Archive for March, 2012

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Yeah, right!

By the way, I am not a Marxist. I just used the Scholars and Rogues cartoon because it’s nice. I mean, telling. I mean, it’s pretty close to what I’ve been trying to tell you here.

By the way, Scholars and Rogues? Who in the world did come up with such an insulting name? I mean, come on, man, couldn’t you find something respectful?

Anyway, I have something to say here. Would you care to listen?

See, this democracy thingy, like, the business of voting and all — aint workin’ for me. And I’m gettin’ f… tired of it. Honest to God, I swear it.

Is it working for you? It is? Well, I am glad. Good for you. It aint, for me.

I mean, the business of voting and the electing. The big parties and their big partying — Democrats, Republicans here in the U.S. Or, like, Congress and BJP and the hundreds of crooks and liars over there in India. Or, Liberals and Conservatives in the good-ole Kueen’s Kountry. Their confettis and their carnivals. their festoons and frolics. And their fat fame too.

Their sweet smiles and sweet talks — especially a few times every four or five years depending on how frequently you vote and flex your democratic muscle. You vote for them: you get awed, inspired and even teary-eyed at their firm handshakes and fancy suits and fine speeches. Their bow ties and BMWs. The massive money raising and jaw-droppin’ spending. The big email barrage from their big, undisclosed garage. The phony euphemism of one candidate and the trashy trash of the other make you non-utterly un-confused. The third candidate is always absent.

Neighborhood kid Joe the Schmo runs against neighborhood kid Jane the Jolly — By Golly — people who their own people tell us grew up in your neighborhood even though you never saw them, and those who dress up and look and talk and act and not act and play and go hidin’ exactly the same way, but just not your way, or for that matter, your neighborhood’s way.

Family Film Flashes Flesh for “Fun.”

Then, the non-issue made a big issue, and the real issue made a non-issue. The exclusion, half-exclusion, distortion, frontpaging of no-news and backpaging of frontpage news. A crazy head of state in India bans newspapers she don’t like. Baseball, golf and cricket become larger than life — at least, larger than your TV screen. Foul-addict footballers and phony-filmsy film stars…get covered for what you and I want to keep covered, like, in shyness and in shame. We do one thing and teach our children to follow it. They do something radically different — like, flash their thighs in front of millions of people and their children across the world, and get prime time praise too. Nobody calls them radical. You and I protest their obscenity and rip off the paper on the subway. You and I are called people to suspect. We get watched.

Now, just this week, U.S. Supreme Court said the watch-men and watch-women can hold you for any goddamn reason and strip search you. Wow, baby, that’s real privacy. It tickles me, man! Like, prying your private parts. This land of privacy keeps surprising me all the time!

It all sounds like cliché, right? Well, that’s a part of the game too. You say the same-old, stupid things over and over again. Like, things I’m saying here now. It becomes cliché. You put it in a non-commercial blog. Very few read it. You walk an extra mile and make it a YouTube. Nobody watches. Even your own family members and close friends laugh at you. Or, worse, they say, “It’s nice.” That’s sad.

Meanwhile, the international bank criminals and international war criminals walk free (the Supreme Court could pry their privacy open too, but they didn’t). The little criminals and the totally innocent get life in privately-owned prison without parole. Or, they get shot and killed by gun-toting police and self-appointed, crazy neighborhood watch guys.

The 24/7 war game goes on. They find WMD in Iraq; at least, New York Times and Judith Miller find them. Then, they find nu nukes in a nu Goddamn country. The propaganda…I mean expert opinions…work. The 24/7 fear game comes back live on TV. The visible, lethal tanks and guns and the invisible, lethal gun lobby take over. They bring back the orange and semi-orange and red terror alerts. You don’t want to open your mouth. I try. My family members and close friends forbid me. They say, didn’t you hear on TV the urgent, state-of-the-estate…I mean, state-of-the-state press conference? Our elected president and popular prime minister asked the nation to show patriotism, patience and sacrifice. They say, we must sacrifice at this urgent hour. They say, it’s not normal time. We must be more patriotic and patient now than ever before.

Then, sandwiched between two such abnormal, patriotic, orange-alert, more-sacrificing, patient times, there is a small window of normal, peace time. I keep sacrificing. I keep patience’ing. I lost my old house because I lost my job and then I lost my health care and could not pay the medical bills and could not pay the mortgage bills. We now live in a small apartment in East Brooklyn. Patiently.

