Too sacred for them to be hold, To pure for them to understand.


“A secret locked” is supposed to mean, a Muslim woman’s beauty, which she has kept under her physical hijab, “A tale untold” is supposed to mean her personality which she has kept reserved with her inner hijab which is her sense of modesty Wedding Night of a Muslim Woman My secret locked, a tale untold,The only key, within your hand,
Too sacred for them to be hold, To pure for them to understand.
Tonight I tell that tale to you,An open book for you to read,Your book, I yearn to read it too,And share each breath, your every need.
Gone the lonesome years, weeks, days,For now our hearts have taken flight,
You look at me with longing gaze,And I, at you with shy delight.
Love me; love all that I am,Cherish me as precious treasure,
Teach me with gentle guiding handEndlessly seeking His pleasure.
Poem By Fatima Barkatulla

So finally our Bebo has become a Begum with a handsome Nawab to call her own. And yet another Bollywood romance has got a fairytale  ending. Not even the most talented script writer churning out hit after hit could have improved on this magical plot that started at a film shoot in the mountains and has ended in a historic palace in Pataudi. But then, Kareena Kapoor has always been a princess, and insisted on being treated like one right from the time she made her movie debut. Even in ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’, Bebo played Princess Poo – a role that in many ways stamped her for life! Once she was launched in right royal style by Karan Johar, she has never had to look back. Kareena has led a charmed life all right. And it seems only appropriate today that she glides seamlessly into her latest role as a bona fide titled lady, surrounded by all the frills that go with her brand new status. Not unlike her mother-in-law, Sharmila Tagore, who evolved into Ayesha Begum with enormous grace, without ever giving up the quintessential Rinku within her. The similarities don’t end there.  Kareena too will be a full time working Begum, managing her duties as the custodian of the  Pataudi legacy, while deftly juggling her crowded movie calendar. She is after all, the new age Begum. A capable career woman and caring wife to an equally busy Nawab saab. This is one 21st century shaadi that will be fascinating to follow. Mubarak ho!

Even successful, beautiful women cannot afford to pick the best men; at best, they do what they can do

some people who like to shout their undying love for a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Some do so by updating their Facebook status. While there are exceptions to the rule, a great many of these “relationships” fizzle out before you can say “I love you.”

On the other hand, a slow burning relationship — often demonstrated by quiet dedication, realistic expectations and the occasional sarcastic comment about each other’s flaws — can sometimes prove to be long lasting.

I liken this to the blind devotion some *cough* political supporters show to their favoured party. In their eyes, everything their party does is right and for the benefit of the whole nation. Their party can do no wrong and is placed on a pedestal. They call their political heroes a beacon of hope for the country.

On the other side of the coin are the sceptics. Those who question the moves and decisions of a political leader. Those who aren’t afraid to voice disdain over a speech of a so-called political hero. Those who can throw their support behind a political party yet maintain a critical eye over the said party’s every move.

I wonder which kind of support augurs best?

While it’s great that some people sing “All you need is love” (it makes for a wonderful chick flick moment), couples who remain supportive yet not blinded by imperfections are the ones to bravely work out their differences.

At least, this seems to be the case, as opposed to couples who are blinded by that thing called love, hence being in love with a figment of their imagination, only to call it quits when they realize not everything is going according to the fantasy they had mapped out in their mind.

Likewise, Malaysia has its fair share of blind devotees. Those who swallow national propaganda blindly and sing praises come what may.

Those who protest and demand a better Malaysia are deemed by authorities as ungrateful.

Let’s make one thing clear: Protesting does not mean you love your country less. It means you’re not seeing through rose tinted glasses.

You’d find that there are some who claim to be “grateful” to the government are the very ones who do nothing for the nation –  except perhaps accept handouts. While those who have the courage to voice dissatisfaction are the ones taking part in vigils, donating to funds or charities and attending talks and seminars.

In the light of a romantic relationship, in this case with our very own country, we must ask ourselves if we want blind devotion or a slow burning relationship.

Is it too far-fetched to compare those in certain positions demanding blind devotion to chauvinists?

There was something about the Kareena Kapoor-Saif Ali Khan wedding that didn’t ring quite right! Much as I looked for a glow on the bride’s face and pride on the groom’s, all I saw was a ‘let’s just do this’ look! I was disturbed by an elusive, nagging doubt, an unreality to the situation. What was so disturbing? An age gap of 10 years is no big deal, and married men do go for younger, more beautiful women.

But there seemed a desperate edge to the situation, a kind of ‘have-to-will-do!’ A person as spontaneous and fun-loving as Kareena deserved a wedding as blissful and fairytale as Kate Middleton’s, but she seemed to have been caught in a situation! And her ‘Prince Charming’ Saif’s past loomed large at the wedding in the shape of his 19-year-old daughter Sara Khan.

Sara’s presence served to highlight the fact that superstar Kareena was marrying the father of another woman’s children, and the high-profile celebrations seemed much like dancing on a family’s grave. If it had been a quiet wedding like Aamir and Kiran’s, keeping in mind the sensitivities of Saif ’s grown children and his own age, it would have been a different matter; the high-profile event spotlighted issues one would normally shove under the carpet. Saif was revealed as a man who had turned his back on his own family, and Kareena a woman with little choice.

Add to that the fact that never after Raj Kapoor and Nargis has one seen the kind of sizzling chemistry that Kareena shared with former beau Shahid Kapoor; it’s the stuff dreams are made of; a connect that happens once in many lifetimes. Of course, you move on and life moves on, but there are some things that just cannot be replicated.

