The Girl Next Door


Once upon a time, there was a girl next door. Literally, next door to moi. A girl who lived next door. But she was unlike any other girl who lived next door. Or unlike any other girl even, for that matter.

The picture in my head is now vague, the features of her face blurry. I didn’t know her well. I don’t know her well. And the memory has faded with time.

Bright, brown eyes. A thick, braided mane of long hair. Sporty. Loud. Slightly crooked teeth, corrected by braces later. A light in her eyes. Adventurous and confident. Tomboy with an always-present laugh.

I barely remember our (little) time together. But I remember she was always good company. She might not have been into academics but she understood why I was “studious”. We talked about every topic under the sun. Shared jokes; made-up private ones. Played one-on-one cricket in summers.  Watched her flying kites. Saw her roaring away in their little red IFX.

If I close my eyes and concentrate, I might not remember her face or our time together, but I can hear her laugh.

You’d listen to that laugh, see that wide-open mouth, that twinkle in the eye, and you’d know. You’d know that she meant it. Meant it truly and completely, with all her heart.

And that’s all I remember. That laugh.

Today, it has exactly been a year since you left us. Exactly 13 months since I last met you. And like I said, we were never close. But I was close enough to miss your presence in my life, how ever scant. Close enough to miss that smile. Close enough to miss that laugh.

Sana Afzal, you were truly a gem of a person. May you rest in peace, under the merciful hand of Our Lord. May Allah (swt) grant you the highest Jannah and forgive you. May He also grant solace to all your friends and family in these difficult times.

The Miniature Earth


If we could turn the population of the earth into a small community of 100 people, keeping the same proportions we have today, it would look something like this:

61 Asians

12 Europeans

14 Americans (from North and South America)

13 Africans

01 Australian (Oceania)

50 women

50 men

10 are homosexuals

33 are Christian (Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox)

18 are Muslims

16 are Hindus

16 are non-religious

6 are Buddhists

11 practice other religions

41 live without basic sanitation

16 live without an improved water source

6 people own 59% of the entire wealth of the community

13 are hungry or malnourished

14 can’t read

only 7 are educated at a secondary level

only 8 have a computer

only 4 have an internet connection

1 adult, aged 15-49, has HIV/AIDS

Of the village’s total annual expenditures of just over US$3,000,000 per year:

US$ 181,000 is spent on weapons and warfare

US$ 159,000 is spent on education

US$ 132,000 is spent on health care

If you keep your food in a refrigerator, and your clothes in a closet…

If you have a roof over your head, and have a bed to sleep in…

You are richer than 75% of the entire world population.

If you have a bank account you’re one of the 30 wealthiest people in the community.

25 struggle to live on US$ 1.00 per day or less…

47 struggle to live on US$ 2.00 per day or less.

 

Work with passion

Love without needing to be loved

Appreciate what you have

And do your best for a better world.

*These statistics are from at least 5 years ago.  It would be interesting to see updated numbers, but I didn’t find any.*

Re-blogged from: A Curious Wanderer