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Archive for 2011



Everywhere you turn, is the name of Veena Malik.

I close my eyes and your image flashes..
I slept last night and I dreamt of you.
Oh Veena you have captured my heart and mind like no one ever did before.

Yes you are a smart and a talented girl. I was a fan of your acting and mimicry in the HUM SUB UMEED SE HAIN when you hosted the show.You carried the roles of almost anyone from Benazir, to Kashmala Tariq to Fridous Awan to a two plait juniour school girl with such awesome accuracy.
When you left the show I missed you. I did not enjoy the show for weeks after that with the new anchor.

When you had your the affair with Asif, the alleged marriage and then the breakup–I didnt gossip about it . For it was your personal life . None of my business. Exactly the way it is none of anybody’s business to know about my personal life.
I really felt sorry for you when you split with Asif and you narrated your tragedy of abuse and your finanacial help to a broke Asif, even when you were ridiculed. And you know all those cricket loving guys turned against you and called you millions of names. Yes they were such immature  to take Asif’s side. None of them knew what was the inside truth in it. Your story was right or wrong, was none of my business.  For I looked at you only as an actress and Asif as a cricketer who got wickets for the team.  Nothing more nothing less.

And yes when the news came that you and Ali Saleem were selected for the BigBoss, I just heard it one minute and forgot it the next.  Not because I was jealous but because I have different priorities. I dont watch such shows. Yes you do such shows or millions watch them. It’s their choice.  None of my business to judge you or anyone.

What ever you did on the show–I just heard off and on, and sometimes stalked the link to check–people frowned at you and raised their eyebrows on your morality. Yes these people have small minds.  But to me it didnt matter. You are a showbiz girl. Showbiz is your bread and butter. I know, you have a huge family if unmarried sisters and a brother to feed.
Kudos, to you for being a ‘man’ of your family.
You seek publicity. People call it cheap publicity. Sometimes I also blurt out such unethical words. I’m sorry for that. I need not judge you. You only know how hard it is to survive in a competitive world,  that too of showbiz.  You only face the hardships that any woman has to face in an industry where a  woman is taken as a selling commodity.

You survived long in the show. Whatever method you used was your business. You had to do it and you had every right to choose how you survuved. If you flirted with whoever that tall guy was, you did it with yourself. You did not push me to sit in his lap. Those who called this haram –they are bigots and idiots. You will be answerable for   your deeds in the grave. They may not be sitting in some ones lap doing haram but they take bribes, tell lies and most of all bitch about you–it lis like they are eating the meat of their dead brother. They too will be questioned in their grave.

They gave you fatwas and fb pages erupted asking to not allow you to come to Pakistan–but you came.
Bravo. You are not a coward. You are a brave girl. You are a son to your mom. I commend her.

You came on the Kamran Shahid’s show . The clean shaven ‘God fearing’ anchor and the unkemptly bearded Mullah  both  interrogated you about your ordeal. You answered to the best of your aptitiude. Some blogger said you looked sexy–well he is an ass, you did not come there for glamour. You came to clarify yourself.

The mullah and KS asked you all kinds of stuppidd questions and emotionally blackmailed you for Pakistan or Islam. But MashAllah, you are so honest, you shut up those arguments by saying you represented you not  Pakistan not  Islam. You said in so many words that  you went there with your own agenda. Yes Allah  rewards honest and punishes the hypocrats. You definitely are not a hypocrat.

Yes it is first you and your family to be fed. If you are well fed then only can you love your country or your faith. Singing Qaumi Tarana  or  reciting Surah Rehman will not give you and your family the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. If you have no money,  no Mullah or no Pakistani  patriot will bring food for you for free.  So it is no one’s business to judge you from the Islamic or Pakistani angle. You never took refuge with  anyone to save you. You never begged anyone to give you money. Instead you gave sooo much money to Asif that he couldnt even digest  it and hence puked it on your relationship.

