Saturday, August 19, 2017

Samosa, Ribbon aur Beizzati

(shared by a colleague on dinner table)

"Hum jab school jaate to Amma gin ke roz chaar aane deti jis se hum canteen se koi cheez kha lete. Har jumme ko amma hume aath aane deti ke aik samosa aath aane ka milta. Main woh paise bacha leti. Un paiso ko bacha ker main ne baalon main lagane wali aik achi si ribbon khareed li - jise daadi ne apne haaton se kuch aur taanke laga ker aur khubsurat bana diya. Main roz use pahen ker school jaati.

Aik din PT ke baad main ne ribbon apne baste main rakhi - aur woh chori ho gai. Do din baad main ne woh ribbon aik aur laRki ke baalon main dekhi. Ghar ja ker daadi se kaha: "Daadi meri ribbon jis larki ne li hai, kal main us se bahut laraii karun gi. Daadi ne jawab diya: "Dekho! usey akele mein jo chahey keh lena magar sab ke saamne uski beizzati na kerna. Kisi bhi insaan ki izzat tumhari ribbon se ziyada qeemti hai".

Dadi ki baat choti si thi - magar yaad reh gai - ke kisi bhi insaan ki izzat bohat bari cheez hoti hai

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wisdom of Queen Sheba

I was not much aware of Queen Sheba and her fertile Kingdom until I visited Fernbank Museum of Natural History at Atlanta for my daughter's school project. On one of our previous post on movie "Dunkirk", saugoree uncle mentioned her wisdom on war. (His blog post here).

I need to be honest to say that I never paid attention to the depth of the story of Queen Sheba and King Solomon. It has been described in most abrahamic religions. Uncle pointed out an extremely important part of the story with reference to Surah Al-namal (chapter of Ants # 27).

When she was challenged by King Solomon for war - and as her ministers said that we are strong to take them on, She wisely said: "Indeed kings - when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do. But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what (reply) the messengers will return. (ayat #34,35)"

It is so true. Every time a king or an aggressor invade a country or a city - they do nothing but loot, plunder and destroy the pride and respect of its culture and people.

(It reminded me of poem of Hasan Abidi Halaku ab jo tum Baghdad aao ge (here). 
I did loose english translation of poem Halaku when you will come to Baghdad (here)

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Red Lipstick of Hope

I read this article 2-3 years ago. Today again I got a forward. It's from Bollywood actress Twinkle Khanna. It is so beautiful.

"My grandmother is 77. She has perfectly coloured hair with not a root in sight, her nails artfully manicured and her clothes always immaculate. I tease her about her interest in all these superficial things and she exclaims that I, in my dal-stained jeans, have always been a total disgrace to the family. Every Friday, she goes to do her prayers in the prettiest cotton saris with a string of pearls around her neck. 

What is so extraordinary about her story, you may wonder? She is a woman who has seen three out of her four children die before her very eyes. 

Sometimes I think the tiny joy she gets from her little indulgences is what keeps her going and distracts her from the anguish she must have gone through seeing what she has.

.......... I go to visit a family friend in the hospital. She has been dealing with cancer for a while now and though she is lucky to have tremendous family support, only she knows what it is like to deal with fear and pain on a daily basis. She is sitting on her hospital bed in her pajamas, with a turban jauntily perched on her head. And on her lips, she is wearing the brightest, happiest red lipstick. When I ask her about it, she says that whenever she feels low and run down, she puts on her lipstick and it just cheers her up tremendously. 

A pretty dress, a new haircut, a string of pearls are all trivial material things that should not matter because they have nothing to do with our inner self, but we forget that our physical form is strongly connected to our identity. It is how we interact with the world around us. 

When my family friend puts on her red lipstick, she is telling the world that she still has hope. Sometimes, the only thing you have left is hope. Hope that every tomorrow hurts a little less than yesterday."

