We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.

Mother Teresa
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”

Mahatma Gandhi
“Seven Deadly Sins:
Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice.”

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

“All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others.”

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”

“In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

Dalai Lama XIV
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”

Voltaire
“I don’t agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

“The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”

“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

Khalil Gibran
“Nor shall derision prove powerful against those who listen to humanity or those who follow in the footsteps of divinity, for they shall live forever. Forever.”

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.”

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another, and no sunrise finds us where left by sunset. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of that tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind to be scattered.”

“And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.”

“For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining; and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction.”

“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime. And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.”

“When you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit.
Work is love made visible.”

“Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.
For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?
Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.
You are good when you are one with yourself. Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.
For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.
And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.
You are good when you strive to give of yourself.
Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.
For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.
Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”
For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.”

“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.”

“Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself;
This for my soul, and this other for my body?”
All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshipping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.”

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.
In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.”

“Patient, over-patient, is the captain of my ship.
The wind blows, and restless are the sails;
Even the rudder begs direction; Yet quietly my captain awaits my silence.
And these my mariners, who have heard the choir of the greater sea, they too have heard me patiently.
Now they shall wait no longer.
I am ready.
The stream has reached the sea, and once more the great mother holds her son against her breast.
Fare you well, people of Orphalese.
This day has ended.
It is closing upon us even as the water-lily upon its own tomorrow.
What was given us here we shall keep,
And if it suffices not, then again must we come together and together stretch our hands unto the giver.
Forget not that I shall come back to you.
A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.
Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.
So saying he made a signal to the seamen, and straightaway they weighed anchor and cast the ship loose from its moorings, and they moved eastward.
And a cry came from the people as from a single heart, and it rose the dusk and was carried out over the sea like a great trumpeting.
Only Almitra was silent, gazing after the ship until it had vanished into the mist.
And when all the people were dispersed she still stood alone upon the sea-wall, remembering in her heart his saying,
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.”

The poetry of the earth is never dead.

“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”
— John Keats

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
― Paul Newman

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. ”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt

“How can we be so arrogant? The planet is, was, and always will be stronger than us. We can’t destroy it; if we overstep the mark, the planet will simply erase us from its surface and carry on existing. Why don’t they start talking about not letting the planet destroy us?”
― Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone

“We are being made aware that the organization of society on the principle of private profit, as well as public destruction, is leading both to the deformation of humanity by unregulated industrialism, and to the exhaustion of natural resources, and that a good deal of our material progress is a progress for which succeeding generations may have to pay dearly.”
― T.S. Eliot

“The best way of being kind to bears is not to be very close to them.”
― Margaret Atwood, MaddAddam

A photograph of a disposable diaper floating in the arctic miles away from human habitat fueled my daily determination to save at least one disposable diaper from being used and created. One cloth diaper after another, days accumulated into years and now our next child is using the cloth diapers we bought for our firstborn.”
― Gloria Ng, Cloth Diapering Made Easy

“The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.”
― David Attenborough

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”
― Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods

Why feminism?

  1. The rights and freedom women enjoy today are a result of the work of past feminists and social workers who believed in the cause. It is important to carry that movement forward.
  2. The societal structure is imbalanced (towards men). The force of feminism is necessary to regain the balance.
  3. Digging deeper into women’s issues and understanding the reality of our societal and economical structure, it is important to have a clear goal (women’s rights) to bring about a real change. Feminism provides the platform to do that.
  4. Equalism dilutes the real purpose of what we are trying to achieve. Feminism communicates the message in a stronger and more effective manner.
  5. Patriarchy continues to exist, having ruled over generations, enveloped by many social and personal complexities. Feminism lends a ‘resounding’ voice to challenge the status quo and enable change.

The goal is simple: men and women enjoy the same rights and opportunities within society in all spheres of their lives.

Recommended reads:

23 Ways Feminists Have Made the World Better for Women

The Problem With the Lean In Debate? Men

Is this what it means to be a modern feminist?

Why you are a feminist and don’t even know it

Call me Feminist or is it time to junk the F-word?

Why I am not a feminist

Why are people so reluctant to say they are feminists?

The citizenship dilemma

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Kiama is a township 120 kilometres south of Sydney in Illawarra, New South Wales.

After 3 and a half years in Sydney and Australia, I finally decided to accept my Australian citizenship.

It felt right – India is my home and where my heart will always be but Australia is where I found myself.

Of course there are the obvious reasons: dual citizenship and travel access around the world (I won’t require a visit visa in most countries).

Travelling and living in a new country is a profound experience if one can live through it.

It is lonely, daunting, almost mind-boggling but it is also liberating, exhilarating and transforming.

I am very happy that I have managed to survive through it.

Mumbai and now Sydney are two places I can call home.

Most importantly, I feel at home within myself, no matter where I am, or will be.

Was Slumdog really Millionaire?

A publicity still from Slumdog Millionaire

Jai ho, bring it on, Slumdog Millionaire.

Yes, its absolute and resounding triumph speaks for itself. Stamped by Golden Globe and Oscar wins, Slumdog Millionaire has definitely achieved what no film did before. It put India on the world map, penetrating millions of hearts across the world. It narrated a simple love story with an unmistakable Indian emotion that transcended global boundaries. It won international recognition for some sparkling Indian talent.

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Sydney Diary… Vocab, winter coats and travels

A great place to walk about, meet up for a drink or grab dinner.

A great place to walk about, meet up for a drink or grab dinner.

“How are you going?” someone asked me my first week at work. I wondered why: “Umm, I will be getting the bus back home.”

“No, no, I mean, how are you doing…?”

“Err, oh ok, well, I am fine, thank you!” I mumbled.

That was my first lesson out of the Aussie vocabulary book. There were others.

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Sydney… love at first flight

My first impressions of Sydney, so picturisque and stunning!

My first impressions of Sydney, so picturisque and stunning!

I landed in Sydney for the first time on Monday, January 15, 2007. Now this may sound weird but “we” connected instantly from Day 1. Sydney had this amazing positive vibe going for me. The airport terminal felt familiar, I bought a phone card and walked out towards the cab stop like it was a routine.

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Am I Aussie enough… or does the Indian linger?

This picture was around my first drive around 2-3 months into Sydney with my friend Kate.

After 2 years as a “Permanent Resident” in Sydney, I am now eligible to apply for my Australian citizenship if I wish to, which for all practical reasons, is a wonderful thing. The waiting period has now been extended to four years. I was among the lucky few who made it to the finishing line just before the rules were changed.

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