Thursday, 16 September 2010

The Criterion - Part 3

The year is 570 C.E.

Among the arabs of Makkah it was known as the Year of the Elephant. For a good reason. A king of Abyssinia, rode into Arabia with the intention of demolishing the Kabaa. And he brought along the world’s earliest weapons of mass destruction.... Elephants.

The Makkans were stumped. They’d never even heard of bloody elephants, much less seen one.

But the Kabaa isnt the Arabs’ property. Its called the BaitAllah. The House (of worship) of Allah.

So Allah would protect his property. He sent a counter attack to stamp out the Abyssinian army.


Little swallow kinda birds decended from the heavens (Ababeel in arabic). Flocks and flocks of birds. And these birds launched the first aerial military offensive in the history of the world. To be precise, the first carpet bombing technique.

These li’l things carried li’l rocks which were thrown at the army. Literally millions of rocks rained down on the conquering Army. Killing everything !!!

The arabs just stood there, stared at the destruction of the massive army.

Then they looked at each other, shrugged, and went back to eating dates and reciting poetry.

In this year, in the house of the Chief of Makkah, Abdul Mutallib, a boy was born. The Boy was the Grandson of Abdul Mutallib. The son of his youngest son, Abdullah.

Abdullah had passed away a couple of months before the birth of the boy. Aminah, the widow of Abdullah gave birth to a boy. And on that night, it is said that light shone from her womb, illuminating castles far off. A sign that this was no ordinary boy. He would be the change agent of the entire Arabian peninsula. He would bring the arabs out of barbarism, and make them a force to reckon with on an international scale. He would take these lazy lumps of traders and turn them into scholars, educated rulers, judges, philosophers, warriors, scientists, legendary polymaths and make them the first generations of a ummah (nation) which would be known as “Khairal Ummati Uqrijat Lin’naas”... or The Best of Nations evolved for the benefit of Mankind.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (PBUH) had touched down on planet Earth.


Fast-forwarding the narrative, Muhammad PBUH’s mom Aminah died when he was 8.

After a few years his grandfather passed away. The orphan was taken into the house of Abu Talib. Where he grew up a normal boy.

As he grew, his beautiful nature became the talk of Makkah.

In his youth, he was known as Al-Ameen. The trustworthy. He never passed anybody without a smile. He helped anyone and everyone. He was thoroughly honest in anything he did. All in all, one of the most perfect characters in Makkah.

There are many tales of his growing up but will take up quite a lot of time.

So to get to the point, when Muhammad PBUH was in his 20s, he did a trade run for an affluent businesswoman of Makkah. Her name was Khadijah Bint Khuwailid(r.a.). She was a widow, running her own businesses. So he did the trade on her behalf, and her hand maiden, who saw him during the entire trade caravan, was majorly impressed with his honesty and his mannerisms of dealing with people. She returned to Makkah and unloaded the entire report to Khadijah (r.a.) , who fell in love with this man. The proposals ran out, and Muhammad PBUH,aged 25 years old, married Khadija (r.a.), which was to be one of the best wedding couples ever.

Polygamy was a common thing in Makkah those days. But Muhammad PBUH never took another wife. Many years later after Khadijah (r.a.) died, he re-married. But until his death, he never loved any lady as much as he loved Khadijah (r.a.).

What’s that thing about your first love being eternal?? Right??

So well, rewind a bit from her death.

When Muhammad PBUH was 40, he had an event. He was a sort of a recluse. A very kind and loving person, but every once in a while, he would make some food and go into the mountains to meditate. There were small caves in these mountains and he would stay there, sometimes for 3-4 nights in a row, praying in his own manner, thinking, pondering and in general, meditating.

One night, I cannot tell you which night, it was one of the last 5 Odd nights of this month (Ramadan). So it could’ve been the 21st night, 23rd,25th, 27th or like tonight is....the 29th, he was sitting in the cave of Hira on Jebel Al Nur (the Mountain of Light) and he was approached by someone.

It was Gabriel (Jibraeel). The Archangel. The biggest of all angels, the Mr. President of Angels in fact.

And Jibraeel said, “IQRA” (Read)

Muhammad PBUH said, “I cannot read”. True this was, as he was illiterate. He couldnt read or write.

The Angel once again said, “IQRA”. Muhammad PBUH replied the same.

The Angel grabbed him and hugged him tight and squeezed the living daylights out of him. So much so that Muhammad PBUH felt he was gonna die. Just then the angel released him and repeated his command.


Muhammad PBUH tried resisting it. The Angel did the bear-huggy-squeezy thingie again.

And then finally the angel said

“Iqra bismi Rabbik allazee qalaq. Qalaqal insaana min Alaq. Iqra wa rabbukal Akram. Allazee allama bil qalam. Allamal insaana ma’lam ya’lam”

“Read, in the name of thy lord. Who created man from a clot. Read and your lord is most generous. Who has taught (by the) pen. Who has taught man what he knows not”

This is the first revelation of what will become a guideline for mankind. A book so perfect in its revelation that even the arabs were mystified by its literary awesomeness. A book which is the Word of Allah, as given to his noble messenger and prophet, whose coming was foretold in probably every culture preceding his birth. This was the first revelation of the Holy Quran.

Armed with this, Muhammad PBUH would change the face of Arabia. This would in turn change the face of the world.

This is the last and final word of Allah. The essential guide to living. As was the nature of the arabs, when they loved or adored something, they gave it many names. Allah has 99 other names which are his excellent attributes. They had hundreds of names for camels, swords, dates etc. And so did they name the Quran.

One of the names of the Quran, as it comes within it too, is Al-Furqan.

This means, the Criterion.

It is the criterion of judgement between what is right and what is wrong.

The Quran is not just a play of rhyming words and narratives of yore. It holds the guidelines for a society within it. It holds the guidelines for human beings to be more than just animals. It holds the guidelines for not only muslims of arabia. But for the entire humanity which came after it.

Until Jesus PBUH, all messengers and prophets were sent to a particular nation or tribe. Muhammad PBUH was sent as a messenger and prophet to ALL of mankind. Massive responsibility that.

That night, in the cave of Hira, was the revelation for all mankind. The Decree for all mankind. It is known as Layl atul Qadr. The night of Power, The night of Decree.

