When I was reading the book, I felt for Momina and yes I could relate to her at some points … but watching that character come to life on screen in front of me, kind of hit me hard and made me face a stark reality. It made me question, … am I ungrateful ? Am I a perpetually sad person? (something that I detest and do not want to be).
In this last episode, it is established that Momina is going places, she finally has an international agent who is focused on making Momina “the next big thing” in the entertainment industry, she is flying business class, is not under any financial pressure for the first time in her life. One would really envy her, right?
The scene that changed it all for me
When Momina glances at the business class ticket and instead of being happy, she is overcome with grief and restlessness. She recalls how Jehangir wanted to travel business class. The memory and the reminder of Jehangir’s absence in her life is so powerful that she feels breathless and extremely disturbed. It’s like she somehow wants to vanish, somehow wants get rid of all this pain and the sad memories, but she can’t, and then she frantically looks for something; that something is the Quran. She opens it and reads it … she finds solace in the words of Allah.
I know that for Momina it’s too soon, she is grieving and she is also going through guilt and regret. Regret and self blame that she couldn’t do enough in time to save Jehangir. Maybe she should have said yes to Qalb-e-Momin’s film. She blames him as well. And she is also going through major guilt that she is living and doing all that Jehangir wanted to do. This guilt is preventing her from enjoying her present success. All of this leads her into self pity as well. She is even failing to realize that she arrived just in time to save her parents (when Jehangir passed away).
I wonder how many people could relate to her. How certain events in life, some tragedies and some losses are so great that they become the center point of our existence. It made me question that, why is it that sometimes when Allah takes something away from us, no matter how many successes he gives us after that, we forget to be grateful for that, … we only remember what was taken away from us.
I don’t know about you guys, but I felt like I was just like Momina at that time. Momina was me … this one scene made me realize two things:
1. I have let the tragic events in my life overshadow everything else in my life. I am unable to enjoy the small or big victories that I am achieving, I am unable to be happy for the small or big blessings that Allah has given me which are making my life easier, which are making me go on in life.
2. I am also carrying the guilt of feeling responsible in some way for what happened. Could I have done more? The feeling of regret that because of me, the people around me, my loved ones had to suffer, when in reality none of this is true.
Both my and Momina’s guilt and regret are not justified and do not stand true. But Momina is not able to see this, not able to move away from them. She is consumed by her sense of loss and her guilt at this moment. There is also the burden of how could she be happy, how could she enjoy anything when she has lost her brother. It’s the same for many of us, how can we smile, be happy when we’ve been hit by a tragedy? We live with the burden of being unhappy … partly because of social expectations, and partly because of the fear of being judged.
I questioned myself, am I being fair to myself ? Am I being fair to Allah? Am I being fair to people around me? I deserve to be happy and nobody can make me do that except for myself … no one will serve me happiness on a platter. If I want to be happy, I have to do it myself. I have to make a conscious effort, I have to stop letting the tragedies in my life control me and my life. I have to be in control. When Allah is giving me opportunities again and again to be happy, why am I still stuck on being sad. I know what happened in my life, I can’t change the past. What I lost is perhaps irreplaceable just as Momina’s loss of Jehangir is huge and Faisal’s rejection of her profession is shattering. But then, moving forward, she is being given so much success and financial security with which she can give a better life to her parents. The positives are many, if only she could see them.
This made me think:
“Is this our way of being Naraz with Allah, that see, you took that away from us, now no matter what you give us, we won’t be happy…”
And in this moment, maybe we don’t reali\e but we are being ungrateful… we are disregarding all that is given to us…
Do you feel like that?
I am grateful to Umera Ahmed for making me realize this, to Sajal and the entire team of Alif for making me realize that I cannot, should not, keep holding on to my loss. What’s gone will never come back but I do have the choice to value and appreciate what I have and am getting in the present, and future.
It was the poignant portrayal of pain and loss by Sajal and the brilliant direction that made that scene so impactful.
I do hope Umera Ahmed, through Alif will make many of us realize this truth and change our perspectives, to be grateful for what we have, and to not bear the burden of our loss for the rest of our lives.
I do hope that Sajal through Alif will help people becoming thankful and happy in their lives.
I do hope Alif will strengthen our bond with Allah.
May Alif teach us to walk away from guilt, regret, mayoosi and self pity. May Alif teach many of us to smile again.
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Rabia stays involved in various social causes. Believing in creating equal opportunities for underprivileged kids, she helps The Citizens’ Foundation, Pakistan, to create awareness of the need for providing quality education to children. At the same time, she is also involved with Singapore-based VWO, 4PM’s Ramadan on Wheels project by supporting it through the FUCHSIA platform. At FUCHSIA, Rabia oversees the Marketing and Public Relations work. She is also part of the Editing Team in conceptualising articles and monthly issues.