Friday, December 31, 2004

This world has changed forever

The Dice has rolled.

2004 is a year like never before, at least in my observation. Mark this year for when the destiny of the world and its people has changed forever.

Has anyone else noted...? This year, like in no other year before, I have seen many, many people meeting themselves for the first time. This year, like in no other year before this year, I have seen the humanity - as a whole, wherever it may be - questioning itself. This year, like in no other year before this destiny-changing year, I have seen the lives of many change forever.

This year was a hard year for the good people. This year was a blinding, odd year for the not-so-good, but could they see? Did they hear the wind blow, and the ocean rage? Did they feel the earth move? Forces of nature which have changed forever?

I heard in a CNN report that the Asian tsunami has made the Earth tilt an inch on its axis and "caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or millionths of a second, faster." Who cares an inch about that. I said to my father, "This is one of the events we've been warned about." And he said, "Ah, God forgive us! Those poor people who go this way compensate for the wrongs of us all." I said, "Yes, Papa. When a system goes bad, some factions suffer more quickly and visibly than others - the rest just do not know they have suffered too."

But you know what? There is another thing I know. On results day in school, it were those who never studied or prepared or gave a damn otherwise who fretted, plotted strategies, carved excuses. The ones who did study well and worked hard and right in the exam calmly waited for the triumph to be announced, fearing only in their heart how well did they match up against the toughest competitor. There used to be a clique of "good students" in school (and fortunately I was part of it) who worried about how good they got, and there was a disparate set of "bad students" whose only concern was to somehow manage to get through. Each were a world apart.

I remember the teachers would gently chide a good student for fretting too much during exams and on the results day, at the same time expecting them to beat themselves to the top.

So is the case of believers and non-believers today. God is gently separating the two through a series of tests. He must chide the believers for worrying, yet expecting them to worry, but not about being wronged by a just God, but worry about never ever getting on the wrong side so close to when the exams are beginning.

The final exams have begun. May the next year bring the good people more wisdom, peace, and reinforcement within their dwindling numbers. May the evil or the wrong in those of us who are struggling with us never prevail. May we see only as long and as much of this world as will do us good - and if the times are to change more violently, may we remain staunch and steadfast on the right side or be gone before we can't.

New Year Wish

All my life, I have been told that I will do great things. Everyone told me there was something special about me, that I was like no one else they had ever seen, and that I will achieve great heights.

I do not even know what great heights are, but I know that there are many who believe I will do something extraordinary. I do not know yet what my calling is, but I know it's calling already... and that I have no choice but to answer it.

Today, I walked a lot, here and there. Each step that I took, I asked myself: follow my dream? Or not follow my dream? I do not even know what my dream is.

I just have a clear feeling that I want to help, and to make things better. And that I do not want to see anyone suffer. What a stupid unachievable goal this is. What do I want? Where do I want to be?

I know. I want to inspire personal greatness in people. I want to help people see the good in themselves. I want to reach them, and touch their lives to turn them for the better. I do not want anyone to ever wilt in sorrow or hopelessness. I want to take everyone's pain and replace it with the love, courage, and faith I have in an endless supply. I just have this crazy, impossible dream that takes me from place to place...

For this new year, I just have one wish: I want the Universe to conspire in my favor. I want the eternity to change to accomodate the realization of my dream. And I want the order of things to make room fo rmy ill-fitting wishes.


Thursday, December 30, 2004

Life calling: Where's the pilgrim?

I saw a Smirnoff Vodka ad the other day. The tagline went: "Life is calling. Where are you?"

I went quiet. Life is calling, where am I? I think I am a pilgrim in search of life? I think I read that everyone's in a state of sleep and then one day they will wake up? I think I heard that the world is a delusion; so then what is life and where is real life, and when it's calling, where am I?

This is too much thinking and very little doing. Life is done, not thought. Life is a verb, it's not a noun.

The ad showed a street full of bizarre, theatrical characters, calling out to a man in an apartment to GET OUT. He was apparantly in dreary conditions. A similar series of Nokia ads show men in boring setting - and suddenly cinematic/ circus character pop up around them.

Very funny. Very, very clever too. The bloody ads hit the modern person where it hurts most: the desire to lead a free, fulfilling life. It is amazing how many people I meet every day, every day, who think there is life out there which is better than their own life. In fact they think they have no life, and they want someone else's life, without realizing that "someone else" vies for their life! I have met women of beauty, and men of wealth and tremendous intelligence, and they are all weary of what they have. I am disturbed to hear them - so much so that I am suspicious of my own life. Is this life? Or can it become something else?

A few days ago, I thought I woke up. And I saw that life is pretty simple. Just keep doing the right things in our immediate surroundings,... and that's pretty much it. Keep the five senses alive, and note the tastes, colors, sounds, smells, sights.... never lose the sense of wonder and inquiry. We'd then be like children who have the feeling that the world lies ahead of them - and not like adults who think the world has come to stay.... and then they can't bear a change which occurs.

Finally, it helps if men and women understand one thing: nothing lasts forever. I have learnt that God's favorite people are thankful in good times, and patient in bad. What does God get from it? Nothing. What do we get from it? The understanding that this is life, right here, as it is, and no one is calling from anywhere outside but from within ourselves asking us to make the given situation better, and warning us ever so slightly that the good will not last forever, and giving us hope that the bad too shall pass!

Why am I not blogging?

Simply, because even I am afraid to read what I write. It is deeply disturbing. I thought my role in life is that of a disturber of order - otherwise known as a philospher. A Socratic philosopher, to be more precise. But this is a huge responsibility. First of all, I have to disturb myself, and be surrounded by fools who do not understand my condition. I am more than just a little sick of pandering to the wishes and norms of these cave-dwellers who have their backs turned towards the sun, and see only the shadows of what lies outside the cave. They think the shadows are real, but they are not. If only, they would turn arouund and look at the glowing sun of life!

A simpler reason is that I hate logging in to Now, I could have said that and that only. But I have to give a disturbing reason first!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Good day

I got a picture of a painting scripting "Allah" on my desktop. It's a reminder to start my day at work with Bismillah - name of Allah.

I did that, and read another dua which is supposed to being help and cooperation. I think it worked, Alhamdolillah. The person who cooperated most with me was myself. I had a good day.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Monkey shoot

I had a photo shoot today. No, let's call that an accidental photo shoot.

It was arranged for boss who didn't (want to) turn up. So I was like okay we have the works set up. And the photographer wanted to go back with something. And I was wearing this picture perfect serious-y corporate dress. And yes, it's a fantastic excuse... you can't make anyone do something they don't want to do, and I wanted to get a photo shoot for quite some time. Not really this serious corporate one, a more glam.

