Saturday, October 31, 2009

Msgs from friends 42

Msg from Safiul Haque


So happy, to see upon checking my gmail, after long neglect, that you personally addressed some of your mail to me. I'll be running off to a dentist's appointment [what a job -- paid to inflict pain!]. So I'll catch up later. I read yet another version of the Gita and was inspired to write a piece for your blog which I'm attaching and which I hope you'll put up and which I fervently hope offends nobody. People can be very touchy where religion is concerned.

Great event -- this summer N.K. came to visit. We met after almost 50 years! I was thrilled. He and his wife could only stay one night. I'll write something about that later. For now -- attaching my blog contribution.

I am glad you are as usual busy and leading a full and eventful life and doing good things. May God grant me a visit to Kolkata so I can meet all of my old friends who're there.



Amar mon cholo jai bhromonay
Krishno onuraag’er baganay.
Let us go a-roving my heart;
In the orchard of Krishna-love.

Several months ago, I finally read the Bhagbat Gita. I adore the Mahabharat and have read it several times, in English and Bangla translations, its grip on me increasing with each reading. So, naturally, I wanted to read the Gita – a part of that epic tale.

My dada [grand uncle, i.e. my father’s maama or uncle], was a musulli [pious person], and, of course, my murubbi [an elder relative, thus more experienced and knowledgeable and ergo owed deference. By the way, his son, Iftekar, graduated from Goethals and was several years my senior – Mr. Lobo and N.K. may remember him because he was a good cricketer and played for the school team.] Anyway, in my [then] youthful folly, I was disparaging the Gita in his presence.

Clearly displeased, he asked, in one of the many dialects of Bangla, “Gita fori dekhso?” [Have you actually read the Gita?] No, I hadn’t. He said, “Fori dekhio. Onek kichhuu shikhaar achhay.” [Read it and see. There is a lot to learn from it.] Thus it became incumbent upon me to read the Gita. Almost forty odd years later, long after he has passed away, I have finally followed his advice and discovered that truly, there is a lot to learn from the Gita.

The Gita is part of my cultural DNA. Those traits that Krishna advises Arjun to accept as ideal, that state of equilibrium summarized in the expression, “Shukhay dukhay obichol” [by happiness and adversity (remain) equally unaffected] form also a part of my ideology. Not that I have attained that desirable state, only that I believe it is a goal worthy of striving towards.

But, anyway, can you resolve some issues/questions? I wish to offend no one by raising them – but am acutely aware that I might displease, especially those who approach the Gita [and Mahabharat] through a curtain of faith that often asks of others an a priori condition of unquestioning acceptance. I have questions about all religions (including my own).
Incidentally, for doubt-raising questions about Christianity read “Misquoting Jesus” by Bart D. Ehrman. To learn how to cast aspersions upon Islam, you needn’t read any book, just listen to talk radio. Talking of Islam, I’m reading “Bishaad Shindhu” (Sea of Sorrows) written in 1885 by an author born exactly 100 years before me. It is about the massacre of Imam Hossein and his party at Karbala. That historical event of some 1400 years past is commemorated annually as Moharraam. The book is written in formal Bangla. But I’m finding it hard going – it does not have the verve of an “Arabya Oopon-naash” (literally, Arabian Tales – “The Arabian Nights” in the English version, I have even seen it, in English, as “Arabian Knights”) or the writings of, say, Sharat Chandra, written in the same style of Bangla. That the pages are mixed up in the copy I’m reading doesn’t help either. So – on to my issues:

It strikes me that Arjun’s questions to Krishna, in the Gita, are pertinent, imbued with humaneness. To him, standing firm on a claim to real estate is worthless if its result can only be the death, by his own hand mostly, of those he loves. He seems to champion ohingsha or ahimsa [non-ferocity, peacefulness, love], whereas Krishna urges killing.

When Krishna’s answers don’t satisfy or convince Arjun, Krishna takes to bedazzling him. Krishna shows him his true form. Arjun’s brain is overcome at the realization of the limitless might of Krishna. He acquiesces. This is not so much winning an argument through rationality and force of logic as via “shock and awe.”

Oh I “get it” that the Gita is championing duty [to fight for what is right] above everything. What I cannot bring myself to wholeheartedly accept is that to engage in a conflict so fraught with extreme consequences for mere inheritance is necessarily the right fight. I mean, there are other issues to take a firm stance upon. For example, when someone is putting his wife, that too, not his alone, but four other persons’, up as the bet in a gamble. Why was no protest voiced then, or the act questioned by any righteous character in the story, or even in the tenor of the tale?

Also, such a position of egging on war is contradictory to what Krishna lovers preach as their main tenet. To my limited knowledge, boishnabs [followers of the Bhakti cult, a cult of Krishna worship – Sri Sri Chaitanya Deb, Lalon Fakir too, I daresay] preached only love, love, and more love for humanity, albeit Lalon had crazy notions of confining that love to a Platonic level.

And what about the Mahabharat, a tale I find more gripping than the Ramayan? In that enthralling epic most of my questions center on Karna. Arjun was brave. Why not? He was taught by the greatest masters. He owned the Gandiv bow, a gift from heaven whose possessor, by godly boon, could not be defeated in battle. Where is the glory in being brave when the consequence of battle is certain victory? This is akin to, in modern times, the bravery of soldiers inside tanks shooting down children armed with stones from a mile away. Bravery is refusing to fight on grounds of principle even when victory is certain -- the position taken by Arjun, discouraged by Krishna.

Karna has been unfairly treated from birth. His mother foolishly invoked the Sun god and, when Karna was born upon the god’s having his way with her, she abandoned him. He had to train his own self in the arts of war, no fancy gurus for him. As the oldest of the Pandav brothers, he should be the heir to Pandu’s possessions – but far from giving him, or even informing him, of his rights, he was insulted as not being high born enough to compete for the hand of Draupadi against Arjun. The wrongs against him were compounded when all the boons he had acquired from the gods were taken away through, basically, trickery – he was divested of one of these protections by his own mother who had visited upon him supreme denial at birth to begin with. Why? What fault was it of his that injustice upon injustice should be heaped upon him? Despite these setbacks, he remained brave, dutiful, respectful, loyal, not to mention generous [data Karna – Karna, the giver]. Now that’s a character to admire.

Yet, in the Mahabharat, Karna is a villain. Yes, he was vengeful; wouldn’t you be in his shoes? The Pandavs, who had it good by comparison, were they any less vengeful? No; but it is Karna who is evil. Evil because he was on the side that won Draupadi in a game of chance and then attempted to insult her modesty. Draupadi wants revenge and goads her five husbands [the Pandavs] on, berates them for their cowardice, their failure to act like Kshatryas. Now there’s vengefulness for you. [By the way, one of Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni’s books, “The Palace of Illusions” is pretty interesting. In it the Mahabharat is narrated by Draupadi, from her point of view.] Draupadi blames Karna and company entirely. Yet, as an Indian author pointed out, she has nothing to say to the husband who put her up as the stake in said game of chance and then, to add insult to injury, lost her. And who did this terrible deed? – none other than Juthishtir, the son of Dharma [god of ethical principles] himself!

