Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ctrl+Alt+Del of Life

(Written long time back in 2004)

It was late; as usual I reached home late. I was tired and wanted to go to bed. However, as I am used to watching TV late at night and playing around TV channels, counting them ensuring whether they are all working or not, I switched on the TV and my finger kept pressing the next button on the TV remote. Suddenly, I hit something that looked familiar to me. It took me back in time. It was some movie - an Indian movie - on show. The movie was quite old and this struck me then that I had seen it before! Finally, I remembered that it was ages ago. It was the time when I was hardly 10 years old. A time when there was no concept of cable ordish. Even the VCRs were not that common. You usually rented them and in order to rent the cassette, some shopkeepers used to ask for your national ID cards. Good old days:. Anyway, that is not important. The important point was the story line of that movie. Yeah, I remember I watched it at some neighbor's house whose antenna received Doordarshan after installing number of boosters.

The story revolved around a teenager who was convicted for the murder of his father and the jury was asked to decide about the conviction. There were around 11 members in the jury. Apparently, 10 were in favor of declaring the person guilty while one young lawyer was against it. If you are good at watching movies, you must have got the name of the movie by now. Anyway, as the movie went on it showed the young lawyer carefully looking at all the evidences and convincing people that the evidences were not correct or was faulty. One by one, he turned the opinion of other jury members, eventually convincing all of them to declare that the boy was not guilty.

I was quite impressed with that young lawyer and about his confidence, his perseverance and the ability to look into fine details, his observation of the different evidences in the movie and how he carefully looked into them to logically prove the entire jury wrong. This was the spirit that made me stick to this movie. Since almost 18 years have passed by, the story was not fresh in my mind. So I started watching it and kept clearing the dust from my memory cells where this story was saved. For every move of that young lawyer, I was trying to refresh the impression that I had when I was 10 years old. After 2 hours, the movie ended. It was around 3 a.m. However, instead of having a feeling of enjoyment, I regretted watching that movie! I was not happy as lots of evidences presented in the movie could have been sorted out by anyone - anyone possessing some logical sense, which lawyers especially have - before reaching the jury. So, I thought what the bet of watching 2 hours, which I could have enjoyed by having a good sound sleep.

I was not happy about how this movie had impressed me 18 years back. Obviously, back then I was not that smart and at that time little things and statements with some intelligence could have easily impressed me. Anyhow, I was not happy. Then, I worked on it trying to find why I was not happy. Finally, I found the reason. Getting impressed with ordinary things as a child wasn't the real cause of my unhappiness. It was me current inclination toward thinking that the things that have inspired me in the past will inspire me in the present as well.

I was living in the past, extracting happiness, smartness, intelligence from it and not doing justice to the things around me in the present. Things in my present could be much smarter, much beautiful, much better than the past. But I was continuously ignoring them. This is not a healthy attitude at all. In fact, this may go up to the extreme which might make me think that I have no solution for present problems unless I get the old system back into my life. I might be ignoring very good people around me who might be giving very good workable ideas and the ones who are sincere with me. I might've be ignoring them, not only disappointing them but also missing some good friends for my future.

Most of the people might feel that this story looks like their story. The ones who think it is not their case can stop reading this article as there is not much information for them in the lines below.

Past is good, sometime quite soothing to remember. But it should not be the blueprint for your life. We continuously learn throughout our lives and most of our learning remains dormant in our minds as we never touch it. W never use it and are not even aware of it. Present always has presents for us. We need to identify them, look into them, respect them and use them. We should not set a line in our mind that we have now matured. That our personalities are now complete and we can't change them. If you think like this, I can only pray for you as I see lots of problems for you in the future - not just for you but also for the people around you.

The things you learn today, know today, will not be as good in the future as they are for the present. To deal with the future, God gives you new tools. You only need to identify them.

Future is something that will come and you have some power to change it as per your dreams. Never compromise on it. Don't lock yourself in the past. Start appreciating things around you and work on building your dreams to make them true.

One thing you also need to note down - don't stay locked into your dreams of past. Dreams should be the realization of your personality and will, not the other way around. Also, entertain and appreciate new dreams and, if required, scrap the old dreams. No one will ask you why you did that.

April 6, 2004

- Zahoor ul Islam


  1. I remember this post very well. Why? Because it made me search for the nameless movie, which I found a few years back at a video shop :)

    You may be referring to this movie (12 Angry Men).

    It has an older version which I watched. I actually thought that the jurors were too hasty as there was lack of good evidence for conviction of the defendant.

  2. One day, I will be just a memory in someone's mind.


And thus did We show Ibrahim the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and that he might be of those who are sure. When the night covered him over, He saw a star: He said: "This is my Lord." But when it set, He said: "I love not those that set." When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray." When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah. For me, I have set my face, firmly and truly, towards Him Who created the heavens and the earth, and never shall I give partners to Allah."