This is NOT a rant, rather an observation if you will.
Today is the 3rd day of Eid and for the past 3 days we have had this bunch of
hooligans boys in my neighbourhood playing loud music on the street. Now this would not be irritating if it were not for the fact that they play it all hours, extremely loud, its last years hottest club mix (the street don’t look like no club to me) and the sound is transmitted over mike’s and loudspeakers that cannot handle the base of the music. So what we have had to contend with is JLO & Lungi Dance music, cracking at cranked up volumes. Enough to give anyone a headache, don’t you think?
Maybe I am cranky, I have been running a fever for nearly 6 days now BUT that’s not the reason for this post.
Here’s the Paradox – Eid is a religious festival. You are supposed to be celebrating the end of Ramadan, the month of patient fasting and all the lessons of empathy and sympathy, which we are supposed to have relearn over the past 30 days. It’s a time for family and friends. I wonder where Lungi Dance and JLO featuring Pitbull on “Dance again” features in that occasion.
I am all for partying, but this … 24/7. giving everyone else in the locality headaches, where’s the empathy and sympathy, or any tameez for that sense … in there? For a country that is conspicuously moving away from being Secular, how is this Islamic? What does that word even mean anymore?
I used to love Ramadan, the chance to practice patience, empathy with those less fortunate, to place yourself in another person’s shoes. But the truth is I don’t like this month anymore. Every single day I have witnessed at least 1 act of violence, a non-sensical reaction, which is then attributed to the fact that the person is fasting and has therefore less patience. Don’t fast then. People work less because they are fasting. They are late to work, because they are fasting. They leave early, because they are fasting. People scream and shout abuse in the roads at the CNG’s and the buses because they are fasting and are at a hurry to get home. Don’t fast.
If fasting makes you behave like this, don’t fast. You are not learning anything. You are not practicing patience. You are using it like a crutch, an excuse to act out the anger and apathy that you carry around otherwise.
The biggest paradox perhaps is the way religion and its various facets have been commercialized. In a country where half the people live under or near the poverty line, we have shops that are open until 3 am to facilitate shopping. At cut throat prices, I wonder who buys the glittering things that are displayed on shop windows. I wonder how many people instead concern themselves with making sure that they have calculated their zakat correctly and given it to someone who needs it.
Celebration is all very good but at the end of the day, why can’t we just say that we are doing what we are doing, because we like to have a good time. That would certainly be a good enough reason to celebrate our family and friends, every single day of the year, instead of just a couple of times. It would also be a good reason to practice the art of giving – gifts, zakat, sadka – throughout the year. We have been gifted with life. Life is a gift. And it is worth celebrating every moment that we breathe.
I know I am.
I have been too busy to get enough sleep and since I can’t sleep, I either lack appetite or I just eat because I have to and I eat whatever I can get my hands. Now that’s the worst kind of disservice really that I can do to myself.
I have been too busy running from office to university. Too busy keeping up with work and assignments to focus on quality. Too busy to pay attention to the fact that half the year has already gone by and I am suddenly faced with the realization that I have only six more months to go before the year is over.
I have been too busy.
You know I am starting to hate that… being too busy. I want to be ‘not busy’, not running to class or to work or to keep up with some other commitment which I had made. I long for days like today, when I can wake up in the morning knowing that this day can be anything I make of it because all the hours in it are mine. I can read, write, nap, meditate, listen to music, engage in some self-love to revitalize myself. Days like this … I finally have time to improve Me … my thoughts, my life, my health. To concentrate on who I am and who I want to be, to evaluate whether or not I am in the right road for it.
These past few months have also taught me humility. I am a nerd who has trouble accepting anything less than A grade on my papers. My grades are in par with full-time students, youngsters who are not worrying about paying tuition, mortgage or getting forward in a career that spans nearly 2 decades. In my striving to hold on to A grades, I have stressed, worried and freaked over papers, assignments and never-ending exams. In moments of despair, I have thought of a blind guy in my class and asked myself if he can do it, why can’t I?
While all this striving undoubtedly expands my horizon, it has also taken away the joy I had in learning. And days like today I realize that it is not my commitment that I have to change, it is my attitude to my commitments that I have to change. I have to learn to be ok with getting something less than A on my grades, I have to reconnect to life on a higher level than this to truly enjoy each day to its fullest.
