Thursday, February 22, 2007

At Home in the World: Danny's Dispatches

Few days ago, I tried to watch a much-talked about documentary in CNN. I acted upon a bit of information sent out to my inbox. It read: CNN will be airing the documentary "The Journalist and the Jihadi: The Murder of Daniel Pearl" on Feb 10, 11 and 11 pm (Pacific Time). I found out the time difference and slunk off to my home so that I won't miss it. But, because of the load shedding, my dream was deferred.

That day, I had printed an article titled Bittersweet Symphonies published by Jewish Journal. In a dim light of a candle, I went through the moving piece that enriched my knowledge on Daniel Pearl.

I was working in McDonalds in UAE when I heard the gruesome murder of Pearl. Reading Gulf News, a leading daily from Dubai, I was not only aware of who this Wall Street Journal reporter was, but was also rudely reminded about how difficult and challenging a calling like journalism could be. At that time, I was considering rejoining my former profession i.e. journalism.

From what I gathered from English newspapers, I talked about him with my reporter friends back in Nepal. My interest in Daniel was revived by blogger friend Ghanashyam Ojha who is also a Daniel Pearl Fellow 2006. He encouraged me to apply for Alfred Friendly and Daniel Pearl Fellowships 2007. I made it among the finalists but was not selected as one of the Fellows for 2007. I consoled myself, saying: Maybe better luck next time.

Like most of the Nepali journos, Ghanashyam also realized the power of blog while he was under the Fellowship in the US. We communicated through emails, exchanged ideas and finally became good friends. Ghanashyam has dedicated his blog to Daniel Pearl. But, I have a caveat: topical blog is okay but most of the times, your content doesn't support the title which looks a bit awkward. Nevertheless, it felt good to find him among Nepali blog fraternity.

Ghanashyam provided me a book I was desperate to read: At Home in the World. Danny's father Judea Pearl had gifted it to him during his Fellowship. Since I never stumbled upon Danny's write-ups when he was alive (I came to know about him only after his death), I was eager to read his dispatches from different parts of the world. So, I went through his pieces and decided that he may not be a great journalist but he surely was a great human being. Somehow, I also found similarities between his stories and mine (not only the first alphabet of our names!). To me he seemed to be fascinated by ordinary things and not much enthusiastic about political reporting. So I am. I was a political reporter for Drishti Weekly for a couple of years. But, I found my niche in feature writing on human interest, lifestyles, music, art and literature. I really enjoy doing suchlike stories.

The book has an invigorating Foreword by Danny's widow Mariane. She discloses her first impression of Danny at Journal's London office: "I could tell he was a fast thinker, constantly synthesizing new ideas. He was a man who was going to illuminate my life. Sharing his existence would be like turning the pages of comic book."

But unfortunately, Danny's existence turned out to be short-lived. He was kidnapped on January 23, 2002 in Karachi, Pakistan while investigating a story. He was murdered by ruthless terrorists.

The ensuing stories datelined in Middle East, London, India and the US are a nice read. The photograph of bespectacled Danny with his distinguished smile propels us to daydream that he was never murdered. Though, he died four years ago, his spirit lives with us and will live in upcoming generations of courageous people who also love humanity and defy the cultural boundaries.

Among the stories, my favorites include: Two stories datelined Tehran: one on rock songs and other on Iranians' craze for US visa. Similarly, a piece on pearl diving songs being the cause of singers' blindness is superb. He has produced a beautiful story after the confusion on exact beginning of Holy Month of Ramadan. The piece on biggest Iranian carpet is hilarious. Finally, Danny's problem with Massachusetts Motor Registry is a must read. Ghanashyam tells me he relived Pearl's experience. He underwent almost similar experience of bureaucratic dillydallying. He juxtaposed that situation with Nepal's bureaucratic hurdles. Like Danny, he turned that bitter experience into a beautiful column for North Adams Transcript, the daily where Pearl began his journalistic career.


Vahsek said...

I too missed the documentary. Not because of this infamous loadshedding. Instead of my not being home that time...

LOADSHEDDING REALLY SUCKS. More at the time when power is cut off on the far side of the schedule. (Is there any?)

Earlier, I was not sure you where the same who worked in McDonalds.....

Besides journalistic stuff, are you into creative writing Deepak? (If you don't want, no need to answer. :P)

I don't know much about Daniel Pearl's career. Now for sure I will try to find out some more things about him.
Thanks for the links.

All the best

Wann read Vahsek's Ramblings?

Deepak Adhikari said...

Ah, were u really gonna watch it? It's a bittersweet experience to find you in the same boat. Well, am not into creative writing at the moment; blogging is taking most of my time. Are you into it? You sure have a flair for that. But, one day I hope to be labelled as an author of a (don't know what, but surely not the collection of my blogs!) book! Aint it ambitious? But, who knows?

Thanks for the comment, Keshav (no jee)!

Vahsek said...

Yes, Deepak I missed the documentary.

I too am not into creative writing.

