Black Lives Matter

cc @Scottheins 🖤

It’s been a week. The absolute helplessness, agony to rage is still blazing like wildfire. The last few days has been an emotional rollercoaster, how can one possibly grasp this reality. A black man repeatedly saying “I can’t breath” lying face down as the white police man forces his knee on his neck while 3 other officers watch on. Those days as tears roll down my eyes and many others I wonder when did this become our reality? At what point did this become our society?

Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Walter Scott and now Floyd: the long list of black men who died as a result of encountering the wrong law officer at the wrong time continues. At what point do we declare enough is enough.

Racial injustice is still the Negro’s burden and America’s shame.

Martin Luther King Jr May 10 1967

There seems to be a different kind of law when the colour of your skin is Black. The protests only highlights how deeply rooted systematic racism is. It’s not only that the police offers freely feel they are above the law, at every turn they are protected despite their inhuman actions. It took 4 days to charge the officer Derek Chouvin while 3 others walking free when George Floyd had to lose his life.

As the whole of United States mourn one more life lost to yet another shameful action of an individual protected by the state, the president sitting at the White House night after night tweets in support of oppression: “when the looting starts the shooting starts”; declaring ANTIFA as a terrorist organisation to inciting violence against journalists. It doesn’t get much darker than this.

Chauvin’s work history at the Minneapolis Police Department includes more than 15 conduct complaints over his 19 years with the department.

Almost all the complaints were closed without discipline, police internal affairs records show, suggesting the allegations weren’t sustained. Although the nature of the compliments aren’t made public it only goes to show lack of action, regulation within the system. With all of this how are public supposed to have trust on the institution where at every turn power is abused and ultimately costing life. How can we continue like this?

In truth the cell phone camera has offered more protection to Black Americans than any law enforcement agency, court, prosecutor, elected official, or news organization. It may be why I felt shocked and yet not so shocked because the truth of this statement is everything that is wrong with our society: “The fact that he had been born, that he wasn’t in a jail cell somewhere, was not by dint of his pulling himself up by the bootstraps, not by hard work or belief in the American Dream, but by mere chance.”

We are amidst the darkest days of our generation with battling global health emergency to fighting a race war that gets more deeper and uglier with each day.

This will fall on Minneapolis and the US to bring those to justice and rightly so. But this falls on the whole world from UK, Spain to Italy to tackle the race war. Just because it’s not as visible as in America —it is present everywhere.

This is a call out for change, and I mean radical changes, changes at the top, for policitians who need to deliver on their promises by acknowledging movements like BLACK LIVES MATTER. They will find allies in police officers such as those in New Jersey who have marched with protesters, or the police chief in Atlanta who condemned the use of Tasers by her officers and went out into the streets to listen to demonstrators. Because this cannot continue like this.

cc Getty Image 🖤

It’s up to all of us to fight for injustice, make our voices heard. This is not the time to be silent. There’s just too much pain and suffering. To all those young black Men who always are the victim of these horrendous crimes; the grieving family. The life that are taken away too soon. It is for them. It is for all of us to join together, we as a collective WE regardless of the colour of skin to stand together in solidarity.

So please —if you live in America VOTE ON NOVEMBER 3rd. You can educate yourself or donate here.

Martin Luther King Jr Speaking In ‘62

Thanks, so much for reading 🖤

Life goes on

As I sat with my knees tucked in, a book in hand while the sun gently warms my face —I sip my cold water.

Is this supposed to be it?

The streets are silent;
Birds twittered;
Earth breathed;
The sun was hot.

Clear blue sky without any hint of clouds;
Windows are wide open;
Uncertain times;
A sudden breeze of wind;
Files, wasps scattered about.

Gathering my thoughts I stood up facing the small window as the light poured in.

A silver car glided in the pavement. The father opened his boot to deliver food to his daughter.
Slowly he unpacked the shopping, leaving it in her front door.
They exchanged pleasantries.

This reminded me of the story I read: In Italy —Cicelia (5) was overjoyed when she saw her grandfather after 2 months as supposed to seeing him every week before the lockdown.
The grandfather’s eyes glistened with tears. They embraced.

Abruptly he stopped the red tractor as he waits for his mates to catch up with him. Now, the streets are not so quite any more.

It is filled with screams, laughter and “boom” “boom” of 3 feet devils.

Next the dutiful barking of the puppies will complete the picture —not letting a single pigeon to land.

The sun dipped behind the horizon.
Dusk fell.
The night sky shimmered with a full moon.
The moonlight so bright it would be absurd to call the night dark.

