mal’s Weblog

{February 9, 2011}   of tolerance, and the lack thereof

When I first sat down to pen these thoughts, it was coincidentally the time when Veena Malik was quite famous for the fatwa that mufti was dying to pass on her and how she stood her ground and the whole debate. My inspiration to pen them down, however, were my own experiences and mental debates.

There have been times when people have told me off for my interest in music, or my tendency towards acting, or my higher level of ease and comfort with and in the company of guys as compared to girls, and my natural need to hang out with guys cos they do not spend every second of their company bitching, but know how to chill having left all their worries behind them in that moment of company.

There have been times when my interest in music has sparked debates at home among aunties and uncles and elders alike in general about how girls today are “getting out of hand” (note: boys indulging in the same activities, outside or inside the house, are not subjected to this scrutiny for some odd reason – maybe because “woh haath se nikal jayain gay agar ziada tok tok ki tou”) and must be made to say their prayers and cover their heads when going out of the house.

There have been times when I have found myself helplessly cornered by people who have, intentionally or otherwise, trained their minds to refuse to open up to logic and reason and practicality. At times when I feel that at my college or in my university, I can roam around in my pajamas and chappals because the place is literally my first home where I spend 18 out of 24 hours getting questionnaires filled for my MBR ka course, or fighting with the printer at T minus 10 minutes where T=report submission deadline, or where I have had most of my breakfasts, lunches and teas in the past 6 years, or where I have made friends and found out what kinda people make enemies, where I have learnt valuable lessons about issues which are apparently taboo before parents and elders (who should actually be training me about these very issues before I step out of the house and thus should actually encourage a culture of open communication), where I found my first proper part time job, where my teachers and friends know me WAY better than my parents or siblings… times like these, I feel helpless when it comes to trying to reason with my family or all the judge-rs out there ready to label me as a haath se nikli hui larki, or beghairat or even “fast”, something which in my dictionary means something totally different, with or without context!

What’s most annoying is how these very same people do the exact same things and fail to realize what they would see in the mirror and how or how not it mirrors the values jis ka woh dhandora otherwise peet-te hain. For instance, these same aunties don’t have the decency to ensure that they buy enough kapra to get full length kamizes sewn which can cover their over-sized body parts from spilling over every time they try to move slightly faster than otherwise recommended. For instance, these same aunties don’t know the ABC’s of how to wear a dupatta and what the purpose of it is when it comes to themselves (when it comes to other girls they know exactly how a dupatta should be worn, but when it comes to themselves tou galay main pattay se ziada kuch nahin iss kapre ka maqsad/role). For instance, these same aunties don’t realize that the clothes they’re wearing are so see through that it shames the listener of their ready-on-their-tongue-tips-sermons. And most of all, for instance, these same aunties bobbing away in the name of dancing at their bhanja’s/bhatija’s/ mehendis and mayuns before larki walon ki taraf k mehman, and these same aunties laughing and talking at the top of their lungs as if all teachings of Islam, or any other set of morals, against laughing like hyenas  and against backbiting/gossiping waghera wghaera do not apply to them and social death be upon those who dare suggest otherwise.

But their hypocricy is another story.

So coming back to this post of mine: Thank you very much but what with 5 to 6  demanding courses and a major MBA level project each semester, in addition to my almost full time job, I do not have the strength to sit you down (EVERY time) to try and explain to you that if I happen to know a bunch of guys and girls who can pick and drop me without much trouble, I find no blasphemy in availing their (especially guys’) assistance when the other option I have is having to walk all the way to the main road, on the way there having to put up with ten types of men and boys stare me up and down no matter what I’m wearing (again, another topic of discussion – find my views and experiences here, in kari dhoop, with a huge-ass weight of books and assignments to carry, wait for a rikshaw, haggle with the driver over fare because I am on a budget based on pocket money that beats all other flexible budgets, and then have the driver stare at me in his rear view mirror all the way as well.

I do not have the strength or will to explain to you that I am more comfortable with my six guy friends than my three male cousins because my male cousins will needlessly take it upon their hypocritic selves to “look after the family’s honor” and in their efforts curb my efforts to enjoy the evening with a bit of ice cream from the ice cream wala, and sitting in the garden to enjoy the shaam where parosi k larkay can jhankofy over their rooftops. Newsflash – that’s all bull-smelling-like-shit-well-shit – you can have all of it and eat it too.

I do not have the strength to sit you down and teach you that when I jam with my male and female friends, it is not equivalent to flashing my tits in their faces behind your back (as if that is the sole purpose in my life :s), and that when I perform at musical gigs or act in a skit, it is not equivalent to…god knows whatever your filthy mind is capable of thinking in the process of judging and labeling me).

These things are petty issues for me and the general population of the university and college I go to. I and my acquaintances have gotten over them so long ago k it’s irritating to no ends now if on these basis our deadlines are missed. We are way maturer than you believe everyone but yourself to be. So it’s you who needs to grow up.

