Showing posts with label Humanity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Humanity. Show all posts

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nerves of steel [268/365]

Picture Courtesy: Pramerica
What is your fondest memories when you were in school?
Where you aware of you civic duty as a young child?
What were your childhood aspirations?

Yesterday, I read about a young girl who is the National Honoree of Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards 2012
Jyoti Yadav. A spunky youngster in the 8th grade at the Satya Bharti Government Upper Primary School, Dabadwas, Alwar, Rajasthan was just one of two national honorees for her Campaign addressing the issue of Respect for Widows in Society.

Her story inspired me. She is a first generation learner who was raised by a widowed mother from the age of 1. Seeing how her mother suffered at the hands of her relatives and fellow villagers, Jyoti saw the stigma that her mother faced. Determined to make a difference but unaware of how to go about tackling it, she spoke to her headmistress who educated her on the larger context of how a widow is treated in India. Jyoti alongwith the headmistress visited the village Sarpanch, also a lady, and requested them help in eliminating this evil from the village.

Convinced of their plea, the Sarpanch convened a panchayat meeting and discussed the issue at the Gram Sabha and urged the people to rid their village of this taboo.  Jyoti, now strengthened with the support of the village administration, also went door to door, meeting the elderly in the village and making them aware of the plight of widows in their village and requesting their support.   While she initially faced a lot of resentment and humiliation for daring to take up such a sensitive issue, her efforts finally paid off when she was able to gradually convert staunch conformists from their point of view and start mainstreaming such women into the normal village life. She even went a step further and convinced the local administration to give widows like her mother jobs in the village so that they could support their own families and not have to live off donations from others.

With the first to benefit being her mother, Jyoti’s mother, Kamlesh is now employed as the Main In-charge of the Anganwadis in her village. Other qualified widowed women are also now being given preference as teachers for schools in the surrounding areas by Smt. Bhagwati Devi under the Rashtriya Saksharta Mission, and another widowed lady was employed at the village Mela in October 2011.

Jyoti Yadav, the unlikely hero of our times. Bravo!

With extracts from Bharti Foundation: Young Achievers


Other Heroes I've chronicled here


Saturday, May 12, 2012

GuestSpeak: When pictures speak

Carter's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph
Before I come to the point it’s important for one to understand where I am coming from. Here is an account of a relevant story that I feel would help me express my feelings and the message I am trying to convey in a better way.

"I am depressed ... without phone ... money for rent ... money for child support ... money for debts ... money!!! ... I am haunted by the vivid memories of killings and corpses and anger and pain ... of starving or wounded children, of trigger-happy madmen, often police, of killer executioners ... I have gone to join Ken (recently deceased colleague Ken Oosterbroek) if I am that lucky" excerpts from suicide note of Kevin Carter who took his own life by taping one end of a hose to his pickup truck’s exhaust pipe and running the other end to the passenger-side window. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carter's prize winning photograph was sold to the New York Times; the photograph first appeared on March 26, 1993. Hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask the fate of the girl. The paper reported that it was unknown whether she had managed to reach the feeding center. In 1994, the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.

My inspiration to write this post came from above mentioned story, my own real experience follows -
Few years back I watched a programme on migrating animals, where an injured baby baboon unable to keep up with pace of other baboons is left behind by the mother. Towards the end of the programme they showed baby baboon being watched by some vultures while mother though concerned about the baby but left with no choice decides to move on with the rest. Being an animal lover I could not bear the thought of baby being attacked by the vultures so I immediately switched over the channel .I kept on brooding over and wondered why couldn't the camera man rescue the baby, treat him, feed him and drop him where he belonged, I cried and cried for months together finally went into acute depression. There on I am not allowed to watch discovery channel. I totally understand the law of nature and phrases like 'Survival of the fittest'. But we as human beings and an intelligent species can avert few of the tragedies that we tend to ignore.

