Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Volunteering is not a choice, it's a Responsibility

I once read a quote by Albert Schweitzer. He quotes:

"I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."

Those lines, if understood, would shudder you from the inside because in this world of materialism its real hard to find such pearls of humanity wanting to selflessly work for the suffering. Talking about our very own Motherland, we find many who are there to be critical about the system, status quo, rising poverty and deficiency but not many who would stand up and say, Yes I will be the agent of change. Luckily enough, I met a group of such monomaniac volunteers on Oct 13th, 2013 at the NICH (National Institute of Child Health) and just that experience made me believe that we can never afford to lose such precious resources. Those of you reading it would be like why I, being this whole spokesperson of volunteerism took so long in posting about it. Well, sometimes life and laptops betray you real bad. Thankfully its back on track now and I can write all about those who chose the road of Making A Difference. How did I ended up meeting them? Its an interesting story as well but to cut it short, all I can say is that when Allah wants to spread a message out, He makes His own ways for it. So, I being a part of the Revolution Flame community, got assigned to cover a charity based event of Roshni Trust in collaboration with Patients Helping Hands (PHH). 

Before this, I never had a visit to NICH. The hospital itself, although being a Government one, is not in a very good state and that might not come as a surprise to anyone having information about the declining condition of the Government hospitals throughout the country. Pakistan's health care system is inadequate , inefficient and expensive. These poor conditions in the health sector may be attributed to a number of factors like poverty, malnutrition and unequal access to health facilities. That serves as a cause for the needy to be deprived of financial resources and also lack access to secondary and tertiary health care services. I can seriously go on and on about the disastrous health sector but that would do nothing except spreading more hopelessness. Getting back to the topic, My first introduction was to the Project Manager (name hidden on request of anonymity) The reason he has for remaining anonymous is because he wants to be remembered by his work and not by his name. Interestingly in our country it is a wide-spread idea that to start an organisation, especially  a charity based one, the initiator needs to have big bucks in his bank account, should have crossed atleast 40 or can see that Allah is about to call him. Thankfully, neither was the case with the initiator of Roshni Trust as he is a young zealot optimist. Talking about placing the foundation of this beacon of hope, Mr. Project Manager told me that he along with his group of friends was already involved in the the volunteerism circle and were a very active part of it. But there was a voice, a call in their hearts to step forward and do more. At the beginning, it may seem just a drop in the ocean but that drop is of utmost importance because the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. That put them all into action and hence the foundation of Roshni Trust was laid on March 8th, 2012. Since then, the young lot is vigoursly moulding the present into a future of which we can all be proud.

A volunteer leader's personal passion for the group's mission is contagious and it motivates. That was very apparent among all the volunteers working under the shrewd guidance of their progenitor. The group had already had all the preparation done despite of the problems they faced a day back due to unavailability of stuff and electricity. Cartons of goodie bags were already packed and ready as well as the whole strategy as to how they would be distributed. It was evident that the patients there are children suffering from life-threatening diseases experiencing an intensely stressful time and their parents are in need of an emotional support as well. Volunteers were refrained from just giving away goodie bags like a mere task. Instead, they were advised to play an active role in significantly reducing patients and their parents stress through effective communication. Listen to their problems, convey warmth and understand the issues they are facing.  So under the exemplary guidance and governance of Mr. Project Manager, the volunteers went floor to floor around the hospital distributing goodie bags to children and spending some quality time with them and their parents. As a person monitoring all this, I saw some real exemplary moments which at times made me and others there teary eyed. Children as young as age of 4,5, 8 etc were suffering from lethal illnesses and to top that, their parents didn't had enough money or resources to save their own child. Such a state of helplessness!! What would have been going through the minds of those parents who are watching their own child bearing all this on a daily basis for years and still for many there is no hope of recovery. At that moment, all they needed were kind words and thats exactly what the volunteers provided them with. It was lovely to see those honest sweet smiles and brightened-up eyes after the talk and receiving the goodie bags. A lot of the kid patients are usually stuck in their rooms for long periods of time. It can get very discouraging, especially for those who are here for many days on end so to have events like this gives them a little break and a distraction from not feeling good. It seriously was an immense joy to witness children rushing down from other floors to the volunteers to get their hands on these little forms of happiness in shape of goodie bags. I myself had the chance to talk to the parents and children as well. They were excited to express their joy: 

“They put a smile on my daughter’s face. She has been in the hospital for two months now and it was wonderful to see the smile and the brightness in their eyes." Mother of kid suffering from Appendix

