Wednesday, August 15, 2012
When I was a child I used to poke hornets nests; of course, I got stung many times, I will walk around with my swollen face for several days. I guess old habits do not die. Whenever I go on Youtube & some songs make me think, then I write some comments. My comments are very seldom subtle & of course, I speak my mind, with out worrying what anyone else will think. I do not accept any authority. As a result I get a lot of hate emails. Following are the two postings from my Facebook page. I am editing & posting them for those who like to think. There are times in our lives when sailing is not as smooth, it does not matter how much you planned, how hard you worked, you can still end up in a dump. It might be an iceberg or a rogue wave, your ship has sunk. You were lucky enough to get some temporary refuge in a small boat, then that boat capsized. Again, you were careful to have a life jacket, it will not let you sink but how about this icy frigid water; some of us could be strong enough to claim the title of polar bear but, we are not polar bears. I just hope end comes because of hypothermia, it is not as painful as being water-boarded (by the savers of a democracy) because of some false baseless charges. I really do not know under what name this posting will appear? At this point I just feel like an eternal fugitive, trying to escape Kafka's trial. I have to admire Hallaj & Sermad, or Jesus (if he was not a fictional character, how can you walk on water, or bring dead to life?). So I have lost all the redeeming values. My last posting should by no means be considered as an appeal for mercy, or gain sympathy. Eagles & lions do not need them, we roar & we soar. I just wanted to write a blog, but this stupid maze of modern communication will not let me do what I want. Hopefully, tomorrow I will have a webcam installed & find out from the 'experts' how to post a blog or go on the Youtube. I really want to throw some firecrackers towards Pakistanis (I love Pakistan as a country only if the majority of Pakistanis can be be removed from that land), and especially so called 'Muslims'. I just saw a picture of Pervez who was celebrating August 14th in Dubai. Dubai ! what a place where Michael Jackson, Benazir & other out casts found a refuge. I wonder what Pervez is expecting to do now what he could not achieve when he was a dictator? Even though I have not been so active in the cyberspace but I am always getting hate emails, I can just visualize the frothing mouths of rabies infested creatures. They think I will take offense or get into a debate. Not a chance. A Persian phrase expresses me well 'barking of dogs never scare a Gada(look up the meaning) or take away his meal-in my case my drink. I am getting ready for a holy occasion when millions of sheep & other poor animals will be brought to be slaughtered in a holy-land(?)so the believers can go to heaven.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
April 22, 2012. Some of my friends in San Antonio are trying to contact me & want to know how I was doing? I can not claim to have a lot(not even few) of people following me however, I have played, met & worked with a lot of people during the last 66 years of my life. Now & then a bright star( yes people who know me & remember me are like stars to me) shines on the horizon making me happy. I left SA for several very personal reasons, the life was easy which I traded for a harsher life style; I am not regretting. I have some plans but execution of some of them is in others hands, leaving those aside; I will definitely like to write about environmental & social issues. Since this is a different medium of communication therefore, I am not too sure about my readers(over a period of almost 60 years I had been able to communicate well with a lot of people in several countries-but this medium is not very assuring, at least not right now). I am in Sunrise(Eastern most) county of the USA, it is cloudy, and windy with a temperature of 39 degrees, the heater is kicking in frequently so we can stay comfortable at 70 degrees inside the house. We are recovering from a journey of 6 days on the road with 22 kitties, half of them were not too happy; rounding them up in the morning & feeding & cleaning them in the evening was a Herculean task. I have traveled cross country with them 4 times, it was never easy; however, the idea of leaving/loosing them was unthinkable. I believe every living creature on this Earth should be treated like we like to be treated ourselves.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Today’s news. I opened the paper, apparently if it is not bad then it is not worth printing, one of the head lines was about the teen age suicides in Russia. I was shocked to learn that Russia stands only behind Belarus & Kazakhstan. About a decade ago I was in Canada & surprised to find that overall suicide rate in Canada was very high. I remember reading Viktor Frankel, a holocaust survivor that in the Nazi concentration camps suicide rate were very low! So I had to read the news all the way through. It was sad to read the logic behind these suicides. Two main reasons were cited a) strict family rules & b) harsh school environments. I decided to write something about it with the hope that some one will translate my blog into Russian & post it where teenagers can read it, if I can save one life it will be worth it. Any where in the world teenagers should think about one fact that all the grownups went through the same phase (we the old ones were once teenagers, too). Dear teenagers, go to a funeral home & look at the dead person, even though the person may look good because of a lot of professional work, once you have viewed the person, no matter how pretty this person is, they will close the casket lid, and it will be buried. Despite of all the chemicals injected in this person’s corpse the bacteria will eventually win, and the beautiful person you saw will be a rotten stinky mess. The beauty you saw was very short lived; if you think I am making it up then get on the internet & check the pictures of the Egyptian mummies; they perfected the art of body preservation 1000’s of years ago, it does not matter how they looked when they lived & embalmed, today they look ghastly, is that what you want to look like ?