Thursday, June 30, 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2 out of 5) - Movie, Poetry and Review

MOVIE POETRY. A couple of weeks ago I shared with my brother my idea that the highest form of poetry nowadays is movies. When you think about it, poetry is about awakening your mind and your feeling towards some particular theme or idea, and I think that modern movies do that and they use all the other medium of communicating information and emotion – The set, the scenery, the lighting, cinematography, costumes, the OST music, and fundamentally, the script, the casting, the acting and the directorial and editing skills. The movies which I have found to be beautiful to the point of visceral poetry are such well known pictures as The Godfather (Coppola), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Cohen Brothers), Glengarry Glen Ross (James Foley), Sense & Sensibilities (Ang Lee), Leon / The Professional (Luc Besson), The Green Mile (Frank Darabont) and Green Card (Peter Weir), to name but a few.

So we have some movies that can evoke passion and poetry at its highest form of human expression. And then again we have Micheal Bey’s latest in The Transformers’ trilogy entitled Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I watched it yesterday and I don’t like it much.
PLOT? I shall not talk much about it since the plot appears to have been cooked up medium rare. I will give just 2 examples here. PLOT DEATH 1 - The movie would have us believe that Sam Witwiky (Shia LeBeouf), having saved the world twice in the 2 previous movies, was awarded honours by President Obama and the British government, and having made his way through an Ivy League university found it impossible to find a decent job. So much so that he swallowed his (much injured) male pride to accept a job as a mailroom boy (!) from his dishy (ish) new girlfriend’s dashing boss, Dylan Gould (played by McDreamy himself, Patrick Dempsey). PLOT DEATH 2 – Coming to the end, Sam’s girl goaded Megatron (Yes, mighty Megatron himself) to do something rather dramatic (well, I cannot tell you what it is since it might spoil your ‘enjoyment’ of watching the movie). Man, these robots may be technologically advanced, but boy, they are dumb.
SUPERHUMANS – And it also appears that dear old Sam is a mutant, because only a super human can survive the sheer physical trauma he encountered when he gets up close and personal with one of the nasty Decepticons. Hmm. Maybe he is an alien too. If you have seen the trailer, you would have also seen one of the mega CGI scenes when one Decepticon (ShockWave) is literally ripping a high rise tower apart, and Sam, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteleyl and some other non-descript extras are flung across the floor, and sent skimming down the side of the collapsing building(!). And after all that, nay a sprained ankle amongst these super lucky people. *Urk*

SCRIPT AND ACTING – I don’t have the heart to blame anyone because I think Shia (in Suburbia) is a competent actor, and John Turturro, John Malkovich and Frances McDormand are amazing thespians. So I blame the script. It sucks.

PLAUSIBILITY. Of course in reality there are no alien robots on planet earth, taking their blood (oil?) feud from their devastated home planet down to earth. I can suspend reality for that, indeed I cherish the enjoyment I had with the 1st movie and even the 2nd movie (just about). But this time around Michael is simply asking too much of me. Even in a comic superhero movie adaptation, the action sequences, even if physically an impossibility, must be set in a background of plausible human interaction and character development.

I am giving this movie a 2 out of 5. Actually I wanted to give it a 3 (for the awesome CGI), but I am dicing one point out because Megan Fox is not here anymore.

I KNOW YOU ARE GONNA WATCH IT ANYWAY. But I know that you will still watch it. Because it is a Transformers movie. And when the closing credits trailed down the screen, there was even applause (!) amongst some of the cinemagoers last night. So may be it is to your taste just as it was Mika's. But it certainly isn’t mine.

Have a lovely day, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

Earlier Movie Reviews - The Green Lantern / Inside Job

Universe and Her Extended Kisses at the Camel Saloon - And an Odorous Interlude

"...Someone bumped into
The amphora of light
leftover from the Angels' party
last night. It spilled over
The clouds and slipped into
My heart when I was
Not looking..."
The sinner is unwell today. I probably ate something wrong yesterday and am down with a stomach bug. But before this all started I managed to post a poem to the Camel Saloon yesterday morning of which the prose above is a short extract. If you would like to read the rest of the poem entitled 'Universe and Her Extended Kisses', CLICK HERE.
Sickness is a part of life. And getting diarrhea is also part of life. Especially if you are not careful with what you eat. It is good to get a little sick sometimes. I know I can be a pretty arrogant and condescending sod, but let's face it, everyone's s**t stinks, and the aroma always remind me thus, "Ah well... my s**t smells just as bad as anyone else. I am human after all." Humbled, you see.

I have been informed that in heaven our bowel movements are banned. So there will be no toilets in heaven... So how will we be reminded of our humanity? Because despite all our limitations and odorous ailments, I am really happy being human. For this, I would like to thank our Common Creator, aka God.

So to conclude, I would like to add that I am err... well and truly reminded of my humanity and mortality. So can You (God) please cut short this diarrhea interlude? I would really appreciate the divine favour.

Have a nice happy day, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Finding Muhammad
If you cannot find Muhammad,
How will you ever find yourself?

And if you do not find yourself,
How will you ever find Muhammad?

But help is at hand,
From who else but him…?

