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What Bastards!

A Muslim playboy from Pakistan meets a mannerly Indian Hindu woman in London. Chemistry aside, fireworks ensue, that leaves them with a token in form of a son. The boy matures, despite the upheaval, by absorbing and imbibing the best of both the worlds. His attempt to get acquainted with his father is rebuffed. It is indicated by the man that he is not welcome in his life. Knowing perhaps that the wounds might yet be stinging; he endeavours to give it time when time had other things in mind: his father’s own bodyguard, who claims that he is un-Islamic, assassinates the man. His balanced and sensible mother, on the other hand chooses to side the right wing political movement. All of this takes a toll on him emotionally, and only thirty years old, life has indeed taught him well to separate the wheat from the chaff.

A man of great illumination, he keeps his head on his shoulders and becomes his own man, something that prods me to challenge the very filament of the inferior and deceptive world we inhabit. Was it his fault that he was a product of someone’s lust? Wasn’t it them, and not him, who had to be reprimanded? How can parents’ wonder, as Locke said, why the streams are bitter when they themselves have poisoned the fountain? Fortunately, not in his case, because hailing from the upper echelons, where access to the vices was only at arms length, the young man could have possibly lost himself in anything that provided him a temporary escape, and yet he picked, and so very eloquently, to channelize his energy into something that others could draw inspiration from.

As the pages of his book are open before me and my eyes are following his rather blatant account of life, my head takes a bow about how he must have gone through the torment and internalisations before becoming what he has become: his own hero. And yet the double-faced society calls him a bastard. 



Why Do We Hate?

This is a question I have often ended up asking myself, and the answers have nearly always eluded me, considering that when I tried to peep towards the shadow, the light nearby presented me the silver lining. I know it would be rather incorrect of me to assume that everyone’s life would be as clearly hassle-free as mine, but yes, at least I would like to think so. Also, a subject as inherent as hate isn’t something that could be tackled in a page, or perhaps even in a lifetime. Like the same workouts work differently for two people, contrariwise hate too is at the mercy of the individual’s capacity to come to terms with what they wish to nurture and what they choose to shed. Given the circumstances, I think it best to leave it to each individual to decode it empirically, while the least I could do is present what I might have deciphered over the years drawing from my experiences about what we hate, and why we hate.

Hatred is not something we are born with: it is a feeling we inculcate rather unknowingly from what we hear and see in our surrounding. If we do not keep what we are absorbing in check, it begins to follow a path of its own, and much without our control it tends to calcify within us leaving us little room to do away with it. 

As a Muslim by birth, I quite get asked the same question over and over again — don’t you hate the people who talk openly against you? Well, I don’t know what to say to that; I know that people sometimes care to genuinely draw you out in order to help you, and most other times they are only trying, in a cruel way, to meddle with your sentiments even while they appear to present it rather superbly gift-wrapped. As anybody would agree, bitterness in any form is unsettling, yet you could, if you wanted, eradicate it entirely from your mind. While the question is, do you?

I have been fortunate in knowing what is right from wrong for my own self, and once again, this is a perspective that is open to debate since what is right for me ought not necessarily be right for you, but that debate we shall indulge in another dialogue perhaps, for now, I would like to limit myself in pronouncing that I do believe in a superpower, that we haven’t arrived here on this earth out of nowhere, and that that superpower has the authority to influence me for being good and vice versa. People have often asked me how secular I rate the world around me. I do not think it appropriate to reply to this now, do I? Unsatisfied with my response, they further query as to where I would rate my secular metre on a scale of one to ten. Once again, I would not categorise myself as secular. It is a word that seems so sadly misused for the last decade. So what then am I? Well, I would rather find myself comfortable being termed tolerant, and even edifying, so to say, if that is any solace for that is how I think I am.

Another quintessential question I am asked regularly (at various gatherings) is my stance on Rushdie. I haven’t read Rushdie, and therefore, I am not at liberty to comment. When that is cleared, the question from Rushdie then drifts to my views on the film Innocence of Muslims. Fortunately, by the time I had had the opportunity to watch it, it had been banned, and as a consequence I was left to depend on hearsay, and hearsay is not something I rely on. Nevertheless, when I recognised the rage in the masses, I reckoned it is not without reason that it was eliciting such an adverse reaction. Yes, I would not run on the street with a sword, or vandalise property for that matter, but if I could, I certainly would like to meet the people who play up emotions and ask them without harming them or hurling any abuses, why they trample on territories when they know that all it would be doing is disturb the quiet of the society.

It is common knowledge that it takes two to tango. But wouldn’t it be better that one could step back to tempter temperatures (when one is in such a position) rather than whipping them up? While for those who succumb to such vexes, my only word of caution would be to stop awhile and think, because in the end it is a wise man indeed who could equip himself to outgrow the prejudices of his father.

Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.


Culture Shock

With the flood of holidays since last week, I was suddenly struck with the urge to watch Argo at the cinema. Checking the timing in the local daily, I found that the motion picture was not playing at my regular haunts, but was showing instead at a theatre that was five kilometres from home in a shopping precinct I hadn’t quite ventured into anytime before. Quite on my insistence, Rahul, my adopted brother and I, decided to visit the venue. Upon reaching, I found myself colliding rather head-on with nothing less than what I’d term a clear culture shock. Some might consider me a bigot for writing this, but the truth is that the people smelt different, sorry, they smelt! They were wrapped in fabric, not attired in art. They addressed each other relatively loudly: a sure sign of a lack of any social grace. Studying me intently, my brother dissolved into a knowing smile and suggested, “We could leave.” Since we were already there, I wanted to see what further surprise was in store, and was thankful in a way that the tickets were all sold. On the way out of the shopping centre, I become conscious about how we take everything around us for granted: and what a journey taking a slight detour from the road that you drove everyday can make in letting you see so much more different than what you are used to seeing.