And I think it’s high time to book my next holiday ;)
Loved this one! Far too often, we want to change, start to change and then Wham! Life happens and we get scared and back off from changing. The blogger offers really great advice on how to hold on and ride the wave of change instead of drowning :)
Babe was my 14 year old germanshepherd who passed away on the 5th of June 2014. I wrote about some of her qualities and the things I learnt from her which has stood me in good steed last year here: http://corporateskirts.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/life-lessons-my-dog-taught-me/
Her passing away has not been a great shock, she had significantly slowed down and slept a lot more. She was too tired to play and could barely muster enough energy to stand around anymore. In this heat and humidity I didnot think that to be odd. She had grayed around the muzzle and the chin, her eyes had the glazy look of blindness setting in. What she has spared me though is the agony of having to make the choice to put her down to sleep. She passed away peacefully, mid morning, with full dignity. She had never troubled anyone in life and in death she was equally considerate.
I don’t know what I felt more when I heard the news. Loss. Grief. Lost.
I have been thinking of writing this post for 2 days now. I finally forced myself to sit down with it. But I have no words for how much she meant to me or what her loss really amounts to. All I can think of is the last time I met her, the last time I hugged her, what she looked like when I brought her home at seven week’s of age 14 years ago, her funny walk, her soft fur, she had the wettest licks, the warmest hugs with the patience of a Saint to boot. That is how I will always remember the one who taught me how to be a better mother, a better person, a loyal person.
Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.
~Saint Augustine (354-430)~
What is a Habit? and what forms a habit? Wikipedia defines habit as a routine of behavior that is repeatedly regularly and tends to occur unconsciously. IF all habits are acquired patterns then why do we find it so difficult to implement new habits (e.g. exercising regularly) or giving up old habit that no longer serve our purpose (e.g. smoking). While the internet is full of helpful articles on how to break an old habit or create a new one, this post is not about that.
In an attempt to live a more contemplative life, a conscious one where I am not simply gliding across life’s highway on cruise control, I find myself often stepping back to gain a little perspective on the things I do on a daily basis. I ask myself questions like:
- What is the real reason as to why I am choosing to embark on a particular journey?
- What do I really hope to get out of it?
- Did I articulate my thinking, my expectations, my underlying assumptions clearly to everyone who has a stake in it? or can affect its outcome?
- Like a rubik’s cube, did I stop to consider all sides? think 20 steps ahead?
- Am I doing this because I am afraid of the consequences of what will happen if I don’t?
- Do I want to operate out of a place of fear in my heart?
I suppose all these questioning for me is easier in a sense because being an introvert having thought processes running quietly in the background in my head seems quite natural to me. The habit that I did have to work on changing though is choosing my train of thought carefully and conciously :)
So what are you doing about your habits? Do you question them? And if you do want to change something, where do you start?
What a rant!!! A beautiful rant… unapologetic… straight forward delivery. A MUST read!
Originally posted on The Belle Jar:
I am tired of talking about feminism to men.
I know that I’m not supposed to say this. I know that as a good little third-wave feminist I’m supposed to sweetly explain to you how much I love and value men. I’m supposed to trot out my husband of nearly five years, my son, all of my male friends and relatives and display them as a sort of badge of honour, proof that I am not a man-hater. I’m supposed to hold out my own open palms, prove to you how harmless I am, how nice I am. Above all, I’m supposed to butter you up, you men, stroke your egos, tell you how very important you are in the fight for equality. This is the right way to go about it, or so I’ve been told. As my mother would say, you catch more flies with honey.
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I knew that 2014 was going to be a year of big changes for me. I knew it was going to be busy. I knew that I was biting off more than I can chew.
What I didn’t know is how much 2014 would change me…..
Starting a Master’s degree in Development Studies was not a complete whim. I was intrigued by the subjects and the course curriculum. I knew that I would find it interesting.
What I didn’t know is how much I would learn.
I love most of my professors so far. I hate that I have to do so many assignments but I love that they are constantly challenging our boundaries, forcing us to grow, to expand the realm of our thinking and understanding.
I have gone home and dreamt of the things that we discussed in class lectures. I have chilled out with my class mates only to realize that each of us bring something very unique to the table. We learn not only from our professors but from each other.
