Monday, April 27, 2009
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: 'Riot' comments
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 23:47:44 +0400
I'm an Indian Muslim who was raised in the Sultanate of Oman and spent a decade in the US at university and at work. I'm also a writer. I actually just finished reading Dr. Tharoor's novel, 'A Riot', all in one day, mostly because I was unable to tear myself away from it. I just had to reach out and let Dr. Tharoor know how gripping his book was; it left me completely drained. Whenever I come across creative work that has such a powerful effect on me, I end up hoping that I too someday create something that affects people in the same way. Yikes.
All the best to Dr. Tharoor for the elections, woo hoo!
"Verily in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who believe."
- The Holy Quran (45:3)
They must've figured out how important I am because they replied back really fast!
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 16:11:58 -0400
Subject: Re: 'Riot' comments
Thank you, Khadija! I have sent this on to Dr. Tharoor and he was thrilled to hear from you and touched by your compliments.
He wishes you all the best with your writings and looks forward to hearing of your success!
"The woman in your life
Tomorrow you may get a working woman, but you should marry her with these facts as well.
Here is a girl, who is as much educated as you are;
Who is earning almost as much as you do;
One, who has dreams and aspirations just as you have because she is as human as you are;
One, who has never entered the kitchen in her life just like you or your Sister haven't, as she was busy in studies and competing in a system that gives no special concession to girls for their culinary achievements
One, who has lived and loved her parents & brothers & sisters, almost as much as you do for 20-25 years of her life;
One, who has bravely agreed to leave behind all that, her home, people who love her, to adopt your home, your family, your ways and even your family ,name
One, who is somehow expected to be a master-chef from day #1, while you sleep oblivious to her predicament in her new circumstances, environment and that kitchen
One, who is expected to make the tea, first thing in the morning and cook food at the end of the day, even if she is as tired as you are, maybe more, and yet never ever expected to complain; to be a servant, a cook, a mother, a wife, even if she doesn't want to; and is learning just like you are as to what you want from her; and is clumsy and sloppy at times and knows that you won't like it if she is too demanding, or if she learns faster than you;
One, who has her own set of friends, and that includes boys and even men at her workplace too, those, who she knows from school days and yet is willing to put all that on the back-burners to avoid your irrational jealousy, unnecessary competition and your inherent insecurities;
Yes, she can drink and dance just as well as you can, but won't, simply because you won't like it, even though you say otherwise
One, who can be late from work once in a while whendeadlines, just like yours, are to be met;
One, who is doing her level best and wants to make this most important, relationship in her entire life a grand success, if you just help her some and trust her;
One, who just wants one thing from you, as you are the only one she knows in your entire house - your unstinted support, your sensitivities and most importantly - your understanding, or love, if you may call it.
But not many guys understand this......
Please appreciate "HER"
I hope you will do....
Forward this to as many women as possible... they'll love you for it!
Forward this to as many men as you can so that they'll know why women are so special :-)"
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Their hair shone gold in the dark river
She fell first
And he came after
Why they fell they don't remember
But down they went
One after the other
They sank in silence in slow motion
'Til all was quiet
At the bottom
They told me that they are there still
They sent me numbers
For their coffins
Dimensions for boxes of wood
98, 32, 68
They drift there still.
She wondered what that was all about.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
There was a time when men were kind
When their voices were soft
And their words inviting
There was a time when love was blind
And the world was a song
And the song was exciting
There was a time
Then it all went wrong
I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
And they turn your dream to shame
He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
so i prayed for a future in ribbons
come to me, my daughter
in the name of the secrets of Hawwa
Maryam, Khadija, Amina, Fatima, Hajira
I name you Kausar, the river of plenty in Paradise
Daria, queen of Persia
Nura, light of the universe
my universe of frilly socks and jewels
daughters today, mothers of civilisations tomorrow
but she hides in the night sky
in an armour of stardust
holding on tight to galaxies and novas
i'm scared, amma
they will make me cry when you're away
like they do you and your sisters today
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I was hopelessly in love with Jimmy Stewart's heart of gold. When I read in the papers that he'd died, I mourned for days. I still have the newspaper cuttings to show for my broken heart. :(
Baby girl asleep in her crib
In pink and soft cotton
An organic promise
A new beginning
A blank slate
The world before her
Everything a possibility
Every single thing
No mistakes yet
See her in all her perfectness
Ten fingers and ten toes
One samosa-like nose
Every part working miraculously
All by itself
And I think of the men in her life that will give her pain
All the people out there that are just waiting to do her harm
And I suddenly just...
...feel so mad
I feel SO mad
My eyes get so hot
My throat so tight
My limbs so cold
I just know I could kill the person that hurts her
I could do it right now
Slice the person who treats her less than she is
And makes her believe she deserves it
My first little niece
A brand new chance for good things
We'll do this right
Never a tear in her eyes
Never a grief in her heart
Never a reason to doubt herself
If she could see what I saw in her crib today
Looking back, sex was probably rolling around in bed without clothes with a person of the opposite sex. Rape, therefore, was probably someone forcing you to take your clothes off. I never saw rapes in English movies, so I thought it's something that never happened outside of the East. Indian movies always showed women getting their clothes ripped off by force, and then switched to scenes of the woman killing herself. I actually thought rape was a two-step process like so:
1. Woman gets her clothes taken off
2. Woman kills herself
Imagine my shock when I came across the 1974 TV movie 'A Case of Rape' and it showed a woman not killing herself after being raped. The woman was White on top of it. This was new. The trailers actually showed the woman fighting against the rapist in court. All of this really confused me. It was like suddenly someone told me that C comes after A and I'd been speaking another language all this time. I made it a point to watch the movie whenever it came on TV. Soon after, I moved to the US for college and was regularly exposed to all sorts of information about sexual assault and other kinds of abuse. I honestly look back upon things and can't believe I was such a dud. And I was a Biology student in high school even. I remember being taught about the human male and female reproductive systems and discovering that females actually had three body cavities in their private parts! But don't look at me all funny, most of my friends were shocked too. I distinctly remember immediately whispering to them, "there's a third"??
Ah, life was simple in binary.
"You are still at an age when one does not realise the perversity of men's hearts: I cannot therefore too strongly recommend you to be prudent and circumspect. Our Italian subjects are more deceitful by nature than the citizens of France. The only way you can keep their respect and serve their happiness is by having no one have your complete confidence and by never telling anyone what you really think of the ministers and high officials of your court. Dissimulation that comes naturally at a maturer age has to be emphasised and inculcated at yours. If you ever find speaking unnecessarily say to yourself, " I have made a mistake" and don’t do it again.
Show respect to the nation you govern and show it all the more as you discover less grounds for it. You will come to see in time that there is little difference between one nation and another...learn to listen and remember that silence is often as effective as a display of knowledge...so long as a prince holds his tongue his power is incalculable: he should never talk unless he knows he is the ablest man in the room.
Don’t trust spies they are trouble than they are worth. The army is one thing you can deal with personally... You must not expose yourself to any sort of affront. If anything of the kind occurs, don’t stand it. Whosoever he may be have him arrested on the spot. Don’t show too much attention to foreigners, there is nothing to gain by this. An ambassador will never speak well of you as it his business to speak ill.. Ambassadors/ ministers of foreign countries are in plain words accredited spies. Don’t show my letter to anyone under any pretext. One last word: Punish dishonesty ruthlessly. The exposure of a dishonest accountant is a victory of the Government...."