The Epiphany of Jahandost

17 02 2008

Perhaps it is not the case that the meaning of life is to be derived by reconciling all the ideas in one’s head but rather the meaning of life is to be derived from constant struggle with oneself. These are two visions of life, neither of these is ‘correct’ and neither of these is ‘wrong.’ Different people are meant to follow different paths. I have tried reconciliation for the longest time until I realized that is not meant to be. Some things and some people are not meant to be at rest. With these words, Jahandost will end his self-imposed exile.





Ten Thousand Miles (Part III)

10 02 2008

Count: Its cold here.
Esther: The firewood is out.
Count: I presume we will have to wait till morning to fix this problem.
Esther:Perhaps but what about the electric heater in the basement.
Count: I am feeling lazy right now. Perhaps you should get it.
Esther:You know, you do not have monopoly on laziness.
Count: Yes. (smiles)
Esther:Why? Out of all the places, why did you decide to come here. In the wilderness, in the middle of nowhere, in a small hut? You could have been a big shot. People were also getting to know you also.
Count: I don’t know. I do not know how to explain this. I was just looking for a small corner to call my own. I felt ill at ease with all these people.
Esther:So you left? So you left all of them?
Count: Not all of them. Just some of them … Migrating from one place to another. Each time leaving someone behind until I came here.
Esther:Did you ever regret leaving someone behind?
Count: There was one. I still have occasional contact with them but haven’t told the person where I am.
Esther:Why not?
Count: I don’t know. Perhaps I want them to ask the perennial question or perhaps I just want to be left alone.
Relish in misery?
Count: Well. No. This place is peaceful.
Esther:It is.
Count: One could stay here for some time.
Esther:Away from everyone else?
Count: Yes, away from everyone else.
Esther:This is not what you want, is it? And yet you force yourself.
Count: I don’t know. I do not know anymore.





Ten Thousand Miles (Part II)

8 02 2008

Vishwamitra: What if nothing matters? What if nothing has meaning?
The Indian Sage: All is destined to oblivion.
Vishwamitra: They why bother?
The Indian Sage: Why not bother?
Vishwamitra: In the end it amounts to nothing.
The Indian Sage: You are forgetting here and now. You are looking at eternity in both directions but you are forgetting here and now.
Vishwamitra: Here and now – less than a drop of water in the immense vastness of time.
The Indian Sage: Less than a drop but have you thought that lessing the misery of single human being is worth more than eternity.
Vishwamitra: As people we have one another against an impersonal universe.





Arthropleura armata – Charming han?

31 01 2008

arthropleura.jpg

I just saw this in the Wired Magazine. If you thought that centipedes are scary then think about Arthropleura armata an 8 feet long extinct relative of the centipedes that lived more than 300 million years ago. Here is a picture from the BBC documentary, Walking with Monsters. Charming creature, isn’t it? And aren’t you glad that its extinct.





The Muse’s Art

26 12 2007

Jahandost is back after a long and hectic semester. I have been meaning to write this for some time now but did not get a chance. Some of the old blog friends from back in the days will pick up the symbolism and hopefully some things will make more sense now. The story is inspired from Jorge Luis Borges. And so my story starts.

