2023.06.06 15:51 Meaning-Plenty KUNAN POSHPORA – THE OTHER STORY
Beneath the horrors of the mass rape committed by Indian troops in the twin villages that night in February 1991, lies the untold story of systematic torture of men, carried out by the same forces with the precision and deliberation of a planned military operation.A Meeting in the Park
In June 2013, a Public Interest Litigation filed in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, by fifty Srinagar based women, supported by human rights group Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil society (JKCCS) had resulted in a Magisterial order for the further investigations of the mass and gang rape by Indian army personnel of the women of Kunan, and neighbouring hamlet Poshpora, in Kupwara District of North Kashmir on the night of February 23rd-24th 1991. The police, it appears from the lack of any remotely investigative activities in the villages to have done little if anything, by way of following the court order in the last six months. On 14 September, 2013 they asked for and were granted an additional three months time for further investigations, without notice to the survivors who are legally represented in the case.
However, the closure report, which police had failed to file for twenty – two years, and which had been presented before the Magistrate of Kupwara just weeks before the Public Interest Litigation, in March 2013, had yielded several important previously unavailable official documents. These included a hand drawn police map, a nominal roll of 125 army personnel (including several officers) who were admittedly part of the operation and in Kunan-Poshpora that night, statements from victims, witnesses and army men mentioning specific locations, times and incidents, and the official medical reports of some of the rape victims. JKCCS had decided after some deliberation that if the police did not appear to be doing any investigations, they would themselves, aided by the new documents, attempt to rescue from oblivion the events of that night. Over the last three months, they have been engaged in a process of interviewing villagers, explaining to them what the police papers say, seeking clarifications, and attempting to piece together as coherent a narrative as possible given the constraints of resources, the lapses of memory, the reticence of rage, grief and repeated recounting, and the deaths of crucial witnesses. On 24th August 2013, I accompanied a team of human rights lawyers and researchers from JKCCS to the village of Kunan, on one of their visits. I was told that their interviews with those of the women who wished to speak was almost complete, and the day’s planned interviews were mostly with men from the village. Previous conversations, as well as police statements showed that interrogation centres had been set up in the village during the operation, and witnesses referred to extreme and extensive torture of men, but this was not specifically recorded in the First Information Report, and formed no part of the official list of crimes that occurred that night, which consists of rape, house trespass and illegal confinement.
As in the police documents, Kunan Poshpora has become inscribed as a story of rape in Kashmir’s public memory. But something else also happened that night. A crime so commonplace in that age of cordons and crackdowns that even the men who were its victims, barely thought to mention it, attending instead like the rest of us to the outrage of the raped women. As Ahmad Ameen put it, ‘They let us go home after the crackdown, in the morning at about 9 am.’ [Some men were bleeding; others were barely conscious and had to be carried. One man told us he crawled home on all fours].‘That’s when we realised what had happened. What they had done in every house. Then all hell broke lose.’ Several of the men were somewhat laconic when the interviews began. ‘Joh karte hai, wahi kiya’, Rahim Dar said. ‘They did what they do.’ And indeed they had– with wood, water, electricity–those universal implements for the infliction of finely calibrated pain. JKCCS believes on the basis of preliminary conversations that between hundred to a hundred and twenty men from the two villages were tortured that night. A total of twelve men were interviewed during the course of the day I visited, by three teams of researchers. I think it was after the fourth time I heard mention of medical treatments for sexual dysfunction, that the true irony of the ‘emasculation’ metaphors that are so abundant in talk about the Kunan-Poshpora rapes dawned on me. What I often dismiss as misplaced patriarchal indignation had been repeatedly made flesh that night. ‘Oh! Come on’ I want to say aloud, every time I hear or read the words ‘rape’ ‘our women’ and ‘impotency’ in close proximity–‘It’s NOT about you!’, but this time it was. And it involved wires, needles and a portable DC battery.
