Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The Past Is Another Country


And you can never really go back
 
I've been thinking about Pakistan lately. A reflection about roots. Because I want to write a novel? Or is it just nostalgia?
 
Woke up this morning with a title "The Past Is Another Country" and "And you can never really go back" then worried where I'd seen it before. Writers don't plagiarize :)
 
An on line search; it comes from a book, except I never read it:
"The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there", The Go-Between Lesley Poles Hartley, 1953.
Then ah, I see it comes from the 1971 Joseph Losey movie adaption of the novel, with Julie Christie and Alan Bates. No wonder I remembered it, with visual evocations of revisiting the past.

I think of Pakistan, and the memories of childhood. Yes, I travelled widely and each country I've been to evoked memories of past lives. Yes, I love Japan, and the U.K. the U.S. and especially my home, Canada, for memories of friends and events, natural beauty and wonderful history.

But there will always be a special place in your heart for the place where you were born, and here it is Pakistan.

This is about identity, and how I want my children to learn theirs.

There is history, culture, religion even if you think of yourself as an outsider sometimes. You can still love it and want to take your children back there to visit.

This is about the uprootedness of the Pakistani diaspora and how no matter how much we settle elsewhere, a part of us always looks back to remember 'home'.

Yes, we are defined by our history, and ours is one that goes back 5000 years.

The Indus valley civilization, Mohenjo-Daro existed at the same time as the Mesopotamian, Minoan Crete, Egyptian and Peru's Norte Chico civilizations.They were a peaceful, pastoral people and that is who we are also, regardless the number of invaders who went through our lands and yet we absorbed them all. That is why Sunni Islam is tempered by a very strong Sufi traditions which no manner of fundamentalism can ever break.

We are defined by geography, from the plains of the Punjab, mountains of "Afghania", Valleys of Kashmir, rivers of "Sindia", deserts and hillsides of Balochistan. Therefore, Pakistan is a not just a culture of many peoples, but place.

With all respect, we are not like Indians. They have a different geography of place and mind.

I had thought how much I'd love to take my family there. My children need to see who they are as well as their other side. But the past is another country, and maybe one can't go back.

Maybe, you can't go back. Except through your remembered past, with a book.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Trump's 1st 100 Days


Resistance, they say 
 
A Federal Judge  has issued a temporary halt to Donald Trump's controversial "Muslim Travel Ban". This is the first of a series of mistakes he will make throughout his presidency. Which, whether you like it or not, will continue for two terms. Like it or not, he is your duly elected president.
 
 
I analyzed his inauguration chart which showed what would happen in his 1st hundred days: A deeply divided nation, efforts to undermine his presidency, a foreign crisis he must avoid at all costs. That he should focus on the economy, and get good, not self serving advice. That he would get legal opposition for his actions. He must cooperate with people, not try to bulldoze them over, or they would unite against him. I guess he wasn't listening :)
 
I've been told as a "spiritual" person I write quite a bit about politics but really, everything I write is through a spiritual prism. Noting the imbalances in the world; what could be more spiritual than that?
 
Yes, the imbalance between rich and poor, power and powerlessness, matters. Palestine is important, for Middle East peace. LGBT rights, matter. Civil Rights, matter. Black Lives matter. Muslim Ban matters. NoDapl matters. Brown v. Board Of Education, Wade v. Roe, Citizens United v. all matter.

But not separately, which is the divisiveness of identity politics we've allowed to take over. And not that I am particularly concerned about the antics of Alt Reich dummies doing Nazi salutes or Antifa protesters setting fire to trash cans or throwing bricks through windows. I'm interested in what the rulers are doing. Someone said this about power, that while we react to what they did yesterday, they've moved on to their next step. I prefer to see where they're going, and write about what they'll do next. In other words, prophecy.

