Tag Archives: Society

Dear Santa,

I thought I’d get in early with my requests seeing as I know how busy you are at this time of year.

I did try sending you a letter back in January but one of your Elves sent me a slightly “short” response outlining that I quit bugging you till December basically. Don’t worry, I have contacted the “Santa Listens” Customer Service hotline on 1300 LEAVE ME ALONE to complain but suspiciously ended up feeling like that number was solely made for me. I know – ridiculous right? That’s what I thought. Anyhow, enough of that because we both know how much I love to ramble so here goes. My extremely timid (may I just point out because I have been told on occasion that my demands are never ending and slightly ridiculously unachievable) list of wants!

1. World Peace. I get it; everyone wants it so why are you dragging your heels about it already? It’s so clichéd; it is now a joke in movies that is frankly, beginning to get a little tiresome. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about with living in harmony with one another seeing as we only have centuries of historical testament to the turmoil and wake of devastation hate leaves in its path as it hurricanes through everyone’s life. Oh hang on, the penny just dropped. We’re the ones who have to make a conscious decision to stop it from ruining our lives? Hmm yeah, well I see your point, okay scratch that, it’s a human gift, not a Santa one. Well then, what about my next one?

2. Celebrating our differences. C’mon, seriously?! How can this not already have been presented to someone, I mean even if the receiver didn’t like it – hello, rewrap it and pass it onto the next person on the gift list. The world is made up of so many wonderfully, awe inspiring cultures and nationalities; it’s basically a Petri dish for learning viruses, you know – the good kind. What? Wait, this is another human gift? Oh right, fine, people need to make a conscious decision to let people with other perspectives in and be respectful of ideas that don’t fit ours. Alright, I’ll give you that one too. This is getting embarrassing. Moving on …

3. The Environment is going to Shite. I don’t know if you’ve noticed Santa but your home is apparently melting. In fact, whether you believe in the whole ruckus climate change enthusiasts have thrown up or not, I think it’s safe to say that our beautiful planet isn’t what it used to be. Really, what is Mother Nature doing? She really does need to take a little more care of herself, let’s be honest, age is just a number and now the situation is getting dire. I’ve heard Polar Bears are the next item on the chopping block – I mean, what? Cute white fluffy bears? What is happening with the world because that is just wrong! Okay Santa, you really need to stop skirting on your responsibilities and snoozing on the job (as you can see from the above photo, I have proof). How can this be a people present? Right, I did get the memo outlining that we just all need to be a little less greedy on the planet’s resources, you know with the three cars for a family of two and the fifty potato chip packet reserves we have stocked in the pantry just in case I get hungry exactly 467.987 days from now. Fine – I’ll give this one to you too -_-

Just for the record though, I am not happy about this. There isn’t a single present on this list I can’t give myself which just sux. Now, a nice red Porsche – surely that is a Santa gift. I even chose red as an homage to you know who 😉

So I’m guessing it’s going to be a waste of time sending you out that long list I have been meticulously updating throughout the year outlining my nice versus naughty deeds?

Hmm, I’ll send it to you anyway, just in case. Can you please send me your updated address, for some reason the letters I keep sending your way get returned back to me unopened with the message “Santa does not live here anymore”. What’s that all about anyway?

Image taken from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/puzzler4879/6515661611/in/photolist-5Gx5P8-5VZWJw-v6gLm-ibUMDu-679Ynh-cBS5pQ-aVLtci-n8EExQ-yHtfH-6weW1P-4FfLUu-5xHsDX-5SQChF-66gPcn-aA9gsy-6hFXiG-bK4jh-7faf7U-95Gras-7PLfR-6AGr4F-94hMnJ-6FerxM-6EtKNV-7rjPAU-itJaGC-7f2E3C-5vLtnj-6JowTP-6dsN7p-7fbfyN-7fbfes-941f1K-bWSD9o-aPjS-uHwcF-3B3tEq-5LY9Bu-idFAdt-pu4144-85QN2a-5vTUrD-jtJxh-5KsUCj-3exZq7-dNXmFA-5UsLEf-q2qcB-dAEC7G-aZkBGa/

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Indian Allergies – I’ve lost count …

Oh that’s right – Part 3. As I am sure you’ve all been “eager beavers” the past two weeks, glued to your computer screens waiting for this (just say you have, okay) day, I’d like to start by apologising for the lapse in getting this post up.

