Useless.

What is the point of it all? Why do we work so hard? Why do we dream?

The only thing that is sure in this life is death. So why do we work for this life? The test i have tomorrow, once upon a time a class fellow of mine was learning the same thing, memorising the same useless names of the same poets, and now? Well, today is her second night in her grave. May Allah grant her eternal peace.

But the point is, everything is about to finish. Laiba was once aspiring for something, she was working hard, and now what? Her death has taught me something valuable: Nothing matters. Everything is useless. 

So why should I study today? I don’t even know if I will live to see the morning. That could have been me in her place. But it wasn’t. It was her.

Today as I sat in class, I realised I was alive. No, i did not feel full of life, I just felt… alive. And it made me wonder, what was it like to not be alive? All my life I have been alive, and what must it feel like to be on the other side of the border? To cross that point?

I looked around at the drones I called my class mates. Oblivious to my situation, lost in the not-so-deep expanses of the words written in those textbooks. A girl was crying hysterically. And she happened to be sitting on my left. Reason? Her test didn’t go so well.

Tell me, is that all there is to life? To work, and then achieve something, and then what? At some point in life, after what people call “Having Achieved Your Life’s Ambition”, your life does become ultimately purposeless. You lose all reason to live. Everyone expects old people to die and nobody is ever shocked at their death but if someone dies young, we do get shocked. I think the quality of your life is measured from the time you were born to the time you die. Not the fact that you had great ambitions, but the time you spent while you were alive, while you were not busy making plans for a future so distant and uncertain that nobody can see it.

So if your life ultimately becomes purposeless, then that means your life was purposeless from the very beginning. Suppose life becomes purposeless after retirement. Then, all that time you spent studying a particular subject to get that job and then all the while you were doing your job to get that promotion and etc. etc. becomes useless. Because in the end, you can occupy only so much space on that huge bed. You can only eat so much. You can only wear one pair of jeans at one time.

So the purpose of your life i.e. that promotion has finished. And then? Death? Because after you die, how long would your grave be? Two meters maximum? So all that you did, everything you were, all finished. Your accomplishments forgotten by the people, your family continues to eat, the sun rises…. nothing changes. So everything was useless. The world will be the same after I die. 

So what remains? The Earth-about to perish. Dinosaurs-extinct. Trees? Cut down. Plastic? Degrades after only four hundred years. So what remains?

Simple. Allah.

What was before remains afterwards. Allah.

“And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me.” (Al-Quran)

*Please excsue all this randomness and haphazardness. My thoughts are just as unorganised as this piece here.

Dear Laiba Fatima…

I can’t believe it. I cannot believe that you are actually gone. I remember the day Arub told me about that brain haemorrhage. But the surgery was successful and you should have woken up. They were waiting, you know. All of us were.

I remember when I heard you had fainted during that test at the academy. The doctors said it was a brain haemorrhage and they even operated successfully, but then, dear, why didn’t you wake up?

It’s true we didn’t know each other that well. We didn’t even talk much. But you were there, a face eched in my memory, a comrade from my school. And when I read that message a few hours ago, I was so shocked. Laiba? Laiba Fatima?

Oh Laiba. As I sat there shaking with disbelief, my body trembling uncontrollably, why is it that all I could think of was that smile you gave me when I said salam? You were probably the same age as me, but still you looked so small… as if you were only thirteen or fourteen.

I remember that straight ponytail with those curly hair. That gentle, delicate voice as you discussed the exam afterwards. Oh Laiba, are you really gone?

Sometimes I feel as if I will remember this time as the time when I had no time for anything else. Not even time to mourn Laiba’s death. I sat there, trying hard to control my trembling hands enough to practice those physics numericals. Guiltily, i knew i had to study for this test the next day but somehow I felt so guilty that the World was still moving. The tears dropped from my eyes as my heart tore itself into a million pieces. Laiba, Laiba, Laiba Fatima…

And what made me even more guilty was the fact that I stayed at those numericals. I thought of how you must have done the very same ones before me, you always did like to keep ahead. You were the one who had all the brains. The one with the good grades in everything. 

I wonder, Laiba, if I feel this way, then how is Zerish, and Zobia, and all of them? And to think nothing of your mother, that woman whom I have never met, nor heard anything of, but all the same, how must she be? Losing her seventeen year old daughter?

Laiba I don’t even know you well enough to know what your ambitions were, to know what you were trying to be in life. But now, does that even matter anymore? Does anything even matter anymore? The one truth of life is death. And that’s where you are now.

Laiba I wonder what you must be feeling right this moment. I hope its happy thoughts. I hope you don’t have to face any of the hardships after death. Ya Allah! I pray with the sincerest of all prayers that you give Laiba a place in your heavens. I pray that you forgive her her minor sins. She had a good character. Allah! Give us sabr and patience to bear this, especially her family and loved ones. Allah! We are in no position to question your decree, so we pray. Allah! Please accept this. Who else can we go to in such situations? Who else has the power to grant? Allah! Rest her soul in peace. Ameen.