sexta-feira, 1 de dezembro de 2017



By Arjun Singh Bhati (Jaisalmer, India)
I got married in 1999. I had just completed my master's degree in English. My wife was studying philosophy in her final postgraduate year. It was an arranged marriage. We had never met or talked before our marriage. She was well educated, and that was very important for me.
When I first talked to her, it was just like an interview for any job. "Why did you select philosophy for your postgraduate course? What about your school life? What do you want to be? What is your hobby?"
I was not very interested or serious about the questions. What I wanted was for her to talk with me. She answered all the questions hesitantly, facing toward the wall. Something that attracted me was her answer about her hobby. To my surprise, she liked to watch Hollywood movies. It was quite strange. She was from a traditional family, and she was not allowed to talk to the person with whom she was going to spend the whole of her life, and here she was talking about Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. I knew that in her parent's society, girls are not allowed to watch English-language movies. She dared to watch these movies. It was a good sign for me.
For two months we performed our duty as husband and wife. It was like beginning a new job: no feelings, no emotions, and no attachment.
I was worried about how an educated girl with modern values would adjust to my traditional family. Here she had to cover her face, was not allowed to talk to the elders, had to drop her studies, and put up with a lot of other social restrictions. Thank God both my family and she really adjusted to everything in a very intelligent way.
I was happy with her. When she was out of my room, she was a perfect traditional lady, following all the traditional customs and in the evening arguing with me about democracy, ladies' rights, and other awful systems of society. We decided we would change things slowly. We planned how we would keep her studies continuing. And it's because of this understanding that she got a master's degree in political science, Hindi literature, and a teaching diploma after we got married. She got all her degrees through a correspondence course studying at home.
After two months I promised her that we would go for a honeymoon, but we always faced problems with money. It was a dream that took two long years to fulfill. By then, we had saved some money and decided to go to the hills north of Delhi. We had never been out of Rajasthan before. Permission from my family was more complicated than arranging the money. My grandmother said only one word: "nonsense."
My grandpa who loved me said, "Our home is the best place in the world for you to enjoy," paused, and after a long silence, said, "But be careful and come home soon." My father was flexible, supporting traditional values but at the same time feeling what he had missed following social traditions and customs. This time Papa was not forcing his opinions on his son, unlike when he was always forced to do what was decided by his parents. Papa said, «Well, I have no objection if Grandpa says yes. But do not say to everyone that you are going on your honeymoon but for your exams in Jodhpur."
I understood he could not dare to break the social traditions but simultaneously wanted his son to enjoy life as well. My mother happily said yes. I was surprised that as a big supporter of traditional values, she agreed so readily. We had hardly dared to ask her.
But later we came to know that our poor, innocent mother was impressed with a Hindi movie. In the film the newly married couple goes on their honeymoon and soon after their return, they have a baby.
She disclosed her secret when our son Girdhar was born five years after our marriage. My mother was happy and said that she had been waiting for this moment ever since we went on our honeymoon. But the opinions of the younger family members were interesting. Our brothers and sisters welcomed our daring decision. Perhaps they were thinking that we were going to make a way for them. Perhaps they hoped that they also would get the same chance to go and enjoy themselves when they got married. But none of them went; perhaps they heard about our bitter experiences on our journey.
We were very excited; we had never seen mountains, rivers, or flowers. In our home we had lots of photos of green landscapes with rivers, flowers, and snow. We were going to see and feel the beauty of nature.
We had no experience of a long journey. We took our luggage, thanked our parents, and went to the railway station for our journey to Delhi. There was a train for Delhi at four o'clock in the afternoon. We bought our tickets. It was third class ordinary compartment. The compartment was almost empty; about ten passengers were in the compartment. The journey by train was completely different from the journey by buses to the local villages in Jaisalmer. Lots of questions were asked by fellow passengers when we traveled by the village buses.
The most regular but striking question was, "Which caste do you belong to?" Once the same question was asked by an old passenger sitting next to me when I was traveling to the village where I teach.
I replied, "untouchables." I belong to an upper caste, but I wanted to know his opinions.
