Monday, December 29, 2008

Tum mujhe....



Bhook aur piyaas ki maari hui is duniya main....

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Justice denied somwhere....


Its been a week since collective innocence of Mumbai city was lost. I felt violated. It was hurting to see city of my dreams raped in front  of my eyes. I went through the same emotions as any mumbaikar. The areas attacked are my stomping grounds too. However, watching the pundits and commentators on TV added to my frustration.

When  a lady on NDTV made a baseless allegation that she has seen Pakistani flags near Four Seasons hotel in Worli and advocated carpet bombing, I gave myself this assignment of visiting this locality in my next visit to the city to find the Pakistani flags. 

Next day the lady in question apologized for misinforming the public and that was end of one controversy, but I believe she has not given up on carpet bombing idea. When American Generals are on record that carpet bombing is counter productive in fighting terrorism, then why on earth you propose such an Idea on National TV?

This is what page 3 crowds does not get it. Easy cook book solution to an increasingly complex world is not the answer. We need deeper understanding of the enemy and the issues at hand. We can not fight terrorism in isolation anymore. It is as connected to e-commerce as  Dow Jones  flutucates with market sentiments world over.

While this lady experienced the action of evil on 12/26 for the first time,  I was exposed to the politics of hate when in 1984 Bhiwandi riots a classmate lost his house and possessions. We in school collected donation for him. I will forever remember the fear and anger on his face...

My point is that we need to be more pro-active when we see the evil for the first time. We can no longer feel safe when artrocities are committed elsewhere on our globe. Take for example this  story  Times of India ran of a woman named Shanti Lata who was paraded naked on the street of Bangara villege in JajpurOrissa. Her crime: Her son fell in love with  a girl and ran away with her. While she was paraded someone opened her mouth and peed in it ( Yeah, I know how you feel...please feel it). When she went to register the police complaint she was harassed further by the men in khaki. She finally went to the court. 

You might say it is horrible and walk away from it. Well, fyi that is not an option anymore. We all must feel violated at this horrible crime. If you search google for " women paraded naked in India" it brings  109,000 results worth 10 pages.  This has been going on since we started documenting these crimes. How long can we allow majority of India to be living in 16th century while Bangalore and Noida are leaping into 21st?

What will happen to this woman? A bunch of brave men and women in an NGO will fight on her behalf but will she ever get justice? Even if she gets justice would she be the same person before she was dishonored? How would her son react to this atrocity against her mom? Who would be held accountable if he picks up guns and joins terrorist gangs to take revenge? 

MLK once said" justice denied somewhere is justice denied everywhere" and it could not be more truer then these times.....

I am glad people of Mumbai rose to the occasion and saw evil in this lady's provocative statements and made sure she is corrected before its too late. 

Enough is enough...

Sunday, November 30, 2008

CST Martyrs

I read about flowers being placed at the attacked sites in memory of those that died. The same news source (Rediff.com)  mentioned that no flowers were placed at CST.  

We, again decided that even in death Rickhsaw-walah, Taxi-walahs and day laborers of the World bear thier own burdern. This time the burden of death....

I cried one more time...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Aye safar...


Raye-gan: waste
Poet: Javed Akhtar

Friday, November 28, 2008

Man ki Kitaab se Tum...



Man ki Kitaab se Tum...
Mera Naam hi Mita Dena
Gun to na Tha Koi bhi...
Ava-Gun Mere Bhula Dena!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

This american life...


One of my favorite times of the day happens around 10 pm and later. This is when I sit in my balcony with chai to reflect back, to think and to dream. These are special moments as I feel very alive enjoying serenity and peace. The only sound that I hear is that of water flowing along the creek that runs some 20 yards away from me and occasional sirens of the cops taking care of business nearby or rushing to an auto accident. Some time If am lucky, I get to see the bunch of deers hang around the creek unmindful of my presence.

Last month, I was enjoying my moments under the Moon when I heard a woman scream. She seemed to be in pain. Then I heard a man who too was in some kind of a trouble. The trouble was not ordinary.  These are the only troubles in life when no one asks for help. You are on your own buddy. The beauty of these sounds is that it makes you nervous, curious, and envious in that order. In addition to raising your heart beats to 175 per minute without going to the gym.

Homes and apartment in America are usually constructed from the locally available cheap material which is usually wood. As a result the walls or partitions are wafer thin and with a little sensitivity one can hear what is happening next door. 

