Monday, January 21, 2019

Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers, I get your point of view!

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice are just words that politicians, the media, the far-right and far-left people use to divide us into two groups. These groups of people demand that we take one side.

You are Pro-Choice if you believe that a woman has the right to decide on what she does with the embryo or the fetus that is inside her womb. Being Pro-Choice is when women have the right to choose to use birth control. Being Pro-Choice is also when an ailing person can decide whether he/she wants to live or not and can then accordingly opt for euthanasia and assisted suicide. Pro-Choice is also when the judicial system is allowed to give a death penalty to a serious crime offender.

Well, to me, all of that sounds correct. A woman must be allowed to decide whether she can use drugs to prevent her from getting pregnant. She must have the right to decide if she wants to keep the child or not as long as the procedure is safe. Yes, serious crimes must be severely punished and the death penalty must be an option. However, I'm still not okay with euthanasia because if that becomes legal globally, the procedure can be severely misused.

You are Pro-Life if you are against abortion because as soon as a child is conceived, it is living and breathing and abortion is nothing but taking away that life. Pro-Life groups believe that contraception is not a right thing. That a death penalty is illegal because no one has the right to take away a life. Even euthanasia and assisted suicide is not the right thing to do according to Pro-Lifers because again we have no right to take away a life. And that, death must be natural and that as humans we are all going to die someday but then death must be a natural thing without any human intervention.

Well, to me, all of that sounds correct as well. Pro-Lifers are right when they say that life begins from day 1 when the seed starts living in a womb -- the germinal stage (Week 1-2), the embryonic stage (Week 2-8) and the fetus stage (Week 8-till birth). If the embryo or the fetus is feeding on what the mother eats and drinks and is growing right from the time it takes seed, it indeed is a living being out there in the womb. That seed doesn’t start growing from Week 15 or Week 20 after which abortion is perhaps unsafe. That embryo is growing from day 1. Pro-Lifers are right when they say that life is something that happened to each one of us and that we should ideally in normal circumstances not take away anyone’s life whether it is through euthanasia or a death penalty.

Looking at the explanations given by Pro-Lifers and Pro-Choicers, they both seem like valid explanations. And both groups can co-exist at the same time. Pro-Lifers live the way they want to live and Pro-Choicers must be given the choice to live the way they think is correct as long as it is safe.

The debate and the polarization happen between these different groups of people when politicians get into the discussions to get our votes. Politicians divided us into groups of right and left; conservatives and liberals; democrats and republicans; white and black; rich and poor. Politicians, of course, need to stay out of the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice debates. And, we as people must be able to see the games that some of these politicians play to refrain us from using basic logic. They won’t stay out of the abortion debate because they know there’s where the votes are.

If politicians want to anyhow be a part of the abortion debate, they can if they rally with people and speak for people from both groups. As a governor of a state, a governor must attend both rallies and speak at both the Pro-Life and Pro-Choice rallies showing their support for both groups.

So, hey, Pro-Lifers, I respect your thoughts on life, like totally and absolutely, but closing down abortion clinics or defunding planned parenthood is not a solution because there are many reasons why people are not ready to have a child which could be due to health issues, they are not financially prepared, they are not emotionally and mentally prepared, they are still studying or still in school. Also, I don’t understand your logic on birth control which of course is not abortion – there’s a difference.

Hey, Pro-Choicers, let’s respect the viewpoints of Pro-Lifers and stop labeling them as orthodox or overly religious. They are right when they say that life begins at conception. Every child that is born goes through different stages of life inside the womb. Life doesn’t being after week 15.

Hey, politicians, please stay out of this debate. Get your votes through your policies on eradicating poverty, homelessness, hunger, war, inequality, racism from the face of the earth. Stop dividing people into two groups because it gives birth to hate and only hate, and we need to abort hate from the face of the earth.

There is no absolute answer to the pro-life and pro-choice debate and hence let’s just live and let live.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Prodigal Son

Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahhahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahehehehehehehhehehehehehehhehehehehhehehehehehehehehehe. LOL. 

This is the first thing I do when I think or even talk about the President of North Korea Kim Jong Un. Yes, he is the same guy who was behind smearing his half-brother's face with acid in Kuala Lumpur airport; yes he is the same guy who keeps flying rockets from North Korea threatening to kill people across the world; but in spite of that, I find Kim Jong Un really hilarious. Like, even if he plots to kill me and eventually kills me, there’s no way I would be wild at him or even want to take revenge. Instead, I would be laughing my ass off thinking about him in hell or purgatory, wherever I end up.

But very recently, Kim Jong Un is showing some signs of charming behavior. All his photos these days have him shaking hands with his once biggest enemy, the President of South Korea Moon; he is seen smiling so much that if there was a Nobel Prize for the best smile, Kim Jong Un must get that award hands down; he also very recently released three Americans captured for literally no reason. And, my goodness those bell-bottom pants get even more bell-bottomier in every new photo released by the North Korean media. He is a style icon!

Of course, all that and also the biggest revolutionary move of opening wide arms of friendship with the President of the United States Donald Trump is something that is completely unbelievable. While Un called Trump a madman, old, and a mentally deranged dotard; Trump called Un a little rocket man and short and fat. In spite of that, they both are best friends today. That’s real love!
I love relationships where there are a lot of arguments…as long as no side in the relationship makes any commitment to change anything that they have already been doing, or where both sides in the relationship make changes in their way of life. An argumentative relationship in which only one side makes all the changes and sacrifices needs to be called off immediately. 

Even in case of the love triangle between North Korea-America-South Korea, I see all sides are giving a little bit in the relationship. While North Korea promises to eventually denuclearize, America plans to remove trade sanctions on North Korea and also help North Korea boost its economy and then in the middle of all this is South Korea who has kept all doors open to strengthening friendship with a country they haven’t talked to for more than 50-years. All this is really amazing.

Kim Jong Un is like the prodigal son who left the peaceful Korean way of life and spent all his share of money in building nuclear missiles and plants. But after spending all his resources and money and taking the economy down to zero profits, he returns back and promises to live the Korean way of life of peace, harmony, and justice. President Moon thinks that Kim Jong Un is serious about it; President Trump things that Kim Jong Un is serious about it; even I think — at least looking at his bell bottoms and charming smile — that Kim Jong Un is serious about making the change.

But I have a question to ask: The United States, United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, China, India, Russia, Israel have nuclear weapons, but we still go after North Korea and Iran to denuclearize. That’s some kind of bullsh*t hypocrisy I don’t understand. Just like we must “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” we must also expect unto others as you would have them expect unto you and walk the talk. The world needs to denuclearize. Who are we to decide who must denuclearize and who shouldn’t?  

