Counter Strike
My take on the things and events in the world.

Benazir Bhutto - Legacy

Sunday, December 30, 2007
William Shakespeare rightly said:

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Benazir Bhutto certainly belonged to the third category. She was elected as PPP chairperson at the age of 25 after her father was executed by Zia-ul-Haq in 1979 with the kind permission of Washington. She soon became the first elected Muslim woman prime minister. Her two stints as prime minster were utterly corrupt, became unpopular and were aborted by the intervetion of president and the army. During her rule, she and her husband Asif Ali Zardari, another feudal lord from Sindh, created new records of corruption and amassed huge wealth. She still has four cases pending against her in different European courts. These cases are in addition to the ones that were dropped by Musharraf again on behest of US. Zardari got her brother, Murtaza Bhutto killed in a police encounter, when she was in power. She obviously never took any action. But Zardari spent 8 years in prison as convict, after her government was dismissed by President Leghari (a PPP veteran) on the charges of corruption and misuse of power. After striking a deal with US and Musharraf she returned to Pakistan to again capture power and loot public money in the name of democracy. Yes, she was moderate and was against Islamic extremism, but never took any concrete steps to curb it. She was too busy in earning money. She was a charismatic leader and was not afraid at all of the greatness that was thrust upon her due to her maiden name Bhutto. In fact, she misused the name of her father to the fullest and discarded his socialist agenda. Made promises and delivered nothing. After her sad demise, her 19 years old son Bilawal has been crowned PPP chairperson to continue the legacy of the Bhutto 'royal' family in the name of democracy.

What an irony, all the women and young leaders that the democracies in south Asia have produced are result of the dynasty politics and the feudal mindset of the public at large!

Read On 6 comments

Mohtarma Bhutto Assassinated: Crisis In Pakistan Deepens

Friday, December 28, 2007
Two time former prime minister and one of the most popular leader of Pakistan, Mrs Benazir Butto was assassinated on Thursday evening by a suicide bomber, after she was leaving an election rally in Rawalpindi. Blood-soaked history of the subcontinent haunting back and plunging Pakistan deeper into the crisis, its worst after the 1971 debacle.

But the blame doesn't lie with the history alone. Her husband, Asif Ali Zardari and her party, Pakistan Peoples Party has directly blamed Gen Musharraf and the goverment for the act. The list of the suspects and the persons who might benefit from her leaving the political scene, is too long. But I think, Musharraf is unlikely to have ordered her killing. There are definitely some elements in the ruling party and the government, who could be behind the murder, along with Islamic extremist militants. She herself named the omnipotent and omnipresent intelligent agencies ISI and IB as the elements who should be held responsible if something happens to her, in the letter to Musharraf after the first assassination attempt on her life at the welcome rally in Karachi, a few months back. Musharraf and the government would have to be responsible for serious laps in security of a prominent leader who was most likely to be the next prime minister and was well known to be at the highest risk along with the president himself. The vehicle that she was travelling was not bullet proof. Can you believe that? She repeatedly complained that the jammers provided for her security were faulty. Yet no action was taken. She was shot on the head and neck just from a few feet. There was no security cordon. She was left to bleed in her car for 10 mins as people expected another blast. Where were the security personal at that time? Should not they have rescued her? And lastly, why was the scene of crime cleaned away so quickly? Was the administration afraid of its own role being known in the investigations or was it trying to save someone else?

Another important question is what to expect next in Pakistan? Well, you are never sure about the turn of events in Pakistan. Most people would have never expected what has happened yesterday. So wait and watch! One thing is sure, that Pakistan is heading towards chaos and uncertainty. Nobody, including Musharraf and America seems to be in control and nobody seems to have a credible plan. The blame for this uncertainty obviously lies on US and president Bush. Musharraf was at least firmly in control when US administration decided to clip his wings. I don't think US top leadership has any idea of the ground situation in Pakistan or how things work there. The much touted 'free and fair' elections are also in deep trouble. Nawaz Sharif has already decided to boycott them. And even if they are held in January, they would be meaningless at best. My heart goes out for the family of Mrs Bhutto and the people of Pakistan. I have no hope that the politicians or army would come together in this situation of despair and try to save their country from the threat of terrorism and extremism by forgetting their political differences and greed for power. But, I wish and hope, that the people of Pakistan would stay firm and determined as a positive force and come out as the saviours of their nation as they have done in the past.
Read On 0 comments