Several times we watch a man or a woman beaten up in an inhuman way or someone run down by a vehicle bleeding to death I can cite any number of such examples that I must have watched on news channels. In each case I have simply switched over the channels for the reason that neither I can bear the inhuman act nor insensitivity of the camera person, or an anchor who takes pride in narrating the whole incident that took place in front of his or her eyes but made no effort to save a life. Their selfish concern seems to be making breaking news that goes like “murder caught on camera" and I wonder is the camera person/photographer as a human being not  morally responsible to avert such tragedies or  should they simply concentrate on what they are getting paid for ??

There is a need for all such photographers, camera men, journalists to take a lesson from Carters case that was much criticized for having not saved the child, who while on a trip to Sudan, was preparing to photograph a starving toddler trying to reach a feeding center when a vulture landed nearby. Carter reported to have taken the picture, because it was his "job title" and leaving.  He came under criticism for failing to help the girl.

The St. Petersburg Times in Florida said this of Carter: "The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering, might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene."
Alka Narula (c)

Written for 'Hold the Thought, Get the Point' by our guest blogger Alka Narula.
Find more information about her at Indiblogger



Sunday, March 25, 2012

'Don't worry' [84/365]

Although I am in my element as a writer, I do enjoy the occasional outdoor sport.

Among the few activities that I enjoy, cycling is definitely my favorite.
I remember my first bike was a BMX and the wonderful freedom it gave me. To a bunch of intrepid six year olds, cycling to another block was always exciting. We felt like explorers!

After three stints with the Tour of Nilgiris and couple of minor rides over the past couple of years, I had the most amazing cycle rides the past weekend.

Two biking buddies and I decided it was time we put our bodies through a grueling climb.
Our destination: Kolli Malai in Namakkal. 250 kms away from Bangalore.
So what's special about Kolli Malai?
Besides the rumor that the hills are famous for black magic practitioners, it has about 70 hair-pin bends, with an average gradient of 8% and this means you'll be scaling about 1400 meters above sea-level, all in just 20 kms.

Cycling all the way there was out of the question so we decided we would drive down to Namakkal and ride the next day. Taking advantage of the extra day off on the 23rd, we packed our cycles into specially designed car-racks.

Getting away from the depressing weather in Bangalore was some relief. The highways are a dream to drive on, but the sooner you start the better you'd be when you reach. We took about 5 hours to reach, squeezing in a quick breakfast and a power lunch. Namakkal is a small town stuck in time, surrounded by villages that are famous for poultry and tapioca,
there is something very rustic about this place.
But the ride was going to be anything but a walk in the park. We were sufficiently 'warned' that Kolli Malai, as it is known locally, is worth every bit of the stamina you can muster. 'Ooty is a plateau', our kind host declared.
The statistics had already given me nightmares and now this.
'Gee thanks! I could've gone on without having to hear that' I thought to myself.




Find more Bike Ride in Namagiripettai

The weather was so good that we just had to sleep outside. Starting early was crucial since we had to travel quite a bit to reach the base of the hill. A bunch of dudes cycling through villages in spandex and 'geared cycles' can be quite the crowd puller. We had curious kids and grown-ups running and pointing to us when we passed.
Infact, we became such instant celebrities that the village folks remembered us when we rode back 12 hours later.

Reaching the 'check-post' at the foot of the hills about 2 hours after we started, we made good time. We agreed to regroup every 10 hair pin bends uphill. This is way easier than we ever thought. 30 minutes after what I assumed was the base, we reached the second hairpin bend. WTF! We had 68 more to go and my knees were groaning under all the effort.
"Dont worry", my pedaled partners told me. They insisted I change strategy and aim more realistically. Frequent but short breaks every couple of bends is what I figured would help me. When cycling, I've found that numbers have a strange effect on me. I am easily overwhelmed by the vast distance and steep inclines ahead of me. Forgetting to remember the total distance and not looking at the climb on the other hand soothes me. It worked. I took plenty of breaks, kept myself well hydrated, learned the fine art of asking for water from curious passer-by's, drank my own sweat to recover all that salts and reached the summit seven hours after we started from home. While I am not sure if we can claim to be the first cyclists who scaled the Kolli, I
can say pedaling up is only half the excitement. The adventure was just beginning.
As I reached the summit, I realized my compatriots on pedal, were not at the rendezvous point. Perhaps they just left to explore.

