Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hunting Myself Down

I hunted her down and killed her. What else could I do?

It was one of those days. A day when she was acting up. Giving me trouble. Holding to my skirts and refusing to let me go ahead. Crying, fitfully sometimes and sometimes with gusto. Holding my chin and forcing me to look her way.

I was tired. I had had a bad day. One of my potential leads had gone bust. I had worked so hard on the account – had oiled my way up to the buyer, dazzled him with my presentation and charmed him by my erudite speech. Looks like the erudition was wasted on him. He isn’t buying, he told me. I wish I could ask him all those why questions, the ones that are mentioned in that celebrated “How to Win Sales” handbook.

But she doesn’t let me. She is too proud. She shrugs, digs in her hands in her jeans’s pocket and tells me “Maybe he doesn’t need it. Why sell something to someone who doesn’t need it. Chuck those questions, forget this lead.”. But I must ignore her. She does’nt have to face her CEO tomorrow, I have to. She doesn’t have to fulfill those targets, I have to.

She takes my hand and sits me down. “Why do you have to fulfill those targets?”, she asks. I am dumbfounded at her naivete. “It is my job, silly! I have to sell these products.”. “Oh, your job. Of course. I guess its not the right time to ask why you have to do this job, is it?” she asks. I sigh “You know the answer to this one.”

“Yeah, sure I do. Money”, she says. “As if you wont get money if you did what you like doing best – drawing”. She is shrugging again. I hate this aggravating habit she has. She just shrugs at everything I do, as if it is not relevant, its not important. I snarl back “We have been through this before. There is no way in hell that I could earn the money I am doing right now if I was drawing.”. A wistful note creeps into her voice “I used to love it so. Do you remember the open window where you would sit? And the smell of fresh paint and the crackling paper that you used to tack on your drawing board? You used to love the effect of fresh sunlight on your subjects, remember?”. Yes, of course, I remember. How can I not remember it? I love drawing. There is nothing in the world I would rather do. I can’t resist her when she talks about drawing, even when the time is ticking by and my targets are getting more urgent by the minute. I am smiling now, just the memory of my favorite craft can make me smile. “Yes, I remember”, I tell her. “I never did manage to get the first rays effect on that darned pitcher! Not the way I saw it anyway”. She nods, she remembers it well too.

“Come, lets do it again!”, she is jumping now. “The sky is beautiful today, and the sun is just right. Lets do it, lets!”. The cold touch of the phone lying on my desk wipes the smile away from my face. I can’t let her make me forget my job and run after some stupid non-paying drawing craft. She has already taken hold of my hand and is leading me away. I stop her, “No, I cant do that!”. She is beginning to take on her ingratiating routine now, “Please, please, lets do it, I love it so!”. Time for me to be firm. I am pushing back for my hand, which is already in her firm grip. She is small, I can pull it away. “No, Gotta work”, I tell her.

Eyes flashing, she is getting into a temper now. “I know, I know. It is for that dirty filthy easy money! As if that money can buy you the first ray of sunlight. As if the money can buy you the comfort of the paintbrush in your hands. As if money can meet that hunger of yours to paint that pitcher!”

She has hurt me bad now, and at a place where my skin is thin. I whimper, “Honey, Painting would not have given me money!”

She is sneering now. I can’t stand her when she is like this, “How many days did you try your craft? When was it that you tried? You think you would not have made money because your dear Raja Uncle said so? You, you sloth, you never even tried! You just gave up, because everyone said so! Pshaw!” I cringe - “But painters don’t really make money. Whom have I known who is a painter and had made money? How do I know I could have been one? What if I was wrong? On the other hand, I knew sales people made money. I know so many sales people, all of them with big cars and big awards.”

Cold fury in her eyes, she stares into mine. “You have them now, don’t you? The big car? The award? Did any of them feel like the little ray of sunshine to you, the way it did, long back sitting on that window? No!” She is shaking now with anger and disgust “You gave up, you coward!. You traded your talent. You decided to be successful in others eyes – the big cars, the big awards. To impress your dear Raja Uncle. You did not even give your craft a fighting chance. You - you prostituted your dreams instead!”

