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Monday, October 27, 2014

15th street Washington Post

One morning, this summer in Washington DC, instead of walking from my hotel on M Street straight to the 16th street intersection in search of a place to eat breakfast, I turned left on to the 15th Street. A few meters ahead, I noticed a building on the opposite side with a "Washington Post" signboard. Although I pretended nonchalance but reverberating memories from the past slowed me down. I took out the cellphone from my pocket and clicked a picture of the yellowish building; the frame centering on the signboard.
 
Had the signpost not been there, the building would have been one of many inconspicuous structures lining both sides of the street. Without a second thought and with an uncharacteristic phlegmatic demeanor, I continued straight to go through my day in the town. It was only in the evening, during the playback of my ramblings of the day, that I started reliving those days of the early to mid-1970s. I would be ecstatic to see myself in front of the Washington Post building in some distant past that still had an idyllic tone and when world would not seem to be straddling an abyss even on dark days. I had sobered enough to know and understand that a year earlier, Jeff Bezos, a modern day mogul and the owner of the Amazon enterprise, had bought Washington Post for a pittance of 250 million dollars from the Graham family. That would be the newspaper where once a fable was created; the dogged investigation by the journalists operating from that very building had crumbled the Presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon. Compare that to the surreal world of our times where Facebook is worth 200 billion dollars and dropout entrepreneurs create companies to be sold for billions, traipsing the gullible generation into awe.
 
The era when Ed Murrow volunteered to cover the revenue his employers lost in the television shows, where he tore into the evil of Joe McCarthy and scared advertisers, is unlikely to repeat. McCarthy had wrecked too many lives through a relentless fear instillation, repeated over and over, to create disasters of abominable magnitudes and tragic consequences. Today, those espousing fear, through well-orchestrated and premeditated tactics passed off as exhilarating societal progression, have come to acquire an unflinching grip on all forms of media through ownerships and intimidations.
 
In a total reversal of epistle, fear has been institutionalized and fear mongering has attained status of a much sort after vocation. Without fear, it would be hard to demystify gainful employment of so many that call themselves anchors, hosts and even journalists. Otherwise, a bunch of imbecile terrorists' acquisition of three old airplanes would not have network anchors grasping for their breaths or cases of sporadic Ebola patients have them clamoring for quarantining of poor African people, even though there are more people with influenza viruses mingling with crowds in almost in all parts of the world.
 
If one were to recount the era in which Nixon was forced to resign from office and any scandal thereafter would acquire the perfunctory '-gate' as a suffix, has much to do with the hard and down-to-the-earth journalism practiced at the Washington Post and other newspapers. The perception that the Watergate began with a burglary by Nixon operatives at the Democratic headquarters located in a huge Washington building complex, named Watergate, is an over simplification of a labyrinthine enterprise operating from the Nixon White House.
 
Much before Watergate burglary happened, the Nixon operatives, through shadowy trailing of private lives of potential Democratic rivals, ensured nomination of a weak candidate in the form of George McGovern as a challenger to Richard Nixon in 1972 presidential elections. The then two unknown reporters from Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, stumbled on the muck behind that apparently petty theft that gave birth to the term Watergate Scandal. That story itself has been told so many times by the reporters themselves and others and even adopted by Hollywood.
 
Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, collectively called Woodstein, succeeded because Ben Bradlee, the then no nonsense executive editor at the Washington Post, pushed them to their limits while demanding facts. Bradlee remained steadfast in his belief in them and truth, even when others in the trade, in politics and elsewhere, harbored doubts about the entire story. Bradlee and his reporters were vindicated through their ultimate triumph. A huge part of reporting by the Washington Post reporters was based on information from an anonymous source cultivated by Woodward nicknamed "Deep Throat". That source revealed itself in 2005 and he was Mark Felt, a lifelong Republican disenchanted with Nixon, and the deputy director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) during that period. Washington Post, Katherine Graham, Ben Bradlee, Woodstein, Deep Throat, all became part of Watergate folklore and an undiminished longing for return to that era.
 
