Desecration of murtis at Kolahala Mandir, Cunupia, TRINIDAD

– On Fri, 8/8/08, Deoroop Teemal <dteemal@gmail.com> wrote:
From: Deoroop Teemal <dteemal@gmail.com>
Subject: Press Release – Kolahala Mandir

Date: Friday, August 8, 2008, 5:39 AM

Dear Sirs,
We attach for immediate press release a statement from the following Hindu organisations regarding the desecration of murtis at the Kolahala Mandir, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia.

SWAHA Incorporated – Pt. Dr. Prakash Persad, Director

Hindu Prachaar Kendra – Ravindranath Maharaj, President

Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad & Tobago – Swami Prakashanand, Spiritual Head

Hindu Students Council – Reena Teelucksingh, President

Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh – Deoroop Teemal, President

We look forward to your cooperation.

With Thanks

Deoroop Teemal

FOR IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE
SWAHA Incorporated – Pt. Dr. Prakash Persad, Director
Hindu Prachaar Kendra – Ravindranath Maharaj, President
Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad & Tobago – Swami Prakashanand, Spiritual Head
Hindu Students Council – Reena Teelucksingh, President
Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh – Deoroop Teemal, President
HINDU ORGANISATIONS CONDEMN DESECRATION OF MURTIS AT
KOLAHAL MANDIR
We, the above named Hindu organisations, strongly condemn the action of the two individuals
who desecrated the murtis at the Kolahal Shiva Mandir, Chin Chin Road, Cunupia on Monday 4th
August 2008.In addition, the ranting of these individuals after they had desecrated the murtis,
reeks of a religious intolerance that definitely has no place in the multi-religious fabric of our
nation and our enshrined Constitution.
It is our understanding that the two individuals attired in Muslim garb spent several hours in the
adjacent Chin Chin Road Masjid before committing their despicable act. However it was
confirmed by officials of the masjid that the persons were not any of their known members. The
members of the Kolahal Mandir have also confirmed that they have had harmonious relationships
with the masjid over the years. Our opinion thus far is that this act was not instigated nor
organized by the Chin Chin Road Masjid or by any other Muslim organisation. The
circumstances surrounding the act however place a responsibility on their shoulders to provide all
assistance and cooperation to the respective authorities in apprehending the perpetrators of this
injustice.
We see this atrocious act as having the potential to destroy the peaceful co-existence that persons
of different religions enjoy in our country, particularly since it is not the first time that this has
occurred. About the same time last year, the murtis in the Temple in Sea at Waterloo were also
desecrated. The police were unable to apprehend anyone for this act. We are of the firm view that
the resolution of this situation is in the national interest and thus warrants the direct attention of
the Commissioner of Police to ensure that investigations are conducted forthwith and the
perpetrators brought to justice. We also call on the Minister of National Security to intervene as
necessary to ensure the matter is dealt with expeditiously.
We also call on all Hindus not to allow this act of desecration to affect the harmonious
relationship that we have developed with our Muslim brothers and sisters ever since our
forefathers came to this country.
CONTACT PERSON
DEOROOP TEEMAL
President , Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
663 2955 (home); 678 6462 (mobile); 662 6243 (work); e-mail: dteemal@gmail.com

=======

Deosaran Bisnath August 8, 2008

HINDUS IN CEDROS, TRINIDAD

These Hindu women gather at the foot of the mud volcano as they make offerings to Ma Durga, the Hindu deity said to reside in the earth
OFFERINGS TO MA DURGA: These Hindu women gather at the foot of the mud volcano as they make offerings to Ma Durga, the Hindu deity said to reside in the earth
 
 
Hindu devotees pray during  yesterday's "puja" at the Fullerton mud volcano in Cedros.
 PRAYER TIME: Hindu devotees pray during yesterday’s “puja” at the Fullerton mud volcano in Cedros.
 
 
A pool of bubbling mud.
 A pool of bubbling mud.
 
 
‘Puja’ at mud volcano

By STACY MOORE Monday, April 28 2008
click on pic to zoom in
These Hindu women gather at the foot of the mud volcano as they make offerings to Ma Durga, the Hindu deity said to reside in t...
OFFERINGS TO MA DURGA: These Hindu women gather at the foot of the mud volcano as they make offerings to Ma Durga, the Hindu deity said to reside in t…
DEVOUT Hindus staged a “puja” (prayer) at the mud volcano in Cedros calling on The Almighty to close the rumbling volcano which nearby residents fear could erupt at anytime.
The “puja” was arranged after residents reported an increase in activity at the usually dormant mud volcano. Devotees said they performed the puja at the mouth of the volcano in the hope that the “devil” in the earth’s crust will not explode.

Villagers who live on the perimeter of the volcano at Colombia Estate, Fullerton Village, said that for the past few days, hot mud has been flowing constantly as the earth trembles near the volcano.

Situated approximately four miles into heavily forested area the volcano’s recent activities have left villagers fearing a major eruption. To allay these fears, a devotee said, they went to the site and together with a pundit, offered prayers and even threw flowers and fruits in a solemn act of “feeding the monster within the bowels of the earth’s crust”.

Pundit Ganeshdeth Maharaj of the Fullerton Hindu Temple, told worshippers that if they did not offer “gifts” to Mother Durga whose place of abode is in the bowels of the earth, the volcano would blow off its top and mud will flow in great volume, destroying everything in sight.

The mud volcano is among some 20 dormant ones in south Trinidad. There has never been an eruption of the Colombia Estate volcano in recorded history. The only such eruption of a mud volcano was at the Piparo mud volcano and this occurred in 1996. It destroyed 15 homes. Yesterday’s puja began with erection of an altar with devotees using the still soft mud of a recent flow. Men, women and children dressed in traditional East Indian wear offered flowers, fruits, leaves, grains and water to the Hindu goddess Durga.

Nine women were chosen from among the devotees to carry out the offerings at the volcano’s mouth while pundit Maharaj chanted prayers. As he prayed, women and children formed a circle around the volcano’s mouth and holding each other’s shoulder, they walked around the volcano in a ceremonial act.

Yesterday’s ceremony ended with the planting of a flag in the hole of the bubbling volcano. Scattered about the plateau are mounds of other smaller cones which spewed hot mud every few minutes. Villagers said that when there is a steady overflow, the volcanic mud seeped into their backyard gardens.

Villager Dookie Sookoo who lives nearest to the volcano said she has grown accustomed to the rumblings and was grateful for yesterday’s “puja”. “I mean, that has been there for so many years, but I know that once the prayers are performed, nothing will harm us,” she said.

Also present at the puja ceremony were representatives from the Indian High Commissioner’s Office in Port-of-Spain.

Deosaran Bisnath
May 4, 2008

HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY Inauguration, April 17th 2008, TRINIDAD

HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY, Inaugurated April 17th, 2008

The HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY was inaugurated on April 17th, 2008 at
Santa Flora, TRINIDAD.

Executive of HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY, with President Shri Thirbhawon Seegobin at the podium, delivering the Inauguration Address.

President Shri Thirbhawon Seegobin at the podium, delivering the Inauguration Address.


Mr. Deosaran Bisnath, President of GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago, and Moderator of Caribbean Hindus Network, addressing the gathering at the inauguration of the HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY of Trinidad & Tobago, April 20th, 2008, at Santa Flora, Trinidad.

A prediction: By the next 2015, this will be the largest Hindu organization in the Caribbean, Central, and South America.

Part of the large audience at the inauguration of the HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY of Trinidad & Tobago, at Santa Flora, TRINIDAD, on April 17th, 2008

Pooja at the Inauguration of the HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY of Trinidad and Tobago, April 17th, 2008, Santa Flora, TRINIDAD.


Teenage boys Dancing at inauguration of HINDU FESTIVALS SOCIETY of Trinidad & Tobago.

 

Posted April 20, Deosaran Bisnath

GOPIO TRINIDAD & TOBAGO INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY SEMINAR

 

 

GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago

a Chapter of GOPIO INTERNATIONAL

PO BOX 2286, Chaguanas,     687-7529   GopioTT@gmail.com

Deosaran Bisnath, President     Rajnie Ramlakhan, Secretary    Oscar Ramoutar, Treasurer     Niranjan Bhaggan, Director

                                                                                                                                     April 18th, 2008
 
   

GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago’s INDIAN ARRIVAL DAY SEMINAR & AWARDS CEREMONY

 

Saturday May 10th 2008, from 3 to 7pm

 

 

at DIVALI NAGAR, Chaguanas

 

Presenters from Guyana, Suriname, Mauritius, India, and Trinidad.

 

 

FREE, OPEN TO ALL.

 

Call 687-7529 or 314-1456. E-mail GOPIOTT@gmail.com

 

Deosaran Bisnath

 

Chaguanas TRINIDAD

 

ESSAY competition on ALCOHOLISM – GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago

Join GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago


GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
a chapter of GOPIO International.   
P.O. BOX 2286, Chaguanas.
687-7529   GopioTT@gmail. com
ESSAY COMPETITION ALCOHOLISM – Causes, Effects, and Solutions  
      

ALCOHOLISM, the major social, economic, and health problem in our nation, is marked by excessive alcoholic consumption at levels that interfere with physical and mental health, and affects social, family, and occupational responsibilities. Alcohol is involved in crime, accident and traffic deaths, and suicides.  Children of alcoholics are exposed to increased risks of alcohol and drug abuse; social and behavioral problems; and anxiety and mood disorders.
 
Every citizen in our nation should assist in dealing with this serious problem. For its part, GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago intends to raise the consciousness of our people, especially the youth; sensitize and increase awareness; and provide solutions that can be implemented throughout Trinidad and Tobago. As a first step, GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago has organized a nationwide essay competition, on the topic: ALCOHOLISM in Trinidad & Tobago  – Causes, Effects, and Solutions.  
Details are as follows: 
Participants are required to define the scope of the problem, describe the effect of Alcoholism on our society, and propose practical and pragmatic solutions that can be realistically implemented in Trinidad & Tobago.  It is expected that analysis of current data and relevant information will be presented, in both text and graphical formats.  Data sources and references should be credited.

Age 17 & under: Winner will receive a desktop computer
Age 18 to 25: Winner will receive a Laptop computer.

Four runner-up prizes will be awarded in each group.
Minimum word length: 2500
Entries should be mailed on, or before, 18th April 2008, to
GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
PO BOX 2286,
Chaguanas.
The winners will be announced, and prizes distributed, at the Indian Arrival Day Seminar 2008, on Saturday May 10th, at the Divali Nagar Main Auditorium, Chaguanas, where a Panel of Experts will explore and analyze this topic with the audience.  The other major theme at this Seminar is Developing Networks and Relationships in Business, Agriculture, Technology, and Culture, between Trinidad & Tobago and the International Indian Diaspora.   More information about the Indian Arrival Day Seminar 2008 will be released at a later date.
GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago, a chapter of GOPIO International, is a secular, non–political, non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization. You may contact us at 687-7529, 314-1456, or email GOPIOTT@gmail.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GopioTT/
http://gopiott.blogspot.com/

International Jahajee Journal (IJJ), March 23rd 2008: Happy Holi; Green Card & sex; VS Naipaul; GUYANA – Politics & Race

International Jahajee Journal (IJJ), March 23, 2008
Voice of the International  Indian Diaspora

http://www.jahajeedesi.com/
user posted image
Home of the International Jahajee Diaspora

My dear friends,
Aap Sabko Rango ke paavan parv HOLI par
“Hardik Shubh kaamnaaye”!
May your life be coloured with the coloures of joy, friendship,fun,love,happiness & harmony on HOLIand always.

Let us celebrate Holi in the spirit of friendship, joy, merriment and love “let noble taught and action be your guide and the fragrance of Bassant rejuvenate your life”.

