Tuesday, November 30, 2004

What I Learnt This Weekend

  • Some people can do all the wrong things, screw up big time, be absolute pricks and yet can get absolutely lucky
  • If a pretty girl offers to buy you a shot, do not turn it down!
  • If a policemen threatens to put you in the slammer, be sure to ask him under what code, theres a good likelihood that he wont know and you could walk of on him.
  • Pool is a game for men, and a "pick up" activity for women
  • It takes 5 hours, 1 very fast internet connection, a knack for colours and basic power point skills to make a 15 minute presentation on a paper that hasnt been written yet
  • The entire economy of Saudi Arabia
  • Hyster is a brand of forklifts that available through out the Arabian penninsula
  • Saudi's east coast is the Red Sea, and the west coast is Persian Gulf
  • Walmart has lower current asset turnover than Target, but still leads due to a higher inventory turnover thus enabling a higher sales revenue, effecting the bottom line profit margin
  • You can make major changes to your presentation 2 minutes before time and guess future projections and still wing the presentation about a paper that hasnt been written yet. In fact the teacher may think it was the best
  • Everyone loves a Red tie
  • The difference between a one way left turn and a two way left turn
  • 4 AM is a great time to recollect recent experiences.

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Collusion of Man & Devil

"Knock, Knock , hello, did someone call me?" - "ah, maybe you just wished for something that I could do - for I am the one with shortcuts, the one with quick fix solutions, fast results and immediate gratification, I travel in your thoughts and I live in your heart, they call me by quite a few names, to some I am a prince - prince of darkness, to some the Lucifer, some call me Satan some shaitan. God called me Iblis, but hey who gives a devil for a name, not even the devil himself " .
That was how The Devil introduced himself to The Man

It was just a little while ago that The Man was standing at the ebb of his existence. He was feeling the wind breeze into his face, he was feeling the sensation, he was trying to decipher the path of the signal that the wind had stimulated and that was reaching the brain. He was amazed. He was rethinking his initial motive to be where he was.

The Man wanted to take the final step, cross over, from this world into the next. The Man wanted to end and start over afresh. He wanted to end himself to end what he could not end otherwise. He saw the end as a beginning, a beginning of ends and an end of the beginnings that had no end. It sure was cyclical, it sure was as twisted as the Italian pasta he had for lunch. He could feel the taste of it now, the oregano, the cilantro, the Parmesan, the tomato, he could taste all that he had tasted, ever.

It was like the moment had frozen, the present was at stand still - there was no future - and the past was in a playback mode. The man could feel all that he had done, all the he had felt, all that he had tasted, all that he had seen, all the life that he had lived, all of it, in one go. That brief moment in time, the moment where tomorrow didn't exist, the moment where today was going to be today for ever, the moment where memories were the world that The Man lived and breathed in, that very moment made The Man realize that all that he had started, all that he had begun could not end with a single end. He was more confused than he was before, that's when he asked himself "Oh What I'd give to know what to do?"

And no surprises as to who responded to that question. The biggest oppurtunist that man kind has known.

The Devil continued, "So, you seek means to an end and I say the end means that the search is over. You want to end your search even before you get to know what you were searching for, you want to find an end to an objective that you did not execute, you were looking for a mission, you started on the right track, but now before you took your mission head on, you want to say you wrapped it up, you want to end it, you want to make it to the finish line, but you want to be quick. You my dear mere human, are looking for a shortcut, and you are in luck, since I know how you can find one."

"A shortcut, a quicker end to all that I had begun, but not an end to my own existence ? Is that possible ? Could I really get it ? " Questioned The Man.

"Of course you can, why do you think you cant, its all within you, too bad that whom you look up to never made you realize that you need to look inside for strength not up. Up is for the sky, for the birds that fly in that sky, for the stars and the planets and the galaxies that inhabit the space beyond the sky. Its a different world, its a different life, with different rules , the physics is different, the chemistry different. Out there you don't walk you fly, out there you don't look at the moon, you are the moon. Its a world where you can not look to for answers or to seek inspiration. That is not your world. That world will not give you answers. This is your world, this where you are, this is where you do, what you do. You are looking for answer, but you are looking the wrong way. You don't look up my friend, you look inside."

"But there's nothing inside, its a vacuum, its hollow, its empty. I ask a question and the response is an echo of my own question, bouncing around in that vacuum virtually forever."

"But of course it is. That's because He took the power away from you to question. He set the rules and did not take your consent for them. He does not want you to think, he wants you to execute. He does not want you to question, He wants you to keep walking in that straight line without looking left or right. His instructions to you are binary, this is right, that is wrong, this you can do, that you can not, every thing He says is in black or white. But do you not realize that life can not be a combination of Black or white, ones and zeros, yes and no, there is always a maybe in life, there always a half between a one and a zero, there is always a grey area between black and white. That is where humanity exists, that is where you live, not on the straight line, but around it. You have thought, you have questioned, you have challenged the rules that define the domain of your existence. He wont answer you, he never does, but I want to help you, I can help you, I will help you in doing what other even failed to conceive. You maybe making what some may call a sacrifice but what I justify as a trade up. "

"Sacrifice, what sacrifice, what do I need to give to you, you have everything, don't you ? "

"I do have everything, except a prodigy like yourself. I have everything except the passion that you have in your soul. I want a disciple like that, I want that soul."

