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

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

The following points are based on my personal observation and experience. I may also include quotes that I come across from different sources that I like very much.

  • Love your enemies, it drives them nuts!!
  • Every moment is an ideal moment. Don't waste it. Make the best out of it before Time flies away.
  • The nature of lies is to please. Lies are tasty. While Truth is bitter and often treated as a joke.
  • You will never reach your destination in time if you stop to throw stones at every dog that barks at you.
  • It's always better to accept the fact that you are not appreciated, than to insist yourself to someone who never sees your worth.
  • "A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? " Anonymous
  • Never give a curious person what he wants. Always keep him on his toes and let him guess. The more unpredictable you are, the more tired they become at guessing your next move!!
  • You need to change your habits once awhile and do the unusual so that nobody is able to calculate your next answer or move.
  • Never trust anyone with your secrets. Chances are, they will be disclosed. How can you blame other people of spilling your secrets when you yourself disclosed them to another?? In other words, keep your own lid tight!!
  • Silence is a power, a force that people interpret differently. It is often misunderstood. Silence can be a sign of weakness or a sign of strength; silence can be a 'yes' or a 'no'. Silence makes a person appear extremely dignified. It is an unmistaken sign of patience and sagacity...a quality that only the best exhibit in the most difficult situation...
  • Let people howl. If something needs to be done, just do it....

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Circle

Long ago before the Circle had a smooth round shape, the Lord had given it a rough shape with sharp edges and angles. Every day among the different shapes; the Square and the Circle, both friends, would talk about their daily excursions and the subtle experience they had along the way to the fields.

Then came a time when the Circle and Square started to compete with each other. They each wanted to out-do the other. In an attempt to reach earlier to the fields, the Circle would get up early and go out. On its way to the fields, the Circle would always have time to greet and chat along with other friends and shapes as it would stumble and fall along the way. Sometimes the Circle would come along new things in its path and it would take the time to acquaint itself with the various things. Soon the Circle realized that its pals were awaiting its arrival on the given route daily. They always took the time to wave, smile, explore, admire and appreciate each other and the surroundings. But there was one problem. The Square always reached ahead to the fields than the Circle. The reason was, the Square didn’t have as many sharp edges and angles as the Circle. So its stroll was always less edgy and faster than the Circle’s.

Frustrated at its failure to beat its pal, the Circle lamented to God about its shape. The Lord listened patiently and after hearing the Circle, said, “I will change your shape. I will give you a round shape so that you have no edges and no angles. But once I make this change, it will stay. Therefore I want you to think one more time before your wish is granted.”

The Circle went back home and thought about its state. It thought about all the good things that were to follow once its wish was granted. The next day, on its way back from the fields the Lord asked the Circle if it still wanted the wish. The Circle replied in the affirmative and so the Lord granted the wish.

The following day the Circle woke up and saw it had no edges, no angles but was round and smooth. The best day of my life, thought the Circle. It started rolling and was faster than it thought it would be. Off to the fields it rolled and before the Circle realized, it was there!! It finally beat its friend to the fields. The Circle didn’t believe it. The Square came an hour later and was amazed at the Circle’s transformation and the newly acquired ability of traveling faster than itself. But the Square wasn’t bothered about it. It continued being nice, helpful and happy.

Days past by and the Circle became used to its transformation and all the fastness associated with it. Now it seemed mundane. And now it started seeing things differently. It would reach the fields faster, and had to wait for its pal the Square. Waiting was boring. It realized that with its ability to roll faster, it missed out on enjoying Nature that it once did when it was slow. It realized that the little things it once stumbled upon are now over-looked or missed because of its speed. It realized that its fastness was causing it not to chat with friends and how it was causing a distance between its friends. Soon there was no one to wave to and no one to chat with. The Circle couldn’t slow down even if it wanted to and say hello or wave to its friends on the way. It realized that there was beauty in taking time to do things.

The Circle didn’t want to miss the subtle things anymore and wanted to slow down, so it asked the Lord for help. The Lord reminded it had given the Circle ample time to think about it and promised it wouldn’t ask for the wish to be undone. The Circle remembered its promise and therefore it accepted its roundness with a heavy heart.

photo by google

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Silent Killers of Man: Part One

Tile vs Carpet vs Hardwood Floor:
After purchasing a new home 2 months ago, I thought of removing the old carpet and upgrade to either tile or hardwood flooring. The options were tremendous and so were the prices!! With a meager budget, I narrowed down my choice to buying something eco-friendly and safe with minimal effect on indoor air quality. But to buy something healthy, one has to pay a hefty price!! So with each option ranging from tile, to carpet, to wood, I was surprised to read about the harmful effects that each may have depending on the make and quality.

