19 April, 2021

Present In Our Memory Games

A self-identifying, dispiriting tour of Islam's extremities inlaid with personal history

Present In Our Memory Games

If both your parents are Muslims, that is no problem: you are Muslim. If one parent is Muslim and the other not, you have the choice of opting for the faith of one or the other. However, if the father is a Muslim of one nationality, and the mother is a non-Muslim of another nation, the child is all at sea, not knowing what faith or nation he or she should opt for. That, in short, is the case of Aatish Taseer: his father Salman Taseer is presently governor of Pakistan’s Punjab. His mother Tavleen is Sikh and a well-known journalist who writes regularly for The Indian Express. His parents separated soon after their short-lived liaison, met up briefly in London and then went their own ways. Aatish was brought up by Tavleen’s parents and spent his childhood with his Sikh cousins. The discovery of his being different from them makes amusing reading. One afternoon playing with his cousins he went to a quiet corner of the garden to empty his bladder. A cousin who joined him to do the same stared at Aatish’s penis with awe and...

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