Open up your mind and your potential reaches infinity…

Archive for March 31, 2011

The Right to Dream by Eduardo Galeano

The Right to Dream: Poem written in Spanish by Eduardo Galeano. Uruguayan writer on political and economic issues and the author of Upside Down.

In 1948 and again in 1976, the United Nations proclaimed long lists of human rights, but the immense majority of humanity enjoys only the rights to see, hear and remain silent. Suppose we start by exercising the never-proclaimed right to dream? Suppose we rave a bit? Let’s set our sights beyond the abominations of today to divine another possible world:

[image, unknown] the air shall be cleansed of all poisons except those born of human fears and human passions;

in the streets, cars shall be run over by dogs;

people shall not be driven by cars, or programmed by computers, or bought by supermarkets, or watched by televisions;

the TV set shall no longer be the most important member of the family and shall be treated like an iron or a washing machine;

people shall work for a living instead of living for work;

written into law shall be the crime of stupidity, committed by those who live to have or to win, instead of living just to live like the bird that sings without knowing it and the child who plays unaware that he or she is playing;

in no country shall young men who refuse to go to war go to jail, rather only those who want to make war;

[image, unknown] economists shall not measure living standards by consumption levels or the quality of life by the quantity of things;

cooks shall not believe that lobsters love to be boiled alive;

historians shall not believe that countries love to be invaded;

politicians shall not believe that the poor love to eat promises;

earnestness shall no longer be a virtue, and no-one shall be taken seriously who can’t make fun of himself;

death and money shall lose their magical powers, and neither demise nor fortune shall make a virtuous gentleman of a rat;

no-one shall be considered a hero or a fool for doing what he believes is right instead of what serves him best;

the world shall wage war not on the poor but rather on poverty, and the arms industry shall have no alternative but to declare bankruptcy;

[image, unknown]

food shall not be a commodity nor shall communications be a business, because food and communication are human rights;

no-one shall die of hunger, because no-one shall die of overeating;

street children shall not be treated like garbage, because there shall be no street children;

[image, unknown] rich kids shall not be treated like gold, because there shall be no rich kids;

education shall not be the privilege of those who can pay;

the police shall not be the curse of those who cannot pay;

justice and liberty, Siamese twins condemned to live apart, shall meet again and be reunited, back to back;

a woman, a black woman, shall be president of Brazil, and another black woman shall be president of the United States; an Indian woman shall govern Guatemala and another Peru;

in Argentina, the crazy women of the Plaza de Mayo shall be held up as examples of mental health because they refused to forget in a time of obligatory amnesia;

the Church, holy mother, shall correct the typos on the tablet of Moses and the Sixth Commandment shall dictate the celebration of the body;

[image, unknown] the Church shall also proclaim another commandment, the one God forgot: You shall love nature, to which you belong;

clothed with forests shall be the deserts of the world and of the soul;

the despairing shall be paired and the lost shall be found, for they are the ones who despaired and lost their way from so much lonely seeking;

we shall be compatriots and contemporaries for all who have a yearning for justice and beauty, no matter where they were born or where they lived, because the borders of geography and time shall cease to exist;

perfection shall remain the boring privilege of the gods, while in our bungling, messy world every night shall be lived as if it were the last and every day as if it were the first.

 First published:


Main Naara-E-Mastaana…!!!

Main nara-e-mastana, main shouqi- e- rindana
Main tashna kahan jaaon, pee kar bhi kahan jana

Slogan of Inebriation am I, drunkard mercurialness am I
drink may I , may I not hardly does it make a difference

Main souz-e-mohabbat hoon, main aik qayamat hoon
Main ashk-e-nadaamat hoon, main gouhar-e-yakdana

A burning heat of love am I, the eventual
Tear of ignominy , a pearl unfound am I

Main tahir-e-lahooti, main johar-e-malkooti
Nasoot ne kab mujh ko is haal mein pehchana

Pern of heaven, the gem of empires and I
Hath when humanity known me so?

Main sham-e- farozan hoon, main aatish-e-larza hoon
Main sozish-e-hijraan hoon, main manzil-e-parwana

Illuminating light of the dusk, a raging flame am I
Mordancy of parting, Destination of Pyralid am I

Kis yaad ka sehera hoon, kis chashm ka darya hoon
Khud toor ka jalwa hoon, hai shakl qalbhana

A desert of thoughts, a river of which fall?
the biggest reality of the universe yet unrevealed

Main husn-e-mujassim hoon, main gesu-e-barham hoon
Main phool hoon shabnam hoon, main jalwa-e-janana

A  frozen beauty am I, a ringlet in anger
A flower, the dew am I, beauty of the beloved

Main wasif-e-bismil hoon, main ronaq-e-mehfil hoon
Ik toota howa dil hoon, main shehar mein veerana

Wasif, slayed am I, heart of the crowd

A broken heart am I, a lonely in the city.


