Holding On

Holding On

https://golfaij.com/2020/11/21/holding-on/
— Read on golfaij.com/2020/11/21/holding-on/

Big Apple

On a hot summer morning, a young bride and her enthusiastic husband wait in an old Honda Accord. They are right at the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel to cross into the big apple, New York City. The hurtling traffic was annoying as usual but on the radio, FM 103 was a relief. Renowned guitarist Jimmy Page and famous drummer John Bonham both jamming On Tie-Dyeing, the beats making it impossible for Robert Plant to add vocals. The sensational work of the bassist John Paul Jones was the only thread in The Song Remains The Same that kept the rhythm of Led Zeppelin intact. The young couple was enjoying the tripping tunes and psychedelic throbs shaking their heads while tapping their fingers on the steering wheel and glove apartment. NYC is noisy and chaotic but the inside of the car is louder and crazier. In the midst of it all, their young hearts care for nothing but being together. As long as they were stuck together, they didn’t mind the traffic jams of the Big Apple. As they snailed out of the tunnel, a crowd of skyscrapers welcomed them. The awe of American architecture filled them with anticipation. The narrow streets gestured them to open their country hearts to the city. 

She is an innocent beauty and he is mischievously young. With the knowledge of NYC being a dream tourist destination in their hearts, they embrace for it. Tourists flock from all over the world and Times Square is the pivotal point. From the top of the Empire State Building to the banks of Hudson River, visitors reign this city predominantly. The couple leaves the car in a parking lot and begin to float with the stream of the sightseers. Though they were in the crowd, they were only with each other, exploring it all together. A jungle of concrete, steel, glass, height, and people – all representing the twentieth-century lifestyle. The travelers’ backpacks, jeans, joggers, cameras, and shades were in complete contrast with the suits, skirts, office bags, and eyeglasses of the locals. 

The people with rude expressions walking briskly and impatiently crisscrossing the crowd were New Yorkers. The polite people moving leisurely were the outsiders. Some were in a hurry and others were at ease. So, is life in the rest of the country. In cities, the clock controls people and in the countryside, they have plenty of time. Life in cities is a race and in the county, it is a calm walk.  

New York City and all other urban centers run on a speed rush, hustle-bustle, and currency. This island city is connected with the outer world from under and over the water. Many modes of transportation like seaports, tunnels, roads, bridges, airports, railways, and chairlifts assist commuters 24/7. Herds of pedestrians, bicycles, horse carts, cycle rickshaws, paragliding, jet skiing, boats, ships, helicopters, planes are at work to entertain the city. Golf courses, stadiums, tennis, and squash courts are also at their service round the year. NYC nightlife is one of its own. Top jazz and blues bands perform here regularly. No rocker is a star till he gets applauds from New Yorkers. 

The young couple was only interested in spending a day together with a practical lunch and window shopping. Happiness and love are not the enterprises of the rich. Although the couple’s pockets were thin, they were thick in endearment. It is a time of struggle for them. They knew about ‘Lutece’, a renowned French restaurant of the hour. Yet their budget has its own limitations. A hot dog and New York-style pizza will suffice at times like these. Today they will settle only on that.

Credits 

Pinterest 

YouTube 

Google 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Holding On

The East horizon was liberating the sun gradually on that beautiful morning. The grass held onto the dewdrops dearly. Trees basked in the sun, and the flowers yawned to bloom. I fit in with nature with my blue golf attire, and my trusty Taylormade M6 kit by my side. The crew wore nice colognes that blended with the environment perfectly. The young caddie was chipper, and I was planning to play better than yesterday.  

While my fellow flyers began their tee shots long and straight, I started with a bad one in the deep rough. The crew tried to keep their laughter at bay, but their desire to mock me was evident. I strolled forward and planned the next shot in my head. Unfortunately, my second shot was no better than the first. Somehow, I reached the back edge of the green in five shots on par four. I made another three-putt finishing par four in eight. During the rest of the round, I kept trying my best but to no avail. This has become a matter of routine ever since I had played a match at Faisalabad. It seems that the game has disappeared on me. My learnings and skills continually refuse to return. After such a performance, even my caddie is unable to hold back his mischievous laughs. What’s worse is that my enthusiasm at the office resembles my spirit at golf. I have a wonderful family, great friends, and a satisfying list of achievements. I am wondering why I feel empty these days? Is it the age? Is the ever-burning flame of my soul dwindling?

