In Search for Meaning (1)


I was looking at a picture of myself earlier today and it made me realize once again how strange a human looks. I started looking at myself as if I, the observer, am an alien looking at a picture of an animal on earth. When I, as a human, observe an animal, suppose a cow, I have an idea of the intellectual limitations of this cow as I am intelligent enough to understand from the actions of this animal that this animal’s ability to think, imagine, reason, plan, assess, and learn are much limited than mine. Quite similarly when I started looking at myself as if I am looking at an animal, I was able to realize how limited a human’s intellectual abilities must also be compared to a creature who (hypothetically) might have evolved for a billion years more than humans. Some might argue that you can evolve only up to a certain stage, but that’s not the point. The point is that our intellectual abilities are limited, just like that of a cow, horse, or chimp. We might be able to perceive, reason about, categorize, organize, control, and solve the things around us a little better than some other animals, but still we have more similarities to the horse than we have differences, and however much we evolve we’ll still have limitations in our perception of reality. We perceive light because we have eyes; we perceived other forms of radiations or energy either because we felt it or have seen some sort of trace or application of it in nature in a form that we can perceive with our senses; we could theorize space-time curvature because we felt gravity, have seen its implications and could test the curvature using the bending of light or other radiations that we can capture. All of our advancements can be traced back to our perception through our senses, combined with our ability to reason which depends on the limit of our brain’s ability to make neural connections. If we had only one sense, suppose the sense of taste, and no other senses, things in nature would have seemed much different than what we understand now. I wonder how different things then would have looked than the way it looks now if our brain had evolved in a different manner, had become bigger and more complex, and if we had developed 50 senses instead of the 5 we have.

Because of our limitations, whatever those might be, we then must have been perceiving only a *limited version* of the universe. However hard we try, even with our latest science and technology, when we reach the limit of our current human brain capacity of understanding, don’t we just run in circles when we try to understand an event that we don’t have the full ability to understand? When a horse sees a rocket fly, it may try hard to gain an understanding of the event out of fear or curiosity, and it may even be satisfied with the explanation it comes up with in its brain, but would it be able to understand this elegant rocket mechanism even the slightest better than what it’s capacity allows it to understand? Suppose it goes near the rocket and starts somehow breaking down the rocket into elementary parts, would it be gaining any better knowledge about the rocket if it doesn’t have its curiosity in the right direction and doesn’t have the ability to ask the right questions? The horse might simply be understanding everything it encounters in terms of food, threat, toy/enjoyment, shelter or other needs of survival, but would it be able to perceive anything more than that? It makes me wonder what our limitations might be and at what point we will start running in circles. Do the questions we ask and answers we find actually have any relevance to how the universe truly is, or are they just more complex forms of the same questions and answers surrounding the evolutionary concept of *survival* that all living things concern themselves with, the same questions and answers that biologically living things have always pondered but now in more complex forms – about the issues of gaining power and energy  for achieving physical abilities and mental satisfaction – the things necessary for a healthy *survival*, questions and answers that are just a little more sophisticated (or maybe just different) than that of a horse’s, appropriate to be asked and discussed by a being who has developed a little bigger and a little more complex brain structure than a horse but still is a pile of genetic structures, a life form, always looking only to keep itself healthily *alive*/*surviving*, and that’s all. We might be able to build creatures just like us, these creatures might be able to perform calculations million times better than us and juggle data and make predictions billion times better, but these qualities are still human qualities. We humans experiment with everything around us. We build telescopes to look at distant objects, we go deep into the ocean wearing oxygen masks, but I wonder how much of the true universe this animal can Actually perceive regardless of its satisfaction level with its own explanations, and at what point do this animal start running in circles. It reminds me of this question that atheists often ask, “Can an omnipotent God create a stone that is so heavy that He Himself won’t be able to lift it?” Is this loopy question at all a question about God, or is it actually a question indicating the limitations of us and our reasoning abilities?


Salaat #1


When you cannot make room for the five daily prayers perfectly assigned to the different phases of the day depending on the position of the sun (before sunrise, at noon, in the afternoon, after sunset and at night) you know your life is imbalanced, and you are not giving yourself proper care and love.


The Outsider (Bubble Series: #1)

633938525493137871-this-soap-bubble-world-childhood-memories-ivThere comes a time in the life of the people who have lived in several completely different worlds with different rules and values when they start looking at everything as if they are outside of all of it, as if they’re watching many different movies playing in front of them at the same time. In one movie cities are burning, people are devastated, traumatized, in another movie a professor is writing an equation on the board with the students paying such knife-sharp attention as if that equation is all that there is in the world, and maybe in a third movie there are music and dances, love and bitching about one another, cooking and shopping, laughter and crying over matters that would be forgotten in minutes. These *outsiders* know that people have limitations; they have either chosen or have been placed there to be part of one movie or another, and so the outsiders don’t generally judge any of the movies or the people in the movies to be intrinsically *good* or *bad*; in fact the concepts of good and bad outside of the movies are not as clear and strongly defined as they are in the movies; these concepts are pretty blurry outside. The interesting thing is, once a person has become an outsider it’s impossible for him to ever return to completely being part of any one of the worlds/movies spontaneously without being conscious of it. The outsider consciously knows what movie he has to be a part of for what limited period of time, and when he has to move out of the movie, enter a different movie, or go back to his complete outsider mode. Once inside a movie, the outsider does choose to define certain things to be good and certain other things to be bad, just like choosing certain rules and strategies to play a game, consistent with the goal he wishes to achieve. The goal of this outsider, even when inside a movie, is generally never the same as the goals of the ones unconsciously playing their parts in the movies; the goal of the outsider is always linked to the outside world he belongs to, outside of all of these, and thus his definition of success and failure is generally never the same as the definition of those who unconsciously play their parts.



