Archive | Taboo

Comedy Central and Its Test of Freedom of Speech

Posted on 05 May 2010 by .

After watching the recent South Park episode I realized that even in this day and age we are held back by fear and intimidation. Every human being has a very important right in a fair and just society. That right is the freedom of speech.

When South Park featured a new two part episode in which they featured Prophet Mohammed along with a team of other religious leaders as a parody of a rag-tag group of super heroes, a character set which has been on the show many times before, they received threats from radical Islamic groups based in New York. These extremists warned the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, that if they depicted Mohammed they will meet the same fate as Theo Van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker who made a short-documentary about violence against women in Islam and Islamic society. Theo Van Gogh was murdered by an Islamic extremist.

It seems based on this threat, Comedy Central continued to heavily censor the second part of the two-part episode. The censoring involved bleeping out Mohamed’s name, his cartoon self, and what seems to be any message what so ever that seemed like it may have agitated any Muslim extremist.

This begs the question how far can freedom of speech go? The answer is: all the way, well at least in the United States. Freedom of speech is a right that allows people to voice their opinions without fear of persecution from the populace or the government. Freedom of speech is also sometimes known as freedom of expression, which allows people to voice their creative opinion in any medium or form. Another argument brings under consideration the question that what if someone’s opinion, or “expression” offends someone, should he or she be allowed to make it? Under the law the subject under this argument has the full right to voice these opinions no matter who it offends.

In South Park’s case, if Muslims find the depiction of Mohamed offensive then they should not view such programs. When you turn on your TV and you see the “viewer discretion is advised” title, that is for you to understand that there is no such thing as “TV show producer your creativity is under discretion” well at least after 10pm. So in conclusion if people have a problem with certain media or opinion, do not view the shows, or participate in any activity that offends you, because it is not made for you. Instead of trying to change the content and going against the people that enjoy this content just do the simple thing of averting your eyes.

Author: Daanish Maan

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Sex Education and Newly Immigrated Youth

Posted on 05 May 2010 by .

It was during my first year in a Canadian high school, when I talked about it for the first time.  That was when I had a conversation about sexuality.  It was my grade 9 science class, and we were studying the biology section of our text book.  With my young mind, I had no idea what to expect.  As the teacher put forth diagrams on the board about male and female anatomy, my head shrunk in embarrassment.  The next hour or so was just a blur, and so were the conversations we had in the next few classes.  No wonder I refer to it as “sex education.” Sex education is a topic that is seldom spoken of in many South Asian households. It’s something that is both embarrassing and necessary.

With the current proposal put forth by the Liberal government, now on the backburner, the provincial government decided to take the initiative to jump start conversation about sex education as early as at the grade 1 level.  Among the vast 208 page proposal, topics such as homosexuality were proposed to be taught in grade 3.  But this idea is not without its critics.  After all, we are discussing an idea that draws the ire of many adults.  There are parents who will suggest that any topic that is sexual in nature should be left for the parents to discuss with their kids, and not for the government to meddle in.  But there are others who will say that this is a topic that unbiased experts should introduce to children.

Whatever the argument for implementing sex education at such an early level, there is one issue that will be problematic to me.  As a newly immigrated Indian in grade 7, I was very uneducated about topics that were sexual in nature.  I cannot help but wonder how far behind a newly immigrated youth of South Asian descent will be upon entering the Canadian education system.   If sex education is to begin at an early age in Ontario, newly immigrated young South Asians will have a hard time understanding such a jarring topic.

Feelings of embarrassment may not be the only issue in this case.  My experience has taught me that lagging behind in a community that is far more knowledgeable in a certain topic, can also make one feel left out, isolated.  For example, suppose the new sex-ed curriculum had not been put on the backburner and continued on course to be taught in elementary classes this fall.   If I were entering grade 4 and my parents decided to move to Canada in the fall of 2011, I would feel like an island in a lake in a classroom that had just been taught material about sexual orientation in grade 3.  I would already be lagging behind in this area.

