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......
8/15/10

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

Writing

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.

Photo from calledtocolombia.org

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.

Moral:
 . . . 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 and is one of my all time favorites. Photo is from google.com

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......

photo from afamousartist.com