Tuesday, June 20, 2017

On "ignoring optionals"

Life stays interesting due to interesting people.

Few days back, I asked one of my long acquainted colleague who is always chilled as ice but very slick in his work and his conversations, about his such cool attitude in life.

He replied: "I learned that from filling out simple forms in life to buying a car, laptop, smartphone, cable or house, ignore 'optionals'. I concentrate only on 'required'/'must needed' things. In college I never read optional articles/books/reads suggested by teachers but tried to concentrate and  excel only on required topics. This keeps all clutters and headaches away - and a life simple".

(though I tried to argue with him about losing all joys in life without 'optionals', but was unable to convince him). 

Monday, June 19, 2017

On "The Upside of Addiction"

Few months ago, one of my (lost!) friend made an interesting comment that: "For manic depressive people, sometime mania is mentally so pleasurable that they are willing to take bouts of depression, instead of taking medicines which keep them always numb"!

In same regards, few weeks back I had an interesting argument with a colleague on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's character Sherlock Holmes who was addicted to intravenous cocaine, and probably performed well due to it.

Though definition of addiction is relative, but it can be anything - golf, online games, alcohol, gambling, pornography, diet coke, shopping etc. etc. etc. - and right or wrong - some people thrive on it and their brilliance only shine due to it - as it energizes their mental activity. They feel dead without it.

Now I am way less judgemental for people who have any such weird habit.

As Shakeel Badayuni said

nashe main hun lakin mujeh ye khabar hai, 
ke is zindagi main sabhi pii rahe hain
Kisi ko mile hain chalakte piyale, 
kisi ko nazar se pilayi gai hai

Kisi ko nasha hai jahan main khushi ka, 
kisi ko nasha hai gam e zindagi ka
 koi pi raha hai lahu aadmi ka
har aik dil main masti rachaii gai hai

Saturday, June 17, 2017

On "The Garden Party"

Aap Katherine Mansfield ko english literature ka 'Haseena Moeen' keh sakte hain. She died at a very young age of 34 (pata nahi achhe log jaldi kiun mar jaate hain).

Katherine Mansfield ne wese to kai 'short stories' likhin magar jis kahani ne use dawam bakhsha woh thi "The Garden Party" (you can read here)

Ye ek baRi halki phulki si kahani hai. Ye kahani aik aesi larki ki hai, jo zindagi main pehli baar us ki talkhiyoN se aashna hoti hai - aur kahani ka ikhtitam aik  zara se 'shock' pe hota hai. 

Waise to is kahani pe bohat kuch likha gaya hai aur internet pe aap ko is ke kai 'analysis' milaiN ge - magar main ye kahani paRh ke sochta raha:

 "Hum apne bachhoN ko zindagi ki dhoop se bacha kar phooloN ki tarah paalte hain. Kya hum un ke saath dhoka nahi to kam az kam na-insaafi to nahi kerte?"

Yahi is kahani ka bunyadi sawal hai - Jis ka jawab hum sab dhoondh rahe hain.

(Aur shayad yahi sawal is kahani ko lazawal banata hai).

Friday, June 16, 2017

On 'Education'

I had to go to my son's school counselor for his summer classes' guidance. He quoted an interesting statement (which is wrongly attributed to Einstein as he once used in his speech);

"Education is that which remains, if one has forgotten everything he learned in school."

 ~ Jis taalim se kirdaar ki tashkeel na ho, woh sirf gadhe ka bojh hai ~

Thursday, June 15, 2017

America and Icarus

My previous post America and faust was a result of close discussion between friends at a iftar party. Another friend pitched in following story/opinion after first friend put Faust version).