He started expressing his hate. "Bloody higher caste ... treated us like animals .... "
I came to know how castes affect our lives here, even though it is said that the caste system is outdated.
We knew that our train would reach Delhi at ten o'clock in morning the next day. It was the month of June, and the temperature was about 115°F. It was very hot inside the iron compartment. Fortunately, fans were working. The train reached Jodhpur at eleven o'clock. We opened our dinner packet my mother had packed for us. Now the train was full with passengers. It was overcrowded, and it was not easy to move. If someone moved from his seat for the toilet, then he certainly did not get his seat back and had to travel the whole night standing in the corridor. It was a terrible night, staying awake the whole night and keeping an eye on our luggage. At ten o'clock in the morning, we arrived near Delhi. The train stopped, waiting for a signal. My wife was very tired. I asked her how she was, and she said, "fine," kneading her neck muscles, trying to ease her stiffness.
We saw slums everywhere out of the window. People were living so dose to the railway track. Some were using the railway tracks as toilets in the open. It was stinking. The windows were framing awful, ugly scenes. It was not the place we came to see from so far. All the passengers were looking at each other with obvious doubts. No one could dare to offer a cup or glass to anyone. There were lots of stories of cheating or robbing fellow passengers by offering sweets, drinks, or fruits mixed in poison.
Suddenly this terrible peace was broken by the entry of a group of Hizras (eunuchs), They started to sing and dance. There was no platform in the compartment, so they were just moving their bodies ridiculously. They were making obscene gestures and using dirty language. This was the first time that we ever heard such use of our mother language, Hindi. After five minutes they stopped their horrible performances. They requested all the passengers to give them tips, but their request was more of a warning.
My wife, who was trying to keep her eyes away from them, looked at me and whispered for me to give some money quickly to them. I waited and found that all the passengers were giving some money; nobody made any objection. I gave them a fifty-rupee note.
Thank God, the train moved off slowly, and the Hijras made a quick move to get off the train. My wife was afraid, and so was I, but I tried to act normally. After an hour we reached the main station of Delhi. We found ourselves in an ocean of people. Everyone looked in a hurry. Pulling and pushing, we took our luggage and went into a corner. Some passengers avoided the main exit gate and took other ways to go out of the station, crossing the railway tracks. We understood these were passengers without tickets who wanted to get out of the station as soon as possible. We understood why some passengers were smiling when they saw tickets in my hand.
I kept the tickets out of my pocket to show them to the ticket collector, but no one was there to check the tickets. We had already decided to go to a budget hotel. At home on the History Channel, we once saw a program on Delhi, and we had an idea where we could find budget hotels. As we went out of the station, we faced the taxi drivers and the rickshaw men asking each and every passenger where to go. They looked so friendly, it seemed that they were our close relatives or friends whom we had known for years, but if they heard no, suddenly this appearance of affection quickly disappeared and was replaced by words of anger and hate, Kangalor Makhichoos (miser). Anyhow, we hired a rickshaw pulled by an old man. We felt guilty sitting while an old man, wet with sweat, was breathing hard, pulling us for a sum of money. We tried to control our emotions and looked here and there to avoid the miserable scene. A blast of diesel made us cough. Bloody pollution. This was no city for deep breathing. Beggars and poor people were on both sides of the streets. We had seen a lot of scenes like this on television, but for the first time, we experienced the stinking smell of the dirty polluted streets firsthand.
We reached the middle of a very busy street. Signboards of many hotels were hanging everywhere, saying, "Deluxe room," "Feel like home away from home," ''Attached latrine & bath," and "TV in every room." We paid our rickshaw man and got out. Waste water was flowing down the middle of the street, and vegetable peelings, cigarette butts, eggshells, and plastic bags and bottles were bobbing along the surface. Planks had been thrown across to form walkways into the hotels and shops. We gingerly crossed the plank and went into one of the hotels.
We booked a room in a hotel that was very decorated on the outside and were shocked to find that it was more dirty and noisy inside. We paid in advance. But the man sitting at the reception did not continue looking as kind as he was trying to be before we paid. My wife had on traditional dress and was the center of attraction for all the people. And when we moved toward the room, the manager' s eyes greedily followed her body. It made both of us uneasy.
