Thursday, December 27, 2007

On Cricket & Beer

I admit it. I don't carry my weight in the company of Indian men. I don't discuss cricket or burp after gulping beer mugs.

For most men, talking sports is as basic and natural a transaction as watching TV, farting keeping a straight face or going to the toilet. Same way like its mandatory for men to hang out in bar joints and gulp down beer mugs more than they have gulped water in a day, if not on weekdays then at least on weekends. Aah!! take out the religion and allergy… I am not religious and surely not allergic to highs. I am allergic to only humans the closer they resemble me more allergic I am to them; good thing is we are NOT talking about love jerks and drugs for once. Just “New Age Alfa Indian Male” It's a universally understood way for strangers to structure interactions, for friends and family to build bonds in the 21st century over India in 20-20 series or just Bottoms up. Ask me honestly I never had to do anything with beer joints I bloody don’t like the old English Lady Urine taste nor I have seen more brutal way of molesting time than watching cricket…cricket over beer mugs… its suicidal.

The extent to which cricket means nothing to me measures my alienation from my gender and my culture, but I can't help it; my favorite Indian cricketer Salil Ankola his face was bearable it just cant be that Adivasi Dhoni. When talk turns to the most fundamental bond of our fraternity, my overwhelming response is tedium. Though friends know this, and usually give me wide berth on cricket discussion, strangers naturally assume I'm wearing a guard on my crotch, that I look like a typical guy in 20’s who knows the score of every match going on, absolutely no hint of disqualification. Especially men who never caught a ball on less than one bounce are no less eager in their sports talk than the most gym-hardened jock. This means I spend a significant part of my life maneuvering around the issue. Going into bars during world cup is asking for it, I never stray there even if there is a free strip tease along with the match. As for that ultimate haven of maleness -- the barbershop -- my first concern is not the hair cutter's skill but his reticence his choices, is he going to listen to music or watch cricket. Even at home I have to hustle, jumping for the remote whenever a coach or player is going through the hundredth iteration of why they won/lost. Usually we don’t win so explanations are more pathetic and longer.

I do resent it, and why not so much of my society's time, money and attention is consumed by something I don't care about. I feel like leaving this god forsaken land for magnolia or RussiaFrance never to come back not to have any cricket on my TV channels. I do resent it that even close friends become droning pod when sports comes up and then its beer and the bottoms up stuff which signifies some kind of male-hood.

I thank god for the company of women… for their very creation, they are the saner lot when in comes to these stuff…at least till lately. Although it’s highly unlikely females may harbour same taste and preference in life as mine but at least till start of this decade they were sane enough to hate both cricket and beer mugs and then world detoriated. Bitches came out of closet.

I don’t know why I wrote this maybe some weird drawback symptoms and I am sure no one will read it twice.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Falling in Love

Let's get the "falling" part of the falling in love… just take it out of the way.

Just writing

I always wonder what it takes to be a good and sensible writer. Do you have to get a good penmanship? Do you need to have much exposure to different kinds of situation to have something to write? How about enough courage to speak out everything that you have on your mind? Maybe, your attitude will matter as well, for you to overcome all the criticisms that will come on your way? Do you need to be open-minded enough to accept feedbacks with regards to your work, whether those would be positive or not ah I am not talking about that angel girl who never stops commenting and make me feel like a pig who sleeps with termites? Pigs???… Termites??? This kind of critique always make me end up with saying something that even I take time to understand if I understand it at all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Losers World – Joy got this for me( I ain't gonna be an English poet)

Cupid drove an arrow
Through two heartless hearts
Two unsuspecting victims
Stabbed with poison darts.

The plague of love unleashed
Upon the land of teens
Their hearts now filled
With loves silent screams.

They were on the comedown
The love drug wearing thin
Reality slapped them in the face
Now came deceit and sin.

She was just a cheap slut
Sleeping with his mates
And he was just a junkie
A short cut to heavens gates

Two losers in a world of lies
Where losers never win
Who will help a loser
In this world of sin?

Friday, December 7, 2007

To the one who never forgets to comment

My Love,

Think of this as a get well card. You’ll be needing it. If I didn’t succeed in destroying your life then I am sorry. I’d rather drink a gallon of mosquito blood than spend 10 minutes with you. You sicken me. I want all of my stuff back; I will be sending someone to collect it later. I feel so good and relived that something as grime and filthy like you won’t be feeding on my sanity any more. Life feels like heaven without your plagued presence around me. Yes you are right I lied and you are definitely a bloody stupid, I wanted to have just sex with you but its fine even I was bit stupid you are not even worth having sex with. I will prefer screwing a buffalo than putting it in your garbage can. You are mother of all nightmares a decaying, stinking parasite, a bloody curse on human civilization.

I hope you take time to read this a couple of times; it never sinks in the first time with you. Sing your pitiful love story to someone else.

P.S: You will be doing a great favour to human civilization by not putting anymore comments on my Blog.

Never yours

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Dadijaan's Bed time story

Unlike other grandmother’s bed time story mine never had any fairy tale to tell. Her stories never had any prince or princess or fairies from distant land. Most of her stories didn’t even have a happy ending but to top it all… most of them were either true or based on some legends

This story is based on a tragic event that happened around thirty-five years ago. The place in question is Bungalow #127, Mall Road, Mussoorie. Twenty minute brisk walk from our place.

The circumstances of this case are shrouded in mystery, leaving more questions, than answers.
Back in early seventies, a young couple was looking to buy their very first home. The realtor showed them several bungalows, but they were all worth a lot more than they could afford, except for one older home, which was in fairly good condition.

The house needed some fixing up, but the price was just right. One thing in particular, bothered
the couple though, and before they signed the final papers, they asked the realtor, why the fireplace in the basement was all bricked up.

The realtor said he didn't know and maybe he was not lying, the subject was dropped. The newlyweds signed the papers, and were excited to move into their home, to begin their lives together. Young couple got in touch with my grandmother during those early morning walks which still is religiously followed by the town folks of my city.

The first few weeks in their new home, was pretty much quiet. One day around a month of their shifting the young bride had gone down into the basement to stack raddi newspaper, and when she walked passed the fireplace, to get to the storeroom, she heard a baby crying.

Immediately, she bolted up the stairs, and ran to get her husband.

He had tried to calm her down, but she insisted that he go down into the basement and have a look around. So, to appease her, he went down into the basement, with his wife right behind him. He told her that he didn't hear anything strange, but she told him to go over by the fireplace, and when he walked up to it, he also heard the whimpering cry of an infant.

Like any new tenants will do in such cases they informed the neighbors very next day.
That bricked up fireplace, had bothered him even before they moved in handful of curious good neighbors and the terrified couple decided to break down the bricks to the sealed entrance.

After a couple of hours, most of the bricks had been cleared away from the center of the fireplace entrance, and peeking in, through the hole, he saw something laying on the floor, but he couldn't quite make out what it was.

A few hours later, all of the bricks had been broken down, and lying inside, on the soot covered floor, was a little bundle wrapped in plain brown sack, that was tied together with thin cord.

The man reached inside and began to carefully untie the sack, to discover that baby's bones were inside.

The police were immediately called, and the crime scene was processed.

Whose baby it was?
Was the Baby murdered?
Was this an accidental death?
Why were the bones of this infant sealed up inside the fireplace and, who put them there?

My grandmother didn’t answer any of the questions. This case has never been solved and has been discussed last during my grandmother’s bed time story.

The couple has retired and they spend most of their time with their son married and settled in USA, coming to Mussoorie once a year for couple of days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

On a different note...

kuch to majbooriyaan rahin hongi
Yu koi bewafaa nahi hota

Ji bahut chahta hai sach bolain
Kya kare hausla nahi hota

Guftagu un se roz hoti hai
Muddaton saamna nahi hota

I've been thinking about all the people I have ever known in my life - past and present, and the influences they have had on me. I remember reading once, that the person who causes you the most grief, pushes the most buttons or causes you the most pain - is your greatest teacher. I believe that to be true and I would like to thank everyone today who falls into these categories. Without you none of this would be possible. Your lack of support, understanding and seeming disinterest in my life has given me the motivation and the tools I needed to live. While I am aware that my ramblings here may appear to be somewhat facetious, that is not my intent. I have given a lot of thought to the paths that our lives have taken and to what has brought us here to this moment. There may be some truth to the idea that "things happen for a reason". That being said, I see now that those people were my greatest inspiration after all.

Those very people have triggered a taste within me for being immune to my surrounding, its gives me a unique kick. And I carry on the good work with others what my lot have subjected me to. It’s a start of dream a vision I had once. If I die today it should atleast 3 days for my office people to know that I am dead… a fortnight at least for my parents and relatives and at least a month for my friends and acquaintances. Hopefully If the same can be extended to god as well then nothing like it. You are a non-entity not an eyebrow raised if you are strolling in heaven or sitting in a corner of hell. To be a non entity in any canvas of life.

