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In many motivational speeches or writings, one thing the speaker or author encourages his/her audience to do is answer this question: “What is my purpose in life?”
It is as simple and complex as it is. The question automatically brings about more question to mind. Like; why am I doing what I’m doing? Is it what I was meant to do? Do i benefit from it? Are my loved ones benefiting from it? Does it make the world a better place? Etcetera etcetera.

But when we come back to the book of Allah, He states clearly;
“And I created not the Jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (alone)”
When you look at it this way doesn’t it seem easier? Well it does when you look at “worship” only in terms of the five daily prayers, fasting, zakat and hajj. But in addition to the latter there are numerous way of worshipping Allah. Isn’t it in the same Qur’an that Allah reminds us that He has given us minds and challenges us to actually think? That we should go out and explore the world? That we shoud seek knowledge? Thus personally, I define worship as that which pleases Allah. In this way , I easily find my purpose in life and be able to broaden it from the five pillars of islam to much more.

Still, the question is not what is your purpose in life? The real question is why aren’t you after it? If the main reason I am in this world is to please Allah then why am I not doing that?

Fear… it holds us back in achieving our purpose of living. I am not going to be the one to initiate peace between my arguing friends because I fear I might get caught up in the middle of it. I am not going to write the book because I fear they might not like it. I won’t be a public speaker because I fear I might lose my words. I am not going to start that business because I fear the risks and loss that I might encounter…and it goes on and on.

Most of us already know what we ought to be doing in order to please our Creator, to leave behind a great legacy, to create a better world but we let fear prevent us from acting. May be if we start thinking about our purpose in life being directly linked to pleasing our Creator, it will help us fight our fears. At the end of it all, Allah does not look at how great you did what you did, He is more interested in the struggle and intention of your actions. So, stop worrying about being good, being enough or being good enough and just be. Be among those who pleases their Creator.

Photo Courtesy: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samir_Mondal


If you are thinking that bollywood is all about romance then you are getting it twisted. There are many moral and life lessons to be learnt but well, it all depends on your kind of thinking. Do you spend one/two hours watching something just because it was a hit and worth your cinema ticket or do you really try to analyze what is to be learnt from it? That’s food for thought but for now let’s get back to our topic. I am not always on track with the latest movies and most of what I’ve watched is many months or even years after it’s release. Nonetheless, I am critical in what I consider a good movie worth my time. These are just a few of which I think even if you aren’t a fan of bollywood, perhaps you should give a try to. They are quite some years old but their effect never get old on me. I am sure there are several more that have inspiring after-effects but this is what I could come up with for now.

1.Taare Zameen Par: My all time favourite. I have probably watched it a dozen times now. It still moves me. It still makes me cry like it’s my first time. The story revolves around a young ‘naughty’ boy who has a major problem in reading and writing. His father is very hard on the boy and keeps comparing him to his older brother who is just the ‘perfect son’; perfect grades, perfect cricket player. The young boy; Ishaan grows with a very low self esteem and becomes a loner. Only for his teacher to break it to his parents that he has dyslexia; a mental condition yet still a very talented artist. Coincidentally, Ishaan has several features like my baby sister. His height, slimness, the shape of his face, his teeth. Perhaps that is why it always gets to me but it has inspired me a lot. This is especially a good movie for parents (for teachers too); this exactly shows how scolding children really brings them down and how their support can make the best out of a student. How children should be allowed to persue what they can do best and for Ishaan, his art was simply spectacular! I’d just like to mention what the teacher told Ishaan’s father about a certain island called Solomon’s island where people don’t have to cut down the trees all they have to do is go in front of the trees and shout at them, insult, scold…and the trees die on their own. (Another food for thought).

I previously wrote an article about dyslexia which is also available on this site. That is how much this movie inspired me. You can always have a look at it! Well, to cut the long story short; it is definitely worth your time if you haven’t watched it already.


2.Bhaijang Baijarang: Well who hasn’t watched this?! A story about a very honest man trying to return a dumb girl back to her country Pakistan after getting lost in India. The obvious is that without anything this is already an awesome plot and a great story but there is about sacrifice here. How far do you go to helping someone even when you know you will be risking your life and not getting anything in return? Especially when you are dealing with a dumb girl and communication is such a struggle?! Crossing borders illegally is not exactly ‘an honest man’s way of doing things but he still tries his best to make it ‘right.’ I particularly like the similar ending of this movie and of the previous movie that I mentioned on Ishaan. The teacher throwing his student on air and in this, the saviour throwing Shaheeda (the dumb girl) on air too. Very moving! Very inspiring! Oh yes, stories involving children are simply the best! So, how much can you sacrifice for any human being?!