Yes, I think the anti-war movement is the moral cause of our time. Attacking refugees and people fleeing those wars on the basis of their religion and national origin, even cancelling the visas of 100,000 people and  preventing legal residents from returning home caused outrage and many people to feel ashamed for their country. Decent people all rushed to help. They protested in the thousands at airports and lawyers met incoming travellers to offer free legal services.

Helping others, is a spiritual thing.



Helping to heal the planet, is a spiritual thing.



But I said this about Obama in 2008, that this was America's last chance. And now I say this about Trump: you will have to go so far back before you can go forward. It isn't even about the man. It's about you.

The Democrats are so hapless they won't regain Congress. Not unless they reform. Liberals who didn't speak up and put their bets on a bad choice: you could have had Bernie Sanders, you got Donald Trump instead. Those are the consequences. Politically, you cannot regain what you lost until you learn to listen to the concerns of real people. Politically, not until a third party that embraces real populism, not corporatism. Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Congressional Democrats said, "we're capitalists. That's the way it is".

But that's just me, trying to be helpful on the material plane.

As I wrote then, What next, America?

The real resistance will be spiritual, not political.
 

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Welcome To Canada


"Know that we value you"
 
When President Trump issued his order last week banning travellers from seven Muslim majority countries (even visa holders and permanent residents were turned back) Canada offered to take them in.
 
When we saw the waves of refugees from the Middle East we opened our doors, as we did to Vietnamese and Somalis.
 
The Islamophobic tendencies that started in America after 9/11 (and spreading to Europe) led to the latest outrage when White Nationalist Alexandre Bissonette opened fire in a Quebec City mosque, killing 6 and wounding 8. Oddly, a mosque in Texas was burned down the day before. Americans raised a million dollars to help rebuild it and a local synagogue shared their space to let them continue to worship. Many Christians and Jews reached out.
 
We are a tolerant nation. From an editorial in the New York Times: Quebec’s Response to Hate: More Tolerance 
That was what Canadians sought to do. Thousands gathered at memorial services across the country, including Mr. Trudeau on Monday. Speaking earlier to Parliament, he addressed the more than one million Muslim Canadians: “Thirty-six million hearts are breaking with yours,” he said, referring to the population of Canada. “Know that we value you”.  
Canada is not perfect; it, too, has its demons, as Mr. Couillard said. But the response of a democratic society must be to reaffirm its fundamental faith in freedom, including the freedom to practice one’s faith and cultural traditions. In Quebec, the demons took a terrible toll, but the country’s commitment to inclusion was, if anything, strengthened. 
In the wake of President Trump's attempt to capitalize on fear, Trudeau issued this powerful statement on Twitter and creating the wonderful hashtag #WelcometoCanada


The world has reacted with fear, and, more anger in response to Donald Trump's win. This is not the way.

Love, one another. The most powerful message of all.

 
(Next up: Trump's First 100 Days)
 
 
 


Friday, January 20, 2017

President Trump


He's the president of the U.S.
 
I very nearly emigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. in 1970. I'd have joined the army immediately and knew I'd be sent to Vietnam, which was fine with me. Instead, my family and I moved to Canada, which is where I really was supposed to be.
 
In college, my two favourite professors were American. One, taught me to love their constitution. The other, worked for the CIA :) "I'm just an analyst" he told me over tea one day. I write analysis of your politics". Fair enough.
 
I see the future.
 
I've written thousands of articles about America and the world's future going back to my book "The Way Of Atlan" since 1977. I've written about political and spiritual futures. See this blog and my website www.manfromatlan.com for a good selection.

 
When I knew Obama would be president (and Hillary Clinton not ever) I wrote about it. When I knew Donald Trump would be president I wrote about it.

In the end, Obama won the White House, but he lost the country, because he abandoned the people he promised hope and change. The direction the country was going became apparent in 2010, after the mid term elections.

The American century is over. Will it be a Russian/Chinese century? I'd hoped the spiritual revolution would begin in America. Maybe it will, but for now, it looks like it will be worldwide.