Tonight might very well be that night. But we will never know for sure right now. The Prophet PBUH asked us to be awake and in the mode of worship in the last 10 nights (specifically the last 5 odd nights), seeking the night of decree, as praying in this night would be equal to praying the same prayer for a 1000 nights. Do the math. Its a mother load of blessing concentrated into one night. May Allah accept the prayers of all of us who seek it, and guide us, and bless us with this night.

From that night, it took 23years for the Quran to be revealed, bit by bit, verse by verse, into its complete form.

I wish I could tell you what the Quran is. But its an ocean with unfathomable depth. You will have to read it yourself to find out.

What I can tell you is this.

This book, brought by this excellent man, changed the face of Arabia forever. It brought them knowledge, wealth, power, sophistication, and led to the dawn of the golden age of islam. Which many scientists till date regard as the best part of the middle ages.

This book contains information of science which wasnt even known until recent to be accurate. That is standing proof that this book was not written by any human mind. No sir. The Quran contains descriptions of geography, astronomy, biology, the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom, our atmosphere and most awesomely, the human body. One of the most signature aspects of the Quran’s definition of science is the sheer accuracy with which it describes Embryology. The growth of Human beings from clots into full functional crying, cooing and pooing bits of cuteness.

The book contains the rules of behaving and running a society. I can go on and on about why and how it is so awesome. But you will never get its awesomeness until you read it for urself. This book is like swimming. I can give you lectures and demonstrations forever on how to paddle, stay afloat or the different strokes involved....but you will never get anywhere near understanding me unless you step into the water for yourself.

Misconceptions in the world think that this is a book of hate. Its a book teaching how to systematically murder and conquer. Its a book on how to beat and subjugate your women. Balderdash !! This book is a book of truth, justice and love. It is a book which teaches you how to bring social order and discipline in a world of chaos (and trust me our world is in absolute chaos right now). Its a book which liberates women and gives them rights much before anyone else did. Its a matter of perception how you look at it. You will ask me, There is no smoke without fire dude, so if the people say all that about the Quran, there is gotta be something there that talks similar stuff right?

And i’ll say, of course there is. But you will never hear it from what the world talks about it in the media and the papers. You will learn if you open the pages and read. And dont stop at reading. Question the book. The book is a challenge for everyone on the planet to take up.

This is my invitation to all of you to give this book a read. It will challenge you, it will make you think, it will surprise you, it will astound you, it will make you question, it will make you seek answers, it will make you wonder and it will not stop at that. It will change your life...... FOR THE BETTER !!!! There are not many things I can promise you in this world, but the thing about this book changing your life for the better.....Thats a Sureshot promise.

Just read it with your heart in the right place ;)

All Questions welcome

If not, then Thanks for reading May Allah bless you.

Monday, 13 September 2010

The Criterion (Part 2)


Where were we.

Right, the Arabs and their language skills.

So here we are in present day Arabia, (we’ve just time travelled back to about half a century after Christ’s time)

And well, the Arabs in Makkah were really doing great. They were following the Abrahamic creed and all was fine. But then something went wrong.
They lost the creed and went bonkers. For your reference, the abrahamic creed as it is known as is the monotheistic creed.
Abraham PBUH, the grand papa of the Arabs and the Jews, struggled to find truth in his life, and he ended up finding it (Good for you Sir, and might I say thank you so much)

He realized the reality of One God. Allah. The supreme ruler of the universe. Wasn’t easy dawning on him, but the story of how he found his path is a long one, and it would be a tangent. But bottom line is that he realized that it is One Allah who created and controls the entire universe, and we’ll proceed with that.

So among the arabs, there is brought forth a new idea which sort of destabilizes the whole idea of monotheism.
Islam says, One Allah. One God. Whatever you want, ask HIM. No one else. Direct line of contact from the heart of the being to Allah.
But one trader comes along and says Nooooooo. Here’s another idea. There are angels who are daughters of Allah, and they are your intercession to gain his favours. So worship them, and they will lead you to Allah. Slowly, the worship split between Allah and his so called daughters, who were idolized. And idolizing was not part of the Abrahamic creed. So in effect, the whole creed and ideology was falling apart. So were the rules and regulations of society.

There came a point when they had ignored the holy laws and made up their own laws entirely. Sorcery was rampant. They made important decisions based on how arrows would fall out. Casting the arrows, was a mystic tradition which came from some guy who smoked too much of desert grass. They had 3 arrows in a basket, one had the word YES, other had the word NO, and the third one was 50-50. So if the third one came up, it meant you had to cast the arrows again until you got a definitive Yes or No. (Frankly I dunno why bother with the 50-50 in the first place). Anyway, major decisions were made with the help of these arrows. The “Priests” would cast them for the decisions after conferring with their mystic imaginary God of arrow casting.

Imagine this, you are a trader with 5 kids, and business is bad. And you go to the priest to ask for divine help. Islamic wisdom says, Call onto Allah. But then, it was easier to have faith in a guy who sits in the Kabah and casts arrows than believe in something you haven’t seen right?? Well thats what Faith is. And that is what the Arabs lacked then.

So you, the trader tell the priest, “Holy Dude, my business is screwed up majorly. Halp !!!”

The priest, says, “Sure thing, give me a donation” (wait where’ve we heard that before)

And he would draw arrows, and say, “Arrite, sacrifice your third son at the altar of so-n-so god and your business will pick up”

And trust me, if you really were the trader back then, you’d do it. Else you’d be annoying the God. And trust me you don’t want that.

Here’s a few more small points you might want to consider.

You have about 50 camel right? You’re a millionaire in arab terms. And one day, one camel of yours, whom you have lovingly named Camel, grazes into another guy’s land. I mean, come on, Camel doesn’t know which grass belongs to who right?? He’s not read the power of attorneys and the legal docs??
So what happens, War breaks out.

No seriously I kid you not. War would break out between the guy who’s field had been defiled by the innocent camel and he’d choose to drag his entire clan against you in battle.

Think about this in your terms, here and now. You have a pet chicken who pecks in the farmhouse of your neighbour and voila, before noon you’re having gun fire and mortar fire with Mrs. And Mr. Happy Couple next door.

Jokes apart, The society had come to such a despicable position where it was considered a major shame to have a daughter born in your home. It was considered a matter of pride to bury your infant alive.

