Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tale of two Hussein's

Hussein: Arabic for Good or Handsome

Two prominent Hussein's are leading markedly different lives at the moment. Saddam Hussein, has been sentenced to death for his role in mass murder. Meanwhile in the country which overthrew Saddam Hussein's regime, Barack Hussein Obama is leading a life of messianic promise.
Barack Obama hasn't yet confirmed his intent to run for the President of the United States, but his popularity rivals that of a rock band like the Rolling Stones (incidentally formed during the cometh of the last messiah). His multicultural background, the son of an immigrant Kenyan black man and a white kansas woman, his harvard background and his charm rivalling the late JFK seems to have America caught up in the Obama fever. Irrespective of the lack of political work and breakthroughs shown in his brief stint as a senator, Obama is dangerously coming close to fulfilling the role of a saviour to take America out of its political and economic gaffe's and put it back on an even keel on the world stage. If Barack Obama does decide to enter his hat in the ring (and not just endorse the chicago bears to win the superbowl); it will be an interesting race to observe if America, in its vote for the best man or woman, chooses to ignore its past of never electing a woman or a minority as President.

The end of one Hussein's legacy may mark the beginning of another's.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Religion and State

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Keith Ellison, the first ever Muslim to be elected to the US Congress has caused a sort of a stir in political circles by refusing to take oath on the Bible and instead choosing the Koran for his oath. Unfortunately the debate has now focussed to the use of religion in matters dealing with the state instead of the more pertinent discussion of seperation of religion and state. One of my friends gave the example of Saudi Arabia (amazing how often saudi arabia crops in a conversation related to religion) where all its citizens are expected to be muslims and follow the muslim way of life, including for government matters.

I'm actually glad that America is not following the Saudi Arabia model. Infact americans should move as away from religious intolerance as possible, and not follow the example of Glenn Beck (a particularly hawkish anchor on CNN) who actually asked Keith Ellison to "prove that he is not working with the enemy"- I dont see that question being asked to any of the other non muslim Congress Representatives on the Glenn Beck show.

My two cents on the matter is, since Congressmen are asked to serve and protect the constitution, the oath should be taken on the constitution and not a religious book. Its high time we have a seperation of State and Religion and ne'er the twain shall meet.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Failing the Tibetan people

When China invaded Tibet, the Dalai Lama fled to India expecting refuge. The then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, thought very highly of the chinese and his policies reflected a distinctive pro-sino shift. He famously talked to the Dalai Lama about the importance of India's relation with China remarking 'I will educate your children, but I will not give you political support'. Nehru's expectations from the chinese all came crashing down when China invaded India in 1962 and to current date still holds a part of Indian territory in Aksai Chin.

The communist party of India which has always been a part of the ruling coalition headed by the Congress party, has always ensured that the Indian government takes a soft approach to China. In 1987-1988 along with the student protests in china, there were quite a few atrocities on the tibetan people, but India has failed to voice a protest. Emboldened china has always sought to keep the disputes between India and Pakistan simmering by arming and providing other necessary assistance to the Pakistani Army, in return getting a foothold in the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf by having a significant presence managing the Gwadar Port which is at the tip of the Persian Gulf.

Inspite of history teaching a different lesson, India seems to be repeating some of its past mistakes. On the eve of America's historic passing of the India-US Nuclear bill and making India the de-facto sixth nuclear power in the world, the Chinese President Hu Jintao is making a stop over in India on his way to Pakistan to provide the same deal to Pakistan according to rumors.

India trying to impress their host, has taken the highly undemocratic move of restricting the movement of Tenzin Tsundue a prominent pro-Tibetan independence. This is inshort saying that you may be born here, but your status is still a refugee and you have to do what we say. This unusual step of bending over backwards for a neighbour which has rarely acted in the best neighbourly interests is quite surprising and reeks of a decision influenced by the Communist Party of India.

Maybe its time for the ruling parties to have a look at history, for often History Repeats Itself.

Successful common civil code

India for years has been trying to pass a common civil code to homogenize laws between all the religious communities, but has been largely unsuccessful. Netherland took a tentative first step towards a common code amongst its citizens by banning the burqa. As is expected, this has raised a hue and cry amongst the minority muslim community about religious persecution and intolerance.

There is a saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans" or its oft misrepresented 'when in rome, do the romans' but thats a different topic completely, so coming back to the point. Whenever people visit the ultra conservative state of Saudi Arabia, all women irrespective of their religious beliefs do have to cover their heads or even wear the burqa. So I personally dont see why anyone going to Holland, shouldnt observe the customs practised over there. One's religion is a very personal thing and should always be practised in the confines of one's home. Out amongst others, no one should receive different treatment based on their religious beliefs.

Whatever be the real reason behind passing the burqa ban in holland, I'm very supportive of inclusive legislation and I believe this ban would lead to more homogenization of their culture.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Who's my bitch now

A recent picture showing Tony Blair in an almost sub-servient position while talking to George Bush epitomizing Britain's relations with the United States.

The current American administration deals with foreign policy in clear black and white terms. An historical American ally, Pakistan, found out recently when they had to choose between siding with "the coalition of the willing" to fight the Taleban and Al-Qaeda or be refuse and be termed as an enemy.

Against this backdrop India has been steadily leaning away from its traditional stand of Non Alliance (NAM) which it co-founded with Yugoslavia and Egypt during the Cold War and increasing its ties with the US Government.

The Indian government has been pushing the Civilian Nuclear Agreement which would ensure that the civilian nuclear plants would come under IAEA supervision and in return India would get raw materials and technical know how to improve its nuclear power generation. In return India has already made some tough foreign policy changes based on "American persuasion".

One of its first changes was voting against Iran in the United Nations. Iran has traditionally been an ally for the Indians and the change in stand didnt go down well for bi-lateral ties. In the meanwhile India put forward Shashi Tharoor, the current Undersecretary General of the UN, as its candidate for the Secretary General's position. Its been rumored that America used its secret veto power to reject the candidate.

Recently President Bush called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh trying to "persuade" India to vote against, fellow NAM member, Venezuela's bid for a non permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council. In trying to get the civilian nuclear agreement through, India may end up in the same situation as Britain. America may end up having options to the question, Who's my bitch now?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's been a good month for the dictators

"It is not power that corrupts but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."

Aung San Suu Kyi started her "Freedom from Fear" speech with these words. Her party won the Myanmar (formerly Burma) general elections in 1990, however the ruling military junta annulled the elections. Aung San has been under house arrest since 1989 in her quest to bring democracy to her country (reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi's and Nelson Mandela's struggles), however the world has turned their back on her and her non-oil rich country (hence not fit for democracy).

Thailand - the military staged a coup when the Prime Minister attended the UN General Assembly in New York. This isn't Thailand's first coup and it remains to be seen if Aung San's words come true.

Pakistan - President General Pervez Musharraf is on a state sponsored official tour of the United States cum book promotion tour. Its nice that the general gets to go on the Daily Show with John Stewart with the state sponsoring the expenses. Aung San's words have come true in this case as the General was supposed to call general elections three years after seizing power, maybe the millions earned in book sales would ensure a healthy retirement fund.

Monday, September 25, 2006

History is written by the victors

Been a bit caught up with life, so thought I'll get in a post in September before the month is past.

