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gharda-ghista

 

I had a friend, who died several years ago from breast cancer. Her name was Garda Ghista.

She was a dedicated writer, as can be seen here at the next link, and personally did all that she could muster to serve others. Indeed, she was driven to do so.

Amazon.com: Garda Ghista: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Garda-Ghista/e/B004LXVFOW

The Gujarat Genocide: A Case Study in Fundamentalist Cleansing by Garda GhistaWife Abuse: Breaking It Down and Breaking Out by Garda Ghista (2009-03.

Before she died, she spent the brunt of her USA social security derived retirement money on feeding the poor people, the nearly starving ones, in a particular region of India. The little that she did not use to serve them went to her apartment rent and her own small, deliberately curtailed needs.

Accordingly the rest went into the purchase of food that she cooked to donate to the poor. She pinched pennies to get as much as she could financially in excess of her own tiny weekly fiscal needs.

She lived in Hyderabad. She would, then after cooking up a storm and happy in the action, take a rickshaw once or twice a week with her huge pots of food to a place where the poor, emaciated people congregated. Then she would dish out the food – lentils, rice and so on – until it all disappeared. She also forced the recipients to cue up so as to not have a rabble and ugly food fights.

Indeed, it was a dangerous undertaking. It was so since the people in receipt always needed more than she could provide … even when she brought twenty pounds or more. So they got angry and unruly after which she fled in the carriage back to her home … only to repeat the same action of feeding others at a very soon later date.

She described one of the repeated recipients to me as a scrawny woman in her forties, who only owned one shirt – a gossamer one – that showed off her sagging breasts. She was beyond the embarrassment of showing her chest since the condition of wearing a see-through shirt was all that she had as an option.

A pitiful state to have to subsume in my view! Consider the way that you would feel in her condition with your breasts dangling loose for all to see and your belly aching from lack of sufficient food!

I don’t know about you, dear reader, but this sort of condition enrages me. So do these situations: Having to line up for a half hour or more for the one working spigot in your shantytown to have water, pure or not, to brush your teeth. Having to walk to the edge of a farmer’s field away from your hovel to pee and defecate, and have a farmer yell at you for your bodily functions taking place so close to his crop field.

I saw two shantytowns in my life when I was a child. One was a leper’s colony in the distance in Trinidad and the other was on St. Thomas, US VI, called Frenchtown. The small shacks at the latter place were built out of recovered bits and pieces of wood and plastic. The floors under these crawl-in structures were just bare dirt. Disgusting to have to live like that, and scrounge for food and clean drinking water day after day. Disgusting to see this pathetic view contrasted to this other one as supposedly a single family home:

As a child, I was told to avoid Frenchtown when walking in St. Thomas as crime was rampant there. (Yeah, you might, if starving, kill someone over a crust of bread or a single dollar.) I also visited some people with homes of the above grand pictured magnitude.

In my view, they, owners of such lavish houses, are equally dangerous people – equally dangerous as are some of the Frenchtown folks. They, although not caught for crimes, are alike in my mind to Bernie Madoff since greed and selfishness define them despite that they superficially act in socially acceptable ways as being so-called refined and cultured.

The Wizard of Lies (TV Movie 2017) – IMDb

In all honesty,  gorgeous mansions and palaces are alluring. I’ll admit that I had a fabulous time when eight years old running around with a girlfriend of the same age as her nanny (since her mother was dead) watched over us in such a home as is shown above.

We explored every nook and cranny. Then her father came home and drove me to my own home to be with my own family for dinner.

Yet, can you imagine seeing all of the furnishings, knickknacks, expertly oil painted art on walls? Can you imagine the grounds covered in extraordinary plantings in arrangement after arrangement in various separate gardens? Why, I was practically delirious with delight at the beauty shown by individual and conglomerate things surrounding me when with my playmate, Marcy, at her home after school.

Yet now I have a different viewpoint than I had then as a little girl. It’s because I see such excesses to support one family as being obscene despite their extraordinary breathtaking beauty and underlying high standard for a way to live and enjoy life.

Who cares whether the gobble-gobble of resources, money and ethereal assets are legal or not? Does anyone think that most people care? … They, the wacko self-serving people, take as much as they can for themselves, anyway, and ignore the common good.

