Sunday, August 21, 2016

Jottings- Slice of life - 36 (Part 1)

Jottings- Slice of life - 36 (Part 1)
Food, when seen in copious quantities can be overwhelmingly nauseating sometimes. One gets this strange feeling of superfluity coupled with an odd feeling of lethargic fullness in the stomach in well spread out buffets, or lavish weddings, when wherever you look, there is food and only food - nothing else. From simple appetizers, to liquor and beverages, to vegetables and meat, and after dinner aperitifs and Deserts - one’s stomach is satiated with the very sight of it, let alone the giddy feeling of excess caused by profusion of mingled scents and smells that hit the nostril with the vehemence of a tornado. They are all good and pleasing, but there is a limit to what one can eat, and how much could be eaten. Those frontiers were broken down yesterday, at Texas de Brazil, a restaurant at Fort worth Texas. Around fourteen of us were invited by our Customer for a get-together at this upscale Brazilian chain. For those of us, who do not know this, the staple food in Brazil is red meat. And when I say red meat, I literally mean any meat which happens have to slightest tinge of red color on it. From Pork to beef to bacon to chicken (obviously an exception) to lamb and God knows what else can be cooked in a kitchen, hot barbecued meat ( the Brazilians call it Churrascaria style of cooking) is bought at regular intervals by well appointed waiters to tables for unlimited consumption. The methodology is simple. Every plate is identified by a octagonal token which is Green on one side, and red on the other. As servers pass by with Metal skewers laden and stacked with hot meat, they will pause to see if the green side of the token is facing them, if so, they serve a portion of their offering. If they see red, it indicates the meal is finished and they move on. This charade continues from the time guests are seated, water served, drinks catered, and a customary round of salads are eaten - to an indefinite period until the guest gives up eating either of sheer exhaustion or for want of any more appetite to swallow even a morsel of food more.
As I walked in at 7.PM, my group were already at it. There was deep silence at the long table, with only sounds of clenching jaws, and cutlery clinking to break the speechless monotony of eating. They gestured to an empty chair, and pointed to the Salad bar behind me. After customary greetings, I picked my share of raw vegetables, chicken salad and garlic mashed potatoes. No words were spoken for some time. There was no time to speak. In interminable succession, one waiter after another came in gently whispering their wares, and all that the guest had to do was to nod, and a piece of meat would land on the plate. After all, each Plate costed seventy dollars immaterial of whether one ate meat or not. So, I did give into a few chicken sizzler to justify my presence there. But beyond that, I was done. After nearly 30 minutes, when at least ten rounds of meat had comfortably settled in most stomachs, and few rounds of alcohol had found its way to interfere with neurotransmitters, a slow hum of conversation began. Now the pace of the meal was dictated by voices - both official and personal, and the pace of eating had considerably slackened. It was still being served in the background, but with more restraint and choice. The servers seem to understand the dynamics of such gatherings, and began to pace themselves accordingly. Every now and then, they would pop in unannounced and drop a few pieces of fresh meat. A desultory hand would go out to refuse the offer, but the smell, the heat and the quality of atmosphere would cause our esteemed guests to relent, and the food would quickly disappear into their mouth , as if it had to inevitably happen.
After a while, I started looking around the restaurant. It was fairly large place, exquisitely furnished. Low lighting matched the mild dark colors of its walls, and tables were well spaced out to accommodate large groups. But what stuck me, almost immediately was that it was jam packed. That so expensive a place, is patronized by so many people on a weekday surprised me. All plates were overflowing with meat and its juices. There was raw cannibalistic energy in the air. Texas is known for its steaks. They are traditionally beef eaters, and one could see the sense of flourish on their faces as they bit vigorously into succulent pieces of flesh.
In the midst of gastronomic extravaganza, all of a sudden, from some deep recess of my brain, a strange thought bubbled forth. What am I , a Brahmin by birth, doing in a place like this? Though I had formally, existentially relinquished all formal symbolism of being a brahmin many years ago, and internally I do not consider myself attached to any popular sect or religion, I was surprised that such a thought could even arise. It was only for a moment though, before i observed and dismissed it from any further attention. But at that moment, I realized with great force the power of tradition and culture in each one of us. Our human brain carries deep within it millennia of racial memories and indoctrination, and perhaps much more than that - our entire evolutionary history. It only needs a right atmosphere for a buried memory or emotion to sprout; and when it does, it can be so overpowering that even the brightest of men and strongest of intellect and will cannot resist its raw instinctual force and power. It dawned upon me in the midst of that noisy atmosphere in the restaurant how flimsy and superficial is our facade of civilized behavior. From nowhere, a memory of my tradition managed to slip through my attention. Of course, i was perceptive enough not to be overwhelmed by that thought, but then i realized how easy it would have been to be carried away in that surge of emotions that sprung from beneath. I realized too how easy it is to whip up long forgotten and buried memories and emotions. All we need is a right trigger. Behind the patina of culture and modernity lurks an ancient hypothalamus that carries all Human history with all its violence, racial prejudices, and animal instincts, sexual urges and instincts for dominance and survival. None can predict when, where and how a sudden impulse could flare into a massive conflagration. This is the secret of Mob psychosis. Astute politicians, religious leaders, social activists use this to great effect. And knowingly or unknowingly we fall prey to it. J Krishnamurti constantly emphasized during his life long talks “Human Brain carries millennia of evolution in it..”, and unless one understands the totality of it, it is impossible to be transformed. It is not surprising that the story of Human race is punctuated with wars and genocides and unrelenting violence, and most of it the result of sudden outburst of a virulent thought in a single human mind, which soon catches on like forest fire, consuming everything on its path. The veneer of civilization is only skin deep. Below it is a bottomless abyss.
After ten such minutes of deep introspection, I was bought back to reality. The hum of voices took over the deep silence of my experience. I put on my social face again.
God bless…

