Archive for November, 2003

good ol’ family

Friday, November 28th, 2003

Despite a dozen, a hundred, a thousand thoughts rampant, family comes first.
Insha-allah, I’ll be back on campus in a day or two.

Then, if Allah wills, words will flow.

Hope your time is going well.


ps: I’ve noticed that these past 2 weeks, other bloggers too have gone through a sluggish time. Hope their writing, and ability to express themselves freely has not been restrained by others, or worst, their own selves.
be good y’all.


Tuesday, November 25th, 2003

Eid Mubarak.
To one and all.

I’m going soon

Monday, November 24th, 2003

I’m headed home.
I’m headed to Virginia.

I’m going to see family.
I’m going to see Maryam.

I’m going to spend Eid with them.
I’m going to go shopping with them.

And I’m going to try and be patient.
And I’m going to try and remember.

That though I’m only 23, it’s been three years since we were last a family together. That I feel as if I should say such things when I’m twice this age instead. That I feel like a giant man entering a dwarf house, only to realize he never really grew up, he was never really that big in this house.

I’m headed home.
Home, where your family lies waiting.
For you.


Saturday, November 22nd, 2003

I haven’t really checked my email the entire week. I’ve ignored reading my regular blogs, I’ve even ignored my own blog. I’ve been busy.

This entire week has been nothing but an intense zoomed in focused class session. Thursday morning, I wake up, half nauseous, barely slept. The presentation but a few hours away, my nervousness already at full throttle. I think. I prove myself wrong.

This is Dr Karl’s class project. We’ve spent the entire semester working on this, the business summary and our proposal solution. And this morning, this Thursday morning, was the full circle to our work. We present our solution, as a company called TechFuSion, to an audience of almost 40 professionals from the field. At the end, a 15 minute Q&A session where we get grilled who want to test the authenticity, originality, and actual feasibility of our project. Our entire class grade depends almost solely on these 35 minutes, and all the work that has led up to this point. It depends on how these professionals grade us.

I’m not a nervous fella. I’m too foolishly overconfident to be that. But today my hands shook uncontrollably, a panic I had not known to exist before. Conversations a blur, images a forgotten memory, we waited and waited and waited to be called to present our material.

We paced the neighboring room in the early morning, a beautiful day outside, a tension a pressure a panic an intensity inside that followed us around like a bad nimbus cloud, waiting to break its thresh hold any minute now.
Any minute now.

It’s our turn. Go.

We nailed our presentation exactly how we wanted to. No regrets, no wishes lost, no thing. We left the room pumped up on a natural high of success God given, screaming shouting yelling finally. It was a good team of people to work with, and we have stories for a lifetime. Alhamdulilah. We even went and bought our graduation gowns right after, babbling bubbling fizzing with excitement, with satisfaction, with closure.

We did not, however, win the award for overall best presentation. No, that instead went to Synery Solutions. And I’m thrilled for them, I’m thrilled my friends won, I’m proud of them, of the work that was appreciated by the audience as well.

However, we didn’t lose either. I’m more sure of myself, of my work that professionals came up and said they admired. I thought to myself initially ‘I’m sorry sir, you must have me mistaken for another team‘. But as it turns out, we did real good and the praise was a 100% genuine; we won the respect of our peers, our professors, our colleagues.

We won our own respect.

Monsoon Wedding

Monday, November 17th, 2003

I went to a wedding earlier this year. It’s been 5 months.

Weather.Com said it would rain. So I believed I would be attending a “monsoon wedding” – Just like the movie but nothing close to resembling it. There were no secret affairs, there were no loans handed out on golf courses, there were no side love stories between simple folks who are far more complicated then you ever thought them to be.

No, this was far far more pure.

Yet so much more deadly. Like the simple drop of snake venom, it sank in deep, burying itself with each move where each motion was not felt, but burnt into existence itself. Cousin to pure honey, a thick syrupy taste so lush in its ambrosiac nature, it lingers, a memory more powerful and emotionally seductive then the unexperienced mind realizes…

At the end of the night, I stood exhausted next to the hotel windows, masses of molasses moving by, people in their garbs and costumes, shrieks of little children a fading echo. I heard all. I saw all. I cared to register none of this, but for the limosine that gathered up my friend and his newly wed wife. The crowds spoke – muted; their laughs loud – unheard. We said goodbye, us friends, us few friends that travelled the breadth of the land to be there with him, to stand there with him, to say goodbye to him, to say hello to him. But a single gesture was not enough, it’s never enough and our eyes met, crossed, intersected, bisected the crowds between us as Moses parted the Red Sea.

In the middle of a riot, we stood quietly. In the middle of a storm, we were the eye that would not change. In the middle of everyone, we felt alone.

We didn’t sleep that night. We prayed thanks to God for an ambrosia not yet, and an ambrosia no more.

shoo! I’m busy

Saturday, November 15th, 2003

Deadlines have a certain air, a certain penchant quality about them.
A hint of it, a dash of it, a pinch of it and in a forceful situation, a whole punch of it. Let’s focus on the word in depth.