Even if my nation has lost me,
I have not lost my nation.

I took my journal entitled ‘Candy from the Ahad Candy Store’ home (Ahad being one of the names of God meaning, (to paraphrase some definitions) the infinite limitless one, an utterly unique singularity unfragmented into parts, beyond our mortal concept of one and oneness). And before sleeping I came across the above prose.

‘Even if my nation has lost me.’ And more than a year has passed since I recorded the prose, and the feeling which animated the words is truer now than ever. Each passing day has brought terrible news in the media, as some Muslims declare war on practically everyone else, while other Muslims have declared war on each other. And often they do so in the name of Islam, and for each example I turn away from their rabid violence and mindless slaughter, for what they do I cannot countenance and cannot agree with.

If it appears that I am a liberal moderate progressive Muslim, I really don't think I am such a Muslim. Indeed, I worry about even presuming my faith because at this juncture in my life, I am just endeavouring to be decent, and being a Muslim, while it is my intention, is in a far distant beautiful horizon. It is not for me to say with certainty what I am (Hu knows? Hehehe - old Sufi joke 'Hu' means 'He' in Arabic) – What I am prepared to declare with certainty (yakin) is that God is Most Compassionate and Most Merciful, and that God had declared this gentleman called Muhammad as His Messenger and Mercy to the Worlds. As for me, you must accept me as a sinner, warts and all. I wish I had a better me to present to you, sunshine, but I don’t. So I am thankful that you can accept me as I am.

‘I have not lost my nation.’ It is my greatest joy to believe in this statement. And the witnesses that have bore witness to this truth of Prophetic Deliverance comes from all sorts of background, faith, nationality, race and ice-cream preferences. These are men and women I have come across in my life, who have chosen to live their lives guided by their heart and their conscience, remaking this sometimes-awful world in the mould of their hearts. And even if they believe in some other name for the Prophetic Fitrah (essence / character), it is my cherished belief that the mould is filled with The Light upon Light, and God’s own golden treasure buried in the soil of your mortal shell and enthroned upon the immortal throne for the Beloved which we all hide in ourselves. And really, sometimes the light is so bright shining from within you… that I stumble uttering his name, and just say, "It is He (Hu)!"

We are not interested are we, sunshine, in the games played by preachers and professional God-botherers who do nothing but divide the flock between the ‘us and them’, and the ‘you and I’? For we have passed through the false gates and fences of these foolish men and their foolish sermons. We are but sheep in a multitude of sheep in the Flock of God. God has not given up on us. And to continue borrowing the beautiful Christian phrase – I would like to believe that He is our Shepherd and though we may appear to have lost Him, certainly He has not lost us. Of this I am yakin.

God bless you, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I love Thee, and to Thee I Surrender - Early Morning Love Call Part 2

To Thee I Surrender

"I love thee"
Can be spoken
In many, many ways...

It can be a plea,
It can be a threat,
It can be uttered angrily,
It can be muttered tearfully,
It can be a stubborn declaration,
It can be said in sighful resignation,
It can be spoken as a promise,
Or recited in a prayer,
It can be moaned in passion,
It can be a furtive whisper,
It can be spoken in cloying affection,
It can be claimed for selfish reasons.

But of all the "I love thee", none is greater
Than when it is said and followed with;
"...And to thee, I surrender."

When I wrote Early Morning Love Call (Click Here), I was motivated by an old prose recorded more than a year ago. It was not in a softcopy, but luckily I had a hardcopy of my journal which I (used to) regularly send to an old Sufi Master.

So you see, the *Gulp* in the early posting had pretty good reasons behind it. And as I look out of my window to the ravishing sky, and as I look at all my lovely friends working with me and I ponder upon all the goodness that has been bestowed to us..., again I *Gulp*.

Love and Its Expression is beyond reckoning - just like you, sunshine. God bless your beautiful souls, wherever you may be reading this.

Pax Taufiqa.

If you invite a Storm of Love into your life, you must expect to get wet sometimes

I entered my friend’s office one morning, and he looked awfully pleased with himself. His name is Ewan and he is married with young 4 kids. “You know, Taufiq…” He said, “I have the best wife ever. I don’t know what else I can do to deserve her…”

I asked for better particulars about his connubial bliss.

“I woke up pretty early this morning, and she was still snoozing next to me. So I wanted to be helpful and started to tidy the room up a bit, While I was folding some clothes, I suddenly heard her murmur awake. I turned and she was just, you know, kinda looking at me in a funny way. Then she said, ‘You know, Ewan. If I didn’t have you, I just don’t know how I could cope.’

I nodded my appreciation of his story. Score 1 for husbandhood. In my head I was musing, “What a sweetot couple”.

A couple of days later I had a visit from Ewan. This time it was different however, he looked dissatisfied and nonplussed. “I cannot understand women!” he sighed. “I was only trying to help…”

I asked him to calm down and provide more evidence of his marital unhappiness.

“My wife was busy doing something else, and I saw a bundle of unwashed clothes near the washing machine. So I took it all and dumped it into the machine. I have seen her do this countless time and knew the drill. Or so I thought. A little later when the washing was done, I was busy pulling the clothes out of the bally machine, when suddenly she creeped up behind me. ‘What the heck are you doing?’ She asked. I didn’t know what I did wrong so enquired, “I was just using the washing machine, love…”

‘Yes, I can see that. But you didn’t separate the whites!’ she snapped.