"Hamari misaal greek mythology ke kirdar 'Icarus' jesi hai. Jese icarus ke baap 'Daedalus' ko us zamane ke badshah 'Minos' ne qaid kar diya. Magar apni hikmat se us ne uRne ke liye mom (wax) ke par (wings) bana liye. Us ne apne bete 'Icarus' ke liye bhi uRne ke par banaye aur woh uR ke qaid se faraar ho gaye. 'Daedalus' ne 'Icarus' ko nasihat ki ke dekho: 'uRan ki dhun main suraj ke bohat qareeb na chale jaana, warna mom ke par pighal jaayain ge'. Magar 'Icarus' apni uRan main aesa khoya ke apne baap ki nasihat bhula betha aur darya-burd ho gaya. Baqol Allama Iqbal:

Ganwaa Di Hum Ne Jo Aslaaf Se Meeras Payii Thii
Surreya Se Zameen Par Asman Ne Hum Ko De Mara



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

America and Faust

(America har kisi ko raas nahi aata. Is silsilay main pehle kuch post likh chuka hun jese  Akhtar bhai ka America (here) ya Asghar bhai ki lambi Judai (here). Aisi hi aik kahani aaj kisi ne kahi)

"Tum ne bachpan main - Faust - ki kahani to suni hogi. Bus mere liye America bhi kuch aese hi raha ---- Faust ki kahani kuch yun thi ke woh dunyawi khushiyoN ke badle shaitan se apni ruh ka sauda kerta hai. Jese jese uski khuwaishaat  baRhti jaati hai, us ki ruh madum hoti chali jaati hai. Aur aik din jab woh maut ke dahane pe khaRa hota hai to use ehsaas hota hai ke - usne baRe ghaate ka sauda kiya tha

Pehle F1 visa pe odd jobs ke saath college degree, phir professional job ki talash aur loan ki payment,  Green card ke liye bhag doR, phir shadi aur bachhe - aur phir community main compete kerne ke liye baRa aur phir us se baRa makan, Toyota camry ke baad Audi A6 ki gaari, public school ki bajaye bachhoN ke liye private school (ke log kiya kahain ge), dawatain - aur phir bachhon ki college ki fees.... Aik na khatam hone wala daaiyra -

- aahista aahista sab kuch milta gaya  - magar dheere dheere andar ki bujhti lo pe dhiyan aaj us waqt gaya jub mere doctor ne kaha: 'I think your heart is too weak now' - aur usi waqt mere smartphone pe biwi ka text aaya ke: "Can you come home on uber. I am too busy to pick you".

 - Aik dam se abba yaad aa gaye jo aksar ye kahani sunane ke baad hum se kehte the: "Dekho! Zindagi main kahin Faust na ban jaana"!



Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Mard aur Aurat

"Mard ki misaal aik dewaar ki maanind hai, aur aurat aik bel ki tarah hoti hai. Deewar is bel ko sahara farhaam kerti hai, jubke bel deewar ko khubsurat banati hai, apne phulon se, patton se sajati hai, aur ye bel utna hi ooper jaati hai, jitna deewar hoti hai".

(Banu Apa)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Story of Alfred Nobel

(I cross-checked to verify)

Can you imagine reading your own obituary in the newspaper? What would people say about you?

Alfred Nobel got the chance to read his own death notice, and he didn’t like what he saw. Alfred Nobel was a very wealthy and successful man. He had become an expert in chemistry and invented three of the most commonly used explosives in the world - dynamite, gelignite (used in mining) and ballistite, which is still used as a rocket propellant today.

With the huge fortune he made from these inventions, Nobel bought an engineering company called Bofors and turned it into an arms manufacturer. He made another enormous fortune designing cannons and guns and selling them around the world.

Then, in 1888, Alfred’s brother died while visiting France. A French newspaper thought it was Alfred who had died and they published an obituary that began like this:

THE MERCHANT OF DEATH IS DEAD
Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.

Alfred Nobel was shocked. Was this what people thought of him? Was this the legacy he would leave to the world?

That’s when he decided to use his vast wealth to make a positive difference. Nobel set up a foundation with $250 million dollars in funding. Every year the foundation would consult the leading experts in the world and hand out prizes to people who had made great contributions to humanity. There would be prizes for sciences, for literature, and for promoting peace.

