The life and luck of Che Guevara

I don’t foresee that I will be able to justify the title to any degree of completion, not because this is just a blog post and I am no historian, but because Che is way beyond my realm and it will take me years yet, if at all I can, to really see the man in true light.

However, in the light of what is going on in India and several other regions of the world, I believe that calling him lucky, is at least technically correct, if not entirely justifiable. It does not intend to belittle the tireless courage, leadership and passion for assuring equality for ALL men, that the ‘revolutionary doctor’, pursued throughout his life in distressed, poverty stricken corners of the world and died fighting for. It only means that he was lucky to succeed to any degree, inasmuch. Traveling on his famous motorcycle La Padoresa II (The Mighty one, which eventually broke down during the long journey) while still a medical student, with his friend Alberto Granado in South America, seeing the plight of mine workers in Chile, and the widespread poverty, disease and hunger throughout Latin America (Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela) , he first found his calling to be a revolutionary: ‘to link his destiny to the poor of this world‘. His memoirs and several biographies can be found online and in book stores and needless to say, he himself was a great orator and writer and his speeches give enough content to satisfy most biographers. In one of these he says that his transformation from wanting to be a great researcher who makes contributions to medicine, gradually transformed into being a ‘revolutionary’ and making contribution towards bringing justice, equality and freedom from repression to the peoples of Latin America, and eventually have that spread throughout the world. He says that he realized pretty early that working in one corner of the world, towards any cause, no matter how noble or how sincere the effort, is fruitless in actually bringing about a revolution. And a revolution is what the world needed, to free its masses from perpetual repression, in new forms in every era.

Guevara is often called an exacting commander who did not tolerate selfishness and indiscipline of any kind, nor did he make any exceptions to the rule for himself. Yet, if her were a brute, his small practically untrained army trying to fight of Fulgencio Batista’s armed forces in Sierra Maestra, would not have acquired the reputation of treating his prisoners and the surrounding villagers fairly.  Yes, he probably was not appalled by the death sentence, as people with delicate sensibilities are or are supposed to be. But he is not the one that built and hoarded nuclear weapons that have the ability to vaporize all of humanity, he would want equal access to them for everyone, but that is bound to happen eventually, if it has not already. Increasing hoarding only increases the chances of some weapons disappearing.

He was hardened by the reality of life led by the downtrodden. There is no room for delicacies and sensibilities in war. While many pages on the web are dedicated to calling Guevara a mass murderer and a fanatic, I myself not only beg, but declare war to differ. I have not yet seen a fanatic ( remember Laden?) who themselves go to fight other people’s wars. In countries they have no financial or political gain in. If he is called an idealist or a purist, that is what a leader needs to be. He led believers, as he himself said. These believers were not followers of some religious cult being blind folded, brain washed and led to do illogical deeds. In Cuba, they were led to a guerrilla warfare against a much more powerful, US backed tyrannical government. Anything less than a puristic attitude could not lead a pack of untrained soldiers, who were often well educated themselves, into acts of immense courage and bravery, which would seem foolhardy at the face of the formidable enemy. Though, that is not to say that education itself brings any great vision or wisdom, clearly demonstrable in other countries where intellectuals rarely take on any form of revolt or dissent from the erstwhile political leaders.Why these pages neglect to mention the corrupt military regime that preceded the revolution in Cuba, made its economy (which heavily depended on sugar production) solely and incontrovertibly dependent on US backed investments, is quite understandable.

Agreed that he was no economist, and his economic policies were doomed to fail, because people can fight or work for a cause, but after the cause has been achieved they mostly want to work for a better lifestyle. Not everyone can be an idealist and normal people cannot be subjected to such high standards of moral behavior, with no avenues for making profit. That does make him a failed economist, but it does not make him a failed revolutionary.

He tried to reduce US hegemony and interest in Cuba as well as in other parts of Latin America, but that indeed is easier said than done. Given the amount of trade interests the US has in the region and the economic sanctions that can just breeze through the UN, if the US supports it. Remember Iraq? The economic sanctions destroyed the country and made the people MORE, not less dependent on Saddam Hussein. Cuba also, could not completely flourish with it being perceived as a ‘communist’ threat. Which it definitely was, but to him communism was just the people’s way to ask for their rights. Guevara led several guerilla troops all over the poverty and disease and civil war stricken parts of the world. Albeit with almost no other success stories.

