June 22nd, 2018

“Hai jurm-e-zaeefi kee saza marg-e-mafajat” Iqbal.20

I am not really sure what it is, but I have lost the will to air my opinion about the injustices that plague our world. Not that I was putting up meaningful posts before, but I felt strongly and passionately about the many things that were wrong, especially in the way the ‘enlightened’ West was persecuting the Muslim world and the Muslims, and I would rake my brains to find logical arguments against this persecution because I was, for some reason, under the false impression that the average western mind is logical & fair and strives to do the right thing. I remember having a drawn out argument with brother BAQ about how the Americans are good people and their Governments, successive governments, exploitative, unfair, unjust and cruel. Naive as I was…

I used to pine over the pictures of Iraqis bemoaning their entire families lost to “collateral damages”, and babies, toddlers and children killed by Israeli gunfire. I used to write passionate rhetoric about this and that.

Somewhere along the line, I began to understand.

The headlines did not jump at me, the extent of injustices in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and our own backyard ceased to shock me, the apathy of the world to the destruction of Lebanon did not surprise me, and the tragedy of my muslim brethren persecuted, prosecuted and summarily executed caused me alarmingly less pain. It continued to get worse, and today I have come to a point where everytime a European government announces another ban on the Muslim way of life, everytime there is another attempt at racial profiling of Muslims in the non-Muslim parts of the world, everytime a Bush or a Blair raises another cry for war, and everytime a Musharraf decides to bomb his own people, I nod to myself with a contentment and a resolve I did not know I had in me – a contentment borne from the knowledge that it must get worse before it gets better and that it can get only so worse, and a resolve to be part of whatever it takes to make it better.

The smokescreen of a non-anti-Muslim West is crumbling under the weight of its own fallacy, and once it is removed we will see our enemy for who he is. It will bring us little comfort of course, but it will be another step in the right direction. Once we, as a nation, know who the enemy is, perhaps we will be able to stem the tide of west-aping, perhaps Musharraf will not be able to justify his West-appeasement, and perhaps the Saudis can be persuaded to withdraw the USD 6 Trillion they have lubricating the US machinery, the same machinery which today has four aircraft carriers in our waters threatening the well-being of another Muslim nation… not that the irony of nuclear-powered air-craft carriers sent in to stop nuclear research in Iran is lost on many.

Th fault lies with us. We are 22% of the World population, and are today the most insignificant 22% of this world. The atheists bomb us, the Christians bomb us, the Jews bomb us, and the pagans threaten us; I am convinced we tempt even the Tibetan monks.

The only answer is to be strong, to be united, to be nuclear, and to be ready to srike, just as the West is today. Iqbal said it ages ago, hai jurm-e-zaefi kee saza marg-e-mafajat, the penalty for the offence of weakness is unexpected death. We have had our fair share of unexpected death, but our enemy has not had it easy. From Lebanon to Afghanistan to Iraq, while hundreds of thousands of Muslims have been killed, victory has eluded our enemy also. Therein lies our beacon of hope. Killing us will not bring them victory, but killing us will help unite us, it will help us find out feet, and it will help us gather momentum to strike back. Even in these times of utter disillusionment and social decay, our spirit is not easy to kill. Our spirit will not be killed. It will be rekindled everytime the adhaan blares from the minarets of the many thousands of masjids in the sprawling Muslim lands. It will be rekindled every time the enemy flies sorties on our lands, everytime an Israeli bullet is lodged in a Muslim body, and everytime a drop of Muslim blood is shed by our enemy.

The wheels of change are set in motion, and that too by the oppressors. Perhaps I, and many more like me, will have to pay with their lives before this change is heralded, but my children or their children will celebrate the fall of our enemy, and the rising of a new power – the power of the Islamic Nation.

