Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An Obituary to AMU Central Canteen

She is no more. Our beloved AMU central canteen has passed away. No way had she deserved such a silent death but it happened. Our Cleopatra was silently killed and no one came to her rescue. All her lovers left her in last time.
I cannot understand what happened to all those admirers who used to shed their love over her? Mercilessly she was poisoned by the authorities. The administrators ignored her status and the people remained tight lipped!!! It is unbelievable.
Last time I attended her, she was looking healthy and young as ever, surrounded with many of her admirers. This will happen in no time is out of my mental sphere. The more I try to look into the matter, more I am confused.
May be the met her fate in the same way all the beauties used to. This brutal world is the admirer of outer beauty. In this materialistic world no one is there to look after an aged. Once the beauty is lost women has no value. But she wasn’t a prostitute. She loved all out of grace. Her love was like a torrential rain, equal and just for all.
But I think she may have been misunderstood. Girls were jealous of her beauty and so did many of the people. Authorities couldn’t bear up her burden. In today’s mean world no one has time for real parents so how can we hope for the part time care takers to come up for her rescue. If the care taker is an imported man with different culture surely we should not expect anything from him. In this case the care taker of the house is a man with different culture and he has nothing to do with our golden traditions, I think so. If he had some love our beloved shouldn’t have died this way. Alas… it is too late. All we can do is to pray for the demised soul.

Inna Lillah e Wa Inna illaha Raj’un

Thursday, April 23, 2009

AMU Central Canteen

IN ALIGARH Muslim University and not with me, surely you are missing something. Life has different shades and colours in my company. The iridescence of love, the shadows of sorrow, the blunders of a carefree life and illusions about the future - one can experience every single aspect of his existence. Some love, some ignore but no one hates me.
Philosophers say that ’Beauty never lasts long’, whereas my perception is, ’Beauty is forever’. I am an exemplary figure to prove that age erodes neither your qualities nor your beauty. If you are humble enough you will not only be admired by all but every one will love you and I can assure that I am the humblest; always ready to welcome everyone with open arms. Since my existence I have not only been the centre of attraction but any beauty queen can feel jealous of my ever-growing list of admirers. Whether she be Cinderella, Mona Lisa, Cleopatra or even Mumtaz or Aishwarya, all pale when compared with me.
My affair with Ashfaq is a decade old but this doesn’t effects my relations with Nusrat, Qasam, Mansoor, Yasser, Anas, or Jawed.
For Nusrat, I am a best friend who gives him relief from his depression; for Mansoor, Qasam and Jawed, I am a best friend to enjoy a ’time pass’ with and for Anas and Aqeel, I am the one to understand their thoughts. Even Nasser, a dishwasher, spares some moments to share along with his friends. I love his childish games. He may not have gone to school for one but with me he tries to learn the lessons of life.
I have space for everyone in my heart. Just come to me and feel the difference in your life. No depression, no tensions, just the funny emotions; inspiring everyone to lead a happy life.
I was not always as I am today. In my early days at Aligarh, I was thought to be a part of the elite section. With time, I changed my nature and attitude. Now I find that I have some better reasons to survive. For years I have been witnessing severe changes around myself but I stood tall, infallible and I will survive in times to come.
I am the old Picture gallery now known as your beloved AMU Central Canteen.