In my previous company I remember meeting a girl during interview who said her ambition/dream in life is to be a ticket collector. Ambition to be like a guy who sits behind that small dinky window giving you the ticket in bus Depot or railway station. No one remember their faces. At times you don’t even bother to bend a bit and see his face you just wait for him to issue you a ticket and return the change. I never heard such ambition before I met this girl. Not a doctor not a engineer not even a house wife but the guy who issues you bus/railway ticket. The reason was as simple as the ambition itself. She feels they have a 9-6 job, no hassle no tension.. take the money issue a ticket and return the change and that’s it. Start of once vacation or journey is from you. Six in the evening close the window deposit the money and return home. I don’t know what was her idea but it opened a window for me to a whole new world. A life with no struggle…no race…no burning ambition no fire… no remorse… no disappointment…no desire to change the world… no urge to make any kind of impact on anyone… no one remembers you when gone… no one acknowledges your presence or senses your absence… Being that person is the biggest dream I ever saw for myself. I don’t know if I would be able to achieve that in its entirety or not… all i can say is I have started working on it…. And in the coming future if you feel I am deliberately ignoring you, please don’t feel bad I just don’t want to be involved in anything which will become a part of your memory.

Something died within me when she called me back… I was never that important in her life… not even in my wildest of imagination I kid myself by thinking she got a soft corner for me…yes, something really died within me to understand the reason why she called me back…

Mother of all egoistic people I have known… a glass figure who will prefer breaking than bending… she called me back… I didn’t pick her call couple of times initially to help her forget me, but there are temptations and then there is an impulsive nature as well which at times overshadow your ego I can be nothing but a bad news in her life. She called back again this time from a different number which I didn’t recognize… she asked me not to disconnect her call…We spoke… we did something which I never thought will happen again at least from her side. Never saw or met anyone as lonely and friendless as her…. I bet if she had even one distant person as friend, this would have never happened… she would have never called.

I wish I can force her to make good friends or be a part of a good company… her chastity… her principles… her beauty and attraction works against her. People cant help falling in love with her… her seductive aura generates those lusting desires in one and all… if you are a man or a lesbian you cant help but fantasize… she knows it and she stays away…life would have been much more lucrative and giving for her if she would have compromised on her chastity… even those small non physical affairs would have taken her places… I wonder if her husband understands how taxing its for her to maintain her chastity…. I wish I can go back in time and erase those days when I told her about my feelings for her... I wish I was not this selfish…given her a true friend acknowledging her chastity. Such a beautiful chance I had and what a mess I made… my angel was awarding me with her trust & faith and I turned out to be nothing but that selfish leech plagued with desire. I not only killed a good friend but also slaughtered someone who bestowed the highest level of trust I ever had from anyone in my life… A woman trusting you with her chastity… a trust…an honour…. a faith much more valuable than any form of love… yeah… I wish I can go back in time and change few things.

So many things well kept and buried in my heart… so many things which will never come out beyond my diary pages…bloody I could have buried this as well…

Weired weired world… many people regret that they never could muster enough courage to express their feeling to the one they love and then there are people like me who will regret long for expressing their feeling…

I end with a sincere thought my friends if you can help avoid making life hard for people whom you value the most by your selfish self.

And I say this not for those people but for us because it makes a day feel like long painful stretched years when you are been eaten with guilt and remorse.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Of Dogs…humans…brains and beauty

Are nerds going to take over the planet? Or are studs going to continue to rule?

The other day an angry citizen of Hyderabad said all strays had to be culled or adopted by the Animal Rights activists 'Let each Animal rights activist donate 1000 rupees, since there are so many of them, the government will give land and all the dogs can be housed safely in a big shelter far away from the city . Humans are safe . Animals are happy…

How come we have time for such stupidity to enter our mind leave alone into papers.

'If human life is not supreme let us treat dogs with more respect', the man said. 'Why should they live on the streets? Let them be in the shelter far from speeding vehicles and not have to undergo forced sterilization. At least they will get decent meals and not have to beg for food'...

Equal rights for dogs...

You ask me and I say kill all of them and don’t think twice before doing that and start with toy dogs like Pomeranian and those small ones which are good for nothing… they are the worst of the lot, bloody they cant survive a day without humans. Making those cute emotional faces they make humans do things which the same humans will think twice before doing it with their own kids leave alone other human beings. Sit back and think for once how the have manipulated us to carry them around clean their shits comb them snug them pamper them. They have manipulated us. Street dogs I love them… in these days when hunting is a taboo and even people like Salman khan can be jailed for hunting a deer… chasing these street dogs and bumping them with car is the only form of hunting I can still have and enjoy without being booked. They are the super stupid of all forms of life ever crossed a street. Absolutely no traffic sense…they are like bloody villagers seeing highway for the first time leave alone crossing it.

Its not about dogs alone… there is something else to it… I am not sure how to put it… I started thinking about it since the time Britney Spears was photographed carrying her dog in the red carpet. She summarize the entire stuff. Of dogs… fair beauty… rich and importance.

When there is an airline crash and 30 people die it is on the headlines for days. When a bus falls into a river and 30 poor people die it is on the second page of the newspapers and not even reported by the TV channels. Is it because brainy people are rich and the poor and not so brainy are on the bus?

Why do animal rights activists only selectively protect animals like dogs? Why not Chickens, goats or even fish? I am not talking about white shark or gold fish but those simple tuna fish. Is it because dogs are considered beautiful and cute by the rich beauties of our society ?

If that is so are humans with lesser brains dispensable also? Sounds Hitlerian but its true. Hazardous factories are set up in Bhopal not in US.

Recently there was a big agitation because Dolphins were killed along with Tuna. Nobody cared for the poor tuna. Just the dolphins beautiful… brains

When millions died in Rwanda it was nowhere near as sensational as 911. Is it because the Americans are rich by far?

In our papers everyday poor people dying get less coverage than rich people. White people dying get more coverage than black or brown people. Hollywood actress with dietary problem gets more attention than people dieing with hunger in Africa.

Even in our country everyone wants a 'fair' bride What is it about white? Is it because the Europeans and white people are perceived to be smarter? I am not questioning this biased opinion, I agree to it. Look around yourself… rich people look smarter, much more attractive than poor people. Much more beauty can be seen in shopping mall than in Sabzi Mandi. Arrogant Blondie is more welcome than any other.

I read recently that 'good looking' people get better jobs. Security in Airport is much more than what you can ever see in a railway station or bus stand. So many real life example

I am still thinking about a one liner which will summarize it all….

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bhaia Bhabhi

One day I am gonna tell you their love story as well its as cute as the couple they make...

Funeral Service


Its been long I wrote about anything here beside copying few from internet....I still write but I am not very confident when it comes to uploading the same here. There are people who are omnipresent in my thoughts and there impact on my life leaves a mark on my way of thinking and my writings. For long I was lying to myself... few relations have died due to lack of direction or due to sheer negligence and I still forced myself to believe that the dead will make some movement and when they make a move or show signs of life... I need to be there. So I carried those dead relations wherever I went… people around me started complaining about the stench of rotting dead body which I carry everywhere.

What did I do? What can I do...?

I left the society I chose solitude… but the dead just won’t stir… at some point of our life we realize that love is for chosen few… and then one day you realize you are not one of those chosen few. One day when you are looking at that mirror you read something written in bold “SHE DOESN’T LOVE YOU”, its not true you have seen lot of things which indicated she does love you… she does care for you…

you saw those only because you were searching for that…

Welcome back to life… and in real life you don’t carry dead relations and feelings you bury ‘em... what you keep are only those fond memories when life was in full bloom…I wonder where can I bury my dead relations…In my diary… in these Blog pages… in my sub conscious memory… what should I write on the epitaph? Can I make provisions to be buried next to her grave so that I don’t have to search much in the next life…?

Once you were source of fragrance in my life and now the dead rots…I guess our relations lived pretty fast and all that I thought can be our future… is now in past… and now its going to be buried… buried before ‘tis born

Time to say good bye…

“Fate took you away; it was his will,
But in my heart… you live still”

Rest In Peace

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Moles On ur face

The Chinese Almanac, also known as the Tung Shu, is commonly known as a book of auspicious and inauspicious dates, but there is so much more to the Tung Shu than that. It is a vast mine of information relating to astrology, codes and symbols, derived by the wise sages and philosophers of ancient China. In this issue, we bring to you the secrets from the almanac regarding moles on your face and what they mean depending on which part of your face they appear.

First, check your face for any moles, and then look at the diagram above to identify the number(s) that are a closest match to the moles on your face. Usually, the moles only hold meaning for you if they are prominent and they are the only one. If your face if full of spots, acne or "little" moles, they do not count. When you've ascertained which position corresponds to the mole on your face, look up the meanings listed by numbers below.

Position 1 to 3
As a child, you are somewhat rebellious and a free spirit. You have an innate creativity and work best when you are given a free hand. Generally, your superiors like your avante garde approach to life. If you have a mole here, you are far better off in business and being your own boss rather than working for somebody. What is promising is that you have the luck to be your own boss.

Position 4
You are an impulsive person, often acting with a flamboyance that gives you charisma and a sparkling personality, but you can be difficult when there are too many opinions. You tend to be rather argumentative, but never to the point of holding grudges. This mole tends to give you an explosive temper and should you decide to remove it, you will find yourself becoming calmer and more at peace with the world.

Position 5
A mole above the eyebrow indicates that there is wealth luck in your life, but you will need to earn it and work harder than most people. All the income you make must be carefully kept as there are people who are jealous of you who might attempt to sweet talk you into parting with your wealth. Be wary of those who try to interest you in get-rich-quick schemes. If you have a mole here, it is advisable not to be too trusting of others. Follow your instincts and be cautious. And never allow other people to control your finances.

Position 6
A mole here indicates intelligence, creativity and skill as an artist. Your artistic talent can bring you wealth, fame and success. It also indicates wealth luck, but this can only be fully realized if you follow your heart rather than stick to conventional means of making a living. Success will come if you are brave.

