The Fallen Leaves

Islamabad has been particularly sparkling the past week. With nice puffy clouds floating above the hills like mushroom outgrowth on rotten broccoli, and the intermittent spells of refreshing rain, everything seems so surreal. It is so surreal that one would want to spend the rest of the day sleeping at home, or watching the clouds float away, or sit back in your comfy couch in front of the telly with a cuppa of chocolate milk and watch the magic of day sweep you away! Well, that’s what nature lovers would say on a nice day, which clearly implies that all nature lovers are lazy people who just can’t wait for the weather to get nice so that they can indulge in the little pleasures mentioned above (woops!).

The rain has been pouring relentlessly over the capital for some days, taking away most of the heat and humidity that was making life difficult for the citizens. The complainers will, however, continue complaining. Like that taxi driver who took me to work one rainy morning, in the days when people were worrying that there was not enough water for their crops, and that those dams and rivers of ours were drying up. He was annoyed by the fact that the mud would ruin his tires, and something else which I can’t recall right now. So no one is happy at any point in time in this country, even if we might think that everything looks perfectly OK.

Nature has his ways of maintaining a Balance. And that is Balance with a capital ‘B’. This balance is essential, even if we might not like it. Too much of everything is bad for your health, they say, and too much of happiness or sorrow can be bad too. So, if we get too happy about something at a particular point in time, the system that governs the universe adjusts that and makes things a little less happy some where else, or at the same ‘location’. You get my point? The average human has been endowed with the capacity to feel every kind of emotion, and depending on the circumstances he may or may not feel happy or sad at a particular point in time. And do we know what the future holds in store for us? Can we tell if we are going to be happy tomorrow or sad the next week? Can we tell that someone is going to leave us tomorrow or come home and bring joy the next?

Can we tell if we, or someone we love, would die on a beautiful surreal morning, when everything seemed so perfect?

We were told by elders, and our religious studies textbooks, that there is a large tree in Heaven, and for every human being on earth there is a leaf on that tree. When a leaf withers and falls, that person dies, and the leaf is replaced by new little ones… another example of the balance that is being maintained. We never know when our leaves would fall, and how we would make our exit from this wonderful thing we call life. For most of us, death is usually painful, and this pain comes from the fact that we do not want to leave this life, and that we want to get so much more from it. We do all in our power to stay there a little longer, just to see what would happen ‘next’. But the most unwelcome of all guests, the angel of death, does not pay any heed. And like Imam Ghazali said, his countenance is horrendous for those who love their material life more than anything, and angelic for those who accept the inevitable.

The leaves fell for around 152 people on the 14th Sha’baan, the unfortunate passengers on Air Blue Flight 202. Those who missed the flights must be in a state of utter shock, and would be thankful to the Almighty that they did not board that plane. What transpired during those last 18 minutes when the airport lost communication with the aircraft is still a mystery, but we can well imagine what would have transpired in the hearts of those people strapped to their seats. Some would have been screaming for mercy, some frantically fiddling with their phones to make a call, and some sitting still with a morose expression on their face, accepting the fact that whatever happens in this world happens for a reason, and that whatever would happen in the next few minutes would be beyond their control. Some would even have been fasting on the 15th of Sha’baan, and one would ask why were lives of these pious people taken that day?

May the deceased rest in peace.

17 Comments so far

  1. Dynamite (unregistered) on July 29th, 2010 @ 1:29 pm

    after all its law of nature
    May they all Rest in Peace
    good work crazy keep it up


  2. Shez (unregistered) on July 29th, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

    Not “around” 152 people, actually 152 people. Be factual while describing the death toll.


  3. crazymonkey on July 29th, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

    @Shez, thanks for the correction, but the intent of this piece of writing is not to present facts or figures. You may want to read a newspaper for that.


  4. Shez (unregistered) on July 30th, 2010 @ 11:49 am

    @crazy

    I am not asking for any facts or figures but simply pointed out the error. It was you who quoted the figure yourself then you should have the written the accurate figure.


  5. sufiblade on July 30th, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    What a wonderful post, as usual, mashaAllah. The rains have already taken more lives than the aircrash.


  6. crazymonkey on July 30th, 2010 @ 1:44 pm

    @Shez, why should the figure be accurate?


  7. crazymonkey on July 30th, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

    @sufiblade, did you enjoy doing nayyaan nayyaan in the rain yesterday? :D


  8. Shez (unregistered) on July 30th, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

    @Crazy

    What did you say? You mean that you can take liberties in describing human death toll? It needs to be most accurate because it is human life, not oranges or apples that you can count that around 152 or this or that.


  9. Bilal Ali (unregistered) on July 30th, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

    One of the victim was Ghulam Abbas Datardina , his elder daughter’s (Sahar Abbas from LUMS) wedding was to be held on 30th July 2010 in Karachi , the groom (Baqir Abbas Lakhani) and his family had already come from USA , two functions were to be held in Karachi and one in Islamabad since Mr. Datardina had his business setup in Islamabad and was also residing there from quite some time , all the prepartions were complete and Ghulam Abbas Datardina went to Islamabad for finalizing some minor work when this incident took place.

    It is a great shock for the family , only two days before the wedding of Sahar Abbas datardina , his son was scheduled to attend Waterllo University this fall , this incident took place , only ALLAH knows WHY ???


  10. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on July 30th, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    Pious or not, everyone has to leave this world one day. Let’s pray for the victims and their families while analyzing our own deeds with respect to the true meaning of life….


  11. crazymonkey on July 30th, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

    @Shez, I hope I didn’t steal your cow in a past life! Like I said before, read a newspaper (or the notice board in a morgue). That would definitely suit your morbid tastes ;) Oh, and I’m not removing the ‘around’.

    *puts flowers and throws confetti around the ‘around’*


  12. crazymonkey on July 30th, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

    @Bilal, that is indeed very sad. We plan and dream so much, and then everything vaporizes in an instant.


  13. Shez (unregistered) on July 31st, 2010 @ 12:04 am

    @Crazy

    I was expecting the same stupid and heartless response. Adios


  14. crazymonkey on July 31st, 2010 @ 12:02 pm

    @Shez, awww just when we were getting to know each other ;) Have a good time at the morgue!


  15. oa (unregistered) on August 1st, 2010 @ 12:36 am

    What a stupid response to Shez’s very appropriate correction!


  16. Samrah (unregistered) on August 4th, 2010 @ 12:05 am

    I agree with the comment above. Shez has a valid point an Crazy Monkey needs to stop being so childish about it. You’ve written something and it needs correction because this is human life you are talking about here. And you are not being critisized so stop whining. If you dont want to make the correction, thats alright but STOP saying stupid stupid things which would hurt the feelings of people for who this incident was more than a blog entry.


  17. crazymonkey on August 4th, 2010 @ 12:11 pm

    Well, at least we’re getting more readers here, even if the discussion is in the typical pakistani whine and quarrel style :P Thanks for your input Samrah!



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