If a new proposal is put forth by the Ontario government in the future, it should, in addition to considering the viewpoint of parents living here, consider what the situation would be like for new immigrants.  The government should be mindful of the fact that almost 250,000 new immigrants come to Canada each year. There should be a program that understands South Asian culture and imparts sex education to people.  Since it was my first time having a serious discussion on matters that are sexual in nature, many newly immigrated youth of the South Asian community may feel left out, or isolated, given they may not know much, or anything, about sexuality.

Author: Meuren Martins

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DALITERATURE Can the written word make room from the words of India’s Dalits?

Posted on 14 April 2010 by .

With her eyes closed, Dr. Arun Prabha Mukherjee, a post-colonial theorist at York University, prepares to read from Omparakash Valimiki’s Joothan. Mukherjee is credited with transporting the Hindi text to the English reader and the work, “ a scalpel penetrating deep into the flesh”, is a scar in her deepest “consciousness”. Her eyes open with a deep breath and she reveals the pain of Joothan – her students drop their pen and hold on to their hearts.

Joothan is Valmiki’s autobiographical account of growing up as a Dalit in India and Mukherjee, born in the final years of British India, has devoted much of her literary career to hearing the silences of one of the most oppressed communities in the Indian social landscape. Currently on research leave, Mukherjee says, “ I wonder in the present about the past : why did a Dalit have to pick up my shit?”

Dalits, also known as Untouchables, are the lowest class in the Varna caste system. Varna, a hybrid of Hinduism and colonialism, preaches untouchability : Dalits are ostracized as impure pariahs, born from the feet of god and hence not worthy of any respect from the higher castes. By the accident of birth, Dalits are organized within a social order that leaves them with the duty of performing menial labour, including, as experienced by Mukherjee, cleaning up excrement. Dalits, for fear of pollution, are chained to the boundaries of social life and are forbidden to engage in what we could consider to constitute basic human rights : they have limited, if any, access to water, are denied education and cannot partake in social interactions with others but those of their caste.

Although the practice of untouchability, not the Varna, was abolished in secular India’s constitution of 1949, government malfeasance has kept the hostilities alive to this day. According to official statistics, every 18 minutes a crime is committed on a Dalit : the nature of these crimes vary, but one only needs to Anand Teltumbde’s Khairlanji to realize how the bullets of rape and torture, in 2006, can bring a Dalit to death with humiliation.

“ Incredible India,” Mukherjee mocks, “ is the mantra of the time : I am from the dust of India but refuse to celebrate my own comfort in Canada as that of all other Indians.” Mukherjee is not enamoured with 21st century India’s 250 million middle class population; she is devoted to the plight of the “minority” 200 million Dalits, “ It is not enough to question if the subaltern can speak ( referring to Gayatri Spivak ) : instead, as I mention in my foreword, we need to actively make room for the subaltern to speak.”

Joothan is map through the author’s journey from childhood to adulthood as a Dalit. With pigs, dogs and naked children as roommates, Valmiki’s life in a discarded lane is punctuated with violence and brutality. Valmiki’s story mirrors that of many fellow Dalits and although some Dalits have broken the shackles of oppression, the system continues to exercise its archival authority, “ One would be mistaken to think that Casteism is dead : it is very much alive and you need only to browse through Indian matrimonial pages to realize the emphasis on caste.”

Mukherjee, as a literary activist, uses the devices of literature for a critical pedagogy on Dalits and her aim is to raise an awareness on their situation, “ There is plenty of Dalit literature, written in English, and the only muscle I have is in this field.” She is, however, concerned that this initiative will remain in the shadows of the cannons of literature, “ Voices of the oppressed are the last to be heard.”

York University’s English department claims to examine “fundamental shifts in knowledge and language within our multi-cultural, gendered and post-colonial world”. The amount of emphasis and importance given to this task is questionable. Mukherjee’s second year course on post-colonial South Asian literatures has been accelerated into a thirst year course and this, claims Mukherjee, answers the question, “ Shouldn’t the experiences of oppression be taught much earlier?”

