Friday, November 25, 2005
The day after tomorrow, that is Sunday, I'm going to appear for my third SAT I. No, no, these are not re-tests or anything similar. These are called 'make-up' tests. A fancy word to carpet the inefficiency of their examination system, I say. I've been preparaing for SAT since August and this is not to say that I've become proficient in its way, but only to make you realise how dreadfully boring I find to prepare for it, again and again. Right now, I'm trying to cram the WordList. The sacred WordList that changes your scores drastically. This is the only part of the SAT preparation that I truly savour. Although, I've not put my new vocabulary to use here on the blog, in fear of my work becoming too pompous as people say, I've felt educated just giving these words a seat in my mind.
Besides that, winters are setting in Lahore finally. Last night's touch of fog and haze confirms my claim. Even in the morning, it was coldly sunny and last night's white wiff was very much apparent. At school, I'm really enjoying my sociology classes, we're studying about families these days and its truly enlightening. With each new class, we discover another element of idoticy, absurdity and plain nuttiness in the feminist perspective. Its one of the most nonsensical theories I've ever heard. How could they justify when they're not even making sense? A question you'd ask. Yesterday, after reading a full paragraph on something about feminism and families, my teacher remarked with utter seriousness:
So this is basically all bakwaaas.
Then she went on with the actual explanation. But she summed it up so well in the begining.
Even though most of the time, I find myself contradicting with sociologists, I like reading about them. All sociologists tried to come up with some universal theory that could cover everything. But as with all man-made laws, their theories had limitations. The theory would work for a century to the most and then some wise guy would find loop-holes. He'd offer his biased critisim which people would accept readily and then bad-mouth the previous sociologist. Losers. This new guy would put forward his reformed view which would look all glamourous and everything and people would consider him the best, only to be worshipping someone else after the next 50 years. No doubt the theories improved as time passed but they'll never be universal. People argue, that its because societies are constantly changing. Because of the constant technological advancements that change peoples lifestyles, preferances, everything etc, that makes it impossible to come up with something that can explain every darn phenomena taking place in the society. Human beings are incapable of forming all-embracing laws. I believe that most of these sociologists were basically trying to formulate a code of life. Making laws about the human society so that it becomes easier to predict behaviors and detect deviance. Some form of standard for everyone to follow and measure from. But even in that very basic goal, the sociologists divided and formed two great camps; the positivists and the interpretivists. As much as I want to elaborate on that, I wouldn't because....well its not really all that interesting. Anyway, this is the point where you see Islam making a head-way. As cliched as it is to say that Islam is the code of life, its very much relevent here. Islam is not limited to a race or a nation or an era or time, it can be practised anywhere and everywhere by anyone from a begger to a King, till the day the earth explodes. You don't find limitations in it and its laws don't change overnight. It covers everything under the sun and tells you exactly how to and when to do things. It gives you the manual for living your life. It encourages you to ponder, to compare and to make the effort of learning. The laws are perfectly functional, have always been and will always be. It feels so good to compare, because the comparison makes my belief strong.
posted by Niqabi at 5:34 AM
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
These days I'm trying to sit my life down and have an active argument with it. Its a hectic hobby but its reaping some benefits so I'm happy. The 18 years passed away in such a whirl that I can't even point the different between the years. Life just took place and went on, without any thoughtful interruptions . Some people came, talked and left a lasting impression. The fleeting moments are all that I remember.