As writer John Pilger says THIS WEEK THE ISSUE IS NOT TRUMP. IT IS OURSELVES.

So you can protest, you can advocate, you can organize. Donald Trump is still the 45th president of the U.S. and likely, will win the next term as well.

When I looked at his astrological chart I came up with this analysis Psycho-Astrology Analysis: The Trump Presidency but really, it's a prophecy, make of it what you will.

Yes, he's a complex being as are we all, and I avoid judgement. He has a chance to be a very good president; karma is neither good nor bad, it is based on the choices we make, inexorable.

And as I wrote at the time,
What can we do? Build material foundations, develop your creativity, find the balance within yourself. Art, music, spirituality, an international movement of quiet, peaceful resistance will accomplish more. We aren't Americans or Canadians or Russians, we are people of the world.
Your material side might not like to hear this. Karma is after all, part of the material realm.

The answers are not political, they are spiritual.  


Saturday, January 14, 2017

#Vaccine Wars

 
 
"Was it because of the inoculation?" the king asked when many children started to die.
 
( Continued from Part I, Vaccination~The Greatest Harm )
 
The above quote by King George I of Great Britain is from The Speckled Monster, A Historical Tale of Battling Smallpox, Jennifer Lee Carrell, Dutton 2003, "a fascinating story of how people struggled to find a cure for smallpox, a disease that killed more people than the Black Plague and all the wars of the 20th century altogether".
 
The author describes it as "a history of hope", which indeed it is. Parents and physicians not giving up, looking to find answers to protect their families and patients. It was a struggle to save "hundreds of millions of lives". It also was a debate whether vaccination, as one Scottish physician in Boston said, was a "malignant infusion" that when injected into the body might cause a rise in untold new illnesses.
 
Introduction:
 
This is a history of the vaccine wars. On the one side, governments imposing compulsory vaccinations on the basis of public safety. On the other, parents and physicians who argued this was causing their children to become ill and creating new epidemics. This struggle, from the early days of variolation (inoculation) in the early 17th century (where pus from a smallpox victim was incised directly into the patient's body) to Jenner's vaccine in the 19th,  is now part of a broader war as people argue about the future of the planet and the direction we are going.  
 
It is a battle that has continued to current times, between what is presented as science and medicine against ignorance, and reason versus irrational fear. It is a history of the science of immunology but also the many mistakes made along the way. The search for safer vaccines conflicted with those who refused to acknowledge any harm done by vaccines, as subterfuge and compulsion became the new world order.
 
Yes, smallpox was eradicated finally, (never mind that improvements in public sanitation and hygiene really made the difference) then it became a battle against polio, and diphtheria, as the goal became a disease free world, and people blindly were led to try to prevent every possible disease that might strike their children, never mind how scientifically illogical that goal that might be.
 
Fear, after all, is quite a motivator. The 'Spanish' Flu, (which actually began in the US), Polio, Hepatitis, the AIDS 'epidemic', Avian and Swine Flu, the human papilloma virus (HPV) new Pandemic scares, all created the conditions to make people demand solutions (and scientists and Big Pharma companies rushing to fill that profitable demand). And when that failed, more and more vaccines were piled in a schedule a normal child's healthy immune system and neurological development could not cope with..
 
It is a cultural and social battle of minds, between 'liberals' who demand compulsion, and conservative libertarians and alternative health believers who insist parents should make reasoned decisions on behalf of their children. The media browbeats with scare stories about unvaccinated children,  California and other jurisdictions rescind all exemptions for reason of conscience and belief, and it has now entered the political debate, as US Green Party Dr. Jill Stein is forced to backtrack from previous sceptical positions and President Elect Donald Trump of all people, speaks his mind.
 
 
 
 
A Quest:
 
It is above all a quest to understand the nature of illness, the causes and possible solutions. 
 
