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Showing posts from August, 2016

Day 311: Can news ever spread joy?

For once let us imagine if every single news channel only shares headlines and breaking news that invariably talks about positive and happy news that showcases the altruistic and selfless side of people. Imagine reading a headline that talks about the extraordinary capabilities of individuals, the joyous occasions and  simple things in life. Well, I bet the world would be a different place. It is like this 'ripple effect' that will spread only waves of positive thoughts and continue to share only such news. Every time we set to read a newspaper or watch a news (any channel), all we read today is the hate and more hate. Every channel in every part is sharing either news about the natural calamities or most often the man-made ones. Then if none of these happen, then it is politics of religion, the politics of countries, power, and color. It just keeps spreading the 'hate' news more and more and all people are thinking about is how to keep themselves safe. In an informat…

Day 310: Picture Post : The Golden sky

Nature is always the best artist. Most of my evening sky here is like a picture perfect painting. Last week we have been having a lot of rain and of course peeping sun once a while. This is the look of the sky just before a big shower and thunderstorm. This is an iPhone pic - no filter! This was at 8:30 in the evening. 

Day 309: Short Film: Oomai Kural

For a movie buff short films are the best way to gauge the pulse of the director and understand the world of films. With that interest I had recently watched a short film called, 'Oomai Kural' by a young and upcoming director, Karthick Naren. Set in Coimbatore it is a crime anthology movie with a subtle style of narration. Very taut storytelling with underlying themes of 'good' vs. 'bad' was totally enjoyable from the very beginning. The movie begins by pushing our curiosity and connects the characters used in the movie carefully.  This is almost a year old but I got to watch it only now (I know! not so much for a movie buff!).

Do watch this if you haven't gotten a chance to see it yet.

Day 308: Streetlight Effect

As a researcher one needs to be careful about what we 'search' for and what we 'find'. As a social scientist, it is a hard job to make sure I am not going just too narrow in my vision than what is required for my focus. These observational biases is not uncommon in the scientific world and is usually called as the 'Streetlight effect'. What it means is that you look only for something at a place where you believe it is found or where it is the easiest to find. Abraham Kaplan, an American philosopher also used an interesting story to illustrate this effect.

I will illustrate this story here in my words. Once a man was searching for something by the roadside. A policeman stopped by and asked him as to what he was looking for. The man told him that he lost his wallet and was looking for it. So, the policeman again checked if he was sure that was the place where he lost it. To this the man replied that it could be anywhere on that street. Now the policeman was sur…

Day 307: Happy Chingam !

Today is Chingam 1 (to be read as onnu). It is the new month according to the lunisolar calendar. This month is also called as Avani and Shravana. So, why is this month special?  This month marks the beginning of the festival season back home and the it is fun to have small celebrations through the months until  mid- December. It is also the month of Onam (Harvest festival in Kerala).

The first festival we have this month is the 'sacred thread' changing ceremony for men/boys who wear that. This is followed by usually the birthday of little Krishna and then the elephant-head god, Ganesha. Then comes Onam followed by the beautiful month of Navaratri or Durga Pooja. So, the big set of festival season is here and here is a wish to all of you on Chingam 1. Wishing you all blessed and excellent months ahead. Have fun!

Day 306: Most beautiful things in this world

"What are the most beautiful things in this world?", asked a little child.
"Ah! well, the list is long, really very long." , said I,  Do you have the patience to listen and hold on? "Yes, I do", said she.  I smiled,  "I will first tell you all that I have been told,  and then will narrate all that I uphold."

Listen, oh, little girl,  I was told it was in places to go by a long way,  Like the light blue shores in the Caribbean isles,  and the beautiful Icelandic summer nights.  It was also in the streets of Tokyo,  and the serene charm of Canadian winter snow.  Some said it was the street food in Bangkok,  and yet others claimed that it was the chaat masalas of India.  The haute couture in Milan fashion show,  or for a few, the royal palaces of big Europe.  I was confused just like you, for,
all these are places afar very distant from my present home .
But what if I wanted to enjoy a few beautiful things,
should I go this far or are they just wi…