We were tired, went into the room, and rested for some minutes. The room was not clean, plaster was falling off the walls, and it was filled with mosquitoes. The bed and pillow covers were different colors from their original because of the dirt. But at least we had an en-suite toilet. After resting for half an hour, I opened the door of the bathroom. To my surprise a large white bowl to sit on was fixed in one corner. I saw one like it once in a big sanitary shop in Jodhpur.
We were going to use it for the first time. I asked my wife, "Have you participated in gymnastics?"
She replied, "No, but why?"
"It' s a big challenge for us to do a balancing act," I replied.
I positioned on it in local style. To balance, I took hold of the tap.
She chuckled. "You are a true Indian."
I smiled
. "Yes."
Perhaps she got the idea from how I used the toilet.
Perhaps I was a good example in accepting change, finely balancing the body two feet in the air.
We were very tired, so just after taking a bath, we decided to take a short rest before going out sightseeing. Suddenly I woke up. I heard someone running fast in the corridor. I quickly opened the door, but no one was there. I closed the door, and I noticed a small hole in one corner of the door. I understood the matter. After an hour someone knocked at the door. A thin boy of about twelve years old, holding a plastic jug of water, was at the door. He offered me the jugo I called him into the room and asked his name.
"Arjun," he replied.
I said, "It's me." He said his name was also Arjun.
I told him that I was a teacher in a primary school, and the students in my school were of his age. I asked about his family and his village. The soft-spoken words made the boy comfortable, and he became friendly.
He said, "Sir, this hotel is not good for the family. In the evening bad people come here."
I understood the situation quickly. There are hotels everywhere in India, mostly in the metropolitan and touristy cities. Delhi, the capital of India, is one of the most important cities of India; it has its own charm. It is like a magnet that draws all kinds of people, rich, middle class,and poor. Thousands of jobless young persons from all over India take the train to Delhi or arrive at the bus station every day in search of jobs. It is in the center of India, and foreign tourists constantly arrive at the international airport from all over the world to visit India and also to visit Delhi because of its historical monuments.
There are all kinds of hotels: five star, medium, budget class, and low-budget class. I am sure foreign tourists always stay in luxurious hotels or budget-class hotels (backpackers mostly stay here), but no one likes to stay in low-budget hotels. These low-budget hotels are for the middle-class local people who always travel with their families and would not dare to sleep at the railway platform or on the footpath. Rickshaw pullers are agents of these hotels, and they do not wait for rich tourists but always catch the middle class at the railway station or bus station and take the passengers to these particular low-budget hotels. For this job these rickshaw pullers get a tip of around ten or twenty rupees from the hotel owners. However, the car drivers get more than the poor rickshaw pullers.  
Some of the car drivers who recommend the hotels to tourists get about 30 percent of the whole amount paid by the tourists to the budget hotels or other big hotels, if tourists stay in the hotels recommended by car drivers. Car drivers always wait for the kinds of tourists who are interested in big hotels or budget hotels. So when we reached Delhi, the rickshaw puller took us to a low-budget hotel. Although these hotels have similar signboards hanging out, extolling all the facilities as being like big hotels, it is only written, and nothing is found to exist by a guest when he or she stays there. Everyone knows about this, but when one cannot afford an expensive hotel, then the only alternative is to stay in these low-budget hotels. This type of hotel costs not more than two dollars for a twenty-four-hour stay. It promises all the facilities, like hot water, TV, and attached bath, but the guests never get water in the bathroom, the TV is not in a working condition, and the toilet is full of unflushed excrement. In some hotels there are common toilets for all the guests. There is always a long queue of people waiting their turn. One feels lucky if one gets a chance to enter the toilet, but the next in line soon knocks at the toilet door and requests one to hurry up, sometimes with threats.
The hotel where we stayed had a toilet in the room, and fortunately it was working, and there was water. But what disturbed us were the awful drawings on the walls of the toilet done by some dirty-minded guest. Ugly drawings of human sexual organs with dirty comments are very usual in public toilets, toilets of low-budget hotels, and in third- class railway compartments. Dirty-minded people often draw ugly pictures of human sexual parts with their ball pen. Why? I think they suffer from sexual inferiority, and perhaps they enjoy it, but they do not know that they are just insulting human beings.
