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|Distance Learning PhD||A distance learning PhD can be a way for someone to achieve personal enrichment in a career by reaching a higher level of education.|
|"Organic Amendments for Enhancing Microbial Coalbed Methane Production" by Katie Davis, PhD Defense||
|Weech and Takazawa to present research at BAI 2017|
Associate Professor Terry Weech and doctoral candidate Aiko Takazawa will discuss their research on the economics of information at the International Conference on Business and Information (BAI), which will be held July 4-6 in Hiroshima, Japan. The conference is an annual meeting for scholars in the business and information disciplines.
Weech and Takazawa will present their paper, "iSchools and Business Schools, Potential to Collaborate on Business and Information Research." In their talk, they will examine the potential contributions of collaboration between schools of information and business schools that have an interest in the impact and utilization of information in the business context. They will also present their plan for establishing a basis for collaboration between business schools and schools in the iSchools organization.
|On IIPM "Shutting Down"|
Recently a friend pointed out that next month would be 10 years since I made a post titled "The Fraud that is IIPM" on my little-read blog. He asked if I planned to make a 10 year anniversary post of sorts. I said I'd think about it. And now comes the news that IIPM is shutting down their campuses.
When I met Rashmi Bansal (who owned JAM whose post I linked to) in Manhattan earlier this year, she mentioned the possibility of something like this happening. She said the relentless bad press is taking its toll and some campuses were being closed even then.
It is difficult to put into words the full range of emotions I feel hearing this news. But the foremost is that this "victory", if you call it that, belongs primarily to people like Rashmi Bansal, Maheshwar Peri, and Anant Nath. They actually WERE sued by that odious company and they fought the legal battle without choosing to take the easy way out. They paid a lot, monetarily and emotionally, to expose the fraud.
I really didn't do too much. I wrote a post linking to a JAM story by Arjun Ravi on a blog that was read by maybe 2-300 people. When IIPM sent me a standard email they sent to threaten all bloggers who wrote against them, I ridiculed it on my blog. And when IIPM sleazily tried to drag my then employer IBM into it, I quit my job.
The "IIM dude quits IBM" factoid made for a catchy headline and the news went viral. Mainly because IIM and IBM are such huge brands. But the development didn't really "harm" me in the way a cursory reading of the headlines might suggest. Yeah, I quit that job, but within hours, I had two dozen interview calls and a few job offers, all of them unsolicited. Let's be honest. I was (am?) a privileged upper caste English speaking male in India with a prime resume painted as some sort of a hero by the media and the blogosphere. I was bound to land on my feet. And I did, really fast.
Eventually, as Arindam said last year to Shivam Vij on a news show, they chose NOT to follow through on their threat to sue me. If they had, I most certainly would've fought the case. Some reputed lawyers had offered their services pro bono if it came to that. And even if I had to do it on my own, I would've. As my mom and wife will tell you, I am very stubborn. smile emoticon
But it didn't happen. So other than the few hours of mild uncertainty after resigning from IBM, I came out of the experience unscathed and more or less smelling of roses. And with this "giant slayer" reputation that has continued since, and which has always made me very uncomfortable.
I took up a well-paying part-time job with IMS at an office 5 minutes from where I lived, making it clear to them that I'd be leaving for a PhD soon. The PhD plan is something I had made way back in my MBA days (in fact my IIML yearbook even mentions it). The IIPM threat just made me advance it to 2006 instead of 2008 when I had originally scheduled it for.
I got into a great PhD program at Penn State, and moved to the US, starting a new chapter of my life. IIPM became just a thing that I'd get emails and text messages about whenever they were in the news because of their latest PR disaster. Yes, I still got an occasional email threatening a lawsuit or an arrest (the last was in 2010 i think), but I just ignored them all and nothing really materialized.
Meanwhile, Rashmi, Maheshwar, Anant, and many wronged and cheated students fought on. They were made to navigate the complex and sometimes corrupt labyrinth of the Indian judicial system, responding to complaints from remote locations like Silchar! They kept the battle going.
So this news today of IIPM essentially shutting shop is their win. They deserve the credit, the kudos, the accolades, and everything else. In 2015, I'm as much of a bystander as the rest of you.
|What Jon Stewart Means To Me|
August 2006, I wrapped up my life in India and moved to the United States for a PhD in Marketing.
I left the country I really knew and moved to a strange new land, with its strange new customs, and strange people, and strange grocery aisles! I had a tough time fitting in!
Okay, no I didn't.
The thing is, I moved when I was 26 years old, as opposed to most other Indian grad students who move here right out of college, having not seen any of the "real world". Thanks to blogs and internet forums and American TV shows and second hand stories from close friends who moved there four years before, I more or less knew what to expect from America. To me, almost everything ranging from grocery aisles to the way the people talked and behaved to the local "customs" seemed familiar.
The one thing that wasn't as familiar was the news cycle. I have always been a huge news junkie, especially interested in politics. Although I followed the basics of American politics even when I lived in India, I did not really "know" the scene too well. Sure, I had followed the 2004 primaries, seen Howard Dean's howl, slept through John Kerry's speeches, and more or less knew why Florida or Ohio are so much more crucial in the Presidential race than Tennessee or Indiana.
And I knew America's comedy scene well enough, having been a big fan of Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, and of course, George Carlin.
And yes, I was vaguely aware of this funny guy called Jon Stewart who combined politics and comedy. When I was in India, CNN used to air a half hour compilation of the best bits of his show once a week. Not quite the "Daily" show but whenever I came across it on TV, I watched it and chuckled. To me, it seemed like a funny enough show with a political context.
And then in August 2006, I moved to America. I fit in quite easily in most ways, ranging from food to socializing to academics to day to day chores. One aspect where I felt lost was the politics. I realized that I knew about American politics only peripherally. So I started reading more blogs, watching the big three cable news channels, reading newspapers, etc.
The first time I watched The Daily Show was due to jet lag a couple of days after I arrived. I had slept through most of the afternoon and evening and in the wee hours of the night, I found myself as alert as a watchdog. While my roommates slept, I plonked myself in front of the TV and started flipping channels. And I came across the slightly familiar face of Jon Stewart. It was 1 or 2 AM so obviously, it was the repeat telecast.
As I watched, I found myself drawn in instantly, maybe because of the Indian connection. The segment was about how Republican senate candidate George Allen had referred to an Indian-American staffer of his opponent Jim Webb as "macaca". What I loved about that segment was that it combined facts, opinion, and humor perfectly without taking cheap shots at anyone. I made a mental note to watch the show again the next night.
And I loved the show again. And then I watched it again. And I kept watching every night. It taught me about aspects of the US "midterm" elections that I had never really fully understood sitting in India. It contextualized the red-v-blue battle in terms more nuanced and pithy than I had ever read on any blog. And of course, it made me laugh, especially with the hilariously quirky George W Bush impression.
I still remember that hilarious song about the midterms
"So just remember this November that your vote will count,
A very very very very very small amount!"
Jon Stewart helped me seamlessly blend into the American political discourse the way thousands of hours of reading blogs and news sites never had. He has that uncanny ability to zero in on the most consequential news items of the day and in 22 short minutes....14 if you omit the interview...present a perfect blend of analysis and irony.
Within a few days, the 11 PM time slot on my daily calendar....or at least Monday-Thursday calendar was earmarked for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He chuckled, he made faces, he did impressions, but above all, he managed to be that guy inside us all who is just utterly baffled with the absurdity and sometimes cruelty of the world around us, but tries to cope with it using humor.
Jon Stewart helped me through American political milestones from the 2006 midterms to the 2014 midterms, not ignoring other events worldwide. One of his and his show's greatest qualities has been the ability to strike the right balance in expressing resentment about something. Many comedians have gotten in trouble for crossing the "line" of tastefulness. Which is why many comedians steer clear of troublesome topics.
But Jon has somehow always been able to address tricky and even tragic topics with the right balance of sensitivity and respectful humor. And occasionally, just straight talk. His post 9/11 speech is the stuff of legend, so I won't talk about it here.
But as a former Bombayite now living in the US, my most memorable and personally relevant example of this uncanny knack of addressing tragedies tastefully is the segment he and John Oliver did after the 2008 Bombay attacks
It was just so perfect!
Watching Jon Stewart has been a part of my life from the very first week I moved to this country 9 years ago. He's been an integral part of my life.
I have attended two of his show's tapings in person and was blown away by how nice he was even off-camera. I went to DC with 250,000 other people for the Rally to Restore Sanity that he and Stephen Colbert organized.
And now he's announced that he's leaving The Daily Show. Given what a permanent fixture he's been in my life in this country, this is a BIG change. But I understand why he needs to do what he needs to do. Rosewater has shown that he's capable of much more and who can fault him for wanting to spread his wings?
I'll miss you Jon, and 11 PM Monday to Thursday just won't be the same after you leave.
|Identity is not always Community|
A few days ago, Rajdeep Sardesai, generally a liberal, reasonable and likable voice in the Indian TV media, tweeted,
Big day for my goa. Two GSBs, both talented politicians become full cabinet ministers. Saraswat pride!! @manoharparrikar and Suresh Prabhu.I cringed. And not just as someone who, through the random genetic lottery, was born in a family whose caste label reads Goud Saraswat Brahmin (GSB). I was particularly disappointed that an otherwise progressive voice was echoing such medieval sentiments. I tweeted back my disagreement and gave in to the hashtag impulse, labeling it #SaraswatShame. The hashtag was half in jest, half in disappointment, and not exactly accurate, but we'll come to that later.
I was not the only one who found fault with his tweet. Many people pushed back, with the responses ranging from outright abuse to expressions of disappointment. Rajdeep doubled down, responding,
proud GSB, proud Goan, proud Indian. No contradiction.And yesterday, he defended himself at length in a column in Hindustan Times titled Identity is not always destiny.
The title of the column is perfect, because identity may not always be destiny, but identity is not always "community" either. In fact, the core of my disagreement with Sardesai lies in conflating caste with community, and placing caste identity in the same bracket as being from a state or a country.
