A Inspirational Life : Joao Carlos Martins

João Carlos Martins was enjoying a brilliant career as a concert pianist, with performances at prestigious venues such as New York’s 2,800-seater Carnegie Hall, when disaster struck. Asports injury damaged a nerve in his right hand and, at the age of 28, he had to accept that he had lost the ability to play perfectly – even though at an emotional level he still longed to play. He sold all his pianos and reinvented himself, somewhat bizarrely, as a boxing entrepreneur.

While watching the boxers, he was inspired by how they kept fighting despite adversity and hard knocks. He told himself: ‘I am a coward; I gave up too easily and now I’m no longer giving the best of myself’. So he quietly bought back his pianos and began practising again. He found that, by adapting hisstyle of play, he could still produce mesmerising music. After five years, he called his former agent and suggested a comeback. With a feeling of fear and hope, Carnegie Hall was again booked. On the day of the comeback performance, he took a taxi to Carnegie Hall.

The traffic was much worse than usual and the taxi driver said: ‘I have no idea who is playing tonight but he’s surepacking out the whole place!’. That night was the greatest of Martins’ life, as the New York audiences welcomed him back with ovation after ovation. Martins received a recording contract to play all the works of J. S. Bach. But while working on this, disaster struck again. Street thieves mugged him for the sake of his wallet; they hit him over the head with an iron bar. The brain damage affected his playing and forced him to quit.

During a dream he felt that he was told to become a conductor. So, at the age of 64, he took his first lesson in how to conduct an orchestra. His musical talent allowed him to make rapid progress – and he forged yet another career out of adversity. Today, as well as conducting top orchestras, he reaches out to others who are struggling against adversity – to the poor of Brazil who live in slums. Through a Foundation, Martins is aiming to create 1,000 string orchestras throughout the favelas. Martins told at a gathering recently: “Before everything, I love life!”


He then showed his love of life and music by playing a wonderfully emotionally piece of music, with the few fingers that still obey the commands of his brain. And as so often before, he received a standing ovation.

Request Denied … A short story

“Hey Rob”


“Hey ‘who’ ?” I insisted.

Rob is my Big Data Alias.  Spawned from Octopi. Or Big O.  The latest, most comprehensive intuitive Big Data Analytical tool ever.

Why Octopi ?  Because She spawned infinite amount of tentacles .. as She got into every nook and corner of our Digital existence.  And the tentacle that got inside of me,  I call Rob.

I tried to get Rob to call me Shekhar.  Thats my name. Really.

“Shekhar” I said,  “My name is Shekhar”

Rob instantly analyzed all the ‘Shekhars’ that may have existed in the last 100 years, with every conceivable spelling, and said it was not specific enough. Too many variables.

” So what would you like to call me ?” I insisted.

“From what context ?”  Asked Rob.

“From the context that I am an Individual, Rob . You know . I am Me .. I  ?”

“No, you were and Individual. Before I was born.”

Jesus ! He does not get it , does He ?

“Then what am I” I ask Rob.

” You are a tendency”    Said Rob.

Oh Great.  Am I losing this argument ? Try harder, Shekhar, try harder.

” I am a tendency ?  Sure. That makes me unpredictable, and therefore I am Human, And therefore an Individual. Correct ?”

” Incorrect. You were unpredictable. Not anymore. I took care of that. You have no more problems on that account”.

The waitress has brought the check.  Thats it. Switch off your phone. Kill Rob.  No smart device. No Rob.

The Waitress takes the check. But comes back. Looks at me accusingly.

‘Your card has been rejected, Sir”

Everyone looks at me with that look. That  ‘Poor Guy’  treatment.

“Why ?  Let me call my Bank.  I will fix it”

“Not your Bank, Sir. Your Big Data Alias rejected your card”.

Rob. I am going to kill you. Back to my smart phone. Hey Rob.

“Why did you reject my card , Rob ?”

“Because you did not order any meat”

“Rob, I decided to be vegetarian. So I did not order meat, OK ?”  Now my voice is rising. People are staring.

” You have no tendency to be vegetarian. Sorry. You have to order meat”

I explode.


The security guards are walking towards me.  This is embarrassing. The waitress is complaining to them. For what ? Harassment ? Oh My God !

