I gazed across the emerald green grass that stretched in front of me , and loved what I saw. The coconut trees swayed gently in the morning breeze, which was crisp and biting- just nice for me to take in a long,deep inhale, when I was pleasantly distracted by a joyful swarm of cheerful sparrows chasing each other, accompanied by a delightful, musical chorus of sweet tweets.

Butterflies were flitting about merrily, dewdrops on leaves reflecting the sunlight and scattering it into a spectrum of colors, ants busy scurrying along, the calico cat lazing on the ledge, and everything was just as it should be- beautiful and perfect!

I felt blanketed with a cloak of peace with this blissful scenario and didn’t want to lose the feeling of extreme sublimity. I asked God why the world couldn’t be like this every day-no disturbance, no drama, no distress.

Then I shifted my gaze to my neighbors’ on my left and saw them arguing over a cockerel that had wandered across to the other compound. I moved my gaze to the right and heard another neighbor raising his voice in defense of his intention to putting up a dog house near his adjoining wall. Someone had thrown some garden refuse on the side pavement of his neighbors’ pathway, and another was furious because somebodys’ dog had pooped in front of his driveway!

I turned my eyes up towards the skies and questioningly said, ‘See, this is what I was talking to you about!’

One of the most complex equations of all times is the eternal equation of marriage. It has its good, the bad, and the ugly side of it all rolled into seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months and years! We live on, accepting each other’s shortcomings, often pretending they never existed, or addressing and dealing with them, though it rarely guarantees solutions.

I had absolutely no idea what a perfect marriage was! Is there even such a thing? I can only speak for myself. It was no easy matter when I entered a whole new landscape of moving into my mother-in-law’s home, a new family, and new friends. Just shy of having turned 22 and leaving my parents, who were the other extreme of the word,’ overprotective’, I was totally lost! I had no opportunity to prepare meals, as my MIL had a cook, who also did all the housekeeping. Therefore, there was very little I could do except read books and accompany my MIL to watch Tamil movies!

Everything took on new meaning when I found myself expectant with our firstborn. I was so blessed not to experience morning sickness, nausea, etc., therefore I enjoyed my pregnancy and felt totally pampered! I immersed myself in the joy and anticipation of the arrival of our baby. I loved shopping for baby clothes and month by month, I purchased all the necessary paraphernalia required. Baby clothes are so adorable-tiny vests, cute little booties, soft mittens, and baby toiletries that smelled heavenly! I just loved looking at them, touching them, and feeling them against my skin!

Our firstborn decided to knock on the door to the outside world a week before she was due to make her entrance. Turned out the world was not yet ready to welcome her! A week later, she made her debutante entry. I wouldn’t say it was the most wonderful experience-that came later! But it’s so true when it is said a mother forgets all the pain and agony she went through the moment she rests her gaze on her newborn’s countenance!

The long journey of motherhood/parenthood is a rollercoaster of emotions, expectations, disappointments, joyous moments, sadness, anxiety, patience, tears, laughter, and most of all an amazing classroom of lessons learned, some that correct you, some that caution you, some that wisen you, some that changes you, and some that transforms you!

During this stretched-out expedition, I turned out to be somebody I had trouble recognizing! In many ways, I had morphed into a confident, protective, encouraging, calm mother, and in other ways, I had to adopt a strict frontage when it came to disciplining and navigating my children through the maze of life, which had ever so many pitfalls and dead ends.

There were times when I had to wear a different cloak for different levels of parenting. Should I be strict and permit them to be home by 10 or should I be a tad lenient and stretch it to midnight? Having been an overprotected child, I rarely had the freedom to meet my friends outside of my home. This brought out the freedom lover in me and I wanted my children to enjoy the kind of life I didn’t have, without breaking the limits of decency.

My spouse, on the other hand, was the typical protective father. The standing joke in our family is that he used to sit out on the porch, cigarette in hand, a drink in the other, and wait patiently for our daughter’s to return home, while I was peacefully asleep. The reason why I rarely worried about my girls was that I was convinced that they would be safe and in good company, and I trusted my girls !

I believe one never really knows how good a parent one can be or desires to be. You do the best you can. No parent would intentionally hurt their children. It’s always for the good of the children, according to your yardstick, and you always act out of love.

