Unbranded and home on the range.

Yin Yang ☯

So hungry, so insatiable, and yet so full. 
Tearing up the asphalt while standing still on the red.
At once serene and calm, and yet in the middle of chaos.
Now so mellow on Mary Jane, and yet so eager for Goliath’s jugular.
A fixated workaholism, and yet slacking off like a bum on Bourbon St.

The question was asked: What would you change in your life if you could rewind and adjust?

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Filed under: Cradle, Leadership, Solace


” The good seaman weathers the storm he cannot avoid, and avoids the storm he cannot weather.”

– Unknown.

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Filed under: Cradle, Gentlemen, Quotable Quotes

The Ant and the Carpet

There is a story which Rumi tells of an ant that’s creeping across the carpet in a mosque, and the ant complains to God saying: “What is this, these bumps, and strange colours, and patterns, this must have been created just as a meaningless obstacle course, what a futile thing to have made.”

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Filed under: Cradle, Gentlemen, Leadership

The One You Feed.

YOU: The insatiable, seasoned, and relentless hunter. The wild, unearthly beast that stalks its prey without tiring. The cold dread that grips my heart when I hear your feral and unforgettable howl causes a slow paralysis. The mere sight of your massive fangs and tusks,  which can shred muscle and bone into raw curry in a matter of seconds, inexorably pumps fear into my veins like the nurse’s needle injecting serum into my arm. Much admired are your firm, toned, and sinewy muscles that propel your dark and hideous mass forward as you close in for the kill. Your hollow eyes, so empty and yet, at the same time so full of hateful bloodlust, are often the last, grotesque elements of horror that your quarry has the sick displeasure of witnessesing before you devour their life force. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Cradle, Leadership

Saying Grace, reason No.# 8527

That fount of life experience, the hand that rocks my cradle, the voice behind the most powerful duas ever made for me … a.k.a my mom:

“You should be thankful that for being in such a country, and that you have so much food available during Ramadan”, she said while gesturing at the variety of dishes laid out before us for Iftar, “because back home in Pakistan its the complete opposite.”

I stopped eating and inquired: “What do you mean?”

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Filed under: Cradle, Food


“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet
and the winds long to play with your hair”

– Khalil Gibran

Filed under: Cradle, Quotable Quotes

David’s Heiress

Me and running don’t always see eye to eye. Some days it hurts more than others. But it doesn’t mean I don’t do it. I deal with it and I keep running because not everything that is good for you always feels good for you.”

– Lance Armstrong.


This is a story for Muslim women, about a young woman of their own, named Sarah.

Do you know her? Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Cradle, Leadership, Quotable Quotes, Women

Your Biggest. Game. Ever. [Part One]

Just one night before the competition…
I find no rest, no sleep, just intuition.

Tomorrow I will hear Let The Games Begin…
Everyone scores, but I have to win.

I will be much faster than the speed of light…
I’m stronger than a lion in a fight.
This song, a reminder in my heart
For my people, for my country and for us

“Let the Games Begin”
– Nikki & Christina.


It’s the biggest World Cup finale ever. There has NEVER been any series as hyped as this one, ever in the history of professional sports. This is the game that’s on the minds and lips of everyone from the presidents and prime ministers, to the halls of power and business, of governments and mega-corporations, on the streets and schoolyards, in the places of worship and sanctuary, in the dance-clubs, malls and cafes, to all the way down to the small towns and fishing villages dotting the globe like sand on the beach.

The stadium is bursting at the seams, crammed with 200,000 fans and nearly a thousand media personnel, with hundreds of high-definition digital cameras broadcasting the game worldwide, where over a billion people are glued to screens large and small, fervently praying for their favorite team. Billions more are listening on the radio, on the net, or asking others about The Game.

No series has been so heavily contested such as this one, so pregnant with your victory and indeed these are the last moments before delivery. The stakes are piled sky-high: the winners go home with the Cup and with all the prestige and glory of a triumphant army coming home after a long war, the bragging rights are unparalleled, the paychecks are going to have double-digit zeros on them, your fellow compatriots will be congratulated wherever ’round the world they go and the envy of other nations will no longer be hidden. The losing team will be scorned, mocked, and spat on for years to come by their own countrymen and even families, for bringing such unbelievable ignominy and shame to the nation, until they find themselves to be outcasts.

The teams are tied but because they have more playoff series points than your team, a tie will spell a disastrous loss for your team and for your nation. Every player is calling upon their innermost hidden reserves of strength to carry them through. Sinewy muscles bulge; foreheads are riven by overloaded arteries, adrenaline flows in torrential amounts through the veins of every player.

The opposing team has pulled their goalie off their net to add another player into the mix, to throw you off-balance and to gain numbers and strength against you. And now, with the ball in your end of the field, it would be suicidal to pull your goalie off as well, and so you fight insanely for the ball, ignoring the pain in your shins and knees, never letting it out of your eyesight, madly driven to keep it from getting past your goalkeeper. You keep getting closer and closer to it, just grazing it with your knees or knocking it back down with a perfectly synchronized head-butt while it continues to be fiercely fought over.

… and then, it’s yours …

You have the ball and your deft feet handle the ball like a music conductor handles his baton in front of the Symphony Orchestra. Your team sees you with it and you hear them screaming at you to come down the left side where they’ve engaged the opposing team and cleared a path only for you, giving you a window of just a few seconds to break free of the melee. And instinctively, without a second thought, you take the ball and barrel right through that small breach and into the wide open field, streaking across the grass with one singular, overriding objective – the empty goal you see on the other side. You don’t even hear the screams of despair of the opposing team. Four-letter words and other expletives come forth like water over the Niagara Falls. Driven by desperation, they lunge forward trying to catch even a sliver of your shadow but they know all is lost. Their morale dropping faster than a bullet fired straight downwards, their faces betray them before their bodies do. Not even Superman could reach you in time, and they know this. Even you know it.