This Phagwah, may the colours within us emanate and the fragrance of the season spread among our people’
Deosaran Bisnath,

Indian Dancers performing at Awards Banquet of National
Council for Indian Culture in JAMAICA
 National Council for Indian Culture in Jamaica
Ah different Style
WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR WHAT DO YOU SEE
CAN YOU HEAR THE WHISPER OF JAHAAJEE (ancestors)
      TUM KOWN HO BETA (who are you son)
      TUM KOWN HO BETI (who are you so daughter)
LOOK IN THE MIRROR WELL
WHAT KAHAANI DOES IT TELL (story)           
IS OUR LEGACY
DYING JALDI JALDI (quickly)        
NOWADAYS LARKIS (girls)
AND ALL THEY SAKHIS (friends)
PATKAY THE GHANGHRI (throw away, long skirt)     
FOR THE SLINKY MINI
      LONG IS OUT AND SHORT IS IN
      THICK IS OUT SO BETTER BE THIN
IT JUST NAHI RIGHT (not)
IF THE JEANS NAHI TIGHT (not)
AND THE MORE PEER PRESURE
IS THE MORE EXPOSURE
      BAHUT COMPROMISE (plenty)
      FOR MODERN DISGUISE
      IN THIS HIGH FASHION WORLD
      ONLY DIGNITY IS SOLD
BETI THIS IS NOT YOU (daughter)
TO YOURSELF BE TRUE
BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE (shame) 
IS THE AGE OF THE WILD
SO LARKAS HAVE NEW STYLE (boys)
CHOOSAYING THEY PAISAA (wasting, money)
ON KAPRAA AND MOTOR CAR (clothes)
CYAR WAIT FOR WEEKEND
FOR TAMASHAA WITH THEY FRIENDS (fun)
DANCING AH NEW GAANA (song)
IN AN ALIEN GHARHAANAA (musical tradition)
      COME ON DREAD, WE’LL PAINT THE TOWN RED
      BUILD A HEAD AND KNOCK ‘EM DEAD
WHAT YUH DHAKOLAY (drink)
AND WHAT YUH DOES PHOOKAY (smoke)
WHAT TAKIN YOU ASTRAY
MAY NOT BRING YOU BACK ONE DAY
      BETA THIS IS NOT YOU
      TO YOURSELF BE TRUE
      BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY   
      IS NO SHARMAAYE 
BAHUT PROSPERITY
CORRUPTING IDENTITY
SO SANSKAAR THE BACHO (give values, child)
SHOW THEM THE WAY TO GO
THEY’LL NIK NIKAAYE (give difficulty)
TO HAVE THEIR OWN WAY
IF YOU ONLY FALL PREY
IT WILL BACKFIRE SOME DAY
      KHABAR DAAR WITH DOOLAR (take care, pampering)
      DANGER IN THE SAMSAAR (this world) 
      BE CAREFUL WHAT YUH CHANGE 
      AND WHAT YUH REARRANGE
THE CULTURE YOU TEACH
PRACTICE DON’T PREACH
BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE 
AAJAA AUR AAJEE (grandparents)
GETTAM NEW HOBBY
SOAP OPERA ON TV
SO THEY CLOSE THE RASOYI (kitchen)
NO ROTI AND DAHI (home made yogurt)
SAYKAYING IN THE CHULHEE (roasting, earthen stove)
SO NO JOHR IN THE NAATI (strength, grandchildren)
KFC LAUGHING AT WE
      TAKE BACK THE PALANAA (cradle)
      SAVE THE PARAMPARAA (tradition, legacy)
      BEFORE YUH LALANAA (‘pampered’ child)
      END UP IN THE FIRE
NOW ITS MAKE OR BREAK
CAUSE THE FUTURE IS AT STAKE
WILL YOU LET THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE  

TITLE : Ah different Style
SINGER : Reena Teelucksingh, Trinidad
COMPOSER : Revan Teelucksingh, Trinidad 
One of several cultural presentations at Phagwah Mela, GUYANA
Use lesson of Phagwah to stand firm
- President tells gathering at Phagwah Mela

 
THE message about the triumph of good over evil, which is the main theme behind t
the story of Phagwah, is a lesson which Guyanese can learn from, particularly during this period of trauma and uncertainty.
This was the encouragement given by Head of State, President Bharrat Jagdeo who addressed a large gathering assembled at the Dharmic Sabha Kendra for the Phagwah mela and bazaar.
The event, which is one of many organised by the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha to commemorate the Hindu festival, Phagwah, took the form of songs, dances, modelling and portrayals of various aspects of the Hindu culture.
A certain degree of physical harmony and comfort is necessary, but above a
certain level it becomes a hindrance instead of a help. Therefore the ideal of
creating an unlimited number of wants and satisfying them seems to be a
delusion and a snare  —-  Mahatma Gandhi
   
PHAGWA PICHAKAAREE 2008, TRINIDAD
Courtesy Raviji
DEDICATION PHAGWA 2008
It is in pursuit of the recognition of and deep concern for this Caribbean space as the nursery of our development that we have dedicated Kendra Phagwa Festival 2008 as a vehicle to highlight the threat that crime has visited on our cherished democracy and way of life. For this reason, Kendra Phagwa Festival is dedicating Phagwa 2008 to the Lusignan and Batica Massacres in Guyana that horrified the peoples of the Caribbean. This is to suggest that Trinidad and Tobago is concerned about the state of Guyana, Barbados, Bahamas and Jamaica as it is for our own nation. It is becoming more evident that crime is impacting on the democratic way of life. Pichakaaree 2008 hopes that by publicly alerting the Caribbean of this issue, the region would pull together to save democracy from the increasing tyranny of crime even as the Prahlaad was saved from the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu.
Kendra Phagwa Festival in 2001 was inspired by Prahlaad’s stand against his father the mighty Emperror Hiranyakashipu, to take a stand against use of alcohol at Phagwa. KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL continues the stand taken 17 years ago that declared The Kendra Phagwa Festival, a NO ALCOHOL ZONE.
This stand was taken at the inception of the Kendra Phawa Festival in 2001 and continues today. Use of alcohol had almost ruined phagwa some years ago because it became increasingly unsafe for families to go to various venues.
HAPPY FEET: Roodal Mahalal, accompanied by the Barataria chowtal group, performs a Raja Harrichan dance during the Shri Krishen Mandir’s chowtal singing competition yesterday at Lyle Lane, Felicity, TRINIDAD

Holy Fusion
Courtesy Imam Iqubal Hydal

“For every nation We appointed acts of devotion” (Quran, 22:34).

The fact that different religions use different calendars to calculate their spiritual festivals often causes various events to occur within the same period. This week we have concurrences of several religious festivals: Milad un-Nabi (birth date of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) (March 20), Good Friday and Easter (March 21 and 23), and Holi Phagua (March 22).

March 20: Milad un-Nabi
Although it was not the custom of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to celebrate his birthday, this period of the Islamic year is often used to narrate his life. Emphasis lies on the fact that the Prophet brought spiritual light to the whole world; he fulfilled the almost impossible task of converting the whole of Arabia from idolatry to Islam the worshipping of only one God. After this, Islam spread gradually over the world and nowadays the light of Islam can be found in almost every corner of the world.

Please contact TESHAWNA LALL,  Tel#  347-247-3198,  for all USA and CANADA 
donations for families and relatives of the LUSIGNAN MASSACRE VICTIMS.
   
Support Malaysian Indians against State Brutality

 
MOST POPULAR HOLI (Phagwa) VIDEOS

1.  Holi Ke Din
from Sholay, with the incomparable Hema Malini, and Dharmendra
2. Holi khele Raghuveera Awadh mein
from Baghbaan, with Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini
While we are on Baghbaan, why not enjoy a classic, one of the first Bollywood songs with a pronounced jazzy beat :
Sonri Teri Chal
3. Rang Barse
from Silsila

Ranga Barase means a shower of colours and this is exactly what Phagwa is about, colour and beauty. During this feature, abeer of varying colours is sprayed on all participants from overhead pipe and sprinkler systems, designed for the special effect of bathing in coloured rain. The vibrations of appropiate music and songs are irresistable and the whole community gets involved in the grand celebration by joining in the community dancing.

4.  Award winning Indian ad for a cause- Hostel/Holi
5. Old is Gold – Holi Clasical “Navrang”
6. Bollywood Holi Mix
7. Holi bhojpuri song
8. Holi festival in Omkareshwar, India
9. Mangal Pandey – Holi Re
10. HOLI FESTIVAL 2007 india – vrindavan

National Council for Indian Culture in Jamaica

The National Council for Indian Culture
Third row (from left to right):   
Maurice Williams, Seragh Lakasingh (2nd VP), Justice M. Dukharan

Second row (from left to right):
Kiran Banhan, Ken Williams-Singh (Treasurer), Lyle Nathan Sharma, Vishwanauth Tolan (Chairman), Dr. Sitaram Poddar, Wilbert Sirjue, Nari Willams-Singh

Seated (left to right)               
Ms. Nalini Banhan, Mrs. Sepragie Maragh, Mrs. Beryl Williams-Singh, Dr. Paul Maragh (1st VP)

Missing from Picture
Sunetra Ramsingh (Secretary)

The National Council for Indian Culture was established on March 1, 1998. The main activities of the Council aim at the promotion of Indian music and dance, culinary arts, fashion and the Hindi language.

  • Major Indian festivals are celebrated throughout the year. On the occasion of Diwali (the festival of lights), a Diwali Mela (Indian food fair and bazaar) is also held.

  • On the occasion of the Indian Heritage Day, May 10, a week of festivities is organized, starting with a Prayer Service on May 10 and ending with a Family Fun Day on the weekend. An Annual Awards Banquet and Cultural Show is also held to honour those who have made significant contributions in the promotion of culture, education and services to the community.
  • The Council gives financial assistance to needy children towards their education and also to charities.
  • Two preparatory schools and yoga classes are run by the Ananda Marga Society.
  • Social and recreational activities are available at Club India, which also features the teaching of Hindi by Dr. S. Poddar
  • Religious services are provided at Sanatan Dharma Mandir and .
  • Spiritual services and meditation exercises are available at the Raja Yoga Centre and Blue Star Jamaica.
  • Marriage and funeral services are performed by Pandit Danesh Maragh, Pandit Sharma and Pandit Ramadhar Maragh.
    http://www.ncicj.com/homepage2.html
Oxford Literary Festival 2008: Diana Athill on VS Naipaul
Diana Athill, who ‘discovered’ VS Naipaul, reveals the insecurity behind his genius