This is enough. Just about enough. Who does she think she is? Just a little chit of girl, all of nineteen years of age. And she is calling me a Vice President of Sales, a prostitute that sold away her dreams? Yes, I wanted those cars, those awards. So, big deal! Doesn’t everyone? I am a successful executive. I worked for all those things, did I not? So what if I could not make some crummy painting? I straighten my back, and look around for a cudgel. I need to kill her, I can’t be a VP if she keeps on hankering on being a painter. She must go. Absolutely must go.

She is running now, the remnants of a triumphant look still on her face, reveling in the hurt she has caused me. I run after her. I am faster than her, and my cudgel is big and strong. There, I am now running neck to neck to her. I catch her, pin her down, hold my knee on her frail chest, and clobber her. I watch her falling silent, her blood running cold.

Now, I can continue being the same old Vice President.

A Childs Play

There is a phrase in English - A childs play. That is supposed to mean that something is so simple that it can be done even by a child. But the phrase can be turned around to mean how a child can make you play on his terms! How a child can create a “play” out of a confident, swaggering adult in minutes.

My daughter Nidhi is a “strong willed” child, a euphemism to save us parents from the shame and helplessness of admitting that we don’t have a clue on what to do with her. Nidhi is mere 8 year old, but she can put most 80 year old geriatrics to shame with her bull headedness. She knows what she wants, and she is out to get it. Never mind refusals, scores of rules, censuring eyes and multitude of time-outs.

Lets take today. That too just the morning. I woke up earlier because of my gym routine, and came back rushing to ensure that I was in time to get her to school. I had put her in bed earlier the previous day so that she could have had a sufficient shut-eye. I was hoping she would co-operate and wake up with a sweet smile. As soon as I opened the door, I yelled – Hi Honey! Wakie Wakie, Time to wake up!” and flashed a warm encouraging smile. I saw her peep from the coverlet, pretending to be asleep. No other response. All quiet. I walked to her bed, and gave her a wake-up hug, ‘C’mon, Darling. Time to go to school”. Not a flicker. The hug turned into a squeeze, ‘C’mon, girl, time to get up”. Still no movement. I picked up a water bottle and made it hover on her head. The threat of sprinkling water was unmistakably clear. Nidhi likes her threats to not only be verbalized, but acted out. She stayed put, still snug in her coverlet. I sprinkled a drop of water on the bit of the forehead showing out from the coverlet. Swissshhh….the forehead vanished under the coverlet, much like a snail withdrawing in its shell.

Shucks, it is getting late. I do my time-out routine “Nidhi, if you are not out of the bed in another two minutes, I am going to sprinkle water of your head”. My firm voice and tone got a feigned stretch-and-yawn from the coverlet, and she took her head out and said sulkily – “Don’t throw cold water on me. I am getting up”. Right, now she is listening! I wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. The threat is forgotten. The time for the time-out is nearing. I declare the just-two-seconds-to-time-out bugle cry, “ I am beginning to count, Nidhi, One Two……”. Roll, roll, thud and a quick slither – Nidhi has rolled out the bed, and before I can swoop down on her, she has crawled under it, coverlet firmly stretched over her head!

I am furious now. Furious with her because she is getting late and furious with myself because despite my firm resolve to not lose my cool in the morning, Nidhi has made me come to a boil. I yelled – “Nidhi Sunil Mandawat, How dare you take the coverlet under the bed? Don’t you know it has cobwebs and is dirty? Come out, right this minute! And don’t think you won’t go to school if you are late! If you don’t get out from under the bed, I will take you school in your pyjamas.”. I hear a snigger – Nidhi knows that when she hears her full name, Nidhi Sunil Mandawat, she is in trouble, big trouble. But she is determined to dig in her heels and fight it out. I try getting under the bed, but get stuck because the bed is smaller than my girth. I glare at Nidhi, who is smiling wickedly – she knows Mamma can not come under the bed! I give up. I decide, I really would make her go in her pyjamas. That should teach her.

I walk into the kitchen to warm her milk and cereal, and decide to wait it out. She is bound to come out in some time, the underbelly of the bed is not comfortable, I know. She crawls out – eventually, the coverlet still under the bed, and the clock very close to the danger mark. I mentally make a note to send the coverlet to the cleaners tomorrow, and ask her to at least get it out from under the bed. She feigns deafness, and walks on groggily to the kitchen table, and plonks herself there.

