Thursday, 2 September 2010

A Face-Saving Light

Yes, it has been a while since I have posted a blog here; thinking takes time and effort.

This is the month of Ramadan (Muslims remain without food and water from before dawn until sunset) and with so much happening in the world, sometimes it is hard to pick the subject for a fresh blog. Hence, I do not face a writer’s block but only fatigue that requires rest. The Eid festival marks the end of the month long fasting, which is announced upon sighting the crescent for the Islamic month of Shawwal. For all religious events, Muslims follow the lunar calendar.

First came, the awful monsoon floods and all the destruction whose bill we all will be paying for the next few years. Then we saw the Sialkot killings of two young boys. And the cricket scandal in England in which Pakistani players were allegedly involved in shady deals. Just last night, multiple suicide attacks took place in Lahore and Karachi in which scores of Shi’a Muslims died or got injured while attending Ali ibn Abi Talib’s death anniversary. Considering the security situation, they all should have stayed home instead of publicly mourning the slaying of a great figure of Islam.

So what do we have here? One fifth of Pakistan is under water, the judicial system is in dire straits, our food chain is quite literally broken, flood-effected people are homeless, thousands are feared missing, out of frustration some are lynching others or attacking the custodians of law, suicide bombers are exploding themselves, doctors are getting themselves beaten up for professional negligence, and inflation is getting out of control. But do we not have broadband internet and FaceBook?

Does it not feel as if everybody wants to migrate to America? No, that is not true, no matter how much the ex-pats weep for their ex-compatriots; 170 million people still live here without having Green Cards. The end of the world is not around the corner and I tell the morose that despondency is never a problem-solver. Not crutches, but self-help is the answer; holding one’s proud head high is the solution. While the poor remain more patient and patriotic, the rich elites repeatedly sell them off to the lowest bidder.

And life goes on. Fashion show catwalks are alive with party animals, and a hundred TV channels continue spewing worthless breaking news. These news updates break peoples’ emotional backs because after sampling a dose, one feels like breaking open the skulls of the fast-talking presenters and those of the worthless commentators. Not much will be done, yet everything gets airplay for hours.

The mosques here are so full of the faithful these days, more so in the nights, because everyone is busy finding the elusive Night of Destiny (Laylat al-Qadr) during the last ten odd nights of Ramadan. The Qur’an claims in Chapter 97, verse 3: “The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months” because messenger Muhammad (peace on him) received his first revelations through angel Gabriel.

At the cost of admitting personal failure, I have not found one such night. I asked a friend if he had found it and he admitted he had. Then he narrated a Ramadan night’s tale.

“I saw a strange beautiful light envelope me for a few minutes around dawn. It wasn’t the sun or the stars, just milky white light that nobody else saw. I went to a holy man later on and he confirmed that I had been blessed”, he claimed.

As I probed his mind regarding the effect the light might have had on his life and on those around him, he became irritable and lost all composure that one expected from an almost holy man. Soon thereafter, I left him alone, for he was a lost man who needed to find a truer night than the one that he claimed he had seen.

It is getting dark now and I must switch on the lights around the house; these will be energy-saving lights. I must work hard in my laboratory to soon invent face-saving lights.

21 comments:

  1. Brilliantly expressed. I appreciate you

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  2. Thanks! Don't I know you from somewhere? :)

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  3. A nice post to know more on light and the technology regarding to lights and electricity.Nice post.
    -industrial lighting fixtures

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  4. Asalam alaikum, a well written post indeed. May Allah bless you more in this life & Life Hereafter.
    Your thoughts are no doubt provoking & moving for those who still hope to be promoting positive change for a better tomorrow.
    No doubt Pakistan is facing acute situations & handicaps throughout the years in past 10 years but I still have 100% hope that we will rise & shine Inshallah once we are out of these odds & as all nations have paid such costs for their revival. Har azmaish ke baad rahat hai. Allah is with us if we remain steadfast & sincere to our beloved homeland.
    Bunti. Jazak Allah khair

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  5. John, you must be joking? But thanks for dropping by. Where are you from, my friend? :)

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  6. Thanks as usual, Bunti. Long time no see and hear? All is well here and I hope to see all of you on Eid. Stay well and prosper. :)

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  7. A very sensitive n deep post. I appreciate it. Well Done !!!1

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  8. what are face saving lights?

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  9. Oye hoaye Tayyaba! What a 'drop by'! Thanks for feeling the sensitivity and depth. :)

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  10. I could write a book to explain what are face-saving lights. I'm glad you're thinking all lit up! :)

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  11. ONLY GOD KNOWS WHY UR SOOOOOOOO CONFUSING AND MUMBO JUMBO!!

    _____________________ this is a straight line!! can u ever ever ever answer simple and straight???? u must'v failed geometry for sure!

    ANDDDD u must have definitely come up with these "fricking mystery words " we have to guess, EVERY time we write a comment!!! even if we'r someone u know since a yr:(((

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  12. Yours is a straight underline! Looks like you didn't do much reading in your student life! Don't worry, it'll come to you if you let it sink into you.

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  13. Mystery misunderstander, what don't you understand?

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  14. may be tht person was making up what he saw. but i have met people who have actually experienced these feelings and they feel blessed, and their lives have changed, in the sense that they have become kinder and more caring .

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  15. Maybe THEY ought to write about their mystical experiences!

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  16. yaar! they are my khalas and they don't use the net!!!

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  17. Don't they ever use a netted dupatta or something?

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  18. net key dupattey sey namaz naheen houti!

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  19. How would I know anything about netty affairs!

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  20. Just read this – and it made me smile. You share the same repulsion that I have – for the mainstream media, and its obsession with non-events and non-celebs and that which can never be defined as ‘news’. Like fighting vultures the media hordes up every last morsel of sensationalism – but it soon leaves its cameras and pity behind, when the human cost mounts up. As for God, and all his wisdom – I find it harder and harder each day to believe there is one above us simply waiting to over turn all wrongs, and set them right at a time of his choosing. Even the most senile chess player, would have moved the pieces by now. What is worse then – the thought that there is nothing else but just ‘this’? I choose to dwell in that delicious uncertainty that only comes from drinking deep from life, and spewing out all that you see – and remaining just simply wasted. Thank you for a wonderful post – I enjoyed reading this, but I wish things were different.

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  21. Thanks for your kind remarks in perfect English; the UK must be so proud of you!
    It is MADDENIng in a way but things won't change unless we decide to at least think in that direction.
    God wants us to show Him our potential so that He may compile a BEST OF album up in heaven.

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