Book cover “Mind Made”, Helm Publishing, Amy Lignor. Fair use

Do you have a problem?

Sometimes when people have a problem – any problem: love, career, friends, family, deep shyness, health etc. – they get depressed, they remain passive and do nothing. Other times people, trying also desperately to get out of their bad situation, find some strength and react, in a way or another.

Of course the result of this re-action can either solve their problem or, as a possible alternative, get to a problem that is worse, not to mention total failure or disaster (this not being the point though.)

Ok, I am making it simple but, from what I have just said, strength seems such an important ingredient in one’s life success – Country philosopher would say:”No doubt about it, really no doubt about it.” I think you’ll soon meet him, oh you’ll have to readers.

Back to the point now.

Strength of Mind, plus Action

Image from Fair use

Strength is in fact crucial, I can tell you by experience. No matter your intelligence or big qualities, if you are not provided with enough strength of mind to face things with firmness, if you do not possess some sort of personal bravery, even powerful intellectual processing capabilities might not help much. Quite the contrary, they might be an extra handicap making you a flop.

Here’s one theoretical example.

Even a perfect intellect though spending its time thinking thinking thinking only (and not acting with bravery of mind) it’s almost sure to reach its exact opposite, namely total imperfection in life, which can have many names: frustration, implosion, deep sorrow, depression, overthrow, stalemate etc.

Failure, in short.

The world is full of gifted people that are total flops because they’re cowards and forceless, I know too well, many of my failures (apart from a few successes) being due to flaws where lack of courage was not seldom part of the bunch. And of course, one being a flop means being partially or totally impeded to fulfill one’s dreams as for family, career, love and so forth.

I would add (since we are all bloggers) that even writing & thinking too much can sort of devour itself and make the writer stop writing altogether. This for example happened to me with musical composition: too much loved, too much adored, thus devouring itself, hence failing (or flopping, if you prefer.)

Finding Courage Inside. Magister

Given strength is such a good quality how can one attain it in case we are deprived of it? Hard question. I can tell what Magister used to say, probably referring to an idea by the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci:

“Anyone of us can find all the force he needs, a tremendous force, if only he really tries, no matter his gender, nation, age, instruction, religion (or non religion), no Gods helping, no religion helping, only our human nature helping (or genes, if you prefer.)”

Of course I am making Magister’s words exuberant a bit since he lectured us with his crystal-clear ideas that imprinted on us vigorously, day by day.

“Sometimes one needs to really be cornered to discover this tremendous bravery we all can have – he kept saying.

“Sometimes one actually needs to feel in danger.”

Magister now sounded implacable, his voice rising.

“Yes! Only in real danger one is sometimes able to stand up with one’s balls firm, in order to face things, and FIGHT!”

Gosh, we were STUNNED. We couldn’t but keep staring at him, totally wide-eyed.

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Book cover. Fair use

I will also add the sublime example of Victorian Kipling’s Rikki-tikki-tavi baby mongoose, fighting and winning even over the dreadful adult female King cobra. Yes, baby mangusta won because cornered (and out of love for the British humans she/he lived with, though mangustas’ behaviour I have no idea about.)

So let us make use of this potential inner courage we all have in order to face things and act. In other words, let us fight for a better life – personal or collective, it is the same.

Of course, dear readers, this post is also pretty personal since I am living a hard moment, so once more I’m trying to follow Magister’s example to find such inner force and make use of all the personal bravery I am capable of.

Destructive Solution: aggressive Anger

The thing is, being very stressed these days, I am starting to make mistakes.

1) Excess. One mistake is letting excess prevail a bit. No big deal, since once I’m all right I’ll take care of it and tame it (hopefully.)

2) Anger. The worst thing – and a possible by-product of Magister’s teaching on strength? – which I consider due only to age (or bad temper?). I mean, I feel such a great anger inside, together with this constantly re-lost & re-found energy at my disposal now, without a doubt.

Why the hell am I angered? For personal reasons I won’t say and because I see my country (and Europe) not reacting well to challenges. I see people here in Italy full of intelligence and of resources my generation didn’t even dream of (same old song at each generation, I know) looking unprepared, narrow-minded and provincial, not to mention Italians’ almost total ignorance of the whole world picture.

I see the UK and France fantasizing they still have great empires (or great world influence of their own), thus halting in a way or another the European political unification.

