Tuesday, 8 January 2013

As a child, it was always an attraction, to see the sparkly, glittery world of toys, fancy cards, gift wraps and the feeling of joy on eating my favorite ice-creams........... not to mention my world of fairy-tales and imaginations.........
I can still feel dull joy on recalling my first reaction on hearing my grandpa say "Every cloud has silver lining", i had ran outdoors and looked at the clouds in awe but the silver lining wherever it was didn't appear for me....... but it wasn't a cloud, it was an umbrella, small white umbrella, i told my mother with excitement........... an ardent fan of nature I was since childhood, now the clouds were my new found entertainment, I no longer cared for the silver lining as long as the cloud looked like an animal, a flower or possibly a ball only! They are beautiful these clouds, I wondered with eyes wide open.

I doubt if I was wrong in my innocence, I hadn't found the silver lining that day on my cloud, but the search for the silver lining had opened up new horizons to discovery and my imagination!
Isn't this the case with the clouds of trouble that we face everyday......... financial troubles, family matters, small fights, diseases....... the dark clouds that appear as danger signs for us, but contain a subtle hint to the silver lining in them!
The discovery is not an easy task I daresay......... but then the beauty of a challenge, the strength for a quest and the reward for troubles is this silver lining!

I questioned nature......... after failing in my search for the lining......... where to look for it,

“Verily, with hardships there is relief” (Quran 94:6) 
We all have to bear our fair share of troubles in this world...........With every misfortune or pain I discover the hand of God pulling me through it, giving me an understanding and realization of my capacities as the mightiest of creatures!
I don't fear difficulties as they lead to the silver linings I seek!

As a child I had started off on the search for the silver lining, the path is straight but hurdles are many, the experience is enlightening .............. and there's no end to the adventure!

(And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but if you persevere patiently, and have Taqwa, then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs.) 2:155

Monday, 7 January 2013

The seeker of eternal bliss!

Most of us are prisoners of this world......... imprisoned by the works of our heart and mind, the mind controls us with ideas and the heart makes us run after desires and attractions,We are the dead prisoners ....... the way to freedom is Awakening! The secret to Life is patience and effort, conscious effort....... The flower guy had found the secret, he was alive, he was awake!
The June sun was at it's peak. The roads were empty apart from a few cars and a bunch of beggars! I stopped at the signal, the heat was getting on my nerves. The car's air conditioner had given up, and now I was forced to bear the hot air against my skin!
I saw a young boy coming towards the car selling flowers, he was himself a flower, pure and delicate! Another face lit my mind, older than the flower standing near my car.......
It was a month ago I had met him on this road, selling flowers....... He must be 15 but looked older......... the creases on his young face spoke of his responsibilities!
I was in no mood of talking that day, office had been hectic and I needed to get back home and rest!

The knock on my car window irritated me, this was the worst part of traffic jams, these beggars and sellers got you surrounded......... just like this boy knocking at my window!

"I don't need them, don't bother me" I told him without lowering the window
But he didn't move, I tried in vain to ignore his stare!
I lowered the mirror "What's the problem"
"Sir, can I have a sip of water" he asked with parched lips, 
I felt embarrassed on my judgement, and handed him the water bottle!
"Where do you live?" I asked him
He told me the location and I offered to take him there!
He looked at the flowers he was holding, and shook his head,
"I cannot go without selling them, my school fee is due and they have agreed to take me again if I pay it by the end of this month"
"You study", this boy was not an ordinary seller you see on the roads, there was something in him,
the determination in his eyes!
"Yes sir, iam in 8th grade" he spoke enthusiastically
I opened the car door, I had to learn more about him, this had given me an idea for my next article!
"I'll pay your school fee, if you tell me more about yourself"
"But why are you so interested in knowing my story" he asked me suspiciously
The traffic had started to move!
I asked him to sit in the car so that we can talk in detail!
He told me his address,
'I'll publish your story in the newspaper alongside your picture, you can be a role model for many non-privileged kids out there" I was telling him when he interrupted me,
"Kids like me don not have time to read the newspaper, they are busy toiling to earn bread for their families, I sense pity in your offer, I don't need such help, Hard-work runs in my blood! Iam the son of a laborer  the money I earn through hard-work is precious than your offer, thanks" he refused politely
I was amazed at his ideology, he was telling me the purpose of life, enlightening a man like me who was lost in the world of outlooks and impressions!
'You seem determined, what's your aim"
"I want to study, prove myself and then witness the pleasures of my hard-work and patience! But my struggle is not for the luxuries and glamour of this world, my quest is for eternal bliss"
So it was faith that shone in his conviction, I was not a religious person, but I believed in the miracles of faith!
Somehow this boy impressed me, I wanted to contribute in his journey, be a part of his eternal bliss!
He smiled when I told him that, "You cant expect eternal bliss without effort, there's no share in it, each one has his own"
He refused to take any financial support from me, I bought the flowers he was selling, which was the least from my side!
We had reached a small street where his house was located, it was in the outskirts of the city, he got out of the car, and thanked me for the ride and help, then upon some thought he asked for my email id, I laughed at his thought!
"I might surprise you one day" he said dreamily, I liked the young boy and wished him luck!

He was the flower guy for me.......... and was embedded in my memory, flowers reminded me of him! Life got busy and I moved on to keep pace with it! The flower guy got into background!

I stared at the e-mail in disbelief. The memory of that hot summer day was revived......... Reading an inspirational story was different but witnessing it was a whole new experience!
I was meeting him after 10 years, but he was the same 15 yr old boy for me whose determination had not wavered all along these years! The addition of a few creases on his fine face and circles around his eyes were the only signs of his travails.
He was no longer the flower guy, but a graduate from a prestigious university.
"I have a long way to go, Iam the seeker of eternal bliss and you cannot gain it without crossing the line of fire........ My weapons are patience and faith and I trust my Creator's promise for me" I heard him speak with those dreamy eyes, as he got ready for his part time job in a factory. He was the sole bread earner for his family after the death of his father.
He left me recalling the promise of the Creator:
  “…And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],”Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” [ar-Ra'd 13:23-24]