Exploration: The Highest Form
Exploration: The Highest Form11 mins 423 11 mins 423
“Hello everyone! I welcome you all to our famous show, ‘Get acquainted!’. Today, we have a very special guest with us. So, let me introduce you to Miss Hinaaa, the Nobel Laureate, who has, very recently, received the Nobel prize for her tremendous contributions in the field of literature. Miss Hina, also the author of the best-selling book, ‘Better days will arrive’, is here today, to share with us, the stories of her struggles and hurdles, she encountered on her path to success. She will be telling us how, from being an ignorant and merry-making tomboy, she traversed the journey on becoming such a successful and a pious woman. So audience, please put your hands together for Miss Hinaaa!”
At the conclusion of the show anchor, Rahil Khan’s words, Hina appeared at the stage and the audience roared in glee, accompanying it with their claps and cheers, welcoming her. Hina, a medium build, tall woman, wearing a black Niqab, walked up to the couch where she was gestured to be seated by Rahil. “So let’s begin today’s show, shall we?” asked Rahil, facing the audience. “Yyyyeesss...!” bawled the audience.
Turning to Hina, he asked, “So, Miss Hina, everyone here is very curious to know about the incident which turned your life around. Besides, we are also looking forward to know about all the events and instances in your past life, your aspirations and inspirations, and all other things which have made a difference in your life.”
It was not the first time when Hina was called to share her experiences. She had been interviewed earlier where she had given speeches about her path to success. However, she always felt a little hesitant as every time seemed liked the first time to her. “An extremely playful child as I was,” she began, “the essence of education and lust for knowledge was something I never craved for. Despite my parent’s untiring efforts to help me become a diligent and hard-working student, I chose to stick to merriment and seek fun, and it appeared as if every step my parents and teachers were taking for me, it just backfired. Despite having an impressive level of IQ which placed me in the category of ‘Very superior Intelligence’, my achievement was very poor and my grades used to be amongst the lowest in class. Besides my low grades and inactiveness in co-curricular activities, I lacked socializing skills too. I was suffering from serious personality problems and would find myself quite difficult to adjust to groups. I used to feel outcast in gatherings and parties. At the age of fifteen, I was taken to visit a psychologist, Mrs. Rosheena. She acquainted me with the psychological problems I was suffering from. I got to know that my looks were the root cause of my trouble. The way I dressed and carried myself was what, was consequencing into a distorted personality.” “Who are you, Hina? A boy or a girl” asked Mrs. Rosheena.
“A girl, ma’am”.
“Well, are you saying it with all of your heart? Are you contented with it? Or just because
for that sake that it’s true?” asked Mrs. Rosheena.
Hina didn’t reply, but deep down she knew that it was very hard for her to accept, that no matter how desperately she wants to be a boy, that is never going to happen. “It is because you resemble boys is what makes you stand different and peculiar in crowd and this is the reason why you are picked out first when any trouble occurs. Take heed, Hina, lest the web of your problems shall expand, trapping you completely,” Mrs. Rosheena advised.
“It was indeed a discombobulated childhood. Being in vex regarding one’s own identity and a large gap between reality and fantasy can be extremely troublesome. How did you then, Miss Hina, managed to bridge the gap between your ideal self and real self? What difficulties and challenges you had to face in becoming what you are today?” asked Rahil.
Hina’s mind travelled back in time where she remembered herself as a young and short Hina, about 4 years old, dressed in the clothes of boys, admiring herself in the mirror.
“Ain’t I looking like a boy, Mama?” asked little Hina.
“Oh! No, you look like a cute little doll. Boys are rough but you are gentle and sweet, my Hina,” replied Shehnaz, her mother.
‘I must stop buying such clothes for Hina so she stops fancying herself as a boy,’ Shehnaz decided.
However, Hina resumed behaving like a boy and still got her favourite kinds of clothes which were jeans and shirts, coats and jackets. Her godmother was her aunt who used to get her a lot of clothes of her choice from America, where she resided.
People around Hina, often used to refer her as a ‘Charming prince’ and a 'cute little boy' and such compliments used to make her feel like elevating to the seventh sky. But as she grew, people started admonishing her to dress like girls. The unpleasant and distasteful glares at her by her acquaintances and strangers, their looking down on her as if she was a walking taboo, had started bothering her and her family.
“Why don’t you dress in your traditional, Indian clothes?” asked Hina’s uncle.
“I like to follow the western culture. Such style suits me and makes one look smart. I don’t wanna look backward by wearing Indian clothes, uncle, and so I’ll dress the way I desire.”
Hina’s uncle got furious at her reply and walked away, cursing her. What Hina didn’t realize what that she was heading towards her own destruction.
“That must have been painful for both your uncle as well as for you,” said Rahil, passing a sympathetic smile to Hina. Proceeding with the show, he asked, “Miss Hina, your story is making us even more curious and eager to know about the
event which completely changed your life around.”