I was trying to find an appropriate antihistamine for all these allergies and ended up blowing my lab up instead, so I got all the kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, platypuses, echidnas and other native Australian wildlife to help me rebuild but turns out belonging to the same region doesn’t automatically mean you all get along. Suffice to say, my lab is far from picture perfect.

Anyway, enough rambling – here goes:

14. Indians by nature can’t quite grasp the World’s excitement around recycling because we’ve been doing it for ages; we call it “Jugaad”. Similar to everything Indian, its use exceeds one, it’s not just recycled a gazillion times over already, it’s likely to be recycled till air particles appear more solid and it’s what most would term entrepreneurial. For us, it’s just about getting a particular job done really, so we’re allergic to how “trendy” recycling is for everyone else.

15. Alarm bells go off in our heads if someone tells us something is “not a problem” because clearly what they’re saying is we’re screwed tighter than the beer bottle cap you can never seem to pry open. First rule of thumb for anyone conducting business in my country is if they say “it’s not a problem” it’s a mother you know what of a problem. Good luck buddy because though you’re going to need it, even a horrendous hurricane hurled at you at a million miles per hour is child’s play, basically see you later, it was nice knowing you.

16. Indians are allergic to not having someone other than a family member help you out around the home. Household help is not a nice to have, it’s mandatory full stop. We are allergic to having to do things for ourselves when someone else can clearly be employed to do it for us. People may snicker and say we’re spoilt but seriously, it’s all part of the economy. My problem is when I get scolded for making the bed when I visit my grandparents’ house back home, I just can’t seem to get my little pea sized brain around how doing the right thing is wrong, but our (what seems to be) ancestral household assistant can still whack me on the bottom so hard, she’d put Mohamed Ali to shame!

17. We are allergic to not making up our own language and take extreme offence to anyone suggesting that the languages we have developed aren’t “proper” forms of communication. Hinglish is not a form of colloquial, cultural expression, it’s a language, see – even spellcheck knows it.

18. Indians are allergic to not attaching “yaar” to the end of each sentence – “It’s hot na yaar?”, “that’s cool yaar”, “you look so sexy in that yaar”, “that guy is totally checking you out yaar” … The list goes on but you get the picture. You don’t add “Yaar” to the end of a sentence which is a friendly version for pal; I’m just not feeling it.

19. You are NOT Indian if you do not discuss politics at every opportunity you get, especially around the dinner table. Every single one of us is a closet politician, just waiting to be discovered. You don’t like politics; we look at you through distrusting lenses because clearly you’re a fake Indian. If I can’t prove that, it is obviously a deep, dark conspiracy where you “fake” Indians are infiltrating us real Indians.

20. There is a reason we have articles written branding our breed of people as “Argumentative”. We will blow your ear drums meticulously “debating” why your point of view could not possibly be more incorrect even if you slit your wrists and bled out right here and now. Don’t believe me, check out this guy. Though some non-Indians are a little terrified of us, we just think it’s the nucleus of the many great inventions we claim to have designed.

21. Every Indian grandparent is convinced they were a Medical doctor in a previous life. We even have a phrase for it; it’s called “Dadi/Nani ke totke”. No matter how hard grandchildren protest against the injustice of the barbaric, uncivilised medical remedies, our pleas of torture are unheeded and often fall on deaf ears.

Sore throat? Don’t worry, my grandma will fix that for you with some Mendel’s Paint, just remember – your throat is the toilet and the medicine a toilet brush, sure your initial soreness is history, but that’s because you no longer have an oesophagus left.

