Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Art of Quilting

In a remote village there once lived a wise old woman. She had many hobbies but her favorite one was quilting. She was famous for her bold designs and masterly stitch. None could match her abilities which was why she stitched effortlessly the most exquisite and marvelous quilts using bold bright colors and trigonometric designs and hexagonal patterns. She wove pure magic.

One unfortunate day the old lady broke her glasses and sadly enough became disabled from her poor eye-sight due to which her project was left unfinished. She pushed aside her sewing paraphernalia and sat in her old rocking chair. Days passed without her doing her craft and she wondered how the quilt could be finished. Just then she came up with a brilliant idea and she gathered some enthusiastic youngsters who envied her art and craft. She volunteered to teach them how to stitch. So daily these youngsters came to her home for her valuable guidance and she provided them with the squatting space, sunlight, threads, needles, scissors, fabric and pattern. Whilst they stitched, the old lady served them with dry fruits. The students sometimes demanded fresh fruits saying they were tastier than the dried ones. The clever old lady would gently cajole them saying “fresh fruits were messier than dried ones….”

At times when the process of quilting slowed down or would become tedious, the wise lady would pull out a different bright colored fabric that would immediately engage the young minds once again. She would instruct on how to fancy cut the bright fabric and introduce it into the design. Soon berry red, royal blue, seaweed green, bright orange, plush magenta colors with a wide array of other colors were all used in the design of the quilt. The old lady cleverly introduced a newer pattern and cuts into the existing trigonometric design.

Eventually the quilt was completed by the youngsters. It was not only eye pleasing but astonishing for the quilt had an exquisite wealth of color, design, and neatness. It also had a great length to it which made it extremely peculiar and rare than the rest. The crafty old lady crafted an extraordinary quilt but not by herself. All she did was, give a nudge and the rest of the enchantment came from the youngsters. There was one concern in the village of what would happen after the quilt was completed. Would they start taking interest in gardening??

Friday, December 23, 2011

From $600 to $60

What a journey and memorable experience!! I purchased a fancy piece of jewelry 5 years ago for $600 when it was on sale for 50 % off. I never wore the ring. After a few years, I grew tired of it and decided to sell it. This is where the journey began.

I took it to the Home Consignment Center. They offered $600 for the cocktail ring but also had a 60:40 ratio split which is a fancy way of saying I would only receive $340 out of the $600. I found similar cocktail rings with them which they sold for over $1000. So I am sure after I agreed to their deal, they would have sold my ring for over $1000. Anyways, I walked away. Next I went to a pawn shop called EZ Pawn. They checked the ring by a device that gave blue-greenish light if the stones were diamonds which it did. They offered $400. Again I walked away.

My next stop was at another pawn shop called Super Pawn Shop. They looked at it and offered $180. I felt offended and so walked away. While I cursed the Super Pawn Shop in my mind, I took the highway and exited near another strip of shops near my home. I went to a Jewelry Store and asked if they bought used jewelry. They replied in negative. Then I went to the next Jewelry Store and they politely said they only value the gold and not the diamonds. So if they wanted to buy it, the offer would be only $120. I laughed and left. I went to one last shop which was a pawn shop. Keeping my hopes high, I entered and showed them the ring. After they weighed it, flashed the fancy light on it, entered information in their computer, they came up with $60. They wanted me to sell my $600, 14k white gold, 2 carat white and black diamond cocktail ring for $60!!!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cosmic Balance

There once was a girl who loved making ripples in the water. Every day she went to the beautiful pond, would throw a stone and then watch the ripples from a distance. The little girl believed if the waters were not stirred, the pond would become stagnant. Sometimes she threw a couple of stones for a much magical effect. She admired the wavelengths, the circumference and the gradual disappearance of the ripples as it travelled across the pond. All this gave much pleasure to the little girl but not to the fish in the pond. The fish enjoyed the childish antic in the beginning but then grew wary of the muddy water stirred below. The fish couldn't migrate from the pond as it was their home and they loved it; nor did the little girl stop throwing stones in the water as she loved doing it.....
How much is too much?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Media Mess

Recently I decided to stop watching and reading the news. I have come to a point in my life where I find the news interfering and distracting my otherwise peaceful day. In a world of chaos and unhappiness, whatever solace and calm I can find or create is a great gift I try to share.

The more one is detached from the media (regarding news) the more one can focus on household chores, family, relationships and one's own-self. It is the Media's aim to create a ripple and then huff and puff at it or blow it into ridiculous proportions so that it lingers in one's mind for days. I am simply fed up with it all. If you haven't tried the Media boycott with regards to news, try it and you will find yourself less dependent on anti-depressants and will enjoy a full night's sleep!!

Peace to all!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A busy month

November was a very busy month with 6 birthdays and a target to meet for writing a novel, the Nanowrimo. Nevertheless I took the challenge knowing I couldn't meet the deadline but would at least get an outline for my novel.

My novel is still a work in progress. I hope I will have it done in another month or so. But all along, I am debating the idea of e-publishing directly onto kindle or with Barnes & Noble. I am leaning more towards publishing with Amazon as they have a wider audience and a strong global presence.

I thank you all for your patience.....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

National Novel Writing Month

Thanks to Teresa Cypher for introducing the idea and website about writing a novel in one annual competition for the month of November called The NanoWriMo. This year I will be competing (God willing) not expecting a prize amongst the countless talented writers out there but to start and finish a project that I have been dreaming of doing.

I have such an intense desire to write a novel but never find the time and the will to do it. Besides there are 101 reasons to do other things when there is available time....After entertaining numerous thoughts and looking into various channels, studying the entire process to book publishing and fishing for information from published writers like Teresa, I have made up my mind to embark on this venture. With one month to write 50k words, I will at least have something drafted.

I am excited. So (please) God be with me!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Tribute to an Icon: Steve Jobs

I can’t think of writing something about Steve Jobs that the world already doesn’t know. He was a visionary, a force to be reckoned with as he said once, "Nobody has tried to swallow us since I've been here. I think they are afraid how we would taste." (ref At the annual Apple shareholder meeting (22 April 1998).

 He was a man that believed, pursued and materialized his ideas. Each time he gave the world something unique that became a necessity in every man’s life as soon as it hit the market. He never gave what consumers wanted or demanded and never believed in Think Tanks but always made something the consumers would later get addicted to. He was a leader and his products led the world.

