Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Dumb People Kill in the Name of God

Most conflicts in todays world happen in the name of religion, when most religions and belief systems talk about peace and love! How does this happen? Can human brain be so dumb not to understand that the Power that created the human race cannot instigate it's suffering. It's like a mother giving birth to children and then having them kill and torture each other to prove their love for her. I believe God that various religions talk about is more intelligent, loving and merciful than an average mother across the different cultures. It is clear people don't really believe in the God they preach about if they are killing using God's name!
We, the religious people, talk about this great God. An entity who is beyond our understanding and yet we try to box God in our religious books, buildings, rituals, borders, languages and even gender! We say God created the world and us, the human race, and yet we try to recreate God according to our own definitions and explanations. We all say there is only one God but still the most knowledgeable among us spend a lot of time explaining how God in Islam is different than God in Judaism! 
C'mon, people, wake up! Pay attention to what you're saying. Please don't demean God and God's love in haste or ignorance. Don't let anyone manipulate our simple minds for their selfish and hateful agendas. They want to fight, let them fight in the name of darkness. They want to oppress, let them do it in the name of lust for power. They want to kill, let them kill in the name of control. Please don't believe they are doing for God because God doesn't need their hate to run His Kingdom. Period.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

To My Fellow Humanitarian Workers

Over fifteen years ago, I joined the humanitarian workforce to be part of the Red Cross response to an unfortunate earthquake in Bhuj, Gujarat. After that I had the honor of serving in super cyclone recovery efforts in Odisha, and a school fire response in Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu where 94 children were burned to death among other small disaster responses in India. As a young mother at the time, this work had a huge impact on my life. It changed my ambitions, my world view and the direction of my trajectory. I was so inspired by my mentors and those who had left their families to assist people who were suffering as a result of these tragic events. Wiping tears became a much more alluring act than worshipping God or in other words helping others became an act of worship for me.

Early 2005, I was asked to get my passport so that I could be sent to serve those who had survived the South Asian 2004 Tsunami in Maldives and Sri Lanka. Since then I have been able to meet and learn from people in about 30 countries around the world. Some memories are more powerful than others. I would never forget meeting this beautiful woman and her husband, both in their 90s if I remember correctly, in Ukraine in 2015. I met them in Kharkiv, they were displaced as a result of the Ukraine-Russia conflict. The lady asked me if God had forgotten her, she had already lived through World War II and had experienced her father's and brother's deaths. She recalled how she had seen her brother's body scatter into pieces in an explosive right in front of her eyes. Why, she asked, she had to go through pain one more time, leaving behind everything that she and her husband had built. I had no good answer for her, except to cry with her and reassure that God had not forgotten her. Trying to help others can many times leave you feeling helpless!

During this time I met thousands of humanitarian workers, each one of them was inspiring. I learned so much from them, fell in love with all and got married to one, Joseph Prewitt Diaz! Some can share a similar story like mine but most have a much more powerful account about how they joined and continue in this line of work. The smiles of my colleagues from Haiti continue to amaze as they struggle to make a difference in a place that is probably one of the most complex humanitarian context created by various factors such as internal politics, corruption, natural disasters and the role of the international community. Even though, as a humanitarian worker you feel disappointed on how slow the progress is or how hard it is to bring a change in the thinking of the community members, they taught me to never lose hope in the midst of hopelessness!

However, what inspired me to write this post was not the beauty and learning of from this work but the ugly side of it all. When we, the humanitarian workers, forget the mission and bring our own agendas in the mix, it becomes a bigger tragedy than the tragedy we are responding to! The personalities clash, the blame game begins, and strategizing for control takes over the efforts of healing wounds. We forget even little children sold lemonades to collect this money to give us to serve others. We just cannot afford to break their trust in us and our ability to alleviate suffering. Most recently I have been involved in the three hurricane responses (Harvey, Irma and Maria). The humanitarian in me is gasping because of the politics involved in the efforts! There were times when I had to deprioritize strategy and support for the hurricane survivors to deal with those who were confused between serving others and self service! It is not worth our time! There's nothing more disappointing to see hardworking focused humanitarian workers in the front lines feeling defeated because of the politics and lack of sensitivity of their bosses! People must chose their priority, those who want to do to politics should go into politics, those who want to primarily make money should join for profit work.The day humanitarian work is purely focused on helping others to respond to, recover from and prepare for adverse events, it will become much more cost efficient and effective.

When we come back in the new year, let's come to serve others not our egos! Big thanks to my exemplary colleagues who continue to serve without any personal or political agendas no matter what and showing us that it is possible to serve others selflessly! I urge us, my fellow humanitarian workers, to take a step back this holiday season to introspect and renew the commitment. Of course, we all have different ways of introspecting and mine begins with a conversation with God that I would like to share with you all -
Lord, give me grace,
Please help me,
To truly think of others,
And not make it about me!

Lord, you know,
I want to serve selflessly,
But often I forget,
And make it all about me!

Lord, help me to let go,
To serve freely,
When others stumble,
It's not about me!

Lord, let me look at you,
And rise above the triviality,
Focus on the greater good,
And serve the needy in reality!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

One God of All!

The more you study various religious books, you find more commonality in the various teachings than differences. I actually wrote an article about commonalities between Islamic, Christian and Hindu scriptures that was later published in a US Institute for Peace' book. Yes, there are differences among religions but not so big that they would compel people to kill thousands on the other side! And yet those who want power at any cost have been able to convince their simple followers to fervently hate others in the name of God. I want to emphasize though this post is not only about those who might be associated with Islam but also those who are associated with Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism and other religions. If God really created all, then why would He ask us to kill each other or torture each other's children that too to please Him? Does He really need humans to defend His honor and existence? Wars and conflicts in the name of God are the most ridiculous examples of human manipulation! 

You are white as snow,
Yet more colorful than a peacock,
Fluid as a river,
And solid like a rock!

You're so much more
Than the Sunday Church,
The morning Azaan,
And any religious splurge!

You are beyond any definition,
And all human understanding,
You cannot be bound in a book,
Doctrine or a building!

They call you merciful,
Yet wage wars in your name!
They say you sacrificed your life,
And ownership on power they claim!

How do you feel,
When your name is exploited
When your love is divided,
Do you feel disappointed?

If you created all of us,
How do you pick favorites?
By our religious brands
Or by faith and good acts?

Don't you think
Dividing your love,
For our greed for power,
Is simply ridiculous?

May you turn,
Our jealousy and hatred,
Into love and tolerance, 
For all as they were created! 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Claim Positivity and Act with it!

Sometimes when you let yourself be led by God and let go of things that hold you back, you are able to find inspiration in places and/or from people you didn't expect it! What a liberating feeling it is!

Yes, the same old insight we have heard so many times and yet we fail to practice it, mostly because we are not very thoughtful about where our focus should be. Letting go of thoughts that are not that important in our lives and yet eat us from within is the thing to do and it is possible to do it. All we need to do is to take a step back, look at the situation in an objective fashion (include a trusted friend, if needed), take a couple of deep breaths and make a decision to let go...! Sometimes it takes a little practice before you're fully successful. 

As you let go of what is not of value, focus on what is really important to you. Sometimes we are so stuck with trivial things that we lose sight of what is fundamental to who we are. As a result, we suffer pain, become negative, lose our creativity and charisma, what a needless tragedy for us and those who are around us! 

So, let's collect all the positivity from within and around us in the flowers, trees, birds, people we admire and heaven above and combine it with an action to make a difference! Would you do it today?

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Texas Shooting - Take Action People

Once again, there was mass shooting in the US. For more information, please visit:

So please remember not to blame the gun or how it may have facilitated the killing of at least 20 innocent people. Also, don't forget 'guns don't kill people, people kill people'! Very importantly don't even think about how a gun could increase the impact manyfold compared to person with a stone/knife in their hand. And please, don't mention about other countries where they implemented stricter gun control laws and haven't had an incident of mass shooting since. Saving lives is not as important as saving the right to have guns, you just don't get it, liberals! You shouldn't be so political and must protect gun laws because it is our right as Americans whether or not healthcare or good quality education is! Bottom line, lives, health and education will never be able to defeat guns or the money we make of them! Period.

