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Stinging Healers


Stinging Healers by Mehreen Misbah


‘Ouch ouch ouch….’

‘At least let me apply the medicine on your wound beta.’

‘No it will hurt even more.’

‘Only for a few minutes.  Then it will heal eventually.’

‘No way abbu.  I am not letting you do that to me.’

‘Fine then let it worsen further.’

And it does worsen.  The son still refuses to put on the medicine but continues to complain about the growing pain in the wound.  Oh yeah, some peopleare that immature.  Aren’t we?  We, as in, the nation of Pakistan.  Before you throw rotten eggs and tomatoes at me for my audacious declaration, read out Dr.Iqbal’s medical advice to us:

Hai jo hungama bapaa yorush-e-balghari ka

Ghafilon ke liye paighaam hai bedaari ka

The chaos and belligerence that you witness around

It is a message for the sleeping ones to wake up

Just like that boy needs to put on the medicine, we need something similar too.  Lucky dude had a father to handle his irksome tantrums and apply the medicine to his wound.  On the contrary, the father of our nation is not amongst us anymore.  So who is going to put the medicine on our wound?  Who is going to help us poor orphans come out of this mess?

Once again the question sticks out its tongue at us as to if we even want the medicine to be applied.  Or are we just scaredy cats like that silly boy?

Tu samajhtaa hai yeh samaan hai dil-azaari ka

Imtihaan hai tere eesaar ka, khuddari ka

You think all this chaos is disheartening and discouraging?

It is indeed a test of your ability to sacrifice and be self-sufficient

Now what does he mean by ‘sacrifice’?  Perhaps the agony resulting from applying the medicine, maybe that is what sacrifice is for us.  It will hurt but it will heal too.  What is the medicine that will hurt but heal eventually?  It may be different things for different people.  For me, for instance, it will be waking up an hour earlier than usual and push my schedule an hour before to utilize those additional sixty minutes for teaching the kids of my maasi.  For a girl who just got her drivers’ license, it will be taking her mother out for dinner instead of opting for a friends’ night out.  For someone having just finished a packet of chips, it will be to search for a dustbin instead of throwing it on the street.

All of these are brave acts of applying the medicine – going out of your way to make a difference is so underrated.  Not that I am actually sacrificing an hour of sleep but all of us have to start somewhere.  Starting small prepares us for bigger sacrifices.  How can you expect a child to write the alphabets when he can’t even hold the pencil properly?  So well we’ll have to learn to ‘hold the pencil’ before embarking on greater intellectual pursuits.

And this ‘learning’ actually brings us to the second part of our test as imparted by Iqbal- being self-sufficient.  Independence is such a delicious word.  Too bad it is just as hard in application.  Be that national independence or personal independence, every type requires giving up pleasures, getting out of your comfort zones.  How many of you have thought of me as a sadist until now?

Sitaaron se aagay jahaan aur bhi hain

Abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain

There are many worlds beyond stars

There are many more tests of love and passion coming up

See even Iqbal agrees with me.  Independence and glory beyond the stars come to you after a series of tests and tribulations.  And until we have aced the small quizzes and have strengthened ourselves with those sacrifices, the Lord Almighty will never let us attempt the bigger test of independence simply because we are not prepared.

Unfortunately there are no Anees Hussain crash courses that we can take to prepare ourselves for these tests.  But the good news is we can save few bucks and try some self-coaching.  It works as great as Cindy Crawford’s workout regimes.  But we have to be as disciplined as her.  And ten times more creative.

Yes you read me right.  Creativity can mean more than interior decoration, fashion designing and advertising.  We need ideas for everyday routines – as to how we can add spice to our lives with fresh changes – changes that make a difference – small, sweet differences to life – be that volunteering at a hospital once a week or supporting someone’s education by teaching them.  Financial support is great too but even greater is investing your time and energy in serving others, in making life better for them.

Talking about revolution and criticising the present system is the easiest way out.  Too bad it does not mean much to the One Above.  He’ll help our nation only when we help our nation.  As grave and boring as I sound, it is high time that I stop talking and start acting.  It will be hard definitely but if my intentions are sincere, I am sure my Allah will hold me when I start to stumble.  He is that loveable.  Ask those who are working so devoutly to please Him and they’ll confirm my words.  Just like Iqbal summarizes the nature of God’s beloved beings in the following couplet:

Shahaadat hai matloob-o-maqsood-e-momin

Na maal-e-ghaneemant na kishwar kushai

Its shahaadat (being a helping hand to Allah’s ultimate cause of welfare)

that is the desire and intention of a momin; neither material gain nor worldly applause

Physical hygiene is a vital aspect of our lives.  Unfortunately that does not hold true about the soul’s hygiene.  If one starts indulging more frequently in cleansing of the soul, this ‘action’ business won’t be as stinging a healer.  At least I am all in for my proposed hypothesis.  What about you guys?

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