Asking locals if they had seen two flashy bikers in foreign bikes is difficult when you don't know the local language and they don't know what the heck you are talking. After plenty of gesturing, many of the locals confirmed that they had seen the spandex duo come and go back down.
I wondered how we could cross paths but still not run into each other, since there was only one way up and down the hill. And if this was not exasperating, our phones were out of charge and I didn't have any money with me. Great!

I decided to ride down and try and trace my way back to the house we were staying. Again, easier planned than executed. Summit to base, I took about 45 minutes with a five minute break to cool the over heated brake pads.
Still no sign of them. I wasn't sure how much of the route back I remembered but decided to keep riding back.
Soon, it became apparent that I didn't have clue of the name of the village we stayed in, nor the name of the host and I was positively lost.
However, through this ordeal I never panicked. Restless, maybe. But I rested my faith in Jesus, and devised a plan B - I figured I'd stop and charge my cellphone so that I can try and reach my partners in case they were accessible. And if nothing works, I'd catch a taxi back home to Bangalore. This is when I met one of most selfless stranger ever.
Passing through a village, I decided to ask for help with a local truck driver who was sitting outside his home. He reeked of cheap booze which put me on guard immediately. I found it difficult to to trust him every time he'd reassure me.
He helped me charge my phone, bought me a soft drink even when I told him that I don't have any money to repay him and reassured me that I will be alright. 'Don't Worry' He'd repeat. Somehow I still thought this person didn't know the gravity of how lost I was, but decided to be patient with him. As if by sheer luck, my biking partners passed us just as I was about to try their numbers for the 16th time. I called out to them but when they didn't hear me, all the villagers started calling out to them in unison. The relief!
I was lost but I've got my way back. Apparently, my partners were looking for me along the way too.

I learned some valuable lessons that day.
Besides the obvious logistics lessons, I also learned that we are quick to judge people in a lower strata of society than us. That villager that day was exceptionally kind and generous. Unlike conniving city dwellers, he was not bothered about the 'cost' of caring for a stranger in trouble. He was after all not the first person I approached for help that day, but certainly the only person who was willing to help. In every unforeseen way possible.  
As I think back, I can see how God guided me and how I stopped at just the right spot to be able see my partners when they cycled past. Anywhere else and I would've missed them that night.

What started out as a cycle ride to test the limits of physical endurance became a wonderful experience that I'll cherish for a very long time.

This post is an Official entry for Mahindra XUV's Incredible Stories  hosted by IndiBlogger.



Thursday, March 15, 2012

From the Cradle to the Grave [74/365]

The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) was the scene of one of the most gripping stories of pain, tragedy, malice, human trafficking, prostitution and human compassion played out in recent decades.

On 18th January, 2012, baby Falak (literally 'sky') was brought in with severe injuries to her skull, broken arms, cheeks branded with a iron and human bite marks all over her body. That the injuries were inconsistent with the explanation that the 15 year old who claimed to be her mother, who herself was a victim of trafficking and abuse, cannot dull the trauma that the two year old baby Falak would've gone through.

In the weeks since she was admitted, she has survived five major surgeries and many near fatal moments. She was even the most favored orphan available for adoption across India and abroad.
But on the 15th of March, just when things appeared to be looking up, she suffered a massive cardiac arrest and passed away. In her sleep.

Following massive media wrath and public outrage, ten people have been arrested and in the months and years to come, we will slowly but surely get to see how such atrocity could've have happened on a human being so young. However this is also a sign of a larger malignant tumor in the Indian society. In a country where female infanticide is still prevalent, this was bound to happen.

Our parents hate girl children. The high cost of raising a girl, getting her married off and the prospect that this entails a massive dowry makes most Indian couple choose to 'nip the plant at the bud' itself. Boys are better. They will study harder, get better jobs and bring in lots of dowry. The odds are stacked against the ordinary girl even before the ninth month.

While some can find comfort that baby Falak has finally left a cruel world for a better one, I wonder if the perpetrators of this crime will ever pay enough.

