21 January 2010

Will haiti become another latur?

Any region destroyed by natural calamity needs help. Help of every kind, any kind – There is no question and anybody who thinks that too much help is given to Haiti I would say that is because you are not in their shoes. When your basic existence and routine have been devastated and getting food and water have become difficult and lives are shrouded with helplessness, grim, depression, shock and anxiousness of another shock looming around the corner, “too much” help is a misnomer.

When earth quake hit
Latur in 1993 (in the western part of India) and its surroundings, the tremors could be felt in the suburbs of Bombay. At 4:00 am when you are sleeping in your third floor apartment,hearing window panes rattle, your bed shaking and the vessels in the kitchen falling down, a chill passes down your spine. And for the people who experience the earth shatter under their feet,they shudder. Among the many thuds on the ground one hears the shrieks of fear, and cries of people amidst running for one's own safety helplessly.

The state government responded with many kinds of relief in Latur– But the fact is even after 16+ years,the debris has not been removed in latur.Their ancestral homes are a rubble. The people who lived through the earth quake think that they have been cursed and consider their villages as graveyards.Familes have been wiped out.

The living have started a completely new life – Their surroundings and the villages and the ancestral homes for generations that they had to forcefully leave behind and the guilt of themselves having survived gnaw them everyday. The tremors of the earthquake and the cries of people falling under the houses never leave their memory even when time heals wounds. When I visited latur barely 15 days after the earthquake, I was quite taken aback to see tarred roads split among many heart rendering sights.

The impact of earthquakes lives on - Orphaned children, Source of livelihood, Food, Agriculture, Water, Basic Health care, Houses, Homes, Transport, Sanitary facilities, Education for children, breaking of social bonds, psychological trauma, availability of medicenes for those who depend on them daily - the list goes on.

Distribution of resources and logistics are key when it comes to immediate relief. And rehabilitation is the answer to help a town to get back on its feet. short term and long term - Well thought out and planned,not piece meal. We need village and town planners to help the town to get back on its feet. Sketchy rehabilitation in latur has left it limping. The people still live on the outskirts. Especially in a community strongly rooted in culture dictating the social patterns of living,latur still struggles.

The people in Power, and the politicians made some money under the cover of rehabilitation and some contractors and some NGO’s filled their pockets.

Will Haiti become another Latur? But always some rehabiliation is better - that's the optimist in me.

20 January 2010

I love to eat junk

You read that right. I love to eat junk - The junk that is sold at all Junk chains such as Mc Donalds, Wendys, - where I devour their chicken nuggets and fries. Everytime I pass the store I have to get in. But thankfully many do not fall on my way. The last time I went there was 2 days ago to get french fries. Before that a good 4 months ago when my friend came from India and wanted to visit the US JUNK land. His verdict - India's Mcdonalds is better than the US ! And mind you he is a marketing professor who is a brand consultant.

Most days when I pass by these junk stores the whiff of smell that passes by them can pull me in or repel me.The day it pulls me in,i have to get a small size of fries or chicken nuggets (that's the only thing I buy).The worst is the Pizza shop. Every other store that falls on my way is a pizza shop and a place near Port Authority sells a huge slice for 99 cents.I crave not to get the cravings! I was wondering weather it is mood swings that want me to eat junk! It should be. There should be no other reason. Who doesn't love all that sodium and MSG that covers the potato and the breaded chicken that was sliced and cut on a conveyor belt and packed 3 years ago!only now to be found in the plate that I eat !

There was a time when I would panic after eating this junk, but now no more. May be because of the new philosophy that I have been practising since the past few months - Eat all the junk you want!But breath as much-Jumpstart your metabolism by Pam grout is a book where I learnt quite a bit about how breathing can help in your life - No calorie counting,(I never did nor will ever do)No Gyms,No exercise classes or Pilates(I can't stand that thing)- just breathing exercises to do on the couch, chair or when I am standing in line for bus and waiting for the train or whenever I feel like it. There is a breathing exercise that I can do even after eating.

