Kapoor and Sons (2016) – Raw and Real Family Drama.

By The Gorgeous Palah Chinguz

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Rating : 4/5

Seriously i didn’t expect anything in this film and it turns out to have everything ; emotional journey, Great assemble of casts, strong plot and extra points for having fawad in the film. He’s such a Bae. I swear my head just wanted to explode because I can’t brain how wrong I am to think that this will be another cliche Bollywood film. A lot of spoiler will be discussed later on as I can’t hold myself any longer. I need to get this thoughts out of my head as soon as possible.

Homosexuality and the society’s acceptance.

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Rahul Kapoor, Arjun Kapoor and Tia Malik.

You’re kidding, right? It’s 2016 and we never had a fair share of bollywood films that tried to view homosexuality in a positive way. We mocked gays in the film and always portrayed them as too feminine and flamboyant person. Homophobic much? I get it that our parent’s generation might not accepted homosexuality and their takes on it will be it is not normal. How about our generation? Us? Millennials? Didn’t we saw that changes is coming? The cultural change can be done but it starts with us. With the right mentality, education and open mindedness, we can help them to feel that there are nothing wrong with them. It pains me to see how Fawad portrayed Rahul Kapoor , the perfect son, the successful author and the entrepreneur but still hiding in the closet. He pretended to have a girlfriend and all but deep down wishing that his mother will see right through him so he don’t have to pretend anymore. It was tiring living a double life and be a person you don’t want to be. Up to the point, he even said to his brother, Arjun Kapoor, that he’s willing to surrender his place of being the perfect son in their family to Arjun.

I wont drag my religion into it. Not to be defensive about it actually but i do believe what  you do and whom you choose to love is personal choice. It can only be between you and god. Simple as that. Fanatics, fundamentalists and conservatives might argue differently but let them be. They have no other job aside from being religious police.

Parent’s favourite child.

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Rahul Kapoor and… his father’s broken car.

If you can’t figure out whose your parent’s favourite child, that means you are the one. If you can, then it’s real. Don’t cry, your parents are human too. They make mistakes and these are one of their mistakes that we have to make peace & move on eventually. Of course they keep saying they love your siblings and you equally but ……. I think you can figure it out. Sunitha Kapoor and His husband, may not vocally said that their favorite son is Rahul but all acts pointed it was him. In this film, Arjun Kapoor is the innocent victim caught in this parents’ disease (as I called it).Sidharth Malhotra’s performance as Arjun Kapoor is not bad at all. There are moments which you could feel how unfair his parents treated him. Rahul drove and accidentally damaged the car yet their father get angry at Arjun. Rahul’s room remain intact when he’s gone but Arjun’s room being used by their mom to escape from her problematic marriage. Both of them are struggling authors but yet their mother choose to save Rahul’s career by sharing Arjun’s idea to Rahul. That’s really fucked up and no excuses could make up for it. Sunitha has her own reasons to do so , I guess but it was totally unfair.

Infidelity in MArriage.

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Harsh and Sunitha Kapoor reminiscing their fun memories.

I may not support polygamy but i know that there is no such thing as monogamy. People fell in love but they also fell out of love. When you get married, you not only need love to strengthen the relationship, you also need tolerance and compromise. I am surprised how many people didnt realized this and yet they wonder why they are not happy in their marriage. The question arose is how much longer can you tolerate and compromise, to what extend can you tolerate and compromise because for me if you tolerate and compromise too much, you’re going to lose yourself. Marriage is good for some people but if its begin to make you feel dreadful and despised it, then fucking leave. Why they bother to stay and try to save the marriage is beyond me. Rajat kapoor totally nailed the character of Harsh Kapoor ; Intense father and grumpy husband. Ive seen Rajat in his best performance especially in Ankhon Dekhi but this role also worth noting too. This is second time Ratna Pathak played Fawad’s mother and their chemistry never cease to amaze audiences. Fawad will always be the favorite son on screen, I presume especially in bollywood. What are the causes of infidelity in marriage? I just cant seem to place it mainly on the major cause.

Whenever I said Men wanted to be with younger and prettier wife, thats not necessarily true cause ive seen before whereby husband cheated on his wife with someone older/uglier than his wife. Is it because of unsatisfying and repetitive sex or lame bed skills? Could it be one of the causes of husband/wife betraying their own spouse? In this film, it was obvious that the feelings is not there anymore. Harsh Kapoor was having an affair with his colleague until he quitted his job at the bank. His wife knew the affair and thought it was over. She still taunted him occasionally but never in a million years thought that her husband is continuously meeting her behind her back.

