The IPL experience.

22 Apr

Kohli, Yuvraj, Kallis, AB De Villiers, Shakib, Gambhir, Malinga etc — should be a great day for cricket right? Wrong.

The thing with IPL is that there is no dearth of big names. One goes, and another arrives. But great players being involved doesn’t mean great games will be played. This was the first time I was going to watch a match live in the stadium so obviously I do not have any reference for comparisons, and that wasn’t such a bad thing after all. That would leave me unbiased.

The Group

There were 22 of us going together. Majority of them married. There were two children under 4 year old. The guys were mostly dressed in Blue t-shirt and blue jeans. [Everyone bought the same t-shirt so we would appear on camera apparently. Unfortunately or fortunately our t-shirts matched the colour of the seats of the stadium. So the camera would hardly pan on our direction thinking they were empty seats though they weren't. Empty seats don't dance on the aisles. True story. This is lot of information within brackets. Okay I'm closing this bracket now!] See, I closed the bracket. I am a man of my words. Okay, where was I? So we were a group of 22, 21 of who were Indians. I was the odd one out but that didn’t change anything.

Getting there

We took a metro to Mall of the Emirates and then went from there to the stadium in cabs. Dubai Cricket Stadium is like an oasis in the middle of a desert. For a modern top level cricket stadium, they could and should really do a whole lot of work with parking. Also plant some tress please. The surroundings were an absolute eye sore. And dust flying around, meant there were literally eye sores. We didn’t want to get stuck in the traffic so we dropped off from the cab and had to walk a 2-3 kilometers. This meant we missed the toss and the first few overs of the match. Food and drinks were being confiscated unless there were kids along and that meant the security people or whoever the food will go to will have a big big party.

Finally we entered the stadium. It was clean. And the stadium was buzzing! There was definitely a good atmosphere. We went in and started looking for place to sit. We weren’t given seat numbers and that meant you sit anywhere you want within your zone. As we were climbing the stairs we saw Vidya Malvade, who starred in Chak De India along with SRK [I first thought it was Suzanne Roshan...]. So we went and sat just under the VIP enclosure where Vidya was present. Anything to get in front of the cameras eh? It was also an area where the sun wasn’t shining and that is always a plus. The ground was 3/4th full. One section of the stadium, on which the sun shone brightly, was almost empty.

ImageVidya Malvade supported Bangalore. Also present is a Kingfisher Beer can.

The matches

The MI vs RCB match

The MI vs RCB match

The first match was between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore. It was very very boring. Mumbai scored a sub par 115 with no 6′s in 20 overs. Bangalore chased it easily and hit one six. 40 overs of T20 cricket. One six. Definitely not exciting. Also didn’t help that Kohli and Yuvi got out for 0 each, so that was meh. Malinga, meanwhile, was a crowd favourite. Got the most cheers and crowd got behind almost every ball that he bowled.

KKR vs Delhi Dare Devils

KKR vs Delhi Dare Devils

It was the second match I was more interested in. Shakib al Hasan, the only Bangladeshi to play in this seasons IPL was playing. Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla came to watch the match as did Shaikh Nahyan. Also saw Wasim Akram live so that was awesome. Kolkata lost the match but Shakib performed well so that wasn’t all lose lose.

The crowd

The crowd kept decreasing as the second match started. It was understandable as the next day was a working day. By the time the match ended, out of our gang of 22, only two remained. It was my first match and I wasn’t leaving it half way. My room mate had the same idea so we returned home at about 11:30 pm or so. The crowd had a lot of energy in the afternoon session but for the second match everyone was dead tired. The DJ tried to infuse energy but it didn’t work.

Crowds left at the beginning of the second match

Crowds left at the beginning of the second match

The good, the bad, the ugly

The good: Ticket prices for a double header is just 50 dirhams. That’s for 7 hours of cricket featuring top stars. Its an amazing deal.

The bad: While ticket prices were dirt cheap, the food and drinks are just way too much expensive. Picture this: A small bottle of Pepsi costs one fifth of the ticket money! Insane. The vada pav was average. Not bad actually. The chicken briyani doesn’t deserve to be called briyani. It was just dry rice with two pieces of fried chicken which wasn’t juicy too. Foods shouldn’t be criticized though, so alhumdulillah for the food.