As one of the universal truths together with permanence of elements is the fact that real stories have more hidden nuances and subtleties than in the narratives that are made to appear in the public domain. The recent discovery of notes from Watergate period discovered from the papers of the filmmaker who directed "All the Presidents Men" reveal that Bob Woodward had more sources available to him than just the "Deep Throat" who stuck in imaginations. That under no circumstance diminishes what Woodstein achieved under Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham. It becomes difficult to fathom when one ruminates over the criminal complicity of the media in the fraud perpetrated by George W Bush in the form of attack on Iraq.
 
Bradlee died on October 21. I did go back to the Washington Post building next day, only to be told that there were no public tours.
-Rajiv Kumar

Friday, October 24, 2014

Washington Post on 15th Street

One morning, this summer in Washington DC, instead of continuing straight from my hotel on M street to the 16th street intersection, in search of a place serving palatable breakfast, I turned left on to the 15th Street. A few meters into the street I noticed a building on the opposite side with a “Washington Post” signboard. Although I pretended nonchalance but reverberating memories from the past slowed me down, I took out my phone from pocket and took a picture of that yellowish building with frame centered on the signboard. If it were not for that signpost, the building would be one of many inconspicuous structures lining both sides of that street. Without a second thought with an uncharacteristic phlegmatic demeanor I continued straight to go through my day in the town. It was only in the evening during the playback of my ramblings of the day I started reliving those days of the early to mid 1970s. I would be ecstatic to had been in front of the Washington Post building is some distant past that still had an idyllic tone and when world would not seem to be straddling an abyss even on dark days. I had sobered enough to know that a year earlier, Jeff Bezos, a modern day mogul, the owner of the Amazon enterprise had bought Washington Post for a pittance of 250 million dollars from the Graham family. That would be the newspaper where once a fable was created; the dogged investigation by the journalists operating from that very building had brought crumbling down the Presidency of Richard Milhous Nixon. Reckon that to the surreal world of our times where Facebook is worth 200 billion dollars and dropout entrepreneurs create companies to be sold for billions, traipsing the gullible generation into awe.  

The era when Ed Murrow volunteered to cover the lost revenue for his employers, the television shows in which he tore into the evil of Joe McCarthy wouldn’t attract advertisers, is not likely to happen again. McCarthy had wrecked too many lives through a relentless fear instillation, repeated over and over to create disasters of abominable magnitudes and tragic consequences. Those espousing fear through well orchestrated and premeditated tactics, made to appear as exhilarating societal progression, have come to acquire an unflinching grip on all forms of media through ownerships and intimidations. In total reversal of epistle, fear has been institutionalized and fear mongering attained status of a much sort after vocation. Without that it would be hard to demystify gainful employment of so many that call themselves anchors, hosts and even journalists. Otherwise a bunch of imbecile terrorists’ acquisition of three old airplanes would not have network anchors grasping for their breaths or cases of sporadic Ebola patients have them clamoring for quarantining of poor African nations. Even though there are more souls with influenza viruses mingling crowds in almost in all parts of the world.

If one were to recount the era in which Nixon was forced to resign from the office and any scandal thereafter would acquire perfunctory  -gate suffix has much to do with hard and down to the earth journalism practiced in hard to imagine days at the Washington Post and other newspapers. The perception that the Watergate began with a burglary by Nixon operatives at the Democratic headquarters located in a huge Washington building complex, named Watergate is an over simplification of a labyrinthine enterprise operating from the Nixon White House. Much before Watergate burglary happened, the Nixon operatives, through shadowy trailing of private lives of potential Democratic rivals, ensured nomination of a weak candidate in the form of George McGovern as a challenger to Richard Nixon in 1972 presidential elections. The then two unknown reporters from Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein stumbled on the muck behind that apparently petty theft that gave the term Watergate scandal. That story itself has been told so many times by the reporters themselves and others; even translated into a movie. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, collectively called Woodstein, succeeded because Ben Bradlee, the then no nonsense executive editor at the Washington Post pushed them to their limits while demanding facts remained steadfast in his belief in them and truth. Even when when others in the trade, in politics and elsewhere harbored doubts about the entire story. Bradlee and his reporters were vindicated through their ultimate triumph. A huge part of reporting by the Washington post reporters was based on information from an anonymous source cultivated by Woodward that was nicknamed “Deep Throat”. That source revealed itself in 2005 and he was Mark Felt, a lifelong Republican disenchanted with Nixon, was during that period deputy director of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Washington Post, Katherine Graham, Ben Bradlee, Woodstein, Deep Throat all became part of Watergate folk-lore and an undiminished longing for return to that era that persists. As one of the universal truths together with permanence of elements is the fact that real stories have more hidden nuances and subtleties than in the narratives that comes to the public domain. The recent discovery of notes from Watergate period discovered from the papers of the filmmaker who directed “All the Presidents Men” reveal that Bob Woodward had more sources available to him than just the “Deep Throat” who stuck to imaginations. And other informants that included prosecutors and even jurors would have been as much consequential and unraveling of the Nixon criminal enterprise was more multifarious than it had been believed to be. That under no manner diminishes what Woodstein achieved under Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham. That becomes difficult to fathom when one ruminates the criminal complicity of the media in the fraud perpetrated by George W. Bush in the form of attack on Iraq.   

