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Posts Tagged ‘service’

He Then Is One Fit For Immortality – The Gita

Posted by salim e-a ebrahim on July 5, 2015

Hey Salim,
Tell me, why on earth are you living in a God forsaken place like Pakistan? We have a friend who is a US citizen living in the idyllic paradise of Chiang-Mai in Thailand for a mere fraction of the cost of living in the US. It is very commendable you embarking on writing a book. Why not do it in a more salubrious environment? We say this with much love and concern for you for you are a good man. We do recall our brief interlude in Zanzibar. Think about it.

Warm regards and best wishes.

H (C sends her regards!)

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Salim,
I am still waiting to hear your explanation of why you continue to live in such a hell hole of fanaticism?  You are wasting your intellectual talent, a voice in the wilderness!
H.
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Why I live in Pakistan? Here is the answer from the Gita:
Hazardous and slow is the path to the Unrevealed God
Engage yourself in selfless service
With equanimity accept pain or pleasure

Only then one is fit for immortality

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About 10 years ago I lived in Kirkland, WA, USA in a nice suburban environment. When I took my daily morning walk, I sometimes joined a bunch of early teenagers for a game of baseball playing in a cul de sac. One day a lady came out of her house and called in all the boys leaving me all alone wondering what was happening. When this happened every time after that, I realized I was not wanted. One evening I met the lady and her limping husband walking in a nearby park. I asked the woman the reason for not allowing me to associate with the boys. She said she did not know me. I said how can she know me when she was making no effort to know me as a neighbor? She said she was only interested in getting to know those she already knew but not in anyone else in the neighborhood. An amazingly obtuse attitude!

But by then the US was not what it had been (at least in my case when I was a young man in college) and had turned into a police state with the enacting of the Patriot Act. Americans had simply lapped up the fear mongering War on Terror nonsense of the Bush Jr administration – even supposedly intelligent Americans had so readily given up their liberties! And they are still wedded to this supreme stupidity which was readily used by the most repulsive tyrannies of the world who took up the slogan with the greatest of gusto.

I thought i should now come down from my idealism and turn my permanent residency of the US into citizenship. I took a trip to the Seattle Citizenship office, passed the test and was led to a room to sign a document (the Oath of Allegiance). I took out my pen and deleted a sentence in that document before signing it. The official flipped and said I’d have to wait for an answer by mail from the senior officer. 

The senior official wrote to me that I would have to wait for the FBI to check out my background and which could take up to 3 years. I wrote back telling them to stop talking bull because I had been in the same place for the last 10 consecutive years and how is it that I was left unhindered in spite of the FBI not knowing who the heck I was sitting smack bang in the midst of all of you in mainland USA when they were filling up Guantanamo with unidentified persons as if they were sure of their identities? I told the US Govt to shove my citizenship application up it’s ass.

I then packed my bags and bid farewell to the good ol’ USA – for good. I had had enough of the ways of the West and I wanted to now explore the Near and Middle East.

I first descended upon Damascus. it turned out to be the place of my dreams. Friendly, cosmopolitan, affordable. But, alas, there was an undercurrent of hatred among the Alawite rulers, the Syrian Arab and the Syrian Kurd as the underdog.

I went globetrotting: Havana, Kathmandu, Mombasa and Karachi among other places. In Karachi I found a community of people from the North (Hunza, Chitral, Gilgit) who are among the friendliest of people in the world. I could talk to the young and the old, the toddler and the senior citizen. Here I realized the truth about happiness. Happiness is being part of a community. Ever since I have lived in Karachi regardless of its problems as a city in Pakistan, the pariah country of the world.

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