Tasha Talkies!


The war against you!
December 8, 2008, 1:50 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought

I was listening to a report on Waziristan by Hamid Mir, a senior journalist and political analyst for Geo. I’ve shared the youtube link to his report at the bottom of the page. In this report, with a shaky voice, Mr. Mir exposes the realities behind this so called “anti-terrorist operation” which began in 2004 when tensions rooted in the Pakistani Army’s search for al-qaeda members in the mountainous Waziristan (FATA) escalated into armed resistance by local tribesmen.

The resistance lead to a gun fest, with the local rebels joining forces with the militants and pro-taliban forces and the Pakistan Army, Al- Qaeda and the US military all joining in to contribute to the bloodbath. Since it all began, troops have been lost both by the pakistan army and the US, some of the rebels and militants have been killed too, but what goes unreported, is the thousands of innocent civilians and poor villages that get wiped out in the name of “collateral damage”.

Last year, me and a colleague visited Peshawar, in search of a story, or inspiration for a film. We were recieved by a friend who I will refer to as Mr. K, who also worked closely as a moderator with some western NGO’s, frequently taking their representatives across the borders into Afghanistan. We approached him to drive us into Kabul, but he refused flatly saying it was too dangerous for us. My colleaugue was clean shaven, and beyond a certain point within Peshawar then, men without beards were not allowed to tread, or they would be termed “kafirs”, captured and eventually killed. Our big burly friend K, made us some kavva, and as we sat in the balcony sipping the tea, listening to the sound of AK47’s and electronic machine guns in the distance, with tears in his eyes he narrated stories of civilian families that had lost not just most of their family members, but most of their limbs as well in a battle most did’nt know why we were even fighting.

K had recorded many video interviews with these families, both in afghanistan and in Waziristan. We watched the victims on tape, begging and pleading to the governments to put an end to the misery and injustices in the name of God. One little boy, who had lost his left arm and left eye, sat in front of the camera, and shyly with a faint smile, asked President Karzai to do something so his eye could stop hurting. There were numerous such stories and victims, all innocent people who had nothing to do with the rebels, militants or al-qaeda, yet they were the ones actually suffering, while the militants still roam the land heavily armed, and completely free. We were told, that the US and Pakistani air strikes were not targeted towards any militant occupations, but in fact were directed at small villages and towns occupied by innocent people.  The US  gunships leave the Poppy fields untouched, but the surrounding villages, get bombed and wiped away.

According to Hamid Mir, the people of Pakistan and the rest of the world, are being frauded by the media, our country’s foreign policy and our western friends. I could’nt agree more. Having gone and seen it first hand, you realize the western media is playing a big cover up game. The extent of the suffering caused by these armed forces is unimaginable and goes unreported. Are they really fighting a war or simply sowing the seeds for a bigger one?

So who is the war on terror really against? The al qaeda? Osama? Taliban? Extremism? Bullshit ! (pardon my french), but this war is against YOU, and your freedom. This war is against TRUTH,  LOVE, and PEACE  on the earth. Think about it.

Open your mind
Question what you believe
Open your thoughts
The Truth shall set you free.

God Bless
Natasha.

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Born Free!
December 3, 2008, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought

So this morning, I just thought i’d wake up and write something…. with no idea on the topic, i’m sure something will come to me as I sit here typing. I’ll try free thought association, allowing my fingers to type as the thoughts just flow.  Somehow we love to hear the word FREE…. free meaning, at no cost,not hampered, unconstrained, not fixed in position, not held up in Servitude . Though, when i hear the word free, my radars send red signals to my brain.  Nothing in life is ever really FREE, except perhaps the air we breathe.  Everything else has a price….whether its love, joy or freedom.  FREE holds different perspectives philosophically, politically, geometrically, artistically and literally….today lets freely talk about the word FREE.
 
FREE, something you acquire at the cost of nothing. Its that time of year, when you hear the word free, frequently, as tis the season for the big sales.  Buy one, get one free, but the catch is you still gotta buy one.  So the second one aint exactly free.  If you divide the cost equally between both, you have basically aquired the second one at a 50% discount.  But hey, you gotta admit, a big banner with the words…. ..”.Get one FREE ” would be more appealing to your senses, than a “50 % Off” banner would.    
 
Then of course there’s FREE which means, not restrained. This one I like, as I’m sure many of you do.  Afterall, no one likes being restrained, or under any compulsion.  Its wonderful to be able to act at will, following your hearts desires…. but how often do you really get to do that anymore. How often do you get to freely say what you feel without the fear of offence, insult or blasphemy.  We’ve become slaves to our society, bound in the shackles of our careers, traditions,  culture, medieval rituals, age old dogmas and Free thought is a mere illusion.
 