Author: Ali Abbas

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Following My Parents Religion is a Filial Duty

Posted on 07 April 2010 by .

Religion is a very touchy subject for some people. Now I know there are a large number of people that can’t control themselves when other people talk about their religion from a “doubtful” light, I ask those people to treat this not as a “street” argument, but a professional academic debate.

Just to make a few things clear before I start, this article is not about a specific religion, but it is about all religions. This article is not a hate piece, fueled by personal or other illogical motives. Now that I have dealt with these necessary disclaimers I shouldn’t expect any hate mail, but instead I would love to receive critical and logical responses from you, the readers.

Even though I am writing about religion I’m first going to talk a bit about science and the scientific community. The world of science is filled with many theories. They are called “theories” because they cannot be proven, they can be brought to a high probability of being correct, but they are never considered facts. The scientific community understands this and they question a scientist rigorously until they fail or provide sufficient evidence that the theory becomes accepted until a better one is presented.

Now imagine a “different” world of science, where scientists don’t provide evidence to prove their theories. For example, imagine if scientists were arguing over two competing theories, that were trying to prove the same thing, but both had different explanations for it. In a real debate they would present evidence supporting their arguments and would apply logic to come to a conclusion. But in this “different” world of science they do no such thing. Instead one scientist says, “I know my theory is correct because my father told me so, and his father before him, and so on.” The other scientist would respond, “No, my theory is correct because it was privately revealed to me to be this way!” Now I imagine you would go crazy if our scientific community acted like that, fortunately they don’t.

Now, for the real argument. What if we replaced the theories with religions and the scientists with religious followers or prophets. We can’t imagine our scientists acting like that, then why do we accept it when religious people present the validity of their religions in this manner. Are religions not theories as well, that must be proven logically and with proper evidence to support its arguments?

I’m not saying people who tend to follow religions are uneducated or unintelligent, what I’m trying to say is why the double standards?

If we have expectations from our scientists to be logical and work intelligently, shouldn’t we expect this of our religious leaders as well? I’m not arguing against the validity of religions, but am asking you to question why you accept certain things without any reasons.

No, honoring you parents by following what they did is not a valid reason, because if you did then would you believe that the earth is the centre of everything because your parents believe it is so. Then why do we say I believe in Jehovah, Allah, Ram, or whatever you believe, just because your parents do?

Author:Daanish Maan

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India’s Gayze University Professor Sacked on Charges of Homosexuality

Posted on 07 April 2010 by .

Proudly revealing a potholed smile, Professor Shrinivas Siras, poses for the Indian media. He then, however, proceeds to reveal an ever deeper hole, a hole his community sequestered  him into.

Concealed in his smile is his story of being sacked for his sexuality.

Professor Shrinivas Siras

In February 2010, the chairman of the Department of Modern Indian Languages at the 1875-born Aligarh Muslim University in India , was mauled out his duties for being a homosexual. After 20 years of service, Siras, who was a footstep away from retirement, was ordered by his colleagues to vacate the university quarters in six days after an “undercover” investigation showed him having consensual sex in his home with a local rickshaw puller.

“ I feel ashamed…nobody knew about me until this incident,” Siras says to renowned Indian journalist Barkha Dutt, his eyes inebriating upon seeing his colleagues accuse him of “gross misconduct”. The laconic Siras struggles, for a number of reasons, to express his shock.

Firstly, his privacy was breached.

Secondly, the most jarring reason for Siras’ askance look is that the Indian government decriminalized homosexuality in 2009. As of July 2 2009, Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, one that criminalized sexual acts “against the order of nature”, was repealed. Gay Rights activists, at the time, enshrined this moment as “India’s Stonewall”.

It has not taken long for this shrine to be desecrated. The famous saffron-clad Yoga guru, Baba Ramdev, publically announces homosexuality to be a genetic disorder.

And in lieu of Siras’ condition, homosexuality exists in India but not the homosexual Indian. The law cannot tame the maw of heterosexual Indian morality.

