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Rattan Gujadhur

[Rattan Gujadhur] A year in review – California to Mauritius


Rédigé par Rattan Gujadhur le Mercredi 1 Janvier 2020



The Trump presidency got weirder by the day, and at the end it almost felt we had to congratulate him for being impeached by the house.

Congratulations Sir, you`ve been impeached ! The peak of absurdity emerged, when he addressed his group of ‘chamchas’ in Pennsylvania and talked about toilets and turd. He desperately wanted to talk about water conservation but did not really understand the issue. He just does not get 'issues', neither do any of his mid-western ‘chamchas’. As long as there is hate mongering, our man remains/will remain in power. Dude, make America hate again !

The Mauritian election campaign was monstrously disappointing for most non-resident Mauritians.

There was a complete dearth of any discourse during the buildup to the final day.  What the public was served were peccadilloes on who slept with who, and who stole what from who. Yet they voted the present government back into power.

National debt is on the rise, and the current government tried to write off the debt by declaring Bank of Mauritius reserves as ‘investments’. Sushil Kushiram had written in the local press, that they tried to amend the Finance Bill 2019 to  provide ‘free money’ financing to Government by the central bank. This amendment he argued went against the notion of independence inherent in the legal provisions of the BOM Act, and would harm the central bank’s credibility for the proper conduct of monetary policy.

Anyhow, instead of focusing on such key issues, a slowing economy parceled out by a super rich section of the country, an environment in total and dire peril, the public preferred to focus on the daily palavers….who slept with who, who stole who from where….

Culture ! That elusive pill that keeps us sane and grounded.

Aligarh was a 2015 movie by Hansal Mehta starring Manoj Bajpayee, that I happened to watch and fall in love with, in 2019.  A tour de force of new wave Bollywood directorship, with supreme acting by Bajpayee. The true story of Ramchandra Siras, gay professor, whose privacy was invaded by an overzealously moral film crew in Aligarh, in the crazy years, prior to the invalidation of the Indian penal code (that used to make sex with persons of the same sex punishable by law). 

Siras loses his job, falls apart, and is hounded by a society drunk on its own sense of self important bogus morality, bend on ridding society of these so called ‘immoral’ characters. I developed deep connections with this movie and saw the wave of Hindutva nonsense all across India, and even Mauritius. Some feel they are more 'moral' that the concept of morality itself. They gladly throw rocks on others knowing well, their own deceptive devices and ethical inconsistencies.

Have Netflix and Amazon taken over the world yet?

This was the age of Netflix and Amazon sponsored serials and movies, that have already taken the world by storm. Sacred games, Narcos, and the Irishmen were some of these rare stalwarts. Top of the notch flicks that makes one wonder, what could now possibly be next?

Amazon and Netflix have already entered the world cinema market. Sacred Games # 2 (not as good) is already here, and we know more is to come, much more. Is this going to change the face of world cinema? Will we see more from countries that have so much to tell us, and had their stories quietly hidden in the far rungs of history. Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, what do you want to tell us?  Let us hear your stories….tell....tell....

The concert of the year.

Sandeep Ranade at lovely Mitralaya ! As he unleashed his Charukeshi  on the audience, most fell into a magical swoon, a temporary samadhi. What a true marvel, a genius, Ranade is. An icon, a legend, but strangely yet unknown, yet undiscovered, by the wider world.

One would so want him to forget about his software, and algorithms, and brainy IT stuff,  grow a beard, longish hair, become the true renaissance bohemian man he is, and gift his voice on a plateau to the world. Here is an icon who emerges from a truly non-Gharanic milieu, with a voice given by Brahma himself.

God loves to play games, right? 

Ranade`s voice quality, his revolutionary riyaaz stuns most folks who dare approach him. He is the true inheritance, the very future, of our bien-aimee Sangeet Martand, and we know who that is....

Second concert of the year, Srimati Jayanti  Sahasrabuddhe.

I had in great excitement of this moment blurred this on facebook: Tonight the picture of the colossus Pandita Veena Sahasrabuddhe radiated on the audience at Mitralaya. A befitting dedication by the ultra talented Jayanti Sahasrabuddhe.

She jumpstarted with Rag Gawati, and danced with the soft Komal Nishad Meend with simple and majestic eloquence. A quiet softness seems to exude at every juncture through Jayanti’s voice. An exquisite Shyam Kalyan took over and elevated the audience to the state of what we can well call ‘Kabiration’...lootan basar...save yourself...says Kabir, no not from maya, but from the spell and bewitchment of a true class act from a true devotee of Veenathai....a wonderful memorable concert !

Books and books galore.

The world of Vedanta has now fully opened to me after an august initiation at Trabuco, so suddenly the books on my list have morphed from history, science, non-fiction, to vedantic treatise and manuals. The ‘Great Swan’ by Lex Hixson entered my life and conquered my senses.

Our dear tricyle wrote,..great Swan is a dramatic retelling of the life of Ramakrishna (1836-1886), a Hindu priest who devoted himself to the worship of the goddess Kali. For twelve years he engaged in several practices including Christian and Islamic, and eventually, through personal experience, realized the universal truth inherent in all religions.

His teachings, transmitted informally and recorded by a disciple, are translated into English as The Gospel of Ramakrishna. It is this record, in addition to other eyewitness accounts, that Lex Hixon draws on to create a powerful contemporary portrait of Ramakrishna, known to his disciples as Paramahamsa, or the Great Swan’. 

I swallowed the book in a week....so i now say....

Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma  Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma Jai Ma

A propos de l'auteur : Rattan Gujadhur    left Mauritius for higher studies in the US in 1999. He has practiced in the Pharma and Biotech world for over 29 years and is a Dr in Chemistry. He remains deeply in love with Mauritius and has published reminiscences of Mauritius via a poetry collection and a novel.