When you could not bear no more you cried and screamed.  As a woman I did not like it.  A strong woman neither cries nor screams to put her views across. A strong woman makes others cry, instead.  Yes next time they make you cry, you make them cry in return.  But then it was you not me. I shouldnt have judged you again.

Yes I pity you for what hue and cry is going on about you. And the mullah with or without beards,  are crying fowl for you. But these bigots and Mullah, they are a pain for everyone, not just for you.   And these Fatwas are a peice of crap.  Allah doesn’t get pleased by such Fatwas.  This is their thriving business you see. So please dont give a hoot to these Fatwas.

These religious bigots  killed Taseer recently, they are after Sherry Rehman, they call Asma Jehangir all kinds of names. They hate Beena Sarwar for her values.Yeah, they even killed Benazir. They were the ones who hanged Bhutto too. They even killed Gandhi in India, yaar.  We are fighting them since years. We have to go on fighting them. Good you are taking them head on . I like it. Keep it up.

But then Veena you are so lucky, so many people have fallen in love with you. Girls dream of at least one person falling in love with them, and you have so many. Maa, you’re a lucky girl. I know you are getting so many SMSs with their love notes. Save them for life in the hard disk. They come pretty handy when you feel low for some other reason in you later life.

But Veena I have one issue with you.  No no, not with  you but with  all those enlightened chocolate hearts in which you have made a permanent home. They are so overwhelmed by you and your bravery that they see Veena Malik in every woman. Yes they see Veena Malik in me too.

But ‘m sorry. You are you and me is me.  And every woman in Pakistan is ‘SHE’ herself.  Everyone has her own story. Everyone has her own modus operandi to survive.

Please tell all your beloveds– I know you have many among the cleanshaven guys and hijabless gals– to please spare me and my other Pakistani sisters.

You have been fortunate to get fame, name, money, Asif, even sympathy.

Many many million of my sisters here dont get even a proper two full meals because their brothers are fed first.

You enjoyed such wonderful Indian cuisines in  the Bigboss.

They dont go to school because they have to look after their sibs. They cant even step out of the house.

You went all the way to Bombay, India to do Big boss.

No one asks them when they are married off to older men, whether they love the groom or  not.

You got married to your love  Asif by your choice and then you split,  then you will marry again by your choice ( Oh! now you have a huge choice).

No one comes to their rescue when they are beaten by their husbands, brothers, or fathers.

You got such overwhelming love and hearts melted  when the Mullah or Kamran just talked to you so rudely.

If my poor sisters oppose their parents or dont obey them they get killed in the name of  honour.

If you will get such threats you will fly back to India fast and be safe.

Nobody loves them, not even their fathers, brothers or husbands.

And you have sooo maaannnyyy beloveds.

So, Veena did you see now, there is no comparison between you and them.
You are you. They are they. Me is me.
We all have different stories . We all have different journeys.

Please tell these beloveds of yours, in whose chocolate hearts you reside, not to tag you to those poor women.
I know you are not doing this yourself.  But these silly infatuated souls, their love for you is blind. So they tag you with every woman of Pakistan. They are immature you  see. They arent grown up yet. But you are pretty grown up I know.

I understand their sentiments, but you see Veena, my poor sisters feel depressed that their plight is underestimated by comparison to you. Their issues are far more serious and deeper than yours. They have a tough day to day struggle of their survival.

Thank your stars for that. You are born luckier than them.

But then they have to live their fate and fight for their existence  far more hard. Their road of life is far far more rocky and their journey far too long.

Please I tell you to make a humble request to your  admirers,  from my behalf to untag my poor sisters of you.

If your status is sky their status is the bottom of a deep pit on this earth. You are far more fortunate.

You are you. They are they. Me is me.
So please tell your beloveds to untag you from my really oppressed sisters  for good.

Let us not mix the two struggles and entangle or  complicate the situation.

I love you too , Veena.
But behn you are not ‘me’.