Immediately I picked out some of the whites and happily for us there was no discolouration at all. So I said, “See, see… it’s alright. The whites are all still whites.”

‘So? What are you implying? Are you saying that I am stupid now?!”


I nodded my appreciation of his story. Score -1 for husbandhood.

I think the above is a beautiful story of a beautiful couple, and one whom I have long admired. Admittedly you cannot have a happy home without some contretemps. That is the way of marriage life, as any married man or woman would confess to you. And as for women…

8. Ah, a Woman
Fragile and soft,
But ever so

God bless all men, and their women who came into their lives and let loose the Storm of Love. And if it is raining, men should accept that sometimes they will have to get wet!


Pax Taufiqa.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Early Morning Love Call

Heche is a personality of volcanic passion. Sometimes, early in the morning I would call her, and before anything else, even before 'good morning' or 'assalamualaikum' or 'hi there!' or 'hullo' she would whisper the three words that have overthrown Troy and Mark Anthony, while causing other men far greater and better than me, to become intoxicated and mad. What chance have I?


Have a lovely day, readers. And yes. I love you too.

Pax Taufiqa.

The Hand of Fatima of Spain and North Africa, and our own Nutcracker of Fatima and Staff of Ali

THE HAND OF FATIMA. This is what is famously known as the Hand of Fatima, or sometimes Hamsa (which is Arabic for ‘five’). It is used as a protective amulet against evil incantations and spells by Muslims in especially in North Africa, Spain, and certain parts of the Mediterran ean region. Depending on who you talk to, the Hamsa refers to the 5 pillars of Islam or the family of the Prophet, including his daughter, Fatima az-Zahra and her husband, Ali the Fourth Caliph, and their two sons, Hassan and Hussein.
THE HAND OF MIRIAM. Such was the popularity of its use that I read that even Jewish communities around the region started to adopt the symbol, although it was renamed the Hand of Miriam, being the sister of Moses and Aaron. The fact that this occurred was undoubtedly arising because of the COOLNESS of the Umayyad Caliphate which sprung in Andalusian Spain after the Abbasids annihilated its previous capital in Damascus. How COOL it was is depicted by Maria Rosa Menocal’s brilliant book entitled “Ornament of the World” – CLICK HERE - Ground Zero Mosque and the Ornament of the World on my earlier posting on this important book.

Such is the veneration of our Lady Fatima az-Zahra and her dashing husband Ali, as well as the powerful drama surrounding their sons Hassan and Hussein that often are their names used in reference to talismans and other symbols of Islam – as a sign of Divine Providence, Generosity and Power, as well as a protection against sorcery. This emotive attachment is not solely the writ of the Shia but is also felt by a large section of the Sunni community. As it is similarly felt here in the Malay Archipelago. But in my country, the name of Fatima and Ali is more famously referenced not to a protective talisman but to a natural product for the, err… ahem, earthier aspect of our daily life. From their names you will undoubtedly be able to discern their regular application.

THE NUTCRACKER OF FATIMA (KACIP FATIMA) is a herb derivative of the Labisa Pumila plant and famously used to improve woman’s health. The beneficial claims of this miracle plant are numerous, and dear old Uncle Wiki had this to say –
“- Helps establish a regular menstrual cycle when periods fail to appear for reasons like stress, illness or when the pill is discontinued
- Prevents cramping, water retention and irritability for those with painful periods.
- Balances, builds and harmonizes the female reproductive system to encourage healthy conception
- Supports healthy vaginal flora to prevent irritation and infections.
- Alleviates fatigue, smooths menopausal symptoms and promote emotional well being.
- Prolong energy during Playtime
(hehehe… PLAYTIME. I like the nuance).
- Helps to solve the problems related to constipation
- Tightens vaginal skin and walls.
- Anti-dysmenorrhoea; cleansing and avoiding painful or difficult menstruation
- Anti-flatulence, drive away and prevent the formation of gas.
- Firming and toning of abdominal muscles.”

STAFF OF ALI (TONGKAT ALI). But the commercial success of Kacip Fatima pales in comparison to the runaway success of its male version which is roughly translated as the Staff of Ali. This traditional remedy for (ahem) men’s health comes from the root of the Eurycoma Longifolia plant, which is particularly bountiful in Indonesia and Malaysia, and to a lesser degree in Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. It is Malaysia’s natural answer to the synthetic Viagra and is claimed by many of its adherents (and they are aplenty here) to increase sexual appetite, improve performance and general well-being of men (well, any improvement in bed will ALWAYS improve the general well-being of any man. And any woman too, come to think of it). Scientists have not made up their mind, but appears that the herb reduces the effect of estrogen (Female hormones) in a fella’s body while increasing his testosterone levels (not to mention sperm count). Oh, and it also improves blood circulation.