"I am very excited that they were able to come and do this for the children and make the kids happy.” Mother of kid suffering from Respiratory problems

"My goodie bag is so big with lots of candies and I love the pink wrapping." Ameena (7) suffering from Cardiac Problems

"Doctors don't talk to us very much and this ward has no colour. I am happy that I got to eat all the chocolates in this goodie bag." Abdul Manaan(9) suffering from a Chronic condition 

One can not just ignore the simplicity and innocence of their emotions. Most of them hailed from interior sindh and among them were a large number of flood-affected who travelled to Karachi because of the lack of medical facilities in their cities. With the fate of being under-priviledged, they were forced to utilise the resources available even if they aren't good enough. After inquiring many about their background and what caused the disease, majority blamed the floods and the havoc they had caused. Monsoons have flooded Pakistan, displacing thousands of families and leaving millions homeless, but no major relief efforts have yet begun to reach the hardest hit regions that is becoming a hindrances in the quick health relief. This is such a sad state of affairs and it is pretty useless to target the Government as they won't be paying any attention to it. Nevertheless, on our part, we can just continue our efforts and giving out a hand to these people in need.       

As the volunteers were done with the activity, I had the pleasure to have a word with all the ones associated with Roshni Trust. It was a delight to hear them talking about such positivity with immense alacrity. I had a more detailed talk with some of the members and I decided to quote the prominent messages of positivity they want to give out. 

Project Manager: "When we started this venture, we always use to wonder "What could we do on our part and How?" But then the voice inside told us that we should take a step and Allah will be there to help us accomplish our goals. Many of the major members of Roshni Trust are career oriented people and have a job to do, have a family to take care off and have a house to run but still we take out time to serve the ones we are related to with the bond of Humanity. Through the whole journey up till now, we had many hitches and obstacles. There were even times when people made a commitment and then backed out, times like these breaks you real bad but thats where we stood tall and kept focusing on our tasks. A sad fact about some of the people associated with the volunteerism sector i.e they have placed this noble act into the fun category where they attend an event, hang out with friends as well, take pictures and upload them. Such people are in need of a strict lesson or a hard talk because volunteers are not mere human beings. They are those who reflect this nation's compassion and care for the needy. For our future projects, we have a lot in mind actually and we have been working on that. Currently, we are in plans to contribute in the Education sector. Whether its providing books, stationary, furniture, bags, teachers or even fixing the dreaded condition of the school, we are all ready to do as much as we can. Plus, It is my one of my largest dreams to do a project someday where we would provide clothes to approximately 250 needy children. It requires almost 2 laks which seems impossible now but I know it will happen someday InshaAllah."  

Raheel Tariq: "We have been doing activities of such sort since long, even before the initiation of this Trust so we were all very comfortable with such activities and that led us to the making of Roshni Trust. As members of it, we have given our heart and soul to it as we work tirelessly and make every possible effort to reach our target because we know that if we keep struggling, thats the only way we can provide the under-privilledged with basic necessities." 

S. Sohaib: "I was much involved into volunteer activities with my friends and then the initiator of the Roshni Trust pulled me in. It was was my first volunteer activity in a Government hospital and I got a very close outlook of how miserable the conditions of medical facilities, patients, equipments etc around here are. All this motivates me to step forward and do my utmost in every possible way. One of the positive things about our Trust is that we collaborate with other organisations so its like joining forces to fight a single cause. Roshni Trust provided me with  a proper platform and I am utterly thankful to them." 

S. Taha Abidi: "Usually we don't get a chance to see the raw human misery with our very own eyes and through this event I got a chance to experience that which literally made me realize how much I can contribute in the welfare sector."  

M. Ahson: "It was an experience to remember. We have been preparing for this activity and have put much hard work because it was back-breaking to be exact but at-last by the grace of Allah we have accomplished it." 

And if any of you were wondering that did I somehow forgot to talk to the Doctors and Staff regarding the hospital, No that's not the case actually. The day of the charity event was Sunday and guess what, Doctors and even the major administration was enjoying a public holiday at home *sigh*  I seriously don't even want to comment on that. 

Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action which shapes the overall stature of the society and effective volunteer leaders are the keys by which we unlock minds.  Till when will we not choose to listen to our spirit, Till when will we prefer to live within a compound, Till when will we keep moving around our own familiar box of happiness? It's high time that we get out of our comfort oriented lives and give back to the society because volunteering is not a choice, it's a responsibility.