A kind of unmooring from the realms of human language has characterised the description of the Kunan Poshpora rapes. District Magistrate S.M Yasin’s report speaks of being unable to put down in ‘black and white’ the acts committed by the ‘beasts’ for instance, and the rape survivors themselves talk of the chaos of a toofaan, of foul smelling shaitaans apparating through their black-outs and disassociated states as they lay in the dark . But, as I listened to the men, ranging in age from 90-year-old Lal Dar (68 at the time of the torture) to 40 year old Manzoor (18 in 1991) their torture seemed to bear a somewhat different relationship to language and the world. What happened to them was nailed to a scaffolding of banal bureaucratic and military terms—interrogation, information, identification, search, cordon, crackdown—and tethered to mundane physical objects and familiar places–-buckets, logs and planks of wood, helmets, torchlights, batteries, wood sheds, barns, streams and trees. As the men spoke I began to picture that night, not as an endless orgy of a horde of rampaging beasts, but as a quiet and efficient military operation, carried out by trained men. Four companies of men from the 4th Rajputana Rifles, 68th Mountain Brigade commanded by a Colonel K.S. Dalal, in fact, as the army itself admits in police statements. Alpha and Delta Companies were deployed in the outer cordon, Bravo and Charlie in the search and interrogation. While teams of ten to twenty soldiers, sometimes headed by an officer who they were heard referring to as ‘Sir’, went on a systematic house to house search, rooting men out of their beds, demanding to be taken immediately to militants or hidden weapons, strip searching them and burying them in the snow, their comrades were otherwise engaged. Most of the commissioned officers were deployed at the ‘interrogation centres’ according to the army. Two kuthars (large barn like outbuildings for storing grain, fodder and cattle) within yards of each other, belonging to Asad Dar and the village numberdar (revenue official) Aziz Shah, and Abli Dar’s home, on the main lane of Kunan’s maze of winding alleys, were quickly commandeered and their lofts or rooms converted into make shift ‘interrogation centers’, while their compounds formed a holding space for the men. All three were provided with the same basic equipment – a bench fashioned out of planks of wood, a large wooden log, a bucket of chilli water, a couple of wires connected to a radio battery forming a crude live-circuit, assorted sticks and ropes, a few chairs, and somewhere to suspend the men from–but adaptations were made according to available resources and geography. For instance, in Asad Dar’s yard through which the village stream ran, repeated dunking in its icy depths formed part of the standard procedure. At two of the compounds, Aziz Shah’s and Abli Dar’s where firewood was stored in the wood-shed a bonfire was lit, around which parka-clad soldiers chatted and drank, and villagers recovered from their water treatments. At Asad Dar’s kuthar a tall, fair and somewhat chubby faced officer sat on a chair before a wireless set, giving orders and flashing his torchlight. Downstairs, in all three yards, men squatted or stood in the snow waiting for their possible turns on the equipment. Occasionally when they went up, they saw a neighbour or brother who was before them in line, slumped on the floor at the head of the stairs. Some like Salim Dar, whose brother was a surrendered militant, paid a visit to two of the three centers. He still walks on crutches as a result.
The village of Kunan has changed in twenty-two years. It is no longer ‘the huddle of thatched and wooden houses’ that journalists described in 1991 (‘Indian Villagers Tell of Mass Rape by Soldiers’, The Independent, March 19, 1991). Buildings have been torn down, and rebuilt in brick, cement and tin. The chashma (natural spring) that emerged from the earth behind Aziz Shah’s kuthar has dried up, and only a muddy depression now marks the spot. Ghulam Afzal walked with us around the hamlet amidst squawking chickens and curious children, pointing out the sights– ‘this is where the Abli Dar’s old kuthar stood, that there- is his new house…this is the wood shed in which I hid, this is the nallah along which Naba ran, this used to all be clear ground then…’ For some reason, seeing those buildings brought home to me an intimation of what it was like to be a man from Kunan-Poshpora on that night, in a way even their words hadn’t.
