Tuesday, December 23, 2008

War With Pakistan....Is it worth it?

Napoleon said "Men are moved by two levers only : fear and self interest." When Mr.Bush attacked Iraq we know there was no fear in that, only self-interest. That kind of self-interest is called Saddam-Hussain-is-sitting-on-millions-of-dollars-worth-of-oil.But then, why get into a worthless discussion of how Mr.Bush is highly selfish. India is angry. Angry because we have been attacked. The carnage is the worth ever in the history of humanity, or so they say. We caught a Pakistani terrorist, Kasab, alive. Since the terrorist is Pakistani, politicos in India and abroad want Pakistan to come clean off its terrorists this time. Pakistan, as usual is shrugging it off saying there are as many terrorist attacks happening in Pakistan as elsewhere in the world. Condemnation of the terrorist attacks is slowly fading and people moving back to their routines again. This is where the angry India steps in. We don't want the world only condemning Pakistan. We want something concrete. Since its our "internal" matter we will take care of it ourself - a similar statement was issued by Mr.Pranav Mukherjee yesterday. What does Mr.Mukherjee plan to do? I presume military action is strongly on his mind. Global pressurizing is obviously not working. And, miliary action would be directly imply war with Pakistan. War with Pakistan. The very first need of war is money. Money for arms. Money to pay your men. And money for a lot of other things as well - like sustaining a positive economy.Anger is a good thing - in a way. It helps take our minds off more important things. While we have been busy getting angry at Pakistan, most of us have almost forgotten the global recession. We have very nearly forgotten that people all over the world are getting pink slips. However (and so far!) the Indian economy is doing really well for itself. If we go to war, our economy will no longer remain stable. Prices of commodities with go way over the top. The GDP that we have been able to stablilize at, will shoot off the roof. A war will pull us down as a nation - economically. However, for all of those who think, this kind of war is necessary to upkeep our "national honour". Think again. If we go for this war, what is going to be the difference between Mr.Bush and us. None whatsoever.Now, temperorily let's forget about the local implications and assume we go to war with Pakistan. We attack their borders, bomb their cities, towns and villages. They retreat and admit defeat. Then what?We will have defeated Pakistan. The Mumbai Carnage is now avenged. And we will also have added to our liablilities. Pakistan is a liability. Nothing less, nothing more. At this moment, I will not divulge into how they are liabilites.But more importantly, do we want this liability in such times? I don't think so. As an answer to that, I quote Napoleon again, "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake".

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Deserving Boot

The boot.
It's super famous right now. Most of us would love to be that shoe right now. For the fame or for the "bulls eye". Whichever.
The way I see the world, its totally deserving. The boot is finally in the place that it has worked hard to deserve. I was told once...first deserve, then desire, and then demand. So true, the boot was really deserving. It has met its heart's desire. It has finally commanded all the attention it could have ever wanted.
For clarification sake, the "boot" of the matter is the pair of shoes that were flung at the American Prez Mr. Bush last week. The video is famous, and so many "shoe flinging" games have already been devised all over the world, most people still can't stop laughing over it(that includes me!).
Mostly, I am amazed.
Mr. Bush had the audacity to walk into the very land he has almost destroyed and turned to ruins. I have never know him to have guts at all. To first destroy a country using bombs, plastering American soldiers all over Iraq, and then walking down there as if he were taking an evening stroll - he has guts. I think what he really lacks is something somewhere up there.
There have been dictators all through the history of our planet. This is the first foolish dictator I know of. I call him a dictator only because he can randomly order his men to go destroy any part of the world that he fancies. Only dictators do that. Men and women - who have brains - do not bombard entire countries looking for one man. Its plain and simple. Just because he was told he is the commander-in-chief of USA, he ass-u-me-d he-was-the-king-of-the-world.
I think he will be thankful he is going back from Iraq - alive. He is the worst choice that American have ever imposed on the world. Moreover, they repeated their mistake by electing him for a second term!! No wonder Americans are fast becoming the most hated breed on the planet. I think all an average American know is how to sue, how to blame other people and to teach their children how to kill. How many pro-active Americans do we hear of? How many have any helping hands? Hardly.
I can't wait for the Obama Era to begin. He is a saint, literally. Definitely not a mindless devil that can't do anything but kill other people.
The boot.
Mr. Bush got what he deserved. He tried to boot the world and has gotten "booted" for cameras all over the globe to see. Come to think of that .... the two boots were for the two countries. The two boots were for the twin tower. The two boots were for the terms in office he has held. The two boots were to make sure he is really booted out this time.
There was only one disgusting thing - even after being booted - he was still smiling.
For all those who think I am over exaggerating, maybe someone should randomly drop bombs in and around your homes looking for a certain Mr. Saddam Hussein or a certain Mr. Osama bin Laden. Imagine a foreign tyrant sitting comfortably in his home, and blasting your homes, your dreams, the people you have known, blasting your industries, blasting your country - everything to smithereens. How come he has never so much as dropped a bomb anywhere in America? I am sure it's not a vice free country!
It's never about one country or one person. It's always about preserving the humanity in us. How many more blood thirsty giants will such episodes have created? Who is responsible for them? Who is answerable to them?
Like Gandhiji said : An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind. Are we really blind?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Changing one minister for another...what difference does it make?

