The Right to Choose is Empowering

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Women; the raging feminist, the career maniac, the perfect housewife, the mother, the wife, the daughter, the sister and the list goes on. How many roles do we have to be successful at, to be truly empowered, and down right happy? Here’s my answer. None, being empowered isn’t a measure of how many things you can juggle at once. Being empowered is when you can choose to do what makes you happy, that’s the real empowerment, none of this ‘Girl boss’ stuff about being, well basically a hippie.

I’ve gone from dropping out of law school, to finding the perfect career and letting it go because, “I wanted too”. I waited and waited for motherhood to knock on my door and when it finally did, I chose to stay at home and be with my son, and I don’t regret it one day.

Some people say why not do both? And, that’s possible, but please don’t think my life is any easier than yours. I miss my advertising career, sure I do, but giving it up hasn’t made me any less empowered. I’m still the same person, with the same dreams and ambitions, but I just focus my energies differently.

I know I’m empowered when I go to a police station just like any other man would do and register an FIR. I know I’m empowered when I can single handedly deal with hospitals, ambulances, flipping my car and surviving. I am empowered because I still wake up and get out of bed everyday, I am empowered because I look at the world with positivity and fight off negativity. I am empowered when I can fight a disorder that has destroyed an entire generation in my family, and has no cure but, I will still do every thing you do, ‘just in flats’. I feel empowered when I know I can send kids to school, I feel empowered when I can give opportunity and give back to society.

Emily Esfahani Smith in her book the ‘Power of Meaning’ writes that, “Being a successful person isn’t about career achievement and having the most toys. It’s about being a good, wise and generous human being.”

So, how do you define success? And does that mean you’re empowered?

 

Motherhood- the best feeling in the world

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After the combusting, polluted life in Karachi; it’s nice to step into a mountainous terrain where no body knows you and you can just be…Don’t get me wrong 5 years ago i would have been bored out of my soul. As i grow older and not wiser, i begin to value a breath of fresh air, moments of serenity coupled with amazing weather that makes it all worth the while.

I feel like i have all the time in the world to ponder questions about the human i am slowly becoming. A wife, daughter, sister, grand daughter but beyond everything else a Mother. This sense of being a mother is so fulfilling, so rewarding, it brings so much structure and routine and value to my life. This feeling is like i’m satisfied with everything, i don’t need or desire for anything, the object of my very being is satiated, it is no longer hungry, for lust, passion, acceptance. My heart is full, and that one word uttered from Danyal’s lips ‘mama’ pushes all my buttons to feel complete.

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Why is it assumed that sex is not important for a woman? Why is she expected to be grateful for a man for all that he provides for her. Is that all she is entitled to? Can’t she be sexually gratified just the way a man is? God, forbid she was defamed in society for being anything other than what she is “supposed” to be. Is there no point hoping at all? She can and she will do much more.

Sex is important for a woman too, FYI.

Don’t discount her for wanting more, for dreaming of more, whether she gets it or not is a separate issue all together. If i were a guy i would be such a slut, “slut” the word society uses for women who want.

Marriage, don’t do it if you don’t have to, pack your bags and run for your life screaming.

Now that you have, oh well, deal with it. Deal with all the shit you never thought you would be dealing with in the comforts of your paradise, its a war zone.

If only we could be reckless without having to worry about Karma slapping us in the face, if only, men could love us for who we are, and not expect us to change but that’s an after thought, you must always change.

Dripping, derelict, wet.

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Longing for that passion in the realm of her existence, that fuelled feeling of that fire burning so bright, right down to her insides, right down to where she feels it the most. The reason for her being, curled up in her dreams, in her thoughts, on her lips, on her breasts, that divine feeling on her self, pulsating and driving them both insane for the thrill of it for the fuck of it, never looking back at consequences.

Let’s be spontaneous and never tell any one, our little secret, for my salvation, just a little bit longer, pull me away from reality.

Baby, we’re both in this for a happy ending, an ending so sweet that we both can stay the same. Deep inside we will always be connected, you and i because these four walls aren’t enough to break this crazy chemistry.

Wrap me in your sheets and keep calling my name till i hit home run.

