Monday, May 17, 2010


So we watched the movie, googled the info, witnessed the daily destruction on the news, from earthquakes in China and Haiti, Floods in Sri-lanka to volcano’s in Iceland. Certainly something is stirring in the depths of our planet.
If you haven’t had the least bit of interest in the “day after tomorrow”, then let me toss you a nutshell. According to the Aztec/Mayan calendar a series of cataclysmic events are set to be triggered on 21st December 2012, which marks the end of a 5,125 year-long cycle. The phenomenon has had various interpretations from New Age beliefs in a spiritual shift, to claims of black hole developments and the “end of the world.” It may seem rather whimsical to believe that the world is doomed to end on the 21st of December, yet at the same time, occurrences around the world beg to differ. I have my personal beliefs, which are highly biased and bordering on skepticism on the issue but for the purposes of this rant, I shall shelve it to make way for a more pressing social concern.
SO! It is evident that as sophisticated as we humans are, we cannot control Mother Nature and her forces, they are indeed more powerful than any one Individual, Nation or Continent. In fact sometimes we humans can’t even control artificial constructions as was proven by the Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. However what we can control is ourselves. God, or nature for those who are agnostic, has equipped man with “free will”, the power to make decisions. Some of us may believe in destiny and fate. The rest may believe that you are what you “maketh” of yourself. Either way we all do agree on a spectrum of “free will”.
Now let us put all this waffle in perspective. On one hand there is apparently this date in the future that the world is going to end on, and on the other there are us human beings traversing on a path of free will.
Regardless of one’s convictions on the whole 2012 saga, it is interesting to reflect on who we are and if we would be happy with ourselves if we did indeed die tomorrow or in two years; yet here the Mayan calendar gives us a specific date and assuming that this date is true, what does that mean for us?
Such a predicament cannot be viewed through a generic lens. Instead it must be viewed from two separate lens, those who believe in carnal pursuits and the satisfaction of wants in the here and now, and those who believe in a hereafter and eternal bliss or perpetual damnation. People combine the two lenses in varying degrees but let us examine it from the extremes of both perspectives.
Say, you believe that before you die you need to satisfy your unlimited wants and achieve things you would over 40 years within 2 years. You need to travel the world, date an absolutely delectable specimen or get married, eat and drink your heart out, spend a fortune in Vegas, do things you always wanted to do, and enjoy what the world has to offer then THIS is the time, here and now 2 years before doomsday, so you better get cracking! There is no need for investments and retirement plans that mature when you are 60. You need to live life to the fullest. This is usually the response held by people who survive lethal brushes with death and for those who have been told they have “X number of days, or months to live.” The merits of this view, is that, indeed a satisfied life is more rewarding as one feels “alive”.
On the other hand there is the lens of those who believe in an after-life. Even if your conviction in God may not be that strong, most people feel that they “have time”, to settle their scores before they die.
BUT, what if you were told, “Look Mr. you have 2 years to earn your keep in the gardens of Eden.” What then? Would you rush to Mosques, Churches, Temples and Synagogues more often? Would you clear your debts, take care of the needy, the hungry and the afflicted? Would you be kinder to your neighbours and spend evenings and weekends with your family instead of overtime at work? Well what we fail to realize is that indeed we have been told this in our scriptures, we have a limited time to earn our keep, yet we assume that we have scores of it.
Perhaps, it is not a bad thing then that there is a specific date that we have to “live” until. Mainly because all the worlds major religions propagate that life on this earth is impermanent and that there is a need for self-restraint and kindness to ourselves, others and the environment around us. Yet more often than not we seem to be planning for a distant date in the human calendar rather than an assured day that we have been warned about by God.
So what if we all clear up our acts by 2012? Find a balance between “living in this world” and “living in the hereafter”. What if we say to ourselves, by December 21st 2012 I want to be a better person. Whether this means you want to be more accomplished or you want to augment your spiritual satisfaction doesn’t matter, as long as we set a target, that we would be at peace with should we die on that particular day. It is just a reminder that this world is capricious and both science and religion have established that one day indeed, the world will end. You may label it God’s decree or Earths revenge, or just the natural scientific order of things yet assuredly we all come to an end regardless of your definition, and so will this bounteous planet.
Thus we need to be aware that in the end it is a patent reality that we are all liable for the lives of others, how we treat others around us matters more in the hereafter than how we treat ourselves. In the minutest way possible we are all connected, part of a larger circle of events that correspond, cross, inter-connect, wander, converge and ultimately congregate in a single ephemeral heart-beat that will exist when the world does indeed come to an end. However if our ends turn out to be structured around faith, spirituality, tragedy or disappointment with ourselves on our last day, depends on whether we realize our roles in life and the footprints in the sand, before our final curtain call descends on the stage we were sent upon

Friday, May 14, 2010


An ominous pain that encroaches upon your judgement. The sound of it reverberates in your throat like painful chuckles.
Balm won’t relieve the pain. The need to gasp.
The heavy lead in our heart.
The numbness of cheeks that won’t smile.
The welling up of tears.
This is the fa├žade of a person who has thought, concluded and therefore refuses to feel.
The need to pop like a champagne bottle. Torn between the head and the heart. The heart does the beating, but does the brain tell the heart to beat? Spinning out of control do we listen to one or the other? The sensible thing would be to listen to your head; the human thing to listen to your heart. Thus our mere existence is paradoxical in itself. God has bestowed upon us in every situation the power to think and to feel. Yet in order to think we have to evaluate how we would consequently feel. This assumption is detrimental, since we never know how we would feel about someone or something until we are faced with a choice. Can u move on? Will u hide? Will u snap?
Yet when the head finally decides the heart suffices. The heart begins to take control, it calms, soothes, floods, burns, the emotions remain locked in. However sometimes if a decision is made with the heart the head can never come to terms with it, our head doesn’t have the strength that pumps pumps pumps life across our body with every single beat.

