Friday, 16 December 2011

What Will You Do???

I missed my van in the morning and was frustrated with myself for not getting up on time. Now i had to travel all the way to Defence Phase 2 (Ext) from Plaza quarters changing two buses on the way.

Cursing, I got ready put on my sweat shirt and made my way towards the bus stop, the U-1 bus taken ages to come but when it did I was happy that there was a vacant seat available. I reached saddar in less than 5 minutes courtesy of the bus driver who I reckon was inspired by The Need for Speed game series, and then got in the second bus which would have taken me to Akhtar colony.

It is in this bus that an incident taken place which really had me thinking the whole day. A girl climbed up the bus at the Kala pul (black bridge) stop and started distributing some cards. My understanding of stuff written in Urdu is quite weak and it taken me sometime to figure out what the card said, but after sometime the girl was back demanding the card back.

I figured out then that she was begging here in the bus for money and the card had a message which she wanted to deliver. Confused I just told her “maaf karo” (forgive me) and she shot out furiously saying “subha subha ka time hein aur koi kuch dehta hi nahi hein” (it’s the morning time and no one is ready to give anything). I started to judge her instantly that here she is begging and instead of being humble this girl has so much pride and arrogance, this then further led me to judge her even more that she seemed well fed and was doing this as a business.

The whole way from there till the Akhtar colony stop I was thinking about this incident and it was getting really disturbing, to make worse a chacha ji (old man) sat beside me in the bus and out of the blue started speaking about the inefficiency of the government etc.

 I whispered alleluia when the conductor scream “Akhtar colony walen” (all those to get down at Akhtar colony) but while walking to the office I was thinking about the incident with the girl. It got me to think about why was she begging, was she forced to beg by her parents? Did she enjoy such a life? These thoughts gradually removed all my judgements against her because in reality I did not know what life that poor girl was going through.

I was ashamed at myself for not helping her out with what I had, even if it was ten bucks which really is of less value in these rough economic times in Pakistan, yet it would have made a difference to her. With no other way to approach her all I could think was to close my eyes and pray to God to be with her and ease her difficulty.

Many of us today may have encountered such a situation and so what did you do? Share your thoughts and views about this post and also feel free to share any such incident. Till then Ciao.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

History of Halloween - The Uprising

I live in a Muslim country in which i am a minority and often whenever there is any event coming up, my friends (non-christian) always come up asking me, Hey isn't this one of your christian feasts!!!!!

I experienced a likewise situation this month as Halloween was coming towards the end of the month and one of my friends came up to me and said: " Yaar Glenn yeh Halloween christian tehwaar hein na" (Hey Glenn this Halloween is a christian feast right). I at the first go said that no it cannot be a christian feast as it involves trick'o' treating, jack-o'-lanterns, people wearing ghost and witches costumes etc. For the moment my friends got busy with something and went away but his curiousness to know what the history of Halloween was left me with the same question as i did not know actually what it was myself.

Therefore i sat down and researched about this day on my PC and would like to share this research of mine with all you guys. 

History of Halloween

The origin of this day dates back to Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the ending of summer and the beginning of the dark cold winter which according to them was a time associated with human death.

The Celts believed that on the 31st of October the boundary which existed between the world of the dead and living blurred giving way thus to the ghosts of the dead, who destroyed crops and caused trouble. During this time the Celtic Druids(priests) sought to make predictions about the future. The people believed them as they were dependent on these predictions which were like a source of comfort during the long winter.  

To celebrate this event the priests built big sacred bonfires, where the people came together to burn crops and scarified animals to their Celtic deities(Gods). During this celebration the people wore costumes consisting of animal heads and skin. This was a sort of introduction to the history of Halloween, we now move on to the next era. 

Roman Empire

Sometime later the roman empire had conquered the Celtic lands and hence with their festival of Samhain they combined two of their festivals, the first being Feralia which was the celebration for the passing of the dead and the second was the feast of the goddess Pomona (Roman goddess of fruit and trees)

Christian Intervention  

By the 9th century Christianity had spread and rooted itself into the Celtic lands, where it gradually supplanted the older Celtic rites.

In 1000 A.D the church made 2nd November as all Saints day and 1st November as all Souls day, according to a few people the all souls day replaced the feast of Samhain. The all saints day celebration was also known as All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it where initially the Celtics used to commemorate Samhain, began to be called All-Hallows which eventually became known as Halloween.

So i hope you all are clear with the history of Halloween and where it originated and that it is not a christian feast. But my questions to all my readers and friends is that what are your views on Halloween? Do you think its a pagan or satanic cult being celebrated, or is it something just we do just out of fun and enjoyment. Leave your views and answers in the comment box below.