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od

Mr.Tod,
While listening to your CD (excellent) I was reading "The Dead Rat". I understand and relate to India now like never before. In one story you captured all that I was confused about and misunderstood. Thank You Mr. Tod. Incidentally I have driven 4100 miles in the last 11 days, but experienced .05 of what you did. Of course my travels were in the east and midwest areas of our US. Although I did manage to break my foot, how boring is that.

DomiKko

Tod, it seems that you've really upset these people. It's strange how your american fans have no qualms with your less-than-savoury views on NYC and america, I am sure that those who are against what you are writing here would have no problem with someone from Calcutta making the same kind of remarks. I would also like to point out to the people who have called you "illiterate" that this cannot be the case - even if they do not agree with your views, they cannot deny that what you have written is certainly not gibberish, and is surely plain english, or it is to my own understanding. I know this is written a couple of years after their comments were posted and indeed after your travels have finished, but I'd like to voice my opinion as well.

Best wishes, DomiKko (Dominic Jones).

Joe

For a blog this is very well written. I found some Firewater MP3s on the net, but do any of you know where I can find Cop Shoot Cop MP3s.

Bolle

Very Amusing. I enjoyed your Blog very much. Reminded me a littlebit on Rohinton Minstry's A Fine Balance with a slightly Bukoskian approach. But as Alex said, the comments are quite amusing, too.
Ca this evening in Düsseldorf to talk a littlebit.
Looking forward to that,
Bolle

alex

btw sourindra, i hope by now you have realized that the irony of "U R illiterate" comes from your spelling... this was almost as amusing as the blog itself.

Alan

This blog is Shit hot!!!

alex/vienna

first, i really enjoyed reading this whole blog. it's interesting and entertaining, and since it's a blog, it's doomed to be subjective. people seem to forget that. i do agree that some people might not be 100% happy with the way they or their city are portrayed here, but it's like that movie LOST IN TRANSLATION which was never meant to simply upset the Japanese, but just humorously observed and gave some insight into the cultural differences. same with this blog, and - as tod himself stated - he wouldn't have stayed away for 3 years if he hadn't enjoyed it as well.

for example, i didn't know about the different english spelling in india. i think it's quite amusing, and - looking at these comments here - apparently true.

a friend of mine will go on travels around the world very soon, and yes - will document it on a blog. now you can argue if that's a must-read, but most people following his life, me included, probably will (if it's just half a as entertaining as this one, i'm looking forward to it) just as people who followed tod's and/or firewater's life, probably read this one.

to me, these essays just provide a great backstory to the lyrics & music on THE GOLDEN HOUR, which is simply a great piece of rock/punk/folk music. and yes, i do realize firewater is trying to make a living by selling records and that this blog may help for that matter.

still i'd rather spend my money on them instead of many other "musical artists" such as 50 cent or the latest test-tube popstar, simply because it's always been original, challenging, surprising and never... krap.

but okay i do not wanna get lost here... looking forward to your gig at the flex and meanwhile enjoy yourself in phnom penh... :-)

Tod A

A few considerate (apparently Indian) readers have pointed out some factual errors in my blog, so I would like to take a moment to post some corrections/clarifications. (WARNING: Includes some satire.)

Lower Circular Road was re-named after Sir Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose (Bengali polymath, physicist, biologist, botanist, archaeologist, science fiction writer, radio and microwave scientist) NOT Subhas Chandra Bose (Indian freedom fighter and aspiring Nazi ally) for whom Dum-Dum Airport was re-named. Subhas Chandra Bose should not be confused with his elder brother, Sarat Chandra Bose (lawyer and Indian freedom fighter) or his nephew Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose (pediatrician, freedom fighter and MP) or Dr. Sisir Kumar Bose’s wife, Prof. Krishna Bose (academic and MP). And none of these people should be confused with Ashokenath Bose (chemical engineer), Amiyonath Bose (barrister), Subrata Bose (electrical engineer and MP), Sugata Bose and Sarmila Bose (well-known Indian historians), or Sumantra Bose (political scientist). I hope this clarifies the issue for any readers who may have been confused by my error.

The “Bengali Communist Party” mentioned in this post is of course correctly known as the Communist Party of India (Marxist), West Bengal. My sincere apologies go out to this beloved political organization which has governed so effectively in Kolkata for the last 30 years, turning it into the world-renowned “Paris of the East”.

