Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Broken marriage promise pushed her to suicide...

'Broken marriage promise pushed her to suicide'- These were the headlines in 'Mumbai Mirror' on Sunday, June 27. The person who committed suicide was Viveka Babaji, a known model. This is the most talked about news at the moment and makes one wonder! There were several related articles too on the subject. On dreams, hollow life and quest for love... which is all very sad.

Life in a city gets too embroiled in too many expectations from life and self. First - studies ; then work - and it's a competitive world out there! And if you take all of it sincerely, you realise you forgot to live. And when you want to live, you realise things have changed. And for a woman, who is biologically made for some functions by nature, when you do not fulfill them, an emptiness sets in! Also, if due to reasons beyond your control, you are unable to marry, family and society puts a lot of pressure, often blaming the girl herself ! And if all this is accompanied by broken promises and shattering of related dreams, it can totally break a woman, sometimes even a strong one! Because naturally, a woman needs security and a man's presence in her life to feel complete. That's how God has made them.

There was a similar incident in Bhayander several months back. A girl of 37 years, who was unmarried, got frustrated with the pressures and ridicule of society and finally decided to end her life. An unmarried girl (without her own fault) is often looked at with questionable eyes! Also, our society has so many customs and traditions, where only 'married' women are allowed to participate. This is further insulting and demeaning to unmarried women and widows! In our society woman is blamed for almost everything -breaking of an engagement/ rishta; early and untimely death of her husband; not being able to bear children; also not being able to have a male child. Such societal behaviour can drive a person to insanity after a while... You might have a good job, a decent salary and lifestyle, but sans 'happiness', everything still boils to nothing !

Life can surely be strange and unfair to some!

Some great one-liners I came across!

''I've learnt to give, not because I have too much, but because I know the feeling of not having !''
Written on a board in a graveyard -
"Manzil toh meri yahi thi,
bas zindagi guzar gayi meri...
yahaan tak aate aate..."
Perfect definition of Trust :
"Trusting a person is giving someone the ability to destroy you completely, but you still believe they won't!"

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My name is Shaikh and I am an Indian

Last Saturday (12th June 2010), I was coming back home after a hectic day with two meetings at office. As I stepped out of office, the emptiness and tensions of my life took over. Together it left a severe headache to bog me down still further... Then the traffic at Haji Ali... Finally I reached Mumbai Central station and got a Virar train. I was late for a Saturday (it was almost 6 pm). On Saturdays (after 4-5pm) and on Sundays, the First Class Ladies compartment is not very crowded as you don't find the office crowd then. But alternatively, the crowd in the Second Class compartment increases as it is filled with lot of non-regular commuters, who are holidaying and visiting relatives!