Rest in Peace, dear Falak.


Friday, January 13, 2012

Your body is a Wonderland... [12/365]

One of my ex-girlfriend was a closet lesbian. When serenading her girlfriends, she would dedicate the John Mayer hit 'Your body is a Wonderland...' Ofcourse, being that lesbianism is still a taboo in India, she continues to keep her preferences closeted.
While the song itself is lurid attempt at lewdness, I can both argue and agree with the lyrics within. 

I am guilty, like many of us, of judging a person by the way he/she appears. We are very prejudiced and conceited when it comes to people of certain ethnicity, color, region or language. We write them off without even giving them the slightest chance to prove/define themselves.
When a friend's nine year old son joined a new school, he was bullied by an older kid who teased his appearance. Undaunted, my friend's son never yielded in to the torture and never replied a mean word back. When his dad asked him why he didn't just report the matter to his teachers, he replied 'My God made me wonderfully and beautifully'. Kids do say the darn'dest things, don't they?

As adults, we are way too corrupt to alter our prejudices.
We feel disgusted when our partners and family members are different from our perfect selves.
We judge a person too much on how much he/she weighs and looks rather than understand how beautiful his/her soul is.
When the bible (and nearly every religious books) tell us that God made us in His image, we do we hanker after that guy with the rippling muscles and chiseled bode or that girl with the hour glass body, fair skin and luscious hair?

The almost poetic verses of scripture at Psalm 139:13-16 brings a wonderful picture of how God skillfully creates every single molecule within us. An anthem for people who are uncomfortable within their skin, this passage comforts people who treat themselves and their bodies with disregard.

Made in secret, revealed in Heaven.
Isn't that something to be incredibly proud of?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing else matters...

Over the past several weeks, I've seen how people treat you when you get ahead in life.
Failures, that's fine. They will console and comfort you. But it is when you get ahead of them in life that you begin to see the knives coming at you. Some of them even believe you've betrayed them! What you get is a lot of cold shoulders and malicious back-room gossip. All this just because you got a promotion.
We, Indians are not known to be sore losers. I mean, take for instance the way we react when our (mediocre) cricket team loses. While we are swift to kick their collective asses when they win, we love to rub it in when the team wins too.
As a nation, we love to think that we strive for excellence and pride ourselves on being hard working people. But are we really?
While we are taught to aim for everything good in life, very few know how to get there or to be patient while we get there.

Having worked for almost 8 years now, when I achieved my first career milestone earlier this month, I first thanked Jesus. It wasn't a moment too soon or too late. It was perfect! For all the interviews that I failed, and for all the life lessons I've learned over the past couple of years, I knew there was a purpose behind all the pain. While I've seen 'staunch' Christians flocking to God only when they are in pain and in times of good fortune, I've rarely seen any of them surrendering themselves when they hit rock bottom and remaining with Him when they rise. Most people assume a promotion, a good job, a child after a long wait and such milestones are because of their merit. Because they deserved it. Because they worked for it.
I think otherwise. While it is true that Jesus abhors a lazy person, He has also said, I'll never leave you nor forsake you. Not of my merit but of His grace.

What a wonderful promise!
Maybe, we forget to remember this promise.
Or maybe, we use this promise as a crutch rather than a ladder.
Many fair-weather Christians that I know of think they are automatically blessed by virtue of their faith.
If having a stethoscope makes you a doctor, going to a church and swearing by His name makes you christian. But definitely not citizens of His Kingdom.

Myth: When you grow up, people will respect and honor you.
Fact: You get what you give.

Over the past couple of years, I've learned the importance of interceding for the many who are lost.
If you are filled with hatred, remorse and you are unwilling to wait on the Lord, you aren't going to get much further from where you started. It's a vicious cycle. 
Truth is you only reap what you sow.
Too many people, especially Christians think they are blessed if they get a plum promotion or if they get a good job/wife/car/lottery.
But I've learned that none of this really matters at the end of the day. When your time to go comes, it really does not matter if you are a CEO or a lowly student. It does not matter how many Bentley you've owned or the debts that you had. Are you ready to meet your Creator without any of the urges of the world?
Learn to be patient with those who test you. Even on those who cut in front of you in a queue or skip lanes on the road.
Give thanks for the many blessings and life lessons you've learned. Yes, even the bitter ones. Pray for those who've hurt you, and ask for their forgiveness. You will need forgiveness too.