“Get cracking, girl!”, I thunder, “Just look at the clock!”. She puts her head down on the table, and I can hear her deep breathing again. Looks like she is going to sleep again. I turn to fill a bowl with water, and stride across to her, where she is sleeping. She will now get a bowl-drench from me, and this would wake her up NOW, I resolve with gritted teeth. I turn towards the table to do the bowl-drench, and here she is, wide awake, grinning fiendishly with glee!

“I have been awake for a long time, Mamma!” she is chortling with delight. “You asked God to give you strength, did you not, Mamma, so that you would not yell at me? I heard you! I wanted to see if God gave it to you! And He did not! He Did not!”

I don’t quite know what to say. Once again, she has managed to make an blubbering idiot out of me, over a routine thing like a wake up call in the morning. All my adult resolves, my prayers to God, my reading of books on parenting, dissolve into zero when I face this willful child of mine. But God, how I love her! I hug her, smiling, “Okay, baby, you are right! God did not give me the strength to stand your tantrums. But God gave you to me!”. I scoop her up in my arms, and kiss her, and she kisses me back, her eyes still full of mirth.

“Nidhi Sunil Mandawat, get down from my lap this minute and get ready to school”, I whisper in her hair. She smells heavenly in the morning, she always does. She trots off, and I feel a lump in my throat. She makes me play to her tunes, but how I love playing!

Living Under Dust Covers

It was the golden hour. Soft bright sunlight was pouring in from her bedroom window, creating a patch on her bedcover. She could imagine little men, photons, carrying light straight into her bedroom, yelling “Stand Aside, Stand Aside” as they rushed in to do their jobs of spreading the morning warmth. She longed to just stay in bed, and watch the sunlight for a while. But, no way, the evil clock on her head stand nudged her and she got up, pushing the coverlets aside.

“Lift up those covers, fold them and keep them aside”. Her husband instructed from the bathroom, where he was shaving his stubble. “You always leave the room in a mess, and I have to spend time cleaning it up”. He was sounding irritated now. He is right, she thought, I never like folding up the bed immediately after I wake up. Somehow the act is too harsh when I am not fully awake yet. I would like to do that after I finish my tea. But she knew from experience, he can not stand the delay. So, she sighed and got down to the job. There - the job was done, the bedcovers were folded, lying neatly, and she straightened up, tying up her loose hair and began to walk towards the kitchen – Ah tea, that what she needed just now.

“Just why cant you keep the four corner aligned when you fold up?”, he was saying, as he glanced balefully at the bedsheet-fold-up job she had done. She halted at the door, temporarily putting her need for some hot tea on hold. She looked at the folded covers. They looked good enough to her. Obviously, he did not think so. He was glowering at her now – “I simply don’t understand how someone cant figure out that the four corners of the bedsheets have to be aligned, just so. Do you know how uncouth this looks, this non-aligned bedsheet?” Ok, ok, she said – I will do it again, and she resigned herself to drinking that tea later. She sat on the bed – her sunlight patch was still there, dancing merrily with the photon men. She glanced up at him, her eyes still drowsy and dreamy with sleep and the warm golden morning “Don’t you think the sunlight is just lovely? See, the patch it makes – it\s almost a degree warmer than the rest of the sheet”, she murmured.

“Must you stand there and talk about sunlight as if it never occurs every other day? Why don’t you get some discipline into yourself, fold those sheets properly and move out to your office?”, he was practically yelling now. “Sunlight and its patterns on the bed are about as important as your neatly folded bedsheet” – she almost retorted, but held her tongue. She had lost the warm, drowsy look in her eyes now. Proper sheet folding done, acknowledged by an exasperated sigh from him, and she walked out, pushing her feet in the slippers.

“Don’t wear those slippers to the bathroom. I have just wiped the bathroom clean. Yours are so dirty all the time. Here, wear mine” he pushed his slippers towards her. “My slippers are not dirty”, she said indignantly. “Oh, yes. They are. Just see”, he said, as he turned the soles of the slippers towards her. Yes, they were slightly dirty, dirt clinging from the soles, but she could always wash them in the bathroom, couldn’t she? He replied even before she asked – “I know the way you would wash your slippers. You would leave water all over in the bathroom, with mud in the edges. No, better wear mine.”

