Posts

Showing posts from August, 2008

Two Tragedies

[Voiceover]
Brooke: George Bernard Shaw once wrote: There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart`s desire. The other is to gain it. Clearly, Shaw had his heart broken once or twice.
Mouth: So Mr.Shaw thinks that getting your heart`s desire is a tragedy? I say he`s wrong. I mean, clearly Shaw never kissed Erica Marsh.
Nathan: As far as I concerned, Shaw was a punk. `Cause you know what? Tragedies happen. What are you gonna do, give up? Quit? No, I realize now that when your heart breaks, you got to fight like hell to make sure your still alive. Because you are. And that pain you feel? That's life. The confusion and fear? That's there to remind you, that somewhere out there is something better, and that something is worth fighting for.
Haley: This year I got everything I wanted and everything I wished for. But in a way, I lost even more.
Lucas: Shaw was right. As we strain to gasp the things we desire the things we think will make our lives better: money, popularity, fa…

The Invisible

'On my second visit after twelve years, she didn't show herself. She did succeed, however, in so magically endowing me with her presence that i was certain of being, somehow, continually under her watch... Knowing this, i also imagined i was continually able to see her. Thus was i better able to understand Ibn Arabi's notion that love is the ability to make the invisible visible and the desire always to feel the invisible in one's midst.'
Orhan Pamuk, My Name is Red

Most Expensive Book I've Bought

Image
Today i bought the most expensive book that i have ever bought in my life. I had been thinking about the book for like a month now; it was my dream birthday-gift thing, but it was too expensive for anyone to buy it for me. I was uncertain about it; it seemed kind of odd to pay such an awful lot of money for one book... but then, the book was too irresistible. And i couldn't just shake it off my mind, and even though i knew that a person in my economic condition shouldn't be buying such costly stuff, but in the end, i bought it anyway... cause its certainly a book worth having. As Saad said to me, it's the sort of book that would pass in inheritence to my kids and probably their kids too. So, my coming generations, your grand-daddy just made a valuable addition to your book collection!

Semi-Pseudo-Solipsism

Zia-ul-Haq's thoughts as he roams around, having sneaked away from his bodyguards:
"When he had covered about half a mile without seeing a single person, a strange feeling began to set in: what if he was ruling a country without any inhabitants? What it it was a ghost country? What if there was really nobody out there? What if all the statistics from the census that said one hundred and thirty million people lived in the country, fifty-two percent women, forty-eight percent men, ninety-eight percent Muslim, was all simply the work of some over-efficient bureaucrats? What if everybody has migrated somewhere else and he was ruling a country where nobody lived except his ary, his bureaucrats and his bodyguards?"
Mohammed Hanif, A Case of Exploding Mangoes

The Lovers

Image
'The Lovers' by René Magritte. A painting that left me speechless!

Fake Plastic Love

Image
Photo by ®ominitä on Flickr

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake Chinese rubber plant
In the fake plastic earth

She lives with a broken man
A cracked polystyrene man
Who just crumbles and burns

She looks like the real thing
She tastes like the real thing
My fake plastic love

[lines taken from lyrics of 'Fake Plastic Trees' by Radiohead]

8 Peculiar Things About Me

Ok, Kurri, here goes your Tag. These are 8 peculiar things about me...
1) I use a variety of coloured highlighters on my books, so that they look very colourful... 'rangeen mizaj' my friends call me.
2) I like Mahmood Khan (His music, that is. Ever heard some raspy, grave voice on a music channel? It was probably him singing. You can listen to his songs here; my favourite is 'Raat aur Din')
3) I often talk to myself.
4) I have a bad sense of wardrobe... i recently wore joggers with shalwar kameez :S
5) I don't like talking on the phone for very long... as a friend once said, 'I cry after talking to you on the phone... you are that bad on it!'
6) I have a brown streak on my right thumb nail. ['my mean streak' :)]
7) I was a big fan of 'Earth Final Conflict'. (Yeah, that sci-fi tv series of aliens with egg-shaped heads.)
8) I don't like soup, and i don't like Maggi noodles (or Knor noodles, for that matter!)
I pass on the Tag to Saad, Nouman, Ab…

Hating God

Augustine: I blamed God. I hated Him for ruining my life, but then I realized something. You can’t be angry with God and not believe in him at the same time. No one can. Not even you, Dr. House.
House, Episode # 105
See also: Malevolent Theism

One Tree Hill

Deb: How did we become so broken?
Keith: We fell in love, and at some point, the people we love forgot to love us back.
Episode # 122
Jimmy James: You can drive at sixteen, go to war at eighteen, you can drink at twenty-one and retire at sixty-five, so how old do you have to be…before your love…is real?
Episode # 202

Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2008

The results of the 2008 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been released! For those unaware, this contest is sponsored by the English Department of San José State University in San Jose, California and its purpose is to "to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels"; i.e. to write a horrible opening line of an imaginary novel. The contest is named after Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his novel Paul Clifford with the words "It was a dark and stormy night." A line that has been used by authors (the less-creative ones) ever since.

Here are some interesting entries from the 2008 contest:

Winner: Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped "Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J."

