How DDLJ ruined my generation

First published in on 29 November 2014.

Like most Bollywood films, Dilwale Dhulania Le Jayenge ends unrealistically. The film ends with the girl’s father letting her go with her suitor, after having forever decided how she will live her life and who she will marry. “Ja Simran ja,” he says at the railway station, “jee le apni zindagi.” Go live your life. She runs as the train had begun leaving, catches Shah Rukh Khan’s hand and we get one of the most iconic Bollywood scenes.

While the happy ending makes the viewer happy, the overwhelming message of the film is inescapable: if your parents don’t let you marry who you want, don’t run away. Convince them. The obvious implication is that if they are not convinced, eloping against their wishes is not an option. Continue reading “How DDLJ ruined my generation”

Pakistan police finally admits: we got Mumbai Romeo who came looking for Pashtun girlfriend

First published in on 5 January 2015.

The police in Pakistan have told the Peshawar High Court that they had indeed detained Mumbai resident Hamid Nihal Ansari in 2012, and handed him over to intelligence officials. This is the first official word about what happened to Ansari, went from Mumbai to Kabul and illegally crossed over into Pakistan to look for a Pashtun woman he had fallen in love with through the internet.

Ansari had disappeared soon after he had checked in to a hotel in Kohat, a town near Peshawar, on November 14, 2012, and has since been missing.

But in an affidavit to the Peshawar High Court, made in September but released to Ansari’s parents only recently, the Kohat police has said that the young man was “netted down by local police” on the “information and pointation [sic] of Inspector Naeem Ullah of IB [Intelligence Bureau], Kohat”. Continue reading “Pakistan police finally admits: we got Mumbai Romeo who came looking for Pashtun girlfriend”