Sunday, October 28, 2018

DR. ZABIHOLLAH SAFA OF IRAN

                         

Dr Zabihollah  Safa..(1911-1999)

Padamshri Dr Kashi Nath Pandita remembers Dr Zabihollah Safa..

" I am indebted to two Gurus for what i am and for what i did in my life. One,  late  Prof . N N Raina  former HOD Physics University of Kashmir and second late  Dr Zabihollah Safa eminent Scholar  from  University of Tehran. I may tell about the depth of knowledge and scholarship  of  Raina sahib later . Let it be  known to all that he brought Communism to kashmir . He was a scientist yet had unmatched command over   Literature ,World  History, Performing Arts, Music and politics. Except Marxism, i learnt a lot from him. From him , I learnt  that logic  remains the lone key  for acquiring  real, unbiased and fundamental knowledge . From him i learnt  that selfless quest and passion simplify the journey of a genuine knowledge seeker . Raina sahib declined to join  as Pandit Nehru's secretary. Raina sahib declined to join as Minister in Sheikh sahib's cabinet in 1975 . I have spoken in detail about these two issues in my Radio interview to you .so don't ask more.

The second person who left an indelible impression on my mind  is  Dr Zabihollah  Safa Scholar Extraordinary who was my guide at Tehran University  when i did my doctoral thesis on Persian Poet BEDIL.  The dimensions of his thought and words were amazing. He had enormous clarity on History, Civilizations,  Development of  Religious thought  across the world , philosophy and  World Literature.
Yes his persona was what Allama Iqbal meant when he said:

" Na Takht o Taaj mein na Lashkar o sipaah mein hai,
Jo baat mard e qalandhar ki baargaah mein hai.."

His Criticism was  scathing. Logic and Reason were his tools to unlock various issues and mysteries in pursuit of knowledge.. It required a certain amount of courage to sit before him forget entering into any   discussion. He would always say that Indians have contributed more towards the development of Persian Literature. He held  Bedil and Ghani kashmiri in high esteem . Apart from several research oriented  books , his   contribution is the  monumental  work "History Of Persian Literature" running into  several volumes with each volume having more than 2000 pages and 
the well known" Encyclopaediaa Iranica "  . Dr safa moved to Germany after the fall of Shah regime . I went to pay my respects to him in Germany but he had been overtaken by memory loss and Parkinson's disease.  It was  very painful  for me to see him in that Condition . Such free thinkers are born after many  centuries.. "


(Autar Mota)
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TRIBAl RAID IN KASHMIR , MAQBOOL SHERWANI AND BRIGADIER RAJINDER SINGH.

                       
                                               (DR KASHI NATH PANDITA ) Padamshri Dr Kashi Nath Pandita Speaks on Tribal Invasion of October 1947 , Maqbool Sherwani  and Supreme Sacrifice of Brigadier Rajinder Singh.

‌" I belong to Baramullah. As a  youngman of 19 years ,  i saw death, destruction and plunder of Baramullah town  in October 1947 . You can't feed incorrect history to people who have lived the period and are  privy to events .I wonder why  some events  have been presented wrongly with a  factually incorrect narrative . May be this narrative suits some  but facts are facts.I am referring to events of Tribal Raid in Kashmir. Lot of  wrong information has been fed to people.
                                                                         

                                                           ( MAQBOOL SHERWANI )
As far as Maqbool Sherwani is concerned i need to clarify that he was a staunch  follower of Sheikh Mohd Abdullah. That time we would hear a slogan ( coined by Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah ) from National conference cadres " Hindu Muslim sikh Ittehaad " . Sherwani remained unshaken in this belief when most of his cadres shifted loyalities  and sided with advancing marauders sent by Pakistan  .  Sherwani's  misguiding Tribal raiders  on  " The road to srinagar city"   is untruth. The raiders  had no dearth  of local   guides, accomplices and active  supporters  . knowing  Road to Srinagar city was no issue. For raiders, Locating Sherwani had a purpose  .Through him , the tribal raiders  wanted to reach Sheikh Mohd Abdullah whom they wanted to capture and take along as per the plan. They had instructions to bring Sheikh Mohd Abdullah dead or  alive  as Pakistani leadership at that time considered him an enemy and an obstacle in annexation of kashmir.  Sherwani's house was searched but he could not be located. He  was in touch with his party leadership in Srinagar . He would  travel to srinagar on his motorcycle during nights .
 Finally , the raiders  found him when he was on his way to srinagar riding his motorcycle . Unfortunately ,  He was identified by his own men  after he was caught  . He was killed mercilessly by the savage beasts.