Oh this really drives me mad, especially the Brits’ behaviour, really so mad indeed – tending to condone the French out of sentimental weakness: I consider them at present the best fruit of Latin civilization.

Bulls on the streets of Pamplona, Spain. Click for credits and to enlarge

This anger thing reminds me of an old man, long white hair, bald, dirty clothes though full of tremendous dignity I met 25 years ago in Pamplona, Spain – see the picture above. He told us two words in Italian in a bar, so I asked him:

“How is government here in Spain?”
His facial expression changed and, looking at me with boiling rage, he roared:
“LATRONES! LATRONES!” (Thieves! Thieves!)

Oh was I startled, plus I got worried for the poor old fellow’s health.

2.1) Made my Indians angry. First totally moronic consequence of my destructive anger (plus lack of concentration): I’ve recently flooded my sweet Indian bloggers (Amith, Poonam, Ashish, Ishmeet etc.) with hard (not against them tho) and/or fussy comments which gave them the impression I wanted their blog space A-L-L for myself.

GOD DAMN! They might ban me from now on, being all connected to one-another, one whisper sufficing to be excluded by the only readers I have (or the core of them.)

It would though be right, it would though be RIGHT, this punishment, because of this verbal abuse of mine that has no excuses, really no excuses at all, going against what I call humanitas, which is basically sympathy & respect for others.

One Big (Tiny) Missile Against The Ex-Victorians

2.2) Stupid attack on Great Britain, i.e.second moronic mistake.

Some time ago I found a high-brow English blog on politics, Westminster Wisdom (subtitle: “mind trained by academia into almost fractal subtlety”).

(Fractal subtlety!)

It was highly ranked in Technorati plus this guy’s (or guys’) nick was Gracchi, which in Ancient-Roman history is the name of two brave brothers who decided to carry out a revolutionary state-land property reform (land to be given to small peasants) since the ancient Roman Res Publica was not so Publica after all, 200 clans (or gentes) basically having ALL the riches (and lands) for themselves. These two brothers were in fact butchered by landowners gorillas. Same old story almost everywhere in the ancient and non ancient world.

Wow, I said. I love this man. He loves the Romans & the common people like I do. Therefore I started reading his blog with a pleasure that diminished the more I was realising how his high-brow British English (which I probably envied) was hard to understand. My anger, while reading, kept surging surging.

Such fruitless sophistication (I thought,) I had to read sentences 3 times to figure out their content (was I just tired?)

You’ll say it’s because I am no mother-tongue. I’m not, and I toil for every sentence I write.

But let’s face it. I read the Economist, Financial Times etc. quite a lot. I used to read over and over the Canterbury Tales (modern English verse, tho,) Pope, Shakespeare, Byron & Milton, bits of Joyce etc. (and, American-English stuff, even more than British stuff, except for English poetry, of course, which I totally adore. I’ll add several historical & political British – and American – books.)

Additionally, my anger was surging surging also because this guy dared to call himself Gracchi.

This Briton I mean dared to use a Roman name that since more than 2000 years always meant: with the common people! For the common people! Caesar himself, though from the noblest breed, wrote works that even a baby could read and belonged to that Gracchian youth and all that democratic bunch which helped him to gain power.

In ten minutes I was like the man in Pamplona: all rage, my pent-up grudge against the Brits exploding – the only real Trojan horse of Europe (forget the French.)

Well, it didn’t explode, to say the truth. It imploded, probably making my life 2-3 years shorter.

I didn’t (and don’t) nonetheless care a f*** about my health, being a citizen of Rome with all his couldn’t-care-less attitude, non ce ne frega riccamente un cazzo a noi romani.

Although, I did care, and got so angry about this after-all-innocent-Brit-guy’s blog. Hence, rage being rage:

Vendetta is a dish
You have to eat so cold,
Oh yes, my fellow countryman,
so cold, cruel, perfidious.
Perfidious-Albion-like ah ah
perfidious-Albion-like ah ah ah ah
ah ah ah aaahhhh ….

Such a silly poem actually – I love my silly English poems – though this one (among the silliest) may somewhat describe my feelings while so perfidiously I was about to prepare my missile against the UK.

