Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Madness is the cure

What the heart does not find is that madness is a cure
To the darkness that resides, where love does not endure

Long have I awaited for the breaking of the night
Far have I strove for Dawn's early light
Feeling the harsh reality of the coldness of the wind
Break through the layers of the soul's encrusted sin

What are thoughts towards the sun, they are a million mile run
To the depths of lifeless space, that shines back God's warm embrace

Indeed madness is the cure, to shout out life's allure

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Here I am, the day after, kitty on lap, listening to "Delicate" by Damien Rice, sort of happy.
Every try really listening to your heart? Feel the vibration inside as your heart beats pump in waves of warmth? Ever try to remove the films from it so that you can feel God's light shine on through.
When you did, for surely there have been times that you have in moments of clarity, did you remember it afterwards?
I know I'm blessed in many ways by God, and I'm glad Rubina Auntie gave me "The Alchemist" By Paulo Coelho to remind me to listen to my heart and follow what my dream is eventually when I find it. I tried the whole night to listen to my heart, feeling the tremors of God from His words, and from the vibration inside, the gift He gave me, the ability to love. I hope it continues to get me out of this weird funk I've been, and to live a little, bit by bit.

Christmas was nice, I went with Usha to the Sonargon Hotel to see the Christmas trees. It was beautiful...though it was a sad contrast when I returned to Kathalbagan to see so many people still working the streets, the men, women and children. There is no such thing as Christmas for most of Bangladesh obviously, the Hotel was just an interesting anomaly for people like me in my position.

Anika matched me in the presents I bought, which is awesome, because by the time everyone came around, we had a decent amount of gifts. It was a nice touch, but I was so tired afterwards! I feel asleep on the couch with kitty while waiting on a call.
And then I finished the Alchemist and I couldn't sleep again!

Well today is my last day with individual freedom, dad is coming tomorrow, and that's another joy, so this joy too must come to an end and be enjoyed.
Peace and blessings of God be upon you,

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Family and friends

if bliss was made of marshmallow frost
In your oven would my eyes wander lost

"oh silly boy, marshmallows are Haram, go dream of chocolate sauce"

I think I wrote that out of just being sleepy and imagining marshmallows as pillows...but now I'm more thinking about how Bangladesh is FREEZING!
I guess NJ would be freezing too...if it wasn't for fossil fuels and indoor heating!
At least the cat is in my lap, I tend to steal it away from Nanu when I can at night so can get some warmth. Too bad that I'm allergic to the cat, I end up sneezing through the night. Well it's so cold that I'm blowing my nose either way, one more reason couldn't hurt.

I'm planning Christmas here in Bangladesh...which is strange considering I hardly celebrate Christmas at home.
Fortunately, being a non-Christian, I have the ability to make Christmas into whatever I want here because no one knows anything about it really in the family...sort of like a missionary introducing Catholicism to South Americans but involving presents not back breaking labor.'s the closest thing to you in so many ways, blood, proximity, familiarity. The only thing that isn't is choice. I wonder if we were given the option to choose family if we ever would choose who we have. That's the beauty in it.
Well God let us have both ways...familiar family, unfamiliar friends. One by birth, one chosen, though in the end I wonder how many would choose the latter over the former.
The thing about friends is, like I said, we choose them. They fit our needs, they listen to us grumble, and they'll catch us when we stumble. If those criteria are not met, or if we ourselves change, then eventually we'll go through the difficult transition of choosing new ones.
Family; if they are good ones, will love us no matter what. But love and affection are two very different terms. Just because they love us doesn't mean they'll show it when we need it, or even show much at all. I've seen so many friends my age just starving for some warmth, when all they get is verbal abuse for not being good enough. Low SAT scores, a C (or many times even a B), comparison to "better" children, it really lowers your self esteem.
When I went to college, I gained a lot of friends. I'd like to say that I'm blessed with showing affection and giving trust as well as empathy, it helps with people who are sensitive to that. Many of my friends were affectionate, loving people. However, I made the mistake of treating them like family. In that complete devotional way, I called friends "brothers" or put my complete emotional bond to quite a few people. What I learned eventually is that the consequence is that most people aren't accustomed to such affection, especially at a stage in our lives where we are changing our perception in what we need. Hence, my reliance on people, which was a substitute for my obvious reliance on my family, slowly changed till I realized rather than supporting and being supported by others, I need to grow on my own.
It makes sense, family to friends to me, and now back to family again along with me.
I'm here in Bangladesh, still understanding the difference between family, friendship, and identity.
Family, God bless the gift of one, will always love you, but having grown accustomed to you always being there, may not grow to understand you. Friends, though they may support and understand your needs, may not travel across the world for you. Of course I said may, because I hope that there will always be exceptions, and may they eventually be the norm.
I think my parents were right though, children sounded so much more obedient a few generations ago, so I can understand the current South Asian generation's plight with their night clubbing, arguably lazier (I don't know that many people my age in America that study as much as their counter parts in Asia) and more disobedient generation. However, I think their is a wonderful culture in America where we think for ourselves. That type of thinking is starting to bloom independently here in Bangladesh itself.

