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Showing posts from 2016

Wisdom of Winter

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"It's cold". "I have a cold". These are just two reasons why many people prefer not the months around the winter break, ie, winter. And such people have a point; in addition to the chillingly low temperature and high prevalence of illnesses, the shorter days and lack of sun in general is a real mood damper. It is normal for humans to pine for the brightness of summer, its ease, its excitement.

But is winter really the season to be hated and cursed? Nah, not really. There are several pluses that come about from the chill and clouds of the cold season (temperature is not amongst them though).

Have you thought how winter represents the tough times in a person's life? Summer is ease, whims, and dreamy. Winter is tough, trying, and in-your-face. And it should be: we need winter to cool our emotions and remind us that the tough times in our lives develop and toughen us for, what we hope, a colourful spring of newfound success and happiness. Remembe…

A "GaJe" Group

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The Thing Called "Free Will"

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"Man may be chained outside, but is always free inside".

Every story, fact or fiction, attempts to portray its characters' inner self- their conflicts, thoughts, intentions. Why though? Would not visible actions be sufficient, without having to delve into a character?

Nope. A story without the inner self is merely a chronicle. And people do not just care about actions- they are attracted by the motives behind them. A plot without motives may be shaped intricately, but it will always be an empty husk.

A human's will is not a consequence, or deterministic. It can be moved and swayed, but it will always have a freedom that can never be vanquished. That is why a writer shouldn't focus too much on what creates motives, since that would undermine the soul's freedom.

The key in character development and epiphanies is not in the events that happen around him, but the feelings and thoughts he experiences. While this may seem as an unnecessary differentiation…

Regret & Repentance

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(Firstly, I am not an ulama, ie, a scholar of Islam, yet this article contains points pertaining to Aqeedah (practical faith). If any point or implication here contradicts the orthodox ulamas' view, please take their opinions over mine)

Humans sin and err. Thus, we should feel guilt and regret for our mistakes, so that we try to make up for and not repeat them. However, these very feelings often pin us down and erode our self-esteem. So what is the way of Islam? There are two commands- apparently opposing, but not so as will be seen later. 
The first one is repentance. In His Mercy and recognition of humanity's inclination to sin, Allah forgives our slip-ups on three conditions: 1) Leave the sin now 2) Pledge not to repeat it 3) Feel hatred towards it. In sum, treat the sin as the scourge.

The second command comes from a Hadith, where the Prophet (SAW) states: "Do not say 'If only i had done X', but rather, 'Allah decrees as He wishes'". In other w…

Contrails of memories from the plane of life

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The majestic green of the forested hills, the dull blue of the sea that stretched to the horizon, and the glowing white-red palettes of short buildings basked in the setting sun. Such was the eye candy of the suburbs of western Izmir. Even then, the white cotton fluffs above me captured the two windows to my heart, floating gently amongst the sea of the sky, an expanse of greyish blue as its earthly counterpart. No matter how beautifully the earth was created, I've always enjoyed looking up at the heavens, which softly remind my soul of the vast possibilities in life.

Then, it appeared. A mere speck from here, a plane flying just above the cloud level. And what intrigued me were its contrails- those little lines of clouds didn't paint the sky for long like I'd often seen. Rather, like the trail of light from a moving sparkler firework, the contrails vanished not far behind the plane.

Recently a long-time friend talked to me about a shared memory from three year…