3.Ek Villain: Okay okay, it is a great love story alright but there is such a great lesson to be learnt from Aisha. Aisha is suffering from cancer and the doctors see no hope in her living any longer. So she has a bucket list that she wanted to empty before her death. A very interesting bucket list if I may add. But there is so much we learn from her. How her bucket list involves making other people happy more than herself. She keeps putting up very inspirational quotes on path ways. She is like a shining star that’s slowly falling. She smiles, she laughs, she has hope, she dedicates herself to fulfilling other people’s dreams even when she knew she was dying. But what I loved the most is how she taught her husband (who was filled with rage and pain over his alarming past) that darkness can never drive out darkness, it is only light that can drive out darkness. She was able to change her killer husband into something amazing. She was able to teach him that in life there is day too besides the night. We learn from her the art of being happy, of creating change in others, in being the light at the end of the tunnel for others. It is such a sad story and how it ended (or rather, started) wasn’t exactly what the viewers wanted but I like stories that beat the ordinary; unpredictable. Worth the watch, worth your time.


4.Three idiots: Ohhh boy. Amazing, simply tremendous! If you love stories about school life then this is definitely it. So much humour, adventures and craziness. But besides all that, this story evolves about three friends who invest all they have in their relationship. The kind of friendship that lasts forever. There is so much sacrifice, laughter, smiles, tears, sorrow, standing up for one another. Well, with our current world filled with fake friends maybe we can borrow a few ‘real friendship’ tips from these guys. Perhaps then we can start having the right definition of friendship.


5.Mary Kom: A tough girl who dreams of being a boxer and the obvious is that her father was totally against it. But she was persistent, still persued boxing, went training, had her many challenges but still became a champion. The twist of events happens when she gets married and gives birth to twins of which one was sickly. She had to stop boxing and training for a while and when she decided to come back to boxing it was like starting from zero again. But she still didn’t give up and struggled her way up once again. The perfect story for the saying, ‘where there is a will there is a way’. It’s all about dedication, courage, bravery, hard work and determination. You have a dream? It’s never going to come easy.


6.Baghban: Another very touching story of an old couple and their grown up children who decide to separate their mother and father after their house was sold. Really sad story in how it vividly potrays how children poorly traet their parents when they are of old age. The two parents are neglected and are hurt several times by their children and their spouses. The husband and wife miss each other but are miles apart and all they do is lie to each other that they are ‘okay’. Something interesting about this story is that their adopted son is the one who comes back to them, brings the two back together and treats them well more than their own children.  Yes, the story very well highlights that another man’s son could be better to you than your own family.  This is the ‘treat others right’ call. You just don’t know who will be good to you when you least expect it and who will be bad to you when you never expect it. Be good unto others, you just never know!


7.English Vinglish: Many of us take for granted our ‘illiterate’ parents and not just that, we rub it on their faces that they don’t know a thing. Well this is the same thing here. This story evolves around a very loving mother and wife who doesn’t know English. Her husband and daughter treat her awfully and mock her for being uneducated. When she travels to America for a family wedding, she secretly joins an English class. She gets to meet new people who really appreciate her and consider her delicious cookery as art. She starts loving herself for what she is and does all her best to learn English, which she does at the end. It’s a light story, perhaps not a super hit but one you can learn from. Again, where there is a will there is a way. She breaks all stereotypes around her and makes herself appreciated. The issue of parents come again; perhaps we really underestimate the damage we cause in our parents when we make silly jokes, mock them around or treat them misappropriately because of their weaknesses. Do only what you would want your own children to do to you!


8.BLACK: Being both blind and deaf from a young age is not any easy thing. This story talks about a young girl who becomes blind and deaf after recovering from some illness at the age of two. She becomes trapped in her own darkness and becomes a frustated and violent girl. Then comes this new teacher who is very hard on her at the start but he becomes the main reason of her learning and becoming better mannered. He teaches her to express herself. The teacher walks hand in hand with her in this journey until she is able to join university. She keeps failing but still continues persuing her dream until she finally graduates. At that time her teacher is already succumbing to alzheimer’s disease whereby he starts forgetting her and other memories too. On her graduation she ensures that her teacher is the first one who sees her in the gown and when he sees her he starts remembering bits from the past. They start pronouncing the letters together. It’s the teacher now learning from/with his student. Another inspiring story for teachers especially those dealing with special needs. What we learn? Teachers really have a great impact in our lives more than we assume.