27 January 2006

Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations...


Ever notice a change of behaviour depending on the factors in the environment? Went to fill petrol this morning and had some vaccies in the car with me- ‘Good morning Sir, can I get R100 please?’ And last week- I roared into the garage, revving like a clever, ‘Hey Boss, howsit? Can you fill it up? Shup!’ Same car, same petrol, very similar garage and possibly the same guy serving me- yet such different approaches… Btw, think there was similar talk last year some time…

The Hujjaj are back (or as they say in Joburg- Hajji’s)- such amazing stories they tell- well not stories but accounts of their experiences! It must be such an amazing journey that I suppose even if you don’t get a lighting bolt, it will still have a tremendous effect of your life in some way. Three million people, black and white, rich and poor, from every corner of the world, all coming together for one noble purpose, etc, etc- Pray that my plans of undertaking this journey/experience later this year materialise…

Well underway on my mission to get this cycling machine in tip top shape- still need to get it some wheels though! Went for a run the other morning- yeah I know, I don’t normally run unless I’m being chased by guys with guns or animals with sharp teeth! But had to do something to start toning up and running seemed ideal- have you ever seen the sun rise up behind the Joburg city skyline? Never thought the city would have anything beautiful but this was really stunning. Try it some time- run over the bridge joining Mayfair and Fordsburg as the sun rises. Will try and capture it again and blog post it…

Talk about opening your eyes- walked around a ‘shady’ area in Benoni and if you have to really look around you will be surprised by what you actually see: there’s beauty as well as suffering all around us- all it takes is opening your eyes and wanting to see, and then starting to appreciate and trying to change…

The past two weeks I really worked the skin off my elbows- from early morning to late night everyday! One night I was having supper and listening to the radio (yes, I had supper at 10pm with the radio!)- they were interviewing some space dude about the rocket thing they sent to Pluto. It will reach Pluto in about 9 years time! Don’t ask me why! But that was exactly what I was thinking when the presenter asked the dude, ‘Why would anyone spend time and money and then wait 9 years for a rocket to land on Pluto?’ His answer was, “It’s natural human instinct to be inquisitive and explore our surroundings. In history there have always been those who commit their lives to studying and understanding God’s creation. It is a never ending journey of seeking, understanding and then using acquired knowledge for the benefit of mankind…” And I thought to myself, this sounds like the words of true Muslim. But wonder what Muslims of today would say, ‘(**These words have been removed due to their potential to create further disunity in the Ummah!** p.s Read any answer to any question in The Majlis for more informationJ)

Had to do the Jummah in Sandton today and traffic took me down 1-0! Walked in that small cubicle like JK and had 50+ pairs of eyes staring me down while I did the ablution and postponed my rantings for an extra few minutes! But, God willing, it all went well in the end. Hope it did some good… Going to Durban today- may pop in for the Grand Prix or try to hook up a Squbah Exped, but if nothing else then will have 48 hours of sun, sand and surf:p

21 January 2006

Say what is true, although it may be bitter and displeasing to people.

Unfortunatley, due to bad weather and other obscure, unanticipated circumstances, our scuba dive was cancelled! But, as is with life in general, you don’t always get what you want; when you want it- we could have been saved from some major catastrophe out at sea! But does that mean we give up squbah? No- we just postpone it and maybe consider going to a different squbah spot the next time…

Good thing weather was good enough for the beach;) And some terrific waves at that! See, you never know- you miss out on one thing and then something better comes along;) Really worth the drive though: think I can do this every 2nd weekend- drive 4.5 hours to Durban and back just for a few hours of sun, surf and sand. At least while ze zummer iz here…

Work has really been hectic: deadline coming up soon so working from sunrise to sunset to try and have all done in time! Don’t really mind it though as I need the overtime and 1 month of hard work in a year won’t kill me- yet! And to think that people work like this the whole year through for most of their lives- I mean they do get financially rewarded for it but c’mon, that’s not life!

Interesting food for thought from last year’s equivalent soliloquy:
“What was meant to be our nature of existence? Is it possible to work in a multi-national company with good intentions and accomplish something worthwhile in life?
I believe that a justifiable reason for working in these places is so that we can acquire skills and master the ‘system’ with the intention of eventually bringing about change. The danger here is that you could get caught up and the next thing you know, it’s all over! “


My training schedule for the bike race has been seriously suffering as a result of work! Still have to get my wheels and work on diet and training schedule- just hope 2 months less a week will be enough to pull an Armstrong on the flat mountain;p

Some daft dude has been clogging up my blog shoutbox with his furtive rantings- guess its coz civilized people like yourself don’t take the time out to share your intelligence with cyber world!

