Condemn. But what?

FOREWORD: The words that follow may seem harsh, but it’s an opinion to which anyone can disagree. I wish to,  however, clarify that I’m not heartless to the atrocities around me. I have friends and acquaintances who belong to different religions and I dearly love them and pray more for their eternal life. However, I choose not to be reactive to media and it’s portrayal of news. Freedom fighters for one are terrorists for the other. Fundamentalists for one are extremists for the other. Genocide for one is survival of the fittest for another. Cold blooded Murder for one is Karma for another. There is always a flip side to the coin. There is no such thing as all good and all evil. Only Angels are all good. And Satan all evil. Man is and will always have a Dr jkle and Mr Hyde.

When Prophet Noah AS asked his Lord, ‘but my son’ and when Prophet Lut AS said ‘but my wife’; when Prophet Abraham asked ‘but my father, my son, my wife’ and when Prophet Muhammad Peace.be upon him said ‘but my Grandfather’, what was always the reply!? ‘You do not know what I know, leave them as they are. It is only I who can change their hearts, you are just a messenger’.

Yet, we do not hear Hz Noah AS complain, that O lord I’ve served You and have invited ppl to Your religion for more than 900 years, this is just one son I ask for.
We do not hear Hz Lut AS beg that O the Supreme Being I remained chaste when all else around me were sinning, this is my legitimate wife I ask for.
We never hear of Hz Abraham AS reminder his Lord, that O the Almighty the Ultimate – I seeked You, even when no one believed in You. I found You when everyone else was lost. I stood up for You even in the face of death, of alienation of rejection. This is my helpless wife, my infant son; in this fruitless, lifeless desert.
And never have we heard of Hz Muhammad Peace be upon him say that O Allah swt, You say I’m dearest to You. You say that you would crush them between mountains if that be my wish; this is my grandfather. This is the man who stood by me when I was delivering Your message.

Why is it then that we the sinners think that we can argue and insist. That we have the right to question. To question His laws. To question His decisions. To question His people. To question Fate.

Why is it that today we are more worried about how defaming it is that the laws of blasphemy are turning rabid, but none of us seems even a little concerned about the very act of blasphemy? Why are we such an ashamed Ummah? Ashamed of the emotional cult. Impressed with the sophisticated West. Ignorant of our past. Unknown to our own roots and reality. Unable to decipher the purpose of our existence.

Why is it that we seem to blindly be caught in this Web of human rights that sometimes I wonder that we on the day of judgement would stand up and question Allah swt. That Allah swt! How could you just send so many ppl to fire. How could you have created such a horrible, horrifying place. This is cruel! This is brutal! We condemn! We protest! Islam is a religion of peace! So there should be no Hell.

But their is a Heaven. Their is a Hell. Their is Supreme Authority that demands to be respected. Their is a religion which is the Only and Alone the right religion. Their is just One God. And this is His world.

All else is secondary.
You, Me, and Them, all else is Secondary.

My Pride is in the belief that this world was created For me; my Humility in the reality that it will exist Without me!

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Diary of a Spiritual Mother………

This is Originally dated Oct 2010. Found it in my inbox while searching for some old mails

 

From the diary of a Spiritual Mother!

 

Once upon a time there was an old woman, with her precious little collection of books: books that she treasured, whom she had read through and through. They were a part of who she was. Their relation was enviable. She delved in them. They ruled her existence; formulated her opinions, her personality……but there was just one problem. She always
kept them to herself, never shared them with anyone. The books….. well
they never complained. But they knew it was unjust. They had open undreamed horizons for her, had taken her to journeys and dwellings beyond her imagination yet she was being selfish. She wanted them all for herself- just herself. But was it fair to constrain their stories, the folds and folds, and layers and layers of meaningful gems that were engraved in them? She wondered…
Then one unfortunate morning (unfortunate for her, but fortunate for the books) she had to let go. They were ‘moving on’. The agony of being sliced away from your entity,… it was ruthless, the pain immeasurable! (who says only love is immeasurable) They were still hers. They were the star to her ‘wand’ring bark’. But unlike others she knew the worth and the height of these stars. Her utopia was mercilessly snatched away.

