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TomTom Is Not My Wife

[Husband driving along motorway]

TomTom: Bear left.

[Husband does not respond]

TomTom: Bear left?

[Husband does not respond]

TomTom: Bear left. Take the next exit.

[Husband does not respond]

TomTom: Bear. LEFT. Take the NEXT exit.

[Husband does not respond]


[Exit missed]

Wife: Why didn’t you take that exit??

Husband: You didn’t tell me to!!


Good Names and Bad Names

Q: Abu*, is [something-something] a Muslim name?

Abu: Any name with a good meaning is a Muslim name and any name with a bad meaning is not a Muslim name.

Q: Hmmm!

Abu: So, a very long time ago, people used to have names like ‘Monkey-Face’ and ‘Donkey’s-Bum’. Are these good names to have?

Q: No!

[Explanation continues.]


Abu n. Term of address for ‘Father’ or ‘Dad’ (origins: Arabic; common usage: Urdu).

Need Sanctuary.

Need sanctuary? Rowing alone? Capsizing?

Option 1: Zelda’s Forest Sanctuary (discovered by virtual surprise on the SNES at the age of 12).

Zelda's Sanctuary

Option 2: A spa in London. No.

Option 3: Allah’s prohibitions.

“That which is lawful is plain and that which is unlawful is plain and between the two of them are doubtful matters about which not many people know. Thus he who avoids doubtful matters clears himself in regard to his religion and his honor, but he who falls into doubtful matters falls into that which is unlawful, like the shepherd who pastures around a sanctuary, all but grazing therein. Truly every king has a sanctuary, and truly Allah’s sanctuary is His prohibitions. Truly in the body there is a morsel of flesh which, if it be whole, all the body is whole and which, if it be diseased, all of it is diseased. Truly it is the heart.”

[Bukhari and Muslim. Narrated: An-Numan bin Bashir (‘Imam Nawawi’s 40 Hadith’, Chapter 1, Hadith 6)]

None But A Healer

I type this on behalf of Toobaa. She tried to do so herself but, having scalded one hand and made the other miserable with a collision in a bus (yes, in a bus), she missed out half the letters on the keyboard and has resolved to have me exercise militant grammar control and vocabulary checks and scribe her musings on this recent bout of health appreciation. It also excuses, at least in this entry, the matter of Toobaa referring to Toobaa in the third person, without suffering accusation of egobesity*.

Back when Toobaa was Toobee (to be):

It was still reasonably safe to leave the front door open on a beating summer’s Sunday, and, this being the case on one occasion, most of Toobee’s family had given in to post-lassi siesta. We maintain the exception of Toobee (who rarely drank lassi and, even if she had, would choose not to nap during daylight hours but, rather, to potter around and observe what happened around the house whilst all were slumbering on top of their blankets instead of beneath them). Papa would traditionally nap on the armchair  to the tune of a wildlife documentary. It was on one of these Sundays that he had awoken and recounted to Toobee what happens to an injured monkey in their fission-fusion social system.

Large communities of monkeys break up into smaller troops competitively foraging for food. If, during this foraging, a monkey is injured, with a small cut for instance, when he returns to the others, unable to disguise his anxiety, they will be compelled to inspect the wound to ascertain how serious it is. One by one, each monkey will take hold of that area where the wound is, and push and pull the skin around it, perhaps poke the wound itself and take a closer inspection. As each monkey does this, the wound becomes bigger, dirtier and more detrimental to the monkey inflicted. And, of course, to the interests of the troop. By the time the final monkey has inspected the wound, causing it to be far worse than it originally was, they conclude that the wound renders that monkey far too much of a hindrance to the overriding objective of the group, and that monkey is excluded and left behind…

Perhaps it was because of this, but Toobee was ever since fascinated with how freely human beings volunteered their non physical wounds under the ‘shared=halved’ principle. How often did this halving really occur? Enough times to designate to it a principle? She doubts so, she says.  Doubling is more likely, even trebling, if the monkeys are anything to go by.

