15 December, 2007

I Lost My Peace




Every year, this time of the year, we start thinking about new year resolutions. In our quest for perfection, we are all trying to relate our lives a little closer to a Disney fairy tale. Trying to fix the apparent flaws in our lives like changing hair color, buying quality wardrobes, fixing the car, getting that new cell phone; and sometimes, things that are apparently wrong with this world, like trying to save extincting species, the environment, complaining about global warming and showing resentment for those who destroy the old buildings. But we never show our concerns on fixing the actual problems that can save our souls, like finding the long lost valuable virtue given to us by our beloved Prophet, peace be upon him, called PEACE - a quality that used to be one of the dignified traits of being a Muslim.

But the fact of the matter is that losing peace is not like losing a leg. The disease is apparently not a mole in front of your eyes. So most of the times, we don’t really bother thinking about getting it back, rather, in our search for peace, we try to fix other things that are wrong with the world. But really, if you try to figure out the reason why every thing is so freakin disturbed, you will notice that every thing that is wrong in this world is a reflection of what’s going on inside the hearts and minds of the people who are a part of the world. PEACE is a luxury long lost in man’s quest for MORE. And when there is MORE, peace is NO MORE.

In my search for peace, I established the following:

1) Don’t Spread the Blame: As they say, the hardest part is letting go, not taking part. So when we realize that we can’t have something, we tend to blame it on other people. We start thinking that their existence is the reason for our turmoils. But I believe that everything that happens, happens because god wills it to happen. No one walks away with anyone’s triumphs just because they are smart and clever.

2) Take a Step Forward: Even a giant leap starts with taking a step. When you’re angry at someone, it seems that the wrath would never end. But one should try, if not to forgive, then to forget. Because, the good does not go anywhere, once you let it in, even a little bit, it spreads and clears your mind.

3) Let go: No one is perfect, so learn to make it a habit to look for the good, and ignore the unfavorable. You can’t change everything. So stop caring about those who don’t care about you. Don’t keep harboring bad feelings for others. If something bugs you, express it. Clear it, or forget it.

4) Believe: The most important thing that makes you peaceful in life is FAITH. Believing is everything. So start believing that you deserve good things. Start believing that the sun rises for us everyday so that we can prove to god that we still deserve to go back to where we came from - The HEAVEN. Start believing that this world is not it, there is more. Start believing that God is the true judge of your efforts, and no one else.

5) Take Responsibility: As a third person, try to create an atmosphere to clear misunderstandings for your friends, but, when clearing your own relationships, keep in mind that people don’t always come to help, so take responsibility for your own deeds and stop waiting for fairy god mother for rescue.

6) Fight: To discover your true strength, start facing life's challenges instead of running away. Remember what Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Peace has its victories, but it takes strong men and women to win them!’ :)

This article is in response to Establishing Peace on Syra Writes.

~ Ibay

13 December, 2007

Remembering The Lion King!


Remember this movie? I used to watch it over and over and over again...:] I think I might be able to recall all the dialogs!

Here are some of the cutest parts of the movie...


Hakuna Matata!



Can You Feel The Love Tonight...



The Hula Song



Lion King II - We Are More Than We Are, We Are One!



10 December, 2007

My Favorite Dedication

h


To Popeye,

Who is always there when it matters
for big things, and little ones,
Every hour, every moment of every day
I will always love you.

With all my Heart & Soul,

~ Daniell Steel.

The dedication in her book 'Daddy'.

08 December, 2007

Heaven & Hell

+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Life and Death
Energy and Peace
If I stop today it was fun,
Even for the terrible mistakes that I have made, and would have unmade if I could
Even for the pains that have burned me and scarred my soul,
It was worth it...
For having been allowed to walk where I've walked,
Which was to Hell on Earth,
Heaven on Earth,
Back again, Into, Under, Far in between,
Through it, In it, Over and Above it.


Gia Marie Carangi 1960-1986

An Apple on a Tree



People say that girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Sometimes, boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy to get. So the apples up at the top think there's something wrong with them. But the truth is that they just have to wait for the right boy to come along. The one who's brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

I think, that all girls are special. Some of them just choose to be at the top of the tree because they want to know that one person, even if he's not special enough, wise enough, right enough by the definition of society, once climbed a tree for her to be close to her. She wants to know that the right person is right enough to be a part of her future. Isn’t that a memory worth holding on to?