Some of these issues that were raised in my [then] young and foolish mind long ago still remain in this [now] old and foolish mind. For those whose ire I might invoke: You can hush me with your righteous irritation or you can enlighten me. Be aware that my understanding of the text may be mixed up. Since I’ve read various texts and commentaries over the years, I may be confusing one with another. I may be imputing to the Gita [and also the Mahabharat] what it doesn’t actually state. If so, set me straight.

Other than that, in the “real world” classes have begun for the Fall semester. When some heartrendingly attractive form is spotted, this graying head does not turn. No wish to indulge in Krishna-love as practiced upon the gopis [cowherd girls] by him even enters the realm of wishful thinking. Why not? Because this saying – about Krishna, I’ll wager – should never be forgotten:

Debota’r bela’ay leela khela
Paap joto amar bela.
[What is for them sublime amorous play.
For me is a cardinal sin, the gods say.]


Glad to receive your mail.
The doubts expressed by you regarding the Mahabharata comes to the mind of any rational being.
But in many cases in religion you have to suspend your reason because with our finite minds we try to fathom the Infinite. That is where faith takes over from reason.
The immaculate conception of Jesus and the way King Dhritarastra, King Pandu and Bidhur were conceived by their mothers by just walking naked in front of Ved Vyasji who just cast a glance over them, cannot be accepted by our rational minds.
However, if you realize that He has made the whole Universe, just by power of thought, without anything, you can explain everything.
The whole universe around us is finite.
It was made one day and it will perish one day.
The time may vary.
Our Sun has been there for millions of years and will be there for millions of years.
But still one day it will become a dead star.
Of course human life will perish much before that.
But He Who was there before the sun was there and will be there after the sun has gone cannot be understood by us who are there for maybe 60/70 of maybe 150 years.
Do keep writing.
Your mails do make us think.


I was very impressed with your letter. I wouldn’t call my queries “doubts” regarding the Mahabharat and Gita as you say. They are more like puzzlements.
Your reply was measured, patient and reasoned. All belief must be cocooned in faith. Because, as one of my very first professors at university, and he was a Harvard man, used to say, “When faith walks in the door, reason goes out the window.” Yet, your point is well made – that mayhap it is foolhardy to try to understand the infinite with our very finite and puny intellects.
Another friend wrote this response which you might find interesting:
A few observations: like you, I see every faith as part of the spiritual history of humankind - each has something to offer, none has the whole story and they all complement each other. One can't be truly spiritual if we sit on judgment over others and condemn their faith while claiming ours is "better". Unfortunately too many people take things literally which is what fundamentalism is about in every faith. The stories in the Ramayana and Mahabharata are no different from what we learn about the gods of the Greeks and Romans or Aesop's fables. Rather than apply our so called rational minds to these traditions, the real issue is what is the lesson in the story or parable for us? Maybe the lesson is to figure it out for ourselves and do what is right for us. Some may choose to follow Krishna, others can admire Arjun. After all isn't that what freedom of religion and "free will" is all about? The beauty of faith and spirituality (rather than any kind of prescriptive religion) is that we transcend the boundaries of science and apply our head and heart to the most important question that we all struggle with i.e. how do we live our lives and what gives us meaning? Our spiritual search only provides partial answers which is why the journey never ends and to confine ourselves to one religion is like participating in partisan politics - it keeps us limited to "us vs. them" thinking, jihads/crusades, competition, the pursuit of success and "victories" instead of reaching across and seeing how we are all interconnected and interdependent and how we can co-operate across faiths, races and cultures. Don't look for "rational" explanations, it is all part of the magic and the mystery. Science encourages us to deny our emotional intuitive side in the mythical pursuit of "objectivity", but that is another discussion. The stock markets don't behave rationally, love is not rational and knowledge is constructed on the basis of our individual world views and perspectives so don't get too bogged down with "the rational". Certainly we look for reasons to explain our experiences, but they are not always measurable or quantifiable in a scientific way. What seems magical today may have a rational explanation tomorrow, our knowledge and understanding is limited to what we know today. Sadly we have too much religion, too much politics, and very little spirituality. But at least we have Obama and he will save us all heh! heh!
Anyway, despite saying, “Your mails do make us think,” I noticed you



Nothing you wrote offended me to prevent me from posting.
Actually, I thought, it was getting into the realm where some people would not understand, hence, I did not post it and also I don't know how I got the idea you may not want me to.
Since you have mentioned it, I have posted it on the blog this week.
I think our school has given all of us to be broad-mined to accept all religions.
One woman's tumour may be another woman's pregnancy.
So, unless we analyse, we should never pass comments, especially on matters where the Infinite is concerned.
We should accept that each person will follow the procedures and rituals he has followed from birth and which have been inculcated in him by his family.These rituals and habits have a lot to do with the geographical location of where he lives or where his ancestors come from with some dose of superstition.
God does not tell us to follow any particular ritual. For Him it makes no difference if we believe in Him or not.
Society in general has set up certain norms which it considers acceptable.
These norms too have changed during the centuries with development of the human race.
When we accept those norms and act according to them, our concience is free. Our heart does not miss beats , our blood pressure does not go up. We do not have stress or tension. We say we have acted as God wants us.
However, if we do not follow those norms, the opposite occurs and people say we are heading for hell.
This hell is here on the earth itself.
There is no such thing as a hell where fire burns or people are fried in hot boiling oil.
This is my belief.
If we accept that we are here for a limited periond of may be 70 or 80 odd years and the world was there before we were born and remain there after us, we will understand the limited role we play.
Alexander, Napoleon, Hitler, Ashoka, Akbar and Mahatma Gandhi have all come and gone. Whom do we remember?
Ashoka for his life after he gave up war.
Akbar for his tolerance to other religions, not for his conquests.
Mahatma Gandhi for his non-violence.He did Satsang and meditation everyday.
Even the mighty British Empire bowed before this half-naked fakir.
However, I also believe that it was the British who accepted the power and effect of non-violence.
Our present rulers in India would have considered it a weakness and put him behind bars without trial for 15 or twenty years until some NGO discovered him in jail and requested a court to have him released.
We should help the poor by providing them education, food and clothes and shelter so that they can live with dignity and allow them opportunity to develop themselves, without changing their beliefs.
I sometimes wonder whether we were better off under the British.
My mother used to think so.
I think even Mahatma Gandhi would be sorry, if he were alive, that he gave independence to these present day leaders.
They remember him only on one day, 2nd October, his birthday, with a garland and a speech.
All the other days of the year their acts would shame the Mahatma.


Msg from Devaprosad Chakravarti

Dear Friend,

Whilst I enjoy the information you regularly circulate - I was horrified to read your latest circular about the landslide damage to the school.

I was at GMS in 1944 and 1945 in the 5th and 7th Standard (I got a double promotion at the end of 1944) Since leaving GMS I took my school certificate at St.Edmunds College in Shillong and my I.Sc in St.Joseph's College Nainital. I then did a 5yr Degree course in Architecture at Liverpool University, garduating in1956. I have since then worked in Ghana and in the UK and I am still running my own parctise in London.

I last visited the school in 1981. I noticed then that a part of the dormer roof of the dormitory had collapsed - and now this landslide. Purely from a professional point of view in some ways I am not very surprised as I felt, when I visited GMS in 1981, that there never was sufficient retaing wall between 1st field and the main school level. I am sure however that the School will get proper professional structural advice for the repairs and restoration.