Once my comment was completed – and well equipped after two hours of toil – BANG! I shot my legions forwards, feeling like Maximus Decimus Meridius in the moments preceding the German Marcomanni’s annihilation (in the Gladiator’s initial movie battle, btw.)

Here’s my battle text:

“Your blog seems great to me, although a bit too sophisticated. Is this sophistication the essence of what you call academic? (I know this is not your thought). Trying not to be provocative I’m only disappointed.

I thought only the French and Italian Academias (or their respective literatures) suffered from this illusion that sophistication of style immediately translated into quality of content, or from this aristocratic (id est corporative) disease that makes intellectuals more concerned about other intellectuals than about talking to a public. The natural consequence of this undemocratic attitude being of course that the world does not read our works any more.

Britain was such a happy exception. You did so much not only for the ‘public understanding of science’ but also for the ‘public understanding of humanities (and politics)’.

Where is Europe going if even the shepherds are getting lost….?

A man of the street of Rome

[downgraded to middle-brow status
(though proud of it),
whose ancestors were noble citizens of Rome
since at least 10 centuries]

Saturday, October 20, 2007 3:49:00 PM

The arrow was cruel, no doubt, and painted with subtle venom, especially if you consider his nick, Gracchi, and the fact that only 40 years earlier sublime (and high-brow) Bertrand Russel, together with hundreds of other high-brow British intellectuals, had the rare quality of being understood even by porters (or street cleaners, if you prefer.)

This dirty shot to the Gracchi guy was in fact such a blow in my view that, thinking of it now while I’m writing, I am not so proud of it, I’m not so proud of it at all.

In any case my legions of words having been too quick for him – and too well organized, I’ll confess my silly pride – this poor, decent Briton thus finally replied:

“Thanks TD [TD?]
Manofroma cheers for the praise. I’m sorry about the sophistication- I do write some simpler articles- but basically I write this for fun, so though I’ll try and be more concise in the future I suspect the subjects won’t change! I do think that there is a point in there- and I think TD [??] has found it for example- anyway thanks for visiting and sorry your visit disappointed you in some ways.”

Saturday, October 20, 2007 4:12:00 PM

Nice reply, after all, and his blog highly cultivated and interesting indeed, of a higher quality than mine, no doubts about it.

But then, total victory of Roma over the UK? Oh no no no, of course not. Great Britain always backfires.They never give up, never, even during Alexandrian-style decadence.

After 1 day an anonymous comment in fact came out:

“No no no don’t listen to Manofroma’s incomprehensible post. There is absolutely nothing ‘too sophisticated’ about your writing – it is most lucid and precise. Stick exactly to what you are doing, it works beautifully! One of the few blogs out there that is consistently a joy to read.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 1:08:00 AM

Probably true, although, what if HE HIMSELF had written the anonymous comment? There must be reasons why they are called Perfidious-Albion. Well, in truth, difficult to say whether the Romans were instead more honest, in their total brutality that spared nobody if they deemed it necessary. So hard to say. In any case, as for Gracchi, I’ll never know if it was him to backfire or someone else.

Truth painted with Sorrow. Ghosts

The thing is, what the hell do I care, my dear readers. I was an aggressive bastard, whatever the result of this microscopic war between Roma and the UK – who probably didn’t even notice the battle, and Rome in any case couldn’t care less, ah ah ah.

Things, you know, are much more complicated. And they are not painted with venom, they are painted with sorrow …

Truth being I cannot but love Britain of course. I wouldn’t have toiled so much to learn its language; I wouldn’t have listened to Sir Edward Elgar‘s Victorian music so much, a bit too romantic to Roman ears, though providing that feel of imperial greatness I needed to write my most Roman posts, this introductory post, for example.

And the thing is I do not only love the Britons. I most of all love so much the people and the place I am departing from.

Is it guilt that is making me aggressive, my departure though being not deprived of reasons and fairness?

And, out of guilt, is it a ‘hating-myself <–> hating-my-beloved-ones’ type of thing? Or is it just fear?


“Ok man, this is personal stuff – one might say. Let’s get more practical. We just learned you are leaving: where the hell are you going?”

Well, I’m going somewhere to the south – only 30 minutes by train will take me back to my beloved city.

I’m going where I can watch our Mediterranean sunset reflecting on the salty sea water, every day that is left to me, every single day, away from all the smog, away from the big city chaotic pace, although, unfortunately, also away from all that I love unconditionally.