Anyway. It was a bit silly to do that thing on a fly, but I remembered my new lesson. Don't ever let an opportunity go. Don't ever! (If you do, manage to lose your memory.)

I was prepared. There came an opportunity. A formula says, luck = opportunity + preparation.

The pics looked fab in the digicam preview. Now I am waiting. And I've already thought of three places where I can use them!

How to be happy

Do not become.

Do not try.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Four billion years of faith

I used to live in a land where weathers were extreme. The summer scorched with sun's blazing fury, and the winter blistered with its icy chill. The rains were plenty, and they sometimes flooded the house.

Before rains were to come and the water was going to spread everywhere in the house, we rolled up their assets and put them on the shelf. And we calmly barricaded and cleansed out the water - knowing that it would nevertheless pervade. Our feet would be wet, but our belongings would be safe. We hoped that the water would never reach them. And that once the flooding rains were gone, everything would be the same. Until next season.

Last night, when the water reached my feet and I felt it was going to rise and stay for a while, I knew I could no longer keep my belongings on the flooding earth. I am not certain how high it will rise. I took my most precious assets - my heart - and entrusted it to God. He can safe-keep, until I can have it again, and He can have it again, and I can have it again.

Acts of faith are not easy, but they are part of the cycles of life. It is strange. For all eternity, humans have travelled towards an unknown future. What do we know? We only have theories of what lies ahead, and some stories and divinations that help along the way. What have we seen beyond this very second? Nothing. What do we have for the future? A little vision, and a tremendous amount of faith.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

People like me

I am afraid for the first time in life.
Afraid of myself, afraid of life, afraid of past, present, future.
I feel despair.

But beyond the end of every limit lies freedom. If it's not passion that drives us to go beyond that limit in a leap of courageous faith, it's despair.

People like me! Passionate people like me! Who lust for life... They are driven by these extremes. We mad, strange people on the edge of life. We who go miles before sleeping, and don't fear before leaping.

And yet the worst thing to fear is fear itself. Oh well. Good that I have seen this monster in a life time. And been among those people - the cynical, cold, weak people that I always wondered at - whose company has conjured up these demons. I will never return here. And never pity these people.

As always, I trust the God and my will to deliver me.

To faith! To undying trust in self!

One hundred years of solitude

For no reason, and for every reason, I want to write just that one line.

One hundred years of solitude.

If I write another, it will be

The unbearable lightness of being.

I hate literature. I hate, hate literature. And all art. How can in one line it capture so much?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Tension lenay ka nahi hai...

...denay ka hai!

[Loosely translated as: Dawnt take tenshun. Geeve tenshun.]

I read the Quran this morning. And ringing up God in the morning means trouble. I mean I am sure He's set the personalized ring tone of my calls to "trubble, trubble." Aaaaanyway. Since I was sleeping while reading and searching for an answer (weee-ird pilgrim!), I don't remember what He said about what's-going-on.

Why would He? I already know. Good friends don't waste time elaborating the obvious for us. I understood that He can't tell me more about that which I already know.

So I quickly came to the point: the will-You-be-there-when... question?

And He answered. From Surah Aal-e-Imran ("The Family of Imran"/"The House of Imran"), verses 139-143:

139. So do not become weak, nor be sad, and you will be superior if you are indeed (true) believers.
140. If a wound (and killing) has touched you, be sure a similar wound (and killing) has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allâh may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allâh likes not the Zâlimûn (wrong­doers).
141. And that Allâh may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.
142. Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allâh tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are As-Sâbirin (the patient ones, etc.)?
143. You did indeed wish for death (Ash­Shahâdah - martyrdom) before you met it. Now you have seen it openly with your own eyes.

I said, thanks for the answer, oh You reliable friend. I kissed the Quran, and thought immediately that the kissing bit was a little silly. One of those symbolic, gesture things I am always suspicious of. But who cares? I kissed again, a tad scandalously this time, and put it away. Then I went back to bed, put my head on my arm and slept in peace.

Monday, December 06, 2004

20Five: the 1/4 century blog

I am 25 today. I have seen twenty five years of life. A quarter of a century. What would some people not give to have twenty five years of relatively safe, warm, unharmed life - even if it were only as much?

If I were to be told to pack up today and leave, I will not have many regrets. I'd just make a silent wish that someone else carry on and finish my work, blow a kiss in the general direction of the ever-spinning Earth, and leave, laughing at my usual flustered hurry.
Coming, God! Hold that train! Oh no, I left my watch behind! Haha. Can I go back, and come back at a later moment? Your one moment and my lifetime, God?!

It's been an extraordinary life for a person in ordinary circumstances. Thanks to clear choice, to courage, to freedom! I am reading the novel Eleven Minutes today - still half way through - and read about Maria who listened to her passions and took the opportunities that came her way. She reasoned that this way she'd not regret what she, or others in her birth surroundings, did not do. After all, said Ally McBeal, people regret most what they do not do.

People sometimes ask me if I have any regrets about some of the very extraordinary and seemingly crazy things I have done. Such as throwing away secure, comfy job offers to the winds, and choosing a risky career path.

No, I do not have any regrets. Not today, when I am twenty five. Not today, when I have a sudden realization that my life would not be the same had I not seen the tribulations, challenges, and sorrows and pleasures, gifts, opportunities that I have.

I have loved things, people, moments, my life with a rare fervor. I have been dreaming in color - with music, lucid imagery, and a variety of stories... I dream tales out of Arabian Nights. I have very often lived on the dangerous edge. I have spurned the ordinary and the comfortable mundane. I have taken risks. I have touched dust and turned it into gold. And I have seen gold turn to dust and fly away... thus learning some of the most enduring lessons about the delicacy of this illusion called life.

God has shown me much pain. Most of it was my own, but even if it weren't, God gave me one of those hearts that cannot tell the difference. I am a citizen of the world, and connected to its joys and sorrows - and I feel everything. The mortality of worldly things often brings pain of its realization. I have learnt to accept it.

God also gave me glimpses of pure joy and delight. One clear winter night, in a cold city in the north, I lifted my head under the dark blue sky and saw a sheer halo of frost glistening under the full moon... a bird fluttered away through the halo. At another day in that same city, I ran to the roof after a heavy rain. Three rainbows spread their magnificent arcs over the skies.
Three rainbows! One arcing over the other... fading into the azure vastness of the sky...

In a life where seeing shooting stars on clear nights was taken for granted, God gave me the extra bit of profiles of paradise: I have seen, while traveling on a sleepy night train, a gigantic cloud miles away, flashing up with bolts of lightening. It was too distant – I saw the entire cloud but never heard the thunderous, terrifying clap. It was dark, and the cloud would occasionally light up like a giant nucleus…profiled over the backdrop of electronic bolts running through it, and then disappear in the night.

I thought I had seen God’s throne.