It seems that other than Cuba and the Cubans, very few other regions of the world were ready for the revolution. On returning from what he called a ‘unmitigated disaster in DR Congo (1965),as perhaps the lawlessness the region is still wrought with is based on monetary issues and lack of a common goal, discipline and a belief in the cause of the revolution to bring justice, equality and respect to all those living in atrocious, inhuman condition. I have sympathy for his idealistic thinking, that did not take into account the cultural history and superstition of thousands of years and intricate tribal enmity in Africa. He admitted defeat in Congo and took partial responsibility for the cuban soldiers who had gone unprepared, in his book called ‘The African Dream’. It probably had a lot to do with his inability to work on compromises that were less idealistic than what he hoped to achieved,yet, he was always there with his men, in malaria and dysentery and in being surrounded by mercenaries.

In Bolivia, where he was finally caught and assassinated by the Bolivian army(October 1967), advised by a CIA agent Felix Rodrigues,Che’s belief that guerilla warfares are mass movements, that cannot survive without the support of the masses, the villagers it hopes to emancipate, proved to be correct. At the time of capture, Che and his remaining army were sick and he had been shot several times. their positions were given away to the military by villagers themselves, who did not support the rebellion. Neither did the Communist Party of Bolivia.

I wonder what he would have thought of the people’s movement in India these days. Where almost everyone, who has any power anyway, believes that Maoists and villagers are actually the same people. As they support each other. The more poignant question is that, is the Indian government today, instead of being the purported democracy, actually a police state that has led to such guerrilla warfares being ignited all over the country by the previously peaceful tribes, adivasis who lived in forests and did not figure in any of the nation’s economic policies or politics.

If the government can use drones, that only sees heat maps of gatherings of people, and believe they must be planning a ‘terrorist’ activity of some kind, killing 11 yr old girl and teenagers, (17 people in total, 7 minors) who had gathered to discuss the sowing procedure for the year. The CRPF and the police surrounded the gathering and started firing at random and without warning.This was in the village Kottaguda, Bijapur, which, along with two adjoining villages, had been burned down by the Salwa Judum in 2005. In calling these unmanned drones ‘deep intelligence’ that led to the discovery of this ‘Maoist activity’, as no government officials dare to visit or deign to talk to these villagers, I do not think is a very democratic or intelligent outlook by the government. Perhaps, our government is no longer as democratic. Other oppressive governments all over the world are being toppled over, like in Egypt or Libya have overthrown the acknowledged dictators. I don’t see that happening in India. The outlook of the majority of Indians in India and the ones abroad is quite different. In India, it is understood that the government is probably right, and whatever means, however unpleasant they may be, are needed for the economic progress of the country and the burgeoning middle class has no qualms in reading sporadic reports about the atrocities of Salwa Judum or operation green hunt. The massacre and the constant fear of persecution that the villagers, who have been forced to give up not only their land and livelihood, but their way of life for centuries. Imagine you being forced to live in a forest without amenities, a livelihood and a roof over your head.. For the villagers and the adivasis, who have almost no contact to the modern world, other than in seeing the guns and goons that kill them, being forced to live in an alien environment, is much much worse.

The activists fighting for the right of these people have not had the luck of Che. Who himself may have been defeated in these conditions, given the innumerable ways that India and Indians are divided. We may be united for a while for an India- Pakistan match- but even that is an irony because we share with them a history, that we don’t share with anyone else. We were united against the British, but we had a visionary leader in Mahatma Gandhi, who understood the need for tolerance and people’s rights. He spoke about reaching out and leading downtrodden villagers to progress, for India to be truly free. Maybe that is why people who have had contact with him or his immediate followers work at the grass root levels in various villages.

Youth has risen to support Anna Hazare, but he is not Mahatma Gandhi, and the unity he may want to see in India against the widespread corruption in the government, clearly does not extend to empathy for poor tribes, or anything that can lead to future, even transient, discomfort. My friend Partho knows this personally, as the two activists that were arrested with him, who are believed to be Mao supporters, but actually just work with the villagers and support women’s health and welfare, are still in jail.Other activists are constantly under persecution.

Che and Gandhiji, you were lucky to have supporters joined in a belief for equality for everyone, and release from oppression. Or perhaps your supporters were lucky to have you. Despite the natural accumulation of displeasure against both of you over the eyars where every word you said is analyzed, I believe in purist leadership. As long as it doesn’t turn into dictatorship, because without an idealistic view of the world, where human rights predominate any economic progress, millions of human beings will be forced to value human life as little as theirs is being valued. Millions will disregard honor, respect, dignity for a little food and shelter. Then where will humanity go?

