August 20, 2011

O Ri Duniya[O, My World]

Khwabon se sile shamiyaane taley,
Humne sajaaya hai apna ek jahaaN.

Mutthi mein na ho qaid tassavvur ki udaan,
Ang lage makhmal mulayaam wahaaN.

JahaaN na koi jism,koi jaaN,lahu se latpat,
Koi guNcha, koi sitara jahaaN na ho fanaa.

Ek aisi ho humaari duniya,hai ummeed,
JahaaN har muhajir ko mile panaah.


Under the dome of my unchained dreams,
I've painted a world of my own.

Where flights of imagination aren't kept suppressed,
Where every being is as soft as sheets, of silk, sown.

Where no soul, no life reels under blood-shed,
Where no blossoming flower, no twinkling star is crushed.

Such will be My World, or so I hope, I dream,
Where every refugee is given refuge, no one aside brushed.

An Ode To The Rainbow Lives.

There is a little violet in each dazzling bright flash
Of lightning that visits you every stormy night.

There is a little indigo in every lone ripple
On the water, that is born when you walk by, quiet.

There is a little blue clinging on to every white Cotton
Cloud that you always want to sink into, for a sleep.

There is a little green in every grass and leaf,
That, from filth, rocks and hurt, your bare feet, keep.

There is a little yellow in every fire you light
To keep the bellowing darkness a distance away.

There is a little orange in every sunset you retire to,
Bidding farewell to every numbing fatigue of the day.

There is a little red in every drop of the blood, housed
In your veins, that livens your hopes, your dreams, your life.

There is a little rainbow I have wished for you, to nurse you,
Every time your heart cries a downpour, struggling alone in a strife.

August 9, 2011

Volkswagen Tones Erased

Goodbye, long surviving summertones on blog, and Volkswagen awesomeness. I shall miss you.

August 2, 2011

Lessons of Tolerance

Very recently, I was discussing with three of my (girl)friends, all of them from conservative Hindu families, the possible repercussions of them falling for a boy from a Muslim background. They unanimously agreed that their parents would not accept any such relationship, and hence they themselves would never allow themselves to fall for a Muslim boy. It was disheartening to know that even in today’s day and age, people are not willing to give love a chance just because religion comes in the way. The topic was broached again, a few days later, around a couple of other (Hindu) friends of mine, and their response was along the same lines. The gravity of the realization that then dawned upon left me rather disappointed and disillusioned(I could’ve used the word ‘shocked’ for a more dramatic effect). Despite all the ‘All Indians are my brothers and sisters’ lessons taught to us in school, we haven’t really learnt the true meaning of acceptance or tolerance. Each one of us is a flaming bigot in some way or the other, though we may proclaim otherwise.

It was never, however, only about accepting and loving all Indians. We, as children were taught to love all human beings despite their cast, creed, race, religion, gender or nationality. However, the amount of Pakistanophobia and ingrained hatred that still exists among most of us Indians is shocking. There is one friend of mine, another girl, who happens to have her roots in those areas of pre-1947 India, that now lie in Pakistan. This girl happens to be regularly rendered a target of almost heinous terrorism and Anti-Pakistan jokes by all of us, by our group. Sure, if you ask us, we are just having fun, teasing her about being a ‘Paki’, and of course we hold nothing against Pakistan. But lurking sinisterly behind every one of those ‘bomb-manufacturing-units’ and ‘Please-don’t-shoot-us’ jokes, there is a delusional notion that every household in Pakistan houses terrorists. I mean, when we Indians hold such ideas about our neighboring countries, what rights do we really have to cry our voices hoarse, when any South Asian member gets picked up ‘randomly’ for extra-rounds of frisking at airports in the West ??

We, the youth of the 21st Century, still hold on to age-old notions and stereotypes unconsciously bequeathed unto us by our parents and elders, while at the same time claiming to be ‘tolerant’ and ‘accommodating’ only because it is ‘cool’ to be tolerant.I know of people who vehemently claim to be non-homophobic but yet they get rid of a homosexual room-mate, just because he does not fit their comfort zone. I know of people who (still) claim Africans and Blacks are ‘ugly’ because God did not deem them fit to be humans and hence they, as a race, should still be treated as inferiors and be kept limited to blue-collar jobs, despite having ‘Black’ best-friends. I know of people who have been reared by a single mother, who do not hesitate for a moment before narrating jokes of the ‘Women should stay in the kitchen’ or ‘Bitch-make-me-a-sandwich’ genre. However, I have absolutely no right to pass judgments on anyone because I am equally guilty of having participated in a lot of anti-Semitic, anti-homosexual, anti-Islam, anti-Marwari, sexist, chauvinistic jokes myself.

Hatred and bigotry is born out of ignorance, out of refusal to look beyond the parameters of what one believes to be right, out of being non-accommodating to the views and ideas of others. There is hope as long as we learn to think about others and their feelings. There is hope as long as we admit to our faults and take steps towards correcting them. Several of whose stories I have mentioned here might take offence and feel blamed by what I have written. All I can say is that, that has been the least of all my intentions. All I want for you all is to become bigger and better individuals, to learn to love and care more and hate less. Tolerance for name’s sake is abusing the concept of tolerance. Looking within, and cleansing oneself of all the ignorance is a step forward in becoming a true global citizen.