Archive for July, 2006


The Rape of Innocence

For the children of Qana… May your blood never be washed off the hands that have stolen your lives from you;

May their eyes stay stark open in the wildness of fear and darkness, who have closed your eyes against all dreams good and pure;

May your screams and tears fill their every waking moment;

May the torment of your mothers’ hearts seize the hearts of those who gave birth to them but taught them nothing about human soul;

May the helpless trembling in your fathers’ hands as they lay you in the ground shake the very foundations on which they stand!

As the Almighty greets you with His mercy and open arms into an abode far restful than the one you have left, may He bring redemption to your innocent blood spilled because of men corrupted in greed, gluttony and lust for land and power… Bless you All!

The Rape of Innocence

Evil always tries to bring others along it’s lonely dark ways… Not a pleasant or easy piece to read I know.. but we fight the dark by bringing it into the light of day.

You come to me shrouded in secrets,
the spattered blood of innocents stain you…
The shades of unquiet souls murmur restlessly.
their sibilant voices entreating deaf heaven for justice.
On your knees you plead your profane case,
red tears staining your quislings face
and the unquiet spirits still…

You croak your sirens song of martyrs,
a gibbering jumble of lies
pouring from your hungering maw..
promising kingdoms,
If I would but join you in the dance of death.

Night after night I hear the screams of the martyrs to your lust
begrimed by the filth you,
you the destroyer of life,
bring to me
even in dreams.

Your existence is not justified,
your redemption is denied you
for the malice and cruelty you bear the helpless and weak.

Judgement has been rendered…

No mercy for the merciless,
nor peace for your restless soul.
The mark of Cain is graven on your liars face,
depriving you of even the illusory promise of love.

You will watch in helpless rage,
craven creature that you are…
a soul lit by Heaven’s grace..
trembling in the ecstasy
of love’s true dance of joy.

-Candida L Eittreim-

Perishing “Muhammad”, “Ali”, “Hussain”, “Ahmed”… The names go on!

Written in 1948, by Paul Eluard, “Gabriel Peri” (Some translations say, “Perished Gabriel”, this poem was written at the time of World War II and the occupation of France to commemorate the detention and subsequent shooting of a journalist Gabriel Peri by the Germans in 1941.
It was meant to highlight the sacrifice made by an ordinary man with ordinary dreams and means and was used to motivate the resistance. Technically, this poem is nothing more than the name of a man, but it is this distinction of being just a man that makes the reading so powerful.
Fast forward, 60-odd years and this name could be substituted by any of the Arab names or ones like them, given above with no distinction of gender or age in Lebanon or Palestine. Simple, ordinary men, women and children embracing bombs and bullets, taking with them their hopes and aspirations of an ordinary life in an extraordinary death while we go on in our pathetic ordinary ways!

– Gabriel Peri –

A man has died who had no other shield
Than his arms open wide to life
A man has died who had no other road
Than the road where rifles are hated
A man has died who battles still
Against death against oblivion
For all the things he wanted
We wanted too
We want them to-day
Happiness to be the light
Within the heart within the eyes
And justice on earth
There are words that help us to live
And they are plain words
The word warmth the word trust
Love justice and the word freedom
The word child and the word kindness
The names of certain flowers and certain fruits
The word courage and the word discover
The word brother and the word comrade
The name of certain lands and villages
The names of women and friends

Now let us add the name of Peri
Peri has died for all that gives us life
Let’s call him friend his chest is bullet-torn
But thanks to him we know each other better
Let’s call each other friend his hope lives on.
– Paul Eluard –

