Work in Progress (No, really)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Brick Wall

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Someone today mentioned that they were told earlier to envision offering salaat like creating a wall, and every completed salaat would be like placing a brick on the developing wall. Moreover, every missed prayer would be tantamount to destroying that entire wall, and thus, having to start again. The person said that it's this image that's really stuck with him over all these years. He said he wants to keep building the wall and doesn't want to see it ever fall.

I thought it was pretty cool.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rumi and Shams e Tabrizi

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One day Rumi was reading next to a large stack of books. Shams Tabriz, passing by, asked him, "What are you doing?" Rumi scoffingly replied, "Something you cannot understand." On hearing this, Shams threw the stack of books into a nearby pool of water. Rumi hastily rescued the books and to his surprise they were all dry. Rumi then asked Shams, "What is this?" To which Shams replied, "Mowlana, this is what you cannot understand." A second version of the tale has Shams passing by Rumi who again is reading a book. Rumi regards him as an uneducated stranger. Shams asks Rumi what he is doing, to which Rumi replies, "Something that you do not understand!" At that moment, the books suddenly catch fire and Rumi asks Shams to explain what happened. His reply was, "Something you do not understand."[9] From Wikipedia

Interesting to note that Rumi was roughly 37 (close to 40 for the sake of my implied point).
مولوی هرگز نشد مولا ی روم
تا غلام شمس تبریزی نشد
Maulavi Rumi could never be Maulavi
If he had not devoted himself to Shams of Tabriz.
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Good and Evil

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A man who had murdered 99 people came to a cleric and inquired if there was yet hope for him. The story is as follows:

Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Prophet of Allah (PBUH) said: "There was a man from among a nation before you who killed ninety-nine people and then made an inquiry about the most learned person on the earth. He was directed to a monk. He came to him and told him that he had killed ninety-nine people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the negative and the man killed him also completing one hundred. He then asked about the most learned man in the earth. He was directed to a scholar. He told him that he had killed one hundred people and asked him if there was any chance for his repentance to be accepted. He replied in the affirmative and asked, `Who stands between you and repentance? Go to such and such land; there (you will find) people devoted to prayer and worship of Allah, join them in worship, and do not come back to your land because it is an evil place.' So he went away and hardly had he covered half the distance when death overtook him; and there was a dispute between the angels of mercy and the angels of torment. The angels of mercy pleaded, 'This man has come with a repenting heart to Allah,' and the angels of punishment argued, 'He never did a virtuous deed in his life.' Then there appeared another angel in the form of a human being and the contending angels agreed to make him arbiter between them. He said, `Measure the distance between the two lands. He will be considered belonging to the land to which he is nearer.' They measured and found him closer to the land (land of piety) where he intended to go, and so the angels of mercy collected his soul."1

Purity is a highly coveted and sought after commodity in our world. It's an idea that in is found quite literally everywhere -- in science we have the idea of purity of elements amongst other things, and "purity" of a particular art/tradition, and perhaps the most prominent one, purity of the self. Maintaining that purity isn't hard, it's next to impossible. In fact, it seems like it is something that more and more people are giving up on. And then, there are people who struggle to purify themselves, and fall back into "corruption."

Everyone falls. But, the ones who stand up after that are ones who are ultimately the champions.

This isn't about getting up though, it's about when to get up. If you get up too soon, you may do more damage than good. To make matters worse, if you get up too late, the psychological damage, the voice that says "you can't do it" gets slowly louder and louder. Suddenly, the ground seems pretty comfortable.

 You know what you need to do. You know you'll probably fall down a few more times. It's not that you want to fall, but it's as if it's beyond your reach, it's as if it's encoded in your nature. It's hard to kick any habit.

This is nafs-e-lawama.

While, getting up too soon may put you through more pain and result in more set-backs than if you would have taken your time, if you can pull through, it's still better than never getting up at all.

I guess the point is, purity isn't mean to be maintained; rather, it's something you strive to attain. It's a journey with no end.

1. Al-Bukhari 6308 ; Muslim: 2744
Tuesday, May 7, 2013

George Orwell: "Shooting an Elephant"

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This is one of the few things that I've read once and it seems to just pop up in my head every once in a while instead of just fading away.