I have very happy memories of GMS and the teachers. Bro.Courtney was my form master in 1944 and Bro. Dineen taught me in 1945. Bro.Duffe was the principal at that time. We had a very talented music master at that time - I was also in the school orchestra as a violinist. I have not been able to be in touch with any of my comtemporaries. However I am in touch with some of my fellow students from St.Joseph's at Nainital. The only regret that I have of my time at GMS is that we did not play very much cricket - a game which I have always enjoyed. Since then I have been lucky enough to become a full member of the MCC in 1976 ( there is usually a forty year waiting list for membership ) I am therefore able to enjoy the facilities at Lords Cricket Ground (entrance is free for members.)

I keep in touch with the news from India through NDTV and the Asian Age. A few weeks back I went to a lecture in Hampstead given by Mark Tulley on the Religions of India - it was very interesting and I managed to have a long chat with him afterwards.

Please keep sending your circulars - they are much appreciated and I enjoy reading them. Please let me know if you are in touch with any of my fellow students and staff from 1944 and 1945.

With best wishes,

Devaprosad Chakravarti.

Mexican Drug Lords

Sent by Prakash Bhartia

Texas DOT Vehicle stopped by an alert DPS Trooper on highway I 10 between San Antonio and Seguin ,TX

The Mexicans cloned a Texas DOT Truck and got busted smuggling drugs...?
I wonder how long they got away with it before they got busted?


I'll bet you are NOT

Drug dealers no longer count their money, they weigh it. One million dollars in 100 bills weighs 37.4lbs. And in fifties it weighs 74.8 lbs.

Have you even imagined so much money?


This has been sent by Subrata Samanta, a colleague


By Michael Chick

Posted by Dreadnought

Malaysia-Today; Sunday, 26 October 2008 19:59

Following the search for the origins of the Malaysian constitutional 'Malays', my journey brings me to Vietnam. There, I meet up with the Cham people. After all, every Kelantanese I've met claim to be descendants of the Mighty Champa Kingdom.

Just who are the Cham? I met up with Dr. Hang, an Anthropologist at Saigon University, Ho Chi Minh City. According to him, the Champa Kingdom is a 2nd Century Kingdom in Central Vietnam. From 1487, they were continously driven by the Kinh (read as Mongoloid Vietnamese) from Hanoi till Phan Thiet today. Proof of this lies in the fact that there were hundreds of Cham Towers from Hanoi till Phan Thiet (near Mui Ne Beach).

If you'd observe very carefully, you might notice how similar the Cham are to the Kelantanese. The Austronesian Cham of Vietnam look extremely similar, and wear identical headgear to almost everyone in Kelantan. Both male as well as female. Not surprising. The Champa Kingdom had long established trading ties with both the present-day Malaya, Pattani, Aceh as well as Java since the 4th Century. Multiple wars also broke out between the Kingdom of Champa with Java. Migration was simply inevitable.

The Chams were Hindus. They still are today. In fact, all the towers of the Champa Kingdom are of Hindu Origin. One may visit any Museum, from Saigon to Danang till Hanoi. They all have on display, hundreds, if not thousands of Artefacts of this mighty Ancient Hindu Kingdom. It is however, so sad to see the Chams today, getting the short-end of the stick. Since they were driven by the Kinhs (Hanoi) down south, they live in the most hostile parts of the country. Barely getting rain, the land is almost Savannah-like in nature. Large cacti live in abundance on non-cultivated land.

Visiting the Cham produced mixed feelings. On the one hand, one comes face-to-face with the remnants of a mighty empire. On the other hand, one wonders why the Vietnamese government does little to improve the living conditions of these 'bumiputras'. I proposed new theories; that the Cham were in fact the actual people of the Dong Song, Hoabinhian and As Hyunh Culture, much to the surprise, but delight of these Saigon Anthropologists. Previously, they only assumed that those cultures belonged to 'someone else', and that Cham History only started in the 2nd Century. Proof being the Temples and Towers. I also highlighted that the Champa Kingdom would have been the second Kingdom of the Hindunization of South East Asia. The first, being Malaya, in the site near Penang called Lembah Bujang, of the 2nd Century.
Upon further scrutiny, there seems to be a lot more than just distant historical similarities between the Cham people, and the Kelantanese. My translator informed me that there were twin towers located in Qui Nhon. 'Much like that in Malaysia'. I was dumbfounded !! I immediately made the 300km journey. In total, I travelled over 2,000 km by road, boat, and every other imaginable transport available, visiting over 30 major Cham Tower sites along the entire coast of Vietnam.

Furiously making notes, I also found that the similarities did not stop at the fact that there were just twin towers. Cross-examining schematic diagrams of the Cham Towers and KLCC was astounding! For example, the top and side view schematics, when overlayed, was an identical match.
The similarities did not end there, even a side profile view of the Cham towers and KLCC was a match. I could barely contain my excitement when I made these cross-comparisons. Even the Saigon Anthropologist Professors were dumbstruck. No one had ever imagined that there was any correlation between an apparently 'Muslim-built Design' with that of an Ancient Hindu one. Add to that, it was located in isolated Vietnam. For those who have visited these sites before, pull out your private photo boxes, and confirm for yourself that the pictures I have displayed here have not been doctored in any way.
Considering that Mahathir was of Indian Origin, it does not completely surprise one that he took inspiration from his ancestry in India. However, one might think that it is strange that he took inspiration from 2 apparently incompatible religions to build his monumental icon. It is even stranger that despite using a Hindu-derived icon to symbolize Malaysia, the Hindraf are swept aside and marginalized. Of course, it is even stranger that Najib takes the trouble to fly in from India, Hindu Priests into his home and office to perform covert rites, as per ascertained by the Driver's Sworn Affidavits.

Can seemingly incompatible religions be jointly practised? No? Read on. This might change your mind. Think for a moment of Sai Baba's concept of 'All religions lead to God' Concept. The clue lies in Vietnam. There is a Religion called CaoDai-ism. It is very widely practised. CaoDai is a merger of Confusianism, Taosim, Buddhism, Catholism, and Islam. This is a unifying and endemic religion. So is the Cham-Bani religion, which is a merger of Hinduism & Islam. Then, there are The Balinese, practising a merger religion of Animism & Hinduism. Of course, most of Java practices Kejawen which is a combination religion of Animism & Islam. So in reality, Najib's merger of Hinduism & Islam would be merely a copycat version of the Cham-Bani-type of religion of Vietnam. To add to it, he is Bugis, which makes him part Mongolian, part Arab. (No reference intended of his involvement with Altantuya). Hence his pale Mongoloid-type appearance! .

Surprisingly, UMNO today has turned to worshipping a Chinese God. And that God, is called the God of Money. So, the combination religion which unites worshiping Corruption and Allah, is called BN (Blatant Narcisism). Since inter-faith combination- worship is now a known Asian trait, is it not strange that UMNO was so quick to dispense with The Sky Kingdom in Terengganu? Perhaps Sky Kingdom Worshippers were not into worshipping Corruption as UMNO fervently does. I wonder what went on in UMNO's minds. I also wonder what Hadhari actually is. (or not...)

