Thursday, December 29, 2016

New Year Resolution #TheLetterSeries


I hope you're doing good and enjoying traces of winter. December is almost close to the end, and like always it has been quite exhausting and busy.

It's funny, isn't it? How people wait for December and it comes and leaves in such a spark. With so many new year resolutions on the list, we still have the previous year's list unchecked. Every passing day we feel time is running short, and there's still so much to achieve, so much to sort out, so many complications to settle down. But the only problem we face is, we are all running out of time. Time is so valuable, and we know its importance but for some odd reason we never tend to make it our priority.

When the time has passed by then we get up from our slumber and realize what could have been achieved, what could have been done in a much better way and what could have been altered completely.

Few days back we saw the news of Junaid Jamshed passing away in a tragic airplane accident, we all wept and cried, it was a national tragedy. We blamed the engines of the plane, the airplane service and bashed what we could. But little do we learn from these harsh realities of life. Look at us now, we are all back to normal like nothing happened. A few days of bashing, crying and now it’s all okay.

What we don’t understand is that none of us know about the next moment, the next breath, whether we will be able to make it or not. We all are running out of time.

In the scenario like this, where we are not even sure of our next breath, we are involved in the wrong doings, we are involved in hatred. How sad is that? We keep ill for others in our heart. Why do we do this? We are all humans, made out of mud and blood.  Do we not understand that having hatred or ill for others in hearts is so self consuming, it can drain us emotionally.

We bring dirt in our hearts for the way they treat us, or for the way they talk to us or there can be many such reasons. But when we turn against them do we realize that we also become the “bad people”, which we claim others are.

Do we tend to rationalize and think what could have been the possible reasons for someone not helping us when we need them, or why someone shouted at us without any reason? Do we think? Do we try to keep ourselves in their position or do we even know what struggle they are going through in that point of time.

Sometimes what we don’t understand is that not all the time someone wants to hurt us, they might have their own reasons.

When we look back we see how Junaid Jamshed was bashed, disliked and at times mocked by many people around us, but little did we know that he’d just pass away so quickly. We don’t know what time lies ahead, we don’t know. And now try to understand the guilt of those people, who might have it in their hearts, who hurt him intentionally or unintentionally.

This is how the cycle of life is, we can never be sure of anything; we are not the best planners. So why indulge in hatred, why consume the best of yourself? Instead of hurting others let’s spread love, let’s spread tolerance. The ability to stand one another despite all the differences, maybe we will learn why the other person was negative towards us. Or why they tried to hurt us, whether they were themselves hurt in that point in time or not.

Instead of making fancy New Year resolutions let’s promise our ownselves to be more accommodating and more understanding of people. Instead of hurting them let’s make peace with them, even if they have offended you. This is tough, I agree, but this isn’t impossible, because remember in the end we are all running out of time, running out of breaths and running out of years from our lives.

Let’s make our ends beautiful ones, because we certainly don’t want to die with dark spots in our hearts.

Wish you all a great year ahead.

Lots of prayers and love,

Sunday, November 20, 2016

There's Something about Real Conversations #TheLetterSeries

Greetings to you all,

November came in such a hustle bustle and is leaving us amidst this constant rush. What’s striking is that how quickly time passes. I can still feel how shocked I was on the First of November and I was startled when my friend reminded me that November is ending and I have not yet written any letter for this month.
(Let me tell you, I felt so happy when I realized someone looks forward to my letters).
It’s a beautiful feeling.                    

This sounds so wonderful, doesn’t it? Now think if this would’ve been said on my face, I would have melted with such warmth and such love.
Now, now, don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining. It’s just that how the same thing would have made a different impact, sometimes it is just the way things are said.

With each passing day we’ve developed great apps, amazing technology that ensures our communication is always on point and no physical meeting is required to deliver our message. I think that is great and have caused great relaxation in life. It has made communication with distant people much easier and faster.
Of all the great things that social media and easy communication platforms have given us, they are gradually taking away the art of real conversation. Even among people everyone is busy in their smart phones. The ability to hear out someone speak and to sense their feelings as they speak, has gone down. I won’t disagree that I, myself use the phone a lot but I have always tried to ignore it the moment I am among people or when in conversation with someone.

