Piano Black – Growth

It’s amazing to see how things grow overtime. We see plants grow, we see babies grow, one can even see the day “grow” into the night and the night grow into day but what about when the growth is mental and internal rather than physical and external?

I am pretty sure this is what I am going through right now. It all began with me taking a GT Mentorship class at my school. Without Mentorship, I would never have had to challenge my convictions that were so firmly planted in my head. In the class, I was required to write a number of papers (Family history, Personal philosophy, Personal strategy  paper just to name a few). As I was writing these papers, I discovered that I wasn’t writing for a grade or for the class, I was writing for myself.

To answer those loaded questions courageously, was a feat in itself. Why? Well, I felt that I must answer these questions the only way I knew how to answer any question; colorfully candid. For the first semester of my high-school career as a senior, I wrote my little heart out. I wrote everything I knew about my past, present and what I hoped to be in my future. The life that I came to live, and the love I came to give was now all on paper, all the words I couldn’t say. After writing, you would think I know everything there is to know about myself and all of this baggage, but I don’t think it works like that. In fact, I latched on to how much I did not know myself as much as I would like to think I did. I let go of all the baggage that was crowding my space by writing my little stories. Writing my stories, I felt like I was breathing new life into my ideas..

How exciting right? I’d like to think so. I’ve flourished as an individual because I have hope in myself and in society. Now moving onto the second semester of my GT Mentorship class we are required to do a project, it could be on any level of difficulty. As long as it is something that the person or group wants to do it. Taking GT Mentorship as well as doing this project really took a hold on me. Like I was a part of something much bigger than myself. To know that I am every little piece of society and society is every little piece of me. It is exhilarating really. I always thought of myself as the type of person who was not willing to do anything unless I knew exactly what the end result would be.

Way to play it safe huh? That’s when reality sets in, and I grasped the concept of “hey, maybe I shouldn’t be so worried about the end result, I should just see what happens.” That symbolized a growth of intellect to me. It gets so thrilling, busting my brains for the world. With each draft, each post, each journal entry, I am giving a little piece of my heart.  It’s fascinating really, doing all of this, knowing there’s so much to lose.

- Piano Black

Dynamic Duo – Give a Warm Welcome to Piano Black

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A week or so ago Greta Christina asked if anyone was willing to mentor a high school skeptic who had wanted some help for a project. And I was deeply impressed by her plans to bring science education to the masses.

And so I figured that this young lady has some pretty new things to say and that her quest is just! And I asked if she wanted to blog here as part of her project.

So say welcome to Piano Black, a 17 year old American Skeptic.

- Avicenna

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Dear Russia

I got a hold of Dr. Lively (Doctor of Theology)’s letter to Russia cooing about how it was responsible for the frankly terrifying anti-gay propaganda law. Basically? It’s a law that cannot be repealed since the law protects itself from being repealed since any attempts to change it are by nature Pro-Gay.  [Read more...]

Age of Kali – Hyderabad

It’s pretty quiet, the majority of the people are staying home today. The few shops that are open have few people in them.

My cases were not as astonishing as the scenes from yesterday. Cuts and bruises, headaches and fevers. My job is relief. Fresh meat for the grinder and a warm body who can still stand vigil over the sick while the heroes from yesterday get rest. Don’t… I know what I am doing and I know what they are doing and yesterday was a day no should ever have to have. It is the price for fanaticism. It is the price for unquestionable faith in any god.

When people from Bangladesh suggested that Taslima and other Atheists were apostates and were tarnishing the reputation of Islam then what do they consider this? These are the men who are the “purest” of muslims are they not? These are the men who will dominate your country. This is the price you will have to keep paying because rather than create an equal society you wish for a one based on the Quran. In a theocracy, the fundamentalist is king.

It is believed that these bombs were strapped to messenger bicycles. These are the kind that are seen everywhere in India. From the ride of the newspaper wallah to the ice cream man. To the dhobi, the iron man and the cobbler. It is the ride of the spice merchant and the milkman and now it is the chosen vehicle of the terrorist.  The humble bicycle. How can you even defend against that? What next? Rollerblades? Hah! It certainly would put the Rad in Radical Islam!

The blame game has started out here to find out who’s at fault. The fact of the matter is that these kinds of attacks cannot be “defended against”. How long can you fortify one particular target? What if they simply go to another target? How many humans can you search in a country of 1.2 billion? How many cars? Buses? Autos? Bicycles? How long?

The fact of the matter is that these explosives could have done a lot lot more damage. If rumours are to be believed there were other devices that failed to explode today. But then again? People aren’t sure if there were 2 or 3 bombs…

The fault is believed to lie in the hands of the Indian Mujahadeen who are a local terror outfit whose sole purpose is the formation of a new Indian Islamic State. They have been funded by organisations such as the ISI (Pakistan’s Intelligence Agency) in the past and are one of the major sore points in the relationships between the two countries.

Jihadi war has come again to India with more than a dozen dead and more than a hundred injured.

There are stories like that of Vijay, Rajashekar, Harish and Sapna. Other names I have heard are Izad, Ramulu, Ali, Andalu, Krishnakanth, Rafi and Tirupati. All young men and women cut down in their prime. People ask why should you mention the names of those who die. Because I would rather the names of those who suffer live on in our minds than the names of the people who do this.

Let’s not beat around the bush. We call those who commit such crimes “Cowards” not because they are cowards but because they refuse to engage us in a straight fight. We can fight a straight fight, what we are fighting is a shadowy figure that manipulates it’s pawns. Terrorism is the hydra and cutting it’s heads off only stalls for time. You need to strike at it’s heart. The people who are the foot soldiers… the arms of terror if you will are also youths just like these victims. They are both victims in different ways. Their horrid faith and their ghastly leaders inculcate this hatred in them. They grab the desperate and disillusioned and give them purpose. And that purpose is to kill. The only truth in war is that it always is young men killing young men for reasons that often are pointless.

In fact the majority of the casualties are youths. This was an attack on the young men and women who are the future of India. And as the news filters in of stories you cannot help but worry as to how India will respond. Will there be the repeat of the horrors that made me the atheist I am today, or will India rise above that. But the damage is done. There is a tangible feeling of bravado to cover up the very real fear of fighting a shadow war.

And one story in this entire tragedy would be funny if it weren’t so tragic. There is a man called Mirza Abdul Wasey who nearly died in 2007, when the Indian Mujahadeen last brought terror to Hyderabad. He was injured again by the same group’s actions last night.

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Or you might just go crazy…