Take heart, my Hindraf friends. You now have an World Famous Icon, built by an Indian, who took direct inspiration from Hinduism. Not just one building, but a pair of twins, financed with Malaysian Petroleum money. Be proud. This is the best Hindu Representation of Malaysia, the world has ever seen; something which even 'Semi Value' did not anticipate. Hence, his Political Demise. (or should I have said Allaryahum Semi Value??) I can imagine him going 'Aiyo yoyoyo..' while smacking his forehead.

I'll part, leaving you with a composite picture. Two World-Famous icons 'photoshoped' together to illustrate my point. Please do not let the Khmers see this, or they would sue the pants off Malaysia like the Indonesian Parliament almost did with Rasa Sayang. Maybe the Khmer Rouge did discuss this blatant copyright infringement, maybe they did not. But I doubt Pol Pot lost any sleep over this. I'll keep Malaysia posted at the end of my research in Cambodia.
"O Shirdi Sai Nath, Give me the guidance to know when to hold on and when to let go and the Grace to make right decision with dignity"

"The Future Belongs To Those Who Believe In The Beauty Of Their Dreams"
Om Sai Ram

Friday, October 30, 2009

Politicians are same Everywhere

is really sobering,
and actually explains everything..................

36 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad checks
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 repeat 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 currently are defendants in lawsuits,
and 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

Can you guess which organization this is?


Give up… ?

You must be thinking it is our Parliament or MLAs.

Guess again, we have got August company

Scroll down,

it's the 435 members of the
United States Congress

The same group of Idiots that crank out
hundreds of new laws each year
designed to keep the rest of the world in line.

India is not the only country where such things.

Politicians are the same everywhere.
You have to be the worst of the lot to be in politics.

Earlier it used to be said that politics is the last resort of scoundrels.

All that has changed.

Politics is now the first resort of resort of scoundrels

Sent by Viraj Thacker

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Counterfeit Notes

Picture this.
You are in a tearing hurry and you pay off the taxi guy as you reach your destination. He gives you the change, which you hastily dump in your purse and rush. Off you go to a shopping mall to buy something. You pay at the counter with the notes you just got from the taxi guy.
The salesperson looks at one of the notes with suspicion and gives you an eerie look. He checks the note against fluorescent blue light, smells, crushes and lick tests it. Yuck! You say in disgust. He declares it fake and asks you for another one.
Standing agape, you demand he takes it. He threatens to call the police. You run for your life.
You better do!
Rakesh Maria, joint police commissioner (crime), Mumbai City, says: "Possession of fake notes is an offence. One Rs 5 fake note is good enough [to be guilty of possession]." Well, now that you have a fake note in possession, you are already in trouble, technically! So what do you do now?
The legal tangle
With revenge on your mind, you determine to palm off the note to some unsuspecting fellow. In fact, if you think of palming off the note, you are not alone.
A quick dipstick survey shows 98 per cent people would do the same. But you better not do that, either.
Maria says, "It is unfortunate that people palm off fake notes. Palming off a fake note knowingly is also an offence."
You definitely do not want to be caught doing that. In fact, intentionally passing on a fake currency note is a cognisable offence, which could lead to a prison term.
Cursing your fate, you decide to get rid of the bummer right away, but how? A friend who inadvertently received a fake note donated it to a temple. (Another dipstick survey at a few local religious places shows that nearly 20 per cent of donations are in form of either soiled or fake notes.)
That's too low for you to do. Having run out of options, you march to a local bank, hoping to get an exchange.
The brutal truth
A Reserve Bank of India spokesperson says: "According to the RBI, when a customer takes a counterfeit note to a bank, the bank is supposed to impound it and give the customer an acknowledgement receipt."
After impounding the note, they will stamp it 'Counterfeit bank note impounded' and give you an acknowledgement receipt, even if you refuse to countersign the same. You lose your money since a fake note is never paid for but confiscated.
But that's not the end of the story.
The bank will file a First Information Report against your name at the local police station. A copy of this FIR is sent to the Forged Banknote Vigilance Cell at the bank's head office.
The bank will be alert if you try to deposit any fake notes in the future. The police will look into the matter and carry routine investigation in order to get any further leads and zero down on the exact source.
Says Maria: "Crime does not differentiate between class. Even if you are a housewife who inadvertently has a fake note, we can investigate. Once we know that there is no mens rea (criminal intent), we just make a diary entry."
Following the investigation, if you are found to be an inadvertent victim, the matter ends there.
But let's get real! Do you, even as a customer who honestly walked into a bank after being palmed off a fake note, want to face the police?
What if you are planning for studies abroad, or an employment visa? Wouldn't an FIR in your name have a negative influence on visa authorities? "No," says Maria. However, a source from British consulate says: ". . . on verification, things like this may give a wrong impression about you to visa authorities."
Are banks remiss?
Newspapers and news channels have been reporting about ATMs dispensing fake notes. Instances of bank staff diluting authentic currency with fakes have been reported, too.
Take the case of the chief cashier of a State Bank of India branch in Domariaganj, who was caught in the Rs 4 crore (Rs 40 million) fake currency scam. Such instances show that even banks can be a source of fake notes these days.
A cashier in a private bank says on the condition of anonymity: "We get customers who bring in fake notes, claiming that our ATM had dispensed it, but since they can't prove it, we are helpless to do anything about it."
Stories of banks brushing off responsibility, after dispensing fake notes via ATMs, is not uncommon.
The RBI has taken initiatives to deal with the dispensing of fake notes by ATMs. It has asked banks to set up note-sorting machines at all branches. In future, ATMs might be fitted with in-built detectors for fake currency notes.
The apex bank has proposed to introduce plastic notes, and it is common knowledge that improvisation in security features of the notes is an ongoing process.
Data from the RBI show that 398,111 counterfeit notes were detected during 2008-09 at the Reserve Bank's offices and branches alone. It goes without saying that there are many more in circulation and the number will only increase.
The best defence is to be vigilant while handling cash, especially with Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. And of course, pray that you never receive a fake note again!

Fortunately, touch wood, I have so far not been bothered with fake notes although I have been passed defiled/torn notes.
However, I have observed an incident in which a government bank, Bank of India, Bangur Avenue branch, have given a fake note to a customer.
The customer wanted to withdraw money from one account and deposit it into another account.
The customer received the money, moved away from the counter, counted required money to deposit into the new account and then came back to the counter to deposit.
The teller refused to take oe Rs 500/-note saying that it was fake and that he should not have moved away from the counter.
Now you tell me, when there is a rush at the bank and customers are standing in a queue to withdraw money, will the customer standing behind you allow you to stand in the queue to count your money?
Will the teller allow you to stand there?
He will ask you to move away from the counter and call for the next customer's withdrawal slip / cheque.
Under the circustances, how can the person who has been given a fake note find out whether it is fake?
And if he moves out, the bank will deny that it had given the fake note.
Will the RBI please advise how to catch these bank employees?
Further, if an ATM coughs up a fake note how does the customer get redressal.
I would suggest that each ATM be provided with a note checker. Nowadays all ATMs have cameras recording the movement of customers inside the ATM room.
The customer should be given facility to check all his notes in the room so that if any fake notes are found, the bank could be called up.
As an added protection, the guard appointed should be allowed to observe the movement of customers,unobtrusively, so that he can act as an alibi.
Customer require as much protection as banks from fake notes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

M F Hussain

Centre to approach SC to facilitate homecoming of MF Husain

To put an end to the litigations against renowned painter MF Husain and ensure his early return to the country, the Centre is contemplating to approach the Supreme Court for expeditious disposal of all cases arising out of his controversial paintings.