Tragedy redefined.

When we are hurtled into dealing with pain, hurt, regret, tragedy or pain and we end up loosing something that was part of our life, it isn’t merely a process of moving on and dealing with it. What does happen is that your whole life gets disoriented. The way you define yourself changes; the way you think invariably follows.
What is most disconcerting is pain that is self-inflicted; for only we know what really hurts us the most, tears are not evidence of what the heart really believes. Some people do build a wall around themselves after tragedy just so they can be composed but mainly because they cannot come to terms with redefining themselves. I’m Single, I’m a widow, I’m an orphan, I’m handicapped, these are words that were once alien and now become finite. We learn to tug at out brains, and our hearts to follow the path that those before us who have suffered the same loss took, we search for a new identity and we search for a means to smile once again.
Yet the most important lesson is to let yourself burn, shed the tears, inflict the pain, tackle the truth burn, burn, burn every single bit of pain. Then almost phoenix- like we ought to rise from the cinders and soar towards the zenith of a panoramic rainbow, that gleams despite the passing clouds.

Why the Moscow Metro Got Bombed


Life has a way of completing circles, and in politics, tensions first ascend spirally upwards before they arrive at a breaking point. So to make a long story short let me show you WHY Moscow got bombed, and why it is not just a random AL-Qaeda attack like most ignorant people may think. What really happened in Chechnya, an area of conflict that remains largely obscure in the international media?


With the break-up of the Soviet Union many new nations were created from the large territory that it formally encompassed. Checkoslovakia , Lithuania, Armenia, Belarus, Latvia, Azerbaijan etc are a few, that claimed self-determination as people who belonged to a particular nation and did not want to be identified with the Russian state. Most of these countries got what they want. BUT NOT the Chechens.

WHY? Chechyna is blessed with Oil, and the Russians were not ready to part with it.

The Chechens were then fuelled by a “war of liberation” that caused then to delve into bitter attacks.

In 1994 nearly 4 yrs after, the Chechens had set-up their own autonomous government and held elections, Boris Yeltsin sent in his Russian forces, triggering the 1st Chechen War. This move worked two-folds for him, Yeltsin wanted control of the Caucasus oilfield and pipeline routes and killing muslims would cement his popularity in the 1996 re-elections.

However the Chechens fought back and won more so perhaps due to Russians underestimating their potential, and in 1996 Yeltsin had to admit defeat and recognize the rights of the Chechen people, yet he was not true to his word and refused to recognize the State immediately.

President Aslan Maskhadov the Chechen elected ruler, tried in vain to start a peaceful dialogue to resolve the Chechen conflict but the Russians would hear nothing of it.

This led to militant up-rising in Chechnya by Aslans field commanders who wanted a quicker establishment of their right to self-determination, rather than the questionable 5 yr long wait that Yeltsin had ascribed to them.

This led to the re-branding of the Chechens as “TERRORISTS”.

The Chechen President was a man who was committed to the diplomatic resolution of the conflict and he was content with the 5yr “normalization” that Russia prescribed. Yet the people of a nation have their own voices and many separatist Chechens reacted to the war that Russia instigated, resulting in attacks across Russia. Law and order deteriorated as the Chechen leader fought to retain control of his people.

As the tensions heightened things did not result in a peaceful settlement as Russian forces killed the Chechen President while he went into hiding in a military attack in March 2005.

What arose however was the Russian sentiment that saw the Chechen land as a “win” that they needed to satisfy their ego and claim in the region, much like the Indians and Pakistani’s outlook towards Kashmir. Thus waging war in Chechnya became a vote grabbing tactic for Yeltsin and his successor Putin.

And here on after started the bloody tennis match between the two countries. Military instigated carpet bombing by the Russians destroying whole villages on one end, and Chechen rebels carrying out terrorist attacks, led by Shamil Basayev, on the other.

Vladimir Putin first as he took office placated the Chechens by giving them hope for their own state,

“MOSCOW, Nov 10, 2002 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Russia will guarantee the Chechen people the right to decide the future of their province through a referendum on a new Constitution that will be followed by establishment of governing authorities, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday.”

Yet Putin followed this with a ferocious military campaign aided by forces hostile to muslims such as Israel.

The free world, especially the muslim world and the United Nations watched without condemnation. 200,000 people fled to refugee camps, and many just simply went missing, in particular to a “concentration style” camp called Cheornakosova that makes Abu Ghraib seem like a 5 star hotel, clearly violating the Geneva Convention.

Accounts of things that happen there include- body parts being chopped off, tongues nailed to tables, fathers forced to rape sons, deprivation of food etc in this camp and others such as Urus Martan. It is invariably clear that brutal actions by Russian federal forces in Chechnya will consequently lead to more Chechen sympathizers resorting to extreme acts of terror.

POST-SEPT 11TH however the world turned its attention across the Pacific to the United States, and the Chechen cause was forever lost as the norm of the decade, became “killing muslims under the pretext of fighting a war against terrorism”. Thus brandishing any resolution to the Chechen conflict that has laid dormant and resulted in the reduction of the Chechen land to a killing field, a land laid to waste by a senseless war. The rationale being basless- if the rule follows that States such as Bosnia, Kazakhstan, and Lithunia can be autonomous, why the Chechens? What if we took the Oil out of the scenario?

How many lives must it take?

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