Kumar Govindan
8 min readNov 4, 2023

About: the world this week, 29 October to 4 November 2023; Israel goes all out on terror; a bomb blast in India’s Kerala State; and the popular American TV series ‘Friends’ loses a friend.


Israel’s War on Terror

Israel got cracking with the second phase of its war on the terrorist Hamas. The ground attack began slowly unfolding keeping in mind the safety of the hostages and the treacherous network of Hamas’ underground Tunnels. And the land attack was supported with force from the Air and the Sea.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) also made their first successful rescue of one hostage, freeing a female Israeli soldier, Ori Megidish. Recall that Hamas has released four hostages since the horrific attack on 7th October.

Meanwhile, Israel confirmed the death of Shani Louk, a 23 years old German-Israeli citizen who was captured from the music festival during the 7th October attack on Israel. Her lifeless body was paraded, in a gruesome manner, on the back of a pick-up truck, in Gaza.

Every day, a new revelation on the chilling savagery of Hamas’ 7th October attack is being put-out by Israel, based on facts gathered and bodies of the dead identified and accounted for. And what crosses one’s mind is, ‘can a human being go to this extent of heinous cruelty. Why this blood-curling hatred for jews?’

The US Secretary of State shared this during a testimony:

“A family of four. A young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father’s eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother’s breast cut off, the girl’s foot amputated, the boy’s fingers cut off — before they were executed. And then their executioners sat down and had a meal. That is what this society is dealing with.”

Head of Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine, said: “In 28 years, I can’t recall such infernal damage. Babies, young children, without heads, without legs. I can’t understand how the entire world doesn’t grasp the sheer cruelty of this situation”. His department is faced with the arduous, heart-wrenching task of identifying the dead. And each body-bag tells a story of unfathomable barbarism by Hamas.

Key to Israel’s goal of comprehensively defeating and disarming Hamas is destroying the extensive tunnel network, which Hamas has been secretly developing for decades. And allows it to smuggle goods, people, and weapons, and plan attacks on Israel. All at the cost of development of the civilians living above, on the land. By its own account, Hamas boasts more than 480 kilometres of tunnels, dozens of feet or more below the ground, snaking under the small strip of Gaza and invariably running under civilian residences, hospitals, and schools.

On another front, humanitarian aid is being allowed into Gaza, and since 21st October a total of over 300 trucks have entered loaded with water, food, and medical supplies. There is always the fear that Hamas ‘may tunnel these resources’ for making yet another attack on Israel.

Hamas still holds 242 Israeli and foreign hostages — including at least 30 babies and children — in Gaza, and their safe release is of paramount importance. And there seems to be ‘no light’ at the end of the tunnel-of their release.

Trouble in God’s Own Country

The Indian state of Kerala became known as ‘God’s Own Country’ taking-off from the tagline coined by a Creative Director, Walter Mendez, of the Advertisement Agency, Mudra Communications Limited (now known as DDB Mudra Group). This was in 1989, when the Kerala Tourism Department tasked it to spread the word on the natural beauty of Kerala, across the world. This is one of the longest, sustained iconic campaigns in the world, and promoted tourism in Kerala like none other.

The term turned out to be a natural fit for Kerala, blessed with lush green landscapes, crystal clear beaches, natural beauty, and ecological diversity. In another dimension, Kerala was actually created by the Gods, as per mythology.

Sage Parashurama, who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu (creator of the World) — one of the holy Trinity of Hinduism’s Gods — created Kerala, with his axe. He threw his axe in the water, which receded as far as it reached to make the place of land, which is modern Kerala. The land which rose from the sea was filled with salt and unsuitable for habitation, hence Parasurama invoked the Snake King Vasuki, who spat out the holy poison and converted the soil into fertile land. Out of respect, Vasuki and all snakes were appointed as protectors and guardians of the land.

According to another mythological account, King Mahabali once ruled Kerala. He was a benevolent and generous king who ruled without discrimination, and people were honest, healthy, and happy under his rule. Even the Gods were jealous of the prosperity and wealth in the kingdom of those days.

Mahabali came to temporarily possess Amrita -nectar of eternal life- which allowed his subjects to bring him back to life after his death in one of the may wars he waged. Thus, Mahabali was immune from death and became invincible, eventually conquering heaven and earth. The Devas (celestial beings) approached Lord Vishnu to save them from complete obliteration. Though reluctant in the beginning — Mahabali being his ardent devotee — Lord Vishnu eventually relented, to re-establish the natural order of things. Mahabali was tricked and sent to the underworld through an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, called Vamana. However, Lord Vishnu granted Bali a boon whereby he could return to his homeland once every year. The harvest festivals of Balipratipada and Onam are celebrated to mark and commemorate the memories of King Mahabali’s yearly homecoming. It is the state festival of Kerala and is celebrated every year with joy and zeal.