Yours in mortality,

Bala

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jottings: Slice of life - 32

Jottings: Slice of life - 32
I regularly meet Mr Khan in the Sauna. He is 75 years, slim with a healthy glow on his face. His routine , like mine is to swim for 30 minutes, sweat himself out in the Sauna for 15 and then possibly do some cardio exercises. Though, we exchange pleasantries, not much by way of conversation has happened before yesterday, when he called out to me and said
"You swim with poise ,unhurried technique and without any sign of distress.. I enjoy watching you swim. I thought I must tell you.."
Coincidentally, I have been wanting to compliment Khan on his own style. For a man of his age, he swims with consummate ease. I reciprocated his compliments and added:
"Yes sir, Thanks so much. My objective is not to push myself to the point of exhaustion, or develop a V shaped body, or to improve my muscle strength or health, or to look good. No, none of those things. I swim because I find it extremely relaxing. When I swim my Brain is utterly quiet. The only tactile sensations I have is the soothing touch of water as it laps the crevices of my body, and the soft sound of water as my strokes cleave through it. Other than that, there is this ineffable silence. Every now and then, a chance insight into what I have read or thought or contemplated would flash through, but besides that there is only this organism floating in water. Thanks, of course to the good technique I was taught as a child, I really don't have to think about how I swim. That's a great bonus... In fact sir, I am a teacher and when I teach, I have the same feeling of lightness and intensity as I have while swimming.."
I personally think all of us should at least discover one activity in our lives from which we could come out completely refreshed, and not tired, ridden with pain, anguish and mental agony. Daily work could help us be in that state, but for most of us, unfortunately, work is burden. Not enjoyable at all. Though we may argue that it is not so, but deep down, work is something people do for money alone and there is no playfulness about it. We are extremely serious to the point of hurting ourselves. Very rarely, would you find someone in whom work, self fulfillment and joy go together. That's indeed a blessing, if it happens. Even among my teaching community, to which I am passionately aligned, I see around me so many teachers going through the motions of the job without their heart in it. They are tired after a class, because there is no joy while doing it. I am not saying one cannot feel tired. But there is a different quality of tiredness which arises when one can push themselves to the very limits of their abilities with joy and abandon. Like 100 meters sprint runners, who will pant and puff after zipping past the finishing line, not because they are tired, but only because their entire being for those 10 odd seconds was completely immersed in the act of running. And when that act ended their energy needed to vent itself in pleasurable exhaustion . Thats what I call sheer involvement dissolving itself into joyful tiredness. All of us experience such moments, when we have stretched ourselves well enough lovingly in whatever we do. It may be eating, talking, exercising, having sex, reading ,working on an important project or anything that grips our entire being without any internal division. During such moments, the body-mind experiences a heightened quietness, a natural ease quite different from what we experience otherwise.
God bless...
Yours in mortality,
Bala