Pray. Praise the Lord. Even with you hit rock bottom.
Love. Even your enemies.
Forgive. Even when they have done the gravest sin against you. Trust me. You will feel a whole lot better when you let go of all that hatred.
While I still consider myself a toddler when it comes to Christianity, I know that with Jesus 
by my side, I'd need nothing else.

Read this note on the internet:
I have a relationship with Jesus.......Not a Religion.
I have a relationship with Jesus.......Not a Ritual.
I have a relationship with my Sisters and Brothers.......Not a Race.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's the point?

Ok, so off goes Jobs.
While some of us (moi included) have already bid him farewell in our own inimitable ways, much of the world are still obsessed about him.

Why all the fuss? I ask myself.
Does he really deserve all this fawning and adoration?
While we are still debating on this, nearly every new age gadget geek worth his iPoop wants him to be declared the 'Greatest'. Really?

For a want to adore, we rush to label people, places and events with adjectives that far outweigh their significance.
Why do we rush to heap superlatives?
Encourage. Don't idolize. Recognize. Don't immortalize.

In an average day, you'd be bombarded with commercials that proclaim to sell the greatest, the best and fastest, the smartest, the thinnest, the fattest and everything awesome.
You'd meet people who think they are the best thing since sliced bread and events that are 'to die for'. But at the end of the day, does all of this really make a difference to our lives?

The greatest people are those who could've but didn't want to make a bunch of money for themselves but chose to give it all away while still remaining anonymous.
The greatest events are those that made a positive change in humanity.
The greatest products are those that helped mankind while their inventors chose to remain unrewarded.
Our rich history is replete is many instances of brave and strong men and women who did things in their lives that were truly selfless and great.
They are not be your typical Page 3 personality. They definitely didn't make money and most of them perhaps lived very simple lives.

Greatness is not a term that we can afford to use to describe a very gifted entrepreneur.
The Bible defines a great person as whoever humbles himself/herself the most. 
(Matt. 20:26-28)
In a world that is weeping, surely we have a million ways to be truly great.

So while the world fetes and mourns about their celebrities, there is ten other people who are working in slums and villages and among people that time and the rest of the world forgot, striving to make the difference in their lives. 

Off the hat, I could think of Abraham Lincoln, MK Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Louis Pasteur, Jonas Salk and a couple of dozen others as those who truly deserve to be called 'Great'. As for the others, the true test of greatness will lie in how history recognizes them for the wonderful way they improved the life of their fellow human beings.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Able and Willing.. Part 1

Community Service to many of us is a farce. An event where we get a paid day off.
While many who volunteer their time think they are doing a favor to those who are underprivileged, I think it's the other way round. They are doing us a favor by letting us be a part of their special life.


The ThomsonReuters Foundation, tied up with 25 NGOs, each a pioneer in their field. Unprecedented in scale and involvement, we'll have 2500 employees taking part in 250 projects across 4 months.

In a series of posts, I'll attempt to pen down my experiences with the 19 projects that I will be a part of this year.

Sept 17th, 2011.
'Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day....teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime'
Unnati works on empowering those sections of the society that is underprivileged and undermined in more ways than one.
With 12 enthusiastic volunteers, we were overwhelmed at the sight of over 200 candidates at the Centre on a bright and balmy Saturday morning.
A quick briefing and a short slideshow of the program cleared any doubts that my team had.

But what really impressed many of us was how streamlined the entire process was.
Interview on such a massive scale is always a logistical nightmare. However in Unnati, fully completed applications are screened for authenticity and tagged for any one of the 12 vocations taught at the NGO.