“He must become greater I must become less.“

– Prophet Yahya ibn Zakariya (John the Baptist)


Manob Borjo Bishoyok Golpo


Shohoj kothay eta hagu bishoyok golpo, ebong shei golper shonge kichhu upolobdhi.

ekdin oti shokale amar roommate eshe janalo toilet kaj korchhe na, shokaler tarahuray kothata kane dhuklo na. kichhukkhon por gosol korte kapor-chopor towel nie bathroom dhuklam. Toilet er dike takiye mejaj kharap hoye gelo, emon bhoyaboho obostha keno, amar roommate-er kothata mone porlo. jani je flash-e chap dewa ta khub ekta budhhiman er kaj hobe na. jei kaj nishiddho shei kajer proti manusher borabori tibro akorshon koutuhol, mone holo jodi kaj kore? dilam flash-e chap. er pore ghotona ja holo ta keo tar bhoyabohotomo shopneo konodin dekhbe bole mone hoy na. toilet upche je shudhu pani ber hote thaklo ta na, er bhetorer jabotio kothin torol bayobio bostu upche porte laglo, dekhte dekhte puro bathroom-er mejhe shei bostu-te soylab hoye gelo ar ami shei sroter majhe haa kore dariye thaka chhara kichhui korte parlam na. norar khomota hariye felechhi, kadteo parchhi na. hotath kheyal korlam shei torol podartho bathroom chhere amar bedroom-e dhoka shuru korchhe, bedroom-e wall-to-wall carpet. tonok norlo, doure gie (bola uchit shatre gie) towel die toroler jatra poth chapa dilam, konoi labh holo na, ek towel die ki bonna atkano jay? upayantor na dekhe amar jabotio porishkar kapor ja gosoler por porar jonno enechhilam bonnar jole chhurte laglam. tao kono labh holo na. ondher moto hater kache porone ja ja pelam shob torole bishorjon dilam, shukna bostur modhhe shudhumatro chultai baki roilo. ami haa kore dariye khali charidike takachhi. Ya Allah e ki gozob, Ya Allah amon obosthao manusher hoy. hotath mathay kichu ekta bole uthlo, kemon obostha? ami nijei uttor debar cheshta korlam kemon obostha. bhasha khuje pelam na, asholei eta kemon obostha? kharap obostha? keno kharap obostha? charidike takalam, takiye hotath pelo prochondo hashi, hagu panite dariye atta kapano hashi. mathay tape recorder er moto bajte shuru korlo, jibon jokhon tomake gu panite dara korabe tokhon tomar kaj gu panite dariye thaka, charidike takie er kodorjo dekha, mon die dekhle kodorjo ektu por chorom ek koutuke porinoto hobe. tokhon tomar kaj shei koutuk upobhog kora, ar tarpor nishthar shathe shei hagu pani porishkar kora. odhikansho khetre nijer borjo-i porishkar korte hobe; kokhono kokhono abar onner ta korte hobe. nijer hok ar porer hok shobi eki jinish, kaj holo porishkar kora, kore jao. moner shukher shathe ei kajer parotopokkhe kono dondo nai. drishtikon bodlale moner obosthao bodlabe. hagu hok ar hira hok shobi shesh porjonto shei onu poromanu electron diei toiri, tumi nijeo shei eki jinish.

manusher jiboner protita obhiggotar bhetorei onek rokom bekkha onek gupto shikkha thake. jiboner ekek shomoye proyojon onujayi shei ekek shikkha shamne eshe hajir hoy, manushke poth dekhay. aj jokhon sherokomi ek kodorjer majhe gola obdhi dube moria hoye poth khuje berachhi tokhon ashar alo dekhanor jonno hagu bishoyok ei bhoyaboho obhiggotar proti janai prandhala kritoggota.



boro eka ami –

nijer chhayar moto

shunnotar moto

dirghoshasher moto

nishshongo brikkher moto

nirjon nodir moto

bichchhinno diper moto

mouno paharer moto

ajibon shaja-prapto dondo-prapto ashamir moto

boro eka ami

boro eka


(ekta gan theke nea – nirjone boshe protteker nijer mone upolobdhi kora chiroshotto koyekta line)



So after a long time I bought today one of those Martinelli’s non alcoholic apple cider bottles that looks like a champagne bottle and it reminded me of a few good times I had some three years back when I first discovered it. My roommate at that time introduced me to it and being muslims we had to have some fun with it by watching other muslims’ reactions seeing us drinking from that bottle. Those of you who don’t know: muslims don’t drink (or are not allowed to drink by religious laws) and it is considered as a serious misdeed in muslim societies.

