Insert some Bollywood line that has the word ‘Pyaar’ in it. For reasons that you will hopefully discover if/when you read this piece.

I hope I, somehow, and in spite of all of my limitations, worries, shortcomings and more:

I hope I matter truly to the ones whom I love. Brother, friends, students, and all. I hope we really mean beautiful things to one another. I know that nobody, and nothing, at all, deserves to be placed on pedestals.

Only Allah has the Right to be Worshipped.

From afar, for example: skin can look ‘perfect’, and not cragged with character. Social media can seem… ‘larger-than-life’, and ‘better’. Rock-faces: the way we must all climb, sturdy. Rock-climbers, and all the other possible metaphors, through Dunya life.

I hope I matter to the ones whom I love: not in a way that makes them look ‘down’ upon me. Via lenses of pity, and/or derision. For my takes on things; for the way I am, and not for what I am ‘expected’, or ‘wanted’ to be. Mind, heart, soul, and (face, physical presence, i.e.) body. And: not in any way that makes them put me on some pedestal. Nobody — not even on account of the wealth in one’s pocket; the symmetry woven gracefully through one’s face; not on account of the titles we can claim to hold, or anything else — deserves to be placed ‘above’ us somehow. Nobody is, at their very cores, ‘superior’.

I want to be looked at, eye-to-eye, ‘on a real’: on the same human level, where we all are, and belong. Seen for all that I am, and loved for all of it. And if we are to love: we must love whom people are, now. Not: our ideas of them, concocted in these imaginative minds of ours, from far away. Not notions of their ‘potential’, in terms of religion or anything else. Human eyes, to human eyes. The necessary ‘good’, and the not-so. And if they are truly a friend, and you love them, then you will take all of it, with honour.

‘Friend’: okay, nooooo: I am very much a nerd, so it would seem, for etymology. ‘Friend’, as I have known, is derived from an Old English word that is related to love. And: the word comes from a Proto-Indo-European root (‘Pri-‘) which means to love. Like my cousin Priya’s name: a common name from the Indian subcontinent, and it means ‘beloved’. ‘Pyaar’ means ‘love’. [source:]. Oh, language. How much I love thee, language.

[Interestingly, it would seem as though the ‘Proto-Germanic’ peoples also understood that any time a ‘friend‘ is non-Mahram and of the opposite gender… they’re more of a ‘lover‘, actually (or… you want them to be). The Proto-Germanic ‘frijōjands‘ can mean, apparently, either ‘lover’ or ‘friend’. ‘Love’, in the inter-gender ‘romantic’ sense, is not solely a thing of physicality. It’s a thing of friendship. And, to paraphrase Tamanna who quoted Oscar Wilde on that Eid card she gave to me last year, ultimately, the basis of all friendship (including marriage) is conversation. I’m going to be annoying and carry on with this whole etymology thing: earlier this academic year, I discovered that the linguistic roots of ‘conversation’ mean: turning towards [one another].

Two beings turning towards one another, communicating, connecting, through language, falling in love and that. I knew I was right to flirt with my (female) friends! Why wouldn’t I?!]

‘Amigo’, too. [‘Friend’ in Spanish]. It just occurred to me very recently that this word sounds an awful lot like ‘amor’, which means ‘love’ in Spanish. Amistad: friendship. The Latin ‘amicus’ (‘friend’) is related to ‘amare’: ‘to love’. We love whom our friends are: humans can be so terribly adorable, no?

Now, back to the point, hopefully: I am I. You are you. We are we: for all that we are, and in contrast with all the negative spaces, of all that we are not. Alhamdulillah. They are they. I do not want to be anybody’s second choice as a friend; I shall be, hopefully, nobody’s mere ‘antidote to loneliness’. I want to be a ‘first-choice-friend’, and I want for all my friends to be this for me too. A world of people to choose from, and I choose you. And how do we know that we are each other’s firsts, lasts, always?

Hmm… I think you think about them a lot, even when you’re not particularly ‘bored’ or not doing anything. Things they would perhaps like. Think about them. Muslim: you find yourself just… making Du’a for them. It just comes to your heart. The soul just knows, no?

And I think we care, more deeply, about whom we are, in their eyes, perhaps. Some people, maybe, we want for them to ‘like’ us, i.e., our style, appearances, intelligence, and more. Others, we crave their love.

[Well, I just had some ‘banana bread’ that I made, using ready-made bread from Waitrose (Wai’yyyy’s). It was… not great. Last time it was nice though, because I used egg. This time, sans egg, since we’d run out. But I put Galaxy chocolate on it, and those parts were good.]

Here are my ideas on this: there is a particular significance to everything that has happened, to get us to where we are right now. Where there is a will, and a possibility, and a Du’a, absolutely: there is a way. Where there is Qadr, there is no denying; no escaping. Only meeting it, as and when and how it comes; as and how we are.

‘Sadeeq’: one of the words for ‘friend’, in Arabic. Linguistically linked to one of the Arabic words for ‘truth’: ‘Sadq’. People can, and do, for example, have mood swings; failures; not feel like talking, for a while; difficult stories from our pasts; fears; negative thoughts; past mistakes, and all the rest. Now, who is truly worth taking the ‘bad’ with the good, for? Whose beauty will you commit to seeing, Insha Allah, over and over and over again?

I’m tired of thinking I maybe want to try to be things I simply cannot be. I’m tired of imagining things that are more likely than not… simply projections of my own mind. What I ‘want’, to be there, and not necessarily… what is. For whom? For WHAT? Nobody is worth losing the truths of we, over; no ‘image’ is worth compromising on Deen, and the rugged charm of these ongoing journeys of ours, for. I’m already ‘enough’, and so are you: to all the right eyes, and to all the right hearts, minds, and souls. We are ‘enough’, finally: and we’ll also help one another to grow, Insha Allah. Your soul’s lock, and their soul’s key. ‘Effortless’, and ‘organically’.

With the right people: never will you have to fight to be heard. They’ll see you for all that you are, present tense, and without unfair pitying, and/or pedestalising. Eye-to-eye. And, Insha Allah, you will be loved right there. Not as an idea; not as a concept. But: look in the mirror (and smile). For all that. [If you’re female, here is where I say: dang. Masha Allah]

WE’RE GÖN’T TE BE OKAY, Insha Allah. “Cos I’ve got you to live it with me.”

Further indulging in my inner eleven-year-old, since I have been pretty much surrounded by eleven-year-olds this academic year:

“We’re gonna put one foot in front of the other. //

Get tripped up, and step on ‘ne another. // We move ahead, and try to keep it on track.

But we know that we’ve got each other’s back. // No need to fight it, no need to deny: that it’s a crazy life, a random life, a

wonderful life.”

And if you believe in it – be it a friendship, or whatever else – then it is worth praying Tahajjud for [Tahajjud. Miracle Salāh: trust me on this one].

They are eating lettuce:

My Tasnim Jaan says that she is afraid of me:

With Salaam, Sadia, 2021.

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