Saturday, May 31, 2008

IF I COULD WORK MIRACLES…

BY MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com

There is no second opinion that thoughts are free. A man can never be deterred from thinking of his own. Some thoughts are of extreme fanciful nature, some are with different panorama. In his thoughts a man can be the creator of his own "Fantasy World", where there is no limitation and restriction and boundary. There he possesses power, authority and domination, of which in this realistic world are termed miracles. So one can safely articulate that miracles are "something impossible made possible".

What would I want to do if I could work miracles, is the ultimate question crops up in my mind? I have always fantasized in responding this question and my reveries kept on fluctuating with every passing moment.

During my childhood, the miracles that I often thought about were to change everything into sweets, chocolates or candies. And whenever I got cough I craved avidly for to change syrup into saccharine juice of any flavour. In my school and college days, my wishful thinking changed a bit. Now I wanted the school bell to ring when I wanted to, especially when I was in hot water to give appropriate answers to the question made by my teachers. It happened in mathematics and statistics’ class quite often, as I was the weakest link in both these subjects. I also wished for a miracle to take place in examination days when I failed to deliver my hundred percent. I fantasized that by some miraculous power my papers would burn out or disappear from the sight of that teacher, or even if my papers were marked, by dint of some invisible power the teacher would mark 11 every time instead of 1.
During the ailing days of by late brother, I bitterly prayed for just a tiny miracle, for a speedy recovery of my dear brother. As I, along with my cousins went outside on the roads to bring medicines, edibles and other stuff, we murmured to each other: “there wouldn’t be a single happiest moment of our lives more then this, if we go back home and find Moazzam bhai standing on his feet and greeting us with smile as he used to do.”

Nothing happened though. Now my thoughts and wishes changed a great deal. Firstly, I used to think about the power of working miracles as a source of joy and bliss centered on my good self. But as time progressed, my wishes and fantasies again modified.

Now, if I could work miracles, I would eradicate poverty from this world and particularly from my own place, where the genie of inflation has bottled every individual from down to middle class but has refused to be bottled. I would stamp out poverty as poverty denies mankind, not only all the amenities of life but also the basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. I would be happier to see everyone healthy with the equal distribution of wealth and prevailing law and order. Then there would be no suffering and toil and people would have a fair chance to enjoy their lives.

Last but certainly not least, if I could work miracles, I would love to eliminate all diseases on the face of this planet especially a deadly disease of cancer, that swept my brother away.

But only If I could work miracles…….

The writer can be reached at mahtabbashir@gmail.com

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD.

Cell: 0300 52 56 875
0333 53 63 248


For more reading .... please click on these links, Thanx!

http://mahtabbashir.blogspot.com/2008/04/tere-bina-xindagi-bhi-laikin.html
http://mahtabbashir.blogspot.com/2008/03/my-brother-walking-lexicon-walks-away.html
http://mahtabbashir.blogspot.com/2008/03/in-memory-of-my-brother_06.html
http://mahtabbashir.blogspot.com/2008/03/most-important-part-of-body-is.html

Waseem (Nomi) from Gujranwala comments:
June 4, 2008 5:44 AM

M@ht@b! A writer of my choice. Mostly his writings are an absolute revealing of my inner thoughts. Mahtab is giving voice to my ideas. A classic piece of writing I just have finished (If I Could Work Miracles).
Hats Off:

...m@ht@b in LimeLight

With Abrar-ul-Haq Chairman Youth Parliament & Sue Beaumont Country Director, British Council in June, 2008

Active Citizens Concept Development Workshop organized by Youth Parliament of Pakistan in parnership with British Council at Iqra Univeristy, Islamabad campus

