mal’s Weblog











{March 11, 2013}   Islam for Atheists, Logically

faith & reasonI was quite the late adopter of social media, especially twitter, (and have yet to explore several more platforms such as pinterest, Reddit, you name it). So it was only natural for me to discover a handful of things quite late. One of these things that I came across was twitter accounts with bio’s that for some reason proudly claimed they were ex-Muslims and now Atheists. This actually came as a shock to me, because I had heard of atheism, and had not yet gotten over the fact that there are people who don’t believe in the concept of a god, any god, and here was something even closer to me, Muslims/Islam, slapping my brain with an ‘ex’. I just could not comprehend this latest find.

So here is the post I promised last week – a post that addresses especially those atheists who look down upon others who exercise their choice and right to practice religion (whichever religion for that matter), and those twitterati who proudly claim to ex-Muslim-now-Atheists, because these idiots have nothing to be ‘proud’ of, and for all their harping on about logic and science, don’t make an ounce of sense to me.

Here’s to calling on their BS. Read the rest of this entry »

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{March 8, 2013}   the rape philosophy

helplessness = power over other

helplessness = power over other

This post stirred many a thoughts once I happened upon this piece. I would like to disclaim here that there is a lot more that can be further elaborated upon, and that toward the end I might sound like preaching (especially from an Islamic point of view), but 1. had I been preaching like a holier than thou saint I would not sometimes be found clad in tomboy clothes or I would be a regular head scarf-er etc; 2. I am merely putting down my thoughts as my mind untangles those threads and answers questions in light of my life and my study of life so far, even if it sounds like a conclusion, which it is in a way. I would also like to disclaim here that I do not expect everyone to spring into some realization and agree with me and my conclusion and adopt it.

There is A LOT to be said and understood about how sexual violence works. But in light of the above special-focus topic of ..I will limit this post of mine to a single aspect of sexual violence: rape.

It is men who have given rise to rape, and women are not to be blamed. Read the rest of this entry »



“Marina Abramović, “Rhythm 0,” 1974

Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović is best known for her performance pieces, in which she tries to explore what is possible for an artist to do in the name of art. Her best known piece was the recent “The Artist Is Present,” in which she sat motionless for 736.5 hours over the course of three months, inviting visitors to sit opposite her and make eye contact for as long as they wanted. So many people began spontaneously crying across from her that blogs and Facebook groups were set up for those people. 

Her bravest piece, however, is my favorite. This piece was primarily a trust exercise, in which she told viewers she would not move for six hours no matter what they did to her. She placed 72 objects one could use in pleasing or destructive ways, ranging from flowers and a feather boa to a knife and a loaded pistol, on a table near her and invited the viewers to use them on her however they wanted. 

Initially, Abramović said, viewers were peaceful and timid, but it escalated to violence quickly. “The experience I learned was that … if you leave decision to the public, you can be killed… I felt really violated: they cut my clothes, stuck rose thorns in my stomach, one person aimed the gun at my head, and another took it away. It created an aggressive atmosphere. After exactly 6 hours, as planned, I stood up and started walking toward the public. Everyone ran away, escaping an actual confrontation.”

This piece revealed something terrible about humanity, similar to what Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment or Stanley Milgram’s Obedience Experiment, both of which also proved how readily people will harm one another under unusual circumstances. 

This performance showed just how easy it is to dehumanize a person who doesn’t fight back, and is particularly powerful because it defies what we think we know about ourselves. I’m certain the no one reading this believes the people around him/her capable of doing such things to another human being, but this performance proves otherwise.”

Source: Facebook Sharing



{February 18, 2013}   the grand limitation of being human

the grand limitation of being human

(photo source: facebook sharing)



{February 15, 2013}   in the name of religion

heart stringsSo yesterday was, almost globally, being celebrated as Valentine’s Day. And once again, what a sad turn of events it is all taking in Pakistan.

Personally, I am not in favor of restricting love to be celebrated on a single day, and this includes Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Labor Day, every day for that matter. Personally, I believe that one should believe in what they believe in every day of their lives, should try their best to practice what they preach every day of their lives, try not to always be preaching, and focus on self instead of everything everyone else is doing.

However, people will use every opportunity to earn a buck or prevent someone else from earning that buck. Which is why, one sees extra focus on some value or the other, some sentiment or the other, on one particular day, so that an industry could reap exponential profits on that particular day (take any day that people celebrate with special preparations and decorations and rituals etc).