28 Jun 2008

An Ode to Communal Harmony

IN THE locality I was born one can hardly find another Muslim family. After completing my primary education from Gajraula, I left for Meerut where for the first time I was forced to believe that I am a Muslim. It was the time that I felt the heat of communalism around me.
Probably in my generation, I am the last and lucky enough to taste the fruits of Ganga-Jamuni tahzeeb, which my ancestors had sown and nurtured. My father admitted me to a school run by Catholic Christians. With temple in my neighborhood and a Gurudwara nearby it was a perfect place to learn the lessons of communal harmony which my father always favoured. He was well versed in Quranic scriptures as well in Ramcharitmanas and was usually invited for participation in Akhandpath. Encounter with co-religionists only occurred at Eid or during Muharram when we visited our native place. Some of my classmates were Muslims, hailing from Amroha, a town nearby. I don’t remember any debate or discussion regarding my religious identity during those days.
With our arrival in Meerut, I was forced to discuss my identity for the first time. So deep rooted was the communalism in the area that even the children of secondary level talked in the context of Hindu-Muslim separatism. Those harsh comments and questions still stir my mind. Although majority their still believed in harmony but the handful of communal agents had polluted the entire environment. Otherwise, there is no reason for a child in an age of fantasies, talking about the most awkward issue.
It was like going to hell, when I discovered that my town is also changing nature with the changing wind. Sometime later I found that a low intensity communal virus had found a refuge in my locality. These were the days of Ram-Mandir movement. Frequently, my stand on Babri Masjid was probed. Thanks to my mother who provided me the moral and ethical support in those days, otherwise such people had forced me to accept the new religion, which may have been inhuman according to my family.
Usually I try to ask Allah about the fate of such people and for what reason they are not being punished.
It’s alright that they may find a political refuge but where is divine justice? I am a proud Indian Muslim and never compromise with my ideology. But it is really hard to be from minority these days. It may dishearten some but it is true. I still believe that majority of people are good but their silence has created a vacuum that poisonous communalism has filled. This majority is the real culprit. Why these people remain silent before the handful of people and allow them to take charge of our free will?
Memories of my childhood still bring happiness to me and a hope too that someday will come when people may find refuge in those old peaceful days. These types of conditions have always existed. We have faced the tragedy of partition for the same reasons. If we can’t learn from our past let heaven decide our fate. We as a nation have no right survive with such inhuman nature. To sustain we need peaceful co-existence and for self immolation just a step ahead towards destiny.

Monday, April 20, 2009

AMU: Deptt of Mass Comm..oopppsss sorry Photography

It is officially called, Department of Mass communication and Journalism, Aligarh Muslim University but... the batch of 2007-2009 has proved that it is not more then a department of Photography and orkutting. Wow what a department. Enter to read news paper, to watch Tv and net surfing. Rest of the time everyone is free for leasure. Cant beleive??? ok just here are some sample photographs to prove my point. I dont remeber how many of us were regular with our lab studies but every one had a good hand at camera and all of us tried hard to get maximum out of it... Ha haha another example of masti kii pathshala...No class only mastii..oooopssss

Muharram in Syed Nagli

Syed Nagli is one of the very first place to witness the Muharram mourning in Northern India. The very first mourning for the grandson of Prophet Muhammed (swa) took place some 600 years ago. Oldest of the Hussainiyas in Syed Nagli, Azkhana Musmmat Fatima dates back some 150 years back. Mir Ghalib Ali Baquiri was behind the construction of this Hussainiyah. In an urgent need of renovation this was the first place from where the very first Muharram possession took place. It was most probably when Hakim Yakchasm, accompanying general Bakht Khan in the mutiny of 1857 insisted to do so. Presently this Hussainiyah is the centre of Azadari in the town.
Mir Ghalib Ali, Mir Zafar Ahsan, Mir Ghulam Rasool are among the dignitaries buried in the graveyard just adjacent to this Hussainiyah.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where Dreadly Scorpions turn Saint: Dargah Shah Wilayat

Dargah Shah Vilayat at Amroha may be a place of curiosity for many. Scorpions turn saint here. Unlike their tendency to sting at a very first instance they lye cool and calm. It is said that Hazrat Sharafuddin Shah Vilayat a Naqvi Syed from the reputed iraqi family, migrated to India during the Sultanate era. He encountered one more Saint Hazrat Shah Nasruddin. Nasruddin wasn't in favor to have a man who may divert some of his disciples. He asked Shah Sharafuddin to leave the place which was turned down by him. Nasruddin said in anger, your grave may be guarded by deadly scorpions. OK, it will but they all may live in peace and may not harm anyone, replied Shah Vilayat. I am here for the sake of love and humanity and love finds place for itself. His words came true. The grave is really guarded by scorpions but they live in peace with humans aside, just like saints. Surprised? no matter, just come here and see
and will need an evidence...

