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My father writing on caregiving for aging parents. This is worth a read 🙂

Rakesh Saraf: Writing & Thoughts

Some nine and a half years back, I had to say goodbye forever to my father. He was 90 years old, an intellectual, a scholar, ex-civil servant, ex-diplomat. It was then that I realized that watching a parent age, and eventually die in front of your eyes is one of the hardest things to go through. Having been a care-giver, and having gone through the stresses and strains of caring for someone, compelled me to seek professional counseling from a psychologist. I saw her for 2 years and ended the engagement well after he passed on.

Now, nine and a half years later, I am going through all this again with my 94 year old mother. Ninety four, you say? Well, that is a long life and a ripe old age to have lived, so why stress and why feel sad? Right?

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Words for Asifa

To the monsters that broke her body:

what twisted state of mind begets

belief of your claim to innocent flesh

in the house of your God, no less?

Was there an ounce of shame lingering

somewhere within your thirst for blood?

Or did you feel powerful when

you shredded her dignity and

squashed the life of a little girl

perhaps too innocent to

believe in an evil and

cowardice such as yours?

Did you feel proud that it took six

of you to tear her apart,

spirit and soul, bones and skin?

What is this darkness without

remorse where human life is cheaper

than a depraved gluttonous hunger

for power over an 8 year-old?

There are no words to articulate,

no torture or torment great enough

to make you feel what she felt

There is only our own self-disgust

and a growing number of

involuntary martyrs,

that bleed pain, despair and hopelessness.

Vengeance will never be painful

enough, to crush this disease that

breeds within our minds.

********************************************

This does not seem like nearly enough to address the horror of what happened to Asifa, but it is all I have. I don’t know whether to be angry or heartbroken – both seem equally useless against this sickness that plagues our society. How many brutalized bodies will it take us to change? It doesn’t look like that’s anywhere close to happening unfortunately. They gangraped her in a temple and then murdered her, because that’s how cheap human life has become. And there are people who defend the rapists like there is any justification for doing this to anyone, let alone an 8 year old girl. Whatever we are doing it is not enough. I am still reeling from this and I don’t know what else to say except we need to fix this, break off the root of it and crush it forever.

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travelblog final copy.jpgMy alarm goes off at 4:30 am. My hand slaps towards my phone as if it is an actual clock, finally managing to silence it, if only momentarily. As a precaution I have set an alarm at 4:25, 4:35 and 4:40 lest my body goes on strike and I miss my flight (which has happened). I hate my life in those early moments of the morning, the sky is still dark and the city (whichever city it is I’m in) is still sleeping.

I’m dazed for the first few moments of whatever musical interlude I’ve chosen to jolt me out of my REM cycles and then all of a sudden my body is almost excessively alert. I sit up straight and especially of late, have a few moments of not remembering where I am.

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Dear Mahesh Shah,

For the last ten days I have been begging for forgiveness. Begging for forgiveness for whatever twists of fate led me to purchase furniture (through Pepperfry) from Hometown. I’d had an awesome experience with Pepperfry as long as it was their customer service, deliveries and carpenter services, but with Hometown I have had an absolutely awful experience.
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My Inverted Rainbow

Fantastic blog post I came across on art and censorship. Just wanted to share on here 🙂

redefiningidentity's Blog

My Inverted Rainbow

–Utkarsh Amitabh

My grandmother introduced me to the world of colors when I was in second grade. Every afternoon she sat by my side and together we colored the newspaper cartoons with color pastels. Soon after that, she read out my favorite folk tales and put me to sleep before I went out to play.  Grandma tells me that as a kid, I loved painting the apple blue, the forest red and the sky green.

I distinctly remember having a big diamond shaped prism. I would sit by the window, let the sunlight pass through it, and jump in joy as the spectrum of colors inverted on the lavender wall in the living room. I felt thrilled on having inverted the rainbow. This was my rainbow – I had reversed the order, and there was no compulsion to set it “right”. Creative distortions fascinated me and the…

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Milion Stone

All roads start at Constantinople

We start the day slowly, though we are awake unusually early. Although the weariness of our travels makes us sluggish, the time difference means our body clocks are two and a half hours ahead, which means 8:30 am makes for a pretty leisurely start.

After we shower and get ready, we grab a pumpkin spice latte at the Starbucks around the corner. Yes, before you all judge, it’s not very Turkish, but a treat for us nonetheless as you don’t get this in Starbucks in Delhi.

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IMG_9356

Although I’m told that Laos is an “off the beaten path” destination, flight QV 634 from Bangkok to Luang Prabang, features a disproportionate number and variety of foreigners from young backpackers and couples to retired seniors.

I have no idea what to expect. I have come off a hectic work schedule, don’t speak a word of the language, and have no idea what I should even be looking to experience from Laos, with the exception of the yoga retreat that I will be attending in Nong Khiaw the next day.  (more…)

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