Saturday, September 24, 2016

On "Ilm, Imtihan and Tajarba"

"Babaji! aap kehte hain ilm se darna chahiye. Ye to baRi ajeeb baat ki aap ne"

"Are is main koi ajeeb baat nahi. Ataai-ilm ki surat kuch aur hai. Jab Ilm ataa hota hai to bachhu free main nahi hota! - us ke foran baad - aik dum se aazmaish ki ghaRi aa jaati hai. Jese chori na kerne ka, geebat na kerne ka, bad-nazri na kerna ka ya khamosh rehne ka ilm - kisi ishaare se ataa hota hai to - darna chahiye - kiunke  foran koi 'opportunity' aa jaati hai, jahan chori ka moqa milta hai, geebat ki mehfil sajti hai, bad-nazri ka maza milta hai ya bak-bak kerne ka package haat aa jaata hai. Pehle ilm aata hai, uske foran baad aazmaish ki ghaRi aati hai aur yahi tajarba us ilm ki tosee' (attestation) kerta hai. Aik ke baad aik ilm-o-aazmish ki ghaRi insaani ruh ko kundan banane ke liye sulagti rehti hai. Par jise is aag ki tapish hi mehsoos na ho, woh jiya bhi to kiya aur na jiya bhi to kiya."

Friday, September 23, 2016

On "Love and war" - 2

Following is an email on follow-up on a little sentimental post 2 days ago - "Love and War" -here

"I browse your blog frequently but I am not very good in leaving messages. But your post on war and love made me send you this email as it touched my nerve. I was born in a very wealthy memon family in Karachi. We were kind of business tycoons. Afterwards, I decided to join public service in Pakistan. It was a conventional and unwritten rule that everything is fair in business and diplomacy. There is no friend and no enemy. You only guard your interests. As a public officer in foreign service, I  had to deal at my level when Siachen  issue came. Later I was unable to take corruption and political pressure in public service. I retired and moved to Canada. What I learned that humans emotions play the most vital role in war, love, business, diplomacy or any other aspect of the life. And humans can go up to any extent for sustainment of their power, ego, wealth, anger or pleasure. It is so unfortunate that things get uglier as you go high in hierarchy. You may have heard of Qudratullah Shahab sahab, a well decorated and most well known Pakistani public servant of his time. His assessment was: "His whole bureaucracy was nothing but the smell of gutter and the toilet".  I agree with you. Low level are those creatures who think everything is fair in love and war. Unfortunately, they never did and they don't even intend to teach ethics in our class rooms."

Thursday, September 22, 2016


(Koonj is one heck of a blogger (link here) and I immensely learned from her. She is an extremely learned person. Once she did an amazing post on Gossip and Backbiting. here and here).

Following hikayat is on same line

A member of a parish shared false gossip about the pastor of the church she attended. It became apparent that many believed, or at least passed on the gossip to others. The pastor became discouraged, was held accountable for these lies, and lost credibility in the town. A few weeks later, the woman came and shared with the pastor, her guilt in the rumor spreading, she asked for forgiveness and the pastor said he would forgive her if she would do one thing for him. She agreed.

The pastor then took a feather pillow from his house, climbed the town water tower and cut the pillow open spreading the feathers to the wind. He climbed down and asked her to refill and mend the pillow to be forgiven for her act against him. She said it was not possible to collect all the feathers. He replied, it was also impossible for him to recover from the gossip she spread in the community.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

On "Love and War"

Kum-Zarf hain woh log jo kehte hain: 

"Mohabbat aur jang main har cheez jaaiz hai"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

On "Solace of Third Child"

Every year, I have few friend and colleagues, who at this time of the year get saddened due to "empty nest syndrome", as their kids move out for colleges. USA is a huge country. Despite best efforts, good colleges are usually far and very few parents can keep their children home. It is relatively harder on desi parents as they are as I guess more protective. Out of many stories I hear, following made me smile, so sharing.

