Monday, April 30, 2012

Back to the scribble-board !!

Yes, I was away !! Away as in not in some soul searching mystic journey to realize "man's search for meaning" a.l.a Eric Berne !! I was away coz I was lost.. I was waiting and watching !! Just like a mouse waiting for the pet cat to run off to its bowl of milk, before making its sprint to the crumbs lying a few feet away !! Maybe not realizing that the our Mr. pet-home-cat might just be too fat to lunge at the rat !! Same situation !! I was waiting for something to run off to its bowl of milk !! I am not sure what but it was that might have appeared as frightful to the mouse as the house cat !! 

The wait did have it's own moments of triumphs !! It gave a lot of time to lose up on precious things just to know what it felt like to lose them !! At times its like watching myself on television 

I guess I am still in limbo after all !! Well one thing for sure as of now .. I don't believe in the tooth-fairy at the bottom of the garden anymore .. no more Santa-Claus for me anymore.. I would have loved to believe in the rotund personality bringing gifts for obedient children, but then the monstrosity of reason devours my ignorance at all once and the meek naked me feels the cold bite of the wintry wind.. making me curling my torso into a fetal self-embrace... Guess that's how it feels to be in limbo after all !!  

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I was there .. I saw it .. the cracks, the rumbling, the ominous drill, the rubble dust , the grit, the perspiration.
I was there, I saw it, the falling , the demolition, the tumbling, the crushing of concrete onto each other to create the cloud of despair.
I was there, I saw it … the tears, the out-stretched hands, the hopeful eyes looking for their loved ones, hoping to come out of the haze.
I was there, I saw it .. the void, the nothingness, the reality that sunk with a shearing pain, knowing that the loved ones are finally not coming out of the dissipating cloudy haven of hope
I was there and as I looked, A tiny flower sticking it head out from the mayhem, looking out at the chaos, unknowingly and that’s when I finally saw it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Prepare for Awesomeness !!

A sleepy Sunday, I got a call from one of my childhood friends with an invite of sorts to a school reunion of sorts. Social obligations made me go out in the depressing monsoon weather, to meet strangers whom I had not been in touch ever, except for occasional pass-through each other’s lives.
A hesitant me, agreed to watch the recently released movie, “Kung Fu Panda”, with them. The last day disaster with the movie “Hancock” was not exactly acting as an aphrodisiac for this movie. Yet as with me, I couldn’t help shelling out the money for the tickets, though with a heavy heart.
Let me describe the movie in one word, fanta-bulous. Well this is not my style of telling a story (I usually build up, suppressing the climax till the very end), but then the movie was indeed a great one. Like others of its kind, the movie was well-made, hilarious and tailor-made for all generations alike. Yet like others of its kind, it had strong messages. This is what I love about these movies. Directed towards toddlers, subliminal messages do go a long way in character formation and development.
On a lighter note, back to the story. Set in the typical pop-corny Hongkong style Chinese settings, the settings itself had me in splits from the word go. In the first scene itself, the panda goes on a rampage and saves a lot of people. The peasants overpowered by his “sheer awesomeness” want to repay his kindness, the kung fu panda replies, “Awesomeness can’t be repaid, and neither can attractiveness” :))
