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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1378477-MY-INTERVIEW-conducted-by-Mavis-Moog
Rated: E · Interview · Opinion · #1378477
Mavis Moog, WDC moderator, in England, interviewed me via e mail in May 2005.
MY INTERVIEW: as conducted by Mavis Moog

[Mavis Moog, WDC moderator, in England, interviewed me via e mail in May 2005.]


NOTE: Mavis Moog Mavis Moog has a folder in her port titled “Interviews with writing.com authors”, "Invalid Item, where she has a collection of interviews she carried out through e-mailing with other authors. She writes: “When I am deeply impressed by another Writing.com member's writing and character, I invite him or her to be interviewed. This is a quick way to get to know some of the crème de la crème”. When she invited me for an interview with that description, how could I have said, no? As a matter of fact, I was thrilled to the extent of writing a poem for her :)
"IT HAPPENED!

She interviewed me in May 2005. The interview was published in her folder as item no. 967654. Apparently, it has now been deleted from her port by her. In the circumstances, I am giving below the interview, without any change, except slight formatting for easy reading.


[INTRODUCTION]

M. C. Gupta or Khalish is a medical lawyer, living in New Delhi, India. He has taught me how to write ghazals has strong views on women's rights and is a polymath to be reckoned with.

I want to know more about his life, passions, writing, opinions and enthusiasms because he is not your run-of-the-mill author. I hope you will agree that Khalish has much to say that will fascinate and inform.

QUESTION—

Why did you choose Khalish as your handle on writing.com?

ANSWER—

I did not choose Khalish as my handle here on Writing.com. As a matter of fact, I am not at ease with the concept of handle as used here. If handle refers to how I would like to handle myself here, the answer is simple—by my own name. Khalish is my own name, rather my chosen literary name or pen name or nom de plume that existed before I joined this site. I used to write ghazals in Hindi and used to post them occasionally on an e-mail list [nukkad list, can be viewed at mumbai-central.com] where Dr Taher writes again! Dr. Taher is also a list member. He suggested that in the tradition of ghazal writers, I should have a pen name, referred to as Takhallus in Urdu. I accepted his suggestion and adopted Khalish as my pen name. Incidentally, it is Dr. Taher who introduced me to writing.com.

I often add the following explanatory note to my ghazals:

“The word Khalish included in the last couplet is the pen name of the poet. Such inclusion is a common practice in classical ghazal writing. Khalish is an Urdu word meaning ache or pain”.

**************************************

QUESTION—

Where and when were you born, and what was your childhood like?

ANSWER—

Born in Delhi, India, 23 January1942. Childhood was more or less uneventful. Brief details:

* Ordinary middle class family, rising from lower middle class to high middle class over 60 years through hard work. Father, now no more [expired at 91, nine years ago], was a teacher of English in a school. From him I inherited a love for English which explains why my English is pretty good grammatically and otherwise and why I don’t have difficulty expressing myself in prose or poetry. As a matter of fact, my ambition in school days was to become a professor of English.

• Mother was not highly educated—just a few years in primary school. She expired in my absence in 1978 when I was in Guatemala, Central America, on a UN University fellowship. I have written a poem about her: "AN ODE TO MY MOTHER--award winner".

• I spent my childhood and the rest of my life in Delhi, except brief periods when I was in Army or abroad or a visiting professor at other places in India.

• The childhood was peaceful in the sense that broken homes were almost unknown in those days and are uncommon in India even now, because continued marriage here is the norm, divorce an exception, though the exception is becoming less so now-a-days.

*****************

QUESTION—

When and why did you decide to become a doctor?

ANSWER—

I never decided to become a doctor. My mother decided that when I was in school. The reason: her younger sister was a doctor and she wanted one of us four brothers to be a doctor. The three others could not make it [I am the third], so, being an obedient son, I complied:)

Those were the days when children did not assert themselves and obediently followed the orders or wishes of the parents. I joined medical school in 1959. My life, from the point of view of career choices, has been chronicled in the poem MY HATS in "MY POETRY BOOK".

As I said, my earliest aim as to become a professor of English. Other choices were Professor of philosophy or professor of psychology. After becoming a doctor, I wanted to specialize in psychiatry. Three months short of formally joining the postgraduate course in Psychiatry, India-Pakistan war broke out and the patriotism in me called unto me to join the army, where I served for 3 years. After I came back, I thought of specializing in public health but everybody discouraged me because the in- thing for bright doctors was to go in for internal medicine. So I became an internist, worked in gastro-enterology and nutrition at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, served on its faculty for 20 years, then later worked for 10 years at the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, where I was Professor and Dean.

**************

QUESTION—

Later you changed career and became a lawyer, specialising, unsurprisingly in medical law. What brought about this change?



ANSWER—

I did not exactly change my career. During the last 10 years of my service as Professor, I was heading the Department of Education and Training. My duties involved deep involvement in health and minimal in medicare. After retirement from service, I debated in my mind for 6 months whether to set up my individual private practice as a lawyer or as a doctor. The answer came straight to me: As a doctor, I would be one of many, with no USP; as a lawyer, I would be unique, with a clearly cut out specialty, legal medicine or medical negligence or medico-legal cases in general. So, though I am a lawyer, I have not changed over from my specialty of health. Major international and national organizations keep on requesting me to offer them services as a health consultant from time to time and I accept these consultancy assignments with pleasure.

My interest in law dates back to decades. When I was in Army, at 24, I used to spend hours reading the voluminous Army Rules, Regulations and Orders, while my colleagues were having a whale of a time. In 1985, I had enrolled for the LL.B. [Bachelor of Laws] course and completed successfully half of it, but had to proceed on a visiting professorship outside Delhi, so could not complete it. I resumed it afresh in 1997. The main reasons why I wanted to study law were three: ONE, to provide help to my brother physicians when they are slapped with medical negligence cases; TWO, to help the lay patients when they are victims of medical negligence; THREE, to explore the possibility of using law as a health intervention tool. I have yet to achieve the third objective, which is very crucial, but demands lot of time, energy and selfless [non-remunerative] work.

*********************

QUESTION—

What would you say is your greatest achievement in terms of your work?

ANSWER—

1. I undertook and published in Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition some path-breaking research related to effect of ascariasis and giardiasis upon nutritional status, in addition to other research areas.

2. I wrote a Textbook of Preventive and Social Medicine which is currently in its third edition and has been very well received.

3. I wrote and published a reference book, the first of its kind, titled: HEALTH AND LAW.

4. I am probably the only practicing lawyer in India having postgraduate degrees in both internal medicine and law.

5. I must be one of the very few persons who can write poetry in both English and Hindi with equal ease.

6. I may not have much company among bilingual poets [those who write the same poem in two different languages—in my case, English and Hindi].

