All posts tagged: family

I do?

One of the side effects of turning 21 is that the word ‘marriage’ seems to be floating in the air, all the time. It makes people emanate all kinds of sentiments – obsession, fantasy, detest, and the most boring, acceptance. Lately, too many of my discussions with people revolve around the subject, and I hope this post is going to be a closure.  Given how rapidly our Indian culture has progressed, generation gaps are so glaringly obvious. Apparently generation gaps work in multiples of 7, and on some level, I have started to notice that. Anyway, this cultural progression seems to have been segregated by community, and some orthodox ones are still in the 20th century phase of arranged marriage, where girls are showcased to boys and only one-sided approval is necessary. I won’t address such an outrageously ridiculous custom here.  Recently however, I had a long debate with a friend who compares arranged marriages to Swayamvaras of history. The similarity is uncanny, if you think about it. Back in the day, suitors would line …

The Aasha Build: Gift hope, build a home

Slumdog Millionaire has put the slums of India on the world map, albiet in an artistic way. Despite the obvious, it’s still hard to believe that some people don’t have a concrete roof over their heads, that they live in make-shift shacks even in this age and time. Apparently, India homes 17% of all slum-dwellers in the world, a figure which translates to about 170 million people! The odds are just slightly tilted in our favor.  If you have ever witnessed the poverty on India’s streets (in person or through CNN or BBC), I am sure you have wondered, even for a moment, if there was a way you could help. This is your chance. A few of us have started an initiative with Habitat for Humanity to build houses in a slum area in Devanahalli, on the outskirts of Bangalore, India. The 2 weeks we spend on site will involve an intensive 10 day build, with an aim of constructing 8 double-storeyed houses, sheltering 16 families or approximately 96 individuals. A house might sound trivial, …

happy diwali

To ye and to all, a Happy Diwali! Celebrations galore. Let there be lights and diyas, firecrackers and sparklers, and delightful, irresistible food. May the good in all of us taste victory over evil temptations, an end to an exile of hardship, pain and oblivion. It’s that time of the year again. The time when families come together and pray to the Goddess Lakshmi and the Lord Ganesha, for good luck and wealth, to our creator Vishnu, for happiness, and to Indra, for satisfaction. The time when homes, shops and streets glow with lights, hoping that the gods will find their way to our humble abodes. The time when evenings roar with crackers and the sky crackles with mini rockets, and kids jump around dancing sparks from anars and chakris. The time when all our world unites in a bright, loud, happy celebration. May this festival of lights enlighten our lives!

The Last Lecture

I suppose we all have our notion of how we’ll confront death, when the time comes. Carnegie Mellon (CMU) created a platform for its professors to imagine such a confrontation and gave us the invaluable gift of Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture. CMU’s tradition asks professors to imagine the end of their lives and address graduating students, sharing with them their philosophy of life and what they might have done differently if they could do it again. For CMU’s computer science professor, Randy Pausch, things were a little more real. He was diagnosed with cancer and given a few months to live. His Last Lecture was indeed his last.  Randy’s lecture was a keepsake. It did the rounds online and became one of the most inspiring, most viewed videos on youtube [The Last Lecture, view here].  “Under the rouse of giving an academic lecture, I was trying to put myself in a bottle that would one day wash up on the beach for my children. If I were a painter,  I would have painted for them. …