"Our third child was an accident. He was born almost 10 years after elder siblings. We were not happy as we always planned to take life easy once both kids are out to college. This unplanned third child at that moment for a while feels like a hurdle. No! we never believed in abortion. It was our child. We loved him anyway. This year, both elders went to college simultaneously and empty house was outrageously depressing. Suddenly, our lives were changed. It does not hit you until that day arrive when you come home after dropping them to their dorm - and they don't come home with you.  We all are so idiots. We plan things and don't value our possessions till we actually know their worth. Human emotions and bonding can't be planned like we so called professionals try to do alike our jobs, finances, house, retirements, investments and cars. Trust me 'empty nest' is a real phenomenon. It depresses people. It changes people. It is slowly draining. Now we find our solace in our third child. He is more precious than ever before. Now we kiss our third child more than ever before".

Related post on empty nest: Nageen

Sunday, September 18, 2016

On "Rooh"

I requested Saugoree uncle to write on the concept of "Rooh" from Islamic perspective. He was kind enough to do this for me. I am posting below but you can read this on his blog too here.

I wrote "Rooh" and not "Soul" because the word Rooh is slightly better understood by Muslims. The other reason is that in English sometimes "soul" can be used for persons like "I did not see a single soul in the ground" meaning a human being or a person, but Rooh is not used in this manner but always in the manner of the 'spirit' which again in English can be used with a different meaning so I did not say spirit either. 

Rooh is a non-corporeal or ethereal thing which is easier to understand but difficult to define. For discussion we will confine ourselves to Human soul. In the same way, we are quite familiar with 'life' and 'death' but defining these is not as simple. We know that when a person dies his/her rooh leaves the body and that is the teaching in all religions. Philosophy came to similar conclusions and science has nothing else to offer. 

We can say that there are two sources of human knowledge: 

One: Intelligence or Aql given to us by our Creator that we use both for philosophy as well as scientific study consisting of Observation, experimentations and Conclusion/derivation. Thomas Aquinas calls this "natural revelation" as compared to the revelation from God that we call scripture. and so the,

Second: is Revelation. Since we cannot observe or experiment on such ethereal substance we must depend upon God's revelation to determine the truth about rooh/soul. Most religions teach that Rooh is not destructible. 

Islamic perspective: Further knowledge about Rooh in Islam is based on Qur'an and Saheeh Ahadeeth. I frequently quote the Verse "They ask thee concerning the 'Rooh', Say, the Rooh comes from the command of my Lord; it is only a little of knowledge, that is given to you (O men)" (#85 of Sura Bani Israeel ). I feel as though here, the creator is telling us about rooh and saying that you can't have any more knowledge about it (That is not what most mufassireen say, that is only my feeling). From Saheeh Ahadeeth we learn: That 'rooh' enters the body (by the command of Allah) at a particular time while the body of human being is acquiring shape in the womb of the mother and it leaves the body (by the command of Allah) at the time of death. There is also some knowledge as to what happens to it after it leaves the body. Qur'an tells us it also leaves the body during sleep (Verse 42 of sura Zumur the 39th Sura) but still maintains a connection with the body but that connection is permanently lost at the time of death. After death (of the body) Rooh enters into a state of "in between" called Berzakh in Arabic (where it can meet with other "arwah" or roohs) and will reunite with the body (may be in a different way) at the time of resurrection (al-Quiyamah).

Saturday, September 17, 2016

On "old man in the House"

This blog is all about how people feel, see and experience life. We may not agree and it may shock us but things happen differently to different people.

Main jab bhi apne shahr ki desi market jaata hun to Shakir sahab se mulaqat hoti hai. Bus jaan pehcaan bhi aese hi hui ke jab jao, woh apni makhsoos dukan ke bahir khaRe ho ke 'sutta' laga rahe hon ge - aur har aane jaane wale se baatain kerte rahain gey. Ab to koi 12 baras hone ko aa gaye - magar shakir sahab ki us paan ki dukan, peele shalwar kameez aur sutte main koi faraq naa aaya.

Aik din main ne Shakir sahab se mazaqan kaha: "aap kabhi ghar bhi jaate ho ya nahi?"

UnhoN ne jawab diya: "Jab bachhe baRe ho jaayain aur biwi bad-zuban ho, to ghar main mard ki hessiyat aik bhaRwe jesi ho jaati hai. Isi liye ghar nahi jaata".

