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Daniels, A.

What do you think of Salim’s decision to give Ahmed the hit man, a picture of Maman? Did Salim have another choice? Is he guilty of murder? Did Ram have other options besides throwing Shantaram down the stairs? Are these violent acts justifiable considering the behavior of the victims?

posted May 18, 2010, 8:11 AM by Abraham Daniels

I thought that was pretty clever of Salim to give him the picture of Maman. Not even I would think of doing that. Maman is and evil man, and yes, I kind of consider that a justifiable act. Salim can’t really be held accountable for that because he is not the primary murderer.  Salim is actually innocent, maybe a little guilty. As for the scene where Ram “kills” Shantaram, it was not really the right thing to do as in justice, but it was for a good cause, since he was trying to help out Gudiya. They still have the right to press charges on him. However, since Shantaram was drunk, he only had very few options. He could have called the police, or just let it be, but it was better than doing nothing. Salim’s act was justifiable because Maman is an evil man who abuses kids, and is a thief, and the fact that he is not the killer, the Hit man is. Ram’s actions could be proven unjust, since he was the main ‘murderer’ and had full consciousness during the incident. It is only justifiable to kill somebody if it is for self defense, in the fear for your own life; however, you are walking on thin ice. Even though Shantaram was drunk and is about to abuse his daughter, Salim was not fending in a critical situation, so it is not fully justifiable.

Considering he beliefs he’s already murdered two people, why is Ram unable to kill Prem Kumar?

posted May 11, 2010, 8:07 AM by Abraham Daniels

    Ok, first off, Ram only actually killed one person throughout the whole book. When he pushed Shantaram down the stairs, he didn’t die. Shantaram only broke his leg, according to Gudiya at the end of the story. This event was different because it was physical contact, not with firearms. As for the bandit who tried to rob the passengers on the train, Ram was going through a trance and did not know what he was doing. While he was spacing out, he simply pulled out a gun and shot him without noticing. But for some reason, Ram did not pull the trigger on Prem Kumar. I think this was because that he was actually on it this time. He had full consciousness and knew what he was doing. He could have also been reluctant to shoot because he heard the cowardly pleas, and the fact that he was bribed with the money and the answer to the last question. This was the first actual encounter of near murder that Ram encounters. When you think about it, and put yourself in Ram’s position,
you would have also been reluctant unless you were ruthless and cold-hearted person.

Were you able to guess what happened next at any point in the story? What evidence clued you in?

posted May 4, 2010, 8:19 AM by Abraham Daniels

In Q&A; there were several events of foreshadowing in the book. For example, Ram is on the train with the other family. Ram talks and lies about his life with the boy, which he obviously finds out. To make his story seem more believable, he whips out his “secret” 50,000 rupees to make his lies seem more believable, and the boy falls for it. He is stunned. At that moment, I know something is going to happen to his money; getting stolen. It turns out that robbers board the train, asks for money, and the boy blurts out Ram’s secret. He gets his money snatched and his dreams have been broken. Another point is earlier in the story, when Shantaram starts abusing Gudiya. Everytime it happens, it gets worse and worse. That’s when I started guessing that something very bad is going to happen to Gudiya. At first, I thought he was going to kill her. But then guess what; her father splashed scalding hot water over her, resulting as her visit to the hospital. It was not as bad as my guess by it was close enough.  Another moment of foreshadowing was when Ram was at the church on chapter 2. It all started when Ram met father john. While Father John was taking a shower, Ram discovered his “stashes”. When Father John left the shower, Ram observed his tattoos. At that moment, you can see that he is not faithful to his religion. I started thinking that there was something not right about his sexual orientation, and that he’s going to do something worse than sniffing crack. But then, You then find out the he is a gay man, ever since that little incident with Ian.

What was the funniest/saddest/strangest thing that happened? Why?

posted Apr 27, 2010, 8:23 AM by Abraham Daniels   [ updated Apr 28, 2010, 8:26 AM ]

The funnies thing I found about about the book is how curious Ram is about things. It always brings him into more trouble than he is already in. It reminds me of the quote "curiosity killed the cat". I found a several things strange.  First off, the scene in the theatre. Some "old man" grabs Salim's family treasures. After Salim strikes a him, the book mentions; "...but gets a hold of his beard. As Salim tugs, it comes off in his hand." and "But in that split second Salim and I have seen a flash of Hazel-green eyes. A chiseled nose. A cleft chin.... Holding a mass of gray hair smelling vaguely of cologne and spirit gum." I find that shocking because that "old man" has the same facial features as Armaan Ali; and it could possibly be him himself.. That might explain why Salim was tearing up all of Armaan's posters and merchandise. It is also strange how Maman would adopt kids just to get them handicapped in a way; such as losing a limb, or purposely blinded, and then turned into thieves and beggars. It also sad in a way because you know that there are still people in the world today that put kids through this torture, not only to thieve, but put into labor and turned into sex slaves.