I hate writing stuff like "Oxford/Webster's dictionary defines community as....." so I'll leave it to you to look up exactly what the definition is. But the way I see it, a community is shaped and defined through some common experience or attitude/outlook.
I consider myself a part of many many communities. I am part of Indian, American, Indian-American, Punekar, Mumbaikar, New Yorker, Maharashtrian, Marathi, etc. communities as a result of sharing geography or language and/or nationality with others in that group. I am part of Engineer, IIM, MBA, PhD, Penn State, Academia, Marketing, etc, communities as a result of sharing my education or career related experiences with others in that group. Thinking test cricket is the best sport ever makes me part of the test cricket puritan community. Loving the Pittsburgh Steelers team and cheering it on every season makes me part of the Steeler Nation.
I am not sure what experience or attitude or outlook would or should make me consider myself (and with unabashed pride) part of the GSB community, at least in the 21st century. I can understand caste being considered a source of community identity a century or two ago, when people lived more or less segregated into those castes. But then we all generally realized that the caste system isn't the best topology to adopt if we want to build a good society, because the system seeded and engendered discrimination on the basis of birth.
Almost all Indians I know think (or at least say) that the caste system is a relic that should be relegated to irrelevance in an ideal society. Then a good start would be to think of caste as irrelevant, not as a specious source of pride. And that's where Sardesai's tweet had a problem - by perpetuating that which should ideally be irrelevant.
Sardesai drops a lot of names, from Sachin Tendulkar to Deepika Padukone, when enumerating the "enormous contributions" of our supposed community. But what exactly do Rajdeep or I as GSBs have in common meaningfully with Sachin Tendulkar as a GSB, that we don't with Ajinkya Rahane, also from Mumbai and not (as far as I can tell) a GSB? What have we as GSBs shared with other GSBs other than simply the label of being called GSBs?
Is it the most commonly defined culinary feature of GSBs - we have religious sanction to eat fish? Heh! We do not have religious sanction to eat steaks but clearly both Sardesai and I enjoy a good slab of succulent cow meat.
I don't really consider myself part of the Saraswat "community" and so don't really feel #SaraswatShame in Sardesai's bizarre views. I know being Saraswat is a tiny irrelevant trivial part of my identity, but it's no more defining of me than my identity as a guy with black hair. And I am surprised that someone like Sardesai is conflating such an irrelevant expression of identity with community.
What is the basis of defining this community other than just the label identifying ourselves as such?
Shared history? I won't go into the specifics of the problems with the history-based argument Sardesai makes in his column, mainly because Kaustubh has done it splendidly already.
But history brings me to the other problem with the "Saraswat Pride" sentiment that Sardesai espouses. And that's the history of the privileged and powerful position that brahmins in general, including GSBs, used to hold in the caste system with legal sanction until recently. We had a monopoly on education and on running the religion. We were the "haves" in a system that perpetrated the vilest atrocities, violent as well as insidious, on a large swathe of the population we defined as lower caste or caste-less.
As Sardesai notes a little fallaciously
In this political milieu, the Brahmins have usually lost out because their numerical strength doesn’t justify greater political representation. Which is why it is significant that Parrikar and Prabhu made the cut.This is a point on which I recently had an argument with some fellow Marathi Brahmin friends as well. This weird self-pitying victim mentality that many Brahmins have about not being uber-dominant in politics the way we are in almost every other aspect of Indian society, from industry to academia to entertainment. Never mind that the proportion of Prime Ministers, Presidents, Chief Ministers, and Governors over the years from the Brahmin community is probably at least 3 times the proportion of Brahmins in the general population (caveat - I haven't crunched the numbers, but I strongly suspect this to be the case based on what I could remember).
But we still love indulging in this weird victim mentality in the "political milieu". Never mind that both guys Sardesai mentions have held positions of political power in the past. Parrikar was the Chief Minister of Goa and Prabhu was a cabinet minister in the last BJP government as well.
Regardless of all this, even if you grant the factually questionable premise that Brahmins are deprived of political power as a result of caste-based politics prevalent in many parts of the country, this cannot be viewed as divorced from history, especially in a democracy. Autocratic rule allowed higher castes to monopolize power, resources, and education for centuries. If 6 decades of democracy has resulted in a backlash electorally, well, suck it up.
Related to this, someone asked me online, "Why do you have problems with Sardesai touting Saraswat pride but you have no problems with people celebrating historic Dalit or OBC achievements in politics?"
I couldn't believe that I had to actually explain it, but here is what I said. Dalit or OBC leaders achieving a position of power after centuries of discrimination and systematic disenfranchisement is actually bucking the trend of history. Righting old wrongs in a way. In terms of a sports metaphor, it's like cheering the underdog. On the other hand, when people from a caste that held power, enjoyed monopoly over intellectual resources and were complicit in perpetuating discrimination until recently start gloating about their achievements, it almost suggests they are implying supremacy again.
It's like.......so many commentators, black and from other races, expressed pride and satisfaction in a black man becoming President of the United States. In the historic context, it makes perfect sense. Your expressions of community pride, to not seem distasteful, have to gel with the historic context.
Let's say the next President of America is white. What Sardesai tweeted was the equivalent of a white news anchor like Brian Williams tweeting "White pride!" in response. And responding to criticism with "Proud white guy, proud Jersey guy, proud American! No contradictions."
Because identity is not always community.
|Advice for International Masters Students Cold-Call Emailing Business School Professors|
It is that time of the year again for me as an assistant professor in an American business school. August-September, the start of the academic year. When I get at least a handful of emails everyday from just-arrived international Masters students, typically from India and China, asking about Research Assistant (RA) or Teaching Assistant (TA) positions. I usually send a prompt reply telling them I have no positions available and wish them luck. Most other people in my place in business schools just ignore the mails and/or delete them.
This post is meant to explain why I almost always send summary rejections and why most others ignore or delete the emails.
The key to this explanation is the almost unique nature of the microcosm that are business schools. Specifically, research-oriented business schools that co-exist with prestigious engineering schools in the same university such as mine.
Research in business schools is very different from research in engineering schools. In engineering schools, research has a lot to do with winning 6-7 figure grants and patents. That is the nature of the engineering world. In business schools, the incentives for tenure-track research professors are different. The nature of our field is such that there are few, if any, opportunities for patents and big grants. In our field, research productivity is measured by publications in top level journals.
The other aspect of business research is the cost element. The reason we don't care as much about grants is that our research is nowhere as expensive to conduct as engineering research. We don't need expensive equipment, months long experiments, and suchlike. Most business research is conducted using secondary data or individual behavioral experiments. The most expensive equipment we need is limited to powerful computers to do our analysis.
We don't have as many conferences to go to. In each of the sub-fields of business (such as Finance, Marketing, Management etc), there are two, maybe three MUST-ATTEND conferences each year. Our conferences aren't as selective as engineering conferences in terms of who gets to present. Obviously, "conference proceedings" are a non-factor in tenuring decisions when it comes to business school faculty. What matter are publications.
Basically, our research doesn't cost that much. That's the cost side.
Now on to the revenue side. Most business schools have MBA programs that charge tuition way higher than the average program. Most MBA programs don't offer any funding. MBA programs earn business schools a lot of money. Then there are undergraduate programs. Undergrad business programs are very popular in most schools in the US. So business schools get a decent chunk of change from the universities for that. Then there are endowments, consulting fees, and other revenue opportunities.
So to summarize what I have said so far, business schools in the US have a higher revenue than other schools, and have lower research costs than other schools. And, to reiterate, faculty research is measured in terms of publications in top journals, not patents, conference proceedings, or grants. Not that there are that many business-centric grants anyway.
As a result, here is how the typical contract for a typical tenure-track faculty member in a research-oriented business school works. We get a salary. And we get a research budget from our business school that is roughly $10,000-50,000 per year.
These amounts might be relatively paltry for engineering professors who need to buy expensive equipment and need to hire several grad students to take care of the equipment and run experiments. But in business schools, that amount is plenty.
Then there's the unique nature of business school PhD programs. They are geared exclusively towards academia. Which means the program is designed only to send graduates into academic positions, NOT industry positions. 99.9% of marketing PhDs will become marketing professors, not work in marketing jobs in the industry. 99.9% of management PhDs will become management professors, not work in management jobs in the industry. And so on.
PhD programs in business schools will also have a tiny intake compared to engineering schools. In a typical top-50 or even top-100 research business school in the US, the total incoming PhD class size every year will be about 15, with 2-3 students dedicated to sub-fields such as finance, marketing, management, etc.
In business schools, these PhD students are fully funded and paid a stipend by the business school. In return, they have to work 20 hours a week each for tenure track professors.
(Sidebar: the most "privileged" international grad students in any school are business school PhDs. They are assured of tuition waivers and stipends for at least 4 years from the school itself, and not tied to any Professor like in engineering schools. They also get academic positions relatively easily without having to do postdocs.)
Now, each department will have a roughly 1:1 ratio between tenure track professors and PhD students. Part of each tenure track professor's contract is 10 hours or "free" RA work from an assigned PhD student. Free as in, the professor doesn't pay the student. The business school does. And the business school pays for the tuition.
So now we come to the main point. Most of us business school professors have a PhD student assigned to work with us without us paying anything. Our research budgets, given by the school not from grants, are in the 10-50K range to buy computers, buy data, go to conferences, etc....generous but not enough to fund a grad student, which including tuition and stipend, will use up the entire budget.
When a Masters student from engineering or quasi-engineering (Information Systems, Technology Management etc) fields sends a cold-call email to a typical business school professor, he is making a pitch to someone who has neither the requirement nor the budget to hire him.
That's maybe 99% of business school professor. The 1% who might have RA/TA positions for you are the rare minority of business school professors who got a grant or got an extra endowment for a research lab or something. They might just have positions that Masters students can fill. They tend to advertise their positions well in advance. But even if cold-calling works for them, it needs to be very specific.
Many international students make the mistake of composing one utterly general boilerplate email and sending it to all professors. See this for instance.
In this case, even if I was a professor with an opportunity for this student, I wouldn't contact him. Because the email is so general. If I want to hire a Masters student, I would like that student to be genuinely interested in what I am doing.
