Just a little piece of cloth

This is something about which I have always wanted to write. Something that contributes so much to my identity and me as a person, yet, from the cover, it’s just a scarf. Just a piece of cloth.

1

I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember the time when I started wearing it for the first time. It was when I was in 7th, most of my classmates had started wearing a scarf and I chose to wear one because I wanted to be among them, fitting in sort of a thing. Since my family was not exactly orthodox, there was never a push or  an encouragement from that side. Gradually after some time, this piece of cloth on my head started becoming a part of me and my modesty. I started feeling uncomfortable about showing my hair anymore.  Back in my childhood, I was a stage performer. So this piece of cloth was incorporated in my stage attires, partially first with a little covering of my hair, then turning into a complete cover. There was so much resistance even from family first because apparently I was taking it ‘overboard’. But the little me stood my ground, because this was something that obviously tied me to my God. Something that made me feel good about myself.

Then it became an integral part of my dressing. I knew I could never go out without my scarf. Nor remove it for the sake of anythng. It just became a part of my life. What I didnt know about was, how this little piece of cloth on my head affected and bond in a much more deeper level. Till then, it was an external element. Something about how I chose my appearance.

Then came a phase in my life, in college, where inspite of being surrounded by Muslims, there was a constant struugle when it came to my religion, within myself. Everything was blank and I felt numb, I didn’t feel any emotion even when I prayed, that at times I would skip it, because of the guilt of doing injustice to it by not showing even an ounce of commitment or sincerity to it. Just darkness and everything felt so empty. I felt no guidance, no encouragement, nothing that told me to do more. Everyday I would wake up and just find myself doing everything mechanically, getting ready, going to college, coming back. But in those days, when I looked in the mirror, to put on my scarf, everyday, I would see a girl staring back at me, still holding on to that little piece of cloth on her head that she could never let go. And I had an epiphany. I remembered how I had fought to embrace it. How it became a part of my life. And that little piece of cloth that I wrapped daily on my head, was a flicker of hope. A hope that made my heart beat again. A hope that told me all was not lost. A hope that told me that I had miles to go.

You see, that little piece of cloth, held me together, unknowingly, when I was breaking down. That little piece of cloth, reminded me to realise who I was and who I want to be. That little piece of cloth, made me work to be myself again.

I am tired of those sympathetic looks I get, about how I am, being forced to cover my hair. And I have a hard time explaining the fact that it was infact the opposite, wherein I faced a lot of resistance to wear my hijab in the beginning from family. I am tired of explaining how this scarf is my choice, and just is a part of what I BELIEVE. My choice. My belief. And my religion. It is nothing of your concern.

I cannot even comprehend the pain that my Muslim sisters undergo, struggling with wearing hijab in the West. But I know I felt really bad when I was asked if I carried a bomb in my bag, by the security lady who judged me by my hijab, which is the identity of my religion when she let all my other friends pass without a fuss. What she failed to understand was, it was MY identity, my identity as a person.

You choose to tie your hair this or that way. You choose what to wear and what not to, and you have reasons for it.

And just like that, I choose to wear my hijab. And I have my own reasons.

 

Reasons of how it was this little piece of cloth, that held me together when I was breaking apart, struggling to find a ground.

It is never just a piece of cloth.

It is a part of my life.

A part of my heart.

 

 

The Forlorn Follower

“being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.” 
― Charles BukowskiWomen

There was that feeling again. That helpless feeling when we are in need of a person. That feeling when everything that you do doesnt satisfy you or people around you. That feeling when you finally admit that all those people who you wanted close to you didnt serve their purpose. All your efforts went down the drain.

Like Tahereh Mafi said,

“All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.” 

All that I have ever wanted is just that but everytime I am disappointed. People are disappointing. They are just never there when you want them to. All of them have their own reasons to stay back. To be patient with you.

But then you will realise people are not important. They are not wrong to go away. It was your mistake all along. Your priorities. Where are your priorities? Whom do you depent on? Thats what matters. And when you put them on the wrong people and expect some thing more from them, that’s when you will be disappointed. All mortals are disappointing. So where do you go? Whom do you expect to stand by through your difficulties?

The answer is just within you. Your Creator. Depend on him. Tell him all your worries. Expect from him. And he will grant you, if not what you asked for, something better. He will grant neverthless. And He will never disappoint you. Because He stays by you. Always.

Always.

“Let me tell you this: if you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it’s not because they enjoy solitude. It’s because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them.” 
― Jodi PicoultMy Sister’s Keeper

I am not lucky, I am Blessed !

Today I read about a girl. A girl who could see the world no more. A girl who was deprived of all the colours and brightness at the age of 8. A girl could have easily given up. But still preferred to achieve in life. Imagine yourself in her place. You will realise that you are indeed blessed !

This girl cant see herself. She doesn’t know how she looks. How tall he is. How fat she is. But she has no complaints. She is just Grateful.

What about us?!

Each time we look at ourselves in the mirror, we never thank for what we have. We are keen on finding out what we dont have and start complaining.

Why?

Why do we complain when we have a lot more than what others have?

We have everything.

Eyes to see the world. To enjoy the colour and brightness.

Nose to smell the wonderful scents of the world.

Ears to hear the calm sounds of nature.

Tongue with which we taste and speak our ideas out.

Hands and Legs that help us do everything.

Still, we are not satisfied. What is this, if not GREED !?

This girl now is on cloud 9. When a normal girl takes one month to study the Braille Script, she took a mere 4 days. She utilised all her vacations for learning new things. Now she knows typewriting and how to operate a computer with the help of which she reads. She handles English , Hindi and Malayalam well and is now all set to learn French and Braille Chess ! The most recent achievement being complete A+’s in her 10th Boards without any help of Tuitions or without attending special schools !

Looking back a year and a half or so , when I was so happy to get the complete A+’s for which I worked hard. But is it the same as this girl? Was mine worth? It does make a difference. I – who have everything and She – who has something. Thats the difference. Did I work so hard?! I knew the answer. I did work hard but not hard enough.

This girl who thinks that her life is so normal when she know that there WAS a tumour which cost her , her eyesight. She is the one who can rightfully be called COURAGEOUS and BRAVE. Its not easy to live your life like nothing has happened. Its not easy when you know that your dear ones are in pain at the mere sight of your condition. I salute you. You are everything that I am not.

Do your best. Let god carry on from there. – She says

To all people out there. Make some time to look back at your life. You will realise that you are lucky but blessed !

You have parents to provide the best strength and comforts in life. They promise you a secure life.

When there are millions of children around you who have no idea about what the future holds for them. Its dark. And they have to make it Alone.

You are being educated and given healthy food.

While there are children who dream of going to school but has to work in dark tunnels watching their childhood disappear in front of them for a PIECE OF BREAD ! They sacrifice everything to feed their family !

Blessings ! They are countless !

Each one of us is blessed !

Its just that we never realize it ! Are we thankful enough ?!

Accept the fact : We are blessed !

Alhamdulillah !

Blessed are the blind, for they know not enough to ask why.

Blessed are the forgetful: for they get the better even of their blunders.

Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.

Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.

Blessed be God that Thou hast filled the soul of Thy servant with joy and peace in believing.