It’s quite possible that the right kind of guys will forget to follow the lead and eventually decide to be with the wrong king of girls. Even then, I would always choose to be at the top of the tree. I know what its like to have the fear of falling and getting hurt. But I also know that the regret of not doing it is a bargain I'd rather not choose to live with.

~ Ibay

23 November, 2007

The Word!

Of all the powerful arms of destruction that man has been able to invent, the most terrible - and most cowardly - is the word. Fists and firearms at least leave some blood remaining. Bombs destroy houses and streets. Poisons can be detected. The master says: “The word can destroy without leaving a clue. Children are conditioned for years by their parents, men are impiously criticized, women are systematically massacred by the words of their husbands. The faithful are kept far away from religion by those who regard themselves as the interpreters of the voice of God. Verify whether you are making use of this weapon. See whether others are using this weapon on you. And prevent either of those from continuing.”

~ Maktub by Paulo Cohelo

12 September, 2007

Gods

The gods throw the dice, and they don’t ask whether we want to be in the game or not. They don’t care if when you go, you leave behind a lover, a home, a career, or a dream. The gods don’t care whether you have it all, whether it seems that your every desire can be met through hard work and persistence. The gods don’t want to know about your plans and your hopes. Somewhere they’re throwing the dice - and you are chosen. From then on, winning or losing is only a question of luck.

The gods throw the dice, freeing love from its cage. And love can create or destroy - depending on the direction of the wind when it is set free. For the moment, the wind was blowing in his favor. But the wind is as capricious as the gods - and deep inside myself, I had begun to feel some gusts.

At last, as if fate wanted to show me that the story of the Other was true - and the universe always conspires to help the dreamer - we found a house to stay in, with a room with separate beds. My first move was to bathe, wash my clothes, and put on the shirt I had bought. I felt refreshed, and this made me feel more secure.

"By the River Piedra, I Sat Down and Wept" ~ Paulo Coelho

I Love Him

I’ve met a man and fallen in love with him. I allowed myself to fall in love for one simple reason: I’m not expecting anything to come of it. I know that, in three months’ time, I’ll be far away and he’ll be just a memory, but I couldn’t stand living without love any longer; I had reached my limit.

I’m writing a story for Ralf Hart - that’s his name. I’m not sure he’ll come back to the club where I work, but, for the first time in my life, that doesn’t matter. It’s enough just to love him, to be with him in my thoughts and to colour this lovely city with his steps, his words, his love. When I leave this country, it will have a face and a name and the memory of a fireplace.

Everything else I experienced here, all the difficulties I had to overcome, will be as nothing compared to that memory. I would like to do for him what he did for me. I’ve been thinking about it a lot, and I realise that I didn’t go into that cafe by chance; really important meetings are planned by the souls long before the bodies see each other.

'Eleven Minutes' ~ Paulo Coelho

06 September, 2007

The Other Side of the Lake




When I was young, I used to go fishing to the lake with Jojo on Sundays. Everyone, including the doctors, engineers, and Mister said that there were no fishes in the lake. The water is too contaminated for the fishes to survive. But we still liked to spend our Sundays fishing around.

We had all sorts of fantasies about the other side of the lake. We used to imagine the kind of world that would exist across the other side. The people, how they lived, what they did, how they did it. But every one told us to quit visiting the lake. They said that there are no fishes in the lake so it’s useless to go there. All this useless talk had made us very sad. So, one day we put dead fishes in our rods and hung them down the lake to prove that there were fishes in the lake. And just when we planned to pull the rod out and make a big fake fuss about it, Mister arrived to take us back home.

"Still looking for fishes", he smiled.

"Just wait and see, we will at least catch a dozen fishes today!", we cheered with well practiced fake joy. We told Mister that it is not useless to come to the lake and wondered why everyone thought that visiting the lake was a waste of time. We started talking about the other side of the lake. How beautiful it was and how lucky would be the people who lived there. We told him about our secret plan to hire a boat and go there one day, and if Mister was nice, we wouldn’t mind taking him along too.

Mister said that boys, when you will grow up, you will come to learn that anything that does not provide the hope for any kind of profit is considered useless in this world. People only strive to work for things that promise a well outcome. And they only choose to be with people who are profitable for them.

He said that all our lives, we keep on chasing our dreams and choose to believe that what isn’t there is actually there. Like today, you put dead fishes in your rods to prove that the world is wrong and your imagination is right. You have all these self deceiving fantasies about the other side of the lake. I have been there many times. And it is as barren as ever. In fact it’s even worse than this side. I wish that you never get to go there, you would be very disappointed. The other side just looks pretty from the other side.