Garrison Spik

Runner-Up: Hmm . . ." thou…

The Secret

The Secret
by Jaun Elia
Translated by Awais Aftab

You will discover me lost, when you arrive;
There is nothing but dreams in my solitude
You seek to decorate my room;
There is nothing but books there

These books have done me much wrong;
There is a secret in them, a mind infested with which
Can never hear the tidings of a happy ending;
Can never find comfort in life

See the urdu text here.

Selfish

X: Why are you doing this?
Y: Because i don't want to wake up ten years from now and realize that my whole life is just an extension of the lives of the people around me; i want to live my own life... i am not going to a be an actor playing out a script offered to me by anyone, whoever it might be. X: You are very selfish, you know that. Y: Yeah, much more selfish than all the people trying to manipulate my life and live their own dreams and plans and moralities through me!

Paimana Bitte - Zeb & Haniya

Zeb and Haniya on what their song in Darri, Farsi and Pushto is all aboutLike any other song in a different language, an exact literal definition isn’t possible. So the band members tell Images what they think translates closest to the song’s meaning in English. Part one, translated from Darri/Farsi:

Paimana bideh ki khumaar astam;
Bring me the glass so I may lose myself;

Man aashiq-e chashm-e mast-e-yarastam;
I am in love with my beloved’s intoxicating eyes;

Bideh, bideh, ki khumaar astam;
Bring (the glass), bring (the glass), so I may lose myself;

Part two, translated from Pushto:

Dilgeer garzama labela taana;
You have captured my heart and I wander aimlessly without you;

Khabar me waakhla, raasha jaanana;
My love come/return, and see the state I’m in;

Khabar me waakhla, raasha jaanana;
My love come/return, and see the state I’m in;

Tarso ba garzay te bela mana?
How long will you wander without me? [Taken from Dawn Images 10th August 08 issue]

Answers

Image
And so, another birthday has gone by. In many ways, this was the best one i have ever had in my life, because i have never felt so loved before. With each passing year, one begins to wonder: what is this life all about? And i have troubled by this question long enough, but the previous year of my life has shown me a lot of things, of what matters to me, and what i really want and need in my life. For a long time, i believed like Maslow that self-actualization was at the top of the 'hierarchy of needs', but now, it seems to me there is nothing like 'love and belonging', and if there is anything that is worth living for, it is that.
Abraham Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs'What i felt today, it was said by one of the characters in One Tree Hill:'I know you’re searching for things, Lucas. And I hope with all my heart that you find the answers to your questions. But the answers that you’re looking for are closer than you think. They’re in your heart. And in the …

The Ghost

Among the famous poets, i share my birthday with Sara Teasdale, a poet who is also among my favourites. Last year i posted a poem by her on the blog on my birthday, and i'll continue the tradition this year too :) Here is one of her poems that i really like.
The Ghost
by Sara Teasdale

I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves stayed,
But my heart was full of my new love's glory,
My eyes were laughing and unafraid.

I met one who had loved me madly
And told his love for all to hear --
But we talked of a thousand things together,
The past was buried too deep to fear.

I met the other, whose love was given
With never a kiss and scarcely a word --
Oh, it was then the terror took me
Of words unuttered that breathed and stirred.

Oh, love that lives its life with laughter
Or love that lives its life with tears
Can die -- but love that is never spoken
Goes like a ghost through the winding years. . . .


I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves sta…

Empathy and Morality

Image
The morality of humans has grown through the centuries, apparently for the better (or so it seems to me, and i don't have any way of proving it, since ethics lacks a strictly logical foundation). What led to this change from a society in which slavery was acceptible to a modern day society in which people are fighting for animal rights? The explanation that comes to my mind is: an increase in empathy. The growth of morality is a result of the increased sense of empathy among people, an empathy which springs from knowledge and awareness, which stimulates a sense of association. Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is going through, what he is feeling and thinking. It is as Heinz Kohut defined it: "the capacity to think and feel oneself into the inner life of another person.
When slavery was acceptable, the aristocrats didn't think of the slaves as they thought of themselves; they never mentally placed themselves in the position of slaves, and when they…

One Tree Hill

Image
Some voiceovers that come at the end of episodes from One Tree Hill, the tv series i am hooked to these days:
* There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune but omitted, and the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat and we must take the current when it serves or lose the ventures before us. (Julius Caesar)

Ep # 101
* Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not quite, the not yet, and the not at all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It is real. It is possible. It is yours. (Ayn Rand)
Ep # 102
* E.E. Cummings once wrote: To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing it's best, night and day, to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest battle, which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.

A Tale of Two Friends

An article i had written for Saad Javed about our friendship, and published in Us magazine.

A Tale of Two Friends

Only Dream Worth Having

From a speech Arundathi Roy gave entitled 'Come September'
The only dream worth having, I told her, is to dream that you will live while you're alive and die only when you're dead.
"Which means exactly what", she said, looking a little annoyed.
[Laughter]
I tried to explain, but didn't do a very good job of it because sometimes I need to write to think. So I wrote it down for her on a paper napkin and this is what I wrote:

To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never, to forget.