Thursday, May 19, 2011

One Lucid Dream

Suddenly I found myself in a mission to help a certain man. I know he's not a stranger to me because I felt unthreatened following him for the mission. We drove a van into a small Mexican-like village, got off, and started walking through narrow alleys of soil and scattered stones. There were walls enclosing in on us as well as semi-dilapidated houses. You know you're in a shady place if you can just visualize what it looks like. I don't know exactly what we're about to do there but I felt that, as his assistant, going through the narrowest alley leading up to a flight of stairs was the only way to go.

We started to ascend and up there I saw a very beautiful lady. She looks like an American with Middle-eastern descent. Draped over her head till her shoulders is a silk cloth adorned with sophisticated patterns and colors. She did not allow us to see her head, but some big curls escaping the embrace of the veil obviate any need for that. She looks 30-ish, elegant, and wise. She couldn't have been any more as after the conversation she and my friend had, I knew she was living for centuries.

Urdu. That small potion of youth was the key to her eternal beauty. I don't know how my friend met her but it seems like something romantic has been going on between them. For the concoction to be potent, the Urdu needs some ingredients to be acquired. The lady has drank the only bottle left and I suppose it was our mission to obtain the other rare ingredients.

More talks between them, about youth, life, wisdom, love. I was standing in one corner of the room. I saw her figure oscillate between old age and elegance. I was not shocked. Instead, I thought about the powers of the Urdu. "Will you drink it?", asked the lady to my friend? "I will not kill a person", the other replied. It was hard on him. It's as if however strong his love for the lady, extracting a human life for the bottle remains out of the question.

The lady did not dare argue. She has lived a long life. I don't think she's a bad person. Her figure trembled. I saw her arm wrinkle up. Feeling that she would be drawing her last breath any minute now, she invited us to sit on the floor with her, paying more attention to me now than to my companion. She unrolled a small scroll and wrote numbers, marks, and arrows. "8611** is the combination. The instructions for making the Urdu can be found inside this cabinet", she told me, her chest barely touching the ground; only her arm supports her weight.. Her voice is shaking now. White hair covering the sides of her face. I can only see traces of her past glory. In my heart of hearts, I felt relieved that she was able to write everything down for the Urdu can yet be rediscovered. The lady started to loose her mind. She began to babble and doodle on the scroll. I felt awful. "So it's what happens...", murmured my friend.

The lady was not able to bid us farewell for death took her as swiftly as youth runs into her veins everytime she drinks the potion. Her old body now sprawls on the floor as if embracing it.

I know where the Urdu is. When I dream again I shall visit her place.
By the way, I can still remember the number combination after waking up.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


I was supposed to feel relieved, to say the least, that Bin Laden was killed finally on May 2, 2011 after 2 years short of a decade international manhunt. But something was stirring in my gut. I felt worried and perplexed about the extent Americans have reacted on the issue--jubilant, vengeful, veering towards moral looseness. As a foreign observer, it appears to me that killing Bin Laden can be construed more easily as an act of revenge more than anything else, more than delivering justice to all aggrieved by his terroristic activities, Americans and Muslims alike.
I suppose America would have to live now under more contempt from those who identify and sympathize with what Bin Laden has not brought with him in his death.
We're very fond of saying one's spirit lives on in a good, hopeful sense. But this time, unfortunately, the spirit that the US has tried to exorcise might prove to be inextricable from the corpus of Jihadist men and women.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

So, who's the real terrorist?

If we adhere to the aphorism "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter", then terrorism, as a concept, is pure BS. All countries that have engaged in war and have built mounds of dead people, then, must be terrorists. And can states (including the civilians) really be terrorists? For me, a terrorist group is a highly committed organization of people whose membership is definite, with homogeneous belief systems. Its behavior inflicts damage without prior announcement, warning or proclamation of intended animosity, and of when and where it will strike. The prior qualification, by extension, can also make one man be labeled as a terrorist.

The US is a baddie, and it's equally (if not more) as bad as the al-Qaeda , but it is not a terrorist.

Modify and/or add your own definition.