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Eid Mubarak!

I rant

moonsighting

So its Eid finally! The holy month of Ramadan has finally ended & hopefully the world suffering also ends soon with it.

I’ve spent most of my Eid’s in Dubai (Middle East) where it’s their biggest festival of all times! 16 years of spending Eid there & now in India; there’s a huge difference in the way people celebrate in both places. UAE’s a small country. Not that small, don’t take me wrong but compared to a huge country like India? Yes.

In Dubai, Eid was so beautiful. The holidays, the half days at school, iftaar parties, applying henna on your hands, shopping, sales & so on. The whole month, you couldn’t eat outside until Iftaar i.e. 6/6:30pm.

The 3 day holiday was the best part! All the malls and roads were beautifully lighted for this auspicious festival & everyone would greet each other saying “Eid Mubarak”.
In India, there…

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Three Things Anent Which I Do Not Write, and the Converse Thereof

Davetopia

Neil Murton, long-time friend, author, and cultist of Magpie, tagged me in the Three Things I Don’t Write About and Three Things I Do Blog Hop. Which I thought rather convenient, because after a week’s holiday I hadn’t done anything to post about today. Unfortunately, the question turned out to be a real head-scratcher.

Neil already highlighted the difficulty for someone who generally writes the story not the genre: there is not much I haven’t either written or would be happy to write, especially as I like to experiment with new things occasionally to find out if I like them.

After letting it mull in my unconscious over my stay-cation, I thought I had found three things. Then I remembered I had read my Herodotus: each creation creates its opposite; by including something in this post as something I would not write about, I am writing about how I would…

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Human volleyballs

‘Oh! Yes, he was my friend in college.’

‘This friend of mine, she had the best shoe collection ever.’

‘I had loads of friends back home. We used to hang out quite a bit.’

Friend.

Is it me or has that word really lost it’s meaning in today’s fast moving and cosmic world? The word ‘friend’ is thrown around like a volleyball. A volleyball no one values, a volleyball which is in fact, a means to pass your time.

A volleyball which soon becomes a strange object.

It’s not wrong to say that you have a bunch of friends. But think about it, how many of those ‘friends’ will have your back when you come crashing down? How many of those ‘friends’ will be loyal? How many of those friends will not merely be ghosts of the past a few years down the line?

Not an overwhelming lot. Admit it.

Your drinking buddies don’t count as your friends. The cute boy in class who’s lunch you once paid for is not your friend. I most probably, am not your friend. Yes, we might talk. Yes, we might call each other on our birthdays. Yes, we might have been ‘friends’ at one jolly point of time. Yes, I might have been your ‘friend’. Now? Thank you, but I will settle with ‘treasured acquaintance’ (Big Bang Theory, anyone?).

The most absurd trait of this is that it’s nobody’s fault. It just..happens.

And my blood boils at it.

I do not know whether it is today’s fast changing world, or the fact that we are so consumed with our own lives, but I’ll honestly say that I would gladly pass on a chance to meet some of my ‘buddies’ from the past. Why? I don’t know the reason. What I do know is that I will have absolutely nothing to say to them other than a few fake pleasantries and pretend to enjoy myself. What’s saddening is that it’s not the case with my elders. My mother still goes giddy when she talks about the good times she had with her friends back in school. Me? Yeah. Remember that one time….?
Doesn’t make me feel anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no some anti social, bitter snob of a person. My friends (present and past) can testify to that (they better, or I’ll be under their bed at night). I’m just overwhelmed by how things just don’t work out between people these days when it’s supposed to be the exact opposite with the coming of technology and social media platforms like Facebook.

I’m not God. I don’t know how these things work (or don’t). They just do (or don’t). If I knew how to change it, I would. Alas, I haven’t found a way…yet.

Rush downs in the life of an average teenager

This will not contain any emotionally induced opinion that is normally seen in my not-so-read blog. I don’t write often, once in a blue moon actually. When I do write, it’s about some recent event (mostly unimportant) that somehow manages to capture my attention, which tends to shift every quarter of an hour.
This is not me putting forward an opinion on Miley Cyrus or Edward Snowden. This is me being a normal girl, with not so normal tastes. This is me being a 19 year old college going student who’s life has opportunities and prospects but at the same time seems to be an ever deteriorating ruin. No, this is not an emotional rant either, those are reserved for my loving mother.

Generally once or twice a year, I have what people call a ‘nervous breakdown’. These stretch for hours generally, very rarely a few days when my life seems like it rather be over. No, I’m never suicidal but I do want to curl up in my comforter and not leave the room or talk to anybody. It’s almost like I’m on drugs, which I assure you I’m not. What is surprising (and disturbing) is that there is almost never a specific reason for these periods of being a cranky and silent loner (I don’t consider any of these as my general day to day traits), only that during these times, I will do whatever it takes to not talk to you, even if I like you. In this duration, I shed tears amounting up to what I would shed in two years. In this duration, I cry to my mother but cannot offer any rational explanation as to what might be happening to me. In this duration, I’m a sorry ruin of a person.

