So the crazy undertaking of the Global Peace Conference ended with 1,987 participants from 135 countries! While it was utter madness behind the scenes, there was so much hope and nourishment we drew from everyone involved — from each other as organizers, from each and every presenter, performer and panelist, and every member of the audience. Our youngest facilitators were pre-teens and the oldest presenters were some of the last survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombings. And then there was everyone in between, spanning generations, identities, borders, genders and ideologies. …
(This article is based on this post of mine on Facebook on 8 June 2020. It may help to read that post to gain context.)
It’s only fair to give credit where it is due, and I must applaud this organization (mentioned in the Facebook post referred to earlier) for having taken up this and other issues related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and created a global task force to address the issue in a deep, multi-pronged manner. …
Gautam Adani reported an increase of USD 33 billion in net worth since May 2020. While people were losing jobs during the almost four-month long lockdown in 2020, his company sent exorbitant bills (with some customers reporting a five-fold increase in tariff) under the excuse of making up for lack of electricity meter readings in the first three months of the lockdown, during which estimated bills were sent based on previous usage. Mumbai-based Shahnawaz Sheikh sold his prized INR 2.2 million Ford SUV to raise money to provide oxygen cylinders for Covid relief during the deadly Indian second wave in…
(This was originally published on Facebook on 30 May 2017.)
I was invited to deliver a couple of lectures at a well known foundation for senior citizens in Mumbai recently. The lectures were on transformational dialoging with self and others and among the modalities I worked with in the sessions were non-violent communication and emotional intelligence.
One point of emphasis during the sessions was the idea of conscious communication and the power of transformation that it holds. For example, we discussed how parents often tend to compare children with their peers and inadvertently damage the child emotionally. When a child…
What if grief were the soil
Where life is planted?
It is brushed off, avoided,
Much like soil is called dirt.
Yet, in the moment of loss,
That is the only home to return to;
Just as all that goes up
Is recalled by gravity, eventually.
Perhaps that’s why
Grief and gratitude are like soil and seed,
Watered with the grace of life
Nourished by every conscious breath…
#RukminiIyer #grief #poetry
It has been a tough Ramadan, everywhere in the world. The pandemic, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political instabilities, economic upheavals and personal struggles, among other things, have impacted us all. Time, of course, humbles us by ticking along, no matter what. That may well be for the best. At least we know that time and space exist beyond and in spite of us all; it helps us find our place in the relative scheme of things.
The intention of this project, like in the last year, was to deepen my own relationship with religion, with Islam in particular. As a…
Palestine has been on my mind and in my prayers intensely in the last few days. And so is my own challenge to not feel polarised about the situation there. In a fight about a purported piece of history and politics, people become the casualty. Even if there is a victor, who is it, really? I wonder what will help us stop giving away our power to concepts and notions we’ve invented out of thin air, even when the human reality is staring us in the face. Does religion want to be asserted in this way?
Of course, there…
Sometimes, a battlefield looks like a jar of lemongrass
Harvested, cleaned, dried and chopped up to make tea.
In a world ravaged with aggression, abdication and apathy,
It’s a quiet resistance of life in the realm of death.
Sometimes, a battlefield looks like a simple meal
Made by charging through weary, sorrowful days
In a house that mourns those that could not be saved
As they slipped away, listening to Nero playing the fiddle.
Sometimes, a battlefield looks like a prayer
Offered by swimming upstream through tears
In a land ravaged in the Holy Month
Battered, burnt, evicted and hauled out of home.
Sometimes, a battlefield looks like a breath
Taken in willfully in the midst of death
It is a breath that defeats, albeit only for a moment
The dam of doom over the flow of life.
#RukminiIyer #India #Covid #CentralVista #Palestine #SheikhJarrah
The surreal day brought with it the new moon, continuing news of deaths, and the news of a birth, after waking up this morning with a dream about a dead horse. Apologies for the strange details, but those are among what made the day surreal.
As Ramadan veers towards a close, the moon always seems to extend a subtle invitation, as it slithers into the presence of the sun without the earth in between: to dissolve gracefully into the presence of the higher, the source that gives us life on this planet. …
Today’s medicine was a lot of gardening and listening to this beautiful musical tribute to the 14th century Sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya by artists I deeply admire. The one leading this performance was the inimitable Ankit Chadha, whose death anniversary it was yesterday.
Nizamuddin Auliya was renowned for his generosity, with the kitchen run by his order (the Chishtis) feeding several people everyday with sumptuous food. It is said that one day, one of the visitors insisted on eating with the Shaikh (Nizamuddin Auliya) himself, assuming that if the food served to the visitors was so delicious, then…