There is a general school of thought that power begets respect. Like it or not America is at the centrestage of the world power game. There will be no government in the world which would be fooling enough to pick a war with American nor try to execute an American citizen. On the other end of the spectrum, India is being bled in Kashmir where tens of thousands of its citizens have been killed, terrorists have attacked the seat of power of the country by attacking its parliament, an aircraft was hijacked to Afghanistan forcing the Foreign minister to make a trip with goodies and release of a few more terrorists who are plotting the next string of attacks; while the government has been powerless to protect its interests.

I love this country and its people, maybe there is a lesson to be learnt from here. After all, history is written by the victors.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

How ugly is too ugly

I have been reading the travel diaries of an American who travelled in India during the middle of the last century. Amongst his observations, one which particularly got my attention was his remark on 'How ugly Indian women are'.

Now, our traveller must be really disappointed and frustrated about the lack of quality in an Indian women's beauty to make such a statement. Taking the statement with all seriousness (that it no doubt deserves), there must be a scientific reason behind such a natural phenomenon. In defence of the Indian woman's ugliness, the men aren't really at the top of the social ladder either, so this malady affects the entire indian population.

In my opinion, the blame lies fair and square on the Indian tradition of arranged marriages.

Here in the Western world, the ugly women (or men for that matter) end up alone and lonely. Since the family line is not continued, the ugly gene dies right there leaving the beautiful people to repopulate and spread the beauty gene - as is their right. It's basically evolution working to make this world a better and more beautiful world.

Due to the prevalence of arranged marriage in India, even ugly people get a chance to marry and carry forward the ugly gene. Hence, unfortunately evolution hasn't yet had an oppurtunity to clean up the apparent ugliness so rampant in the Indian population. The Indian government must hence abolish arranged marriages to boost tourism, so that future travellers are always greeted with beautiful people.

On a side note, President Bush must take note too so as not to back intelligent creation over evolution, as how can God commit such a mistake as creating ugly people. After all if evolution doesn't run its due course, America will also suffer the same misfortunes plaguing India currently.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Once an outcast always an outcast

The Indian government acting on either vested interests or bureaucratic bungling failed to renew Taslima Nasreen’s visa (author of “Lajja: Shame”). As a cruel joke, they issued a tourist visa valid for 6 months.

Ms. Nasreen fled her home in Bangladesh due to a fatwa issued against her life by an Islamic cleric. Even after repeatedly expressing her desire to settle down permanently in India, the government has effectively denied her citizenship. They have decided to play into the hands of fundamental extremists and put her life in danger.

The myopic government stand has negated traditional Indian hospitality extended to political and humanitarian refugees like the Dalai Lama and condemned Taslima Nasreen to the life lived by Salman Rushdie – always on the lookout for the next extremist to take her life.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The war has come home

America has always fought its wars away so that they dont have to fight it at home, this is now coming to an end.

The western world got up today morning with the news of a new terror plot, based out of britain, being foiled. 9/11 came as a shock, the train bombings in madrid, london and bombay served as a warning and the latest news brings in a realization of, not if there will be a new attack but when.
The war being fought in a small area is slowly spreading into a global one.

President Bush stated that the fight against Islamic fascists will continue and irrespective of sentimentalities, this war is slowly and surely being polarized between muslims and the rest. After today, all airlines have rightly banned all carry on items as each side tries to identify future areas of concern. The battle for control of a mind will continue.

Sooner or later this war had to come home.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Book Review: My Forbidden Face - Latifa

"My Forbidden Face" takes you back to the days of the taliban and the atrocities perpetrated as viewed by the author. The taliban became infamous for imposing sharia and saudi influenced wahhabism under pakistani support and tacit American approval. Amidst introducing public executions and destroying afghani heritage including the historic buddhist statues at bamiyan, they introduced measures to put down women.

The book lets the readers in to the troubled past that afghanis and people in kabul lived through, especially the troubles faces by women. Its a poignant story on life under the Taliban and an inspiring story of a fight against all odds.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

India doing a China

India's rivalry with China is pretty intense and is now extending to the cyber world. Similar to the some of the moves made by its communist neighbour, the present Indian government has asked ISP's around the country to block access to around 20 websites and blogs.

Access to all blogs and websites hosted on
blogspot.com, typepad.com, blogs.com, geocities.com
have been blocked from India to prevent "anti-national and anti-inflammatory" content.

This government is famous for its nonsensical decisions. The communist left party (a coalition of the present government) and the sycophantic congress party seems to have taken a dim view of the (justified) criticizms of the current government and have resorted to fascist policies to stay in power a bit longer.

Democracy is held hostage with the current government. The government will probably not get this message, but maybe it's time for you to go.

Monday, July 17, 2006

A Tale of Two Worlds

7/11 7 Bombs ripped through trains in bombay, with one being defused. 200 dead quite a few more injured.
7/12 With public anger rising at the lack of a breakthrough the government appeals for calm and more time for investigations.
7/13 Israel attacks Lebanon as hezbollah kidnaps a couple of Israeli soldiers.

This event thousands of miles away draws widespread admiration amongst Indians against a backdrop of the Indian state appearing soft. The government under domestic pressure moves away from its stance of not directly naming Pakistan behind the attacks and hints at forces
across the border being responsible. The peace talks which were going on since 2002 are now indefinitely postponed.

With a breakthrough still not found, there is rising support amongst Indians to prove that Indian is not a soft state and adopt Israeli and American retaliation tactics.
Any and all moderate voices are being shouted down.

Israel has been retaliating against every attack on the state and yet the attacks have not stopped. 120 lebanese and 12 israeli civilians have died in the latest escalation of conflict. This number is just going to rise.

Cancelling the peace talks may or may not scupper the fledgling peace talks, but a lot of people with feelings of retribution may fail to realize the efficacy of retaliation.

How many deaths is enough for any side to have its retribution?

Satyam eva Jayate (Truth only prevails)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A life well lived

Bekhudee kee jindagi hum jiya nahi karte,
Jaam doosron se chheen kar hum piya nahi karte,
Unko mohabbat hain to aakar izhaar kare,
Peechha hum bhi kisika kiya nahi karte.

Phool hoon gulab kaa chameli ka mat samajhna,
Aashiq hoon aapka, apne saheli ka mat samajhna

Tere Dil Mein Meri Saanson Ko Panaah Mil Jaaye,
Tere Ishq Mein Meri Jaan Fanaa Ho Jaaye

A protestor of the movie "Fanaa" died of his injuries suffered due to self-immolation. The ruling BJP party in the state of gujrat banned the movie after the lead actor criticized the government efforts in the rehabilitation of the farmers affected by the Narmada river dam. The views (not different from the Supreme Court ruling) were seen as a personal affront to the party, even
though the movie had no connection to the political scenario.

After the supreme court overturn on the ban, the movie was released in one movie theatre in the entire state. One of the protestors of the movie then set fire to himself as an act of protest. The region faces chronic droughts, the infrastructure is non existant, has a history of religious tensions and the most worthy reason the youth had to end his life was to protest a badly made movie. To add to the thoughtlessness of the entire situation, locals thought his sacrifice was for a good cause and raised 100000 Rs for his family.

All in all, by general consensus, a life well lived.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Get your betting money out, the world cup is here

I've been following the 2006 Football world cup without picking a team to support (India sucks as they can't qualify for the world cup qualifiers) . Now after analyzing the games here are my world cup predictions.