I have collected rainbow toned sea shells used in jewelry. I have been taken away by currents of the ocean (that I fear so much) and returned by the devilish, playful waves: frightful and excited! I have seen a frozen waterfall in one of the world’s most enchanting mountain ranges. I have heard enchanting music, often the product of my own imagination… playing in my mind. I have also chanced upon some of the best art in life.

My imagination has seen many things before my eyes saw them, and I was most proud when it was my hands and efforts that turned those dreams into reality.

But who could be happy to end life now on these experiential notes? These experiences came my way. What, then, have I given to life? Today, I heard someone tell me that I had inspired them to make their life as it is today (better than what it would have been otherwise). Frankly, there could have been no better birthday gift. To know that I have touched a few lives – or a few moments of many lives – and turned them for the better.

I was born with the gift of beauty, wealth, and intelligence. Many billions of souls strive all their lives to end where I began. Over the course of my life, I have done the very daring experience of giving it all back to life; risking, betting, renouncing, giving charitably away the gifts. While some were tremendous mistakes – I have more often been rewarded. And whenever God brought me to it, He brought me through it too.

My God has loved me generously. I have slept drained of spirit with my head in His lap when I thought the world had left me. I have secretly turned my head west-ward ever so often and whispered to Him to stand watching as I met imminent challenges or threats. I have been discussing my personal, professional, and philosophical life with Him during lunch and work hours, and in bed. I have blamed Him and fought with Him. I don’t worry when He x-rays my soul and tells it like it is. Like a watchful friend, He has often slapped me back onto the right path when I just, ever so little, began to err. At other times, He just stopped a step or two behind me and watched as I went about on my own. I often came back wearing one of those face expressions [:(]… and He gave me one of those smiles [:)]... His and mine has been the most enduring of relationships. The most reliable love affair. Oops! He minds my language sometimes, but I know in His secret chamber He laughs.

I have to go now and do the sleep thing. The sun of December the sixth, my official birth-day, has not yet risen (I have tampered the timestamp). It will rise shortly, and I will be ever so thankful for the twenty-five wonderful, adventurous, and beautiful years of my life.

And for family, friends, and strangers who made a beautiful life possible. I would never change a thing about myself or you, except my wish to make it better for you.

My love to this beautiful life!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Immortal with a kiss!

Helen of Troy: the face that launched a thousand ships. Link source:

Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss!

After many years of being quizzed by Rosen, I have learnt that these lines are not from Homer's Illiad after all, but from Christopher Marlowe's Dr Faustus.

Thank God of serendipity!

Divine Beauty

Blossom |©| Ramla A.

I have had an uneasy love affair with Hibiscus the flower all my life. It's one of the primary subjects in the study of botanical science. We grew up studying the "pollination & fertilization" of the flower, drawing its many pictures. I particularly got adept at drawing the five-petalled flower and its edgy leaves. Perhaps I have not drawn any other natural form so often and so regularly. Why, I always wondered, was I so drawn to the five-petalled flower form? It seemed uneven because of the number 5, and yet had a beautiful symmetry.

Then I learnt about the divine proportion, Phi, from my mathematical genius brother Umais. Phi, he told me, was the "golden ratio (1:1.67)," the most prevalent mathematical proportion in nature. It existed in shells, in flowers, in sun flowers... the ancients knew it. The golden ratio was used in Greek architecture among others. The best use I made of that information was to apply the ratio to many logos and graphics I designed.

I also related the ratio to Shakespeare's verses, structured in iambic pentameter. And to the most intriguingly attractive tiles in my home, the deep mahogany marble tiles in my parents' bathroom. And to Hibiscus the five-petalled flower.

I never quite liked its color, though I loved it divine shape. In April, my eye rested on a hisbiscus springing forth in a garden. I tried to capture its blossoming glory, springing forth from a quaint building in the background. A low resolution digital camera running low on memory led to a less than desired depth in the picture. I hope the depth that my imagination saw can now come from the background thought running in my head when I took this picture.

Note: The world has discovered about the graceful, mystical divine proportion now through the wildly popular The Da Vinci Code, a riveting book with a rather unsatiating end.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Blaze of Glory

Blaze of Glory |©| Ramla A.

Once Upon an Evening

Ascend to Darkening Heavens | © | Photo by Ramla A.

Trees: my absolute first love when it comes to choosing subjects for photography or sketching. I particularly love them in their nude wintery cloak.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


If you know my lust, you've got to know about my love.

Romeo is Dead

The Age of Romance is over.

I turned on a random TV show this morn, and caught Ally McBeal saying, "People are looking for love." Two days ago while I made one of those hushed-toned, cuddled-on-chair, eyes-on-computer and ears&lips-on-phone call to Tanushka, she told me that she had read the copy of Eleven Minutes I gifted to her.

"...and you know what he wrote? No one in the world is happy. Not politicians, not stars, not businessmen, no one. People just want love. People just need those eleven minutes of real, tangible love that they feel when they... make love. This is what Coelho says everyone looks for."

Interestingly, Paulo tells the tales most prevalent in classical literature. I think I had read The Alchemist's actual storyline several times before I actually read the book last month. So is the case with Eleven Minutes.

They say when you're true, you relate to most people. Paulo Coelho relates to the most pressing question of modern times, "What are we looking for? If it's love, after all, where do we find it?"

Worse, has the Age of Romanticism/Romance finally given way to the Age of Anxiety? Whatever the answer may be, but it seems that the Eleven Minutes for this couple are over for good.

Romeo, it seems, is dead.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Insiya has left the Building

Insiya has left the building.Insiya: that smile! So she's not coming to work any longer.

"Bad money drives out good money," was the astute observation of Thomas Gresham (1519–1579), financial agent of Queen Elizabeth I.

Over time, people have realized that this law can sometimes be summarised as: "Bad drives out good." But this is too depressing and even untruthful, isn't it? A more factual way of putting it would be: "The superficially good drive out the inherently good."
Insiya: rock, star, reporter!
Whatever. Here, have a bone. Enjoy this celebrity picture.

What? Who is she? Spears sistah?!

No people, she's our very own Inisya Syed - Pak rock chronicler and fuchah rockstar babe!

[Note: Requests for autographs not being entertained currently.]


Fishing the old books' market for tomes on art, I found four volumes from a series on great artists. Among other things, my take-away from those books that examined the master works for art students, was the study of perspective.

I have been fascinated with the idea for years since. I am a very amateur photographer at best, but I have turned ordinary pictures into the more fun-tastic images that inspire friends by using perspective.

The results have been beautiful, though perhaps not always technique-perfect. The pictures, which are most often portraits of people in natural surroundings, often get a depth of meaning as well as visual. Mostly the pictures thus taken are forlorn, ruminative, a bit saddening in a happy way.