My curiosity helped me figure out that the "miracle" is played out right below my apartment. Oh my God!  Now, how am I going to sleep in this hara-kiri was the first thought that came to mind? I tried to take my mind off by reading a book, watching Sarah Palin speeches to writing a poem. Nothing worked. I slept only after Storm subsided and calm prevailed..... which was pretty late at night.

The next day I shared the story with Mullah Louis and the gang, and all of them enjoyed my discomfort thoroughly. 

Mullah1: Man you should have used your film making skills to record it. These kinds of films are the only ones that never flop.

Me: Thanks for the idea...

Mullah2: How do you know it is just one man and one woman?

Me: Because, I am not as pervert as you are..

Mullah3: Come on man, you are from the land of "Kama Sutra", you should know how to handle this?

Me: I don’t think Kama Sutra has answers to lifes all the problems, besides kama-Sutra without Rekha makes no sense to me...

Mullah4: One way to handle this would be to get married, brother!

Me: Get married because someone is handling the situation carelessly...

Mullah5: Why don’t you just join them? More the merrier...

Me: Now, that sounds like a plan - you idiot...

Mullah6: Well, this could be women too, you never know....

Me: oh My God...

In short, they all made fun of me for paying attention to small "pains" like these.

I spoke to a buddy in Mumbai. He too laughed “How do those voices sound?". If anyone has any doubt of my sharafat here is your answer. My best friend, married with children, has no clue to what sounds a woman is capable of making. " Namaz padha kar" was the only advice he offered.

My "problems" are getting "longer" and are happening at odd hours now. It is like free for all at any time from 10 pm, 1 am, and 3:30am. One time it even happened at 6:45 on a Monday morning. Don't these guys have a job to report to, and why do they make so much cheek pukkar as if there is no tomorrow? 

ps: Its 11:15 at night. I know what you thinking!!

BRB...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Monday, November 17, 2008

Barkat Husain Obama...






“Yet even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there are not a liberal America and a conservative America -- there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America. The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I've got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States. We coach Little League in the Blue States and have gay friends in the Red States. There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and patriots who supported it. We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America”

It was at 2004 Democratic convention that when I heard this black politician by an un-usual name of Barrack Obama give a passionate speech. We all had gone through the pain and agonies of "hanging chads" in 2000, and were glued to the TV sets to see how Democrats plan to mount a challenge to a war President.

I felt electric current run through my body when he delivered those lines. I reached out to the nearest “ khbusurat muskurahaton" wali FPN and said " Banda bada zabardast hai – Presidential material. This guy will run for office one day!” She agreed with me, which was very rare occurence those days.

Soon after the speech that jebroni came down the stage. Gwen Iffil of PBS interviewed him further revealing his inner personality. I found a consistency in his thoughts and some frank honesty. It is easy to act out a speech on stage but difficult to survive an onslaught from the reporters. He was impressive with his clarity of thoughts and choice of words. I found him to be a thinker and intellectual type, something to look out for...

So, when I saw him that chilly morning of February 10, 2006, outside the old state Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois announcing his candidacy, I was not surprised. He spoke from the heart and was full of hope and wisdom. So far so good, the question that I had was how far he would be “allowed” to go before he was knocked down by the establishment? He had said “This campaign has to be about you and not me”…..

Thus began a journey that history will hold dear for millenniums to come. Schools, colleges, holidays will be named after this man called Barack Husain Obama. Films will be made on his life and he will occupy the imagination of the writers and thinkers for hundreds of years to come. What a story….what a man!

I have followed his every speech, his every move, every act on the campaign trail in the last two years. For a student of political science his journey is a great case to study. I saw how main stream America reacted to him and how all the events played out.

When John McCain suspended his campaign to go to Washington DC to help pass the bailout package I thought it’s over for Mr.Obama. That was a clever move from a veteran as one should stay away from politics to help the nation. He refused to suspend his campaign and said "a President is supposed to do many things at once", thus forcing Mr. McCain to show up for the previously scheduled debate.

This was the first time I made political contributions as anyone who is willing to knock down man-made boundries ought to be supported. I do not see him as black or someone with a Muslim name. For me, any politician that uses the sentence “let us change the world” is an automatic ally. Someone to help out with, someone to make room for, someone to fight for….

