Another Intellectual Being

Nationalism

I’m Angry, Furious and Raving Mad.

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India is a country that borrows vastly from its past, such has oft been said about the country that I currently live in. Why India? Let us not anglicise the term, let us call the land Hindustan as our forefathers used to call it.

The past has shown women who speak for and think of themselves to be immoral and villainous; it is not I who is saying this. Go read the Mahabharata, the Ramayana or any Indian Scripture for that matter. On one hand our forefathers worshipped goddesses and on the other they condemned those who resembled embodiments of these very goddesses.

Women who are portrayed as the Perfect Woman in these epics are enormously beautiful, insanely willing to give service and totally dependent. They part that strikes as absolutely stupid is where the Evil Woman is neither beautiful nor willing to give and yet totally dependent on the males. A weird patriarchal society had been wrought by our forefathers that had no important place for women even though some parts of the Vedas argue.

The sex-appropriate ideals that are prominent throughout The Ramayana were a reflection of the patriarchal values that structured ancient Indian society. By placing the characteristics of the virtuous woman in stark contrast with the behaviours of men and immoral women, the epic attempts to justify the superiority of men and the subordination of women. This design also imparts upon the audience that the worth of a woman is measured by her beauty and the pleasure she can provide to her husband, and that her value was found through him rather than through herself.

Sita, in the Ramayana was captured by Ravana due to Rama’s foolishness and yet it has her character that came into question. It was she who had to take the “Fire’s Test” to prove herself. In this respect I find Ravana to be a better man than the ideal Rama, at least Ravana never forced himself upon the woman.

There are numerous examples in the glorious past of this country that detail the horrific crimes that have taken place on women. The “Nagarvadhu” was an elaborate concept detailed by our horny forefathers. A woman was chosen to be the “Nagarvadhu” or bride of the city, her work was to provide sexual satisfaction to anyone who came a knocking at her door. As I write this I am afraid that a religious fanatic of a political party might come across this and tell the world about this as a certain measure to stop rape in the present day.

India is actually one of the few countries in the world to have propaganda for “Religious Prostitution” in the ancient times. Pre-Pubescent Girls were married off to the Temple Idols and very conveniently had to service the priests, devotees and wayfarers.

Moving on to the medieval age, it simply does not matter because nobody in today’s society has heard of Razia Sultana, Durgavati, Mirabai and it has no effect on the minds of the people either.

The British oppression further widened the rifts between classes and turned women into objects. The British chased after the so-called “Dark Skinned Beauties” and raped them in front of their families, sometimes they had orgies where the family of the woman were called as servers. The situation was quite horrific. The British afraid of these facts leaking out did an about turn and started blaming the Indian men for blaming their women, this further aggravated the Indian Public and during the Revolt of 1857, nobody was spared.

The last thing that actually ruined things was the interpretation of women in Indian Cinema. Indian Cinema has always, and I repeat ALWAYS shown Rape as something that a woman enjoys after initial refute. You see a woman in a helpless situation with the rapist having a big smile on his face. The woman initially says no but then she is show kneading her toes into the bed which is shown as a sign of enjoyment. This is disgusting.

After the incident, either the rapist is never caught or the victim never tells anyone to save her face in the society or something equally absurd. Even if she gets justice it is only due to a timely intervention of the hero.

On the same terms we should make a certain movie compulsory for every boy in this country, a certain movie called Zakhmi Aurat. See this gorgeous review and synopsis about this movie – http://bollywooddeewana.blogspot.in/2009/10/zakhmi-aurat-1988.html

 

 So either you people raise your kids well or I’m going to go around showing this film to your kids and explaining to them what rape is, what castration is and how to respect women properly. It is a fair warning to all you people who read this and I’ll soon be interacting with those that cannot possibly read my blog.

 

This post is a ramble, I wrote non-stop and vented out everything in my head at once. I will not give solutions because those are debatable. I have listed a possible chain of events and perpetrators that have ruined society but it is not meant for blaming the above reasons for their actions. I am not defending anybody. If I had my way I would make them public examples of ridicule, shame and horror but then I am just an enraged 22 year old and my views hardly matter to the important people. Read this, discuss this, critique my views but before you drag me to the gallows for writing blasphemous things, do something to bring about a change in you. I’m not defaming anyone or anything, not even breaking any IPC. If however I am found guilty of doing so, arrest me.