————————————————————————————-
The Muse’s Art
by Jahandost

The moment I found out the truth I was puzzled, how could it be. My life was indeed stranger than fiction. I exited my apartment, took a cab to downtown, wasted no time after exiting the cab and ran towards the building where he worked. I took the elevator to the seventh floor where he worked. As I approached the door and reached for the lock, the door opened by itself and man sitting on the desk spoke softy, “What took you so long Elaine? Must have been traffic right? Of course I could have fixed that but that would not have been that fun, would it?” He chuckled.
“Who are you and how do you know my name?” I replied in a rather bewildered tone.
“Now, now, now. You do know who I am. Don’t you?” He replied.
“So I am not real. ”
“You are as real as you want yourself to be.”
“Or is it that I am as real as you want me to be.”
“Well that’s another way to put it.”
“Why did you create me?”
“Don’t be blasphemous Elaine. I did not create you. It is only God who creates. We are mere imitators.”
“Why am I even arguing with you. Are you also putting words in my mouth?”
“Well, its slightly more complicated than that. Elaine, have a seat.”
“You are kind of freaking me out.”
“I do have that effect on people. Would you like to drink anything? Piña Colada, I know that’s your favorite. After all isn’t that your favorite.” And out appeared a glass of Piña Colada from nowhere.
“Let me guess. Here you can do anything.”
“That’s a slight exaggeration.” As said these words he waived his hands and the next thing I know we were sitting in a cafe on the top of Eiffel Tower. Our attire, his and mine, had changed completely.
“Does this cafe even exist in the real world?”
“Does it even matter? Who cares? Anyway is there anything that you would like to know?”
“So who am I supposed to be modeled after? Your sister? Your mother? Your aunt? Your girlfriend? Your friend?”
“None of the above and yet there is some element of truth in all of these statements.”
“So I am the woman you never knew?”
That made him fall silent and the next moment we were no longer in Paris but in the middle of desert.
“But why?”
“To be taken seriously.”
“To be taken seriously?”
“Do you honestly think that people will take me seriously if I said the things that you say.”
“Perhaps not but am I not a lie?”
“Yes, perhaps, may be, no. I do not know. I can live with that Elaine.”
“Right.” For the first time I truly felt some sympathy towards the man who was responsible for my literary creation.
“But since you are such a likable character, I feel ambivalent and perhaps somewhat guilty when people try to relate to you on a personal level given that you are not real.”
“But you just said that I am as real as you want.”
“Yes I did. Its not as much fun as it looks, I mean being able to control or do almost everything even if it is in a fictional world.”
“So it is ok to deceive people as long as it is not on a personal level.”
“No. Yes. Maybe.”
“What happens now?”
“I donno. Perhaps I should ask someone.”
“Perhaps.”
“The good thing is that you won’t remember a word of this discussion Elaine.”





Yunus Emre

5 12 2007

This is something I wrote a while ago but since the message of jahandosts never get old, I don’t see any harm publishing it again.

yunus.jpg

In a time where there are lots of suffering all over the world, poems of Yunus Emre are a relief. For those who do not know him, he is another sufi that Anatolia has given birth. He lived sometime from 1240 to 1320. Hundreds of villages claim to be his birthplace or claim to host his tomb. Wherever he was born or died, his message is timeless. He says:

“I am not at this place to dwell,
I arrived here just to depart.
I am a well-stocked peddler, I sell
To all those who’ll buy from my mart “

What Yunus sells is food for the soul and the buyers are people from all different faiths:

“We regard no one’s religion as contrary to ours.
True love is born when all faiths are united as a whole.”
Yunus Emre calls humans of all faiths, all nations to come together and make peace:

“Come here, let’s make peace,
let’s not be strangers to one another.
We have saddled the horse
and trained it, glory be to God.”

Yunus also tells where his message is stored:

“Books are composed by the sages
Who put black words on white pages;
My sacred book’s chapters are all
Written in the hearts that love truly”

Source: Yunus Emre and Humanism by Turgut Durduran





Aşık Veysel

26 11 2007

asik_veysel_klasikleri2.jpg

Many Jahandosts lived in this world for thousands of years. Many of them left this world without notice while some others left their mark in this world through stories, poems or songs.

Aşık Veysel (lover Veysel (see Ishq)) was one of them and he became a great source of inspiration for a music genre called Anatolian Rock, where famous Turkish singers like Barış Manço, Cem Karaca and the group Moğollar (Moghuls) thrived.

Here is a video about his famous song (Uzun ince bir yol, “a long narrow path” (see below for lyrics)

Following are few lyrics from Aşık Veysel which address to our hearts (the first one is attempted to be translated by me)

I cannot explain my grief to a person without grief

I cannot explain my grief to a person without grief
The one who does not suffer does not appreciate the value of suffering
I did not know that my grief was also my remedy
A rose can never be without thorn

May the friends remember me

After I pass, my name remains
May the friends remember me
Weddings happen, holidays come
May the friends remember me

Soul flies from the cage
World is an inn, settlers depart
The moon wanders, years go by
May the friends remember me

Body will be deprived of life
Hearth won’t burn, smoke won’t rise
By armfuls, salutes I pass
May the friends remember me

Many blooms thrive and fade
Who had laughed, who’ll be glad
Desire’s lie, real is death
May the friends remember me

Into evening will turn the days
Behold what soon will take place
Veysel departs, his name remains
May the friends remember me

Long Narrow Path

I’m on a long, narrow path
I’m walking on, day and night.
I’ve lost my sense of self.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

Ever since the moment I came into this world,
I was walking from the very beginning.
In a caravansary with only two doors.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

In a caravansary with only two doors.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

When contemplated deeply,
It seems far away, when looked at.
The road is but a minute long.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

The road is but a minute long.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

Veysel is confused in this state,
Sometimes crying, sometimes laughing,
On the road to reach my destination.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.

On the road to reach my destination.
I’m walking on, day and night,
Day and night, day and night,
Day and night.