I am hoping for a day when he makes a speech that goes like “ There is no Muslim World, Hindu World, Christian World and a Jew World – there is one just World. We have friends in Israel as well as in Saudi Arabia. We hang around with Africans and fall in love with the Turks. We worship the same Abrahmic God in a synagogue as in a Mosque. We may have different colors of skin, speak hundreds of languages, eat all kinds of food and live in 183 countries but we all are ONE PEOPLE – all 6.602 Billion of us.

We will not let them divide us in the name of religion, color and nationality. We will not let them make us take arms against each other in Iraq, Dafur and Kashmir. If a Kasmiri Pandit is thrown out of his home then we all becomes homeless. When a 50,000 lbs bomb is dropped on an Afghan family then we all would consider it a crime against all of us. We will rise and shut down these bazaars of narrow-mildedness that sell nothing but hatred for fellow human beings…we stand together as one people, one nation so help us God!”

Insha-allah!

BTW that “nearest FPN” ended up watching the acceptance speech of Mr. Obama farthest from me - with someone else. What differnce a mere four years can make.I wonder if anyone noticed that she was thinking of the last democractic convetion in 2000 and more. Good for her!

I had tears in my eyes when Barrack Obama walked up to the stage and said “And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world – our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared”……

Sure Mr. President our destiny is shared...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice...


While they are at it, wouldn't it be nice for these ladies and gentlemen to come up with a consistent definition of a terrorist?

Terrorism of all shapes and forms affects us with same brutality as do these unregulated financial markets. It leaves death, poverty and tears behind similar to what subprime lending and other financial engineering instruments have done to so far. How about deciding on a clear definition of a terrorist and then agreeing to hunt them down wherever they might be...

Our future generations would have a good shot at peace and prosperity, if we tackle this single most issue of our times in a fair and consistent manner. To me that would be much more significance than talking dollars and cents!

God, it feels good...



Still, a sher from some Shakeel Jamali ( Thanks to Indscribe for correction) showed up...

" Tum Aasmano ki Bulandiyon se  Jald Laut Aaana
Hamen Zameen ke Masyal pe Baat Karni hai..."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is there something wrong?

"Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country? The answer is no. That's not America. Is there something wrong with a seven-year-old Muslim-American kid believing he or she could be president? Yet I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that he is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America.

I feel particularly strong about this because of a picture I saw in a magazine. It was a photo essay about troops who were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. And one picture at the tail end of this photo essay, was of a mother at Arlington Cemetery and she had her head on the headstone of her son's grave. And as the picture focused in, you could see the writing on the headstone, and it gave his awards - Purple Heart, Bronze Star - showed that he died in Iraq, gave his date of birth, date of death, he was 20 years old. And then at the very top of the head stone, it didn't have a Christian cross. It didn't have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith.

And his name was Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan. And he was an American. He was born in New Jersey. He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life."

These are the comments made by General Colin Powell while endorsing Senator Obama for the Presidency of the United States of America. He referred to this picture when speaking to Tom Brokaw at Meet the Press this morning. I had no clue which picture he is talking about until I found it this evening. I looked at this picture for long time and felt deeply for this mother whose other 20 year old child, most likely would not be considered "clean" today unless proved otherwise....what we are looking at is not a headstone but a mom's heart ripped apart and buried in the ground.

It's about time sanity, peace and rationalism prevails in this world...This the America of Lincoln and Jefferson that beckoned me when I was growing up in India. This is the America of Steve Jobs and Warren Buffet that I found an ideal place to live in and dream. This is the America of Jimmy Carter and Garrison Kiellor that made me leave my loved ones and more. This is the America that I thought would be free from corruption, hatred, rapes, killings, riots, divisive politics that my country of birth always had a copyright on ....

This is the America that we all need at this crucial moment of our collective civilization!

(Photo: The New Yorker)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

You...


It’s past midnight here in Atlanta, GA and I am writing about you on my blog. Why? Why now after so many years? I don’t know. I just do not know. Just felt like it.

I have been missing you more since my office moved in to the building on North Avenue. While we were enjoying the views of midtown from 27th floor, I saw the College of Management at Georgia Tech. I saw that classroom, conference room, that tree outside and I saw that lonely bench underneath the tree - and I saw you!

My friend Shakir found me after 15 years. The first thing he did was to enquire about your whereabouts. I had no update, no information to give. I never made an attempt to meet you or find you since we departed.... I am a man of my words.

