Tuesday, 23 September 2008


Where have all the people gone?

I open my eyes and find myself surrounded

With only the squirrels and doves in the garden.

I open my mouth for a refreshing yawn,

But it ends in a cry of despair.

I search for my shadow 

But the sun has locked it up.

In  my dream, my room was filled,

Filled with friends, family and relatives.

But I'm alone, so alone now.

I wish I could sleep again...


My grandmother-in-law passed away this morning. May Allah rest her soul in peace, forgive her her mistakes and gather us all in His paradise.

Monday, 15 September 2008

The 50th Post

The 50th one,

Now celebrating my half century.

I hope I'll make it a century,

And go even beyond that,

To the horizon before me.

I don't know who will follow me

To the land where the sky touches the sea.

But I'm sure, 

I will have my shadow to accompany me

Althoug it may change with the sun rays.

I fear if I'll fall down to unknown,

After the end of the sea.

But the sight of unknown lands

Defeats my fear, and fill my hear with thrill.

I belong to the Nomad world,

And I've known it for long.

So here is my 50th destination.

Let me celebrate my half-century.

Through the Years With Ramadan.

The first years of Ramadan for me were spent in Fujairah, an east cost emirate of UAE. Fujairah is a peaceful place, unlike Dubai, with some farms, many villas and a peaceful and wide sea – the Gulf of Oman, reaching up to the costs of Cochin in Kerala. The thought of my homeland on the other side of the sea made me more attached to the sea than anything in Fujairah. I also loved it for its calmness, there were only few people at the beach, and so we had our own area in the beach.

There isn’t much to remember about the Ramadan in Fujairah. Ramadan came during the school days, and we were not allowed to take food to school on those days. One thing I remember about those days were lying that I was fasting. Also, our parents encouraged us to take half day fasts only. So it was two half day fasts into full day. And when somebody asked me about the number of days we had fasted, we would say four and a half or five and half and so on. I would compete with the number of days we had fasted with my younger brother, who is two years younger to me. The most difficult thing for us then and now is the shuhoor, or the late night dinner which you have in the middle of the sleep. I remember my brother getting for the shuhoor, and then the next day he will be saying, “I don’t remember anything I ate for the shuhoor.” On day he said, “I saw only the white walls when I got up for the dinner.” Hehehe. The thing that fascinated me more was the plates full of fruits and snacks at iftaar.

We were shifted to India, when I was in seventh grade, to an Islamic residential school. During the first two years, the school closed during the Ramadan. That was the time of mischief for us, me, my brother and our cousins. We had nothing particular to do in the mornings of Ramadan and so we all get out of the house into the near by farms. We would steal mangoes, gooseberries and guavas from the farms and hide it under our dresses till night. Sometimes, we will also go to the near by shops and buy some locally made toffees, with the money grandpa would give us. At night, when the elders have gone to sleep, we would get up and share the pieces of mangoes and other things between us. For this, we would all sleep in the same room, or near by rooms. We used to take all the 29 or 30 days of fast.

During the last days of Ramadan, grandpa would give us money to buy bangles and hair clips for eid. The boys would buy fire-works or toys like guns and cars. We would also buy some sweets. Grandpa loved us so much that he won’t allow us to take fast till the dusk. According to him, children need fast only till the noon. For him, I was a child even when I was at college! He used to scold grandma for making us fast till the dusk, even when I was in my late teens. According to him, we were still his kids. He passed away some three years back, or we would have been his kids even now! May Allah shower his forgiveness and peace upon him, make his abode wider and gather us in his paradise. Ameen.

