Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Pregnant thoughts...

Today I got a message again and its not the first time I am getting this kind of message “Baby boy Born at 12:15 am 17th March 2008 weight 9Lz, Mother Baby both fine”. Cute message but I don’t understand why my friends have to mention the weight of the boy with the exact time. So I Reply back Ashraf born almost 3 decades back time unknown weight around 70 kilos mother baby fine here as well.

I understand, I am guy who should have been married few years back waiting for his second kid’s arrival into this world. I also understand most of my friends (some younger) are married with first hand experience of fatherhood or motherhood. What I don’t understand why they need to tell me everything so excitedly when I don’t belong to their clan. I have an age-old problem I don’t know how to react. I really don’t know how to react if you are talking with me and your baby kicks your tummy for the first time. Are you sure it was a kick and not a punch…which leg? I don’t know how to react…

Not too long ago, the pregnancy and childbirth process used to be very different. Three months after marriage, women promptly sprouted bumps. Soon thereafter were unceremoniously transferred to respective parents’ house and a few months later they returned with a tumbling child in their arms. Nobody seemed to pay much attention to this process, including their husbands.

Same process rinse and repeat every year.

Things changed a lot of late. It’s socially acceptable and very cute to talk about pregnancy. If a person is my friend or family… I am the best guy to discuss every aspect of pregnancy. But if a person is a colleague or a friend whom I never thought of calling back once the college was over or I left the town, I really wish they are more discrete about what information they divulge and how they divulge it.
If you are one of them, I am so happy about his new episode in your life but
• You must forgive me for not excitedly participating in the discussion about your wife’s fluid fluid. Please don’t take it personally. I have nothing against old mates or fluid. It’s the combination I am not crazy about.
• If you are a guy, please don’t announce “We are pregnant.” No you are not. She is. You just contributed, hopefully. Say something like “we are expecting”.

• Guess what this is:
A drugged up, half-sleeping, exhausted woman with hair all over her face, which is kept in place by sticky, sweat. She is holding a 3-second-old child. A lot of tubes hanging around. Worked into this mess is a smiling face of a proud father.
That’s right. This is your very first family photograph, taken moments after your child was born, even before your wife had a chance to cover herself fully. Wonderful. Just go ahead and keep it to yourself. That’s all I ask. Please, don’t send it to people like me or post it on Orkut, neither can understand or share your joy in such a mess.

Sonograms are not cute. They belong in your doctors files and I feel should be stacked and forgotten once the baby is born and fine. And no, that’s not a nose. That’s probably a smudge on the printout.

To top it all, yesterday a female school friend of mine tells me, “Oh we are seriously trying for a baby.”. Did she ever realize that in these 10 years I have become a full grown frustrated male with great imaginative power. Now I am stuck with all kinds of images of how they are trying and in what positions

I love babies, I really do… they are so cute when they are washed, powdered, smiling with diapers but try to understand they are your babies the kind of enjoyment they can provide you… its exclusively for you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We the great Indian Male