What was it like, I found myself imagining, to be squatting in your own snowy barn yard, drowning in your tin bucket, broken and blubbering on your hard granary floor, blinded by chillies from your own store? And then all the hypotheticals began, as my mind ran on and on. How did it feel I wondered to hear the sounds coming from the village? Yah Khudaiyo! Yah Khudaiyo! Could you hear them over the sounds of the interrogation? Pakistan, Militants, Samaan, Information, Bol Saala! Could you hear them over the groans of your neighbours? Could you hear them over your own yells? Which was worse–to definitely identify the scream of a loved one, or merely contemplate if it was them, through the fog of your insensibility? What was it like to be told you could leave in the morning, to be given painkillers by the army doctor, (Capt. Dr Shyam Sundar accompanied the unit according to his own police statement), to come home and realise what had seemed so far like a recurring nightmare—another crackdown, agonising but vaguely familiar –had been another kind of visitation altogether? And then, to unable to leave or get help for two days, because of the army siege around the village? To have no family or neighbours to turn to, because everyone you knew, was in precisely the same state as you? What kind of courage did it take to be Abdullah the compounder, from neighbouring Trehgam who snuck into the village using the back route through Chopan Mohalla, to deliver what analgesics and first-aid he could knowing it to be hopelessly inadequate? Or most unimaginably of all, to be Abdul Wani. To return from an over night business trip to Srinagar and find your front door broken, your two sons in bed electrocuted, your wife and three daughters raped, and your family’s barn turned into the village torture chamber? How does one live with such knowledge? And having held one’s peace for twenty two years, how does one begin to tell a stranger with a note book, not about what was done to the women, not about what was done to the never to be named teenaged girls, but what was done to you, to your own aging and scarred body, all those many years ago?
That night is full of other kinds of silences, not as innocent but just as tortured. What can one say of Abdul Ghani, the police constable who was related to several families in the village who accompanied the soldiers on their rounds, and signed a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) the next morning stating that the villagers had no complaints? He appears in many accounts like some kind of will o’ the wisp with a torch light— relaying messages between houses and family members; accompanying one man back to his home to fetch more firewood, allowing him to peep in through the windows and see his wife on the kitchen floor but not to enter; giving water to a woman with a broken spine; getting locked in a cow shed for remonstrating with soldiers; carrying a cousin home on his back in the morning, weeping as he related what he had witnessed. How do we begin to disentangle the betrayal, the subversion, the unlooked for kindness of it all? Constable Abdul Ghani Dar’s statement of what he heard, saw, and did that night, would have formed a crucial part of the prosecution evidence, if the case ever comes to be tried in a court of law. But ‘unidentified gunmen’ murdered Abdul Ghani in his bed in 1993, pumping thirty bullets into his gut, rendering his words hearsay, and obliterating them from the legal record.
Several other critical eyewitnesses have died in twenty two years, including Sharif-ud-din Sheikh who led the fight to get the police report registered and the case heard in the State Human Rights Commission. Some have died as a result of their rape or torture that night, others from age, bullets or disease. By some estimates from villagers, fifteen of the rape survivors have had hysterectomies. Along the way I lost count of the many other surgeries, unsuccessful treatments, chronic aches, intolerable pains and nameless ailments I heard described. One, however stood out. Lal Dar, whose knee was shattered by a rifle-butt early in the proceedings, and who spent most of the night sprawled in the snow outside his home watching the comings and goings of the men, said that he subsequently had two surgeries, the second to remove his knee cap. He said he could not bend his left leg any longer. He finds it hard to pray.
