Geneva Diaries #42*

Andy Warhol Portraits, Wanted, Swiss Camouflage, Law of the Sky and the Blood, DNA Claim, Japan Travels, Fukushima and The Tsunami
Andy Warhol Portraits – Photo by Purnima Viswanathan


Dear Purnima,

It was really wonderful seeing you today.  You looked, as always, beautiful and full of wit and intelligence, and it was such a treat to sit outside and enjoy a coffee along with great conversation.

The book fair at Palexpo was really very good. Not quite as jazzy as the car show, and there are no stunningly beautiful women standing next to the book stalls to explain them to an eager, drooling and mostly male public, but I really like browsing through the various stands and wishing that i had much more time to read.. We try and go every year, but I am always amazed at the enormous number of books that are published each year. A has a new novel that will be coming out in August, and her editor was there, so they got a chance to do a lot of chatting.

Here’s the link for the article on Japanese nuclear plants written by a Japanese anti-nuclear activist.

More in a few days from the land of the rising sun.




Dear Roger,

It was fabulous to see you as usual but I felt somehow that this meeting was very brief as there was so much to exchange so much left unsaid, all in all, I just did not get enough “Roger time” so you have to promise me an endless afternoon the next time we meet with no schedules, no appointments tearing you away. I can’t wait to cook for you, so many recipes, much bubbling in the cauldron!

Thank you for the article, I have been reading endlessly about Japan, the Tsunami and the ensuing catastrophe especially the soul shaking nuclear one. I think this has dramatically changed  most peoples mental maps and the infrastructure we take for granted (or has it not?). I would love to get news from the ground, can’t wait to see what you bring back from Japan (However, I would go easy on the greens, there’s the vacation glow and there is the irradiation glow).

So, you’ve caught your Ace… congratulations! Roger, being the eternal conspiracy theorist, I would have somehow been more at ease if we actually saw him, had him given his fair trial and then done the dunking. This night raid, shootout and vanished into the waves act just does not flow down my esophagus(he may have just moved residence from the suburbs of Lahore to the suburbs of Washington closer to his namesake… just joking), what about you? See below an artistic recreation of the Abbotabad home where Osama Bin Laden was found:

Well, guess what, once the Americans got Osama, guess who else they had listed as #2 on their most wanted…

See Purnima at the Andy Warhol exhibit below – America’s Most Wanted:

Purnima at the Andy Warhol exhibit below – America’s Most Wanted-Video by Purnima Viswanthan

Yup, I was chased by a US missile which came to a grinding halt millimeters from my toes finally pinning me into a storefront on Rive, right here in downtown Geneva. Do check out the images of the US missile on Rive, The ultimate US WMD (Weapon of Mass Destruction) lol to which I finally succumbed in the photos below. Also pasted is my favorite snap of “Swiss Humour“, do check out … is it a babe, is it a cow…Oh No… it’s a SPEED CAMERA!!! 

See pics of Geneva Speed Camera Camouflaged as a Swiss Cow:

Swiss Speeding Camera Camouflaged as a Swiss Cow – Photo by Purnima Viswanathan

And I always look twice to see if it really is the missing crown prince Gaipajama in disguise, perhaps that’s where he’s been hiding… After all Gaipajama literally means means cow’s pajamas! See crown prince Gaipajama in Cigars of the Pharaoh in link below:

US Missile on Rive, Geneva:

Talking about demons from the sea and demons from the air, do you remember the Skylab? The Skylab was the first US space station which could not be refurbished and sustained in space and disintegrated, breaking up into pieces as it re-entered the earth’s atmosphere. These pieces were scattered in space and found their way landing over the Indian Ocean and parts of Australia in the summer of 1979. The Skylab incident gravely impacted my grandfather who was furious that the skies were being littered by debris that might hurl downwards at him disturbing his peace as he went for his routine evening walk (Yes, there are people who have concerns about the sky falling on their heads in “real life” outside the Asterix comic books). He used to return every evening declaring that he was un-hit and this continued for a long time… till the point where I felt that he was almost disappointed that the Skylab did not fall on his head, he would have enjoyed that fiery end to a passionately lived brilliant life. See link to The Skylab Disaster:

But Roger, coming back to the issues that plague our world, I just read Helen Caldicott article in the IHT, “Unsafe at Any Dose”, and after reading her in on the same issue of the impact of radiation from the nuclear fall outs on the human body which impacts not just our physical bodies, but our core, our DNA, and that it impacts not just this time frame, us and our families but that of our progeny stretched out through time infinitely. She outlines in both these articles, that the impact is not merely immediate perceivable and addressable but can alter our DNA, be carried in a recessive gene (hidden gene) which will only rear its head when coupled with another recessive gene (from your partner) many generations into the future. See link to Helen Caldicott’s article below:

See Viswanathan with his walking stick and The Sky Lab looming ominously overhead below:

So, we are looking at contamination, pollution that is not just constrained in the here and now but is stretched through time (as in the case of radiation leaks) and space as in the case of Skylab debris. We are no longer just looking at air, water, soil contamination but contamination of spaces beyond our reach and beyond our control: The contamination of outer space and the contamination of inner space (our DNA). 

The cardinal question of course is, who will take responsibility, and how do we assign responsibility for a time and space so far out into the future? Do we divvi up the skies/space like we have done the seas… A Law of the Skies? Do we assign gene pools/ DNA’s to certain groups and leave it to them to monitor and control? How do we assign that, would it be assigned to the group most impacted by the number of persons or the percentage of persons? Or else would it be assigned to a group that is distinctive not merely by the number or percentage impacted but by it’s own unique culture and language (a distinctive genetic-cultural unit) eventually giving them the final say over a particular decision, drug, weapons impact?

See below Andy Warhol Portraits – What I re-title DNA Claims: a composition of the same person in different hues and expressions akin to the same DNA with differing linguistic, cultural and ethic expressions each distinctive in itself. Which version has the highest claim?

Andy Warhol Portraits – What I re-title as DNA Claims – A composition of the same person in different hues and expressions akin to the same DNA with differing linguistic, cultural and ethic expressions each distinctive in itself. Which version has the highest claim? Photo by Purnima Viswanathan

OK, let’s be real, would we ever really let Tuvalu (the one made famous by .tv as it’s domain name) have the final say if a certain virus (derived from guano or bird poop from Tuvalu) was to be introduced into the human body which would replicate and within a short time frame cover the globe give the first world majority immunity to a deadly disease(Covid) and there was no research on how the introduction of this virus would negatively impact the people of Tuvalu physically or economically… would we let a handful have their say? Who is it that makes these decisions for all, and why should those that incur the danger of possible extermination (even if they are a handful and their chief industry is collecting guano- bird poop is impacted) accept it? How would they reject it? Now what if the issue was not a virus but a group’s concerns about nuclear testing and radiation impacting their gene pool which was not dispersed /differentiated enough for them to survive till the next generation? What if the issue was relating to climate change risking the submersion their isle? To resist would they need to resort to muscle power? To weapons? To the very same weapons that they were fighting against to secure their will? Stalemate again or Act of God??

See video clip of the plight of Tuvalu in danger of being wiped out due to Climate Change:

Wish you all the very best on your travels to Japan, I am probably off to London for a week but back before you return end May and perhaps a short trip to see The Rhine Falls, Europe’s largest waterfalls in Schaffhausen. I guessed Schaffhausen should be the safest place around for #2, as the Americans could not possibly go “oops I did it again”! Or could they?

Lots of love and hope to see you back very soon!



Dear Purnima,

I was really tickled to get your email before we leave, and I agree that our brief interlude over coffee on Saturday was all too short.  I promise a complete and leisurely afternoon when we return from Japan.  We still have to have a glass of champagne to celebrate your liberation.

That’s indeed a terrifying WMD !  One should really stay as far away from that one as possible.  It might even be worse than the armor piercing missiles with depleted uranium that the US and NATO have fired all over the Middle East and elsewhere, and I drive past the cow-radar quite often and always get a kick out of it, but I was flashed by an undisguised and lurking variety driving back from Yvoire the other night.  At least you might be able to see one disguised as a cow at night, but a naked speed camera is another story.

