Dark, and not lovely ?

Being dark skinned, I tuned myself to be extra-terrestrially calm for days like these.

Because the rage of a dark skinned woman (remember Kali?) can be fatal. Yes.

Why calm or rage? What days? If you have dark skin (DS, this could go on for a while) and you are an Indian, you would know.

In India, being dark is like a fair person taking a dip in a drain. They expect you to wash off the color by drowning in a sea of fairness creams. If you don’t get it off, you are in for some future anger management sessions.

Angry birds will be huge among us, if the pigs can be customized with the faces of our relatives.TM.  [Just an another million dollar idea] [Sigh]

The discrimination is ‘almost’ equal for both the genders. (Yes, for women it is much worse.)

Some of the compliments we get:

“Don’t worry, they can’t spot you at night. Except if you smile.”  (So, our teeth are compensating for what our skin is lacking? How funny, Bahaha!)

“Really? that color? It will make you look more darker!”  (Oh! how considerate.)

“Ugh, being fair skinned is such a curse (now, really?). You (DS) have such a reliable skin tone, you can go out whenever you want, without worrying about getting tanned.”  (we do get tanned, my fair lady).

and the best of all…..

“Oh! what a lucky (DS) girl! She bagged a FS boy.” [Yeah. Luck. WOW-ed for life.]

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( Even babies aren’t spared.)

With a huge support from family and relatives, DS people grow up to the notion that they are good for nothing and cannot marry a person who is FS.

If they did, that is a privilege for them, and be thankful to the FS spouse and his/ her parents their entire lives.

Because the FS people are doing a social service by marrying DS. (Magnanimous, no?)

The obsession for fairness has reached repugnant levels. The insults are too much for many.

Because according to the mainy fairness creams advertisements, DS people are too inferior to have friends or confidence or job or not even eligible to get married and is a huge shame to the family.

The fairness cream changes it all! (Our savior!)

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You may ask what is wrong with the Indian society.

Please, I beg you, not to open that CAN OF WORMS! Don’t you dare! You can never, ever live peacefully with what you are after that.

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( Color > achievements. The hairstyle changes too.)

Matru devo bhava!

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Mother is equal to divine. That is the meaning of “Matru devo bhava”.

This Mother’s Day
Everyone is expressing their love
So many stories
So much oneness.

This Mother’s Day
You can be a Mother too
An innate sentiment in all
The feeling to protect.

This Mother’s Day
Think about that destitute child
The hungry child, the raped child
Be a Mother for them.

Every Day
Make a difference
By being one.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Frogs

The glory and the notoriety

The country responsible for 35 percent of the world’s poverty is also a home to 122 billionaires (fifth in the worlds list of nations with the greatest number of high net worth individuals) and 158,000 millionaires.

It is a land of tropical diseases, malnutrition and other major concerns; ranking 112th in healthcare system out of 190 countries, while simultaneously participating in outstanding research and achieving breakthroughs in the medical field.

Infrastructure in the nation is lacking, even when thousands of students graduate as engineers every year.

Food grains are rotting away, yet there is an increase in demand for grains, reversing the export of the same to importing them.

It is proud of its innovations and inventions, and yet, ranks 136th in the Human Development Index.

Welcome to India, the country of extremities. Bad governance is common and corruption is our pledge and a cry for help, our anthem.

Is this what we really want? A country where the world’s institutions are maintained to assist just the 30 percent of the population?

Indians = Frogs (?)

Let me tell you a story I recently came across from the novel The Oath of Vayuputras by Amish Tripathi.

A man once dropped a frog in a pot of boiling water. The frog immediately jumped out.

He then placed another frog in a pot of cold water, and the frog settled down comfortably. The man slowly began to raise the temperature of the water. The frog adapted to the increasing warm and eventually hot temperatures, until it died without making any attempt to escape.

I was struck by the simplicity of the story. It obviously resembles today’s societal’ indifference to unfair situations. Forget unknown strangers, people are hesitant to help even their own family and friends.

How can we, as a group of socially conscious individuals, bring people away from their comfort zones to encourage them to try to make a difference in the society?

Here is my two cents to the question:

  1. The people around you are influenced by your actions– small or big. Live as an example, and let others learn from you.
  2. Give a gentle push (for some it tends to be a shove), to involve your friends/family in events you take part in.

As Francois de La Rochefoucauld said, “nothing is as contagious as example; and we never do any great good or evil which does not produce its like.”

AID started with just two people and lived up to its motto. It went on to be the change it wanted to bring to society. A change emerged with the hundreds of individuals, spread over four continents, joining and strengthening the organization. Not a mean feat.