"You will teach me how to do what ever I want to do. You will teach me how to challenge all the rules, how to step out of this frame that binds me down from achieving that which I desire. You will teach me bringing imagination, wishes and fantasies to life ? "

"All that and more!" said The Devil as he extended his hand towards the man. The Devil pulled the man back from the ebb of existence, the wind was now on the mans back. He felt a chill go up his spine as he caught hold of the Devil's hand. "Now I know how it travels" he thought to himself, as a smile crept on to his face.

He shook hands and looked the Devil in the eye. The minute long silence was broken by a burst of laughter from both of them. The Man thought he had found answers, the Devil knew he had captured another soul. The Man thought, nothing can go wrong I have the Devil on my side. The Devil wondered why He wanted him to bow to these creatures who cant look beyond their own self.

Yet another day when The Man lost it all to the The Devil thinking he had won the world.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Bush & Kerry

Its amazing how living in a border town can influence your daily activities with the activities that aren't a part of your country of residence. The US elections are an example of this. Although being watched by all and sundry all over the world, yet here in Windsor, its being closely watched than quite a few other Canadian towns, since whatever happens in US in general and in Detroit in particular influences Windsor in one way or the other.

You see Windsor, On, a town of two hundred thousand people, is right next to Detroit in Michigan, USA. The only thing separating the two towns is the Detroit river - other than that people may confuse Windsor for another US town. Being in such close proximity to Detroit, Windsor own economy depends a lot on the Detroit economy and the US economy. Its a pure blue collared town that's running either because of the automotive industry here (its the auto capital of Canada) or the university or the Casino that attracts a large number of American tourists. The cars, mostly minivans, manufactured in Windsor are most often sold in US than in the local Canadian market. Thus its no surprise that Windsorites are seen taking equal interest (if not more) in US elections as compared to the Canadian elections.

I had the pleasure of watching a good portion of the CNN election coverage with a few friends over pizza and drinks - our pseudo little election party. In our little group were our hosts, the Murphy twins from Atlanta, GA. Republicans to the core. Then there was KS, of Woodbridge, ON a democrat at heart, but yet a republican, Bradley Davis (or B Diddy as we like to call him) of Hamilton, On, a poli-sci major and a democrat supporter and Geoffery White from Montreal, PQ, a MBA-LLB student, a supporter of naturalists, an environmentalist and a true genuine person ergo - not a Bush supporter. And finaly there was me, a formerly Pakistani, now homeless, international student, who is patriotic about his homeland and wants to see the person in power being friendly towards us Pakis i.e. not a Kerry supporter.

As the events unfolded and slices of pizza were consumed with bevvies of all kind, there was a healthy debate among us, exchanging our views, listening to commentary, checking internet for stats, playing who-knows-the-candidates-better, and even guessing age of hot older female anchors. There was talk of issues, there was talk of name dropping, there was talk of guffaws and bloopers and there was talk of cosmetic surgery (Kerry's Got BoTox folks!). There was talk of state level politics and everyone, including an out of context Pakistani like myself had a comment or two. We even debated about which US state we would like to govern, answers ranged from New York to Rhode Island, Georgia, Hawaii, Alaska, Maine and Puerto Rico. Eventually, when I was convinced that Bush had a strong lead over Kerry (Florida named in quickly this time) I bid my peers adieu and headed home.

Now you must be wondering, "why a blog about your events on the election night". Well look at this way folks, I am in Canada not in US. Mine was not the only group of friends that were doing this. Bars were broadcasting the coverage and the whole town was abuzz with what the outcomes are like. It was like this small Canadian town was bit by the election bug. It made me realize how important and influencing are geographic neighbor's. I never lived in a town like this. In Karachi, there would be celebrations on election night if your friends father won a seat, other wise it was pretty much the usual. We never even thought about following Indian elections and doing a synopsis of the candidates. Our "brethren" countries were either monarchies or the concept of elections was just not that strong in them. Tempers didn't flare and fists didn't fly, there was no bad mouthing the candidates, there was no talk about the candidates cast or religious beliefs or to what church he belonged. So now I think you can understand why I thought this was an interesting occasion!!!

All in all, no matter who wins and heads the oval office, I just hope they do well to the country I call home and to the world in itself as well. At the same time, thank you Mr. Bush and Mr. Kerry was giving a reason to get together and down some pizzas.

[At the time of this post the race is even closer than expected with Bush leading with 249 electoral votes as opposed to Keryy's 242 - Ohio remains the bone contention - its all too familiar from 2000 where Florida was a close call]