My mother asked me once, “Lord Krishna has manifested himself in black colour. Why do you think he appeared in black coloured skin when he was fair himself and Radha, his constant companion was also fair coloured?”
I was a blank face. I feel we have come far off from our roots in this modern world.
“He took the black colour so that his devotees don’t differentiate anyone by skin colour. They should love Black/ Red/ Brown coloured as much as they like the fair skin. All are equal beings, and there is life in everyone; like He is the same even after manifesting black skin.”
It was revealing to me. I thought about different societies around us.
The USA is experiences racial disharmony; despite leading the world in many fields. South Africa is divided between the Whites (Afrikaners), Coloreds, Indian South Africans and the native Black Africans.
If the twelve colours of crayons can co-exist in a box, why can’t we?
(Photo credit: UCB’s Multiracial Campaign)
We bought a baby stroller for the first time when my son was born in Singapore. After putting a tika (red vermilion powder) on the stroller, my mother asked me to put an ant on the stroller and give it a ride, before placing my son on it. I was startled.
“This is for the safety of my grandson if any untoward has to happen, it will happen to the ant”, my mother said.
“But we are not sending him to Mars on the stroller; to test it on an ant first”, I said. My argument did not amuse her.
“From where do I get an ant here?”, I asked. “Put any God’s idol and give him the ride.”, she replied.
Even scientists at NASA have been using a similar concept. Who am I to challenge the belief?
It was my 7th Birthday. As I unravelled the beautiful blue coloured box, a Casio digital wristwatch was smiling at me. My grandfather exactly knew, what will work wonders for me. He was my Santa!
When at abroad, gifting a watch to your Chinese colleague should be avoided. ‘Giving a clock’ sounds like the Chinese words for ‘attending a funeral ritual’. It also symbolizes running out of time. A nicely wrapped tea box, fruits (Oranges have a special significance, given in even number) and Red envelop (‘Hong bao’) with even number amount for kids could make you a Santa!
With Europeans, for example, Germans: flowers, quality wine, chocolates, or a small gift that is not expensive would be appropriate. Perfume is considered too personal for gifting!
As a kid, my grandfather would take me for a haircut. It used to be on Sundays. People would wait for their turns, sitting in a cramped place, glued in newspapers and a small television set at the corner or the shop, playing Rangoli tele-serial. I would sit on a wooden plank placed over the chair armrest to adjust my height and got the best haircut in the town.
Cut short to when I went to Singapore the first time. After postponing the plan umpteen number of times out of fear, I finally was forced to go to hair saloon else I was risking getting disbarred at the client place! The hairdresser was a Chinese, a lady who did not know English. It gave me a big cultural shock. I wanted to postpone yet again. I persisted. I made a small prayer. I somehow managed to explain to her that I wanted uniform hair across my head. I pulled an old photo and showed it to her to ensure she got it right. The bald fade is the most popular hairstyle among the locals, and I was damn scared of!
Those moments still gives me goosebumps, having saved my face, literally!