Sunday, December 7, 2014

But Radha Wants More

Please click on the image to make it easier to read.

I was inspired by a popular Hindi song "Radha On the Dance Floor," about a girl who likes to party. The one refrain for this song is "But Radha wants more." I started thinking about Radha as a real woman, and if she wanted more from her life.

Her name in history is always coupled with Krishna and she doesn't stand on her own. There have always been questions around her relationship with Krishna, as they're seen as a epitome of romance, yet they were not married.

I wanted to give Radha a moment to reflect about herself and what it means to be chosen by a divine entity. 

Like the garland of flowers, she is gone, but her essence lingers.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trick or Treating on Diwali

There were two princesses –
one with curls of chocolate, another of amber,
two fluffs in lavender tulle,
tiaras and blinking shoes.

They flounced and twirled at each door, and
announced their royal names. They fluttered
their lashes and invited neighbors to gush at the glitter.
With skirts raised, they raced
from house to house, only their giggles reaching
before they did.

When an Indian man opened one door,
one Princess peered inside and saw
people she knew well --
a woman in a salwaar-kameez and
a sari-clad grandmother behind her.

Candy fell into her bag, but
she stood there.
Waiting for more.
Waiting for something that should come next.
Something should be said.

 “Happy Halloween.”
"Happy Diwali," she said softly.

Like a firecracker that was lit,
laughter was sparked.
The grandmother scurried
to see the Indian princess.
“Happy Diwali!” we all cheered.

She found her spirit and called
“Happy Diwali!” as she sprinted
to join her regal friend
who asked, "What is dee-wali?
I don't know dee-wali,"

"It's an Indian holiday.
Not everyone celebrates Diwali.
Everybody celebrates Halloween!"
as they ran to the next house.

She knew.
She has a holiday to call her own.
More than a footnote,
more than a date on a paper thin calendar
with a multi-hued multi-armed goddess.

A real holiday to light candles,
Share cookies and laddoos,
light firecrackers and sparklers.
Clinking bangles, twinkling bindis.
and spinning in a silk ghagra meant
for an Indian princess.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Labels without Perspective

Media has been rocking with labels.
Black Man
White Police Officer
Conservative Republican Governor
Liberal Democratic Congressman
Female CEO
Gay Male Teacher
Slap a label,
create an image.
Make everyone's life easier
saves a lot of typing,
explaining about what is really happening.
No need to talk about the complex human beings behind
each situation and how they conflict with those epithets. 
         (Where would the story be?)

Drop the seeds into minds of the masses.
Feed and fertilize the stereotypes.
Let them grow into deep rooted
beliefs that
become hard to pull out
when change does come.

These thick trunks need to be chopped.
Hacked away with strong blows.
Chips flying and hitting people in the eye
and clouds of sawdust they need cough out of their lungs.
Then these beliefs will tip over and fall.

It takes effort to think and flip our minds
to change our Perspective
and remove the tags we place
for easy reference.

Was the Wicked Witch really "wicked"
or was she just not a "people pleaser" and chose
her own path?

Were Hansel & Gretel truly lost children
or juveniles from dysfunctional family structure,
fabricating alibis for their vandalism.

It is Perspective that turns an "Insurgent" or
"Rebel fractions" into a
Revolutionary and Freedom Fighters.

Block the constant feed of disparity and ignorance.

Consuming blindly leads to coddling these ideas.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Absolute Commitment

I've been seeing a lot of tattoos on the beach this summer and then all over Pinterest there are creative spirits sharing their own body art and messages to the world about themselves. 

I've always considered getting a tattoo and have played with different ideas. I wanted to get one for my 40th and still haven't decided on the design. I wasn't brave enough to get one in my 20's when my friends and I checked out tattoo parlors in Greenwich Village. I'm grateful I didn't it then because I might have selected something French like the Tour Eiffel, something literary, or Belle or Aladdin - my Disney obsessions at one time.

My suggestion is that one draw the design with a permanent Sharpie marker and see how it works.