There will be those who understand that business will not only make use of opportunities to earn, but will in fact strive to create opportunities which they can then reap benefits off. There will be those who will use the same opportunities for the benefit of businesses of other kinds (such as political or religious or social agendas). And then there will be those poor souls of fools who are so insecure and sensitive that they will play right into the hands of the two groups defined above. Read the rest of this entry »



{February 8, 2013}  

i wonder what it’d be like to slay a beautiful horse while it thinks you’re happily riding it on the perfect kinda field on the perfect kinda day…



{February 4, 2013}   on missing out

i don’t understand people’s craze about capturing things because they don’t want to miss it. like sunsets. i mean, i get it if you loved a sight so much that you pounced on the opportunity to capture it so that you can revisit it at will in future. and i get it if you’re a photographer by occupation/passion. but all other people who take like a million pictures of EVERY scenery they come across – like, dude, get a life. you say you dont wanna miss it? you wanna preserve it? what for? do you realize how many sceneries you have missed already because you weren’t born then? do you realize that preserving every day in a number of ways is not really preserving anything for future generations because they will have their share of beautiful sceneries. this – this crazy snapping of things and environments – is only wasting your day, each day that you do this.

get a life. enjoy whatever comes your way for its sake, and for your own sake. it is for you to keep. sure take a snap or two, or a few. a handful of albums from your past are usually a nice thing to have around you. but know that that day was sent for you to enjoy, so live it, rather than waste time trying to capture it. capture it with your heart & soul, for the most part at least. and no matter how much you yearn for it to happen, sometimes, you just cant share everything you want to with everyone you want to, and you cant save everything. you cant save everything.

here is a little sunset for you: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151988291425647&set=vb.837380646&type=3&theater



{February 2, 2013}   on feminism

this post is inspired by certain life incidents that have often made me think to such an extent that it irritates the crap out of me. 

i’ve often been labelled a feminist. and it has, simply speaking, pissed me right off. the first time i got called a feminist i had to look the word up in a fat oxford dictionary. and from what i understood of the definition, i could not agree with myself being labelled as such in absolute terms. the next few times it happened happened after a long long break. during this break, i used to go to school where the uniform demanded that i be covered in loosely fitting clothes, a large dupatta and a scarf, (other facts of the context are that the school was co-ed, and that i used to be very active participant in competitions of almost every sort, especially sports). anyway, so the next time it happened i was 3 years into university, and at an internship, where the rest of the 6 interns were all girls and just one guy. it was this guy who called me a feminist, which made me stop whatever i was doing, taken slightly aback, and look at myself objectively. the only things i could come up with were that i was active, enthusiastic, and vocal about things i believed in. which i consider an incomplete definition of feminism.feminism Read the rest of this entry »



{January 31, 2013}   on death. and all her friends

people shut up about you once you’re dead. out of respect. respect that you dont need anymore. because you’re dead. and are no more a threat to anyone, in any way. people are such dumb fucks. people suck the life out of life



{January 27, 2013}  

there are two kinds of pain: one at the onset of injury, and the other throughout the healing process.

first the thorn pricks. then you have to pull it out.



{January 26, 2013}   On hard work and success
how hard work works

how hard work works

Successful people emphasize hard work. I was just wondering what hard work really meant, and came to the following conclusion, which i’d like to share with my readers because I wish someone had explained it to me:

Read the rest of this entry »



{January 14, 2013}   “Because if we …

“Because if we are busy hiding what we have done, it leaves us vulnerable to anyone who discovers our secrets. And we become so consumed with keeping them that it is a slippery slope to doing even worse things.”



{August 25, 2012}   of men and women

Phyl: Ok I’m confused. You’re saying that if she tells me she has a problem, I’m not supposed to help her?

Woman 1: Not unless she asked for your help.

Phyl: But if she lets me help her I can make her problem go away.

All the women in the parlor: Aaahhh haha. That is such a male thing to say.

Phyl: Well forgive me for being a male.

Woman on left: When you say “Do this,”, or “Do that,” all she’s hearing is “I’m smarter than you.”

Phyl: Believe me she doesn’t think that.

Woman on left: Mm-mm. She doesn’t want you to solve her problems. She just wants you to give her support so she can solve her problems herself.

Woman on right: Yes, and sometimes, sometimes she wants a sympathetic ear.

