Thursday, August 26, 2010

Children of Heaven: A Persian Movie

The simplest movie is also the one you learn from the most. What I loved about this movie is that, contrary to most Hollywood production that's designed to leave you in the disillusion that you are far from the world of glamour and glitter, "Children of Heaven" makes draws your attention to some of the most important things in life- a sincere sacrifice for someone else, a consideration of somebody else's feelings- that cost nothing and worth everything, all the while helping you count your own blessings.

So go here and watch this now:

It will definitely be worth the two hours!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am an artist

And my life is my masterpiece. God gave me my paintbrush and infinite colours. Sure, He has ultimate control over everything, but He decided to give me power over my own life. I have the freedom of choice, and I shape my world with my thoughts.

Every day I wake up thankful for my mind. I am determined to stand guard at its entrance, refusing entry to those polluting negative thoughts that try their best to squeeze their way through. I may not have control over other people and the way they treat me, I may not have control over the traffic and the weather, over world leaders' decisions and wars, over global trends and social mindsets, but I do have total possession of my mind, and I know that I owe it to God and to myself to use my thought-filter to fulfill the purpose of my existence.

I don't know how much time I have but I do know it isn't much. I also know I never want to make the mistake of wasting my limited time giving thought to things that don't matter instead of focusing on those that do. Wasting time worrying about the future or about peoples' opinions or about past mistakes and regrets and pain.

I can grieve because roses have thorns, or celebrate because thorns have roses. The seemingly-unfortunate events that happen to me don't come to me labeled. It is I who will define whether it's a tragedy or an opportunity waiting to be noticed.

Happiness is a choice. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Help, anyone?

Aslam bit his lip and swallowed hardly.

Not that he doesn't like the rain- when he had felt drops on his cheeks, he rushed inside to get his sister out and enjoy it with him. Now it was not so fun. The rain was intent on staying, first shyly peeking through windows and doors and any open cracks in his home, but then it had turned into a cruel unstoppable downpour, flooding into every room, drowning the crops.

"Take the kids and go! Jaldi!"
Amid the hoarse screams of his father and the anxious instructions of his mother, Aslam froze in his place watching the chaos around him. He knew he was meant to help his mother pack up any belongings he can get hold of, and he knew he had to be quick. He just didn't know why his legs refused to budge.

Planted at the doorway, with the water reaching his knees and his heart beating in his mouth, Aslam found his voice suddenly. "Zaara- my books! Get me my books from the room", but it was just a little creak that noone heard. He headed towards the room, trying to move his heavy legs against the steady flow of water around him. It felt like he was back in his swimming classes, except this wasn't the clear sparkling blue pool surrounded by giggles and whistles. This was his village getting flooded, their food stocks destroyed and their house ruined.

"Aslam, there's no time for that now!"
His mother hoisted him up with her strong arms and passed him onto his sister. Zaara balanced him on her side, her shivering unsteady arm carrying a cardboard box on the other side. She started off, flinching at the cold water running up her wide trousers. Then she paused and turned, expecting the others to follow.

Aslam's eyes saw but his mind didn't register. This was a scene from another world- a scene from one of those Bollywood movies Zaara rents for them to watch every weekend. Things like this don't happen normally. They're only meant to be seen on television.

His mother reached her arms towards her husband, as a large current sent goosebumps up their necks and pushed the water to a higher level. Aslam couldn't make out what his mother was shouting to them above the roar of wind and water. His father was struggling now, trying to hold on to anything in the way- a floating wood plank could save the day.

But the current was getting more confident- it was becoming stronger and the water was getting too high. Aslam watched as his father was swept away and as his mother desperately waded in vain against the waters behind him through the screams of his sister and the deafening roar of the water and wind that had orphaned him.

The floods in Pakistan have left at the least a thousand and six hundred killed, and affected around twleve million others. More than six hundred thousand homes have been destroyed and more than a million acres of land flooded.

Ramadan is almost here, and many people have no place to live and no food to eat. Those whose lands have been destroyed are going to have to survive this winter on aid from outside.

You never know when you might be in a situation where you rely on the help of others. Please support UNICEF's relief effort: or go here: for a complete list of charities you can donate to if you want to help the victims.

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