slip-sliding away…..

Archive for March, 2007

Favourites

Posted by Yacoob on March 28, 2007

Here are some posts which I’ve really enjoyed. By no means is it a complete list…but its just the ones that sprang to mind, and I could find in the last few days. Enjoy :)

No Hi! and other snippets… – Maliha

To Sufyan with love – Maliha

My Favourite Things – Maryam

A Letter from Madinah – on Randomly Placed

Dolls? You must have meant WITCHES!!!!!! – Aliana

School in Palestine – Abu Sinan

on if we could see what we carry – Saaleha

hi my name is r and i am a stasher – r

Diary Of A New Computer User – Shakira

Kids…gotta love ‘em….- Fatima

This is what happens when MSA takes over your life – Safiyyah

fun with unlikely stuff – Asmaa

Posted in Are you pondering what I'm pondering? | 3 Comments »

The Monster Party

Posted by Yacoob on March 28, 2007

One Saturday evening there was great excitement in Monsterville.

Grogre’s parents were having a party for Zlunk at their house. It was Zlunk’s birthday: They decided to let Zlunk invite the monsters that he wanted to. He invited Grumple, Grogre, Bogus Boo, the Zippopotamus and the Hippocrump.

It was Zlunk’s three hundred and fiftieth birthday. He was still quite young for a monster!

When the monsters got to Grogre’s house, they went out. It was seven p.m. and they had until one a.m. till the party was over. They decided to get trucks.

Bogus Boo was scaring people from their trucks until they got out and ran. Meanwhile Zlunk and Grumple were chasing people for about two kilometres until they were too tired to run anymore. Zlunk and Grumple caught the people.

When they got back each monster was hungry for they were carrying a truck and a person. They ate Ghost Pops and people. They left one person for Pass the Person. When they had eaten they played Pass the Person. Every time the music stopped the monster who had the person had to take a bite of him.

After that they played leap trucks. Later on everyone was tired and went home.

The party was a great success.

(Written in either Class 2 or Std 1…which is Grade 2 or 3, for the non-South Africans)

Posted in Back in time | 1 Comment »

Up in the sky (2)

Posted by Yacoob on March 25, 2007

                    

Sunset in Durban                                     Moon and mountain, Cape Town

  

Early morning

    

   

Sunny daze

                         

Similar pix: Up in the sky (my very 1st post :) )

Posted in Something to see, Up in the sky | 1 Comment »

Tag here

Posted by Yacoob on March 18, 2007

Over the last few weeks, I’ve added some new links on the right hand side – the blogs of some really interesting people.

One of the new folks, Maryam, tagged me with the topic “5 things you didn’t know about me”.

So, here goes:

  1. I cannot ride a bike (unless its got training wheels ;) )
  2. At one point, “Terminator 2″ was my favourite movie of all time – I had seen it about 15 times and knew every scene and line.
  3. I used to be a sleepwalker, and reportedly did a Steve Urkel impression in my sleep.
  4. I do not like plugs being left on, when there’s nothing plugged in. It’s dangerous. I switch these plugs off.
  5. Since yesterday, I have a black spot on the inside of my cheek. It may be a blood clot; or it may be a beauty spot (if u get those inside your mouth)…or it may be something else. I don’t know what it is. But its new. Up until yesterday, that was something I didn’t even know about me ;) )

That’s 5. And now, I tag:

Saaleha
Bibi Aisha
Zahera
Ruby
Fatima
Muhammad

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Filth at the bus stop

Posted by Yacoob on March 17, 2007

A while back, the bus stop in my neighbourhood had its advertising boards changed. Not at all an unusual occurrence.

But, what was unusual – this time – was the advert that went up. 

The advert was for a strip club, and one of the sides of the advert featured a woman’s backside (she’s not wearing much), and between her legs you can see a man, grinning at what’s in front of  him.

While advertising like this may be more appropriate for the many sleazy tabloids and magazines that are – unfortunately – widespread in this city, putting it on a busy bus stop – where many, many people wait for their transport at all times of the day and night – was outrageous to me.

Fortunately, others shared this outrage, and the Advertising Standards Authority received a number of complaints about the offending posters. (Complaints can be lodged at http://www.asasa.org.za/Complaint.aspx)

After submitting my complaint, it took a few weeks until a final response was received – being that there is an investigation and ruling process, which takes time.