 In fact the delay of two crucial days in moving to srinagar city was due to internal fight that the tribal raiders had with their commander named khursheed Anwar. Khursheed Anwar had recieved a sum of rupees  three lakh to be spent  on  tribal raiders  . The raiders  asked Khurshid to distribute the money.  Khurshid refused and told them that the  amount had been given for the whole operation and not for  distribution among them . That made tribal raiders angry and they suspended  operation for two days. For two days , they shifted to  looting  and  killing people in Baramullah town.
Tribal raiders were fed with wrong information that Kashmiri Pandits had enough gold with them . So, Initially they mistook Brass for gold and took away many Brass utensils   from pandit houses thinking it was gold. All this we saw in the godown of the  plundered goods in Baramullah once  Indian Army arrived and the raiders  made  hasty retreat in panic and fear . I saw them fleeing through  Baramullah town in trucks, lorries, Tongas and Reddas  .
 In Baramullah town,  for two days, They only  looked  for " Zar , Zewar and Zenana ( cash , jewelry and women  )
 To Baramullah they did what Nadir shah did  to Delhi. They looted  jewelry,  shops  and houses  and  kidnapped and raped so many Hindu and sikh women in groups. Baramulla Tehsil office had been made a raping centre  by these marauders. Many    women jumped into river jheum to save their honour. I saw this naked  dance of death and destruction  personally  .

What they did to european Nuns , Nurses, teachers and Missionary doctors and their families in Baramullah  is very tragic, shameful , Brutal  and  inhuman. 

This nonstop killing ,  plunder , loot ,rape and mayhem in Baramulla  for two days  halted their advance and  saved srinagar city and simplified the task of  Indian army  in kicking them out. Prior to that , like a true Kshatriya,   Brigadier Rajinder singh  put a halt to their march by engaging them in gunfight for four  days with limited soldiers .

 Under instructions from Maharaja " Fight to the last man and the last Bullet"  ,  with just  110 soldiers, Brigadier Rajinder Singh   put a  crucial halt to the  advancement  about  5000 tribal marauders . He used guerrilla tactics to fight and engage them that  delayed their advance towards Srinagar city. He engaged them in gun battle near  Uri bridge, Mahura and Rampur, inflicting heavy casualties. I have not found such a warrior in  contemporary military history.  I mean an  army chief personally leading soldiers in the  combat. He is the real saviour of Srinagar city from the beastly  marauders. This great  Soldier died of bullet wounds in Battle Field."

 (Autar Mota)

PS

                                                                             

Padamshri Dr Kashi Nath Pandita is an Authority on Central Asian Culture, linguistics and History. Dr Pandita is a renowned Persian Scholar , Author , Translator , journalist and Historian.

Dr. Pandita hails from Baramulla , a town completely devastated in 1947 by Tribal raiders from across the Border .

                                           

The footnotes to the pages of " Baharistaan e Shahi" that he translated from Persian to English , are an ample proof of his knowledge, scholarship and study.

                                 
He lived in Iran for 4 years to complete his Ph.D. from University of Teheran and where he was a favourite student of  Prof zabihollah safa ( 1911-1999) a scholar of international repute.  Dr Pandita.. remained Director of Centre of Central Asian Studies in University of Kashmir where from he retired in 1987. He is held in highest esteem by various Central Asian Academies / Universities.
                             

He has closely worked with so many scholars from Central Asia more specifically from Tajikistan.

His travelogue titled "My Tajik Friends" earned him the coveted Soviet land Nehru Award 1987.

