Category Archives: Personal

Anwaar, don’t give up yet…

It’s 5:18 in the Morning, 30th Dec, a lovely Friday, 2016. I just got off watching Rang de Basanti, and I must admit my emotions are a running lil high and this post is indirectly an attempt to write off some part of my life here. Lot’s of this is random and isn’t in any chronological order.

I learnt a crazy thing while I was preparing for my Job interviews as a fresh grad. While at College, I had this crazy habit of picking up and reading books wherever I could find them. And one fine Sunday, I picked up a used book which was either a GMAT/CAT Prep book by Manhattan/Princeton (don’t remember the exact title). What I do remember was a fantastic article and some insights by candidates who’d share tips about how they cracked the ice-breaking interview. One girl mentioed how she used her name’s meaning to tell how that had “brushed off her nature as well”! And I was awe-struck by that! What a powerful way to answer a stupid formal interview question “Tell me something about yourself?” (This is the most stupid interview question I feel an Interviewer begins with. Dammn, is this even supposed to be an ice-breaker? Why not bond over weather or sports or breakfast etc? Hell, this is such a stupid question that’s guaranteed to be asked, that almost everyone rigorously prepares for this question, as if their life depends on it. And bam, 90% of candidates I’ve interviewed later (ohh yeah, I got to ask this shitty question when I sat on the other side of the table) would go on like a parrot not realizing why I’m asking this question in the first place.

Anyways, back to this first interview question, I think I prepared a very solid impressive ice-breaker answer (if I can recall most of it):

Interviewer: Hi, Good Morning/Afternoon. Tell me some (shit) about yourself.

(Let me clear my throat first…)

Syed Anwaarullah: Good Morning/Afternoon. To begin with, my name is Anwaar which means rays of light/illuminating the surroundings. I belive the name has brushed off my nature as well as I’m multi talented and (and some flattering stuff that I now don’t recall after 6 years). I also love helping people around me (and some more stuff I don’t recall)

In the first 30 secs, I’ve made sure the Interview pays attention to me. He/She’s probably thinking, this dude is crazy. I’ve never heard anyone introduce themselves this way. So they stop faking their busyness and give me their utmost attnetion. Knowing that I’ve made my first impression, I carry on…

Syed Anwaarullah: I was born in Hyderabad, but was brought up in Saudi Arabia where I did my Schoolling. Living abroad and interacting with people of different nationalities has given me a multicultural experience and mindset.

Notice how I’m already pushing myself as a highly probable candidate to go OnSite (when that ever happens) :P. Nope, I’m trying to sell myself to an MNC, which expects candidates to be open to different cultures and interact with people across the Globe. Win/Win (ohh, let’s later talk about this Win/Win phrase that actually Won me a fantastic Job with Mphasis, Mangalore. )

And I conclude by saying how I enjoy doing things creatively and love exploring new stuff and reading.

All of the above in around 60-70 secs. I avoid all the shitty non-sensical Biography that most candidates talk about. They tell about their Primary School, X, XII, parents details, siblings, uncles, aunts, pets, watches, hobbies, movies, shit shit and shit. Stop for Christ sake!

I didn’t even start yet the main theme of this post 🙂

(to be continued…It’s 07:03)

So this anecdote revolves around my first year of Engineering.

See you again on the other side Bro…

It was a very sunny  and lazy afternoon in Mina. We (Dad, Asrar and me) just had our lunch and were lazing around. Mom was in the ladies camp, so I think she must have also just had her lunch. The Meccan Sun was shining with all it’s ferociousness and made sure we dare not step out of the camp. Our organizing team had arranged guest lectures by renowned Scholars to make sure we actually learn and renew our faith instead of making it another journey. Tariq Jameel Saab was a regular. We loved how he explained the Seerah of the Prophet and other stuff in his mesmerizing tone. Just loved it!

So this hot afternoon, Tariq Jameel Saab introduces a young, handsome and tall lad and informs the gathering that he’d now like to introduce a pop singer and he’ll walk through his life journey of how he renounced his singing career and devoted his talents to please Allah.

Enter Junaid Jamshed! This was the first (and last) time I got to see Junaid Bhai. Many Pakis aroudn me started telling aah, MashaAllah, Dil Dil Pak Junaid. I then didn’t quite understand the connection b/w Dil Dil Pak and Junaid .

The Ustaad, Tariq Jameel Saab handed over the mic to his Shagird and he opens his mouth to say: Assalamualaikum! That’s one of the most melodious and sweet Salaam I ever heard. He then goes on talking for an hour and half plus about his journey, how he changed tracks and how Tariq Jameel would use to pray to Allah to guide him to the right path. He talked about how he found peace in waking the dusty and hot streets of Karachi doing Tableegh and not finding this peace in those funky 5-7 * hotels. I was mesmerized by his journey.