Disjointed Reality

Elders in my family have said that you never question religion because that makes you a ‘kafir’… Later this evolved to include not questioning whatever is being taught or told especially by those very elders. Gobbldegook! I’ve always got into trouble with people because I have a habit of questioning in an extremely loud volume. I am rather proud of the range my vocal chords have but I’m afraid it’s not very comfortable for whoever is in the vicinity of those queries. But now I wonder if somehow all those old schools propagating home schooling for girls and having old notions of accepting all like the proverbial dumb & mute puppet may not have had some significance and been grounded in actual logic.
Have you seen a broken mirror? The first thing you notice is your reflection is suddenly and painfully un-whole… And then you notice, that each shard or sliver reflects you individually, the manifestation in each portraying a different you. Technically, the mirror still serves its purpose of showing you what you look like, but the way you see it is altered. That difference in perception will remain even if the mirror is put together because you will still see where it shattered and those cracks through it will distort your mirror image. There are times, I feel as if those cracks have shifted from the mirror on to my reality. So, what do you do when you and others around you can see the disfiguration in you?
My life has been a rollercoaster these past 5 years, and my emotions have followed suit rollicking from pure unadulterated joy to the dismal pits where for a while I could sympathize with those who commit suicide. I went through a phase where I was not religious per se but I was following the regime of praying 5 times a day, reading the Quran and even offering the nafal salats of Chaasht and Ishraaq to today where I most unfortunately make up the most imaginative reasons to escape a single prayer. I have seen the horror and destruction of black magic and seen the healing, all encompassing power of prayer & belief which makes my present quandary all the more harder to bear. I have rocked between extremes of focusing wholeheartedly on my career, having each step mapped out with a strategy and time line to not knowing where entire months of my life have gone. I have had the utmost faith in the resilience of human emotions and relationships to rallying about the heartlessness of people. This time showed me home truths like your parents being your haven and shelter and reinforced the cold hard fact that one never truly appreciates them…I learned of my own arrogance and stubbornness but also ended up with unforgettable lessons in my own vulnerability and resilience…
But in so many essential ways, all these lessons have ensured that I am no longer the person I was and hence, do not serve me as perhaps they should. So many things that were acceptable to who I was, are now not even familiar. The pathways that I had marked out for me are obsolete and overgrown with unknown species of grass and crawling with creepy crawlies. However, had this doubt been limited to the way I related to people or even my professional development, I would not be so worried. What causes me so much apprehension is that I now at times question those principles that form the basis of our faith. Growing up in a family that for generations has been revered and respected in our home town because of “Saadaat”, religion played a pretty significant role in our every day life. And with it, the teaching of unquestioned conviction was drummed into us. Now, with what I see of Islam in practice, in our country and other Muslim states, coupled with the kind of Islam that is preached, I find myself reluctant to practice it and accept all I have been told. I have an issue when I try and resolve the religion as I know it with what I have read or researched from a number of sources. Honestly, my faith is right now limited to simply the statement of the First and Second Kalima, and beyond that everything is clouded in contradiction.
Who of us can actually say that Islam is as Islam is meant to be? Who of us can in all honesty say that Islam is being followed as it was meant to? Who among us actually knows what the postulates in our religion are? I can’t! And I feel I really would become an infidel if I listen to a Maulvi…!! I can’t help thinking that I will end up more confused and more puzzled and will end up losing whatever small bit of faith I have inside of me if I go to a supposed scholar…
So herein lays my dilemma… I am re-evaluating myself, my aims, my priorities but at the same time, I’m also questioning how my religion fits into who I am and what my divine purpose in life is. I don’t know anymore if the kind of life I want is compatible with what my religion tells me. Regardless of what people say, enlightened moderation is not a concept in Islam. Islam has definite structure and it has rigidity because it gives guiding principles for every aspect of life. One has to have unquestioned, indubitable, solid faith in its TRUE teachings and preaching, enough for you to allow compromised in your life, thought and action to adhere to them. Islam and its principles do not compromise and bend to the demands on your life; you are the one who has to do that. And how do you do that, pray tell, when you start to question teachings that have encompassed so much of your life?
Thinking I’m faithless is making me feel as if I’m adrift and I have nothing to hold on to. Even in relatively dark times in my age, I never thought that I would emerge from them feeling so disassociated with the Almighty.
If a conservative reads this, I will seriously be branded a ‘murtad’ but, I’m not questioning God, I’m questioning my recognition and association with Him. I am questioning the notions that we take for granted and their place in actual religion. I doubt the authenticity of what we practice against what we understand from the Quran and Hadith. My faith and my association with God is that one essential end that will help me to sort out where I figure in the grand scheme of things and I just need to find it to unravel this crisis of self doubt.
It is the pattern of these things in my life and my world that I am having problems recognizing. Like a jigsaw puzzle that you’ve spent your life putting together but even as it starts to make sense, you for some reason feel that it is not quite right. It seems skewed and disjointed and you start to take it apart to try and piece it together and suddenly have these large, gaping open spaces where there are pieces missing…
I know I’ll find them eventually and my reality will be complete once more, in spite of the imprint of shadows that will tell their own tale of my journey. My lust for being comprehensively me as best I can be and in part reaffirming the kind of faith that is untainted by this world will see me through.

