Replenished

The cacophony of high pitched laughter
The fake smiles and cold glares
The superficial relationships
The sugar coated character slaughters
And those piercing stares

Caught in this nauseating whirlwind of condescending conventees and fake feminists
You came into my life like a welcome rain
And relinquished all my wounds and the throbbing pain
The years of drought now seemed worthwhile
Your every droplet replenished my every contour
And cooled my scathing, scorching soul
Like the respite of the cool winds
After months of unbearable heat
You became the balm for my open wounds
Inflicted upon my trust, repeatedly, constantly.

You spoke the language that my conscience longed for
You sang the tune my soul craved for
You waltzed your way
Into my heart
And swayed my loyalties away
And yet proved worthy of them every single time

And yet, still
My heart bleeds and prays
That you are not one of those

And yet something, makes me believe,
keeps me hanging.

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Football, Cricket and Indian Jingoism

The day Germany beat Argentina in FIFA world cup, Indians went crazy. Facebook was flooded with posts. On the same day India which was ranked 63 beat the 12th rank China, which was HUGE. And yet, Indians chose to celebrate Germany’s win. How Hitler must be cackling in his grave.

My aversion towards football comes as a shocker to most who know me as the sports fanatic tomboy.

Many guy friends come to me during FIFA to talk about the football matches and take it as a given that I must be following it religiously, since I’m the first one to talk to them after a great cricket match.

How did this tomboy, who as a kid had broken her toenails multiple times, playing football barefoot with her cousins, come to hate the sport with so much fervour?

I myself am trying to find the answer.

“I have never been so much more happier in my life than I have at this moment. We love you Arsenal, we love you.”, he said referring to Arsenal winning the FA Cup.

“Really? What about India winning the 2011 World Cup after 28 years?” I asked him, shocked.

No Chandni, never. Kill me for this, but this is what it’s all about. This is football. This is Arsenal.”

Conversations like this provide the most clear answers.

Retrospectively speaking, my antagonism towards football started percolating at the same time, when my fanaticism towards cricket reached a fever pitch.

After Yuvraj’s six sixes, India’s T20 World Cup Win, and the inaugural IPL saga, cricket for me, like many other Indians, had become my religion.

I remember FIFA 2010 coincided with Asia Cup. And FIFA had more TRP in India than Asia Cup.

That one moment had changed my attitude towards football.

As a self-proclaimed jingoist, I find it revolting that some Indians chose to watch England,France,Spain or Argentina over their own country.

I then read a survey in a sports magazine in 2010. It said that football was the fastest growing sport in India and that it was next to cricket in terms of popularity and TRPs and that TRPs during FIFA easily rivaled to those of an India-West Indies ODI.

It was then natural that I viewed football with deep rooted scepticism and suspicion. It was after all, a major threat to the hegemony of my religion.

Unfortunately, I am acquainted with guys who proudly claim to follow football more than cricket and shamelessly say they would skip India’s match to watch Real Madrid or Chelsea or Argentina or Germany play.

I have no problem with football per se, I myself enjoy playing it.

But my problem with football stems from the fact that India doesn’t play it on the global stage, and on days when India plays other sports on global stage, Indians still prefer to watch 2 other random countries fight it out in a football match.

The day Germany beat Argentina in the finals of the FIFA world cup, Indians went crazy. Facebook was flooded with posts. On the same day India beat China in a basketball match. And how many people spoke of that? How much coverage did it garner on the FIFA dominated sports news shows?

India which was ranked 63 in FIBA Asia beat the 12th rank China, which was HUGE. And yet, Indians chose to celebrate Germany’s win. How Hitler must be cackling in his grave.

India’s 7-0 win over Pakistan in the 2010 Hockey World Cup wasn’t half as celebrated as Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil.

Sad. Revolting. Disgusting. (Welcome to the mind of a jingoist)

What also infuriates me is when Indians, when coming from the nation of Dravid, Tendulkar, Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, look up to Ronaldos and Messis for an idol or inspiration.