(1-First Place, 2-Second Place, Alphabets are the groups)

1A Germany v Sweden 2B - Germany
1C Argentina v Angola 2D - Argentina
1B England v Ecuador 2A - England
1D Portugal v Netherland 2c - Netherland
1E Italy v Australia 2F - Italy
1G SKorea v Ukraine 2H - Ukraine
1F Brazil v Ghana 2E - Brazil
1H Spain v Swiss 2G - Spain

Germany v Argentina - Argentina - :) due apologies to german fans, I know they are good
England v Netherland - England
Italy v Ukraine - Italy
Brazil v Spain - Brazil

Argentina v Italy - Argentina
England v Brazil - Brazil (oh come on english fans, I hope u seriously didn't think you would win the world cup)

Argentina v Brazil - BRAZIL!!!

So if you are looking at betting predictions for the winner of this year's world cup, go for brazil.... ole ole ole ole ole viva la brazil. Brazilian fans make room for the sixth star on your jersey.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Hoping for a diamond

I've just got back from a short vacation around this beautiful country. Drove around 2500 miles across the east and north eastern parts of the country.During my travel, I visited the Smithsonian Institute in DC where amongst the fine items on display, was the Hope Diamond.

Now the "Hope Diamond" has a bloody history associated with it.

It was originally mined in India in the Golconda region. Legend has it that the French traveller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier stole it from a Hindu idol of Sita. The Hope diamond made the eye of Sita and the priests on knowing it was stolen placed a curse on whoever owned the diamond.

Tavernier later sold the diamond to King Louis XIV of France. The diamond was passed down the line to King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who were beheaded during the French Revolution. The crown jewels were stolen thereafter and whoever owned the diamond had misfortune fall upon them.

The diamond has been blamed for the murder and death of quite of a few of its future owners. The Russian prince Kanitowski, who supposedly lent it to French actress Lorens Ladue, who he later shot, and was later himself killed by revolutionaries. It was also blamed for the forced abdication of the Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamdi and the bankruptcy of others.

So considering the history of the diamond's past, it's quite interesting to note that the diamond is right at the heart of the most powerful nation in the world. It will be left to be seen if the curse of the diamond is a legend or not :)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rang de Basanti generation

I was very young when the original Mandal commission and reservations in education came about. My first exposure to it was actually in the men's room. A line was drawn with the following words scribbled next to it 'If you want to join the fire department, pee over this line'. Someone then had another line drawn half way down and scribbled 'For Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes'.

On growing up and better understanding reservations in education, it started making more sense and you see the need to uplift sections of society which never had oppurtunities before. The former American President's, while introducing affirmative action, said "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line in a race and then say, you are free to compete with all the others, and still justly believe that you have been completely fair."

The current ruling Congress party brought the reservation issue back to the forefront with a proposal of increasing the reservation quota and including Other Backward Casts along with SC/ST. The Congress party has a history of playing caste politics to preserve its vote bank, inspite of knowing that the number of OBC's have doubled in the last decade since the mandal commission. The whole pretext of helping underpriveledged classes is no longer true as the poorest and most downtrodden have been passed over. With their narrow minded approach towards OBC reservation, they seem to ignore the other non Hindu religions in India. Muslims have one of the lowest literacy levels in India, so why shouldn't they avail of reservations as well, not to mention Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and all others. The government instead wastes money pouring it down the drain, funding the flailing public schools while every minister's child attend the better known private schools.

The government apathy lead to widespread protests amongst the student community. Quite a few of the students resorted to hunger strikes in an effort to have themselves heard.

The government, in a desperate attempt to save face, tried to use police force to break up the protests. Somewhere along the line to keep their caste based vote bank, they seem to have forgotten that the protestors were medical and engineering students.

The fire of protests have started, will be interesting to see what the government's next move will be.

With a touch of dramatism, here's words from the movie rang de basanti

Hai liye hathiyaar dushman taak mein baitha udhar
aur hum taiyyaar hain seena liye apna idhar
khoon se khelenge holi gar vatan muskhil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

haath jin mein ho junoon katt te nahi talvaar se
sar jo uth jaate hain voh jhukte nahi lalkaar se
aur bhadkega jo shola-sa humaare dil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

hum to ghar se nikle hi the baandhkar sar pe qafan
chaahatein liin bhar liye lo bhar chale hain ye qadam
zindagi to apni mehmaan maut ki mehfil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

dil mein toofaanon ki toli aur nason mein inquilaab
hosh dushman ke udaa denge humein roko na aa
duur reh paaye jo humse dam kahaan manzil mein hai
sarfaroshi ki tamanna ab hamaare dil mein hai

And forever shall you be damned

Nagaland, a christian dominated state in North East India, has taken the next step in the "fight" against the book Da Vinci code.

The book has been banned in the state even though the book is readily available in the rest of India. The education minister announced the decision calling the book blasphemous and it being an affront on the Christian faith.

Publishing, selling or even reading of the book is now banned henceforth in the state.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Da Vinci Code

I wonder if Leonardo Da Vinci would have ever thought that three centuries his name would give rise to so much contention. The movie Da Vinci code is being released today to much fanfare, brickbats and hunger strike threats.

There is enough said and done about the theme of the book and there's nothing I can add to the debate. I'm just amazed at how relatively trouble free the movie release has been in the western (christian) world while it has lead to all sorts of problems in Asia. Phillipines has outrightly banned the movie while India (which has 2% christians) have finally cleared the movie (after special screenings for all concerned) with additional disclaimers to be added to the beginning and end of the movie.

Indians have always protested against something or the other. We may not get anything done, but we do know how to organize a protest and not get things done. Contentious issues like Satanic Verses and the Muslim prophet muhammed cartoon fiascos have had their origins in India.

Irrespective of the religions, all Indians like to believe that if something offends them, it is not worth displaying to others. There are many incidences where protesting groups ransacked precious libraries on issues like unflattering book on Shivaji (Maratha ruler in the 17th century) or political groups like the Shiv Sena showing their might by ransacking and pillaging theatres showing movies not to their liking or taste.

The Christian group, Catholic Secular Forum, having neither political or mass backing cannot physically have the movie removed from theatres. So their secretary Joseph Dias resorted to hunger strike resulting on the current restriction on the movie. Indians like a good protest irrespective of the severity of the issue and the current government (the same one which banned satanic verses) had to make the concession on the grounds of secularism and religious freedom.

Major issues are constantly hijacked on religious grounds, but its very rare for people in power in India to stand up on principle. Sony pictures currently are fighting the disclaimers, so it will be interesting to see if the Indian government does take a stand without bowing to religious fundamentalism.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Government rebuttal

The US Government finally released the pentagon video to counter conspiracy theorists. The plan shows a plane hitting the pentagon (not too conclusively unfortunately since its a security cam and doesnt have decent fps).

This bit of evidence does give a bit more credibility to the government and I'm glad they are taking some of the conspiracy theories more credibly. Maybe the Sheraton hotel cameras, gas station and the virginia Department of Transportation camera prints will be conclusive evidence of the plan attack.

But for now to the credit of the government they have stepped up with some evidence.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

loose change

For every major event in history there have always been a group which believe that there is a conspiracy behind it. There have been numerous theories from Neil Armstrong didn't actually land on the moon to the CIA being behind John F Kennedy's death.

It's easy to discard most of it offhand, but after watching a couple of documentaries on the attacks in the United States on Sept 11, I am inclined to believe in that the normal understanding of the attacks may be flawed.

Now 9/11 is an emotional topic for most americans and others (including Indians which were the second largest group in the casuality list) and this post isn't meant to offend anyone. There are a few questions raised which appeal to my logical sense and I believe they need to be answered for it be a balanced discussion.