Position 7
Moles under the eyebrows indicate arguments within the extended family that cause you grief and unhappiness. This will affect your work and livelihood. It is advisable to settle any differences you have with your relatives if you want peace of mind to move ahead.

Position 8
This is not a very good position for a mole. Your financial position will constantly be under strain because of a tendency to overspend. You also have a penchant for gambling. The only thing is you must know when to stop. Meanwhile, someone with a mole here has a tendency to flirt with members of the opposite sex as well as with the same sex. Better be a little discerning where you exert your charms, or you might get into trouble.

Position 9
This mole position suggests sexual and other problems. It is an unfortunate mole and you are well advised to get rid of it. It brings a litany of woes and a parade of problems.

Position 10
A mole here just under the nose indicates excellent descendants luck. You are surrounded by family at all times and will have many children and grandchildren. You have the support of those close to you and will be both materially and emotionally fulfilled.

Position 11
Moles here suggest a tendency to succumb to illness. It is a good idea to have this mole removed especially if it is a large, dark-coloured mole. Otherwise use lots of foundation to cover it.

Position 12
A mole here foretells a successful but also a very balanced life. You are likely to be not just rich, but famous as well. But although you have every opportunity to live the high life, you will have a satisfying home and family life as well. Women with moles here are particularly lucky and tend to be beautiful and glamourous as well.

Position 13
Your children will be a big worry in your life. Your relationship with them is not good. There is nothing much you can do about this except to learn some tolerance.

Position 14
A mole here suggests a vulnerability to food which can be a big problem in your life. You may have allergies against certain foods or you may simply be eating too much.

Position 15
You are a person always on the move and constantly renovating and redesigning your house. You like to be introduced to new things and see new places. You are not happy if you remain in one place for long. You enjoy travel and adventure, and have a very observant eye.

Position 16
You need to be careful when it comes to eating, and also when it comes to your sex life. These are your two biggest problems. You tend to have weight issues which can make you depressed. You enjoy romance, sometimes with more than one person, but because you are a person with some morality, you will feel guilty about it and this will cause you much stress.

Position 17
You will be someone of great social prominence. You are active on the social scene and an excellent conversationalist. There is a tendency to become bigheaded about your success, which could lose you your good name. This will affect you deeply because you draw your confidence and self worth from what others think of you.

Position 18
You are a person always on the move. There is a great deal of overseas travel in your life, but you should take extra care each time you cross the great waters, as your mole prefers you to stay at home.

Position 19
You have money luck and many good friends, so this is a good mole to have. Your weakness is that you tend to succumb to the charms of the opposite sex. In your life, it is this that could get you into hot water, so do cool your ardour!

Position 20
A mole here can be very lucky or very unlucky. If you have a mole here, you are destined either for extreme fame or infamy. You have great flair for creativity and are also highly intelligent, but your talents can be used for both good and bad. You are not a person to be trifled with for you are no pushover and do not forgive and forget easily. This mole is a mark of someone who will go down in history either as a great or as a tyrant.

Position 21
This is a good mole, as it suggests plenty to eat and drink throughout your life. This mole also brings fame and recognition.

Position 22
Your life is always happy and things go smoothly for you. You could well become a sports superstar if you have the passion for it. Moles at the end of eyebrows also suggest a person of authority and power, so if you are the CEO of a company, you will do very well.

Position 23
You have a high IQ, and you are both brain smart and street smart. You have a highly-developed survival instinct and will lead a meaningful and long life. You will be active until a very old age and will have friends and family around you till the very end.

Position 24
You will achieve fame and fortune in your young age and you are advised to use this period to safeguard your old age, as people with moles here tend to have a harderlife as they get older.

Position 25
You will enjoy good prosperity and recognition luck, but do be careful of excesses. Stay traditional in your attitudes and you will have a long and fruitful life.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Eidgaah - Munshi PremChand

‘Ramzan ke poore tees roze ke baad id aayi hai, …kheto me ajeeb raunaq hai,aasman par ajeeb lalima hai’Â - Eidgaah

I never thought Hindi writers are worth my time right from Hardy Boys and Tintin to novels from Wilbur Smith, Fredrick Forsyth, Ayn Rand. Any one of them can easily tilt the balance in their favor against entire Hindi Literature. Nor I ever thought that a book which I borrowed from my chowkidar will change my age old opinion about Hindi literature.

If you are out to buy hindi novels you will be surprised at the price difference it offers in comparison to its English counterpart. A very old book worth rupees fifteen, binded in a newspaper sheet with the index page missing and the rest of the pages barely together also reflects the plight of hindi literature in present age.

Eidgah one of the most celebrated novels from Munshi Premchand.

I think Munshi Premchand was arguably the greatest story writer in the Hindi language. The book starts with the simplest of introduction of the writer it opens a window about Premchand who he started writing in the Urdu script under the pen name Nawab Rai but later shifted to the Devnagari script to be accessible to a wider audience. Later he self-translated some of his earlier works so that they were widely accessible. It is the story of Hamid, a four year old poor orphan boy, and his day on Eid. The story is a typical Premchand style, something which was a hallmark of his writing. He used to describe human conditions and emotions in such a real and heart touching way that readers would feel that they are a part of the event being described.

Do believe those above lines... Eidgah is no different.

It is creditable on the part of Premchand the way he has so closely described the nuances in the story. He has described things from the eyes of a four year old Muslim child and particularly as he himself would not have lived that phase in his own life. Reading Eidgah today brings fond memories of my own childhood and the importance that was attached to the Eidi. His narration of the children taking out the Eidi from their pockets and counting it again and again and comparing with each other of how much Eidi the other has received takes the things as close as they could be! We used to wait for this day so that they could get the Eidi and plan it out even months ahead what they would buy with it.

Also his description of the fasting by the children where he mentions that some may have kept only one fast and that too only to the noon shows his extremely close proximity to what these things meant. When we were small kids and would really want to fast in Ramzan while watching the elders doing that we would be allowed in our own kid fasts. Ammi would playfully say to keep what they would call ‘ek gaal ka roza‘ meaning you eat only from one side of the mouth. Or then they would say to keep half roza the same what Premchand describes. I can see my childhood and the feelings which were long forgotten.

Premchand also shows his close knowledge of the happenings of a typical household on the Eid morning. Whether it be in people running for getting the sugar for the sewain or we children waiting impatiently for it to be ready.

But ultimately the story is about the bonding between Hamid and Ameena (the orphaned kid and his grandmother). Ameena’s concern for Hamid when he is going to the Eidgah without his father and Hamid’s struggle with his own little self to overcome the attraction of the sweets, the games and the toys while all the other kids are not only enjoying those but even showing it off to Hamid in their kid rivalry depicts this. The four year Hamid successfully overcomes all of the temptation for games, sweets and toys and saves his three paise to stop at a hardware shop and buy a pair of tongs for his Dadijaan(grand mother).

Finally when he brings it home and gives the tongs to his grandmother she scolds him in a typical way as he could not find any better thing to buy from his Eidi. When he describes that he bought it for her as that would save her fingers from getting burnt while she is making roti’s she breaks down in tear along with me. The way Premchand describes this, touches the elements in one’s soul, you just cant stop those tears flooding your eyes.

Simplicty and originality at its best. A masterpiece from a magician named Munshi PremChand.

By the way Eid Mubarak to you all

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Human Breeds

Along comes October, confused and bitterest of months, who really doesn’t know whether he should be neatly summer or winter. These kind of months have a tendency to find me always alone, uncoupled, remarkably free of bliss for past many years. J Lo has been married twice, Gulf war is long over, dollar rate has come down to as low as 37 rupees but nothing changes here. No one complains, it’s our right to be denied. And I say ours because if you look closely you will find all of us here Jammu, Sharad, Stanley oh boy list goes on... lets stop the naming ceremony lest likes of Atul and Ani starts hopping around.

We from the Baba’s regiment aren't accustomed to having our way in the world, despite our assumptions of superiority. We're continually forced to watch the favored “Dildo Males” reap a bloody lopsided share of the spoils: inflated incomes, professional pats on the back, enhanced socioeconomic standing and the attentions of comely women, frequently including their wives they are what you call ideal case of closet perverts.

Watch them stroll into the office on a Monday morning, their bodies still humming from strokes of freshly received pleasure. Such men appear to have ball-bearings for joints, so loose and fluid are their movements. They roll visibly on their hips as they make their presentations; they exude effortless energy like weather vanes twirling in a breeze; they tend to look a decade younger than their years. Their character varies from a kindergarten kid to an 80 yr old grand pa, right from No, no I want a kissy from you to praise thy lord I am just a humble soul.... bloody super blowjobs.

By contrast, we the polythene hawks and codeiners are easy to recognize: tense, lumpy, prematurely graying, and already primed for our first heart attacks. Deprived of a woman's heart, Carnal monsters, we have seldom loved anyone on our bed... our bodies produce no calming endorphins to ease their burdened nerves. As our arteries fill with fatal sludge, so do our souls. Rumpled and morose, we’re labeled as “Gone case”, God has given up on us and so has the rest of creation.

Love-starved men fed on sex can be dangerous; when their frustrations of not finding life anywhere near them overcome what's left of their senses, they're alarmingly prone to florid outbursts of psychopathic behavior. You can be reasonably sure that there switch to drug world is triggered by lack of soul mate. Atlast that’s what Dee always points out on me.