From my ninth grade onwards, our school started working for Ramadan. That bought a change in me. We had schools only till noon, unlike normal days when we had schools till the evening. After school we, me and my friends, would sit to recite some Qur’an and we had Islamic classes in the mosque. I was getting into the real Ramadan, with all its life in me. The saddest day and the most memorable day of my life in Ansar, my school, was the day when my friend’s mother gave birth to twins, and they died with in an hour. Friendship in Ansar was something that I have not known before or after, it was a very special bond. My friend’s tears seemed to be my own, and it was the same for everybody. We all wept a lot that day. The Ramadan was also special in a way that we had great and good seniors to guide us, who were very loving. And yeah, I remember the day when one of my roommates’ father died. I came to know of the event before her from my teacher. My teacher asked me not to tell her about it until somebody came from her home. She was good at singing, and used to sing a song which meant something like this:

Why is my father, who gets up for fajr everyday, sleeping under this white blanket today….

Why didn’t my father call me today in the morning, to pray the fajr with him…..

Why isn’t my father talking to me, what I have done to make him angry with me….

Those words of the song still echo in my ears, and that was the last Ramadan she sang that song. During the last year of my school life, we celebrated the last Eid with our friends in hostel, one of my best Eids!

After school, I went to an Engineering college. Thanks for the Muslims friends I got at college, or Ramadan would have been a difficult time for me. There were some 20+ Muslim students in out hostel, and some really nice boys in our college. A lady in the town promised to cook iftaar and shuhoor for us, and the boys would deliver it on time. That was how we spent our first year at college. During the second year, we changed our hostel to another one, owned by a Muslim management. Fasting was made easier for us since w had iftaar and shuhoor cooked for us by the hostel cooks. We had tharaweeh prayer in jama’ath and we celebrated the Eid with our friends, while usually we did it with our family. Ramadan lost its life when at college, since we had a busy schedule of exams, practical works and records while at college. And yeah, we were in our late teens, which meant years with boiling blood in our veins. We used to fight with our wardens, cooks and management for every silly problem that came across our way. Even though we had jama’ath prayers at hostel, we would never take part in it because we hated our warden so much. Forgive us, Allah. It was bread when we wanted bun. S we would go to the warden and shout at her. It was fish when we wanted chicken. We would sit there without eating anything, and the whole fish would be wasted.

But we soon realized our mistakes, when our college lost its recognition and we were transferred to another college. That was the last year of our college life. We decided to take a rented house, as we were all tired of our hostel life. It was one week before Ramadan that we got the house. We had no cooking utensils with us, and so we were not able to cook anything. We decided to seek help from a hotel near by, and Alhamdulillah, they agreed. They delivered the food for iftaar and dinner. It was tough, taking the food from hotel everyday. We started to regret for the problems we made in the hostel, when they would provide us with food. Here we had no choice of bread or bun, and chicken or fish. Just eat what we got. May be it was a punishment we got for making mischief at the hostel and a way Allah chose to teach us to be thankful to the food we got. That was the most difficult Ramadan we had so far, and a memorable one too. We had seminars at college, which extended till seven or eight, and magrib would be at six. We would keep apart the snacks we got at seminar, and use that to break our fast. We would be so tired, with the long busy day at college, and sometimes seminars would turn to sleeping time. It will be somewhat eight or nine, when we reach home, to the food from the hotel. The food would taste better by that time. We missed home so much those days.

After college, I was married. Ramadan was easier then, at home, with so much of spare time to do the ibaadaths. Ramadan became lively once more, after the school days. Food was also not a problem, when at home. The next year, I came to Dubai with hubby, and there was my co-sister’s mom to help during the first Ramadan at Dubai. I find the heat a bit of problem in Dubai, but I think I can stand it. And this Ramadan is my first Ramadan alone, with me doing all the cooking myself. I sit here, now and think of the days of Ramadan, every Ramadan special to me, in its own way. Some Ramadan bought so much of time and rest to me, so that I can pray and make a lot of ibaadaths. But during some Ramadans, I had to fight to keep up with the feelings of Ramadan. I believe it’s all over now, and Ramadan would be the same for me from now onwards, with no friends, brothers and cousins to make the days active. The life as an adult is really boring, na?