I find it positively quaint and a reflection of my people’s innate appreciation of sexual intimacy that two of the biggest names in Islam are reflected in two of our most prized natural remedy / enhancer of our conjugal performance. So what if it is not a talisman against warlocks or witches? If you have had personal experience of not performing very well in bed, and felt the post-coitus seething dissatisfaction and complaints from your lover, then really, for you IT IS a talisman of sorts.


Pax Taufiqa.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gurindam , the Weed, the Rice and the Lemongrass - The Nature of Love and Her Sweet Responsibilities

Love's Gentle Feint
It was overcast I said in the morning. And it was.
Later the wind blew the clouds away, and I thought… oh no, a sunny (hot) day!
But in the afternoon the rain came, with lightning and thunder.
So I bared my shoulder
As the Prophet once did,
And I danced in the rain,
The dervish in rapture
To Love’s intimacy
And gentle feint.

GURINDAM, THE WEED, THE RICE AND THE LEMONGRASS. My last story (which I can recall) of Gurindam and his traditional Malay lore concerns the weed, the rice and the lemongrass.

“When these three plants are just a few days old, it is hard to distinguish them apart. They look exactly alike!” said Gurindam. "So you need to get close to the ground and feel them. The leaf of the weed is coarse to the touch, so you can rule the weed out. But then you find that both the rice and lemongrass is soft. Now you need to get even closer and smell them. You will find that the rice sapling has no scent, but the lemongrass has that familiar tangy lemongrass aroma.” Then he smiled at me. “So you see, when you are in a position of responsibility (he was an ancient Planter, the boss of bosses of the palm oil estates, bearing the title of Chief Operating Officer), you cannot rely on hearsay and judge from a distant. You must go to the ground, examine the matter firsthand. If need be, you need to get on your hands and knees and taste the salinity of the trench canals which cuts across the estate like a city block grid.”

DUE DILIGENCE. He is right of course. In everything which we do, whether it is to bestow privilege or largesse or to withdraw entitlements, we need to get dirty on our hands and knees, and to run our hands through the soil of the human soul. We cannot know for certain of course, but we need to apply some basic diligence because let’s be frank here - People are often reticent and shy even if they are not overtly deceptive. They are just reluctant about revealing the relevant truths, and will hide the real source of their problem(s).

IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE. Hehehe. It cuts against the grain does it not? Talking about management in this little almanac. After all, talking about responsibilities, rights and obligations appear to be anathema to our mystical credentials of ‘just letting go’ and ‘going with God’s flow’. But it isn’t really, in fact sometimes it is the essence of Love. After all… as the sinner once ruefully noted…

Jika (If)
Jika kamu tidak ingin
Berjabat tangan
Dengan kesabaran,
Usahlah kamu katakan
Yang kamu mencintaiku,

Jika kamu tidak ingin
Berkenalan dengan
Kamu katakan,
Yang diri ini,
Kamu kasihi?

If you do not desire
To befriend patience,
Do not say unto me
That you love me.

If you do not wish
To make acquaintance
With responsibilities,
Then why, pray tell,
Do you say that,
It is I,
Whom you truly love?

So you see? It is all about love after all. Just like a good Sufi would say. If you find one tell me. After all, sinners are what Sufis are made for.

Have a nice Sunday, pet.

Pax Taufiqa.

The Lord of Discord and the Meaning of War - Sinners' Dictionary

14. Lord of Discord
We resist the lord of discord,
Who rules over those
Who let their anger hold sway.

In their mad utterance,
He shapes their clay.
And in their violence
Is his to play.

To no fleeting shadow,
Will we bow,

To no whispers spun in the dark,
Do we bend.

For we serve the Lord of Accord,
And under His flag
We fear no discord.

I woke up this morning early, before the first ray of the sun spreads its glorious light upon this earth. And I expected something in the breeze to tell me a story. Something to say for this overcast Sunday. But nothing came to me. No verse, no prose no story. So I returned to my old poetry collection and found this old prose written perhaps two years ago.

The Lord of Discord has no name, unless it is our name. He has no form unless it is our form. He can do nothing to this world, and even the smallest ant is safe from him. Alas, through history we become his abject slave... setting swords, arrows and bullets upon our brothers and sisters. And all over words. Because in the Sinners' Dictionary war is defined thus...

War is...
A Series of Battles
Over the Meaning
Of Words.

When we stop talking and perhaps more importantly, when we stop listening, we become a ghost of our true selves. Another pawn in the momentum of a false history. Because the truth is, Love has always been king. From the looking glass of Glorious Love, there was never a Crusade, the Cold War never happened, and this thing which the media and leaders like to refer to as the jihad, the great clash between civilisations and faiths is a great big lie. Civilisations and Faiths must essentially be the same one thing - if we obey the Lord of Accord, whose counsel to be patient and understanding rises again and again in our Conscience...

The world has two histories you can choose from to inspire your life. The history of hate and the history of love. The power, and the responsibility to choose wisely is yours.

We must listen, sunshine. So we can be the true repository of Truth and Love in a world blinded by the illusory power of hate. Hate, like evil - exists in the absence of Love. And I know you are not like that at all...

Hehehe. Well it appears the breeze has spoken. The Sun is shining now and the wind has blown the overcast clouds away... I have my story.

I love you, sunshine. Have a perfect Sunday contemplating this joyous world...