I'd like to live on the sanskrit principle 'satyam eva jayate' or truth always prevails - not trying to be too preachy :).

People who haven't watched the loose change video, would be encouraged to atleast try to watch the video before dismissing their observations.


Some of the arguments put forward by the loose change video for a government conspiracy behind 911 are

* WTC towers are the first couple of buildings in the history of sky rises to fall due to fire. These include building which have been burning for quite a few hours as well as the empire state building which survived a b-52 bomber which crashed into the building. World trade center 7 was the only building to collapse even though there wasn't any direct hit on it.
Quite a few of the survivors of the WTC towers mention secondary explosions in the buildings which go along with video footage and the recently releases fire fighters audio conversations with control suggesting multiple secondary explosion almost like implosions carried out in controlled demolitions.

* Multiple first hand observer accounts suggest that a airplane which did not have side windows hit the WTC towers. This would negate any commercial jetliner which are believed to have hit the WTC.

* The pentagon was hit by a low flying airplane which did not leave any skid marks on the grass. Also the only damage on the pentagon is a 16 foot hole with no damange caused by the 42 foot wingspan of a boeing or by the titanium alloy engines. There are no fuselage or other wreckages of the airplane at the pentagon with the official explanation being that everything evaporated due to the intense blaze of the crash.
This seems to be quite unlike any other aircraft accidents.

There was a neighbourhood gas station, a nearby sheraton hotel and the virginia DOT which had cameras which could have captured the crash. These videos were confiscated by the FBI. If this is true, the government can release these videos and silence any conspiracy theorists.

These and other observations (with print and media references) would raise questions in any reasonable logical mind, IMHO.

In the end it may remain an urban folklore with neither side having a reasonable grasp of reality

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gimme Hope Africa

The Darfur Region is Sudan is seeing ethnic cleansing leaving hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced.

The Horn of Africa has one of the worst droughts in the past decade leaving millions on the brink of death.

Africa has half of the world's HIV/AIDS population with some countries testing 40% and rising of their population.

Dictators like President Mugabe of Zimbabwe terrorize their country with police brutality and repression.

The dark continent has always been exploited by the western world for its natural resources. Africa, once we are done raping you, the blood diamonds run out, or our susidies on items like American cotton bankrupt your farmers, will you still be able to stand up and have hope for the future.

Eddy Grant wrote this song during the apartheid regime in South Africa. It's been a while since I've heard this song, but if there is any song for africa this is the one which comes to mind

Well Joanna she runs a country
She runs in Durban and the Transvaal
She makes a few of her people happy
She don't care about the rest at all.

She's got a system they call apartheid
It keeps a brother in subjection
But maybe pressure will make Joanna see
How everybody could live as one

Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Gimme hope, Joanna, for the morning comes
Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Hope before the morning comes

I hear she makes all the golden money
To buy new weapons in the shape of guns
While every mother in a black Sowetto
Fears the killing of another son

Sneaking across all the neighbours borders
Now and again having a little fun
She doesn't care if the fun games she play
Is dangerous to everyone

Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Gimme hope, Joanna, for the morning comes
Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Hope before the morning comes

She got supporters in high places
Who turn their heads to the city sun
Joanna give them the fancy money
To tempt anyone who'd come

She even knows how to swing opinion
In every magazine and the journals
For every bad move that this Joanna makes
They got a good explanation

Gimme hope Joanna...

Even the preacher who works for Jesus
The archbishop who's a peaceful man
Together say that the freedom fighters
Will overcome the very strong.

I wanna know if you're blind Joanna
If you want to hear the sound of drums
Can't you see that the tide is turning
Don't make we wait till the morning comes

Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Gimme hope, Joanna, for the morning comes
Gimme hope, Joanna, hope Joanna
Hope before the morning comes

Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigration Rally

Today, I witnessed the biggest rally ever held in chicago where over 400,000 people marched against the new proposed immigration bill which proposed deportation of the millions of undocumented aliens. I have been trying not to take a stand on this thorny issue for a while now, but luckily I dont really have to please my political constituency.

One of the basic demands of the rally was to provide amnesty for all. If this is accepted, it will put all laws passed in this land to be invalid. An amnesty would also set a wrong example for all the people who are trying to take the longer route and legally gain citizenship.

The immigration bill to deport the over 11 million undocumented workers is also plain silly. America does not have the resource to manage to complete the task, to man the borders to stop further illegal nor is the economy strong enough to sustain the loss of low paid workers. Deporting people and breaking up families is against any humanitarian values and concerns as well.

America is a capitalist country and every capitalist country needs to take advantage of a lower class to survive and thrive.

John Kenneth Galbraith, who recently passed away, summed up socities as, 'Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism its the other way around'

Friday, April 21, 2006

India Freedom of Speech - Is it really free?

Yeh sab hum sab ke andar hai, hindu mussalman sikh. Hum sab haramzaade hai, hum sab janwaar hai (This is all within us, hindu muslim sikh. We are all bastards, We are all animals)

I've been meaning to see a few of Deepa Mehta's movies and I managed to see two this week, 'Water' and '1947 Earth'. These two along with 'Fire' complete her highly controversial trilogy.

Fire was the first movie released based on love between lesbians. When the movie released, the Shiv Sena party (the fascist moral policemen of Bombay) burnt a couple of theatres in Bombay which were screening the movie on the pretext of it showing Indian society and Hinduism in a bad light. After the initial acts of vandalism the film was never screened again in India. Their judgement was final, obviating any need for a government or a censor board.

1947 Earth the second movie in the series is a very touching story based in Lahore (current day Pakistan) during Independence and Partition. This movie really brings out all human emotions exposing the basic frailty of human nature. There is one scene which was a very sobering experience for me. Amir Khan, one of the leads playing a muslim, is observing the riots from the top of his building. When a mob of Muslims starts killing Hindus in lahore, without realizing it, his mind is suddenly filled with a kinship towards Muslims and hate towards Hindus. On expressing these thoughts in front of his hindu friend he suddenly realizes the effect of mob mentality.

Water (released 2006) is based on India sixty years ago and depicts the life of a socially ostracized widow. This movie, inspite of having all clearances from state and central government, was still vandalized during filming by people of the ruling BJP party, RSS and VHP. They caused extensive damages to the set and crew based on the charge that the movie was showing hinduism in a wrong light (as they felt with the previous two movies).

Deepa Mehta in her short journey of just 3 films may have realized that India is a democracy just on paper. The rule of political power and goondaism is all pervasive.

India has freedom of speech, but there is always going to be a price to be paid.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Urdu shayari and poetry - VI

Check out the rest of the urdu shayari's on the links on the right of the page.

Jamane se nahi to tanhai se darta hu,
Pyar se nahi to ruswai se darta hu,
Milne ki umang bahot hoti hai dil me,
Lekin milne ke baad teri judai se darta hu.

