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Muslims, Prove your Citizenship !

January 3, 2020 Leave a comment

सरकार, मै एक मुसलमान हूँ जो भारत के झारखंड राज्य के पाकुड़ जिला में बहुत वर्षो से रह रहा हूँ . अभी विवाहित हूँ, बच्चे हैं , और घर नहीं हैं, किराए के घर पर रहता रहा हूँ.80094702_10221710328566288_3970073519936503808_nकृपया यह बताने का कष्ट करें कि नागरिकता संशोधन क़ानून के तहत मुझे किस प्रकार से सवाल करेंगे , किस प्रकार के कागज़ात मुझसे आप मांगेंगे ?

सरकार मैंने सुना है, कि आप हिन्दू,इसाई, जैन आदि , सभी धर्म के लोगों से अलग व्यवहार करेंगे, और हम जैसे मुसलमान धर्म के लोगों से अलग व्यवहार करेंगे – मुसलमान के लिए इस क़ानून के तहत अलग नियम है !

सरकार , ऐसा क्यूँ , क्या हम इस देश में दोयम दर्जे के इंसान हैं ?
हमने तो भारत के संविधान और मूल्यों के बारे में यह समझा था , कि धर्म के 

नाम पर कोई अलग बर्ताव नहीं होगा. और कि यह धर्म निरपेक्ष राज्य है … फिर सरकार के रूप में आप मेरे साथ और मेरी तरह रहने वाले पाकुड़ के अनेक मुसलमान भाईयों से (जिनको कई लोग बांग्लादेशी घुसपैठीया बोलते हैं) ..अलग बर्ताव (तंग करने वाला) क्यूँ करेंगे ?

Why should my Muslim brethren be compelled to furnish extra document proof , to get Citizenship (when the people of other religions do not have to) ? This isn’t the Idea of India that the founders of our country visioned !!
Take Back CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act).. It is against the very spirit of our Constitution !!

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Learning on Bicycle with Dad

January 3, 2020 1 comment

It was cold with weather forecast of some rains , but still the spirits were high and people turned up for the CAA, NRC protest program at Gandhi statue Morhabadi. There were approximately 1500 people, and speech, protest slogans/ songs are going on.  During a tea at the tea stall nearby Ankita asks Zohra, my daughter studying in Class 4 and accompanying me – Do you study Constitution in your school. Zohra says ‘Yes, that Men and Women are Equal’ ! (that is how she defines the first thing in Constitution about) And there are very few women around !! IMG_20200102_130641

The solidarity with people around and slogan, songs, photo-selfie happens for 2hours. My contact list on the phone adds 10 new contacts. I get time to meet new acquaintances from the news portal Caravan and our friends of the Mahasabha. As the program comes to an end at 2pm with the drizzling rain, they help me get an umbrella and I bicycle down to home – Zohra sitting behind.

At home, it’s time to change all the clothes as they are wet, and have hot tea, and a late lunch, tucking ourselves inside the Razai (Quilt). Watching Rishi Kapoor’s Karz , singing to Tina Munim ‘Tu Sola Baras Kee, Mai Satrah Baras Kaa’ and I explain to Zohra the teenage attraction phenomenon (which her elder brother might be going through !)

In the evening we watched ‘Purush’ a 2 hour play on television. Maybe the original play was in Marathi with Nana Patekar, 15 years back, but this televised Hindi version had Ashutosh Rana. He played the role of a Politician who is known for sexual harassment and then rapes a social worker who was fighting the MeToo case. And when the exploitation / violence happens she says ‘How has this Idiot become a Politician (disgusting)?’

Today is 3rd January, and across India Savitribai Phule’s Birthday is being celebrated by women and LGBTQ groups to mobilise protest against CAA, NRC …and there will be a small program in Ranchi too. Will she accompany ( I have told her that Ujjna will be there) ? She says ‘Let’s go on motorcycle’ but her Dad is bent on acting Green – riding on a bicycle !!

