From one Muslim to the world

“..Take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that ye may learn wisdom.” (al-An’am 6:151)

The verses of Qur’an reveal that killing any human being without a just cause is equal to killing the entire humanity. If this is what the holy book teaches, then how do you suspect the Muslim population to be blood-sucking leeches? The recent dreadful Paris attack, the attack on Mumbai and so many others by terrorists are simply expressing their hostility towards the very religion they claim to be theirs! They are the people who are committing horrible crimes in the name of Islam. They have lost their humanity in the midst of evil and are trying to disrupt the peaceful society. We defy those people and their unforgiving acts. They do not belong to Islam. Islam prohibits suicide and murders. In fact, no religion favours taking life.  If the motive for terrorism is religious, it is impermissible in Islamic law. It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error.” (-The Cow, 2:256).

Stop suspecting us! Stop making us feel a leper, an outcast! We are a part of this world and we, too loath the blasphemous terrorists! We are humans and unlike any other terrorist, we fear getting someone’s blood on our hands. Do not stereotype us for that one per cent who are spoiling the pure Islamic religion.”The Prophet also said that there are people who kill in the name of Islam and go to hell. And when he was asked why, he said, ‘Because they weren’t fighting truly for the sake of God.’ It is painful to be scrutinized every minute by hundreds of eyes. It is cruel of you to think we don’t feel how you do. It is insulting to call all of us, “heartless wretched and cold-blooded animals.”

This is a message, a request from one Muslim to the world that, “Every Muslim is not a terrorist.”

-Alisha Khan

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Book review : Gently falls the bakula

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Gently falls the bakula, written by Sudha Murthy,  is a story of how a marriage loses it’s way due to critical self interests. It is a reflection of social reality.
In the sleepy town of Hubli, lived the two lovers Srikant and Srimati. They were neighbours and their families had been in a conflict since a long time. Srimati had a profound love for history whereas all what mattered to srikant was constant progress. Though the families didn’t go on well, the two were resolved to love each other for the rest of their lives. There stood a bakula tree in the centre of their veranda whose flowers bloomed and the fragrance of it lasted all year. Srikant was attracted to the bakula flower and Srimati always wore a flower on her hair. That bakula flower on Srimati’s long hair had made him fall for her.
After marriage, Srimati and Srikant moved to Mumbai,  then  called Bombay. Srimati was offered to study abroad but she simply denied the offer because of her dedication to her husband. She had given up her ambition, the first love of her life, history. Srikant was busy climbing the corporate ladder as fast as possible. He paid little or no attention to his wife and her concerns and would always drive away the idea of going to Hubli whenever she insisted. The pressure and rage inside srimati intensified. They had no kids and Srimati felt lonely. Her mother in law didn’t treat her the way she treated her own daughter.She had been bearing silently everything setting the example of a perfect wife. But for how long? Her talents were going futile.  She had a hard working husband, money but what was lacking was affection. She wanted someone to talk to her, to listen to what she has to say and appreciate her for what she had done. Srikant treated her like a secretary, except she wasn’t being paid for it. Attending Srikant’s guests, welcoming them, doing his  packing whenever he flew abroad, maintaining his schedule, all this was mocking her right into her face. And then came the time to put an end to this torture. She started picking fights, arguing, answering back at Srikant, flaring her anger, pleading and begging Srikant to take a few days off and stay home. His ignorant attitude towards his own wife had made Srimati take extreme steps. She corresponded with the Professor who had offered her to study abroad. She made all the arrangements and flew away, away from Srikant saying she isn’t sure when she shall return.The title fits the whole story perfectly. The bakula flower symbolises Srikant’s and Srimati’s love for one another. Since the flower wasn’t looked after well, it had fallen gently. Srimati going away came as a total shock to Srikant.

The story is written making use of straightforward language and simple, uncomplicated words. It pulls the emotional cords of our heart thus conveying the message. The beginning  is dull where Sudha Murthy describes the school life of the two characters. It makes you put down the novel and pick another one. But if you decide to continue reading it, the events and the rising action makes you sympathize with the central character Srimati. It is an open ended story with no concrete conclusion. The narrative style is engaging and simple. I’d rate the novel 3.5 out of five because although it highlights the social trauma effectively, the plot moves slowly and the exposition drowns you into sleep. If the story had a conclusion of Srikant realizing his mistakes and getting back with Srimati, I would have been happier. It makes you doleful and emotional. If that’s what the author had intended to do, then I would say, great job!

5 experiences that proves you are a Mumbaikar.

“Mumbai, a city springing with life, is the wosrt place on earth for tourists”, observes a TripAdvisor Survey. To the locals taking pride in being a Mumbaikar, I’d say, jump off cloud 9!
Are you confident enough to say that you know this city well? Well, it’s time to put your wisdom at test!
If you haven’t been through these excruciating and enchanting experiences, you haven’t known Mumbai at all.

1)  Rain Rain go away, never come again another day!

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Source: ibnlive.com

  Needless to say, the monsoon of Mumbai is one of the most popular which has left the city crippled. With water logging, water shedding, leaks in drainage and so much more have kept us struggling with problems too many. For some, it seems pleasing but for most of us it tops the ” getting rid of” list. The place is most unhygenic during this period with stinking garbage consuming more areas of the roads than vehicles can! The streets are so commonly loaded with trash that without it Mumbai would look anything but Mumbai. And if you haven’t waded through the knee deep water of Mumbai, you haven’t known the miraculous city all together!!

2) Vada Pav

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Source: tarladalal.com

          
The spicy deep fried mashed potato balls bathed in flour and clothed in a soft bun called pav is the city’s favourite recipe. This typical blend of spices which is cheap, hygienic as well as fulfilling is found in every corner of every street of Mumbai. Seems to be a local version of McDonald’s Aloo Tikki burger! Mumbaiyaa Style!

3) Beep! Beep! Beep!

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Source: midday.com

      
Here, the traffic jams are an astonishing phenomenon. Vehicles never seem to budge in any time of the year. Summers are torturing while monsoons are  even more! Drivers spend a hectic day cursing and abusing whoever comes their way. The speedometer hits 10-30km/hr on an average day.
No less.
No more.
This massive traffic and continual honking has tormented each one of us and will continue to do so.
(A piece of advice would be to carry your knitting set while travelling long distance.)

4) Rail, making me wail!

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Source:rediff.com

         
Mumbai local trains are yet another disaster. You are a very fortunate person if you have the privilege of being seated in the local trains. The rush hours of morning and evening does not even permit to step on board. Mumbaikars possess superhuman qualities of jumping in and out of the train while foreigners beat the brow to figure out the whole local train system. A live example of unity in diversity is displayed in the snapshot above. And while you are travelling in Mumbai local trains, just go with the flow!

5) Beggars (3 din se khaya nahi Sahab!)

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Source: schoopwhoop.com

         
There is not a single traffic signal deprived of beggars. You will certainly find them on each pavement changing shifts from time to time. Their working hours are from 9am-9pm and if they are on a night shift the time changes from 9pm-3am. These panhandlers are seen everywhere with a severed hand or a blind eye or a faked limp. Although their income generation in a day is sufficient to feed them for two long days, they are hungry as ever! It becomes difficult to unmask their identity. It has been revealed that luxurious beggars earn 1000-1500 rupees per day accounting to 30,000-45,000 per year. So if you haven’t encountered and pitied a beggar you haven’t known Mumbai all along!

(Note: No content of this article is meant to hurt/degrade/offend  anyone. It is purely on the basis of personal observation.)