Pax Taufiqa.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Prophet, Isms and Education

THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATION in the words of Muhammad Habibullah. I will fall silent here, and share with you 4 guided and guiding Hadis (saying) of Muhammad, Mercy to the worlds. I am aware of the 2 earlier Hadis below, but the third is a gem amongst gems and the fourth is one which I cannot recall without emotion…

To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims, whether male or female.

The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

He who travels in the search of knowledge, to him God shows the way of Paradise.

Acquire knowledge, because he who acquires it, in the way of the Lord, performs an act of piety; who speaks of it praises the Lord; who seeks it, adores God, who dispenses instruction in it, bestows alms; and who imparts it to its fitting objects, performs an act of devotion to God. Knowledge enables its possessor to distinguish what is forbidden from what is not; lights the way to Heaven; it is our friend in the desert, our companion in solitude, our companion, when bereft of friends; it guides us to happiness; it sustains us in misery; it is our ornament in the company of friends; it serves as an armor against our enemies. With knowledge the creatures of God rises to the heights of goodness and to noble position, associates with the sovereigns in this world and attains the perfection of happiness in the next.

STOP LIMITING WHAT THE PROPHET MEANT. And I do not think the Prophet here is talking solely about studying the Al Quran and the Sunnah (Traditions of the Prophet). Oh no. He is talking about the entire corpus of science and learning; history, physics, biology, chemistry, psychology, and all manner of Arts or Sciences subjects… – of which is after all, what the al Quran and the Sunnah encompasses and is about. So for those who are trying to limit what the Prophet intended when he says ‘knowledge’ to mere theology, such persons are qualifying the grandeur, mystery and magnificence of the holy scriptures. They are drawing false borders in the Ocean of Knowledge because their authority and influence comes from their limited vision. Do not listen to them! The Prophet knew what he was talking about, God bless his heart…

ISMS AND EDUCATION. And this is what I intended to also share with you today. A prose freshly baked in the morning air of this beautiful sunny Sabbath. It makes sense to me, I hope it makes sense to you...

Isms and Education
Democracy without education will lead anarchy,
Populism without education leads to manipulation,
Socialism without education will lead to poverty,
Capitalism without education will lead to exploitation,
Communism without education will lead to dictatorship,
Patriotism without education will lead to jingoism

It is a painful lesson for countries to learn… And I think I have written about the importance of education vis-à-vis government systems earlier. Wait, okay… yeah! Here they are. Click on the titles…
- Meritocracy, Democracy, Moderation, Revolution and the Conscience
- Japanese Tsunami, Democratic Tsunami, Education & the Informed Voter

Have a good Sabbath, sunshine. And remember… study, study, study!

Pax Taufiqa.

The Acceptance of Grace, the Expression of Gratitude and the Perfection of Servanthood at the Magic Well of Wishes

I had no doubts
My Love is eyeing me
Between two parting clouds
And He is whispering into
My wishbroken well,
“While others doubted you,
I had no doubts.”

My Love is with me
Between the swift arrow
And the quivering bow
Of my guardian Cherubim,
Assuring me and saying,
“When none will hear you,
I will hear you out.”

My Love is consoling me,
Gathering me in His arms
Through songs He spun
On the lips of poets,
And though I fell asleep
Last night a heretic,
Today I am born,
Once again a convert…

To Love’s gentle ways,
As He weaves His story
In the loom of my heart,
In that bewitching ways
Which only Love can weave.

Make a wish and throw a penny into my magic well, sunshine. You and I, we have been disappointed, and we have disappointed others, because we thought happiness comes from ourselves and others. Because we are constantly deceived by our Ego which will always claim to be the supreme arbiter of our feelings.

But true contentment comes only through our Acceptance of Grace, our Expression of Gratitude and our Perfection of Servanthood. In the servant’s courtyard of our Lord the King of Kings, the Magic Well of Wishes has no bottom. And the pennies we throw with the name of God upon our lips will be in flight for infinity, collecting grace and blessings of a King that always listens to His servants’ unspoken misgivings.

Happy Sabbath, pet.

Pax Taufiqa.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hackers, Reverse-Anonymity and Bragging Rights - A Study of the Recent Denial-of-Service attack on Govt Sites from the Perspectives of the Human Ego

This was the headlines in our local newspaper, The Sun on 21st June 2011. For you see, a group of hackers had recently launched a cyber attack on the Malaysian Government sites.

Yesterday, 23rd June 2011, another local newspaper, The Star had this report…

A hacker group known as Anonymous had threatened the government websites and on June 16, the sites were hit by a distributed denial-of-service attack, causing them to crash.
Some 200 websites, both government and others, were affected.
Since then, another threat has been posted online and this time the website of the Prime Minister's Office is the target

And it was also reported that the government had taken steps to ensure that its sites would be "resilient to any kind of cyber attacks, even if the attack is announced in advance or a surprise attack."

Hmm. I am just thinking...