The Rape Of The Capital

8th March is celebrated as International Women’s Day. In different regions the focus of the celebrations ranges from general celebration of respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women’s economic, political and social achievements.

A woman’s essence lies in her innate ability to care, love and sacrifice for the other. She plays an all-enveloping character of a mother, daughter, wife and sister as a friend, nurturer, guide and partner from time to time. Emotional and vulnerable, sometimes erratic, sometimes serene, she displays a wonderful range of emotions from being patient to being extremely courageous in times of crisis.

Tormented and subjugated throughout all times and ages, women have fought their way through exploitation, harassment, and have managed to secure their rights in the public domain. In spite of continuing exploitation and injustice against women both in the domestic and work sector today, several milestones have been achieved in terms of education, freedom of choice and liberty, equality etc. With growing literacy and financial independence women feel more empowered today to assert their right to a life of dignity and self worth.

The International Women’s Day celebrated on 8th March is a universal day for all women around the world. It endows them with a sense of honour, dignity and self respect for being the person that they are. This day marks a celebration of the economic, social, cultural and political achievements made by women over the years.

Yet the plight of Women continues in a Global City like Delhi. Women are raped, murdered and thrown on sidewalks in body bags. And the public blames the police and the judiciary system, but I see a different truth through my eyes.

It is not the Police or The Judiciary System that rapes and tortures Women. The perpetrators of such acts are people who are often counted as the public who blames the Police and the Law and escapes scot free.

Implementing more task forces or other law enforcements would not guarantee the safety of women. Neither would restricting the freedom of Women. They have every right to live their lives as freely as any man would. She should have the right to have a walk at night and feel safe. The constant worry of harassment, rape and such should not keep worrying her at all times.

The male mind needs to be blamed for most of the uncomfortable situations a Woman finds herself in. Constant ogling, passing lewd comments, touching her body parts at any given chance are all signs of how the men are faltering and falling to the level of dogs.

What most men who initiate such acts never fail to realise is that the same can happen to their Mothers, Sisters and Daughters. The culprit today can become the victim tomorrow. Such horror mongers are often motivated by the silence of Women. When women choose to ignore such Animalistic acts they become contributors to the crime. They are to be even blamed.

It is understandable that you feel threatened to take any action in situations of eve teasing but never stray from calling on the public or the men who care about you. These mongrels need to be treated like the scum they are and be blown off from below the gutters of the society.

WE NEED CHANGE. WE NEED IT NOW. MEN AND WOMEN NEED TO ACT TOGETHER. THE SOCIETY NEEDS TO CHANGE. THESE ACTS AFFECT MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE. DON’T BE A MUTE SPECTATOR. SPEAK UP. BE THE CHANGE.

Here Anshul Tewari provides safety tips for Men and Women alike.


Good Death or Endless Suffering?

In Greek Euthanasia means ‘Good Death’, but is it?

It is derived from the Greek word εὐθανασία meaning “good death“: εὖeu (well or good) + θάνατοςthanatos (death). It refers to the practice of ending a life in a manner which relieves pain and suffering. According to the House of Lords Select Committee on Medical Ethics, the precise definition of euthanasia is “a deliberate intervention undertaken with the express intention of ending a life, to relieve intractable suffering.

Much debate has been raised along the two different chains of thought; as to whether it should be considered as a “Voluntary Suicide” or “Involuntary Murder”. It is the most active area of research under Bioethics.

The first textual reference of Euthanasia is made by the historian Suetonius who described how Emperor Augustus Caesar, “dying quickly and without suffering in the arms of his wife, Livia, experienced the “Euthanasia” he had wished for”

Euthanasia basically can be classified into three main branches:

1. Voluntary Euthanasia – In this case the Euthanasia is cinducted with the consent of the patient. It is legal in Belgium, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Switzerland and the USA.

2. Non-Voluntary Euthanasia – Euthanasia conducted when the consent of the patient is not available is called Non-Voluntray Euthanasia. This basically includes the ‘Groningen Protocol’ which terms Euthanasia of Infants as legal.

