Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I, like many Indians and Pakistanis, am looking forward to a great match tomorrow. May the best team win. May we avoid the cynicism of match fixing and staged excitement. May we all indulge in healthy banter which befits a sporting rivalry that goes much beyond cricket.

Most of all, may we not stop with the game tomorrow.

May we remember that India is facing a country tomorrow that is being roiled by violence and anarchic incidents and is in real danger of becoming a failed state. May we remember that on certain indicators, India doesn't seem too far either.
(Those who wish to refresh their memory can take a look here: http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/majorincidents.htm)

May we realise that ultimately India will not prosper unless Pakistan is stable.

It is not about Aman ki Asha and cross-border bonding. We may not love, but let us not hate.

I remember as a child, listening to the quarrels that would take place in a neighbour's house. The screams, the sounds of glass breaking. Ugly. And terrifying. No family can be completely happy if its neighbours are not peaceful.

I refuse to believe that the common Pakistani seeks violence and terrorism. I believe most of them desire a stable livelihood, freedom, justice and equality. The principles are common everywhere.But the greatest dangers come from within.

May we remember that the real match is not India versus Pakistan. It is India & Pakistan versus India & Pakistan...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Princess & The Servant

"Be off, thou vagabond; See no one the Princess shall"
The Guard thundered; The Servant humbly bowed
"O mighty warrior; Meet her if I could but once;
Though sadden her heart beyond reckoning it will;
For painful tidings I bring to her this hour
Of him who was the breath of her life"

"Thou shall meet her then, for a minute or two
But not a moment longer, for I detest thy looks"
Saying so, the Guard threw open the door
The Servant stepped forth & gazed in horror
Sorrow abounded in the closed chamber
With the figure motionless seated in the centre

She turned at the sound of the door
"Is it ye, my faithful, my ardent, my incorruptible?
Long gone ye were, what news do ye bring?"
"Shower not such commendations, Princess
On this minion unworthy and inept
Set out I hath with thy message in hand
Alas, for fate seeps like hourglass and sand
Thy precious message I could deliver not
It transpired what Providence hath wrought"

The Princess rose, her face deathly pale 
"I am but a canoe, cast by the gale
I knew it would transpire, but was in disbelief
Thy tiding now musters a morbid relief"
"Ah Princess, not kindness; thy cruelty I seek
Am I condemned to be pardoned by thee?"
"Grieve not O lackey; Rejoice we may yet
Tell me about him for whom my heart wept"

"His glory blinded the eye, O Princess
As he stepped forth to claim his bride
All the folk present stood in awe of him
His nobility shone through each stride"
"Speak ye now, about her that left me lorn
The one whose unfeeling finger his ring now adorns"

"Seek thy forgiveness, I do, O Princess
For in falsehood I may not dwell
Words will do her scarce justice
For her beauty is beyond compare
The sight of her purifies the wickedest
So many have narrated oft in legend"

"Fie, for now ye have saddened my heart
Is there no redemption, no promise of a start?
Must I look ahead into mere nothingness
Will I not feel once more his sweet caress?"
Saying so, the Princess covered her face
Her mourning could not pierce her gaze

The Servant watched with fists tight
He called out to her with all his might
"Thy despair I cannot bear; I jest no more
Look now Princess, who stands at your door"
At this the Servant stood, and removed his mask
And lo! the Prince was revealed standing at last!