I sat down and closed my eyes, hoping to catch a little nap to relax my mind from the stress of the past 1-2 months. A few mins has passed since the train had moved as we could hear two ladies fighting with each other. In the new type trains, as Mumbaikars are aware, the first and second class ladies compartment are divided by a few steel rods between them and you can clearly see the other side. The fight was a usual one, where people unburden their anger and frustration of getting into and travelling in a crowded train by blaming each other. 'You stamped my foot', 'Dikhai nahi deta?', 'Chadne nahin aata kya?', 'Seedhe khade raho', 'Andar jao', 'Udhar khisko'...... blah blah.... it doesn't end. All these are common phrases and you get used to it. The sober and mature people just stand quietly ignoring everything as if nothing's happening around them. Some look at each other and give a knowing smile. So also when the fight started people hardly looked to see what's happening. But after a while it got real nasty. It started with one lady telling the other to get in properly. The other retaliated as she got inside the compartment and continued to do so. Then they both got into a brawl over who's right, till the lady who'd moved in started screaming her lungs out and insulting and demeaning the first lady. 'Tu pata nahin kahaan se aayi hai', 'Tere muh se S.....s ki baas aa rahi hai (your mouth smells of shit)', and many more abuses.... People was shocked at the words. Some as usual were giggling over it all. The second class compartment was behind from where I was sitting. I turned to see who these Ladies were. This is what I saw - The first lady was in 'Naqaab' (Burqa) and standing with her back against the metallic partition near the aisle / door. The second lady was dressed in a shocking pink saree with a big round red 'teeka' on her forehead, was screaming and hurling character abuses. This was a usual fight, with both people making a fool of themselves. People usually intervene and stop it. But from there the incident took a different turn....
A few educated (?) working Ladies in a group in the second class compartment decided something and together they screamt at the lady at the door- 'Mumbai amchi aahe. Tu zaa Pakistan la'. (Mumbai belongs to Marathis, you go back to Pakistan). And burst out into laughter, as if they said something very nice. When the words, 'Mumbai amchi aahe...' were mid-way, I was expecting some words on 'bhayyas' as the general impression among non-muslims is that burqa-clad Muslims are from North India, plus this was the MNS slogan too. But here the remarks were outrightly communal ! I wondered for a moment what do some Marathi people actually want for Mumbai ? Throwing out people of other states as well as throwing out the Muslims (even if their motherland was Maharashtra?) !!! Surprising all the other Marathi women started laughing and supporting the group, though not that vocally. Slowly there was a huge commotion in the Second Class. The fight was on and others were parallely adding communal fuel to it. People were talking in hushed tones even in the First Class compartment, while some seemed pleased with the comments of the Ladies group. This only showed how many people thought similarly. Not one did object or even say that the comments were wrong! There was one woman in the First Class compartment (a Marathi lady herself) who dared to scream back at the group of ladies who had passed those communal comments! She seemed sober but when you have to deal with a bunch of people who scream, act violent and seem beyond reasoning, you have to raise your voice too! The lady screamt and said in Marathi, 'What nonsense are you ladies talking ? Can't you see that the other lady is very much a Hindu and equally wrong? Where does Pakistan come into all this? Why are you guys giving a communal tone to it? It is because of you people that communal tensions take place in India'. Of course, the ladies group couldn't keep quiet and another parallel fight started between them and her! They started asking her whether she got her food and ration from Pakistan. The Lady said that she was very much a Marathi but not uneducated like them! The Ladies group got more nasty stating that she was a shame to Marathi people. And a lot of blah blah.... Nasty words flew from both sides. The Ladies group got a few silent supporters. They were screaming (till the veins on their neck swelled up!) and threatening the other Lady to get down and come into Second Class to prove she was brave to face them!

The original fight died down in the commotion. People were commenting on even bringing Pakistani artists to India.... it went non-stop. Some ladies in First Class who were earlier giggling in support, changed their stand when they realised that this was getting communal and were shocked at the language used by the Ladies group! Some of the group were glancing towards people in First Class for support. But except a few, majority chose to be quiet. What was in their minds, God knows! After several lectures, the daring Lady from First Class kept quiet as the message was conveyed, but the group on the other side kept on going blah, blah, blah... A few ladies from Second Class compartment, who earlier showed pleasure on comments of branding the Lady in Naqaab as Pakistani, tried to cover up the entire episode to look like a Class Divide. Hushed tones were heard from the other side stating that people who travel in the First Class think no end of themselves and consider people travelling in Second Class as lower citizens, hence the comments. Here, the question was not at all about a Class Divide. But a smooth cover-up for the communal tension which brewed and boiled and overflowed for a full 1/2 hour to 45 mins of the journey! I took care to mention First class and second class in the entire narration to bring out its prominence which was higlighted in the end!

The Lady in the First Class got down at Mira Road and so did I. After that I could hear a few ladies who'd got down from Second Class passing comments on the Lady and more comments on Class factor.... What a smooth cover-up on the main issue! Just like any other Politician in our country would have done ...... !!!

This taste with bitterness in the train brought me glimpses of 'My Name is Khan' (the last movie I saw way back in Feb 2010). It showed the struggles of an Indian Muslim living in America post the 9/11 and the flak he faces while practicing his religion and living amidst hatred for Muslims! The dialogue 'My name is Khan and I am not a terrorist' is still fresh in my mind. I wanted to keep a similar title, but chose to use Indian, as the purpose was to highlight that I am not a Pakistani as some people would like to brand Indian Muslims!
Courtesy : Image taken from http://www.whiteindianhousewife.com/

Monday, June 21, 2010


I witnessed a shocking event in the Ladies Class compartment on Saturday evening, on my way home from office. It reflects how our society is slowly getting poisoned ! There is a lot of venom filled inside people, but the outwardly projections are totally different. We are all becoming a bunch of hyprocrites! I'll write about it soon.... Keep watching this space for 'My name is Shaikh, and I am ............... !'