I don’t know why we were attracted toward each other to begin with? I have some clue of my reasons, but you had no reason to come close to a small time jebroni like me. Back then, I had nothing, not even a basic car. I was surprised when one day in the conference room you touched my face and said " Shahid, I never imagined I would fall in love with some one from overseas". I was surprised. I assumed you were joking, pagal hai - I thought?...apparently you were not!

I was the only engineering graduate to have signed up for Org behavior in the school of management. That is when I met you for the first time. I, a jebroni and you, the most beautiful thing in the class. You with Brunette hair, deep dimples and green eyes that used to disarm and grab me by my senses.

Do you remember one day during the class I started writing your name in Hindi in your notebook and you in turn responded by writing mine in French.? I came back with Urdu and you chose German to write my name. We kept going back and forth oblivious to the ongoing class. I don’t remember how many languages we exhausted until we found the professor shouting in our direction " IS THIS SOME KIND OF A UNDERGRADUATE CLASS?” The entire class burst into laughter. I felt good for some reasons - you were embarrassed!

That moment changed a lot though, and everyone in the class after that started looking at us differently. My other fiends who were in the reckoning to get your attention gave up after that.....life was not the same! I knew I was the chosen one. I remember telling you after the class that if I end up making movies, this scene will find a place...you just smiled and kept walking.

I used to feel protected while hanging around you. I used to enjoy those long drives with no destinations. Your talks of contributing and changing the world still live in my imagination. My writings and films do show a flavor of what we used to talk back then. I have not changed!

One day, when a bully made me realize that " America is not your country", I was feeling depressed and down when you showed up and took me to the library. Thrusting the constitution of the United States in my hands you said, " This is as much as your country as theirs, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, Shahid!".

You always pronounced my name right. I was surprised and wondered where and how you learned to pronounce my name properly. It’s been so many years now and yet my friends and colleagues don’t call me Shahid, I am Shaheeed to them. The other day Mullah's FPN called my name properly. I missed you!

In spite of being such a gem of a person you had complexities too. You never allowed me to take your pictures. One evening, while we were driving under a moon lit night, I wanted to take your pictures. I had bought a camera for that purpose. You said no and that was it. I pleaded and cited the magic of moonlight dancing on your face, the poetry of the moment, the lovely environment. But you did not relent even at the cost of me remaining upset for a few days.

However, a week before my departure for India, you came to my apartment with a few pictures. This time I did not even ask for them. I don’t remember what happened other then that Shakir was not in, and I was watching Atlanta play Minnesota for the World Series. I was totally engrossed in the game when you showed up.... I took the pictures from you but did not open the envelope as I was waiting for a commercial break. In a few seconds you did a reversal, and announced you not only wanted to go but also would like to take the picture back as well.

I still have those pictures...

I always admired your ability to rise above the petty boundaries of religion, border and color. You wanted to " go work in a third world country and contribute". You were a global citizen even before it became a buzzword. Mullah says “by working and living in Vermont you are like living and contributing to a third world Country”. You have kept your words! (Please don't mind him. He is a dear friend and an occasional side-kick).

Ps: I found you on classmate’s finder web site. It provided me all the information about you like where you are now, where have you been since leaving Tech and whom you are married to? What distance you have traveled!

PPS: I am not going to call you. I am a man of my words!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

An enemy of the people...

(From " an enemy of the people" by Henrik Ibsen, 1882)

(Thanks to a friend for this jewel)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aise bikhre hain raat din...

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=SOuCYDW06v0

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

an angry Indian...

No, its is not me. I am too cool too be angry! It is this certified jebroni called Yaamyn and he has written an excellent post that I wanted to share with y'all.

I always predicted that when this new Indian; who has never even heard nor seen any firecracker go off for a Pakistani win, and who being a global citizen never rooted for any one team shows up - we will be in trouble. Here is one of them.

This new Indian is not going to be apologetic about 1947 and other usual charges that folks keep repeating like a broken record. He is not going to support or defend criminals from both the sides of the fence. He is going to speak his mind and make good sense...

He is here , but please understand he is in your face type of guy who takes no prisoners!

PS: All we need is a few good men/women, a bunch of Indians from all sides, and we may have a beginning of the dream that Gandhi saw...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Banjaara...


Main Bechara
Ek Banjara
Awara Phirte Phirte jab thak jaonga
Tanhayee ke Teele par Ja kar Baithoonga
Phir Jaise Pehchaan ke mujh ko
Ek Banjara jaan ke mujh ko
Waqt ke agle Shahr ke
Saare Nanhe Munne Bhole Bhaale Lamhe
Nange Paoon
Daude Dadue Bahage-Bhaage aa jayenge
Mujh ko gher ke baithenge
Aur mujh se Kahnege
Kiyon Banjare
Tum to Waqt ke kitne Shahron se Guzre ho
Un Shahron ki Koi Kahaani Hamen Sunao..

