Soul Weary

return to innocence
Image by Shelly Paul

It is a sad chapter in our nation’s history when our young children, the future of this great country, have to rally for one essential need – the need to stay alive, to not be shot or maimed by somebody armed with a weapon. They are pleading for the most elemental right of every life form on this planet – just to stay alive and well.

As I listened to the videos and read the outpouring of the young people from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, it occurred to me that while we live in the United States of America, we send our children to school in war zones. They might as well walk out of picture perfect communities and well go to school in war-torn regions such as Syria or Afghanisthan. Continue reading “Soul Weary”

Ramblings on a Word – Beauty

morning-dew
Image by Shelly Paul

Beauty – aesthetically pleasing

“A thing of beauty is a joy forever”, goes the well-known phrase from the poem, Endymion, by John Keats. Dwelling on this phrase made me wonder about that one unique thing of such incredible beauty, that it would bring unfailing joy to its beholder.

Could it be a favorite work of art that could turn into a visual feast every time we set our eyes on it? Or a piece of music that strums our soul, each and every time we listen to it? Continue reading “Ramblings on a Word – Beauty”

What does Google share with India’s Communist Party?

google-cpi
Few months ago I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress. The reason being my old blog disappeared from Google search altogether. For no particular reason it simply vanished.

So I did some research and I was asked to verify the website using Google webmaster tools. I followed all the instructions, but the site simply could not be verified. It was quite vexing because Blogger is Google’s own product and I simply assumed, that it would measure up their own standards.

Somehow that was not the case and my blog could not be verified as a legitimate website. After a few frustrating days, I made the decision I have been putting off for a while and moved the blog to WordPress, where I should say it is doing pretty well. The site has been verified by Google, Bing and other social networking sites. Of course Twitter doesn’t verify you until you are a VIP (‘commoners, peasants, shoo, shoo, away’). Continue reading “What does Google share with India’s Communist Party?”

My Fascination with Hinduism

sunset at vellore/shelly paul
Image by Shelly Paul

A religion’s origin, that is lost in time. A religion, that has survived the influx of many other religions, cultures, its own corruption and foreign invasions. After several thousand years, Hinduism is still the predominant religion in today’s India. It is more a way of life than a religion. It permeates into everything that’s Indian. That is why it is hard to separate India from Hinduism. Everyone who is born Indian does have a degree of Hinduism within them doesn’t matter the religion they are born into currently. Continue reading “My Fascination with Hinduism”

Comment – Charlie Hebdo

While absorbing the news about the fanatical murders of the Charlie Hebdo staff, I was reminded of something Mr. Lewis Black said on a talk show. In the stand-up routine, ‘The End of the Universe’, he wraps up the show talking about faith. He talks about the importance of balancing faith with a sense of humor. In course of the segment, he says, “…and that’s what happens when you don’t laugh. You get all wound up in what you’re believing in and nobody goes ‘eh,heh’ and you’re ..you’re screwed.”

That is the role of a satirist in our society; to go ‘eh heh’, when group-think takes over people’s minds. Especially in today’s era of ubiquitous information, it is easy to isolate ourselves by cherry picking whatever suits us without Continue reading “Comment – Charlie Hebdo”

Comment – NY Times Article

urbanscape/Shelly Paul
Image by Shelly Paul

Recently, I happened to read an article in New York Times that impressed me with its blunt honesty.

Titled “The Charitable Industrial Complex” it’s an article written by Peter Buffet, son of Warren Buffet. The article discusses something he calls ‘Philanthropic Colonialism’. He sheds light on the expanding income inequality, the role the rich and the powerful play in its creation and perpetuity.

At one point he writes about a ‘philanthropy meeting’ between heads of state and the vested rich: “All are searching for answers with their right hand to problems that others in the room have created with their left.”

In conclusion he asks, “Is progress really Wi-Fi on every street corner? No. It’s when no 13-year-old-girl on the planet gets sold for sex.”

It’s a short, crisp atypical piece in The NY Times. If you have the time, please read it. Click here to read the article.

Mother India’s Daughters

How did Mother India get to a point, where an innocent young girl was raped, torn apart and discarded on the side of the road bleeding, to death? While an angry nation spilled out on the streets to protest, a tender, fifteen year old was being gang raped in Bihar. Yet another young rape victim from Punjab killed herself after being subjected to the pornographic interrogation by the police.

In an effort to diminish the protests, the shameless and irresponsible police along with the criminally negligent government have the audacity to blame the atrocity on the victims themselves, by talking about cosmetics and discotheques.

What has make-up and disco got to do with a woman being raped? Continue reading “Mother India’s Daughters”

Comment : Why Assange is Wrong

For a person who fights tooth and nail against the government’s lack of transparency, Julian Assange is a very opaque person. His personal life aside, he is highly secretive about the way he goes about his method of journalism. He does not reveal any sources, either financial or otherwise.

One might argue that he is not required to answer any questions. But his method of journalism raises several questions. If his sources are secretive how does one determine if these secret whistle-blowers are not pursuing an agenda of their own? Therefore how does one determine if the leaks are objective or cherry-picked information to fill in the frame of a desired picture?

Where does his funding coming from? Continue reading “Comment : Why Assange is Wrong”

American Naiveté

An uncomfortably strange first and last name, a middle name that could evoke fear in some. Then there is the discussion of his degree of whiteness and blackness, inexperience, Bradley effect to name a few. Despite all these attributes, Barack Obama a Professor of the Constitutional Law, seemed like the oddest of ducks to run for the Presidency. He simply did not seem to fit in to the formulae of a typical American running for the President. Continue reading “American Naiveté”