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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Understanding of Islam - part 3

This is part 3 of my understanding of Islam. And may I say,to understand Islam, as with all Religions, one needs to not only intellectually , in a prosaic manner Read through the vast lietrature of the Holy Koran and its many associated works, but interact with Muslims.

And it is through this INTERACTION with my 3 close Muslim friends, as well as students who happened to adhere to the faith of Islam, as well as numerous Muslim acquaintances with whom I had chit-chatted on the roads of Calcutta mainly, that I came to an understanding of this Religion.

All with whom I have interacted are mainstream and follow the middle path.
But let me share with you what all have in COMMON: FAITH. DEEP FAITH.

The other traits which I have noticed are:

HONESTY. Almost none have shown to be dishonest. And I was especially astounded at the level of honesty found among the poorer sections of the Muslims. Where does this honesty come from, I wondered, using my brains. But, the answer lay somewhere else, the Honesty comes from the Faith itself.

BRAVERY. When accosted with wierd problems out of a property dispute which is ongoing, the first person I approached was Muslim by faith. In the U.S. of A, the first person who risked his car to teach me driving was a Muslim.

FRIENDSHIP. If you look at my second para, you'll understand that my Friendship with Muslims have stood the test of time. Not only that, even 4-5 hours of friendship, say, on a travelling train, where I can put my luggage in peace, and disembark on a station to buy some poori-luchi, stands the test.

Muslims that I have known, in ONE SIMPLE PHRASE -

NEVER BACKSTABBED ME.

......to be continued

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My Understanding of Islam - part 2

My appreciation of Islam grew when I specialized in studying its one aspect - the DEPTH OF THE HOLY KURAN'S LOVE OF NATURE.

That was part of my last posting, but there are so many things unsaid. Like the Prophet's primary dictate regarding the absolute abolition of cutting of trees. His respect for the BASIC ELEMENTS OF NATURE, in which lies the foundations of ECO-CONSERVATION.

Most interesting, I found the Prophet Muhammad's classification of animals. I will dwell upon this later.

Now, comes a STARTLING FACT I DISCOVERED IN ISLAM. And this idea was also formed after my strong interactions with 3 of my very close Muslim friends.

This was the CONCEPT OF SOCIALISM & BROTHERHOOD INHERENT IN ISLAM.

Take a look at the Holy Gatherings. The orderly praying. And after that, the giving away of alms to the needy. This is done after special Holy festivities, too.

Most important is the feeling of Brotherhood, that of All People Being EQUAL, the FEELING during the Mass Prayer. I thought to myself - If the FEELING (Dil Se) OF EQUALITY is absent in other political -isms (Note: Not Religious -isms), what is the point in pushing forward such an agenda.

I will dwell more on this FEELING AND ACTUAL EQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH UNDER ISLAM in some of my later writings.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My understanding of Islam - part 1

The purpose of this post is to dispel certain misgivings / rumours I have been hearing about me
lately. First let me clarify one thing - I AM HINDU , but regard all religions with respect, and
am a man in search of God.

Post- 9/11 , like MOST people around the world, I began interested in understanding Islam.
Of course, before 9/11, I had 3 VERY CLOSE Muslim friends. I also had some other friends of
Islamic faith, but they were mere acquaintances. Now, with 2 of my Muslim friends, I used to have HOURS AND HOURS of philosophical discussions, and sometimes they used to touch Religion.

So, I had a tentative, HEART-FELT, INTUITIVE UNDERSTANDING of Islam before 9/11.
9/11 shocked me, as it did every human being. And, being the curious creature that I am - like Muezza the Cat, I began delving into the Net about Islam.

My anger slowly dissipated over years as I began to see the surface beneath the depth of a great Religion.

