Formulaire de contact


E-mail *

Message *

vendredi 30 décembre 2011

How to become a Better Person: Think with your Heart

I have noticed, as I learn more about comparative philosophies that at a deeper level they tend to merge. There are no competition involved here, it is said in their particular context and form.
Today I read once again what Lame Deer, a Lakota had said.
"What you see with your eyes shut is what counts."
-- Lame Deer, LAKOTA
Another whole world opens up when we close our eyes and calm our mind. Be still and know; be still and hear; be still and see; be still and feel. Inside every person is a still, small voice. Sometimes it is necessary to close our eyes to shut down our perception in order to see. Try this occasionally when you are talking to your child or spouse, close your eyes and listen to them. Listen to the tone of their voice; listen to their excitement; listen to their pain-listen.

(The commentary is from White Bison)

Immediately what comes to your mind?
The Little Prince.
Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
§  Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.
§  Variants: "Here is my secret. It is very simple: one sees well only with the heart. The essential is invisible to the eyes."
"The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart."
"One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes."

The above words have been with me ever since I read it during an adolescent afternoon. I would like to thank the person who gave me that book as a gift. A gift that multiplies itself.
Always one can look up to Dalai Lama and his words are those of a human being, not a religious person or monk but one who practises kindness and compassion.
“This is my simple religion. No need for temples. No need for complicated philosophy. Your own mind, your own heart is the temple. Your philosophy is simple kindness.” 
 Dalai Lama XIV

I am happy to read some philosophy whether it is North American Indian or European or Vedic or Buddhist. It gives me a lift. Each day to add to the feeling of being Grateful
A single breath escapes and it whispers
I want to be a better person…

FROM PICO IYER  BUSINESS WEEK DEC 20 2011 Dalai Lama in Japan

When the Dalai Lama stepped out of his car to greet and console the hundreds who had gathered in the street to see him, women began wailing and sobbing, “Thank you, thank you.”
He told them to look forward, not back; to honor the dead with something more concrete than tears; to rebuild their community as their nation had so stirringly rebuilt itself in the wake of World War II. As he turned round, however, I noticed that the usually unshakable Tibetan was wiping a tear from his eye.

jeudi 29 décembre 2011

Gauguin Pont Avon Breton Biscuits and Chocolates


In the 19th century, American artists not having a school of paintings to belong to flocked to France. They found Pont Avon, a quaint town on the banks of the river not far from the Ocean, an ideal place to live, relax, paint and communicate. They loved the Breton countryside, the large American artistic community that stayed mainly at the hotel run by that hospitable Breton lady, Julia Guillou.
It was into this atmosphere that Paul Gauguin came, and soon a coterie of followers was there in the other hostelry in town. Many of the Gauguin followers went on to become famous on their own. The two major visits of the painter to this town, has left an enduring mark on the town, which now can be visited on a journey to Brittany. Artists to me are the best representatives of the society, because as Anthropologists of cultural expression they are always trying to find new ways. A chance meeting with Emile Bernard who presented himself to Paul Gauguin led to the origin or Synthetist or Symbolic art.
Imagine evenings at the Inns, discussing art with the likes of Delavalle, Serusier, and Jourdan et al. Then go during the day to the countryside and find a spot to paint and each one painting their own interpretations.

When visiting the Pont Avon I was attracted to a print, which surprisingly belonged to Hokusai of the Great Wave off Kanagawa fame. Why a Japanese print amidst the aforementioned artists?
In reading through what was available at the Museum, Gauguin and friends offered their art as an expression of collective solidarity, “to go where no one has gone before” in their paintings.
One such was Japonisme, which was defined as:
(From memory) searching for asymmetry, paying attention to details so that the whole can be conveyed best with parts, and simplicity. (Being fond of Japanese food and culture, I thought to myself that applies even today!)
Gauguin went on to immortal fame in Tahiti and the largest collection of Gauguin if I am not mistaken is at Heritage facing the river Neva on an upstairs gallery.
Walking around the town after enjoying the architecture of that era, the number of biscutiers and chocolatiers the town astounds one and in fact all of Brittany is famous for such delectable nourishment to the soul.
The river runs into the sea nearby, the tide is notorious, the water in the river was a trickle when we arrived and it was swollen to the top by the time we left.
Was it Broome in N Western Australia that boasts of the biggest tide in the world? The Bay of Fundy also has that claim and I remember being told of a place off Madagascar. But it is good to watch this natural phenomenon and feel humble before it.
From this map, it does look like Bay of Fundy, N Western coast of Australia and off Madagascar have the highest tides, but you can also see very high tide patterns off Brittany and Japan.
Before my cuban french american spanish friend Pedro points it out, the river is called Aven not Avon but I had put here pont Avon deliberately instead of Pont Aven, in remembrance of our greatest bard!