Today the Nobel Prizes are probably the best known and most prestigious awards in the world. They have been awarded to great scientists, authors and activists and helped draw attention to many outstanding works and worthy causes. Nobel set up his foundation in 1895: just in time to influence his own obituary. He died only a year later due to stroke.

The Nobel Prizes accomplished his wish; they created a very different legacy for him than a reputation as “The Merchant of Death.” He is not remembered as an explosives inventor or arms dealer, but as one of the greatest philanthropists of all time.

He is also a great example of how it is never too late to change your life and help make the world a better place.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

On "truth"

(As I said previously, I have tons of differences with Ashfaq Ahmad but many of his thoughts are very near and dear to my heart)


Sunday, May 28, 2017

"Settle all marital arguments ......"

Friends many times ask me how I keep up with contemporary news in this era of fast changing world, beside heavy professional responsibilities and other hobbies. What I do, while driving back from work, I religiously listen NPR for 30 to 40 minutes - and while at home I let run Ted talks on one of the device. Accidentally, I run into this talk from Maureen McGrath on "No Sex Marriage – Masturbation, Loneliness, Cheating and Shame".

You can read transcript here  and listen here (3.5 million views)

Whole talk is interesting but she had a standing ovation at the closing remarks: "Settle all marital arguments in the bedroom - naked".

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Scrabble vs Chess

"Tum ne kabhi scrabble khela hai. Zaroor khelo. Ye shatranj se behtar khel hai. 

Shatranj ka khel agar dimag per ulta paR jaaye to insaan ko wehmi, shakki, ghunna aur chaalbaaz bana deta hai.

Scrabble baRa saada sa khel hai magar ye insaan ko bohat kuch sikhata hai ke: 

"How to connect dots, how to make life bigger and fulfilled with only 2 or 3 tiles, how to always stay in the game, when not to waste the tile and when to hold back in life".

Saturday, May 20, 2017

On (Hindu) Mythology

Mythologies are not only tales of ancient humans but carry deeper meaning inside them. It was two years back when I was visiting Tulip Garden (Keukenhof) in Amsterdam. Guide was telling us that white tulips have a mythological tale that while mother of Hercules was feeding milk from her breast to him, few drops of milk dropped on the earth and seeds of white tulip were sown. This represents strong (as hercules was) emotional bonding and that's why white tulips are a norm in weddings and funerals.

We had an Indian gentleman in our party and as our discussion revolved around mythologies that day, he told me that "Ten Avatars" (incarnation of deity on earth) in hindu mythology actually represents ten phases of human evolution. It argues that God's divine intervention stayed all along human evolution. I jolted down his brief narration on my smartphone. I am sure if you google, you will find tons and tons of material on this subject but mention of  awaited last avatar and his description was interesting to me (see below).

Today I was watching an interesting video with my son "History of the Entire World, I guess" (here) and it came back to my mind. I opened my writing from that day.

The first avatar was called Matsya and it means the fish - as  life began in the water.

The second avatar was called Kurma and it means the tortoise - it represents life to the land (like an amphibian)

The third avatar was called Varaha and it means the wild boar - it represents wild early animals like Dinosaurs.

The fourth avatar was called Narasimha and it means the half man and half animal - it represents early intelligent beings just before Hominids, probably apes

The fifth avatar was called Waman and it means the midget or dwarf - it represents shorter hominids, who were first to get on two limbs from four - forefathers of homo erectus and sapiens.

The sixth avatar was called  Parshuram and it means the Axe - it represents human history when they learned to mold tools and rocks and lived in the caves - probably homo erectus.

The seventh avatar was called  Ram and it means the intellect and civilized - it represents human history when they first formed the community and society (and stories of human relationships in Ramayan).

The eighth avatar was called  Balarama and it means the God of water - it represents human history when they gained control over land with agriculture like Nile in Egypt and sacred valley of South America.

The ninth avatar was called Krishna and it means the statesman - it represents human history when they formed governments and countries.