A Yoga Angel Sent From Above: Azmat Alibhai

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Time to get your mojo back

 

I am someone living in Pakistan with a genetic neurological disorder that no one in the country seems to know anything about. My long awaited appointment with Dr Mughees Sherani finally arrived; what a fun guy, I thought to myself as he smiled while talking to me.

My major concerns were my faltering balance and inability to focus; then Dr Sherani talked about a girl named Azmat who had suffered a stroke and cured herself with yoga and meditation. Amazed by this revelation, I asked to see a picture of her. Azmat, it turned out, was the same über cool intimidating chick in the yoga class I had stopped going to a year ago because it became difficult to manage. Apparently Azmat was now seeing Mughees’s patients at home and working on their problems with yoga, breathing and meditation.

I walk in to an architect’s paradise and find my way to a lounge, patiently waiting for Azmat. She walks in dressed in the most fashionable gym clothes I have ever seen, at first sight I think to myself maybe she isn’t Azmat, this can’t be her, she’s fine.

As Azmat begins talking to me I am wondering whether she would be able to help me get back on the yoga mat. The following week I attend my first class and I am surrounded by some, who have conditions worse than mine, which motivates me further. With a handicap like mine, a regular yoga class just makes you uncomfortable and awkward because you can’t do most of the poses, which results in you sitting on the floor half the class. The best thing about Azmat’s classes is that she thinks about every person attending her class and whether they will be able to actually actively challenge themselves to get into poses. Don’t get me wrong; it does hurt, and it is hard, but I know I can do it!

When I told Azmat she was a ray of hope for every handicapped person that knew of her classes, she said that it was her social responsibility; yoga did wonders for her and she sees it helping other people too. I don’t know about you, but I hardly know such selfless human beings, people who have no prerogative and just do.

Azmat has treated a number of people from professionals to a girl as young as 13 years old – here is what some of her fans have to say about her.
“Yoga helped me become fully focused, truly refreshed my mind, body, heart and soul. My yoga instructor, Azmat, has been created to teach yoga and she does it beautifully. She has taught me some great yoga moves, breathing techniques and challenged the way I view yoga and my world. It’s like moving from distress to de-stress.”- Tushna Dubash, Engro.

“Yoga in the evening after a hectic workday not only releases stress but also super charges my body to spend quality time with my family back at home and hence be ready for the next [day’s] challenges. I have also noticed significant reduction in my knee pain since I started yoga with Azmat around 2 months ago. Strongly recommend Yoga to everyone in general and to the so called busy working professionals in particular for much needed physical & mental wellness to enjoy life at fullest!”- Ifitikhar Ahmed, Engro.

“When my daughter-in-law told me that I was going to meet a stroke survivor I was very happy – it’s very nice to compare notes.
When I met her I was shocked – she was beautiful and was wearing heels so what the hell! Stroke victims should have no balance, can’t walk, probably can’t sit with balance and no peace of mind. I was  angry and jealous. What does Azmat know? So I was cold and didn’t talk much. I cried and cried when she left.
Few days later I was told she wanted to teach yoga to people with physical issues – so my husband forced me into going and I loved her. I couldn’t do much but I tried. She is so gentle and soothing and there is pain in her eyes. I want to get well and for my brain to get well and clear. I want to live life again.”- Asma Usman, stroke survivor

“Yoga has helped me in numerous ways.  Both internally and externally, not only has it helped increase my lung capacity, it has helped my difficulty to breathe. Yoga has helped me relax and relieve stress and has improved my flexibility as well.  It has opened doors for me internally.” – Nadya Habib, 13.
“You have three choices in life. Give up, give in or give it all you have.”

 

 

An Ode to Sabri

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What makes a nation? It’s artists, the culture and its history; in Pakistan we seem to be withering away our foundations with the passage of time. Our greatest thinkers, activists and artists; all targeted in cold blood, forgotten like torn pages from a book. Today we sit back in our chairs and reminisce everything Sabri was, and what he meant to us. Amjad Sabri’s rhythmic voice was mesmerizing to listen to, with his lyrics deep and meaningful gripping your soul. Let’s remember him with his beautiful harmonious music sealed in our memories forever.

Laila

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There was a time when I was your Laila but now I could be just anybody’s. 

  • There was a time when I mattered
  • You cared 
  • You loved
  • You were selfless 
  • I was wrong
  • That was never you to begin with.