Kuch nasha to aapki baat ka hai,
kuch nasha to dheemi barsaat ka hai,
humein aap yun hi sharabi na kahiye,
is dil par asar to aap se mulakat ka hai

ho sakta hai anjane mein unhe rula diya...
unhone duniya ke kahne pe hume bhula diya...
hum to vaise bhi akele the...
kya hua agar unhone yaad dila diya...

aapki muskan hamari kamjori hai...
kuch keh na pana hamari majboori hai..
aap kyun nai samajte in assuon ko....
kya khamoshi ko zuban dena jaruri hai

aansuon aankh ki dehleez pe aaya na karo....
ghar ke haalaat zamaane ko bataya na karo...
log muthhi mein namak le ke phira kerte hain....
zakhm tum apne kisi ko bhi dikhaya na karo...

saanp Khushbu ke ahaate mein basa kerte hain....
phool ke peRon ko aangan mein lagaya na karo...
haathh aaye usi lumhe ko Ghaneemat jano....
apni palkon pe koi Khwab sajaaya na karo...

yaad ki tapti hui ret mein jalne do mujhe....
aas ke badlo sir pe mere aaya na karo...
aaj ke daur ka paiGham yahi hai taalib~...
koi gir jaaye to bhoole se uthhaya na karo...

Unke Bewafai Par Wafa hum Karenge
Yaad Ko Unki Dil Se Juda hum Karenge
Itna Chaha Phir Bhi Yakeen nahin
Aise Zindagi Jee Kar Kya Karenge

hum doston ko bhulte nahi hain,
Magar yeh baat jatate nahi hain...
Doston ko hamesha rakhte hain yaad,
hum bhulne ke liye dost banate nahi hain...

Zindagi nahin humein doston se pyaari,
Doston pe haazir hai jaan hamaari,
Aankhon mein hamaari aansoon hai toh kya,
Jaan se bhi pyaari hai muskaan tumhaari !

Urdu shayari and poetry - V

Most of my hits seem to come from people searching for urdu sher's. So here are a few more coming your way

Jiski yaad mein hum sara jahan bhul gaye,
suna hai vo hamara naam tak bhul gaye,
kasam khai thi jisne sath nibhane ki,
yaaro aaj vo hamari lash par ana bhul gaye.

Tute hue paimane me kabhi jaam nahi ata,
dil ke mariz ko kabhi aram nahi hota,
ae dil todne wale zara itna to socha hota,
ki tuta hua dil kisike kam nahi aata ...

humse door hokar bhi hamare pass ho tum,
hamari suni zindagi ki ash ho tum,
kaun kaheta hai humse bichhad gaye ho tum,
tumhari yado ke roop mein hamari sans ho tum

Kismat ruk gayi dil ke tar tut gaye,
woh bhi ruk gayi, sapne bhi toot gaye,
baki rahe apne khazane mein do aasu,
yaad teri aayi to do aasu bhi lut gaye.

Talash karo koi tumhe mil jayega,
magar hamari tarah tumhe kaun chahega,
zaroor koi chahat ki nazar se tumhe dekhega,
magar aankhe hamari kaha se layega.

Yakin mano woh maut bhi badi suhani hogi,
Jisme hamari dosti virani hogi,
Chalo vada raha pehele hum jaenge,
kyunki tumahari swagat ki rasam bhi to nibhani hogi...!!!

na koi kisi ke paas hota hai,
na koi kisi se door hota hai,
Pyar khud chal kar aata hai
jab koi kisi ka naseeb hota hai.

Chand mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Badal mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Taro mein dekha to aap dikhe.
Yaar thoda side mein ho jao to kuch aur bhi dikhe.

Jaanta hu ke bewafa hain who,
Fir bhi dil ke haatho fareb khata hu.
Roz kehta hu ki bhool jaaunga usko,
Roz isi baat ko bhool jaata hu.

Raat hue jab sham ke baad,
Teri yaad aayi har baat ke baad.
humne khaamosh rehkar bhi dekha,
Teri aawaz aayi har saans ke baad.

Woh chand hai magar aap se pyara to nahi,
Parwane ka shamaa ke bin guzara to nahi...
Mere dil ne suni hai mitthi si awaaz kahi,
Aap ne hume pukara to nahi....

Zindgai udaas hone ka naam nahi,
Dosti sirf paas hone ka naam,
Agar tum door rehkar bhi hame yaad rakho.
isse badkar hame koi enaam nahi..

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Book Review - Lajja (Shame)

Lajja, The Controversial novel by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin, is a savage indictment of religious extremism and man's inhumanity to man

For people who aren't familiar with the book, Lajja is a book by Taslima Nasrin recording events in Bangladesh after the babri masjid demolition in India. For expressing her views, there was a fatwa taken out against her in Bangladesh. Taslima is currently in exile in India while the government dilly dally's on her citizenship application.

December 6 1992, Hindu Fundamentalists converge at Ayodhya to bring down the Babri Masjid believed to built on the birthplace of Hindu God Ram. These events gave rise to Hindu-Muslim riots all over the country.

The anger spilled over into the neighbouring countries, Muslims in Bangladesh took out their anger against the minority Hindu community.

I knew Lajja had a lot of historical baggage associated with it and the book holds back no punches. It is a very touching story about a family caught in the widespread riots in bangladesh. I had read about the troubles in bangladesh, but never imagined the widespread reaction to an incident in another country.

The chasm between religions seems to be looking out for any reason to widen further. Taslima had to flee her country because fundamentalists in her country could not accept her voiceing an opinion.

For anyone researching into the events revolving around Babri Masjid, this book is a must read. At the least you come away with the senseless nature of human intolerance and extremism.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Gospel of Judas

National Geographic announcement of the discovery of the gospel of Judas has put to question a lot of the assumptions on which Christianity is based on.

Judas who is believed to have betrayed Jesus, was actually acting on his instructions. The gospel of Judas along with those of Thomas and Mary Magdalene were deemed as gnostic and heretical by the early roman church and most copies were destroyed.

However with these revelations, the whole theory that jesus acts were based on divine intervention is put into doubt. This also lends more credibility to the theories put forward by the authors of 'Holy Blood Holy Grail'.

Some of the more sensational theories were that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a child (giving rise to the Merovingian dynasty) and that Jesus staged his own crucifixion.

Though none of these theories should affect christianity as it is based more on principle, but it does question the motives of the church and possibility of fraud perpetuation for personal gain.

On a personal note, since I'm against all organized religion, hopefully we soon see the fallacy of basing life on religion.
Karl Marx once said 'Religion is the opium of the people'.
It's time to stop looking for our fix.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Selective Democracy

A few days back in the year 1959, a monk called Tenzin Gyatso, crossed the himalayas after a 15 day trek taking refuge in India. His flight against Chinese oppression would have gone unnoticed, if he wasn't the Dalai Lama who had to flee after the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet.

2003, America invades Iraq with the promise of bringing democracy in Iraq and the middle east. With more than 30,000 civilian deaths iraq is no closer to democracy with the real chance of internal civil war.

1994, Jean Bertrand Aristide the president was overthrown in a coup allegedly supported by the CIA (like Pinochet and various other dictators). The election which Aristide won with a two-third majority was called the most honest election ever conducted in Haiti.

2006, Hamas wins elections in Palestine. Several United Nations observers testified it to be a fair election, however most of the western world has refused to recognize hamas as the ruling party.

There is no question that it is now a uni-polar world with America calling most of the shots, but it is surprising on how losely democracy is used and promoted based on need or usefulness.

I had visited McLeodGanj where the Dalai Lama and the tibetan monks are currently living in exile (missed meeting him by a day unfortunately), and though my definition of democracy doesnt seem to match with the policy makers in DC, but after 45 years, has Tibet earned the right to practice democracy?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Trip Down Memory Lane

It's 3 am and I'm on a major trip down memory lane. I've come across so many memories which have been almost forgotten.

Growing up is over rated, it may nice going back to the uncomplicated times of growing up in India in the 80's and 90's.

