Friday, February 20, 2015

Being a Muslim on a "Social" Network!

Dec 16th 2014- The black day. The flooded blood and the imaginary shrieks made me shudder. Just before that there was a Sydney Siege and 2 people got killed by a deranged man. I was just getting back to normal after inquiring about the safety of some of my Sydney friends . I had let out a sigh of relief when the deranged man Monis's act ended and when I knew it was not a terrorist attack,  but pretty soon after that, the terrorists attacked the Peshawar school , killing 140 + children which appalled me. I am a Muslim and like you all I was groping in the dark for solution. Due to some virtual experiences around me , neither #I'llridewithyou nor the #IndiawithPakistan relieved me  even if those acts highlighted the compassion some people actually have in their hearts!

Added  to that some Pakistanis blamed India for the attack when Talibanis themselves agreed that they are the people responsible for the attack in school, which agitated me a bit more. Like you all who belong to all other religions I was also trying to find the answers. Like you all , I was also trying to find a solution. I was worried that these A***holes quote Allahuakbar and recite Quran verses before killing.  Peoples' questions that why do Your folks not condemn ? why don't Muslim leaders raise voice ? why don't you raise voice  ? Why are you a coward ? - bothered me more Why will any sane person support such act where there is blood shed ? I myself am nonplussed thinking why and what shit goes in to their brain which makes them nonchalantly do all this. Like always  I started brooding. What can be possibly done to uproot this ? To eradicate this? Yes I too want to get rid of the terrorists . Will I get that chance ? What can I possibly do by sitting in my safe haven ? 


I had a heated up argument with a lady when she had put up a long status, 
after the Peshawar attack, the gist of which is that many of the Muslims are indifferent and are cowards. Islamists are killers and they don't react to killings is the summary of her update. After losing my sleep for 3 days , after long discussions where I tried to explain to her how her status message can be misinterpreted, I un-friended her for my own mental peace but the hatred continued in fresh status messages where she totally spiced up and presented a contorted view of what I said and how I said and made her friends pray for my mental peace. I could only wish her get well soon. During this fiasco many people supported me irrespective of their religion but there were many who kept jumping the walls. Too many opinions and updates again did a parade on my mind and most of them who have put them up are authors, fairly educated folks and are very knowledgeable ,who in the other times say empathy is more important than a religion.  

Excerpts from her LONG status message after I deleted her on Facebook: "Just because we need to live in peace, does not mean we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches as if all is well. A Muslim friend of mine unfriended me on Facebook for a discussion over Islamist Terrorism. I generally always speak brutal, because I don't fancy any nonsense placating or playing victim. But it's a shame that she took my so-perceived hate tone as a reason to stop talking to me, rather than coming to the point and discussing Islamist Terrorism! LOL, now that's laughable, and I'm not even angry! I'm not mocking at her, may she continue to do well, but again taking this opportunity to make my point. 


I've always said "many/most Muslims are cowards" and not "all Muslims are cowards"! Muslims are not extra-terrestrial beings that they won't feel the pain of victims, yet only few Muslims stand up against Islamist Terrorism; most come up with these foolish excuses as if we are targeting them and their religion. Peace will prevail! I'm not angry, just laughing at how small-minded some are, and sharing the experience here, though it all ends up as if I'm bitching about her, but that's not my intention at all. Just because we need to live in peace, does not mean we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches as if all is well. " The purpose of my posts was to condemn Islamist Terrorism in the harshest of ways, and I'm glad ****** spoke up too, and somewhere Muslims and non-Muslims, who are not expressive about Islamist Terrorism, will also speak up and stop putting up a charade or timidly behaving like it does not effect them."


I failed to understand how her harsh ways towards all in general is going to resolve this global issue of terrorism and she failed to explain to me and give me a transparent picture as to how her arm chair activism is going to help ? Facebook during times of rage does bring out real intentions and ideas! I wonder if the same ideas will be disclosed or not when he / she has to do it face to face! It is a must to condemn terrorism and also the leaders who fuel it more rather than curbing it. It is alright to express anger as it is tough to suppress it. It is fine if you are violent and harsh towards extremists. It is justifiable but when you are doing what ever you want to, it will feel good if the act is not used as a reason to show the hidden hatred towards all Muslims ! The border lines between apathy , empathy and sympathy always vanish on social network.