My twenty-year-old son dropped out of college because I could not pay his college bills. My thirty-year-old, married daughter returns home to live with us with her two children because her husband lost his job and he said they shipped his factory out to China for good and that there’s no way he could work at McDonald’s, flipping burgers. Three months later, he starts working at McDonald’s. They still live with us.

I however get just a tiny-winy impatient that the visible, killing inflation and price gouging and the invisible, killing lobbyists, pushers and price gougers do not share our sacrifice — whether it’s abnormal war time or patient peace time. Oil companies, food companies, seed companies, milk companies, drug companies, tree-turned-toilet-paper companies, computer chip and hightech companies, the bank and money companies, and companies who play companies like a Las Vegas casino do not sacrifice either. They get themselves hefty bonuses. I heard they also bought big houses and went to Bali for one of their recent vacations. Or, was it Bermuda they went?

These Occupy kids are so violent I can’t believe it!

My son got a little impatient too — dumb kid. He went to protest on Wall Street. He came back home two days later with his face swollen, one broken tooth and right arm in a sling. My wife is treating him now. She is his home-based doctor.

The patient guy who’s resting in the hammock and complaining about the Goddamn Marxists seems he’s having a swell time, and peace time. For the others who’re working for him as a tree…well…I forgot to ask them their feelings. Maybe, you can do that. Please. Would you?

I mean, this democracy thingy was supposed to be something simple — something you and I could see with our own simple eyes in our own simple life…before death. Right? I always thought democracy and voting and electing our leaders would lead us out of this misery and mess…before death. I always believed democratically elected leaders would find jobs, provide health care and education, and lead us into a world free of violence, prison camps, drugs and gun killings.

Now, where are the people we elected the last time? Do you see them way up there — like, how do they do their democracy? You do? Well, I am glad. Good for you. I don’t. Maybe, I should see an eye doctor.

As soon as I get my eye insurance, I’ll see a good opthalmokocist…or, whatever that is. Optrimician.

By the way, this blog is not about sarcasm. This is about circus.

No…wait…it’s about democracy, and voting.

Yeah, right.

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

onefinalblog:

NOTE: I am re-blogging this post on this sad, one-month observance of Trayvon Martin’s death. A seventeen-year-old’s life was suddenly taken away from his parents, family and friends. I strongly feel he could be my kid, and I mourn his loss. I hope we all come together and fight back against this all-pervasive wrong. Let us save our kids from guns, violence and injustice.

Originally posted on onefinalblog:

My Kid’s Name is Trayvon Martin

UPDATE JULY 14, 2013. Zimmerman has been acquitted. ONLY HAPPENS IN AMERICA. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html?hp&target=comments#commentsContainer

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Update April 11.Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with a second-degree murder. Visit news athttp://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/george-zimmerman-to-be-charged-in-trayvon-martin-shooting-law-enforcement-official-says/2012/04/11/gIQAHJ5oAT_story.html

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“Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26 when he was shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer who had called police and reported a “real suspicious guy” wearing a hoodie.

Martin was found dead, unarmed, with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.

The neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, claims he acted in self-defense and has not been arrested.”

This is NBC news today. I therefore put it in quotes.

What is so special about the news? Which part is the one you don’t understand?

If you ask me, I understand all of it. Here’s how I understand it — point…

View original 709 more words

My Kid’s Name is Trayvon Martin

UPDATE JULY 14, 2013. Zimmerman has been acquitted. ONLY HAPPENS IN AMERICA. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/us/george-zimmerman-verdict-trayvon-martin.html?hp&target=comments#commentsContainer

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Update April 11. Zimmerman has been arrested and charged with a second-degree murder. Visit news at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/george-zimmerman-to-be-charged-in-trayvon-martin-shooting-law-enforcement-official-says/2012/04/11/gIQAHJ5oAT_story.html

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“Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Fla. on Feb. 26 when he was shot dead by a neighborhood watch volunteer who had called police and reported a “real suspicious guy” wearing a hoodie.

Martin was found dead, unarmed, with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea.

The neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman, claims he acted in self-defense and has not been arrested.”

This is NBC news today. I therefore put it in quotes.

What is so special about the news? Which part is the one you don’t understand?

If you ask me, I understand all of it. Here’s how I understand it — point by point.