I forgot to mention about Kim Jong Un’s hairstyle. That pitch-black hair! That naturally blow-dried hair look is just so amazing! I love all that, too.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Sudan, The Only F#&@ing Northern White Male Rhino Living On Planet Earth

I am actually looking at the globe right now to see where exactly the country of Sudan is situated on Earth. So, Sudan is situated in Northern Africa bordered by Egypt to the north and the Red Sea and Ethiopia to the east. Sudan is a region in the Sahara desert and is popular for its wildlife. So, obviously, the nation's wild animals are threatened by disgusting hunters called humans who go around killing wild animals for pleasure, a photo session, and their horns.

That’s all about the nation of Sudan. The Sudan that I am referring to is the one-and-only white male rhino that is left on the planet, who is 45-years old and is really ill, may be on his deathbed. Sudan was registered on Tinder last year as the "most eligible bachelor in the world." This is a campaign launched to save the rhino species. Sudan lives with two other white female rhinos in a zoo in Kenya. Now, these two female rhinos (whose names I do not know) are the only two female white rhinos existing on the planet. All in all, just three of these white-rhino species lives on the planet right now.

In 1960, there were 2,000 Northern white rhinos walking on the planet. By 1975, their population dwindled to 200 and by the year 2000, there were only 45 of them left. And today 2018, we only have three of them remaining. Wow...we are making progress here, knocking off one rhino after the other, until they vanish from the face of the Earth.  

What’s more fascinating is how we are pressurizing this 45-year-old only white-male rhino Sudan, who is equivalent to a 125-year-old human-man, to participate toward conceiving with the two white female rhinos. If Sudan was a 125-year last man on Earth, and we expected him to participate in conceiving, he would probably file a dozen of lawsuits against us and put us in prison. But well, wild animals are speechless and do not have a court-of-law to go to.

Maybe, humans hunted animals two million years ago for food. Those were primitive days of human evolution when human beings were still figuring out the civilian way of life. But today when we can buy meat from so many nearby shopping malls and stores, what is the f$%^ing need to hunt animals. Besides, hunters do not kill animals for their meat or to put food on the table, or to feed their hungry malnourished children. These hunters are basically rich trophy hunters or hunters who make money out of selling animal horns, fur, skin in the marketplace. No one is telling anyone to become a vegetarian, all we are saying is stop killing speechless animals by going inside their homes and shooting them.

Just like we put ourselves in someone else's shoe before saying or doing anything to them, similarly, how about putting ourselves in an animal’s paws and skin before we hunt them down or hurt them. Or how about just leaving them alone. Today, so many animals instead of living in the wild are living in the zoos, because of fear of being killed in the wild by hunters.

The only living creatures that must be allowed to hunt in today’s world are predatory animals who hunt other animals for food. That is their way of life, their way of survival because animals do not have 9-5 jobs and do not have meat deep freezers to choose from.

So, the bottom-line is, leave Sudan alone. Let him live peacefully or maybe die peacefully. Going after his semen and making him perform at this age only reemphasizes how selfish the human race has gotten. We are selfish. Our wants and greed keep increasing. When we start living on Mars, it’s okay if we do not get the opportunity to tell those red planet buggers that we have white-rhinos on Earth. When we meet the people from the red planet, we can tell them we once had these white-rhinos but they died on their way to Mars. Don’t ever tell those Martians that we hunted white-rhinos down and eradicated their species because it will spoil the Earthian reputation and image.  

When we finally land on Mars, never ever tell those Martians that we sold mass-killing rifles in grocery stores. Never ever tell them that we invaded other nations and started wars. Never ever tell them we have nuclear missiles and nuclear buttons that are bigger and stronger. Never ever tell those Martians that we gassed people to death. Never ever tell them that we allowed millions of children to die from starvation. Never ever tell those Martians that many of our young children and toddlers were shot in their schools. Remember, it’s all about reputation and image and we don’t want the Martians to know how cheap and sick we are.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Why Loyalty is overrated?

 Oh, ya, I love this person so much that I will support everything he or she says and can even die for that person. This kind of blind loyalty is what is killing our society and our world. The common person is so blindly in love with another person, a political figure or celebrity that we just start believing what they say and become blind followers. Not only that, in return, our loyalty makes them powerful and wealthy.

I was born and raised in Bombay, which is a city on the West Coast of India. There are two large political parties in India namely the Congress and the BJP. I grew up in a household where all the adults in my family supported a political party out of the two large ones. Election after election, they voted for the same party, so much so that when I turned 18 and was eligible to vote, I cast my first vote ever to the same political party that my family voted for over the years, over many generations. I see the same similarity in the United States, where every household depending on where they come from, their beliefs, and their religion, they are loyal to a political party and that loyalty lasts for generations. My question is what happens if the leader of any of those political parties deviates from the basic values and basic principles. Why do we still remain loyal to them? Why don't we stand up against the s**t that they are proposing and tell them they are wrong?

Again, the common people encompass about 90% of the population. But in spite of this, the majority of the people become fans of people in the limelight and remain loyal to them until death do them apart. Celebrities are just people doing their job. Just because they appear on our television screen, celluloid, and on late night shows doesn’t make them famous or doesn’t make us a fan. Why be a fanatic? Look at what some of them exposed did. They abused the power and the loyalty that we gave them and sexually assaulted innocent women. All these high-flying, powerful and rich celebrities have been assaulting and raping women for decades, and what we gave them for so many years was just more fame, money, and power by being their fans. Loyalty indeed is overrated. Just because they appear on your television screen doesn’t put them above the law and doesn’t make them invincible.

There’s a hell lot of coverage in the media about these sexual assault allegations against these powerful men in Hollywood and some of the political and public figures. There was this one newspaper article which was supported by thumbnail photos of all the accused men in question. The caption used for this photo said, "Men facing allegations of improper behavior.” Like really, you call that "improper behavior"? If I were editing that article, I would caption it, "Men facing allegations of cheap, vulgar, pervert, and creepy behavior." These are the same very celebrities and public figures that we adored and glorified for years together, watched everything that they ever produced and ultimately made them powerful and wealthy. They enjoyed that entire glorification for decades, all because of our loyalty toward them. Loyalty is overrated!

I’m not saying there are no good people in Hollywood or in public life. There definitely are some really good people out there, doing some good work. But why be loyal or a fan even of these good ones. They are just doing their work and we love them for what they do…that’s about it! Why give them more than that kinda love because you know, loyalty is overrated!