Phyl: Whoa…whoa.. Maybe it’s all the creams but that just made sense, girlfriends. So if Claire says, “I hate getting stuck in traffic,” I shouldn’t say, “Maybe you should leave earlier,”

Woman on right: No.

Phyl (continuing): Or “Don’t get on the freeway,” I should just say, “I know, that’s so frustrating”

All the women in the parlor: Yes, that’s it!

Phyl: Really

All the women in the parlor: Yes! Yes!

Phyl: And if she says, uh, “The waiter I had today was so rude,” I shouldn’t say, “Maybe you should just order something on the menu for once,”

Woman in front of him: No.

Phyl (continues): I should just say, “What a jerk!”

All the women in the parlor: Yes! Yeah! Yay!

Phyl: And if she says, “Phyl, the TV’s driving me crazy,” I should just say, “I know, there is just not enough quality programming for women”

All the women in the parlor: No!!

Woman on right: Turn off the damn TV.

Phyl: Ok, now I’m confused again.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

The above is an almost accurate transcript from one of these TV shows I’m watching these days. There are several reasons I felt the need to go through the trouble of transcribing it and put this up here. Read the rest of this entry »



{August 19, 2012}   to be continued…

This post has been inspired by quite a few incidents, both in real life, as well as in stories I’ve read or heard about or seen in pieces of fiction based on real life. It addresses several issues, such as the insensitive double standards of women, especially those in the conservative (read backwards) setting of our culture, or the irrational expectations people (in general) have from other people (read every single person they come into contact with). Read the rest of this entry »



{November 23, 2011}   Namazi…

Main namaz nahin parhti. Bhool gayee hoon kaise parhte hain.

Lekin mujhe iss baat ki sharmindagi bhi buhut hai.

Ho sakta hai shaitan isi sharmindagi ko istimaal kar k mujhe namaz parhne se aur rok raha hai, aur yeh cycle isi tarha chal rahi hai.

Lekin mera bhi kuch kam qusoor nahin. What’s stopping me from saying my prayers? What’s stopping me from re-learning, especially when I know that the last time it took me hardly 3 days to re-learn.

Har roz main niyyat karti hoon k iss baar when I am home for the whole day, I will take out my class 9 Islamiyat book and see how prayers are said, and then will start saying my prayers. Come that day and I need to catch up on my sleep and do my laundry and what not. Come that night, the circle of guilty planning begins yet again. And there goes another week, another month, another season, another Ramadan.

Iss baar tou rozay bhi chhoot gayay thhay mujh se, I was not well at all, was on pills for blood deficiency and what not, couldn’t walk the length of my house from drawing room to bedroom without beginning to pant – i was basically 92. I kept telling myself I’ll pick up from the end of Ramadan once I get back into my routine of the workaholic life I love, running around, meeting fast approaching deadlines, getting work done. It din’t happen.

Part of the reason I do not pray is also the fact that I face a lot of contradiction in my mind about the balance which one can or must strike between, say, listening to music, and praying. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I think of saying my obligatory prayers, I get ashamed of the Maliha who loves to sing, sings, loves to act, acts, hangs out with mixed sex company, covers her head not. And that when I say my prayers, or when I used to, I felt ashamed of this Maliha. And that when I sang, or acted, or laughed with a male friend, or wore clothes to look and feel good, I felt ashamed of the Maliha standing in the corner, eyeing me so intensley as if ripping my clothes off, questioning my lack of practice of saying my prayers.

Another reason I feel unable to pray was that I felt that I turned to prayer only when in trouble or pain. Only when I wanted something only He could give me. So part of my guilt also told me I had no right to pray when I pray only selfishly.

So the other day, after a million or so days of contemplation as to which road I should choose, as to whether there is a possible balance which I could strike, as to whether striking such a balance is the right way to go or not – I started talking to God. Every day I used to ask Him to make me stronger enough in my intention to be able to put it to practice. Every other day I asked Him to help me make room in my busy schedule for that Islamiyat book and its chapter on namaz.

It did not work. For a long time. While on the one hand shaitan is to be blamed, I am no less guilty. I allowed shaitan to keep me from my duty, from my right to worship whom I please.

But the guilt was killing me. So I tried to talk to God yet another time. And this time, He gave me an answer.

I asked him to make me pray. He guided me that praying is not something at odds with music, or with feeling happy, or with laughing. If nothing at all, it was a way of thanking Him for all that I have. And I have a lot.

