Saturday, March 31, 2018

Appreciation for cultural diversity is essential for our co-existence !

This weekend I had an opportunity to witness whole world under one roof at Mexican Heritage Plaza at San Jose. Kudos to the creative director, partners and producers who were successful in bringing world culture in one and half hours time, unbelievably astonishing.

"The beauty of the world lies in the diversity of its people"

I loved how every show we begin with a prayer it's part of the culture and here the way it was done was unique where small kids were performing Dindi, the folk dance of Maharashtra and it is a religious ecstasy - meets the purpose of prayer and the folk dance and I felt I was home :).
As I was in emotions when the entry of Congo dancers performing Denadon Africana - a flavor of Africa. Music is one such thing that one doesn't have to know the technicalities of dancing because the music does its work for you and you unconsciously dance to the tune.

I have to applaud the cute little girls performing the opera figures representing China - Ah..mazing! What a perfection in every move. It was beautiful like a bud when its flowering and as it does each petal unfolds into an amazing dance from a different country and how all these petals make a beautiful flower together.
 

There were lot of dances that I had only head about and this was a moment where one can feel the completeness of art and culture coming together. I could feel the power of humans. How powerful we are with our unique culture and that too so colorful and vibrant.


It had the dominance of Indian dances from different parts of India such as Garba, Raas leela, Kaikottikali, Chari, Bhangra, Giddha, Jhumar and I just went to the thought that in school we were told how lucky we are to be in a country where you have all four seasons and so many cultural heritage - indeed!


I am sure this is not only about India, other countries too have their own cultural heritage which we are only getting a glimpse of it. The beautiful dance Coco and Samba no pe from Brazil, Scottish country and highland dancing, Hula, Blooming waterlilies Chinese representation of love for nature, Kalilang from Philippines, Fiesta Tapatia from Mexico,  it was just amazing. How proud we human should be about ourselves. We talk about racism, why should we have any such things we have so many great things besides this creativity in arts and culture that we can make useful to bring solidarity and peace.

"We all smile in the same language" :)


I just loved the jamming session of drummers from Africa, Brazil and India - it was a classic piece!!! I felt it was short, wish the intermission could have been delayed !!! 


Hats off to Sangam Arts in collaboration with Xpressions to bring all these under one roof that too in a collaborative way where Fiesta Tapatia dancers before exiting welcome the bhangra dancers and they exit after dancing few steps of bhangra - it was a pleasure to the eyes and soul.

The more we are international the more we want to see such things where any color any race can participate and represent any culture any country - That was a true multicultural Mosaic of the Valley!

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences" ~ Audre Lorde

~ Dawn

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Be happy and live happy...!



 A poetry for the Nutrition month of the year for Hyde Park Poetry @ Thursday poets rally.

Life can be dramatic,
Weather can be tragic,
News can traumatize,
What can you do at times?
People can be mean,
A character or disdain, 
Its in everyone's gene,
What can you do?



The world may torn apart,
Your ways can go apart,
Think one thing in life,
Nature also rejuvenates,
After every stormy night,
Eat healthy, sleep well,
Nourish your soul,
Nourish your body,
Regain your strength,
Empower your life,
Add one ingredient,
Need good nutrition,
To lead your life,
The healthy you are,
Most wealthy you are,
To face this world,
Gain your inner strength,
Feed your life,
Be happy and live happy,
Until you die ;)

~ Dawn


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that...!!!

Today I marched in support of the student's movement 'Our lives matter', 'March for Our Lives', protest against guns and gun violence. It's funny that when I was growing up, I never had to get into any such activity. What I love about my childhood is that there might be great matters that adults involved in bringing their voice together but as a child in school I never had to protest or do a march against anything and I take that as a blessing for my life in those days.
Imagine today's kids are not only stressed about getting good grades or understand a particular problem or concept for exam but also worry about their existence ... being alive.


It's a shame on us!!! We enjoyed our childhood and didn't make sure that it continues the same or better for our next and many future generations to enjoy that childhood in peace. I have marched for many such protests in this country and each time it was for an equality cause. Sometimes it was due to the inequality, for LGBTQA, for Women and now for Children - it breaks my heart. I was marching along and on and off my eyes fill with tears because whenever I think or see a child I go back to my days and its such a pleasure to be there that I have often said to myself - "wish I could go back and pause that moment".

"Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding." ~ Martin Luther King Jr. 

It's sad when I see kids marching for their lives.
Many motivational speeches were made by students, teachers, and representatives and then someone gave a speech calling out the President of America as the "orange guy". It put me off there and then itself. 
What are we talking about? Peace? Equality? When are we going to learn to respect one another? When? You talk about change and equality and peace but at the same time you put a racist remark and there goes your equality, change and peace. 

"An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind"

People take anger and courage as one, people were marching against gun laws and the anger is towards the current administration but I don't think one can solve anything with anger.
It was amazing how the crowd out there was all about peace and for the children when two students came to me and said can we ask a question and I said sure!

"Do you think there should be cops in schools for protection"?, my answer straight came from my heart as 'No'!
Because school should not need protection. Schools need more facility and support for education. You need more teachers, students, principal and books. There is no need of guns, a protection as long as teachers are doing their job of teaching and protecting the kids. I went to a school in India and my school don't have a cop, military or even a gun. The students completely agreed with my opinion as they also felt there is no need of another armed personnel in the school.

I strongly believe, to bring real peace we need to love our enemies. It is tough but we have to be realistic and think about it before its too late. Love your enemy because hatred is only going to bring hatred, anger and revenge then. Let's not call anyone names, lets be human and ask for peace! March only for PEACE!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

~ Dawn

Monday, March 19, 2018

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone...!