3. In-Voluntary Euthanasia – Euthanasia conducted against the will of the patient. It can also be termed as homicide.

The most notable case in India where Euthanasia is being considered is the case of Aruna Shanbaug.

Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse from Haldipur, Karnataka has been in a ‘persistent vegetative state’ for the past 37 years after being sodomised by a Mumbai hospital sweeper.

On the night of 27 November 1973 he attacked her while she was changing clothes in the hospital basement. He choked her with a dog chain and sodomized her. The asphyxiation cut off oxygen supply to her brain resulting in brain stem contusion injury and cervical cord injury apart from leaving her cortically blind. The initial medical examination to verify rape as the crime found that Aruna had no vaginal bruises and her hymen was intact. She was menstruating on the day and therefore the rapist did not penetrate her. Subsequent medical reports proved that she bled for days together from the anus.

The police case was registered as a case of robbery and attempted murder on account of the concealment of anal rape by the doctors under the instructions of the Dean of KEM, the late Dr.Deshpande perhaps to avoid the social rejection which might break her impending marriage to Dr. Sundeep Sardesai.

Speechlessness following a rape can go deeper. Aruna Shanbaug’s continuing silence is not the outcome of fear or shame: she cannot speak at all. Since the assault, she has been in a vegetative state. On 24th January 2011, the Supreme Court of India responded to the plea for Euthanasia filed by Aruna’s friend journalist Pinki Virani, by setting up a medical panel to examine her. However, it turned down the mercy killing petition on 07th March, 2011. The court, in its landmark judgement, however allowed Passive Ethunasia in india.

The judges disagreed with Virani’s plea that the Shanbaug was already dead. Not feeding her any more and letting her die shall not amount to killing her. Shanbaug was in PVS, which was different from the medical state of brain dead (which is irreversible), they said.

‘Even when a person (patient) is incapable of any response, but is able to sustain respiration and circulation, he cannot be said to be dead. The mere mechanical act of breathing, thus, would enable him or her to be ‘alive’,’ said the judge. Stating that there appeared little possibility (of Shanbaug coming out of PVS), the judges said: ‘The question now is whether her life support system (which includes feeding) should be withdrawn, and at whose instance.’

 

Lend your voice to Aruna’s Plight!


What Blogging Means To Me

 

Quite matter of factly I started blogging just to catch attention of people, to be noticed and maybe to be even taken seriously. I never quite caught on with the phenomenon of blogging initially. I just wrote different kinds of things, poems and all and posted it. I had always fantasised about being known and renowned for my writing ability. I was a clear cut wannabe when I started out on the blogging circuit; I actually thought blogging would impress the ladies, hard luck there. I made a blog wrote some poems and forgot about it, after some time I read a blog and the spark ignited again but I had to make a new blog. And like that I was never constant with one blog. A few posts and I got bored and left. This happened over and over again. Until I struck upon the idea of the Prince of Prose blog.

 

I declared the blog open with a very proud and whimsical introduction. Aptly followed by a very dark poem about a beggar. It was quite a disturbing and hopeless time in my life. The 12th Board Exams had just gotten over and I was struggling with college. It suited my frame of mind and hence I made the blog. I poured all my angst into it. Sometimes creativity, sometimes thought sometimes just someone else’s Apricot. Then college began, along with the journey of fiction, I wrote two incomplete novels at 12000 words each.

 

I’ve missed writing in the blog for 3-4 months at a time but I’ve still stuck with it. So on the occasion of my 50th post I thank you all for sticking with my blog, my long obsessive and flowery writing and my irregularity. Thank you all, I’m very much indebted to you!

 


God Of Off-Side

Early Days

Sourav Chandidas Ganguly is certainly a name to be reckoned with in the field of Cricket. Born on 8th July 1972, Sourav was the son of Chandidas Ganguly, one of the richest men in the city of Kolkata. He was enrolled in a cricket coaching camp despite the dislike of his mother. As a boy he deeply admired David Gower, one of the most stylish left-handed batsmen of his era. Sourav despite right handed learnt to bat left handed so that he could use his brother’s equipment. He made his first class debut for Bengal in 1989, the same year Snehasish was dropped from the team.

