Update

Hello Folks,

Just an update on the blog appearance.

Removed the background image, probably added by KD. I felt it was out of sync with rest of the colors. If anyone feels otherwise please go ahead and revert.

Have added black color as background to give a lively feeling of snow falling which will continue to fall till 4th of Jan 2011.

Hope everyone has fun during the holidays.

Wish you all a very happy X-MAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Shafat

 

THE GENERATIONS OF TURMOIL

Today at around 2 a.m when I slipped into the bed with great efforts, my lids did oblige but mind and eyes refused to obey. The constant niggles to my nerves due to the flashes of mutilated bodies, smashed heads and pools of blood all around that the valley witnessed over the last couple of gory days and grieving nights was excruciating. The painful faces of the family members of the families that were left with one person less over the past couple of days zipped over the frame of my retina and swept away all the left over desire to sleep. I took a deep breath, ostensibly sucked in all the oxygen left in my room, shook off my body out of the bed to save my fast pulsating heart that seemed to choke this inhaled oxygen from flowing into my veins.
I found myself clueless, moist eyes failed me and my mind flashed back into 1990’s when almost every family lost at least one member. When mosques would reverberate with slogans of Ham kya chahatay, Azadi and the songs of Jago Jago subh hue.. Khonay shahida rang laya.. When tin roofs in the night would echo along the mighty mountains caging the valley. When dead bodies, blasts, grenade attacks, curfews, clampdowns, identification parades, frequent frisking, bunkers after every yard and even the scary air that was their to fill the lungs was only left amongst the gutted buildings, schools, bridges and mined roads. When serpentine lengths of rallies along the streets, lanes and by lanes would culminate at the UN office stationed on the edge of biggest Army encampment of Badambagh. When hapless children were rendered fatherless, beyond any reckoning the count of widows unendingly piled, Arithmetic computations failed to estimate the half widows that had become a regular feature in every village and mohalla. When having a son was considered a curse since it was thought would bring pain once he grows up. And today it is these beleaguered sons who were born, grownup and lived their lives in the kiln of this turbulent valley of pain and agony harbouring anguish and distress along every single day that added to their age.
1996 and 2002 elections did seemingly bring in the staggering respite since the youth of 1990’s were appallingly scared and terrified with the petrifying memories of Papa II, and the like camps both in Kashmir and outside. Moreover, they had by then landed into edge of their upper age limits where they evidently became more concerned about their families and small children. And the youth group stretching between the years 1996 to 2006 who could have considered all kinds of antagonism and aggression had seen the pain of their parents and elder brothers thus preferred to stay back without showing much resilience due to the family pressures or with the hope of changing the horrid plight of their families. Besides, liberalization of Indian economy, telecom revolution, private sector and unabated monetary inflows played the role of chanalizing their energies. Nonetheless, the seething angry was there to find a vent.
Then came the new crop born between 1986 and 1996 who although had grown up in the same pain and anguish, supported by their “one step ahead generation” who had kept their pent-up anger under the lid while carrying along their pathetically heaving failed aspirations clanking them on every political ebb or any act of injustice around. This new age band has seen monetary miseries as well as self earned opulence. Equipped with stone and anger they do not seem to listen to any excuse to keep them at bay. The amplitude of their anger has a history of their age in the conflict zone. They say they do not care nor do they want to shuffle the pages of history to justify and reinforce their stand. They sprung in 2008, 2009 and now in 2010 with bolstered rigour and force. They played heros with similar exactitude in the 2008 elections since they believe that administration and development should go hand in hand. Fear and fret is the last thing that has caught a mark on any of the lines on their faces. They are not even ready to listen to the protagonists of 90’s. They have an ideology chiselled over the years by the poignant emotions and heart-rending backgrounds and agonizing surroundings in which they have grown. I, startlingly at this point of time when thoughts do not even afford to move beyond one single day, did not keep myself from imagining what the next set of youth would possibly reflect and what the kids of today would make as the young men.
A deafening knock on the gate of our house clanged me back from the thoughts that had carried me into the psychology of the brackets of generations guiding Kashmir. Amazingly, clock had already stuck 6 in the morning. I, mustering my wits back, rushed down to open the gate and was surprised to find around a dozen of young men, apparently of the same age and size holding the vein in their arms by the cotton and thumb after having come from the locally arranged small blood donation camp. With the other limping hand they carried a big sack to collect food grains and other stuff for poor and needy people in the area.

Note: The author is my elder brother Sajjad Qadri. Published with due permission.

Results – Contest 55!

Hi Friends

I am happy to announce the results for the contest 55.

It looks like the judge had a tough time to analyze all the 29 entries and judge the good on among them, and in his own words he says – “After all nerve-scratching and hair-pulling, here are my final views.”

Will publish in the descending order :

#3. Latha Das (Masterpiece) – Well scripted story…Nice usage of word-patterns…conversational yet curiosity driven!

The entry of Latha Das, which won her the place!

