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Non-fictionThis year, a ‘news anchor’ raised a question about why Muslims participate in the garba when they don’t believe in idol worship. It’s a bit like saying people should not be allowed to put up a Christmas tree if they haven’t been baptised or taken the sacrament. Thousands of non-Catholics attend the feast of Mount Mary in Bandra. People of all faiths attend the Urs of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer and the Sufi saint Waris Ali Shah at Dewa Sharif. Hindu devotees going to the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala also visit the Vavar mosque en route. That news anchor’s question poisons the breath of our country.
In ConversationEven though I grew up on a small, remote island, I was still heavily influenced by television – particularly the sort of cartoons that would play on Saturday mornings, mornings before school, after school and so on. When it comes to DC and Marvel and all of those superheroes, for me that was ignited by my late grandfather Ali Drummond, my mother’s father, who had boxes of Phantom comics. Phantom was my early introduction to the strong, powerful male being who had supernatural strength and abilities.
Non-fictionI am forty before I visit Europe, still ignorant that a century before me my great-grandfather had walked those same cobblestones. That he had fought in a war that did not reward him with any meaningful welcome on his return home. Now that I know, I yearn to go back and breathe that air, knowing that William was there.