Saturday, 14 April 2012


Yes, I read another article- an article on whitening vagina's, or more so a critical view on a video posted by Fair and Lovely on whitening downtown.

Women in this world I feel the pain you have to go through because I have to watch bullshit videos like this. Like really, do we need to make women feel more marginalized and discriminated against? Like REALLY, really you HAD to take it to THAT level.

Fair and Lovely product should be called unfair and ugly. You know why? Because you are making women feel more self-conscious, more focused on things that are NOT even wrong with them but make them feel bad about it. It's an on-going cycle- so brown women (specifically in this post since you are the target audience) say no to this bullshit. That's the first and last word that comes to my mind. Bullshit.

I recommend you read the article Lindy West wrote, and watch the video. It should entertain you for a couple of minutes-  irritate you- and make you call it bullshit, like I did. Enjoy.

Oh let me correct one thing. It's for Clean and Dry in this case not Fair and Lovely- same thing in my eyes. 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

be the change.

WARNING: This post babbles. But still read it :)

Firstly I have to mention I have such amazing friends. They are the ones that encourage me, teach me and help me to do better and work harder in life.

With that said one of my good friends sent me an article, posted on The Globe and Mail called "Remarkable school gives girls from the bottom of India's caste system new hope."

The entire article discusses the caste system in India and the need to change it, but also what can be done after it is changed.

Most of us feel the need to change a system that has existed for so long, but often we do not ask ourselves what will be done after the change has been implemented.

I've been to India plenty of times; walking out of the plane, you can feel the heat, smell the diesel, and if you are a claustrophobic person, the way to face your fear is to come to India. 

When I first went, seeing young children on the streets begging for food, with their faces sunk in, begging and begging, I could not handle it. At times I didn't even want to leave the house because I knew I had to 'deal' with such things. But like most things, you cannot avoid the truth and you have to go out and experience it.

Once I did, I got 'used' to it, like most people in India do. My cousins would tell me not to give too much money to the adults who were begging because it was all business dealings. They also said not to give it to children because the elders would snatch it from them. It was politics within begging. So I stopped. I stopped giving money to the kids, plus when I did, most would say "didi, aur do"- sister, give me more- my heart still aches.

Now back to the caste system. Dalits (untouchables) have been part of India's caste system for centuries. Though the system has been abolished under the constitution, it still exists. First, I do not understand how someone chooses a person to be considered a Dalit. It blows my mind, but then again look at our culture, we separate the poor, middle-class and rich. It's all based on social structure and I believe in my lifetime no one will ever be 'equal'.

However, I do feel humans be it anyone deserves a chance to be more then shit on a stick. To be frank, that is exactly what 'untouchables' are treated like. One of the most powerful lines in the article I read was this:

Sister Sudha's fundamental goal, to replace the sense of worthlessness inculcated in them since birth.“All that they have known and heard and seen is, ‘You are like dirt.' They have internalized this: ‘This is my lot,' they feel. ‘This is where I belong. I don't belong on the chair. I will sit on the floor, and then no one can tell me to go any lower than that.' 

If someone told me I can't be what I want or do what I want, I would tell them to f' off. But that's exactly what  these people have to deal with- they hold no power, are considered worthless- it's awful.

But again, you cannot hide from the truth. So, even if you aren't physcially, emotionally capable of wanting to change the social structure that has existed for centuries, at least do it in your life. Be the person you see yourself being.

I feel in my life I have settled for a lot. But it wasn't until recently I decided to make my own change and I have never looked back. That is what I truly hope for these children- move ahead and never look back and never be stuck-up. Being stuck-up towards others is the WORST quality to have!

Anyways, to end my babble, I will leave you with the famous quote Mahatma Gandhi Ji said "Be the change you want to see in the world."  

Monday, 9 April 2012

the power of guilt- Dionysus in Stony Mountain

I’ve been interested in the prison system for many years of my life. I feel it has to do with my job. I work at an adult learning center and I have met many people from many different walks of life. Personally, it amazes me when people, despite what they have been through in life, come back to do ‘better’ things. Thus, when I went to watch the play Dionysus in Stony Mountain at the Rachel Browne Theatre, I was in absolute awe.

I’m not a theatre person, nor have I been to enough plays to even comment on anything that has to do with theatre, but what a beautiful evening it was to watch a play filled with heartache, intellectual minds, guilt and the desire to do the ‘right’ thing.

Ross McMillan plays James Hiebert, an inmate who refuses to take his lithium pills. He’s accompanied by, Sarah Constible who plays Heidi Prober the strong yet confused psychiatrist, encouraging James to finish his pills before his parole hearing in two weeks. 

This play explores guilt and making sense of guilt. James tries to make sense of everything by quoting Friedrich Nietzsche, a German philosopher who questions religion and the value of truth. Heidi is intrigued by what her patient has to say, yet confused since she is in a justice system that tells her to stay single-minded and concentrated on only one purpose; get inmates out of prison.

The second half is quite surprising since the roles are reversed. I was very shocked to find out that Ross McMillan plays the uncle role to Heidi in the second half. I said to my classmate beside me, “wait, is that the same guy from the first half?” And he is said yes, but I could not believe it. It was interesting to watch Heidi question everything she believed in.

I myself have gone through that stage and continue to. The battle of figuring out what the ‘right’ thing to do is like trying to figure out how to balance your life- it’s very challenging.

Overall, what would be considered sane, what the right thing to do is and the notion of being someone’s savior are encompassed in this play.

It’s deep stuff, I tell you. But you will not be disappointed.

Dionysus in Stony Mountain, by Steven Ratzlaff, directed by Bill Kerr is playing March 29-April 8 at the Rachel Browne Theatre. 

Photography: Leif Norman

Photography: Leif Norman