I did go back to the Washington Post building next day, only to be told that there were no public tours.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Vacuousness and drunken stupor

Last week a Dutch court held that country's government responsible for 1995 Srebrenica massacre in which Muslin men and boys were murdered in cold blood after the declared safe-haven protected by Dutch peace-keepers was run over by Serb forces under the command of Ratko MladićRatko Mladic was the chief of the staff of the Srpska Republic army and Radovan Karadžić was the president. Both of them have been indicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for their crimes against humanity and are waiting their trials at the international court. Two of them are refered to as butchers of Bosnia as they led their Serbian army with a single intent of ethnic cleansing at the very end of twentieth century in a part of Europe. Both Karadžić and Mladić remained elusive for long time until the unrelenting arm of international criminal justice penetrated their covers. The task of their capture was made easy by changed times in Serbia itself, with the ultimate thug, Milosovic having long been disposed and handed over to the war tribunal in The Hague. He died during his trial and cruelly escaped justice for his crimes that included the persecution of Kosovars that ended only through NATO bombardment. 

Pertinently, someone remarked on social media that elevation of Amit Shah as president of ruling party in India has an echo of Karadžić and Mladić returning to the corridors of power. Both Modi and his henchman indulged in no less an ethnic cleansing of their own. Judiciary might have been ambivalent in the case Modi, but there were never ambiguities concerning the culpability of Amit Shah. The ambivalence in the case of the former was nothing more than technical and has more to do with the pliability of the system than any doubts about actual intent of the crimes committed under his watch. Instead of waiting for their trial, they are now the most powerful people in the country. If one leaves their crimes aside for moment and assess as to how the the new government with massive majority is going about the bussiness of running the country.

I think no body could sum that better than Jawed Naqvi, who in a column in The Dawn described functioning of the saffron government as vacuous. He went on describe an anecdote, which is reproduced here,


"NARENDRA Modi’s instant prescriptions to cure India’s chronic troubles are vacuous or easy or both.The conclusions are reminiscent of the full moon night when Majaaz, Lucknow’s guru of wit and poetry, returned home punch drunk. The house was in a shambles. Policemen were shining torches into the ransacked cupboards. The ladies of the house were huddled in a corner, anxiety writ on their noble faces.
Spotting Majaaz in his unbuttoned sherwani and dishevelled hair, one of the sisters cried out in anguish. Whoever had broken into their house had taken away everything, she sobbed. Majaaz, we are told, watched the proceedings silently, shifting his weight from dizzy toes to tipsier heels and back.
Using the palm of his hand as a hood over his eyes he took as good a view as he could get of puzzled cops gaping at emptied out teakwood almirahs. Then, with an air of insight he muttered what seemed like a considered opinion: “Ye to kisi chor ki harkat maaloom hoti hai.” (This looks like the work of a thief.)"
Well Majaaz was drunk at the time, but Modi and his government with their limited discerning intellects are bound to indulge in absurdism more often than would be normal. Their approach to governance couldn't have been anything else because their and their supporters world-views are nothing but vacuous. That vacuousness combined with sinister communal intent is shaping their agenda. Instead of approaching Kashmir issue with a broader outlook, the saffron government has entered it through a communal fissure and at the same time started making noises of of much misunderstood article 370. 

