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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Turning to Quotations for Self Motivation...

"The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly."

The Buddha --- a spiritual teacher

How many of us go through the quotable quotes, and then don't remember any an hour later? The point is not to learn them by heart, only to impress others, but to learn something yourself. I know many such people who learn from the quotable quotations of the wise and noble ones in the past. When you're lost, and have nowhere else to turn to, for support, (regardless of religion) you can turn to these quotations.

It's like the wise people a click away, or across the corner.

You must have noticed that it's not just these quotes from the books that we quote, but even sometimes, some friends may have advised us on something, and some worthwhile statement may have lingered in our head, (which was their own) and we may quote it at times. If it is making sense, and is widely accepted and helps, then it is worth quoting. And of course if it is what gets you going, it becomes quotable for you.

The quote that I had painted on the wall of my room, which stayed there for many months was,

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” --- Wayne Dyer

I write them on the wall, so that I can read them when I need to. It helps a great deal. It's like, when you have nobody else to motivate you, when you most need it, then, why wait for somebody else to get you out of your misery, when you yourself can do that. You may remain miserable for a long long time, so it's better to help yourself under such circumstances. Because when you motivate yourself, it will last for long, but when you get that pep talk from somebody else, it will only have a temporary effect, which will wear off sooner than you think.

Try putting yourself in an environment that motivates you, that lifts your spirits and brings you to life every time you tend to lose it. Try doing what you love, for money, like taking up your hobby as a profession, and you will remain alive.

Or try working in surroundings that make you want to live each day. Like, for me, I love the mountains a great deal. So, living in the mountains and nature is what is going to make me live. (Though I'm not there yet)

Get a hold of a collection of quotable quotations, so when you need emotional support, you can help yourself.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Spirit Calling...

Last year, I was on my way to Lahore on a bus, when I met a girl from the National College of Arts. She belonged to Hunza (The Northern Areas), but lived in Lahore. We talked the whole way on a lot of issues and topics. One of them was "Spirit Calling". It was the first time I heard about spirit calling, and the girl told me about how she and her friends used to call the spirits to answer questions for them.

She told me about her experiences with the spirits. I learnt how to call the spirits, and the whole calling thing involved a paper and a glass. She asked me to write the alphabets from A to Zee on a white paper, and then write a Yes and a No in the center, and encircle them. Then put a glass inverted in the center of the page, and call the spirits, but don't go about doing this alone. There should be at least two people there. Place your index finger on the inverted glass. All you have to do is, say out loud, "Any kind and good spirits passing by, please come into this glass", "If you are here, kindly move the glass toward yes", then ask the spirit, if it's there. If you're lucky, the glass will move, otherwise it won't and you will have to keep repeating the call.

Now, my own experience regarding this whole spirit calling thing.

A friend and I tried this, and the glass moved, and then we asked questions and got answers. I thought my friend moved the glass, and she thought I moved the glass, so in order to resolve this confusion, each one of us asked questions in our minds, so that the other could not hear them, and still got answers.

Each one of us asked questions that the other didn't know the answer to, like, about the past and some secrets; and still got the correct answers. I thought whatever it was, that was causing the glass to move, could only answer questions that we knew the answers to, so it was probably reading our minds. It could be the Jinn, as I'm not sure if anybody is lucky enough for angels to come and move that glass for them.

The glass would move over each letter and the spellings would not always be correct. Some of the spirits spoke Persian, some English and other different languages. It was not easy communicating with them when they spoke the language you did not understand.

Well, it's something worth trying, so try calling the spirits and try figuring out what causes the glass to move? Oh and I've tried doing it alone too, and I knew I wasn't moving the glass myself. Weird !

Do let me know if you have tried it !

Can I Have This Dance?

Venessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez) and Zac Efron (troy bolton), in "Can I have this dance?" from High School Musical 3. I love this song. For those who don't know Zac's full name, it's Zachary David Alexander.


High School Musical, a Disney Channel Musical was released on the 20th of January, 2006. Followed by sequels "High School Musical 2, in 2007 and High School Musical 3 (Senior Year) in 2008. There is more to come! Yes, the High School Musical 4 (East Meets West) is announced to be released in 2010.
Ashley Tisdale (Sharpay Evans) and Lucas Grabeel (Ryan Evans) are twins in this movie. They are the antagonists, while Venessa Hudgens (Gabriella Montez) and Zac Efron (troy bolton), are the protagonists.

One of my friends' asked me if it was actually Zac singing in the movies, and not Drew Seeley. As far as I know, it is zac, though there could be some blending of voices; but Drew Seeley has denied that rumor.