The mother of a companion of the Prophet PBUH, Sumaiya her name was. She narrates how lucky she was to be born. How she was supposed to be buried like the 2 sisters before her. She narrates how her father, while mercilessly putting the 2nd daughter in the grave, (still alive mind you), began putting the sand over her. And the li’l infant, reached out and grabbed the father’s finger. You’ve all been there right?? You’ve held a fragile baby in your hand, you’ve heard it coo and make those loving sounds you cant describe and how it tugs at your heartstrings. And you’ve all, i bet, have had goosebumps all over you when you gently nudge her hand with your finger and she grabs your entire finger in that teeny tiny hand of hers. You have wanted to cry and laugh at the same time. Even you, the GUYS, you’ve also wanted to go all mushy, don’t deny it.

So the baby in the grave held on to her murderous papa’s finger for dear life. And for some reason, the arab, he couldn’t pull his hand away. He just knelt there, having thrown dust over his daughter’s face, and letting her grasp his finger in her fist. And slowly, that grip, weakens.....and finally loosens away.

Take a moment and imagine the monstrosity of this event.

Imagined?? You see what I mean here. You see why this period was called the Jahilliyah (The Barbaric era)??

You waged wars with someone who pricked your inflated ego with a pinch because the social norm dictated it.

You didn’t bend down to pick your fallen brother because the social norm dictated it.

You enslaved POWs in your home to bathe you and cloathe you and literally worship you because the social norm dictated it.

You sacrificed your kids at the altars of man made laws because social norm dictated it.

You usurped the properties of orphans and widows because the it showed how big a daredevil you were, which you had to show off, because the social norm dictated it.

You sold women in marriages to each other because social norms dictated it.

You didn’t give women any rights of inheritance and treated them like a piece of garment to be worn and discarded because the social norm dictated it.

You didn’t let women live, killed them at birth................because the social norm dictated it.

For the record, the father of Sumaiya (R.A) didn’t bury her, he ran out of the house when she was born, screaming that he couldn’t do it again. That he would NEVER do it again. Sadly, not all arabs melted like that.

The society in Makkah was shambles. And thats when Allah decided. Enough.

“I’m sending in the Best of the Best.”

- To be Continued

The Criterion (Part 1)

Disclaimer, This is not an intended Religious Sermon or a book-thumping session of any sort. This is just awareness which I’m encouraged to bring out in response to the call of the times.

From ever since man has existed, Religion has existed alongside.

There can be long debates as to which one was the first and which is the latest or whatever. But I’ll give you an Islamic perspective of things.

Allah (God), created man from clay, and from his rib, fashioned the woman. Which is why in Islamic wisdom, a man is told not to put a woman on his head (to rule him) nor at his feet (to be a slave to him), but to be treated in the rightful manner as to her origin, under the protection of his arm, and closest to his heart (RIB PEOPLE, NEAR THE RIB !!), So this is a metaphorical slap-answer to the super-feminists and the weirdos out there who say Islam calls for the subjugation of women.

Okay back on topic.

So ever since man was created (not evolved from Monkeys), its been a constant development phase (read GROWTH). You know the route it took, stone age, metal age, feudal age, imperial age, industrial age, information age etc.

So well, Allah sent guidance to Man through all these ages. He didn’t just put us on the planet n say, “Go wild guys !!”

Nope, every age had guidance, in fact the Islamic wisdom goes to say that every tribe, ever community had guidance. These came in the form of messengers, angels etc. These people were special clues which helped man to understand many things.
The type of guidance came according to the age and developmental stage of the human society.

For example, in the time of Moses (PBUH), Ancient egypt was full of mystical growth. Royal Magicians would turn crocodiles into soft fluffy blankets, and turn a camel into a vase of mayonnaise, that sort of thing. So what was Moses’ (PBUH) weapon of choice. A staff which turned into a snake. When the Royal magicians saw that, they handed in their resignations to the big kahuna (Pharoah). I’m guessing their resignations in hieroglyphics were on pink sheep skin, and looked like a man setting himself on fire (Oh yeah he was fired big time)

In the same manner, in the time of Jesus (PBUH), the language of Miracles was profound, and Jesus (PBUH) performed some real awesome miracles. I mean he conducted a grand luncheon out of a handful of bread and fish. Event organisers of the day went insane trying to figure it out.

Likewise, when the time of Muhammad (PBUH) dawned, the arabs of Makkah, to whom he was sent, were a totally chillaxed (chilling and relaxed) tribe. They spent their days letting someone graze their camels and sheep. And since Makkah was the hub of the peninsula, the yearly caravans passed through the city, so business came to them, and if you hear the tales of the caravans consisting of hundreds of camels, you can assume that Makkah was home to the Warren Bin Buffets, the Anil Bin Ambanis and the Bill Bin Gates of the day and age. So they had a lot of time on their hands. And trust me when I say A LOT. They had so much time, that they sat around and developed Language.

Try that, develop a language, it takes hell lot of time to decide upon words and usages and grammar, and these guys were masters of Arabic. And well, it goes without saying that as far as expression was considered, Arabic was right up there with the best of the languages.
One of the arabs most prominent skills was Poetry and memory. It was not just a skill, it was a super skill. Check this out, you could sit down under a cool tent, sipping date juice with your pal and go, “Hey Bro, lissen to this awesome verse I just heard.”

And you go off rattling a 100 verse poem, at the end of which your pal would go, “Woah… that’s real sweet bro, mind if I use it in my next school reunion??”

And you’d go, “Fo Sure bro, go on ahead.”

And he would.
Just like that, he’d remember the 100 line poem just like that, after hearing it once, and will recite it with amazing flair.

Here’s another one. A group of highway robbers (sort of arab cowboy outlaws) stop a travelling old merchant and tell him, “Ol’ pardner, yer time’s up, hand over yer money bag n yer fine camels n we givez you time to sez your las prayers before ye meet yer lord”

The merchant sighs and says, “Arrite take mah money ye evil and vile scumbags, but do me a last favour, a dying man’s last wish should be fulfilled right? Its only fair”
The robber thought for a moment and goes, “Arrite we can do that, name it ol fruit !”

(Many historians like Albert Shakespeare, Happy Singh and Aalo Bin Par- Hatha believe, this highway robber began the tradition of asking a person’s last wish before execution.)

And the old merchant said, “Deliver this verse of poetry to mah daughter who lives near the flowing river under the shades of mountains yonder”
And he narrated the single verse of poetry. I don’t know the exact verse but for illustration this might be it,

“The old and dying camels chew grass watching in the pond a floating bobber”

The highway robber went like O_o (HUHH??)

