O to the Beheaders

Which God promotes it?
Every religion has done it.
Dark ages, stark ages,
We are failing all our sages.
The mankind,
thru human unkind.

Does nature allow it,
As a way to give peace?
Does being civilized allow it
As a way to balance populace?

Is it an accomplished (un)kind of feeling
as you slice a human head and send it reeling?
Is beheading the beheader the logical punishment?
Is slicing up people a way to get
heavenly commitment?

Ask the designer of these techniques inhuman,
Or the trainer of intelligent agencies super-human:
Have you dominated enough of those near?
Instilled enough fear in your not so dear?

How do you make people forget
these murdering thrills;
your desired treat you now get?
They’re still cooking the hills-
generations after you got your
piece of cake, hors-d’oeuvre.

Habits that kill hard,
DIE hard.

While you move on true.
Dominate, justify too.
Weapons and commerce –
scores, medals, purpose.
Peace of mind or land won?
Peace be within you when done.

Control:
Over
n
Out.

Blanket All’s!

IMG_8445Blanket

Wikipedia informs us that blanket word came from the name Thomas Blanket (Blanquette), a Flemish weaver who lived in Bristol, England in the 14th century.

I went deeper into synonyms, not believing that there weren’t blankets before the fourteenth century, and I found a wonderful online resource: “Pashmina” by A. Pathak.

According to Pathak, shawls and woollen fabric traditions existed since the Indus Civilization. They were even mass produced for export in the 14-15th centuries. It was a huge cottage industry in the Himalayan region and got a new life during Zain-ul-Abidin’s reign in Kashmir. There were gift exchanges of fine goat hair mar’izz(a) shawls even in the 13th-14th Centuries.

Apparently, the English and French weavers were inspired by Kashmiri shawls, discussed in detail by J. Irwin and M.L. Strauss. Forster in 18th and Moorcroft in 19th Centuries detailed about the process and enterprise itself, noting that floral designs became popular.

Aurangzeb’s physician, Bernier, in addition was so impressed in 1655, that he wrote down accounts about every aspect of the mass production of these prized shawls.

P.S. If you know facts from your cultural histories, kindly add links/ info below because I believe it is necessary to give due weightage to facts available in any language.

Ref: (Gorgeous images) http://www.kashmircompany.com/blog/william-moorcroft-and-the-journey-of-the-kashmir-shawl-to-europe/

🌿Neem-Hakeem⛑ Passport to Good Health!

Neem, Azadirachta indica: Native to South Asia, neem is a cure-all. Well, almost! You can read details on two links provided below. For me, I can tell you my experience when last year after being to a dentist, I got a dental infection. Now who wants to go right back, so after bringing down the pain for two days, I thought of using neem, because I don’t normally use painkillers for anything usual. Result was pain went down in two doses of one tsp each. In three days of having neem powder for thrice a day with a whole glass of water with it (I swish it directly in mouth to mix-well with water), the infection was 100% gone. Now it is S.O.P., standard operating procedure. Greatly beneficial to skin, blood purification, diabetes control, and many more diseases, my family has a lot of respect for Neem. (Hakeem is the word for local doctor). Warning: It has side-effects, including making amusing theatrical faces, because it is very bitter, but then most good things in life are😉

https://www.google.com/amp/m.food.ndtv.com/health/benefits-and-uses-of-neem-a-herb-that-heals-1231051%3Famp%3D1%26akamai-rum%3Doff

https://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/health-benefits-of-neem/

Haldi, turmeric root, curcuma longa. For this too, lot of details are given in the links below. I just want to highlight that I pretty much, do not visit the doctor more than once a year. We traditionally have this powder as part of staple South-Asian  diet. But also as a super medicine, taken internally and externally. Effective first aid and antiseptic! This is what we rely on for all cough, colds, ear-piercing, and minor injuries. Best way to take it is with honey or sugar in hot milk at bed-time, and keep chest warm after that.

I’ve even used turmeric in warm oil for massaging my week old dislocated thumb and doing home therapy to activate range of motion (found a good instruction video on youtube😉) without going to a doctor. Please do not try this at home unless you gain enough experience of your own.

https://www.google.com/amp/m.food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/8-health-benefits-of-turmeric-getting-back-to-the-roots-1257827%3Famp%3D1%26akamai-rum%3Doff

http://www.healthbenefitstimes.com/health-benefits-of-turmeric/

Enjoy your Passport to Good Health!

