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Thoughts can be Insidious

Normally, I don’t really engage myself in heated discussions with people on any social or political issue. I find it a waste of time because I don’t find such communication useful when the listener is not really listening to understand, but merely to know exactly which point they have to retaliate back to. But today, somehow unknowingly, I was pulled into a conversation with my boss that really left me furious and annoyed in the end.

It started with him making a remark about Pakistanis. I have noticed he does that, always. Being an Indian Hindu, I feel he has grown up hating Pakistanis. And his mentality is such that he feels that deep down, even the Indian Muslims side with the Pakistanis. So I always find him probing me, poking me by sometimes uttering downright stupid and baseless comments about Pakistanis and see how I respond to it and my response would be judged and accordingly it would be decided whether I am a good Indian or not. His reaction is pleasant when I might agree with a point he has made, but when I get down to oppose him, that’s when he acts like a loser. Anyways, back to the point. Anyone following Indian news would know that yesterday India was divided between 2- supporting the death penalty of Yakub Memon and those who advocated human rights.

I had no idea about the history of this guy till 2 days ago but whatever I gathered from the news and people around me, in a nutshell is this : This guy was linked to the terrorist attacks in Mumbai in the year 1993. His brother Tiger was one of the masterminds who is believed to be either dead or in hiding. So Yakub apparently surrendered to the police in 1994 and was a resource of information about the plotting and execution of the attacks. He served his purpose for the past 11 years and the Indian Judiciary finally decided to convict him for his crimes. Early morning today, he was hanged to death.

So I was in the group of Indians that found it unfair. And I voiced it out in front of my boss only to hear some unrelated crap about India-Pakistan partition, Hinduism being the original religion of the country (which is true) and invaders and conquerors forcing people to accept their religion, either Islam or Christianity. Also something about India’s secularism being the root problem of these terror attacks and that things would noticeably improve if India embraces Hinduism as the official religion of the country. Of course, it was all sugar coated with laughs and smiles and ended on a vague note of ‘sighs’.  I felt deeply hurt and offended. I really do not understand why an attack plotted by a Muslim (mind you, only by name) and not a Christian, or Hindu, or Buddhist or Maoist is termed as a TERROR ATTACK. Is the definition of terror exclusive to Islam?

I also realized one more thing today, that no matter how educated and well-mannered, kind and gentle a person seems to be, these feelings of ill will towards a particular religion(s) sometimes clog their ability to view beyond the realms of faith and just judge someone based on humanity.

What now, tell me, is the difference between such people and a terrorist? Level of extremism. That’s it.

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The Creative Blogger Award

Yes!!!!! I received my first nomination for The Creative Blogger Award from Maira! I had visited her blog a few days ago and was utterly impressed by the depth and imagery of her blog posts. Do check out her creativity and be enthralled. Okay so I am supposed to state 5 random facts about me, which I am doing so below.

1. My friends say I look the happiest when I eat! ” Isn’t that how everyone looks”, I say, but they argue that my face radiates a lot of joy when I am eating or even talking about food. I don’t know how far that is true but I admit that food makes me happy. It is not comfort eating I do but I guess I just love food in general. So all the food bloggers out there, keep up the good work! 😛 . You inspire me to experiment with food, create it and then finally eat it! 😊😂

2. I don’t like reptiles. Yes, even while browsing channels, if I happen to come across an alligator or a python on Animal Planet, my feeling of disgust is turned on. I just get so creeped out by the way their scaly body twirls and swirls to move. Eww. 😣

3. I can watch movies I like again and again. My family and friends think I am crazy, but there are many movies , especially comedies that I have watched (and can still watch) a gazillion number of times. I remember all the dialogues and scenes of the movies, yet every time I watch them, the quotient of entertainment remains the same. 

4. I always crush on men who seem cold and mean. I really don’t know why, I probably deserve a slap from all femninists, but I always find my hormones increase and butterflies flutter around guys who have shit loads of attitude. I find them dark and enchanting.