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Overall, this is one of the good films that i’ve watched this year. Bad prediction from my side but i was satisfied the way this film turned out to be. Rishi Kapoor is amazing as a grandfather in this film. He is mischievous and playful. Rishi Kapoor take the acting to the next level by wearing prosthetic to portray someone 20 years older than his own age. Im sorry i didnt write much about him though.

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No God But God by Reza Aslan – Book Review

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

This is such an excellent book. It was well elaborated and provoking in the same time.

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My Rating : 5/5

I was raised in the environment of strictly religious sunni muslim background. Not that i wanted to label myself as Sunni Muslim (i’d like to think we are all Muslims regardless of how the individuals practices and approaches their own religion). However, reading about other branches of Islam like Shiite and Sufi definitely is a treat to myself. I have been longing to know about it but i just cant find the right book that is not heavily one sided. Usually, it will be one sided and most of the arguments stressed on how their side of religion overrule one another.

To be honest, the book is quite thrilling and challenging to me. There are terms and words that forced me to open online dictionary to understand it’s meaning. There are moment that i have to look at it’s own glossary to really comprehend what is Reza Aslan try to share with his readers. Sometimes, i have to stop for a while and absorb all the facts from his book.Trust me, this book provided me more information about my own religion than what my 5 years combined in Islamic Boarding School. In my school, all they (Ustaz and Ustazah) talked about is ritual. Ritual (in a very conservative society such as mine) somehow influenced and judged heavily on being a good Muslim. If you are reading Quran everyday, then you are considered a good Muslim. the downfall for this is reading and understand is not the same. That’s what Reza Aslan try to point out in his writing. He was very bold on writing over the controversial sub topic. He criticized how some Islamic Scholars misinterprets Islamic law for their own purpose.

I was forced to enroll in Islamic boarding school when i was thirteen. Those 5 years living in that boarding school can be sum it up as hell to me. I didnt fit in and i kind of questioned everything especially when the culture of women seclusion seems normal in that school. Having read this book, it seriously opened my eyes especially Women rights in Islam. It is undeniably underrated in Islam. When reza pointed out his arguments of veil and the symbolization of Muslim women chastity in this book, i couldn’t be more happier. Anyway, the only added advantage that i got having an Islamic educational background is i am familiar with some of Arabic terms in this book. When Reza  Aslan argued on whether Hadith is legitimate sources because of their Isnad, or on the rationality of using Ijtihad than Hadith, I understood what is meant by  Hadith, Isnad or Ijtihad. I learned it before in school.

Overall, this is an excellent reading. Everything is written in elaborated style but in the same time you can understand it. From Prophet Muhammad history to 9/11 post effect, all of it has been covered in this. Yes, this book might challenged and provoked your thinking and idea about Islam ( especially the one you thought you knew) but thats the whole point of reading it. You may agree to disagree with Reza Aslan’s points but that means you are doing some thinking of your own. Rather than accepting it wholly without questioning it, i would prefer this approach better. Yes, Reza Aslan may go a bit overboard with his writing over how shiite was formed but that’s something i can accept considering he himself is a shiite Muslim.

This book can refresh the new idea of Islam and maybe in the same time, we can embrace this long-awaited Islamic Reformation. This book is highly recommended to any non-muslims who wanted to know more about Islam.

Love not Hate, Forgive and Forget!

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu*The opinions expressed in this post are strictly the author’s personal opinions

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“You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.”
― Paul McCartney

Recently Malaysian Youth (who I assured that is mostly a moderate Muslims) has been stricken by a dogma of ‘Haram’ to touch a dog. I am nowhere close to be an “ustazah”, let me tell you that but seeing those who attended event ‘I want to touch a dog’ have been insulted and even discriminated by our own society , something inside me just died.

I am at lost. I was sad. I was shocked. I was taken aback.

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Wait a minute, Let us rewind back. Just because they touched a dog, they are being insulted and even called a disgrace, ‘kafir’ and so many more that is not very nice at all. Wow, so much for defending the so called Islamic teaching, they then turned their back on their Muslim brothers and sisters? Dear sister and brother, isn’t that forgiveness is one of the Islamic value? Isn’t that compassion is one of the Islamic value? If both are the Islamic values that we learned from primary school, Islamic school in the evening, and even until you graduated university, why the hell you didn’t practice it? (Pardon my language, I am just here trying to make a point). The ‘Keyboard Warrior’ culture in face book, whatsapp and twitter somehow dominating the ‘I want to touch a dog’ event and suddenly, everybody claimed that they are saints than those who attend it. Oh wait, no! Let me tell you this, you’re not right after doing such things. By humiliating them? uh-uh (shame on you)..

