The Pilgrimage to Your Heart…

words are lying in disarray,
You know what I mean, don’t you?
It is with you that I find profound solace
A place so calm and peaceful

The skies have turned murky
And moving forward is a daunting task
I have been struggling to get things going
For the path I took was insurmountable and rough

The journey is wearing me out
But I’d keep on moving
If I give up, all hope would perish
Never to return

I always knew there was a place
Later, it dawned on me that it was just a trick
Wanted an immediate answer
It hurt me immensely and I felt cheated
Despite despondence, I’d like to keep you close to my heart
My voice is falling apart
You kissed my cheek and smiled, rather nonchalantly
I realized that the journey was complete
I had conquered the final frontier…

Picture courtesy: Pinterest

Four Short Films Made by Students Which Deal With Social Issues…

That films are an integral part of our life is no hyperbole. Cinema, because of its wider reach and accessibility, is no less than a mirror which helps us reflect on a host of issues that the society comes across.

The likes of social media platforms such as YouTube have allowed amateur filmmakers and students to come forward and voice their concerns regarding anything and everything under the sun.  From blood donation to physical disability to the ever-growing problem of child abuse, countless videos are being churned out by students in with an intent to mobilise public opinion and bring about a desirable change.

Continue reading “Four Short Films Made by Students Which Deal With Social Issues…”

Addressing the Severe Lack of Sensitivity…

The video of Zomato’s delivery guy eating food from a parcel meant to be delivered went viral on social media in December last year. Zomato, the food delivery giant, was quick to react and sacked the guy for tampering with sealed food parcels. After the delivery guy was sacked, the company was quick to clear its name and tweeted ‘we take food tampering very seriously’. The incident ended up attracting a lot of eyeballs for a week or so,  but the buzz around the incident eventually died down.

Continue reading “Addressing the Severe Lack of Sensitivity…”

Bullying and Communal Violence: Muslims are an Easy Target

One of the many things I hate about communal violence is that it ends up claiming the lives of innocents. The people who instigate the violence often end up finding an escape and the innocent victims are made to pay for somebody else’s fault.

Skimming through opinion pieces and news stories has been my habit ever since I was a teenager. It helps me keep track of the good, the bad, and everything in between.  Of late, I have come across quite a few stories wherein hate crimes against Muslims were brought to light. There have been cases of islamophobic bullying being carried out in the Western world. A research report issued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations brings to light a significant surge in the anti-Muslim incidents post 2017.

It is profoundly disturbing that the Muslim world has, for long, been pigeonholed. Some call them terrorists while others call them orthodox and rigid. Discrimination against Muslims is not something new. It has been happening for ages. Be it in the company boardrooms or professional sports, discrimination against Muslims is scaling new heights with each passing day.

The problem doesn’t end here. In fact, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hatred against Muslims isn’t just limited to the boardrooms, it is everywhere. It begins in schools, where Muslim children are stereotyped and labeled ‘backward’. They aren’t accepted as part of social systems. Islamophobia isn’t just marked by illegal detentions and arrests. It seems to have crept into our daily life.

Very recently, I came across a news story wherein a park in Noida (India) was waterlogged in order to prevent the Muslims from offering their evening Namaaz (prayers). Also, workplaces in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have been asked to instruct their Muslim employees to refrain themselves from offering Friday Namaaz in public places. Now, waterlogging a park in order to avoid a peaceful religious gathering showcases nothing but fickle-mindedness of the authorities involved.

 Making people Feel Inferior is a Human Nature

Talking about hate and bitterness reminds me of the endless conflicts between the Sikhs and the Muslims. As I am a Sikh, you’d think that I hate Muslims, but you’d be surprised to know that some of my closest friends are Muslims. I sit with them when I am at work, while I eat my lunch, etc. Over the years, I have realized that people love to hate somebody.

I remember being bullied for being a Sikh. My turban was untied by a bunch of bullies and quite shockingly, one of the bullies happened to be a Sikh hims. Stories of children being bullied on the lines of religion happen to be a commonplace. The sad part is that the media doesn’t consider such stories to be newsworthy and peppy.

It comes as a surprise hatred against isn’t just limited to non-Muslims. It comes from other Muslims as well. Take the example of Syria. The country has turned into a bloody battlefield wherein countless innocent people are being slaughtered by rigid Muslim factions.

Creating a Healthy Environment

The first step to getting rid of hatred is to realize that all of us, irrespective of religion, sex, caste, etc. are nothing but human beings.  This reminds me of a dialogue from the popular Bollywood film “My Name is Khan” starring Shah Rukh Khan wherein his mother tells him that there are only two types of people in this world i.e. good and bad. The sooner we realize that bullies don’t have a religion, the easier it would be for all of us to keep moving in life. Forget Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, and Isaahi, judge a person by his/her habits and the world would be a better place ( hopefully).

Limerence? Not Quite…

A tale of trembling hearts
With words erupting like a volcano
Impudence isn’t there, just fragility of thoughts
I spend hours attempting to join the dots.

Can’t find words, they just erode
When you stare at me, with eyes heavy and broad
Half full or half empty, I don’t know
Are you hiding something similar beneath those eyelids?
Let me know

The moments we’ve spent together,
are both the serendipitous memory
As well as a perpetual sorrow
They were a harbinger of spring to this day
But might soon turn into a steady drizzle by tomorrow

It ain’t fragile, it never was
Neither is my love a gimmick
In fact, my love has reached a point
Where both you and I are synonymic

All my words are lying before me
Like dead weights
Soft sounds emerge from my lips
But perish before reaching your ears
Lips begin to ache
And all that remains at hand is a multitude of snowflakes…

Picture Courtesy: Pinterest

Rizwan…

Trudging along the snowy path
With countless stares tearing him apart
Those eyes, those stares,
remind him of the steel-cold winter
And of glass, of broken shards

Shouts of Moslem and Paki piercing his heart
And those frowns are no less than darts
Killed, butchered, slaughtered, go the news headlines
Framing his men for unknown crimes

Peculiar sights etched in the mind
The world,
as one would expect,
has never been kind…

All he has ever asked for
Is a normal life
Away from the shadows of
Terrorism, poverty, hunger, and communal strife
Is it too much to ask for?
He seems to be shaken,
Right to the core
And his self-respect seems to be snatched, taken

But despite all the tribulations
And the countless human rights violations
He continues on his way
Countless defamatory chants greet him every single day,
but he has nothing to say…

Picture Courtesy: Pinterest

For the Lankans, Cricket has Always Been More than Just a Game

A lot has already been said about the violence that had engulfed Sri Lanka during the 3-decade-long civil war. The Bollywood flick ‘Madras Café, directed by Shoojit Sircar throws ample light on the plight of the Lankan Tamils during the bloody war that kept robbing the Sri Lankans of all their resources.

Man wearing anti-genocide shirt among protesters in London.

Sri Lanka turned into a war zone for the most part of the 1980s and the 1990s when the LTTE’s demand for a separate Tamil Eelam (state) was met coldly by the Sinhala government. Rising tensions between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government paved the way for an ugly civil war which tore the island nation into countless fragments. Continue reading “For the Lankans, Cricket has Always Been More than Just a Game”