Hiroshima Hiroshima!

On August 6, 1945, an American B-29 bomber named the Enola Gay left the island of Tinian for Hiroshima, Japan carrying the uranium 235 gun-type bomb, named Little Boy. The atomic bomb exploded at 8:16 a.m., in an instant 80,000 to 140,000 people were killed and 100,000 more were seriously injured.

Three days later, another American B-29 bomber, Bock’s Car, left Tinian carrying Fat Man, a plutonium implosion-type bomb. With the primary target unavailable, the secondary target, the Mitsubishi Torpedo Plant at Nagasaki was chosen. he bomb exploded at 11:02 a.m. over the narrow Urakami Valley northwest of downtown Nagasaki. Of the 286,000 people living in Nagasaki at the time of the blast, 74,000 people were killed and another 75,000 sustained severe injuries.

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For all of the ’NextZen dudes’ out there who believes 9/11 is the biggest tragedy ever happened on the face of earth – please do not forget the biggest genocide of our codified human history. Hiroshima & Nagasaki!

From BBC History of World War II: Hiroshima

It’s for us too – who are unnerved by the deepened horror and outrage at the U.S. romance of ruthlessness, its self-destructive unilateralist wars and preemptive first strike doctrines, its commitments to build new nuclear and more usable weapons, its assaults on the U.N. and NPT systems, its wars from Iraq to Afghanistan, and from Lebanon to Mindinao. In our many ways we are all more deeply resolved to resist Empire. We are all OK to see the bombed out baby-food factories in search of weapons of mass destruction!

Many of us will take the tears of our Filipina sister whose people are still suffering and dying from the poisonous legacies of U.S. colonialism and military bases. We carry with us the pain of our Japanese friends and allies as their country is drawn deeper into the military alliance with the U.S. and they suffer human and environmental costs of the expansion of the U.S. bases across this beautiful country. We take with us the anger and fears of theChamoro people in Guam who know well what the destructive impacts of the renewed military colonization of their nation will mean for them. We carry the still deep wounds inflicted on the Vietnamese people…..

Many of us will never forget Hiroshima…

It is a little-known fact that 3,000 civilian U.S. citizens were in Hiroshima at the time of the bombing-about the same number as were killed on 9/11. Most were women and children, and history has nearly succeeded in erasing them. They are rarely mentioned because nearly all of them were either wholly or partly ethnically Japanese. They were wives and children of Japanese-Americans, who had gone to visit relatives and then been trapped by the war.

White House Press Release on Hiroshima (President Truman)

Both science and industry worked under the direction of the United States Army, which achieved a unique success in managing so diverse a problem in the advancement of knowledge in an amazingly short time. It is doubtful if such another combination could be got together in the world. What has been done is the greatest achievement of organized science in history. It was done under high pressure and without failure.

We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war.

…..

I shall recommend that the Congress of the United States consider promptly the establishment of an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States. I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence towards the maintenance of world peace.

Reportage from Hell! (Source)

Eiko Taoka, then 21, was one of nearly 100 passengers said to have been on board a streetcar that had left Hiroshima Station at a little after 8:00 a.m. and was in a Hatchobori area, 750 m from ground zero, when the bomb fell. Taoka was heading for Funairi with her one year old son to secure wagon in preparation for her move out of the building which was to be evacuated. At 8:15, as the streetcar approached Hatchobori Station, an intense flash and blast engulfed the car, instantly setting it on fire. Taoka’s son died of radiation sickness on August 28. The survival of only ten people on the streetcar have been confirmed to date.

When we were near in Hatchobori and since I had been holding my son in my arms, the young woman in front of me said, I will be getting off here. Please take this seat.’ We were just changing places when there was a strange smell and sound. It suddenly became dark and before I knew it, I had jumped outside…. I held [my son] firmly and looked down on him. He had been standing by the window and I think fragments of glass had pierced his head. His face was a mess because of the blood flowing from his head. But he looked at my face and smiled. His smile has remained glued in my memory. He did not comprehend what had happened. And so he looked at me and smiled at my face which was all bloody. I had plenty of milk which he drank all throughout that day. I think my child sucked the poison right out of my body. And soon after that he died. Yes, I think that he died for me.

Ms. Akiko Takakura was 20 years old when the bomb fell. She was in the Bank of Hiroshima, 300 meters away from the hypocenter. Ms. Takakura miraculously escaped death despite over 100 lacerated wounds on her back. She is one of the few survivors who was within 300 meters of the hypocenter. She now runs a kindergarten and she relates her experience of the atomic bombing to children.

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Many people on the street were killed almost instantly. The fingertips of those dead bodies caught fire and the fire gradually spread over their entire bodies from their fingers. A light gray liquid dripped down their hands, scorching their fingers. I, I was so shocked to know that fingers and bodies could be burned and deformed like that. I just couldn’t believe it. It was horrible. And looking at it, it was more than painful for me to think how the fingers were burned, hands and fingers that would hold babies or turn pages, they just, they just burned away. For a few years after the A-bomb was dropped, I was terribly afraid of fire. I wasn’t even able to get close to fire because all my senses remembered how fearful and horrible the fire was, how hot the blaze was, and how hard it was to breathe the hot air. It was really hard to breathe. Maybe because the fire burned all the oxygen, I don’t know. I could not open my eyes enough because of the smoke, which was everywhere. Not only me but everyone felt the same. And my parts were covered with holes.