I still remember the day when we were sitting in the lush green grass by the side of the lake. It had rained last night. The day was clear. The cool breeze brought the smell of flowers with it. Clouds were floating in the air and the pure blue water of the lake had fog all over it. Every thing was so fresh, so beautiful. Like the universe was created just a moment ago.

We read stories to each other, talked, played, and watched the butterflies dance in the air for hours, while we waited to catch a fish. We had brought all the stuff to cook it too. Before sunset, Mister came to take us back home. He looked at the breathtaking view of the lake and sat down with us. With a sigh, he started talking about weird things. Things we did not understand, and did not like to hear.

He said that what if life would just pass by in these self deceiving imaginations, what if happiness lasted forever. But no matter how hard you try, you have to wake from your dreams. He told us that when you will grow up, you start feeling disappointed. As you will grow in experience and maturity, your disappointments would increase. Your thoughts and ideas will be crushed by the reality to the point that you will not be able to seek refuge in your imagination anymore.

When you will grow up, you will learn that life is hard. To live, you need status. You need facilities and for that you need money. For money you need to enter the competition. To win the competition, you need to lie, cheat and betray your friends. People want things, and when they can’t get them, they steal them and never return them back. He said that nobody cares for nobody and everybody is selfish. All the relationships in the world, the love the friends, the mentors, have motives. Every smile will have a purpose; every care would have a price. And that people remember God only when they need something. And if that something is not achieved, they become skeptics – the deniers of His existence.

He said that you cannot please anyone in this world. You will always be too simple, too intelligent, too proud, too silly, too conservative or too clever to be with. You will wait for that special person who will come in your life one day and understand, but the truth is there will always be something wrong with the real you, so you will learn to hide in covers and learn to live alone till the day that you will be ready to quietly leave the world behind. And at that moment, you will look back and wonder what was the reason for this meaningless show of deception?

...And just then, the sun went down, and all of a sudden, just that moment, the other side of the lake started to glow. The clouds and the fog gathered to make a beautiful castle in the sky, with windows pathways and twisted stairs. We could see the light coming out of the patterns. It was everywhere and divine.

We turned towards Mister and cried, "Who said the other side is barren... look!", we pointed towards the other side. And then, everything turned blue. The sky, the lake, clouds, the air, and the other side of the lake. The beautiful castle glowed in the moonlight. It was moonlight, everywhere.

It has been many years today, I have grown older and wiser, and by Mister’s theory of existence, I should have been more practical by now. But unfortunately, this world could not change me. It could not make me stop dreaming and stop believing in the magic of the other side. So whenever the face of reality becomes impossible to bear, I seek refuge in the beauty of the lake, because I still believe that wherever dreams meet reality, there is a mysterious place called the other side of the lake.

Moments & memoirs extracted and translated from 'Himaqatein', by the legendary Shafiq-ur-Rehman.