(if you are lucky & someone try to preserve your body). Now, let me share a story with you about a child who grew up as a very poor & deprived kid, he was hungry most of the time, he has to sleep on hay during winters(there were no beds available), he lost his mother at the age of 7, the grave diggers came to the house, there were no funeral homes, no morgues, the dead person has to be buried before the night falls; so this child has to go to a scary unkempt graveyard & he pointed towards an empty spot. The grave diggers dug the hole. By that time some old ladies from the neighbor hood had washed the mothers body & wrapped her in white fabric(no wooden or fancy coffins), before the evening shadows started lengthening this child’s mother was in the grave, and the hole was filled back with the dirt. This child knew what was going on, he loved his mother, he used to pray to the god, “please do not take my mother away”, his prayers were too weak to reach the powerful god’s ears. This child along with his siblings was at the mercy of a ruthless father, a hostile society(he was called Panahgeer, a derogatory term for those who came from India to Pakistan, they were not refugees, they left India as a part of the political deal that non Muslims will go to India & the willing Muslims will go to Pakistan, these new comers never took any thing from the natives how ever they were hated-their real stories will never be known ); and a dangerous school system. I am calling the school system dangerous because here the students were beaten mercilessly. This child was small & weak, the teacher in the 5th grade looked like a Taliban(a wild looking man with a bushy beard), he will grab this child by his ears & pick him up, the child will be hanging in the air the pain would be excruciating. Other children will be punished with sticks, these teachers will choose to hit the skinny kids with a solid baton, but if there was a chubby child then he will be beaten by thin freshly broken tree sticks, that is how they incur the maximum pain (you thought you knew the meaning of sadism). Older & bigger students will not only bully the little children but they will sodomize the weak ones. Could you report it to the teachers? No , because some teachers did the same thing, they will rape whom so ever they can. Entire town knew it, in my knowledge no one was ever punished. This was just normal. Once this child did not go to an art class, the teacher was a pedophile & the child was trying to avoid any encounter which may lead to this fate, one day this teacher saw him in the courtyard of the school, teacher asked him to come close, child did not have the choice, as he got close the teacher slapped him hard with open palm, the compressed air entered the ear & yes, I could not hear from that ear for days, that child was me. Children of the world & especially the Russians, I am opening my wounds so you can see that some one else had bled too. I do not know why I did not commit suicide, if you are thinking along these lines then please read this entire story, it might help you going through your pains. I wish I can be with you when you are so desperate to throw yourself from the balcony of a high rise building, probably I can talk you out of it, while I am writing this the tears are flowing from my eyes(literally), I can feel your pain. I really do not know how you celebrate any festival(let us say Christmas), what you are going to read now may horrify you, nothing is exaggerated. It was the most important festival of Muslims, we used to get a pair of shoes(only once a year), new clothes, and 2 rupees(consider $2.00), no toys , no gifts. I and my siblings were happy, we went out to play. Dadu is a dusty town, we got some dirt on our clothes, we came home, our father saw that & he got upset, he stripped all three of us naked and pushed us out of the house. We 3 naked children were huddled together, crying in a deserted street, while every one was having fun, we had to walk totally naked to our aunts house(I do not remember how we did it, I wish my younger siblings do not remember it), My aunt was the only relative we knew. It has been so long that I can not recollect all the details of that fateful day, however, that episode is burnt in my memory, I really wish my sibling have forgotten it. There is nothing which can erase my memory, more than 55 years are gone but the pain still hurts. Where did I go from there? I focused on my education, some one told me that I can break this cycle of pain only if I can educate myself. I endured the pain of poverty until 1971. Today, I am 66 years old, I am retired from my last job of 27 years, I am moving out of the state & probably out of the country but I still want to go back to school(University in my case) & continue my education. Most of the readers may not understand my obsession with education. Today if I have few worldly processions then it is because of my education & I did not try to kill myself. It does not matter where you are, please do not cut your trip short, live one more day, just one more (see I am dragging you