As a child I was always resentful I was born. Other children had been born too, and seemed to bear this with good grace, but for me, it seemed so unfair, especially with the parents I had. My father, a man, and my mother, a woman, were both from Pakistan. Ordinarily, a Pakistani man and a Pakistani woman having a baby is not a momentous event. Children are very common in that country. What was special about my parents were that they gave birth to me.
This event took place in London, city of a Thousand Extremists, but more on that later, including the Dramatic Recruitment, and my Dramatic Escape, all highlighted in my new Book. Have i mentioned my Book yet? No? Ok.
Growing up in London, it was clear that my faith, my dress sense and my predeliction for playing with girls marked me out to be different. It did not help that I wanted to do sporty things with girls like soccer (I know it is called soccer because tours to promote my Book have taken me all the way to Los Angeles). This led to a terrible confusion on my part, and I spent most of my childhood being beaten up by girls. Again, in the early eighties, this was before Girl Gangs, another revelation taken from my Book.
As I have tried to point out, things were very difficult for me as a child. Then came the notion of a religious education. You see, I really liked christmas carols, not just at christmas, all the time. No really, i mean all the time. As I was recovering from the bruises the girls inflicted on me, I sang ‘Little Donkey’ and ‘As Shepherds washed their socks by night’.
This became a real problem on two fronts. One was my parents, who thought I was going a little bit crazy. I merely assured them that this was the National Anthem. Because I said it in English, they believed me. The next problem also came from my parents. My parents were cousins before they were married, not first cousins, but more like second cousins once removed, which means basically, my father married his distant aunt. When I was growing up, sometime he would refer to her as his ‘Auntie’ rather than wife. That is something I have still not become used to.
My parents attitude to religion was very relaxed, very cultural. When the Imam of the local mosque came by once a month, the Imam would pretend he was coming to do some minor religious duty, and my parents would put on their religious clothing, and they would go through their regular charade. Now, because my parents religious clothing was only worn once a month, the clothes always looked new. Consequently, the local imam thought we were rich and religious, and the meetings kept on happening. Thats was my only contact with religion when I was growing up.
One particular incident struck me. I saw my father one night sneaking out into the back yard. Fearing he was a closet polygamist, I sneaked out behind him, to observe his potential bigamy. However, my father remained in the back yard. He started whispering in the darkness, and out of nowhere a big bouncy blonde dog appeared. My father then started to play with the dog, throwing balls to fetch and mock wrestling it. He had never shown myself or my mother this much attention. I did not understand how if dogs were so unclean, my father would be playing rough and tumble with a rather shiny golden retriever. These disappointments were the beginning of my split with my parents.
Next: Hizbutized at College