I am ashamed to know so little, and do even less for the people of my country who could use my help and I don’t even know how to begin. When will the middle class society culturally teach its children to reach out to everyone who is a victim of progress, in solidarity. To believe that a better future is for everyone, not only the lucky ones.

Please visit Sanhati’s website for detailed reports on the recent incident.

Copper rumped hummingbird

Will show the rump in the post about the ones in Trinidad.

Hawaiian Torches

Hawaiian Torches

Yes, the beauty and surprises and the colors didn’t end with birds.. It just started there. Canon EOS7D. 150mm, f/5; 1/250 aperture.

Take two on the underdog- the thing called true love and the actor who deals in it- Kunal Karan Kapoor

‘Love’, with all its mystical powers to make us soar, have butterflies in our stomach, skipping and pacing our heartbeats to its own rhythm, provide a hormonal rush (also called swooning). Ending, if requited, with the feeling of being complete and replete and in peace with the world, has had a hard time making me believe in it. Though, lets not blame the emotion, outright. Maybe it was just the display and portrayal of the emotion on screen, in most cases.

A new friend of mine was describing the place she lives, when she said ‘It is just so beautiful, when it is beautiful’ ( that you forget the long months of cold, harsh winds and icy roads) also applies to love. That you just want to see and feel it again and would wait for eons in a desert (or in 40 inches of snow) and jump through fire rimmed hoops into a hot sulphur spring (boiling sulphuric acid, yum!).. if someone tells you there is ‘love’ in the end. Love, is also, not for everyone.

Poor Mohan was jumping through all the hoops. For months. Nanhi’s incisors have grown, they have been shooting for six months and so in real life terms, it has been almost a year our beloved Mohan has been trying to woo Megha. Who has been wooed, so to speak. In my last post I did not acknowledge Aakansha Singh and was really remiss in so doing, she is only about 21, I think and the character of a mature ( if not that much older in yrs) mother of two and her incantation of ‘Thik hai’ or betta… the concern and the trepidation, the turmoil and the incipient happiness in her motherhood all shine brightly through the eyes of this beautiful young girl. Who was excellently cast in this role and will hopefully avoid the typecasting that usually, no, religiously, occurs in every form of art, not just acting, all over the world, deserved and otherwise (Leo Di Caprio as a spy, Jack Nicholson as someone who is usually angry, Meryl Streep for successful women, Picasso for cubism, Jackson Pollock for drip painting,Stephen King for ‘horror’, Nicholas Sparks for horribly heart rending (in a physical manner for me) love stories, Daniel Craig for action etc etc). Perhaps a lot more perversely in Indian television shows.

Love is most definitely, for Mohan, and for Kunal Karan Kapoor. In the show NBTNMKK , he had loved Rashmi deeply in the past, relinquishing all hopes for anyone else in his heart, when she left him, until Megha came into his life. So he knows what it is. What it takes away in return for what it may or may not deliver. Even Rashmi knew what she was missing, because she had it once. That’s the catch with love, if you have felt it once, truly, even if it is not you yourself that has felt it inside you, if it was just something that came out in waves from the person that loved you. You will always remember it and look for it, everywhere, everyday. For us viewers, we feel it coming out in waves from Mohan, for Megha, right through the television screen. His hurt in tangible when Megha calls him irresponsible. I felt the pain and the dread of hearing the answer when he asked ‘Jab tum kisise bhi shadi karne ko taiyar ho, to mujhse kyun nahi?’ I thought that very good scripting and so logical that I forgot I was watching hindi television. Such clear questions are rarely asked in our dramas, people get most of their information via eavesdropping here!

I think, if you are one of those people who can really see other people, through their worldly faces and facades, and have seen someone truly in love, then also you are destined to keep looking for it, until you find it, if you are lucky. Its probably a good thing then, given the paucity of people capable of true love, that most people just take you on your face value.

The longing we all see in Mohan, is not that easily found in this world. The self preservation we are either taught or is innate in our nature, almost always prevents us to want something to a degree that could destroy us. To lose ourselves in someone else, till we as a separate person, cease to exist. Mohan Bhatnagar, crime reporter, clearly, has the courage to love, not once but twice. But that is the thing with any potent drug. Once you taste it, you simply want more, even if destroys you, as it most likely will.

