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|An American Indian Finds His Roots In Asia (page 4)
IT'S NEITHER BLACK NOR WHITE, CHARLIE BROWN
Was he a total failure? Krish Kalaf ponders the question while gulping his whiskey and deliberating on ways to commit suicide. A recent immigrant to North America chasing the proverbial American dream, he goes bankrupt in the process. A quick end to his life seems the only way out of his dilemma. His extremely wealthy friend Charlie Brown, however, helps him out. Unknown to Krish, Charlie has his own selfish reasons for doing him a favor. Slowly Krish learns that money doesn't buy some of the simplest aspects of life, that his bankruptcy was an insignificant catastrophe compared to Charlie's horrid tragedies, that enormous wealth can't avoid or remedy the sinister role of fate. With all his money, the billionaire must still beg the bankrupt; beg him to solve his problems in an intriguing tale of human failure, the real side to life rarely vivified in fiction.
Behind these events of Krish and Charlie looms the dark shadow of Black Jack, a drug peddler hustling to make a fast buck in his own quest of the American dream. Then there's Joe, the young Iroquois native Indian far removed from the American dream that the white man brought to his shores and thereby exterminated the Indian's own tribal ideals. Recognizing the warning signs of the coming holocaust, his tribal chiefs had bequeathed a sacred relic to Charlie's ancestors back in the seventeenth century. The mystery of this relic takes Joe and Krish to Pakistan and Afghanistan, to the same high mountain ranges bombed by the USA in the fall of 2001.
The journey to this remote region brings home to Joe the roots of his Indian people. And along with this discovery, Joe suddenly finds a whole new culture and a set of values he had never known in North America. A different perspective to life emerges from the impact, and Joe realizes the truths preached by the European for centuries were different from the truths that prevail on the other side of the world. While establishing these truths, Christian priests had crushed his hallowed pagan beliefs with the zeal of incontrovertible missionaries preaching their own brand of truth. For the first time Joe sees why his people could never adjust to the white man's values and the North American lifestyle, why they choose even today to remain impoverished on their isolated Indian reservations while new immigrants from all over the world prosper in their land. Centuries of systematic annihilation and deprivation had changed their psyche forever.
Then there are the women who quietly influence the lives of these men, never domineering but always assertive, gently showing their superiority through their docile nature. Sex and romance along with murder, insanity, racial friction, and rape set a fast pace to the plot. And behind all the action packed drama lurks the ever-present eventuality of death, the inevitable end waiting to remove each fortunate and unfortunate character from the strutting and fretting that takes up our entire life. Krish contemplates this futility of all existence. But how can he rob death of its sting that Christianity was supposed to do? Can anything else rob death of its sting? The answer lies in between the lines of the book's pages. This is credible fiction in its naked form, fiction that stimulates the mind and arouses deep concerns on various aspects of death, American genocide, and European extinction through immigration and intermarriage.
* "Moreover, I would like you to see what I see: the face of unacceptable reality, the mask of fear behind which unthinkable emotions hide, the tragedy of the contorted mind, the prison of the soul, the annihilation of the self, and the tortured remains, yes, the tortured remains of a beautiful woman. Witness these with me to understand the firm facade before which the wealth of humans is a helpless illusion, and the ephemeral kaleidoscope of frolicsome colours is all money can really buy."
* But there in the sky, in a puff of cloud, he saw Alam (an Afghan), Alam excitedly vociferating on one leg with his crutch, "When the humble potter's revolving wheel had become the movement of warring chariots, and the first bow had launched the first deadly missile, and the spear of the hunter had turned into the lethal weapon of reddened battlefields, the learned of the world came to Herat (in Afghanistan) to brood on the ultimate fate of savage man."
* "Don't confuse religion with spirituality. Religion is a doctrine, a creed, a faith. It is an order of men, an organization of authority, a hierarchy of heroes, each superstar cloaked in the power of myth. Only then can man create a symbolic figurehead endowed with the qualities that he deems worthy of his worship. Spirituality, on the other hand, floats nakedly in the conscience of man, like steam within the cylinder of the human body. It can move freight trains, but once seen, is merely a hiss of vapour, a vanishing puff of smoke."
ISBN 0-9687511-0-5 Beautiful art work bound in a clear plastic cover and autographed by the author -- US $ 28.50 plus S & H
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