In the rooms of these hotels, three or four glasses and a plastic jug can always be seen. And if you move your bed, you will find empty bottles of liquor, cigarette butts, and biddies (crude form of cigarette) and walls are always covered with red spat (people chew tobacco and usually spit it anywhere).
We found in our room an empty bottle of cheap-quality liquor. The room was filled with the smell of liquor,and there was a photo of a boy, his eyes covered by a red rectangle, showing his red genitalia, gone black as if burnt by acid. It disturbed me, and I quickly threw it into the corner. But these were not the reasons we left the hotel. I was sure with the money I paid I could not expect more facilities. But the boy told me that a fraudulent venereal-disease specialist carne to the hotel every evening to treat sexual diseases. Many patients who suffered from a secret disease stayed here. They were infectious, and we did not want to sleep on the same infected beds where it looked like the bedsheets had not been removed for the last couple of weeks.
This was enough reason for me to leave the hotel. I did know that these hotels are centers of drunken and antisocial people, but the information I had just got about the hotel made me leave it.
There are some hotels where fraudulent, itinerant venereal-disease doctors, who claim to have degrees in many medical fields (mostly their degrees are fake or belong to other doctors), stay in the hotels on particular dates. They do not have any permanent clinics or base. They regularly change their hotels and dates but always stay in low-budget hotels. They specially claim to treat all kinds of sexual diseases. None of the patients are cured by anything they sell. Sometimes they sell sugar pills in different packaging to the patients.
In India sex education is banned, and even to talk about it is supposed to be very cheap and shameful. Young boys in India have only one topic to talk about, and that is sex. Sometimes young boys "sin" by going to infected prostitutes and get infected in their turn. So the young boys who suffer from these diseases do not dare consult doctors or family members and become victims of these doctors. These doctors show them the images of rotted organs to create an artificial atmosphere of fear and doubt and make them believe that treatment prescribed here is the only way to get rid of the dangerous disease. Big black words written in Hindi on white backgrounds of the boundary walls of government buildings with a "particular message" can be seen everywhere in the big cities of India. Cheap-quality paper glued on the walls of public bathrooms carry the same messages: "SEX CURE" Very attractive advertisements in all types of national and local newspapers can be read every day. Lots of young people readily get attracted by these advertisements and meet the fraudulent doctors in these hotels.
It reminded me of a time when I was living in a very small hostel in Jodhpur. We had a common bathroom and toilet and a kitchen in the hostel. I cooked my own food and washed my own clothes during my long stay of six years in Jodhpur. One of my hostel mates was working as
an agent for a traveling VD doctor who stayed in a low-class hotel once a month and claimed to treat all the sexual diseases. My friend got ten rupees if he could arrange for a patient to see the doctor
. Later one day he told me that the doctor was a fraud, that he gained the confidence of his
young patients, then told them about the terrible effects of some of the common venereal diseases, and sold them very expensive (and ineffective) medicines.
When I found out that the hotel where we were staying was also a center for this type of fraudulent, itinerant VD doctor and his or her infected patients, I decided to leave it at once, although we were sure that with the money in our pockets we would not be able to afford any good hotel.
I told my wife to pack the luggage quickly. We decided to go sightseeing in Delhi with the luggage. We hired a taxi to the Red Fort. The Fort was very interesting, but carrying heavy luggage it was not possible for me to see all the details. I was tired and asked my wife to stop for lunch. We went into a small restaurant. It was time for us to stop and stare awhile.
Suddenly my wife said, "I want to go back. It's not possible to enjoy this with the limited money we have in our pockets”.
I did not reply. I was looking at the restaurant owner who was busy in a heated argument with one of the customers who had just finished his lunch and was complaining at the extras added to his bill. Soon the matter became worse, and a restaurant employee pushed the customer out of the restaurant. 
I was disappointed but agreed with my wife. She said, "We will work hard and come back one day with everything reserved in advance: good hotels and good trains."
"Yes, perhaps with the kids," I replied. She smiled. Our train to the hills was at midnight, but at that very time, we were traveling by bus back to Jodhpur. The next day we were in Jodhpur, the city where I had spent six years when I was studying at the university there, a familiar place for me.
We stayed in Jodhpur for a week and enjoyed it.
I thought about what my grandpa had said: "Our home is the best place in the world for you to enjoy." But we never forgot our incomplete tour to the hills. And I hope one day that I will visit the hills with my wife and my kids.


