May 17, 2011

Not so tough now, are you?

Part 3
A five part series dissecting the last moments of Jesus and its relevance on our lives

A phrase that has been immortalized in Hollywood movies, how many times have we thought  we were strong enough to not stray away from the path of God, but have failed. Miserably.
Very similar to how Peter denied Christ.
The most famous denial in Christianity is something that has fascinated me every time I've read about the last few hours of Christ and his Passion.
As a child, I've wondered how someone could say something and not stick by it. I've wondered how Peter could deny our Lord so easily and to complete strangers at the speed at which he did.
But of course, Sunday School teachers won't ever tell us why he did deny Jesus or what Peter really went through post his denial. Most people that I've spoken to could not really explain why.
But the answer is there in our midst.
When Peter proclaimed his undying love for Christ and his wish to follow Christ unto death, Christ's response to him is quite different from how we would respond to, if someone said the same to us.
Very long ago, a girlfriend told me that she would never leave me and declared her undying devotion and unabated love until death does us apart. Great! I thought. But her 'unabated and devotion' to me lasted only for 2 years when she found another person to shower her 'undying love' to.
If only I knew then what I know now, I would have told her to measure her words and to use it only if she meant it truly. 
But of course we all mean what we say when we say it. Specially when we are in love. And I am not even talking about romantic love. It would be our love for our parents, our teachers, colleagues, friends or even movie actors. But just as the seasons change, our love fades and our words are just as easily dead.

Christ's words might have cut Peter like not before, but I dont think he would have thought much of His rebuttal. Peter continued about his motions of following Jesus, unaware that he was witnessing Creation's most incredible event. Like a deer caught between the headlights, Peter was 'caught' by various people, who where not even important or threatening, but caught at a point where he was witnessing a huge travesty of justice, he simply caved in. 
Jesus, looks at him. Not with disgust, hatred or anger. But with a look that has compassion.
Like a bad case of deja vu, his deep despair and anguish of having let his Lord down, is something that we have all experienced, most surely more than once.
As a stronger believer in Christ, I can now identify myself with Peter. I have disowned him many times, only to realise how foolish I am. I have resisted walking in His path even when I promised not to stray.

Having promised our utter obedience to our Lord Christ, how many times have we faltered and 'given in' to a temptation?
How many times have you thought you were strong enough to beat a habit, but caved in at the first instance?
How many times have you felt invincible but fallen to the gutters of sin?
Peter, however, went on to become one of Christianity's greatest disciple, preaching, practicing and living a life like his Master even to his death.

What is important is not how much you've denied Him in the past, but how much you are ready to let go of yourself for Him right now. 

I've realised that being 'born again' mustn't just be a tag that sets you apart but an experience where you realise that you will fall. How you pick yourself up, dust off and walk with a clearer picture is what will save you.

Part 2 here
Part 1 here

May 10, 2011

Osama- the guy everyone loved to hate

It is said that you will remember where you were and what you'd been doing when you hear the news of an important event in your life.
Ten years ago, I was at a garage, with a friend of mine, when I first heard about the 9/11. He had a son who lived very close to the WTC in NY. I remember the grief when he couldn't reach him for many days after that.
I was still an undergraduate then. I then witnessed unparalleled aggression and then suddenly all everyone was ever talking about was Global Terrorism and Al Qaeda.
When I joined AOL, then an epitome of American capitalistic excellence, I was seething with anger over how America was policing the world. I remember asking my interviewer on what he thought of America now that it is trying to invade other countries. He didn't say much.

I've worked in four companies since, seen many anniversaries of the 9/11, we've heard the theories behind 9/11 and a change of guard at the Capitol Hill.
Last Sunday, I'll again remember where I was when Obama announced the death of Osama (aka Usama Bin Laden), or the Most Wanted man in the planet.
In what can be described as a pivotal moment in history, I can almost smell how this going to set the stage for a fresh spate of tragedy on people who 'deserved' it only because they were Americans or Arabs.

Dissecting the murder, death, kill of the guy the world grew to hate, the world will continue to ruminate over what led to the death of the man, and will chew over all the juicy details of everything like his sex life to what his servants ate for many months to come. 
The American president will have something to pat himself on his back and the American public; an unknown fear of reprisal.