So even if you do send cold-call emails to business school professors, make sure they are individually customized and reflect their particular research interests.
And of course, make sure you really are interested in the research of the professor you are pitching your services to. We professors do talk to each other, you know? If during a coffee chat, we discover that Masters Student XYZ sent an email to me saying "I am really passionate about Marketing and hope to make a career in it", and also to my Finance colleague saying, "I am really passionate about Finance and hope to make a career in it", it not only gives us something to chuckle about, but also destroys your credibility in our eyes forever.
I'll end by saying that in general, the strike rate for an engineering or quasi-engineering MS student getting RA/TA positions from individual professors in business schools are low. And I hope this post informs incoming Masters students about this and saves them some wasted effort.
|Antu Barva by P. L. "PuLa" Deshpande|
Fourteen years ago today, Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, arguably the most influential and beloved person from Maharashtra, died at the age of 81. He left behind a gargantuan legacy in the form of his books, plays, songs, movies, essays, social work, but more than that, the lasting impact he has had on Maharashtra. Every couple of years, I translate one of his essays or short stories on this blog. This time, I have chosen Antu Barva, a fictionalized life sketch that he created as an amalgam of several people he knew in Konkan. It is not exactly LOL funny, but is light-hearted while still tugging at your heart-strings. It is meant as a depiction of the tough life in Konkan in the middle of the 20th century, and the sort of complex and poignant characters such a life spawns.
But as somber as the basic subject matter is, PuLa manages to inject humor into it, even if the humor is dark. When I first read Antu Barva, I just read it as a slightly humorous life sketch. As I have re-read it and re-heard its narration over the years, I have come to recognize it as something beyond just that. It is one of PuLa's best allegorical social commentaries in my opinion. He was duly recognized for Vyakti Aani Valli, the book that this sketch appears in, with a Sahitya Akademi Puraskaar. In that book, I think this is THE most impressive and multi-layered sketch.
For years, I considered translating Antu Barva here but was too intimidated given how nuanced it is. PuLa gave Antu a specific Konkani "voice" (in text form as well as when he narrated the sketch for TV) that is impossible to translate. No matter how well I tried, I thought I would end up doing injustice to the original work. This is in addition to the usual difficulties in translating PuLa's wordplay and nuanced observations. So it is with a great sense of trepidation that I am even attempting this today. A LOT will get lost in translation. But I hope PuLa's fans will forgive me any errors. Because I think this particular piece is one of the greatest literary achievements from an Indian and it deserves a wider audience.
Miss you, PuLa. Bhool-chook maaf kara.
Ratnagiri's middle lane has been home to some towering personalities over the years. God used a unique formula when creating these people. These people tend to be a metaphorical amalgam of Ratnagiri's most famous products - sweet mango, rough jackfruit, hard coconut, irritating colocasia leaves, and intense betel nuts whose one bite will make your heart jump up your throat.
It is in this unique Ratnagiri soil that Antu Barva grew and ripened. Actually, Antu's age doesn't really justify people casually calling him just "Antu". When I first met him 12-14 years ago, not just his stubble, but even the hair on his ears and chest had turned white. His teeth had mostly gone "Annu Gogtya".
Going Annu Gogtya = falling.
This is an idomatic phrase that Antu Barva coined. A lawyer from Ratnagiri named Annu Gogte has been standing in the local elections for many years. Standing and then falling. Repeatedly, without even coming close to winning. So even if a bucket falls in a well, Antu asks "has the bucket gone Annu?"
When someone is talking about old Antu, they just refer to him in the singular casual "Antu". As it is, characters from Konkan are quite singular. But no one calls Antu just "Antu" to his face. They call him Antu sheth!
True blue Brahmin Antu got this trader caste suffix "sheth" decades ago. After all Antu himself had committed a sin justifying this demotion. During the first world war, Antu started a shop near the docks. It failed spectacularly even before the Treaty of Versailles. But that short-lived stint as a shopkeeper was enough to turn Antu into Antu sheth.
After that, no one remembers Antu doing anything specific to make a living. He manages to somehow score at least two square meals a day from somewhere. He has a little plot of land with a garden that has a couple of dozen coconut and Alphonso mango trees, sprinkled with the odd jackfruit and tamarind tree. He has a little single-room shack on that land. He has the right to draw water from the nearby well. Antu sheth manages to get by on all this.
I first met Antu at Bapu Hegishte's store. I had gone there to buy some cigarettes when Antu's face peered out from behind a newspaper. He slid his reading glasses up his forehead and said,
"You're Lawyer saheb's son-in-law, right?"
"Yes" I replied.
"Ahha! I recognized you right away! Please, have a seat, please. Bapu, some tea for our jawaibapu (a respectful term for son-in-law)!"
I had no idea who this guy was, suddenly acting so familiar. Antu sheth himself explained,
"Your father-in-law is a good friend of mine. Tell him Antu Barva said hello."
"Hmmm....when did you come from Pune?"
"Two days ago."
"Of course....the first Diwali after you got married....haha...ask him for a Ford car!"
"He is your friend. Why don't you tell him?"
"Haha, you're from Pune after all. Can't get the last word with you." he laughed. "So...staying long or just a flying visit?"
"Just a short trip. I'm leaving in a couple of days."
"Excellent! It's always good to keep such visits short. Familiarity breeds contempt and all that. Don't end up like that Kasopkar's son-in-law. He set up camp for six months. Finally Kasopkar lost his patience and made him plow his land! When a son-in-law stays with you for too long, he starts feeling like a pain in the neck, right?"
"You're right." I nodded.
"Bapusheth, I hope you recognized our lawyer's son-in-law. We are both your father-in-law's clients, jawaibapu."
Bapu Hegishte smiled and folded his hands in greeting.
"Welcome. Would you like to have some tea?" he asked.
"No, it's okay. It's really hot right now."
"Of course, it's always going to be hot in Ratnagiri!" Antu jumped in. "You can't sleep in a cowshed and then complain about the stink of cow piss! If Ratnagiri had cool weather, they'd have called it Shimla, not Ratnagiri!"
Before I could say anything, Antu continued,
"But the heat is way worse in your neighborhood with all those houses next to each other. Come to my garden near the beach. My garden is...how do you say...."aircondition"!"
Antu sheth said the last words in English and laughed, and then added,
"That's our country joke, jawaibapu!"
Then he addressed Hegishte again.
"Bapusheth, did you know our jawaibapu here is a writer? Writes plays and movies and what not. Behave properly when he is around or he'll write a hilarious farce about you."
The pride I felt on my fame having spread even to someone like Antu Barva was dashed by Bapu Hegishte's next question. Bapusheth looked me up and down carefully for a few seconds and said,
"What do you do?"
"What the hell do you mean what does he do?" Antu thundered. "Are you insane, Hegishte? Take out that pile of raddi old newspapers and open them. You'll see his name and picture in dozens of places! He makes movies!"
"Movies!!?? Really??" Hegishte's expression changed to one of wonderment and he looked at me as if I was God.
"Jawaibapu, speaking of movies, can I ask you a question if you don't mind?"
I could see the naughty expression on Antusheth's face as he asked me this.
"Sure, go ahead."
"How much money do you make from one movie?"
This wasn't my first trip to Konkan. So by now, I had gotten used to dealing with such intensely personal questions.
"That really varies from movie to movie." I deflected.
"But still....I mean I have read that you get like a million or a million and a half."
"No way! There isn't nearly that kind of money in Marathi films."
"Yeah, but still. Even if you don't get fistfuls, you must be getting at least 2-3 pinchfulls?"
"You get it sometimes, and also lose it sometimes." I stuck to being vague.
"Well of course, it's a business after all. When it comes to business, you win some, you lose some. It's all part of the game."
Antu sheth got philosophical. But only for a moment.
"Can I ask you one more question? Only if you don't get angry."
"What's there to get angry about? Go ahead."
"Well..you know....whatever we read about these film actresses in magazines and all....is that real or is it fake like Gangadhar Basthe's "real" Belgaum butter?"
"What do you mean all this about film actresses?" I kept a straight face and pretended to not get what he was saying.
"Quite a skillful guy you are, jawaibapu. Skillful! You'll make a great witness in court!" Antu sheth was having none of it. "All this about film actresses as in...the whole index finger nostril thing."
I didn't immediately get what he meant by the whole index finger nostril thing. So Antu sheth gently tapped his index finger against his nostril and winked. Fortunately, before I had to say anything, a waiter arrived with the tea Hegishte had ordered.
"Looks like all the cows in Ratnagiri are still pregnant, Jhampya!" Antu made a sarcastic remark to the waiter on the color of the tea. And then he poured the tea in the saucer and started slurping it.
Actually, Antu sheth could have just said to the waiter in plain words that the tea was low on milk. But he preferred the "all the cows are still pregnant" phrasing. Why just Antu sheth? Almost everyone from that middle lane in Ratnagiri spoke in that sarcastic obtuse way.
By now, Antu sheth and I have become good friends. In the last decade or so, whenever I have gone to Ratnagiri, I have spent time with him. He always included me in his group of friends, taught me the ganjifa card games they played. And over the years, I heard a lot monologues on the odd philosophy of life that those men in their 60s had developed.
I even learned all the idiomatic phrases the group had come up with. They all dressed similar. A cotton loincloth from the waist below, a small cotton scarf on the shoulder, worn-out sandals, one hand holding a walking stick, and the other holding a jackfruit. Dressed like that, Antu sheth would roam around in the neighborhood calling his friends to join him every afternoon.
"Govindbhat! Wanna play a couple of hands?"
"Paranjape? Are you awake or have you turned into a python?"
I too became a part of their card game gang. If once in a while, the card game wasn't really panning out well, Antu would put the cards down and say to me,
"Jawaibapu, why don't you sing a Malkauns or something? Godbolya, bash a little tabla with our guest. Khaju sheth, open your decrepit harmonium."
And then we'd have an impromptu jam session for a bit at Antu sheth's orders.
"Jawaibapu, your pipes are kick-ass!" he'd compliment my singing in his unique way.
