Working in the big, busy chaotic metropolis is not a cakewalk for a village bumpkin like me. It confused me in the beginning. I shared this concern with my friend. No response for a day. But what she wrote 24 hours later blew my mind. It was an antidote to the poison. I will reproduce the letter (written in chaste Urdu) for readers of this esteemed paper. It will help those going through tough times. Sabreena’s letter is like hope against hope.
Trust this letter finds you well. I am writing to let you know that you are the creator of your reality. Your silent exit from your birthplace might have surprised many but that was the last option left. I am writing these lines from a quiet corner of my sleepy village, on a bone-chilling night of December in Kashmir. I am optimistic that you will steal some time in the crowded city and read it with an open heart.
Scratching old wounds hurts but we learn some hard lessons from the stupid mistakes made in the past. Keep repeating to yourself, wherever you are, that you have a purpose in mind. You have a set goal. Go and conquer it. Your mission is to illuminate the lives of others. Remember that Kaleem Ajizi couplet? Raste mein dost ya dushman ka ghar miley!
Good things take time. Why hurry? Don’t rush. Relax. Stay calm and enjoy the process. Everything happens for a reason. Be forgiving to those who harmed you. Your compassion must replace anger with love. I know it is easier said than done. Sorry if I sound dictatorial. But trust me, dear, this world is crude and cruel. Love is measured in different modern yardsticks. Currency speaks volumes. People bow in front of Sarkari Job. It has an appeal. But don’t be part of the crowd. Mind your gap. You are bursting with brilliant ideas. Overcome the fears that have consumed the cream of our society. Our Gen-Next have been reduced to keyboard warriors minus logic and reason. They know the art of wasting their precious time comparing their lives on fake social media sites and earning anxiety. You are an exception. Stay accurate and original.
Confront the challenges. Your potential to succeed is infinite. You are getting wiser after being ditched and deceived by your ‘own’. I am at peace with my past. It gives me immense pleasure. Dear Abid, I don’t let failure ruin the future career prospectus. I have moved on, so have you. Being tangled in the cobweb of hate and insecurity lowers self-esteem. Don’t ever try to go into that territory. That is a deep dark tunnel.
I have known you for over two decades now. You radiate love and grace. You are diplomatic and tolerant. Then, why should one small incident cow you down? Never. You faced wild and scandalous allegations and responded with success. That small building in your village where kids learn the basics of religious texts is witness to the purity of the soul accused of sin. Don’t forget the faces who mocked you. They are literate not educated. Period.
Every experience in my life shapes my growth. Before your departure, I left you with a token of love. Open your diary and see page no. 5: “You are not insignificant. You are here to contribute to the advancement of humankind. Love and accept yourself unconditionally.” Live these lines.
Crisis brings out the best in us. Full of vitality, you are treasured for who you are. Your body is your holy temple. Take good care of yourself. Drink enough boiled water and eat a balanced diet. The divine will guide all your actions. You will be in alignment with the universe. Everything leads to something better. Let go of anger. It helps to make better decisions and see things more clearly. The challenges we confront are growth opportunities. Every time I exhale, I breathe out tensions. Face the heat of time with a broad smile and you will come out like a shining star. Solitude helps us rejuvenate. Enjoy your own company. Be optimistic about the future. Do let go of worries and replace them with hope. You are the driver of your life. Accelerate when needed, pause when necessary, and move on, always.
Expectations always hurt. Recall 2009! Early morning classes were announced by JKBOSE. You couldn’t travel to the town in the wee hours. You stayed put in the relative’s house. For those 180 days, you were treated no less than a servant. They inflicted pain on you. Don’t expect anything from anyone.
Dear Abid, we all are full of flaws. Random unpleasant episodes must not bog us down. I am in charge of my thoughts and I don’t judge myself. I am my caretaker. I contribute to bringing positive changes in this fraud and fake world. Whenever I fall, I get up again. You are a quick capable learner. Learn from who I was ten years ago and how I rose through the ranks.
Life is a constant struggle, dear Abid. We can’t please everyone. Just work for your satisfaction. One quarter will always try to pull you down for their petty gains or draw sadistic pleasure. Why bother? Fame earns false friends and true enemies. It attracts the evil eye. Remember I used to tell you in school that I was born weak but I grow stronger every day. I trust my instincts and intuitions. I am fine with just being with me. I am liberating myself from fear, quick judgments, and doubt. I have come this far and I am proud of myself. I am on a journey-ever growing and developing. I want you to embrace the ladder of success and move ahead.
Dear Comrade, cultivate inner calm. Move beyond life’s frustrations. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. I refuse to give up since I have not tried all possible ways. I receive all feedback but I take a final call for myself. Even if we disagree or live different lives, I feel honoured to have you in my life. As a cub-reporter, you were paid peanuts and exploited in the name of work. It doesn’t happen now. Your work is being appreciated and acknowledged on a global platform. Cherish it. You are way ahead of others. Keep walking the path of excellence. Turn your gadgets off. Sleep early and wake up to a bright day and utilize it fully. Don’t procrastinate.
My past can’t dictate terms to me. If I fall, I fall forward. My potential to succeed is limitless. I let go of all that no longer serves me. Social media is a farce. It is a parallel dubious world. I don’t like to sermon or to be sermonized. I stay away from radical elements as they are the abode of negativity. I don’t like to stay with people who complicate this simple life. I have stopped apologizing for being myself. It took me 25 years to realize my true potential. You always say you adore me. Adore my qualities in letter and spirit.
On a parting note, I want to tell you that perfection is an illusion which I don’t chase. I am self-reliant, creative, and persistent in whatever I do. I am discovering more wonderful things about myself with each day passing. It matters little what others say. What matters is how I react. I wish you all the best for life ahead. Merry Christmas and happy new year in advance.