He always wore simple clothes, a black turtle-neck to most of his conventions but the impact was tremendous. He just didn’t wear brand names to make impressions…..He himself was an impressive figure. He was a minimalist. His home had just enough furniture for use but evident of his good taste. A friend notes how Steve loved being ‘simple’ with an unmistakable eye for aesthetics. His aim was to be simple yet pleasing to the eye but at the same time sophisticated in application; something he infused in the Apple brand all along. “We’ve gone through the operating system and looked at everything and asked how can we simplify this and make it more powerful at the same time.” – ABC News, Jobs on Mac OS X Beta

At the company, they cared not for competition or to be rich but to lead. In “Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” –  The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).

He was a difficult boss always demanding perfection in all stages of the product from conception to completion. He made sure every employee was pushing ahead of themselves.  He admitted he was tough. “My job is not to be easy on people. My jobs is to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better.” Talking to CNNMon he said, “I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple. My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.”

Steve went through some tough episodes in his life. But he always referred to each episode as a dot that had a pivitol role in shaping his future. He said, “Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.
So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” (ref: 
Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address)

In 2004 he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He didn’t slow down or pause his love and dream of innovating.“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - (ref: Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address).

Many tributes have flooded the internet via blogs, twitter, facebook, via iphone, ipad etc to pay tributes to this wonderful innovator. One person wrote, “An apple falls to the ground to become a shade-giving tree…”

He will be sorely missed by the entire world. In his own words, Steve once said, “I want to put a ding in the universe.”
He just did…….
May you rest in peace Steve.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

No Title is the Title

Sometimes its hard to think straight while staring at the keyboard. There is an urge to write/type but the words seem to escape my fingertips although the idea lingers in the head. I find time to write but the words fade as if I'm standing in an arid desert with no shrubs. Ideas dance in my head all the time but when I sit to jot them, they've already danced their energy away...

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Changing The URL & Name of the Blog

Dear Readers,

I have been long thinking about changing my blog's name and the URL for various reasons. I would appreciate if you can help me come up with something unique. Please post your suggestions. Thank you in advance!!

Ghost Followers, Readers and Clicks

Every blogger wants to know who read their blog. You will be surprised that you have member(s) from the website '' reading your blogs daily. Another site is '' and '' where you get hits on your blog. But what is it that attracts their attention especially sites like risingtaste and businessonline etc where your blog has nothing to do with 'business'? There are tons of other websites that are getting into the business of 'spamming', targeting bloggers pretending to be loyal readers of their blog.

It makes you feel better that you have an audience who is interested in almost all of your posts. Have you ever wondered why there is no comment from them despite visiting your blog daily? That is because these sites belong to spammers. They are not hackers. Their intent is to have you click back to their website which earns them revenue. Read ranking in terms of traffic and revenue.
  • Never open accounts with shady websites that promise to expose your blog and bring traffic.
  • Avoid following back sites. There are alot of porn sites that end with ".ly" or so and they too are looking for generating traffic to their site(s).
  • Every time you check the Stats on your blog, IGNORE the ones that visit your blog everyday with no track of ever leaving a comment. They will be spammers.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


O how I wish the rose smelled different sometimes....
O how I wish the sun looked different sometimes,
And did so the dew drops,
And the colors of the rainbow.

In the grip of Everything there is an untold story,
A freshness in crisp dried leaves,
and the budding leaves...
A grace hidden in the still waters,
And the flowing streams....

There are things we can change,
and some we cannot,
It's only wise to accept,
the very riddles of Life,
are mysteries within itself....
Photo by google

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Clash Within Ourselves

We all fight demons that are seated deep within us that drive us mad. This struggle is an on-going ordeal. The Mind is a battlefield where Reason clashes with Passion, Emotions, Truth, Falsehood, and even one's own-self.

At the end, the triumphant white flag bearer must also be you and not your demon. Everyone goes through periods wondering how to defeat their demon that constantly nibbles at them and tries to dethrone them. In the kingdom of sanity, the power lies with YOU. There are no fixed rules and methods to clash with the mighty titan but since these are your demons, only you can usurp the demonic authority not allowing to rob your happiness and peace anymore.

The world is a cruel place of business where competition, envy, inequality and injustice play out boldly. But the world is also a place of refuge for ones that choose to stand upright. Some struggles are beyond our control and despite trying a zillion different ways to combat the situation, it cannot be made correct, or better. That is when faith kicks in. One must believe that some things are beyond their control, and power. When your struggle cannot achieve the desired outcome, you should continue trying. When you reach a point when you cannot do anymore, gladly let it go for it was never meant to be the way you wanted it. Let God or whatever you believe in, take over the rest. Be content that YOU tried; and that you did your best several times.

But will the Mind let you rest? Certainly not....The Fear, the Problem will become a fresh addition to your existing army of demons. So what are the answers? Many and then probably none. Every person is different and so are their situations. What works for one person may not work for another. But you should try not to let these demons ruin your beautiful mind. Talk to trusted friends, siblings or parents or God. You will be sent help and love.

Remember, some things just cannot be changed despite trying throughout your life. Just let go, leaving it to God to handle. This message is for a friend: It's better to accept the fact that you are not appreciated, than to insist yourself to someone who never sees your worth.....

I have made peace with my demons. They may pop up occasionally but I brush them aside. I know my worth....

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Fear and Hatred After 9/11

The psychological effects and the cost of 9/11 is huge and it still continues to grow....Here is an article that I am pasting as it aptly addresses some concerns.

By S. Amjad Hussein
"Ten years ago a bunch of terrorists flew commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and triggered a process that continues to extract a heavy toll in the form of blood and treasure. On that fateful day, thousands of innocent people, including a few hundred Muslims, died. As the dust settled, American Muslims found themselves besieged, vulnerable, and unwanted in this country even though they had nothing to do with al-Qaeda or 9/11 atrocities.

As American citizens, we Muslims are increasingly subjected to unprecedented scrutiny when we travel by air, our bank accounts can be probed at will, and our conversations are recorded and our telephones are tapped for the flimsiest of reasons. A Muslim name, a foreign accent, or a native dress rings alarm bells in the minds of our fellow citizens.