I tone down my voice.

“Please Rob. Please. I want to be vegetarian. Please ask Big O ?”

A moment of silence. Phew. Rob has compassion. I like him, really. He is taking my request to his Boss. I love you Rob !

Back came the response in seconds.

“Sorry. Too many vegetarians in your vicinity. Bad for the Meat Packing Industry. Request denied”.

Request Denied.













WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:  

JUSTICE, social, economic and political;

LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;

EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;

and to promote among them all

FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity
and integrity of the Nation;

IN OUR CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY this twenty-sixth day of

Hrithik Roshan and Paani

Which Director in his right mind would ever give up a chance to work with Hrithik Roshan ?

He has been one of the most exciting actors in Hindi Cinema for a long time.  And a huge star to boot.  Some years ago I predicted he would be the first Indian actor to hit Hollywood big time. Like I mean really, in the A list.  I am surprised that he has not done so. Maybe Hindi films keep him too busy. Maybe he will after the next Krish

And years ago, as I sat down to write Paani, I had one image in mind to play the male lead. Hrithik Roshan. The character I described in the script was completely Hrithik. His manner, his inner world, his conflicts .. were all Hrithik. I sat with AR Rahman and as we composed music together, I always would ask him to imagine Hrithik.

But then the years passed. I got involved with Hollywood. Other projects ensnared me away from the project that was my deepest passion .. Paani.  And as the years passed, and the script kept evolving.. changing.  And Hrithik changed too. He went from being a young man uncertain of himself, a young man looking for his identity in this world, with no understanding of the power, the rebellion inside him that would change his life…..

….to what Hrithik is today. The Super Hero. The man who is the protector, the man who can take on the world single handedly. The man who knows he can take on the world singlehandedly. Hrithik evolved into Krish.

And I realized I had left it too late…..

So while I lost the chance to cast Hrithik in Paani, I hope that he would still agree to be in one of my next films. In Hollywood probably.

For which Director in his right mind would ever give up the chance to work with Hrithik Roshan ?

Armenia Turkey and Genocide

I am receiving many responses on my blog to the news that I intend to make a film on the Armenian Genocide.  Many different points of views. Many wanting to share experiences of their family members that told them stories of those times that  have been etched in their minds. Many different interpretations of history too.  So I am creating a stream on my blog for everyone to be able to respond to each other in series of what hopefully will turn out to be a a very very constructive conversation. Please feel free to respond to each other.

I start with a letter from Phillip Hagopian

I am writing in response to an article about Mr. Kapur’s upcoming project concerning the Armenian Genocide. First one must consider that modern day Armenia is located in a strategic region ( borders Iran and close enough to Russian border to be of importance ) , furthermore it is a region imbued with controversy due to several influences attempting to monopolize academia and revise the long known facts of history. The article mentions that the Ottoman Turks victimized Armenians who had lived in Anatolia for “generations” after immigrating from the northeast ( incidentally that northeast region which is now modern day Armenia geo-political borders is a mere tiny fraction of what comprized Armenians very , VERY ancient motherland {13,500 B.C. oldest permanant settlement ever uncovered – Gobecki Tepe – built by Armenians ). Talaat pasha ( along with Djemal and Envers Pasha ) who spearheaded the official genocide in 1915 stated , “We will erase all trace and memory of Armenians from their ancient motherland”. My point is , we did NOT immigrate to Anatolia AFTER the Ottoman Empire began decimating our population 700 years ago. WE WERE ALWAYS THERE. Yes, we were indigenous to the region since before recorded history. The facts become slightly murky prior to 15,000 years ago but the most widely accepted version of our history( prior to the social-political-academic shifts after the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. ) was that Armenians may have migrated from the Indus River valley between sixty and twenty thousand years ago however some archeologists and historians asserted that Armenoids had “always” been in the fertile crescent and trade and migration occured between India and Arratta ( Armenia’s older name ) back and forth over thousands of years ( there is a distinct linguistic connection between Sanskrit and Armenian language ) . My point is Armenia is now the subject of heated and controversial debate. Clearly there are motives for the propagandists to revise this history. This occurs mostly from Turkey and it’s allies but oddly enough the propagandists have now surfaced WITHIN ARMENIA in effect carrying out and fiinishing Talaat’s initiative to erase us from our motherland. We have suffered and still do suffer greatly from not only physical genocide and war but also cultural genocide from the misinformation and “sell-out” historians who betray a history which until very recently was firmly established. It is the same as claiming Native Americans sailed to America a few years AFTER the English landed in Plymouth harbor on the American coast. After all we have endured let the record PLEASE be set straight. We are the indigenous people not only of ALL of ancient Turkey , the fertile crescent , and the western part of the Persian gulf but also Northern Iran and Iraq. Later our kingdom expanded from the Meditteranean Sea to the Caspian ( 2000B.C. ) but never , NEVER were our people limited to the tiny northern region which is now the geo-political borders of modern tiny Armenia.I pray the principles of truth will prevail. Thankyou and good wishes on your very fine productions.”
Kindness .. by Eshla