Therefore, Megha, who had love, perhaps a simpler form that we can all have at some point of our life, is initially afraid of it. What she had was still deeply satisfying, as she knew no better. And deep is only as deep as we are willing to look. Contentment, is easier, and with a loving husband and children she had it for a long time. With Mohan, the waters are more testy. He is not your normal stoic gentleman that is the pillar of strength, patience, fortitude, good manners and dependability. He is also not your usual charming, metrosexual, well dressed and smooth talking modern guy. Some girls may like those.. TV shows are full of them.

Nothing wrong with British gentleman we have all read about, or the usual smooth Casanova all girls dream to tame and make their own or Rhett Butler of Gone with the wind ( I personally hate the book). But I like a real guy, sincere, emotional, impatient, dreamy enough to forget there was a child riding pillion on his bike- lost in his beloved’s thoughts or a man wielding a gun to shoot him, in pursuit, when he sees his girl, impulsive enough to declare his love at any opportunity because he could contain it no longer, despite knowing better. One would almost believe such a guy doesn’t exist. Charm can be acquired, clothes can be bought and couture, maturity and patience may well come with age and experience. Blind love, or the real thing.. that, my friends, is not so easily had (though aging and experience are far from easy!). And much more difficult to portray. The background of the two protagonists, with knowing and believing in the power of love, is quintessential to this story, I think. Unlike what most people think or at least like to quote, ‘that true love happens only once’, I think that true love is more to do with the person who feels it, rather than the person he/she feels it for. If you can love, then you will find someone to love. Its a behavior changing drug, with permanent side effects.

As he played the underdog this time, competing with Manav, the child psychiatrist  who has it all together and most importantly gives the impression of being dependable. Mohan is also dependable, and we the viewers know it, but Mr. Kapoor just does a brilliant job, with the help of the writer, to somehow appear to come off as wanting on that quality. Essential for a father of two. A high point of the story is of course, unlike in other TV shows, Manav- the other suitor, is depicted as being a good guy, with what one could view (objectively), as a better prospective father and provider. This happens a lot in novels and in english movies, but rarely do we see that in Indian television, where the assumption is that when one digs for dirt on anyone,the only way to win against a competitor,  is to find it. Usually in movies the lead actor starts out as an underdog and then shows strength of character and what- not to end up being better than everyone else, despite his few shortcomings initially. In NBTNMKK, that has not happened, and that is quite fresh and much more realistic. We don’t always need evil to be good, nor does Mohan need to be the best to steal all our hearts, as he stole Meghas.

The defeated, stumbling walk carrying Megha’s wedding card, the unshed tears, that forlorn look I so adore.. Kunal Karan Kapoor does for a TV show I have not seen any one do for a movie in a long long time. That has been the reason I love satires, or cynical ends, they are just so much easier to believe and thus easier for someone to portray. On screen chemistry is a different matter, I have seen that much more often and I don’t think that is easy to achieve either, but the softness of true love, that I have not believed recently. The last time I believed in real love, on screen, was perhaps Forrest Gump, because Tom Hank’s character did not have the normal selfish or self preservation motifs, nor did he question or deny his feelings, he was an unusual guy, without malice, jealousy and other emotions that make up most people and hence still a hero, albeit an unlikely one.

Mohan is, ostensibly, the ordinary guy, most definitely not a hero, despite Nanhi’s belief. Yet, I believe his love is as close to the real thing, as one gets.

For someone to make me believe in true love, I would need just a lot more persuasion, a lot more talent, and a sandpaper treatment: to remove the years of accumulated jadedness. Mr. Kapoor, you do that. I have believed that love existed, in books, like in The Thornbirds, or Great Expectations or in Ape Essence and a few other books by authors who can write a life and its several realms in such eloquent words, that you would believe anything even in the good in humanity. To take it to screen is another matter. To move the viewers is another matter, in a language that speaks beyond the script. In the eyes that speak beyond the pain and heartbreak. In the dry swallows that control more than tears and show more than the passion and, yes, the real thing.

So when Mohan leaned towards Megha at her farewell party, my heart skipped a beat and when he told Megha ” Meri zindagi bhi tum ho aur meri khushiyan bhi tum ho..’ ,I released the breath I had been holding and I believed. Even when I know that love can be the most selfish emotion in this world. It destroys the weak, who pine for it when it was never theirs and give up the fight, that is life. That bends reality in ways that even Einstein would not comprehend. Love, after all, is not for everyone, it is for the strong hearted. I wouldn’t recommend it, unless you loved Mohan Bhatnagar or someone like him. Even then be prepared for a future of impulsiveness, impatience, the child like devotion that comes with the kind of guy he is, also comes with a child he can be at times.. No wonder Megha sees the issues, being sensible as she is!! Alas, not much hope for her either, love hurts, but hurt is good for the heart.