The Aligarh Muslim University is a divided campus on the issue. At one end, fundamentalist religion is scripting the anti-Siras stance. On the other end, political reality is taking a stance. Srinas, now caught in the landscape of dazzling darkness, is the “devil” of the campus scene. He is not even present, physically at the campus.He is without his job and home.

Siras will be taking his plight to court. Whether he can reveal the spume of homophobia or not, remains to be seen.

A bird’s eye scan of the reports around Siras reveal that all the attention is gazed around the professor’s sexuality : India’s “gayze” does not seem to have questioned the rickshaw puller who participated in the homosexual encounter.

It is, perhaps, for this reason that Siras sees the recent tumult as an attempt to slander his career.

Writing on queer issues in India, Arvind Narrain and Gautam Bhan make a telling point, “ There is some sense of freedom in the lives of many queer people in India Today…a hesitant freedom for none of us can afford to forget how fragile the few accepting space we inhabit are.” For Siras, however, even this fragility is hard to come by. “ I am all alone,” he says to the reporters.

Caught in a netherworld void of acceptance, Siras’s struggle will wear him down. A heart patient, Siras is now even refused medical treatment from his local nurse. The stigma could kill.

Speaking to York student Ruchi Mittal about a completely different issue on India, I made a momentary mention of Siras. With a stoic stare she said, “ What?”

Author: Ali Abbas

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Cybersex Addiction

Posted on 07 April 2010 by .

Cybersex activities are not only viewing or downloading pornography along with masturbation, but also reading and writing sexually explicit letters and stories, e-mailing to set up personal meetings with someone, placing ads to meet sexual partners, visiting sexually oriented chat rooms, and engaging in interactive online affairs which include real-time viewing of each other using electronic cameras hooked up to the computer.

According to Dr. Mark Schwartz’s book “Sex on the Net is like heroin,” “Cybersex grabs people and takes over their lives, and treatments are very difficult because the people affected don’t want to give it up.”

Many people allow themselves to engage in sexual behaviours online (S&M, Cybersex with adolescents or children, presenting themselves as persons of the opposite gender) which they would never do in the real world. Spin-offs of Cybersex activities are phone sex with people met online, and online affairs that progress to real or offline affairs.

The main categories of Cybersex are; Multi-Media Software, it includes sexual games, x-rated movies, CD-ROM sound, video clips and online erotic media, text, video text and audio, Online Porn includes pictures exchanging images and files, such as audio and video and , real Time Interactions is “talking” to people about sexual topics in internet chat rooms.

Combination of internet addiction and sex addiction are relatively harmless recreational pursuits, but the affordability, accessibility and anonymity of the Internet are fueling a new psychological disorder call “Cybersex addiction” The route to compulsive use of the Internet for sexual satisfaction is fast and short.

According to addiction research many men and women are now discovering that their Internet sex has become as addictive as alcohol or drugs. Individuals who are addicted to cybersex will withdraw from their social relationships. They must hide their behavior because they fear others will condemn or reject them and often lose respect for acting against their own values, or standards of behavior, and assume others will also. Some addicts are afraid of losing important social relationships, those with family members, or that family members will lose respect for them. Also they may be afraid that their friends will reject or ridicule them.

Keeping the secret is a common thing of the behavior pattern of Cybersex addiction. Cybersex addicted constantly worry about being found out and suffering the dire consequences. They must create a veil of deceit to cover up their clandestine and forbidden activities.

The manner in which an individual responds to negative consequences that result from his behaviour gives a strong indication of whether or not he is addicted. Many obsessive individuals use the self-defence mechanism of Denial to keep from facing the truth about their behaviour. They may tell themselves “it is no big deal” or “I can control it” or “I only do it once in a while” or “I’m not hurting anyone”. Some, who have recognized their on-line sex compulsion as a serious problem, are seeking psychotherapy and other forms of help. But many others are trapped in a struggle between their uncontrollable urges to participate in sexual behaviour via the Internet and their desire to regain control and balance in their lives.

