Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Kudos !!!!

Thanks Meetz for the Amazing sketch which now adorns my Blog page. Its simply spellbinding how awesome the sketch is, and even more super that I was gonna ask you anyway to design something with a Peregrine theme.
And I couldnt find a better verse than Allama Iqbal, which would go with the sketch.

JazakumAllah Khair wa BarakAllah Feekum
Ur the Absolute Best !!!! :D

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fwoosh !! - Chronicling a Bird-Brain

My name is Fwoosh. Don’t ask me why I was named this. Ask my silly uncle Dash.

I mean, if you could find him, you could ask him. He has been overtly eccentric, Grand-aunt Hiddil says he was eccentric since he was born. His tales go to describe that he’s been far and wide, that he’s seen the hopping 2 legged deers with a pouch on their bellies in a place named Ouz-Tralya. And he’s sipped chilled water with Emperor Penguins further south. Before he was caught by a hunter and made a slave, he was pretty much a free bird….Pun Intended.

Before I proceed any further, a bit about myself.

As you’ve already noticed, my name is Fwoosh. Mom says that the initial idea was to name me Whoosh !!, but they decided against the H and prefixed an F ‘coz some shoe maker cobblers named Nike or something said that they named their trademark as Whoosh. Frankly, if you ask me though, it looks like a tick mark, and nothing like a Whoosh. Whoosh was my great grandpa. He lived much before the days of human shoes, so no one could sue him for being named so. Oh boy could I tell you tales about Granpa Whoosh. I mean, Mom rarely talks about anything else than how awesome he was.

So there you have it, Corporate Lawsuits determined me being named Fwoosh instead of Whoosh.

By the way, I’m a Falcon. Although I hate to admit that. ‘Coz I suck at being a falcon (even If I do say so myself).

Why you ask….? Well. I guess that’s because I’m Acrophobic. No no need to run for your google search-bar. Acrophobic means….ummm…well….means that I’m kinda, you know…a bit, not much….a wee bit afraid of heights. STOP GRINNING !!!!

So I’m afraid of heights, and being my species of falcon isn’t easy with having a height problem. My cousins are all high-flyers. Dad cant stop raving about how I am silly and all that. He goes on about how Peregrines are wanderers and how we should fly high, how we get closest to God up there in the sky. I mean, I agree with all of that, he’s truly right you know. But it’s not like I’ve not tried. Heck I even tried to dive that famous Silent Dive. You know, the one where we hit speeds of 300 or so killer-meters per hour or something. Oh I dove, I dove….but I didn’t do the upward twist n nosedive properly, so instead, my wings got all tangly, lost a lot of tailfeathers and more than diving, I was falling, I must confess here that I was slightly overweight by then. My entire life flashed before my eyes. I landed on a low flying pelican, and boy was he pissed. Lost more tailfeathers when Dad got his hands on me. Poor Dad, how hard he tried to teach.

Oh and my dad, he’s a very respectable falcon. Never fumbles on his dives and is very religious you see. I sometimes think he’s more a BIRD OF PRAY than a BIRD OF PREY !! (Sorry…Falcon PJ)

What can I say though, I’m learning impaired. I mean it…. I still don’t understand why B comes after A. Do you know why it is so?? If so, please teach me that.

My teachers in Flight School call me a dimwitted smart-tail (I’m sure you humans have such names too).

So you ask, What does a peregrine who fears heights do good in life. You must be thinking I’m a loser right? Ahaah….thats where you’re wrong.

I am not a loser. I’m opinionated. Contrary to what you might think, they are both NOT related. Highly Opinionated at that. And I’m a connoisseur of fine literature.

Recently a friend of mine told me that people who liked the “written word” and are opinionated, they should write.

The first thing I think I should write about….is Humans.

The scientific fraternity calls you Homo Sapiens. The humans think that is some sort of “Oh-so-awesome-legendary-latin-fancy-shmancy-name”. In reality, it’s an abbreviation.

H.O.M.O. -- S.A.P.I.E.N.S

First name defines you in simple terms, the 2nd part of the name defines some of your attributes.

Higher Order Monkey-like Organisms – (HOMO)

Superbly Active (Mentally & Physically)

Phenomenal Imbeciles (seriously, whats with all your wars & battles)

Egoistic & Narcissistic SpingelDinks** (SAPIENS)

**(Spingeldinks is a word I cannot explain. My mom is very particular about insults. I hate the taste of soap you see)

Haah, not so proud of your scientific nomenclature now are you !!!

Oh and before you look at our scientific name to “return” the joke, I’ll tell you myself


We coined that name ourselves. Peregrin – US !!!

SEE what I mean?

So What do I think about humans?

Firstly, let me tell you what the other birds think.

The Eagles, they’re ‘Merican you see, so they think that Humans should pretty much be under their wings. The bald ones are spectacularly proud about their rarity and elegance. I think they’re major imbeciles too. Seriously, they are demented. Have you seen a bald eagle?? Its got FEATHERS ON ITS HEAD. Its not bald, who the heck named it bald?? He must’ve been a mental human as well, so I don’t blame the eagles for wanting to take over humanity.

