Sea Otters can save the world from global warming!

A new study says :

Sea Otters can save the world from environmental collapse. All they have to do is what comes naturally — keep eating Sea Urchins. More Otters means less Urchins, and less Urchins means more healthy kelp forests. More healthy kelp forests means less CO2. According to the researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, ‘a thriving Sea Otter population that keeps Sea Urchins in check will in turn allow kelp forests (Kelp forests are underwater areas with a high density of kelp. They are recognized as one of the most productive and dynamic ecosystems on Earth) to prosper. The spreading kelp can absorb as much as 12 times the amount of CO2 from the atmosphere than if it were subject to ravenous Sea Urchins. Sea Otters have a positive indirect effect on kelp biomass by preying on Sea Urchins, a kelp grazer.’

Awwww. I was almost kissing a Sea Otter for it could save the world. I was so happy but a man named Ian Chant said, ‘It’s not a ton of help!’
Me: Why not?
Ian Chant: ‘Climate change is exacerbated by greenhouse gas emissions that come from pretty much everything cool that humans do from driving cars to operating power plants to farming cattle!…’
Me: We know it. Don’t we? Tell me what should we do now? Should we give up hope?
Ian Chant: ‘Kelp beds where otters hang out are some of the most efficient CO2 absorbers known to us. But sea urchins love to eat some kelp bed.’
Me: And Sea Otters love to eat sea urchins.
Ian Chant: ‘Yes, but it’s not a ton of help, ultimately, but considering the greenhouse gas emissions mess we’re in — and how much worse it could get — man, we’ll take any help we can get’.
Me: Yes, we should take any help we can get. It makes sense.

But the Sea Otter, a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean is dying. Sea Otters are killed by Sharks. But we should not kill sharks to save Sea Otters. Lots of Sea Otters die because of protozoan parasites, Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, that are known to breed in cats and opossums. Sea Otters are dying because cat owners flush used litter down the toilet! (Outdoor cat eats rodent or bird infected with Toxoplasma gondii parasite. Parasite develops in cat’s gut and its eggs are released in scat. Eggs travel through runoff or are flushed into sewers. Eggs end up in the ocean and are ingested by mussels, clams and oysters. Otter eats shellfish; eggs infect the otter’s brain and organs and kill it.) Sea Otters are also killed by thorny-headed worms dropped into the ocean by seabirds. And they get killed because of industrial chemicals, algae blooms and other toxins linked to coastal pollution. Toxic algae that blooms triggered by urea, a key ingredient in fertilizer. How does it happen? Again, through shellfish, shellfish eats everything and Sea Otters eat shellfish.

The truth is, we will not able to save Sea Otters from dying because we are unable to stop seabirds from dropping thorny-headed worms into the ocean, to stop shellfish from eating everything whatever they get, to stop sharks from biting Sea Otters and, moreover, we are unable stop ourselves from polluting our oceans.

We are killing them

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) today released a list of Asian species that are at a conservation crossroads calling for governments to take immediate action with The Three Rs Approach: Recognition, Responsibility, Recovery.

The list includes: the tiger, orangutans, Mekong giant catfish, Asian rhinos, Asian giant river turtles, and Asian vultures. The announcement was made at the IUCNs World Conservation Congress convening in Jeju, South Korea through Sept. 13.

WCS says that each species can follow the path of the passenger pigeon, which went extinct in the early 20th century, or the bison, which was saved using the three Rs approach. In the case of the bison, which was decimated by over-hunting, its plight was recognized, responsibility was taken, and recovery resulted with more than 30,000 wild individuals in existence today.

Asian species will not be saved. They will go extinct. We poison them. We kill them. We are very good at killing. Hundreds of joyous people brutally killed a Royal Bengal Tiger in Bangladesh. I am ashamed of being born in a land of nasty, brutal people.

Happy Teachers Day, Papa!

My father was a medical doctor. He was a rational man in a deeply religious society. He was born in a poor illiterate family. But he went to a school against his family’s wishes. He moved from his village to a city with a dream to become a doctor. He struggled a lot to make his dream come true. He did not have money to buy medical books. He used to borrow books from his classmates when they were about to go to sleep at night. After studying he returned their books early in the morning. He was the best student in the medical college.