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell:

In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. I was sub-divisional police officer of the town, and in an aimless, petty kind of way anti-European feeling was very bitter. No one had the guts to raise a riot, but if a European woman went through the bazaars alone somebody would probably spit betel juice over her dress. As a police officer I was an obvious target and was baited whenever it seemed safe to do so. When a nimble Burman tripped me up on the football field and the referee (another Burman) looked the other way, the crowd yelled with hideous laughter. This happened more than once. In the end the sneering yellow faces of young men that met me everywhere, the insults hooted after me when I was at a safe distance, got badly on my nerves. The young Buddhist priests were the worst of all. There were several thousands of them in the town and none of them seemed to have anything to do except stand on street corners and jeer at Europeans.

All this was perplexing and upsetting. For at that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. I did not even know that the British Empire is dying, still less did I know that it is a great deal better than the younger empires that are going to supplant it. All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible. With one part of my mind I thought of the British Raj as an unbreakable tyranny, as something clamped down, in saecula saeculorum, upon the will of prostrate peoples; with another part I thought that the greatest joy in the world would be to drive a bayonet into a Buddhist priest's guts. Feelings like these are the normal by-products of imperialism; ask any Anglo-Indian official, if you can catch him off duty.

One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. It was a tiny incident in itself, but it gave me a better glimpse than I had had before of the real nature of imperialism – the real motives for which despotic governments act. Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that an elephant was ravaging the bazaar. Would I please come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem. Various Burmans stopped me on the way and told me about the elephant's doings. It was not, of course, a wild elephant, but a tame one which had gone "must." It had been chained up, as tame elephants always are when their attack of "must" is due, but on the previous night it had broken its chain and escaped. Its mahout, the only person who could manage it when it was in that state, had set out in pursuit, but had taken the wrong direction and was now twelve hours' journey away, and in the morning the elephant had suddenly reappeared in the town. The Burmese population had no weapons and were quite helpless against it. It had already destroyed somebody's bamboo hut, killed a cow and raided some fruit-stalls and devoured the stock; also it had met the municipal rubbish van and, when the driver jumped out and took to his heels, had turned the van over and inflicted violences upon it.

The Burmese sub-inspector and some Indian constables were waiting for me in the quarter where the elephant had been seen. It was a very poor quarter, a labyrinth of squalid bamboo huts, thatched with palmleaf, winding all over a steep hillside. I remember that it was a cloudy, stuffy morning at the beginning of the rains. We began questioning the people as to where the elephant had gone and, as usual, failed to get any definite information. That is invariably the case in the East; a story always sounds clear enough at a distance, but the nearer you get to the scene of events the vaguer it becomes. Some of the people said that the elephant had gone in one direction, some said that he had gone in another, some professed not even to have heard of any elephant. I had almost made up my mind that the whole story was a pack of lies, when we heard yells a little distance away. There was a loud, scandalized cry of "Go away, child! Go away this instant!" and an old woman with a switch in her hand came round the corner of a hut, violently shooing away a crowd of naked children. Some more women followed, clicking their tongues and exclaiming; evidently there was something that the children ought not to have seen. I rounded the hut and saw a man's dead body sprawling in the mud. He was an Indian, a black Dravidian coolie, almost naked, and he could not have been dead many minutes. The people said that the elephant had come suddenly upon him round the corner of the hut, caught him with its trunk, put its foot on his back and ground him into the earth. This was the rainy season and the ground was soft, and his face had scored a trench a foot deep and a couple of yards long. He was lying on his belly with arms crucified and head sharply twisted to one side. His face was coated with mud, the eyes wide open, the teeth bared and grinning with an expression of unendurable agony. (Never tell me, by the way, that the dead look peaceful. Most of the corpses I have seen looked devilish.) The friction of the great beast's foot had stripped the skin from his back as neatly as one skins a rabbit. As soon as I saw the dead man I sent an orderly to a friend's house nearby to borrow an elephant rifle. I had already sent back the pony, not wanting it to go mad with fright and throw me if it smelt the elephant.