One thing I know to be true is that when failure becomes a routine, one begins to rot. When nothing feels right, the game begins to scatter, failing is frequent, hope starts to fade, friends find you boring, teammates look bothered, and the family seems concerned. It is as if the whole world can tell something is wrong when the player is not in the game. It’s a quick giveaway. 

I have concluded that I need a stir, a shakeup, a jolt. The thrill is gone. I feel like stagnant water, I am yearning for the currents or a storm. I need to hit thunderbird shots, and I ought to run a thoroughbred race or the decay will lead to dust. 

During the fall season, I need to ensure I do not shed like one of the dry leaves. I know it is the time I should hold on to something or someone strong. Perhaps, I should find guidance from books; they have always helped. I can seek help from the people of letters. They have pulled me out of many whirlpools throughout my life. The words of Iqbal, Rumi, Khalil Jabran, Nietzsche, Dostoevsky, Paulo Coelho, and Richard Nixon have been great sources of uplift for me in my past drownings.  

Biographies are a great genre to follow in times of despair. There is something empowering in reading about great people who kept faith in themselves and ultimately converted their odd times into victories. The tales of Nelson Mandela and Genghiz Khan are among many stories that can stir a dead pond of hope. Some characters in biographies have strong confidence in their cause, others carry extreme determination. 

Why is my performance at the business is shrinking? Why has my social life been squeezed? Why is my glow at the golf course fading? Why can’t I hit straight anymore? Why are there more shanks than the better shots? What causes my ball to turn right before the hole? Is golf a frustrating game? Am I a poor sportsman? Is my mind rusting? Am I losing touch with life? 

I left these questions aside and took refuge in my book app. This time I preferred to get back to Paulo Coelho. Having a favorite writer is like having a lifelong friend who knows what you need and when you need it. I chose “The Archer” and strongly felt it was written only for me. Each word in the book was much-needed advice for me. It is a manual on a game that is played with a bow and arrow. This is a must-read for all complaining sportsmen. I found out my answers to all my questions in one sentence,

“It must leave at the moment when bow, archer, and target are at the same point in the universe: this is called inspiration.”

Without fervor, work is just a routine. Without flair, golf is just another boring game. It is inspiration and emotion that adds soul to otherwise ordinary action. It is the passion that attaches spark to a task and turns it into a mission. 

“ When you do things from the soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” 

  • Rumi.

Credit 

The Archer by Paulo Coelho 

YouTube 

Google

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, Photographer 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Seven Over Par Three

Life is a see-saw, a blend of up and down, good and bad, success and failure, shot and shank. Just like day and night, summer and winter, spring and autumn time keeps clicking. We live on a rotating and revolving planet. Universe around us is ever expanding. We are balls of the game of life and death. One comes and another goes. Maybe that’s why life is a junction of  happiness and sorrow. We get startled every now and then. Sports and politics are two arenas where surprise is a great source of inspiration, entertainment anxiety and tears. Some tears flow in joy, others fall in sorrow and few drop in regret. 

People who fall in love or follow careers in sports, stardom and politics often are rewarded with tension and tears. The dimples on a golf ball represent a number of reasons to astound or demoralize you during this game. In one shot a player is on top of the game and in the next it hums his head. Golf’s shades and shocks, roughs and greens, shows and shames move like currents of a violent river. They break and make each other. The small little ball sits there idle. It awaits your swing. Whether it reaches at the desired drop zone or not does not depend merely on desire. Many factors come into play and luck is the vital one. Although Arnold Palmer claims, “The more I practice the luckier I get.”

The Masters Tournament 2020 is a great source of entertainment and lessons. We watched Jon Rahim’s hole in one.   Instead of drowning, his ball skimmed through the surface of the pond, glided on to the green and sunk in the hole. What a moment for him and for us.

Tiger Woods unprecedentedly played 7 over par 3 to the bewilderment of all fans and critics. It may be the most interesting moment of the masters 2020 but it certainly is the worst of his spell. The only double digit finish of a hole in his entire career. In order to reclaim his glory he displayed a grand command on the game by scoring five birdies out of the remaining six holes. Hole 12 was some hole at Augusta. It punctured his sanctity and it will stain him forever. Here is what he says happened out there.