To get a more clear idea about the Trust, Click the following website: 

To read my article of Revolution Flame regarding Roshni Trust click: 

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Torn Apart....

Torn in Two...Crushed between fate

You got what you want right!! Thats what you want! Here it is. You got your success. You ate and ate, you bullied, you harassed, you tortured, you brutalised and you finally Killed but still... You Won... Bloody You... You have won at last. May God be with you as He has always been. We got our little share of happiness... Much that will help us survive. Go!!!...Go follow your dreams...Go have fun and enjoy a splendid time. Run as the bright future is calling you. And we are here... Here...waiting to be agonised...Waiting to be torn apart by wolves...Waiting to be burned...Waiting to pour our eyes out...Waiting to cry our loudest cry due to pain...Waiting...Just waiting to breathe our last breath. It all ends here...All... Nothing left. 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Just Mere Flesh.....

When the Fear of them reaching u gets higher then your motivation to Live

(Following is a personal account written with all my randomness and maybe most of you won't understand so my apologies for that)

Somethings can't really be described in words especially emotions. But the feeling of the heart being clenched, the heaviness, the pain, the torment....can't be described. Heard people say that leave it..move ahead. Really? There are things which are just buried once and for all but then there are things which suck the life out of you everyday...every minute...every second. Demons that don't let you live. Demons that blackmail you. Demons that curse you. Demons that harass you....And all this will eventually kill you. And what did I do? Nothing...nothing of the sort they did. Why? because I can't. I just can't. Instead, I have to continue feeding them. It's not easy and people don't understand that. It's hard to feed them whats yours...your hard-earned stuff. Easier for people to say that let it go. I was of the same opinion but when I went through the same, I realised how hard it is. It's easier in words but only when it comes to us, we know the feeling. Everyday you have to go through the same. Suspicious eyes, Ogling sights, Whispers, Curses, Assumptions and a whole lot more. Place where people see you as flesh...just flesh ready to be preyed upon. Flesh that is for everyone because the King of the jungle died who was the protecter of all the activity. The roar of whose and his sight would tear apart all the wolves coming to take their share. It's like standing in the middle of snow-capped mountains or under the crying sky. Standing there and feeling cold while you see those wolves and hyenas safe under a shade...watching you with their preying eyes...looking for their chance. Yet, they say move on. God-forbid but I wish all who have said that to me would someday experience it themselves and then I will be standing there telling them, Move on buddy...Move on. Then the feeling you would get, the feeling which would tear your heart apart. It's when you will feel that burning sensation butchering you from the inside inch by inch...slow and steady. 

My Dad, he was the reason I was living. He was more then a Father to me. He was something next to God...someone supreme...someone invincible. I don't know whether you would know the feeling where you die with your loved ones. You live and breathe and eat and smile but you are dead. I died with my Dad that day but the only difference is that he is buried but I am living. I got all the good talk from people that life moves on blah blah which is not wrong but what if the wolves continue eating you everyday and continue chasing you...Will you ever be able to rise up? Will you ever be able to shove it off and say okay I will move on? Can you? Words can't describe what I am trying to say but I live this horror everyday of my life. After my Dad passed away, I never had a day where I have slept in peace, not a single day where I haven't cried my eyes out or I haven't laughed out like crazy. Laughter...signs of happiness and joy. It always had a very different meaning for me and I have been lucky enough that nobody was able to guess it. My immediate expression over a joke, joy or something happy is a Smile...just a mere smile. Sadly many people have mistaken it for my sadness but thats who I really am. The laugh...the crazy me is the person trying to hide myself behind it. The louder it is, the more I will be able to hide all behind it. It's a norm in this world...laugh it out loud. That is exactly what I am doing, laughing it out loud because there is no solution. I can just laugh about it...its a laugh on myself that I can't do anything about it. Sometimes after a good day of laugh, when I look back at it, it just seems like the laugh of those hyenas, as if they were the one laughing all along. Yet they say move on. It could be anyone for you, you parent, grandparent, friend or even a neighbour...someone who loved you for who you are and someone who stood by you...someone who would love you the most and no other love can conquer that. I have felt that love too and I know it's hard to conquer.  The mistake I do is to try to find him in other people sometime. Some traits or some incidents related to some people just give me his glimpse and I am like, He is just like Dad but NO...He is not. Everybody has their own individual space and just putting the costume of our memories over them will take them apart from us.  Am I sad about it? A lil bit but I know the reality. It's just the heart that hallucinates. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Dance of Air and Fire

Air burns...Fire dies

He came from everywhere, mountain, meadow, mire,
She sat brooding, burning in his desire,
An inhibitor, an initiator, a cradle, a pyre,
An odd combination of moulder and moulded,
He smiled, she sighed, he winked, she smouldered,
He laughed, tripping lightly on the toes of his feet,
She intoxicated, moved to his bewitching beat,
But he alas! had to leave the path he followed,
Eloped with the clouds, flew to foreign skies,
She wailed, wept and whined for her fair lover,
And broken hearted, calling her beloved love, she died...