Some prominent works of Dr. Pandita are:

1. Baharistan-i-Shahi, A Chronicle of Mediaeval Kashmir (translated from Farsi)

2. Avicenna – An Introduction

3. Iran and Central Asia

4. Ladakh, life and culture (edited)

5. Hafiz of Shiraz (Urdu)

6. Tohfatul Ahbab, ( English translation of a 17th century history of Kashmir .)


Dr. Pandita has authored innumerable research articles that have been published in many foreign journals . He has also attended so many  international seminars and conferences  at different places in the world.

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Friday, October 26, 2018

CHENANI TUNNEL ,KUD AND PATEESA .



                                    













KUD  HILL  STATION  LOOKS  DESERTED....
(Mobile Photos Autar Mota 23rd Oct.2018)

KUD  looks deserted  courtsey CHENANI- NASHRI Tunnel  (9 kms in length approximately ) but Pateesa remains as tasty as it used to be. Chenani Nashri tunnel has shortened the road  distance between Jammu  and Srinagar by about 33 kms  . The new alignment bypasses KUD, PATNITOP and BATOTE ,  three Prominent Hill stations on Jammu Srinagar Highway .

Mr Khajuria prop. Prem Sweets Kud told me:

" We are here since 1925. Our great grandfather Pandit Lok Nath Khajuria  opened this shop after Banihal cart Road was started. He devised the technique of preparing Tasty Pateesa in kadaai using Desi Ghee, Besan and sugar. Ghee was procured from gujjars in surrounding hills and stored for winter in tins. That was purest Ghee . That time Pateesa was also sent to Royals of Jammu Darbaar. Our Pateesa has been tasted by Maharaja Hari singh and all CMs of the State. We are committed to maintain quality. Nashri Tunnel is Great Development in our state. Yes the tunnel has hit us but it is for convenience of travellers and we too are happy with this great development . We have already set up a shop at Narsoo Nallah on Highway to cater to our customers . That place is many kms ahead of the tunnel entrance If you come from Jammu. Try our kala kandh , chocolate and Desi ghee samosa Mathi  even if  Pateesa remains our speciality."

And Prem Sweets has  opened a retail outlet at Gate No 5 of Jammu Airport where you get Pateesa, Kalakandh, Chocolates, Mathi, Moongra and sund Panjeeri..

(Autar Mota)




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Thursday, October 25, 2018

A MOTHER'S ADVICE


                                                                          


                                  ( Autar Mota in the lap of his Mother on right side )

My mother would always say to me  :



"In this world, Some people are ordinary and some extraordinary . It is predetermined and a matter of fate  .   But my son, always try to  remain  closer  to the extraordinary and   seek their  company . You many not become extraordinary but surely you will be more than ordinary. "

Herself , she was simple woman   :  Always busy in the  kitchen and worried about the welfare of her children .

(Autar Mota)

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

MUHAMMAD ASIMOV AND PADAMSHRI DR. K N PANDITA

        ( Ali sardar Jafri and Faiz Ahmed Faiz with Asimov)
                     (Dr.K N Pandita )
                ( Muhammad Asimov )



Muhammad Asimov And Padamshri Dr. Kashi Nath  Pandita  ......(  Tajikistan Connection.)

Muhammad Asimov or Muhammad  Aesimi is  known to the world as a bright star  of Humanism, Liberalism , Modernity and Scholarship from Tajikistan. He was an administrator, scientist ,writer, philosopher, Translator and Cultural Ambassador of Tajikistan. As president of Tajikistan Academy of Sciences, he was responsible for presenting rich cultural heritage of his Native Land to the world.He also brought world literature to his people through translations .As  education Minister of Tajikistan , he brought revolutionary reforms in educational set up of his country.

 Aesimi  won the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Prize in 1980  , two Orders of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner of Labor and the October Revolution Award apart from so many national and international awards.

Like Bobodzhan Gafurov , Aesimi is also  known as strong  pillar of Modern Tajik identity.
 Bobodzhan Gafurov was a regular visitor to India and a friend of Nehru.