7. I have been able to prove myself wrong. I thought earlier that it is not possible to write ghazal in English within the rigid parameters of classical ghazal style. I have now already written about 50.

***************


QUESTION—

I adore the ghazal format and i must thank you for introducing it to me. I learnt about this interesting form of poetry from your description given in "what is a ghazal and how to write it?". Your folder, "my ghazals" is a stimulating read. What is it that you particularly like about ghazals, either reading them or writing them?

ANSWER--

1. Ghazal is traditional poetry and I like everything traditional:)

2. Ghazal form of poetry poses literary challenge for the writer. It necessitates good vocabulary and its opportune use because the requirement of monorhyme cannot be met without such capability. Meeting such challenge is source of fun [as in filling up a cross-word puzzle] as well as of a sense of achievement.

3. Ghazal poetry has an inbuilt sense of musical rhythm. As a matter of fact, much of highly acclaimed vocal music in the orient is built around ghazals.

4. Writing ghazals in English gives me a sense of traversing an untrodden or less trodden path. That has its own appeal.

****************

QUESTION—

Are you married and do you have children?

ANSWER—

I was married to Dr. Manju, a physician, in 1971. She expired in 1996. I have written a poem about her: "MY WIFE-MY TEACHER--award winner", "Invalid Item,

I have two children, both sons, unmarried. The elder is a computer software engineer in US, has been there for 8 years, worked as an engineer in India for 3 years after getting his B Tech [Bachelor of Technology] in India. The younger got his medical degree 5 years ago, currently trying to get admission to post-graduate course in medicine [it is pretty difficult], living with me.

**************************

QUESTION—

Your folder, " Women's issues in general--poems" , " WOMEN'S ISSUES IN GENERAL--poems, is full of poems about women. The poem that intrigues me most in this collection is "An ode to woman", "AN ODE TO WOMAN. Here you blame religious dogma for the oppression of women. What was the response to this poem?

ANSWER—

I have read the poem again and, personally, I do not find any intrigue in it. I do not know what intrigues you.

One of the side effects of my several poems espousing the cause of women has been that I have had to undergo sex change about 5-6 times. Even though my bio-block opens with the statement that I am a male, I guess not many care to read it and assume that I am a woman feminist. Some of them feel pretty embarrassed when they get my reply correcting their notion!


The response to the poem can be summarized as follows:

a. There are total 13 viewers with average rating 3.5, total score being 45 divided by 13.

b. There are 7 reviews with total score 29, average being 4.

c. The 6 anonymous / spineless/ sneaking / courage-less / non-confident / biased viewers account for the balance score of 16, average being 2.5.

d. INTERPRETATION—Those who can articulate and stick their neck out rated 60% higher than the masked ones. And, all of us know who wear a mask and a cloak!


e. The seven reviews, without identities, are given below:


#1.-- Review's Rating: 3.5, date not known. The person is probably no longer a member of wdc now.

As a woman I sincerely appreciate your concern.In addition, I feel that perhaps you could have been
a little more careful in the way you expressed
your feminism. My feeling is that everybody who
needs to get your meessage may not do so. More people
will be inclined to listen if you tone down the blame.
I would let up on religion a bit but I wouldn't let
the church off the hook. you don't have to change
the bible to find fault in the interpertation.
Keep exploring your feminism and try to be little
more considerate because we do have feminists who
are Christian. Believe it or not I've got your back.



#2.
Review's Rating: 5.0, date not known. The person is probably no longer a member of wdc now.

I am a Christian. yes we believe that women were made from the rib of man, but no one questions the fact that we're equal...except some stupid boy i know who gets a small blow on the head every time he opens his mouth to say sumting stupid like that...but anyway...how on earth did i get the notion ur a woman? i was so emabarrased when u replied to my review! i'm sorry hehe


#3.
Review's Rating: 4.0, August 27, 2004
I agree that many religions don't treat women properly but I must note one key element of the creation that was mentioned. That Woman was created from the rib. The placment of the rib is over the heart. In fact, it is one of the closes bones to the heart, and so woman was to be cherished by man, not ruled over with tyranny, which taking woman from a part of the foot would be, or to be ruled by them, which would have been indicated by taking woman from a part of the head. So, in stating that woman was created from adam's rib, she was an equal and a help meet, not a servant or ruler. Thank you for reminding me of what I already knew but had forgotten in a moment of stupidity.


#4.
Review's Rating: 4.5, October 14, 2003

I like it. Well done!


#5.
Review's Rating: 3.0, October 13, 2003

I see your reviews so often on the page..I thought I'd read you. Here's a line by line run down, to start:(changes are capitalized)

4th are you Really sinister
5th though I respect THE word of God
6th This I truly don't believe (just rearranged)
7-8 great lines
12 As was his primitive tribe
21 just as A faulty foundation
23 so was status of woman

The first stanza was pretty good, but it was the only one that didn't rhyme, so it didn't fit right. Generally speaking, this is a good piece of work. If the words were rearranged and a few of them replaced, it would be a Great piece of work. It has all the important parts already, just needs retooling. It doesn't flow. As far as the subject matter...groovy. Nice to see a man ponder the place of woman in a positive way. I appreciate it. I would love to see this again after an edit, and would be glad to help with the rhythym. I see a lot of promise, and it is driving me to read more of your work. These are just my personal feelings, though, it's yours, and no one else may feel that way, so do what makes you happy. I enjoyed it, regardless.


#6.
Review's Rating: 4.5, Sept. 21, 2003

Great! Good luck with the contest.


#7.
Review's Rating: 4.5, Sept. 10, 2003

Great dedication to women, and thoughts on religion's impact on our status.

This was a bit humorous and sarcastic, which I like:

Having said that, I must say
He must be thanked by women
He could have written woman
Was made from toe-nail of man

Anyway, nicely worded poem and unique thoughts on the subject. Keep writing!

[Note, added on 16 January 2008:
There are 16 ratings as of now, with an average rating of 4.
Four more reviews have been received, given below:

11-10-06 Reviewer's Rating: (5.0)
Thank you, M C Gupta for writing once again with crystal-clear simplicity. Your poem is another example of beauty that carries an essential message and I always feel privileged to discover your work.

The content of this poem is very close to the kind of questions and thoughts that I began to have at the age of thirteen. I was brought up by a very modern Muslim family in Italy, where I attended a Roman Catholic school. No wonder I had such thoughts. I then came to a conclusion similar to yours over the years.

It is a great idea to have included a reaction and your comments; the scientific approach is an insightful complement to your poetry. Both are excellent tools against bigotry.

Best regards.