Home Ministry sources said the cases filled across the country against Husain should be brought to a logical conclusion and this will enable the government to work out a focused strategy to bring him back.

The 94-year-old Husain, who has been living in exile for the last few years, wants to come back to India and had recently made an emotional appeal in this regard.

The Delhi High Court in May last year quashed some of the criminal proceedings against the nonogenarian painter, saying his paintings were an expression of creativity.

Husain's lawyer Akhil Sibal said that it would be a good step if government takes pro-active steps to facilitate his early return.

Another example of the centres playing vote bank politics.
When Salman Rushdie wrote his book even before anyone asked it, the centre banned the book.
When the minorities of Bengal objected to Taslima Nazreen's novel, the government not only banned the book post haste but declard her persona non grata in Bengal and asked her to go abroad.
This man uses his artistic freedom for defiling Hindu gods and godesses and mother India and the Congress is approaching the Supreme Court to allow him to enter India.
The centre cannot even control the Maoist and they plan to open a new front against the Hindus.
The BJP is in disarray.
It is handing them an opportunity to regroup using this plank of appeasment of the minority

Colin Powell Speaks

This has been sent by Desmond
Truly inspiring


Bridging the Gap - General Colin Luther Powell:
American Statesman and Four Star General in the United States Army
Former Secretary of State to President George W. Bush
African American.....

Read and share with your positive friends...

The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.

As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don't help you climb will want you to crawl. Your friends will stretch your vision or choke your dream. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.

Never receive counsel from unproductive people. Never discuss your problems with someone incapable of contributing to the solution, because those who never succeed themselves are always first to tell you how. Not everyone has a right to speak into your life. You are certain to get the worst of the bargain when you exchange ideas with the wrong person. Don't follow anyone who’s not going anywhere...

With some people you spend an evening: with others you invest it. Be careful where you stop to inquire for directions along the road of life. Wise is the person who fortifies his life with the right friendships. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights.

"A mirror reflects a man's face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses."

The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate - for the good and the bad.

Be not mistaken. This is applicable to family as well as friends. love, appreciate and be thankful for your family, for they will always be your family no matter what. Just know that they are human first and though they are family to you, they may be a friend to someone else and will fit somewhere in the criteria above.

"In Prosperity Our Friends Know Us. In Adversity We Know Our friends."

"Never make someone a priority when you are only an option for them."

"If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.

Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.."..

Colin Powell

Have a Nice Day

Thank U All...4 beeing There...





Live well, Laugh often, & Love with all of your heart!

This has been sent by a colleague, R K Mohta

Relaxed Bush debuts as motivational speaker!!

‘Man, my life has changed!’ ex-president tells 15,000-strong Texas crowd !

The Washington Post (Electronic Media), October’2009.

FORT WORTH, Texas - After nine months of being nearly invisible — a big outing has been to a Dallas hardware store for flashlights — George W. Bush made his debut Monday in his latest incarnation: motivational speaker.

Nearly 15,000 people heard the former president, known more for mangling the English language than for his eloquence, reminisce about his White House days. Bush, who is writing a book about the dozen toughest decisions he had to make, used much of his 28 minutes onstage to talk about lighter topics such as picking out a rug design for the Oval Office that reflected his "optimism."

Perhaps in a nod to his dismal 22 percent approval ratings when he left office, Bush noted that "popularity is fleeting. . . . It's not real."

He beamed at the standing ovations from the friendly hometown crowd — he now lives in nearby Dallas.

'Some days were great'Looking younger than his 63 years and relaxed, Bush did not appear to have an overarching theme, but strung anecdotes and jokes together and frequently mentioned his faith in God.

"I don't see how you can be president without relying on the Almighty. Now when I was 21, I wouldn't have told you that, but at age 63, I can tell you that one of the most amazing surprises of the presidency was the fact that people's prayers affected me. I can't prove it to you. But I can tell you some days were great, some days not so great. But every day was joyous." That, he attributed, to the prayers of others.

His speech came after the crowd at the "GET MOTIVATED!" seminar stood up and danced to the Beach Boys' song "Surfin' USA" and batted around beach balls tossed into the audience.

The well-publicized event appears to mark the beginning of a higher profile for Bush.

Just last week he gave three speeches in Canada, and he has joined the Washington Speakers Bureau. He is scheduled to give another motivational speech next month in San Antonio. Former presidential adviser Karen Hughes said he has "quite a few speeches planned" during the fall.
Along with his book, due out next year, Bush is planning his new presidential library and policy institute at Southern Methodist University — the alma mater of Laura Bush. He also has been spotted riding his mountain bike on local trails.

Many people interviewed afterward said they liked Bush, perhaps even because he wasn't the best speaker of the day. He could have said a thesaurus was a big scaly creature that roamed the planet millions of years ago and they would have applauded.

His most memorable story, one after another said, was about Barney, his Scottie:
Mindful of his new neighbors, who have had to endure as many as 650 people a day gawking at his new house in a cul-de-sac, Bush said he took Barney for a neighborhood stroll with "plastic bag on his hand" to scoop poop. That was a moment, he said, when he realized "Man, my life has changed!"

"He is just a normal guy! He wasn't the best speaker. But I was happy to see him!" said Lubbock salesman Patrick Kruger, 50.

Anthony Champagne, a professor of politics at the University of Texas at Dallas, said many presidents go underground for a period after they leave the White House, but then "even Richard Nixon came back in the public eye."

He said approval ratings of presidents often rise the longer they are out of office.
Bush seemed more comfortable speaking now than he did as president. Some commentators recalled his famous flubs: "Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" and "I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."

In the crowd of real estate agents in suits, housewives in jeans, students and senior citizens, Chris Clarke, 25, a salesman from Dallas, stood at the back. Like many people, he said that other speakers were better — Colin Powell was his favorite — but he thought Bush was good. In fact, he said, it could turn out that Bush may be more suited to motivational speaking than being president. He said when Bush misspeaks, it sounds "incompetent if you are president. But here it can be inspiring. It makes him seem like a regular guy, no better than me."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Heartless Kolkata Police

Howrah walks past man struck by bus
TNN 27 October 2009, 06:11am IST

HOWRAH: So much for a city with a heart. A 30-year-old man, smashed from waist-down by a private bus, lay screaming for help at one of the busiest intersections in Howrah for 20 hours between Sunday night and Monday evening without anyone bothering to pay heed.

Thousands — including dozens of policemen — passed by without batting an eyelid. In fact, had it not been for a bus conductor, who dragged him on to the pavement, Vishal Shukla would have been just another name in the police’s list of hit-and-run victims.

This is not the first time that people have been left to die on pavements in Howrah. In 2008, two persons bled to death while police squabbled over jurisdiction.

Shukla, an educated youth from Siwan in Bihar, arrived at Howrah station on Sunday evening in search of work. Around 9 pm, he reached the Bangabasi area of Howrah Maidan, possibly in search of a hotel. This is when he was knocked down. He suffered serious injuries to his face, pelvis, arms and legs. Unable to move, he begged for help from passersby and shopkeepers but no one in the crowded area paused for a moment.