Un se Kahoonga
Nanhe Lamho
Ek thi Raani...

Sun ke kahaani
Saare Nanhe Lamhe
Gamgeen Ho kar mujh se puchenge
TUM kiyoon un ke shahr na aayin?

Lekin un ko Behlaa Loonga
Un se Kahoonga
Ye Mat pucho
Aankhe mundo...
Aur Ye Socho....

Tum Hoti to kaisa hota?
Tum is Baat pe Hairan hoti
Tum us baat pe Kitni Hansti?
Tum Hoti to Aisa Hota...
Tum hoti to Waisa Hota...

(C)Tarkash by Javed Akhtar

Monday, September 08, 2008

aaj ka din...


Sulagti yadon ke is dariya ko Utar Jaane do
Aaj ka din yunhi, bas yun hi guzar jaane do!

Kaun aaya hai yahan? Kaun aataa hai yahan?
Makaan-e- Dil ki har Deewar ko gir Jaane do.

Aaj ka din yunhi, bas yun hi Guzar Jaane do!

(C) Shahdi Sayed, September 1, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Tinkon ka bas ek Aashiyan...


Its 2 am in Delhi, India. I just got off the phone after arguing my case with Sunita Mishra of " Aap itne haseen na hote to bhai bana leti " fame. I am the only one who can wake her up at 2 in the morning and start an intellectual conversation without getting a lesson on time etiquette!

The issue for the night was home - sweet home as they sold to all of us long time ago. I am not anti-civilization but I have come to the conclusion that it is the quest of this sweet home that is the root cause of all the wars, hunger and poverty in this world. This is the genesis of all the evils that we see on TV and read in the papers every day.

I can explain.

For a moment go back to your teenage years when the world used to look so romantic. When we knew only friends and not Hindus, Muslims and Christians. When we used to hang around the St. Mary's Church at Byculla at certain time to get a glimpse of a christian girl who used to be a visitor there. We used to wear cross and show up in the church because we wanted to be friends with her and we did not believe any made walls and beliefs should stop us.

We were in the business of breaking walls no matter high and mighty and un touchable they were. Some jebronis still do that in the world albeit on a minor scale. World was an idealistic place where no one was a stranger. We were like one big family. We used to fight along with our Hindu friends against any bully that showed up to fight them.

Cut to present day:

Now after marrying the girl that parents selected after checking the jaat, caste and religion; buying a house after making sure no one "who is not like us lived there" and sending our kids to "our" types of school, we have become so unlike what we were when we were growing up?

What the f***k happened?

The search for that "Tinkon ka aashiyana" is one reason beside our communal DNA. How else could you explain a guy who dated Muslim girl and almost ran away with her to marry while in college, is now making sure his kids don't make "Muslim friends?" The same chap gives charity only to Hindu organization and blames Muslims for all the evil in this world? Same goes for the Muslim gentleman too - no exceptions in this Olympics of hating other human beings.

I think buying or building a house brings a sense of permanency in human mind. That permanency is the reason in limiting a man's vision. Throw in a wife and a kid and now you have a gentleman who is willing to bomb the whole world if need be, in order to save these two. Because they are HIS own, that is HIS house. This gentleman NOW wants to play God to his family, and make sure they and their future generation are safe against the perceived enemy. This love for my wife, my home and my kids makes us so small and childish that it seems so funny.

Julia Roberts made a documentary on some tribes living in Mongolia. She went there with a crew and spent a couple of weeks in the middle of nowhere. You see her from getting shocked at every day lives there to finding peace and serenity in that environment. That tribe has no doors, no locks - nothing. Nobody steals anything there. Even the horses are left un-tied at night outside and yet they don't run away. These tribes don't own things and lands. They just stop at a place, live for sometime and move on. They don't have wars, and they don't practice hatred there. Everything is considered temporary in their world, which we don't seems to get!

Most of my friends have house, kids and wives . Every time I visit their homes these thoughts expressed on this blog get reinforced. I witness their turnaround from a global citizen to a " Khao, Khujao and Batti Bujaho" type. They don't care what happens in the the next gully, forget about the next mohallah or the next town. As the kids are growing and becoming open and internationals these parents who were like their kids 15 years ago going local - very local - only 3500 Sft worth.