 

She knew that it was difficult to hand them to new hands. The fear for their pages being
torn, their stories misread, their words misinterpreted…… there was so much
to fear, such paranoia!

 

But deep down she wanted them to prove themselves. So far it was just her claims- ‘they’re remarkable!’, ‘they’re gems!’, ‘they’re promising!’, ‘they’re my light!’. But now she wanted the world to recognize them. She wanted the world to be the one counting the innumerable pearls of individuality in them, to unfurl the manifold gems encrusted in them.
But she forgot one thing. Her books were frozen in time. They had no past, no future. They were the same for all. Those who read them said they’ve read them better.
They praised them, acknowledged them. And she became jealous. Extremely jealous. When someone mentioned their chapters, she said…but that happened years back, with me first. When someone quoted them she said, no they said this to me first….
They had shown her a new world but now they too became a part of another unknown world. The world which she once feared to expose them too, but one which eventually she knew they’d have to see. But she was unsure now, of what she had done. The books were safe with her, but now as they were out exposed to the critical eye. She wondered if she had made them strong enough to stand the test of time…strong enough to face the new readers.

 

Recently she’s realized no she hadn’t, she had failed badly. She book from which she had wiped out slang, she cud see the offensive words emerge again on the surface of those once pure clean sheets of papers that she once so possessively guarded. The book had realized the new readers would never figure out why its pages were teary, why some pages purposely dog-eared-to be read over and over again. The readers could only see the unacceptable attitude of the book, its shabby condition and would whisper to each other how deplorable that book is. It was becoming questionable as to whether such a book be read or should it be discarded altogether.

 

The old woman’s other treasure, the ‘Outspoken’. The vigor with which its words would jump out and dance around and not give up you until you let them seep into to your soul. It was now refusing to vocalize its opinions or to face the audience which was once her strength. She could see the larger than life characters of her books fade away and lose themselves in the crowd of impenitent people.
Had she been wrong in treasuring them? Had she been wrong in letting them face the world alone? But were they alone!? Hadn’t she promised she’ll always be with them? Then why were the books undoing everything that she’d done. Why spoiling their image again with the slang. Why hiding away from the stage, why saying that characters will now be compromised on. Where did this mother go wrong? Like all mothers she too had to marry them off to new challenges, new horizons.

 

She now knows where she went wrong! She didn’t teach them the basic lesson before she let them walk down the aisle to unseen pastures, undreamed shores. She forgot to tell them how to be read! She didn’t tell them not to change their content; to not let the strokes of criticism blur away their font; to be patient and wait for the person who lets them be read as they are meant to be.

 

But all is not lost, even if she doesn’t have them in her hands or on her shelves. There’s something beyond the physical. Remember horcruxes J, an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul…….. “My Horcruxes, by books, my souls; so what if I forgot to teach you one little thing; I have imprinted on your pages. I promised I’ll be there. I am. I’ll always be.”

 

 

Maleea Raphee.

4th Oct 2010

Death Thou Shalt Die

From the moment that we enter the sleep-wake phase, where we on one hand are clinging to that dream we have swiftly fallen in love with, hanging on to them with ravenous hands, into the cruel clutches of reality, we are never done Desiring.

Coveting all pleasures in life.

Craving for all that we do not have.

Demanding what was never meant to be ours.

Yearning for the unfeasible.

Reeling over what is his or hers

And in that too, when we are let down, when we feel that our gluttonous souls have not been fed to their heart’s content. When we feel that we have done nothing worthwhile. When we believe that we have attained nothing significant. Even then we still, keeping up with the spirit, continue with our Desiring. But this time something different. Something that we consider profound This time it is

Longing for everything to end.

Pining over how horrendous life is.

Wishing for an exodus.

Aching for the culmination of misery.

Wanting…..Death.