Whatever, they understand or may even do about it, the article 370 of the constitution cannot be abrogated. Because, that is the article that defines the relationship between Jammu and Kashmir state and the union throught article 1 of the Indian constitution. Were they to abrogate the said article, the state will cease to be the part of the Indian union. And any change in the article has to be agreed by the state constituent assembly that had dissolved itself in late 1950s. The true implication is that all Indian laws extended to the state after dissolution of the constituent assembly are ipso facto illegitimate. Even if, were the government able to abrogate the article, would that solve any of the issues and undo the criminality committed by the Indian occupation of the place. 

The real absurdity lies not only in what this government does, rather in what it has meticulously avoided to do. Avoidance of discussion on ongoing human tragedy in the parliament was absurdly comical. But then like Majaaz in drunken stupor, both Modi and Sushma Sawaraj, in this case, can clearly see that Palestinians and Israelis are bombing each other. Anyway with a hard core ideological fanatic as the head of Indian Council Historical Research, they soon will have a new history, so why to take sides now.
-Rajiv Kumar

Friday, May 30, 2014

Ascendency of a descendent

On 30th January 1948, when Gandhi fell to the assassin's bullets, the head quarters of Hindu rabid organization RSS burst into celebrations all over India. When the country went into mourning, they were feeding each other sweets. They had all the reasons in the world for strutting around that despicably. The killer of Mahatma came from their ranks. And now more than a three score years later a person who owes his existence to that rabid organization has become prime minister of the same country for which Gandhi gave his life. One only wishes he had spared the farce of visiting the memorial of Gandhi and instead had laid a wreath in memory of Godse, the killer of Gandhi. At least his silent supporters are not holding back and they immediately peddled themselves to the gloating planet, like all their prayers have been answered and their liberator is at their doorsteps to release them from ten years of misery. They are descendants of those who wept at the death of Mahatma; they are celebrating ascendancy of a descendant of Godse. May be dimwits do not even get it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Rubicon and a morphed moderate

Tomorrow, or already today in some places, Modi will officially become prime minister in India, and with that the Rubicon will have been crossed. Nothing will ever be able to undo that leap into darkness and that will without salvage become condemned in history for all times to come. Not that there were any doubts about the emphatic magnitude of the victory; it is that categorical dominance that poked a dogmatic finger at the nation that had its genesis in idealistic principles based on universal inclusiveness and egalitarian principles of justice. The person who in his not so distant past displayed all the symptoms of a parochial behavior with complete disregard for the lives of minorities will assume power in a nation that once revered Gandhi. Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, the man who murdered Gandhi used be member of the rabid Hindu organization that nurtured Modi. His much trumpeted development in the state he ruled stopped at boundaries of the Muslim ghettos of Ahmadabad with members of that community actively denied residences in Hindu areas through intimidation. Who could have fancied apartheid in the land of Gandhi in twenty first century without causing an outrage and anguish? The fact there were no protests, no outrages and no condemnations, makes it easier to understand saffron sweep in the country. Ironically, the same day as he was declared as winner of elections, the supreme court of India released three persons charged in a so called terrorist attack. The court admonished the home minister of the state for 'not applying his mind' and that home minister was none other than Modi. Three innocents lost eleven years of their lives and those of their kins. The word is Modi ever since his win has morphed into a moderate. A true moderate would have apologized to those three hapless poors whose life is shattered or would ask Zakia Jafri for her forgiveness. Even if he wanted to be a moderate from this day on, will his constituency of bigots let him?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Likudization of India

To state that I am disappointed by the outcome of Indian election would be a colossal understatement. The fact that a man, who by any civilized standard should have been long indicted and Imprisoned, has landed into prime ministerial chair of a country that was famed and fabled by its diversity. Rather than the beginning, election of Modi represents the culmination of a gradual process of communalisation of the country. One could draw a parallel with Pakistan, but an apt comparison would be with the Likudization of Israel. How else can one explain that out of 170 million Muslims living in India, the newly constituted parliament will have only 24 Muslim members in the lower house? And the rabid right wing party of fundamentalists, which is now the ruling party is totally bereft of any Muslim in its vast newly elected group in parliament. May be at some level the recently concluded elections have vindicated Jinnah! 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The unfolding nightmarish scenarios

The inevitability is already there. After mid May it is very likely a man, who acts, speaks and appears like a criminal, will head the largest democracy in the world. Although he tried hard to camouflage his rabidity under a cloak of so called progress and development but his dagger keeps slipping out into the open. Then his incorrigible henchmen are always there to rain on his parade with one telling his opponents to migrate to Pakistan and another one asked Muslims not to venture into the Hindu areas. Yet another topped by declaring destruction of Pakistan after ascension of the man to power, who incidentally was on the stage at the time, grinning I guess, at least mentally. 