04 September, 2007

The Skeptic - By Irfan Zahid Siddiqui


" And why the pain, My Lord..."
" For you to appreciate mercy."
" And why heartache; crying without shedding tears..."
" For you to understand that physical pain is much easier to endure than emotional despair."
" And why temptation..."
" For you to choose, to decide. I created you an independent thinker."
" And why Your worship."
" For you to seek, that which is better."
" And why the threat of punishment..."
" For you to abstain."
" And why sorrow..."
" For you to appreciate a moment of true joy."
" And why joy..."
" To wash away your tears."
" And why happiness..."
" To show you what lies in wait for the best of you."
" And who are the best..."
" Those who can, but don't...And those who can't, but do."
" But why is it easier for a fortunate few..."
" It is tougher than you think. For the more they have, the easier it gets to forget. Their test is much more difficult than yours."
" And why love..."
" To satisfy your soul."
" And why desire..."
" To teach you to care."
" And why loss..."
" For you to enjoy a moment of true victory."
" And why sacrifice..."
" For you to learn that the hand which gives is better than the one that receives."
" And why the day of judgement..."
" To bestow upon you your reward."
" And why the books..."
" To guide you, and those sent before you."
" But why more than one..."
" As there is a time for laughter and a time for tears, so was there a proper time for revelation."
" And why equality..."
" For all men were made of sand, fire and water."
" And why is a successful man better than a good human being..."
" For the successful man feels very little, and the good human being a little too much."
" And why liars..."
" So that you learn to filter all that you are told."
" And why drink..."
" For you to step into the abyss of sin."
" And why is life unfaithful..."
" For you deem it a friend."
" And why insanity..."
" For you to see how fortunate you are."
" And why sanity..."
" For you to realize how unfortunate you are to be one of the fortunate ones."
" And why death..."
" To counter creation."
" And why life..."
" For you to question your existence."
" And why sin..."
" To help quench the thirst of the fire."
" And why contradiction..."
" So that you are capable enough to differentiate."
" And why virtue..."
" For you to be able to appreciate the good in the people."
" And why pleasure..."
" For you to thank your Lord."
" And why individuality..."
" To show you the diversity of my creation."
" And why conformity..."
" For you to see that in conformity lies your true strength."
" And why is love for sale..."
" So that you can learn to accept defeat with your head held high."
" Why are tears..."
" To help you regain control of your emotions."
" And why a conscience..."
" To help you get to the Garden of your Lord."
" And why infatuation..."
" So that you are able to distinguish it from love."
" And why hope..."
" To show you that a quitter is a loser."
" And why opportunity..."
" To show you that a loser is not a quitter, and not always a loser."
" And how can we differentiate between a lie and the truth..."
" A lie is repeated many times, the truth seldom is."
" And why lust..."
" So that you can learn to outgrow it."
" And why are people racists..."
" For in them dwells a sense of insecurity."
" And why is life different from living..."
" As there is a difference between dreaming and doing, there is a difference between life and living."
" And why is it that some people are completely misunderstood..."
" For no one is willing to recognize their greatness."
" And why do we always hurt those we love..."
" For they are the only ones who are sure to forgive you."
" And why do I disagree with every principle of life..."
" For life disagrees with every single principle of yours."
" And why do we cry..."
" As it rains to let the storm spend its fury, so you cry to relieve your feelings."
" And why will..."
" To help you stand strong..."
" And why ability..."
" For you to believe in yourself."
" And why death..."
" To counter creation."
" And why trust..."
" So that you can turn your back completely without the fear of being stabbed."
" And why beauty..."
" To make you believe."
" Why life after death..."
" For some to enjoy the fruits of their harvest and for others to regret not ploughing the fields."
" And why Eve..."
" For Adam needed a companion."
" And why fame..."
" For you to be humble."
" And why glory..."
" For you to understand that true victory needs not to be highlighted."
" And why fear..."
" So that you learn to appreciate freedom."
" And why grief..."
" To help you determine your well-wishers."
" And why the disbelievers..."
" To show you the rightful owners of the pit of fire."
" And why patience..."
" So that you can relish a moment of achievement."
" And why humility..."
" So that you understand that the best from you do not need to boast."
" And why the burden of taking a favour..."
" So that you can learn to return it."
" And why torment..."
" So that you are never cruel."
" And why solitude..."
" For you to reach out to your Lord."
" And why mercy..."
" To show you that mercy does what the harshest punishment will not."
" And why a chance to repent..."
" To show you that your Lord is fair."
" And why Your wrath..."
" To bring an end to the lives of those, who care not for my creation."
" And why were the innocent slain..."
" For you to respect martyrdom."
" And why hate..."
" For you to destroy yourselves."
" And why a heart..."
" To give you a place from which to shed unseen tears."
" And why peace..."
" So that you can prosper."
" And why war..."
" For you to know that a day of ruling is better than a thousand years of slavery."
" And why arrogance..."
" To lead you astray."
" And why rebellion..."
" To teach you never to adopt to a system that is against the fundamental teachings of your Lord."
" And why night..."
" To let you set aside your duties and burdens of the day and rest in peaceful worship."
" And why defeat..."
" To spark the desire to win."
" And why suffering..."
" To ease your pain."
" And why enemies, My Lord..."
" For you to have friends. There is no such thing as a true friend. Your enemy's enemy is your friend."
And at that, he turned around and laughed. His Lord was amused...
" Why the laughter?" his Lord asked him.
" For today...today, I finally know..."
" And what is that," his Lord asked him.
" You're the one with all the answers... You figure it out."

And sometimes, just sometimes, it makes me wonder...