The years have flown by-our children are parents now with children of their own. We have the whole house to ourselves. I like it this way. I enjoy the gentle quietness, time is mine to use as I wish, I am my own boss, I have no urgency to hurry and do anything, I enjoy undivided attention from my spouse, and we have made our home our sacred sanctuary, peaceful, lush, and sublime.

I’m rather possessive about my space- I treasure the time spent in orbiting within my self-created bubble, allowing me the luxury of losing myself in a dreamlike world, where I am the sole occupant. A space where no one has access but me. In this quiet, self-created realm, I find myself. The self who loves to dream, fantasize about how beautiful this world actually is, and try to look at life through the right lenses.

This is my time, my alone time, where I have make-believe conversations with God, flowers and plants, insects, and other creatures in my garden. I like to talk when no one is listening. Sounds weird, right? Yet, there is something very comforting about it!

I don’t need everything or a lot of things, a few basic amenities and creature comforts. I can honestly say I don’t know the true meaning of life and why we even exist, but because we do, we carry on the best we know how. Life can be very painful if we allow it to overwhelm us, and yet there are so many things we have no control over.

Sometimes my mind is flooded with a hundred questions, and at other times I tell myself not to get all flustered about things beyond my comprehension. Go with the flow became my life’s motto and I try to abide by it.

So peeps, when things get a bit overwhelming, remind yourself that this too shall pass. Don’t beat yourself about it.

Find yourself in the chaos.

Embrace and conquer!

When feminism became a thing, it started off with the right motive and with good intentions. Basically, it stemmed from women who felt they were underrated, unappreciated, and undervalued, especially in the workplace, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

They expounded on the importance of equal wages, opportunities to be represented in the political arena, and to hold leadership positions- in short, feminism is about ‘all’ genders, not just the feminine gender, enjoying equal rights and opportunities, including giving women access to male-dominated roles.

It is about respecting diverse women’s experiences, identities, knowledge, and strengths, and striving to empower all women to realize their full potential and exercise their rights.

An early example of feminism was the women who fought for their right to vote. Some of the biggest issues in feminism are leadership and political participation, ending violence against women, greater access to education, the right to initiate divorce proceedings, and the right for women to make individual decisions concerning their bodies regarding pregnancy, including access to contraceptives and abortion.

What did women do in the past to avoid unwanted pregnancies, when they had never even heard of contraceptives? Were they resigned to continue having babies?

Women were created to be physically less strong than men, and yet, ironically, they can withstand the excruciating pain of childbirth, which is several degrees more painful than …. Our Creator chose women to carry Life and bring it forth into the world, because He knew we could do it!

Because of their physical setback, women have been mercilessly subjected to domestic violence and other horrific forms of physical abuse including rape, especially in poorer countries.

In some parts of the world, girls and women have no freedom to move around freely, with no access to education,leave alone the Internet. One of the worst forms of discrimination women and girls still face from time immemorial is period poverty and the stigma that accompanies it. Why is something which is a part of creation never understood, but instead regarded as dirty, untouchable, and disgraceful? This stems from a lack of education and ignorance!

Men, don’t forget, you were born because of this. If there is anyone you should question, it is our Creator.

I call myself a feminist, but not to its extremity. I am proud of being a female. I feel somehow special because I was blessed to have a father and a husband who supported me in every way possible and protected me when the need arose.

I strongly support women who have come into the knowing, that they finally want to break away from the chains that have bound them for so many decades. They long to breathe the fragrance of freedom of choice, freedom to express, freedom to be in control of their life, freedom to not marry or have children, freedom from sexual abuse…..etc.

The law must provide a special ruling to keep women protected from perpetrators. Eve-teasing must be banned and rapists to be given life imprisonment without parole. Society needs to respect all women. Parents must never undermine their daughters and instead give them equal importance as their sons. Respect for the feminine starts from the grassroots, from the family unit. When the family support is strong, the female feels confident and valued. She feels incredibly precious. Her self-worth is doubled, even tripled and this equips her with the supreme capacity to offer the world her best contributions!

The world will benefit from her intelligence and her prowess to solve the most difficult of problems. She will not go to war for the slightest excuse, instead, she would exercise diplomacy in the best possible way. She will ensure peace reigns supreme!