Blog Word of the Day: Believe

Cowardly Lion: I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do! I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks. I do! I do! I do! I do!
Wicked Witch of the West: You’ll believe in more than that before I’m finished with you.
Yeah, it’s sad, believe me, Missy,
When you’re born to be a sissy,
Without the vim and the verve.
But I could show you my prowess,
be a lion, not a mou-wess
If I only had the nerve!
-Cowardly Lion-
-The Wizard of Oz (1939)-

I can’t believe I could find nothing else believable enough to believe in, when at no other time have I needed to believe this much in life! C’est La Vie

Post Humus (From the Grave)

In the Aftermath of the post by The Olive Ream, the following has been revealed:

If this disclosure is now seeing the light of a bloody day, it means that at long last I have ceased to be part of the Shakespearean Tragedy of Life and no more do I have to pretend to be alive when for so long I have been the epitome in mockery of all that is deemed living.

Being clinically dead for all intents and purposes is relatively comfortable, the merits of which I will shed light on later. Perhaps first how should tell you how my death in life came to be. Imagine if you will, the world at large, spread before one as a proffered feast of riches, power and advantages and perceive also all those cracks in its façade that you could dig into for your own betterment. Imagine yourself to be a rabbit that can suddenly see that just beyond a flimsy fence is a field of delicious, healthy carrots. For years, the rabbit has survived on a steady although meager supply through smuggling, and stealing but envisage if you will the possibility of seeing spaces under the fence big enough for you to crawl through and notice also that the caretakers of the carrots seem to think you’re so cute, what would you do? If you’re a rabbit with any smarts it is quite obvious, that you will twitch your little nose, curl your little whiskers and with a swish of a fluffy tail crawl under in all apparent helplessness and cuteness right into the aprons of the caretakers.

So if the bearers of this world did so by infiltrating carrot and cabbage patches all over the world when it is clear to anyone with a modicum of sense that if the caretaker fails, the rabbits shall party and considering the general awareness regarding the amazing prowess of the species at multiplying, if steps are not taken in time then one might as well not take them at all. Hence, if the caretakers are now silent simply because they are now unable to contain neither the damage nor the population at large, they are behaving as the owners of a destroyed and decimated vegetable patch would in an infestation. Let it be!.

In the face of this universal truth then, why am I then being wholly and solely blamed for this fallacy of injustice? My contrary cousins materialism, greed and corruption with the extended family members hypocrisy, faithless and injustice were there too and truth be told, it was me against them, one against a number joined together for the purpose of misdeeds and in sheer brute strength and having always been a sickly, skinny child, how was I supposed to face up to them? And considering that they proliferated and spread like a virus (which they are) in the custodians, why am I blamed for that deficiency and failing of their immunity system?

I have been dead for more than an age now. A part of me died every time an injustice was propagated and I held myself back. Safety is an instinctive reaction and why should I feel guilty if I allow that to take precedence over all else. I too am allowed to live and it’s not as if I have been living the miserly life that you all have despite your individual inspirations of me being alive.

