Posts Tagged 'Friends Without Borders'



Better Days

MBJ Apendix, inflamed, un-needed, unwanted, unloved

People have been writing to inquire about my appendectomy so, for sake of efficiency, I’ll answer one-and-all here.

One day it was intermittent cramps, which I took to be an amoeba and mostly tried to ignore, the next it was hard-core and focused in the lower right quadrant, which I correctly surmised was acute appendicitis. The good thing about guessing right is that you arrive at the hospital carrying your laptop, shorts, favorite t-shirt, and toothbrush.

Continue reading ‘Better Days’

Friends Without Borders, Reruns

Friends Without Borders's videos online, free!  Yeah!

You loved the book, now see the movies.

As we embark on the Phase II of the Friends Without Borders Project, delivering letters of friendship from kids all over India to kids in Pakistan, I want to put our video and presentations at everyone’s easy disposal. I should have done this long ago.

Listed below are links to: our Public Service Announcement Television Commercial, which aired last year throughout India and Pakistan; a short history of Phase I of the project, made by Rahul Brown just before we crossed into Pakistan last year; and two slide presentations introducing our project and the World’s Largest Love Letter events.

Continue reading ‘Friends Without Borders, Reruns’

Samjhauta Express Bombing: We Are Fine, Many Are Not

Samjhauta Express after Bombing

The flow of calls and emails has already begun in the wake of the bombing of the Samjhauta Express, the train which runs between Delhi and Lahore. Everyone should know that we are still stuck in Delhi, awaiting our visas, and will probably not be leaving for Lahore for a few more days. (I guess we have some reason to be thankful for the classic inefficiency of the Pakistan High Commission and Interior Ministry, where our visa applications have been moldering.) We appreciate the expressions of concern for our well-being.

So, it looks like we’ll be walking across the border rather than traveling by train.

Continue reading ‘Samjhauta Express Bombing: We Are Fine, Many Are Not’

Friends Without Borders: Secret Agents (of Peace)

Handshake Between India and Pakistan -- kids' art

I am pleased to report that the 2007 incarnation of the Friends Without Borders travel squad has assembled and is raring to go. This year’s team includes John Siliphant, Yoo-Mi, Rahul Brown, Mona Panchal, Sachi Maniar, and me.

We are currently in Delhi awaiting word from the High Commission of Pakistan that Islamabad has cleared our visa requests. We hope to be soon on our way to Pakistan to deliver tens of thousands of friendship letters from Indian kids, to get letters to bring back to India, and to enroll schools for ongoing school-to-school relationships.

Continue reading ‘Friends Without Borders: Secret Agents (of Peace)’

Friends Without Borders in Asia Magazine

Asia Magazine story on Friends Without Borders

It’s a little awkward to get a byline on a story about one’s own project, but Friends Without Borders was asked by Asia Magazine to submit an article and we obliged. I wote the text and Maria Durana took and processed the photos. The article, which will span six-pages in “centerfold” format, to appear in the magazine’s March edition.

Asia Magazine does not publish online; but you can click on the image above (or here) for a reprint in PDF format.

The Shit of the Saintly is Still Reeking

Garbage on the River Ganga (Ganges)

The Kumbh Mela, the world’s largest religious festival, has just rounded its halfway point in Parag, near Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Occurring roughly every three years, the Mela coincides with certain astrological events, and lasts approximately eight weeks. This year’s festivities, will be attended by an estimated eight million people, including the traditional quorum of spiritual poseurs, religious exhibitionists, and voyeurs. Only the most uncritically relativistic, everything-is-beautiful-in-its-own-way, intellectually blinkered observers could possibly see the Kumbh Mela as anything other than a spiritual freak show, notwithstanding the devout piety of the rank-and-file superstitious who also attend.

The rather poor 2005 film, Kumbh Mela, depicted a small slice of the brainlessness of the event. My evidence for the spiritual vacuity of the Kumbh Mela and its participants, however, is drawn from today’s Times of India headline, “Heaps of Garbage Lie Unattended in Mela Area.”

Continue reading ‘The Shit of the Saintly is Still Reeking’

Symmetry and Dissymmetry

Crossing at Wagah

Relatively few people cross into Pakistan from India – such are the nature of relations between the two countries. Fewer still cross on foot, as the Friends Without Borders team did on 24 March, carrying tens of thousands of children’s letters of friendship – by hand – from India into Pakistan.

Continue reading ‘Symmetry and Dissymmetry’


Blasts from the Past

Man Up!
Man up you pussy!

... because the idiocy of manliness is an evergreen topic.

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Talking Turkey
how to cook a perfect turkey in half the time

... because Canada and the US will celebrate their Thanksgiving holidays and, regrettably and preventably, not 1-cook-in-10 will serve a decent turkey.

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Filial Piety Awareness Day
Kaki Tusler, Mother's Day Celebrant

... because everyday is Mother's Day.

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America Dreaming Small
American Dream

... because the American Dream seems but a distant memory, given the country's dominant ethos of small-mindedness.

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Serenity and Gratitude to Bring in the New Year
New Year's Eve at Tibetan Pavillion

... to remind us that not every mix of Tibetans and Western spiritual seekers has to be nauseating.

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Incredible Vision
Infinite Vision

... to celebrate the new edition of Infinite Vision published in India.

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Expelliarmus! Harry Potter and the Path to Gandhian Nonviolence
Expelliarmus, Potter, Gandhi, Nonviolence

... reprised because military strategy seems more cruel and less effective than ever -- and certainly there is a better way.

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India Going Nowhere Fast
Nano in Flames

... because cars are ruining Pondicherry, where I live. How badly are they fucking up your Indian town?

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Understanding the Gift Economy
Gift Economy Explained

... reprinted because more-and-more people seem want to understand the gift economy. (Yeah!)

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