'Getting a Perspective' |©| Photo by Ramla A.
I directed some of my bachelors graduation photography, and Umair produced wonderful results. I looked tall and graceful in the picture, towering like any proud graduate. And of course, the picture had a nostalgic value no less thanks to the addition of perspective. Given here is one of my attempts as getting a perspective. I must have a private laugh as I got more perspective eventually than I asked for.

All my heroes

Self Portrait, Van Gogh
And, indeed, Van Gogh's biography Lust for Life is what inspires this diary.

I loved Van Gogh for a long, long time for very personal reasons. There was a time when I perfectly understood why had he chopped his earlobe off, and presented it as a gift of love to one of his models... I thought those kinds of expressions of love with one's self and one's agitated mind made sense.

Then I heard a line in the song These Days of Bon Jovi. Jimmy Shoes, the suicidal hero of the song, jumps from a second-story window, "trying to learn to fly." To his mother who thought he was crazy for trying, Shoes says, "Don't you know that all my heroes died?"

I decided that moment that I will never follow a leader who died. But one who lived, and lived on.

Romance in the Library

An ardent follower of art during my teen years, I used to delight in learning about the vBritish Council (logo)arious art movements. I enjoyed the simple pleasure of leafing through books of art and losing al sense of time and spce to pictures of great paintings, (and modern jewely, my other passion), (etc. etc.) in the great British Council. British Council, by the way, had a quaint romantic charm for us at that time. It was the shrine to which the Cambridge system (GCSE) students made a regular pilgrimage. We quizzed some famous Siddiqui Saab about what the deuce did that exam have in store for us. Where shall we be, Siddiqui Saab, where shall we be?! The polite souls were always a source of great comfort. Sometimes, they brought worrying news...

A few of us enjoyed membership rights in the library. For me, that meant unlimited access to a world of art, culture, education. I read some of the most influential literature of my life there. While mostly immersed in works of art, I also got introduced to books of an eclectic variety. The most influential remain books on clinical psychology, a certain tome on serial killers that taught me valuable lessons about human psychology, gay & lesbian literature, adult fiction, British cultural movements, and engineering design. A book on helicopters and "flying machines" inspired me to viasualize structural design in 3-dimension. The habit stays. I can visualize with the accuracy of a autistic child.

I discovered the work of many an artist. Apart from Monet whose impressionist art pieces resonated deeply with my psyche (if I could paint a picture of what I see in my beautiful dreams, it'd be a work of Monet!), Van Gogh was the man I most closely related to. In fact, I can say he painted a better picture of some of my dreams at those times.

Monday, November 29, 2004


Just met Talib aka Tabby of Tezi Mandi, (literally, "Bulls & Bears") the live stock market update by Geo TV. We are both curious about the feedback on Tabby, since he's my find for the network as well as a fellow alum.
Talib Haider, host of 'Tezi Mandi,' Geo TV
Tabby has steadily formed a reputation as a solid guy. I take a quiet pride in this. In the flow of the conversation I remarked,
"It's better to build a character than show off a personality."

Tabby and I both thought instantly that we should write this down. So here's one to you, Talib! Go on!

Points of View

I put several theories to Aneeq, and we explored a few ideas. The theories were:

1/ There is no such thing as a "conflict."
1b/ There is no such thing as a conflict in the "real world." But if at least one of the parties is in a "false world," there will be unresolvable conflict.
1c/ There is no such thing in the real world as unresolvable conflict.
1d/ What the hell is the real world?!!

2/ There is no conflict between the Hindu theory of Oneness with God, and the Islamic belief.
2b/ Oneness with God is also a Sufi concept.

3/ There is no conflict between the agnostic theory, "that which is unknown is labelled God" and the teachings of Islam!

3b/ The known is the territory that man has reclaimed from God. Aneeq wondered at this point why God was declared dead? It is so that whenever man feels that there is no more to be known, he may declare God to be dead? I agreed. Interestingly, in the new world today, the proportion of the unknown/ the uncontrollable & uncontrolled/ the beyond/ the chaotic has dramatically risen with respect to the known/ the controllable & controlled/ the within/ the orderly. I wonder if this is the reason why people are increasingly turning back to systems of faith?

4/ Existentialism is philosophically close to Islam. It is also the essence of Sufi tradition. Aneeq thought that Sufism was contrary to Islam. I said "Sufi-ism" is, since there is no "-ism" in Islam. However, the Sufi tradition is what our (the average Urdu-literate Pakistani's) literature and general life learning is based on.
4b/ Sufi-ism is an oxymoron! And it's fairly moronic to label a self-effacing philosophy such as that of the Sufis, as an -ism. I think the very essence of the Sufi way is to tear off labels and prescriptions. It's about taking layers of status and personality and symbols off to reach one's real bare-skin self, which is part of the greater whole.

5/ Conflicting statements and stands can be resolved by adding in the missing link statement. This is the method we used in our discussion to resolve the conflict of statements 1-1c.

Near the end of our discussion, we relaxed into a discussion about language. And why one must learn to express themselves. I pointed out that using inaccurate language can give a false perception of our mind and personality. And then I said something I was able to word only last night: "Language is the map of the territory of mind."

We only agreed, and then parted to assemble and discuss again.

Let's talk!

Had an unscripted discussion with the host of program "Alif," Aneeq Ahmed, today. We started on a random note. I decided to ask him a lot of questions so I could learn more about him.

Aneeq Ahmed, host of 'Alif' (Geo TV) The conversation turned to religion, then steered off to conflict. This should be no surprise. I have a bit of a selfish interest in talking about theories of conflict. I have taken a particular interest in studying about the sources of conflict, conflict resolution, and conflict prevalence. I.e. why on earth does conflict still exist when we all know what creates it and how to resolve it. Are all humans some kind of pre-determined idiots hurling themselves towards disaster as a whole? If yes, I would enjoy being a bystanding philosopher and observing the fateful trajectory of this flight.

*Shrinking shoulders* Oops, I just said it!

Money money money money, money!

After a long-ranging love-affair with American Idol, I have found a new interest: The Apprentice. The show rocks.

I love the way Trump cuts the crap out. He demands clear thinking and hard decisions.

We get the show season-delayed here, so we're still on Season 1, week 10 here. I started watching through week 6 when the sweet Jessie Conners got fired. Her fault? Trump hated the way she was treated, but he thought the worse was the way she took it. From the website:
Jessie just let Omarosa ride roughshod over her. And, in the words of The Donald, took too much "crap." And for Donald Trump, not standing up for yourself is an even greater sin than being unprofessional. As Jessie began to plead for her spot, Donald fired her.

I was shocked to observe this. That learning came at a certain time when I was evaluating my own response to a particularly testing situation. I realized, worse than the tyranny of the situation was the way I took it. The Apprentice has become my favorite show since.

