Monday, January 28, 2008

The Very Imminent Death of a Country {a poem for Pakistan}

Only because the Truth shall set us free.
A poem the time for which has come.

You are dying
as you are.

And though I was
once a part of you,
I no longer
identify you
beyond a name
and a shape
on ordinary colored paper.
You're a map upon a map -
all about to disintegrate.

You are no longer the country
that gave me my identity.
Before you rob me
of who I could be
- a human,
a free, alive human -
I shall go.

And though now
I shall not
have a home
that I call home,
perhaps in your destruction,
your inevitable, obvious, fast-approaching, complete annihilation,
I shall learn a lesson.

That though I have loved you
with infinite passion,
with selfless abandon,
and with little bits of service,
is neither about foolish love nor emotion.
That we, human colonies, create nations
and change maps
to allow our human selves
to be free.
That is the aim of a state.
Any state of being -
to be
must be
an inching towards human freedom. Remember!

Yet you
have housed
too many caged hearts.
You are not,
as we imagined,
our Land of Purity.

You are the Land of Lesson.

The lesson that land maketh, but not really maketh, the Man.
That land, indeed, is a manifestation
of Man.
That names are essential, they have power,
but not above and beyond Man's deepest intent.
You are no Land of The Pure.

have housed
too many ill minds.
Who thought
that hiding beneath
your beneficial cloak
was sufficient.
Who thought
that robbing you
and hurting you
will pass unnoticed
by forces that are greater
than both you, and I, the Human.

I will watch the imminent death
by destruction
of the sick intentions
of those
to whom 5000 years of history
taught nothing.

Yet, you know,
you are not
and beyond
the will of a Human.

You are
the will
of everyday Humans
solidified as Earth.
In your destruction,
your imminent, unavoidable, on-the-horizon, complete annihilation,
the illness of many sick minds shall die too.
You will burn, completely.

But not forever.
You will rise, again
with fewer
yet more enlightened hearts.
Wounded by Truth,
they didn't see in time.

On that day I shall return.
I will embrace your new, raw self.
You a new country,
on the way to becoming
what you were meant to be.
Not dark and evil as you are
right now.
I will return
and embrace you.
For that day,
you shall have
gone through
the alchemical
that went incomplete
at your birth.

I shall have burnt with you, away from you,
Homeless waif,
all this while.
For you were and you are
meant to be
the realization of me:
The Human
The Free
The Heart of the Pure.

- RA
January 28, 2008

God Speed the End

Ever since I have returned to Pakistan after a month-long sojourn in Africa, I have heard snippets of the very few conversations that are audible. I haven't stepped out of the home, yet I can feel that the silence is deafening. It is not just to do with the fact that I have been practicing silencing my internal dialog during my learning journey in Africa. There is something really dark and sick going on in here.

I did manage to get one opinion that went along the lines of labeling itself as "optimistic." I was stunned into an awe-struck silence. That reminded me of the very unreal interview of a certain businessman Something Sabzwari  in the aftermath of the Benazir Bhutto assassination, which I caught on CNN/ BBC while in Africa. That gentleman had the nerve to quote the rise of the stock exchange index as the measure of "all is well" in Pakistan.

I think this is delusional behavior. This country is burning, it is in the throes of destruction, and our lifeboat is made up of a handful of completely self-delusional capitalists. God bless them! This class of humans has single-handedly delivered the Humankind into a state of "homicidal egotism" - now where did I read that phrase today and what does it mean anyway? The capacity of the businessman to completely be a sightless ass as long as they and their friends are able to keep bidding on the world resources is a remarkable kind of clinical blindness.

Personally, I am a woman of faith. It means, I generally prefer faith over doubt. For the past two years though, my faith has set my heart on hell's fire. I felt it drove my unhappy to have faith. What I had forgotten that faith and "goodness" are mutually exclusive - sometimes the opposite of each other. The obsession with goodness stretched to the point of hearing no evil, seeing no evil, speaking no evil is madness. It's evil itself.

So I can no longer equate my emotional need to be in a peaceful home with reality. The reality is that, in contemporary lingo, Pakistan is screwed.

They showed on TV a child today who was kept captive by his "master" - hungry, beaten up, and burnt with hot iron rods on charges of suspected robbery. They showed the child disrobed on TV; he is singed and fractured all over. The madman had this to say in explanation: "We just wanted to find out on our own about the theft, we wanted to resolve this at our end and not take this to police. And this child wasn't telling where the loot was hidden; sometimes he'd give one location, then another." Yes, Uncle Evil. You would do the same if treated likewise. Imagine a child refusing to give up the location of that Titanic treasure under such duress. His poor father who went to rescue was also captured.