When I was younger, things were simpler. Patterns were easier and predictable, there were no puzzles to solves, probably because I took everything my parents said, for gospel (figuratively speaking). The question of 'why' simply didn't exist. Neither was I too keen on contradicting. I thought I'll look up into the matter of negating later but for then the explanation was enough to satisfy me. It was because it was. How could it be otherwise, anyway? I considered my parents to be epitome of knowledge. I thought my father was a genius and often marvelled at the way he explained things to me, with carefully chosen examples that fitted in so well. Not that he's any less intelligent now but just that I seem to have different questions now. His words had depth or so I thought. When you're young, it doesn't take much for someone to appear intelligent. Big words and confusing theories are all that it takes. Theories that don't make sense to you then, but you still consider them to be sacred because they pose a challenge, which you feel incapable of taking. My father talked about so many things, linking them with one another and with so much ease, each word screaming out 'I've been there, I've seen it all'. And I was so sure that he'd have an answer to all my questions. He did have, to some extent. He did went through a similar experience and knows all the ups and downs that come with The Search. He was way too experimental with life compared to me. He took more risks than I will ever and he did succeed in finding something that is universal to him and helps him feed his spirituality. But one thing that no parents in the world understand is that their experiences and their life is in no way similar to ours. Their perspective on everything doesn't fit with us. In a society like ours, its getting harder to relate with ones parents. The frequently used phrase that ' we know whats best for you'...doesn't much sense to me then. Parents are, without doubt the most sincerest, loving and the most selfless people a child can ever have, but it doesn't mean that they enforce their views. It doesn't mean that they push you to believe in something. It doesn't mean that they ask you to adopt something that they found to be absolutely right. What they found on their own maybe works out for them but it doesn't neceassrily has to work out for you as well. It can, however, I'm not ruling out that possibility. Or maybe it will with the passage of time, if not now. But what if parents do leave their children to decide on their own and they only end up being completely immoral and off-the-track? Who is to blame then? Parents for giving the freedom to decide? Or children for choosing the wrong way? You can't win either way, unless you have sensible kids or wise parents. Which so few of us have. Yes, I think alot about raising my kids. Its seems like such a formidable task and a burden on my shoulders.
I've begun to understand that if there is something that bothers me, its only I who can truly do something about it. I'll have people telling me their views and theories all my life. They'll try to make me follow their version of truth but in the end its only me who has to strive for every question that ever arose in my tiny brain. And as much as it bothers me to have so many different, confusing realities, I'll have to take the risk and accept one of them as being right.
posted by Niqabi at 9:21 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I'll get better. This will get better. That will get better. Things will get better. Life will get better. It'll change. It'll be alright. It'll be okay. Everything will be fine. We live in a world where people are constantly looking for happiness. We're all structured that way. We want to be happy no matter what, no matter how adverse our circumstances are. We all believe that happiness is our rightful share, we deserve it. But how to go about getting it...? That's the million-dollar question that needs a quick solution. And no doubt so many people over years and centuries have tried coming up with answers to it; practical and easy. But I wonder that amidst this chaos and clash of knowledge and information, we often lose track of reality. Things are painted over and over again in so many different colours, that we even forget the original. Every single day of the week, we give so much false hope to each other, without even knowing a quarter of another's porblem. We give hope because we fear that if hopelessness lasts, it will eventually infect us with depression. Some times we comfort each other for our own survival. Isn't that so? I don't even know why pretension disgusts me so much. Even though I know, that at some point or at some level it is necessary for us. But I just can't help it.
Anyway, I write a lot of nonsensical paragraphs that flow into one another without making any sense at all. Its just a way of unloading my thoughts, that are not even intelligent. Its not like I'm a great philosopher pondering over the mysteries of life, no its not that. Its nothing close to it because what I write has no depth and no meaning. Its simply my own confusion being poured out in different words and ways. I start out with something about myself and end up wrting about the entire human race. Digression. Big Time, I tell you.
Anyway, I was saying that I want to know if my life really will get better. I'm not looking for predictions but something more solid. Like...yes you're life will get better. Its not that bad or horrible as it may seem alot of times, its just that its not the way I want it to be. I'm not even married as yet but I think I'm mature enough to decide what way of life to adopt. There are so many choices that you almost start believing that there really are more straight paths than one. But in reality, there's only one. And one alone, which is simple and without any traces of falsehood. I want to adopt that way of life. But it requires so much strength and energy. I have the willingness without the energy of carrying it through. I don't want to start out with something really religious and then end up being a rebellious cow. Because I fear that. I fear from my own rebellion which is very strong. I don't take things as soon as they are layed before me. My first reaction is to condemn no matter what. I'm not submit-at-my-will type. And if you'd know, Islam means submission. So I'm working hard on taming this trait of mine and want to take it to the level where I accept whatever Islam says. Hopefully, I pray and you pray that I succeed. I feel selfish writing about myself in such great details, as if I'm being paid to write but I'm sorry, this is my blog. So there you are, with a perfectly self-obsessed blog. Written and edited by Me.
