I honestly don’t understand this modern trend of spending tens of thousands of pounds on a wedding.Continue reading “Foundations”
I enjoyed reading an article in the Independent about the so-called scam wedding make-up industry. The gripe of brides seems to be the extortionate fees these artists charge for a woman’s big day.Continue reading “Natural beauty”
Always fascinating that in my wife’s extended family, it’s the women who find faith, while the men actively and vehemently oppose it. I suppose they must have greater strength and fortitude than their brothers. Such strength can never be underestimated in a family like theirs.
To the question, “How do Muslims treat women?” you will not get a definitive answer, because it all depends on the individual, their personal circumstances, their family culture and the environment in which they exist.Continue reading “The best of you”
Here I am sitting, just reflecting on dreams I once had, and how it all came to be. Maybe I forgot those dreams, setting them aside for many years, but everything was nevertheless set in motion. Despite myself, I was granted a companion who shared those ambitions and would help me realise all I once yearned for. Dreams don’t come to fruition overnight; often you have to wait years, but one day all that you once desired you will hold in your hands. These the lessons of life.
I think many of us religious types, especially those raised in very religious homes, don’t understand that most people don’t do religion at all. And that cuts across all communities, even those outwardly perceived to be very religious.Continue reading “Irrelevant”
Let’s be frank: ours is a history of extremism. But pause: the we I am using now is not in reference to my adopted religious identity. This is the we of nationhood. I am talking about the extremism of the British in our political actions interfacing with other nations and peoples.Continue reading “Extremism”
I do believe career progression is all about confidence, and very little about your actual skillset. Of course, if you don’t have the skills at all, you’ll be quickly found out, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy to get rid of you.Continue reading “Progression”
Another day, another resignation. It was inevitable. The writing was on the wall from day one.Continue reading “Resignation”
Feelings of failure are contingent, of course. I suppose I sometimes feel that way because I come from a family with very high expectations and have often moved amongst high-flying friends. Measured against many of my peers from school, college and university, my career progression would be described as mediocre at best.Continue reading “On failure”
Hx College in the ’80s and ’90s… a world of possibilities… so long as you were a rugby player or a talented musician. I was neither.Continue reading “What a privilege”
Everything in it’s time. These things don’t just happen. You have to work towards your end goal in stages. You don’t just go out and win the prize. You struggle and strive for it over many years. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. There are always obstacles along the way. Be patient. Your time will come.
Yes, I have finally started living in the moment. As everybody already predicted, I just needed a change of scenery and a good break. I’m sorry for my blues in recent times.
One thing I will never understand: the logic of workmen, incapable either of performing jobs in the specified order or protecting previously completed work from harm.Continue reading “Common sense costs extra”
Let’s face it: without the internet, most of the people of influence in the communal echo chamber would be mere nobodies. Their main talent is in amassing like-minded followers capable of amplifying whatever preoccupies them at any given moment.Continue reading “Echo chamber”
The kids hate my taste in music. They call the modern acoustic folk I listen to, “Dad’s misery songs.” So you can imagine my delight when we sat down in a restaurant in Turkey’s most easterly province only to hear several of those songs spill forth from the speakers above us in succession. I couldn’t have arranged it better had I tried. I had to share a dry wry smile.
In religious communities, as in society in general, there are the principles, and then there is actual practice.
Note, for example, wise gurus railing against caste discrimination in their own times, only for modern followers of their tradition to promulgate ideas of belonging and unbelonging based on caste status.
It’s no wonder many reject these traditions wholesale. But perhaps they would be surprised if they delved into the teachings of their wise ones. Much of it bears no relation to the practices of the people at all.
I work amongst people who charge ahead implementing a solution to a problem they have not yet defined or identified.Continue reading “Problem”
I will never understand the mentality that emboldens some people to treat complete strangers with total disdain, addressing them rudely and generally behaving obnoxiously. What is it that causes an old man in the street to yell at a mother and her daughter: “We’re in England… speak English…”? What is it that enables a woman to swear aggressively at a family enjoying a quiet meal in a restaurant? What causes some humans to obliterate others? Where does this mindset come from?
It’s well known that only mad dogs and English(people) go out in the midday sun. Those who live in hot countries learned long ago to seek shade when the day is at its hottest. Traditional wisdom did not need to wait for scientists to warn that exposing skin to the blazing sun can cause skin cancer. Go see how the Tuareg people dress to deal with the desert heat. Only the English insist on lying on their back in full sun, until their skin has turned dark purple. Seek shade. Be sensible. Stay safe.