Hina’s mind leapt to that chapter of her life which revolutionized her. It was some day of July 2016. Hina, along with her friends was wandering in the corridors of her college, making merry. By then, her identity crisis had escalated to such a level that she often found herself flirting with beautiful women around her, ignoring the fact that how queer it was and how abhorrent it was considered, by both her religion as well as society. Homosexuality was then, a crime in her country. Moreover, it was considered even worse in Islam where it is regarded as a major sin. Hina, not quite religious then, was blissfully following her desires. On that particular day of July 2016, Hina was standing next to the reception desk, chatting with Alina, the receptionist, when suddenly she caught her waving at someone. To find who it was; Hina’s eyes caught sight of a young and beautiful girl who was waving Alina back. “Who’s that, Miss Alina?” Hina inquired.
“Oh! She’s Miss Anita, she has recently joined our college and has been employed as a professor in the Psychology department.”
“Beautiful, ain’t she?” said Hina, admiring Anita.
Gradually, Hina managed to get Anita's contact no. and became friends with her. Being a poet, she wrote beautiful and heart touching sonnets and poems in praise of her beloved and started believing that Anita had fallen in love with her.
Hina spent days and night pursuing her love, making every effort to spend time with Anita and would stay awake till late at night, chatting. However, on one particular day, when Hina found Anita terribly upset and asked her the reason behind it, she felt miserly to know that Anita was having an affair with someone. Hina’s heart was shattered, her spirits drooped. All the sacrifices she made in love, the endeavours she took to make her beloved happy, the time she dedicated to spend moments with her seemed to have all gone in vain.
“I would never love anyone again, ever,” Hina cried to God in prayer.
“I went through a heart break...,” Hina told the audience, “and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. You might wonder how the following depressions and mood swings could possibly help one. Well, the broken pieces of my heart were mended, mended by my Lord, by Allah, who, assembled them together and made it afresh. I used to spend nights crying to Allah and my days were spent wearing a smile on my face to conceal the pain I was undergoing within. It taught me patience; it taught me to trust Allah for all my affairs.
At that time, Anita was going through a lot of relationship problems with her lover and she used to threat me that she would suicide, and, no matter how much she broke me, she still claimed to be in love with me whilst having an affair with someone else and I was foolish enough to continue caring for her despite being well aware that she didn’t love me and she had never fallen for me in the first place. I was, yet, very afraid of losing her. It would have caused havoc in my life Just thinking about it used to make my heart sink and it seemed that if it would happen it would be like one of my life’s biggest and most horrible nightmare, turning to reality.
In all of my daily five prayers, I prayed for her well-being, her long life and for resolution of tensions in her affair. I always put her first and it would kill me whenever she behaved scornfully or would treat me unjustly. Her threats of suicide used to scare me so much that I went through sleepless nights. I didn’t share my troubles with anyone but Allah s.w.t. I knew that only he could help me through it and so he did. Whenever I felt tensed and scared, I used to read Qur'an and browse Islamic videos on Youtube for guidance and peace. I felt fascinated by how I was directed by Allah to the exact verses which and when I needed the most. For instance, one such day when I was feeling very restless and tensed I came across the verse from the Holy Qur'an which read, "Verily in the remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest." My heart would then soon come to rest and peace each time I prayed and read Qura’n.
One day, I came across a video on Youtube which talked about offering the night prayer, ‘Tahajjud’, which is prayed in the last third part of night. I learned that offering this prayer would help a person come out from his troubles and would make his life beautiful. I heeded to this advice and within a very short span of time I found my life filled with joy, peace and happiness. I started excelling in my studies, won a lot of prizes in inter-collegiate competitions and was admired by everyone around me, for becoming pious and on emerging successful in all spheres of life. That was when I realized that I had been, throughout all my life, missing my connection with Lord and this was what had caused me all the trouble. Finding Allah’s love made me complete, it filled the void in my heart, removing all the emptiness and pain from within.
Ever since I became close to Lord, I took quite a lot of effort to learn about my religion. I found that dressing in the clothes of the opposite gender and behaving like them is a sin in our religion. Learning this, helped me understand why I had been undergoing an identity crisis and I realized that this was actually the root cause of all my trouble as my psychologist, Mrs. Rosheena had informed. When I switched to start dressing like girls and behaving like them, I found my life turning normal. I was appreciated for my efforts and everyone around assured that my new version is much prettier and graceful. I soon switched to wearing the Niqab because I realized that I need to preserve my identity. I no longer seek to adopt the western style to look and become smart. Simplicity and wisdom are the best apparel one can wear. It is our reputation and our deeds which will precede us and not the petty things like the way we dress or how much make-up we wear.
Life has its lessons and people, at some point in their lives, learn it. There are different lessons for different people. Everything happens for a reason. One may curse his fate and blame Lord for his troubles and misery but one shall never forget that it is often the pain and heartbreaks that teach us more than anything may teach us in this world. Pain helps us get close to our Lord; it helps us understand things more deeply and makes us wise. The energy it exerts, if directed in the right direction, can lead to wonders. Every person has a story and the stories of most influential and famous people often involve heart breaks, mostly owing to family breakdowns, financial problems or even betrayals in love or friendship. Such disappointments are what ignites the fire in our eyes and brings out the best in us. And for those seeking revenge, no revenge can be sweeter than success.”
Hina’s eyes watered as she said these words of enlightenment which she learned from fighting her biggest battle, a battle fought by and from herself, within.
“It was the ashes of my heartbreak on which I built my career. Sometimes…” Hina sighed, “Lord lets our heart, break, to save our soul.”