Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Sins are forgiven through Hajj. But so are sins forgiven in through fasting, in the last ten nights of Ramadan, on Fridays, first ten days of Dhul Hijjah, in the last one third of any night and pretty much whenever one asks for it sincerely enough. The key is in sincerity, a desperate willingness to be sin-free. If the sincerity and desperation is missing from Hajj then one will return with not an ounce of his sins reduced. Yet it is just so easy to get caught up with the flow of the events and not have time to purify the sincerity, intensify the desperation. Last one third of the night goes by every night, I cannot wake up, because I know there is a Friday at the end of the week when sins are forgiven. Fridays go by, I do not ask desperately enough because Ramadan is coming. Ramadan goes by, in the hope of the last ten nights. I let go of the last ten nights lightly, because I know more opportunities to have the sins wiped up, to have the barriers between me and my Lord lifted, to purify myself inside out is coming. I know there are still great opportunities left to have the prayers accepted.

My only fear is, what if I let go of that chance too?!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

words that touch - 2

"There is a reason why you have been given two ears and one mouth--to listen more and say less".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It was nice having the experienced aunties and apus giving me insights into marriage in the long run, but what disappointed me was the tone of warning of some of them (not all)--
-- enjoy your life, now that there is no children in sight
-- wait till a few more years have passed, he will stop pretending to be so nice
-- compromise and be patient, this life shouldn't be all about enjoyment, your reward will be in the life after death.
It disappointed me to hear those warnings and seeing the attitude of 'I know what horrible things lie ahead, you don't". At the same time my heart filled with hope and respect as some of aunties were so gracious about being married, so grateful that they are married, so happy that they are with their husbands, so appreciative of their husbands despite of years of life together (without being blind to their faults). I don't know how will I change in the next ten years or so (if I am still alive), but I never want to get tired of being married, never want to be wistful about the life before marriage, never want to get a big blow by a 'previously-unknown-horrible-side' of my husband. I always want to feel as I feel now, grateful that my husband is constantly bringing out the best of me, and I want to keep doing the same to him. I think it becomes easier to think that way if one comes out of the typical bangali attitude: marriage is the be all and end all. I see marriage as Allah's way of putting two random human beings together, giving an unaccounted for amount of love and mercy between them and testing them in the process. A believer is another believer's mirror, and the closest mirror is one's spouse. I think if one tries to remember that, then one is sure to stop complaining about their husbands to random people and seeking only Allah's help in loving and respecting their husbands, and asking only Allah to remove the faults that they dislike, along with timely reminders... and building a partnership that will benefit them both.
I only ask Allah that my husband's faults appear insignificant to my eyes and my faults to his.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Having been back from the first day of an intense weekend course on Akhirah, I am quite shaken. I do want to stay this shaken for as long as can (in other words, forever), because I find it really hard to stay constant in my actions, words and motivation. One of the things that really shook me was the supplication of the Prophet (S) for a dead person he would come across, so that the departed soul is granted 'a better family' than his current one, and 'a better home' than his current home.

In other words, when there are some people in the family that are disproportionately less true in faith, then they can be forgotten and not missed at all, rather Allah will grant the rest of the more believing family members with another family that they much prefer over their previous family.

I shudder to think about that...

Or the humiliation after a life full of wrong deeds and disobedience, the humiliation that starts right from death. First the soul refuses to leave the body, then once its harshly torn out of the body, then it starts smelling bad and is cursed by angels. "When a person dies, then either the person is in comfort or other people who he departed are comforted by his departure". Dear God, do not make me one whose departure comforts a single innocent soul or creation.

And the life in the grave... simple things in life can make so much difference: firm steady faith and practice, recitation of Surah Mulk every night, speaking the truth, having a good character... all of these simple, consistent, daily efforts. Efforts that are so hard to make, but the consequence of not making which are so very severe...

