Posts Tagged ‘ culture ’

What does being ethical mean?

Dictionary definition of ethics

I’ve always had a hard time explaining ethics. Let me give you an example: why do I think lying is wrong? Because my parents told me so and because my teachers reinforced that idea in elementary and middle school. It was drilled into my being that it’s unethical (at an age when I didn’t…
Read More »

In step or not?

early man woman walking

I see a lot of couples walking in the mornings and evenings in my neighborhood. Mostly older folks — visiting parents I assume — from India. Women wearing saris with cardigans or shawls and sporting sneakers, men dressed in kurta-pajamas with a woolen vest and, sometimes, monkey caps. A small fraction of the women…
Read More »

Gender stereotypes: do you subscribe to them or challenge them?

gender stereotype

A couple of weeks ago, a blogger friend tagged me for a Not So (Wo)Manly challenge. The original tagger called this “Sinners Against Gender Stereotypes” and explained it, thus: Please list at least ten things you have ever wanted or done which your gender is not supposed to. The tag is called ‘My Sins…
Read More »

Are you an adult, yet?


I read Robin Marantz Henig’s “What Is It About 20 somethings?” in the August 18 online edition of the New York Times Magazine with much interest. Henig reports on various studies and hypotheses, most prominently Jeffrey Jensen Arnett‘s, who calls the 20s the “stage of emerging adulthood.” Henig observes that: One-third of people in…
Read More »

Redefining the business of marriage: putting mind over matter

beauty is skin deep

A friend found the “love of his life” on a matrimonial website. After seeing hundreds of photographs and commenting on each and every one’s height, complexion, nose-shape, assumed weight, and dress sense, he finally found one that was closest to his ideal image of an Indian bride. He has not even met her, but…
Read More »

Peepli [Live] — our apathy exposed


Peepli tackles many big issues in a span of 106 short-minutes the only way it could be done – with a generous dash of humor. I was struck by how we depend on levity to get us through reality. There were a lot of laughs interspersed with moments of deathly silence in the…
Read More »

A culture of obligations


I’ve become increasingly impatient with, and resentful of, anything that has a whiff of an obligation to it. Culturally, we’re trained to grin and bear it when auntyjis come unannounced to gossip about the neighbors and ask uncomfortable questions about one’s personal life. We don’t like it, but we still attend birthday parties of…
Read More »

What’s in a name?


Ok people. I am going to clarify this once and for all. It is Maan-see. Yes, open your mouth wide and say the “s” like you would say it in in miss. Not a “z” sound … a “see” sound. And no, it is not pronounced any other way. When I spell out M-A-N-S-I…
Read More »

Doing things just because…

Nani -- my maternal grandmother

Every time I cut my nails, I think of Nani, my maternal grandmother. She visited us briefly every other year – couldn’t stay for long, since it was her daughter’s house. Over the years mom rationalized with her…telling her she was not a “burden” and that if she ate in our house, she wouldn’t…
Read More »

Does it matter?

One 4th grade girl's self-image

Image by Todd Ehlers via Flickr “I don’t feel like a 60-year-old when I look in the mirror,” said a friend the other day. “I feel so much younger!” I responded, “I feel like I am still in my early 20s!” She went on to say…”Yeah but for the person watching me cross the…
Read More »


More in poetry (5 of 46 articles)