The ugly: Didn’t see any place for offering prayer. A man was performing prayer just a distance away from entrance of stadium. Parking facilities need to be upgraded. Cars were getting stuck in the sand and that wasn’t good to see.

The last word

I’m a big cricket fan. I think about the game when I watch it. What I would have done if I was the captain. I follow the game closely and watching in a stadium is all about the atmosphere and not all about the game. I don’t think I would want to watch an important match in the stadium. I would rather watch it closely, watch the replays of it on TV, hear what the commentators have to say etc…


Till the next time,



Lets combat Evil!

18 Apr

Combats Evil!

I shall reward him

15 Apr

`Umar ibn al-Khaţţāb, the Prophet’s Companion, relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) told how a man once said, “Lord, I praise You as befits the majesty of Your face and the greatness of Your power.” The two angels accompanying that man could not evaluate the remark and referred to God Almighty, who commanded them: “Register it in his record as he said it, and I shall reward him as he deserves when he returns to Me.”

From Syed Qutbs, Under the shade of the Qur’an

The harm of haraam love.

15 Apr

My father is a diabetic patient. He has been one for the last 20+ years. And with time that led to knee complications, eye sight problems, and recently to kidney failure leading to him having to undergo dialysis twice a week. Now he has to follow an extremely strict diet, but he does not. He does from time to time and slips from time to time. Shows how difficult it is to form good habits…But that isn’t the topic of the blog.

If my father were to tell me to regularly exercise and watch what I eat, things that he hasn’t done regularly, would that be hypocrisy? I don’t think so. It would be genuine concern and the willingness of a father to want the best for his child/children.

If a person who has been smoking for years learns that he has lung cancer…and then tells others not to smoke, is it hypocrisy? No. Its just that they don’t want others to repeat their mistakes. Life is short and we do not have the time to commit all the mistakes and derive lessons from them. Where that leaves us is we need to derive lessons from those that have been there and done that before us. The good and the bad.

That brings me to what I want to blog about. Haraam love stories. I have been Bollywoodified at an young age. Every weekend in one of the Arabic channels a Hindi movie would be played and I would watch it….from when I was 7 or 8 years. Shah Rukh Khan slowly stretching out his hands.. the Romeo here is named Rahul or Raj. Names that sounded easy to the ears and were easy to remember. The actress of course is hard to please. Its love at first sight for the guy but not for the girl. The girl needs to be wooed. And woo, the hero does. He is the hero after all.

A few romantic lines, insane  amount of stalking (physical stalking since Facebook/Whatsapp/Twitter weren’t available in those days) and a few songs later the girl is in love with the guy too. They cannot live without each other. The family is usually the villain, especially the girls dad. He is not diabetic and neither does he have kidney problems. He is a rich businessman who dedicates zero hours a day to business. How delusional movie watchers are…

…And how delusional I was. To believe in all that. They became my heroes. Dialogue-baazi was practiced and now it needed to be put into action. And where else but school. Contrary to movies though, these days relationships are easy to form and easier to break. I’m talking about pre-marital relationships of course. They have become a joke..actually wait, no. They have always been a joke.

Which brings me back to my ramblings about how we need to learn from others mistakes. And just because they have done a mistake, if they advice us, it doesn’t necessarily mean hypocrisy. The harm of haraam relationships are many. Its tough to forget and even if you do forget, shaytaan makes sure he reminds you of the “good” old days. There is nothing good about anything that takes you from Allah. Now, all this is realized later of course. And then you try to warn your younger friends. Your younger mates who you see as brothers. But they hate you for it. “Tuney mazay ki hai, hum kyun nehi?” You had your share of fun, why not us?

