes even fairer than her stepmother, she decides to kill her. Snow White gets lost in the woods where she meets the seven dwarfs who become her friends. She stays with them and one day, while all the dwarfs are gone for bringing food, the stepmother clothed as an old woman comes there and gives her a red apple. Snow White eats that poisonous apple and dies. The dwarfs come back, they cry, while a Prince, who’s just passing by, finds Snow White dead and the dwarfs crying for her. He comes near; kiss Snow White to which she becomes alive again!

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

What do these stories tell you and many more like these that we have been listening to since a long time? I don’t know how you perceive it, but this is what they tell me.

No matter what you’re going through, a man will come and save you!

Okay, wow! So, these tales tell me that even if I’m having an absolute shitty life or I’m not being loved by anyone, there will come a day when a Prince Charming will come, riding on his horse, and will rescue me from all the bullshit. Believe it or not, but I see these stories and the messages they give us being reflected in so many girls. The moment they enter their teenage, they start thinking about their Prince and how will he look like. They keep fantasizing a lot which leads them to become highly choosy and making them focus on irrelevant things about a person rather than the real ones. The attraction towards the opposite gender is completely natural but you’ve got to give some credit to these fairy tales who make you imagine all of this stuff from like a very early age.

The irony of living happily ever after!

Children are always taught that there’s a point in life where you won’t feel sad again, and happiness will be there constantly, particularly when a girl will meet her Prince, all of her worries will be gone! This is a highly pathetically untrue belief that such tales instill in our children’s minds. When the mind learns that life is going to be an ideal one, that’s where the real hurt begins. Acceptance of life and its bitter reality becomes highly difficult. I agree to the fact that a child should not be exposed to some horrible stories but there are many stories too out there which perfectly depict what life is all about!

Kids of today should read motivational and inspirational stories that could help them in the long run. They should be taught some basic life skills that they could benefit from in every area of life. They should know that life isn’t about “Prince Charming” or the “Beautiful Princess”, it’s about purity of a relationship one forms with the other person where appearances doesn’t matter to a great extent; and that life isn’t about “living happily ever after”, rather, it is about ups and downs; the mixture of happy and sad moments that make it feel like LIFE!

Why Brown Families are not familiar with the word “PRIVACY?”

“Privacy? Pfft.. What’s that?” This is quite normal in the brown families where nobody is allowed to sit in the rooms keeping their doors locked, where anyone gets a phone call and the entire family lurks around to know who called and why, and also where all the relatives get to know who cried today, who yelled, who had digestion problems, who did not brush his teeth, who got periods and the list goes on. Yes, this is what happens in the brown families where people get offended if they are not told all the minute details and stories about every single member of the house.

Privacy in brown families

So, basically, our lives aren’t private at all. We discuss how celebrities do not have private lives and are pinpointed by the society for what they eat, what restaurant do they go to, when, how and to whom they are going to get married to, when are they going to have kids, why do they wear particular type of dressing and bla bla bla..  Actually, it’s not only the celebrities who face criticism on every little act they do; we’re all facing this in our daily routine.

I first realized this lack of privacy in my home when I first closed (not even locked) the door to talk to my friend on the phone and my mother came inside and asked who I was talking to and why did I close that damn door in a highly suspicious tone. The reason I closed the door was because everyone else was watching TV at a high volume sitting in the lounge. The realization grew stronger when I observed my grandmother telling irrelevant details about us to my aunts on the phone; Mahwish woke up quite late today because she studied the whole night, Talha doesn’t interact quite much with everyone, Saman had a beating today from her mother and things like that! This apprehension began to disturb me with time when I saw how the entire family gathered just to resolve the conflict that happened amid my parents. Later, when I commented before my mother that the matter should have stayed between her and my father only, she replied that it’s better to put the elders of the family in such conflicting situations and there I was like, WOW! TO HELL WITH THE PRIVACY! WHO CARES ABOUT THAT?

This trend of “not keeping your lives to yourself” has been going on since many generations and thus has made the people so accustomed to it that they don’t even feel a thing if anyone takes a peek in their lives and also pass comments on it. They think that others are helping us giving us suggestions and everything but the reality is somewhat different. Even if the other person tries to help you get out of the hard situation, no wonder he/she is going to discuss all the details about you to someone else later on.