This week has seen the return of the Hajjis- due to work commitments I haven’t had the opportunity of meeting the blessed souls and usurping some of their fresh blessings. Will have to try and fit it in this weekend. The Hajj- must be such an amazing experience! May God grant us the opportunity to experience it. But in the mean time, think about this- why do we all have to go at the same time?

Here is a verse of Quran that I would also like you to think about. It compares those who do not think as worse than the vilest of animals. “Surely, the worst of beasts in God’s sight are the deaf, the dumb, who do not think.” (Quran 8:22)

13 January 2006

Tears of sacrifice?!



Legends soccer- supposed to be the who’s who of soccer for the past decade, but it looked like a bunch of middle age, over weight dudes trying to kick a ball around! Ok, not so bad but when you think of how all these guys were nothing short of worshipped back in their prime, it makes you laugh. The so-called Hero’s of yesteryear are nothing but mild amusement today…

Things are hectic at work for a change- I have a first year working for me and now I’m a second year! More responsibility and work but I’m sure that there must be a way to make it more fun and less work;p Lets see how things work out…

Eid- I somehow get the feeling that we missing something! In fact, I think I brought this up last year and that led to many interesting discussions. This is what I had to say almost exactly a year ago: (Anyone notice any change in my writing, thoughts, etc??!)

“Eid- a time when we get together and have a big feast. We also slaughter sheeps (plural for sheep) and give the meat to the poor. Are we missing something? Is that all its supposed to be? Should we be doing something more? Should we be striving for some greater purpose?
Why?
I'm pretty happy trying to make money and set myself up for a nice comfortable life! So everyone else should get lost- all the poor and oppressed and starving and ignorant and the rest who need to be liberated by the Islam that we have- tell them that I don’t give a shit! I need to buy a new car and a flat in Sandton and find a pretty girl to marry and take an overseas holiday once a year! I can do all these things and maybe (InshaAllah- Remember me in your duas) go to Jannah when I die because I'm a good Muslim- I behave well, and I dress like a Muslim and pray my Salaah and give my Zakaat to Sanzaf and I'm InshaAllah going for hajj when I save enough and I bought a sheep and gave it away so leave me alone.....”


Your thoughts? This year was slightly different- we had two oxen to drop! Quite an experience- we were getting a bit bored of the sheeps… But that’s all for this week folks- working on a major deadline and + I need to finish before the weekend coz we going down to the coast on a scuba diving expedition!

06 January 2006

yeartwothousandandsix!

Exactly a year ago, 5 January 2005, I sent out my first email and this monster was created! Now it’s also a blog (with pics!) where ‘Signs of Intelligent Life’ share some intelligence. But don’t know how long this will go on, as history has shown us, time and time again, that even the mightiest empires eventually crumble...

It seems like whenever I leave the country, on my return I feel like kissing the ground! I just love this place- there is no place like home:)
Been meaning to complete the write up about my trip, but with jet-lag and now busy at work, will have to try and find time to do it- keep an eye out on the website- will also try to update pics there regularly...

There are at least 7 million people in Lahore- we visited it on our way home and it seemed like there were a whole lot more! The city has beautiful, old architecture but virtually zero visibility due to catastrophic air pollution caused by thousands of rickshaws that literally spew out dirty black smoke!

So you can imagine- the last thing I want to see when I get back, is hoards of Indians! Got back on Sat, New Years Eve, and went to Fordsburg for supper. It seemed as if every person of sub-continent descent, in a 100km radius, had decided to congregate in that one notorious street. But thankfully, word on the street was that there was a major new years celebration happening in Newtown!

So, spent New Years Eve at Newtown square- was so happy to see black people! Hadn’t seen any in such a while- and they really know how to have fun;p Some may find it really odd that we, South African ‘indians’, identify more with South Africans than we do with natives of the ‘Motherland’- or that goes for me at least! Had met 1st and 2nd generation Pakistanis from all over the world, and they all still have a connection with Pakistan. And while that may be a good thing for them, I’m extremely happy that my loyalties lie here- with this beautiful land that has given us so much; this is where my first priorities lie and this is where we need to be giving back...

Chapter 4, verse 36 of the Quran says: And serve God. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. Show kindness unto parents, and unto near family members, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbour who is family, and the neighbour who is not family, and the fellow traveller and the wayfarer and those whom your right hands possess. Lo! God loves not such as are proud and boastful...

Shucks- this was meant to be a short ‘hello, happy new years’ email but it seems like I got slightly carried away;p Back at work after what seemed like ages- actually only three weeks, but like the visit to Palestine, felt like three months! Next two months at work are going to be really hectic, but I do need to clock some overtime as I’ve almost completely used up my 2006 leave already! Absolutely no regrets though- such an amazing, eye opening, life changing experience. (*watch this space*)