A Strong Future for Resilient Adults

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Want to solve problems? Start with changing your attitude.

  What are problems?  Almost all situations we perceive as problems are global and mostly built on ideas of uncertainty and anticipation fueled by our wild imagination of a fictional reality. Our global problems are anticipatory and anthropological. Like inequality,...

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Rules of engagement with social media for teens

  Teenagers download social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat within 2 minutes of receiving their new smart phones. That's the lure of these people networks. So, it makes sense to stay informed about all the right ways to engage with strangers and friends while...

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Things to remember about social media

  Here are a few things to remember while browsing the ubiquitous, pervasive and revolving door of the internet at our palms. It's a choice:  Remember social media is a choice. And because its a choice, choose active engagement, not passive consumption. Real life...

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Why life feels overwhelming even in the first world

  First world problems: Who said we need a stack of unread books on our night stand, a pile of dirty laundry at the foot of our bed and a load of dirty dishes in our kitchen sink to remind us the horrors of living in the first world? In developed countries like...

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Parents, here’s how you find your self worth first

  Why self worth? By living in the moment, by living our most truest and autonomous selves, we lead our children by example. We give permission to find their strength when we give ourselves permission that we're good enough just the way we are. Some adults who’re...

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Factors that make a child shy and a teen withdrawn

  Why are some children shy?  We use a lot of words to describe shy and withdrawn behavior in children. We label them as socially awkward or introverts. But, what we don't often realize is that at the heart of such behavior is the fear of rejection. Little children...

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How to determine if you’ve a digital addiction problem

  You're not completely to blame:  First, its not all about you, and your weak willed nature that's making you a screen sucking monster. Read about how Big Tech is engineering addiction. What's going on?  In countries like China and Korea, internet addiction is...

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Here’s why we’re addicted to technology

  Why we crave digital distractions?  Unlike real life that can be boring and monotonous, on the internet, even if you want nothing, you can always get something. When we are bored, lonely and feel like we’re unable to make a dent in the world like we want to, we seek...

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3 strategies to counter distraction addictions

  Predict, Mitigate and Eliminate distraction addictions: There are three ways we can deal with a myriad of distractions we face each day. Because managing distractions is a huge part of maintaining our attention on the big projects and long term goals of our life.  ...

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This is Humanity in the throes of technology

  Humanity in the throes of technology:  Technology is objectifying humanity. Our fellow humans have turned into objects because we prefer to ignore them to focus on our devices. Thanks to technology, we have facts and truths at our finger tips. But unlike facts,...

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Robots + Empathy > Human Potential

  Robots vs. Humans: Now:  If robots and animals had superior cognitive abilities than us humans, we would not be running the world today. Only humans have the power of imagination, intense curiosity, and can understand the cause and effect scenarios. Only we can...

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Creating an ideal environment for children to thrive

  How children thrive:  Children thrive in stability and predictability. They cannot find civility in chaos like some of us adults can. So, its up to us parents to give them the sense of security they crave for. It can be a tiny corner at home, on a stage where they...

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In the age of Dank memes, why read Poetry?

  Just a string of words? A good poem demands the dignity to be understood. History repeats in its resounding words. Repetition is a poem's strongest flavors. Poems are words with life because they're current and most urgent with their message to humanity. Yet, just...

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Actionable tips on how to achieve mindfulness

  Resolving the struggle: Most of us, not including those who’re lucky to be enlightened, don’t want to live in the present moment, because we don’t accept life as it has manifested itself. We then find ourselves in conflict with the moment. When our needs and...

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Why should we live in the now?

  What is living in the now?  Read about what mindfulness is and why it is such a struggle to live in the now.    The opposite is Mindlessness:  Consider the opposite of living mindfully. It would be a life filled with wishful thoughts and day dreaming. In fact, mind...

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Why living in the present is so hard

  What is living in the now?  Living in the now is living in the present moment and feeling good in its natural stimuli and banality. Although for millenia before us, people had been doing exactly that, albeit with a little day dreaming here and there, only recently...

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You know you’re a mom when..