Alhamdulillah, I’m pleased to say that the outcome was positive :) .

The advertiser was ordered to withdraw the offensive parts of the ad with immediate effect, which has since been done.

For those interested in the legal ruling, please see the attached picture (asa-ruling.JPG), which is a copy of the full report. (I’ve edited out names of the complainants and left only the text of the report.)

When the posters had gone up initially, it had bothered me, and I just could not see how something so blatantly offensive could be posted in such a public place.

I immediately avoided looking at the bus stop, turning my eyes away every time I passed it. But after a few weeks, I realised that that was not enough. I mean, I made the choice to look away, and avoid it – which protects me.

But, what about the others who are subjected to it? What about the kids, what about the elderly, what about every person of good, decent values who doesn’t want to see their world deteriorate into a cesspool of filth, pornography and open promotion of the lowest desires of mankind?

We are ordered to enjoin the good and forbid the evil; and if we see something wrong, we should try to stop it with our hands; failing that, with our tounge, and failing that, with our heart (i.e.  dua).

We can rightly be disgusted with the things that are considered ‘acceptable’ in today’s society. We can be deeply saddened by the moral degenration of the last few decades. But we must go beyond just thinking these things. We need to take action; speak out against it; and take a stand for what we believe in.

It’s been said that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing.

Freedom is good – freedom of choice, freedom of action…all good things.

But there has to be some kind of limit – or else everyone would be free to do what they want, and there would be chaos.

In today’s society, “freedoms” are so widely touted – seen to be ‘progressive’, ‘modern’, etc. But how often do we hear about the responsibilities that come with those freedoms?

With every freedom comes a corresponding responsibility.

If you just have the freedom, with no conscience, with no idea that you also have a responsibility – then you can very easily faill into the mindset that you live in a free-for-all, where you can do whatever you want.

When morals decline, society declines. You have crime, sexual assaults, murder, theft, corruption…many, many things – which can be seen even in the ‘highest’ levels of society: government.

For those who think this life is their final destination, the mindset of free for all, do what you please – can be very prevalent.

But, as Muslims, we don’t subscribe to that principle. We know that this life is a station of tests – its our preparation for our Final, Eternal Destination. Our actions in this life – in these 60, 70 years we have on earth – are the criteria by which we will be judged; the evidence in deciding where we will spend Eternity.

Forever.

We may not be able to truly comprehend just what “Eternity” means – because we don’t live in a world free of time.

But we have enough intelligence to distinguish between a minute and an hour; a day and a decade.

And we know that, once we reach that grave, thats when our eyes are truly opened. That’s when  the reality of our existence will be clear for us to see.

So, while we’re alive and have time and opportunity, lets try to see through the façades of the world we live in in the 21st century.

Regarding all the corruption and vice that’s out there – it can bring us down, yes – make us feel sad at what’s happening. But its also an opportunity for us to speak out; a chance for us to take a stand against the evils that threaten us in 2007, and our children to come in future years.

We may not think that one person can make a difference – but one person CAN make a difference. And when like-minded people unite in a common cause, insha-Allah, things can change for the better.

Even something as simple as complaining about an advert – a small effort on our part, but the result can be amazing.

By the permission of Allah, we CAN make a difference: all we have to do is try.

Posted in Are you pondering what I'm pondering? | 3 Comments »

Run

Posted by Yacoob on March 16, 2007

Its amazing how we can forget the simplest things in life. As we grow up, we learn more, grow wiser with experience, and become more sophisticated in many ways.

We mature, think of ourselves as adults – but, hopefully, always retain the inner child that is essential to our survival in this world.

I’ve been inspired: A few times in the recent past, either because I was in a hurry, or just because I felt like it, I decided to run to wherever I was going. Be it the shop, the elevator, wherever.

In primary school, the prefects crack down on you if you run in the schoolyard. I’m not a child anymore. And I have the freedom to run.

Its not that I don’t perform the physical act of running – because I do, via ‘jogging’. But thats a controlled, disciplined act of exercise. You pace yourself, because you have a certain distance to go, and you don’t want to wear yourself out too soon.

