24 November 2005

There is no wealth but life..

First a bit more essence on the whole Ghoema thing from last weeks play- Die ghoema: 'n drom wat soos 'n balie lyk en is uniek aan die Kaap. Dit word van 'n brandewynvatjie gemaak'... The slaves that worked on the wine farms invented the ghoema by using a wine barrel and removing the base of it. Nevertheless, quite a memorable and entertaining experience, and makes one wonder how society can survive without music, tradition, colour, art and fun! Our specimen somehow manages to do so but with obviously devastating consequences…

Spent the weekend in Durban- lotsa sun, sand and surf! Durban has the best beaches- tried every one from there till Cape Town and I can safely say that none other comes close! The warm water and terrific waves- catching one is a near orgasmic experience- at least in my highly inexperienced opinion;-p

For my first few minutes in the water (spent a large part of 48 hours in the water!) I thought of only one thing- what is one of those sharks from last week rock up and say, ‘Hey Dude, remember me? Where’s your fancy cage now eh! Hehe…’ Shit, was I skrik! Took me few minutes to calm down but I assure you, many who go shark diving will not be able to swim in the ocean ever again!

What is Cloud 9? The 1896 edition of the International Cloud Atlas defines the ninth cloud as cumulo-nimbus, rising to a height of 10 km, which is the highest a cloud can be. That must have something to do with the feeling of elation that its normally associated to..
But there’s just something about being on Cloud 9- that feeling that, ‘Wow, things are working out so well!’ and you just enjoy it but it only lasts for so long! Sooner or later some moorse Jumbo jet comes past and knocks you off your cosy cloud and you hit mother earth with a bang- now you need to once again mull and contemplate, reflect and introspect, and come up with a revised POA. Moral of the story- Hell, I don’t know! But life is short- and not always rosy- so make the most of it while it lasts and know that whatever challenge you face, there are others who have it much worse!

Of all the contrivances for cheating the working classes of mankind perhaps none is so effective as that which deludes them with paper money-Daniel Webster
Don’t know who this guy is or what exactly he meant by the quote, but it may be interesting for those who are in the field to look into it- what gives paper money value? Is it just the credibility of the governments behind them? How does do we as Muslims feel about this? (p.s For more info I would suggest a chat with the Muraitoon!)

That’s all for this week- substandard drivel as usual but much shorter so hopefully much more readable;-)

17 November 2005

Tell me ur friends, & I will tell u who u are!

It’s always great to visit the Mother City- it actually feels like you in a different country; everything there is so different! From the Jumah prayer to the big mountain in the middle of the city-

The Jumah is a wee bit different from what we are accustomed to up north- see this wacky take on ours: http://rebspage.blogspot.com/
There you feel much more involved, it’s much more interactive (though definitely not interactive enough!) but feeling like you are actually participating in the prayer feels really good… And women as well- I’m sure many here will be flabbergasted to see women just on the other side of the chain when performing Jumah at Claremont Musjid, but there that’s pretty much the norm..

As for the mountain, I’ve expressed these sentiments before, but it’s really just in the way! You need to go all the way around the mountain to visit the other side. If it was here in Joburg, they probably would have made tunnels going through it! Or they would have hollowed it out and made a multi-level car park! Annoying, cause of traffic, perhaps not exactly aesthetically pleasing to some and even possibly frustrating at times- but it is truly remarkable how an entire metropolis was built around it!