I may not have my music classes, I may not have a family that understands and lets me understand that music or acting or taking time out formyself does not mean I’m an awara besharam larki in the wrong culture. But I have education, I have the ability to comprehend, I have the kind of family who would at least hear me out (the number of times and ways i need to talk to them is another issue), I have friends, I have information, I have passion.

And I am thankful to the One and Only – Allah.

And though I have yet not started saying my prayers, or picked up that Islamiyat book, I know I am one real strong and big step closer to that. I’m almost there, God, I’m almost there. I can do it, I promise You, but I can’t do it without you. So don’t take my life yet, grant me the opportunity to take the few mroe small steps left over, and make this part of my routine. I know it is for my own benefit.



{March 25, 2011}   this is me in ink…

meri soch jab tum se aagay hai
main kiun tumharay saath rahoon



When I first sat down to pen these thoughts, it was coincidentally the time when Veena Malik was quite famous for the fatwa that mufti was dying to pass on her and how she stood her ground and the whole debate. My inspiration to pen them down, however, were my own experiences and mental debates.

There have been times when people have told me off for my interest in music, or my tendency towards acting, or my higher level of ease and comfort with and in the company of guys as compared to girls, and my natural need to hang out with guys cos they do not spend every second of their company bitching, but know how to chill having left all their worries behind them in that moment of company. Read the rest of this entry »



{January 19, 2011}   of dropping…dead..

it was always like this.

he always judged her. they always judged her.

they told her she could do better.

she knew this. but, Read the rest of this entry »



{January 2, 2011}   failure to belong

i dont belong anywhere
i realized this while watching this drama serial today, i’ve been serialstreaming it for the past couple of days now Read the rest of this entry »



{December 3, 2010}   so full of pain

she knows you’re trying to help her. she wants you to help her too. but all your efforts and all her wants are futile and pointless.

if you try to help her, talk to her, about things other or the same, it will only hurt her more. you will touch her and she will bleed tears. Read the rest of this entry »



{November 30, 2010}   i dont laugh

it’s only with you that i laugh Read the rest of this entry »



{November 30, 2010}   and then there was she

what an utter slut.



{November 21, 2010}   Something stupid

I first heard this song (cover by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman) when I Read the rest of this entry »



She stuffed the notebook and pen in her bag, absentmindedly, or rather, habitually placing the things exactly where they belonged, and headed for the door again.

Her step had purpose to it.

She headed toward the door as someone yelled her name Read the rest of this entry »



She stuffed the notebook and pen in her bag, absentmindedly, or rather, habitually placing the things exactly where they belonged, and headed for the door again.

Her step had purpose to it.

She opened the the glass door, Read the rest of this entry »



{September 28, 2010}   fear of the unknown

This is another one of those stories i which i decided i will share with you, dear readers 🙂 so happy learning!


So there was once this man, who was getting old, kind of, and thus had a weakening eye-sight, among other things. Read the rest of this entry »



Note: this has been long due – was done and ready but not published, so here I am, publishing it. happy clothing 😉

My mother has (almost) always been an advocate of buying clothes off racks in outlets that she comes across on her way back from office. She maintains it saves time, saves money, saves tension, and allows you to follow the latest trends as well.

I have always been more inclined toward the tailor culture Read the rest of this entry »



{September 23, 2010}   Yeh Shaam – Vital Signs

i used to listen to this song over and over again. i had not yet made sense of the world but i knew how to press the rewind button on the tape recorder and what it did. and every time this song faded away into its end, i used to try and follow it right into the tape recorder, wondering sadly where he was going away and why.
(the next song on the cassette used to BLARE out so loud i used to run for cover, my being having jumped right out of my skin, while my parents used to rush to the room from the kitchen wondering what had happened).



{September 23, 2010}   whattay boing i be

I recently burned up a whole box of matches Tom’n’Jerry style (will look for a picture or a video if I can and will upload it in this post for your reference and to add entertainment value to this post at the cost of my sometimes-clumsy being) :p

It would have been funnie had i not burned my hand in the process. And in retrospect, now that the pain/burn is gone, it is funie, so all good, hehe



{December 27, 2009}   Guilt

I am guilty. I am guilty of treating others who are in some way or the other less blessed than me, in ways I normally do not advocate. It was not me, but I did it. Twice. Read the rest of this entry »



et cetera
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