Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Nasruddin - Punch Line

Kiranya aku rasa malas skit nak buat kerja hari ni. So, here's one nugget from Nasruddin's basket:

"And just WHEN do you plan on getting a job?" Nasrudin's wife moaned after getting tired of one of his more lengthy periods of unemployment. "I do not need a job woman, I am always in the service of the Most High!" retorted Nasrudin "Well then shouldn't you be getting some form of payment for your so-called services???" she replied sarcastically, "these bills are not going to pay themselves!" Thinking about it, Nasrudin went into his backyard and, kneeling before the open sky, began to pray: "Most Merciful Allah, I am constantly in your service, and as such, I deserve some sort of financial recompense... indeed with some sort of back-pay for all those years for which I did not receive a single dime! Could You please find it in Your infinite mercy to send me some form of payment so I can pay my bills AND get my wife off my back???"

Overhearing this conversation, Nasrudin's neighbor, a moneylender, decided to play a prank on him; accordingly he grabbed a bag of gold coins and threw it over the fence so that it landed right in front of Nasrudin. Amazed at this turn of events, Nasrudin rushed inside his house to show his wife, and they both immediately began to call on shopkeepers to pay their debts and order all manner of goods. Noticing the immediate deliveries to the house, Nasrudin's neighbor became worried about his money and came running to demand it back. "What in God's name are you talking about man?" Nasrudin demanded, "I prayed to God for the money and He provided!"

Since Nasrudin adamantly refused to accept the man's version of events, the neighbor insisted that the only solution was to take the case to court to be tried before a judge. "But I cannot go to court," replied Nasrudin, "surely I cannot appear before a judge looking like this! why I have nothing appropriate to wear!"

The neighbor quickly offered to lend Nasrudin his best robe and turban."But..." began Nasrudin, "how will I go? I cannot go there riding my donkey while wearing these fine clothes!"Again, the neighbor offered Nasrudin his best horse to ride. When they stood before the judge, the moneylender quickly explained his case in great detail, going to great lengths to clarify to the court that the money that Nasrudin was spending was all his and how the whole thing was simply a misunderstanding, meanwhile Nasrudin calmly sat there, completely silent.

"Do you have anything to say in your defence?" the judge finally asked Nasrudin "What can I say Your Honor, except that my neighbor is completely insane! the poor man seems to believe that EVERYTHING I own belongs to him, my clothes, my horse, let alone my gold."

"But... but... they ARE MINE!" roared the neighbor, unable to contain himself.
"Case dismissed!" ruled the judge.

Kalau asal benih yang baik, Jatuh ke laut menjadi pulau

Masa kecik kecik dulu, ada sekali ni cikgu sejarah kat sekolah kebangsaan saya (Sekolah Kebangsaan Long Ghafar, Kubang Keranji, Kota Bharu), instead of mengajar dia bercerita. Yang kita ingat best sangat cerita tu, sampai minggu lagi satu pun cerita dia tak abis. Cerita dia ada lebih kurang macam pantun kat bawah la:

Buat bangsal di Pulau Daik
Menahan taut sambil mengilau
Kalau asal benih yang baik
Jatuh ke laut menjadi pulau

Kita pun tak berapa ingat dah cite dia camne. Tapi standard cerita dulu dulu la kan, mustilah moralnya bagus. Tapi sayang, sekarang ni I rasa art of storytelling ni dah kurang dah. Konon-konon zaman modern ni apa lah guna sangat cerita ceriti macam tu kan. That was my exact thought sometime back. Never mind that, even science itself is quite limited. Look at Einstein's theory, when he first presented it, only a handful understood it. Though his theory covers much more than what Newton did, it still does not unify and encompasses all the other theories about particle mechanics.

Sadly, in my case, while extolling all that's good about the West and its byproducts, I lost the treasures that our people had. In the case of story telling however, it is not so much of a Eastern and Western phenomenon since for example, over in old Europe, we have the Grimm Brothers. And some stories about the birth of something, we can find similarities whether the story is being told in Polynesian cultures or Native American cultures. For this, my readings of Joseph Campbell has been very enlightening.

Kiranya mungkin, satu masa nanti aku kena baca balik cerita cerita lama untuk diajar pada Fateh. Sekarang ni dia baru 6 tahun dok asyik tengok katun je lah.