I absolutely love it when two people can talk face to face, when you can see their expressions and feel the emotions.

Though we have our friends’ whatsapp group and we can easily communicate but there’s always a craving to meet. Not exaggerating, we spend hours on the lunch table because we’re so busy talking, listening and in silence feeling how important this entire process is.

Let me tell you, even science say having face to face conversation is important. It ensures confidence, it helps in building better relations and it gives a sense of reliability towards the other person.

“You don’t ever text first.”
I am that one person who gets this complain A LOT! Well this is true, I don’t make great conversations on messages but when it comes face to face conversations, I can talk for hours.
Pretty much old school.
Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way bashing neither am I against the idea of having social platforms. They have their own charm and in total honesty they have taught me so much, I am grateful but remember giving it the top most priority can have its own downside.
How much sure you are that your internet bestie can pull you out of the darkness? When they are unaware of your actual surroundings, your everyday struggles, they can help you but only to certain extent. Don’t let this happen to you, or you’ll be left alone in the crowd.

Let’s learn to be a little old school in some matters in this life, and trust me you’ll love it when you can be chatty for hours and feel it along the way.

Well that’s it for this time.

Fizza Malik

Monday, October 24, 2016

Early Detection and Early Cure to Cancer

Breast Cancer is spreading at a great speed among women.  Held in Karachi, on Tuesday October 18 2016,
 Chughtai Lab’s consultant pathologist says that young women should create an early breast cancer detection plan because that’s the key to treatment and ultimately, to saving lives.

In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Chughtai Lab has embarked on a month-long nation-wide campaign, termed #ThinkPink with Chughtai Lab, to bring awareness and education to the nation’s women and men. After a series of events in Lahore and Islamabad, Chughtai Lab held an event at its flagship lab at Shaheed-e-Millat Road, Karachi to spread awareness of this disease and the benefits of early detection. “If you’re above 20 years, you need to examine yourself monthly”, according to Dr. Sehba Arij, Consultant Pathologist at Chughtai Lab. She elaborated on the myths surrounding breast cancer as well as the symptoms and signs to watch out for.

Muniba Mazari, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at Chughtai Lab, also spoke at the event and implored young women to take their health seriously and opt for self-examination on a regular basis. She opined “Breast cancer is a topic that is hardly talked about by either men or women. It is because of this societal taboo that many women keep on suffering for a long period of time until the cancer reaches a stage where it becomes harder to treat than it would initially have been.” She implored young women not only to learn to self-examine, but teach other women to do so as well.

Speaking about the #ThinkPink campaign, she commented, "It isn't just about combatting the disease but also breaking the taboo of talking about diseases and ailments of all kinds. The more we talk about these things, the easier they will be to treat."

Dr. Omar Chughtai, Lab Director of Chughtai Lab said that with the opening of a lab facility in Karachi, he hopes they can bring quality and convenient testing services to the metropolis. Some of the conveniences he mentioned included Chughtai Lab’s free home sample collection service, online and emailed lab reports, SMS alerts and the custom Chughtai Lab mobile app. “Come visit or call us, we are always looking for ways to serve you better”, he said.

Chughtai Lab is one of the leading pathology labs in Pakistan that has been serving the nation since 1983. Chughtai Lab has made promising progress in the field of diagnostic testing and has a vast network of 150+ locations nationwide, functioning in all provinces of Pakistan. Under its social arm, Chughtai Foundation conducts free medical camps and public awareness campaigns in a bid to bring free health education to the nation.

Picture credits: Fourth ARC

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The Two Sides to "Don't Judge" #TheLetterSeries

So October is here with barely no sign of autumn, especially here in Karachi. I hope you're all doing good, in fact I hope that you're growing stronger with everything that life throws at you.

