Corona Diaries- Week 1

March 2020.

The world has been shaken with Corona epidemic. Everything has been affected. From businesses to normal life.

As Karachi went into lock down, I have already been in isolation for more than a week as I am writing this. Somehow this isolation, (first week) given me time to pause and reflect and most of the people now forced to do or may be too ignorant and occupied to do.

But for me, this isolation came in the time of need. I am scared as the whole world is. But not from death. Death is a natural course, it will come. When and how, that I don’t know. But I know these pandemics came before our time as well. In the form of viruses, plagues, wars; death have came to those whose time was up and rest survived.

I am scared of how far we have fallen from our natural discourse as a human being. As a part of this whole ecosystem. We breathe we eat we sleep but all in such big costs.

Emotionally and economically, we have fallen in dark.

But with this Corona pandemic, when everything has been frozen in time as it seems. Work, social life, normal routine.

We have been given time to go back to the basics; unlearn and then re-learn what are supposed to be the basics. To be patient, to learn to stay in present, to be grateful for every breath, to have meaningful conversations, to reflect more, to care more collectively, to be watchful of every individual action of self. To think and innovate, to evolve and to exist.

Before Corona

As I was facing some real issues with what I am doing and what I want to do further in my life. As this question was taking its toll over my head, and then some clues were in the air and I was getting signs and signals and meeting same interest- like minded people. World inside my head was shifting and I was on an edge of taking a leap of faith. And then there was a knock on the door. And it was the unexpected visitor and definitely not a likable one, Mr Covid19.

And everything came to a hault.

I know I wanted a break and think it all over but never thought it would come in the form of a total lock down. Well, let’s just say, universe has its own timing and ways of doing things. So it did it. Not just me but every single human on this earth got the break, regardless of whether they want it or not. Universe knew we needed it. To reflect and reset.

When Covid came to visit

Just when the things went really bad, or I should say I fell sick (No not with corona) with flu. Me and my friend decided to take an early morning stroll in the old city.

This city feels best in the early morning hours right after sunrise and in late night hours.

15 March 2020

The alarm went off by 6:30, as I stayed in bed and texted my friend that get ready I will be texting you as soon as the cab arrives. And about 7:30 am in the morning, we were on our way. On to the slightly sleepy roads, waking up to the light of the day.

Since corona nightmare was already in the air, both of us took precautionary safety measures. Long walk with some random old building and street pictures. We stopped for some breakfast and then continued out stroll a bit further and then came back home.

We returned home as happy souls.

Next morning, as I went to work, my cough and congestion became worse and as Corona was upon us, my company sent me home and gave me two weeks leave. I know its scary, this whole pandemic situation but I felt happy and guilty at the same time.

I was really disturbed of feeling happy of being asked to stay home and gotten leave so easily as we are facing an unavoidable circumstance. So I decided to pause and reflect.

My first week was spend mostly doing which gave me some hope and relaxed my mind. I painted, edited pictures from that photo walk day before going in isolation. I stayed in my own flat, all alone. I didn’t even visited my family who lives in the same city and decided to stay in total isolation for the sake of them and my own self. And also for the sake of spending quality alone time with myself.

Guilty I am as I am writing this but I felt restored. I felt me, my dreams, the journey I want to take. It all made sense. And after spending whole week alone, as they announced a total lock down in Karachi. I packed some of my stuff and went to stay with my family.

This is my week 2 in isolation at the moment….. Will share week 2 feelings, stories, challenges soon….

Stay safe who ever you are, where ever you are.

And take this as a chance to reflect and reset.

We all need a reset.

Peace and Prayers.

Hira

THE Day

So, it was THE Day…

I was all set to get on that train. But the questions like, Am I over packed? or Have I forgotten anything? Did I locked my appartment properly? What about the bills?

The never ending list of questions of nervous mind. And I kept telling myself I am okay. All is okay.

Okay wait, will the train be on time?

*sigh*

So the last question was worth asking at the moment, keeping the event or I might say accident in mind that happened couple of days ago.

Okay, let’s recap. There was a train collision; a passenger train collided into a standby freight train near Hyderabad junction. Luckily there were no fatal casualties. Due to this accident, tracks were blocked and all trains were stopped. The tracks were cleared a day before my departure but the news was that trains’ schedule was disturbed and all were late from hours.

So coming back to date, 22 June 2019. I am still not sure if my train will be on time or not. If delayed, then by how many hours.

So I contacted my tour manager and asked him about the schedule, whether train will be delayed or not? And his reply was “I guess not”. So keeping that answer in head, I resumed my last minute preparations.

Home 5:45pm

Time to have a nice cup of tea.

Train Station 10:57pm

So YES, train was late. It was suppose to be on platform by 9:30pm and we were suppose to leave Karachi by 10:00pm. But here I am standing on the railway platform, surrounded by total strangers, group mates that is. With whom I’ll be spending next 10 days.