  You've wondered about your fear of death, when the only thing you have always been petrified about is your child digging into that forbidden closet or the bathroom cupboard to find out the secret stash of “things”? You've looked down on the bathroom floor to see two...

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Here’s how to ace that job interview

  You're for sale:  You've landed an awesome job interview. Congratulations! Its time to prepare yourself for the sale. Wait, you don't know what you have to sell? Believe it or not, an interview is a platform for you to sell three aspects of yourself. You're a...

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The Teen Social Contract

  As parents we are struggling to wriggle out of the strong, addictive grips of the Big Tech. Our children are growing up in a post figurative society where they don't need us for answering any questions they might have. Yet, if we don't teach them and ourselves how...

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Raising children who persevere

“I am not a genius. But I will have a calling and I will challenge myself every day. When I get knocked down, I’ll get back up. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I’ll strive to be the grittiest.” - From Grit by Angela Duckworth What parents want: ...

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The many predicaments of a single woman

  She walks as a liberal icon among people who don’t realize their thoughts are their barbed wires. She'll march the streets for the disenfranchised, and maybe for those born with ugly faces, but not for them who have the talent for picking the wrong men. What about...

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Here’s why your child is hooked onto social media

  Teenagers now average almost half of the amount of sleep that their counterparts did just a decade ago. Teenagers are finding themselves mostly distracted, lost and overwhelmed. And sadly the reasons have nothing to do with the academic pressure they face at school...

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Contemplate death so you can live and give more

  Living is a team sport. Dying is a team sport. ~ Timothy Leary. A culture of denial:  When we talk about death, if we at all do, we don't entertain it for the exact experience of what it is. Genocides and decapitations happen elsewhere or on TV. Angelina Jolie might...

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Embrace self compassion. And find the peace you seek.

  We all crave a sense of order, balance and calm in a world of information overload. And in this daily pursuit, we find ourselves even more lost. By adopting a compassionate approach to ourselves, we can stop chasing the perfect version of life that doesn’t really...

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Strategies to grow attention span

  This past Wednesday afternoon, my 9 year old son kept switching between two tasks. Writing a full page of a mantra praising Lord Shiva, a homework from our Sunday Hindu school. (He hated it) Reading 10 pages of the comic book, Calvin and Hobbes. (He loved it) As he...

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Here’s how you can extend your brain

  What is Brain extending:  We usually don't live in the present moment, because we find ourselves overwhelmed in our heads with tasks that need to be remembered, facts we've just learnt and out-of-the-blue ideas that have sparked inside of us. At the same time, we...

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What’s Facebook been upto? No good.

  How Facebook is killing comedy: This is how Facebook is making news waves these days. And its not looking good. The Split Sider magazine has published an interview with Matt Klinman, a writer from New York City. Here's an excerpt. The whole story is basically that...

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Strategies for reducing stress in children

  Strategies to improve your family's wellbeing:  Teaching children how to manage stress is key to their emotional and physical well being. Here are some practical strategies that you can use to improve the quality of your children and the over all wellbeing of your...

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Factors influencing emotional development in teenagers

During the ages of 5 to 12, children learn to do things on their own. This is the age where they feel confident in their ability to initiate and achieve goals. Negligence or restrictions on a child during such time casts doubts on his own abilities leaving him not...

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Here’s how Big Tech’s court-ordered ads will look like

  Here's a hypothetical scenario of the future of our technology revolution. Year 2118 Big Tech companies, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google, lovingly known as FAANG, have spent decades manipulating the levels of dopamine of humanity by making our digital...

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The business of Animal shit in America

  What the shit?  If you thought the YouTube comments section is a septic tank, you're in for a surprise. There's a hog farm in North Carolina, where animal waste including aborted piglets from pregnant pigs falls through slits in the floor. The shit that's collected...

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Puerto Morelos, Mexico – Dec, 2017

People vacation at the El Cid all-inclusive resort for 250$ a night, while locals live on 2$ a day in the fishing village of Puerto Morelos. In the December of 2017, vacationers read books like Gone Girl, Wonder, Origen, The accident, And after the fire, See me,...

