I am no authority on writing. I do not consider myself a prolific writer or some spell bounding artist. Whatever I say should not be taken to the heart or as a verdict because this is merely my opinion. As much as my opinion is the constitution of my world, it might be a rant for you. But this piece had to come up. I couldn’t stop it from coming. What is destined to show always shows up. You can not stop the rain showers paving their way through the darkest clouds and the brightest sunshine.
It sets my heart in amaze as I read the comments on my work. It is surreal, literally. When you tell me you look forward to read my next piece, I look here and there if someone else is being addressed. When you ask me my technique of writing, I feel like sinking in shame as I can not even recall the exact spellings without the aid of auto-correct. Despite writing and teaching the same, I can still not formulate one decent list of guidelines for a piece that sets the heart of your reader in the same fire as yours. I simply can’t.
All I can recall is a childhood lined with a complete insecurity about how I looked. Amazing but true! This might come as a shock to most of my old people as I was always taken as a bright high achiever in all walks. But does anyone remember my writings from those days? No, you don’t because you can’t see what was never there. Despite finishing the entire school library at the age of twelve, I couldn’t express the mind of my own through words. Thanks to other parts of language that secured my grades, after all this was all I thrived for. Grades were all that mattered. Such was the beauty of those days I do not want to have back.
Writing came much later, much much later. It came when I chose to go against my qualification and opt for a profession that wasn’t a favourite among everyone around of everyone around me. I was labelled lunatic and out of my mind but this was the time when I got to know who I was.A window opened. I started loving myself for being whoever I was. I embraced my flaws; I hugged my strengths all with arms and heart wide open. And this is when my creative juices started flowing. Rest is history like everything else.
So cutting the crap short (which doesn’t come naturally to me) a piece of advice for everyone who wants to write, act, paint: don’t just be yourself, LOVE yourself.
All creative maestros were taken to be insane when alive for being in awe of themselves; be it Ghalib, Jaun Elia or Frida Kahlo. They knew they were ahead of their time; it is just that the world did not. The mantra of self love revealed their being to them, the whisper of times yet to come. Remember magic occurs only to those who believe in it. How can you hear the music of rustling leaves if your ears are shut? How can you feel the depth of a beloved’ ocean drowning eyes if your own eyes are shut? How can you feel the upheavals and thunderstorms in the world’s heart if your own heart is shut? Open all the shut windows; at once. Don’t fear the bright rays of light and deafening creaking sound of the old wooden panes. Just let it in. Just let it wake everyone; dead or alive.
Just embrace your being and the sky is all yours; with and beyond its limits. You are not a part of the Universe. You ‘are’ your Universe. You are perfect with all your flaws. Your spark is your fire that can set the mountains ablaze. You are your epitome of goodness and godliness. Your pedestal is above all the thrones of the world that lies under you. Your waves are stronger than any storm that might drown the strongest ships. Your arms can hold the world; whole of it; not just this world; the worlds within and beyond.
You are your only hurdle. Just let the light and breeze in. Those white silk curtains falling on your face can not hide you any further. It is you and you deserve an embrace, a soul shaking hug with all those open arms and heart.
Are you there?
Originally published in Dunya News Blogs
By Saadia Ahmed
Saadia is a Dubai based writer and coach striving to break the stereotypes that dictate Pakistani society.