Full article link here

Friday, August 11, 2017

Beqaabu Truck

(This short story is from Alok Bakshi blog. I liked this story as on first read it's appear to be a very simple story - but on second thought - there is an interesting hidden expression)

You can read this story in Roman and Hindi Script here

ek gaaRi me sawaar do dost Uttarakhand soobe me kahiN ja rahe the. din ka samay hone ke bawajood raasta sunsaan tha aur chuNki khaRi chaRhai thi lihaaza driver dheere-dheere gaaRi aage baRha raha tha. 

pahaRi saRke aam taur par tang hoti haiN aur jis waqt yeh waqya hua us waqt bila-shubah aaj ke muqable badtar haalat me rahi hoNgi. gaaRiyaaN ba-mushkil hi ek dusre se aage nikal paati hain aur agar samne se gaaRi aa jaye to aksar kisi ek ko pichche haTna paRta hai. raaste par safar khatre se khali bhi nahiN hota kyonki amooman saRak ke ek taraf gehri khaai hoti hai aur dusri taraf chaTTaneN. Aapko jagah jagah aagah karte ishtihaar dikh jaayenge: “Saavdhani haTi, durghaTna ghaTi.” 

 ba-har-haal gaaRi me baiThe dono dost aapsi baatcheet me hi mashghool the ki yakayak saamne tez raftaar se ek truck aate hue dikhai deta hai. dono Dar gaye lekin Driver ne aqalmandi dikhate hue saRak ke kinaare gaDDe me gaaRi rok di. Truck bina apni raftaar kam kiye aaya aur nikal gaya. dono dostoN ne chain ki saans li aur aapas me baate karne lag gaye ki yeh truck zaroor kisi na kisi din haadse ka shikaar hoga! 

chuNki raasta ghumaav-daar tha is liye truck ekdam nazroN se ojhal ho gaya. lekin agar aap pahaRi raaste me unchai par khaRe hain to niche jaate raaste ke hissoN ko dekh sakte hain. ittefaqan dono ne gaaRi chalani shuru nahiN ki thi aur unka dhyaan niche jaati saRak par hi tha. unhone ghaur kiya ki Truck ka kuchch ata-pata nahin hai, vo bich raaste se hi kahiN ghaib ho gaya hai. Dar ke maare ki kahin Truck khai me hi na gir gaya ho, wo wapas muRe aur idhar-udhar dekhne lag gaye. lekin Truck ka kuchch pata nahin chalaa. 

 paas me hi police ki chowki thi. dono udhar gaye aur ghabraate hue pura qissa sunaaya. unki baat sunke pehle to hawaldaar unko aise ghoor kar dekhta hai jaise use unki baat par yaqeen na ho raha ho. Phir kehta hai: “Bhagwaan ka shukr banaaye ki aap baal baal bach gaye. is Truck ke khauf me rehte hain yahaN ke log! agar Driver ehtiyaat na barat raha ho, to musafir iski wajah se haadse ka shikaar ho jaate hain. nahiN to yeh Bhagwaan jaane kahaN ghaib ho jata hai. yeh Truck kiska hai, ise kaun chalaata hai, kidhar se kidhar jaata hai — koi nahiN jaanta. khair aap khud ko khush-qismat samjhe jo iski chapeT me nahiN aaye. 

 wo din aur aaj ka din, us waqye ke baad dono ne kabhi us saRak ki taraf rukh nahiN kiya!

Monday, August 07, 2017


I watched this second world war movie Dunkirk. In childhood, I was a huge fan of second world war movies (naturally the favorite is 'Where Eagles Dare'). After long time I watched a 2nd WW flick, and it led me to think that, how a war changes a human at personal level. As at one point in the movie, a rescuer said to his son about a survivor: "He is not himself,  and will never be the same". While working in USA, I have met many war veterans, and trust me, many though came back alive but their souls were lost.

This movie is unique in the sense that instead of glorifying win on forefronts, it portrays the agony and pain of a struggling force. I doubt, war ever brings prosperity to either side.

Sahir Ludhianvi famously said in his poem (full poem in Roman and Nastaliq here)

جنگ تو خود ہی ايک مسئلہ ہے
جنگ کيا مسئلوں کا حل دے گی

Good night!


Sunday, August 06, 2017


This came just roaming on internet to me, but I really liked this
  • Be Honest when in Trouble 
  • Be Simple when in Wealth
  • Be Polite when in Authority and 
  • Be Silent when in Anger

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

the dark tree, the cold sea

(someone shared with me as his close sibling stopped talking to him years ago and still not talking)

although I know you can never be found
although I know that from the highest height
you cannot be seen you are not hiding
from me or are you is it how you look now
or maybe how I look now all these years gone by
places seen people met not knowing at any time
who I was or how others saw me or did not see me
and how are you wherever you are if I write you a letter
I’ll get no answer if I cry out to you to come in my final
hour you will not come but I will still look for you

~ Emily Fragos 

Monday, July 31, 2017

A mystic story

(I am not sure, if this story really belongs to Hazrat Abraham, but moral of the story is worth signifying pluralism and coexistence) .

