Ithaca

when you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
pray that the road is long,
full of adventure, full of knowledge.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops
the angry Poseidon- do not fear them:
you will never find such as these on your path
if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
emotion touches your spirit and you body.
The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
the fierce Posiedon you will never encounter,
if you donot carry them within you soul,
if your heart does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.
That the summer mornings are many, when,
with such pleasure, with such joy
you will enter ports seen for the first time;
stop at Phoenician markets,
and purchase fine merchandise,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
visit many Egyptians cities,
to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
But do not hurry the voyage at all.
It is better to let it last for many years;
and to anchor at the island when you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.
Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
Without her you would never have set out on the road.
She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not decieved you.
Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
you must have already understood what Ithacas mean.

ithaca

~Constantine Cavafy(1863-1933)
translated by Rae Dalven

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All That Glitters…….

“It is a terrible thing to see, and have no vision” – Helen Keller

                 There are many things, we find too much attractive, hard to resist. Of many things that tempt me, ‘colours’ attract me the most. Anything with bright colours, glitters, shine and shimmers is hard to look away from. I have this romantic infatuation with colours for a long time- long enough for me to exactly tell. It feels as if, some force makes me keep looking at all things bright.

                   Sometimes, I wonder what the world would have been like without colours. How I would have never been able to enjoy the sight of humble sun, setting in the horizon, reddish-orange, tired from the whole day’s hard work of keeping everything warm and alive.The joyful beauty of mustard fields, spreading on acres, that accompany me miles along the road from hostel to home in spring time. The white clouds, with shades of gray, blue,crimson and sometimes pink, that make shapes of sailing boat, turtle, a big bear and random other things- just to make me smile. The shimmering of decoration lights, the captivating sight of fireworks in the night and those colourful marble stones, I’ve spent years playing with.

               It also makes me wonder at times, if everybody sees what I see. Or maybe, this is all some hallucination and perhaps I’ll just wake up from this dream to find out that this is not the world I live in, after all. But, if all I see, all I feel is nothing but a dream, then, I wish not to wake up. I’m a happy person to celebrate the sights, and all the beautiful sights there are to marvel, to cherish and to love.  

sunset        

mustard

 clouds

lights

fireworks

marbles         

       Praise be to Lord- the Creator, the Painter!!

big

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”  ~Kahlil Gibran

(the images are not owned by the author-Cat’s Pajamas)

Confused, Eh?

                                           when the thoughts roll

Much as I am interested in debates and discussions, I’m mostly contended watching people talk on different issues and then take home something to think about. About two months back, Rawalian Debating Order announced the topics for declamation for annual debating event.There was one topic which I found pretty interesting, ‘The Real Problem’.
There could be so much to talk about it yet nothing seemed to hit the nail since the topic was pretty vague. Nonetheless it was an important issue. So, after much brainstorming with a real good friend, Ammara Javaid, on what could be the real problem that is causing all the problems in the world……we two reached on two very different conclusions.
To me, the real problem in this world is the lack of confusion, lack of doubts. This concept was ingrained in my mind mainly by the saying of Bertrand Russell that, ”The trouble with the world is that fools are cock-sure and wise so full of doubts”. Once i started looking around, the idea seemed pretty much justified.
For an instance, if only Israel and Palestine get confused, the incidents like war on Ghaza strip will not take place again. If the Afghan mujahideens and the tax-payers of the west, who are actually paying for the cost of war-on-terror become confused that maybe, this war is not bringing them any closer to God or humanity then this continuous, worthless bloodshed can be stopped right now. If only India and Pakistan become confused regarding their conflicts then along with many other problems, the Kashmir problem will not remain such a problem, as it has been so for the past more than half a century.The problems of poverty, corruption and lack of opportunities are all the consequences of the problems present in the system in which we are living. System which is failing and needs reforms.If only the bureaucracy and army of Pakistan become confused regarding their conflicts, many reforms can be easily brought up in our system. If we are confused as a nation, we can make our political leaders end the blame games and practically do something for the country.
From the level as big as world wars, to the level of religious and sectarian violence, to the level as little as divorcing couples, it is the lack of confusion and lack of doubts that is the real problem. Einstein had said, ” we can never solve problems using the same thinking with which we first created them”. With alot of confusion, ‘conflicts’ can prove to be the source of bringing different groups together, strengthening their communication, and increasing their level of objectivity towards the goals. And then, together, they’ll find many new questions and face many new problems which they might have been ignoring before. But, life is not a problem- we call it ‘experience’.
Before giving declamation on this topic, I wasn’t much concerned about winning or losing. I just wanted to make atleast one person from the audience understand the idea i wanted to convey. I lost the competition. But after the declaration of results, a girl from the audience came to me and said she really liked my views. Technically I had lost, yet I was successful. This is a funny world we live in….or maybe not. I don’t know….I’m confused!!

                                                                       girl-confused-14255109

Nothing Really Matters

 I was standing in the dissection hall today, when a 

cadaver caught my attention. No one was around it. Its eyes were open, 

skin removed, few organs intact, limbs missing, and muscles showing. If 

there could be any communication between the dead and living, I 

certainly had one today….. 

I wish to be respectful, but since ‘cadaver’ is the only 

noun i know, my apologies. I was told what it is to be alive. Nothing 

but a spark. Its a moment. And how very seriously we take it…..its 

hilarious. Whenever we are done wrong, we become just, and that makes it our 

obligation to take the ‘rightful’ revenge, we are prejudiced, 

negatively opinionated and consider the art of ‘let-it-go’ the biggest 

stupidity ever. When we are done right, we forget to be thankful, let 

alone returning the favor with generosity, because somehow, it hurts our ego, 

lets down our pride…..and how much self obsessed we are. All these things matter so much to us, should they? 

 All life has to end….and 

considering this world, we are ‘lucky’ if we get a proper grave to 

rest….as that is the ultimate thing we will leave, no matter what kind 

of life we spend here. We’ll be lucky, if our bodies get to burst in 

the graves, smell worse than the filthiest toilets, and our flesh be 

eaten by underground terrestrial creatures which we find disgusting. We 

are lucky if we get all this….and not if we become some un-named 

cadavers with our eyes open and staring blankly at some stranger to give 

out such words of wisdom after death. 

Its hilarious how seriously we take life, and its even more ridiculous, 

how the person manages not to actually understand any of the stuff, that 

she has managed to write, right now……its ridiculously hilarious.