1. Trayvon Martin was a seventeen year-old kid.

(He could be my kid. He could be your kid. He could be anybody’s kid.)

2. He was walking home from a 7-Eleven in Sanford, Florida. It was February 26, 2012. It was after dark.

(He could be my kid. He could be your kid. He could be anybody’s kid.)

3. He was unarmed.

(That’s not a crime. Right?)

4. He only had Skittles and an iced tea with him.

(That’s not criminal, either.)

5. He was followed by a so-called neighborhood watch volunteer — whatever that means — who had a gun.

(That sounds scary to me — especially if I put my kid in that situation.)

6. Trayvon Martin, the seventeen-year-old kid who went to buy Skittles and iced tea at his neighborhood 7-11, wore a hoodie, this so-called neighborhood watch volunteer — whatever that means who had a gun — reported to police that he found a “real suspicious guy.”

(That sounds scary to me — especially if I put my kid in that situation. Wearing a hoodie is normally not criminal. What do you think?)

7. Trayvon Martin, unarmed except for his Skittles and iced tea on him, was shot dead. They found his dead body on the street.

(The kid is now dead. He was seventeen. He was suddenly killed by a man who thought the kid was “suspicious.”)

8. The so-called neighborhood watch volunteer whatever that means, George Zimmerman, claims he acted in self-defense.

(I want to act in self-defense too, if my kid is suddenly killed. What do I do? Please let me know. I shall follow your advice. I don’t have a gun. I don’t kill. What can I do?)

9. Therefore, from the NBC news report, it is obvious that the so-called neighborhood watch guy, George Zimmerman, meant his act was shooting and killing Trayvon Martin.

(In fact, the guy never denied it. Ever.)

10. The guy who shot and killed an unarmed seventeen-year-old boy was not arrested.

(He was not arrested even though he never denied he shot and killed an unarmed kid who went to to buy Skittles and iced tea at his neighborhood 7-11.)

As you can see, I understood the whole story. I have no confusion. I have no illusion.

I got more news tonight on Trayvon Martin.

His parents appeared Wednesday on the “TODAY” show and said their child had been frightened for his life because he was being followed by Zimmerman.

“He was on his way home. He had every right to have on his hoodie. It was raining. Why not put on his hoodie to prevent getting wet?” his father said on “TODAY.”

This is the ONLY part I do not understand. I have seen my kid wearing a hoodie even when it’s not raining. In fact, I myself wear a hoodie every time I get a chance — in sun, in rain, in cold weather, in pleasant weather.

In fact, I plan to wear a hoodie at the Million Hoodie March in New York. I plan to wear a hoodie in front of Fox studio here in New York, especially when Geraldo does his show in that big, jail-like building.

NY Post before 9/11. How fierce they’ve changed!

Have you heard about Amadou Diallo? No? Look it up. He was an immigrant from Guinea who lived in the Bronx. One cold night about twelve years ago, he was shot and killed by New York Police Department cops who thought Amadou looked suspicious. Amadou did not have a gun. He was killed instantly, with a barrage of bullets the cops fired at him. The cops who killed him were all acquitted by the American justice system.

Have you heard about Sean Bell who was killed in Queens on the night of his wedding? No? Please look it up.

I don’t know what will happen to the so-called neighborhood watch guy who thought Trayvon looked suspicious, and therefore followed him and then shot and killed him.

I cannot predict the American justice system. I only feel strongly tonight that my kid’s name is Trayvon Martin.

That’s all I wanted to say.

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Trayvon Martin’s Parents are Us

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I am a naked sadhu
— a holy man.

I live in a cave — away from civilization.

I cannot reach out and touch the rest of the world — its people, pleasures and pain. In fact, I do not want to.

I have voluntarily exiled myself.

I have ash smeared all over my unclothed body. I have not took a shower for years. I have not had any cooked food for ages. I have not wore clothes for eons.

I have a smoking clay kiln with firewood from the surrounding forest. It burns day and night. The smoke fills up the entire cave. Nobody can see me from outside. Nobody has the guts to come in. There’s an invisible chalk circle.

I sleep whenever I wish. I wake up whenever I wish. I eat and drink whenever I wish. I follow no rules of civilization no more.

But I am still strong. I am strong physically. I am strong mentally. Unlike most others, I can clearly think. I can analyze.

I don’t speak much. But I can speak. I speak only when I want to speak. Nobody can make me speak. Nobody can make me do anything.