I had also not acknowledged the writer in the last post and that was most remiss and kudos to them or her? I watch the show online and the writer’s name is barely visible.. 😦 My sincere apologies.

Note: after July 12th’s episode= AREY YAAR!! WTF..  so much for impulsiveness being adorable. Now the onus is on the writer, completely, to make this work, because acting cannot save stories. Though TRPs are important, and one cannot blame the producers for trying to keep the show going. We want the fast pace, we want the great acting, we want the daily dose, we, therefore, cannot pummel an attempt (however outrageous, but stranger things have no doubt happened in  heaven and Earth than what we can contemplate, predict or comprehend), to continue the drama. But again, WTF!!! ( ANd I really really, I swear on the holiest of holy things on this planet, that I don’t swear easily).

P.S. post July 28th: I think I can see where this is heading, the two weddings is intended to be an intrinsic twist in the plot which, I think, will continue to focus on M and M’s relationship, after (what is definitely an illegal) marriage. For us in the know, marriage requires more work than whatever (believe me), went before, no matter how tortuous it was. I do believe nice moments are likely in their blossoming love, some chemical reactions are forecast. The added complexity of the two kids, with Addu’s animosity and Nanhi’s partiality to Mohan, in a single roomed house.. There are many palces to go, yet. Mr Kapoor, I still love you. I know you will be made to jump through even more hoops, fire lined and directed to end in swamps (sometimes) . I also know, only you can do it and make it worthwhile to watch. And I think the writer is Sonali something,  she is brave to try to walk the tricky fine line between popularity and sensibility. I believe she will try to save Mr. Kapoor’s character from quicksand, even though it must enter the swamp. Its too bad, however, that within six months of the best show in years, before Mr. Kapoor received the recognition he deserves and is due him, the TRP dominated TV industry turned this into another hollow story, or perhaps just another soap that leans towards being forgettable, but may still be saved for people who have seen it from the start. Like us..

Whose book do you want to be in?

Note: The last post was more a rant in its original form, is still quite horrid, but I have made some changes to make it a little more, well, acceptable.

I am sure many of us have wondered at times, during a crisis especially, if there was somebody who was writing their life’s story, that they could lay blame on for coming up with this, this new way of physical/emotional/ metaphysical torture. Most people just blame God, or their parents. Some may even blame the whole wide world.

However, in case we were given a choice to determine whose book we could be characters of and thereby live the life they write for us, I wonder who I would pick.

Depending on what type of a life I want to live, I have a few options and maybe by the end of this I will have a clear winner… or maybe not. We will see.

If I wanted to live in a thriller, not a supernatural thriller, but just a crime thriller. After having lived in Baltimore, I am amazed I was not a part of one already, but there it is. I would probably debate a little between P.D. James and Reginald Hill. Definitely not intending to be in S for stupid or B for banal: Sue Grafton, or slightly less dross Mary Higgins Clark ( what was that I feel for American writers ?). I will probably swing to Reginald Hill, unless I want an action packed one instead of a poetic, literary, smart in some places, profound in others. Then I would go to Lee Child and meet Jack Reacher once 🙂 The thing that particularly attracts me towards Jack is his reluctance to ‘own’ anything that binds him.A permanent life partner, A car, a house, even a license. While I may be irreversibly bound by family, I really covet a recluse life, free of all liabilties. However, in the end, Andy Dalziel and Peter Pascoe are a tide more interesting to meet in person, even if Jack promises to be very thrilling indeed.

In case I wanted to be in an African country, instead of England, I would go with Wilbur Smith. I am not sure if Wilbur Smith is an adventure writer or a thriller writer, what I imagine as he describes Africa so beautifully is a mysterious landscape with immutable deserts and unforgiving rain-forests, full of warriors, of one kind or another. I can almost tough them..

Now, if I wanted to be in a supernatural fantasy.. the choices are mind boggling- not because of the numerous writers- I only like a few and have probably not read many outside of them- but because the competition would be very very hard. There is J.K. Rowling, I could invent a new category for her, but as I mention her first, it is unlikely that I would choose her. Please don’t hate me. I beg thee. But if she had written only the first three novels or even up till the fourth one, I would have thought about it a lot longer than this. However she wrote seven and from the fourth onwards I lost track of characters and spells, and Harry Potter became another one of those ‘unlikely’ heroes, albeit very likable and powerful, that I never quite got to adoring. I am really the ‘underdog’ kind of girl..