Ilmana Fasih

P.S. This is written in light of the various articles and blogs that came up with valid sympathies for Veena`s moral policing. But am afraid they all went over board in linking her individual struggle to the struggle of millions of oppressed women of Pakistan. And that just because she screamed at the Mullahs on the TV she came to be the Champion of the Oppressed women en masse when she made it aptly clear that she is fighting for herself not as a Pakistani or as a Muslim.Yes she has every right to fight her battle the way she likes. To link her to the oppressed women of Pakistan in general is as deplorable as our Mullahs link each or our action to Islam or Pakistaniat.

We do not need Veena`s crutches  to fight for our liberal values–aptly said by Ali Naushad.

Bottom line: Some people are born oppressed, some get oppressed later, some have Oppression thrust upon themselves.



Since tha past 24 hours thanks to the ‘ interview drama’ of Veena Malik with KS and the Mullah, all the enlightened walls on Face Book were spilling with sympathies and praises for the’ last bastion’ of Women’s Lib called THE VEENA MALIK.

If Syed Ali Abbas Zaidi was seriously worried and praying about her life and safe well being ( though he clarified the pun intended in it later ) then Maheen Usmani’s wall did KUDOS to her.

And then there was an argument by an Indian on Maheen’s wall where he remarked:

“Female performing artists in Pakistan face an unenviable hostility & I sympathise with them. Meera has also faced this type of hostility. Sensible people in media must stop this.”

And went on to say:

“What I appreciate is her courage to stand before mullas in a bold manner.This is different Pakistan.Salman Tasseer was not assasinated but crucified in full public view & nobody believes any thing will be done to his murderer.He has done nothing but just criticized a law which politicians do aLL THE TIME anywhere. Your MP Sherry is in hiding.Under these circumstances any body who can speak up is certainly a hero. I know most of you who take part in discussions involving religion are doing under assumed names. She may not merit our time & energy as an artist. But why so much of shor & fatwas? It is because she is a woman who dares to challenge maulvis ,that she deserves our praise.”

And hence, mixing the issue of Blasphemy and Taseer’s murder with Veena Malik’s petty fatwas.

The same person went on to remark that:

” All the politicians & journalists are prostrating before mullas.she is the only one standing firm.I think she deserves nobel prize for bravery.”
Please here note the comment: SHE IS THE ONLY ONE STANDING FIRM.

And then this article in Dawn by Sana Saleem about Veena Malik representing the voice of the oppressed women of Pakistan. The tearful Veena  moved her so much that she

“I must commend Veena for standing her ground with such ‘grace.’”

” In a country where rape is justified, murderers glorified and women threatened by fatwas, Veena speaks for me and many others.”

And came the emotional write up   ‘Veena : the warrior Princess’   by   Saad Zubeiri       screaming  in bold letters:

“Veena Malik is my new hero. Really, she is. And not because she looked absolutely stunning (someone had to mention it!) on Kamran Shahid’s train-wreck of a show the other day.”

“Intellectual debate appears sexy to those deprived of such discourse,”

“You know, mufti sahab, after all said and done, I’d much rather have a “beghairat”actress who wears shorts and hugs kaafir men represent me and my country than pseudo mullahs who not only lie but go around issuing reckless fatwasagainst innocent men and women that get them killed.”

Yes Maheen, you may kudos her for what she did to the Mullah. It was a treat to watch for all of us, but then all the praises that were showered to her on your wall from ‘NOBEL PRIZE worthy, to being ‘INTELLIGENT. ‘COURAGEOUS’ artist, or THE ONLY WOMAN TO STAND UP TO THE MULLAH’ were frankly pretty distasteful.

And Sana Saleem, you may be considering Veena Malik as a CHAMPION OF THE OPPRESSED WOMEN  in Pakistan or in your own words ‘REPRESENTING YOU’,   I am sure Sania Saeed, Marina Khan do not endorse her as their representative. Neither would the really oppressed day to day common woman of Pakistan would want to be reperesented by her.