He never prayed, and he never believed in superstitions. He taught me to believe in science, not in religion. He did not let anyone to force me or convince me to wear burqa. He did not let anyone to force me into marriage when social norm was to force teenage daughters to drop out of school and to marry someone. All my father wanted for me was to be an educated and enlightened person.

My father was a professor at the medical college where I studied medicine. He was my teacher. Without my father, I know very well that it would have been impossible for me to be the person I am today. He taught me to live without fear and walk with head held high.

When my father fell ill, I begged, pleaded, and cried to be allowed to see him in his last days. The Government of Bangladesh refused to permit me entry. My father died.

I am shedding tears for him today. In gratitude, I bow my head today.

Happy Teachers Day, Papa.

Some famous male writers in Bengal are worse than Muslim religious fanatics.

”It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”— Noel Coward

Religious fanatics issue fatwas and demand the book banning of the writers who challenge them. Their demonstrations and processions end to a cul-de-sac or to a mosque.

But megalomaniac, misogynistic, macho male writers and their male dominated media are able to go far beyond mosques and can ban you, blacklist you, and banish from your land if you ever dare to challenge them. They are much more influential than moulavis and mullahs, much more clever and dangerous than idiot ignorant zombies.

Islamic fundamentalists in the Indian subcontinent can not ban books. It is the government who ban books to please the fundamentalists. They often fulfill the demands of fundamentalists for their own political interests. We know about politicians. Don’t we? But we expect writers and intellectuals to protest against banning and censorship. They do, but not always. If you are not submissive to big male writers and if you do not follow all the patriarchal rules of literary world, your life will be hell. They could not tolerate that me a much younger writer selling more books than them, and I was not scared to challenge their male dominated fake literary world full of lies and hypocrisy. They are powerful, because they control male dominated media and keep very good relation with corrupt corporates and people in the power.
They are lords. They can do anything they want. One of them was Syed Shamsul Haque, an abuser and a liar. He not only banned my book, he filed a million dollar libel case against me. What was my crime? My crime was I wrote what he told me about his emotional relationship with his sister-in-law and how he dishonored me. He knows very well that I will not be able to defend myself, the government does not allow me to enter Bangladesh and there is no one in the country who has courage to stand beside me, and he is in the land where no democracy but idiocracy rules, and in this situation, it will be very easy for him to file case against me and ban the book. He committed crime by banning the book in 2003. It’s 2012, the book is still banned. It was not banned by the government but was banned by the high court because of the law suit of SSH, the famous hypocrite writer, the supporter of banning and censorship. No trial took place. Only the heinous crime against the truth took place. What have the local human rights activists or women’s rights activists been doing? They love to keep silent. They are mostly power worshipers, anti-feminists, pro-religion.

Another famous writer from the West part of Bengal took initiative to ban my book. He is Sunil Gangopadhyay, a famous Bengali literary guru and the president of Sahitya Akademi. He was behind the banning of my book Dwikhandito in 2003 and was the supporter of my banishment from West Bengal in 2007.

It seems people in the media forgets what they wrote about the role Sunil Gangopadyay played to ban my book in 2003. Some proofs are here:

Sunil Gangopadhyay said to Inter Press Service, “The book has passages of tirade on religion which could incite riots. It is not literature. . . it is almost pornography. It should be banned as it misuses freedom of expression.”

‘Author Sunil Gangopadhyay, one of those who support the ban said, ..people who bother to read it will be disappointed.’ Another Indian newspaper wrote, ‘Several noted authors including the poet Sunil Gangopadhyay, the novelists, Dibyendu Palit, Nabanita Deb Sen, and Syed Mustafa Siraj, the Bangladeshi novelist, Sams-ul Huq, the singer Suman Chatterjee, as well as the Trinamul Congress leader and Kolkata mayor, Subrata Mukherjee, among others, have come out openly against the book and have supported the decision by the state LF government to get the book banned.‘ They just copied the news from CPI(M)’s mouthpiece People’s Democracy (07.12.03).