One thing I want to share with is I am using all those a decade old poems now to. :)))) :)

But I have some weird plans. I am not sure whether they will fruit. :P

As you have written something in your earlier entry: Let me keep it secret! :P

thanks for not tailing me with "jee."

all the best

Vahsek's Ramblings!

Ghanashyam said...

Deepak jee,

I understand the fact that I haven't been able to put the items much related to Danny. I guess, it's because I haven't had enough time to do so as the political issues have overwhelmingly dominted in Nepal. And I guess it's a part of the message Danny had to stand as a committed journalist and make people aware about politics and societal problems in the country. I respect your comment and will try my best to include more information on Danny in the days to come.

CharitrawanChela said...

Riposte of a Beau of Good Moral Character towards the Declaration of Jhan Charitrahin chelis

You juicy intellectuals with shaven crotch as well as those with long pubic hair, who are running cloak-and-dagger activities! Ah! You the ones without phallus (Let me say it. Why to say you have vagina? You don’t have penis, this is a fact.)

Unlike you I am not a hardliner. I am an individual, not a group. I won’t hide my identity. I am K sth.. C.sth. By profession, I am a scribe. This much for now Rest you find out.

You some among Pradhan, Sharma, Ranjit, Thapa…. I don’t know more names because my belle, a journalist who met you sometime at past in some place—for sure not a seedy bar as you have claimed when you had not declined to Jhan Charitrahin—denied to tell me the names. Look how ethical she is! How charitrawan she is!

I am not a lawyer. I am not an author. I don’t have journalistic background and I don’t work for INGOs. I am not a painter either….

Also, I also not a sexist. Not a masculinist by any chance. Sorry if I sound so. I am a beau with very good moral characters. . I don’t drink (…) and I don’t smoke (tobacco). Why do you count those meager puffs of black and green? More than that even at the age of 28, I have not experienced penetration. (Forget about those foreplays that never led to intercourse. Don’t count those eve-teasing, and forget about those molestations. You should not take into account those fondlings and smoochings.)

I don’t have any agenda, and I don’t declare Nepali men autonomous. Because I know though most of us are chauvinist we men need you women. To ride and for pride. For being taken care off and to take birth from. To make love and to be loved. Men is an evolved version of women. You take example of deer with horn, and doe without. Similarly, we men have penis and you do not. You have slit. Testes and ovaries are analogous however.

Apropos to your 12-point declarations, I have 36 things to say.

1. Yes, let’s make love not regression. Okay, sex boycott is over now. So shall we change the traditional posture of love-making? Let’s say eff off to Vatsyayana and his Kamasutra, and let’s try something different not to stick to regression.

2. Vision 36/36: Hey! Penises are great things to be in Parliament. You simply cannot prohibit those to enter the dark holes of the Vyawasthapika Sansad. Even if you try, the penises of different size, colour, texture, and expertise in the power-game -- representing different ethnicities, cults, regions, doctrines and experiences will pierce the slit. So better be wise and come to a compromise before confrontation. You want civil war, filles?

3. I have a solution. Look at this aphrodisiac number. 36. Not we won’t stick to 33 per cent. You will get three more per cent and men are ready to enjoy the same number game. The rest 28 goes to in-betweens. Not to gays and lesbians, by the way. Because they have either penises or vaginas. So they can be included in either your sex or ours. Inclusive democracy we will be practicing.

4. Okay, we can give some reservation to them from our quota. 3 of 33 of vagina quota to lesbians, and 3 of 33 of penis to gays.

5. Government bodies too will have same structure. Bust all around may be abuzz. You know, busts are worse at the time when you frat. And also when you put pad. (During periods.) You put on cotton plugs to absorb the seepage, but it sucks.

6. Naturalise foreign jwains? Does Danny want to take Nepali citizenship then? Or you others got divorced, baby? So you want to ride a bideshi ghoda in deshi ground? Umm, may be You found out a black horse during your Fulbright term.

7. I have American Green Card. Do I fall under that category of Bideshi? I have been living in the US for six years. Shall I apply? But I won’t give up Nepalese citizenship. I am proud to be whatever I am and wherever I hail from. One idea, let’s date first. Trial ride also same time. Agree?

8. CV idea is not good. Okay I will submit one, albeit. But where? By the way, shall I mention my size in the CV. (Mine is comparable to that of an Arabic horse. That is my qualification. You will grasp it very soon.)

9. Forget grey coats. Pink is our colour. Recently I watched a pondy movie. Pink was all around.

10. Again if you want to talk about the grey coasts. Let do it. Have you counted the number of the Maoist women who cashed in on the loss of their Comrade Penises?

11. You ask them to find new and virile MEMBER. Party command won’t be an obstacle, I believe.

12. Why do you ask them to speak their minds? I suggest them to speak their desire. Her can be the point of unleashing themselves from all uniformity. Hisila has Baburam. But those bebes do not have any. But I don’t know what they do in locked rooms.

13. Hey, you old and worn-out bimbos! You forgot to talk about kamrednis in cantonment. Not only the gray coat but also the camouflage should be taken into consideration.

14. Again, what sort of suggestion is that “Get rid of grey coats.” Girls, how can they who are against the beauty pageants be topless?