There are people who have been through a lot in their lives and are visibly happy for only short periods in a year. For me, it’s the polar opposite. It’s almost scary as to how for a week or two in a year, I’m the person who cries in bed, instead of being the person who goes to bed late after having a thirty minute laughing session with close friends.

In general, I consider myself a happy person. I don’t take things seriously, I have a good bunch of people around me, a good family and I study in a reasonably good university. I wouldn’t say my life is perfect and going exactly the way I wanted it to, but I don’t think anybody’s is. I understand the fact that I’m still 19 and my life, however it is, is more hopeful than the millions who don’t get a chance.

So what is it that makes me the Devil’s child for a few days in a year? I don’t know, I don’t think I ever will. These will just be phases I will have to cope with, while I try to make my way to a life worth living.

Section 377 and the understandable misconception about it.

If you have not been living under an extremely heavy rock, you have heard about the recent uproar in the Republic of India regarding Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which re criminalizes homosexuality (indirectly, if I may note) a mere four years after the Supreme Court of India, in a progressive step for the conservative democracy legalized homosexuality. Section 377, which was originally introduced by the British during their colonial rule of India has met with extreme resistance from the Indian public. This makes me, along with many others preserve some faith in our country’s people, if not its government.

The irony here is that now the United Kingdom, who’s people brought Sec 377 to our country a century back is one of the most gay-friendly nations in the world. If that does not seem strange (and sad) to you, I don’t know what does. However, my issue here is not whether Sec 377 is wrong or right (there is no debate there, I suppose) but it is the misconception that the Supreme Court is ‘homophobic’ is what is bothering me. The Supreme Court overturned the  previous verdict (which abolished Sec 377 as ‘unconstitutional’) not because they are against basic human rights, but because the 2009 verdict was declared by the High Court of Delhi, and the Supreme Court is holding that such a decision is to be taken by the Parliament and not the High Court. The bench of justices of the SC clearly stated that it is up to the Parliament to decide, all the Supreme Court did was to take away the right to make the decision from the High Court of Delhi and hand it down to the Parliament. This misconception about the Supreme Courts stand on Section 377 is very understandable. At the end of the day, it IS them who over turned the previous verdict anyways.

That being said, it is the ironic and moronic (forgive me) unification of religious leaders on this issue. Usually at each others throats with sharpened machetes, Muslim, Hindu, Christian and Jew biggies have ‘come together’ (hilarious, I know) to support this judgment put forward by India’s Supreme Court. The second most populous country in the world must sure have its own community of nut jobs and ladies and gentlemen, here they are in the form of Baba Ramdev (he does have some sick moves though, I must admit), Om Prakash Singhal, Ezekiel Malekar, Maulana Madni and Rev Paul Swarup to name just a VERY FEW.

I am not against religion, I am however, against homophobia along with thousands in our country. Having previously underestimated the power of public resistance (after the New Delhi gang rape in December 2012), I do hope that the millions living in our democracy do not have to bow their heads in front of the rest of the world simply because they are not allowed to love who they want.

US urged to publish data regarding drone attacks. Please, make this happen.

A UN investigator has pressed the United States of America to publish data on its drone attacks in regions across Pakistan and Afghanistan. The USA’s drone program has killed hundreds of civilians and has, rightly in my opinion come under increasing criticism from Americans and non Americans alike. 

Needless to say, there are some zealous and (overly) patriotic Americans who blindly support the USA’s drone program which aims to attack ‘suspected militants’ (emphasis on ‘suspected’, not proven). You know what? Fair enough, the most powerful country in the world sure knows what it’s doing. Even if killing civilians every year, defenseless women and children is what it’s doing. Don’t get me wrong, I am not one of those radical anti US maniacs.  It’s just that this whole ‘civilian slaughtering with the aim of militant targets’ thing disturbs me. 

A lot.

In 2010, the 117 US air strikes in Pakistan left the bodies of children strewn around. It is about time for a little more transparency. The CIA’s involvement in the program makes that a little harder but a nationals agency’s involvement cannot be the only excuse for the nation to hold back it’s data on such a huge level. 

This is not only an issue of transparency on weapons and arms, to me it is an issue of human rights. Militants should be killed, children and women do not have to act as collateral damage. I admit that the number of civilians deaths since the starting of the drone campaign in 2004 has gone down. However, that does not excuse the 400 civilian deaths that have actually taken place. I am sure the USA wouldn’t excuse civilian death on it’s grounds because that is termed as ‘terrorism’. This is somehow termed as ‘militant cleansing’. Don’t ask me how. 

If you’re American and reading this, you probably feel like punching me right across the face through your screen. Sorry not sorry. I am still coming to your country to study later.