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Archive for January 10, 2011

MEXICAN TRADITIONAL DRESS— Favourite world costumes-2

Traditional Mexican clothing combines native and European elements. The fibers of choice among the Mexicans are cotton,bark and agave (which were known and used by native Mexican pre-Hispanic civilizations to make their clothes), as well as wool and silk (introduced by the Spanish later).

Typical women clothing includes a multicolored frilled skirt, a “huipil” (a kind of sleeve-less tunic), a “quechquémitl” (a closed shoulder cape) and a “rebozo” (a kind of shawl).
Mexican clothing for men is mostly “European-like”, which means that both the trousers and the shirt are European garments, and possibly the only native addition to the men’s wardrobe is a large blanket cape, called “Sarape”. Men often wear Mexican boots too.
During the Carnival, the Mexican clothing of choice is the “Charro” suit, popularized by the famous musical ensembles known as the Maroachi. Originally the word “Mariachi” was used to refer to a dance performed by a group of dancers on a wooden platform. Nowadays, however, Mariachi refers to a certain music style, and also to the band that plays that music

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Hori Hor Rahi Hai-Abida Parveen (Raqs-e-bismil)


Oh! You think you smoke?
That’s such a funny joke.
You actually burn
Into a chimney you turn.

You may so pretend
Cigarette is so cool.
Yeah, with fire at one end
At the other end a fool.

Hot you say is smoking
You must be joking.
When the cough gets choking
You’ll sound like croaking.

So you think they’re thrillers?
No, they’re a bunch of killers.
Who travel in a pack
And take dead bodies back.

Jokes apart:
It goes far beyond your throat
Into every cell, far and remote
As the after-effects unfold
It begets ailments untold.
For cigarette was designed
To destroy the mankind.

Ilmana Fasih
9 January 2011
P.S.Written after an argument with my brother Subhi on his terrible smoking habit and seeing Ali’s dp of smoking. And the poem is directed at a lot of other friends and dear ones who’s names I cannot say here.They’ll know who I’m talking about. And to all those who I dont know if they smoke.


Life is no less than a joke




This is how we attended the Conference.

There are moments in a serious conference when atmosphere goes monotonous and one tends to dose off. It is then, when one needs some ‘kicking’ remarks which act as wake up calls.

I was literally asleep at times in 1 UN PLAZA on Sep 21-22 when these snippets served as awakenings:
*” Projects that donot fly are termed Pilot projects.”
* “I donot recommend our US method of moving forward wherein, when for two years guys meet in suits, and finally decide to meet again the next year. “
* “Mobiles phones are our peripheral brains which are gradually taking over our central brains.”
* “In WHO we are observing another epidemic coming up in the health field by the name of Pilotitis.”
* “We Latinos donot eat to be nourished, we eat to be fuul.” a presenter from Dominican Republic.
* “Behind every strong woman , there is a great man.”
* “….. and I live in D.C.(Washington DC) and it happens to be the centre of the Universe.”
* “I am an everyday optimist and I want to get it done before all my hair are gone.I need to rush as you can see only 10% of my hair are left.”
* ” Job of an editor is to separate the wheat from the chaff, and then publish the chaff.”
* ‘I begin by introducing the panelists – some of whom I know since years and with some I have been working very closely with—and by ‘working’ I mean e-Health. Please dont let your great imaginations to fly.” a senior official of a HUGE UN organisation.”
Can imagine how much of ‘serious work’ we were doing for these two days talking about the world’s health!
We were a great bunch of people there, you see….

Dr. Ilmana Fasih
23 September 2010.


Armaan Khan bhai again writes with his soul.

Let me do the explaining.This kavita (poem) is in context with the much awaited Court ruling on Ayodhya-Babri Masjid controversy.Any time this issue comes to limelight, a visible tension crops up among the two communities, who have essentially been living side by side for centuries.

I hope each word of this poem reflects the feelings of each one in India and extends to ‘us’ across the ‘border ke us paar too.’ 🙂

शायद खत्म ये फ़ासले हो जायेंगे,
जब हमारे बीच फ़ैसले हो जायेंगे !
अयोध्या भी सुकून से हो जायेगी,
हम तुम भी अच्छे भले हो जायेंगे !
अब बदगुमानियाँ भी मिट जाएँगी,
दूर, सब शिकवे गिले हो जायेंगे !
हाथों से नही, दिल से मिलेंगे तो,
दिल से दिल के मरहले हो जायेंगे !
नफ़रत ढूँढने से भी ना मिलेगी,
मोहब्बत के सिलसिले हो जायेंगे !
– अरमान

Shayad khatm ye faasle ho jaayenge,Jab hamare beech faisle ho jayenge.
Ayodhya bhi sukoon se ho jayegi, hum tum ache bhale ho jayenge.
Ab badgumaniyan bhi mit jayengi, door sab shikwe gile ho jayenge.
Haathon se nahin dil se milenge to, dil se dil marhale ho jayenge.
Nafrat dhoondne se bhi na milegi, mohabbat ke silsile ho jayenge.