I feel a longing for this day as it nears it’s end.

But today was a good day.
Memories are warm and vivid.

Life goes on.
As it always does.

Living with uncertainties

“How are you coping in these uncertain time?”

To that I did not know what to say and not because I didn’t have anything to say. Most of my life I have lived in uncertainty. Certainty was a luxury. Tomorrow always felt out of reach. That might explain why I envied friends who could so easily roll out plans from 6 months or have a manuscript of how their life would be like in 2 years time. This comes from having had yesterday and having today, and expecting to have tomorrow. The firm belief.

So, no uncertainty is not something new to me. It has been an part of me for as long as I could remember. Although, learning to deal with it has gotten much better over the years.

I can understand how difficult it must be for so many people. It is scary. Frightening to think we don’t know what happens in near future. The not knowing part is tough.

As humans we have this tendency to know things. Know our surroundings. Observe what is around us. Ultimately, we worry, stress about how our future to be like. Our thirst for knowledge —shaped by being certain about tomorrow. This is because without uncertainty, we have safe, contained and predictable.

We want information in order to be best prepared for the unknown. Avoid fear. As fear is fuelled by uncertainty.

Further one of the most challenging parts of uncertainty is our inability to plan and feeling out of control. When I was little —the whole prospect of it was upsetting to me. I always envisioned for things to plan out. To know all the twists and turns.

The valuable lesson I have learned through living in uncertainty is that —we leave ourself open to opportunities and possibilities we wouldn’t have otherwise.

Be open to possibilities.

Although, uncertainty comes with fear. It is fear that allows us to move to the edge of our comfort zones, and pushing this edge is where growth and learning occurs.

After many unexplained and sometimes painful surprises from life —I have come to understand by not expecting future to deliver something specific, rather focusing on the situation in hand will allow me to adapt the best way I can. Leaving me with an modified experience than what I first thought.

It is important to remember we cannot control everything. We fear uncertainty for reasons of comfort and security. But we can realistically seek comfort all our life? By being open to possibilities we unleash our hidden potential. Through this pandemic we are seeing life in a new light. Not everything nessisaliy needs to be planned.

Don’t live to be certain. Be certain to live

Anything could happen in a heartbeat. Life has no guarantee, than how could we expect it to provide us with certainty. I remember being wrapped in my predictable bubble, years ago —I didn’t know my life would shape out the way it did. If someone were to recite the many adventures of ahead to me then, I would have been shocked in disbelief. Knowing me I would have probably said something like “that can’t be me, you got the wrong person mate”

By not worrying about what we cannot control, if we just motivate ourselves to practice acceptance, live in the moment, and embrace the adventure of living.

What comes tomorrow might not be easy, it may bring a lot of heartache and disappointments. But and there’s a big but —we cannot do anything to stop it. This used to bring me a lot of uneasiness and now it gives me comfort. The simple fact. It will reach us with its wave of uncertainty and when it when gets here: we will respond to it, learn from it and move into another chapter filled with endless possibilities.

Life is filled with inevitable challenges and uncertainties. Never be afraid. What is meant for you, it will find you. Quit worrying. There’s a good reason for future to be a mystery.

Uncertainty is not a fact but a feeling. By learning to overcome this feeling —we are ready to see the other side of life, free of predetermined and acceptable outcome. We become flexible and in turn life becomes interesting.

What I will remember from this period of uncertainty is that even after an wobbly day —I would stand with my pot and wooden spoon making as much noise as possible among unfamiliar faces —smiling warmly. A sense of togetherness. The long conversations with my sister —some days shared frustration on how things turned out while on another upon reflection being grateful for all the misfortunes. The memories of how far we have managed to come. To just able to tolerate each other for that long.

Hope you are holding on;

Hope you are going strong

Climate Change & Coronavirus

Due to this pandemic there has been a significant change in our environment in many ways we didn’t think was possible last year.

India has been in lockdown for a month and half and in that time pollution have dropped in cities that were trapped by smog. A blanket of smog so thick it hid Delhi’s most iconic landmarks to now post lockdown it is breathing easy with a clear summer sky. Many residing there this has been a precious breath of fresh air. The air experts say the Delhi summer has never been cleaner.

So much so that many residents in Northern India cities say it was like rediscovering their neighbourhoods, each day greeted with beautiful sunset and clean air.