According to biochemistry research human sexual behaviour releases endorphins in the brain that resemble opiates in that they numb pain and produce a feeling of well-being and endorphin release is compulsively pursued by the sex addict.

Human brains are organized in complex neuropathway systems. The reward pathways associated with compulsive sexual behaviour look structurally similar to the reward pathways of those addicted to substances. When the sex addict starts to fantasize about his/her behaviour, or brings to mind some of his past experience, a chemical process is triggered in the brain which entails the release of those pleasurable endorphins. Endorphin chemical activities release is so powerful for the sex addict that he finds himself willing to pursue his activity in spite of the negative consequences he knows he will experience as well.

Endorphin also appears that the release of chemicals begins when the addict’s ritual begins. The chemical processes and neurological functioning and structure of the alcoholic’s brain are qualitatively and quantitatively different than those of the non-alcoholic. Something similar may be at work in the brains of those who are addicted to Cybersex.

Author: Nuwan Fonseka. Is a clinician who is facilitating group therapy sessions for Cybersex addicts with UofT.

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Divide and Conquer

Posted on 31 March 2010 by .

Such is the functioning of an irked mind, one which face questions it has no answer to, one which cannot look expectation in the eye, one which tries to mend one bridge but ends up fracturing another in the process, one which finds peace in only one of the two: either the way of the Sufis, in solitude, or in the way of the Colonials, in ‘Divide and Conquer.’

In today’s profane world, few would pick the former and most think of the latter as cruel and harsh, yet its notoriety is exaggerated, depending on the context, of course. The truth is most of our actions would fall into this category, be it knowingly or unconsciously is a different matter.

The brain, in theory, is responsible for an individual’s behavior. Other than the five basic senses, respiration, digestion and other physical functions, its more significant role is the control of the human conscience, the control of complex mental activities such as thought, analysis, abstract and sanity.

But the line between abstraction and breach of sanity is meager, almost invisible. What seems logical to one brain is a sign of insanity to another. What justice is to one brain is a criminal offense to another. Yet, in some bizarre situation, some eccentric location and at some peculiar time, what you once thought was morally wrong and blameworthy suddenly becomes apt and relevant. Only then does this individual comes to the realization that what may once have been a concrete ‘no’ to him, is not only a possible route but an indispensable path. And it is then, at that scene, time and place that the concept of ‘divide and conquer’ becomes evident.

A man struck with the utmost poverty, decides to ‘divide’ his morals and ‘conquer’ his shortcomings by stealing…
A man who’s loved one has been murdered, develops a dividing line between his thought and his emotions to allow grief and revenge to settle in their respective places, grief in the heart and revenge in the mind. In his mind he ‘conquers’ vengeance, and satiates it, which in turn extinguishes his heart’s grief. A blind man creates a clear ‘divide’ between his emotions of self-pity and his thoughts of achieving what any normal man can do. This drives him to ‘conquer’ the world without ever having seen it, through the eyes of his walking stick.

It is not only in such grave situations that one uses such a measure. In truth, everyone of us is either a descendant of one who once colonized or one who was once colonized. Centuries of intermingling and intermarriage have passed down a trait, a very powerful trait, essentially defining the notion of our very existence today.

Author:Farheen Anwar

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Indian, Pakistani or Just ‘Brown’?

Posted on 31 March 2010 by .

If you grew up in Canada, you are probably familiar with the terms “South Asian” or “Brown” or “Desi”. Back in India, all I knew was that I was Indian.

Not Pakistani.

Why the distinction? Because we split up, remember, in 1947? Because we are supposed to be bitter, sworn enemies. Because our histories are filled with blood and murder and rape. Because we’ve been fighting over the same piece of land for over 60 years. And because our cricket matches provide more tension than the Cold War probably ever did.

Then again, I never witnessed it, not the partition, not the blood. I never felt it, not the anger, not the hatred. And I never understood it, not the rivalry, not the enmity.

But still, I was Indian.

Not Pakistani.