The orderly came back in a few minutes with a rifle and five cartridges, and meanwhile some Burmans had arrived and told us that the elephant was in the paddy fields below, only a few hundred yards away. As I started forward practically the whole population of the quarter flocked out of the houses and followed me. They had seen the rifle and were all shouting excitedly that I was going to shoot the elephant. They had not shown much interest in the elephant when he was merely ravaging their homes, but it was different now that he was going to be shot. It was a bit of fun to them, as it would be to an English crowd; besides they wanted the meat. It made me vaguely uneasy. I had no intention of shooting the elephant – I had merely sent for the rifle to defend myself if necessary – and it is always unnerving to have a crowd following you. I marched down the hill, looking and feeling a fool, with the rifle over my shoulder and an ever-growing army of people jostling at my heels. At the bottom, when you got away from the huts, there was a metalled road and beyond that a miry waste of paddy fields a thousand yards across, not yet ploughed but soggy from the first rains and dotted with coarse grass. The elephant was standing eight yards from the road, his left side towards us. He took not the slightest notice of the crowd's approach. He was tearing up bunches of grass, beating them against his knees to clean them and stuffing them into his mouth.

I had halted on the road. As soon as I saw the elephant I knew with perfect certainty that I ought not to shoot him. It is a serious matter to shoot a working elephant – it is comparable to destroying a huge and costly piece of machinery – and obviously one ought not to do it if it can possibly be avoided. And at that distance, peacefully eating, the elephant looked no more dangerous than a cow. I thought then and I think now that his attack of "must" was already passing off; in which case he would merely wander harmlessly about until the mahout came back and caught him. Moreover, I did not in the least want to shoot him. I decided that I would watch him for a little while to make sure that he did not turn savage again, and then go home.

But at that moment I glanced round at the crowd that had followed me. It was an immense crowd, two thousand at the least and growing every minute. It blocked the road for a long distance on either side. I looked at the sea of yellow faces above the garish clothes-faces all happy and excited over this bit of fun, all certain that the elephant was going to be shot. They were watching me as they would watch a conjurer about to perform a trick. They did not like me, but with the magical rifle in my hands I was momentarily worth watching. And suddenly I realized that I should have to shoot the elephant after all. The people expected it of me and I had got to do it; I could feel their two thousand wills pressing me forward, irresistibly. And it was at this moment, as I stood there with the rifle in my hands, that I first grasped the hollowness, the futility of the white man's dominion in the East. Here was I, the white man with his gun, standing in front of the unarmed native crowd – seemingly the leading actor of the piece; but in reality I was only an absurd puppet pushed to and fro by the will of those yellow faces behind. I perceived in this moment that when the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys. He becomes a sort of hollow, posing dummy, the conventionalized figure of a sahib. For it is the condition of his rule that he shall spend his life in trying to impress the "natives," and so in every crisis he has got to do what the "natives" expect of him. He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it. I had got to shoot the elephant. I had committed myself to doing it when I sent for the rifle. A sahib has got to act like a sahib; he has got to appear resolute, to know his own mind and do definite things. To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.

But I did not want to shoot the elephant. I watched him beating his bunch of grass against his knees, with that preoccupied grandmotherly air that elephants have. It seemed to me that it would be murder to shoot him. At that age I was not squeamish about killing animals, but I had never shot an elephant and never wanted to. (Somehow it always seems worse to kill a large animal.) Besides, there was the beast's owner to be considered. Alive, the elephant was worth at least a hundred pounds; dead, he would only be worth the value of his tusks, five pounds, possibly. But I had got to act quickly. I turned to some experienced-looking Burmans who had been there when we arrived, and asked them how the elephant had been behaving. They all said the same thing: he took no notice of you if you left him alone, but he might charge if you went too close to him.

It was perfectly clear to me what I ought to do. I ought to walk up to within, say, twenty-five yards of the elephant and test his behavior. If he charged, I could shoot; if he took no notice of me, it would be safe to leave him until the mahout came back. But also I knew that I was going to do no such thing. I was a poor shot with a rifle and the ground was soft mud into which one would sink at every step. If the elephant charged and I missed him, I should have about as much chance as a toad under a steam-roller. But even then I was not thinking particularly of my own skin, only of the watchful yellow faces behind. For at that moment, with the crowd watching me, I was not afraid in the ordinary sense, as I would have been if I had been alone. A white man mustn't be frightened in front of "natives"; and so, in general, he isn't frightened. The sole thought in my mind was that if anything went wrong those two thousand Burmans would see me pursued, caught, trampled on and reduced to a grinning corpse like that Indian up the hill. And if that happened it was quite probable that some of them would laugh. That would never do.