Tigers interview after masters on worst par three

One thing that is positive about Tiger’s performance at that par 3 is that all sorts of golfers can relate to him in a special way. Especially average below average golfers like I am. If golf can do that to a god, no one is spared. Neither Rahim nor Woods can repeat those shots. At the spur of the moment the unexpected happens. The essence of it all is to carry on, despite despair, disappointment and detest. One who keeps hitting, good and bad, drops the ball in the hole and the quitter himself falls in the ditch of failure. Continuity is the key to success and consistency opens the rusted locks. 

Credits 

Reuters 

Daily Mail

Instagram 

Google

YouTube 

Golf Digest 

Getty images

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Illusions and Life

For those who see with the eye of the heart, the picture above represents an ancient god, a present one, a flag post, and golfing green. The strip of trees reminds viewers to maintain equilibrium between faith and reason. Fog in the snap illuminates the story of an illusionary human mind and the power of its imagination. Humans have been worshiping for generations, the same stars they intend to colonize today. At that time celestial objects quenched their spiritual thrust, today they have evolved to explore and exploit them at their will. What a tale of seasoning, maturity, and achievements. The journey of Homo Sapien’s progress is phenomenally unprecedented and extremely impressive. The human thought process, research, inquisitive nature, and courage to inquire has brought them from caves to skyscrapers, from hunting and gathering to boutique kitchens. Nothing in this universe has evolved as much as Earth and its masters. There are trillions of stars out there. Some shine brighter and others are huge in size. A few carry water and many more are barren. Neither one is prettier than Earth nor has more beautiful habitants than humans. If there is life out there it has yet not been able to reveal itself to us. Whereas our voyagers are roaming lights and lights years away. Nothing intelligent encounters them so far. The creature made of stardust flies to the distant stars to blow the dust there with the tires of its rovers. 

Coming back from extraterrestrial worlds I would like to offer another snapshot I took at the course today. A creeper is ascending on a naked tree. I would love to know this botanical relationship in detail. Is there a human hand in this romance of cuddles and kisses? Or it is a mutual understanding between the floras. 

I can hear their conversation while I walk in the vicinity. 

“I am dead but I will provide you with my shoulder. You can live on me while I am lifeless and merely firewood. Yet my dream of living forever is being fulfilled through your leaves and stem”, expresses the leafless trunk. 

“Thank you so very much. Please make sure that I continue to envelop you, till I am covering every inch of your body. I will protect you from the sun and storm, from rain and heat, from dust and fire. No one will cut you to make furniture out of you. You will be greener in my arms. My kisses will charge you to keep standing. Mutually we will add on to this beautiful garden and see people chasing and beating that little white ball. I wonder why these guys are after this ball? You might know since you were here long before I imbibed from my seed”, ponders the creeper. 

I follow my white ball wondering what it takes to make a golf course and a magical planet like Earth; where life grows amidst death. How much there is to see in this marvelous spell called life. How lucky we are to walk through these beautiful fairways and valleys, enjoying such picturesque allurements. I am so grateful for such a wonderful experience. 

Song of a tree

Credits 

Bright Drops 

Google

Akbar caddie 

YouTube 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Still Your Shot

It is only 10:30 pm and my eyelids are hurrying to fold. The day following this night was busy and demanding. Even on the cusp of falling asleep, golf is on my mind. I have an early morning match tomorrow at Gymkhana Club Golf Course. My co-flyers have been practicing hard at the range while I was working at the office all day. I know practice makes a man perfect but hard work secures the job at the office and makes a man worthy. Although I am my own boss, a man’s gotta do what a man’s got to do. I don’t want to lose the match at the club tomorrow but I didn’t have the time to practice today. My office does not intend to lose the deal that we are trying so hard to make. Being their leader, I needed to guide my colleagues from the front. And I did. Golf is one of my priorities but an expensive trade like golf requires a solid income. Only working hard guarantees the bills at the golf club. It is my shot. I will take it in a responsible manner. 