ईद का चाँद

Tuesday, December 18, 2007
ईद का चाँद दीवाली की रात में निकला,
तन्हा सी रात में महताब भी तन्हा निकला

बसता था मेरे दिल में वो एहसास की तरह,
दिल तोड़ गया वो मगर दिल से नही निकला

उसने न हाय की कोई मुझसे कभी वफ़ा
मैं कैसे कहूं मेरा सनम बेवफा निकाला

माज़ी से शिक़ायत है न मंजिल की जुस्तजू
रस्ता मेरा मंजिल के बहुत दूर से निकला

यह सच है कभी तूने ना समझी मेरी वफ़ा
सच ये भी है की मैं भी न काबिल तेरे निकला

मेरी न हुई ज़ीस्त में कोई दुआ कबूल
एक वो है कि जिसका तो बुत भी खुदा निकला

दिल में तेरी वफ़ा से थी आंखों में रौशनी
दिल तूने बुझाया तो धुआं आँख से निकला

रातें तो दीवाली की होती हैं अँधेरी,
महताब आरजू था मेरी जो ख्वाब में निकला
Read On 3 comments

Hello God, I Am An Atheist

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The finals week is finally over and I am feeling so relieved, free and bored! I was feeling so bored that I had to watch 5 back-to-back episodes of "Sex and the City" to get myself in the write. People, specially Indians, often ask me this question "Why don't you believe in god?". My response to this is so big and blunt that most people would get offended and yes, bored. But during past three months, I actually promised at least two friends to compile my thought about this. So here I go.

Lets first warm up a bit! In the following video, you can replace "fool" with "kafirr" if you are a Muslim and with "adharmi" if you are a Hindu. You would be at home, in case you are Christian. Wtch the video to know, what I am talking about.

The next video is really funny and is not for people who feel too strongly about their religion/faith. So don't watch it if you can not take some light hearted humor.

This video is hilarious but in fact, raises some very fundamental and obvious questions about the existence for god. We often overlook these basic questions and start debating (and preaching) on complex topics without addressing the basic premises for these topics.

Although I have so much to write on this issue. But the idea of god seems so much fundamentally flawed to me that I think, I don't need to go into gory details of holy scriptures to present my case strongly. I would like to make just three points to present my thoughts on the subject.

First, I am an atheist because I was born an atheist. In fact everybody is born innocent, lovely and atheist. When we are born we have absolutely no idea about god or religion or our culture or language or world. So why some people become Muslims, some become Christians, some Jews or Hindus. So, instead of "why I am an atheist" the real question should be why have "you" become a Muslim or Christian? Why do most people believe in the religion they believe in? Think about it. You are a Christian Protestant not because you were born a Christian Protestant or liked that belief and got converted, but simply because your parents were Christian Protestants. Because you have been told right from the beginning that it is the only right way. Because you were told not to ask question about it. You must have asked questions like why a table is called a table or why does "B" comes after "A" why not "C". Your parents like my parents would have replied that its the way it is and then we never asked questions about these things. We only ask question in areas where we are allowed to questions or where we expect to get some answers. Our parents didn't know the answers as they never got any answers from their parents. The questions about table and ABC are trivial but the question about god or religion is not. Think about it, my Muslim friends. You believe that Allah is the only God and Muhammad is his messenger. You are deeply religious, pray five times, fast during Ramadan, don't eat pork. Its good. But think, if you would have born in country side in Italy in a orthodox Christian family, you would have been believing in "father, son and holy spirit", would have been praying in Church in front of idols and would argue that Muslims are mistaken people who would go to hell on judgement day because they don't believe that Christ was son of God.