Every other year or so, I'd visit Ratnagiri and attend Antu sheth's court. But with each visit, the court seemed to be getting smaller.
"Antu sheth, haven't seen Damu kaka around." I asked once.
"Who? Damu Nene? He is living it up! I am told Rambha is rubbing oil on his bald head, and Urvashi is airing him with a fan!"
"What do you mean what? Damu Nene got transferred from Ratnagiri!" and Antu Sheth pointed to the sky.
"Oh!" I finally understood what he meant. "I am so sorry. I had no idea."
"Why would you have any idea about it? Do you think that they're going to announce on the radio that Damu Nene has croaked? His family did pay for an obituary in the newspaper though. Heh, they wrote he was loving, caring, friendly, pious, and what not. What do the newspaper folks care? As long as you are paying, they will publish any nonsense."
Antu continued in his characteristic manner.
"Damu Nene and loving? Hmpf! Even when he was lying dead on the pyre, the furrow on his brow was intact! One day he decided to sleep outdoors because it was too hot. They found him dead the next morning. Lucky bugger. Died on Ashadhi Ekadashi too! So there were two processions from Ratnagiri that day. One for Lord Vithoba and another for Damu Nene. Damu died on Ashadhi. And then on Dussehra, Dattu Paranjape crossed the border and did seemolanghan. The first guy croaked, the second guy croaked.....now waiting for the third. They say things happen in three."
Antu looked at me mischievously and shrugged.
And that's the essence of Antu Barva for you. Standing at less than 5 feet, bronze-fair complexion, small pockmarks on his face, small gray eyes, creased skin belying his advanced age, half his teeth fallen....or "gone Annu"...leading to a new habit of poking his tongue through the gaps while talking.... and with all this, weighing in at barely 100 lbs.
Every aspect of Antu Barva's earthly existence was getting worn out with each passing year except for two - the nasal booming voice and the slick intelligence fed by decades of rubbing coconut oil on his head.
It wasn't just Antu sheth. Almost all the men his age from that part of Ratnagiri were of a similar bent....which was a crooked bent. Their language was unnecessarily complex and their attitude exceedingly cynical. They didn't feel happy if someone did well, and didn't feel sad if a tragedy befell someone. There was no joy for births, no mourning for deaths. Most of them apart from Antu didn't really like music, but didn't dislike it either. And when it came to food, the taste and flavors didn't matter, as long as their belly got filled. The engine of their life never really faltered when it ran out of steam, nor did it go fast when it did have some steam. But the road their lives took was like every road in Konkan- serpentine.
That's the hand life had dealt them. Even though their lives were full of the wholesome coconut tree, their fates and thus their tastes leaned less towards the sweet creamy inside of the coconut, and more towards its tough shell.
One summer, a second-rate theater company from Mumbai was touring Ratnagiri staging Ram Ganesh Gadkari's famous play Ekach Pyala. I went to watch it. The production was barely competent in the first act. At intermission, I walked outside to the hissing clinks of soda bottles being opened. Under a Kitson lamp, I saw Antu sheth's diminutive form. He was talking to the fur-cap clad manager of the theater company.
"So....how's the attendance?" Antu sheth asked.
"Not bad." the manager gruffly replied.
"Not bad? Most of the chairs seem empty. Why don't you let me in for half price?"
"No way!" the manager shook his head rudely.
"Why are you brushing me away like a lizard? I heard the first act from out here anyway. The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good."
[aside - in the early-to-mid 20th century in orthodox Maharashtra, it was taboo for women to perform on stage. So much like in Shakespeare's days, female parts were usually played by men. The legendary Bal Gandharva excelled at this and one of his most famous roles was playing Sindhu in the first staging of Ekach Pyala.]
"The guy playing Sindhu doesn't seem to be very good." Antu sheth said. "He sang 'lage hridayi hurhur' like a squeaking mouse. Did you ever hear how Bal Gandharva sang it?"
The manager got pissed off.
"I'm not begging you to come watch it!" he thundered.
"But the town is full of your advertising boards begging us to come watch it." Antu sheth instantly replied. "And yesterday your people were going door to door with fliers. As it is, it's mainly empty chairs you are showing this play to. How about four annas?"
"Four annas? What is this? A monkey performing on the street?"
"That's better than this! They perform first and then circulate a plate for money. Why don't you try that? If the next act is better than the first one, I'll pay you an extra four annas!"
The people standing around them started laughing and the manager got even more upset. That's when Antu sheth noticed me.
"Namaskar, jawaibapu! How's it going? How's Ekach Pyala?"
"It's okay." I said.
"I'm sure you got a complimentary pass. You're from the same community. I have heard that barbers don't charge each other for shaves."
"No, nothing like that. See, I bought a ticket."
"Then why a wishy-washy response like "it's okay"? You've paid hard-earned money for this, haven't you? Assert your rights as a paying customer. Call it what it is. Utter crap. Especially that guy playing Sindhu is totally useless!"
"What do you mean the guy playing Sindhu? It's a woman playing the role." I told him.
"WHAT??" Antu sheth looked genuinely shocked. "You're kidding me! That voice and that built! If she decides, she can lift Sudhakar up like a baby! Sindhu indeed.......more like Sindhudurg!"
"So you watched the play after all?"
"For a few minutes. Moved the curtains from the window and had a peek. Hmpf! Even gypsy performers are better than these idiots."
Antu sheth spat out another unsolicited opinion and walked away.
But that's pretty much what his life was - spitting out unsolicited opinions. I knew Antu for so many years, but I never found out much about his family situation. Once Anna Sane from Antu's court had let slip a mention of his son.
"What? Antu sheth has a son?" I asked.
"Of course he has a son. Not only that, his son is a Collector!" Anna Sane nonchalantly said.
"Yup. He's in charge of collecting tickets on Byculla station." he deadpanned without letting a single muscle move.
"Doesn't look like he helps out his father financially."
"He does sometimes. When he can. He has his own family. Besides, a Western Railway compartment has been attached to a Central Railway train."
A PhD student could do a dissertation on those guys' peculiar idioms and phrases. I was well-versed in the language by now but it took me a few moments to realize that this was code for an inter-religion marriage.
"So you see, Antu sheth has trouble with his post-bath rituals at his son's place. Plus apparently his son is also into some other Anglicized habits if you know what I mean. So how can Antu sheth spend too much time there? Still, once Antu sheth swallowed all the insults and went to Mumbai to see his grandson. Came back looking like he had messed up a math problem."
"Every Dussehra and Diwali, Antu gets his son's love in the form of a money order. Not much, maybe 5-10 rupees. For a few days after that, Antu acts like he's won the lottery and splurges as much as he can. Which isn't much."
"Understandable." I said. "After all, how much can a ticket collector's pay be?"
"Yeah, the pay is pretty meager. But one hears that a ticket collector can also make a little more on the side, especially in holiday season if you know what I mean." Anna said. "Nothing wrong with it of course. If he has an opportunity to make some money, why shouldn't he? You know how it is in this country. If you get caught taking a ten rupee bribe, they put a striped cap on your head and send you to prison. But if you get caught taking a million rupee bribe, they put a Gandhi cap on your head and send you to Parliament! Democraticaly elected people's representative!"
Politics was the most favorite topic for Antu sheth and his buddies to express their unique opinions on. They had profound thoughts on every politician and party. One year, there was a famine in Konkan. Konkan is always facing a famine as it is. But this particular one was so bad that in Antu sheth's words it had "been approved under the Famine Act".
Nehru was touring the famine-hit parts of Konkan. He visited Ratnagiri for a speech and the whole town was caught up in Nehru-mania. One evening, someone asked Antu sheth,
"Antu sheth, I didn't see you at the speech?"
"Whose speech? Nehru's? Hmpf!" Antu sheth's disdain was obvious. "What nonsense. There's a famine here. Stop giving speeches. Give us food! This is like seeing a man drowning and instead of saving him, reading from the Quran to ensure that he doesn't end up in hell. Utterly useless. But everyone else is stupid. Oh, Nehru is here? He is giving a speech? He gives great speeches! Let's go! Bloody lemmings!"
"And now that Nehru is in Ratnagiri, what did they do? Idiots took him to show the house, room, and bed where Lokmanya Tilak was born! Morons. Tell me, did god appear in Gangadhar Tilak's dreams and tell him that your wife is going to give birth to a great leader? How would anyone even remember what bed Tilak was born on? But who cares? They just showed Nehru some random room and bed and bluffed - this is where Tilak first went WAAAAAAAAAA."
"Morons! Where's the proof? Where's the proof? Did they get the midwife from Tilak's birth to certify the bed? Hmpf! Forget Tilak. It's been a 100 years since he was born. You tell me. Can your own mother confidently identify the room and the bed where she gave birth to you? Go ask her and then tell me about Nehru and Tilak."
And so ended the rant.
I always wondered if there was anything or anyone in the world that Antu sheth and his friends had respect for. If they ever had a polite dignified response for anything at all.
Somebody's son became a Professor. And Antu's response,
"Professor? In a circus?There used to be this Professor Chhatre in circuses performing magic tricks."
Someone opened a new store. And Antu's response,
"Tell him to have a bankruptcy form ready. It'll save time when the inevitable happens."
Who knows what school of philosophy these guys followed. More than half of them survived on money orders from children and relatives. They saved money from that and file lawsuits for the strangest reasons. Every lawsuit is stuck in delayed hearing dates. These guys have a big beautiful sea coast, coconut trees, gardens, everything you could reasonably hope for to be happy. But that apparent prosperity gets punctured by an occasional bout of misfortune and all that remains is an impenetrable shield of gallows humor.
Somehow the topic of Gandhi came up. And Antu sheth got on his soap box.
"Gandhi? What Gandhi? Traveled all over the world, but never came to Ratnagiri! Because he was smart. He knew that here, no one gives a damn about his loincloth or his walking stick. We are all just as naked and just as skinny. And his obsession with spinning khadi. It's all useless. Our own Shambhu sheth. All his life, he followed Gandhi's teachings and spun khadi for his clothes. Forget the British government, even Ratnagiri's Collector Gilligan didn't fear his "civil disobedience". And you're talking about Gandhi."