There was only one alternative. I shoved the cartridges into the magazine and lay down on the road to get a better aim. The crowd grew very still, and a deep, low, happy sigh, as of people who see the theatre curtain go up at last, breathed from innumerable throats. They were going to have their bit of fun after all. The rifle was a beautiful German thing with cross-hair sights. I did not then know that in shooting an elephant one would shoot to cut an imaginary bar running from ear-hole to ear-hole. I ought, therefore, as the elephant was sideways on, to have aimed straight at his ear-hole, actually I aimed several inches in front of this, thinking the brain would be further forward.

When I pulled the trigger I did not hear the bang or feel the kick – one never does when a shot goes home – but I heard the devilish roar of glee that went up from the crowd. In that instant, in too short a time, one would have thought, even for the bullet to get there, a mysterious, terrible change had come over the elephant. He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time – it might have been five seconds, I dare say – he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One could have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upward like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.

I got up. The Burmans were already racing past me across the mud. It was obvious that the elephant would never rise again, but he was not dead. He was breathing very rhythmically with long rattling gasps, his great mound of a side painfully rising and falling. His mouth was wide open – I could see far down into caverns of pale pink throat. I waited a long time for him to die, but his breathing did not weaken. Finally I fired my two remaining shots into the spot where I thought his heart must be. The thick blood welled out of him like red velvet, but still he did not die. His body did not even jerk when the shots hit him, the tortured breathing continued without a pause. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further. I felt that I had got to put an end to that dreadful noise. It seemed dreadful to see the great beast Lying there, powerless to move and yet powerless to die, and not even to be able to finish him. I sent back for my small rifle and poured shot after shot into his heart and down his throat. They seemed to make no impression. The tortured gasps continued as steadily as the ticking of a clock.

In the end I could not stand it any longer and went away. I heard later that it took him half an hour to die. Burmans were bringing dash and baskets even before I left, and I was told they had stripped his body almost to the bones by the afternoon.

Afterwards, of course, there were endless discussions about the shooting of the elephant. The owner was furious, but he was only an Indian and could do nothing. Besides, legally I had done the right thing, for a mad elephant has to be killed, like a mad dog, if its owner fails to control it. Among the Europeans opinion was divided. The older men said I was right, the younger men said it was a damn shame to shoot an elephant for killing a coolie, because an elephant was worth more than any damn Coringhee coolie. And afterwards I was very glad that the coolie had been killed; it put me legally in the right and it gave me a sufficient pretext for shooting the elephant. I often wondered whether any of the others grasped that I had done it solely to avoid looking a fool.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sir Zafarullah Khan, Isfehan And Shiraz

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It just goes to show you, diplomats have fun lives. And, fun is about people and places. (And not the xboxes, xboxers and the internet.)
Monday, April 22, 2013

Will I let my children watch tv?

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A few weeks ago I was cooking something and needed to go through the recipe. The 1 minute and 30 second video was preceded by a 1-minute ad. A haraam one minute ad. (Well, maybe just makrooh, but you get my point.)

It really makes me wonder through. Is this something I would want to expose to my children (when I have them, inshallah). I mean, it's not like you can keep them away from this stuff (tv/youtube). In my case, I was trying to learn something, and wasn't even looking for that gand. 

You can get away without TV anymore, but not so much the internet. At least with tv, you could turn it off or change the channel during the bad parts, but with the internet, you can close or block pop-ups, but ads on websites, prior to videos, and who knows where they'll put it next. The issue isn't even the ads, (it's the moral degradation of society and jazz). It's like, c'mon man, I just wanted to see how to flip crap in my wok, and you're showing me an ad for jeans I'm too poor to buy (and the wrong gender). And no, this doesn't mean I want my information stored so that you can generate smarter ads.

Must to be tough to be a parent, eh?
Tuesday, March 12, 2013

(500) Days of Summer

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Women are evil. Evil. So evil, they make good material for literature (or a movie).

Wonderful movie. Reminded me of the outro of this song:

Also, the effects for the video were great. Some of the shots were really nice too (in particular, the one where they enter the tunnel). It was a very well made movie (post-production stuff). The acting was top notch too.
Monday, February 11, 2013


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Postmodernism is just Sufism?

Oh shi....
Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Economics of Hair Loss

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“Wigs don’t last long. Bet you didn’t know: toupees are good for two, maybe three years max. The better made they are, the faster they get used up. They’re the ultimate consumer product. It’s ‘cause they fit so tightly against the scalp: the hair underneath gets thinner than ever. Once that happens, you have to buy a new one to get that perfect fit again. And think about it: What if you were using a toupee and it was no good after two years-what would go through your mind? Would you think, OK, my wig’s worn out. Can’t wear it anymore. But it’ll cost too much to buy a new one, so tomorrow I’ll start going to work without one? Is that what you’d think?”