The tenth avatar is called Kalki and it means the  saviour - Every religion claims him. He is described to be coming on a white horse with wings. He is called Kalki as he will finish Kala yug or Kal jug (black period) - and humans will start a new order.

- You can throw as many explanations to last Avatar !!! 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mandela Effect - 2 (A conversation)

(Mandela Effect 1 here)

"Are we living many parallel lives together"?

"I feel that way sometimes"

"On same planet?"

"I assume in this universe between matter and antimatter?"

"Are our relationships in different lives intertwined"?

"Yes, we form a divine web in relations to each other".

"Do we really die"?

"I think, we get transform".

"Are our parallel lives sequential like reincarnation"?

"I think its a huge fireball, we live simultaneously many lives in past, present and future".

"So what does it all mean"?

"Don't know"!!!!

"Grrrrrrrrr"

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Aurat ka saaya

(Heard this today)

"Saari duniya samjhti hai - mard aurat ka saaya hota hai. Magar sach poocho to Aurat mard ka woh saaya hoti hai - jo use kai baRe gunhaon se bacha leti hai -  jis ke saaye main woh sastaa leta hai - aur us ke kai aeboN pe pardah paR jaata hai"

Monday, May 15, 2017

On 'Silence in Spirituality'

Kisi ne Baba Shakar Ganj se poocha: "Roohaniat main khamoshi (silence) ki itni aehmiat kiun hai?"

UnhoN ne jawab diya: "Roohaniat ke raaste main jo asbaaq, tajalliyaat aur karishmaat hote hain, unhe sab ko bak dene se, us ki taaseer khatam ho jaati hai. Aur agar wahi andar jazb ker liye jaayain to unki taqat aur barh jaati hai. - Aur ye asaan nahi. Jese jese aabid ke darjaat barhte jaate hain, tajalliyaat ka zor barhta jaata hai - isi liye kaha gaya - Lan Taranii. Jab nabioN ke dil bhi dahel jaate hain to aik aabid ki kiya majal ke us ke karishme dekhe.... Magar phir bhi khamoshi shart hai"!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A note on day-to-day living

Ghalib was one heck of a  unique poet, and as Jawed Akhtar said: "Shayer to sirf Ghalib hai, baqi sab shayer ghaliban hain"! His collection is barely made of one deewan with total of only 2500 ashaar, but what made him genius is seeing everyday life from completely different angle. One example is his misrah

Gheesta hai jabeeN khaak pe darya mere aage

Since human history exits, humankind is known to ocean and beach - but how many can find imagination of massive ferocious ocean putting its forehead with submission on sand. 

One sage said: "Any idiot can face a crisis; it’s this day-to-day living that wears you out." (No it was not said by Chekhov). While talking to a friend - following shyr of Ghalib put a new vigor and saroor on my zeal to ride everyday life.

raat din gardish maiN haiN saat AasmaaN
ho rahega kuch na kuch ghabraayaiN kiya


Tuesday, May 09, 2017

NisaN -2

(Saugoree Uncle (his blog here) left a message on my previous post. I think, it itself deserves a post particularly poem)

"The saying thas "Insaan Khata wa nisiyan ka putla hay", here Nisyan (forgetting) is associated with Khata. Or when somebody makes a mistake we say "Aakhir insaan huN ghalti ho gaiyee" . So Mistake is a secondary (action) and the real meaning in Arabic is forgetting "na-si-ya".

 In sura kahaf where the young-man forgot to mention about the fish disappearing in a strange way into the water وما انسانیہ الا الشیطان (and I was not made to forget except by Shaitaan). Nasiya is forgetting in Quranic language. NisaaN, being a statue of mistakes I find this new to me. Nisan (or) neesan is (also said as) month of April."




تو نے جِس وقت یہ انِسان بنایا یا ربّ
 اُس گھڑی مُجھ کو تو اِک آنکھ نہ بھایا یا ربّ
اِس لیے میں نے، سَر اپنا نہ جُھکایا یا ربّ
لیکن اب پلٹی ہے کُچھ ایسی ہی کایا یا ربّ
عقل منّدی ہے اِسی میں کہ میں توبہ کر لوں
سُوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سِجدہ کر لوں!