Mind made (nightmares). Fair use

And one danger is approaching, ruthless. Ghosts from my mind are about to attack. I can feel them.

They’re approaching and even if it was foreseen that doesn’t mean I am not scared, being totally alone, nobody waiting for me, now and in the future, I believe.

This might be the final reason why I got so armoured, aggressive. Mind ghosts, theonly real ones in my view (see the post Ghosts from Asia,) will make my life a lot harder, for a length of time whose duration I cannot predict.

They are the ones to be really fought, not the Brits, certainly, whom how can I judge they being superior to Italians in many respects (not in all respects though, oohh really no doubt about it.) I will not judge them, though pls allow me to strongly disagree with their stubborn, anachronistic (plus self-destructive) Trojanism.

I really do hope that love, harmony and joy will soon circle back in the life of everyone, me being though a natural born loner, as it always was and as it always will probably be.

I might lose my battle with ghosts (and with fear). Even though in the end, in the very end:

When the unwanted Guest arrives …
I might be afraid
Or I might smile and say:
My day was good, let night fall.

(quote from Coelho’s The Zahir)

29 thoughts on “Force & Anger. Ghosts in the Mind

  1. Anger, the destructor of all. I have a first hand experience of what anger CAN do, my father having quite a big temper. One of the reasons why I prefer not to be angry even though I have a short temper.

    About your piece on courage, I think that even the cowardest of the people, when cornered will suddenly turn into a fierce beast. Man loves his life, no matter what he says. Try to take that away from him, all of that cowardice is converted into fierceness. Thinking and acting should be intertwined. Thinking or only acting are and never will make a person perfect. Neither can both. Love, Anger, Courage, Brains and the ability to act make a Person. They are all required parts of the human body, in some Courage is high while thinking is low [overconfidence] etc.

    Even Anger is needed. Anger fuels courage, but too much can be destructive. Or that is what I think.

    First totally moronic consequence of destructive anger plus lack of concentration is that I have recently flooded my sweet Indian bloggers (Amith, Poonam, Ashish, Ishmeet etc.) with hard (not against them tho) and/or fussy comments which gave them the impression (not entirely vain, who knows) that I wanted their blog space A-L-L for myself. GOD DAMN! They might ban me from now on since, being all linked to one-another, one whisper can suffice to basically being excluded by the only readers I have (or the core of them). It would be though RIGHT, this punishment, because of this verbal abuse of mine that has no excuses, really no excuses at all.
    Firstly, I wish to tell you that I DO NOT think that. I like your comments, they make me think and learn. This is why I Blog, to receive comments and LEARN. I strive for knowledge. As a Introvert, I feel that blogging helps me learn some social skills even though I’m quite shy of going around. Don’t take it on yourself ManofRoma, I like you. 🙂

    For the Highbrow Englishman, I understand what you feel. Sorry for playing Devil’s advocate [which I usually do anyways] but like the guy said, it’s fun. As in everybody tries to “generalise” these days. Yes, it helps the masses but sometimes it gets boring when it becomes routine. Suppression of the REAL thought over what the masses want. I totally understand that you wanted it to be only a bit simple, but thing is that it is a different person writing more importantly for himself. Blogging is writing for yourself first and then for the masses. I believe in blogging for yourself, people will flock to you. For lack of a better example [what could be better?] Jesus never went out of his way to collect disciples, they came to him. Same goes for Buddha, Mahavir and everyone else. 🙂

    The Anonymous comment was, i don’t think by the author himself. If he had the balls to reply to your comment with his name the first time, he would do so the second time. 🙂

    But thats just me seeing things from my perspective. 🙂


  2. @Ashish
    Your two last comments (highly stimulating) need good feedback accordingly, which cannot tho be done now.
    One thing only: you’ll never know how your support is warming me up in this moment, my friend.


  3. -DITTO-
    Ashish put it beautifully(I don’t want to reiterate).

    *ps-A request-It will be easy for readers to read long posts like this if you break the long post somewhere in the middle.


