Archive for December 14th, 2008

UFO, Mr. President?
Bush: Iraq war is not over, more work ahead
BAGHDAD – On an Iraq trip shrouded in secrecy and marred by dissent, President George W. Bush on Sunday hailed progress in the war that defines his presidency and got a size-10 reminder of his unpopularity when a man hurled two shoes at him during a news conference.

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog!” shouted the protester in Arabic, later identified as Muntadar al-Zeidi, a correspondent for Al-Baghdadia television, an Iraqi-owned station based in Cairo, Egypt.

Bush ducked both shoes as they whizzed past his head and landed with a thud against the wall behind him.

“It was a size 10,” Bush joked later.( Jennifer Loven, Ap White House Correspondent –)
Is it a bird, a plane, or superman or a flying saucer?
No! It is a size 10 shoe.


Read Full Post »

The cave dwelling bats of Borneo at the twilight leaves for the outside world in search of its food; It is a dangerous trip since leaving its relative security of the caves to the forests makes them an open target to the aerial predators that are about. Daily a trickle of bats would leave the caves which create a wave involving some three million and odd bats following the first batch; This batslide develops itself into a cloud within which bats flit about, blind yet without colliding into one another. At any given moment what position a bat will occupy is uncertain; yet the only certainty is this: till the critical mass of that cloud is reached any bat will have infinite options to choose from, which for its sheer number of possibilities cannot be predicted. “In any given set of circumstances on account of infinite options that allow a life- form to choose in context of others a path for its development (and is impossible to predict,) the only certainty that controls its exchange will be the consideration that other life- forms can benefit from”.
Thus a beggar might wish for horses and would ride as though he was born on the saddle. By the same token one who is born with a golden spoon in his mouth would choke on a cent.
Certainty we may leave to God and in our uncertain mode we call a man’s rise or fall success or failure according to what may fit us.  Mr. Madoff was once held up as a man of importance. Today he is fighting to prove he is not a fraud. While man is hasty in judgment God works with a different timescale. Who can foretell these things?

Read Full Post »

The Doll-Maker And The Child ©


Benny Thomas



Once upon a time there lived a woodcutter on the island of Cyprus. He was called Agostino. He was lean and handsome in a manner of speaking. His hands were as knotted as the handle of his axe he wielded; rude health gave his movements quickness and his weatherbeaten face its character. Come rain or sunshine he spent his days out in the open.
He lived in a village at the edge of a forest. No one there in those days had seen him without his trusty axe.
He had a steady job since the sultan who sat in a palace far across the ocean wished the finest timber for furnishing his many halls. All year round he had work; and all the trees he felled were by order. He did not care to know how these were transported so far or what the sultan thought of their quality. It pleased him that he worked to satisfaction and got his money on the dot. Everything else was besides the point.
Having found a comfortable livelihood so early in life the young man would have wished to marry and raise a family. There were some talks. But somehow nothing came out of it. He didn’t take time out to look for a woman since his work took his all. ‘Marriage and raising a family can wait!’he said.
Days sped by; and then months and he could have counted in years he supplied the Sultan the choicest timber that ever grew on that part of the island. Soon  the wagon-loads of logs he sent out to the Receiver Of Royal Timber became past reckoning. He took his routine in his stride and went at it daily.
Agostino would have loved to be part of his community but work was a hard taskmaster. He was a stray orphan who had come into a village and stayed on by some force of habit. Lefkareon was not a village where one sought because of anything special: it had none. The only advantage as far as he could see was the Katria woods that supplied him with work.
There among those mountain-people Agostino lived quietly without falling foul or endearing himself to any one in particular. He lived honestly for their liking and they let matters at that.
Agostino was more at home among the silence of the dark woods and the noise of falling trees. In their midst his life also took on some aspect of strangeness. More like a magician who with his axe cast a spell,- and the steady blows with the axe were some incantations, to free those old giants spellbound into centuries old stillness.
One day he went as usual to the spot where he had marked on the day before, the trees marked to be cut. He led his mule through the welltrodden path where a fork on the left took him to the spot. His men were waiting his arrival. To his surprise he also saw the messenger from the office of the Reciever. He handed him the  message he had brought.
It simply said. ”Stop the work forthwith. Collect your severance pay and await further instructions.” Having done his duty he left as quietly as he came.
It left for Agostino to break the news to his two assistants that they were no longer needed. They took it ill because they had their families to think of. ”How shall I feed five hungry mouths? And clothe them?”one cried while the other said his sick woman would not survive the blow. They were sore at him since he was single and not affected as they were. But Agostino had no way of softening the blow. It was all too sudden.
Why he was relieved of his tasks he couldn’t say. Why must he be stopped from what he was good at? He was confused.  He was perplexed as well as bitter at the penury, which he considered unfair to a man like him.
He did not know the reason: it was not Suleiman the Magnificent who sat on the throne but another. The changing of old guards was observed at Topkapi palace. The new sultan had replaced all with his own cronies. The new upstarts set about changing everything that stood for something: what was old in the Ottoman Empire was to be swept away. Such a change hit him in some curious way.
He was also old as everything that the new sultan got rid off.
(To be cont’d)

Read Full Post »