V S Naipaul
People talk about publishers “discovering” writers, but that verb is overdramatic. Usually, the most that can be said for a publisher is that he “recognises” a writer. That’s certainly what happened with André Deutsch and Vidia Naipaul. There was not much “discovery” about being told by the Jamaican novelist Andrew Salkey that he thought a young man of his acquaintance who worked for the BBC’s Caribbean Service was probably a very good writer. Might he tell him that I would read his stories? I could hardly have said “no” even if I’d wanted to, which I didn’t. Ours was still a comparatively young publishing house, needing to follow up every possibility as keenly as we could.
Soon after that, we met Vidia in a coffee bar, where he handed over the typescript of Miguel Street. He was probably shy and very nervous, but the impression I gained was one of reserve verging on haughtiness.
I read the stories – and enjoyed them very much. André had a strong prejudice against collections of stories and refused to let us put down money for it, but he allowed us to say that we would publish it later, if the author could launch his career with a successful novel. And luckily, Vidia did happen to be well on the way with a novel, The Mystic Masseur, which got such good reviews that it had to be considered successful.
So there we were in 1959, with VS Naipaul on our list, and I was his editor. Which is again an inaccurate word, because if ever a writer needed no editing it was Vidia, whose books could always have gone straight from typist to printer with no intervention from anyone. An editor’s job, in such a case, is basically to keep on saying “Darling, you’re wonderful”.
He was, therefore, displeased with the results of publication, which filled him always with despair, sometimes with anger as well. Once he descended on me like a thunderbolt to announce that he had just been into Foyles of Charing Cross Road and they didn’t have a single copy of his latest book, published only two weeks earlier, in stock – not one! Reason told me this was impossible, but I have a tendency to accept guilt if faced with accusation and this tendency went into spasm. Suppose the sales department really had made some unthinkable blunder? Well, if they had I was not going to face the ensuing mayhem single-handed, so I said: “We must go and tell André at once.” Which we did; and André Deutsch said calmly: “What nonsense, Vidia – come on, we’ll go to Foyles straightaway and I’ll show you.” So all three of us stumped down the street to Foyles. Once we were in the shop, André cornered the manager and explained: “Mr Naipaul couldn’t find his book. Will you please show him where it is displayed?” “Certainly, Mr Deutsch”; and there it was, two piles of six copies each, on the table for “Recent Publications”. André said afterwards that Vidia looked even more thunderous at being done out of his grievance, but if he did, I was too dizzy with relief to notice.
In 1975, we received the 13th of his books – his eighth work of fiction – Guerrillas. For the first time I was slightly apprehensive because he had spoken to me about the experience of writing it in an unprecedented way. Usually he kept the process private, but this time he said that it was extraordinary, something that had never happened before: it was as though the book had been given to him. Such a feeling about writing does not necessarily bode well. And as it turned out, I could not like the book.
So I told him. I began by saying how much I admired the many things in the book that I did admire, then I said that I had to tell him that two of his three central characters had failed to convince me. It was like saying to Conrad: “Lord Jim is a very fine novel except that Jim doesn’t quite come off.”
Vidia looked disconcerted, then stood up and said that he was sorry they didn’t work for me, because he had done the best he could with them, there was nothing more he could do, so there was no point in discussing it . . .
The next day, Vidia’s agent called to say that he had been instructed to retrieve Guerrillas because we had lost confidence in Vidia’s writing and therefore he was leaving us.
For at least two weeks I seethed . . . then, in the third week, it suddenly occurred to me that never again would I have to listen to Vidia telling me how damaged he was, and it was as though the sun came out. I didn’t have to like Vidia any more! I could still like his work, I could still be sorry for his pain; but I no longer faced the task of fashioning affection out of these elements in order to deal as a good editor should with the exhausting, and finally tedious, task of listening to his woe.

Join GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago


GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
a chapter of GOPIO International.   
P.O. BOX 2286, Chaguanas.
687-7529   GopioTT@gmail. com
ESSAY COMPETITION ALCOHOLISM – Causes, Effects, and Solutions  
      

ALCOHOLISM, the major social, economic, and health problem in our nation, is marked by excessive alcoholic consumption at levels that interfere with physical and mental health, and affects social, family, and occupational responsibilities. Alcohol is involved in crime, accident and traffic deaths, and suicides.  Children of alcoholics are exposed to increased risks of alcohol and drug abuse; social and behavioral problems; and anxiety and mood disorders.
 
Every citizen in our nation should assist in dealing with this serious problem. For its part, GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago intends to raise the consciousness of our people, especially the youth; sensitize and increase awareness; and provide solutions that can be implemented throughout Trinidad and Tobago. As a first step, GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago has organized a nationwide essay competition, on the topic: ALCOHOLISM in Trinidad & Tobago  – Causes, Effects, and Solutions.  
Details are as follows: 
Participants are required to define the scope of the problem, describe the effect of Alcoholism on our society, and propose practical and pragmatic solutions that can be realistically implemented in Trinidad & Tobago.  It is expected that analysis of current data and relevant information will be presented, in both text and graphical formats.  Data sources and references should be credited.

Age 17 & under: Winner will receive a desktop computer
Age 18 to 25: Winner will receive a Laptop computer.

Four runner-up prizes will be awarded in each group.
Minimum word length: 2500
Entries should be mailed on, or before, 18th April 2008, to
GOPIO Trinidad & Tobago
PO BOX 2286,
Chaguanas.
The winners will be announced, and prizes distributed, at the Indian Arrival Day Seminar 2008, on Saturday May 10th, at the Divali Nagar Main Auditorium, Chaguanas, where a Panel of Experts will explore and analyze this topic with the audience.  The other major theme at this Seminar is Developing Networks and Relationships in Business, Agriculture, Technology, and Culture, between Trinidad & Tobago and the International Indian Diaspora.   More information about the Indian Arrival Day Seminar 2008 will be released at a later date.
GOPIO Trinidad and Tobago, a chapter of GOPIO International, is a secular, non–political, non-profit and Non-Governmental Organization. You may contact us at 687-7529, 314-1456, or email GOPIOTT@gmail.com
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GopioTT/
http://gopiott.blogspot.com/

Proudly Indian, a South African Indian site
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CARIBBEAN TALK
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Politicizing Race in Guyana
by
Roop Misir, PhD
Background
Our country prides itself in the motto: “The Land of Six Peoples”. To onlookers, the people of Guyana live harmoniously. They work side-by-side in villages where they toil in farms, rice fields and sugar estates. In factories and mills, they use their hands and talents to manufacture some of the finest goods. All of them are educated in schools that promote racial equality. And over the years, they have been noticeable signs of racial integration. All of which leads one to conclude: Guyanese have grown to understand fellow citizens.
But is this really true?
In the 1950s and 60s, our people struggled, and in 1966 finally won political independence from Britain. Just about that time, the façade of racial harmony gave way to racial pride. There was the recognition that black was beautiful, and that politics meant true power. Therefore Africans must take charge after the British left. Also, Indians weren’t returning to India as some were hoping. Rather, they would live as citizens and participate in building the independent nation. Perhaps this didn’t fare too well with the more assertive elements of the population. These new developments would set the stage to test the veneer of racial harmony.
Some may ask: Why?
Politicizing Race
With independence from Britain imminent, it became clear that the new country would inherit a winner-takes-all Westminster system of government. This meant that the party in power would also be in charge, and the losing party relegated to the opposition benches, effectively shutting them from power.
Since 1947, Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan worked tirelessly to unite the different races of the country. In 1953, the multiracial Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) won an overwhelming victory at the first General Elections under universal suffrage. However, the PPP soon splintered into a faction led by Mr. LFS Burnham whose group later became the Peoples’ National Congress (PNC). Its support base was mainly African Guianese. Despite its setback, the multiracial PPP continued to win every election until 1961. Then a new electoral system of Proportional Representation (RP) was introduced to replace the traditional first past the post system. Not surprisingly, at the next General Election in 1964, the PPP received the largest number of seats but failed to secure more than 50% of the total votes cast. The PPP claimed that it was “Cheated not Defeated”.
Cold War and Communism
In those days of the Cold War, PR was perhaps as one peaceful way to defeat the pro-Communist PPP. Yet there was much violence against the PPP and their Indian supporters the early 60’s. With this party defeated and morally weakened, the pro-African PNC formed a coalition with the pro-business United Force (UF) under the leadership of popular Portuguese Guyanese businessman Mr. Peter D’Aguiar. This coalition was invited by the Governor to form the new government.
Thus for the first time ever, race did affect the balance of power in Guyana. For the PNC at least, the racial polarization helped them secure votes and political power in the newly independent Guyana. Here again as elsewhere, the colonial time-tested strategy of “divide and rule” worked well. The “socialist” PNC was in charge, and the pro-communist PPP booted out. A few years later the UF left the coalition, leaving the PNC alone in charge. It was like a dream come true. The PNC then established the Cooperative Republic, which controlled almost every sector of the economy. With few checks and fewer balances, the PNC dished out goodies to their supporters, mainly African Guyanese. Only token crumbs managed to reach other races.
As Indian Guyanese became increasingly marginalized, many had no alternative but to depart to any foreign country willing to take them. With no place for them in the power structure, they were effectively shut out of government.
For twenty-eight long years, the African-dominated PNC ruled the country an iron hand. President-for-life 
LFS Burnham reigned supreme as the “Kabaka” (King). Under his leadership, with the help of security forces the rigging of Guyanese elections was perfected into a fine art. As the country’s economy spiraled downward and life became brutish and unbearable, was it any wonder that PNC supporters became disenchanted? Since the Kabaka’s victory at the polls was never in doubt, even Mr. Burnham’s own supporters lost interest in voting. For example, at a subsequent General Election, only 3% of those registered bothered to vote. But yet, the PNC secured a whopping 95% of the votes cast to secure a stunning victory! Was it to anyone’s surprise that as time went on, the work of Parliament was reduced to a farce? Or as one prominent opposition MP echoed, was it a “rass”? Long live the Kabaka!
Restoration of Democracy
Apparently, everything eventually comes to an end. Guyanese were more than fed up with the dictatorial racist PNC regime and demanded change. Thanks to agitation from Guyanese (of all races) both at home and abroad, this undemocratic black dictatorship finally came to an end in 1992. The election brought to office the PPP/C, a multiracial coalition with the PPP being the major partner. As expected, there were unbridled euphoria and tremendous excitement at the defeat of the incompetent and self-serving PNC regime. The days of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, the PNC’s stranglehold on the national economy and the universally hated National Service all came to an abrupt end. After what they’d gone through, Guyanese expected changes for the better. But by then, more Guyanese had already been settled abroad than those living at home. Therefore, one result was that our country was deprived of their talents and capital. Thus, it would take time for this debt-laden country to get back on its financial feet. However, a few years later, the passing of the much loved and highly respected President and Father of the Nation, Dr. Cheddi Jagan was a loss to the country. Not unexpectedly, the honeymoon for the PPP/C period faded quickly.
Guyana at the Crossroads
Many of us may wish to interpret these changes as signs of better times to come. However, after nearly forty-two years of independence from Britain, are we currently witnessing an unraveling of the fabric of racial cohesion in our country? Is the other motto: “One People, One Nation, One Destiny” quickly losing its relevance?
Perhaps a look at recent events may be of interest.
Only last month, most Guyanese were appalled by cold-blooded massacres—first at Lusignan where people of Indian origin were targeted. Then one week later came the Bartica massacre where Guyanese of many races lost their lives. As usual, the PPP/C government attributed these incidents to the work of criminal elements and bandits. Of course, not everyone shares this view.
Who may be behind the crimes and the massacres? Sure the Police often make token arrests to allay public fears, but only to release those arrested for the lack of evidence.
Are these and other criminal acts random or are they centrally directed? Are these acts the work of career criminals? Or are these the work of those who refuse to accept the outcome in democratic elections for Parliament, and now choose the bullet to the ballot?
This much we do know:
Shortly after 1992 General Elections, the defeated PNC President Desmond Hoyte wasn’t happy with the results. He then became a critic of the “Indo-Guyanese political establishment”, symbolized by Dr. Cheddi B. Jagan and his American-born wife, Janet, who succeeded him as President in 1998. Opponents often accused Mr. Hoyte of trying to make Guyana ungovernable through protests over the supposed exclusion of Afro-Guyanese from important political posts. (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9806E6D8163FF93AA15751C1A9649C8B63).
As the situation has developed ever since, fears of “more fire” and “slow fire” haven’t been exaggerated!
Violence against Indians
Those of us who lived through the 1960’s can attest to those turbulent years when a single day seemed like an age! For the younger generation, a review of history books suggests that attacks on Indians were nothing new. During the 1964 Wismar “disturbances”, Indians were killed and others forced to leave the Mackenzie-Wismar (Linden) area. Was this massacre and the forced departure of survivors a classic example of “ethnic cleansing”? And was it an organized plan to drive Indians away from an “African” stronghold? Certainly, Guyana is becoming infamous for many things. Since 1998, violence against Indians has been on the rise. Can we expect more politically motivated acts of violence?
Africans the Rightful Heirs?
Are acts of violence against Indians in Guyana of recent origins? Not really. This time though the violence may be politicized. Starting in the middle of the last century and more recent times in Lusignan, the continuing violence targeting Indians suggests a political motive for the violence: the idea that Africans are the rightful inheritors of the country after British, and that they are being “dispossessed” of their inheritance by Indians. Some elements apparently still view Indians as aliens or, and at best should be second-class citizens, with no right to govern a Guyana that rightfully belongs to Africans. True, politicians of Indian ancestry are in the ruling multiracial PPP/C, but this party seems to be in office only, and not necessarily wielding real power. Thanks to those with a racial mindset that refuses to accept the results of democratic elections?
The fact of the matter is that despite the continuing exodus, the numerical superiority of Indians coupled with free and fair elections all present a threat to those Africans who dream of dominating Guyana as in the “Kabaka” days. But really, are violent acts against Indians helping their cause?
The dilemma facing Indians has been in the making for 170 years now. Racial cohesion and superficial harmony are being tested in the “Land of Six Peoples”. As Guyanese share the same space and country, are there valid reasons for us all to work towards the ideal of “One People, One Nation, One Destiny?
Is the present unitary state still practical? Or a federated one a more viable option? If not, should our leaders look at a more inclusive form of governance?
Indeed, what our country desperately needs are leaders with a vision for the future survival of the Guyana as a viable nation.
Incidentally, it was Mr. Burnham who adopted the constitution that made himself executive president in 1980.
Since than, many of us have been asking: Quo vadis? Where are we headed?
[Dr. Roop Misir is an Indo-Guyanese Canadian Teacher with the Toronto District School Board. You may contact him at roop.misir@gmail.com].
You are invited to a Bhagawad Gita  Course at the Chinmaya Ashram
by Swami Prakasahananda, Resident Acharya at the Chinmaya Mission,
Trinidad and Tobago starting on Sunday 9th March.  Swamiji will start with
the Gita Dhyanam and will progressively cover the entire text.  He will give
Translations and commentaries on the text including the commentaries
AdiShankaracharya and others.
Please invite all you friends and relatives as well.
Start Date:          9th March 2008
Class Days:          Every Sunday
Class Time:          8:00 a.m.  to 9:00 a.m. (the class starts after morning puja, which starts at 7:30 a.m., is completed)
Course Duration:              Indefinite, until completion of the text.
Course Fees:      No charge.  Donation are accepted gratefully
Location:              Chinmaya Ashram
                               #1 Swami Chinmayananda Drive, Calcutta #1, Mc Bean, 
                              Couva. TRINIDAD