Heat, Fast and Me.

So i have left out two days of Ramadan. I feel very sad, not being able to fast, but what can I do when the doctor says a 'NO'? Its the urinary infection again, that made me leave two of my days in Ramadan. Seems I cannot take in the heat and the Fast together. Doc has asked me to take 1 or 2 glasses of Pocari Sweat every hour ( that leaves no place for food which mean I have to fast on Pocari Sweat!!), along with some medicines to be taken thrice daily. This happened last year also. But that time I left only 1 day of Ramadan. Heat has been my enemy since my childhood. I used to get all sorts of heat sickness during the summer. But once in India, I had no problem at all. Thanks to the moderate climate of India. And now again in the burning Dubai, all the heat diseases that left me years ago have come back, stronger, I think. So what do I do? :-(

Sunday, 14 September 2008

WhEn eNDs ArE tHE BeGinINgS.

I thought death was the end of my life,

But it is only a start to the life hereafter.

And I thought the fence closed my world,

But when open, it brings a horizon before me.

In Maths, the point ended the line, but in truth

The point begins a plain with no lines in it.

When Ashoka’s victory ended the war kalinga,

His fight for internal peace, then, he began.

To me, the sea was an end to the land I saw,

But then, beneath the sea, there begins the land unseen.

I thought ends put an end to everything,

But then I understood, ends are only the beginnings.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

The Sleeping Men

The rock will tremble,

And bow in humble,

If Quran has been sent on it.

But a man’s heart

Never even shivers

When The Verses, he hears.

The plants and trees,

The sea and breeze,

Bow in supplication,

On the night of revelation

Of the Holy Qura’an.

But the men do sleep,

A sleep that’s long and deep,

When angels wait for him to wake,

To list down his extra good deeds

In multiples of tens of thousands.

Sleep, oh ye men, Sleep,

For thy abode will be in the hell deep.

The Devil shall rock thy cradle,

Sleep, oh ye men, Sleep.

Published here.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Where is the Middle East?

I was going through the web pages of CERN, as it has hit the news lately. I looked at the member countries, mostly European countries. The non-member but observer countries include many Asian and American countries, with UNESCO as the observer organization. There were many under developed, developing and developed countries, but no where in the list I saw any GCC countries. There was Iran from the Middle East. I am sure these GCC countries are more developed than countries like Iran, India, Pakistan etc but their contribution towards the field of science and technology is either very less or a big zero, when compared with the said countries. Well, as far as Dubai is considered, science and technology means building the highest tower, the biggest water theme park, the longest bridge ( Did you hear it? There is no sea or creek big enough to build the longest bridge. So I hear they are digging the sea to widen it, and build a big bridge above it!!), the largest man made islands and so on. Guess whose brains and hands are behind these projects? The Europeans', or Americans’' or the Asians'. This is the birth place of Prophet Muhammed (saw) who made it obligatory for every muslim man and woman to seek knowledge, even though it be in China. And the people of the same birth place of Prophet (saw) stands last in the list of scientific and technical research centres. I feel shame as a muslim, as these 100% muslim countries has got nothing to do in the fields of higher education. But I also feel proud as an Indian, a country that has got her small but important contributions to the development of CERN.


Some months back, when I went to the Ibn Bathutha mall, I saw the works of so many talented Arabian scientists of the past displayed there. Looking at those displayed discoveries, a new thought came to me. Some years back, I read a novel written by the Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammed Basheer. The novel was titled as "My great grandpa had an elephant". Having an elephant was a prestigious issue among the Malayalees those days, like having a Rolls Royce car now-a-days. The character in the novel, a muslim lady, believes that as she is the grand daughter of a person who owned an elephant she should be respected by the society, and she goes on describing to everyone about the elephant her great grandpa had, although now she is poor and unworthy of a penny. The people around her, including her daughter and husband, get angry at these remarks of her and start mocking her. In the end, she understands that there is nothing like gaining respect for the glory of your ancestors.