I can never love someone so much that I begin to ignore their shitty behavior and I can’t hate someone so much that I begin to ignore their good side. Balance is everything.  

Why be loyal when we can just be honest and true to ourselves. 


Hey, but let me admit it, I’m a fan of someone, too. See who?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Thoughts and Prayers + Zero Action = Zero Results

Today’s shooting in a church in Texas made me curious to dig into the number of shootings that have taken the lives of so many innocent people - mostly the middle-class - this year alone. I googled to get the number of people who have died and who were injured from these barbaric incidents and I came across a mass shooting tracking website that has been reporting shooting incidents in the United States since the year 2013. The shocking thing is gun shootings are so common in the United States that we need the help of Data Scientists and Statisticians to help us track and analyze the number of shootings, the number of people murdered, and the number of people injured from these shootings. Sad but true! 

I am not here to report the number of gun shootings in America, but, tell me, how can we tolerate more than 500 people dead and more than 1500 injured by gunshots alone in 2017. Like, how are we able to tolerate this without doing anything about it? I absolutely understand if we couldn't take any action because we lack the funds to initiate any action. But, we are talking about the most powerful country in the world; we are talking about the United States of America; we are talking about the supposed number one country in the world. Tell me, why can’t we do something about it. 

In 2017 alone, there have been 377 reported gun-related incidents in America. Some never really got media coverage because sections of the media are not interested in covering gun shootings that lead to the deaths/injuries of only 3-4 people. Sections of the media mostly cover “mass”-shootings because that drives up the TRPs. Some of the media would rather spend 24 hours a day reporting the tweets by the rich and powerful people than talk about the middle-class and poor people senselessly losing their lives.

After most of these gun-related incidents, all we do is offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families. No one ever passed an exam with just prayers and zero hard-work. Even God whom we pray to wants us to do the initial work. Same way, our thoughts and prayers are not going to help us fight gun violence in America. We got to do something about it. I don’t know whether gun control can help us stop this violence completely, but it will prevent it to some extent for sure. Why must any lay person have assault weapons to protect themselves? The Constitution was written during primitive times in America (1791) when animals literally walked on the streets. At that time we perhaps used assault weapons to scare away animals. But that period has phased out long back. We no longer need assault weapons to protect ourselves.

Before today’s Texas church shooting, the Las Vegas shooting happened merely a month back which took the lives of 59 people and injured 241. The suspect carried out these attacks from the 32nd floor of a hotel room using fully-automatic rifles. That's the power of automatic rifles. The only action that was taken by authorities then was banning the sale of bump stocks that help faster firing rate. Is that enough? Shouldn’t we rather be talking about banning the sale of assault weapons of any kind to the general public instead? 

A few years back, these incidents were the ones we heard about on satellite television that happened somewhere far-away in a remote place, in a poor country. But this is no longer the case. Lately, these incidents are happening in the neighborhood, in a public place, and we hear about these incidents on local television. We could be the next victim because people like you and me are becoming victims of these merciless and bloody murders. It’s already gone out-of-hand. We need to take action before it goes out-of-control. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

U.S. Election 2016: It’s Yuge! It’s bigly!

A monkey called Geda, described locally as “the king of prophets,” kisses the cardboard cutout of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Nov. 3 in Changsha, China. The selection is intended to predict the result of the U.S. election. (Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)
Six hundred days back, we laughed our hearts out when Donald Trump made the announcement that he is running to become the President of the United States. The entertainment industry and the media made millions in TRPs by poking fun on The Donald. The political world, including the Republicans, went berserk over the prospect of Donald Trump running for president. But, the guy who is used to “winning so bigly that he gets bored winning,” ran the race anyway. It is remarkable and shocking how a businessman - with absolutely no experience in politics - who perpetrated so much of hate against immigrants (legal and illegal), Muslims, people of color, women, and Hispanics got the Republican party nomination. How could a person with absolutely no support from any Fortune 500 companies, or Wall Street, or any big-time celebrity, or a foreign leader (except for Russia’s Vladimir Putin), win the most powerful position in the world. 

So, how did Trump win, even after he got no support when he needed it the most? His opponent in the race, Hillary Clinton, not only got support from the Beyonces and the Jay Zs of Hollywood, but she also got support from the rich and powerful in America and outside America. How did this happen in an America, where when Beyonce says that Hillary is the one for president, it means she is the one. Jokes apart….the truth is democracy works and the common man/ woman is not a fool. But, then, if the common human is a smart being, why would a smart being vote for a bigot like The Donald. Why?! So many of these questions still remain unanswered. 

Most of the analysts gave a near 99.9% to a Hillary win because according to their polls, it was impossible that a racist-sexist Trump victory was possible. The election result emphasized how the media is so ignorant about the people of this nation. The media is so busy covering the Illuminati, that they just forgot that there is a whole big world of rural-America who never got a mouthpiece to express themselves for years. The media which is supposed to be the voice of the voiceless has turned out to be the voice of the Illuminati. Though, a Chinese monkey proved to know the people of America better than the media. In this experiment, a Chinese monkey – who made awesome soccer match predictions - was asked to use his mystical powers to predict who'll win the election. He was given a choice of bananas beside cutouts of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. He not only chose Trump's bananas but also gave Trump’s cut out a sexy smooch. When that happened, I was damn sure that Trump is winning. I trust the Chinese money more than the mainstream media. 

America is beyond New York and Los Angeles. For an outsider, America is a nation of the powerful, the rich, a nation that never sleeps, a nation that is the most powerful country in the world, a nation that inhabits the famous, a nation that has the military and oil power. But the 2016 ugly election campaign runs and the triumph of Trump has opened up our eyes to an America which is deeply divided over race, religion, values, people of color, and the poor. 

Indeed, America is a land of opportunities. It is a nation which has a city like New York which never sleeps. It sure has the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and the best universal music is made in America. But America is not only about celebrities, the rich, the paparazzi, music, and movies. There’s a whole part of America that lives in the rural villages, there's a whole part of this nation which is still experiencing racism & sexism, there are religious wars that not everyone is aware of.  I’m personally attracted and fascinated by the immigrants in America. I came to the United States because I wanted to experience a nation where I could meet people from all over the world in one place. Nowhere in the world will you find scores of immigrants from across the globe living in one place. It's an amazing feeling! 

Walk down the streets of Washington, DC and you'll find restaurants serving different cuisines from across the world. People speak different native languages. I mean, there's no place in the world where you can learn the values and principles of people from the rest of the world. Thanks to America, I have met a British, an Afghani, an Iranian, an Iraqi, a South African, a Kenyan, a Ghanaian, a Norwegian, a Russian, a Sri Lankan, a Chinese, a Singaporean, and that list will go on forever. I love America because it gives me this opportunity to meet different people, learn different cultures, different values. It’s beautiful!

I moved to the United States during President Obama’s second term. I love the guy and respect him a ton. America sure is going to miss him. From the little bit that I learned about this country while I'm living here, if I could vote, I would not vote for a person who talked sh*t about the people who look like me. I’d never vote for a person who wants to play protectionist trying to keep off immigrants from entering the country which is built with those very values. I’d never vote for a person who has no respect for people of color. But, I’d also not vote for Hillary Clinton, because she promised a status-quo, she didn’t promise any change, she wanted to fill President Obama’s shoes. And for real, no one wants a continuation of legacy from the previous president. Legacy continuation happens only in a place where the kings and queens rule over the people. A democratic nation needs to change because people change and with people, the nation changes. Donald Trump talked about big change and maybe that is what elected him to be the president of the United States.

Besides, the United States of America is not wholly-and-solely run by one-human being sitting in the White House. Pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving and inviting the rich and the powerful to the White House for State Dinners, is something which even The Donald can do. Most of the decisions in America are made at the state level, and hence people should not really go bonkers and must respect the decision made by Donald Trump's supporters who felt cheated and ignored for the past several years. The only way ahead is to accept Donald Trump as their president and give him a chance to perform. 

The problem is the foreign policy. The foreign policy of the world sucks today. We are just not getting it right. We continue to bomb and drone the Middle East and we continue to mistakenly kill the innocent people in the bargain. Not that we are doing anything correct right now, the only fear is leaving the foreign policy decision-making in the hands of Donald Trump. We don’t want any more wars. Live and let’s f****g live in peace. 

Canada’s immigration website crashed after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. So, for real, who all are moving to Canada? If you're moving, please tell the sexiest man alive, Justin Trudeau, that I said hi :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

What’s in a Burkini; No, Shakespeare didn’t say that!

Made of 100% polyester, which is the recommended swimwear fabric, burkinis shouldn't have stirred a controversy it did, because it perfectly fits the global recommended swimwear fabric specifications. I agree that every place has its own dress code, and there's also a dress code for swimmers...but a dress code which bans modest dressing is absolute b***s**t. Two pieces, one piece, or no piece bikinis look pretty cool and are comfortable too, but that doesn't give anyone or any government official the right to impose a blanket ban on modest full-piece swimwear. Sorry France, you may be the world’s most fashionable country, but that doesn’t mean you go around minding other people’s clothing line because that’s none of your business. And even more, it doesn’t suit a democratic country that boasts about its freedom and equal rights to be going around telling people how much of skin-show is required to go to the beach…because that makes you no different from the nation that does not allow its women to drive.

Mayors in France, not surprisingly all male, banned burkinis reasoning that women who wore burkinis were forced to wear it out of compulsion and saw them as victims. Even French Presidential candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, called for a nationwide ban on burkinis saying he is a defender of French values. So first, you have some male mayors who read minds of women, especially minority Muslim women, and think they exactly know what women want; and then you have a presidential candidate who makes swimwear the most pressing issue of running for office. And yeah, France, Bonjour and all that, but when did skin-show and swimwear become a marker of French values? Shouldn’t it be freedom of speech, equality, fraternity, liberty, and solidarity?

Photos of a burkini wearing woman surrounded by armed policemen on the beach telling her to remove her outer garment are what drew the world's attention to France's shameful and politically motivated burkini ban. Why is a woman in a burqa or hijab seen as a threat? As if she has some guns and ammunition hidden under her outer garments that are waiting to explode. So far, women wearing a burqa or hijab have never exploded anything. In fact, folks wearing three-piece suits, airstrike and carpet bomb nations killing thousands of civilians, children, humanitarian workers; exploding hospitals and we see it happening in Syria as I write. 

Even France's Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, resurrected France's national symbol - the figure of Marianne - to support a claim that women who bare their breasts are the ones who are representative of the French ethos than those who wear a veil. But mind you, Marianne also wore modest clothing in her days, if mentioning that is going to change ignorant minds. I respect Marianne for her style, but every woman is not Marianne. We live in a global village...we live in a digital world, in which it is impossible to live in your own nation’s cocoon ignorant of the cultures and ethos in the rest of the world. Which world do you live in, Mr. Valls?

Looks like the only logical lawmaker in France is France's president Hollande who fought against the sexist and Islamophobic burkini ban. And also the highest courts in France which suspended the totalitarian ban on burkinis, thus doing a sensible thing. Saint Ambrose's 387 A.D. famous saying, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” doesn't have any meaning in our tightly integrated global world today; we are no longer separated by borders. The main cause of terrorism and disintegration of society is because we mind other people's business more than our own. We don't let people do what they want to do and be who they want to be. Greed, politics, money, power is creating a rift among people. The powerful impose restrictions on the meek and less powerful because they just think they can.

Women are crucified for everything they do. They are taunted if they wear short revealing clothes, they are taunted for breastfeeding in public, they are taunted for wearing nothing, and now, for God sake, they are taunted for wearing full-body clothing. WTF!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Just Let Me Pee and Poop!

The world is getting chaotic day after day. ISIL openly beheads people and bombs civilian locations. Thirteen years after the invasion, Iraq is still unstable. The 'Bring Back Our Girls' campaign is just not working. Kim Jong Un has stopped grooming his hair, rather begun testing hydrogen bombs. Syrian children are dying of malnourishment. Yemen is burning in silence. Despite all that chaos, the presidential campaigns in the United States emphasizes on penis and hand sizes, discusses building a great-great wall along the U.S.- Mexican border, talks about the need to carpet bomb nations to get hold of ISIS, calls each other names like, Lyin' Ted Cruz; Crooked Hillary Clinton; Lucifer in the flesh; Dangerous Trump; Goofy Elizabeth, and what not. And then comes the ‘Bathroom Bill’ which has already been enacted in North Carolina, a law that forces individuals to use public bathrooms based on the sex identified on their birth certificate. 

I still can't digest the fact that the world's freest country has something as dumb and undemocratic as the “Bathroom Bill” that polices a place visited to empty bowels and bladders. Who would think that a country which legalizes same-sex marriage – a law that screams equality – can also pass an utterly tasteless pee and poop bill. So, now, you don’t only carry photo identification with you wherever you go, but also a birth certificate. So personally, that bans me from visiting North Carolina and Mississippi, because I don’t have my birth certificate on me. Wow!