On the other hand, frustration in the realm of Venus can propel stronger men to greatness. George Washington longed for the lovely Sally Fairfax (one could fall in love with her name alone, redolent of mirthful eyes behind the aristocratic facade!), but fickle fortune had made her the wife of his best friend. So the noble first president of Big Brother US steeled himself and settled down with a bland, prosperous widow. No passion, no steamy sheets, no harpsichord music in the air -- just an amicable lifelong partnership -- and Washington's energies were freed for loftier pursuits.

So why do most of us feel like such abject losers when we're starved for love?

For any man or woman with a dollop of romantic imagination, what kills us is the perception of life ill-spent: month after withering month of mundane intercourse with an indifferent world, devoid of the nurturing solace and soul-recognition, the flights of joy and fancy, the soothing sense of paradise found that we experience only in the embrace and conversations of a true lover. The lovelorn are exiles from bliss and the imaginative lovelorn suffer most of all in their bleak Siberias. Weird things happen... you end up being brother of your Girl Friend or going bonkers over a married woman and when its you... its not least during the start.

What a different path my own life has taken! My romantic history would befit Mr. Hyde, the introvert sober...invisible in crowd Dr. Jekyll. Dr. Jekyll, as you might recall, would exist in a state of rational inertia, and then suddenly erupt in a consuming frenzy of passionate disturbance all around. Hyde’s appetite sated, will revert to same inert life. At one time you refuse the one whom you chased for few months and at times end up having multiple sex with Mrs. Robinsons of this world.

And so do I. Fortunately I remain more human than carnal monster for larger stretch of year; lately the interval has been reduced to two or three months. But revert I do, into collections of abstract knowledge, writing blogs like this, collecting volumes of eighteenth-century English prose and medieval Urdu poetry, evenings at Kebab Magic, bird watching, making nature trips, trekking and long walks along wooded streams. Or so I used to do before turning into a horny monster fornicating with anyone and anything remotely female.

Maybe I've been a latent alpha male all along, merely downtrodden by my woeful status as a liberal science graduate in the business world. I'm big and burly enough to pass for an alpha; I take long strides and spread myself powerfully at a conference table; my voice and laughter boom across the room and down the hall if I want. Choosing to pass unwanted comments and one liners at the most inappropriate time.

But no, some vital gene has always been missing; I'm constitutionally incapable of managing people, managing relationships, of seizing opportunities, of using the talents and energies of mine or others as is the custom to further my own interests. I'm tentative and vulnerable in negotiations, hapless in winning support for my ideas. Cursed with the ability to see both sides of an issue, I'm rarely swift and sure in my decisions. I exude no menace unless I make an effort to furrow my brow. If I am tired I won’t quit and move out I will lose the game to get thrown out leaving behind a happy and satisfied winner.

Worst of all, I'm inclined to be whimsical.

Whimsy can be a charming trait in the right hands, but we don't associate it with power. The majority of whimsical men are probably gay. Such men appear to be comfortable in their traditional role as companions and court jesters to wealthy women -- and with the fact that the women overlook them as potential lovers.

But woe unto the whimsical man who courts a woman; though he gains the initial advantage through the beguilement of his conversation, he rarely wields any lasting power over her. She might grant him her favors for a time; she might delight in the refreshing sensuousness of his lovemaking. But ultimately his kindness and whimsy prove to be his undoing. His most civilized traits have only proven that he's not an alpha male. His genes won't do. He is not cut out for establishing relations, standing true to commitment.

Women have been programmed for eons to seek males who can protect them from marauding Neanderthals and saber-toothed tigers. Deprived until recently of the opportunity to pursue their own ambitions, they've hitched themselves to ambitious men... the corporate jocks, hungry achievers, smooth talkers and high-libido womanizers who answer to the description of alpha male. These Darwinian winners promise high social status and robust offspring; a woman would have to be pretty obtuse or someone like D to overlook their appeal.

Of course, alpha males often prove to be less than congenial companions. Wit and kindness rank low on their list of priorities. They spend much of their discretionary time watching televised sports. They tend to be quick and perfunctory in bed; they take sex as big favour done to the female kind. Their emphasis on quality over quantity drives them to seek comfort in the arms of nubile nymphets. Most unforgivably, they sometimes use their power to hold women in thrall, tossing them an occasional table scrap of affection to watch the poor creatures grovel at their feet. It's a sorry spectacle. Bloody Blowjobs...

But more often than not, these men fulfill their promise: they provide handsomely, maintain the domestic infrastructure, procreate and help raise a new generation of genetically desirable offspring.

We are not going in that direction not because we don’t want to, how doesn’t want a good life with respect of fellow humans. We don’t go in that direction because we are not meant to go that way. God makes heroes and he also creates villains it’s a mere destiny to see in which basket you are put for this life time. There are people who try to change baskets and die with mad cow disease. Even I tried once maybe twice... I have learnt it the hard way burnt my fingers whenever I tried. Love is for chosen few sooner you understand that you are not the one easier your life becomes. God made Codeine and 6 inch foil for us, like Sharad says “Yaar Zindagi saali 6 inch ki foil banker eh gayi hai” ( Life is nothing but 6inch foil for me).

So be it...Chemicals – bring it on!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Che Guevara

Date of birth:

June 14, 1928[1]

Place of birth:

Rosario, Argentina

Date of death:

October 9, 1967 (Age 39)

Place of death:

La Higuera, Bolivia

Major organizations:

26th of July Movement

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna (June 14,[1] 1928October 9, 1967), commonly known as Che Guevara or El Che, was an Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary, medic, political figure, and leader of Cuban and internationalist guerrillas.

As a young man studying medicine, Guevara traveled roughrough[›] throughout Latin America, bringing him into direct contact with the impoverished conditions in which many people lived. His experiences and observations during these trips led him to the conclusion that the region's socio-economic inequalities could only be remedied by revolution, prompting him to intensify his study of Marxism and travel to Guatemala to learn about the reforms being implemented there by President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán.

While in Mexico in 1956, Guevara joined Fidel Castro's revolutionary 26th of July Movement, which seized power in Cuba in 1959. After serving in various important posts in the new government and writing a number of articles and books on the theory and practice of guerrilla warfare, Guevara left Cuba in 1965 with the intention of fomenting revolutions first in Congo-Kinshasa, and then in Bolivia, where he was captured in a military operation supported by the CIA and the U.S. Army Special Forces.[2] Guevara was summarily executed, purportedly by the Bolivian Army in the town of La Higuera near Vallegrande on October 9, 1967.[3]

After his death, Guevara became an icon of socialist revolutionary movements worldwide. An Alberto Korda photo of him (shown) has received wide distribution and modification. The Maryland Institute College of Art called this picture "the most famous photograph in the world and a symbol of the 20th century."[4]

Family heritage and early life

Birthplace of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Rosario    Another view


Birthplace of Ernesto "Che" Guevara in Rosario Another view

Ernesto Guevara de la Serna was born in Rosario, Argentina, the eldest of five children in a family of Spanish and Irish descent; both his father and mother were of Basque ancestry.Basque[›] One of Guevara's forebears, Patrick Lynch, was born in Galway, Ireland, in 1715. He left for Bilbao, Spain, and traveled from there to Argentina. Francisco Lynch (Guevara's great-grandfather) was born in 1817, and Ana Lynch (his beloved grandmother) in 1868.Galway[›] Her son, Ernesto Guevara Lynch (Guevara's father) was born in 1900. Guevara Lynch married Celia de la Serna y Llosa in 1927, and they had three sons and two daughters.

Growing up in this leftist-leaning déclassé family of aristocratic lineage, Ernesto Guevara became known for his dynamic personality and radical perspective even as a boy. He idolized Francisco Pizarro and yearned to have been one of his soldiers.[5] Though suffering from the crippling bouts of asthma that were to afflict him throughout his life, he excelled as an athlete. He was an avid rugby union player despite his handicap and earned himself the nickname "Fuser" — a contraction of "El Furibundo" ("The Raging") and his mother's surname, "Serna" — for his aggressive style of play. Ernesto was nicknamed "Chancho" ("pig") by his schoolmates because he rarely bathed, something he was rather proud of.[6]

Guevara on a burro at the age of 3


Guevara on a burro at the age of 3

Guevara learned chess from his father and began participating in local tournaments by the age of 12.[7] During his adolescence, he became passionate about poetry, especially that of Pablo Neruda. Guevara, as is common practice among Latin Americans of his class, also wrote poems throughout his life. He was an enthusiastic and eclectic reader, with interests ranging from adventure classics by Jack London, Emilio Salgari and Jules Verne to essays on sexuality by Sigmund Freud and treatises on social philosophy by Bertrand Russell. In his late teens, he developed a keen interest in photography and spent many hours photographing people, places and, during later travels, archaeological sites.

In 1948 Guevara entered the University of Buenos Aires to study medicine. While a student, he spent long periods traveling around Latin America. In 1951 his older friend, Alberto Granado, a biochemist, suggested that Guevara take a year off from his medical studies to embark on a trip they had talked of making for years, traversing South America. Guevara and the 29-year-old Granado soon set off from their hometown of Alta Gracia astride a 1939 Norton 500 cc motorcycle they named La Poderosa II ("The Mighty One, the Second") with the idea of spending a few weeks volunteering at the San Pablo Leper colony in Peru on the banks of the Amazon River. Guevara narrated this journey in The Motorcycle Diaries, which was translated into English in 1996 and used in 2004 as the basis for a motion picture of the same name, directed by Walter Salles.