Urdu ghazal by: Wasif Ali Wasif
English translation: By Syed Faizan Abbas Jaffrey & his friend Usama Kabbir ( greatly indebted to him for complying to my undue demand of a translation 🙂 ).

How Can a Mom and a Friend Rejoice…

It was probably the millionth time someone today asked me a question, my ears have gone wounded hearing ,
“Do you have fights at home when the India-Pakistan match is played?”

And I give back the same answer a millionth time, with the same words and the  same expression since the past two decades,

“I don’t side with any team. Both are mine. No more no less. “

Yes, my husband and kids are very passionate Pakistanis. They don’t spare a minute to support Pakistan or mock at India when they folly in the play. And they do it right under my nose. So what?

In fact, I am proud of their patriotism. They love passionately to where they belong. No regrets for I love passionately to where I belong.

And yes, unlike them, I belong to both the lands. Hence I love both India and Pakistan as much. No more, no less.

An acquaintance even had an audacity to question once on my mothering abilities for not having brought up kids favouring India or at least being neutral. She got a good bashing from a passionate mom in me, when I brought home the fact that I wanted my kids to be exactly the way they are—patriotic and passionate for their homeland. Yes they do love my birthplace too, but they know they don’t belong there. These are such intricate feelings one learns to appreciate when one lives it.

Talking of the match between India Pakistan played at Mohali today, my kids had literally counted down hours .

My girl had gone an extra mile to paint  a T shirt with a Pakistani Flag for herself, at the cost of her study time for the Term Exams right next week. And like a true sister she ran  from pillar to post, in whole of the city,  to find a Pakistani team  T shirt for her brother, buying it at double the normal price just a day before the match. They stayed up all night in the angst of not missing the first few moments of the toss even at 5 am in the morning.

I am so proud of their spirits. They did not even miss their schools and went wearing their Pakistan T shirts and a flag painted on the face. They chose to see the remaining match in School, as and when they could.

As they stepped out at 8 a.m,  they both made an expectant request ,
“Ammi pray for Pakistan.”

How could I say to them, “No I am Indian, I’ll pray for India.”

I felt , once again, proud of my decision to love both India and Pakistan as much . No more no less.

I watched the match like a daughter and like a mom changing roles as and when the two sides did some action worth applauding.

I was sad for Sachin not to have made the century but then I also felt enraged when Afridi got out too soon. I cheered for a brilliant low catch by Nehra but then got equally elated for Misbah when it was given in ‘not out’ by the third umpire.

I cheered both sides as much. No more no less.

The match got over. India won brilliantly. Pakistan lost miserably. The game was a treat to watch.

Many friends called and emailed me congratulating on Indian victory. I was pleased for India. No not because they are mine. But because they proved to be a better managed team.

The kids came back home, gloomy and defeated. My daughter with her eyes swollen, had cried  for having unable to bear the loss of her team and the fiery four letter words thrown at her by few fellow Indians. The son did not want to be hugged or talk about the match.

How could a mom rejoice for her victory with kids laden with sorrow ? Again the mom in me felt proud of having chosen to love both the lands as much. No more no less.

After hugs and cajoling they began to vent out their anger.

My girl blasts out her fury against India because of few nasty friends and shall support Sri Lanka in the Finals.

My boy is truly my boy, so he will side with India by “showing a big heart and sportsman spirit”, in his own words.

Time is the best healer. I know their bitterness shall vain but how I wish they had their prayers listened for today. As for me, sides did not matter. I would have been happy for Pakistan’s victory as much. No more no less.

My kids’ Pakistani buddies and my own Pakistani friends in real life or on Face Book are all enveloped in gloom and disbelief. It makes me sad too.

How could a mom or a friend rejoice when so many of her near and dear ones are gloomy? Again it made me realize  how right I was for having decided to call both the lands my own. No more no less.

Victory ceases to thrill when there is defeat and sadness all around.

The heart in me which feels and throbs with  the feelings of every disheartened  Pakistani, how can it rejoice?

Most of all it is the heart of a mom who’s babies aren’t happy today. So how can that mom rejoice? She joins them in their sorrow as much. No more no less.

l love you my Pakistani kids, my Pakistani spouse and my Pakistani friends, and hence I love you too, PAKISTAN !

So how can that heart rejoice?

Just wished to add a beautiful poetry  sent by a cousin , who is also an Indian mom of Pakistani kids like me:

Hari dharti ha wahan to neela aasmaaan ha yahan

Wahan janam data hain yehan janmon ka nata ha

Jo seekh waha se pae ha wahi to yehan lotae ha

Aasha hi abilasha ha yehi jeet ki paribhasha

(P.S. Am an Indian married to a Pakistani man and two passionately Pakistani kids. And I love both INDIA- PAKISTAN as much. No more no less.)

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