And a whole book (Nishiuddho mot, Dwikhandito poth) was published with all the historical documents related the banning of Dwikhandito, Government’s ban order, Sunil and other writers proposals to ban the book, and the High Court verdict to lift ban on the book. The book is available in Bengal. .
It was all over Bengali media how the writer Sunil Gangopadhyay insisted to ban another writer’s book. He was a very good friend of former West Bengal government who finally banned the book. In his interview in Aajkal, a Bengali newspaper, he said in details how he played an active role to ban the book. aajkal1 , Aajkal2

Everybody knew how Dwikhandito, the 3rd part of my autobiography was banned. Here the journalist says, ‘Writer Sunil Gangopadhyay says that he finds the sexual content of the book “distasteful” but supports the ban only on account of two pages that harshly indict Islam. Commenting on Taslima’s discussion of her sexual relationships with eminent writers, he says, “Everybody knows that adults enter a sexual relationship on the basis of an unwritten pact, which is why they close all doors and windows. If someone breaks that trust then it is a breach of contract and confidentiality which is not only distasteful but an offence”.

I would not have reminded him about his role to ban my book if he did not lie that he was against the banning of any book and he protested against the banning of my book Dwikhandito.

While I was thinking of his lies, I shared my painful experience that he sexually exploited me once, and also many other girls and women. I was a well established feminist writer, if he did not spare me, then whom did he spare? Even though he said, ‘.. if she has been sexually harassed by me, which must happened long time ago. ‘, some media and some men try to blame me for ‘lying against the saint’. They are definitely angry with me. I must not accuse a famous male writer of any abuse or anything no matter whatever his crime is. The media financed by the political party that stands against his political ideas using my statement against him, for their own political interests. Does the anti-Sunil media supports me? Not at all. They are very much against my thoughts and ideals. Sex abuse issues are human rights issues, but human rights activists are silent as usual, they are silent because it is not politically correct to support me, who challenges patriarchy and religion, especially Islam. It is an unforgivable crime to speak against the status quo in the Indian Subcontinent.

Defenders of abusers are now asking why I am complaining now, why did not I do then when it happened? As if, if I don’t share my painful experience within a certain time,I should be disqualified. As if, if I complained then, something different could have happened, as if people could have blamed him! No, the same thing would have happened. I would have been harassed again by media and men for telling the truth.

For telling the truth I was thrown out of Bangladesh, my country. For telling the truth I was bundled out of West Bengal, where I settled to live for the rest of my life. For telling the truth I have been banned, blacklisted, and banished from the lands I was born and brought up or I chose to live. I am a social and political pariah, because I tell the truth. The male dominated Bengali literary world has been so far successful to blackout me. My crime is I have told the unpleasant truth about religion and I disclosed the secrets of those sex-abuser gurus who pretend to be philosophers and intellectuals, defenders of human rights and freedom of expression.

They want us to shut our mouth. If we don’t, they get very angry with us, and they say all the bad things about us, and all the lies about us. But thousands of silent women know that I am telling their untold stories. They are not coming out of the closet. But one day they will. I will not see that to happen in my lifetime, but I am trying to create an environment for them. In the meantime I will be violently abused, I will be deported, I will almost be killed by influential and powerful misogynists.


A bunch of morons celebrating ‘World Hijab Day’ today.

Pakistan’s biggest religious political party Jamaat-e-Islami launched a campaign to make it compulsory for women to wear the Hijab in public.

The women’s wing of the party has already held demonstrations in several cities demanding that the wearing of Hijab be made a part of the constitution and compulsory in Pakistan, and tomorrow the party will observe ‘Hijab Day’.

“Our society has been invaded by western values and women who wear the Hijab or Burqa are targeted as extremists and that is totally unfair,” said Durdana Siddiqui, the Deputy General Secretary of the party’s women wing.

We want to send a clear message to the anti-Hijab elements by observing this day that Hijab is not only part of our religious obligation but also a fundamental right and protective shield for women,” she said.

The JI plans to distribute free head scarfs to working women in the markets and offices besides setting up stalls to sell Hijabs on subsidized rates and will also hold protests in different cities with the biggest one planned in Karachi.

Stupid slaves of men, masochist morons are having their bizarre propaganda on facebook.

International Hijab Day? Or International Ignorance Day, Humiliation of Women Day!

Interesting news is, there was no female speaker at Jamaat-e-Islami’s Hijab Day rally.

Apologists for Islam are growing like mushrooms. The anti-women forces have been honored everywhere as defenders of human rights.

