I am a big fan of a few older cartoon series. I don’t like newly made flashy, noisy and commercialized stories; but, I am an addict to what I used to see in my childhood perhaps from the early 90’s: Camp Candy, Pink Panther, Aladdin, Talespin, Duck Tales, Goofy Bear (a guess on the name), and the more recent ones like Samurai Jack, and Courage the Cowardly Dog etc.

I love my family. I live with the memories of the way all of us used to sit together discussing everything from the blessings of Allah SWT to the funny-school-stories of my younger siblings.

I have very clearer and focused goals in my life. And subhanAllah, in the longterm, none of those are conflicting with the teachings of Islam in anyway.

There are tradeoffs in all the matters of our lives. One has the ability to choose luxury, comfort and peace of mind over struggle, patience, and again struggle for Jannah. Again, there is a definite overlap in these two directions, but still it can be figured out about the lifestyle of a person to be biased to either of the two approaches to life.

Enough hints.. !! Here’s the story:

The other day, I was watching one of my cartoons at my workplace (not secretively, I can justify it :)). This series is from early 90’s and I used to see it in late 90’s. I am not good at memories, but this time (unfortunately), I was able to recall the setting in which I saw the same episode earlier with my sibs.. and that was it then. I was dumbstruck, I paused the thingy and I laid back on the chair. It sounds stupid but I missed for the first time in my life so severly the things I left behind, the things I considered worthless, the times when I gave preference to my goals over the pleasure of enjoying time with family and friends.

I tried to do something big when I was 12 and I left home passionately and childishly for an Army college. It turned out that I was the youngest fellow in the whole college and naturally, it took me 2.5 days to realize that a stupid kid needs a mom around all times. However, it took me another 363.5 days of fear, misery, and nostalgia to get rid of the place. The moment I landed back home, I committed (out of guilt for troubling my family) that I’ll not underestimate the good things I learned there: orderly living, and focused and struggle-oriented life. Although I started by the naive act of keeping my toothbrush in my cupboard but there are somethings I still follow.

Followed by this, to regain my parents’ confidence in my decision power and academic ability, I put in all efforts in my studies and got extremely good grades outclassing nearly all my friends. Then, joined the best college, and then the best school for Computer Science. Over these years, I kept myself extremely busy in my studies.

People goto tours and vacations in summers. In my four years of undergraduate education, I didn’t even once. Although I stayed at home, but for my work/ideas/plans and not for my family/friends. I always wanted to do something, something that might have contributed to my ambitious aims.. err.

By 18, I earned some serious money by doing a freelance project for someone. It took me 2 days to transform that bundle of cash into gifts for my family.

At 20, I started my own (again, very serious) business with a couple of friends. My father was having little troubles in his business, so I thought that I’ll be able to help him by contributing while studying at the same time. My other friends enjoyed things or just engaged themselves in normal stuff, and we used up the whole of this summer to inaugrate the place by August. The details are painstaking and worth a lot then a little mention of 2 lines. In short, since then, I haven’t been as much productive as I was in those months, because nothing at all demanded such efforts.

We failed miserably. I lost focus on my studies, and I could merely survive in the following 1.5 years by completing my studies and opting out of the business. In those 1.5 years, on almost every 2nd day I used to leave home in morning while coming back late night with a bunch of worries just to find everyone sleeping.

When I got rid of this, I realized that it was about time to leave for higher education. So I struggled again 🙂 I am calling this struggle because I had a low gpa, an aim for a good U.S. school, and no backup plans. In one year from then till the day I landed in USA, I sent literally 1000+ emails from convincing professors to resolving issues pertaining to missing GRE reports. Although I spent some quality time with my family in those days, but I was always troubled with this question of “What if I fail?”.. because when all my friends became independent by started earning, I was relying on my father to plan and pay off my expenses of higher education.

And then, I left. I came here. I came here and I became so busy that I couldn’t visit my family since then. Perhaps I ignored it and I am still.. I am not a non-social, non-loving, or any non-SomeGoodWord .. but still, I just couldn’t manage (Alhamdolillah for everyhing though).

I always mess up the conclusions and the same goes for this post. I can’t figure out a way to summarize what I experienced. For sure, it wasn’t a typical flashback. It was different, a rare experience, and perhaps the first time for me.. but Inshallah, I’ll see my people soon in a much happier environment stuffed up with the blessings of Allah SWT ~ameen.