5. I listen. A lot. To everyone. Whether its my best friends or distant friends, when there is a problem, most of my acquaintances tend to keep my number on speed dial. I sometimes feel that I would have probably made a good career as a psychiatrist than an engineer. I listen to and resolve 90% of  the problems my friends face. Many a time, I also fell in trouble because of helping unworthy jerks. My best friend warns me to not get too involved with people, that its not necessary for me to solve everyone’s problems but for me, their happiness is essential and I am just grateful to Allah that He endowed me with the attribute of understanding human relationships  so well. I really don’t care about whether I get back the due credit in return, as long as I know that I made someone happy.

Alright so here are my nominations:

1. Mon

2. Queen Amongst My Words

3. Himali Shah

4. Saaransh

5. Shelby

6. Vanchula

The rules:

1.Share five random facts about yourself.

2.Nominate some blogs and notify the nominees.

3.Post the link of the blog that nominated you

Have fun everyone! 🙂

  

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Always Something There to Remind Me.”

I feel the main reason why music is so powerful is because it has the ability to arouse forgotten memories of the past to such an extent that the heart surrenders momentarily to emotions that one had experienced then. Each song on my playlist takes me back in time, either to very old days of my childhood or to the comparatively young and recent adolescent years.

Being an Indian, I listen to more of Bollywood songs than English. Their ratio in my iTunes playlist must be somewhere around 80:10. I am into soothing, soft and cute romantic numbers, particularly those which star my favorite actors such as Salman Khan, Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan.

Coming back to the topic. The songs that evoke lost times. Well, there is a movie in Bollywood called Tum Bin which was released around 2001. This also coincides with the time me and my family had shifted to India permanently (although we came back to Dubai in a year 😛 ) . So even though the lead cast members of the movie were new, the movie became a sleeper hit, major contribution of which goes to the collection of songs in the movie. The soundtrack consists of a ghazal ‘Koi Fariyaad’ sung by ‘Jagjit Singh’, that is considered to be one of the greatest ghazals in Bollywood. Ghazals are a version of Sufi songs that poetically express emotions such as pain in love. I was quite young when the song released and not really appreciative of the complete meaning of the song, yet somehow the music and the voice created a magic that was unforgettable for me. I heard the song first being played on the old music system of our neighbors. I was sitting then in one of the rooms of our house. Our neighbor’s house was barely 2 steps away and so the music from their house streamed into that room very easily. And so I came back to that room every evening to listen to this song. For quite some time, it was played almost every day because I figure that their daughter was in love. You may click the link below to listen to and watch the beautiful song.

To this day, whenever I listen to this song, I am reminded of that house, particularly that room in which I used to sit in the evenings. I reminisce those days when I was 10, and my innocence was untarnished by worldly pleasures. I can still feel the tiny flutters in my stomach when I see the face of my childhood crush (who, incidentally was the son of the same neighbors) in my mind’s eye. I really miss the simplicity of days and honesty of relationships during that period.

So I must sign off now before my boss notices I am not really working. Hope you enjoyed the post (and the song) ! Until next time! Take care….

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First response to a prompt is Musical

Posted in heartbreak, human nature, Life, love, musings, reality, reflections, sorrow

What is inevitable

They say the only thing that one can be certain of facing is DEATH. Yet when it strikes your loved one, why does it shock you and traumatize you beyond repair? We watch the news and see millions of people departing from the world due to poverty, sickness and terrorism but that barely manages to move us for a minute but when a dear one of ours passes away, we feel like its the end of the world, not only for us, but for everyone. The world becomes eclipsed by an unseen phenomena. We wail and cry till our eyes can no longer support us. We struggle to breathe through that constricted, suffocating windpipe. We feel that we have the right to demand everyone’s sympathy and compassion towards us. And when people do not reciprocate in the expected manner, they become cruel? What we fail to question ourselves is, ‘were we any different’?

Where on one hand, death’s hand cruelly takes away a part of us, its intensity of pain can re-unite ties that were severed long time ago. Its ominous presence ironically shines light upon the path of forgiveness, love and care between bitter relations. A whole lifetime does not suffice to teach us the importance of love, friendship and unity, the way death so brutally does. And for those who still ignore its teachings, death renders them with nothing but regrets. Regrets for not making up when there was time, regrets for acting so foolish, regrets for acting so selfish, regrets for not regretting earlier.

