Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Don't take it for granted

We should treat the air around us better.... (a serious article for a change)

The average adult at least inhales and exhales something like 7 or 8 litres of air per minute. That totals something like 11,000 litres of air per day. The air that is inhaled is about 20-percent oxygen and the air that is exhaled is about 15-percent oxygen. As a result, a human being uses about 550 litres of pure oxygen per day (5% of the air he/she breathes)

Now if you look at the price of Oxygen in the UK (Click Here for cheapest I could find in the UK) then you  can see that if we had to pay for it then it would cost us around £250.00 a day, that's £91,250 (Exc VAT) a year. If we were paying the 60% duty and VAT (same as petrol) on that then we would be paying £175,200 per year.

Based on my Islamic beliefs, it makes you realise that “Allah Ka Shukar Ada Karna Chaheya” (Be thankful to God).

Indian at an Interview - Joke

An Office Manager at ASDA was given the task of hiring an individual to fill a job opening.

After sorting through a stack of CVs he found four people who were equally qualified -- an American, a Russian, an Australian and an Indian.

He decided to call the four in and ask them only one question. Their answer would determine which of them would get the job.

The day came and as the four sat around the conference room table the interviewer asked, 

"What is the fastest thing you know?"

Shaun, the American, replied, "A THOUGHT - It just pops into your head. There's no warning that it's on the way; it's just there. A thought is the fastest thing I know of."

"That's very good!" replied the interviewer.

"And now you sir?" he asked Vladimir, the Russian.

"Hmm.... let me see. A BLINK - It comes and goes and you don't know that it ever happened. A BLINK is the fastest thing I know."

"Excellent!" said the interviewer. "The blink of an eye, that's a very popular cliché for speed."

He then turned to George, the Australian who was contemplating his reply.

"Well, out at my dad's ranch, you step out of the house and on the wall there's a light switch. When you flip that switch, way out across the pasture the light in the barn comes on. Yep, Turning on A LIGHT is the fastest thing I can think of."

The interviewer was very impressed with the third answer and thought he had found his man. "It's hard to beat the speed of light" he said.

Turning to Patel, the Indian, the fourth and final man, the interviewer posed the same question. Patel replied, (in his Gujrati accent!) "Apter herring da tree prebius ansers sir, et's obius to me dat the fastest thing is DIARRHEA."

"WHAT!?" said the interviewer, stunned by the response. The others were already giggling in their seats...

"Oh, I can expleyn sir," said Patel. "You see, sir, da ader day my tummy was pheeling bad and so I run so fast to the baatrum, but before I could THINK, BLINK, or TURN ON THE LIGHT, I alredi done it !"

Patel is now the new "Office Manager" at ASDA in Washington.

(Not my own joke but funny)

I love Citizen Khan, becasue it is true

Citizen Khan and his (typical) Asian family

On Monday night, I laughed out loud as I watched the first episode of BBC1’s new comedy series Citizen Khan, about a Muslim community leader and his family.

As someone who knows a lot of people with the surname Khan — and as a British Muslim who grew up in Blackburn’s Asian community in the nineties — if anyone was going to be offended by the mickey-taking, surely it would be me.

But no, I loved the sitcom and facebooked my congratulations to its creator and star, Adil Ray, as soon as it finished.

At last, I thought, a home-grown sitcom that allowed British Muslims to laugh at themselves. Good on the BBC for finally getting the balls and realising the comic potential in one of the biggest communities that make up modern Britain. Of course, it’s a shame it took the Beeb 40 years, but it got there eventually.

However, the next day I discovered that my views ran counteract to many, who criticised the programme for ridiculing Islam and for containing ‘stereotypes about Asians’. The Twittersphere positively boiled with righteous, religious indignation.

The comedy is billed as a humorous take on the lives of an ordinary Muslim family living in today’s Britain. However, critics claim it stereotypes Muslims and is ‘disrespectful to the Koran’.

