“To a Muslim Assalam to a Hindu Ram Ram”

The other day I was humming, ‘Kehena hi kya’, and that’s when my dad asked me if I had watched Bombay, I said no.

But after watching a few videos with Arwind swami in them, I knew I had to watch Bombay.

It started off just as I expected with a soft love story of two people from different religions, who eventually ended up eloping and naming their twin boys Kamal and Kabir, almost five, and both have been raised not sticking to one religion.

 But the film took turns that I did not expect whatsoever.

The movie shows a huge part of the Babri masjid protests that happened in Bombay.

The riots, the fights, the shootings, the blasts, the innocent lives lost, and whatnot.

The beautiful thing is, not just the movie itself but also the actors who played the roles,

 A typical brahmin father Narayan Pillai was played by a Muslim actor – Nassar.

A proper Muslim father Basheer was played by a brahmin – Rajakrishnamurti (Kitty).

Shaila Bano – Born and bought up in a typical muslim family was played by Manisha Koirala who is a brahmin.

The legendary Maniratram – the eyes (director) of the film, a proper Brahmin. The ears of the film, a Muslim – A.R Rehman.

What’s more beautiful than that?

But the sad part is, Bombay is a film that was released in 1995, it’s been 26 years since – the Babri masjid was just an excuse for us to whip our weapons out. Today if not the Ram mandir then Kashmir, then cow slaughtering or even something as simple as a cricket match between Pakistan and India.

The fight started years before my great- grandparents were born, 

Generations have seen us fight against each other until we ripped the land apart and claimed it for ourselves.

There is a scene in Bombay (2:05:08) when one of the twins gets lost in the riot and a transgender woman takes him into her house to save him from the riots, and then he asks “what does being Hindu or Muslim mean? Why are they fighting?”

Just like she didn’t know how to answer that I don’t know either. Is it pride? Is it ego? I don’t know.

But what I know is that I want the future generation to see these fights and riots only as history.

                                      

“The culture of this soil is alike and same,

whom should I name whom should I blame,

for the walls we built for the wars we fought.

Were shortsightedness and narrow minded thought.

These are questions to be answered in the future,

Nobody could divide our ancient culture,

Music of Khusro and message of Nizam,

To a Muslim Assalam to a Hindu Ram Ram.”

Akhtar Jawad

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