History will bear witness, we as a nation were peace loving, but our oppressors have nudged, pushed, and then dragged us into the battlefields. What they have forgotten is that we are the soldiers of Allah, and once in the battlefield, we will find our feet, and we will then relive the traditions of Omar (RA), Ali (RA), Khalid Bin Waleed (RA), Hussain (RA), Mohammad Bin Qasim, Yousuf Bin Tashfeen, Tariq Bin Ziyad, Moosa Bin Nusair, Salahuddin Ayoubi….

It is only a matter of time before war beckons us all, an unjust war forced on us by our enemies; when it does, may Allah choose me and TQ to be amongst His beloved soldiers. Ameen.

Two-year-olds and the JVC.14

Every now and then, I rummage through the collection of cassettes I have amassed over the last twelve years or so. These are occasions when I discover what gems I have had gathering dust in the two drawers dedicated to my cassettes, while I have been playing one of those Jagjit Singh or Ghulam Ali CDs in my car. The thing is, my cassette player went kaput a couple of years ago, when AQ – all of two years old then – figured out how to unlock the TV trolley, which used to house the afore-mentioned contraption. A JVC, made in Japan or not, can withstand the inquisitive two-year-old for only so long, and ours did it best. One after the other, it lost the services of its three CD trays, the last of them fighting valiantly till the end, and actually coming back from the dead once to play us a tune, before it was taken out, literally.

Having accomplished this feat, AQ diverted her destructive attention to the cassette playing unit, which one felt, had lost the battle even before it had begun. Having seen their more illustrious compatriots, the three CD trays, brought to their sorry end right in front of their magnetic heads (I seem to recall something about them heads in there being magnetic), the cassette playing twins realized that their tradition of resilience stood little chance when brought face to face with the perseverance and focus of a two-year-old. This realization was their undoing, their own cowardice their nemesis. AQ was done with the cassette playing unit within the same week in which she had taken out the last CD tray.

It was a sad day in the troubled history of that JVC, which had arrived in our house as a wedding gift from my colleagues in RHS, my first place of work. It had arrived with much fan-fare, the forever technologically challenged me tying the unit as well as myself into knots when setting it up the first time around. Three years¬†down the road, TQ decided that the remote control needed to go. The said remote control was, by then, the most sighted gadget in our house, since it kept appearing and re-appearing out of nowhere before it went into TQ induced hidings. TQ was hardly ever destructive; we know that today – after AQ has redefined destructive. Redefined so, TQ as a two-year-old was docile, peaceful, and an absolute darling around the house, but… he had his days too. On one such day, TQ found a safe-heaven for the remote control, and liberated it from the slavery of us – ever the-remote-control-weilding-button-pushing-exploitative unbearables.

We found it years later, long after the JVC had been laid to rest, in the belly of our drawing room sofa. Whoever thought up the sofa, deliberately made those sides more suited to swallowing people’s important gadgets, and he did so out of spite for people who lose their peace of mind and sense of achievement when they cannot find a remote control they are looking for. Ours, the sofa, was a specimen of what such spiteful people might define as perfection in the art of gadget-swallowing-sofa-making. But for its doubts about it being a gadget, the darned thing could have swallowed our stove as well, which one comes to realize might not have been such a bad idea too -¬† those stoves are perfectly capable of handling themselves as well as any impudent sofas. One is inclined to surmise that an epic battle, much like an imaginary battle between a dragon and a whale might have ensued. Alas!…

I digress… and I continue to digress until I digress from digressing. This was not to be the tragic biography of a not Made in Japan JVC music player. What I was, in fact, going to tell you was how pleasantly I am often surprised by the options I find in my cassette trove, when having played the CDs and cassettes I have been carrying around with me in the car, I bring them home to replace them with those I have not heard in some time.

The JVC found mention simply because I was going to explain to you that I do not have a cassette player at home, anymore. The only cassette players I have these days are the ones my Blackeys come fitted with. It was not always like this. Did I tell you about this JVC player that was a wedding gift from my colleagues at RHS, which was my first place of work. It fell prey to the merciless prosecution of inquisitive two year olds…*fades*
*Begum Akhtar Cassette plays*

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