And he scratched his head, asked the old man if he was sure, and the old man replied in the affirmative.
So the robbing and the killing and burial was done.
After which the robber felt obliged to go pass on the message to the old man’s daughter. Oh that’s another thing, the arabs held their oaths in the highest of regards. And sure as hell there was some honour in this thief. So he went in search of the daughter, knocked on her door, and waited. She opened the door, he gave his best possible smile, handed her a small packet of dates and said in a sombre tone, “Ah be yer ol dad’s business partner, unfortunately he passed away ta his lord on our way back. The trip was a failure, all I has for ye from his left overs are these dates.”
The daughter burst into tears.
The imposter then said, “He did ask me to deliver a verse of poetry to you, said it was a family tradition and blessing and whatnot.”

“The old and dying camels chew grass watching in the pond a floating bobber”

The girl went O_o (HUHHH??)

And then she gave a smile, and told the imposter, “Please uncle come on in, make yerself feel at home. I’ll go fetch my ol mother, so she can thank you for your generosity, and I’ll bring some food for you.”

The imposter, pleasantly surprised but also happy for the free meal, walks in and starts making up stories of his “business partner” and himself to narrate over the meal.

The girl, walks back in with the cops,


Who place the big oaf under arrest for murder.

Apparently, the daughter figured out the 2nd line of the poetry couplet which the father sent. This (for illustrative purposes) might have read as follows:

“The old and dying camels chew grass watching in the pond a floating bobber,

This fat sonnofa gun my darling daughter, killed me, he’s a highway robber.”

I.e. the Arabs just had to hear one part of a poem and complete the other part purely because they had owned the skill. They were the Zidanes and Schumachers of poetry, and not just one or two, almost every one of em.

So I guess it would be safe to say, that the stupid highway robber, carried his own death “sentence”. PUN INTENDED !!!!

- To be Continued

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Always Remember !!!!

I don’t know what it is about packing and un-packing which floods you with reminiscence which doesn’t span days, but years into history. Maybe your intangible attachment with those lifeless pieces of memorabilia which each carries a story with it is the reason.

Today is my last day in this office. No I’ve not quit nor have I been given the bullet/pink slip/or the bangalori “haath”.

No, we’re shifting base to a smashing office in Dubai. The entire team will have moved by the time I return from my short vacation. So everything will change when I’m back.

Rewind to the end of Nov 2007, when Mom dad bade me farewell at Doha Intl. Airport, as I took off to come to UAE, for my first job as an engineer. If I remember correctly, I was more or less a nervous wreck as the company was of German origins, and until then, almost all I knew about Germany was that they built awesome cars, got their backsides whooped in WW2 and their men wear leather pants and ladies dress as farmgirls. Oh and the misconception that their old Football goalkeeper was an Afghani Pathan (don’t blame me, the guy’s name was Kahn/Khan)

December 2007 I began my stint with my company, as a learning engineer. 2 and a half years later, I’m still learning, and growing, and yet I haven’t yet had the urge to scream at the employing powers. So not a bad run for a newbie engineers eh uncles?

A couple of weeks ago, for once I was in the passenger seat of my car, (which is my latest possession and means a lot to me) and my cousin was driving through a downtown suburb of Sharjah, called Rolla/Al Jubail. This is where the bus-stand for Sharjah was situated. And this was the area where I began my life in UAE.

I first lived in a hotel for a while, and then got accommodation with a family in Sharjah, which didn’t last long. I moved to Dubai, and travelled between my office in Dubai and Sharjah (about 30-50 kms) by buses,taxis and walks. For 2 long years I’ve done so. Today, after having a car, I’ve forgotten how it feels to be at the mercy of public transport. That day, as I passed by the bus stand, I got thinking of the seemingly difficult beginnings I had.
Of course, I don’t think I will ever work as hard as dad, coz his hard work has reaped rewards for me and my brother where we have an awesome education and jobs awaiting us. But the initial work we did put in, however infinitesimal, is dear to me.

Looking back, my day would begin at about 5:30 or so, when I got up, dressed and walked to the Dubai bus terminal or took a taxi. Then the bus ride to sharjah, after which I took a taxi to office which was on the outskirts of Sharjah, reaching by about 7:30 or 8 am. In the evenings, same routine in reverse, reaching home at about 7 pm or 8 pm, too tired to do anything else. Today, the same route would take me 25 mins or 30 mins maximum.

Is it a feeling of pride? Or a sense of achievement? Is it legitimate for me to be proud?

I abhor pride as it makes men feel like kings. I’ve seen success change people, and I’ve seen success humble people more. I like the latter. And I would like to be the latter. If I can call myself successful in any sense of the word, I want to feel absolutely insignificant. And that is exactly what I felt passing by the Sharjah bus stop. I asked myself who is really responsible for me being where I was….

The primary thanks goes to my lord and master, Allah Subhanawataala, for everything he has bestowed upon me. And I mean EVERYTHING. Even the trials and heartbreaks. They’ve been my toughest and most fruitful teachers.
Then, Mom and Dad, who I am and where I am, is a fact mainly due to their prayers and sacrifices. I’m incomplete without them.
And last but not least, those friends who have slowly owned my heart with their presence and absolutely adorable love. You know who you are.

And this just doesn’t go for me. Look into your lives; you may be a successful super-engineer, hi-fi doctor, jet setting business person or a highly promoted banker or whatever. You will loose all your credibility if you forget where you came from.

I’ve seen people forget their old friends when they get a better position than before. They don’t carry the images of their past into their present. And that’s just plain unfair, because who you are today, is a person made by the person who you were yesterday, and the people who were With you yesterday. Get me?

If there is one prayer I want to make right now, its that whenever I’m out cruising in my lovely car, Allah should not make me forget those long solitary walks in humid nights whence I arrived home with a shirt drenched in my own perspiration. And if there is one request I make of you, it is; do not forget the moments of sheer helplessness you faced once upon a time, be it in your exams, or episodes in your public or personal lives, or just plain moments when you’ve felt pangs of desperation…Remember those desperate moments.

Remember the time when you couldn’t walk because you were too sick
Remember the time when you wanted to laugh but you were busy crying
Remember the time when you heard yourself branded an utter failure
Remember the time when you cried bitterly amidst your incessant trying

Ambition brings you to greatness, but true humility keeps you there long after you’re gone.