Before, what seemed to be mere lightning flashing in the distance has now coalesced into thousands upon thousands of camera flashes going off in rapid-fire succession, straining to capture The Moment, that exact point in time when your powerful thighs deliver that final blow, slamming home that ball like a hammering in the final nail in a coffin. The sportscasters lose their composure and bellow into the microphones about the lone comet they see ripping across the field unhindered, unchallenged.

But you don’t hear them or the earth-shattering, roaring crowd. The unending barrage of dazzling sparks is denied entry into your visual cortex. You block everything out. You’re in the Zone, and you’re high on the colossal, near-illegal boost of adrenaline. You’ve expertly bent the entire world to conform to your desires, all down to this every moment where everything has given way to you and your superior mastery. No one else in history has ever commanded such a clear shot at the goal, and you know no one else ever will.

This is going to be the shot heard and seen around the world, to be recounted across many generations until it becomes a permanent legend seared into the eternal, collective memory of your nation.

The crowd boils over. The thunderous screams of your name can be heard across the city. Traffic stops. Horns blow; people exchange glances and presume your impending victory. The millions-strong crowd surrounding the stadium is now a live, pulsating, and cheering monster dancing in the streets. In front of screens around the world, in front of Times Square displays and in front of radio sets in cities and villages, the tension mounts and overflows as premature cheers of euphoria erupt. Hands are raised to the sky; tears come unbidden to millions of eyes, cascading down wet cheeks. Never before has such a massive amount of humanity come together and willed for such a pivotal triumph to come into existence …

…and then, you don’t take the shot.

It’s not like you swung at the ball and missed, it’s not like you actually belted it out and it bounced off the goalpost. It’s not like some mad maverick on the opposing team intervened and stole it away from you.


You Just. Never. Took. The Shot.

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take.”
– Wayne Gretzky

To be continued.

Filed under: Cradle, Laced, Leadership, Quotable Quotes, Riposte

No matter what.

Once there was a scholar whom Allaah ta3ala had blessed with four children, all boys. 

One day, one of the boys passed away, and upon being told the news, the scholar’s reaction was truly exemplary. He said:

“Alhamdulillaah for what He gave, and alhamdulillaah for what He took. He took back only one of  my sons and left the other three. Alhamdulillaah.”

When I heard about that, I paused for a moment to reflect on all the things God had taken from me, but all the many more things He had left with me. Whatever he had taken, was His anyways, and what He had left with me, I am thankful for. So this is just a reminder to everyone that hey, no matter how tough it may get in this life, you still have it good and awesome compared to billions of other people. So live and love, laugh and learn.

Today I was in the kitchen after lunch helping myself to a load of ice cream and as I started walking away with my bowl to my bedroom, I burst out laughing. My sister asked me what was so funny and I turned around, shrugged my shoulders and said “I dunno. I’m just laughing.” – I was laughing at nothing in particular and laughing at everything that Allaah had given to me, in specific.

Because whatever I have, I’m happy with, alhamdulillaah.

Filed under: Cradle, Leadership, Solace

Branding the Maverick

Q: What do great personalities like Lincoln, Reagan, and Gorbachev all have in common?
Or Johnny Depp, Sean Connery, or Gene Hackman?

A: They were all just like me. Wink

Even though I don’t do these usually because I dislike to be constrained by popular, pre-set parameters and definitions, I took the Jung Typology test recently and here’s what it spit out:

Apparently I’m an ENFJ.

ENFJs are the benevolent ‘pedagogues’ of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it’s usually not meant as manipulation — ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are. ENFJs are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability. ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don’t resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts. ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

TRADEMARK: “The first shall be last”

This refers to the open-door policy of ENFJs. One ENFJ colleague always welcomes me into his office regardless of his own circumstances. If another person comes to the door, he allows them to interrupt our conversation with their need. While discussing that need, the phone rings and he stops to answer it. Others drop in with a ‘quick question.’ I finally get up, go to my office and use the call waiting feature on the telephone. When he hangs up, I have his undivided attention!

Extraverted Feeling

Extraverted Feeling rules the ENFJ’s psyche. In the sway of this rational function, these folks are predisposed to closure in matters pertaining to people, and especially on behalf of their beloved. As extraverts, their contacts are wide ranging. Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare.

Introverted iNtuition

Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ’s integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements. The dynamic nature of their intuition moves ENFJs from one project to another with the assurance that the next one will be perfect, or much more nearly so than the last. ENFJs are continually looking for newer and better solutions to benefit their extensive family, staff, or organization.

Extraverted Sensing

Sensing is extraverted. ENFJs can manage details, particularly those necessary to implement the prevailing vision. These data have, however, a magical flexible quality. Something to be bought can be had for a song; the same something is invaluable when it’s time to sell. (We are not certain, but we suspect that such is the influence of the primary function.) This wavering of sensory perception is made possible by the weaker and less mature status with which the tertiary is endowed.

Introverted Thinking

Introverted Thinking is least apparent and most enigmatic in this type. In fact, it often appears only when summoned by Feeling. At times only in jest, but in earnest if need be, Thinking entertains as logical only those conclusions which support Feeling’s values. Other scenarios can be shown invalid or at best significantly inferior. Such “Thinking in the service of Feeling” has the appearance of logic, but somehow it never quite adds up.

Introverted Thinking is frequently the focus of the spiritual quest of ENFJs. David’s lengthiest psalm, 119, pays it homage. “Law,” “precept,” “commandment,” “statute:” these essences of inner thinking are the mysteries of Deity for which this great Feeler’s soul searched.

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Filed under: Cradle, Leadership, Riposte