Coming to the songs of High School Musical, of all the songs in the first movie, "Start Of Something New", "What I've Been Looking For" the Ryan and Sharpay version, "We're All In This Together", and "Breaking Free" were great and I loved them.

Of the High School Musical 2, the best songs were "Gotta Go My Own Way", "Bet On It", "Everyday", and "All For One", Oh and the song that I really really love to listen to, is "Humu humu nuku nuku apua'a" by Sharpay and Ryan.

Of the High School Musical 3, the songs I loved were, "Right Here, Right Now", "Can I Have This Dance?", "Can I Have This Dance?" (Reprise), and "We're All In This Together(Graduation Mix)".

Well, the first and second parts were really very good, in that the music was cool. But the third one, only a few of the songs did great.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Who would you rather be with?

There are people who, when you share some idea with, will always discourage you. Nothing for them is ever possible. They are always negative about everything. They are the people, that, once you get trapped with, will never let you succeed. They will keep pulling you back. They will make you think your life is over.

While on the other hand, there are people who are positive. They love life. They are optimists. Even when you’re down, they will lift your spirits. They will always encourage you. When you’re around them, you will feel energized. With them life means something to you. Nothing to you seems impossible.

With them you "live", and with the pessimists you "die"!


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Miley Cyrus

Sung by Miley Cyrus ! The teen pop sensation ! 

Originally this song was written by Robert Hazard, and he recorded a demo of the song in 1979. It was later re-sung by Cyndi Lauper in her album "She's So Unusual", released in 1983. It was a big hit in 1984. Here is the Miley Version of the song. I love this one !

Lyrics By Robert Hazard
I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we're not the fortunate ones
And girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun
The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you're still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have -
That's all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls - they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun
Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have
That's all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls - they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun,
They want to have fun,
They want to have fun....

Hard Luck

I was never into pop or rap music. Though I did listen to a few of the local pop singers on TV, but never even felt like becoming a fan of any. I've always been into heavy metal, rock and hard rock music. Though one of my friends' plays trance, but I'm not at all following it. And when you're not into the art, you're not much into the artist too.

So here goes how I got interested in knowing about the King of popular music.

Two days before Michael Jackson's mysterious and tragic death, I was surfing the YouTube and came across news of Michael Jackson's conversion to Islam. I got curious to know the truth behind it.

I shared the news, which was pretty old by now, with some of my friends for confirmation. They said it was true. I went through almost all of Michael Jackson's videos, his songs, his history and the news bit about his conversion. I watched almost all of his interviews.

It was the first time in my life, I ever actually "looked" at MJ's face. I wondered why he had undergone so many surgeries, including the nose reshaping. I watched one of his 1993 interviews' by Oprah Gail Winfrey , where he told her about how one of his fans had made fun of his pimpled face before his surgery days, and how he was deeply hurt and hated to look at himself in the mirror. He said, he avoided the mirror for a long time. Perhaps that was when he felt like going for surgery. I also noticed his voice, the soft tone, which felt like a female voice. I had never heard his voice before, so I got curious to know if the surgery had anything to do with that, cause he sounded different in the songs. I went through some of his childhood videos and interviews. In one of his interviews on the soul train, he spoke with the same soft voice, back in the Jackson 5 days.

The Jackson 5 was also a surprise for me. It was totally new to me. Back then, little Michael was kinda cute and I was amazed to see how talented he was since childhood. He was a total prodigy. I came to know he had stepped into performing when he was only eight. He had the same moves. He sure was better looking than the other of the Jackson 5.

I went about watching his dance performances, and even the later ones. His, what they call "moonwalking" fascinated me, and the "breakdance" was quite amazing. I was wondering why I had missed out on it all before. It was probably cause of his ever changing skin color and looks that I never took his music seriously. I felt sorry for him to have undergone so many surgeries.

Just when I had noticed the king of pop, "pop goes the weasel" !

Only two days of "Jackson Time", and I heard a shocking news about Jackson's death. It sure was so sudden. It had only been two days that I started developing interest in MJ's pop music and he died already. The news was very much upsetting.

It seemed as if two days ago, I was the only one curious to find out about him, and after he died, the media flooded with Jackson's news.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hannah Montana Fever

Yeah everybody, It's Hannah Montana time! Miley Cyrus plays Miley Stewart in a Disney channel comedy sitcom series, with her real life dad, Billy Ray Cyrus playing her dad "Robby Ray Stewart".