  4. @xntricpundits
    Yes, Ashish put it beautifully, but any idea is welcome and it enriches all of us. I know you like short posts, like fragments of mind scattered here and there. Your blog is profound and I appreciate it a lot. I will try to comment more there. I feel happier now that you all Indians didn’t leave me..
    Dunno well how to break my long long writings… I’ll see.
    Bye sweet Xntric pundits


  5. It seems “ANGER”, are not a good stuff to human. It is one of human’s emotion made from “God”?? or it just arises inside from our heart and mind? which is usually expressed when something happened. Mostly, it happened when you are not satisfied or not expected….

    Talking about anger, I remembered one of my friend told me something which is related to Buddhism’s theory. The theory says when something often makes you get anger easily, there must be a reason in it to make you feel like this. In Buddha’s word it is “ STUBBORN”. Soul and mind were not calm down, and used to concentrate to think of that stuff, “ANGER” grows and keep growing and the worst case is the anger take over your rational thinking and some people may do something MAD lol. “THINK POSITIVE, Calm yourself down when anger grows inside.”

    There are many things in our life not under our control. We have to accept this fact. I am still learning about this. When you get angry or stress, try to find a place without people around, sit comfortably, close up your eyes and to feel the silence, to feel the peaceful atmosphere around you, and breath deeply and slowly……(of course, not to act like sleeping lol… :-D..) You could feel better inside your heart, and mind is relaxed afterwards, just feel like you have already thrown away the big rock in your mind, and you feel so free to fly like a BIRDIE…manofroma, be relaxed. Everything will go well…


  6. @Ashish

    Dear dear sweet friends from Cindia (China and India), I will reply intellectually to your points when practical things are settled (maximum 5-6 days from now, maybe earlier). Now I will reply only emotionally, writing randomly.

    I have to confess that this blogging thing which, ok, can satisfy our need of writing and thinking, I thought was somewhat not so important emotionally and I was wrong because in here you communicate with people similar to you, dunno why, just trying to understand, but I feel it’s like this.

    Of course I am naïve but I feel that there’s a community of bloggers that share something and these people they feel they are together in some way but also blog for themselves too being maybe loners or just for the hell of it… Ashish and others have explained me a bit of this, me belonging to a different generation.

    This totally alternative medium (big power people are so afraid of) is different from what we had before and the quantity of people involved is amazing (hundreds of millions if you blog in English –Autumsnow: millions even if you just blog in Chinese, but Chinese is so …hard…

    Important emotionally, I said. Well, also when one has problems people help you just by popping and saying *hello*. I have evidence of you three from Cindia giving me support for example. I feel less lonely now because I feel that people have read my mind (my writing) and are somewhat sympathetic. And I read theirs.
    As a teacher, that has devoted more than 30 years to teaching mainly to younger people, this is a THANK YOU.

    “just feel like you have already thrown away the big rock in your mind, and you feel so free to fly like a BIRDIE…manofroma, be relaxed. Everything will go well…”
    You said beautiful words, sweet Chinese woman, *thank you* so much: why people say you are marble-faced ah ah ah….hug hug hug

    >my father having quite a big temper
    I know, we being a very strict generation lol
    >I DO NOT think that (Indians banned you)
    This gave me peace of soul, because of you and because I know you are a leader in there

    We should know each other better … I’ll probably have lots of time in the future to read more others (not write only lol)


  7. I am happy to hear that you feel less lonely and you gained something in here 😉 hugs


  8. This gave me peace of soul, because of you and because I know you are a leader in there
    Hahaha! You over estimate me. I’m no leader, infact I’m one of those disconnected with my countries brethren. You’ll see that my blogroll has only two. 😀

    Looking forward to more, Man of Roma! 🙂


  9. @ALL
    Thank you friends!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!! Problem being there is also a woman among you lol…. (i.e. among those commenting this post only of course, since in other-posts comment space there is also sweet mysterious Indian Poonam), and, well, women complicate things … because we men are really not that complicated compared to a woman (quote from “Sex and the city of NY”), we like plants compared to them…. women are Sybils, witches sometimes, and fairies and mothers and daughters … enough to totally kill man; I mean they can have these tremendous powers much more powerful sometimes than Superman’s powers, no doubt, no matter nationality, east, west, south, north, almond eyes or round caucasian eyes. Well, well, I wish i was 10 years younger, at least.
    But I am not. End of it.