INDOCARIBBEAN TIMES – Current issue is available here:
http://www.esnips.com/web/Indo-CaribbeanTimes

 

BOLLYWOOD plays HOLI:
Hema Malini in SHOLAY (above)
Dharmendra and Waheeda Rahman in PHAGUN (below)

FREE ONLINE RADIO from FIJI
Radio Fiji Two
Radio Mirchi

http://www.radiofiji.com.fj

 ~~~~~~~
HINDU WISDOM
user posted image
As an eagle, weary after soaring in the sky, folds its wings and flies down to rest in its nest, so does the shining Self enter the state of dreamless sleep, where one is freed from all desires.
-Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.
-Mahatma Gandhi, 1930
Brahman creates the game of life by breaking Himself into parts that undergo transformation and extinction.
Yet while he takes on all the roles required by the game, He also always remains free of the game and intact as Brahman.
-Abhinavagupta

  ~~~~~~~~~


V S NAIPAUL: A Tribute
http://www.jahajeedesi.com/forums/index.php?showforum=56

An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex

No problems so far, the immigration agent told the American citizen and his 22-year-old Colombian wife at her green card interview in December. After he stapled one of their wedding photos to her application for legal permanent residency, he had just one more question: What was her cellphone number?
 

Audio A Secret Recording

The calls from the agent started three days later. He hinted, she said, at his power to derail her life and deport her relatives, alluding to a brush she had with the law before her marriage. He summoned her to a private meeting. And at noon on Dec. 21, in a parked car on Queens Boulevard, he named his price — not realizing that she was recording everything on the cellphone in her purse.
“I want sex,” he said on the recording. “One or two times. That’s all. You get your green card. You won’t have to see me anymore.”
She reluctantly agreed to a future meeting. But when she tried to leave his car, he demanded oral sex “now,” to “know that you’re serious.” And despite her protests, she said, he got his way.
The 16-minute recording, which the woman first took to The New York Times and then to the Queens district attorney, suggests the vast power of low-level immigration law enforcers, and a growing desperation on the part of immigrants seeking legal status. The aftermath, which included the arrest of an immigration agent last week, underscores the difficulty and danger of making a complaint, even in the rare case when abuse of power may have been caught on tape.
No one knows how widespread sexual blackmail is, but the case echoes other instances of sexual coercion that have surfaced in recent years, including agents criminally charged in Atlanta, Miami and Santa Ana, Calif. And it raises broader questions about the system’s vulnerability to corruption at a time when millions of noncitizens live in a kind of legal no-man’s land, increasingly fearful of seeking the law’s protection.
The agent arrested last week, Isaac R. Baichu, 46, himself an immigrant from Guyana, handled some 8,000 green card applications during his three years as an adjudicator in the Garden City, N.Y., office of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the federal Department of Homeland Security. He pleaded not guilty to felony and misdemeanor charges of coercing the young woman to perform oral sex, and of promising to help her secure immigration papers in exchange for further sexual favors. If convicted, he will face up to seven years in prison.
His agency has suspended him with pay, and the inspector general of Homeland Security is reviewing his other cases, a spokesman said Wednesday. Prosecutors, who say they recorded a meeting between Mr. Baichu and the woman on March 11 at which he made similar demands for sex, urge any other victims to come forward.
Money, not sex, is the more common currency of corruption in immigration, but according to Congressional testimony in 2006 by Michael Maxwell, former director of the agency’s internal investigations, more than 3,000 backlogged complaints of employee misconduct had gone uninvestigated for lack of staff, including 528 involving criminal allegations.
The agency says it has tripled its investigative staff since then, and counts only 165 serious complaints pending. But it stopped posting an e-mail address and phone number for such complaints last year, said Jan Lane, chief of security and integrity, because it lacks the staff to cull the thousands of mostly irrelevant messages that resulted. Immigrants, she advised, should report wrongdoing to any law enforcement agency they trust.
The young woman in Queens, whose name is being withheld because the authorities consider her the victim of a sex crime, did not even tell her husband what had happened. Two weeks after the meeting in the car, finding no way to make a confidential complaint to the immigration agency and afraid to go to the police, she and two older female relatives took the recording to The Times.... continued at:
FREE TIBET, Now!   Stop CHINESE BRUTALITY
Dear Friends:
China has denied entry to the media but reports emanating from Lhasa and other parts of Tibet describe Chinese brutality and violent repression of the Tibetan monks and people of Tibet.  The fact that the government in Beijing can do so freely, with relative impunity, is absolutely galling, and a shameless indictment against nations who trade with China.  Here is Amnesty International's latest report:
China: Concern grows over crackdown on Tibetan protesters
Amnesty International today condemned the harsh crackdown on peaceful protesters in the Tibetan capital, Lhasa. According to eyewitness reports, on 11 March, Chinese police used teargas and electric prods to disperse 500 demonstrators, who were seeking the release of fellow monks held after the previous day’s protests.
On 10 March, it was reported that 11 protesters, including nine monks, were severely beaten and detained outside Tsuklakhang cathedral in central Lhasa. They had been demonstrating to mark the 49th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's flight from Tibet after his failed rebellion against Chinese rule. Some 50 monks have also been detained across the capital.
“Demonstrators have a right to protest peacefully. China violates international human rights standards in denying their freedom of assembly and freedom of expression,” said Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Deputy Program Director Tim Parritt.
“Amnesty International condemns human rights abuses wherever they occur: on the streets of Beijing or the mountains of Tibet.”
Amnesty International calls on China to release immediately all those detained for peacefully exercising their rights.

To remind everyone: Tibet is not a part of China. China has occupied Tibet since 1959, when the Communists invaded the country in order to seize control of it's vast natural resources. Over the course of the last 49 years, China has ruled Tibet with an iron thumb, depriving its citizens of basic civil rights, while settling ethnic Chinese in the country.

Western nations should feel ashamed that they continue to legitimate China's occupation of Tibet by continuing to do business with it. We should freeze China's assets, and refuse to purchase products made in China in response to it's illegal and undemocratic colonial administration of Tibet. It's time to boycott Beijing, even if it hurts our economy to do so. China is another apartheid state like the former South African regime, or its client state of Myanmar today.

It's time the West forced it to start playing by the rules, so that it behaved like a real democracy. If China wants to become a member of the family of nations, it has to start behaving like one. As the Dalai Lama has repeatedly said, nothing else will do.

BOYCOTT CHINESE GOODS and THE SUMMER OLYMPICS in China. 

China must be treated as a pariah nation unless Tibetans are allowed freedom and independence. Get involved and participate in protests and demonstrations against China throughout the world.

http://tibet97.blogspot.com/

Deosaran Bisnath,
Member,
Amnesty International
Webpages and Forum dedicated to the NOBLE LAUREATE
http://www.jahajeedesi.com/index.php?page=laureatevsnaipaul

Trinidad National Archives Online
Indian Immigration Page:

http://www.natt.gov.tt/ViewArchiveSearchResults.aspx?ArchiveID=TT+NATT+IM+2
Stop misleading the world
The Stabroek News reprinted in its issue of Thursday, March 13, 2008, an editorial from the Trinidad Express with the caption: “Will Guyana ever truly be free?” no doubt on the urging of the Stabroek.

But let me say in response to the caption that Guyana will really truly be free, when that very freedom which is so cherished and is currently being enjoyed, experienced and propagated by the PPP/C Government, stops being abused by newspapers like the Stabroek News, to mislead the world that freedom of the press is being suppressed in our Guyana.
Has it not yet occurred to the Stabroek News that their chances of being reprieved on the issue of placement of advertisements are for them to withdraw their false and wicked allegations against the government?
DAVID DE GROOT

TORONTO, CANADA, March 19, 2008: (Via Religion News Service) The premier of Ontario has dropped a political hot potato with his recent announcement that the daily recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the provincial legislature should be dropped. "It's time for us to ensure that we have a prayer that better reflects our diversity," Dalton McGuinty, a Liberal Party member, said last month. "The members of the Ontario Legislature reflect the diversity of Ontario -- be it Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or agnostic. It is time for our practices to do the same."

Canadian leaders have been increasingly more supportive of religious pluralism. In 2007, at the opening of the Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, McGuinty said "Toronto is a place where people from all over the world can come together to create something beautiful -- a strong and diverse society." At the same event, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said "Today we celebrate one of our country's greatest strengths--its commitment to pluralism."

McGuinty's proposal has touched off a decidedly religious debate in largely secular Canada, and one that echoes similar fights south of the border over the proper role of religion in civic spheres.

he U.S. debate, for the most part, has not centered on the Lord's Prayer but on other references to the divine -- specifically, whether civic councils can open with prayers that end "in Jesus' name." That's the fight playing out in a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va.

Inspiration
user posted image
http://www.jahajeedesi.com/forums/index.php?showforum=10

What is Dharma? Dharma is that which lifts up the falling man and
enables him to reach God. Dharma in reality is no other than
unflinching devotion to God. What is called Dharma for achieving
worldly ends, such as health, wealth, or progeny, is not really
Dharma; it is Dharma only in a secondary sense.
Who Can Give Peace? Only he who knows the will of God can give peace to another. When Dharmaputra was feeling dejected that he had killed so many people in war, any amount of advice given by learned and wise Rishis who did not know the will of God, proved to be of no avail. Dharmaputra continued to be sad; he did not get peace of mind till he had his doubts cleared by the Sage Bhishma.
- Sri Swami Sivananda

Word of the Week

PICHAKAAREE, noun:  shiny brass instrument which looks like a large syringe. It is traditionally used in Phagwa to squirt abeer – coloured water - on participants at phagwa celebrations.