"Then there are all his hunger strikes and fasts. Half of Konkan is hungry and fasting, and not by choice. Someone who is well-fed will find something remarkable about hunger strikes. What do we care? Don't get me wrong. I am not saying Gandhi wasn't a great man. He was. But in our books, under what column should we make an entry for his greatness? And if you are talking about independence, then that had nothing to do with Gandhi, or Tilak or Savarkar."
"So did independence just fall out of the sky?" I asked him.
"It's up to you to find out where it fell out of." Antu replied. "One thing I am sure of is that the Brits left because they got bored. What more was left for them to loot? Their Raj business started making a loss, so they effectively declared bankruptcy and went home. The potter left with his pottery, and we sit here cradling his leftover broken pieces. This is all just a cycle of life and bigger than anything we can comprehend. It's not British rule, nor is it Nehru's rule, nor people's rule, nor anyone's rule. It's the creator's rule."
"So how did your creator end up siding with the British?" I asked.
"Don't be silly. The creator is sitting pretty on his throne. He just played a small game."
"A game that translated into 150 years of slavery?"
"It's 150 years for you and me." Antu sheth was steadfast. "The almighty's wrist watch doesn't move forward by even one second unless a thousand years go by for us. In his eyes and on his scale, all this is just a minor game that lasted barely a millisecond."
When these emaciated old men started spouting this philosophy on the front yards of that impoverished middle lane in Ratnagiri, with dark shadows formed by the dim light of their age-worn oil lamps dancing on their wrinkled faces, my heart couldn't help but shudder.
"Socialism? What socialism? All nonsense, I tell you. Not even two mango leaves are alike. And these guys want to pretend all men are equal. In the creator's eyes, each individual is unique. How are they going to have equal opportunities or equal outcomes? But everyone is just blabbering....socialism is coming. Just like that Ratnagiri's legislator is saying...Konkan Railway is coming, Konkan Railway is coming. Sure, Konkan Railway is coming. And it's tracks are going through where one-armed Pandu Gurav's toilet used to be. Even if it does, is it going to make Pandu's shoulder stump sprout an arm? What difference will it make?"
"And without an arm to plow his field or pick his crops, no matter what you do with that damn railway, what good is it going to do him? He is still the same. Just because India became independent, does not mean that Hari Sathe's lazy eye got fixed. Nor did Mahadev Godbole's paunch disappear. Nothing really changed. Even in the fabled Ram Rajya, Ram didn't uproot Hanuman's tail and attach it to his own ass. No. Ram stayed a man, and Hanuman stayed a monkey."
At such times, it almost seem like the Goddess of Wisdom Saraswati is sitting on Antu sheth's tongue.
"You're right." I said.
"Don't just say I am right for the heck of it to be polite. If I am wrong, say that and correct me. You might be younger than me when it comes to age, but when it comes to education, you are my elder, jawaibapu!"
Once in a while, Antu sheth will say something genuinely from his heart, without any sarcasm. But there is always some burning issue close to his heart underlying what he says.
The last few years, I could not go to Ratnagiri as often as I used to. In the meanwhile, Ratnagiri finally got electricity, its own college, tar roads, and all other features of 20th century life. When I met him after that, I said,
"Antu sheth, your Ratnagiri has now become posh! Electric lights and everything. Did your house get an electric connection?"
"No, not yet. But it's good that it's dark. Tomorrow even if I do get electricity, what is there to look at in that bright light? A penniless life? Who needs electricity to look at chipped walls and leaking shingles? It's better that my poverty stays hidden in darkness."
And then he laughed loudly for a full minute like it was a joke.
This time I saw that his teeth had gone almost completely Annu Gogte. I also learned that a couple of more friends of his had passed on and that the card game court was emptier than ever. For a change, I spotted a sense of love, longing, and kindness in the way Antu sheth spoke. I guess the empty seats at his card games were starting to make a place in his heart.
"Joglekar's son got a big promotion and moved to Delhi!" Antu sheth voluntarily shared some pleasant news without his customary sarcastic rejoinder. "Took his old man to Kashi, Haridwar, Vishweshwar, Hrishikesh and all. Fed a 100 brahmins there. Old man Joglekar was thoughtful enough to get me a small sealed pot with water from the Ganga. When you come visit next time, jawaibapu, you'll probably see that the seal has been broken and the water was poured down my throat if you know what I mean."
The next time I visited Ratnagiri, fortunately Antu sheth's Ganga water pot was still sealed.
"Wow, jawaibapu, wow! Congratulations! I heard you're going to England! Congratulations! Have a great trip. Just one "request" for you. Now I have to speak with you in English. So a "request"."
"Go see the Kohinoor diamond once. For some reason, it's an obsession I have always had, the Kohinoor diamond. I can't go see it, but you do it on my behalf. And then come back and tell me how it looks. See all the sights in London and Paris and everything!"
For some reason, I was overcome with a desire to touch his feet, something I had never done before. Right there on the street, I bent down and touched his feet.
"Live a long life!" Antu sheth touched my head gently. "You are a good person, which is why you are so successful."
I said goodbye and started to leave. I had barely gone four steps when I suddenly heard the familiar
"Yes, Antu sheth?" I turned around.
"Forgot to ask you one thing. Are you going alone or with your wife?"
"Both of us are going."
"That's good. Don't mind me, I just had a nagging doubt, so I asked. You are going far away to learn something new. So I was reminded of Devayani's tale from mythology. Hahaha. Convey my blessings to your wife too. I am telling you, your good fortune is all because of her. That's all life is eventually about - the right woman."
Antu sheth paused and continued.
"Let me tell you something. Just between us. My wife passed away 40 years ago. Since then, the alphonso mango tree near my door has stopped flowering. When she was around, the tree yielded hundreds of mangoes every year. But since she left.....you know....fate can take really strange turns. Sorry, I am rambling. Anyway, safe travels. So when are you leaving from Ratnagiri?"
"Tomorrow morning by bus."
"Direct Ratnagiri to Mumbai?"
"Good call. Once someone completes that journey, then even traveling around the world seems easy in comparison. The other day Tatya Jog made the trip. He is still trying to locate all his bones. Told me some 7-8 bones are missing!"
And he started laughing hard with his mouth wide open. I noticed that there was only one tooth remaining that hadn't gone Annu Gogte.
The next morning at 5 AM at the bus stand, I again heard the familiar cry,
Antu sheth approached me and gave me a small paper pouch.
"I know you don't believe in god, jawaibapu, but do me a favor and keep this in your pocket. It is holy ash. It will keep you safe. You are going to London by air, so this small pouch shouldn't add too much weight to your luggage."
I put the pouch in my pocket. As the bus got going, I saw Antu sheth lift his shirt and gently wipe tears from his small blinking gray eyes. In that dim dawn light, seeing his bony chest and his concave stomach which had all but touched his back suddenly tugged at my heart.
Just like Konkan's jackfruit, it's people taste sweet only when they ripen for a long time.
|Halloween and Uncle Leo|
Seven years ago this day was my first Halloween in America. I was a fresh PhD student still struggling with how much tougher the coursework was than I had expected. I had been in the country for a little over two months. That evening, after I finished my Stats homework at school and got on the bus to go home, I saw people in costumes all around me.
Ah, it's Halloween, I realized. Until then, most of what I knew of this country came from TV shows, movies, and books. So I knew that this was the night when kids accompanied by their parents roam their neighborhoods, knock on doors, and demand candy by yelling "Trick or Treat!!!". Oh great! So I will be expected to buy candy and hand it out? What a scam! But when in Rome, right?
Not wanting to be seen as a rude or clueless foreigner, I decided to take the necessary steps. I got off the bus at the stop in front of the grocery store. Bought lots of candy. Took another bus home. When I say "home", I mean a 3 bedroom row house I shared with two other Indian grad students who were both out of town that night.
At home, I put the candy in a bowl, turned the TV on and waited. The hours ticked by. Not a single knock on my door! I looked out the window. There were groups of kids and their parents dressed up in costumes knocking on doors around my building complex. So I guessed it was just a matter of time before they came to my door. But another hour passed by and there was no knock on my door. Before I knew it, it was 11 PM, the streets were deserted, and not a single person had come to my door trick-or-treating! All the candy was sitting there in the bowl. Except for the dozen or so that I had polished of watching TV.
The next day, I felt a little hurt. The neighborhood trick or treaters had ignored me! And as is the instinctive reaction for many of us, my first thoughts went to racism. It was because I was brown, I decided. These racist white folks didn't want to take their kids to an Indian guy's house. How shallow they are. And how bad I have it! I spent several hours indulging myself in the victim routine when everything that does not fit your expectations is due to racism. I became the Indian version of Jerry's Uncle Leo!
And then I got a reality check. I mentioned my shunning by the trick-or-treaters to an American friend, trying to sound as wounded as I felt. She seemed confused and initially a bit apologetic. Then realization dawned upon her.
She: Did you have a pumpkin outside your door? Or some sort of Halloween decoration?
She: So your door was completely bare?
Me: Yes, same as always.
She: Ah! That's the reason. In our town....and in most of the country....there's a simple code. Trick-or-treaters only knock on doors that have some Halloween decoration. That's the way a household signals that they want to take part in the candy thing. If a door is bare, it is meant to signal that you don't want to be disturbed.
She: Yep, so kids and their parents saw that your door was bare, decided you didn't want to be disturbed, and went to the next house.
And there it was. A simple explanation for a phenomenon I had been too quick to put down to racism or xenophobia.
This is not to say that racism doesn't exist. But sometimes we need to stop being Uncle Leo and ascribe everything to racism.
|The Indian Collective Conscience's Blind Spot for Racism/Discrimination|
A 2009 issue
Outside of specific anchors of discourse such as Reservations, there is no consensus that discrimination is a redeemable social ill. This is the real issue with discrimination in India: her own citizens suffer and we are only encouraged to ignore situations that make us all feel powerless. Be it the mute-witnesses seeing racial difference for the first time, kids learning racism from their folks, or the blacks and northeasterners who feel victimised by the public, few operate from a position that believes in change.Bingo! Kuku has put in words an issue I have been discussing with friends for several years now.