I did not reply . I did not retort. I know angst is building up in many around me due to increasing fanaticism and due to the mere fact that 60% of the killings are due to Islamist terrorism. " I and many Muslims like me are suffering more due to relentless opinions, bashing and hidden hatred towards normal people like us. But we are helpless. Yes if you think your religion doesn't have killers and we are born with the tag to kill anyone and everyone then congratulations to you. Celebrate your religion and feel lucky . That is what you intend to say every time you put up a status update but next time when you put up such update just give one thought to people like me who are also painted by the same brush." -- I actually wanted to reply this but I couldn't as I felt I can no more face the wrathful tongue and project my vulnerable side to her!


I embraced my self to stay away from many on social media who were and are suggesting that- Many of us are merciless, ruthless and non-humans. My keeping quiet doesn't  mean I am with killers and taking it all easy . Many like me cry and our hearts bleed too.. My sincere request to all those who are furiously updating statuses and who are generalizing that we all are filthy is that they need not worry. Even if I am pissed off, upset and feeling distressed,  I am tolerant enough to not kill them. Unfortunately every time something like this happens, we are mostly silent as we have nothing to say. We are sad, terrorized , victimized and numb too. As many who literally live in a social n/w believe that the reliable source of condemnation is only the status updates  or online write ups I thought of writing this up. Those who kill are mentally deranged - YES and every time I see that some massacre happened somewhere I get scared of the tag more than "others". I get burdened more than "others" when I hear the motive they mention behind the killing is Allah or religion. I or people like me are more impacted and always suffer a lotWe are burdened more than the others  as their actual motive is demeaning the religion and not avenging the prophet which they announce as the agenda.  But I will continue practicing my faiths. Yes we do have killers who say they follow the faith I follow. But I will continue believing in Allah, doing Namaz , reading Quran and reciting kalimas because that is what I learnt to do and will be doing  till I die or get killed. I am not myself from quite some time. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre I reminisced the actual sayings by prophet which my grandma used to narrate during Ramzan month and it made me cry!


I have unfollowed / unfriended many for my own peace. I felt if a person cannot be compassionate to others who just want to live and let live like he / she does and  feels unsafe and thinks that I might be one of "them" then it is better to stay away from him/her. That way  I can be at peace and he/she will have one killer less on the list !

Shared below are screen shots of status updates and some of my replies after which I confronted the lady saying when humanity has died million deaths I don't want directionless rage and negativity around me .

Her first status update. Save and zoom, if you can't read
My responses along with this post written during the Sydney Incident-Stop asking Muslims to condemn terrorism. It's bigoted and Islamophobic.

I reacted as this was not her first status message of this kind. I ignored so many times when she mocked, ridiculed or insulted. When she went in to technical and logical details I too waged a war on FB to put forward my thoughts [this was the first time I did something of this sort and I repented almost immediately] . She is not used to smooth talks so she was spitting and farting  in all directions but I tried to end on a peace note saying" your rage is good but during these times it will be better if you are slightly compassionate towards living as much as you are compassionate towards dead. Give your angst a proper direction and use your words wisely" I told. For that she has put up another outrageous update which is shared above (in blue font) that She is LOLing at my unfriending act and that some people are irreparable and she conducted mass prayers on FB for my mental illness saying people like me play wonderful roles of victims and want sympathy and nothing else. I was disturbed for a week and then I blocked her.

Charlie Hebdo was indeed a sad incident. Humanity died million deaths after kids were killed in Gaza and Peshawar. Any kind of killing which is done by humans is a blot on mankind and makes me question almighty's existence. Any kind of killing cannot be justified. It troubles me that the barbaric act of terrorism is multiplying with each passing day and when people die you lose hope on life but some people do increase  hope by proving that even in the harshest circumstances, the religion of humanity will be alive. Thanks to Roshan for penning this post-  The world is not a bad place. 