mercredi 28 décembre 2011


When we think of Endangered Languages, we usually think of isolated tribes in inaccessible regions of the earth. Not really so. In France, there are 25 languages in peril of disappearing, they are not dialects and in many cases quite a distinct linguistic origin, such as Breton. France in the name of Equality made it easier for many languages disappear. I meet people who grew up with one of these languages whose children do not have the vague idea of their ancestral language.
When I began working with the Indigenous people, I was told, it takes only a very short period of time to destroy a language. Just a few years after the arrival of the Missionaries Coahuiltecan disappeared and I was told that Taino language disappeared within one generation in Cuba after the arrival of the Spaniards.
Currently there is a vogue to speak a few words and say greetings in some extinct language but that does not constitute language renewal. For a language to revive there has to be a community of speakers for whom that language is the predominant language of communication. Wampanoag have been recognized for this sort of efforts.
Yes, the majority of languages in peril of extinction are indigenous languages, so countries with lots of indigenous people, USA, Mexico, Brasil, India, Russia, China, Indonesia, Papua-New Guinea, Canada and Australia are in the lead.
There are languages spoken by just the last survivor. 

To me, on a personal note, visiting Puerto Williams along the Beagle Coast and learning about Cristina Calderon, the last of the Yamana speakers, was painful. Reading about Yamana, put down on paper by the very same people who were responsible for its disappearance, one gets a feeling that loosing Yamana, we will have lost a beautiful way of speaking, in metaphors. There are fifty other languages spoken only by one person, including Tinigua in Colombia.
There are 199 languages spoken by about 10 people each. Ayapaneco in Mexico has just two speakers. On the other end of the spectrum, 10 languages have more than 100 million adherents. While English is gaining in popularity, the actual number of native speakers is declining, because of change in demography. Did you know that there are more native speakers of Spanish (329 million) than English (328 million)? Mandarin takes the cake and also it is spreading widely, especially in Africa, as a second language. Arabic is spoken by about 221 millions, just surpassing French at 220 millions (even though I doubt whether there are 220 million native speakers of French). Hindi at 182 million, Bengali at 181 million, Portuguese at 178 million, Russian at 144 million and Japanese at 122 million round up the top ten.
If you have a heritage of a language in peril, you should take responsibility to play your part in the renaissance of that language. 97 per cent of the population of earth speak the 4 per cent of the 6700 languages extant. Majority of the languages in peril are absent in the Internet.
The usual threat is from the strong external language, such as English to a lesser degree Spanish or Portuguese in the western hemisphere and Australia.
Once again on a personal note, I feel pride in the efforts of my friends in the UmonHon tribe trying to revitalize their ancient language. And it gives no end of pleasure to hear the children of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas living on the Mexican Border speak to each other in their maternal tongue.

There have always been a resistance to integrate into the general society, we just touch them but we live here, said an UmonHon. The greater the resistance, less damage to the individual culture as such.
As a Meskwakia elder said to me once, you cannot transmit your culture without the language. And I salute the state of Israel for Hebrew becoming an every day language of millions!