The word pichakaaree is often used in many phagwa songs to record the playful aggression re enacted by in phagwa as the participants shoot abeer on each other. The lyrics the most popular phagwa song, ‘Holi kheka Raghubeera,’ which is often looked upon as the anthem of phagwa holds, ‘Rama ke haathe kanak pichakaaree – Rama holds in His had a golden pichakaaree.”
The abeer is made up of a vegetable crystal which is prepared by boiling the chrystals in water. Abeer is transported in large tins and containers to the venues of ‘play’. Locally pichakaarees are made out of PVC pipes and plastic bottles.
HOW THE SONGS CAME TO BE CALLED ‘PICHAKAAREE’
The original name of the song was Local Phagwa Composition. Many factors contributed to the naming of the songs as Pichakaaree.
  1. Kendra Phagwa Festival continues to cherish the traditional songs called chowtaal. The lyrics of chowtal communicated ideas and moods of India. It also provides the community with a source for information on the religion and couture.
  2. The jahajee community originally possessed almost ten languages eventully lost – all these languages.
  3. Songs had to be composed in the language which they now possessed; English.
  4. In order to preserve at least words and phrases through this new form, rules were laid to ensure that composers use Indian words.
  1. The need which inspired the naming of this genre of songs as’pichakaaree’ came from the need to address through songs, the need for recording for posterity the experiences of the community as it addresses life in the context of its present space an time; modern day Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.
  1. A common image visible in all phagwa celebration inspired the naming of pichakaaree;
The nozzle of the pichakaaree is placed in a container of abeer located where one is standing. The player draws in the abeer into the belly of the pichakaaree, points it at a target and squirts out the warm, colourful liquid.

Out of purity and silence come words of power.
Swami Chinmayananda (1916-1993), founder of Chinmaya Mission
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 'jahaj' = ship; 'desi' = Indian
'JahajeeDesi' = The Indians who crossed the Kala Pani by ship,
the Indentured Indian Immigrants, and their descendents.
http://www.JahajeeDesi.com

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PHAGWA PICHAKAAREE 2008

Please find attached and pasted below details of PHAGWA PICHAKAAREE 2008

Courtesy Raviji
      SOCIAL AND CULTIURAL DYNAMICS OF PHAGWA AND PICHAKAAREE IN TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO – by Raviji
 (KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL 2008 IS DEDICATED TO THE LUSIGNAN AND BATiCA MASSACRES IN GUYANA. PICHAKAAREE CALLS ON THE CARIBBEAN TO BEWARE OF THE DEMISE OF DEMOCRACY AS A WAY OF LIFE THREATENED BY CRIME IN THE CARIBBEAN.)
(This article examines an interpretation of the Pauranik narrative which is viewed as the origin of Phagwa Festival. It also examines Pichakaare, a new song genre, as an instrument to deliver a contemporary community voice within the received festival tradition brought to the Caribbean by indentured laboures from India to serve on colonial sugar plantations from 1845 – 1917.)
The twin island state of Trinidad and Tobago has harvested a diverse cultural heritage harvested from many civilizations. The Hindi-Indian heritage is one which provides an oceanic source for a complex and dynamic cultural diversity of its own. It has endured the colonial experience and struggled for recognition and the equal place promised by the National anthem with increasing success. But there has been great casualties. The community has turned to this cultural heritage for presenting and expressing itself. This has been part of the process to and shaping its identity and creating its voices.
Phagwa, also called, Holi or Rangotsava has claimed a special place for itself. This festival has been traditional categorized as a festival of the masses. Naturally, it is marked by lesser demands of the religious disciplines of a traditional religion. Even before entering this space well known for its carnival, Phagwa entertained features which are clearly close to carnival. This is perhaps why it is often referred as Indian Carnival. The host community however has always been cautious about this fearing an appropriation by a zeal to carnivalise everything within its grasp. That may cause phagwa to slip away making it prohibitive to its conservative host community.
All Hindu festivals however, have a spiritual centre a narrative from a shastra-sacred text which informs the festival. Phagwa has retained its spiritual centre which is expressed by adherence to astrology, ceremonies and fasts. It laso maintains the links with the Pauranik narratives from shaastras-sacred texts. This spiritual centre on one hand and the ribald nature of a festival of the masses provide a dynamic tension and a balance between the sacred ansd the profane. The spiritual centre allows for the festival to go thus far but reins it in when it threatens to travels too far on the paths of excesses.
The kathaa-narrative is of boy-saint, Prahlad, whose faith and resistance led to a revolution against his tyrannical father, Emperror Hiranyakashipu. Hiranyakashipu was a powerful ruler who wanted to convert all Hindus from the worship of Bhagvaan Vishnu. He even declared himself God and demanded all his subjects to worship him. Al except his son, Prahalad were converted by force.
Hiranyakashipu persecuted his young son for his faith in Bhagwan Vishnu of whom Lord Rama and Lord Krishna are avataaras. When his personal admonitions were useless to dissuade Prahlad from his Hindu faith, Hiranyakshipu, recruited teachers to brainwash Prahlaad and convert him. When that too failed, he recruited soldiers to destroy Prahlad through violent means.
In the end, Hiranyakashipu went to his sister Holika, Prahlaad’s aunt, to help him destroy Prahlad. Holika had a boon which prevented fire from burning her. She sat on a pyre of fire holding Prahlaad on her laps. Prahlaad was unshakeable in his faith in Bhagvaan Vishnu. In the end, when the fire subsided, Holika was burnt to ashes while Prahlaad walked away from the pyre, unscathed. The people went wild with joy at the demonstration of faith.
These features of the narrative inform the folks of the nature of society and the human condition. In this case, the society view the danger of tyranny when the state may recruit the education system and the power of the military to secure tyrannical rule; like colonialism. All these ideas seed the culture of Phagwa with opportunities to build cultural expression to carry a discourse to the masses through a popular method. Pichakaaree takes its mandate from this value embedded in phagwa.
The ribald nature and freedom of expression makes Phagwa an explosive and colourful festival. A central feature is the free mixing of the leveling of people during Phagwa. This is best dramatised by the end result of the constant drenching of each other in different colours where everybody looks alike. Phagwa is an attempt to level all differences into the moving experience of One Humanity. It is also a time of mischief and playfully taking liberties with each other accompanied by the slogan in which all join – “Buraa naa maan – holi hai! – Take no offence, it is holi time!” This allows for phagwa songs and verses to be sung as vyang, equivalent to what we call in TT, picong and social commentary.
Kendra Phagwa Festival has always been conscious of the need to celebrate the values and cultural identity embedded in the received heritage of Hindu festivals in Trinidad and Tobago. The festival has also been shaped to give space for active demonstration to the needs of the Hindu of today in the context of Trinidad and Tobago in particular and the Caribbean in general.
It is for this reason that the Kendra Phagwa Festival encourages the traditional songs called chowtal, but has also consciously developed “pichakaaree,” – an expression directed to serving the need for recording, interpreting and celebrating matters arising in the Caribbean. Conscious attempts are made to integrate the formal English language and the local dialect as well as to secure a space for expressions from Indian languages. This is an attempt to deliver a local voice dedicated to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and wider humanity.
                        DEDICATION PHAGWA 2008
It is in pursuit of the recognition of and deep concern for this Caribbean space as the nursery of our development that we have dedicated Kendra Phagwa Festival 2008 as a vehicle to highlight the threat that crime has visited on our cherished democracy and way of life. For this reason, Kendra Phagwa Festival is dedicating Phagwa 2008 to the Lusignan and Batica Massacres in Guyana that horrified the peoples of the Caribbean. This is to suggest that Trinidad and Tobago is concerned about the state of Guyana, Barbados, Bahamas and Jamaica as it is for our own nation. It is becoming more evident that crime is impacting on the democratic way of life. Pichakaaree 2008 hopes that by publicly alerting the Caribbean of this issue, the region would pull together to save democracy from the increasing tyranny of crime even as the Prahlaad was saved from the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu.
Kendra Phagwa Festival in 2001 was inspired by Prahlaad’s stand against his father the mighty Emperror Hiranyakashipu, to take a stand against use of alcohol at Phagwa. KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL continues the stand taken 17 years ago that declared The Kendra Phagwa Festival, a NO ALCOHOL ZONE.
This stand was taken at the inception of the Kendra Phawa Festival in 2001 and continues today. Use of alcohol had almost ruined phagwa some years ago because it became increasingly unsafe for families to go to various venues.
      KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL IS NO ALCOHOL ZONE
TAKING A STAND is inspired by the origin of phagwa itself. Taking a principled stand is one way to celebrate Prahlaad, the boy-saint hero of the story of the origins of Phagwa. Prahlaad took a stand against his father’s demand that all must convert from the Hindu Way of Life of worship to Bhgvan Vishnu and worship him, Emperor Hiranyakashipu. He was persecuted by his father, the state, the military and by the education system because of his stand.
In the midst of all the celebrations, therefore, phagwa invites us to take a community stand against the all pervasive use of alcohol at community events. All participants must be vigilant to ensure the development of phagwa into an attractive festival. One of the elements for ensuring a comfortable environment is for all to eschew alcohol and discourage others from abusing the community efforts including Kendra Phagwa Festival.
raviji

PICHAKAAREE

A pichakaaree, is a shiny brass instrument which looks like a large syringe. It is traditionally used in Phagwa to squirt abeer – coloured water - on participants at phagwa celebrations. The word pichakaaree is often used in many phagwa songs to record the playful aggression re enacted by in phagwa as the participants shoot abeer on each other. The lyrics the most popular phagwa song, ‘Holi kheka Raghubeera,’ which is often looked upon as the anthem of phagwa holds, ‘Rama ke haathe kanak pichakaaree – Rama holds in His had a golden pichakaaree.”
The abeer is made up of a vegetable crystal which is prepared by boiling the chrystals in water. Abeer is transported in large tins and containers to the venues of ‘play’. Locally pichakaarees are made out of PVC pipes and plastic bottles.
HOW THE SONGS CAME TO BE CALLED ‘PICHAKAAREE’
The original name of the song was Local Phagwa Composition. Many factors contributed to the naming of the songs as Pichakaaree.
  1. Kendra Phagwa Festival continues to cherish the traditional songs called chowtaal. The lyrics of chowtal communicated ideas and moods of India. It also provides the community with a source for information on the religion and couture.
  2. The jahajee community originally possessed almost ten languages eventully lost – all these languages.
  3. Songs had to be composed in the language which they now possessed; English.
  4. In order to preserve at least words and phrases through this new form, rules were laid to ensure that composers use Indian words.
  1. The need which inspired the naming of this genre of songs as’pichakaaree’ came from the need to address through songs, the need for recording for posterity the experiences of the community as it addresses life in the context of its present space an time; modern day Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.
  1. A common image visible in all phagwa celebration inspired the naming of pichakaaree;
The nozzle of the pichakaaree is placed in a container of abeer located where one is standing. The player draws in the abeer into the belly of the pichakaaree, points it at a target and squirts out the warm, colourful liquid.
This image of drawing in the material from a container where the person is located, right at his feet, is exactly the metaphor r needed to define pichakaaree as an instrument which celebrates our own landscape. This would be a fitting compliment to the traditional chowtaal which which celebrated another landscape.
Further the play with pichakaaree instruments turns into many forms of play and mock battles which further strengthens pichakaaree as a metaphor for the local need.
Popular colours are red, blue, green and yellow.The pichakaaree leaves a signature of colour coming from within its belly, on walls, on the roads, on people, on whatever its target. This satisfies the need of the community to leave its mark on the landscape where they are located.
The name pichakaaree therefore symbolizes the idea of songs which seek to represent the voice, interests, concerns, history, emotions and creative instinct of a people and inform the society. The pichakaarees are sung in English but they must contain Hindi or Bhojpuri words and phrases. The Kendra Phagwa Festival started the pichakaaree song competition in 1992. This year we are 16 years old.