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jottings : Slice of life - 35

Jottings : Slice of life  - 35

To stand upon the sacred Olympic podium once in an athlete's life time is a commendable achievement. But to walk up to it twenty times in twenty years in a span of five Olympic Games places Michael Phelps in a rarified region of sports that is not readily accessible to ordinary mortals. Granted that Phelps is naturally gifted, some may call it blessed, to possess a wingspan considerably broader than the best of swimmers. Granted his ankle is double jointed which gives him additional flexibility to propel himself. Given all these natural endowments, even then, to achieve what he has achieved is something extraordinary and special. The sheer physical endurance, excellence , sharpness, commitment and above all passion and discipline to keep going at it for such length of time at the highest echelons of the sport, only proves that the limits of Human possibility still remains undefined and  unmarked. And when a Man sets his goals high enough, nothing seems impossible.This is, after all the Greek ideal of Manhood. What started 200 hundred years in Greece as a test of Human endurance and strength to please the multitude craving for entertainment, and a platform for strong Spartans  to win the attention of their commanders and kings, and in some cases, eligible ladies; has now become the greatest spectacle of Human spirit in the modern age. Uncorrupted still, attracting the best Men and Women from all countries, placing exacting standards of measurement and quality, the games continue to remain a proof of what is possible when we put aside our national, communal ,religious baggage aside, and compete and collaborate in the spirit of being just Human, and nothing else. 

But to me, the young Gabby is the star so far. Michael Phelps only consolidated his position as the greatest in this Olympics. He had already achieved historical status years ago and it didn't come as a great deal of surprise that he performed well once again. But for Gabby, it's a different story altogether. Like her counterpart in Ballet, the graceful Misty Copeland( about whom I had written earlier this year) who redefined Ballet dancing for new generation of Black Americans for whom this art form was still an unreachable fruit; Gabby's brilliance and achievement in in the Gymnastic arena opens up a whole new vista for her people. A few months ago, during one my classes, a participant whose daughter goes to same school where Gabby practices in Texas, told me " Bala, there are 200 hundred young girls in that school. All of them top class, and invariably white. Gabby is almost an institution there. It's funny how when they hold internal competitions , students are mentally resigned to compete only for second and third  places. When asked they say " of course, Gaby is de facto first place... , we are not even close by..”. It is natural talent and capacity for hours and hours of hard work that got Gabby where she is today. She is not the archetypal beauty one would expect to see, she does not have the graceful figure of Gymnast; but one look at her, you will see in you eyes the grit, the vision and the tremendous confidence that she is the best. A chiseled, muscled body correctly proportioned for this sport, and a balance which makes all uneven bars seem childishly simple. Even her imperceptible mistakes turn out to be beautifully done. When she walks on the arena, in my eyes, she resembles a Lady cheetah all warmed up, ready for the kill. 

Gabby’s performance is of particular importance this year, when the United states has seen some of the  old, buried or sublimated racial hatred rearing its ugly face once again. The question of white and Blacks gained or gaining undue media and print time. Can there ever be an categorical answer to such questions of racial superiority. The answer is “No”, not in the realm of intellectual debate,or academic studies, or historical imperatives. It can only be found in action. When a young Gabby can raise herself to prove she is the very best possible, then all these questions die a sudden death. How can ever disagree with concrete action. In fact, it will be great injustice to Gabby’s achievement if we were to rank it as a Black woman winning a Gold medal; It is to be understood a young lady’s unnerving commitment, talent and passion consummating in this glorious achievement. And that is where the Olympics plays center stage show casing Humanity as a whole and not broken into false categories of color and creed. From the time  great Jesse Owens won the sprinting medals in a Nazi ridden Germany to Gabby, whose almost flawless performance this year - the message is clear: Color of skin or race doesn't matter. All that matters is the capacity to bring out the very best out of each Human being regardless of where they come from. 