dimanche 25 décembre 2011


Delta Lounge at EWR. I am there because of my FB status and I am flying AF that day to Paris.
The Filipino attendant was organizing the newspapers that had arrived with the flight from Paris. Le Monde, Liberation, Le Figaro, the cynical newspaper wity funny cartoons, Le Canard du Chaines..etc. I caught a glimpse of a picture of Cesaria Evora under Culture and I took a copy of Liberation dated 19/12/2011 to read. I was absorbed in the details fo ehr life given in a box that I didnt pay attention to the headlines of the article.
1994 London. A flat in Knightsbridge. An Afternoon. Making Tea. Listening to a London World Music Station.
Sodade, sodade... a voice came over, I had never heard before..
I have known that word, as Saudade, almost all of my conscious life, in fact it has to be my favourite word from non English language...which I can translate for you as.. Missing something evern before you have ever had it.. Tem Saudade por tudo.. I have Saudade for everything.. a fitting epitaph on someones tomb?
But this lady , singing in an unusual rhythm, was pronouncing it Sodade.. the announcer was clearly very enthusiastic about this relatively new voice in World Music..
It was Cesaria Evora from Cabo Verde and she was singing in the creole of native island Nation, Cabo Verde. Years later I would be discussing Cabo Verdean Music- mornas, coladeras.. Cesaria, Bana, Bau, Jovinho dos Santos, Ildo Lobo.. with the CV ambassador to Cuba! (Cuba has one of their seven embassies)
Why this three page spread on Cesaria Evora on this french newspaper, under the title Culture?
then I caught the headline...
..aged 70, Cesaria Evora, died in Mindelo, in Sao Vicente on Saturday 17/12/2011
My heart sank and I felt an incredible surge of sadness..
Mar Azul.. Sao Vicente de Longe... Petite Pays.. and the album she recorded in La Habana Cuba,  Besamo Mucho..
I cannot begin to tell you the endless hours of pleasure those CDs gave me, CDs imported into London and sold at Steins record store.. and I talked about her music to any friend who would listen.. in Baracoa, my friends listened to Cesaria.. whenever they came to my house.. In Habana, many were familiar with Cesaria, having seen her in one of her annual visits to the island she loved.. Our Own Negrita Mamacita..
Her music has a special quality of lifting ones spirits up.. Why be sad, if you can listen to Cesaria, chain smoking, rum loving lover of Life who never took seriously her fame, made her home in her impoverished islands, toured the world, sang as she knew she was the best? She grew up under the Portugese without shoes (La Diva pied nuis).. three children with vagabond lovers and a liberated woman, free and ahead of her time..
Cabo Verde, a dry land, not green, exploited and then neglected by the Portugese, emigrantes...the creole community in Massachusetts who considered themselves white not african .. the jazz pianist Horace Silver..
This flight is about to take off from EWR to CDG. I am glad to be going home and on this flight I will listen to Cesaria Evora on my ipod touch, a playlist called Cesaria Evora which contains most of her Cs, which over the years I have come to acquire.
Muito obrigado por esses momentos maravilhosos, tao belos, com sua música, sua voz, sua presença
Adios, Cesaria...

vendredi 23 décembre 2011


2012 The Year of Living Joyously
Each year brings its  special brand of happiness. 2012 would be no different and something entirely unexpected would happen ..
2006 turned my life upside down
MM in Paris
2007 began my wonderful friendships with Las Minas Psicologas de la Habana AA LL BB
2008 I met my best friend in Asia MC and then ML
2009 Yet another Eruption in my life, what a great Gift LBGS
2010 reaffirmation of my love for Cuba and Los Indios, Important Gifts from Chaungtha Beach, Myanmar
2011 The Gift has been Iran, introduced by MC and enhanced by NM. Adopted into a Family of UmonHon Tribe
My family now extends from Malaysia to France to Portland, Ore to Miami, Fla to Cuba. And among the Indians, I have numerous brothers and sisters: HoCank, UmonHon, Kickapoo and Lakota. I am truly grateful to them.
2011 was also a great year for my Anthropologically Oriented work among Los Indios: MS TK MWE VM SL comes to mind
So, I am waiting for you in 2012. There is hardly any place on earth that I cannot reach within about 36 hours! So give me a little notice!!
This card arrived today and it expresses my sentiments to all those I love in various parts of the world…

As I was about to blog this, I received a note from Singapour, regarding a collection of essays on Zheng He, the greatest Navigator of the Seas, to which I had submitted a personal note … Zheng He and Cochin

We have made a submission to the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and I am pleased that they have agreed to publish our book. 

Ah Well, Champagne arrived a day early, that is all!

