Hurt Sentiments

Hurt Sentiments

Hurt Sentiments 150 150 Comfort Aid International
My previous Blog, Snotty Delights, prompted whiney annoyance from some (Indian)
readers, one calling me a 24/7 Indian critic, accusing me of visiting India at
liberty and then making Indians look terrible. Sigh… I have said the
following before and I will state it again:
I love India, my ancestral home. It is a
wonderful country, full of amazing contrasts, in everything – people, food,
culture, religions, languages, distribution of wealth and others. I feel at
home whenever in India; have lived in Mumbai for three wonderful years. I feel
safe in India, more so than any other country I have had the fortune to visit.
If my Blogs make Indians look terrible, well, they make me look terrible. No? India
is both depressing and comical, at times, for me. Depressing because of the
poverty and destitution I closely work with. Within this misery and seemingly
hopeless situations are hilarious pockets of miracles, of hope, of comedy, some
very hilarious. And so I cry and laugh, not at India, but with her, we both weep
and rejoice. Else, I’ll go insane and India would implode.
I write what I observe. Period.
So no apologies.
The British ruled India for about 200 years,
leaving behind numerous legacies. The railway systems, the sewer system that
unbelievably, still works with the original equipment intact in some places,
the excellent administrative mindset, cricket of course and the English
language, among many.
The Indians have beaten the British in cricket,
handily, both in performance and frenzy. Now, Indians can teach their former
masters a googly and doosra or two and make billions in the
process. One other area that the British have been soundly beaten is in the
Hinglish language. Several Hindi words have crept into the ‘official’ English
dictionary already and with the way Indians seem to be exploding in the UK, I
won’t be surprised to see English become Hinglish in the next fifty years; too
bad I won’t be around to experience the comical evolution.
Several years ago, I moved to Dubai on behalf
of my employer, who asked me to go house hunting with a real estate agent. It
turned out to be a young Muslim Bohra woman from Surat India, quite attractive
and bubbly, with a flair of twisting the English language into sidesplitting
comedy that made for very interesting couple of days. She spoke the language
well, except she composed and mixed her sentences as she would for her mother
tongue – Gujarati; a lethal concoction.
It was a very warm late April day when Nafeesa Emraheemji
came to my office and took me around about five different properties that fit
my employers rent budget. As soon as she realized I understood Gujarati, she
was tongue loose, letting off banter that made me warm up to her, but gave me
very nervous, heart thumping moments as well.
When I told her I associated Bohri women with
colorful chadoors, Nafeesa snorted in contempt, Huh, I will not let a senile budho (meaning the Bohri spiritual
guide stationed in Mumbai, India) sitting
somewhere in Mumbai dictate what I should and should not wear.
Hmmm, this
was definitely something new. But what killed me was the combination of Hindi
and English she used. Shit yaar,
she’d say to an offending or errant driver who cut her off or Don’t take tension, yaar when I held on to dear life as she made an illegal U-turn on a
busy street off Khalid Bin Waleed Street. The next day, we were looking at new construction
off Karama. Walking down a street, it was hot and noisy, with construction and
vehicle traffic hooting away when we passed a juice store. Why don’t we have a cool drink, it’s hot and very horny here, said
Nafeesa. My heart skipped a beat and I looked at her in astonishment, until it
dawned on me she was referring to the hooting traffic. Struggling to keep a
straight face, I joined her to have a cool drink.      
The Chief Minister’s Assassin – A novel
My novel (print version) has sold almost 320
copies so far, with fantastic reviews. Not bad, really. Those interested can
now purchase a copy for US$20 (proceeds still benefit CAI’s worldwide orphanage
projects). A copy can be ordered from:
Me in the USA –
Fatema Alibhai in Canada –
Sabira Somji in Dubai –
Nazir Merali in the UK –

Murtaza Bhimani in Tanzania –

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