out, if you live one more day & day after day, these days will convert into months & years & then you will be free), death is not glamorous, problem is if you successfully commit suicide you will not be able to regret. You kill yourself you will not be starting a new life somewhere else, what makes you think that way? Let us say you are right & I am wrong then what is the guarantee that it will be better there? You & every one who lives on this Earth is given only one chance. Just because some one says there is life after this one does not make it right. No dead person has ever come back. However, if you tough it out then chances are you will eventually have a beautiful life because you are beautiful & you deserve a good future. If you want to talk to me then I will be there for you as long as I live …it is not easy, you will have to find me in the cyberspace, then I may have some other stories for you
Saturday, January 28, 2012
A geology axiom is "present is key to the past", there is another saying that history repeats itself that should make us think that this Earth & its inhabitants will not be the same. We are bound to change, the changes are inevitable, we may or may not like them but our future generations will have to accept them. My experience have taught me that most of the people do not like to think about the future, they believe the human life will go on like this forever, or there will be day of judgement; the material world will come to an end ; we will be living in a different type of world.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Please enlighten me. This is not the final version, I am working on this project, but I want to save it any way (it can be tricky sometimes). Since I do not want to be engaged in any kind of religious therefore please do not tell me god exists, just shut up. Here are some reasons I do not want to get into the god's business, in my perception this whole concept of god is invented by men. Since people are different, their perceptions regarding god are different. If there was a god it would have talked to the people in a language they can understand, instead of delivering its messages through some obscure strange characters, some of them called themselves the messengers, prophets, and the one even called himself the son of god; give me a break. Why god will send his son to save the stupid sinners/criminals & then get him crossed. We like to defy the nature by saying there were ten commandments delivered to a person on Sinai, another one comes out of a virgin(among the billions of women who have lived on this earth not one virgin woman has given birth to a male child, period). Following him(almost 500 years down the road) is the one who is claiming that he is the last prophet to deliver the god's message to the mortal souls, but he forgot to put that in writing(he could not read & write), his utterance was written years after his death, that was a crummy job because the complexity of the language needed some more work, finally the ultimate perfect version was completed almost 100 years after his death. The 'followers' always find a justification for the human's error. So far I have tried to analyze the folly of the people from the Middle East. If we go to the south Asia, China, Africa, south America, north America or Australia we find that god completely ignored them so they have to come up with their own spiritual beliefs(whatever that means}. Most of the believers in god think about him like a person just a lot bigger. Then the question comes why the god has to create this universe? (If you think seriously then it is very important question). Did he want to create this universe so he can play with us like a little girl playing with the dolls, that is just gross. Years ago after checking the mambo jumbo of different religions which emphasize in having faith in what we are being told, I took a different path; I tried to understand the nature using the laws of science(this the same approach which naturalist like Galileo to Darwin took). This approach worked for me for a while until I reached the scientific explanation of the universe. Here are some premises I am setting: 1. I do not question the observation of expanding(& accelerating while expanding) universe. 2. I understand the 'Time' is an abstract concept which we we have devised to gauge the rate of changes, its relativity is not questioned here; rather the question is why it is said that time started when the universe started? This is somewhat analogous to starting a new years calendar; before 2012 there was 2011, which to me means that time did exist before the start of this known Universe. We are told that this Universe was a singularity 13.7 billion years ago. Do we know where this funny 'singularity' came from & what it was doing prior to 13.7 billion years ago? 3. I really do not want to antagonize the living 'gods' of theoretical physics by saying 'can you please answer these questions without saying shut up otherwise I will throw another equation at you'. Or even worst, We are not going to honor you by answering your dumb questions, go and enroll in some university & after getting your PhD ask your questions. You 'gods the almighty of modern science' is there any way for an average mortal soul to understand what you are doing? Perhaps it was my lack of knowledge that I did not know even before Hubble, in 1920's some European clergy pointed out that at the time of inception this entire universe was like an atom, 10 years down the road the Red Shift gave us the same concept which more commonly is known as the Big Bang theory. If I am not wrong then Hubble calculated the age of the Universe from the rate of acceleration