A little after 10 pm, Amit Kumar, a bus conductor on Route 71, helped Shukla on to the pavement — lest he get run over by a vehicle in the dark. “I asked an on-duty constable to help take the injured man to hospital. He wouldn’t listen. We were scared of doing it ourselves because police would have been after us,” Kumar said.

He and a few friends left some biscuits and water for Shukla and proceeded on their way. Shukla bled and suffered through the night, and all of next morning. Throughout Monday, nobody paid any heed to the injured man calling out for help. A number of police patrols passed the area but they had no time for a man in agony.

Around 4 pm, journalists caught a whiff of the incident and converged on the spot. Both locals and police quickly had a change in heart when they saw the cameras in action. Shukla — taken aback by the sudden activity — screamed in agony as he was bodily lifted, shattered legs trailing, without the help of a stretcher. He was admitted to Howrah district hospital where doctors said his injuries are severe in nature.

Howrah SP H Kusum Akar was not available for comment on Monday. Additional SP (town) Sukesh Jain defended his men, claiming that the department was not aware of the accident till Monday evening though Howrah police station is barely a kilometre from the spot. “Action was taken when we came to know about the incident,” he said. And the parting gift came from a senior police officer on duty: “Don’t worry, we’ll make arrangements to send him home when his condition improves.”

This is the city of mother Teresa.
I suppose that is why mother came to Kolkata because she knew the people were heartless here and she would find plenty of prospective sufferers on the streets.
May be it is because of the harassment good samaritans face at the hands of the police when they take any accident victims to hospital.
The police will never take the victims to hospital but if any public spirited person does so, the police find it an opportunity to earn bribes.
People avoid the police like a plague.
The police do not perform their duty and if public go to them for any help they will make the problem even more complex so that they can squeeze for money.
It is no wonder, people hate the police so much.
It will take more than just a blog for the police to win the confidence and cooperation of the police.
My wife and my daughter-in-law had applied for passports but the Lake Town Police have sent incomplete reports for which our passports have not yet been delivered.
We have been living in this flat for last 30 years.
My wife and daughter-in-law both have been born in Kolkata and yet they have not been issued passports for incomplete reports submitted by the police.
On the other hand if some terrorists had paid the required money, he would have received the passport at home without even having to go to the passport office.

Kolkata safe at night?

City’s safe at night… from its policemen

Abhishek Law
KOLKATA, 26 Oct.: It’s late on Friday night. There are three passengers, all men, in the car, a nondescript older-model Maruti Zen. The car has no front number plate. For all that anyone knows, the men could be Maoists or suicide bombers or anti-social elements.
Over a period of two-and-a-half hours this car drives through a dozen police barricades in the city. At only one place is the driver asked to slow down, then waved off. At other places, the car doesn’t arouse even a little curiosity. One reason, of course, is that many of the check-points are unmanned, the policemen either asleep or missing.
The three men weren’t terrorists, and at least this car posed no threat. To check how safe the city is at night, and how vigilant its policemen posted at various check-points are, a team from The Statesman decided to evaluate the quality of night policing.
The car we used, a rather scruffy looking silver Zen, had no Press sticker. And we had removed the front number plate, in the hope that might rouse our men in uniform. After all, each check-point is supposed to have at least two policemen on duty, one of them armed.
We were a little concerned that a trigger-happy policeman might shoot first and ask questions later in this surcharged atmosphere. So we had instructed the driver to approach each barricade slowly, and to stop immediately if asked to. But we needn’t have worried.
When we drove through police barricades at the Lenin Sarani-Wellington Square intersection, and then at the Chowringhee-Lenin Sarani intersection, there were no policemen present.
We then drove to the AJC Bose Road-Alimuddin Street intersection. The check-point was manned, but the policemen seemed unalarmed by our presence, or that of a car without a front number-plate.
At the AJC Bose-Shakespeare Sarani intersection, we encountered a barricade but there were no policemen. At the Gurusaday Road-Ballygunge Circular Road check-point, policemen were present but seemed disinterested as we drove by.
Next, we drove to Rashbehari Avenue where, for the first time, we were asked to slow down by the constable on duty at the barricade. But that, it seems, was all; having taken a cursory look, he waved us on.
Ten minutes later, we drove past a heavily manned check-point on Bijon Setu, headed for the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass. We could see at least five policemen, two of them armed. Once again, the presence of a car without a number plate provoked no response.
We proceeded to the Bypass, and between 12.55 and 1.35 a.m. twice crossed the Chingrighata-Beliaghata Road intersection where a police barricade had been placed. We weren’t stopped on either occasion.
What, we asked ourselves, was the point of the barricades? And just how can an unmanned check-point deter criminals? Many of the barricades were at dimly-lit spots; it seemed to us that the only likely consequence was an accident. Had Kishenji come calling last Friday night, he would have laughed his way out of the city.

The above report of the Statesman does not surprise me.
The city police are made up of pot-bellied aging persons who have been rendered inactive by 30 years of CPM misrule.
We saw how they scrambled for protection like rats when the American Consulate was attacked on 22nd Jan, 2002.
They move only if the party bosses instructed them to move.
They are fit only to collect money from trucks and tempos who may enter the city at night.
These vehicles do not stop.
They just throw a Rs 5/- coin or maybe a Rs 10/- note and move on. I don't know what is the exact going rate now.
The policeman, like a beggar, then goes and picks up the coin from the road.
Anybody who follows a truck/tempo on the VIP road can observe this sequence of events.
They are fit only to harass the poor so much so that now the poor are fighting back and we saw the result it Lalgarh / Midnapur.
They are fit only to take their haftas from promoter, hawkers and petty criminals. I say petty because the bigger criminals pay directly to the Ministers. We saw that in the Vedic Village episode and in the Rizwan case.
Have you noticed that the Rizwan case is more or less closed as "Suicide"?.
How much money 10 / 15 / 20 crores passed hands is anybody's guess?
We shall never know.
Buddha sleeps on.

Hoist in one's Petard

Interior Minister Rehman Malik has once again claimed that India is fomenting unrest within Pakistan through steps such as funding Taliban fighters based along the border with Afghanistan.

Malik said he was "convinced" India is among "certain hostile agencies" that are backing the Taliban to create instability in Pakistan.

Asked during an interview to a TV news channel as to who was backing the Taliban, he said: 'There are certain hostile elements against Pakistan and there are certain hostile agencies which do not want Pakistan to be (stabilised).'

In response to a question on whether India is among the hostile agencies, Malik said, 'Yes, of course, I am convinced. I have no doubt about it. I was very open. I have given the full details. If the interior minister of India or anyone else wants to confront me, I will be very happy to confront them because I know what I am saying.'

Malik had said last week that Pakistan has "solid evidence" of India's alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and this can be shared with Indian ministers or representatives at any forum of their choice.

'I invite their interior minister or anyone else (to come to Pakistan) and I will put on record all the material about India's interference in Balochistan. I will prove it to the world,' he had said.