I died in the gullet of those echelons/eunuchs of power that have wines and fruits swilling in their swollen magnanimous countenance who sold me off for the paltry sum of state secrets. I died in the exchange of payments for the exchange of technology when that sum had been designated for economic development. I died in the arms of the debauchery and decadence and opulent life styles of those who supposedly followed teachings steeped in humility and understatement. I died in the cowardice of bigots and zealots who believe the word of proxy gods. I died when faith was placed in the same scale as money and material strength and found lacking. I died when simple truths were deemed to be unimportant and when ethics and decency were sold off at the block like the slave girls of a harem because it was so much more beneficial to prostitute it off to the highest bidder. And when the bid is power over peoples’ lives and their deaths, which allows one to play God, then why should it not be?

I am being blamed for making a pact with the devil when each and every one of those pointing their fingers at me is guilty of selling their souls and joining the damned! If I were to say let him cast the fist stone, whom has not made the accord with the fiend, would I be not be spared this libelous and slanderous mud being hurled at my less than pristine self? I don’t deny that some censure rests with me but surely not all of it.

So let a poor soul rest in peace. Having been bartered all my life and paraded in the market squares of the world by those who had me and held me no dearer than another bargaining chip to being sold into hands for which I was no more than a pawn in this extended game of world ownership chess; sacrificed at the altar of the higher power. Allow me at least the peace in the haven of a dark, dank, shrunken grave with my un-whole and unholy remains from your hell hole of a world. You are welcome to it and should you feel some sympathy for me perhaps, pray a little for my unworldly soul to arise from the ashes with the brilliance of a phoenix to perhaps in my next life do a little more than I have done this time.

(P.S. This time when working on my reincarnation could you maybe try and temper down on the angst and force of my cousins and extended family so that I could do something to counter it)

May you find it easier to live with yourselves and others without now having my lifeless burden to carry on your poor, feeble shoulders!

Collective Conscience Esq.


I’m Disturbed!

You know what we aren’t? We aren’t deserving of being Muslims, or part of any nationhood! We do not even deserve to be called human anymore.

We are cowards and hypocrites and deserve to be shot in the head with the same bullet that I deem for Bush and Blair esquire. Why? Because when we lose the willingness to feel or think then we are better off dead.

It is all out war. For the “supposed” recovery of 2 soldiers, Israel launched full scale strikes into the boundaries of an autonomous, independent nation targeting civilians and infrastructure. Now that target has been amended to ensuring the end of the threat of Hezbollah and establishing a 20 km buffer zone to protect its borders.

Tanks are rolling through fences and boundary crossings, with sunshine pamphlets warning the civilians to move out or get it. And as the number of casualties and the prescribed area of strikes increases, the representative of the Big, plodding policeman of the world, Ms. Condi, I have a gap in my front teeth so won’t you just shoot me, Chawal addresses a gathering of the Press to state that any intervention is out of the question since it would be an impasse and returning to the same status quo which would allow Hezbollah to garner more strength and resources as it has in the last 6 years, to threaten the peaceful existence of Israel? Genius, that woman is!

The ruling coalition of the world headed by Bush-whacked and his cronies is already deciding on reinforcements and support that will be extended to Israel as consent is given for this mockery of humanity and rights to play out for a week.

But the attitude of the West is understood. We know what they’re like. We’ve suffered through years of subjugation and oppression and repression through colonialism and post colonialism eras, through direct slavery and indirect adherence to their councils and decisions to realistically expect them to sympathize or be anything but double standard, prig nosed, bigots, zealots, imperialists and downright ^%%##@%%^^^#!!! But what the hell are we?

Where are those nations that vowed to come together under the banner of Islam and unite to present the new face of strength, faith and solidarity to the world? What happened to the organization that when was conceived literally drove the US to shit in its pants at the thought of perceived threat to its notions? Nothing! Because the US very simply addressed each of those members of the Islamic Summit and gave them lollipops (military and infrastructure support, agreements etc etc.) to shut them up. What is so interesting about that lollipop is that its addictive potency is still at work since all of us are still shut up.

We are ineffective and we are weak. We know all the moves. Continue to make pathetic little whispers about the audacity and the unfairness of it all, word up a crummy piece of paper that the US and Great Bollocks Britain will trash and Israel can continue what its doing and all will be hunky dory peachy keen. It’s not as if we’re being bombarded and all we need to do is make noises about returning to the negotiation table and everything will be fine because we know Israel will only stop when its done what it set out to do.

But you know, it’s not just the governments? It’s the bloody Islamists too! The so-proclaimed ‘Jehadis”. I still remember a 7th grade Islamiat book that taught us the significance and meaning of Jehad. One condition where Jehad becomes obligatory on every Muslim is an act of aggression against an Islamic state. But why am I surprised that no body remembers that? Nobody even knows it because we are uneducated, uncouth dickheads, every last one of us. And besides the Islamists, it is us! We are drones! We can’t even picture raising our voices in the privacy of our homes because it could spoil someone’s mood, or write on a personal basis in a paper let alone lift a weapon in the name of Allah.

I’m disturbed. I don’t like this world. I don’t like it at all. What sort of a world stands silent watching a bomb come down on a car or a residential building, allowing it to be annihilated and then shows the dusty survivor on TV cameras without flinching… especially as that only survivor is a Pooh Bear Doll with a Hunny jar in its paws?


Oh The Agony Part Deux

Mon Dieu! Every time I get a visit from the elves from hell, I am reminded of how much I despise getting ill and how I hate medicines even worse. The headache itself is bad enough but damn, the cotton wool sensation I get in my mouth after swallowing the despicable painkiller and sleeping for a couple of hours at the most inappropriate times (Body clock-wise), is so annoying…

“Sleep for as long as possible in a pitch dark, silent room!”

So Profound! Can you believe this is the actually tried and tested method of recovery? Honestly, one would think that after 10 years of suffering this malady and having seen it plague my mother even worse from before that, I’d find it easier to accept that I need to sleep. Except that like every other kook on the planet, I thrive on NOT doing what is needed… Which is so much worse! Especially when you end up ingesting weird chemical elements designed to make you feel as limp as a dish rag!
Oh, but here’s the one pleasant thing in my day today 🙂 Laughed outright despite knowing I’d have to hold on to my head with both hands in just a moment to keep it in place… This comic strip is SO me! LOLZ!


Oh The Agony

Shimmering fireworks, lots of tiny, little twinkling star like thingies and a lights display behind my eyelids that is stark and brilliant and wonderous to behold… It would be something worth reproducing…
If only it was not accompanied by millions of tiny little men hammering away at my tiny, little head… *Moan!* *Groan!* *Misery* How is it possible for tiny little hammers and tiny little men to make so much noise and cause me so much pain?
I’m blind thanks to this monster of a headache… My brilliant genes in all their over efficiency have ensured that chronic migraine makes my life so worth living!!
So sleepy sleepy sleepy NOT when all I can pray is for salvation in the form of darkness and the blissful oblivion of sleep…
Can’t get Faiz Ahmed Faiz out of my splintering head:
“veerani-e-hayat ko veeran tar karein
le naaseh aaj tera kaha maan jaaein hum”

Blogword of The Day: More

“…. so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s MORE myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”
(Catherine, describing her dream to Nelly)

-Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte


Stars in My Eyes

Despite all my moans, groans and other hang ups concerning my growing alienation from the group of friends that I’ve grown up with and who have literally been witness to my worst, I have to admit that it was an OUT OF THIS WORLD kind of event seeing faces I had last spoken to in 1989 and last seen in 1995. Despite the absence of the group of my closest friends (2 live abroad, 1 is expecting and has instructions to take it lightly, and 1 is in Karachi for a wedding), I had a great time.

“She was always the one smiling, and with stars in her eyes!”

“She’s still the same… She still has them!”

