Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hazraat Ek Zaroori Eelaan

This is really neat.



Magazine name: Papercuts

Focus: New writing, emerging writers, South Asia

Deadline: December 5th, 2012

Theme: Prequel. (What happened before the main event? Background, origins, hidden past etc.)
Material being solicited: Poetry and prose. We are also looking for article writers to discuss ideas with and commission reportage pieces to.

Submission details: Guidelines can be found at www.desiwriterslounge.net/papercuts/submissions and entries must be sent to editor.papercuts@desiwriterslounge.net

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla

..and to think we are entering into Diwali season, and I still havent done my Eid-ul-Adha post! Well I dont know if I have written about it here, but it seems that I am in charge of keeping Arhaan's class room Shariah compliant. I had given a small presentation for Chothi Eid and the spirit of Ramzan. It involved some puppets , much emphasis on living a disciplined life, basically trying to brain wash them out of thinking Eid as a Muslim social; but you know how it is with a desi audiences. All they want to know is when will the speech end and the Big People serve  kheer. So that is how my first encounter with his class went.

I guess they liked what they saw for the principal asked me to do something for Bari Eid too. We were going to be away for Eid (Kochi! which deserves a post of its own) so I decided to write something and see what the teachers make of it. In the process of writing the Eid story I realised more than the spirit of sacrifice (which we are reminded of every year) the Eid story is about "faith" and perhaps some things that will always remain mysterious (or  should I say unfathomable?) but let it go, Aneela, and trust the grown ups. I thought about little Ismael and his parents. Dad has a dream. Mom loses him in the desert. And nary a Norwegian Child Care Worker in sight. But the parents pulled through with a little help from God. So that is what I am going to do this year. Stop believing I have all the answers, and therefore I can question. For we dont. So we cant.

My current phase of mind was very helpful when The Man and me stepped out to watch English Vinglish. You know those pretty pretty girls who were your seniors in school, most days you would have a girl crush on them? And you meet them after a decade or so in the market, and they seem , well for want of a better word, subdued. With none of the spark and verve you remember from oh has it been that long?  and you think to yourself What Happened? Did We Grow Up? Were They Always Like This? Haw Hai? What Happened to Her? And why oh why did she let this happen to her! School me tau..
Well that was my evening at the cinema, you look at someone you admired so long ago and try to spur her on! Manju would have slapped that brat of a daughter silly to begin with. And when Amitabh counsels Sri Devi's Shashi about wine; sigh! I prompt her for a Madeira? once more and you shake your head and ask yourself They Are Trying to Teach My Sri Devi All This. She dances in secret and you coax her to let the inner Sri Devi out! Guaranteed she could not whip out a chiffon Kaate Nahi but a goody goody good as gold sorry Chandni Sri Devi always had her tandav.
But as ever Sri Devi has her plan. And ours is not to question why. She knows what to do yara, we should sit back and let her take charge and stop asking questions. Why is her husband like this? Why couldnt she choose Mehdi. Her eyes are the same, two clouds drops of coffee, naagin snake nigahen eyes. It is Sri Devi. Sit back. 

And that is why I leave you with this song. References to moon, Hindu-Muslim unity, piya ghar aaya aside, it has a young Kunal Khemu. Let ye who has never questioned now what does that to the Palace born, charming, of some talent, beautiful Soha see in this eh err young chap cast the first stone I say.
But in the spirit of my new resolution ours is not to know. Trust them . Have faith. We need not have all the answers.