The Prophet (Pbuh) Said: The One Who Has Humiliated a Follower of Mine Is As If He Intends To Declare War on Me. (Imam Ja’far Al-Saadiq quoting the Prophet (pbuh), book of Al-Usool from Al-Kaafi, Vol. 2, Page 351)

Yes, according to our mazhab that it is ‘Haram’ to touch a dog. I am not arguing on that angle. Yes, some narrow minded people might call me infidel/non believer or asking me to repent for posting this post. However, let’s just stop for a minute and wondering the purpose of the event. The organizer has already told that the purpose of the event is for the sake of education. It is not wrong to attend and even touch a dog for sake of education. We, Muslims, are being educated to be afraid of the dogs because we cannot touch it. This situation led to our mindset to believe that they are fierce and violent. Let’s just say that you have a phobia with dog and one day, you are in a bit of situation where you had to help them? What then? Is it still Haram? Isn’t that permissible to help the poor dog? Unfortunately, you are afraid to even touch them and due to that, the dog died because we are too afraid to touch it and let alone to help it. For me, attending the event for the sake of education is no harm in it. It was okay to touch it to learn it and when the time may come for you to use the knowledge, you are prepared mentally and physically. It also helps to encourage people to be more empathetic towards animal and educating that animal cruelty is not acceptable.

The fact that people said the event has good intention but they are against it because commemorating the picture with dog seems overboard. Is it? For the event itself to take a lot of pictures of those who attend it, can you use a little brain of yours that they might use for a purpose for future marketing and some sort of promotion? For those who take the picture using their own camera, they may want to keep it as memory or recollection of being a first timer to ever touch dog. Honestly speaking, I see no harm in it. It is their freedom to do so. Are they invoking anything that religion prohibited? Before you answer it, ask yourself again what is the purpose of the event ‘I want to touch a dog’? It was beyond belief seeing the organizer has to apologize for the event that they organized after there is possible death threat upon them. What happened to my country? My country that I am so proud of for being a moderately Muslim country up to the point that I even bragged to my foreigner friends. Now, I can’t say the same. We are letting our country is driven by those extremists to the brink of fundamentalism and authoritarianism.

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I lived in the culture when parents said it’s okay to throw stone to dog ( Mind you, it’s not my parents and for that, I am grateful but I’ve seen so many people says it’s okay to do it because they are ‘Haram’). Excuse me, sir, and madam; are you out of your mind? This happened when people focus too much what is forbidden in the Islam and ignored what’s the basic goodness in Islam. As a peaceful religion, this is not the right values to instill in the followers. Let’s go back to basic, isn’t that dog is Allah’s creation? Isn’t that our religion asks us to be merciful towards animal? So why the hell did you teach your child is okay to stone the dog just because we cannot touch it, just because they are ‘Najis’? (Again, pardon my language). It is not okay. Animal cruelty is not okay. Islam prohibited the teaching that cause injury to others, people or animal.

I am a cat person. People might call me a crazy cat lady but if I happen to meet a person who abuse dog or other animals, be prepared to see my wrath. I can even scold baby if he/she happens to hurting them (pulling tails, hairs and etc). I’ve seen it before and their parents seem okay with it because they are babies. Yes, babies don’t know anything but parents, do your job. Education started at the early age and just because he/she doesn’t know anything doesn’t mean he/she cannot be taught. Be respectful to each other regardless of human or animal is the basic value of human being but sadly, we are so lacking of it.

While our society still battling the lack of concern towards animal, I was surprised to see such event is not welcomed in the society. To worsen the situation, the clerics in Malaysia all ganged up to denounce that event is Haram and forbidden while they took so much times to condemn and declare that fighting in the ISIS is not jihad and those who died fighting in the battle is not ‘syahid’. However, I am thankful to some prominent clerics that dare to differ. They argued their point sensibly and rather than strongly detested it, they asked that next time should be done in different way, more pragmatic I should say. Before I am being taunted for voicing my own opinion, I should stop here. I should put an end to my voice. Call me infidel or ‘Kafir’; I stand by my own opinion.

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credit goes to Malaysians for Malaysia

[Book Review] – A Fort of Nine Towers (2013) By Qais Akbar Omar

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

“I have long carried this load of griefs in the cage of my heart. Now I have given them to you. I hope you are strong enough to hold them.”- Qais Akbar Omar

My Rating: 5/5 (Thats because I have not been so moved by a book in a long while).
My Rating: 5/5 (Thats because I have not been so moved by a book in a long while).