Hazrat Ibrahim was very fond of having guests at his house and particularly was hospitable to travellers. He stood near his house, and waited for travellers to pass by. Whenever he saw them, he invited them back to his house. He would everyday bring home at least one guest and without having a guest, he would not touch food himself. 

 Once it so happened that no traveller passed that way for three days, and each evening he would return to his home disappointed. After three days an old man appeared on a camel. Hazrat Ibrahim invited the old man to his home to eat with him, the old man accepted the invitation. 

The old man and Hazrat Ibrahim sat to eat and Hazrat Ibrahim recited “Bismillah” (in the name of God) before eating the food, but the old man did not say anything. Hazrat Ibrahim asked why he did not call Almighty before taking his meal. The old man said that it was not the custom in his religion, as he is one of those who worship fire. Hazrat Ibrahim turned the old man out. 

 As soon as the old man went away, the Angel came to Hazrat Ibrahim and told Him that God  had been feeding this unbeliever for seventy years. Could not he tolerate him for even one meal?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Biostatic View on Humans - 2

Few days back I posted a little musing, A Biostatic View on Humans (here).

As I was having the same conversation with another friend, he gave an interesting example.

"Two children (let say twin) born in the same household, with same parents, same siblings, same teachers, same financial and social environment, same time period, same exposures - but they grow up with  completely 2 different ethics and personalities - so how we can agree?"

(My argument was to see underlying gene pool as a variable, but this post is just  meant to bring an opposite view)

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Good night!

(Was a long day - Good night my friends)

janey us shakhs ko kaisa yeh hunar aata hai
Raat hoti hai to ankhoon main utar aata hai

main us ke khayaal sey niklun to kahan jaaun 
woh meri soch ke har rastay pey nazar ata hai

I wish I knew the poet or could have find full ghazal

Friday, July 28, 2017


From my last post on Surah Feel - uncle's comment reminded me a long forgotten small event of my life. I wrote about Ashok long time ago on this blog. (here). Ashok was from Hyderabad India and in true sense was my first mentor in NY - about learning nitty gritty of american life style. He was one of the sweetest person I ever met. At night, we three paying guests used to share a room. Ashok's bed was at the far corner of the room. Since my first day in that room, I noticed a spider web on the wall above his bed. When I got comfortable with him, one day I asked him that why he don't remove/destroy that spider web from the wall. His response was unique. He said in his pure sweet hyderabadi style (I will just write in our hindi/urdu way):

"Dekho Babu (He used to call me babu)! Makri baRi mehnat se apna jhala banati hai. Woh sochti hai ye usne baRi mazboot, mehfooz aur perfect cheez banayi hai. Aaj bhi scientist spider web se hairan hote hain. Uspe lambe lambe thesis likhe jaate hain - Magar - aik zara sa jhatka usko bigaR deta hai. 

Jub main is room main paying guest aaya to ye makRi ka jhala yahan pehle se tha. Main ne rehne diya. Kiun ke har shaam - jab paise kama ke - bistar pe letta hun - aur future ki planning kerta hun - to is 'spider web' se yaad rehta hai - ke main bohat kamzor hun - aur mere abba ki baat yaad rehti hai ke - beta! bara makan, gaari aur america main achha future banane ke chakkar main apni 'values' aur paramparaoN ko kamzor na ker lena. Ye spider web mujhe yad dilata rehta hai ke dekho - america ki zindagi main ulajh ke qaid na ho jaana. Bagair character aur values ke sab kuch bohat kamzor hoga".

It was almost 6 or 7 years later I bumped Quran's 29:41ayat and instantly recalled Ashok's father instructions. I doubt Ashok or his father ever had read that Qurani ayat but I guess all good and divine messages stayed same throughout humanity's course. Kiya Geeta Kiya Quran.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Surah Feel

Another interesting conversation happened while Z was here, was regarding chance, luck and opportunities in life. As we agree on Louis Pasteur saying that: "Luck favors the prepared mind", we pondered on successes of few mediocres of our medical school (like me) and failures of some mind boggling intelligent students. We dissect rather tried to dissect the definition of success etc. Don't be wrong, Z is as agnostic or atheist as I am but from nowhere he asked me:

"Did you ever read or pondered on Surah feel (chapter on elephants) from Quran?"

"Not really". I replied with slightly sarcastic smile on my face (saying seems you are now getting religious as getting old?)

