Friday, February 29, 2008

"Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That's what it was like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me, love like that has happened only once, and that's why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it."

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

'Disintegration', drawn by Some Unknown Entity aka S.U.E
at deviantART

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Gust Avrakotos: A boy is given a horse on his 14th birthday. Everyone in the village says, 'Oh how wonderful.' But a Zen master who lives in the village says, 'We shall see.' The boy falls off the horse and breaks his foot. Everyone in the village says, 'Oh how awful.' The Zen master says, 'We shall see.' The village is thrown into war and all the young men have to go to war. But, because of the broken foot, the boy stays behind. Everyone says, 'Oh, how wonderful.' The Zen master says, 'We shall see.'

Charlie Wilson's War

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Ig Nobel awards are given each year for extraordinary 'improbable' research, for ten achievements that "first make people laugh, and then make them think."
Here are the Ig Nobel Prize winners of 2007:

Aviation: Patricia V. Agostino, Santiago A. Plano and Diego A. Golombek, for discovering that hamsters recover from jetlag more quickly when given Viagra.
Biology: Johanna E.M.H. van Bronswijk, for taking a census of all the mites and other life forms that live in people's beds.
Chemistry: Mayu Yamamoto for extracting vanilla flavour from cow dung.
Economics: Kuo Cheng Hsieh, for patenting a device to catch bank robbers by ensnaring them in a net.
Linguistics: Juan Manuel Toro, Josep B. Trobalon and Nuria Sebastian-Galles, for determining that rats sometimes can't distinguish between Japanese, played backward, and Dutch, played backward.
Literature: Glenda Browne, for her study of the word "the".
Medicine: Dan Meyer and Brian Witcombe, for investigating the side-effects of swallowing swords.
Nutrition: Brian Wansink, for investigating people's appetite for mindless eating by secretly feeding them a self-refilling bowl of soup.
Peace: The Air Force Wright Laboratory in Dayton, Ohio, for suggesting the research and development of a "gay bomb," which would cause enemy troops to become sexually attracted to each other.
Physics: L. Mahadevan and Enrique Cerda Villablanca for their theoretical study of how sheets become wrinkled.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

In a stupid and outrageous move, the Pakistani authorities have banned access of its internet users to YouTube. I am unsure of the exact reason; some say it is because of the election related political videos on it, and others say it is because of the blasphemous Danish cartoons. In any case, i find this action very imprudent and paranoid, and i hope this ban turns out to be temporary.
Because of this ban, all the YouTube videos which have been posted on this blog in the past would not be visible to Pakistani readers.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

They constantly try to escape
From the darkness outside and within
By dreaming of systems so perfect that no one will need to be good.
But the man that is shall shadow
The man that pretends to be.

T.S. Eliot
"So here is a sweeping generalization, but perhaps a useful one: Western societies are cultures of personal revelation and exposure, while Muslim cultures are traditionally structured around protecting honor and propriety. On our shrunken planet, the two codes bump up against one another, throwing each other into relief. The same era that's given us the tell-all circus that is Big Brother and a cybervideo of Paris Hilton in flagrante also seems to have produced a striking rise in Western Muslims taking up the veil. The more of private life Western pop culture reveals, the more Muslim women decide to conceal."

Carla Power, in her article Baring Our Selves
Published in Time Magazine. Read the article here.
'I started to look around and see a lot of people who were unhappy. They were anesthetizing themselves with gossip or alcohol or psychopharmaceuticals or affairs.'

Atoosa Rubenstein

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lord Asriel tells Lyra about the story of Adam and Eve.

"But..." Lyra struggled to find the words she wanted: "but it en't true, is it? Not true like chemistry or engineering, not that kind of true? There wasn't really an Adam and Eve? The Cassington scholar told me it was just a kind of fairy-tale."

"The Cassington scholarship is traditionally given to a free-thinker; it's his function to challenge the faith of the Scholars. Naturally he'd say that. But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minus one: you can never see any concrete proof that it exists, but if you include it in your equations, you can calculate all manner of things that couldn't be imagined without it."