I was inspired by the death of my brother when he was 10 from leukemia, the simplicity and effectiveness of homeopathy, the birth of children with autism and research to find the cause, and, what might be done to help all who were afflicted by it..
 
Then I met these children, and many more.
"Patricia Howes is blind, mentally disabled, and has continuous seizures. She is 6 years old.
Patrick Rothwell is blind and mentally disabled. He is 11 years old."
 
Vaccinations, The Right To Refuse - Naseer Ahmad, Dimensions Magazine Toronto 1991.


(From an article I wrote in 1991 about my personal knowledge of children who died, became blind, suffered brain damage almost immediately after receiving routine childhood immunizations.)

Vaccination wars - A history:

The Victorian Anti-Vaccination Movement

The dewy chill over Leicester, England, in March 1885 did not deter thousands of protesters from gathering outside nearby York Castle to protest the imprisonment of seven activists. Organizers claimed as many as 100,000 people attended, although historians estimate it was closer to 20,000.The cause they rallied against? Vaccination.
Under this pressure, the British government introduced a key concept in 1898: A “conscientious objector” exemption. The clause allowed parents to opt out of compulsory vaccination as long as they acknowledged they understood the choice. Similar to today’s religious exemptions in 47 U.S. states and the personal belief exemptions in 18 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the parents signed paperwork certifying that they knew and accepted the risks associated with not vaccinating.
Forcible vaccinations:

How The 'Pox' Epidemic Changed Vaccination Rules

"The battle between the government and the vocal anti-vaccinators came to a head in a landmark 1902 Supreme Court decision, where the Supreme Court upheld the right of a state to order a vaccination for its population during an epidemic to protect the people from a devastating disease.
But at the same time, the Court recognized certain limitations on that power — that this power of health policing was no absolute and was not total and there was a sphere of individual liberty that needed to be recognized," says Willrich. "Measures like this needed to be reasonable and someone who could make a legitimate claim that a vaccine posed a particular risk to them because of their family history or medical history [would not have to be vaccinated.]. 
In addition, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts stipulated that a state couldn't forcibly vaccinate its population."
Except now, those rights are now being taken away, as state after state remove the conscientious objector clause, and in many third world countries, vaccinate children using coercive methods. Funny, this is one issue I make common cause with Libertarians and Conservatives: our health freedoms and the right to make informed choices for our selves and our children.

Spanish Flu:

The site of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic and its public health implications

It appears the pandemic began in Camp Funston, now Ft. Riley, in Kansas, and spread via American soldiers arriving in France. This was confirmed by Dr. Edwin Jordan, whose findings were published by the AMA in 1927.

There was a huge increase in death and disease in the army after it introduced compulsory vaccination in 1911. And a new pneumonia vaccine was given to troops in army camps and ships transporting them to France. Once they arrived, it spread amongst the population. 
Source: J.M. Barry, The Great Influenza: the Epic Story of the Deadliest Plague in History. New York: Viking; 2004

This article explains how when compulsory vaccinations were introduced to US troops in 1911 the number of deaths increased dramatically. They created a stronger vaccine, which resulted in the Spanish Flu. The rest is history. Vaccine not virus responsible for Spanish flu

Homeopathy and the Spanish Flu:

Homeopathic hospitals had a higher success rate against the pandemic.

The Survival Factor in Neoplastic and Viral Diseases by Dr. William Koch
"Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) collected 26,795 cases of (191 influenza treated by homeopathic physicians with a mortality rate of 1.05 percent while the average old school (traditional medicine/drugs) mortality was 30 percent."
 
"The Journal of the American Institute for Homeopathy, May, 1921, had a long article about the use of homeopathy in the flu epidemic. Dr. T A McCann, from Dayton, Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. This last figure was supported by Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) who collected 26,795 cases of flu treated with homeopathy with the above result..... Dr. Herbert A. Roberts from Derby, CT, said that 30 physicians in Connecticut responded to his request for data. They reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%. Dr. Roberts was working as a physician on a troop ship during WWI. He had 81 cases of flu on the way over to Europe. He reported, "All recovered and were landed. Every man received homeopathic treatment. One ship lost 31 on the way."---Julian Winston

Oddly, Abraham Flexner of the AMA, whose brother Simon developed several of the vaccines used on the troops, went on to force the closure of most of the homeopathic hospitals in the US after the war.