Aesimi had a wide circle of close friends world over  that included Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ali Sardar Jafri, Pablo Neruda, Nazim Hikmet  and many more. From Kashmir, Dr Kashi Nath Pandita eminent Persian scholar and Historian was his intimate friend. To me Dr Pandita said:

" I have traveled to many places in central Asia and  lived in Tajkistan.Aesimi or Asimov as he was known in the then USSR ,was an intimate friend.  He was a scientist, historian, Tajik Persian scholar and a great human being.  I have lived with him in his native province and the entire family is known to me including his brother.

In 1996,  Aesimi was killed by Militants and i wrote a detailed article on him that was published in  a leading paper in Tajikistan. A member of the Aesimi family, a prominent surgeon, was also  killed by Militants in  Dushanbe sometime  in 1994. Entire clan of 70 members had to leave the country as threats started pouring in to them post Aesimi's killing. They decided to leave Tajikistan and  sought asylum in USA.  The presiding official dealing with their asylum application in USA  asked them to produce  external evidence about Aesimi's Conduct , beliefs and threats to his  life .The family approched me and sought  my permission to prodice the copy  of the Newspaper cutting that had my write up on him. I  advised them to go ahead. Later, i   received a letter from the Court asking me as to(1) Who i was?(2)  How i knew Aesimi? (3) Was he liberal? (4) Did he face threats?  And many more  clarifications. I replied what was true and based on my clarifications , all the 70 members got asylum in USA. His children treat me with respect and reverence. I stayed with his elder Daughter in USA last time. She  treats me like her father. "

(Autar Mota)

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Friday, October 19, 2018

KNOWLEDGE IS DOUBT





A  SCULPTURE  AT   PALMER SQUARE  OUTSIDE  PRINCETON UNIVERSITY,  USA

(Mobile Photo.. Autar Mota)

Sometimes, Knowledge  takes away the smile that ignorance had granted to us. Knowledge has the tendency to create suspicion. And suspicion or doubt makes you to  think .. When you think , you naturally turn serious on issues.

Urdu Poet Raghupati Sahay Firaq Gorakhpuri too believes in this statement. I quote him.....

"Aaye thay  hanste khelte mai-khaane mein ‘Firaq’,
Jab pee chuke sharaab to sanjeeda ho gaye"



(To the Tavern, we arrived  carefree and smiling,
Look,  After the  drink ,  How serious we are.)

(Autar Mota)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Friday, October 12, 2018

JAMMU CITY IS BEING BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED









                                       
                                     




In Jammu city, Bikram Chowk flyover pillars are  being beautifully  painted  ..

 Pillars of flyover at Bikram  Chowk jammu are being currently painted by  a team of young Artist. Something beautiful is being done in  the City of Temples.You have a massive circular Pillar painting showing   Shiva and  Parvati in the high hills of  Amarnath Shrine. You have beautiful  paintings showing  Roff dance  of kashmir, Punjabi Bhangra, Dances of Duggar Land, Scenic Doodh Pathri  area of kashmir valley  and  many more things  . The pillars of the 1.3-km Bikram Chowk flyover are being painted by  professional artists hired  by Jammu Municipality.

 Spoke to an official  on spot and he informed:
" This is more planned and massive effort than what was done in 2005. Entire cultural heritage of the state is being  showcased . Apart from Bikram chowk Flyover, more places shall be painted. Due care has been planned to protect the work from man and natural damage.
Care is also being  taken to protect this work from  any damage due to rains and  sulight . It will give a festive and beautiful look to the city"


(Autar Mota)

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

SUI DHAAGA A SIMPLE , CLEAN AND BEAUTIFUL FILM

                                       
SUI  DHAAGA.

After a longtime, i saw something straight, simple and beautiful . This movie needs to be watched for many reasons. No violence ,No item songs, No expensive sets ,  realistic portrayal of  dreams and struggle of  a lower middle class family  and above all superb acting by one and all. The movie has been mostly shot in easily identifiable surroundings  that  carry warm and nostalgic memories of our own life as it used to be  in  childhood and youth. You easily identify with people , situations and  story line as it moves ahead.

 Kudos to the casting director. It looks as if  each actor learnt acting  for his role in this  movie only.

