A to Z Challenge - Apr 2019

X for Xenophobia

In case you are wondering what the word means, the dictionary describes it as “a fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures or strangers”.

Is it just me, or do you also feel that as much as the world is becoming a global village and all that, people are growing narrower in their mindsets?

What else do you think explains Brexit? Or Trump being elected? I mean, sure, there are plenty of other factors hovering around. But this is the simplest one-word explanation. Those two cataclysmic phenomenons happened because people gave in to their worst fears about immigrants in their land gorging on their resources. In spite of the world being your oyster, and all sorts of people travelling everywhere, open mindsets are still a dream. Atleast to a large extent.

Don’t even get me started on how we treat foreigners in India. And this, in the land of “Athithi devo bhava”. Guest is God, it seems. Don’t make me laugh. As if the number of women foreigners (irrespective of skin colour being harassed, molested or raped) wasn’t horrifying enough, there is also the horror many face while even trying to live as expats in our land. Ok, and what about our immigration policy to those less fortunate than us? Even worse!

Ok so don’t get me wrong. I am not saying let everybody in and let everyone do what they want. Of course we adhere to rules. But sometimes we need to look inward to confront our inner prejudices. Before we scream about Indians facing racism in other countries, it might be a great idea to pause and take a moment to address our own biases.

After all, change needs to start from within first.

A to Z Challenge - Apr 2019

W for Weird

I have often wondered, what makes us decide whether something or someone is weird. There is no such thing as universal acceptance anyway. What is weird for one may be perfectly alright for another.

I am talking about the recent costumes for the MET gala. Sure they are supposed to be outlandish as possible and fit the theme of the year, which in this case is Camp: Notes on Fashion’. I quote: “The essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural : of artifice and exaggeration”.

Technically speaking, the costumes were on point. But for the a lot of the plebian world, they became a laughing stock. For most people, including yours truly, who are not fashion divas or experts, the costumes range from risqué to ridiculous.

But the event is prestigious anyway. And this will keep happening every year. Another such prestigious event is le Bal des Débutantes where young damsels make their debut of sorts, on display before the world. As an article in the media says, “Debutantes are hand picked and come from well-known families in entertainment, business and politics, and have included the controversial as well.” Here too, designers vie with each other to create the best outfits for the girls. The families come together for an evening of dance and merry making.

Is it really necessary to have such an event? It may have made sense two centuries ago where the idea is to introduce the girls to the world and probably push them into match-making. But in today’s age and time when kids are measured by so much more than their appearance at a ball? I guess some things work the way they are deemed to, irrespective of how weird they seem.

They are certainly beyond the comprehension of you and me. Us peasants, what a sorry bunch I tell you! 😉

Now excuse me while I cuddle up with in my bunny pyjamas with some hot chocolate and watch some of my favourite shows/movies before sleeping!

Does that sound weird too? I’ll let you be the judge.

A to Z Challenge - Apr 2019

V for Vision

How many of us have it? Vision, however small it be, for our lives? About how our lives should shape up over a period of so many months or years.

I used to. From my teenage years. There were grand ideas and plans of how each step would be taken. Where I would study, what I would take up, how life would turn out, where I would settle. And every time things went awry, I’d get upset and search for reasons as to why it happened and how I could avoid it.

This happened over and over again for different circumstances over the course of a decade. Until I realised that over planning is clearly a waste of time since life has its own path anyway. But it is something difficult for me to let go since micromanagement is in my nature, especially for charting future territory.

If I could go back in time, I’d simply tell my younger self that it’s ok to let go, relax and enjoy the moment. While it’s good to have an overall vision of how life should turn out (and work hard to achieve it as well), it’s a bad idea to stick to this plan and get upset when things deviate. Because, as obviously life taught me, nothing goes according to plan. Atleast 90% of the time it doesn’t.

There are a lucky few for whom things happen exactly as they should. One after the other the pieces of puzzle fall neatly into places. But for others, all we can do is hope for the best, and make do with what we get.

What about you? Do you have a vision or are you simply making it through one day at a time? Have things fallen into place exactly the way you want them to, ever?