Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Some wise words by George Orwell.

"In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act."

"War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength."

"Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.

"The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history."

"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it." 

"Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them."

"The best books... are those that tell you what you know already."

"Big Brother is Watching You." 

"But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." 

"Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know what no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me."

"All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting."

Monday, July 18, 2011

Posing Humility - Earning Cheap Spirituality (by Samima)

It’s a trend these days of ‘Posing Humility’ in ones social circle. The extent to which beautiful the concept of humbleness is in its original unadulterated form, such masquerading makes it unbearably treacherous. This show offing of piety starts with a lie and ends in an even bigger lie. Its dodging one self, ones society and betraying God. It’s the same as people act religious these days coz this might earn them respect in the social circle. Such  ‘pose down to earth attitude’ sect of people, act according to situation while meeting a high material status person.  These shallow personalities exist all around us, we just need to have an eye for such opportunistic actors.  
by: Samima shah

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Islamic History (600-750 A.D) by Shaban - A review

Islamic history- A new interpretation by M.A. Shaban as the name says is giving a relatively different historical perspective. The details of even the smallest events provided  is quite impressive. This read clearly shows that Political and Economic factors were inevitable and were given due importance by our then leaders in early years of Islam's dispersal. I came to know many leaders other than Khulf e Rashideen whose works are undermined by Historians like Amir Muawiya and Marwan Alhakam. The never knew terms like Ridda warriers, Muqatila, Khawarij, etc. were explained in the book. On the whole a good book to read.
by: Samima Shah

The Seasonals (by Samima)

We all have experienced seasons, read and heard about the Noun all the time from the Weather guy to poets. But today I feel like discussing its Adjective form the Seasonals, no I’m not talking about seasonal fruits n veggies, yes they do effect out lives considerably, but my Seasonals are the moving ones showing their  talents quite explicitly all the time.

Seasonal Chefs: impressed by Zubaida apa, Chef Zakir etc etc , are mostly women, proving their passion for cookery by clinging to cooking channels 9 to 5 some times even after it . Though some do excel while other will try another recipe. You should be careful here as your stomach is their testing ground. An advice: be nice and careful with such seasonals.

Seasonal Readers/ Writers: as the name explains a lot these people start to show others during discussions or  via fb status that they have a reading/ writing habit since long. Even their fellows and parents can’t give you any idea how all this developed out of thin air (without any warning to the rest of us). Afterwards they prove to be from the very early age readers of some Big authors whose names were alien to them 2 yrs back. We come to now after every couple of days that they have finished a 300 – 500 page book  in mere hours and  in weeks they review half a dozen of books (via fb status again).  Now they think they can write and afterwards one can actually experience  how jumping and somersaulting can be done in writing. The incoherence and stupidity I won’t dare to discuss, as its already getting pretty personal.

Seasonal Philosophers: These seasonal  are most dangerous of all , as they directly affect u , your ears and your brain. They start by sharing some poetry or philosophical quote. Don’t bother to use quotation mark, leave alone any reference, as they themselves are the philosophers now, real deep thinkers, so why to give presumably a dead person any credit (I just drowned).  They must have heard the lines “every person is a philosopher” so why not try the easy way, be like some philosopher, think like him, even write like him (which of course means copy him all the way). You call them copy cats to copy cows or even copy donkeys, they don’t care, perhaps they also heard the lines  ‘every great man’s  genius wasn’t acknowledged by people of his times’.


Father and Daughter - A short film

Dawn O hara- A review

 An amazingly compelling character 'Dawn', all the way to its end. Ferber is good at making humor tragic. Authors who can’t make you take tragedy seriously are a lot easier to find, and a lot less worthy of respect.
by: Samima Shah

Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan- A review

A unique novel style writing by S.Wolpert biographize Z.A. Bhutto. How can 5 and a half years of disgraceful power can still move millions... terming Zulfi Bhutto's personality from charismatic , Oxford-educated to "Islamic Napoleon" with power driven 'schizoid personality'. Giving both positive and negative aspects of his rule and personality, and in the end how Wolpert agrees that he (Bhutto) deserves the fate he received.
by: Samima Shah