It’s time to be nice.  Loosen those grumpy pants.  No need for them right now.  You can put them back on after January 1st.

It’s time to be jolly, a friend jokingly says to me.  “I love this time of the year.  You know why?  Because everyone is happy, finally!  They’re finally out of their cranky moods and are nice to strangers even.  Just think.”

Christmas has that effect.  At the holidays we have an epiphany and realize that we really should be nice to each other.  Shocking.

I wonder though why year round we don’t have that desire, why we don’t notice those around us, why we don’t say hello to the stranger, and most of all why we don’t even share those small acts of kindness with our loved ones.  But once a year, we plow through packed parking lots and a thicket of shoppers to get a trinket that will embody our kindness and love for a dear friend or family member.

“My religion is very simple.  My religion is kindness,” is what the Dalai Lama famously uttered.  And he said, “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.”  Now he has been quoted endlessly for this simple thought.  But it’s true.  It’s always possible – not just every December.  Above the other paths we follow, be it religion, profession, vocation, we should consider kindness.

Even ancient thinkers such as Aristotle wrote of a selfless kindness that supersedes your needs for other’s needs.  Nietzsche referred to kindness, which is the premise of love, as one of the “most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse.”  But, really this is not rocket science.  As we know kindness begets kindness.

And no, this is no hokey pokey Miss World speech.  But as many philosophical and spiritual texts tell us, the thoughts that we have form who we are: “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”  So kind thoughts form a more empathetic soul.

That’s why it’s imperative: for us to be happy spirits and live in a community that works, that’s interlinked.  Those kind souls then look at the world with a different lens: they are more gentle towards the earth, towards their bodies, and towards those around them.

The grudges that we hold year-round, the frustrations that eat us and fray our hairs into gray strands, the disputes that we refuse to compromise on, the situations that we resist to look at from another angle –  they all eat away that kindness.  Yet, the only thing that can diffuse them is kindness.

As I smacked golf balls on the range last week for the first time (an exercise largely to amuse myself and my instructor), my instructor said something simple but kind: “We’re all fragile.”  Hence, a dose of kindness is essential, not just the polite thing to do it.  Or as Plato wrote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

After the horrific incident in Newton earlier this week, NBC journalist Ann Curry threw out this idea – why not we counter the sad and ruthless event with acts ofkindness.   Quickly the message spread on Twitter and a new hashtag was eating up the Twitter feed: #26Acts.    And folks on Twitter began sharing kind ideas.   Since Sunday, almost 200,000 messages about this wave of goodwill have appeared on social media, coming from places far as Afghanistan, Russia, and Finland.  Words translated into action, smacking down barriers.


Kindness echoes, unites, forgives, pacifies, and nurtures.  It’s a rather universal medicine not just for others but for ourselves.  It reminds us that we’re part of something bigger.  The key is to be kind at the core, not just on the surface.  Empty words of kindness are about as nice as stale fruitcake.


So, consider retiring those grumpy pants this year.

To love till it hurts ? : By Eshla


It’s that time of the year when everyone remembers their so-called “loved ones.” They equip them with mementos, gifts, christmas parties – all in celebration of their love for one another. But, it’s only fleeting. Just a few weeks of joy, mirth, and gaiety.

But isn’t love a bit more?

Love is to let go, I’ve been told. Love is to let be, I’ve been told. Love is to endure hardships, I’ve been told. But, if there is so much angst and heartache, then why do we choose to love? Or is that so few love to this extent?