Sunita wants me to own a house, get married and settle down. I too want to get married and settled own but without owning lands and things as they, in my mind are the beginning of the journey of selfishness. The folks, I consider my heroes never "owned" things. Be it a general who ruled half the world and lived in $5 tent, as Bill Clinton calls it, to humanist businessman JRD Tata.

Today, in this world everyone and everything looks mine. Why would I want to exchange this wide world for 3500 SFT of concrete and wood?

Mullah says I should watch out for this tendency of thinking "everything is so mine" as it may one day result in believing that other people's kids and wives are yours too?

Well, I will take the fifth amendment on that one!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Secured Be-wafaiyan..


I did not realize the difficulty I am going to face transporting new TV to my house when I bought it. So here I was, in my parking lot experiencing what I call an "American moment" which basically means "you are always alone every time - all the time!". Contrast that to an Indian version of it which means " You are never- ever-goddamned ever alone!".

I was about to give a shout at Mullah or Manohar when I saw these two kids approach me. They offered to help me with TV and I graciously accepted it. While upstairs they placed the TV at the right place and before I could thank, they asked for my permission to preach me. They belonged to the Chucrh of Mormon and were on a one year assignment preaching away from home. They go door to door sharing good news about their Lord with "hell-bound" people like me.

I offered them seats, cokes and rapt attention but only on one condition, that they will let me also preach for 5 minutes. They accepted and preached me about their faith and how it began when in 1830, a 15 year old boy named Joseph Smith Jr. (1805-1844), had a visit from Jesus Christ who asked him to start a new church now known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah -- a state that is now 70% Mormon).

I don't have a yearning for religious change in my life and am not looking for any other outlet for satisfying my need for a higher being. I am completely at peace being a Muslim even though Yaar log from both the sides of the aisle have done an excellent job turning it into some kind of a terrorist cult. I enjoy the philosophical sides of every religion. Give me a religion, any religion and I will find something to rejoice about.

One of my favorite story is that of Ganesha when he along with his brother was asked by his parents to lagao a chakkar of the world in order to get a toy. The brother runs off in a hurry but Ganehsa just revolves around the parents saying you are my world and I have completed the chakkar of my world. How can you beat that for motivation and love? I use this story sometime to the amazement of my audiences to make a point.

When they finished and gave me the Mormon Bible it was my time to preach as promised. And my convesration went like this:

Me: Kids, how old are you?
Both: 15 and 14
Me: What if I tell you that you can receive a half a million dollars 20 years from now...
Both: How?
Me: Just invest you lunch money in a mutual fund for 20 years.

Their jaws drooped and eyes wide opened - as expected.

Me: I am serious kids. Look if you invest $6 dollars, your lunch money into any mutual fund for 20 years you will have a $500,000 in your account. I don't know what future holds for you and what calamities await you. I don't know which woman is going to drop a nuclear bomb in your heart, or who is going to stab in your back and what disease or divorce you are going to pick up when you are 35. Whatever it is, with half a million dollars in your bank you would be able to deal with it...

When those kids were leaving, I could see from their lit up eyes that my preaching did pay off and they may invest in the market to attain future security!

Whenever I share this story with Mullah; I always complain to him that, no one told me this when I was 15 otherwise I would be a millionaire. Every time he asks "was there any lunch money available to you when you were 15?"

Every time I take a deep sigh.....

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mr. and Mrs. Iyer

This is Jahangir Chaudry, he is muslim...

Just saw Mr. and Mrs. Iyer for the n+100th time.
You make one film like this, and you know you have paid your dues to the humanity. You have paid debts to all those that showed up in your life when you had given up on everything between heaven and earth....

Pure magic indeed!

The truth about cats and dogs...


“People, I can’t see, my mind is dead and I am totally exhausted and will not be able to drive back home-- someone please either drop me home or take me to your house and put me to sleep for tonight.”

I announced that to my "Investment Analysis" class a few weeks ago amid roaring laughter. Folks, enjoyed “put me to sleep” thingy and went back to their conversations. A couple of potential volunteers showed interest and one of them, my favorite one, even stopped by my desk. (You know you have arrived as a writer, when you can predict the reactions of your audiences, and this time I was right on the money.)