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Positive Self Esteem

  Importance of self confidence and self esteem A caregiver's nurturing contact builds a child's sense of self worth. When children find themselves to be the center of attention of their parents or their caregivers, it lifts their sense of self immensely. The...

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A case for technology

  While I was researching to write articles on digital derailment and digital minimalism, my son asked me one time, "What are you doing, mom?" to which I said, "I'm watching the video, 'Could you live without a smart phone?' He replied, "You mean, you're watching it...

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Where do your roots of optimism come from?

  If there's anything unifying about humanity's existence, its our solitary pursuit of happiness. Its the way in which we choose to define our successes and identify our failures. Its how we contemplate on how well we've spent our lives. Its our unbridled hope for our...

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How to lead effortlessly

Live and lead actively:  We're all leaders because we lead our lives. But, is there a way to live an optimal existence? Yes, here's how. Take Initiative: Sometimes all you've to do in a new situation is to take initiative to be labeled as a leader. Even such quick...

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How to be Human: Man vs. Animal

  I grew up watching Indian movies and rubbernecking at street fights in my hometown. Most often during the most dramatic moments of these events, one person would be challenging another with, "Are you a human or an animal? Are you eating grass or rice?" When we would...

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Future STRONG – Peak Productivity

  Personal accountability leads to extraordinary personal productivity. And channeling that productive energy in the right direction can transform children into leaders. And, its possible for these little beings to become great leaders while keeping their humanity...

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Food, will power and a problem of excesses

  After watching the "What the Health" documentary on January 1st, my resolve to live a healthy lifestyle has been reignited. Enter Intermittent fasting, where I give my liver a break for 18 hours each day, and eat only in a window of 12pm to 6pm. However, just three...

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An antidote to self loathing

  Imagine you're trapped inside a burning building and the heat from the engulfing fire is almost killing you. But, you've an opportunity to save just one person. Who will it be? If you answered your 85 year old next door neighbor, it's official, you're a saint....

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How to meditate

  1. Create a sacred bubble in your house. It can be a small mat or rug on which you can sit comfortably. Pick a favorite thing to give you company. It can be a pillow, a trinket or even a book. Now you have created a shell where you are full of bliss (Go with the...

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Holiday Season in Atlanta

Love. Love the one that's in the mirror, love the one you met just today. Love every person that has lived before, is traveling with you, whom you have heard about and even whom you have never met. Aggregate all your grace and gratitude and spread it everyone who's...

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Digital Revolution in the 2010 Decade

  In late 2014, when some counties in Georgia claiming to be "early adapters of technology" started the "BYOD - Bring your own device" program in their schools, it gave me a pit in my stomach. Children were welcome to bring their own iPads and tablets to learn in...

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How to practice Digital minimalism

  Continued from Part I: Hurtling towards a digital derailment. What we're actually doing is creating an entire generation of mini little addicts that are getting hardwired to believe that their sense of self worth and their sense of coping...

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How to read a painting

  Walk up to the wall to a meeting place between the brush and the canvas. Wait for the art to show you a million muses that accompany it. Surrender yourself to its transformational power to change the way you feel. A good piece of art doesn't complete you. It makes...

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Hurtling towards a Digital Derailment

  Facebook literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains. It's a social-validation feedback loop... exactly the kind of thing that a...

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Momentous

It’s not the lack of money that makes me cry like my heart is about to burst. You want to know what it is?   It’s something you have or don’t more than I do, because there’s no straight finish line here. It ticks away silently mocking our indignant ways with wasteful...

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The cardinal wisdom of the Native Americans

  The 7 Sacred Directions of Life:  In the Native American way, there are 7 sacred directions of a life's journey. There are the 4 cardinal directions representing the different stages in his life and there's the sky above and the earth below and the 7th direction...

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Becoming one with Nature in Colorado – Jul, 2006

  The lake and its vast silence must be humming with life under the surface. The mountains in the distance look at me as if they're asking, "Why did it take you this long to find us?" Two dried up tree limbs spring out of the earth on either side of my full view as if...