HOURS AND HOURS I spent trying to understand Islam. At the point of time that I am, I have
reached certain conclusions -

Islam respects Nature. In fact, the Holy Koran is rightly called the Book of Nature. One can see
a wonderful movie called "Muhammad, Messenger of Allah" directed by Moustapha Akkad, to come to a
basic understanding of the message of the Prophet Mohammad. In true Islamic tradition, the
Prophet is not shown. Anyway, a cursory viewing of the film reveals the deep love theProphet
Mohammed had for Nature. In this movie is shown the Prophet Mohammed's doctrines underlying his PROHIBITTING CUTTING OF TREES. As also, is shown how his life is saved by Qaswa, his devoted Camel, as also, a spider, doves, the elements of Nature like the DESERT itself.

Searching the Net, one can find wonderful stories about Muezza the Cat. Almost every Muslim knows about the stories of Muezza. This love of the ordinary Cat is extended to all the Big Cats.

It took me hours of research to understand that Islam respects Nature to the extent that ALL
ENVIRONMENTALISTS AND WILD-LIFE ENTHUSIASTS LIKE ME, can learn a lot from Islam.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My take on Paul the Octopus

After my favourite team Germany, of which I was a supporter since 1986, lost - I really am stupefied about this Paul the Octopus.

Obviously, Paul is a FAR BETTER PREDICTOR/MARINE NOSTRADAMUS or whatever than I am, there is no doubt.

Anyway, logically speaking, I can only say these things -

Such predictions have a "mass psychology" effect on the whole team. These are the psychological pressure points :

  1. An entire country's population watching the team.
  2. 11 players , after winning 5 games, TOTALLY IS UNDER INDUCED FAILURE SUGGESTION - that they are going to lose.
  3. FIFA World Cup is about STRATEGY more than dribbling the ball around. How can the Coach cool-headedly draw up a strategy beforehand.
  4. Within the fastest game on earth , forgetting jal-alai, COACHES DYNAMICALLY CHANGE STRATEGIES. With the spectre of Paul hanging on their heads, obviously the Coach can't concentrate. And draw up better plans to counter the offense via more off-side traps, more man-to-man marking, whether to allocate 1 or 2 "sweepers" -the genius concept created by Franz Beckenbauer, whether to switch attack from the left flank to the right flank, whether to initiate attack from the classic midfield position, whether to give very long passes to - say 1 to 3 passes to give the ball to the right person to get a shot at the goal, whether when you are down by one goal - to focus how much on defence and so on and so forth.
I wouldn't eat this Paul the Octopus, the famed Cephalod, neither would I carry out ridiculous experiments on it, but let it loose back into the ocean where it belongs.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Severe Weather Predictions for Bengal for next 5 months

Based on certain parameters, most of which are attributable to Global Warming, one can predict severe Floods, post-Flood problems, Tidal Surges and Cyclones :

  1. This whole summer, as also the weather uptil now, has seen a SUSTAINED LONG TIME of higher than normal temperatures over the whole of Bay of Bengal. I am quite sure it is beyond the realm of weather satellites to cover this whole humongous water stretch. Now, what happens due to this whole mass of WARM water body ? It acts as an ENGINE . An ENGINE for CYCLONES to SUPERCYCLONES, as well as sudden FLOODS due to local INTENSE DEPRESSIONS.
  2. SEVERE FLOODS , caused due to many factors coming together, like heavy rainfall in upper catchment areas + elevated river bed due to silting + many other factors , which I will talk about later. These will flood extensive areas of sub-Gangetic West Bengal as also other states.
  3. TIDAL SURGES , like the bhora kotals to others, would add to the FLOODS AND/OR CYCLONIC RAINFALL EFFECT, to overcome the bundhs and embankments and cause FLOODING.
  4. SUPERCYCLONES, like AILA of the past year. Statistically speaking, it is highly probable that at least one of such INTENSITY would hit sub-Gangetic Bengal. There is also a medium to high probability that 2 such SUPERCYCLONES could hit sub-Gangetic Bengal. The MULTIPLE EFFECTS, of course, are left to one's imagination.
As in the past year, of course, such SEVERE WEATHER WARNING would be for next 4 to 5 months.
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