Learnings, Life, People, Uncategorized

Transgender Awareness Week

I read on FB that this week is Transgender Awareness Week. So thought I would share something that has been brewing in my head for sometime now. 

A colleague of mine is a transwoman. I have known her long before she transitioned (from male to female). When she disclosed her transition, it was a shock. I did not have an inkling! She has been generous about sharing her journey, educating the rest of the world about what it is to be trapped in a body that one does not belong to, about the high suicide rate amongst transgender people due to family pressure and societal stigma. It is not a life choice, she says. You don’t transition because you want to, you transition because you have to.

Can you imagine what a person with that condition must be going through? It must be an unbearable, excruciating, and lonely journey. Kudos to them for going through enormous physical, emotional and mental pain to be true to themselves. As a society, we have a lesson or two to learn. To not judge what we do not understand. To not dismiss what we do not relate to. 

I am proud of Massachusetts that voted YES on ballot question 3, which is s a referendum on the state’s 2016 transgender rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation, in the midterm.

On a side note, I thought Arundathi Roy did a fabulous job of articulating the inner turmoil of transgender people through her protagonist, Anjum, a hijra, in her novel the Ministry of Utmost Happiness. It’s worth a read.

Gratitude, People

Dan Rather and RBG

Around last presidential election, Dan Rather showed up on my FaceBook feed quite frequently as a couple of friends liked or shared his posts. Intrigued, I too started following him. For the most part, he provides commentary on the political scenario although there are times when he writes about sports and science. And what a find he has been! His words not only inspire but also therapeutic, the kind that comes from someone who has seen more of life and has wizened up as a result of that. He is level headed, gives hope when the world around is in despair, and he always always reminds you to take a look at the big picture and to never ever give up.

A couple of weeks back I watched the RBG movie/documentary. Please do yourself a favor and watch this one. We are all lucky to have someone like her in our lifetime. She made her mark against all odds in a male dominated profession and shed light on gender discrimination. Of all the things she said, the one that stands out is how her law studies gave her respite from her child and how her child gave her respite from work. 

My deepest gratitude to Dan Rather and RBG for being such strong, fierce, personalities that we all can look upto and take comfort in.  God bless them!


Forward and Backward

Forward: Go Alabama! So very glad that the electorate rose above political loyalties and did not vote for the wrong candidate. This is a much needed glimmer of sunshine in an otherwise cloudy political environment.

Backward: On Point with Tom Ashbrook is one of my favorite radio shows/podcasts. It’s the one I turn to when I am in the mood for in-depth analysis of current affairs. I used to heart Tom Ashbrook, and have fancied interning for him, for the show. Just the thought of having so much intellectual fodder to chew on used to give me the goosebumps! So, I was incredibly sad to read this news from a couple of days back. Who knows what the truth is but there is no smoke without fire. And no excuse is good enough to mistreat another human being.

Gratitude, Little Moments, People

Thank You

Today, at work, someone I interact with sent a very thoughtful and heartwarming thanksgiving mail . When I wrote back to her, she said, “You give me credibility more than you know. Thank you…!”

As much as I would like to think that I derive fulfillment from the intrinsic value that my job gives me, I felt much appreciated with that personal note and external validation.  It made me feel that what I do matters and that it’s important to do my job to the best of my abilities.

I am thankful for the much needed reminder that a small thank you goes a long way. When someone has made a difference, it is important to take the time and effort to express genuine appreciation.

Experiences, Gratitude, People

Acts of Kindness

As I pulled into the parking lot to the Indian store, a lady came up to me and did something very unusual. She had used only one hour of the two-hour parking ticket that she had paid for, so she gave the receipt that she had saved so I could use it. This is such a small thing that says a lot about a person, don’t you think? It was just 50 cents, she could have let it go. She took the trouble to find someone, explain the situation, and make them take the spot after she pulled out. And she had nothing to gain out of it. I was touched by this gesture.

In today’s gratitude journal, I am thankful for all the times that I have been at the receiving end of these act of kindness. It does not take a lot to create a ripple. These acts of kindness inspire me to never shortchange on kindness and generosity. With all that’s going on around us, the world can use all the kindness it can get!

Gratitude, Life, People

Family and Home

I take the train at Newark, NJ Penn Station to return home. Like last time, the time before last time, and the time before that, the place depresses me. A sense of misery takes over me as I see jobless, homeless people loitering around. The telltale signs of poverty is there for me to read.  I wonder what their story is. I wish life was a level playing field. I pray that their circumstances change and that they have better days ahead.

I sigh heavily and send thanks to the power above for giving me a darling family and a welcoming home to return to.

Experiences, Introspection, People, Uncategorized

Random updates

  • My cousin, the kid in our family, is getting married today. There is live streaming of his wedding.  While I may not be able to catch up due to time difference, it was a delight to catch glimpses of his nichiyadhartham video from yesterday.
  • A purposeful intentional hug says a whole lot where words fail. I am here for you. Thank you for being there for me. No words exchanged but volumes spoken.
  • The idea that has planted its roots in my head these days – kindness. Be kind, practice kindness, teach kindness. In all shapes, forms, and sizes. There is so much suffering and pain in this world. Kindness will not obliterate the suffering, but may be, just may be, it will give the strength to manage the suffering. Worth a shot, wouldn’t you agree? 
  • I read The Mothers by Brit Bennett. It was good enough to push its way through my reader’s block but not good enough to have me raving about it. What I liked about it is it humanizes motherhood – as glorified as motherhood is, mothers too come with their share of imperfections.
  • We are already in June, can you believe it?
  • I helped out with a memorial service today.  I am not able to take the family out of my mind. Please send a quiet prayer and healing vibes their way.