It came as a surprise. I don’t think any one, even amongst the organisers of the event at Sher- e Kashmir Park, on December 10th, had expected that women from the two villages would come. It was assumed that the survivors would be represented by members of the Village Committee, elderly men folk from Kunan and Poshpora, themselves survivors of the mass torture that took place on the night of February 23rd-24th, 1991. But the women had come, almost thirty of them. They had arrived in Srinagar by Matador van, leaving their homes in Kunan and Poshpora at seven in the morning, when the frost was still hard on their windows. I had met some of them before, but it was different seeing them here in Srinagar. I couldn’t remember all their names; their biographies had come detached from their faces. Many of them hugged me.https://kafila.online/2014/01/20/kunan-poshpora-the-other-story-shrimoyee-nandini-ghosh/
I remembered S. though, one of the more outspoken survivors I had met— her sharp, twinkly eyes behind thick, black rimmed granny glasses, her wide smile full of crooked teeth, in a face wrinkled and brown like a walnut. We had met at Kunan, in August 2013, when I accompanied a legal research team, from Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS) who was representing them in their recently renewed litigation against the Indian army. She had spoken fiercely about the injustice of it all; the many outrages that she read about everyday in the papers, her desire to see such criminals behind bars for life. Her anger was loud and visceral. But when it came to the actual events of that night, she had refused to answer any questions. She had a terrible headache, she said. She could not wait, she had blood pressure, she was dizzy—she had to leave, she always felt like this when she thought of that night, she would not talk to us anymore. It was the only interview that had to be abandoned half way. Today, she was complaining about the long journey, ‘bumping-bumping-bumping all the way.’ ‘We should have come by Sumo’, she grumbled. But, it seemed to me that despite this, she couldn’t quite mask her delight at being out in the sunshine. In the open, amidst the falling leaves, outside the shadows of their men folk, their kitchens, their village, the women grew garrulous. S. told me of her daughters, one married to a doctor, the other working at the Social Welfare Department. At one point, Gul Fatima, from the Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, wife to a disappeared man, came over to the group of Kunan Poshpora’s women. ‘Where are you from?’ she asked them. ‘From Kupwara’ S. replied, naming the district. Then, a shadow seemed to cross her face. ‘Kunan – Poshpora’ she said. We’re here from Kunan Poshpora.’
Many of the women from Kunan Poshpora, did not wish to be photographed. The cameras made them uneasy. Some of their children, and grand children they said, did not know their stories. They huddled together and covered their faces with scarves, but the photographers persisted. It felt undignified– cringing behind shawls, cowering under ‘We Demand Justice for Kunan Poshpora’ posters, being asked to join the circle and sit in the appropriate place like an errant schoolgirl, when one had wandered away to avoid the cameras. In 2004, Manipuri women activists protesting the rape and killing of Thangjam Manorama had shocked us by their dramatic inversion of the figure of the cowering and shamed raped woman. Stark naked, they had stood in front of the Assam Rifles Base at Imphal, holding a banner that read ‘Indian Army Rape Us’. The photograph had made headlines across the world. I thought of it as I pleaded with a particularly intrusive photographer on behalf of the women to ‘please respect their privacy’. At this, he turned around and asked me, ‘Why have they been asked to come here, then?’ .I didn’t really have a good answer. It is true. We do need them. We want to have their pictures. We want to put faces to their tragedies, to commemorate their losses and violations. We need them to remind us that we remember, that we have not lost the battle against forgetting yet.
After I got home, the women of Kunan Poshpora, and their attitude to the news-cameras, made me think of a question. Would the agitations against the Shopian rapes in 2009, have been so angry, so volatile, so strong, if Asiya and Neelofar had lived? If they had survived, would we have heard of them at all? And if we had, what particular stories would we hear? Perhaps their rapes would have been covered up, as so many have been in the villages of Kunan and Poshpora, in the name of marriages, families, reputations, futures, for the sake of preserving innocence. A raped dead body makes for an uncomplicated heroine– worthy of both victimhood, and martyrdom. But a living rape survivor is a different being altogether. Her speech and her silences are more fraught. The women of Kunan Poshpora have been voices, not victims through these twenty three years. They have spoken back to the forces of occupation, before media crews, independent fact finders, the police, the state human rights commission and the courts of law. But, they constantly remind us– by covering up before our cameras, by getting dizzy, by blanking out, by her reticence before our questions, that we are all incriminated in her secret yet public shame.
2023.06.04 09:18 ninerninerjuliett Best HF recipes I've had in 2023 so far, in order (to the best of my memory)
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2023.06.01 20:47 Barron_Gee Frozen chicken Cordon bleu with sriracha and sides
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2023.06.01 00:05 Twayneeded Nov 2022
2023.05.29 17:03 armleglegarmhead Chicken cordon bleu. Boneless thighs wrapped on ham and swiss. Cooked on charcoal
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2023.05.28 09:54 Omologist Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger Who thought chicken cordon bleu can be turned into a burger. Here is a simple Chicken Cordon Bleu Burger recipe that you can make any time.