The Owls think humans have their biological clocks fixed all wrong. Psst, between you and me, they’re pretty nutty too, they wake up in the nights, and party when the whole animal & bird kingdom is asleep. Waitaminnute, don’t you do that do humans??

Well well, if the Eagles manage to take you over, no second guesses as to who will be writing your social calendar eh?

The Pigeons and Seagulls think Humans are good for target practice. And I shall not elucidate that as I’m sure little kids will be reading this too.

The Ostriches are what happens when you don’t take your flying lessons seriously, so they being 2 legged like humans, are empathic to your kind. I personally don’t trust the emotions of a bird who hides his head in a sand. Run you overgrown duck Run ... when you have danger coming in RUN!!!

((Sorry got off the topic))

The ducks think you’re incessantly annoying with your blabber. And they take major offence that you name your incompetent doctors after their calls. Beware of them, that’s all I can tell you.

The Swans are mainly from erstwhile U.S.S.R and they’re all named Boris. And they don’t care.

The Peacocks are preparing to sue you for taking their feathers so often. They are from India. And the ladies (peahens), they just hate you all for not giving them the awesome attention their males get. There are Peahen N.G.Os which are planning a major uprising against humans for being Gender-biased.

The Sparrows are too busy to even notice you. So to them, you’re no different than trees which block their ways. They don’t stop to smell the flowers.

The Hummingbirds, they just stop to smell the flowers. More like eat 'em. They too don’t notice you. They classify objects as Flowers and Non-Flowers. You are non-flowers.

The Penguins are voting on whether they should demand royalty from you for copying their style. You know, your formal tuxedos and all that black tie jazz. They want in. They think all your fashion designers are quacks. (By the way, the ducks hate the penguins too. Main rivalry in our Olympics Swimming events)

That leaves us with the Chickens. Who are frustrated beyond all parallel. Well, there isn’t much I am allowed to speak about them. But word of caution to the wise, they are sick and tired of being eaten. **whispers** There is word of revolution in the air. Initial targets are said to include a white suited Colonel’s Army HQs who claims the chicken are finger licking good. They deem that obnoxious and there are elaborate preparations for vengeance.

Now after all this, I finally come to my opinion about Humans.

After studying the entire world history and the whole ideas and thoughts of other birds and some animals of the kingdom, I’ve reached the conclusion that on the whole, absolutely unbiased in my evaluation, And I ascertain that this is the Truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the absolute truth. So help me God, and may my wings turn pink if I’m lying. Conclusively, I think humans are Phenomenally Hopeless.

Take Wing Funny Humans...and Happy Flying !!

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Of Iqbal and a legacy of greatness.

I’ll be upfront and frank about this. I find it hard, really hard to consistently hate Pakistanis. I mean, ever since the nation took birth, it has been a political thorn in my country’s neck (figuratively and geographically). But all these details of their irritating nature came to be understood by me when my age ran into double digits. That is, I learnt about Pakistan somewhere after I was 10 years old.

I had lived with Pakistanis for a long time, much before that.

Growing up in a quiet neighbourhood in Umm’Said, Qatar. I had few neighbour kids with whom I could share my age. And they were all Pakistanis. I remember Ali, Hasnain and Zeeshan. The four of us regularly played cricket or football and pretty much grew up fighting and exploring amongst ourselves. At that time, all I knew about their homeland was that Pakistan was a country near India with whom we played cricket a lot.

So I knew Pakistanis, before I knew Pakistan. This statement will explain itself in the next few minutes.

On Tuesday last week, I took a drop from a colleague somewhere on the outskirts of Sharjah’s industrial area, and hitched a taxi.

The driver who stopped had a very dignified look about him. Now I’ve seen some really fashionable drivers, some really messy ones, and quite a lot of indifferent ones. If you have read my blog before, you’ll know what I mean when I say I’ve also met some exceptionally interesting ones. This time was no different.

This man had a very neat look about him. And his face shone with a discipline which said he’d been living a principled life which wasn’t his choice, but something that had come with his birth.

I gave him directions in Urdu. And after a few minutes of silence, he asked me where I was from. I told him I was from south India. He must have had a surprised look on his face which I missed as I had sat behind with an intention of sleeping the trip off. His next sentence was ,
“Aapki Urdu badi saaf hai.” (Your Urdu is very polished)

I said, “Shurkiya, yeh hamare walid sahib ki badaulat hai.” (Thanks, I owe it to my Father)

He was pleased at that. And I told him that some of my earliest childhood friends were also from Pakistan.

I asked him, “Aap Karachi se hai?” (Are you from Karachi?)

He was surprised again and said , “Ji par aapne andaza kaise lagaya.” (Yes, how did you know?)