Hang on. Why was I the rotten egg? Why couldn’t I simply hate Pakistanis like any good Indian should? I mean, they did massacre a lot of Indians (never mind the bit that we did the same). History of that scale just can’t be forgotten, can it? I don’t mean to de-value human life, but don’t we need to move on at some point.

Not just that, I had never seen a Pakistani in all my years in India, so how could I hate faceless and nameless strangers that I hadn’t even met? (Of course, that’s just a minor technicality; it shouldn’t come in the way of hate). I was always curious though. How did they look? And talk? And walk? And eat? What was it about them that made them so different from us?

After all, there must have been something that distinguishes them from me. I mean, I’m Indian.

Not Pakistani.

Then I came to York. And I met them, not just one or two, but by the dozens: faces, names, the whole deal. And it was kind of cool. (Not in the “Wow! You’re Pakistani!” way, but in the “So tell me more about yourself” way).

And all the awe that I had built up for 18 years just flashed away.

They weren’t different!

I mean, sure, they ate nihari (what is that???), said weird things like “hand ho gaya” (translation – hand happened?), called their aunts ‘khala’ and their maids ‘masi’, and often my only contribution to a conversation when I was surrounded by them was a “huh?” every few minutes – but other than that, they were the same!

And I couldn’t help but wonder, what is so different about me that makes me Indian?

Not Pakistani!

Honestly? I don’t know. Then again, considering that I sat in a room filled with Indians and cheered for Pakistan in an India-Pakistan match much before I even came to Canada, I’m probably not the right person to search for that difference. And after all these years, I don’t think I’m even looking anymore.

Why should my nation define who I am and who I’m not? Why should it have the right to tell me who are my friends and who are my enemies? Why should it tell me who to love and who to hate?

Why should it tell me that I’m Indian.

Not Pakistani.

Author: Ruchitta Mittal

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Gender Gone Wild – BESHARAM BOYS!

Posted on 31 March 2010 by .

In the South Asian space (I dare to say in the universal too) gender is a product of strict socialization, locating bodies within confines, constrictions and constructions. The birth of a body results in the immediate actions of the forces of socialization, teaching the body to be within the binary, male or female. Once the gendered body is produced any acts against this “nature” are not taken lightly – the society goes in an uproar of “ Hawww” and “ Hoos” and the family’s name is shamed for life. For anyone who has grown up within the Indian context, the leash of gender is tied tight to the neck and though it is believed that girls are pulled with greater force, males too are now being told their territory with greater force. With boys going wild and daring to be the other, the actions of gender are now being met with an equal and opposite reaction. It is indeed interesting to observe the Indian male acting outside its maleness; there is a tension here which is serving as a unique expose of “nature” and all that is considered “natural”.

The male is now doing what the female can do and this summary marks a crucial juncture of pause; gender has gone wild.

To get our thinking tuned to a wavelength it would be wise to assess the Indian male. The “Macho Man” Indian male accumulates to a walking coat of fur with plenty of meat where it matters the most – the bank! Pick up any of our past Bollywood hits and observe the ideal Indian male in action : he is gifted with powers beyond belief and has the capacity to purchase the planet. Make of this what you may and it should not be difficult for you to picture the image that each Indian male must become a mirror of. Since time in memoriam, Indian males have tried their utmost to resemble this representation by not crying, wooing girls and shaking with the capitalist grind. There is a pressure prevailing amidst this culture that requires of males to work towards this ideal and failure to do so results in a body being incomplete. There is a stack of details which explain the Indian male and the pressure to be is suffocating. Perhaps this explains why just a stroll through York University – the space of the disapora -  will tell you that this image is now slowly but surely being questioned and troubled. The Indian male around us now plays with the codes of the metrosexual, taking greater care in wiping off the grease and maintaining a smooth, subtle air. The end is not seen in the green note and a sense of artistic desire is being embraced. The space of the male is seen as fluid and everything from an Indian male’s choice of course and career is seeing change. The male is now doing what the female can do and this summary marks a crucial juncture of pause; gender has gone wild.