As I pack my favourite coffee mugs and look around this old office one last time, I’m filled with awe at the way Allah has led me on this 2 and a half year old short path, how mom dad have supported it, how my friends have cheered it, and how I, with the little bravado I’ve had, have walked it….with never as much as a tear of regret…

The next time you look into the mirror and smile and are pleased with yourself, and the least hint of vanity strikes you, remember the time when your face had contorted into the most vivid expression of relentless pain and anguish, and in that one moment, be thankful you didn’t falter, be thankful you overcame, be thankful for your happiness. If you can master this, you will be ever so close to the closest you can be to a perfect human being.

Do you want to be remembered for what you are?
Then make sure, you do not forget what you were !!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Before We Fade

If you get a knock on ur door,
And you open to find the angel of death.
Sullen in face with a sad job to do,
His work at your threshold is anyone's bet.

Would you turn to your safe, full of gold
Or turn to your sleeping child and wife
Would you go all nervous and cry so hard
Looking into the mess you called your life

Would you look back at the tears you caused
Would you look back at the smiles you creased
Would you look at the moments you remained true
Or look back at all the wrong people you pleased

Some lives are designed to make a difference
Some lives will eventually into oblivion fade
All lives are witness to learning and practicing
But all lives come to end with a digging spade.

Standing on the brink, would you regret it all?
Would you turn your head and tell the angel NO!
Would you run from death, like we always do
Or would you bow your head, and calmly Go

Make a difference, to even one life if you can
On the last day you will have a watering eye
A small flicker of light, makes a dark cave bearable
Even one voice by your grave,is a sweet goodbye

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Forgiving Tides

I don’t know what it is about walking on a beach
That most profound thoughts drift within immediate reach
The midnight air must be the intoxicant de nonsense
Each small wave makes me loose a little of my balance

Each step in the cool sand sinks a little bit deeper
I reach into the depths of my life’s memory keeper
I recall each moment of sadness, each moment of joy
I rewind back from a young man to a young little boy

I yearn to reach out and right all the wrongs
I wish to rewrite my life’s most painful songs
I wish to erase all the wounds and the scars
I raise my eyes and look at the dancing stars.

I forgive all the ghosts which haunted my childhood
I forgive all the storytellers who made them come alive
I forgive all the pranks my elder friends played
I forgive all the failed attempts at swimming pool dives

I forgive my relatives for not believing in me
I forgive the hatred which said I was worthless to all
I forgive all the teachers who called me a fool
I forgive every prank and every insulting call

I forgive the taxi drivers for not picking me up
I forgive the restaurants which served bad food
I forgive the richer men who belittled my existence
I forgive the songs which always made me brood

I forgive the people who laughed at my good ideas
I forgive those who agreed with my bad ones
I forgive the stones which made me trip and fall
I forgive the bad jokes made, and all the bad puns.

I forgive my friends for hurting me by mistake
I forgive my enemies for hurting me by purpose
I forgive the bad luck episodes which lasted forever
I forgive the entire world, like every mature one does

The waves splash at my feet as I turn to walk back
And I see my footprints chart the way I came along the shelf
Wave after wave washes the deep prints away
I smile…as for all the mistakes, I forgive myself

Arrivederci !!

The smiles are hard to come by,
Harder they run away, the harder I try.
Moments locked in time seemingly fade,
Resonating in my ears are the goodbyes I bade.

Life would come inevitably to this, I knew,
The many years passed seem but so few.
Seems just like yesterday that a veil was raised,
And everything just passed by, as I sat and gazed.

The walk towards me seemed uncertain and slow,
The walk away was as certain as the morning glow.
Many days have passed, months and years as well,
Yet the waves keep on rising, the more i try to quell.

I look at the dropping sunset, another sign of passing days,
Must be the mist that blurs my eyes with another teary haze.
I tear the letter into tiny bits, and fling it in the deep blue,
And turn my back on the only time, I'd sincerly said I Love You.

To my 20 Year old Duck

(Originally Dated 25th May 2010)

2 Decades ago, around this time, I was being shepherded into a small ward in Shankarambal nursing home near Bangalore’s St. Mark’s Road. I remember vividly that I had dressed in one of my favourite deep blue jeans and possibly a blue shirt, as 4 and a half year old me walked into the ward ushered by my Grandfather (maternal), who was grinning under his thick handlebar moustache. Inside, my mom lay on the bed, with one arm extended sideways. Under the arm, there lay a small package, bundled in blankets. I was told that this was my brother.

This is more or less what I remember of this day, 20 years ago, when Faiz, my younger brother hatched.

I say hatched, and not born, because as one of our favourite uncles (Dad’s friend) described him at birth, "he was like a Baby Chicken hatchling", hairless and shrivelled and so white that he was pink (if you know what I mean)

First few months, I remember not being allowed to lift him coz apparently he’d come with a dismantled neck, which required 6 months to assemble itself. By the time he was 7 or 8 months old, he’d become pretty heavy to lift, so I guess its safe to say that I probably only cuddled him when he was asleep or in someone’s lap or in his favourite place, the hammock. I remember dad singing him to sleep, and mom having a couple of bottles ready for when he woke up with a shrill scream. I mean, the guy had a siren in his throat, more effective than most fire engine sirens, and its always been used for conveying one state of his being --- HUNGER!!! (This holds true even today ;))

As Faiz grew up, so did his cheeks and I could see that he was going to be the cute one, but at that age, I didn’t know what that meant, except that most of my cousin sisters preferred to cuddle him than me. I was losing the ladies (again, if u know what I mean) to my younger sibling.

The years passed with us playing games, me learning and teaching him quite a few, and he always winning them after learning from me. Although I must say, apart from chess, all the other games, he won by crying. I, being the elder one, was advised by my parents to concede to his whims. So in carom, I would pocket the coins, and it was payday for him. In cricket, he never got out, and he never bowled or fielded. In tennis, the ball was always IN. As of now, he'd prolly whip me in any game I guess...sigh, the changing times :P

Sadly our parents didn’t let us play boxing as a sport.

Needless to say, being the younger one, he was the more pampered one of the family. And he had a sharp tongue, yes sir, when he learnt to speak, he shut everyone else up. When my friends would tease me, he has taken it upon himself to get back at them, coz back then, I was as talkative as a boulder.So snappy comebacks were as much a part of me as morality is a part of our politicians.
I can proudly say that he alone is enough, to literally shut every relative of mine. If you ever are lucky enough to witness him taking on my entire extended family, in a battle of wits, you will probably see the wit-war equivalence of 1 man invading the Normandy coast and bringing the Nazi empire to an end. And No I am not exaggerating.

