Poetry

Peace

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In my dreams, I hear the echoes of bliss;
Can see the arrival of the dove of peace.
I’ve got the peace song inside my heart.
Let me play my requisite part!

Peace is not just the absence of war.
It’s all we have always hungered for.
It ensures the security of our beloveds,
And their dearly beloveds, even unloved.

We need to learn how to forgive,
To lead a life worth to live.
Peace is a citizen’s ideal dream.
Strive hard to establish it true and gleam!

Why on earth have we lost the grace,
To respect each other, regardless of race?
“Peace begets peace: brother for brother”,
Hear the voice of the earth mother!

Hey friend! Why not you and I both,
Join our hands to make an oath,
“Peace for our friends, peace for our foes,
To bring an end to the prevailing woes.”

By: Muhammad Hamza Waseem

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Nonfiction

On Intelligence and Environment

(Originally published at Revolution Flame)

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In the current age, it has become a well-established notion that geniuses are made, not born. Here I won’t debate on the picture the word “genius” paints on the canvas of one’s minds. Instead, I am here to discuss about the environment that plays a crucial role in the making of an intellectual person. Intelligence and brainpower are not something that travel through the genes. It is something acquired by individuals as they react to the stimuli sprinkled onto them from the environment which they inhabit.

We become a part of the environment in which we live, radically; and vice versa.
As I stated before, intelligence cannot be entirely classified as an inheritance. Even today, some people continue to believe that high intelligence is something God-gifted, that it is, present only in some chosen individuals; which, in fact, cannot be wholly denied. Contrary to this once-popular belief, I like to support the idea that intelligence and good cognition can be developed by any person (I mean every person!) provided he or she is enthusiastic enough to get the grey matter into action. A pretty decent case study to back this thought is as follows:

Expert studies have shown that students who read novels since early age show remarkably good performances at intelligence, comprehension and cognition. Of course, reading is a mental exercise involving the organic coordination between eyes and brain. Hence it is no surprise to see the aforementioned students perform better than their peers. Moreover, fiction is an effective way to infuse creativity and imagination among the young ones.

Let’s see what Einstein had to say:
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Mind is the temple of body; also, it is the most complex part of human body, especially if one endeavors to comprehend the intricate mechanisms it houses. Therefore, it is no surprise when we come to the point that intelligence is too vast a phenomenon to be confined in any container i.e. a classification or hierarchy. Yet, experts have tried to make some classification system to make its study a bit easier.

Some people think in numbers, some in sounds, others in pictures and the list goes on.
Environment casts an unavoidable influence on the minds of people. It is like some psychosomatic diffusion. Why does the ambiance of a library and the aromas of books make the users feel the urge to read? The answer is simple. Our minds have been programmed to absorb what is available to us in our outskirts.

The child prodigies we see today all owe to his principle, more or less, in one way or the other. The fact which needs limelight is that they get access to tools that sharpen their intellect and boost their creativity at an early age. An important role, in this context, is played by the parents of the children. Support and encouragement are what all artists (yeah, this is the word I like to use for creative people) hanker after. Those who get it shine; and those who don’t, keep looking for it or label themselves “not-so-gifted”.

We think that our intelligence exercises authority on our environment. Let me tell you that its opposite is also equally true. Nothing new here, believe me! It is analogous to a number of other phenomena. To quote one, happiness makes you smile whereas faking a smile can also give you ecstasy, at least neurologically. Even when you read these boring musings, some part of you gets painted by the hues of these reflections through this black-and-white medium which your eyes scan.

Intelligence rubs off. So does stupidity. This is no surprising idea. By reminding you of this, I don’t mean to frighten you, so that you may end up locking yourself up in complete isolation, away from all the vastness of human stupidity. Nature has got everything balanced from quarks to galaxies. This world needs idiots and fools much more than intellectuals and geniuses. Don’t trust me?