I wonder where was the ‘grace’  when she screamed at the top of her voice on the TV and if this drama  didn’t  work ,  started to shed briny tears asking for support from people for actions which she called was ‘her own agenda’. You conveniently missed mentioning this in you write up ma’am Sana.

Good lord! So much has our anger and hatred for Mullahs swelled that we have lost the judgement of good and bad. Whoever stands up against  Mullahs is  THE GREAT.

It’s like the enemy of our enemy is our best friend.

Anyone who confronts the mullah is a REVEREND

Have we stooped down to those depths that anyone who shouts two sentences at Mullahs gets to be the REAL CHAMPION while all those years of struggle by Beena Sarwars, Sherry Rehmans , Asma Jehangirs are left in the dark with no cheers to them. Suddenly has Veena Malik popped up on the scene with a ‘CHAMPION OF THE OPPRESSED’  label.

Probably if Sana Saleem is to be believed these stalwarts should pack their bags and join behind Veena Malik as their leader.

Let this be reminded to you,again,  Sana Saleem,  that she said in the program in so many words that she went there in BigBoss with ” my own agenda”. So let her defend  her own agenda. Why do you thrust upon her the agenda of all Oppressed women of Pakistan?  Please don’t  let your scarce emotional intelligence pull things out of proportions. Let her agenda be hers not ‘mine’.  I donot need her crutches to stand up on my liberal values or to pull my sisters out of oppression.

And if any one owns her as ‘me’ then please own all that is associated with her–the pea sized intellect,  the cheap publicity stunts, the scandals and the B/C grade Lollywood movies she represents.

Oh! But I get it now, Sana Saleem,  to be a champion against extremism with ‘grace’, one needs to scream extremely on the Mullah through the TV screen in Inglish. Yeah she is the real graceful  champion.

And Saad Zubeir: fine you find her stunning–as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.  And yes I agree her screams and the briny tears did stun many a souls and even got the Mullah numb.

Intellect?  Which corner of the screen did the intellect hide–behind Kamran?  Mullah?  Veena? Oh, in the abundant bare flesh that was visible . You’re right sir.

And you say you will choose Veena  over the ghairat brigade. Sir, only beggars are no choosers, so you may be a beggar to choose from just  two lame options. I am not. I have my own several options to choose from which include neither Veena  nor the  Mullah. Good luck being a veena wannabe!

True, it is entirely her business to behave the way she wants on the Big Boss, and whatever brief clothes she wears, and to whoever guy she clings to. And that she will do what her aptitude will tell her to and that no one has any business to stop her from coming back to her homeland or even issue fatwa against her.

As much as Veena is hated in Pakistan, so is the case with Rakhi Sawant in India. So here the pathology doesn’t lie with the people or the TV anchor or the Mullah, but with the ‘lady’ in question.

Being a person who resides on both sides of the border, I am not just concerned about what stir she  has  created in Pakistan but also what image she painted of Pakistan in India, in the name of a Pakistani female artist.

In my personal opinion the much hue and cry all over, about Veena Malik painting a poor image of Islam and Pakistan through her performance in the Big Boss is, to some extent valid too, but for a totally different reason.

Knowing very well the psyche and the mindset of the average Indian urban Soap watching middle class who love such shows, it is certainly not her skimpy clothes or her flirtation or her clinging to the guys on the show, which paints a poor picture of Pakistan or Islam.

On the contrary it is the poor intellect, the Inglish speaking wannabe behaviour and the desperate attempts at showing off that she is cool or hot or whatever — is what makes her or other similiar Pakistanis the laughing stock in Indian households.

Indians in general don’t get to see much of Pakistani channels as easily as their Pakistani counterparts see the Star Plus etc.
Hence the only an average Indian household gets to see is Meera and then Veena Malik representing Pakistani TV artists. There is only a selective elite there who is aware of the likes of Sania Saeeds, Marina Khans etc

I wish some one more appropriate  had represented a Pakistani female artist  in the Big Boss and boosted the ratings of this poorly  imaged  country the way Shilpa Shetty boosted the image of  Indian artists after the British version of it.  She emerged out of it as the ‘Indian Princess’.