3rd prize in All Pakistan Essay Writing Competition, 2007
conducted by Quide-e-Azam Law College, Lahore




daily The Nation, November 16, 2005

US magazine of daily The News, August 06, 2004



daily The Nation, June 10, 2004



PCS Executive Examinations @ Fortress Stadium Lahore,
daily Inqilaab, 31st December, 2003

daily The Nation, May 02, 2003

Welcome party hosted by The Seniors @ Hoilday Inn, Islamabad Hotel, I was a junior Quidian on 14th Nov, 2000


daily The Nation, December 18, 1996

daily The Nation, December 27, 1995

Sunday, May 25, 2008

THE CHOICE IS YOURS…

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


Every moment in life, we are faced with a choice, which should command our preference: the demands of our job or the duties to our family? One has to make a very important presentation tomorrow to advance in his career, but his wife says she has to see a doctor on suspicion of cancer, which appointment should he keep? If there is a board meeting on the same day and a time one’s son graduates from university, where should he go, to the boardroom or to the graduation ceremony? These are the daily battles of conscience we have to wage, trying to strike a balance between our responsibilities to earn a living and our opportunities to live a life. And our choices invariably reveal who we really are. Our preferences indicate our true character. Our priorities are the best gauge of our real identity. What profits success? I know many of you out there would go for career on the pretension that after all, you are doing all these for the family.

Many of you, would rather become outstanding employees, model personnel instead of being doting fathers or loving husbands. Many of you would opt to perform exceedingly well in the office even if you work 12 to 16 hours a day, going home only to change or catch a few hours sleep, but all this for what? At the end of the day what have you accomplished?

What profits a highly successful professional or wealthy businessman if ultimately, he loses his family, wrecks his marriage or dishonours the name, what will he leave to his children? What has a rich man accomplished if he built a fortune and found conglomerates of highly profitable companies and yet drives his own wife to vices or infidelity, his children to drugs and delinquency and himself to spiritual decay and total burn out? What matters most? Look around you. The evidence is overwhelming. Families are shattered, marriages are broken, and lives are reduced to utter emptiness. Even as man advances in wealth and success, he deteriorates the basic standards of joy, peace and serenity. As we all compete and struggle for power and possessions, we often neglect what really matters.

In our insatiable mania for supremacy over the rest, we often forget the most important things in life. I will respect others choice. But as for me, my priorities are clear. Between career and family, I will always go for family. I can forget that board meeting and earn the ire of my boss or make a bad impression on my peers but I shall not inflict a life-time trauma on my son by sending him alone to graduate ceremony without his dad. I can put aside that business presentation and lose a valued client or waste a career promotion, but I can not leave my wife alone in her moment of anxiety. Meaningless!

Why should a well-known public figure commits suicide given all his fame and fortune? Can his wealth and wisdom compensate for ruptures in his relationships? Why should a son cut his wrist or a daughter drink poison despite all the luxuries and pleasures they are showered with? Can money replace lovel? Can pleasure take the place of affection? In this age of top line technology and convenient gadgets, why are human talking to computers rather than to each other? Why are we retrenching people and replacing them with robots and machines? Why have we lost the simple joys of nurturing relationships with bank tellers because we have replaced them with ATM’s? Why with all our cell phones. Pagers, E-mails, Internet, or the endemic texts, we are no longer communicating? Why are family members no longer talking to each-other? To succeed in career and fail in the family affairs to me is ultimate hell.

Those who lusted for money, lost it. Those who were given all the money, refused it. Indeed, we who are simple folks should learn from the mistakes of others around us. We should straighten our lives and put our priorities in order. I don’t know about yours or anybody else’s but as for me and my house, our credo is, “there’s no success in a career that can make up for a failure in the family.”


The author is a freelance columnist and a political analyst lives in Islamabad.

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

HONESTY PAYS BUT NOT ENOUGH?

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


Honesty may or may not be the best policy in a corrupt society but there’s no doubt that it is the basis of a virtuous life. Honesty means truthfulness in thought, speech and action. Unfortunately, today’s life of materialism is full of unscrupulous people with dodgy thoughts. It is of their opinion that the most important thing in life is to succeed by hooks or by crooks. They never expostulate by using unfair means if these prove out to be fruitful in fulfilling their aims and ambitions. Thus one can safely say that dishonesty and deceit appear very successful for these people at least for some time.

Of course, nothing is more difficult in this world than to be an honest person in a dishonest society. It puts you in a number of further troubles. By using fair and honest means, one can not always get a fair advantage, e-g a student utilizes days and nights in his studies to obtain handsome marks but still he falls short to enter the premises of a medical, engineering or any other institute he strived hard for.

One has got the capability, efficacy, competency and skills yet he is non-entity in the eyes of persons who has all the clouts. People pay no heed to the potential of youth who is almost pleading for due reward. His competency overshadows by the prowess of bribery and subornment.