A wave of Islamophobia is sweeping our country that demonizes all Muslims. We are portrayed as unpatriotic, potential terrorists, and fifth columnists.
In the past 10 years things have changed for the worst. Soon after Sept. 11, 2001, two-thirds of American people had a good impression of Islam. Over the years, however, those numbers have been eroding.
Last year, at the height of the Park51 (the proposed Islamic Cultural Center two blocks from Ground Zero) controversy, the unfavorable rating rose to 55 percent, according to a poll by the Economist magazine. Another poll, released by Time magazine in August, 2010, showed that 43 percent of Americans hold unfavorable views of Muslims and 25 percent think U.S. Muslims are not patriotic.
The inevitable question is: Why?

The reasons are many. The most important and foremost is the inflammatory and incendiary rhetoric emanating from some Protestant pulpits, political demagogues, and right-wing conservative organizations and media. They work in concert to malign and tar not only the terrorists but also everyone who is a Muslim.
Clothed in patriotic tones and armed with out-of-context passages from the Qur'an and selected history, these purveyors of hate demonize the entire edifice of religion and more than 1 billion Muslims.
Given the psychological vulnerability of most Americans in the post-9/11 world, this paranoid narrative becomes convincing. Take for example a DVD titled Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West that was widely distributed free of charge a few years ago.

Prior to the 2008 presidential elections, Clarion Fund, an obscure tax-exempt organization registered in New York, distributed the inflammatory video by mass mailing and as newspaper advertisement supplements. It takes selected clips of anti-West diatribe by some Arab speakers and scenes of violence from Arab media and intersperses them with footage from the Nazi era. The inference is clear.
And then there was the controversy about building an Islamic Cultural Center two blocks from Ground Zero.
Not many people realized that a functioning Islamic Cultural Center is on the site already. Given the sensitivity of people about Ground Zero, one could understand the opposition.
But putting up a fierce fight to stop a mosque construction in rural Tennessee?

Last year in Murfreesboro, Tenn., the local Muslim community purchased 15 acres to build an Islamic center. Local people filed a lawsuit to stop the construction. The bogey of sharia law was brought up and it was claimed that Islam is not a religion and thus does not have constitutional protection.
It was apparent that most of the people who had brought the lawsuit had no contact with local Muslims. In the sordid court spectacle, one could hear the echoes of the Jim Crow era. Eventually the court dismissed the case and allowed the construction to proceed. The victory, however, was hollow because no construction company has been willing to take on the project.

The hatred against Islam and Muslims spewed by some of the American clergy, politicians, and bloggers has had effect not only here in the United States but also beyond our borders.
The massacre of 77 people, mostly children and young adult, at the hands of a cold-blooded zealot in Norway a few months ago is one such example. According to the lengthy manifesto posted on the Internet by the alleged killer, Anders Behring Breivik, he was influenced by the incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric emanating from Web sites such as and the political and religious right wing in this country.
American history is replete with periods when religious and ethnic minorities suffered at the hands of a self-righteous majority. In the 19th century, Protestant preachers led mobs to attack Catholics.
At one time or another, Jews, Italians, Irish, Polish, and Japanese had to endure such bigotry. Even today, Catholic bashing is rather common on the Internet.
Michele Bachmann, a contender for the Republican nomination for president in 2012, attends a church that openly says the Pope is the anti-christ.

As an aside, while more than half of U.S. population has a negative view of Muslims, individually as religious groups they have no love lost among them. According to the Time magazine poll I quoted above, 29 percent of Americans hold negative views of Mormons, 17 percent of Catholics, 13 percent of Jews, and 13 percent of Protestants.

I have no doubt sanity will prevail in the end. The latter-day Know-Nothing Nativist Party and its torch bearers, the William Boykins, Sean Hannitys, Glenn Becks, Pat Robertsons, and the like, are but a transient phenomenon, just as the firebrand preachers of yore who led mobs to attack Catholics and other minorities were. History will remember them not for spreading Christian love but for poisoning the well.
Muslims are here to stay, just as others before them. They have added something special and precious to the mosaic of this great country. To forcefully tear that piece off, as some people would like to do, does nothing but deface the entire tapestry we call America the beautiful."
Dr. S. Amjad Hussain is a retired Toledo surgeon whose column appears every other week in The Blade. Contact him at:

** A link to the original article:

Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11: A Difficult Day to Re-live

I witnessed the tragic event live from the 23rd floor of the building I worked in. It was at an angle where we clearly saw the gaping hole in the first tower; the fire, the suffocating smoke, the papers flying out, the glistening glass pieces falling and eventually people jumping out. It was brutal and I never watch tv around this time for rekindling the hurt, the sorrow and the horror I witnessed first hand. It was a day where all you heard was police sirens, sirens of Fire trucks and then complete pin-drop silence.... That's when the towers fell. People were dumbstruck, confused, dazed by what had happened. For days we were silent and just let our tears speak.....

There were familiar faces one would see everyday while going to work. Even though one would never communicate, the silent nod and smile would convey tons. But many of those familiar faces were gone after 9/11. For days and months one heard stories of search, rescue, loss, and then burial in absentia. For a year we went to funerals that were held by grieved family and friends who eventually gave up the hopes of finding their loved ones alive or in one piece after a full year, the hardest thing to do.
I used to go to ground zero and just watch the ruins, trying to make sense of why this modern day barbarism could happen. I read messages scribbled by people on the scaffold-wall at ground zero which served as a temporary memorial. I read messages of Hope and grief chalked on the ground in the nearby Union Square Park which was serving as another memorial and a place where flocks of people posted pictures of loved ones with contact numbers. The park was very crowded....I saw people frantically searching for loved ones in all the hospitals, hospices, friends' homes hoping to find their loved one injured but alive. I heard stories from people narrating their 'narrow escape' and new lease on life. I continue reading stories of sacrifices made by the firefighters, the police-men that entered the towers and never came out alive again. The sacrifices made by ordinary people on that day and beyond are boundless. It makes me love NY forever.
This hurt continues to live in us especially those that saw it and experienced it in some way. It is a day I wish never existed. It is a time I wish I could skip forward and never have to re-live the experience.
God bless the departed souls. May God give courage to all those that suffered and continue suffering.... 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Son's First Day of School

6th September 2011 was my son's first day of school. Officially he now has embarked on the long journey of schooling/education making it his first major milestone. While he remained enthusiastic about it, I was anxious. I couldn't sleep the night before he started and had bouts of anxiety while he lay peacefully by my side. I had flashbacks of him being born till him jumping and playing in the present day.