A thot Atop A peak

Read along with me and I photo challenge you to see the picture I see:

After a long days’ hike up a verde ferned mountain, covered by tall handsome perfuming pines, jagged paths amidst shiny rocks, as well as slopes speckled by delightful dainty floral sprinkles and purple irises – we stopped around sunset, at the only flat piece of ground we’d seen.

It was time to set up camp. Suddenly, we saw the sun go down, slipping away from the over-bearing, protective clouds, behind the meeting mountains, which is a gorgeous sight considering, that we had been eye to eye with it while unloading our gear. We ran out towards it to the edge of the trees, and the steep drop looked up wondering where we were going, for there was nothing ahead, after all. I don’t know what happened after that.

All fell quiet and she found herself leaning with both hands on a knee braced on a sturdy rock, looking down at the city she’d left behind, the gushing-ever-rushing river Beas below, and the surrounding Pir-Panjal range, blue-ing into the distance.

She took a deep breath of the cool pining air, and her thoughts flew away into the many valleys beyond. She wished them well from her heart, often in her dreams, the beautiful people of Kashmir; believing that soon people on both sides of the border would come to a standstill in face of the beauty of their own loved realm, and turn it into serene calm.

Atop

🗣Death to Labels☠️ Stereotypes😉

“My heart beat quickens in anticipation of a possibility that every person who calls themselves a minority, might today be convinced that they are not.” Thinkinkadia

This word, minority has been a rage for the last few months. If you break it up it reads: Mine-Or-Itty•Bitty. If you translate it from Thinkinkadia english to regular english, it reads “Either it’s Mine and thus important, OR it is IttyBitty, thus insignificant.”

Who does this word, Minority, refer to?

Tribals. Natives. Children. Women. Farmers. Immigrants. Small community. Ugly. Pretty. Tall. Short. Leaders. Movie stars. Writers. Under-writers. Artists. A race of people. Car-racers. Soldier. Doctor. Group of 10. Group of 1,00,000. People with non-mainstream preferences. People with common sense. Disabled. Presstitutes or Prostitutes. People speaking a different language. A religious group. Housewives. House-husbands. Teen professors. Inventors. Explorers. Weapon users. Fork users. Tailors. And so on.

I can only give my example to illustrate the point. Apparently, every person I’ve ever met, and trust me I meet on an average, a hundred a day, can be put in a box, or several boxes. Personally I face several stereotypes a day: woman, indian, must be good with kids, must be good at cooking, helpful (read: must be interested in the man), strict in class (read: must be abused), simple (read: dumb, she knows nothing), single woman (she’s telling …), and giving her phone number (Ooooo! she’s … ).

You know what happens when you try to put Jack or Jill in a box? They sprinnnng back up. Well, at this age, springy is not this-self, but I refuse to accept a single box. I’m greedy, I want lots of boxes. Thanks to many stereo’s, I have begun to see myself as a honeycomb. Lots of compartments, sweet results, and potential to bite if provoked to the extreme.😉

You see, it’s lovely what people reveal about themselves when they judge you and try to put you down into a box. What they often miss seeing is how the receiver processed the information after you finish.

Click: SELECT

Click: DELETE

Danced her way out of your space.

Smiled.

In my view what has happened is that in modern educated world, people not familiar with humility or simplicity, see: humility as a sign of weakness, silence as a sign of ignorance, not reacting to their mockery as so dumb. If you have a low profile day, without energy boosters and caffeine, and your vulnerability is visible plain as day, the listener points a finger delicately, as to say got that about you, the real you has been spotted by me!

Decode or ask me what I think and you will find that I’d rather ask questions to get to know your position better. I believe it’s called tolerance, empathy, acceptance of your opinion, and again, humility. I’ve done enough reacting, judging, knowing, etc. in my youth, and now I can connect with people’s phases, choices, ask questions to clarify, or choose not to take things as personal. Only difference is that I see it as a strength.