Witnessing the widespread poverty, oppression and disenfranchisement throughout Latin America, and influenced by his readings of Marxist literature, Guevara decided that the only solution for the region’s inequalities was armed revolution. His travels and readings also led him to view Latin America not as a group of separate nations but as a single entity requiring a continent-wide strategy for liberation. His conception of a borderless, united Ibero-America sharing a common 'mestizo' cultureIbero-America[›] was a theme that would prominently recur during his later revolutionary activities. Upon returning to Argentina, he expedited the completion of his medical studies in order to resume his travels in Central and South America and received his diploma on 12 June 1953.Diploma[›]


On 7 July 1953, Guevara set out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. During the final days of December 1953 he arrived in Guatemala where leftist President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán headed an elected populist government that, through land reform and other initiatives, was attempting to bring an end to the U.S.-dominated latifundia system. In a contemporaneous letter to his Aunt Beatriz, Guevara explained his motivation for settling down for a time in Guatemala: "In Guatemala", he wrote, "I will perfect myself and accomplish whatever may be necessary in order to become a true revolutionary."[8]

A map showing Che Guevara's movements between 1953 and 1956; including his trip north to Guatemala, his stay in Mexico and his journey east by boat to Cuba with Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries


A map showing Che Guevara's movements between 1953 and 1956; including his trip north to Guatemala, his stay in Mexico and his journey east by boat to Cuba with Fidel Castro and other revolutionaries

Shortly after reaching Guatemala City, Guevara acted upon the suggestion of a mutual friend that he seek out Hilda Gadea Acosta, a Peruvian economist who was living and working there. Gadea, whom he would later marry, was well-connected politically as a result of her membership in the socialist American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA) led by Víctor Raúl Haya de la Torre, and she introduced Guevara to a number of high-level officials in the Arbenz government. He also re-established contact with a group of Cuban exiles linked to Fidel Castro whom he had initially met in Costa Rica; among them was Antonio "Ñico" López, associated with the attack on the "Carlos Manuel de Céspedes" barracks in Bayamo in the Cuban province of Oriente,[9] and who would die at Ojo del Toro bridge soon after the Granma landed in Cuba [10] Guevara joined these moncadistas" in the sale of religious objects related to the Black Christ of Esquipulas, and he also assisted two Venezuelan malaria specialists at a local hospital. It was during this period that he acquired his famous nickname, "Che", due to his frequent use of the Argentine interjection Che (pronounced /tʃe/), which is used in much the same way as "hey", "pal", "eh", or "mate" are employed colloquially in various English-speaking countries. Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Brazil (where the interjection is rendered 'tchê' in written Portuguese) are the only areas where this expression is used, making it a trademark of the Rioplatense region.

Guevara's attempts to obtain a medical internship were unsuccessful and his economic situation was often precarious, leading him to pawn some of Hilda's jewelry.[11] He maintained a distance from any political organization, even though his political thinking at that time manifested a clear sympathy towards communism. Despite Guevara’s financial woes, he rejected an offer to work as a state medic when it transpired that he would have to affiliate himself with the Communist Party of Guatemala.[11] Political events in the country began to move quickly after May 15, 1954 when a shipment of Skoda infantry and light artillery weapons sent from Communist Czechoslovakia for the Arbenz Government arrived in Puerto Barrios aboard the Swedish ship Alfhem. The amount of Czech weaponry was estimated to be 2000 tons by the CIA[12] though only 2 tons by Jon Lee Anderson.[13]

Guevara briefly left Guatemala for El Salvador to pick up a new visa, then returned to Guatemala only a few days before the CIA-sponsored coup attempt led by Carlos Castillo Armas began.[14] The anti-Arbenz forces tried, but failed, to stop the trans-shipment of the Czechoslovak weapons by train. However, after pausing to regroup and recover energy, Castillo Armas's column seized the initiative and, apparently with the assistance of US air support, started to gain ground.[15] Guevara was eager to fight on behalf of Arbenz and joined an armed militia organized by the Communist Youth for that purpose; but, frustrated with the group's inaction, he soon returned to medical duties. Following the coup, he again volunteered to fight but his efforts were thwarted when Arbenz took refuge in the Mexican Embassy and told his foreign supporters to leave the country. After Gadea was arrested, Guevara sought protection inside the Argentine consulate where he remained until he received a safe-conduct pass some weeks later. At that point, he turned down a free seat on a flight back to Argentina that was proffered to him by the embassy, preferring instead to make his way to Mexico.

The overthrow of the Arbenz regime by a coup d'état backed by the Central Intelligence Agency cemented Guevara's view of the United States as an imperialist power that would implacably oppose and attempt to destroy any government that sought to redress the socioeconomic inequality endemic to Latin America and other developing countries. This strengthened his conviction that socialism achieved through armed struggle and defended by an armed populace was the only way to rectify such conditions.


Further information: Che Guevara's involvement in the Cuban Revolution

After the battle of Santa Clara.The tank is a Sherman "Firefly" model with a 76 mm cannon. [2](1 January 1959)


After the battle of Santa Clara.
The tank is a Sherman "Firefly" model with a 76 mm cannon. [2]
(1 January 1959)

Guevara arrived in Mexico City in early September 1954, and shortly thereafter renewed his friendship with Ñico López and the other Cuban exiles whom he had known in Guatemala. In June 1955, López introduced him to Raúl Castro. Several weeks later, Fidel Castro arrived in Mexico City after having been amnestied from prison in Cuba, and on the evening of 8 July, 1955, Raúl introduced Guevara to the older Castro brother. During a fervid overnight conversation, Guevara became convinced that Fidel was the inspirational revolutionary leader for whom he had been searching, and he immediately joined the "26th of July Movement" that intended to overthrow the government of Fulgencio Batista. Although it was planned that he would be the group's medic, Guevara participated in the military training alongside the other members of the 26J Movement, and at the end of the course, was singled out by their instructor, Col. Alberto Bayo, as his most outstanding student [16] Meanwhile, Hilda Gadea had arrived from Guatemala and she and Guevara resumed their relationship. In the summer of 1955, she informed him that she was pregnant, and he immediately suggested that they marry. The wedding took place on August 18, 1955, and their daughter, whom they named Hilda Beatríz, was born on February 15, 1956.[17]

When the cabin cruiser Granma set out from Tuxpan, Veracruz for Cuba on November 25, 1956, Guevara was one of only four non-Cubans aboard.non-Cubans[›] Attacked by Batista's military soon after landing, about half of the expeditionaries were killed or executed upon capture. Guevara wrote that it was during this confrontation that he laid down his knapsack containing medical supplies in order to pick up a box of ammunition dropped by a fleeing comrade, a moment which he later recalled as marking his transition from physician to combatant.Knapsack[›] Only 15–20 rebels survived as a battered fighting force; they re-grouped and fled into the mountains of the Sierra Maestra to wage guerrilla warfare against the Batista regime.

Guevara became a leader among the rebels, a Comandante (English translation: Major), respected by his comrades in arms for his courage and military prowess,[18] During the guerrilla campaign, Guevara was also feared for his ruthlessness, and was responsible for the execution of a number of men accused of being informers, deserters or spies.[19] In March 1958, Guevara was tasked with directing a training camp for new volunteers high in the Sierra Maestra at Minas del Frío, one of a number of military schools set up by the 26th of July Movement. Though wishing to push the battlefront forward and frustrated by his more stationary role, Guevara spent the period developing contacts with sympathetic locals.[20] He also conducted a brief relationship with eighteen-year-old Zoila Rodríguez, the daughter of a local guajiro.[21]

As the war extended throughout eastern Cuba, Guevara and a new column of fighters were dispatched west for the final push towards Havana. In the final days of December 1958, he directed his "suicide squad" (which undertook the most dangerous tasks in the rebel army)[22] in the attack on Santa Clara that turned out to be one of the decisive events of the revolution (although the series of ambushes first during la ofensiva in the heights of the Sierra Maestra, then at Guisa--and the whole Cauto Plains campaign that followed--probably had more military significance).[23][24] Batista, upon learning that his generals — especially General Cantillo, who had visited Castro at the inactive sugar mill, Central Oriente — were negotiating a separate peace with the rebel leader, fled to the Dominican Republic on January 1, 1959.

On February 7, 1959, the government proclaimed Guevara "a Cuban citizen by birth" in recognition of his role in the triumph of the revolutionary forces. Shortly thereafter, he initiated divorce proceedings to put a formal end to his marriage with Gadea, from whom he had been separated since before leaving Mexico on the Granma. On June 2, 1959, he married Aleida March,Children[›] a Cuban-born member of the 26th of July movement with whom he had been living since late 1958.

TIME magazine, August 8, 1960


TIME magazine, August 8, 1960

He was appointed commander of the La Cabaña Fortress prison, and during his five-month tenure in that post (January 2 through June 12, 1959),[25] he oversaw the trial and execution of many people, among whom were former Batista regime officials and members of the "Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities" (a unit of the secret police know by its Spanish acronym BRAC). José Vilasuso, an attorney who worked under Guevara at La Cabaña preparing indictments, said that these were lawless proceedings where "the facts were judged without any consideration to general juridical principles" and the findings were pre-determined by Guevara.[26] It is estimated that between 156 and 550 people were executed on Guevara's extra-judicial orders during this time.[27]

Later, Guevara became an official at the National Institute of Agrarian Reform,INRA[›] and President of the National Bank of Cuba.BNC[›] He signed all Cuban banknotes issued during his fourteen-month presidency with his nickname, "Che".Signature[›] Throughout his time in the Cuban government, Guevara refused his due salaries of office, insisting on drawing only his meager wages as army commandante in order to set a "revolutionary example".[28]

During this time his fondness for chess was rekindled, and he attended and participated in most national and international tournaments held in Cuba.[29][30] He was particularly eager to encourage young Cubans to take up the game, and organized various activities designed to stimulate their interest in it.