The panda character played by Jack Black is one of the most adorable ever made on screen, the last one being little penguin chick in “Happy feet”. Girls couldn’t help go gaga over the picturisation of the character, the fact well established by one female spectator sitting just behind me. Quite annoying at times, still she managed to prove this well enough that Po was “Awww so damnnnn Cutteeee” :)
Message no 1: Dream big
A noodle vendor by profession, Po couldn’t help dream big. He always imagines himself as the great warrior feared and revered by all.
Each one of us is molded by our environment and circumstances, yet few dare to think beyond their limits. Middle-Class breeds middle class. Yet people like Dhirubhai can embrace their dreams to the extent of realizing them.
As Po’s father tells him,”Broth flows in our veins!!”, situations and circumstances favor our accepting our status quo in life.
Message no – 2: Accidents never happen
The message was harped repeatedly in the movie. Maybe my tryst with my friends and finally landing up to watch the movie was no accident after all. JJ
Something similar to mine, though not as miniscule in magnitude, the panda finds himself thrust in the middle of things with the master turtle declaring him as the dragon warrior and a very mean bad guy destined to get free from a high security prison (guarded by rather cute rhinos) and trying to create havoc with the peace of the land.
Po struggles to get in terms with the co-incidence that had just happened. A singularity that runs through each of us, leads us to our fate. Our choices make us realize them sooner or later. Being afraid to accept new challenges may change the way fate has destined things for us.
Like you can say that world would have very different had the Axis powers would have won the Second World War. But for one thing the world would still have existed.
Message 3: Always believe in yourself and never quit
Quoting from the Alchemist (though not verbatim), as we near our dreams, that's when most of the hindrances arise. Po, by chance or fortune, became what he wanted. Yet almost everyone else didn’t believe in him. Situation was such that the most optimal solution would have been to quit and be the same noodleir that he always was.
Moreover his countenance was not apt for the kind of role he was chosen for. A fat blobby panda was not exactly the idea of what a dragon warrior should look like. The monkey says,” he can’t even look at his own toes” shows the magnamity of discrepancy.
Yet Po believed in himself. He believed in everything that fate had bestowed on him.
Like he says to his master, “” I am doing this because I don’t want to be me.”
He was beaten, bashed, abused, ridiculed and yet in all his cuteness, Po never quit. As his master said, ’He just wouldn’t quit!!”
Message 4: There is no secret recipe
There was never a secret recipe. There is no fountain of youth. There is no elixir to life. There is no Santa Claus. Yet everyone likes to believe in them. A way to show what is elusive, of what you don’t believe to be within you. The panda didn’t have any magical powers, nether he got any when he received the dragon scroll.
Yet he realized that whatever needs to be done has to be done by oneself. There are no divine interventions or lucky preludes. Accepting it is the best way to realize oneself. Po did and became the greatest kung fu master that ever was.
Master 5: Keep it simple stupid :)

