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My best friend, my diary

September 23, 2018


The invincible power of the pen and patience of the paper More than seven decades ago, in the midst of terror and unrest, Anne Frank pictured her daily life occurrences like the subtle sweep of a painter’s brush in her ‘Dear diary’. The light of peace was fading away and the fate of humans was being written by gruesome rulers. Freedom was an unattainable dream for many.

But even then what remained unrestrained in such dire circumstances was her courage to write and express her beliefs. Anne Frank, who firmly believed in the power of love and humanity, described the sufferings of the Holocaust and talked about her lesser-known hidden self in a diary. It was a diary that would be discovered after her early death and it became the world’s most read and critically acknowledged diary.

The heartbreaking story of Anne Frank scribed in the form of a diary is not only a fine piece of literature documenting history, but also something that inspires us to write. The way she expressed her real self in her diary compels the readers to pursue the habit of maintaining a diary. Her habit of writing a diary kept her positive even in the toughest of times.

Decades later, when the habit of keeping a diary and writing on paper became obsolete, a young Pakistani girl, who lived in a somewhat similar environment of terror and chaos, became known for chronicling her thoughts and experiences in a new form of diary, a blog on a website.

A diarist is a free person who can be true to themselves on the pages that they may or may not allow others to read. Just like we brainstorm ideas, we fill the pages of our diary with creativity

Malala Yousufzai, in 2009, started off by writing a blog on BBC Urdu. From the picturesque valley of Swat, her diary conveyed what life was like under the darkness of terrorism and where freedom was in chains. Each entry that she made in her journal not only projected the feelings and difficulties of a young determined girl living under terrorist-infiltrated territory, but it also brought a huge issue to light — that of female education.

Malala too would have met a tragic end like Ann, but fate had other plans for her. She survived and became a crusader for peace, children and female empowerment. Her blog entries reached all corners of the globe and proved the limitless power of the pen.

Malala Yousufzai historically narrated her life experiences and sufferings in the shape of blog entries, without the fear and concern of who might read it. She was not allowed to go to school but she continued to read and write, showing us that one can be stopped from expressing themselves vocally and openly, but no one can ever stop a person from writing what they feel and having an opinion. And it was her blog writing experience that helped and taught her the communication skills that is now coming to good use for her as a Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist.

It doesn’t require experience, command or even knowledge to write a diary or blog. It is through the habit of diary writing that one can understand the deeper self and hence, the deeper human nature. As Anne Frank once wrote in her diary, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”

There are plenty of inspiring thoughts that can be written in a daily journal or diary, while describing one’s daily life happenings. A diary perfectly exemplifies how one can benefit from the habit of maintaining a record and history. A diary is the best way to secure one’s past experiences to be reviewed later. Through this habit, one can measure self-growth and improvement in self-understanding.

Converting one’s thoughts into words and ideas and then writing them on paper, or on a keyboard, liberates a soul and gives freedom of expression. A diary carries secrets, those secrets which are usually kept hidden from the rest of the world. Similar to a good book that talks to us, a diary is like a friend who knows everything and keeps all our secrets. It is not only the best listener, but the most patient and non-complaining friend as well.

A diarist is a free person, who can be true to themselves on the pages that they may or may not allow others to read. Just like we brainstorm ideas, we fill the pages of our diary with creativity. Perhaps we think of the most creative ideas when we do not think of something else, when our mind is free from stress and, most importantly, when we aren’t afraid to express.

Writing a diary is the only time we are under no pressure and fear no one. We do not have to listen to any criticism or judgment on the thoughts we are expressing. So, in a way, a diary is a best friend to whom we can pour our heart out and who will always be there for us whenever we want to share our smiles and sorrows.

A diary also enables us to go through our long forgotten past experiences and an older version of ourselves. We might not be able to enjoy every incident that happened in the past, but surely we can learn how better our present is. We can assess the choices we made, the way we chose and certainly their outcomes. The beautiful parts of life that can become a dim memory are always there to be refreshed in the pages of our diary and bring a nostalgic smile on our faces as we relive the memories. No matter how much our life changes, memories will always have the same effect on us.

Opening up to a diary brings calmness and satisfaction in the lives of those who are under stress or worry. A diary contains the secret to our own evolution, sensitive narrations, deep thoughts and unrevealed tales. It signifies the beauty and importance of enjoying one’s company in solitude. It is the most beneficial and interesting habit that one must adapt in order to improve and hence store their life.

So start preserving your time and life in the form of a diary because a day written in a diary is a day saved from wasting!

Published in Dawn, Young World, September 22nd, 2018