If you ask me is it that GOOD to give 5 stars for this book, i would say 5 is not good enough. I cried, I laughed, I cheered and I felt all sort of emotions that the author told me via his story. This book consisted of 3 parts of author and his family story in it. The first part, you felt warmhearted imagining at the back of your head how he told his childhood story. The way he presented his point of view about his culture is just an honest expression of how he felt due to the way he was raised. He was born in the Pashtun Family and he lived together in a big house with his uncles, aunties and his grandfather is in their culture. He talked about it and enlightened those who find it such a strange culture. He described his childhood to be bright and colorful as he was surrounded by playful cousins and loving relatives. He pointed out that though his family are from Pashtun ethnic but he never spoke Pashto in the house. All of his family members are comfortable using Dari (another language that are widely used in Afghanistan aside Pashto). It is not a big deal for him because he learned Pashto and knew how to use it but he stated that he preferred Dari More. The Kite competition during his past childhood is one of the fiercest battle he ever encountered when he was a kid. He bragged about how his cousin Wakeel can easily defeated other opponent and has been named as ‘The Cruel Kite Cutter’ in their neighborhood. He cherished the moment of one of his family’s servants, Bahar helped him to win the competition by cutting Wakeel’s kite. For the author, The childhood in the big house with all of his cousins is one of the best memories he had.

The second part, you started feeling sad and wanted to help them to get through that awful war ( from Russian, Mujahideen, Taliban and American army). When the war (The Mujahideen Army) is approaching Afghanistan, The Author’s family felt that they are the savior. They had came to chase the Russian and Communism. They felt optimistic about this Army and wished that they will build back their destroyed nation. They are indeed wrong. Not long after Mujahideen’s arrival, The power struggle between factions occurred. Many died because of that. The author’s family felt they are no longer safe staying at their big house. The battle between factions of Mujahideen had turned most of them from being a ‘God’s Man’ to ‘Low-class criminal’. They robbed other’s properties and killed those who defied them. Fearing that their life will not be saved, the author’s family decided to take a refuge in his father’s friend house. They stayed there until American Army came to hunt every single Taliban army that resides in the country. The whole feeling when i read the second part is helplessness. I cant bloody do anything, I just keep moving on to the next pages, hoping the author’s family survived the calamity fell upon them. There was one scene that i deeply remembered because i truly feared that the author and his grandfather will not survived. First scene is when his grandfather stubbornly wanted to take a look at his house that he left a long time ago since Mujahideen Army came. He wanted to bring Author’s uncle originally but his uncle pleaded to wait until a few days for ceasefire between factions to happen. However, His grandfather could not wait any longer and ordered the author to go with him. When his father did not object his grandfather’s decision, he knew he had to accompany him no matter what. When they are on their way, They has been captured by Hazara’s faction of Mujahideen. It was truly a terrifying moment. They had been locked in a room where the walls are full of writing of those who ever lived in it. His grandfather knew that they are going to be killed. He told the author to be strong and in case if he’s got a chance to live, try his hardest to escape. He also told the author that those men might ‘used’ him but he insisted him to endure as surviving is more important. The author cried and asked his grandfather to stop talking nonsense. When the leader of the faction asked what they are both doing in the area, His grandfather told that they are visiting his house in the area. It turned out before the war, the leader is one of the students of the author’s father. He decided to let them go and send them both back. The author picturized the whole scene as his first death escape experience.

The third part is where the age of ignorance came and how the Taliban rules did alter the whole nation. He told what he deeply felt about them in this book. He stated that they brough strange peace into the country. How peace can be such strange thing? He revealed decrees of Taliban that insisted on Hudud Punishment and Fundamentalism of Islamic Law. No Music, No Entertainment, No Pictures, No Free Relationship between Boys and Girls, No Open Courtship and up to the extend of NO to everything. How did they governed Afghanistan? They said Yes to everything which considered good in Holy Quran. When he said strange peace, he does not mean it a good way. He felt the Afghan community and culture suddenly died and they can no longer do what they usually did. He said girls in Taliban’s time faced it much worse because they cant attend school , they have to wore Burqa all the time , they cannot work and they have to be accompanied by their male relatives if they wanted to go to other places. He portrayed vividly the moment of how Taliban used the stadium to carry out the punishment of those they claimed to be a sinner. To witness the scene of girls being stoned to death, the thieves whose hand is being cut and the murderers being shot at the head right away is one of the horrifying moments author ever had. He also reflected back the time he went to jail just for not cutting his hair according to Taliban Standard. In the jail, he was beaten by the religious officers and only to be released when he could answers all of their questions about Islam and Taliban.