To get back to the opening line: If everyone can be defined with specific vocabulary to put in a box, then who all constitute Mainstream population?

My conclusion: The word itself is a hoax.

Quicken

Motorbiking Dream

My heart beat with the deep du-du-du-dududud sounds of a motorbike, everytime one passed me by and I wished … , I hoped … , and I was dying … to Get On It to explore the arid land of Jaisalmer.

The two little voices that reside on my shoulders, right under my ears, argued, like they always did since I got married, or maybe it was motherhood; the second iffy voice unheard of till then.

Vatif said, “What if you have an accident, who will help you in the midst of nowhere?”

Masti, the little adventurous me, said “Do it! It’ll be fun!” in the characteristic carefree voice.

Vatif groaned, “What if … You are Old! All that white hair, and no wisdom!”

Masti countered, “This is THE chance! Rent one and fly. Let’s GO!”

Vatif screamed, “Pagal hai kya! Crazy woman! What if … think about your daughter?”

Masti winked with joy, “Jee ley! Live it up! Mauka hai, one and only chance!”

I told both of them to shutUP and let me check out the options in the market. My daughter, who was quite surprised by the turn of events, and I walked along the street, checked out rates. My decision weighing scale was leaning in favour since my brother had taught me ‘how to’ on his enfield, thirty years ago and now-a-days these newbies were much lighter. I had occasionally driven someones bike to keep it in running condition, but that was twenty three years ago.

Please stop doing the math. I can hear your brain crunching! Secret out: I am almost 50. When is a better time to ride; now or when I’ll be riding chairs with wheels? Actually this is exactly what I said to convince myself at one of the bike-rental shops, which also sold colourful slogans bedcovers for a side business. I said to myself, “What does a bedcover have to do with magical results on a bed?!” Yikes! Weird touristy gimmicks! Whatever sells … Runnn.

Both reasons decided it for me in the heat of the moment, that July summer day. Signed the paper, gave the drivers license, etc. and got a bike; it’s name more exciting than it’s form, Explorer. Yay!

For fifteen minutes the owner kept having me go uphill to practice and pretty soon I’d need to turn it around, when the bike would switch off. For an experienced person this would have been a huge clue for what was to come. But anyway, I spoke to the guy about letting me go downslope and on the main street for practice, because uphill is no way to go for a novice. “Besides, wasn’t the road to the desert going to be level?” Finally, it worked. He complimented convinced, showed me a map, and waving, let me go!

I asked my daughter to hop on and away we went. Clearing the town, it was a forty minute drive to the desert. 50, 60, 70, … 80 kmph, we were moving along fine! The breeze, though hot, was awesome for a dream just come true.

Watch out! Shifting sands, whispering mellow cautions in sync with Vatif’s “I told you so’s” came up suddenly for two girls taking in the sights and sounds. Major scares on the elegant ribbon of a road were an unseen speed breaker we flew over, and a jagged bitten off edge of the tarmac road, hollowed under by sands long gone.

If you have been to the Sam (read Sum) desert, you’ll know that there are no sights and sounds on the way. But for us, every moment, every hut, every person, every prickly bush, a line of camel riders, and silent rocks- all were unforgettable.

Reflections of our sandpapered faces, spiked up hair, were mirrored only in the shocked faces at the reception desk, back at the hotel; telling signs, to them and us, of what we had been through. We had a train to catch in forty five minutes, so reflections of the experience itself only began after setting down our luggage minutes before the screeching start, click-clack of the train, leaving the most exquisite railway station I’ve ever seen.

The golden city, with its amazing palaces, havelis, and homes, the dunes fading into the distance had found a permanent place in our hearts. Golden memories kept coming to life in our shoes, hair, and pockets, days later; quantities of which bespoke of the magnitude of a simple experience, running with your dream, and loving it!

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P.S. The ride back from Sam was quite the opposite, with a realization that women on a motorbike was still a novelty in those parts. When traffic increases along with the curiosity index, you ended up with a motorbike which has a bad timing, and engine shuts off. Much like the people and vehicles slowing speeds, right in front of you or alongside, or who stop ‘n’ stare to sharpen their observation skills. Insight: we are a LIVE spectacle! Need I say more? I leave it to your imaginations to find unlimited amusement there 😄

I’ve forgotten the Arid details😉

💓In a secret hideout🙏

Sitting inside us, in a secret Hideout, lives a part of us, an amazing part that connects us to our Universe. And then, there’s our brain with special faculties and our spirit. Known faculties being memory, imagination, intuition, reason, will, and my favourite, perception.

