the equation of general Moeen's extraordinary visit

left hand side: what we get

a state premier's welcome for our one and only general,

two stallions and four mares which will "form a strong breeding germ-plasm for production of quality horses for Bangladesh Army" (handed over the general himself in a spectacular presentation ceremony), and

four dead bodies (killed bt bsf on 24th feb at Thakurgaon Satkhira borders)

right hand side: what they get

direct train service from dhaka to delhi (and state-of-the-art security cage at the border),

air cargo transit that badly compromises our national interest and security, and

rice export facility at exorbitant price

[photo credit: daily star, www.leatherwoodstud.com, weneedafence.com]


visit bangladesh year 2008

though i hardly ever manage to stick to the resolutions i make beginning of each year, i am very ritualistic about making them. this time around, the new year just passed by silently and it was only recently that resolution-making popped up in my mind. while pondering what can be an achievable resolution, i thought why not let 2008 be my 'visit Bangladesh year'. why not spend my precious few remaining months of freedom (ahem!!) traveling across BD as much as i can?

jei kotha shei kaj (let it be so). i took the next available opportunity, the long weekend of ekushey february (21st feb, which is international mother language day), to seek out exploring my motherland.

destination Kushtia

some people i know planned a study tour on the 21st feb, and i decide to join in along with a few friends. kushtia, once a centre of art and culture in undivided Bangal, is a natural choice for this group of mostly intellectuals (or atleast wannabees). 'we are starting at seven sharp', i was told; but by the time we manage to get ourselves moving, it's just about eight. not bad i reckon, considering the cold lazy morning it is, and the almost sixty of us taking part.

the best mishti doi (sweetened youghurt) i ever had

we arrive in the town of kushtia more than just hungry and tired, after a gruelling five hour trip in a forty four sitter bus. a sumptuous eight dish lunch arranged by some local friends is eagerly waiting for us (i wonder who is more eager, the lunch or us) , but that is a further 8 kms away. our voluntary guide, a professor from kushtia, is wise enough make a famous local restaurant the first stop in our trip, where we are treated to the local delicacy of chira doi (sweetend youghurt with puffed rice). i could hav at least had five more servings of that, if only time was on my side. i guess that explains the quality.

[to be cont'd...]


tadaru' : humility and humbleness before Allah

[note: this is an abridged version of the first in a series of articles by Amr Khaled on Islamic Qualities]

Law Number One: We must always humble ourselves towards Allah

Tadaru' is a term that means exaggerated humility and humbleness caused by despair and is expressed when a person reached his final resort.

Allah teaches us in the Quran that tadaru' is a form of worship a believer uses during emergencies and crises. It requires a person to remove the veils of arrogance and ego covering his or her heart. It implies sincere begging to the Lord of the Worlds. It demonstrates that a person has realized how weak he is and how Powerful our Lord is, and that he is nothing whatsoever in front of Allah (swt).

We need to approach Allah being aware of the fact that He is our last and only resort for help. It is Him and only Him who can rescue us from the calamities we are facing and the hardship we are going through, both as individuals and as a community.

Sometimes when Allah sees that we have strayed from the Straight Path, He puts us in a severe situation so that we realize our weakness and run back to Allah for protection. We must be intelligent enough to understand these messages and act according to them. Allah does this for our benefit, because we need to maintain a close relationship with Him. We must not make the mistake of closing our eyes and hearts in front of Allah's call to humbleness and humility to Him.

Going back to tadaru’:

1. Understand, accept and acknowledge that there is no one to help you apart from Allah (swt), the only One worthy of worshipping, glorified and exalted be He.
2. Realize and confess in front of Allah that you have wronged yourself.
3. Engage in sincere supplication to Allah with utmost humility and humbleness.

Our prayers are bound to be answered if we are sincere enough in our and aware of our status of being His slave. Tadaru' .... that's the first thing we should go back to. We need to achieve tadaru' so that Allah may change our situation, because...

"Verily Allah will never change the condition of a people until they change themselves"



inertia. i was first introduced to this term of physics in high school back in the mid nintys. it applies to object's reluctance to change from their current state.

this is a term that very much describes a lot about me. i hav a high inertia, especially when it comes to climbing out of those lows that everyone falls into (which in my case more often than not). ever since returning home mid last year, i have more or less been doing nothing meaningful. just laying back and letting time fly me away. guess its like wat happens when u suddenly find urself wit loads of money, and are totally at wit's end on wat to do with it.

it took me great few months to realize this. not lets see how long it takes me to make it happen.