A cynic has nothing better to do

Cynics are also masters of sarcasm. They expect you to laugh with them when they poke fun at you. If you don’t they feel you have no sense of humour. They are competent to find fault in everything and everyone.

“A GOOD friend is indeed an asset; a bad companion is a recurring liability.” Take care when you pick up your friend! There are people who excel the art of criticism; there are people who can pick hole in every velvet; there are people who didn’t agree the way you cried when your loved one died and there are people who won’t forgive the way you laugh.

They are competent to find fault in everything and everyone. Present them a mini-replica of Taj Mahal and they would say: “It doesn’t inspire the same love as the real one.” Offer them a rose and they would ignore it and brag about the fragrance of lavender. Tell them you like Dilip Kumar and they would say that Guru Datt was a better actor.

These cynics could be so pervasive that they would quench the optimist in the dull gray clouds of suspicion. They have a keen sense where to stick the knife; they would scorn and berate people without intention or purpose and obviously they lack direction.

Cynics are also masters of sarcasm. They expect you to laugh with them when they poke fun at you. If you don’t they feel you have no sense of humour.

We can’t totally avoid such people. They could prop up as your boss, your subordinate or your colleague; may be your wife or girl friend if you had been insane enough. We may have to accept them how they are and give up the attempts to change them beyond a certain limit. At times cynicism is deadly and infectious. A highly charged cynic can transform a wedding celebration into a “zone of silence” or even into a “tower of silence.”

There had been cynics in the field of art and literature also.

Algernon Swinburne, a famous English poet of 18th century was infuriated when Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote him ‘a literary leper and a mere sodomite’. The intense and vitriolic reply of Swinburne is preserved in the archives of English literature:

“ I… am not sufficiently expert in the dialect of the cesspool and dung cart to retort in their own kind on these venerable gentleman – I, whose ears and lips alike are unused to the amenities of conversation embroiled with such fragments of flowery rhetoric as may be fished up by the congenial tongues out of the sewage of Sodom……..”

To diffuse the cynicism and defeat their negativity we have to stand firmly to these bullies, showing concerns for gripers and communicating with them assertively.

We should and must protect ourselves from negativity. We can influence and bring a little bit change in them with little patience and resolve; with acts of compassions, love and kindness. A bully is a bully because he is afraid. Love is letting go for fear.

Best is to keep the cynic at arms length.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Habib Tanvir: The soul of Indian theater

Habib-Tanvir

Habib-Tanvir

Habib Tanvir was one of the most popular Hindi playwrights, a theatre director, poet and actor. He is the writer of plays such as, Agra Bazar (1954) and Charandas Chor. He is most known for his work with Chhattisgarhi tribals, at the Naya Theatre.

THINK OF Indian theatre and culture, the very first image that immediately conjures up is Habib Tanvir. He was a trail blazer, a pioneer in Hindi theatre. Like Gandhi Ji, for him the real theatre existed in villages.

He started his literary career as a poet with a pen-name “Tanvir” and very soon graduated as full time playwright, director and actor. He loved challenges and difficulties and succeeded in overcoming them. Born on Sept 1, 1923, in Raipur (Bihar at that time) he did his BA from Morris college Nagpur in 1944, and MA from Aligarh Muslim University.

His uncle used to stay in the interior of the Bihar and his regular visits to them brought him near to country folks which fascinated him. In 1945, he moved to Bombay and joined All India Radio (AIR) Bombay as a producer, while in Bombay, he wrote songs for Hindi films and even acted in a few. He also joined the Progressive Writers’ Association (PWA) and became an integral part of Indian people’s Theatre Association (IPTA) as an actor.

He moved to Delhi and joined with Qudsia Zaidi’s “Hindustani Theatre.” This was one of the most important periods of his life. He met Moneeka Mishra, an upcoming actor-director, whom he was to later marry. The same year he produced the hall mark drama “Agra Bazar”. It was based on the works of 18 century writer Nazir Akbarabadi. In this play he used the raw talents from the Okhla village and student of Jamia Millia Islamia. It was a unique experiment is the sense that it was staged within the four walls of a hall but in market place, open bazaar. It was a great success and inspired him to experience further with Chattisgarh folk artists. “Chanrandas Chor” was one such adventure where the highlight was the Nach – A chorus, a narration through Chattisgarhi folk songs.

His theatre has always been known for its utter simplicity in style, presentation and technique. Despite all that austerity his plays were eloquent and powerful with a deep story line. One could see the progressive glimpses of European fads intelligently blended with Indian values in his experiments. He was trained in Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London in middle fifties.

In 1990 he took up the direction of “Zahreele Hawa” based on Bhopal Gas tragedy.

He had his share of controversies as RSS and BJP didn’t spare a secular Indian artist like him from roughing up for his “Ponga Pandit.”

The doyen of Indian theatre died on 8 th June 2009 after a brief illness and the world of theatre lost a worthy son.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Of Queen and the Queens Way

She was a true British girl with a very methodical mind. We were together in a specialised institute at Oxford Street. Someone has said that fiction, as it does come from imagination of some fellow human being, does not have the same attraction.

PAST THE Big Ban, past the West Minister Bridge, take a left turn and down few steps – you are at the Queens Way. The very first thing you notice is the poem of an unknown poet inscribed in the middle of the road on the cobble stone.

