Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Monday, March 19, 2018

A letter to my daughter Insha on her 14th birthday

Dear Insha 

As you celebrate your 14th birthday tomorrow March 20, I am brimming with happiness to see you grow into a fine young woman with a mind of her own. You are emerging as a fine writer and I genuinely believe that you can turn into a professional writer. Very soon. Your write ups are getting published in notable publications and they are being acknowledged by illustrious luminaries. 

What I find most heartening about your writing is that apart from a phenomenal vocabulary and an ability to weave beautiful pictures through words, you manage to have a unique perspective. You don't hestitate to criticise what needs to be criticised. And when you appreciate something/ someone then it's very apparent that the praise is truly deserving. It displays your self confidence, a belief in yourself and the fact that you're a fine people-reader and thankfully you don't go out of the way to be a people-pleaser. 

You take digs at me in your writing and I am absolutely fine with it. The world must know that I live for North Indian delicacies. And you're contributing in your own way in ensuring that people who invite me to their homes during my various trips, shouldn't waste on 'experimental' stuff. Just serve Nahari, kabab, Korma and I shall smile like a chechire cat. Jokes apart, I am willing to be more careful to live up to your standards and change myself so that you can write good stuff about me and it can come from an objective space. 

On this birthday, the gift that I wish to give you is the freedom to be what you are, write what you wish to write and be the person that you want to be. We are there for you at all points of time willing to lend a helping hand if at all you badly need it. But knowing you, I am sure you're on the path of self discovery where you shall be the one who shall show us the way. And there can't be a greater joy than that as a parent.

And yes, considering you do give credence to material gifts, so rest assured they are coming your way as well :) 

Have a great life ahead. 

Lots of Love 


Sunday, March 11, 2018

In memory of Maqbool Hasan Khan sahab

I've learned so much about my maternal uncle Maqbool Hasan Khan sahab in the last three days that I didn't know in last so many years. Since the time the news of his untimely demise spread out, the messages and conversations of condolences have been non stop. There's a unanimous opinion that he was a great educationist but more importantly he was a great human being with a kind heart who helped everyone. It has truly been a learning experience. May he rest in peace and may the people whom he has left behind may find enough courage to carry on with their lives and continue walking on the footsteps of the ideals that he believed in. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ways to Make your Child's Camp Memorable

"Camping" is just another word for fun.Well, at least for kids! Most
kids are excited about their first camp and have every reason to be.
Camping can give a kid some real life-changing experiences. If you are
going on your first family camp, here are a few things that you can do
to make it memorable:
1. Choosing the right camp for your child is the first step in making
the experience memorable for him or her. Sobefore making any
decisions, sit down with your child and ask him/her what he/she would
like to do during the vacations. List the options in front of your
child and then let him/her choose. Do not force them into doing
anything they don't like. Memories are made while doing something you
love and that's what your child should do.
2. Have a theme dinner night during the camp. Dinner at home with the
whole family is always great, but a fun theme dinner in the outdoors
is a unique bonding experience!
3. Keep a track of all the items you are packing and label them. After
all, you don't want your kid to lose his favourites on a camp.
4. Carry mosquito repellents with you- you never know whether the
camping site is safe from thesemenacing insects. Carry outdoor
repellents like Goodknight Fabric Roll-On and Goodknight Patches.

Just apply 4 dots of the Fabric Roll-On on your child's
clothes and in case of the Patches, simply stick them onto the back of
your child's T-shirt so that he/she doesn't take them off.
Both these are 100% natural and paediatrician certified. The best part
is that these repellents need to be applied on your child's clothes
and/or prams, cots and strollers, eliminating any contact with the
skin. These revolutionary products ensure that your kid gets all-round
protection from mosquitoes outdoors for up to 8 hours.
4. Get your kids involved right away by letting them help set up camp.
They can help establish areas for cooking, cleaning, tents and
garbage, or complete tasks like setting up their tent. It's all a part
of the experience and a great way to pass on skills onto the next
5. Telling stories around a campfire might be a cliché, but it's a
great time to share family memories of camping during the past years
or your own childhood. One day, your kid might be reliving the
experiences with his or her own family, continuing the tradition.
Follow these tipsand your kid will have an amazing first camp!

Saturday, January 20, 2018

An ode to Saqi Faruqi sahab

I just got the news that prominent #Urdu and #English poet #SaqiFaruqi sahab has passed away. He lived in #London and was a close friend of Abba. He was born in #Gorakhpur, his family moved to #Bangladesh, then #Karachi and finally to #London where he lived all his life thereafter. I met him during my childhood. He was discussed at our home regularly. His pictures at Taj Mahal (with Abba) flash before me as I write this. 

The reason why I also write this is because of a qissa that Abba and Ammi often narrated to us. It was a qissa that Saqi Faruqi sahab had told them and it has a highly notable life-lesson. 