Our lad has spent the day shadowing me at work. Hopefully it has been a bit of an eye opener, inspiring him if nothing else to work hard to get an interesting job. I think he was a bit alarmed to discover how much work was involved in, well, work.Continue reading “Shadow”
If I could avoid these interventions, I definitely would. Without that quarterly injection, I feel I’m a calmer, kinder person. I also feel in control of my spiritual development.Continue reading “Interventions”
I should be clear that when I use the term honour, it is in accordance with its positive meaning, as commonly understood in the English language, i.e. the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.Continue reading “On honour”
Bizarre as it may seem to others, these are some of the modules I took at university: environment and development in dryland Africa; environment and development in South Asia; border disputes in the Middle East; refugees, returnees and development aid; the politics of development. Lots of references to development.Continue reading “Shape your world”
It really isn’t strange that an individual should express appreciation for a culture other than his own. If that seems peculiar, it is only due to the diet of political propaganda we have been fed for two decades which has tried to paint multiculturalism as a failed experiment consigned to the bin. I don’t subscribe to that worldview at all. I have never subscribed to a hierarchy of cultures. I embrace whatever is good in those around me.Continue reading “Cultural exchange”
I was just starting to question my own reality and sanity, when the doctor I met on hajj fifteen years ago messaged me with Eid greetings, and I recalled that moment too, sitting down amidst strangers in a tent in the midst of tens of thousands of tents, only to discover that the gentlemen at my side had been neighbours of mine in the suburbs of my hometown, and they both knew my mum from her days as hospital chaplain. So, yes, okay, really I should not be surprised by anything anymore, however unlikely or bizarre.
Not really sure where I stand on genetic tests for all at birth, but making tests more widely available when parents present seeking help would, I’m sure, be of great benefit.Continue reading “Genetic testing”
I’m afraid the novelty of the weekly jaunt to High Wycombe has worn off. The overt wealth — everywhere in your face — does my head in.Continue reading “To return”
In the eighteen years since diagnosis, I have never knowingly met anyone else with the condition, or interacted with them in any way. This despite studies indicating that it is one of the most common chromosome disorders, affecting as many as one in five-hundred males. In a town like mine, we might expect to encounter about twenty people with the condition. But no, I’ve never encountered anyone else with this diagnosis, not that it’s something you would typically publicise.Continue reading “Thought police”
Anti-racism was part of my upbringing. My mother’s youngest sister married into the Jesudason clan when I was still in junior school. My eldest brother started going out with his Trinidadian wife-to-be while in the sixth form, when I was just starting out in the senior school.Continue reading “Stand firm”
I have told many people the story of the company I called to do work on my house last year. On his arrival, the gentleman sent to survey the job took one look at me and my house, and said, “We don’t take jobs smaller than £6K. You wouldn’t be able to afford that, would you?”Continue reading “Wealth is relative”
After my experience, I never thought I’d ponder a private education for our kids. Of course, that’s just me, for I squandered mine. At least that’s the narrative I told myself for twenty years, but it turns out I probably just needed more support.Continue reading “To be happy and free”
Dear animal lover… I’m sure your little doggie is absolutely lovely… yes, wonderful… but, you know, not everyone wants to be charged at, barked at or leapt upon by your little four-legged friend, every single time they go for a walk.Continue reading “Animal lover”
There is definitely some strange wiring in the background connecting us, which proponents of a material-only world cannot account for. Another one this morning. Feeling blue, I was just thinking to myself, “You know, maybe I have depression.” But just as I’m thinking this, my phone rings and it’s an old friend who is going through a really tough time. It put everything in perspective. I really should express more gratitude for great blessings.
On unswerving loyalty to family, regardless of what they do. We are held to a different standard:
O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be for rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not your desires, lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that you do.Qur’an 4:135
Our way is to speak the truth even against ourselves, even if it pains us.
Apart from the lethargy, depression and aching bones, I was doing well neglecting my treatment. I felt like I was in control. Now I feel like I’ve gone haywire. I think I prefer the trough to the high.
Driving home last night, I was passed by a family of four enjoying a ride is an open-top Audi A5 Coupé. They were all smiles, proud of dad, it seemed. It got me thinking: surely that was the normal teenage reaction to a new luxury saloon.Continue reading “What drives us”
Tilda is the Ferrari of Basmati rice, but no one can afford it anymore. Fortunately, there is still Laila, the BMW of Basmati. Leave all that £5.99 special offer crap: that’s the Robin Reliant of rice. You might as well just serve up a plate of sand.
I see the Peter principle is fully operative in our workplace. This is why it’s so hard to stay motivated these days: because all around me, everyone has been promoted to the maximum state of incompetence. People don’t seem to have the most basic skillset anymore.Continue reading “Maximum incompetence”