I started missing him weeks before he even started  and thus stopped doing my extra-curricular activities to spend more time with him. Friends queried why I wasn't on Facebook or blogging and my reply was that I needed more time with my kids.

We never knew how our own parents felt when we started school but clearly remember our own first day of school. It's only when we have our own kids that we get to experience this new conjoined feeling of fear and faith seeing them off to school. I lose my son for part of the day but I know he is learning things that are the tools of shaping his future.

I tried hard to hold back tears as the line of kids started making their way towards their classrooms. I kept watching the disappearing line when all of a sudden my son pops out his head and gets out of league just to say, "momma I love you and miss you..." and then blows a kiss.

I love him and miss him every minute but I also want him to succeed in every challenge of Life with God by his side and my love wrapped around him. Like a friend has said, "Spend more time with your kids before they vanish into adults..."

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Those Grand Monuments of Love

We hear about all types of people every day. But it all comes down to: the good and the bad. You need to come across someone 'bad' in order to see and thus appreciate the goodness of another. That is why  it is important to experience both types of people in order to have a healthier and a holistic view of Life.

Everybody seems to practise good in some way but very few good people cross the threshold of goodness and enter a whole new level... that of greatness, because of their selfless deeds. The standards are high and unattainable. These are people that look ordinary but do things that are great, holding firm against Time. When they perish physically, these acts of kindness and goodness stand out as grand monuments that they leave behind reminding us daily about them. These monuments are ethereal but they stand stronger than anything visible and tangible. They are noticed and seen by only those people who were impacted by the goodness in some way.

These great people have uneasy lives but will not make that effect yours. They stand to protect you from troops of trouble and problems. They'll take arrows for you and be pierced whilst protecting you. They'll make sure you are taken care of on a stormy and rainy day. They will have all the reasons to be unhappy themselves but will not defy God and be mean to His creatures. They will take things as they are one at a time. Their self sacrifice is immeasurable. With the rich and affluent they would be professional; with the poor and beleaguered they would have a compassionate and humane approach. They would have a voice when others choose to be quiet...These great people are very hard to find and when they are gone, their kindness and their goodness become grand monuments...reminders of their greatness and how they made your life better when theirs was not.....

May my uncle dwell in heaven....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Poem: And So It Happened One Day....

It was a horrible second... but
the truth sunk in that it just happened....
That dark second,
soon a minute
and then, it became an hour.
That hour became many hours
and it soon became a day.
The day stretched into weeks and the weeks into months
Then it became a year.
The year will soon become many
and it will become decades
till it stretches far into oblivion...........

Seeds were planted, watered, and pruned.
There they grew so beautifully in tune.
Then they bloomed and bloomed and more
blooms were to come.
But they were plucked,
No.....they were snatched.
No.....they were torn.
No.....they were crushed and smeared.
Time did not harm them,
They withered in OUR HANDS......

Dedicated to the Sialkot Butt brothers who were murdered in broad daylight  on 8/15/10 in front of a useless and cruel crowd that just stood and watched while some recorded the incident on their cellular phones to put on YouTube. Among the crowd was a policeman who stood and watched like the others.These two young teenagers were not only beaten to death violently but were later hanged upside down in public with hands and feet tied. After some time the brothers were then taken down by the assailants and put on a tractor trailer with their heads hanging down the trailer. The crowd continued to follow the tractor till it stopped in an area that held stagnant waters where the brothers were kicked off the tractor trailer, faces down, into the foul pool of stagnant water. Their hands and feet still tied.
The Pakistani Judicial System has decided on the case and has awarded the death penalty to all the accused.....
May the brothers rest in peace....

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Who do we write for? The answer is simple: we write for ourselves and for 'an audience'. Every writer cares for this 'audience'; those he can see and those he cannot but all come together with his writings.

I have seen people that write and then hide their art fearing it is not good enough to be shared with the audience. And then there are those prolific writers that are good at writing and engaging the audience. So 'the audience' is crucial to a writer. I personally look forward to comments left by my audience and it gives me a good feeling that someone took the time to read what I composed. For that, I am ever grateful.. In return, I too take time out of my busy schedule to say a few words to them. This builds an important bond between writer and the audience.

This is a busy world. But to let another person know that he/she is appreciated for what he/she has done, or has written, painted or made is equally important and encouraging. Every person floats once awhile on an encouraging word....if you offer it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Meaning of a Muslim Fast

It is Ramadan. A month in which the Muslims observe fasts. It is among the five obligatory acts which constitute the foundation and are called the five pillars of Islam namely 1)saying the kalma through which one acknowledges the Unity of Allah and that Mohammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger; 2)Prayers; 3)Zakat or alms; 4)Performing Haj or pilgrimage; 5)Fasting.

The Muslim fast starts from sunrise and it ends when the sun sets. During the period of fasting from sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking any kind of food and liquid including water. Apart from the apparent attempt of staying away from food, is the attempt to stay clear of telling lies, backbiting, intimacy, profanities and other commonly practised unkind acts during the fast from sunrise to sunset. Some friends have expressed shock over having no intimacy but it is allowed with your spouse after the fast is ended at dawn.

I have heard from people why a Muslim would undergo such hardship and that it is foolish but there is tons of logic behind the Muslim fast. When a person fasts, he is drawn to noticing small things, details that he otherwise missed. An empty stomach compels you to think of others that spend their life in search of food and only live by a morsel of food. It compels you to think of how you waste your food and throw generously your food away declaring it left overs. A thirsty person is forced to think of the thirst of others who cannot find clean water or water at all. The conscious attempt to stop lying and backbiting, arguing and scheming brings you back to your pure being, self. When one is fasting he is humbled naturally.

Ramadan is the month of sharing and giving. A simple meal passes for a lavish one and is devoured hungrily. This is a month where one is disciplined; where everyone is taught to with-hold and control wants, desires, and to turn towards self-righteousness. The delights of simplicity in everything is noticed and appreciated through a minuscule of suffering. At the end one emerges feeling purified and relieved and is more appreciative of everything than before. A bit of suffering reminds one of how to appreciate and how to be content which is necessary for a healthy life. Consider all the rich people in the world that have money to buy whatever they wish but finding no content in their lives. That is because getting what they want is always at their fingertips minus the denial. Thus it becomes a routine for them. Ramadan offers a break from the monotony of routine in life; relationships, habits. It is a time to reflect and reset. A reminder to go back to the humble roots is required every now and then and that is when Ramadan holds its meaning and importance.