Television had just come in, I remember our first black and white television. I remember the amazement with which we used to watch Door Darshan the national channel and the only one running at the time. It used to run only for a few hours a day with the remaining time filled with a shrill sound and multiple stripes to fill up the screen.

Those were the simpler days

Sundays used to be for mythological serials where the entire country used to sit together to watch ramayana and mahabharata at a later time. Since tv wasn't a major part of daily life, all the kids used to get together to play different games like cricket, football, gotis (raja rani), l-o-n-d-o-n, hide and seek.

Those were the simpler days

Then we had two channels.. DD1 and DD2. Cricket matches got split between both the channels during NEWS. A lot more episodes started running.. buniyaad, bharat ek khoj, dekh bhai dekh, malgudi days, tenali rama. Summer holidays meant episodes of Fraggle Rock, Giant Robot, Dee Dee's comedy show.

Those were the simpler days

School was a lot more fun. Friends to be met. Fr Agnels was tough but it has made me the man I currently am. The only worry was being made to stand outside the class and being scared of Father Almeida walking by and noticing you. You would always be scared to talk to girls. Bring your lunch not to eat it, but exchange it with someone else's lunch that you fancy.

Those were the simpler days

When you really look back there are so many memories that have been locked away in the vaults of your mind. Things will never be the same again, but its nice being nostalgic for a different era sometimes. I'm sure when you look back to your formative years you'll have your memories of those days ..... those simpler days ...

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Manu Smriti

Two unrelated articles coming out of India made for interesting reading. In one article, for the first time, a doctor was convicted and jailed for helping identify the female foetus carried in a pregnant woman (unlawful in India) and offering to get rid of it.

The other article was about a recent discovery of a woman who was locked away for two decades by her own husband for fear of losing her.

Both these practices are not an anomaly but part and parcel of daily life in India.
India has always been a male dominated society with the woman rarely reaching a state of equality.

Most of these practices can be traced back to the Manusmriti translated as "Laws of Manu". Manu, one of the progenitors and founders of Hindu Society and Law codified a series of laws describing the role of castes, society and people in day to day life.

Nothing much seems to have changed in how it is followed over the centuries.

Manu says the following about women
"Her father protects her in childhood, her husband protects her in youth and her sons protect her in old age; a woman is never fit for independence."

This fit in well with the past and current male dominated Indian society, leading to the skewed sex ration where thousands of female foetuses are killed off every year.

A female child is seen as a burden on a parent, especially during marriages where it is the duty of the parent to marry off the girl child with huge sums of dowry.

After marriage, since a husband is supposed to be the protector of women, most women are illtreated (also giving rise to the practice of sati)

Unless Indian society and women start speaking against atrocities committed against women, such incidences will continue to be part of Indian life

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

National Socialism in America ... alive and kicking

This is something which happened to a friend and not something which I'm making up.

My friend is a very social person and meets quite a few random people. A week or a couple of weeks ago, she met a new group of people out of which, one of them introduced himself as a National Socialist. She did a double take and thought she might have mis-heard it. When she asked him again, he clarified that he was indeed a Nazi (and probably proud of it). I'm not sure how she might have felt, but when I heard about it, I was speechless. I mean who really meets a Nazi ..... in America. We read about neo-nazi's and skinheads in europe, but europe is a weird place anyways.

So it seems during conversation, this guy asks my friend if she has ever been with or around "them" - standing for Jews and Blacks. What world would a person live in to still believe in racial purity and hatred for everyone unlike themselves. My friend who's a fiesty little creature (sorry, I was itching to say that) made her feelings clear, but it got me thinking of how prevalent could it be.

I googled it (does this give the government another reason to sue google) and was surprised to see the number of organizations floated in america devoted to this cause. Everyone espouses hatred in one form or the other. One of the more prominent ones seems to instill fear in its supporters with this on the main page

White girls who refuse the advances of Negroids, are publicly gang-raped so as to serve as examples to other shuddering Aryan females. Children are now taken from their houses, by force, to be brought up in a "Multi-Cultural" home of Negroids, Arabs, Muslims and Gooks, all in the name of "brotherhood and love"...

This hate seems all encompassing from hating all non white people, to hating mexicans to even a website dedicated to creation of a "negro nation" located within the black communities of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

A former US Armed Force Officer and a founder of one of the Nazi Parties in America once wrote 'As an example of what I mean, take Cicero, in Chicago. There's no "Klan" in Cicero.

Instead, EVERY citizen of Cicero is ready, willing and EAGER to fight the FIRST nigger who tries to move in.

While they have been successful in ramming niggers in all over the South, I truly believe the whole Federal Government, the Army, Navy, Air Force and nuclear bombs won't get one nigger into Cicero. They haven't dared even TRY, yet. They might get ONE nigger into a house in Cicero, but he'd get right back OUT again - either with his black feet going as fast as they could - or not moving at all.

This was a very true statement as the citizenship figures around that time indicates a 99.9% White population to a 0% black one.

The main headquarters of most of the racial supremacist organizations are also in the Midwest region, something uncomfortably close to home.

Little seems to have changed with time.

My friend summed it up nicely "Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but they should know the costs attached to them"

Monday, March 20, 2006

Will The Real "Anoop" please stand up

In an ego quenching exercise, I was googling my name one day. Funny how your entire life can be summarized in three google links.

While sorting through the results I came across a forum wherein one guy had started a thread about Anoop. It seems he had come across my namesake who was bullshitting his way through life. My namesake seemed to have pissed a lot of people.

That seemed to have hit upon a nerve in quite a few people and the post became a general rant about anyone who seemed to be bullshitting his way through life.

I'm sure there are people who are still looking for anoop to revenge the wrongs done to them. Not a very comforting thought ... gulp

On the flip side ... I'm famous!!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Forgive us, since we have sinned ..

Since this is the Lent season, I thought I'll talk a bit about christianity and catholicism in particular.

I was reading about the guy who put his soul on ebay. The winning bidder was a catholic priest from seattle who in return asked the guy to attend a few church sermons and write objectively on his thoughts (which is a very bold move and I'm glad christianity is promoting introspection).

A few of my friends are giving up things for lent and I thought about the origin of the concept.

Now according to the bible (carried over from the old testament):

Creation occurred in six days as described in Genesis 1:1 to 2:3:
* Day 1: creation of light and its separation from darkness.
* Day 2: separation of the sky and oceans.
* Day 3: separation of land from the oceans; spreading of plants and grass and trees across the land.
* Day 4: Creation of the sun, moon, and stars.
* Day 5: Creation of sea animals and birds.
* Day 6: Creation of the land animals. Creation of man.
* Day 7: God rested.

Now if god is all powerful and can create the entire universe, why would he be tired enough to rest on the 7th day. Also if he created the entire master plan why would he create just ONE man, didn't he see that it would lead to extinction (and Darwin would have to find work as an ironsmith).

So He looked back and thought of giving Adam company, so he created eve (out of adam's rib), which again doesn't make sense (won't it hurt). So in effect since we are all descended from adam and eve we have by default violated the seventh commandemnt "Though shall not commit adultery" - incest is covered (I checked)...

So in effect, if we have already sinned, does following anything for lent make any difference?

p.s. Is this the all important theory of intelligent creation being promoted by the Republicans as an alternative theory to evolution?

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

5 minutes of bliss

Today was another uneventful day, life seems to be filled with quite a few of them.