Greetings! Last night I was at the Gateway of India.I had approached gateway from the Radio Club end. Big crowds. Lots of banners. People shouting slogans. Singing our National Anthem. Celebrities. Bouncers protecting the celebrities. TV crews filming. Lots of people with cameras. Candles being lit. Police cordoning off the restricted area. Sniffer dogs. Few wannabies on dias. Some walking with candles. Traffic jam on the Colaba Causeway.
I couldn't help but shed tears.
Today's newspaper headlines : Vilasrao goes, Shinde in.I am still flipping the coin over who is the bigger baffoon. Verdict : Can't say. No, this is not about who is the better man, the better politician, which party they come from, who are they allied with. None of this at all. Think about it and you realize they are all the same. Very few differences. Hardly any.
A CM is FOR the state - responsible for the state. I am not sure how the Constitution of India defines the responsibilities of a CM, but I surely think he should be aware of what is happening within and outside the state; as well as about India.
So, when terrorists attack Mumbai (or any other place in, say, Maharashtra) who should we blame? Who is the one person responsible? Who can we hold accountable? So, far we have no prospects or provisions for a Rudi Giuliani. Most people (especially, the politicians & opposition) think that the CM should resign.
I ask why.Did we really expect him to step up and take the bullets face on? Did we really expect even one of our honourable ministers to have done that? Did we really expect that when we exchange one politician for another it will be any different? Do we think that under any other CM things would have been any different?
I don't think so.If he does not make any difference so far, why do we think by replacing one minister for another will better the situation here? Replacing ministers is plain and simple - politics.
All of our ministers, in fact, any one linked to politics, and those who can afford it, do not move around without security of some or the other kind. Those who are exclusively & constantly being protected by someone else can never understand how Mumbai has changed in the last one week. Those who cannot afford protection have already moved into the daily grind. These people know better.
Some are fighting with the government for better security. Some are filing PILs against the government. A few people have now been dismissed. How does that make us any more safer or secure? Most of the people who walk on the street know the answer. I am not the one who likes being pessimistic. I have always believed we can be good, if we want to be. We always have a choice. But most of us always pick the easier way out. That easily explains why after 60 years of Gandhi corruption is still so rampant in our country.
Coming back to main question. When all this hoopla ends, when the PILs are being fought over, after the ministers have been exchanged, how much do we really expect the position to change. A lot of us are blaming the politicians for what has happened. But, I still feel, we are not really hitting bulls eye by doing that.
When we exchange one minister for another, one bureacrat for another nothing much actually changes. After a little bit of firework, most of them go back to filling their own coffers. If we are really looking at better governance, then it should be down to president's rule in the state by now. For that matter - most of the country should be under martial law right now.
Now that Mumbai is ravaged, people are crying. India has been under attack for years now - all through our independence. Netagiri and babuism have survived so far. The faces keep changing, but the method the same. Replacing one face for another is not the solution. What is really needed is a change in the system.
I know a lot of people will say it is young blood that is talking. But then, such is the need of the hour.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Mohallah Committees - An Answer???

It's time.
Time to stop staring.
Time to not let go anymore.
Time to stop shrugging our shoulders helplessly.
Mumbai has never been limited to it's Mumbaikars. We have always been a cosmopolitan culture. We blend onto those around us and they blend into us. For a very long time now this fusion and diffusion has created this beautiful and exquisite kaleidoscope that is a part of us.
This 26/11 has changed more than a few things. It is said that destruction of such epic proportions has never been encountered elsewhere in the world. This scar on Mumbai's face shall remain with us forever. But, I believe, like all great men who have walked this planet, such scars have always made them more humane, more powerful, more unbreakable. I am sure this is true of Mumbai.
Terrorists will come and go. Mumbai is forever. Terrorists surprisingly look like human beings. Really, if they had, may be horns on their heads, they would be so much easier to spot and isolate. But unfortunately they don't.
Now, that we have been hurt, let's not shrug our shoulders and wait for the next one to strike. It's time to take things in our own hands.
There are two important things that go into prevent such catastrophes' - firstly, its our government and security agencies, and secondly and most importantly - ourselves. Even more importantly, both of these can be controlled by us. There is a lot we can do, if we really want to do it.
As far as the government is concerned, the answer is painstakingly simple - use your rights. VOTE. We have the power to ensure who gets control over our security agencies. We have the power to vote for no one. All we lack is the willingness to get up and vote. Most of us feel - what difference does one vote make - it makes a difference. It makes a big difference. It is difference of life and death. Even at the risk of sounding cliche, I must say this - a lot of drops make the ocean. With approximately 40% of the population not voting, what bigger example can one give. If you are wondering about the how-to of elections, it's time to visit www.jaagore.com
Moving to the second most important thing that we can do.
It's called self-empowerment. You cannot always control what the government does, what the army, navy and other security agencies are doing, what the terrorists do, what other countries are planning. However, we can control what is happening around us. We have to keep our eyes and ears open. We have to stay alert. We need to keep a tab on what is happening in our surroundings. We need to stop saying, "Why should I bother?" & "It has always happened this way. Why should I ask?".
Technically, a lot of things can be done. I can leave that to your thoughtfulness and creativity. However I would just like to put forth an example. After the '92 riots, one very important initiative that Mumbai Police had taken to ensure peace in the city was that of "Mohallah Committees". A lot of people may remember what it used to be, many of you may have been active members of such local committees. However, for those you are not sure what it was - here it goes. A mohallah ommittee was constituted of a few prominent people living in building or vicinity. The people in committee were usually those who knew the people living in the building, colony or society or regularly interacted with them.
The purpose here was to create local vigilance groups. Any unusual or suspicious activities could be reported to the members who could look into it. Serious issues could be easily forwarded to the police. This is doubly effective. One the police is actually looking at authentic complains and suspicions. Also, unnecessary rumors can be nipped in the bud. The members can hold monthly or weekly meetings in their respective areas as a method of face-to-face interaction for those who fall in the area.
If we really think about it, such a method is highly effective. Self awareness and self-security aside being a part of such activities will also give us a sense of fulfillment and contributing back to the society.
Since ancient times, we Indians have always have had local self governance. In today's times, we need to take steps to secure our own safety. We cannot endlessly wait for the government to come down and do something for us. It's time to take our own security in our hands. It's time to stand up and do our duties. The rights will follow automatically.
What else do you think we could do??