Firstly, the objectives of the hackers are never clear. And their real motivation is a secret known only to themselves. Ironically calling themselves ‘Anonymous’, they can be anyone and organized by any person. They work in the peripherals of the cyberworld. But I fear that they are not afraid of losing their anonymity. Like other reactionary subcultures(and let’s face it - men generally), hackers often thrive on publicity and ‘street’ credibility - the much sought bragging rights and being part of a gang. The alternative, being a mundane and anonymous is arsenic to the ego…

190. Mundane
The thought of finding pleasure in the mundane,
The thought that you might be mundane,
Is almost too much for your ego to bear.

In a world where everyone craves a name,
Anonymity is arsenic.

When you have been attacked by hackers, especially on an ostensibly political / ideological reasons, then you react publicly saying, “Oh yeah?! Try that again if you dare!” Well, aren’t you waving a red flag at the bull?

This reminds me of an old prose…

185. Poor Company
The wounded ego and the gloating ego
Make a terrible pair at your dinner table,
All they do is talk about themselves
Unaware you are even there.

I do not know if the hackers will take the bait. But no doubt, even if they don’t bite now, they will keep the cyber challenge in the back of their mind, waiting, at any moment in the near or far future to test their skills against the Malaysian government claims of invulnerability.

Dear Hackers… Well, maybe you have leveled whatever you are doing with your conscience. Maybe there is very strong reasons which impel you to hack the Government websites. But really, why bother? And that 'V for Vendetta' facemask? You must really design your own logo if you want to impress me with your anarchist credentials.

Dear Cyber Security dudes… I am not suggesting you should ignore the threat. Indeed as the security custodian of the websites you should enhance your security system. But to respond publicly in this way… I think you are just walking into another fight. And for the hackers, they live by this single proven belief – What is made by man, can be unmade by man. And they are right. No matter how amazing is your multi layer defenses, no matter how perfect your secured zones, false trails and digital firewalls may be, it will never last.

That is the reality of things. And as always, people forget about the powerful influence that the ego has, and do not bother to address the problem from the ego perspective. So we fall into the ego vs ego trap, and we waste our time fighting an unnecessary battle.

Who says you cannot apply the ego-soul study in mysticism into real life events? This is so, because often man’s action confounds common sense. Don’t you see?

Have a thoughtful day, sunshine.

Pax Taufiqa.

THE GREEN LANTERN - A Movie Review (of sorts)

THE GREEN LANTERN. I saw the Green Lantern last week at the Cineplex. For a comic hero adaptation it wasn’t too bad. But as far as the superhero genre goes, it must trail behind X-Men: First Class and Thor, which I think have better scripts and character development. I do not mind romantic interludes in such movies, but the suspension of reality in the Green Lantern exercises my mind too much. And no, I am not talking about the idea of green-costumed alien guardians of the universe, and one landing here on planet earth. And I am not talking about the amazing green ring powered by ‘will power’ (which in itself is a risible notion). No, I am talking about Ms. Blake Lively who takes on the role of Carol Ferris, Ryan Reynold’s smoochie in the movie…

CAROL FERRIS. First, you are expected to believe that an incredibly hot babe is a jet fighter pilot. And not just any ordinary sort, but a test pilot. Oh, okaaay...
Secondly - she is not only amazingly pretty, but she is also the daughter of the owner of the Ferris Aircraft Company. Alright… she’s born lucky...
Thirdly - she is also the corporate vixen! Garbed in the tightest of skirts and the tallest of stilettos.! Hmm… and you want me to take you seriously? How?
Fourth - she used to be Ryan’s ex-girlfriend. As if anyone would be stupid enough to dump or be dumped by her. Riiiight…
And fifth and most unbelievably - She dumped him because he is irresponsible and probably had a naughty eye for other women. And yet she is still his co-test pilot, his super-understanding boss (who forgives him crashing a hundred million dollar jet fighter), and also an old-buddy-friend kinda ex-girlfriend, sweet (and forgiving) enough to relax with Ryan at the local pub and commiserate with the ungrateful (and obviously blind) hound. Hey… waaaaitaminute…

No poems, Rumi, Love, Sufism or other transcendental doodah in this posting, sunshine. The sinner is resting his soul by the shore of this world of form. Sometimes I think this apparent world is simply wonderful...

And btw, you can still watch The Green Lantern this Saturday, you know. It ain’t actually appalling.

Pax Taufiqa.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Majnun, Love and Love's Crowning Glory

21. Majnun # 3
God is the Surety of the Prophet’s Love for me,
The Prophet is the Surety of my Love for God,
And I am the Surety of God’s Love for the Prophet.

God is the Surety of my Love for the Prophet,
The Prophet is the Surety of God’s Love for me,
And I am the Surety of the Prophet’s Love for God.

And although I admit to the existence of God and the Prophet,
Beyond that I shall speak no more,
Lest you say that I have abandoned religion
And the trappings of your tedious ceremonies.

This is what I would call a technical prose. Of course, it evokes emotion and perhaps passion, but the meaning is beyond that and is seeking to establish some key points, especially in the first two paragraphs. The last paragraph is one of those teasing endings which a wordsmith leaves for the reader to wonder, "What the heck does he mean?" After all, does he mean that he doesn't believe in any religion? Or that he doesn't believe in Islam?