Philip Pullman, Northern Lights [His Dark Materials Trilogy Part 1]
SKYLAR: Come with me to California.
WILL: What?
SKYLAR: I want you to come with me.
...
WILL: And you're sure about that?
SKYLAR: Yeah, I'm sure.
WILL: 'Cause that's a serious thing you're sayin'. I mean, we might be in California next week and you could find out somethin' about me that you don't like. And you might feel like "hey this is a big mistake." (getting upset) But you can't take it back, 'cause you know it's real serious and you can't take somethin' like that back. Now I'm in California, 'cause you asked me to come. But you don't really want me there. And I'm stuck in California with someone who really doesn't want me there and just wishes they had a take-back.
SKYLAR: "Take-back?" What is that? I don't want a take-back. I want you to come to California with me.
...
SKYLAR: Look, Will if you're not in love with me, you can say that.
WILL: I'm not sayin' I'm not in love with you.
SKYLAR: Then what are you afraid of?
WILL: What do you mean "What am I afraid of?"
...
SKYLAR: You're afraid of me. You're afraid that I won't love you back. And guess what? I'm afraid too. But at least I have the balls to it give it a shot. At least I'm honest with you.

Good Will Hunting
There is a certain form of ethics, prevalent especially among the middle-class sections of society, and which can be called the 'hardwork ethics'. It is perhaps not proclaimed consciously, but it is very easy to observe it at work at the subconscious level. Simply, it states that a good life is one which is spent working hard. A student is a good student if he studies all the time; an adult is good if he works hard at his job. Laziness and breaks from work are seen with the scorn of a sin. I am not saying hardwork is bad, or i am not advocating lethargy, but i do find this ethics absurd. It pays more attention to the activity than to the result. If a student can maintain good grades by studying for just a few hours daily, why should he study the whole day? And yet that is the impressions what most parents derive: if he isn't studying for a long time, then he isn't studying very well. On my part, i wouldn't like to put stress on hardwork per se, but on hardwork towards attaining a specific goal. Work hard as much as the goal requires you to, that's it. Relax, enjoy, read or pursue whatever activity you want to in the rest of your time. This is what is healthy, this is what is positive. But it is not uncommon for me to spot parents scolding their children during their vacations that they are wasting their time too much and not studying. Same goes for jobs. The second point is, life is not all about hardwork and/or pursuing a specific goal. There are other things in life, activities of leisure, relaxation and entertainment, which play a part in making our lives more meaningful. And which you can appreciate only when you take a break from 'working hard'. Those people who are proponents of the hardwork ethics probably had to work very hard in their own lives to ensure a living to their family, and that is why they come to regard hardwork so high and morally good, even when it is not required.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Some of the art work displayed in the restaurant Cuckoo's Den in Lahore, opposite Lahore Fort and Badshahi Masjid. Very beautiful place. All the paintings are made by Iqbal Hussain, who also owns the restaurant.

Photos taken by Tamoor.







'All i want is you' by Barry Louis Polisar from the opening credits of the movie Juno.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Love
By Henry Baker (1698-1774)

Love's an headstrong wild desire
To possess what we admire:
Hurrying on without reflecting,
All that's just or wise neglecting.
Pain or pleasure it is neither,
But excess of both together;
Now, addressing, cringing, whining,
Vowing, fretting, weeping, pining,
Murm'ring, languishing and sighing,
Mad, despairing, raving, dying:
Now, caressing, laughing, toying,
Fondling, kissing and enjoying.
Always in extremes abiding,
Without measure, fond or chiding:
Either furious with possessing,
Or despairing of the blessing:
Now transported; now tormented;
Still uneasy; ne'er contented.
None can tell its rise or progress,
Or its ingress or its egress,
Whether by a look produced,
Or by sympathy infused.
Fancy does so well maintain it,
Weaker reason can't restrain it,
But is forced to fly before it,
Or else worship and adore it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Muntazir Ankhain

M. Awais Aftab

Sometimes
When i gaze into your eyes
They remind me
Of the parched sand
Looking up at the dark clouds
The inky, swirling currents
Full of the promise of moisture
The rain...
When will it fall?
The droplets...
When will they caress the grains?
The dunes look up
Hopeful, waiting, expecting
Just like your eyes

on deviantART

Friday, February 15, 2008

Wildly charismatic. Impossibly brilliant. Totally rebellious. For the first 20 years of his life, Will Hunting has called the shots. Now he's about to meet his match.

Here is my favourite scene from the movie 'Good Will Hunting', an awesome awesome movie:

I discovered this excellent article about following your 'personal calling' by Surmed Shakeel on his blog, and i highly recommend reading it.