Feminism does not mean that women want to prove they are better than men, no, we are not competing with men, we only want to be treated and respected on equal grounds. We are all humans and there should be no discrimination or preferential differentiation. Equal rights, equal respect. That’s all !

Give her a chance and you will be astounded by what the Feminine is capable of achieving for the benefit of mankind!

I believe she can change the world!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are solely the writer’s and are not intended to discriminate or offend anyone in particular.

Is it an Asian thing? To pay extra or special attention to the male offspring and not as much to the female ?

It is common knowledge that in some Asian households, the female child’s arrival into the world/family was and is still greeted with mixed feelings. Instead of focusing on the child’s health on arrival, depending on the era she was born in, she was either looked upon as a future burden or as a blessing to her parents. This kind of thinking gave rise to an urgency to equip future generations of females with the necessary education to become independent, self-sufficient and thrive.

In poorer families, a girl child is not very welcome. Take the case of a farmer. He has his hopes for his son to assist him in his livelihood, tilling the land, raising and harvesting the crops, and taking care of him in his old age.

On the other hand, the girl child requires protection due to her vulnerability, and as soon as she matures, time is not wasted in getting her married off to some guy. She becomes a cook, cleaner, and child bearer for her husband who expects her to slave for him.

Girls in villages are barely allowed to be educated, let alone be independent. Ironically, in some countries, where female gods are worshipped and revered, a female child is regarded as an expensive and unwanted burden! This just doesn’t add up!

Families which strictly follow customs and traditions are burdened with saving money and jewelry towards the dowry and other expenses for the wedding. It is the girls’ parents who are custom-bound to foot the bill and make all the preparations to ensure their daughter is given away with pride and dignity.

All this has slowly changed, and is still changing. Narrow mindsets have broadened, women are standing up for themselves, and parents are determined to equip their daughters with the necessary education for them to become empowered individuals. Thanks to adequate exposure through the internet, social media etc, girls from rural areas are attending school, qualifying for scholarships, and bold enough to venture into the city to pursue promising careers.

In most Asian households, even the affluent ones, the male child is generally favored over the female child. I remember a friend of mine who refuses to allow her son to enter the kitchen, lay the table, or wash the dishes. It was a girl’s responsibility, she said! She literally carried her son on her head! Now, this boy grows up with the mindset that all women belong to the hearth and home, and her primary responsibility is to look after her man’s needs. A man’s duties are clear cut and a woman’s duties are clear cut. Really? How will he ever respect his wife as an equal?

Gone are the days when the girl child stayed at home and waited for her parents to get her married. Todays girls are emancipated with a burning desire to expound her inborn, dormant talents! She is bursting with ambition and self-worth! She knows she has what it takes to be a purpose-driven individual who has much and more to offer to the world!

She is a special person, with her own dreams and aspirations. Will she be given the freedom to pursue career opportunities or should she have to shelf them till she has birthed all her children?

A well-known saying goes like this- ‘A son is a son till he gets a wife, a daughter is a daughter all of her life’! Yes, I believe there is some truth to this. In my family, it has always been my sisters and I who looked after my parents the most in their latter days.

I have been extremely fortunate to have had parents who never practiced the dowry system. They believed in educating us daughters, and gave us the freedom to choose our life partners.

The favouring of sons over daughters is slowly fading away. Education and exposure has helped in removing such debilitating mindsets. Today, womens roles are no longer confined to the home alone, and the doors to the international arena welcomes the participation and contribution of women to society and the world.

Mothers-in-law- a word of caution to those of you who treat your daughters-in-law like they were born to slave for your beloved sons, you and your husband included. Remember, you are also a woman, and you are also somebody’s daughter and somebody’s daughter-in-law. Treat your daughter-in-law exactly how you would want to be treated. When your daughter-in-law has her own daughter, don’t you ever look down on her, express your displeasure or show her any indifference. Women must always support women and inspire each other.

To all sons, brothers, husbands and fathers-in-law, remember you were born of a woman. She gave you existence and nurtured you. She sacrificed her body and her life for you. Love and respect your Mother, your Grandmother,your Sister, your Girlfriend, your Wife and every other woman you know.

After 15 long years, a visit to Ipoh by a very dear friend of mine granted me the opportunity to meet her for under 30 minutes. She was able to squeeze this precious gap into her rather tight schedule which made it possible for us to meet at a nearby mall. The emotions we both experienced when we came face to face proved that distance and ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ does not exist within the true bonds of deep friendship. We just picked up from where we left off after all these years!