Let’s face it, a formerly married man with grown children is hardly any single woman’s dream dish. Yes, Saif is rich and belongs to an illustrious family, but he comes with a lot of baggage! And ideally, a successful, beautiful and talented woman like Kareena should have had the pick of the best. However, the question is, if not Saif, then who? Kareena’s choice is a sad comment on choices that lie before every young, successful, beautiful Indian women — she did not have a pick of the best; she made a compromise, and was compensated with status and wealth. In Bollywood movies, the heroine never marries a divorcee, nor does she chase a married man. However, the desperate reality is quite different. It’s certainly not true that the sexiest and most beautiful Indian woman will get the best pick. If she wishes to remain in the reckoning and carry on with her profession, she needs to choose an equally successful man who will let her follow her dreams; this itself narrows down the choice so much as to make it almost impossible. So then you forget the man of your dreams and just do what you need to do — whether it is to settle for second best or break up a home!

It is now many years since Dream Girl Hema Malini made her desperate choice to marry an already married man with grown children, but we don’t seem to have moved on at all! Sridevi walked into Boney Kapoor’s marriage and went into hibernation herself, only to emerge years later with a grown daughter and a hit that showed us how much we missed her. Another successful iconic woman, Sania Mirza, also had to make her own compromises to get a man. Priyanka Gandhi too could have done much better for herself.

Comments a single friend, “So, successful, beautiful Indian women are not the epitomes of ideal emancipated womanhood after all. A person like Kareena seems to be as desperate for choices as I am. The pity is she was gutsy enough to go for a non-entity as boyfriend, but for whatever reasons, has ultimately settled for the beaten path.

Oho! Love happens. And it has happened. That the love birds happen to be Bilawal Bhutto and Hina Khar, makes this particular ishq-vishq saga most riveting, especially to those of us across the border who have recently been exposed to Khar’s irresistible charms. So irresistible, in fact, that our dapper foreign minister, S M Krishna, who went totally latoo over the lovely lady, behaved like a smitten schoolboy, drooling in her alluring presence and forgetting all about the Indian agenda.

It’s possible he is nursing a broken heart even as young Bilawal (23) and Hina (34) deal with the storm that has been unleashed in Pakistan after a Bangladeshi tabloid ran a juicy expose on the scandal. Bilawal is a bachcha Majnu to Hina’s seasoned Laila. Reports suggest that President Asif Zardari is far from amused by his son’s dangerous liaison with his external affairs minister. Not only is Bilawal the chairman of the ruling Pakistani People’s Party, but he is also the nominated heir to his mother’s and father’s respective legacies. If the love-struck chap does indeed push off to Switzerland to begin a fresh chapter in his life with the begum he adores, the repercussions of such a decision could prove very costly to the government.

The buzz in Islamabad is that old boy Asif plans to rein in his handsome son, and perhaps sack the seductive Khar. Spoilsport! Really Asif miya, we expect you to be far more understanding, given your own personal history. Look at it this way – Bilawal is seriously cute. And loaded. Hina Khar is seriously gorgeous, and married to a loaded guy. Feroz Gulzar, Hina’s smart husband, has rubbished the scoop and called it ‘social media gossip’. Yes, there is an 11-year age difference between Bilawal and the luscious mother of two. So what? Some of the most enduring love stories in the world have been similarly scripted. Think about it – Hina is keen to take the relationship forward, as her love notes to Bilawal establish. Now that their secret is out, there’s no stopping this pyar ki jodi.

‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ is how we put it in Bollywood lingo. Hina has apparently told Asif to keep his nose out of her ‘personal matters’. This is remarkably gutsy of her, considering it was Zardari who found the two in a ‘compromising position’. Known for his fiery temper and happy relationship with guns, it’s a miracle that the president didn’t reach for his favourite weapon when he walked in on the lovers at his official residence. Instead, he tamely asked for Hinaji’s mobile phone records! No point in such a silly exercise, considering the lady has not bothered to deny anything!

The real fun starts now. Will Zardari have the guts to fire his minister-sahiba? What charges can he frame against her? Will he send Bilawal into exile? Where will that leave the PPP? More importantly, since Bilawal is the one with access to his mother’s considerable (but undisclosed) wealth, how can Daddyji kiss the impressive funds goodbye? Unfortunately, the most dispensable member of the cast is Feroz Gulzar. But blowing him away serves no purpose – it will be one more body in an overcrowded morgue.

There is, however, one solution: India could immediately step in and offer a safe haven to the lovebirds. Why go to Switzerland when there is India? We can create an attractive destination for their nikaah. Maybe throw in a luxury houseboat on Dal Lake for the honeymoon. Sarpanches in Omar Abdullah’s state may not be safe. But he’ll take good care of his mehmaans from across the border. After all, when it comes to matters of the heart, Omar knows a thing or two about unbridled passion.

Apart from asylum in India, we could make life a lot more fun for this couple. As neighbours, we owe them this much. Cross-border romanticism is so much more civilized than cross-border terrorism. Hina can happily shop for pearls and more Birkins in our luxury malls. We can get her to host a talk show and perhaps, design a signature fashion collection. Bilawal could consider Bollywood. This is a fabulous, heaven- sent opportunity to strengthen bilateral relationships between the two nations. Hina Khar has already charmed half the country, and reduced S M Krishna to putty. If India can manage to bag two for the price of one, it will rank as a major political coup.

Come on over, you two. Your honeymoon suite is waiting!


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