The kind of candidates that we saw impressed us too. Guys and girls who you'd otherwise not bat an eyelid if you passed them on the street were there, wanting to learn, work and be able to stand on their own feet. Nearly all of them reached Unnati because they had friends/relatives who were taught at the NGO.
Most of them were humble and open to instruction, criticism and feedback. Some were hell bent on working in a particular vocation, even though they lacked the skills. We had to persuade them and explain to them why they would not suit a vocation.
But all of them had an amazing attitude about life, smiling even though in abject poverty.
For the 150 odd candidates that did crack the interview, Sept 19th is just the beginning.
The team at Unnati that made a difference!

Towards the end of the day, we all had a wonderful time. Many of us saw ourselves in the candidates we interviewed.
And on our way back, we promised ourselves that we would want to be there when the 70 day course at Unnati finishes on the 3rd of December.

Karunashraya - Hospice
Sept 18th, 2011.
'All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.'
The hospice for patients with cancer in it's advanced stages struck a very personal chord with me.
Having seen what cancer can do with a person and his/her family, the work that Karunashraya made me pause and ponder. Pain is an incredible thing. Something that you need to experience to know how much it pains, cancer is a painful death sentence.
Having seen my dad and his sisters loose their battles of cancer was painful. Scary even.
At Karunashreya, I saw death. Apparently the mortality rate at the hospice is as high as two deaths a day.

The history of the NGO is inspiring. Having gone through a corrupt bureaucracy, the NGO does manage to strike a delicate balance between altruism and sound policies.
We got to learn how the hospice functioned. What I noticed was how almost everything in the hospice was designed and done in such a way that death looses it's sting. 
Each of the 'guest' is allowed to wear their own clothes provided it is comfortable and easy to wear/remove, every guest is allowed to walk freely around the facility, every guest is given their choice of meal three times a day. And when the time comes that the guest has to 'depart', he/she is given a dignified way through doors that open directly into the veranda and wheeled to the 'Prayer room' where the relatives can accept the mortal remains.
All this is done so to make sure that none of the inmates see the bodies going out, even though all of them are quite sure that their turn to leave is not too far away.

Our project was to provide succor to the staff and nurses and relief even if it was just a day, from the gory reality of death around them.
Ranging from ages 18 to 25, you'd hardly notice anything different about the staff here and any other hospital. Dig deeper and you'll find that they all have a passion for selflessness. Polite yet steely resolved, working with terminally ill people require nerves of steel.
Would I want to work with Karunashraya again? Definitely Yes.

Sept 21st, 2011.
"For me, inclusion is about a community where everyone is recognized for their differences and everyone is recognized as belonging – not only in our schools, but in our communities."
As part of my third project, we had to plan and execute a gathering of 25 different NGOs that work for differently abled individuals. 
The first picture that comes to our minds when we talk about social service are images of individuals who are anemic, unintelligible and unscrupulous.
Having met 25 different NGOs involved in healthcare, employment and among specially abled individuals, my perception has improved. 
With over 2000 registered NGOs in the city of Bangalore alone, it is anybody's guess on why we need to pool in our collective resources. The need is certainly there. Being 'challenged' (or the more politically incorrect term 'disabled') does no longer mean that you should be begging for your living. With the wealth of resources that many of these NGOs have, getting a good job/living a respectable life is only a matter of connecting to the right organization.


With the NGOs promising to network and connect in a better way in the future, I believe we were able to hit all the right notes with our project.

Next Stop:
The Freedom Foundation


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Finally. something worth embedding!



Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Crush!


1 deform, pulverize, or force inwards by compressing forcefully, 
2 violently subdue (opposition or a rebellion), 
3 make (someone) feel overwhelmingly disappointed or embarrassed.
-Oxford Dictionary

A word that could mean 'infatuation' in teen lingo, crush until now was just another word that would make you reminisce about all the silly things you did growing up.
But that was until this news article appeared.

Warning: 
Graphic descriptions follow. Reader Discretion is advised.