    Sorry Snow from Chinese Autumn, pls forgive me and do not stop commenting. Really do hope your Chinese manners are not offended. After all, I didn’t say anything terrible, I just said: I love you, whoever you are, as I love ALL guys commenting here and in other posts, and their blogs too.

    You might be a gay Chinese man, for example … in which case I can love you even more tho only as a friend, one has to choose in life, or we are chosen, the result being the same.

    You see: men from Roma are not serious: they like to kid too much 😦

    Man of Roma


  10. Dear manofroma,

    As a Chinese woman, I do not feel i am offended by your words. So, don’t worry too much. Since modern Chineses’ women’s mind is opened compared the ancient. Ha ha if in the ancient, i think your words would make people get angry lol. 😉 Anyway, I can give you hug, I can give u a kiss on your cheek too, i know it is western’s manners, we chinese accept it. 🙂

    Only I think these words ‘I love you’ should be said to the person you love most lol. 😉


  11. @Autumnsnow
    >I think these words ‘I love you’ should be said to the person you love most

    It is true, it is this silly Western (maybe only Roman) way of playing which in fact is pretty superficial. We kid a lot. Best wishes to mighty China!

    Well, I know nothing about you, age, location, Chinese language … it doesn’t really matter tho. To me it is enough you are Chinese.

    >feel so free to fly like a BIRDIE
    Did you find this word BIRDIE in the Saw Bacchus in Wenzhou post published in 2007-09-27? Do not remember if you commented on that. I wish you all the best, dear woman from China.



  12. Yes, I copied “Birdie” from your post and i did comment on that post too. Before, i would like to use “bird” but i found that “birdie” is much more suitable to express that EXACT feeling lol! 🙂

    Best wishes, and be happy!

    From Autumnsnow


  13. I am not offended by whatever you say at all sir.

    In fact, I think you have quite a moderate tone. In any case your comments on some of my posts (including the one on Maslow’s Need Heirarchy) are very insightful.. These are the things that make Blogging so enriching at times!

    Thanks a lot.. and looking forward to hearing more from your stables!

    By the way, I tried my hand at podcasting.. Do drop in at my blog at leisure..



  14. @Amith
    >I am not offended by whatever you say at all sir. In fact, I think you have quite a moderate tone…your comments on some of my posts (including the one on Maslow’s Need Heirarchy) are very insightful.. These are the things that make Blogging so enriching at times!

    Thank you Amith, you are really nice to say that. And I need good interaction with my new international friends, India and China.

    India is a magical place to me, I’ll never get tired to stress it, like magical are those parts of Italy that have had a deep Greek influence. I’ll surely visit your blog since I am now settled and have more time to think and write (my gas stove being there and working lol).

    Ashish and AutumnSnow have more attracted my attention because they have commented here a lot, especially Ashish who lived in ex-Portuguese Goa for a while: this might be the reason of his interest for Western culture.

    One thing tho I have to say. I am amazed by all of you guys. You are so young tho you reason like mature & cultivated people (wait, AutumnSnow’s age? Didn’t ask her, maybe not kind to ask a lady …).

    At your age I was silly and my views were limited until I met Magister at the age of 24. Really amazing u guys seem to me, making me hope the world can get better since you new generation are the future. And who knows, maybe Empire of Cindia will be greater than all we’ve had in the last two centuries. I really hope that so much. Anglo-Saxons (the UK then now USA) are excellent tho lacking sometimes … depth? Am I right? Wrong? Never like in this age (of our discontent) we need all the depth humans are capable of, not many doubts about it, oh yes, not many doubts at all.

    All the best
    Man o fRoma

    Pls do not call me Sir. I am a friend, age not mattering much. I am not even a teacher compared to you young, feedback being providentially two-way, not one way, or we’d have intellectual onanism, again.


  15. Same as Ashish, even I don’t think that you want our some space on our blogs for yourself. It feels good to have your comments there. While Ash replies to your comments, I usually don’t and I know I’m at fault there. But that doesn’t mean you stop posting comments on me. Please, continue to do so!


  16. @Ish
    Dear Ish, I thank you for telling me this. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t reply to my comments. It was a real honour for me to write in one of the most intelligent and successful blogs of young India.

    I have sometimes flooded your space with long comments. Not good. But I appreciate your support, really, can’t tell you how much.

    Naturally I will continue to add comments in your blog, be sure of that!