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The Anonymous Manifesto – Ep. 28 – Making America home

KP, in her 60’s, had just returned from a trip to India 12 hours ago when I ambushed her for an interview. She lives in a small town in Alabama with her husband who's a retired Medical Oncologist. She talks about her childhood in India and her journey to becoming a...

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Hey listen, you’re not better off dead

When I was in my first year of college, many years ago, my mom came home from the school she worked at and broke down at the dinner table. Another teacher's daughter had hung herself in her kitchen. The daughter was a newly wed who had come home to visit and when her...

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The Nobel Prize

In Literature for 2044 ~ Acceptance Speech I wrote this essay when I was in my 30’s. This is as much I can reveal about my age as a woman’s vanity will permit. Writing generates the excesses of emotions that sustain life. Writing unifies. And to write better, I learnt...

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When home is still here and we aren’t

Unlike refugees, who don't have a home behind or infront of them, we have a home. But,   Will it remember all those mornings that the woodpecker made mating calls from its roof? How on sleepless nights, someone read and made notes from a borrowed J. Krishnamurti's...

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ప్రియ శరణార్థీ! నా జీవితం ఇలా నడవనీ.. (Dear Refugee, my life must go on..)

* * * The original English version: Dear Refugee, my life must go on..  * నన్నల్లుకున్న వెచ్చని కార్డిగన్, మెత్తని నా అరచేతుల మధ్య పొగలు కక్కే ‘లికరస్’ టీ........... పౌర హక్కుల్ని పగటికలలుగా కనేందుకు ఈ నేపథ్యం సహజంగా లేదూ?   నువ్వూ, నేనూ పంచుకున్న ఆకాశం కప్పు క్రింద,...

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The Anonymous Manifesto

Hi, everyone! I am starting a new feature on my blog called the The Anonymous Manifesto™, a series of interviews with people from all walks of life.  * Can I sign up to be interviewed? Have a pulse? Get in touch here.  * Wait, I am confused. Why interview people? Fair...

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Let’s do something meaningful, no not Facebook

  Imagine a sea of people sitting in a town square, fully present, deeply centered, heads down in a state of rapt attention and effort. They are staring down intensely with palms resting in their laps yet they are not meditating. Hint: Their fingers are frantic. Good...

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Focus: The new age currency

  Disclaimer:  This post will require your undivided attention.    What's that? Focus, the concept of undivided attention is staying on a task for an extended period of time. It's our capacity to do deep, uninterrupted, quality work. A recent Bankrate survey of top...

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On Diversity and Collaboration

Scott Lanyon, Vice Provost & Dean of Graduate Education at the University of Minnesota said this at the U of M Arts Sciences and Engineering Graduate Commencement ceremony this afternoon. "Earning a graduate degree is a significant undertaking, one that less than 10%...

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The mother of all emotions

Before you think you can put a finger on love, Think of the time you saw the size of the butter stick in your mother's pie. Think about how all your life, you'll work hard enough to make your mother proud, Yet, you'll look up to see if the whole world has taken...

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Why darkness can be a gift

  Years ago, you had looked up to see if anyone loved what you wrote. You tried to look in their eyes to see If they understood your scribbles. Your childhood hand wrote in dyslexia, waving your pen with much fun as daddy's shaving foam, But now its purposefully...

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Life must go on in spite of war

How can you pick up a book whose title gives away the ending yet keep reading till you finish it? That’s the beauty of Anuk Arudpragasam’s prose in his novel, The Story Of A Brief Marriage. The book is the life in a day and night of Dinesh who is fleeing the Sri...

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Why I fell off the workforce treadmill

  In a 2014 Gallup poll, more than 2/3rds of adults said they were not engaged at work, or were actively disengaged. Worldwide only 13% of adults call themselves engaged at work. One evening this January, while pondering my decision to quit the workforce, I had...

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Standing up to Amy Schumer

  Amy Schumer is a stand-up comedian whose “brave” material mostly consists of musings about her hookups – sexual encounters with relative strangers. And below is my review of her 2016 memoir, The Girl with a Lower Back Tattoo. Since finishing it yesterday evening, I...