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Life of a Feline

Welcome! It's the saddest of all times. Maya Dolas passed away today morning. I am still mourning her death. She came into our lives as a surprise. Or more like shock. We should have known. In fact, we should have expected it. It was bound to happen. There is no real immunity from such things. Moments like these appear from nowhere and leave your hearts and minds touched forever. There was something about her eyes. They were ablaze with fire. The kind of eyes you cannot help but stare into, yet they are so powerful they cannot be stared into for long. They don't ask questions. They just force you to look within yourself. They force you to look at the world from their viewpoint. That is why I named her Maya....the eternal enchanter....
Later the kitten ventured out into the big wide world. The world allured her. She roamed like a tigress on the prowl. She walked like a royal. Nope. She was not exactly hunting. She was just taking in her new surroundings. The kids loved her. They fed her and played with her. At least that is what most of them did. A few vicious ones pelted stones at her, tied a string around her neck and tried to drag her around the place. The dogs attacked her. At night she stayed out alone. Keeping warm within her own fur.
The next day she was rediscovered by the kids. The next day she was brought back home. But now she limped from where the dogs had bit her. But the fragile body had a very strong spirit within her. She did not lay still. She kept dragging herself all over the place.
But the eyes revealed the pain withheld in her soul. But amidst the pain the strong, resolute spirit could not be broken. I will never forget those eyes. She knew she was going to die. Her spirit will live for eternity beyond.
The night passed. As the early morning sun touched the city of Mumbai she whimpered, sighed and then passed away with the passing night.
I will never forget the day she came.
The night was a night of terror for the city of Mumbai. And with the evil shadows had passed by Mumbai ... so had Maya Dolas. The memory will remain etched within me forever. Of light and of shadow. Of days and of nights. The memory shall not be allowed to die.
The stray cat that my brother brought home that day. I called her Maya Dolas.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Battlefield Mind!!

Greetings Blog Reader!
Not much seems to have changed in my life since the last time I was here.
-Barrack Obama is Officially allowed to enter the Oval Office as President. That is the good thing.
-Indian economy is also swaying with the World Economic Crisis; however, if I am allowed to opine, I personally think Indian Economy is more or less in the hands of Dr. Singh. That is the expected thing.
-My life is at a standstill. That is the bad thing.
Now, while I am supposed to be collecting moss right now, I am not exactly convinced that is the best thing to do. I mean, who could I possibly sell moss to!!?
Moving on.
For the last few days my mind is glorious battlefield of dual. I am not sure any of the sides is going to win at all - it's just that the thought itself is so...well, itchy. I keep going back to it...again...and again...and again.
Here it goes.
Most of us, at some point of time or the other - expect. We expect things to happen. We expect it to rain. We expect to pass the exam. We expect the train to come on time. We expect to not get stuck in the traffic. We expect to reach office on time. We expect our friends to spend more time with us. We expect our family to support us. We expect to finish that book this weekend. We expect the good samaritian to appear out of nowhere and help us out. We expect friendship. We expect love. We expect respect. We expect applause. We expect rewards. We expect world peace. We expect...expect...and expect.
The list is endless. From the most trifle everyday things to the big chunks of our lives we expect things to happen. More importantly, some of us even expect feelings from others - family, friends, colleagues, etc. All the same time that we are expecting (pun unintended!), we do know that the given expectation may or may not come true. Still, when the expectation does not come true we feel hurt, cheated. Why?
Let's say, we are expecting the train to be on time. Now, while we are expecting, we are mentally aware the train MAY OR MAY NOT appear on time. If the train does appear on time, we are elated. We go through the I-told-you-so-symptom. However, when the train is late by say x minutes, then we feel somewhat angry, irritated. Also, higher the value of x, higher the irritation & anger. In other words, we can say expectation is probability. In most cases a 50-50% chance something is going to happen. If we know by default then why the irritation when the thing fails our expectation?
I guess it's more to do with human nature than the laws of probability or proportion.
Whenever we "expect" something to happen, we are "wishing" that thing to happen. Technically, by the rules of probability it's still a 50-50% deal.
However, wishing is very different from expecting. Expecting is a hard-hearted word. It does not have the softness that wishing does. Expecting does not tug at the strings of your heart the way wishing does. Think about it.
When you think of the word "wish", what comes to your mind? I can't comment on what picture your mind might have drawn for you, but I can truly tell about mine. Wish, for me, is somewhere in dream land...where the "fairy godmother" will grant whatever i have wished for. Voila! Just because i wished it is true. Wish has a heart rendering softness to it - because, wish comes from the depths of your heart. When you expect, it usually comes from some kind of experience - it has something to do with the mind. But, when you wish, it's usually from the bottom of your heart.
All practical people in this world - expect(in the calculated way, of course!).
Dreamers wish.
Only the truly wise know, understand and appreciate the difference.
And yes, in case you wanted to know - morons like me - wish.
Which kind are you???