You know its funny and amusing, how we change with time. I was really fat in my teenage days, and people would call me fat, sometimes they'd also do comparison of my wrist with theirs and laugh. The funny part was that even elders were involved in this. In my later teens, I reduced weight and then the same people would say, "Are you dieting?". See, for a person like me maintaining weight is a constant struggle, so it is a continuous work. My entire point here is that no matter what you do, people will always have something to say, they'll pass judgments on how you appear.
I used to have three times the hair I have now, usually all the elderly ladies around me would simply say "The girls these days damage their hair, with the hair dyes and other equipment." Not that I disagree to this, but the real issue with me is the sinus. The sinus have grown so serious that some days I'd wake up panting in the middle of night, gasping for air but since no one can see that so they'd just blame the other stuff. The doctor says the lack of oxygen is deteriorating the body.

See, the problem is as as a society we've developed the habit of judging.
Oh, the point of discussing my personal life incidents doesn't mean I pity myself nor I want any sympathies, I just hope that we tend to think out of the box and really stop judging on the basis of how someone appear.

Now, this slogan "Don't Judge" can be very tricky and there are two sides to it. Being judgmental won't do you any good but remember you have to know the difference between what's right and what's wrong. You can't cover up your wrong doing under the label of "Don't Judge".
Like you can't make fun of anyone's appearance, similarly you can't say "Don't Judge" if you've stolen something. Being a thief is not at all okay, and you must know its wrong.
Similarly, calling anyone fat is wrong. Do you know what medical condition are they going through? Or what is their back story. So this is wrong, wrong for everyone equally and fully.

Another important thing, always remember your roots, and where you belong to. Your personality, your actions shall determine it. When you say you belong to a certain religion, like we're Muslims so there are certain rights and wrongs which are determined for us. Be it any other religion, one should follow the required norms (not that I am a perfect person, but there's always room for improvement).

Not that I am against human development, but in today's world there is a lot of noise about doing "whatever pleases your own self", in the name of human development. Of course you're free to do what you can do best but as being a Muslim do you think wearing short dresses or talking about your sex life is human development? Or if we call ourselves Muslim and then do what's not allowed, where do we actually stand? Then we have to rationalize and decide what side we're on.

See, empowerment is developing the brain and is not hidden in clothes or how we behave. When we ourselves are so confused, then what will we give to our future generations? Do we just want to give them a hashtag of ""Don't Judge" or actually teach them what's wrong and what's right.

Think, rationalize and make your decision.

Until next time.
Take care of yourselves.

Fizza Malik

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

4 Ways Dieting Is Causing More Harm Than Good!

Have you ever been worried to the point that you simply got off your bed in the middle of the night to suddenly hit the treadmill and lose all that fat overnight? I sure hope not.

Our body has a very organized approach to doing everything that it gets the order for from our diligent brain. The fat that has been accumulating around your belly and hips didn’t get there in one night. So it sure isn’t in the mood to go away soon. But most of us, against the popular beliefs, defy the laws of nature and definitely hit the cardio in the middle of the night to witness a miracle.
Wrong place to be looking for one mate.

Here I would like to shed light on the 7 mysterious ways in which our supposed ‘weight-loss’ regiments are actually resulting in gaining more pounds. Your welfare lies in crossing these things from off your daily routine and doing everything the tortoise way (slow and steady wins the race, remember?)

1.       Starving:
Skipping meals never got round to benefitting anyone. Prolonged hours of food deprivation can lead to decreasing your body’s metabolism rate (with which it breaks down and uses the nutrients in your food).Therefore, any food that you might take after a day-long starvation exercise may end up getting stored in your body and causing increase in body weight, rather than a decrease.

2.       Unbalanced diets:
More often than not people claim that by adopting a certain liquid diet or boycotting certain class of nutrients altogether leads to weight loss can only yield results in the short-run. Rather, in the long-run, your body develops deficiency syndromes for those nutrients which can lead to chronic diseases of the kidney, liver or heart. Therefore, it is important to remember that mediation is the way to success, and not the excess or boycott of any one thing.

3.       Over-exertion:
After eating an unbalanced diet, possibly developing multiple deficiency syndromes, spending extra hours are not going to help you lose weight fast enough. Rather they are going to spend your body’s muscle more than their strength and lead to rapid deterioration and death of their cells. Therefore, stay ore focused on what your body can take without hurting yourself. Again, being patient is the key to success!

