Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
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!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
“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!”
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
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!