31 August, 2007

Learning to Live


While attempting to live, you learn...
You learn that there is only a subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul,
You learn that love doesn't mean leaning & company doesn't mean security.
You begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts,
And presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with the grace of an adult and not the grief of a child.
You learn to build all your roads on today, because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for your plans.
After a while, you learn that even sun shine burns you if you get too much of it. So you plant your own garden, decorate your own soul, and stop waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you will learn that you really can endure, you really are special, and that you really do have worth.
So live to learn and know yourself... in doing so, you will learn to live.

23 August, 2007

Hope



Hope is a state of mind that gives the strength to live and continually try new things. It is not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world or estimate of the situation.

Hope is not prognostication. It transcends the world that is immediately experienced, and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy, when things are going well; or the willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it has a chance to succeed.

Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

~Vaclev Havel

16 August, 2007

Kaum Se Khitab

Dear All,

Even though its only been a year and a day, I feel like I've spent a considerable part of my life here. It's sad to be going, but I guess that, as time goes by, we must all go our own separate ways to achieve whatever has been destined for us on our journey of life.

I leave Elixir with wonderful memories that I owe to all of you. Every one of you has, in their own unique ways, made my stay here so memorable. Thank you and may every one of you have a prosperous future.

Here is a reflection of what I will remember every one by in my 12 0' clock dreams :) Hope you enjoy it. Its all in good fun.




Cheers...
Sundas Y.
16th August 2007.

13 August, 2007

Tribute to a LegenD

When I was young, my mother told me that everything happens for a reason, and that sometimes people can be mean and try to ruin your reputation, even if it is independence day, but she said, one should be patient, as no matter how bad your neighbors are, eventually, they would always die.. or leave. So, she said, that life will always go on, and at the end of the day, the mean ones are always given a farewell, even if it is on their birthday... Karma is, definitely a B*t*h :p

So, finally.... this day in time embarks the end of a significant eRa in the history of fake LollyWooD Underworld's Maghroor Laylas, for this day, we are saying goodbye to the naughtiest and noisiest Technical Writer eVer; who by the way rocks at being a lousy neighbor.

Sundas, aka, Basanti, the girl who is even active during the hibernating periods, has reached enormous heights during her one year and one day stay at Elixir. She is the only girl, whose table, Ladies & Gentlemen, would be turned into a shrine for all those who are interested in joining the feminist forces for saving the world. Her chair, mind you, will be planted with nails so that no one can ever take her place, and her CPU will have a heart that drops blood and glows lights in memory of the frAndly cum hArt breaking relationship I had with her! We will also place two donuts and a camera on her desk to remind the coming generation of her dear hobbies and interests.

And in the end, all I have to say, on behalf of all the san-ists of 'YAYA land' is, that dear Sundas, this time, when we say Goodbye… WE REALLY MEAN IT!!!

Signed...

03 August, 2007

And The Winds Don't Know How To Read...


In the garden,

By the roses, is written,

"Do not pick up the flowers"

But the wind doesn't know how to read...

These lines were written by a well wisher on the death of Iranian Princess Leila Pahlavi (March 27, 1970 - June 10, 2001). The Pahlavi's were exiled after the Iranian revolution, departing from Iran on January 16,1979, when she was 9 years old. A one time model for the designer Valentino, she suffered from anorexia nervosa, chronic low self-esteem, and severe depression and spent much time being treated in clinics in the United States and Britain. She was found dead in her room in the Leonard Hotel in London, England. The 31 year old princess was burried near her maternal grandmother, Farideh Ghotbi Diba, in the Cimetière de Passy, Paris, France.

May her soul rest in peace.

02 August, 2007

Star of the Month!!

I am star for the month in SairaStar's blog for a comment I wrote!! Yaaay!! Check out Stars of the Month.

Dont be confused, its not a settlement... we both actually do Rock!! :p

Thanx Saira!

~ IsbahStar!

26 July, 2007

Blog Buddy of the Month (July 07)

Its a bird.. its a plane... Its SairaStar!!



SairaStar is one of the first people to start reading this blog, and has been an active reader ever since. Saira has done her BS from FAST and is an enthusiastic & cheerful developer. Her favorite activities include reading, programming, maintaining her own blog and spending time with her friends. SairaStar says her parents have been an inspiration for her all her life.

Discussing her next 10 yr plans, she says, "I want to be a teacher and have a school of my own. I wanna go on a world tour, learn to play the piano, and gift Isbah a ferrari!!" (O yaaaay!!)