of the objects beyond our galaxy being 20 billion years. Then some pundits reduced that age to 13.7 billion years. This concept got a shot in the arm when Arno Penzia & Robert Wilson were trying to figure out the cause of the pervasive radiation in the Universe & with the help of Jim Peebles theoretical work(which he calculated to be 10 degrees above absolute zero as being the residual temperature of the initial explosion, Peebles himself probably got this idea from a USSR physicist's speculation). Penzia/Wilson found that back ground radiation to be 2.7 degrees above the absolute zero instead of 10 degrees . This makes me think about another physicist god Lord Kelvin who insisted upon accepting the age of the Earth being less than 100 million years old; geologist & evolutionary biologists of the late 19th century had hell of time in accepting Kelvin's number (who did not realize the nature of the radioactivity). By 1907 age of the Earth was re-established to be 1.5 billion years & today we are putting it close to 4.5 billion years. While I was trying to keep up with the new Ideas I found one claim that our universe could be inside a Black hole, another claim I read was that time will come to an end in 5 billion years, some one else is coming up with the concept of ultraverse/super universe. While I am still trying to understand dark matter & dark energy comes another discovery that some one is stealing some parts of our Universe, this mysterious thief is forcing these poor galaxies to move away (apparently away from our Universe)at a rate of >2 million miles an hour. Truth as it may be, the question remains why the gods like Einstein, Bohr, & Hawking did not try to find out why the laws of physics fail to explain the nature of this singularity. Just to think & accept the idea of this Universe being at one point is making me feel dizzy & then thinking what kind of force was responsible for tearing this singularity apart & start creating matter & energy from nothing is just as absurd as accepting the concept of god who created the universe. Please forgive me for crawling on my knees & asking the questions to these sprinters how you can run this fast? After all that singularity has to be infinitesimally more massive than the most massive black hole in the Universe, and if that is so, then how the matter & the energy was able to escape from this point? If I accept Peebles hypothesis & combine it with Penzia/Wilson's then the age of the Universe has to be much older than 13.7 billion years. I will try to think about the future some other day, right now I am trying to think how we got started? If there is a kind soul who is reading my confusion can guide me to the work of the 'gods of physics' which have some plausible answers to my questions. If possible then please quote me some sources where these issues have been addressed.
Friday, December 30, 2011
I am feeling tired & exhausted. Internal struggles to overcome your own weaknesses can be just as powerful, and painful as the external hostilities. There are the lucky ones who usually get what they want, but they are very few chosen ones & then there are those who can not even dream of success because they even do not know the meanings of success. The year 2011 is coming to an end, not that in the greater scheme of this Earth it really matters. If Pope Gregory would not have demanded this calendar then it could have been any other number. However, since we are measuring the passage of time with this scale therefore, I want to sum up the events which have personally affected me. Please stop right here if you do not want to read the stories of departures. For me it was the year of departures. 2011's first casualty was the departure of Akhtar Shah, a very sweet eternally depressed friend from 1950's who had a melodious voice, he did not know what mother nature has gifted him. Then there was Amin Khan another charmer who knew only how to smile, who never complained of poverty; after graduating from high school he accepted the job of a bank clerk until he retired. Even though we had known each other since 1950's but during the struggling days of 1960's & early 1970's he was with me in Dadu. Our company was well known to every one. Every one knew where to find us for an evening tea, all they had to do is to come to a tea shop located out of town, in Sindhi language we called it Kandoo ki Mandli. Kandoo was a young teenager who will bring us tea & we will watch Sindhi volley ball & chat about all kinds of thing. We knew our days in Dadu were numbered. Dark shadows of hatred were growing taller. We used to meet again for a long walk after our dinner & have some more tea at another place called Cafe De Qasim. We could not figure out why hatred was becoming stronger. We used to watch old Urdu movies & laugh so much that sometimes my cheeks will start hurting. One night we were returning after watching a movie & right behind us was one of our acquaintance, he did not like the comedy & expressed his discontent, we laughed & ignored his comments. The reason I remember him that well because a few years latter he was shot by a thug of PPP in the broad day light, he some how managed to get to the Police station & identified his killer. The killer was a rising star of PPP who won the seat of Pakistan Parliament(times of senior Bhutto). Our company was doomed from the beginning. I left Dadu in February of 1971 & got caught in the whirl winds of time which will take me to different places in different countries, and continents, I worked on land, offshore, in the deserts and the mountains. During the early part of 2011 I got a call from Mahfooz that Amin Khan left, I was saddened and consoled