Oh, please! Never mind that the programme attracted an audience of almost 3.5 million in a late-night slot — the  only thing that some people want to talk about are the  cliches, the stereotypes and the insults.

This is most odd, I thought, because I don’t remember the Irish getting so hot and bothered by the TV sitcom Father Ted, which is full of Irish stereotypes.

A certain scene in Citizen Khan seems to have caused particular offence. It was when Mr Khan — the sort of splendidly self-important community leader I recognised instantly — came home, and his glamorous daughter pulled on her headscarf to hide her fully made-up face and started to read the Koran.

Among those who complained, many accused the show’s British Muslim creator of insulting the Koran and demeaning the hijab (the headscarf) and what it stands for.

But that’s nonsense. Asian girls like this can be found in any big and small cities in Britain. I see them every time I go shopping — gorgeous-looking girls peering out from under their casually draped headscarves.
I grew up with many such girls, too. And ironically, these girls were the clever ones — these girls were the smart cookies who realised that life would be easier if they just combined a little Muslim modesty with their otherwise fairly Western lifestyles.

Such girls realised that as long as their father saw them going through the dutiful motions, he would be happy that they had remained loyal to their family traditions. It was this understanding that made the scene so funny. It was so true to real life.

As an Indian Muslim based in Blackburn UK, I am defending the show as being an honest portrayal of our community, especially the characteristics of the first and second generation Asian people depicted within the sitcom.

Some people are complaining that it stereotypes them and is offensive to our faith. I totally disagree with that, as stereotypes only arise when majority of the people are actually doing this in real life.

We know many girls in the UK  who are scared of their orthodox and totally Asian cultured parents but want to live a westernised life do exactly the same thing with her hijabs now. Shouldn’t those complaining be trying to reduce this from really happening and explaining to all (not just those attending the mosque) the values of wearing the hijab.

Many children can be seen walking away from the mosque with westernised bags with the Koran just swinging around.  Shouldn’t those complaining be trying to reduce this from really happening? And, by the way, when was the last time you picked up a Koran and read what it says? Parents need to explain to their kids that the Koran should be held to the chest and not be seen like all other books.

If these and many issues are addressed then sitcoms like Citizen Khan won’t be able to stereotype them. 

In my opinion this show has little to do with Muslims and more to do with the 1st and 2nd Generation Sub Asian Culture (the one I enjoy laughing at). It’s good to see that the country I am proud to be a part of is now showing programmes that depict the true multi-cultural and multi-faith society. The people who are attacking Citizen Khan should not be attacking the TV programme itself (as surely they used a different book and not the Koran), but should really be looking at how to stop these sort of actions really happening by educating their children and themselves values such as; living a proper Islamic life that mixes with western society, understanding that Muslims are not only Pakistanis and that they come in all different colours and sizes and the fact that these norms from the good old days need to change.

Finally, thank you BBC for putting in a tokenistic white convert and an African Muslim. This was a great touch, as most mosques across the country now have at least 1 – 10 converts and more and more African Muslims attending the mosques regularly. They should not be seen as outsiders in mosques by those Sub Asian’s who think they are better than them. 

Well done and keep up with the good work. I think Adil Ray should get full marks for using his childhood and life experiences to such tremendous comic effect.

Damn....just realised this was a long rant :)

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Back in the days

I remember the summers when days were long and the nights were short, and life felt free

I also remember how great it felt to leave mosque at 7.30pm so I could get home just in time for the A-team.

Not that it was good to leave mosque but give me a break.

I finished school at 3.30pm leaving me an hour and a half before to get home and get ready before I would have to start mosque at 5pm.

Alright, I got to watch my Captain Planet during that short period but what about Grange Hill and Blue Peter? Did i miss something important?

Whilst sitting behind my graffiti ridden bench (sorry to the mosque, i was one of the culprits) I would see the Molvi (mosque teacher) looking around to see who was talking or sniggering.

Every now and then you would get called to the front of the class and if you didn't know anything you got whacked on your hand (Corporal Punishment - use to happen back in the days but no longer happens). The secret to not getting hurt was NOT to pull your hand away at the last second - take the pain otherwise the stick will hit your finger tips and that kills.

