Friday, October 26, 2007

Remembering Ernesto Che Guevara

Courtesy: People's Democracy (http://pd.cpim.org)
Dated October 14, 2007

Che's Farewell Letter To Fidel Castro

Havana, April 1, 1965

At this moment I remember many things - when I met you in Maria Antonia's house, when you proposed I come along, all the tensions involved in the preparations. One day they came by and asked who should be notified in case of death, and the real possibility of it struck us all. Later we knew it was true, that in a revolution one wins or dies (if it is a real one). Many comrades fell along the way to victory.

Today everything has a less dramatic tone, because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself. I feel that I have fulfilled the part of my duty that tied me to the Cuban revolution in its territory, and I say farewell to you, to the comrades, to your people, who now are mine.

I formally resign my positions in the leadership of the party, my post as minister, my rank of commander, and my Cuban citizenship. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba. The only ties are of another nature-those that cannot be broken as can appointments to posts.

Reviewing my past life, I believe I have worked with sufficient integrity and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only serious failing was not having had more confidence in you from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra, and not having understood quickly enough your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary.

I have lived magnificent days, and at your side I felt the pride of belonging to our people in the brilliant yet sad days of the Caribbean crisis." Seldom has a statesman been more brilliant as you were in those days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, of having identified with your way of thinking and of seeing and appraising dangers and principles.

Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts of assistance. I can do that which is denied you due to your responsibility at head of Cuba, and the time has come for us to part.

You should know that I do so with a mixture of joy and sorrow. I leave here the purest of my hopes as a builder and the dearest of those I hold dear. And I leave a people who received me as a son. That wounds a part of my spirit. I carry to new battlefronts the faith that you taught me, the revolutionary spirit of my people, the feeling of fulfilling the most sacred of duties: to fight against imperialism wherever one may be. This is a source of strength, and more than heals the deepest of wounds.

I state once more that I free Cuba from all responsibility, except that which stems from its example. If my final hour finds me under other skies, my last thought will be of this people and especially of you. I am grateful for your teaching and your example, to which I shall try to be faithful up to the final consequences of my acts.

I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution, and I continue to be. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary, and I shall behave as such. I am not sorry that I leave nothing material to my wife and children; I am happy it is that way. I ask nothing for them, as the state will provide them with enough to live on and receive an education.

I would have many things to say to you and to our people, but I feel they are unnecessary. Words cannot express what I would like them to, and there is no point in scribbling pages.

Ever onward to victory!
Homeland or Death!

I embrace you with all my revolutionary fervour.

-- Che


CHE: A Tribute


A file photo of Che with Fidel Castro

I MAKE a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell in combat on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, crossing the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camag├╝ey, while being chased by enemy troops. He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara and the mastermind of voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as messenger of militant internationalism in East Congo and Bolivia. He built a new awareness in our America and the world.

I thank him for what he tried and failed to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.

He left to us his unmistakable literary style. He was elegant, swift and true to every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn't know it. He still fights with us and for us.

Yesterday, we commemorated the 31st anniversary of the killing of all passengers and the crew of a Cubana airliner blown in mid-air, and we are on the threshold of the tenth anniversary of the cruel and unjust imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist heroes. We likewise bow our heads in respect to them all.

It was with great emotion that I watched and heard the commemoration ceremony on TV.

-- Fidel Castro Ruz (October 7, 2007. 3:17 pm)

Within 5 Minutes

After 3 days at home, last sunday, at around 7:30 pm, I was sitting in an auto, with my parents. We were on our way to the Central station. The train to Calicut was at 8:15 pm. I was thinking about how life would go back to boring classes, when suddenly... My stomach churned, as though I was freely falling, but only, I was moving forward. I just saved my teeth from hitting the metal bar behind the driver's seat. The sudden brake was due to a two-wheeler, that had given the auto a sharp left cut. The auto-driver didnt get a chance to shout at the motorcyclist, who drove off without knowing what he did.