If that scenario wasn't nightmarish enough, then one just needs to ruminate about the people who will be manning the impending Modi regime. There is that Amit Shah, his racketeer in chief in Gujarat, who besides having been recently banished from campaigning, excelled in arranging fake encounters. Though the pliant election commission rescinded its ban, lest revenge be too hard once elections are over. Shah's name prominently figured in Ishrat Jahan Ara murder case and many others until he was sent by his Fuehrer to manipulate India's largest state for him through rampant bigotry and communalism. Then that one-man train wreck, the ex-army chief cannot be discounted either, who for the first time in the history of India scared an elected government through what tantamount to staging of a coup. His raison d'être was that the government of the day did not accept his manipulation of the date of his birth and let him continue to in the office for another two years. But then his roguishness was all over the place and his softness for hinduvta did not long come into open. If nothing else, there will always be the shadow of one of the most sinister persons ever to set foot on this planet. The agenda of Subramaniam Swami besides demolition of all mosques in India includes disenfranchising those Muslims who fail to declare their Hindu ancestry. Nobody can discount Yoga swindler either, least for the comic absurdity of those pretenders.

Then there are mainstream leaders of the party still to be counted who apparently attained the stature of statesmen once Modi became their leader. Bigotry of Advanis, Joshis, Jaitleys and others pale in comparison to his acolytes and Modi himself. Otherwise the damage they did to Indian polity during their time in the government was enormous. It took poor Arjun Singh an entire term from 2004 to 2009 to undo the damage done to educational syllabi by Murli Manohar Joshi and his accomplices at human resources ministry during that period when those right wing fanatics were in power. During their earlier term they were not only sinister but also proved to be contemptuously incompetents. The fiasco during the handling of hijacking and those foolishly immature statements of Advani remain ever refreshing to remember. And now elevation of a man who presided over and abetted killings in Gujarat to the top leadership position has provided credibility to his incompetently sinister colleagues.


One would think nightmare ends there but it doesn't. As of now Modi is debarred from entering the US.   That ban will go away if in a nightmarish scenario he really become Prime Minister, as business takes precedence over human rights. But that doesn't mean that a literal Damocles sword will not hang over his head whenever he ventures abroad, Europe in particular. Former Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni even during her time in the government avoided Europe due to warrants issued by a London court. And the arrest of Pinochet during his visit to London does not bode well for you know whom!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Ascendancy of tyrant

One is given to believe that the outcome of the upcoming Indian elections is already a forgone conclusion and ascendancy of Narendra Modi to power a fait accompli. At least that is the perception being spread by corporate controlled Indian media that revels in mediocrity. Curiously, that would constitute a remarkable turn of events. Given his direct and indirect culpability in the crimes committed in 2002, Modi should have long before disappeared from political scenario. For long last he should have been doing his time in a shared cell with his former protégé Maya Kodnani for his crimes of omission and commission against humanity. Instead he is crisscrossing the country spreading untruths and regularly mauling history; back in Gujarat his henchmen in the meanwhile continue to indulge in thuggish skullduggery.

The exoneration by Indian courts of Modi for his role in mayhem of 2002, that left thousands dead and irretrievably scarred minorities in Gujarat, does not in any way prove his innocent. Rather in a curious way represents falling in line of judiciary with ominous trend of the time heralding triumph of unreason and bigotry. Given the spread of viciousness it is does not come as surprise that people fighting for or demanding justice for the victims of Modi regime of terror during those riots should now find themselves charged as criminals. Albert Camus couldn’t have been more apt when he wrote, “On the day when crime dons the apparel of innocence-through a curious transposition peculiar to our times-it is innocence that is called upon to justify itself”. In this case the happenings are not abstract concepts but factual happenings.