Stay Hungry, stay foolish - A review

Captivating stories of 25 IIMA graduates who denied following conventional paths and turned into entrepreneurs. The (steve jobs) borrowed lines "stay hungry, stay foolish" goes well as a books title.
by: Samima Shah

My feudal lord- A review

 Best seller of its time .... read it when i was only 17 yr old.... the whole book was a big shock for me at that tender age .... but realized it later that stories like these are all around me .... I entered my womanhood legacy with the experiences of this author .... understanding Jane Austen was easy .... but reading Tehmina was pretty arduous.( Samima)

A crooked line - A review

Ismat is my all time favourite, great and brave woman with the courage to speak on taboos of our society. this novel (which I read in Urdu) is her masterpiece on the pros n cons of life.
by: Samima Shah

Apology of Socrates by Plato- A review

"the easiest and noblest way is not to be crushing others, but to be improving yourselves", the line that says all.
by: Samima Shah

War and Peace- A review

Read it several years back, was recommended to me by my English professor in college.Its a huge, huge book to read.... with hundreds of characters, story spaced over decades and over 1000 pages lost interest many times but patience was paid of in the end. perhaps thats why it is hailed as the greatest novel of all times. Plotting of characters over decades is amazing and is so precise to make 'war nd peace' so amazing.
by: Samima Shah

Crito- A review

 Plato's philosophy of life is intriguing and his use of reasoning and justification for moral actions is superior.His argument to Crito "not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued" is the best one. Found so many lessons incumbent for my fellow citizens and government.
by: Samima Shah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Canary Effect

Alain de Botton on DISTRACTION

One of the more embarrassing and self-indulgent challenges of our time is the task of relearning how to concentrate. The past decade has seen an unparalleled assault on our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think, without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine, has become almost impossible.
The obsession with current events is relentless. We are made to feel that at any point, somewhere on the globe, something may occur to sweep away old certainties—something that, if we failed to learn about it instantaneously, could leave us wholly unable to comprehend ourselves or our fellows. We are continuously challenged to discover new works of culture—and, in the process, we don’t allow any one of them to assume a weight in our minds. We leave a movie theater vowing to reconsider our lives in the light of a film’s values. Yet by the following evening, our experience is well on the way to dissolution, like so much of what once impressed us: the ruins of Ephesus, the view from Mount Sinai, the feelings after finishing Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilyich.
A student pursuing a degree in the humanities can expect to run through 1,000 books before graduation day. A wealthy family in England in 1250 might have owned three books: a Bible, a collection of prayers, and a life of the saints—this modestly sized library nevertheless costing as much as a cottage. The painstaking craftsmanship of a pre-Gutenberg Bible was evidence of a society that could not afford to make room for an unlimited range of works but also welcomed restriction as the basis for proper engagement with a set of ideas.
The need to diet, which we know so well in relation to food, and which runs so contrary to our natural impulses, should be brought to bear on what we now have to relearn in relation to knowledge, people, and ideas. Our minds, no less than our bodies, require periods of fasting.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

from Divan-i- Shams (Rumi)

What is to be done, O Moslems? for I do not recognize myself.
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr, nor Moslem.
I am not of the East, nor of the West, nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature's mint, nor of the circling' heaven.
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity.
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulgaria, nor of Saqsin
I am not of the kingdom of 'Iraqian, nor of the country of Khorasan
I am not of the this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan.
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless ;
'Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the Beloved.
I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know J One I see, One I call.
He is the first, He is the last, He is the outward, He is the inward;
I know none other except 'Ya Hu' and 'Ya man Hu.'
I am intoxicated with Love's cup, the two worlds have passed out of my ken ;
I have no business save carouse and revelry.
If once in my life I spent a moment without thee,
From that time and from that hour I repent of my life.
If once in this world I win a moment with thee,
I will trample on both worlds, I will dance in triumph for ever.
O Shamsi Tabriz, I am so drunken in this world,
That except of drunkenness and revelry I have no tale to tell.