Group assignments are a lesson in dynamics. For a change, I am no longer in the helm, I tow the line and deliver even when work threatens to take over and I fear that I will miss deadlines. At work I am expected to be the expert in what I do. Everyday I make decisions, discuss, debate, hold & defend my position, devising ways to maximise our impact on the bottom line. At class, I am a student, I am not expected to be an expert, I am not expected to know what I am doing. It’s a complete role reversal.
Someone asked me yesterday, if you hate maths, why did you graduate in Finance & Banking? The only honest reply to that is that I needed to face my fears. I needed to know that no matter how scared I am of failure, with effort and perseverance, I can learn, do, get over anything. I had 40 A’s out of 45 subjects by the time I graduated. It had taken one semester to find my footing and the rest had gone easier. Now I hope for a repeat performance but I also realize that I have my hands in way more pies then before. I evaluate options and ration out my time like precious commodity.
2014 is also going to be the year that I am going to jump, both feet in, into something I had vowed to never embark on, ever again. See that? never again? really? I was so sure that this was something I would never repeat again. And now life’s thrown a wrench into my plans and I am watching myself change. I am sure somewhere the 3 sisters of Fate are laughing hard in the background.
And I am reminded that in life, you never know what will come your way. Fear is not an option and Change really is the only constant in life :)
To know when to go away and when to come closer is the key to any lasting relationship.
~Doménico Cieri Estrada
You can’t plant a seed and then wait around, hovering over the newly planted seed, waiting for it to grow. The seed will sprout when it is ready to do so. Apart from watering every other day or so, there’s nothing much that you can do to make it grow faster.
Relationships are the same. You need to give relationships time and space to grow. This applies for both professional and personal life.
You have been to a business mixer and you meet someone new. You have exchanged your business cards and /or sent each other emails expressing a desire to be of mutual benefit sometime in the future. The future is not going to come any faster if you deluge them with emails and updates on your activities. Unless there’s a clear case of win-win situation in further follow ups, the first meeting is not very likely to grow into something more meaningful anytime soon. But you can keep your new contact in mind and put them in touch with opportunities that you come across later which you think maybe interesting for them.
Which one of these two scenarios do you think is more likely to end up into a fruitful long-lasting relationship?
The same applies to personal situations. Way too often, I meet people who want to be counted as friends from the very first meeting onwards. To me being called a friend as lightly as that means nothing. Friendships don’t grow out of thin airs. They grow out of consistency, mutual respect and desire for that friendship from both parties. For me …. Friendship is earned, not awarded.
In romantic relationships, specially new one’s people often make the mistake of thinking that somehow now that they have gotten together with the special someone, their lives are going to smash together into one new glorious master piece. Wake up and smell the roses. You had a life before you met him and he had a life before he met you. While the intoxication of a new relationship can be quite overwhelming, resist the temptation to behave as if it’s the only worthy thing that is going on in your life. Don’t lose touch with your friends or families, don’t forget to keep taking time for yourself and to pursue your own interests and hobbies. You need to do it for yourself and he needs to do it for himself.
When both of you have separate hobbies, careers, friends, interests, the conversation that you have when you are together will be that much more richer. If you ditch everything and everyone else in favor of a new relationship, you might find yourself stranded alone when the relationship doesn’t work out. Or even if it does, chances are that you might find yourself feeling bored or stifled.
The principle of planting and waiting for the seed to grow is applicable for almost everything in our life. Your career, your education, your efforts into new ventures… you do your part, then you wait patiently for the results to come.
wow! quite an interesting and detailed write up… well worth the read, specially for those in the development field.
Originally posted on DNamto:
It’s ironical :The world’s hunger is getting ridiculous. There is more fruit in a rich man’s shampoo than in poor man’s plate
The world produces enough to feed the entire global population of 7 billion people. And yet, one person in eight on the planet goes to bed hungry each night. In some countries, one child in three is underweight. Hunger is one piece of a complex of interrelated social ills. It is linked intricately to global economic, political, and social power structures; modes of development and consumption; population dynamics; and social biases based on race, ethnicity, gender, and age.
Why does hunger exist?
People living in poverty cannot afford nutritious food for themselves and their families. This makes them weaker and less able to earn the money that would help them escape poverty and hunger. This is not just a day-to-day problem: when children are…
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