Even as early as 1959, Guevara helped organize revolutionary expeditions overseas, all of which failed. The first attempt was made in Panama; another in the Dominican Republic (led by Henry Fuerte,[31] also known as "El Argelino", and Enrique Jiménez Moya)[32] took place on 14 June of that same year.

In 1960 Guevara provided first aid to victims when the freighter La Coubre, a French vessel carrying munitions from the port of Antwerp, exploded while it was being unloaded in Havana harbor. A rescue operation immediately ensued but went awry when a second explosion occurred, resulting in well over a hundred dead.[33] It was at the memorial service for the victims of this explosion that Alberto Korda took the most famous photograph of him.

Guevara later served as Minister of Industries,MININD[›] in which post he helped formulate Cuban socialism, and became one of the country's most prominent figures. In his book Guerrilla Warfare, he advocated replicating the Cuban model of revolution initiated by a small group (foco) of guerrillas without the need for broad organizations to precede armed insurrection. His essay El socialismo y el hombre en Cuba (1965) (Man and Socialism in Cuba) advocates the need to shape a "new man" (hombre nuev ) in conjunction with a socialist state. Some saw Guevara as the simultaneously glamorous and austere model of that "new man."

During the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion, Guevara did not participate in the fighting, having been ordered by Castro to a command post in Cuba's westernmost Pinar del Río province where he was involved in fending off a decoy force. He did, however, suffer a bullet wound to the face during this deployment, which he said had been caused by the accidental discharge of his own gun.[34]

Guevara played a key role in bringing to Cuba the Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles that precipitated the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. During an interview with the British newspaper Daily Worker some weeks later, he stated that, if the missiles had been under Cuban control, they would have fired them against major U.S. cities.[35]

Disappearance from Cuba

Che Guevara addressing the UN General Assembly (New York City - 11 December 1964)[36]


Che Guevara addressing the UN General Assembly
(New York City - 11 December 1964)[36]

In December 1964 Guevara traveled to New York City as the head of the Cuban delegation to speak at the UN (listen, requires RealPlayer; or read). He also appeared on the CBS Sunday news program Face the Nation, met with a gamut of individuals and groups including U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, several associates of Malcolm X, and Canadian radical Michelle Duclos,[37] and dined at the home of the Rockefellers.[38] On 17 December, he flew to Paris and from there embarked on a three-month international tour during which he visited the People's Republic of China, the United Arab Republic (Egypt), Algeria, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Dahomey, Congo-Brazzaville and Tanzania, with stops in Ireland, Paris and Prague. He also visited Pyongyang and told the press that North Korea was a model to which revolutionary Cuba should aspire.[39] In Algiers on 24 February, 1965, he made what turned out to be his last public appearance on the international stage when he delivered a speech to the "Second Economic Seminar on Afro-Asian Solidarity" in which he declared, "There are no frontiers in this struggle to the death. We cannot remain indifferent in the face of what occurs in any part of the world. A victory for any country against imperialism is our victory, just as any country's defeat is our defeat."[40] He went on to say that "The socialist countries have the moral duty of liquidating their tacit complicity with the exploiting countries of the West." He proceeded to outline a number of measures which he said the communist-bloc countries should implement in order to accomplish this objective.[41][42] He returned to Cuba on 14 March to a solemn reception by Fidel and Raúl Castro, Osvaldo Dorticós and Carlos Rafael Rodríguez at the Havana airport.

Two weeks later, Guevara dropped out of public life and then vanished altogether. His whereabouts were the great mystery of 1965 in Cuba, as he was generally regarded as second in power to Castro himself. His disappearance was variously attributed to the relative failure of the industrialization scheme he had advocated while minister of industry, to pressure exerted on Castro by Soviet officials disapproving of Guevara's pro-Chinese Communist bent as the Sino-Soviet split grew more pronounced, and to serious differences between Guevara and the Cuban leadership regarding Cuba's economic development and ideological line[citation needed]. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis and what he perceived as a Soviet betrayal of Cuba when Khrushchev agreed to withdraw the missiles from Cuban territory without consulting Castro, Guevara had grown increasingly skeptical of the Soviet Union. As revealed in his last speech in Algiers, he had come to view the Northern Hemisphere, led by the U.S. in the West and the Soviet Union in the East, as the exploiter of the Southern Hemisphere. He strongly supported Communist North Vietnam and the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, and urged the peoples of other developing countries to take up arms and create "many Vietnams".[43]

Guevara with members of his "reception committee" at Havana airport (Havana - 14 March 1965)


Guevara with members of his "reception committee" at Havana airport
(Havana - 14 March 1965)

Pressed by international speculation regarding Guevara's fate, Castro stated on 16 June, 1965, that the people would be informed about Guevara when Guevara himself wished to let them know. Numerous rumors about his disappearance spread both inside and outside Cuba. On 3 October of that year, Castro revealed a hand written undated letter[44] purportedly written to him by Guevara some months earlier in which Guevara reaffirmed his enduring solidarity with the Cuban Revolution but declared his intention to leave Cuba to fight abroad for the cause of the revolution. He explained that "Other nations of the world summon my modest efforts," and that he had therefore decided to go and fight as a guerrilla "on new battlefields". In the letter Guevara announced his resignation from all his positions in the government, in the party, and in the Army, and renounced his Cuban citizenship, which had been granted to him in 1959 in recognition of his efforts on behalf of the revolution.

During an interview with four foreign correspondents on 1 November, Castro remarked that he knew where Guevara was but would not disclose his location, and added, denying reports that his former comrade-in-arms was dead, that "he is in the best of health." Despite Castro's assurances, Guevara's fate remained a mystery at the end of 1965 and his movements and whereabouts continued to be a closely held secret for the next two years.



Listening to a Zenith "TransOceanic" shortwave receiver are (seated from the left) Rogelio Oliva, José María Martínez Tamayo (known as "Mbili" in the Congo and "Ricardo" in Bolivia), and Guevara. Standing behind them is Roberto Sánchez ("Lawton" in Cuba and "Changa" in the Congo).


Listening to a Zenith "TransOceanic" shortwave receiver are (seated from the left) Rogelio Oliva, José María Martínez Tamayo (known as "Mbili" in the Congo and "Ricardo" inBolivia), and Guevara. Standing behind them is Roberto Sánchez ("Lawto " in Cuba and "Changa" in the Congo).

During their all-night meeting on March 14March 15, 1965, Guevara and Castro had agreed that the former would personally lead Cuba's first military action in Sub-Saharan Africa.Algeria[›] Some sources state that Guevara persuaded Castro to back him in this effort, while other sources maintain that Castro convinced Guevara to undertake the mission, arguing that conditions in the various Latin American countries that had been under consideration for the possible establishment of guerrilla focos were not yet optimal [45] Castro himself has said the latter is true.[46] According to Ahmed Ben Bella, who was president of Algeria at the time and had recently held extended conversations with Guevara, "The situation prevailing in Africa, which seemed to have enormous revolutionary potential, led Che to the conclusion that Africa was imperialism’s weak link. It was to Africa that he now decided to devote his efforts."[47]

The Cuban operation was to be carried out in support of the pro-Patrice Lumumba Marxist Simba movement in the Congo-Kinshasa (formerly Belgian Congo, later Zaire and currently the Democratic Republic of the Congo). Guevara, his second-in-command Victor Dreke, and twelve of the Cuban expeditionaries arrived in the Congo on 24 April 1965; a contingent of approximately 100 Afro-Cubans joined them soon afterwards [48][49] They collaborated for a time with guerrilla leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila,Kabila[›] who helped Lumumba supporters lead a revolt that was suppressed in November of that same year by the Congolese army. Guevara dismissed Kabila as insignificant. "Nothing leads me to believe he is the man of the hour," Guevara wrote.[50]

Guevara teaching guerrilla tactics to Congolese forces. His plan was to use the liberated zone on the western shores of Lake Tanganyika as a training ground for the Congolese and fighters from other liberation movements. To his left is Santiago Terry (codename: "Aly"), to his right, Angel Felipe Hernández ("Sitaini").


Guevara teaching guerrilla tactics to Congolese forces. His plan was to use the liberated zone on the western shores of Lake Tanganyika as a training ground for the Congolese and fighters from other liberation movements. To his left is Santiago Terry (codename: "Aly"), to his right, Angel Felipe Hernández ("Sitaini").

Although Guevara was thirty-seven at the time and had no formal military training, he had the experiences of the Cuban revolution, including his successful march on Santa Clara, which was central to Batista finally being overthrown by Castro's forces. His asthma had prevented him from being drafted into military service in Argentina, a fact of which he was proud given his opposition to Perón's government.