Maine dekha hai Karachi walon ki urdu, baaqi pakistaniyon se kaafi shaffaf hoti hai.”

(I’ve noticed that Karachi people speak a more purer/clearer Urdu compared to other Pakistanis, [Who have an accent])

He asked for my name, I told him my name was Luqman. And his name was Tariq.
Tariq Chacha.

The conversation immediately jumped to current affairs. And he smiled and asked me if I’d heard of Shoaib Malik & Sania Mirza’s wedding announcement.

I laughed and said, “Definitely, hamari ladki aapke ghar bahu banke aane wali hai inshaAllah.” (Our Girl is coming as a daughter in law to your home)

He laughed and went on to marvel at how matches are made in heaven, without any regards for man made lines.

He expressed grief over so much we share as a race, yet how far apart we are.

I told him how our national song was written by someone who went on to be a Pakistani.

Allama Iqbal. His face shone with pride and I knew we’d found common ground.

We discussed at length about Iqbal’s poetry. I told him how Ghalib was a famous urdu poet of our nation, but how I regard Iqbal as unmatchable by anyone. He agreed.

He told me how his Father studied in Punjab University in newly formed Pakistan. And how he and his friends would run from the university to a nearby masjid for early morning prayers. They would pass by a small chalet and would hear a voice reciting the Quran with a feel of every word. The voice would sometimes even cry while reciting the Words of Allah.

Upon inquiring, the caretaker told Tariq chacha’s father that that voice belonged to none other than Sir Mohammad Iqbal.
The poet, the philosopher, the thinker of a nation as described by the masses. Who didn’t only write poetry, but lived the advices they presented.

I couldn’t help but go on about how I first heart Iqbal’s Shikwa & Jawab-e-Shikwa (two of the finest works in Urdu poetry) and he was gushing with happiness. Dad introduced me to Shikwa and Jawab-e-shikwa. In a nutshell, the 2 works are inter-related. Shikwa is the complaint of a Muslim to Allah, and Jawab-e-Shikwa is the reply Allah has to each complaint the crier has.

He began talking to me about Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Gandhi and Jinnah, how the fathers of our nations made the mistake of partitioning one entity. Although, if Pakistan had begun its life on the teachings and guidelines of Iqbal, instead of Jinnah, I feel that there could be no better neighbours in the world today like India & Pakistan. He readily agreed with what I commented about the issue. He sighed aloud saying, if only their leaders and our leaders got to the end of their arms race, got out of all their petty differences and just ended the crying over Kashmir, then the most to benefit of this would be the common man, who is as of now the most affected by this conflict.

Conversing with Tariq Chacha was one of the most interesting and beloved talks I’ve had in a really long time. I felt like I knew him intimately. He told me how his parents and aunts and uncles and grandparents cried inconsolably when they had to leave Jalandar and move to Pakistan. How they got into the last train of the partition and saw the brutality first hand. There was a painful tone in his voice as he smiled and said that even today, a lot of his aunts are buried in India.

This is the ground reality. Take away all the nuke races we are having between our nations, the politicians on their side calling us manipulators and the politicians on our sides calling them terrorists. Take away the fact that men on either side of the border have created death and havoc in the eyes of the world. Take away the un-ending argument of who is right and who is not. And at the end of it you will get people like Tariq Chacha who are really sorry we parted ways. People who believe that we share more than we differ about. People who truly believe that once you take out the respective leaders and bureaucrats and the finger pointing, and you have 2 brothers from one mother who fight and argue but in the end just love to play cricket and tease each other about their respective performances.

He loved his motherland, I accepted that.

He respected my motherland too, and I simply admired the man for that.

I don’t ever think I’ll be able to convey the brilliance and the peace there was in our conversation. But I will share this.

Iqbal wrote the song, TARANE-E-HIND. Which is the national song of India. A song Mahatma Gandhi sung tirelessly during his days in jail. A song to which our army sets its quick march. A song which cannot stop gushing with pride on the greatness of India.

There is a stanza in that poem which doesn’t find its way into the traditional version of the song, I don’t know why. I recited that stanza for Tariq chacha,

Yunan Misr-o-ruma sab mitt gaye jahaan se

Baaqi magar hai ab tak, Naam-o-nishaan hamara

Kuch to baat hai ki hasti mitt tee nahi hamari

Sadiyon Raha hai dushman, daur-e-zamaan hamara

Greece, Egypt and Rome (empires such) were wiped from the world,

Yet stands alive even now, our name and our mark

There is something that our definition does not fade away

Even though time in all the ages has been an enemy of ours

(Rough translation, please excuse the crudeness)

When I finished that recitation, he wasn’t jealous or envious that Iqbal had written such defining words for us. He was proud, he was happy and if his hands were not on the steering wheel, I’m sure he would have applauded at the praise of my motherland.

We are 1 nation, divided by a line of lies, deceit, hate and power gamble on the part of a few people.

When a matter of the masses comes, we’re two bodies with one heartbeat.