Leading a private life is actually a myth in the brown culture. People like exploring and analyzing others’ lives and also want to be explored (true in case of older people). However, the new generation doesn’t feel the same way. We crave privacy and also we don’t have much time to explore anyone else’s. I know it isn’t true for everyone though. Some people are still so “sick minded” that they think of ways to know things about other people and how to take advantage of their weaknesses. To all such people, I would really like to ask, “How do you have so much time and energy to do this? Like, HOW?”

Our elders might not understand this as they themselves led a life that was void of any privacy but we need to comprehend that having privacy and a personal space is everyone’s right. Sometimes there are things going on in our minds that we don’t even want to share them with our parents or siblings. We don’t want to make them feel stressed because of us. We want to deal with things quietly in our own way. And, talking in terms of society, if you have a problem of digging others’ lives then don’t think that your life’s going to be any private. Nature works in mysterious ways, you know!

Politics in the Workplace…

Okay, I’m not really sure what the term “politics” literally mean but what it appears to me is “doing things in a manner that can benefit you or make you prominent while letting down somebody else.” We see this happening in the state affairs, in workplaces and in relationships too. People, very cleverly, attempt to make themselves highlighted or make themselves look good in front of others while bringing their competitors down in different pathetic ways.

Humans have this instinct in them to gain benefit even if it means harming or depriving someone else and I see this happening everywhere. With all such “politically-minded” people, it has become hard for those who are either innocent enough to initiate or identify politics around them or they don’t like indulging into this zone of insincerity and bullshit. People around us confuse politics with competition. Having a competitive approach doesn’t imply that one can do wrong to others in the path of benefitting themselves. In fact, being in a healthy competition requires you to do as much or even more hard work than the people around you to achieve your goals.

Buttering is a form of politics that people play which means flattering someone just for your benefits saying things that you don’t really mean. I have seen people buttering their heads, bosses or supervisors. I also remember many of my class fellows doing the same with the teachers so that they can get good grades in the finals. So, I believe that this urge to gain benefit from those above you is something you start practicing very early in life which makes you quite an expert when you enter your professional life.

When you first enter the workplace, you observe things around you; your colleagues, supervisors and everyone. You notice the important figures and think that you need to be friends with them; no matter what. Then you start noticing other less important people too and pick out those who you believe are your competitors. They also get added to your list of “WANTED” individuals. After getting along with everyone, you begin to play your game; the game of “politics”. You start agreeing with these people on every ground, get all friendly with them even though you don’t like them as a person, you do all the buttering thing you can and then depending on how you decide to use your “political mind” and how low can you go, you might even think of bringing other colleagues down before your boss while making yourself the “good person”.

You might have heard the true and famous line, “what goes around comes around.” If you do wrong to others making your actions look good covering them with the term “politics” then someone else could play this game cleverly than you making you look bad before others putting your image at risk. This game is no good, people! Be sincere with yourself and the work you do and be clever enough to at least realize who is being extra-friendly with you and trying to bring you down.

Life before Quarantine!

3 months have passed and we are still locked in our homes… Oh my! Seems like we are the naughty children who did bad and now our parents grounded us; actually, we are the “bad people” who did wrong to the nature and now God has grounded us so that the nature can have a break from the hurt we caused it.

The Quarantine Life

In this quarantine, I’ve heard many people say, “we miss going out”, “we miss hanging out with friends and family”, “we miss going to the workplace” (quite a few who say this though) and many other things. There’s definitely no doubt in how we all are missing the beauty of the outside world and the people we used to see daily are now just on our mobile screens doing video calls and stuff. However, I have observed some differing perceptions and irony of people (including me, of course) during this time when we all are forced to stay in our homes.

I don’t know whether you all observed this or not; but right now, we are also missing the things, activities and people that we always took granted in the life we had been spending before the COVID-19 took over. Let’s take a look at how and what we failed to acknowledge and appreciate before but now we quite miss it.