She moved to the kitchen after she finished from the bathroom. “Use the Aluminium tea pan” his voice sailed from the bedroom. “I have washed it for you, and please, don’t use the blue coffee mugs that we bought yesterday. They are a devil to wash, and you always chip china when you wash them”. But, she liked that glass coffee mug. She had bought it because she was tired to having her tea in these brown mugs for years now. She had liked them enough to have bought them even when he was completely against it, murmuring against her ears that it was waste of money.

She ignored what he said about not using the blue mug, and poured her tea in her new blue coffee mug. She would wash them herself, she resolved, and would do it carefully. She carried her tea out on the table, and went outside to pick up the morning paper. When she returned, he was pouring the tea out from the blue mug to the brown one. “The blue one was looking dirty from the outside”, he said. “Have your tea in the brown one today. I will wash all the blue ones and you can use it from tomorrow”.

Suddenly, it did not matter any more to her. Tea, no tea, blue mug, brown mug – it was suddenly too much work to get anything she liked. She gulped the tea, grabbed her towel and headed for her bath.

Stumble, Slip, Fall!

The next instant, she found herself sprawled on the floor, which was now somehow wet. Something near the foot region, she was hurting, it was as if something was broken, and she cried out involuntarily. She saw him running towards her through the tears of pain, and was grateful for his presence, for the first time since she woke up.

He helped her to her feet, and said “My God, Water is spilled all over, just after I had wiped it dry. Just stay here. I will get the mop”.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Women - With Women

Women, in the long run, get along better with women. I know I am
saying this to a group who have lot of men-friends and perhaps prefer their men-friends, being engineers, but still, here it is.

Our relationship with women travels multiple paths, and phases, but in the end, we find rest back with one of our kinds. No sexuality involved though - this is plain kinship.

The “Naaah” Phase:

Between ages 4 and 9: We love girls, hate guys and their clumsiness and boorishness.

The “Look who’s looking at You” Phase:

Between 9 to 16: We like girls, lots of fights with them, and are getting VERY interested in boys. Most of our interactions with girls is about boys and studies, in that order. We still like girl friends quite a bit, and have intense love-hate relationships with them, but our dominant shared interest is the same - Boys.

The “Ouch” Phase:

Between 16 to the-time-we-find-the-guy-we-sleep-with: Girls are
great to sob about HIM, and great to discuss how to finally "nail"
HIM, and sometimes we fight like cats over HIM. Our innermost thoughts and yearnings are with HIM, and we look at similar female travelers on this quest for support. We don’t much like pretty girls and turn up our noses at guys who chase them. We declare ourselves as being cerebrally attractive, though we are inwardly aching with our feminity. We meet a lot of men, and some we genuinely like, even though he is not HIM. We become great friends with them, and we love horsing around with both girls and guys, and publicly have a blast, with nightly tormented private sobbing-in-the-pillow moments. For touchy-feelie woman stuff, we keep those deep in our hearts, and prefer to keep the stuff upper lip, much like our guy pals. After all, we are equal to men, aren’t we? We just somehow deal with our abundance of emotions, sometimes without any support.

The “Found My Man” Phase

Between 19- to the time we get married: We have finally found our man, and we are mighty pleased about it. We love him, revel in his manliness, our love for him, the fulfillment of our dreams, and yes, our sexuality. He is the center of our universe. We outgrow our girl friends at this stage, and loose all contact with them.

The “Mommy” Phase

Between 20 to 30: Then comes the most earth-shaking one of it all. We become mothers! We have a human being completely dependent on us, and we are overwhelmed. And we need other MOTHERS! And we go out and get them. A million questions – urgent and important - Oh shucks, how does one sleep when the kid is wailing? Just does one work leaving the child behind? We wonder at how our mothers raised us, and we become great pals with them. Guys, even our lover and soul mate, is only an appendage now - needed only to be the thoughtful baby sitter

The “Coming Together” Phase:

Between 30 to 40: Having gotten comfortable with our "mother" type friends, we suddenly realize - hey, I enjoy being with girls!! We reconnect back with old girl friends, reach out and make more girl friends of all types – older, younger, working, non-working - and really enjoy discussing relationships, parenting, cooking, work, dresses, nail paints, mascara brands etc. Our soul mate, we have by now realized, is an emotionally simple human being, and we need more than him to meet our multiple emotional needs. We become comfortable with men, and a lot of the desperation associated with them has now vanished. For the first time in our lives, we have come together.

