Category Archives: Canada

In Reverence Of A Friend

I cannot remember if I have ever wrote about this friend of mine on here and frankly I am too lazy to check right now given that its like 1 in the morning.  And even if I did write about her, she is certainly worth another mention at the very least.

I met her in high school.  She was in one of my option classes.  We started talking slowly, mainly through one of her other friends that sat behind me.  Eventually I got to know this girl and we essentially became friends. As we became closer she began to share some of her life story with me, which was hard for her given her circumstances.  I would consider her story to be quite tragic.  Her father turned out to be a very bad person and is not really in her life anymore.  She absolutely adores her brother.  Sometimes I get jealous of her brother because he is so lucky to have a sister like her.  Anyways, we went to the same university and maintained communication there, although not as often as I would have wanted to. 

She is one of the most beautiful souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting.  She is the type of person that honestly deserves all the happiness in the world.  Ever since I can remember, I have always admired her.  I have always looked up to her.  I have always been intimidated by how smart she was.  No matter how well I did in school, she would always do better than me.  In fact (and this remains a secret) she used to “help” me on my assignments and tests.  Her personality and character is something that is truly to be looked up to.  She is such a strong person.  She’s been through so much in her life and has managed to overcome every adversity that has come to face her.  She is the type of person that I wish all the happiness in the entire world.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, without any exaggeration that, I would be willing to sacrifice my happiness just so she could be happy.  Out of all the people that I went to high school with, she is the only person that I truly respected, in every sense of the word.  She is beautiful both inside and out.  She is what one would call a beautiful mind.  I wish her all the best.  I know for a fact that she will be successful in any endeavour that she embarks upon.  She’s already made a good sister and a good daughter.  I am confident that she will make a good wife and a good mother as well as a good grandmother.  It is very rare that one meets people that they actually remember for the rest of their lives.  She is one person that will not fade into a distant memory.  Great people never fade away.  They conquer your lifetime.  She is one of those people.

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Happy New Year To All My Readers

By Virtue of Loyalty I wish to congratulate my readers on the arrival of the new year.  I started this blog one year ago this week and I did not contemplate that it would go so well.  My following is small, though growing and I wish I had more time to contribute more posts to it.  But as they say, quality is greater than quantity.  I know you guys desire more from me and Inshallah this coming year, I shall do my best to add to my little space as much as possible.  I thank each and every one of my readers from the bottom of my heart and wish each and every one of you a very happy new year.  Please remember me in your prayers and make dua for myself and my family. 

-mast malang

Remembering Raminder Dhadda

Raminder DhaddaIt was on this day today two years ago that a young woman of the age of 24 lost her life.  She was run down by a van that was heading down a one way street.  She was the city’s first Fatality of 2006.  She would have been 27 this January.  I didn’t know her.  In fact, when this terrible accident happened, I wasn’t even in the country.  I only learned about this tragedy when I got back home a month or so after the new year.  The nature of this incident rocked our city.  In a heartbeat, to every mother and father, she became a daughter.  To every brother she became a sister.  And to every sister, she became another sister.  To those that were blessed with an abundance of friends, she became a friend.  And to those that were friendless, she became a friend.  On January 1, we all became one.  Through the leaving of her soul, we were all connected and came together.

I feel compelled to write about her because more and more we hear about people that die on a day that is supposed to be one of joy and happiness.  It signifies the end to old ways and habits.  It signifies a fresh new start, a new beginning for everyone on this planet; serving as a sort of landmark on our journey in this life.  A day like today should not mark the death of a life, especially as one as vibrant as Raminder’s was.  We should all be mindful of the fact that life is something that is inherently fragile.  One minute our bodies could be full of life, full of ideas and energy.  Our blood could be flowing, heart pumping, neurons firing, cells going through mitosis and meiosis.  We could still be in the process of growing both mentally and physically and intellectually.  We could be making a difference in a person’s life without even knowing it.  We could love and be loved without even knowing it.  There could be so much going on that is connected to the rest of the world.  And it could all be over, just like that.  Thus is the brittle nature of life.

Let Raminder’s life be a reminder to us all that this new year, and every subsequent new year after, live the life that has been given to us to the fullest extent.  It is only because Raminder lived her life to the fullest everyday that it is here on this cold December night that a stranger, someone who did not know her is thinking of her.    

