vslbsc

Some people need to swing like a pendulum before they settle firmly upon the middle path.

*

I said think rationally, not think like a machine.

*

Good Sir I think before you make a big mistake, I suggest you stop right there. I want you to know very well that I will not tolerate any such nonsense henceforth. I will take drastic action should you fail to heed my warning. Sure, I might get thrown in jail or lose my job, but that’s temporary. The time will pass and work is always to be had, and I’ll be a happy man. But you Sir, won’t be so lucky. Every time you stare at your broken face in the mirror, all you can think of is me. My ghost will haunt you in your own reflection.

Take heed, or so heaven help me I will prove to you definitively that I am a man of my words.

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xcptnl

He lived to the ripe old age of Nothing. He mattered no more and nobody wanted him, not even himself.

*

The red of my blood runs deep in your veins.

*

Hayy, Ilm, Iradah, Qudrah, Basar, Sama’, Kalam
Fana” vs Baqa”

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xprmntl

Our relationships aren’t defined by the gifts and things we left each other. Instead we must turn to the bond and love that we shared.

If you need an item to remind you of someone you loved then your heart isn’t working right. Objects are incidental. Sometimes though we cannot let go of them because it seems paramount to letting go of the person themselves.

An old comb is an unwanted thing. But that same old comb, if it was your late mother’s, now becomes a treasure. It is hut what we know that gives things their value. The item is merely a vessel, it’s worth entirely a construct in our minds or perhaps a manifestation of a deep, spiritual and emotional link.

*

Every time we got to Eid, us children would meet up in the noon and go around together, visiting our neighbours. There was an old lady who never would turn us down, instead always happy to see us. She lived in a remote corner of the village, too far out for people to pass by, too quiet a place for anyone to go, but well within the interest of adventurous children.

The first time we went there she only served water and apologised profusely for having run out of food. When we got up to leave, gave us colourful handmade envelopes. They were always empty.

You’d think we hated her and mocked her.

We were young but not foolish. Lacking in wisdom but not mentors. And once we even caught the biggest boy in our gang crying in the toilet after we’d left her house.

It was some time after that day that we learnt how this old lady had been getting by the whole time. She lived off the land behind her house, occassionally going into the woods to forage for wild plants. It turns out too that every week at least one of the two nearest families would send a representative over to check on her and drop off some supplies. None of them really had much but we all had enough, you see.

That was the sort of community we grew up in. Like i said, nowhere short of mentors.

As the years passed one by one we grew old enough to work. We continued to visit the old lady, sometimes every month, and those who had money would give what they could. She always cried.

We cried too as she was the next closest thing we had to family.

As we achieved more in life, so did the comfort we could afford for her and a few more in our village as well.

She became an important person to us but we only realised her lofty status and extent of her piety the day she passed away.

It was the day of the inaugural Grand Maulid at our mosque, and all the big scholars and teachers graced the event. And they all did the funeral prayer for her, the biggest scholar leading, and the thousands of attendees following in congregation.

Many years later and i had a child of my own. It was his first Eid as a young boy and he just got dressed. He came to me all cheery and bubbly, kissed my hand and hugged me. We exchanged some nice words and i reached into my pocket for his envelope. I made it myself a few nights before, crafted with care and love.

I gave it to him. He kept it and I got up to give him a chance to peek into it. From the corner of my eyes I saw his expression as he opened the packet to discover it empty.

The rest of the day my boy was quiet, obviously deep in thought. That night when i tucked him in he held my hand and looked me in the eye.

‘Dad I love you. I know you love me too. I want you to know it’s okay if you don’t have money to give me for Eid. I have you and mom and that’s already a really good present.’ He smiled and I felt an overwhelming surge of love and affection from him.

I pulled him into a hug.

That night when I prayed I thought about a lot of things.

The next morning after breakfast i sat my son down to speak to him about the significance of the empty envelope. I made it clear to him that we had enough money but that i was extremely proud and grateful to him for his mature response.

Then i told him how it all started. I brought him back through time to when i was not much older than him. The story went on and on and finally, i reached its end.

‘That old lady taught me so much and if you think about it, it’s quite amazing really. She didn’t really have anything and she was of a very low profile. But somehow, she was such a blessed person, as we can infer from her funeral, and the blessings i got from her i have just shared with you.

‘The thing you must remember, my dear son, is that all the important things in live are much bigger than the physical things most people hold so precious. Love is shown not by the things we give or the presents we buy but the feelings we have for one another. The heart speaks its own language so don’t get distracted by the noise of this world. Allow your heart to listen, and respond.

Many years later…

I’m cleaning out my belongings, ready to start packing for uni when i come across a colourful paper envelope. Immediately i’m brought back to the day my father gave it to me on the morning of Eid, empty. I smile as everything comes rushing back. And then it finally hits me. I finally understand.

I walk over to the bin and throw the envelope away. I stand there, perfectly still.

I’m quieten my mind and think about my father. I feel the warmth of his love mixing with the rush of respect, love and awe i have of him. I feel my heart beating and i listen.

My dear father, i understand now. It took me so long but i have finally learnt the first lesson you taught me all those many years ago.

Then i reach into my pocket and pull out my phone.

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thbddrm

Kids are running, afraid. There’s a boy following behind, screaming and his eyes are wide open, stick in hand. He would be silent every few seconds, but the screaming always continued. Loud and terrifying.

Flashback to an hour ago when the boy first showed up; he was normal and happy.

Back to the present; a man appears out of nowhere with a gun and presses it to the boy’s belly, telling him to shut up. The shock of the encounter snaps the boy out of his episode and he starts stuttering something. The man shoots anyway and the boy falls, eyes open.