Was on my way home after work which takes me about an hour travelling on the red line in chicago. For people who've used the "el" here, its an extremely boring line, pretty crowded during rush hours with the trains going about in an excruciatingly slow pace. Everyone crams into an overly crowded train, trying to find any space to hold onto (almost a flashback to the local bombay trains, without having your face in someone's armpit) while the train goes on its merry way on century old tracks. Sometimes I try to single out interesting looking people, in the hope that they end up livening up the journey a bit. I have noticed one guy who stands out - he's short, young, has a nice sized beer belly, wears tweed, platform shoes, tries to smoke and act cool while waiting and generally highly interesting mannerisms.

My subject matter wasn't in sight today, so I was just gazing out of the window looking for avenues to pass the time. I generally listen to songs on my IRiver - NOT an IPod, yes I know I've been called by quite a few anti names, anti Establishment, anti Microsoft, anti normal behaviour, anti Intelligence (right, I realize some are more flattering than others).

So there I was listening to songs when one of my favourite Jagjit Singh songs wafted on my music player. To the uninitiated, Jagjit Singh generally sings gazals in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi and has been almost entire responsible for the rebirth of the genre in India.

I've always loved the song 'Tum Itna kyon muskura rahe ho', but today nothing of the outside world registered while the song was going on. For once the crowd, noise, weird people were all shut out while I actually listened to the words of the song.

So in deference to the brilliance of the song and Jagjit Singh, here are the lyrics, while the song goes on in our heads.

tum itna jo muskura rahe ho - 2
kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho - 2
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho

aankhon mein nami, hansi labon par - 2
kya haal hai kya dikha rahe ho - 2
kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho

ban jayenge zehar peete peete - 2
yeh ashq jo piye ja rahe ho - 2

jin zakhmon ko waqt bhar chala hai - 2
tum kyon unhe chhedhe ja rahe ho - 2
kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho

rekhaon ka khel hai muqaddar - 2
rekhaon se maat kha rahe ho - 2
kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho
tum itna jo muskura rahe ho
kya gham hai jisko chhupa rahe ho

Friday, February 17, 2006

Please Mr. President

President Bush, please stay off Alaska. You’re State of the Union address about ending foreign oil dependency and pursuing alternative energy sources is very inspiring, but I hope that quest does not lead you to Alaska. Any growing economy needs to fulfill its energy needs, but I'm sure we can stay off one of the world's last natural eco system. I hope we haven't forgotten the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Fiasco. More than 11 million gallons of crude oil were spilled off the coast of Alaska causing irreparable loss to the environment and animals there.

Amongst the alternative fuel sources I hope you look into nuclear fuel. There hasn't been major nuclear power plants set up after the Three Mile Island disaster of 1979 (followed shortly by Chernobyl), but I'm sure safe nuclear power can be harnessed. All new nuclear plants can be set up far from humanity - this is a big country. I'm sure there are places in New Mexico, Arizona or Texas which would be ideal (people please don’t send me hate mail - I know Texas is God's own "country").

The dependence on gas for cars can be offset by further promoting fuel cell research as well as improved hybrid performances. I'm sure the automotive industry, which pumps in a lot of money for lobbying, can be brought around to accept it. If possible get the Hummer banned off the streets, after all smokers are not allowed to smoke in public in quite a few places.

I'm sure your smart advisors have lots of proposals for clean alternative energy sources which don’t involve drilling for oil in Alaska. Human beings have been a very wasteful species; please do not hasten the demise of this planet.

Please Mr. President, won't you stay off Alaska.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Urdu shayari and poetry - IV

kabr ki mitti utha le gaya koi,
usi bahane chu kar gaya koi,
tanhai aur andhere main khush the lekin,
phir se intezar karne ki wajah de gaya koi

Tumhare samne kyon Ashq mera bah nahi sakta,
Ise mahesooh ker sakta hun lekin kah nahi sakta,
Yeh mera pyar he ke dard he pyar ka,
Dilruba tere bina jannat me bhi rah nahi sakta.

Suni zindgi me hulchul mehsoos hui,
Bejan dilki aaj dhadkan mehsoos hui,
Jane aaj kyu esa laga,
Shayad teri kami mehsoos hui

Barshat aye aur jami gili na ho,
Dhup ayen aur sarson pili na ho,
a Dost ye tune kaise soch liya ke,
teri yaad aye aur ankhen gili na ho.

Jazba-E-Ishq nakam nahi hone denge,
Dil ki duniya me sham nahi hone denge,
Mohhabat ka har ilzam apne sar le lenge,
Par janeman tumhe kabhi badnam nahi hone denge

Koi aakhon se baat kar leta hai,
koi aakhon main mulaqat kar leta hain,
bada mushkil hota hai jawab dena,
jab koi khamosh rahkar sawaal kar lete hai..

dosti mein dil ka tamasha dekha nahi jata,
humse tuta hua sisa dekha nahi jata,
apne hisse ki khusiya bhi de du tujhe,
aye dost tera utra hua chehra dekha nahi jata

Tere saath ke liye hazaro tanhaiyan qurbaan
teri ek zhalak ke hazaro tasvere qurbaan
tu saath ho to aur kya chahiye
teri ek muskaan ke liye meri har khushi qurbaan

Friday, February 10, 2006

Urdu shayari and poetry - III

Log milte hai bichad jaate hai,
sirf dil ke taar ched jaate hai,
youn to lete hai hum hazaaro naam
par kuch aap jaise log dil mein utar jaate hain.

Dhalati huyi shaam ka khula ehsaas hai,
Mere dil me teri jagah kuch khaas hai.
Tu nahi ho yaha per, malum hai mujhe,
Par dil yeh kehta hai tu yahi mere aas-paas hai

Wo pyar jo haqeeqat me pyar hota hai,
Zindagi me sirf ek baar hota hai.
Nigahon ke milte milte dil mil jaye,
ye sirf ek baar hota hai.

Wo din din nahi,wo raat raat nahi,
wo pal pal nahi,jis pal teri baat nahi.
Teri yaadon se, maut hame alag kar sake,
maut ki bhi ye aukaat nahi.

Likhne se pehle salam karte hai,
Dard-e-dil se pegaam karte hai,
ye mat samjana ke bhool gaye hai hum,
yaad to apko subah shaam karte hai

Wo din din nahi,
wo raat raat nahi,
wo pal pal nahi,
jis pal teri baat nahi.

Wo pyar jo haqeeqat me pyar hota hai,
Zindagi me sifr ek baar hota hai.
Nigahon ke milte milte dil mil jaye,
ye sirf ek baar hota hai.

bewafai ko majboori ka naam na do,
hakikat ko hadso ka naam na do..
agar chahat hai kisi ki mann me
to use dosti ka naam na do..

dosti mein dil ka tamasha dekha nahi jata,
humse tuta hua sisa dekha nahi jata,
apne hisse ki khusiya bhi de du tujhe,
aye dost tera utra hua chehra dekha nahi jata

Tere saath ke liye hazaro tanhaiyan qurbaan
teri ek zhalak ke hazaro tasvere qurbaan
tu saath ho to aur kya chahiye
teri ek muskaan ke liye meri har khushi qurbaan

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Urdu shayari and poetry - II

Continuing the urdu shero-shayari posts...

Dosti toh sirf ek ittefaaq hai,
Yeh toh dilon ki mulaakaat hai,
Dosti nahi dekhti yeh din hai ki raat hai,
Isme toh sirf wafaadaari aur jasbaat hai !