An indian male is a class within the male species. I dont know whether our evolution has been imcomplete unlike other males spread in geographical width of the globe which brought such distinction to us or is it our rigidness towards change . Other males I don’t know them so intimately as I know myself and the Indian male so cant comment on them.
But an Indian male i am and I know...World around us has grown and evolved and we stuck to various stages of evolution and periods of time like incorrigible leech.
From the prehistoric Ape who skulks around muttering four-letter words into his mobile, to the Dark Age Monster who hasn't stopped abusing and beating his wife as a display of his male superiority.
From the Medieval Knight-in-Shining armor who opens doors for women while keeping his own wife behind a closed door, to the Renaissance Know-it-All, Do-it-All who patronises young lovelies with his Been-There, Done-That professorial vibes.
From the Victorian Bore who preaches in public while his private interests remain so different, to the Decadence. Decadent of whom I need not say more. The current joke on the email circuit is, why are women coming out of the kitchens? Because the leash is too long. Ha,ha, polite laughter, you've come a long way, baby, and all that.
Hiding behind Mumyji's pallu, the Indian male looks at the changing world with some trepidation. Wife? Oh, Wife is Life for Mummyji's boy. Only, he wants to see Mummyji all over again in the Missus. At least, he wants one young lady, hymen-intact, milky-white, dowry-laden, educated-but-not-too-much, working-but-not-ambitious, professionally qualified but not nurse, secretary, typist, for those aren't professional professions, if you know what he means. Wife must also be mistress and concubine for husband, besides doing Karva Chauth and dancing on tables, presentable to his clan of friends but shouldn’t be comfortable with any. Our mummyji’s boy is a confused lot alright.
He never got time to sit back and do some introspection. He is always right and busy... In the state transport buses he's too busy pinching bottoms and coming uncomfortably close to women. In the workplace, when he's not burning up with jealousy (the boss is a "bitch") or having a little ishq with his shapely secretary (no matter that he's been married fifteen years, with three kids of various sizes to show for it), then he's standing near the water cooler smoking a low-level cigarette and making lewd remarks about the Anglo-Indian typist who wears skirts to work.
While future keeps her door open for him to jump in he is still busy clubbing and pubbing, roaring and whoring, sighing and whying, sliming and two-timing, leering and jeering. Wanting his feet to be pressed, his fragile ego to be stroked.
With so many primitive preoccupations, have we even realized that world has changed outside? That people look at us with contempt and refrain from coming close to us. Do we realize almost everyone knows that we stink and it’s of no use pointing at someone else.
There is a different kind and genre of indan men too but that’s beyond the scope of this article.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There is only one Criminal and it is not man

-Not Me

I believe in religion and many other things which you want me to believe in. I am a believer because you want me to and hence I kill all the arguments which one will love to have with me, but at times I wonder if I was not a believer in so many things around me what reasons I will carry not to believe in them. Today I write my heart out on my beliefs and beg you not to agree with me for my company and destiny is something which you wouldn’t cherish at all.

I believe in God. No sir I am not a fool not to believe in his existence such life and misery can’t sprout from chance. What I don’t differentiate is between Devil and God. I believe devil is more subtle and modest form of God who accepts his character. My only praise for the almighty is we don’t have two of him.

My friends find me cruel when it comes to experiments I do or the lack of action I show in times of humane need. In my dreams I often put a dog in the fire and hold him down with the tongs, and enjoy his yelps and moans and struggling and then when his skin starts burning I have to wake up to relieve the dog of his misery, but I guess with a man it would be different. I never dreamt of doing such things to a man and even if I do one day, I think that in the long run, if his wife and kids, who had not harmed me, should come crying and pleading, I would forgive him; I know I should forgive him and let him go, even if he had violated me in the meanest way possible. I don’t know why god made hell for all my actions. Am I wrong if I feel in general, a common man is "better, kinder, gentler, more to be respected, honoured, and esteemed" than the deity they ostensibly revere.

I love my mother with all the love I am capable of. Her belief in god and her fear and blindness towards alternate always pushed me towards finding an alternate. For all our miseries and pain she had only one answer “it’s his will, what ever happens... happens for good”
Why should I believe that?

“Because he is all powerful he is all good...nothing happens unless he wills...Do you follow”
I never did but I always said yes. She sowed the fear of saying no in me long back but then again she also sowed the seed of not believing anything said or anyone around me. To this day I seldom say no and believe anything within the confines of my heart.
“Eat – pray, drink-pray, work-pray, tremble-pray, laugh-pray, weep-pray, sleep-pray, and die while praying.” If god is all mighty why he needs my filthy prayers? If I am all powerful man with 100 servants I am sure I will be fine without burning few of my servants who don’t acknowledge me as his bread giver.

My mother lost it with me long back. Although we never debated she knows I am not coming back. She never could understand that I always found her saturated to the marrow with the most malignant form of religion that sort which considers the saving of one's own paltry soul the first & supreme end & object of life. She has harried me into religion & then made religion so intolerable to me with her unearthly timed prayers & religious speech that it has had the effect of harrying me out of it again. At times seeing my old mother pray with so much conviction at wee hours I feel if she doesn’t get her wishes fulfilled by morning then Mr. God is surely not worth it... its another story rising sun never brought good tidings for her.