I feel Ibn Bathutha Mall is like this character of the story, shouting loud that “My great grandpa was a scientist, so respect me!” No one ever turning their attention towards it. 

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Multi-Cultured Ramadan

Dubai is a multi-cultured city, with people from almost all parts of the world. And so is Ramadan here. I think the only similarity between these people will be the dates they take when breaking the fast. Even prayers seem to be different, if you really want to find any difference in it. When I go for tharaweeh, Masha Allah, what lots of people are there! With so many types of dresses, so much languages and yeah, so many type of prayers. Until Ramdan, I went to the masjid by the Malayalees, and so I never came across such a variety except while performing Umrah in Masjid-al-Haram.

Well, there are the Africans, may be Sudanese with their long hijab (I don’t know what it is really called) reaching below their knees. They are so tall and I feel so small when I stand with them during the prayer. The masjid near to us has got the 23 raka’th tharaweeh prayer. The Africans usually pray all of the 23 raka’aths.

There are some UAE nationals too. They come up fully covered from head to toe, with only the eyes opening. Once inside the ladies’ only area, they remove their abaya and hijab – and beneath it, it will be dresses similar to the western styles, sleeveless T shirts, jeans pants reaching up to the knee, or long sleeveless/ full sleeve but see through frocks. And there will be all sorts of make up on their faces.

There are also some Pakistanis who come in their Salwar-Kamees, with an abaya on top. The difference with the Pakistani and South Indian dressing is that Pakistanis use the shawl of their Salwar-Kamees as the hijab, but in South India we use the black hijab of the abaya itself. North Indians also have a similar dressing to that of Pakistanis. Some Pakistanis also wear the Niqab, which is very very rare in South India. During the prayer, most of the Indians and Pakistanis stop at the 8th raka’ah, to be continued only during the last three of the remaining 15.

There is one woman who looks like a westerner, and speaks English. But there are so many who look like them and speak English like them. So I’m not sure. There are also other Middle East nationals coming from Lebanon and Iran. I love the way the Iranians dress – their long (????) I don’t know what it is called, a piece of cloth from head to toe which they wear while at prayer. After prayer they take it off, and beneath it they wear the usual dress – also my favorite, the topcoat and pants with a special type of hijab. I saw some Iranians keeping a piece of wood, round in shape, at the place where their head touches the floor while in Sujood. I don’t know why.

Some days I see some Mongolians too, I don’t know if they are from China, Japan or the –asian islands. They have long hijab, reaching up to their knee, and wear loose pants, made up of the same material used for the hijab, underneath.

The minor differences I find between the people are while standing for the takbir. Some tie their arms below the stomach, some on their stomach, some on their chest while some never tie it at all. Some of them tie their arm when standing straight after the rukoo’h. And while sitting for the ‘Aththahiyathu’ during the second raka’h, some people keep their fore finger straight all the time. Some open it at the ‘ashhadu alla ilaha illa allah…..’ and close it immediately after that. Some keep on pointing the forefinger till the end of the prayer, while some keep it opening and closing through out the sitting position.

I pray only 8 raka’aths, and then continue with the last three, so while waiting for the last three, I sit and watch all these differences between people. And the children, they also make a difference. While the Pakistani and Indian children are busy playing around while their moms are at prayer, the children of Middle East nationalities stand with their moms in prayer. May be the reason is, in India (I don’t know about Pakistan), the Imam and other people of the mosque discourage children in the masjid. So they never get a chance to learn the importance of masjid at the younger age. But in Middle East, it is entirely different. You can see children from 3+ months in the mosque. They get to learn the importance of prayer and masjid at a younger age.

About thte iftaar, I don’t know much about the food of other countries, because I have never gone for such an iftaar. Once I went to an iftaar by a UAE national. There were many dishes of which I didn’t even know the name. I recognized the haleem and custard. The main food was kabsa, and I loved it a lot. It was a dish prepared of raw rice.