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A Political Love Letter to My Son


This is post done on March 4th, 2016 on my Facebook page (Here) . Kind of emotional !
Dear Rimil Peter, my son..
Thanks for watching Kanhaiya speech in JNU ..with me for 45 minutes. I have explained how a colonial law ..which was used on Bhagat Singh ..is being used to define our patriotism and allegiance to our country.
You enjoyed the style of his speech delivery (and also of Ravish).. how we need to argue out our differences of opinion ..with ABVP, the saffron brigade ..who are not ‘enemies’ but the opposition group / ideology.
My son, though you are yet to witness ..what a university is like ..my narratives of my days in Jamia Millia Islamia ..and cultural youth activism with friends like Kapil Sharma whom you have met ..and will do more.. will surely help you to understand and visualise or dream of spaces ..which allow free discussion on democracy, diverse perspectives on autonomy, culture, sexuality etc.
What you saw as a movie in Rang De Basanti ..is happening with a different script ..in present JNU times. The young voices are being crushed ..forced to suicide (Rohit in Hyderabad University), or being put in jail. Kashmir and Bastar (Chhatisgarh) cannot be discussed publicly by citizens.. as these are issues of national security !
My son (and all young ones).. Do not allow your questions / enquiry to end. Keep the child in you alive ..and question your teachers the most absurd questions you have. As change comes when you are unsatisfied.. A radical change brought by a collective effort is what a Revolution or Inquilab is about. इंकलाब ज़िंदाबाद means Long live the Revolution.

MMS and Touchphone


A month back the first Touchphone came into my hand. Gifted ..as most of my things are.. by loved ones (will not name here).
I was excited ..but as usual in a restrained way (have began acting a Yogi.. satisfied with whatever little). Ha Ha .. Nirvana is a long way far ..maybe not my goal.. as want to remain a human ..experiencing the elements of desire and narrating the same to all.
Well ..so I was telling about this Touchphone.. Rimil was too excited.. hoping to play games. But Papa is too strict about it. Papa (me) started installing the essential applications.. and then it started indicating lack of disk space ..and so inserted a SD card of 8Gb ..googled ways to change memory location and installed link2sd app for the same.
I have always titled my blog posts ..based on a song or film ..and this technology instrument reminds me of MMS film in Hindi.. which I have always missed to watch as ..children are around when it comes on my Tatasky channel. While my children have watched adult films like ‘Blue Lagoon’ since they were 6 years… I am a little apprehensive about ..porn storyline videos.. which are now easily available on the internet.
I remember when while ..travelling in a passenger train in Chhatisgarh
..an accompanying traveller showed me porn videos on his smartphone. It was evening hours ..the travellers seemed to be the daily ones like.. who keep watching these or playing cards to entertain.. time pass.
So the thoughts are about the best use of these tech-smart instruments.. and if not feminise them.. at least ..prevent them from being violent.. in their imagery and hence adopt appropriate privacy , security options.
And so here goes my first post ..using a Touchphone !

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You Are My Sunshine

December 7, 2014 Leave a comment

I met a nice guy Stephen a few days back in a human rights workshop. Youngish American playing guitar during all the free time he had, and helping us learn whatever Yoga he has learnt during his an year of stay stretching 2-3 years (has been visiting the Tibetan movement led by Dalai Lama).

I caught him the first day in the evening and practised singing with him. And the song was…. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine , you make me happy when skies are grey. I was listening to the song after a gap of, say 25 years, at least. So later in the night hours I googled, and downloaded info and songs versions by various artists.

During a chat with another young TISS person , I was told by her that the song has some issues with it (about the Civil War version)… then researched fully all different lyrics versions and though I could sense a ‘possessiveness in the love’ .. there was nothing so bad as to draw a critique for it. Now in 15 days of practice, this is one of the favourite song for Khushi, my 4.5 years daughter.

Yesterday I came home after a trip of 5 days, at midnight hours. Deepti (my wife) made few chapatis for me, and then a coffee, slept at 1am. As I usually sleep in the front room, and not the bedroom, where wife and children sleep, …when Khushi awakes in the morning, she comes straight to me, to lie besides me.

Today when she came in the morning to lie besides me .. I sang 3-4 songs for her. You are my Sunshine, Country Roads, Saanvli Si Raat Ho (Barfi), …. The more I sing with her, the more she learns the song, and sings along with me !

Bhaag Milkha – Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara


We have watched Bhaag Milkha Bhaag more than twice on home television.

