Friday, May 30, 2008

"In Pakistan, for example, it is morally right to marry girls off asap. It is immoral to ‘go into details’ about the proposed husband as such matters have to be left to Allah. It is perfectly acceptable for these girls to be subsequently unhappy in their marriages. They are allowed, nay encouraged, to vent their unhappiness by revealing true and untrue allegations about their husbands and in-laws. It is immoral to even think of getting these girls out of these disastrous marriages. To the ‘group’ being married is important; being unhappily married is your kismet."

Sameera Raja, Morality Check: On the horns of a dilemma
[From this week's Dawn Magazine]
"Stendhal syndrome, Angel says, is a medical term. It's when a painting, or any form of art, is so beautiful it overwhelms the viewer. It's a form of shock. When Standhal toured the Church of Santa Croce in Florence in 1817, he reported almost fainting from joy. People feel rapid heart palpitations. They get dizzy. Looking at great art makes you forget your own name, forget even where you're at. It can bring on depression and physical exhaustion. Amnesia. Panic. Heart attack. Collapse."

Chuck Palahniuk, Diary

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Me and my brother were having one of our philosophical discussions when he brought up a very interesting thought-experiment: Imagine a world in which fate exists (this would be the present world for those who do believe in fate), and now try to imagine a world in which fate does not exist. On the whole, is there any difference at all that can be distinguished? Both me and my brother agreed on the point that there would be no obvious difference between the two worlds. That means, from an objective, scientific point of view, the theory of fate is superfluous (pretty much like the existence of Ether in physics). However, i was of the opinion that this doesn't rule out the possibility of fate as well, because i have always had this queer idea that divine interventation may work through the element of randomness, and in the absence of fate, the interactions between persons do seem like random collisions and bondings of particles.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

'Forget what we're told
Before we get too old'


Snow Patrol, Chasing Cars

How important it is to 'unlearn' the erroneous beliefs and prejudices that we have been exposed to during our upbringing is something that very few become aware of. And then soon one is too old to get rid of them.

Monday, May 26, 2008

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences."
Robert Green Ingersoll

Don't know about nature, but certainly very true about life.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I was walking in the market a day before, and suddenly for a few moments, i don't know why, i became extra-conscious of all the people around me, their faces, their expressions, their eyes (which were mostly empty), their mechanical movements as they walked or drove or just sat... and then it occured to me that i had just experience something which Camus had once written: "At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face." [The Myth of Sisyphus] And i understood what it meant.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The research of Professor Steven Reiss has revealed that there are 16 basic desires and motivations that form the basis of almost all meaningful behaviour. These 16 desires are:

* power
* independence
* curiosity
* acceptance
* order
* saving
* honor
* idealism (in a sense)
* social contact
* family
* status
* vengeance
* romance
* eating
* physical exercise
* tranquility

[The ones which are of greater significance to me are in bold.]

Different people have different levels of desire for each of these motivations, which may range from passionate pursuit, to some interest and to complete indifference. Have a look at the list and find out which of these motivate you.

[For those interested, here is an excellent article on Reiss's theory: http://www.jefallbright.net/node/1504]

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Meredith: Hey.
Derek: Hey. You almost died today.
Meredith: Yeah, I almost died today. [Pause. Derek is at a loss for words and starts heading to the door, when she suddenly speaks] I can't, I can't remember our last kiss. All I could think about was I'm going to die today and I can't remember our last kiss. Which is pathetic but the last time we were together and happy, I... want to be able to remember that, and I can't. I can't remember.
Derek: I'm glad you didn't die today. [Starts to leave but stops] It was a Thursday morning, you were wearing that ratty little 'Dartmouth' T-shirt you look so good in, the one with the hole at the back of the neck. You'd just washed you hair and you smelled like some kind of...flower. I was running late for surgery, you said you were going to see me later, and you lean to me, put you hand on my chest and you kissed me. Soft. It was quick. Kind of like a habit. You know, like we'd do it everyday for the rest of our lives. And you went back to reading the newspaper and I went to work. That was the last time we kissed. [Derek starts to leave]
Meredith: Lavender. My hair smelled like lavender...from my conditioner.
Derek: Lavender. Huh. [Smiles then leaves]

