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The Future is Safe!

…or something like it.

This morning while I was on the bus to work, I saw a little kid, maybe about 8 years old, returning home from school with his heavy backpack and all get up and offer his seat to an old lady that boarded the bus. While he was trying to do this, the lady had already asked another schoolkid, a girl, to get up. So the boy gallantly makes the girl take his seat!

That wasn’t all, there was another boy on the bus who at one point in the journey got up on his seat to yell across to someone else or look out the window, I’m not sure what, and when he did that, he had his feet on the seat. So the gallant kid whacks him on the head and tells him he shouldn’t have his feet on the seat since he was dirtying it up for others!

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“Looking” Muslim

A funny thing happened to me on the way home yesterday. Well, it was not really funny, but I managed to laugh at it anyway.

I was taking the train back home and it was quite late (around 11:40pm.) I was also busy texting messages to a couple of friends with my cellphone while sitting at a window. The guy sitting next to me kept looking at me each time I removed my phone or looked at it. Apparently he was keeping a good watch on me, since even when he leaned back and shut his eyes and I removed the phone, he sat up very quickly and glanced at me again.

Terribly annoying but I guess tolerable. But not what he did next…

As the train neared my station, I picked up my umbrella which was beside me and got up to leave. The guy sits up, stares at me and then stares quickly at overhead luggage rack before settling back into his seat!

I couldn’t help but to laugh out loud and shake my head, but it didn’t seem to bother him much.

All of this reminds me of an exchange I had with an Indian when I was riding a bus in Michigan. Once again it was late at night and so we were the only two people on the bus. The conversation went roughly like this:

Him: “Are you a Pakistani?” (Yes, that was his opener)
Me: “Nope. I’m Indian”
Him: (after a pause) “But you’re a Muslim, right?”
Me: (a little surprised) “Nope.”

A long pause and then,

Him: “Ok.”
Me: “Why do you ask? Is it because I have a beard?”
Him: “No! No! I just asked. It’s not because you have a beard.”

Once again I couldn’t help but to smile at that.

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Design Rocks!

Two friends go trekking in the mountains. Much of the area they were tramping through had not really been explored well before and they were quite excited about being pioneers.

After an hour or so of rigorous trekking they came across a rock formation that had a very strong resemblance to a human face. The first of the friends (let’s call him E) marvelled at how random natural processes had sculpted such a likeness.

The second friend (D, I guess?) rubbished that view and said that such a good likeness had to be the work of a master sculptor.

E examined the rock closely, and since he was something of an amateur geologist pronounced that it bore patterns of erosion that were characteristic of the rock being worn away by water and wind and not by a sculptor’s chisel. Besides which, he said, if you looked at the rock from a different view point, it didn’t look much like a face anymore, unless it was a deformed one!

Well then, said D, that’s precisely how brilliant the sculptor was! He had fooled E into thinking the amazing sculpture was just a natural formation. And as far as the viewpoint was considered, well, that was just a bit of avant garde he assumed, although he didn’t go in for all this modern art gimmickry.

What nonsense, said E, you’re just making this stuff up. Why do you have such trouble believing that this is a natural formation?

Right back at ya, said D, why do you have trouble believing this is sculpted? Could anything random have produced something with such order in its lines? I just can’t believe that!