 Miley lives a double life. Miley is an average teenage girl, who goes to school like any other girl, has friends, hangs out with them, does her homework and lives a normal life. On the other hand, she is a famous teenage pop star, which even her own friends don't know in the beginning. Miley's birthname is Destiny Hope Cyrus. She was born on November 23rd, 1992.

On Hannah Montana, she has two BFFs, Lily and Oliver. Emily Osment plays Lily, while Mitchel Musso plays Oliver. Then there is Roxy, who is Hannah Montana's bodyguard. And how can one forget Miley's funny brother, Jackson? He is a mess. He's funny, and turns everything upside down. Miley and Jackson have their share of fights on the show, which are quite funny actually.

Watch out for Hannah Montana updates !

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adopt a Hobby...

Glass painting is a beautiful art, where the artist uses different techniques to paint either a looking glass, plain opaque glass, stained glass or glass windows. It's not necessary for you to be a professional artist in order to paint glass. Glass painting can be one of the many wonderful, creative, healthy and constructive hobbies that you can adopt, to relieve stress.

A few of the many reasons why I paint, is, to get my mind off of things that give me stress. Needless worry is a liability, and not an asset. It is what costs you a lot, but does not give you any benefit.

When I need to escape the unnecessary tension. I just grab a paint brush, some paints, and start painting. No matter what is bothering you, if you cannot find a solution to it, even after consulting many of your friends, and even professional help cannot make it better, then you seek shelter; and one of the healthy shelters you can find in "glass paintings".

Once you start painting to your heart's desire, you will forget about your worries. You will find yourself submerged in a world so colourful that it will help in cutting the needless worry from your life; and who knows, maybe you will create some masterpiece. It really helps.

Try not to paint for external appreciation. If so, and you do not get the desired response, you might end up adding more stress to your life. You have to make sure the painting does not become a matter of worry for you. No matter how you stroke the brush, know that it will always end in a beautiful abstract. Here, you are painting for yourself, so paint the way that pleases you. You can paint glass bottles, all shapes and sizes, small looking glass/mirror pieces, even big mirrors you can find, and the windows and whatever extra glass objects you feel like. There are different types of glass paints available in the market. I use Crystalline glass colors. They crystallize as they dry thus giving a crystallized/jack-frost effect.

Try it, and do let me know !

Good Luck, and AdiĆ³s !

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Beyond Thoughts and Paradigms....

My little sister and I were out for a walk last night. The sky was clear around 11:00pm and the stars were shining brightly. She looked up, saw the North Star, and asked me which planet it was. I told her it was Venus.

Then I went about telling her how the planets reflected light, and appeared brighter, while the stars emitted light or radiation. She kept asking me questions about the universe. One of them was, that if to us, all the heavenly bodies appear up above in the sky, does it mean, that to anybody on those planets, we would appear down under in space? I said No, the way we are attracted to our planet's center of gravity, so we walk with our feet on the ground, and heads toward the sky, and that’s true for anywhere around the world; the same way, anybody on other planets would be walking, due to their planet’s center of gravity, feet on the ground and heads toward the sky, and so to them, we too would appear up above in their sky.

Then she asked if God only made earth with an intelligent life form like humans and sent prophets here? To this question, I told her what I always thought of the Universe, since childhood.

I thought this universe was so big and earth was so small even as compared to most of the planets in its own solar system. Why would God make such a huge Universe with countless stars and galaxies, when there had to be intelligent life form only on earth, which is so small? If suppose I have a few hundreds TB (terabytes) space on my Personal Computer, why would I use only a few Bytes for some application software, and why did I even buy those hundreds of TBs if I only had to use a few Bytes? Its not like humans are the OS (Operating system) or the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) of the universe. The point is that, there definitely is much much more intelligent life forms out there in space.

There could definitely be other planets in some other solar systems in space, which would be a home to these much brighter creatures. Take the example of the different life forms God has created on this planet of ours alone, and not to forget the jinns mentioned in the Holy Qur’an.

God has created angels too. Some would say, what about humans being "Ashraf-ul-Makhluqat"?

On the use of the word Ashraf ul Makhluqat, Sheikh Ahmed Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada says, that, "the title ashraful Makhluqat or ashraf-ul-Khalq (the best of creation) is generally used for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who has been chosen by Allah Almighty to be the seal of Prophets. I do not think it is used generally to all human beings. However, it is true that Almighty Allah refers to the ummah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the best nation on the face of the earth so long as they remain steadfast on faith, enjoin what is good and forbid what is bad."

In the Holy Qur'an God says, in Surah Teen, Chapter 95, Verse 4, “Indeed Allah has created the human in the best of forms.”

