mardi 12 décembre 2017


It was good to get together with my KL friends, MunChingYong and her husband Fernando and Abid Hussain of Creative Stew. We ate at a Banana Leaf Restaurant called Ravi, there MunChing presented me with a book by SadhGuru,she had introduced me to his teachings in the past 

Perhaps Sadhguru's words would help you assist your dear Native Indians, she said.
I began reading it as soon as I got back to the hotel.
And indeed, MunChing was right.

On page 50, Sadhguru says:
The quality of our lies is determined by our ability to respond to the varied complex situations that we encounter. If the ability to respond with intelligence, competence, and sensitivity is compromised by a compulsive or reactive approach, we are enslaved by the situation. It means we have allowed the nature of our life experience to be determined by our circumstances, and not by us.

Ever since I had been introduced to the Yogic Philosophy by Vandana Yadav when she was visiting KL in 2009, I have marvelled at the similarity between the philosophy of the American Indian and the Oriental mystic teachings. 
It also proves what American Indians say: Mitakuye Oyasin
Everything is related
just this thoughtful gift, takes us back to an ancient philosophy and also to some mutual friends who are no longer with us, Georgia Gomez

To my North American friends with their designer yoga pants and mats and who travel to Rishikesh for enlightenment, just look at your own backyard and learn very similar things from the Native American Indians!

I am enjoying reading Sadhguru..


The Muslim and Arab countries of this world turned 900 000 Jews who had lived there long before Islam became the adopted religion of those countries, into refugees. 
Many of us have personal accounts of this, in my case, my brother Eliyahu and Rachel,  having been born in Bombay (after being evicted from Baghdad and Cairo), led  childhood as stateless refugees in Japan. 
Malaysia does not welcome Israelis nor paint a favourable picture of the Jewish people, so I always feel I must do my best to paint a good picture of my people, whether as an example or extolling the virtues of the State of Israel and its limitless innovativeness.
Or take revenge, by living well in these Muslim countries where I find my self: Malaysia, Morocco, Qatar.
I am writing this from the Double Tree Hotel by Hilton, a very nice hotel to stay in KL (I recommend it) and the Malay Muslim staff are overwhelmingly friendly.
(American Hotels take note) Their breakfast spread is something to look forward to, with three distinct stations of food: Chinese, Malay and Indian with multitudes of staff milling around serving food, coffee, tea and specialties. You see a number of nationalities, Iranians and Gulf Arabs, Saudia airline crew.
Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Nice to remember this historic occasion and the miracle of light. 
To me it also serves to remember those who are close to my heart, my jewish family and friends and others occupying space in my heart at the moment.

Earlier during the soon after waking up, I had gone for a long walk, sauntering amidst office workers rushing to their cubicles. On the way, I ran into a Buddhist temple. Being open minded about symbolism and religion, I snuck in and prayed for my friends in Cuba.

 I tasted a smattering of the South Indian food on offer  while reading Inner Engineering by Sadhguru, a recent gift by my friend, Doctoral Student at Monash Malaysia, Mun Ching.

 It was a nice day to relax. Found A-Saloon in the shopping mega mall which is within walking distance to Double Tree Hotel. 
 Andy was my coiffeur, who was very proud of the fact that he was of Chinese descent but had a beard!
The next stop was Guinot Boutique, which was introduced to me by my friend MunChing and I enjoy the facial by Anna.
It was a relaxing one hour facial and later on Anna wanted to talk about certain health issues. It makes me sad that a middle income country and one of the richer ones in Asia, punishes its population by making disease care private and expensive. There is no universal coverage and private medicine can ruin your finances. Sad indeed. I told her of the wonderful free medical care in France and also the free medical care offered to people over the age of 65 in the USA.