Like the mention in the sub-title of my blog, life is simple and so are we. Great are those who enjoy the simplicities of life without trying to twist it with their own machinations.
Enjoying life’s little pleasures made Po all so special. A simple panda who became extraordinary and managed to achieve his dreams by being what he really was.

Simple ….. isn’t it??
(BTW I have a cute Kung Fu Panda action figure adorning my table- thanks to a McDonald's Happy Meal :))

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Dark Angel

Scene 1
Thus Allah took a ball of fire in His hands. Anyone who would have dared to look in His eyes discernable enough, would have marked His look to be that of an expectant father .With the same mirth and nervous joyousness, he threw this shining blaze. In a matter of furlough emptiness, the entire heaven broke into a pandemonium of light. Everything submerged into a vast chasm of light. Then as onlookers watched spellbound, the heavens returned to its normal hue of brilliance.
There in Allah’s hands was the most beautiful creature heaven’s had ever laid eyes upon. In the likeness of Allah Himself, it was the perfect example of His great Lord’s umpteenth glory. Allah held the small angel in His arms with the care of a first time father and said aloud to the entire “kayanat” (existing reality),
“Thou shalt be closest to me,
Though not surrounded in an aura of light, thou shall be an awakener, a harbinger in making my creations realize the meaning of their very existence
O my son, thou shalt ever be known as Lucifer, the bringer of light”
Scene 2
As the angel years matured with the amount of goodness and lessening of turpitude in the universe, all the little angels gave up their frolicking ways and grew up.
(FYI: Time is mere consequence of one reason of existence on earth. Humans are born with the motive to die, hence time for them is measured in years, while on the other hand Angels are born with the motive to keep Allah’s universe in balance, hence with increase in goodness, their years mature, or so the angels thought )
Lucifer had grown to be the brightest of all angels. Had the angels known envy, he would have taken most of the venom of hatred and jealousy from the others of his race. Yet that jealousy and hatred were vices unheard of in the race of the divines. A fine young angel, his nearness to the Lord was well-known to one and all, even in the other divine races that were destined to the free will
(FYI: Allah created three races to exist in harmony. Two were immortal as their existence in the universe was derived in creating balance namely the Angels and the Jihns. The third race was yet to be created that of the mortals. Even though not divine, this race was to play a major role in the bigger scheme of events. Out of these mortals, only the Humans were destined to form of the community of free will, others being the angels and the jihns “Free will” was Allah’s way of maintaining balance in the universe. These three races were to form pivots in the entire frame of esistence)
The day of the anointment finally arrived. Lucifer was dressed in the brightest of all dresses. His face shown was glowing with the same warmth as the smokeless fire that made him. They all stood in line with their heads bowed before the Lord. Their love for Allah was as unquestionable, pure as oneness with Allah Himself.
Then Allah laid His hand over Lucifer, for Lucifer was the chosen one. Not a word was spoken, yet every angel knew in its heart that Lucifer was now Archangel Lucifer, in more human terms, the crown prince of the entire “kayanat”
Yet again for the ones who could dare to look Allah in His eye could see a certain sadness, a gloom of a father whose son was about to leave him and go far away. Then as He watched over his aziz (closest/dearest), He glanced but once at the angel standing next to Lucifer, the small ball of goodness, Gabriel.
Scene 3
“Why did you call me father?” Lucifer asked the Lord, ”You seem to be sad. Do you consider me worthy enough to tell me the reason?”
“Do you know the purpose of your existence?” The Lord said to Lucifer.
“Same as the other angel’s, father!! My sole reason for existence is to serve my Lord and obey the divine orders. As the archangel I will lead the others to your glory and be ready to be played by you in the Grand Order of the Divinity!!!”
“You are right, my son! You are absolutely right, alas; the way for you is different.”
“How much do you love me??” Allah asked
Lucifer was dumbfounded.. Never in his entire existence had he expected to hear a question from his father. In fact never had he thought to be ever so close to the Almighty. But now he was before Him and He was asking Lucifer himself.
“I don’t know, father!!” was all that he could muster.
I know, son! I have felt the love in your soul for me! I have felt the love for I have put it there for a specific purpose!! You are the best, Lucifer, for I have made you such! Your purpose in life is more than that of the angel kin!!
Being of the Free Will I am going to give you a choice!! You have to decide which path shall you take and that shall decide how the universe would know you!”
“I am there at your service, father! I am ready to do what it takes to keep up your glory till the reality lasts.”
“Now listen carefully, son! You have to take eternal upon you. You will never see the realm of the angels and thou shall ever be condemned to the depths of the hell! Thou shall not be a archangel anymore”
“What did I do, father that I am condemned to this fate?” asked young Lucifer, aghast, not at his fate but at the sight of tears in Allah’s eyes.