Here is an extract from it:

'So why is it so important to live our personal calling if we are only going to suffer more than other people?

Because once we have overcome the defeats - and we always do - we are filled with a greater sense of euphoria and confidence. in the silence if our hearts we know that we are proving ourselves worthy of the miracle of life. each day each hour is part of the good fight. we start to live with enthusiasm and pleasure. intense, unexpected suffering passes more quickly then suffering that is apparently bearable; the latter goes on for several years and without our noticing eats away at our soul until one day we are no longer able to free ourselves from the bitterness and it stays with us for the rest of our lives.'

Thursday, February 14, 2008

For my Belladonna:

A Welsh Love-spoon :)

This is a tradition from Wales, in which wooden love spoons were carved and given as gifts on Valentine's Day. Heart, keys and keyholes were the common and favourite decorations on them; these symbols signified 'you unlock my heart'.


This particular one is a 'musical love-spoon'. The treble clef symbolises the musical aspirations of the receiver or giver of this spoon, and the small heart carved in the clef is in keeping with the tradition of the lovespoon.

Have a happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"There are deceits that so accurately resemble truth that we would be bad judges if we were not deceived."

La Rochefoucald, Maxim 282

Saturday, February 9, 2008

X: You are hasty in forming judgements, that's your fault, but the good thing is that you are equally hasty in revising your opinions in the light of new evidence.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My cousin Sana went to visit London, and she took this picture of Stephen Hawking's wax statue at Madame Tussauds especially for me! So sweet of you, cuz', thanks!


Wednesday, February 6, 2008

I never knew love could be a silence in the heart,
A moment when the time is still,
And all I've been looking for is right here in my arms,
Just waiting for the chance to begin;

I never knew love could be the sunlight in your eyes,
On a day that you may not have seen,
And all I've been searching for, well words could never say,
When a touch is more than anything;

Maybe you will never know how much I love you,
But of this, be sure;
Here is your paradise, here is your book of life,
Where you and I will be forevermore,
Here is your paradise, here is your book of life,
Where you and I will be forevermore

Chris De Burgh, Here is Your Paradise
X: Stories... i wonder how much meaning they give to our lives; we listen to them, tell them, invent them.
Y: And live them!

Monday, February 4, 2008

She stood beside the half-open window, staring outside as the gentle droplets fell into the misty lap of the winter-ground. The wind striking her face had a soft coolness in it, as the rain neutralized the harshness of the cold. Oh, how she loved this weather! She didn't like downpours -- too intense, too loud. But drizzle was perfect -- delicate and quiet, as someone would later tell her, just like she was herself. She had always enjoyed the rain, let her thoughts roam as the winds played with her hair; but this time, all she could think about was him. Her thoughts kept revolving around the meagre memories she had of him, the fragments of glimpses she had stolen, the golden smiles, the shine in his warm eyes... yes, the eyes, she could feel something melting inside her. Her breathing became slighlty deeper and she noticed that the window-pane had become foggy by the exhaled vapours. Without thinking, she lifted her finger and drew a heart, and traced the words, 'I love him'. She looked at what she had written, and a smile appeared out of nowhere on her lips. And suddenly, a strange panic gripped her heart. 'What have you written!' someone screamed inside, and with a violent movement of her hand she wiped the window-pane clean, and ran out of the room, her heart thumping wildly...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Chloe: And this whole idea that you're still hiding who you really are, that you're giving up the one person that you totally love --
Clark: I'm protecting her.
Chloe: [Sarcastic] Good job. She's marrying a monster and trapping herself into a loveless life.
Clark: Chloe, you think this is easy for me?
Chloe: I think it's easier than getting hurt. You don't hesitate to run into a burning building or jump in front of a bullet because nothing can penetrate that iron flesh of yours. But the one time saving Lana means putting your heart on the line, the Man of Steel is nowhere to be found.

Smallville, Episode # 616

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Burden
M. Awais Aftab

Sometimes
Love can become a burden
And when you smile
I feel your lips being curved
By this weight
Your silent suffering
Pains me
But what can I do
Except love you more
Further increasing the weight of love
On your heart
And someday, I fear
It would break…

Friday, February 1, 2008

Me: I have noticed that i suck at judging whether the acting is good or bad.
Saad: That's because you channel all your faculties towards judging and measuring the story, the plot and the ideas. :P
X: You are perhaps the only person in the world who poses to be a flirt!
 

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