Friday, March 11, 2011

Meditation Center amidst woods in McKinney

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Experiencing Nature in McKinney, Texas

I had not had the opportunity to explore the community, and its attractions since moving to McKinney couple of months ago. Today after a stressful day at school I decided to take a break and go out in the evening to spend some time outdoors. I went to the Town Lake recreation area located right beside the Central Expressway. There is a short nature trail through a wooded patch that stretches along the gurgling Wilson Creek and a fairly wide paved bike, walk trail that meanders around the lake.

I went to walk the Nature Trail first through the trees treading on the soft soil. The only differences this trail has with trails in India that I miss so much is its flat terrain and the wooden decks/ bridges when we cross creeks. This trail passes through a wooded patch with tall trees. The trees must be at least several decades old because each one of them are at least 50 ft tall.

Nature has always had a soothing effect on me and when I am amidst nature I feel so humbled. We human beings have created so many things out of the raw material that nature provides to us. Plain water, mud, and sunlight is all it takes to enable plants to provide fantastically tasty food for our consumption. Today as I walked through the tall trees bathed in the soft evening sunlight I felt very minuscule. Whatever ego I had melted away and for the next few minutes that I was traversing the trail I felt as if all my worries and problems were nothing compared to what obstacles the trees, plants, birds and other beings had to endure just to live.

I came out of the nature trail rejuvenated and feeling fresh to take on the world today and tomorrow, when I go back to working from 7am to 7pm and driving an hour to work and back. Indeed nature has so many lessons to offer if only one were to pause and learn....

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Smart, Business Savvy, But Unaware or Callous???

I continue to blog about the gross injustice the western world is inflicting on easterners... particularly people from India. First when people in the US or Europe say "Asian" or "Asia" they mean "China". This is a recent phenomenon since the west began to access cheap goods produced by slave labor in China.

What I am blogging today is about a greater and more historical injustice that continues to go unnoticed in the greater consciousness of the entire Western world and almost everyone in the Eastern world also. This is the identity mistake that has endured since the past 500 years and has not been corrected despite the arrival of the internet that has ushered in the information age and created knowledge explosion.

Yes I am talking about the identity label of "Indian" being hijacked by people of "Native American" tribes. Today I listened to a radio program titled "Smiling Indians" on NPR. Quite predictably this program spoke about the Native Americans or the original inhabitants of continental America, most of whom were massacred by the European settlers when they started colonizing this continent.

Well I understand that Christopher Columbus was totally mistaken when he landed here and discovered the new world for Europeans to exploit and conquer. But isn't it high time for the world to recognize that these people are not "Indians" but are whatever nations they profess to belong to.

I am amazed by the fact that these "Native Americans" are also not standing up to claim their true national/ tribal identity and are piggybacking on the "Indian" identity label. How much longer will they remain oblivious of their own roots and compromise their ethnic identity for the collective label often used in a derogatory sense: "Indian".

I am totally shocked that the fairly influential and large Indian diaspora living in the US since the past several decades have quietly accepted the title of "East Indians" and allowed their true identity to be pegged on to the Tribals of America. I wonder when these people: Indians and Native Americans will get educated and start labeling themselves correctly.

I hope this happens in my lifetime.... or is it too much to hope for???

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Homelessness, a problem in America also...

I listened to this story on NPR this morning while driving to school. According to the reporter there are over 650,000 homeless people in the US. That is almost 0.2% of the total population. My first reaction was that of shock and surprise. How can there be homeless people in the world’s richest nation? What is going on with this country which controls the world's economy; dictates who has the right to have weapons and who doesn't; provides billions of $s of aid to poor nations across the world; hands out arms and weapons to militias in third world nations to create the likes of Taliban and Al-Qaeda?

Housing these people wouldn't take even a fraction of the money that is being spent on these programs. It is apparent that most of these homeless people are those who refuse to conform to the rules of the capitalist economy and materialistic society of America. I don't know whether these people are out there on the street abusing drugs, and other illicit substances out of their own will or have been forced out of their homes by unscrupulous mortgage and loan brokers.

Anyway bottom line, if America doesn't pull its act together and get these people off the streets there will be a big problem pretty soon in the future.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hindu Pride.... Abysmally low....

Throughout my short life I have come across people of many religions. What makes everyone different from people of Hindu faith is the pride of followers or lack thereof. I have come across very few Hindus who are proud of their religious identity... more so if they are from India or those born in the United States. This is ironical because everything that has come from Hinduism is trendy, cool and sought after in the United States. Even in the so-called Bible belt of US Yoga is popular, meditation is trendy, Kirtan, chanting of Sanskrit mantras are popular.

When it comes to identifying oneself as a Hindu, there is a huge gap. People from India would rather identify themselves by their regional, linguistic, national, or caste identity rather than their larger religious identity. This is perhaps why even Europeans who have gotten attracted to Hinduism's philosophy are hesitant to say they are Hindus but say they like "Eastern Philosophies" better than "Western ideologies".

I wonder when Hindus will start taking pride in their religious identity?