Phew! I leaned forward. I was sitting on the left side of the 3-seater and could again feel the wind, blowing hard on my face. PAM PAM! I turned back and saw this black pulsar, honking to get way. In a neat curve, it came to the right side of the auto. The speed of the bike rose. It overtook the auto, came right in front and in seconds, decreased the speed considerably. Sudden brake once again. This time more sudden but we were already holding onto supports; so nothing happened, except all of us getting really pissed. The auto-driver shouted at them, nothing bad; just asked them to be more careful, in his "slanguage". All of us pointed our hands at the boys (looked like college students) on the bike, you know, in a fashion to scold them. They had wanted to park the bike on the left, when they slowed down. They, still on the bike (now parked near the pavement), stared at us as we started moving.

A minute passed. My heart came back to beating normally. I was looking down at the road, enjoying the wind, still leaning forward. I had just noticed a fast approaching headlight, when, in split seconds, a fist came to my face from outside. My reflexes reacted and I moved my face back, right in time. The fist couldn't reach me but his fore-arm hit the side of the auto. Just when I realised what came to my face, I saw the guys on the black pulsar, not even a foot away from me. I had this urge to kick the pulsar away; less they attempt that again. But I didnt. They accelerated forward and howled at us (abuses included), after which they took the immediate left and disappeared. The entire thing was very sudden; it took us a few minutes to get our minds from going over it again and again.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cultural Night, Tathva '07

Tathva is NITC's annual technology-festival. This time, Tathva '07 was a techno-management festival, and spanned over 3 days (27th-30th September). On the inaugural day, as is customary, musical performances and dance performances, by NITC students, followed the inauguration.

I played bass guitar for a couple of performances. One of them is below. This song is an own composition.





The dance performances exceeded normal NITC standards (you know!). Nevertheless, we have amazing dancers in our college now. One, of around 8 dance tracks, is below.





Friday, October 5, 2007

When is this getting over ...

This is the "hate-to-see" wall of my hostel room. Now, what are those bits of paper stuck on the black chart? Lets take a closer look.

"Oh these look like post-it notes. What? Post-it notes? You are using post-it notes for remembering pending work? Whats wrong with you, Arun?"

"Relax pal; I just happened to have post-it notes and so decided to waste them differently. Its ok."

But guys, here is the truth: these bits of paper, that remind me about the amount of work I have, are driving me crazy. Still, I'm not removing them coz they are really helping me keep track of pending work. So its a trade-off I guess.

I just wish I know the day when I will have the black chart blank. Seriously. That plastics assignment on top requires reading four very recent research papers. Four of them. There is this economics test next week and a seminar on "Political Economy", that I need to present for 30 minutes. You need to prepare for this dude; I mean this isnt some maths topic that you can keep explaining over and over again for 30 minutes; this is a subject closely knit with philosophy; gonna be tough. Oh, and the main project -- I almost forgot. I just got the mid-term evaluation report for the main project done with now. The report was to be submitted yesterday. Avl Vs Red-Black trees - Advanced Data Structures course project. This work was given to us, when S-7 started and I havent started it yet. Finally, for its part, Design & Analysis of Algorithms has a course project on "Bipartite Roots of Graphs".

These are non-academic work, that dont trouble me much. But bundled with the rest, I get reminded : "Work is work and I have loads of them."

To push all this down the drain, 2nd sessionals are scheduled for next monday. All that can pull me to sanity is my trip to chennai on 19th. I'm only waiting for 19th.

"Tell me, Arun. Why are you speaking like you care about all this? You normally dont think about academics anytime but the day before exams."

"What do you mean? I have always cared about academic work. I sure have. (pause) I have. (pause) Haven't I? (pause) Oh God! Whats happening to me?"

Monday, October 1, 2007

Shyam Prasad

Shyam Prasad was a 2nd year B.Tech. Civil Engg. student in my college. I dont know him personally. As my friends tell me, he had just learnt how to ride a bike on friday. That very same day, he met with an accident. Early this morning we lost him.

He was riding a bike with 2 of his friends behind him. It looks like the bike had gone out of control, throwing his friends off it. He, unfortunately, collided with concrete somewhere, resulting in a serious head injury. His friends escaped fatal injuries. In the hospital, he underwent a surgery in the brain and the doctors were not hopeful of his recovery after the surgery. His family was a little relieved last evening, when his pulse had come back to normal. But he could not make it. Early this morning, he passed away.

This is not the first person, we know, who lost his life in a bike accident. It is also known that in almost all of those cases, what proved to be fatal, was a head injury. If we dont wear a helmet, when on a bike, then its high time we take things seriously and start wearing one.