Chopped Wings

The H4 visa is a curse, an immigration deadlock that stops smart, successful women from having a fair shot at a great career. The Department of Homeland Security is ambling with solutions but the H4 crisis is wrecking lives especially with the Indian immigrant populace.

Here is the story in detail. Are you suffering from this immigration bottleneck? Do you need out of this situation?
Chopped wings – wasted potential

East vs West – The paper trail

The Alternative is an initiative that focuses on sustainable living and for a while I’ve been contributing to their site. But on my recent visit to India, I observed that many practices and everyday living that my parents followed rarely affected the environment. Infact it nurtured and protected it. In contradiction, the western lives that we led in the USA was causing a severe strain to the major players. Yet we were the ones making all the noise and hoopla about going green and protecting the environment. So who was really making a bigger mess and hence had to do a better clean up? This series East vs West is an extension of my introspection of the Indian and immigrant lifestyles.

The first post focuses on paper. Contrasting consumption, production and recycling techniques The Paper Trail urges us to recycle more. Would be very happy to hear your thoughts.

East Coast Temple Trail

east_coast_temple_trailThis was a different trip.

Worship laced with wanderlust, devotion blending with discovery, heritage mingled with a holiday. And that was how we set off on the temple trail from Massachusetts to Maryland. Have you ever been on a trip that covered only religious sites yet found it reveling?

Read my travelogue as I embark on the east coast Temple trail, written for India Currents – A reputed and highly popular magazine for the Indian diaspora.

Book Review: Sideways on a scooter

Sideways on a Scooter is a memoir written by Miranda Kennedy about exploring life and love in India.

To begin with, this seems to be inspired from the Eat Pray Love saga that was penned by Elizabeth Gilbert. I simply cannot understand why New Yorkers have to jet set to India to figure themselves out. I was hoping to find that Miranda would check herself into some yoga resort but thankfully she doesn’t follow the path that is beaten to death. New York seems like a vibrant city to disentangle your webs and reflect with thought. Why make the 1000+ mile journey from East to West to be greeted with more chaos and disorder?

Some of the women in her book, Parvathi, for instance, is portrayed with more strength and conviction than Miranda herself. Even Geetha, the bubbly Punjabi girl, who is caught in the love-arranged quagmire knows where she stands and is very comfortable in her skin. Maybe that’s India for you. We understand how the country functions, some of us try to change things for the better. Others simply accept this as a way of life and live with it. We don’t judge our maids or explore the caste structure involved. We simply think of it as a job profile and learn to move on. In fact that’s how simple it should be. We do have cleaning ladies in America. They drive around in cars and if they mop there, they vaccum here. So let’s not get into ridiculing things just yet.

Also how does sleeping around with random guys in Delhi and Kabul justify your search for yourself? A little abstinence might actually knock some sense into this wanderlust women. The book gains pace only towards the later half when Geetha is getting set to enter matrimonial bliss and it ends abruptly.

Miranda wonders if she would ever be a part of India. The answer is Never. That’s the bane of immigrants. You are always lurking on the outside but peeking to get an insider’s view. Besides, being Indian is not a religion you can or need to convert into. It’s just a way of life. I’m thinking there would be many more of these travel books and although its not a travel book, I do not quite understand what genre it belongs to. Maybe confused women in yoga land?

Sideways on a scooter could have been humorous and witty. Miranda gets close to various aspects of her Delhi life and she tries to portray the lives of her household help and friends. But the narration is just that, dull and lacklustre. I hope her time in India was better than what she has penned. Just learn to look on the bright side, especially, when you are in India and trust me, you will be surprised.