Friday, December 16, 2005

A PATRIOT (Fiction)

I was born a Pakistani but happened to live in India since childhood
because of the Great Partition. My family members have never regretted the choice made, as life in India has been quite comfortable for us. Even in those days of tumult that followed the great Partition, neither our existence here in India, nor our faith, nor our loyalty was questioned. Neither was our patriotism. But now, with the passage of time there is a drastic change in people. This I realized when recently, I was asked to define which country I belonged to. I wondered why, but people told me that my very existence here was a threat unless I made it clear as to which country I support. I did not understand why my existence in the locality should trouble them when I am in no way connected to Osama Bin Laden and also very far away from the Kashmir Issue. They would not listen. When I actually understood what they were asking, it came as a shock to me. They were asking me to prove my patriotism. Am I a patriot? I never thought about it. But then, I was forced to think about my relation with the place I have lived so far and the place I was born.

Yes, I have been living in India benefiting from all the facilities, social, political and educational that the government of India has unquestionably provided me. I have enjoyed all the security it has provided me and made use of its resources for my development. I know and understand the need to express my loyalty to this country and I am ready to offer my services to it, whenever required. If one would want to give this the name of patriotism, then so be it.

But I cannot deny the idea that I would have had all these privileges even if I had been in Pakistan. Moreover, I was born in that country and my relatives still live there.

Now, if I am asked to support and render my services to only one of these places, which one should I choose? And, after choosing one of these places, will I still be considered a patriot?

These thoughts I suppose, have occupied the minds of many a Muslim, who are in a situation mentioned above, throughout the country. Will future India relieve them of these thoughts?

Monday, December 05, 2005


“Very Good Student………..She will surely go places”, this was the opinion expressed by my high school teachers on the day of our farewell. Everybody present at the occasion showed his or her approval with a loud clap. As my parents’ hearts swelled with pride, confidence poured into me and my future seemed very certain. A good job and wonderful pay. I deserve it, I thought, for all the days and nights of hard work I put in to reproduce whatever is there in my text books on the exam papers. My teachers always appreciated me for that, while my classmates envied me. During my graduation, we had a few practical sessions. But owing to my strong belief, which I carried from my high school, that learning theory is more important, I did not devote much time for the practical sessions. Still, I graduated with a good percentage and was offered a job by a reputed company. Everything went on as expected till the day I joined the company.

“Think, try out and decide”, this is what people in the industry told me. I was not given any notes and I did not know how to proceed. I thought I had joined a disorganized company and circumstances would be different elsewhere. With this belief, I shifted companies, but it was almost the same everywhere. Exhausted, I settled in a mediocre company.

What went wrong? And where? Were my teachers wrong when they said I was a very good student? Or did the world change so much since my high school days that I was not able to fill the gap? I am not sure. The only thing I am sure is that something was missing in my education process, which was very vital for my progress in my later life.
Perhaps, it’s the process of thinking that I missed during my school days. An exhaustive syllabus, frequent written examinations, relative grading, always put us on our toes leaving no room to think. If equal weightage were given for practicals as for the written exams, and evaluation of students done on the basis of their continuous performance in various activities, situation would have been quite different. Instead, the system in place considers the result in final exams as the ultimate evaluation of the abilities of a student, leaving people like me in the dilemma that I am in today. When will things change? Will they?

I hereby request all the students to concentrate on developing their analytical skills rather than in mere reproduction of details throughout their education process and not to get carried away by the evaluation system in existence. The support of teachers and parents is very important in this process. The Government also has a huge role to play by putting in place an evaluation system, which encourages the over-all development of students. Cost involved in bringing the change is definitely a consideration but not at the cost of future India. Let each one of us keep in mind that the progress of our country depends on progressive thinking minds and not on the work of Xerox machines.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Shud the poor have children???

She stood in the railway station staring at a mother cuddling her child answering the questions the little one is asking with her eyes wide open. She felt that they are in a different world enjoying each other's company to the fullest. “In the world of unknowns, to the daughter, her mother is the only acquaintance and in the world of indifferent people, her daughter is the mother’s only solace”, she thought. As she imagined herself in the position of the mother, tears rolled down her eyes and her memories went back to that day which she can never forget.
On that day, a group of youngsters came to the place where they stay. They carried with them some banners and placards which she could not read but was told that the team belonged to some organization working towards a better society. They gathered all the people of her place and started explaining about some terms like "per cap incom" which she however did not understand. “Whats the point?", they said when you can't give your children proper education and cannot even feed them. They said that those children would only add to the illiterate and the malnutritioned."It's no good either for the children or for u", they repeated. She did not pay much attention to their words as they did not make much sense to her. But when they concluded saying that, with regards to their welfare and of the society at large, the poor should not have children, she felt horrified at the very thought. She then looked at her husband, who seemed to be deep in thought and nodding his head in agreement. This left her petrified. The team left saying that they will be back next week with arrangements for some surgery which would help prevent having children and asked those people, who are ready to get operated, to sign in. They also announced merrily that not only women but also men can get operated regarding this and it was then that her husband, inspite of the hue and cry she raised, put his thumb impression on the paper handed over to him. Before she fainted off, she could see many people standing in the line for leaving their thumb impressions on the paper.
The whole of next week, there was havoc in their house, with her husband trying to explain that it was for their well-being and that of the child, whom they may not be able to bring up properly, that he agreed for the operation and she, weeping and punishing herself with little eating and drinking. Just as her husband was about to change his mind giving in to her strong desire for having children, the week passed off and the day arrived when the team has come and put up a tent near their place. Her husband, who felt it is his duty to stand by his word, walked silently into the operation theatre, leaving her with a broken heart.
All her dreams shattered in an hour. She was born and brought up poor, never went to school, did not eat thrice a day, but she always had one thing in abundance and thanked God for it and it was her mother's love. Her mom loved her through her ups and downs, cared for her thoughout, fed her though she did not eat and hugged her whenever she felt cold. Her mom's endless love for her was all that she desired. As she lost her mom recently and was looking forward to redeem the relationship with her child, came these people who said that they want to see a happier world and she is to sacrifice her most precious gift, her motherhood, for that just because she is poor. Can she ever forgive them? Will it be right on her part if she prays God not to give children to those who denied it to her? After all, they believe that children are there only to be well fed and well educated.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


He came. He killed. He cut it into pieces, and put them for sale. People came, chose and bought whatever amount they want. They ate not with a pinch of remorse but with delight. This all happens with our sound knowledge and we are fine with it. Understandable. Then, why all the uproar about people like Saddam Hussein? Is it because they are not completing the process after killing? Or is it the sympathy for the like or is it the revenge against the killer? What happens if animals decide to take their revenge against us?