Of Old-homes and Madarsahs

From a black sparkling Toyota XLi, they pulled off a man onto a wheel-chair and took him into the shelter home; the board outside, read “Gill’s Shelter Home”. Two men in crisp white got off from the same car and shuffled hurriedly behind the man on the wheel-chair. They had some documents in their hands. I sighed.

The inhabitants of the shelter-home are always brought in this way. Their departure sometimes is very grand when their family takes them back for a nice and grand burial, ignore the sarcasm if you’ll please. While sometimes their departure is as quiet as their arrival.

All through the year, the shelter-home remains a forlorn, lonely place. Some people, who notice it, click their tongues a couple of times and pass. Some, like me pledge that they will pay a visit sometimes. Some however fail to see it altogether, their vision fogged by their own problems.

I remember the day it opened, or rather the day they put up the sign board; I was taken aback. I had heard of such places, but for the first time I saw one. The “inauguration”, of the shelter-home was a quiet one. And although I did not for a moment expect fireworks, I thought that may be the people of the area will not let cobwebs adorn the place. Days passed. I forgot; so did the people I guess.

Until the day, when in the same locality, a Madarsah opened.

There was a grand inauguration. A dars, refreshments and the inhabitants of the area were invited. Most of them went, pledged to read the word of God, and send their children. People were assigned duties so that the Madarsah never remains un-attended.

This was the day when I remembered the shelter-home again.

The Quran has been read, understood and preached around me ever since I was a kid. After 2 decades of seeing the word of God being honored and held to the hearts, I wonder, when will come the time, to practice it.

As a student of medicine, I see life at its least and highest worth in the same place all day long. I see people struggling to arrange money for one basic diagnostic test in ways un-imaginable. I see them being dragged on stretchers underneath the buildings of Civil Hospital Karachi that are under-construction and through alleys where uncovered man-holes puke all the human shit out of their bellies.

And at the end of this day when I get back home and attend a wedding because it is rude not to, I see the same people who preach, and read the Quran at the Madarsah spending millions over the food and deco.

I do not weigh and put everyone in the same scale nor am I one to mock at the Madarsahs or against Quran being read and preached. But I simply want us all to realize that it’s high time we stop making religion an excuse for our puny irrational motives and politics and live up to it, instead. The best way to reach God is through His people. That is what we need to be teaching our kids more. The best way is to make them realize what they have, that others don’t and let the love of God brew in their hearts. No amount of incorporating Insha-Allahs and Jazakillahs in our lives, can bring us closer to Him as compared to using our time and money for His people.

©2014. Habiba Danyal

P.S. Turning off the like button. Comments are deeply welcomed.


The Healer’s hand.

“See these hands, Walton?”

“Yes, Dr. Francis.”

“They are the biggest source of contamination for the patients. Sometimes healers and sometimes….cold-blooded killers.”

This said he switched off the ventilator.

He was God.

©2012. Habiba Danyal

For Trifextra: Week 34

What ought not be upon thy tongue….

What ought not be upon thy tongue,

But deep within thy heart;

Is respect for all human kind,

Regardless of their creed or cast.

No matter what shade they are,

What colour, tinge or hue.

No matter whether white or black,

Or pink or brown or blue.

What ought not be upon thy tongue,

But deep within thy heart;

Is true love for friends and family,

Not a love note on a postal card.

Not empty words all neatly wrapped,

In the paper of pretence;

Tied up with meaningless gestures,

False promises worth two pence.

Why does our tongue claim the love,

That the heart has never felt?

Why is our heart a barren land,

A stone so hard to melt?

Why is respect restricted,

To rank, money and might?

What changed our old perspectives,

To pursuit what’s good and right?

©2012 Habiba Danyal

It’s One Thing Being Human And Another Being A Parent

Parents are dumb! Plain-downright-stupid. They aren’t humans,  and wait – here’s proof:

  • They take your crap!They listen to your whining s and tantrums and your idiosyncrasies and they just keep on listening when what they should do, is snap their ears shut and let you blabber to yourself.
  • They love you!No matter what an ugly, witless, dorky, nincompoop you are. Regardless of the no of pimples you have on your face, that big black mole on the silliest of places or teeth that give you a funny look when you smile, they think that you are bee-utiful!
  • They try to protect you from the world!Even if it’s the world that ought to be protected from you. 😉 They stand by you like a sentinel and in front of you if needs be, giving people a scare with that “killer look”.
  • They never lose hope in you!
    Even when you, yourself feel like you wont be able to make it. They keep urging and pushing you, whispering words of encouragement in your ears and chanting invocations when you try to stand back up and walk again!
  • They want to be a part of your silliest problems!
    And not just that – they come up with solutions as well: from broken nails to broken hearts, from headaches to moods of dejection, from faked stomach aches to gut-wrenching, agonizing pains.
  • They are uncompetitive!
    They are the happiest people on earth if you become more successful in life. They stand back, looking at you, drinking in your “shining moment” like the most expensive wines. Sip by sip – savouring it, careful not to miss out the exquisite flavour – enjoying your glory as if it were their own. Not to forget the note of pride in their voice and traces of tears welling up in their eyes.
  • Their’s, is the unconditional love!
    Free of demands, wants, needs and repayments. They keep listening to you when you are being ungrateful, asking them “what they have done for you?” and try to fulfil all your needs, killing their own in the process. But somehow they forget to ask you “what you have done for them?” or they do that on purpose – don’t know which. Either way makes them all the more obtuse.
  • They stick with you until the very END!From the time you were unable to retaliate when they forced you into a jumper till the time they are unable to retaliate when you force them into a room, shut them out of your life, telling them that you-know-it-all and you don’t want any interventions in your life as you want to live-it-your-own-way!

Now if that’s not proof enough then I am Jim Carrey  – no scratch that! I don’t want to be Jim Carrey in the worst of my nightmares even.

But yes – parents are no humans! They are aliens – creatures out of this world, probably Planet Mars or some place.

Until next time, toodles!

©2012 Habiba Danyal.