People of many faiths co-exist in India, mostly peaceably, sometimes not. Approximately 80% of them are Hindu. The others include Moslems (14%), Christians (2%), Sikhs (2%), Buddhists (1.5%), Jains (0.4%), Parsis (0.006%), and Beer-drinking Itinerant Atheist Rock Musicians / English Teachers (0.0000013%).

You’ll be relieved to learn that at present the Walt Disney Corporation has no plans (of which I am aware) to develop Kolkata into a theme park.

Sorry, I can’t recall the name of the bar with the midget doorman. I rarely went there, as it never failed to depress me. But when I didn’t feel up to facing the rugby scrum outside my local “wine shop”, I would sometimes trudge over there for a beer or three. It was the only bar I found within walking distance of my flat. The bar was located on the east side of Chowdhury Rd, a few blocks up from Pantaloons, as you head north from Gariahat. I don’t know if the midget still works there (this post was written almost 3 years ago). You can go and find out for yourself. (Some of you cranky people sure sound like you could use a cold drink!) But the midget was the best thing about the place, so don’t get your hopes up. If you see him, be sure to salute and pass along my regards.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

And now a few comments of my own:

Thanks for the compliment, but I’m no rock star. Rock stars have fancy cars, big houses, and private jets. I have no house, no car, and fly economy.

Criticizing mothers? When did I do that? Most mothers are wonderful people who put up with a lot of heartaches from their children. Just ask my own mother.

I am not pro-USA. Neither am I anti-Kolkata or anti-India. I’ve spent a bit of time in India, all of it quite voluntarily. Logic would dictate that if I didn’t enjoy traveling to different countries and experiencing other cultures I would not continue to do it. I’m generally pretty critical of every place I visit, though I try to be humorous about it. But I can certainly see how living in Kolkata might strain your sense of humor.

Criticizing certain aspects of a society does not make one a racist. I am equally critical of American “culture”, if not more so. Anyone who is familiar with the songs I’ve written over the last 20 years can tell you I am anything but pro-USA. I left that country because the current government does not in any way represent me and is generally unfit to govern. For more on that, feel free to read an earlier post from this blog: http://postcards.blogs.com/postcards_from_the_other_/2005/07/krap_crap_bad_e.html

My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone for all your thoughtful comments and well-considered opinions on my writing. Unfortunately (all forced metaphors aside) I call it as I see it – the good, the bad and the ugly. If it’s not to your taste, you might be more comfortable seeking out the opinions of people you already agree with. As someone once said (I think it was Thoreau), “An opinion is like an asshole - everybody has one”. (Or was that, “A blog is like an asshole…”? I can’t remember.)

Now if you will please excuse me, I have stuff to do.

All the best from Phnom Penh,
Tod A

Whatever!

Irony is killing you? I thought it was those forced metaphors!!!!!

BTW what do you prefer - a double-standard nation who basically feed of our intellects and intellectuals, or a nation that we kneejerk nationalist types know of (alive with culture and social impetus)?

If your NYC was even half as old as Kolkata, you would know how much digging and filling up it takes to restore its rich historicity you illiterate rockstar. Like I said earlier, please lie "useless" like your NYC billboards - flashy and all-neon (shallow and temporary) and don't even try to make amends you MORON, coz getting-it-all-wrong seems to be your forte - a damn good one at that - I pity your short-sightedness.

By the by - when your fucking grandfather was writting Walden in the Jungle(am sure you don't know who that is) - Kolkata and Calcutta was way past transcendentalist philosopy - infact we were shitting it out by then.

Now the irony should be sufficient to kill you - so die.

sourindra

tod...."u r illiterate" comment of mine doesnt corrsponds to ur "honest" likes or dislikes regarding kolkata. i have no business wid ur likes or dislikes. my comment was solely regarding ur certain ignorances....like crediting j.c. bose as freedom fighter(actually he was a scientist/physicist)...saying "bengali communist party"...using of words "hindu-disney" (india or kolkata is not synonimous with 'hindu'. as i said other religions also live here). such wrong narration of facts and usage of wrong terminologies shows ur ignorance on the matter that u r writing on (thats why i called u illiterate), and shows ur mindset regarding certain ideas too (thats why i called u racist, communal). applauding response by "wow!!" in that particular fashion interestingly certifies the reactionary character of ur text. if u consider urself progressive, reflect on this point. otherwise, forget everything.
no, i dnt get upset as i dont believe in 'likes' or 'dislikes'. all my actions and utterances are based on choice and rationality.
there wil b no further response from me on this.

