The London Post

I post here an email from a friend of mine in London, ah, with her permission of course…

It made me think about a lot of things… thought of sharing it with you folks…

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Hi,

Thought was a long time since I heard from you guys…..

I am fine…..its rough n tough in London….and yes the Asians are looked down upon by the Goras here…..but thats nothing new…

Experience dated 17th July 2005:

With the kind of history we share this is part and parcel of the deal. Good we had history as a subject at least I can blame it for my current status.

My friend n me board a bus to a place called Oxford Street. We were carrying two school bags ( with no intentions of hurting people……physically and emotionally)…..but we get the vibes that we r not invited.

Reasons were obvious — We are Asians — We are carrying bags ( could be

explosives) — We were wearing jackets ( we cld be the suicide bombers) — and hence the resentment.

The whole 25 mins journey was an experience of a lifetime…. it made me realize education has not give me a physical identity …….even in developed countries where literacy rate is 85% nation wide people and races are distinguished by ‘the colour of the skin’.

I cant wear a tag which reads I am harmless and educated. If I smile at people trying to prove that yes I am on your side….I get a stare back which reads ‘mind your own business i don’t need that support’…….no one sat near me…….my friend was sitting behind as there was an agreement that both of us want window seats ……….there were English there were Blacks…..there were Asians too……neither the English nor the Blacks choose to sit …….sad but true.

The London bombings have not only taken lives but has surfaced a long dormant problem of………’who belongs to London?’……..The Asian community has a widespread hold on this soil and they belive they are Britishers more than being a Pakistani or an Indian. But the truth they have been hiding for so many years is now open to all……..did London accept them as Britishers?

…… Lets rule out the corporate and the government side of acceptance…..thats what I call global economic politics……its more on a societal level is what bothers me………its a pre conceived notion that a ND generation in London with a British passport are Britishers…..yes legally they are but not on a cultural basis. The Asians here have adapted themselves to behave as Britishers should behave…the mannerism the etiquettes the accent the dressing……. but what abt the genes?? ……the DNA cant be changed can it? ……. The 3 bombers were Britishers by birth what happened to them when they went to Pakistan? ….What happened that changed their lives so much so that they forgot they were Britishers?…….Are we then saying that adapting a culture is not successful?…….May be!!……..In my view…….Its not the Asians or the Africans………its the community as a whole responsible for this behaviour………The British born Asians were never accepted on a society level and this feeling was kept under cover for a long time………….till one such person went to Pakistan and realised he can surface a lot of dirt that this society is hiding………..he wanted to name it Jihad…………he was successful in all respects……..!!……The government said its no a consequence of the Iraq bombing and yes I agree with them….its not…..this is a result of the current condition in which Asian are treated in Britain………with suspicion and remorse…….

The rule of divide n rule ……..devised by the Royalties of Britain……..is now being used by the jehadies……..twist of fate!!……..they wanted the divide to surface……..and it has……..bags would be searched but only Asian people carrying those bags……….Girls with Blonde hair would not be searched but others wld be………..Woman wearing Burkas would have to show thief identity………..can u imagine what this might lead to?….

The death toll on 07/07 was not as high as 09/11 ………. becoz this time the plan was different……its not killing people…….its dividing them!!…..so that the damage can never be repaired. Now what would the government do? What would the British community do?…I guess its wait n watch!!

take care,

Himani

Comments from the past:

s
29 Jul 2005, 9:33pm

sad but specific; not how it is generally. i know i’ve lived in the UK for long.

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Morning Raga

So begins another day? with a welcome absence of emails in my official inbox. And I can lose myself for a while in the Carnatic Strains of the Morning Raga? the movie. Fabulous music, beautiful scenes and the wonderful Shabana Aazmi. Must say, not a bad imagery to start the day.

Somehow, music always plays a defining role in my life. It was in the first year of engineering college that I discovered that I could escape a fair bit of ragging at the hands of my seniors if I sang. And realizing that I was a not-so-bad singer, I embarked on my first sessions of singing in public.