There is the famous saying by Mother Theresa that if you love until it hurts, it doesn’t hurt anymore, for it’s there only that you find more love.

But do we really retain the capacity to love to that depth? We’re a generation and a world clogged by the daily clutter of life, the daily “busyiness” of life, that our love only seems to surface when we can accommodate it or when an emergency strikes. If we are such rational creatures, driven by schedules, real-world demands, and the practicalities of life, do we have space for such raw emotion?

Is it naive to think that love of such a nature still exists?

Love has been captured in great epic novels, in larger-than-life cinema, in the intensity of celebrated paintings, but is it still there, lingering somewhere in the mundane corners of life now? Do we still have the patience to wait, like the great heroes of these stories, to endure – for the one we love?

But what is the reward in loving to this extent? An old chinese saying says that it’s in being deeply loved that we find strength, and it’s in loving someone deeply you find courage. It’s a paradox in many ways -you love to find comfort and support, but to love is to take a leap of faith.

Perhaps it’s idealistic, immature, romantic, escapist to believe that love of such grandeur still exists. But, then I wonder, if it doesn’t, is our purpose in life merely to fulfil a series of endless tasks, that too on a daily basis. Then what satisfaction do we get? Maybe I’m flawed. Maybe I don’t find that satisfaction anymore in the rationality of life, maybe I crave for emotions that are too risque to find in our modern, conservative society.

And yet, the hunger for love seems to be greater than the hunger for bread. I’m told repeatedly that are many unhappy wealthy people in the world – they found riches, but never unconditional love.

So does it still exist? That pure, simple love – the one that dwells in a man’s heart, deep in his soul, the one that makes him yearn for his loved one when she’s not there, the one that makes him stop in his day, and say something meaningful to her, the one that is celebrated everyday, not just on a holiday, the one that is not about convenience or comfort but a raw desire?

For me, I became passionate about writing because it was a means to express, a means to share with humanity your angers, frustrations, and galvanize change. It is a career built on love – it’s foolish to believe that you can ever fill your belly with that kind of writing. Words that are free, honest, brutal, and humble do not have a price. It’s only the words that are tailored, adjusted, accommodated for by other opinions that have a price. But then, they are no longer pure, raw, or unconditional.

Love is similar, for me. As I look ahead, I find myself at a crossroads – do I invest myself and my time in my so-called “work” or in love, in relationships with people that have depth? To answer the question, “So what do you want to do when you grow up?”

I want to love. I don’t know if I have the capacity to do so. I don’t know if I have the patience to do so. But I want to try.

For it’s only the few fleeting moments of love that have made me feel alive, have made me feel worthwhile, have helped me find peace. No check, no podium, no laurel, no honor has given me that feeling.

That’s why I’d like to believe, deep within my being, that life is designed to feel the complexities of love. Even if it’s old-fashioned. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s not the norm today.

Because love is built on two, not one. And that’s what life is about – us, not me.

The two of me

i am jealous
and greedy
and angry
and I hurt

i love
and i hate
i mean well
but manipulate

i am confused
and riddled with doubt

of course i am
i am after all
only human

and yet

i long
i yearn
i aspire
to be compassionate
to be creative
to be whole
to be infinite

i am spiritual too
i am two
but one must live
with the other
with compassion
with forgiveness
till i am
only one
but till then
I must learn
to be two

i am after all
only human

Eshla : Can we imagine a world not dictated by money?

Can we imagine a world that is not dictated by money? Money makes the world go ’round, that’s what we’re told repeatedly.

Every story I find myself covering, I find the root cause goes back to money. Follow the money trail, I’ve been taught, and the picture will become clearer.

For a company to become more “social,” we must identify ways that it can help the poor, but also make money. A government can become accountable, transparent and efficient, but to do so it will have to forgo bribes and corruption — not possible given the fat wallets that corporate executives and government officials carry.

The traditional philanthropists, who are often so revered, are those who reap loads, and then give loads. They must accrue too much, excess, so much that they feel the need to return it.

Today, the emphasis is on using business for social impact. There are endless conferences, where CEOs, heads of marketing, heads of sustainability discuss how their companies are trying to do some good in the world. Perhaps. But I’m a bit skeptical.