And then just moments ago, another person on Maheen’s wall comes up with the real answer and sums up the whole drama beautifully in few words:

“She never stood against extremism, she is only protecting herself. we dont need to make wrong ideals.

And we dont need to stand behind wrong people for the right reasons. I don’t need opportunists like veena to define my liberal values.”

Kudos to you ADIL NAUSHAD for making that observation.

Ilmana Fasih
22 Jan 2011.


Koi din gar zindagani aur hai (Vinod Sehgal)


Life is tough, death so easy

Life is suffocating, death so breezy.

Life is ugly, death such a beauty.

Life is  unrewarding, death so fruity

Life is chaotic, death so peaceful.

Life is so shabby, death so graceful.

Life is turbulent , death such tranquility.

Life is complex, death depicts simplicity.



As the situation in Tunisia stays uncertain and their youth refuse to accept anyone at all from among the old faces and demand for ‘real democracy’, we the international community wonder where is Tunisia heading. Honestly speaking I am quite apprehensive that yet another progressive Muslim Arab country is moving towards chaos and anarchy. I hope my apprehensions bite the dust ultimately.

In the meantime I get in touch with my friend Ali Boubakri’s brother residing in Montreal to inquire about my friend and his family, especially about their septuagenarian mom who lives alone in a village and had always sent me my favourite homemade Tunisian cookies made out of millet flour and olive oil. Before I could express my concern over the phone he remarks’
‘”This world may see us as a tiny insignificant country somewhere in Africa, but we have always created history by coming out big ever since the recorded history 3000 years ago.”

For the next 5 minutes or so all he could get from my side was “ Yes”, “True”, “ I know”.
But to tell you the truth I did not know a nit about this place except that it is a pretty destination to go, place from where my ex colleague and friend Ali came from and that Tunisians form a bunch of decent intellectual Arabs. Yes I did know that Carthage, the famous ancient city , was in Tunisia.

As soon as I say to him “Ma’asslaam” and put the phone down my fingers reach to the laptop to Google Tunisian History.

And to my utter disbelief, surprise after surprise unfold of its ‘great glorious ‘ past and the great people this tiny land has produced.


Yes , the first and the most widely known historical fact remains that ancient city of Carthage which was built 3000 years ago and was known then as the ‘Shining city’ is located in Tunisia. It was a state that had given tough time to the Roman Empire then ( Roman Empire then being equivalent to what Uncle Sam is now) through three Punic wars. This was the only bit of information of Tunisian history that I knew from before.

The next on my search comes the name HANNIBAL—yes I knew who he was , when I read ‘Glimpses of the World History’ 25 years ago- but he was a Tunisian too like my friend Ali, I didn’t know.

He was a Carthagian military commander who led the Punic Wars against Rome. During the Second Punic War he had marched with elephants (somewhere in 800 BC) all the way from Carthage through the Iberian Peninsula( Spain & Portugal), climbing the Pyrenees and the Alps( as tough as Himalayas) to reach Rome. He had managed to occupy areas of Roman Empire for almost 15 years until he lost in the third war.
Hannibal is included in history in the ranks of Alexander the great and Julius Ceaser. He has been recognised as the greatest military tactician and strategist. Napoleon Bonaparte is said to have called him a ‘gifted strategist’.

His wars with Rome had created a terror in Rome. And it is said that for generations, Roman moms would tell their children brutal tales of Hannibal when they misbehaved. In fact, Hannibal became such a figure of terror that whenever disaster struck, Roman Senators would exclaim “Hannibal arte portas” ( Hannibal before the gates) as an expression of fear.