Following a prolific Ranji season in 1990-91, He scored 3 runs in his ODI Debut against West Indies in 1992. He was removed from the team for being arrogant, and it was even rumoured that he refused to carry drinks for his teammates.

 

 

Debut Success

Due to his heavy scoring in the 93-94 and 94-95 Ranji Trophy and his 171 in the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy he was recalled into the team. He played a single ODI but was omitted from the first test. After Navjot Singh Sidhu left the tour citing ill treatment by Capt. Mohammad Azharuddin, Ganguly made his test debut against England  in the 2nd test. He scored a century thus becoming only the third person to do so on their debut at Lord’s. He made another century in the 3rd test thus becoming the third person to score 2 centuries in each of his first two innings.

Weeks after his successful tour of England , Ganguly eloped with his childhood sweetheart Dona Roy due to bitter enmity between the families of the bride and the groom and this caused an uproar. However both families reconciled and a formal wedding was held in February 1997.

Same year, Ganguly scored his maiden ODI century by hitting 113. Later that year, he won four consecutive man of the match awards, in the Sahara Cup with Pakistan; the second of these was won after he took five wickets for 16 runs off 10 overs, his best bowling in an ODI. After a barren run in Test cricket his form returned at the end of the year with three centuries in four Tests all against Sri Lanka two of these involved stands with Sachin Tendulkar of over 250.

 

 

World Cup Of ’99

Ganguly was part of the Indian team that competed in the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England. During the match against Sri Lanka at Taunton, Ganguly scored 183 from 158 balls, and hit 17 fours and seven sixes. It became the second highest score in World Cup history and the highest by an Indian in the tournament. His partnership of 318 with Rahul Dravid is the highest overall score in a World Cup and is the second highest in all ODI cricket. Around the same time, allegations came that Ganguly was romantically involved with South Indian actress Nagma, something he denied.

Holding The Reigns Of The Indian Team

In 2000, after the match fixing scandal by some of the players of the team, Ganguly was named the Captain of the Indian cricket team. The decision was spurred due to Tendulkar stepping down from the position for his health, and Ganguly being the vice-captain at that time. He began well as a captain, leading India to a series win over South Africa in the five-match one day series and led the Indian team to the finals of the 2000 ICC KnockOut Trophy.

In Australia’s three Test and five match ODI tour of India in early 2001, Ganguly caused controversy by arriving late for the toss on four occasions, something that agitated opposing captain Steve Waugh. In the Fourth ODI, he caused further controversy by failing to wear his playing attire to the toss, something considered unusual in cricket circles. However, India won the Test series 2–1, ending Australia’s run of 16 consecutive Test match victories in the Second Test. The match saw India looking set for defeat after conceding a first innings lead of 274. Waugh chose to enforce the follow-on and V. V. S. Laxman (281) and Rahul Dravid (180) batted for the entire fourth day’s play to set Australia a target of 384 on a dusty, spinning wicket. The Australians were unable to survive and became only the third team to lose a Test after enforcing the follow-on. In November 2001, Ganguly’s wife Dona gave birth to their daughter Sana Ganguly.

During the final match of the 2002 Natwest Trophy held in Lords after a stunning performance by team mates Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, Ganguly took off his shirt in public and brandished it in the air to celebrate India’s winning of the match. He was later strongly condemned for tarnishing the “gentleman’s game” image of cricket and disrespecting Lords protocol. Ganguly said that he was only mimicking an act performed by the British all-rounder Andrew Flintoff during a tour of India. In 2003, India reached the World Cup Final for the first time since 1983, where they lost to the Australians. Ganguly had a successful tournament personally, scoring 465 runs at an average of 58.12, including three centuries.

By 2004, he had achieved significant success as captain and was deemed as India’s most successful cricket captain by sections of the media. However, his individual performance deteriorated during his captaincy reign, especially after the World Cup, the tour of Australia in 2003 and the Pakistan series in 2004. In 2004, Australia won a Test series in India for the first time since 1969. It was speculated that Ganguly was in disagreement with the head of cricket in Nagpur over the type of pitch to be used for the Third Test. The groundsmen went against Ganguly, leaving a large amount of grass on the pitch. Some experts indicated that the reason for this was for “spite or revenge” against the Indian captain.