I know that a central tenant in Sikhism is reincarnation.  Let us pray that her soul in a new being makes as much a difference to the world as it did in her old being.  May she be united with God.

Raminder K. Dhadda –  January 29, 1981 – January 1, 2006

Rami Dhadda

The Murder of Aqsa Parvez – Is This Islam?

Aqsa ParvezI woke up today and was shocked to learn about the death of Ontario Teenager Aqsa Parvez.  Read about it here.  I was going to write a commentary on this whole situation but I found one here on WordPress that is pretty much bang on what I had in mind.  It can be found at The Discourses of a Highly Indebted Student.  I do, however, want to say this: We are living peacefully in Canada.  We are a vital part of Canadian society.  Criminal incidents that are related to religion harm all of us, not only Muslims but all Canadians.  Given the state of Islam today, these cases make it harder for us to be Muslims in our own countries.  I wish people that purported these crimes actually study Islam wholey and not just selectively learn bits and pieces.  But now, a daughter is dead, a friend is lost, a family is ruined forever.  This young girl will never be a daughter ever again.  She will never be a wife.  She will never be a mother.  She will never be a grandmother.  She will never be able to contribute her inherent good to her community, her society, her country. 

Innallaha Wa Inna Lillahi Rajioon. 

The Sweetest Walk

It was a few days ago I believe.  I can’t remember what time it was but I believe it was fairly late.  I was walking to my car at the University.  And where I park is quite far from everything (hence the cheap parking rate).  As I was passing the gym, I began to hear someone whistling a tune.  At first I just assumed it was someone in the gym just whistling so I didn’t really pay any attention to it.  But as I began to enter the ice rink attached to the Kinesiology building (far from the gym) I began to notice that the whistling was still lingering.  It wasn’t until I went outside that I actually began to pay attention to the sound. 

There were a a few people walking towards the parking lot with me.  It was night time and if I recall correctly, there was a light orange hue over the city due to the cloud cover that was keeping the weather at a pleasant 1*C.  There was no wind whatsoever.  It was only then that I actually began to listen to what was being whistled.  I am not sure what song it was but judging from the notes and melody, it was most likely an old classical song.  The way that this person was whistling it was just amazing.  Every now and then he would start humming the tune before going back to whistling.  And it wasn’t like he was whistling quietly, there was a great distance between myself and this person when I first initially began to notice it. 

As I walked in the night, all I could focus on was this tune that he was whistling.  I mean usually I am either lost in my thoughts regarding school or something else.  I don’t really pay attention to my surroundings because I walk that route every day.  But there was something about this tune that made me fully aware of the clouds, the night, the temperature…everything.  I noticed that the whistling and hum was getting closer.  Before, I didn’t want to look back to see who was doing it so as to not make the person feel uncomfortable, though admittedly I was dying to see who it was.  Finally I looked towards my left and saw a guy probably my age walk past me.  I am probably wrong but he looked like he was an engineering student.  He was walking pretty fast, maybe because he was cold or maybe because that was his regular pace.  I didn’t want to lose the sound so I began to walk faster as well.  I think I had a whole bunch of books that I was carrying so walking was already tough.  Usually the muscles just below my shins begin to ache real bad but I was determined to stay with this guy, or at least be in distance of his whistling. 

Walking behind him, listening to this beautiful melody, combined with the atmosphere of the night and the late night bustle of campus, it was quite possibly one of the most pleasant walks I have ever had in my entire life.  Even with all the stuff I was carrying, I had wished that walk never ended.  I wanted to stop him badly and ask what composition he was whistling and by who  but that would have meant a pause in the melody and I wanted nothing to stop that sweet song.  I listened to that melody the entire way to my car.  When I got in, I looked through my rear view mirror and he was still walking, still whistling.  I only got that song out of my head when I finally fell asleep that night.  When I woke up, the melody had left my head, lost in memory.   But that is one of the few walks of my entire life that I will actually remember. 