The thing about Tendulkar is that he’s been spotless on the filed as well as off it. And someone like Ronaldo, maybe a good player, but has trophy girlfriends and babies all over the world.

The personal and professional lives of sporting legends like Maradona have also been riddled with controversies, whereas Tendulkar has managed to remain relatively unblemished.

Then why look outside your country? I feel blessed to be born in the country of Tendulkar, and it would be a shame if I consider a money-hungry womaniser as my sporting idol.

So for me, it was never cricket or football. For me it always has been and will be India.

I dream of the day, when I see India at the FIFA. And I promise to follow the sport with equal enthusiasm.

And after all said and done, I am super excited for the Indian Super League, and yes, Kerala Blasters all the way!

The Pressure of Perfection

She has got the perfect family
A best friend who’s best in every sense of the word
Professors who believe in her
Grandparents to pamper her and render her spoilt.

She lives in a rose tinted world of joy and jollity.

And yet she feels a pressure so strong
A an external force gagging her, crushing her lungs
In those moments of anxiety
It becomes difficult to breathe
Or think.

A whirlwind of self doubt and nausea
Delusions and melancholy.

An excruciating pain gnawing at her throat
A painful lump choking her.

The pain of perfection.

The pressure to perform boughs her down
But whom can she put the blame on?
It is she who has set these parameters for herself
Nothing short of perfection pleases her
Anything less leaves her broken and bereaved
Ambitions so big that they are barely contained in her small frame
The pressure to excel exerting a deadly force
Weighing too heavily on her slender shoulders
It is she who has chosen this
It is she who is responsible for her state
Then whom can she put the blame on?

Snippets from my diary- Krantikaaris and Inquilaab – I

Nothing cheers me up more than reading revolutionary quotes and poems.
Nothing lifts my spirit up and inspires me the way these do.

Here is a small collection from my diary of writings of various freedom fighters who chose their pens over swords and made sure their words inspired youngsters generations on.

image

Jaounga khaali haath magar
Yeh gham saath hi jaayega
Jaane kis din Hindustan
Azaad watan kehlaayega

Bismil Hindu hain, kehetein hain
Phir aaunga, phir aakar ke aye Bhaarat Ma
Tujhko aazaad karaounga

Ji karta hai main bhi keh doon
Par mazhab se bandh jaata hoon
Main musalmaan hoon
Punarjanam ki baat nahi kar paata hoon

Haan khuda agar mil gaya kahan
Apni jholi phela lunga

Aur jannat ki jagah
Ek punar janam hi maangunga

Ashfaq Ulla Khan

Another master craftsmen was Pandit Ramprasad Bismil who left us the legacy of Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna.

Marte Bismil, Roshan, Lehri, Ashfaq atyachaar se.
Honge paida sainkdon
Rudhir ki dhaar se

-Ram Prasad Bismil

Even though most of the gems are in Urdu, Hindi and Hindustani, there are the exceptional English quotes by Ashfaq and Bhagat Singh.
Bhagat Singh in fact, was an astonishingly intellectual man, who could read, write and speak fluent English, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu and Bengali. He was a ferocious reader and a proficient writer and read extensively the works of Karl Marx and Lenin.

Lovers, lunatics and poets are made of the same stuff.

Bhagat Singh

…. more in Part 2

Guardian Angel

I walk in a daze
Absentmindedly, on a ledge 
Forgetting the world in a blithe stupor 
I forget to look down 
And fall
Into the nothingness 
I feel the air around me and ease in
Ceasing to the finale 
Accepting the end as it comes
And out of the rainbow you appear
Unfurling your velvet wings
Swooping me into your sinewy arms
I open my eyes to the blinding the light
Of your glittering halo
Your fingers tracing my long spine and your hand settling at the small of my back 
I cease in once more
More confident this time
I resign myself to your refuge
As your arms take me in their sanctuary 
I never felt more protected 
Than I do now
Wrapped warm in your arms
Behind you I see the rainbow disappear 
And we land swiftly to the ground
I know it’s time for you to leave
I let you
Long after you leave
Your touch and your light lingers 
I let you go
Because I know
No fall will ever again be fatal
Because I finally found my guardian angel

Don’t confuse India-Pakistan with Hindu-Muslim

The recent ‘Pak-Bahu’ controversy sparked by BJP MP K. Laxman bought along with it, a massive load of moronic comments and assumptions.