Although, as much as we loved those who pass away, we learn to cope up with their absence over time. We begin to smile, laugh and even love again. I wonder how those up in the heaven feel when they gaze down at us, laughing and loving again, without them. Do they think, ‘after everything I did, this is what they do’? Or do they really feel selflessly happy for us?  Does the goodness of heaven diminish the worldly attribute of jealousy?

There is no doubt that life is short. Whether you live for a staggering 100 years, a strong 50 or an innocent 15, as they always say, its not the quantity but the quality that matters. Why do we spend so much of our life struggling with hatred, jealousy, greed and enmity when we can spend the same time with love and compassion. The answer is because we somehow believe that we are immortal. We believe that our healthy diet, exercise and our fixed deposits are going to be our everlasting elixir of life. Just embracing the fact that this world is temporary and that we have to leave everything behind one fine day is a powerful factor to keep us grounded. This is the solution to every fight. Yes, this is what we need to ultimately achieve what is called World Peace.

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Eid break

Hi all! Sorry for not being active for the past 2 days. It was Eid-ul-fitr in U.A.E today and therefore, a very busy day filled with lots of energy, laughter, ethnic cuisines, gifts and most importantly, blessings. I’m going to bed now. Will post something soon about something that has been on my mind for sometime now. Ok that’s a lot of ‘some some’. I really need to sleep. 

Eid Mubarak to all those who are celebrating it 🌙🎉🎁🎈! May this Eid bring lots of goodness and joy in your life and may the spirit of Ramadan remain in you throughout the year!

Until next time, goodnight! 

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More melanin, less respect

It is an old saying, ‘ Do not judge a book by its cover’. I always grew up believing that. But I think, time and again, we always come across instances in daily life where we end up judging people based on their appearance. And the worst instance is when one is judged racially.

The latest happening of this type occurred in my own city- Dubai. Apparently a Black businesswoman was refused entry in the Movenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach because she was misjudged as a prostitute. I was appalled to learn that it was not because of her clothes or her mannerism but her ‘skin colour’ that led to the misconception. Once the hotel staff realized who she really was, they apologized profusely and explained that earlier that night, some black women were trying to solicit their visitors. And naturally, they thought she belonged to the same crowd because well, she was a black too.

Such instances are a rarity in this part of the world but when they do happen, one realizes that the world still is filled with narrow-minded, racist jerks who haughtily flaunt their God-given fair skin and are critical of those who have a darker shade. I personally know a relative (and I am ashamed at her for this) who used to treat her house servant to the likes of an untouchable. She would re-wash the dishes the maid had already washed and then eat. She would not allow the maid to touch her baby kid. I felt very disgusted and saddened to see that my cousin, who is such a sweetheart with everyone could be so heartbreaking too.

Not only the whites, even the browns mock and ridicule the blacks. It is so absurd considering the fact that firstly being black, brown or white is not really a matter of one’s choice. Blinded by progressive science and technologies, I think we have forgotten that many prevailing issues are still beyond the capability of humans. And I also fail to understand how the percentage of melanin in one’s body determine their levels of intellect, superiority and greatness.

Years after condemnation of apartheid, years after Nelson Mandela’s efforts to reform the system, we realize that there still might be a long way to go. We realize that for some, respect does not come easy. It still needs to be fought for.

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Posted in human nature, Life, modernization, reality, reflections, technology, Uncategorized

The people who live next door

A few days ago, I was coming back home from an outing and my eyes fell upon the door of our neighbors. Theirs is the apartment just opposite ours. A blue balloon and a ‘It’s a Boy’ door hanging caught my attention. Naturally, I understood  that the couple who got married last year now have a baby boy. I say ‘the couple’ because I don’t know their names. In fact, I don’t know anything about them except their physical appearance. Actually, I am not sure if I can remember how they look really because I happened to see them not more than 5-6 times in the span of a year. Funny, isn’t it? I know what my fellow bloggers/Facebook friends do, where they live, where they went on a holiday, what their last post/status was about but I don’t know the same about my neighbors. 

Being a 90s kid, I understand that this was not the scenario a decade ago. Those days, neighbors were the closest group of people after one’s family. They were always a part of a family’s joy as well as sufferings. Those were the days of petty arguments followed by apologies and promises of everlasting friendship. Those were the days when kids were more interested in whats cooking in the house of the aunt who lives next door. In fact, probably most of our free time was spent in our neighbor’s house than our own, or in playing ‘London statue’ and ‘catching cook’ with the society kids in the building compound. 