Oddly, when US troops who were vaccinated against Anthrax and other illnesses in the first Gulf War developed what came to be known as Gulf War Syndrome, the Clinton Presidential Commission disavowed any connection. This when soldiers died and their children were born with debilitating handicaps.

Gulf War Syndrome:

Many troops requited to take a series of vaccines reported serious side effects.
http://www.vaclib.org/news/geneticquotes.htm

A mass smallpox campaign could prove as disastrous as the government's recent anthrax vaccine disaster. Dr. Garth Nicolson, a world-renown cancer researcher and Nobel Prize nominee, told Congress in 2002 that contaminated anthrax vaccines administered to Armed Forces personnel are partially responsible for debilitating chronic illnesses now suffered by tens of thousands of them. Dr. Nicolson confirms that commercial vaccines are often contaminated with mycoplasma, causing symptoms associated with Gulf War Syndrome. When Dr. Nicolson examined the mycoplasma infecting sick Gulf War vets, he discovered that some strains had been genetically engineered with a portion of the HIV virus! Apparently this HIV-implanted mycoplasma was placed in Department of Defense vaccines for experimental purposes
Canadian troops given mefloquine, an anti-malarial drug, reported psychological reactions. This was denied at first, but Health Canada has now agreed that the drug can cause serious psychological impairment and permanent brain damage. Probe malaria drug’s psychotic effect on troops, Canadian veterans urge

AIDS as a manufactured virus:

I lost a dear friend to AIDS. He'd improved remarkably under my treatment, but passed away when I left the country to go to the U.S. in the 90's. He developed HIV after receiving a Hepatitis B vaccination before working as an aid worker in Guatemala.  I volunteered in AIDS clinics and saw many sad cases. There's abundant evidence of AIDS as a virus which was introduced to the Gay and African populations. Oddly, many gay activists who avoided anti-retroviral meds and took intravenous Vitamin C survived the disease. To this day it makes me angry to see the political and anti-human implications of this.

Links:
AIDS AND THE DOCTORS OF DEATH

Polio, Hepatitis B and AIDS

Debunking The Out Of Africa Origin Of HIV & AIDS

Further, comprehensive information can be obtained here:

Vaccine Resistance Movement

The Autism Wars

Parents knew their kids autism was caused by vaccinations. Thanks to brave whistleblowers, that link has now been confirmed.

The Vaccine Autism Link

The CDC Whistleblower Scandal

30 Scientific Studies Showing the Link between Vaccines and Autism

Controversial New Film Claims CDC Hid Data Linking Vaccines and Autism

VaXxed Becomes a Cautionary Tale Of Vaccine Injury for All Americans to Hear


Children suffering from long term disabilities:

Vaccine choice is a fundamental human right. American children are experiencing an epidemic of poor health, with 54% of our children suffering a chronic illness or neuro-developmental disability. Nearly 9 million children have skin allergies. Eight million have respiratory allergies. Seven million have asthma. Five million have a learning disability. One in 400 is diabetic. And 1 in 50 kids has autism. What you may not know is that science links all these chronic illnesses to vaccines. Vaccine injuries are real and some are life-threatening. The U.S. government acknowledges that children have been severely injured and killed by vaccines. (but doesn't help them). 54 Percent of Children Suffer Disabilities Caused by Vaccination

Virus mutations:

There's a process called Antigenic shift, by which viruses mutate to more deadly variations based on shifts within the RNA encoding. See Viruses and Evolution