Universe, nature, and earth are words we all relate with at some knowledge level or the other; irrespective of our highs and lows, our moods and trials, or even our successes and failures. It brings us peace soon as we tune-IN, inwards. I believe this special part is in everyone, irrespective of culture or religion.

Every culture has a greeting to say when two people meet or cross paths. Usually they are friendly gestures or words, and some cultures focus on respect. As a greeting in India, you’ll hear the word ‘Namastey’ used very casually several times a day, seemingly nothing beyond a Hi or a Hello.

At the same time, not a heavily spiritual, yogic, whispery exchange; full of profound meaning in every utterance. It is more an attitude that goes with the word and accompanies the way of living and which, to a conscious person, allows them to see something special in each person, beyond face value.

Putting the word, ‘Namastey’ in focus, today, I want to clarify three things about the salutary gesture/ greeting:
1. Comes from respect, not submission.
2. Respects the special part of the universe inside all of us, not necessarily divinity.
3. From one human to another, a sincere salutation to honor the others’ mental faculties beyond the self, which separate humans from animals, to that extent, loaded with humility.

I love the fact that the greeting has earned a lot of regard as cultural exchanges grow. For many, there are some grey areas and it is important for me to clarify that it has a much bigger meaning than the commonly misunderstood one of ” … respecting human soul, part of God.” Since both these terms, soul and divinity, are diversely understood, defined; it can only cause confusion, and unfortunately, conflict.

I personally look for one good thing in every person or interaction (or blog😉) and see what I can learn from an exchange. Approaching another human from a clean slate, one might say.

Namastey!🙏

💓Love and good vibes for all

🎉A Birthday Party!🎈

Invitation

You are cordially invited to the 100th birthday party for (re)Integrated India on their Independence:

Date: Midnight of Aug 14-15, 2047

Time: 5 pm-12:30am.

Venue: Wagha Border on the West and Dhaka in the East.

Dress Code: White cottons to symbolize peace.

Men: Shalwar Kameez, Pagdi (optional).

Women: Salwar Kameez, Flamboyant Veil / Burqua (optional).

Menu: Fish, Shahi Veg Korma, and Rice. Kheer with saffron, almonds, and cardamoms. (Symbolic of poor man’s pudding as labeled by the British).

Anthem: A new song is being composed by three musicians, one from each of the three countries for the celebration of peace in the region.

Please bring friends and family to enjoy the freedom: physical freedom found earlier, this time found within the minds.

Thanking you.

RSVP: Office of the first freely elected PM of the democratic (re)integrated nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Reference: https://thinkinkadia.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/2047-execute-change-not-people/

A Humble request

Today, I must say something very Specific on my mind, since I visited Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, India. Everything is magical about the place: the golden stone, the almost filigree work in the architecture, the palace, the sands, camels, sunrises to sunsets, and the perpetual golden haze that gives everything and every person a halo of fascination, for a tourist.

What stands in contrast to me, is little kids who seem to harass tourists for money, hotel or Safari packages, and so many things little, agile, street smart kids can be roped into, for ‘selling touristy attractions.’ They have figured out stories that evoke a financial donation from people from different countries, even speaking sentences in different foreign languages! And, they didn’t learn about persuasive skills in a writing class, but believe when I say that they are pretty persuasive.

To me, as an educator and a parent, is so wrong, for that is the age, kids need to be learning in school or at home. So I end up making it a teachable moment where I might interact with the child with respect after declining touristy packages. I ask child friendly questions, find out what they like best, or love to eat, or favorite hero. They giggle, feel shy, and speak like a child, surprised that someone cared. And, sometimes, if their interest allows, leave him/her with an amazing fact about animal, bird, or experiment on how things work, to ponder about.