Cape culture is quite exciting- went for a play, Goema, that was raising funds for MARCH (Muslims Assisting Red Cross Hospital). The play, well it was actually a musical, went through the history of the cape- from the time slaves and Muslims landed there to present and a satirical account of various incidents and eras since then… The Goema is, (well I’m not too sure what it is but will look it up for sure!) I think, music from the cape that started during the times of the slaves and has evolved to what is sung during the carnivals and on other occasions… The musical was extremely entertaining in a very cape town sort of way and thoroughly enjoyable! I would highly recommend it for anyone in the area from now till January as a entertaining yet educational experience:)

Getting up close and personal with sharks has always seemed as a sure way of getting a cheap thrill! (okay, not soo cheap actually!) But submerging yourself in a cage in heavily shark infested waters was really quite an adventure. Would have been much better if the weather was a bit better, the sea a bit calmer and the water a bit warmer! But on the whole an exciting experience- you feel very safe both in the boat and the cage but the sharks are flipping HUGE! Wouldn’t want to meet them without the comfort of a cage though! But as any experience with nature, it does and should make you realise and recognise your Creator in the magnificence and beauty of His creation…

The controversy around chumming (the practice of attracting sharks using bait) was discussed at length before the expedition was undertaken, and the clarification given as follows- fisherman have always chummed; the sharks are not actually fed; the sharks have a exceptionally short memory; Gansbaai (the shark diving spot) is the site of many scientific studies that are being conducted on sharks and is 2 hours from Cape Town!
We took pictures with a water proof camera and will try to host them as soon as developed- though I hope they come out clear as the sharks move quicker than you can imagine! Try it out sometime- it should have a spot on your list of things to do; along with bungy, scuba and sky diving!

Think I should have resigned myself to the will of one of those sharks- I’m sure it would have been much more pleasant than dealing with the human equivalents that are all around us! Sorry, I think that may be unfair to the sharks- they are not evil; they just like meat! Unlike the grotesque beings we have who thrive on sticking their snouts in every possible orifice! So flipping annoying I think its fine using them as shark food- that’s if the sharks can even stomach such drivel! Sorry, just a bit of sporadic venting- won’t happen again!

Watched ‘Paradise Now’ at The Labia (a theatre- the word has some medical connotations that I haven’t yet ascertained!) The film was about the ordeal a pair of Palestinian men go through after signing up to take part in a martyrdom operation. Really well made I believe and definitely realistic- the best part being that you leave the film without a definite answer to questions of these operations, but rather, the show asks the same questions in clearer, more concise way! Point being, that its difficult, if not impossible, for others to judge or comment on their actions because we can in no way understand what they go through and the environment they live in…

So after a weekend (well, a wee bit more maybe;->) of sights, fish, friends and fun; back to real life, reality, work and them sadistic pseudo-sharks :-(

09 November 2005

A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

Usual euphoria experienced as at any joyous occasion, main affair at this event however being not more than wide variety of diverse courses on the menu! Yup, Eid was here- came like a whirlwind to obliterate all traces of dietary constraints mustered up during the 30 day spiritual high, but like all good things, the high as well as the day itself, came to a smashing end! Always fun spending time with family, our clan being not your average bunch in terms of size or ferocity; exceptionally entertaining at the least:) Politics and religion are usually frowned upon topics of discussion for average gatherings, but our crowd thrives on stimulating discourses on these intrinsically beneficial (&I believe entwined!) themes- entertainment at another level and you learn something new (&wacky!) everyday..

As I was saying to someone the other day, the trick with work is being smart- you need quality, not quantity:) Wipe that smirk off your face, you know it’s true! As long as you play your cards right, you don’t need to please everyone- hand pick you buddies and then, if you must, go out of your way to please them. The danger being, that if your new found cronies decide to move onto greener pastures then, simply put, you’re screwed! However, it’s not often that an entire elite are head hunted, thus I still believe that it’s the best strategy in the long run.. Differ if you must!

Imagine being in close proximity to a shark- yes, a great white shark! And on top of it you are stuck in a cage- heaven forbid something goes wrong and the shark gets in or you get out! But still playing around with the idea in my messed up mind- there’s the ethical consideration; does cage diving have any direct link to shark attacks on our coast? Well, studies have proved inconclusive and besides, if they eventually prove the theory accurate then there will be no more shark diving so maybe should get it done now:p It’s a once in a life time thing- much like bungy in Storms River! Wicked:) Been finding myself in harsh decision making environments, highly necessary contemplative ones, largely due to possible repercussions I believe; and while weary to outside influences of both positive and other, I think confident, rational steps always prove to be triumphant!
Bit off on a tangent, but would like to bring this up: Smart motto I stand by- No regrets! Not in a, ‘Be stupid and do what you want and even when you #@&% up still stand like a goof and shout out, “NO REGRETS!”, but rather, put as much thought behind what you decide, and together with adequate consultation and, where necessary, some guidance, if things work out differently than planned, don’t regret anything- life’s too short and if you don’t enjoy the now you’ll end up waiting forever!