myself with some sad Urdu poetry, all the memories of good times came alive. Mahfooz himself was suffering from the heart ailment. He was a friend of friends; again I knew him since 1950's, we used to play cricket & go to Dadu canal to swim, and then he left for Karachi. I missed him very much, several years down the road I found out where he was. When I arrived in Karachi for my higher education then Mahfooz was again my weekend buddy. His elder brother always asked him why he could not go to college & get some education like I did. I guess Mahfooz did not care about the formal schooling. We used to watch movies, have snacks & sweet tea & after that I will catch a bus for Karachi university. For some strange reason neither back then nor today I ever thought I was more educated than these friends, therefore I never tried to choose a different circle of friends. I did meet some good friends in the university but I never abandoned my old circle. This year I did not hear from Mahfooz since April/May, I had an uneasy feeling until my niece told me in October that Mahfooz uncle has passed away. Another chapter closed, no more calls from Pakistan. Right around that time I got another bad news that Mr. Jobs left. Until then I did not know how much I liked Mr.Steve Jobs, my first computer was an IMac in bondi blue color, I took the delivery of that computer the day it went for sale. We were always getting the bad news about Mr. Job's health but I never realized that he will leave us so soon. I went to the local Apple store, the young lady who came to talk to me was surprised to know that I was such a big fan of Apple computers(she had seen many others) & Mr. Steve Jobs. We shared high five & some tears together. Last summer I met my ophthalmologist during the last week of July he thought my vision has slightly improved, he showed me his pictures of flowers & asked me what I think about Nikon as compared to Leica, I told him Nikon is a first class company whereas Leica is being run be arrogant brosses; he wanted to see my pictures during our scheduled appointment in December, when I was leaving he said he will pray for me; I was somewhat surprised at his kindness. A month latter my former departmental secretary came to my office & told me Dr. 'J' left a week after I saw him, I could not believe my ears. Why the year 2011 which started with these news should come to an end with a happy note? On December 18th I got the news that 'B' left, I had known him for decades when he was barely 20 years old. Last year he was diagnosed with cancer, cancer kept on jumping from his skin to his lungs & then to his brain. No cutting edge medical technology could save him & finally his journey ended. There is no room in my house, there is no place in my front & backyard where I cannot see his signature. When we met the first time it was for a repair job but as the time passed I called him for many other jobs, we became friends, we shared stories. I am still thinking why such a strong young man has to leave immediately after his 43rd birthday? Few months before he left a mutual friend brought a gentleman to my house, we had a friendly conversation & when they left I asked my wife how come 'R'(our mutual friend) has always ill friends; she was shocked & told me it was 'B' not a stranger! I will not forget that day ever, how the cancer has ravaged him that I could not recognize him. When I am closing for the year 2011 how can I not mention about my two daughters who also left us, first Brandee whom I rescued from the injuries she got in engine compartment of a car. Even though she belonged to friend who dumped Brandee on us, Nora took care of her; this gentle soul lived with us for almost 18 years, during her last days she will walk outside the house where some pigeons will be having their lunch but they will let her drink from their water bath. After a long protracted illness she decided to leave us in May. My second daughter who came to leave us was Salma whom I picked up from the roadside when she barely a few weeks old, she was just sitting there & crying; I had to bring her home. She was the bravest of all, one day my neighbors dogs got loose in my back yard, all of my cats ran up the trees, Salma did not, she just stood there looking at those yuppy things as if asking them what you idiots are doing in my yard? In August she lost her apatite, I kept on giving her apatite boosting pills, finally the pills quit working & she lost her battle in September. What a year it was!
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
These words were written in response to a beliver's ideas. Thank you for taking time to give a different perspective, it was really kind of you to do so. I sincerely appreciate your convictions. I am not saying it fictitiously. 66 years of my life has taught me one lesson, i.e. do not try to win the arguments, just win the hearts. I never had any life jacket to throw in choppy waters to save some one. We as a human being some time speak using different frequencies. Of course, every one knows at am radio one can not listen to the fm stations. What is right & what is wrong? I am just a traveler in the darkness of night, perhaps I am blind so even if light appears I can not see the path. I have read a little bit of the history of science too; & the conclusion of my reading is that from Newton to Darwin they all wanted to learn about god by studying the nature. They came to a Y in their journey, some took one path & the others the second. I will dedicate the words of a mystic poet to you who said, demolish Caaba(the muslims holiest site), demolish temples; but never demolish a heart because that is where god lives. Respects, A. Qudus.