Tears rolling down from his eyes, “The universe needs balance! The angels maintain the good in this universe. That’s better but that’s not balance. ”
“I am creating a new race. A race of mortals, who will form the most important part of all my creations. Mortals, who would be the missing pivot in the society of free will. Free will and weakness would stand in their way of gaining immortality. They will be weak.”
“They will forget the way to immortality, their sole purpose of existence. Lucifer, You have to make sure that they can never forget their purpose.”
“How can I do that, father?” asked Lucifer, still in amazement at the very turn of events.
“The day I make the first mortal, would be your last day in heaven. Alas it would be just a few days that the mortals would themselves get to stay at the place that I have made for them.”
“ They will be banished just like you, that will form the purpose of their life, their choices can only provide them a way back to the place that I have set aside for them in heaven. “ Choices that would maintain the balance of the entire universe. Choices, that would come to him hard and you, my son, would be responsible for that.
“Lucifer, O my favorite son, you would have to stay between the humans, invisible to the mortal eye. You have to give him choicest of choices, to tempt the mortal mind to take up the wrong ones. ”
“You are to claim the souls of the people who get tempted, who make the wrong choices and then it is up to you to take them into your realm and cleanse their souls for their final redemption. The day that they can come back to me and be with me in my very one-ness”
“Hence by I give you the chance to be the opposite of what I am, be everything what cannot be conceived about me. Reality and reason cannot encompass that I am everything. I am good and evil too. I am be all and end all of everything single entity and non-entities of the eternity. Not even the divines can make out what I deem to do, MY PURPOSE, THE ULTIMATE PURPOSE!!”
Are you ready to do this son, for that would entail your eternal banishment!
“I am ready father” Lucifer’s eyes had started shining as brightly as the light he was supposed to bring.
Scene 4
And then Allah created Adam!!! Humanity was a source of wonder for all the divines. Never before had they ever heard of such a creature as the Human. The newest member of the Free Will community, he was puny except for the unlikely resemblance to ……. The lord himself
Everyone was aghast for this blasphemous act except for the fact that Allah Himself had done the crime. Everyone was amazed and confused at the intention behind creating such a creature. Everyone stared in awe as Allah took a bit of clay in his hand and made his own likeliness. He called it Adam.
Adam, the would-be father to all humanity, stood before all the divines oblivious to his nakedness. He stood there marveling at the sights before him. The divines were not even sure about his mental prowess to understand his whereabouts.
The angels and the Jinns murmured discontent. Lucifer walked around the new creation, a strange look upon his face seeing this frailty yet modeled in the likeliness of the most powerful entity, his father.
Then the Lord shouted out aloud to the onlookers, “This is Adam, the human! He is the missing piece to the entirety. The third pivot to the world of causality. Modeled in my likeliness, I want all of you to bow before him, for thou shalt bow before the lord who shall have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, in other words everything that is mortal.”
Suddenly Lucifer felt something in him that he had never felt before in his entire period of existence. He was never to bow before anyone except the Lord, and now the Lord himself asketh him to bow before a flimsy entity
Suddenly his inner voice spoke through and before he realized, he spoke forth,” Father, I am not!!”
“Angels are we, and we bow before no one except before the Lord himself. And I am Lucifer, the keeper of the faith of the Lord, the archangel besotted with the love for the one. I refuse to bow before someone who can hardly stand before a whiff of my breath.”
“You speak the truth, O dear Archangel, Lucifer!” whispered a few angels, so very fearful of Allah’s wrath!
The skies darkened as Allah stood up from his throne,”Thou dare to disobey me! I made you to be the guardians of what is good in this universe and you dare to bring self love in your soul. And you, Lucifer, you have let me down. ”
“Be Gone forever, Lucifer, you are not fit to be part of my heavenly countenance. Thou are an archangel no more, for thou have befouled my rule.”
Everyone watched in awe and a little bit of sadness as the beautiful Lucifer was thrown out of the gates of heaven, never to return. Everyone though shocked at the blasphemous act of Lucifer, felt remorse at the loss the shining star that shone ever so brightly in heaven. They all knew that heavenly abode of the angels won’t be the same again.
Lucifer walked out of the realms of the heaven to look back just once. He had just walked through the gates of light, gates in which he had shined the brightest and now the same gates were never to be opened for him. Yet he was strangely happy, even though he knew that from now on till the Day of Judgment, everyone in the universe would loathe him as the person who had dared to question the Lord himself. He knew that he was to wander all through eternity between heaven and hell.
Yet he was happy, for his was the greatest sacrifice that could ever be thought of, in the farthest corners of His mightiness’s creation
Of all the inhabitants of the inferno, none but Lucifer knows that hell is hell, and the secret function of purgatory is to make of heaven an effective reality.”
Arnold Bernett