"Suraf feel actually teaches us that man propose God dispose. A bigger effect occurs from simplest things in life like making wrong parking turn, calling a wrong number and so forth. Life is strange in a way that help arrive from not expected, chance appears and opportunity bump from nowhere, best made plan go down to gutter - and at the end human wonder - seriously?  One simple act of  life (call it a cause or ababeel) changes everything in life (call it an effect or makool). There is a reason, one name of divine is musab-babul-asbaab (means creator of causes). Criteria of success or failure is far from the understanding of humans themselves. Work honestly, hope for the best and just enjoy the ride".

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Second skill?

Dr. Z is my senior from medical school. He came to US well before I arrived in this country. He was always a brilliant student and no wonder once he was given opportunity to show his worth, he quickly went ahead of everyone and attained the full tenure professorship in an extremely reputable university program with tons of publications to his credit.

Last week he was visiting my city and I took him out for dinner. He made an interesting comment: "I don't know, we were right or wrong to be so devoted to our profession all of our life. One and only thing we learned beside practicing medicine is to pump gas in the car. We have no second skill, God forbid if we can't practice medicine".

Do we need a backup skill in life to survive? I wondered about it for 2/3 days after he was gone.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

45 Years - 2

"EyeAre" has the privilege to read my first blog post more than twelve years ago - he vanishes for months rather years and suddenly pop up from nowhere. We never met, never talked, never communicated - but I am always thankful to him.

My first blog post (february 2005) was a single question: "To blog or not to blog?" - and after few hours I saw an answer: "Blog" -~ And I start blogging!

He left message on my previous post - 45 years

First of all, I don't agree that this movie has no climax. Actually, to understand real flavor of this movie, last scene is the most important, where kate's hands go down in last dance with dismal expressions on her face.

Second, this movie also tell us that despite living with a person for 45 years, you may not know the person fully. Beauty of the movie is that throughout the movie, a viewer think Geoff is a sad victim but actually, it is Kate who suffered the real trauma.

To understand, more on this movie, see the following link.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

45 Years

'45 years' is an interesting movie. I went to watch this movie two years ago but need to get out of theater due to an emergent text. Finally, I watched the movie this weekend.

It is a slow movie but with a little different message on spousal relationship. We all think that issues happen in marriage while husband/wife are young but once kids are grown, marriage becomes a norm. NOT TRUE. Trials and tribulations continue  and may erupt with a new face in marriage even if you are old (movie revolves around a couple in their 70s with 45 years of marriage). As they say in urdu:

"Qabar ka haal to murda hi jaanta hai" (only the dead knows the grave)

Only a man and a woman in given relationship understands the dynamic. Even very close and best friends don't understand relationship between spouses. You live with a happy face to show to the world but hidden feelings to just cruise on it.

Caution:: This movie has no real climax - rather it is a tale. It is based on a short story "In Another Country" written by David Constantine.

Trailer here

Thursday, July 13, 2017

How You Would Like to Be Dead

~ Duboya mujh ko hone ney

Today NY Times published readers' opinion on above topic ( How You Would Like to Be Dead ). Pick your favorite or tell yours. My favorite was:

"Don’t care. When we die, we die. We have no knowledge of it and no knowledge of what is going on in the world we leave behind. Whatever makes my loved one have an easier time coping with it."

Hue mar ke hum jo ruswa, hue kyun na garq-e-darya  
Na kabhi janaaza uthta ,  Naa kahin mazaar hota

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Childhood trauma

(When one of my colleague took print out of boarding pass at airport, also had electronic pass on smartphone as well as also carried email of boarding pass from airline)

"Tum life ki har cheez main itna daRte kiun ho? Har cheez main itni 'cautious approach' ? - American passport rakhte ho, Professor level ke aadmi ho, Stanford ki ID carry kerte ho - phir bhi?

"Jub aadmi ne bachpan main bohat gurbat dekhi ho, aur har dum cheezaiN loot jaane ka dar ho to - saari zindagi ke liye 'insecurity' dimag main dera daal leti hai".

Sunday, July 09, 2017

A Biostatic View on Humans

As part of our Continuous Medical Education (CME), I had to take a biostatistic class. A teacher, who is professor at Harvard, made an interesting and strong comment. I was unable to agree with him, as agreeing with the following, I don't know where to put human conscious, values, good and evil and as many say the day of judgement. But yes, I pondered on this for many hours.

"If you keep all biases away, minimize all confounding factors, chance at zero and every imaginable variable at constant - all humans will behave same in the given equation (situation)"!

Andekhi quwwatoN ke ghere main
Insaan phir bhi  ,   - kathere main

(Shackled by unseen forces, but human is still to be judged)