Next piece of information came as a total surprise to me. The city of KAIROUAN, established in 9th Century is the fourth most important city of Islam after Makkah, Madina and Jerusalem.It has been known in the past as the Citadel of Islam. A city which built the first mosque in Africa, the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan or the Masjid Al Kabir. Many locals affectionately say that seven pilgrimages to this mosque is considered the equivalent of one pilgrimage to Mecca.
The Great Mosque of Kairouan is considered as one of the most important monuments of Islamic civilization as well as a worldwide architectural masterpiece.
The city is small but has 85 mosques and 101 tombs of Holy men.

Last but certainly not the least aspect of Tunisian history dropped my jaw.
Lo and behold ! Ibn Khaldun, the forerunner of many social science disciplines too was a Tunisian.
( Why the heck didn’t I know this a few years ago when my Tunisian friend Ali nicknamed me ‘Indira Gandhi’ whenever I had a head on argument with my Saudi colleagues on Polygamy, and other issues related to women. Ali was the only male colleague who whole heartedly supported my take on these sensitive issues. I could have nicknamed him Ibn Khaldun in return).
Well, IBn Khaldun (1332AD/732AH-1406AD/808AH) was a Muslim and an Arab polymath.
(A polymath or , “having learned much”, is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas).
Apart from being an Islamic theologian, Islamic jurist, Islamic scholar, a Hafiz Al Quran, he was also an astronomer, a historian, an economist, a mathematician, a nutritionist, a philosopher, a military strategist, and a social scientist. He is considered the pioneer of modern economics sharing the honour with Chanakya ( the ancient Indian genius of Economics).
Ibn Khaldun is considered the father of many Social Science disciplines, like the Philosophy of History, the Demography, Historiography and Sociology.
He is best known for his MUQADDIMAH (known in English as PROLIGOMENON) which was the Volume 1 of the KITAB AL IBAR, his book on universal history.

Unfortunately, like many other great thinkers, Ibn Khaldun’s ideas were far ahead of its time and hence they failed to be understood by his society.
Muslims slipped into dark ages and ignored and lost him for centuries altogether.

Thanks to the Renaissance and after it that the West rediscovered him in the 19th Century as one of the Great philosophers of Islam.

British historian Arnold J. Toynbee called the Muqaddimah “a philosophy of history which is undoubtedly the greatest work of its kind that has ever yet been created by any mind in any time or place. Much of his own work on world history was inspired by Ibn Khaldun.

The British philosopher Robert Flint wrote the following on Ibn Khaldun: ” As a theorist on history , he had no equal in any age… Plato, Aristotle and Augustine were not his peers.

I still can’t digest the fact that this great person, Ibn Khaldun, was a Tunisian.

No wonder why Tunisians are fighting for real democracy with Hannibal and Ibn Khaldun sitting in their genes.

Things would have been a lot different if we too had such genes.

Ilmana Fasih
21 Jan 2011

Nasim e Farvardin- An ode to spring

نسیم فروردین و زان به بستان شد
ز نو عروس گل، چمن گلستان شد
بیا به بستان ، ببین گلستان ، شکوفه باران شد
در این بهار ای گل ، تو از جفا بگذر
تو با میِ گلگون(چو باده گلگون)، دلم بدست آور
چو لاله بگشا ، ز خنده لبها ، که لاله خندان شد
نگاه نرگس مست ، بنفشه خندان است
ز نغمه بلبل ، به طرف باغ و چمن ، به عشوه آمد گفت
گرفته نیلوفر ؛ بنفشه را در بر
چو گیسو جانان ؛ عروس گل به چمن، بشد عبیر افشان
ساقی ؛ بی می ، یکدم منشین
ما را به بهار ؛ بی می مگذار ،
جامی دگر آر
لاله دارد جامی در کف ،
گلهای بهار ، بی باده و یار ، آید به چه کار ؟
در جهان هستی ، ز می پرستی
غم از دل زاید ، به دل نشاط آید
در گلزار و چمن ، چو گل خنده بزن ، ای زیبا گل من

Kunwar Mahendra Singh Bedi Sahar – Naat – Manqabat