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Want to thrive in life? Start a journal.

Never forget that writing is as close as we get to keeping a hold on the thousand and one things—childhood, certainties, cities, doubts, dreams, instants, phrases, parents, loves—that go on slipping like sand through our fingers. ~ Salman Rushdie * A journal is a meta...

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Thoughts that changed this life

“When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in...

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Pick up grit on the way to greatness

  "To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise...

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Dear Refugee, my life must go on..

  It's not too unthinkable, sipping licorice tea in my cardigan, And day dreaming of a life of civil liberties.   Out of the window, I see stars coming out from under your sky, But on ground, I don't see the tears on your muddy faces.   I've only seen your life...

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When the Indian-American mom goes to Dirty Sixth

As I walked past The Velveeta Room, I saw the chalk board at the entrance with the words, Stand-up comedy night, showing at 11pm. I asked the old white guy, possibly a biker dude by day, who was cutting tickets standing at the entrance if I could take a quick peek in....

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Momentous

It's not the lack of money that makes me cry like my heart is about to burst. You want to know what it is?   It's something you have or don't more than I do, because there's no straight finish line here. It ticks away silently mocking our indignant ways with wasteful...

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Want to transcend the plight of life? Meditate.

Why this guide: (Long claim.) It has no hyperbole or BS. Things you will need: Just your phone. BUT, out of reach on a 20 minute timer. Nothing else, not even a Sanskrit prayer or an orange robe. * What is meditation:  The action of inaction Nothing but your state of...

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Hyper-connected parents; Dis connected progeny

Tag line: Dispatches of parenting wisdom from a hyper connected mom in an over wired society.   PARENTAL CULPABILITY:  I recently went to a book signing event by Dr. Madeline Levine, a mother of 3 boys and the author of the book, Teach Your Children Well, as she spoke...

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Perceiving my anthropology

I don't know what moves him. I remember the day he came back home to hide his red eyes behind that newspaper after he lit his mother's pyre. This is the man, the brunt of all my emotions, whose lifetime fits in this poem. It's mostly the appalling nature of his...

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The How and The What Of Eating Animals

"As in any kind of factory, uniformity is essential. Piglets that don't grow fast enough - the runts - are a drain on resources. Picked up by their hind legs, they are swung and then bashed head first onto the concrete floor. This common practice is called "thumping"....

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Words that changed this life..

... and tenderly touching a piece of bread in one's coat pocket, first stroking it with frozen gloveless fingers, then breaking off a crumb and putting it in one's mouth ... * This is one of those longing nights when my eyelids don't shut tight because of the welling...

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Where the mind is free

When I read Sylvia Plath poetry, I often think of the manner in which she died. Putting her head in an open oven and killing herself, while her little children slept in the adjacent bedroom. Did she see herself alone in her thoughts? Was her loneliness self inflicted?...

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Once in a while, listen to those throaty crickets

One of America's favorite pastimes, primitive camping (add electricity and bathrooms for an extra fee), has turned me into a renegade city dweller. For a couple of days, I remained off the grid, but still managed to snap a few pictures to revisit the place I want to...

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An Indian Summer Wedding Circa 2015

  The Indian Wedding, or Shaadi as its called in Hindi, is a feast-to-all-the-senses kind of an experience, delightful and fun filled, unless of course, you are the one getting married. Well, we are not going to talk about the aftermath just yet. For now, here is a...

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The Emigrant’s Anthem

I Pursuing dreams, First steps Beckoning opportunities, Across oceans Proud sacrifices, Glistening eyes   II Anxious freedom, Fertile memories Loyal sentiments, Burning dedication Liberating happiness, Humbled notions   III Defending values, Honoring liberty Blood...

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Karma Yoga and the secrets to Inner Transformation

*** Source: Lessons of Life of Bhakthi (Devotion) from the Ramayana: By Swami Tejomayananda, an Indian spiritual leader and head of Chinmaya Mission. These are my notes on the discourse I attended when he visited Atlanta in July of 2015.  * I feel that it is my duty...