ابتداً تھی بہت نرم طبیعت اُس کی
 قلب و جاں پاک تھے، شفَاف تھی طینت اِس کی
پِھر بتدرِیج بدلنے لگی خصْلت اِس کی
اب تو خود مُجھ پہ مسلط ہے شرارت اِس کی
اِس سے پہلے کہ میں اپنا ہی تماشا کر لوں
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سجدہ کر لوں!

بھر دیا تُو نے بھلا کون سا فِتنہ اِس میں
پکتا رہتا ہے ہمیشہ کوئی لاوا اِس میں
اِک اِک سانس ہے اب صورتِ شُعلہ اِس میں
آگ موجود تھی کیا مجھ سے زیادہ اس میں
اپنا آتش کدۂ ذات ہی ٹھنڈا کر لوں !
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سجدہ کر لوں!

اب تو یہ خون کے بھی رشتوں سے اکڑ جاتا ہے 
باپ سے، بھائی سے، بیٹے سےبھی لڑ جاتا ہے
جب کبھی طیش میں ہتھے سے اکڑ جاتا ہے
خود مِرے شَر کا توازَن بھی بِگڑ جاتا ہے
اب تو لازِم ہے کہ میں خُود کو سِیدھا کر لوں
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سِجدہ کر لوں!

میری نظروں میں تو بس مِٹی کا مادھو تھا بَشر
میں سمجھتا تھا اُسے خود سے بہت ہی کمتَر
مجھ پہ پہلے نہ کھُلے اِس کے سیاسی جوہر
کان میرے بھی کُترتا ہے یہ قائد بن کر
شیطانیت چُھوڑ کے میں بھی یہی دھنَدا کر لُوں
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سجدہ کر لوں!

کُچھ جِھجکتا ہے، نہ ڈرَتا ہے، نہ شرمَاتا ہے
نِت نئی فِتنہ گرِی روز ہی دِکھلاتا ہے
اب یہ ظالم، میرے بہکاوے میں کب آتا ہے
میں بُرا سوچتا رہتا ہوں ، یہ کر جاتا ہے
کیا ابھی اِ س کی مُریدی کا اِرادہ کر لوں!
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سِجدہ کر لوں!

اب جگہ کوئی نہیں میرے لیے دھرتی پر
میرے شَر سے بھی سَوا ہے یہاں اِنسان کا شَر
اب تو لگتا ہے یہی فیصلہ مُجھ کو بہتر
اِس سے پہلے کہ پہنچ جائے وہاں سُوپر پاور
میں کِسی اور ہی سیّارہ پر قبضہ کر لوں
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سجدہ کر لوں!

ظُلم کے دام بچھائے ہیں نِرالے اِس نے
نِت نئے پیچ مَذاہب میں ڈالے اِس نے
کر دیئے قید اندھیروں میں اُجالے اِس نے
کام جِتنے تھے مِرے، سارے سنبھالے اِس نے
اب تو میں خود کو ہر اِک بُوجھ سے ہلکا کر لوں
سوچتا ہوں کہ اب اِنسان کو سجدہ کر لُ

Sunday, May 07, 2017

NisaN

Barson purani baat hai. Main jumme wale roz kisi dost se milne Nazimabad Karachi ki Gol Market gaya huwa tha. Shadeed garmi thi. Main garmi se bachne ke liye jumma namaz ke bahane masjid main chala gaya. Maulvi sahab ka khutba - bus aaeN baaeN shaaeN hi tha - magar aik baat khubsurat kahi unhoN ne

Azaazil farishta ke baare main kehte hain
 - us ke paas itna ilm tha, jitna 36 karoR kitaboN main hota hai 
- magar adam ko sajda na ker ke 
- abad tak shaitaan mardoood ka laqab paa gaya. 

