The sheep in the herd

One amongst many, all doing their degrees and masters and just the same. While this first sentence may resonate with you on many levels, I am talking about the field of Psychology, mainly counseling.

India doesn’t have quality control in this regard, in Hyderabad alone there’s a school pooping up every month, all wanting a school counselor to complete the over all services of the school. It is mandatory for schools to have a counselor, it is important that the students get that kind of support, not just for remedial help, but for emotional health.

But where do we get ourselves registered? Who should a counselor go to for quality check? We do not have a counseling Association, that can license therapists in the field. Anyone who is interested in psychology is able to and allowed to pursue a full masters degree in the field, but no quality control. Passion, and inner wants drive people into the field, some come into it for money (just like in any other field). You will also find courses in counseling taught by people who may have been in the field but do not hold the qualification to be organising such courses. Who is to stop them? Who asks what their PhD is in? we are merely impressed by the ‘Dr.’ in front of their name and presume they may have attained it in counseling, or child psychology…

I have a belief. Just because you have been in a particular field for xyz years doesn’t make you a professional in it. Yes, it’s partly the fault of the country that we do not have a council to keep track and license our counselors, but it doesn’t stop the frustration.I wish to be recognized for my efforts, I wish to me known because I am valuable everywhere in the world not in one country or city. I believe it is important for us to try to reach that level of [proficiency if we want ourselves to be called a part of a field. Right now counselors have it easy in India, I can speak more about Hyderabad, it’s all about generating good clientele. What the client expects from the therapist, what he gets from the therapist is upto the client to decide, but the client has no clue how to pick a reliable one in the first place, they do not even know what to expect from a counseling session! This is even more dangerous when people deal with children and don’t even know the basic skills of counseling children. The intention may have been good, but many children get scarred for life by poor counseling, they lose hope, and trust in adults all together.

Point being? I rather not be in the field till the field decides to give importance to those who are not just passionate about helping people, but hold the qualification and skills needed for the job. I rather do something else in the field, or try to get recognition in another country. Universal recognition. Quality control, not money making.



If you can't be human

I had a group counseling session with a class at school, and one of the topics we brushed on was gender equality and how it’s important to be human being before anything. Racism is common everywhere in the world, and while we are all entitled to our own opinions, I just wanted to share a basic realisation that I believe is worth sharing and at-least a discussion amongst your friends and family.

As human beings if we can’t be human, then we shouldn’t claim to be of any religion, belief or discriminate anyone on the basis of colour, caste, creed, education, economic status etc. It’s just pointless. No matter where in the world you are, when we bleed we bleed the same blood. This reminds me of a book ; ‘Whoever you are’ by Mem Fox. It’s a beautiful book for even the adults to read, it simplifies the issues of the world to the basics, in the end we are all human. I highly recommend parents and teachers to read this book multiple times to their children/students.  Host discussions on the topic, and sensitise everyone on being human. This book reasons with logic, that no matter where you are in the world the pain we feel, the blood that pours out, the feelings are all the same, no matter how we look, what we become, how qualified we get, no matter how different we are, we are all the same, we are all human.


Explaining everything to children becomes easy when you break it down, the essence of us and what makes us unique from animals is our capacity to be beings with intellectual capacity, to understand, sympathise, empathise with fellow beings. And if we can’t be human, then we are worse than animals.

Would you kill the queen to crush the hive?

I work at a school. And one of the best experiences being around young human beings is, you kinda don’t grow up. You are constantly reminded of your adolescence, your childhood, your teenage issues. You are almost forced to be in that phase of your life, reminiscing constantly, some conversations get you nostalgic about your own uniform clad school days.