But as soon as I looked up at the sky, inhaled that fresh air in my lungs and felt the excitement in my guts; I wasn’t so concerned about the delay.

Standing there on the platform, waiting for the train, it was weirdly satisfying. I was still nervous about the people in my group. But observing them from a distance made me realize, all is Okay 🙂 They are okay and so am I. 🙂

Here comes the train…Let the journey begin !

Girl on the Train (Start of a never ending journey) Part 1

This journey was never easy as it was my first solo trip. From coastal city of Karachi all the way up to the highest paved border crossing at Khunjerab Pass (Pak-China border).

Some start their journeys in a very young age, in terms of travelling. But I opened my wings quite late in life but well as they say, “It’s better late than never” 🙂

More than once I rejected the idea of facing my fears and getting on that train alone. And still there I was editing my travel list for all the necessary things I ll be needing on the trip which was just one month away. 

As I was going through the list, there was a phrase echoing in my subconscious; 

Nothing good stays, no happiness is forever”.

Indeed, forever is a fear in its own. But I kept telling myself to take a step towards the unknown and might discover the purpose of life or at least some new chapter of life worth pursuing. 

A day before the trip 

So the sleep was never ending that morning. May be the bed wasn’t ready to leave me or may be it was the feeling that I’ll be staying away from the comfort of it for next 10 days. 

Frightening those days were, as I was smelling change, constantly and continuously…

As I should have been all excited and happy and thrilled but surprisingly, I found myself nervous, quiet and sad. Sitting in front of the T.V and waiting for my cab (careem) to leave for mom’s place. I have taken a day off before the trip day, to spend it with my family. 

And guess which movie was coming on T.V while I was waiting for my cab. Its “Bridget Jones’ diary” for goodness sake. And O boy, I was tempted to stay in the comfort of my four walls and just be there sitting on that chair in my PJs, enjoying our very own Bridget Jones. But then, there was a notification sound on my cell phone and with that, my careem has arrived. 

 

(to be continued…)

All Packed…

I Would Rather be Strange

I am totally mesmerized by these phrases. Absolutely divine.
I thank the author, Cristen Rodgers for sharing such wonderful thoughts.
Do check her page at https://cristenrodgers.net/ ….trust me you will fall in love with words 🙂

Thank you,
Love,
Hira

To those who would call me strange, I say that I would rather be your kind of strange than mine because, to me, strange is denying the truth of our nature.

To me, strange is ignoring the pull of the moon’s tides in our veins simply because we can’t yet measure its influence.

Strange is pretending that our bones aren’t made of the same dust that’s beneath our feet, or that our bodies aren’t filled with the same water that crashes in waves on the shores.

To me, strange would be to deny kinship with the animals, even though we’re born of the same union between the earth and the sky.

What I consider strange is clinging to one identity, like a summer that refuses to concede to the coming autumn.  And stranger still is to reject our responsibility to one another, like a maple tree denying the birds and…

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Simply fall into Uttanasana

Uttanasana or Folding forward bend is one of my favourite rescue-remedy-yoga-pose. When I am tired of all day sitting at work or my body is exhausted, need to calm myself down. All I do is getup, take a deep breathe and exhale myself into forward fold.

When I first started yoga, I couldn’t even touch my feet due to tight muscles at the back, but now I can simply relax and I can not just touch my feet, I can touch the ground now as well. It is all about practice.

Now the basic misconception is that if you are overweight you can’t bring flexibility in your body. So let me remind who ever is reading this blog that YOGA IS FOR EVERY DAMN PERSON, regardless of their weight and size, lifestyle, physical disabilities etc. IT IS FOR EVERY ONE, I REPEAT.

Here, I am sharing couple of links which will help you understand better the pose and also will help you in practice. Those of you who are new to this and having difficulty due to tight muscles can read about its modification.

http://www.yogajournal.com/pose/standing-forward-bend/

http://www.gaia.com/pose/standing-forward-bend-uttanasana

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/standing-forward-bend

Here are some of its benefits:

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stimulates the liver and kidneys
  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips
  • Strengthens the thighs and knees
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause
  • Reduces fatigue and anxiety
  • Relieves headache and insomnia
  • Therapeutic for asthma, high blood pressure, infertility, osteoporosis, and sinusitis

P.S Just remember one more thing, it is completely OKAY if you can not do the pose completely at first. In yoga, even an inch of a progress matters, even if you can just fold forward till where ever you are comfortable and keep on breathing, it is enough.

Just try to listen to your body. If it says stop, you stop right there. But never ever forget to breathe. Just inhale and exhale in whatever position you are.

Happy practice everybody 🙂

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Namaste!