Grey's Anatomy, Episode # 217

Monday, May 19, 2008

“Florentino Ariza wrote every night. Letter by letter, he had no mercy as he poisoned himself with the smoke from the palm oil lamps in the back room of the notions shop, and his letters became more discursive and more lunatic the more he tried to imitate his favorite poets from the Popular Library, which even at that time was approaching eighty volumes. His mother, who had urged him with so much fervor to enjoy his torment, became concerned for his health. 'You are going to wear out your brains,' she shouted at him from the bedroom when she heard the first roosters crow. 'No woman is worth all that.' She could not remember ever having known anyone in such a state of unbridled passion. But he paid no attention to her. Sometimes he went to the office without having slept, his hair in an uproar of love after leaving the letter in the prearranged hiding place so that Fermina Daza would find it on her way to school. She, on the other hand, under the watchful eye of her father and the vicious spying of the nuns, could barely manage to fill half a page from her notebook when she locked herself in the bathroom or pretended to take notes in class. But this was not only due to her limited time and the danger of being taken by surprise, it was also her nature that caused her letters to avoid emotional pitfalls and confine themselves to relating the events of her daily life in the utilitarian style of a ship's log. In reality they were distracted letters, intended to keep the coals alive without putting her hand in the fire, while Florentine Ariza burned himself alive with every line.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I had never thought i would be saying this, but sometimes i feel a sense of association and sympathy towards religious-minded people living in the company of not-so-religious persons, despite disapproving of their views. Perhaps it is the sense of being the odd-one out, the sense of alienation due to firm adherence in something you believe. Average people tend to lead lives of blissful religious hypocrisy, and any person who shows signs of leading his/her life according to some beliefs or philosophy, whether religious or secular, becomes an anomaly.

Friday, May 16, 2008

"The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

Anaïs Nin

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Just sit back, free your mind, and put your thoughts in a state of oscillation, and then listen to this song... and maybe it'll mesmerize you like it did me.



Wonder why I'm so caught of guard when we kiss.
Rather live my life in regret than end this.
What happened to the love we both knew?
We both chased.
Hanging on a cigarette you need me, you burn me, you'll burn me.

[lyrics slightly modified]

Jimmy Eat World, Disintegration

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A quote that i always repeat to myself when i have to make a choice between being myself and being what the society tells me:

'Go live your life, son,' he said. 'Some folks'll hate you, some folks'll love you, most folks haven't made up their mind. It's up to you.' [John Grisham, The Bleachers]

But i think the real problem occurs when the 'some folks' that hate you turn out to be the 'some folks' that you love.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

See a painting of the goddess Venus, Venus Anadyomene (literally 'Venus rising from the sea'), drawn by Titian here.

The interesting thing to note (for me, at least) is that the great goddess of beauty would be considered over-weight by our modern standards. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

How many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesnt see?

Bob Dylan, Blowin' in the wind

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Tagged by Kurri Pataki, so here i go...

1. Last movie you saw in a theatre?
Goal

2. What book are you reading?
'The Solitaire Mystery' by Jostein Gaarder, and 'Reason in Revolt' by Alan Woods and Ted Grant

3. Favorite board game?
Ludo... nothing beats it :)

4. Favorite magazine?
Us Magazine... i am sure there are better magazines out there, like Time and Reader's Digest, but i only happen to read them when my buddy Saad lends them to me. :D

5. Favorite smells?
Freshly shampooed hair.

6. Favorite sounds?
Umm.. Musical?

7. Worst feeling in the world?
The feeling of being a failure

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Her. :)

9. Favorite fast food place?
No specific. But i have visited AFC most frequently.

10. Future child’s name?
Lolz. Don't know... umm, well, if it is a girl, i may name her after my first serious crush. ;)

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?
Make a library of my own, and visit all the expensive restaurants.

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
Nope. Never.

13. Storms - cool or scary?
Cool!

14. Favorite drink?
Fanta, these days. Before that i had a craze for Moutain Dew

15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
No use, cause i'd still have the usual, limited energy...

16. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
I don't eat broccoli

17. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Like my hair the colour they are... black.

18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
Lahore.