I have reading a lot of messages and posts in social media on India’s inability to perform at world stage in sports. Few prominent writers and journalists, sitting in comfortable offices or homes have suggested that our athletes are more interested in selfies than medals. It is not our duty to argue against the credentials of such writers or their ability to understand athletics. Each one to themselves and their opinions.  But the fact remains, why is that a country of over a billion people cannot produce athletes of quality consistently. Without doubt,we have had some greats in Sprinting, Hockey, shooting and of course Cricket and tennis, but why cant we showcase a full fledged contingent of world class performers in all areas of sports, like our  neighbors China or Japan. The answer is very simple, and not far to find. As a society, we are not yet ready to gamble our children’s future on Sports and athletics. Period..To compete at the highest levels of physical sports, one must start early, persist in full time practice, be coached and trained for perfection and  more importantly must have access to good financial resources to sustain infrastructural need for such demanding training. Add to this, the unconditional support and love of Parents, allowing their kids to pursue sports as a career, and not push them to balance between academics and their talent. In developed countries, the entire system is geared to help potential boys and girls grow in sports , but In india (a developing  country), we are still struggling to find decent basic education and means of living for Millions of kids, let alone the time and effort needed to spot talent in sports. The fact that we are able to produce any sportsman at all is commendable, and an indication that we are witnessing a mobility in upper middle classes prepared enough to invest in quality coaching and facilities required. If history can teach teach us anything , it is this : a society can only release its energies towards arts, sports and other social activities once its basic needs are fulfilled. Not otherwise.  Given this yard stick, it will take a little more time for us to compete at the level of Olympics. We are slowly getting there. There is no hurry either. The important thing for us to understand is there is no disgrace or shame in not being able to do so now. Every country , like every individual, has its own period of growth. Seventy odd years as an independent nation has occupied us with very different issues, and we had to prioritize our interests. Sports was certainly not among our top concerns. It will,in due course, as the process of development matures and globalization becomes more pervasive. I am certain, a day will come , when India will be seen among the top in the tally of medals. I may not live to see it, but that alright, The march of time is not measured in a single life time. As long as we are marching there, we should remain optimists.

God bless…

Yours in Mortality,


Bala

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Jottings : Slice of life - 34