‘PICHAKAAREE – BOILING DE ABEER’

‘Boiling de Abeer’ is used figuratively to refer to the period used for composing the lyrics and melodies for the pichakaaree songs.
Boiling de abeer, referring to imformal workshops, begins on Vasant Panchami. The day celebrates the Birth Day of Mother saraswatti as well as the onset of the season of Spring. On this day the Phagwa season begins with a ceremony called Holikaa Aropanam or locally ‘Chook-o-likaa’;the planting of the castor oil tree.
The castor tree symbolically refers to Holika, one of the main characters in the origin of Phagwa. The community begins spring cleaning and deposits discarded material need to be burnt. A pyre is formed and burnt on the fullmoon night of the month of Phalguna. As the fire subsides, ashes is smeared on the foreheads of all then followed by throwing ashes on each other. This is followed by mud play then water. In this way, the festival uses the elements in its festival;fire, eareth and water.
The first offering of chowtaals and pichakaarees in praise of Maa Saraswati are sung on this day to seek her blessing. (Vasant Panchami and Saraswati Jayanti – birth fall on the same day)
From this day workshops are hosted nightly by the pichakaaree organizers for composers and singers to work on the lyrics and melodies of their songs. Many rivals could be seen listening to and making suggestions to each other to improve the compositions and the forum as a whole. This period which is symbolically called ‘Boiling the Abeer’ goes on for about one month prior to the competition.This year, due to the crime situation, most rehearsals were held during the days, on weekends.
Raviji 2008
PICHAKAAREE WIDENS ITS SCOPE
By raviji
Pichakaaree draws its inspiration from the entire gamut of the phagwa festival even as it is informed of the needs of the communityin the context of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean. In fact Pichakaaree is an attempt to deliver a local voice dedicated to Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and wider humanity.
Pichakaaree as a forum must pursue an awareness of the wider Caribbean. Not only does the Caribbean culture affect the status of Indian Culture in Trinidad, but we share our resources in times of need. Pichakaaree must enter the discourse of the wider Caribbean.
The health of the Caribbean does affect the health of TT. Crime, in the Caribbean has its faal out in TT. Pichakaaree therefore must express its concern for the rising crime wave in the Caribbean. Voices from Jamiaca, Barbados, Guyana and Bahamas indicate that the democratic way of life is being incrementally threatened.
Kendra Phagwa Festival 2008 is therefore dedicated to THE LUSIGNAN-BATICA MASACRES IN GUYANA which has horrified the peoples of the Caribbean.
Phagwa celebrations is a national holiday in Guyana.We believe that this year, joyous spirit of phagwa will be greatly drowned by the Lusignan and Batica massacres. Our phagwa and pichakaaree in Trinidad and Tobago, fully cognizant of the pain in Guyana will also carry the burden of your pain and feelings of insecurity and our great concerns for Barbados, Bahamas and Jamaica even as we have deep concerns for Trinidad and Tobago.
Pichakaaree 2008 hopes that by publicly alerting the Caribbean of this issue, the region would pull together to save democracy from the increasing tyranny of crime even as the Prahlaad was saved from the tyranny of Hiranyakashipu in the story of the origin of Phagwa.
Raviji
KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL 2008 – PICHAKAAREE FINALS
List:
1) CONTESTANTS IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE
2) BIO OF CONTESTANTS
3) EXCERPTS OF PICHAKAAREES – FINALS 2008
ORDER OF APPEARANCE FOR THE PICHAKAAREE COMPETITION
1 Mukesh Babooram
2 Mohip Poonwassie
3 Ravi Babooram
4 Pooja Ramoutar
5 Doodnath Radhakissoon
6 Priya Poorai
7 Toolsie Ramdass Singh
8 Jagdeo Phagoo
9 Marva Mckenzie
10 Pundit Beesram Sewdat
11 Reena Teelucksingh 
Contestants’ Bio Data – ACCORDING TO ORDER OF APPEARANCE
Mukesh Babooram
A past Pichakaaree champion, Mukesh has been in Pichakaaree for the past 14 years. He is a master in the art of social commentary and has also written several festive compositions. A radio personality known for his forthrightness, he can be heard on the airwaves of Radio Shakti on the programs “The Maaro” and “On The Road Again”. He also writes calypsos and has on two occasions been in the finals of the Young Kings competition. He was also in the cast of finalists in the TUCO Chutney category in 2006. His greatest accomplishment, however, is his new son. 
Mohip Poonwassie 
He has been involved in the Pichakaaree art-form for the past 14 years. He is a photographer/videographer by profession. He has been the past Pichakaaree Champion for three consecutive years. He hails from Calcutta Road #3 in Mc Bean, Couva. Poonwassie has grown up with the Pichakaaree forum. Today he is a profilic composer and a powerful performer the people always want to hear.
Pooja Ramoutar 
She was born on the 2nd June, 1990. She attended the Orange Field Hindu School where she participated in the Baal Vikaas Vihaar competitions. She was a student of the Miracle Ministries Penticostal High School. She placed 2nd in both the “Sugar and Energy Festival” and the “Sanfest” in 2006. In 2003, Pooja received the Prahalad Bhakta award and went on to capture the Festive Champion title at Pichakaaree in 2005 & 2006. 
Doodnath Radhakissoon
Father of one beautiful girl, Doodnath is a Driver by profession. He sings with many bands and classical groups around the country. This is his first appearance on the pichakaaree platform.
Priya Poorai 
She is from a family steeped in trhe Bhojpuri cultrure of Bownath Trace, Penal. She has been employed with the Ministry of Finance for the past six years. She is an active member of the Ramayan Gita Cultural and Drama Group and the Ramayan Gita and Kirtan Mandali. She has been involved in promoting Indian culture at a very tender age and she has been in the Pichakaaree finals for the past six years. 
Toolsie Ramdass Singh 
He was a Pichakaaree finalist for the past 9 years. He hails from #92 Soledad Road in Claxton Bay. He is an electrician by profession and the lead singer of the Savera Soca Chutney Band. He started his musical career at the age of 7, singing at Ramayan Satsanghs with his father. The father of three plays the harmonium as well as the dholak.
He placed first in the Festive category for five years and enjoys singing Festive Pichakaaree. Singing is his hobby. .  
  
  
Jagdeo Phagoo 
He is a contractor with Petrotrin, father of two boys and comes from S.S. Erin Road, Penal. He is a four time Pichakaaree Champion. He is a past finalist in the Mere Desh local song competition, TTCO Calypso and Chutney competition, National Mardi Gras competition, 2006 National Chutney Monarch and also Young Kings Calypso Competition 2007. Phagoo has also played the theme song on the harmonica for the radio programme “On The Road Again” on Radio Shakti 97.5 fm.  Phagoo is a prolific composer. He has been a keen sportsman who represented Trinidad and Tobago in badmington.
Marva Mckenzie 
Her date of birth is May 5th. She lives at #12 Farfan Street, St. James. Her hobbies are sewing of bridal gowns, singing, listening to all kinds of music, meeting people and traveling. 
She has been involved in the arts for 15 years. She was a finalist in the Indian Cultural Local song competition on many occasions. She was a finalist in the Mere Desh song competition in 1998, placing second. She was a finalist in the National Nation Building and Chutney competition 1998, placing third. She was a finalist in both the National Chutney Monarch and Chutney Soca Monarch. She was the National Calypso Queen of TnT in 2003. She was the recipient of two Calypso Gold Awards in 2002 and 2003. She was a finalist in the Kendra Pichakaaree Competition for three years, placing 2nd in the Theme Category in 2006.  
Marva is a registered nurse and mother of two boys and one girl. Her greatest desire is to remain healthy as long as she can and to strive to be the best in whatever she does. She would also like to be a finalist in the Calypso Monarch of TnT. Her greatest joy is being involved in the various arts, especially the Pichakaaree, where the atmosphere is different. Music is different, yet electrifying. The closeness and friendliness of everyone. There is no discrimination, there is always oneness. Her greatest fear; Not being able to perform.  
Pundit Beesram Sewdat 
He hails from No. 1 Asgarali Development, Raghoonanan Road, Chaguanas. He is attached to Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh and Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Ramayanist and bhajan singer. He is a Hindu religious and social activist. He has been a composer and singer of Pichakaaree songs for the past 10 years and was Pichakaaree champion in 2002. 
  
 Reena Teelucksingh   
 
A final year student of the University of the West Indies pursuing a Bsc. in Agribusiness (major) and Economics (minor). She is 22yrs of age and has been a participant in Pichakaaree since 1997. Since the tender age of 4 she started studying Indian dance and has been a student of both Kuchipudi and Kathak dancing. Reena is a very active sevikaa and social worker and is currently the Secretary of the Hindu Students’ Council Trinidad and Tobago among many other youth organizations. She spearheaded the recent protest against the manner in which students who wore Raksha thread to school after worship on Shivaratri night.
LYRICS
Song Title : CHALIYEA PICHAKAAREE
Singer : PRIYAPOORAI
Composer : PRIYAPOORAI
Aaray suno na suno re bhaiyai
Is pichikaaree again
Awo re parosin awo re behin
Holi ayea
Holi ayea pichikaaree
This is my culture, meh own dignity
Verse (1):
Ah boilum abira to saveum we dharma
To saveum we culture, ah joinum the Kendra
Dong in the nagar dey waitin for me
Is dallghotnie, laatie for all them kutnie…Holi ayea pichikaaree
Chorus:
Holi ayea pichikaaree
Today ah happy day for meh ajie
Verse (2):
She put on she ghangree and chook up she ornie
She put on she chapal and potay she bindi
Telling everybody chalo pichikaaree
Ghoorkeying at them young gyal with slinkey mini
She talking bout de courage of jahaaji…Holi ayea pichikaaree
Chorus:
Holi ayea, pichikaaree nacho gawoh we ha integritty
Verse (3):
Meh ajie stop meh phoowa
From gonium in the river
Leh we join the Kendra
To enjoy the Phagwa
Put away the bailna and phookni
Leh we go and celebrate, celebrate holi…Holi ayea pichikaaree
Chorus:
Holi ayea pichikaaree
Meh ajie getting bazodee, she only hurrying me
Verse (4):
Aaray maxi taxi manwaa, na stopum rumshopwaa
Chalo sewalaa, to buildum we dharma
Meh moiyaa and poiyaa all dem happy
Dey singing and clapping, dey gonium pichikaaree…Holi ayea pichikaaree
Chorus:
Holi ayea pichikaaree
Dong in the Nagar we reach with maxi
Verse (5):
Ah like to see dem betiya
Climb for the gaila
Lifting we culture is Mohip and Geeta
Sanaying the condense milk and roti
Dem chirren only blowing powder at me…Holi ayea pichikaaree
Chorus:
Holi ayea pichikaaree
Ah seeing Lord Krishna dancing with me
NACHO GAWOH PICHIKAAREE
TODAY IS VICTORY FOR PICHAKAAREE
PICHAKAAREE VICTORY FOR ALL AH WE
PICHAKAAREE CELEBRATE, CELEBRATE HOLI
HOLI AYEA PICHAKAAREE…HOLI AYEA
PICHAKAAREE DOING IN THE NAGAR WAITING FOR ME
Hey brij basiyaa Nanhay ki rasiyaa
Roko na meray dagariyaa
Roko na meray dagariyaa Sawariyaa
Roko na meray dagariyaa…hey brij…
Hey Jogira
SA RA RA RA (2x)
Agee cooking bun karailee
Roti and takarie
Ajaa bringing kala pani
Baap baap chilaye
Jogira Sa Ra Ra Ra {2}
Sa ra ra ra Sa ra ra ra RA {3}
Bolo bolo PICHAKAAREE KI JAI
PICHAKAAREE 2008
TITLE: GUYANA MASSACRE MUST BUSS WE KAREJA
COMPOSER AND SINGER: PUDIT BEESRAM SEWDAT  
(see blue for explanations in blue of underlined words placed after each verse ) 
INTRODUCTION: 
  1. REWATI BETI
  
 
TOOKRE TOOKRE KYON KI?
DE BLOW-UP YU BRAINS
WHO GO FEEL YU PAIN? 
  1. SEEGOPAAL AND SEEGOBIN
IS BULLETS LIKE RAIN
SEE THEY BLOOD CHATKE (EVEN)
JAMRAJ LEAVE IN PAIN 
  1. MAAI AND BAAP SCREAMING
BAHIN ON DE GROUND ROLLING
BALIDAAN! OR SLAUGHTER
‘MUSS BUSS! WE KAREJA’ 
  1. LUSIGNAN ELEVEN GONE
   TWELVE IN BARTICA
   BUXTON OR LAVENTILLE
   GUYANA BAWLING (T&T)
   BELIZE OR JAMIACE
CRIME CARIBBEAN ‘SHRAAP-WAA’ 
OUR GENERAL RESPONSE-
‘CARIBBEAN INDIANS’:  
  
  
  
  
 
(Rewati Seecharan) 11 year Guyanese was a victim of Lusignan massacre ‘2008 in Guyana.)
Brain shatterd to pieces by Gunman. WHY?  
 