We were both overwhelmed, at the same time both trying to brave tears that would have otherwise spilled over. A wonderful 30 minutes passed with quick exchanges of news and other pleasantries. This lovely friend of mine is currently diagnosed with cancer. Prior to seeing her, I thought I would be encountering a battered and sadly forlorn woman, instead I was amazed to see her beautiful face break out into the sweetest smile, and her aura was positively glowing!

She looked rather chic with her blondish hair which crowned her head about less than an inch from her scalp, and her skin looked smooth and blemish-free! I told her how great she looked! I didn’t lose much time in expressing my admiration for her and her devoted husband, who was her main support system, besides her daughter, and other family members.

I loved what I saw and silently reminded myself that these are lessons of courage that we can learn from. It must be extremely painful and heart-breaking to fall victim to a devastating disease like cancer, and it takes a load of courage, tenacity, faith, determination, and hope to keep your nose above water, to tell yourself that there is no way you are going to allow yourself to sink.

I saw that mental, physical, and spiritual support from family is crucial to assisting tremendously in the healing process for the patient.

I saw that spousal love was like the lifebuoy which provides buoyancy to the patients sinking spirits and prevents the person from drowning in a conflicting, emotional mire.

I saw that ‘never say never’ label fiercely written across her face. She is one of a kind, a true warrior!

I have four other beautiful friends, all of whom are currently fighting the same battle! They are not about to give in. They are the Joan of Arc of present times, fully armoured in battle regalia, wielding their shield and sword, warding off the cancerous enemies from taking permanent residency within their personal space.

I pray these wonderful friends of mine will emerge from their personal battles victorious and free from further invasion.

Praying with intense faith, belief and hope will always triumph!.

Hi beautiful souls!

You have been so amazing for reasons only known to you and me. We have seen ourselves through 2022, through ups and downs, rushed to the hospital in an ambulance, lost jobs, struggling to bring food to the table, cutting corners to pay our bills, etc. We have been through the toughest and most challenging of times, including fighting Covid, to say the least!

Some of us have fallen prey to the ravages of nature-floods that have washed away homes, personal possessions, including ones dignity and self-worth. Others have lost loved ones in landslides and other natural disasters.

2022 has bowed out and made her exit from the arena to make way for 2023. What will the new year hold for us? Will 2023 promise us a better life? More peace, less trauma? Do we not see that it is just another day in the calendar of Life, that it is just a continuation of the last day of 2022 into another day, where the sun will rise and set as always? Still, the human spirit never gives up because of that one amazing, optimistic quality called Hope!

2022 was a cauldron of mixed herbs and spices. There were some sweet, some pungent, some sour, some bitter, some salty, and some savory moments.

I was motivated to start a vegetable garden. The idea took root and sprouted in my heart and gave way to heavenly Bok Choy, Potato leaves, Chilli, Tomatoes, Bay leaves, Curry leaves, and Onion sprouts! The joy of welcoming the first show of young, tender sprouts was all-consuming!

The family responded to the urgent call for provisions for my eldest daughter’s rescue dogs. We rallied together and helped raise the necessary funds for feeding the mouths of about a hundred canine cuties! There’s nothing quite like family support when one needs it!

We were blessed by a friend who came to our rescue when our washing machine flopped, and when our electric gate refused to budge! Folks have been so kind and helpful when you least expect it.

Some of our very close friends called to visit after dinosaur years! What a delightful time we had catching up and closing the gap of disconnection caused by years of Covid disruption!

Our son visited after 3 years. He surprised us by doing a quiet inspection of what he could find around our home that needed replacement. That explained the new garden hose, the shoe rack, a cool cutting board, and fresh linen, amongst others!

Amidst all of this, my spouse and I fell ill with Covid-like symptoms! We felt so helpless as we wanted to make his favorite dishes and do a little sightseeing, instead, he was faced with looking after our needs! Of course, we were very grateful!

The demise of my daughters pet pooch and a dear nephew of mine tore us to emotional shreds!

A most welcome visit by our youngest daughter and her spouse came like a breath of fresh air! We were meeting after 4 long years! We enjoyed many days of cozy conversations and rib-tickling laughter.