Thursday, April 19, 2007

"God" Encounters !!!!

My first memories of God stem from the times when I was a kid. My earliest memories are that of watching my father go through the well practiced motions of standing, bowing down and then finally prostrating himself. He used to go through the same motions during each session and I still remember watching him in awe as if he was doing a trapeze act.
Each session end would mean some time spent with him. Some time when I could play with him. Time, which was scarce for me always. I never used to understand what he was doing, but nevertheless I was always in awe of the awesome ordeal that my father performed each day without fail. Then slowly as I grew, I came to know what the entire rigmarole of actions meant.
My next encounter with divinity was when I was a bit older. The festival of Eid always was special to me. It was a time when Ammi would be preparing “sewaiyan” and moreover it was a time when we would be getting Eidi, a monetary compensation after coming back from the Eid prayers.
Then came the hard times. The spring of 1999 saw my father being diagnosed with tumor of the brain. Then it was all hell broke loose for me and my family. That was the time, my inner echelons of the minds started questioning the existence of a superior power. Someone deep inside me was telling that the entire concept of God was a farce. There was this God-fearing man offering his allegiance before the Almighty five times daily. Abiding with all the rules set by the so called higher powers all his life. All through my childhood I had seen the man go through the motions of “namaaz” and here I was watching this man lying paralyzed on his deathbed hearing the ominous knells of the oncoming death.
All that went in my yet to be matured mind was, “why had it happen to us?” My values never incurred inflicting harm to anyone for personal gains. My father was a harmless man himself. In fact he was the person people used to turn to complete their unfinished business regarding the retirement. A good friend, a decent father, a docile husband to sum it all, a pretty average man and he was subjected to this heart wrenching ordeal. All I could ask was “Why him? Why us?”
After months of being bed-ridden, it was the spring of April, 2000 that my father finally went to his final calling. And I had not one tear to shed. I was in fact relieved that he was freed from the frailties’ of the mortal body. But still the question lingered. Now the question has lost its vagueness and replaced by some hard hitting tangibles.
“If there was an Allah, then nothing like that would have happened to us” In short nothing like that existed. The day I got the question, I got the answer. I went to my mother and told her that I no longer believed in the phenomenon called God. I expected hysteria; the reply I got was more than what I had expected. All my mother had to say was” your faith is just your faith. I will pray to God that He keeps up your faith in Him.”
Things started to sort out and finally my family saw the light through the haze. After the storm, like true survivors, we set up picking the pieces of whatever was left and started building a new life.
Well as I went through the process of becoming a man, I could feel the presence of a power near me. A power, that came into play whenever I needed help. An unseen force, that would never leave my side whenever I needed it. And it was not coincidental. In the beginning I was in the state of self denial making me the dog that I was, and not being able to realize the coyote in me (refer to self denial, coyotes and dogs). I was alone fighting it out all by myself in the big bad world, fatherless, with my arthritic mother and a very distant sister all engrossed in her own personal world and yet I never used to feel alone. That sense of a higher presence was always there with me. Suddenly I had the confidence to take on the world. For I knew that wherever I would be needing any guidance, the next person would turn and help me out of the situation. Somewhere there would always be a bhaiya (brother), Uncle or dost (friend) who would turn up mysteriously and help me out whenever I needed it.
It need not be any physical help. Sometimes mired in my own problems, I was looking to have some answers. Trust me when I say that the answers come. And they come from the minutest nooks and crannies from where you could never expect them to come. Some person who would be the least bothered to speak to you would suddenly come up with the answer and suddenly you felt in the tangibility of that power all the more.
In the same fashion, slowly I came out of the phase of self denial and started addressing the power. I started to speak to it. Somehow it never replied. But I was sure that it was there. I tested the power day in and out. Now with realization, at times of difficulty I would look around for the power to act. Just standing and looking around for some mysterious benefactor to come and bail me out. And that was exactly what didn’t happen. Somehow the force never seemed to act unless I tackled the problem myself. It was as if when I took one step the power took two steps ahead of me, waiting for me round the sharp unseen bend with the answer in hand.