The end of Ramadan, the completion of the 30 day fast is celebrated with a scrumptious meal shared with near and dear ones after the Eid prayers. I call Ramadan a 30 day training period which strengthens us spiritually, morally and physically.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Genie and The Man

A man was walking along a California beach and stumbled across an old lamp.  He picked it up and rubbed it and out popped a genie!

The genie said, "OK.  You released me from the lamp, blah, blah blah. This is the fourth time this month and I'm getting a little sick of these wishes.  So you can forget about getting three wishes.  You only get one wish.

The man sat down on the beach and thought about it for awhile.  Then he said, "I've always wanted to go to Hawaii; but I'm scared to fly and I get very seasick.   Could you build me a bridge to Hawaii so that I can drive over there to visit?"

The genie laughed and said, "That's impossible!  Think of the logistics of that!   How would the supports ever reach the bottom of the Pacific?  Think of how much concrete... how much steel...!  No. Think of another wish."

The man tried to think of another wish.  Finally, he said, "I've been married and divorced several times.  My wives always said that I don't care and that I'm insensitive.  So I wish that I could understand women... know how they feel inside and what they're thinking when they give me the silent treatment...know why they're crying...know what they really want when they say, 'Nothing'...know how to make them truly happy...."

The genie said, "You want that bridge two lanes or four?"

Joke by anonymous but one of my favorites. photo from getty images

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pastor's Ass: a joke

A pastor wanted to raise money for his church. He was told that a fortune could be made in horse races so he decided to purchase one and enter it in the races. At the local auction, however, the going price for a horse was so high that he ended up buying a donkey instead.

He figured since he had it, he might as well go ahead and enter it in the race, and to his surprise the donkey came in third. The next day the local paper carried the headline: "Pastor's Ass Shows."
The pastor was so pleased with the donkey that he entered it in the race again, and this time it won! The local paper read: "Pastor's Ass Out Front."
The bishop was so upset with this kind of publicity that he ordered the pastor not to enter the donkey in another race. The next day, the local paper read: "Bishop Scratches Pastor's Ass".
This was too much for the Bishop, so he ordered the pastor to get rid of the donkey. The pastor decided to give it to a nun in a nearby convent. The local paper, hearing the news, posted this headline the next day: "Nun Has Best Ass in Town."
The bishop fainted. He informed the nun that she would have to get rid of the donkey, so she sold it to a farmer for ten dollars. The next day, the paper read: "Nun Sells Ass For $10.00."

After the bishop was revived, he ordered the nun to buy back the donkey and lead it to the plains where it could run wild. The next day the headlines read: "Nun Announces Her Ass Is Wild and Free".
The bishop was buried the next day.

 . . . being concerned about public opinion can bring you much grief and misery, even shorten your life.

**Be yourself and enjoy life.

**Stop worrying about everyone else's ass and you'll be a lot happier and live longer!

Credit: Joke is by anonymous 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Say It While It Matters

If someone ever does any good for you or impacts your life, or future, you should find the time and means to say at least 'Thank You' and to do it genuinely. You don't need riches to convey a simple 'thank you' or 'sorry' or 'I love you'. Ones that do good for you are genuine people and they understand a genuine word of gratitude. If you can't say it, then act it. Act in a manner that yells gratitude. After all the aim should be to let the person KNOW you are grateful for what they have done.

Its' useless to say thank you to someone or admit to their help long after they are gone. If you dedicate a poem, a book or a column honoring them its' good for you as you take the load off your chest but its' nothing to the dead person because he will never know that you are eulogizing him. Put yourself in those shoes and think how nice it would have been if you were thanked and appreciated for the good you did for so and so. It would indeed feel so satisfying and beyond words, great!!!

So if you mean to say 'thank you' then just say it when it really matters. Showing appreciation and gratitude afterwards is like saying thank you to the white walls where the picture of your benefactor hangs in your mind but in reality it is nothing but just white walls......

Saturday, July 30, 2011

My Faithful Partner

The stars so quiet
so splendid
as our friendship seems to be.
Inconsiderate and dominant
unpretentious and generous
is my one and only true companion,
who shares my sorrows,
my fears, my troubles equally.
So faithful is my friend
at times it seems untrue;
One who knows my thoughts,
my heart
'Will never betray, has never betrayed.'
the motto of my admirer's life.
A desire so improper
sleeps and wakes
but my mind, I cannot tame.
O! For once taste infidelity!!
Nay--Am I too notorious
or too generous a lover?
A single day, a single moment
cannot be,
without my beloved here with me.
In light and in dark
through thick and thin
my pursuer stays with me.
Together we sit, together we stand
together we see.
In dark moonless nights
accross the romantic fire,
a fire feeding wicked warmth,
gentle yet wild flames play in eachother's eyes.
O how it burns me at times
when the hurt becomes intolerable
I tell my lover,
'Leave me !!-----forever!!'
If only my immortal partner,
my Past,
would get up and leave me forever,


Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Bear and The Lions

A group of lions living on the plains of Africa roamed the land in pure grace and pride. On the plain all animals lived in pretentious harmony. The lions had no pretense about them. They showed off and roared fiercely at one another and at any animal within vicinity. This group of aggressive lions was respected and feared by all. But the group itself tried to outdo each other in ferocity.

Daily these lions roared, each trying to sound fiercer and louder. But the practice of show-off soon lost all appeal and became mundane.
In contrast, the clever bear from the green mountains far-far away would come out once awhile during the year, hunt for berries or salmon and then go back into hibernation. But he would be feared, respected and applauded by all creatures for his choice of meal and his sharp shiny claws that he used for his kill...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Distribution

Once upon a time there lived a God fearing King who wanted his poverty stricken subjects to be fed during the recent famine. He asked his counsel to arrange for all the poor to come to his kingdom where grains would be distributed amongst them. The King was shocked to see a large number of people come. He worried about an even distribution and who could take responsibility over the daunting job. An announcement was made as to who could distribute the food amongst the poor in a manner like God. The King’s advisor volunteered to do the job and told the king it will be taken care of diligently.