Teesta Setalvad while seeking justice for Zakia Jafry is being hounded by the state machinery of Gujarat headed by none other than Narendra Modi. Zakaia Jafri’s husband Ehsan Jafri a former member of Indian parliament was hacked to death by a mob of thugs guided by official voter lists during those riots. Modi never uttered a single word of remorse for any of those heinous crimes committed under his watch and instead a systematic harassment and victimization of his opponents and those seeking justice has ensued to this day.

What has become one of the tragic in a series of ironies is the fact it is not the so-called progress model but it is rather his role and unambiguously criminal stance during and following riots in 2002 that has captured the imagination of increasingly communal and bigoted Indian middle class. Modi’s arrival on the national scene is not the beginning rather it signals the culmination of the process of thorough infiltration of every strata of society by the forces that are intolerant and visualize India in a light compatible with the vision of communal figures from days of Hindu Mahasabha. Tactics of intimidation used by the supporters of Modi in dealing with opponents represent a leaf out of a fascist book.

One might remember the worst tyrants in the history came to power through elections and massive popular support of their people. Modi seems to be displaying all the symptoms of making of a worst tyrant. When an outspoken critic of Modi, a former editor of The Hindu newspaper Siddharth Varadarajan was indirectly threatened, not much was left to imagine. Modi will not come to power because people who will vote for him are tired of corruption. No because they are the ones who are corrupt; they are the ones who go to any lengths to avoid taxes; they are the ones who benefit from corrupt India. For them Modi brings them a vision of Hindu India. Alas they forget when everybody has been dealt with, the forces of tyrant will turn on them. Recently Pranay Gupte quoted poem “First they came” by the pastor Martin Niemoller on Jewish holocaust:

First they came for the Communists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists

And I did not speak out
Because
I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left
To speak out for me

-Rajiv Kumar

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Ukrainian crisis

For anybody to understand Ukrainian crisis outside the frenzied brouhaha generated by partisan media is essential to understand the associated history and geography. Henri Kissinger, who was national security asdvisor and Secretary of State under Richard Nixon, has given an informed and reasoned argument in this article (link provided) 
The argument put forward by Dr. Kissinger is a breath of fresh air compared to noise being made by people who are running the world affairs in Washington and elsewhere.
-Rajiv Kumar

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Proselytism and happenstance


I had been standing in front of that old stand at Maulana Azad Road and I pulled out my ringing phone out of my pocket. I panicked when I saw that it was not my phone; it was rather my long discarded ancient Sony Ericsson handset from pre-smart phone era and apparently still functional.Another wave of confusion had me wondering me about fate of my current phone. Had I lost it? While dealing with and coming terms with those confusions, I realized that I still needed to answer the thing that was incessantly ringing. It was in the midst of that mental turmoil I pressed the button on that forsaken handset and no sooner had brought it close to my ear I heard Yasmin yelling at the other end. “Where the hell are you, rascal”. That was how she usually would start her conversation and that time couldn’t have been an exception. While I was trying to conjure a plausible answer that would render further yelling futile or I wish propitiously it might even subdue. I tried to give her my location at that time but I confusingly found that I am no longer at the place where I was. I was now standing almost opposite to the Palladium cinema with my back towards that hip stationary shop a couple of shops away from the corner of the junction leading to Court road. I had not used any of the lanes connecting Maulana Azad Road to reach my current spot; I would have remembered of that big textbook shop in one of those lanes, where I would stop at the slightest excuse during my days at the University. With phone still held close to my ear and trying to mumble an answer I felt that only probable explanation for my being at the new location would be a star trek transporter. Perhaps I was not enough bewildered that while still answering the phone I felt a soft endearing arm slid from behind encircling my neck; I felt a soft female form pressing against my back and then there were lips close to my other ear whispering amorous words. I couldn’t understand the words in my state of utter confusion but I figured out that words were in Dutch. Her blonde hair was hanging up to her and now my shoulders. And before I could gather myself and contemplate a response I felt dragged towards an alley in the Court road and now I was facing Jameel, who had instantly launched a sermon on morality and started berating my deviousness. I had more than I could manage already I was not ready for an attempted proselytism from a person whose vision of the world had most often had me asphyxiating. Probably it was that suffocation that woke me from my sleep and it was 5.30 in the morning. I knew even if I went to sleep again I would encounter incorrigible Jameel again who ruined my happenstance with an unknown Dutch woman forever.