Masterpiece

He blindfolded her.

Embracing, led her through a trail.

She could sense the fragrance of pine, the insect’s buzz.

Her mind was questioning?

Then, gently he let her off…

Her eye caught an elegant house in a summer’s twilight, situated besides a tranquil lake, she had never seen …..

The award-winning artist’s wife exclaimed…Wow…. !!!!!

– Latha Das (Guest Writer)

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#2. KK (Fleeting moment of Joy) – Creates drama in the setup and ending the story with a masterstroke. Brings out the best of emotions.

The entry of KK, which won her the place!

Fleeting moment of Joy…!

She wasn’t like this…but

When she could not and there was no way left.

She said, ‘Yes’ all arrangements done, she went there

She could not answer whom or what or why…?!

She said, “Sorry” and walked away, with a heavier mind

Than with what she came in…

She heard a small voice, “Ma..m…m…”

-KK

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#1. Pankaj (Adieu) and Sanky (Colors) – Similar & relatively known yet good concept, nice setup and imbibed suspense…simple language and good flow to wrap up. More like Jeffrey Archers and O’ Henry!

The entry of Pankaj, which won him the place!

Adieu

Tears rolled down his eyes as he sat

Watching his beloved end in ashes…

He questioned to himself

“Why was it destined to end this way?”

But like everything this too has to come to an end…..

Taking his last puff, he slowly bid adieu and said with a laugh…..

“Today I quit smoking …..”

-Pankaj

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The entry of Sanket, which won him the place!

Colors

‘I didn’t like the colour’, the newlywed wife said. ‘It doesn’t match with my bedroom.’
‘Quite darling, It’s a park ….. ‘
‘Shut up! , didn’t I tell you for magenta? ‘
‘All colours are equally beautiful! ‘a voice emerged.
They both looked in that direction.
A man with black glasses & red and white stick had just passed across.

– Sanky

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A heart whelming thank you to all the participants…for the entries and their efforts. Please do keep visiting this Website for more exciting things as such these and keep writing for us…!

The other recommendable ones, which inspired the judge are :

-> Smruti (Link)

-> Lakshmi (Flame Extinguished)

-> Pankaj (Crazy)

-> Sanky (A Letter)

-> KK (Light)

Look forward for more conversations from the Judge…! 🙂

Blossom- MoTA Anniversary

Hello friends

17th June 2009 was the day on which officially MoTA was raised. On this anniversary it gives me immense pleasure to launch a first ever MoTA Magazine which we (Savi and me) have given the name ‘Blossom’. The meaning of the word says it all.

Blossom Cover

All members please feel free to download your copy of ‘Blossom’ from the Member Zone page using the usual MoTA login credentials. In case anyone of you face any difficulty please contact Savi so that she can arrange to send you a copy.

Happy Anniversary ALL.

Love

Shafat

The Maple Tree

The following are the excerpts from the book which I am currently working on. Hope you all will provide your feedback, based on which I’ll decide to go ahead or scrap it.

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Chapter 1: Innocence

1996, Srinagar, Kashmir.

Vroom vroom. Vroooom. The sound of YAMAHA RX100 was echoing through the streets of Srinagar. The person riding it was Majid.

Majid was very nervous. His exams were starting the next day and he had not completed his first revision yet. Majid was a bright student but then even the brightest of the minds need at least two revisions if you are studying under Indian education system, where ‘learn by heart’ is the mantra.

Majid was born to a middle class Kashmiri parents. His father was an officer in the Food and Supplies department of J&K government and his mother was a housewife. Majid’s birth was followed by his sister after 3 years on his arrival. Her name was Sadia and his brother saw the first light of this world after 5 years of Majid’s birth. His name was Sajid. Theirs was a typical middle class Kashmiri family.

He was 16 years of age and had all the traits which a child of that age should possess. He was a student of Tyndale Biscoe School, situated at Residency road in the heart of Srinagar city. Biscoe School was established by Cecil Earle Tyndale-Biscoe, a Christian missionary, in the year 1880. The school was a co-education till late seventies. Then the girls’ wing was separated and was called Mallinson Girl’s School. The two schools were separated only by a 4 feet wall. He was approaching adolescence and naturally was inclined towards girls. Hence he was popular on both sides of the wall.

In 1996, he was to appear in the 10th standard examination which was being conducted by the Jammu and Kashmir State Board of School Education. 10th Standard exams in Kashmir are considered very crucial in one’s education career. Sweets are distributed, relatives bring gifts for the ones who crack it and the ones who fail are looked upon with sympathy. No less, no more.  Careers are decided the very moment the results come in. Ones securing above 80% marks are doctors and engineers. Those securing 55% to 79% are commerce category lot and ones with below 55%, no choice for them; they are the untouchables and are thrown into the Arts category. This is the education hierarchy.

Majid was natural sportsperson. He liked to play football and captained the school team. The two schools were having a basketball court as well so sometimes he used to jump the wall and help his girlfriends win a game or two.