Thus all the talent and proficiency goes straight into a bin. Bravely speaking, in our land of pure, nothing is pure. Every individual suffers at least once in his life-time with such pathetic state of affairs, depending on his status quo or personal contacts in concerned organizations.

You may not be able to become a rich overnight by honest means, while others accumulates wealth by duplicity, deceit and using their duel standard of betrayal. Yet there’s no doubt that dishonesty is a perilous evil that destroys the best virtues and inner-conscience of an individual as well as of the society. A dishonest man can be a successful in this world but he would not be a success story in second world.

It is appropriate in saying that all the evils of the society are the outcome of dishonesty. The people who gain power through dishonest or unfair means rule over the rest of the people by terror. Therefore, “the rule of terror” and insincere persons devise the whole society corrupt. The luckless and ill-fortunate poor mass of the country has limited options to survive thus they accept the brutal rules and atrocious policies reluctantly considering as their fate. Some calls it an error to destiny.

The insincere and dishonest ruler can not be trusted in a long run. For this deceitful person nothing is sacred and he is above all laws as he can play with the constitution of the country. If he can swindle an individual, he can easily betray his nation for a higher price.

In a nutshell, a crooked man can not be a friend of any but is a fair weather’s friend of many. He not only plays with the innocent lives and wills of his kids but destroying their moral values too.

Corruption and dishonesty will corrode our economy and coming generation, if not prevented. One can foil this social illness by adopting the Islamic injunctions. This can easily be thwarted, if one condemns the acts of notorious persons individually before going for publicly. When you are observing the institution of fasting with strict guidelines of Islamic teachings, you avoid eating in front of others because eating edibles might be condemned at a large scale and you may feel mortified. Corruption can be cured applying the same methodology by condemning the corrupt person instantly. Another way out is of performing the social boycott of the same false person putting him in isolation, it may work slowly but surely.

There’s so much good in the worst of us
And so much bad in the best of us
That ill-behooves any of us
To find faults with the rest of us.

Thomas Jefferson says, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” But in this land of pure, mainstream of people often skip the first chapter.

The author is a freelance columnist from Islamabad
MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@gmail.com
Lalarukh from Islamabad Emails':
Sat, Jun 7, 2008 at 1:55 PM
beyond my understanding.

IF I HAD MY LIFE TO LIVE OVER AGAIN…

By: MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


· I would have talked less and listened more.
· I would have invited all my friends over to dinner even if the carpet was filthy and the sofa set faded.
· I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather and my maternal grandfather ramble about their youth.
· I would have sat in the lawn with my wife and children not worrying about grass stains.
· I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.
· There would have been more “I love you”, more “I’m sorry” and more “Thank you dear”.
· But mostly, if I’m given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really, live it and never give it back.
· Lastly, I would tell all my friends that I need their love and affection and that my life would be empty without them!

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

Maha from Lahore Emails':
Jun 7, 2008 8:33 AM
hi
AOA Whts up?
ur mails are very nice.
tnx 4 sending me
Regards
MAHA

Michelle from Australia Emails':
Jun 7, 2008 9:11 AM
Hi Muhammad Mahtab Bashir,
I just came across you- via the below email- and i read and liked your poem "Another life to live…"
I receive google alerts on the key word 'live life'. My name is Michelle, i'm from Sydney, Australia. I am trying to learn more about how to live life to the full... and i think it's hard to do in this modern world... when i finish worknig out how to live life to the full in this modern world i live in- i might write about it! I think alot of people are trying to do it!!
So lovely to have come across you... i did a quick google search on your name and found the following articles:
Gagging the Media
Muhammad Mahtab Bashir
http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=ar&nid=92&ad=16-11-2007
‘Harmonious ties’
http://www.dawn.com/2007/08/04/letted.htm
so it looks like you are from Pakistan? and it looks like you are active/political/socially conscious and a good writer (smile).
I wonder what else are you interested in, and do you have any other material or leads or authors for me to read and/or to follow up on- in my quest to find out how to live a full/er life?
Well- lovely to have met you online and best wishes (smile).
Kind regards,

Michelle

SEASONS FOR ALL THE REASON

By: MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


We are living in the most blessed region of this planet where Allah Almighty has bestowed us with the blessing of four to five different weathers in a year. All these climates have their own unique and exceptional values to live with. And all of these weathers have immense influence over our lives.

