Feb 13, 2008

Speak to me, Pythia.

An article I found lying somewhere in my inbox. I think I wrote it two years ago. And writers are usually very happy when what they write ages ago still makes sense to them in the present.

I can assure you it's not the happy case here at all.

I've always thought that believers in soothsayers or oracles are the ones with the weakest of faiths. It is my experience that when we falter, the going has gotten real tough and all, we move on to a blind leap of faith, we want to believe in a higher order.

Because when everything was going fine and peachy, there wasn't much need to believe in a grand existence or the possibility of knowing someone more powerful than us. There isn't much fun in finding out the why of it all if all you see is good and green. So what happens when the cookie crumbles, the fat lady sings and the tough gets going? (including other equally cheesy idiomatic, idiotic phrases, which, personally, don't quite CUT it, if you know what I'm talking about)... You look up. You see the sky and wonder if there's someone up there seeing something more than you could see.

Whether it's the earthquake that struck us last year, or the explosion that took place yesterday, I'm awonder so as to what to believe in. I firmly believe in a Higher Existence. I firmly believe in God. I firmly believe in the superiority of His creation and the miracle of existence. What I don't understand is the fine print. Why? Mainly because the more I read it, the more I get confused and the more I get confused, the more I want a Pythia.

What's the fine print? It's that between good and bad, between yes and no,between hell and heaven, between obedience and transgression lies the questionable aspect of perception. A six and a nine. A maybe. A what if. A why.

Like how a clause of self-defense can get you out of capital punishment.Like how some people can justify suicide bombing. I know these examples are far apart in comparison, if you look at it technically. But you know what? Sometimes these technicalities bring you much closer than you think. It's all about a six and a nine. Meat and poison. Perception. That's what matters, right?

My only issue with one of my favorite psychological approach, Existentialists, was this. How do you know that someone else's reality isn't going to end up harming MY reality? How do you know where to put an end to an individual's individuality - because if you don't - it's going to be nuclear fission - and we all know how THAT story turned out.

I know Qazi Hussain Ahmed disagrees heavily with the government officials but let's say for a minute that that man, with the severed head, was indeed a suicide bomber responsible for that explosion and for the fifty-plus deaths two days ago. Let's say that he was the man who had the gall to stand on the stage, looking onto the row of ulemas, solemn in prayer and detonate himself seconds before his eyes could witness the detruction he would be causing. The blood, the bodies, the fumes, the sirens, the chaos. Let's say he was that man. And then let's ask - is this what God created? A world, a system where horror could rule this way? Is this what Existentialists mean by each man's reality? For no reality is worse than a reality filled with bodies strewn on the street. I'm sure EACH man's reality was filled with the similar horror.

Psychologists agree that everyone experiences certain things same and certain things differently. My questions are simple in this article. Just HOW differently do these psychopaths feel? HOW differently do you need to see the world to sell yourself to any concept .. money, faith or any other concept known to man ... to detonate? And did God decree this? Did God create us for THIS? And allow me to be true to my culture and religion - did celebrating Eid ul Milaad un Nabi mean ultimately THIS? First a stampede.. then an explosion?

I'm not saying that that is why we shouldn't celebrate 12th Rabiul Awwal. But there is no Shariaii stance for Eidul Milaadun Nabi. We find no evidence in celebrating it with jalsas, with halwas and certainly not with explosions, firecrackers or bombs.

I'm puzzled. Really. First at the failure of mankind to celebrate itself as a glorious creation of God (even heathens would agree, I'm sure). Second at the failure of understanding Islam as a religion of peace and goodwill (the last three days have certainly turned the image around for certain onlookers). Third at the meaninglessness of everything in this cosmic circus. Lives mean nothing? Fear is a joke? What about the six year old girl who cried for her father and didn't know until a day later that he was sent to the hospital with broken bones? Or what about those poverty-stricken families that Hanif Billo was supporting? And what about those people who are stoning hospitals, setting fire to ambulances, to motorcycles, to firebrigades? And let's bring in our favorite ... the suicide bomber. The man who did it all. And what about the ones who put him up to this? Who are these people? Of the same kind and lying on two opposing sides of the debris.... ?

I didn't know who to ask for answers on 8th of October. I didn't know who to go to today either. Although I curse the people who could have done this. I curse those too who killed the Shiaiites in Muharram, too. (In case you thought that my being Sunni has something to do with this). I curse them all under my breath, I talk aloud with my family and friends, repeating my "why would anyone do this" question. I want to create a magnet that could excavate all these people from the earth and then I would want to dump them in the sun like some superhero, but I am astounded by my adult cognition: I can't do any of that. Sad. Mankind will continue to swim in this whirlpool of existence without these answers. Pythia will remain quiet and cry silently with us. She is not allowed to speak. No one is. Makes sense. This calls for a moment of silence anyway.

No comments: