Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Shattered dreams of Khan Market and Lutyens squatters

Khan Market and Lutyen dealers couldn’t understand the New India dislike to New Mughals as a barrier to its dreams
PM Shri Narendra Modi, who has been solely controlling the national discourse since 2014, and very rightly ensured that hopes, aspirations and rights of the people, particularly the youth, are promoted and dislodge the new Mughal dynasts.
Earlier Lutyens and Khan Market customers controlled this narrative. Around fifty years back, Khan Market created a new class of women on stylish cycles and sunglass loitering the market, licking the ice cream purchased by some mission school drop-out rich spoiled brat.
Khan Market ownership changed after the characteristics of “refugees’ spaces” were also changed. Within a radius of 2-4 kilometres, there were other markets in New Delhi, catered to various groups of refugees such as Lodhi Colony Market, Meherchand Market and Khanna Market. Union Minister Meherchand Khanna was looking after the rehabilitation of Partition Hindu refugees. Meherchand Market was famous for tailors whose specialization to fame was to alter or turn old tattered suits inside out to look like new.
At that time Khan Market was affordable to the middle class. It became unreachable for the middle class after globalization created in expansive foreign brands and privileged businesses. It became a very expensive VIP area. Bengal Sweets, famous for gol-gappas was replaced by Levis showroom. The family chemist cum grocery shop who knew about the shampoo and soap choices and monthly needs of medicines of his customers was replaced by costly spa products.
With all these changes customers also changed. A new political, bureaucratic and neo-rich privileged customer took over. India International Center and the India Habitant Center also contributed the talkative-bearded intellectuals and seminarists donning the Levis jeans and crumpled Khadi kurta.
All these strata of VIPs snobbishly knew each other and swaggered around Khan Market as if it was their private place. These new elites, plus dynasts of a variety of families, also frequented Oberoi Hotels and Taj Mansinghs on some customers’ purse. They could also be spotted playing golf drinking and dining with some party eager tycoon or media mogul at these juicy holes accompanied by semi-clad civil society birds. All were insulated in the warmth of shared give and take. They enjoyed the comfort of their “Idea of India” tailored for them. With the help of these connections, they also grabbed the Lutyens bungalows and manipulated the business of awards. 
But after the general election of 2014, the situation to these perennial pleasure-seekers was in danger. Dynasty empires started crumbling after 2014 after Shri Narendra Modi, fully controlled the system. He very intelligently implemented the desires and rights for the voter, mainly the youth, followed with disdain for privileged dynasts. The voters easily realized that the entire opposition — the Congress, SP, RJD, JD(S), Telugu Desam, YSR Congress, NCP, INLD, DMK, PDP and NC, the nephews in BSP and TMC  — were all fully pleasure-seeking dynasties securely gripped by the head of the party cum head of the family.
Wardens of Congress dynasty argue that it was not father and son dynasty. Congress started with the first Prime Minister Pt Nehru followed by mother-son Gandhis.  Congress never showed any sign to induct anybody outside the dynasties. Politics became a picnic to their kids but they learnt nothing from experiences or failures. They were like American Born Confused Desis (ABCD).
Those who controlled the system for more than half a century were not ready to accept the BJP or Modi. They were hoping against hopes on the game of power-hungry opposition unity. Chandrababu Naidu, Sharad Panwar, Mamta Banerjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal, Rahul Gandhi, Lalu Yadav from jail, Sita Ram Yachuri with all the brand of communists, Sharad Yadav etc all every so often assert to activate apparatus of the Opposition to remain in Lutyens Bunglaws and Khan Market narrative.
They assembled in Delhi a day before the results to chat about their coalition. Yet, across Karnataka, Delhi, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bihar,  Haryana, UP, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and other states voters could see that there was no secure tall leader offered as an alternative of Modi who had the ripeness, knowledge, determination, public speaking, charm and most notably, the capability to tackle competing interests between themselves and across the country to face the challenges.
The Khan Market gang and Lutyens media even started writing articles to fool the voters on the high worth of coalitions and refused to understand that the voter of new India knew how short-lived, immature, corrupt and controversial coalitions had been. The NDA coalition under Vajpayee was much better because the top leadership of the BJP was very good and had a faultless understanding of how to work. Majority of the voters mainly the Hindus were apolitical but they wanted good governance, stability, and overwhelmingly voted Modi and the same feeling was repeated in 2019 with doubly zeal and enthusiasm. Narendra Modi is an excellent channel to set off the extraordinary revolution that was occurring in the curious minds of wannabe India.
 They too hunted prerogative of their type — to legislatures, to improved amenities, health and living conditions and gear to see and move to a better world. But the scion of a dynasty in the fight always claim that before me, my father, before him, my grandmother, before she, my great grandfather, and now I only can be the natural choice for prime minister. The small farmer’s son will defiantly say, “I will not study the history book; I want something higher, hopefully, a chaiwala was able to deliver.”
Farmers and labourers are sending their children to study medicine, engineering, research, architecture, management, fashion design and law or making them big and successful in life. They were just sick of dynasts corrupt influence and manipulations to go ahead in life.
Nobody predicted before the results that Modi-Amit Shah will get 303 seats. They fail to understand the Khan Market gang and Lutyens media has lost its hold and prominence. Lutyens occupants and Award grabbing dealers have to move out to the new address with new narrative live mob lynching, minority victimhood, Award Wapsi Game, Intolerance drama, the constitution in danger etc.  Only the future will unwrap the awards of this new narrative.

What is the Score?

Cricket is the most popular game in the country. People forget everything. Everybody was discussing the outstanding parallels of India’s 1983 victory with March 1971 victory in West Indies against West Indies. It was a match between India led by Ajit Wadekar and West Indies led by legendry Sir Garry Sobers. I was thirteen years old when the memorable match happened and was right away enchanted by it. The timings enabled me to be often at home for the day matches due to time difference between the two nations. It was the match I remember most vividly when Late Dilip Sardesai played magnificently throughout the series. India could register her maiden test and series win against West Indies due to him.
Sunil Gavaskar’s debut match, phenomenal job by the Indian spinners, and superior performance made possible for India’s first test and a series win against the Caribbean. It was also the brilliant captaincy of Wadekar which led India to her first test and series win over West Indies led by Sobers. It was a historic win. Before the tour of 1971, India had drawn 11 Tests with them and had lost 12. Worse, It was the first time, India managed to take the first-innings lead against West Indies. So, when India managed to make West Indies follow-on in the first Test at Kingston, thanks to Dilip Sardesai’s wonderful 212 and the spinners, it was already a great moment for the Indians.
India reached Port-of-Spain for the second Test with high moral. India had a debutant in the form of a 21-year-old called Sunil Gavaskar, who would go on to rule Indian cricket for over a decade and a half.
Sobers won the toss and decided to bat. Abid Ali magically bowled a ball that nearly on the pitch and hit experienced Roy Fredericks on the pad, and then the stumps. Soon magical Indian spinners took over. They made the West Indian batsman struggled for runs. But Steve Camacho and legendry Rohan Kanhai managed to save their wickets. Solkar was fielding marvellously at short-leg and got the catch of Camacho off Bishan Bedi and Kanhai off EAS Prasanna and Abid Ali removed Clive Lloyd.
Srinivas Venkataraghavan bowled an outstanding spell and managed to out dangerous Sobers who was trying to rescue his team. The spinners kept the pressure on the Caribbean and they were all out for 214.
India had half an hour to bat. Nervous debutant came on the ground, and a Vanburn Holder ball hit his pads and the ball ran towards deep fine-leg. The batsmen took a couple, but the umpire signalled them as runs instead of leg-byes. That was the beginning off the mark of legendry Sunil Gavaskar who became a run machine later on.
Sunil Gavaskar scored a double century in the same series. I remember dreaming of playing a match in which ... I scored defend that target. Thankfully the weather was clear during the match, all in my family were interested in the cricket but no one was into cricket. My father was a teacher, mother was a housewife and they had a passing interest. My grandparents didn’t care and brothers were deeply interested in the game. Nevertheless, I and my elder brother were glued to the radio in the night for every bit of action we could catch. West-Indies made it to a good beginning. Next day nobody wanted to go to school. Well almost nobody. My father went to college and I was forced to go the school. 
Most parents thought in the same manner.  There were hardly 50 students in the school who came to the school that day. All the teachers had come, but given that every class had a very small number of students. However, they took all the students to the library and we all turned to the newspaper instead of the book. Now as a class of 8 students, that was already turning out to be a historical day. No classes and passing the entire day watching the pictures of players and the thrilling actions. Already this was a happy day.
Most of the students were pretty young and didn’t know much about the peculiarities about cricket. We were happy to read every detail, every inch even. As Sardesai and Gavesker began what was actually a good partnership, we became very crazy. My lady teacher Miss Fatima kept smiling at me but it wasn’t like natural. She was a young nun.  The Indian team was nervous about the match and lacked their usual confidence because West-indies was a very strong side. 
As the innings neared its final stage, Sardesai and  Gavaskar consolidated belatedly looked to up the ante. For us kids, it was more than enough to see the good score.  My teacher was getting more close and affectionate. The affection show was getting more serious. She wanted to stop me in the library. We would hug each time as and we were alone but then she started kissing and cheering if it was a boundary. She holds me back forcefully. Principal Miss Marry came to see the library, and by the time we were in a carnival mood. I told Miss Marry the last score. The teacher felt we should move to the staff room to read more seriously. At one point, my Math teacher Miss Ayesha passed in front of the library, peeping into the library, pointing towards us that one more peep and the match was shifted to the empty staff-room. Now if I could wander here for a bit, for kids in classes 7-8 (which all of us were), school teachers are next in line to superpowers.
The second morning began spectacularly, as Gavaskar and Ashok Mankad played well. After Manked was out, followed by Salim Durani cheaply, the hero of the previous test-Sardesai joined Gavaskar. Sobers wasn’t the same bowler he once used to be. Sardesai soon settled down, and Gavaskar reached his fifty just after lunch, and Kanhai congratulated him with the words, “Well played, son”. In a few years’ time, Gavaskar would name his son after Rohan Kanhai, as Rohan Gavaskar. Gavaskar scored 65 runs. Ajit Wadekar could not open his account. But again Sardesai and Solkar ended the day without any other loss, with Sardesai on 83 and Solkar on 24. 
It was my first encounter with an adult woman outside my family circle. Ironically she was a nun and my teacher. I learnt to look at her for studies, permission, approval and anything like these. They shape the future world and lives. I never thought of to cross that line. But that limit seemed blurred after that. So regardless of the fantastic delight of that experience so far, when my teacher Miss Fatima raised her voice and snatched the newspapers, we knew things were getting serious. But at the same time, students were in the status of ecstasy. Those days had been like never other days. Who would students listen to? Our mindset or mood?
 As soon as Miss Fatima walked in we all opened the newspaper. She again set on the next chair to me. I narrated her another big shot (It was a big hook by Solkar for four) played. I was a storyteller to her. India very intelligently resisted all calculations and logic. We couldn’t help but overlook the recent attractions and started making a touching each-other. However, the teachers knew that if they allow us to spent time like this, it would cause an irretrievable dent to their authority and respect.
This was a state of affairs that could harm the school’s moral structure. Miss Fatima moved closer without any hesitation, hiding our hand under the big pages of the newspaper. Instantly, hush. Miss Fatima, as expected, now started into an artificially heated outburst about discipline and respecting your elders and learning to behave yourselves. This continued for a few minutes. We all smiled and looked to the floor but I failed to restrain my ravenous to touch her thighs. Miss Fatima was perhaps enjoying up this moment. “You all the time makes a big noise.” We all shook our heads like disciplined kids. A few cute “sorry miss” were heard. Everyone took a sigh of relief. She put the newspapers back. The first thing I saw on her face flickered back a smile…strict and disciplined Miss Fatima, her gown above her knees, smilingly adjusted back on the chair.
There was a perceptible fear all around. For us kids, all we could not understand this. That was neither any bad news. But for the teachers, the adults, they knew what was happening. Miss Fatima was our great English mine. She was responsible for our positive changes. She had taught us through our first half-yearly success after three poor performances. The mellowness of Miss Fatima was like a shock. And the adults, especially Miss Marry and Miss Ayesha, knew that because they had their romantic adventures.
I again started reading the newspaper. Sardesai batted magnificently. Solkar, gave a very good company and runs were automatically coming. Mighty Sobers got desperate for the wickets but Sardesai and Solkar remained on the crease like a rock. Once Sardesai retorted,” a time comes when you feel nobody can get you out, and I had that feeling all through that Caribbean tour”. Ultimately, Sardesai departed after scoring 112. The pair had added 114 decisive runs. Solkar was ninth to out for 55 and finally, India ended on 352. Nevertheless, the real hero of the inning was unquestionably Noreiga, who took up 9 for 95. Miss Fatima was impressed with my art of narration. 
I will never forget what happened next, even though it occurred within seconds. Miss Fatima slowly inserted her hand inside my knickers and started playing. Miss Fatima was gasping and her face became red. Her breaths were loud and fast. I could not understand what was happening. The other teachers encircled her and took her to the staff room. I was trying to put this into perspective. Adults, especially teachers, should not sit close to the kids. To see her in that manner was absolutely mind-blowing.  To see her breathing loud because someone has scored a century in a match was a flash that changed my perspective on cricket and teachers forever.
Next day the West Indies had a solid start; Fredericks and Kanhai opened the inning. The day ended with 150 for 1, 12 run ahead, with Fredericks on 80. The match was evenly poised. On day four, India was chasing the elusive history. During practices in the nets, Fredericks hit a ball that hit David’s right eyebrow. So, Lioyd came out with Fredericks. However, Fredericks was run out without adding any run. Sobers walked in to bat. It was the intelligence of Wadeker and he brought Salim Durani, bowled a mix of fast and spin that clean bowled Sobers. It was an extraordinary, startling sight to see mature the 36-year old Durani jump in the air and thump it in excitement.
Wadekar noticed that sharp spin of Durani and Lloyd had a weakness to turn towards the ball towards mid-wicked and often in the air. Wadekar, himself came there to field and Lloyd immediately played one towards Wadekar. He did no wrong and caught it magnificently off his fingertips. In the very next over Venkat broke the defence of Camacho. West Indies in trouble, just 169 for 5, only 31 runs lead. Soon Venkat, Solkar and Bedi finished the inning of West Indies. David, Barrett, Mike Frindlay Shillingford, and Noregia failed to stop the collapse of the Caribbean’s. Only Davis remained unbeaten with 71. The host could score 261, with only 124 lead.
Gavaskar and Mankad walked to bat. They again gave a solid start, putting up 74 before Mankad was out by Barrett for 29. Barrett struck in quick succession, removed Durani for no score and Sardesai for 3. Suddenly India was in trouble with only 84 for 3. Wadekar again surprised everybody and promoted Abid Ali, probably the best runner of the side, above himself and Solkar.  It was another master move, as both Gavaskar and Abid Ali ran aggressively for the target. Gavaskar, by his admission, did not even know that he had completed his fifty. Under pressure, the West Indian fielders became nervous. Ultimately, India registered her first-ever victory by 7 wickets, Gavaskar remained.
The Indians were thrilled so am I. The West Indians were very sad but congratulated Indians. My party was going deep into the night. A well-disciplined Miss Fatima became my friend. On the other hand, the general teacher’s mood was so sore that the play was suspected.
At that moment, I knew that cricket wasn’t like most games in India. Cricket was this captivating exception that led to classes being cancelled and adult teachers sitting with students to see the details.
The biggest thing that strikes me was that Indian fans (and I guess others too) believed that their emotions could be changed with the game. I’ll never understand why all the teachers kept saying “Fatima it’s not your fault” as they led her away. Miss Fatima was a changed teacher. She remained very careful and affectionate to me until I came out of school.
For me, Sardesai and Gavaskar’s blitz meant I will never forget Miss Fatima. By the time I was at home, India had won. The world was never the same again.
As Gavaskar had an extraordinary debut series with 774 runs at 154.80 with 4 hundred — still the best debut series numbers by anyone. The other contributed as well; me and Miss Fatima.
I usually look upon life as a drive involving two gears – cricket and literature – though not related elements. A passionate follower of the history of the sport with an insatiable appetite for literature
I had also a secure love affair with the unbelievable Miss Fatima that cricket could offer. She also thinks I could bowl decent leg-breaks in school cricket, with my innocence.  
After almost thirteen years I revisited the old school, the old chapel and met still young and charming Miss Fatima. She smilingly said! I never asked, “What is the score?”

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

कोरोना नज्म

वक्त बहुत बुरा पहुंच जाएगा,
बिना बुलाए ही आ जायगा,
मत खोल गंदी परतों को तू ,
 कोई खुदा बचाने नहीं आएगा।

जमाती मिशनरी जलसे में बहकायेंगे,
पर कोरोना के आते भाग जाएंगे,
इसकी आग से ना बच पायेगा तू ,
बचोगे, तभी मोदी से लड़ पाओगे।

नफ़रत की दुकानें बंद हो जाएगी,
जमात की सियासत काम ना आयेगी,
 देश के वास्ते, थूक अंदर ही रख तू ,
ये नये खुदा ही तेरी जान बचाएंगे

खौफ के मंजर से सूरत बदल जायेगी,
महफिल में साजों की आवाज बद्ल जायेगी,
अब तो समझ जा ऐ जाहिल तू ,
कोई इबादत तेरे सांस नहीं बचा पायेगी।  

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Silence! The Court is in Session - Summary

Deptt.of English,
Paper Code-62034401
Literary Cross Currents Selections from Living Literature
Silence! The Court is in Session - Summary

Leela Benare arrives at a meeting hall in a small Indian village where she and a handful of colleagues will perform a Living Courtroom Session for the villagers.
Benare arrives early with a villager, Samant, who helps her unlock the building, and chats with her as they wait for the rest of the troop to arrive. Benare, unbeknownst to her colleagues and to the audience, is unmarried and newly pregnant. She has also been fired from her job as a school teacher, as her bosses worried her pregnancy was a sign of immorality, which she would pass on to the children.
Sukhatme, Rokde, Ponkshe, Karnil, Mr.Kashikar, and Mrs. Kashikar, and arrive at the meeting hall. Two members of the troop, Professor Damle and Mr.Rawte, were unable to make it to the performance. Although longtime collaborators, each member of the group is constantly making jabs at the others, trying to assert his or her authority.
With several hours until they are meant to perform, the troop members decide to improve and practice a trial as they wait. They decide to keep most of the roles the same—Sukhatme plays the lawyer, Kashikar the judge—but designate a new defendant. Benare is out of the room during the discussion, and so, without her input, is nominated as the accused. Ponkshe and Karnik likely know that something is wrong in Benare’s personal life, perhaps related to pregnancy, and so maliciously suggest she be charged with infanticide.
Benare begins the trial combative and mischievous, which causes her collaborators to chide her to be serious. However, as the trial carries on and begins to converge with her personal life, causing her to become upset, Benare’s collaborators remind her it is just a game. Many members of the troop have been quietly judgmental of Benare’s lifestyle as an unmarried, outspoken woman, and use this trial as an opportunity to criticize her and progressive Indian politics generally.
The trial heats up when Rokde reveals that (in real life) he went to Damle’s house one afternoon and saw Benare inside. Samant then fabricates a scenario taken from a novel, in which Benare has become pregnant after having an affair with Damle. However, Benare’s distressed response reveals that he’s hit upon the truth—Benare is, in fact, pregnant with Damle’s child and has been desperately trying to find a way to ensure a happy future for her baby.
As troop realizes that their fictional trial has a grain of truth within it, the players become more serious. Benare, upset, tries to leave but the room has been locked from the outside, and she has no choice other than endure the rest of the trial. Over the next hour Rokde, Ponkshe, and Karnik reveal details of her personal life for the sake of the “game.” Ponkshe and Rokde reveal that Benare approached him asking him to marry her and raise her child, but both men turned her down.
The trial concludes as Sukhatme makes a case against Benare, arguing that she has corrupted society and the very institution of motherhood. Kashikar gives Benare ten seconds to give a rebuttal, and time freezes as Benare gives the speech she wishes she had the time or courage to give—about her search for love, her love of teaching, and her commitment to raising her baby. Time unfreezes as Kashikar deliver’s Benare’s punishment—a court ordered abortion. Devastated, and unable to bear the pressure, she collapses to the floor.
The court snaps back to reality as villagers unlock the door from the outside and trickle in. The men, who have been deeply embodying their roles as judge and lawyer, suddenly remember who they really are. The whole group goes to Benare, still lifeless on the floor and tries to remind her it was just a game, but they cannot rally her. They leave to prepare for their evening performance, and Benare remains alone on the stage.

City of Djinns-Summary

Deptt.of English
Paper Code-12037612- Travel Writing,
B.A.(Hons.)-IV Sem.

City of Djinns-Summary

For Dalrymple, who has come to acquire the status of a formidable travel writer today, it was City Of Djinns that marked the beginning of his fascination with Mughal history. For the book, part travelogue and memoir, the author spent nearly a year in Delhi unravelling the city's archaeological riches. What looked like a fling with India soon turned into a lasting romance, and the Scottish author followed it up with two more books on related themes that became the centre piece of his literary career - White Mughals and The Last Mughal. While the former is about the early relationship between the English and native Indians, The Last Mughal largely is based on events around the 1857 revolt and the ouster of Delhi’s last king, Bahadur Shah Zafar.

Both the above books were born out of City of Djinns. Dalrymple had visited Delhi when he was all of seventeen and was instantly under its spell. "It was so totally unlike anything I had seen before. Delhi, it seemed at first, was full of riches and horror, it was a labyrinth, a city of palaces, an open gutter...Moreover - I soon discovered - possessed a bottomless seam of stories, tales receding far beyond history, deep into the cavernous chambers of myth and legend," he says in his introduction.

The whole city, then, seemed to be an endless and fascinating journey of discovery to the author, who had already by then acquired a reputation as a stunning travel writer with his first book In Xanadu. Still only 25, Dalrymple brought with him a sense of adventure and a charming wide-eyed curiosity to Delhi that he put together in this elegant, lush memoir. Besides uncovering grand, epic stories around the city, the book is punctuated with delightful daily-life anecdotes that Dalrymple narrates with a mix of bemused exasperation and empathy.

Many interesting character dot his domestic world. His land lady Mrs Puri, who likes to govern things with an iron hand, and his cab driver, Balvinder, a loutish, pan-chewing Punjabi fellow - are coloured with vivid, ironic strokes. Charmingly, Dalrymple was also newly married around this time, and provides a very flattering portrayal of his artist-wife Olivia, who has done the illustrations for the book. The maps and monuments she draws are really pretty, though much of the sketches have a distinct exotic, western gaze - man smoking hookah, an old cobbler, qawwali singers, a eunuch and so one.

The author slowly peels the many layers of Delhi, by tracing the antecedents of the city’s famous monuments. It opens up a long and bloody history of conquerors and blood-shed, of periods of glory and despondency, of exile and re-settlement.

Darlymple’s journey touches upon the after effects of the Indo-Pak partition on its inhabitants, the Sikh revolt in the 80s. From contemporary history, he goes back to the Raj, and extensively covers the period which saw a rapid change in the British attitude to the natives. All this happened within a century. The Whites, who came, either as part of the East India Company or as scholars, were reverential to the Mughals. They imbibed the Orient culture, married Indian women.... But as the power of the East India Company grew and the British conclusively established their rule in most of India, the equations drastically altered, and the natives were all shunned.

The Anglo-Indians, in fact, suffered the worst blow, as they found no acceptance on either side. Dalrymple speaks to a few Anglo-Indians who survived that period, and their inputs are quite telling. Most of them consider themselves as full—blown British. One such old couple is Marion and Jeo Fowler, who describe with delight one of their brief visits to England. They talk about the great food, the picturesque landscapes and the sense of equality that prevails there. There is a hint of regret at not being able to live in a place they believe to be their right. “It was that Mrs Thatcher. She never liked Anglo-Indians. She made it very hard for us. All her rules and regulations,” they bemoan.

From the British era, the book travels back to the luxuriant Shah Jahan period, where a bloody battle for succession broke out between his two sons Dara Shikoh and Aurangazeb. It was also a period where the Mughals were at the zenith of glory and wealth. Yet, the author observes that this outward refinement in art and etiquette was a cover for some of the most crude and heinous of crimes committed.

Delving deeper into Delhi’s history, the author gives vivid portrayals of Ibn Battuta, a Muslim, Moroccan traveller, who wrote about his journeys and Tughluk Khan, one of the most barbaric rulers of the 14th century.

Clearly, Dalrymple summons up tremendous amounts of patience, as he painstakingly gets to the bottom of the city’s historical treasures. The entire endeavour brims with passion, and equally impressive is the maturity and restraint that Dalrymple brings to his excellent writing.

The author is seldom critical, except when he talks about the neglect by the Indian authorities of important archaeological sites or his harrowing experience at the customs. At other times, he prefers letting his ironic narration do the talking.

It need not be added then that any reader of City Of Djinns will view Delhi is a completely new light.

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

System of Sanatan Chakras

The knowledge and system of Sanatan Chakras are on the one hand very complicated but on the other hand very easy to follow when one knows about them.
In Hinduism, there are different esoteric traditions and they mentioned numerous numbers and arrangements of chakras. However, in Sanatan system there are seven most prevalent chakras.  This system of seven-chakras is the most important part or theme of the core texts of Hindu 'Hatha' yoga. This system and arrangement are also one of the many systems found in Hindu tantric literature.
According to Hindu 'yogic' philosophy, 'chakras', pronounced as 'chuhk-ruhs' and generally translated as 'circle' or 'wheel', refers to the most important and central positions where the subtle and vital energy channels, popularly known as 'nadis' come together and unite. It is believed that they run along the length of the spine in the body, from pelvic base to the top of the head.
There is plenty of information and literature on this subject. Now it is very popular and almost a mainstream topic of life. In India, so many yoga teachers and yoga acharyas model their discourses and preaching on these vital energy centres. Now, this theme has attracted foreign writers. A celebrated teacher of the chakra system, Anodea Judith, wrote an accepted and popular book titled, 'Chakra Balancing'. It is decorating almost every yoga institution. Now even fashion designers have created chakra-themed jewellery, clothing, perfumes, beauty products and other outfits. Understanding and perfection about these vital energy and power centres empower the human beings on a deeper and multidimensional l plane. For understanding the chakras we must surrender to ourselves to self.
So it is very important to take a closer and deeper study at them. Yoga gurus and Sanatan acharyas have found seven main chakras.
1-      Muladhara (the Root Chakra) 
Muladhara, means, "root support."  This is located at the base of the spine. It is often illustrated as a red four-petal lotus and it is connected to the earth element.  Muladhara creates and governs the four main urges: food, sleep, sex, and self-preservation. This chakra is the baseline of functional and worldly relationships and desires. It creates a feeling of safety.
Root Chakra Statement:  "I am attached to the earth. I am sturdy and firm."
Yoga practices for connecting with this energy centre:
-root lock
-the yamas and niyamas
-asanas strengthen the feet, legs, and pelvic base.
The first chakra meeting means being cared and loved. Meeting someone in this chakra means caring for someone's needs. Its vigorous function helps us sustain a sense of realism and inner strength.
 2-    Svadhisthana (the Sacral Chakra)
Svadhisthana (literally means, "her own abode") is placed at the pelvis. It is regularly illustrated as an orange lotus with six petals, and it's related to the water element—fluidity, emotions, creativity, adaptability, sexual power, and the unconscious state of mind. The second chakra's active function is to facilitate us control our desires and emotions, so as not to be obsessed with them.
Sacral chakra assertion: "I am a creative being with unlimited potential."
Yoga asanas or practices for relating to this energy centre:
hip-opening poses
forward folds
The second chakras are related to the sexuality of human beings and our emotions. When we gather here, we show who we are real energy and we share mutual gratification and deep pleasure collectively.
3- Manipura (the Naval Chakra)
Manipura (literally means, "city of jewels") is situated at the centre of the. It is usually portrayed as a downward or upward-facing red triangle, and it's connected with the fire element. Having a tough and strong inner fire (Agni), it can help us digest not only our food but also our life experiences. Manipura's role is to maximize our energy so that we can drive or move our lives with force and determination. Manipura gives us the self-confidence we need to practice and eliminate what is not useful to us and does not serve us, and to let it go out.
Navel chakra affirmation: "I am confident, powerful, and I can handle anything."
Yoga practices for connecting with this energy centre:
core work
twisting poses
When we meet in the third chakra, we meet each other's energies without competition or jealousy. We respect each other's preferences in life and support each other to help and stand in our power.
4- Anahata (the Heart Chakra)  
Anahata (literally means, "un-struck") is situated at the centre of the heart. Anahata chakra is classically described as a green star with six-points and surrounded by 12 lotus petals. On a spiritual and holy level, it's believed to be the home of the higher/infinite, "un-struck" or imperishable self. Anahata is linked with the air element, and with emotional qualities of a person such as love, peace, and openness. Energetically, Anahata chakra helps us capture into unconditional love.
Heart chakra assertion: "Give love to receive love, and be love."
Yoga asanas for relating to this energy centre:
chest stretches
back bending poses
When we rally in the fourth chakra, we assemble in the heart. This is no "ordinary" love, but unconditional higher love. Love that does not expect with any expectations and that does not wish for anything in return.
5-Vishuddha  (the Throat Chakra)
Vishuddha (literally means, "to purify") is situated close to the bottom of the throat. It is mostly described as a blue downward-facing triangle within a lotus amid 16 purple petals. Vishuddha is connected with the ingredient ether, or "space" (akasha), and with speaking one's truth. Its energetic role is to help us find genuine self-expression.
Throat chakra statement: "I speak my truth. I live the truth."
Yoga practices or asanas for connection with the energy centre: 
shoulder-stand or variations of shoulder stand
ujjayi breath
expressive, devotional arts such as hymns, dance and kirtan
When we get together in our fifth chakra, the throat, we tell our truth and drastic honesty to each other.
6- Ajna (the Third-Eye Chakra) 
Ajna (literally means, "control centre") is situated between the eyebrows. A see-through lotus with two white petals represents it. it's considered to be the hold of the mind, of conscious and unconscious awareness. It is not linked with any element, as this chakra is considered "beyond" the bodily elements. It is held to be the centre of intuition, vision, prophecy, imagination, inner knowing, and self-assurance. The active purpose of Ajna chakra is to help us learn to know ourselves: emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Third-eye chakra assertions: "I am open, intuitive, and self-assured."
Yoga asanas or practices for linking with this energy centre: 
When we meet in the sixth chakra, the third eye, our lives become the supernatural. Our communication becomes telepathic. We meet God in the dreams and from there we can make all our dreams come true, effortlessly!
7- Sahasrara (the Crown Chakra)
Sahasrara (literally means, "thousand-petaled lotus") is situated just above the crown of the head. It is believed to be the entrance into pure consciousness, it is generally described as a thousand-petaled lotus with a pinkish aura, and it is not connected with a bodily element (as it too is believed to be beyond the elements). Sahasrara serves as a way of linking to celestial energy and is connected with our highest self. Sahasrara helps us work in a more enlightened way, nurture self-mastery, and find an intellect of relation with all.
Crown chakra assertions:  "I surrender to the wisdom of pure consciousness."
Yoga asanas or practices for linking with energy centre: meditation.
When we meet in the seventh chakra, in the crown, we see God, the Universe or the Divine in each other. Through our association, we dissolve into the sour

Thursday, 2 April 2020

A Short Comparison of Christina Rossetti's 'Goblin Market' and Islamic Game 'Taharrush'

Sexual harassment and rapes were never discussed in Egypt before 2006. The public used to blame the western influence which intruded Egyptian culture. Mass sexual assault in Egypt was first reported in detail during the Egyptian constitutional referendum on 25 May 2005, on what is known as 'Black Wednesday'. The matter was first time reported by the 'Egyptian Center for Women's Rights.' A large number of men sexually assaulted women and the police remained mute spectators.  
Again such mass molestation pulled the global attention during the holidays of Eid al-Fitr in 2006, when on 24 October a mob of young Muslim men who were not given free-entry in a movie show in Cairo, indulged in a five-hour mass sexual assault and rapes in Talaat Harb Street. Police again remained the mute spectator. Even no bystander tried to protect the women.
The first time, such mass molestation was reported outside Egypt or any Muslim countries in February 2011 when the reporter for the American network CBS, Lala Logan, was sexually molested by hundreds of Muslim men in now notoriously famed Tahrir Square. According to a famous Egyptian newspaper the Al Akhbar, such molestation is a 'permanent feature' of religious festivals in Egypt.
'Taharrush,' also known as the 'rape game' is originated in Arabic countries in which non-Muslim women or enemy women are surrounded by mobs of Muslim men and sexually molested. Only after the 2011 riots in Egypt, the world came to know about their existence.
 'There remains debate about what defines 'taharrush' - some still insist it is a reference to flirting - though scholars argue its definition changed after the attacks seen in Egypt from 2011 onward.
 (Daily Mail: The Arabic gang-rape 'Taharrush' the phenomenon which has spread to Europe)
 'The Arab phenomenon first came to the attention of the Western world when South African reporter Lara Logan, working for CBS, was set upon by a large group of men while reporting on celebrations in Tahrir Square, Egypt, in 2011.'
(Daily Mail: idem.)
Lala Logan, the CBS correspondence that was the victim of sexual molestation in Egypt in 2011, described the horrifying nightmare:
 'Logan recounted her ordeal in Egypt several months later on a 60 Minutes broadcast, describing how the baying crowd 'raped me with their hands'.
The 44-year-old exposed petrifying facts of the 40 minute-long February assault in Cairo's Tahrir Square, narrated how she was pulled out from members of her group after somebody in the furious 200-strong mob shouted 'Let's take her pants off.'
 She said: 'Suddenly, before I even know what's happening, I feel hands grabbing my breasts, grabbing my crotch, grabbing me from behind. I mean, and it's not one person and then it stops, it's like one person and another person and another person.'
(Daily Mail: idem).
In Cologne, Germany, on December 31st, 2015, a crowd of around one thousand Muslims men who were African and Arab infiltrators, molested women. By the end of January 2016, over one thousands such cases had been reported of mass sexual assaults.
(Wikipedia: New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Germany)
A swift search of 'Taharrush' will give dozens of examples and videos on the Muslim festival. One can see so many videos on YouTube about this.
(YouTube: Taharrush Gamea - the fun sex game of the Muslim world)
So in quintessence, what Taharrush is when a mob of Muslim men enclose a female or females and forcefully pulls out them from their colleagues and then start to pull her clothes off the victim(s) while molesting them bodily and sexually. This generally contains both groping and rape by multiple attackers. Their real faith appears when they are in groups. Taharrush is a testimony of that.
Taharrush jama'i or gama'i (Egyptian like transliteration) التحرش الجماعي just means sexual harassment that is done by a group of men. The world came to know about the dark side of Islamic nations after the so-called Arab spring when a mob of men exploited the situation and raped and molested the women during a demonstration at Tahrir Square in Cairo.
Abhishek Saksena writes, in Taharrush - The Sickening And Terrifying Arab Rape Game That Is Spreading Across Europe,  August 02, 2016, 'when the first incidents of women being assaulted by crowds of Arab men came out of Cologne, Germany, during New Years, the news was being suppressed. Realisation…Yes, a disgusting game, brought to Europe by the hordes of refugees seeking asylum.
…similar incidents have occurred in Berlin, Hamburg, Bielefeld, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Stuttgart…other European nations such as Austria and Switzerland have also reported similar cases.
Taharrush is about large groups of Arab men surrounding their victims and then subjecting them to sexual assault. They form circles around women, and if there are enough men, drag the women along with the mob, rip their clothes off and physically assault them…
Women cry but nobody comes for help. The game is an Islamic game and common in all other Arab nations. In most of the cases, women from other faiths and sects are the victims. In Cairo's Tahrir Square, local Christian and foreign journalists were the victims.
The Mail Online published a full report on Saturday, Jun Ist 2019, 'The Arabic gang-rape 'Taharrush' phenomenon which sees women surrounded by groups of men in crowds and sexually assaulted... and has now spread to Europe.'
Corey Charlton, writes in Mail Online, 12 January 2016/ Updated, 1 February 2017.
1-The Arabic term 'taharrush' roughly translates to 'collective harassment'.
2-It refers to sexual assaults carried out by groups of men in public places.
3-Surrounded by dozens of attackers, lone women are groped or raped.
4-The phenomenon was first seen in 2011 when a reporter was attacked.
5-Lara Logan endured an assault while reporting on the protests in Egypt.
6-Police say attacks in Cologne marked Europe's first instance of taharrush.
7-The attack usually goes unpunished because of the large number of perpetrators and chaos of the attack.
Still, due to overdose of human rights and influence of Wahabi donations, western countries are not taken this problem seriously and rapist are neither arrested nor punished. In Cologne city centre in New York, hundreds of German women were sexually molested but none of the criminals was punished.
It was revealed that as she was pulled into the frenzy the camera recorded her shouting 'Stop.' It was revealed that someone in the crowd falsely shouted out that she was an Israeli Jew.
Angie Abdelmonem, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, recently published a study into the instances of 'taharrush' seen during the Egyptian Revolution.
'This [perception] shifted on February 11, the day Mubarak stepped down, with the mob assault and rape of CBS correspondent, Lara Logan,' she wrote.
'Between 2011 and 2013, sexual harassment became common at protests in Tahrir Square, exemplified by several highly publicized violent attacks that demonstrate how women's bodies became objectified and dehumanized during the uprising.'
A teenager named only as Michelle (pictured), 18, described how the New Year's Eve celebrations in Cologne a fortnight ago turned into targeted and coordinated attacks on women.
The chaos outside the Cologne cathedral saw fireworks launched into the crowd and hordes of drunken Arab or North African men assaulting women, German police said.
Leaked police reports later emerged showing officers were unable to stop the disorder and they were swamped by upset women at the scene claiming they had been sexually assaulted. German police believe it was 'taharrush' committed in Cologne and other cities at New Year by Arab and North African men that led to hundreds of police complaints in the following weeks.
It was the first instance of the phenomenon has reached Europe, and as the scale of the attacks in the city slowly emerged, other centres, such as Zurich and Salzburg, reported similar crimes. A report from the Interior Ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state, where Cologne lies, said 516 criminal complaints had been registered, 237 of which were sexual.
A separate report from the Cologne police gave graphic descriptions of the crimes, listing case after case of women surrounded by gangs of men who put their hands in the victims' pants and skirts, grabbed them between the legs, on the buttocks and the breasts, often while stealing their wallets and cell phones. A total of 19 suspects have been identified, all foreigners.
Now, it is also a subject of tension in far-east India. 'Why we need to worry about 'Taharrush gamea' - the Arabic gang-rape game.
As per the police reports, following that 516 criminal complaints had been registered out of which 237 were sexual. Cologne Police, in a separate report, also presented the graphical descriptions of the crime. It listed the pictures of men grabbing women between the legs, on the breasts, buttocks, and men having inside women's pants and skirts.
'Goblin Market' by Christina Rossetti (1839-94), is probably the most famous poem which has resemblances with 'taharrush.' It is a long narrative poem in which molestation of Laura by strange looking creatures is one of the important themes. The fruits in the poem which goblins sell have been described as the eroticised powers of the exotic fruits as symbols of sexual temptation, with Laura as the victim who was molested by masculine wiles and raped. This draws parallels between Laura's molestation by the wiles creatures and the experience of 'taharrush gamea'.
In Islamic nations, molestation of women is a real socio-religious problem. Some commentators note that Laura and Lizzie live alone, with no parents or guardians – a rather eccentric set-up for two young Victorian sisters. Partly for this reason, and partly for the bad social conditions, the male-female relationship is described as 'forbidden,' the poem prefers female homosexuality safer in 'Goblin Market.'
The narrator of the poem tells that   Lizzie thought their dead friend Jeanie 'should have been a bride' so that could be protected in the game of 'taharrush gamea.' Laura and Lizzie remained unmarried until the end of the poem, years later they got married when they are noticeably older. Same problems were faced by the poet Christina Rossetti herself, although she was courted by numerous suitors, never married.
The 'market' of 'Goblin Market' the Victorian marriage market and the goblins the ugly and rapacious suitors who lecherously use their wealth to attract a young wife can be compared with the 'taharrush gamea' and the lawless molesters who lecherously use their religion to molest young girls. Marriage in the Victorian era, as it has been today in Islamic nations, is often a financial and sexual arrangement and nothing to do with love and romance, and represented the only chance of financial and sexual stability and security for most of women.
The juicy and unusual fruit the goblins offer for sale representation of all that is wrong with Islamic practices of 'taharrush.'  Then there are the elements of sexual violence in the poem which can be compared with the game of 'taharrush.' In the poem, they are offered symbolically but in 'taharrush' they are molested really, but which, upon close analysis of key passages become rather clear. Look at the way the (male) goblins treat Lizzie:
Lashing their tails
They trod and hustled her,                                                                                          
 Elbow'd and jostled her,
Claw'd with their nails,
Barking, meowing, hissing, mocking,
Tore her gown and soil'd her stocking,
Twitch'd her hair out by the roots,
Stamp'd upon her tender feet,
Held her hands and squeez'd their fruits
Against her mouth to make her eat.                                                                                                      
 (Goblin Market)
This emblematic gang-rape – forcing Lizzie, whose 'stocking' has been 'soil'd', to 'open lip from lip' against her will (lips being sexually evocative, of course, of other female body parts) – exposes vile sexual violence in the poem which reminds the readers of Lala Logan, the reporter for the American network CBS who was sexually molested by the mob of Muslim men at Tahrir Square, Egypt.
In this analysis, it has tried to condense a new critical debate – and new interpretations – of 'Goblin Market' into one short article. Ultimately there cannot be 'one' analysis of 'Goblin Market': the poem is too richly various for that, too elusive, its use of fantastical imagery and symbolism not meant to be reduced to simplistic allegory or social commentary. 'Goblin Market' will always prompt endless debates.
'In 'Goblin Market', Christina Rossetti experiments with language, form and imagery to create a world of temptation and mystery.' 
(An introduction to 'Goblin Market', Dinah Roe, Published: 15 May 2014)
Set in a world of myth, and discovering themes of temptation, sacrifice and salvation, 'Goblin Market' takes us to the fraught encounter between sisters Laura and Lizzie and evil goblin merchants just like Lala Logan at Tahrir Square. Goblins attack Lizzie violently when she tried to be friendly in a hope to be an antidote to Laura's melody. According to John Ruskin, many identities are the greatest strength of 'Goblin Market.' Rossetti creates a disorienting fairytale atmosphere that is simultaneously seductive and alienating. The incantatory replication of 'berries' and a seductive sibilance hints at the fruits' dark properties can be compared to the scenes of 'taharrush'.
Rossetti wrote 'Goblin Market' in 1859 while working at the St Mary Magdalene Penitentiary for 'fallen women' in Highgate. It was mainly for the reforms and rehabilitation of prostitutes and victims of rapes. She might have come to know from those victims about the 'taharrush gamea' types games as she came to know about the themes of temptation, sexual exchange and sisterly redemption in this the poem which is directed influenced by its poet's knowledge working as an 'Associate Sister' at Highgate.
Initially, this poem was written as a warning to women about the dangers of temptations and rapes. In the 20th century, the open opened the floodgates for Feminists, Lesbian empowerment Theories, Incestuous yearnings, Marxists, Queer Theory, and Freudian which gave a clear warning about the safety of women in this new world system. The poem continues to attract critical interpretations as diverse as the goblin merchants' wares, challenging Christina Rossetti's surely disingenuous claim that she 'did not mean anything profound by this fairytale'.