Headline May 07, 2017/ ''' DAMN* TO *DUST '''

''' DAMN* TO *DUST '''

*GIVE AND GIVE AWAY* : In the name of God the most Merciful and Beneficent, they all beseech and even in wail in unison.

Billionaire Student Faraz Majeed and Umer Khan, give me sideways glance and Faraz begins doling out cash, left, right and center. A crowd begins forming, as we put the 4 wheeler into motion just as the cycle of lawlessness begins. 

This is just about the daily money run, and it has been for almost many, many months for now.

''Find work, find work,''   Faraz says to them, ''find anything. Don't beg, don't beg! Try, try anything.'' He begins clearing his tears as I take my pen out and begin drawing lines in the sand

In the furnace of idealisation, in this part of humanity,   even the Poet to the World, Allama Dr Mohammed Iqbal found his legacy polarised. Then all the gross elements all impurities of historical existence-

All handicaps of frailties, have been burnt away   -so we have a pure Iqbal , pure in the absolute sense. 

Having been turned into an idea, a mental entity, this blemish free Iqbal is good  through and through- there can be nothing whatsoever bad about him.

Here we have a hero, an ideal transcending space and time in a manufactured cosmology. All this from Professor Syed Nomanul Haq/ IBA Karachi and visiting faculty at the University of Pennsylvania.

Thank You, Sir!

 [...] If I was even half as obsessed as you, mu mum would love me. Actually she's the one making me write back to you but she told me not to you that.

But I am super honest. [...] 

In Tanya Tania by Antara Ganguli, Bloomsbury, India, the author is equally descriptive in defining how politics of India and Pakistan  -two countries that almost sit in each other's laps- but never look into each other's eyes  -have marred those young girls lives.

She defines with varying colour, hue and light how countries turn fascist and how utterly normal lives turn grey and murky almost overnight as a result.

With just a few strokes of her artistic paintbrush, Ganguli shows us everything that is putrid about class struggle, religious bigotry and the disregard with which  South Asian families raise their daughters as compared to their son.

It doesn't matter on which side of the border you find yourself  -in the subcontinent a neglected child will almost always be a girl. 
Yes go through two-thirds of the book thinking it is about Tanya and Tania, but it is not.

It is really about Nusrat, Tania's maid.

Nusrat in her silence and her meditations and her words id utterly beautiful. You are haunted by her softness and her scent. Ganguli's word-wizardy is evident throughout, but the part-

Where Tania wonders why Nusrat smells so good despite being poor is the most reflective of all.

You know you're reading a good book by the number of times you place a finger in to mark your place and stare at the walls for me it was over a dozen times.

You think you know the girls and then they go ahead and do something that makes you realise they are more abysmal characters than the letters they write, such as when  Tanya cuts  cuts up  her brother Navi's  tennis racket.

We've all felt the absence of parents, even if its emotional absence. In Tanya's and  Tania's lives you inhale it till it settles in your lungs like a metastasised hall of cells  -there to stay until you end up like Nusrat.

A letter back and forth would have been boring. Ganguli never lets that happen. 

In the manner of a  fast bowler who keeps changing pace, she flips them around just so that you love the results, but not so much that you become dizzy.

Through the letters you come to see how everything about the girls' live changes until they become the exact opposite of who they were when they began writing to each other.

On the first day of fiction-writing  class, I took, I was told never to choose similar names for characters in a story. Tanya Tania tosses that rule into the sea.

It is a wonderfully refreshing experience to get to know that these two girls are as different as the night and day, and yet only a single letter of the alphabet differentiates their first names.

It makes you think, more than anything,  how words grow to be so powerful, how friendships become obsessions and how dearly we hold on to the idea of someone loving us enough to write to us.

In *Proud Pakistan* I found very few students who had labored to study Iqbal and understand, and admire and emulate his thinking and his preaching.

We hardly hear anyone speak about Iqbal's real world. we hardly hear any of the because the purity of ideal does not admit of many human tendencies. But more telltale is-

The unspoken fact that Iqbal had bitterly censured his own father for coercing him at the tender age of 15 into marriage with Karaim Bibi: 

''They forced my wife upon me.......My father had no right to arrange my marriage,'' he wrote to Begum Atiya Fyzee in 1909-

Atiya Fyzee, that elegant lady of princely background whom Iqbal befriended in Europe. 

Massively sensational, too, is the neglected biographical truth that, upon his return from Europe in 1908, a wilted and frustrated Iqbal contemplated 
taking refuge in  alcohol, and, yes, even contemplated committing suicide
In one master letter and a mastery befitting a Philosopher and a Poet he humanises himself:

''As a human being, I have a right to happiness; if society or nature denies that to me, I defy both. The only cure is that I should leave this wretched country for ever, or take refuge in liquor, which makes suicide easier.''

Merum, Rabo, Haleema, Dee, Ambassador Malala, Saima, Sarah, Paras, Sorat, Zara Aqsa, Tooba, Sanyia, Eman, Zilli, Sameen,   Hussain, Shahzaib, Bilal, Salar, Haider, Reza, Wajhayat Raja, Faizan, Hassaan, Zaeem Khan-

And all Little Angels: Ibrahim, Maynah Khan, Maria Imran, Hannyia Khan [the composer] and Merium Khan [the tennis star] and Harem:   

Hardly anyone now talks about Iqbal's rhythms and rhymes and the glorious music of his poetry; of his sublime metaphors. imagery and his linguistic grandeur-

Of his superb art   and its virtuosity; of the    sheer range of his poetic expressions that he presents to us as a multicolored brocade-
[This cloak purple, that one blue, this one yellow].

With most respectful dedication to the Leaders, Parents, Professors and Teachers and Humanity as a whole. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and Twitter-!E-WOW!  -the ecosystem 2011:

With special dedication to all the Hundreds and Thousands of students who tried everything to reach me: Deeply Honored and Deeply Grateful. 

''' !WOW! '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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