Friday, February 17, 2006

Love and the Valentine

NASA and the Universe Send a Celestial ValentineWell, Valentine's day is over. During the days leading up to this day when love is celebrated, there were the usual commercials and print articles in flashy magazines that reminded one and all of this special and important occasion, to buy that bouquet of flowers, or diamond or book a romantic dinner or better still, that romantic tour for two. All of these make one feel that ignoring the occasion is nothing short of sinful.

So everyone must find someone or something (the Cat or the Dog) to love on this occasion. I am no exception, except that after ten years of marriage, I don't bother about what the commercials suggest I do. I simply gave my wife a kiss on the cheeks. Now, some cynical women would point to me and say, "That's how men behave - once they've got what they want, they hang the conquest out to dry", or something to that effect.

Has romance gone out the window for me? I don't think so. I'd rather think that romance has matured. Nowadays, we appreciate each other for who and what we are. After being together for over 10 years, I know how very different my wife and I are. She is a nocturnal creature, if I may call it that, whereas I am exactly the opposite, sleeping before 11 am most evenings. She loves to shop and buy things, usually ending up with almost nothing in her bank account at the end of the month. I sustain that bank account through my thrift. She is almost always late, I pride myself on being punctual, and suffer the agony of spending half my life waiting for her. So do I still love my wife? You'd better not bet against it.

In fact, I have grown very fond of her in spite of all these differences, and yes, annoyances. Of course, there are similarities in our outlook on life, and all that goes with it. So, no, its not the flowers or dinners that will sustain a marriage or love for one another, it's letting your feelings for each other, good or bad, age with time, like fine wine - bitter at times, but capable of the most unusual sweetness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A farce and a tragedy

Muslim demonstrations continue unabated around the world over the 'Prophet Cartoon' incident. Now we know the extent Muslims would go to protect their religion and their Prophet. Unfortunately, even before a single 'perpetrator' of these cartoon images is punished, at least 3 Muslims have died as a result of the protests.

In their haste to burn down a KFC restaurant, movie theatres and offices in Peshawar, Pakistan, 3 people, one of which was a 8 year old boy, were killed. All 3 were Pakistanis (and most likely, Muslims). Additionally, 48 people were reportedly injured. This is a tragedy. Did these people have to die? and who caused these deaths? I am sure some would say that westerners are ultimately to blame, conveniently explaining away the fact that Muslims are inadvertently killing Muslims. Is this the way that Muslims revere their Prophet - by destroying things indiscrimately, ignorantly and hurting his followers in the process? I say indiscrimate because KFC has nothing to do with Denmark in the first place!

It is deeply worrying that we have potentially thousands of Muslims in the world today that will commit acts of destruction at a whim, irrespective of what the truth may be.