So, next up- J.R.R. Tolkein. He is the winner. I am afraid of not even getting to Stephen King. Tolkein was the first real teller of an entirely different world close to ours in a long long tale. As far as I know that is. A world that still controls ours. I am not a ‘western’ or cowboy type of girl anyway. Other than Clint Eastwood, I wouldn’t look at another cowboy. Unless it was with respect, at Jeff Bridges. Tolkein’s middle earth, is much more to my liking, with rolling fields, mountains and hills and valleys of danger. Plus other than the underdog, I am a proclivity for the original. King would be the second choice. ( even I am surprised).

Moving on.. a classic. I don’t read very many of those and I am not at all sure that I will make a respectable choice here. Charles Dickens? Probably not, firstly because I thought of him first and thats usually a negative thought in my case ( ha ha ha). Secondly, no humor in his tragic tales. Shakespeare? Sure.. Emily Bronte? No, too much passion and usually a very very sad end. No, I think it will be Lewis Carroll. I know, maybe he is not the classic classic. Jane Austen is funny too. I don’t particularly like her stories, I already understand women’s minds so its not eye opening for me, in the same way it may be for other people. Yes, Lewis Carroll it is. If anyone can take you to a dark wonderland through a looking glass and make even a dangerous place full of the most intriguing tales, characters and other critters, it would be him. I am all but ready for it!

Science fiction. Definitely not Robin Cook, he has gone so repetitive ( I know, I defend King and accuse Cook, but King I can’t do and Cook can’t do science and I see it too clearly). Isaac Asimov, he was the original, true. However he sounds a little dated these days, I still like him a lot and am in awe of his clairvoyance. Michael Crichton, I think it would have to be. I have not read a book by him in a while, but he creates grandiose landscapes and mysterious creatures, and interesting people. I would like to be any one of them and see the others.

Moving on to spy thrillers, I think this time the first choice is the correct one: John Le Carre. So what if my husband fell asleep in the movie adaptation of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Le Carre is one of the reasons ( and all the above are the others) that one should write what one knows well and perhaps does well. He worked for British Intelligence, i believe. If he/she doesn’t do it well himself- at least knows people who do it well. I abhor David Baldacci and Robert Ludlum. The latter fills the books with such jargon that I am pretty sure he doesn’t even know what he really means. Le Carre also uses jargon, but that is when he writes a detailed, intricate series, with essentially intertwined characters and globally connected events to give it a realistic touch, with George Smiley. His non- George Smiley books have little to no jargon and thats when you know that he knows his business. And knows it well.

I am a girl and it would not be fair to leave out romance. I already know the answer but let me put it in a convoluted, torturous way that most romantic authors like to build into their story. Barbara Cartland comes to mind and quickly vanishes, even though she writes period romances and thats the only genre I like, in this category ( is genre bigger than category?, I will have to look up). Judith McNaught also comes to mind and lingers a little, she does write a plausible plot with an inherent twist or more than one twist that are quite or almost believable as the story unfolds. Mainly because of the background she tries to build. However, I have noticed some obvious examples of her trying to have characters reminiscent of famous characters by, say, Ishiguro. Give me some credit here, it cannot be a Mills and Boon or Silhouette story that I want to live in. I am not 12. The answer is Stephen King. His characters get the best ( or maybe the worst) of the fantastical and the romantic world. The best chemistry, the deepest bond that lasts even after a beloved dies. The real thing. No compromises will be accepted.

Let us not forget a philosophical story, that tells a tale with mind bending insight into others’ minds, societal structure and even the most probable future of mankind. I have not read a whole of writers in this genre ( maybe it is bigger!), so I am positive I will miss a few or a lot. From Dostoevsky to Aldous Huxley, Ishiguro to Steinbeck, even Ayn Rand ( but no, she won’t be the choice), Jostein Gaarder, Sun Tzu, Guevera’s Motorcycle Diaries, NOT Paul Coelho ( i hate him), Bertrand Russell. This is a very very hard choice for me. Perhaps because, I really want to be living in this genre, because life is the real thing and these people sure knew it and know it and write it. Give me a few more years, guv’nor.. I will know it then. Maybe.