It's amazing to do reflection and I used to do this as a kid sitting on my study table. The table was a huge one and those days it was made of teak wood the expensive one. In front of the table was a window and I always used to get carried away by nature, sometimes clouds, sun rays, birds chirping or even the cat who is looking for its prey.

"We don't learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on what we have done."

The mind has no limitation and so does the heart, I always felt we are only guiding this body in one or the other way as if this mind and heart as a huge responsibility to carry them to their destination.
In this world if I relate then I feel we take them until they leave this body here and move to next journey after catching the flight called death ;).


Life should have changes, should have ripple effects or else it's boring. That's how I have felt. If there is nothing new then its not fun and probably that's the reason when everything was good in India with my job, I felt that I need to take that one way ticket to an unknown destination. Today I feel good about that decision because that one step helped me to take many more such steps in life to keep going.

"Life is about trusting your feelings, taking chances, finding happiness, learning from the past, and realizing everything changes."

We are responsible for our actions and I do believe if your heart agrees with your decision then its matter of mind to make sure things work as per the heart. I guess that's what is my guiding principle. When heart is not happy then what the hell mind is going to do? The monotonous routine and I get bored with that. 

"Change is the only constant in life " ~ Heraclitus

Today as I am coming back after a farewell meet, I asked myself - do you feel that you took a quick decision to leave? do you think you had a smooth job and a continuation and you just dropped it? My heart without taking any time to think spontaneously said, I am happy that I have something new to look forward to. I did my best what I can give and if I don't have anything more to give then it's better to move on to somewhere else. 

I need change and only I can bring that to myself hence a very timely decision I feel. No matter how old one gets its the craving for learning is what keeps you young and heck yeah I want to learn more and be young too :). As I said, mind and heart are the ones who don't age. It's the body that these heart and mind are carrying.

Time for a new journey with new sightseeing and adding new stories to life. I welcome this change in my life and embrace it with love.

"Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, know what's even scarier? Regret."

As I embark on my new journey, I am taking lot of lessons learned from my previous journey and going to miss the people to whom I touched and who have touched me as well.
This journey has taught me about so many things, about people, their emotions, their reactions, sometimes how people mix profession and personal life, and sometimes you just learn how things work and how things doesn't work because we don't think from heart. 

I talk to my heart at times
It's good to be happy and nice
But then there's a place and time
When it hits the peak of love
You know it's time to say goodbye
You good until you're welcomed
Or else you get kicked sometimes

I think change is good, it brings happiness, new beginnings and hence it keeps it exciting. 

Should all acquaintance be forgotten and never brought to mind?

"You can't truly understand something until it happens to you. The meaning of life is discovered in the experience."

~ Dawn


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Happy Birthday Dear Rahi :)



It’s Happy International Women’s Day today, yet for me it’s special because it’s my Son Rahi’s birthday.
Each year on birthdays a mother walks the journey again from the day she conceived her child. It’s a path that no mother gets tired or bored of because in each year the journey becomes more interesting and meaningful with memories. With each year, I see him growing more aware yet challenging. Sometimes, I have all the answers for him to think rationally yet sometimes I am speechless to his questions which make me wonder at times.
“Why do we have to go to school, why can’t I just come to your office and work?”
Sometimes you find it cute and sometimes you think is there something that I should worry about?

“From the moment they placed you in my arms, You snuggled right into my heart”

After all a mother is a mother who has always fear and worry to make sure her child is safe and sound in this mean world.
I am proud to see Rahi, being polite yet telling those kids who bully him and his other classmates, how not to hurt the feelings.
When I visit his school for field trips or color runs, the mothers of his classmates come and appreciate Rahi, I feel content.
I want my kids to love and spread the love across the world even where there is hatred.
Looking at Rahi who is 11 now, makes me feel my son is growing up yet his feminist thoughts and support for the needy makes me feel how matured he is getting.

“Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore”

Rahi, you not only surprise me with your every day story from school, you also make me proud of you for who you are. I loved when you wore Katie Perry’s t-shirt and boys in your class bullied you, you stood up for yourself and didn’t hesitate to wear it again even though I reminded you of the bully. I like the way you ignore certain things and I do love the way you share small things that took place in your class. It only makes me happy and teary with joy.
Rahi,I wish you a very happy birthday and I will say never change because I would not want you to change anything about yourself for anyone in this world.
You are so pure and pious in your heart that you melt everyone’s heart. Those who bully you also know this and hence sometimes they are jealous of you. Be patient with them as they need some time to understand and realize about things that they don’t think of many times.
We don’t know what they are going through in their life and hence they react in certain way which hurts others in many ways.

“My Son you may have outgrown my lap but you will never outgrow my Heart”

I see many times your leadership skills when you talk to your seniors and your classmates telling how not to bully or say bad words for girls and how to respect them just like how you would do to your sisters and moms. You make me feel a boy like you is always a joy ;)

“Son, may every dream and wish you have not only come true but also lead to an amazing future for you”

A very happy 11th birthday to you Rahi!

~ Dawn

Even I can fly..!



Before budding,
and during flowering,
Many transitions, 
phases and emotions
processing through. 
After flowering,
while withering, 
petals falling with,
 fear of heights,
many emotions,
wrapped in mind,
gulping humiliation,
mental torture,
fear of ambiguity,
the discomfort coats
of life.
The time came, 
from kneeling I stood up
threw away the coat,
of fear and discomfort,
didn’t let worry to reside in,
yet the freedom is far away,
but the very thought of it,
brings the sight of joy,
and feel the pain of kayak,
yet at the end of it,
Even I can fly, 
Spreading my wings high.
~ Dawn

A Bart ride one afternoon...

This afternoon for some reason instead of taking Uber I decided to take Bart. When you are not used to public transport for long ti...