The “Mother” Phase

After 40- and happily ever after: Professional relationships apart, men are now like our babies. To be humored, taken care of, petted. Still a strong friendship- but the lover part of it is now kind of faint. This is also the stage when men start calling their wives "Mom". And younger men worship them as moms.

By now, our girl friends form a big part of our lives. We rejoice at births, and grieve at deaths together. We organize birthday parties, trips, travel, take-a-class-together and dinners. We giggle, cackle, criticize – and have great fun. Men friends, I hate to admit, normally peter off in this stage. In some cases, we are firm friends with their wives now!

By the time we have reached the Mother Phase - we are firmly with the girls, and we enjoy being there, and will stay there till we die. It can happen at age 28, or it can happen at age 48- depending on the life path the woman has taken. The Mother phase is a great phase to be in - it is restful, nurturing, life-giving and most delicious fun. Being a part of the sisterhood is emotionally liberating, and finally, we are comfortable being in our emotional skin.

Amazingly, from what I have observed, this really is a "woman" thing. Men do not seem to get into this phase. I have seen men envy friendships that women share at this stage of their lives. Most women, however unfortunate, will find her own sisterly band, and most men, however fortunate, would be lonely, with few friends. Another amazing thing, a woman who does not get into this phase, is irritable, out-of-sorts and a pain to be with. Being with other women calms a woman down.

So, all you women engineers, struggling within a man’s world, bear it for a while! The sisterhood will come to you – and will come surely. Just give it time!

Slumdog Millionaire - A story not told

I squirmed uneasily as I watched Slum Dog Millionaire take awards after awards on the Oscar night. It was’nt that I was uncomfortable that a British film makers perspective of Indian poverty found favor with the jury– which is what many of my friends are uncomfortable about. My reasons were simpler. I was just awfully bored by the movie.

Indian poverty and the slums – these were the most visible parts of the story, but really, those were just the setting of the story. And the story was potentially pretty dramatic, with its moments of love, betrayal, cruelty and tragedy – and yes, even stomach-churning gross-ness, but somehow the story teller got so enamoured by the setting that he could not see beyond the obvious, and ignored every thing else.

Out of the nine rasas defined in Natya Shastra, there is a ras called the “Vibhatsa” ras. Loosely translated, it stands for ‘Grotesque-ness”. This ras defines the human reaction that brings up the bile.

As I know it, grotesque-ness is best visually described by Goya in his painting called ‘Saturn devours his children”, where he has painted a huge monster eating human flesh, entrails and all, with a gleam in his eye. You cannot watch the picture without feeling sick at the stomach. And yet, yet, the monster has an almost sad and desperate look about him – as if he could not help being what he is, being the monster he is. It is not the monsters fault that he is a monster – and there, lies a story. With the flawless execution of the visual imagery that capture a day in the monsters life, the painters job is done – but as we move forward and seek answers to questions such as what the monster thinks, why did he become the way he did, what made him devour human flesh - Ah, that’s where we need story tellers!

Slumdog Millionaire is movie made in Vibhasta ras, and it is made like a series of paintings, one after the other, one after the other, feverishly and ghoulishly put together – each frame more vibhatsa than the other. Once the series is done, the painter seems to lounge back in his chair and ask – So, was’nt that disgusting? How does your stomach feel now?

What do I say to him? I can only sigh, and look at the watch. I had come to hear a story, and what I saw was a series of pictures. The pictures moved my stomach, but there was no story to move my heart.

For, just where was the story told? Where was the poignancy of the love between Jamal and his lady love? Why was the tragedy of a lost mother rushed by for a glimpse of a blue-painted-boy-as-Ram? Why was the desperation and jealousy missing which must have been an essential part of the story, when Jamaal sees his lady love being kept as a chattel? Where was the celebration of heroism when Jamaal’s brother gives up his life so that Jamaal can finally find love? Where was the ecstasy of love finally found between Jamaal and his lady love? Where was the innocence of hope when Jamaal thinks that if he sings well, he would be out of the hell hole he finds himself? Where was the turning point when Jamaal’s brother hardens his heart and decides to trample over his fellows when in the clutches of the Mama? Where was the bright defiance in the demeanor of Jamaal when he takes on the barbs and leers of the TV Show host?