Rumors abounded in the Internet that this was not the real Osama. Rumours that Obama and Al Qaeda laid to rest when they announced that the big O was indeed dead.
Hurray!
But it is wondrous how the most powerful country in the world spent $1.4 trillion in catching one man. And mind you, all this is money that you and I have contributed in some way or the other.
It is wondrous how the world's most wanted guy lived in relative peace and great health in a modestly furnished yet sprawling mansion securely guarded by the American watchdog.
It is wonderful how Obama went ahead with a decision that could've cost him his presidency.

While Pakistan has got itself a new sobriquet ; 'Terroristan', I pity the fate of ordinary hard working Pakistanis the world over. Already the unfortunate victim of most racist attacks in the many parts of the civilized world, I gather they will stand apart as a sore thumb for a very long time to come.
Even ordinary citizens who I've spoken with, now swear by the double standards and the sheer amount of lies that the government espoused. These are truly horrendous times for anyone from that country. I liken this situation to that of a dishonest teenager who is known to be a lier but is far too delicate to be bullied and tries hard to portray an image of honesty by supporting your cause, and then suddenly his cover is blown by irrefutable proof. Wham! I can't imagine living with the shame.
Though there is no good news in a country like Pakistan, this is certainly horrible news for its leaders. Hurtling as it is towards being a failed society, its time Pakistan or at-least the people in power come out of the cleaners and redeem itself. My parents have always taught me that of all the things you earn in your life, earn respect and a good name.
Respect, good name and integrity are things that once lost/broken are impossible to rebuilt.

But I guess with a generation that has a short attention span, Pakistan only needs to wait for a few weeks before the world latches on to its next big news/scandal/tragedy. Nuclear holocaust in Japan but whats breaking news about it, right?

Abbottabad can go back to its idyllic and peaceful living and Dawood can perhaps move back to his mansion in Pakistan.

Mr O, has propelled himself on the popularity charts, but must keep pulling out the rabbits from the hat, because the elections are still a year away and voter euphoria will soon die and their attention will fall on the thousand domestic issues that plague its cathartic economy.

But until then, controversies will reign on how much the Pakistanis knew.
They will deny everything that the US will pile on them, and will cry short of blue murder.
Pakistan and its rag tag bunch of crony countries will decry the American's unilateral Geronimo operation in a garrison city of Pakistan. They will even demand that the US apologise for having done what it did. The US will pooh pah all of the demands with a flourish.
Arab Extremists will accuse Pakistanis of the death of Bin Laden because of the fact that Americans were able to conduct such an operation only because it gave the US permission to use its bases and its airspace. Of course the Pakistanis will on their part deny this until their face is blue. But the fact remains that Pakistani leaders or whoever it is that controls its government deserves all that is coming to them, simply because of the complicity at which Bin Laden could stay in one of its cantonment towns, barely 60 miles from its capital. How can you not know who stays at the largest house in town?
Americans on their part have only inflicted wounds that will start paining in a few months, once the adrenalin rush is over. Little did they realize that they are the mirror image of they enemy they were professing to fight, when they celebrated the death of Bin Laden. Woe to America. Your celebrations should've been measured and sensitive.

Must American taxpayers still support Pakistan with billions in aid even after the pathological lier has been revealed? There will be dozen of debates on this but those who are emotional will always argue that it must stop, however the far sighted will agree that the US will need to maintain a close relationship with a country that cannot be dispensed with simply because of the amount of poison it can inject into the world. It after all pays to keep a close watch over the thief.

For the world, his death was the end of a saga that might have been a welcome relief to a person who could've lived a much better life but ended up as a virtual prisoner of his own ideology.
This could be the beginning of a new era in world history. One that will seek revenge in an endless cycle of bloodshed and unprecedented unrest.
The proverbial calm before the storm. I can almost sense the feverish pitch of succession within the Al Qaeda. Whoever comes next will have a god to worship, a death to avenge and his own agenda. Evil only begets evil.