mercredi 21 décembre 2011


The Tribe of Malabars

During a recent conversation in Paris, I was told by a Reunionese that she belonged to a Tribe of Malabars from the Island of Reunion. My objection that there is no tribe by the name of Malabar and that Malabar is the name of a geographical entity, I was only showing my ignorance!
Most of the French of Indian origin in Reunion are descendants of indentured labourers brought over from Tamil Nadu by the French in the 19th century. They came mainly from Pondicherry, the French possession and were Tamils (Tamoul in French). They quickly lost their religion and language, which had also happened to other Tamoul migrants to French possessions such as Martinique.
What I did not know was that it was common practice to refer anyone from South India as Malabars, especially among the French and Dutch colonizers (who had their share of Hindus in present day Suriname) and had colonized Malabar coast for nearly 150 years. Thus the Tamoul indentured labourers, who came from the lower strata of the Hindou society, were referred to as Malabars and proudly kept that name to this day.
It is interesting to read Tamoul names in either anglicised or frenchified versions: Jean-Paul Virapoullé  is the current Senator from Renion and mayor of St Andre in Reunion. In Trinidad and Guyana most of the Hindou names are Anglicized and written down as they are pronounced. Basdeo (a former TT politician)  or Jagdeo (the latter is the current PM of Guyana, I think),  and in Dutch speaking Surinam, Ameerali (VP of Surinam)

Touching to learn about Mr Sardari Iranian Diplomat in wartime France

This Iranian Diplomat saved the lives of thousands of Jews by confusing the Nazis by convincing them that Iranian Jews are of Aryan Origin and made them declare Iranian Jews as Aryans. He was a good Lawyer!
Tonight I will recite Kaddish, the Jewish Prayer of the Dead, in his honour when I light the Candle!
Chasm!   Chaver Irani!

Abdol-Hossein Sardari 1895 - 1981

  • 1925: Qajar Royal Family, of which Sardari is a member, loses control of Iran
  • 1936: Sardari gains law degree from Geneva university
  • 1940: Takes over Iran's diplomatic mission in Paris from brother-in-law following Nazi invasion
  • 1941: Saves thousands of Iranian Jews and others from persecution and death by gaining exemptions from Nazi race laws and helping them escape France
  • 1948: Seeks permission to marry long-term lover Tchin-Tchin, a Chinese opera singer, but she disappears in her country's revolution
  • 1952: Recalled to Tehran to face charges of misconduct and embezzlement relating to wartime issuing of passports
  • 1955: Clears name and resumes diplomatic career, eventually retiring to London
  • 1978: Loses pension and property in Iranian revolution
  • 1981: Dies unrecognised in South London but is posthumously honoured by Jewish organisations

lundi 19 décembre 2011

UmonHon to Bretons via Los Cubanos

It has been an unusually mild winter week in the North Eastern Corner of Nebraska. I left at 11 am from the Blue House, while the skies were cloudless and blue. a brief stop at the Petrol Station to fill up the rental car. interesting to read the notices on the board. 12 30 I had returned the AVIS rent a car and then within a few minutes, had cleared the security and began the wait at the small but pleasant Omaha Airport Terminal. Dont expect anything worthwhile eating here.
CRJ 700 given seat 2 C and welcomed with a glass of Water. Suprised that wine asked for came in a plastic cup and had an off taste to it. A short wait at Houston airport, seat 1B. on neither flights cant even remember what the other person sharing the row looked like. That was flight no 128 for this year 2011.. Tomorrow' flight would put over the threshold for Elite Flier in the new United (Continental will be alas no moe)
10 35 pm arrived in Fort Lauderdale and by 11 pm I was once again on the road again, it was midnight when I arrived at my sisters home...
Waited for my usual cuban cofee this morning and it did feel like a nectar after two weeks: one on the frontier with mexico and the other in north eastern nebraska, in neither place there is a cafe, even though I must say the owner at Coffee Grinds fixed me up a Care Ameriano, worth remembering..
A Jamaican chinese residing in Jamaica, has bought a Chinese Resto near the house, all staff are recent arrivals from China, they dont look as threatening as the audacious leaders of the People's Republic, which is neither a republic nor the personification of people's dreams.
Like DPRK, neither Democratic, nor to do with People.. so next time when someone pronounces grandiose appellations, they might be broadcasting the truth, in a reverse sense.  May you rest in Peace, Kim of Korea..
The quality of food cannot be compared to the food i am used to in chinese restos in KL, but it was okay, it is better to eat the sugar peas buds and tofu than visit the nearest McDo...
MiA-EWR  CO seat 4E AF EWR-CDG Airbus 330-400 seat 19J
The next glass of champagne would be onboard AF
Happy Holidays. Hanukkah begins tomorrow night ..  