I do not need anything either from the so-called civilization. I am just fine without needs. A sadhu has no need. A sadhu has no greed.

People who I left behind believe I am sore, disillusioned and disturbed. They are right — more or less.

I am angry but not destructive. I am disillusioned but objectively so. I am disturbed because only the mindless can be undisturbed at the way things are going in that so-called civilization. Just the other day, they shot and killed women and children in their sleep, and burned their bodies. It was not honor killing.

Life has no meaning. Home has no meaning. Hope has no meaning.

I renounced life as I knew it because finally I woke up to realize that I have been cheated all my life — by the people who have power. I came to realize that they’ve always cheated me of my dues, dignity and dimes. I know, for sure, there is no democracy when it comes to honor and honesty for the ordinary. I was ordinary when I lived and worked in civilization. I did not see any honesty or honor coming my way.

I could be screaming violent about it. I could’ve exploded in anger at the injustice and insults I’ve experienced all my life. I could speak and write about all the lies, half truths and exclusions of truth.

But I won’t do it no more. I am a sadhu. I am a holy man. I do not believe in violence. I renounced pains and pleasures and people too. I renounced reaction.

I decided to withdraw — completely. It is an absolute renunciation.

Just outside of my cave, life is still dancing away. Just outside of my shelter, love is still waving at me. Lust is inviting me with open arms — in an explicit gesture of seduction. All the material pleasures — money, mauds and maids included — are eagerly waiting for me just outside. They’re using all their seductive mights to lure me away from this exile. Urvashis and Venuses, Ratis and Aphrodites are ready with sensuous movements of their oblique glances and wavy curves. The mortal bankers and earthly treasurers are waiting to shower me with their usurped mountains of dark, sinful cash. Military, mafia, machines and monsters and their pimps are also sending their vicious, bone-chilling threats to pull me out of this maximum isolation.

But I know, they will all fail to accomplish their mission.

I am now meditating my autobiography. I am a naked sadhu — a holy man. I am like Buddha in his deepest meditation under the Bodhi Tree — searching for the meaning of life.

Only in my case, I’m not searching for life. I have seen life.

I am content in my cave.

Do not disturb me.

You cannot disturb me.

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Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Nightmare on Boyhood Street

Posted: March 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Nightmare on Boyhood Street. My personal, real story on child beating and classroom violence in India. Please read (click on the link), comment and circulate. Thank you.

Violence on students

A special note: I’d like to take a moment to thank all the readers especially those who read it from places I otherwise have no way to reach. It is a matter of great comfort that this post was read in countries — other than India, USA, Canada and U.K. — such as Austria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Poland, Spain and Thailand (and some more). I believe the cruelty and violence I described in this blog is global, and there is enough reason to believe that we are trying to find solidarity here — to stop this brutality. Thank you, readers. I hope you take a moment to share it with others. -Partha

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Nightmare on Boyhood Street

Today, I remember a day from my school life. I was thirteen at that time – an eighth grader. It was Calcutta, India. It was perhaps a late summer day.

Calcutta’s name has now changed to Kolkata. Bombay has changed to Mumbai. Madras is now Chennai. A lot has changed in India since then…a lot…especially with the invasion of new shopping malls, MTV, McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut.

Has child abuse changed in India? If your answer is yes, show me how. Give me some examples. If your answer is no, tell me why not.

Here is a real story from a real life.


Bang, bang, bang…

Punch, punch…

Whack, whack, blow…

Slap, slap, kick, thud…

A stout, muscular man in his forties held a young boy by the hair. He held him down with one hand. With his other hand, he beat up the boy mercilessly. He beat him up continuously. He punched him on his head and upper body. He slapped him fiercely, repeatedly, on his tender cheeks. He pulled his hair so hard that the boy was almost airborne. He pulled his earlobes so strongly that they were blood red. The slaps made reddish pink finger marks on his cheeks.

Along with the beating, the man groaned, ground his teeth, and grunted, “Huh, huh, huh…”

The boy took the abuse…the horrible beating. But he did not fight back. And he did not cry out, or ask for mercy. He did not ask him to stop. He did not show any visible sign of pain.

That made the man even angrier. He became more violent. He forced the boy to sit in an animal position, with his palms and knees touching the floor. The man then climbed up on him, and started to hit his back with his bent elbow. He also kicked him…or did he?