I shook my head. “Probably not,” I said.

“Of course not. Once a guy starts using a wig, he has to keep using one. It’s, like, his fate. That’s why the wig makers make such huge profits. I hate to say it, but they’re like drug dealers. Once they get their hooks into a guy, he’s a customer for life. Have you ever heard of a. bald guy suddenly growing a head of hair? I never have. A wig’s got to cost half a million yen at least, maybe a million for a tough one. And you need a new one every two years! Wow! Even a car lasts longer than that-four or five years. And then you can trade it in!”

“I see what you mean,” I said. “Plus, the wig makers run their own hairstyling salons. They wash the wigs and cut the customers’ real hair. I mean, think about it: you can’t just plunk yourself down in an ordinary barber’s chair, rip off your wig, and say, ‘I’d like a trim,’ can you? The income from these places alone is tremendous.”

“You know all kinds of things,” I said, with genuine admiration. The B-category company type next to May was listening to our conversation with obvious fascination. “Sure,” she said. “The guys at the office like me. They tell me everything. The profits in this business are huge. They make the wigs in Southeast Asia and places like that, where labor is cheap. They even get the hair there- in Thailand or the Philippines. The women sell their hair to the wig companies. That’s how they earn their dowries in some places. The whole world’s so weird! The guy sitting next to you might actually be wearing the hair of some woman in Indonesia.”

By reflex, I and the B-man looked around at the others in the car.

-- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
Thursday, January 24, 2013

How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization

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How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization seeks to analyze the beautiful game from an unheard of vantage point, globalism. If you look at the modern game, analyzing it from this view makes a lot of sense. Players are imported and exported throughout the world, including to and from previously "untouchable" places (rivals). People like Lebron James have part ownership in football teams. And of course, money is everywhere, from broadcasting rights to bonuses.

The book sets out to explain why aspects of globalization have failed (for example, how local/tribal identities and/or hatred persists). All of this should dissipate identities and yet, it doesn't. The aim of the book is lofty, and it does present some good arguments. More than anything though, this book does a really nice job of explaining the certain aspects history of the game (reasons/history of key rivalries). That's the real bread and butter of this book. Foer is also a good writer and that really helps make the story that much more enjoyable. 

The book loses some steam and, unfortunately, crawls to its end gets. The final chapters focus on how Barcelona allows a place continue the "war" for Catalonia in a "harmless" way. Aside from that it analyzes the beautiful as a means for revolution against the Iranian government (or even in a general sense). There's a little too much Barcelona love for my taste. Not to mention the entire Iran/Islam chapter is pretty thin and hurt my opinion of the book more than anything. (You're better off watching Offside.) It's too American in approach. It has too much of the author in it. The really good chapters in this book are those where Foer just pushes the story along, instead of dragging it with him (which is how the last Iran/Islam chapters feels). The final chapter discusses soccer/football in America. It's an average chapter but it does offer some cool tidbits of information (such as, the reasons why some "big-shots" hate soccer/football). 

With that said, the first few chapters of this book are amazing. You have everything from fanatics becoming privatised armies, to rivalries that are driven by such hatred that they could tear countries apart (and have). There's also those "oh-so-evil" multinational corporations and plenty of those people who really have no place in the sport, and yet are making the most money off of it. I'd recommend this book to any fan of the sport. The history lesson is worth it. Also, you'll start to really look beyond the game and see the other aspects (mostly that bling and those dollar bills). 

You should also watch the movie Offside. It's so cool.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Reading after 5 years

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is tough. Very tough. So much to read. So little time.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chain Reaction


One -- U2

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One is easily my favourite song by U2. Despite some total duds, the band has produced had some amazing lyrics for just the an insane period of time. And, we're only talking about the lyrics. Even better is that they've (Bono and/or Edge) written a large part of them too.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Short Sentence

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Why do people think the longer the sentence is, the better it is? I used to think like this too, but I've come to realize the error of my ways. I never considered things like shorter sentences to make it easier for the reader. I did use commas and other punctuation. But I wrote with little to no regard for the reader. (I mean, this is a blog so it doesn't really count.)