The Filmsaaz Experience

A date with Muzaffar Ali have been a long lived dream for a man like me. I had wanted to meet him earlier. I had some questions in mind regarding his well known endeavour, Umrao Jan. For long I had been trying to pen down a note on the portrayal of courtesans in Indian cinema in cultural prospective. Filmsaz 09 at AMU provided me an opportunity but I missed. I had submitted a film 'Mahatma" based on the story by Bhishm Sahni, which I had made as part of my studies. To my utter surprise the film got me an award which I had never expected. Film for me was a big failure, after I had some problems with my lead character, Ashfaq Hamidi. Once I had decided to drop the film but later finished it just as a rough task. It is not film that may attract many and never finished as i had liked. But every failure is a new lesson to life and so is Mahatma. It will always inspire me to do something better and with my own picked team in future at least once, I will try to go for good film.

A change in outlook

Although it wasn't my first tour to Agra but when did I visited Taj has faded out of my memories. It was some 18-20 years back when I was here with my school mates from St. Mary's Convent, Gajraula. This time too I had my classmates with me but this was totally a different experience. Life has changed a lot in these years. Now I have different sentiments and a totally different approach towards life. At that time a small lad jumping around the campus and living in forced discipline had no worries about life nor did I understood the importance of Taj. But the life flows on quietly, not same as that of water in Yamuna. There are quite more waves, some smooth and more of them violent experiences of life... This is all about our existence

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Taj: Lovers Paradise

Much have been written about the beauty of Taj Mahal. This marvelous monuments is a unique example of architecture. It also represent the Persian excellence in the field.

Taj Mahal stands on the other banks of River Yamuna, just opposite to the mighty Red Fort of Agra, which was the centre of Mughal administration,until the seat of governance moved to Delhi in 1637 as the new Mughal capital. It was built by the fifth Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his second wife, Mumtaz Mahal, princess of Persian origin. She had died while she was accompanying her husband in Burhanpur expedition, while giving birth to a child. He loved Mumtaz so much that he ordered to built a great mausoleum in her memory.

Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years. Twenty thousand people were deployed to accomplish the task. Even the material was imported from central Asia and is said that 1000 elephants were used for the purpose of transportation to the site. It was designed by the great Iranian architect Ustad Isa.

zaigham murtaza

Dargah of Hazrat Salim Chisti ( R.A): Fatehpur Sikri

The Dargah of Hazrat Saleem Chiti (r.a) is the main attraction at Fatehpur Sikri. It is said that it was his love for this great Sufi Saint, that forced Akbar to built this marvelous fort. A good place to visit but take care in summer, as no one is allowed to wear shoes in the Holy premises of Dargah. On a hot Sunny day one may find it difficult to pass through, almost burning red sand stone flooring. Best time to visit is either in morning Sabefore 12 pm or just after 5 pm. It is a marvallous building, carved of white marble; just the another one in the city of Taj. In the campus one may find a cemetry with graves of the beloved ones of imperial court and the close associates of pious int.
Salim Chishti (1478- 1572) was one of the famous Sufi saints of the Chishti Order, in India. Salim Chisti was the descendant of the famous Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti whose tomb is in Ajmer, (Rajasthan).
The Mughal Emperor Akbar came to the holy man's camp, deep in the desert, seeking a male heir to his throne. Salim Chisti blessed Akbar, and soon the first of three sons was born to him. He named his first son Salim (later emperor Jahangir) in honor of Salim Chisti. )*1

(source: wikipedia*)

zaigham murtaza

Monday, April 6, 2009

Taj Mahal and the river Yamuna

As river Yamuna flows through the backyard of Taj Mahal, it also suggests the purpose of builting this grand structure here. Taj Mahal is situated in an area where water and red sand stone is available in large quantity. Along with Taj, the most beautiful view one may find here is the Yamuna river, flowing since ages and witnessing the history. One more thing to watch is the Agra fort on the same side of Taj Mahal. It is said that Shah Jehan the mighty emperor, also the man behind the construction of Taj in his last days was made captive in Red Fort of Agra made a wish . In a wish to his haughty son Aurangzeb, he asked him to keep in a room where Taj was clearly visible to him till his last breath.

Buland Darwaza : Fatehpur Sikri

Buland Darwaza or the grand gate is the main entrance of the fort of Fatehpur Sikri (35 km from Agra). It was built by Akbar and is still the highest entrance gate made in India. A beautiful mix of Persian architecture with Rajputana style of India it is one of the most beautiful and mighty structure ever built.
zaigham murtaza