 

And it is in this cycle of Desiring to Wanting we make our life’s gravest mistake.

For we desire and covet and crave and demand and yearn all for a world that was never meant to be forever. And on failing we long and pine and wish and ache for death. Thinking that it is an escape; whereas, in reality Death is just another beginning, a point from where starts the accountability of all those desires.

 

For a life whose reality is that of the time between an Azaan and its Namaaz. The Azaan that we heard on the day we were born and the Namaaz that the others will read for us. Our Namaaz. A Namaaz that we would be too late to offer.

 

I have heard the Azaan. I know the Namaaz can be called on any moment, for the clutches of death are unavoidable. Yet am I living my life in Aqaamat? Am I preparing myself for that ultimate Namaaz? Have I made myself pure? Am I pure enough? Is my stead, my path straight enough that it leads to the house of Allah? What if it is not? What if I’m failing at life’s real purpose? What if all this is in vain? What if?

For our failure in attaining the Desires for this world we long for Death. But what of the moments after that? What of the failure when there would be no death to ask for. What of the time when Allah swt will call upon Death and when Death shall Die. How will we long for an escape then? Where would we escape to?

For one short sleep past; we wake eternally…

 

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;

For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow

Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.

From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be

Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow

And soonest our best men with thee do go

Rest of their bones and soul’s delivery.

Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,

And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,

And poppies or charms can make us sleep as well

And better than thy stroke. Why swellst thou then?

One short sleep past, we wake eternally,

And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die!

Justice, Democracy and Freedom of Speech.

Once upon a time there was a green land. It was Green- fertile, naive, refreshing and above all promising. It was a land of martyrs, a land of freedom fighters, a land of strong souls. Of wishes and dreams and desires.

Then times changed. Not overnight, rather gradually.

The fertility of the land turned into famine. Why? Because today so much blood has seeped in this soil that seeds have refused to leave their cozy hard core shelters. Why? Because they fear the world around. The paranoia of being trampled and tread upon haunts them.

How then could it remain refreshing? It was robbed off its blush, its freshness. It was tired. Like an old man. An old man who was tired of burying it’s children in it’s womb.
Ironic isn’t it. The world thinks wombs are associated with birth only. But in our world things are different. We all know of the ‘glow’ associated with a woman about to bring a new life in this world. But how many of us have seen that ‘lily’ on the brow of the ‘palely loitering’ knight who has just been robbed off and betrayed by the ‘belle dame sans merci’

Promising? Weren’t promises meant to be broken? Well at least some things are predictable in our world. Yes the promises were broken. Broken- seems such a euphemistic word, doesn’t it? They weren’t broken. They were, ripped apart, stabbed, torn, shattered, raped, dismembered, burned to ashes- so many times over that even the very memory of these promises was lost….

Oh! But one thing remains. Its naivety, yes it’s still green. For the worse. It is still a land where ‘justice’ (read chief justice) will have the final word. It is still a land where we have the freedom to ‘speak’ (read bark in talk shows). And it is still a land where ‘democracy’ is the best revenge! (read….actually spare your eyes that trouble.)

This country reminds me of a rattle. A rattle with it’s noisy components. In this countries case, the adlia, the media, the politicians, the noisy components harping on and on and on about justice, freedom, democracy! Words that have started to give me a migraine because honestly! I don’t want any of it. This rattle in the hand of that bigger child just doesn’t realize that it’s robbing us off the peace of mind.

In my country, justice was shown in today’s respectable newspaper page 2 where the honorable-righteous-just Wuqla were kicking and punching a Musharraf supporter. How Just!

In my country, a talk show shows various derogatory caricatures for electoral campaign that for a moment stun me because I still believed that I was living in a civilized society. But got it a little late, still got the wake up call.