Sad part is, I am not allowed to let him loose upon them.

Btw, Faiz, if you’re reading this, you are not allowed to gloat. :P

As I said, he was the most pampered one, which made him quite a bit stubborn. Dad called him a Bengal Monitor once. (Google it)
The stubbornness got him in trouble with mom more than once. My mom believed in the idiom, “Jab Paap ka ghada bhar jaye, toh phoot jata hai” (When the Vessel of sin is filled, it will Break)

So Faiz & I, whenever we screwed up, it would register itself in mom’s head. She wouldn’t do anything except give us “The Eyes” (An eye stare that even makes her family members go “OH DEAR LORD HALP!!!”)
And getting the eyes meant 2 things
1. We’re Dead
2. But not today.

Coz the register was like a ticking time bomb, the more screw ups we did, the faster it ticked. Until one fine sunny day, the fuse would reach culmination, fizz and silence…………AND KABOOOOM !!!
Weapons included belts and hangars and rulers. And she would do the American Police thing, she would recite all our crimes as she whooped our sorry backsides. Things we’d have forgotten, she’d recall n go, “On so-n-so date, at so-n-so’s house party, you just HAD to touch the glass jar when I told you faiz NOT TO TOUCH the glass jar”. Before he could think “Which Glass jar??”, his ear would have been twisted like an old Fiat car key where the engine refuses to start.

First he’d scream and yell and beg mercy, and once the spank took place, I’d hear his tears break out. That was when my brain would scream, “INTERVENTION”.

And I’d run and stand between him and mom n go “Nooo mom Noooo he’s sorry he wont do it again.” I remember mom would try to hit him from around me, I’d feel him cringe behind me n hold my shirt as a human shield, and I’d get the whoop on my arm.

This always worked ;-) Atleast one way it did. Coz when I was getting whooped, Faiz would probably be hiding under the dining table or in the closet, thinking, “I hope she finishes with him and forgets what I did at last week’s party, else I’m dead too.”

He’s grown into a major Pain in the backside for people he likes and doesn’t like equally, into a funnyman who is the live wire of almost all of his social gatherings, and into a cuddly buddy for young kidos (which we both inherited from dad)

He also invented his own language, for more info on that, you should contact him, for I fear I will be killed for revealing it here. :P

If you don’t know yet, he is one helluva talented chef, and has surpassed his teacher (mom) in preparing the most amazing Grills you will taste.

His passion is Aeroplanes. Name a plane or a type of plane or a function related to it, and chances are he will talk to you about it for hours together.

He loves listening to stories. He was the first person who listened to my stories, and requested an encore every night. He is a person who seldom expresses his feelings...but if he really loves you, trust me you will know it.

As we grew up through our teens, I’ve seen him go from silly and childish to crazy and angry to calm and flamboyant in his ways. He’s still a Bengal monitor at times, but then...we all have our flaws.

Looking back now, those were some real crazy times I had with this li’l tyke. 11 years ago I left home to study and have been out since, so interaction with him has been limited, unlike most siblings. Yet we love each other to death. I remember the first time I felt really proud & sure of him was when he exhibited maturity beyond his years in 8th grade. Before that I just loved him, but after that, I’ve come to respect him too, in a way a younger sibling should be.

For those of you who have younger siblings, if you already dont respect them, start right now, trust me it makes a world of a difference.

I’ve lived a life where I’ve had friends walk in and out of life. Having a brother means having a friend who wont walk out on you, no matter what the circumstances. He is a shadow of mine who knows my darkest secrets and my deepest fears, and yet will not cease to love or respect me. He is a confidant I can share anything with. A partner in crime with whom I can plan to perform evil tortures on annoying people as well as pull of pranks on unsuspecting friends. He is that companion in boring parties, with whom I share amazing ROFLing moments with our inside jokes about everyone concerned.

He is a mirror image of me, opposite in almost every manner of being, yet someone I can love from the bottom of my heart for all his zaniness.

More than anything else, he is a 20 year old personality who fills the character gaps I have, someone without whom my parents would probably have half a son, someone who simply completes me.

Happy Birthday Li’l Brother…. BarakAllah Feek. May Allah Bless you with a long, prosperous and happy life in both this world and the next.

Love you !!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Kudos !!!!

Thanks Meetz for the Amazing sketch which now adorns my Blog page. Its simply spellbinding how awesome the sketch is, and even more super that I was gonna ask you anyway to design something with a Peregrine theme.
And I couldnt find a better verse than Allama Iqbal, which would go with the sketch.

JazakumAllah Khair wa BarakAllah Feekum
Ur the Absolute Best !!!! :D

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fwoosh !! - Chronicling a Bird-Brain

My name is Fwoosh. Don’t ask me why I was named this. Ask my silly uncle Dash.

I mean, if you could find him, you could ask him. He has been overtly eccentric, Grand-aunt Hiddil says he was eccentric since he was born. His tales go to describe that he’s been far and wide, that he’s seen the hopping 2 legged deers with a pouch on their bellies in a place named Ouz-Tralya. And he’s sipped chilled water with Emperor Penguins further south. Before he was caught by a hunter and made a slave, he was pretty much a free bird….Pun Intended.

Before I proceed any further, a bit about myself.

As you’ve already noticed, my name is Fwoosh. Mom says that the initial idea was to name me Whoosh !!, but they decided against the H and prefixed an F ‘coz some shoe maker cobblers named Nike or something said that they named their trademark as Whoosh. Frankly, if you ask me though, it looks like a tick mark, and nothing like a Whoosh. Whoosh was my great grandpa. He lived much before the days of human shoes, so no one could sue him for being named so. Oh boy could I tell you tales about Granpa Whoosh. I mean, Mom rarely talks about anything else than how awesome he was.

So there you have it, Corporate Lawsuits determined me being named Fwoosh instead of Whoosh.

By the way, I’m a Falcon. Although I hate to admit that. ‘Coz I suck at being a falcon (even If I do say so myself).

Why you ask….? Well. I guess that’s because I’m Acrophobic. No no need to run for your google search-bar. Acrophobic means….ummm…well….means that I’m kinda, you know…a bit, not much….a wee bit afraid of heights. STOP GRINNING !!!!