Wishes...dreams... together we have seen so many of them being fulfilled around us by different modes. So many... that my prime regret stays that she could never understand why prayers are the most inferior way of fulfilling dreams.

Prime accusation what I have against god is creating the concept of good and evil, giving birth to test and tribulation, bifurcating human life into right hand and left hand path. If you are the believer of the book lets go back to the origin... to the Garden of Eden. Did God got tired of innocent life of Adam and put him under test. What has he done? Wasn’t he unborn innocent? Isn’t god guilty of entrapment? If the tree was not for Adam why place it near him? Thus he gave the birth to true evil – Test where temptation leads you astray. Why blame temptation to the devil when test itself was born by godly hands. By allowing humans to distinguish good and bad, his sole idea was to tempt and to enable humans to do evil. Without it, we would live in a state of idyllic innocence, unafflicted by conscience. With it, we are inferior to the other life form we share the earth with. Whenever I look at the other animals and realize that whatever they do is blameless, I envy the dignity of their being, its purity and its loftiness, and recognize that the Moral Sense we carry so proudly is actually the bane of our very existence.

Anyways, I feel one good gift the fatal apple gave is the gift of Reason: let it not be over-swayed by tyrannous threats to force us into faith born by fear against all external sense and inward feeling we might have: Think and endure--and form an inner world In your own heart—where the outward fails.

I question the invention of hell... Cruelty of the lowest kind imaginable. It deprives the wretched human race of its lone solace... eternal death. Human kind lost its ownership of peace forever. The supreme lord who claims to love us more than thousand mothers in my religion and many others created hell for most his creation.

I wish we could all wake to see the kind of pain and suffering he has invented for us. "The day we are born he begins to persecute us. Even our littleness, our innocence, our helplessness cannot move him to any pity, any gentleness. Day after day, week after week, month after month, the motiveless torture goes on." "Pain...pain... and more pain, pain-in the teeth, in the stomach, in the bowels; disease follows disease: measles, malaria, typhoid, migraine, arthritis, cancer, scarlet fever, T.B, tonsillitis--there is no end to the list."

The kind of animals he created in abundance around us is for his sheer wicked entertainment. Armies commissioned to rot and destroy humankind. Each army equipped with a special detail of the work. Be it mosquitoes, rat or common house flies. God orders: "Depart into the uttermost corners of the earth, and diligently do your appointed work. Persecute the sick child; settle upon its eyes, its face, its hands, and gnaw and pester and sting; worry and fret and madden the worn and tired mother who watches her child, and who humbly prays for mercy and relief with the pathetic faith of the deceived and abused."

We humans... or let me say I, if you object... I am the poorest and the meanest joke that was ever conceived- the most shameful uncouth April-fool joke, played by a tyrant Creator with nothing better to waste his time upon." As a programmed mechanism, "am I to blame for what I have turned out to be?" I didn’t create myself nor did I exercise control over my being. Wouldn’t I have done it differently if I had the option to create and write my destiny? So I feel it’s only the unthinking fools among us believed they have an obligation to God and owe Him thanks, reverence, and worship.

There is nothing to talk and discuss, I have gone beyond the gates of the promised hell and wont be coming back even if one calls me. No, I am not bold or brave, I am just tired and my back is bent carrying this weight all my life. I have to lie down and I can’t care more if it rains or people spit on me. There is God and there is universe which he created, I believe in both...but there is only deep abyss in that ocean of heart and in it is a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. I am a part of that thought which unlike others can be very easily ignored. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only an ugly and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.

If you agree to any sentence you have read in the above passage ask yourself “do you believe my atheist pessimism with your mind or with your...heart?”

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Truth about Lies

Women say that above all they want honesty in their relationships.

Cart full of Cow dung.