It has been hypothesised that this is the process by which genetically modified vaccinations can introduce deadly diseases into the population. Such as AIDS, which targeted black and homosexual populations. Such as Ebola and a host of other illnesses which followed WHO smallpox vaccination drives in Africa. See Tracking vaccinations

Vaccines and cancers:

It was in 1960 that an NIH scientist named Bernice Eddy discovered that rhesus monkey kidney cells used to make the Salk polio vaccine and experimental oral polio vaccines could cause cancer when injected into lab animals. Later that year the cancer-causing virus in the rhesus monkey kidney cells was identified as SV40 or simian virus 40, the 40th monkey virus to be discovered. (Shorter, e. 1987. The Health Century) Sadly, the American people were not told the truth about this in 1960. The SV40 contaminated stocks of Salk polio vaccine were never withdrawn from the market but continued to be given to American children until early 1963 with full knowledge of federal health agencies. Between 1955 and early 1963, nearly 100 million American children had been given polio vaccine contaminated with the monkey virus, SV40. Sorry, in the Vaccine Debate, the ‘Experts’ are the Historians

Vaccines for population control:

Global elites have expressed a desire for population control, and oddly enough, many batches of vaccines worldwide have been found to be contaminated with HGH, which causes women to reject embryos:

Polio Vaccines Laced with Sterilizing Hormone Discovered in Kenya

Vaccines Can Cause Infertility

Microsoft mogul Bill Gates: Vaccines could lower world population


Vaccine safety:
The following is a list of scientists and physicians (over 160) who acknowledge that vaccines can and do harm some children and/or have some concern about a vaccine, combinations of vaccines, the vaccine schedule, or an ingredient or ingredients in vaccines. These professionals are not anti-vaccine (though some of the medical doctors are) rather they recognize that vaccines, like all pharmaceutical products, carry risks. They also know that scientific inquiry should never cease. (From 'The Greater Good' documentary). Doctors and Scientists with Concerns About Vaccines
A mutated strain of Polio has made its way to Europe – as medical authorities admit that the Polio vaccine program led by Bill Gates had ended up creating a more deadly strain of the disease. In 2011 Doctors in India reported that young children were being crippled in huge numbers after receiving the oral polio vaccine – with 47,000 children crippled and permanently disabled as a direct result of the vaccine. Doctors Say Bill Gates Polio Vaccine Has Created Deadly ‘Super Polio’
Rise in infant mortality:

Scientists have found a correlation between high vaccination rates and infant mortality. Worldwide, as multiple vaccinations have become the norm, there has been a corresponding increase in mortality: Mississippi First in Infant Vaccination Rates – Highest Infant Mortalities

Herd Immunity:
There is no such thing 'herd immunity', the excuse given by so many for compulsory vaccinations. In fact, human beings had developed 'herd immunity' by themselves, as part of the evolutionary process, long before vaccines were invented. Junk Science Week: Vaccinating the ‘herd’ 
 