Shucks- this looks like really haphazard, random, ramblings of an unsettled mind- or not! But take what you want and leave the rest for those who can recognise and appreciate true quality:) This new low in the my writings may be an indication for a sabbatical of some sort- but one mans low is another mans high;p Shucks- I’m really gone out of control!

The unleashing of the devil is the other ramification of recent- where my modest mind cannot fathom the dynamics of Satan being tied and untied, I’m sure you have also felt the change in atmosphere- the least of which seems to be newly acquired unwanted inches, but more serious concerns being the wandering eye and lure to neglect prayer! But hopefully, God willing, being aware of these and other possible temptations should help in being able to ensure an adequate continuation of recent practice largely unabated. A valuable tip I offer you: Make use of precious pillars of support that exist around you should you be lucky enough to have them! If not, let me know and I’ll point you in the right direction!

About Kashmir: expect final details early next week but latest has been renewed calls for any with any medical skills to take any time possible to assist in any way you can! Any takers?

01 November 2005

Doing justice means giving everyone his due.

Shocking how quickly life can change its course- and sometimes thankfully back again just as quickly! Illness is from the Almighty, he tests whom He wills, giving us the opportunity to become even closer to Him, to recognise Him even more. Life changing decisions, impending issues and major goals are all put aside while the lab works fervently to produce results- hopefully, and now thankfully, favourable results that allow life as we now it to find its footing, get back on track, with a refreshed outlook and an even greater sense of spirituality! Every bump on the road is a learning opportunity, every challenge a new opening- all working together to panel beat our mindset…

A once wise man, recently raised concern on impending regret for having not utilised the wonderful opportunity of Ramadaan to its maximum potential- a valid concern at that and hopefully one that we do not fall prey to! Sad but true, the prospect has all but passed and there is no turning back the clock- but the little that we had adopted as habit for the month, beneficial actions and the like, while possibly easier to perform during the spiritual high of the blessed month, will most definitely seem near impossible once the devil and his cronies are let loose- so I implore you, let us be prepared for their onslaught and hold fast to the aforementioned- for this is really what Ramadaan was about: training ourselves for the next 11 months…

Word from Kashmir is that the 2 million+ survivors need immediate help: medical, engineering, management, culinary, cleaning and anything else! The need is immediate, not late December as I plan, but the slave master sees no profit in my immediate departure and I am weak- too weak to forgo my current livelihood! But for those who considered trekking to assist, avail yourself now and you will be much appreciated.. I await reports from London and local relief efforts closer to my late departure, that will confirm the need for mine and other services at that deferred stage- watch this space*

The end of Ramadaan also means happy times- the short, bumpy road bids our welcome to Newcastle- a place to congregate and cover up on eating for the entire month:) Should be fun catching up with the entire clan, strengthening the bonds that bind, and making merry while we do so- I see my pennings may have taken a dip, albeit temporary I promise you- look out for renewed vigour in days when I’m adequately nourished! (Missed my 3rd Sehri for the month!)

On the Islamic Finance front, you can also expect the monster to be awakened soon, as there is much work that needs to be put in from all sides to avert the imminent catastrophe- remember, you will be questioned about how you utilised your knowledge, whatever knowledge you have, for the sake of the world and the blessings of its Creator! Let’s wake up and make the world a better place for all…

‘And guard yourselves against a day in which ye will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it hath earned, and they will not be wronged.’ (Quran 2:281)

Mandela Bridge!