One’s book selection is personal.

Let me help you choose what to read

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You enjoy your books and share them with family too. Here is my fiction section with my favorites and my mother’s too.

 

A lovely girl named Aneeza Huma wrote to my daughter Nadiya, ‘just came across your blog. I’m so inspired by your mother. God bless her.

I know she is a good writer and I really want her to suggest some good books to me. ‘

 

 

 I’m so thrilled that I’m happily writing this blog for you Aneeza, even though I’m so committed right now.

The fact is that I’ve found it very hard to read a book suggested by someone else. But, sometimes it does work. The suggestion can be good if that person is in sync with you. Just as Rubina my friend suggested ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma. What a book! – Just loved it. So, she knew me and the book. That suggestion worked. But it is only so because my friend knew me, and what I liked to read. In your case, I don’t know what you like. Still, I’ll share some thoughts on books with you.

Continue reading “One’s book selection is personal.”

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How do I define ‘myself’?

What is my strength?

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Autumn leaves always remind me of change; of shedding those leaves (and parts of our lives) which are outdated.

23131902_1724333780933240_7151182665341568101_nTo get ready to make space for what is to come into our lives. It is a time to ponder and realize…

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Last week, I realized that it is important  to define ones’ self. Asking questions like: How do I see myself? (All those ‘selfies’ only show my outer self.)

23172554_1725541914145760_5642983185441300483_nWhat am I inside? How do I want to be remembered? Lately, – after the passing away of my husband – I’ve realized I’ve started taking pride in my ability to  face great hardships and overcame them. Its almost become my identity.

23032408_1724334200933198_635915306857173400_nEven now, almost six years on, I’ve taken pride in being able to face any issue that I’ve had. Well, great. But, is it my identity? Am I just a ‘superwoman’?  It is now a habit to be sorting and solving problems all the time.

Yesterday my daughter caught me setting a problem straight between two men. It had nothing to do with me, but there I was trying to sort it out for them. Waliya just cut me short. ‘Mum they are two men, the problem is their problem, stop going out to solve their problem. They should do it themselves. You have enough of your own!’

She was so right!

This is what happens when solving problems becomes your identity, then you start looking out for other’s problems to solve!  I’ve got to tell myself to ….…. back off!

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It is important to realize that problems and solving them is just a part of one’s  life. It isn’t life itself nor my identity. It is definitely  not what defines me.

The bigger question is: ‘Am I getting side-tracked?’ It is important to dig deep within one’s self to see where one stands. This brings us to find the point where we have to find; ‘What is my innermost strength?’

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So, in short when you start defining yourself with your job, family members, friends, or spouse or loved ones – when they leave you or are getting busy elsewhere, you get shattered and break down. Hence the rise in suicide rates in Pakistan.

I’m trying to make a very important point here.

You know something? I’ve known persons from the forces, being quite shattered due to husband’s retirement. They find it so hard to get adjusted to ‘normal’ life. My friend Riffat told me, ‘my friend had a nervous breakdown when her husband retired from the army.’ Imagine. This happens when all those facilities go to your head. Then when that position is taken away,  where do you stand?

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I remember, when my husband went into hospital, when he was terminally ill. I had to face many problems all at once. On top of all that, a couple of months earlier, I had joined evening classes for MBA and had also started work on a book to be published in USA. So, now my life got tougher and harder. I felt as if I was up against a wall. But in hindsight,  yet, it was these two things which also picked me up. I had to work it all out somehow. I was given a bit of leverage by them. Working on these commitments, made me ‘forget’ my predicament.  The ability to do them gave me the strength to realize that my mind can still work! The results of my exams gave me a thrill to know that in spite of my circumstances I was somehow working it out.

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Working on challenging projects, truly help one to rise and get stronger.  Yes, it is a good thing to  define yourself in several strong ways.

Take the example of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, he was a full-fledged lawyer, however, he gave his life to something higher –  the independence of Pakistan. Similarly, Allama Iqbal was a lawyer, why did he have to go into such strong type of poetry which would ultimately bring freedom to the Muslims of the Sub-continent? Yes, that was a worthy identity for him, than that of being just a lawyer. It is the same of all the great personalities of the world. They all had an identity which proved them to be ‘higher’ than ordinary individuals.

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It is the belief in focusing one’s life towards the making of something beneficial to the people around you.  Yes, that became their identities – not the lawyer or barrister part of their lives, but the leader of people of India. It has been the same for all leaders.

So, in our own small ways, we have to look into ourselves and realize our own identities and not to confuse these with the other parts of ourselves and our lives.

Bulle Shah put it very well…

Kee janan mein kaun?

How do I know, who I am?

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Stay blessed and hope we find the right answer.      🙂

 

 

 

Make Space for the Passion In Your Life

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“One day, I’m going to write a book!” I hear very often, “I’ll write it when I’m not so busy.” The person goes on to add. Excuse me, what makes you think you’ll get more time on that ‘one day’?

It is now, or never.

Now, is as close as you’ll ever get.

Just find ways to do what you want to do. Look at that smart phone in your hand – it has a ‘note pad’ in it. Just go into it and start your ‘book’ now.

Continue reading “Make Space for the Passion In Your Life”

My Ten Good lifestyle points that work….

at any stage or phase of life. 

14524356_1281484851884804_402923473811058031_oIn life there are so many milestones.

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Once you’ve crossed most of them…. you think:

“Been there, done that!” (With great satisfaction and gratitude,) then the big question emerges:

“Now what?”

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First thing I’d say:

Past ko goli maro, (shoot the past) – get on with the rest of your life! You still don’t know if you just have one day or thirty to forty years to live!”