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

On "Pseudo-Patriotism"

I have to be honest here. I never get impressed with this writer, named Umerah Ahmad. Though I was told she is very popular in Pakistan, I never found her more than a glorified digest writer. But indeed, she is a fluent writer and knows how to put words together. Few days back, on this blog we talked about patriotism. Somebody send me this on forward and I agree with her that this whole concept of going back and spend retirement in native country is bogus and in my dictionary, you can call it "Pseudo-patriotism". Well written.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

On "Being Immortal"

As I previously said here that some people are so smart that it boggles my mind - and I am surrounded by crazy psychologically dyslexic friends. 2 weeks ago, on the labor day long weekend, few of my friends visited from out of town. Jokingly, at the dinner table, one friend threw this question: "If you have only 5 seconds to decide that if wish comes true, will  you become immortal with the bonus of always staying young?" (amar jawan rehna). Out of six friends, five said yes in an instant. Everybody start looking at the one who said No. You may not agree, but his explanation was:

"Once you know that you will never die, and as there will be no fear of death, the probability is that you will turn apathetic and an evil and will do more harm to surrounding humans. Secondly, you may become irrelevant to other people, as people thrive on your love knowing that one day you will die! Thirdly, it would not be easy to see your children and grandchildren suffering and dying in front of you. In short, eventually it will take pleasure out of life".

It reminded me of  Chacha Ghalib:

Hawas ko hai nishate-kaar kiya kiya
na ho marna to jeene ka maza kiya

Monday, September 12, 2016

Eid and Parents

Early this morning in  the hospital, I met my one good Indian-Muslim colleague and said: "Eid Mubarak". As we took a corner to exchange greetings, he said something - and I was all day thinking about it. He said:

"Eid ab kahan! Bus Eid pe ab Ammi Abbu shiddat se yaad aate hain. Eid ki namaz ke liye abbu ka hamare liye gusal ka paani garam kerna, se le ker ammi ka naashte pe aehtmam tak. Ab sab kuch hai magar Eid ki woh subah nahi".

Choti si baat thi, magar poora din mere dil ko andar hi andar udas kerti rahi. 

Be-wajah baatoN pe aen waen gor kare
Dil sa koi kamina nahi ........

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Aik kaRwa sach?

(From discussion last night among friends. I don't know but certainly, it hit me badly)

Chahye lakh taaweelaiN pesh karo, magar is haqiqat se inkaar zara mushkil hi ho jaata hai ke:

"Jab aurat mard ko jismaani aasudgi na de sake to woh us ke liye bekaar, aur agar mard aurat ko maali aasoodgi na de sake to woh us ke liye aik bojh ban ker reh jaata hai".

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Dr. Gibbs

Zindagi main aksar bohat se achhe insaan milte hain - aur phir bichaR jaate hain. Aaj phir koi baat aesi hui ke Dr. Gibbs bohat yaad aaye. Insan aksar apni nadani se kai mukhlis dostoN ko kho deta hai. Aur main ne to apne laubali-pan se kai piyare dostoN ko khoya hai. 

 Jab main ne residency ke baad pehli job shuru ki to Dr. Gibbs wahiN kaam kerte hai. Mast insaan the. Lagta tha siwaye Medicine ke duniya main koi kaam nahi. Akhbaar paRhte ya pipe peete. Werna patients ke saath. Jahaan bhar ka tajarba tha, retire hone ki umar ko the magar kaam is liye kerte ke medicine se muhabbat thi. Un ke patients bhi un se bohat piyar kerte. Har roz un se Doctor's lounge main mulaqat hoti. Dosti ho gai. Main naya tha. Meri bohat madad kerte. Internist the magar central line, Swan Ganz, chest tubes, thoracentesis jese saare procedures aese kerte jese surgeon hon! Procedures kerte huwe whistle bajate rehte. Kehte is se mushkil hal ho jaati hai.  Bohat sikha un se. Sab se baRh ker un se, 'work ethics' aur 'patients se muhabbat' kerna seekha. Medicine bhi bohat seekhi . Jab Kabhi main 2/4 din nazar na aata to kehte: "Where have you been boy! Don't vanish. Stay in touch. It's not a good thing you do to others and yourself. Don't vanish like that ever." Aur har 2 hafte baad phir wahi kahani chalti.

