Letter from Santa Clara
Nanu Trips the FBI’s e-Wire
Last week I went to a South-Indian vegetarian
restaurant nearby in Santa Clara with two green-card carrying engineer
who had to ask the Tamil-Nadu (http://www.cs.utk.edu/~siddhart/tamilnadu/)
waiter what the restaurant's name: Dasaprakash (“Servant of the Light of
God”) meant. They had absolutely no idea: Gujurati’s only one of the 18
“scheduled” languages of India; the restaurant’s Tamil-owned & named.
They did think to ask him: If any of his family were
affected by the recent tsunami? None, he said, they’re all fine,
smiling. “You know, you don’t look Tamil,” said Pravin; so (perhaps
as a test) Nanu spoke to the waiter in Tamil, but he couldn’t reply in it,
saying, “Sorry, I don’t speak Tamil.” [End of spurious Tamiling.]
We settled into ordering, but deferred to the waiter,
who knowledgeably chose from the menu after quizzing each of us as to what
we could handle. Then, Nanu (Narandas) prayed before eating, and then
revealed that he’d recently been visited by the FBI, who’d left him a
notice taped-up on the front door of his house in south San Jose. After he
called them back, they came back to interview him in person.
It seems that they had him on a current list of
Homeland Security subversives. His security offense? His frequent
e-mailings of what he calls “Nanu-Seconds,” brief thoughts/quotes from
well-known authors, usually Indian religious figures/politicians (Swami
Vivikananda; Sri Ramakrishna; M.K. Gandhi, a Gujurati), news-bits culled
from & credited to Yahoo News, etc. Are you wondering which quote caught
their attention? I certainly was.
Once I was back home, I went back into my saved
e-mails from Nanu to see if I could find what had tripped the FBI’s
e-wire. Let’s see if you’re surprised to find out that the offending
“Nanu-Second” the FBI cited was this:
- X-Originating-IP: [188.8.131.52]
- From: "Nanu Asher"
- Subject: U.S. Tries to Define 'Regime Change'
- Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 08:00:39 +0000
- X-OriginalArrivalTime: 23 Oct 2002 08:00:40.0268
teach simple English to Super POWer?
to Define 'Regime Change'
Yes, that’s the FBI-attracting, national
security-imperiling “Nanu-Second” of 23 OCT 2002, citing a (defunct) Yahoo
AP News link. Here’s what I replied to Nanu immediately upon getting it:
At 08:00 AM 10/23/2002 +0000
Nanu, that Yahoo News link you cited is no longer
Latest Bush-spin: Saddam doesn't have to go, just
Are you thinking what I am? How did the FBI track
that e-mailed “Nanu-Second”? Or did they? Or did someone he e-mailed rat
Nanu out to the FBI? It wasn’t me, Nanu, I assure you it wasn’t
me! I’ve never told anybody… until now!
Nanu told us that when the FBI came to visit him at
home, he told them that he’s a Gandhian, a follower of fellow-Gujurati M.K.
Gandhi (b. Porbandar, Gujurat, 1869). He told us he then pulled out a
posed photo of himself standing beside Mother Teresa in Calcutta. That, he
says, quickly ended his FBI interview; with a visible bona fides
like that, standing smiling beside a Roman Catholic nun, he’d instantly
proven himself to be no possible threat to USA National Security.
Is all this beginning to make you worried about…
yourself, just because you’re reading this story? Unfortunately, it’s now
too late to be photographed with Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, b.
26 AUG 26, 1910, Skopje, Macedonia; d. 05 SEP 1997, Calcutta, Madras,
India; beatified 19 AUG 2003, Vatican State, Rome, Italy).
But in the rather more easily accessible realm of the
locally still-living, maybe you can ask Nanu (email@example.com)
to stand beside you as Pravin or I take a photo of both of you! Nanu’s now
certified FBI-clean; maybe you can be, too. Then, Nanu can take a photo of
me with you.