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mee Mumbaikar...Silent Spectators!!

Warmest season's greetings!! I have been away. Busy. Too busy to look at myself carefully. No no no... not busy as in the socialite types or anything like that..... Before you call me a hypocrite, give me a chance to justify myself. I have been a silent spectator...all this while. Now I am not talking about a week, a month or a year. I am taking into leverage the entire duration of my life. More importantly, i realize i am not alone. It seems like a sad, lonely thing to do. To do nothing but stare. To just watch what is happening without ever raising a finger or moving a limb to change a thing. Surprisingly, that is what most of us actually do. Take for example the recent uprising by the MNS activists. There is no point discussing how those brainwashed individuals held a whole bustling city to ransom - they already have had more than their fair share of media frenzy. How a bunch of brainwashed idiots managed make mockery of the democracy that we boast of. Those people whose businesses were affected, shops looted, damaged, destroyed or burnt down can do nothing but look at the heavens above and try to pick up the strands of life all over again. Whereas, the perpetrators of such evil thoughts still roams freely in his A/C car... Arrests are usually not made in such cases because it is the mob that attacks. Even when arrests are made, most of them usually get out on bail very easily. Sometimes one wonders why the police needs to intervene if all they do is capture and then let them go. Enough said about the people who are trying to drive us back into the stone age. Mumbai, says Wikipedia, has a population around about nineteen million, a total potpourri of cultures, religions and trades. Also, the city has been inhabited since the stone age. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumbai). When the rains poured over Mumbai, we Mumbaikars stood by each other, bringing strangers into our home. Many stood on the roads and provided food, water or if nothing else showed them the way home. That is the Spirit of Mumbai - undying. Anyone who dreams of being a someone is drawn to this city. There is something about the very air of this city, it makes you want to dream. And if you already have a dream it fans that spark within you, till the little amber turns to a full fledged roaring blazing fire inside. To try and differentiate people in a city like this is injustice. Its blasphemy. Still, however unjust the happenings in the city, most of us remained silent; watching from behind the curtains of our homes. Some of us speak now, albeit still not very openly. That is when i self-introspect. I too remained silent. I think we have remained silent too long. I think we need to speak up. Speaking up does not always kill. Look at the US, when the people turned up to vote in the largest number - democracy (& hopefully even peace) shall prevail at the hands of Barrack Obama. Somehow, the city seems to have gone into a slumber. I am currently reading "Discovery of India" by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru. Its a beautiful book, written in a beautiful language, about a culture, a country that is even more beautiful. One of the things I learnt from whatever I have read so far is all the while when India was openhearted accepting people of all faiths and cultures, exchanging knowledge, spreading knowledge - India was at that time the most famous in the world and was know as "Sone ki Chidiya". However, when she tried to close her fist, tried to not let people come in and affect her "culture" she started stagnating. The openness of the heart and mind which had led her to her glory - whence the fist was closed - was slowly and steadily lost.... I believe that is true even today. Any one who is highly learned can tell you this, to learn, to grow, to reach the pinnacle of your success you will need to keep your mind and your hearts open to all... for a closed fist can never capture enough........... In the end all that I can say is.... while my city, my country is being held to ransom...at the present moment...i just stand like a silent spectator. However, I am sure this immobility shall not last for long....and when the moment comes...i shall not be found looking for reasons.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No time to stop and stare for a while...