What's wrong with the system? Do they just wake up one fine morning and decide, like, let us pass a bill that screws up the dignity and privacy of the LGBT community. Let’s pass a law that forces people to excrete at a place that we decide. And if they don't obey the law, let’s imprison them for selecting the wrong bathroom. Harassing, bullying, discrimination against the LGBTs, even in 2016, is a shame. Worse is when these laws are passed by an authority that is supposed to protect the rights, dignity, and privacy of the people. 

Authorities need to stop interfering in the lives of the people. Stop telling the people what to do, how to do it, and where to do it. The bathroom law may be discriminating against the LGBT community, but to a large extent, it affects each one of us, even if we are not members of the LGBT community. Imagine being forced to prove your gender before using a bathroom. Coming to think of it, would a robot be stationed outside every loo to check our birth certificate before we are allowed in? Or, would a lie-detector be installed, that would ask every person visiting the bathroom to disclose the sex mentioned on their birth certificate. So, if a person is identified male on their birth certificate, but they identify themselves as female, the lie-detector will frantically beep screaming, “He’s a liar,” and automatically drop a prison-like encasement around the bathroom, with pointed spikes from the top, thus disabling toilet-use. Absolutely hi-tech! We live in such a technology-enabled world, no! 

This is legalized discrimination and humiliation. This got to stop, especially in America, because the world is watching each and every move of the U.S., and a law like this one is just so shameful. Other nations are bound to emulate similar brash laws against minorities, and the world will eventually get even more chaotic. How long are we going to discriminate against minorities? It's the LGBTs today, tomorrow it will be against another minority community, and then another. 

In the meantime, I have already asked my homies in Bombay to ship my birth certificate to me. That’s just a backup plan, in case, the “Bathroom Bill” comes into effect nationwide. 

Personally, I don't care who uses the bathroom, as long as everyone who uses it knows that the toilet seat is pretty has the ability to go up and then go down. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

My name is Khan and I'm not a terrorist!

I stole the title of my blog from a popular 2010 Bollywood film which is so relevant in the current environment that we live in. It's controversial to be a Muslim today or even have a name that sounds like one. A Jamie is treated like a human being, but God save you if you are a Jamal. That name will raise high-security alerts. The sirens will go off. Folks dressed in uniform will surround you, point their guns and ask you to raise up your hands. No, not to whip the nae-nae, but to do a comprehensive body cavity search that you didn’t ask for. 

So many things happened over the last few months. The clock boy Ahmed Mohamed was falsely crucified for allegedly carrying a clock bomb to school, when in fact all he did was created an innovative handmade clock. Creativity is mistaken for terrorism! Why? Because his name was Ahmed! So many innocent doctors and civilians were killed when an aerial bomb was shot at a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan…sadly mistaken as terrorists.  So many normal folks just casually doing their normal chores got killed by insane shooters. Don’t ask me which gun shooting incident I'm talking about because there have been more than 350 mass shooting incidents in the United States this year. If you have guns on sale in the same stores that sell fruits and vegetables, what else is bound to happen?

The most horrifying story was when very recently the Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump called for barring all Muslims from entering the United States. Also saying, if he becomes president, he would consider requiring Muslim-Americans to register with a government database. That’s Islamophobia at its worst. Sure the man is known for making crazy statements about people and especially the minority community. He almost built a virtual wall all across the Mexican border. He called his presidential opponents' maniacs. And now he crosses all limits of bigotry by calling for a carpet ban on Muslims, which also includes Muslim-American citizens…which is just insane. But surprisingly the more outlandish Trump gets, the higher his popularity ratings go. Makes me wonder…who are these folks who religiously follow and support him? 

With all that bloody news that flooded our world, one good news came out from Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau welcomed thousands of refugees by personally visiting the airport to receive them. Looking at Trudeau’s gesture, I’ve already started taking lessons in Canadian politics. Yeah, I now know that Canada has a Parliamentary system like Britain, unlike America’s Congressional system. That’s my first lesson. 

Well, the story that took the universe by storm and that almost zeroed down on all the heartbreaking news was the man Steve Harvey’s awesome-possum hosting of the 2015 Miss Universe contest. Mistakenly crowning Miss Colombia instead of Miss Philippines with the Miss Universe title may be one of the craziest mistake ever done on live television. But it was one of my favorite things that happened. It looked like comedy to me. But the whole world panicked about it. The whole world criticized Harvey for a mistake that actually didn’t need that much attention that it got. No one died. No one was injured. But everyone, from a student, businessman, worker, employee, celebrity, millionaire, billionaire, politician, you and me, criticized Harvey for not doing that one job right. Only if the world panicked and went helter-skelter the same way when 42 people including Doctors Without Borders were mistakenly killed at a hospital in Afghanistan. And when so many civilians become victims of senseless wars across the world.

It’s that time of the year when we make a snowman and wrap ourselves in multiple layers of clothes to beat the cold. But this Christmas, it’s colder in Bombay than it is in the Washington, D.C. area. It's 21 degrees C in DC right now, so we are making a snowman out of mud and walking around semi-nude. Don’t know whether it’s climate change, global warming or the El Nino effect. All I know is I love the damn weather and wish it’s going to be like that the whole winter. Happy Holidays and have a great New Year Y'all! And yeah, Merry Easter, Steve Harvey! 

It’s going to be 2016...How time flies! 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

God, forgive us for we don't know what we are doing

Years of wars, invasions, air strikes, drones, terrorism and thirst for oil has led to the chaos in the world today. Besides, all this greed has also given birth to the so-called Islamic State who aimlessly butchers people in those troubled regions. In the middle of these wars and brutal terrorism, the people who have nothing to do with anything that's happening, either get brutally killed or worst, get killed by a blunder made by a joystick operator of an unmanned flying object equipped with bombs.  What do you call those...yeah drones! People living in those troubled regions don’t deserve that. They’ve not signed any freedom bond that gives us the right to aerially bomb their regions in the hope of killing terrorists. All they want is a normal peaceful life that most of us in the rest of the world has been blessed with. 

Our “aerial” war against the Islamic State has been going on for years now. But the aerial strategy just doesn't seem to be working. In the bargain, ISIS is getting bloodier and more brutal with more civilian lives lost. And no one has any accountability for these casualties? Logically, when a strategy doesn't work after giving it a shot for years, it’s time to change the strategy. Also, we need the accountability of the number of civilians who have died because of those faulty air strikes. Even their lives are as precious as ours. We may be people with different nationalities, religion, race, and color, but we’ll belong to the same planet. How about that?