Getting ready and attending weddings:

 I know most of you will not be able to relate to this because you all are fond of getting ready and attending the weddings; having that spicy, delicious and yes FREE food there 😉 but as for me, I’m not really fond of going to the weddings unless I sense that it’s going to be an amazing one. Also, I’m too lazy to dress up and then there’s an anxiety of looking good too that freaks me out. And guess what? In this quarantine period, one of my best friends got married and I couldn’t go. Before the quarantine, I was like, “Oh God, Ayesha’s wedding functions are going to start and I have to decide what to wear” not in excitement but being anxious. But after the wedding was over, I thought how much fun it would have been if there had been no corona thing and I had attended my best friend’s wedding, celebrating her big moment along with other friends.

Saying YES to the sudden plans:

It has been like very rare times when I literally said YES to the sudden plan; often it’s a big NO. When someone makes any sudden plan of going out somewhere and includes me in it, I get confused and anxious of what to reply, “Don’t I have anything else to do? Am I really free at that particular time? Do I really like the place where these folks want me to go with them? Do I really like these people that much that I can say YES to instantly?” All of these questions keep on floating in my mind and then ultimately, I say NO! But, now in this quarantine, I feel bad for saying NO to so many plans.

Feeling good about going to work and having a routine:

Having a fixed routine bores me. I lose interest in everything when nothing different and pleasant happens for quite a while. Getting up early in the morning for work doesn’t really excite most of us and the same routine that we had; going to work, handle all the pressure and challenges at the workplace, coming back home all tired and sleepy that you don’t want to interact with any of your family members. But in this quarantine, there are some people who miss going to work because they are not accustomed to doing all the office work at home. As for me, though I’m enjoying the online classes, I do miss the kids and the headache they used to give me. I miss my work friends too who always made the hard time bearable for me.

Taking time out for friends and cousins:

 In our busy routine, we often forget how important it is to take some time out for the ones we love and care. Before the quarantine, I never had time to go out with my friends outside of work; sometimes they were unavailable and other times, I was reluctant because of my schedule. And now, we are all making plans in our heads that the moment this horrifying situation comes to an end, we will meet somewhere good!

The life before quarantine had its own charm; it was moving on in a flow without any full-stops but we were unable to realize many things that we are doing now sitting in our homes. We took many things for granted; people, our precious time, our productive routine and much more. I wish for the world to recover soon from the pandemic and hope to see a good and positive change in people so that the life after the quarantine can be a better one and worth living and we never take anything or anyone for granted again!

The eyes Chico, they never lie!

You might have heard this dialogue many times and you might agree with it too. It’s quite a known fact that eyes depict the inner sentiments of a person; feelings of interest and disinterest, love and hatred, pleasantness and anger, happiness and sadness. We all know how eyes make us aware of all the beautiful things existing in the world; all the colors, amazing nature, pretty faces and much more. But the thing that quite surprised me about eyes is how they play a role in initiating an intimate relationship.

Though there are many things that make your heart go “Whooo!”, eyes are always the first to bring you to that zone of intimacy. You see an attractive guy, and your mind makes its own perception about him that whether or not he is looking good to you. When your mind accepts the other person, it convinces your eyes to look at him once more. Now you want to notice more about him like, his eyes, physique, hair, dressing, etc. He is tall that you think is WOW! He has broad shoulders too which is quite sexy! Oh, look at that charming smile while talking to a friend of his, Nice! Wait, now you observed him so intensely that he is looking at you now. What to do, what to do? And there you go, you smile! You look away now because c’mon you are a little shy to prolong that eye-contact.

You encounter him again and you want to ask something related to work but you don’t look at him because you know what these eye-contacts are going to do to you! So, you choose to address him while doing your own thing but he is clever. He comes a little closer and asks you, “What?” acting like he couldn’t understand what you said while convincing you to have a direct eye-contact with him. And there you go. That close eye-contact following a charming smile he gave it to you made your heart skip a beat! Sometimes you’re just too shy to look him into the eyes, while at other times, you want to have a deep dive into those eyes and explore him.