—- Armaan Khan

In reply, Ibrahim Shishmahal says:

Dil mil sakein subhi kay, kuch aisaa payaam de
Nufrat na ho kahin pe, sukun subho shaam de
Pur amn ho watun, kahin dehshut na ho zara
Meri dua ye ‘Faisla’, khushiyan tamaam de!!

And Amit adds:
main na himdu na musalman mujhe jeene do..
dosti hai mera emaan mujhe jeene do…


Yeh daur kaam bada maheen karta hai,
Mujhko meethe se namkeen karta hai.
Tera masoom udas chehra ai dost,
Mujhko bhi bahut ghamgeen karta hai.
Main samjhata tha who sunta na tha,
Zindagi ne mara to yaqeen karta hai.
Kaali syahi mein din mere dubo kar,
Maalik apni raatein rangeen karta hai.
Gawah goonge hain insaaf bhi andha,
Sach yahan kaun tasleem karta hai.
Khudaya! Mujhe phir se faqiri de,
Paisa mujhe deen se bedeen karta hai.
Humein aapas mein larati hai siyasat,
Yahan to Pakistan, Cheen karta hai.
‘Armaan’ kisi aur qabil ho na ho,
Magar shayari to behtareen karta hai.



This an interesting school assignment that my 17 year old son Ismail did for his Grade 12 English class,at the weekend. I had always thought that the modern means of communication like cell phones,emails have made my teenager children more independent and self assertive.
However Ismail’s opinion on it was contrary and perhaps interesting.He has always been a boy who thinks out-of-the-box. He wrote a 500 word assignment and asked me to edit the mistakes. There he goes……
Is technology stunting postsecondary kids’ growth?
The interview raises a valid point that technology is decelerating the students’ growth into adulthood.Personally speaking, I too am amongst one of those students in high school who takes help from the mom. I sometimes e mail her my HW and ask her to look at my work, edit it, give suggestions, etc. Even when I need to take the bus or get lost on the way to certain destinations, I feel the urge to call her or my father on cellphone to Google up the routes, instead of me asking the people for directions.
Before reading the interview I did not feel as if this was a problem. When looking deeper into the issue, as a high school student I understand that the issue creates a lot more problems for university students, more than the high school students. This is because university is the stepping stone for the transition into adulthood. Even after leaving for university, many students aren’t totally away from the parents. I have seen many real life examples like my friends who live in dorms, and text message their friends and family to check their work or evenask to do online research for them on trivial home work assignments.
At one point I found in the article, Ms Moore saying that students and parents should have healthy communication like sending them campus pictures, buildings and monasteries. I felt that it is THIs TYPE of communication, that makes parents want to get involved in their children’s’ student lives. Because when parents get a glimpse of the environment their children are in, it gives them the urge to just get involved and do their best to help their children succeed.
One point that I really found true was the one talking about how students take help from their moms and dads rather than the people on campus. I personally feel this is true because I feel that getting help from my parents is better than getting help from the people available on campus. I think this is because parents are more likely to say good than bad about their child’s work to boost their confidence. (I love you Ismail for writing this, but you never said this on my face ! ) But then again, this not always true as parents who believe in reality check always tell their children the truth.
Last but not least, one point that I find a little difficult to agree on is the one that says that a lot of parents usually get swayed by their children’s emotional reactions on Skype and text messages. I think this is because personally my parents try to keep me strong by telling me that I have to face the world alone one day, so I should learn to deal with my problems on my own.
In conclusion, technology has been helpful but we should not overuse it to bring to us to our downfall.( Ismail, remember this when you sit on PS 3 or WWE on the net)
Hopefully, after reading this interview, I will learn to become more independent, in time, for university.
by Ismail Fasih
Grade 12
John Fraser Sec.School
Posted 3 months ago


Food for thought…

“You must trust and believe in people or life becomes impossible.”– Chekhov

I tested this quote in real life today and came out with flying colors…
Date:14 Sep 2010
Time: 8:15 AM
Place :Outside the US Consulate, Toronto.

A strange unscripted drama unfolds...
I had an appointment with the US Consulate to get a visa for attending a “Connect for Health” Conference, New York, next week.I was late for the appointment by 15 minutes (5 minutes over the time limit), due to an accident on the Expressway which had blocked it. I was sure I will be refused the entry because of being a late comer.
I gave a deliberate and fake angel smile at the blue uniformed lady at the gate saying, “I’m sorry I am late because…”

The masked face lady interrupted me and asked back,”Do you have any food, drinks, camera , cellphones or any other electronic devices?”

