The friends who make us laugh often need a shoulder to cry on…
Aslam was a loud boy during our academic days; he was always participating during the lectures. Some people thought that he is trying to become one and only of the class. Slowly and gradually he made a huge circle of friends and adopted few new habits like smoking. We then realized that he was a very social person and our initial perspective for him was not right. Later, as his ship of friendship got too much occupied, he stopped participating in the class. He was known everywhere having good Salam Dua with everyone in a short time and people started to call him Aslam Jigar. We often thought how he manages such a huge circle of friends?
I discovered his various characteristics with the passage of time. Soon, I developed a strong feeling that the apparently lively and socialized Jigar is somewhere empty inside his heart. Aaah!
As life moved forward social media became an integral element of our lives, and Aslam carried same Jigar type passion forward into the online world. He was out there in most of the friends circle discussions; intense presence in the outings and gatherings snaps. But at times, I felt that he had become an object of humor and absurdity where each comment related to him was made in a casual manner. Serious and considerate attitude was scarcely found regarding Aslam Jigar. The main question for any sane person who seemed to be studying Aslam was that; ‘Will all this continue for the rest of the life?’
And while switching gears of his career path, Aslam curtailed his social circle rather quickly. He vanished from the social media and also from all discussion forums. This whole change in attitude was really indigestible for me. Every now and then a voice inside of me asked me “Jigar ko kiya hogaya hai, why is he not vocal anymore?” I tried to express this feeling with some related people but got rather casual replies.
I personally felt that lack of proper care and concern from others forced Aslam to eradicate jigar from his persona. Everybody else was progressing well in their careers with very smart planning; I was doubtful anybody bothered to discuss Aslam’s career path with him as he was there to only satisfy buddy craving for all. While following his Jigri habits, he perhaps reached that intense point from where it was impossible to return back. So he might have decided to mark an end to all this to start a brand new life.
Then, I decided to break the shackles, wrote few pages of my perspective regarding the turnaround in Jigar’s persona and send it to him being rather nervous. I wanted to know reason behind this 180-degree change in his behavior. My concern was right but surprisingly most of my apprehensions proved out to be wrong. In his response, jigar opened his heart out in front of me. I was now reading a genuine tale of transformation, from jigar to a mature gentleman. Aslam outlined distinctive phases of his life in front of me, from a Mummy Daddy boy raised in strict middle class to his path to educational institutions; losing some loved ones at a very young age with some tragedies in life which broke him from the inside. With a passion to explore his individuality in life, Jigar faced a turbulent professional life. Jigar traveled many parts of the world and as he said in his own words.
“The person who keeps on changing (or exploring) his paths face more challenges and difficulties. Perhaps this was the same for me. Love yourself first is the lesson which I learnt all along my life. Having said that, I can say that there have been times when my friends were there when I needed them the most. But somehow I feel that there are times in your life when you get to love yourself first.”
Jigar further tells me his story and says: “Coming back to the “Jigar” part of my personality, I think I have it as a reserve but now I use it for only some selected people. A very important part of this is now I also want to fulfill my other wishes as reading books, meditation to Allah, and even sports. I mean there is a lot in life than just to spend times in chit-chat with friends. Probably, the number of deaths I have seen in a very young age should be enough lessons to me. I will be insane if I don’t take lessons from those events.”
He then briefly explains his traveling experiences and becoming more mature with the passage of time. “I will share with you one lesson. And that is in these times only few people will sympathize with you; few people will be honest in your terms with you. Alhamdullilah, there are not many stringent experiences that I have got like these but I have observed so many. Matlab kee duniya hai aur log pata nahi kiyun sirf apne aap k liye jee rahe hain…There are few who are really honest and really empathetic…there are few who will be there for you no matter what. The key to your happiness is that don’t expect much from anybody. Yet make yourself available to help in the maximum capacity you can. That is something which you can mention to Allah while begging in duas. Serving humanity is the best exchange to ask something from Allah.”