My Mom later tells me how she was dead tired but didn’t sleep at all and was hooked on to this awe-inspiring journey told by JJ himself.

Time flew. We came back to India next month and then I looked up JJ’s Naaths online. Amazing collection. We downloaded most of them and had it put up on Dad’s phone. We started listening to his Naaths whenever we were down or emotionally sad. It’d just lift up our spirits.

JJ’s naaths are the only *thing* that we used to listen in the background in our family dinners. We don’t have a TV, so we don’t bond over movies or music. JJ’s Naaths/Hamds were the only thing we all sat around and listened. Music was considered taboo in our homes, so even though we listened individually, JJ’s recitations was the only thing we played on a loud speaker in our homes and we all let it sink in our hearts. We never listened to any other reciter, we never really cared about Naaths/Hamds untill JJ came along. And we never got bored of listening to his Naaths/Hamds for more than 9+ years.

My Mom and I would sit together and sing along with JJ’s voice playing in the background. It was like JJ helped us have more family moments together through his Naaths/Hamds.

Fast Forward, Dec 7, 2016. I’m idling around, when news breaks out about a PIA crash and JJ being on-board! My heart sunk! I couldn’t believe this. As I check out online, more news comes in. Some pray and hope for mercy, some for a miracle that might save him. But alas, comes the confirmation that he’s been martyred in the path of Allah. What a noble way to finally meet the Rab.

His last tweet!

Thank you JJ for everything! I hope we meet again InShaAllah on the other side.

I’ll leave you with one of my fav nazm by JJ:

Aye Khudaya…

Koi urooj de na zawaal de,
Mujhe sirf itna kamaal de,
Mujhe apni raah me daal de,
ki zamaana meri misaal de

Teri rahmaton ka nuzool ho,
Mujhe mehnato ka sila mile,
Mujhe maal o zar ki hawas na ho,
Mujhe bas tu rizq e halaal de.

Mere zahen me teri fikr ho,
Meri saans me tera zikr ho,
Tera khauf meri nijaat ho,
Sabhi khauf dil se nikaal de.

Teri baargaah me Aye Khuda,
Meri roz o shab hai yehi dua,
Tu Raheem hai Tu Kareem hai,
Mujhe mushkilon se nikaal de

~ Dr. Allama Iqbal

Thanks to Ms. S B who shared this on WApp.

Saved by Allah, “Just in Time”

I had a great Just in Time experience yesterday (23rd Oct, 2016).

I was coming back from 91SpringBoard, where we had our monthly meetup. I received an Arduino 101 and a Blynk Board and was excited to rush back home to tinker and test them out.

Just as I came on the main road, POOF! My Activa’s accelerator’s wire snapped inside!!! On the main road, on a freaking Sunday. Well, I rode it till I could, and stopped. On the left, there was a Bandi selling Custard Apples. I asked him, “Sir, is there any Mechanic nearby?” And to my utter amazement, he replied: “Yep, there” pointing to a small shed on the other side of the road with tools and spares  hanging out. The Bike Mechanic on the other side was about to leave for somewhere on his Bike and this dude shouted as best he could and asked him to wait.

I hurriedly crossed the road, and went over to the Mechanic’s shed. The shed was shabby and unkempt. My first impression was if this was the right guy to do the Job? First impressions matter and this dude didn’t even have a simple Board hung up that advertised to passersbys that he is a Mechanic. I looked at him and he looked very naive. I asked him worriedly, “Sir, would you repair Activa’s snapped accelerator wire?”. And to my amazement and relief, he said, “Yes, please bring over your Bike here!” I felt so grateful and happy inside. It was as if I found my lost passport at the Airport. I came back, profusely thanked the Guy selling Custard Apples and took over the Bike on the other side.

I asked him how much would it approximately cost, and he quoted: “Saab, 280 bucks for the Wire & 150 Service Charge”. I was like, OOOOOH as I only had 200+ bucks cash. Earlier in the morning I tried to withdraw Cash from a broke ATM and it gave a warning: “Insufficient Funds”. I wasn’t sure if the ATM was broke or I was 🙂 I hoped to barter my newly purchased Helmet in case I wouldn’t be able to pay in Cash.

The work started and I enjoyed him stripping and tearing apart the Activa. This was the first time I got a chance to see the internals of an Activa. I now know how to unscrew one 🙂

Took around 90 mins to get it fixed, during which he also took away from me the only Rs. 200 I had so that he could go and purchase the Cord.