A very warm season's greetings to one and all....!!
It's truely time for festivities...at least for some of us...
Since Eid I have been doing a little bit traveling....here and there...
Ramazaan having gone with no time for self....I needed a much wanted break. And as far as I am concerned...any reason to travel anywhere is good enough!
So, immediately after Eid I left for Surat. Spent a good four days there. Not that I traveled the city by foot or went around the whole place. It's always the people that I find most intruiging. The people of the place define what the place is like. Otherwise, mostly everything is Antarctica....all the same...over and over...
From there I returned back home for a day's respite to move to Burhanpur. Now, for those who have never heard of the place - Burhanpur is a small town/village located on the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. It's not very huge. I don't recall having seen any buildings that went beyond a third floor.... But it's bigger than a village would be...so, I call it a town. It has a lot of religious and a strong historical background. Well, if you are wondering what I was doing there... there in Burhanpur, is one very sacred ziyarat of Hakimuddin Moula...who is highly revered by Dawoodi Bohras as also by people of other faiths.
Now, on our second day there we were told there is curfew going on. That took us by surprize.

Then we discovered there were riots that have been happening around Dhulia (Maharashtra) since Eid. Now, since it had started spreading and there had been certain incidents that had happened in Burhanpur that morning. That had lead to the ensuing curfew. So, we were restricted within the premises.

Now, the next day we were to return back to Mumbai. Since the Dargah-e-Hakimi had special priviledges we had no difficulty getting back to the station. But it was while we were in the train that really made me think and re-think.

Boarding the train we realized that half the train was empty. Most people who had reservations did not turn up. Still, it was not empty....just that under normal circumstances, that particular stretch is over-crowded. Those who travel by the Kalyan-Igatpuri-Nasik-Bhusaval route know what its like. Usually it's full of life and people. However, I believe because of the riots or similar reasons, most people were holed up. Take for example Nasik. Very popular. For residential and business reasons alike. When the train hit Nasik around 7.30 in the evening, you could not find a soul on the platform!! A similar scenerio ensued on Igatpuri, Bhusaval, etc. Even as a child I could tell Igatpuri by its commotion and sweet aroma of various types of food. This time around it was dark and empty.

However, when we got off at Thane, life looked usually. At 10 in the night, there were people scurrying in all directions to get to their desired destinations. My best guess is that no one had heard anything about a curfew or riots on some other parts of the state or country.

It's things like these that make me stop and think.

We Mumbaites are at times so full of ourselves and our miniature lives that we don't ever bother looking over our shoulder. The incidents happening were just a few hours away from us. So close. Yet we somehow just choose to always look the other way...as if nothing is happening...or has ever happened.

I know that Mumbai is the city for the dreams. Everyone here is on a mission. I know life moves so fast here that at times its easy to even forget why we started running in the first place.

Maybe instead of a Mumbai Marathon, its time Mumbai city could take break... It could take the time to stop and stare....

But then maybe Mumbai would not remain what it is now.

The question remains - can Mumbai have a heart that beats for others without loosing its true spirit???

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Speak For Yourself

Greetings Earthling! Ramazaan has kept me really busy this year. Now, that it is going to come to a close very soon, life is getting even more hectic by the day. However, since blogging is one thing I definitely like to do, here I am today. So, getting on with my most recent ramblings. A few days ago, a friend of mine asked me if I was turning into a "hard-core". Since then it has persisted as the proverbial itch that needs scratching. Let's analyse this. According to the Little Oxford English Dictionary, the word hard core is the most committed or uncompromising members of a group. That is the lexicographical meaning. In our daily lives the word is associated with the most extreme, the most manly, the kind that pushes to the limit. In short, an extremist would be a type of hard core. Now, for those who know me in-person, usually know me a the very happy-go-lucky, the fun type of person. Some know who knows what to do when and how much. I am not saying i am perfect - not in the least - i just believe in doing what I think is right. And the path to righteousness never hurts anyone else in its wake. So, this question took me completely by surprise. In fact, I kind-of tumbled over it. I have questioned myself several times over since - especially with all the bombs blasting all over the country. Moreso, because for those who do not understand Islam, every believer is a hardcore. This has also led to a lot of introspection - within myself and the Islamic world in today's time. Islam. A religion that says Allah is one and the all powerful. All humans are equal. Meccah is the house of Allah. Mohammed is His Prophet. Quran is the holiest book of Islam. This is the truth. Beyond this, I feel is a lot of speculation. In recent times, terrorist activities have increases manifold all over the world. A lot of these terrorists proclaim that they are Muslims. However,I feel, most of them have never understood Islam. Or Jihad. Or even themselves and their surroundings for that matter. These seem to be highly disillusioned and brainwashed people. Most of them are very young - not very worldly wise either. Now, because of these people or these terrorist, shall we say, a lot of other simple and innocent men and women all across the globe have unwanted gained the title of being hardcores. To the point, that in today's time, if you are a Muslim and a beliver and diligently follow your traditions and religion, you are automatically labelled a hard core. And this could not be farther from the truth. Islam teaches you humbleness. It teaches you brotherhood. It teaches you tolerance. It teaches you community living. As much as I have looked into the teachings of Islam, I have learnt that it is the most beautiful religion ever. Simply because it shows you how to live like a human. And, how to live and let live. I am a believer. But, I refuse to be labelled as a hard core. I believe in my values. I believe in my traditions. I believe in my Prophet. I believe in my religion. I believe in Allah. I believe. Therefore, I am.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Welcome back...

