Monday, November 5, 2018

Union not revolution

The archetypal depth of our race is deep
when we are split into two
with the eye of prejudice. 
And the dark power channels differences
through one part calling the downtrodden “other”
The darkness prepares for battle on the bulwark
thinking that a revolution will be 
Screeching with bloodshed
Bloodshed, yes! But it will be whispers of
“Union not revolution”
Where silent masses
Lay their heads on the executioner’s block
“We sacrifice in peace” 
the wraiths susurrate
“This is the way to oneness”

Monday, January 15, 2018

The true homage

There are a million eyes around me
And behind them is light
And focused light is painful to bear
And the delightful pain of this sight
Is overtaken by a chant of the sujood
Subhan e Rab Al Ala
And what is mine and what is not
As I forget to hear my share in the song
All I know is that all of it and more
The world, the skies, the souls
And beings that walk the path of rose
Should in devotion, breath and praise
Not a drop of that should go waste
For it belongs all to
The One Who Deserves All
And then my remorse is satisfied
That the universe is paying my due
of the homage which in my frailty
I cannot do!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The need

I have naught with me to sell in the shadow fair
My heart is valuable but only to me, 
what price can it get?
since trade is of a thing precious to both
Though hunger pangs force me to the market square

I too without this cursed need would desire not a shadow’s fare

The Sleepers of Ephesus

Do you know that the world is roiling in anger

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

Do you know prejudices are burning each other

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

Don't you hear that people don't care to live anymore
Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

We have to do something to make this world a better place

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

Why do you not take opium instead, 

you will then have a reason to be senseless

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

You are useless. It is because of likes of you, this tyranny is

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

If not do anything, let your heart be soft at least! mourn! please!

Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

Did the Beloved not order you to Struggle

Dearest did you mention the Beloved?

Yes, in Beloved's name move your sloth soul to action

Ah! Dear, if I were to listen to you and do something
I would only be doing to please you or 
Or to my tarnished image apply salve
So someone else can be called evil
Or I would be acting to protect my kin
Over another son of Adam
Or protecting my food and riches
To make another soul go hungry
Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

So you look down on me, you think me unholy

That I am not in a slumber and trying to change

While our children drown helpless in seas

And are washed upon shores of indifference

Ah dear, I too have died and been violated
Again and again; each worse than before
Each misery is the cost of a feeling heart
But it is the dread of numbness that
Burdens me to your stated inaction
The will of my Beloved is to Be
It to be Loved is me
The perfection of Justice is as perfect
As every moment I breathe or not
I be or not, all is or not
How can I look down on a slave who moves
By His Breath and seeks to change the world
All I can say is that I hear the sighing winds
And when a raindrop with my name 
Comes forth out of the mountainous clouds
As a healing for parched land
Or flood for the flooded
I will play my part, jubilant ecstatic
At being re-membered, 
But till then 
Let it go dear, let it go
tell me some about The Beloved

An inconsistent inconsistence

I have a thirst unquenched by seven seas
And a hunger that cannot be sate 
Feeling naked under the thickest veil
And despite roving eyes, remain blind
I have learned enough to know me unlettered
And am blessed with wisdom to play a fool
Amidst these treasures, still a pauper

Alive, I walk and laugh pretending at death

The decision that matters in depression

The decision that matters in depression. 

One of the things that characterizes many mental health problems, particularly depression is the vicious cycle that a person finds himself caught up in. The lack of ability to pull oneself out of problematic behavior patterns, contributes to more problems with self esteem and hopelessness which in turn sap a person’s strength more. The result is a state of inaction and stagnation. A person starts doubting their ability to do much of anything, if this cycle continues. 

I will illustrate this point with a single example. Most people with depression are too tired (both physically and emotionally) to go out of the house and do things. They will not wake up in the morning on weekends. They will not go out of the house for a walk at sunset. They will not go look at the flowers. They will not pick up the phone and invite someone for lunch. And most of the time these things are discounted as superfluous. “How much effect can one action have on the persistent sadness that pervades me”, they think. “Even if I can just manage to meet my responsibilities that would be more than enough”. I need to rest, so I have energy to do the important things. I do not have time to do anything else”. 

This kind of thinking is usually because of a cognitive distortion. That means that the depressed person will rely on a finite number of thought patterns that have been found to propagate depression. These are thoughts that are part of the vicious downward spiral and they deserve to be noticed. A lot cognitive behavioral therapists work with these thoughts. A stage in cognitive behavior therapy is called behavioral activation. This is the stage in which a person acts and take initiatives that they were previously not taking. 

Just like there is a negative spiral that can spin out of control, similarly, there is a positive spiral that can help us. Part of our job is to identify and then make use of the wafting currents of the positive spiral. 

For example, the person who decides instead of sleeping at 8pm, goes out for dinner with a friend will find that her one decision does not help her only in terms of that night. One positive decision multiplies. At dinner, she might find herself enjoying the food and decide to find a way to replicate it at home. Or that person might see the lights and people laughing and decide that she should get out more often. Or the friend that she meets might make her laugh. Or the friend might invite her to another lunch where there would be more people to connect with. Or that friend might talk about catching a movie together. Or she might want to go to see an interesting movie by herself. Or she might learn something about the new interest her friend has and she might start thinking about picking it up. Or her friend might share something sad about his life. It is possible that she might find herself as someone who is giving comfort rather than someone who is seeking it. Or she might find herself humming a song at the end of the night. Or she might think of a funny moment at dinner, while trying to go to sleep. Or next day she might have a thought about the dinner and reach out and say thank you to her friend. Or follow up on something else. 

I will invite you to compare this with her having gone to bed at 8pm and waking up in the morning. The one decision to pick up the phone and plan a dinner with her friend does not give dividends for just that evening. One decision followed through has the potential for giving structure to multiple other times. And this gift of life multiplies with every decision that we make. Not every dinner goes perfect. But not every dinner is a disaster. Chances are there will be some fun stuff, some boring stuff, some cheerful thoughts, some depressing thoughts. But regardless there is the promise of future happiness. And sometimes promises are the things that keeps us going on in life. So when it is time make the decision that is positive for your goals, make it. Faith is about making the decision without knowing what is out there but hoping for the best. It does come down to one decision at a time.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Salaatahu Tasbeehahu

There is a beat of the universe which sings
Devotional hymns
And the symphony is of infinite notes
Of Salatahu, Tasbeehahu
Through all motion is love
a hummed emotion
And A-love wails too but in crackling sighs
When a sound breaks my lips, it mourns
It's very existence,
If it's birth is not in Your name
And the wave of all prostrations, a pitch
Of which my ears, the glories can not hear
So when every inch of my being is
Answering, resonating to unseen tones
The only way I bear the silent times
Is think it an orchestral tacet, a rest,
A mercy!
Wait, my dear, be patient, hearken
The refrain is about to come!