When the sun is shining on a cloudless day, the visibility is unlimited. The warm sun is perfect for virtually any outdoor activity, it’s nice, the old, middle aged and young all enjoy it. The plants grow fast and strong on such days.

When it is raining, you can sleep better. There is nothing more soothing than water cascading down in the constant pitter-patter of nature’s rhythm. Even walking and jogging in a rain is so refreshing. I never forget that without rain I would starve. There would eventually be no water to make the crops grow, drought would abound, and millions would perish.

Storms charge the air with an almost mystical feeling. The freezing temperatures help to kill flies, mosquitoes and fleas. If you have pets, you know the flea season is really rough after a mild winter.

Sun, rain, storms, heat, and freezing temperatures all have their place in the cycles of nature. They all are beautiful. So it is with our lives. We have our seasons and our weather. All these environments have their place in the cycles of our lives.

We have things to grow, dreams to water, pests to kill, and moments to simply stand in awe and watch God move to take pleasure in the seasons of our lives. We should remain obliged to the Creator of all these weather and the Creator of this universe for granting us such boon of which many around the world craving for. Just love the nature, as they say, “You can not be broken by nature if you are a part of it”.

As a rule man is a fool
When it’s hot he wants it cool
When it’s cool he wants it hot
Always wanting what is not.

The writer is a freelancer and a political analyst lives in Islamabad.

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

SUCH IS LIFE

By MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


One moment in life, you have shortage, the next you have excess. One day you have twenty four hours of leisure, the next you don’t have time to get it all done. One day the refrigerator is empty and you are hungry, the next day you have a half eaten meal in front of you and you are stuffed. One month you have a lot of money to spare and you wonder what to buy, the next you don’t have enough to buy a chewing gum. One day you are the centre of attraction, the next you wonder if anyone knows you are alive. This is what we call the “waves of life”.

The spiral waves of life carry us up and down and all around. Money, friends, relationships, your job, your body all vary with the passage of time. They all walk off in waves. You might get attracted to what is on the tube, what is on the web-portals or what is on the advertisement hoardings, but it’s only a wave, after a while the thrill is gone.

I have always fancied that if money and worldly things brought happiness in life, then why on this earth every rich person is not happy? I can comfortably assess how poverty may cause unhappiness but I am deluded into believing that money solves every problem. Life is full of uncertainty and a bundle of small things that matter a lot. I would not trade my life with anyone’s, as it is one of the most blessed things that I have, but still, it’s full of stuff: one thing after another, one challenge after another, one situation after another, day by day… its going and going. These are the waves of life and there’s no stopping them from the outside. You can only calm the inside so that like a submarine, you ride beneath the waves. Though a squall may be raging, but you are at ease and peace.

These waves of life have their own way of playing with people, from person to person. Most of us are tossed and turned by the cruel onslaught of waves. Some ride deep beneath the daily storms in tranquility. Others simply surf the waves and enjoy the thrill, though sometimes drown. No one can prevent these waves; it’s the nature of the ocean of life. You can only take the preventive measures but not to defy those nasty actions of waves of life. There’s no gainsaying that life is volatile. We, as a human being, never know which way the wind is going to blow, our predictions are flawed, but we have a firm believe that luck favours the brave and opportunity smiles on those who dare. The only defensive measure we can take is to adjust our sails in the right directions. We can do it by using our brainwaves. Just keep your head cool, look around you, trust in God and never lose hope; everything belongs to you.

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0333 53 63 248
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com

FLYING WITHOUT WINGS

By: MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com

A woman repeated a bit of gossip about a neighbour. Within a few days the whole community knew the story. The person who was concerned deeply hurt and offended. Later, the woman responsible for spreading the rumour learned that it was completely untrue. She was very sorry and went to a wise old sage to find out what she could do to repair the damage. “Go to market place”, he said, “and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feather and drop them one by one along the road.” Although surprised by this advice, the woman did the same as suggested.

The next day the wise man said, “Now, go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to home.” The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay the wind had blown all the feathers away. After searching for hours, she returned back with only two feathers in her hand.

“You see,” said the old sage, “it’s so easy to drop them, but it is impossible to get them back so it is with gossip. It does not take much to spread a rumour, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong. Once the tooth-paste is out of the tube, you can not insert it back.” The sage concluded.

