Af Af, I mean, Woof Woof.
Something interesting happened to me on the way home today. I was minding my own beeswax, turning left when a car came from the opposite direction, and tried to turn right around a car that was ALREADY turning right. In other words, he was being a moron, and driving on the wrong side of the road. If I hadn’t seen him and slammed my breaks (bi FazlAllah, Alhamdulillah!) he would’ve crashed into me head-on. There was a lot of squealing of brakes (on my part) and swerving (on his part) As it is, he just nicked my headlight on the side and cracked it.
(if the physics of my accident sounds backwards: it’s because in Pakistan you drive on the left side of the road, not the right.)
He came out and apologized profusely. I was actually kinda bewildered and confused, so I just checked my car for damage (and saw that it was negligible) and instead of gathering my powers of righteous indignation and yelling at him, I just said to him sternly, Be more careful! And he said yes Madame, thank you Madame, and he bowed and scraped all the way back to his car. Us foreigners, we be scary people. (boo!) I bet he almost had a heart attack when I stepped out, towering head and shoulder above him and shining ghostly-white in the moonlight (that would be my pasty face), my jet-black Jedi-Knight jilbab billowing ominously about me in the night breeze! Bwahahaaa!
-Ahem- ok so I’m not very tall or threatening, but I was taller than he was and he was definitely scared. He he. Speaking of threatening, just today one of my students informed me that she knows of a woman who teaches kick-boxing. As I am typing this I have the biggest grin imaginable on my face. Really. I’m ecstatic. I’ve been wanting to learn some attack-fu for years, but it’s easier to find a cat with horns than a female martial arts instructor in Pakistan. But now I know she exists and her name is Neelam and I’m gonna get her number on Friday. YAY!!!!!!!!! Look out world, I’m gonna start kicking stuff! :::thwak!::: Ow, my poor toes…
Oh yeah, it’s strange, your life doesn’t actually flash before your eyes when you have an accident. I think it flashes before your eyes only if you’re dying slowly and you have the time to remember it. When the guy ran back meekly to his car and I started driving back home again, it occurred to me that I didn’t think or feel anything exceptional, even when his headlights were bearing down on me and my brakes were screeching. I just went, Aaaaah! And as I was saying Aaaaah!, I was also thinking it simultaneously. I would like to think that in times of distress or worry, I would call on God, at least then I could die seeking His help/mercy instead of screaming out Crap! Nuts! Rats! or Aaaaah! As far as I know, Crap, Nuts, and Aaaaah are not worship-able deities. The Hindus do have a temple dedicated to some holy rats though. Hmmm.
Well, the moral of this story is, you never know when you’re going to die. And a few near-death experiences help put a healthy dose of The-Fear-of-The-Lord back into your heathen heart. (not just yours, mine too) In fact, that’s why I’m always mortally wounding myself. It makes me appreciate life and health better. Once I had my appendix out (you can’t have it out twice, can you?) and post-surgically speaking, I was a wreck. I had to shuffle around, couldn’t do anything myself. I felt lame, useless, and like I was a burden. That really made me appreciate my independence and health. But I think I’ve already mentioned that, haven’t I. Rats. I mean, Astaghfirullah!
Hmmm, what else interesting happened today? My favorite three year old came and shot at me with a bubble gun. He pulled the trigger and a little ring rose in front of the nozzle and a puff of wind shot through it. Fortunately, there wasn’t any soap in the bubble gun otherwise I would be a soapier man than I am today. I said to him, “What’s in there?” And he said, “This gun is for bubbling.” And I said, “But there are no bubbles in it!” And he said, “I use it for *dish*” (bang!)
*dish* is the sound that guns make when firing in the subcontinent, and in Turkey too apparently. Different cultures use different sound effects. In Urdu, a dog says ‘bhao bhao.’ In English it’s ‘woof woof‘, in Russian it’s ‘Aaf aaf‘. In English, guns say bang, in Urdu they say *dish.* A car in English goes vroom, but in Turkish it goes vnnnn. Chicks in English say ‘peep peep,‘ in Urdu they say ‘kut kut’ and in Korean they say ‘piyo piyo’. See? Sensei knows everything. :p
Today’s relevant and remarkable hadith is a Baihaqi. The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said, “Iron gets wet with water and develops rust. Similarly, the human heart gets rusted.” His companions asked, “Oh Prophet! What is it that cleans and shines the heart?” He replied, “To think of death more often (and be prepared for it) and to recite Qur’an.”