Kerala also leads the country in various aspects like literacy rate-the highest in India at about 99%, sex ratio, lowest population growth, and travel & tourism. Kerala is the only Indian State ruled by a majority Communist Party, The Left Democratic Front (LDF), also known as Left Front (Kerala) which is an alliance of left-wing political parties in the state. It is the current ruling political alliance of Kerala, since 2016.

Now, there is trouble brewing in God’s Own Country. And I wish King Mahabali was around.

Early this week, on Sunday, two women and a child were killed and over fifty injured after multiple explosions took place at a prayer meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Kalamassery area of Kerala’s Kochi. It was confirmed that an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) caused the explosion. The blast took place in the central part of the hall, at Zamra International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Surprisingly, the case was quickly resolved, when a few hours after the incident, a man named Dominic Martin who claimed to be a member of Jehovah’s Witnesses said that he was responsible for the blast. And that he belonged to the same group, which held the prayer meeting. He then voluntarily surrendered to the Police.

Dominic Martin published a video message on a social media platform claiming responsibility for the blasts and giving reasons for the same. He provided evidence to support his claims and the police are examining everything in detail-to confirm that it indeed is him. The man alleged that he took the decision as the teachings of the organisation were ‘seditious’. Martin further alleged that the organisation and its ideology were dangerous for the country and therefore, it had to be put to an end, in Kerala. He claimed that he had told the organisation several times to correct its teachings, but it was not ready to do so. And he took this extreme step.

Who are the Jehovah’s Witnesses?

Jehovah’s Witnesses hold a number of traditional Christian views, but also many that are unique to them. The Witnesses’ teachings stress strict separation from the Government. Although they are generally law-abiding, they refuse, on biblical grounds, to observe certain laws. They do not salute the flag of any nation, believing it an act of false worship; they refuse to perform military service; and they do not participate in public elections. They are known for door-to-door evangelism.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have significant presence in Kerala. In 1986, India’s Supreme Court backed its followers, ruling that their children could not be compelled to sing the national anthem in schools.

Learn more about Jehovah’s Witnesses at:

Please Yourself


Late last week, Matthew Perry, the 54 years old star who played ‘Chandler Bing’ in the famous TV sitcom series, Friends died in his home in California, United States.

The news of Perry’s death came almost one year after he published his memoir, opening up about his experience in Hollywood and his decades-long struggle with addiction. Investigators said there was no sign of foul play after Perry was found dead in a hot tub at his home.

Friends is an American television series created by David Crane and Marta Kauffman, which aired on NBC from, 1994 to 2004, lasting ten Seasons. It starred Jennifer Aniston(Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow(Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc(Joey), Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer( Ross): six unique friends in their 20s and early 30s who live in Manhattan, New York City. The series follows the eventful day-to-day lives of the group of Friends as they live, work, and love in the city. The show’s timeless humour allows people of any age demographic to relate to the characters and laugh at their jokes. Though it explores issues of friendships, family, love, and heartbreaks, the soul of the show lies in the superb comedy.

Friends, won six Emmy Awards, including outstanding comedy series, and from its second season until the end of its run maintained a top five or better Nielsen rating, hitting number one in its eighth season.

Chandler Bing is a fictional character portrayed by Matthew Perry. Chandler is notoriously sarcastic and has a terrific sense of humour, developed as a defence mechanism to overcome the trauma of his parents announcing their divorce to him, over Thanksgiving Dinner, when he was only nine years old. He was an only child born to an ‘erotic romance novelist’ and a ‘gay female impersonator’ and star of a Las Vegas drag show.

He works in ‘statistical analysis and data reconfiguration’, but loathes it, although it pays well. He is the highest earning member of his friends’ circle on account of responsible income management, having learned the value of money from a young age. Chandler suffers from commitment issues, but later marries Monica at the end of Season 7. In Season 10, Chandler and Monica go on to adopt twins.

The Friends theme song, ‘I’ll Be There for You,’ performed by the Rembrandts, was a minor pop hit in its own right.

Here are some memorable ‘Friends one-liners’:

Look at me, I am Chandler, could I be wearing any more clothes?

Well, the fridge broke, so I had to eat everything.

That’s a great story, can I eat it?

They don’t know that we know they know we know.

She’s your Lobster. It’s a known fact that Lobsters fall in love and mate for life. You can actually see Lobster couples walking around their tank, holding claws’.

Lips moving still talking.

More moving, words talking, stories coming-up in the weeks ahead. Be friends with World Inthavaaram.



Kumar Govindan

Once an Engineer, now a Make-in-India Entrepreneur; Wordsmith; Blogger; maybe a Farmer!