22. Dear Hippies & Alternative Living Enthusiasts, Indians have been tree hugging for centuries, we kinda call it Ayurveda and again, what’s the big deal with it?

23. As a side bar, we also don’t really understand the difference between Pilates and Yoga but whatever.

24. And finally – drum roll, we respect our closest relative, the monkey, so we let them roam around freely, either that, or we’re shit scared of them. Nevertheless, monkeys and mankind live side to side more often than not in our country, sometimes not so peacefully but generally we do well with a limited amount of space

Okay, so there it is guys! What most of us are allergic to. You may now aptly celebrate that this tumultuous ordeal has reached its climax and if you feel like I’ve missed out on anything just give me a slap on the wrist and share, share, share.

See you later my beauties 🙂

P.S. For those of you in love/starting to fall insanely in love with other Indian experiences, I really urge you to take a look at these priceless blogs by some of the MOST talented bloggers on this forum (at least the ones I’ve found so far)! Enjoy!

http://verseherder.wordpress.com/

http://keeppicturing.wordpress.com/

http://thisfernweh.wordpress.com/

Could we be any more screwed?

A lot has happened in the World this week, as it does every week.

We’ve had a Soccer World Cup finish, Australian Swim Legend Ian Thorpe has come out as being gay, a few choice celebrities (no names being mentioned) have gone around doing what they do best, being social misfits and poor examples of role models for those who tinker on their seats edges wondering what their next moves are going to be, and something else I quite can’t recall. It’s on the tip of my tongue, so I’m guessing it’s semi important?

Oh that’s right, that little pesky thing the World is snappily entitling The Gaza Strip. Maybe not as catchy as Brangelina, but then again, it isn’t quite as important either, is it?

I mean how could an entire nation of people in devastating upheaval and pain, a clear brazen example of genocide occurring under our very noses in the twenty first century, a blatant demolishing of the very concept of human rights, truly compare to whether Germany actually deserved to take home the inanimate Gold Cup, the gender Ian Thorpe chooses to spend his private life and nights with, and whether Justin Bieber’s crotch shot was a misguided PR stunt? The answer is simple, it can’t.

It’s not bedazzling enough for all of us, sitting here comfortably in our arm chairs in our own little private havens with our fingers securely brushing our remote controls ready to tap the buttons lightly to change the channel every time a haunting image of what’s occurring in the Middle East has the audacity to interrupt our lives and assault our screens. I mean, how dare they? It’s happening a world away, why should I care?

I’m not here to make a statement on who’s right or wrong in this war occurring on the same planet we all share, but what I am incensed about is our extreme powers of “de-sensitsation”.

Who’s right or wrong is hardly significant really, what does matter though is the mammoth loss of life that the rest of us couldn’t care less about. I am met with a lot of anger and opposing comments every time I dare to broach this subject, you know the kind – scathing hate like “Why should we interfere?”, “They don’t want us to get involved”, “It’s their problem, not mine”, “If they’re too stupid to understand, that’s their fault”, and the undulating list rolls on.

Hailing from a nation that prides itself on never having invaded another’s home, I couldn’t agree more. The rest of us shouldn’t interfere, because the message that gives is that we don’t think you’re civilised enough to deal with this problem on your own, but how does that justify turning a blind eye to the pain and misery of our fellow brothers and sisters?

How does understanding, making our children aware of what seething animosity results in so that they learn that war and inflicting torture on one another is not the solution, not make this world and our conjoined futures better? How does not teaching one another that no matter what our creed, caste, and colour, that we share our basic human emotions of grief, agony and turmoil at losing a father, a mother, a brother, or sister and our children, not be an absolutely imperative lesson to study for all of us?