posted by Niqabi at 4:55 AM
Our goal in life? Just want to write something today. Nah, I'm not a writer, can't ever be. Not possible. Still, I don't understand that do why I even have the urge to write. It shouldn't exist, should it? I mean what's the point of wanting to write when you can't write well? Writing for venting is good but it’s without substance, something coming direct from the heart without first getting filtered by the mind; could be amazingly interesting or could be horribly boring. But in any case, it’s not stable. Emotions disturb writing. They deviate you and often discolor your words. Sentiments always taints the picture adding a spice or two of its own. Therefore I don't consider reading venting\whining to be worthwhile. If you're lucky to catch an audience that's probably only because they're sorry people like yourself. I'd love to be like Hanif Kureshi, while I often get disgusted by his vulgar approach and sick descriptions, I like the fluency of his expression and his ability to mould the language the way he wants to. He is innovative with words, not forming new ones but giving different shades of meaning to the same word. Making the familiar interesting. That’s an incredible gift, in my opinion.
Anyway, I was going through my mind and I realized that I can't be happy when I know that I'm wrong. My guilt factor is too strong to let my live peacefully in sin. Alhamdolilah. But the problem is that almost every enjoyable thing or activity is in one way or another against Islam. Not that Islam means no fun but that the fun of the world today is 90% not jaiz. How to stop oneself from the influence of that forbidden 'other? That's something we need to ponder and focus upon. I'm not talking about boys, thank you, but haram stuff in general. For instance, music is haram. Ahem. A very personal opinion. And I love it. Every time I listen to it, I want to go back to my former self, which used to give me instant gratification but long-term unhappiness. How to overcome my weaknesses in such a way that I eventually consider myself complete without them? That should be an essay question carrying 25 marks. I'm sure this is something that is really going to help us in the world today. Have you ever thought that why do we study so much stuff that we're never going to put to use? I'm sure you must all have, at one point or another. Why do we exert our energies over something that will be learnt and conveniently forgotten after the exam? Are we so shallow that we resort to such meaningless activities? Is maximizing our wealth the only aim? We want to have a sound education because we want to have a good job. And we want to have a good job so that we marry off well and lead our lives relatively better. Is that not right? The ultimate aim is to enjoy a more prosperous life than our parents. That sounds so hollow, so worthless and so lame. Clearly, money is very important. It has such a strong role to play in our lives, no matter where we are and what we do. But don't you think its importance is being overplayed? Exaggerated? Surely, I mean surely we can't be sent to this world to gain profits upon profits? That could not be, because our Allah is not unjust. Not every one in this world has equal opportunity in terms of wealth. Some have better chances of prospering than others. Or, speaking in terms of sociology, have greater life chances. So if this was to be the divine yardstick then they'd be so much chaos and injustice. Our standard is surely something just, something that is available to all. Something that can be done or practiced or consumed every where and by everyone. So I'm sure and definite that it is something wholly and souly non-material; it is faith and it is piety and it is strength and conviction of religion. I'm getting at something, that you must understand, realize and be ready to accept, my dear.
posted by Niqabi at 4:53 AM
Friday, November 11, 2005
I'm alive and well and happy, but just don't have any time to spare at the moment. Will post soon insha'Allah. Have so much to write about...
posted by Niqabi at 6:11 AM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
We're likely to run into Eid the day after tomorrow, insha'Allah. The event will be celebrated with a solemn note because of the 8 th Oct. quake. May Allah give sabr (patience) to the quake victims who have lost their families, Ameen.
I'm completely drenched with school assignments but I'm really looking forward to have some time for fun and relaxation. I need change and a little peace of mind. By the way, we're having a jamat from South Africa on Saturday and everyone is invited to visit. Please do drop by, all who can...
Lots and lots of Eid mubarak to everyone. May Allah bestow His blessings on you and your family.
posted by Niqabi at 11:12 AM
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Interests: World War II, Jews, Hebrew, ancient sites, Muslim rule in Spain, revolutions, Vatican city and Islamic literature.
Books: The black album, Portofino, Ladies coupe, In beautiful disguises, The buddhist of Suburbia, The hidden life of Otto Frank.
Contact: niqabified [at] gmail [dot] com
Quote: "We plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners"