Tuesday, December 18, 2018

When Were You Happiest?

The most difficult question one can ask me, other than What's your favourite kind of music. is When were you happiest? I never think of one particular time in my life, as the happiest I will ever be or have ever been. I am always in the pursuit of happiness, and it is not the acquisition of things and materials which gives me happiness, but it is the little joys of life. Fact of the matter is that I am easily overjoyed, like a child. I could be made happy, by the slightest of things. They might seem slight to you, but to me, they are unprecedented. Have a meal with me, a cup of tea, a simple smile or just a wave. Anything that goes out from the mundane into the occasional occurrences can set my mood right. So right now, as I write this post, my happiest moment could be that I am in a well-heated room with fuzzy socks on my feet, while it is chilly outside. At any other instant, it could be something totally different. I cannot say for sure, when the happiest day of my life was, but I can tell you how happy I am, at a certain moment.

So, it is quite difficult to answer this question of when was the happiest time in my life, as happiness cannot be quanitified. Quite like my parents, I like to find joy in small things, so that moment, and indeed every moment can be made memorably happy for me just by the small things that happen to me everyday. On the other hand, I am just a determined to the point of obstinacy, to be positive in my life. I refuse to give up hope in my own abilities and of those around me. I know I can achieve something big, and so can others. Together we will rise, in our own way and make a huge difference. Because of this obnoxious positivity, I am not easily fazed by the circumstances I face, and when I do feel down, there must be something immensely wrong around me. I do not, however, take any credit for this nature and character of mine. It is just how I am raised and just how I have been brought up to think.

So, here is my answer to the question, in as concise a manner as I could describe. What makes me happy are the small things in life, but there is still no way of choosing the happiest moment in my life as there are certainly far too many to count and spread over years. In short, all I am happiest to have is the present moment which I intend to live to the fullest.

Cheers and much love,

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Learning Something New

We are told to keep our minds open to new experiences and learn something new everyday. It just keeps us grounded, in the fact that our knowledge is not absolute and there is always room to learn and grow. In these few words of wisdom, is the essence of one aspect of life. We should always remain in the pursuit of knowledge and be ready to gain it from whatever source we may find. It means that we must also make sire that we look in seemingly unexpected places, for wisdom or knowledge. Knowledge is the shared heritage of all mankind, and we cannot say that age, class, status or place of birth has anything to do with it. Most of the times, we find new lessons from children, and even the naughty ones, whom we think hardly ever have anything to give to us. Nature has a strange way of making us realize how puny we are, by different means. We may think we know more than anyone around us, but just then we are confronted by someone who teaches us more than we could have expected while on that journey.

I am just like anyone, always learning new things and never thinking that the knowledge I have is everlasting. Whenever I read a book, I read it not once but multiple times, just so I can find something in it on the second and third reading, which I may have overlooked the first time. And surely enough, every time I am re-reading a book, I always find that there is some tiny but significant detail which I have just now realized and had overlooked earlier. I enjoy knowing that there are worlds beyond the knowledge I have, and to delve deeper into it. All this is not for any gain of any kind but just because I have a liking and interest in diving deeper and deeper into things. This is not for any reward, or to pass any examination, it is just for my personal pleasure. When a topic pops up, and it is like the stuff of dreams, I am tempted to search for the reality in it. So much so, that I finally end up connecting the dots and getting the required connection that I was striving for.

So, I would just end by saying that if you have a true interest in something, study it for that, not for any gain, but for your hobby. What better hobby to have than one, which gives you back the biggest treasure, the treasure of knowledge. Moreover, do not look upon anyone with contempt, anyone and anything can be the source of some kind of enlightenment to you and that is the best one can  offer others.

Cheers and much love,

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Better To Discuss

Most of us, we do not talk to others, keep to ourselves and just stay in our little bubble all our lives. We actually just want to have someone who would gladly listen to us, and tell us that what we are feeling is justified. However, we also want to be told that there is a solution to the worries that we are facing. It is seldom that we find someone to talk to, however. I have always had so much in my mind and so many thoughts run through my head, that I feel like I cannot talk to anyone about, Firstly, because I feel like I have grown enough and should be able to handle such matters on my own and I feel like talking to others about them is more or less childish. Moreover, I feel like there are so many people who would not tolerate my thoughts, being poured onto them like a waterfall. I may have a lot of patience to listen to others, but not everyone can be that much patient. I have all the proof to go with this thought that people around me do not have as much patience to bear with my thoughts of frustration. Most of them would just give me a shut up call, just as they start recognizing that I am about to turn into a rather serious alley in my thoughts.

However, it is quite refreshing to have someone to talk to, and tell your heart's problems to, every once in a while. One such incident occurred to me just now, when me and my family started discussing the pros and cons of being an engineer. My brother and I being the new crop of technical professionals, and having closely seen the current and present situation of the job market, while my father who still seems to think that it is the 1980s and that engineering is a very respectable and a high-paying job in Pakistan. However, it is me and my brother who have more focus on today's job market, at least in Pakistan. My father was however very gracious to listen to us, however he is one of those people who are very passionate about engineering as a profession. But, I just wish that someone had given us some kind of insight into the type of field that I was about to enter. I should have had this conversation earlier, I should have been given the chance to speak my mind earlier. I just wish my brothers understand that we are not supposed to walk the line our fathers did and their fathers before them. It is a new world now, and engineering is not as much of a high paying profession as it was earlier.

It must be understood and we should stop following one line, like a herd of sheep. We are not sheep, we are humans and we were not given this mind the biggest and most complex creation of nature to waste like we are now.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Keep It To Yourself

When someone tells you something in confidence, and asks you to keep it to yourself. What would you do? The most simple and obvious answer would be to keep their trust and to let their secrets out. There is some thing known as honour. Honour is not something of ancient people, it is not something timely, it should be timeless and one of the basic traits of people in the world. Yet, we see secrets leaking out, and lies and rumours sprouting from these secrets. Lies and rumours happen, when people do not know the complete truth and so to fill the gap in their incomplete knowledge, they make up stories. It may be fun to make up stories, but we must know that life is not just a game. If we want to make it a game, then it should be kept in mind that one person's life is definitely intertwined with other people, and those other people cannot close their eyes to what folly you get yourself into. Moreover, what you do may also directly affect others. It is absolutely vile to think that it is all right to tell other people your secrets, but not everyone thinks it is that wrong of a deed.

There are a number of different types of people to whom you tell your secrets. There are some who just cannot keep a secret, when they are told something, they just have to pass on the information. These people are even more tempted to do this, when someone says not to tell anyone their secrets. Another type is the habitual gossiper, whether they are just too idle and want some "fun", or are busy but still find time for their hobby, they cannot stop being where the gossip is. Then, there is the type of the person who is actually doing it out of malice. Such people would do anything to harm the other person's reputation. Any of the type of the person you may be, if you like to spread other people's secrets without any interest of your own in the event, you are most definitely harming not only other people, but your own credibility as well. If your credibility is tarnished, it will just end up in people losing their trust in you and where there is no trust, no true relationship can be forged.

All that I can say is that we should be careful how much we open up to such people and choose the people we tell our secrets to, very wisely. This is to save ourselves the pain of having to prove our own strength of character in the long run. That is all I can say.

Cheers and much love,

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sleeping In Is Fun

As an adult, sleeping is not the biggest priority for us. We often tend to give up our sleep in favour of a number of different activities like work or some show that we have been wanting to watch. But, we hardly ever leave time enough to catch up on some sleep. Work is what mostly keeps me up, some paper or presentation or other related work. It is often very difficult to keep up with sleep. As little kids, we certainly used to take our sleep for granted. Staying up till late, just so we could have some fun. Sleeping never seemed like much fun at all, but as we grow up, we realize what we had been giving up on and delaying all our lives. More than sleep, the fun of sleeping in is what most of us miss. The feeling of sleeping in till noon (that's what I did) on summer holidays is something that cannot be described, only felt and reminisced. But, one may think, why would I be reminiscing the good old days of sleeping in, when I should be dreading the two work days left in the week.

The answer is simple. I am remembering those days, because I am reliving those very days right now. On a two week break from my lab work after having completed my Master's degree, I can finally get to enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in as much as I want. This brings back the good old days, when I was too young to appreciate those little pleasures. I turned off my alarm that used to jerk me awake every morning on weekdays is now turned off, and I can finally look at the time in the morning, and think to myself, "Oh,it's 11 am. Time for breakfast". Yes, feel free to make fun of me, I have my breakfast at 11 am now, but if one must enjoy his holidays, he must do it properly like an actual lazy sloth or probably Garfield. You can call me Garfield on slow motion, for all I care. All of this because I am ready to sleep in tonight as well, and probably wake up even later than I did, today.