 The scenario is not like the lady who stated above that "Many Muslims are apathetic when it is a non-Muslim who dies and sympathetic when a Muslim dies." She argues that she did not say any but mentioned many . But it does seem like , her intentions are crystal clear. Her caustic tongue , angst and fire were being bombarded in every direction and she was at ease performing this act continuously and mindlessly thinking that she is reforming the world and her friends / followers supported her cause and some other people who were tolerating her from long thanked me for speaking up! I got myself deleted from her list to which she tried to dump some more dung on me. I know, Islamophobia is ruling the world and I know that the U.N. has coined this term "Islamophobia" too but when you see that people around you take this as a reason to hate anyone and everyone, you get distressed! Muslims die too in the terrorist attacks and sympathy or compassion doesn't vary based on religion!

Friends who seemed like they supported me at some point, also have kept status updates shortly after this  - "That Muslims are merciless and that he/she thanks God that she is not a Muslim." and that " They have foolish God men in their religion which is better than having killers like in my religion."  My status update after reading all hateful updates was like below.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"The Proposal" - My wedding poem

He came like a stranger with no preset mind to meet me.
But I sat with too many bothering thoughts, which I felt he could see!
I wished for the "official" aura to disintegrate so that I could act minus the decree.
I some how felt he was experiencing the same confusion and it made me glee!



The initial shyness vanished when he smiled broad.
I shuddered thinking , “What to speak next?? Oh LORD!”
I silently conveyed thanks to someone who interrupted,
for whatever I spoke sounded silly and disrupted!


Minutes passed to hours and I found my-self relaxed.

I was naturally conversing, the way I do with only few and no one coaxed!
I found myself chatting, questioning and then elaborately replying.
The ambience seemed joyful and without any reason I was smiling!


I didn't know if it was a new bond in making.
I wasn't even sure if I was real or if I was faking!
Only thing I was sure was there was some vibe.
His presence was pleasant and there wasn't any kind of jibe!


He hinted a question with his eyes and I said "YES".

Instantly I started dreaming about me in the wedding dress!
I started getting panicky about my life and hoped that God will bless.
When he gave an assuring nod, though the fears didn't disappear they became less!


I had butterflies in stomach when I realized that marriage was on cards.
There were no poems recited or songs sung by the bards!
There was no sparkle in the sky and there were no stars falling down.
There were only smiles as there was no time to frown!!

It is always special just he and me.
I feel like a queen wearing tiara and he looks like the king with a crown! :)



Mine was an arranged marriage and there were no flashy proposals or cinematic stories but whether it is an arranged or a love marriage , love does make the ride worth while. Love helps to ignore the negatives and highlight the positives. Love makes one bloom in others' color and marriage just glorifies the color. It does feel tricky in an arranged marriage when you choose some one based on some criteria (not that it is too different in a love marriage as you have some criteria there too) , but at times your heart does whisper that "he / she is the one," and I think one should understand the subtle hints of the heart :)

Image source : here

 I want to end this post by sharing the below filmy video which we made explaining each other briefly as part of our wedding invite :) 
                                           Link for the video in case you can't see - U and me


 “I am participating in the #SoundOfLove activity atBlogAdda in association with Bluestone”.

Source : here

           When you are here check out the #SoundOfLove video  below :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

If we have "Faults in our Stars" will we be "Okay" ?

I go in to a shell when I face a slight discomfort in my life. Will I be  "OKAY" if actually a bigger calamity occurs. Will I be OK and courageous and fight the obstacles and win ? How will my parents react if they knew some thing terrible has happened to me ? Will they be OKAY and put up a smile and a courageous face just to console me ? Will I be able to make the moments merrier and worthy enough like Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters? These were the first questions which popped in  my head after watching, "the fault in our stars."  This post is not particularly a review but to explain how the movie impacted me!