                                 the Last major trip for 2011 didnt turn out to tbe the best and in fact it might have been the worst long distance trip of 2011. I will write more about it in my personal travel blog
Because I organize my trips a couple of months in advance but my itineraries change, occasionally i am left with tickets which are a combination of flights, this was one of them and during the busy season it is not the best way to travel since every one at the counter is busy and not willing to go the extra minute to make your journey more pleasant. I flew CO from Miami to EWR which was pleasant as usual, but transferred to Air France in EWR and that portion of the trip was anything but pleasant. EWR to CDG and then on to London.  I kept on saying to myself why do I keep on flying Air France especially after the service provided to an elite tier member (I am a Platinum Flying Blue)! Once I leave Paris, i will bid adieu to Air France as well..
The best aspect of the entire trip yesterday was the Lounge at Terminal 4 at LHR, I even recognized some of the polish girls working there, who can forget a name like Agniezka? excellent lounge with great food: green thai curry chicken, samosas just to mention two, then coffee, and whatever else you want..
I am looking forward to a two week period of calm and quiet and peace and relaxation.
I have begun to read 1Q84 by Murakami Haruki and the movie yesterday on flight was Nader and Simin from Iran: an excellent movie ...
Happy and Healthy all my friends

vendredi 16 décembre 2011

Shabbat Shalom and Happy Hanukkah: It is time to go HOME

On this Friday Night, I am in an Indian Reservation and having visited two tribes on this visit to North America, it is time to go HOME..
But the Lakotas wrote to say: your family here wait for you.. The Kickapoos in Mexico, I also feel at home with them..My sister and brother in law has a designated room for me in their house in MIami.. All of Cuba is my home, mi isla Rica.. I feel home also with MC and ML in SKB in Malaysia..
I a happy when I arrive at the Reservation of the Indians: South Dakota, Nebraska, Texas Border with Mexico, not your typical tourist destinations..No, Lonely Planet has not been here..
But it is time to go to France, Bretagne, Quiberon..I know the meaning of the English saying: Home is where the Heart is. It is not where your clothes and your hat are: I have clothes hanging in cupboards  in six places in three continents.. 
I was so happy singing Shabbat songs tonight, thinking of my two brothers in Portland, Oregon ... Yes, dear brothers, I am going home...

lundi 12 décembre 2011

The Parallel Spiritual World: Lessons from the Kickapoo

The Parallel Spiritual World of the Kickapoo
When people say, " I am a spiritual person", the meaning of that pronouncement is lost on me. It is others who judge you to be spiritual, based on certain qualities they equate with Spirituality. It is never about Religion-Shamanism, Shinto, Nat Worship do not fall into the definition of a religion but used as a bridge to the spiritual world.
American Indians are symbolic and they understand the world around them just with a hint and with the heart, not by the logic of their minds.
It is a parallel world that exists to your ordinary everyday world.
For the Indians who live on the border with Mexico, the daily life may consist of visits to Walmart, McDonalds and working at their jobs.
But something more! as well

If i can summarize, I would say:
A Life full of 
This one week, living with an Indian family, taught me a lot about Humility. They cannot be judged or gauged using any of the social instruments of success that one would use in USA, UK, India or Malaysia, but they are much more in balance with their selves, with much less negativity, more humility. They seem to posses a great energy to bring happiness into the lives of others, they are happy when others are happy and they will strive to make sure that things are equitably distributed, they are happy to look after their elders, no value judgement placed upon the need of the person, rather just the desire to help them.
Their generosity, living surrounded by an extremely individualistic society, in legendary. I stand in awe observing their actions, which I can honestly say happens naturally. Unlike the western mind they dont mix up that which is Cultural with that which is Natural, but they act upon their instinct and for the benefit of all.
As I leave them after spending one whole wek with them, talking, eating and staying with them, observing their everyday struggle, their conflicts with the two other culture they live with, Mexican American and Anglo, I feel that I will return soon to their midst. I am impressed with their pride in their culture and their eagerness to follow the dictates of that culture.

samedi 10 décembre 2011

Warm Welcome to San Augustin de Laredo, Fundado en 1755

Bienvenidos a San Augustin de Laredo, fundado 1755 on the banks of Rio Grande. (Rio Bravo). Currently part of the State of Texas and thus United States of America