It's now Season 2, and The Apprentice has returned with more lessons for the aspirant business bunnies. I can't wait till I see the season 2 live in our part of the world!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Recipes from the wild

"Chef" as defined on this page is:
1} A very grumpy man or woman who is in charge of creating foods and food combinations.
2} One who has access to very large knives.

However, I'd like to describe myself as, "A culinary expert. The chief of the kitchen."
'Cafe Pisa' | Art by Ronda Ahrens
Here is testimony to my expertise.
I am an experimental chef. No two of the recipes are similar. This, of course, means that I have to experiment regularly with spices, mixing sequence, flavors, ingredients, flaming and cooking techniques, etc. Since I am very visual, ingredient mixing remains my top favorite. I love to bring out the colors and the smell.

Best of Experimentation

1/ The best oil that brings out vibrant colors and frees the taste and smell is the heavenly olive oil. Food just never tastes the same. The regular ghee or cooking oil available just greases over the flavor. Cook once in olive, and then the off-the-shelf cooking oil to know the difference.

2/ A large, sharp knife is a cook's best friend.

3/ Ketchup rocks! In traditional Pakistani food such as chicken karahi or keema masala, ketchup is the secret ingredient that bring on the lip-smacking flavor.

4/ Chicken, pineapple, and apple in orange sauce are T-A-N-G-Y! Oh, and don't forget the tomato. Brisk-fry all of these seperately in olive oil, and then combine.

5/ Not being predictable with food is a constant surprise to experimental people and those they treat. But, one must learn to respect the clock! The key may the next tip...

6/ Prepare only one type or class of food at one time. If you're going for Chinese, don't mix traditional Pakistani with that. If you're serving lavish food, don't change the mood by introducing something snacky. This will save time b/c techniques and ingredients in one type of cooking are the same - as well as ingredients in many cases. Also, the disgestive system respects dealing with only one kind of food at any given time.

7/ "Type" can be based on cooking technique, region, basic ingredients, (compatible) food class, etc.

Drink of the Season -Tea for Life:
1/ When cold 'n' flu strike you, try tea with a dash of ginger (adrak). You may have to deal with bile for a while, but it clears the nasal tract up. Ginger is very warming; do not try if flu is due to warm weather conditions.
2/ Profuse external bleeding can be plugged with a tea bag. Tea is highly moisture-absorbant. A goo
Cardamom, the heart-friendly relaxant spiced demonstration of how it dries the guts up! (Tip: A while after having tea, have at least three glasses of water to replenish the water lost from body.)
3/ Cardamom (ilaichi) is good for the heart. Drop one in a cup of tea when you're anxious or down.

This is all from the ExperiMENTAL Chef. Out for now!


I wandered off to my first and the most regular blog. (I do not post there any longer.Fly, fly away! |©| Artwork by Ramla A.)
I decided to read up on what was I doing and thinking exactly a year ago.

From November 28, 2003. An Exact Year Ago.

... the world gets colder & quieter. All warmth of life shrinks itself on a couch in front of imaginary fires. And people like me - out and away from all this warmth - shiver in the cold wide world. They say things shrink in winters. But I'll tell you what... the cold world expands. Engulfs.

I am alone.

[Written on the third day of Eid, when I went to work, and it was all deserted miles around.]

Random. A Year of Logging Life.
December, 2003: My name means "the Prophetess!"... I knew what was coming. ...if my prediction of what's still to come is true, I must be stuck in the longest, most painful, and funniest twisted destiny loop of the world... I have to figure out destiny still.
[Had got a literal prediction. I didn't follow it. Met a dead end in the garden of destiny as a result. I have enjoyed the art of divination and prophecy since, but I think it is left to the very wise. I read in The Alchemist that a wise persons sees destiny in everything - be those twigs or leaves of tea or stars...]

January, 2004: During the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, children are told stories to reinforce Jewish tradition and belief. Now this is an institution. Why can't some of our holidays be dedicated to this kind of sharing and education?
[Eids this year were bland 'n' sleepy as ever. I don't know what the kids think?]

February, 2003: Am thinking of Alice in Wonderland. The cat said, what road you take depends on where you want to go. Where do *I* want to go? Where do we all want to go?
[I am happy that I am very clear on this now. The destination is the dream of the strong-willed, who are destined to achieve their dream if they act on their will! ~*^*~ I must sound twisting like Lewis Carroll!]

March, 2003: "-ism's" are deadly to any concept of a universal humanity. What an oxymoron this word "sufism" is!
[I remain inspired by the Sufi school of thought... and of teaching by way of example. Interestingly, Dr Stephen Covey prefers example over prescription as a means of persuasion. In 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that is.]

So much has happened since! Wow! Life happens.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Sepia-toned Poetry

I have made up my mind. Poets who committed suicide are disturbing. Don't read them. They don't add value to life.

Sylvia Plath I have already renounced Sylvia Plath - who put her head in the oven at the age of 31. More often than once and by people in separated places, I had been told that my poetry is Plath-esque. When Ted Hughes published Birthday Letters shortly before his death in 1998, the affairs of Plath and Hughes' tragic relationship became a matter of public discussion again. That's when I first read about Plath... though I had one of her letters that deeply touched me... the one that talked of her building a bridge....

But let's not talk of letters of poets who died by way of suicide.

Except that I was upset that Paul Celan, who wrote the very haunting With a Variable Key - theme poem for The Piano, also killed himself by drowning in the Seine in April 1970. Celan's poetry is inspired by the Holocaust. It is not merely poetry, but a technique.

I would not be fond of poets who killed themselves. Their poetry drove them to it, and so can it drive the reader, not that I'd want to inspire any wannaba lunatic out there. But here are the words to With a Variable Key. It's a frosty reading for this weather. Recommended when read cuddled in front of fires, so that's one can't relate to it. One may not!

With a variable key
you unlock the house in which
drifts the snow of that left unspoken.
Always what key you choose
depends on the blood that spurts
from your eye or your mouth or your ear.

You vary the key, you vary the word
that is free to drift with the flakes.
What snowball will form round the word
depends on the wind that rebuffs you.

Blog Mafia

Cats have nine lives, and I am a cat, blog-wise. I must have at least, errrr, 7-8 online journals. I just register and forget to go there again. Or I simly get turned off.
I feel sooooo guilty about this. Like an Internet plot mafia - capturing plots of virtual land and not cultivating them.
Choudhry Prophetess needs to turn the space over, back to the Internet!


Yes, I hibernate.

Monday, November 22, 2004

This Just in: Ramla wins!