Greetings Earthlings...
I know its been more than a month since I was last here....
I am back.....to pick up left off ties...
So, here we start our restless ramblings again.... Before we begin let me just quickly recount some recent activities. A few more ramblings, per say.
I think was here last around the time that Akbar masaji had passed away. Since then, I have quit my job as a Jr.Copywriter at Webchutney. And a couple of days after that I flew off to Karbala and Najaf to do ziyarat of Imam Hussain (A.S.) and Moulana Ali (A.S.). After the 14-day trip to Iran-Iraq, I returned on 5th August. Between then and now there is nothing very note-worthy has happened.
For today, I believe i will stick to decribing the events and the cultures that I crossed in these times. There is a lot to say. So many words that hit your mind. So many vistas that open up in all directions, exploring new horizons. I believe i could keep going on and on. Time travel never stops.
In the duration that I have been away, I had the opportunity to visit Iran and Iraq. Iraq, for all obvious & spiritual reasons, unofficially. Your true journey actually begins when you step out at the airport, your bags packed. The moment you have bid a good bye to your loved ones and step take the first step towards your destination, your journey truely begins only then. The times that we live in today, traveling by sea is no longer a necessity, its luxury. And flying is cheaper and faster. So, we flew.
Any journey is mostly also considered successful if your co-travellers help you do so. No journey is ever singular. I had a lot of companions who were masters in the art of life. Per say, I had a lot of aged people as companions, and a few youngers. I was the only single female.
Iran is neat and clean. Nevertheless, what is truely missing is the life of any country. The people. Iran is an Islamic Republic. One of the biggest implication is in way the women are treated here. All women in Iran will usually wear a jacket and a scarf. Very trendy dressing. Girls usually sport sexy heels and fancy hair dos. The monetary power shows well. The economy is good. However, all of this is only for the bigger cities and towns. For the rest of Iran is purely mountains. You will long to see a tree in sight. All you really see on the mountains is spiked shrubs.
So much for Tehran and rest of Iran.
When you cross over into Iraq things change. Drastically. There are few pakka roads. Most are so dusty and the heat is good enough to kill. However, you will see one major differentiation between Iran and Iraq. Iran is very dry in terms of vegetations; whereas, Iraq has plenty of trees. Most are date palms. But you do encounter a lot of oasises. It's definitely more greener. However, the women in Iraq wear a hijab that only shows their face and hands - your hair should not show in any circumstance. Apart from these fundamentals, Iraq is poor.
Moving beyond the enviromental and cultural aspects of these countries, we come to Karbala. The peace one experiences here cannot be exchanged for any valuables in life. I sure am glad I was able to go.
I think i am a little tired for now. There are too many memories. Memories of sitting for hours together in Haram Shareef. Memories of Taha, Murtaza and Hozefa. Time spent with Nafisa Aunty and Aliakbar Uncle. Time spent with Durraiya Aunty. The trip of 14-days. The memories have been hard-coded in brain for as long as I shall live.
More later....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wobbling Wednesday!

Greetings Earthlings... It was a day where you are grinded to such an extent that life extracts all juices out of you!! Completely grilling & gruelling... Not so much directly... it's the little things that bother the most... The one joking-said-unfair word, the one-small-sentence-turned-into-an-argument, etc. and so on and so forth! I guess this is not the real mood to be able to clearly or thoughfully express oneself... I shall return when I feel better again.... Till then, I return to my shell of depression & gloom...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Right time?

Good day Earthlings! So, when do we know it's the right time? Now, this question is not necessarily aimed at anything in particular. Just that we usually hold the belief that the Maker sets his time for everything that is supposed to happen, and when the time is right, it shall surely happen. Not even if you willed you could stop it from happening any more. So, if the Maker obviously knows when it's timed... when do simple mortals know it's truely the right time? Someone, I have this feeling that life treats us all differently. What I mean by this is some people seem to go from goal to goal strife-lessly. Others (like me, for instance!) take several stops on the way to finally reach somewhere; and that does not necessarily have to be where-we-wanted-to-go. I wonder why does He do that. I wonder why are we not equal. Maybe, I am aware of the answer myself. While all of us as humans do face problems and obstacles, we do not really face equally or as harshly. For the same problem, one man will treat it like it was nothing, whereas the other may feel burdened under it... even unable to sneak out of it for relief-sake. Similarly, even though the problems around us maybe similar, the way we treat them when they fall upon us makes all the difference. A person who can smile and face all adversities, will definitely see more of life, will be able to do more. Whereas one cribbing on a small hurdle, may never be brave to skip ahead. So, coming back to the question of when is it really the right time? All I can say is that God sets a path for us. He makes us go through adversity so that we can be stronger and be able to take what life throws at us. Yeah, when the time comes, we shall know "It's time"!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sultry Sunday!!