Why I write about Milkha over here, is the mention it has found in my daughter Zohra’s conversations. When I was exercising one day (which I rarely am able to do regularly.. just 2-3 times in a week), she admired my exercising in shorts and vest ..and said that I was jogging like Milkha.

Then whenever I play the songs of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara …and the poetry recitations come she again says ..its Milkha speaking. Yes, that’s it .. Farhan Akhtar has played the role so well that his voice is synonymous connected with the character he has played.

Listen to his Farhan’s wonderful narration of Javed Akhtar’s poetry … यह जो गहरे सन्नाटे है, वक़्त ने सबको ही बाटें है Ye Jo gahre sannate hai, waqt ne sab ko hee baatein hai …. these mysterious silences resound in the lives of each human being, it has been equally been placed in each human’s life .. to make their own effort to understand it.

While I want this blog to remain a personal blog .. and hence have not given any external links so far.. but here is the the link on ZNMD on wikipedia.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zindagi_Na_Milegi_Dobara (During the writing of this blog I understood that Farhan is also called Imraan … and Imraan’s Shayari here is that of Javed Akhtar)

Bhaag Milkha Bhaag .. is a film about great sportsman of India Milkha Singh .. who won many Olympics Gold medal in atheletics.

While coming out of Social Development Centre (SDC) in Ranchi one day I showed the publicity board of a girl in a Judo Karate dress … this was an advertisment of the classes that take place in Purulia Road for girls. I told her that’s the way Mary Kom (the Indian women’s boxing champ) looks like… and that some time later soon she can join the classes to be as sporting as Mary.

So that’s how characters play their effect on children’s minds. And they can be tremendous mover .. and today’s generation of children have smart brains.. they catch things very fast !!

Clash of the Titans VS Taare Zameen Par


Usually, I do not keep English movie pack, but as Tatasky DTH gives a scheme on each Saturday, I added the pack of English films when it was offered for Rs 5 for one whole month. (Did it thrice in the past one year.. watching English movies at just Rs 5 for the month)

Yesterday, I was watching Clash of the Titans on WB Channel. It was a one break movie and was enjoying /learning Greek mythology. Soon Rimil and Zohra joined.. they were in a Birthday party upstairs. Rimil looked into the movie information (2-3 lines about its story)… and started enjoying.

Soon there was a break and I picked up the Remote Control to scan the other channels. Taare Zameen Par was happening on Zee Cinema, ..watched for sometime .. and then after the long break pressed the Back button to go back to the English movie.

But Zohra (Khushi) insisted on the small boy film, the trailer of which she had been watching the past days. Deepti (my wife) also insisted for TZP. And finally after a 5 minutes argument between Rimil and Zohra, I finally decided that TZP is the option to be chosen.

There is immense fan following for Aamir Khan amongst my children, and whenever there is something worthwhile for children to listen to / watch .. the preference is for them. Exciting to watch in the film .. teeth of the protagonist boy (Ishaan), Aamir’s entrance into the classroom as a Joker and singing – dancing the while swirling his hips. the song Maa about mother’s love for the child.

Lesson – there is a vast amount of packed action on the small / big screen ..but there are few moments of true love and emotions .. which children (and all) need to watch and experience for them to get the taste of love (beyond conflict and violence which is immense in society, and he / she will confront in real life).

Get Offline, Kids !

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Is there a life beyond or should I say in the absence of online / digital world ? This is a question I feel is very pertinent to be asked to you young kids – boys or girls. Each one of them are now engaged with some digital communication tool or the other for something like 3-4 to 7-8 hours.

When I say digital communication, I am talking about satellite television channels, mobiles, touchpads, laptops , computers, camera etc. They are consuming thousand kilobytes of information every day, with their contribution in the production of information being very little or nil.

With the new range of touchpads and 3G enabled devices they are regularly sms-ing, tweeting, liking on facebook, watching videos on YouTube, sharing, chatting on WhatsApp chat application … Is this a healthy habit ? Well, anything in excess of a certain limit is bad for health ..

In the past 1-2 years I have come across children who have a strong addiction to these, to an extent that it has hampered their communication with the family members. Such children show an inclination to keep off human beings around them and to maintain minimal verbal communication, with full attention to a relative or acquaintance.