Forget about any irrationalities in the details of your religion. For five minutes, I believe what is written in Koran is true. I am ready to believe in Bible, old testament, new testament, Gita (Hindu scripture) and all other holy books and beliefs. Even in the belief of some tribe living in jungles of Africa, who worship a stone god for rain and food and offer human sacrifice in return. But I can not believe in each of them simultaneously because they all contradict each other and I have no way to choose between them and say that this religion is the only true religion. I would not claim that my religion is the only true religion because everybody is claiming that and I should have something concrete if I claim that too. And everybody is claiming that because they really believe that it is true. But wait, something is wrong here. You could have been arguing in favour of those African tribals with equal zeal if they would you would have born in that tribe. Simple. So you and I have no moral right, whatsoever to proclaim the superiority of our religion or belief. So I have no reason to believe in one religion or the other. Suppose I got ride of my backlog of religious faith imposed by my parents and society, which religion should I choose then. Try to think with open open mind why do you follow you religion and would you have believed in god the same way that you currently believe in if you had born to different parents in a different part of the world? Would you have been wrong then or are you currently wrong. Try to write down the reasons in favour of our answer.

Second, I really miss god. I seriously wish I could believe in god. Life would have been much easier. Before you start preaching from your holy scriptures to save my soul, let me first clarify my stance. People turn to god in their hour of distress and pain. Their belief, even though false, helps them to coup with their troubled lives. If something bad happens, people believe that what happened was their fate and was the divine plan. They go on to the next task without any guilty feeling of the faults they had committed earlier. They would pray to god and would have faith that god is with them and that gives them tremendous confidence. So is this a bad thing? I think, yes. Its like taking drugs to relive the mental pain and provide you that euphoric feeling. This is escapism. This why Marx calls religion "the opium of masses". And at least I don't need opium to live my life. I would like to face life by looking straight into its eyes like a man. If its hard I will face it. If I make mistakes, I would admit them or at least try to learn from them. If I fall flat, I wont put the blame on someone else. If I make a plan, I wont count on god's helping hand in it. Believe me, this make life tough. But I don't have any other option. I am open to the idea of god and spend a lot of my leisure time studying different religions and schools of thoughts. But more deep I look into a religion more ugly it becomes. But please, I am sick of those people who wants to save my soul. I would be more than happy to debate the issue but I don't want to listen the preaching that assumes the existence of god. All this becomes a waste of time because everything scriptures say is based on the very fact that I don't believe in.

Third, What I think, is the real battle? Science vs religion is not the right issue to discuss. Nor is eastern vs western civilization the main conflict point. I don't think there is any fundamental point of difference between Abrahamic religions vs rest. To me, this conflict is basically between irrational blind faith and the modern rational, logical mind. To me, this is a conflict between modernity and anti-modernism. While some people want to go forward, others are trying to go back. It is a conflict between the future and the past, between innovation and tradition, between those who value freedom and those who do not.[1] The real battle is reason vs blind faith, its backwardness vs modernization, its intolerance vs inclusiveness, its extremism vs moderation, its logic of power vs power of logic.

The battle is going on and I am optimistic that forces of reason would prevail. As Bertrand Russell puts it:

"Reason may be a small force, but it is constant and works always in one direction, while the forces of unreason destroy one another in futile strife. Therefore every orgy of unreason in the end strengthens the friends of reason, and shows afresh that they are the only true friends of humanity."

But again, before we become extremist atheists and launch some kind of crusade or witch hunt, there is another unanswered critical question. Is religion in its moderate form really an evil thing? Is even the concept of a personal god really harm full? Should we let people worship stones unless they don't throw these stone at us? I think, religion in its moderate form is still unreasonable, but not that bad. Religion, if treated as a personal issue and is not binding might in fact help the society in some ways. After all, even drugs are beneficial as painkillers, if taken with care and advise. I personally have no problems in going along with people from different faiths and backgrounds and in fact like religion a lot. But as I said before, I cant adopt it. Its just so illogical to me.

But having said that, the concept of religion and god seems too dangerous and primitive to me. Religion is fundamentally based on blind faith and false assumptions. Lack of reason is at its core. This is the prime reason that religious fundamentalists are able to muster support from the moderate masses. That is the reason that rulers have used religion as a tool to suppress masses. Faith is one thing that nobody can reason about because it is fundamentally unreasonable. Every religion has exploited and fooled people in the name of god. And people become fool again and again simply because they ARE fools. They are fools because they believed in false concepts at the first place.