Crush videos is not the kind of videos that you'd expect to be.
A term used for videos that are produced and circulated among a highly secretive network of individuals with a fetish for animal cruelty.
Videos which show scantily clad 12-year-old girls as they stomp on live animals, a rabbit as he or she is skinned alive, other rabbits as they scream while their ears are cut off and they are set on fire, a dog as he or she is burned with a clothes iron, and a monkey who was repeatedly hit in the eye with the sharp end of a stiletto heel. There is more, including puppies crushed until they vomited their own internal organs.
All the videos feature one to three girls performing the acts on the animals. (Read more here)

If you cringed while reading this, take heart that the long arm of the law has finally caught up with the inhumane.
While we can live with the fact and knowledge that humans will have fetishes, what astounds me how depraved we've got. 

What a way to earn a living?
While the perpetrators are on the lam, I also hope that we learn to have a more holistic approach towards creatures that share our planet.
Few months ago, I stumbled across another video, and this time a documentary that used footage from hidden cameras to reveal how we indirectly fuel the inhuman treatment of animals both for our hunger and pleasure.

Earthlings, is a no nonsense documentary that has spawned debate on how we must really be treating animals that seem to be destined to be trampled.
The documentary is an eye opener in many ways.
If there is one film that you must watch, this is it.

Watch the movie, spread the word. Even if you don't turn vegan or an animal lover.

Surely we've seen bullock carts, over loaded with sacks of concrete, iron railings and such. Surely those marks on the bulls are not tattoos. Surely you would've flinched when you see the man twisting the tail of the bull when he wants the animal to move.
Surely you've seen how young kids stone stray dogs. Surely you must have seen dogs limping.
Surely you'd have seen horses been mistreated.
Surely, you'd have wanted to do something to stop all this cruelty.

Contact your local PeTA chapter if you come across instances of cruelty against animals.
Just as swiftly as you would react if someone punished you at work, I beg you to raise your voice. 
The creatures that share our planet have just the same rights as you do. They deserve to live just as dignified a life as you do. 

Be humane. Be proactive. Speak out


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Resident: Evil

Part 4

Concluding part of the 4 part series about events that are changing our world


I love Hollywood (Who doesn't)

But three reasons why I stay away from horror/sci fi and action.

-Everyone, from the Arabs to the Russians, nastiest viruses and generally every convulted force in the universe is always trying to conquer, control or kill Americans.
-Of course they might be better produced and funded, but you almost always need to watch them with a huge pinch of salt.

Out of the hundreds of movies that are churned out in Hollywood and the millions off Bollywood, there will be one movie that'll make the cut.
The one movie that will make you sit up and ponder. 'Hmm, now that is possible.'

One of my favorite series of horror/sci fi/action movies are the Resident Evil Series. Not untypical of Hollywood and definitely not the last zombie to crawl out of the studios, I've watched the trilogy a dozen times on DVD and then whenever it comes on TV.

The movie is based on a virus that mutates the dead into the Living Dead.
Though this could be impossible to vision in real life, reel life is fantastic. (You can always get back to the good life after 3 hours)

In reel life, we've conquered the nastiest aliens and the most diabolic humans. We've battled nature in all her fury and survived. We've overcome global wars and destruction. All in America.
But in real life, we've been pinned down by nature's fury. We've struggled with recession and we're yet to win over terrorists.

We've failed to learn lessons from any of the million dollar sci fi movies that has come out.
With the meltdown in Tokyo, turmoil in Tunisia and a World that seems to be racing to The next Big War, it does look like we could do with some special effects and change in scripts right about now.

-The Third reason why I've stayed away from sci fi horror / action is because I've learned bigger lessons from movies like 'Just like Heaven' and 'Bruce Almighty'. You don't have to have a girl friend who forgets what she did yesterday and lives in the past to realize what a wonderful relationship you've got right now. You don't have to loose someone you've loved in the pursuit of wealth to realize that you've got all you need in your life right now. Life is not always about the money. It is about the people that makes living each hour of every day of every week of every month of every year worth living.

The fall of man wouldn't have happened if Adam had listened to God. The two World Wars wouldn't have happened if we would've been slow to anger and the Chernobyl wouldn't have happened if we'd have listened to instructions. So much tragedy and so much pain.