Brilliant cartoon depiction by Simon Kneebone

Although we are losing our fight against ISIS, there are so many people from those terrorized states like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and others that have kinda won over terrorism by escaping into safer havens. They sure are risking their lives by trekking those difficult routes in hope of living a normal life, but it’s better to take a risk than to live in hell. Our global coalition is still struggling fighting ISIS, but these civilians have won and we need to do everything that we can to help them and welcome them into safer havens. But instead, we raise up our hands refusing to absorb them into the state as refugees. Why? Where is our heart? Where is our conscience? Where is our soul? Where is the accountability?

The world was sensitized about the refugee crisis only after the photo of a three-year-old kid washed ashore came in public eye.  Everyone was silent about the crisis until the heart-wrenching photo was released. Although that photo is something that shouldn’t have been in public space because of its sensitivity, I’m happy it did, because it sensitized people and got them to force their governments to welcome refugees. And it’s not only Europe’s responsibility to make sure that refugees are given refuge…it’s a global responsibility. And I don’t know why the United States and others are still silent over the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. 

There are so many wars going on around the world. Will someone tell us what's happening in Yemen and Ukraine right now? If we continue to be silent about these other current wars happening around the world, it will soon reach boiling point leading to more civilian deaths and more civilians taking treacherous routes to safer havens. History shouldn’t repeat itself, especially at a time when we have made the biggest advancements in technology and science. We have reached the moon, we are exploring Mars and have passed by the last planet in the solar system, but, there’s still no place for people on the only planet that is inhabited by human beings and not aliens. 

Getting emotional and being compassionate is not a weakness. Those are just signs that we are creatures born with a conscience and a heart. And, as this 13-year old Syrian boy, Kinan Masalmeh, so beautifully sums up his countrymen's feelings saying, “The Syrians need help now. Just stop the war. We don’t want to go to Europe. Just stop the war.” See video, 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fourth of July came a few days early

This week was one awesome week for you America with two back-to-back decisions made by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). In one ruling, SCOTUS saved the ever controversial Affordable Care Act, making subsidized insurance accessible to every American, irrespective of gender, race, color, and status in society. And then, in the second ruling, SCOTUS went all out to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. Both these decisions were passed in a week, but the years and years of protests, marches, activism, and advocacy that have gone to make this happen is what needs to be appreciated. Nothing happens overnight. Both these decisions scream victory for the people. And America, you should be celebrating. If I were you, I would pour some wine in my glass and sip it eating some chicken kababs for sure.

Also, you know what America, looking at the power that you as citizens have showcased to change old- outdated-traditional laws and demand equality for all…this should be enough motivation for you to vote in the 2016 presidential elections.  You just have no excuse this time.  

Besides the 2016 presidential campaign also has the laugh factor in it. It already looks like half of America is running to become president. So many candidates already and still many more are expected to make that big presidential announcement in the days to come. We’ve all heard those speeches that promise change and all that hype and rhyme in them. That’s all cliché no? The only thing, not cliché is Donald Trump's entry into the race. He's the spice in this race. He enters the race by literally coming down an escalator to the sound of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World" anthem. Hope he sticks around till the end...because he is sheer entertainment.

It sure was a good week after the tragic mass shooting at Charleston which took lives of nine innocent men and women. Besides, the worst and the cruelest thing was the place at which the shootings happened. A church is a place where people drop their guard and surrender themselves to God and his teachings. Also, what was unbelievable is the heart of the people of Charleston who forgave the shooter for what he did. I'm still angry with what happened to those innocent people. Sure, it takes a big heart to forgive, but how long will America forgive? This is not one rare random incident that has happened. We have witnessed so many other incidents with the same motive of hatred toward a particular race. History seems to keep repeating itself and this needs to stop because it’s outrageous to have folks treated differently, made to feel different, and now even being killed for who they are. And then we say, enough of this talk on racism and that we are tired and just heard too much of it already. But no, it's not enough. We don’t only need to talk more, but also do more to bring an end to something that just makes no sense.

After nine innocent people were killed, so much of time was spent speculating whether this was a “hate crime” or whether it was “terrorism.” When in reality any kind of hate that is violently expressed is terrorism. Hate and terrorism are just words in the English dictionary. They don’t change reality. We don’t need experts sitting on news desks, analyzing whether this was a “hate” or a “terrorist” crime. We don’t call it “hate” because the shooter’s name was Dylan. What if his name was Khan? Would we still call it hate?

Also, I still fail to understand how anyone can buy guns without any background checks in America. How can a store that sells fruits and vegetables also sell guns? So buyers not only visit their grocery stores to buy guns but also have the luxury to sit in the comfort of their homes and buy it online. And then, even after so many mass shootings and one incident even involving the death of innocent children, how does anyone do nothing about it. Why is it so difficult for the most advanced country in the world to do anything to stop guns from reaching the hands of evildoers? 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Raising a glass of beer over Ireland’s same-sex marriage vote

Sister, I think that's a "yes" no?

I love firsts. But nothing like the kinda first that has (and can) impact the world. The recent popular vote in support of same-sex marriage in Ireland is one-of-a-kind. The "yes" vote certainly makes it legal for same-sex couples only in Ireland to marry under the Constitution, but that decision made by the citizens of Ireland, through a popular vote was felt across the globe. Most civilized nations watched this verdict very closely. More so wondering how can a so-so Catholic nation that decriminalized homosexuality decades ago change its course so drastically. How did that ever happen? And more so, when Ireland is still a nation that bans abortion. Times have changed…yeah…times have really-really changed. And why wouldn't it?

But then, again, equal rights are for everyone. Ideally, everyone is born with their rights. No one needs no vote to be baptized with their rights. Well, maybe, we'll reach there soon too. Many folks argued that marriage is between a man and a woman and that the basic purpose of marriage is reproduction. That's absurd! It’s weird to say that one man and one woman enter into marriage because they want to reproduce. What about companionship? What about couples that get married so late in life, when they cannot have children. Don’t we also call that marriage?

Ireland joins 19 other nations that legalize same-sex marriage. But what makes Ireland's decision significant is its gumption to leave it to the people to decide what's right for them. Unlike other nations, it didn't wait for the legal courts to make this important decision. More than half of Ireland citizens came out to vote, out of which more than 60% said yes to same-sex marriage.

