“The Thirsty Crow and the Crow and the Fox”, is a fully illustrated book for children between the ages of 3 and 5. It contains two popular folk tales from India.

“The Thirsty Crow” is about a clever crow that finds a resourceful way to drink water.

“The Crow and the Fox” is about a wise crow that outwits a fox, by not giving into flattery.

It is a 26 page book, fully illustrated, with easy text in order to appeal to little children, as they learn their first lessons of life.

Satire — When Religion meets Reason

Michelangelo, creation — sun, moon and stars, source: Wikimedia

Science and religion are on a collision course again in this pandemic, with news about God’s faithful congregating for worship and defying lockdown orders. While not all the religious are blind in their faith, a vociferous minority seem to believe that God will protect them from the virus because he is bigger than the virus. There can be no doubt that God is bigger than the Covid-19, because He created the novel Coronavirus just like He created us. Hence, it is logical to assume that the Creator is bigger than the creation.

The Hypocrisy of Philanthropy

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

It is all over the news how Bill Gates predicted the current pandemic some years ago. The man is not an epidemiologist or a doctor, but one of his many charities focuses on pandemics. Therefore, he has become a Nostradamus for predicting this pandemic and the ones in the future.

I wonder if he foresaw how the Trump presidency would turn the greatest democracy on earth into a banana republic, because the federal government’s efficiency does play a critical role in controlling the epidemic.

Viewpoint

branches
Image by Shelly Paul

Anathema – much despised, accursed

Today, I read a news headline about how the world has been brought to a standstill by COVID-19. This type of news headline is not uncommon in times of great calamities, where planet Earth and human beings are used interchangeably, as if these words are synonymous, as if we are the world.

I find myself using these terms interchangeably and bite my tongue as I realize my ignorance stemming from the arrogance of being human, because as grand is the human ego, we are not the world. We are just one species on this magnificently intricate planet and as such we belong to the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us.

Therefore, the world has not come to a standstill because of the novel strain of the Coronavirus, humanity has come to a standstill which is actually a good thing for Mother Earth and our sibling creatures on this planet.

Poetry

Character Soliloquy¹ — Social Media

An aging dandelion with white tufts, ready to be blown away, in blurry green background with, blurred leaves.

Image by Shelly Paul

I like what I like and I don’t have to like anything else, 
Dictate the designers of social media.

If I like only what I like and if I don’t have to like anything else,
Then I don’t have to know anything else that I don’t like.

If I don’t have to know anything I don’t like,
Then what does truth or reality matter?

Small Town to Big City Experiences

Monochrome image of a train at a station, with a mother and son on a platform bench.

Image by Shelly Paul

I grew up in small communities, where everything was within walking distance, where most faces were familiar even if they were unacquainted. Moving from one such small town to the neighboring Chennai city was a new, unexpected experience.

To go from an idyllic life to the noise, the traffic, the crowd and the sheer size of the city took a little getting used to. One curious scene that held my attention were the public buses during the morning rush hour.

Personal Essay – A Tribute to my Friends

Silhouette of two children frolicking on a beach.

Image by Shelly Paul

My little world is populated with friends — spanning continents, religion, age, ethnicity and other social fragmentation that exists. They give me strength to soar to the skies, because I know they will catch me, should I fall.

My friends also come from a large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins

Essay Series

The Malice of racism cuts both ways

Pair of black crocs on a beach.

Immigrants — People who move from one nation to another for better prospects or they are just fleeing for their lives.

The land of the immigrants has turned against migrants. The current President of the immigrant nation, who has married two foreigners, denigrates migrants at every opportunity while the Republican party leaders protest feebly as they watch him spew pernicious lies. The devotees at the Trump rallies are exultant. They revel in this topic more raucously than any other subject at these fanatical events where blind hatred and lack of reason is celebrated with singular fervor.

How history seeps into the present

Urban landscape juxtaposition of rich high-rises against poor dwellings.

Image by Shelly Paul, Flickr

It was inspiring to see the young people take to the streets on behalf of Mother Earth, demanding that their governments act swiftly to remedy the situation, so that they can have a future.

A lot of these governments especially in the impoverished countries are corrupt, greedy and violent. How can anyone expect these government to properly formulate and implement the right reforms? Most importantly, how did these governments get to be this way?

Most of Africa, Asia and Americas were colonized by Europeans for several centuries. These colonizations came at a cost of bottomless cruelty and bloodshed of the native population. These natives were not just plundered and killed for their material wealth, but most significantly, they were robbed off the priceless knowledge of their heritage and culture, through decimation of their languages, religions and customs.