CAM01338And as a counselor for me it’s all about solving problems, providing clarity, support, unconditional love, a safe environment for children to just let go and express themselves. I think it’s crucial for children to know that there is always going to be someone there for them, through thick and thin. And this someone isn’t always going to be an adult, a good friend can go a long way. When I was in school, there were times of loss of clarity, a feeling of struggle to own your life, take control, choose your own path etc. And this particular song used to describe that feeling. That realisation of not just the struggle, and important of taking control, but the significance support plays in the whole drill.

I listened to music in those days not for the actual music, but lyrics. And this song has powerful lyrics. My personal favourite lines from the song are not in every version of the song.

‘Would you kill the queen to crush the hive?

And would you choose water over wine, hold the wheel and drive?’

The song is written beautifully, and the chorus signifies the importance of being there for your friend (or family, or lover), no matter what decision they make:


Have there been any songs that have had a special relevance to your life growing up?

Why juggle so many duties? and update on study life

I’ve always been someone who has to have my plate full. I need to be constantly doing something, constantly looking forward to a project, anything. Being in Hyderabad has taught be the importance of being this busy. It’s the only way you can avoid politics, gossip chains, your mind won’t allow you time for those thoughts to creep in. I am hence, allergic to being free. Frankly I rather complain about ‘not having enough time’ to complete the many tasks I have at hand, than be free enough to meddle in others’ business.

Having said that, I shall give you an update on my latest addition, my one year diploma in School Psychology started in July, and it’s from IHMH. I am over the moon about this one, it’s nothing like how my graduation was. The diploma has been drafted in such a way that you are compelled to study and it pushes the student to explore their potential. I am totally psyched.


Those are the first two books that arrived through mail. I LOVE studying, it’s the best feeling in the world. I regard myself as a student for life, I want to constantly keep studying, and it’s not for the  certificates, but the triggering of mind, and truly learning as a student. Plus I get to shop for stationery and study supplies which I love too! 😉

So why be this busy? There are times when I want people around me to process the many duties and responsibilities I juggle, give me some space, try to understand the tornado that runs on my head on a regular basis. But then I have to remind myself that I chose this type of life, I decided to keep this busy, I believe I can do it. Expecting from people to go out of their way to understand is irrational, because no matter what they can never comprehend the importance of these things in my life. People (in India) typically have the attitude of end everything after marriage, ‘you don’t need to study’ especially when you have a kid. But the fact is those are not the reasons why people should study in the first place, education is about overall development of your personality, so logically it should never end.

I am the first to encourage anyone irrespective of their age to keep pursuing some form of education, even if it is in their hobby areas, (crafts class, a culinary course, reading clubs) no matter what you will be afford to get something included into your life. And just being a part of something so fruitful is pure joy.

That’s the reason why I juggle, I feel 24 hours are meant to accomplish more than a few tasks each day. And with experience I’ve realised that; the more you include into your day the more you feel there’s time for more activities. There’s no excuse. 24 hours are a great responsibility we have towards ourselves, there’s always time for more, Always.


Where have I been?

It’s shamelessly been over a month that I posted on this blog. I somehow was in a writers block and a lot has happened.


1. I am now a graduate, even though I haven’t received all my documents. My university is yet to mail those to me.

2. I have successfully completed 8 months of volunteer work at Focus High School as a student counselor.

3. My Sunday school celebrated its third annual day on Sunday April 27th.

4. My application has been accepted at the Institute of Holistic Mental Health – IHMH for a post graduate diploma in school psychology. This will be my first official step into the field of educational psychology/School psychology.

5. The daughter will start school in June InshaAllah. I have started to make mental notes of school supplies and waiting eagerly to get more information from the school. I am going to be a mommy of a school going girl! so excited. Have started to mentally prepare her for the new chapter in her life. Both me and the daughter will be at the same school, only I will go twice a week and she won’t know I work there. More posts coming up on that soon.

6. I am also a part of an NGO in the making. more details on that later.

My folks here from Dubai for some work and Batool is over the moon with excitement. I am trying to get myself organised, cooked Hariyali chicken today, recipe to come soon.

What have you all been upto?