But this new inspiration, alhamdullilah, is that I need to rekindle that childhood freedom of running wild and free.

Just run.

No set distance.
No clock.
No space constraints.
No boundaries.

Just run as fast as I can, as far as I can, for as long as I can.

Just run.

I hope it’ll have a psychologically and emotionally liberating effect – help me to feel the freedom that I have, but seldom let myself feel.

Other than a final push at the end of my jogs, I can’t remember the last time I pushed myself to the absolute physical limit. So, thats also something I want to achieve with this experience.

And its also a form of appreciation: appreciating the freedom I have – the wide open spaces.

People in many parts of the world, especially Palestine, are literally ‘caged in’ – prisoners in their own homes; in their own neighbourhoods.

We do not have those cages and those cruel boundaries. We should make dua for them, and hope that one day every single person on this planet will have the freedom we have.

But, despite our freedom, we build psychological boundaries, due to fear of crime (especially in S.A.), or whatever other reasons haunt us.

But those boundaries aren’t real – because we have safe places to go. So, we should take advantage of the beautiful environments around us – be it a sports field, park, athletic track, beach, forest…anywhere.

Rather than complaining about certain things in our lives, lets rather ignore that inner critic – that inner nag – and just let ourselves go free.

And just run.

(PS: When you go, rather be safe than sorry: Take some form of I.D. with you, so that if something happens to you, those who help you will be able to identify you, if you can’t speak…sorry, Mr Cautious and I have always been close, and he just had to have a word on this topic ;) )

Posted in Meanderings | 3 Comments »

What do you call…

Posted by Yacoob on March 7, 2007

A pot plant in a toilet?

A toilet-tree!

And this, good readers, sets the tone for today’s post:

I was pleasantly surprised, last week, to find that the toilets here at work have undergone an ‘upgrade’ of sorts. We now have air freshner, fancy soaps, potpourri, tissue holders and tissues (not to be confused with toilet roll, of course ;) ) and pictures on the walls.

Oh, and our toilet now has a name too. Right there, on the door. A toilet with a name. Imagine that…

These may be superficial improvements, but it makes a huge difference. Especially to someone like me, who is fussy when it comes to cleanliness. The state of a place’s toilets makes a big impression on whether I like the place or not. I’m not fixated on toilets, but the fact is: this little corner of an office, restaraunt or any other place you happen to be in, is very important to everyone. Everyone needs it; everyone uses it; and everyone (I hope) wants to ‘go’ in a place that is clean. Think about it….

Anyway, so in line with this upgrade, there are new designations. Whereas before, anyone was free to use any of the 3 toilets (1 is a disabled toilet, with its own basin), now there are signs: 2 male toilets, and the remaining, bigger one (with the basin) for females and disabled people.

I’ve always been disgusted by the state of most male public toilets. It seems to me that there’s separate toilets for separate genders solely because males can’t seem to use the toilet in a clean way. Well, lots of males, at least.

Now – in line with my cleanliness policy, and in consideration for others, I try to be as clean as possible when using a toilet that others have to use too. The question is now whether I should use the designated male toilets (which have no basin, and are much smaller) – or continue using what is now the designated female toilet (which does have a basin…and flowers too :) ).

So far, I’ve used mostly the female toilet – because I’ve always used it when it was available, instead of the others. Its inconvenient not having a basin – so this is my primary reason for sticking to this particular toilet.

However, whenever I go now, I do have a small worry about whether I’d be ‘caught’ – and reminded of the new gender designations. So far, a cleaning lady and my boss have spotted me going into ‘their’ toilet…but this has not deterred me.

My reasoning is that I’ve always used it; and I try my very best to be absolutely clean – and therefore do not cause the problems that some other males do when they ‘go’. So, I don’t need to feel guilty about it at all, and I don’t want to change toilets just because we have new signs on the doors.

Some might have a problem with this, though. But I’m not one of them ;)

Any thoughts? Should I conform, or retain my independent toilet choice?

Posted in Are you pondering what I'm pondering? | 5 Comments »

Sunrise

Posted by Yacoob on March 3, 2007

   

Posted in Something to see, Up in the sky | 4 Comments »

 
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