Day 305: Happy Birthday India

Dear India,

Happy birthday. How wonderful it is to say that you turn 70 today. However, I'm not sure if I should only celebrate your birthday as 70. Yes, it makes you young, younger than many other countries around on this big blue world. But aren't you an old soul? Haven't you lived long enough to have seen the rise and fall of many civilizations, many empires, and culture? Haven't you gone through the seasons and eras with so much grit and calmness that you are now the wisest in this world? You are young to be 70 but you are wise to be the oldest living country in this world. 
The new birthday that you celebrate is like a second birth/chance. This is an entirely new India which is completely 'confused' about its own identity as a place. The seeds sown by the wily British East India has really held its place in this ground. How can it not? Isn't your land so fertile and quick to offer space and life to anyone who seeks refuge? Isn't your land so beaut…

Day 304: Who is your friend?

A simple Sunday post. 

Who is your friend? Who is your foe? It is certainly not  she or he in that row.  Is it someone from your past? Or the one you just met? It is hard to make a guess  as you don't know it just yet.  A time will come and it will lay the pieces in front helping you pick the friend  who is true and godsend.  A true friend will be one who will know the words in your silence,  who will know more from  just your smile,  and that one who will persist,  when the rest exit. 

© Meena Arvind 2016 

Day 303: Being Kind

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." I don't know who is that great soul who penned this quote. Probably a line from someone's work, or may be a status message that got viral on the internet. It doesn't matter as to who wrote this beautiful and very revenant quote, all that matters is how do we follow it in our life.

Every one of us are going through something that is sometimes hard, incomprehensible, and difficult to be shared with people. Some of them try to shout out loud and fight it in the open ground. But most others (including me) keep it concealed and try to find solace on their own. Thus it is difficult to understand what everybody is going through until you decide to take a walk in their shoes. So don't go assuming things about people and forming judgements. And most of all, don't be rude and mock fun of people even if they do perform or act in a way that looks funny for you. For every person you point out and judge and body shame, a…

Day 302: Happy little book

I dream of writing a children's book, 
and weaving a little magic nook,  for the little ones to play hide-and-seek,  and have loads of fun, so to speak. 
There will be strong heroines and heroes,  Who will stop the monster and his arrows. There will be tornadoes and hurricanes to fight,  Which will not stand a chance to the protagonists' might. 
Gardens will bloom with many a million flowers,  and who knows, they might even find that yellow sunflower.  They will see a world with rainbow candies and chocolate streams all looking dandy. 
There will be mystery and many magic stories,  With butterfly fairies and queens and their glories.  Every little page will smell fantasy,  and they will find wings to fly happily. 
Every little child will travel to a station, that will be a figment of their imagination.  I hope they love their little magic nook, that they can only find that in a happy little book. 
© Meena Arvind 2016

Day 301: Jugaad pe Jugaad !

Indians are known for jugaad. For the uninitiated, jugaad (jugaar) is a colloquially used Punjabi term for a hack. This is a creative ability to make the best use of available resources to solve a problem. Jugaad is studied and appreciated from a management perspective. It works well with the middle and lower-middle class economic strata of the society as one can extract the maximum from the limited resources and create economic value. The reason I brought in this topic of Jugaad is because of the two ads that I recently got to see online- Indian service provider called and Exide Life Insurance. I was trying to update myself on recent campaigns in the ad world back home and so was running my search online.  After watching, I moved to the next one and was surprised to see that the concept was very similar to the previous one. However, the actors were completely different and that is not usually common for the obvious reasons (recall!).

Woah! Whatey a coincidenc…

Day 300: A forgotten chapter

I am a forgotten chapter in many a book.
For them, the passage and the pages
now, do not make any sense.
Their story at one time needed me the most,
then it took a turn and tossed me away,
like an erroneous scribble.
At other times, I sense that,
I am like an intentionally left blank page,
serving only one purpose; filling-in.

How I wish,
they can go over that chapter once again,
to figure out the way the story moved along,
lighting up many thoughts with every passage.
How I wish,
they could use those blank sheets,
to sketch, pause, and reflect,
as they hold on that story,
A story, where I once belonged,
not so long ago,
not any more.

May be there will come a time,
when they flip through those pages
once again, as the seasons fade,
and they read the passage only to seek solace.
Alas, if only time could hold on
to that same essence once lost.
if only the passage could bring back memories from the past.
if only the pages could echo the story they once guarded so dear to heart.