So, Ramadan is fun, with this variety in the muslims. You can call it – unity in diversity

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Poem

 There is nothing to do in the mornings of Ramadan. I get up at nine after the late night dinner at four in the morning, the Fajr prayer at 4;45 and an hour or two, of Qur’an recitation, and till around eleven, I just end up walking here and there. Sometimes I try dusting the furniture, sometimes I browse something and sometimes I try rearranging my kitchen and bedroom. But that cannot be done everyday. So after three four days, I end up having nothing to do. It was on one of those days, while simply cleaning the last-week-cleaned shelf, I came across my college magazine, published when I was doing my sixth semester, or third year. I have cherished this magazine, after throwing away all other magazines published during the other three years. I have kept it with me because I was the student editor of it. Titled the ‘Scroll’ with a grey cover, the magazine lay at the bottom of my bookshelf. I still remember the day it got published. I was happy and proud. There was a small speech by the Principal (we call him Princy for short), after which we, I and our staff editor Anila madam, passed the magazine, neatly wrapped, to our Princy. He tore the wrappings on the magazine and held it high for all of us to see it, and then presented it to the guest of honor, I don’t remember the person. I was so proud.

After the event, we returned to our classes and the magazine was distributed in all the classes. The next day, one of my classmates Nisha came to me and asked, “Where is the poem I gave to you? You haven’t published it!”

Yeah, I remember her poem. After I was elected as the student editor for the magazine, I began asking my friends and everyone who I saw on the campus corridor for articles. Nisha was one of the first students to come up with an article. I was pleased with her. She has given me a beautiful poem named as ‘Rashtreeyamen bhoovil’ meaning ‘Politics of My Country’, describing the political situation of present India. I was really wondered to see such a talent in her. I scolded my self for not getting close enough to her to know about the great blessing God have given her. I took it to Anila Madam, for her verification.

“Such a big topic described in such a small and wonderful poem!” Anila madam exclaimed. She was happy to get a good work from her students on the first days of our endeavor.

Days flew by, and within two months we had been loaded with a huge amount of articles from around the college. My book shelf was full of A4 sheets, and so was Anila madam’s table. We burned the midnight oil in our editing process for so many days, selecting the good ones, selecting the not so good ones to be given back and editing the average ones to make it a good one. There were only a few articles that was too good to be edited, one of them the poem of Nisha.

After about three months as the editor, students started asking me where the magazine was (as if a magazine was something you could pluck from a tree!). I was busy running behind it to get ads for it, and get good and affordable printing press and also preparing for my internal exams. Some of them even asked me if I have used the money provided for the magazine by the college to have some dinner party. I kept quite to those mocking questions. They complain of the busy schedule they have when it comes to practicals, records and exams. So why can’t they think about me? I am also having those practicals, records and exams, and also the magazine to do with. Do I have an extra hour in the day that they don’t have? Well, I was under tremendous pressure those days.

After the exams, I started again with my work of the magazine. I have got enough ads with me now, thanks to the ad team and I have found out a good press. Anila madam was also there to help me. We were coming to college after the meeting with the press owner, when Anila madam spoke about her cousin, a well known Malayalam author. I have seen him before at some meetings. He was an old man, may be in his sixties. He was almost bald, and the remaining hair was snow white. There was a pleasance in him with a sweet smile always on his face, and he seemed like a loving grandfather to all.

“Why don’t we ask him to help us with our editing?” She asked.

I thought it was a good idea. He could edit the articles better than us. The next day we fixed an appointment with him, and gave him all the articles. He asked us to come back and collect it the following week.

The next week, I along with my classmate went to meet him to collect the edited work. Anila madam was busy with some work, so she asked me to take someone else with me. We had tea with him and a little chat. He was really a great man with so much of knowledge. I instantly became a fan of him, even though I haven’t read any of his works. After the tea, he introduced his family to us. Then he went inside his library and brought the articles with him.