Don't get me wrong, sleeping is not the only thing I am doing in these two weeks. I am watching shows, reading books, listening to music and just generally living. Something I never do when I am working is living. So I am picking up on living and sleep just seems to be the most enjoyable part of it all. So, this is what has been going on in my life, how has your life been in the past couple of days?

Cheers and much love,

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Giving Up For What Is Important

I often wonder what I would do, when a big, important and difficult time in my life has passed. I envisage myself, doing all sorts of fun activities, having so much fun and just generally doing all that I would like. The time when the big day finally comes, is the apex of my anxiousness and tension. However, when I get there to the big stage, all my worries fade away and all I think to myself is that this is going to be all I have to pass, when I go through that door again in a while, I will be free of the tension that has driven me for the past. People only see you on the stage of success, holding your fists in the air in triumph, but what the world does not see is the amount of work that had to be done to reach this stage. No one sees the sleepless nights, the headaches, the copious amounts of tea drunk, the time I sacrificed for the cause and the tears I cried. It always is hard to reach this stage when you have gone through all the pains, but when you do and if you worked hard, there is no reason that you may fail. Once you reach success, you have actually worked hard and this is your reward.

If your cause is big enough and important enough, then it may be necessary to sacrifice your time and even your sleep for it. However, there does come a time when you start to feel whether it really is worth it, whether all the sacrifice should be done at all. This does happen sometimes, when you have gone through all the strife and it seems to give you nothing in return, and there is nothing wrong with  feeling down sometimes. People will tell you to stop being so down and cheer up or chin up, but it perfectly all right to be demoralized when you are not seeing your hard work pay off. The key, however, is to not let the sadness and disappointment linger on for longer periods of time. One must keep working, till the hard work bears fruit. Hard work and patience is all there is that a person can do to reach success.

You may think that all these are mere words, or abstract ideas with no feelings involved. But, I had gone through both phases. After I completed my Bachelor's degree, I faced a time when I felt that my hard work is not giving me back anything. However, I kept working, and now two years down the lane, I can see that my hard work has actually paid me in more ways than one. So, when I say that your work will pay off, I mean it. If it can pay me dividends, why not you.

Cheers and much love,

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Back In Our Day

Oh, the good old peeves. How our elders like to remind us what difficulties they had to go through as children. When we were little, these stories used to make us wonder and ponder. But there is one little thing, we are not little kids anymore. The youngest of my siblings is thirteen now, if that is any indication of how much we have grown ourselves. I say these stories are now become peeves, because it is quite annoying to hear our elders rant on about how awfully difficult their life was, and how pleasurably easy ours is. It makes us feel like they lived in a war-zone or something, and we are living in a bed of roses with nothing but pillows lining our paths. I oftem wonder, parents are always trying to make their children's lives easy, then if there was really something bothering our elders, they could have asked their parents to ease their discomforts, instead of telling us about it, just for dramatic effect.

One thing that we often encounter is the stories of how amazingly spoiled we are, by technology and how difficult it was without the technology "back then". I mean, we are not talking about pre-historic times, are we? Then, why do they make it sound like it was so very long ago, when "their time" was just thirty to forty years ago. Come to think of it, I have seen the time when there was no internet, cable television, laptops or smartphones, but I do not go around ranting about how difficult life was before all these luxuries. Although, on the lighter note (which by the way, this whole piece is, I am in no way angry while writing this), I have so many things that I can tell my younger siblings about. A few examples of them could be tape casettes, VCRs, floppy discs and so much more.

But, I prefer to act as someone's equal when I talk to them. Looking down on my younger cousins and siblings, would just make them feel distant from me. I become a baby with babies and an old soul with my more intellectual fellows. That is why I am equally liked by the little ones and the elders. That is how you deal with different audiences. So, just my personal opinion, next time you are with some young ones, play games with them and make them comfortable. Believe me, making them feel like they can't take half the beating you have, makes them nothing but uncomfortable. But, that is just my personal opinion, so I put it out there. Rest is up to you.

Cheers and much love,