Blogs

A day in the life of Amjad Hussein 320 240 ComfortAid International

A day in the life of Amjad Hussein

There are many people who make the success of what CAI is today possible and one such man is Amjad Hussein. I pay tribute to this humble, tireless and most critically, a kind man who genuinely cares for orphans and is their mother, father and everything else in between. Thank you Amjadbhai; for your total…

Scared shitless in Nairobi. 150 150 ComfortAid International

Scared shitless in Nairobi.

I am in Africa, once again. Ah, the sheer joy of breathing the blessed air and refreshing color of its soil and vegetation to my eye. I tell you, I have been blessed to have travelled the world but Africa, East Africa in particular, is an icing on this blessing. It is very warm and…

Corruption most foul… 150 150 ComfortAid International

Corruption most foul…

I am depressed. Not the usual blahs that eat us up once in a while, no-no, this is a bit more serious. Perhaps it is the grimy potholed roads of Mumbai, the beggars or the absolutely chaotic and chocker block traffic that has soured my mood? Or is it the sight of two squatting kids…

Of marraiges and shit cakes 150 150 ComfortAid International

Of marraiges and shit cakes

We stop on a side road and Aliakberbhai, a devoted and selfless trustee of Al Imaan Foundation, cautions me to be careful of cakes. Cakes, I ask? He smiles. Yes, he says, cakes, shit cakes. You should be familiar with our terminology by now; he chides with a smile. I gingerly step down and immediately…

The Shias of Philippines 150 150 ComfortAid International

The Shias of Philippines

The lady immigration officer at Manila International Airport in Philippines scrutinizes my passport carefully, then glances at me suspiciously. She has seen a number of visa stamps into Afghanistan on my passport and can’t make up her mind if I pose a threat to her country because of that. She asks me wait and disappears…

This and that. 150 150 ComfortAid International

This and that.

Phew, it has been an eventful couple of months since my last blog! What with a very dramatic and eventful trip to strife torn Afghanistan, my two trips to the hospital, holy Ramadhan and its predictable Eid el Fitr moon (non)sighting fiasco, current (very) noisy Navratri days, the never ending schools holidays for the kids…

The Indian Press – thriving, dramatic and oh so funny! 150 150 ComfortAid International

The Indian Press – thriving, dramatic and oh so funny!

They did what…? Ex President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam of India was frisked and made to remove his shoes for a security check before boarding a Continental Airline flight bound for New Jersey, NY. This happened in April, 2009 and it is now August. An absolute gentleman and a cool dude (although I really think…

Aftermath of Mumbai monsoons 150 150 ComfortAid International

Aftermath of Mumbai monsoons

It is raining in Mumbai – again. This is not headline news, of course, for rain is what you get in Mumbai during July. The whole country sighed with relief when the rains began in earnest, three weeks late, a record of sorts. You will not believe how very, very critical these three month monsoon…

Damascus, Dubai, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Tanga 150 150 ComfortAid International

Damascus, Dubai, Dar Es Salaam, Zanzibar, Arusha, Tanga

Maaha Zainab, Tasneem and I have the good fortune to visit our Lady of Light, Seyyeda Zainab (A) in Damascus before we embark on a nostalgic, fast trek, at times fleeting visit to Tanzania, my country of birth. Syria is the same dreary old country I remember from the nineties when I used to fly…

A drivers licence please… 150 150 ComfortAid International

A drivers licence please…

I bought a new vehicle in Mumbai, which is an event to celebrate in itself.  Not that I have a desire to drive on Mumbai roads; no Sir, not me, there are better ways to end your life.  I am still awaiting a suitable driver to show up however, so my reliance is on the…

The blahs and blahs of Mumbai… 150 150 ComfortAid International

The blahs and blahs of Mumbai…

Okay, I know it has been a while since I wrote. What with constant traveling and CAI issues keeping me kicking and alive, I really have had very little time to do much writing. A bad habit for aspiring writers like myself, I know, but whattodo yaar? This is an expression I have picked up…

Mullah Happy’s Fury – Final 150 150 ComfortAid International

Mullah Happy’s Fury – Final

Why in Allah’s name is there a need to demean others? Why rile and enrage their leaders and imams, no matter how much we believe they were wrong in the past? Do we not have enough problems of our own? Mullah Happy pauses and lets out a massive burp, smiles ruefully, excuses himself, looks around…

Mullah Happy’s fury – Part 1 150 150 ComfortAid International

Mullah Happy’s fury – Part 1

I meet Mullah Happy regularly and he is, at most times, a pretty decent fellow, soft-spoken, mild in temperament and outlook. We usually meet every Friday after Juma prayers and today is no exception. The khutba is excellent as usual; he has prepared well, knows his material and dwells on how a Muslim needs to…

Callous Customs – Australia 150 150 ComfortAid International

Callous Customs – Australia

I am on my way to visit Australia, invited to preset Comfort Aid International projects to various communities in Sydney and Melbourne. It is a long flight this, 14 hours and I am bushed by the time I land at Sydney airport. This is my second trip to Sydney in 18 years, the earlier one…

Haseena, the child woman – Final? 150 150 ComfortAid International

Haseena, the child woman – Final?

I have to leave and get up to go but I want to help her. I tell her I will be traveling abroad for 2 weeks and ask her if she will let me help her when I return. She turns and looks at me strangely again, the weariness returns on her face. What help?…

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