Religion

I don’t belong to one religion or another. Yes, I was born into a particular religion, but I neither follow it, nor associate myself with anything related to it. I’m an agnostic atheist, for the lack of a better term.

But somehow, some of the dearest people in my life seem to not respect this decision of mine. Not that I give a flying fuck anymore; it’s just fascinating.

Over the years [and a gazillion pointless discussions later], I’ve come to realize that it’s not worth the debate. Most believers that I’ve come across, including my family, find it offensive that I don’t believe in their god or their religion. Can you believe it: offensive!

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

Now, I’ve just finished reading ‘The Last Templar’, by Raymond Khoury…

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…and whilst I didn’t enjoy the book too much, there was one bit in the book that made me smile. This bit mentioned in the book used to be a part of my side of the argument before I gave up hitting my head against blind faith.

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This:

“Vance heaved a dire sigh, ‘I know it’s easy to blame all the conflicts in our history on politics and greed,’ he said, ‘and of course they play a role…but beneath it all, religion has always been the fuel that keeps the furnaces of intolerance and hatred burning. And it holds us back from better things, but mostly, from coming to terms with the truth about who we’ve become, from embracing everything science has taught us and continues to teach us, from forcing us to make ourselves accountable for our own actions. These primitive tribes – men and women, thousands of years ago – they were scared, they needed religion to try and understand the mysteries of life and death, to come to terms with the vagaries of disease, weather, unpredictable harvests and natural disasters. We don’t need that anymore. We can pick up a cellphone and talk to someone on the other side of the planet. We can put a remote controlled car on Mars. We can create life in a test tube. And we could do a lot more. It’s time we let go of our ancient superstitions and face who we really are, and accept that we have become what someone just a hundred years ago would consider a God. We need to embrace what we’re capable of and not rely on some arcane force from above that’s going to come down from the sky and make things right for us.'”

2013

Angered, hurt, furious, helpless, desperate, apathetic, revolting, inhumane…these are just a few of the many words that we’ve read and reread in the past few weeks in news stories, social media updates, blogs, and editorials.

The following words by Ned Vizzini from ‘It’s Kind of a Funny Story’ spring to my mind when I think of the events that have shaken 1.2 billion people in the largest democracy in the world:

“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”

A new year is merely a change of date. There is nothing new it brings, unless there is a conscious resolve to do so…to bring about a change.

Let us hope that in 2013, we all make a conscious decision to stand up for every human being’s rights, to stand up against violence towards anyone, stand up against violence of any kind, and pledge to never say ‘This isn’t my fight’.

Because it is. It is my fight and it is yours.

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On a slightly somber note this year, albeit from the heart,

I wish you a prosperous and joyous 2013.

Forever, Steve Jobs

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I bought my first Apple product, an iPod back in 2007. I have never picked up another mp3 player and I’ve gone through 3 iPods since.

Not because the older ones weren’t working anymore. Oh no! Apple makes products for life. And that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt since 2007. My reasons for having moved from one to the other iPod was just the requirement – more space, more features, so on and so forth.

Last year around this time I bought my first MacBook. Yes, I’d used iMacs when they’d come out in their funky colors what now seems like a lifetime ago, but I’d never owned one.

I’d been missing you.

Of course I realized this belatedly, but I did realize it.

It is over-rated? Some say so. Is it worth the damn hype? I say: every last bit.

Having been a PC user for almost 15 years and having transitioned to Apple in the smoothest way possible is something I had never imagined. And yet, here I am.

And it is in this past year that I have truly understood the genius behind Apple.

And the man behind that genius: Steve can-do Jobs. The life, vision and enigma that this man created can be seen with the millions of Tweets, Facebook updates and ‘RIP’ messages floating around. And yet, nothing compares to the subtle yet profound tribute to him on Google’s homepage:

You changed the way the world perceived technology and you’re probably the only reason Apple is what it is today. Here’s hoping you find peace wherever you are, Steve Jobs.

iSalute you, your life and the legacy you’ve left behind.

In every Apple product, within every half-eaten-apple logo you’ll live. Forever.

Rest in peace.

Death of terror’s head salesman

Osama Bin Laden is dead.

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What started off as any other morning has now turned into a chaotic frenzy of tweets and Facebook and BBM status updates, wherein people are trying to trump one another in informing others of the demise of terror’s head salesman.

As I grabbed my BlackBerry this morning and started to go over BBM status updates out of force of habit, I realized that Obama had delivered. To his people, and to the people of the world.

The man behind 9/11 is now dead. Killed under the leadership of Barack Obama. And thus earning Obama global praise. Another term as president? Why not! Look what the man’s done – he’s rid the world of Osama!

What about the millions (or mere hundreds, as per their ‘official’ count) of innocent lives that have been lost in the bargain?

Pfffft! Look at the greater good. It’s always about the greater good.

Brings to mind Robert Ludlum’s The Bancroft Strategy. If you haven’t read it, do find time to do so.

It’s merely 11:04am in Dubai as I type this out. The world is slowly waking up to this news.

Reactions, comments & comics will now follow.

And as they do, I can’t help but wonder if this is, in fact, the end of the reign of terror or does this merely mean another furious uprising? Another 9/11 and 26/11?

Also, with Osama Bin Laden out of the picture now, who’s taking his place as US’s super villain?