According to this book, The author’s cousin named Wakeel and his grandfather played a big role in his life. He cherished both of them in temple of his heart. The wording that he put in this book to portray them both is simple yet poetic. You can sense his sincerity and tenderness in the book. The author even managed to share some of the stories of good people he met despite of war in his journey back and forth with his family.Whether it is from Hazara, Turkmenistan or Pashtun, They are indeed kind people who helped him when he needed it.

Can you see how huge this book is?
Can you see how huge this book is? The book size that i preferred is on my left (The Kite Runner Book) and in the middle one (which i tolerated because it is not that heavy).

To be honest, I hated books that had a huge size (compared to the normal size) which is for me difficult to hold it during reading. This book turned me off right away when i first saw it sitting among bookshelves in a local bookstore. I wanted to ignore the book and move on to another section but my instinct kept asking me to flip a few pages of this particular book. I turned a few pages of this book and i sighed. There is no foreword or rave review by other famous authors. I am skeptical at first but i bought it. I bought it in the sense that i loved non fiction books and above all, it is middle-eastern literature especially from Afghanistan and Iran. After reading a few chapters, I was completely blown away. I wondered how Afghani authors (Khaled Hosseini and others) can easily grasp my attention and i am completely hooked on the way he told his tale. If you like Khaled Hosseini, You should buy this book. What differentiate Qais Akbar Omar from Khaled Hosseini is he did tell the TRUE story and what really happpened to him while he was growing up in Afghanistan in a time of War. I can assure you guys that this book is indeed one of the best books i’ve ever read in 2014.

[ It Was A Good Game But….] – Germany 4 – 0 Portugal

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

It was a good game but….

Okay, Germany Won and I am so Fucking happy. Still, I felt sad for Portugal. I actually hoping them to score 1 or 2 after Germany put its 4th goal. Do not doubt my loyalty to Germany, i just want to see Portugal put up a good fight, that’s all. Anyway, listening to the commentators after the first half time time ended, it makes me wanted to write a bit about this match. Besides Portugal suddenly lose their direction after Thomas Muller scored his penalty, the referee seems bias against Portugal. I dont know why i felt it (after doing some research via google, i found out i am not alone). Even other Germany’s fans did admit its true. You know why i dont like bias referee? Thats because i cant felt wholly good anymore especially when we are the winning team. It can be used to justify why we are winning and put all the hard work that players did in the match aside.

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Above all, i felt Thomas Muller did exaggerate his pain (However, After did some browsing on the net, they said Muller was pulling his teeth and assessing his mouth injury). In my opinion, Pepe deserved a red card. Why i said so? He should have been professional and walk away from the scene. Instead, he went back to Muller, head-butted and verbally abused him. If he didnt do that, He will be fine and maybe Portugal can still score 1 or 2 goals against Germany.

Anyway, A man of the Match is Thomas Muller (For being the only one to score freaking 3 goals).

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WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A ‘LEGAL RELIGION’ OR AN ‘ILLEGAL RELIGION’?

Opinion by Ruby Chingu

I woke up this morning to a very interesting newspiece. Not sure if the news has been confirmed to be true or not but it is all around the internet.

http://guardianlv.com/2013/11/islam-banned-in-angola/

My friend posted in Facebook this news article on how Islam is now banned in Angola. It is a religion practiced by a very small percentage in the country. Not sure how a religion can be banned through the correct process of law but somehow it did, or at least the Government made their intentions clear. But their Constitution guaranteed the fundamental right to freedom of religion. Surely, this shall include the freedom to practice Islam.

Being a proponent to secularism in the context of public governance, I disagree with the banning. Yes, I am a Muslim and of course my sentiments could be a little biased. However, even talking from the point of view of a secularist, the banning for one to choose and practice their own conscience is considered wrong. Of course people would argue that certain extremists of any religion would go to the extreme and harm other people. That is true. Then punish those extremists and not the average citizens who are just trying to live their lives.

How does one ban a conscience? How does one actually legalize a conscience? Or maybe the conscience is beyond the law?

We can never dictate on how one’s mind shall work. Notwithstanding the passing of any law, people will believe what their hearts want to believe. We can never impose to other people that what we believe is right, for what we believe may be right to us but wrong to others. Each are given their own unique experiences. And how they shall deal with those unique experiences should be up their own choice.

*this short opinion is too serious of a topic for me this morning, considering I have yet to have my morning coffee. Gaaah!! Where the fuck did I put my Starbucks card??*