Laredo has the distinction, unique for most cities and towns in America, of having been a Capital City of an independent country, The Republic of Rio Grande, which was a short lived failure.
None of the memory of the original inhabitants remain, the city now is more than 95% Mexicans and their descendants.
The friendliness of the inhabitants becomes evident to you when you stop at the Texas Visitors centre, at the entrance to the city. One must agree that it is one of the more attractive building housing a visitors information office anywhere in the USA!
I specifically enquired for a place to savour some Mexican food. The Lady behind the counter, printed out a list and also a map of the downtown area and directed me to , El Meson de San Augustin, in Grant Street, just around the corner from the Cathedral and the central Zocalo.
The centre of downtown is one of the more Mexican remnants. On the side street, in a distinctly ochre coloured building, an adobe style house which might have been quite at home in many a part of Mexico, houses El Meson de San Augustin.
I was not disappointed. The bright interior and a welcoming ambience. The restaurant is open only during Lunchtime and when I arrived at 3 pm, the place was emptying but still a full complement of diners.
The menu presented a variety of home made Mexican food, not the usual Tex-Mex combination. I chose to have Lily’s special which was broiled chicken soaked in cheese, with chilis, with vegetables as requested. A middle aged man came to say hello and said his wife is the chef and has been cooking for many years. We have been married for 40 years, he exclaimed, and he hardly looked much older. Did you marry when you were five? I asked him which brought a hearty laughter. No I was 19 and my wife was 15! This restaurant is the result of that conjugal bliss and I highly recommend that you make an effort to visit
El Meson de San Augustin in this city founded in 1755 and flew its own flag once upon a time..

mardi 6 décembre 2011

Dont Blame Fidel Castro for Heart Disease in Cuba!

How wrong are the Epidemiologists? Troubadours of Tragedy or what Fidel and Breast Cancer have in common?

We are constantly bombarded with disease associations and possible rectifications of such by lifestyle changes by the Troubadours of Tragedy, a subgroup of Medical Researchers who never see patients but only see numbers on papers and try to make sense out of it.
More than 50 causes of Heart Disease which can be modified by lifestyle changes had been proposed and one by one they fall by the way side especially if they a single micro element or mineral or a food substance which is usually constituted of several ingredients.
When can I give Chocolate to my patients with Diabetes? I would ask at conferences. The answer is when it is chocolate and not a mixture of many with a taste of chocolate.  A Troubadour of Tragedy can look at the numbers on the paper and it says, of the people who had heart attacks a high proportion of them ate chocolate, he pronounces Chocolates cause heart disease and not eating chocolates thus can reduce this risk.
What is not obvious that until recently most of the chocolates available for general consumption in the USA had only about 11 % Cacao and the rest was made of other material most of which would be man made? (The beef filling in a Beef Taco in Taco Bell only has 35% beef, what is the rest 65%?)
While visiting the Kuna Indians off the coast of Panama, all researchers, including myself, wondered at the low levels of heart disease and the predominance of “lower” BP readings among them. Many theories were advanced using the theories in vogue at that time, high K, high seafood consumption etc. I think it was an anthropologist who noticed the fact that they had unusually large consumption of Chocolate drink, which they made themselves (100 per cent chocolate and not just 30% chocolate and the rest?). Scientists were soon on the heel of this discovery and found out that it is the essence of the cocoa bean that gives the protective effect.
So, the troubadours of tragedy have changed their tunes and urge people to eat chocolate, making sure that they contain at least 70 % cacao.
Such associations, Chocolates or Coffee both of which have been exonerated of their earlier crimes, are propagated as scientific truth by media and very soon becomes accepted as “facts”
One has to be aware of these pronouncements.
People who sleep fewer hours are prone to heart disease, they pronounced. The mutation in the gene that causes that particular type of heart disease has been known for a while. The people who sleep less, for no obvious pathological reason, run into a good proportion of the population and it has nothing to do with the success societally of that person. Napoleon, Da Vinci, Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher all slept only about 4 hours per night at the height of their powers.
Just this past week, scientists from Ludwig Maxmillian University in Munich had done studies to show that the lack of necessity to sleep long hour to maintain vigilance may be related to the presence of an alteration in the gene ABCC9.
Guess what?  It is the very same gene implicated earlier in the types of cardiovascular diseases that the troubadours of tragedy had attributed to lack of sleep.
So we see what we want to see or see what we are told to see. The relationship between sleep and cardiac disease has much deeper genetic connection rather than the superficial length of the hours slept. It is the gene rather than sleep or cardiac diseases that have things in common.
It is like saying that in a scientific study done in Uganda, they found very low prevalence of the disease: Tay Sachs Disease without saying that TSD is predominantly found among Jews of Ashkenazy origin. Hiding a simple fact can make mundane things sound scientific.