An Open letter to Ant Azmi

“If there is sugar, ants will come.” says Abu Azmi


Mr Azmi,

I would have started the letter with “Dear Mr Azmi,” but you might have misunderstood the “dear” to be of a more personal nature. I couldn’t have that.

I might have reminded you that the meaning of your first name Abu — also means ‘Father’.  But then I’m not sure who I’m speaking to. A man or an insect. And one never knows what goes on in an insect’s mind.

It has always seemed peculiar to me that dress codes, long, short, veiled, unveiled, or none — have always been compared to ” The West” in a certain kind of gender discourse. And yet, in another kind of gender discourse, we are told “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.”

Ugliness too, l should imagine, if logic is allowed to impinge on poetry at all.

So tell me Mr Azmi….. is Mister an appropriate address for an ant by the way…..? What does how I dress, have anything to do with geography? I concede, it might have something to do with Direct to Home satellite dishes, which transmit a really wide array of fashion lines to my Indian culture-approved vastu-proof house.

And why this obsession with the West anyway?

These dresses, or un-dresses as you like to call them, could have come from east of the 84th meridian too you know. Like New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, the Aleutian Islands… take your pick.

But I overdo I see. It might be too much to expect a mind and body of your little reach, to think so far as the Aleutian islands.

I must say, in as plain words as even you can understand, Ant Azmi – that you are a blot on my culture. Indeed, on culture as such. If culture were to be considered at all to mean a society’s excellence in arts, letters, manners and  scholarly pursuits. 

There is an innocence in these millennials that you are not capable of understanding. Your hexapodal anatomy gives you absolutely no capacity to understand this. With that innocence also comes a unique and deadly stupidity.

They were indeed stupid to believe that they could prance around on roads with other boys and girls and not expect to be pawed, molested and de-clothed.

I hope they retain that stupidity forever.

They were stupid indeed, to believe that this is a benevolent world. That human beings are not to be automatically feared, loathed and hated.

I lost that kind of stupidity a long time ago. But I hope the millennials  never, ever, lose theirs.

Some of these young boys and girls may yet grow up to be men and women. They may yet build a world in which policemen do their jobs, molesters get picked up for being dip-shits and ants like you are dead of diabetes.

I hope they will retain their magnanimity of spirit when they understand you for what you are.

But you Ant Azmi, for you, ugliness is indeed in the eye of the beholder. You are not yet of the breed of men. You never will be. You would do yourself and the world a kindness if you went to prey among your own kind.


Sarita Rani

Women ‘straying away’ from Indian culture reason for Bengaluru mass molestation, says Abu Azmi




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