WOW, one ~*good news*~ after all! I wrote a proposal at, and this reply came in! Actually it came a week back, but here I was... wading through a pile of mail... and suddenly my mind registers this:

Good news! Your proposal, The Religious Corporate Leader, has been chosen by our readers!
So what does that mean?
It means that we'd like to invite you to write your manifesto for possible inclusion in the Slush Pile section on The Slush Pile is an area that highlights works by authors selected by our readers. Slush Pile manifestos may also occasionally be mentioned in our twice-monthly newsletter.
We've provided you a basic Word template (see below) and we'll format your manifesto into a PDF for you when you're finished. You're responsible for:
1) Writing a great manifesto.
2) Filling out the template provided using the styles we describe.
3) Checking the facts, the copy, and making sure you have the right to distribute the work under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License (see ).

Remember, we cannot make promises about when or even if your manifesto will be posted to our site. But based on what we've read and what our readers think, we think you've got a pretty good shot.

The template:
[concealed, lest resents me]
And some suggestions on writing an effective manifesto:
[concealum, shun-seal-um]
Good luck!

Now begins the real work! I am going to write the change manifesto on The Religious Corporate Leader! Yay!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Chakaas news

I have no idea what that word up there means, but lemme assume it's "tight" news. "Set" news. "Cool" news. If it means something terrible, let me know. I will dismiss your prudent advice and keep displaying it. Kya samjhay?!

So the news is: I am going to build my home office+creative studio. ~*Yay!*~

I always loved the idea of having a home office/ studio where I can do creative work. I do tons of work at home - for passion, play, or pay. I design things for love. Ever since I was 16, I wanted to transform this room upstairs in to a study+bedroom. It partly served that purpose with a minimal functional layout. Ah, but the romance of eccentric-colored walls and floor-to-ceiling shelves!

I had a crazy idea that I'd paint the floor in an African or Pakistani ethnic theme. The best I did, however, was to chalk the walls and... the rest is family history. (*My* moment of prudence!)

Location matters. Matters of location.
A few days back, I noticed this space in our "backyard" so to speak. We call it a "factory," which puzzles our visitors. It's this rather huge covered area that the previous owners used as a mini factory/ shopfloor for some kinda cottage industrial work. Ah, but they called it factory, and so it be!

It is "L" shaped with a thick L-base. I am going to use the base as my base camp! The walls will be covered in YELLOW and PURPLE to begin with. There is a weird wooden table there which will serve as the best office furniture ever. On Sundays and in evenings, I can chill there while pondering the solution to such problmes as: "Who is Ramla?", "Where did I come from?", and "Where is my cheese?"

Nahhhhh. Just kidding. I will get my work done. (*Yeah!*) More news on "the work" later.

I have more plans. But not now!! I am off to clear off the space for now. Wish me luck!

Of the heart, by the heart - 3: Cheese, Removed.

You can't cheat a labyrinth.

Oh but a wicked labyrinth can cheat you as many times as it wishes. Especially a labyrinth like life. The funniest thing it does is to move your cheese. Have you read Spencer Johnson's "Who Moved My Cheese?"?

It's a pretty straightforward tale about a pair of mice, and a pair of humans running around in a labyrinth. They find deposits of cheese, consume them, and one day the cheese is finished. It's gone. The humans despair, whereas the mice (actually just one of them - the positive, practical one) simply scurry off looking for cheese in a new location. Moral of the story: be the practical mouse. When your cheese is gone/ removed/ finished, RUNNNN to a new location. Find another piece of cheese!

I tried to trick the labyrinth of life. Actually, it was a bad move even if I won. You know, how sometimes you can just keep taking the wrong turns thinking you're finally there, and end up in a massive dead-end: of the game, and worse, of the spirit. Thanks to the Designer, the game accidentally reloaded. My cheese was moved. I have to run like a the practical, hard-nosed rat to find my cheese.

It's ironic, but a "rat race" is sometimes the best way to spend time in the maze of life!

Of the heart, by the heart - 2: the Garden of Forking Paths

It is strange, but the truth always tells you who you are.

A Child's Story Book: When I was a kid, reading the Qur'an was a bit like reading any other story book. There were tales of Egyptian kings, Prophets, Queens, azaabs [divine punishments], talking trees and conversing ants. I had a copy of Arabian Nights, and frankly, I saw little difference between the two but that the Qur'an was somehow more venerated. It came from "A-L-L-A-H" and his special agent "M-O-H-A-M-M-A-D." Both were very respectable. Once when I asked uncle Q about who was the "bigger guy," he told me there was no comparison. Hence the question could not be answered - because it could not be asked.

A respectable story tale. A fable with a thousand wonders!

A Young Woman's Book of Life: This Ramadan, I think I read a different Qur'an. This one was about my life. And honestly, it was pretty scary. I could not bring myself to read beyond the second (of the 30) book.

You must know about the magical Mirror ERISED [DESIRE, mirrored] in the Harry Potter tales: it always showed you what you wished to see? I feel the Qur'an must the mirror of SATIREV/ VERITAS [truth], it always shows you who you are.

I have seen a lot of wrong lately. Some time back, I discovered the Garden of Forking Paths. In a literary reference, it is the garden of destiny. It "forks" or branches at every point of decision. It's also a labyrinth. Fools are advised not to play here. I did.

In my own life's garden of forking paths, I decided to take a few wrong turns. Wrong exits. Climbing the walls of the labyrinth. Defying the order of destiny. Trying to cheat the way out of the labyrinth.

Except that you can't cheat a labyrinth.

Of the heart, by the heart - 1

Ah, back from the break! I finally took time out for myself. And frankly, it ain't very refreshing to hang around with your computer at all times. Ooh, what an un-bloggy comment!

My favorite book remains the very intriguing Qur'an. Lately, I have got very friendly with my copy of the Qur'an - which features the very lucid Urdu translation by Maulana Moududi. I sleep clutching it on my heart. Or resting on it as a headrest. Or simple sitting with it in my lap.

Lately, my heart had been trembling wildly. And having an icon of an unmarked God kind of helped. - [How sad! Humans always need a physical assurance. An icon.] Anyhow. Through one of the darkest periods of my life when I lost a sense of self and a direction, this strange book has allowed me to see myself. It is strange, but the truth always tells you who you are...

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Things I love about myself - Part 2

20 Questions to being a Better Person

"Your score as a human being is
You are a pleasure to be with and a pleasure to be. Your friends do not envy so much as admire you, and you lead your life with grace, honor, and dignity. This site is humbled to have you take a test on it. Which brings one to wonder, what are you doing goofing off on the Internet?

Note: I took a quiz, and that's my score up there. It's a certificate tomy humanity. Take a bow!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Things I love about myself - Part 1

In no certain order, I am going to tell you why I love me. And what gives me the ticket to pass off as a reasonably goodie girl in the world. Nah, it's not an ego trip. It's just a cutsie blog thing-to-do.