Fun, entertainment, and buzz are few satisfying features of our life. Our responsibilities are much more important to have that pleasure. All human beings need a sense of adventure, be it on a course or a club. It is up to us what kind of excitement we strive for. Everything is related to age and status. We must change our ways according to the times. What creates a disturbance at a mature age is the unwise lifestyle of our fondness for particular types of pleasures that have stuck with us from our bachelor times. Alone and young, submitting to peer pressure, sometimes falling into the webs of alcohol and drugs. Some of us develop taste for poker nights at home and others find refuge in casinos. Some of us seek intoxicating substances to get high. 

Golf also gives us buzz but in a positive manner. Golf or other sports are healthy addictions which adds so much to our personality and life. Whereas most of the other mediums that get us stoned may cause damage to our health. I would advise all of the readers to just say no to them. Golf is played in a lush green ambiance that’s soothing for the eyes and the brain. Air on the course is usually cleaner and fresh. Treelines provide a comforting umbrella and flower beds, bushes and shrubs add more to the environment. Nicely dressed golfers in their colorful attire tell the tale of their aesthetic senses. While most of the other materials we use to get high are consumed indoors and in secret from society and our loved ones. How high we want to get is still our shot to take.

One of the most important aspects of life is our family. We usually cannot keep balance and harmony among work, amusement, and time for our loved ones. Wife, kids, business, and golf require undivided attention and unshared concentration. Eye on the ball and eye on the stock exchange index keep both on the tracks. In order to be a successful person, we should compartmentalize our time and priorities among family, friends, business, sport, meditation, spirituality, and literary activities. I am not that much of a success story because I am a one-track-minded goon in the multitudinous era of multitasking. It is not easy to lead a simple life in this perplexing age of multitude. Yet our young generation is an expert on the game. Simultaneously they do a range of things, type through speakers, enjoy music, and play video games on PlayStations. The Internet is their arena and binary products are their rides. They surf through the universe and sit in their bedrooms. I love my kids a lot and that really inspires me to always remain a friendly dad. The parents who are ignorant of the Hitech lifestyle are illiterate in the eyes of their own kids. Obviously, the distance increases between them and it breeds misunderstandings. I try to work hard to stay oriented with the hi-five world in which my kids are growing up. It is my attempt to rightfully keep the title of a ‘cool’ dad. I know these birds will soon be flying their own flights yet I hope they will keep in touch with their cool dad. It is still my shot to call. 

“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you’re my life”

  • Khalil Gibran 

In golf, “still your shot” are the three ugliest words one can hear. In life calling one’s own shot is a much sought-after status. Such is the duality of the universe. 

Credits 

Google

Pinterest 

YouTube 

Reddit 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, Photographer. 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Heavy Heads

I was scrolling down my Facebook page this afternoon and the picture above popped up on my screen. It was posted by a very dear friend of mine from college days, Billy Wayne Adcock, Jr. He happens to end up physically and mentally at the strangest spots on both the internet and our great planet. His post today is an example of this. This great piece of art was inviting me to share my thoughts and the writer in me could not resist.

There is no doubt that in this age of great scientific revolution we are carrying heavy and humming heads. Our collective lifestyle is mechanical, food is processed, clothing is polyester, the air is highly polluted, homes and offices are narrow and closed, thoughts are propagated, minds are loaded with relevant and irrelevant information, and hearts are coldly materialistic. We lead highly artificial lives. We think pragmatically. Our relationships are fragile and temporary. Our extended families are now reduced to nucleus ones and they are also breaking. We believe in insurance companies but don’t trust or stand by each other. Most of our homes are broken, parents are divorced, siblings are at bay, children are glued to PlayStations and all of us are enslaved by screens. Our appliances are wireless but we are entangled to them. Our socialization is online and we take virtual tours. Day by day, we go away and away from nature.

Our dreamy lyrics are getting replaced by practical hip hop. Audiobooks are eradicating reading. We call illicit things art and like to live in sex free society. We prefer preparations and ignore prayers. We look for temporary affairs in clubs and avoid finding soulmates and marriages. We seek happiness by getting high and through intoxicating substances; we don’t find comfort in the company of loved ones. In the industrial and info tech era, we sing with eclectic composers and dance to electronic tunes. We wear chemical perfumes and enjoy plastic flowers. Our fruits are seedless and we eat hybrid vegetables. Our burgers have no carbs and our desserts have no sugar. It is undeniable that all of our advances take a heavy toll on our minds and bodies. They both are designed to live in tune with nature but we are making them adapt differently. 