4.       No-Calorie Diets:
There ARE good fats which your body regularly needs to keep itself running. Therefore, the artificial products with ‘no-calorie’ tags are more harmful than useful and they do not help you in losing weight or helping you in adopting healthier alternatives. Drop those zero-calorie sodas and sweeteners and dig deeper to find real healthy alternatives.

The list for ways dieting causes harm inside your body is non-exhaustive and therefore it is important that we realize the importance of living healthy each step of the way rather than abusing it for one part and over-exerting in the latter to get it back in its shape. 

Post by: Norin Chaudhry | Content Lead @ Marham

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Lost Happiness. #TheLetterSeries

Hey you,

So this has been a long due, every time I’d start writing something I would end up in the middle, unsure about what to say next, or whether anything makes sense or not.

September is already here, this means only four more moths left and another year gone by. At times I find it hard to believe that time passes by so quickly. We must learn to utilize it completely. I can still see all those things listed up which are yet to be achieved, yet to be touched and somehow I always end up saying that I had no time to do so.

I had become so used to of calling 2016 a bad year. With heart breaks, with getting over with people who simply used me for their personal benefits, for all the things that have caused unease, for all the nights spent in restlessness, for all the death news which shook my heart. I had declared 2016 a bad, bad year.

The human mind is set in an interesting way, you see one moment we’re sad and the very next moment we’re the happiest person on the planet. So you see, somewhere between that I thought of all the good things that had happened.  To travel by train after 7 years, to watching the crystal clear blue sea of Kund Malir. From shopping till making it to the final year of university. All the time spent with friends, to an unplanned road trip, to every little thing that made me smile, I realized 2016 isn’t that bad.

Sooner or later, you’ll learn that people who are meant to stay will make their own way in your life and who tend to leave will leave without any reason. So it’s kind of better if they leave soon, isn’t that good, less drama in your life. I mean thanks Allah for reducing the useless stress from our already burdened souls.  Well, life is pretty much about generating positivity from the little things that we forget.

How much do we love the sound of rain, how wonderful it feels to walk bare feet on the sand by the shore? How contagious is a baby’s smile. How much happiness a plate of biryani holds? Why do we always have to focus on the everything big? Why do people say happiness is so hard to find? I feel it is very easy to find, just pick up your favorite book, and there you go smiling, all the memories attached to it comes flooding through.

The sound of your friend over a phone call can reduce your stress in seconds. Counting stars can make you smile. Happiness is not chemistry or physics nor philosophy. You don’t need to think a lot to understand it. You are responsible for your own happiness; don’t rely in people for that.
Go, start a workout regime, you’ll be so happy to be doing good for you own self. Try seeking positivity out of everything and smile, because you look beautiful when you smile.

Many prayers.

Fizza Malik.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Fighting the Inner Good and Bad

She had always been in love with dawn and midnight, where she could listen to the peaceful silence of mind under the starry night and feel a quiet conscience erupting with the chirping of birds, as the sunrise painted the sky to pink. How weird it was to love the extremes, the absolute opposites. Both these times had one thing in common; peace and serenity. She had always loved peace. The tranquility and silent subtleness enabled her to enjoy many things which were shunned during the bustle of the day. She could think, rationalize and put herself to peace in stillness of these times.

She thought about herself, about people who were in her life whether by force or by fate. She also thought about the achievements and the failures, the lessons and the moments and what not. But most importantly, she thought about circumstances life taught her and made who she was today.

She reflected upon the good and the bad people. According to her, worst kind of people were who wore a mask, hypocrites. But then again aren’t we all hypocrites? We hide our happiness, our sadness, our goodness, our evilness and our jealousies. It was clear to her that worst kinds of people were those who hid their devilish face behind the beautiful mask.

There are people who broke hearts, use people for their interests but everyone does that these days. Things have been confusing for her. Who are the bad people? Being good requires no efforts, but being bad, being hurtful is an all time job. How can one think about lies to keep up with previous lies? Does it not consume one to have hatred, dirt for the other person in the heart? Isn't such heart heavily filled with the burden of uneasiness and anxiety? How much it requires using the other person? How many times one just has to be sugar coated to get the work done.

Isn't this all tiring? How much discomfort is it to sleep with such a burdened soul?

