Monday, March 23, 2015
Saturday, March 14, 2015
It's a delicate balance raising a child in a foreign land. On one hand, you want him to feel part of the society he is growing up in...you don't want him to be that outsider looking in. On the other hand, you want him to know his roots enough to know what his native culture is about...you don't want him to feel embarrassed or burdened by his roots. There are so many little incidents where I'm not sure how I should react to little K on these issues.
My niece, who is older than K & growing up in the US, got challenged (& felt ridiculed) by her friends at school about how she belongs to a religion that worships cows, and she wasn't equipped to handle those challenges. Her dad then got himself a "Hinduism for Dummies" & read up on their religion while telling her she was free to believe (or not to) in what she was reading. I love this story because my niece then went back to school & made a presentation on what she understood the Hindu religious beliefs were & busted a whole lot of stereotypes.
For kids, being "cool" is increasingly being defined for them by media. And I suppose to teach them that theres a coolness factor in being proudly different from the herd, is a challenge...not just for NRI parents.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
We celebrated H's birthday by taking a family trip to Tioman this year. The island is famous as a snorkeling & diving destination.
Now I know that I'm late to the party, but remember I can't swim, so my exposure to the ocean bed had been very very limited. In Tioman, we met a lovely diving instructor named Stormy who decided to make it her mission to introduce me to the beauty of nature underwater. So despite my petrified whines, she literally pulled me into the deep(ish) waters holding both my hands and calmed my nerves. And what I saw & felt has changed my life. The sights were breathtaking! The coral shaped like purple cabbages and green lily-pads, and schools of zebra striped and rainbow colored neon fish emerging from that coral...the sheer number of colours and variety of species was simply unbelievable! And the Sharks! Who knew they were shy creatures!
We look at the world with blinders on most days & it's days like these which open our eyes to how large & diverse our world really is. The freedom of spirit I felt being in the underwater wild is indescribable. Definitely going back for more....I'm hooked.
Friday, March 06, 2015
A lot has been said & written about the "India's Daughter" documentary. I couldn't get myself to watch it. I read the excerpts & it made my stomach churn. I don't see any value in watching a madman's rants (and that's a very personal opinion), but what an idiot of a minister thought of banning the film! Seriously, you thought that would be the best response to public anger?
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Abercrombie & Fitch refused a woman a job as a sales person in their store because she insisted on wearing a headscarf and that didn't gel with their "look policy". She sued them for discrimination on religious grounds & the court seems to be on her side.
Wonder if a woman could sue a store for having a "look policy" in the first place? Is it equal opportunities if a job applicant gets or doesn't get a job based on her attractiveness? Be it a flight attendant or a waitress at Hooters?
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Tuesday, March 03, 2015
K has now watched the Star Wars Trilogy and I had a rather lengthy discussion with him on world affairs and it went something like this....
K: If the Rebels are fighting against the evil emporer for freedom, why doesn't the emperor simply make Luke Skywalker the king? Whats so special about being the emperor anyway?
Me: Well, for some people it's important to have power.
K: Like the guy in Syria?
Me: Um, yes, like the President of Syria.
K: Are the people who are fighting against him like the Star Wars Rebels?
Me: Not quiet. They are terrorists, they aren't good guys either.
K: So who's side should we be on?
Me: Neither, I guess.
K: I support the rebels
Me: You don't have to take sides unless you agree with what they're doing.
K: What's the difference between Rebels and terrorists?
Argh, he is 5 years old & am I feeding him western media propaganda already?
Sunday, March 01, 2015
I've been a Clint Eastwood fan, especially of his war movies, since Letters from Iwo Jima. But this movie felt a great deal like déjà vu of The Hurt Locker. It's probably more hard-hitting because we know it's a true story, but I didn't quite like it as much as The Hurt Locker. I still remember that scene of a disoriented soldier when he's back in an American supermarket alley choosing a box of cereal. In American Sniper I never quite understood the husband-wife relationship between Bradley Cooper & Sienna Miller.