19. Favorite sports to watch?
No favourites, but sometimes cricket

20. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
She is nice enough to read my blog sometimes... lolz

21. What’s under your bed?
Nothing

22. Would you like to be born as yourself again?
I'd like to be born in different conditions, but i guess the circumstances in which we live are a part of who we are, so if i was born in different circumstances, I wouldn't be same "I", which is a bit disconcerting...

23. Morning person, or night owl?
Night owl... when it is possible for me

24. Over easy, or sunny side up?
Sunny side up.

25. Favorite place to relax?
My room

26. Favorite pie?
No inclination for pies.

I'll pass on this Tag to Raaji (if u aren't tired of Tags yet, lolz), Nouman and Kishore

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The traditional philosophical position about a statement being true is that it conforms to some 'fact' which exists in 'reality'... then came Pragmatism, which said that a statement/idea is true if it 'works' in practice, since 'reality' is unknown/doesn't exist independently of human experience. But fled not yet, dear reader, for i do not plan to give a lecture on philosophy. But it occured to me today that there is another philosophy about truth which is being followed by people in the world, which probably has not been christened uptil now, and if that is so, i shall be the first to do so. According to this philosophy that statement or news is 'true' which sounds more 'fun', and i shall call this philosophy of truth 'Apolausticism' (from the word apolaustic, 'dedicated to enjoyment'). As would be obvious to intelligent people, this philosophy is most at work during gossiping, and is adhered to, ususally subconsciously, by the gossipers... so all you gossip lovers out there, now you have a well-defined philosophy to follow! Metaphysicists of future, i have eased your job. :)
"The one who sees through destiny must also live through it."

Jostein Gaarder, The Solitaire Mystery

Sunday, May 4, 2008

"You know when I said I knew little about love? That wasn't true. I know a lot about love. I've seen it, seen centuries and centuries of it, and it was the only thing that made watching your world bearable. All those wars. Pain, lies, hate... It made me want to turn away and never look down again. But when I see the way that mankind loves... You could search to the furthest reaches of the universe and never find anything more beautiful. So yes, I know that love is unconditional. But I also know that it can be unpredictable, unexpected, uncontrollable, unbearable and strangely easy to mistake for loathing, and... What I'm trying to say, Tristan is... I think I love you. Is this love, Tristan? I never imagined I'd know it for myself. My heart... It feels like my chest can barely contain it. Like it's trying to escape because it doesn't belong to me any more. It belongs to you. And if you wanted it, I'd wish for nothing in exchange - no gifts. No goods. No demonstrations of devotion. Nothing but knowing you loved me too. Just your heart, in exchange for mine."

From the movie Stardust
Read my friend Kishore's touching and inspiring experience in Neonatal and Gynaecological ward:

"There, in an unlikely place, drowned in cries of infants and the insane babbling of new mothers, I became something I never thought I'd become. No, I became something I thought I should never become. (In one crazy moment which Abraham Maslow might've called Self-actualisation,) I became a mystic."

See the full post on his blog.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

'As a rule, Pakistanis do not believe in privacy... Now, there is one thing that is particularly important for Pakistani elders after the marriage of their children, their niece and nephews, the children of their friends, their acquaintainces and just about anybody's children. They lean over in a show of secrecy, assuming intimacy, feigning privacy, and ask a question - in earnest - that is out of bounds of all reason, of all propriety, of all respect for the privacy of two individuals (granted to them by their religion, mind you, which for all purposes is conveniently used to shut children up). A question that is preposterous! A question that leaves one baffled, confused, speechless:
"Kya tym donon ki understanding ho gayi hai?"...
"Have you reached an 'understanding'?"
Confused, the newlyweds reply, "What do you mean by 'understanding'?"
"Oye, understanding, yaar?" says the friendly uncle. "Understanding beta, tumhain pata tu hai," repeats the chatty aunty.
The couple betrothed just minutes ago remains baffled.
"Oh, You know what we mean. Husbandly-wifely understanding! You understand each other, no? You know..."

Khadija Hassan, The story of Heer and Ranjha

Friday, May 2, 2008

I usually don't make New Year Resolutions. This year i did make one, a very atypical one, which i don't plan to reveal on the blog [;)], but which was fullfilled today to my great pleasure and delight. Sorry for the air of mystery, but i felt i had to write something about it! :)

An interesting interpretation of Picasso's painting La Grenade:

 

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