In the United States of America, it takes 50 states to decide whether same-sex marriage should be legalized or not. For now, 36 states and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage through the legislative process. Hopefully, the Supreme Court's decision which is expected next month will change that state-by-state approach, and legalize same-sex marriage nationwide. In India, although being openly gay or lesbian is no longer taboo, same-sex marriage is still illegal. But the good thing is people are openly talking about it. There are debates and LGBT parades that happen frequently all across the country. And then there's Russia, the Middle East and many African nations which are still intolerant to gays and lesbians. Folks out there are still “in the closet” about who they are. In these nations marriage is a far-off thing. Hopefully, this decision in Ireland will warm up talks and discussions in intolerant nations, making it a first step toward allowing people to live the way they want to live without fear. And this cliché about “coming out of the closet” never really exist ever. No individual should be made to feel vulnerable because of her sexual orientation. 

Equality is so simple. It’s about living a free life irrespective of gender, religion, color, wealth. But we human beings simply gatecrash into lives of others with our so-called “life rules and expectations” and complicate things. And it’s of course not cliché to say Live and Let Live.

I don’t drink beer, so can someone just drink a pint of beer to celebrate this great Irish victory on my behalf. They say Murphy's Irish Stout taste really good. Cheers ;-)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Why Madonna Still Stands Out

Madonna surely knows how to keep her critics employed. She just needs to shake a leg, and boom, they get obnoxiously critical about different things right from her age, her dating habits, her dance moves, her marriages, her relationships, blah blah blah blah. The day her album “Rebel Heart” hit iTunes, critics ranted about the music lyrics which according to them was too immature for her age. But at that time, most of them were silenced for being too sexist. But when Madonna recently kissed Drake at the Coachella music and arts festival in California, haters sharpened their claws and went full on criticizing her for assaulting a man on stage. But hey man, isn’t that between Madonna and Drake. It’s none of our business because the man she kissed is an adult, so how about leaving it to that. But then, any kinda publicity is good publicity, so hey you critics, you are Madonna’s publicist. Anyway, I would kill for that kiss from Madonna, lucky Drake. 

Damn it, nobody talks about her music which Madonna is “The Madonna” we know her for. Attacking the queen of pop citing her personal life is so cowardly and sexist for God sake. I listened to her sonically cohesive album “Rebel Heart” over ten times already and still, my ears want more. She is a rockstar man. Right from those vulnerable song lyrics to the beats, Madonna only goes to show that you gotta keep driving that car as long as you can. Retirement, what crap is that.  She’s got the moves, she’s got the voice, she’s got the attitude, she can give all the 20s and 30s something a run for their money. The best part about “Rebel Heart” is she had already anticipated what her critics would say, and I believe she has responded to them through her music saying, “You know you never really knew how much your selfish bullshit cost me. Oh, f$ck you” (Song: Unapologetic Bitch). 

Each song has a message. "Ghosttown" conveys hope in the collapsing world we live in. "Living for Love" is a sad breakup song. “Unapologetic Bitch” (my favorite) is a cocky ‘don’t mess with me’ fun song, “Devil Pray” is a song that condemns doing drugs. And all those fabulous lyrics are intertwined with some thumping reggae, soul, rap, ballad influence.  

Who doesn't like controversial pop artists like Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus? I love their music but they are different from Madonna in many ways. Since she began over 30-years back, Madonna has been some kinda controversy or the other. But she always seemed to connect all that shocking weirdness with a goal that was brilliantly expressed through her music. Right from gay rights and women equality, Madonna has addressed these issues through her music. She has opened up so many doors for artists today, that everything that she was once criticized for in the past is no longer considered taboo anymore. She's also politically and socially well informed which in a big way makes her different from today’s artists. She’s not only bold and does whatever she wants, but she does all that with awareness of the world, which is pretty impressive.

Madonna is fierce, fearless, and sure intimidating. She’s invincible and still a leader in the pop music circuit. Can’t wait for her next album already. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Little bit of Jon Stewart in my life

A few months back, I thanked Jon Stewart for being a part of my life by writing a blog article which of course he didn't read, but I couldn't resist expressing my heartfelt respect for him. Coming from India with a journalism and communications background, I needed to understand American politics and everything about how this country does its thing. I didn't know who to turn to understand all that. Until, I found Jon Stewart who literally taught me everything about America, its people, and its politics. Today after about three years, whatever I know about America is because of Jon Stewart. He is like my guru. Imagine connecting with a person I haven’t met or talked to. He has got that aura about him. 

The news about Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show was shattering. I don’t know why, but I just felt that I lost something. I began to crazily tweet, Instagram about how devastated I was after getting this news. I began to mourn for someone who I was thankful for. I became crazy. Stewart is a guy I wanted to watch every single day and over the weekend when he didn't have his show, I watched those extended interviews which never aired on prime time. If I as a foreigner feel so much about Stewart’s exit from The Daily Show, I can’t imagine how Americans are coping with his exit. Hey America, if I were you, I would make a pledge for his return and get the whole of the United States to sign to bring him back. Can’t just let him go, can we? And even more at a time when 2016 election is around the corner. Who’s going to make sense of the “God-alone-knows-who’s-running” 2016 elections? Stewart, can you like go after that? 

There are some who are comedians, and there are some who are late night talk show hosts, and then there are some who are news anchors. But Jon Stewart is all three in one. He has a wit of a comedian which is unmatchable, the charm and aura of a late night talk show host like never seen before, and knowledge and analytical ability of hard news like no anchor person in the media today. Besides, his presentation of all that hardcore news to an average layman is mind-blowing. In a true sense, he is magical.

Besides that, Stewart comes off like a genuine human being who cares for people. There are so many issues and concerns that an average American faces today. Stewart makes sure he carries those unheard voices through the show. Right from Eric Garner, Ferguson, school shootings, elections, religious intolerance, race in America, same-sex marriage, equal rights – he has a response and reaction to all these issues. He makes real sense of issues that an average American has to deal with every single day. Like most people on television today, Stewart is not sitting there to suck in the camera lights and fame of the job. In fact, he is effectively using the medium to convey a message to the public. His humility and his genuine respect for his team is contagious. 

The Daily Show calls itself a phony satirical comedy show when in reality Jon Stewart has taken it to a level where there’s nothing phony about it. Stewart is one-of-a-kind and to replace him, Comedy Central needs a news wizard with a charm of a late night talk show host, wit of a comedian, someone who is genuine and of course, not someone waiting to be famous. That’s going to be a tough search for sure.