"Thank your stars" - This is what we keep hearing whenever we are out of a situation. Thank your stars as you are just left with a fracture and the accident was not terminal. Thank your stars for being a guy and for not having to bear the labour pain. Thank your stars for this , that and for every thing but what will you do if you have faults in your stars and are trying to defeat a terminal illness your whole life just to increase some more days of your life! Can you thank God for the life he gave ? Can you stay positive and ignore the repercussions ? All these questions are haunting me from the moment I watched the movie.
Gus and Hazel
Hazel Grace ( Shailene Woodley) is terminally sick and has thyroid cancer which spreads to lungs. She breathes only with the help of the oxygen cylinder which she always carries, where as Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort) is a cancer patient who lost a leg because of bone cancer but is extremely positive towards life. They feel connected in seconds and there is no stopping to the strong bond. Gus is head over heels for Hazel. Hazel who first resists the charm finally gives in. They both prove that LOVE doesn't need TIME. Both of them are so fitting in the story, so young yet so matured sharing love and pain both which demand to be felt.

There are so many dialogues and quotes from the movie which have just hit the nail on the head. I shuddered and got lost in thoughts when Gus says , "You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world. But you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices." I didn't know how to respond to this. If I was in Hazel's place I would have immediately hugged him tight as obviously I might cry and fall short of words. With out deeply explaining everything I will just mention some scenes and quotes and why I loved them so much.



Visit to Amsterdam and the Anne Frank House:


One of the deepest wishes of Hazel which she wants to fulfill in her life time is to meet author, Peter van Houten to know what happens to the characters and story after his book ends which is quite incomplete to her. After too much fuss and struggle they make it to Amsterdam only to realise that the author is a frustrated soul who gets extremely rude and disappoints them but they have a great trip where they realise the spark of romance which was there between them from long. They visit Anne Frank house with the help of Lidewij - Van Houten's assistant and I loved the entire scene - How Hazel struggles to climb the steps and still is determined to see it all , the background narration in Anne Frank's house which is both inspiring and saddening and which sets a perfect backdrop for their first romantic kiss. It was heart warming to see the love between them.


The Eulogy scene:

Needless to say , this is the scene which made me shed tears. It was powerful , heart wrenching and you just can't resist your tears. In a satanic twist of life Augustus's Cancer flares up , spreads in the entire body and is terminal.He invites his friends Hazel and Chris to his pre-funeral in the church. As and when Hazel started talking I tried a lot to not cry and then cried a lot and lot! I am sharing a snippet from Hazel's speech below.

“There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars


Yes some infinities are greater than other infinities and the way she told made me bawl. I cried hopelessly. I prayed that Gus should get more days but the inevitable happens and he dies. If this eulogy made me cry , Gus's eulogy made me smile and gave me will power . Rather than sharing the lines , hear it in his own voice in the clip shared below. He mails the eulogy to Van Houten where he says " Van Houten is a good writer but a shitty person but Gus is a shitty writer and a good person".  I loved the ending where Hazel watches the open sky and stars hugging the letter to herself .I realized that becoming weak once in a while is inevitable for even the strongest of the people. I cried along with Gus when he becomes weak and feels defeated. I was inspired by his sense of humour even in the darkest hours. The dark and pessimistic words of author (Van Houten) too made sense at some point of time.




All I want to say is it is tough to get this movie out of my head and soul. I am deeply impacted. Too many words are etched in my mind. If only we could make the "Long" lives we live better ones like Hazel/ Gus. If only we try to be "OKAY" and get out of troubles instead of frantically cursing ourselves, life would be much better. I am all set to be a bit courageous and read the book now :) Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are shared below.


“It's a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don't give it the power to do its killing.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“Maybe 'okay' will be our 'always” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“I'm a grenade and at some point I'm going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars

“As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” 
― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars


Lastly I wish we all should be "always ""okay" . First I saw My Sister's Keeper (which also made me think a lot) and now this .I take this chance to salute to all the cancer patients who fought the disease and won over it and all other people who struggle with 100 issues day in and day out and to whom every day life is a battle. I also take this chance to salute to all those patients who succumbed to cancer and other dreadful diseases.  One should watch this movie to become more positive towards life because...

  "In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."

                              
and a video and a song I loved on You tube-
               

LinkWithIn

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