On Friends and Enemies ~ by Saadi

I am displeased with the company of friends
To whom my bad qualities appear to be good
They fancy my faults are virtue and perfection
My thrones they believe to be rose and jasmine
Say! where is the bold and quick enemy
to make me aware of my defects.
(translated by edward Holden)

Friday, July 01, 2011

Nisar Mai teri Galion Ky (Faiz)

Nisar mein teri galyion ke aye watan ke jahan
chali hai rasm keh koi na sar utha kay chalay
jo koi chahnay wala tawaf ko niklay
nazar chura kay chalay, jism-o-jaan bacha kay chalay
hai ahl-e-dil kay liye ab yeh nazm-e-bast-o-kushaad
ke sang-e-wakhast muqayyad hain aur sag azaad
Bohot hai zulm kay dast-e-bahana joo kay liye
jo chand ahl-e-junoon tera naam lewa hain
banein hain ahl-e-hawas, mudda’ii bhi, munsif bhi
kisay wakeel karein, kisse munsafi chahein
magar guzaarne walon kay din guzartay hain
teray firaaq mein yun subh-o-shaam kartay hain
bujha jo rozan-e-zindaan tu dil yeh samjha hai
keh teri maang sitaaron se bhar gayi hogi
chamak uthay hain salasil tu hum nay jana hai
ke ab sahar tere rukh per bikhar gayi hogi
gharz-e-tasawwar-e-shaam-o-sahar mein jeetay hain
girift-e-saaya-e-deewar-o-dar mein jeetay hain
yunhi hamesha ulajhti rahi hai zulm se khalq
na in ki rasm nayi, na apni reet nayi
yunhi hamesha khilaye hain hum nay aag mein phool
na un ki haar nayi hai na apni jeet nayi
isi sabab say falak ka gila nahin kartay
tere firaaq mein hum dil bura nahin kartay
gar aaj tujh se juda hain tu kal bhem hongay
yeh raat bhar ki judaayi tu koi baat nahin
gar aaj auj pe hai taali’-e-raqqeb tu kia
yeh chaar din ki khudaayi tu koi baat nahin
jo tujh se ehd-e-wafa ustawaar rakhtay hain
ilaaj-e-gardish-e-lail-o-nahar rakhtay hain

Hum Dekhain gayy (Faiz Ahmed Faiz)

Hum Dekhainge
Lazim Hai Ke Hum Bhi Dekhainge
Hum Dekhainge
Woh Din Ke Jis Ka Wada Hai...hum Dekhainge
Jo Loh-e-azal Pe Likha Hai...hum Dekhiange

Jab Zulm-o-sitam Ke Kooh-e-garan,
Rooyi Ki Tarah U\'dh Jayenge
Hum Mehkoomon Ke Paoon Tale,
Yeh Dharti Gha\'dh Gha\'dh Gha\'dhke Gi
Aur Ahl-e-hakam Ke Saron Per,
Jab Bijli Ka\'dh Ka\'dh Ka\'dhke Gi

Hum Dekhainge
Lazim Hai Ke Hum Bhi Dekhainge
Hum Dekhainge

Jab Arz-e-khuda Ke Kaabe Se,
Sab Butt Uthwaye Jayenge
Hum Ahl-e-safa Mardood-e-haram,
Masnad Pe Bithaaye Jayenge
Sab Taj Uchhale Jayenge,
Sab Takhat Giray Jayenge

Hum Dekhainge
Lazim Hai Ke Hum Bhi Dekhainge
Hum Dekhainge

Bas Naam Rahe Ga Allah Ka
Jo Gayab Bhi Hai Hazir Bhi
Jo Manzar Bhi Hai Nazir Bhi
Uthe Ga Anal Haq Ka Na\'ra
Jo Main Bhi Hoon Aur Tum Bhi Ho
Aur Raaj Kare Gi Khalq-e-khuda
Jo Main Bhi Hoon Aur Tum Bhi Ho

Hum Dekhainge
Lazim Hai Ke Hum Bhi Dekhainge
Hum Dekhainge
Woh Din Ke Jis Ka Wada Hai...hum Dekhainge
Jo Loh-e-azal Pe Likha Hai...hum Dekhiange