Dear God, never let me lose the Akhirah, 'the other choice', from its right perspective...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

words that touch: 1

"When they rise to prayer, they rise reluctantly and only to be seen by people. They remember Allah but little". (Surah Nisa: 142)

How very scary...

Friday, June 12, 2009

I came across something that I think wonderfully summarises my own thoughts on marriage:
Human potential is shaped by human interaction.
Relationships are a tool designed by God to refine us.
Marriage, used properly, is a people growing machine.

Monday, May 25, 2009

graffiti in Bangladesh

bitter lessons of life 3
Originally uploaded by shondhabati

I love reading Graffiti in Bangladesh. They lack colour, but they never fail to tell you of the sincere pain that prompted such production.

I found that on the wall of an old building on top of a hill in 'himchori'.

It says: "Expected love has been pain today".
Poor guy , poor Romeo!
Is that really a Romeo case or is the 'expected love' the source of all pain?
Did he get the girl and discover she isn't at all what he expected?
Or was it the girl who refused to become his love and fulfill his expectations?

I discovered myself making up stories of the person behind the graffito. I assumed it was written by a guy because more often then not, in Bangladeshi context, they are written by guys.

bitter lessons of life 3
Originally uploaded by shondhabati

This one says "Troy will destroy ur life".
I will leave the interpretation to the discretion of the reader. I found this one on a seat in a local bus.

bitter lessons of life 2
Originally uploaded by shondhabati

This one says "Vondo" or "traitor/hypocrite/betrayer". I found it in the National Park in Gazipur.

craving love
Originally uploaded by shondhabati

I found this one particularly funny. Some dude named 'Farhad' left his mobile number with a small inscription "lack of love".
I hope some soft heart listened to the pining of his lonely heart and made a good use of the number!

Originally uploaded by shondhabati

I don't think I should call it graffiti, wall painting sounds more appropriate. I found it on the wall of the Art college. Loved the intricate work.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

feeble attempt of disciplining the self

Trying to make black and white of the grey areas is a damn silly thing to do, because there are some things that are made to be grey.

some Wilde moments

"It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But ... it is better to be good than to be ugly. OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray"

I skimmed through this quote a few days ago, while making a mental note, I have to get back to that. Was he being sarcastic? I haven't read him, so don't know the actual context, but most people seem to think so. Socially better? I think not. May bring some temporary advantage though, an advantage when you are a public figure may be, or when you never really mingle with people. But if you do, if you prefer to have a few close friends, or like participating in grueling discussions that will reveal the core of your heart, then beauty doesn't help. Beauty and sincerity is good; beauty, charm and sincerity is even better; but beauty, charm and wickedness is the worse possible combination. It is better to be naïve, downright sincere and ugly. Or at least I think so.

(I kept reading through the Oscar Wilde quotes until I formed the resolution that I must read his stuff. So what I ain't an English major?)

"The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray"
(If he was living today, he would see very few living people disagreeing with him)

"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. OSCAR WILDE, Lady Windermere's Fan"
(People are getting too good at the use of this euphemism these days… I get confused, frequently enough).

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. OSCAR WILDE, The Importance of Being Earnes"
(Really? I won't consider that a tragedy to its entirety, but in some cases that sure would be fatal...)

"I can resist everything except temptation. OSCAR WILDE, Lady Windermere's Fan"
(He said what I had to say :$.)

"Pleasure is Nature’s test, her sign of approval. When man is happy, he is in harmony with himself and his environment. OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism"
(Man, why couldn't he say Allah instead of Nature? We could've tried promoting him as a secret Muslim.)

"Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative. OSCAR WILDE, Aristotle at Afternoon Tea"
(Then I would rather be unimaginative!)

"To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable. OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray"

"A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism"

"There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. OSCAR WILDE, The Picture of Dorian Gray"
(Still, I would rather be not talked about!)

"The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing. Journalism, conscious of this, and having tradesman-like habits, supplies their demands. OSCAR WILDE, The Soul of Man Under Socialism"
(Man, how did I become so average?)

