Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two Weird Incidents

 Haven’t had a creepy crawly incident in some time, so these came as a surprise.

The first was about two weeks ago, about 7:30 on a dry dark monsoon evening. I was riding my bicycle to the Magsons Superstore about a mile or so from home when, on an unlit stretch of road, a boy, about 12 or 13, grabbed the bike and hopped on to the rear carrier.

 I let out an outraged shout and told him to get off.

From my glimpse before he scurried into the darkness it was a well-dressed middle-class kid.

I told two men walking just ahead of me on the road why I had shouted and continued on my errand.

 It occurred to me that if I had not reacted loudly and instantly, the situation could have easily got out of hand: in the prevailing supercharged Indian atmosphere on sex crimes a strange boy on the back of my bicycle in the dark could be interpreted half a dozen creepy ways, and the two men ahead of me on the road were well-positioned to do just that.

 In some ways, the fact that the creeps are down to attempted character assassination is heartening, for it began four years ago with attempts at serious bodily harm; and all for just one sin (as far as I can see), writing what's on my mind!

My firsthand experience of having no ready avenue of appeal against official highhandedness has been eye-opening. It is a serious flaw in our democracy and a potent danger.

 In 2013 I tried to file a law suit, only to find the lawyers I approached had been intimidated and would not take up the case.

After that, I sent a note on the hairy things that had been happening to the Governor of the state and its Chief Secretary, but did not receive an acknowledgement from either; however, one must have acted, for the incidents stopped -- until now.       

The second recent incident did not seem creepy initially: an email from a supposedly radical American web site asking if I would do a podcast on my blog item on The Real First World War.

The owner of the website was to call me early this morning but did not.

I chalked that down to the “active call redirect” to which my phones are subject and was going about my business when, about three in the afternoon, a call came in from someone in London who said he was going to record the podcast from there.

 The American joined the conversation after a few minutes and gave every indication of not being a radical of any kind. In fact, he was politically illiterate. Even after a correction he continued to explain BRICS as “Britain, India, Russia, China, South Africa.”

 I’ve had more informed political inquisitors in chance encounters on Indian trains.

 When I broached the topic of the British Empire resuscitating itself as the money-laundering system that sustains the global criminal underground, he got cold feet very fast and declared my views not good enough for a podcast.

There wasn’t a peep from the man in London the whole time, and thinking of that led to my decision to write about the experience, just in case my voice should appear in some reconfigured manner somewhere and implicate me in unseemly matters.

Consider this an advance alibi.

 I would love to know what a quiet retirement feels like!


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