I’m not really a religious person. I just find it hard to believe that if there is an almighty benevolent being “up there” he’s going to send me to hell just because I don’t pray to him 5 times a day. At the same time, I’m not altogether ready to let go of the possibility of some higher power or phenomenon that maybe watches over us – I just don’t agree with the formalistic character of most organized religions.
Having said that, for “official” purposes I am Muslim. But I’ll have to admit, I’m not a very good one (I have my vices). Still, every year I put myself through the rather trying ordeal of fasting for month during the time of Ramzaan. Part of the reasoning behind doing this yearly ritual is that it makes my Grandfather really happy. He’s quite advanced in age now and so he can’t fast anymore himself. But in Muslim tradition, those who sit with a fasting person to break their fast, share in the reward of that fast. And while I may have strayed from the “true path of Islam” it does me happy to sit and share those moments with him.
I’m not one to bear a grudge if someone steps up and takes responsibility. Following yesterday’s post regarding TOI and their use of a photograph I took without my authorisation, I was contacted by someone from the Mumbai Mirror, where the article and picture were originally published. Mr. Saumit Sinh offered me an explanation for the “mix-up” because of which my photograph was used without giving due credit. It would seem that while the original article ran a line with my name on it next to the photograph, for some reason this, as well as a reference in the text to my authorship of the photograph, were dropped. He vaguely alluded that this may have been due to the editing process before the article went up online. While I don’t think this is necessarily a satisfactory excuse, I am content to let the matter rest at this point, since someone has stepped up and taken responsibility.
I had an interesting experience recently involving The Times of India (TOI) and one of the stories they published on their website. The story was entitled “Zila Khan and Khurshid’s Sufi Connection”. The story related to the concert in Bangalore, hosted by D.P.S. Whitefield, where Zila Khan performed along with the fusion band Agam and other artists with Coke Studio @ MTV. As some of you may know I put up photographs of this concert on my blog. Well it seems TOI rather happily took one of the photographs I published, cropped it (it looked horrible!) and then put it up on their website along with the story, which they published on June 25th 2013. No credit. No authorization.