Apr 14, 2013

Belated response to a Muslim reView of Confessions of a Gambler

When you write a book or a script and make a film it generally gets reviewed. If the writer disagrees with the reviewer about the content he can respond to the review or let it die a quiet death, which is better. Some would say that one should not really take reviews seriously as it would appear that you cannot take criticism for your work. However, getting ready to move to New Jersey and unpacking boxes and a stack of old mail I found a review of the film which I must have missed at the time it first came out.

Insolence and sexuality

I was astounded by the review. It was scathing to say the least and the more I read, the more I marveled at the reviewer’s ability for accuracy and detail, as well as his preoccupation with Abeeda as a gambler, adulterer and confessor rather than as a character. No doubt, the publication of the book surprised a large majority of Muslim readers who thought the book was an outrage. Women on the other hand loved it and wanted more of the same. They loved the main character Abeeda who was insolent, immodest, had low impulse control, and was getting off far too easily. Should “sinners not at least hide their sins and be more severely chastised in society?” 

Confusing fact and fiction

A review of the reviewer showed his personal dislike and frustration for the kind of woman Abeeda was and that sometimes he forgot that she was a character and not real.  His job as a reviewer is to deconstruct the character and the plot and tell us why she was so impulsive and why she did what she did. She is brash because she is supposed to be.  It is a film, and make-belief. In real life, the writer/actress has moved on and is a reformed gambler.

Film Review - Muslim Views - May 2008 - Sadiq Keraan

Apr 5, 2013

Is there life after a split with the person you love

Is there life after a split with the person you love

Yes, there is, depending on the amount of emotional and psychological damage accumulated over the years and how many times one must forgive the same mistakes. Some parties can take forever to forgive and punish you over and over for the same infraction and others are not interested in your tale of woe and pack your things while you are still at work so that you do not have to return to the house to get them. Whichever way that is done, breaking up is hard to do, is hard for the kids, and can be handled with less malice and more compassion and understanding.

In the old days
Unfortunately, relationships for the most part do not get the kind of analysis and marital repair that grandmothers and grandfathers used to indulge in. They call a family meeting of the brothers and sisters of the couple and everyone puts in their sixpence’s worth.  Sometimes these methods were well received and the couple tried harder and sometimes you were told to mind your own business. Still, the parents offered a way for the couple to meet and do some repair work on their relationship and tried to help.

Workshop your breakup
·         Treat the discussion as if you want to repair your relationship rather than just take your things and split. The other party will see it as you not caring whether you are in the relationship or not. And if you are not you should be honest and tell him or her that it definitely does not work for you anymore. Do not keep the person hanging on. 

·         Have the same respect for the other person that you had when first entering the relationship. Do not raise your voice during the discussion, wait for a break in the conversation before you jump in and smile occasionally to show that you are not bitter and trying to handle it. The worst thing you can do is fling out some past behaviour to make the other person look bad.

·         Try your grandmother’s advice by asking her outright during the meeting what she thinks. She will be flattered that you seek her advice and that her advice still matters to you and will tell you the best thing to do. Trust me. David Letterman still asks for his mother’s advice. 

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Mar 24, 2013

Review of Shahs of Sunset

Bizarre! Disgusting! Incredible! These were the words heard by viewers to describe the latest episodes of Shahs of Sunset, the latest in a series of reality programs which had popped up to whet our appetites for the bizarre. I was disgusted as I watched but needed to write a review. I had been married to an Iranian some years back, had two children with him, and felt a sort of pride that I knew a little about the Persians and their customs. 

Watching the reality show was like being at one of their parties, listening to gossip, popping truffles, sipping wine, exchanging gifts; the girls were beautiful, their dresses exquisite, hair coiffed and decorated with combs and beads. They all had fathers bankrolling their expenses; one such father drew up a list of items his daughter had bought only two days earlier – it was a shocking amount. The one daughter is responsible, the other wants to know why she should go out and work. They were gorgeous girls to look at but vapid and shallow. They know how to find a man; they do not know how to engage him. But then you don’t need much to engage the other characters.