Now, it’s paytime! I asked him if there’s an ATM nearby and when he told it’s round the corner, I kept my Helmet with him and drove to the ATM. Now, here’s the other fun part. Two ATM machines. I dipped into the left one and tried withdrawing 500 Bucks! Beep Beep! Out comes a printed slip saying, Insufficient Funds. My heart sank! Only later to see a notice stuck up on this machine: “Only 1000”. Aha! So, I checked my Balance and it turned out to be Rs. 357. I now dipped it again to the machine on my right and tried withdrawing 300. The sound of the rollers inside the machine trying to spit out my 300 bucks was music to my ears!

Done. I come back, pay him and profusely thank him for saving my Day. We exchange numbers and smile to each other: He happy to see his hard work bear fruit (aka Money) and I happy to get back on the Road.

It was similar to the parting scene from Taxi No 9211 Movie:

Tu apne crore pe, main apne road pe … maaze karenge

P.S: During the repairing sessions, we got talking about life etc. Turns out he’s one year younger than me and recently engaged and will get married next year. I asked him to invite me over to his Wedding. He asked, “Bhai, aapki Shaadi hogayi kya?” And I replied: “Nahin huwi Saab, Dua karo InShaAllah, jaldi hojati” 🙂

His name is Ismail.  Thank you Ismail Bhai for saving my day. This post is dedicated to you 🙂

I took a big step today…

Inspired by this,


I actually went ahead and overcame my fear of taking the initiative for “something”. I was always afraid to do this and now, having done that, I’m so calm and relaxed. And I’m very glad, that I did what I did today. Else, I’d be stuck in that limbo forever. I broke free from my mind’s fearfurl shackles and embarked on a new adventure 🙂

P.S: More crazy stuff coming soon InShaAllah. Stay tuned.

33 Life Lessons – Olesya Novikova – Sh. Yawar Baig Saab

Credit: Sh. Yawar Baig

Sometimes so many questions accumulate in your head that you just have to find a way to release them. Olesya Novikova, a writer, journalist, blogger, and traveller, recently shared the life lessons which she has discovered over the 32 years of her life so far.