The children of this age group like to experiment. He had another circle of friends in the neighborhood with whom he used to hangout in the evening for such kind of adventures. During the winter of 1995 they managed to get hold of some Dunhills and smoked like kings till the wee hours at one of his friends place on pretext of doing joint studies. They had taken enough care to get some ‘Chutki’ pan masala to get rid of the stale tobacco stench. It was a stage in his life which had to be handled carefully. That stage which is like a potter’s mud. The shape given is going to stay forever.  You try to alter the shape and BOOM, it breaks.

The age of innocence.

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Note: The copyright of this post is held by Shafat Qadri for Star Entertainment and any reproduction in any form, print or electronic, will attract legal action.

Disclaimer: All the incidents and characters in this article are fictitious and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, or any incident is purely co-incidental. However some incidents are based on the historical facts.

Mail IDs for Motaities

Since this is our anniversary season and our size has also grown, thought of giving MoTAities some token of remembrance 🙂 Hurray we now have our own MOTA mail IDs. The same are provided in the Member Zone page. And all users have same usual MOTA password to access. You’ll be asked to change the password upon the first login.

Mail ID format is firstname_L@mota-blogs.com (LastName initial)

The URL to access the mails is: https://www.google.com/a/mota-blogs.com or Click Here

Note: Please check if I have not missed out anyone. Also please contact me if you face any trouble logging in.

shafat_qadri@mota-blogs.com (My mail ID is different coz i created it first and then thought of having different format 🙂 )

If you want to share a mail with all the members then please use the generic Mail ID motaities@mota-blogs.com The mail send to this ID would be received by all the Motaities.

For individual conversations, please use individual email IDs as shared.


Enjoy!!!!!!!!

Weekend Escapade – II

A mind twister for you all to try. Found this inside the Mapro Garden, gave it a quick try but couldn’t do it for longer 🙂 Eg Red is written in Black color so you have to call out Black and so on … that too quickly.

Try it


Our tour of Mahabaleshwat started with a mishap. Not a mishap actually but what happened gave me jitters. After we left our cottage we directly went to Mahabaleshwar market and enquired about the routes and spots. So nearer spot was Veena lake which is between Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. So we took our car and set out for the Veena Lake. It was crowded near the lake with lof of buzz around. Horsemen pleading to mount their horses, camelmen asking to take a camel ride, fresh strawberries, mulberries, carrots and raddish all around. After dodging through I managed to find a parking lot and parked the car.  My car has a central locking and if you lock the drivers door from inside manually all the four doors get locked but I don’t have remote locking installed. In a hurry I took out the cell phones, camera etc I locked it from inside and we got out.

Veena Lake

After taking few paces, a guy selling some stuff called me out. “Sir, your engine is running”. I felt a pin piercing through my chest. I instantly knew I have left my cars keys inside and locked the door. What the F…. How can I do it.  Even the car stereo was playing Kishore Kumar songs…A crowd began to gather around. I asked around but everyone said that nothing can be done we have to get a key maker. Then an Indica driver came with his instruments and said he has unlocked another Indica. He pulled out the window railing and inserted a small wire but after some time gave up telling me that i10 has a different mechanism.

Sitting there I wondered what to do and then one good soul suggested me to get a mechanic from Mahabaleshwar market. I took a taxi and then rode down with the said mechanic. He gave me a screwdriver and told me to pull the car door a little… through the gap he inserted another rod inside the pressed the window button with it, since the ignition was on, the window popped down and we could open the door.

Don’t ask me how much he charged me for this service 🙂
Finally we ate some berries and left for the Kate point without wasting much time on this unlucky lake… 🙂

Read here about the Kate Point, Needle Hole Point and Mapro Garden.

After returning from the Mapro Garden in the evening, it rained like anything. The 60% chance of rain predicted by weather.com came true. It was a welcome shower and we enjoyed it much. But after the showers turned into rain there was a power-cut and a complete blackout……

The next morning was the checkout time from the cottage. So after settling our dues we drove to Panchgani. In Panchgani, we went to Table Land. This flat large expanse of laterite rock is the second longest mountain plateau in Asia. Some spacious caves including the “Devil’s Kitchen” are visible from here.(Wiki) From Table Land, all the five hills in Panchgani are visible from where the name of this place is derived. Panchgani is known for its boarding schools. They are everywhere, left side of the road and on the right side of the road. These schools have a great legacy behind them as these were established in 1800s. Taare Zameen Par was shot in one of these schools.
After having lunch in Panchgani we began our journey back to Pune at around 2:30 as we wanted to reach early and take some rest.

A view from top

On our return journey we came across another point where they were offering Paragliding. We pulled over and thought of taking a ride, but as it was late we decided against it. I managed to grab a video :-).

The rest of the drive was smooth, we took the same highway NH4 but this time we went to Hinjewadi side and reached Pune via Chadini Chowk.
Overall the trip was a good break although time was less. But next time we’ll plan on any long weekend. 🙂