#2.
11-10- Reviewer's Rating: (5.0)

My dear Khalish,
What a beautiful day it is here in this little Mt.
town in California where I live. The sun is beaming,
and at 8:45am the moon can still be seen kissing the
beautiful clear blue sky. And you have just made this day even more beautiful for me then you can ever imagine! Why I choose to pick you out from 'WHO'S ONLINE' only
God' knows. Then to be guided right to this piece was certainly no accident. Because my friend; I had this very dream last night, it awoke me, and I lived something so fantastic in this dream I cannot even begin to explain. I have no idea where it took place, but I do remember the words I heard spoken to me in a very clear voice. "It was from Eve that begat Adam." I have joked over the years about this being a possibility, but I'm certainly going to research this dream a lot more. Thank you sharing and I plan to look for more answers from you port so I have put you in my favorites.
Sincerely


#3
09-09-05
Reviewer's Rating: (4.0)

Your intro to this poem led me to read it, and now I have to say something, as it would be rude not to comment.

Your poem, as much as I know of poems, is well written. It had all the necessary elements of poetry and you did a fine job with that!
God, however, is not a "she" but a He, and didn't create woman to be of lower status, but different than men. We are created to be the help-mates to men, there's no shame in that, it's what God wants us to do.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (KJV)
Gen 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him. (KJV)
Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. (KJV)
Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. (KJV)
Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. (KJV)

I don't see myself as less than a man, I'm different than a man.

Thanks, and keep writing!


#4.
08-29-05

Reviewer's Rating: (4.5)

I do like your vision.

It is in digging back to our prepatriarchal history that God as a woman appears - Goddesses in every cultural tradition. A few years ago, I stumbled upon a beautiful coffee table book which chronicles with word and picture, the history of the Goddesses within various cultural/religious traditions.
************************


QUESTION—

I was very impressed by your poem, "thanks mom--award winner", "THANKS MOM--award winner, which is about abortion. It is a very striking poem because it is from the point of view of the aborted foetus, who tells her mom that she understands why she was aborted. Can you tell me more about this sex-selection practice, and its effects?

ANSWER—

A. THE PRACTICE—It has got three facets. ONE, sex-selective conception, which is possible through modern scientific techniques whereby Y- chromosome bearing sperms can be concentrated from semen and then used for fertilization. TWO, sex of the foetus is determined in utero by ultrasonography or amniocentesis [the former is very simple and common] and the female foetus is aborted. THREE, female baby is smothered on birth.


ITS EFFECTS—Gender imbalance in society. Currently India has about 930 females per thousand males. This is called gender ratio. In some specific areas, it is as low as 850. Women being in short supply, crimes against women increase. Young men find it difficult to find wives, so young girls are abducted or enticed and sold or purchased. It engenders a sense of insecurity among women. On the other hand, population growth rate declines to some extent because fewer women mean less producers of children.

*************
QUESTION--

I agree that those who rate and do not leave a reason for their rating are sneaky and often malicious, but reading the reviews that you received, it sounds like your poem was well received. When I said it intrigued me, I meant that I would have expected you to get angry reviews from adherents to the religions that you implicitly criticise in the poem. It seems that this did not happen. I am pleased that most reviewers were reasonable and suspect that many of the sneaky low scores were from religious bigots.

There is a lot of anger on the site about malicious rating (never with explanation). Do you think the site should remove the facility for members to rate anonymously and to rate only?

ANSWER--

I do not think the facility for rating on the site is of two types—anonymous and obvious. I think all rating is anonymous. It is only the reviews that may be obvious or anonymous. That is my understanding, but I may be wrong. This site is pretty complex and I probably am not familiar with more than a fourth of the features on this site despite having spent two years here. I think ‘to rate anonymously and to rate only’ are one and the same. In any case, I do not think this facility should be removed. There may be members who do not feel confident or capable of writing a review, but their opinion regarding the readability of the item obviously matters. If a producer makes a movie, he would readily give millions to know if people would like it or not, without knowing reasons for the same.

What needs to be given up is the system of anonymous reviewing. I have had malicious reviews, anonymously, rating as 1 those items that have been openly rated as 5 by other reviewers.

******************

QUESTION—

You are quite right, Khalish. I did not intend to ask about rating anonymously. Please would you answer this question again, now that i have corrected it? I am sorry to waste your time on this; i will just edit your previous answer if you want me to.

(CORRECTED QUESTION)-- There is a lot of anger on the site about malicious rating (never with explanation). Do you think the site should remove the facility for members to review anonymously or to rate only?

ANSWER—

Yes, please go ahead and re-edit it.

*****************

QUESTION—

I have read your poem, "MY WIFE-MY TEACHER--award winner", "Invalid Item, and was greatly moved by it. I am sorry for your loss but congratulate you on raising two such worthy sons. I hope your younger son achieves his goal soon.

Sex selection seems to me, to be a ridiculous use of medical science. I understand that smothering baby girls is even more horrific but at least it is illegal - one hopes. In your opinion, what must happen before attitudes to baby girls are changed?

Apparently there are more boys born during wars, and factors such as nutrition and climate also effect boy to girl ratios. What do you think of recent evidence that suggests that environmental conditions can predetermine the sex of one's children?

ANSWER--

1. One can question whether sex selection is a ridiculous use of medical science. In its absence, girls would be killed after they are born, which is much worse. In that perspective, it might be labeled even desirable by some. I am not advocating it, but that is certainly a view point.


2. All the three—pre-conceptional sex selection, pre-natal sex specific abortion and post-natal killing—are illegal in India. The first is not illegal in many Western countries.


3. To answer the question “what must happen before attitudes to baby girls are changed?”, I submit the following:

a. The attitudes are not against babies or against girls basically. Nothing happens in the world without a cause. The apparent attitudes are because baby girls are seen as a liability by the individual families. Reasons for perception as liability are—ONE, dowry system, whereby parents have to shell out hefty dowry for marrying off a girl [“Remedy”—let girls marry on their own, rather than have arranged marriages. But, this is not welcome a in oriental culture]; TWO, joint family system, whereby girls, and expenses incurred on raising them, are perceived as loss to the family, but boys and expenses on them are perceived as asset since they remain within the family [“Remedy”—Give up the joint family system. But so many virtues are now being discovered in this system by Western sociologists, including guidance to the young and support to the aged!]; THREE, Perceived lesser economic worth of women, whereby raising up a girl is perceived as economically unproductive, while a man is seen as an earner [Remedy—empower women and raise their social status. The surest means to do so is women’s education].


b. Actions of individuals, seemingly independent, are often determined, sometimes unknown to them, by other forces in nature. Sex ratio in the offspring of fish, weevil etc. is known to alter depending upon temperature and pollution level of water as also the weevil density in the flour. Lemmings and beavers are known to resort to mass suicide when their population becomes too much. Male langurs [the master of the harem] are known to induce abortion by introducing a stick in the vagina. Human practice of preventing birth of girls or killing them might be nature’s way of containing human population. Population explosion is a bigger problem today than nuclear explosion. Even pollution problem is basically a result of over-population.

c. What must happen before attitudes to baby girls are changed is this—there must be universal literacy among world women.

