This day happens to be a special day for me. So many years ago I sent on this day a letter to my pen pal with whom I was corresponding in my school days. In the first instance my pen pal from Netherlands wrote about her country and her friends, farm-life. I wrote about books, films and usual things about my country college life. Soon it progressed from there to speak about personal things- what I want in life; and we soon were talking such things about love and soul. It came to a state I was all eager on the day her letter was due. My days in school or at home for holidays were emotionally built around the day. Postman was our patron saint. During my final year I was thus looking forward to the day I could tear open her letter read or look at the enclosed snapshots- read it all over and over again. My love-sickness must have been so loud and clear that alarmed my mother. Anyway she got the crucial letter in which we had written our plans. Next morning during family prayer my father clearly vetoed my idea of going abroad or meeting my ‘girlfriend.’ In his eyes I was harboring foolish notions!
The upshot of it was that we went separate ways and I made a disastrous marriage with the blessings of my parents. It reached a point I knew it was beyond salvage and I wrote to my pen pal on the address I knew from memory. Some 23 years ago I sent this letter to the winds so to speak. After that I forgot about it. She did send me reply by return post. Her reply was however confiscated by my ex. It looked as though history was repeating itself!
Luckily my pen pal wrote second time, her address and phone and four months later when I came home for lunch I found it on my table. ( Who did it my servants or my daughter or some assistant in the beauty salon ex was running from home. I never tried to find it out.) The same day I sent a letter to my wife who was free for so many years. We could chat for long in long-distance. I got a chance to go to the USA so I made it a point to meet her on my return trip. From the day one it was as though we were meant for each other.
I could turn my life around and make a soul happy and also find happiness.
On thinking back I realized one can never hold back love or happiness. Both were in our hands. My pen pal, wife and companion had matured as I was from experience. Making love in our case was physical as well as each day making love work in so many things. My old age is a dream come true and my childhood not a nightmare-but- somewhat-near-abouts.
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Assassination and Aftermath-Walter Rathenau
On June 24, 1922, two months after the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo, 1922, Walter Rathenau was assassinated in a plot led by two ultra-nationalist army officers, Erwin Kern and Hermann Fischer. Also involved were Ernst Verner Techow, Hans G. Techow and Wille Guenther (aided and abetted by seven others, some of them schoolboys) linked to Organisation Consul. On that morning, he was driving from his house to Wilhelmstraße, as he did daily (and predictably). During the trip his car was passed by another in which three armed men were sitting. They simultaneously shot at the minister with machine guns, and threw a hand grenade into the car before quickly driving away. A memorial stone in the Koenigsallee in Berlin-Grunewald marks the scene of the crime. Rathenau was fervently mourned in Germany, with flags officially at half mast, although this was not compulsory. After the Nazis came to power in 1933, they declared Rathenau’s assassins to be national heroes and designated June 24 as a holiday of celebration.
One of the participant assassins was the future writer Ernst von Salomon, who had provided the car but was not present at the shooting. The main assassins, Kern and Fischer, committed suicide when surrounded by the police in the turret of Saaleck castle, near Koesen. The final main assassin, Ernst Werner Techow, who drove the car, was captured and sentenced to 15 years in prison. At his trial he claimed that he had acted under duress, as Kern threatened to kill him when he tried to withdraw from the murder plot. Upon his release from prison for good behavior in 1927, he volunteered for the French Foreign Legion. During the Second World War he helped save hundreds of Jews in Marseilles, apparently as an attempt at penance for his crime.
Telushkin, Joseph (1994). Jewish Wisdom. New York: William Morrow and Company. ISBN 0688129587. “After Techow’s arrest, Mithilde Rathenau, the victim’s mother, wrote to Techow’s mother: In grief unspeakable, I give you my hand… Say to your son that…I forgive [him], even as God may forgive [him], if before an earthly judge your son makes a full and frank confession…and before a heavenly judge repents… May these words give peace to your soul… . Techow later told Rathenau’s nephew that his transformation had been triggered by Mathilde Rathenau’s letter: Just as Frau Rathenau conquered herself when she wrote that letter of pardon, I have tried to master myself.”
Here we see mother’s response different from men. Nazis eulogized the killing of a man who could have saved Germany from the brink of economic collapse. For them all that mattered was to bury the Weimar Republic. Why was it hated? The government ruled on democratic lines and had no magic bullet as the Marxists and Nazis deluded themselves. Lawless men made matters murky so they could fish in troubled waters. Whereas mother of the murdered Walter Rathnau reached out to the mother of the assassin and in doing so she redeemed ‘the unwilling assassin’ and made him a useful member of the society. Women connect while man think nothing but glory and power.
This brings me to the concluding part of the three part series I have been posting lately on India.
Assassination of Rathenau sent Germany to the abyss and Germany survived because the nation found there are better ways of achieving miracle than some outdated ideology based in Teutonic myths and legends. Aryan racial superiority was a myth; and so was war. Does this hold a lesson for India?
I wonder what India would have been had not some Ultra-nationalist assassinated Gandhi in the critical juncture of a new nation finding feet?
In India ultra-nationalists may have taken a leaf out of National Socialists in the way they drill, parade and street rowdism. Instead of Swastika they wear a tilak as though it is a proof of our Indian identity! Instead of Aryan supremacy they have merely replaced it with ‘Hindu Nation’.
Indians see through phony nationalism whether it was by courtesy of KB Hedgwar or Anna Hazare. Heart of these ‘nationalists’ one would find ‘caste India’ and not secular India. ( ack:wikipedia)
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