Zoom in to the eyes. There are knives and blades brought close, the eye is wide and fearful.

Sudden zoom out, knives disappear. There’s a man. He’s weak, and calling for help.

The scene is a lab or clinic of sorts. A woman comes in dragging a thick plastic bodybag, except that it’s open and a living man is inside. Barely alive, actually.

She rests the edge she was pulling and yellow-orange fluid spills out of the bag as the material settles. She runs to the doctor or staff, can’t tell who they are. Please, you have to help my husband. I found him at location 1044.

1044? But that hospital was overcome by madness! You can’t be serious!

He looks at the woman and her dying husband, obviously reluctant to do anything.

The woman bends over the table beside her, exhausted, cradling her head. Sad, tired, helpless.

I just… i was hoping… she sobs.

She is silent and completely still.
Suddenly, and with a loud cracking, several black splotches appear on her back. Then again, and just as her body begins to twist and contort almost as if about to explode, the camera hastily exits the room.

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thrsty

I practice excessive minimalism. 

*

When I was in high school we got wind of a new club… The Loners’ Club. They hung out and had events and stuff.

They weren’t really loners. They were losers, and thought the ‘loner’ label was cool. But all us real loners laughed at them from our quiet, empty corners.

*

The fact of life is that there are a ton of stupid people around. They just get by like moss, existing but not thriving. They earn through grinding and spend stupidly, which ironically drives our economy. 

It’s so easy to earn some money and dress like someone else that some of them think they’re more than what they really are.

There’s no shame in being a commoner but it’s disgusting to be pretentious. 

The best of the parvenu are those who learn and eventually bring more value to the table than most of those who were born into privilege. 

Stagnation and false progress are indeed our true enemies.

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mtrdbtcntslp

Life is just… Your brain’s response to pressure, light, electrical impulses, particles and itself.

*

When the extraterrestrials made contact, we were excited but apprehensive. 

When they arrived on our planet, we were too overwhelmed by the whole experience. They even came dressed in what seemed like exotic costumes, in colours we hadn’t seen and in shapes we couldn’t recreate.

Who would’ve guessed that that was their battle armour and weapon system?

*

The day I almost died was when I realised we aren’t truly alive. O death we met once but fleetingly, I cannot wait for your embrace.

*

There are no ghosts in the house. That was the guarantee and that’s what I wish to believe. Except I’m running out of logical explanations for all the crap that’s been happening and I’m this close to calling up my agent to give him an earful. Those damn ghosts don’t pay rent nor taxes so this property is definitely out of bounds. Our minister for paranormal activities didn’t do all that work for agents to be handing out guarantees willy nilly.

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nfrmtnndrld

He wasn’t especially bright or outstanding, but he was very good at one thing: working smart. And by employing this gift of his to the greatest capacity possible, he outworked and outsmarted us in the long run. In a span of but five years he had scaled heights most of us were only beginning to consider. Looking back… maybe he was exceptional. I guess we never stood a chance anyway.

*

As we move forward with technology, the further back into our past we can reach. We will one day know more about civilizations that lived thousands of years before us, than their great grandchildren ever did.

The one thing we risk is losing information and lessons through redundancy. As our mediums of storage and communication advance, older tech gets phased out and more rapidly with time. The irony is sometimes even with our complicated gadgets we are unable to understand, let alone rebuild, the technologies developed by our forefathers whom arguably had very much less to work with.

*

Sometimes I feel like writing something wise and I sit and think and think but nothing comes out. Would you say that’s not a very wise use of time?

*

There’s an appeal about madness; people think it cool to think themselves crazy and boast such labels. But the truly mad think everyone else has lost it.

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mrrr

She sat by the window looking out at nothing, really. Her right index traced the edge of the windowsill as she searched for the words.

“I guess i’m not really that sad because… Because i never loved him. I just got used to having him around.”

She looked at me dead in the eye and i felt a sudden wave of nausea. I’m just like that. I stood up to leave, eager to find something else to occupy my mind. 
There’s no time in my mind, no space in my head for this. There’s no time in my mind, no space in my head for this. There’s no time in my mind, no space in my head for this. 

Every single time i tried to find something good about the father i never met, i was met with a crushing brick wall. I still couldn’t accept the fact that a part of me came from such a pale, uninteresting, utterly forgettable, totally unremarkable person. 

I was becoming him even before i knew who he was! I couldn’t become him! Never!!!

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The smart people are thinking about thinking and how to liveĀ better whilst the rest of us eat, drink and be merry.

*

I’m tired in the morning

and sleepy in the night

i guess i’ll only come alive

on the day i die

*

K U L L U M I N A L L A A H

K U L L U B I L L A A H

K U L L U I L A A L L A A H

mnyhndsmkwrdslght

Sometimes I’m not sure if everyone is wrong or is it just me. 

*

Have you ever seen an elephant dancing? Me neither, but I’ve seen your (insert person) jogging.

*

People are like food; some are nuts.

*

I’m not enjoying this now but strangely I’ll later enjoy having done it.

*

Pray for work and work for pay.

*

If I could turn back time I wouldn’t. If I made a time machine I’d travel back to when I completed the plans and burn all the documents. 

*

Sometimes the only thing that keeps me going is the comforting knowledge that someday, death will take this all away. And so I do my best to spend my life preparing for my end.

*

Uhibbuki wo ai ni,

Itu aku janji

Therefore laa tahzan 

I’ll stop with such poetry

*

Passion is what got me started, duty kept me going, and now frustration is why I’ll stop.

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