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Searching for nothingness

What if the reality is a dream and when we die, we wake up!

Dark clouds swirled around me,
I knew I was in a dream,
I couldn't see clearly but I knew,
I was in a frightening dream, a dream I had that night,
Searching for nothingness,
Ending up nowhere,
I couldn't find you,
In all that cloudy mess,
I see your face again and again,
I call your name again and again,
You ran away from me like I was a plague,
You didn't turned back to see if I am okay,
I ran after you,
But you were too fast!
And then abruptly, I fell,
Fell into a deep dark hole,
Where I can't see you,
Not myself, not anything else anymore,
Desperately, I started screaming your name,
I became panicky,
I don't know if I am okay,
I run here and there, but all that I feel is air,
It's too deep, I can't climb out,
I am trying to cry, but I am all cried out,
I don't feel anything, I am completely numb,
I try to find you, but you cannot be found,
The cloudy tendrils start suffocating me,
I can't breathe, nor do I feel anything,
I know this is my end, I am definitely ready,
I picture your smiling face in my head,
As long as you will be there, I won't feel death,
With you by my side, I am in no pain,
But surprisingly, when I tried to picture your face,
I felt a stabbing pain, then I saw my lifeless body, I am dead,
Everybody is there, but not you,
I am deeply hurt, because I love you,
Then came you, out of nowhere,
To be a part of my funeral,
You placed roses on my grave, black in colour,
You murmured, 'I will keep you in my memories forever', 
The wind blew hard, and you fluttered away,
You disappeared just like that,
Making me feel devastated,
Again I saw you and I call your name,
You didn't turned back, you simply walked away,
Leaving me alone out there to confront my fears,
This is when I woke up shaken from this dream,
A dream I had that night,
In which I am searching for you, but you were running away.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Stronger then Killing

Is it killing me or making me stronger?

Your hand cannot touch my heart
It cannot feel the pain
It cannot ease the pain
The pang of hurt torments me
It pierces my heart and tears it apart
But no one can mend it
Nor morsel to silence my hunger
Nothing to quench my thirst
No clothing to clothe my naked body
No sandals for my blistered feet
Where shall I take repose? 

Where to take refuge
Where can I find love?
No one to look up to
The call of my heart is unheard

The lock stays unbroken
No hand to touch it
No one to care
For your hand cannot
Touch my heart

Friday, May 31, 2013

Because I Miss You...

A little too much, A little more often, A little more everyday

I miss you
and I miss what we have.
I miss our friendship
and your perfect advise.
I miss your sweet smiles
and our play fights.
I miss knowing it was wrong
and I miss you being my little secret.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Missing your presence

I felt your presence again Dad and thought that nothing ever happened. We still are this happy family of five and you are here with us. Everything is the same and I am here waiting for you to return from your job. I could then just talk and talk telling you all about what's happening in my life, discussing the most stupidest things ever with you and you, despite of being tired and sleepy would listen to it all. Times when you would just peek into my room watching me study the night for exams...telling me to sleep and putting your hand over my head.... I could still feel the touch. I could still feel you patting my back or even rubbing my feet while smiling and saying, "You should eat well...see how weak you are getting." Convincing me repeatedly that "My daughter is a strong lady, don’t you ever worry I am here with you. Come to me if you have any problem." Where are you now Dad?? I have a problem now and you aint here. I have exams now and you aint here to peek into my room and tell me it’s late....I should sleep. Mom is trying her best but she misses you so bad too. Today also, just like every night, I am missing you and missing your kind presence. Stay well up there 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Your voice is my drug

And I heard that voice, that same deep and gravelly voice pulling me through. A voice that echoes whenever I read those words. A voice creeping inside of my soul, making it’s presence known in my head while telling me,

"Life is beautiful"

The tingles that I get while listening to it as if no one can harm me now; like being under an invisible cloak. That mere voice of compassion with it's exhilarating ripple makes my day, makes me smile, makes me want to live a whole lot years and makes me fall in love with it all over again.