Walking on the beach last night, the stillness of the sea, the wavelessness and calmness took me back to the time when we used to live in the city by the Red Sea. The same smell… the peculiar smell of the waveless sea, brought back so many memories. The receded shore in the summers was one thing which all of us didn’t like when we were young, and we still don’t like it! The contrast these seas have with the one we enjoy in our homeland is striking. The gushing waves, the waves that make you crazy, the waves in which you dive and the tides that are high in the summer, and the government keeps announcing that the sea is dangerous yet the whole city goes there to killl the heat of the summer and to keep away from the pains and torture of the power breakdowns. *sigh* It’s just a walk and that single walk can take you miles away from everything… the smell.. it’s abstract yet is so concretely embedded in your mind that it awakes all those memories associated with it. How Allah ST has made us all and how He has tuned us, it is all just so amazing. It’s just the realization… it is so overwhelming. SubhanAllah! WOW!
This maybe a clean, beautiful, developed and a rich nation, but somehow you miss the eccentricities of your own land. The nostlagia this place arouses of Jeddah cannot be denied, but the longing for the warmth of one’s own land is greater than anything else. The smell of the rain when it hits the earth, that smell can not be traded with any branded perfume. And I just realised that it’s the blessing of Allah SWT that he has bestowed upon us. But surely we are not doing any good to our own homeland, we are not paying it proper respects. I fear the Day when I’d be asked what did I do to make things right, what I should have done? The people who gave their lives to snatch away a piece of land from the clutches of Brits and the Hindus so that we can live our lives accroding to the Quran and Sunnah, have we actually fulfilled their ambitions/? Have we done justice to the blood that was shed so that we could have rights to perform our religious duties?
I’m still wondering where I stand in the middle of all this…hah! I miss home…
It feels the same… but I can sense the difference. The last time I was in the middle east was like eleven years ago. Now I am back in the same area but in a different country but there’s this same kind of feeling around here – the middle-east feeling.
Now, sitting in my brother’s apartment, I can see the tall apartment complexes, the desert and the sea all at the same time.. takes me back to the country I lived in when I was a kid. It brings back so many memories, good and bad, yet there is nostalgia in the air. The city is not as big as Jeddah, and yet the sight of the sea… aah! I am actually sitting right below Iraq! OMG! IRAQ! That.. is.. like.. umm.. oh.. can’t think of any proper words to describe that feeling.
I miss Pakistan, my relatives, my home, my friends, and the city of lights already! I just landed in the morning!
Though the nostlagic feeling is huge BUT the feeling that one is not amoungst his/her own countrymen is yet overwhelming! There’s nothing like the smell of the soil of ones own homeland, the sound of the gushing waves, and what if it rains in Karachi while we’re here… NAHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!
Finally I was over with Tess of the D’Urbervilles yesterday and was not in the mood of overdoing it by reading some critical material. So I glanced at my shelf looking for something amazing to read and my eyes were held by The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.
We did The Mill on the Floss in the first semester of this Honours Program. Though I loved the story, the annotations and the discussion we had with the teacher makes it more special. I was reading the parts which were underlined, marked and were remarked upon and I realised how much it still moves me.
In the first class, the teacher said that each and everyone of us have a Maggie in ourselves. And we were bewitched by this idea. And we still are…
When we finished it, the teacher discussed some major themes, aspects and ideas about the whole novel and on the last blank page of the novel, I wrote something that the teacher said in class:
“Death before death is Mysticism”
And the silence that followed still has its impact upon me…
I was 5 or 6 then, when my brother and my sister along with me, used to fill the plastic glasses with Zamzam and used to make a little circle with them while our elder siblings and parents used to go for Tawaf after Asr prayer. I still remember that certain smell of carpets, the joy of breaking your Saum on the first floor, over looking the Ka’ba. In the early 90s, it was not used to be crowded at all during the first two ashras of Ramadan. There was never a need for us to take anything inside the mosque as the Dates and Zamzam were more than enough for us. They are the blessings of Allah.
Times changed. We became older and used to accompany our parents during Tawaf. The best thing that you could ever experience there was the generosity of people. If people were not able to complete their Tawaf a few minutes before the Azaan, other people used to come and provided them with dates and Zamzam, so that they don’t have any difficulty in breaking their Saum. Even when we used to sit inside and wait for the Azaan, families sitting around us, they used to share their food items with the others without any descrimination of creed, race or colour. This is how I’ve seen people breaking their Saum inside the House of Allah.
Above all, praying Trawih prayers in His House is one blessing of Allah that I’m thankful for. I was barely 13 when I came back here in Pakistan. But the feeling of ecstacy, fulfillment and joy of actually praying inside Masjid Al-Haram is still instilled in my soul. And I still long to go back and experience all those things again with much devoutness and love for Allah.
Watching Tarawih a few days back on T.V. brought back all those loving and amazing memories and feelings. And the desperate feeling to experience everything once again. And I hope, wish and pray to Allah that may He call me there soon. Ameen.