This news report confirmed to me what I am completely sure of now: this country is personally bookmarked by God for punitive destruction. There is nothing that can be done any longer, for the rot is too great and too pervasive. This madman was no extraordinary case. Abuse of the young is a culturally accepted fact that passes under the banners of "culture," "society," and that fit-all evil glove: religion. If an evil act if not justified, make it part of religious decree. Put the maniacs in business. Hunt the witches.

My uncle did a private investigation in the city of Faisalabad where a Mullah was willing to prepare forged back-dated marriage certificates for a couple that had intercourse out of wedlock. The couple did not exist; it was a story that a group of friends fabricated to validate their suspicion of the where-did-they-come-from? clergyman. He negotiated down from Rs. 70,000 to around 40,000 when the man of the "couple" didn't show up - thinking the money demand was the issue. Anything for money. If people question, let loose the dogs of clergy - which by the way is not an institution of the faith the people of the Land of the Pure practice, i.e. Islam, but let's not get microscopic, eh? Let's abrogate all personal responsibility to a bunch of vile men and equally vile women. Let's give this phenomenon beautiful, idealistic names. Let's indulge ourselves in the basest practices of inhumanity, and still believe we are the Chosen Ones. Chosen for what?

I am not surprised that the Universe will no longer tolerate our foul presence. Therefore, I am quite resigned to the fact that the natural system has moved into motion, and that this evil will be cleansed away. This is the only way, and no longer is it far or avoidable. It's necessary, here and in motion.

God speed, and may the innocent be protected only if they are to learn.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Precarious Existence

Oh well. Prophecy, the pattern never breaks. Each time I rely on someone, they simply are shocked out of my life. Each time, the relationship simply betrays. The message is consistent: I am not to rely.

Now this is quite different from trusting or not trusting someone.

Relying is to just assume that the other will always be the same, there, and consistent. This is not the case ever, Prophecy. How can we rely on something that is shape-shifting in perpetuity?

The message is about internalizing responsibility in ourselves and, by extension, take responsibility for our relationships. Why would I trust someone else to do and to keep which, in some ways, I haven't been doing and keeping myself - i.e. my promise to myself?

Warriors don't blink their eyes, Prophecy. There is no shock for them, for they are always aware of the precariousness of the shape-shifting nature. You sleep with your eyes and your consciousness open in this jungle. Besides, Prophecy, it must not be a shock if you have seen your heart's deepest desire revealed to you. You asked for being confronted, and you are. So confront the truth. Stay the warrior.

Remember to watch with more than your eyes. Remember that each thought you have, each word you say, each move you make, is a consistent message to The Universe. And that this Universe is modifying, shape-shifting, throwing up from its endless reserves that what you, perhaps foolishly and inadvertently, want most.

This existence is always changing, it is based on laws that are the opposite of everything you logically know. You alone are your best friend - do not speak of treachery. Don't betray yourself, and you shall be betrayed not.

Bloody Hell!

All right, I am not going to mince any words. Bloody, bloody hell! I am so so angry and amused at myself at the same time.

I have *just* witnessed what I consider a minor, minor act of treason. I mean it's minor in its physical size but it means just as much as a peep through the keyhole means. It bloody well might be small, but you get the whole picture of what's going on at the other side: TREACHERY!

I hate this. I hate this. Anything but treason! Goodness mine - don't people KNOW the meaning of loyalty anymore? What the fu*k do they think they are doing - doing exactly what they know will hurt you.

And come to think of it - yes, yes! - it's ALL my fault! Why first of all on Earth can't I tell the difference between those who are loyal, and those who seek their own end anytime, all the time? I mean, how many times do I have to find that out, eh?

Second, it's very obviously The Universe giving me back a bite of what I had dished out to another: now eat you fool, you messer-of-the-world-order, eat! I mean I am not that innocent eh? When you set about to ping someone, you get a punch back! All I am seeing is a reaction to my own mal-intention, the very obvious reply to my own pretended innocence. "Oh no, really? Did I just participate in disloyalty to you? Oh, mere chance!"

All right so I have to take it on the chin! Yes. Be a woman! Face it, you fool!

Oh dear mine. What a casualty - the disloyal have to be weeded out. It still takes me nine minutes to figure out that a friend of an enemy is an enemy. That none is our soul mate but ourselves. The rest are, as Shaykh Fadhlalla so aptly put it, "checkmates."

Drat. Treachery ABSOLUTELY has to go out of my life. So does my own mal-intention.

On with it then!