Friday, August 14

Time Shop

"Can you give me a second?"

I am on my way to Seattle and at Starbucks at DFW airport for my Green Tea Latte. As I placed order and stepped back, this lady behind me comes up and says "Can you give me a second". Bluetooth has made it impossible to make out whom someone is talking to.

But people coming to a shop to buy a second is not a wierd idea.

Buy time? Exactly. The idea was that you have all 24 hours in a day and its just that you use it accordingly. But even before you had any idea about time, all the 24 hours were used up. You started squeezing in more and more tasks and it has reached a point where you cannot do anything more. We all had 24 hrs to spend on life. And so was life filling up all the 24 hours. When we started working we squeezed in another 8 hours for work. Then came wife. Then kids - one, two and three in my case. We thought we squeezed in share for all of them within the 24 hours. Did we really? And now the blackberry is perfectly overlaying the entire time span with its email and facebook updates.

When this brother complained about being a new employee and a new father, having difficulty in being energetic to play with his baby as he gets back home - I was really shocked. He is succesful. He identified this as a problem. I too had the same situation. Coming back from office, I wanted to lay back. Stay at home. Cup of tea. Rest. In reality, blackberrying. And I thought this is what it is. I never found this as a problem.

Someone said it is about buying time. Time does not exist for you. Before you knew, it was used up. You buy time spending something else. So as your personal life grows and your shareholders grow, you have to buy more time. You have to expense something. Someone calls it priority. Real time is the product of priority and time span. If my priority of talking with you is the same for you, we can spend exactly the same amount of time talking to each other. For kids, talking to dad is probably very high priority. Unless you set the same priority you are not going to satisfy him.

Setting off to Milwaukee, I had so many office priorities to do when I come back. Coming back, I had one task above all others. And that was to set the right prioirties and set the work life balance.

"Can you give me one second?" - at least my kids should not be asking that to me.

Tuesday, August 11

The Saint and the Sinner

This story was related by Imam Azhar Hanif during the MKA retreat

Once there was a gambler who went out for gambling every day. There was a sufi in the area who used to advice this otherwise nice person to quit gambling. But his was so addicted that he could not quit. After the game, he repents, but it carried on.

Every day when he comes back from gambling, the Sufi would have kept a stone in front of the house. That reminds him of what he did, he repents, but the next day comes the same way.

This went on for several years. The stones in front of the house became a huge pile, reminding the gambler of all the sins he accumulated. As he grew old, he was getting more and more concerned about his sins.

The day came when both Sufi and the gambler died and was waiting for resurrection. Sufi to heaven and the gambler to hell. The angel comes and first holds the gambler.

"Peace be on you, come with me. The gates of heaven are open for you"
"Me? No way. I guess you mistook my name. Thats the other man over there. The sufi"
"God's angels do not make mistakes. Its you"
"How come? Can't you see the pile of stones in front of my house? Thats the pile of the sins I did"
"That pile of stones does not count in my book. God has washed out those stones by your repenting tears"
"Holy is God. Is not the Sufi coming with us too?"
"No. He has been too arrogant with you piling stones in front of your house. He thought he is God himself"

Let not anyone tell me I am a sinner. Let me not think of anyone as a sinner. And let us all understand the mercy of God is limitless.

God Forgives...

God Forgives.. that was the theme of the just concluded MKA Youth retreat (Ijtima)

Heard it so many times. God is mercy; God is love. But what does that mean. I dont like directly equating God to a verb or noun. I think they do it just for the beauty of the statement.

Now what God Forgives mean to me. It did not click until I was there. Until I heard what I heard - people talked from their walks; words came out of their mouth but originated in their hearts.

God Forgives - is a detergent that cleans my attire.
God Forgives - a body wash for me to cleanse myself
God Forgives - a sweeper to swipe my surroundings clean
God Forgives - a shovel and strainer that helps me dig my length and breadth and separate gems and mud
God Forgives - a shield that stops the burning sunlight from damaging my skin

God Forgives is a journey that I do not want to be late to start. Its a journey thats never too late though.

Its a journey down the road less traveled. But its a journey that can be done without fail.

Its a journey where there is no looking back. At the same time its a journey where the memories can always help you keep going.

Its a journey where the black and white becomes separate. Its a journey when you touch the white it turns black again.

Its walking the talk. And talking the walk.

A journey that never ends.....