Show your wounds to none but a healer (note that The Healer by default knows long before you will – there is no duty to notify on this occasion). Be cautious of who you permit to apply to qualify to be your healer. Once they have begun along the application track, give them time to learn your overriding objective, and you theirs, before preparing yourselves, bravely, for one anothers’ diagnoses.

That will be all.


Toobaa’s Right Hand

on behalf of Toobaa

Date: 20 March 2010


*Egobesity n. the description of an ego made over-sized by artificial inflation, over-indulgence or frivolous delusion. See ego-slap.

Know Your Limits!

On the limitations of human thought.

Inspiration: #FFFFFF

The Sublime Statement

Divide your words amongst your pages the same way that you divide your valuables when you travel – hiding them in different locations so that if some is lost or taken from you, you are not completely robbed.

And why are your words so precious and guarded? What else leads you into inaction or action when you persuade yourself either way. Even in silence, words breathe.

And Adam [a.s.] was taught the names / the words of things. He was taught to conceptualise and communicate. That is how we exist.

You once surmised that philosophy was the identification and articulation of innate knowledge or understanding. But isn’t that the mode of existence? “INNATE” … SubhanAllah. Words are our alchemy.

And how funny that our limited capacities can never saturate a language, words or communication. How funny that when we are gone from here, and this form of communication will be so obsolete [Allahu A’lam], we will not have conquered it – only marveled at it and tried to impress it or do it justice by saying what ought to be said, using it as prescribed.

Our navigation of tongues, striking of pens and whistling thoughts, combined through the ages from the beginning of “time”; from the shrillest speech to the quashed words of silence – it will amount to diddly squat. With the exception … Of the Sublime Statement. 

An Upbringing

But I am only made of clay

anonBut I am only made of clay –

Collateral to my Self.

My lungs ache

Suppressing explosions of laughter

Saying ‘Mercy’ – it’s good for my health

Shy, shy, shy.

The sky was cross

It tried to tear itself apart –

Dear sky,

I cannot sleep

Until you do

You see,

We sort of share names

But yours names you better.

Six hours of pretended slumber

(Do not dissolve in despair)

And I arise to a Kingdom.

The sky was beautiful.

Pills are scattered on the Central Line

And there are shariah compliance issues at rush hour.

And I am not even a word.

‘ Men said to them: “A great army is gathering against you”: and frightened them: but it (only) increased their faith. They said:

“For us Allah sufficeth and He is the best disposer of affairs.” ‘

The Holy Qur’ān – Surah Āl  Imrān (3:173)

hasb small

Transliteration: Hasbun allaahu wa ni’mal wakeel
Translation: Abdullah Yusuf Ali

Cubic Hand Span

Exhibit TZ1: A sample cubic hand span, dated 31st October 2009.

A huggable (panda/ giant canary) sized cube, in exploding vermilion, with smoothly rounded corners and softly bevelled edges sits at a fixed axis atop the desk. Clusters of brightly coloured flowers blossom in patches and cling to it coolly like ivy.

From the left, storms the beautiful horse like a mountain. Powerful and sudden, its reddish brown coat shimmers as it gallops with furious direction – its tail swishing up and splaying as if in disdain to what it leaves in its wake. It makes to leap over the cube.


Behind the cube, above it, with its feet lightly resting atop it, is suspended a ladder of black rope and silk cord stretching up with its top merging into mist. There is no thunderstorm but a dramatic pitch to the sky’s shade of slate.


“Trick or treat? How brave of you to ask for either, given my darkened attire and sombre glare reflected out through the glass, illuminated by the glow of the monitor. Many a teen and other ghoulish creatures have passed by this porch in fear.

Well, I do not have any treats befitting you but I have mastered a small trick. I can measure your brain in cubic hand spans through a series of questions.”

[After ten solar minutes]

“Scratch out your words!”

He shouted sternly, pushing sheathes of virtual paper up around him.

“Au contraire, mon petit filous. Why are you like sour milk? You permitted me to show you a trick and my words, then, exposed nothing but your current state of mind. They cannot interfere with the ability of your Faith to supplant all things and your will to spur you on. And why should you think that they might?”

“It is akin to kihaana*!”

“What? … your current state of mind … not your tomorrow…! “


kihāna n. the art of divination, soothsaying, fortunetelling.