So I’m afraid of heights, and being my species of falcon isn’t easy with having a height problem. My cousins are all high-flyers. Dad cant stop raving about how I am silly and all that. He goes on about how Peregrines are wanderers and how we should fly high, how we get closest to God up there in the sky. I mean, I agree with all of that, he’s truly right you know. But it’s not like I’ve not tried. Heck I even tried to dive that famous Silent Dive. You know, the one where we hit speeds of 300 or so killer-meters per hour or something. Oh I dove, I dove….but I didn’t do the upward twist n nosedive properly, so instead, my wings got all tangly, lost a lot of tailfeathers and more than diving, I was falling, I must confess here that I was slightly overweight by then. My entire life flashed before my eyes. I landed on a low flying pelican, and boy was he pissed. Lost more tailfeathers when Dad got his hands on me. Poor Dad, how hard he tried to teach.

Oh and my dad, he’s a very respectable falcon. Never fumbles on his dives and is very religious you see. I sometimes think he’s more a BIRD OF PRAY than a BIRD OF PREY !! (Sorry…Falcon PJ)

What can I say though, I’m learning impaired. I mean it…. I still don’t understand why B comes after A. Do you know why it is so?? If so, please teach me that.

My teachers in Flight School call me a dimwitted smart-tail (I’m sure you humans have such names too).

So you ask, What does a peregrine who fears heights do good in life. You must be thinking I’m a loser right? Ahaah….thats where you’re wrong.

I am not a loser. I’m opinionated. Contrary to what you might think, they are both NOT related. Highly Opinionated at that. And I’m a connoisseur of fine literature.

Recently a friend of mine told me that people who liked the “written word” and are opinionated, they should write.

The first thing I think I should write about….is Humans.

The scientific fraternity calls you Homo Sapiens. The humans think that is some sort of “Oh-so-awesome-legendary-latin-fancy-shmancy-name”. In reality, it’s an abbreviation.

H.O.M.O. -- S.A.P.I.E.N.S

First name defines you in simple terms, the 2nd part of the name defines some of your attributes.

Higher Order Monkey-like Organisms – (HOMO)

Superbly Active (Mentally & Physically)

Phenomenal Imbeciles (seriously, whats with all your wars & battles)

Egoistic & Narcissistic SpingelDinks** (SAPIENS)

**(Spingeldinks is a word I cannot explain. My mom is very particular about insults. I hate the taste of soap you see)

Haah, not so proud of your scientific nomenclature now are you !!!

Oh and before you look at our scientific name to “return” the joke, I’ll tell you myself


We coined that name ourselves. Peregrin – US !!!

SEE what I mean?

So What do I think about humans?

Firstly, let me tell you what the other birds think.

The Eagles, they’re ‘Merican you see, so they think that Humans should pretty much be under their wings. The bald ones are spectacularly proud about their rarity and elegance. I think they’re major imbeciles too. Seriously, they are demented. Have you seen a bald eagle?? Its got FEATHERS ON ITS HEAD. Its not bald, who the heck named it bald?? He must’ve been a mental human as well, so I don’t blame the eagles for wanting to take over humanity.

The Owls think humans have their biological clocks fixed all wrong. Psst, between you and me, they’re pretty nutty too, they wake up in the nights, and party when the whole animal & bird kingdom is asleep. Waitaminnute, don’t you do that do humans??

Well well, if the Eagles manage to take you over, no second guesses as to who will be writing your social calendar eh?

The Pigeons and Seagulls think Humans are good for target practice. And I shall not elucidate that as I’m sure little kids will be reading this too.

The Ostriches are what happens when you don’t take your flying lessons seriously, so they being 2 legged like humans, are empathic to your kind. I personally don’t trust the emotions of a bird who hides his head in a sand. Run you overgrown duck Run ... when you have danger coming in RUN!!!

((Sorry got off the topic))

The ducks think you’re incessantly annoying with your blabber. And they take major offence that you name your incompetent doctors after their calls. Beware of them, that’s all I can tell you.

The Swans are mainly from erstwhile U.S.S.R and they’re all named Boris. And they don’t care.

The Peacocks are preparing to sue you for taking their feathers so often. They are from India. And the ladies (peahens), they just hate you all for not giving them the awesome attention their males get. There are Peahen N.G.Os which are planning a major uprising against humans for being Gender-biased.

The Sparrows are too busy to even notice you. So to them, you’re no different than trees which block their ways. They don’t stop to smell the flowers.

The Hummingbirds, they just stop to smell the flowers. More like eat 'em. They too don’t notice you. They classify objects as Flowers and Non-Flowers. You are non-flowers.

The Penguins are voting on whether they should demand royalty from you for copying their style. You know, your formal tuxedos and all that black tie jazz. They want in. They think all your fashion designers are quacks. (By the way, the ducks hate the penguins too. Main rivalry in our Olympics Swimming events)

That leaves us with the Chickens. Who are frustrated beyond all parallel. Well, there isn’t much I am allowed to speak about them. But word of caution to the wise, they are sick and tired of being eaten. **whispers** There is word of revolution in the air. Initial targets are said to include a white suited Colonel’s Army HQs who claims the chicken are finger licking good. They deem that obnoxious and there are elaborate preparations for vengeance.

Now after all this, I finally come to my opinion about Humans.

After studying the entire world history and the whole ideas and thoughts of other birds and some animals of the kingdom, I’ve reached the conclusion that on the whole, absolutely unbiased in my evaluation, And I ascertain that this is the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the absolute truth. So help me God, and may my wings turn pink if I’m lying. Conclusively, I think humans are Phenomenally Hopeless.

Take Wing Funny Humans...and Happy Flying !!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Of Iqbal and a legacy of greatness.

I’ll be upfront and frank about this. I find it hard, really hard to consistently hate Pakistanis. I mean, ever since the nation took birth, it has been a political thorn in my country’s neck (figuratively and geographically). But all these details of their irritating nature came to be understood by me when my age ran into double digits. That is, I learnt about Pakistan somewhere after I was 10 years old.

I had lived with Pakistanis for a long time, much before that.

Growing up in a quiet neighbourhood in Umm’Said, Qatar. I had few neighbour kids with whom I could share my age. And they were all Pakistanis. I remember Ali, Hasnain and Zeeshan. The four of us regularly played cricket or football and pretty much grew up fighting and exploring amongst ourselves. At that time, all I knew about their homeland was that Pakistan was a country near India with whom we played cricket a lot.

