19.10.06

"u bloody bastards," he said...

The bane of saying anything that does not quite go with people’s perceptions and expectations is always there.

Among the letters I have recently received, there is one which I should ignore, but I found it just too delectable to let go. It says:

Hi,

u bloody bastards percecuted us for 1200 yeasrs killeing inocent people evryday..why u making chaos on one incident

Go and ask your forefathers what sins they did?

bastard

I cannot figure out why the person has signed out with ‘bastard’. I thought we were the illegitimate ones. Anyway, thanks for the empathy.

I am assuming the person is referring to Mughal rule. I wasn’t born 1200 years ago, although I do believe in rebirth. But, I was not a Mughal in my last birth. I was not aware that they killed everyday, because then they would not get their jiziya (tax), their harems, their cheap labour – like all colonialists do.


Come on, cut them some slack. They did give us some of the finest architecture, some of the best musical heritage, some fine poetry and dance were preserved under their patronage.

Of course I cannot figure out why for such an aesthetic lot they went around wearing frocks over their salwaars or jodhpurs or whatever they wore in the lower half, and why they stuck those ridiculous feathers in their turbans and posed for paintings with silly roses held in front of their noses.

I ask for forgiveness for such travesty.

Now, tell me, how can I ask my “forefathers” what sins they “did”? They are dead, na? I can call them using a Ouija board, but I don’t know who is the most articulate and sporting of the lot.

Babar might be in a foul mood because his name was ruined into Babri…sounds like some Bengali’s ‘pet name’. Humayun – no one cares much about except that his tomb in Delhi is a nice little lover’s nook. Jehangir spent too much time with Noor Jehan playing with pigeons, or flying kites. Shah Jehan was too busy waiting for his wife to die so he could give us one of the wonders of the world, where people sit on a bench and get photographed looking like sissies in front of what looks like a Catholic wedding cake. That leaves us with Aurangzeb. He is said to be real nasty, but I don’t know what to say about a guy who lived frugally and knitted skull caps. Sounds like a bored housewife to me.

And no one mentions Bahadurshah Zafar. The poor man wanted to be buried in India but the British insisted on Burma. I would personally like to invite his spirit, but we’d discuss his poetry, which I love…

I am sure they all “did” sins. Some of which I am aware of and do not deny. I have also ‘done’ many sins. You want to know?

So, let us play fair and square, as they say. You show me yours, I’ll show you mine. You call me bastard; you call yourself bastard.

We are equals.

2 comments:

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  2. Hi Farzana,
    Thanks for answering the letter. You have really done a great job!!

    -Sahil

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