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2023.05.27 20:25 RemyRatio Three Thai Interviews - Translated & Summarized
Hello there, three interviews from small Thai medias which I think it's a good read and Moa's love for Thai foods makes my heart swell. These interviews deserve more attention.submitted by RemyRatio to BABYMETAL [link] [comments]
Since the interviews were originally translated from Japanese, to English, then to Thai, so I do not want to attempt translating them back to English word by word without seeing their original English conversation. Instead, I will summarize and paraphrase them into bullet points.
Headbangkok- SU had been wanting to perform PAPAYA in Thailand since she heard it the first time. She is very excited for it.
- MOA calls Thailand "The Land of Smiles". When she was very young, she was shown the picture of Thai people riding an elephant and she got to draw them, so since then it had been her dream to visit Thailand.
- MOA claims to know Thailand well (and so she went on and on about Thailand to prove it) She visited Thailand with her family before. They went to many temples, Maeklong Railway Market, The One Ratchada Night Market and many floating markets. She enjoyed trying many foods while being there.
- MOA said Thailand is a beautiful country with diverse cultures. There are places she still wants to visit. With her trip to Thailand with her family, she thinks Thailand has beautiful temples, cool Thai massage and great fruits. Also spicy foods like tom yum goong and green curry are out of this world. The street food is also exciting. She is happy to see Thailand on the list and also excited to work with F. HERO again.
- SU said that your music horizon will be expanded when you listen to BABYMETAL. Even being the concept album, they still mix with many genre with many interesting sounds. The OTHER ONE is based on myth and has hidden meaning in the songs. She likes that many fans try to figure out the hidden meaning behind them.
- They chose F. HERO for PAPAYA because they think he is the one who could complete the song. His rap bring so much energy into the song. He is very talented and professional. Moa feels honored to work with him.
- MOA wanted to add that she got to meet his daughter (Chujai) and she was very happy.
- SU never knew metal before BABYMETAL and she used to be afraid of metal at the beginning. But being BM she got to see how much passion the metal artists put in their works, they inspired her and made her fall in love with metal music. Metal music is powerful and has very uplifting spirit.
- MOA used to think that metal is loud and violent. [Regarding people who think negatively of metal] MOA wants them to give metal music a chance, and metal is not about violence. She didn't know metal before but now she listen to metal everyday, so you never know!
-SU said BABYMETAL's strength is their live shows. It will give you different experience from listening to studio record. So she wants everyone to come experiencing it in person.
BLAST- [regarding cancelled Asia tour] Moa said it was a difficult decision. She didn't want to imagine the face of BM fans and staff, and how would they feel. During that time she got to reflect many things in her life. Right now she just wants everyone to be happy and healthy.
- It was the very difficult time during COVID that they had to cancel the tour, also the government restrictions during their 10 years anniversary show. It was difficult to meet anyone. SU is glad they made it through. That's normal become abnormal, so SU would cherish the chance to enjoy the moment that they now have.
- They chose Monochrome to perform the piano version on The First Take because it is interesting how one song can give completely different feelings. It helped them learn that they are capable to do different version well too.
- The concept of THE OTHER ONE is like the paralleled world, and based on the mythology. The more you listen to it, the more the songs would feel different.
- MOA was surprised how dark and heavy THE OTHER ONE is on her first listen (unlike previous BM songs). Every songs sounds the same to her at first, but if you pay attentnion to it, every songs has their own unique flavor.
- MOA loves karaage (fried chicken) so, so much. She could eat it 24/7. She thought about it all the time during the tour.
- The Japanese foods that MOA wants to recommend to Thai fans are: Shabu Shabu (hotpot), Ramen, Okonomiyaki, Udon, Tempura, Katsudon and many more. She was now hungry by just mentioning them. She wants everyone to try these Japanese foods when visiting Japan.
- Not only that MOA had visited Thailand with her family, she also had Thai food in Japan before. [my note: Thai food is pretty popular in Japan] She even has made Pad Thai herself at home. She loves Tom Yum Goong, Chicken Krapow (Thai Basil Chicken) and Curried Crab (ปูผัดผงกะหรี่). She also loves mango sticky rice that she had tried when she visited Thai market. She still wants to try many Thai foods.
- Many of their new songs are designed to be sung-along, so please make sure you know the songs so you can sing along!
Bonus: they made extra graphic for MOA.