1. I am alive!!! And *~#*lively.*#~*

I love to live! Simple as that. I enjoy the days and nights. I love to tune into sounds, the music of the world. The buzzing of bees; the noise of traffic; the monotonic humdrum of everyday life. Colors and laughter make me happy. When I see people running or run myself, my heart beats wildly.

I cry. I feel pain. Stupid things hurt me, and silly things make me happy. The bad and the ugly make me angry or frustrated or depressed. But I do not tolerate them. I hate and love with a raw intensity.

I do not sit down or accept others to stale away their life. I can excite others to live and to enjoy with my words and actions. I can stir the hearts of men and women and the youth and the old to live!

I note small changes. I am distracted by invisible things. When the order of things changes, I know it.
I smell moods. And see sound.
Spring, summer, autumn, and winter - all are seasons I enjoy. I am awed by the beauty of all terrains: the mysterious vastness of deserts; the majestic quiet of the mountains; the magnificent spans of the forests.

I have seen many beautiful things in this world. There is a robin that visits our tiny garden every morning. His throat stirs a musical chord. I've heard that birds praise the Lord...
So do I, for this beautiful life.

*~*I am a connoisseur of life!*~*

Henna? Ramla? Oh, what a match!

Gee! I am getting quite a shocked response from friends on MSN who are surprised by my latest nick:
° Ramla's hands are adorned with henna.
Sahar hates it and thinks it's quite "uncorporate." Azi commented, "BTW, I hate henna."
I told Azi, "Well, I used to. But I use it as a tattoo that could do no wrong."

Sunday, November 14, 2004


Inspired by personal events and that bittersweet curse of prophecy, I wrote a fair number of very intense poems in 1996. (All of them came true. We get what we wish for, or what we fear?) My brother deleted most of the work [the passion!] from our computer, and now geocities has eaten up the site. And yes, I've checked out already. No donut.

I keep most of my poetry to myself. Interactivity isn't great for poetry. I simply do not enjoy feedback. Besides, intensely personal feelings cannot be shared easily, and lightly. Worst of all, most people have a shockingly shallow understanding of humor, pain, sensitivity and other things with a sign of life.

But times have changed since 1996. And so have people. And I.

I do enjoy knowing people more, and allow them to know me. Best of all, I have my family and friends with whom I have a deep connection. I have also learnt to take not everyone as seriosuly or as lightly as the other. I used to think it was "fair" to treat everyone alike. I did not understand the meaning of fairness, and did some of those very close to me a fair degree of injustice. But this is not 1996, and I am not 16 any longer.

A love for the pithy
I enjoy Haikus the most. Because they are short, and crisp. Poetry that stretches on or rhymes is not for me to read or write. Also, I can remember my haikus :). Here are a few:

Blood of Afternoon
Sun melts on the Horizon
its redness spilt over


Touch the cold mirror
The shadow of a stranger
Touch her loneliness

Your lips are gone blue
Shivering in the cold rain
My solitary friend


I love when it rains
Transcendental, free of chains
Clouds wash away all pains

Most of these are productions of very young days. I am a very different person now. Proud of what, who, and where I have been. And willing to acknowledge my own self.

Current Music: I am singing Strangers in the Night. It's lovely in Sinatra's voice, and longing in mine. I do sing well!

"Something in your eyes... was so inviting
Something in your smile... was so exciting
Something in my heart... told me I must have you!

Strangers in the night, exchanging glances
Wondering in the night, what were the chances
We'll be sharing love
Before the night was through."

Current Mood: Kitni baar batayoon? I am okay.

Orange hot henna hands

I have a great interest in patterns, and languages, and symbolism. I was successful in decoding most of Da Vinci's Code, with all its religious symbolism and codes. Some of it elementary.

What message, however, does the palm of my left hand have? Hmmm. I finally put on henna. And there's a flower here, a chakra there, a mandala over an arc - all underscored by a spider's web like thing. It's not a design, it's a thing. Thingie. It can well pass for a cryptic map of Africa.

But my hand look lovely in a quaint way. It all goes well with the white dress. More and more, I am pulling ideas of an antique age. This is where my inspiration belongs to.

It's a shocking hot orange, this henna. I love it.

Current Music: Wall's jingle. I broke my headset, finally. A Sagittarian is a catastrophe.
Current Mood: Sleepy Eid-like.

I prepared for Eid

I spent the Chaand Raat prepping stuff to eat for the big day. Surprisingly, it all turned out tasty. I am a good cook, but not a good preparer of items that don't require extensive cooking. As in, putting it on the stove and keep stirring and disturbing until mom interferes to inquire after the well-being of the food, and I run to my room. I just LOVE stirring food up and watching it transform. Like a wicked little good witch with a crucible...

I wanted to put on henna. Dark, with intriguing designs - deep, rich, seductive henna. Last Eid, I had bought chooris, bangles. They are lovely, I still have them by my bed side, glittering in glory. This chaand raat, I did not want to think about them. Last year, I got a lovely arabesque pattern henna. Thanks to an advert for our channel that I worked in. Me and Tania got a makeover, and that lovely henna. My hands are beautiful, and the henna glowed on screen... That was a few days before Eid. I wanted so much to put henna on the chaand raat, though. But it was not to be. I was occupied with being afraid, and I thought: next year. Next year I certainly will do as I please.

This is a different year. This year, I know, there is never a next year. Only now and here... I got an angelic white dress, and asked my brother to get me mehndi.

Power Vs. Justice

Letter to R., a Jewish friend, written in spring of 2002. Or whenever the Taliban fell the statues of Buddha. It's a small essay about power, and its many manifestations.

Hello Dear R.,

Yes, you are right. Hard as it may be for most of us, the fact is that power--or the (often wanton) WANT of power--makes the world go the way it does. Those who have authority, as individuals or as nations or cultures, want to wield their power on others.

What amazes me most is the funny tendency of the powerful to believe that what they do is not only good for them, but for others--particularly their 'victims'--too. I think when one is in authority, they assume a god-like position, and believe that all their actions are justified. And since they have the power, they also have the right to use it whatever way they may. The rest of the people then are weaklings and fools who know nothing of how matters are run.

This is true of elders who think they know 'best' how to treat the young right. And it is similarly true of ethnocentric cultures that believe that theirs is the only right way of life.

Well, this is one of the many facets of power. Yet another aspect of power is to use it as a weapon to spread into the world one's own kind. I am sure there are more sophisticated ways of putting it, but I can take only the naïve approach: I think that humans feel congested, and that just as is amongst the various species of the world, there is a conflict amongst the various races and cultures around the globe. They all want SPACE, which they perceive is limited. This space may either be the physical geography, or it may be ideological, etc. But there is some kind of a limited space that the various sections of the human race want to capture. So they kill others in order to spread more of their own kind. It may also be linked to a wish to dominate. Perhaps the most evident manifestations are the Christians' and Muslims' preoccupation with a larger population, or the American culture's attempt to 'reach and influence a larger audience'.