4. As regards the question: “What do you think of recent evidence that suggests that environmental conditions can predetermine the sex of one's children?”, I have already answered in a general way. I would reinforce that environmental conditions might include over-population also. But, we are talking of different things here. I am talking of sex ratio as it obtains after the interplay of pre-conceptional and prenatal and postnatal forces. You are talking of conceptional factors whereby environment determines the sex of the zygote. That concept has not been well known in relation to humans. I am not aware of it. I shall be happy to have details. In any case, I doubt it is significant. As a matter of fact, sex ratio at time of conception is positively skewed in favour of girls to the tune of about 1006:1000. Study of spontaneous abortions has shown that more male than female fetuses are aborted.

****************
QUESTION—

Your poem "science, medical, law, humor, children" is a cry for reason when it comes to man's exploitation of the planet. Here you say that god has told man to use the resources as he wishes, but man has misinterpreted that license. Are there other ways that god's words have been misinterpreted, and do you think it is time to reassess the value of religion in a modern world?

ANSWER--

I do not believe there is a God’s word. When God made man, Armenian or Hebrew or English had not been invented. As a matter of fact, no written language had been invented at that time. So, God could not have left an unalienable, indelible, unquestionable, permanent god’s word. God is a supreme being, maybe supreme energy. Man may think he is supreme among the creatures, but God may think otherwise. In health and medical field, the yardstick of best health status is one associated with highest longevity [WHO approved parameter]. On the same analogy, the most successful creation of the creator might be viewed to be that which has maximum longevity on earth. As per that yardstick, the cockroach wins hands down because it is probably the oldest living creature on earth. Being so important, did god leave a word for cockroaches, too? And, then, why not for the lion and the tiger, the jungle kings, as also the wise owl and the poets’ darlings, the cuckoo and the lark, and, so on?

No, God did not leave a word for man. There s no god’s word. If there is God, and if he wanted to leave a word for man, he would leave it in his heart [or, in his genes], not in a Quoran or Bible or an old or new testament. God is man’s creation. So is God’s word. What is real God’s word is our own conscience. Conscience does not need language. There are thousands of languages and a number of religions, but not thousands of God’s words. Each man can ask himself whether rape and theft are good or bad. The answer will be the same. That answer comes from the conscience and the conscience is the Book of God, not any particular religious book.

So, that answers the first query from you: “Are there other ways that God's words have been misinterpreted?”. I do not believe there is a God’s word. When seeking god’s word, let man ask his own conscience and he will get the answer. That is God’s word.

*****************

QUESTION--

Do you think it is time to reassess the value of religion in a modern world?

ANSWER--


I do not think the value of religion needs to be reassessed. Its value is deep, fundamental and unquestionable. However, I think there is a need to unify various religions, which are at present more akin to dogmas, and arrive at a concept of world religion or human religion. That cannot come about unless vested interests give up their selfish motives. Those interest groups include the religious heads as well as governments. The Church would never give up its hold and power and riches. The governments, ostensibly secular, would never stop paying lip service to the Church as long as it is useful politically. For example, if Pope Benedict XVI takes over, where is the need that State heads should attend the function? All that was needed was a congregation of Church leaders from various countries!

****************
QUESTION--

Your love poem, "LOVE POEMS" is a delightfully romantic verse, which has attracted high ratings. Are you a romantic man, and do you think you will ever choose another partner?

ANSWER—

LOVE POEMS is an intended collection of verses, not of the chosen ones or the best ones, but the ones that are a bit redundant. The best ones remain in the regular port. The ones that have to be deleted to make way for new poems get deleted and placed in this book item! I am glad you find them “delightfully romantic”. It even amuses me because I am not and have been not a romantic man at all. I believe romance is a foolish sport where two fools chase a goal that need not be chased at all since it is always within eminent reach! There is so much to do in life and in the world that romance is a waste of time, an idle man’s pursuit.

As regards high ratings for this book item, I have come to regard these ratings with less seriousness than earlier. Believe me it is a fact that I once created a book item, wrote up the necessary intro etc., and left the book blank, with the idea of making an entry later on. And, it got a 5 star rating for an empty book with merely a paragraph of intro

As regards choosing another partner, I would have chosen during last nine years if I intended to. Once is enough. It is like ‘been there, done it’.

****************

QUESTION—

I have been reading your entries in "FAITH, NATURE & INSPIRATIONAL" and have found your point of view very interesting. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that faith in a God is important to you. In my essay, "Who Invented God?" I argue against the existence of God. Can you explain how you know there is a God, or is it just a matter of faith?

ANSWER--

1. Whether there is a god can be a very amorphous question unless we define the question itself by defining what do we mean by god. I have briefly put across my views in the following:


"TWO BASIC QUESTIONS", "TWO BASIC QUESTIONS

“FOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD : an article”, "FOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT GOD--an article

" WHO AM I?--SIX QUESTIONS", " WHO AM I?--SIX QUESTIONS

2. You must realize that in purely scientific terms, there is a limit to one’s knowledge, in the sense that there are phenomena which undergo change if an attempt is made to observe them. In other words, the observational technique itself changes what is being observed. Hence it is possible that some phenomena may exist, be apparent, yet, defy rigorous proof by the scientific techniques available as yet.

3. It is not for nothing that as per surveys, the majority of scientists in general and the majority of Nobel laureates have stated that they believe there is a god.

4. You state in your referred article: “I am just an organism with these few years to experience, like all other organisms”. In other words, you do not believe in soul, after-life or in forms of existence other than the physical one. What do you have to state about scientifically very well documented instances of rebirth or re-incarnation?

5. The inability to explain an observation cannot be held against the observation itself. Rebirth has been very well documented. If we deny it, we are being unscientific in principle. If we accept it, we are being unscientific as per current scientific practice. The question ultimately becomes: What is more important—Principle or Practice?

6. To summarize, yes, god is important to me. My concept of god is different from the Semitic concept of One God that gave One Book which said that those who do not believe in The Book are condemned to hell. My concept of god is the Hindu concept which, in reality, is based on deep philosophy and logic and in which dogma has no place. I recommend that you get hold of the book ‘The Hindu view of life’ by the great philosopher S. Radhakrishnan, who was also the second President of India. It has been a best seller that tells one about Hinduism as it really is—a way of life, a philosophy, a logic system.