Tod A

Sourindra:
It's disconcerting to discover that India appears to harbor some of the same kneejerk-nationalist types I was trying to escape when I left America. Yes, I lived in Calcutta. Yes, I would go back. Did I enjoy it? The answer is both yes and no - the same as most of the places I have been. Was I looking for Miami? Not at all. Could the people governing the city have run it a bit more efficiently? Clearly. Sorry if I upset you, but I was merely writing honestly about my experiences. I have been equally honest about my home town, NYC. "U R illiterate"? The irony here is killing me. Best of luck to you. - Tod A

wow!!!

Congratzz, Mr Rockstar! Apparently, your blog has won you quite a few Indian admirers. They like your style of writing. Great job! They'll like your style even when you criticize their mothers. After all, you mean business, nothing personal, ain't it???

sourindra

a crap from a retarded mind. and with mistakes and wrong presumptions. let me argue that wrong presumptious writings lead to wrong narration of facts. number one, acharya jagadish chandra bose wasnt a freedom fighter. he was a scientist. blogger, pls consult kids text books. number 2, there is no "bengali communist". this is a proof of cow dung existing inside bloggers brain instead of grey cells. medical miracle indeed! communists actually despise regionalism, so party cant be named "bengali..". the list wud become dull and endless. some suggestions to the idiot blogger (a self acclaimed thief!)- please stay in the sky. never land on kolkata. donot try to open your idiot mouth about "lousy deeds" of the communist party. since u r illiterate, our intellectuals will rip u apart (and dont boast abt ur white skin, it wont work that way while confronting communists). dont try to "analyse" what is the communist party doing. for u havent read nothing abt communism. as i said earlier, u r illiterate. pls dont even dare to "suggest a hindu-disney"....mr idiot blogger, other religions also live in kolkata. my suggestions cud be endless, but i shud stop. in all, this idiot is a racist, a communal, a snob and most importantly an illiterate dumbo. doesnt ur country have jobs like "digging holes and filling them up"?

Amused! a.k.a. Rajashi

Forgot to leave my ACTUAL name and address with you or you may confuse me with a fictitious character from Robin Hood.

Amused!

Hey did you actually visit Kolkata or Calcutta, Whatever?

I personally felt that you are trying your hand at something called drenched-in-metaphors-till-I-don't-know-how-I lost-control-of-everything! Or maybe you are trying to do to Calcutta, what Mr.Gregory David Roberts failed to do to Mumbai or Bombay.

By the way your idiotic and often forcefully "fantastic" description of a morally handicapped Kolkata may EXCITE your amused western readers but I am not buying it man!

You just sound angry at not being able to buy yourself a good holiday in Miami with some not-so-midget women from your American-Dream-bullshit Bar. Ha ha.

This is a personal request to you that please visit Kolkata again and give me a call so that I can meet you and just know an idiot by the name - and of course nest time you write a fantasy - give it some real names so that we all can visit your midget bars and wine shops with no wines.

Get down to serious writing pal and don't make up bedtime stories for your gandchildren. Or better get some crack (am sure you found none in the Sudder Street in Kolkata) and lie useless.

Till then please keep me posted about your arrival in Calcutta.

utsav banerjee

Your write-up makes a very funny (am using the term "funny" for want of a better word) reading, I must say. A great piece of anything, but serious writing. Never thought that someone can have such a sense of humour. I am sure you would say the same thing about your country as well. A frustrated mind! And your tirade against communism is well understood. We are very sorry, Sir! We are on the verge of waging wars againts others in order to accumulate capital so that we can make sure all your "constructive," "highly-regarded" remarks are addressed, but just that we are not able to come up with reasons for such wars. Your help in this regard will be truly appreciated.

Yours truly,
fan

Dian

Amazing writing in this blog. I feel like I am in a kaleidoscopic sensorium bubble bouncing along with you.
This blog goes next to Tosches in my "favorites folder."

Jesse

This is great stuff. I never imagined reading a "blog" could be interesting, but you, sir, have me hooked.

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