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Showing posts from August, 2006

Taslima Nasrin in Kerala

At 7 am on 22 August, Taslima Nasrin, feminist writer, poet and critic sat sipping tea without sugar at Shirley’s Home Stay, run by KV Thomas’ daughter Rekha at Maradu, Kochi. Taslima was scanning the morning papers carefully. (What are they writing about me? Perhaps she wondered.) "What Kamala Surayya said was a bomb. And when journalists questioned me in front of her I was careful not to say anything against Islam because I did not want to offend her. But Kamala had other things to say when we talked in private."
She looked up from the paper she was reading to tell me this. And there I was waiting patiently for her to stop reading about herself.
I got about five -ten minutes alone with Taslima. She was casually dressed in a black and white salwar kameez. When at ease "she shivers her legs".
Then a horde of journalists descended on the scene but I hung around for a little while longer before leaving. One lucky journo knew Bangla so he fired questions at her privately…

Kamala Surayya and Taslima Nasrin: The Tale Of Two Women

One a convert to Islam, the other a rabid critic of women’s position in the religion. It was the language of feminism that effused when two of the world’s most outspoken women writers met. When Kamala Surayya and exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin sat alone at the former’s residence at Kochi on Monday, their conversation was punctuated by eloquent silence. Talsima Nasrin told me, “I met Kamala Surayya. We talked. I asked her why she converted to Islam. She was silent. She said she is afraid now and disturbed whether people will do anything to her children and grandchildren. I told her if she did not like to remain in this condition she should leave. I asked her: Why don’t you live freely as a human being?”Taslima Nasrin expatiated on the pain she felt for Kamala Surayya. “Kamala is a fine poet. I feel sorry for her. It is impossible for women to get salvation from any religion. She is suffocating. She should have the freedom to come out of the cage. She made that cage. If she wa…

NO FIZZ LEFT: Achu's RIGHT Choice Baby!

Banned in KeralaEvery guy with a wee bit of Leftist imagination loves bashing the colas. Who wouldn’t want to put some salt in the cola fizz and watch it fizzle out- almost infantile are the games that politicians play. A few days ago, even as the LDF government was toying with the idea of banning colas in Kerala because of the high pesticide content, people in Kochi didn’t give a damn- they were guzzling the beverages (read "pesticide-cocktail") to the very last drop and shops were stocking up to cater to the demand. Sources say PepsiCo sells about 20 lakh cases per annum from 30,000 outlets in Kerala. (One case contains 24 bottles). Nothing is known about the Coke sales. And before the ban both the companies maintained their sales had not dipped.The shop-keepers in Kochi confirmed this. One guy said if the people want to drink poison who are we to stop them? “We will sell poison.”The Left’s coke hysteria is much like the big terrorist attack on the planes from UK to USA th…

The Fascinating World Of Joseph K

I spent almost five and half hours with Joseph K negotiating the virtual world. It was fascinating to watch at him work nay play. In the end it was a full bladder and an empty stomach that made me say bye at 4.30 in the afternoon. He had lost track of time.If you have seen MacGyver –the television series in the late eighties then you will know what the hell I am talking about. MacGyver could do anything with the things around him -even create bombs out of deodorant cans, vaseline and other household stuff.MacGyver was a non-violent action-adventure hero. Armed with only a Swiss Army Knife, a roll of Duct tape, and whatever materials happen to be lying around, the ex DXS agent was the field operative for the Phoenix Foundation, MacGyver applied common sense and basic principles of science to imaginatively outwit his adversaries.
And there I was watching Joseph K do something pretty much like what MacGyver would have done.Joseph K casually demonstrated how a small electronic USB enabled…

The Law of Jealousies

In antiquity, during the time of Moses, the ancient law of jealousies nailed the adulterous woman while for her male counterpart itwasthe law of silence that prevailed. And if you think that modernity has changed the laws much. You err. Those laws of an ancient culture still hold today. They give the balls of man much license and freedom of movement. It is ridiculously funny. Interestingly in the New Testament Jesus did intervene, but the lawmakers (some of these laws are inherited from the British Raj) looked to antiquity to script the modern laws that are all too archaic.To quote from the Holy BibleNumbers Chapter 5: Vs 13 to 17If any man’s wife go aside, and commit a trespass against him,And a man lie with her carnally, and it be hid from the eyes of her husband, and be kept close, and she be defiled, and there be no close witness against her, neither she be taken with the manner.And the spirit of jealousy come upon him, and he be jealous of his wife, and she be defiled: or if the …