For a person visiting another country for a week or two, what they see becomes the observed ‘culture’ and hard fact. Then maybe, they sympathize and give large amounts of money to help the kid. Would you give a money directly to a child in the home country, based on the sob-story they tell you? No?

Would you take a picture of another child or adult without permission? Would you allow strangers make money selling such images of your family on the net? No.

Right!  You would take permission or offer to a parent, guardian, or agency. So please do the same on foreign soil. All children are the same and they deserve the security offered by known adults only.

Thank you for reading this. It was waiting restlessly for expression, and caring people like you🙂

 

Comedy of T(errors)!

Two relatively modern day inventions, Errors and Terrors, we know, dislike, and don’t want being friendly with. Though they both lead to natural and man-made cause and effects, we know no fear whether it be a traffic ticket or a shooting incident, unless the consequence has impacted our daily lives.

Started in the era of expectations and rules, errors are now simply familiar friends, we know, dont like being shown our own, reluctantly correct ourselves on, joyously point out for others, and hope not to repeat, in order to conform socially.

Terrors, cute when they are innocent little familial ones, take on gigantic demonic proportions when they loom high on unknown distant horizons. Cute terror stories are shared on observer initiative at family and friend get-togethers and on social media. Whereas, Terrorist events are relayed by the initiative taker on social media to spread awareness and fear of their powerful existence. In the case of these fear-mongers, they get the attention they seek, and further applause through journalistic media; increasing exponentially the ripple-effect of their intent and deed.

Though hard to imagine but is common to both the terrors, cute or mute, is that they are looking for the same thing. One doesn’t get away with it because it is impacting the household directly and the perspective is that the child needs to be ignored or disciplined.

The other mute one gets away with it because of the fear waves they triggered, giving rise to insecurities way beyond a common man’s control of internal and external factors at exactly the same time. Their helpless perceptions are discolored black, white, and grey; magnified by media’s repetitive inputs to the receiving brain via staccato gunfire sound, interspersed with ritualistic commentary on the hour, and flashing iconic images across the color spectrum.

*

What needs to be remembered is that the terrorist is a label, just like other labels in our lives. The intent of the actor and the context of the action are the real driving force behind the perception or fear, a label generates. Hidden behind events they initiate are multi-level factors like politics, governments, and financial motives in stealth. Leadership levels, on both sides, have strategies and communications that need mediation and clarification. Some of these people are simply young teens, caught young into soldiering, or other support jobs provided under the cover of local civil population.

As we begin to understand related vocabularies and de-jargonify the pattern in the story, we begin to see that they are people like you and me, but caught in the rigmarole of illiterate perceptions and grandiose ideas sold to the most vulnerable; in the name of whatever that person wants, needs, or believes in.

Just that their circumstances are different.

  1. Perception of what is the real problem. Example, poverty or warm clothing.

  2. Solution to the solving the perceived problem and their role in it. Example, food, electricity, power through gun.

  3. Domination eventually, is a goal at different levels, and the proportional level of success accomplished, a significant variable.

Surprised to see that it seems like a natural flow chart of events, wherever there is leadership or a need for an important resource?

*

How can we avoid such creative pursuits or creation of such inverse talent? In-house or overseas.

If majority of the population ignores a minority population;

If their perceptions are not understood;

If every fact is reported as a scandal;

If their basic needs are not met;

If needs change with age, are they free to move on: educational, community minded, altruistic, spiritual, etc;

If weapons are sold to them;

Then, ‘we’ have created a terrorist!

Later, we don’t know, how things change form, and now ignorance is ours.

We give them success, then we panic, and feed them the fear to thrive on.

Is it worse for us or them. Them because, A relevant group taught B the technique to get what A wanted; B made it their habit, and B’s children see it as simple as culture. Doesn’t B need rehabilitation vs. Blasting away to clear their Land?

Simple question is: Can there be a conversation with a protesting or needy population before we end up alienating them to the extent of making more terrorists?

There in lies the Comedy of (T)errors. The comical twins: terror and error. These by products of our civilization: are they our Fortune or Misfortune?

P.S. If this article or any of my related works, at any point in time, generate any income, sixty-percent of that will go towards meeting the basic needs of the alienated and rehabilitating those willing, starting with one of three possible regions.