People who have fallen in love will agree with me on this that even before the relationship starts, there is something that you find in each other’s eyes; maybe that fire of passion and interest. When you have regular dosage of these intimate eye-contacts, no wonder that you find yourself in the river of emotions where you feel drowning in love and craving for nearness. You want these moments to get still or happen again and again. You keep thinking about him the entire day. One day you don’t get to meet his eyes, you feel that your day got wasted.

These eyes, they are a whirlpool. You get sucked in someone’s or someone gets sucked in yours. And when you don’t want that person floating in your mind anymore, it gets difficult for the whirlpool in your eyes to throw him out and when it does, the tears come along.

The eyes Chico, they never lie – but you know what, people do. So, never base your feelings on mere eye-contacts and charming smiles. They are a trap, I tell ya!

Depression – bigger threat than COVID-19

Mental instability has become very common nowadays; or should I say, that we have begun to hear about it more due to rise in social media awareness but it really did exist in the previous times too. With each passing day, we get to hear this tragic news of someone committing suicide due to depression. And by this “someone” I don’t refer to any common person; depression doesn’t attack according to how rich or poor someone is, or how popular or infamous the person is. It can reside in the mind of any person, no matter how happy that individual may seem.

Recently, just yesterday night I guess, we heard the news of a Bollywood actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, who committed suicide in his home and the reason behind it is shown to be “depression.” It’s quite ironic how people are fearful about the present conditions of the world due to pandemic and then there’s someone who deliberately took his life.

After the news spread, I read it on Twitter that “indeed depression is still a bigger threat than COVID-19.” I felt that because we can still somehow take precautionary measures to keep ourselves away from coronavirus but what about the mental instability we face? What about that constant negative perception of viewing life? What about those regular and sometimes irregular bouts of depression that moves us from within and convinces us that we don’t belong to this world and we don’t want to stay here anymore? At that moment of depression, we don’t care about our families, friends and all the good memories we had with them. We are simply focused on how to end this life, or I must say, to end this hurt and sadness that clings to our soul.

We have been hearing and reading stuff as to how we can minimize these depressive thoughts and beliefs that come to our minds. Some say it’s the weakness of faith that causes this unrest; some believe that it’s because of people’s attitudes toward other persons; everyone has their own opinions and answers to this issue. These might be the sole reasons but I don’t like people generalizing everything. How can you oversimplify the situation one has gone through?

For instance, if you know a woman who just got divorced is suffering from depression, you would simply say, “she is depressed because she got divorced.” Is that really a reason? I don’t think so, because you are not aware of all the circumstances and hard time she faced that led her to this stage.

Depression isn’t something that pops up in your mind instantly. It sows its seeds in one’s mind and then grows and grows. Why does it grow though? Because the seeds of depression are being continually watered!

Depression is connected to sadness by many people, which is quite dangerous. One can’t really identify who’s sad and who’s suffering from depression. Sadness is a temporary sentiment that one feels and is overcome by any pleasant occurrence in life. On the contrary, depression is a mental state that has the power to make you distressed without any particular reason and with time, you begin to have suicidal thoughts.

I have felt that myself; not on an extreme but I did face it. I am a person who has been positive all her life but since the past few years, I haven’t been the same. I miss the old version of myself but it’s a reality that there’s a time in your life when you have enough capability to bear the disturbing situations around you but gradually, there comes a point when things become rougher than before and your inner strength and power starts to decline. During the previous years, I suffered from extreme sadness that didn’t often come with a reason, it used to make me lazy and unable to get myself out of the bed, I literally wanted to sleep the entire day and didn’t want to talk to anyone about anything, and the part that scared me the most was the origination of the suicidal thoughts in my mind. Sometimes, I used to stare deep into the fire and once, I even thought of cutting my wrist with a knife that I thought of keeping it with me inside the blanket while I pretended to sleep.

This is scary; hell scary! Why? Because even the most positive, the most religious, or the happiest person can fall a victim to depression leading to suicide. COVID-19 is a physical illness having its particular symptoms but depression is a mental instability; it resides inside your mind; mind that affects your entire body in various ways. Once your mind goes wrong, your body can’t do right then; and that’s why we say that “depression is a bigger threat than the COVID-19.”