This year I saw more than a handful of my very dear girlfriends fall prey to cancer. What struck me the most was that each one of them presented herself as a shining example of courage and tenacity. I have the deepest respect and admiration for these amazing women! It is no small wonder they are well on their way to recovery.

December, the last month of 2022, turned out to be quite nerve-wracking! My husband had a ‘hypo situation’, meaning his sugar(glucose) level in his blood dropped drastically. He was trembling, incoherent, and disoriented. I called a close friend and doctor, who handled the situation very professionally and had my husband admitted to the nearby hospital. Thank God, he is fully recovered and back home. It was a scary time for me.

Situations like the above led me to feel like the victim, trapped and dwelling in all kinds of unwelcome thoughts and fears of being left alone. I reminded myself I should stay connected to my higher self, I need to raise my vibration, feel good and not project a victim consciousness. The ego loves to thrive in the realm of victim consciousness. My inner voice asks why am I afraid? What do I have to clear to make myself rise?

An amazing lesson I learnt was God’s way of distancing unwanted people who have moved away from my life. I have no need for them and they for me.

Another important lesson was to be God-conscious at all times, under any and all circumstances, to always be aware of His presence. This keeps me in check.

Another great lesson was that we are given second chances to make amends for our bad behavior, and our wrongdoings, to fix things, and to reverse karma! We must recognize this and make the necessary changes!

I also learned to accept that I cannot always change the things I didn’t like and refrain from saying wrong and hurtful words.

Covid times are difficult times, yet there are moments of good, bad and better. Moments of gratitude, moments of grief, moments of wisdom, moments of regret, moments of blessings, moments of frustration, moments of joy, moments of utter despair, moments of exuberance, and moments of sublime peace. Almost every one of us can honestly say that something has changed from within us. We view life through lenses that are sometimes clear, and sometimes quite foggy. It is up to us to clean the lenses to get a much clearer view of what life has in store for us and how we ought to approach and handle it.

A big shout-out and a giant bouquet of gratitude to my family, my friends, and everyone who made a profound difference in our lives this year.

The canine has been nicknamed ‘mans best friend’ for a very special reason. It is not to be taken lightly. Whoever bestowed this honorable title to the canine family, knew what he was talking about.

Canine lovers worldwide will vouch that nothing can come close to the loyalty and love of a canine for its master. A rare creation of Gods and a most amazing one at that !

This begs the question- why would God create a dog, fill its heart with an outpouring of unconditional love, give it courage and devotion, an intelligence that surpasses most understanding, and yet they face being shunned by some humans who have not learned to unlearn their ignorance and appreciate this wonderful creature?

How is it acceptable for one to treat a dog with repulsion, while being aware at the same instant, that we humans use the services of the very same to search and rescue buried bodies?

Search and Rescue Dogs: The St.Bernard is a beautiful dog, with a luxurious coat of fur. This gorgeous breed are true heroes. They are specially trained and used for trekking the deep snowy mountains to track victims buried under a heavy downpour of snow from an avalanche. St. Bernards are often portrayed wearing little barrels or phials of brandy or some reviving liquor around their necks. Avalanche victims supposedly drank the brandy to stay warm while awaiting rescue.

Therapy dogs: The happiness that dogs bring into our lives cannot be adequately expressed in words. I can attest to the fact that having a dog in your life immediately instills a profound sense of companionship, friendship, and trust. Therapy dogs in medical facilities have been proven to improve patients’ physical and mental well-being. In many countries, there is a trend to allow therapy dogs into hospitals to help sick patients experience a variety of health benefits. There is a marked reduction of overall discomfort and blood pressure as well as improvement in cardiovascular health. Patients who have benefitted from dog-assisted therapy have experienced a considerable reduction in pain, anxiety, sadness, and weariness.

Therapy dogs have helped calm children in the dentist’s chair, patients undergoing treatment for cancer, residents of long-term institutions, patients suffering from dementia, those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and people with anxiety issues……

Service dogs: These are trained dogs taught to conduct labor or execute activities for an individual with a handicap. The work done by a service dog has some correlation to the person’s incapacity or impairment. A diabetic patient might, for instance, have a service dog trained to warn him if the sugar levels in his blood are too high or too low.

A person who suffers from depression could have a dog that is taught to remind her to take her antidepressant medicine at the appropriate times.