Their lives revolve around sex, clubs, fashion, food and drink, with a dark-haired Persian leader Reza Farahan to lead them in their daily pursuits for more and more fun. By the second season their reality show is in array with expletive going back and forth. Reza and the sexy and pouty MJ (Mercedes) are great characters and have known each other a long time. They fight and squeal but always make up. GG is the slim, hot-headed one in a bikini who is quick on the draw. When she loses an argument and things become heated, she asks you, “Do you want me to take this outside?” She challenges you; she makes her voice big, but she never throws the first punch.

Of course Reza has a man in his life as well. He wants it both ways; sandwiches and wine on the beach, and a man to go with to the parties. The girls will do their shopping.  Asa will do her Persian priestess thing, talk about having no money, and plan another event not many people – other than Iranians want to see.  The person I enjoyed watching the most was Veda, the mother of Mercedes, who said to her daughter that she was not marriage material and that she would put pins in her eyes before she went out with her. This mother eats her young.  All in all Shahs is an exciting watch and despite the characters’ lifestyle and behavior, you can’t stop watching.


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Mar 20, 2013

Letter to God

Dear God
Please let this be the day that you have Mercy on your flock and strike the word Parkinson’s disease forever from your slate.  There are more than a million people around the world who suffer from this disease. They will do anything God, if you could spare them with new technology or secret ingredients that could set them free. We know you are the One God who can do anything. You do not need our prayers and do not need someone else to help you. You need but think the cure and it will be before you.

Is there a cure for Parkinson’s or is it a hoax?
Recently it came to our attention that there are hoaxers, hypocrites and scammers in our midst. They are there for their own purposes; they are not there to share or help others but to steal what they can with their eyes. Some of us do not care to know all the secrets; just the ones that can grant us good health. Only you can do that, God. We need a miracle – a recipe infused with the right ingredients and the blessings of your name. We need this special elixir to rid ourselves of the disease. We are not unhappy or complaining about the life you have given us, God. We thank you every day for our sustenance and your Mercy on earth. We have said prayers for ourselves and prayers for the ill and the dead.   Please let us know with clear signs God that you have heard our prayers and that you will answer them and bring light to those of us who are suffering. We need help, God.

For the creators of the Reversing Parkinson’s sales pitch
If there truly is a cure for Parkinson’s, may we learn of it soon and may all of us have access to this lifesaving medication. If there is no cure and this is an attempt to line your pockets with money, it is enough to leave you in God’s hands.  Remember, we have a Loving God but also a Wrathful God.

Ref Material – Qur’an, Bible
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Mar 19, 2013

PD Scavengers

These are the people who put out false information about products and condemn the very product and information that they are trying to sell to you. Here is a first-hand experience. I have Parkinson’s.  The advertisement making the rounds right now is an electronic PDF on HOW TO REVERSE PARKINSON’S DISEASE – the people behind the ad claim that they can reverse this degenerative disease that scientists have been trying for years to find a cure for and are still in the dark about. The claim that they can reverse this degenerative disease is not only untrue it is just plain irresponsible and gives PD sufferers false hope. Why would you play with someone’s emotions like that? This is their health. Parkinson’s is a dangerous, degenerative scavenger.

Reversing Parkinson’s
A PD sufferer will do anything to reverse his condition.  I am one of them. When I saw the advertisement in question I read the information four or five times to make sure I had read right. The ad stated very clearly that the sales pitch guaranteed to reverse your Parkinson’s and that you would get your money back if they were unsuccessful and it was not reversed. The ad promised that THREE ingredients would make the product work successfully.  I wrote a letter and expressed my interest. They never bothered with a reply. All this makes me ask is WHY? 

Good karma pays dividends
If you are sitting with information you know will help people, why would you not share it?  Your generosity will help someone else and that someone will help you. Karma is like that. For the doctors who would rather see you on pills than see you better: if you truly have the secret that can turn the medical industry on its heels, why not share it now? Why not tell us the ingredients and tell us how to prepare it? Where is your generosity?