Broken down the word deadlines comes to: dead + lines.
I think we all understand lines. Straight ones, curvy ones, invisible ones, big bold red ones, these lines exist for one and one purpose alone. To be crossed when your buddies double dare you after you double dared them to try and ride the giraffe at the zoo. Buddies:0 – Giraffe:1

The interpretation of dead may seem to leave little to the imagination, but quite the contrary, it leaves the mind open to a variety of horrors that only a fearful and paranoid mind can successfully produce. Tortures prop up immediately, from the atomic wedgie, to the dream where you show up to school/work and realize you don’t have your pants on and the ultimate horrors of horrors, your parents coming to school because you’re in deep doodoo.

Put together, the word deadlines is an oxymoron in application, doing nothing but enticing morons, idiots, fools, imbecile and dopes to do exactly that. Cross the line in a very stupid yet curious fashion. A morbid desire to learn in a flinching manner. A class lesson with your mouth half open in pure uncertainty of a reaction.

Thankfully, the corporate world is a little different. They prefer to call your wife.

Like no one else

Tuesday, November 11th, 2003

In a quiet house, before a dawn insha-allah, I sit with silence my other companion on the bed. Hours before, I’m told to read the Quran, because “you know, it is His word, it is the truth afterall”.

To those whose salat seem empty, hollow, repetitious, even robotic.
To those whose mind distracts, deters and disturbs their salat endlessly.
To those who pray and pray yet seem to be without a prayer and dua.
To me.

13:14, YUSUFALI:
For Him (alone) is prayer in Truth: any others that they call upon besides Him hear them no more than if they were to stretch forth their hands for water to reach their mouths but it reaches them not: for the prayer of those without Faith is nothing but (futile) wandering (in the mind).

Take two and call me in the morning

Saturday, November 8th, 2003

I have a headache and it pounds inside my head, unappreciated friendly knocks of a neighbor who wants your last cup of sugar. It’s a living creature that has taken quarters inside my skull, a lease-less nonpaying tenant. It roams the unchartered, unsee-able, unbelievable terrain of grey cells and hidden organs. It doesn’t devour yet, it simply overtakes, a vulture circling overhead. It’s an organized virus inside me and it leaves breadcrumb trails behind it as to know its way home. It’s not evil though, it’s mere existence is thought evil-nay, it’s but a hungry creature looking for food. Inside me.

I drop to my knees mentally. I squeeze my forehead and whisper prayers to a God I’ve never seen, that I don’t need to see. I arch my head to the right, as the pain grabs a foothold there and pulls itself to a new home. It multiplies itself, it denies my existence partially, it devours endlessly. And I grind my teeth hard, feeling the tension of rocks travel from my jaw to my skull to my brain to my mind to my pain. And I try drowning it. I try forcing it out with will. I stiffen my body, trying to deny the headache a home anywhere, I flex mental muscles to push it out. It slows down, but pain residential is worse then pain mobile. I relax my grip, and let it move. We both breathe a sigh of partial relief, two warriors taking a break in their battles.

I close my eyes and I focus inside, I travel far far inside, I go but a millimeter within and it’s a whole new world. Here I sit silent, breathing slowly, unmoving, expressionless. I clear my mind of debris, I focus on the ‘salaam’ in “assalamalaikum wa rahmatullahe wa barakatuhu”, I focus on my surroundings and I remember who I am.

I am muslim. And so I ask Allah for help, I ask Allah for help in submission.
Minutes pass, three clocks in one bedroom all witnesses to the sand slip through. For in the Quran, there is a cure for all diseases but death.

The pain lessened, the pain worn out, it sits now at the lower base of my skull. Alhamdulilah.

Just add water

Wednesday, November 5th, 2003

I would have never imagined: Plug N Pray.
Leave feedback.

of pleasant, soothing, insanities

Tuesday, November 4th, 2003

His raspy voice stretches out of the speakers, almost grating against the metal mesh as it escapes into the real world. Digital music, translated into forgotten memorable audio moments. The strands of guitar plucked, struck and released echoes against the walls, bouncing dancing moving.

Whilst this goes on in a silent room, in a room where I haven’t spoken out loud for over 3 hours now, I wonder about phrases I’ve never said or had to use:
-Halt! Who goes there? Friend or foe?
-Yes! The pizza is late by 2 mins!
-That’s right dammit, I am straight and proud of it. What makes you think otherwise?
-Despite the high humidity, your clown makeup still looks great. sexy even.
-I think I’ll get a pedicure today.
-Yes Maryam, please clean your mouth on my pants.
-Damn, this kitten is cute as a button, if a button could be as cute as a kitten.
-For once, I wish I could stuff Polly with all the crackers she wants.

Earlier today, I wondered what it feels like to be a giant monster, a Godzilla loose in a sky scraper city. What it feels like to smash buildings smaller then you, trample cars cheap and rare alike, watch little people scamper about with high pitched screeches. I wonder what it would be like to grab airplanes in mid-air and once again ponder why the quiet machine started vibrating and ringing like my giant cell phone.
I think I need to build me a Lego city and then go a tramplin’.

What a perfect Eid gift.