Following indifferent form in 2004 and poor form in 2005, he was dropped from the team in October 2005 and the captaincy was passed to Dravid, his former deputy. Ganguly decided against retiring and attempted to make a comeback to the team. Ganguly was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004, one of India’s highest awards. He was presented with the award on June 30, 2004, by then President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.

Chappel Era

In September 2005, Greg Chappell became the coach for the India tour of Zimbabwe. Ganguly’s dispute with him resulted in many headlines. Chappell had emailed the Board of Control for Cricket in India, stating that Ganguly was “physically and mentally” unfit to lead India and that his “divide and rule” behaviour was damaging the team. This email was leaked to the media and resulted in huge backlash from Ganguly’s fans. Ganguly had enlisted the support from the Indian media and eventually the board had to intervene and order a truce between the pair. Consequently, due to his poor form and differences with the coach, Ganguly was dropped as the captain of the team, with Dravid taking his place.

Following India’s poor batting display in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy and the ODI series in South Africa, in which they were whitewashed 4-0, Ganguly made his comeback to the Test team. Wasim Jaffer, Zaheer Khan and Anil Kumble had earlier been selected for the one-day squad, despite their recent poor performances. Many saw this as an indictment of coach Greg Chappell’s youth-first policy. Coming in at 37/4, Ganguly scored 83 in a tour match against the rest of South Africa, modifying his original batting style and taking a middle-stump guard, resulting in India winning the match. During his first Test innings since his comeback, against South Africa in Jo’burg his score of 51 helped India to victory, marking the first Test match win for the team in South Africa. Though India lost the series, Ganguly accumulated the most runs on the scoring chart. After his successful Test comeback he was recalled for the ODI team, as India played host to West Indies and Sri Lanka in back to back ODI tournaments. In his first ODI innings in almost two years, he scored a matchwinning 98. He performed well in both series, averaging almost 70 and won the Man of the Series Award against Sri Lanka.

The Rebirth

On 12 December 2007, Ganguly scored his maiden double century of his career while playing against Pakistan. He scored 239 runs in the first innings of the third and final Test match of the series. He was involved in a 300  run partnership for the fifth wicket with Yuvraj Singh. Ganguly remained prolific in both Test and ODI cricket in the year 2007. He scored 1106 Test runs at an average of 61.44 (with three centuries and four fifties) in 2007 to become the second highest run-scorer in Test matches of that year after Jacques Kallis. He was also the fifth highest run-scorer in 2007 in ODIs, where he scored 1240 runs at an average of 44.28.

In February 2008, Ganguly joined as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) team, owned by Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan. On 18 April 2008, Ganguly led the KKR, in the IPL Twenty20 cricket match. They had a 140 run victory over Bangalore Royal Challengers captained by Rahul Dravid and owned by Vijay Mallya. Ganguly opened the innings with Brendan McCullum and scored 10 runs while McCullum remained unbeaten, scoring 158 runs in 73 balls. On 1 May, in a game between the Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals, Ganguly made his second T20 half century, scoring 51 runs off of 39 balls at a strike rate of 130.76. In his innings, Ganguly hit four 4s and two sixes, topping the scorers list for the Knight Riders.

In October 2008, Ganguly announced that the Test series against Australia starting in October 2008 would be his last and stated “To be honest, I didn’t expect to be picked for this series. Before coming here, [at the conference] I spoke to my team-mates and hopefully I will go out with a winning knock.” Ganguly played in every game of the four-Test series and amassed 324 runs at an average of 54.00. While playing the second Test match of the series in Mohali, Ganguly scored his final test century. In the Fourth and final Test, with India needing one wicket to secure a victory, the Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, invited Ganguly to lead the side in the field for the final time. India regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, winning the series 2–0.

In May 2009, Ganguly was removed from the captaincy of the KKR for IPL 2009, and was replaced by McCullum. The decision was questioned by media and other players of the team, when KKR finished at the bottom of the ranking table with three wins and ten losses. He played for the Ranji cup in the Bengal team in October 2009. Ganguly scored 110 in the match against Delhi team, and was involved in a partnership of 222 runs with Wriddhiman Saha. In the third season of Indian Premier League, Ganguly was once again given the captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders, after the team ended at the bottom in season 2. The coach John Buchanan was also replaced by new coach Dav Whatmore.