After a couple of hours the king's advisor came back and told the king that the work was done and that all the subjects received their portion of grain. The king was dumb-founded over the swiftness of the distribution and immediately doubted the advisor. He ordered for the advisor to be interrogated.

When questioned, the advisor replied, “I did it like you ordered. You wanted the distribution to be done exactly how God would have done it.”
The king nodded his head but still wanted to know how come it took so little time.
The advisor explained, “Well, I gave full cups of grain to some, to some I gave half a cup, and then to others I gave a few grains….just like how God distributes wealth and food…

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Light and The Bud

Bits of light, through window and creaks
claim their way
to flirt with flowers dry.
The solitary bud
unfortunate to exist, laments
'Don't tease me dear,
as did with friends here near,
lest I shall die
with hopes go dry.
Are you the same
that embraced this vase
giving vigour and life;
My friends
full of color, humming tunes
cosy to bees and butterflies.
Now they exist, as things of the Past
a waste in the Present,
with dust saddled upon them.
I see particles lift,
through your golden apparel
light they seem
but burden my memories
and the by-gone lives
as dust falls upon dust...

photo by rgbimg

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

The message/lecture by Randy is such a life-changer. Your view(s) on life will change guaranteed!!! Please pass the message on.

photo from google

Friday, July 1, 2011

How Did I Do It???

I wonder at my incompetence…. For the past week I have been eating myself up alive. I deleted all of my son’s birth photos and other precious moments of his first 3 months over a year ago and realized my mistake only now. I had a back up on a flash drive which was a faulty drive that I threw away when I moved to my new house in March, thinking I had a back-up on a CD. I had a back up for EVERYTHING except my son’s birth pics and his first 3 months!!! Unbelievable!!!! Unbelievable!!!!
I have been cursing myself every since realizing my fault. I have run a recovery software with my fingers crossed hoping to come across a snapshot but nothing turned up. The worst part is, I have always cut and pasted my pictures onto other media so pictures I had deleted showed up under the recovery software but none of the pictures I had cut and pasted showed up. Therefore there is no hope what so ever to recover my son’s precious moments. I am a total IDIOT and cannot forgive myself. I am grateful to God for my sons and pray for their health and life. May they outlive me, be healthy, wise, responsible, religious and be my shade in my old age and pray for my forgiveness to God when I am long gone. Amen

Sunday, June 26, 2011


After the pompous ceremonies ended and life returned to normal, the villager who used to be just ‘a villager’ but now ‘the’ villager realized that nothing much had changed in his home and his surroundings every since he left. Despite his fate being altered, the fate of the village remained stagnant. His neighbors left and right, were still fighting with members of his family. There were treacherous plots and tricks played against each other. There was a constant tacit and ostentatious competition of outdoing one another. To make matters worse, he saw how his nephews and nieces were encouraged to throw stones and sticks at the neighbors’ house in retaliation for their efforts of the same nature. Some rich bigots in another remote yet much advanced village were also adding to internal problems at his home. They were interested in the land his gardens and home sat upon. So even they would raise hue and cry accusing his entire household of muddying their waters. The aim was to annoy and have each household busy in these dirty games while they devised ways to take the land.
The villager was now an experienced man, a man that spent a life learning valuable practical lessons which he wanted to exhibit in these strenuous situations. So he built a tall wall around his home that made it impossible for the neighbors to eavesdrop, watch and even throw stones at them. Life became peaceful for a few days till the villager’s elder brother came home and saw the newly built wall. He immediately ordered the wall to be demolished. His second brother had a different opinion. He suggested the wall should remain half-way so that the neighbors heard and saw things going around and would burn in envious flames over their prosperity. The argument soon became a heated debate which turned into an ugly quagmire. His older brother was a bully and by default won every argument in the home. In matter of hours, the wall was taken down to much dismay of the villager who had spent a good portion of his hard earned money on the finances of the wall. With the wall gone, the arguments inside and outside his home continued and escalated to violence at times.
Time was passing by and each day seemed worse than the previous. Despite the valuable lessons and rich experience, the villager could not fix the problems at home and in the neighborhood. He remained in a state of confusion and disappointment. In his despair, he would curse ‘Every man’s friend’ for having such a nice peaceful, neat and orderly house with manicured gardens. He cursed everybody in that house for following the book of rules and living peacefully there. He compared the two freedoms; at his home and at ‘Every man’s friend’s house. The inhabitants of ‘Every man’s friend’s house obeyed the book of rules, worked hard and were paid accordingly; to them THAT was life, THAT was freedom. They never cared what ‘Every man’s friend’ himself did. While the inhabitants in his home had a different kind of freedom; no regard for any book of rules. Every person was fighting for himself. He became depressed and turned to religion for he believed in God’s Mercy.

He prayed day and night for a miracle to happen. He didn’t know how and what could fix the problems at home but he prayed; first for one miracle and then for more miracles as one wasn’t enough. God had other plans for him and with time he developed an ailment that led to a heart attack and eventually his death.
The villager was buried and people went back to their homes. His soul enters a line where other souls are awaiting their one-on-one meeting with God to account for their deeds. The villager hears shrieks of agony and sees most of the souls are sent through the left door instead of the right. Very few are sent through the right door. The villager is worried and as his turn nears, he wishes he could have done something useful while he was alive.

Finally it is his turn to meet God. God asks him what he did that was most remarkable. He replies that he prayed; he looked after his parents; and he never lied. God says that these acts were commendable indeed but that they were compulsory, mandatory acts. The man is puzzled and wonders if all that he did were mandatory acts. God asks him about charity; if he ever gave some of his time, money, a good deed, a good word, an advice?

The villager remembers how he spent all his youth in pursuit of making tons of money; how he never had time for charitable acts as he tried to rush his chores and prepare for the next day. As he shakes his head in the negative, he remembers how he tried fixing the problems back home; maybe that could be regarded as charity he thought. God again says that it was his duty. God asks him for one last time if he has done anything commendable that hasn’t been mandatory. The villager humbly replies, “I have always believed. I am a believer in Your Mercy…” God smiles and lets him pass through.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Once a man decided to change his fate. So he packed up his bag and left to visit a renowned man named ‘Every man’s friend’ who lived on the very top of the highest mountain. With dreams galore, the man bid farewell to his family and friends and went off on his expedition. He had prayed for a smooth journey, which God blessed him with.