We all have stories to tell of circumstances that have shown us the need to listen before we speak. We've naturally tempted to come to quick judgments and react angrily. Be swift to hear, slow to speak and slower to wrath.

You and I are not mistakes and accidents that happened. You and I have a purpose.
Life is not a transit between Birth and Death. It is The Event.

'Love People and Use Things. Not the other way round'

Jump to the other parts here:
Apocalypse, Oil, Freedom


Friday, October 29, 2010

Love thy Neighbor... Dirty his doorstep

If there is one advice that I have struggled with is 'Love thy neighbor'.
For an advice that is so simple yet in many ways the easiest way to resolve all conflicts, to love your neighbor is so difficult.
My neighbor is such fine example in my defence.
A family of 1, the lady of the house has a very simple way of screwing my mornings. She simply soaks my morning newspaper while washing her 4 yards of porch! And no, it didn't rain.
She allows all the dirt to flow so that along with the morning paper, I also get the muck.

Clever, I must say.
Vengeance had crossed my mind a billion times and it is so much easier to hurt back. But that is what Satan always wants us to do. Thoughts like: 'Why should we do any less?' 'I must show her who's boss' 'Two can play this game'
But what happens when we hurt back?
A few weeks ago, when I had the chance to go to court for urgent personal errand, I realised that there were tons of people there too. It's an ocean of humanity!Why are there so many people litigating and squabbling? 

Ofcourse the attorneys are laughing their way to the banks.
But if only we could set aside the temptation to retaliate.
All said and much done, it is difficult to not remember how hurt we got. It is like when you get an itch, you have to scratch yourself to satisfy it. And until you do, that itch grows to huge proportions that every thing else is less significant. We are led to believe that by retaliating our oppressor would feel cowered by our might,  would understand that we only hurt back because they hurt us first, and would probably hope that they do not retaliate back. Tall Wishes, young man! Because soon you are the oppressor.
We get drawn into a silly circle of revenge, vengeance and before you know it, you are the greater monster of the two.

I'm not going to wish for world peace and that poverty be wiped off the face of the earth. That's for beauty contestants to say at beauty pageants.
But I do hope that we learn to forgive one person a day.
Do one good deed to one stranger a day.
Give a little more goodness than you get atleast once a day.
Learn to step into the shoes of atleast one person you encounter and say a kind word, a day.

Smile!

And, on the brighter side, if you start loving your neighbor, you won't have to love your enemies, because you won't have any!
But in the meanwhile, I am still drying the soggy wet newspaper before I can read it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Paradox

The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers,
wider Freeways , but narrower viewpoints.
We spend more, but have less,
we buy more, but enjoy less.
We have bigger houses and smaller families,
more conveniences, but less time.
We have more degrees but less sense,
more knowledge, but less judgment,
more experts, yet more problems,
more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much,
smoke too much,
spend too recklessly,
laugh too little,
drive too fast,
get too angry,
stay up too late,
get up too tired,
read too little,
watch TV too much,
and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values.
We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life.
We've added years to life not life to years.
We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor.
We conquered outer space but not inner space.
We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul.
We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice.
We write more, but learn less.
We plan more, but accomplish less.
We've learned to rush, but not to wait.
We build more computers to hold more information,
to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion,
big men and small character,
steep profits and shallow relationships.
These are the days of two incomes but more divorce,
fancier houses, but broken homes.
These are days of quick trips,
disposable diapers,
throwaway morality,
one night stands,
overweight bodies,
and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill.
It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.
A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, 
                              or to just hit delete...


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Anyways...

Saw this in the most unlikely places... (in the Loo)
Thought this was an interesting thought to remember..

Downloading..

People are often unreasonable,
illogical and self-centered; forgive them anyway

If you are kind, people may accuse you
of selfish ulterior motives; be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends
and some true enemies; succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
be honest and frank anyway

What you spend years building
someone may destroy overnight; build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness,
others maybe jealous; be happy anyway

The good you do today,
people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
give the world the best you've got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis,
its all between you and God;
it was never between you and them anyway.


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