Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Esale-e-Sawaab

I'm sorry to disappoint you but this isn't an Islamic spoof of Harry Potter, I don't have any ideas for that as yet, maybe at a later date when everyone is finished with Deathly Hallows (or at least given a fair chance to those slow, slide their finger along the line to read, guys). My post is two-fold, firstly on khathams (I use this as a blanket term, on all Muslim gatherings, meelads, esale-e-sawaabs ... etc) and secondly Harry Potter, which I will attempt without spoilers.

I'm not a big fan of khathams (Muslim gatherings), mainly because I think the money could be put to better use, than feeding already well fed people. I know I'm being cynical, khathams are meant to be about more like passing on blessings to those who have passed away and possibly spiritual enlightenment but realistically more time is spent in feeding than anything else. People will go to tend to fires and sweetmeats, setting chairs and tables rather than sitting for their own khathams. Another thing that annoys me about khathams are people that come there to say Naaths(Kind of Islamic poems) and disappear down to eat when its Namaaz(Prayer) time. Namaaz is a tenet of our faith, khathams and Naaths aren't.

Things that annoyed me at our khatham:
My aunty (the paan aunty) calling me while reading Yaseen(Part of the Quran) to meet this lady I'm supposed to know, who kissed me on my cheek despite the fact she seemed to have been a bit too affectionate with the fish curry.
People with no authority to tell me what to do, telling me what to do.
People who conveniently have containers in their car to take away food and sweetmeats.
People who pretend to know me to get preferential treatment while serving.
Small kids who think its really fun to hit you as hard as possible and run away, but after a dousing of rose water (or two), he seemed to leave me alone.

So throughout the weekend I was trying to sneak in pages of Harry Potter, but I managed to get in some good solid reading in on Saturday night and all through Sunday. Its been a while since I have wanted to finish a book as much as I wanted to finish Deathly Hallows. When I finished it at first I was quite pleased and I thought it was a very good book because it tied up a lot of loose ends, maybe a distant second to Goblet of Fire, then the more I thought about the book, cynicism set in, and the less I liked the book. I discussed it with MJ and tore the book to shreds, I think I lambasted it a bit too much but I agree with QL that it was very poorly written compared to J.K.'s usual standard. I will go into more detail about my issues with the book in a later post and perhaps how I would have preferred the series to end.

This is my order of the books based on personal preference:
Goblet of Fire - far and away the best book in the series
Order of Phoenix - Dark but I like dark
Prisoner of Azkaban - Great twists and turns
Chamber of Secrets - Good mystery
Half Blood Prince - Not a lot really happened in this book
Philosophers Stone - Little more than a kiddies book, but enjoyable light reading
Deathly Hallows - For the reasons mentioned above

Till next time in Waseem world

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Fake this reality

Well is it? Should we find solace in the fact that everyone shares our fears and insecurities? Is happiness really a facade?

Sometimes I think I'm happy here
Sometimes, yeah, I still pretend
Nine Inch Nails - Every Day Is Exactly the Same

Till next time in Waseem world

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

A rose-red city half as old as time

Ruby's blog has a post to vote on the new 7 wonders of the world, a noble cause to obtain the 7 symbols of global unity. I just wanted to post on my favorite of the nominated wonders, the place which I most want to visit, (next to Makkah al-Mukarramah and Mad─źnat al Munawwarah) the red city, the architectural marvel that is Petra. The city carved into the rock, long hidden from the prying eyes of the western world.

Pictured above is the end of the dark and narrow gorge called the Siq, which is the entrance to this wondrous city.

At the end of the narrow gorge stands Petra's most elaborate ruin, the treasury (Al Khazneh), the intricacy and detail that went into the craftsmanship truly amazes me.

Unfortunately the Kaaba isn't nominated as one of the new 7 wonders of the world which I think is quite disappointing, given its historical heritage and ability to bring everyone, be it king or beggar, to the same level. Definitely much more of a wonder than the Statue of Liberty or Eiffel tower, and this coming from someone who hasn't even seen it in reality, well I haven't seen either of these in reality but from the media I have seen them in I know which one is better.

A true symbol of global unity

Till next time in Waseem world