Is the media to blame? I think this is far too simplistic and just another brazen example of ‘passing the buck’, shifting responsibility onto someone else humans so easily partake in to feel better. As hungry devourers of news, why do the people so often forget that the real power lies firmly enclosed in our palms? The fact that you chose to click on the photograph brazenly displaying one of the Kardashian sister’s blaring bikini clad behind more than the one that excruciatingly portrays a mother’s incomparable desperate desolation at the loss of a child as she clutches her daughter or son’s lifeless, dismembered body to her bosom, begging for it all to stop while she cradles them both into oblivion, dictates what the media gives you.

It’s time we take a little bit of time out of our busy reality television watching schedules and participate in a little reality check of our own. Try and think about how it would feel to be in the middle of that tumultuous turbulence and what you’d experience if you truly believed you were all alone and that no one else cared enough to think, even in fleeting, about how your life was worthless.

This world is never going to improve if we don’t stop for a moment and think “what am I doing to make this better?” Make your voices heard people, the powerful in our society don’t own half as much as you believe they do and they know it. They’re just waiting for you to fight for your basic human right to tell them that.

You need to shut up sometimes

I am a big supporter of the age old adage of keeping your mouth shut if you have nothing worthwhile to say. Often, just because you can say something doesn’t necessarily mean you should go ahead and let it rip! I was never made more aware of this philosophy than in my first year of Journalism studies.

In the famous words of Stan Lee, “with great power there must also come great responsibility”, it is terrifyingly easy for those of us in journalism and the media to forget that we are in a very fortunate, but dangerous position of influencing a lot of people reading and/or listening to our work.

Our audiences are often poles apart – from the aged to the very informative young, those that blotch an entire spectrum of social status & class, and those who (though it may be a little disrespectful to admit, but how we journalists at times dissect our readership/listener base) vary in intelligence and simple, good old fashioned common sense (an increasing rarity in modern times unfortunately!).

Journalists wield a great amount of power that is directly correlated to the magazines, television stations, newspapers and other forms of media we work for. The freedom of speech act is a card pimped around a lot by journalists who often try to cover up what we write/say and as a human rights activist, I strongly agree with the ability to give a voice to those of us who are more often than not, ignored. But what about when that speech is treacherously bordering on inciting hate, discrimination, negativity and the blatant ability to bully an individual/organisation because they clearly aren’t in a position to provide a comeback?

I have been a part of very large Australian based publishing houses (as well as the number one arguably) and as much as I hate to admit it, I cringe at the “stories” that have been reported by some of the big guns I have written/worked for. It would seem that our media outlets are so brazenly deciding what is Gospel now, we no longer have to cloak our “opinions” as “newsworthy stories” for the greater good, because now what we say is what goes, similar to the common bullying antics repeated in the murky corners of the school playground of “it’s right because I say so”.

But it isn’t, is it? Journalism evolved from a noble concept, a strong belief that the people had the right to know, where events were presented as objectively and unbiasedly as humanely possible, where we trusted the integrity and intellect of our audience to shape their own perspectives and viewpoints. What changed? Why do we in the media feel the need to dictate what others think and who/what they should support in a world we pride ourselves on as democratic?

Are our viewers no longer knowledgeable enough to make up their own minds? I would strongly disagree. What I do believe however is that we in the media have, as all humans regretfully eventually do at the first sniff of it, become power crazy, hungry for more, devouring the possibility of ruling those who we can as much as we can.

History is testament to exploitation failing and that is the real reason I believe news is a dying phenomenon, not the reality television shows wrapping their tentacles over unsuspecting viewers’ minds the way some would have us believe.

The cancer attacking “real news” is the need to control, not the diminishing rationality of our potential audience. I would suggest that if we start presenting “real news” the way our virtuous profession set out to do when it started all those centuries ago, news will become cool again.

And until we can do that, could we please learn to think before we write/speak? There is no shame in shutting up sometimes.

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people

A beautiful quote by Mohandas Chand Gandhi ji. Why do we so often forget that we make our society? Let’s look within before we start pointing the finger on how we should improve our surroundings.