The main categories for Tiles are: ceramic, porcelain, vinyl, cork, travertine, marble, granite. The price range was different with each type of tile from $2.99 to $7 and up, per square foot. The factors in the selection process for me were: Price, quality, health (indoor air quality), the type of backing to be used under the tile, adhesives and workmanship involved. With ceramic and porcelain tiles I had to make sure it didn’t have lead, bromine etc. I couldn’t find any maker that claimed in writing that their product had no lead in their tiles. I called some companies and they verbally promised their product was lead free which wasn’t a good answer for me (till I saw it in writing!!). Some companies were nice enough to give me the specifications to their product which after reviewing for a particular tile I would be interested in, I would find that the specs indicated a very slight, a miniscule of lead present in the tile. Now imagine if each tile had a miniscule of lead present in it, how much of it would be present collectively over a wide square footage area!!! Besides when (a) tile was to be removed, the dust released would be extremely dangerous for those around the area as it would contain lead!!!!
So I dropped the idea of ceramic and porcelain as I have small kids. I moved on to carpeting. Since carpets are made from petroleum by-products, they let out VOCs unless you use wool carpet which is out of my budget. Off-gassing will likely continue for some time. Dust mites, and other allergens were also taken under consideration. To read more on carpets, the VOCs in carpets, and other related questions visit:http://www.carpet-rug.org/about-cri/what-is-cri/frequently-asked-questions.cfm

I moved on to travertine, marble or granite which I am still exploring. But I also entertained the idea of hardwood flooring. Laminate is out of question because of the formaldehyde issues.
But for hardwood flooring you have to be careful too. Is pure wood better than engineered wood? Engineered wood uses layers of wood and each layer is glued by formaldehyde. In that case you have to make sure it has an E0 or E1 rating, a rating developed by EU which is used to measure the amount of formaldehyde leaked into the air by off-gassing. For a detail explanation on the formaldehyde issue and the ratings and what else to look out for, please visit: http://learn.builddirect.com/flooring-info/health/formaldehyde-emissions/

I promise these sites are helpful for the health-conscience!!!

As for my flooring, I am still leaning towards hardwood floor vs travertine and marble. Hardwood floor increases home value in the long run. It can be healthy especially if I choose to use floating rather than glue or nailing it down. Any suggestions??

My Wish For You


You make me happy;
in return
There's nothing more I can give but
a boquet of kind words,
a wish wrapped around you wherever you go...
I wish you never fall, but if you do
I wish to be of some comfort to you,
to be your sleep and soothe you,
to be a drink that quenches your misery,
to be your strength and give you victory,
to be a tune that keeps you alight.
I wish you simple yet plenty of joy
that lasts you and your loved ones.
I wish you all the good we know.
I wish you all you wish for.
May you be always happy, healthy and content.
May my love find you wherever you go,
May every joy be yours, the sky, the stars, the universe, the Heavens......

November 2010

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Woman that Kisses our Pain Away

“To understand your parents' love you must raise children yourself.”
Chinese Proverb

Parents understand children even before they utter a word. They are the only beings on earth that will accept you as you are. There is no pretense in their love.

While both parents are assinged different duties by nature, it is a mother who cuddles us and spreads her wings of love around us. We don’t realize our mother’s hardships and sleepless nights during the nine months she carried us. We don’t realize how she left her breakfast, lunch and dinner cold to attend to our hunger. We don’t realize how many times she woke up in the middle of the night to watch us go back to sleep peacefully and then get ready for the tough challenges of the next day.
Every day should be Mother’s Day. A woman should be thanked for the different roles she plays for the betterment of mankind, the many facets she has. A mother should be appreciated for the daily Herculean tasks she completes that otherwise look so easy to men and the rest of the family. A mother should be thanked and appreciated daily not just on one day dubbed Mother’s Day. Our lives are in order because of this woman, this mother, this wife,this sister, this partner.

If you want to give something special to your mother or the mother of your kids, show some gratitude and appreciation for the daily efforts she puts into everything that brings out the best in everyone and everything. That one thought alone will mean a lot to her; to know that you appreciate her for all the untold miseries, hardships and challenges she went through day in and out just to bring a smile on your face….

Remember to forgive her if she didn't turn out to be the best; wasn't there when you needed her, wanted her, because in the many roles a mother plays, constant pressure(s) may impede and destroy her priorities for which she must not be blamed. She has after all, given birth to you, a pain that she underwent for restless hours.