And then, there is WANT of power, stemming originally from an acute sense of insecurity. Coupled with authority over something, this can be a dangerous thing. This is what the Talibans and Afghans are doing. They do not have real power and strength (strength being the most positive form of power, in my opinion), so they turn on what they have a control on, and use their authority. I am referring to, of course, the demolition of the Buddha statues.

So… somewhere in all these frames of power and power-related struggles, we can put the Israel-Palestine picture. Two nations, both insecure for one or another reason, are fighting for space and survival. And yes, of course, for an identity (religious)… but that may really be just secondary.

Let me tell you what I honestly think of this situation. I am not aware of the precise historical developments that preceded this conflict, but I do not think it may be too relevant anymore because the situation is too embroiled. In a fight that has involved too many punches and kicks, no one party can stand up and say, “I have been hurt more than the other person is!” And in a world where fairness and justice only are found in books of law, no one goes for rational, righteous arguments. They tilt instead on the already heavier side. (If Pakistan were a bigger, more ‘powerful’ country, TIME would not dare to feature Srinagar as an Indian city in spite of the UN resolutions!)

Back to the Arab-Israel conflict: I only see this as a human situation, where humans are being killed, hurt, and deprived of their rights. I feel that the Arab suffering is too great, and should not be played down. But on the other hand, I also realize that Jews have suffered too much through exile and isolation. And that, every human has a right to a (decent, free) life. (I just don’t support this thing called Zionism, and that’s about it.) I know that my faith explicitly warns the Muslims about making friends with Jews and Christians, for it says that we will never, by nature, be the same as Jews and Christians are (Another interesting topic in itself.). Yet it is the same faith that orders us to respect and accommodate all faiths, provided they do not infringe upon us. It is just like your father telling you to watch yourself with snobs at school for fear that you will emulate them. But for you to translate this into an animosity with the ‘rich boys’ would be foolishness.

So, I think that if we see the equation in its simplest terms — human versus human — it will make understanding and sympathy much easier. Calling upon history may not let the situation rest, just as in the case of India and Pakistan. Of course history cannot totally be ignored, but if we humans are to find any peace in this chaos, we will have to look towards a common future for the mankind. Ah, well, one can at least dream!

I have gone a complete circle and came back to the same thing: nothing will happen until people are too busy fighting for more space, more power. Sometimes I take the cynic’s passive view, and attribute every wrong to those who are in power, and are bringing misery to common humans like myself — just because they are untouched by this misery and suffering themselves. Just like Saddam, and like Pakistan’s rich rulers. Or perhaps, the fault lies in us common people, that we have let ourselves be thoughtless puppets.

Well, in the end, it is justice and fairness that stand to lose. I can but dream that things would one day be otherwise!

And this is what I think of this issue of power versus justice.



A butterfly fluttered her wings somewhere today, and my heart felt a tiny shiver.

God has made a change somewhere in the scheme of things. I know it. What? Where? How? I do not know.

I could not help but give a curse for that which ached my heart so unjustifiably and so cruelly. I think - I fear - that somewhere my curse was heard. No, God! No. I cannot curse. Take it away, I cannot curse.

Enough! Let people be! Only make me stronger; for when that caged bird flutters, so does my heart. So does my heart.

What dreams may come

I saw a sad dream this afternoon.

But then it ended, and I was awake in a different world.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

What are you doing the rest of your life?

Let's talk about "current music."

Fantasia Barrino's - now FANTASIA's - What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life? flows through the headset. And I am wondering: what do I like best about this song?

Fantasia's voice? The very intense way she performed it? The jazzy music? Or the honest lyrics? Or my wish to have sung it on a special occasion?

Fantasia sang the song for her girl child. I have a fantasy of singing it, for myself perhaps or for the sheer joy of singing such a beautiful song. This is how it goes:

What are you the rest of your life?
North and south and east and west of your life
I have only one request of your life
That you spend it all with me

I want to see your face in every kind of light
In fields of dawn and forests of the night
Adn when you stand before the candles on a cake
Oh let me be the one to hear the silent wish you make!

Through all of my life
Summer, winter, spring, and fall of my life
That is all I will recall of your life
It's all of my life, with you.

By the way, I sing really, really well. I heard from
Insiya that All Pakistan Music Academy is starting music classes anytime soon. I must be there!

And then I'll learn to dance. Tango!

Got to tango on, and on! *insert lovely smile*

Friday, November 12, 2004

Me, me, me

What is the root of all conflict?
Love? Money? Desire...?


The root of all conflict is "me."
The root of all conflict and evil is EGO.
It is arrogance, and "takabbur."

This is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness. This is seed of all evil.


Current Music: The sound of silence and the buzzing computer
Current Mood: Introspective

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Celebrating being Ramla

From my Orkut profile, November 10, 2004

I am a passionate person who loves beauty, life, verve. I love flirting with danger and learning and doing new things. Arts and science both arouse my curiosity. I am exuberant, and nerdy; and I like dramatic, exuberant nerds. Preferred with glasses, but who minds a perfect 6?!

If my one wish could come true, I would rid the world of cowards. Initially I wanted to do that with an extensive shooting & bombing scheme, but I have retired to just helping the lame. But I warn: It's a potentially emotionally fatal stunt. Don't try at home. Or office. Or with free-floating emotional cripples in general space.

Ordinary, dull, and mediocre things and people suffocate me. That explains why I often hold my breath. (Not to discredit the environmental terrorists who light up garbage fires next to my den!)

I have an existential outlook on life. It's pretty practical, and allows for dreaming dreams that must be dreamt if they are to ever exist!

Jane Eyre must be my alter ego. And I don't give a burning matchstick's worth of damn abt being plain. My crazy and brilliant mind needs that balance and that facade.

I love to be contradictory. So, Jane's my alter ego and I LIKE go go boots. With long skirts. If anybody got issues, I'd gladly deal... By the way, average minds cannot and should not try to reconcile contradictions. Try spending the force on watching Munna Bhai MBBS instead.

I have a neck problem: it goes up & down when it should shake from left to right, and vice versa. I'm working on fixing that. No, thanks - help not wanted.

I like people who are happy, tough, and intelligent. But for their general dearth, I have come to like the great variety of people. I wish people were always happy and dancing. It's bull***t; yes, and I know it. The light bulb was bull before Edison, and this before me. Take a hike!

Current Music: The Tango Project's Por Una Cabeza - the haunting Tango music from Scent of a Woman
Current Mood: Exuberant