In the winter one of my friends would come in wearing gloves thinking the Molvi wouldn't notice. It didn't work then and doesn't today.

I got hit once because I didn't know my dad’s name. What kind of question is that to ask anyone? Dad's name of course.

And there was always a kid who'd call his parents in to talk to the teachers. "Daddy, daddy the Molvi hit me because I was wearing a huge fake diamond earring in class" what a snitch (and a doofus for wearing an earring on one ear) . He'd get 'special' treatment after that because his modern family was too good for our mosque.

There was a thief among us once. He was nicking everyone's brand new shoes (we had a Tommy Balls style shoe rack, so it was like an open sale). Nobody ever found out who he (or she, got to be PC) was. It was only after one of the mosque committee members 'Bata' Jhuthees (Indian branded shoes) went missing did things get out of hand. The solution - to keep the front door shut.

Parent Teacher days were great. All the parents would come in to see how much their sons and daughters had learnt about life and stuff. Unfortunately some of us still hadn't mastered the 'Patee'*.

One time I was truant from mosque during the World Cup but the Molvi sent another kid to my house to check where I was. When the S*** hit the fan so did I, especially when they found out I'd been spending the Friday fees on 'Fab' Ice lollies.

*Patee: A plastic A5 sheet with the alphabet on it or 'Tupti' for our Gujarati readers.

Asian funeral etiquette – What’s wrong with you people

Just like my childhood hero Miah Mithu. Who the hell was Miah Mithu anyway? Where did he come from? And why was he always getting himself into so much bother? Answers on a comment please.

But even Miah Mithu would be ashamed of how certain people act at gatherings to mourn a death. Five minutes of peace and quiet is all I ask. No mobile phones bleeping talk about how the Indian elections have talk about stupid stupid business ideas....and most of all no talking about motors.

What kind of idiot walks into someones front room at a time like that to talk about worldly affairs? It seems there's quite a few of us. Within sixty seconds someone always has to say...'Sanah Phir'. The conversation usually goes downhill from there and god forbid two people don't agree about some issue or other. The rest of the people sit around and watch as two of the greatest minds of Britain talk it out for the next hour or so.

Whilst this is going on, one wise gentleman would sit between both of them agreeing with everything. Does this guy get paid for doing this?

Also gone are the days when the siblings would be praised for doing absolutely nothing. Now it's a case of who can make the most fun out of his own son. 'My boys a proper nakama...he can't even read.' says the first man.

'Well my boy doesn't even try.' says the second and so on and so on.

It's had such an effect on me...I would remove my magnetic earring, wear some glasses and pretend I'm still at University whenever I have to sit among them.

And why on earth is there still a brother who never...ever...changes his clothes. He drives a BMW...and owns three properties...but you'll never see him in new set of clothes....even on Eid. The same top...the same trousers...even the same socks. I guess he is so rich that he doesn't need to look like he is rich.

All this though, pales into insignificance with the liar. Now there's liars and there's just people who take the p***. Usually it's the middle-aged suit - boot geezer who comes out with the biggest large ones you've ever heard...and what can you do about it? Absolutely nothing.

The moment you open your mouth there's a embarrassing silence. Everyone thinks you’re stupid for challenging his authority because if nothing else he drives a better car than you do.

And if you’re really unlucky he brings his suit-boot son with him.

Time to rest in peace ladies and gentlemen. May Allah grant the dead heaven in the hereafter and give the families patience through there difficult times.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

It all changed after 9/11

'EKH Rupeeah da phul....Doh Repeeah da'.... let me stop you there brother before the big boys come round to your house to sort you out.

How else are we supposed to describe what's going on in the world today?. Just because crazy Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is getting a whooping I have to be labelled as one of his henchmen every time I say anything about war.

Israel if you're gonna do it just do it...why do you have go around trying to justify killing a load of people...we all know your gonna do it anyway.