This kind of digitalization of human relationships and communications is very dangerous. Today’s parents have a great challenge in front of them to enhance their own verbal personal communication with the kids near them, so that the kids find the adults more interesting. Gone are the days when the parents could get away with just giving their children’s fees and expecting the teachers to fulfill the role of preparing the children for the forthcoming future. Now the parents need to be more creative and aware to guide their children to make the best use of these digital equipments.

The crisis can be huge, and it is the moment we need to take charge of the situation, to make the best children for our future – children who value the relationships, who maintain equity in gender relations, who are non-violent and who support the aged. This is required with the change, now very much evident, in Indian society.

Romantic Songs – My Initial Starters into Public Singing

January 9, 2014 Leave a comment

The songs or choir classes had not started as yet, but whenever there was some free time after Teacher had taken the class or in the absence of a class teacher when the class monitor was to maintain class, I was asked to sing a song. As far as I can remember there were another two friends who used to sing their songs.

When I was in 5th standard schooling the song that was my favourite was ‘Neele Neele Ambar Par Chand Jab Aaye’. The song is popular amongst the learners in guitar. The lyrics say about longing for the lover during a night sky with moon, and mentions ‘thirst of the heart’ to be fulfilled.

In 7th standard I had also taken to English songs. It was due to the Grammy’s Award telecast on the television, and we were looking at the pop charts closely. And my favourite was ‘Whats Love Got To Do With It’.  This Tina Turner’s song starts with ‘You must understand that the touch of your hand makes my pulse react, Its physical ..’

Now when I try to analyse I can see commonness in the two songs – a strong romantic element with lyrics about a boy-girl relationship.  So between the age of 10 to 13 years I was singing quite romantic songs and the boy-girl physical relationship were important themes of that era of my music life or life as a whole.

There is further to be written about socialisation with opposite sex which I will do in a separate post (the reason why I purposely admitted them for schooling in a Co-Ed school). But to strike the note .. the point is that some bit of attraction to romantic feelings starts coming at a young age. And this should get creative expression.

‘Break Ke Baad’ – Cocktail Lifestyle

November 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Saw this movie named Cocktail. Deepika Padukone has played a wonderful role in it, along with Saif at his best. I was very impressed with the ‘free’ lifestyles depicted in the film. Young boys and girls moving towards mature, conjugal living together without even a thought or plan of getting married.. ‘working out’ together.

The conversations between the two female protagonists, between liberal to conservative sex behavior and engagement with the opposite sex.. is quite interesting to reveal the way the young people think and act in the current times.

This film and other similar ones like ‘Break Ke Baad’ and ‘Wake Up Sid’, are about relationships between young men and women… are depiction of the trend the young people’s affairs are.. and hence indicative of the fast way these might undergo further change till my kids grow up.

It is very necessary and a challenging task for parents of today to keep up with the pace of minds / perspectives / attitudinal change of their children. Personally for me,.. it is challenging, exciting and ‘life worth living’ when I engage with my kids and try to run at my mind, thought processes and actions with the level they want.

Now what does ‘my kids’ means? I have always had a dis-taste for anything which builds up ownership.. from …..my husband, my wife, my things, .. But seems I am developing an ownership.. too close a personal belongingness.. which will hurt when distances are developed at adult stages / future. On the other hand pain and agony are part of the lives that human beings live, and it is the taste of this mix of happy and sad moments which build our energies, and help us to move more maturely towards our lives’ goals (which keep on moving further)!

Reminds me of many Facebook comments that I have wrote to some of my friends quoting the lyrics of a Talat Mehmood song ‘Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai.. Jab had se guzar jaati hai khushi, aansu bhi chhalakte aate hai.. Kaaton mein khile hai phul hamare rang bhare afsano ke.. Naadaan hai jo in kaaton se daaman ko bachaaye jaate hai.. Hai sabse madhur wo geet jinhe hum dard ke sur me gaate hai’

I am writing this at 11pm while travelling in a General compartment of a train travelling to Ranchi on a weekend. Have been so much engaged for past days in professional development consultancy and some ‘construction work’ that this write up has been pending.. for almost a fortnight. Finally decided to take out my laptop, in the midst of the crowd and start typing…

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