Home > Uncategorized > Mephistopheles in mumbai.

Mephistopheles in mumbai.


I can be flippant now because I’ve started breathing again. But a while ago, when I hadn’t known if my family was safe, I could not type or read or think without feeling anxious, and guilty for being alive and safe.
Apparently this time they’ve targeted Leopold Cafe, the Oberoi and Taj hotels in town, the JJ school of arts, VT station, BMC office, the GPO. One link between every single one of these places? They were all mentioned in the Shantaram. Which gets me to agree with P’s reporting that it may be the testosterone-driven insecure wannabe-macho 17-year-old idiots of the Al-Qaeda and sundry other ‘terrorist’ organizations who want to show that they’re still alive and kicking….And Gregory David Roberts did spend time with them (he or others he knew/heard of; Roberts never did confirm even during the book reading if this was true or made up) – he made utter fools of them in his book, too.

It’s like those men you hear about, who have a really hard time at work with their macho bosses kicking their butt, so they come home and beat up their wives/daughters and other women to prove to themselves they’ve still got it. Evidently their butt is being kicked by US missiles launched directly into Pakistan, so they want to now prove they’re still relevant.

As schoolgirlish as this sounds, truly they’re just sick, stupid, sad.

And the irony? That Roberts is himself such an overt, explicit feminist. Like he said during the book reading, and he says on his site today:

One night, many years ago in Bombay, I was talking with some friends about the wonders that can be seen and experienced in a walk around Bombay city completely alone at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. One of my friends, a young Israeli, said, “It must be good. Of course, as a woman, I can’t do that.”
It struck me — stupidly, for the first time — as horrifyingly unfair that women can’t enjoy this great pleasure, walking around a city alone in the soul-sleep hours after midnight, without fear that men will assault them. As this insight burned its way into my consciousness, and the stories of sexual attacks, told to me by women in every country where I lived, increased in number through the years, I resolved to include a component of this sexual abuse in my novel, Shantaram.

UNLESS AND UNTIL WOMEN ARE FREE TO WEAR WHATEVER THEY WANT — OR WEAR NOTHING AT ALL, AS THEY FREELY CHOOSE — AND GO WHEREVER THEY WANT, AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, WITHOUT FEAR OF BEING ATTACKED BY MEN, WE CANNOT TAKE THE NEXT STEP TOWARD DEVELOPMENT AS A SPECIES.
This is not the problem of women. Not ever. This is our problem — the half
of the species that is male. We have to take responsibility for it. We have to
acknowledge that half of our species lives in fear of the other half — at least
some of the time, and sometimes frequently — and that the shame and disgrace for
that is ours. And we men have to change it. We have to see the right for women
to be free and safe — safe from us, for God’s sake — is not only a fundamental
and non-negotiable human right, but also a first priority in our cultural,
educational, legal, and political actions, expressions, and institutions.

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