During this lockdown emergency admission for respiratory problems have halved. But this comes with caution because they fear this will end very quickly once the lockdown has been lifted. When everything returns to business as usual, streets scattered with vehicles, the pollution level will deteriorate just as rapidly. This further strengthens our argument about needing a long term solution.

International studies have suggested a high level of air pollution would raise the risk of dying from COVID-19. As many countries will reopen they may need to pause to prepare for this challenge.

Global emissions have dropped since Coronavirus crisis. Lockdown has reduced global electricity use by 20%.
Therefore, demand for electricity will fall by 5% globally this year.

Number of people using bikes has been increasing. As my sister insistently points out about our need to work from home more.

This pandemic has effectively have reduced vehicle use globally for weeks. This has forced us to find alternative ways to travel.
For example, Greater Manchester has seen 60% drop in car use; 90% drop in public transport; 22% increase in bike use, considering we don’t have many places to go to people are choosing this way of travelling. This is also reflected broadly around other countries. Many charities want to seize this moment to transform the way we live in cities. This is the moment for change.

When pandemic slowly subsides we need to ask ourselves how do we want to live, which part of this we want to keep and what we should let go.

We must remember there’s a climate crisis in the background that is bigger than the one we are facing now. We are not even talking about it. We have weeks from now to make those changes and implement them in our lives.

Further according to research from the World Health Organisation, and other institutions, the threat of climate change could make outbreaks even worse in the coming decades.

Although, there’s no evidence to suggest COVID-19 has been linked to climate change, but the raising of global temperature could lead to an increase in future infectious disease.

The immediate threat of climate change is visible in everything we do. It is only in all of our interest to tackle global warming. We are ought to do something about it and not be blinded by empty promises from the Governments across the world.

“We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”

Barak Obama

Thanks, so much for reading xoxo

How to Manage Anxiety in Quarantine

We’re all afraid for the health of ourselves and our loved ones. It’s scary. And isolating. And lonely. Sometimes it feels like too much. The last few days has been quite tiresome, to navigate around feeling exhausted to utterly alone. The world is a big maze and sometimes we can get lost in it.

I didn’t know why I was feeling so shattered. The lockdown has reignited old wounds. There are days where I wouldn’t even know how to motivate myself to get out the bed. And I want to tell you now: it is okay. It is okay to feel like that.

This is beyond anything we have ever experienced before. We are bound to feel the way we feel. There’s a bloody good reason for it. I am reminding myself everyday not to suppress my emotions. It can be scary to deal with the tangled thoughts during a global pandemic. You may even feel guilty to identify your feelings. To think there are bigger problems in the world right now than feeling lonely.

But the fact of the matter is we all are doing the best we can. We are different. We have been forced to find alternative ways to live by this cruel enemy which is causing so much pain. Each of us are entitled to feel sad/pain/grief/isolated/lonely.

If you are feeling happy —great! If you are struggling —that’s okay too.

While it’s a absolute necessity to prevent the spread of this virus, lockdown is depriving people of the things that they need to stay well, from support groups to the routine of work and social engagements. There are many among us finding it extremely difficult to adapt to this new way of living. From experiencing an increase in suicidal thoughts to requiring urgent intervention in dealing with mental illness. As we all fight this virus we must acknowledge all those suffering with acute mental health problems. So we are not faced with an hidden epidemic.

Here are some of the things that has helped me keep my anxiety at bay:

ACKNOWLEDGE —The first step towards dealing with inner crisis is to acknowledge it. That way we are a step closer to overcome it. The uneasiness may take a while to go away but you will not as overwhelmed as before.

DO NOT ISOLATE —Never isolate your mind. Always stay in touch with our loved ones even if it’s means virtually. Regularly text and facetime with those who make you feel warm inside. In time of need it’s often the fimiller face that brings comfort in our hearts.

DETOX — We all need a break. More than ever we are consuming a lot of social media and although, it has its own perks —it may just do some good once in a while to take some time out. I have seen so many of us while slicing through our various feeds, wondering “how are they holding up so well” or “why can’t my quarantine be like theirs”. We are so prone to comparing ourselves with others we don’t even realise when we do it.

SMALL ACTS OF KINDNESS — The virus is keeping us apart but kindness is bringing us together. It’s the little things people tend to remember when the storm is over. Be it checking in on our neighbours, texting our mates or just asking someone how are they —it can go a long way. One can shield themselves from pain by being kind to others.

Finally, you are not alone. Learn to surrender to the dance of uncertainty and have trust in universe because it has a plan.

Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hope springing high, Still I’II rise.

Maya Angelou

Thanks, so much for reading xoxo