Pickthal translation: “Surely We created man of the best stature“
Shakir translation: “Certainly We created man in the best make.”
Yusuf Ali translation: “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds”

And in Surah Al-e-Imran, Chapter 3, Verse 110, God says, "Ye are the best community that hath been raised up for mankind. Ye enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and ye believe in Allah."

The word Ashraf-ul-Makhluqat is thus not used for mankind, but only for the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), as he is the best of all mankind. And Humans are the best nations on the face of this earth.

Now coming back to the topic, the way God sent over 1,24,000 Prophets on earth for guiding the humans (And Jinns), the same way God would have sent down messengers on other planets with intelligent life forms, from among them, for guiding them.

I believe that the other life forms on other planets would be far more intelligent than us, though some might be dumb.

Taking a closer look at the progress we have made, with all the unemployment, the man-made disasters, the disease, the hunger, the poverty, the confused scientists still looking for cures to certain diseases, we realize that we may not be the most intelligent ones in the whole Universe. The point is that, God could not have went all the way creating this boundless, endless universe only to put humans the only intelligent life form here. That would be so unfair to think.

Coming to a common question most people ask. If there are any much brighter and more intelligent life forms out there, why haven’t we heard from them so far? (Apart from all the fiction and movies).

This is serious. So here goes what I think. Well, here this question makes me think of Chapter 55, Surah Ar-Rahman.

In Surah Ar-Rahman Chapter 55, Verses 19 and 20, God says,
19. “He has let loosed the two seas (the salt water and the sweet) meeting together.”
20. ”Between them is a barrier which none of them can transgress.”

The barrier being that both waters have different densities, so they don’t mix together and flow side by side.

The way the sweet and salty waters cannot transgress their limits, further in another verse 33, Ar-Rahman Chapter 55, God says,

33. “O assembly of jinns and men! If you have power to pass beyond the zones of the heavens and the earth, then pass (them)! But you will never be able to pass them, except with authority (from Allah)!”

So the point is that, the way our Earthlings both the Jinns and Humans can’t escape these bounds, due to the barriers of the difference in the media of the Earth and the Space. (The fact that there is much more higher power required, and a medium Oxygen needed for us to survive, which won’t necessarily be a medium for some other life forms in the universe elsewhere). We can't even survive a heat wave on earth without proper measures, so getting closer to some planets or the stars with massive heat emissions is out of the question. And then overcoming the gravitational forces here and there also require a lot of force. In the same way, these other intelligent life forms, in other galaxies, may also not have the authority to do so. And thus we haven’t heard from them yet.....

Well, there is much more on this, but I would love to hear your bright ideas about outer space. So bring 'em on !

Friday, July 10, 2009

De Viento (Cafe)

This cafe lies to the left of the ring road to Hayatabad, Peshawar. Yeah, that's Pakistan. I haven't yet tried it out, but am sure it must be as good as it looks from the outside. This whole structure is quite attractive. Never thought I'd see a design like this in Peshawar. It sure does add to the beauty of this area. Anybody been there? Do let me know !

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Once upon the roads....

Yeah, once upon the roads of Peshawar, not so far ago in time, I still remember when I used to wake up early in the morning, get ready and set out for office on foot. I would walk to the nearby bus stop, and would hop onto a public bus.

It was fun being on the bus during winters. I loved the walk, to and from the bus stop. I would walk for as much of the distance as I could, not because I couldn't afford a transportation, but because I thought this walk was good for me.

There would be so much traffic. It was always hard to cross the road even in the mornings. The whole walk for me, to and from my workplace was approximately one and a half hour a day. I enjoyed it a lot.

Watching people sitting on top of the buses, hanging from the buses, and so many people inside the bus, that it seemed as if they were stuffed in. I would climb the bus early in the morning, would sit in the women's area inside the bus, though when I got late sometimes, I'd love to stand for the whole trip.

The bus would stand at each stop on the way for quite some time, gathering more and more passengers onboard. The conductor would shout, "Break-sha ostaaz" means, stop the bus, so that some could get off, while others could get on. Then he would shout, "Chalao" which meant "go". I learnt that if you want to get off the bus, just shout to the driver, "Break Sha Ostaaz".

Peshawar, a full of life city, the capital of NWFP, today you won't see as much traffic as there was. It was always fun to set out on foot, and walk the roads. Today it's a bit risky, cause you never know when and where you may hear a blast. Those who love to walk, still do, but most don't. You will find less than half the traffic on roads now.

I wish and hope things would get normal like they were, and Peshawar would once again come back to life.

Though to me, it is pretty much alive !