Anushka Sharma is versatile.  If she  is  silent, she has something serious to convey. Her smile is her USP. It appears to  spring forth   somewhere from her soul . Her Body language compliments her natural acting.    With very little make up, She looks elegant in ordinary Saree, Bangles and Bindi . I never knew that varun Dhawan is such a good actor. Excellent performance by actors who played Mauji's ( Varun Dhawan')parents in the movie.


(Autar Mota)

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Friday, October 5, 2018

TUZUK I JAHANGIRI OR MEMOIRS OF JAHANGIR AND BIRTHDAY OF RIVER VITASTA


                                                                    


BIRTH DAY CELEBERATIONS OF RIVER VITASTA ( JHELUM ) IS CLEARLY MENTIONED BY JAHANGIR IN HIS MEMOIRS
I Quote from Tuzuk I Jahangiri …

“On the night of Thursday , 19th , the kashmiris had lined up with lamps on both sides of Bihat ( Vyath ) .It is an ancient custom that every year on this day , everyone . whether rich or poor , whoever has a house on the bank of the river , should light lamp as done on Shab e Barat .I asked the Brahmans the reasons for this , and they said that this day the fountain head of the River Jhelum was disclosed and the custom had come down from old days that on this date must take place the festival of VYATH TRUWAH . Vyath means Jhelum and Truwah means thirteenth :As this day is thirteenth of *Shawwal . they light Lamps . In this way they call it VYATH TRUWAH .Undoubtedly , the lamp lighting was good. I sat in a Boat and went round to see it .”

( SOURCE PAGE 167 AND 168.. THE TUZUK – I - JAHANGIRI OR MEMOIRS OF JAHANGIR TRANSLATED BY ALEXANDER ROGERS )

( Autar Mota )


PS
Translator’s foot note appearing at page 169 ..


• It is curious that the date of the festival should be given according to Muhammadan month Shawwal which must recur at different seasons .Apparently the meaning here is that the Birth of the river on that particular year took place on that day.


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Thursday, October 4, 2018

TURKISH FRUIT SELLER , BANANAS , HOMELESS AND SHRADHAA RITUAL IN MANHATTAN



                                                                           






SHRAADHA, BANANAS, HOMELESS AND THE TURKISH FRUIT SELLER IN MANHATTAN...

Walk the Talk with Turkish fruit seller.

" Why you go Pharmacy store yesterday Sir ? All ok ! What you lookin ? If Medicine then i help. I friendly with Boongladesh (Bangladesh) coontri ( Country) sales guy. He hire in some pharmacy 34 street . The man they call  Eziz . Long Beard . He come my shop. Buy Banana and sometime Mexican Mango .He like mango . He go friendly and good man but say why I not Beard. I say I no less Moslem if no beard.. I come here sell fruit make honest living . That my business. I waalcom( welcome) all peoples . He not understand. Leave that .If you problem buy medicine ,I go speak . I knowing some african American guy . He hire Duanereade Pharmacy store midtown.. He my friend. He customer. He help all peoples ."

" I wanted to buy some medicine but no pharmacy store agrees to sell without prescription. Some Arthritis medicine . They say it is prescription drug. They don't recognise prescription of Doctor from India. Not so easy to buy medicine here. We brought all medicines from India.."

" Yeah sir it tough. Here No government hospital no Doctor for poor peoples . You insurance you enter company hospital. No insurance no Doctor No medicine no hospital. Many go homeless if go hospital treatment when no insurance. They selling house.. Too much money they pay. Too much if you insurance also. I go fail how understand here medical system . God ! Save all. God! Everybody good health. Here system Good only rich peoples. How your Madam health now ? She say She pain knee and Walking problem. This not good . When I go Istanbul I bring good good pain cream . Rub Rub and knee pain finish. Good good medicine."

" She is better now. Had madam come here ? Did she tell you that we need some mix fruit ."
"Yes . Madam say need mix fruit mother in law death anniversary day. When it ? I keep good good fruit. No complain .you taste and say Turkish friend good guy. "

" Yes keep good fruit for that day. I will let you know. We don't want fruit for ourself on mother's death anniversary day." 

" Who go eating fruit then?" 

