Month: January 2013


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“There was something about resonance that bridge my two worlds and brought them together. In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate with a greater amplitude at some frequencies than at others. It explains phenomena like glass breaking at the right – or not – pitch. Electrical resonance explained how radio frequencies can be selectively received.

The concept of resonance was so simple yet so powerful. Push a swing at its natural frequency and it oscillates at its maximum and you have a happy child. Resonance also explains my love for writing – and reading. Do yo sometimes read a book and find that one line that resonates with the beats of your heart, and you figure, “Yes, maybe it was this one line that I had to go away with.”

And there are times when I write and I know  my words will shake someone somewhere, because that’s exactly how I felt when I was writing them. All I needed was someone whose “natural frequency” was similar to mine.

Does she dream of laundry when she sleeps?

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Inspired by a true story but mostly imaginary.

Someone once woke up and saw the maid working at his house doing the laundry at the crack of dawn. He asked,”Does she dream of doing laundry while she sleeps?”
No, sir. She dreams of the children she left at home 1000 km away. She dreams of giving them a future better than the present she was living, waking everyday and being bossed around by him and his children…
“Is my lunch ready?”
“Where is my uniform?”
“Help me with my homework!”
She would rather be fixing her own childrens’ lunch, washing their uniform, hunching over their books in the dim light of a kerosene lamp, helping them connect the dots and form the letters that spell out…
“A better future.”
She dreams of the day when she walks out that door forever, to be welcomed into her doctor son’s first house away from there. She dreams of seeing her daughter wearing a black gown and standing behind the podium, telling the audience in her valedictorian speech about the mother whose hands washed enough dishes and clothes to roughen them and make them callous. She did not use Fairy with Olay to wash the dishes but struggled with Panga washing soap bar.
So no, she really doesn’t dream of washing laundry while she sleeps, for she has bigger dreams than he could imagine. And while some people watch their dreams wither in the dark, and while he makes fun of her as she washes his clothes, she was coming really close to realizing her dreams with every dish and every cloth she washed.


Shadows and Light

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“A certain darkness is necessary to see the stars.” 
Appreciate the role of challenges in your life, as they are not there to crush you completely. They are there to help you grow, to let the light within you shine, as darkness creeps in. Everybody experiences dark moments every once in a while. It’s a natural way of life. To fully appreciate joy, pain must be felt. To truly appreciate success, one has to fall a couple of times…or more. Ask a child who keeps on falling over and over again before they can properly walk. They teach us that, “Failure is not falling down; failure is staying down when you have the choice to get back up.”  



Crushed Flower

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The note below is just a figment of my imagination

She pulls open the curtains and watches him through the window with a wistful smile on her lips. He’s playing in the sand, a look of utter concentration on his face. He’s happily humming to himself. The world looks beautiful to him. From the dew on the leaves at the break of dawn to the crickets chirping at night. From the sight of roses to the pattering of rain on the roof.

She watches him grow, and sees a person who thinks he can conquer the world, whose real world could not contain the magnitude of his dreams, who has to redefine the borders of what was possible. His head is always in the clouds. Ideas burst like fireworks in the sky of his imagination. He lets his dreams paint the canvas of his world.

As she watches him, she wonders how long it will last. She wonders when he’ll land hard on the ground. When the world will turn gloomy on him – a crushed flower, on the brink of survival. She wonders when she’ll hear the heavy sigh, the hollow laugh and the occasional sobs.

“You know, I thought I got it all figured out,” she expects him to say. “What happened?”

“You grew up. That’s what happened. Your innocence was tainted by the darkness of people who believe that they need to step on each other to reach the top.”

“One day I had hope. I believed in the good of people.”

“But then you tasted the poison of bitterness, watched your best friends turn their backs on you in a world that knew only selfishness, greed and betrayal.”

Maybe then he might choose to close himself in his room, close himself in a shell, fortify himself between high walls. She wishes she can warn him of the long tortuous road ahead. But it’s through tasting the sorrow will he learn to appreciate the joy. She wishes she can warn him. But she pulls the curtains shut.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Dedicated to Mona Ockba

Picture taken from who runs Qamrah Photography

Originally posted in Feb 13, 2011