Sunday, July 18, 2010

a visit to the the Graveyard

Do you visit the qabaristaan often?
It was strange that there was a type of serenity that permeated the place. I was humbled to see so many young people visiting. I also marvelled at the anonymous souls who take the effort to keep the graves in order. The guys that maintain mosques, upkeep the JK's, organise the ghusal's and tend the graves - small kindnesses, yet ample consciousness.

after the visit, somehow the theme of
'settling accounts' came to mind
zakaah, missed salaah, outstanding fasts...
rights of others that I have not fulfilled.
But memory is a fickle foe

Sunday, July 11, 2010

on greatness

I think that we've come to associate greatness with recognition because so many of the people that we know are achieving that : tangible accolades in the form of public recognition or positions of influence.

To decide to resign oneself to mediocrity, to assume that you will be comfortable with day-to-day -drudgery-for-the-sake-of, is a means of writing your own obituary, if you have an inquiring spirit - that is. The process of deciding to settle for (deliberate use of the word) the very ordinary means that you have dissected out the converse and found it to be unappealing.

This one guy was mentioning to me some time back about how he felt cheated because he was told that

he/we would do something important and meaningful , and that with a sense of disillusion, he realised that this might never happen. So who do you take your frustrations out on : yourself? The guys who sold you the dream in the first place ? god forbid – your Creator?

So what is greatness then?

In the context of life, purpose and other such philosophical luxuries, I think that it's the process of ensuring that you are at every step, inching closer towards realising your potential. YOUR potential.

A very specific, exceptionally individualised definition.

To realise YOUR potential takes a measure of honesty. To understand your capacity without limiting your ability to move beyond perceived boundaries, is challenging. Ideally, with this honesty would come a measure of settled-ness, an ease and self-confidence.

Perhaps greatness is not as much a destination as it is a process.

To settle for mediocrity would imply a refutation of striving – unless of course it's mediocrity that you are striving for. Striving and beating your personal best is in keeping with Islamic philosophy -this is Ihsan. This is greatness. It may not be as perceptible the broader context, but greatness (especially of spirit) has this way of being difficult to contain – pouring on out from the microcosm onto the macrocosm.

That other type of greatness, while often thrust upon deserving men, tends to be this hollow structure. Not that the recipient is undeserving, but because society is often fickle.

honest suffering

Shall I tell you what is worst than honest suffering?
It is one man's overlordship
over another

What is worst than grinding hard work?
Slogging for the excesses of the other

What can be worst than a death
in clear conscience
A life of lies and crossed fingers
behind dagger-handled backs

Who stands taller-
an honorable discomfort
or a malicious ease?


Many a time that I have greatly faltered
I was looking towards others for validation

some for my best successes came
when I was looking towards attaining
something more noble than success

Some of my emptiest words were
forged by pretense
some of my sweetest sayings
sprang from sincerity

life, what is life ? (inspired a bit by MZH and Marshall Mathers)

What is the present?
Could it be an the junction between past challenges/success
and future ambitions?
The moment wherein all resources (human,material and intellectual)
must exert itself towards purpose
in the interpretation that one senses most apt.
Is it that fleeting interlude that changes the future into the past?

What is worth defining oneself by?
Material possessions are tangible enough
for the smart man not to covert.
What about relationships – temprorary,
in a non-fatilistic way.
What about ones mind -
beware of the challenge that might
take thought and rationality away.
What reigns eternal are the
deeds that are stored
from the present in a realm
futuristic beyond conception.

What is life?
A purposeful mystery
synonymous with the secrets
of death

What's in a picture?

in a picture is the brutality
of time's progression

the realisation of the dynamism
and arrogant stampede
of progress

in a picture are two strangers
four years ago,
now partners

in a picture is dad's
caretaking presence
so tangible

in a picture is an uncle's

in a picture is the gap
of births to come

oh, to take a mental snapshot of the present
that can be reminisced upon four years later

Oh, to cherish the moment that is now


The notion of travel, like the flawed love of escapism,wraps around my mind like an object-less romance. To roam, for no purpose other than the indulgence of experience and the need to evade permanence. To shrug off dependency and dependents and to live as a vagabond to the mercy of life's simple pleasures - could I be so brave?
or... so cowardly ?