PQ’s Charter of Quebec Values: Secularism or intolerance?

Coercing people to change in ways that causes much pain – e.g. – forcing a Sikh man, who provides service to the people of Quebec, to take off his turban under the duress of losing his job, for some unnecessary, vague reason that does not justify such pain, is disturbing. That way this proposed charter betrays a level of insensitivity or worse a lack of understanding of the minorities of Quebec by the government’s and the ruling party’s leadership. It takes one back to French Philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville’s definition of democracy – a tyranny of the majority.

It is about individual freedoms – the right to live according to your cultural sensibilities, customs and traditions that are dear to you. If they are not harming others then how can people be asked to abandon them. It would lead to loss of identity which is already under stress amongst many, and have longer term social, political and economic consequences. There are issues of diversity, human rights and justice at stake here. It has less to do with loss of faith. Moreover if dress or symbols do not matter as you say then why worry so much about them? Canada has a rich tradition of diversity, openness, acceptance, tolerance, compassion. This charter threatens all that. I have lived in many multicultural societies ostensibly less free – Singapore, India, Dubai – but never did I see before a Malay or Indonesian woman, to name two examples, being asked to remove her head dress because she was a public servant.

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golden words for writers

If you are like me – a struggling writer desperate to put together his first draft, who needs something every now and then to keep ploughing through then these quotes are for you

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Suffering in Creativity

What is to give light must endure burning

  • Viktor Frankl

 

 

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how

  • Nietzsche

 

 

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in suffering

  • Nietzsche

 

 

Dream No small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men

– Goethe

 

 

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live

  • Goethe

 

 

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought, what is necessary is to think them again

  • Goethe

 

 

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone

  • Goethe

 

 

Every true genius is bound to be naive

  • Schiller

 

Great souls suffer in silence

– Schiller

 

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What is to give…

What is to give light must endure burning
Viktor Frankl

He who has a why to live can bear almost any how
Nietzsche

To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in suffering
Nietzsche

Dream No small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men
– Goethe

As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live
Goethe

All intelligent thoughts have already been thought, what is necessary is to think them again
Goethe

The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone
Goethe

Every true genius is bound to be naive
Schiller

Great souls suffer in silence
– Schiller

If we cannot avoid suffering, it is necessary to give it a gilt edge. I will put a whole series of quotes on the theme of suffering and creativity in a separate post…

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Inspiring Quotes

Reading a beautiful quote is like a throwing a ball to your soul.

 
The modern life has spoilt our reading habits; we simply do not have time to read many good books and writers. So I put the next best thing – famous lines that read like literary aphorisms –
 
 
 
 
*
 
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Blogging and literary fiction: foes or friends?

I find that I get sucked into worlds as if they were black holes or whirlpools; I can only ever focus on one project for long periods of time. For the past year I have been sucked into the idea of putting together my first novel, and so although I had started this blog with the best intentions – or perhaps re-started it, I don’t remember now, but I think it was the latter, with a new name etc. – and the promise of regular posts, I have not been able to keep the promise.

Writing, however, like other big things is a matter of faith, so I try again. One challenge to this faith has been on how to blog and write literary fiction at the same time as the two styles are very different and I worry about mixing up the two. As I write this I have had a tiny illumination that is making me see a bit of the way that would allow me to develop and keep the two styles without using the wrong style on the right platform. The other worry is the one about spoiling my style by blogging (this is a genuine worry for me) and the habits of long, arduous, pondering and constant re-writing that a novelist like me needs to solidify. One solution to these problems is to think of blogging as talking about my literary experiences – not merely the real challenge and comedy of writing and finishing my first novel, but also the experiences of the aspiring writer as a person involved in the writing process, and writing for the blog – quick, non-ponderous, easy, imperfect, non-literary, ninety-minutes a day.

I invite everyone to think of this post as a conversation and participate in it. My next post will be on the challenge of finishing the manuscript that I have been working on for the past three years…

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Tablet blog

So I just bought a tablet, and I am writing this, my first blog on tablet. I hope this makes meblogmore frequently. Last few months have been consumed by my book project, however, I hope I can yet revive this blog and make it a little more popular

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this is a commendable effort to translate old Hindustani film songs, which were compelling for the profundity of their lyrics primarily but also for their melody and rendition

Mr. & Mrs. 55 - Classic Bollywood Revisited!

In my opinion, I think one of the best parts about being a fan of old Hindi music is that it gives you a fun opportunity to brush up on your Urdu-Hindi language skills. From time to time, Mrs. 55 and I have decided that we will share some of our favorite song lyrics here and provide a glossary and translation so that everyone can follow along!

Our first song is “chalo ek baar phir se,” which is an absolute gem from the 1963 film Gumraah directed by B.R. Chopra. Arguably the best song of his career, this composition was rendered by Mahendra Kapoor, an excellent singer who ultimately carved a niche for himself in the industry after emerging from his initial fame as a Mohammed Rafi clone. The real star here, though, is Sahir Ludhianvi, who was truly one of the most gifted poets that has…

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A writer’s blog

Like my writing, this post happened spontaneously. I had no plan to write one but it just happened, and as I write it it’s not coming out exactly the way I thought it would. If you are reading this and are a writer yourself, you know what I am talking about. But, I have to try to get back to my original thought, after all writing and blogging are partly the result of a tacit commitment that writers make, which then, one day, turns into a blog like this one.

I had started writing this post a few days ago, because, as a typical writer, the overwhelming issues in my life turned themselves into a monologue, but I never got down to writing them down. The moment passed. Something distracted in that window of inspiration, and although I remembered what it was that I wanted to say, I didn’t feel compelled to put it in words anymore. However, as I had begun this post, something prevented me from deleting it and it has remained open since then, from a few days ago. Every time I open my laptop, I see this open page like an unfinished building. It bothers me. So, to put this unfinished project behind me, I decided to populate the page a little, save it, publish it.

It is funny that my desire to reconnect with the world had made me start this blog afresh and rename it. But since then, I went deeper into my book-length fiction that has consumed me totally; when I am not working on it (which is most of the time), I am worrying about it. The withdrawal, then, that I meant to balance with this blog, has become more complete, and I did not post anything for the past few months. During that time I have often thought about this blog. Part of me has wanted to put up a new post.

 

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colours

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