Kisi ne bohat saaloN baad bataya, wapas Ireland chale gaye, wahan GP ho gaye.

Jab job choR ke jaane laga tha, to us din bhi yahi bole: "Young Man! Don't vanish . You hear me right? Stay in touch".

Aaj bhi aksar hospital main procedure kerte kabhi phans jaata hun to  unki whistle bohat yaad aati hai, ke kese asani se sab kuch ker lete the. Sirf is liye ke mohabbat kerne wale insaan the. Apne kaam se sincere the to Medicine ki pechidgiyon se ashnaa the. Kahin dil main koi khot nahi tha. Staff meeting main koi sakht baat bhi keh de to chup ker ke guzar jaate. Allah jaane! aesa dil insaanon ke paas kahan se aata hai. Itni muhabbat, itna darguzar to walioN nabioN main hi dekha - insaan to na huwe!

"It's not a good thing you do to others and yourself. Don't vanish like that ever."- Aam sa jumla tha - 15 baras lag gaye itni si baat ki gheraaii ko samjhne main, ke achhe insaan zindagi se chale jaain to unka to kuch nahi jaata - hum hi apni daulat kho bethte hain.

Aaj phir Dr. Gibbs bohat yaad aaye.

Sunday, September 04, 2016


Benny mere paRos main apne kutte ke sath rehta hai.

Wese to Benny 20 saal se electrician ka kaam ker raha hai magar us ka dil apni musawarri se laga huwa hai. Benny louisiana ke rural area main paida huwa. ThoRi bohat homeschooling hui - is liye woh paRh to leta hai magar likh nahi pata. Us ne apni pehli tasveer das baras ki umar main apni nani ke saath 'garage sale' main bechi, magar jald hi use andaza ho gaya ke tasveerain bana ker zindagi ki gaaRi nahi chal sakti, to us ne electrician ka kaam sikh liya. Woh electrician ka kaam bhi utni hi bareek-bini aur imandaari se kerta hai jese ke apni tasveer pe kerta hai - ke ab ye us ki adate-saaniya ho gayi hai. Benny ne sketches bhi banaye, oil and water paintings bhi ki - magar ab woh ziyada tar rock-paintings banata hai. Ye aik bohat mushkil kaam hai kiunke rock jald paint ko 'absorb' ker lete hain aur inhimaak se us waqt tak brush chalane paRte hain jab tak rang pakke na ho jaaye. Aik din kisi ne Benny ki banayi tasveer ki qeemat sirf 50 dollars lagai. Us din se Benny ne apni paintings bechna band ker di hai. Logon ko gift ker deta hai.

Benny sannate main raat bhar painting kerta hai. Kehta hai paintaing ke liye bohat sakoot chahiye. Benny udas ho to painting kerta hai. Khush ho to painting kerta hai. Aur kisi ko tohfa dena ho to bhi painting kerta hai. Benny ko janwaroN se bari mohabbat hai. Jab main ne Benny ki paintings ka zakhira dekha to us main sceneries to thiN magar kutte, billi, bheRye, sher, cheethe, bob-cats, coyote wagera ki ziyada tasweerain thiN. Main ne Benny se poocha: Aesa kiun? To Benny ne jawab diya: "Kiun ke janwaron ke paas hamari tarah bolne ki naimat nahi to woh saare izhaar aankhon se kerte hain. Yahi baat mujhe bohat mutasir kerti hai aur main koshisk kerta hun ke meri tasveer se janwaaron ki aankhain baat kerti aur apne jazboN ka izhaar kerti nazar aayaiN. Main sab se pehle aankhain paint kerta hun, woh theek ho jaaye to baqi amal baRa asan ho jaata hai". Benny ne ye baat mujh se 2 saal pehle kahi thi. Us din se mera har janwaar ko dekhne ka andaaz badal gaya hai. Ab main kisi janwaar ko dekhta hun to us ki aankhon pe sab se pehle nazar paRti hai aur sach much janwaar mujh se baat kerte nazar aate hain. (Aap bhi aazma lijye).