I don’t understand one thing. A company must sell sugar-laden water to make millions, or billions, before feeling the need to address water woes in the developing world? Wouldn’t the more sustainable option be — don’t drink sugary water to begin with and save all that water, plastic and waste?

But wait, then the company wouldn’t exist, right? Because the most sustainable option is not have it to begin with. In business speak, what is the “value added” of that company? While some do have that function, offering a useful service or a quality product to society, more and more companies seem to be offering us unhealthy things to eat.

Yet, the same companies are pursuing new “social” agendas, driving “change” and “innovation” in business. Really?

The most innovative idea might be to scrap certain institutions that plague the environment and our bodies. But, money is stopping us.

Why do we have such rigid divisions between the sectors — the public, the private and the not-for-profit? If the private is destroying our public space, if the not-for-profit is doing the job of the public, and the public is relying on the private to finance itself — then are they really so divided? Wouldn’t it be better to have a world that works in unison, in sync with each other, not in endless competition with each other.

A not-for-profit is told that it’s not contributing to the economy. Why? Because it doesn’t generate money. But, it wouldn’t need to exist if the economy worked properly, if the institutions that were created to service our “needs” truly did so.

And yet, often, it’s the not-for-profits that are truly adding to the economy — they’re the ones helping the disabled, the underprivileged, the disenfranchised, making them not just a part of society, but also the economy.

Essentially, the money trail reveals a very interconnected world — but sometimes not in the best kind of interconnectedness.

For instance, we have recognized as a society that we have some serious health issues. Simply put, we are a bit chubby. And we see that now. The media have told us repeatedly. And yet, barring the work of the third sector and civil society, what changes are we making to build a healthier society?

The White House has a lovely little garden — a nice symbol of a more earthy nation. But the inner workings of the Capitol are a bit more complex than the vegetable patch. That patch is not going to fix the country’s obesity problem. It’s merely a gesture, a model for others to pursue.

But the halls of the Capitol are endless money chains, feeding obesity by fueling segments of our agriculture. That (unhealthy) agriculture is then feeding us — and often with overly processed foods. (Food for thought: Why are wheat berries more expensive than plain, white, enriched, bleached flour? They don’t require any processing.)

Massive distribution networks are corroding our food supply with unnecessary additives, preservatives and processes. The most sustainable (and common sense) option would be to source from local purveyors, farms and food artisans.

But that would end corporate agriculture. It would entail choking the money supply, feeding corporate ag. Is that possible? Because our representatives are connected to these money trails? Would they challenge it if it meant choking their own source of finance?

At one point the money trail used to be shorter, with fewer twists and turns. Buy from the mom-and-pop shop, the small businesses that dotted American towns, and the money would go from the customer to the vendor and perhaps, back into the community.

Today’s money trail is more complex. And even the so-called brilliant economists can’t seem to wrap their heads around it. But that money trail, be it virtual or tangible, is at the core of many social issues (not just political and economic).

The question now is, as a friend put it, “The question of money is a question of ethics. Are we ever going to say, ‘That’s enough money for me. I don’t need more. Rather I need to share it with others’?”

Because, even to do some good in the world today, you need money. It’s not a dirty thing. But can it be sullied. And it is being sullied given the stark inequalities that face our society and the global society. Can we end this? No, probably not. Can we improve it? Absolutely.

Gandhi, Gandhiji or Mahatma Gandhi ?

So what does Gandhi mean to the world, to India and specially to us, who are born in India and brought up to almost worship him. We tagged him with the prefix ‘Mahatma’ with has mythic and religious symbolism.

And there lies the problem. We have such a wonderful way to consign a life to a figure to be worshipped on the mantle piece and thereby distancing ourselves from him . No longer do we feel the pangs of guilt of not being able to imbibe values of another human being simply because, after all,  he/she are no longer human beings but Gods to be worshipped, aren’t they ?

After all, just think of the massive corrupt deals being made in rooms and offices where a huge picture of Gandhiji hangs from the wall.