15. You luscious intellectuals have no wisdom! They are not like you. They are real jans (people) and janapratinidhis (people’s representatives.) Be ready for jana-karbahi, Comrade Yami backforced by Pawanman and the cadres will raid your den very soon.

16. Yes whipping is for brutes. These men have a natural whip hanged on our loin.. So they whip. But if women defy the action, they have to resort to some unnatural means of action.

17. You don’t need to sacrifice your rights. You can call for the up-side down position for men. Sorry for mentioning men’s position. You appeal for the reservation of women’s top posture. For sure, this feminist Parliament will unanimously pass your call. Then you first practice first with your paramours. Hey, never let them change the position.

18. New leadership for the New Nepal! But why that Jhankri bebe for the presidency? Sexy Sujata will kill you. She will ask for your resignation, chelis!

19. Take Women’s council to every home. Make every woman member of it. Make a different party of women. Go to constituent assembly polls.

18. Because of pervert parents craving for baby penis, our more than half population has no penis. Why not to take action against fathers? You can give an amnesty to all those who do not have penis.

19. Fill the Constituent Council with vaginas. It’s 100 per cent cunt. But don’t forget to ask for free vibrator. 100 per cent bust!

20. No comment on Maina Sunuwar case. You can ask for hanging of the rapist. I am with you. No excuse to the perpetrators.

21. Hey, you forgot to urge OHCHR regarding action against those who raped and killed Namita-Sunita. You should be bold enough to speak against late Shah and director Shah. Is anyone of you related to Mr. Shah living in Gyaneshwor? Thapa bebe should be, if I am not wrong. You in the Mau-samuha or this this new gang?

22. You can, by the way, advocate for rapes by women. You can train girls for seduction and rape.

23.One suggestion, You invite Manisha in your gang. Her former lover Mr. Ambassador is younger than this old Moriarty. Why not to take help of one of the former royal foreign ministers. Dr. Thapa. He has connections with army.

24.Sexiest man of Nepal Sunil Babu Pant? Yes, he is a man. I don’t know what is the size of his penis though.. But not the sexiest. How could you forget Prachanda the great? His sexy moustache! His appealing speeches. His charming voice. Overall, the unprecedented movement led by him.

25. You chelis are reactionaries! You are mandales. You did not vote for Prachanda. Shall the Maoists come to the power, you will be tried for you conspiracy and your nexus with imperialist America. They will have strong proofs against you: One of yours ulbright Scholarship, one of yours affairs with Canadian scribe working for BBC, one of your…….

26. Will donors retreat? They give so they take. They give dollars and they take nice and best women. Simple principle: give and take. By the way, after earning a lot for yourselves why you want kuires to back off? You jealous of young women? You worn-out of the game and you are old; that is why?

27. “Their country needs them more than your country reports do.” Here is see some truth. Donors, back off! You have made our economically independent and women ultramodern and. That may be why they are practicing “Use and throw” dictum.

28. One of my friends waited for his lover working in an INGO to marry. She originally from Jhapa exploited the Kathmanduite buddy. Took advantage of his connections and got a job in the INGO. They lived in a flat for some months. However, she abandoned him to live with and massage penis of a kuire of another INGO.

28. Donors back off and citizenship to bideshi jwains? Now where do your demands meet? Donors later may become jwains. They may need to run some NGOs to earn bread to feed their Nepali concubines.

30. Keep it up; Don’t give up! Keep it up; Don’t give up; Keep it up; Don’t give up! I urge (who?) that your demands never be taken seriously.

31. March 8? Will love to see another satirical twaddle again.

32. Bimbos! My challenge: Though fast food is at disposal of your males, can you zip your blouse for ever? Ah. You can. You want to say rub from outside? Right? You will put lingerie without zipper then!

33. “No joy till you capitulate.” Okay. Let’s see who will surrender first. Till then you find vibrators. One suggestion: IN Nepal there is load shedding these days. You can make maximum use of wax candle of appropriate size till then. Enjoy.

34. “Nationwide stove-and-blouse closure’ You financed by chowchow factories and fast food houses? “Nationwide chulo-ra-cholo bandh (stove-and-blouse closure).” You have nexus with Blue Diamond Society? You want all men to be homosexual?

34You tried to compare yourselves with other rebel groups that have both vaginas and penises working together. Does a lock open without a key? You are lock, we have got key. You will never succeed alone.

35. Men won’t say “languati-banda”, however. They are ready to welcome you in their crotch. You come soon and put off their G-string. Hurry up to feel the warmth of the loin!

35. You want to join the negotiations then. Ha ha ha. Don’t joke. You have guts to come above-ground?

If yes, I self-appoint myself from the side of the Nepal government to talk to you. Common bebes!

Jaya Purush, Jaya Nari!

KC, a Charitrawan Chela

(Note: Though not dishy alike those blokes (old Wagle and olderDixit, both with grey hairs)of Kantipur and NepaliTimes, I am virile enough to handle you. Again, I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. I am a charitrawan chela.)z

charitrawanchela said...
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