Dazzling Reflections by UZMA SHAHID!

A blue bird, used to come every morning outside my reflective glass

window. She would sit by the window pane and chirp to her own reflection for a while, stroking her beak gently with the glass in a pattern, her persistent excitement was long enough to wake me up and observe her innocence curiously. She had become my alarm clock.

According to a research, up to one million birds hit glass and get killed each year in U.S alone. Reflection of vegetation or landscape attracts birds and make the windows a silent killer.

On occasions, I often tend to get lazy and do not look as well dressed up as I should. On this particular occasion, It was a formal meeting with few elite friends. The dress code and protocol were not to be missed. With much persuasion I finally agreed upon a formal attire.

It was already late at night, everyone waited at the door in a hurried state. I was being asked to change into the new coat that I received online but had not tried yet.  Before my approval I was made to put on a rather very heavy and long overcoat. Like a model I had a little say in what I wear, oh the horror of being youngest in the family. On the quick changeover I heard woah, how nice, suits you, let’s go … I for once decided to ignore the fact that they were saving time and believe for once they were being honest.

In the car I realised not only the coat was extremely heavy on shoulders but it also had about a dozen odd buttons in a pattern. I suddenly decided to do the buttons despite dark at night, In one hasty go I got over and done with them. Phew, that was a clever move.. well in time!

Reaching the venue, the meet and greet, the formal introduction all went well. We were all sitting around formally chatting. I participated with much confidence and enthusiasm despite the fact I couldn’t freely move the neck, my shoulders were piercing, I was feeling suffocated both physically and emotionally. Even then it was all smiles until I realised one odd moment.

All my buttons were fastened in haphazard way, while sitting down they looked much more awkward and bulged out in rather unusual way. My first killer mistake of its kind that too after sacrificing all along. Ah, it hurt even more.

I looked around in a moment of immense agony and pain, wondering how it missed the eyes of others. It was one confused moment when I realised that it was a wrong idea to get into an intricate unfamiliar and unfriendly coat on the last minute.

It was almost impossible at this spur of moment for me to stand up, undo and redo my buttons with ease, confidence and no reflection. The facility to run into a corner also looked vague. Reminding myself of Shakespearean quote’ what’s done cannot be undone’ I started laughing loudly at the possibility that Shakespeare had a fair day of such sort. This laugh was so loud that no one could miss. My family looked at me in a state of disappointment at such sudden, unalarmed and unprovoked outburst. I couldn’t explain or announce the culprit, nor stop laughing a laughter more annoying than a stroking bird in a deep sleep. It was not my day I guess, but I enjoyed chirping with my own-self this time just like that bird. Blue bird and blue coat… The only difference being my onlookers were not obviously amused.

Perfect looks can get us a compliment for sure and give us confidence, yet true happiness comes with investing quality time in building relationships.. sincere people support us not only at the prime of our beauty and strength but also at our weak and ugly times when we are not our true selves but on the verge of embarrassment, breaking point or giving up.

On occasions, just like birds we being privileged with crown and glory, forget our blessings and succumb to false reflections.

The past glory, the ideally balanced world of fulfilled desires becomes that heartbreaking front that can crash us down.

It is important to understand that hiccups are an essential part of life. There are days we look perfect and all put together, yet there are days we look tired, worn out and having a bad hair day… similarly, life is like that. People who care are there for us…no matter how we look or feel. Let us try to find and cherish them..

Unfortunately, a betrayal, bereavement and financial insecurity of the past also make one’s temperament an end product of utter bitterness.

In all such moments, one has to become a teacher and student at the same time. Open the book of past like a dreaded book of history. Note the timeline and meaningful events, learn important lessons, feel mature and advanced that the time is all over…. lessons learnt…book closed and time to move forward. Happiness attract love, success and fame.

It has always been a point of great interest to look into the projected reflections of others. A stay home lady, for an example, having the privilege to stay home and enjoy her life sees a working lady as more confident, financially independent, secure and assertive. A working lady sees herself as overworked and exhausted. She finds the reflection of a house lady more serene, with free time at hand and in holiday mode.

Such examples are countless all around us.

Many women who do not want to work at particular place are forced to not just work but do extra hours to pay for the so called luxury. Many ambitious and learned women are made home stricken at all times to feel in control. It is a torture to make any woman do, what she abhors most, all at the cost of so called modernism and tradition.

Some women are more unsafe at home, getting frequent beating by their so called protectors. If this is not crashing by glass walls what else will be?

Even in this age and time girls called ‘chiryan da chamba’ are denied in some parts of our modern word the right to education. Some who are lucky enough to get the sense and sensibility through learning are denied freedom to choose their career, life partner or even share their aspirations. There are also others who misuse their freedom or trust and make it a mean to exploit the carers

It’s time to stop ‘go blindly on our ways, creating more unintended consequences’..

How about we start giving that support and identity to all members of our society. They need respect for most and guidance that comes with reasoning and helping hand. Giving them listening ear and freedom of expression, so that they don’t keep crashing to the glass wall of their dreams and ambitions, nor end up stubborn and rebellious.

It’s a common practice of street vendors in Lahore to set the caged birds free by taking a small contribution. The excitement of the imprisoned flock reaches to extreme proportion in anticipating there bail. The feeling to see them being chosen and rush to fly high in the sky was liberating itself

While some argue that they are repeatedly trapped, those birds feel the true reflection of them in the escape. Such a sight and flight is beyond my power of words.

I love birds in open air and take care of them with fond memories of my late father feeding them. On a rainy day I used to be reminded to feed them as they must be hungry and wet trying hard to fly or find food somewhere. Why I look after them is perhaps my inculcated love, yet they also give me immense happiness and peace in return.. like a disguised poor lady who granted wishes of the kind hearted in stories. Hope one day we could all be kind and skilled enough to treat others effectively.

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