Day 299: Olympics and Olympians - an inspiration!

Olympics makes its way every four years and every Olympic leaves us with something more than the event itself. I remember one of the first stories I got to hear of the Olympics was that of Jesse Owens and Luz Long. It was the incident that took place in 1936 Berlin Olympics. The place and the period matters here as this was the time when Hitler's nasty Nazi regime was on in Germany. Hitler's disdain for Jews and non-whites was popular and Jesse Owens was an African American. Despite that Luz Long went ahead and offered him advice to help him qualify for the finals and in the finals even publicly acknowledged and shook hands with Jesse Owens for winning the 100 m. This probably might not sound so odd today but at that time for a German white man to appreciate and be nice to an African American was not expected. That story is one that I can never forget. The spirit of sportsmanship. I even remember how Jesse Owens later said, "You can melt all the medals and cups I have an…

Day 298: Amma: For my mom

This is for you.  For carrying me in your womb,  for not one but two eighty days.  For letting me fly when I wanted to and not letting go when I was down.  For holding hands and being cool and letting me chase my dreams and giving me wings to fly.
For inspiring me to be strong,
independent and confident. For being my best friend and a dear secret-keeper.  For sending prayers  everyday my way and showering love to me and my brother alike.  For making the most delicious meals and weaving many many happy memories.  For showing me  that being parents  is the most humane way to be.  Selfless in love and in life,  ever giving and never seeking  anything more than our smile.

Thank you for everything,
Thank you for being my mom,
I love you.

© Meena Arvind

To my mom, whom I love the most and who loves me like no one else (of course, there is my dad, bro, and hubs who love me and I love them too). To the one who is the reason for my heart beat. To the one who is the reason for my smile.…

Day 297: Analogy: Tree and Religion

Once upon a time there lived a few people. We don't need their names as once we name them, it is human tendency to associate a specific gender, ethnicity, nationality, and so on. In this story, let us not label anyone, just yet. So, let us just call them people. People walked around this 'earth' (that belonged to them) discussing about life and values as at that time when there was nothing defined or set in a rule book. They were totally 'free' and liberated in every sense. As they walked they came across a huge 'tree'. They decided to climb up to fetch some 'fruits'. As they slowly and carefully ascended up the tree each of them parted ways and settled down on a branch that was convenient for them. For instance, a couple of them decided to take the branch that faced the west side of the valley. A few others sat on a bark that was hanging down to the eastern side. They got their 'fruits' and decided to rest in those branches. Each individua…

Day 296:Friend-I'm yours. Are you mine?

The first Sunday of August is celebrated as a day to thank friends who have been there through your good and bad. There are usually text messages or probably forward messages that indicated the beauty of being 'their' friend. Rewinding this memory can also replay the endless friendship 'bands' that went around the school corridors. There was some kind of joy in that whole concept of celebrating friendship. Did I mention about me being a part of it? Well, if not, just for the records, I was all in. I To any of my classmates or schoolmates who remember me from those days will agree with the symbolic meanings I associated to that particular day. I was also very loyal and kept up my promises. Today, when I look back at those pages from my little colored book I am amazed at the ignorance and my innocence. Today they don't really mean anything to me. Honestly- nothing at all. Does that mean I am not too happy carrying those memories? Not at all. I think they make me the…

Day 295: After a hiatus: Just on my mind!

I had planned this beautiful journey of 365 days as a dedication to my blog's 10th birthday. However, we can always encounter obstacles that can cause a deviation. One such deviation that I had to face was my personal challenges that did not let me the time and energy required to devote for this 365 day challenge. 
So, I decided to give it a break and start from where it all ended, the 295th post. From today I will write a post a day and complete this journey. That is about 70 days of writing. Not bad. Don't you think? 
Today's post is all about random ramblings that have been on mind. First thing on my mind is the scary and funny political scenario in the US. I am not able to fathom the reasons why Trump was nominated from the Republican party. The reality hits hard that someone like him can be there as a prospective candidate for being the president. I sometimes think it is because a lot of people are stressed in today's day and age. They are looking out for means o…