Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 20th 2014 Contents A27
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
The editor of Whisper, an app
for people to share secrets
anonymously, has angrily denied
reports that it has been tracking
users and sharing data.
The UK Guardian newspaper
claims Whisper has an in-house
tool which can track the loca-
tions of all its users.
This includes some who have
specifically opted out of sharing
location details, the report
claims. Whisper editor Neetzan
Zimmerman tweeted that the
article was "riddled with outright
lies and made-up quotes."
The Guardian also claimed the
app was tracking "newsworthy"
posters and was sharing data with
the US Department of Defence in
instances where secrets were up-
loaded from military bases.
"We are not sharing specific
user data with any organisation,"
wrote Zimmerman in response.
"We noticed how frequently
suicide is mentioned among
those living on US military bases
or compounds and reached out
to organisations to see how we
could work together to address
this important issue."
However, he added that "vio-
lent or child-endangering
threats" were reported to law
enforcement agents "to protect
our users and the public".
"We comply with the legal
process in all instances," he
"We respond to both subpoenas
and preservation requests from
law enforcement. Whisper is not a
place for illegal activity." (BBC)
Anonymous app Whisper denies tracking claims
Ramleela rehearsal was in full swing at the Om
Shakti Mandir in Aranguez. A modest, beauti-
fully decorated temple just a stone s throw
away from the Aranguez Savannah, this
Hindu temple, several decades old, is nestled at the
corner of Park and Coronation streets, right next door
to another temple---indeed, at least four or five temples
service this bustling Aranguez community where small
businesses such as car parts shops, garden stores,
hatha yoga classes and the nearby Samaan Tree Bar
rub shoulders with neighbourhood family homes.
Community members from as young as nine and as
mature as 45 were all preparing for their first Ramleela
on Monday night at the mandir.
While some youths were still trying to remember
their lines, a young girl solemnly read out the narrator s
parts, and an older granny shouted out sage advice
about the timing of songs: "Sing that one during the
Other cast members coached their fellow actors on
how and where to walk on stage; and how to mime
picking up Shiva s bow as if it weighed a ton.
Passionate, fiery lines alternated with gentle, shy ones
and more modulated, persuasive tones, often broken up
by laughter as the cast worked to get it right.
While other Hindu temples may use big casts to per-
form long plays over several days (based on longer sto-
ries from the Ramayana), the Om Shakti community
preferred to start simply, with a cast of just 15 who are
enacting a very manageable 45-minute play based on
"dhanush baan"---which refers to the story of how Lord
Shiva s bow gets broken.
"It s not the same play that each temple will do; dif-
ferent temples select what they feel they can portray,"
explained Indarjit Ramkissoon, who has been president
of Om Shakti Mandir for the past 20 years.
An impressive array of marble murtis (religious stat-
ues) from India inscrutably watched over the fun pro-
ceedings: Shiva the cosmic destroyer, elephant-trunked
Ganesh, the loving Lakshmi, devoted Hanuman with his
monkey face, and a blue-skinned Vishnu (preserver of
life) were among the deities who seemed to give their
blessings to the spirited members of this temple, who
were in the process of adapting a centuries-old oral tra-
dition brought from India to Trinidad.
Ramleela literally means "Rama s leela" or play. It is a
dramatic folk play about the life of Rama as described
in the great Hindu epic the Ramayana (which means:
Rama s Journey).
The original Ramayana was a 24,000-couplet epic
poem by the Sanskrit poet Valmiki. Rama s journey is
like a complex morality tale in which characters, through
their decisions and through many situations, explore
human values, behaviours and duties; do you act to
preserve good order, or do you encourage chaos in the
Narad Jacob directed the Om Shakti Mandir s Ram-
leela this year. "When I was younger, we used to do a
much longer version of the play and we would rehearse
for six months," said Jacob, "but this version is much
shorter; kids have school and lessons, so we ve been
practicing on weekends and evenings for a few weeks ...
Our play focuses on King Janak and his daughter Sita.
Continues on Page A30
the Om Shakti
on October 16,
Links Archive October 19th 2014 October 21st 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page