After a few days he reached at ‘Every man’s friend’s house. He was greeted and welcomed without pomp compared to the ceremony given to just about anybody back home upon an arrival. ‘Every man’s friend’ handed him a book of rules that he was to abide by and then he left. ‘Every man’s friend’ had told him that if he followed these rules, he could live a trouble free life. The villager took the book graciously and immediately his eyes started to wander about in all directions studying the order and neatness of the place. The house was impeccably clean; things in neat order. Just then another member of the house nudged the villager and quietly reminded him to pick up his bag that he had thrown in a corner of the house. He obliged and immediately picked up his bag. The villager stood for a while hoping someone would show him his room or any other accommodation but no one helped him. He wasn’t offered any food or drink either. He started to think about his family in the village down on the plains far away. Tears swelled in his eyes as he remembered how his mother refused to eat without him. He reminisced how he dismissed his meals for being plain and not great; how he would get up and leave in anger while his hungry mother would rush the plate after him begging him to eat. He now started to see miniscule things he had otherwise overlooked back home. He missed his family more than ever.

Time passed and he had become accustomed to sleeping on the floor and working hard for his food. His food was not great but good enough to fill his stomach. His bed was not soft but good enough for him to rest at night. The book he was given upon his arrival was like a sacred book which he followed dutifully. Every now or then when he failed to follow a rule of the house, he would be reprimanded. In moods of despair he would start comparing his freedom back home to the slavery at ‘Every man’s friend’s house. He hated toiling so hard. Yet he managed to pull himself through these challenges. Soon his hardships started to ease with time. He moved from the corridor to a room; and purchased things for himself. He started to explore with leisure the surroundings in and about the house. He took lots of pictures of flowers, trees, the manicured lawns, the birds, the crockery of the house, the other inhabitants of the house and so on. He wanted to cherish his memories.

A couple of years passed. The man had become accustomed to eating a stomach-full. Every now and then he chanced to see other villagers that had come with the hopes of changing their fate. He would join them and spend some time in their company. They would lament on the present day affairs and how things could have been better. And like him in the beginning, they would curse this new house for its inhospitality and cold yet solid rules. Soon the villager too started talking about ‘this’ house; he never considered it his own despite living in it for so long. He would recall his hardships. He too would rant about the house, its rules and how things were unfair. Despite these rants, he continued living in the house and hoped that his loved ones would join him there soon……
Some time passed and the villager then decided it was time to go back home. So he packed up his bags and returned home. be continued......

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Buying Organic Foods vs Conventional Foods

If possible try to buy the following fruits and vegetables organic in order to avoid the residue of pesticides on and inside the fruits and vegetables.

The dirty dozen list:

1. Apples
2. Celery
3. Strawberries
4. Peaches
5. Spinach
6. Imported nectarines
7. Imported grapes
8. Sweet bell peppers
9. Potatoes
10. Domestic blueberries
11. Lettuce
12. Kale/collard greens

The Enviromental Working Group also lists the "Clean 15," or that rank lowest in pesticide residues. These are:
1. Onions
2. Sweet Corn
3. Pineapples
4. Avocado
5. Asparagus
6. Sweet peas
7. Mangoes
8. Eggplant
9. Domestic cantaloupe
10. Kiwi
11. Cabbage
12. Watermelon
13. Sweet Potatoes
14. Grapefruit
15. Mushrooms

Would you like a mouthful of pesticides with your peach? If you’re eating non-organic peaches, that’s what you may well be getting. According to the 2011 edition of Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides, the majority of conventional peaches contain two or more pesticide residues; in fact, peaches as a group rack up a combination of up to 57 separate pesticides. Pesticides can be extremely toxic to human health and the environment. Both U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormone system disruption and IQ deficits among children.
Each year Environmental Working Group analyzes nearly 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the USDA and the FDA to determine what fruits and vegetables contain the highest (the “Dirty Dozen”) and lowest (the “Clean 15″) amounts of chemical residue. The information is presented in a handy shopper’s guide. I love this list, it is so practical and puts the ability to eat safely in everybody’s hands. It’s a brilliant workaround.
Shoppers can use the list in two ways:
• If you are unable to buy organic produce, for whatever reason, avoid the Dirty Dozen and instead opt for the Clean 15.
• If you can buy limited organic produce, purchase organically-grown items from the Dirty Dozen, and continue buying non-organic selections from the Clean 15.
Of course, in a perfect place we wouldn’t be contending with pesticides at all – but given this wonky world, at least we have some tools to help navigate around the n-methyl carbamates and organophosphate pesticides. (Did you know that some of the most commonly used pesticides today were originally derived from nerve gasses developed during World War II? Fun fact. Ugh.)
Anyway, by avoiding the 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables, you can lower your pesticide consumption by nearly 92 percent.


Monday, June 13, 2011

Little Secrets

We all by nature are curious beings; monsters feeding on information. The hunger for gossip and tales to pass the time is kneaded in our clay. We all chew on the bits of information we get from the media, neighbor or stranger we meet somewhere.
Every person tries to be discrete when it comes to oneself. Secrets are our necklaces that adorn our being and are rarely shared with all. But at times, the burden of these numerous necklaces strain our mental capacities. Thus varying degrees of secrets exists with everyone; not necessarily are they “skeletons in the closet” but some are just little and harmless secrets….all are used for our benefits.
The amount of secrecy one holds depends on ones sagacity and need; Secrets cease to be secrets once they are disclosed to someone. Yet again the few trusted people may continue to shield the secret; your secret. But honestly, where can you find such people? I am yet to see a person safeguard another’s secret. The best I see in people is the disclosure of a secret without assigning a name to it or making a disclaimer. Again a tactic of gossip….
As mentioned, all people with disregard to demographics, have secrets; some ugly, some harmless yet precious that remain a protective entity within ourselves. All secrets stem from certain insecurities we have. We experience something sour ourselves or witness a humiliating episode of another which exaggerates the need of more secrecy and privacy. Yet in the advances made in life towards modernism, secrecy and privacy have become extinct and the need of it has become a luxury not everyone can afford.
While we chat with friends and relatives who start divulging in the facts of a recent disclosure of events we wear a semblance of good nature and empathy while at the same time, avoid using ourselves as an example in a particular yet similar situation. So even though an experience within the same situation exists, we choose not to bring it up for fear that we may appear equally stupid or worthless or a failure as the person currently being discussed. Some wise people have found a way around it by using a third person approach, a detached view or indirect encounter to the core of the matter and it has worked.
Keeping secrets for a long time or for most of the time can drive one insane. Therefore a catharsis is necessary. But do it wisely. Choose your audience carefully. Only time tested people ranging from your parents, siblings to certain friends or people whom are trusted sources that are armor-tough against temptations to disclose your secrets or discuss you.
It has always been wise to discuss some things with someone you don’t come across often. Discuss something with ones that do not stand in your way in any regard or with someone not competing against you or with someone that is a perfect stranger and doesn’t know any of the characters you discuss but you. Such conversation will naturally go in your favor, which will make you feel good as you empty your load of secrets. Feeling good afterwards is important. After all your machinery needs the necessary amount of cooling to function normally till the next urgent episode of unloading secrets……