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Feel insecure from Allah’s Devising

In our day to day lives we humans keep devising/ scheming against one another for various reasons. What will we do when Allah, the Almighty Himself devises against us ?

We should all feel insecure from Allah's devising because Allah can change human's hearts faster than a wind. The difference between the change of heart between good to bad, from agreement to disagreement, willingness to unwillingness is as short a distance between our two fingers.

We may wonder why Allah would devise against his own people/ creations ? That's because He puts us through trial to test our faith when we least expect it. And a moment's change of heart towards Satan/ Allah's faith can change our lives. It can make a good person bad, a bad person good, a favoured person of Allah amongst His despised !

When we are enjoying the mercies Allah has blessed us with, He might suddenly take away all of it and see the course of action we take. Or Allah might lure us with something wrong and test how far we get lured. When Allah can devise against his own favourite Angel - Iblis, then what are we? One change of heart through Allah's devising made Iblis from an Angel to a Devil (Shaytaan) and most hated by Allah !

And finally what we do in the end will account for our actions in the afterworld. A person who has done good for his entire life, might land in Hell with one action of his. Or a person who has done nothing but bad things might become Allah's favoured by his actions or change of heart towards the end of his Life.

Hence, Pray to Allah to save us from HIS Devising !

Some excerpts from an article by Imam Dhahabi with Quranic and Hadeeth references on Beliefs & Practices, Major Sins

Allah, Most High says,

{Until, in the midst of their enjoyment of our gifts, on a sudden We called then to account, when lot They were plunged in despair!} (Al-An’am: 44)

This means that the punishment occurs suddenly while they are heedless. Al-Hasan said, whoever is blessed but unaware of Allah’s decision he is heedless, and whoever is afflicted but unaware of Allah’s trials is also heedless. Then he read the above Ayah and said, these people are put into devising as they got all what they need and then taken suddenly.

‘Uqbah Ibn Amir (may Allah please him) related that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said,
{Whenever a sinful servant attains whatever he wants you should realize that he is drawn on little by little.” Then he reads, “But when they forgot the warning they had received, We opened to them the gates of all (good) things, until in the midst of their enjoyment of our gifts, on a sudden We called them to account, when lot They were plunged in despair.} (Al-An’am 44) (Ahmad and Al-Baihaqi)

It is narrated that,

“When Iblis (Satan) who was an angel -was devised, Gabriel and Mika’il burst weeping and Allah asked them, why did you weep? They answered, O Lord we cannot feel secure from Your devising. Hence, Allah said, “keep on feeling in secure from My Devising.”

`Aishah related that the Prophet used to regularly say,

“O changer of hearts! Make our hearts firm in Thy faith. He was asked, O Messenger of Allah! Do you fear (that we may convert) He said, people’s hearts are between two fingers of Allah’s who changes it whenever He likes.” (Ibn Majah, AI-Hakim, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Hibban)

“Verily one of you behaves like the people of Paradise until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of the Hell-Fire and thus he enters it.”( Bukhari)

“Verily one of you behaves like the people of Hell-fire until there is but an arm’s length between him and it, and that which has been written overtakes him and so he behaves like the people of Paradise and thus he enters it. Works are only judged by the end.”( Bukhari, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad)

Salim Ibn Abdullah related that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) would frequently swear by saying,
“No, by the changer of the hearts.”( Muslim, Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah and Ahmad)

This means that Allah changes one’s heart faster than the wind but in different way! Agreement, disagreement, willingness and hatred etc.

Allah says,
{And know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to whom ye shall (all) be gathered} (Al-Anfal: 24)

Mujahid comments that Allah comes in between one’s mind and his own hand as stated in Allah’s saying,
{Verily in this is a message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and is a witness.} (Qaf: 37)
i.e. he who has mind.

`Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) related that the Prophet (pbuh) would always say,
“O Changer of hearts! Make my heart firm in thy faith. I asked, O Messenger of Allah, I think that you make this supplication much! Do you fear? He said, how could I be secure while the people’s hearts are between the two fingers of Allah, Who changes it whenever He likes. Thus, if He wants to change one’s heart, He does.”

Therefore, you should not be deluded by your own faith, prayer, fasting or whatever you do of acts of worship. This is because all of these works refer to Allah’s will and his plentiful bounties and He can strip you of such blessings.