Tuesday, July 24, 2007

On Fleeting Fame and Misc.

It has been about 20 days since my controversial post propelled me to instant albeit temporal fame on the blogosphere. For statistics' sake you can see this. The small spike on 17th is about the average number of hits I get everytime I publish a new post while the numbers in the beginning are all due to hits from Indiauncut, Instapundit and several other blogs whom I thank profusely for helping spread the word about what exactly I, along with more than a million Indian Muslims, felt about everything.

The comments were varied. While most were supportive and appreciated my stand, quite a few were skeptical about the whole issue while others were just abusively stupid. And oh, I finally managed to get my first death threat after which I felt like someone really important and realized what a kick it is to know that there are people out there waiting to get to you. I'm serious! Although the original comment was deleted, here is what it said:
You should watch what you say. You may be next. Placing your selfish desires to live with the kufir over Islam could get you hurt.
As they call it in messaging parlance, I was ROTFL. Needless to say, the comment was anonymous and I didn't bother tracking the IP.

Anyway, what I really wanted to say is this: Fame is fleeting and that's a very good thing. A large number of people observing you can be nerve wrecking and I am not yet ready to write for an audience ( possibly a cliche often deployed by aspiring but unsuccessful authors). I still write for myself, a sort of a diary if you may call it. But on that day I will admit that I felt like Shilpa Shetty who shot to instant global fame post-BigBrother. One hit wonders like Rahul Roy and Kumar Gaurav could also be mentioned. What followed, as you can see in the graph, made me realise that you ride on a wave of popularity for a short while till it ebbs towards the shore leaving behind nothing but blurred lines on the sand along with a vague sense of familiarity. And when you return back to frivolity, the ripple yearns to rise again and possibly kiss Richard Gere only to lose itself in the ocean of other such ripples. Parveen Babi comes to mind. And so I say it once again:
Fame is fleeting and that's a very good thing.

But I'd hate to be a one hit wonder.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


After a long hiatus from books, I have been back to reading quite regularly of late and thought it would be worth recommending two particularly brilliant books:

Mother Night - Kurt Vonnegut (1961)

In the preface of this book, Vonnegut says that this is one of the few of his works with morals. One being "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be" and the other is "Make love when you can. It's good for you".

It's the story of Howard W. Campbell Jr., an American working as a playwright in Nazi Germany where he plays an apparently big role in spreading the Aryan Propaganda on radio but is secretly an American spy. His public image forces him to say things he never really wanted to and is worshiped as a Nazi Hero, which he despises. But in the process of his real time performance he gets really cynical about the whole world. Particularly after losing his wife Helga with whom he describes his existence as "Nation of Two".

Mother Night is tragic and funny at the same time in trademark Vonnegut style.

"If you really want to hurt your parents and you don't have nerve enough to be homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts."
Was short enough to be read during my to and fro flight duration from Bangalore to Delhi.
A must read.

PS: Later discovered that there is also a movie based on the book.

Lord of the Flies - William Golding (1954)

A haunting book that delves deep into the primitive human psyche that could never come out of social confines. It is an Allegory about the element of savageness that we all have which is depicted in the book in the form of a group of boys who survive a plane crash on a remote island. Their joy, fear and innocence slowly warps into a basal animal instinct that makes murderers out of regular school kids as they fight for their own survival. Scary as hell and deeply moving.

In a scene describing the boys hunting down a pig, the author puts down the theme of the book thus:
His mind was crowded with memories; memories of the knowledge that had come to them when they closed in on the struggling pig, knowledge that they had outwitted a living thing, imposed their will upon it, taken away its life like a long satisfying drink.
This is the book that got William Golding his Nobel and he deserves no less for such a masterpiece.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Dumb Fuckers

This is an open letter to all the UK/Scotland terrorists and their ilk:

Dumb fuckers!! WTF were you thinking? Sardar shabashi dega?? That you'll go straight to heaven?? Man! Not only did you fuck yourselves, you've got the eternal curse from every foreign visa aspiring Muslim who actually wants to do well in life. And just when I was beginning to realise that as Indian Muslims, we are doing pretty well upholding our credentials as peaceful folk, you had to go and fuck it all up!! You imbeciles don't even know what Jihad means.. wait.. I think you used the Oxford dictionary for the meaning. You see, the Oxford dictionary is for the meaning of words like 'cricket'.. 'Jihad' is not even an English word! Go frikkin read the Quran to know what jihad is first before defaming your religion so.. idiots! Jihad is not a war against non-believers, it is the act of fighting back when your religious rights are oppressed beyond tolerance.

See here for an excellent explanation of what Jihad means.
You weren't part of the armies attacked by the crusaders. You weren't in Iraq where your family would have been blown to pudding. You weren't in Lebanon where you wouldn't know if your roof would be torn apart the next second. Heck you weren't even in the country that banned Headscarves! You had everything going for you.. I mean wife, kids, parents, well to do families.. you bastards threw it all away! And for what?

Go hang yourselves!

PS: I know I had promised here and here that I would refrain from commenting on Religion. But as Al Pacino says, "Just when I want to walk out, they pull me back in!"

PS2: Comments are welcome as long as they come within the scope of a healthy arguments. Death threats will be deleted for obvious reasons.

PS3: Remember, I condemn attacks on innocents. Does not mean I'm not a Muslim. Duh.