Why not us? Oh I wish I was in your place. And having the chance to undo anything I have done that have distanced me from Allah. But.. there are a lots of buts. There are regrets and there have been repentance. And Allah knows best. Perhaps we cannot stop everyone. Each one of us will make our own mistakes [our own mistakes?!...students of OOEHS, no pun intended), despite being warned of. And will learn in their own way. And will get their heart broken. But when your heart gets broken, make sure you fill it with something priceless. Make sure you fill it with the love of Allah. A broken heart is better than a hard heart and the pain and suffering might be good for us...if only we understand and become people of patience. There shouldn't be any intention or will to do anything haraam but if there is, find a halal alternative. There always is a halal alternative.

Once you have your heart broken, make sure you fill it with something priceless -- the love of Allah.

Once you have your heart broken, make sure you fill it with something priceless — the love of Allah.

The imam of my masjid is an old pious man. His sunnah style beard is completely white, though his face isn’t wrinkled at all. In fact age doesn’t show on his face at all. His wife has been sick for quite a while and yesterday after a short bayaan (lecture) of Tafsir of an ayat (verse) from Surah Baqarah, he started making dua (supplicating/praying). And he prayed for his wife. Such beautiful words he uttered… and such was his love, so pure and beautiful, that his prayers were combined with his tears, and the tears of those who were attending and listening to his duas. It was beautiful. Such pure love. He said that maybe my wife has asked from Allah such blessings, that can only be given if she has to suffer in this world. He said, “O Allah. You’ve never disappointed me. I place all my hopes on you. O Allah you test people, but I’m incapable of facing any tests.”

It was a pretty long dua. It was an extremely emotional dua. It was an extremely beautiful dua. I wish I could remember more of it. But I got caught up in the moment and emotion. A man openly (and secretly) crying out to Allah. I don’t how many of you have seen that, but that is one of the most beautiful sights.

As usual, my post is not very coherent. I always intend to write coherently, and I fail to do that regularly. But it is from the heart, so be it.

I could go on writing about this and maybe I will write more about the effects of haraam love. Alcohol is haraam for us and that destroys just one person (on a social level more than one person obviously, but talking about individuals here). But a pre marital relationship, two are involved. And if they are popular, more get attracted to committing the same sin. May my Allah keep me away from all this and forgive all of us for our past mistakes and short comings. Aameen.

Till the next time,



15 Apr
...burning out

…burning out


13 Apr

Assalamualikum! :)

Very often amidst all the comforts in life, amidst all the gadgets, amidst all the status updates and tweets and private messages and texts, amidst the rush of daily life, amidst the shiny, glitzy, flashy lifestyle, amidst the abundance of food and drinks, amidst all the modernness of our modern world — we forget that we are slaves. We are slaves of Allah.

Below is a story I read from Aashiq-e-Sawdiq [The true lover of Allah Ta'ala] — A discourse by Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum).

Hazrat Ibraheem bin Adham (Rahmatullah ‘alaih), a great Wali of Allah Ta’ala, once mentioned having learnt the method and
etiquette of servitude from a slave he had purchased.

Hazrat Ibraheem bin Adham (Rahmatullah ‘alai h) asked the slave: “What is your name?”
The slave replied : “That which you give to me.”
He then asked : “What would you like to eat?”
The slave replied : “Whatever you give me to eat.”
He then asked : “What would you like to drink?”
The slave answered : “Whatever you give me to drink.”
He asked : “What would you like to wear?”
The slave replied : “Whatever you give me to wear.”
He then asked : “Don’t you have any desire?”
The slave in turn asked : “What does a slave have to do with desire?”

How beautiful! Its not easy of course to be give it up all. But this dunya [world] is like a sea. You need it to float towards your destination. You need it for the duration of the journey. But let us not forget that it is, but a journey. And for the travelers, if they travel light, the journey becomes easier. Reminds me of what I have read/heard often, that it is not wrong to own materials things… just do not let those material things own you.

Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb passed away on 12th July 2011 after he finished praying the 2 sunnah rakahs of Maghrib. He passed away in Makkah in the area around the Ka’bah. Such a beautiful way to go to Allah. Such are the slaves of Allah. Maulana Yunus patel Sahebs works can be found here:

Such are the treasures they have left behind…and yet the world darkens due to their absence for indeed they were the actual treasures…

Till the next time,



I do this with kids!

10 Apr


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