(The she being yours’ s truly) 🙂

How can an evening that starts off with such a welcome, be anything but even better than it promised to be as an idea?

I walked in the Espresso Lounge at around 6:30, Saturday evening to see 5 other people already there which was surprising since I thought I was the punctual one, but apparently there was something about the draw of seeing people who had been a part of the best experiences in your life that made sure that most were on time.

Raza, Madiha, Hassan, Arno and an Ali, that I really did not remember were there and oh God! Chaos reigned supreme for a while, as hands were shook and names were given out for the benefit of those who did not recall or join memories and names to bring them up to scratch. And as we monopolized a corner of the Lounge with more sofas and another table being pulled up, Ali and Sabahat enter within the space of 5 minutes.

And then, Chatter City Limits. 2 hours of non-stop discussions of where everyone has been in the last 10 years, taking longer than usual since the conversation kept returning to times and incidents relating to the time we were in Beaconhouse. Sports Days, Parents Days, Parent-Teacher meetings, gross and hysterical pranks, missing net ball hoops, messes in the baseball field… along with the embarrassing recollections of crushes, and broken hearts, infatuations and recoveries, teachers pets and pet peeves all assembled over a period of time that began when most of us entered the same class room in Kindergarten in 1984.

Remembering teachers, who’s and where’s of other students and common acquaintances, shocked over the married and not so married and the ones with kids in tow adding years to our age was so amusing. Also interesting were the details we remembered about each other, seemingly insignificant but it was so clear of the intimate knowledge we had of each other like the fact that Sabahat remembered my father coming out of the house when we were dropped off by the school van to carry my bag in… He even remembered the street number.

There was plenty of ragging too. My indubitable status as the hyperactive, English queen (because of my preference and command of the language… and yes, I’m bragging), my blonde hair that is now no longer so light, Raza’s height hang ups, Sabahat’s ever changing, ever growing last name, Madiha’s theatrics, and her Mad Jam nickname, Ali’s crushes and subsequent crushings were all hashed and rehashed; as were our placements in choirs, poetry readings and plays.

Arno was a junior but knew most of us and was known to us as our 4th grade teacher’s son who had also suffered with me in ACCA. He has other claims to fame now such as his pony tail but quite the database as far as other Beaconites were concerned since unbeknownst to us he has been the president of our official Alumni. Go figure.

Oh! What an experience! Totally worth it! Most surprising to me was the ease that I felt with all of these people. I’m a very easy going person and don’t usually suffer the discomfort of association even if I meet a stranger for the first time but this was sublime. It was almost like coming home. The decade between us that saw so many changes seemed to melt away and we were all suddenly sitting in a classroom, in pairs of 2 or sets of 6, sneaking comics, or whispering about the burning issue of the day. I was expecting some formality, some hesitation but all it took was a “Sarah! How are you?” for all that flimsy wall to crumble away into nothing.

The sense of affinity and recognition that came from sitting with these people was almost spiritual. It was comfort and happiness and belonged to that time that is now almost dream like but no less real for the memories that are associated with it. More people came later including 3 more juniors that I remembered very well since one had been a classmate and her brother had been my brother’s classmate and we had spent occasional weekends together, and 2 other batch mates who rather embarrassingly remembered me but I had no idea who they were but that only added to the overall very jovial atmosphere.

People have a hard time understanding my preference for my school days rather than college or university but we were all of one thought yesterday evening that there is no way an ordinary person can relate to it. You had to be there!

The crowning moment came at the end of the evening when everyone was leaving when I was thanked overwhelmingly for arranging the get together and managing to get people to attend and considering that I didn’t have to try too hard to get people to come, I still bagged all the credit. I’m happy.

Thanks all of you for coming and remembering and literally carrying me into the most cherished period of our life. There’s no way it would have been so great if you hadn’t been a part of it! I can’t wait for next time… Since we all did disperse with promises not to wait 10 years to get together next time… I’m seriously looking forward to it. Beaconites Forever!

July 2006