Though the force was always there to help me out, I could never take it for granted. Whenever I was a loud mouth and a brash brat, I found myself all alone. It was as if, it was there standing next to me, yet not doing anything. Watching me face the brunt of failure, silently, with discomfiture but with knowing eyes. Eyes that meant to teach me, to guard me, guide me and yet to reprimand me too. It wanted me to be humble. It wanted me to realize the virtues of being rooted to ones modesty. And slowly I realized. The realization was huge and jolting too. The realization was slow and yet when it happened it was shocking.
I gave a name to the power. I call it “Allah”. When I realized, I prayed, I cried. The only way to pray that I knew was to offer namaaz. Not because of my religion but because my mortal body won’t accept any other forms of praying. Maybe my Muslim upbringing didn’t allow it. I prayed hard and I prayed long. I asked Him for forgiveness. All the time He was there with me, He was there filling up the space that my father had left in my life. He had made me His son, and all the while like the proverbial prodigal son, I was never able to realize this.
Somehow I saw a vision. I saw a toddler. And I saw a father. Father left his son to take his first steps. The toddler is made to stand on its feet and then suddenly, the father leaves the child’s hand. The child is afraid. It thinks that it is alone. Yet his father is always there. Now the toddler seeing no other support, takes a few steps all by itself, wobbles, falls and then again tries to stand up and walk and all under the watchful eyes of his father.
How I wish I could realize that earlier? Maybe it was again His way to make me what I am today. Now when I call myself the son of God ( Benei Elohim) people may not understand. It might bring smiles to some faces. Well I don’t expect them to. A son of God need not be a messiah. A son of God need not bring in a new religion. A son of God need not show miracles. A son of God is one who believes that Allah is more than an divine entity. He trusts in him and moreover he dares to call the divinity his father.
Now when I pray, even in a crowded mosque, as I go through the repeated motions of namaaz, suddenly I am all oblivious to my surroundings. I really don’t know whether it is forced or my mind somehow conjures up everything, all I know that somehow I am transported into a huge palatial room. Somehow through the corner of my eyes I can see gold plated walls and then I see a pair of feet. A white robe hides them partly and they are standing before me. I never dare to look up. And I see myself in tatters. I see myself as a beggar, asking for alms before a rich man. The rich man, the king is standing before me being the true beggar I am, somehow I dare not lift my head and see the person. I just bow my head and ask for alms from the king. The vision comes and goes in a flash and suddenly I am back in the mosque. Even through the vision is aeriform, startlingly it leaves me a humble person. It makes me realize that we all are beggars before a higher power asking for alms.
You may not believe in any of the stuff that I have written. After all this is supposed to be my blog. But haven’t you felt the same force around you. Haven’t you felt as if someone is keeping a watch over you?
As you walk down a street, haven’t you seen an unknown person looking at you in a very knowing fashion? It is the same knowing glance that if analyzed properly can startle one. I am not talking about the gaping sort. Nor of the ogling types. Somehow I feel that these are the guardian angels assigned to take care of me. The nankeer and munkeer’s, the quintessentially present angels that every Muslim offers his respect to during the course of the prayers ( ever noted the oft repeated turning of the heads to the shoulders by the actors in the movies that marked the end of the prayers) They are always there with us and trust me they can come up to you in any shape or sizes. ( I guess some people agree with me for there are some Hollywood movies about these things e.g. City of the Angels. Trust me I have not drawn my ideas from any of them )

Just trust in them. For when I see one, I just smile at them.

I know. Well they also know that I know … for they smile back.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A tender look, A passing glance, a slight drooping of eyelids,
A wink, A twitch of the eyelashes .. anything to let me know what you feel for me.

Is it too much to ask for?

A sweet smile, A few loving words, A cute making of faces with your mouth.

Anything to let me know that you care for me.

Is it too much to ask for?

A beat in your heart,
A place in your thoughts,
A role in your dreams,
The air in your breath,
A lifetime with me,
A death in your lap;

Anything to let me know that you will be mine forever

Is it too much to ask for?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Randomness galore, blurring realities …..
A walk down the thought lane ….. mired in haze …
Plethora of emotions, spitted on the walls….
Nothing legible , yet spiky , long lost reasons still ranting , “Encore” !
A zigzag of contemplations, all in this fuzziness… all in this maze.
Tired of this randomness, tired of being the spittoon
Tired of searching through the labyrinth
The tiny twig called hope, somewhere, raising its heard through the crack
Brave enough to live in the ruin(s)
Want to ride the snake, seven miles length
Want a refuge in sanity, want to get back on the guillotine !!