  1. Everyone has a fear.Even beautiful, talented, smart, and lucky people. We’re scared to start something new, to go out of our comfort zone, to take a risk, to do something that we never done before. We fear for our families, for our jobs, for our life, and for many other things as well. Fear will always exist. No matter how much experience, confidence, recognition, money or talent you have, you’ll be scared to a greater or lesser degree each time when you conquer a new height or do something new. But this is fine. This means you’re still alive. You have to keep going on. Go through and past your fear, and don’t try to get rid of it.
  2. Changes will keep happening.Stability is illusory. We’re constantly on the move. We keep changing — outwardly and inwardly, and these processes don’t stop even for a second. A sane person doesn’t have the chance to pose the question — to change or not to change? He or she can only answer a different one: ’’Do I have control over these changes that are taking place, and to what extent?’’
  3. ’’Quickly’’ means ’’slowly, but without interruption.’’There’s no need to do something quickly, intensely, or forcefully. Just do it regularly. The most important thing is to keep the rhythm going. Do it little by little, but constantly. And after some time, if you look at it from the outside, it will look like you did it quickly and efficiently.
  4. Create more than you consume.Otherwise, you’ll be left with only a hopeless consumer lifestyle leading to no meaningful conclusion. ’’Everything is good, but there’s nothing good’’. A person must always create something, willingly and with love. This is a formula for good mental health. Curiously, this is the only way to enjoy the pleasure of consumption that won’t destroy the pleasure itself. You can consider this process as a spiritual version of having good metabolism.
  5. ’’Today’’ is what you did and thought yesterday, and ’’tomorrow’’ is what you do and think today.Repeat this phrase like a mantra for as long as you realize that no one else is responsible for the problems you come up against.
  6. There are no guarantees at all.This is a basic rule of the universe which you need to take into account when making all your decisions and preparing all your plans.
  7. The era of sacred knowledge is over.Now, it’s the era of informational hygiene. For several years already, knowledge hasn’t helped any of us achieve anything or attain a meaningful existence. The internet has devalued knowledge. The ability to concentrate on a given task without losing interest is now more important. And this skill is directly affected by the storm of information battering your mind at any given moment. The more verbal ’’garbage’’ is around, the weaker your concentration becomes. The more the thoughts of others circulate in your mind, the harder it is to hear your own voice. The online stream of information weakens your ability to discover yourself.
  8. Joy and pleasure are not the same thing.We never experience real joy while eating a chocolate cake, drinking a glass of wine or smoking a cigarette. We don’t experience joy while buying new shoes or perfume. Let’s call things by their proper names — in these cases, we just get pleasure. And that’s another story. By its nature this feeling is very short-lived, and it’s inextricably linked to further dissatisfaction, boredom, satiety, and the desire for a new portion of pleasure. Don’t be afraid to give up pleasures, be afraid not to experience real joy.
  9. Suffering exists.Buddha was right after all. Suffering exists. Everybody suffers. Both those who have nothing and those who have everything. Those who don’t suffer in the present will make the transition to a state of pain at a later date. Maybe because of the falling currency or because of a terrorist attack. Maybe because of finding out that someone doesn’t love him or her anymore. Or they’ll get upset because they don’t get a reply to a message they sent, or they don’t earn enough money, or for literally any other reason you can think of. Suffering exists. We will always find a reason to suffer. Just accept it, and do your best to ignore it.
  10. Not everyone can be happy.Can everyone be happy? Yes, sure! But only in theory. In practice, only those who have disciplined their minds can be consistently happy, calm, balanced, and benevolent. Only those whose minds are trained and capable of not worrying about everything around them. Only those who manage to retain a sense of joy not only in agreeable circumstances but also in unpleasant situations. Otherwise, there’s an endless stream of events which will evoke only pain, irritation, and anxiety. And some situations are more serious than others. A person who reacts emotionally to every little incident can never be happy inside.
  11. Joy means retaining a balance in your mind.If somebody had told me this five years ago, I would never have believed it. When you dream all day and night of finding your one true love, creating a family, a well-paid job, an opportunity to work for yourself, to travelk, you think that you know what joy is. At least, what your own joy is. Of course, you can’t always be satisfied with everything. Sometimes you suffer. And this is fine. The most important thing is that you know what to strive for. Looking at your dreams, you realize where your sense of enduring joy comes from. Joy is a state of complete peace of mind, which is achieved by overcoming the blind, automatic reactions of the mind to events. Practising a form of deep meditation is perhaps the only healthy way to discover and attain this state true maturity.
  12. Know the importance of fruit and its physical effects.Fruit is not acidic, it’s alkaline. To divert into science for a second, all kinds of ripe fruit and vegetables have an alkaline reaction, helping to neutralise excess acid in your body. Things like meat, sugar, fat and dairy products have the opposite effect. Not many people know this — try googling it!
  13. ’’My body itself knows what is better for it’’ is one of the most insidious mind traps. An alcoholic’s body wants to drink; a smoker’s body dreams of a cigarette; our bodies are always hungry for chocolate and fries. How can the body know what is better? Our minds live by automatic responses that don’t let us make necessary changes; our bodies obey our habits and our chaotic impulses.
  14. Food affects not only your body but also your mind.In the same way that alcohol significantly changes your consciousness, blunting it, certain kinds of food can have a similar effect, but it’s less pronounced and more unconscious. Food can slow down and refocus your thinking process. Moreover, it can weaken your control, your power of awareness, and your clarity of perception. A slightly ’’blurred’’ state of mind becomes a norm for you, so you forget what lightness and clarity actually mean. The most ’’clean’’ kinds of food are fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, and that which is cooked with a minimum amount of oil, spices, and salt.