Even Einstein could not help saying:
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

Intelligence and fertility are reciprocal to each other, research says. The intelligent cannot surpass their certain little population, a quota allocated to them by nature. In case you did not notice, this very fact supports the notion that intelligence is inheritable! Lo and behold! Contradictions and ambiguities are everywhere!

Now, let me put a full stop after this “paradox”.

By: Muhammad Hamza Waseem

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Poetry

Vista of Moonlit Night

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After every interval of a fortnight,
The queen of night comes to address,
To preach love and cascade light,
The mysterious charisma; the white dress!

As the moonlight embraces everything,
The stars blush and put on veils.
Silently, the lake keeps on smiling,
With breeze, the perfume of night sails.

The nightingale, in praise of moon,
Begins chanting a soothing song,
The charming vista is a boon,
Surely, to nirvana, it belongs.

As the bright moonlit night leaves, the craving hearts say,
“Forever-long, wish the aura would stay this way.”

By: Muhammad Hamza Waseem

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We-tend-to-appreciate (6)

Quotes

Mental Resonance

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Nonfiction, Uncategorized

Gone too soon (In memory of Arham Ali)

The untimely demise of my dear friend Arham Ali brought home the concrete reality that life is utterly unpredictable. The news of this tragic event came like a blow to my mind and heart. I lost all my interest and attention in my daily activities. Even as I write so, the same condition prevails. Everything seems to be at a halt. Such a void has been created by the sudden departure of my friend.

It is said that shedding some tears is a way to get grief and sorrow off one’s chest; I have already done that. But, I believe, some tears can only be shed through pen and ink. Hence, my writing this account is an attempt to get over the pain of bereavement of losing a beloved friend.

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Syed Arham Ali Jaffery – Student of the year 2014 – Cathedral School 2, Lahore.

Arham was a year junior to me at school. I do not remember when and how I got acquainted to him, but I have always known him to be a friendly and amiable person. This trait of his made him endeared to everyone. He has always been very respectful to me.

Of course, he was a boy of calibre and brilliance. He took everyone by surprise when he aced the Lahore Board by scoring 533/550 in 9th grade, standing 3rd in the entire board. The young man broke all the previous records of highest marks of the school. I confess that I did feel envious in the beginning. But it was a matter of some moments when this envy transformed completely into pride for me. The very fact that my junior friend surpassed me became a source of pride and delight.

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A memorable chat with Arham

The last time I saw him in person was on the occasion of LDBE (Lahore Diocesan Board of Education) prize distribution ceremony 2013. We had a nice chat at our school, which was hosting the event. Though, at that time, he had already achieved his academic laurel of 3rd position in Lahore board, I could see no pride or hubris in his personality. He was the same humble, smiling Arham that he had always been.

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I remember taking this snap on the occasion of LDBE prize ceremony 2013.

At present, my facebook news feed is teeming with the posts of friends carrying prayers and wishes for Arham, and, at the same time, expressing grief over the irreparable loss. Such was the extent to which this angelic person endeared himself to everyone he knew or came across.

I could never have imagined even in my worst nightmare that he would depart so soon. Strange are the ways of Providence. He takes our near and dear ones away and leaves us no choice but bow down before His will. Perhaps, He did not want Arham to suffer more in this cruel world. Perhaps, Arham was an angel misfit in this world and, therefore, He took him away. Who am I to make these assumptions! God Almighty knows his plans the best.

I am at a loss of words owing to intense sorrow. Expressing myself now is a difficult job. I feel a bit better now that I have shared some of the memories, memories which will stay forever in my heart and which I will always cherish. Arham will continue to live in our hearts. Such is the reality of life. People whom we love and care for, do not really leave us. They may depart physically, but their memories continue to reside in the dwellings of our hearts.

I pray that our Heavenly Lord may elevate Arham to the highest ranks of Jannah(paradise), and may God assuage the sorrow of his family and friends. (Ameen)

 

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