Words Stuck To Heart by Outlandish

30 10 2007

Outlandish is one of the few bands out there whose lyrics actually have substance in addition to having a good beat. Here are the lyrics of one of their songs

Words Stuck To Heart

Time after time we dream
Dreaming of how it all could be
But none can say what lies ahead
When after the dawn the sun will set
Only the truth remains in here

Mmmm…
Promises we make in vain and
Words we give for a while to break
A flower fades away – like everything else
Oh everything fades away

Words are stuck to the heart my friend
Words are stuck to the heart my friend
They bring us together ’til we part again
They bring us together ’til we part again
When there’s nothing left to share
And all the words will disappear
Only the truth remains in here
Words are stuck to the heart my friend

My friend, my friend
Cuando solo el silencio canta (when only silence sings)
my friend, my friend, my friend
Y solo tus sueños bastan (when your dreams are sufficient)

Blood ain’t blood for just the veins
If tears don’t bleed the heart has failed
Need some space to ease my mind
I give it all up for just a smile
Only the truth remains in here

Mmmm…
Promises we make in vain and
Words we give for a while to break
A flower fades away – like everything else
Oh everything fades away

Words are stuck to the heart my friend
Words are stuck to the heart my friend
They bring us together ’til we part again
They bring us together ’til we part again
When there’s nothing left to share
And all the words will disappear
Only the truth remains in here
Words are stuck to the heart my friend

From street thugs
To ghetto sufis
Holding their breaths
We clutch to riches and fame
Like it’s all that’s left
Righteousness is kept
Through minds awakened
Today we break our word
Like the bread we breaking

Así que tus palabras son mi cuna
Mi promesa es tu luna
Y cuando tu verso es verde claro que busca en el monte amparo
Mi verso es un puñal que da agua de coral
Llevo promesas tatuadas en el pecho

[Translation]
Like your words are my sanctuary
My promise is your moon
And when your verse is pure green
Searching in the sheltering wilderness
Then my verse is a dagger
Of clear coral water
I carry promises tattooed on my chest

Words are stuck to the heart my friend
Words are stuck to the heart my friend
They bring us together ’til we part again
They bring us together ’til we part again
When there’s nothing left to share
And all the words will disappear
Only the truth remains in here
Words are stuck to the heart my friend

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Notes On Michel Foucault: Madness and Civilization

25 10 2007

I am currently reading books on and by Michel Foucault and thus I will be posting some comments, excerpts from his work and ideas related to Foucault. Here is an excerpt from Madness and Civilization that caught my eye.

“[U]nder observation madness .. is just by its acts. Madness no longer exists except as seen. The proximity instituted by the asylum, an intimacy neither chains nor bars would ever violate again, does not allow reciprocity, only the nearness of observation that watches, that spies, that comes closer in order to see better.”

(Michel Foucault Madness and Civilization Page 250)





Iblis – A Visitation

22 10 2007

As I was busy reading diligently and studying I heard a whisper in the background, “Did you miss me?” I looked back and it was a formless smokeless fiery creature. “Who are you?” I asked. Seeing that I was visibly disturbed he answered, “Now now now, don’t be frightened, son of Adam. You know who I am?” All that I could muster was, “No, I don’t.” “I am your best friend. I am the best friend of humankind.” “No you are not.” By the this time I had realized who he was, then he uttered, “Denial, that is the natural state of humankind. Isn’t it?” “Is it?” “For example, did you not miss me during Ramadan? All of you? Did you not miss me? You did not have anyone to blame for your actions but yourself?” His voice was filled with sarcasm when he uttered those words and then he continued, “And this is not all is it? You need me to thrive, to grow. Without a challenge you cannot go on, can you? If it were not for me then you would be rotting in heaven.” “Begone!” I shouted. “See, denial. That is the natural state of humankind. I just wanted to stop by and say hi or even peace be upon you creatures. Haha,” this time it was not just sarcasm but rather there was also a tinge of dark humor and then the formless smokeless fiery creatures disappeared into the void from which he came from and I was left pondering his words.





72 Virgins: A Thought Experiment

18 10 2007

This is a short story that I wrote a while back. It was first posted on Eteraz.org.