There is nothing wrong with faith, as long as there is some basis for faith. A blind ma, blind from birth, may never have seen the sun. But, he can still conclude through his observations that there is sunrise, mid-day, sunset and night. If he starts believing in the existence of sun, his belief can’t be flawed because he cannot prove its existence since he has not seen the sun.

******************

QUESTION—

I do not know of any scientific proof of re-incarnation. I would be interested to see a repeatable experiment that offers such proof.


ANSWER—

Everything in science cannot be proven by repeatable experiment. There are many other accepted ways: such as observing a phenomenon and concluding logically from a series of observations; observing a phenomenon, even once, with definite proof of its existence, on the basis of which previously held views are altered; Studying nature’s experiments retrospectively [biological evolution; paleontology; geology]; Carrying out feasible experiments and extrapolating from them, etc. etc. Just to illustrate the point, nobody can ever repeat the Big Bang. Or, if God exists, man cannot probably take his photograph and stick it up in the market square. Most believe in the former and many believe in the latter because the two have revealed themselves to or have been observed by men and women of sharp and independent reason and logic.

If you do google search, you would come across much information on the issue of re-incarnation or re-birth. A person with scientific acumen can usually discern from the thousands of site those which are serious from those that are trash.

As regards your query about scientific proof of re-incarnation, the best I can do is to reproduce here what I wrote 4 years ago in Q-A format:

000000

Q 14. WHAT ARE THE VIEWS ABOUT REBIRTH?

The facts are as follows:

1. All religions [thus, by implication, the vast majority of human race], believe in life after death. This includes Islam and Christianity as well. Both believe people go to heaven or hell after death. Thus, obviously, the Being exists after death, i.e., physical death in this world.

2. A vast number of scientists, of the calibre of Nobel laureates, believe in god and soul. The proportion was around 40% or 60%, I forget which one, in a survey recently conducted. I will let you know when I lay hands on it.

3. There are innumerable, incontrovertible, scientifically documented evidences of rebirth. There is then no question of believing in rebirth or not. A fact is there for all to see. Some may close their eyes and say the fact does not exist. That would be ostrich like. Others may simply ignore or dismiss the fact, saying it is a mere aberration, a freak, not worthy of study by a good, reputable scientist. That is unscientific. Such people are bigger enemies of science than the ostrich variety. Because they simply seek to deny a fact by offering disingenuous, specious arguments against existence of a fact. Such arguments get accepted under the weight of their personality. Did Galileo not have to deny, under threat of death, his observed fact that earth revolves around the sun? [However, he privately did say that despite his denial before the church, the earth still revolves around the sun].

4. There are several other facts which were stated by an individual, vehemently denied by the scientific world, merely to be accepted by all after a few decades or centuries. Existence of soul, or existence of forms of life other than this worldly physical form, is a fact which has been known for millennia. Science is at a stage now when serious note is being taken by some scientists of this phenomenon. These scientists are those of repute, and their writings are being read seriously. I can assure you next 50 years will see lots of research in this area. There are even references to reports that powerful governments like USA and Russia are secretly carrying out researches in so called occult phenomena like telepathy.


5. We cannot always see reality. Rather, reality is often obscured by what
is merely apparent but not real. Science today agrees that there are limits
to scientific observation and measurement. Certain phenomena are beyond
observation because the process of scientific observation changes the
phenomenon itself. There are other reasons why science cannot observe. At a
basic level, our observational instruments may yet be too crude.

6. There is enough evidence for rebirth today. Prof. Pasricha at NIMHANS [National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences], Bangalore has worked and published on this for last 20 years.

7. The phenomenon of rebirth axiomatically presupposes the idea of life
after death. A Being exists even after death, only because he does not cease
to exist after the death of the physical body.

8. It is classical Hindu knowledge, including Gita, that there are 3 types
of bodies a man has. These are the Sthool sharir [physical body], Sukhsma
sharir and the Karan sharir. Once the atman is able to get rid of these 3
sharirs or bodies, only then it can attach to or mingle with the Paramatman or the Supreme Soul. So called death or shedding of body, occurs thrice. Once we are able to attain a certain level of spiritual refinement, only then are we able to get rid of
this cycle of birth and death of the physical body. Then we live in the
Sukhshma body stage. Once we attain further spiritual refinement, we shed
this stage and live in the Karan sharir form. Further development enables
the atman to get out of this also and attain the final salvation, i.e., mingling
with god.

9. The phenomenon of Sukhshma sharir is well documented in Raymond Moody's
Life after Life, which was a best seller for many weeks about 15 years ago.
Dr. Moody was a Ph.D. in Psychology, who later got his MD. A link is given herewith: [Raymond Moody - near-death experience research Dr. Raymond Moody. In 1975, Dr. Raymond Moody's best-selling book entitled Life After Life focused public attention on the near-death experience like never ...
www.near-death.com/experiences/experts03.html

10. The phenomenon of rebirth is very well documented by a professor and Head
of Psychiatry in University of Miami, Florida. He wrote this book about 5-6
years ago and I read it 2 years ago. I forget the name. May be those in USA
can help in tracing this. He was able to get his subjects to regress to past
several lives, even up to 1000 years ago, through psychoanalysis under
hypnosis.

11. In the scheme of things outlined above, it is clear that though we leave behind the physical body which is burnt or buried, the sukhshma sharir, containing all our Karma,
continues to exist. When we are reborn, that Sukhshma sharir, with all its
Karma, again gets into a physical body

12. The aim of man's life is to get rid of all the karma. Only then can he
attain salvation or nirvana or mingling with the Supreme. Gita tells how to
get rid of karma.

13. Times of India, July 1, 2001, carried a report from Jane Goodall, renowned
primatologist, who has observed chimpanzees for 40 years, who feels they
have a soul.

14. Another report in TOI, July 1, 2001 says that Dr. Sam Parnia from England presented
last week a report to California Instt. of Technology, which suggests, based
on studies on a large number of persons, that mind persists after brain
dies. In his words, "human consciousness may work independently of the
brain, using the grey matter as a mechanism to manifest the thoughts, just
as a television set translates waves in the air into picture and sound." I
have no problem understanding this in terms of the well known Hindu concept
of Sukshma sharir and sthool sharir. The former comprises mind and senses
etc. When we die, the brain may perish, but the mind survives, to be
associated with another body, if rebirth occurs.

15. The purpose of writing this here is that we humans have
tunnel vision. We can see only to a limited extent. The sukhshma sharir, the
karan sharir and the god can see much farther. These omniscient entities can
see the future as well. Have faith in them. Genuinely believe that some one
else is guiding you into a preordained path that has been pre-designed for
you to help you in your [soul's] ultimate journey. So do not despair when
something seemingly untoward happens to you.