Continue reading “My Ten Good lifestyle points that work….”

Happy 70th Birthday, Pakistan

(May you live forever, Ameen.)

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The documented sacrifices of all people during partition are there for all to witness and feel their pain. Jimmy Engineer (the famous artist) devoted his life to document the hardships faced by those who had to give up everything for the sake of Pakistan, and move over here.15193546_1339526812747274_3227150554842439833_n
You and I both know all about them.  We mustn’t forget how many sacrifices it took to bring Pakistan into being. The birth pains were violent and unbearable.
Just twenty five years on – Pakistan faced dismemberment too – another painful experience of losing East Pakistan which was personally witnessed by so many. Today, recovering from all those hardships, Pakistan is strong and fine in many ways, (I know the media would like us to believe otherwise.)

Continue reading “Happy 70th Birthday, Pakistan”

Financial Accounting with national progress

All my Facebook friends know that what I’m doing these days. Yes, here I am

studying financial accounting.

20431674_1627279083972044_8205382140819841517_n I’m sure you know much more about it than I do. You had it as a subject, I didn’t. Everyone says that the subject is ‘useless’, ‘not used in real life’ and what not! So far, whatever I’m reading is making a lot of sense. The other thing is that like you, I may disagree with some points. Next, I’m planning to look up the software being used. It has made me have a lot of respect for those who are good at it. The word ‘accountant’ has got more dignified intonations for me now! (Keeping in mind that a lot of ‘jugli bugli’ can be done through it too!) The fact remains that it is important.

We all know that it is the backbone of every organization and the key deciding factor in making it a success or failure.

-That includes our homes and our lives!

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Continue reading “Financial Accounting with national progress”

Why it is best to avoid arguments.

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(The best policy in any relationship: husband and wife, friends, boss and subordinate or any other.)

 

It is a fact that arguments weaken a team. It is best to avoid it.

Come to think of it. It never takes you anywhere, except to get even further apart. I don’t know why, but that is how it goes.

People who are by habit argumentative like:

“But Why???”

“I think it should be done like this….”

“How do you know?”

And so on. Such questions are very ‘normal’ except when they are uttered just to gain time, or to waste it. When a person has no intent of doing something, he goes into argument.

If you watch any one of those popular talk shows on Pakistan’s television networks, there is nothing but argument going on. The belief is; the more arguments there are, the more the ‘rating’ grows. Hence it is egged on even more. The anchor or one of the ‘plants’ will say such a thing that the conversation gets out of proportion ending in hot arguments.

Continue reading “Why it is best to avoid arguments.”

Being good at Change Management

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Aren’t my blogs turning into text books? I hope not! I have to be careful, I’ve been an educationist for too many years. My blog on transitional phases in life is actually all about change. One’s ability to do it well revolves around the skill in change management. As they say, the only constant thing in life these days is change!

So, how good are you at it?

Continue reading “Being good at Change Management”

Let us get financial acumen.

Getting aware of the pitfalls that can happen, and knowing how to avoid them.

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“I’ve witnessed a lady lose nine million rupees, and nothing could be done about it!” My bank manager Umer Malik mentioned. Immediately, I decided to learn more about this. The remark made me realize how vital it is for us to learn about the pitfalls during financial deals.

While this blog post is important for everyone, but more so for my fair readers! First, most of us women, are not given any financial stability with the men in our lives holding all the strings to finances in our lives. All the legalities are written and interpreted by the male members of our society to their own advantage. Making sure women are kept in the dark and at the greatest disadvantage in almost every situation.

Added to that is the female attitude…. “Why should I bother my pretty little head with these boring facts and figures? When I have enough on my hands, having to maintain my own figure!” She goes on to say to her dearly beloved… “You are there to deal with these things. I trust you.” Then, he goes on to die on her, or change with the changing times, and whispers from his family and friends….. Suddenly, she is all alone to fend for herself in this cruel nasty world. And she has only herself to blame for trusting the men in her life. They are human. They can make mistakes, why so, at your cost?

Secondly, when a woman does have financial control over her assets, she does not know how to hold on to these, how to invest it wisely or how to make it grow, in a halaal way. So, it was painful for me to hear how this woman actually lost ninety lacs and nothing could be done to help her. (One lac is $1000, so this lady lost $90,000)

How not to get swindled? This can only happen when we (and that includes the men too) take the time and make the effort to learn all we can about handling our finances in a mature way.

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So, I asked my bank manager Umer Malik of Bank Alfalah, in E-11, Islamabad, if he could spare some time, and I could interview him.

Continue reading “Let us get financial acumen.”

Mind your mind!

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I’m talking to all of us smart phone holders. Our minds have been taken over by forwards, quotes, jokes, pics, and what not. Just like our phone starts ‘crashing’ due to so much useless stuff being stuffed into it – our minds do too! Then there are Whats App groups with their barrage of forwards. I agree some are rather nice. But ninety percent are useless and pointless! Groups have been made where no one says anything, except help crash your phone with forwards.

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Combine this with our over populated country, with people barging into your space to tell you this that or the other. As some would say “dimagh ki lassi ban jati hai!” (one’s brain is turned into churned buttermilk….)

So, naturally, when you picked the phone to make a call, you end up never making it, because you got diverted.

It happens with me all the time.

So, it is vital to find ways to keep our minds in focus. Use the same phones’ ‘notes’ or ‘calendar’ to jot down all that you need to do for the day. Yes, the ‘to do’ list is more important now than ever before.

Continue reading “Mind your mind!”