USA and Pakistan are now facing the consequences of creating a Frankenstein to subdue the Soviet Union in its misadventure in Afghanistan.
The Soviets understood that it would be a long drawn out battle and made a tactical withdrawal.
The USA with its desire to police the world was left holding the infantile terror. It kept looking the other way when the Taliban hijacked a plane over Indian skies and took it to Pakistan.
It kept looking the other way when they destroyed the centuries old statues of Buddha.
They continued to close their eyes when Pakistan started exporting terror to India.
It was only when the Frankenstein attacked the world trade centre that they woke up from their slumber and decided to take action.
Pakistan now found that the Taliban army which they had created were driven out of Afghanistan and came over to Pakistan which was the only safe haven left for them.
But these rugged, uneducated people were taught only to fight. Hence, when they came back, they started fighting their creator.
There is no point in blaming India.
How do they say it ?
"Hoisted in one's own petard"
India Supporting the Taliban!!
If the matter was not so serious, it would indeed be laughable.

Monday, October 26, 2009


For some confessions are tension-filled affairs but for others they open up new possibilities.
Here is one of the latter, sent by Prakash Bhartia.

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have been with a loose girl'.

The priest asks, 'Is that you, little Joey Pagano ?' 'Yes, Father, it is.'

'And who was the girl you were with?'

'I can't tell you, Father, I don't want to ruin her reputation'.

Well, Joey, I'm sure to find out her name sooner or later so you may as well tell me now. Was it Tina Minetti?' 'I cannot say.'

'Was it Teresa Mazzarelli?' 'I'll never tell.'

'Was it Nina Capelli?' 'I'm sorry, but I cannot name her.'

'Was it Cathy Piriano?' 'My lips are sealed.'

'Was it Rosa DiAngelo, then?' 'Please, Father, I cannot tell you.'

The priest sighs in frustration. 'You're very tight lipped, and I admire that. But you've sinned and have to atone. You cannot be an altar boy now for 4 months. Now you go and behave yourself.'

Joey walks back to his pew, and his friend Franco slides over and whispers, 'What'd you get?'

'Four months vacation and five good leads.

Some pictures of St. Paul's School

Dear Mr. Sharma,

It just wouldn’t be right – NOT to share these – some brilliant shots of Darjeeling & St. Paul’s (October 24th) I received from a Paulite mate!

Looks like time has stood still on Jalapahar Hill !

They (the pics) made my day!!!

Cheers & Good Wishes,


1.Darjeeling Sunrise!
3.Chapel Gardens (SPS)
4.Chapel from the Quad
5.Lower Flat, Darjeeling Town & Kunchenjunga!
6.Paulite Chapel.
7.Chapel Slope - up to the Quadrangle

The pictures are beautiful.
No doubt about it.
Its a pity the GJM has made a mess and now nobody can go there and enjoy the scenes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


For lexophiles - which is your favorite?
Sent by Keith Hayward

1. A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.

2. A will is a dead giveaway.

3. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

4. A backward poet writes inverse.

5. In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in feudalism, it's your Count that votes.

6. A chicken crossing the road: poultry in motion.

7. If you don't pay your exorcist you can get repossessed.

8. With her marriage she got a new name and a dress.

9. Show me a piano falling down a mine shaft and I'll show you A-flat miner.

10. When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.

11. The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was fully recovered.

12. A grenade fell onto a kitchen floor in France resulted in Linoleum Blownapart.

13. You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.

14. Local Area Network in Australia : The LAN down under.

15. He broke into song because he couldn't find the key.

16. A calendar's days are numbered.

17. A lot of money is tainted: 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine.

18. A boiled egg is hard to beat.

19. He had a photographic memory which was never developed.

20. A plateau is a high form of flattery.

21. The short fortuneteller who escaped from prison: a small medium at large.

22. Those who get too big for their britches will be exposed in the end.

23. When you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.

24. If you jump off a Paris bridge, you are in Seine .

25. When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she thought she'd dye.

26. Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead to know basis.

27. Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

28. Acupuncture: a jab well done.

29. Marathon runners with bad shoes suffer the agony of de feet.

30. The roundest knight at king Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

31. I thought I saw an eye doctor on an Alaskan island, but it turned out to be an optical Aleutian .

32. She was only a whisky maker, but he loved her still.

33. A rubber band pistol was confiscated from algebra class because it was a weapon of math disruption.

34. The butcher backed into the meat grinder and got a little behind in his work.

35. No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery.

36. A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was cited for littering.

37. Two silk worms had a race. They ended up in a tie.

38. A hole has been found in the nudist camp wall. The police are looking into it.

39. Atheism is a non-prophet organization.

40. Two hats were hanging on a hat rack in the hallway. One hat said to the other, 'You stay here, I'll go on a head.'

41. I wondered why the baseball kept getting bigger. Then it hit me.

42. A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep off the Grass.'

43. A small boy swallowed some coins and was taken to a hospital. When his grandmother telephoned to ask how he was, a nurse said, 'No change yet.'

44. The soldier who survived mustard gas and pepper spray is now a seasoned veteran.

45. When cannibals ate a missionary, they got a taste of religion.

46. Don't join dangerous cults: Practice safe sects.

Diwali Gift in Sudan

Respected Radheshyamji,
I wish to share with you about the surprise gift I received this Diwali in Khartoum,Sudan.The Ambassador of India in Sudan, His Excellency Shri Deepak Vohra had invited a select group of people to celebrate Diwali with him and his wife at India House, his residence. Me and my family were privileged to be invited. At the party I met Maj.Gen.Paban Jung Thapa and his wife. Gen.Thapa is the Force Commander of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS). He has graduated from IMA and Defense Services Staff College in India and from the United States Army War College and is with the Royal Nepalese Army presently posted in Sudan. And above all he is from Goethals year 1969. Once we got chatting we went down the 'khud side' of our school and we could recollect our sweet school memories.He was only two years senior to me in school. Reunion with 'P.J.Thapa' as he was known in school was the best Diwali gift I received in Sudan.
I am attaching his photo dancing with his wife on Diwali night.
Yours sincerely,
Bhaskar Chakravorti

P.S.I request you to share this news in your blog.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Police Atrocities

Freed, women ‘warriors’ battle tears
- Bailed-out 14 blame police
Midnapore, Oct. 23: The Lalgarh women whose bail order won the release of officer Atindranath Dutta yesterday stepped out of jail with tears in their eyes this morning.

Among the 14 charged by the government with waging war against the state were those who alleged that they were picked up from home or while looking out to see what the commotion was about.

Grey-haired and grandmotherly Subharani Baskey was inconsolable. “I was at home when I heard that the police were arresting our women. I went out to see what was happening. They caught me and dragged me to their Kantapahari camp,” said Subharani, 55.

Padmamoni, 30, said she was dragged out of her home. “I did not know what was happening. Suddenly, a group of policemen barged into my house, dragged me out and marched me to the camp.”

As Padmamoni slowly wa-lked out of the jail gate after 50 days in captivity, she hugged the others in the group and sobbed. “I have a husband and two sons aged 10 and six and I want to rush home to see them,” she said during the trek to the bus stand 1.5km away.

The police had raided their village on September 3, a day after tasting rare success in a gun battle with the Maoists. In the eight-hour encounter, the joint forces had killed at least two of their opponents and many rebels were believed to have been hit.

“We had raided Teshabandh village following a tip-off that some of the injured Maoists were being treated there,” an officer said today.

He added that the women had put up “organised resist- ance against them, armed with bows and arrows, knives, daggers and even pipe guns”. “The Maoists had used the women as a shield.”