And not to forget I live in a country where today I heard that we are a successful nation! A nation where people still are ‘talking about’ how to produce electricity; a nation where people still are ‘talking about’ educating masses and ‘talking about’ how important it is! And still ‘talking about’ how important it is for people to be employed! We are a successful nation not because we’ve made a scientific breakthrough discovery, not because we’ve recently reached the moon, not because we discovered a new element or mineral, not because we harbor the latest invention of this century! Oh no! We are a successful nation because we have completed 5 years of ‘Democracy’.

And now that that Mountain has been conquered, we shall now ‘talk about’ yes only ‘talk about’ the other secondary issues like bijli, naukari, pani and further insignificant-er zindagi!
But mind you! We will still talk about them only because, these are dangerous times still, and ‘Democracy’ needs to be safe guarded first. All else is secondary! You, me, I, us, we, they, Pakistan, all else is secondary. Democracy must remain!

And for that, an unshakeable belief! Dictators should be punished. It is supposed to be that way! So what if he gave you the best local body system. He is the enemy of damsel in distress Democracy! So what if he gave you progress and roads and employment and universities! He is the Akbar that grounded the Anarkali Adlia! So what if he elevated your stance and repute in the global village. Where you could stand tall in front of the White man and say or should I say SCREAM proudly, that yes I am a Pakistani! He is the tyrant Tarquinius that raped the Modest Media!

Yes he should be punished! His sin is unpardonable, it is cardinal! He has shaken the very pillars of this country. Justice, Democracy and Free Media are in peril because of him! Did I not say all else is secondary!? You, me, I, we, they and Pakistan! Yes all of ‘us’ are secondary! We are but sacrifices that need to be made in order to rejuvenate and strengthen these three gods! Have you not read Mythology? Have you not heard of the god’s wrath. Have you not read of the clash of the Titans? So need you be told again. These gods need another sacrifice to survive. This time they all are being generous. They ask not for another statistics of 45 dead and 60 injured. They ask for just one sacrifice. One Black Knight, one Akbar and just one Tarquinius. All in one. They ask for just one Dictator.

My heart turns stone today. I’ve lost hope in this country today. I cry today. Not for the losses yet to come, but for those lives that were lost 65 years from now. Because they died in vain. They died because they believed in the you, me, I, we, us living in a better world, in a safer abode, in a prosperous country. You see, i say they died in vain because they sacrificed themselves for secondary things. Remember the three golden words, the three gods! Yes had they died for them, for Democracy for Justice, for Freedom of speech! Had they died for ‘real’ reasons their deaths would have been fruitful.

As I said I mourn today, for all that was, for all that is to come…..Did I not say my country is still Green. It is. It is still naive. </3

30- is it just a number?

Age Is just a number, but 30 is a big number!

Nearing 30 is frightening. I’ve always associated the term ‘crossing over’ for turning 30. The fright comes from the idea of crossing over (to the dark side) Jokes apart, there’s a little regret. I’ve always admired myself over the idea that I’ve never regretted anything that I’ve done in life. I’ve blundered awfully but I’ve learned more than I’ve lost. So those blunders have never been a ‘ghaatay ka sauda’. Because as the saying goes I’m not sad because it’s over, I’m happy because it happened.

Abbu always explained one thing. In the journey of life, no matter what path you take, you’d come across deep dark ditches. Since our elders have crossed this path earlier he believed that we should take their word for granted and when they’d point out a ditch we should learn to listen and walk around it, avoid it and not fall in.

At times, I would listen to him; at others, the obnoxious rebellious me would argue to learn from experience saying to my Abbu that he’s able to guide me coz he had experienced the ditch so why shouldn’t I? He managed to get out, so he should trust me to find my way too. I wanted to take detours, i wanted to explore, i wanted to fall in, I wanted to climb out all on my own. And I love my dad for letting me. But at times when things got scary and lonely down in the ditch, the one thought that kept me going was what my dad said, ‘You’re not the only insane teen in the world! Close your eyes and feel around you, there are so many in the ditch. Even if you are lost you’re not lost alone. Find strength in this fact!’