Kehte hain - Azazil farishta bunyaadi toR per jin tha
 - aag se paida huwa tha
 - pehle zameen pe rehta tha
 - magar apne rab ki be-intiha ibadat guzari ki wajah se farishtoN ko bhaa gaya 
- aur unhoN ne use apna sardar maan liya 
- aur zameen se aasmanoN pe utha liya gaya.

Tassawure insaan to maujud tha 
- magar insaan ki abhi takhleeq nahi hui thi. 
Bara bhayanak tassawwur tha inssan ka

- Azazil jab farishtoN ka sardar bana to un main sab se ziyada aalim tha 
- kehte hain sirf us ko tassawure insaan ka ilm tha - jo khoon, qatal, jhoot, faraib jesi baatoN se pur tha 
- bas isi liye azazil apne rab ke saamne seena taan ke khara ho gaya - 

Apne ilm o ibaad guzaari pe nazzaN ho gaya 
- Rab ki hikmat na samjh paaya
 - aur aadam ko sajda kerne se inkaar ker diya

Mayoos ho gaya tha ke - mere itne ilm aur ibadat guzari ke saamne is insaan ko sajda ?
Azazil se iblees ho gaya (came from Arabic word balas means despair)

FarishtoN ne Shaytaan kehna shuru ker diya (Shaytaan means disobedient Jin)

Agar muaafi maang ker, haat bandh ker
 - phir apne rab ke huzur haazir ho jaata to aur ooncha darja paa jata.

.......

Insaan ka to lafz hi nisaaN se nikla hai matlab galati (ka putla)

Shayed rab ko sab se achhi yahi baat lagti hai
 - ke galati karo aur phir khataawar ho ker, muaafi ke liye haat bandh ker phir rukuh, sajde ke liye din main 5 baar haazir ho jao.

-----------

Falsafe aur mantiq ke aetbaar se to bohat hi naa-maaqul si baat thi -magar sach poocho - to maulvi sahab ki baat dil ko lagti hai - shayed aesa hi hai - werna ye gorkh dhandha kiun sajaya jaata.

Friday, May 05, 2017

On A Quote (Deepak Chopra)

(This quote came during one panicky situation I had lately during travel - I guess it was a teaching moment).

I an not a big fan of Deepak Chopra. I think, he is just a very smart man who knew how to cash the aura of spirituality and eastern teachings to people in west. There was nothing new in his books for me. And, lately I was told he is selling oils, balms, ointments and healing recipes on his website!

(We have many such hakims and babas on the walls and streets of sub-continent)

Above said, once in a while I enjoy his quotes. Lately, one of his quote is all over the internet after it was mentioned in Ivanka Trump's book. I liked the quote, but it is easy said than easy done.

"In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you".

This quote also reminded me of many great cricket batsmen, who under massive pressure keep their cool in final overs of the match and wins only because of their ability to thrash blow with precision on last ball. There is a reason, cricket is said to be a game of life!


Thursday, May 04, 2017

On Pir Shams Multani - 2

This is an email on one of our previous blog-post: "Bayan Pir Shams Multani Ka" (here)

".... I just wanted to write to you after reading your post on Pir Shams Multani ka Bayan. I belong to the Ismaili faith of Islam. Pir Shams was a very decorated Pir of our faith, who propagated the message of Ismaili sect all across the sub continent. I wanted to tell you that the bayan you mentioned is a Ginan by Pir shams. We firmly believe that Ginans are akin to the ultimate truth as they are just an explanation or clarification of the glorious Quran. Having never visited Multan, or the shrine of Pir Shams, I am quite surprised that people still recite this Ginan (though I am not sure if they recite it to the letter).  I am attaching the link to the Ginan along with its translation.  http://www.ismaili.net/heritage/node/23164

 Also, here is the different recitation I could find on the University of Saskatchewan site. (Again I don't know if these are the authentic ismaili recitations or not) http://ginans.usask.ca/recitals/recitals.php?type=ginan&id=508570

... Stay blessed."