Assemkhan’s Weblog

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Poor or illiterate?

Indian cities have a huge population living in slums & they are regarded as “below poverty line” (BPL) citizens.  This is derived by calculating the wages earned by them on a yearly basis.  But I feel this criteria is incorrect, rather these people are blessed with freebies and live a happy life.

Ill discuss what my understanding is & I hope it isn’t offending anyone.  I live in Pune (Poona) which is a non-metro city & regarded as a tier-1 city which is gaining lot of prominence not only within India but throughout the world, thanks to the IT industry and educational institutions.   In my childhood, my mom sent me to the “mehfil” (gathering) in a mosque.  This mosque is called “Aina masjid” (mirror mosque), here I had to attend a weekly class for 30 mins to learn & read the Holy Quran.  There were around 40-50 other children who came to attend this mehfil.  Since the mosque is close to the slums, most of the children came from there.  The first day I was very annoyed and disappointed at where I was being sent.  But my mom told me to focus on what I was going there for rather than bother about the surroundings – basically she meant I had no choice.  The children were very different from my cousins or those whom I interacted with in school.  They wore old fashioned clothes and would really stink if I sat close by.  Hardly anyone wore slippers, forget shoes.  No one wore a watch!  I thought they never bathe as well 😦  Not that I was like them, but since I had no choice I went there consistently, for 2 years.  And I did learn a lot in those 2 years – lots of Hadees were told which I never knew of, I became fluent in my Arabic reading skills, the correct way to offer salat (Namaaz / Prayer).  But one of the more important aspect was I got to interact with these kids which was such an eye opener to me.  Reason is I always felt these kids were very poor, illiterate and their parents are either not alive or they are not doing any work to earn money.  Well I was wrong, my impression was based on the observation of their appearance.  The fact was all these kids went to school and most of them had both parents working at some job and some even had elder siblings who earned.  Some lived in joint families which had multiple bread earners under one roof.  I never calculated the finances minutely, but they all seemed to be having a cash inflow which was much better than mine!  Now I wondered why did they live in the slum?  why is their appearance so shabby? if they are getting schooled why cant they speak English?  Well its hard to believe it but their elders insist on living that way because their ancestors did so or maybe they were worse off.

I concluded these people are not poor but illiterate!

There are exceptions in them where a family is genuinely poor and illiterate, but that list is so small you can count them on your fingers.  Its sad but true & I hope and pray they all learn to educate / improve themselves one day so that the next generation has a better mentality.

May 29, 2015 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

In time !!

Ive always been interested in checking out the latest car models & the Hyundai i20 is “THE ONE”.  It looks awesome, has loads of space & is coupled with a variety of features.  Here is a pic for reference  –


Ill dig into this episode that led me towards the i20…
Last week I had gone to a store ( to buy a shoe rack which they had advertised in the newspaper.  I didnt like it at all. It had terrible quality & no wonder they were selling it for 55% off, cos no1 would bother looking @ it otherwise:)
One look @ the sales guys face & I had a hunch that this guy wants a break.  He was pretty silent while I was telling him how they should be focusing on quality.  He seemed like a blackboard to me – completely blank, cos I dont think he knew what quality meant.  Suddenly he said we have another shoe rack on sale & he took me to show that one.  It “seemed” a bit better in quality & had a nice colour.. I was checking it out & this guy suddenly(once again) told me — “So shall I pack this one for you?”  I thought it doesnt look all that bad so I reluctantly said a yes!  Then he said u need to take the box of contents with you & some1 from their store will come home in 2 days to assemble it.  I asked him if it could be assembled there itself, he said it would take 10-15 mins & I didnt have a problem with that, so I said ill wait.  He made a phone call to the guy supposed to assemble this rack, who was sipping tea somewhere outside!!  I told him u make sure to get it ready within 10 mins & Ill come back to pay for it.
Next to this store was the Hyundai Showroom & I wanted to have a peek @ the i20… This is how I landed there 🙂