Her favorite quote is a verse from the Holy Quran; " Verily in the rememberance of Allah, do hearts find peace".p

We wish Saira Star the best of luck for everything in the future. For more entertaining & cheerful SairaStuFF, dont forget to visit Saira's Thoughts and Reflections!

24 July, 2007

Pakistan - Rhythm of Unity

Here's a blast from the past. One of my fav videos from 10 yrs ago.. remember when it was on PTV all the time!!
This post is especially for my Khala.. she loves this video and asked for it a long time ago :)
Enjoy!

23 July, 2007

Baz Luhrman - Sunscreen

The most important things in life are the ones that cannot be possessed, or bought. They can only be shared... through blogs!! ;)

Baz Luhrmann - Sun...


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’99

Wear sunscreen...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have Faded. But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real Troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.

Sing. Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss. Don’t waste your time on Jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is Long. & in the end, it’s only with Yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, Forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch. Don’t feel Guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life... the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know Still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be Kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children,maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary…what ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your Choices are half chance, so are Everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can… don’t be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own..

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel Ugly!

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends Come and Go, but for the precious few you should Hold on. Work hard to bridge the Gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you Need the people you knew when you were young.

Travel. Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will Rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get Old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders. Don’t expect anyone else to Support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t Mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will Look 85.

Be careful whose Advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of Fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the SunScreen!

12 July, 2007

The Box


Dear Diary,
This is another day in life
Life is like a book
A book is like a box
A box has six sides
Inside and Outside
So how do we know what's inside?
How do we know what's inside out?
Once upon a time, there was a very pretty girl
She lived in a beautiful box
And every one loved her!

~ Gia Marie Carangi, the rebellious supermodel who died of HIV at the age of 26. Although notorious in her reputation, I still believe that only the people in pain can bring out a piece of writing so extra ordinary.

05 July, 2007

Courage

Whatever you do, you need Courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are Wrong. There are always Difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end Requires some of the same courage that a Soldier needs. Peace has its Victories, but it takes Brave men and women to Win them.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


04 July, 2007

Faith

When you get to the end of all the light you know and its time to step into the darkness of the unknown, Faith is knowing that one of the two things shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

~ Edward Teller.

Brave Men

I used to think that brave men in the books went out and looked for trouble, because they wanted it. Because it was exciting and life was a bit dull. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really matter, or the ones that stay in mind. Folks seem to have just landed in them. Usually, their paths were laid that way, as you put it. I believe they had many chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't.
And if they did, they would have already been forgotten.

~ These are my all time favorite lines from Lord of the Rings. I never read the book though, just saw the movie. However, I must say that J. R. R. Tolkien has done a marvelous job with the whole concept & the hobbit thing... & these lines make you wonder.. what sort of tale you've fallen into (?!?)

28 June, 2007

Lucky

Today, I am the luckiest girl in the world.

My heart beat 100000 times today.
I breathed 23000 times today
My house did not fall upon me and crush me into bits, and a stranger helped me for no reason at all.

Today, I was not hit by a car, I did not face the miseries of hunger and thirst, and my mind did not let my soul force me to give in to the temptations of desire.

Today, I noticed that God had blessed me with people who I care about; and that I had made friends I can count on, friends who can catch me if I fall.

Today, I learned that money is not the only thing to gain in life, and that roses are better than diamonds even if they live for a very short while.

Today I saw myself in the mirror and did not feel bad about who I am - and my friends, I am the luckiest girl in the world because today, I did not fall in love :)

Just Pretending

Just pretending?
You brought pretending into this family..
You showed us we can change things by simply believing them to be different...
A lot of things, not everything, but the things that matter.
We've pretended for some time now that you're a part of this family, haven't we?
You've come to mean so much to us all that now, It doesn't matter if it's true.
And even if it isn't true, Even if that can never be...
I need to go on pretending
until the end... with you.

~ Lines from Finding Neverland. Mr J.M. Barrie discussing Sylvia Llewelyn Davies's reluctance to accept her illness.

26 June, 2007

Product 2.0 – Fix you shall, fix you must!

Disclaimer: This article is a piece of fiction, and captures a dialogue between a keen developer and the Lord-of-All-Softwares. All resemblances - existing, running or obsolete - are just a coincidence!

My attempt on reflecting about software life cycle turned into dreams one fine Sunday afternoon. I saw a land where life was perfect: software was bug free, components were fully defined and functional, code was properly commented, quality was free, requirements were met, and customers were delighted and not just satisfied. Wow, life is so good in dreams and fantasies!!!