If anyone is going on holiday this summer...which most of us are...remember if your name is Abdul or sounds like Osama (not you Dalai Lama or Obama) you are going to get stopped. I speak from experience. Just because I got a beard and wear ShalwarKameez they think I'm part of some underground terrorist group.

I also give one ringers to people all the time they said. Hello...I'm a skinflint I don't like wasting my credits.

If I stand outside a pub for twenty minutes they think I'm hatching some secret plot to bomb the place. I got to wait for the bus somewhere.

Every time I go to the airport to drop my cousins off (every two weeks from mid February to mid September) I get the third degree. I got strip searched last time...lucky I had a bath that day and shaved my.....arm pit hair.

I went to the dog track last month and was escorted off the premises...discrimination it was nothing else. OK maybe it was my fault but how was I to know only the kuthays are supposed to race.

I can't even open a bank account now without the lady over the counter asking me about where I was born and how long I've been in this country. I speak better English than your grandma love, and i have a degree in Business don't push it. And all of a sudden they want everything from ten household bills to details about the number of wives I've got. What you think we all have four wives?...some of us find it difficult to get one.

I can't eat in public any more too. When I leave the restaurant so does everyone else.

I applied for this job at the local defence contractors (not gonna say who, but I live in Blackburn) and they wanted to know about my links to a well known group called Al-Junoon. Hey, I know the guys...they play great music and really get the crowd going but I don't particularly want to follow in their footsteps.

I can't go to the swimming pools any more either. The CIA has installed cameras in my local swimming baths and it means I have to go before I get in.

Even the wannabe gangsters are feeling the pinch. My mate’s house got raided and despite him having a stash of the finest....he ended up in court for 'preaching hatred'....the brother can't even what's he gonna preach.

let's just hope things imporve in the future, because if they don't then i guess we are doomed.

What Grades Shades

'Oh Nakamay (an insult only parents are allowed to say to their kids) didn't even get a C'. And that was last year...this time round I'm going to make sure I get at least one.

Exam time is a killer I hate the waiting and I hate those who always get better grades than I do.

It's different nowadays I'm told. There used to be a time when you could rush home on results day and tell your dad you passed everything...he didn't know any better. "Hey my puttar got seven E's...he's a clever lad you know....he's excellent at everything!' And if my sister got six A's...nothing...not a single methai dubha in sight.

It would be impossible to do that mum knows when I'm lying. Every time I see my papa taking his slippers off I get the feeling he already knows something.....those slippers are getting harder by the year. The new Bata Jhutee leaves an imprint these days.

I need to hide that snooker cue too....otherwise it'll be like being at mosque again.

I try to revise but my boys won't leave me alone. The strange thing is some of them are even proud to be ignorant.

I got one friend who always bumming around in town....he's got some mates who drive this motor and I never see them at the library. He wants to be a Doctor...well that's what his dad said to mine last month...good luck bro.

My revision timetable is up on the wall...unfortunately I can't keep to it because I have to keep doing these stupid errands for my mum. I've been to town eight times in the last week.

And can I please urge all of you mums and dads to stop organising weddings at this time of year. Don't you understand anything...the whole event can drag on for weeks.

Why do the TV companies always put on so much high quality programmes at this time of year? It's a conspiracy I tell you, plain and simple - to stop the masses from getting any grades.

I hate my uncle Jamal (not his name - I don't wanna get done for defamation) and his perfect kids....all at university. I hate getting compared to them all the time...I'll show them whose boss.

They all tell me it's for my own good and I need to revise....and deep down I know it's true but maybe I can quickly find some excuses to cover my ass.

I know!... the exam questions were my parents were too culturally minded so they wouldn't have let me go to university the CIA marked my I was in love and I couldn't concentrate. Maybe I'll get by on my looks...then again no.

This is hopeless I really need to get some work done otherwise I know I'm going to regret it...the pressure is mounting and the day of reckoning approaches.

(Note: I have grown up and this article is a recollection of my past experiences, thank god for that)