Let's face it my good ladies, if we guys were completely honest with you they'd spend more nights sleeping outside with the dog. Buts that’s not why we superior, caring sex lie. We have to lie lest tears become your constant companion. If you really understood your man you wouldn't ask him questions that put him between the ditch and the well.

One of the most common questions a woman will ask her man is "Do I look fat in this dress?" You know perfectly well whether or not that dress makes you look fat - so what you are really asking is "Can I wear this dress even if it makes me look like a buffalo"? How can any man answer that question with honesty and not expect a week of the silent treatment and no sex?


It's the only way out. With experience he becomes quite adept at telling you what you want to hear and is able to embellish his lies with flattery and you come away feeling fantastic about yourself.
Never ask why Ms. Humpty Dumpty had such a huge fall isn't that what you wanted in the first place? You needed your little ego stroked didn't you? So if you're the kind of woman that loves to ask loaded questions to her man then you are essentially teaching him to lie and to do it convincingly. How about this one: Do you think she's pretty? Come on, now you know you are setting him up. You're messing with his head. You know its a scam - he knows it's a scam but his back is to the wall and what do you think he's gonna do?


But I am personally still ok with all this because I don’t have a dog nor a female snores next to me. What irritates me is her favorite question “What are you thinking”
One rare moment when I am not looking towards her angelic face or I show a glimpse of happiness in her absence sitting silently… she pops the question. I am not entitled to say nothing. No my good readers you cant be thinking nothing.

“Common Ashraf you must be thinking something it cant be nothing if you don’t want to say it or hide… its fine…” and the vocal slaps of my lady love goes on…

Hold on!
She and all from her sex underestimate us. Men are Zend masters. I can sit for hours looking nowhere thinking nothing it’s my goddamn favorite hobby. I am bloody born to do nothing. Anyway even if I was thinking by rare chance its gone into hiding never daring to reach my mouth to be uttered. You can’t say I was thinking about that spicy movie with that spicier girl or your friend who never stops at enticing my taste bud.

I was thinking about my good fortune that I found you (God forgive me that’s the shabbiest lie I ever said)

The point is: The man sees lying as a way to keep his relationship intact while the woman sees it as dishonesty and claims she wants the truth. Sure. Whatever. The only honest relationship is when a woman truly understands the male psyche and is secure enough about herself not to ask idiotic questions that she knows will force him into lying.

My girlfriend and I constantly get into arguments

My girlfriend and I constantly get into arguments. It’s like I prefer reading philosophy/biography (specifically post-modern stuff but anything will do) and she sticks to reading Film-fare or Stardust (well that’s girl for you alright). I debate that there is no thinking necessary in her preferences… no thought provoking brain rattling stuff involved and she argues that there is no air of excitement… nothing interesting. I could never understand why woman always talk bullshit and stick their nose in cow dung.
The only thing I love more than reading, is writing (oh and my girlfriend too). So when I sit down with my diary/blog, I usually struggle to begin writing. Should I start off with something witty like: "My forfeit speaks at my regret and taunts it with the misery of defeat"? Or should I start with something more easy to delve into: "My girlfriend and I constantly get into arguments"? Or steal a witty name “Requiem for a Dream” / “Kill the Dead”
I am beginning to learn that writing can take more than one shape. There is no correct formula for any type of writing, especially when it comes to your own. Yes, I am striving towards a post-modern classic myself but I know that I can duplicate another established work. The difference between one story to the next is personalization. There you go a writer like me is born. Though, I doubt I needed to tell you that, but I tell you this: With our own personalization, there are strong points and weak points; beside you let your readers recognize your work. It’s a drug alright when people just read few sentence and guess it must be you just like you see weird shape of woman supposed to be Madhuri and you know its M.F Hussein.
There are low hanging fruits for starters like us aswell. For example: I know that I grabbed your attention with this article based on the first sentence. I know that based on the type of people who visit my website (writers/readers), the second sentence will continue you through. But where will I lose you? If you've made it this far, it is likely that you will keep reading because you find my point either interesting or simply weird.
How about length? Does size matter? NO. C’mon, the size of this article; if it were six to seven hundred words how many of you would read it? Not too many, eh? So I guess writing can be a difficult task because one needs to incorporate so many things to keep the reader attentive: can't be too daunting, can't be too cheesy, can't be too long, must be personalized.
I'm nearing four hundred words, need to stop now.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Once there was a Tramp...