I am sure within next fifty years, science emanating from US laboratories will confirm what was written by ancient Indian sages.

******************

QUESTION—

Your folder highly rated, "war poetry--award winner", "WAR POETRY--award winner, is probably the most controversial one for many writing.com members. Here you attack the US in poems about the view some have of USA. I know you feel strongly about this issue but wonder if you have any doubts about the blame you heap on America?

ANSWER—

I must correct two statements at the outset. ONE, I attack nobody. I express my opinions because I hold them, believe in them, feel that they need to be expressed, and have freedom to do so. TWO, I do not heap blame on anybody. As an observer and thinker and a world citizen, I observe and think and interpret as per the universal principles of data processing and arrive at certain conclusions. If those conclusions are unfavourable to an individual or entity, it can’t be labeled as heaping blame.

Having issued the correction, the question that you posed: “you have any doubts about the blame you heap on America?” becomes a non-question. The brief response, however, is that my views about USA have not been shaped after 9/11 or over last few years. They are based upon what has been observed by me / reported in the world media over last half century and recorded in history over five centuries earlier. These views are always evolving, not static like The Book. They are like the Constitution and the Legislations, which keep on getting modified as necessary for given and valid reasons.

************************

QUESTION---

Do you think powerful countries such as America have ever done anything good for poorer countries?

ANSWER—

This is too narrow and partisan a question with many pre-suppositions like: ONE, America is powerful; TWO, poverty necessarily implies weakness; THREE, even, that poverty and power are independent; FOUR, implicitly, USA keeps on doing charitable acts for the good of poorer countries. Each of these perceptions is wrong:


1. USA is certainly powerful, but only in limited dimensions. Yes, it is powerful militarily. But, is it so financially, culturally, morally and intellectually? FINANCIALLY, no. [Ask experts in economics and they will tell you that US is sitting on a huge debt which is being camouflaged through the device of world currency being pegged at the dollar. Change the international currency from dollar to another, say Euro. The US economy would collapse like a pack of cards. The real reason for attack on Iraq was probably that Saddam dared to change from dollar to euro. CULTURALLY, I am afraid US has no great or ancient culture to boast off. What it has is a conglomeration of different sort of immigrants [conquerors, slaves, business seekers, job seekers, immigrant settlers, illegal entrants etc.]. The only distinctive commonality is that of gross commercial approach dictated by free market economy; over-emphasis on sex; work culture of hire and fire with machine like efficiency, bereft of human feelings; lack of social welfare as a guiding principle of state policy; excessive litigation with compensations in millions; arrogance; ignorance; and, a belief system that everything American is a cut above the rest of the world. MORALLY, not many scruples are in evidence at social or international level. Its moral bankruptcy was most in evidence when it committed naked and illegal aggression upon Iraq for the WMD that existed only in its imagination. Anybody without moral uprightness cannot be above fear. This moral laxity is at the base of the fear psychosis in US where the American President goes underground if a small plane is caught on radar in a security zone. INTELLECTUALLY, first the US youth are more busy philandering and smoking pot than studying, with the result that they make poor scholars and employers prefer foreigners who are smarter and cheaper; then, rather than tidy up their own affairs, the lazy lot make a hue and cry about outsourcing, though Bill Gates tells the nation that Microsoft cannot run without H-1 B visa holders! Incidentally, 30% scientists in NASA are Indians!

2. Poverty does not necessarily imply weakness. True, economic poverty can imply economic weakness. But, there are so many other dimensions. A country can be rich but morally poor [USA] or poor but morally strong [India]. A country may be poor but rich in human resources {China, India]. A country may be poor, yet rich in military power [North Korea is at least rich in nuclear power to the extent that USA is concerned about it]. A country may be poor but rich in natural resources [like oil, minerals etc.]. A country may be poor but may have high strategic importance [Afghanistan—that is why both powers, first USSR and later USA, invaded it.

3. Poverty and power are not independent. One is a function of the other. Usurping of power almost always involves looting of the less powerful by the more powerful. Conversely, the poor party has often to sacrifice its independence to some extent, thereby diminishing its power. All the colonizers [Spain, France, England, Portugal, Holland] looted riches in their colonies and fattened themselves on slavery and mayhem. Nobody is born rich or poor. It is the white man who is black under the skin and wallows in its power at the expense of loot snatched from the simple and unwary. The story of white supremacy of the American and Australian continents is written in blood—that of the original inhabitants, dismissingly called aboriginals, the prefix having the same connotation as in the word abnormal!

4. It is a fallacy that USA keeps on doing charitable acts for the good of poorer countries. US has no such need, aspiration or vision, and knows this. Others also know this. Hence this apparent pre-supposition is outright ludicrous. Any particular country in the world is interested in its own welfare, not of others. That is understandable. If one country helps another in times of natural calamities, that is also understandable and USA is no exception. As a matter of fact, the ‘rich and benevolent’ US has often defaulted in paying the committed amounts to UNESCO and UNICEF etc., though much smaller countries pay up regularly. It is the great USA that has refused to sign the NPT itself, though it wanted other countries to do so. It is the ‘just and law loving’ USA that has refused to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Criminal Justice. It is the great ‘champion of Human rights and democracy’ that has propped up dictatorships in the world.

******************************

QUESTION—

Your points are interesting but I think you unfairly assume too much from my question. Do you think powerful countries such as America have ever done anything good for poorer countries? I do not think this was a narrow and partisan question, it was one designed to be open and give you the opportunity to give your point of view. I certainly did not wish to insult your or anyone else’s country.


ANSWER--
I beg to disagree. It was NOT a question “designed to be open”. A question designed to be open would read something like this: “What do you think about the role of powerful countries such as America towards poorer countries, especially as regards doing good to them?”

The question was a yes/no type, such as Jesus posed to those who wanted to stone the wayward woman: ‘Is there anyone amongst you who has NEVER sinned?” Jesus had a purpose in this approach—he wanted the people to give up this system. I fail to see any purpose here. The above episode has been described in "THE FIRST STONE: A ballad--award winner", "THE FIRST STONE: A ballad--award winner.

**************************

QUESTION—

How do you feel about the India's conflict with Pakistan?