Cerita cerita yang ada pada orang kita, kadang2 mungkin datang dari culture lain. Pernah aku terbaca yang lagu Bangau oh Bangau tu, asal dia dari India. Dan cerita2 camni, dia punya kelebihan, kita boleh dapat pengajaran dia dari berberapa layers dan juga sudut; kira macam kueh lapis la, cerita dia sesuai untuk berbagai masa dan keadaan, especially cerita cerita Mullah Nasruddin.

Kot kot ada masa nanti aku taruk la satu dua cerita2 camni kat sini.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Turban - Our Crown

Shall write about this later but look at the lovely photo. Beautiful people with handsome dress. The way they wear their turban, if we look from above, looks like the arabic word 'meem'. Which stands for, among other things, the name of our hope for the last day, Sayyidina Muhammad, pbuh.

If there's no photo here, that means I have not been able to upload it yet.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Luvly and Great Week

Thought of this last night, and wow, what a luvly and great week indeed. And it's not even Friday yet.

Allow me.

Last Sunday, a friend Riza told me about a function of sort at Masjid Baitil Aman, Jalan Damai, off Jalan Ampang. It was a talk, an association more like it, with Shaykh al-Habib 'Umar bin Hafiz. He talked about many things, which, macam pegi Khutbah Jumaat, memang lepas tu pun aku dah lupa apa dia cakap. One main point was to know, or to work towards our true worth with our Creator and to realize that all the materials things will not last. One example he gave was Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a was a trader by profession, he had about 9 stores (I can't recall whether in Makkah or Madinah) but the Shaykh asked, "Is Sayyidina Abu Bakar r.a the same with other traders?". Next was about Abu Hurairah r.a, which is well known for being a fakir. But is he the same with other fakirs? The association was great, and so was the briyani afterward!

And last night, I went to the Naqshbandi zikir in Damansara, which is quite rare indeed; the rare part is me going there, they have the zikir every Thursday night and Saturday afternoon for ladies. And what did I find there, apart from our beloved Shaykh, there was 'kambing golek'. Now, like our experience in life, the main points in our life can be manifested by a few defining moments, an epiphany of sort. As always, after zikir, they would sing a lovely Salawat on our hope for intercession on the last day, Sayyidina Rasul. Normally it is Salawat Badar accompanied with good Gendang and all. But last night there were two babies for 'bercukur' and the Salawat was more. And with more Salawats, the merry making was of course grows proportionately.

And after that of course 'kambing golek' la bang. Que nye mestilah panjang teramat. And since I was helping in the kitchen a bit, I missed la the 'kambing golek'. Lauk lain pun dapat sikit je. Just so you know, the dinner is arrange ala buffet outside the house and there's a main spread in the house for the Shaykh and whoevers are lucky. There's no protocol who eats there but visitors will always get priority. Lepas dapat my nasi, okay lah, makan la apa yang ada. So pegi la duduk kat main spread, jenguk2 lauk kat situ. And what the hey, I was passed a plate full of kambing. Man, that was my epiphany. Sunday dapat kambing, Thursday pun dapat kambing.

So there you go. The way to a man's heart is thru his stomach. Hancur jugak budak ni ek. Makan aje tau. Hopefully, it can be more like that lyrics by Debu, "minuman ini tidak melewati kerongkongku" or something like that.

God bless.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Fenyman & Freeman Dyson

Reading Nefertiti's blog yesterday reminded me of Richard Fenyman and Freeman Dyson.

While a student at Western Michigan, my indulgence are books and sleep. I like it there coz the books are so affordable compare to here. While I have varied interests, themes like science, philosophy and spirituality ranks above others.

Fenyman explains about science in a funny way and that's why he's a good reading. I do not know much about Dyson coz I have only one book of his, Disturbing the Universe, which is almost about his life and his writings on several issues. To me, the best part in that book is his description about the going on during US's atomic bomb development.

And the thing I remember most from that book is his quote of Yeats :
I would spread the clothes under your feet
But I am poor, and have only my dreams
I have spread my dreams under your feet
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams

Maannn, kalu sapa sapa tengah cintan cintun, boleh bagi kat awek nih. While at it, I also suggest some by Elizabeth Browning.