BJP’s K. Laxman objected to Sania Mirza being the state ambassador for Telangana, because she had the blot of being a “daughter-in-law of Pakistan”.

Personally, I feel that there is nothing wrong in it, since Sania has won many a laurels and made India proud time and time again. She is a role model, and rightly so, to millions of Indian girls. It is also extremely stupid and patriarchal, because Sania is an individual in her own right and being a daughter-in-law of so and so does not define her.

Though I also feel, the state ambassador should be someone who has worked for the cause of Telengana. But that is a different story altogether.

 

However what irked me more than Mr. Laxman’s statement was the nature of some of the comments.

A lot of the comments that poured in on the social media portals, discussed how a Hindu ambassador would have been wholeheartedly accepted, and there would have been no problem if Sania was married to a Hindu.

Even Taslima Nasreen, a woman I highly respect, tweeted, “What if Sania Mirza was an Indian Hindu girl&married 2 a Pakistani Hindu man?Then OK? Is it more of an India-Pak issue or Hindu-Muslim issue? (sic)”

Haven’t we wholeheartedly accepted Shahrukh Khan as the brand ambassador for West Bengal?

What makes people think Muslims aren’t accepted and treated as equals in India?

 

We’ve had Muslims captain our cricket team, and Muslims have dominated Indian cinema right from Yusuf Khan alias Dilip Kumar and Nargis to SRK, Aamir, Salman and Katrina Kaif.

Hindu girls marry the photos of Shahrukh and young Hindu boys grow up idolising Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan. Muslim soldiers occupy high ranks in the Indian Army. Ask any Malayalee boy of any denomination, and he’ll tell you he lusts for Nazriya Nazim.

It is then absurd and absolutely baseless to assume that Muslims aren’t loved by the masses of India.

Yes, we aren’t very fond of Pakistan, and we have ample reasons for that. But does that necessarily translates to hating all Muslims?

 

India and Pakistan should never be confused with Hindu Muslim. This isn’t 1947. Period.

 

And these moronic stereotypes are not just confined to India, but also proliferate in the other side of the border.

Sania’s hubby dear, Shoaib Malik, once made an appalling remark, at the post-match presentation of the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2007. After India beat Pakistan in the historic match, Shoaib apologised to the “awaam” of Pakistan, Pakistanis living abroad and all the Muslims in the world.

Was he blind enough not to notice Irfan and Yusuf standing in the opposition team? Did he not to know that since that tournament coincided with Ramzan, Indian Musalmaans read special taraabis for India’s win? Millions of young Muslim boys (and girls) made special dua’as for Yuvraj and Gambhir?

How could he so blatantly assume that all Muslims in the world will support Pakistan? Statistically speaking, there isn’t a huge difference in the Muslim population of India and Pakistan. And yes, to be honest a fraction of the Indian Muslim population does support Pakistan in the cricket matches, but they do not constitute all of the 177 million Indian Muslims.

When Mohammad Azharuddin was accused of match-fixing, he claimed that he was being targeted because of his religion. Then why was Ajay Jadeja accused? How come we never banned Pataudi?

Unfortunately in India, it is extremely convenient for the minorities, to play the victim card.

 

Another very strong stereotype trending these days is, if you are a Modi/BJP supporter then you are communal and anti-Muslim.

I say, it’s crap. I am a BJP-supporter and my best friend is a Muslim. And yes, both things can co-exist, as I am changing neither.

 

Indian Hindus need to understand that all Muslims are not Pakistanis, and Indian Muslims need to understand that if we hate Pakistan, it does not mean we hate you.