Monday, September 12, 2016

The day that changed the World..

I don't think any of us wud forget what we were doing on September 11th 2001.
I was the Project Manager on a 8 million dollar project called Jimmy Carter Blvd in Gwinnett County, Atlanta, GA.
My first Independent project as a Project Manager, after I was trained and equipped by my employer in the arts and science of building roads n bridges. It was exciting time to be managing a path breaking project, and I was looking forward to its completion.
The kinds of reception, whistles and applause you get, after removing all barriers and traffic control devices to allow that first motorist to go thru, on the road you just build, still gives me a high.
I had just returned from my graveyard shift and was sleeping when my in-house girl frnd woke me up to break the news.
What we saw brought shock, disbelief, horror, fear and confusion. Like most Americans, I thought it must be a mistake but then the second plane hit and then I knew its more than that.
All day was spend in watching TV and absorbing the images of fear, tears and sufferings. For weeks stories that emerged kept me troubled. I still feel for the guys n gals that chose to jump from top floors...
Our World changed that day for worst.
Soon news stories started showing up of how the Arab looking or Muslims are targeted and humiliated in public places. Fortunately, I was in a great company of frnds and co-workers. Not a single incident that made me feel I am a Muslim or an outsider.
On the other hand when me and bunch of coworkers / hommies were entering a cafeteria, the African American security person stopped them for a check up and allowed me to go without frisking. After I passed thru security, I realized what she did, my humor kicked in, so I went back to her asking
" Hey you did not check me, I cud be a terrorist?"
"Not with that face honey...not with that face....go on..."
That is the American spirit that always rises from the ashes. That is the spirit we need to nurture in each other - if we want the world to not slide in the one way slope of darkness, bigotry and fear.
World can be beautiful again....yes it can...

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Khul Jaa Sim Sim...

When I got there, the tea shop was already closed for the night. The staff was standing outside unwinding - chatting.
" Chai khareedni hai"
" Kal Subah 9 baje aayen....abhi to dukaan band ho gayi"
The manager wearing a skull cap and kurta pajama spoke in a matter of fact tone.
"Kal subah hi nahi hogi bhai"
"Kiya matlab?"
"Aap ki chai pee ke meri subah hoti hai......chai nahi hai ghar pe.....suabh kaise hogi?"
The manager, giving keys of the shop to one of his employees shouted
" Aye Dukaan khol"
I smiled. I got what I wanted, and was not surprised. Have done these kinds of acts a million times by now.
In one of the stories of " The Arabian Nights", the prince's path was blocked by a boulder on the mouth of a cave. He recites a mantra " Khul Jaa Sim Sim " and the boulder gives him room to go in and rescue the princess.
Vidyawaan of the world tell us it was not the mantra that opened the mouth of the cave, bu the " Lehjaa" ( the way to speak) that did it.
I could not agree more...
I can open any door, anywhere, any time in ANY country - even in my sleep with my "timing" and "Lehjaa". This magic comes only when one has a transparent heart, a sense of humor and who cares attitude to the outcome.
Despite this a few doors just wouldnt open....
Thats the irony my frnd....thats the fascinating irony!!

Monday, February 08, 2016

Why women are not allowed in Mosques in India?

There are hundreds of other examples I can name where female worshipers were allowed in the mosque like Jama Masjid of Mandu, Feroz Shah Mosque in Hissar, Haryana, Jahan Ara mosque in Agra and Jama Masjid of Chanderi (MP), not to mention in the US all mosques have room for them.
Which genius came up with the idea that Aurat = Gunah in India?
Please enlighten....
PS: My frnd Mirza loved the sight of his then In-house girl frnd looking for him in a vast crowd after Juma prayers.....u feel like a MAN, he says as "she used to ignore everyone else"....LOL

Friday, February 05, 2016

Foreign students and evil west...

GA Tech, 1990
It was drizzling when I come out of the Civil Engineering building that night. Since lots of assignment due the next day, I had stayed back to finish them not realizing it was well past mid night...
As I came out of the the college building, the first thing I noticed was rain, and a lonely pick up truck which was passing by on the street. To beat the cold weather I decided to run home. I had barely taken a few steps that I had a mighty fall due to the slippery surface.
It was embarrassing even that late at night, so I looked up to see if the driver of the truck saw me fall. Well, he or she did. The truck had come to a complete halt.
I got up slowly, picked up my books and other stuffs and started to walk. I glanced at the truck one more time. It was still not moving. It is only when I had taken a few confident steps that the truck started to move again....
Later, I realized what really transpired.
The truck driver saw me fall and take a hit. He or she decided to wait on me to see if I needed any help. When I got up and took some steps, the driver realized that am ok and started to move again.
Its been 25 years, and dont know who the driver of that pick up truck was. I dont even know it was a male or a female, and old man or a young dude my age. The only thing I know is that he or she was a human enough to care about well being of a foreign student in his or her country.
This is how "evil west" treats its students....
The link below shows how we take care of them!
Of course, we are the best!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Woh Chota Sa Lighthouse Tha Na..
Jise Tum  Ek safar Se Khareed laayin Thi
Aur Jise Tum Ne Apne Kitchen main Sajaya Tha

Kiya Woh Ab
Bhnawar Main Phanse Kisi Maahi Ko
Raah Dikha Sakta Hai?