I did, I learned! Learned who spot the ones who were managing to rise out of the ditch. I learned how to close my mind to the surrounding darkness and to focus on the light above. I learned to follow the light. I learned about those who were giving up. I learned to avoid their follies. And if there’s anything I’ve achieved during these 30 long years of my life, it’s this that I’ve found a way out.

Explorers discover new lands only when they take detours only when they make mistakes. Call me insane but I’m proud of my mistakes! I treasure them. They’ve made me who I am. I found a new world. A world that I call my own. My dream world!

Like many others I too made a long ‘things-to-do-before-I-turn-30’ list, (which is too long to bother typing) Some I’ve achieved, some, I lost interest in. Some were never on my list but yet I’m glad I’ve gone through those experiences.

Among many of the to do things, one bothers me. Let me clarify that I made this list when I was 13 so there’re bound to be insane things in it. Anyways, one such objective to achieve was ‘to be loved and missed insanely by at least one person who is not a relative! (:-p yes I was always this weird.) why did I say this bothers me? Well because I don’t know if I’ve managed to achieve that! 30 may seem like a long time spent in this world but not enough time to mean a world to someone.

Loved-yes, I know there’re many non relatives who I love and they equally love back. My schools friends, family friends, qatar friends, america friends, abudhabi friends, university friends, random friends, soul mates, students. Yes, their love I would never doubt. In my heart I literally gloat about it! :-). But will I be missed? My school friends love me but am I missed? I wonder? Do I miss them? Didn’t I move on and make new friends. Haven’t they done the same? Doesn’t everyone do that? Even if for a moment I think that they do miss me, but how much, remember the magic word ‘insanely’! love and miss insanely!

Sigh* it pays to be weird at times! I know! If I’m to ask the same question to myself. If there’s at-least one person non relative who I love and miss insanely! Well that’s the most easiest to answer! Not one, but many! How can I say that? Because sanity and I never got along pretty well! We broke up long time back, to be precise we never had a relation! :-p

Therefore, I’ve always loved insanely. In this real world, which is technically an illusion, I may get busy. I may forget, I may be chained by time and norms and distance. But know for a fact that in my world, you’ll always be there. With all my time, with all my love and with all my attention!

For all those who’ve ever been a part of my life, have made me who I am. Without them there Would be no Me! 30 long years have given me ample time to fill my world with loved ones. Having said that i feel, turning 30 isn’t that bad after all! 🙂

The One

When one name envelops my world,

When one thread holds fast my existence,

When one smile shimmers and dances in me,

When one tear drains from me, all happiness,

When one touch becomes the velvet oyster shell,

When one word defines my book of life,

When one glimpse soothes my ever-thirsty soul,

When one shrug like a scorching sun burns my heart,

When my one self breaks up in to a dozen selves,and inhabits itself into the Other,

It is then that I know I am in love!

But when the trance breaks

And I wildly search for myself

To look in the mirror and say
I see nothing but a stranger in the mirror.

A stranger soulless- a stranger who is dead.

It is then that she pierces her daggers through my heart, smiles and says:

I have loved And You have lost.

Golden Memories- Pages of the past!

This goes out to all those who might be hiccuping yesterday not knowing what went wrong with their diaphragm. Well this is to let you all know that you were missed. And talked about until we couldn’t talk because we were either breathless laughing or choking back our tears.

Going down the memory lane is something we all do occasionally but when you have your gang of friends taking the same journey with you the experience is even better than winning a lottery for a free world tour!Turning over the pages of the past there were so many chapters to read.Talking about the Tuc shop, the basketball court, the staircases, the classroom, our seating arrangements, the teachers, the name callings, the fights, the giggles, the tears, all of this was a memorable feat. Where this act sobered all of us, some had even our eyes stinging with tears.

We met everyone down the memory lane. Those of you who’re with us just oceans apart, and those who’ve left this temporary abode. There was so much to talk about so many ppl to remember even after 5 hours of nonstop talking I still think we couldn’t do justice to all the memories.

