08 March 2012

international women's day

while march 8 is meant to be a celebration of women, their potential and their achievements, 100 years after the day was first celebrated, there is much to still be done. women in too many places still live lives of fear, poverty, inequality and repression:

pakistani teenager uzma ayub seeks justice for being gang-raped in captivity for a year

the situation faced by women in bangladesh, burma, india, indonesia, nepal, pakistan and sri lanka

international women’s day history and events

on a more positive note, i’m also posting links to two books: i speak for myself: american women on being muslim and love inshallah: the secret love lives of american muslim women. i came across a cheerful interview with nura maznavi, one of love inshallah’s editors, prompting me to celebrate the achievements of these women, and hope that others are given the opportunity to follow.

success and failure

“the power is in the balance: we are our successes as much as we are our injuries”
i love this quote. it’s from the poisonwood bible by barbara kingsolver, one of my favorite authors. i read it some 10 years ago, but i was reminded of the quote recently while reading a poetry blog.

ten years ago, the quote resonated for totally different reasons than it does now. ten years ago, life was much easier, lighter, not weighted with responsibilities.

being defined by our successes is something that i can live with quite easily (perhaps because my successes are modest and don’t reach the level of winning awards or gaining huge popularity; i am not in any danger of having any ego issues). being defined by my failures/injuries is more of a concern for me though. at this stage of my life, my failures suddenly seem larger than ever, outweighing my successes. many a time, i am not sure i have any successes to my name.

i have come across people who have let their failures embitter them and their view of the world. i do not want to be one of those. i already see my failures marking me, shaping my perspective, leaving me slightly more resigned and indifferent than before.

i must remember to keep a balance. i must remember that failure lies not in falling, but in not getting back up.

i must remember my favourite kipling poem, ‘if’..