Then there’s FREEDOM, derived from FREE…. but not acquired for FREE, as history reveals gory stories of freedom fighters shedding blood for their lands and their beliefs, in every dark corner of this world.  Every country today celebrates their own Independance day, which in most cases, signifies the day they obtained physical liberty, and emerged on the world map as an independant nation. Its just that, this physical independance also created physical boundaries and borders, furthur restricting us and our movements. As time goes by, we’ll see our freedom being pulled away ,smoothly, right from under our very noses, and we wont even budge or be bothered at its loss, because by then, we’ll be told FREEDOM is a security threat.
 
Man was born free.. free of race, religion, language and thought.  As he grows, voluntarily or involuntarily enchains himself by external forces of conditioning, drowning his soul in meaningless existence, having completely lost the freedom his Creator so richly blessed him with when he entered this world. Nothing is as precious as one’s freedom. Dreams, aspirations, and ideals mean nothing if one does not have the freedom to pursue them.
 
“Freedom is first of all a responsibility before the God from whom we come.” Allan Keyes
 
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”  Franklin. D. Roosevelt
“I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery
“The jaws of power are always open to devour, and her arm is always stretched out, if possible, to destroy the freedom of thinking, speaking, and writing.” —  John Adams

 
 
So thought for today, Are you really free to think without limitations, free to express yourself without fear, free to believe what you want to, free to live in harmony with the earth. 
 
 
Feel FREE to share your thoughts with me
I’m anxious to hear what your thoughts might be
I pray for Freedom for eternity
The Freedom to chose whats right- freely!
 
God Bless



Burning Shadows
January 20, 2010, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought | Tags: ,

They ate at my table,
They took the same train,
shared the fun and the laughter,
then even caused the pain

In the moments of sadness,
They gladly turn away
for new fun filled horizons
they generously betray

They will come – they will go,
Yet the sun will faithfully rise,
and however dark the night is,
It will brighten up the skies.

A True source of inspiration,
Showers beams of positive light,
burning out the dark shadows,
feeding the soul with might.

They can try their best to drown me
or drag my spirit to the ground
For just a moment I may falter
But they will never break me down.



EMPOWER YOURSELF WITH LOVE
May 8, 2009, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought

May 7th 2009

The leaders of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US have announced that they will bring peace to this region. Big Joke is’nt it, considering they are the ones who have brought WAR to this region in the first place, especially Big Daddy Yankee damn Doodle! The game the US has been playing in this region for years with manipulative strategies are no longer a big secret- First they drove the Russians out of Afghanistan, Then they’ve had their eye on the Gwadar port ever since China showed interest in it. China is currently their biggest threat so just like a big chess game, the US slyly made their moves to prevent China from making a move into Pakistan. They had every Chinese engineer killed, that came to inspect the port, and blamed it on the Baluchis. This not only drove the Chinese out of Pakistan, but also severed political ties between the two countries. If China was given Gwadar, they would have gained trade access to the entire gulf and asean region, and Pakistan would have earned millions in toll taxes. This of course goes against the US’ long term plan, to gain ultimate economic control. Everyone knows what their big agenda game, and no matter how much bullshit they want to feed us, the public is becoming aware, people all over are waking up and the universal consciousness has risen up against the forces behind the One world government, so time for them really is running out, It might just be amusing when they try to announce their plans to enforce the new world order some time very soon, because by then the public would have probably had enough. The talibans, created by very same Americans who are today trying to wipe them out, are walking around in the valleys of northern Pakistan, namely Buner, Swat and Dir enforcing the so called Islamic law. Their version of Islam is very distorted….. most of them are uneducated and follow what their Imams and Maulvis (who are also uneducated) have taught them. In most madrassah’s the boys and girls get molested or sodomized by these ‘holy-men”, and almost none get reported. It makes you wonder why the so called Holy men of our times are such corrupt bastards, as the “Vatican” is yet another example of similar atrocities. The only difference is the priests are forced to be celibate, and the maulvi is allowed to marry 4 times. No wonder the boys want to ‘blow themselves up’.

Someone sent me some very disturbing images of the taliban in Swat and members of the armed forces that have been taken hostage.  What they are doing to other human beings is not just inhuman, even animals would’nt do this to members of their own species.  Beheadings are out, cutting a live man into half at his waist is the new Islamic way to kill someone apparently.  The boys conducting this activity barely look like they are 16 years old,  armed with big automatic weapons.  For those of you who want to see these horrible pictures, please let me know, I did’nt have the heart to attach them to this mail, for fear that I would have to see them again. 
 