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To my estranged one

Ok, I admit; I still have that shameful longingness. When you gathered everything else up and left me to myself, And, when the war of words ended, It was clear that the love between us had begun to show cracks. It would never happen to me, was the conviction I always...

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Yours singularly

Always close by my side, he mocks me. Calling the lack of endearment around me, self-inflicted. Late in the afternoon, at work, “All these people around you need you to break their bread”, he mulls. At the bar, he demands to know why I hadn't invited myself to her...

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Still standing, still standing..

  The below is a first person account of a village tree who lost the friendship of a small boy to the big charm of the city..  * At day break, I wait for your shrill cries of laughter to pierce my ears.. I ponder while I drink the primary cocktail, a gleaming red sun,...

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Dear Lena: An open letter

  I feel sorry that you did not write a mind-blowing autobiography. There was not a single sentence in your book, Not that kind of Girl, where I truly laughed out loud. The irony being that, only if this entire book was fiction, I would have laughed hard at the...

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The UBER app and it’s human heart beat

  “I don't really need to go to Church. If I am feeling low, I just pray. What will God do that you can't do for yourself anyway?” Words of wisdom from a 23 year old Haitian-American UBER taxi driver, Ernst. * What would a 40 billion dollar company like UBER, a taxi...

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Dear sons: Full disclosure

resilient and self sufficient A life's worth of choices. Subjected to, day in, day out. Freedom of expression. Empathy exercises. Vulnerability followed by weakness. Protection from cold. Letting the homeless die from it. Health of the children. Love. A gentle kind...

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Now

Of all the things I have and can desire to have, my time on this earth, and the time my kids will have of mine is finite. I am mindful of that. What I am also painfully mindful is that I do not choose well how I spend it. As an adult, time and the freedom to do...

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Child bearers of the world

Distracted mothers create loneliness. Those children celebrate uncertainty. And out of the imperfect first steps, They quickly thrive and learn, no love is earnest. Fathers cry when planes disappear. Worlds unite to search the heavens and oceans. Nothing brings back...

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Tea Rings

There is the love of mother that needs no senses to feel its expression. And, that’s where I begin my journey of this life with you. In that vintage picture, I think of how you became a woman coming of age. Wounds of the uprooting I haven’t seen yet, or...

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Love made me do it

  As you slip and fall, my thoughts are along with you atop the death train – la bestia. A smiling young man you were, one second ago, the next – a limp body in the overgrown unworn path. A heatstroke at 16 has sent you home sooner than you wished for. But is any man...

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Temples in our Hearts

While others make smoldering burial grounds in memory, those who have never made promises to make us laugh have their own temples in our hearts. Stories that don’t need our mother’s tongue to be told better, are these secret wishes that transcend cultures and...

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Retribution?!?!

If I knocked on your door for a cup of water for my parched throat, Would you be able to tell, I am not your next door neighbor..? If not, then, why this thirst for my life.. ???? * Near these foothills, of some of the world's coldest mountains.. I hear stifling...

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I can muse a poem

The mother inside of me finds no shortage of spontaneity and wit. I can be surprisingly superfluous when I am lecturing my child. Trouble arrives when I call myself a writer, and that’s when I get deliberate. When I dictate myself to the writer’s rigor, dictation gets...

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Pathos..

The mornings hang here, until.. I peek out of the window and hurry out of the house for the next door.. Determined to find an answer.. I gently turn the key and push myself into the hallway.. Moving past discolored leaves and curtains.. I pass them, a lot of them, the...

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How.to.write.. (NOT): Broadcast II

Textese Hater™ and much admired spell-checker activist Rachel Kwiatkowski has acquired a license for her establishment, LoGoMaNiAcS AnOnYmOuS™, and has never been more busier! And as her blog post about teenage textese fad and its pitfalls that is currently sweeping...

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How.to.write.. (NOT)

  I read about 50 bloggers regularly and love them so much so that I emulate and even steal* ideas from them.. So when a few of them recently introduced Guest bloggers on their sites, I thought why not ask someone to write for me and my blog.. Enter Rachel...

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