We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that one way or another.

~ J. Robert Oppenheimer (scientific director of the Manhattan Project,)

The Science of Sleep

I am eagerly waiting for the French Director Michel Gondry’s [IMDB] new movie Science des rêves, La or The Science of Sleep DVD [Movie Website]!

Here goes the trailer from YouTube

The last movie by Gondray was Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) – and I was mesmerized by that!! Michel Gonddry moves between reality and imagination effortlessly in his movies. Neither wholly cynical nor wholly romantic, Eternal Sunshine… is a balance of smarts and sentiment. It’s the most fully realized working out of his two favorite obsessions: the subjective nature of experience and the psychological mysteries of pair bonding. Like the lovers in “Human Nature,” “Sunshine’s” Joel and Clementine are guided by their synapses and hormones, but it is the willfully amnesiac heart, which forgives what it can’t forget, that sets the true course of love.

In case you forgot about that or haven’t watched yet – here goes a synopsis. Eternal Sunshine… is written by mt favourite screenplay writer Charlie Kaufman

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Emotionally withdrawn Joel Barish (Carrey) and Clementine Kruczynski (Winslet), a dysfunctional free spirit, meet for what they think is the first time on a Long Island Rail Road train from Montauk to Rockville Centre. They are unaccountably drawn to each other despite radically different personalities.

As it turns out, they were once sweet-hearts, but after two years their relationship was in a decline. After a nasty fight, Clementine stormed out of Joel’s apartment and impulsively hired a New York firm called Lacuna, Inc., to erase all memories of him. Joel was devastated when he found out what she had done and decided to undergo the procedure himself. However, while unconscious and having his memories of her erased, he rebelled, realizing he wanted to hang on to his memories of her after all. Much of the film takes place in Joel’s mind as he tries to figure out how to preserve some memory of his love for Clementine. We watch their love and courtship go in reverse, as the memories are slowly erased while Joel tries his best to resist the procedure and hide inside his own mind.

In separate and related story arcs, the employees of Lacuna are revealed to be more than peripheral characters, in scenes which further demonstrate the harm caused by the memory-altering procedure. Mary (Dunst) turns out to have had a relationship with the married doctor who heads the company (Wilkinson), a relationship which she agreed to have erased from her memory when his wife discovered the affair. Once she learns of this, she steals the company’s records and sends them to all of its clients. Patrick (Wood), lonely and socially inept, became fixated on Clementine and uses the personal mementos that Joel Barish gave to Lacuna as part of his “erasure” process in order to seduce Clementine. These romantic entanglements turn out to have a critical effect on the main story-line of Joel and Clementine’s relationship.

Dates with Diva

 

Madhubala

It seems both ironic and incongruous that my relationship with the leading lady of Indian cinema in the late 1940s and early 1950s – a relationship that was among the most meaningful in my life, and not only as a film journalist – should have begun on an inauspicious note. For a scene to be shot at China Creek for a Hindi film whose title I cannot now recall, a ban was imposed by Madhubala, or, more correctly, by her formidable father, Khan Ataullah Khan, on film journalists and photographers from visiting that particular set. Hastily, and rather thoughtlessly, the film press responded by imposing a total blackout of Madhubala in the film press. I was appointed, without being consulted, chairman of the blackout committee.

In my considered opinion, then as now, both the ban and the response to it were uncalled for and, worse, ineffective. I told the journalists that the press needed Madhubala as much as Madhubala needed the press. In the dispute, the reaction of her many, many fans was not taken into account. The matter dragged on purposelessly for a couple of months till, one fine morning, Khan Saheb summoned the photographer Ram Aurangbadkar, my right-hand man in Movie Times which I then edited, and told him that the dispute was pointless and, as a gesture of goodwill, invited the film press to a tea party at Madhubala’s residence Arabian Villa in Bandra.

Arabian Villa, a picturesque little cottage in a Bandra side-lane, was one of many such cottages that sprawled all over the suburb in those days. At the villa’s gate, along with the security guards, stood Khan Saheb with a genial smile welcoming us journalists, eight or nine of us. We were taken to a small but elegantly decorated, richly-carpeted, drawing room. Unlike the other filmstar homes I’d visited, not a single portrait of Madhubala adorned the walls.

I hadn’t met Madhubala (her real name was Mumtaz Begum) earlier, but I had seen several of her films and had been impressed by her attractive personality and her obvious budding talent. I wasn’t prepared for the woman I saw slowly descending a curved staircase from the upper floor. It was as if a vision of beauty had achieved form and presence, in a simple white sari and matching sandals, right in front of my eyes, without a touch of make-up. I was so struck that I forgot my manners and didn’t stand up when, before greeting everyone else, she stood before me, her manicured hands together in a namaste.

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