Pacing exists in writing too. Lesson learned!
Friday, December 21, 2012

Knowing the Worst in People

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We all know the best things about our friends, family and others, but more often than naught, we can't say the same thing about the worst in them. And, it's important we don't either.

The best things and the worst things don't have the same effect. The worst things are like poison. The best things are more like medals or other adornments -- they look good, and make the person better, but only when you "see" it or when it's on display. The worst just contaminates.

And yet, we can't keep secrets; we don't want to keep secrets. It's our nature. Just look at the success of sites like PostSecret. Heck, it's probably better for you.

Everyone needs someone to see their demons. At least, I think so. But, we can't let everyone see them.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Two-Thousand And Thirteen

I can still remember people freaking out about Y2K. It's hard to believe that was almost 13 years ago.

For me, 2013 represents a new start. This is the first time in my life that I've become cognizant of time, how it's always running and how much of it I've already wasted. You can't get back the time you've wasted (at least that's true for now). You can't undo the things you've done. Accepting this second sentence is easier to realize than the first sentence, but it's harder to accept. I'm trying to accept it.

People make reservations, but I've never done that. This time I do have some things I'd like to change or do. I've limited them to a few things; so, hopefully, I'll be able to actually follow through with it.

 1. Become more right-handed.

There's no real reason for this. Just something I've always wanted to do (be able to write and carry out some other functions). Thanks to right-handed dominant society, I can already do a lot of things with my right hand. But yeah. This would would also make seating issues disappear.

2. Write a "book."

No, I don't dream of hitting it big, nor do I imagine even trying. I do have a story I want to (I need to) get out. Really, I guess I just have stuff I want to get out. Hopefully I can make some progress there. I've already put together a little and have started the back ground material.

3. Limit my TV/Laptop/Internet/Phone

This stuff is just a waste of time. These are things that are always on. They don't need to be always on. Simple.

When my laptop was broken, I realized that the world keeps going. I realized I can do everything with or without a laptop. When I need a computer, I can use a desktop. The important thing is the when. At other times, I'm free to do other things without being distracted.

I don't hate technology, but anything it's just over-saturating our lives now.
That can't be healthy.

There is no order of importance.

4. Run/Gym

You work for a better tomorrow.
You need to stay fit to enjoy that tomorrow.

5. Read more

I haven't really read in 4 years now. I just started again a few months ago but still. It's much better than Youtube...or MakroohTube. But films are cool though. Not all the time, but sometimes.

English, Urdu, Farsi, Pashto, Punjabi...whatever.

Notice there's no shaadi plans on that list. Now "un-notice" it.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An Indian Muslim's Blog: News, Views & Urdu Poetry Website: Hindu wedding, Urdu card: Non-Muslim couple prints...

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I found this pretty interesting:

An Indian Muslim's Blog: News, Views & Urdu Poetry Website: Hindu wedding, Urdu card: Non-Muslim couple prints...: This is an invitation card in Urdu, which is not too uncommon in India. The only surprise here is that it is a Hindu marriage for which...
Monday, December 3, 2012

Raja Gidh

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Mind-blowing. Modern. Damn Good. 
Just go read it.

I haven't finished this book yet, I'm no where near the end, but it's broached so many interesting topics so quickly that I can't help but post. Hopefully, I'll have some posts about some of the topics, since they really are very interesting.

Monday, November 19, 2012

New Reading

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New reading material from LA (which is pretty much a part of Iran).

Definitely won't be a quick read.
"Conference of the Birds" is an amazing book. The translation is amazing too (penguin group one).

As for Rumi, it really depends on personal tastes. People read the Coleman Barks versions and love them. All he does is spice up other translations. An apt comparison would be Fitzgerald (rubaiyat), but Barks deserves a little better than that. At he end of the day, translation is always tricky. Do you bring the reader to the culture or bring the culture to the reader. In the case of Fitzgerald, he decided to bring the culture to Europe. Barks has done the same, but hasn't butchered the original work as much.

After Fitzgerald died, seeds from a rose taken from Nishapur were planted near his grave. The original rose came from the gravesite of Khayyam. That pretty much summarizes everything up well. (A Persian rose and English weather don't mix, in case your wondering.)

Anyways, from the little I've read of Rumi thus far has gone over my head. Luckily I bought a dictionary too. The other book is more of an explanation/prose version of the story of ("Conference of the Birds").