Mom I love you and acknowledge your every effort...Thank you for being in my life. Happy Mother’s day to you!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Bride of Sorrow

Delicate, easy and ethereal
cladded in white silk
heavy ornaments of gold and diamonds
abundant had she.
All so unrealistic, deeply untrue
Nothing as magnetic, so powerful
full of message
were those shy, intimidated tears
....the real jewels.
Sparkling tears
incessantly trickled down,
graced her nature;
Tears, her bridal present
gifted to her by Fate
She carried faithfully her whole life.
When she left
bequethed she her tears,
to ones that cared.
She, the bride wedded to Sorrow destroyed so.

Awaited she guests of Honor
but knocked at her door
acquaintances of betrayal.
The sky was dark and so dusty always
like hail came her injury and misfortune.
She pecked the pelted ice drops
but was frozen all instead.
Time when helped her,
...had melted her
The world had frozen in indifference.
Afoot the sea
she could skip, could dance
The sea could not have drowned her,
she drowned in her sighs and grief.
She the bride of Sorrow, destroyed so.

With Beauty yet her rival
the bride, then a woman
the rarest bloomed ever
with sweet frangrance unmatched
wished and tried
in branches a nest
to nestle her little ones.
In a stone house she lived,
a city-like crowded house.
Never a nest she had
the thunder and storms not of Nature but of Man
were thieves of her dream.

With dreams she lived,
with Hope she survived.
Like castles built on the beach
washed away by the waves,
her every goodness found no way,
her existance so under valued.
"Like flies to wanton boys,"
was she to people
They tortured her for their interests...
July 1998

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Telling Sweet Lies

Why are people obsessed with telling lies? Why do they choose to cover the truth with a lie or a series of lies?

I fail to understand why this is the most practised sin. People of all intellects find it easy to hide under sheets of "lies" and excuses. Is it comforting? Does it give them a good after-feeling? Is it the anecdote for a hurt image?

I never had the problem to swallow my pride and cough up the truth when required. I expect that as a norm with everyone. I guess it is not....

Telling the truth and living by it, simplifies the life one lives. It untangles messes and although it appears that truth damages relationships in the short term, it saves us in the long term.

There is beauty in truth.
As Keats rightly said,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Soup Served: Bin Laden is Dead

I am under a strange cloud of feelings. As a human being I don't celebrate anyone's death whether a muslim or non-muslim. As I read different reactions to the debacle of the killing of Osama, I understand how it has effected everyone on the globe.

Personally I believe Osama has done no good to the very religion he held dear; Islam. He has blotted the name of Islam and has caused it to become a much hated religion in present times. Muslims living in non-muslim countries find it hard to practise their beliefs as the religion has become tarnished by the actions of the extremist elements. Osama did nothing but harm Islam and carried out his murderous raids in the name of religion. He certainly cannot be considered a hero of the religion.

I remember how my boss, a Christian started hating me after 9/11. He had lost a close relative in one of the Twin Towers. He would forward to the entire company all the hate emails that he would receive about muslims and immigrants. The irony is, he himself was a second or third generation American. But his rage continued. To end the harassment, I resigned. Today I am sure he received his justice like many and was compensated for what he went through. But when will I get my compensation for the hate and the harassment?? I too suffered and continue to do so mentally. There is no end in sight because of the rotten image Islam has been given thanks to Bin Laden.

Bin Laden has changed the world in many aspects. Among them,he has changed the aviation safety rules. Those annoying delays, pat downs, head to toe screenings at airports have his footprints. Those free unchecked entries into buildings are gone. What can and cannot be carried into high traffic areas such as the bottled water, beverages, mobile phone, cameras, purses, backpacks, hats etc. all have his name on it.

Of all the comments I read, I love the one issued by the Vatican. Below is an excerpt:

"Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden will have to answer to God for having killed many people and exploiting religion to spread hate, the Vatican said."

Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said that while Christians "do not rejoice" over a death, it serves to remind them of "each person's responsibility before God and men".

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Search for an Audience

I am fairly new to blogging. I have been emailing, writing in different newspapers, composing my own poetry and prose, and posting stuff on facebook and its pages/groups. But then I thought it was time for adding a new dimension to the idea of sharing one's art and passion for writing via blogspot.

Now the quest has begun to look for new faces, ie new readers and the opinions they may have. It is a whole new experience and I have started loving it already. The very idea that I may find someone new is like finding a long lost friend. I hope the reader will connect with me through my writings and I hope to form a bond of respect with them too.

So happy reading and please do visit my blog time and again as I continue to add more and more to it.

photo from google.com