 The morning repas had been so abundant that Lunch time had come and gone. So why not taste a Dosai, that perennial crepe of South India. Saravanna Bhavan is the name of the outlet at the Food Court and this one did not disappoint me.
On the way back I walked past the Chinese temple and fondly remembered those I had prayed for that morning, in Cuba: an affectionate young Endocrinologist, two budding medical students.
Thus begins the Hanukkah celebrations for 5778

dimanche 10 décembre 2017


EVEN before we began the 13 hour 25 minute journey to Tokyo, The Flagship Lounge at ORD had created a Japanese ambience. The Japanese as far as I know do not eat Sushi made yesterday, but this was an American Airlines Lounge. The Champagne was Taitlingers.

 The Flight Attendants were all young and polite to a fault. Even before you wanted something they were there. Attention to detail reflected their culture.
As you could imagine I chose the Japanese selection, which flowed one after another.

 One never thinks of Alaska as having a narrower neck but on this projection from space, it does look like that. It was a very short hop from Alaska to Siberia!


I am sitting at this table looking at this very scenery and this table has a great significance for me, it is on the Executive Floor of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
Many memories and I know Memories by their nature would be forgotten but before that happens I would like to ask forgiveness of one person.
She sat here in front of me, sipping her first glass of wine, carrying on a conversation with her infectious laughter. She came twice from Teheran to be with me and we had met each other in London as well.
I told her about Pablo Neruda and she told me about Soheil Nafisi and Ahmed Shamloo. I introduced her to Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Latin American magical realism and she told me about Shanameh  and who will ever forget Hafez and the translations we did of his verses together.
 Malignant, the truth, such an immense night, such a lonely land.
I have come again to lonely bedrooms,
to eat cold lunches in restaurants, and again
I throw my pants and shirts on the floor,
there are no hangers in my room
nor portraits of anyone on the walls.
How much of the shadow that is in my soul would I give to get you back
and how menacing the names of the months seem to me,
and the word "winter", what a grim sound of a drum it has.
I had fallen in love with Yangon the city Pablo loved where he found Josie Bliss. In Wellawatta, Colombo, I looked for old men who may have remembered that wandering young Chilean with piercing eyes, to no avail.

Like Josie Bliss who followed Pablo to Colombo and then disappeared for ever, nor Pablo make an attempt to find her, my friend from time to time appears in front of my imagination.
Here is a poem he wrote about her  Loves (1) Josie Bliss

What became of the furious one?
It was war
the gilded city
that drowned her, so that neither
her written threats
nor her electric blasphemies could get out
to find me again, to persecute me
as they did so many days, in that faraway place,
so many hours
that time and oblivion
took care of, one by one,
until, at last, she can be named as death,
death, bad word, black earth
in which Josie Bliss
will rest in her rage.

She would add up
my absent years
wrinkle by wrinkle, as they probably gathered
on her face from the grief I gave her;
because she was waiting for me on the other side of the world.
I never came, but in the empty
in the dead dining room,
maybe my silence wasted away,
my faraway footsteps,
and maybe until death she saw me
as if through water,
as if I were swimming in glass, 
slow of movement,
and she couldn't take hold of me
and would lose me
every day, in the pale lagoon
on which her gaze was fixed.
Until she finally closed her eyes - 
when was that?
Until time and death covered her over - 
when was that?
Until hate and love bore her away - 
Until she who loved me in rage,
in blood, in revenge,
in jasmines,
couldn't go on talking to herself,
gazing at the lagoon of my absence.

Now, maybe,
she rests restlessly
in the great cemetery in Rangoon,
or maybe on the banks 
of the Irrawaddy they burned her body
all afternoon, while
the river murmured
things that I might have said to her in tears.

I remember reading this poem to my brother Eliyahu while we were sitting by the River Irrawaddy
I had tears in my eyes.
I too had stood at this beach at Wellawatta, Colombo 6 trying to resurrect some memories.