Once my dear old man said “life is not a joke” and then the same statement kept repeating itself by many faces on many occasions. Yes, it’s not a joke any more… I wish it was… left with no reason to smile I am since then looking for the fool, the universal tramp, who has gone missing. He has gone missing not only from the daily people you encounter; he is not to be found even within us…
The fool, who got kicked around a lot, was so foolish that the clever ways of the world never made any sense to him, but was so wise that he moved and touched the human being in all of us irrespective of our race, nationality and religion across decades. It is by astutely refusing to comprehend the absurdity of established orders, that the tramp challenged the inane intelligence of human kind. He gave birth to characters of Charlie Chaplin and Raj Kapoor in cinemas and few more in the foothills of Himalayas. But then again he is gone missing now, I fear that he has fallen victim to the demonic forces of absurd seriousness; the vanguards of national, communal, religious jingoism have hunted him down brutally everywhere, the lovable mascot of gentle humour!
I feel it’s not only the artists, gentle mavericks and independent insolent thinkers who are under threat from the fascist forces, humour has been also on the casualty list. By creating an atmosphere of fear and impending danger they clamp down heavily on the business of laughter.

Their fear is that if used to humour, the common man might use humour to learn to laugh at them and thus see through the absurdity of their intentions and plans. For nothing reveals truth as well as humour does. In Zen Buddhism enlightenment is likened to the experience of understanding a joke, when in an intangible moment a larger design is revealed amorphously. With an insight into a ‘Greater pattern' the meaninglessness of many of our presumptions and fears are challenged. This moment reveals the interconnectedness of all of us as human beings, part of this one universe, political and religious demarcations blur and for at least an infinitesimally small moment we are connected.
Humour provides a platform for challenging the dominant social order. It is rebellious, subversive and non-violent. It is impossible to arrest humour or the fool. Humour is the tool of the oppressed to survive, to seek justice and find solace reassurance and camaraderie. Viktor Frankl, a Jewish psychotherapist and a survivor of Auschwitz, talks about humour in the concentration camps; how the half dead, cold starving and hopeless the inmates would gather in a barrack to have cabarets, stand up comedy, all just for a good laugh.
Jesters from courts have been an integral part of many a folklore, such as Tenali Raman and Birbal in the Indian tradition. In their own ingenuous way they unmask the kings and the discrepancies in their governance. This they often achieve by creating an allegory, an analogy that beats any logical correlation, but reveals a larger pattern. In the process they make a fool of themselves while actually challenging the acumen of the authority. Mullah Nasiruddin a popular figure in the tales across Central and South Asia actually challenges the religious and political orders with his own brand of innocent enquiry. Afro American groups have in fact used a lot of clowning/ foolery as a strategy to combat oppression during the days of slavery. "Play fool, to catch wise" suggested Jamaican slaves in dealing with their masters, and African-Americans constructed hidden meanings into their fooling as slaves
A significant and unique characteristic of fools is their ability to live in the world of a play, poem, or story and, at then will, step out of the action or narrative to comment directly on it. By turning reality into a story or a play they deftly step out of it and facilitate others in the process to step out as well.

It is important for me if not for all of us to rescue the tramp, the truly foolish one wise enough to see the bigger picture from the clutches of oppressive forces within and without. Lets step out our selves, see the truth and in the process laugh and amuse our life if not others. Get out of the narrow confines of boundaries, of identities, step out of the national, religious, racial, communal frontiers and discover the truly wonderful interconnectedness of living hearts. Travel within and without freely with wings of amused wonder…
So if you do come across tramp, let me know, while I continue searching for him/her on my own...