But technology again has intervened like a jealous, stubborn girl who does not like sharing her friends with others. People are no longer a part of a neighborhood. Playgrounds lie in desolation with an exception of a few lonely kids once in a while. Today’s children have virtual friends called Angelina, virtual pets like ‘Talking Tom’ and a motion-sensored Xbox 360 to play games like tennis and football without actually going outdoors. I asked my kid sister if she knows how to play hopscotch, only to get a devastating reply, ‘what is hopscotch?’ 

While adults of the house spend much of their free time in stalking people on Facebook, checking out (and burning in jealousy, ofcourse) holiday pictures of high school batchmates they haven’t probably met since farewell. But ask them about their neighbors and you would probably be informed that they are not nosy neighbors. 

I don’t know how many of you all would agree but I really miss those days when I could get a ready solution to any problem from my neighbor. There wasn’t any need of joining any kind of support group then. Although the idea of virtual friends is interesting and the benefits of social media probably outnumber the drawbacks, I believe once in a while we need to be grounded to reality. We need to retain the good practices of our ancestors to ensure that they are not lost forever in this digital era. 

   

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Iman لإيمان‎

On faith…

Being an Eccentric

Faith. It is such a strong emotion. For those who believe, it dwells deep within, but very often, it completely ricochets off those who are less fortunate. Such a person is doomed to become hopeless, because every relationship on the planet is driven by faith. The Creator demands a sense of faith from His creations. The newborn has faith in its producer that it would be nurtured. A mother has faith in her children that they would grow up and protect her when nobody would. It is with utmost faith that a farmer ploughs his land and sows the seeds, hoping to reap a living. A mutual faith exists between lovers, a belief that they would last with the other forever. Friendship is built on the foundation of faith. However, when life gives a bitter dose at some point of time, people lose their faith. At first, they stop expecting…

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Reflections from nature

My mother has a special affinity towards flora and fauna. In favourable circumstances, she would have owned a large nursey that would be home to lovely roses, large tulips, shy touch-me-nots, white jasmines and what not. She would have also allowed parrots pigeons, sparrows and mynas to perch on the trees of her garden and rest after a labourous day. The mynas and sparrows would have sung while the pigeons and parrots would have gossiped and debated on world issues. 

I say this looking at my mother’s tiny pots of green in our balcony. She recently bought a pot of roses and a few Plumerias. At the beginning of summer she realized the difficulty neighboring birds would face subsequently upon rising temperatures and  she organized a topless wooden container which she refills on a daily basis with bird feed. This is accompanied by a tank of water. Since then, our balcony has become the hot spot for 20-30 birds a day who come in 2s and 3s for a meal and some shade from the harsh environment in another box in another section of the balcony. A latest development in our balcony is the beginning of the creation of a nest. This particular brown myna is about to become a mother and she has started building a shelter for her eggs. She actually lost an egg by laying it in one of our flower pots and that episode has taught her better. So now we see her appearing many times throughout the day clutching long twigs in her yellow beak and placing them in the comparatively quieter section of the balcony.

  

  

  

If we reflect on this simple act a bit deeper we can learn so much. I didn’t but my mother did and I am just sharing her reflections with you all. This tiny being works so hard to shelter her eggs by making a nest twig by twig. She doesn’t care about how hot the weather is and she doesn’t find the need to take anybody’s help in  doing the task. If she would have begun to think along the same lines as some humans, she also would have enjoyed her life, probably migrated to a cooler country and have the best time of her life. But she chose to fight  her circumstances and create a family against all odds. So she hunts for the perfect twig of the right shape and size that would fit the incomplete  puzzle lying in the box. She would lay her eggs which would hatch someday and then she would nurture her young ones and teach them about life. She would teach them to eat, walk and talk. Then upon arrival of the right time, she would teach them to fly. She would impart the greatest skill of her life. One fine day, she would let go. She knows how essential and significant freedom is and she knows that everyone is entitled to it, including the kids she labored on. And she would move on, not expecting one bit in return from her kids. If only the most intelligent beings on planet could perceive things the way birds do, so many lives would have been happier.

Each organism of our ecosystem has a lesson to teach us, only if we gain the right perspective.