Jon Stewart, I’m going to miss you a lot. Thank you for being there and being my guru. I hope I get a chance to meet you in person someday. Oh God, what is this colorless liquid coming out from my eyes :-)

Related Link:

Read my earlier article on Jon Stewart: Link to the blog post

Friday, January 30, 2015

Modama Bromance

Yeah, President Obama was a chief guest at India’s 66th Republic Day, the day when India’s Constitution came into force.  That was a busy power-packed three days date with President Obama being the first U.S. president in office to attend India’s grand Republic Day celebration. Many things happened during these three days. Even before the president visited India, U.S. media went lady gaga over the whole visit. While Indian media did a balle-balle about the whole president’s visit, so much so that it felt as if Jesus Christ was coming. C’mon you media fellas, like hashtag #hesonlyhuman , you didn’t have to do all that. 

Before the parades, the two bros sat down for a cup of tea. And c’mon…Mr. Modi prepared that cup of tea with his own hands for the president. The Republic Day parades were so good. Loved all that the participants did at the parades. The motorcycle and military parades were my favorite. Like, it was so acrobatic, so colorful, so talented. Many power packed speeches were delivered and grand dinners were hosted for the president. Many expansions of trade and investments between two countries were agreed upon. New defense and civil nuclear cooperation were some of the greatest highlights. 

Well, I believe the most striking highlight of the visit was the president’s farewell speech at Siri Fort in New Delhi and the hilarious pinstriped suit that Mr. Modi wore on one of the days.  

At his farewell speech, President Obama opened up about what he thinks about India and her people. He spoke about India’s diversity, rich cultures and the different languages that she speaks, but in the same breathe he also talked about the religious intolerance in the nation, which indeed is a reality. I wouldn’t care if it was someone else saying this. But we need to remember that the speech on inequality was coming from a man who himself has been discriminated and treated differently because of the color of his skin. Even after 50-years of the civil rights act, the United States of America is still fighting racism. Similarly, India cannot deny the very fact that it is still fighting religious intolerance. Additionally, the speech was an eye-opener of what the world really thinks and knows about India. India is no longer an emerging economy, it has emerged and that’s what keeps it in the spotlight. Besides, very soon India is going to surpass China as the most populated country in the world, keeping it even more in the spotlight…although nothing to be proud about.

Why should a man have lesser opportunities from others because of the faith he follows. The beauty in India is still a strong democracy despite the different backgrounds, color, languages, and religion of its people. And the nation can get bigger and be a greater force if everyone irrespective of where they come from, the religion they follow, gender, has an equal opportunity to prove themselves. Religion or no religion, female, male, lesbian, gay, transgender, everyone should be treated equally and be given an equal opportunity. What’s the use of GDP, profits, firsts, if we don’t know how to treat our own people? 

Yeah, and who can forget Modi ji’s suit, hashtag #ModiSuit. Like really Mr. Modi, did you spend millions of dollars to stitch that suit with your name written on it a zillion times. Like really-really-really Mr. PM, did you really have your name on that suit? And even if you like your name so much, you can have it printed once, why do it over and over and over again? Didn’t expect this from you Modi saab. So listen, world, if you ever forget the name of India’s Prime Minister, all you got to do is check out his pin-striped suit on which his name is written in bold.  

Having said all that, I know that I won’t be administered 1000 lashes and 10-years imprisonment for throwing in a little satire about the most powerful person in India, Mr. Modi. That’s the beauty of a democracy. And that’s the beauty of India. Happy Republic Day folks!

Namaste! Bohot bohot dhanyawaad! Senorita, bade, bade desho mein! Now you know what I’m talking about. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

I can’t breathe!

A humble casually dressed African-American man, Eric Garner, is approached by four casually dressed white officers. Garner cries out telling the officers, "Every time you see me, you will harass me. I'm minding my business officer. Please leave me alone." And all that was said in a cry-out for help. He didn't sound confronting at all. Two police officers grab him on both sides. All he says in response to that is, "Please, don't touch me." Garner doesn't attack the officers. Four officers then pull Garner to the ground, one holding him into a "chokehold." In less than 30 seconds into a choke-hold, Garner cries out "I can't breathe," (several times), but the officer who put him into a choke-hold press his head on the ground, without stopping the inhumane treatment imposed on him. And then, it was all over. Garner was no more in less than 3 minutes.

Mind you, that’s not a narration of another Hollywood blockbuster about racism in the United States of America. That’s something that happened for real on a sidewalk in New York. Like, I still can’t believe it. I need to pinch myself thousand times to be able to digest the way in which Eric Garner lost his life. And he didn’t die in the hands of some thugs which perhaps would be easy to grasp. And yeah, that piece of narration is not for folks like you and me who can decode visuals in the video, but for those critics who find it hard to understand why people across the length and breadth of America have come out on the streets protesting police violence and the legal decision to not indict the officers on any counts.  The visuals of that the video is brutally so difficult to watch that I find it difficult even to embed it in my blog post. 

Reports indicate that Garner was approached by officers for selling "loose cigarettes," but then, does anyone need to lose his life for selling loose cigarettes. Besides, it doesn’t begin and end with Eric Garner. Similar incidents revisit us again and again. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice are a few names that come to my mind as far as I can remember. And this mind is a stupid thing. It just seems to heal over time. It just seems to forget things over time. And I won’t be shocked if it would soon be business as usual again till another black man dies in a similar freaking way.

New York Mayor Bill De Blasio was prompt to come out and openly address this tragic incident in the city. As a preventive measure, he was prompt to propose retraining and body cameras for police officers in the city. But then, when the video - that was shot by a person who happened to be there when Eric Garner was put into chokehold - didn’t do much, how would videos from those body cameras do anything to prevent violence. And retraining is sure good. But can anyone be trained to change a mindset? 

Just like I don’t understand royalty in the United Kingdom, where you have a Queen, a King to be, a princess and her charming prince for real, I will never understand racism in 2015 America. Isn’t America the most powerful country in the world? Yeah, I think that’s what the world says and that’s what I have been reading over the years. So how is this so-called power measured? Is it the GDP, technology (like the recent drone technology that will allow Amazon to drop packages at your doorstep), bullish stock market, the supremacy of our defense capability…or is it about people’s welfare, liberty, and equal rights? Wait, now that is a tough question no? I think only God has an answer to that. Hey God, can you send your guardian angel on earth again to give us an answer to all our problems…plzzzzzzzzzzzz!


Am so awe-awe-struck with this photo that I thought I should share it with you on this holiday and festive season. Isn’t she beautiful? Isn’t she sweet? Isn’t that the best smile ever. Happy Holidays folks have a good one.