4 & 8yr old brothers of Lusignan in Guyana also ‘slaughtered’
Splatter 
God of death  
  
  
 
Sacrifice
Must deeply hurt us 
1st MASSACRE- JAN 2008
2ND MASSACRE- FEB 2008
Infamous hidout for criminals  
 
Crime Caribbean Curse  
  
  
  
  
  
 
  1. WE SUSKE WE PhASRE!
   ONLY BHOONBHOONAAWE!
   FRETTING BUT FETE-ING
   LET DE DEAD BURY DE DEAD
NAHI ACTION! COMPLAINING!
   ON WE BELLY CRAWLING 
  1. BAS SAY:LOOK IN DE MIRROR
WE GO FIND DE ANSWER’ (BUT)
ABHIMAAN AND CORRUPTION
‘TURN HE MIRROR UPSIDE DOWN’ 
  1. UNITY UNDER DURESS
     IS HYPOCRACY- YESS!
     UNC SPINELESS
     WINSTON TRY HE BEST 
MONOLOUGE #1 
WHEN AH HEAR THAT!
AH BURN ME DAMN BERRET
AH MASH-UP ME BLASTED MIRROR
CAUSE OF HURT AND ANGER
‘KAA KARE KE HOYA! BHAIWAA?
SO AH ASK ME PICHUKAARIYAS
MUKESH, PHAGOO & INDIRA
“LOOK IN ALL-YU MIRROR…
TELL ME WHAT ALL-YU SEE?”
KETCHING BAZODEE! AND JEE-JEE-REE!
HEAR ‘WHA-DE’ TELL ME 
We cry but do nothing
Meaningless mutter 
T&T slang  
 
T&T slang 
Pichakaaree Theme – 2008  
  
 
Pride/Ego  
  
  
  
  
  
 
Cop leader  
  
  
 
Panday’s Signature headwear- elections ‘07  
 
What else to do brother?
New word coined: For Pichakaaree Singers  
 
Totally confused
Cold-feet
What they 
CHORUS # 1
1. WE PEEYO IN DE MORNING
   PEEYO NOON AND NIGHT
   WINING TO DE CHUTNEY
   THEN START TO CUSS AND 
   FIGHT             
2. WE BRING IT IN A POSEE
    POUR IT FROM A FLASK
    DRINK IT FROM A BOTTLE
   DHAKOLE IN A GLASS 
3. DAARU WE BARDAAN
    RUMSHOP WE BAIKOONT
    DOH WORRY! BE HAPPY!
    DAH IS DEM! NOT-WE!  
MONOLOGUE # 2
ARE! CHUTNEY GAA-O
KHAA-O! PEEYO! MAJAA-KARO!
WE DOES EVEN CHANGE-AM WE TUNE FOR-SO! 
CHORUS # 2
1. AH WAAH! ME RUM IN DE 
   MORNING
   AH WAAH! ME RUM IN DE
   EVENING
   GIMME! ME RUM RIGHT AWAY
   NO TIME! TO EVEN TAPAAWE 
2.DEKHO BULLETS IN DE EVENING
RANSOM FOR KIDNAPPERS
COWARD TAX FOR THE   GOONDAS
OH LAAD! DEM CHUTNEY SINGERS
JALDEE! BE PICHUKAARIYAS 
Drink  
 
Quarrel amongst each other  
  
  
  
 
Gulp-down 
Rum: Our boon/gift
Vaikuntha: Heaven
American Slang
T&T slang  
 
Sing
Eat drink and be merry!
Guyana Slang
T&T slang  
 
CHUTNEY SINGER- HUNTER’ TUNE
(taken from Mohammed Rafi’s song)  
  
 
‘Spiritual-offering’ of alcohol 
Look  
  
 
Criminal/rogue
Oh Lord!
Hurry! Be pichakaaree singers
WE DOES  ONLY MOCK WE
INDIANS! MAT KARO BOBOLEE! 
CHORUS # 3
BUT REWATI BETI
VISHI FEELING YU PAIN
CRIME CARIBBEAN TIME BOMB
BONG TO EXPLODE AGAIN
VERSE # 1
(PICHUKAARIYA-MUKESH SEE! AND TELL ME! ) 
1. BAHUT BARE CHALLENGE
    IN DE CARIBBEAN
    IS CHOKE AND RAAB
   BANDOOK-KE MURDERS 
2. DOH-MIND ‘DE’ BEACHES
    RUM PUNCH AND CRICKET
    C.S.M.E.     -       E.P.A.
   PETRO CARIBE 
3. WITHOUT MAKING SECURITY
    WE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY
    WE COU-COU-COOK FROM
    FROM GUYANA TO HAITI 
4. IN TWO THOUSAND AND
    SEVEN
    FOUR HUNDRED MURDERS
    SNAKE-DE-IN-BALISIER
    MARTIN JOSEPH ‘KYAA-
   KARE? 
5. MAKE DARREN GANGA
    POLICE COMMISSIONER
    DEOSARAN PROFESSER 
Don’t be; Habitually Bullied  
  
 
My daughter Vishala Sewdat- participated in Guyana Ramdilla ‘08
Will certainly  
  
  
  
 
Very formidable 
Infamous Guyanese term for robbery
Gun-related murders 
For which Caribbean is well known 
Caribbean Single Market Economy  
  
  
 
We in trouble!  
  
  
  
 
Famous calypso lyrics
What are you doing?  
 
Because of excellent managerial skills
UWI Criminologist- Senator Prof. Deosaran
SECURITY MINISTER
JUSTICE SHARMA
NEW PRESIDENT-WAA 
CHORUS # 4
BUT REWATI BETI
DEEPO FEELING YU PAIN
CRIME CARIBBEAN TIME BOMB
BONG TO EXPLODE AGAIN! 
VERSE # 2
(PICHUKAARIYA PHAGOO SEE! AND HE TELL ME!) 
1. NINETY TWO GANGS
   NINETY-TWO GANGS
  SEVENTEEN HUNDRED  
   MEMBER
  COMMUNTIY LEADERS
  HAVE U.R.P. CONTRACTS
  P.N.M. DIRTY TRCKS
  STEPPING UP WITH PATRICK 
2. ALOES KE BETA
  LOOK HOW THEY MURDER (BUT)
  ALOES SING ‘BOUT OMA
  WIN HALF MILLION DOLLARS
  CALYPSO ROTTENING
ARE! MAARSAARELAA 
3. HEALTH IN SHAMBLES
    EDUCATION IN CRISIS
    ENDLESS TRAFFIC JAM
    AND HIGH FOOD PRICES
   
4. HAIL! RAJA MANNING
    RAAJ-MAHAL HE LVING
    PRIVATE JET HE FLYING 
Former Chief Justice- (sack present president- politically tainted)  
 
Randy Deepo- well known US/ Guyanese Lawyer-responsible for restarting Ramleela in Guyana after 32 years.  
  
  
  
  
 
Statistics revealed by Prof. Deosaran  
  
  
  
  
 
PNM 2008 election song 
Son of Sugar Aloes- Calypso Monarch 2008
About the “Pandays” 
Complain the mighty ‘Chalkdust’.
Destroy it because of Indian bashing  
  
  
  
  
 
King Manning!
Palatrial Home(PM’s residence)  
 
    LOC-JACK WAS LYING 
5.VISION TWENTY-TWENTY
  DOG GO PEE ON WE
  CO-BO GO PEE ON WE
  WE GO KETCH MALCADEE 
VERSE # 3
(PICJUKAARIN-YAA INDIRA SEE! AND TELL ME!) 
H.C.U. –NOW
HARRY CREDIT UNION
RADIO SHAKTI GO BE
QURBAANEE
SHAKTI GO BE
RADIO QURBAANEEE
JAGRITI RADIO
NOT FOR ALL AH WE 
CHORUS # 5
BUT REWATI BETI….
RAVIJI FEELIN YU PAIN
CRIME-MINISTER
MANNING
BHAGWAN EH SLEEPING!  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
CAL Chairman 
PNM’s mantra
Bad Luck/ Everything Going Wrong
Corbeaux: Jinx
Epileptic Conclusions  
  
  
  
 
Hindu Credit Union (formally)
Word Hindu dropped
97.5FM Radio
Literal meaning- SACRIFICE 
Muslim Connection in H.C.U.
102.7 FM Radio  
  
  
 
Conducted 2008 Ram Leela in Guyana
Chairman-National Security Council (responsible to curb crime)
God 
TITLE : Ah different Style
SINGER : Reena Teelucksingh
COMPOSER : Revan Teelucksingh 
WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR WHAT DO YOU SEE
CAN YOU HEAR THE WHISPER OF JAHAAJEE (ancestors)
      TUM KOWN HO BETA (who are you son)
      TUM KOWN HO BETI (who are you so daughter)
LOOK IN THE MIRROR WELL
WHAT KAHAANI DOES IT TELL (story)           
IS OUR LEGACY
DYING JALDI JALDI (quickly)        
NOWADAYS LARKIS (girls)
AND ALL THEY SAKHIS (friends)
PATKAY THE GHANGHRI (throw away, long skirt)     
FOR THE SLINKY MINI
      LONG IS OUT AND SHORT IS IN
      THICK IS OUT SO BETTER BE THIN
IT JUST NAHI RIGHT (not)
IF THE JEANS NAHI TIGHT (not)
AND THE MORE PEER PRESURE
IS THE MORE EXPOSURE
      BAHUT COMPROMISE (plenty)
      FOR MODERN DISGUISE
      IN THIS HIGH FASHION WORLD
      ONLY DIGNITY IS SOLD
BETI THIS IS NOT YOU (daughter)
TO YOURSELF BE TRUE
BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE (shame) 
IS THE AGE OF THE WILD
SO LARKAS HAVE NEW STYLE (boys)
CHOOSAYING THEY PAISAA (wasting, money)
ON KAPRAA AND MOTOR CAR (clothes)
CYAR WAIT FOR WEEKEND
FOR TAMASHAA WITH THEY FRIENDS (fun)
DANCING AH NEW GAANA (song)
IN AN ALIEN GHARHAANAA (musical tradition)
      COME ON DREAD, WE’LL PAINT THE TOWN RED
      BUILD A HEAD AND KNOCK ‘EM DEAD
WHAT YUH DHAKOLAY (drink)
AND WHAT YUH DOES PHOOKAY (smoke)
WHAT TAKIN YOU ASTRAY
MAY NOT BRING YOU BACK ONE DAY
      BETA THIS IS NOT YOU
      TO YOURSELF BE TRUE
      BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY   
      IS NO SHARMAAYE 
BAHUT PROSPERITY
CORRUPTING IDENTITY
SO SANSKAAR THE BACHO (give values, child)
SHOW THEM THE WAY TO GO
THEY’LL NIK NIKAAYE (give difficulty)
TO HAVE THEIR OWN WAY
IF YOU ONLY FALL PREY
IT WILL BACKFIRE SOME DAY
      KHABAR DAAR WITH DOOLAR (take care, pampering)
      DANGER IN THE SAMSAAR (this world) 
      BE CAREFUL WHAT YUH CHANGE 
      AND WHAT YUH REARRANGE
THE CULTURE YOU TEACH
PRACTICE DON’T PREACH
BEFORE THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE 
AAJAA AUR AAJEE (grandparents)
GETTAM NEW HOBBY
SOAP OPERA ON TV
SO THEY CLOSE THE RASOYI (kitchen)
NO ROTI AND DAHI (home made yogurt)
SAYKAYING IN THE CHULHEE (roasting, earthen stove)
SO NO JOHR IN THE NAATI (strength, grandchildren)
KFC LAUGHING AT WE
      TAKE BACK THE PALANAA (cradle)
      SAVE THE PARAMPARAA (tradition, legacy)
      BEFORE YUH LALANAA (‘pampered’ child)
      END UP IN THE FIRE
NOW ITS MAKE OR BREAK
CAUSE THE FUTURE IS AT STAKE
WILL YOU LET THE MIRROR SAY
IS NO SHARMAAYE  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
THIS TIME NAA LAANG TIME (2)
THIS TIME NAA BEFORE TIME
LAANG TIME GATTAM GHANGRI
NOW TIME GATTAM MINI
LAANG TIME GATTAM DONKEY
NOW TIME GATTAM GAARI (car)
LAANG TIME GATTAM POVERTY
NOW TIME GAT PROSPERITY
LAANG TIME GATTAM ROTI DAHI
NOW TIME GATTAM KFC
BETA BETI BHAIYAA BHOWJI (son, daughter, brother, sister in law)
LITTLE LAANG TIME GOOD FOR WE
MUMMY DADDY AAJAA AAJEE
LITTLE LAANG TIME GOOD FOR WE
RAVIJI BRING PICHAKAARE
LITTLE LAANG TIME GOOD FOR WE
LOOK HOW WE ENJOYING HOLY
LITTLE LAANG TIME GOOD FOR WE
………………….