So I knew Pakistanis, before I knew Pakistan. This statement will explain itself in the next few minutes.

On Tuesday last week, I took a drop from a colleague somewhere on the outskirts of Sharjah’s industrial area, and hitched a taxi.

The driver who stopped had a very dignified look about him. Now I’ve seen some really fashionable drivers, some really messy ones, and quite a lot of indifferent ones. If you have read my blog before, you’ll know what I mean when I say I’ve also met some exceptionally interesting ones. This time was no different.

This man had a very neat look about him. And his face shone with a discipline which said he’d been living a principled life which wasn’t his choice, but something that had come with his birth.

I gave him directions in Urdu. And after a few minutes of silence, he asked me where I was from. I told him I was from south India. He must have had a surprised look on his face which I missed as I had sat behind with an intention of sleeping the trip off. His next sentence was ,
“Aapki Urdu badi saaf hai.” (Your Urdu is very polished)

I said, “Shurkiya, yeh hamare walid sahib ki badaulat hai.” (Thanks, I owe it to my Father)

He was pleased at that. And I told him that some of my earliest childhood friends were also from Pakistan.

I asked him, “Aap Karachi se hai?” (Are you from Karachi?)

He was surprised again and said , “Ji par aapne andaza kaise lagaya.” (Yes, how did you know?)

Maine dekha hai Karachi walon ki urdu, baaqi pakistaniyon se kaafi shaffaf hoti hai.”

(I’ve noticed that Karachi people speak a more purer/clearer Urdu compared to other Pakistanis, [Who have an accent])

He asked for my name, I told him my name was Luqman. And his name was Tariq.
Tariq Chacha.

The conversation immediately jumped to current affairs. And he smiled and asked me if I’d heard of Shoaib Malik & Sania Mirza’s wedding announcement.

I laughed and said, “Definitely, hamari ladki aapke ghar bahu banke aane wali hai inshaAllah.” (Our Girl is coming as a daughter in law to your home)

He laughed and went on to marvel at how matches are made in heaven, without any regards for man made lines.

He expressed grief over so much we share as a race, yet how far apart we are.

I told him how our national song was written by someone who went on to be a Pakistani.

Allama Iqbal. His face shone with pride and I knew we’d found common ground.

We discussed at length about Iqbal’s poetry. I told him how Ghalib was a famous urdu poet of our nation, but how I regard Iqbal as unmatchable by anyone. He agreed.

He told me how his Father studied in Punjab University in newly formed Pakistan. And how he and his friends would run from the university to a nearby masjid for early morning prayers. They would pass by a small chalet and would hear a voice reciting the Quran with a feel of every word. The voice would sometimes even cry while reciting the Words of Allah.

Upon inquiring, the caretaker told Tariq chacha’s father that that voice belonged to none other than Sir Mohammad Iqbal.
The poet, the philosopher, the thinker of a nation as described by the masses. Who didn’t only write poetry, but lived the advices they presented.

I couldn’t help but go on about how I first heart Iqbal’s Shikwa & Jawab-e-Shikwa (two of the finest works in Urdu poetry) and he was gushing with happiness. Dad introduced me to Shikwa and Jawab-e-shikwa. In a nutshell, the 2 works are inter-related. Shikwa is the complaint of a Muslim to Allah, and Jawab-e-Shikwa is the reply Allah has to each complaint the crier has.

He began talking to me about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Gandhi and Jinnah, how the fathers of our nations made the mistake of partitioning one entity. Although, if Pakistan had begun its life on the teachings and guidelines of Iqbal, instead of Jinnah, I feel that there could be no better neighbours in the world today like India & Pakistan. He readily agreed with what I commented about the issue. He sighed aloud saying, if only their leaders and our leaders got to the end of their arms race, got out of all their petty differences and just ended the crying over Kashmir, then the most to benefit of this would be the common man, who is as of now the most affected by this conflict.

Conversing with Tariq Chacha was one of the most interesting and beloved talks I’ve had in a really long time. I felt like I knew him intimately. He told me how his parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents cried inconsolably when they had to leave Jalandar and move to Pakistan. How they got into the last train of the partition and saw the brutality first hand. There was a painful tone in his voice as he smiled and said that even today, a lot of his aunts are buried in India.

This is the ground reality. Take away all the nuke races we are having between our nations, the politicians on their side calling us manipulators and the politicians on our sides calling them terrorists. Take away the fact that men on either side of the border have created death and havoc in the eyes of the world. Take away the un-ending argument of who is right and who is not. And at the end of it you will get people like Tariq Chacha who are really sorry we parted ways. People who believe that we share more than we differ about. People who truly believe that once you take out the respective leaders and bureaucrats and the finger pointing, and you have 2 brothers from one mother who fight and argue but in the end just love to play cricket and tease each other about their respective performances.

He loved his motherland, I accepted that.

He respected my motherland too, and I simply admired the man for that.

I don’t ever think I’ll be able to convey the brilliance and the peace there was in our conversation. But I will share this.

Iqbal wrote the song, TARANE-E-HIND. Which is the national song of India. A song Mahatma Gandhi sung tirelessly during his days in jail. A song to which our army sets its quick march. A song which cannot stop gushing with pride on the greatness of India.

There is a stanza in that poem which doesn’t find its way into the traditional version of the song, I don’t know why. I recited that stanza for Tariq chacha,

Yunan Misr-o-ruma sab mitt gaye jahaan se

Baaqi magar hai ab tak, Naam-o-nishaan hamara

Kuch to baat hai ki hasti mitt tee nahi hamari

Sadiyon Raha hai dushman, daur-e-zamaan hamara

Greece, Egypt and Rome (empires such) were wiped from the world,

Yet stands alive even now, our name and our mark

There is something that our definition does not fade away

Even though time in all the ages has been an enemy of ours

(Rough translation, please excuse the crudeness)

When I finished that recitation, he wasn’t jealous or envious that Iqbal had written such defining words for us. He was proud, he was happy and if his hands were not on the steering wheel, I’m sure he would have applauded at the praise of my motherland.

We are 1 nation, divided by a line of lies, deceit, hate and power gamble on the part of a few people.

When a matter of the masses comes, we’re two bodies with one heartbeat.