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MY SISTER, MY INSPIRATION

June 7, 2018

Whenever I feel I can no longer persevere, or am on the verge of giving up, instead of seeking strength from others, I seek strength from my own family, particularly from my elder sister, who achieved whatever she achieved because she just went for her goals without paying heed to the negative advices and early setbacks.

Growing up, Bushra too, like me was bad at math. But unlike me she never gave up on the subject. It’s possible that you can be bad at something and still like it. But what is more interesting is that her love was so strong that she beat all odds to build a career out of it.

Once she scored so poorly that had I been in her place I would have burnt my books, lol, but that event became a turning point in her life, from that time onwards, she became extremely strong headed and resilient, I would often see her struggling, but giving up was never an option for her, and her improvement was commendable. Even when she had an option to drop math and take up biology, she continued with it. There ensued a little tiff in the family because parents wanted her to become a doctor, but soon they too realised that she won’t budge. And the decision was locked. Her grip on the subject was still not very strong, but she would labour hard. Even if she had not done engineering she would have done Math (H.), (that was her back-up option) and ultimately she went on to do M.tech in electronics and telecommunication.

Her professional journey set off from the Faculty of Engg & Tech. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, where she was appointed as a guest lecturer. Even though she was never interested in academia and knew that in a long run she wouldn’t like to build a career in it, she worked as a thorough professional and never compromised with the quality of her work, owing to which she always managed to earn positive feedback from the students. Her stint at the university lasted for about two years, soon after she got married, moved to the UK, took a break for a year, and in her very first attempt bagged a job at the prestigious Jaguar Land Rover, she works as an electronics Hardware engineer there. It all seems magical at times. When I see her progressing consistently, I feel so delighted. Because I have been a witness to her struggles too.

Hey Bushra, here’s a little gift from me to you. A poem by ToddMichael St. Pierre

Sister of mine, please know that I miss you,

As miles separate us in life as we roam.

I close my eyes and we’re still together…

Splashing in puddles as we skip toward home.

Picking wish-flowers and making mud-pies,

In fields of Summer, under apricot skies,

Oh it really does seem like yesterday,

And I’ll always remember us this way.

Sister of mine, please know that I love you,

No distance on earth, could alter this truth.

Not a day passes, that I don’t think of you,

And far-away playgrounds in dreams of youth.

People

COMPASSION AND INTEGRITY

June 2, 2018

There are some episodes that you remember more vividly than the other, what day it was I can’t recall, but I do remember that it ended in a much grander way than the rest of the days, I went home pumped up and enlightened that evening. Some people get fixed in your heart only to leave you completely baffled, transfixed. They make us think about things we generally avoid, making us question our own existence and purpose in life. They are the breathing lessons, sent our way so that we can mend our ways.

That day I was to meet my friend in Connaught Place for lunch, we had not already decided upon the place of meeting, so we spent some time in the summer heat coming up with a name, locating it and walking all the way from one corner to another. Let me tell you, the sun was particularly unkind that afternoon. And when we finally reached our destination we let out a sigh of relief, but no sooner did we sit, than the waiter broke the unfortunate news that because of some issues they were serving only starters that day, so no main course. It was a famous Chinese place and I wanted to gorge on the hot noodles and manchurian, like old times. Choosing that particular restaurant was a much thought out decision because we were tired of having pastas all the time. I don’t experiment much, so my orders are almost always the same. We blamed our fate, and since had no energy to shift to another cafe, we remained seated, and ordered some of the starters, and hungrily ate.

By the time we were finished, it was late afternoon, and the temperature had already started sinking like the sinking sun, so after wrapping up, we decided to sit on one of the benches outside. Little did I know that I was chosen to witness two magical moments and that too back to back, it was surreal, what played out first I don’t remember, all I know is that both of them made me think, and learn.

Incident one, (it can be the second too) involved three hungry street dogs and two kind ladies. I saw compassion dressed as humans lovingly feeding the canines, compassion is a word that’s not meant to be just written or read, it’s a word that should live in our eyes, in our hands, in our actions. The wagging tails of the joyous dogs was what they were getting in return. Compassion for compassion. It always pays off. The second incident, (it can be the first though) was equally magical, it started like any other ordinary encounter, a little boy walking up to us and requesting us to buy a few pens. Let me be honest I don’t always purchase from them, but more often than not I do. Pens are something that I keep buying and losing, the process is never-ending, so I am perpetually in need of new ones. On that particular day I didn’t want to buy and instead just support the child monetarily. So I gave him some money, and asked him to keep the pens with him, but no, this boy was not looking for charity, he insisted that I should take the pens, I agreed to keep one, but he wanted me to keep both. And that was not enough. When I accepted his plea, he started counting the money before my eyes. And after he had counted he found out I had paid him one extra rupee. And as soon as he discovered that, he made no delay in offering to return. I smiled and affectionately requested him to at least keep that with him, he smiled back and agreed. That child’s dedication and professionalism is what made me realise, that integrity is something that can neither be beaten by poverty nor be bought by wealth. It made me think how even some of the wealthy people think not twice before cheating others for their own benefit, or before looting the public who had put their trust in them. However, no matter how shrewd they are, in the end they always end up filling their insatiable bellies with fire, and losing their peace of mind.