Islamists are claiming Hijab is a choice. But my question is, ‘if Hijab is a choice, then why is it necessary to make it compulsory?’


My first night with my beloved husband

‘…That night too, Rudra came home and cajoled me by saying, “Good girl, unwind a little, don’t keep yourself so stiff, soften your body a little,” and entered the path he had opened up. In that dark room, made darker by my shut eyes, when I was openly bearing the agony Rudra inflicted on my body, bearing the pain – suddenly like lightning a sharp pleasure spread through my body from head to toe. With the shock of that bolt of lightning I dug the ten nails of my hands into Rudra’s back. I gasped for breath. Panting, I asked “What happened!”
Rudra did not tell me what happened. Murmuring endearments like dear precious jewel he collapsed on top of me. That night, not once, but several times he brought me to orgasm. With this pleasure the nerves of agony gradually grew inert and inactive. I continued to moan, but this time with pleasure. I was now experiencing the pinnacle of pleasure.
At one point while I was still moaning, I noticed that Rudra was no longer beside me. He had not been there by my side for quite a while.
“Where are you?”
In the darkness a single point of red fire glowed. The fire was moving.
“Aren’t you going to sleep?”
“I’m coming.”
The red glow went out, the cigarette smoking was over, yet Rudra did not return to bed. My unruly, obsessive body wanted him intimately close, I kept one of my hands on his pillow, wanting to hold him in my arms when he returned, and sleep for the rest of the night, imbibing the scents of his body. I called again, “Where have you gone!”
There was a smell of anti-septic Dettol in the room.
“What’s wrong, what is this Dettol smell!”
“I am applying Dettol,” came Rudra’s voice out of the darkness.
“Why, what happened?”
“I have an itch.”
“Do you have to apply Dettol for that?”
“I am applying an ointment as well.”
“What ointment?”
“I don’t know.”
“Switch on the light, will you? Let me see where you are itching, and what ointment you are applying.”
Rudra switched on the light and saying, “Coming”, took the ointment and went off to the toilet. Under the lights I tidied my dishevelled sari, and sat waiting. When Rudra came, I examined his hands and legs and; there were no signs of scabies.
“Where are you itching?”
Without replying Rudra switched the light off, and lay down. Lying next to him, I placed a hand on his chest and said, “I can’t find any scabies.”
“There is.”
“It is in that area.”
“That area, which area?”
“On the penis.”
“On the penis.”
“Why are you applying Dettol?”
“It will help.”
“Has any Doctor told you so?”
“Who gave you the ointment? Some Doctor?”
“No. I bought it myself.”
“Will this ointment work?”
“I don’t know.”
“Then why are you applying it? Permethrin cream has to be applied for scabies. Is it itching a lot?”
“Yes, it is. Even a boil has appeared.”
“Not so small.”
“It shouldn’t be big. Why should it grow big?”
“Quite big.”
In my enthusiasm as a doctor, I sat up, switched on the lights and said, “Let me see what kind it is!”
Rudra kept lowering his lungi. The hair on his body grew gradually denser as they moved downwards, till they reached the cold sexual organ. At the base of the genitals was a red flower. No one had laid out my bridal chamber, on this my first night, with flowers. No roses, no marigolds, no hibiscus or jasmine. This flower on Rudra’s manhood had bedecked my first bridal bed of flowers. Yet, I had seen many penises like this one. This ulcer on the penis was a very familiar one. At the hospital, in the venereal diseases out-patients department, the male patients lowered their lungis and showed ulcers exactly like this one. These ulcers were identified by the Doctor’s dealing with sexually transmitted diseases or venereal diseases as Syphilis chancre, and were the chancres we had seen many times from a safe distance. Although Rudra’s ulcer looked like a Syphilis chancre, one ulcer could surely resemble another one! There must be many harmless ulcers, which looked like other ugly ulcers. There must be, my heart said, there was.
“When did this appear?”
“Just ten or twelve days ago.”
“Does it bleed?”
Whatever other disease Rudra may have contracted, there was no reason for him to be afflicted by Syphilis! I thought of all the other diseases it could be. Was this Eczema or psoriasis? Or maybe it was Penile penile papules! Or reiter’s syndrome! Or even pemphigus !
“Do you have any pain?”
Rudra shook his head. “No.”
This denial destroyed the possibility of all the other diseases. The Syphilitic ulcer also caused no pain.
“Doesn’t it pain even a little?”
Rudra was thinking. Think Rudra, think some more, if you just think a little more you will surely realize that it did pain.
But Rudra again shook his head. “No.”
“Have you slept on any stranger’s dirty bed? Or used anyone’s towel?”
He again shook his head. “No.”