I worked on and on and on and came up with this ultimate utopic Product 2.0 and wished my Lord to appear.

He sure did from behind the mirror as soon as I wished...

Me: Product 2.0, my Lord!

Lord: So I see my child, it looks good from the covers, but why is it double in size now? It will take me three hours to install this thing, while the earlier version got installed in 10 minutes. How did you manage to achieve that?

Me: Err, I see... but my Lord, it's worth all the wait… it's better, faster, and fully equipped with brilliant features. I am sure the customers are going to love it if they have a faster processor, more memory, a little more patience, and a lot more faith... and faith is what we need in this world, don't we!

Lord: Well that’s what you wish. Why on earth would customers replace their machines for running this beta which won’t install even after a seven course dinner? All those
extra weeks…and the moving deadlines... for this? No, no, tell me something else.

Me: But I have fixed the architecture that was created years ago and now was almost failing!!

Lord: Their quest was harder than yours! They worked hard to create it, you just had to fix it and not create regressions in the already ‘working’ software. This 2.0 will give a memory error thirty times a day.

Me: So now you want me to fix the fixes? That's not fair.
Have some mercy my Lord!

Lord: Fair? and Mercy?? Mercy is for poor people. You have sold your soul completely to the giant in the northwest. You deserve all this. From now on, life for you is about running in circles, mostly getting no where!
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni!

Me: Running in circles? How many times, my Lord?

Lord: Once more, like always, my child!
For your life will not be measured by Springs and Autumns you live through but by number of patches you do. Have you forgotten the dll hell?

Me: No my Lord. My intent is to give you a perfect software.

Lord: Never run for perfection. No one but me can do that. The users do not care about perfection. You just need to meet what they require.

Me: But my Lord, no one ever told us what the user requirements are.

Lord: Look into the eyes of customers. The requirements are what have not been met. Achieve what has not been achieved. I just wanted you to make the customer happy and your Product 2.0 will take a lifetime to install, make them call the Technical Support all the time, and give unidentified memory errors!! Is this your standard of happiness?

Me: Release it my Lord. Get it to launch and everything would be fine!

Lord: Go away and come back later!

I took my product and fixed back to try fixing the already fixed unfixable fixes. Just then, I heard a swooshing voice from the mirror.

Cheer up, for fix you shall, and fix you must. So fix your fixation in fixes!

Learning My Way Through...

They say that life teaches you a lot before it teaches you to be human. I learned a lot in my professional life, though I am still not sure if I reached that human-point yet!

Or haven't I?

The first thing I learned, was that the reason behind an angry project manager is either a bad cup of coffee, the horoscope in the paper, or that email he received this morning. Sometimes, you can even blame it on the weather... and as cynical as it sounds, this usually is true!

I came to know that understanding products is not a very complicated task. By the eternal laws of proportion, during training you try to understand a product, and the product tries to understand you. And both parties need to find a common ground where they can resolve all their issues with respect for each other.

And sooner or later, you come to terms with the fact that things take longer than they usually do. Therefore estimates are not a good thing to give away. And remember, too much of perfection can easily lead you to one million bugs and a free ticket to the judgment day.

Speaking of the judgment day - teepee meetings are a good way of expressing our views about the company. Usually these feelings revolve around 'I like Elixir', through 'abundance of positive energy' to 'I love Elixir' - three hours of standing and five days of muscle pain... Confused? Read the paragraph again.

An interesting fact is that developers are people who talk a certain language that is harder to understand than understanding the product. And that the ones testing the bugs are the ones who-should-not-be-named, or blamed, since they always test it using scenarios, other scenarios, and all possible scenarios, which is usually followed by a p.s. saying: 'and we did miss a few scenarios and few other things like other scenarios etc. etc.!'

The most important thing I learned was the fact that managers have a tendency of showing up right when you take a five minutes break or start browsing; and that Napolean is always right; Monday is not a good day for having lunch in the office; and "I'm not feeling well" is not the best excuse for calling in sick!

And I really learned that work goes on; products, patches and guides are released, and at the end of the day when you meet your deadline, you feel like one lucky person to be a part of Elixir.

Phew,the last line just saved me!

- Isbah Z

25 June, 2007

'My Last Wish'

Love is a game
Some win, Some lose
Come what may
Life goes on
& so will I...
But O my Lord,
Before I go
My last wish...
You & Me,
Just one more time!

~ Isbah Sept 7 2002