Beyond the Stereotype


Today, on my way back from dinner I had to pick up a tailoring job from a store and like usual it didn’t take more than a minute. But in this minute, I was forced to stop and think about stereotypes and the desperate need to break out of them.

When I entered the store, my pack was ready at the counter and I went straight for it as the shopkeeper handed it to me. In the queue although were a few European and Korean (looking) guys, waiting for their turn, so while I grabbed my pack I said ‘excuse me, sorry!’, exactly what I would have done if I were back in the UK, but instead of the suspicious stare I got from that group of guys in Pakistan, I would have probably just gotten way. I realised in that moment, that our behaviour (many a times) is not based on what the situation is, but on the pre-assumptions that we bring into that situation about each other and the situation itself.

I could also relate this stare to something which we do to people from our own cultures too. Sadly, you get to see a lot of that here as the inequality is enormous – It is when the more educated, sophisticated people judge the individuals from the lesser well off backgrounds. This got me thinking about the true solution to the problem is to truly and really accept the diversity within human beings and stop judging them based on their backgrounds, colour or ethnicity. Living in one of the most multicultural societies in the world, importance of tolerance is clear in London, where we know that only if someone looks brown, black or white, they wouldn’t necessarily be cultured a certain way or live a certain lifestyle. But I wish we could take that thinking with us everywhere – so that in every relationship, in every situation we’d start with an empty slate, with no pre-assumptions and stereotypes, so we’d really see things for what they are and know people for who they really are.

I think, one understands the true meaning of diversity when they see someone who they assume to be exactly like them, with similar backgrounds but they happen to have completely different ideas of what life is all about and different values and habits. I think that shakes us more than when we see someone from a different culture, doing things similar to us.

What I am trying to say is, whether a person is from your own or another race, you never know what hides under that skin and flesh – and I think we’re all worth that fair chance of showing each other who we really are and what we really stand for because beyond that stereotype is a whole different; and similar person in each one of us!

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Just Another Chapter..


I have been back home for a few days now, and to be fair – everyone’s been quite kind to me. So many familiar people, so much to share with them and love about them. I am sure this is going to somewhat die down once the weddings and festivities end in a few days’ time. But the truth is, it almost feels like I was never gone, it feels like I have so much more to show for my time and years gone by, we’ve all grown older and wiser (hopefully), but yet we love and live like we always have.

It feels like I am in a safe place, when I am here – lesser to worry about, but I definitely need to get on my own two feet soon and get my life onto a purposeful path. Having said all of this, I also realised today what the bitterest thing about being back was: approval. As I have so many around me who love and relate to me and are with me through each day, they happen to take this upon themselves to quality and approve mine and each other’s decisions and lives. Similarly, they share all the happiness and sorrows.

A deeper thought into this makes me wonder if this is just specific to the culture in Pakistan, or may be no matter where you had all your family and friends, there will be expectations and those who meet them, and those who don’t.

It’s just another great chapter of life, with its own highs and lows – All I can say is that I have no regrets because I have lived and loved every bit of it, so far…

Wiring Kindness


Today has been an interesting day in our household. On my way back from work my brother called me to say his wallet had gone missing. It wasn’t the biggest surprise to me as it was in his pocket and he was in train which was packed in peak hours. And I guess it happens sometimes – Lucky he didn’t have much cash in the wallet, still he had lots of cards to block, renew and replace.

We were only just fretting over getting this done that my brother got a notification on his Instagram, that he had been tagged in a photo. Shockingly, it was picture of his wallet and he was tagged by a girl he had never heard or seen before. She said he should contact her and take the wallet off her. Turns out he had dropped his wallet while he was on the train and this kind lady had found it there and then looked for my brother on Instagram from his name and photo ID. My brother messaged her and he couldn’t have been more thankful, and later this week they will meet to have his wallet returned.

This episode gave me a reality check of how technology has changed our lives and it make me think why we talk so much about how is has made our lives complicated, occupied and inhumane – sometimes I think we lack a sense of positivity and we forget to think about all the great things it makes us capable of doing. Even if the lady had found the wallet, there was no way of her contacting my brother unless she went to his university and got his details, which would have meant so much effort and time. I think technology has amplified our habits, capabilities and it is helping us reach our potentials, while we still learn to completely and effectively incorporate it into our lives. So the people who are kind, have greater opportunities to do something good with their increased accessibility and connectivity and people who are not, they wouldn’t be any different without technology either.

Today I am proud to be born in this era of technological advancements.

Nearing the end of a beginning..


We all knew moving back was not going to be the easiest thing for me to get around – but I think I have come to accept it in stages, one after the other and as it is only a few weeks away now I can clearly see how this is going to pan out and I am starting to realise what makes this stage such a scary one.