A writer called Razia Begum had spent three months at a tea-garden in Sylhet for writing a novel about the tea-garden workers. Was it possible that Rudra had visited a brothel for writing poetry or a novel, and had used something there, like a towel? Had touched something in a toilet, and from these places the Syphilis virus, treponema pallidum, had travelled to his hands. Although I knew Syphilis did not spread like that I still asked, just in case it had! By chance if the virus had entered through some gap or hole!
“Have you been to prostitutes for some reason? For the purposes of your writings or something?”
“Why, no I haven’t!”
I was looking for other reasons, reasons for ulcers that looked like this. Searching. Searching. This was Rudra’s first intercourse with someone, just like mine. That is how it was supposed to be. That was what love was all about. One saved oneself, for the person one loved. I stared at Rudra’s ulcer. Then how come this ulcer! This ulcer did not look like any other! Even if it was Harpes Simplex or genital warts, these too were sexually transmitted diseases! Suppose this was Syphilis, from where did it enter into Rudra’s body if he had never been to a brothel! I was absorbed in deep thought. I touched the ulcer, and examined it from the left and right side. I looked at the form and shape of the ulcer. I looked at its color.
It looked exactly like a Syphilitic ulcer. My eyes confirmed it, but my mind couldn’t. But there was no reason to contract Syphilis. Then, how could it be that! A crease appeared between my eyebrows.
“Have you had any relationship with a girl?”
“What nonsense are you talking?”
Rudra pulled up his lungi. His ulcer got covered.
“Go to sleep, will you. It is very late.”
It may have been late, but my sleep had vanished. I was anxious to know the cause of this ulcer. Without any intercourse why should such an ulcer have appeared!
“Have you shown it your father?”
“You have it for over two weeks. Why haven’t you shown it to a Doctor?
“I haven’t.”
“If you apply ointments without a test, the ulcer will not heal.”
Rudra kept scratching his beard. He did this when he was very worried about something.
I abruptly said, “Do you know these ulcers appear if you have relations with prostitutes? You couldn’t possibly have gone to a prostitute!” I asked.
“No.” Rudra’s voice was icy.
“You really haven’t been? This is the first time you have ever had intercourse isn’t it with me?”
Rudra’s face suddenly changed. His two black brows joined together. As though somewhere inside his body there was some agony. He looked at my eyes for a long time. Even though I tried, I was unable to read the language of his eyes.
For a long time the two of us sat silently. Suddenly Rudra said, “Actually you know, I have been to the area.”
“Area meaning?”
The red-light areas.”
“You have? Why?”
“For the same reason other people go.”
“What reason?”
Rudra said nothing. Was my head throbbing? Did a tightness suddenly hurtle into my chest,making it difficult for me to breathe? My subsequent words were spoken much more slowly than before. The voice was breaking, trembling.
“Have you slept with a prostitute?”
He did not say anything. His eyes had turned stony.
“Speak, why aren’t you saying something? Speak.”
My eyes were full of anxiety. Say ‘No’, say ‘No’ Rudra. Please say ‘No’. In the hope of hearing the one word ‘No’, I sat waiting, like one bewitched.
“Yes,” said Rudra.
“What, you had sexual relations?”
I couldn’t recognize my own voice, as if it wasn’t mine at all, but someone else’s. As if a button had been pressed on a machine, and the machine was speaking.
The light was on in the room, yet darkness was deepening before my eyes. I was unable to breathe. For a long time I couldn’t breathe at all. Was this a patient suffering from venereal disease before me, or was it Rudra! My lover, my husband! I couldn’t believe this was Rudra. I couldn’t believe he was someone I had passionately loved for years, and fought against my whole family to be with him.
“When did you go?”
“Just two weeks ago.”
“Have you been just once?”
“You have never been before?”
“Your ulcer is two weeks old!”
“The ulcer couldn’t have appeared the very day you had intercourse. It takes sometime to form. Try and recall if you have been more than once.”
Staring at my eyes without blinking for a long time, he said slowly, “I have.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. I didn’t want to believe that I was not the first woman in Rudra’s life! For a long time I sat benumbed.
“You never told me about all this.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Why not?”
Rudra heaved a deep sigh. Staring at the white wall, looking at what only he knew, he did not reply.
“The red light area, right? Where is that?”
“At Banishanta.”
“Where is Banishanta?”
“In this port.”
“Why do you go? Don’t you love me?”
“I do love you.”
“If you do, how did you sleep with anyone else? You lied to me all these days. You told me you had not touched anyone but me ever. Do you know, I can’t believe any of this?”