To be honest, I never was a grand success. I somehow could never keep track of beats. The percussion had a way of getting into my knees and shaking me up from my very foundations. Overwhelmed by the noise my voice would emerge as a high pitched squeak which in the words of my erstwhile room mate ? bore a strong resemblance to Bappi Leheri?
So this went on for two complete years? I being the guy who sang in the Hostel corridors through the year, was hoisted on the stage at any cultural function worth the name? where I proceeded to sing with the drums and Tablas and the dholaks? sounding more unlike myself with every passing beat. So I remained? one of the ?Also Sang?s? in every music competition, sometimes delighted by an occasional ?Third Prize? or a Consolation Prize while the winners pranced about with the real thing?

Then, one day, I walked into Vinay?s room to find him fiddling about with a broken down guitar?. One of the many hand-me-downs from the senior batch that dotted our rooms. Over the next couple of weeks, Vinay had the guitar mended and before the end of our semester was quite playing his C and D cords with ÚČín?

A week before our foundation day, I had a tiff with our drummer, a senior who deemed fit to play the beats with an intensity and decibel levels far removed from the real thing? but a nice chap at that ( one of those after-so-many-years afterthoughts).

So as I sat complaining to Vinay about the unfairness of it all, he cam up with the simple suggestion that if you cannot sing along with beats? then don?t sing along with beats?
Sing with me?

So that was it? the end of my ignominy as a singer and the beginning of a new phase of friendship with Vinay. We practiced songs that we liked? and never found reasons to regret it. I withdrew from the competition and me and Vinay continued to make music, in our hostel rooms, at the college community center? and for once I was happy with what I was singing.

We did perform in public ,eventually, and I did win competitions in the years to come? and Vinay continues to become a better guitarist by the day?.and I still find myself singing ?.. Yet, the music has ceased now.
Me and Vinay , different cities, different jobs ? we hardly meet now. But sometimes when I play that old cassette recording of our songs, he still seems to be there in the room next to mine, strumming away?

Comments from the past:

hs
21 Jul 2005, 9:23pm

Morning Raaga was a great movie. I loved the way they completely changed the songs that i learnt when i was about 13 ..:) ..nice post !

san
25 Jul 2005, 9:20pm

Enjoyed reading your blogs. Like the way you describe Hyd & Pune. One I belong to; the other we are about to move to.

Ashish
27 Jul 2005, 10:17am

Hey folks.. thanks for reading my posts!
And San, welcome to Pune, its a great place to be.. though a bit wet at the moment

The Weather is fine here at Pune…

So here I am? music on the headphones? surfing the net on company time (and expense I might add)?. a month after my wedding?. Enveloped by a sense of well being that the onset of the weekend brings to all those who go to bed every night dreading that awful ringing of the morning alarm?

The weather at Pune has been fantastic this week?it seems so?. Breezy? drizzling some times? but not too much really? Yes the sky was blue the last time I peeked outside the Grey glass walls of my office.

I believe the days are sunny? I feel the sun when I walk to the food court for lunch.. before returning to the engineered sunshine of my cubicle?

And yes? the sunsets are damn beautiful?. the city is surrounded by hills you see. In fact we have a towering cliff bordering our Company campus itself? each evening, the blinds of our windows turn a different shade? amber? or maybe ? something else?

Its green all around?. I am sure that the grass is wet in the morning with dew? well the gravel on the road definitely is and so are the window panes of the bus I catch in the morning…

But then the day flies by and I find myself home? sharing the evening with her…. sharing the only meal of the day that our careers allow us to share… and enjoy.

She too thinks ? that the weather must have been really fine this week at Pune….

Comments from the past:

hs
15 Jul 2005, 7:33pm

awww..
the weathers horrible here.
horrible.rainy.dirty.cold.horrible