Another option is for a person who has epilepsy to have a dog that has been taught to recognize the beginning of a seizure and then assist them in remaining safe while the seizure is occurring.

Some dogs are trained in exposing forest pests, helping customs officials detect contraband, or even warning of enemies or hidden explosives. Other dogs assist police in locating murder victims or pursuing jail escapees.

Lastly, dogs can assist rescue teams during natural disasters and outdoor emergencies. This brings me to the very reason why I am penning this post. I’m referring to the recent Batang Kali landslide disaster on 16th December 2022.

The SAR team’s best friend, which is the (K9) dog detection unit, was brought in and has worked tirelessly in the operation to locate buried victims. Divinely blessed with a keen sense of smell thousands of times more acute than humans, these four-legged heroes’ presence is to search the ground in any condition — thick mud, slush, or rain. Six tracking dogs were initially used for SAR operations. The SAR team was later expanded to eleven police dog units. The dog patrol executed their duty of search and rescue and was successful in retrieving the missing humans, dead or alive. Enough said. Do the math.

My life and my home feel totally complete with my pooches in it. I cannot imagine it any other way. There is so much we tend to take for granted where they are concerned, but to them, we are their whole world. Do you take notice that every time you move in your bed or chair, their eyes are always following you? It’s amazing how our pets spend their short, little lives with us bringing much love and laughter into our lives, and it is because of them that we humans become much closer to each other.

In closing, I wish to salute all the honorable rescue dogs of the K9 SAR unit for a job so fearlessly executed . I can only hope that humans will learn to appreciate your worth . Imagine what would the haters have said if you had rescued their own children who lay buried under the debris ?

A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

Remember when we were little kids, we played with soap water and blew bubbles through a plastic stick that had a loop at its end? I always thought the bubbles were one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, transparent globes of just water and soap, catching the light and reflecting it in all the rainbow hues. Once the bubbles were done floating, they settled down on the grass and burst silently into nothingness, or they exploded in midair, splashing droplets of soap water.

We played this delightful game for hours, laughing and dipping into the soapy water continuously. We never seemed to get bored, and reluctantly stopped when our mothers called out to us to return home for dinner.

I don’t know why I have been thinking of these soapy bubbles of late. They had a lesson to teach me. It reminded me of life. Life is like a bubble. When things are going well, everything looks rosy and joyful. The light, airy feel of the bubbles reflect your inward joy. When things don’t go your way, the bubbles would cease being bubbles. You feel let down and dejected and long for the colorfulness and clarity of the bubble.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to realize that all of us have these bubble moments in our lives. Life is a lot like a bottle of soap water. You have the power and the choice to dip into the various situations in your life and blow the biggest bubbles and make the best of it. When you go through a bubble-bursting moment, don’t fret, just look on the bright side, dip your stick in again and blow another dozen bubbles and more and tell yourself that as long as you are in control, your life will continuously be on a happier plane.

Remember (always) to remind yourself that as long as your bottle of life is kept filled with the soap and water of Faith, Hope, Confidence, Truth, Integrity, and Love…, your heart, conscience, and mind will be guided by our Creator to make the right choices, so life will not look depressing and hopeless, but on the contrary, will make room for hopefulness and a brighter outlook.

One of the clearest messages that can be taken from Forrest Gump is that life is full of surprises, therefore, it is important to appreciate life while you have it. You never know what’s going to happen in the future.

It is said, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. In the face of adversity or misfortune, you are encouraged to be optimistic and have a positive can-do attitude.

Some of us might disagree. Easier said than done, we would say. I absolutely agree.

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of turbulent emotions and sweet, precious moments of laughter, heart-to-heart discussions, sharing personal thoughts, discovering hidden sentiments, dealing with brokenness, and experiencing an outpouring of love and compassion.

It was family time once again, after a long period of physical separation from our youngest daughter. No doubt, I am eternally grateful for the technology that enables us to talk for free and even better, to have visual conversations any time of any day! If they were alive today, my parents would have been astounded by how easy and convenient it has become to communicate with our loved ones!

This brings to memory how I used to keep in touch with my parents and family who resided in India. Letter writing with pen on paper was the norm. This took a few pages, if I had a load of news to share, folded into an envelope and endorsed with a postage stamp, the cost of it depended on its weight, and it would take about 5-7 days to reach its destination by airmail. Otherwise, it just took an aerogram, when I had limited news to share.