I was made to sit there for a couple of minutes till a sales exec called me to discuss the car.  She told me the features, the price & availability but when I asked for a brochure she said they are out of stock, “cos every1 comes & takes the brochure..” all I can say is it’s a bad idea to keep anything for free in India.  After some discussion we went to see the car model… I felt amazing to sit inside this vehicle, I must say its extremely comfy in there:)  the dashboard looked huge & the controls for the AC & CD player looked a bit confusing to me, the gear box was tiny & didnt look all that good to me.  I sat in the rear seats & these were spacious with the split folding seats @ the rear it made lots of sense as a family car.  The boot was striking cos they had kept 4 bags in there!! Thats a lot of luggage space in a hatch back, probably the best. the steering looked very good to me & the LED displays looked hi-tech..  The sales exec was making sure I see the Hyundai logo on the LED display 🙂  I liked the door handling but the boot was a bit scary cos it jumped up like a “jack in the box” & I feel it might hurt some1 who opens it for the 1st time.  I didnt take a test drive cos I had to pick up the shoe rack & rush for Asar.  I was pretty happy to have a look @ the car I like & I thanked the sales exec & asked her to call me for a test drive when she has the brochure ready.  She thanked me & gave me a price list of the various versions.

Back to the store –
I thought these guys must be waiting for me since long, but unfortunately 2 guys were struggling to assemble a shoe rack!!  I started assisting them with it & showed them how its gotta be done.. they kept looking @ the manual & then tried to find a way to fix it up, but then followed what I was saying.  One of them went away abruptly & the other fellow was taking ages to move his hands.  I was loosing my patience – to top it the work was just half way thru. I dont know what came to my mind.. I just told him to forget it & I left the store without the shoe rack & I was happy cos I could reach in time for my Asar prayers!!

September 11, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 4 Comments


Ramazan has its own charm & the most lovely part of this month is the barkat that Allah showers on all. There is abundance of food which is extremely tasty, we get the best of the fruits in this month & iftaar is simply fantastic @ home. Thinking of iftaar, Im reminded of burgers !!! couple of outlets in poona where we get awsome ones are :

Hite Bar

Burger King

Burger barn

try any of the above & youll go back again.. its simply too good 😉

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 2 Comments

Author Khan

In the back of my mind I have been thinking of writing a book & I sort of have an idea what its gonna be about. Inshallah I will start soon. “Soon” for me can be either today or next year… yeah im quite a lazy person unless there is something that interests me I dont budge easily 😦 But I promise I will complete this book that I have thought of penning down.. I wonder where to write it?? how do authors write such big fat books I truly have no idea. Ill use my own style for that & I sure will use some humor. If I tell my friends & family that Im gonna write a book, theyll pass it off as a joke!! Honestly the idea behind writing this book is to complete the unfinished job my dad had done.. he had started writing this book but its unfinished.. Rather it just started & thats all.. Hes no more & so is the book… I need to recall what I had read about 12 yrs back. I know it all & Im sure Ill be able to put it across in a good way that my father would have liked – he was a journalist! I know of a few people who have written a book but then every book is unique & so is the author, I hope to complete this book.. not soon though!! Cos im never in a hurry id like to relax & write it in leisure with all my thoughts pouring in with a very peaceful mind.. I guess in 2 years I should be able to compile my first draft.. maybe sooner.. maybe later but in 2 yrs from now I know I would have accomplished a major part of it. Lets wait & watch !!

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 5 Comments

Good Morning

Ive written a review on my Nokia N82 phone – I hope it helps people in judging this device before buying it. Its been a hectic week in Poona, everyones talking about the H1N1 swine flu & its a terrible feeling to know that 7 people have lost their lives from the city due to this virus. I hope we are out of this soon & things get normal, cos @ the moment it doesnt seem to be helping the city or the nation. Business is hit all over & people have got this strange doubt on each other regarding this virus & they look with suspicion if anyone coughs. Many people are wearing masks to cover their nose & mouth. All id like to say to everyone is that although swine flu awareness is needed, there is no need to panic and join the publicity propaganda carried out by media and others which acts as a vehicle to spread misconception rather than to spread scientific information.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Jummah Special


Its Friday & Im looking forward to the weekend!  I don’t know what im going to do apart from attending a family get-together… atleast I will be relaxing @ home for 2 days J

The weather looks awesome in Poona, its ideal for a long drive somewhere near the greentop hills.  I don’t think that’s happening considering the condition of my back.. aaarghhh it pains a lot more not getting to go out L

Ive been watching a lot of TV serials in the last month .. only in the evenings & now I understand why people are depressed – its because of the crap they show on TV.  Women stare @ each other for half an hour & then start crying for another half n hr.. 1 episodes gone then wait for the next which will show the other women cry….. its maddening & I have no doubt that all people watching such stupid serials are depressed & need a psychologist to get them distracted from it.  Just for information im not watching the serials its my family.. & I have to run away from the house when that happens cos I cant stand these serials.