MOAMETAL: "Loves karaage fried chicken the most" "Thai foods she loves is Chicken Krapow and Curried Crab"
BananaMaxTV- SU likes Metallica. They are the reason the she is interested in metal. The pioneer of metal. Every time she listens to them would want to move and their music is refreshing to her.
- MOA has many favorite metal artists, but if she has to choose one it would be Metallica. She has 100+ metal songs on her playlist in her phone. She loves metal and too many metal artists.
- SU is interested to learn "Megitsune" a string instrument similar to Shamisen and Koto. (something might be lost in translation because I couldn't find this Megitsune instrument)
- MOA said she learned guitar but she wouldn't say that she "knows" how to play it. The guitar skills needed to play metal is too advance for her. She also said she played guitar on stage with Rob Halford in Japan** (I think she said/remembered it wrong, because it was in Ohio).
- MOA learned to play Shinobue during her school days. She also can make whistle noise from a straw.
- When SU was in singing school, she used to sing slow ballad songs because it's easier for her. Now it's the opposite, now that she knows how fun and intense metal music is, she doesn't think she could go back to sing other genres.
- SU wishes they could collab with Metallica one day.
- When she was younger MOA used to play videogames a lot and she would stay up late at night to play. She has to stop herself from playing too much. She prefers cutesy games over action/fighting games. If you have game recommendation please let her know.
- When MOA visited Thailand with her family, they went to the famous place to try their popular crab omelet, but they had to give up waiting because the line was too long. She wants to have the chance with that place again.
- SU loves history so she would like to visit Ayutthaya) (the old capital), the world heritage site and imagine people's lives back in their old days.
Dad Mom and Rock N Roll Kids[I skipped the first question because SU's answer is literally the same with other interview regarding the new album THE OTHER ONE]
- Moa's favorite track in THE OTHER ONE is Monochrome. She loves the guitar riff and the choreography. The moment they ask the audience to light the venue with their phones is also very beautiful and she always looks forward to it.
- [Regarding the best thing of being in BABYMETAL] There are many experiences that SU would never gotten and people from many countries she would never met had she never been in BABYMETAL. SU barely ever left Japan before BM. SU admits that she was afraid of metal at the beginning because it seems violent to her. But now she no longer holds that opinion. Metal has opened many doors for her. She finally understands things she didn't understand before after she joined the group, and she wouldn't be the person she is today without BABYMETAL.
- Being woman in metal, SU feels like they are the unicorn in metal scene. Not many women in the genre, nobody sings in Japanese, nobody does the dance choreography, they are almost the only one. That's the reason they have gained so much traction over the years. SU heard that many young girls around her age have become metal fans because of their music, that makes her incredibly happy to be a bridge to connect metal with young people.
- [Regarding the hardest part of the show] Moa thinks ALL of it is difficult, but it would become happy memory once they made it through. But right now the biggest challenge is they have added many new songs in the setlist and she has to concentrate a lot on them. Especially in big production shows where everything has to go as planned and no room for error. But seeing everyone's smiles melt her stress away.
- MOA said "your time wasted on our show wouldn't be disappointing". The strength and charm of BABYMETAL is the live shows. It's nothing like seeing it via picture or fancam, so please come to see them in person.
2023.05.27 16:55 Urbaniuk Fave pre-prepared foods at The Butchery and Farm Boy?
2023.05.26 22:37 ieatwhaticook Chicken Cordon Bleu IEWI COOK #shorts #shortsvideo #cordonbleu
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2023.05.26 20:40 Olivesplace Casserole
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2023.05.25 12:22 No-March7309 Sipping buffalo trace and created a butter garlic parmesan angel hair with chicken cordon bleu
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2023.05.25 04:56 Calamander13 Title
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2023.05.24 23:41 ieatwhaticook Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe French Cordon Bleu IEWI COOK
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2023.05.23 03:07 FancyMasterpiece2382 Sipping buffalo trace and created a butter garlic parmesan angel hair with chicken cordon bleu
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2023.05.21 15:42 Vic_Koda Slow-Cooker White Chicken Chili - Lush vs. Ree
2023.05.20 16:21 Unable-Log-1980 [homemade] Chicken Cordon Bleu with dijon mustard sauce
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2023.05.20 11:11 MilkbottleF Eight Stories
A woman has a business driving tour busses through an old people's quarter. The tour is mandatory for all persons reaching the age of forty-five.