Gila tujse nahi koi,
gila apni majburiyo se karte hain,
tu aaj hamare karib na sahi ae dost,
mohabbat to hum teri duriyo se bhi karte hai......

Umar ki Raah mein Insaan badal jaata hai,
Waqt ki Aandhi mein Tufaan Badal jaata hai,
Sochta hu tumhe pareshan na karoon,
Lekin baad me iraada badal jaata hai..

sabhi nagme saaz me gaye nahi jaate,
sabhi log mahafil me bulaye nahi jaate,
kuch paas raha ker bhi yaad nahi aate,
kuch dur raha ker bhi bhulaye nahi jate........

Kisi dhadkte dil ke pichhe, jarur koi bat hoti hai,
Udas dil ke pichhe, kisiki yaad hoti hai,
Tumhe pata ho na ho ,tumhari khushi ke pichhe, Hamari Dua Hoti Hai

Kalam uthayi hai lafs nahi milta,
jisko dhoond rahein hain vo shaks nahi milta,
firte hain vo jamaane ki talaash mein,
bas humare liye unhe waqt nahi milta!!!

Aankho ki zubaan WO samaj nahi pate,
Hoth magar kuch keh nahi pate....
Apni bebasi kis tarah kahe hum,
Koi hai jiske bina hum reh nahi pate

Wo ruthe is kadar ki manaya naa gaya,
Durr itne ho gaye ki paas bulaya naa gaya,
Dil to dil tha, samundar ka saahil nahi,
Likh diya jo naam to phir mitaya naa gaya

Khuda se thoda reham khareed lete,
aapke zakhmon ka marham khareed lete,
agar kahin bikti khusiyan meri,
to saari bech kar aapka har gum khareed lete

Unki mohabbat ka abhi nishan baaki hai,
naam labh par hai jaan baki hai,
kya hua agar dekh kar muh fer lete hain,
tasalli hai ki abhi shakal ki pehchan baaki hai

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Urdu shayari and poetry - I

Urdu, an amalgamation of various elements from Persian, Arabic, Sanskrit and Hindi, has always been the language of some of the best known poets. Unfortunately my attempts of learning and maybe stitching together a few sher's doesn't look to be bearing fruit anytime soon.

I'll be posting a few sher's that I have received over time in the next few days. Feel free to refer for translation of Urdu to English.
I'm not even going to translate the sher's into english as the entire magic would be lost..

If you love any of them please resist the urge to get in touch with me and asking me to put together something you could use for valentine's day (before or after as be the case), cos the very act would signify that you have never met me and hence don't know my mastery of the Urdu language.

kaun kisi ke karib hota hai,
apna apna nasib hota hai,
jab koi apna door hota hai
to dard zaroor dil ke kareeb hota hai

yoon door rahkar dooriyo ko badaya nahi karte......
apne chahne walo ko sataya nahi karte!!!
har waqt jise bas tumhara hi khayal ho.....
use apni awaz ke liye tadpaya nahi karte.

kisne kaha judai hogi,
ye khabar gair ne udai hogi
bade shaan se rahenge ham aapke dil me
itne dino me kuch jagah to banai hogi

yeh unki khubiyo ka asar hai....
jo woh itne ache lagte hai....
jab woh kehte hai vada hai mera....
juthe vade bhi saache lagte hai....

Dil ki hasrat zubaan par aane lagi,
Tumhe dekha aur zindagi muskurane lagi,
Ye deewangi thi ya meri nazar ka dhokha,
Har cheez mein surat teri nazar aane lagi

palkon ke kinare jo hamne bhigoye nahi,
wo sochte hain ki ham roye hi nahi.....
wo poochate hain ki kwabo me kise dekhte ho,
aur ek ham hain jo ek arse se soye hi nahi

Thursday, February 02, 2006

East is East, West is West and never the twain shall meet.

Would this be a good time to just admit that there will never be harmony in the world. That wouldn't signify the end of the world, would it? After all every part of the world has their own sense of right and wrong. Who decides on what's right for the entire world.

The values held in the west are definately what's followed in the east.

Take for example the news which has split the islamic and non islamic world the past few days. It started with the Danish newspaper printing cartoons depicting a caricature of Prophet Muhammed. This could be taken offensively, but newspapers often take potshots on all religions so there shouldn't have been much about it.

Well unfortunately, islam frowns upon any depiction of prophet muhammed as it is considered idolatory, not to mention him carrying a bomb on him. So denmark (though the government had nothing to do with a newspaper) bore the brunt of the protests with products being boycotted throughout the middle east amongst the normal stuff happening in that part of the world.

Since Western governments do not generally interfere with Free Speech (Russia is obviously excluded), they seem to be caught between a rock and an increasingly angry muslim population. It's been taken so seriously, that there has been a procession taken out of Pakistan calling for a death to Denmark and death to France (since a french newspaper reprinted the cartoons).

So that makes it an interesting conundrum. Do the newspapers back down even though they exercised their legal right to free speech while publishing a cartoon, or do muslims back down, try to see it as a joke and not a personal insult to them. This conflict may never end.

As it is humans don't need too many reasons to kill each other, do we really need to add God (if there is one) to that list.

Monday, January 30, 2006

India eliminates leprosy

Amongst all the normal news clips being published today, there was one tiny article where the government of India announced that it had eliminated leprosy.

Leprosy has been eradicated from most other countries, however India has struggled to keep it in check even missing the global elimination target set by WHO for 2000. However this news is a major step in complete eradication of the disease in India (elimination is having one case per 10,000 population).

This will hopefully isolate the next generation from experiencing the chronic disease of leprosy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Book Review: City of Joy - Dominique Lapierre

My introduction to "The City of Joy" has been fairly late, but the brilliance of the book has not faded with time. The topic of India has always been close to my heart and there are a few books out there which can describe the pain and joy of living in that part of the world. This masterpiece by Lapierre truly brings forth the suffering, hope and joy felt by the poorest of the poor.

I had initially read Lapierre’s and Larry Collins book – ‘Freedom at Midnight’ and was impressed by the style of writing. It is difficult to create an eminently readable non fiction book and I was looking forward to continuing that experience with City of Joy.

Amongst my most indelible impressions of the book is to give a slum a human face. For a lot of us who have lived in a third world country be it in Central, South America, Africa or Asia, we have lived side by side with slums and an ever growing city. The eyesore which greeted us on a regular basis is often an object of scorn without us failing to realize in what conditions people are condemned to such an existence.

Dominique Lapierre has succeeded in giving human faces and emotions to the faceless masses in slums. By sharing the struggles faced by the poor, their sorrows and joy, the author has succeeded in opening a window to their existence. The book takes you through several journeys of introspection and privileges enjoyed by us solely based on the accident of our birth.

The book of a few hundred pages may leave lasting impressions on its readers and has truly succeeded in spreading hope and joy to millions of readers, if not inspiring a few more selfless people to devote their lives to helping the poor and downtrodden.

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
Life is a beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is costly, care for it.
Life is wealth, keep it.
Life is love, enjoy it.
Life is mystery, know it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorry, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it !

- Mother Teresa

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Starvation affecting millions

An estimated 11 million people are facing starvation in the Horn of Africa. The first few cases of deaths have been reported brought on by a drought which hit northern kenya, ethiopia, somalia and Djibouti.

Children weakened by months of hunger have been the first few to die.

Aid agencies have increased their calls for food and supplies to feed the under nourished. Millions more may perish if aid is not delivered soon as the next rains are expected in april and march.