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Intermarriage is not Jihad, It is India

I am the son of a sportsman, I grew up in England, Bhopal, Pataudi, Delhi and Mumbai, and I am more Indian than any Hindu or Muslim I know because I am both. I wrote this piece not to comment on the masses or the problems of communalism in India and its villages, but because this is an issue that concerns my friends and their families.

It wasn’t peacefully accepted by anyone, initially, when my parents wanted to marry. The royals had their issues; the Brahmins theirs. And, of course, extremists on both religious sides issued death threats. But the marriage still happened — the fact that my grandmother also had to fight to marry the not-as-wealthy and therefore not-so-suitable nawab of Pataudi might have helped things along. We grew up on real-life romantic stories about our elders marrying for love and not worrying too much about tradition. And we were brought up to believe that god is one, with many names.

When Kareena and I married, there were similar death threats, with people on the Net saying ridiculous things about “love jihad”. We follow whatever religion or spiritual practice we believe in. We talk about them and respect each other’s views. I hope our children will do the same.

Blood in Koh-E-Fiza Bhopal

Shehla Masood, an upwardly mobile educated Muslim girl from Bhopal who graduated from an event manager to a RTI activist/animal rights activist/anti corruption crusader, was gunned down outside her house in the Kohefiza area of Bhopal on August 16, 2011 seconds after she boarded her car to leave for Anna Hazare's India Against Corruption campaign. What seemed like a politically motivated killing of an RTI activist, was referred to the CBI by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan on the third day of murder.

It took a little more than six months for the CBI to finally crack the case. Joint Director Mr Keshav Kumar and Deputy Inspector General of police Mr Arun Bothra preferred doing most of the legwork themselves. No angle was left un-probed and finally it so turned out that Zahida Parvez, an interior designer, with assistance from her employee and friend Saba Farooque plotted to kill Shehla Masood. Shakib Danger, a ladies tailor who had more than one dozen serious cases pending against him, got the killers from Kanpur for Rs 3 lakhs.

Ama Khan Bhopali - The Orkut Group

Once upon a time, in the era of pre high speed internet, their used to be a phonomena called Yahoo Chat. Yahoo! Chat was not just about making connections. It actually fueled the economy, by building the cybercafe business in India. College and school kids would come to cybercafes, in groups, and huddle over one Pentium machine, giggling and nudging each other. 

Soon Yahoo!, the company itself began to die under the onslaught of Google. By then however, another heavy weight of social networking was rising. Orkut. With its profile pictures and real names, considered more trustworthy than Yahoo!, flourished during this time. Orkut brought a whole set of new vocabulary like Friending, Unfriending, Blocking, Scrapping, Testimonials.

Sharadiya Bhopal 2014

It is Navratri time in Bhopal. Time for Dandias, time for Mata rani, time for devotion and fasting. The hidden motifs of that promotion, that land deal or business deal, that college admission or campus placement - everything can wait, let us get down to devotion of ten days first. Surely "Mata rani" will take note, she knows all desires of every heart, right ?

For the Bengali community of the city though, it’s "that" time of the year - Durga Pujo.

So what is different, apart from the spelling ? The Bengali community, most of whom are second generation Bengali whose father had migrated into the city of Bhopal, try to follow the traditions of Bengal as closely as possible.To start with, the Pujo starts from the sixth day - the Shashthi. The preparations for the Puja are made complete on this day. Preparations on Sasthi consists of three aspects Kalparambha, Bodhan, Adhivas and Amantran.

Ghantiwale baba

So, you wan't a story ?

Okay, so one and only one you will get. Then you go to sleep. Fine ?
In olden days,when the djinns and darvishes roamed freely in the world, there lived a farmer named Salim. Salim was a hard working man, who used to toil on his fields, did not gamble, did not even go to the village tari shop, saving all his money to bring true his only passion. He wanted his son - Ibrahim - to get employed with the Nawabs.

Ibrahim, the preteen handsome son of Salim, knew of this over whelming dream of his Abbujaan and prepared well to fulfill his dream.
           Looking at the growing young boy, Salim fondly recollected the times, when as a restless toddler, Ibrahim would run out of the house so often that Salim had to tie a cow bell on his torso. Ibrahim used to be traced by the sound of this bell, earning him the title "Ghantiwale baba".