When I tweeted this story, I got a few responses which said "yes, but Indians are also discriminated against in the West" and "Blacks face discrimination even in America, not just India" and "Discrimination is a universal human trait, so why single out India?" That last bit is valid. Discrimination or xenophobia is indeed a universal trait. We have all heard of people discriminating against outsiders or minorities all over the world. India is definitely not unique in that regard.
Where India is unique.....well I shouldn't say unique....but different from societies at least in the West, is the way its collective conscience views racism, or more broadly discrimination against those belonging to groups that aren't part of the "mainstream". We have a major blind spot there.
In the West, yes, everyday there are instances of discrimination on the basis of race and sexuality. But in the West, the collective conscience, or the social discourse recognizes that this is wrong. People use the term "politically correct" like a pejorative. But in the West, it is not considered politically correct by the society to come out and say that some races are inferior. Or that gays are inferior or abominations. Yes, some nutcases say that but in the West, the mainstream collective opinion holds the ideal of equality very dear.
That is largely missing in India. There is no general understanding that saying someone is inferior based on their race or sexuality is wrong. It does exist, in some degree, when it comes to caste. While casteism is still prevalent in India in various forms, the general collective discourse recognizes that saying certain castes are inferior is wrong. The opponents of racism using "merit" is often a code for implied inferiority, but even the use of that code is a "thank heavens for small mercies" byproduct of that Indian collective conscience as least recognizing casteism as wrong.
But when it comes to racism or homophobia, the Indian collective conscience still has a blind spot. Most Indians feel no compunctions in saying that a particular race is inferior or that gays are "unnatural" or "sick" or "disgusting". We humans may never be able to completely rid ourselves of xenophobia and discrimination, the way we may never be able to rid ourselves of murder and rape. But we can take a step in the right direction by at least getting our collective consciences to recognize that xenophobia or discrimination is wrong, just the way murder and rape.
India is yet to take that step. It is lagging behind the West by some decades. The West's conscience wasn't always enlightened. Before the 60s, it was perfectly acceptable to say in public that blacks are inferior and so should be segregated. Even until the 70s and early 80s, it was perfectly acceptable in the West to treat gays as abominations or mutations. But that isn't the case now. The Western conscience has moved and continues to move in the right direction.
I hope India's collective conscience does too. And soon.
|Comment on Priorities, Hibernation and Twitter by Julien Haller||Good luck on your PhD!
|TS105:Gravity, Sincerity, Ex-Gay Foundation, PHD's Marketing to Women||You're prayers have been answered - three whole minutes of Brad Pitt's southwestern canoon, along with tons of lies about "Gravity" and Erin's dream of living in a mountain hole. Bryan updates everyone on the ex-gay awareness dinner and Erinmarkeing firm PHD tells product makers when to sell to women when they're feeling the most depressed.
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I have fallen in love with summer! ♥
While the entire country was anticipating Pacquiao's bout with Clottey, we were on our way to what Au called the Camotes "hangover" (though I don't have the faintest idea why she used that word). So off we went, 30-45 minutes bus ride from the city to Danao, 2 hours travel by sea from Danao to Consuelo port, then 15-20 minutes land travel from the port to the resort. It wasn't so bad, considering the travel durations of my previous trips to Malapascua, Bantayan and Sumilon.
I wasn't really expecting too much from Camotes. I thought, it's just a nice strip of white sand beach. Sus, perte man diay kanindot sa Santiago Bay! The never-ending shoreline, the crystal clear water, the pristine white sand beach - it definitely exceeded my expectations! Talk about a wonderful surprise!
One of the trip's highlights, the sunset in Santiago Bay! It was just glorious!!!
And then another day in paradise.
Now this is the way to welcome summer!
|Começou a Expoagro 2017! Confira mais de 100 fotos da abertura.|
Fotos: Alisson Nicacio/ Mais Pajeú
Clique abaixo confira galeria completa de fotos:
|Stomatológ Siebert: Stomatológia napreduje míľovými krokmi, teší ma, že som aktívne pri tom||Inzercia | Každoročná návšteva u zubára je pre väčšinu z nás samozrejmosťou. Ak však sadnete do zubárskeho kresla odborníkovi, akým je stomatológ MUDr. Tomáš Siebert, PhD., máte istotu, že Váš chrup je v tých najlepších rukách. |
|PSSSSSST Dry Shampoo Debate- Part Deux|
I think I found the be all and end all of dry shampoos! I was recently in a charity fashion show and was sharing my love of dry shampoo to the hair stylist that was volunteering for the day. He told me that most runway shows use dry shampoo on their models to get lots of volume that last and they always use the brand, PSSSSSST! Yes, the old school, original dry shampoo that has made a comeback! I love it and sometimes even use it on days that I washed my hair but want a little "pump"!
So far I've spotted it at Rite Aid and Ulta...around $5.00
|Jerry's art on the corner|
[Click to go big]
Some of Jerry's art that has been on Seventh Street and Avenue A outside Tompkins Square Park ... photos by Daniel...
|Release Day Blitz: Battle Scars (Love is Messy Duet #2) by Emily Goodwin|
Title: Battle Scars
Series: Love is Messy Duet #2
Author: Emily Goodwin
Genre: New Adult Romance
They say time heals all wounds, but sometimes it does just the opposite. The pain festers, seeping deep inside and into your heart. By the time you’ve realized what happened, it’s too late and you’re left with a scar that will never go away.
I’ve spent the last year hiding my scars, running from the man who gave them to me. What I thought was love turned out to be a nightmare that won’t end, even though I forced myself awake. Love isn’t real. Love only leads to heartache.
And then I met him, the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. Throw in some sexy confidence and a panty-melting grin, and you have the recipe for a broken heart. Only, my heart is becoming full again, being put back together piece by piece the more time we spend together.
I’ve been down this road before and know it’ll end in two ways: we’ll ride off in the sunset together and live happily ever after, or we’ll crash and burn so hard neither will survive the wreckage.
I want to be hopeful, but history is damned to repeat itself. And I have the scars to prove it.
Emily Goodwin is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of over a dozen of romantic titles. Emily writes the kind of books she likes to read, and is a sucker for a swoon-worthy bad boy and happily ever afters.
She lives in the midwest with her husband and two daughters. When she's not writing, you can find her riding her horses, hiking, reading, or drinking wine with friends.
Emily is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency.
|Re-Release Blitz: Here's to Tomorrow (Here's To #1) by Teagan Hunter|
Title: Here's to Tomorrow
Series: Here's To #1
Author: Teagan Hunter
Genre: NA Romance
Re-Release Date: June 29, 2017
When I became a single father at seventeen, I knew my path wasn’t going to be easy. Hell, sometimes it sucked. Year after year, I tirelessly busted my ass until my business was booming. Until my daughter was happy. Until life? It was good. Settled.
But sometimes being settled is overrated. Boring. Especially when a little excitement walks through my door in the shape of Rae Kamden. With her sarcastic mouth and smartass comebacks, she’s the type of girl still sowing her wild oats and not looking to settle. Not with a guy like me.
I’ve been stuck in this small town since I was a child and nothing is going to keep me here. Not anymore. Done being tied down, I’m out of here the first chance I get. This town can kiss my ass goodbye.
I’m twenty-two. Single. Unwilling to settle. But if I did? It wouldn’t be with Hudson Tamell.
So explain to me why the moment he looks up from under the hood of my car, the sarcastic replies on my lips come out sounding sweeter. Why does he make me want to settle down, right here, with him?
That’s not what I wanted. But maybe it’s what I need.
By day I’m a freelance cover designer. By every other free moment, a writer. I’m a Missouri raised gal, but I currently live in North Carolina with my US Marine husband where I spend my days begging him for a cat. I survive off coffee, pizza, and sarcasm. When I’m not writing, you can find me binge-watching various TV shows, especially Supernatural and One Tree Hill. I like cold weather, buy more paperbacks than I’ll ever read, and I never say no to brownies.
|Psychological and Brain Sciences Colloquium||
|Nilsa Rodriguez, Ph.D. is recognized by Continental Who's Who|
KINGSTON, N.Y., June 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Continental Who's Who recognizes Nilsa Rodriguez, Ph.D., as a Pinnacle Lifetime Member in recognition of her contributions to the field of Culinary Education. Dr. Rodriguez brings 25 years of industry experience to her role as Professor of...
|FXPHD – KAT202: Katana Production Primer|
This course will take a new artist through all the key features of Katana while focusing on two main projects. We’ll start by looking briefly at how to properly import data into Katana from Maya and have it organised in a way that utilises Katana’s powerful ‘Collection Expression Language’. From there we’ll learn about building […]
|6/30/2017: BUSINESS: Cute, fragrant food nook blossoms in the Beaches|
It smells heavenly at the Simple Craft Company on Main St. near Gerrard Ave. “I just made oatcakes,” owner Fiona Bramzell says. She’s not a huge fan but her customers, many of whom are from the U.K., crave this Old World treat, which you use almost...
|WIN a Game and Puzzle Bundle|
If spending more time together as a family is a resolution for you this year, this bundle is bound to help! You can sit with a game or complete some puzzles with the kids for a great bonding experience while they also benefit by learning through play. Win win.
Dalmatian Dominoes - RRP: £12.95
The 28 Dalmatian puppy-shaped dominoes that feature various numbers of spots offer a great twist on the traditional game of dominoes!
We’re Going on a Bear Hunt 4 in 1 puzzle - RRP: £8.99
Four fantastic puzzles in one box offering hours of entertainment!
Noddy 4 in 1 Puzzles - RRP: £8.99
Noddy is a classic character and your little ones will have great fun with these - ideal for rainy days.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Jumbo Floor Puzzle - RRP: £9.95
The Very Hungry Caterpillar fans will adore this colourful Jumbo Floor Puzzle.
For your chance to WIN all four products you can enter via the Gleam entry form below.