Karachi is an interesting city to be caught in while all the madness prevails in the rest of the country.  Its large and quite diverse.  You will find people here that have fled the northern valleys, away from the taliban, while some educated ones are turning to radical islamism, you will find beggars, thieves and daily wage workers just trying to put a meal on the table for their families, while others sit in thier posh italian furnished living rooms sipping the finest Chardonnay discussing plans for their next vacation in the South of France and their shopping trips to London oblivious to the hardships of their fellow citizens.  Amidst the rumors of ‘talibanization’ this class of people just laugh, saying nothing will happen. They either live in denial, or feel that if shit hits the fan, they will just walk out with the foreign passports their money has bought them.
 
So who is our Savior? When are the mighty masses going to stand up and stop the injustices taking place in the name of law, war and religion.  The liberals who claim they can see whats going on, dont really have the ‘courage’ to make their voices heard.  Everyone is waiting for a leader, someone honest, and just who will lead us not into temptation but deliver us from all evil…… sounds like most of us are waiting for an action hero like Superman, or perhaps a Messiah!
 
Perhaps the first step is to stop using words like “war” and “terror” and “fear”.  Perhaps we should spend the precious days of our lives lovingly, living each moment to the fullest, with positivity and harmony, and peace, doing random acts of kindness. In fact, the next time someone says something nasty to you, say something nice in return.  It’ll make you feel great knowing you instantly killed the negative energy before allowing it to get to you.  The next time you see someone angry or having a bad day, smile at them till they smile back.  Empower yourself with love and positivity , its the only way to win!
 
Lots of Love
 
Natasha.



The night I met an ANGEL
April 24, 2009, 9:13 pm
Filed under: Time for a Revolution

One day, about seven years ago, I decided to fly to Egypt to meet a friend who was visiting his sister. I thought it would be a great opportunity to see the Pyramids, one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world.

Despite family and friends in Pakistan trying to talk me out of the trip, for most had heard of Egypt being an unsafe place, especially for solo female travelers, I’d laugh at their warnings, saying ‘surely it’s not more unsafe than Karachi”.

Obtaining the Egyptian visa I never thought would be so difficult. The first time my passport went in, to my surprise they rejected me on the grounds that single women were not particularly welcome. So I reapplied again, this time my travel agent used business as my reason for travel. I land at Cairo airport with just a one week stay stamped on my passport. When I got to the immigration desk, the officer looked at me, gave me a warm welcoming smile, and asked why I was only staying such a short while. I told him that’s all I was given, so he stamped two extra weeks, told me to enjoy Egypt, and even gave me his card so I could contact him if I faced any difficulties. I could hardly believe it.

In Cairo, my friend and his family were more than wonderful hosts. They gave me a chauffer driven car to go see the pyramids, malls and museums, and though it made sight seeing very convenient, it wasn’t my idea of experiencing the culture and people.
Three days later, I broke the news to them that I wanted to get on the bus and go see more of Egypt. Reluctantly they let me leave their posh home on the golf estate, and drove me to the bus station, where they became extremely worried when they saw I was the only woman on the bus. They offered me a chauffer driven trip to wherever I wanted to go, but I had to refuse their generous offer. By then, all my fears had totally been taken over by the excitement of the adventure that lay ahead.

I had decided to take the night coach, so I could save on time and money for a hotel room, and was told mine was the last stop. As I got on the bus, I felt over a dozen pairs of eyes fix upon me, and follow me down the isle to my seat. I had the isle seat, so the eyes were able to keep me in view, intrigued that I was the only foreigner there.

Seated at my side, at the window, was a big burly boy in his mid twenties, who turned to smile at me as I sat down. There was something about his smile that reflected immense kindness and his eyes were so innocent, that to this day I will remember his face.. After a while, as if he sensed something, offered me his seat. By now we had discovered, that we could communicate only in sign language or smiles, as he spoke only Egyptian, and I spoke none. I accepted his seat. I was tired, and could hardly wait to close my eyes, and wake up in Sharm. He rolled the curtains on the window into pillows for my head, then took one earphone from his ear, and put it into mine and made me listen to Egyptian folk tunes and he signed that I should go to sleep. I smiled at him, so grateful to him for his concern, closed my eyes and peacefully drifted off without a care in the world; somehow I felt he was there to protect me. Throughout the night at various stops, he would get off and get me tea or water, so I wouldn’t need to get off with the men. Throughout the night, we communicated only with smiles. By morning, there were only 5 people left on the bus, he was fortunately one of them. He got off with me, and waited while I waited for the person from my hotel to come pick me up. Finally an old blue jalopy drove up and asked if I was Natasha. I greeted the gentleman, loaded my stuff onto the car, and as I turned around to thank my friend from the bus, I saw he was gone.