Dear Earthlings! Today being Sunday, most of us are not going to bother dragging ourselves out of bed at all....at 1300 hrs, my brother is still sleeping, or pretending to be asleep! There was a small 5-min activity that happened today, which has my thinking cap dying to be placed back on my head. I mean, its usually considered no big deal..getting married. I see all around me and everyone I know is getting married!! And they seem to be really happy with it. I am happy to see them happy. However, it's a feeling that I don't really understand. The feeling of two souls becoming one and agreeing to staying together for the rest of their lives... that actually means, if all goes well, they will stick together for as long as they live. WOW! To me, somehow, the idea itself seems preposterous. From what I understand of being married, it means commiting to stand by each other, in all times, no matter what. However, no where it actually states that you shall not have a life of your own. Or that you cannot be your own person. No where it says that the wife shall the slave to her husband by carrying out all his wishes as commands. Yes, wife is expected to hear her husband out, however, in the usual sense of the word, it is conveniently misinterpreted as wife should always do her husband's bidding. And so and so forth. However, the cruel society places no such rules for the darling husbands!! I wonder why would people still want to stick around someone even after knowing it all!! It is usually safely assumed that women are dumb. They have no understanding of the world what so ever & should be imprisoned - not actually, but I think most of us undertand what I am talking about... However, in the recent times there has been a slight shift in this line of thought. But the shift is really minimalistic. It has more to do with men wanting to hold their control over their wives and society, and less to do with what women actually capable of. I think I can safely continue this topic tomorrow, for I am in a little bit of hurry today. Today is my Mom's birthday!! I do have little surprises planned.... all I can do is hope it all ends well!! More on what actually happened today... tomorrow!! Ciao!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Stepping into Saturday!

Early morning Earthlings!! I just stepped into Saturday a little while ago.... a tiny, soft-footed step. A thought that has been bothering me for a while now.... and honestly enough, I don't even think I shall have any answers so soon. When do we know a person is a stranger? Technically, the way a human brain functions, or let's say, the way we have been taught - a stranger is a person we do not know. So, how do we know someone? Or when do we truely know someone? Do people who have known each other for years, really know each other? Can one know another in the look of the eye? What is it? What does it take? Why is it different everytime? There can be a million questions just surrounding this... but that is irrelevant. The important thing is the understanding. I now believe, we can never really know someone... Even someone very close, like our parents or siblings.... I have my reasons. Firstly, the true meaning of the word knowing lies in the fact that we should be able to reasonable predict the behaviour in certain circumstances. However, I have also discovered through self experimentation that we can change our behaviours to a certain reasonable extent. Do the unexpected. But then, it must be planned. In moments of true adversity, you mostly do your best. So, coming back to the topic. We can know someone and not really know them. Or we may have never seen that person and yet we can bond like we were never seperated since birth... Why is that so? What is that crucial connection? Why do we feel so comfortable with some people? And why is it that we can't stand some others? Some of our answers may lie in our past. Others are actual indices towards our future. The way ahead. The way that we passed points towards the way that we choice. We say that we always have a choice, but do we really? I am not sure. I have never been very sure about this. Maybe, its Providence that we should discover this in the way of our lives - that is when we truely appreciate the beauty that lies within us, around us. And at that precise moment, we realize how beautiful everything is.... and that is also the moment that we truly, madly, deeply fall in love with our selves!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Frivolous Friday!!

Happy Independence Day to America!!- And Americans, of course!! While, USA happy rejoices on a Independence-Day-turned-to-a-long-week-end, we here, in India, are still struggling in our pre-week-end phase. Today, I wonder why do we become who we are... Right from the moment we are fusing-and-forming in our mother's wombs, to the day we die, we change. The only thing that is certain in life is change. We mould ourselves according to circumstances. It can be negative or positive. The same circumstance can affect two people ever so very differently. Even at the time when we cannot control our environment or emotions we are always exposed to them. Now, at the age when we are very much mouldable by our surroundings.... so to say, we do not even know what this tiny snow flake can actually turn to a storming snow ball of destruction some day. That is why I feel, your emotions are like snowflakes. Each one is unique, just being within the person who holds them. When you look at them individually, each one is ever so very beautiful, you could keep watching it forever.... outwardly, to the naked eye, it appears all the same. Our society is just like that. If it is happening to someone else, it's all fine. It always happens to someone else. But when you feel it yourself, you understand the beauty within. Now at times, especially when we are not aware of our emotions, and their affects and their beauty, we are most vulnerable to it. By this, I do not mean to say that emotions are negative... Emotions, by themselves, are positive. However, they are positive when you know how to temper them. How to mould yourself, so that they can add more beauty to your character. But like I was saying, emotions, when we do not know how to handle them that is when they affect us the most. At a very tender age, when the world is still a big zoo, we begin noticing the effect they have on us. If it goes uncontrolled... that is when it starts "snow-balling"... effects are which are rarely immediate... These are the kind of effects that present themselves when we are adults and grown up... That moment, when it bursts forward, we realize what we have been holding within ourselves, even without looking at it.... Such is life!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Rashidaz Rambling Restlessness!!: Twittering Thursday!

Rashidaz Rambling Restlessness!!: Twittering Thursday!

Twittering Thursday!