I believe the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, which of course means that I believe in the religion of Islam. The first two lines of the last paragraph is only hinting to the Sufis' veneration of the Prophet as the second named in the Islamic syahadah, ergo, the declaration / witnessing by a Muslim that There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the Messenger of God. It really is a simple statement - but for those mystics, the meaning in its most delicate sense can be sliced into a trillionth of an atom - and deeper still. Some people are dipping their toes into the Ocean of Mercy... but others are swimming far into it. And a few others have become fishes in the sea and they do not wish to return to the shore. Which one are you? It doesn't matter really. Since we all play our own part to glorify the infinite aspects of God's beauty and loveliness.

There is no quarrel between the Tariqa (the Way or the Path) in Islam and the Syaria (the Law). Gurindam (my Saribas trip companion), added another interesting comparison between the two (I have quite a few) for my collection, and this was what he said, "If you compare the religion to a fruit, then the Tariqa is the inside of the fruit, sweet and savory with a beautiful texture to the taste. The Syaria is then the skin which protects the inner flesh. If the fruit is without the sweetness of the Tariqa or if it tastes bitter, no one would be attracted to it at all. But if the fruit is without the skin, the flesh tend to easily rot and no one would eat it also.

But what is the Law? And this is where we must part ways with the bigots, narcissists and hubris-addicts. For in this almanac the highest writ which reigns in the Kingdom of God is Love, which is is the Highest Law of the land. And even higher still is the crowning glory of God's Perfection in His Divine Attributes as the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful. The heart-breaking, heart-healing ocean which flows from His Fountain of Divine Mysteries - in the love between a man and a woman, between father, mother and child, between two villages, between neighbours, between the ruler and the ruled, between the lover and the loved, it is He, Who is the Necessary third...

Remind me of this day
When you love me in the best way I have ever felt,
When you hold me in the gentlest touch I have ever known,
When you say words so sweet that I am drowning in honey,
When you look at me with that look,
When you kiss me with such passion,
When you tell me that I am the one that you love,
And that there is no other...
Sometimes, I wonder.
Who is doing all this?
Is this really you.?
Or is this a manifestation of God's love for me?

Dear love,
If ever I turn back, if ever I stray,
Lost in the the world and all its chaos,
Remind me of this day...
And why, in Truth,
None can love me in a way better
Than you.

Whoever you may be,
Dressed as you are
As Love and Love's
Crowning Glory.

Have a wonderful Friday, sunshine. Whoever you may be, and whoever you are loving. You are my greatest hope for a better tomorrow. Don't you know?

Pax Taufiqa.

What do we think of God? But more importantly, what does God think of us?

I think it is good to try to get to know God. After all, He made you (if you believe that). And even if you don't believe the existence of God / Higher Being / Providence / all-Father, don't you think it is a good idea to get to know an entity whose existence is accepted by...hmm, say at least eight-tenth of the world population?

So for the rest of the (God-believing) world, how do you portray your idea of God? To begin, do you even know Him? How is He like? What is His hobby? Is He Happy? What does He think of you? And you know, it ain't good enough for you to say, "Yeah! Sure I know Him. His name is Jesus / Allah / Ram / Ra / Jehovah / Eric Clapton..."

He is kinda dishy ( in those days), and played a mean guitar. But God he ain't...

That is just labelling. We all judge each other by our action alone( there is no hope for racists here). So of course people will judge the God that we allege to worship according to how we act. And the funny thing is according to monotheists, there is always one God. So if someone's idea of God differs from another person, then either one must be right and the other person wrong. But you see it all boils down to their personal inclinations and prejudices.

So let us agree that at the end of the day, the concept of God is coloured by the individual believer and God is certainly not to be blamed if He is misrepresented by His emmisaries here on earth. Yes, that's you and me, sunshine.

But let me answer just one question, which is 'What does God think of us?' He loves us, baby, and His Patience and Mercy is unreal in its Reality and believable in its unbelievability. More than you love your own born child. More than you love Justin Beiber. Or Katy Perry, come to think of it. Believable unbelievability of His Mercy? Yes, pet... It has to be believed, look at our appalling record as His servant and caretaker of this mothership Earth. Otherwise, eons ago He would have already obliterated this Reality. Or at least a couple choice specimens amongst mankind. I for one have been a bad, bad boy and have done many bad, bad things. And often in such occassion, I could almost hear the sound of a heavenly bolt of lightning being launched and flying at a massive speed, homing to go up my wazoo at any moment... only to be recalled at the last mortal second (so far...) by a divine intercession of the RLMC (Retribution Lightning Management Centre) - "Wait... wait, k.i.v. that bolt of lightning, it appears that the sinner is going to be writing some so-called poetry about God, Prophet and Love. He may have some useful purpose after he's starting a blog." So you see - That's why I am writing / blogging like my life depends on it. Because it does, sunshine.


Pax Taufiqa.

I did not eat that Apple - The Question & Answer Session

I did not eat that Apple - The Question

One morning, I awoke
Outside Heaven’s Gate.
I asked to be let in,
But the Angels replied me not.

What has happened, o’ Lord?

How could Thou
Cast me out of Thy house
When I have done Thee
No wrong?