Anyways, we actually don't have a choice. Religion is so much intermingled with our culture, society and value system that we cant really imagine a godless world in the near future. So I like it or not, I will have to learn to live with god in the society and follow its culture. But I would continue to live my life in the rational way. What would happen in the future is hard to predict, but I think, religion would become largely meaningless if not obsolete in the years to come.

I know that I am an ignorant fool in the eyes of most people। I am an infidel and would go to hell. All I would like to say is that:

हाँ वो नहीं खुदा परस्त जाओ वो बेवफ़ा सही,
जिसको हो दीन-ओ-दिल अज़ीज़ उसकी गली में जाये क्यों?

I, too have some unreasonable habits and quoting Ghalib is just one of them.


[1] - Taslima Nasreen on Islamic Fundamentalism"

Read On 8 comments

The Ugly Face of Communism in India

Thursday, November 22, 2007
Communist movement hasn't achieved anything spectacular in its long history in India. However, it has earned a bad name due to its anti-national and anti-democracy polices at several occasions especially among the educated middle class. I have been a supporter of left parties for some years now largely due to my closeness to socialist ideology and partially due to my disenchantment from BJP and Congress. I seriously had begun to look at the left as a viable political alternative at the national level. I am not sure anymore. There are a couple of reasons:

Nuclear Deal: Without going into the technicalities, let us first try to look what this deal is all about. India neither being among the five recognized nuclear powers nor a signatory to the NPT is isolated in the world with regard to the corporation in the nuclear energy sector. India needs nuclear energy for its rising domestic power demand and more importantly the high table at world level. America wants to counter rising Chinese threat and sees India as a strategic partener. So, the deal is simple. USA would agree to supply India the nuclear technology and material for civilian use and India in tern would separate its civilian nuclear program (for peaceful use) from the military use program. This would be done in a phased manner and an international agency IAEA would keep a check on the civilian nuclear facilities only. There would be no interference in the military research program. Moreover, US would lobby hard to get NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) to cooperate with India on nuclear energy. This can be done as India has an impeccable record in nuclear nonproliferation and in following international treaties. During the long and tough negotiations, India got almost everything it wanted. Pakistan demanded a similar deal but was bluntly refused. China and Pakistan both lobbied hard to see this deal dead. Unlike the past, India clinched the deal successfully. This deal, I think, has been one of the most important achievements of Indian foreign policy till date.

Now what is the issue? First, there is a perception that Indian foreign policy is losing its independence and we are aligning too much with the US. Second, American Hyde Act, that says that deal might be scrapped if India conducts another nuclear test. Ideally speaking first concern is a big issue, but foreign policies are never decided on ideals. India made that mistake (thanks to Nehru and leaders that followed him except may be Indira) and that’s the reason we have more enemies than friends. You like it or not, aligning with US is a wise thing to do as long as we keep our national interests above everything and don’t let Americans use us. The second issue is simply unavoidable. You can not keep a check on the domestic laws of a sovereign country and if India conducts a nuclear test, of course, USA or any other country should have a right to decide if they want to continue the nuclear corporation or not.

After everything has been finalized, Left parties wakeup and start raising these issues. Raising issues is a good thing in a democracy but they have halted the deal which is against Indian interests. Let us try to put things in perspective and try to think whose interests are they serving?
Who would benefit if this deal doesn’t go through? Pakistan and yes CHINA. The ghosts of Indo-China war are again visiting! Most of the left leaders (including Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet) supported China wholeheartedly during India's war with China over boundary dispute in 1962. They even shamelessly declared that Chinese President is India's president. These people celebrated when China tested a nuclear bomb touting it as "People’s Bomb" and opposed fervently when India exploded nuclear devices in 1974 and again in 1998. China seems to have achieved through their agents here what they could not achieve directly. These are serious issues. So, comrades, tell the people of India, why you favor Chinese interests over Indian? Who are your paymasters and why you should not be banned for anti-national activities?
Nandigram: Its simply unbelievable that a communist government is taking away two-crop arable land from farmers forcibly to establish SEZ for a private capitalist. Left front oppose the same neo-liberal polices at the center. But because Chinese "Communist" government is doing it, they would also emulate it.
Moreover, when local people opposed this move and tried to protest, the government used force and 14 farmer lost their lives in police action. Now, CPIM gondas (they call them "carders"), are trying to "take over" Nandigram and police and administration is simply looking the other way(dejavu of Gujrat). These gondas are killing poors, indulging in large scale rapes to punish poors for raising their voice to save their lands. Media is not being allowed inside nandigram and its simply Stalin-style handling of dissident voices.