I Love TV

The Suite Life 

I have been on a nostalgic high for quite a while now.  And its all because of television.  I love television.  I remember loving it ever since I was a kid.  I even remember getting disciplined by my parents when I was younger for watching too much of it.  They say that today’s generation is the Internet Generation.  I truely believe that those people of my generation were the last of the Television Generation. 

I remember as a kid, it would be the hardest thing in the world to get up early in the morning for school.  But when Saturday morning came along, I used to be up at 8, sometimes even 7am just to watch Saturday morning Cartoons. 

What little control of my schedule I had when I was younger was dominated by TV.  When I got up in the morning for school, after quickly brushing my teeth and getting ready, it was straight to the TV.  I still remember the shows I used to watch in the mornings: Goof Troop, Dark Wing Duck, Duck Tails and Tailspin (which I didn’t really like).  After watching those shows durring breakfast, my mornings would be set.  At lunch, I would rush home and watch Inspector Gadget and Care Bears (which I didn’t like much either but still watched). 

For me, TV was a way of life.  Everything in my young life at that point in time revolved around TV.  Saturday mornings were chock full of TV goodness.  The best of childrens programming came on Saturdays.  We had all the disney cartoons playing in the mornings on one channel.  Then we would have all the Nickelodeon shows and cartoons on another channel.  This was on top of all the great Canadian shows and cartoons that would dominate various other channels.  Saturdays were what every kid lived for, without ever realizing it.  Shows like Hey Arnold!, Rugrats, Tiny Toon Adventures, Bettlejuice are what made our childhoods.   

the zoneCanadian children’s programming is something that I value especially.  YTV was, and still is the cornerstone of Canadian programming for kids.  I have watched the evolution of YTV over the number of years.  Their programs were so much simplier than those of the American ones.  And that is what made them so appealing.  Its almost as if YTV knew exactly what appealed to us and made good TV out of that.  The PJ’s were the cornerstone of YTV.  If I remember correctly, there was PJ Jenn, PJ Phil, PJ Aashna and one or two others.  These people are the ones that showed us how to recycle old pop bottles and make them into something uniquely beautiful.  These are the people that celebrated Earth Day when most people didn’t even know such a day existed.  I think YTV has a special place in every young Canadian’s heart. 

As the years went on, my tastes in programming began to change, although I still watched the “classics” avedly.  I found that slowly my tastes went from Family Matters to more mature shows like ER, The West Wing and Felicity.  We all know the rough and tumble life teens experience during Junior High and High School; the up’s and down’s that we all experience.  TV, especially shows like Fraiser and Seinfeld were perfect escapes from our reality a fictional reality.  I also found that the more my tastes changed in television, the more I began to apprciate the artistic merits of writing, lighting, acting, and such.  This continues to happen to this day. 

ravenI’ll watch some of the new shows aimed at kids on the Disney Channel and Nickelodeon every now and then, such as That’s so Raven and The Suite Adventures of Zack and Cory, and I can’t help but think back to the good old days of The Zone, Boy Meets World, and Degrassi.  I think I watch those shows mostly for the feelings of nostalgia that I experience when watching them.  Also, it serves as a good way to escape the everyday grind that is life.  The shows nowadays make good use of colour on their sets and with their costums so its natural to have this stress free feeling when watching them. 

 Speaking of escapism, thats probably my justification for watching Two And A Half Men and variants of it.  Some people say its a really bad show, and they might be right to some extent.  But I think the relative success of that show and According to Jim is that they let you escape into their wacky little worlds so one can forget about theirs, even for just a half hour.  And for the record, no, I don’t watch According to Jim.  These are the types of shows that give you a cheap laugh and for a lot of people, thats good enough. 

They say that movies are one of the most magical things man has ever created.  The difference between movies and television is that the magic in movies ends in 2-2.5 hours whereas in television, that magic can go on for years.  In the context of prime time, television is a form of story telling.  It serves as a window in which we all look through and experience what others lives are all about.  Maybe thats whats so faciniating, the fact that are able to engage so heavily into the stories of characters to the extent that we can almost see ourselves in place of those characters.  Or just the fact that we can almost be a part of the story without actually being in it…maybe thats what facinates us so much. 