 If you look carefully at the map how tiny the island city state of Singapore is! One of the miracles of modern development!
Lee Kuan Yew was visiting Australia when he made the comment: we are just a dot on the map, compared to Australia but we do pull equal amount of weight internationally. In every measure Singapore has become a success and how fantastic it would be for countries in Africa and Asia to follow the example of transparency and lack of corruption that marks the Singapore Success!
The airport at Singapore, Changi as it is called, is a metaphor for this success. It is consistently voted as one of the best airports in the world 
 It was nice to walk through the tropical gardens within this airport in this tropical island.. a welcome relief after a long flight. Most people transit through Singapore and usually after long flights from Europe or Australia or USA or Africa.
There are so many direct flights to so many places, such as in India and China and Indonesia but also Port Moresby, Nadi,Tashkent, Mauritius, Johannesburg, Almaty among many are also connected 
 I had a few hours to kill, I checked into the SATS Premium Lounge which was quiet at that time of the day. I had the rice from the Japanese offerings as well as the Shanghai dish which was slightly spicy. Plenty of water to drink, as I was in no mood for wine 
SATS lounge was more than adequate and as my flight to KL was departing from Terminal 2, I went towards that terminal and then spent a little time at SATS 2 Premium Lounge. Lot more international passengers were in that lounge and it got crowded as the day progressed.
I had some delicious Laksa, really enjoyed that ..

There were passengers from flights leaving for USA, Australia and India among others.
 This was the end of this part of the journey, I boarded the flight to Kuala Lumpur and on this 45 minute flight they did manage to bring something to nibble if you wanted it, I must say that after the Lounge offerings it did not look particularly appetizing.
Embraer 175 American Airlines 
From Miami to Omaha as well as Omaha to Chicago
Flagship Lounge at ORD 
Both upgraded to F OMA _)+ORD 1 hr 07 minutes 
Japan Airlines 777-300 Seat 1 K Chicago to Tokyo 13 hours 25 minutes Sakura First Lounge at Terminal 2 Narita 
Japan Airlines 777-200 Seat 2 A Tokyo to Singapore 7 hours
MH 737-800 Seat 3 D Singapore to Kuala Lumpur  45 minutes
Now to rest a little, catch up with friends and then move on!

samedi 9 décembre 2017


As part of a continuing education for our patients who suffer from Type 2 Diabetes, we offer an hour plus long discussion over lunch, cooked by a member of the staff, once a week.
I was asked to talk to them, informally about Spirituality and their Health. It seemed strange to me, as I was talking to my teachers, as all I know about Indian Spirituality is what they have taught me
But they did say one: it is nice to hear it coming from you.
I would present an idea or concept and they would join in and discussing it or giving personal examples.
I will upload the slides that I showed them, and as is the custom, all persons appearing on these slides have given me their permission.

 Learning from an Arhuaco Indians from Santa Marta in Colombia in the streets of Cartagena.
When you cut down a tree in the Amazon Forest, more than just that tree dies, it is the diversity that is important.


 It is from the Yogic philosophers that I first heard: when the student is ready the teacher would appear. It is applicable to American Indians as well, they do have a saying very similar to that. when they are ready, good results with regards to their health begin to appear, including more energy, better appearance, greater self satisfaction and self confidence 
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 This wonderful lady left us with so much to ponder over. We have the control over what we can do with  what comes our way: whether food, refilling your insulin pump, socializing, laughter. Especially important in dealing with individual, familial and communal grief.
 Yogic Breathing, Asana first thing in the morning as well as American Indian prayers all have shown to bring down Insulin levels in the morning.It has therapeutic implications in that we tend not to exercise American Indians in a fasting state.
 Not only American Indians but the entire world believe in the power of Prayers. Indians generally do not pray for themselves but for others. Collective prayers mixed with sacrifice has wonderful effects.
 Whose whose DNA telomeres are shortened by Stress of whatever cause, including looking after a dependent person, can be regenerated by plenty of Laughter.
American Indians have plenty of Laughter.
 Inipi in the backyard of an Omaha Indian in their reservation.

 this blog was completed while waiting for a flight in Singapore Airport. The Lounge had a delicious Laksa.