72 Virgins: A Thought Experiment

by Jahandost

Some called the new invention Descartes’ evil daemon, others called it Satan’s workshop. Then there were those who thought that this was the greatest invention of all time although even its inventors were not quite sure about how it worked. Regardless of whatever people thought about the invention, it was the talk of the town for it allowed one to experience a world of virtual reality distilled from the unconsciouses of a community or many communities that one had come across in one’s life. It was called the Neural-calibrator or neuro-cal for short. Most people in the world had not used it but those who had used it found it disturbing to put it mildly. Dr. Akbar Baihisab was perhaps the only person of Muslim background who was associated with the this invention but he had never tried it until that fateful night. Most of the people had left early that day, Christmas was approaching so people were getting busy in other activities. Around midnight Akbar saw the opportunity and went into the control room. After calibrating the neuro-cal he plugged in the wire coming from it to the brain-computer interface at the back of his head and sat down on a chair to experience what happens. Nothing happened for a minute or two and then all of a sudden he sensed that something was terribly wrong because instead of seeing visions he felt powerless and weary, his vital stats began to drop. He could see his head bleeding but strangely did not feel any pain. The end was nigh and the whole world grew dark. When Akbar opened his eyes he saw himself in a large, lavish and brightly lit room sleeping on the most comfortable bed imaginable. “Could this be afterlife?” he wondered.

He rose and noticed for the first time that he was attired in extravagant clothing. “This must be it? May be I should ask someone if someone is here.” He said to himself and took a few steps when he saw a silhouette of a person from a distance. He approached the person, it was woman and not just any woman but the most beautiful woman that he had ever seen. She was well built, smelled like rose and seductively attired i.e., scantly clad. He asked her where he was and she replied, “You are in heaven, master.” She came closer and placed her hand on his shoulder. “Where are the others?” He inquired, to which she replied, “All of us are here for your pleasure master.” And the next instant a whole group of women was visible on the other side of the wall, one more beautiful than the other. He was somewhat taken aback but further inquired, “I mean other people from Earth.” “Aren’t you Glad that you have us. How shall I please thee today?” she replied. He was almost speechless and as she proceeded to give him a hug, he told her to stay back and she obliged to his command. He felt disoriented. He remembered hearing about such visions of heaven from the time when he was a teenager and people in his mosque still talked about visions of heaven in such explicit details and now that he was actually in heaven he felt as if something is not right. He proceeded to the hallway he came across the group of women that he had seen through the wall, scattered here and there. They were similarly attired in came in all colors and hues. He inquired about other people but they never really answered his question and so a seductive smile was usually their answer; then he asked one of them, “How many of you are there?” and she replied. “72 of course master. All virgins!”

Many days passed, he tried to make conversation with these women but it seemed that it was not possible to have a conversation with them since they could not answer most of his questions and just smiled like Barbie dolls when they did not have an answer. All that the women did was to be in their stations all day long and would be ready for any types of physical intimacy that he desired but he was not really interested in that so he never asked anyone. There were lush gardens and wonderful creatures but it did not feel right. He longed for closeness with God. He forbade all the virgins to come near him and spent most of his time in one of the rooms contemplating the meaning of life and the rewards and blessings that God had given him while he was alive. He repented until one night he realized what he had done wrong in his life. That night he prayed and asked Allah for forgiveness, he made a promise to himself that he will stop worshiping houris, heaven, his Sheikhs etc and start worshiping Allah – the most Gracious, the most Merciful. For the first time in many weeks he fell asleep.

“Akbar, can you hear us?” He hared someone calling his name. “Where am I?” He asked. You are in the neuro-cal room. “How long has it been, how long was I out?” He seemed somewhat confused. Then someone replied, “What do u mean, I am guessing that you plugged yourself into the machine right around midnight, so it must have been just five hours I suppose.”

————————————————————–

“the mullah’s Paradise is eating and sleeping and singing,
the lover’s Paradise is the contemplation of Being.”

– Muhammad Iqbal in Javed Nama





Museum of Soviet Calculators

15 10 2007

Not too long ago I posted about the 40th anniversary of the first handheld calculator and now lo and behold the Museum of Soviet Calculators. The website has a wide array of images and information about calculators constructed in the Soviet Union like the one below which is the first programmable calculator constricted in the Soviet Union. Check it out at the following URL: http://www.taswegian.com/MOSCOW/soviet.html
iskra123512b.jpg





Eid Mubarak

14 10 2007

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Image Source: Sakkal





I am Fast because I am Fasting

11 10 2007

The names of the characters in the following story have been changed, otherwise the story is true. The classmate in question is a non-Muslim who does not know much about Ramadan/Ramzan.

Classmate: Wow you are fast. You type really fast.
Jahandost : I am fast because I am fasting. (slightly mischievous smile)
Classmate: Fasting what’s that? O wait, is that that thing where you do not eat anything all day.
Jahandost: Yes, that is correct.
Classmate: How about drink? Can you drink water?
Jahandost: No, we cannot drink water.
Classmate: Wow. How about going to the restroom? Can you at least go to the restroom? (laughs)
Jahandost: Yes I can go to the restroom. (laughs)

After both people laugh for a couple of minutes Jahandost goes on explaining Ramadan/Ramzan.