Jottings : Slice of life - 34
Though we prefer to be happy all the time,it is unmistakably true that nothing prepares us better to lead a fulfilled life than unhappiness, deep existential depression ,or to use Kierkegaard's term - a sense of despair about oneself and life around. It almost seems a contradiction in terms. While we make every effort scientifically, morally, ethically to improve the general happiness of Mankind, Man is essential unhappy within. This is a fact. But we do everything in our power not to face it. We try our best to reach a point of peace within the circumference of our outward experiences. Family, work, social life, religion - we try dabbling with all these to arrive there. But somehow despite all this effort, at odd moments, we are left utterly alone. A sense of gloom and despair pervades our being. Interestingly though, the most clarifying and transforming of experiences within an individual are often those which occur when they are in the depth of such gloom, depression or faced with a formidable internal psychological challenge. It is this mysterious predicament that prompted Leo Tolstoy to begin his immortal epic “War and peace” with “ All happy families looks alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”. Unhappiness is very personal. A smile is plastic, ephemeral and often very artificial and superficial. But sadness, deep angst within, is very deep and can never be adequately shared. It cannot be understood or resolved if it is not squarely faced and seen it for what it is. It is unhappiness which teaches, refines and possibly transforms, and prompts us to ask questions which we normally tend to avoid or gloss over.
Three of our greatest spiritual classics are based on deep personal anguish. One is “The Bhagavad Gita” and the other is Boethius “Consolations of Philosophy” and third is Marcus Aurelius “Meditations”. In the first, The warrior king Arjuna, has a psychological breakdown in the middle of an important battle. Nothing in his personality suggested such a weakness. He was the very embodiment of courage. But in a moment of sudden clarity, he faces his brewing weakness with unashamed frankness, which prompts his Charioteer - the inner Lord himself - to expound one of the most profound discourses on Human condition and redemption to him. The other is the curious case of Boethius, who held a charmed, successful and wealthy life under a Roman consul, only to branded as a traitor soon, and held in a dungeon as a condemned conspirator. While in prison, he laments his fate and blames everyone else but him for his predicament. During those moments of self- introspection and unhappiness, a muse of Philosophy in the form a lady appears to his consciousness and engages Boethius in a wonderful dialogue on wealth, fame, courage, status and true source of Happiness. It is staggering to observe parallels between the Gita and this book. And then there is the majestic ruminations of King Marcus Aurelius, whom Gibbon rates as the finest Roman emperor after Augustus and Caesar to have ruled Rome, seated in his weather beaten tent on the edges of his battlefield, viewing with equanimity the carnage war with barbarians had caused, and penning his stoical thoughts on Human life in prose that is unparalleled in spiritual literature. Just as King Ashoka had an existential crisis after his ferocious war in Kalinga, and had his moment of clarifying revelation in Buddhism; Marcus Aurelius found his truth in the stoicism of Greeks. His aphorisms spread over hundred pages, are wonderful, profound expressions of a troubled spirit trying to find meaning in Human existence and its purpose. All three books are chronicles of tormented souls, who dared to face their inner demons.
In all three individuals mentioned above, the seminal transformation occurs when they face up to discontent within, and not run away from them. Normally, we tend to flee from anything that makes us unhappy. Just as absence of disease indicates Physical health, absence of psychological conflict indicates inner happiness. But most times, we are in conflict between what we are doing and what we wish to do, between where we are right now and where we desire to be in future. And during moments of rare introspection when we begin question our premises of living, we are diverted and seek solace in mindless entertainment, do something that will “take your mind” away from it or downright rationalize the feeling without really getting down to the root cause. Such superficial remedies are for those who wish to remain flotsam and jetsam of life, and unwilling to take the plunge. For real men and women of courage, the challenge is to face discontent right on its face and seek answers. Not that answers derived will be pleasant or gratifying. Far from it sometimes. It will be unnerving and life shattering, But it is certain to be true, utterly clarifying and steady. It will anchor your being in a far more stable center than the peripherals we are so accustomed to. Pick any book of spiritual literature, you will find the author going through “ fire of hell” to see things with clarity. Inner conflict is the fire of hell, nothing more. In fact, modern psychotherapists will tell you that as well. Walking through muddle of unhappiness is walking the razors edge. Years of indoctrination, character-forming, ideologies, opinions - all of them have to questioned and understood for what it is worth. It needs extraordinary courage and a diligent mind. But the effort is worth the outcome. It is liberation.
While traveling, I always have with me one of these books. They are slim volumes and will easily fit into my laptop bag. Every now and then I dip into its pages. I am not sure why or how, but each time their words manage to strike a new chord, a fresh revelation, a clarifying insight into some aspect of my life. Perhaps, it is the sheer truth of the utterance that gives it such authenticity. Sometimes, in the midst of doing something, a word, an insight will bubble up to illuminate the task at hand. Such moments are precious. They transform and heal instantaneously. It is as if the body, mind and soul integrate for a infinitesimal moment, and in that minute gap, something mutates and changes the way we live and experience. It cannot be summoned at will. It occurs when one is vigilant and open to looking at oneself without fear.
God bless…
Yours in mortality,
Bala

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Jottings : Slice of life - 31