Ingredient in AID

With this year’s Taste of India, I have completed a year of being a part of AID. It has been one terrific roller coaster ride. In this past year, I helped with organizing the Independence Day event, the Welcome Picnic for the “freshers”, the Bollywood Night show, and coordinated volunteers to manage the food stall at PSU football games, and now, the Taste of India.

Each event/activity has had its own share of incredible stories. Of course, coordinating for the football games takes the prize:begging and blackmailing volunteers to attend, prepping the stall in the cold wind, trying to be accurate when managing the cash till, getting weird requests from drunken customers, even weirder conversations, sending back volunteers with a heavy heart who forgot their ID’s (including myself for the OSU game)…the stories just go on (And hats off to those few volunteers braving snow/ rain/ sun hawking on the stands during the games!).

I have also observed that the Indian community of Happy Valley is a big treasure for the AID-Penn State chapter. Community members always invest their time, energy and financial resources to make every event a successful fundraiser. A big SALUTE to them too!

To each and every volunteer who helped in their own way: you are an inspiration. Your efforts make a difference in a lot of people’s lives in India. Thank you to each of you. In the words of Tom Brokaw, “It’s easy to make a buck. It’s a lot tougher to make a difference.”

India has always been, and still is, a spiritually vibrant and culturally rich country. Its heritage, traditions and values are things that we should be proud to be associated with. Let us revive our country’s glory. Only a collective effort can create an impact.

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Taste of India, 2013 (right before the event started)

* AID’s motto – Be the change you wish to see in the world (M.K Gandhi)

**This article was published in Association for India Development (AID)-Penn State’s annual magazine, Sankalp, released at their spring fundraiser (Taste of India) .

Happiness 24×7

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Happiness – a fundamental emotion of humans.

Everything we do in our life, every action, is in pursuit of happiness. Yet we are not there.
The world is filled with so much sadness and depression that UN had to declare a World Happiness Day!

Why is that a world filled with so much technology, money and thousands of forms of entertainment, sad ?
The rich aren’t happy neither are the poor.

Doesn’t that mean the problem lies within us ?
The present inhabitants have huge inflated egos, that happiness has no space left. Just like there isn’t any for oxygen. Or trees.

Something didn’t happen – unhappy
Someone didn’t respond – psychotic

The will to change oneself, when something goes bad or wrong is almost nill ( I am taking a guess here, looking at so many fake smiles or unhappy faces).

The only happy people I see are, who never let external situations let them down whatsoever. They see capability in their abilities.
These are the people who are always happy, always happy to help others, always happy to cook, happy to learn more, happy to accept mistakes, happy to dance, happy to sing, happy happy and more happy.

Note -

Today is UN’s first World Happiness Day.
Read more about it here – http://www.un.org/en/events/happinessday/sgmessage.shtml

Hello Blogsters!

Semi annual (sale ? :D), favorite number (that’s right, it’s 10) and in the year of doom, I finally started my blog.

I thank Madhu Baabai (for that push into more cyber craziness), random thoughts, weird people, stupid people, stranger blogs (Oh! the horror) blah…..blah…..blah….and finally WordPress for their encouragement to eat your brain (thank you random stranger).

So, hair on your head (not considering other parts) is really important, a vanity factor for many. Agree? Good, so, let’s talk about Sonia Gandhi’s hairstyles.

Okay, NO, the heart attack won’t be necessary, I am actually gonna talk about my blog’s name. Yes, google search (everything) enthusiasts, that quote was by Rumi. (Of course, it would help if Sonia shatters herself into oblivion.)

This quote struck me because it almost defined Shiva tandavam to me. Shiva tandavam – the dance of enlightenment, the dance that shatters all the boundaries. Rumi was a sufi mystic from Persia and Shiva (orginally nobody knew his name, so he was given the name Shiva by his disciples, the saptarishis) was a yogi from Kailash. How the thoughts of the enlightened resonate is truly amazing, transcending many barriers that we build such as race, caste, creed, religion etc.

The title (quote) can be taken literally and figuratively. Just like Hulk who does everything (let that be talking or breaking bones) with a powerful scream, you can turn your life into a joyful dance. Of course, screaming would help too, only that, the repetition might lead your voice box to explode. I guess we need to be irradiated for that.  So, I went from Rumi to Shiva to Hulk ? Oh, Well.

Welcoming myself into the blogging world with a scream! and a disco dance, see you around. ;-)

Step Up! :D