I am not Adam,
Nor am I Eve,
I did not eat that apple
All that countless years ago,
Yet from Thy Presence
I had to leave.


I did not eat that Apple - The Answer

There is a divide between two souls
In which thou fit perfectly,
And they are thy father and mother.

There is a divide between two musical notes
Of Divine Praise and Divine Yearning
And thou art the perfect note I chose
To cast in between.

There is a divide between heavenly love
And earthly love, and the first has
No meaning without the latter.

There is a divide between thee
And thy passion,
And only separation can set alight
That passion to be a beacon,
To guide thee home
To Love, to Me.

And the further thou art from Me,
The brighter I see thy yearning fire,
And lo, are thy passions not beautiful to Me?
That if thou take a step to Me,
Am I not the One running to thee?

Have a bright beautiful day, o' flaming passion.

Pax Taufiqa

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rumi, the Cherubim and the Acre of Tears

Rumi, the Cherubim and the Acre of Tears
I planted an acre of tears,
From seeds of luminous light
Trickling from my eyes,
Bright as day, and
Dark as the night
Created for
Love’s Delight.

I planted a row of roses,
And count as custodian
The passionate Moses,
For it was he who
Admonished God
To relent and give
Ease to the
Nation of the Beloved.

I planted an orchard of friends
But saw myself leaving them behind.
I dined with the Cherubim that night
But declined the wine.

I didn’t want to be rude
But I was worried,
For I can hear Rumi knocking
On the door, asking to be let in.

“Confound you, Taufiq!”
I can hear him yelling,
“It’s raining angels out here.
Open the door before I am drenched
In this heavenly downpour!”

In the truest sense of the word, I am no poet. I wonder if Rumi was ever asked in his lifetime whether he thinks himself a poet. You can ask him now if you want. I have no doubt, he would find a way to get his reply passed on to you. Perhaps a passing Cherubim would agree to take his message.

THE WORLD IS A STAGE said Shakespear. I was being rather optimistic in the above sketch. I do not think Rumi will give up so easily. For Love is not about giving up. Love is about trying your darn best even when the chips appear down. Love is about not giving up on your friend, even when he has given up on himself. For you see, everything is fated. Fate is like a script to a play. You are given by God your daily script (good day, bad day, pay day, Friday, appalling day, bad hair day, wedding day…) and you have absolutely no choice in the matter. But how you read your lines is entirely up to you, don’t you agree?

SAY YOUR LINES WELL. So say your lines with love and submission, my friends. At times we play the hero, and sometimes we would play the victim or damsel-in-distress. At other times we are just extras walking in and out of the scene. And for some stressful occasions, we must act the villain – the father who refuses to buy a toy for his son, a boss who must cut overtime, or a class teacher who must send her student to the disciplinary master. But villain or hero, extra or superstar, it is our call how we act out our script.

THE SECRET GIFT. If you can remember the preceding paragraph, sunshine – then the world will become nothing but a plaything in your hand. And happiness and sadness becomes mere roles which you – the consummate artist, can act out, as and when you please, and as how you desire. And that is the Secret Happiness of Choices - a gift granted by God our Creator to all Mankind and Djinns, flowing from His Incalculable Wisdom and Love for His creation.

DEAR OLD RUMI. The new prose began as a stream-of-consciousness thingy which is not really my style. But I am glad that I have come to a bright happy conclusion. That is often the case when I recall Rumi’s name.

Have a happy day, pet.

Pax Taufiqa.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Mrs.Gomez Treatment - My School Daze Part 2

A PLAGUE OF MORONS. Mrs. Gomez was a teacher in high school. Actually I have never met her (I was in another school, the rival school in fact) but her story came about when I was talking to my good buddy, King. We were commiserating each other as to why so many politicians are consummate idiots who appear to take moronism to new heights, treating it less like a disability and more like an ambition to pursue. “My ambition?” They would reply, “Duhh… Why, it is my lifelong quest to be more stupid tomorrow than I am today.”

THE MRS. GOMEZ TREATMENT. So according to King’s hypothesis, these political gentlemen (and some ladies, let’s not be chauvinists here) are brainless because they did not benefit from the Mrs. Gomez Treatment during their schooling years. I ask for further particulars and this was King’s elaboration…

A TEACHER’S DIVINE BENEDICTION. “When I was in high school, all my classmates feared the Mrs. Gomez Treatment. In an all-boys school, being bullied AND kicked about was part and parcel of life, so most kids hardly minded. But the Mrs. Gomez Treatment was a refined type of psychological torture which shamed the living daylights out of us. If so happen you are thick, slow or somehow lacking focus in her class, Mrs. Gomez would quietly sidle next to your desk, then without warning, she would drop to her knees and loudly utter this prayer, 'Oh, GAAAWD! Pleeeease Give This BOY Some BRAAAINS!' And if you are actually smart, you would pray together with her.”

And this is what we need in schools nowadays, I think. The Science of Knowing Thyself and a regular dose of the Mrs. Gomez Treatment. Write to your representatives, please!
May God bless all our teachers. And especially Mrs. Gomez.

Pax Taufiqa.

Footnote - Click Here for Love, Servanthood and the Science of Knowing Thyself - My School Daze Part 1