  15. You need money only in order not to think about money.Money doesn’t solve the central question of humanity. It don’t make people happy. But the opportunity not to think about money, at least in everyday life, significantly releases energy for something else.
  16. We have more similarities than differences.The value of personal uniqueness is greatly exaggerated. All the answers and solutions have already existed for a long time. In focusing on your own uniqueness, you don’t have the chance to push away your ego and perceive reality with all its real answers.
  17. The best way to stop an addiction is not to have access to the thing your addicted to, at all.It’s impossible to drink one glass of wine if you’re an alcoholic. If you’re trying to quit smoking, you can’t still have a smoke from time to time. You’ll be constantly in a state of mental torture. You’ll go up and down. You’ll always have disruptions. This rule is immutable for all kinds of addiction.
  18. You will never be fully prepared for change.We are never fully prepared for twists of fate or changes. There is always a strong ’’but…’’ and the temptation to postpone changes until a more favorable time. There is no point waiting for complete internal harmony. You just need to make a decision, relying on the thought that ’’it’s high time’’ to get things done.
  19. Life is a book where the first chapters weren’t written by you.Sometimes even the subsequent chapters aren’t either. We’re composed of beliefs and we make up models of the world around us. And this world isn’t just abstract. It’s a concrete office, a house, a street — the places where we spend our life. It’s our friends, colleagues, parents, and the salespeople whom we meet every evening. It’s a news feed on social networks and so-called Facebook friends. We automatically absorb the opinions, positions, and viewpoints of other people. We imbibe them along with the air, regardless of whether we agree with them or not. And when we don’t agree, it’s also a moment of automatic denial. In childhood, this process was completely out of our control. The essence of your personality was forged by other people, and parental input (if it was ever there) wasn’t dominant in this. What and who you consider yourself to be and what you should be afraid to lose, according to some psychologists, is just a mosaic of your environment. There is nothing to lose. Isn’t that great news? At least in that case, you can redraw everything however you like.
  20. A result is a bunch of attempts at something.It’s not a single well-aimed shot. And it’s certainly not just good fortune.
  21. What helped you at one stage may one day prevent you from going on to the next stage.Sometimes it’s important to give up that which has helped you in the past. Here’s an example: rules for small businesses don’t work for huge corporations. It’s impossible to grow without giving up some of the rules, even if they helped you to grow up yesterday. This also applies to your personality, a person’s values, and their plans.
  22. Outside of your comfort zone, there is a discomfort zone.And there’s no flowers and chocolates there. But you have to go there anyway if you want to achieve something.
  23. There is no life without a purpose.The only question is whether you create these purposes yourself or leave it to your instincts to decide them for you.
  24. Laziness doesn’t exist.There are unloved activities, there’s such a thing as a lack of energy and a lack of wide vision and ability to be excited about new perspectives. But there is no such thing as laziness.
  25. You can’t find yourself; you can only create yourself.There is nothing and nobody to look for. You’re always here, in the here and now. Your path is what you have under your feet right now, nothing more — it’s not anywhere else. You can only distinguish between the right path and the wrong one by using your awareness. You pave small, but definite goals. If these goals are determined by others, or if they chaotically grow as a result of duty, it’s not your path. It’s just a bunch of separate episodes of your life.
  26. You don’t need alcohol.At all.
  27. Your unrealized potential will hurt you one day.It’s useless to hide this fact and instead stick inside your comfort zone. As they say, you are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.
  28. Banks should pay you, but not vice versa.This is the only possible way to be financially healthy. Never, never, never buy anything that you haven’t earned enough to pay for. Never. Especially if you want something big. We pay banks not only our money but also our energy. As a result, you don’t have the energy to take that risk and make adventurous plans. Breaking out from such a situation once that decision is taken is hardly going to be possible.
  29. You need to learn how to work under pressure, and how to relax.Every movement requires exertion. If you make this move reluctantly and out of necessity, you’ll spend twice as much energy. In this case, you spend some energy on the physical and mental effort, and the mental stress saps the rest of your energy. That’s why you need to learn how to deal with stress when it appears and how to love it. If you сan put yourself under strain voluntarily, considering it only something positive, you’ll expend much less energy. The second part of success is the ability to relax, to accept things as they are, to let go of your expectations. You can’t move on if you only know how to be stressed, but don’t know how to relax.
  30. ’’Yes’’ and ’’no’’ are two answers that you need to learn as soon as possible.Learn how to say ’’yes’’ to situations and people in spite of the absence of guarantees, internal readiness, and changing circumstances. Learn how to say ’’no’’ first of all to yourself: to your weaknesses, your fears, and your selfishness. And only much later, learn how to say ’’no’’ to others.
  31. There’s a difference between great things and good things.The latter you forget about, the former you don’t. A truly creative person is different from someone who simply does his job well. Creators put their tasks above themselves, dissolving their egos in the process. They work consciously and with love, not because of a sense of duty or a lack of choice. A marketer can be a true musician while a proper musician can be just a mediocre craftsman for their entire life.
  32. Every sign that you meet on your way through life can be interpreted in at least three different ways.1. Maybe this is a real sign! 2. Perhaps there are no signs at all. 3. Maybe this is a test. Maybe fate just attempted to knock you out of your stride by testing the sincerity of your intentions and your decisions.

Author Olesya Novikova


If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
– Rudyard Kipling (Source:


Kahan shuru karun,

Kahan khatam karun…

Yeh dastaan hai aisi,

Misaal nahin koi aisi…

Kya likhun yahan,

Chota sa hain yeh jahan…

Duniye ki is daudh mein,

Khogaye raat din hamein…

Chowdh ke apne hunar,

Lage hain kidhar kidhar…

Jitni jaldi aata hai josh,

Waise hai udh jata hai hosh…



P.S: Just ignore, trying my hand at shayeri