The bus is clean, air-conditioned; the seats are upholstered and every seat is always filled. It passes through a ten mile strip of shopping malls before turning into a maze of side streets. Here old people are housed in crowded trailers.
The tour guide speaks to her passengers through a headset. Her voice is stern, matter-of-fact. When she's not speaking, a subdued version of Beethoven's Fifth kicks in.
She points out the sights. This man here, she says, indicating a man staring out a window, once wrote a seven-hundred-and-fifty-page book. And this woman, the one sitting backwards in her rocker, once had a life filled with children and love. This one, she says, indicating a tiny woman in a wheelchair, was called The Woman Who Spreads Her Legs. On motel beds, standing before fireplaces, any time attention was given. In her day she made it a point to select complicated video games for her children so she'd be free of them for a while. The children attacking the games like professional technicians. Where are they now? Never forget, she tells her passengers. This is what some of us come to ...
Not every passenger takes pictures. Some record their impressions on hand-held recorders; some give running commentary on their cells; some wear sunglasses and refuse a window seat; some drop acid and attempt to describe their visions; some take refuge in sleeping pills; some hide small dogs in their jackets though this is not allowed; some sit wide-eyed in the front rows; some lie drunk in the back ...
During my tour I cracked quotes to the comatose. I said, "On the bottom of the sky is a man standing on earth, flapping his arms." I said, "Seven billion years before my birth I was an Iris." I said, "You're all assholes—God love ya!"
Since the milkman handles your account we will not be calling upon you to speak before the Assembly. If the Assembly was once interested in what you had to say, this is no longer the case. Your petition for a new mindset has been declined. The Assembly has decided that Loafing, your brand of illuminated living, as you call it—of Buddhist-envy married to brash Western temperaments—is not a feasible mindset for the twenty-first century. The twenty-first century will be dominated, like all the other centuries, by a mindset of doom.
Furthermore, the milkman has filed his report and it is not favourable. You have been pink-slipped as a cultural entrepreneur. The milkman knows all your vices and your needs and will be able to give us an up-to-the-minute accounting of your condition on your behalf. Not that it will be of any help to you. As far as the Assembly is concerned you are a shut book. Do not consider an appeal. Your personal example of illuminated living has tipped the scales against you.
The milkman believes he understands your condition better than anyone and is naturally concerned at your declining milk consumption. He is also concerned about the pile of vomit that has been appearing on your doorstep each and every morning of late. He fails to understand the message contained therein. About the quarrelsome bull tethered to the side of your house, the milkman has lost all patience.
Decked out in khaki shorts and pith helmets and carrying butterfly nets, they have mounted an expedition. They are curious: Where do all the lost minds go? Lost minds, they believe, are like butterflies disconnected from flowers.
Marching behind a flag that says Reunion, the expedition heads towards the local dump and the mountain there of kitchen sinks, TV sets, wet mattresses, and car parts. They expect to find lost minds blowing about the garbage—broken bits of memory, the odd disintegrating word.
En route, they pass an insane asylum. Behind barred windows black eyes stare at them from the mindless skulls of inmates. The expedition leader waves, calling, "Hold on! Won't be long now!"
The mouths of the inmates open. "Mama," they cry.
I had a baby but it refused me, was not interested in nursing, made no demands. I put it in a closet, in its carrying cot, and when I went to get it, it was gone. The baby was a girl. Briefly, I was upset, panicked, ran looking for help, someone to report to. Ultimately it was to my sister-in-law. She'd moved the baby to another cupboard. "I need that cupboard for towels," she said. It was her cupboard, her towels. Soon after I left my sister-in-law's house. Put the baby into the back seat of the station wagon. Even though the baby still made no demands, I worried she might be hungry and stopped to nurse. She turned her head away. Clearly we were not bonding though I had tried. At home my husband said, "It's hormones, or you're a klutz, or who knows?" Then he lit my right nipple. My right nipple was a candle wick. In fact, I had five nipples located down my right front like a dog's. My husband lit all five. "Got to celebrate something," he said. But what? Then I remembered. Your birthday! Now I am back in the station wagon driving around with five burning nipples, your Happy Birthday song still sweet on my lips, and a baby who won't give me the time of day. But here's the thing: because of those nipples you get to make one birthday wish.
