" the monsoon’s rains made driving treacherous "
Bangladeshi Children in the Monsoon - Credit: bri vos
– heavy, sweeping summer rains – affect the majority of South Asia. Monsoon season in Pakistan
is relatively short, and affects only the Himalayan region – the rest of the country is generally dry. The monsoon tends to last from July to September, whereas in wetter India it begins earlier, in June.
" six months later the invasion of Iraq would be under way "
March 2003, troops from America, Britain, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq
to topple the inhumanitarian regime of Saddam Hussein
. The capital of Baghdad fell after three weeks of heavy fighting. The invasion was based on a controversial claim about weapons of mass destruction
in the country, and also Hussein’s links to terrorist organisations. The Iraq War
officially ended on 31st
August 2010, but American troops remain in the country in an ‘advisory position’. Over 100,000 Iraqi civilians are estimated to have died in the conflict
, from bombing, suicide bombs and other violent means. Nearly 5,000 coalition forces were killed, the majority of them American.
" rather like a Kurtz waiting for his Marlow "
A reference to the novel Heart of Darkness
, by Joseph Conrad
, published in 1902. The short novel is based on Conrad’s own life, and chronicles the journey of Marlow, captain of a ferry on the Congo River
. He sets off with the aim of transporting ivory and also finding Kurtz, another ivory trader, who is living in the wilds of Congo and needs to be returned to civilization. Kurtz is a wild, mysterious, sinister figure, who is waiting for Marlow at the end of the river in the ‘heart of darkness’. Changez is implying that he is expecting someone to come for him, in an attempt to return him to the ‘civilization’ from which he has fled.
Heart of Darkness has been made into a film, and was also the basis for the 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
A radio discussion of Heart of Darkness