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mother Teresa's Pearls of Wisdom


People are often unreasonable
irrational and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse
you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some
unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere
people may deceive you;
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating
others could destroy overnight;
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
some may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

he good you do today,
will often be forgotten;
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have,
and it may never be enough;
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis,
It is between you and God;
It was never between you and them anyway.


  • "Peace begins with a smile.."
  • "I know God won't give me anything I can't handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."
  • "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."
  •  "Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing."
  •  "Live simply so others may simply live."
  •  "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."
  • "God doesn't require us to succeed, he only requires that you try" .
  • "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family."
  • "The most terrible poverty is loneliness, and the feeling of being unloved."
  •  "I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples."
  • "We know only too well that what we are doing is nothing more than a drop in the ocean. But if the drop were not there, the ocean would be missing something."
  • "May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." 
  • "The person who gives with a smile is the best giver because God loves a cheerful giver." 
  • "If you can't feed a hundred people, feed just one." 
  • "Work without love is slavery."

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Little Girl Within

She sat on the curb of the walkway
with elbows resting on knees
and head pedestalled on her elbows.
She looked straight ahead as cars
in a rainbow of colors zoomed by.
She sat drenched in water as it rained.
Was this downpour a punishment
or was it a mercy hiding her pain?
Should she get up and get away
but where could she go??

She continued her straightway stare,
Busy people crossed the street.
Do they see her or care?
Some did glance her way
but rushed onwards their way
with not even a single word to say..
Just then she is splashed with messy water
as the car sped away.
She didn't care,
she was soaked in water anyways
a few more drops didn't matter.

She continued staring and looked above,
at the glaring billboard,
It showed promises, happy faces,embraces and fragrances,
Where can she find all this? she murmurs.
She wonders if she buys; the same
dress, fragrance and purse
will it make her so special
so happy and hip...??

Just then the picture changes,
a new series of pretty faces, laughter, love, exotic places
light up the billboard.
Its another world, not this one....she mumbles.
She argues with herself, for this or for that
And the billboard changes again...

There is so much noise
she wonders if it's the outside or within
It's cold and its's raining
Is this rain a punishment or is it a mercy?
She continues looking straight ahead...

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Man for All Seasons: Malcolm X

I recently watched Malcolm X. At the end of the movie, there are real images and videos of the real Malcolm X. There was something surreal about him and his life. I was so moved when I saw the movie and while I write this piece, I continue to think about him. Equally impressive was Malcolm's portrayal by Denzel Washington in the movie.

Malcolm X's life was no less than a Hollywood movie; no wonder it was made into a Hollywood movie. Born on 19th of May 1925, Malcolm Little bounced from one foster home to another and soon was involved in a series of different crimes as he grew into a young man. Malcolm Little later became the influential El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز‎).
He was a gifted and lucid speaker which is a reason why so many people connected with him. He became a follower of the Nation of Islam whilst in jail. He continued to represent the Nation of Islam for a decade even after his release from prison. But tensions grew between Malcolm and Elijah Mohammad, the leader of Nation of Islam. These tensions were a result of the double life lead by Elijah Mohammad. When Malcolm investigated and finally confronted an unapologetic Elijah Mohammad, he immediately withdrew his support and publicly announced his decision of withdrawal and reservations over the Nation of Islam. To explore, straighten and strengthen his belief of the religion Islam, he travelled to Middle East and then Mecca for pilgrimage; Hajj. His revelations about Islam and the effects it had on him was beautifully written in his letters to his wife Betty Shabazz.

One cannot ignore his journey and achievements. He founded Muslim Mosque, Inc a religious organization, and the secular Organization of Afro-American Unity, which advocated Pan-Africanism. Once he revealed the true teachings of Islam, he became an avowed enemy of Elijah Mohammad and the Nation of Islam who eventually succeeded in killing him.

He did not have a twisted psyche as some claim. He was not wicked nor did he preach hate. He looked for an identity and a voice for the Black during a time when the Black were oppressed. His tragedy is, he was misled; by the false message and teachings of the Nation of Islam. Once he spotted the dual message and practises of its leader Elijah, he re-thought his own role and quickly disassociated himself with the whole ideology, and re-invented a message, identity and voice for the Black for a brief moment, as his life was cut short; a heavy price he paid with his own life. Had his life not been cut short, he may have changed the course of history. I cannot forget that charismatic personality and beautiful, heart captivating smile of Malcolm X as shown in the clips after the movie. There was something ethereal about him; he had magic, charisma, grace and a wonderful personality.

It is verily true that special people, ones that are loved and held dear to our hearts, are the ones that are plucked early. We know their worth once they are gone. His assassination was cruel; he may be gone physically but the legend of Malcolm X continues to live...May he rest in peace and be rewarded with eternal bliss. Amen

If you haven't watched the movie 'Malcolm X', watch it and you will be inspired like I was!!

Source: Wikipedia and Malcolm X (the movie)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waving Hello and Goodbye

You came like a tornado,
swept me like a hurricane;
So don't say good-bye
because you never said hello.

Its nothing new,
the thunder, the storm, the torrents,
all centuries, centuries, old tales.
Time teaches: 'whither not'.
So here I am immuned....
How much dryness more
can the sun
inflict upon the desert???

PHOTO CREDIT: Google images