In all honesty, if the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was here and he saw me in jeans and a t-shirt, he wouldn’t proceed to strangle me. If he saw that I was into music, I do not for one second believe that he would run after me, grab me by the neck, wrestle me to the ground, sit on top of me and sermon away, whether I was listening and comprehending and agreeing or not. If he was to see me hopping in a male friend’s car so that I may reach to class/presentation/exam on time, his hands would not fly to his mouth in reaction to “blasphemy”.

I genuinely believe he would understand that I need to get to class on time, and any friend who is able and willing to give me a ride, can and in some cases is expected to do so because that’s how it rolls these days. I genuinely believe that if he felt there was something wrong in my wearing jeans and t-shirt, or finding the company of male friends more rewarding and comfortable and preferable, he would try to “ease” into my head and belief system the logic which he believes in. I genuinely believe that he would be patient with me. He would “try” to teach me, and would certainly preach to me. But at the same time he would respect my choices. He would try to teach me relatively subtly, rather than through extreme measures. He would definitely preach, that would be his job.

But he would not suffocate me. He would give me my time. He would allow me to make a few mistakes, even if in the process he tried to stop me. But in the end, he would let ME go through the learning process his and my god would have had in mind for me. He would allow me to choose my own path, make my mistakes and learn from them. And the maximum “interference” he would show would be “trying” to “demonstrate” the right(er) path, and if I still do not “convert” to better ways, to pray for me and my betterment.

(I said “righter” path because like I heard someone say on the television the other day, aaj kal tou chaar namazain parhne wala apna haq samajhta hai k 3 namazain parhne walay ko lecture karay).

Similarly, on a greater front, on a larger canvas, I genuinely believe that he would not have slayed every person who in his/her attempts to do his/her best made a few mistakes. I genuinely believe he would not judge someone who in the backdrop of the little knowledge and understanding of the faith made an unintended incorrect move. He would not pass fatwas on every girl and boy hanging out together because I genuinely believe he would take the whole picture into perspective, complete with the cultural changes and the need of the hour and the level of maturity of the people of this generation, and the whole deal of how it rolls these days.

On the other hand,he would most certainly condemn the way men fail to lower their gaze when they cross a girl on the street, even if they are employed at the place she is studying at, or even if they’re employed by her own father as the family’s gardner or driver. He would most certainly condemn the act of killing without thought in the name of Islam and the prophet. He would most certainly condemn the lack of and delay in serving justice to rape victims. He would most certainly condemn the lying and cheating going around in EVERYONE’s daily lives be it in the form of cheating your acquaintances in small small ways, or be it in the form of sitting idle at home gossiping and backbiting, or be it in the form of deriving pleasure from causing others a little more inconvenience when you could have prevented it.

Then who the fuck gives the common man to kill in the name of Islam? In the name of the prophet?
Would the prophet have endorsed such impatient and extreme reactions to someone else’s ability to embrace their own faith in totality? I don’t think so.

Then you, o judge-r, can get the fuck outta my way because I have a lot to accomplish, and I do not have the time and space for your crap in my pursuit of my dreams, and in my life.

you know what they say ” you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your relatives”.. the society we live in has everybody practicing their own convenient forms of religion and preach to no end.
i’m been blessed to have a very supportive and liberal family and i’m proud of the values and morals i’ve been brought up with so screw those you think they can judge yeah? 😉
but the aunties.. damn those aunties.. this one time i was getting my eye-brows plucked at a local parlor when this total stranger aunty strikes a conversation with my mother loud enough for me to overhear and she goes ” oh thats for daughter? baat waat pakki kardi hai iski? nahi? yehi tou umer hoti hai” i mean WTF 😐
kudos for being so blunt in your writing! loved it! 🙂

malinink says:

Totally know what you’re talking about. Like, if they were to spend half this much energy on their own problems and self-improvement, their lives and the lives of those around them would improve dramatically. But no, they cannot rest in peace until they’ve pointed out someone or the other on whose “lesser fortunate” fate they can comment on and feel better about their sad lives.
Thanks for the kudos 🙂

nsahmed says:

what can i say,maliha.


i don’t get how this doesn’t piss others others don’t see the hypocrisy.

malinink says:

I think they cant see the hypocrisy because 1. they grew up in a different era so they don’t understand us and are blasphemized by tiny things of convenience, and 2. because they cant see that it’s all pent up inside them too, they wish they had had the opportunity to enjoy such openness…so they kinda like take it out on us, in spite. i dont know man, it’s just sad. and IRRItating.

Taimur says:

Well hypocrisy exists pretty much everywhere. These people started off with religion on the wrong foot, and keep stumbling.

Religion is a business and authority too, never forget that. The immunity it provides to some people can lead to abuse of power

what say you?

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