" We Call it Shraadha in Hindu Religion  or simply Death anniversary date of parents or elders in the family  . We need to give to some hungry man. It is something like Sadaqah in Islam to earn Sawaab. I mean charity . We call it Dhaan or charity .Here , we make the ritual very simple this way. ."

" How great sir . You knowing my religion . That amazing. Many poor here. Here poor homeless peoples always wanting food.. They go eating what you give . Money , Food ,water, fruit, cigarette all they needing. Extra keep in bag next meal. Some homeless go over eating .Some bad luck they getting very little and they search waste food Trash bin ."

" Isn't the trash bin food stale?"

" No, No sir. Here they clearing bin two times one day. Some good peoples here buy food give half half homeless. Some drinking half juice ,close cap and half in trash bin for anybody homeless. "
" Do you give them fruits? " 

" When homeless come , The say give banana. I give. I giving regular banana there that man  sit outside church next block opposite . He real poor .He need shirt . He need trouzir ( trousers) . Only 3 months and come winter. He some mental problem. Sometime he weep, cry .Alone alone he smile . Real Poor guy." 


" No problem. I give shirt and Pyjama to Paul along with fruit..Shirt and pyjama is Indian garment .Good stuff. New one. "

" Sir my coontri peoples also go charity what you do. That why i like you peoples.When your mother death anniversary day, I give Free 10 Banana to homeless that day. Allow please. I respect guys remember elder family member . I regard who look after elder family member. Here old peoples living alone . Nobody care. Suffering and go real Sick. Poor go Very bad . Very very bad sir . What i say . They no cat , dog or parrot company.. They not able their work what they do pet. All alone. When some old come buy fruit ,i say no come next time. Talk mobile ,i drop home. He doubt me. He think i go some cheating. "

" Yes, they are right They live in different culture. They can't trust everybody. But you should keep helping old people"

" Agree what you say.That reason i like talkin you sir. My request sir 10 Bananas . You pay nothing .You give homeless my side that day .For my happiness. You get me . I not know why I feeling your family my family one family. My respect always your family. When i see your Madam ,i see Nissim my Sister .your Madam face and Nissim face same same . "

(Autar Mota)

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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

SHORTAGE OF PUBLIC REST ROOMS IN MANHATTAN (NEW YORK )


                                                                                



PAY AND USE.


The conversation with a local person on footpath near 34rth street  west Manhattan . I quote verbatim.

" Aren't there public rest rooms or Toilets in Manhattan ? I mean Urinals in specific? "

" What you meaning Government rest rooms i not understanding ? "

" I mean rest rooms / Toilets built by Municipality or Government for use by pubic in General ."

" How government Concern anybody  poop or Pee problem? It his problem he go settle himself not Government . It his bladder Or stomach problem .How Government concern? "

" Where should then a person go if he needs a rest room ?"

" Now I get what you meaning. A few , a few . Very few . I say no nothing . Starbucks Coffee shops go allow rest room door entry  free    but some foolish Homeless making Starbucks rest room dirty if use. Some druggy  throw some wrapper or container  and block flush . Big Big problem there .There Customer cry ' You guys no clean rest room.  It Stinking." .One rest room for peoples coming Bryant Park but there strict  discipline. Anybody make dirty, Attendant inform security . May be one in Port Authority Bus Terminal and yes  New York Library rest room also there. That all i knowing.. Here if people go out better go empty bladder. Do all peeing home.Then no problem. If you bladder pressure , you better buy food Pret A Manger , Chipotle , McDonald's or big restaurant . There that cash bill give code. That code you go enter restaurant rest room door and it open. If you no money you handle your bladder how you liking . It your problem . How you expect all do Government? You get me.
If you tourist , Best always pee when stopping having lunch . Use code under cash memo. If you buying museum ticket, go  rest room first later Museum . Museum go nowhere . Bladder pressure go intolerable for all.  That my advice to many Tourist my coontri ( Country ) . "

So while in America , don't look for public toilets or  Indian Sulabh type facility.  Possibly Govt does not intervene in such things. We had to buy two sundaes with strawberries from McDonald's Restaurant at Times square to enter the Restaurant's rest room. Can we call it a Brush with Lasseiz faire?

( Autar Mota)

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