I found it painful to believe that Rudra had slept with another woman … the way he had slept with me. That he had kissed someone else in the same way as he had kissed my face and breasts. It was painful to believe that Rudra had entered anyone else as deeply as he had me. I felt as though my boat had sunk in mid-ocean. I too was sinking, as far as the eye could see there was no one, nothing at all. I was alone, I was drowning. My sky had fallen apart, my world had disintegrated and scattered to bits. The bits were now rolling into the bottom of the sea. In the boundless, billowy sea there was not even a dry piece of straw. I was drowning. It was as if I was not myself, I was someone else. I felt sorry for that someone else. The pain circulated in my nervous system and finally descended to my chest. It was as though all the rocks in the world were pressing down on my chest. I did not have the ability to utter a single word. Losing all my senses I wept copiously, through the night. The pillow, sari and bed sheets got soaked with my tears. I clung to Rudra’s hands and feet and cried, “Please tell me you are not speaking the truth. Tell me, you have not been to anyone else. You have not slept with anyone else. Please.”
Rudra’s silence was like that of a stone. With a pale face he watched me crying through the night.
He watched me crying in the morning, afternoon and evening. He watched me crying the whole day going without any food or bath. He himself ate and bathed. He spent the day like any other day. I wanted to sleep. To forget everything and sleep. But sleep would not come. When I asked for sleeping tablets, Rudra fetched two strips of sedatives from his father’s chambers. He had searched and found two strips, and those two strips he had given me. From the twenty tablets in the two strips, I was to take only one. I was to take one, so that I could take a tablet daily and sleep for the next twenty days. But hidden from Rudra, I swallowed all the twenty tablets at one go, that very day, that very evening, “I will go far away, but not let you forget me” was not the tune playing within me. I really wanted to go far away, wanted Rudra to forget me, never to remember that anyone by my name had been part of his life. I didn’t feel as though I could have borne my own existence any longer, or that my life had any value left any more. I didn’t think I could live a minute more with these intolerable pains and unbearable insults. Just when I was rushing towards this longed-for death, someone grabbed me from behind and stopped me. When I was brought back from that path, I found a hard pipe in my nose and beside me was standing Rudra’s Doctor father. The poison was taken out of my body, but from my mind not a drop of poison came out, my heart was dying. Before my eyes my heart moaned in its death-throes. I spent the whole night sleeplessly with my dead heart lying next to me.
I was 20, a medical student. My husband gave me a wedding gift in our first night together, that was Syphilis. Yes, he infected me with his disease.’

The Big Five-Oh

25th of August was like any other day but friends told me I would become a fifty-year-old woman. When I was younger, much younger than today, I thought 50 was the oldest thing we could ever come up with. I remember the very day that my father became 50, I cried thinking that he would die. I am now 50 but I feel like 28 or something, just a bit more mature.

I do not celebrate my birthday. But it was a sweet surprise to be invited to a grand celebration of the inauguration of my new poetry book in Hindi, Mujhe Dena Aur Prem, give me more love. It is the best birthday gift I have ever got.

It seems time flies faster than light.

I do not think I will get to see in my lifetime that humans don’t die. I would be happy if my brains remain active as long as I live. I would be happy if I continue doing what I have been doing for decades. After death, I don’t mind to go to the place where I was, before I was born. I am a bit sad though because I know I will never be able to see my parents and the loved ones who died.

I have written 35 books or probably more than 35 books. I am not yet satisfied. I would like to write much better books. Life is too short. Days are gone in a minute, years get finished before I know it is finished. I hope I would get 20 more years to think, to write, to travel, to inspire thousands of people to believe in human rights.