“Here are your articles. I have edited them all. Some are too good to be edited.” He congratulated the young talented generation of authors and expressed his happiness to see such good budding authors. We were also happy to hear it. He was complimenting our college. We were beaming.

He then took a paper from his pocket, and said, “I haven’t edited this poem. Can you please collect it after two days?”

I noticed the poem by Nisha, and wondered what was there to be edited in such a good poem. But I gave him my consent.

After two days, I went with Anila madam to collect the poem. Aftr the usual salutations, he went inside his library.

He came out with an old magazine. The pages where yellow in color and it broke where ever he bent it. It smelt of cockroaches and there where some silverfish running on it. He turned the pages with utmost care. He stopped at one page, and held the magazine at us. Anila madam took it in her hands while I moved closer to her. The page was yellow in color with letters of the old Malayalam font printed in black, and curiously I looked at the date on the page. August 1970.

There was a poem in it, named ‘Ente Bharatham’ meaning ‘My India’. It was written by the man sitting in front of us. I stared at the lines of the poem and it seemed very familiar. Yeah, the poem by Nisha. This was it.

We both looked at him in shame. But he seemed cool. Anila madam started to apologize for Nisha. But the author never took notice of it. He started speaking, “You know why this student of yours selected this poem for the magazine? Because India still faces the problems it faced in the 60s and 70s. This poem stands true even today.”

He was not angry with Nisha for stealing his poem. I thought he seemed happy that Nisha stole his work. He went on.

“That was my first article that got printed in a magazine. Even though I have forgotten my other works, I never forgot my first published work. It was like my first child.” He started explaining the history during the 60s and 70s.

We had no time for these long lectures, and so we said goodbye to him soon. Anila madam apologized once again for stealing his work. But he was never bothered about it. He asked us to give him a copy of our magazine as soon as it got published. We promised him we will do that.

Days flew by and at last the magazine got published, thanks to the layout team, editing team, finance team and all others who directly and indirectly helped with the work. Phew! I was more than relieved to see that all the problems where over. But I was wrong.

It was on the next day when Nisha came to me and asked me about her poem. There were many of our friends and classmates around us and so I didn’t know what to say to her. Saying that she had copied the work in front of these many students may make our friendship end forever, and make her feel very bad. And to be honest, I was a little weak in such matters. I muttered something about giving it to the press to be published and simply wondered why it was not there. I thought that solved the matter. I still don’t know if I have done the right thing.

Two days later, an office staff came to our class and delivered a notice. ‘The principal wants to meet Najeeba of sixth semester Electronics and Communications Engineering branch’. I saw some fifty pair of eyes turning at me. Usually Princy only calls students who have done something against the rules of college, or somebody who still haven’t paid the fees. Moreover, Princy was the last person we would want to meet in our college life. I felt something stumbling inside my stomach.

When I reached the cabin of my most dreaded Princy, I found I was not alone. There stood Anila madam. So something about the magazine. I thought. May be he is not satisfied with the financial account of the magazine. And yeah, he is not satisfied with anything. I thought.

I asked permission to enter. I stood near Anila madam, and the expression on her face told me that she knew nothing about this enquiry. Princy was looking at some papers and never bothered to look at us for a few minutes.

Without looking at us, he started, “I have got a complaint here against the editors of the magazine.”

A few moments of silence when Princy carried on his paper work.

“What is the complaint, Sir?” asked Anila madam, with as much politeness as she could. I mused in the irony of her politeness, when she shouts at our mischief in the class. We stand in politeness in front of Anila madam, while she stands in politeness in front of the Princy. Wonder where he stands with his head down. May be in front of the Technical Education Officer. And that person in front of – well, I don’t know. I thought I have found a new pyramid here apart from the one I learned at school – The Pyramid of Food Chain. Now, my new discovery will be called The Pyramid of Politeness. The top most part will be for God. And then -

My thread of thoughts was broken by Princy’s voice.