South African mercenaries including Mike Hoare and Cuban exiles worked with the Congolese army to thwart Guevara. They were able to monitor his communications, arrange to ambush the rebels and the Cubans whenever they attempted to attack, and interdict his supply lines.[51][52] Despite the fact that Guevara sought to conceal his presence in the Congo, the U.S. government was fully aware of his location and activities: The National Security Agency (NSA) was intercepting all of his incoming and outgoing transmissions via equipment aboard the USNS Valdez, a floating listening post which continuously cruised the Indian Ocean off Dar-es-Salaam for that purpose.NSA[›]

Guevara's aim was to export the Cuban Revolution by instructing local Simba fighters in communist ideology and foco strategies of guerrilla warfare. In his Congo Diary, he cites the incompetence, intransigence, and infighting of the local Congolese forces as the key reasons for the revolt's failure.[53] Later that same year, ill with dysentery, suffering from his asthma, and disheartened after seven months of frustrations, Guevara left the Congo with the Cuban survivors (six members of his column had died). At one point Guevara had considered sending the wounded back to Cuba, then standing alone and fighting until the end in the Congo as a revolutionary example; however, after being urged by his comrades in arms and pressured by two emissaries sent by Castro, at the last moment he reluctantly agreed to leave the Congo. A few weeks later, when writing the preface to the diary he had kept during the Congo venture, he began it with the words: "This is the history of a failure."[54]


Because Castro had made public Guevara's "farewell letter"[55] to him — a letter Guevara had intended should only be revealed in case of his death — wherein he had written that he was severing all ties to Cuba in order to devote himself to revolutionary activities in other parts of the world, he felt that he could not return to Cuba with the other surviving combatants for moral reasons, and he spent the next six months living clandestinely in Dar-es-Salaam, and Prague. During this time he compiled his memoirs of the Congo experience, and wrote the drafts of two more books, one on philosophy[56] and the other on economics [57] He also visited several countries in Western Europe in order to "test" a new false identity and the corresponding documentation (passport, etc.) created for him by Cuban Intelligence that he planned to use to travel to South America. Throughout this period Castro continued to importune him to return to Cuba, but Guevara only agreed to do so when it was understood that he would be there on a strictly temporary basis for the few months needed to prepare a new revolutionary effort somewhere in Latin America, and that his presence on the island would be cloaked in the tightest secrecy.



Speculation on Guevara's whereabouts continued throughout 1966 and into 1967. Representatives of the Mozambican independence movement FRELIMO reported meeting with Guevara in late 1966 or early 1967 in Dar es Salaam, at which point they rejected his offer of aid in their revolutionary project.[58] In a speech at the 1967 May Day rally in Havana, the Acting Minister of the armed forces, Major Juan Almeida, announced that Guevara was "serving the revolution somewhere in Latin America". The persistent reports that he was leading the guerrillas in Bolivia were eventually shown to be true.

Map of Bolivia showing location of Vallegrande


Map of Bolivia showing location of Vallegrande

At Castro's behest, a 3,700 acre parcel of jungle land in the remote Ñancahuazú region had been purchased by native Bolivian Communists for Guevara to use as a training area and base camp.Camp[›] The evidence suggests that the training at this camp in the Ñancahuazú valley was more hazardous than combat to Guevara and the Cubans accompanying him. Little was accomplished in the way of building a guerrilla army. Former Stasi operative Haydée Tamara Bunke Bider, better known by her nom de guerre "Tania", who had been installed as his primary agent in La Paz, was reportedly also working for the KGB and is widely inferred to have unwittingly served Soviet interests by leading Bolivian authorities to Guevara's trail.[59] The numerous photographs taken by and of Guevara and other members of his guerrilla group that they left behind at their base camp after the initial clash with the Bolivian army in March 1967 provided President René Barrientos with the first proof of his presence in Bolivia; after viewing them, Barrientos allegedly stated that he wanted Guevara's head displayed on a pike in downtown La Paz. He thereupon ordered the Bolivian Army to hunt Guevara and his followers down.

Guevara's guerrilla force, numbering about 50 and operating as the ELN (Ejército de Liberación Nacional de Bolivia; English: "National Liberation Army of Bolivia"), was well equipped and scored a number of early successes against Bolivian regulars in the difficult terrain of the mountainous Camiri region. In September, however, the Army managed to eliminate two guerrilla groups, reportedly killing one of the leaders.

Despite the violent nature of the conflict, Guevara gave medical attention to all of the wounded Bolivian soldiers whom the guerrillas took prisoner, and subsequently released them. Even after his last battle at the Quebrada del Yuro, in which he had been wounded, when he was taken to a temporary holding location and saw there a number of Bolivian soldiers who had also been wounded in the fighting, he offered to give them medical care. (His offer was turned down by the Bolivian officer in charge.)[60]

Guevara's plan for fomenting revolution in Bolivia appears to have been based upon a number of misconceptions:

  • He had expected to deal only with the country's military government and its poorly trained and equipped army. However, after the U.S. government learned of his location, CIA and other operatives were sent into Bolivia to aid the anti-insurrection effort. The Bolivian Army was being trained and supplied by U.S. Army Special ForcesUSMilitary[›] advisors, including a recently organized elite battalion of Rangers trained in jungle warfare that set up camp in La Esperanza, a small settlement close to the guerrillas' zone of operations.[61][62]
  • Guevara had expected assistance and cooperation from the local dissidents. He did not receive it; and Bolivia's Communist Party, under the leadership of Mario Monje, was oriented towards Moscow rather than Havana and did not aid him, despite having promised to do so. (Some members of the Bolivian Communist Party did join/support him, such as Coco and Inti Peredo, Rodolfo Saldaña, Serapio Aquino Tudela, and Antonio Jiménez Tardio, against the Party leadership's wishes.)
  • He had expected to remain in radio contact with Havana. However, the two shortwave transmitters provided to him by Cuba were faulty, so that the guerrillas were unable to communicate with Havana. (In this, and in many other respects, Manuel Piñeiro, the man to whom Castro had assigned the task of coordinating support for Guevara's operations in Bolivia, performed abysmally.) To further complicate matters, some months into the campaign, the tape recorder that the guerrillas used to record and decipher the one-time pad-encoded radio messages sent to them from Havana was lost while crossing a river, making de-coding such messages more difficult.Message[›]

In addition, his penchant for confrontation rather than compromise appears to have contributed to his inability to develop successful working relationships with local leaders in Bolivia, just as it had in the Congo.[63] This tendency had surfaced during his guerrilla warfare campaign in Cuba as well, but had been kept in check there by the timely interventions and guidance of Castro.[64]

Capture and execution

Rodríguez with the captured Che Guevara(La Higuera, Bolivia - 9 October 1967)


Rodríguez with the captured Che Guevara
(La Higuera, Bolivia - 9 October 1967)

The schoolhouse in La Higuera where Che Guevara was executed at 1:10 p.m. on 9 October 1967.


The schoolhouse in La Higuera where Che Guevara was executed at 1:10 p.m. on 9 October 1967.

The Bolivian Special Forces were notified of the location of Guevara's guerrilla encampment by an informant. On 8 October, the encampment was encircled, and Guevara was captured while leading a detachment with Simeón Cuba Sarabia in the Quebrada del Yuro ravine. According to some soldiers present at the capture, during the skirmish as they approached Guevara, he allegedly shouted, "Do not shoot! I am Che Guevara and worth more to you alive than dead."[65]

Barrientos promptly ordered his execution upon being informed of his capture.Barrientos[›] Guevara was taken to a dilapidated schoolhouse in the nearby village of La Higuera where he was held overnight. Early the next afternoon he was executed. The executioner was Mario Terán, a Sergeant in the Bolivian army who had drawn a short straw after arguments over who got the honour of killing Guevara broke out among the soldiers. Guevara received multiple shots to the legs, so as to avoid maiming his face for identification purposes and simulate combat wounds in an attempt to conceal his execution. Che Guevara did have some last words before his death; he allegedly said to his executioner, "I know you are here to kill me. Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man."[66] His body was lashed to the landing skids of a helicopter and flown to neighboring Vallegrande where it was laid out on a laundry tub in the local hospital and displayed to the press.[67] Photographs taken at that time gave rise to legends such as those of San Ernesto de La Higuera and El Cristo de Vallegrande (Local people came to refer to Guevara as a saint, "San Ernesto de La Higuera", whom they ask for favors. Others claim his ghost walks the area.[68]). After a military doctor surgically amputated his hands, Bolivian army officers transferred Guevara's cadaver to an undisclosed location and refused to reveal whether his remains had been buried or cremated.Amputation[›]

The hunt for Guevara in Bolivia was headed by Félix Rodríguez, a CIA agent, who previously had infiltrated Cuba to prepare contacts with the rebels in the Escambray Mountains and the anti-Castro underground in Havana prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion, and had been successfully extracted from Cuba afterwards.[69][70] Upon hearing of Guevara's capture, Rodríguez relayed the information to CIA headquarters at Langley, Virginia, via CIA stations in various South American nations. After the execution, Rodríguez took Guevara's Rolex watch and several other personal items, often proudly showing them to reporters during the ensuing years. Today, some of these belongings, including his flashlight, are on display at the CIA.[71]

On October 15, Castro acknowledged that Guevara was dead and proclaimed three days of public mourning throughout Cuba. The death of Guevara was regarded as a severe blow to the socialist revolutionary movements in Latin America and the rest of the third world.

Che Guevara's Monument and Mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba


Che Guevara's Monument and Mausoleum in Santa Clara, Cuba

In 1997, the skeletal remains of a handless body were exhumed from beneath an air strip near Vallegrande, identified as those of Guevara by a Cuban forensic team working at the scene, and returned to Cuba. On 17 October, 1997, his remains, along with those of six of his fellow combatants killed during the guerrilla campaign in Bolivia, were laid to rest with full military honors in a specially built mausoleumMausoleum[›] in the city of Santa Clara, where he had won the decisive battle of the Cuban Revolution.