The violence went on for nearly ten, fifteen, twenty minutes…maybe, half an hour. The man lost his sense of time. The boy did too. He was nearly unconscious at this point.

The entire episode happened in a classroom. It happened in front of some forty or fifty frozen, traumatized, eighth-grade students. They watched it with horror;  some covered their faces. A few of them fell sick. Another boy urinated in his pants. One of their teachers was doing this to one of their classmates: they couldn’t believe their eyes! But none of them stood up or said a word against the barbarism. They watched it in complete silence…for the entire time.

Ashu Kar, a teacher in our famous, 150-year-old, missionary Scottish Church Collegiate School, was famous for his bad temper. There were a few other teachers who were even more notorious than him. They were never known for their quality of teaching or love for the students; they were only known for their dexterity to mercilessly, violently beat the kids.

But luckily, these men would not teach us, some of the best students. Back then, Scottish had merit-based promotion; they would always place us in Section A because we topped in the final exam. The abusive teachers would not take our classes. We were privileged to get some of the phenomenal educators of Calcutta whose presence in the classroom was like a gentle breeze coming off the ocean. Shyamadas Mukherjee of Mathematics, Bijan Goswami and Amiya Roy of Bengali, Rev. Santosh Biswas and Sudhendu Deuri of English, Nitya Sengupta of Chemistry, and Tarun Datta of Biology. Then, there was our famous headmaster A. R. Roy, known for his personality and poise. They were great teachers. We learned from them as eagerly and as fast as blotting paper would soak up water or ink – through every possible capillary of our young, inquisitive minds. We’d look forward to their classes.

The horrible hangmen would get the poor, “backward” students in Section C, D or E. We’d often hear horror stories from them. Even in elementary school, in fourth grade, there was severe student abuse. And I’m not even talking about the verbal abuse that was commonplace: teachers would make personal, intrusive, insulting, snide, negative remarks, constantly on a daily basis, to students that did not do well in tests or failed to turn in the homework; particularly, students who came from underprivileged families. Indian boys and girls were used to verbal abuse. At home, they got it from their fathers, uncles or neighbors. At school, they got it from teachers. The verbal insult and undermining would dash their self-esteem once and for all.

Now I’m talking about the more serious, inhumane, physical abuse. We the “good” boys from Section A came to know about them in middle school, since maybe, when we were in sixth or seventh grade.

Police beating a child

There were two men named Mr. Jana and Mr. Dafadar who took Section E classes only: boys who did the poorest in last year’s finals. They brought in class their own special teaching methods and tools. Every day, they’d enter the classroom, and before doing anything else, call out some students they decided the worst backbenchers. They’d line them up outside the classroom facing against the wall, with their arms all the way up, the length of the arm touching the wall, as if cops doing a shakedown on them. I’m convinced these teachers were cops or military men before they became teachers; they did it to their sixth, seventh or eighth-grade students exactly the way cops did it to suspected, frisked criminals. Or, in case of today’s India or USA, anyone the cops or military might suspect to be trouble makers.

Jana and Dafadar – I don’t remember which one was more dangerous – would then return to classroom, take attendance for the remaining students, give them some meaningless work to do – maybe, a bunch of arithmetic or English grammar problems from the textbook without showing them how to do it, and return to their “favorite” students waiting outside. Now, they’d stick out their personal, two-feet-long, wooden ruler scale or a long, bent cane, and spank the students real hard until they all cried out in pain. Some diehards would not budge; some of the kids were so used to it that they’d look the other way, and chuckle while the bad cops kept beating the others. If they’re lucky, they’re spared. If Jana and Dafadar caught them chuckling, they’d have some more special treat that day.

Some E or D students regularly cut classes. They also nicknamed the abusive teachers: Jana and Dafadar were called Jharudar or something, meaning the sweeper; alternately, it could mean the one who beats badly.

That was them. Then there was our Ashu Kar. In between, there were some more child molesters – big or small.

Why do people get so violent? Why are some people so cruel? What pleasure do some big, powerful men get out of beating young boys or girls who can’t resist or fight back?

Sigh…tears…sigh…tears…sigh…

Sincerely Writing,

Partha

Brooklyn, New York

Owner beating child worker at a textile factory

 

Goddesses Descend from Tagore's Paradise

Monsoon Clouds Galore…in Dreams. Read more here. Click on the link. Let me know your thoughts. Please.