Sleeping with the Enemy

I have named it so because we as Indians always consider Pakistan as an arch rival and vice versa.  It manifests not just in Kargil or Siachen but also in Cricket or Hockey Stadiums. Any move by the Indian Government to concede in any form to Pakistan is met with a Dagger & Stone Fury. On other side, no government can survive in Pakistan if it is not Anti India.

 

But what happens when two Pakistanis and an Indian stay together? I happened to be in Bahrain and was looking out for an accommodation. I stumbled upon a Paki Gentleman who had a room to rent. At first I was reluctant but the urge to go through the experience overcame me and I decided to stay with them

I was provided a well furnished room and I settled down to live there. There was fear, anxiety and curiosity. But soon it all melted down to one of friendship, sharing and fun.The hospitality that I enjoyed therein was simply overwhelming. Food was prepared and set aside for me when I was not around. We spread out the food on a carpet on the floor and sat around it, in truly mughal style. By the way, I must add though, that  I was not paying a penny for any of this. The bargain was only for the accomodation. My water jug was regularly replenished. The room was cleaned and I was asked regularly if there was any inconvenience I suffered. Initially I was suspicious on why they were treating me so well but as the days went by, I realized it was coming from the heart.

In the evenings, we went out together to dine out, sometimes to Indian restaurants and Paki restaurants at other times. Mr. Shabbir the elder of the two was about 50 years and the other was Ahmed, about 30 years. Mr. Shabbir was more or less a vegetarian and ate only chicken and never any red meat or fish. He was well educated and spoke of the follies of the Indo Pak policies. He was saddened by the fact that fundamentalism was on the rise in Pakistan and that it was detrimental to the nation. He was critical of the fact that the perpetration of violence anywhere in the world almost always zeroed in on Islamic Activists and the reason he felt was the lack of liberal thinkers and the motivation of the younger generation towards violence.He spoke of instances where he had openly opposed the actions of many, at small forums or congregations, which he felt was not Islamic.

Islam does not propogate violence or the killing of fellow humans. He felt it is not important whether one is a muslim or hindu or a christian, it is important to be a good human being first. This touched me more than anything else.

We had long hours of desultory conversations wherein I learnt a lot about Pakistan and its culture. We spoke in length on beliefs such as that of Witchcraft, spirits, marriage and relationships. These guys knew more about Bollywood actresses and actors than I had ever known. They enjoyed watching the music shows on Star and Zee and were fully aware of the players in each of the IPCL teams.

I was feeling I was staying with someone from India. Indeed, it left me wondering how much of goodwill can be built on people to people relationships. We have so many things in common but the rivalry dwarfs them all. I can only say that the rivalry is only skin deep and that people to people contact can shed all that skin.

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The heinious murder of an innocent child

It comes as a shame that in todays modern world, we still have supertitions that surpass all humane traits. In Muzzafarnagar the neighbourhood of the holy yamuna & ganges, an innocent child was brutally mutilated,dismembered, half burnt and even nailed at the forehead. The body of this innocent and unfortunate child was found on 22nd APril, 2008 in the sugarcane fields. Media coverage has been lukewarm, busy with the IPCL schedules.

Going by the first reports of the body, there is no doubt that this is an act of Tantric Extremism.  The six year old boy was last spotted by his mother playing in the fields while she was doing her chores for livelihood- working in the fields. A week later , the body was found, mutilated, dismembered and all those things done that only a beast, possessed with greed for worldly ills, would do to an innocent child. Who could ever think of such extreme acts of Barbarism but cowardly beasts in human skin, mad with greed.

Human Sacrifice had long been discarded by soceity but there have been instances now and then of such extreme acts especially in Rural North India. Poverty & illiteracy being the breeding grounds for superstitions and  barbaric rituals, tantric sacrifices were reported during the years 2002 & 2003. In 2005, three people including the tantric was arrested for beheading a 5 year old child in sacrifice. Muzaffarnagar again is in the news for the same reason. What are the people’s representatives doing over such acts of barbarism.

Tantrics usually lure people suffering in life with natural problems like uncurable diseases, infertility, losses in business or even want of male child.  While animal sacrifice is very common, human sacrifice is extremely rare and could involve a lot of money. It goes without saying that it is those people who encourage who are able to afford large sums of money that the tantrics ask for.  Also some tantrics beleive that with human sacrifice, they are bestowed with supernatural powers. The first male child is always preferred for sacrifice.

How can this evil be uprooted ?  As hindus , we must deplore all such attempts to desanctify humanity and religion. Organisations like the VHP and RSS must not only condemn but campaign aginst such barbarism.

Such sacrifices are not only restricted to our Hinduism but other religions and regions of the world. For instance, there are references of human sacrifice in the Bible- The Old Testament.

(Genesis 22:1-18) “Take your son, your only son – yes, Isaac, whom you love so much – and go to the land of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will point out to you.”

A Self Styled Journalist

A burning passion to share facts, facets, figures and fish tale opinions grew with me right from childhood. It had greatly weakened with age and worried me of its looming premature death. Much, like fish in an aquarium. But Providence has its strange ways and so this forum. I could not afford the education or rather I needed to go to more conventional fields where the returns were seen to come immediately and so I became an half baked engineer.

 

When you see journalists discussing weaponry on a US warship, walking the talk with great celebrities, covering great political debacles & victories or even shedding their own tears during a tsunami, tears of remorse silently depart from my eyes-why didn’t I  take a firm decision to go into journalism.

 

The world has bloomed from print newspapers to satellite TVs and the internet. The great Indian Polity ( the Indian subcontinent is immeasurably diverse in form & spirit) offers  

An extensive platform for journalism but it comes with hard work and effort. Until you have made it big it is effort without rewards, work without pay.

 

This blog offers  the right platform to share my views and opinions(often critical) about this nation as it struggles to live upto the aspirations of 1 billion people. It is difficult to satisfy everyone and impossible at that.From Kashmir to Kanya Kumari, from the the Hoogly to the Sabarmathi, a lot of water flows down, carrying with it the hopes, aspirations, victories, debacles, dreams & realities of this vast nation. It is very easy to call it the Land of Fakirs, an underdeveloped nation or a Country of Banyas, but the large reality is not realised until to travel through this country and see it in form & spirit. If you are interested in discovering a treasure called India, keep in touch and sooner you will realise the facts.