The Bolivian Diary

Also removed when Guevara was captured was his diary, which documented events of the guerrilla campaign in Bolivia.[72] The first entry is on November 7 1966 shortly after his arrival at the farm in Ñancahuazú, and the last entry is on October 7 1967, the day before his capture. The diary tells how the guerrillas were forced to begin operations prematurely due to discovery by the Bolivian Army, explains Guevara's decision to divide the column into two units that were subsequently unable to reestablish contact, and describes their overall failure. It records the rift between Guevara and the Bolivian Communist Party that resulted in Guevara having significantly fewer soldiers than originally anticipated. It shows that Guevara had a great deal of difficulty recruiting from the local populace, due in part to the fact that the guerrilla group had learned Quechua rather than the local language which was Tupí-Guaraní. As the campaign drew to an unexpected close, Guevara became increasingly ill. He suffered from ever-worsening bouts of asthma, and most of his last offensives were carried out in an attempt to obtain medicine.

The Bolivian Diary was quickly and crudely translated by Ramparts magazine and circulated around the world. There are at least four additional diaries in existence — those of Israel Reyes Zayas (Alias "Braulio"), Harry Villegas Tamayo ("Pombo"), Eliseo Reyes Rodriguez ("Rolando")[73] and Dariel Alarcón Ramírez ("Benigno" [74] — each of which reveals additional aspects of the events in question.


Further information: Che Guevara in popular culture

In its mid-November (#46) 2005 issue, the German newsweekly Der Spiegel writes about Europe's "peaceful revolutionaries" whom it describes as the heirs of Gandhi and Guevara.


In its mid-November (#46) 2005 issue, the German newsweekly Der Spiegel writes about Europe's "peaceful revolutionaries" whom it describes as the heirs of Gandhi and Guevara.

While pictures of Guevara's dead body were being circulated and the circumstances of his death debated, his legend began to spread. Demonstrations in protest against his execution occurred throughout the world, and articles, tributes, songs and poems were written about his life and death.[75] Latin America specialists advising the U.S. State Department immediately recognized the importance of the demise of “the most glamorous and reportedly most successful revolutionary”, noting that Guevara would be eulogized by communists and other leftists as “the model revolutionary who met a heroic death”.[76]

Such predictions gained increasing credibility as Guevara became a potent symbol of rebellion and revolution during the global student protests of the late 1960s.[77] Left wing activists responded to Guevara's apparent indifference to rewards and glory, and concurred with Guevara's sanctioning of violence as a necessity to instill socialist ideals.[78] The slogan 'Che lives!' began to appear on walls throughout the west,[79] while Jean-Paul Sartre, a leading figure in the movement, encouraged the adulation by describing Guevara as "the most complete human being of our age".[80]

Typically, responses to Guevara's legacy followed partisan lines. The US State Department was advised that his death would come as a relief to non-leftist Latin Americans, who had feared possible insurgencies in their own countries.[76] Subsequent analysts have also shed light on aspects of cruelty in Guevara’s methods, and analysed what Fidel Castro described as Guevara’s “excessively aggressive quality”.[81] Studies addressing problematic characteristics of Guevara's life have cited his principal role in setting up Cuba's first post-revolutionary labor camps, his unsympathetic treatment of captured fighters during various guerrilla campaigns, and his frequent humiliations of those deemed his intellectual inferiors.[82] Though much opposition to Guevara's methods has come from the political right, critical evaluation has also come from groups such as anarchists and civil libertarians, some of whom consider Guevara an authoritarian, anti-working-class Stalinist, whose legacy was the creation of a more bureaucratic, authoritarian regime.[83] Detractors have also theorized that in much of Latin America, Che-inspired revolutions had the practical result of reinforcing brutal militarism for many years.[84]

Legacy in Cuba

In Cuba, Guevara's death precipitated the abandonment of guerrilla warfare as an instrument of foreign policy, ushering in a rapprochement with the Soviet Union, and the reformation of the government along Soviet lines. When Cuban troops returned to Africa in the 1970s, it was as part of a large-scale military expedition, and support for insurrection movements in Latin America and the Caribbean became logistical and organizational rather than overt. Cuba also abandoned Guevara's plans for economic diversification and rapid industrialization which had ultimately proved to be impracticable in view of the country's incorporation into the COMECON system.

Monumental image on Cuban Ministry of the Interior, based on Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick's graphic of Alberto Korda's March 1960 photo. During Guevara's tenure as Minister of the Ministry of Industries (MININD) from 1961 to 1965, this building was the MININD's headquarters and his office was on the top floor.


Monumental image on Cuban Ministry of the Interior, based on Irish artist Jim Fitzpatrick's graphic of Alberto Korda's March 1960 photo. During Guevara's tenure as Minister of the Ministry of Industries (MININD) from 1961 to 1965, this building was the MININD's headquarters and his office was on the top floor.

As early as 1965, the Yugoslav communist journal Borba observed the many half-completed or empty factories in Cuba, a legacy of Guevara's tenure as Minister of Industries, "standing like sad memories of the conflict between pretension and reality".[85]

The Cuban state continued to cultivate Guevara’s cult of personality, constructing numerous statues and artworks in his honor throughout the land; adorning school rooms, workplaces, public buildings, billboards, and money with his image.[86] Children across the country begin each school day with the chant "¡Pioneros por el Comunismo, Seremos como el Che!" (English: Pioneers for Communism, We will be like Che!). Guevara's mausoleum in Santa Clara has become a site of almost religious significance to many Cubans,[79] while the nation’s burgeoning tourist industry has benefited greatly from the ongoing international interest in Guevara's life. Some 205,832 people visited the mausoleum during 2004, of whom 127,597 were foreigners.

Reverence among Cubans for Guevara's memory is by no means universal. Many Cuban exiles have spoken of Guevara in less than favorable terms, and he is remembered by some as the "The Butcher of la Cabaña", a reference to Guevara’s post-revolutionary role as “supreme prosecutor” at the Cabaña fortress. The epithet was repeated by Cuban-born musician Paquito D'Rivera, who wrote an open letter castigating fellow musician Carlos Santana, for wearing a T-shirt displaying Guevara’s image to the 2005 Academy Awards ceremony.[87] Similar sentiments have been shared by Cuban-American actor and director Andy Garcia, who stated in 2004 that "Che has been romanticized over the years, but there is a darker side to his story. He looks like a rock star, but he executed a lot of people without trial or defense."[88] Garcia’s 2005 film The Lost City, which was reportedly banned in several Latin American countries, portrayed a ruthless brutality at the heart of the Cuban revolution.[89] Actor Jsu Garcia as Guevara is shown casually shooting wounded Batista foot soldiers where they lie.[90]

The "Cult of Che"

Guerrilla Warfare published by Ocean Books in 2006.


Guerrilla Warfare published by Ocean Books in 2006.

Despite the controversies, Guevara's status as a popular icon has continued throughout the world, leading commentators to speak of a global "cult of Che". A photograph of Guevara taken by photographer Alberto Korda[91] has became one of the century's most ubiquitous images, and the portrait, transformed into a monochrome graphic, is, somewhat ironically, reproduced endlessly on a vast array of merchandise, such as T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs, and baseball caps largely for profit.[92][93]

In Latin America, the failures of the neo-liberal reforms of the 1990s intensified opposition to the Washington consensus,[94] leading to a resurgence in support for many of Guevara’s political beliefs including Pan-Americanism, support for popular movements in the region, the nationalization of key industries and centralization of government[95] In Nicaragua, the Sandinistas, a group with ideological roots in Guevarism were re-elected to government after 16 years. Supporters wore Guevara T-Shirts during the 2006 victory celebrations.[96] Bolivian president Evo Morales has paid many tributes to Guevara and installed a portrait of the Argentinian made from local coca leaves in his presidential suite[97] In 2006, Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez, who has been known to address audiences in a Che Guevara T-shirt,[98] accompanied Fidel Castro on a tour of Guevara’s boyhood home in Córdoba, describing the experience as “a real honor”. Awaiting crowds of thousands responded with calls of “We feel it! Guevara is right with us!"[99] Guevara’s daughter Aleida also transcribed an extensive interview with Chávez where he outlined his plans for “The New Latin America”, releasing the interview in book form.[100] Guevara remains a key inspirational figure to the Colombian guerrilla movement, the FARC,[101] and the Mexican Zapatista group.[102]

In North America, Western Europe and many regions outside Latin America, the image had been likened to a global brand, long since shedding its ideological or political connotations, and the obsession with Guevara has been dismissed by some as merely "adolescent revolutionary romanticism".[79] In the United States, a country often the focus of Guevara inspired protests in the hemisphere,[103] his image was removed from a CD carrying case after significant public opposition which compared Guevara to Osama bin Laden and Adolf Hitler. Retail group Target Corporation issued a public apology for producing the item.[104]American, Latin American and European writers, Jon Lee Anderson, Régis Debray, Jorge Castañeda and others contributed to demystify the image of Guevara via articles and biographies, which detailed his life and legacy in more unidealistic terms; and, in the case of Octavio Paz, was accompanied by a critical indictment of the Marxism espoused by many in the Latin American left.[105] Political writer Paul Berman went further, asserting that the "modern-day cult of Che" obscures the work of dissidents and what he believes is a "tremendous social struggle" currently taking place in Cuba.[106] Author Christopher Hitchens, who was a socialist and a supporter of the Cuban revolution in the 1960s but has since changed his views, summarised Guevara's legacy thus: "Che's iconic status was assured because he failed. His story was one of defeat and isolation, and that's why it is so seductive. Had he lived, the myth of Che would have long since died."[79]