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


Lalarukh from Islamabad Emails':
Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 3:01 PM
U r indeed a big big Gender Biased
Romiya Mansoor Ali from Karachi Emails':
Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 10:57
Nice work
impress by the subject FLYING WITHOUT WINGS!!!! :-)
TRUE agree with all u said

SO LEARN TO LAUGH MORE

By: MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@yahoo.com


A continuous expanding body of medical research now confirms that laughter is a powerful medicine in alleviating the impact that stressful events have on our lives and in actually preventing accidents reversing disease. Laughter is a happy and pleasant experience. Moreover, when you get angry, you get wrinkles, and when you are smiling, you get a dimple without spending a single penny.

Smile is a tiny crooked line that makes all matters straight. It temporarily diverts our attention and dissipates feelings of fear, anger, isolation and physical pain. Laughter can be the doorway to purging harmful emotions and resolving mental tension. It is a form of a therapy that encourages us to release the painful emotions of anger, fear and boredom. Laughter enables the processing of information in a new way. New perceptions can lead to different and healthier solutions.

William Fry, M.D., psychiatrist and professor emeritus at Stanford University, documented physiological changes from laughter similar to intense aerobic exercises. He stated that, “One hundred laughs are equal to ten minutes of aerobics exercise”.

Laughter can also help the immune system. Research at the Department of Clinical Immunology at Loma Linda University School of Medicine has demonstrated that the experience of laughter lowers the level of certain stress hormones and stimulates the immune system by increasing the number of activated T cells and activated T helper cells. In addition, mirthful laughter enhances the activity of natural killer cells that play a crucial role in preventing different diseases.

To create more smiles and laughter, try any one or all of these humour strategies:

· Cultivate a playful attitude
· Find humour in daily life
· Learn to belly laugh and share jokes
· Hang out with people who are fun to be with, who makes you laugh
· Learn to laugh at yourself
· And Laugh with others not at others.

MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0300 52 56 875
mahtabbashir@gmail.com
Lalarukh Farooq from Islamabad Emails':
Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 9:00 AM
Humm this is good. to some extent things described in this piece of writting r right.
Tania Shah from Islamabad Emails':
Dear Mahtab,
Thanks for the info but i really doubt prof.emeritus research on laughter .. ... can i lose 10 pounds by laughing 1000 times?
khush raho....hanstay raho....hansataay rahoo
taniya-
Taniya Shah
M.Phil Department of Anthropology
Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

APPEARANCES ARE OFTEN DECEPTIVE

By MUHAMMAD MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD
mahtabbashir@gmail.com

What about the bum on the street? I was waiting on someone standing in a street. Coming my way from across the street was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him, he had nothing to eat, no shelter, no clean cloth and no monitory.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered to put your hand in your pockets. This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times” for me. And I presume he doesn’t ask me for any money to help him out. To my utter surprise he did not. He came and sat on the wall besides me. After a few minutes, he broke the silence, “that’s a pretty elegant watch you are wearing”, I shook my head in positive with fear of not losing it. He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him. His scraggly blond beard keeps more than his face warm. I said, “Thanks” and continued waiting with keeping an eye on my watch. He sat there quietly again as I waited. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened, someone inside me said, “Ask him if he needs any help?” I was sure inwardly that he would say “yes” if I ask him the same question. I held true to my inner voice, eventually. “Do you need any help?” I asked. And he answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great men and women. We expect it from those of higher learners and accomplished persons. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke those three words that shook me. “Don’t we all”, he said. I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, superior to a bum in a street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun. Don’t we all? “Yes I need help, may be not for bus fare or to get edible or a place to sleep, but I need help”, he finished.

I reached in my wallet and give him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to take a cab anywhere in the city and get food and shelter for the very day. But those three little words meant a lot to me and still ring true to me. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are still waiting on you to give them what they don’t have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse at something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos that only you through a torn world can see.

I thought for a time being, may be that man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. May be he was more than that. Or may be he was sent by a power that is the Greatest and the Wisest. May be God looked down, called him an Angel and we named him a bum.

MAHTAB BASHIR
House # 2026, Street # 32,
I-10/2, ISLAMABAD.
Cell: 0333 53 63 248