mark greenThere is more art involved in television than many of us actually appriciate.  The example of ER, and Grey’s Anatomy are excellent for this.  The writing of these two shows is simply mindblowing.  The story lines that these two shows alone produce are enough to give one a whole new appriciation for human artistic ability.  The acting is a whole different story from the writing.  Anthony Edwards as Mark Green, when he had cancer and eventually died, gave us a glimpse into the world of brain tumours and cancer in a fashion that most of us have never been exposed to.  And the feelings of heartbreak and jeleousy were probably displayed as best as they possibley could be on screen in the second season of Grey’s.  This is aside from the camera angels, lighting and sound editing inherant on these two shows.  The West Wing and X-Files are another good example of the latter. 

nigella feasts 

Specialty channels are another charm on tv.  They have totally turned television into something that is more than just entertainment.  There are so many specialty channels out there but I will talk only about one: The Food Network.  This channel has given me a new appriciation for food.  The colours, the tastes, the presentation, these are all things I never even thought of before I began to watch the channel.  Nigella Lawson and Giada De Laurentiis give food a whole new meaning.  They are so passionate about food and its absolutely wonderful to see them express it the way that they do. 

For me, TV is quite possibley the greatest medium to ever exist…besides the Internet of course.  This is probably something that will never change.  Some people use reading to escape.  I use TV.  It is a world that is unlike any other.  And with things like sattilite and HD, its only going to get better. 

Justin Trudeau To Lead The Youth Revolution

Justin

 The eldest song of the great Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau announced today that he will be running in the Montreal riding of Papineau come the next federal election.   You can read about it here and listen to Justin himself here.

I bring this up because this reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend a few

weeks ago at University. We were sitting there having lunch and we reminisced about the good old Chretien days and how its so rare to have a charismatic leader in our country. I told him that charismatic leaders are indeed rare. They come in waves. Some get elected and some don’t. Its just the nature of politics in Canada. When I was at the leadership convention in Montreal last year, hearing Kennedy speak before the delegates, I thought to myself, “How could people NOT vote for him?” He wasn’t the most charismatic leader in the bunch but you could see that he had that potential to be one of Canada’s greats. Moreover, he was attempting to introduce elements of Human Security Theory into formal policy which got me more excited than a child on the last day of school.

But this is where Justin comes into play. The young, handsome, charismatic chap has the ability to rile up Canadians, young Canadians and young Liberals especially in a way that even Chretien could not do. I was of the opinion that Justin would be better off not joining politics and doing what he was doing now. I thought he could make more of a difference that way. But after he introduced Kennedy at the speeches in Montreal, watched how everyone from our delegates to the Dion guys, to the Finley camp, the Dryden people…all cheered wildly as Justin spoke. It was from that point on that my opinion changed.

My experience during the last leadership showed me that our people, young people, become more and more apathetic with every election. The young people in this country are losing faith in the power they hold in their hands. They are losing faith in politics. The change from liberalism to conservatism in this country has shown that young people, now more than ever, must mobilize to form a group to which candidates can campaign to. The continued tuition increase is a good example of how the apathy of young people is being taken advantage of. If young people can mobilize and fight for lower tuition, GST free text books and show politicians that young people can actually make a difference, than they are more likely to formulate policy that appeals to us.

JT 

But, in order to mobilize the young masses, we need a leader. And that is what Justin Trudeau is. He is a young, charismatic leader who is passionate about change, passionate about politics and passionate about Canada. He is the only person in the Liberal Party, and dare I say the country, who has the very real ability of mobilizing the masses and actually bringing back Canada to the way it once used to be. His passion for politics will rub off on young people. His charisma and charm will naturally allow it to happen. He is the face and the voice that will represent us. He is the single entity in the country that has the potential to bring about a revolution in this country that will unite it like no other leader has. Trudeau Ι united the country in 1982 when he repatriated the Constitution and brought forth the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. But I believe Justin can do more. He is the face of our country. He is the face of young people. He is the face of change.

Assuming he will win the nomination and beat the Bloc guy in the riding, I think Justin will have an amazing political career. Someone who has no negative baggage to bring to the table, someone who has been fighting for social justice his entire life, someone who is passionate about politics and Canada, surely will act as a rolemodel for millions of young people across this country. With Justin in the picture, politics will once again be relevant in this country.

Vive le Canada!