Leaving a comment is mandatory but there are additional entry methods available for bonus points.
The giveaway ends at 11.59pm GMT on 13th February 2017.
**** Find my other giveaways here ****
|Comment on PhD by andygreencreativity||Amazing story of achievement Heather. Really delighted for you.
Wonder what your next playing card is going to say?|
|„Tipuju vás na prostatu.“ Brankář-lékař Vojáček se Krause nezalekl||Do proslulého červeného gauče se Jan Vojáček usadil jako druhý host po slovenském herci Andreji Hrycovi. A břitkého Jana Krause se v jeho show nezalekl.|
|Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 6/29/17|
Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 6/29/17Featured Post
|Author George J. Holland, PhD’s New Book “Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Quality Aging” Examines the Biology of Aging and Prevention of Chronic Lifestyle Diseases|| |
Recent release “Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Quality Aging” from Page Publishing author George J. Holland, Phd is a comprehensive presentation of the effects of diet, exercise, tobacco, and alcohol on changes in the body during the aging process. The book finally integrates all the major concepts regarding the physiology of aging and the latest applications of nutritional and physical activity interventions to assist readers in planning for an enduring and qualitative life journey.
(PRWeb July 06, 2017)
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2017/07/prweb14475120.htm
|Ransomware has been around for almost 30 years, so why does it feel like it's getting worse?||
Ransomware is not new. The malware, which encrypts data and demands payment in exchange for decryption keys, has been with us for almost 30 years.
So why does it feel like it's getting worse? Well, that's because it is getting worse.
In seemingly no time at all, ransomware has gone from an obscure threat faced by a select few to a plague crippling hospitals, banks, public transportation systems, and even video games. Frustratingly, the explosive growth of ransomware shows no signs of abating - leaving victims wondering why them, and why now?
The answer to both of those questions involves cryptocurrency and the National Security Agency.
But first, a little history
The first known ransomware attack hit the healthcare industry way back in 1989. According to the cybersecurity blog Practically Unhackable, a biologist by the name of Joseph Popp sent close to 20,000 floppy disks to researchers claiming they contained a survey which would help scientists determine a patient's risk for contracting HIV.
What was left unmentioned in the promotional material was that the disks also encrypted file names on infected computers - rendering them practically unusable. Instead of their typical boot screens, victims were shown a message demanding a $189 payment in order to unlock the system.
Popp, who had a PhD from Harvard, was an evolutionary biologist and fell outside of what we think of today as a stereotypical hacker.
According to The Atlantic, after he was arrested and charged with blackmail, Popp insisted that he intended to donate the proceeds from his scheme to HIV-related research.
Read the full article here.
Friday, June 30, 2017 - 12:34
|AEE 302: Why Just Speaking May NOT Be the Best Route to Fluency in English|
Come back and let us know your thoughts on this: http://www.allearsenglish.com/302
Get our FREE IELTS Cheat Sheet: http://www.allearsenglish.com/evaluation
Today we have a special guest on the show!
Our guest will challenge your assumption that SPEAKING is the most important part of learning English.
Julian sees learning languages as a simple, two-step process:
Step 1: Learn the language that we need for our specific situation
Step 1: Apply the language and use it
Julian’s 3 Tips- How to Keep it Practical:
Our guest today is an English teacher from England, living in Japan. He is the father of three bilingual children, is halfway through a PhD program in Psycholinguistics and used his insight about language learning to go from speaking poor Japanese in 2008 to being a translator in 2010. Our guest today is Julian from DoingEnglish.com
What do you think?
Have you focused down on one specific area of English learning?
What area are you focusing on?
Let us know in the comments!
|Scholarship: 3-year PhD scholarship at Grenoble Alpes University||none|
|Job: PhD Position in Economics||Institute of Economics - University of St. Gallen (Switzerland)|
|[wanabidii] Apple iPhone turns ten: 7 little-known facts about the smartphone|
|[wanabidii] Top Headlines: Indo-China border tension intensifies; both deploy 3,000 troops|
|НА ОБЩЕМ ФОНЕ|
Оригинал взят у zergulio
в Сергей! Поздравляю! Сижу смотрю репортаж по России 1 про компанию Сана
Письма в личку: "Вы все таки пробили это болото. Молодец!"
Действительно: пробил. Прорыл. Прогрыз. Прободал. Как Сакура Согоро, но, слава Богу, с поправкой на время и место. И да: на фоне общей глубокой озабоченности это победа. Огромная и безусловная. Одна на всех.
07/07/2017 - 19:00 to 09/07/2017 - 18:00
|(USA-MI-Kalamazoo) Post-Doctoral Scientist - Statistics||We are seeking a skilled individual with knowledge in statistical design and analysis of experiments for pharmaceutical/biologics/biopharmaceutical formulation and process optimization. Experience with standard factorial, fractional factorial, response surface, as well as computer aided experimental design is required. Experience working with SAS/JMP software is required. The scientist will help develop and standardize experimental design protocols for various types of studies across several projects as well as provide guidance on data collection and retrieval and may need to develop programs to allow individual scientists to generate their own analyses where appropriate. Willingness to understand laboratory methods and processes in order to better communicate with and educate scientists regarding statistical design is required. The successful candidate will assist in the training of scientists in experimental design and related topics. Our department is highly collaborative and colleagues are expected to actively participate in group meetings to ensure that a common approach is taken to handling clinical and laboratory study data. The successful candidate must have excellent communication skills and the ability and desire to work with large, complex teams of scientists. Education: PhD in Statistics or related field Full time Regular Colleague Zoetis is committed to equal opportunity in the terms and conditions of employment for all employees and job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or gender expression, national origin, disability or veteran status or any other protected classification. Disabled individuals are given an equal opportunity to use our online application system. We offer reasonable accommodations as an alternative if requested by an individual with a disability. Please contact Zoetis Colleague Services at to request an accommodation. Zoetis also complies with all applicable national, state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment as well as employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration and Nationality Act. All applicants must possess or obtain authorization to work in the US for Zoetis. Zoetis retains sole and exclusive discretion to pursue sponsorship for the acquisition or maintenance of nonimmigrant status and employment eligibility, considering factors such as availability of qualified US workers. Individuals requiring sponsorship must disclose this fact. Employer's Job# JR00001543|
|(USA-MI-Albion) Assistant Professor of Marketing (Tenure Track)||The Department of Economics and Management at Albion College seeks an excellent teacher to fill a tenure-track assistant professor position in marketing beginning August 2018. Undergraduate teaching is at the heart of our mission. The faculty member will teach three undergraduate courses per semester. Teaching assignments will include marketing principles, marketing research, consumer behavior, and one or more electives in marketing, data analysis, or management. Preference will be given to a generalist able to teach a variety of undergraduate courses and to a candidate with experience as the principal instructor for a section. The person hired will have the opportunity, but will not be obligated, to teach a course related to environmental, ethnicity, gender, or global issues; a first-year seminar; or an interdisciplinary honors course in social sciences. Applicants must provide evidence of effective teaching and potential for ongoing scholarship. Advising and mentoring students is also an important responsibility. Qualifications:ulliPhD in related field completed by August 2018/li/ul Application Process:Interested candidates should submit the following required materials via: a href="https://apply.interfolio.com/42685"https://apply.interfolio.com/42685/a ulliCover Letter/liliCV/liliTeaching Evaluations/liliResearch Paper/liliThree letters of recommendation/liliGraduate Transcripts/li/ul Letters of reference should be sent directly either by the recommender or the graduate placement office. First priority will be given to applications that are complete by July 7, 2017, but additional applications will be considered until the position is filled. ?We will interview candidates at the American Marketing Association summer academic conference in San Francisco August 3-6, 2017. Questions should be directed to Dr. Gregory Saltzman (firstname.lastname@example.org). ?|
|Egito de Paz|
Queridos irmãos e irmãs, bom dia!
Hoje desejo falar-vos sobre a Viagem apostólica que, com a ajuda de Deus, realizei recentemente ao Egito. Fui àquele país na sequência de um quádruplo convite: do Presidente da República, de Sua Santidade o Patriarca Copto-ortodoxo, do Grande Imã de Al-Azhar e do Patriarca Copto-Católico. Agradeço a cada um deles o acolhimento que me reservaram, verdadeiramente caloroso. E agradeço a todo o povo egípcio a participação e o afeto com que viveu esta visita do Sucessor de Pedro.
O Presidente e as Autoridades civis empenharam-se de forma extraordinária para que este evento pudesse desenrolar-se da melhor maneira possível; para que fosse um sinal de paz, um sinal de paz para o Egito e para toda aquela região, que infelizmente sofre pelos conflitos e pelo terrorismo. Com efeito, o lema da Viagem foi «O Papa da paz num Egito de paz».
A minha visita à Universidade Al-Azhar, a mais antiga universidade islâmica e máxima instituição acadêmica do Islão sunita, teve um duplo horizonte: o diálogo entre os cristãos e os muçulmanos e, ao mesmo tempo, a promoção da paz no mundo. Em Al-Azhar teve lugar o encontro com o Grande Imã, encontro que depois abrangeu a Conferência Internacional pela Paz. Neste contexto apresentei uma reflexão que valorizou a história do Egito como terra de civilização e terra de aliança. Para toda a humanidade o Egito é sinônimo de civilização antiga, de tesouros de arte e de conhecimento; e isto recorda-nos que a paz se constrói mediante a educação, a formação da sabedoria, de um humanismo que engloba como parte integrante a dimensão religiosa, a relação com Deus, como recordou o Grande Imã no seu discurso. A paz constrói-se também partindo novamente da aliança entre Deus e o homem, fundamento da aliança entre todos os homens, baseada no Decálogo escrito nas tábuas de pedra do Sinai, mas muito mais profundamente no coração de cada homem de todos os tempos e lugares, lei que se resume nos dois mandamentos do amor de Deus e do próximo.