Pratima Patra, 35, an activist of the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities, admitted resisting the police, but denied her Maoist links. “The police entering our village means they will go door-to-door and torture us. So we went to prevent them from entering our village. We are not Maobadi and were not carrying any deadly weapons.”

Sumi Mandi, 36, who lives in an adjoining village, echoed her. “As soon as we heard that the police had entered Teshabandh, we rushed there. The police arrested us and took us to Kantapahari. They accused us of helping the Maoists, beat us up and threw us behind bars. But we had done no wrong,” she asserted.

The women were charged with offences like rioting with deadly weapons, attempt to murder, waging a war against the state, raising funds to wage a war against state, sedition and under the arms act.

Today, many of them were not aware of why they were being released all of a sudden. Told that Maoist leader Kishanji had sought their release in exchange for the Sankrail OC, Pratima said: “We don’t know how we were released, but I thank whoever arranged it.”

When the women walked out of Midnapore Central Jail, their lawyer gave them Rs 180 for the trip back home.

A lone man was among those released — not because Kishanji had wanted it, but because he had been picked up during the same raid. Ramdulal Mandi said he was walking towards the Kantapahari bazaar, about 3km from Teshabandh, when the police “pounced” on him.

All of them will have to be produced in court during the next hearing on October 29

Do you believe these women are Maoists?
If you believe that, then you will believe anything.
These are poor women and as is usual with our police force, have been tortured just because they lived in an area infested by Maoist whom the police could not catch.
So. So they catch these unarmed women.
Are you surprised that the Maoist have spread to cover 40 % of the area in a few states.
If the police and administration atrocities continue, they will spread further, no matter what Chidambaram does.

Msgs from friends 41

Msg from Henry Hulley

Hello Radheshyam,

I received this email of Jeff Ewing who spent some time in GMS but did not graduate there. Jeff goes by the name of DrJ and is a musician of some note and apparentlt quite well known in Canada.
I thought this may be of interest to the Canada boys especially for functions, etc. You will note the young Jeff in GMS blazer with school crest.
With all best wishes to you and your family and all our GMS family
Henry Hulley

Dear Henry,

I think you may have missed DrJ's e-mail.
I have not received it.
Could you resend it?
We had a very pleasant Diwali.
We were awake up to 2.00 am last night with the children bursting crackers.
I do hope you too and your family are keeping well.



Hello again Radheshyam,

Me family and myself are all well and glad to know that you had a very pleasant Diwali.
Sorry I thought Jeff`s article had contact details, thay are as below :- ( web site )
Hope this will help you



Msg from N K Sircar

Happy Diwali to you and your family !! I got the msg late as I am on the ship. Thanks for keeping us all connected.

Msg from Br. James

Dear Radheshyam,

Thanks for your emails.
Iam sorry that I am not able to read all your letters which you circulate to everyone.
There is just one place in the school where the internet is available and thats in my office. We do not have broad band and hence it is very slow. Two other information-hungry brothers [ Both are DeSouzas; one is the Principal of GMS and the other is the Bursar] also use this computer and hence there is generally a queue for using the internet. I usually let them use the computer since I get very few emails and I have very little time to surf.
Going by your letter 40 A,B, I realise that you are not aware that every teacher & worker in GMS has to pay Rs 60 to GJMM each month and that one of our teachers is a representative of the GJMM. They asked the school to shut down on two occasions in the last one month. One, for martyrs day of their own and another for their 'Stapana Dowas'. They have processions and rallys everyday to remind
the people that they are still agitating. Sometimes they ask the schools to send their teachers for the rally or very often the students. Schools in town are harassed more often than ourseleves. No outside-the-region teachers are willing to come and work here and the local teachers speak Nepali all the time and so the standard of English is going down which in turn brings down the standard of the school.

Regarding the Open school, our teachers are not paying the GJMM anything and I do not think they will agree to pay. The remaining text is for your wife, yourself and all the other generous donors who would certainly like know what is happening in our Edmund Rice Free is still under-funded by the Christian Brothers [ though they increased the amount from 6.5 lakhs to 9.5 lakhs ] Our budget is 23 lakhs. They have asked me to get the remaining funds from elsewhere or scale down the spending. So I have scaled down the spending on transport. I am not providing transport to many students from the valley below. So the numbers have gone down from 250 + last year to 145 this year. I am stuck; because of the economic downturn I cannot ask around either. Last year I got fooled by a site that offered financial help and asked for my email details. When I had given all the detailed they hijacked my account and then sent distress notes to all
the addressees in my address book, asking them for immediate financial help. I think it was one of the members in the alumni who smelt something fishy and informed me about the hijacking. I was not able to open the account from my end from then on.
I am now hoping that some Irish students [girls] who usually come to Kolkata to experience India; would make a trip to our school, experience the hardships they bear and then send back money from Ireland when they go back. I am inviting them for the last three years and somehow they get stuck in Kolkata. Some of our similar ventures depend on funds from such Irish schools.

I really acknowledge the keen interest you take in my school and I am sorry I could not give you heartening news. 35 girls have passed the class X and XII exams this april and abother 40 class X and 15 class XII students are sitting for exam from October 8. These girls are not included in the number mentioned earlier of students attending Edmund Rice Free school.

We also had three major landslides in our school this year during a cyclone that hit us in May. Also our culvert at the siding which is 102 year old and made only of stone and mud collapesed. The biggest landslide took place at the front of the school overlooking the 1st field, where the benches were. The Entire front protion went down and touched the pavillion below. We were lucky it happened during the daytime and so we could prevent further sliding of the soil by putting sand-bags. If it had happened at night , we would have found the entire school on the 1st field or the siding. We were just too lucky. The total cost of repaiing all that will come to a crore. This was bad news for the girl's school too.

Hope you are keeping fine and are successful and happy in what you are doing at present. Happy Diwali & God bless you.

Yours sincerely,

Br. James

Dear Br. James,

Thank you for all the information.

I was saddened to read of the interference of the JMM in the functioning of our school and all the other schools in the area.These politicians never learn. The CPM interfered in the education in Bengal and packed all the schools with party members and removed English from the curriculum. The result is there for all to see. Boys from Bengal could not get jobs anywhere in India. Finally, realizing their folly, they have reintroduced English from the primary level from year before last. However, one whole generation have lost their English language prowess. All well paying jobs are now held by south Indians.

I am sorry to read of the damage done by the landslide. Rather, after the "Aila", I understand some of our Alumni had gone to Goethals to enquire if we could help in any way. Some of our boys from abroad, including Mr. jobo had taken the intitiative to arrange some funding for repairs. But we understand from the boys who went to school that the school had declined the offer.There seems to have been a communication gap some where.
You may rest assured, I am sure most of would willingly come forward to help our school.

I am glad this line of communication has been opened.

Please keep it open so that our boys are informed of how are school is doing and be of help when required.

The school has given us a lot, I am sure we can give something in return.

Yours sincerely,


Walking and Health

These have been sent by Bishan Dewan who seems to be a long walker and hereby sends a few hints on how to go about it.

Walking can add minutes to your life.
This enables you at 85 years old to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing home at $5000 per month.

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60.
Now she's 97 years old and we don't know where she is.

I joined a health club last year, spent about 400 bucks.
Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to go there

I have to exercise early in the morning before my brain figures out what I'm doing
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them
The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier.

If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country.
The only reason I would take up exercising is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.