I wonder thro each chartered street
Near where the chartered Thames does flow.
And mark in every face I meet
Marks of weakness marks of woe.
In every cry of every man
In every infants cry of fear
In every voice in every ban
The mind-forged mangles I hear.

That was the placid and pleasant spot where Rose Mann had invited me to spend our last evening in London together decades ago.
She was a true British girl with a very methodical mind. We were together in a specialised institute at Oxford Street. Someone has said that fiction, as it does come from imagination of some fellow human being, does not have the same attraction, because it is not true. To me truth is more appealing than fiction. Rose was a milky white brunette from Sussex and I was a sallow complexioned boy from Bombay. For some unknown reasons we developed liking for each other.
One day she quoted someone that when the oak tree is felled, the whole forest echoes with it. I refuted her argument by quoting the same writer – a hundred acorns are planted silently by some unnoticed breeze. That argument sealed our friendship and she invited me to join her at Hyde Park’s Speaker Corner next Sunday.

Days and nights went by in London as the time got wings. We didn’t know how far we had traveled till one day she asked an unexpected question – “Why do we care for each other so much?” I wanted to reply that because we love each other. I had lost my bearing with that question and I said that I didn’t know. I was nervous and perspiring that moment in that cozy winter day. She was somber and composed. “I shall tell you. You love me and want to marry me.” There was a pause after that.

I found no courage to pursue the subject any more. However, every Sunday she would come from Sussex to Turnham Green accommodation. We would spend the time together till 4 PM at any place of our predilection. Tempus fugit and the day arrived when I was going back to India with my Certificates minus Rose Mann.
“Would you like to join me at Queens Way, just on the other side of Thames?” She had invited me in unique British style that was exuding her superiority. It was an order that must be obeyed. “I am ready to go anywhere you want.” I replied but my self-confidence was badly missing.

That last rendezvous was fixed by Rose. I reached the corner of West Minister Bridge and she was there to welcome me. She had a shining packet containing a set fountain pen and ball pen.
“This pen-set is for you as you love writing and there is nothing powerful in the world than a pen. I wish you the best.”
“Rose, I got nothing for you as I could conceive nothing which corresponds your excellence.” I said.

“I want nothing. Just remember me.” She said in respectable tone.
We talked upon many subject including our future life. It was the first day and first time when I had tried to go fast on Rose.
“Rose do you know that there would always be a vacuum without you in life.”

“I shall miss you too.”
“How do you feel as I am departing?” I asked.
“Little relieved. You have achieved your goal and you have a bright future. Honey, We always knew – we were poles apart. It is better to love than get married. Had I married you today, I would be a stale dish tomorrow morning and that is what Bernard Shaw had said. Now, from now onwards, the sweet memories of the time we had together would give fragrance to our live till we die. So we will always be together. You know I’m British and it’s the true British love.”

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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Jahan Ara: The maverick sufi princess

 

Jahanara

Jahanara

Jahan Ara Begum – the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, can be seen as world’s first women’s right activist, who fought for human rights and the liberty of women. She was also the First Lady of State during Moghul regime.

LONG BEFORE the emergence of Gloria Steinem as women’s right activist and the coherent concept of liberation of women, there was a princess who had fought for human rights and liberty of women. Her name was Jahan Ara Begum – the eldest daughter of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.

She was born on April 2, 1614. She was well versed in all branches of knowledge of her time. Her father had trusted her and considered her as one of the wisest adviser. She was only 17 when her mother died. The royal court accorded her the title of First Lady of State and she had successfully brought out the emperor and the state from the shock and mourning of Queen’s death.

During the struggle of power between Mogul scions, she had promised her support to Prince Darah Shikoh with one condition that he would repeal the inhuman order of disallowing the royal princess from marrying – a law initiated by Akbar. It was unfortunate for the country and for Jahan Ara both that Dara was defeated. Aurengzeb, as a shrewd strategist, did mend his fences with the elder sister and restored her title of first Lady of State. This title was taken back from her and given to Roshan Ara Begum, her younger sister.

Despite cordial relations with Aurengzeb, she preferred to stay in the prison of Agra Fort with her father till his death.

Jahan Ara agreed to give her support to Aurengzeb with only one condition that he would not levy the Jazia – the poll tax on non-Muslims. She had boldly argued the case and forced Aurengzeb to rescind that.

She had contributed in her own way in designing and developing the landscapes of Shah Jahanabad (Delhi) and Agra. Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi and Jama Masjid of Agra are her gifts to Indian history and public. She was the devout Murid (follower) of Nizamuddin Aulia and used to clean his grave with her silky hairs.

She died peacefully on September 16, 1681 and was buried in Nizamuddin Dargah complex.

Naim Naqvi

Naim Naqvi

Did his graduation in Science discipline from AMU in 1972-73. He was Secretary of University Ali Society in 1970 and M.M. Hall Literary Society in early 70 's and member of Tayyabji Literary Society. Did his Diploma in Bakery Administration from HTT College Oxford Street London in 1987. Worked with National Herald - Delhi, Blitz - Bombay as Trainee Journalist and in Production Department with 'Naya Sansar Pictures' of Khwaja Ahmed Abbas at Bombay in early 70's. Traveled for study and training purposes to Germany, U.K., Switzerland, France, Dubai, Oman, AbuDhabi, Bahrain and Philepines.

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