    All the best from Roma

    Pls I remind you I am waiting for two-three lines describing Sikhs’ clothes, so I can use this info in one of my posts. I brought here ALL my books. I can’t even *walk* in this new small house. Temporary settlement, I guess, wifey and I after clashing.
    In any case, many are about India. One is: Khushwant Singh‘s View of India (India Book house PVT.LTD. Bombay 1974). He must be a Sikh. Very intelligent, a collection of lectures delivered at various universities in the USA on India’s people, religions, history and contemporary affairs. Very instructive, don’t care if old. He is the guy who wrote this novel, Train to Pakistan, plus A History of the Sikhs (Princeton and Oxford University Press).


  17. Yeah, Khushwant Singh is a popular Sikh author. He’s also very famous for his joke books.

    As far as Sikh clothing goes, it depends on how orthodox a Sikh is. The orthodox ones don’t cut their hair or beard and hence wear a turban. The other clothes are normal. The very orthodox ones wear white kurta pyjamas and saffron turbans. But the younger generation doesn’t have a problem with getting their hair and beard cut because they aren’t that orthodox.


  18. @Ish
    >Khushwant Singh is a popular Sikh author. He’s also very famous for his joke books.
    Really? Joke books? Well, Gosh, I’ll admit I adore joke books and joking in general. They make life sparkling even in sorrow.

    It would be interesting though to know if these jokes are Sikh (or Indian-somewhat-related) or just English-culture related jokes, thing being I need many flavours: maybe I am a spoiled guy, ah ah, or just an old man who needs new things, having tried a lot. I mean, I get bored if variety is not there, so ONLY western jokes (European and USA) are not enough to me, this applying also to literature, music, art, people, mind patterns etc.

    As far as West goes, English jokes are absolutely the best in my view; secondly I like French jokes and French marvellous irony; thirdly Italian jokes, not very well known (this unknown state being not totally unjust, apart some great guys like Totò, Campanile which have highest world quality but our language is a loser language). Too complicated to provide a full list, Germans tho coming last in the list, having either no jokes at all or *bad* jokes (which I do not care much about, Germans being great, civilised, profound, they let you sense jokes are not that important after all ah ah ah).

    >As far as Sikh clothing goes, it depends on how orthodox a Sikh is.
    Well, I suppose I prefer the orthodox. I need this info you gave me about clothes for a post dunno when it is to be published. The orthodox to me is better for the said reason (I do not like a monolithic culture). Plus, let us face it: why all world should dress like Europeans? Ours are clothes apt for colder climates (ties etc. are not good in tropical weather, I suppose. One doubt (totally unimportant): are Sikh clothes good for hot weather? Maybe they are, or maybe many Sikhs are mountain people, I cannot know).

    I admire Ghandi for ALL he did (maybe for young Indians being just boring history u must study at school); and, last but not least, I admire the way he was clad (Indian-village clothes?) when he appeared in meetings with Western big shots & prime Ministers. What an immense lesson of dignity (and pride). He humble, he sweet (oh yes, so sweet) but these two attitudes together with a pride that was much more profound than Victorian pride (which is only barbarous, being only stubborn and scornful, thence primitive). He instead was both so sweet in my view and so full of deep sympathy for mankind (this being not barbarous, this being in my view the maximum of civilization), though not less iron-willed….oh yes, my Sikh man, not less iron-willed than the Brits, not many doubts about it.

    And the world is still chanting his (and India’s) praise song for the eminent, regal, dignified way ( I lack words) how Indians liberated themselves from Brits’ joke….Yes, the world is this chanting this song, even tho u Indians are not aware of it ….even tho now Western people are invaded by far away nations and some people’s judgement is blurred …. world & life are complex… no black and white, good and bad silly division. World being though beautiful and always worth living at one’s maximum…

    I will comment on your ecellent blog, be sure of that, Ishmeet


  19. @Man of Roma

    Wow that post was more of a soliloquy…(whatever the spelling )
    Now to put it in the words of Goethe: whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

    It was a surprise to see u angry… and good too…

    >>I didn’t (and I don’t) nonetheless care a fuck about my health, being a modern citizen of Rome with all his couldn’t-care-less attitude, non ce ne frega riccamente un cazzo a noi romani.
    So you finally used the F word…

    It’s understandable that u were angry.. that brit tripped upon somthing close to ur heart.
    Jus like u mentioned Kipling.. and I said damn it… Not that SoB again..

