Eid ul Fitr is perhaps the only Muslim festival that is overtly celebratory. It spells fun and joy unreservedly. As children we must have perhaps known this intuitively. Fasting and prayer were not yet part of our life. We were free. Free of dogma, free from the burdens of identity and religion. Free from the… Read More

He sat on the edge of the bed beside maasi, a heart-broken old woman. Unshaven and unkempt, he was in pajama-kurta and a skull cap that Bohras wear. He was hugging his one leg which was raised, bent at the knee, and was leaning back a bit. He spoke in a voice that came as… Read More

This past weekend we went to an Afghan restaurant, and the choices on the menu was an affront – at least to a vegetarian. Between Veggie Mince Kabab and Veggie Chapli Kabab there was not much to choose from. For a split-second the carnivore in me reared its bloody head again, and like so many… Read More

Why would one write poetry, I don’t know. Why would one write anything at all, I don’t know. This much I know that we humans are a creative bunch. We create things, invent things. We just can’t help it. Without this innate, ancient urge to create I wonder where would we be today. But then,… Read More

During the Cold War American presidents had a handy way to manipulate the masses. All they had to do was cry out “the Russians are coming, the Russians are coming” and the gullible Americans would be spooked out of their wits. Similarly, there is a way to spook the Muslims? No, it’s not “the Americans… Read More

April is the cruelest month, thus wrote T.S. Eliot. Probably he thought stirring of lilacs from the dead ground, coaxed out by spring rain, is cruel. In a way it is. Life, or renewal of life, with its promise of inevitable death does appear to be cruel – to lilacs and laymen alike. But what… Read More

Normally one doesn’t care for the Oscars, after all it’s just a bunch of self-congratulatory rich, over-paid, self-important people who annually gather together to self-congratulate one another some more. Maybe that’s a bit over the top. But seriously, apart from the bragging rights and commercial spin-off from an Oscar win who really gives a rat’s… Read More

When I started writing what has now become the first part I did not know that there would be a second part. It just happened, one silly sentence led to another and I had a full-blown spoof on my hands. I had to just release it like a trial balloon and see how it went.… Read More

Valentine’s Day. Funny that they would dedicate only one day to love. If it were in my power I would devote every moment to it. Because what could be better than love. Even so, it is a good idea to have such “days” to celebrate what is generally taken for granted. It breaks the routine… Read More

It’s instructive how a few phrases can reveal a mindset of a people. Have you read a matrimonial ad lately? A generic ad will go on to describe qualifications, profession, height, weight etc. And if the ad is for a girl then “simple”, “respect for elders” and “fair complexion” are mandatory requirements. And if it… Read More