Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Changing world of Power

So the powerful women summit actually had Lady Gaga and Ellen DeGeneres in the top 10 along with Michelle Obama and Hillary Radham Clinton. Amazing, isn't it? I am not sure if this is great or not. Part of my mind says- Yes! Its wonderful. Now we can make and bring change from whichever platform we can climb on. We have so so many more now to make our voices heard. To save others like us. To change policies. Music=Politics=Sports=Grit=Education=Courage=Determination... and so on. And yet, I wonder. Is Germany's Angela Merkel=Lady Gaga? Is Hillary Radham Clinton=Ellen De Generes? Things to ponder, and yet, if one is considering equality of sheer pure influence, they are equivalent, aren't they? But, the question is, is one influence better than another? And yet, and yet, as long as all these women are advancing the cause of gender quality and gender progress, and making waves in this long stagnant ocean of men, it's good, isn't it?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Powerful women summit

I read that there is a powerful womens summit today with prominent leaders in arts, philanthropy, business, government and education gathering together. Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Indra Nooyi are some of the speakers, and my first thought was that isn't it amazing how so many women today have finally managed to reach their potential? My second thought yipping at the heels of the first was: But these are so so few. We can have a summit with them. Contain them all in one space! When in reality we are so many- struggling, striving, sometimes literally hanging by the thin strength of our nails on the small crevices we find on the smooth unyielding rocks erecred around us. Fighting even to be born. Fighting to survive. Gang raped on our backs at the age of 80 as a pawn in battles of men as happened this week and happens every week in Congo and elsewhere- our sacred holes that give birth to men turned into weapons of destructions against us. But, there is hope. Even one powerful women can influence many many lives. Think about the potential of so many leaving a room and spreading out.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An unstoppable tempest

As I sit here on the other side of May- I decide to take a few moments to reflect. All that effort- all that time- and no money- was it worth it? My practical side says- No! You are crazy. My ideal and thinking side says YES- every bit of it. What all did you learn? What connections did you forge? What paths did you open? How many hurdles- of practicality, egos, uncertainty, cynicisms, can I really do its, space and time did you cross? And how many avenues do you see before you- which would never have been there before? Question is: Which one do I take? More importantly, what do I believe in and how much of me am I willing to invest in it? But then- I am one of so many billion- in less than an eyeblink just like everyone else I will be gone. And in less than an eyeblink I can also work for some infinitesimal change, no? Because I think that just like the butterflies flapping their wings, many many many simultaneous eyeblinks can unleash an unstoppable tempest.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Women Helping Women

It was only when I embarked upon my project that I hit headwalls. And time and time again I found friends, mostly women who came forward when and where I was least expecting to help. My sisters, yes- but acquaintences who became colleagues and friends as they of their own voilitions stepped onto my plate. Today I wish to simply thank them. My sisters Renu, Meera, and Neeta for being there for me- my creative and dear friend Eve Bennett for turning my flyer golden and making it fly, Jessica Lockhart for helping to give me voice on air, Beth Marshall for so generously and sweetly donating her time to give faces on my website to the many who shared with me their thoughts, Shonna Milliken Humphrey for believing in my stories, Josephina for not accepting No from me, and so many others- friends to me and mothers to my children's friends who have time and time again stepped up on the plate to simply be there. Thank you.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hurray to co-ed sports

My daughter loves to play sports. Soccer is her passion. If math were soccer, she would shoot a goal in it more frequently that she does today- but math is math. And soccer is soccer. No comparison. Especially, when she gets to play it against the boys and beat them at it. Half the time anyway. And then she gets to play mixed- co-ed soccer at the age of 10. It is perfect. Why don't we do it more? Especially now, when the girls have a physical edge balancing the agility and speed of the boys- it is the perfect time to build gender sensitivity. All those terms of gender equality, equity and what nots we throw about and do sensitisation trainings when we are almost fully insensitized already- they are all too late. We need to start early- at the age of birth and let them play together until they want to separate. And if not- heck- it must only be because they all made the team regardless- on equal capabilities- then who are we to say, no.

Read about Dr. Ranjana Kumari, President of Womens Power Connect, body of 600 national womens organizations of India
Read about Dr. Kiran Bedi, India's first woman Asian Tennsi Champion and first and highest woman law enforcement officer

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Mother's coming together in rural India on Self Help Platforms at my website-

To all you Mother's out there old and young, with children to take care of, or ones fortunate enoug to be cared for by their children and to those just doing their thing one day at a time- A Very Beautiful, calm, serene and fun filled Happy Mother's Day! For myself, a cup of tea- children are still asleep and then driving around town to put posters up for my upcoming event: Breaking Barriers: From Maine to New Delhi which melds my eastern and western perspectives to make a bridge for the sharing of Issues, Ideas and Solutions, such as the Self Help Groups in rural India, one of my fondest interviews as I watched these women who had been suppressed behind the Ghoonghats of their saris that covered their faces now rise up full of self esteem and start small businesses, employ other women and even build a federation with elected representatives to solve mutual problems. They were all going to educate their young, they said, especially their girls. Please take a few moments to read this evocative and poignant interview underlayed with these women's humor in very difficult circumstances:
The second photo has the full interview at this point.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

O! Connecting to the Young

So- I have been invited to be the keynote speaker at a conference for 15-18 year olds from a few different states. It is exciting- Idealism exists; We are immortal; Can do anything; Such a pro-active and full of possibilities audience. What better place and people to talk about all the changes I would want to see in the world: Usher in democracy through Twitter; Connect across races and ethnicities- to friends of friends through Facebook or other networking sites; Pick your bag, join peacecore and dig a well- do a random act of kindness that will leave a mark even 40 years from now, like it did for Jim who went to a small rural town in Punjab and built a one room school. Now, when he went 40 years later, the school still existed and had been added on a bit, and even girls were now going to it. Read more at

And with this audience whose delegates are all hopeful world changers, my hope is that they would be savvy enough to use all the tools at their disposal, all the technologies and know better than to twitter or Facebook their lives away. For they must be able to make the time to dig a well. Build a school. Stop a war. And make sure that girls are brought forward in this world with as much pride as the boys. Our hope has to be these 15-18 year olds. Their hope is themselves. Now who can teach me to twitter real quickly?