“I got here a complaint from Nisha, that her article was not included in the magazine.”

We were surprised. The thought never even occurred to us. Nisha complaining for not publishing her stolen work! How dare of her! And that too, let alone me, against Anila madam.

Princy looked up at us for the first time, expecting an answer from either of us.

“Sir, her work was a stolen poem sir, from the People magazine dating august 1970.” Anila madam explained.

“Oh, yeah? Where did you get that magazine now?” Seemed princy did not believe what Anila madam said. I became angry with him. What reason does he think he has to believe Anila madam is lying?

“Sir, we edited our articles with the help of …, the famous Malayalam writer. It was his article that she has copied. He gave us the magazine in which the poem was published for verification.”

Anila madam explained. I stood there with my mouth shut. I never dared to talk to this person.

“Well then, you can go.” He dismissed us. It was when I came out that I found I was sweating all over. His cabin seemed too hot. May be because of his high temperature.

“What a girl this Nisha is! Wanting to publish the stolen work!” Anila madam exclaimed.

“Yes, she asked me about her poem the day after the magazine was published.” I said.

“Really?” Anila madam seemed surprised. “What did you say?”

“I didn’t say anything.” I said. “She was my good friend, and so I thought keeping quiet was better.”

“But you were not her good friend,” Anila madam observed, “or she would have not gone to complain about us.”

Yeah, may be. I tried not to humiliate her in front of others, but this is how she paid me back.

“Leave it, Najeeba.” I heard Anila madam consoling me. “Just take it as some of the funs during your college life, for you to smile at your old age.”

“Yes, madam.” I smiled. Actually I was too happy to be out of Princy’s cabin to think about Nisha and her poem. “And keep this between you me and the Principal. Not a word to anybody.”

How nice of her. I wanted to report this incident to all so that they could understand the real nature of Nisha. But Anila madam has put an end to it.

“Yes, madam.” I gave a reluctant consent.

We dispersed into our classes, Anila madam as a teacher and me as a student. Friends came asking me why Principal called me, and I answered it was to ask about some financial matters regarding the magazine. I saw Nisha two benches apart from me, looking at me, happy for her revenge. But a few minutes later, another notice arrived asking Nisha to meet the Princy. I saw her going to meet him, and everyone in our class was surprised. It was rare Princy calling two students of the same class to meet him on the same day. She came back after some fifteen minutes, with her head down. I heard someone asking what the matter was, and she replying something about not paying the fees. The matter was over.

Nisha never spoke to me after the incident, and I never wanted to be the first to speak. So we ended our college life.

 All this happened some five years back. I still have contact with Anila madam, she has been retired and now leads a happy life with her children and grandchildren. I heard that Nisha was married to an engineer working at Baba Atomic Research Center, Kanyakumari. She works as a software engineer. I have got her email id with me in our classmates’ database. I send mails and forwards to everyone in the database except to Nisha.

When I was going through the pages of the magazine, a new thought came to me. It is Ramadan, a time to mend broken strings of friendship and family. So I thought, why not send her a mail. With much difficulty I typed one, and sent it to her, with a ‘BCC’ to Anila madam. I took care not to say anything about the incident or the magazine. That was two days back.

Today I received her reply, with photos of her hubby, herself and their cute little princess attached to it. I was so glad to receive it. And there was Anila madam’s reply too, saying that she was very happy to see that we have built up the broken parts of our friendship.

Thank you Ramadan!

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

When Time Declares The Winner

Surah Al Asr
Surah Al Asr

By the time, or by the declining day,

Allah swear, into the loss is man’s way.

Except those whose faiths are strong,

And the list of good-deeds are long,

Those who join each others in the right,

And in their souls, patience shines bright.


Recall the life of the Egyptian lord,

When he declared he was the God.