ANSWER—

We are two big countries and can take care of our own affairs if the West lets us. The West knows that its richness floats on Eastern oil. Previously it was the looting of merchandise and goods from Eastern colonies and selling the slaves. Since colonies and slaves no longer exist, more sophisticated means of enriching oneself at the expense of the other need to be found. Two major means are: ONE, propping up dictatorships and sheikhdoms to ensure cheap supply of oil; TWO, putting up one country against the other and sell arms to both. Pakistan falls under both the categories. Central Asia is a potentially rich source of oil. It is land locked. The way out through warm ports is via Afghanistan and Pakistan. Western Asia and the Arab countries are big suppliers of oil. The approach to them is via Iran, which is next-door to Pakistan. In addition, USA wanted to control Communist China and Pakistan shares borders with China. It was a calculated move on the part of England, in cahoots with USA, to encourage partition of undivided India into India and Pakistan and keep Pakistan as a pet state, propping up dictatorships there, denying development of democracy, supplying arms, setting it up against India, using it as a military base etc. If the USA minds its own affairs and leaves the rest of the countries to themselves and to UN, it would be doing a great favour to the whole world. India is a big and responsible democracy and Pakistan can become one if both of us are allowed to spend our meager resources on peoples’ welfare and development, rather than being forced to spend huge budgets on defence, a large part of those budgets going to arms supplied by USA, where, incidentally, the two biggest industries, and powerful lobbies, are arms and pharmaceuticals.

*******************************

QUESTION / COMMENT—

I lived in India for a period of three years in the 1970s. I lived near Calcutta, which was a city of great poverty at the time. I saw men murdered in the streets, self-mutilated beggars sought relief by stretching out blood-encrusted stumps, sanitation was non-existent and dreadful diseases such as polio, venereal disease, typhoid etc. were rife. When my family were invited to Calcutta Races (Royal Enclosure, of course), by one or other rich Indian friend, I saw a stark contrast. I saw great luxury and conspicuous consumption. It seemed that these incredibly wealthy politicians, businessmen and professionals did very little to alleviate the poverty of their neighbours. Education was still a privilege reserved for the rich. It therefore seems disingenuous to me to blame all the woes of the subcontinent on the wicked West. India and Pakistan have been independent democracies for quite some time now.

ANSWER—

1. I don’t believe and have not stated that ALL the woes of the subcontinent are because of the wicked West. But a substantial portion, in the past, yes. I am prepared to forget all the past. One has to live in the present, not in the past. But the problem is that the present is no less free from the intrigues and schemes of the West. The equality of sovereign countries and the mutual independent will implied in agreements between two countries, one powerful and the other a banana, is a myth. Nicaragua has been, like many other American countries, totally manipulated by USA. The Sandinistas there were all trumped up by the USA. The Nicaragua President would sign on the dotted line as desired by US. If not, he jolly well knows that the government would be toppled in a day and he himself would be “taken out” in that great understatement of the American jargon. [US has now OFFICIALLY permitted the CIA to do what it was doing all along unofficially—eliminate by assassination inconvenient Heads of States. For details, ask Fidel Castro]. But, for official record, the two presidents of the 2 countries would be shown as smilingly signing a mutual accord! As I mentioned earlier, it suits the West to instigate smaller countries and sell them their obsolete arms, in order that their economy remains in good shape, the war industry prospers, and the old arms are disposed of so that newer ones are made for their own power. This is what I mean when I say that even in the present, the Elite West has evil designs towards many smaller countries. Why can’t US stay put within its shores and stop meddling with others? Because the day it happens, it would lose its power. It is powerful only as long others are fighting or are kept fighting. The day there is peace in the world, the US arms will be of no use, the war industry will collapse, US economy will be in shambles and it will lose the superpower tag. That is why the US must choose to play the role of the global cop, though the UN is meant specifically for that purpose.

2. It is incorrect that Pakistan has been a democracy for quite some time. It has been a military dictatorship most of its existence. And those dictators have been propped up by USA.

**************************

QUESTION / COMMENT---

The prefix ab does not mean sub, it simply means from or away. Aboriginal, therefore means, from the original, or descended from the indigenous people. Abnormal simply means extraordinary because it is away from the norm. I think it is over-sensitive to see aboriginal as a pejorative expression.

ANSWER—

You are right and I was wrong. I withdraw my statement.

**************************

QUESTION—

I was not intending to suggest that the US and Europe have been charitable to less developed countries, but maybe historical associations have not all been negative? Cannot international efforts to unify and educate be of some value?


ANSWER—

No association can be totally negative. There can be no progress without association and exchange. There has to give and take. That is what exchange is. But, I am not clear what you mean by international efforts to unify. Unify whom? As regards international efforts at education, they would be laudable if they occur at a reasonable scale and with sincerity. Real international efforts can come only through UN. Bilateral aid never comes without strings. The results of wide spread education in the world, especially in Arab countries, would be perceived as disastrous to US interests. Suppose, by some miracle, there is widespread education all over Arabia. The immediate outcome would be that people would get conscious of and demand their rights and would refuse to be exploited by the dictators to benefit US through cheap oil. Education would usher democracy and democracy would means the will of the Arab people regarding ownership of their natural resources would prevail over the will and perceived needs of American petrol guzzling limousines. So, you can easily see where real interests of US lie, whether educating the poor illiterate masses suits them. It has all to be done through UN, but USA would never allow that because UN is almost run by the US. The Nobel to Kofi Annan was the reward for looking the other way when US illegally committed blatant aggression on a sovereign state.

********************************

QUESTION—

I am very glad to see the burgeoning of a sub-continental middle-class. I am delighted that technological industries are booming in India. At last it seems that real progress will be achieved. Do you agree that much has improved over the last ten years, or is this just a myth sold to us liberal western fools?

ANSWER—

The Westerners are no fools and nobody is selling anything to them. If they are curious, all they have got to do is to buy a ticket and visit the country in which they are interested. But, even without the need for that, all Western countries have their own embassies here and they should ask those ambassadors stationed here to tell them the truth. In any case, the West certainly has a free press which is not controlled by India and whose journalists stationed in India send the news dispatches to their newspapers without any censorship whatsoever. So, if you think anything is being sold to Westerners, it is being sold by the Westerners themselves.

*************************

QUESTION—

What part does the state of Israel play on this world stage?

ANSWER—

I do not have deep knowledge on Israel. In general terms, it is clear to me that here also oil plays the major role. US interest in Israel is basically for the Arab oil. Unless it props up Israel, how else can it control the Arab countries and their oil supplies? Israel allows US to sit right in Arabia. BTW, if there is conflict between Israel and Arab countries, who should be sorting out affairs—US or UN? But, no. US must poke its long nose everywhere. It would not allow UN to function because of its veto power, which is, incidentally, a most undemocratic thing. Nor will it allow expansion of permanent membership of the Security Council with concomitant conferment of the right of veto to the new permanent members.

I think Israel has been propped up by US with clear design in its selfish interest. BTW, I hope you know that out of ALL the Arab countries, the only country where there was democracy, admittedly not perfect, was Iraq. And, it was this democracy that US ruined, on the false plea of WMD and ‘in order to liberate people from Saddam’s tyranny’, as if those people has petitioned Bush to drop bombs on them!