It would take another 10-12 days for me to receive a reply if the recipient attended to replying to my letter almost immediately upon reading it. The appearance of the postman dropping a letter in my mailbox, the excitement of holding the letter, and looking at the name of the sender on the back of the envelope, surpasses many a joyful emotional turbulence I have ever known! Today, it’s a delightful ping on our mobile phones, Ipads, computers, and laptops that announces human contact!

Almost everyone had a landline- started with the standard black, bulky, tabletop phone with that terribly loud ‘Kring,kring’ ring !! It was virtually impossible to make an international call on a landline owing to its exorbitant cost! Telegrams are another feature of the past! We would have to read out the message to be delivered really slowly to the operator on the other end and we would be shaking with fear when the postman showed up at our doorstep shouting,’ Telegram’ because telegrams were mostly associated with being bearers of bad news!

Coming back to the present day, how easy and wonderful it has become to stay connected with family and friends. Everything has become so easy, at the press of a button, at the command of your voice, at a swipe of a card, with a scan of your eye, and Mr.Google, Siri, Alexa, and Google Maps have become our best friends!

Technology has assisted me to see my children and grandchildren whenever I felt like it, I can talk to them loud and clear, I can literally see them grow before my very eyes, I can be an active participant in their birthday celebrations, I can be a part of significant events in their lives, and the list goes on!

This afternoon, my daughter boarded the train to return to KL. I could chat with her the whole time, and actually, track her travel route on my phone. We live in wonderful times, based on how convenient it has become to stay connected with our loved ones. I have no complaints, and except for not being able to interact via touch, I can be connected visually and audibly.

In summary, I have learned to enjoy the company of my loved ones from a distance, with all the assistance that technology has to offer. There is so much to be grateful for, and I would give an arm and a leg just to see my parent’s faces light up with wonder and disbelief after they had seen what they had missed! Well, I guess every era has its fair share of joy and wonder.

As for me, I am just so very grateful.

Maja Ma- a movie that could be from anyone’s life, anyone’s story. This could be my story, your story, or my neighbours story. It’s about a ‘closet lesbian’. This is the very first time I have heard the term- it means a person with lesbian tendencies, but who has never exercised her preference for females physically or had a history of having had a lesbian relationship with any female. She has suppressed her ‘natural inborn tendencies’ and carried out her life as a normal, caring wife and mother.

One day, in the course of conversation, her daughter discovers her mother is a ‘closet lesbian’! Shocked at first, no doubt, but being herself an activist for the LGBTQ movement, she encourages her to be brave, to take ownership of who she truly is, and profess her real identity openly, to which her mother refuses to, considering the shock waves of tsunami this disclosure would unleash within her family, her friends, her neighborhood.

The story ends with her husband and the rest of the family standing in support of her true identity. What is important is the fact that she was always an amazing wife and mother, she remained true to her role, because she knew that she would never be accepted in the society she lives in otherwise.

My take on this- this is reality, it happens, it could be in my family, it could be me, it could be you, it could be our spouse, it could be our children, it could be our friends. Will we attempt to try and understand something we may not accept, without prejudice and judgment, will we choose to condemn it or will we learn to accept the truth out of love?

When the truth is revealed, initially her husband and son were in shock and disbelief, ashamed even! But when they see her honesty in exposing and accepting the truth for who she is, or rather, for who she was, they come to a grand realization that hiding the truth is worse than exposing it for fear of what others would say! The support and unity of the family members are what shuts everyone up and put a stop to further condemnation and malicious gossip.

I don’t expect anyone to condone this. Everyone has a right to their personal views and opinions, but before you condemn, think and ask,’ What would God do?’ and I already know the answer. God would continue to love the person, no matter what. God is not a God of discrimination. God is a God of love. God loves us no matter what. We are all God’s children. Leave the matter to God to do the judging.

This is what it says in the scriptures- ‘Let him who is without sin cast the first stone’, meaning only those who are faultless have the right to pass judgment upon others, implying that no one is faultless, and that, therefore, no one has such a right to pass judgment.

I rest my case.

*The views expressed in the above post are the writer’s own and are not intended to offend or pass judgment on anyone whatsoever.