Zara Dekho to....

(C) shahid Shahid Parvez Sayed​, December 31st, 2015 @ 2:09am

Friday, December 25, 2015

Sadhna and Asha Parekh

Agha jaani Kashmiri writes in his memories’” Sehar Hone Tak’  that when he narrated the story of ‘Love in Simla’ to S. Mukherjee he asked me go and narrate the same to Shami Kappor. He wanted to sign Shammi for the male lead.

And then a college going kiddo with books walked in and greeted them. When Agha Jaani found out that that kid was the son of S. Mukherjee he said ‘ we have a hero in the house, why sign Shammi?”

But he can’t speak a word of Hindi

I will teach him.

That kiddo later came to be known as Joy Mukherjee.

For Heroine, R. K. Naiyyar, another young man from the stable of S. Mukherjee was adamant that he will only take Sadhna else he will not direct the film.

Another one of S. Mukherje protégé Nasir Husian was adamant that he will only make ‘ Dil Dekho Dekho’ with Asha Parekh.  S. Muekhrje wanted Sadhna to be in that film opposite Sahmmi Kapoor.

S. Mukherjee, the producer gave up on both the occasions…..

 And ‘ Dil Deke Dekho’ was made with Asha Parekh n Shammi Kapoor in 1959.

And this is how ‘ Love in Simla’ was made with Sadhna n Joy Mukehrjee in 1960.

Agha Jaani has to say this about Sadhna " Is ki Zabaan bhi saaf hai, dil bhi saaf hair aur hath bhi saaf hai. Tabiyat ki shareef, Dil ki Shareef, Nazar ki shareef - ye apne shikar ko door se shikar karna jaanti hai aur is trah ke marne wala khushi se jaan de deta hai" - Sehar Hone Tak, 1967

I discovered these geniuses during my college days. My frnds used to love Jeetu and Mithun song n dance routines – but I was in awe of these masters for their arts. I used to see these films ‘alone’ at Imperial Cinema matinee show whenever they were shown..

Even today I see films and plays alone…..

'Tumhi Ekla Chalo Re'... to yaron ki hamehsa se policy rahi hai...

But that’s another story!

Sadhna - RIP

When the good looking people that taught us how to ROMANCE go away, that is when it hits you...hits you hard.....what we are up against.....RIP

Tuesday, December 08, 2015


" Why u want to do story on me? I am old...lonely and not doing films?
"Leave that to me, I am the director. I will find the story. Aur jahan tak lonely hone ki baat hai to aap ne Ismat Chugtai ko nahi padhaa? Woh Kehti Hain One can be alone but not lonely - as u have a heart for company!". Aap to shaid Ismat Chugtai Se mili bhi hongi...."
Kiya Naam Hai Tumhara, Baaten to acchi kar lete ho? - She asked.
Right then, I knew.... I got her!
That was Nadira and the year was 1996. I was working for Anupam Kher's media company, and we had a show called " Good shot" on air at Sony TV.
I wanted to do a story on her!
Yesterday, while flipping radio channels as I drove home, I came across an old Vividh Bharti interview of her. Here she was, with her unmistakable voice and rare honesty - baring it all. That interview must have been recorded in the 80s or so I think.
She spoke about many incidents and the one that hit me was about actress Meena Kumari and how she died a lonely death. Nadisa said " Un Se sab Cheen Liya Gyaa tha. Tanha Gayin Woh Duniya Se. Main Ne apne Hathon Se Unhen Kafan Pehnayaa tha"
" Main Ne apne Hathon Se Unhen Kafan Pehnayaa Tha!"
I felt guilty for not taking my story on her further than that phone call. I dont know what she thought of me. I hope she understood that I had a boss....
I came home and googled her only to read about her painful lonely death in 2006, exactly 10 years after I had spoken with her. I felt bad, and thought more about her.
Here She was - the star of the 50s. The most sought after actress for a while, specially after Aan. The first actress to own a Rolls Royce.
A woman who had everything going for her at some point of life....died lonely! Just like her frnd Meena Kumari about whom she had spoken in that interview.
" Un Se sab Cheen Liya Gya tha - Tanha Gayin Woh. Main Ne Khud Apne Hath Se kafan Pehnaya tha Unhen!"
In the case of Nadira we dont even know who did Kafan Dafan for her and where she is buried....
PS: Why we make a big deal out of this thing....this small ...short little life of ours?
Just why?
PPS: The reasons I wrote this entry is to overcome the feeling of guilt that I felt yesterday, for not communicative enough with her! I hope she reads this somewhere....and says " Kiya Naam Hai Tumhara...baaten to acchi karte ho?
RIP, Nadira!