Por Gustavo Dourado (ATL, Taguatinga, DF)

Gerardo Mello Mourão
Escritor, ficcionista
Poeta maior, tradutor
Biógrafo e Jornalista
Editor, gestor, político
Fez conto, foi romancista

Filho de Ipueiras, Ceará
Nasceu em 8 de janeiro
Em 1917
Desceu ao desfiladeiro
2007, 9 de março
Morreu no Rio de Janeiro

Seminarista aos 11 anos
Foi para Minas Gerais
Em Congonhas do Campo
Está escrito nos anais
Hábito em Juiz de Fora
Leu livros universais

Poliglota habilidoso
Em espanhol e inglês
Em alemão, italiano
Latim, grego e francês
Gostava de esperanto
Dominava o holandês

Militou no Integralismo
Atuou como professor
Dedicou-se ao jornalismo
Na luta como escritor
Foi condenado à morte
Getúlio foi o detrator

Foi preso dezoito vezes
Em tempos de ditadura
Censura no Estado Novo
Sem esquecer da tortura
Padeceu com os militares
Momentos de amargura

Abandonou o Integralismo
Fez militância social
Foi um “Soldado de Deus”
No cine documental
Na direção de Sérgio Sanz
A sua verve cultural

Duas vezes no Congresso
Foi deputado federal
Cassado pelo AI-5
Foi um tempo sepulcral
O cálice da amargura
Perseguição cultural

Em 1968
Preso como comunista
Com Ziraldo e Zuenir
De viés socialista
Com Pellegrino e Peralva
Um novo tempo se avista

Na década de 80
Uma forte ação literal
Presidente da Rio Arte
Secretário Estadual
No Rio de Janeiro
Coordenação cultural

Pela Folha de S. Paulo
Em Pequim correspondente
Levou o seu pensamento
Aos confins do Oriente
Poesia pelo mundo afora
Saudade de sua gente

Na Arquidiocese do Rio
Atuou no Seminário
Foi professor de Latim
Sempre foi um visionário
Um poeta bem criativo
Na verve do imaginário

Foi indicado ao Nobel
O Prêmio Jabuti lhe honrou
Prêmio Mário de Andrade
Entre muitos conquistou
Do Sistema Verdes Mares
A "Sereia de Ouro" ganhou

Diversos livros escreveu
Gostei de Invenção do Mar
Li Carmen Saeculare
Cânon & Fuga a recordar
Fez Algumas partituras
O valete de espadas, amar

Candidatou-se à ABL
Não passou na eleição
Com tanto escritor ruim
Fizeram essa negação
Também com Lima Barreto
Não deram a aprovação

Academia Brasileira de Filosofia
Foi membro bem respeitado
Célebre hagiologista
Sempre bem recomendado
Conselheiro de Cultura
Um nome bem celebrado

Em 1993
Grande reconhecimento
A Universidade do Ceará
Reconheceu o seu talento
Um título bem destacado
Com todo merecimento

"O Poeta do Século XX"
Conquistou em eleição
Em 1997
Importante elevação
A Irmandade Guilda Órfica
Deu-lhe a consagração

Elogiado por Drummond
E por Hélio Pellegrino
Por Tristão de Athayde
Como vate cristalino
Ezra Pound o elevou
Entre os grandes do destino

Destaque na literatura
Grande nome da poesia
Pensador de alto nível
Era bom no que fazia
Mestre, criador genial

Seu verso tem alquimia



(Sugerido por Gustavo Dourado, ATL, Taguatinga, DF)


Por Samuel da Costa (Itajaí, SC)