As for cousins, that one is a tough one, they are your nearest in terms of age and blood, and they arguably some of your best companions given enough time. But there is still a line. You grow up with friends and you choose them out of your needs. But when your cousins grow up differently than you, you're still close, but is the understanding still there? As I leave Bangladesh in less than 3 weeks, I guess I'll be beating myself up about it.
Oh to be a strong human in a sea of doubts, where I've learned to compare myself to people of strength and to shame myself looking at the hard work of people who have less. Then I remember, with shame, not to compare myself to people, yet the thought still lingers on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


So it's been a while...I think I was in a mix between a self induced funk (more recently) and a food eating binge (previously) to make up for trying to figure out what I enjoy.
So since my last post I slaughtered 3 goats and a chicken.
One goat during Eid, I held the blade with the Imam and we did it. The thing is, when he said to stop cutting...we shouldn't have. The goat died miserably, it was still coughing like it was 30 seconds before when it was still whole. It was still full of enough vitality to raise its head and stare back at us.
What do I remember the most that day? The few specks of blood on my hand from the cut
Also the cow I wrote about. Every cow that comes to the slaughter apparently is scared shitless...this one was no exception, there were a few piles right next to after the deed was done.
So much fear, eyes go white, the jerking. I wonder if there really is a humane way to murder. Sanitized meat murder without the danger of eviscerating the corpse.
I am a murderer...yet I don't feel as bad as this terrible piece of prose reflects. I realized I wanted to do it again, by my own hand, and not mess up.
I had my opportunity with two more goats that my Uncle from America bought to slaughter in commemoration of naming his child (why does that sound barbaric in my Western personal lens when it isn't to me). I did the same thing, held the hand with the Imam and did it. Though I should mention that before the deed, I was petting the goats when they were crying, doing my best to calm them down.
And down they went. One, and then the next, slammed head down next to the corpse of the last.
Again, I remember the drops of blood after I said the words.
Death in the name of God...for meat, for life.
This is the pain we must take, inflict, in that we are justified, in fact demanded, to use God's name.
All this killing in the name of God, is right here for livelihood, not for pure murder.
So much of that cow we killed on Eid, and those two goats also that day, they went to the poor. We fed about a third of each animal to the poor.
The burden of humanity is supposedly being a benevolent Shepard in my faith, which seems to be a task that no human is honor bound to keep.
We eat and we eat and we eat, but we forget the consequences of these actions.
I killed a chicken two weeks ago
And I did it wrong, oh God I did it wrong. I was supposed to slit its throat, but I ended up doing the opposite of the first goat and I cut too much to the point where it was beheaded. I held onto to that head so tightly as the rest of the body went away, watching its beak move up and down, knowing it couldn't scream with its body being ripped away by the edge of my blade. I noticed the drops of blood upon my hand
I then skinned the chicken, tearing through was has now become a covering to the "meat". Do you realize how warm meat is? No, because if you're like me, you've only seen meat cut after being defrosted. But meat, flesh, another animal's body, is warm, and as the life leaves the body, so does the warmness flow out. I was then taught how to cut the flesh into meat to cook.
That day I threw up. I'm not sure if it was because of the process, but I felt nauseous.
I hate throwing up, this was the first time this trip. Which is actually great, because 5 years ago I threw up 12 times, 9 of those times in one day.
Ever since then I was in a slump,
But I can't give up can I,
Life is full of so many cruelties for so many other people, that I need to forget the little things that rage inside my head and forget the anger.
I guess this is helping, because right now I'm angry over something else, pretty insignificant in the course of my visit here. But heck, that doesn't mean I should just suppress it as usual. Me not emphasizing that I deserve what I want is a major reason why people don't believe keeping their word is meaningful. But that's loopy, and you probably don't need this seemingly random tangent. Just know that thoughts, no matter how disconnected, are all part of a web, so beautiful, so original that you wouldn't realize that it was a true pattern. It's the best type.