Our first experiment was when we went to one of our friends’ birthday. We brought a cake and with it, of course, one of those Martinelli’s bottles. My friend opened the door. “Happy Birthday!!”, we gave her the cake. Now the champagne looking thing needs some introduction because she’s staring at it. “Well…you see, it’s your birthday…and we thought…you know…doing it (drinking) only a few times maybe doesn’t really count..” She’s still staring. We continued, “well it’s not a big deal…you know just for one day…and we already bought it…so…” She’s still staring with confusion, and now also making some sounds like – “eh?…no…what?…kidding me?…lier…no noo…eh?”.

Seeing her reaction to it we now had to tell her the truth before the situation gets really awkward where she starts crying/kicks us out, or simply just agrees to drink and gets super excited about it ;)….(plz don’t kick me when you read this, I’m sure you wouldn’t agree to drink ;))…But I now kinda think it’d be more interesting if had we extended the lie a little further :).

The next time I got to see people’s reactions wasn’t intentionally planned at first. I was just sitting after a long tiring day while enjoying some music and trying to open the bottle of my favorite apple cider without a bottle opener when my mom came online (yea she comes online to talk to me). I turned on my webcam and that’s when the idea came to my mind. “How’s everything”, I asked my mom with a particular tone intended to show that I’m in a bad mood, and then opened the Martinelli’s bottle in an impatient manner, took a tall transparent glass and started pouring the cider into it. Then I took a few sip, put the glass away sighing loudly several times while doing all these and asked “how’s everything” (or something similar) again.

She said, “What’s that?”

– What’s what?

– The thing you’re drinking.

– Nothing.

– What do you mean nothing?

– Nothing!……ahh what the Hell…who cares….yes I am drinking!… Okay?

The whole time I was eagerly waiting to see her reaction knowing for sure that she’d be outraged. Now after hearing my answer, she replied,

– hmmm.. nice!…so what does it taste like? (with a hint of curiosity in her voice)

– What??….. ha??

I am so confused! Is that really what she’s saying?….yea no doubt, she definitely knows. But I still said,

– Mom! How can you ask me that!?? How can you not even care if I drink?!

– Do you think I don’t know you enough after raising you for so many years? I don’t know what that thing is that you’re drinking, but after considering the probability of you suddenly start drinking alcohol and showing it to me on a webcam, do you really think I can’t figure out that you’re definitely not drinking what you’re saying you’re drinking, idiot.

My mom is pretty awesome and so my mission of seeing her reaction failed.

But my acting skill at that time was actually pretty good and the proof is my two friends who came online right when I was talking to my mom. So now I did the same thing with them that I did with my mom, separately, (and now I acted a little more drunk), and the following is how our conversations went:

Friend 1 (the emotional one, living in Malaysia):

–         OMG, Are you drinking???

–         hmm

–         Why? Whyy?? oh God!

–         noo reason.

–         Did someone dump you? (yea, she actually said that lol)

–         What??

–         I mean did anyone hurt you or anything like that? What happened??

–         I don’t know… Why are you asking weird questions, you’re giving me a bad headache.

–         Farha, please for God’s sake tell me what happened?? Tell me…Are you ok??

–         yes I am fineee! What’s wrong with you? Why are you pissing me offfff??

She kept annoying the drunk me from thousands of miles away in such a tone that she was sure something went terribly wrong with my life, and as soon as I tell her what went wrong, she’d instantly fly here like superman (or woman), solve all my problems, snatch the bottle away from me as fast as her super power allows, throw it into the pacific ocean, and thus, save my precious life.

Friend 2 (living in Bangladesh):

–         What’s that?

–         What do you think it is…hehe

–         hmm….how does it taste??

–         bad… not good.

–         I thought so. Well, I actually heard so.

–         hmm…

–         I always wanted to try too. Like, not really drink drink, but just taste and feel a little bit to see how it’s like.

–         really?  (in my mind: you punk, you acted so innocent before, and Now you’re revealing your inner secrets after seeing me doing it… :))

–         hmmm…yea well I wondered you know… so how does it feel?

–         I don’t know….umm…whatever…you have to try it…

…I continued drinking

I later asked her what the explanation was behind her unexpected behavior. From analyzing her answer, this is what I got: She won’t ask you directly to give her an explanation when her level of confusion is too high. She’ll take her time and carry on an unemotional conversation while she tries to reason in her mind why you might be doing it. So what she came up with is that I might have found somewhere some logic that justifies drinking under the rules of Islam in certain circumstances, and I might be in one of those weird circumstances using the opportunity (!). So my confused smart-ass friend all this time was trying to pull information out of me to figure out how she should further react to this situation.

You guys just melt my heart and keep me entertained in so many strange ways that even my simple Mertinelli’s apple cider sometimes feels like alcohol when I think of you while drinking it.

April 2018
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