Este mesmo fundamento está na base da construção da ordem social e civil, em que são chamados a colaborar todos os cidadãos, de todas as origens, culturas e religiões. Esta visão de laicidade sadia emergiu durante o intercâmbio de discursos com o Presidente da República do Egito, na presença das autoridades do país e do Corpo diplomático. O grande património histórico e religioso do Egito e o seu papel na região do Médio Oriente conferem-lhe uma tarefa peculiar no caminho rumo a uma paz estável e duradoura, que não se apoie no direito da força, mas na força do direito.
Os cristãos, no Egito assim como em cada nação da terra, estão chamados a ser fermento de fraternidade. E isto só é possível se viverem em si mesmos a comunhão em Cristo. Um forte sinal de comunhão, graças a Deus, foi possível oferecê-lo juntamente com o meu querido irmão Papa Tawadros II, Patriarca dos Coptas ortodoxos. Renovamos o compromisso, assinando inclusive uma Declaração Conjunta, de caminhar juntos e de nos comprometermos a fim de que não se repita o Batismo administrado nas respetivas Igrejas. Rezamos juntos pelos mártires dos recentes atentados que atingiram tragicamente aquela Igreja venerável; e o seu sangue fecundou aquele encontro ecuménico, no qual participou também o Patriarca de Constantinopla Bartolomeu: o Patriarca ecuménico, meu querido irmão.
O segundo dia da viagem foi dedicado aos fiéis católicos. A Santa Missa celebrada no Estádio disponibilizado pelas autoridades egípcias foi uma festa de fé e de fraternidade, em que sentimos a presença viva do Senhor Ressuscitado. Ao comentar o Evangelho, exortei a pequena comunidade católica no Egito a reviver a experiência dos discípulos de Emaús: a encontrar sempre em Cristo, Palavra e Pão de vida, a alegria da fé, o fervor da esperança e a força de testemunhar no amor que «encontramos o Senhor!».
Vivi o último momento juntamente com os sacerdotes, os religiosos, as religiosas e os seminaristas, no Seminário Maior. Há muitos seminaristas: esta é uma consolação! Foi uma liturgia da Palavra, na qual foram renovadas as promessas de vida consagrada. Nesta comunidade de homens e mulheres que escolheram oferecer a vida a Cristo pelo Reino de Deus, vi a beleza da Igreja no Egito, e rezei por todos os cristãos no Médio Oriente, para que, guiados pelos seus pastores e acompanhados pelos consagrados, sejam sal e luz naquelas terras, no meio daqueles povos. O Egito, para nós, foi sinal de esperança, de refúgio, de ajuda. Quando aquela parte do mundo estava faminta, Jacob, com os seus filhos, foi lá ter; depois, quando Jesus foi perseguido, foi para lá. Por isso, narrar-vos esta viagem significa percorrer o caminho da esperança: para nós o Egito é aquele sinal de esperança tanto para o passado como para o presente, desta fraternidade que eu quis contar-vos.
Agradeço novamente a quantos tornaram possível esta Viagem e aqueles que de diversas maneiras deram a própria contribuição, especialmente as muitas pessoas que ofereceram as suas orações e os seus sofrimentos. A Sagrada Família de Nazaré, que emigrou para as margens do Nilo fugindo da violência de Herodes, abençoe e proteja sempre o povo egípcio e o guie pelas sendas da prosperidade, da fraternidade e da paz.
"Deus vos abençoe!!!"
Fundador Gleydson do Blog Verbo Pai
|Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (2001)|
Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain
Die fabelhafte Welt der Amelie
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Director: Stanley Kubrick
|JAUME AMAT, MONTORO... Y MARTA FERRUSOLA.||Rafael del Barco Carreras|
Barcelona 30-6-2017. Amat 'Síndico mayor de Cuentas' que informa ¡pasados SEIS AÑOS! sobre uno de tantos negocios de la administración catalana con los Sumarroca, los contructores de Pujol y floristas con Ferrusola. Ni que decir tiene que el nacionalista Jaume ha cumplido con las espectativas del presidente de la Generalitat que le nombró.
Sin relación aparente; Montoro reprobado por el Congreso, y a Marta, la Ferrusola o 'madre superiora', le sale a devolver en la declaración de renta. Sin capital aparente y con los gastos de su vivienda oficial y actual ¡tres plantas y áticos de 300 o 1000 metros! en la avenida General Mitre, es natural que le dé 'a devolver'. Con parte de las facturas del fontanero, o del alquiler de alguna de las sociedades fantasma por la zona del ex portero... o la comida del gato.
Cómico que Hacienda haya paralizado la devolución cuando durante años le abonaron el 'a devolver'. Y lógico que el juez De la Mata haya citado a Joan Antón Sánchez Carreté, el 'asesor fiscal del Clan' condenado dos veces, para que le aclare medio centenar de partidas de las cuentas andorranas, de las que se sabe que Marta ya en el 92 utilizaba 'contraseñas' parecidas a la de 'madre superiora'. Los 90 insisto años de la Olimpíadas, las grandes obras públicas, o de Juan Piqué Vidal, Luís Pascual Estevill, o Javier de la Rosa.
Anécdotas que en otro tiempo alargarían mis comentarios, o compararía con viejos escritos, pero me confieso un tanto preocupado pues el lunes me someto al 'analisis de sangre' para la operación de una simple catarata en el ojo izquierdo. Médicos e íntimos me consuelan, ningún problema, la visión de ese ojo se recuperará a la perfección. Ya conté que es el ojo con que aun veo suficiente para escribir en el ordenador, puesto que el derecho, operado de cataratas y glaucoma, empeora mi poca visión. CUATRO AÑOS entre la operación del derecho e izquierdo aguantando los 'controles' del ambulatorio cada seis meses, consciente y preocupado por la progresiva pérdida de visión. En la 'privada' se hubieran reducido los plazos. Pero de eso ¡no tener dinero! y acudir a la sanidad pública catalana, soy el único culpable, pues tuve ocasiones y relativa 'fortuna' pero... tampoco he gozado de una mecenas que me haya ofrecido financiar mis libros ¡otra ruina¡ como Marta con la biografía de su padre Florenci.
Una biografía, que a tenor de su fantástica declaración de renta, se parecerá a la de Onasis para justificar la herencia y riqueza de sus hijos, muy en particular la del encarcelado. Los libros no desgraban, pero a Marta se lo financian sus amigos mexicanos de la editorial Malpaso, o quizá al igual que los fantasiosos e irreales tres tomos de Memorias de su marido los subvencione la Generalitat. Y ya antes de que aparezca en el mercado se publicita, y será presentado a la sociadad catalana y TV3 ávidas de la vida del avi Florensi.
Síndico mayor de CuentasAtrás quedaron los años de bloqueo de la Sindicatura de Cuentas, cuando los informes sobre la gestión del sector público llegaban tarde y mal. Algo ha mejorado este órgano dedicado a fiscalizar las cuentas de la administración catalana, pero todavía hay retrasos que ensombrecen el trabajo, imprescindible, de sus responsables.
El último informe de la Sindicatura --dirigida por Jaume Amat-- destapa un más que cuestionable contrato entre Teyco, la empresa de los Sumarroca, y el Incasol. Lo hace concienzudamente, pero seis años después de que se produjera. La Sindicatura merece elogios por su labor, pero también más medios para desempeñarla con prontitud.
BARCELONA, 7 de març de 2014.- Jaume Amat i Reyero ha estat renovat com a síndic major de la Sindicatura de Comptes per la unanimitat del Ple de l'òrgan ...
Jaume Amat, reelegido síndico mayor por el Pleno de la Sindicatura de Cuentas
BARCELONA, 7 de marzo de 2014.- Jaume Amat Reyero ha sido renovado como Síndico Mayor de la Sindicatura de Cuentas por la unanimidad del Pleno del órgano fiscalizador y para un período de tres años, de acuerdo con lo dispone la ley.
El nombramiento de Jaume Amat ha sido publicado hoy en el Diario Oficial de la Generalitat (DOGC núm. 6577), mediante el decreto 29/2014, de 6 de marzo, firmado por el presidente de la Generalitat, que de acuerdo con la ley es quien nombra el síndico mayor, a propuesta del Pleno de la Sindicatura.
El Pleno del órgano fiscalizador reeligió Amat por unanimidad en la sesión del pasado martes 4 de marzo.
Jaume Amat (Barcelona, 1957) tomó posesión como Síndico Mayor de la Sindicatura de Cuentas el 16 de marzo del 2011, y es miembro de la institución fiscalizadora desde el año 2007.
12 dic. 2014 - Compareixença de Jaume Amat i Reyero, síndic major de la Sindicatura de Comptes, davant la Comissió d'Investigació sobre la Gestió en ...
He de advertir que si yo, en lugar de citado por “escritor”, fuera vocal… con Amat podríamos acabar en el Juzgado de Guardia, la Fiscalía, o cualquier comisaría.Quién desde 1984, tras graduado en Ciencias Empresariales por ESADE (1980) y licenciado en Derecho por la Universidad de Barcelona (1983), se inicia en el Departamento de Justicia de la Generalitat de Cataluña (1984-95), donde según la Gran Enciclopedia Catalana (ver en GOOGLE) ocupó la dirección general de Relaciones con la Administración de Justicia del Departamento de Justicia (1995-99), director general de servicios del Departamento de Gobernación y Relaciones Institucionales (1999-2001), secretario general del Departamento de Justicia, y posterior de Justicia e Interior (2001-2003), miembro del servicio de Soporte a los Órganos Judiciales dentro del Departamento de Justicia de la Generalitat (2004-2007), síndico de la Sindicatura de Cuentas (2007), y desde el 2011 Síndico Mayor, no creo que nos aporte demasiado sobre LA GRAN CORRUPCIÓN, y en particular sobre JORDI PUJOL.
Repito un espectador de palco en;
22 jul. 2015 - Utilizar LA MODELO, controlada por Pujol, de zulo, y no "liberar" a los "
El Confidencial · Hace 10 horas
Público · Hace 5 horas
Marta Ferrusola encarga dos libros para ‘limpiar’ la imagen de los Pujol
El dueño de Malpaso, un empresario mexicano amigo de Jordi Pujol hijo, publicará una biografía del abuelo Florenci