She hasn't forgotten the moments when she had asked for strength and more power in Sujood, asking Allah to make her strong. Don't we all do that? Ask for more strength, more sturdy nerves, but how will we ever achieve toughness if we are not tested? No matter how much people had hurt her, she had been thankful to them for making her much stronger than ever before. Sometimes such people are test from Allah and sometimes stupidity of our own. We become so blind we can't see the hole that has been dug for us. 

Quran states in Surah Baqarah, "Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear" But, oh our humanly ego won't get satisfaction until and unless we don't over burden ourselves. Only God knows why we want to prove ourselves superior to others? Why can't we focus on ourselves? When our own raised burdens tear us down, we end up hating ourselves, people and everything attached in-between. 

This ayah is comforting because she knows deep in my heart that although the sadness is cumbersome, it will not be overwhelming; that although the times might be tough, she is tougher; and that whatever comes her way will go away.

Hate is evil; it consumes the whole of you. Just like being abominable, hate also requires too much enmity and too much destruction. The hostility and animosity will not only burn the one you hate but also your own-self first. She had learnt not to hate, with time. For her, there were people who either mattered or the ones who didn't. Some words meant a world to her and some didn't even matter.

She had become like this with the passage of time, she liked extremes. Either people were in her heart completely or they were out unconditionally.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mission: #MarhamBano

Let me tell you all a real life story.

My father has been suffering from “Parkinson” for more than 11 years now. Before we begin let me tell you Parkinson is a neuron disease in which your brain doesn’t produce the chemicals which help in bodily movement. In Parkinson your body gradually loses control over the movement and this is a disease which can’t be cured, it can only be controlled.

Three years back someone recommended my father about a herbalist who cured a paralysis patient, and would cure Parkinson as well. When my father started this treatment, things didn’t get any better instead they worsened. He could literally move and couldn’t perform his daily activities. Things were equally painful for us.

During the same era, a distant relative who was visiting us from Austria recommended us about her uncle who is a neurologist in London, and fortunately was visiting Pakistan in a few days. Due to family terms we got to meet him in person. He recommended one of the finest doctors here in Karachi and strictly recommended not to go for any treatment without proper advisory. From that day my father has been getting treatment from the doctor. Alhamdullilah after about 2 and half year he is doing really well. In fact guess who is giving me weekly driving practice session?
Oh yes, you guessed it right! :)

Countries like ours, where we have less aware population, the common man suffers a lot. There is no proper communication, patients can’t approach the right doctors and hence are usually suffering. This problem needed a proper solution.

What is Marham?

Most of us who don’t have any knowledge of our healthcare system can now use their smartphones and computers to connect with an active group of 12,000 people, of which 5,000 are doctors. Marham, literally, brings the doctors of our city on our finger tips.

The purpose of Marham is to connect patients with doctors around them who are verified and recommended by real people based on real experiences. The creators of Marham recognized the need for such a forum or community based initiative. We use technology every day, so why not create a solution using technology, which could potentially change the lives of others?

Marham is empowering people by enabling them to make informed health decisions. It is a community based initiative and your experiences, whether good or bad, can help someone in pain. We use technology to make your experiences add to the collective memory of the Marham community and enable you to save lives.

Currently operating as an active Facebook Group of around 12,000 people, Marham is all set to launch its website whereas the mobile application is running effectively, and is ranked one of the top health care application.

Marham on Social Media:

Become a responsible citizen and play your part! :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Castle in the Sky.

If you don’t love someone let them go, don’t worry if they get heartbroken; they’ll survive.

If you don’t want the conversation going, end it; don’t worry what the other might think of you.

If you don’t want to walk an extra mile for someone, stop the walk; don’t worry about them getting disappointed.

If you don’t want someone to expect from you, tell them, don’t worry they’ll learn to be strong.

If you don’t want to mingle in the crowd, stand apart, don’t worry; they’ll learn the differences.

If you don’t want to be someone’s strength, confess to them, don’t worry; they’ll stand on their own.

If you can’t give them hope, don’t give them false hopes, don’t worry; they’ll learn to sail their own ship.

Because of all the things, no one deserves to be given false hopes. The fast they take you on heights, the faster they tear you down.