By nature we humans like to learn and expand our metal faculties, but are we actually that vulnerable to resist our comfort zones and indulge in a dialogue with people of different kinds in order to aid that growth? As magnificent as it sounds in theory, I don’t think it is a plausible reality.

Seldom is our world turned upside down over an experience such as this, or any other. Learning, on the contrary happens little by little, drop by drop, brick by brick, and years of absorbing results in the assimilation in the library of knowledge via which we form and arrive at a worldview which leads me to ask the inherent question – what kind of experiences or people finally do end up leading us to that iterative, treasured insight that makes us interpret the world as we want it? The answer, unfortunately and blatantly I thought was to be found in the experiences and people with whom you agree nearly ninety-nine per cent.

It is obvious, much to the opinion of some, that I am not judging the world that other people inhabit; each to each, and even if I am, so be it, and now returning to the crux, perhaps all of culture, even knowledge, advance little baby steps at a time. And when I think of what has left an impression on my mind intellectually or individually, my mind retrieves most conveniently from the instances or conversations with people who have agreed with me on almost everything but not quite literally everything.  

Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.


Yash Chopra

The last time I saw Yash uncle was when I was chatting with my friend Arjun (Sablok) and he stopped by. As I customarily do, I stood up immediately upon noticing him, and he kept his hand on my shoulders and said in his enamouring tone, “Sit, beta,” he paused, studied us in a fleeting nanosecond and went on, “both of you look like you are in a serious conversation. I wouldn’t want to disturb you both. Carry on.” That said, he left the room, leaving us with his light and feel-good aura while Arjun and I returned to our discussion of films. In no time we were sent coffee and some delicious sandwiches. That was the man, who was a legend and yet the most humble and down-to-earth human being.

When I have been reading the public outpouring of grief I am hardly surprised, and for one reason above all – the human touch that he emanated like no other. In an industry where the memory of people is erased as soon and simply as the waves ebb and flow, he is someone who left an indelible mark of his personality alongside his work.  

Look at people today: they are largely known for their occupation. And it is nearly next to impossible to find a single soul whom we can discern and confidently say – Ah, the films he has made are lovely, but he is an even lovelier person to match. Well, that position was reserved for one – Yash uncle, and he took it away with him.

Love you Yash uncle.
You will be missed.


Romance and Rilke

I happened to see this image online and it enticed me so much that I knew I had to share it with everybody. And while I was admiring the state of euphoria that the couple were engulfed in, I couldn't but think of this poem of my favourite Rainer Maria Rilke. 


God speaks to each of us before we are, 
Before he's formed us then, in cloudy speech, 
But only then, he speaks these words to each 
And silently walks with us from the dark: 

Driven by your senses, dare 
To the edge of longing. Grow 
Like a fire's shadowcasting glare 
Behind assembled things, so you can spread 
Their shapes on me as clothes. 
Don't leave me bare. 

Let it all happen to you: beauty and dread. 
Simply go no feeling is too much 
And only this way can we stay in touch. 

Near here is the land 
That they call Life. 
You'll know when you arrive 
By how real it is. 

Give me your hand. 


LANDSCAPE - Henning Mella

Self-explanatory, eh.


Dempsey Mason - Raw and Fresh

They normally say that a picture says much more than words, and yet some challenge it, but when you see what I am about to present below you will know how you wouldn't need words ever to support Dempsey's energy. 

He plants seeds of joy via his images that emanate, if not anything, pure LOVE for humanity, and that too with such earnestness that more often than not his love ends up reflecting in the souls of those around him.

This is what Mason put up just a few days ago on his FB status that so aptly describes him: "A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognise it?"


Politics – The Psychology

I have been abreast with the present Arvind Kejriwal noise that unfolds on various networks with utmost regularity. While some are seething with anger against the man, some others are adjudging him a champion. A friend in the media asked me today about my stance on it. Basically, I think that all political parties are same; only the symbols separating them. And politicians are only a few shades different from each other. That cleared, I feel that whatever anybody does these days is rather short lived, and one must be careful – lest it ends up yielding in long-term sores.

Lastly, one cannot get complacent and revel in the transitory comfort zone they might have made for themselves, or so they think. Life is full circle. One must beware that the demon you have created today will come back someday and bite you.



Depression! Depression! Depression! That’s what I have been hearing from many of them around, and the news dailies too keep reporting about its effects with an almost steady regularity. This morning, I was reading that children too are affected by it. Now what sort of nonsense are the masters of information overload trying to plaster on the innocents? I can understand that children seesaw with respect to their moods, but depression is surely not something one would want to categorise their transition of learning and meaning to adapt to the novel surroundings around them to be. Adults can dip in their moods, but that’s all it is supposed to be – feel a little low, and then bounce back to being brisk once you’ve internalised and figured a way to beat the blues. Dragging children into it is something that I seriously think that the papers, media, and people at large, ought to stop doing at once. The least children warrant is drumming the depression beat in their heads.

Despite the age bar, I think that we need to entrench ourselves with the ‘think positive’ attitude no matter what bricks life throws at us. We must learn to look for the pros in the cons. We must learn to put behind us that which is unpalatable and glance towards a brighter, newer tomorrow rather than wasting time mulling over meaningless meanderings.

Image: This image does not belong to me. I have sourced it from the Internet. I do not own it, or claim copyright to it. If it is your image please do let me know if you are fine with me adding your name to it. I shall add credits to it. This is not a site for business. The images have been used for representational purposes only. If you wish, I shall take it off in case of an objection do let me know and I shall take it off. Thank you.



One can see much in nature, if only, one were careful enough to observe.


Frank Meadow Sutcliffe - London 1887

Loved the energy of this photograph.