Benny jese inssan chup chaap apni dhun main zindagi ki chakki main apna DhoNa Dhote rehte hain - is liye nahi ke unko koi faida ho - bulke is liye ke unka dil us se shaad ho. Zindagi aese hi insaanoN se mehkti rehti hai. 

Aap bhi soch rahe hon ge - kesi pheeki pheeki kahani hai. Na koi climax , na koi lashkaara! Magar woh kiya hai ke - meri saari daulat mil ker bhi us ki aik painting nahi khareed sakte !! Mere liye yahi bohat hai ke - jab raat ke sakoot main uske paint ki khushbu meri naak tak paunchti hai to mera dil kerta hai ke kabhi fajar na ho aur khusbu ka yeh masoom lamha yanhi theR jaaye.

Benny mere paRos main apne kutte ke sath rehta hai .

Monday, August 29, 2016

On "Getting Tired"

Unse meri bohat dinoN baad mulaqat hui. Bulke yun kahiye kai mahinoN baad. 

Main ne poocha: "Sir! kahan rehte hain! aap ne to logon main uthna bethna hi choR diya hai. Kiya adam-bezaar ho gaye hain?"

"Nahi, aesa to nahi bus ab khud apne saath ziyada waqt guzaarta hun".

"Aesa kiun? Aap se baRi ronaq rehti thi mehfiloN main"

"Bus bhai! Insaani rishtoN ki halawat main jahan bohat se saroor hain, wahan zimedarian aur dukh ki kaRi deewarain bhi hain. Ab un dukhoN ki uljhanoN se uljhane ki na to himmat hai aur naa hi unko suljhaane ka jigaR. Bus dostiaN , rishte nibhate nibahte thak sa gaya hun."

Sunday, August 28, 2016

On "Women's 12th Man"

Aurat baRi bewaqoof hoti hai. Us ki zindagi main aik mard aesa hota hai jo uske saath saath rehta hai magar woh use darkinaar rakhti hai. Woh use dost keh leh gi, saathi keh lagi magar us se mohabbat nahi ker paaye gi. Jese Thomas Hardy ke 'Far from the Madding Crowd' main hota hai.

Aur woh mard bhi Iftikhar Arif ke barhwain khiladi ki tarah

intezar karta hai 
aik aisi sa'at ka,  
aik aisay lamhey ka 
jis main saniha ho jaaye 

aik jumla-e-khush kun 
aik naara-e-tehseen 
us kay naam ho ja'aye 
Sab khilariyon kay saath 
woh bhi moutabar ho ja'aye 

(Iftikhar Arif here)

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race

I will not lie! First time I get introduced to Jared Diamond when I picked a book at bookstore titled: "Why Is Sex Fun?", thinking of it as an erotica. It was the time of my life (somewhere from 1993 to 2001) where I roamed and spent hours and hours in bookstores as new age, parapsychology, metaphysics, hypnosis, palmistry, out of body experiences, death yoga, reincarnation and related subjects were my obsession. I previously blogged randomly like here, here, here etc

'Why Is Sex Fun?' turned out to be one remarkable book and an eye opener on human sexuality, psychology, and bonding. Afterward, I read some of his work with immense interest and believe that he is one of the most genius anthropologist of modern history. He is one of that distinct human being who not only questions conventional wisdom, but bring strong arguments in favor of his views - but still at the end leaves a lot for his reader to ponder and decide.

Few days ago while listening NPR, there was a discussion and statement was made that those societies which domesticated animals became more civilized. It prompted me to go back and dig years old article (thanks to Google) written by Jared Diamond: "The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race", where he argued that actually, human downfall started after they learned the art of farming (and domestication of animals). Before that human survived and did better in every aspect of life, living as hunters. Ecosystem stayed preserved, humans worked hard and stay focused and content. Sounds stupid but read the article. Before I put the link to article, allow me to paste three paragraphs here (as I am afraid if link goes down):

" One straightforward example of what Paleopathologists have learned from skeletons concerns historical changes in height. Skeletons from Greece and Turkey show that the average height of hunter-gatherers toward the end of the ice ages was a generous 5'9" for men, 5'5" for women With the adoption of agriculture, height crashed, and by 3000 B.C. had reached a low of only 5'3" for men, 5' for women By classical times heights were very slowly on the rise again, but modern Greeks and Turks have still not regained the average height of their distant ancestors".