I don’t quite know what to think about the O & O circus.  The Obama crowd is certainly milking it for all they can, and it will undoubtedly give an enormous boost to Obama’s re-election hopes, but I’m disgusted by the stupidly naive exulting in the streets by all those super-patriotic Americans who are so happy about the event, that they can’t even stop to realize that the US has adopted a vigilante posture and that it’s quite all right to rub someone out with a middle-of-the-night raid.  What ever happened to due process ?  And I’m not sure that the American public hears much about the many doubts that folks in Europe are expressing about the event.  I must say that I was really surprised to hear that they had dumped his body in the ocean so quickly.  I can understand them not wanted to open any windows to martyrdom by burying his body in a grave that would then become a pilgrimage site, but there must have been something else that could have been done

I loved your analogy of the contamination within and in outer space.  Fabulous !   It will be interesting to talk to some of our Japanese friends about Fukushima and nuclear power.  By the way, did you hear that Sharkozy in a speech yesterday to the workers in one of France’s nuclear reactors denounced the “irrational and medieval fear” of those who contest the safety of nuclear power plants.  There is no question of France giving up the advantage it holds in clean, safe ? ? ? power generation, our chief cheerleader for AREVA/EDF continues to stress.  One would think he had just gotten off the phone with George Monbiot.

Got to run and finish packing.  More from the land of the rising sun….

Love and hugs,


Fukushima Nuclear Disaster:

Dear Purnima,

Greetings from Japan !  It’s delightful to be back, but it was really like walking through the mirror into a Murakami-like fourth dimension secondary reality.  Where just hours previously we were going through security in Geneva and Vienna in familiar surroundings, we emerged from a Japanese-filled flight (there were only something like four non-Japanese on board) to an eerily empty immigration counter at Narita airport, but once we settled into our Narita Express train car for the trip to Tokyo Station and the Tokyo Metro we felt we had returned to a familiar entity that we had really never left.

Tokyo is still glamourous, lively, unending, invigorating, tantalizing and tempting, and the extremely beautiful and stylishly-dressed Japanese women gracing the sidewalks of Ginza are a constant head-turning distraction, but all that flashy fashion is somewhat tarnished by the relatively dim lighting in the streets, in the subway and even in some of the large department stores.  About half of the lights have been turned off to save electricity, and almost all of the escalators in the subway aren’t working.  There are also very, very few tourists.  Last year Ginza was full of non-Japanese strollers, but they are really few and far between this year.  I just read an article in today’s The Japan Times about how most of the foreign exchange students, and a large portion of foreign faculty members have left the country.

We’ve still had some really delightful and memorable meals thus far.  Last night we ate at a tofu restaurant that blew us away with the many creative and beautiful ways they prepared the myriad tofu dishes they served us.  Even the dessert was a soy-based ice cream with a little biscuit made from soy.

A and her parents arrive tonight and Thursday is sushi night at our favorite sushi restaurant.

What’s new in Geneva ?  Any new developments on the home front ?  Have you discovered any new female martyrs ?

Check out Noam Chomsky’s article on Common Dreams about his reaction to the killing of Ben Laden.  As usual, he is right on target.

We leave Friday for Nagoya and Kyoto.  I’m really looking forward to swooping past Mount Fuji in a shinny-white Shinkansen bullet train.

Giant hugs,



Dear Purnima,

It was wonderful to get your  email, and I did  indeed begin to wonder about your prolonged silence.  I thought maybe you had fallen into a rabbit’s hole and been kidnapped by the Mad Hatter and secreted off to his warren.

I can  really understand your feelings about having to deal with everything and be out of the apartment be the end of June. Major moves and divorces are  proven sources of stress.  Some diversion on  the banks of the  Thames should really do the trick.

We are leaving this morning for Kyoto after two days in Hiroshima.  We found a really  cool  bar last night run by a guy from Nepal, and then we had Okonomi Yaki in this little hole in the wall restaurant that was  really funky.  Hiroshima doesn’t seem to have been effected very much by the earthquake and  its aftermath.  Life seems very much what it was last time we  were here.  We also spent yesterday on the island of Miyajima, which is a sacred Shinto island with a large shrine and a Tori gate, red in color, that was built in the harbor just in front of the shrine.  It was a bit  touristy, but quite beautiful.

More from Kyoto, where we have rented a house with WiFi.  I have an  absolutely delicious definition of what  wine is all about to send to you.

Enjoy your trip to London.  We must get together soon after you return.

Love and hugs,



Disclaimer : P

All persons, places, events are fictitious; all imputed relationships purely aspirational. There were no men harmed during the penning of the Feminist Manifesto

Published by Purrnima

Travel Writer - Art Blogger - CyberSmurf

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