PHAGWA CONTINUES THE STAND AGAINST ALCOHOL IN PHAGWA.

EXCERPT FROM AN ARTICLE BY RAVIJI
KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL continues the stand taken 17 years ago that The Kendra Phagwa Festival is a NO ALCOHOL ZONE.
This stand was taken at the inception of the Kendra Phawa Festival in 2001 and continues today. Use of alcohol had almost ruined phagwa some years ago because it became increasingly unsafe for families to go to various venues.
TAKING A STAND is inspired by the origin of phagwa itself. Taking a p[rincipled stand is one way to celebrate Prahlaad, the boy-saint hero of the story of the origins of Phagwa. Prahlaad took a stand against his father’s demand that all must convert from the Hindu Way of Life of worship to Bhgvan Vishnu and worship him, Emperor Hiranyakashipu. He was persecuted by his father, the state, the military and by the education system because of his stand.
In the midst of all the celebrations, therefore, phagwa invites us to take a community stand against the all pervasive use of alcohol at community events. All participants must be vigilant to ensure the development of phagwa into an attractive festival. One of the elements for ensuring a comfortable environment is for all to eschew alcohol and discourage others from abusing the community efforts including Kendra Phagwa Festival.
raviji
…………..

PROGRAM OF ACTIVITIES FOR KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL 2008

For seero to do
*******************************************

BACHON KA KHEL – CHILDREN’S GAMES

      FOR CHILDREN 12 YEARS AND UNDER
SADA ROTI AND CONDENSED MILK EATING COMPETITION
Many families who reared cows long ago and some elders would remember eating small pieces of sada roti soaked in sweetened cow’s milk for breakfast or dinner. Then came condensed milk and everyone just loved having it with roti or bread as a snack and would often hide and eat it. This competition takes one down memory lane back to those long time childhood days.
A small sada roti is pasted with condensed milk. A string is passed through the centre of the roti which is then strung horizontally across the stage and held in position by 2 poles. Clean clear plastic is placed beneath the roti area, if the roti falls the contestant may eat it from there. The contestant’s hands are tied behind their backs. As soon as the whistle is blown the competition starts.The contestant finishing in the shortest time is declared the winner.
RANG KA GULAAL – POWDER BOWING COMPETITION.
      FOR CHILDREN 12 YEARS AND UNDER
Equal amounts of coloured powder are placed in small plates. The contestants must blow all the powder out of the container. The contestant finishing in the shortest time is declared the winner. The bigger children are taken for this competition because certain skills are required to avoid getting the powder into the nose and mouth. Some children even keep their eyes closed during the competition. The blowing of the various colours is a beautiful site and depicts the rainbow nature of the festival of colour that is being celebrated.
*Adults and trained first aid personnel are always on standby to look after the children should they get into difficulty.

MAAKHAN CHOR

FOR YOUTHS AND ADULTS
Maakhan means butter and Chor means thief, put together it translates the butter thief.
This ancient story of the Maakhan Chor can be traced to the childhood days of the Avataar (Divine manifestation) of Lord Krishna, when He and his friends played tricks on the villagers especially the women-folk who adored them. According to the story, the child Krishna and His friends would sneak into the homes of the women folk and climb up on top of each other to reach the pots of maakhan which was usually hung on rope slings placed high beyond the reach of children.
The childhood stories of Lord Krishna recount His pranks of which teaming up with his childhood friends they would form a human pyramid to reach the butter and enjoy themselves. On rare occasions when Krishna was caught, He was never punished since it was part of His Divine Leela and His way of pleasing his devotees who loved Him dearly and who enjoyed His childhood sports.
The Maakhan Chor competition is very similar. It is an extremely exciting, nail-biting experience. A pot similar to the maakhan pot is suspended 18 feet high in the air with little jhandis (flags) inside it, representing the maakhan.Teams of not more than ten persons are required to form a human pyramid and attempt to take down one jhandi, re-enacting the way Lord Krishna and His friends climbed on each other to reach the tasty Maakhan.
Practice, co operation and strategy are necessary to be successful. The team which does this in the fastest time without breaking the pyramid is declared the winner. Cash prizes are awarded. Caution is advised to all participants. This competition has attracted many teams in the past and this year a special prize will be given to the team which breaks the all time record of 9 seconds held by the United Brothers of Longdenville.

RANGA BARASE – COMMUNITY DANCE

Ranga Barase means a shower of colours and this is exactly what Phagwa is about, colour and beauty. During this feature, abeer of varying colours is sprayed on all participants from overhead pipe and sprinkler systems, designed for the special effect of bathing in coloured rain. The vibrations of appropiate music and songs are irresistable and the whole community gets involved in the grand celebration by joining in the community dancing.
The sprinklers are turned on several times during the celebration but in full force for the community dance, until the 2,000 gallons of prepared abeer is finished. There is also the chirkaying (scattering) of gulaal (coloured powder) from a specially constructed pump and pipe system, creating a wonderful Phagwa ambience.
By community demand, Kendra Phagwa Festival has increased the time for Rang Barse. The committee has prepared a non stop session of marathon community dance.

PHAGWA TAKES A STAND

KENDRA PHAGWA FESTIVAL has taken the stand that The Kendra Phagwqa Festival is a NO ALCOHOL ZONE. This stand more than a decade ago and still continues today. was taken. Use of alcohol had almost ruined phagwa some years ago because it became increasingl unsafe for families to go to various venues.
All participants must be vigilant to ensure the development of phagwa into an attractive festival where all feel safe to participate by eschewing alcohol and discouraging use of alcohol at venues including Kendra Phagwa Festival.
.
SEERO NEED TO COMPLETE BIO DATA OF PERFORMERS
Mukesh Babooram
A past Pichakaaree champion, Mukesh has been in Pichakaaree for the past 14 years. He is a master in the art of social commentary and has also written several festive compositions. A radio personality, he can be heard on the airwaves of Radio Shakti on the programs “The Maaro” and “On The Road Again”. He also writes calypsos and has on two occasions been in the finals of the Young Kings competition. He was also in the cast of finalists in the TUCO Chutney category in 2006. His greatest accomplishment, however, is his new son.
Reena Teelucksingh
She is a final year student of UWI, pursuing a degree in Agri Business and Economics.
She is a Kuchipudi and Kathak dancer hailing from #1 Ramjohn Street, Tunapuna.
She has been participating in the Pichakaaree competition since 1997. Reena is an active Sevika and the assistant Chair person of the Hindu Student’s Council of Trinidad and Tobago.  
Marva Mckenzie
Her date of birth is May 5th. She lives at #12 Farfan Street, St. James. Her hobbies are sewing of bridal gowns, singing, listening to all kinds of music, meeting people and traveling.
She has been involved in the artform for over 15 years. She was a finalist in the Indian Cultural Local song competition on many occasions. She was a finalist in the Mere Desh song competition in 1998, placing second. She was a finalist in the National Nation Building and Chutney competition 1998, placing third. She was a finalist in both the National Chutney Monarch and Chutney Soca Monarch. She was the National Calypso Queen of TnT in 2003. She was the recipient of two Calypso Gold Awards in 2002 and 2003. She was a finalist in the Kendra Pichakaaree Competition for three years, placing 2nd in the Theme Category in 2006.
Marva is a registered nurse and mother of two boys and one girl. Her greatest desire is to remain healthy as long as she can and to strive to be the best in whatever she does. She would also like to be a finalist in the Calypso Monarch of TnT. Her greatest joy is being involved in the various arts, especially the Pichakaaree, where the atmosphere is different. Music is different, yet electrifying. The closeness and friendliness of everyone. There is no discrimination, there is always oneness. Her greatest fear; Not being able to perform.  
Priya Poorai
She is from Bownath Trace, Penal. She has been employed with the Ministry of Finance for the past six years. She is an active member of the Ramayan Gita Cultural and Drama Group and the Ramayan Gita and Kirtan Mandali. She has been involved in promoting Indian culture at a very tender age and she has been in the Pichakaaree finals for the past six years.
.
Jagdeo Phagoo
He is a contractor with Petrotrin and father of two boys and comes from S.S. Erin Road, Penal. He is a three time Pichakaaree Champion. He is a past finalist in the Mere Desh local song competition, TTCO Calypso and Chutney competition, National Mardi Gras competition, 2006 National Chutney Monarch and also Young Kings Calypso Competition 2007. Phagoo has also played the theme song on the harmonica for the radio programme “On The Road Again” on Radio Shakti 97.5 fm.  
Pundit Beesram Sewdat
He hails from No. 1 Asgarali Development, Raghoonanan Road, Chaguanas. He is attached to Hindu Swayam Sevak Sangh and Chinmaya Mission of Trinidad and Tobago. He is a Ramayanist and bhajan singer. He is a Hindu religious and social activist. He has been a composer and singer of Pichakaaree songs for the past 10 years and was Pichakaaree champion in 2002.
Pooja Ramoutar 
She was born on the 2nd June, 1990. She attended the Orange Field Hindu School where she participated in the Baal Vikaas Vihaar competitions. She was a student of the Miracle Ministries Penticostal High School. She placed 2nd in both the “Sugar and Energy Festival” and the “Sanfest” in 2006. In 2003, Pooja received the Prahalad Bhakta award and went on to capture the Festive Champion title at Pichakaaree in 2005 & 2006.
Toolsie Ramdass Singh
He was a Pichakaaree finalist for the past 9 years. He hails from #92 Soledad Road in Claxton Bay. He is an electrician by profession and the lead singer of the Savera Soca Chutney Band. He started his musical career at the age of 7, singing at Ramayan Satsanghs with his father. The father of three plays the harmonium as well as the dholak.
He placed first in the Festive category for five years and enjoys singing Festive Pichakaaree. Singing is his hobby. 
 
Mohip Poonwassie
He has been involved in the Pichakaaree artform for the past 14 years. He is a photographer/videographer by profession. He has been the past Pichakaaree Champion for three consecutive years. He hails from Calcutta Road #3 in Mc Bean, Couva. Poonwassie has grown up with the Pichakaaree forum. Today he is a profilic composaer and a powerful and performer the people always want to hear.
LYRICS
Hindi words, phrases, and their translations are in bold print
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