"As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. OSCAR WILDE, The Critic as Artist"
(Let's see if and when that happens).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

love is in the air

My newly acquired nephew, who, if you ask his age will immediately respond with a shy smile: “My age is three years and nine months”, had an early lesson, a bit too early. He learnt about marriage and became very interested in getting married himself. Few weeks after seeing his uncle undergoing this strange procedure called ‘marriage’, he sat down with his grandmother and declared, confidingly, he is interested in getting married. He even showed the couch where he intends to sit his bride on that grand occasion. He added a bit shyly that his grandmother must ask his mother to let him sit down beside ‘his bride’. He wants to sit beside her and feed her sweets.

Poor child, he has to wait another 20 years or so before his mother lets him do any such thing!

This child never stops surprising me. I have no idea what can he possibly comprehend with his relatively smooth frontal lobe, but I can tell, he becomes very embarrassed if he accidentally sees his uncle showing any sign of affection towards me.

However, he himself is an expert in his expression of affection. The day before I was leaving my husband’s homeland, I couldn’t stop tears from rolling down my cheek when my teary mother-in-law was stroking my head with great affection. Then this little guy climbed on his mother’s lap and put his small arms around my neck, hugged me and kissed my face with his soft lips, as if, he is prepared to heal any of my wound with his affection alone!

Such an adorable little one!

He is just one of the little gifts Allah bestowed on me lately. My mother-in-law, Ammu as I call her, is a woman whose face and words are reflections of her clean and affectionate heart. The very first day she came to see me she emptied her own drink on my glass. I immediately felt the warmth of her heart. When I first went to her house, she insisted on feeding me with her own hand. I was feeling shy, such gestures of affection are generally unheard of in Bangladesh. It is generally the brides who are expected to take care of their mother-in-laws like queens, but mother-in-laws usually treat their daughter-in-laws neither as princesses nor as daughters.

That day I recognised the origin of my husband’s endless capacity of loving and giving.

I must also mention the other mother I lately acquired, my uncle’s wife in relation, but her husband and my uncle conducted my marriage ceremony, which entitled him with the special honour of ‘Ukeel Baba’ according to Bangladeshi custom. My marriage ceremony was held in their house. I have never seen any other couple comparable in their ability of giving so warmly. Specially my aunty, Nargis mami has helped us, the young couple in her own discreet ways. Starting from helping me make the decision of joining with my life partner to helping our romance to survive and flourish in every possible way. She would scold me like a real mother if I spent too long in the bathroom while my husband waited for me, sometimes she would prepare our meal in a tray and tell me to take that to the seclusion of our room, only so that we get a little more privacy. Of course she would never admit that, ‘its only so that I like my kitchen clean, but the kids are running around here, they will go crazy at the sight of food’. I will never forget her long talks on what makes a relationship click (hint: the c word). During our very long stay in her house, I have never felt uncomfortable, always had plenty of food on the table, and never saw the beautiful smile fading from her face. I knew her to be a strong woman with complete control over her emotion, but she was weeping the day I was leaving!

Of course my parents have done everything in their capacity to ensure all these love for me, the best gift any parents can give. And they haven’t washed their hands off me yet, they are still pouring grease to make my journey smooth. I cannot explain how their eyes light up every time they look at the happy and content me.

I have been restraining myself long enough from saying anything about the centre of this post--my friend and life partner. He is a blessing in my life. It has been less than two months, but we don’t even have to look at each other to understand each other, despite of all the differences in cultural context or lack of time spent together. All I can say is, it is entirely Allah’s giving. He knows how to make me feel 100%, complete and he spared no opportunity of doing so in last couple of months. I love his his jokes, his unique way of relating things, his ability to adopt, his soft heart. Of course there are a few things I don’t like about him, but thank god for those, because they are superficial, minor and changeable flaws. Allah is merciful enough to make him an erroneous human through those and not any other major ones.

I thank Allah for granting me the best of the best.

I miss him. A lot.