So what does it mean to say that males are being males no more? What will India and the South Asian region do about the males who are doing that which is not male?  These “Besharam Boys” who are shamelessly being female are walking a slippery slope and is South Asia ready to embrace this duality?

The answer to this question can proceed through many routes and one such route can lead to the battle between the past and the future in the present. India, as a slice of South Asia, boasts of a heritage that runs back centuries and the change being seen in males will result in a battle with modernity. India might begin to hear the conservative call as the changes manifested through the changing male might alert many to a threat to Indian heritage and culture. The changing male is a result of the increased proximity between bodies and land and with power being disseminated quite sporadically, India might find itself hearing a call to the glory of the past. The Indian male in the diaspora finds himself in a position of change and though these changes are making themselves visible, it is not to say that a war is not waging underneath. Again, make of this what you may, but without pointing fingers I am pointing to a point which might see the whole of South Asia warning the male of his space in order to fend off the possibility of further change. In essence, India and South Asia might be asking themselves a simple question, “ Now our males are males no more. What is next?”

This is indeed an important point to consider and as individuals of the diaspora we are located at the border of change. Indeed, gender is one of the most potent manifestations of the changes we are experiencing and far from just focusing on this change we must begin to see how this change reflects on our own side of the border. Will we be left on the edge forever? Will there be no side to call one’s own?

Author: Ali Abbas

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A Vow of An Arranged Husband

Posted on 17 March 2010 by .

I don’t know who you are, or where you come from. I have never met you so I don’t know what you look like. I don’t know what makes you laugh, what makes you sad, what makes you cry, what makes you tickle, and what makes you scared. I don’t know what book is your favorite or whether you read books or magazines. I don’t know what lipstick you wear, what color is your favorite. I don’t know what you like to eat or whether you enjoy cooking. I don’t know whether you like love stories or you are into die hard action. I don’t know whether you believe in love on first sight, or love at all. All I know is that you are out there and you are my future wife. I haven’t found you or you have not been found for me, yet. But deep down, beneath all the skepticism that I have for this system, I know you are out there. Whether you will read this or not, I write this vow, this promise that I make, not to portray myself as a poet or some romantic but to ease my own uneasiness. This world will ask you to leave your family, your home, your sanctuary, your childhood, and swear in front of a crowd of witnesses with judgmental eyes, that you, in sickness or death, in good times and bad, accept me as your husband and bind you fate to mines. I pray and I pray from the deepest depths of my heart, with all the will and strength in my body that I have, that when you take that vow, you do it out of choice not coercion. When you do make that choice, your choice, and you take that bold leap of faith:

I promise you, I will not falter, but match your step and catch you.

I promise that I will never let you drop.

I promise that I will never do anything to hurt you.

I promise that I will always try my best to make you laugh.

I promise that I will always be your rock when you feel like you are sinking.

I promise that my love for you will never die.

I promise that I will watch all the chick flicks you ever want, and yes I will cry with you when the sad part comes.

I promise that I will always try to make you laugh.

I promise that each Friday I will buy you a rose, a red one, maybe white, depends on what’s available at the flower shop.

I promise that each Saturday will be breakfast in bed. I will cook the breakfast and wash the dishes too.

I promise that when you don’t feel like cooking, I will cook the food. Don’t worry, I am already taking cooking classes, I am not that bad.

I promise that I will always listen to you, with undivided attention.

I promise that I will go shopping with you whenever you want, and I will actively participate in the activity.

I promise that I will always tell you “I love you”.

I promise that I will do all that I can for you and that my love for you will always be greater than my need for you.

I don’t know who you are, or where you come from. I have never met you. But, I believe that we are all meant for someone, so I know you are out there. I don’t care about your past, only the present and the future you have chosen to spend with me. Let these words be my vow to you, lets these words put you at ease that when you do make that choice, your choice, and you take that bold leap of faith, I promise you, I will not falter, but be there to catch you. That promise I will surely keep.

Author: Aadil Maan

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