The recess times the p.t blocks that were much awaited than the monsoon ever is. Where you’d feel a thrill and snicker when someone would get caned for not wearing the proper shoes/socks or being drenched in attitude wouldn’t perform the exercises properly. Where you fought and your best friend would turn your worst enemy but that’d be just till the end of that day and you’d be soul-mates again.

And what could be better, games didn’t just mean PT periods you had intervals for fun after every change of periods. The time between one teacher leaving and the other coming was utilized most efficiently! The books and journals became bats or tennis rackets and the targets were of a variety. A variety that ranged from paper balls, to chalks, to pencil sharpeners/erasers to rolled up boys’ ties or even someones head!

And a special thanks goes out to all those who’ve had the privilege to be monitors, because they did everything but monitor us. They needlessly wrote names and made sure to erase them just seconds before a teacher would come in. Though i’d say some weren’t always so generous and it was never a good act to step on their wrong foot.

But the fun didn’t end there. If you could get any luckier you’d even have the teacher throwing a chalk at you if they caught you distracted. So the catch catch at times continued with the lessons!

Furthermore, you had ‘true’ friends who’d bang down their journal on your hand yelling ‘keep your hands of my property’ because you put your hand on his/her desk in order to break your fall. A fall that was a result of your sweet neighbor who would tie your shoelaces together or rather would love to do the same to your duppata!

Where you always had two exit passes because when the first one was lost the class paid for the other and miraculously the first appeared immediately!

Though the recess/break-time was meant for snacks, but why waste that time eating when you could do that in the class. Break was meant for the young to run around, for the elder girls to walk gracefully because even at the age of 14 you were so ‘old’ that running would be such a disgraceful act. For the boys it was the prance at the ‘safari’ because the strength of your pack was determined by the number of boys in one group, the display of power!

The thaili main Pepsi, ring chips and daal Kay samosay, no buffet can replace that! Where even a decade ago we were so Eco friendly coz we knew how to recycle. We just wouldn’t throw away the plastic shopper, oh no the right thing was to blow it up and bang it on the biggest or nearest head! The recycling doesn’t end here! Once the pop-ping’s done you take the straw out twirl it in your finger while your friend snaps it un till justice is met.

The morning assemblies that started with ‘O God give me clean hands….’ and ended with a cane, on the palm (for girls) and on your bottoms( for boys) because either it’s your khala’s wedding and you’re growing nails for that or you have more pins in your duppata than you have in your hair.

Speaking of hair, you won’t find many places where boys would be assisted with tying of pony tails because well that’s exactly what the length of their hair determines. But hats off to all the strong Jigars who took even the pony tails with pride.

The hockey, the cricket, the basket ball, the throw ball, name it And you had it. Where your play ground was bigger than all the buildings put together.

Where you had a ‘Jinn chacha’ who just loved calling you and your friends weird named and what did you do? Well didn’t I just say ‘Jinn chacha’. But all wasn’t so evil. You’d be in love with your teacher’s pretty hands and what mattered more was not what she wrote on the board, but her handwriting with sloping and flicking ‘n’s and ‘m’s; the sound of her bangles.

The labs were the battle ground for dares. Dares to complete first, to compete, to mix different stuff together, to draw the microscope!, to smell or touch the frog. where you had a
wonderfully bloody red journal or one that had wings because it would occasionally fly out the window!

Come home-time and you’d be either running to your van because you wanted the window seat or you’d be the one who’s up for a good scolding from your van driver coz you just can’t stop talking to your friends and just don’t want to leave. But you’d also envy all who leave from the chota wala gate or visa-versa. Even the van was the different realm where first you had those baji’s and bhai’s who you’d idolize. Her hair or the way she’d hold her bag with both her hands. Later you’d be the Baji or bhai who’d be looked up to by the younger lot!

The time we spent I’m school was temporary, but the memories we savor are forever. This goes out to all of you. if memories are forever they are truly our unforgotten treasures. Relish in the idea that we are so rich. And what could be better we are all rich in it together. Moment and Time passes but Golden Moments happen to stay forever.

Congratulations on a life well-spent!