 

Legacy

Statistics about Ganguly show that he was the seventh Indian cricketer to have played 100 Test matches, the 4th highest overall run scorer for India in Tests, and the fourth Indian to have played in more than 300 ODIs. In terms of overall runs scored in ODIs, Ganguly is the second among Indians after Sachin Tendulkar (who has the most ODI runs) and the fifth overall. He has scored 16 centuries in Test matches and 22 in ODIs. He is also one of only eight batsmen to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs. Along with Tendulkar, Ganguly has formed the most successful opening pair in One Day Cricket, having amassed the highest number of century partnerships (26) for the first wicket. Together, they have scored more than 7000 runs at an average of 48.98, and hold the world record for creating most number of 50-run partnership in the first wicket (44 fifties). Ganguly became the fourth player to cross 11,000 ODI runs, and was the fastest player to do so in ODI cricket, after Tendulkar. As of 2006, he is the only Indian captain to win a Test series in Pakistan (although two of the three Tests of that series was led by Rahul Dravid). He is also one of the three players in the world to achieve amazing treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches in ODI cricket history, the others being Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya.


Mahisasura Mardini

The 19th Common Wealth Games gave me a vacation of almost 18 Days in the wee days of October. Dad had made up his mind already about visiting Kolkata in these few days. It had been almost 15 years since Dad had been to Kolkata during Durga Pujo.  That and the fluctuating health of Dadu almost made it impossible for me to say no to him. I had friends here in Delhi, I had people to hang out with and I had the love of my life. Kolkata on the other hand would have been boring. No friends, lots of crowded places and unreasonably long traffic jams. But the decision was already made.

I found myself on a plane to Kolkata on the 6th of October. You all might think I’m bluffing, but i swear i saw the festive fervour from the air. I landed at the Netaji Subhash Airport after being made to fly around the Airport for 45 minutes. The congestion was horrible. The scene outside the Airport wasn’t pleasant either. The area around the airport almost looked like a fair. It took me almost 3 hours to reach home, a journey usually completed in less than 45 minutes.

People had already taken to the streets with no regards for traffic or rather anything at all. The ambience was almost enough to set anybody’s pulses racing but we were Bengalis and it was our festival. I reached home to find my Dadu on Oxygen, the sight was enough to bring tears to my eyes. It took me back to the times when I used to live in Kolkata, around 1998. How I used to go around seeing the different pandals with him. I came out from the trance and saw him touch my head and mouth the words ‘God Bless You’.

I had already decided to take this opportunity to write a blogpost but on the flight i decided to turn it into a full scale photo essay. The rest of the trip was quite monotonous even though very hectic.  Hopping from one pandal to another, eating one delicacy after the other and walking for miles and miles.


Reporting from the Battlefront

Kolkata is the city where I was born, the cultural capital of India. Now as I revisit the place for the umpteenth time I’m compelled to say that much has changed. Friendly smiles have been exchanged for political banners and the goodwill that the city was so famous for has been exchanged for political agitation. I see murderers and petty thieves become the favourites just by lessening their misdoings. I see more ward numbers in the city than actual problems. I see people thrash and kill each other just to win by a marginal number of votes. I see people who’ve let hate become their modus operandi. I see fear in my own eyes, fear of venturing out of my house to take a few pictures and getting mobbed in the process. I see people being asked to join political rallies with the lure of food and music. Merry festivities are what they call them.

A political party consisting of almost a barbaric horde comes to power just by the support of the lower strata of society. I see auto drivers and maid servants worship the greater evil over the lesser evil. I see a political powerhouse like the CPI(M) come crashing down. Its fault being corruption but then I’m forced to asked myself will the newly elected party be any less corrupt? The intelligentsia of the city believed in communism, but corruption had no part to play in a communist agenda. The intelligentsia gave up their votes. The CPI(M) lost a major 15% of the total share of votes. And yet all I can do is see. I can only write about it in prose and then ponder upon it. I have no say in this world. Not yet. But one day maybe. I wait for that day anxiously.