That's what they have been doing in West Bengal. It is "Our way or highway". If you dont agree with us you cant live in here. Most of it is due to the lack of credible political alternative (dont suggest Mamta "Drama Queen" Benerjee). And on top of that they are not ready to debate it in the paliaments, saying it is a state subject. These are the very people who debated violence after Ghodhra in Gujrat. So why cant we debate Nandigram? They are not even ready to debate the issue on TV. WB Transport minister backed out of the debate on NDTV at the last moment. Central government is seeing the whole thing helplessly and our Dehli-Mumbai "Sting Operation" media is happy by just debating the issue in air condition newsrooms. But anywys, this is not at all democracy. This is the fascist attitude that has been common among all communist governments be it in china or Russia. The situation has taken a communal flavour as most of the people affected are Muslims and Dalits. Its unfortunate what happened in Kolkata on Wednesday. But more than that, CPIM government, instead of resolving Nandigram issue has escorted Taslima Nasreen away from WB.

Poor people are killing poor people. We can debate these issues latter but please bring peace in Nandigram and now in Kolkata first.
Read On 3 comments

इश्क तो ढोंग है

Sunday, November 18, 2007
तुझे इश्क हो ये ख़ुदा करे,
तुझे कोई उस से जुदा करे

तेरे होंट हँसना भूल जाएँ,
तेरे आँखें पुर-नम रहा करे

तू जिसे भी देख कर रुका करे,
वो नज़र झुका के चला करे

तू इस की बातें सुना करे,
वो किसी और की बातें कहा करे

तुझे दोस्ती भी न आये रास,
तू तन्हा तन्हा रहा करे

तुझे हिज्र की वो झड़ी लगे,
तू मिलन की हर पल दुआ करे

तेरे ख्वाब बिखरें टूट कर,
तू किर्ची किर्ची चुना करे

तुझे इश्क पर हो यकीन तब,
उसे तस्भियों में पढ़ा करे

फिर मैं कहूं इश्क तो ढोंग है,
तू नहीं नहीं किया करे!!!

पुर-नम = Tearful

हिज्र = Separation

किर्ची किर्ची = In Small Pieces

तस्भियों = A String of Beads Used in Counting Prayers

I came across this absolutely mesmerizing ghazal today. I tried but could not find out who the poet is. I had got into the poetic mood after three days and was trying to complete my unfinished ghazal. But this piece of poetry consumed me completely. I was not able to think anything at all except this. I have got to make a presentation tomorrow and I am just thinking about this poem and writing it on my blog. This seems so foolish.

Read On 1 comments

एक रोज़

Friday, November 16, 2007
सुनते हैं कि मिल जाती है हर चीज़ दुआ से
एक रोज़ तुम्हे मांग के देखेंगे खुदा से

- Rana Akbarabadi
Read On 2 comments

Java is Good Enough

Friday, November 16, 2007
For the last few days, with other things, I was quite busy in writing a mid-term paper for a course in my MS at OSU. It is titled "Looking Beyond Java – A Comparative Analysis of Java, Python & Ruby". This paper tries to analyze the major difference points between Java and Python/Ruby and argues that although; time has not come yet to abandon Java, but we should seriously start looking at the dynamic scripting languages and try to use them for suitable projects. Here is the summary:

We should continue using Java because:

  • Compile-time type checking
  • Excellent tools support
  • Very widely used and supported as a platform
  • Nice language to work on

We should not move to Python/Ruby completely because:

  • No compile-time type information
  • Still not mature enough
  • Tools not good enough
  • Not being used in the mainstream

We should start looking at Python/Ruby and use it for suitable projects because:

  • More productive
  • More readable
  • Essential to use different languages for growth as a developer
  • Its fun to work on

In the nutshell, Python or Ruby might be the future but Java is good enough.

