Charlie Hebdo


When I first saw the image of Alan Kurdi, I couldn’t sleep that day. I didn’t have the strength to see it again. I’m a mother of a toddler boy almost the same age as Alan Kurdi. I just can’t imagine his final moments. Even as I’m writing this, I feel a lump in my throat. I hate war!! I hate it!!

When I first saw these two cartoons from Charlie Hebdo, I really didn’t know what they actually meant. Still I didn’t feel good to see the little one there again.

Cartoon 1:
Title: The proof that Europe is Christian
Christians walk on water… Muslim kids sink.”

Cartoon 2:
Title: So close to his goal
“Two Menus Of Children For The Price Of One”. (The clown looks similar to McDonald’s Ronald)

Later I read this:

Maajid Nawaz, founder of the think-tank Quilliam defended the magazine’s cartoon: “Taste is always in the eye of the beholder. But these cartoons are a damning indictment on our anti-refugee sentiment,” he wrote on Facebook. “The McDonald’s image is a searing critique of heartless European consumerism in the face of one of the worst human tragedies of our times.

“The image about Christians walking on water while Muslims drown is (so obviously) critiquing hypocritical European Christian “love”.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

But the latest cartoon is totally insensitive and in very bad taste. This has nothing positive in it. It was based on the recent Cologne Sexual assaults. The moment I read the translated text, I started hating it. Why do you want to put the innocent child there?

“What would have happened to little Alan if he grew up?” “A groper of women in Germany.”

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Source: cnn

There are lot of articles telling Charlie Hebdo didn’t mean it and people like me are oversensitive and are unable to grasp the satire. Whatever! I don’t like Charlie Hebdo!!

 

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Dawn of 2012 & A trip to Kyoto


Ganesh and I started off to Osaka early in the morning by car with our neighbors. For the first time in 2 months in Japan I saw the sun dawn… With the snow glittering on either side of the road.. and I searching for the kanjis I knew from the name boards… 😛 By then I knew around 25 kanjis.. and bombarding Ganesh with questions.. “What does that kanji mean..?” “Thats Kawa, right..?” , “Hey look.. I can read that sentence.. Its written in Hiragana”.. And Ganesh patiently answering me.. and getting restless when he dint recognize a Kanji 😛

We reached Osaka and took a train to Kyoto while our neighbors headed to the Universal Studios. It took around 30 minutes to reach Kyoto. It was a bright, sunny day. We took bus passes which costed 500yen each. They were valid for the whole day. Ganesh took out the Kyoto map with bus route and decided to head towards Kinkaku-ji. It took around 25 min to reach the place. We got down little early and had to walk a little distance. The streets were serene and the weather was perfect with the sun smiling above us and there was a blimp which seemed to follow us everywhere.

Kinkaku-ji.. I had a difficulty in remembering this name. Kin– Kaku– ji… Kin– kaku–ji.. Kin–kaku–ji.. I kept repeating it. Ganesh explained its meaning Kin– Gold, ji-shrine.. He was pleased (read it felt relived) when I got it right. We got our Kippu’s (Tickets) and also a brochure in Eigo (English). I was busy reading the brochure which gave details about the place and its history. We walked few steps and I lifted my face to see the beautiful Kinkaku-ji.. Wowww… It was awesome..!!..  The Golden pavilion and its reflection in the Kyoko-chi pond… was one of the most beautiful sights I’ve ever seen.

Beautiful Kinkaku-ji and its reflection in Kyoko-chi Pond

Beautiful Kinkaku-ji and its reflection in Kyoko-chi Pond

We admired it for few minutes and started clicking pics. We wanted a pic of us with the Kinkakuji in the background. We asked for help from our fellow tourists. We were not satisfied with the pics though we asked 2-3 different people to click us. With an unsatisfied feeling, we headed to the next place. We had to climb few steps. We got a glimpse of Kinkaku-ji from the little hillock.. and again requested a tourist to click us. It ended up being Ganesh’s favourite pic. And whats next.. It finally ended up to be his profile pic in Facebook.

The Chinese Phoenix on top of the buildingKinkaku-ji dates to 1390’s and was owned by Saionji Kintsune. It was his villa. Later, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu bought it fromSaionji and transformed into Kinkaku-ji. It was converted to a Zen Buddhist temple by his son.  The top 2 floors of the building are covered with gold leaf. We are not allowed to go anywhere near it. It is said that this temple houses Buddha’s ashes. We can see the Buddha’s statue in the ground floor. There is also a Chinese Phoenix on top of the building.

Japanese TeaThere were shops selling Japan’s authentic stuff.. Ganesh wanted to try tea…Ocha… There was a tea-house called Sekka-tei built in traditional Japanese style. The tea reminded me of Palak.. Just the looks.. I took a sip. Ganesh loved it. He loves everything that’s natural, healthy,green, raw, 😛 etc etc.. Just the opposite here.. he calls me a Junkie..

There was a temple dedicated to Goddess of Fire. We saw people praying and we prayed too..  We followed our fellow tourists to the next place. My next post is about the other places we visited in Kyoto on the same day..

Diwali


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We always celebrate Diwali in our Grandmother’s place.. a village in Northern Tamilnadu.. Going back to my childhood days..
My great grand parents and my grandmother (Maternal side) lived in the village. Great grandpa (Thatha) is no more.. When he was there, Diwali was a very big festival to us.. Crackers, sweets, and lotsa fun.. A day before the festival, all ladies become busy making sweets and cleaning home. On Diwali, Gowramma is taken out from her case, decorated with a new saree, jewels and flowers. A small temple is built for her in the centre of our living room. Banana trees and many flowers are used to decorate the temple. In the evening, Nadaswaram and dhol is played by 4-5 people. Puja starts and villagers come to our home to pray Gowramma and do something called nomulu. Deepams are lit everywhere in and around our home. We burst crackers in our new dresses.
After 3 days, the temple is dismantled and taken to the nearby river in a procession. Dhol and Nadaswaram is played and crackers burst all the way from the village to the river. The temple ie the banana trees and all that is used for decoration is immersed in the river after a puja.
After Thatha passed away, this grand puja and celebration came to an end. Last year, we started doing the puja again in a small way and not as grand as we did before.