There’s two fears kicking in here. First, is the fear that almost everyone at this stage has – which is to be growing up to damn fast with time just flying by. For most people: they finish university, get a job, get promoted …. And it just goes on – there’s not one day when you stop and tell yourself, so today xyz phase of your life has come to an end. For me this is not going to be the case. For me the day I sit in that plane with my single ticket, I know this journey would have come an end, I know this huge chunk and lot of achievements would have come to their completion. Which is an amazing yet a scary thought. It is amazing to know I have completed my Masters and Bachelors, that too with distinctions, which has opened to many doors for me. I have met so many amazing people, gone to so many amazing places and experienced so much. But it is scary to think that the phase of studying abroad is now coming to an end and it’s time to get a job, settle down and move on.

Second is obviously, change is never easy to accept and it kills to think what the future holds, in every phase of uncertainty.

I can only hope that what’s ahead is as amazing as what’s gone by and I need to make the most of every second while I am here. May be we should live like tourists all our lives, so we’d enjoy our lives a whole lot more, take more chances and risks, speak our hearts and love a little more.

Folks through time, still mine!


Going through old & new photos of my family members, relatives, friends; I got thinking of how we look at our family, our cousins, our siblings, our people and others.. And I found myself rolling over double standards there, unconsciously because we’re brought up thinking that we’re supposed to be similar and have similar standards for how we live, what we do and what we do or do not appreciate. And to be fair that seemed like a reasonable expectation to have earlier in the days as we lived closely knit together and we were only growing up and finding ourselves, asking similar questions about similar things… But as we grow older and start to experience different things in life and turn out different from each other attributing to experiences, we can’t really be thought of as being so similar any more, yet we do love each other – I guess we then need to start treating them more as friends than family who we unconsciously want to be similar to. We learn from them, we support them, we cherish them, but we can’t expect them to have the same aspirations and habits like us, even though you do share a history with them and that never changes and you carry bits & bobs with you. I just think I am writing this as we all grow older to find each other change through time and often times it can be hard to understand that we can’t expect ourselves or people to be what they were and to have the same relationship with you as they did before. Things change, people change, our dynamics with others changes – It’s just a part of this wonderful journey.

This blog is only a reminder to self. Growing up has never been the easiest thing for my mind to get around!

Most difficult of difficulties..


We’ve all seen hardships, challenges, difficulties and problems which life throws at us – They make life what it is – An exciting yet precarious journey.

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Today I got thinking about the great and not so great things that happen in life and I realised that the things that infuriate you the most are the ones which you can do nothing about.

It is straight forward going through a problem with a solution known to you and in your control. You might have to work really really hard, you might have to give up hours or people or things you have but it helps to know how to reach a solution. In my life I have always seen challenges, milestones and every single day as a process. You find problems, you find their solutions, you celebrate, you enjoy and you find another one to solve. But all this sounds great!

It gets really stirring when there are things in life that you can do nothing about. You can’t decide or predict when and who you will meet, or if you would fall sick or recover, or if you will fall in love with a place or person, or change how someone thinks or feels and you can’t change timing of things… It is most difficult to wait for things to pan out not knowing how they would; waiting for destiny play out!

What we can learn from the Gentlemen…


From time to time, I self-evaluate myself, my life and everything around me which I can have an impact on. So that I could try and be my better self every single day. I have been observing and thinking and I came across some striking and very constructive habits, predominantly possessed by men, don’t get me wrong, some women do too, but I believe it comes naturally to men while women have to strive to develop these habits, like myself. While these habits have constructive implications for most things we do in life, I see them as vital for career progression and growth, especially in a work force which is more or less a ‘man’s world’ (Its changing!). So here’s the two of my favourite ones:

Solve the problem
They say sometimes when women talk about their problems, they don’t want solutions, they just want to be listened to. That’s alright as long as the one you share your problems with is limited to a trusted, close few. But we do this at work and in social circles excessively, women or men neither is it appealing nor constructive. Infact many would see it as a waste of time. If you can appreciate that there is a problem, don’t just leave it there – Take it, twist it, shake it, break it – Do whatever until you make peace with it. If it happens so, that there is nothing you can do about it, then is it really worth your time to discuss it?
Having said that to even understand or recognize a problem you must hear and say – but excessively complaining about things doesn’t seem like the most productive use of time, when you could rather be changing and shaking things.

Be full of yourself
It’s an absurd thing to say but I have seen way too many women shy to own their successes and achievements. The idea is: If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? You have got to start believing in your abilities and your decisions. And above all you need to know that you deserve what you are striving for. Sure, you learn from others, you need the luck, prayers and blessings, support from others etc but in the end YOU need to make things happen. Self-awareness is a gift, you need to know your strengths and your weaknesses, and especially when it comes you career you have got to build the former and manage the later. Personally, I find power posing to be an excellent help in this department.
Both of these habits, I believe, would make us more constructive, productive, happy and successful individuals and professionals. But these, with everything else, need to be adopted in moderation. No one wants to know or work with an arrogant bully or a complete bore.

On that note, keep learning from everything and everyone!