This is what Saqi sahab said: 

"I had two plants in my house in London. I spoke to one plant everyday, was particular about watering it and looked after it with a lot of care. The plant flowered and the leaves were always fresh. As if they were smiling and happy. I watered the other plant too. There were times when I forgot too. I didn't talk to it. With time, vo paudha murjha gaya. If plants can react to personalised care and attention (or the lack of it) then imagine how crucial it is for human beings."

I have always remembered this. I often tell this to my friends and acquaintances during my interactions.

I'd end this post with a Urdu couplet written by Saqi sahab

Ek shola Meri avaaz mein lehraata hai
Khoon mein lahar, khayalon mein lalak paida ho

Rest in peace Sir!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Trust, Credibility and Mutual Respect is everything!

As I am ready to head for the neighborhood swimming pool, I'd like to share a thought that came to my mind a short while back. In the week gone by, I managed to conduct exclusive interviews with Mr Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Ali Abbas Zafar and an exhaustive 50 minute exclusive with #TigerZindaHai director Ali Abbas Zafar. I also spoke at length to Mr Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor on their upcoming film #Padman. Mr Kumar showed me exclusive excerpts from Padman that he must have shown to very few people. Actors Varun Sharma, Pooja Chopra and Angad Bedi came to my office for interviews and extended a lot of warmth and respect which was overwhelming. In other words I had a great week as a professional.

It's not easy to get interviews with superstars like Mr Salman Khan, Mr Akshay Kumar, Katrina Kaif or Sonam Kapoor. The reach of my chat show #TalkingFilms is immense but it's not about the reach or popularity. What is most important is that you as a Journalist should exude Trust, Credibility and Respect so that celebrities, filmmakers or even fans open up before you. What is most important is to be conscious that you shouldn't rub people the wrong way. The biggest of stars or even rank newcomers, if they are worthy of being hosted on your show, then they deserve respect. They deserve an assurance that they won't be misrepresented, that they won't be used as a cheap fodder for gossip or milked for overzealous commercial gains.

I always say, I am willing to come second but I won't resort to silly click baits to win (momentarily) but lose in the long run.

Now off to swimming :)

Have a great Sunday! 

Friday, January 12, 2018

A scattered smile

A scattered smile 
A Poem by Faridoon Shahryar

Fear tapped on my shoulders
A sinister stare followed
Snowstorm knocked 
On my window
An unnerving restlessness,
Parched throat 
Quivered in the cold 
The night was 
Darker and longer 
Than the usual,
I fiddled with my mobile 
Diverting attention
Hesitantly I decided 
To look beyond 
The curtains of doubt 
The mountains 
Gleamed through the clouds
A scattered smile
Winked at the sunlight
It was time to 
Make the tea
Dip the biscuits 
Hit the gym
Plan the breakfast
Even the dreams are chirping 
Time to deceive 
Ghosts of the mind 
Arrange the bed properly
And just open 
The door of freedom 
To walk out 
Into the sun.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A parent's guide: Everyday health and hygiene essentials for your kid

Cleanliness and good hygiene are essential to maintain good health by getting rid of viruses and bacteria that cause illness. Basic practices such as washing hands properly are known to reduce serious and potentially fatal diseases such as pneumonia, scabies and other infections.
No matter what your child’s age is, maintaining good hygiene is essential for the overall health and prosperity of the kid. There are many precautions you can take as a parent to prevent your child from protect your child from insects.
Check out the following hygiene essentials for your kid-

  1. Use a Hand Sanitizer- This can be a good alternative to keep your hands clean while travelling etc. when you don’t have access to soap.You can use a sanitizer to clean your hands in situations like pre and post meals, while inserting or removing your contact lenses, treatingwounds, while handling soiled stuff or garbage and other such situations. Keeping your hands clean and germ-free is the primary and the most important hygiene step towards good health.
  2. Use WetWipes for your kids- Baby wipes are great for cleaningevery type ofchild related mess. Any time when kids spill or get dirt on their hands/face, grab a wet wipe to save the day!
  3. Keep basic medicines in case of emergency- While travelling, one must be prepared. Carrying a medical kit comes handy. Consult your doctor and carry appropriate medicines for situations like cold and flu etc.
  4. Carry your own bottled water- Basically, any or every disease caused is due to the intake of contaminated water. So it is necessary to ensure that you carry bottled water with you every time.
  5. Use mosquito repellents– Parents are hesitant to send their kids outdoors due to the problem of mosquitoes and other insects. Mosquitoes being the biggest cause of worry, proper precautions must be taken. Apply 4 dots of Goodknight Fabric Roll-On to ensure 8 hours of protection from mosquitoes.One can even use Goodknight Patches which are specifically designed for new born kids. Both the products are 100% natural and pediatrician certified and hence absolutely safe for kids.

Therefore, make sure you carry the above mentioned essentials to ensure the safety of your child at all times!