Jottings : Slice of life - 31
Every year during the month of Ramadan, boys and girls between the age of 10 and 20 from nearly seventy odd countries congregate in the beautiful city of Cairo in Egypt. The purpose is to participate in Quran recital competition held by the ministry of religious affairs. The day of Ramadan is chosen for this event because it was on this holy day, nearly thirteen centuries ago, that the Quran was revealed. The competition in Cairo brings together diverse threads of Moderate muslims under one roof - for whom the Quran is not merely a religion or just a codified book of injunctions, but is a way of life that embraces everything from birth to death and beyond, and this particular competition in Cairo is perhaps the most prestigious and historic of many such events conducted across the globe. For a Muslim, Lacking physical manifestation or representation of God, the word becomes very important. They not only sincerely believe but are firmly convinced that each phrase of the Quran is a direct revelation from the source of Godhead with no modification. Prophet Mohammad himself was only an apostle through whom God spoke, just as Moses was Yahweh’s, or Krishna was supreme Brahman’s. For those of us who do not know, or have not cared to know or read the Quran, it is difficult to understand the beauty of its text. Speaking for myself, There is no doubt in my mind that it is one of the fascinating religious texts. Many years ago, a young Muslim girl ( student of mine) presented to me a hand bound edition of the Quran for my reading. Her father descended from a family which traced itself back to nawabs. His passion was printing custom copies of Quran for private distribution. It still lies as a prized possession in my bookshelf. On one side is the text in its brilliant, efflorescent calligraphic Arabic, and on the other side is an English translation. The book is bound in Bluish green and hand embroidered in Golden thread with floral decorations. She had wrapped it in pure green muslin cloth tastefully knotted. She was a fair and good looking girl, and when she handed the book, she covered her head in traditional Muslim manner, and with all reverence deposited the book into my stretched arms. I have read the book multiple times with increasing interest. But nothing comes close to hearing it recited or read. Just as one stands transfixed while hearing Handel’s “Messiah”, or the vedas being chanted by trained Brahmans, the Quran has this ability to transport a listener into dizzy heights of ecstasy. For its sheer intonational beauty, cadence, depth, language and improvisation, very few texts comes close to it. Just as the rendition of Rig veda needs special training and discipline, or the stirring Christian psalms and Hymnal songs needs its musical notations, there is an elaborate musical style and formal rules for reciting the Holy Quran. After all , it is the word of God, and God’s words have to be musical and nothing else. Historically, when Prophet Mohammad heard archangel Gabriel lyrically whisper this spiritual message into his ear for over twenty three years, he did not feel the need write it down because there was no necessity. For him the message was crystal clear and needed no further elucidation or codification. When he taught this esoteric message to his disciples, again, he needed only an oral tradition and nothing else. Only after Mohammad passed away in 632 AD did his disciples decide to write down his teachings. The book in its pure form is over 75000 words, broken into more than 150 Suras or chapters, and contains a whopping 18000 unique words which need to to spoken with particular intensity, diction and pronunciation and feeling. Its a self referential text, in the sense, there are deep layers of meaning that peel out as one delves into its intricacies. Like the Vedas, there is a very special method of reading and intonation. Tajweed - as they call it - is that elaborate framework constituting guidelines on pronunciation, breath control, emotional assimilation and above all how to completely immerse and improvise spontaneously on the text itself. It takes years of formal training and practice to master and refine these rules. In fact, it should start early in childhood under an accomplished teacher. For devout muslims much like the Jews and their Talmud- Quran is their life, and daily life in all its aspects finds a place in the Quran - there is no visible separation between the two, and they deeply believe by reciting the Quran in its purest manner the gap between the material existence and spiritual essence disappears, and one comes face to face with God. On a quiet evening, if you are nearby a mosque, try listen silently to muezzin calling out its adherents to prayer and then listen to them read the Quran. An ineffable presence of purity will envelope you. No sensitive man, however hard hearted or atheistical can escape its inimitable charm .
Greg Barker, the American Documentary film maker, shot a beautiful film on the 2011 Cairo competition titled “Koran by heart” ( Available on youtube). It traces the path of three children from three different countries as wind their way to participate in the event. A young boy from Tajikistan, who doesn't understand or speak Arabic yet can recite the Quran upside down; a girl ( which is a rarity)from Maldives, who again cannot speak the language well enough and is more interested in science and maths than Quran, and the third is a boy from Senegal whose only education is the Quran and nothing else. All these areas are today hot beds of Muslim fundamentalism, but nevertheless home to some of the most devout moderate muslims in the world. In a ninety minute documentary, Barker presents the solemnity, beauty and high spiritual atmosphere of the event in Cairo and the rigor of its young participants along with their families; and in the same vein, also points out the troubles, divisions and doubts that prevail in practicing their true faith and the future of these young kids as they set foot into a more egalitarian world. It is a sensitive documentary for troubled times; definitely worth watching.
Every organized religion, whether it be Christian, Hindu, Jewish or Islam bases it authority on a text or texts. The question is whether knowing the words and sentences in the text by heart can be considered as a measure of spiritual growth and maturity, or would an understanding of the reality represented by such texts be of greater importance to oneself and other around. This is a debatable point,and you will find equal number of defendants on either side. The mystical side of religion: Hasidism, Christian mysticism of desert fathers, Advaita, Sufism or Zen buddhism - all of them reject the word and look to the moon pointed by the finger, and the formal adherents of faith swear by the letter of their books than spirit of it. In the cleft of this difference, lies the origin of all religious conflicts. We love our children, in fact we are proud, if they can recite their respective religious texts. They become show pieces in family gatherings. But the question is: Do we encourage or foster learning what those texts mean in its original essence. Barker’s documentary raises that question quite subtly and well. And this question is not pertinent only to muslims or the Holy Quran. it is equally applicable to all formally practiced religions around the globe.
God bless…
yours in mortality ,
Bala