I have a conversation with George Inkwell, the famous breast historian. The occasion is a reception in his honour.
George Inkwell is tall, cadaverous-looking, and has a prominent nose. During our conversation he leans forward and strokes my breasts, all the while lamenting, "It's a shame the breast has become so hidden during this age. We've had thousands of years of civilized breasts nourishing the species in all and every manner, and now the practice is to hide them away. Breasts should be served on a plate and celebrated."
He sighs. It's difficult for him to properly stroke my breasts because, as usual, they're encased—first in a sheath of elastic, then in layers of cotton and wool. To please George Inkwell, I unbind them and arrange them on a dinner plate that also acts as a tray for my glass of wine. Soon other women do the same thing—breasts of all sizes are served up for George Inkwell's historic appreciation.
He roams the reception room gawking and smiling ...
Thanks to George Inkwell I've discovered my life's work. I will become a pioneer—a penis historian. Even though I am small, anonymous-looking, and unlikely to command attention—which incidentally is the description of many pioneers—I will visit public gatherings with my bullhorn and holler, "You men might like to untangle your penises from the bowels of your boxers!"
I may be carted away as a maniac, but I won't be deterred. Following George Inkwell's lead, I will compile a scholarly work on my subject. Eventually there will be acclaim and parties in my honour.
"Penises could do with some fresh air after all the centuries they've been hidden away like worms!" I'll tell my audiences jovially. At which point penises of all sizes will swing free through trouser fronts. Penis Flopping will become the fashion craze that culminates my life's work and ...
Women and children, dogs and forgotten grannies, will roam the streets of our cities gawking and smiling ...
The poet's wife is a saintly person. To keep body and soul together—to allow the poet to write his scintillating poems— she gives piano lessons to hemophiliacs. They love her instruction because she allows them to dispense with the pounding, fortissimo movements, allows them to brush the keys ever so slightly. And what results is a delicate, whispery music, bloodless, divine.
There was a slaughterhouse inside the bus station. Waiting for my bus I watched a group of children playing tag amongst the hung carcasses, running with meat cleavers in their hands, slipping in the blood, and laughing. When a small girl flung a chicken at a boy's head, knocking him to the ground, I rushed over. "Go play somewhere else," I yelled. Eighty-five chickens a minute were having their throats slashed by a mechanical arm, each chicken hanging from hooks that whizzed past the seated people waiting for the bus. "Go find something else to do," I told the children, parting the line of chickens like a bloody curtain to reveal the splendid cityscape that the bus would soon take us through ...
Mooly Banks, that woman over there in the white apron, is our hero. She's the one who climbs the cliff each morning to the very top. Climbs over craggy rock with her baby strapped to her chest. From down here we watch through binoculars as she picks her way over the mouths, noses, and foreheads of our ancestors, the men and women whose likenesses are carved into the cliff side. No one except Mooly Banks ever reaches the top, or even tries, because the top is miles up there. We know she's finally reached her destination when the sky starts to lower towards us. This is because Mooly Banks has grabbed the thick rope that dangles between the stars and is pulling and pulling on it. When she pulls the rope the cliff descends too, eventually to flatten out like squished clay. Soon enough we can look at the faces of our ancestors up close like they were intricately designed paving stones. Tracing our hands over their softened features gives us pleasure and is more intimate than gazing at them from afar.-- M.A.C. Farrant. Collected in The Breakdown so Far (Talonbooks, 2007). Previously: Twenty Stories
2023.05.20 06:58 Unable-Log-1980 Chicken Cordon Bleu and mustard sauce
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2023.05.20 05:11 Unable-Log-1980 Chicken Cordon Bleu and mustard sauce
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2023.05.19 23:06 XRPcook Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Honey Dijon
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2023.05.19 23:06 XRPcook Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Honey Dijon
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2023.05.19 22:23 XRPcook Chicken Cordon Bleu w/ Honey Dijon
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