Clearly  they love the materially lavish results grabbed for themselves. Such outcomes, I suppose, make them feel special and superior, almost God-like relative to everyone else.

They, thus, deliberately ignore and leave others in a deplorable state of affairs.

Yes, they leave others at the lowest of the low level. How can they, the poor abused people, find much pleasure in life when all they think about is their next meal, next drink, the way that they physically feel awful while worrying for a safe place to sleep for the night ahead?

When a relative dies, they have no money for a funeral or a funeral plot. So they just leave the body in the woods for animals to eat or dump it in some river to get bloated and water logged, and float downstream where others are getting water to drink, cook, bathe and clean their clothes. What other option is there?

Some even do have jobs. Garda came across a group of women with hammers in a quarry beating on big rocks to turn them into pebbles. Apparently some wealthy fellow bought a hillside of Mother Earth and had others dismantle it for his profit from selling little rocks.

Did he work, himself? Probably not or just minimally. He, though, gained lots of money from barely paying the rock pounders, selling the pebbles at a huge profit and reaping the monetary benefit for himself. Thusly goes capitalism.

Who cares about such practices? Ask the almost starving woman with the see-through gossamer shirt through which her sagging breasts are clearly shown and, oh yes, be sure to ask me, too, as I’m totally disgusted by the skewed distribution of planetary wealth and ruin of our planet in the process of pulling Her apart to make a personal financial gain for oneself.

Why?  I stand in absolute, fervent abeyance to thwart our corrupt current capitalistic system, a sickness that needs to be broken or, in the least, curtailed by a concerted effort by the majority of people across the globe..

Hey, obviously this sort of situation is totally unacceptable.

Put another way, the equitable distribution of wealth needs MUCH furtherance to be made right. Let’s not have hard working people or ones wanting to work get sick or die due to low wages insufficient to cover even their minimum basic needs for food, clean drinking water, adequate clothes, shelter and medical care.

I don’t even care at this point about educational needs. Let’s simply take care of basic raw needs first.

Look, I’ll be the first to joyfully and enthusiastically share that our species is amazing. Check out our capability with various branches of math, rockets to other planets and the moon, watch people hop up and down on the moon, watch our building of musical instruments, orchestras, symphony and opera writing, paintings and sculptures, dances such as the tango or ballet. Look at physics. Check out nanotech science and staged dramas, poetry and novels. Then stretch further and watch our capabilities in architecture applied to bridge and skyscraper developments. and watch our furtherance in medical advancements, such as in drugs and surgical procedures.

All is, obviously, mind boggling. Imagine people lined up in chairs and hurtling through the air at over 600 miles per hour. Jets.

Yes, watch as we drive further to foist betterment according to whatever is financially lucrative to do so in our jobs to provide more money into our company’s coffers and, so, get a personal financial boost as a result. (Do you think that a starving or water deprived person even cares about any of the boons that our species has made through hard toil and studies? Do they care about symphonies?)

No they can’t afford to care since they are on the lowest level of human life:

Is this gist – the rock quarry owner and his pattern for self-serving monetary gain — sufficient even as we bring betterment, i.e., mindless, minimum-wage jobs, to rock pounders? … or is another way preferable for moving our species and our various replete civilizations forward?

Ask half of the people in the world, the impoverished ones, for an answer. I bet that you’d get a mouthful. So would I give the same sort of response if you were to ask me … and I’m privileged with no mortgage for my ample home built in 1800’s, a nice totally paid-for Toyota Prius and other amenities in my life.

Did I deserve my middle class conditions and associated privileges? Who knows since the answer involves a judgment call? I just know that many others absolutely don’t deserve their disgusting and deplorable states in life!

So their disparity relative to my life both saddens and infuriates me! Accordingly I and, I hope, you must help raise them upward in life. Nobody deserves a living hell. No, nobody!

Sally Dugman is a writer in MA, USA.

 

 

 

  • K SHESHU BABU

    Great personalities like Garda are immortal. Their services will not be forgotten. Garda lived and served the poor and the downtrodden even when she was unhealthy. Her contribution to humanity should be emulated by the present activists