The Lord God Jesus Jehovah put me to light sleep and in the sleep he gave me visions: the first was the fate of India: in the vision I saw the Pharaoh of Egypt (the Indian electorate) anointing Rahul Gandhi with fine robes and ornaments. Yes said the Lord: he will become India’s Prime Minister in 2019. He will break the Guinness record of becoming the world’s youngest Prime Minister. The Lord told me that he should trust no one and should be extra cautious about his security.
The second was a song I composed. The Lord told it to teach the children in the school.
The third was a Tom Dick Harry Porter asking me to sell the school. I tell him in crude language to get lost. This is my ancestral land, my inheritance (Abraham’s bequeathed land) which the Lord has given.
Ludhiana is in Punjab in the Northern part of India. I was there to give my daughter’s luggage as she had joined a medical college there. The flight from Delhi was a rustic, old one. The dinosaur plane had propellers outside and throughout the journey it was shaking like a windbag swaying in the breeze. Thank heavens I landed finally in a tiny airport having just one room. There was no conveyer belt for the baggage, but just a platform. To my good luck, there was only a single cab and I had to pay through the nose, a thousand bucks to the hotel. The streets are crowded like sardines, jam packed. The taxi missed other vehicles by inches. I marveled at the skill of the driver. The driver was hardy Punjabi with his stout turban and he knew smattering English and I started conversing with him. I could see cops all the way through, armed with light machine guns. The nation was on red-alert as it was celebrating independence. I could see an array of colorful turbans. Traffic was so uneven and cyclists were vying with cars. Cycle rickshaws ploughed through the traffic in sweet relish. Sweat oozed from the rickshaw drivers. The streets were narrow and dingy. Whole arrays of shops were selling a host of things like sweets and other Punjabi delicacies. Traveling through the streets, time takes ages. I went to my daughter’s medical college CMC. The buildings were quaint and bore the relics of the colonial empire. There was a beautiful little chapel in front of the college. I relished Punjabi Tandoori chicken with Nans made from flour. On the whole, the trip was an enjoyable one.
Doklam is the border between India and China. Recently there was a military standoff between India and China. As an idiom it means a souring relationship between two countries and hostile bickering.
Example: The Cold War was an ideological Doklam.
The Doklam between America and Cuba has been eased.
There is a Doklam between America and North Korea.
Nirad C Chaudhri lived during the time of India’s freedom struggle and he had recorded his experiences in the book: Thy Hand Great Anarch. He was a polished man supportive of the British regime and he was highly critical of the freedom struggle.
He begins his memoir by recording his life as a clerk. Having failed his MA he could get no other job. He rails at the Non Cooperation Movement stating that it was a mass brainwashing of the people. The non cooperation movement was a civil disobedience movement started by Mahatma Gandhi to eject the British from India. The non cooperation movement included withdrawal of Indians from work areas and civil protest. The aim of the non cooperation movement was to paralyze the British government. The agitating masses were illiterate and Chaudhri records an instance where he was physically harassed by the non cooperation agitators.
After the Non Cooperation Movement came the Chauri Cahuri incident when an irate mob torched a police station and burnt to death British policemen. Then Gandhi withdrew the non cooperation movement. This was followed by the massacre at Jalian Wallah Bagh incident where peaceful protestors gathered and they were shot to death under the orders of Colonel Dyer. This brutal assassination was met with a storm of protests from the country.
Then came the Simon Commission to placate the Indians and to offer partial autonomy to India. The Simon Commission was met with hostile resistance. People waved placards saying: ‘Simon go back’ and burnt effigies. After the Simon Commission, Gandhi adopted the Salt Satyagraha at Dandi where people marched to the shores of sea to make salt. This was done in protest against the harsh taxes imposed on commodities by the British. For Chaudhri: Gandhi was no apostle of peace and he indulged in moral and psychological violence.
The times leading to the independence were severe for India. There was much causality. The British were fed up of ruling India so they decided to leave. Lord Mount Batten was appointed as the British representative in India. Along with India the Muslims in Pakistan wanted a separate nation. Jinnah was vociferous in the creation of Pakistan. Gandhi was very disturbed Independent India was besieged with many problems. They were unemployment, poverty, death and starvation. Nehru decided to make India a socialist country.
Chaudhri’s struggle is so poignantly portrayed in a pristine language. For the average India life was queasy. The British exploited India’s economy by taking away its resources and bringing in finished goods. Cottage and handicraft industries the backbone of the Indian economy was severely in a ditch. A positive development of the British rule in India was the spread of the vernacular press the development of the railways. Railways united the country. Post independent India was one of quarrelsome princely states. It was the iron man of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel who united India and made it into a single country. The press played an important role in spreading the gospel of freedom. Partition of India and the creation of Pakistan created a lot of problems. There was a mass exodus of refugees from Pakistan to India and from India to Pakistan.
Chaudhri’s work is highly philosophical and literary synthesizing India and its turmoil into a political catharsis. Nehru remarked in his opening speech that we have made a tryst with destiny. When the world sleeps India will awake to freedom. Chaudhri marvelous rendition of India’s political and cultural landscape is an essential reading.
Chabahar is a strategic port in Iran. Pakistan’s refusal to transit wheat from India to the beleaguered Afghanistan resulted in India, transporting goods from Chabahar. As an idiom it means entering goods into battle weary country through an exit point when the same is denied by a neighboring country.
Example: India’s goodwill gesture to Afghanistan resulted in a Chabahar.
During the Berlin blockade America became a Chabahar through the conduct of operation vittles.
In India, people have the strange habit of writing on money. It becomes irritable as some establishments will not accept a written currency. The ego of such people is strange and eccentric! What pride is there to make a scroll with a pen? Are they satisfying a writer’s ego? After demonetization new currencies which are written over will not be accepted. Strange are the ways of people’s habits.
The Indian Judiciary has taken a hard-bite at smokers. They have banned smoking in public places and they have imposed a burdensome fine. I believe that smoking is my privilege as I live in a democratic society. At least the judiciary could have shown humane kindness by introducing smoking zones. I have lived in Indonesia which is a smokers country. In all establishments including airports there are smoking zones. So is the case with Singapore and Malaysia. Sartre has said a smoker experiences the universe when he or she smokes. I hope the Indian Judiciary will introduce smoking zones in places.