Volunteer: Hey, Are you ok? What is going on?
Me: Nothing, just tired. I have too much going on with full time job, script writing and these four courses.
Volunteer: Oh, I am sorry! Take it easy. Look, I would have taken you home but you know Toby lives with me…
Me: That’s cool. I can sleep with Toby in the living room….it is just one night.
Volunteer: Actually, Toby is my dog….
Me: No problem…I can sleep with him.
Volunteer: Well, Toby sleeps with me on my bed…
Me: Like I said, I will sleep wherever Toby sleeps…I am a man of words (You just can not take Mumbai out of a Miya bhai!)

I have been observing American love affair with things doggy for quite sometime now. And I am surprised to see that this habit of "having dogs" has taken obsessive proportions, especially when it comes to blondes FPNs. I have seen simultaneous promotions of dogs and demotions of men in many households as soon as the dogs arrived.

Apna Manohar Parsad Yadav has been noticing it too. The other day we were driving to see “Kismat Konnection” when he started using B*&#$% and Maa&*($#. I asked ke “bhaiyya Manohar kiya bad tameezi hai?” He pointed towards the neighbouring car, which had a ravishing FPN with equally ravishing Chuchuua sitting on her lap – staring at Manohar.
“ Salaa kutte ka bccha Moonh chida raha hai”…. Manohar thundered.
Yaar masoom janwar hai….kiyoon tention lete ho?
‘Us gaud main baith ke koi masoom nahi rehta –dekho kaise!…”

Even Mullah Luis gets fired up when talking about his girl friend and her two dogs. He says, they have cost him almost ten thousand dollars in two years by tearing up the carpets and just messing up the place. What really makes him mad is that his FPN does not consider this additional cost as a cost of maintaining dogs. She thinks that dog cost only dog foods. In addition, it is his duty to “walk them” at least four times a day. As a result he ends up spending more time with dogs than with his southern Belle. Mullah says “In a house cohabited by an FPN, a dog and a man – there is only one who is really enjoying life and it is NOT man!”

And then there are love affairs that get derailed as soon as girls find out that the guy they thought “perfect”, does not like pets. A friend from Dallas, TX dropped her Pakistani boyfriend because he was not fond of dogs and she could not take his indifference to her dog any more. Well, she has no idea that per famous humorist Mushatq Ahamd Yusufi, “Muslims do not take those animals as pets that they can not eat!!”

Well, there are many more cases I can recall. The point is, what is going on in the other half world? What lead to this over obsession with dogs and other pets among females? A sociologist can answer those questions with more authority and qualitative research but me think that women are trying to fill the gap of loyalty left by men. The only claim to fame that dog have is loyalty. They are the only animals on planet that earn their livelihood on being loyal. Women know that dog is the only one who would not react negatively to their ageing process, ups and downs of life and the break down of other things they hold dear…

The second reason that comes readily to mind is the need to love and be loved. We all have this innate need to love someone unconditionally. All right, not all but most of us! And an ugly looking Chihuahua fulfils that need with perfection. Have you seen a dog jump all over you as you enter the house after work? It is a good sight to see and a horrible thing to experience, that in spite of all your charm and wit, a dog wins each time in getting the best deal.

And finally, women of all ages and nationalities like to have kids. It is part of their DNA. They put off having kids due to work and other ambitions. A dog becomes that child that they could not have.

Sometime I think going back to the “basics” is the only way to salvation….

Mullah thinks that women, by taking dogs all the way to beds are trying to convert dog into a human being. He doubts Mr. Darwin’s theory of men going from 4-legged monkey to two-legged men a mater of mere “selection”. He thinks there must have been woman who turned chimps into men…and it is the turn of dogs now to be converted to men. However, he highly doubts if dogs would enjoy being men…

I hope someone is documenting the contribution of women in this doggy evolution…

Well, I ended up driving home after the class. It was well past 11 and I drove at least 50 mph less than the posted speed limit, which was 55 MPH. Thankfully no cop stopped me for driving too slow. What I really wanted to do was to turn around and go north, and show up outside an apartment in Cartersville, GA . I wanted to do a Dahrmendara Paa Ji stunt and call that damn Toby out and shout “ Kutte Kamine bahar nikal, main tera khoon pee jaoonga”…

Well, That did not happen and man lost to a dog, again!

I hate dogs...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"War is over Mom...!"