But was he really that evil?
I don't think so. Sure, he did kill a lot of people. But so did a tyrant in Iraq. Not many remember him now. He was taken off the list a long while ago. His name is Saddam Hussein. He along with his psychotic sons captured, tortured and raped at will. Plundered two nations and several generations of people. What he did still affects me in more ways than one, just because I've lived through the Gulf War of 1990. The gruesome pictures and stories of how he took pleasure at torturing innocent civilians should have been enough for any person of conscience to hunt him down most brutally. But nay.
The US of A couldn't find him or hunt him down for over three decades only because he never killed a single American in America. Infact he served their purpose, in that the US was able to establish their unique brand of 'fear factor' politics on the oil rich countries of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Dubai. I doubt if the Americans really had an agenda to kill Saddam or we would've been saved from so much trauma two decades ago.

But we are not talking about Saddam now, are we? He was just a pawn. Forgotten.
Hitting closer home, many argue India must strike and avenge Pakistan for 'sheltering' Dawood and like scum who has killed thousands like so many rats.
Fortunately, Pakistan has a neighbor who neither has the political will nor the military strategy to strike the way Uncle Sam has done. Pakistan should be grateful that we are inept and impotent.

The death of Mr O on the other hand is the end of an era of journalism that focused on him, and the awesome fear that a mere mention of his name held within the western world. He made a lot of writers really rich!
 
But what's really funny (bordering on the amusing) is the fact that Pakistan feels its modesty/sovereignty has been outraged.
It is so LOL funny that they have demanded that (or rather expected) the Americans to apologize for their unilateral action.
It is just beyond me on how they can even deliver an ultimatum warning that if Americans do an 'Abbottabad' again, they will 'review' ties and maybe even sever them.
And I was rolling on the floor laughing when Pakistan ordered Americans to reduce their troops in Pakistan.


"Listen Rascalas. You need us more than we need you, so you better behave or we're going to bomb you so bad that even Google won't find you"

May 1, 2011

Shitting on the honest @ work

You know what really ticks me off?

Besides the insane motorists on the road.
Its the people who cheat at work.

You'd think that with all the fail-safe checks and quality monitoring that goes on at work, you'd be able to eliminate people who use unethical ways to be noticed and get ahead.

I know this certain individual at work, who writes her own client accolades to herself!
If you thought faking orgasms was outrageous, well, you ain't heard nothing yet.

We do have the fail safe technologies in place, its definitely idiot proof but not genius proof.
Her modus operandi is simple: She simply retypes an email from the client, changes the time stamp and forwards it. Pure genius!
Ka-ching! The cash registers ring since we have (or rather 'had') a policy to reward each accolade.
Don't you just love people like this?
She used to 'reward' herself with upto 3 accolades a month, which is serious moolah.
People who take the most crooked path to success. Unscrupulous people who screw it up for other people.

Fuck you, honest guy!

Wearing the sham of honesty and being 'Miss Popular' makes the crime as contrasting as Heaven and hell.

Well, ofcourse the management is too worried to put the axe for the many myriad reasons it has.
For a management that proclaims to uphold the law, it sure does not make a very good example.

Now, you could debate on how many honest people are left at work. The answer is 'many'.
Its just that when you start realizing that the management is really not going to do jack shit about its corrupt employees who eat into the process, that the honest people tire down.
The Management did find out about all the fake Client accolades. It had rock hard evidence and screen-shots of her typing in the accolades after several months of monitoring her computer but never took cognizance against her. Just because they might lose out on manpower, something that we were already suffering on. They just made it tough for all of us. Scapegoats of an unscrupulous bitch. Well, Christians and other minorities can identify with this.

In a dog eat dog world, I admit we'd hate to live in other people's Utopias, but is it too much to ask for honest practices at work?
Back to current day, she really hasn't stopped faking yet, she's just gone round the system so that her 'work' cannot be monitored.
She is aiming to be an HR soon.
RIP, my dear company.

Do you have such unscrupulous people at work? People who will take any route to get more money and or to a higher position?

Much like a nasty bed-bug that shares your bed, dines with you but also leaves you with a nasty itch. How I wish I could just disinfect my workplace.
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