Ram's Mama

posted Apr 27, 2010, 8:13 AM by Abraham Daniels   [ updated Apr 27, 2010, 8:15 AM ]

Ram sees the woman; his mother, while he was being tortured by Godbole in all that bondage. Ram also hallucinates and sees his mother when he gets high after sniffing glue after being adopted from the orphanage. She fist appears in human form, then transforms into a monster; which scares him. I think Ram only sees his mother when he is in a passive, or unconscious state of mind and the reason he sees his mother is because it’s what he’s missing, or what he desires the most; even though he did not mention it, he does talk about his mother a few times. I think this is a symbol of abandonment, not hope at all. In the book, Ram doesn’t bother trying to go look for his mother. If he had hope for the situation, the story would be much different. Having somebody who is supposed to be your main caretaker, leave you in a clothes bin just to go after another man would make you feel abandoned and unloved. I think that she is his adopted mother because no mother would have the heart to do that. 

How is Oaxaca different?

posted Apr 6, 2010, 6:24 PM by Abraham Daniels

    So far, all Enrique has been observing was cruelty from residents in areas such as the Chiapas. When he reach Oaxaca and Veracruz, the residents there have been extremely generous. They throw food and supplies to Migrants on passing-by trains. Some Churches and residents have let the migrant stay over at their areas. They are even willing to protect the migrants from the police and the la migra. The people in Oaxaca are the opposites of the other areas they have passed by so far. I find It really surprising though. These people give away their things, even if they are in need themselves. Even though they are suffering, they know that the migrants are suffering even more. They are extremely generous.

What was the funniest/saddest/strangest thing that happened? Why?

posted Mar 22, 2010, 6:52 PM by Abraham Daniels   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 8:14 AM ]

In the story “They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky” I found it pretty shocking when one of the renegade men raped the little girl and almost attempted to shoot her. It was so detailed, I felt as if I was actually there, witnessing the terrible event. That man messed up her body system, and now she can’t even walk normally, and people give her weird looks. I mean really, how can people be so ruthless, especially to a little girl? It’s really a satanic thing to commit.I found it pretty hilarious towards the ending of the book, where Alepho(?) hears the waiter say dessert. He then starts to panic, runs up to the exit door and tries to open it and bail himself out. It was because he misunderstood the word dessert meant abandon. I found this funny because so many people misunderstand words or directions and end up to the wrong thing. It makes you look stupid when it happens. I found it somewhat sad when Benson(?) accidentally killed his monkey by making it fall and hitting its head on a tree. That animal is really human-like in many ways, so if I had a pet like that, I would never forgive myself for allowing that to happen. In fact, would feel terrible to do that to any pet.

Who does this remind you of?

posted Mar 22, 2010, 5:28 PM by Abraham Daniels   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 8:10 AM ]

 In The story Enrique’s Journey, Enrique journeys his way to America; facing many hardships. During the story, His actions and words reminded me of someone I know. There are two people actually, my little brother Anthony, and my Nhi, my aunt. Enrique is a rebellious and disobedient person, especially to his elderly. For example, Enrique yells at his grandma saying “Go ahead and send me…Nobody loves me!”. My little brother does the same exact thing. He would ask if he can go out and play. If they reply no, he would get mad and yell. He ends up sneaking outside. He’s also very disrespectful to Mom and Dad. He takes out his rage on them, literally hitting them. He’s a bad boy. Enrique also reminds me of his cousin because of his bravery and determination. During Enrique’s Journey through many countries, but comes through so many obstacles, almost unimaginably difficult to comprehend until you’ve experienced it. My aunt Nhi, has only graduated High school and already has a child at the age of 16. She has come across so many problems in her life, yet she is still not giving up. She is managing to make money, for her, her child, her apartment, and for food. (the fist represents strength)

How did this book make you feel about your own life?

posted Mar 15, 2010, 6:21 PM by Abraham Daniels   [ updated Apr 14, 2010, 8:11 AM ]

This makes me feel EXTEREMLY thankful that I'm not living under conditions like that. I'm very lucky that I live with most of my family, and that I'm not malnourished, and I always have something to eat. It also makes me have pity on them. The boys live under bad conditions and everyday, they don't know If they're going to make it through the journey. It also makes wonder why we all have to complain about what we have to eat or wear. They have nothing and only come by it with luck. We always have it when we need it. We also have the opportunity of education. They can hardly come across it. After I read this book, I felt like we need to do something to help the rest of the children in Africa. We have what it takes to get the job done. I also think I can slightly relate to what they went through; the feeling of loss. It's very painful to lose something you love. Luckily, I haven't lost as much as him

What do you think America’s role should be when these terrible things are happening around the world and innocent victims like children are suffering and dying?

posted Mar 15, 2010, 5:22 PM by Abraham Daniels

America is a wealthy, and an upper-class. We have so much while they don't even have the essentials, for surviving. We have to be generous and give out to those who are in need. We are extremely prosperous, but there are corrupt leaders who only want for themselves. "Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which he has given you." Deuteronomy 6:17. Also, if kids are the "Future of society" why aren't we helping the kids that are in need? America also needs to do something about the wars, because they are killing off innocent people. We should be thankful we have these gifts, but we also have to use them to help others out.

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