**************************
QUESTION—

I hope we can lighten the mood now. Will you answer some less serious questions?
How do you relax?

ANSWER--

Often, I don’t have time to relax. There is always work to do. However, the question must be answered. The answer depends upon the situation.

A. Relaxation from worry or mental tension—By: Meditation / prayer / writing poetry

B. Relaxation from mental overwork / exhaustion / tiredness—Newspaper / TV / writing poetry / switch to physical work.

C. Relaxation from physical overwork / exhaustion / tiredness—Lie down, invoking sleep, filling the invocation period with TV / newspaper

*********************************

QUESTION—

What object did you last lose, and if you found it, where did you find it?

ANSWER—

Lost my wife’s gold and jewellery plus cash totaling 6000 dollars due to theft in my absence in Feb. 2005 while I was away from home as consultant. That consultancy lead to the poem "WATER DROP--a sonnet", "WATER DROP: a sonnet--award winner. [So, you can see how I relax:) ]. The crime is clear, the culprit is known [he was my peon with known address, living nearby], the subject matter, gold and cash, is tangible. Report was lodged with the police and that is the end of it. But our police system is lethargic. It is not as smart as that of the international supercop where there is no tangible subject matter [No WMD ever existed], no crime [there is no law that a country cannot have WMD; the biggest stockpile is in US] and no criminal [there cannot be one in the absence of crime] but yet the town is burnt down!

***************************

QUESTION--What is your favourite journey?

ANSWER—

I have no time or fascination for journey. The only journey that engages me is the inevitable one, which is reflected in the following:


"SOMETIMES", "SOMETIMES

"THE ROAD OF LIFE", "THE ROAD OF LIFE


"A THOUGHT", "A THOUGHT

"LAST WISH", "LAST WISH

"JUDGMENT", "JUDGMENT

"TRAVELER", "TRAVELER

"HAVE FAITH AND HOPE: an acrostic- winner", "HAVE FAITH AND HOPE:an acrostic- winner

"NOTHING", "NOTHING

"AN ODE TO DEATH", "AN ODE TO DEATH

"ON YOUR PATH: acrostic—award winner", "THE MORTAL DREAM: acrostic—award winner

***********************

QUESTION—

Who, past, present, real or fictitious do you most identify with?

ANSWER—

Mahatma Gandhi

*******************

QUESTION—

What is your favourite meal?

ANSWER—

Nothing special, as long as it is vegetarian, hygienic and nutritious.

*******************

QUESTION—

Do you have any pets? Please tell me about them if you do.

ANSWER—

No. I don’t have.

*******************

QUESTION—

When and where you most happy?

ANSWER—

All the time and everywhere. This is the identical approach reached by two very different paths, theist and atheist.

A. Theist—God is all merciful. He gives us what is best and most appropriate for us. Any apparent adversity is really for our benefit as we deserve. Whatever God gives must be thankfully accepted in all humility. To do otherwise would be against God.

B. Atheist—We should have positivist approach to life, manifested by positive thinking, emphasizing on the positive aspects of a situation, not its negative aspects. No situation has 100% negative aspects and focusing on the positive aspects makes us mentally better equipped to deal with the negative aspects.

************************

QUESTION---

What plans do you have for the future?

ANSWER—

To keep on doing whatever I am capable of doing as long as what I do falls within the scope of what I should do.

********************

QUESTION---

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

ANSWER—

A. If I am still around on this earth 10 years hence, and can find time, I see myself as:

a. A 73 old man going on to 74;

b. An author who has published a few collections of poems and fighting for time to arrange his remaining poems for further compilations, may be in some other genres;

c. A possible author of prose, maybe fiction or nonfiction;

d. An author of a few medico-legal books [Law for Doctors; Law for Hospital Administrators; Law and Medicine—a book for law professionals; Medical Negligence; Law as a Health Intervention Tool]. These have been planned for quite some time but I am not finding time.

e. A father-in-law of two daughters-in-law, provided my sons condescend to marry;

f. A person who has learnt Urdu—I have joined a one year course for this language twice but had to discontinue each time for lack of time;

g. A person who has learnt Sanskrit to the level of speaking this language and writing simple text and reading Gita in original Sanskrit without the need to look at the translation

h. An amateur cartoonist

i. An amateur harmonium and flute player

B. If I am called out of this world earlier than 10 years from now, GOK [God Only Knows].

******************************

QUESTION---

If you could live your life over again (this life) would you change anything?

ANSWER—

Yes. I would follow my first loves—Literature [English, Hindi, Sanskrit], Philosophy and Psychology rather than Medicine.

************************

QUESTION---

We are drawing to the end of this interview. Is there anything you would like to say, that I have not given you the opportunity to?

ANSWER—

Yes. I would like to know:

1. Something about yourself. What is your real name? Mavis is probably a singing bird. I have not come across reference to this bird in my limited reading of literature. What is the significance of this bird? What is meant by Moog?

2. You have interviewed others. Was interviewing me a different experience from others? If yes, in what way?

3. Can I release for open view the item "IT HAPPENED!", "IT HAPPENED!,
blocked earlier at your suggestion? If yes, and while I do so, I suggest that you provide a link to it in your write up because it is directly related to this interview.

In the end, Thank you very much.

*********************


FINAL COMMENT FROM MAVIS MOOG---

My name has been Mavis Moog since I was twenty years old. It was a nickname given to me by my colleagues in a newspaper office, where I worked as a theatre critic. It is after a cartoon character, whom they thought I looked like - a fat fairy who always got her spells wrong. Moog was the name of the fairy's pet creature, a sort of cat.

You are right about the bird though, mavis mavis is the zoological name for the song thrush, a bird which is becoming more scarce in the British gardens, due in part, to predation by domestic cats.


~~~~~~~~~~


Every interview is different. The personality of the interviewee is the most important thing in an interview. The interviewer can give tiny tastes of themselves, but should always be wary of making the interview change focus.

You have been very frank and, dare I say it, a little spiky at times. I have found your observations and insights very instructive. We do not entirely agree on some issues, and that has made this interview special. I think our different cultures have been exposed and that should make interesting reading. We have talked much more about contentious subjects than I have done with other interviewees, and that is what I wanted. I hope you have enjoyed the experience.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Of course you can release the poem now. It will work as a great trailer for the fully edited version of the interview, which should go on public show in about three days time, given that all goes smoothly.

I wish you good luck for the future, and hope that we remain in contact, through Writing.com, for many years to come. I look forward to hearing of the weddings of your sons and the publication of your poems.


M C Gupta
22 January 2008
© Copyright 2008 Dr M C Gupta (mcgupta44 at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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