All posts tagged: World

Earth Hour 2009

To some of our minds, climate change is still a far-fetched issue, way out of our grasp and way beyond our time. Even as we speak, people are getting trapped in poverty and hunger all over the world. Our generation is suffering, and climate change is trying to make us reflect upon the well-being of future generations. I don’t know if it’s a just cause, but I do know that we are genetically coded to be futuristic. After all, we do all we do in our life time, so our race could survive further, consciously or sub-consciously. Above is a glimpse into climate change. If you have ever been awestruck by the picturesque view from a hill top, been hypnotized by the turquoise blue of the sea, or simply marvelled at the sheer beauty of the evening sky, you know that our planet is worth saving. You can read more on CNN’s exclusive section Planet in Peril. Earth Hour is an initiative by the WWF, that tries to urge each individual, household and organization to …

Coldplay Live in Singapore!

We didn’t get to heaven but we made it close.  This is going to be a really short post, because I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like seeing Coldplay perform live! Chris Martin is really awesomeness personified, with an unbelievable voice and a truckload of energy. *Bows* I am still suffering from Coldplay withdrawal symptoms, or as my friend would say, Coldstroke! I can still hear violet hill live in my head, I can still choke on Chris Martin doing fix you,  I am still speechless imagining the hardest part, I am still lost. What a concert! And in the end We lie awake And we dream We’re making our escape… Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Storytelling project || Instagram

The ides of March

Astrology has been a rampant theme in several Shakespearean plays, together with omens, folklores & superstitions. The soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar, “Beware the ides of March,”  has made today subconsciously linked with a sense of foreboding. Despite all science, the human mind can be trained to shun logic and stick to intuition.  Here’s a collection of some rather whacky superstitions from around the world: #1: Korea: Don’t wash your hair on an exam day. Apparently, people believed that when they washed their hair, their memories were cleaned by the water, making them forget the stuff they had studied. #2: Mexico, America: Counting stars will make your eyes look like those of a fish, or cause corns on your feet. #3: Korea: If you marry someone with a five years difference in age, you’ll fight with your spouse every day, but you won’t get divorced. If you marry someone six years older or younger than you, you and your spouse will live happily, but you will always be beggars.  #4: Russia: If you look in a broken mirror, …

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, …

Climbing Mount Kinabalu

Climbing the 20th highest peak in the world is probably my greatest achievement thus far! It was exciting, daunting, exhilarating and surreal, in that order. We started our climb via the Timpohon Gate, located 90 km from Kinabalu National Park, Borneo (East Malaysia). The first day’s target was to climb 6 km horizontally and 1300 m vertically. The initial stretch was relatively easy, alternating between clearings and small steps, amid tall trees and dense vegetation. The second half was slightly more taxing, with steeply inclined rocks and steps, where trees were gradually replaced by shrubs and bushes. The trick was to save as much energy as possible by finding an alternative way to climb the steps through rubble and using small rocks as stepping stones. The view became more scenic with height and we were shrouded in mist for certain stretches. I would typically describe it as breath-taking, but I must reserve the term for the summit.     It is mandatory for all climbers to spend the night at Laban Rata or one of its …

Viva la vida!

Good days are here. I am off to Malaysia early tomorrow morning, to scale the 4th highest peak in South East Asia – Mount Kota Kinabalu!  Coldplay is coming to Singapore! Yes, finally. I’m ecstatic at the thought of hearing them play Violet Hill live! 23rd March, here I come. I have 2 subsequent Malaysia trips brewing! Tentatively, Malacca and Cameron Highlands.  I am working on a community service expedition with Habitat for Humanity, to build homes for slum-dwellers in a village near Bangalore. We are in the midst of launching a social media campaign to create social awareness. Look out! And in the middle of all this excitement, I’m turning 21!  “The future looks so bright, we’ve got to wear shades…” Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a storyteller, writer, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan and environmentalist. But in my heart, I’m just a girl who travels! Check out my: First book || Storytelling project || Instagram

Vision for all

If you wear eyeglasses, I’m sure you can remember what it felt like the first time you wore them. Personally, I was in denial for 2 years before I got my first pair. My bespectacled self realized that my whole world had been a blur. Suddenly, everything was bright and all those blotches had defined shapes. I could see clearly again, thanks to Salvino D’Armate, peace be upon him. Unfortunately, millions the world over, and nearly 15 million people in India can never experience their first time. I shall resist brooding over how this affects their quality of life and how unfair the financial inequality in our country is. I will however mention that the aftermath of unaided poor vision is often blindness.  A while ago, a friend told me how some IIT students had found this problem an ingenious solution. Today, I stumbled upon a similar initiative by Lions Club International. Apparently it has been in place for over 80 years! I’m still blown away by the idea, and to prevent further anticipation, here goes: …

21 Blues

Dear world, 21 years ago, I crawled into your arms, a mess of blood, skin and life. My tiny imagination was awestruck by your splendor, your shapes, your sounds, your colors, your movements, your smells. I probably didn’t imagine it then, but it must have felt like home. My early memories are lost somewhere between jumbled lego structures and frowzy plasticine moulds. I grew up marvelling at the seasons, the sun, the stars and the flowers, even things that man had created, like photographs, the television and the phone. Then I got used to them.  Adolescence was a rocky phase and my sole aim was to emerge unscathed. In retrospect, I grew up too soon, taking things for granted, missing my chances to ask my questions. The world gradually changed from colors and sounds, to people and nature and science, to dishonesty and selfishness and inequality.  World, now I stand before you, 21 trivial years in me, and pray that I may become a child again. I want to be enamored by your majesty again. I …

No more evil

Randy Pausch wrote in The Last Lecture, “Find the best in everybody. Just keep waiting no matter how long it takes. No one is all evil. Everybody has a good side, just keep waiting, it will come out… Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress you.”   It never struck a chord with me, until now. The negativity in me had set my default mode to ‘don’t trust’, ‘the world is bad’ and ‘people are guilty’, until proven otherwise. Small gestures, strangers, life, does change the way we look at things, and sometimes for the better. I’ve realized that the world is not all bad and not all evil, but we have to believe that before we start to see it. I think I’m starting to believe it. It’s the beginning of a new phase for me, one that I hope will outlast all the hatred. Evil really lies in the eyes of the beholder. It’s a nice world from hereon. Shivya NathWelcome to my blog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been called a …

Teacher Man

Frank McCourt has given a new dimension to teaching in this non-fictional account. He writes about teaching and learning and teaching to learn and learning to teach. McCourt’s journey is rooted in Ireland, from where he seeks to rise in the minds and hearts of the students in New York’s public schools, through his unconventional, inspiring approach to teaching. As he explores his own identity, he accepts that teachers don’t have all the answers, and that is only human. His creative writing class reads and sings cooking recipes, his English class discusses Little Bo Peep! Even when we don’t relate to the Irish life or the NY adolescents, we end up becoming a part of the Teacher Man phenomenon. The racy, decryptable writing makes you belong in McCourt’s classes. His humble, inquisitive approach to teaching makes you want to learn, as though it comes from choice and not force. Great teaching, great writing and very inspirational. If you’re a student, it will give you a new perspective on learning. If you’re a teacher, you’ll want …