I’ve always believed he was an angel. After that bus journey the rest of my trip, was truly blessed. I stayed in Sharm for almost two weeks, discovered the Sinai dessert, sat by the red sea, and felt enlightened in many ways. I met many other people, and made wonderful friends some I’m still in touch with.

Despite having traveled extensively, my experience in the land of the Pharaohs, I will never forget…….someday soon, I will go back again.



Dont Give it up- Give it to God
January 23, 2009, 3:28 pm
Filed under: Time for a Revolution

Long time ago I came to a point
When all things were empty and bare
Friends and Loved ones were going away
And happiness was no longer there

I had gotten tired of making the effort
Of getting to know and growing to love
I got tired of people walking away
In my lonliness I turned to the father above

I started complaining, crying and wailing
For God to just take me away
I’d grown up believing suicide was a sin
So i prayed I just would’nt wake up one day

Then Slowly but surely, God revealed
His wondrous love for me
He’d head my toothaches and soothe every pain
His love then became a reality

Then one day God spoke to me
He told me to not to fear
He told me to have faith and believe
That my day of rejoicing was near

And eversince then there’s been a peace
Even though the storm has not passed
I sleep at night knowing miracles do happen
And God’s words forever lasts

So look to God when there’s a storm in your life
He’s only a prayer away too
Have faith and open your hearts door
There’s a miracle waiting for you.



TO WAR OR NOT TO WAR
January 6, 2009, 12:06 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought

Since the terrorists blasts in Mumbai on November 26th, the people on both sides of the Indopak border, have also been terrorised by war hysteria. Talk about an attack that successfully spread terror throughout the entire region that was once the subcontinent. A place where people of similar language and culture lived peacefully until the biased british came to rule and divide the subcontinent into 6 independant states. Today 60 years later,still reaping fruits of hatred sowed by the british, the two largest of those states, both armed with the nuclear bombs are gearing themselves to war with each other. The soldiers are being armed, weapons are being deployed, border troops are on high alert, while families divided by political boundaries grieve at the thought and consequences of what the war might bring.

So what will it bring besides death and destruction? What will be the result of this war? Will India manage to wipe out the terrorists that are creating havoc in their lands and globally. Will the Taliban be wiped away from Pakistan ? Will the war encourage the Kashmiris to fight for their own Independance? They make it sound like WAR is the only way out. Will this War bring peace? How Ironic!



HOLY MARY

MOTHER OF GOD
 
 
I’ve had an interesting exposure to religion and church doctrines throughout my life.  My father was a devout catholic, my mother converted to the oneness Pentecostal doctrine when I was 2, and I grew up around devout Muslim neighbors, both Shiite and Sunni who taught me first three “kalmas” when i was 5.  In my later years I befriended Zoroastrians, Hindus, atheists and agnostics and in my adult years questioned the concept of “religion” itself.  My question usually was how and where did it all begin?  How did we all become so different?  Of course, at first I questioned the faith I was brought up in.
 
I was sent to a Convent school, and had to attend Mass despite the fact that mom did’nt want me to. I used to wonder why everything in the school chapel had to be so mechanical….. from the mass to the music…..  In a short while, I had memorized the entire mass, and wondered why God would want us to hear the same thing every week….surely, God had more to say to us. 

In the cathedral I noticed Jesus was depicted as a baby in Mary’s arms or a dead man on a cross, which made her seem so much more powerful.  Devotees would enter church, then make their rounds, kissing the feet of all the statues up to the altar.    I used to watch in awe at the craftsmanship of the statues,  moms church had nothing this glamorous. Every time I saw someone genuflect in front of the statues…..I used to wonder why we even had the first commandment…Thou shall have no other Gods before me. If God is Jealous,  why were we paying so much attention to everybody but HIM ? isn’t GOD the only one worthy of prayer. 
 
The concept of Mary had me totally baffled. I read everything I possibly could to find the answers for.
 
1.  How could a mortal woman be titled the “mother of God”
 
2.  Why did the Bible not once mention any miracles performed by her when she     was alive.
 
3.  Where in the Bible is she said to have ‘interceded’ for us?
 
4.  Where in the bible is she said to have ascended into heaven body and soul?
 
5.  Where in the bible does it mention that SHE was free from sin?

Mary the Mother of God
 
Because she is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is God, therefore Mary is the Mother of God. (Catechism 963, 971, 2677).
 