Suicides among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan are reaching epidemic proportions. More than 6,000 veterans took their lives in 2005 alone, according to a study by CBS News. By some estimates, veterans are attempting suicide 1,000 times a month. Marine Corporal James Jenkins of New Jersey was one of these unsung casualties of war. A decorated veteran of the Iraq invasion and the Battle of Najaf, he took his own life after serving 22 months overseas. His mother, Cynthia Fleming, shares his story with ANP - a tragedy that is being repeated 15 times a day in this country. ( Source: American News Project)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Un aankhon main...

Bichadte Wakt Un Aankhon Main thi Hamari Ghazal
Ghazal Bhi Woh jo Kisi ki Abhi Sunayi Na Thi......!

Adawaten thi, Taghaful tha, Ranjhishen Thin Magar
Bichadne Waale main Sab kuch tha Be-Wafayi Na thi.

Woh Humsafar tha Magar Us se Hum-Nawayi Na Thi...
Ke Dhoop Chaoon Ka Alam Raha Judayi Na Thi...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Pfc Joseph Dwyer, (1977-2008)

"The photo above captures everything that Americans wanted to believe about the Iraq war in the earliest days of the invasion in 2003. Pfc. Joseph Dwyer, an Army medic whose unit was fighting its way up the Euphrates to Baghdad, cradles a wounded boy. The child is half-naked and helpless, but trusting. Private Dwyer’s face is strained but calm.

That story turned bitter years ago, of course. And the mountain of sorrows keeps growing: Mr. Dwyer died last month in North Carolina. He was 31 and very sick. For years he had been in and out of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction. He was seized by fearful delusions and fits of violence and rage. His wife left him to save herself and their young daughter. When the police were called to Mr. Dwyer’s apartment on June 28, he was alone. They broke down the door and found him dying among pill bottles and cans of cleaning solvent that friends said he sniffed to deaden his pain"....(New York Times Editorial, July 15, 2008)

"When people would teasingly call him "war hero" and ask him to tell about his experiences, or about the famous photo, he would steer the conversation toward the others he'd served with. But Dwyer once confided that another image, also involving a child, disturbed him.

He was standing next to a soldier during a firefight when a boy rode up on a bicycle and stopped beside a weapon lying in the dirt. Under his breath, the soldier beside Dwyer whispered, "Don't pick it up, kid. Don't pick it up."

The boy reached for the weapon and was blasted off his bike." - Yahoo news

It is unfortunate that a day after my last blog entry I found this news about Pfc Joe Dwyer. Dwyer told Newsday that he'd lied on a post-deployment questionnaire that asked whether he'd been disturbed by what he'd seen and done in Iraq.

Sad indeed...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Old men start wars...


Jaane kiya Soch ke Rota Raha Qatil Tanha...

"Old men start wars. Young men fight them. And everyone in the middle gets killed. War is natural. Peace is an accident. We're animals." - A dialogue from Sylvester Stallone’s last movie Rambo (2008). Sylvester Stallone edited this dialogue out and you don’t see him say those lines anymore.

Artists are the conscience of any society and no artist should be afraid to tell the truth, otherwise he or she is not an artist but a glorified baniya!

Above an American GI holding a dead baby in Iraq after the bombing that killed her. It is apparent that the baby is dead but a little sensitivity can conclude that a part of this GI is also killed along with her.

No amount of training can prepare you for this and you just can't walk away from this experience "alive". This guy or gal will be in the US whenever his/her time is done and would re-join the civilian life. Everything will go back to normal like parties, shopping, graduation and ball games - only he or she would know that he or she is a "dead man walking!"

War will come to an end sometime. Deads will be counted, memorials on both sides of Atlantic will be built and re-construction will begin. But war will never end for this GI as long as he/she is alive!

This is how it is in the death lane...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

She...

My mind is jumping from one thought to another after experiencing this picture. While we went about our business of living life, God knows what happened to this poor thing.

Looks at her closely. It seems like she has not take bath for days. Notice her dress, shoes and hair. Apparently someone did her hair a few weeks before this picture was taken. Her brother has no shoes, no proper cloth, and the reason he is in his senses is because she is taking care of him- somehow. She has her arms over him indicating protection and love.........

Kids gets excited when their picture is taken.....but she is so depressed and down that she does not care anymore...

What the f***k they are debating F***g nuclear deal in the Parliament, when we have more urgent issues to attend?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Qatl ke Baad...


Sab ke Cheron pe Tabassum the Mere Qatl Ke Baad
Naa Jaane Kiya Soch ke Rota Raha Qaatil...Tanhaa?