“No, none of these but….. I have this iPhone.” I said.

The’ mask faced’ changed into a Cruela Devil. She retorted, “You are already late. You have two minutes to give this away and get inside. We donot keep them with us nor do we allow it to be placed within the premises.”

The car was parked two blocks away, so going upto it wasn’t an option.

Suddenly this prized possession turned heavy and cursed. I had just a couple of minutes to decide its fate,or else I miss- my appointment, the visa and hence, the terrific Conference where I have to make a presentation of my decade long work. I had to choose and then act in the next TWO minutes.

I looked around to see if any savior would come forward and volunteer, to hold my cell phone till I return back. All those onlookers who were watching my drama changed their gaze when I looked at them—as if they didn’t know what was going on.

Half a minute had passed in my watch and as if the seconds’ hand was trying to beat the 100 meters world record of Usain Bolt, right then.

I saw two angels descending down from the horizon across the road. I knew they were God sent and one of them will envelope my divine iPhone in his wings.

The first one was a young lady rushing towards her office perhaps. I jumped at her and requested her to keep my cell phone till I’m done from inside. She gave me a wierd look and angled herself away from the potential exploding device in my hand. She walked away quietly not even bothering to say a big “NO”..Not her fault. I fit into the profile of a suspicious person by virtue of my skin color. Without uttering a word, she spoke of volumes of her distrust on me and my iPhone. I felt really helpless for not being trusted.

I knew I will miserably fail in my efforts today, but I didnt want to give up without trying. My presentation and a decade of work behind it was at stake . It was dramatic,  it was embarrassing but I chose to do away with all those senses for just these two minutes of my life.
A few seconds later, I stopped a man , probably in his early thirties and repeated my request to him. He took his hand forward and grabbed the phone without a second look or a second word. I just threw the iPhone into his hand and jumped across the road saying ‘thank you’ half way across the road . He waved at me to take his cell number but I pretended as if I hadnt heard, and rushed into the gate before they got closed on my face. At the doorstep, I made sure that when the lady in blue uniform looks into my face, I will give her a scornful look. And, yes, I did give her one. She was unmoved and was probably immune to such looks day in and day out.

I realized how painful this device was, which was faking itself as a blessing to me for the past one year. I was feeling light.  But the materialistic in me was calculating how much will I lose if I never get this thing back and if the fellow disappears from the scene.  Why would he take this iphone so willingly without even a question?

I took me about a couple of hours inside the consulate to fulfill all the requirements of document check, finger printing, interview etc. Because of the invitation letter, the whole ordeal was a smooth sailing. I still did not regret handing over my iPhone to a random man on the street.

At 10:30 am I was told that the passport would arrive at my house by the weekend, stamped with the visa. I felt I had won a medal at the steeple chase race. I walked out triumphant from the gates.

On the road I looked around as if he would be standing for the past 2 and a half hours,dying to give back my iPhone.  He was nowhere to be seen.

I knew what I had done. What will I tell my folks at home—did I drop it somewhere? I certainly won’t let them know of my foolish act—I will fake it, that I dropped it. Or may be I will tell the truth so that everyone learns a lesson at my cost.

Half sure, I decided to call on my own cell phone number from the public booth. The bell was ringing. Will he pick it up, will he…?

Before I could think of anything else  ,he answered and asked,“‘Did u get your job done ma’am. Wait I am three blocks away from the Consulate and will come down to you in ten minutes”.

His words were music to my ears. I had never felt so relieved in my entire life.  A while later I saw a man coming from across the street. I wasn’t even sure if he was the same person.  I hadn’t even looked at him well enough to recognize him two hours later. He handed over my phone, and smiled.

I thanked him in the politest possible way I could, and he simply shrugged his shoulders,”No big deal lady”.An epitome of dignity he was. “I have to get back to my office”. He turned never to look back again.

I did not have the strength to ask him of his name,or anything else. I couldn’t even say a thank you with my mouth full open. I was overwhelmed.

I still do not know who he was, what his nationality or what  his faith was . I do not even have either his cell number to call him and say thanks , or his name to add him on FaceBook.  He just came and went back like an angel.  He was a human being. Yes, it’s human beings who turn into angels when they help others in need or transform into a satan when in greed.

How right was Abraham Lincoln when he said, “The people when rightly and fully trusted will return the trust”.

In every man resides an angel and a satan.
It is up to us to chose which one we ought to awaken.
We need to awaken the angels from within.
Let the Satan in us die a premature death.
Is it worth putting our i phones at risk?
I am not sure. But, yes, I did so.
I got back not only my iPhone,
but also, a huge trust in the the humanity.
It was worth a try.

You try it too, sometime….

14 September 2010.
(P.S. Whether I get the visa in time and can make it to the Conference seems a trivial matter now!)

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