I had written a post some time back on the news channels to highlight what kind of knowledge we are getting due to the substandard reporting & journalism.  Well the serials are even worse.  This reminds me of the dialogue I had told to a young girl who wanted to decide which college was best suited for her & she had just 2 options, I told her college A is bad & college B is worse 😉

Well same applies for the news channels & serials I guess !!!


Happy weekend to all


Smiling Khan.

August 7, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 3 Comments


 We have witnessed a global recession in 2008 & it seems like things might get better in 2009.  The recession fueled many jokes & everyone I met spoke about the recession as if they knew more than the experts.  By the way no expert could predict the recession so there must be no expert in this line, everyone had got their knowledge from the news channels & then by discussing with US returned NRIs, who must be tired of explaining what a sub prime loan is!


I watch the news channels for entertainment & read the newspaper for celebrity updates… but then where do I get the news from?  Google

Trust me it’s the best source of news.

We have 24 hrs news channels which should be called as 20 hrs ad channels because there’s hardly any news & if they get some bit of it, they repeat it for 4 hrs

I’ve noticed that the best news channel is DD News!!

Please watch it if you want to hear the news and nothing else, but let me tell u  if u start watching DD News you wont be part of the bunch of self imposed “knowledgeable” people.  So please think & choose, all the best 🙂

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 2 Comments


When I first saw a blog site, I felt Blogging is really interesting, especially when you write regularly.  U gain friends in followers & the comments are something to look forward to.  Also I always wanted to write a diary but then never could even start with it.  So I took up blogging, unfortunately I haven’t been regular L but it seems my interest has been revoked and Im inspired to blog daily by the one & only Big B – Amitabh Bachan.  One of my friend showed me the link & I rubbished it off cos I never thought BigB would write a blog himself – I told him some of his assistant must be writing & im sure it never gets updated.  But u got to see it to believe it –

This doesn’t seem to be an assistants job…. & it gets updated daily.. for the last 1 yr or more.  I know its sort of commercialized cos the company pays him to blog it seems so.

He does it for money..hmm ya but he himself does the typing, which is very rare in hindi film stars, cos they are groomed to be uneducated!!

Anyways I like the blog & I do keep reading the posts & I did comment once as well.

Im  a big fan of Amitabh Bachans movies from the 1970s.. not after that.


A big HI to all visiting this post J Keep blogging !

June 2, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Chelsea win a trophy!

previewGuus Hiddink got the farewell he wanted as Chelsea recovered from conceding the fastest goal in final history to beat Everton.  So finally Chelsea have won a final !!

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Am I a demented Pathan?

I have a hunch that I am crack, haha that’s wht my friends tell me.  Im just trying to figure out whether the cause for this is the Pathan gene.. cos if it is then I need not worry, infact id be happy!

Atleast I have retained some of the gene pool.


Sounds crazy, right? Ya but then that’s how its supposed to be.. Hmm for people who don’t understand, don’t waste your time trying to understand this.


Part of my craziness can be described as childish, cos most of the time im fooling around, making fun of frnds & mimicking guys in office.   Sounds funny?  try mimicking yr Manager in front of the whole team 😉 Ive done that & he wanted me to to it once more cos he liked it.  Ive done the same in college with the professors who were a bit embarrassed cos I was making fun of them – sorry guys, don’t mind it cos u did deserve it !


Apart from the childish nature there are times which make me take a decision instantaneously & I feel pretty confident about that. At times I just feel nothing will go wrong ever.  But such a world / life doesn’t exist & I know that.  Ive come across a lot of people in the last 27 yrs of my life & they have been pretty diverse.  What I did observe in most of them which was strikingly different from myself was that they follow what the world does.  I mean they have a fear of taking their own decisions cos they aren’t confident enuf. Also many people just become a log in the river kind & do what others are doing without thinking for a second.  I don’t feel that’s right all the time, I mean ok u can do things like going for a well known brand of car cos yr neighbour got it, but u need not go & get the offer he got in a mall for a product u don’t need.  Surprisingly most people do this & feel they are pretty smart.  May Allah guide them cos they are the most foolish people around.

Did I just prove that Pathans are crazy but not fools?? WOW J

March 16, 2009 Posted by | Miscellaneous | 1 Comment