But time brought him into utter loss

To humility, from his death bed, he rose.

So goes the story of the Roman kings,

His empire,to a fall, the time brings.


So hold your faith strong, Oh ye men,

And let the list of good-deeds lengthen,

Do the right and advice others to do it,

And patience too, never ever quit it.

Then, by the time, you shall win, I swear,

And heaven will be your home forever.

Read the poem here.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Ramadan at my home.

[caption id="attachment_153" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Ramadan Kareem "]Ramadan Kareem[/caption]

Yesterday, I was face to face with Ramadan. I smiled and exchanged salutations with Ramadan. I loved Ramadan so much, because Ramadan was responsible for closing the hell, chaining the devil and making the good deeds weigh more. So I was more than pleased to see Ramadan in front of me yesterday. I’ve been planning for the last two three weeks for Ramadan’s visit. There is a long list of to-do’s hanging on my kitchen shelf, for the one month stay of Ramadan. I’ll surely miss Ramadan when gone. I was staring at the beautiful Ramadan when Ramadan asked me the first question.

“What do you have planned for me during my visit?”

I was glad Ramadan asked me that. I wanted to make Ramadan fell that I was eagerly waiting for Ramadan, with a lot of activities for us. I wanted to make Ramadan feel at home during the entire stay. So I spewed the entries of the to-do list on my kitchen shelf.

“ I plan to pray as much of Sunnah I can, read at least 1 juzu’ of holy Quran everyday and finish it within this month, stay away from sin, pray Taraweeh and Thasbeeh prayer, make Thasbeeh and Salaths to Prophet….. Blah blah blah…..”

“Good work, Najeeba. You’ve put in a lot of effort,” Ramadan interrupted, “but you see, once I am gone, will you go on praying all the Sunnah’s ? That too during your office hours? I prefer an activity that stays with you even after I’m gone.”

“Er….I think I’ll…..er….er…… keep up with……” I went up to the to-do list.

“So you haven’t planned such an activity for me?”

I was ashamed to admit no, and unable to say a yes. I kept quiet.

“A simple activity, let it be the smallest one in your list. But you should keep it with you even after my departure, for the memory of my stay with you.”

I made a quick scan of my to-do list, searching for something I can keep with me all the time. Reading one juzu’ of Quran was not possible everyday, with the hectic schedule of my life. I can read up to five or six pages, or ten pages everyday, and sometimes a juzu’ on weekends, but reciting a juzu’ everyday seemed impossible. Staying away from sin all time is easy said than done. I don’t think I can stop shouting at anybody when I get under pressure, but I’ll try to get rid of it this Ramadan. So what is there that I can do my entire life? I was busy thinking of a solution when Ramadan came up with another question.

“Don’t you exercise every morning?”

I was surprised. What has exercise to do with Ramadan? Even though, I murmured a meek ‘yes’, I do have a half an hour warm up session in the mornings.

“While doing the exercise, in between don’t you lie down for some time, take deep breaths and count till ten?”

Yeah, I do it. Everyone does it. Another ‘yes’ murmured. Where is Ramadan taking me? I waited for the next question.

“Instead of counting till ten, why don’t you recite some Tasbeeh? Let’s say ‘Ashhadu allailaha illa allah, asthaghfirullah, allahu akbar walhamdulilla’ for three times.”

Wow, isn’t that a great idea? Remembering Allah even during my exercise sessions! Why didn’t I think of it earlier? And here a simple way of worship that I can do all my life! Instead of finding the easy and simple ways to keep my contact with Allah, I’ve selected the difficult path, which will soon make me tired. And then I’ll sit wondering why Allah has made everything difficult for me.

I thanked Ramadan for this little but useful peace of suggestion. And I promised Ramadan that I’ll do it all my life, Insha Allah. Ramadan smiled, patted on my head and kissed on my cheeks. I was the happiest person on earth.