Read On 3 comments

Missing Home on Diwali

Sunday, November 11, 2007
This year was my first Diwali away from home. I have been missing many things about India since I have landed in US. But I really missed my family on Diwali day, although I am an atheist and do not really celebrate festivals with great zeal. Generally speaking, its a bit hard to connect with culture and events in a foreign land. But what is even harder, is to get disconnected from your roots, things on which you have really grown up, events you like to follow and people you enjoy meeting. Changing your house doesn't mean you have got a new home. Home is where the heart is. As Allama Iqbal has written in tarana-e-hind,
"गुरबत में हों अगर हम रहता है दिल वतन में,
समझो वहीं हमें भी दिल हो जहाँ हमारा"
गुरबत = Foreign Land
Read On 0 comments


Thursday, November 08, 2007
जीवन के लम्हे सपने से हैं
सभी तो यहाँ अपने से हैं
दोस्तों के मजमें से हैं
हम भी कुछ मद में से हैं
आंखों में फिर भी नमी सी है
कहीं पर कुछ कमी सी है

लक्ष्य तो आसमान सा है
विश्वास भी विद्यमान सा है
रास्ता कुछ मुश्किल कुछ आसान सा है
हर कोई वेगमान सा है
ज़िंदगी फिर भी थमी सी है
कहीं पर कुछ कमी सी है
Read On 4 comments


Tuesday, November 06, 2007
वो जहाँ आसमान से ज़मीन मिलती है,
वहीं से निकला था सूरज|
हल्का, लाल,
नर्म धुप लाया था साथ,
पक्षियों कि चेहचाहट भी|
थोडे से फूल,
और ओस की कुछ बूँदें|
एक लंबी रात के बाद,
सुहाना सवेरा|

देखता रहा मैं,
और सोचता रहा,
क्या यही है मेरी मंजिल?
क्या यही हैं वो फूल,
कि जिनकी ओस कि बूंदों पे मेरा हक है?

ओस की बूँदें....
मिट गयीं अचानक|
जल गए फूल|
वो पक्षियों की चीत्कार,
कानो के बीच से,
मस्तिष्क को चीरती हुयी,
गूँज उठी मातम की तरह|
सूरज की लाली में खून के धब्बे,
और उनसे बहती हुयी गर्म धुप|
झुलस रहा है रोम रोम मेरा|
परों के नीचे उबलता हुआ रेत,
जकड़ रहा है क़दमों को|

अब रुका तो मेरी सांस न रूक जाये कहीं,
मेरे थमने से मेरी नब्स न थम जाये कहीं|
पूरी ताकत को जुटा कर,
एक कदम और सही|
नयी सुबह की तलाश में,
एक सफर और सही...
Read On 2 comments

Dil Aaj Shayar Hai...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I recently found some of the poems that I wrote a long time back. I have been writing poems for quite some time now and more recently some ghazals (although I don't have enough command on Urdu). But I have been for various reasons, very reserved about sharing them with anyone or even keeping them with me safely. As a result of this, most of them are lost. But I have now decided to upload them on my blog, as soon as I finish them. If not all, at least most of them. So I would be uploading the above mentioned old ones, that are complete, very soon. The rest of the stuff contains just abstract toughts. I am not sure what I am gonna do about those
Read On 0 comments

Counter-Coup Against Mush?

Monday, November 05, 2007
There are rumors that Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kiani, the second in command in the Pakistan Army after Musharraf has staged a counter-coup against him and Musharraf is under house arrest. Although Pakistan Govt has denied it and Gen Kiani is known to be a close confident of Mush, prospects of a counter-coup in the near future can not be dismissed altogether. If something of this sort happens, the situation would be further complicated and the result could be total chaos. Even after imposition of emergency, Musarraf doesnt seem to be in control and that, contrary to my earlier observation (Emergency Declared in Pakistan), the event has in fact increased the political uncertainty. As it is said, that situation in Pakistan is affected primarily by three factors, America, Army and Allah! And you got have two of these factors are your side to rule. E.g. Musharraf had support of America and Army, Gen Zia got Army and Allah. Even though Mullahs were against Mush (अमरीका का जो यार है... गद्दार है...गद्दार है...), he was able to hold on to power. So continuous American support would be crucial for his survival. But America seems to have learnt a bit from its past mistake and hasn't put all its eggs in Musharraf's basket this time. They have placed a balancing power, Benazir Bhutto, right there in Pakistan. But as there are conflicting signals from almost every significant player, the uncertainty continues. Whatever happen, its gonna be very interesting watching events in Pakistan in coming days!
Read On 0 comments