Eu prefiro frases feitas...
Adoro lê-las...
E pensar que elas são minhas!
Dizer: - Vou te amar para todo o sempre!
Usando velhos clichés.
Finjo ser poeta!
Às vezes contista...
Nessas horas uso antigos clichés.
Porque dizer: - Eu te amo!
Não é dizer bom dia.
Escuto velhas músicas!
E chego a pensar que a dor.
 É realmente minha.
Mas não é!!!
Penso em ser prosador...
Para voltar para a minha infância!
Onde corro de novo.
 Entre becos e vielas...
De braços bem abertos!
Mas volta para o tempo presente...
Onde finjo ser o aedo...
Na pós-modernidade líquida!
A ignorar regras, rimas e métricas...
A desdenhar de antigas elegias!
Todas as fórmulas arcaicas...
Prontas e acabadas.
Desusadas formas de amar musas,
Virgens intocadas e santas vaporosas...
Finjo ser versejador...
Nos tempos modernos!
E em meus versos!
Sinto que não fostes embora...
Estás perdida entre os meus versos...
Mais profanos...
No estro meu...
Finjo que não te perdi,
Para todo o sempre!
Às vezes leio antigas poesias.
Mas só às vezes!
E penso que são meus...
Aqueles idílios de saudade...
Nessa hora eu gostaria...
De ser um poeta de verdade.
Para pensar que não a perdi!
Para todo o sempre...
Minha sacrossanta musa,
 Em meus versos mais profanos!
Às vezes penso ser poeta!
Na pós-modernidade liquefeita!
A usar velhos clichés!
Para poder ousar dizer:
  ˗Te amo, não é bom dia!


Por Humberto Pinho da Silva (Porto, Portugal)

Há uma máxima, que todo o agricultor conhece: “ Colhe-se o que se semeia”.
Se, semeamos boa semente, e se cuidarmos da planta com carinho: livrando-a de parasitas, adubando e estrumando bem a terra, colher-se-á bons frutos: em tamanho e qualidade.
Ora o que se passa com as plantas, acontece com as nossas crianças.
Se quisermos sociedade: justa, honesta e sadia, teremos de cuidar da juventude. Os pais, como primeiros educadores, devem inculcar, desde a mais tenra idade, hábitos bons: ensinando-os a respeitar os mais velhos; a utilizarem as palavras e frases, que lubrificam as relações humanas, tais como: “ Muito obrigado.” “ Não tem de quê.” “ Por favor.”…
Educar não é só teoria, nem palavras, mas exemplos. A criança é ótima observadora, e repete sempre: gestos, atitudes, vocabulário e comportamentos que presenciam em casa.
Mais tarde, cumpre à Escola, complementar a missão dos pais.
Não incutindo (como se faz em alguns estabelecimentos de ensino,) nas mentes em formação: aberrações e imoralidades, embuçadas na manta de democracia, e muito menos, semear a depravação, sob a forma de Arte; mas, ensinando as regras: morais e cívicas, há muito enraizadas na alma da nação.
Se deixarmos a juventude ser educada pela TV, sem regras, sem princípios morais e sem respeito pelos mestres, não estamos a criar, apenas, delinquentes, mas a pôr em perigo o futuro da Pátria: a formar políticos e leitores corruptos, professores imorais e juízes iníquos.
A semente pode ser boa (leia-se o jovem,) mas se a terra não for apropriada, e não cuidarmos da criança, ela não dará bons frutos.
Certo pastor baptista, contou-me. Num congresso em Madrid, alegoria sobre a fé e o trabalho dos crentes, que se pode adaptar à educação:
Se pretendemos bons bolbos de tulipas, teremos de os importar da Holanda.
Lançamo-los à terra, crescem, e darão flores perfeitas. Mas se os guardarmos para florirem no ano seguinte, já não produzem a mesma qualidade, e no decorrer do tempo, degeneram-se, e teremos que ir à “fonte” adquirir outros.
E por que degeneram?
Porque não soubemos cuidar como devia.
Acontece o mesmo com os jovens. Se não os educarmos para serem homens honestos, rígidos no comportamento e na moral, “degeneram “, e teremos geração de: corruptos, impostores, viciosos e criminosos.
O futuro das instituições, está nas nossas mãos.
Se desejamos coletividade, depravada, entregue ao vício e ao desrespeito, diremos aos nossos filhos: “Tudo vos é permitido “. Se queremos sociedade, onde impere a Caridade e o Amor, ensinemos: “ Nem tudo é permitido, mas apenas o que vos torne espiritualmente melhor “.
A escolha é nossa. A velha Roma escolheu o caminho da liberdade e do prazer, e sucumbiu.

O que nos acontecerá, se não mudarmos de caminho?