"Besides malnutrition, starvation, and epidemic diseases, farming helped bring another curse upon humanity: deep class divisions. HunterGatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in farming populations could a healthy, nonproducing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses..."

"As for the claim that agriculture encouraged the flowering of art by providing us with leisure time, modern hunter-gatherers have at least as much free time as do farmers. The whole emphasis on leisure time as a critical factor s€ems to me misguided. Gorillas have had ample free time to build their own Parthenon, had they wanted to. While post-agricultural technological advances did make new art forms possible and preservation of art easier, great paintings and sculptures were already being produced by hunter-gatherers 15,000 years ago, and were still being produced as recently as the last century by such hunter-gatherers as some Eskimos and the Indians of the Pacific Northwest."

Link to full article here

Sunday, August 21, 2016

On "Dead Patriotism"

14 August wale din jab tum ne mujh se yunhi kaha: Happy Pakistan Day - aur main ne koi jawab nahi diya to tumhare chehre pe aik rang aa ker chala gaya.

Wajah ye thi ke - zindagi main aksar kai muhabbatain aik dum bhaK se uRR jaati hain. Pakistan ke liye meri aTooT mohabbat ke saath bhi yahi huwa.

Islamabad main paida hui. Abbu Zoology ke professor/aik college ke principal - aur Ammi doctor thiN. Aik khushaal zindagi thi. Pakistan hamari jaan tha. Main haste khelte Medical College paunchi. Shadi bhi aik well established gold medalist physician se hui. Main neurologist, woh pulmonologist - Hum dono mian biwi ka shahr main baRa accha naam tha. Izzat thi, daulat thi - 2 piyare se bachhe the -- Ravi har taraf chen hi chen likhta tha!

Koi 5 baras pehle ki baat hai, aik raat hamare ghar kuch log ghus aaye. Hum Mian biwi ko baandh ker bachhoN ko utha ker le gaye. Police, fauj, agencies, beuraucrats, politicians, Mullah, Mafia har kisi ke aage haat joRe. Kisi tarah ke koi taaluqaat kaam na aaye. --- Aakhirkaar bangla, gaari, clinics ki zameen, saare zewar de ker bachhoN ko chuRaya. Hum bhag ke America aa gaye. Is umar main aik nai zindagi shuru kerna. Mere Husband raat ko Gas station pe kaam kerte, main din main grocery store pe. Allah Allah ker ke USMLE pass huwa. Rab ne kher ki - mujeh residency mil gai. Mere Husband se USMLE to pass ho gaya, residency na mili (his age, I guess). 

Tum hairan the ke hum agar 5 baras se is shahr  main hain to nazar kiun naa aaye, bus ab jaa ke halaat kuch badle hain to logoN main kuch uthna bethna shuru kiya hai.

Aur tum kehte ho mujhe se: Happy Pakistan Day ::: Pata nahi hasate ho ya rulaate ho !!!

Saturday, August 20, 2016


"Main zara si galati kerta hun, aur mujeh foran saza mil jaati hai. Kiun?"

"Wah Jazakallah - Mian tum to khuda ke pasandeedah bandoN main se huwe!"


"Native (Red) Indians kehte hain: Rassi jitni lambi ho, phaansi utni hi khaufnaak hoti hai"

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Mandela Effect

Hum sab "Mandela Effect" ke maare hain

Baqol N.M Rasheed, hum sab Guman ke Mumkin hain 
Baqol Saleem Kausar: Ajab aitabar 0 be-aitbaar ke darmiyaaN hai zindagi

Bus hone ka aik aihtamaal sa hai!

MakeeN hain hum yahan ke, 
hamari kaainaat kahiN aur hai

koi kal nahi - na jaane wala, na aane wala 
bus aik isi lamhe main pinhaN hai zindagi