K..K..K..Kounter Strike

Sunday, November 04, 2007
No, I am not a Karan Johar or Ekta Kapoor fan. After thinking about it for months (literally), I finally decided to write a blog. And Counter Strike was the most appropriate name that I could come up with. But Counter Strike being the name of a very popular computer game, had already been reserved. I tried several combinations like strike.counter etc but no luck. So I decided to go the "saas-bahu" way. I hope, I don't let Ekta down and am able to continue my blog like her TV serials...forever. :)
Read On 1 comments

Emergency Declared in Pakistan

Sunday, November 04, 2007
"Army is out on the streets. TV/Radio have been taken over. All private TV stations have been shut down. And mobile and internet disconnected. A general appears on the National TV."
Not again! But this time its a bit different. Actually under the guise of democracy, Pakistan was already under army rule. Musharraf was ruling the country single handedly. But now he has formally assumed powers that he was already enjoying anyways. I see this as a positive step and a proactive measure for the good of Pakistan and the world at large. Musharraf has done a lot for Pakistan in the last few years than anybody else could have done. He is a sincere and liberal leader and world community has a lot of stake in him. There seems to be no other better option. Pakistan was heading towards political uncertainty and lets face it, there was no chance for a real democracy even after the proposed elections. And Bhutto and Sharif are both worse than Mush. Judiciary and Islamic fundamentalists were only doing harm to the country.

Interestingly, just a day before, US issued a statement that they wont support any move to impose emergency or martial law in Pakistan. Bush, I think knew about all this and has hand in glove with Musharraf. The most awkward situation is that of Benazir Bhutto "न खुदा ही मिल न विसाल-ए-सनम". She has again started taking about alliance with Nawaz Sharif for resorting the democracy. Democracy has again died a premature death and this is a sad news for the genuine supporters of democracy in Pakistan and the world. In the words of Ghalib:
कहूँ किस से मैं के क्या है, शब-ए-ग़म बुरी बला है,
मुझे क्या बुरा था मरना अगर एक बार होता|
Read On 0 comments

Aanan Faanan

Friday, November 02, 2007
"मुझको तेरी आवाज़ से खुशबू आती है,
और खुशबू में रंग दिखाई देते हैं.
तू जब नही है, तब भी तू है साथ मेरे,
मीलों से छूते हैं तुझको हाथ मेरे."
How beautifully put into words by Javed Akhtar! This the part of the lines narrated by Javed Sahab himself in the song "Aanan Faanan (Mehfil Mix)" from the movie Namaste London. He, in my opinion, is the most versatile and talented lyricist of Bollywood today. He can simply write anything from "Tumko dekha toh yeh khayal aaya" to "Where is the party tonoght" in such a graceful way. Gulzar on the other hand, has produced absolutely breathtaking poetry in the past and in fact, his 'abstract and yet simple' style of writing has influenced me as a poet in a big way. But he is below average these days. I didn't like his lyrics in the last few films like Guru, Just Married ,Jhoom barabar Jhoom , Bunty Aur Babli. He has been good at a few places and the songs have been hit, but he is no match to the work Javed Sahab is doing these days. Same poetry continues further as:
"वो जो तेरी साँसों में हैं घुले हुए,
कहीं रहूँ, वो गीत सुनाई देते हैं.
बादल, तितली, कलियाँ, लहरें, फूल, हवा,
यह सब तेरे रुप दिखाई देते हैं.
मैं हूँ, तेरा नाम है, तेरी बातें हैं,
हर पल दोहराता तेरा अफसाना हूँ.
मुझको तो अब होश नहीं है,
तू ही बता, सब कहते हैं मैं तेरा दीवाना हूँ"

I wish I could write even half as beautiful as this......
Read On 0 comments


Recent Comments