Saturday, 13 December 2014

Why I No Longer Am a 'Fashion Blogger'


I began blogging as an escape from reality into the world of materialism. A jump into the world that contemporary culture is submerged in. But was this futile to pursue blindly? I would discover, that for myself yes. Do not be mistaken, I still value a piece of attire of craftsmanship and beauty. I will value the beauty incorporated in how one presents themselves forever. Though it is important to separate the art of fashion from the materialism. 
Every moment of life seems to affirm that everything in life happens for a reason. What we have planned often turns out to be menial in comparison to what life leads us to. One of my favourite verses of the Quran is the following:
But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not. (2:216)
I work in a luxury environment where everyday I am exposed to the significance of materialism. What I eschew most in the mainstream world of fashion is how people use materialism as a tool for the devaluement of others. I see people constantly feeding their arrogance, thinking there belongings make them better than someone else. What I love about the world of fashion is its beauty. Though, people are using fashion to have the status handbag that out-does there friends or the pursuit of the engagement ring to out-sparkle there sisters. How crazy have we gotten? Life is not a race of who can wear it better, drive it better, or live it better. Life is to seek purpose, to create, and to leave the world a better place then you found it.
It is odd how you never know what the future holds. I entered my fourth year, enrolling in this modernity class. I only took it as it fit in my schedule and because it would look good on a medical school application as it was a senior level course. I had no idea what modernity actually attributed to the world. The class turned out to give me a great sense of perspective. When I started seeing the obstacles of modernity and trying to figure out how to overcome them I started turning inwards and towards Islam. The moment I started seeing past the veils of my naivety I attained peace. 
Modernity has really cut us off from our Ruhs (souls) as we cannot prove its existence. But something does not cease to be if we cannot quantify or qualify it. There is so much in this world we do not know of and so much that does not make sense. Being a Biological Sciences student I have encountered this over and over, yet the functions of things we do not understand are not undermined by our lack of reason. This past semester I spent a lot of time in Jihad-al-Nafs (a struggle of the mind) and through it, I built a connection inwards. It is so easy to get caught up in this world and forget the needs of your soul. The Qawwali Chaap Tillak, by Amir Khusrau, completely defines my disposition in being pulled inwards:


Chhap tillak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay,
You have snatched my existence in just a glance,

Prem bhatee ka madhva pilaikay,
By making me drink the wine distilled of love,

Matvali kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay,
You have intoxicated me by just a glance,

Gori gori bayyan, hari hari churiyan,
My fair, delicate wrists with green bangles,

Bayyan pakar dhar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay,
Were held tight by you, with just a glance,

Bal bal jaaon mein toray rang rajwa,
I give my life to you, Oh dyer,

Apni see kar leeni ray mosay naina milaikay,
You have dyed me in you, by just a glance,

Khusrau Nijaam kay bal bal jayyiye,
I give my life to you, Oh Nizam,

Mohay Suhaagan keeni ray mosay naina milaikay,
You have made me your bride, in just a glance,

Chhap tillak sab cheeni ray mosay naina milaikay.
You have snatched my existence in just a glance.


Sufi text describes a connection with the divine through a love story. I realized this depth just this year and my fathers love of Sufi texts came alive in me. Sufism is such a beautiful view of islam as it rids islam of pure externality. It strives instead to come close to god and work on inward purification rather than external criticism. Coke Studio this season had some beautiful Sufi peaces that had a pronounced effect on me to say the least. Including Abida Parveen's and Rahet Fateh Ali Khan's duo of Chaap Tillak. 
I truly feel as if my existence has been changed, there is a certain humility you attain in attaining reason and turning inwards. You realize how small you are. Chaap Tillak so accurately depicts how I was pulled inwards. The connection to the divine is so pure and beautiful it never ceases to pull you closer and closer. The symbolism of a wrist with green (a colour that symbolizes faith) bangles being held tight by a glance to the divine shows this connection so beautifully.
So where is this blog now? I do not want to give it a label, I just want to leave it open to my thoughts. The blog name 'Anarkali Loves Me' was attained from the old love story of Anarkali and Saleem. Though it has developed a deeper meaning for me. In the Quran, pomegranate trees are included within the 4 gardens of Jahnah, paradise/heaven. Anar ki kaliyan (pomegranate flowers) are also symbols of the beauty of the blooming of spring. Allah has bestowed me with all these beauties and certainly there is a certain affection in this, wherein Allah has bestowed me with his attention. 'Anarkali Loves Me' evolves for me as a symbol of how the creation of worldly splendour has, inherently, attributed me with profound affection.