Am I talking about only acting inadequacies here, which the movie certainly painfully did have? No, it is really about the pace of the story, and where the narrator has chosen to linger. Because that is the point of the story. A movie maker commands a camera and bids it to stay some place and just gloss over some other place – and that’s what makes a camera tell a story, and defines its essence. It is not just what you show, it equally is what you hide - that defines a story.

Amazingly, the movie got an Oscar for editing!!

In Slumdog Millionaire, the movie maker lingered over the grotesqueness, the Vibhatsa, slowly and caressingly as if that was the most important part of the story - and in passing showed the beauty of love and the triumph of life amongst wretched squalor. The movie maker completely fails to imbue the viewer with a sense of pervasive hope that is found in Jamaals life, notwithstanding it being rooted in slums, and his glorious dauntless human spirit that lives on, shining and bright, and loves with a wholesomeness that is both beautiful and innocent. The Movie Maker got the imagery right, but lost the essence of this glorious slum-based life. By a mile.

Mr. Danny Boyle, you are a certainly a good photographer, but a story teller? Nah….

You had such a lovely story on your hands, and you never even told it. You abused the art of movie making and story telling – by showing us mere pictures.

A daughter

A daughter is....

A warm cuddle
A morning beam of sunlight
A perpetual giggle
A soft hand in my calloused pair
A tight round-the-waist hug
A jar full of bounce
A bundle of mischief
A perennial flower in my home

Coming Home to Bangalore

The first time I am in my new office, in my new home in Bangalore, the city which I have recently moved to.

The first time when I am sleeping on the floor, on some thin mattresses, and getting achy all over. (My stuff has'nt moved yet)

The first time when I am living in a city where people do not speak Hindi, or English

The first time when I am forced to stay silent for hours, since I can't talk to my domestic help, my watchman, my veggie wala, or even the milkwallah

The first time when I am using the sign language and discovering that it is actually pretty adequate

The first time I am waking up in the early hours, with the sounds of courtyards being swept clean by "kharata jhaadus"

The first time I am seeing roads lined with flowering trees

The first time I am sniffing the morning air to take my fill of the sweet scent of jasmine and some other flower I know not the name of

The first time when I am being greeted by the aroma of freshly ground coffee as I walk downstairs to dump garbage

The first time when I am hearing temple bells as I drop my daughter to school

The first time when I am watching where I walk, lest I step over some Rangoli

The first time when I am hearing the cries of "Sopu" - the cry of a street vendor selling herbs and flowers. Did not know herbs could be sold this way

The first time when I am seeing several senior men and women guffawing over a cup of coffee, as they practice the morning ragas in the local park, and me wondering why I am not at that stage of my life yet

The first time when I feel as if I have come home. And this for a city I have come to, for the first time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Prayers that did not/could not save

A man who did not take his daughter to the hospital when she was ill, and instead prayed. And then, she died.

She was 11. He did not want to put doctors before God, he said.

What does one say to something like this?

Many of the readers are incredulous when they read this story. Just how could a man believe that God would heal his daughter? And yet, yet, all of the same readers rush to the nearest place of worship when a loved someone falls ill. Talk about hypocrisy. Of all the hypocrisies, the hypocrisy of faith is the hardest to deal with, as faith is supposed to be the way to truth.

God does not heal. Prayer is a way of comforting oneself when one cannot be comforted. And this does not mean there is no God, though I doubt seriously if there is one. Even if He exists, I do not think he is someone who interferes in the natural paths of living and dying.

The father who lost his daughter because God did not heal her, lost two of the most precious things in the world. A child and a faith. The man is to be pitied, someone who should be comforted, because he has no illusions left anymore, he is faced with stark dark reality, and if there is something that can comfort him, it can be humaneness. We all know this reality, and yet we pretend to not know it, because it is comforting. And this man has lost his comfort blanket. He believed the stories of God that were told to him. He believed, when so many of us, who know better, do not. He lost a precious human being because he believed in what the world told him.

And what does the world do to him? Convicts him of murder.

Instead of joining hands and putting our shoulders next to him to cry tears, tears that recognize the sombre reality, and emphathizing with the need to create stories so that we can somehow obscure the reality we know, we turn our backs on the man, and send him to prison.

Wah re duniya!