A feminine presence was added to Christianity by the Council of Ephesus in 431 CE where after much debate, the Virgin Mary was named Theotokos (Mother of God).   It is interesting how various councils in Catholic Church History defined the basics of the catholic doctrine, and the way Catholics all over must regard their faith.  It only reinforces that RELIGION is the creation of MAN…..in Catholicism, a few powerful clergymen, bishops and priests all with one agenda- to unify Europe and gain political power and to shape the way people think, formulated in their “ecumenical”  meetings, what they thought Christianity should incorporate which went on till the Christian reformation in the 16th century.  The Incarnation of Jesus was decided after much debate at one of these politicized council meetings.
The Incarnation means that Jesus was both fully God and fully man.  Mary was only the mother of Jesus as man, and not the mother of Jesus as God.  According to the Bible, the world was created through Jesus.  This was long before Mary was born.

Hebrews 1:1-2 says,    “God, who at sundry times and in diverse manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds”.
Colossians 1:16-17 says,    “For by him [Jesus] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things [including Mary] were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things [including Mary] , and by him all things consist”.
John 8:58 says, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus existed before Abraham was born.  That means that He also existed before Mary was born. 
 
In John 17:5, Jesus says, “And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.”  So Jesus existed even before the world began.  Jesus came first ‑- not Mary.

MARY THE MEDIATOR
Mary is the Co-Mediator to whom we can entrust all our cares and petitions. (Catechism 968-970, 2677)
 
 
Catholics regard Mary as the mediator to Jesus based on a SINGLE event in the bible, where she asks her son to look at the wine.  While it is certainly true that Jesus did what his mother requested at Cana, it is also true that the Lord equally obeyed the wishes of others at times, which also resulted in miracles.  While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples … After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up.
(Mat 9:18,19, 25)
There is only one mediator and that is Jesus.
 1 Timothy 2:5-6 says,      “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus: Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” 
 Hebrews 7:25 says, “Wherefore he [Jesus] is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
 Ephesians 3:12 says, “In whom [Jesus} we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.”

 If Jesus is constantly interceding for us and He is able to save us “to the uttermost,” then He doesn’t need Mary’s help.  If we can approach God with “boldness” and “confidence” because of our faith in Jesus, then we don’t need Mary’s help either.  If God had wanted us to pray to Mary, Jesus would have said so somewhere in the bible…..something like….  “if you want a miracle, ask my mommy first”
MARY- WITHOUT SIN
 
Mary was preserved from all stain of original sin from the first instant of her conception. (Catechism 490-492).
 
In Luke 1:46-47, Mary said: “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour”.   Mary knew that she needed a savior.
 
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.   Revelation 15:4 says, “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?  For thou only art holy”. 
 
Romans 3:10 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one”.
 
In the Book of Revelation, when they were searching for someone who was worthy to break the seals and open the scroll, the only person who was found to be worthy was Jesus.  Nobody else in Heaven or on earth (including Mary) was worthy to open the scroll or even look inside it. (Revelation 5:1-5)

MARY THE VIRGIN
 Mary was a virgin before, during and after the birth of Christ. (Catechism 496-511)
 
Jesus had brothers and sisters.  The Bible even tells us their names. So if the council was trying to portray her as sinless without sex- it makes you wonder why the church was trying to paint “SEX” as evil, perhaps it is the same reason the priests are made to live celibate.  
 
Matthew 13:54-56 says,
“And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, in so much that they were astonished, and said, Whence hatch this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  Is not this the carpenter’s son?  Is not his mother called Mary?  And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  And his sisters, are they not all with us?”
 

Unlike catechism, the Bible mentions nothing on Mary or the saints.  Catholics have been disconnected from Jesus Christ and made to connect with the church, the scripted masses and prayers, the saints and the Blessed virgin, the pope and the Vatican.  Let us point out that since Catholicism was the first Christian religion that came into pagan Rome, there are similarities within it to co relate between Pagan and Catholic celebrations from Goddess Worship to Christmas and Easter, that DOES NOT mean that Catholicism and Christianity is in any way Pagan. But, when two cultures collide there will be a blending.
 
The Early Church, Constantine, the first few popes and bishops all had a major hand in shaping Christianity the way it is today.  The tragedy is that in trying to put together a doctrine to convince the masses and obtain ultimate control, the true message of JESUS CHRIST was lost.  Jesus Christ came to show us the way we could all connect to the father through HIM.  He came to teach us the power of faith, the power of love and the power of peace! He came to show  this power lies with us. We just gotta follow HIM !
 
He (Jesus) is the door to salvation (John 10:9);
and all God’s grace and kindness are given “through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7)