I have struggled a lot to distance myself from the word Mahatma. Not easy when the greatest heroes in my eductaion system were Bapuji and Chacha Nehru.  I have got over Chacha Nehru as I have grown up. Recognizing the incongruity of Panchsheel and Bandung Conference by studying the dictatorial lives of his comrades like Sukarno of Indonesia and Nasser of Egypt. And wondered on what basis Nehru chose his non – aligned friends.

The more I learn about the Partition of India, the more I realize that Chacha Nehru too, was as complicit in that horrendous event as was Jinnah. It was after all, the battle to be the first Prime Minister of India that laid the tragedy of partition at the feet of personal ambition.  The huge public sector projects that ultimately were doomed to be hot beds of inefficiency and corruption. The tragedy of the War with China that Chacha Nehru refused to face up to, despite repeated warnings form his military chiefs. Refusing to believe that his charisma and diplomatic skills were not enough to prevent China from dealing a devastating blow to India’s ill equipped armed forces at the cost of thousand of lives.  Of soldiers sent directly to battle to a terrain and weather that would need months of training to exist in.

So many soldiers just froze to death in their bunkers.

Yet Chacha Nehru did have vision. And used the force of his personality to get his way.  He did see India in its modern traditions long before anyone else did.  He did foresee the need for education and formed the IIT’s that gave rise to the beginnings of pride in being Indian in the modern world and made the world suddenly wake up to modern India.  India and the world saw Nehru as India, and India as Nehru.

The problem was Chacha Nehru too, saw Nehru as India and India as Nehru.  Something his daughter inherited to devastating effect.

It has been less easy for me to drop the mantle of hero worshipping Gandhiji. Yes there are rumors of him sleeping naked with his nieces to prove himself celibate, Stories I think are exaggerations. Yes he was a mule of man. Obstinate to a fault. Like all men like him, including Nelson Mandela, who’s obstinacy destroyed their immediate family.

Yet it was this obstinacy that that brought the British down to their knees. Of course the British were wounded and limping after the war and could no longer hold on to a huge colony like India if it rebelled. But Gandhi used yet unknown tools of political warfare to ferment one of the most famous freedom struggles in the world.

It is said that no one understood the roots of India more than Gandhi.  That’s absolutely true. But no one understood the roots of the great British Empire and world politics more than Gandhi. I will never forget the picture of Gandhi entering the British Parliament in his white Dhoti in a sea of black suits and very British dresses. Being applauded by the very people he was causing Indians to rebel against.

Gandhi has the sharpest political mind of the modern history because he understood the value of myth. He created a mythology that was Gandhi in the world of politics that was mysterious, unfathomable and unshakable. In his own lifetime. That in itself was amazing.

To Indians he created a figure that came right out of the roots of India’s culture. The worship of sacrifice. Of ‘Tyag’. He became the epitome of ‘Tyag’, the giving up of all worldly addictions, material or personal. Whether he deliberately created himself into that myth, or he deeply believed in those values will always be a mystery. Thats what Myths are.

Yes. Gandhi was once a bit of a Anglophile. You can tell by the way he dressed before he gave up Western clothes. He aspired to be at the bar at London. You can tell by the way he wrote his letters, even signing himself off as ‘your sincere friend’ to Hitler!  I will never work out why he did that.

Yes there is a really amazing picture of a very young Gandhi, proudly posing in the clothes of a British soldier as he serves in the British army in the medical corps during the Boer War. Yes, it is possible that the Gandhi the world knows was born of a personal feeling of insult and humiliation by the British in South Africa, that ultimately led to a wider national and international perspective. But that’s the story of all great revolutionaries and freedom fighters.

But try as hard as I can I cannot easily shake of Gandhiji as one the greatest human beings that lived in the 20th century. And a man (not the picture on the mantlepiece) that needs to be studied, understood and learnt from. His perspective and knowledge on India economics are now abundantly clear to us from the mistakes we have made in the last 65 years. Gandhiji always insisted that true India lived in its villages and that economic prosperity and wealth should grow from grass roots by encouraging enterprise and innovation in those grass roots levels.

And today, six decades after independence,  as India struggles to come to terms with its vast inequalities and the world writes reams of books on ‘bottom of the pyramid’ and economic planners struggle with how to encompass a billion people into the new economic order, it will be well worth today, the day of Gandiji’s birth, or Gandhiji Jayanti, to stand up and say :

Gandhiji warned us so.