Eat sweet and salt - Enjoy food(Real). Food is not meant to be counted - all that is told on TV - EAT THIS and NOT THAT are all marketing mechanism. They are playing with the heads of normal people and putting revenues on the plate for some ! Sometimes we have to shut out all the noise mechanisms and sit down and listen to ourselves and our heart and enjoy.So Just eat and breath baby.Don't forget to do yoga-It does not require any money either.Yoga exercises your internal organs and your muscles.

p.s - junk food is trash and its place is in the trash can and it is sold in stores from where we buy and eat ! what an irony !

19 January 2010

Trying to find spring

I heard about Susan Boyle on an evening news not too long ago . On You tube, the different reactions of the audience when she walked on to the stage was evident enough to show how human beings can put down fellow human beings even before Ms Boyle opened her mouth.Everybody in the audience relished a laugh at her expense. Some scenes show facial expressions that would make them think of their judgement next time.

The audience was cynical, jeering, mockish and everybody waiting for gigantic proportions of gibberish off tune voice from a village belle in some corner of UK and to have more of their fill! May be some were even tunning their voice to boo her ?

people in the audience and the judges are all around us..

Simon, one of the judges who is known for his brutal ways of putting across evaluations (honest, i must say) also hints that 47 was old enough to be on stage while not even trying to hide the chuckle at susan's honest answers where she does not mince words in putting forth her context and circumstances. Everybody has a certain stereotype of what one is capable to do !They do,that is the problem. And people quit the fight, even before they start it.

But everybody is capable of making ordinary things look extraordinary .
Really, How old is old enough ? Is there something called the last chance?

For somebody who is trying to get some spring in her life, Susan Boyle is an inspiration.

On Color Informal :
image credits

17 January 2010

If you owe it to anybody, you owe it to yourself

In life only one emotion should overide anyother and that is hope.

04 January 2010

This is what this year is going to look for me

I was not going to login for a long time, but here I am writing away. I think I better write because I keep talking to myself and when I write it - I am done, I am cleared. I am ready to move on. I thought I should go back to old ways - pen and paper than write such a personal post here. After a few lines my fingers ached, I wanted to add a little here and there and then another paper to be filed away? - not a good idea.I have enough paper and notes and books lying around in a small space that friends have started to say the place looks like where college students stay.

Anyways I am here and writing ..just to clear away the cobwebs in the mind. Didn't take a lot to realise what needs to be done, because I know what needs to be done. I also realised that people who are successful are people who could accomplish what they wanted. A mind without fear is necessary and that is the way to go. I have been stuck in the mud for years and I have tried to sucessfully come out of it but have gone in again. I have to begin from scratch, think of out of box ways, to accomplish - because everyone who are successful are ordinary people doing things in unordinary ways.

For some people, things have ran like a well oiled wheel, but I always had to kick in the door to make my way - . And I want to suceed now. I just want to be happy for myself, to clap for myself , to rejoice in me as aperson - I deserve that because I am a grateful, nice, intelligent, wise, intuitive, peaceful human being. I am saying positive things, because I believe it will come true. ..It is coming true. I want to live in the present and not in the future and definitely not in the past. I am seeing that in my husband's life, because inspite of his fragile health, he keeps chugging away. He is not giving up. And I have never given up till now either, I get depressed, frustrated and upset because things have not been going so well, inspite of never stopping to try. So I am not going to give up...Never Ever..I have gone through hell for many years , but yet I will persever for my happiness as a human being and be successful and be accomplished and . ..So Yes I can do it... I reiterate to myself ..I am a happy, successsful, accomplished, thinking, intelligent human being who is going to clap for myself this year, this month, this week and every week--And this is coming true. I am going to say this to myself everyday so that this is what this year is going to look for me. And I am going to share my goodness with others too as always.

An, And now go ahead write your goals on paper and put it in your wallet. The cell phone would have been great isn't it , but the keys are too small -so the paper it is for writing specific goals.There you go An, You will be ...NOPE..not will be....You are . ..The Present , Remember. You are going to do it this year..so when you look at yourself at the end of every month, at the end of every week, you know you are accomplishing for yourself and most important feeling happy about the outcomes. RESULTS are KEY.

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