10.11.08

The Pakistani and the Indian

…and my not-so-pleasant exchanges with both

It needs to be let out. I seethe everyday.

He told me, “Even Yahoo was wishing people Happy Diwali”. I did not get the dig until he later said, “Did you put anything on your blog for Eid?”

Oh, so it was that picture of a diya on the sidebar with the words ‘Happy Diwali’ that made him taunt me.

I do not have to justify anything. I had in fact written a post on Eid; I had nothing to say about Diwali this time so I had the picture.

This gentleman is a US based Pakistani. He cooks pork, eats pork and has married a woman who was brought up on that diet, and he has had affairs with porcine woman. He clearly believes as you sow, so shall you reap...

That song I put up had deities, but the beauty of the words and music behind the superficial divinity was lost on him. All he could say was that it made me a “complete Hindu”. He claims to be an atheist. He does not even celebrate Eid and his wife will not socialise with Pakistanis. The only reason firangs may find him appealing is because he can dish out recipes and stories from back home. He becomes a willing slave then, accepting their empty compliments as a stamp of approval.

His constant refrain to me is, “You must be a foreskin muncher”, a “lingam worshipper”.

Is he the exception? I find that those who do not claim to be liberal are in fact less judgmental. I met several so-called religious conservatives in Pakistan and they did not ever make such comments or even imply them.

At the book launch in Mumbai, my co-panellists were clearly of the peacenik variety. I knew that, so it got interesting and even a bit heated when a person in the audience asked why I had mentioned the animosity of some Pakistanis. Because I am not a Kuldip Nayar who will go on an intellectual sanitised trip or a harking back to nostalgia. I gave the version that I experienced, and there were fine examples of many wonderful people as well.

Mahesh Bhatt said something about how the girls at the Kara Film Festival were so helpful and warm. Sure, so were my friends from TV and films, and even otherwise.

Ritu Dewan, who is involved in several human rights projects and Indo-Pak issues, said at one point, “I’d like to take Farzana with me on my next trip and show her how these youngsters interact.”

Again, these are exchange students who go wide-eyed on both sides.

This is not the island I wished to portray. And the person who has commended me is a Pakistani writer who was jailed and has also suffered at the hands of the progressives. He knows both sides.

Are we saying that this animus does not exist? The state in any society can easily brainwash people.

We have our own cuckoo cases. You see them here calling me an Islamic apologist, a covert jihadi, someone who should be sent to her ‘homeland’ that they imagine is Pakistan. I have got comments that I should marry a sheikh and become a part of his harem or move to Saudi Arabia.

These people will never ask me – although they don’t have any bloody right, anyway – to move to a western country although they do mention my elitist lifestyle. Why? Because it will prick their hot air balloon.

With all this it is easy to get cynical. Or angry.

But there have been wonderful moments. There have been Pakistanis who feel that there are few people who as steadfastly believe in India as I do.

And there is a truly wonderful example I wish to cite from the Indian Abusers Clique. One gentleman used to be quite offensive whenever he responded to my writings. One day his tone altered. He addressed me by name, something he had never done, calling me several other things, and greeted me. It was a dramatic overnight change. I asked him what had happened. It appears that he read my online journals, the personal ones. This is what he said, “I suddenly realised you were human”!

I understood the sentiment, but being human is also about being alert and sensitive to things around you, that affect large sections of people, and to be open about your opinion. I do not hide behind the skirt of political correctness or even a ‘balanced’ picture. Readers are not morons; they have minds and can reach their own conclusions.

As regards being a lingam worshipper, let me re-educate those who do not know. It has a longer history and in essence is about concentration. Never mind. Let us stick to basics as they are commonly understood. The worshipped linga (phallus) is always accompanied by the yoni (vagina).

That the comment has come from someone who knows me and claims to think well of me was distressing initially. Now, I have realised that we all have prejudices; those who use their fantasies to buffer them perhaps need more of those.

What can I do? Just sit back and relax? Or watch the film unspool…ah, pass me some munchies please…

7 comments:

  1. FV:

    You have full rights to be angry and cynical. Maybe, you feel let down because you expect a lot from people you know. Perhaps, if you were less trusting and would temper your expectations, it'd help. Perhaps!

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  2. Please share more of the discussion at the launch.We are tired of same images and yours is different.I don't like Mahesh Bhat.The personal reactions are there and best ignore them.Your work speaks for itself.Your blog took me to your other work.

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  3. You have hit a bullseye again, i knew this topic was around the corner but was smiling reading this, you effortlessly strip egoistic, half baked intellactuals for their perceptive views on topics ....

    Having shared a room with sons of Paki Politos in Down Town Oz and dating a "elitist" paki, I realised that such misconceptions are common, even elitist Pakis, tend to borrow thoughts from so called Open islamic socities like Malaysia and turkey but dont really embrace a fact based comparison, general social conditioning is like that, You cant compare a Bombay Sottish to Aitchison in Lahore ....in an indirect way , a One Religion society does narrow down your bandwidth to explore thoughts and views .....the queue.The NOn resident pakis are worst hit, they are stuck between the devil and the deep sea ...cannt embrace "home Values" as they seem too fundamentalist...and west seems too anti God ....and on alighter note thanks to Mcdonalds french fries laced with animal fat (read pork beef fat, Kosher and Halal together), our world is united in sin ...

    My guess on your next blogs ....Omar Abdullah and Madam Mufti ...how did you spare them ....Mahesh Bhatt's Paki ventures..common between mayawati, uma bharti ... and ....India's Intellactual emblem ...Aamir ...

    I am eagerly reading ...btw I am back after a short weekend ..unfortunately Production and Consumption of money is prime objective of life......Cheers ..Manish

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  4. You see them here calling me an Islamic apologist, a covert jihadi, someone who should be sent to her ‘homeland’ that they imagine is Pakistan.


    You miss me, don't you?

    p.s...it's overt jihadi apologist, not covert jihadi.

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  5. PS:

    This was catharsis at one level...but much, much more...
    - - -
    KB:

    Yes, I let my work speak, which is what gets some people in a tizzy.
    - - -
    Manish:

    Just as some of views here are personal, some of mine are. But I am glad you realised the post was about the way societies think. Or groups of people do. As I emphasised in my post "We all have our prejudices".

    Your predictions...oh, Omar has been given the treatment already; have written an article on the fanatic women (not here I think) and Aamir has been done...will be doing him later again:)

    Btw, would you like to listen to George Harrison play “Norwegian Woods” or the Sharma bandhu os 'Suraj ji garmee se" in raag bhairavi? Would depend on the mood and the moment, right? Just thought about it when you mentioned purpose of life being production and consumption of money.

    These are the wonderful things money can buy...you need it to travel from West to east as well...

    - - -
    Arjun:

    How can I miss you when you have left your boys here? And they do say 'covert'.

    If it is overt, then it would not be apologist.

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  6. FV,

    Honest question. Pls don't laugh.

    Does a clitoris have a role in the lingum/yoni mythology? It too is phallic I suppose and/or a gender-neutral lingum of some sort. Is that taken into account?

    I thought to ask because the photo you posted appears to be a clitoris rather than a penis going by its location in the depiction.

    Or maybe I should ask the Vexpert :)

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  7. Zeemax:

    :) Everything is taken into account, including the clitoris. However, the yoni-lingam mythology is symbolic (extens it to ardhnarishwara - the duality and oneness of man and woman, you know like your metrosexual male and your dominatrix woman!)...so the phallus does not have to position itself as though in the act.

    I am not too good at geography, but if this looks like what you say it does, then I wonder if one should use the word sticking out like a sore thumb loosely...

    ReplyDelete

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