We must understand that our high speed and high tech rockets will only take us to faraway stars that are merely made of gases, dust, and stones. At the height of our scientific advances do we intend to reach the barren celestial worlds only to satisfy our greed for more and more lands and their ownership?  Whereas we already have plenty of lands here on earth for all of us. We only need to distribute its sources among us honestly and justly. I don’t object to space exploration at all. Rather I am a staunch supporter of our celestial voyages. I only advocate a lighter approach and a positive philosophical direction for it all. 

We must pause time to reevaluate the direction of our progress and the speed of our scientific discoveries. Are we heading in the right direction? Is our knowledge leading us in accordance with universal laws and realities, or we are on the colliding path? What does the combination of machines and the human body have in store for us? It is true that the arrival of artificial intelligence in our day to day life is making it easier and comfortable. But can IA take over our world from us? Will singularity and artificial intelligence assist us to achieve a greater purpose or lead us to our damnation? 

From our bodies to our social fabric, to plants to animals to planets to the galaxy, we are promoting unique, paradoxical, and experimentation probes and challenges. We are creating artificial organs, hybrid seeds, cloning, and photonic spacecraft. Are we looking for exobiological evidence and chasing extraterrestrial beings? Or do we merely want more resources and a better life for our fellow human beings? 

Are we going to make our heads lighter or will we add more and more burden on already loaded ones? Do things like literature, poetry, art, music, gardening, and worship have any space in the life of interplanetary human beings? 

Credits 

Pinterest 

Google

Facebook 

Billy Wayne Adcock. Jr

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Beat Them All

They are heroes at the golf clubs. They walk with their broad shoulders hawkishly, brag about their achievements and goals, stand tall like a winner, and are known as pros. Many people wait for their turns to take lessons from them at the range. When they come to tee off they start from the black tees way behind my white ones. Their tee shots would carry three hundred plus in routine. Bunkers and rough shots are no issue to them. Their second shots usually land on the greens. And they would play under and scratch in routine.  

I am a casual golfer, who started playing late in life. Ever since I have begun playing I only paused due to injury, weather, or epidemic. My consistency in golf is the talk of the town. Not being an athlete, I haven’t improved much but I am a survivor on the course. I would take nine strokes from these golf lords whenever I played with them. They would scare me with the velocity of their swing. Especially with the thwack of their one woods. I used to dream that one day I will take them head-on. That day never came. I played friendly matches with them and I lost one after another. Each time I played with them I learned something. As my nephew Sairam often loves to quote Mr. Nelson Mandela, “I never lose. I either win or learn.’ I have not stopped learning and I never will.

 In the great game of golf, there are certain hours that favor or disfavor you. You just got to be on the course to avail of them. Or you should be off the course to avoid them. Last week, that hour came and the whole week belonged to me. I beat three of these lords one after another. The fourth barely escaped defeat and came square with me at the last green. One by one their game got scattered on the fairways and greens. From Royal Palm to Golf & Country Club to PAF Skyview, grass and greens assisted me. Bunker sands, trees, bushes, water hazards, and Out of Bounds, everything stood by me and against them. They came to join my flight one by one and kept falling into the web of my winning spell. 

Golf belongs to none but effort works for all. Those who walk holding victory in their wallets, usually lose it to humble pickpocketers; whether in golf or in life. They lose to people who have composure and play with their heads and hands, not with pride. Overconfidence and underestimation are the two major ingredients in the tales of most defeats. Professionals carry certain pride, the armor of skills, the unbreachable fort of self-confidence, a saddle of experience on the back of the thoroughbred of training. They have all the right to be proud and act as premiers on the course and in the clubhouse. But they should be watchful about the humble players. Like me, these people ride on the bare horse of faith and carry the sword of struggle. They may lack in all abilities and facilities but they are loaded with patience and persistence. Regularity and continuity can breach castles of all kinds and Pharos of all trades. 

Credits 

Google 

Pinterest 

By

Ahsan Jamil 

Golfer, Blogger, Entrepreneur, Author, Poet, Wanderer, photographer 

Email: Golfaij@gmail.com

Website: Golfaij.com

Arrival

I swear, after seeing your face the whole world is fraud and fantasy  Rumi “Once I have seen your ocean blue eyes, I can not see elsewhere. Ever …

Arrival