Greeting Earthlings!! Life is all about moving on. In one sense of the word and also in the other.... I am sure, a few years on this planet are sufficient for all of us to see whatever there is to see. But then, I have known a lot of people who save now, so that they can be rich and retire early. Now, not that I am complaining, but somehow, it seems like a futile idea. I mean when you are have already passed the fountain of youth, toiling away without looking around, you have not really lived your life. The sarcasm of our lives is that we shall never know when death shall come knocking and off we go in a jiffy. Now, if Allah placed me on this planet, there has to be a plan for me.... He was obviously not thinking that I should land on this planet, take 15 years to learn every worthwhile thing that there is to learn and then use that wisdom to slog myself in a cubicle!! Surely, Allah cannot have thought of this!! This has to be human seiging himself in the name of secure future! When He made this natural beauty all around me, I am sure He must have had something going on... But there are people who don't understand beauty!! I mean... what do will you be looking at when you are 40 & then go out to see the world!! I mean... that also assumes that you will live till 40 & also assumes that you will retire at 40 & also assumes that you will go out to see the world after 40!!! I would rather live 10 years that Allah gives me to the fullest! Living each day as if its my last.... Yes, I do believe in planning forever.. However, I don't let that come in the way of today!! Live life Queen Size... for I don't know if in my next moment, I shall be dead or alive... if i don't know then I don't assume it. Finally, Live like you will die tomorrow! Plan as if you will live forever!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Flooding Tuesday!!

Welcome Rains, back to Mumbai!! Finally, the sweltering heat has turned into pouring blessing in rain drops!! And there are these millions blessing pouring all over Mumbai.... Technically, half of Mumbai is already submerged!! But, as usual, Rashida reports to work.. on time!!! Hail, SuperWoman!! I am thoroughly enjoying myself... I love rains... No better excuse to get out & get wet & have fun... no inhibitions - to any one who has never tried it before, it's a sure cure for broken hearts & broken souls.... When the rain splashes your face, you can feel all your anxiety being washed away... When the rain soaks you, you feel submerged in the elixir of life.. truly, if Allah had to ever make an elixir of life, it could not be simpler than a good heavenly down pour... Refresh your heart, refresh your souls, feel younger than every before!! Feel truly, madly, deeply, in love with yourself!! It's like living your birth again! It's God's way of cleansing your souls, His way of letting you touch him!! When the soaking rain, makes you shiver to your bones, you can feel the power within you... I would not complain... I can feel His warmth creeping within me... warming my soul to the deepest corner! I welcome thee rains.... come & wash me away! I go now, To soak in the rain.... & enjoy my hot cuppa chai!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Simmering Sunday!

Welcome the Sunday earthlings!! Sundays is all about working harder... really hard. I mean the whole week, all of us working people, slog it out!! Really slog it out - at work! Then comes the weekend! These 2 days are completely meant to be your own...dedicated towards, family, friends & society! Right? Wrong. What I am saying here this. There is a difference. The difference is based on specie classification. That means it all depends whether you are a male or a female. If you are a male, you get to laze around all day. You can wake up when you like, chill out with friends, eat if you want, hog if you feel like. Basically, do what you like for as long as you like - no questions asked! Now, if you are a female... then its all differnt physics. Women end up working double on weekends! They do all the cooking, cleaning, washing, etc as a compensation for all the work that men never did during the week days. Whereas men duly contribute towards raising dust, they never as much as raise a finger to clean it up afterwards! So, the nuturer created by God, does it all! And, more importantly, has to do it with a smile... You are not allowed to spoil someone's relaxation!! However, despite of the apparent discrimination, I still prefer being a girl! A woman! A lady! There is so much power! We are the truely powerful - unlike men. They think they know it all! After all, they earn. But they have no idea about a whole lot of things in this world.... And, i truely think no one can ever explain the differnce to them. All I can say for men is, If ignorance is bliss, it's folly to be wise!! BTW, a "male" friend of mine thinks his feet are pretty delicate....like a peacocks! So, all I can say is "Dance, baby, Dance!!" Till I have more to ramble about, I should go back to cooking Chicken Xacuti with Goan rice! Enjoy your Sunday darlings!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Sultry Satuday!

Welcome the weekend Earthlings! Finally, Saturday is here! And though I have loads to accomplish, I don't even feel like moving a finger! Through all my ramblings, the one most important thing that I've learnt is that there is never going to be a time to do the things that we always wanted to do. There is ALWAYS going to be something that needs your pressing attention, something that needs to be done right now. And amist all those trivial tasks, the ones closest to our hearts are always pushed on the back-burner. There they keep simmering and the pressure keeps building, till one day we can take the pressure no more & we burst forth. Now, depending on the type of person you are, it could work in for or against you. I know i need to do a lot of things. But I also know I need to relax and take it easy! So far, today that is exactly what I have done. Done nothing! And trust me, it feels good. But then, I am also aware that one cannot do this for long.... So, starting with this blog... my day begins. And you shall know tomorrow what my today held for me!! Till then Toodle Doo!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 1 on Blogger.com!

Greetings Earthling! I wake up pretty late.... to the Blogging arena. But finally, at least, I am here. You shall know more about me in the times to come.... So, hold on to all your questions.... Once I finish initializing myself, I shall be back. & I shall tell you how, where, when and why am I similar or different than you!! For now, just take a deeep breathe & relax. Now that I have arrived, things will never be the same again. I have to go right now. I will be back later. Till then...meditate!