    Then again It was Khushwant singh… I loved his books…books but then I read some articles and it seemed the guy had gone lunastic.. or may be I am too nationalist to be close to be called myself a lunatic…
    The only Thing that kept me from fuming was “GANDHI”. He used to be semi-clad wearing only a dhoti.. He gave up wearing europeon clothes when he travelled to Bihar and below Gahamar bridge… he saw the real poor india. Where a woman was wearing the same saree in which she had taken bath for she had nothin else to wear.. where as Gandhi had a three piece suit and a Big “pAGdree” THE NATIVE WORD FOR TURBAN.

    So Anger is least to me…, and as well justified as the right to breathe…

    Regarding the sophisticated I too share ur opinion…In fact My first post was all about it…

    I guess it was a soliloquy from my side… And most of it didn’t make sense


  20. @Falcon
    Yes, anger is understandable, but I do not condone it much. I think it is a fault and one should not get angry, especially one should be careful not to hurt other people.

    Bad words? Well, here in Rome they are not uncommon, lol.

    For example, I would not call Kipling the way you called him. He was a great man and he loved India. And I noticed that many Indians do like him and like his works. The poem IF has been mentioned recently in many Indian blogs, if I recall well. Of course, he was a son of the British empire in India, the Raj. But I have also noticed that many Indians have affection for the Victorians. As for Gandhi, he is someone to be really proud of …a nation needs sacred individuals, and he seems one to me.

    I think what you write makes sense, anyway. And I thank you for commenting in my blog.

    All the best, Falcon

    All the best


  21. @ Man of roma
    >>For example, I would not call Kipling the way you called him. He was a great man and he loved India.

    He loved India(???) I seriously doubt that. Maybe it’s an incomplete Sentence.
    Allow me to complete it: He loved India as a part of British colonial Empire with so much beauty and so much to plunder and loot. He loved India as Brits were its master and they were destined to rule India as it was their birth right. He loved India as Brits had given blood to save the empire and to master the uncivilized Indians.

    >>And I noticed that many Indians do like him and like his works.

    Very true. I never doubt his literary works… and they are really good. My mother likes it too… But that doesn’t mean I must like them or read them for that matter… I was in 10 th when I came accross His Poem ” The road to jungle” (sic)( May be I’ll send you the poem) and true to his style he never used the word India..or something… But I did some research that all he wanted to say was Brits wanted to help Indians but Indians themselves shut the door to development when they revolted against them…

    And I can’t digest It. If we were so underdeveloped why the hell did British want to trade with us.. and set up their colony..

    by the way I am not against Brit in fact I find them highly Aristrocratic But It’s one thing to behave Aristrocraticaly and another to look down upon others. A King is to serve his people and not enslave them…


  22. @Falcon
    I can understand your feelings, Falcon. Also Italy for 3 full centuries was colonized by foreigners. Usually, empires are created mostly for the benefit of the emperor, much less for the subjects’. I cannot tell to which extent the Indians were exploited by the British, though I am sure they were in some way. I am also sure, on the other hand, that also Indian empires did the same (not to mention the Roman empire). This is how history goes: strength rules …


  23. All I can say to this powerful meditation on introspection is that all humans–Romans, Brits, frustrated Californians—have felt all of these feelings, sometimes whirling around like a cyclone.

    I remember taking an EST-like group training when I was 30 (long ago). The mantras there were simple: it is as it is, I am who I am, and now is my time.

    The other one was: Sometimes you are up, sometimes you are down, sometimes you are in the middle, and sometimes you are just around.


    1. Hey dear Cheri, you surprised me, didn’t think you’d jump here, altho I feel a bit exposed: at the moment of this writing I thought (how wrong I was) my life was going down the drain. So, yes, all is up again, and surely around, and down at times.

      I have to thank A LOT my Indians + one dear dear Chinese: they did support me.

      I much agree with you. ‘Now’ is our time, yes, a sort of ‘hic et nunc’. EST-like groups, I know nothing about.

      I love so much California Cheri! Pls don’t worry. Failed state? Nah, it will rise up to new splendours.

      And won’t forget you came right here to read about the ghosts. It means a lot to me.


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