Friday, June 3, 2011

Books, Books, and more Books!

7. Oh Simplicity!
When the book is not a book anymore,
When the man is not a man anymore,
When the heart is not a heart anymore,
And you are not you anymore,
But a vagabond knocking and begging entry,
O, man! Behind the closed door,
See now who will answer thee!

Aspirants of the mystical way will often come across contradictions. Especially when they appear motivated to force unto themselves 'change'. But it is in truth not change that the masters are seeking to force unto these young bucks. It is to reveal the best that you truly are. That brilliant rose, hidden in the untidy scrubbery and fences of your egos. For you see, your heart is in truth a garden of incredible delights. But for myself, I have been appallingly negligent in taking care of my heart. So to an outsider, my garden doesn't appear like a garden at all. It is a wasteland of my dreams, and it is only by the virtue of good folks like you, sunshine, who has not given up hope on me, that I am still here. Clinging not to a promise to change, but a promise to become the best that I was meant to be. Wish me luck!

8. Food Book
I have read books,
Thinking them food

Grossly overfeeding my mind,
While my heart
Stayed pitifully

The two poems above were written sometime back, and at first glance it appears to reveal my innate distrust of books. But the truth is the opposite. I love books. And all the books you see in this posting are all currently being read by me, simultaneously. I just don't understand why Heche and my friend King chose works entitled 'Stalin' and 'The Hitler Book' for me. Have I disclosed some fascination for the history of vicious tyrants? But I guess if you love reading history (and I do), then you cannot avoid the darker stories of mankind. But if you do read non-fiction nightmares, make sure you shampoo your soul with holy disinfectants to wash away the bad vibes - Say your Hail Marys or Alhamdulillahs or something.

My literary addiction is however inclined towards the more inspiring, witty and quirky stories that dot the tale of humanity from the time of Adam. And one particular writer who has always filled my days and nights with rib-tickling anecdotes and stupendous historical facts is Bill Bryson. His book pictured here is his latest, and I never thought I could be so enthralled with the history of the house and all its different parts (hall, pantry, dining room, larder, salon, toilets, etc...). How I wish I could write like him.

I am also enamoured by Anthony Bourdain. I like his gritty, self-effacing and hilarious way of writing about his life as a 'celebrity chef' and the strange food that has travelled into his gullet. This book 'Bone in the Throat' however is one of his fictional works. It is about organised crime and the business of cooking good food - two of Tony's long-time favourite topics. (I have been to his restaurant in Manhattan - so I claim the right to be on first name basis)

I am still reading Annemarie Schimmel's fascinating book about the Prophet Muhammad. And on top of this pile of books, I am trying to re-read the late Hajjah Amina Adil's amazing tome entitled 'Muhammad - The Messenger of Islam, His Life & Prophecy'. I say I am trying because my brother appears to have kept the book like for the longest time(!) and has not returned it. Perhaps I can shame him this way into returning the book. Hehehe. Oh, how lucky you are not to have me as a younger brother!

It is Friday evening, sunshine. I am waiting to have dinner outside with King. Roast Duck is on the menu, I hear. I hope that wherever you may be reading this blog, you are also engrossed in some marvelous book and waiting to have dinner with a great old chum.

Pax Taufiqa

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