Profit motive medical establishment:
Due to the high cost of Gardasil, government funding will impose a high financial burden, especially where the state imposes a mandate. Mandating the HPV vaccine 
Pharmaceutical profits from swine-flu-related drugs alone have soared – with earnings between $10 billion and $15 billion in 2009, according to estimates from investment bank JPMorgan.
The report includes an assessment of products and forecast of market size and coverage rates to the year 2016, predicting that due to the "promising commercial potential" of new, high-price vaccines, the pediatric and adolescent vaccine market will quadruple from approximately $4.3 billion in 2006, to over $16 billion by 2016, across the US, the EU-five including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and Japan. Follow the Money
The mainstream media’s top “expert” on vaccines is unquestionably Dr. Paul Offit. Dr. Paul Offit is infamously known among vaccine safety advocates as the doctor who has gone on record stating that he believes a baby can handle as many as 10,000 vaccines during infancy. 
Dr. Offit is a dangerous man. If he gets his way, he will make all vaccines mandatory for every single child in America. He wants to take away parental choice when it comes to the issue of vaccines. And for good reason. He holds a patent on a vaccine he developed with Merck, and has earned millions of dollars on royalties. Dangerous Doctor: Media Vaccine Promoter has Huge Conflict of Interest
It was hoped that following polio eradication, immunisation could be stopped. However the synthesis of polio virus in 2002, made eradication impossible. It is argued that getting poor countries to expend their scarce resources on an impossible dream over the last 10 years was unethical. Furthermore, while India has been polio-free for a year, there has been a huge increase in non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP). In 2011, there were an extra 47,500 new cases of NPAFP. Clinically indistinguishable from polio paralysis but twice as deadly, the incidence of NPAFP was directly proportional to doses of oral polio received. Though this data was collected within the polio surveillance system, it was not investigated. The principle of primum-non-nocere was violated. The authors suggest that the huge bill of US$ 8 billion spent on the programme, is a small sum to pay if the world learns to be wary of such vertical programmes in the future. Polio programme: let us declare victory and move on.
Having seen the ill effect of vaccines on so many children, affected me more than many of the other causes I have supported. Yes, I helped many get better with homeopathy and healing, but when you see this as a world wide malaise which just is getting worse, it is enough to make you give up. Perhaps, President Trump will help. In the meantime, I'll just do my work, educate and help. My final segment of the series Natural Immunizations, will deal with prevention and cure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Love's Planet


2017
 
 
One cold January evening. And there,
 
 
Love's Planet
 
Venus bright eve'ng sky
Though (I) was born with morning star
Love's planet rules far.
 
 
In a world that seems hopeless, and I am NOT referring to the US elections: here's a message to every one that is far better than anything I can write from the late Jack Layton's last letter to Canadians 
 
"My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world."

Happy 2017!
 


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Acts Of Kindness

 
It was a rough year
 
As we come to the last day of a very rough year, here's a very special message. I picked up a book at the library today, and there was a book..
 
Its title: Lucknow Ransom, Glen Peters, Parthian, Cardigan, 2013
 
An Anglo-Indian woman leaving her past behind enters a 2nd class railway carriage in Calcutta with her son. There she meets a Hijra prostitute called Lakshmi, from the Hindu goddess of good fortune. She treats her with kindness, and is helped in turn as they get involved in a scandal.
 
Hijras are a 4000 year old transgender community of men who transition to women in India and Pakistan, who despite prejudice, have been granted the right to be considered a third sex for identification purposes. It is considered good luck to have them dance at Indian weddings, bad to mistreat them.
 
Background to the Hijras:
 
 
 
This was an interesting connection to when I last visited Pakistan in 1995,
Mother Mary Comes To Me.  I took a train from Karachi to Lahore and that was a 2nd class carriage too :) Even though I had a reserved berth people came on anyway and crammed the seats. A party of Hijras came aboard. People refused to let them sit beside, because, prejudice.
 
I asked them to sit with me, which they accepted gladly. "Aren't we all the Children of Adam?" they asked the shamefaced passengers. Then they shared their food with me (again, people don't like to eat from the same container as a Hijra, but what do I know?)
 
This reminder today, for a project I'd been working on: a fictional crime series set in Pakistan. To tell the story of a police investigator as he progresses through the turmoil of post independence Pakistan. Not a new idea, to set crime stories in other cultures, other historical periods (I've been reading Magdalen Nabb's Marshal Guarnaccia series and Qiu Xiaolong's Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department series, enjoyed tremendously but then, I read a lot).
 
It's in the telling of a story, and the building of a character. An investigator who works the seamy side of Lahore's criminal underworld and, copyright, its title is The Punjab Minister's Wife. To be followed by, By Sea to Karachi, The Malir Ghost and The Haunting of the American Embassy. Like me, he loves Sufi and Indo-Persian poetry.
 
But the message from the past, and, for the future as the world wonders what will 2017 be like?
 
Be known for your acts of kindness.