I am sorry for being so sarcastic above and this is not my writing style but I don't how to express my pain and anger that is increasing with every new mass shooting that takes place in this beautiful country! I can't even begin to think of the pain the family members of those who got killed today in Texas. I really hope that the people of this country wake up and take control of the future and well-being of their children! Guns and monies can never be more important than lives, we must learn to priotize right! A handful of people shouldn't be allowed to play with the destiny of the majority. The weapon making industry is fueling the wars in the foriegn land and mass shootings domestically! It is time for We the People to take action! 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Breath In, Breath Out,
Breath In Peace and Positivity,
Breath Out Worries and Negativity,
Breath In Peace and Positivity,
Claim Your Inner Peace,
It's Yours To Own!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Divesity Whispers

Diversity has been hurting for generations! If one doesn't belong to the color, race, ethnicity or religion of the majority in a nation, they have to continuously prove themselves to be patriots, sufficiently talented and sometimes good enough to be able to live! Today with nationalism on the rise, diversity is whispering to nations -
Accept me and embrace me,
Before I give up on you,
Acknowledge me for who I am,
I am tired of proving myself to you!
I pick up the cotton,
And I also teach,
I cook and clean,
And stars too I have reached!
There's no color of
Intelligence and hard work,
There's no race of
Ability and rigor!
Why then my people are judged,
By how they look,
Not by who they are,
And what they do?
I have always brought talents,
ideas and experiences,
But I am faced with
Questions for generations!
Is it the fear of
difference of opinions,
Sharing of resources,
Or losing dominance?

But these matters
Don't belong to me exclusively,
No one has ever retained
Control over everything conclusively!
Sharing is the only way,
If you want to evolve and rise,
Different doesn't mean erroneous,
Variety in thought will only make you wise!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ah, The Moments of Faith!

Faith and fear,
How different they are,
To find a place in my heart,
They're always at war!

There are moments,
When fear wins,
It feels everything's shut,
And it gets so dark within!

Then there are times,
When faith is victorious,
There's light, hope,
And a fresh portion of breeze!

Clearly, fear is undesirable,
Yet, life often brings it around,
The slimy emotion finds way in the heart,
My resistance no matter how strong!

And when you're a mother,
Fear finds many more avenues,
You shut one door,
From another, it comes through!

One runs between books,
and friends and family,
To find weapons against fear,
To defeat it finally!

But it comes back again,
And again and again,
Until you bow down to pray,
And faith within, you gain.

Ah, the wonderful
Moments of faith,
Breaking the walls of darkness,
Seep in the heart, the bright rays!

The situation may remain the same,
But peace sinks in,
The silhouettes of doubt fade away,
The heart overflows with thanksgiving!

But the fear sits there
Waiting for faith to falter,
It comes gushing in,
So, stay focused dear!

Keep the eyes on Jesus,
Let the waves move beneath your feet,
Keep marching forward in faith,
And all problems in Him, you will defeat!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

O India, My Motherland!

A plea of a migrant to her motherland:
O India, my motherland,
My identity and my pride!
My soul seeks nourishment,
Only your bosom can provide!

Your children share
Candor and still bond,
where conflicts are ajar,
Yet harmony is strong!

Your iridescent culture,
Your diversity entwined soul,
All colors, all shades,
Every Indian makes you whole!

Dilli, your very heart!
houses a conscience,
Woven intricately with
Every element of your essence.

A global inspiration for
Unity in diversity
Thrives on differences,
My viberant city!

When I was a child,
The rain was enough,
To wet our lives
with happiness and love!

Our contentment,
Money didn’t dictate,
There was more felicity,
We could take!

Laughter rang in the air,
No dearth of games to play,
Without any technology,
We were happy and gay!

And the magical travel,
On the chuk-chuk trains
Through the rivers, the fields,
And the mountains!

Then our world changed,
I began to grow,
What it meant to be a girl,
I began to know...

It was tough to have
a mind of my own,
Freedom with subjection,
A lifestyle, I was shown!

I experienced first hand,
Tragedy and pain!
How can the powerful
Become so inhumane?

I attended from close
the human suffering,
Lack of God's control,
Was always so puzzling!

Work and relations
held my hand,
Took me to many voyages,
To visit my mother land!

I traveled from
Kashmir to Kanyakumari,
Spoke to Gujarati,
Bengali, Marathi and Bihari.

I recall the villagers
and the delicious food
They offered on the leaves
cooked with love and gratitude!

They taught me
The secrete of strength,
Grounded in simplicity,
Not dependent on wealth.

Amongst all the hardships,
Women's agony was worse!
Rape, abuse and exploitation,
For many, life was a curse!

To see a woman's ordeal,
There's no need to travel,
If not all, every other house,
Witnessed her battle!

Dilli, heart of India
Tell me, why
Respect for women
is still an outcry?

Women proved themselves
Over and over again,
Indira to Pratibha but
Women still live in disdain!

India, my motherland,
Tell me, why
The female fetuses
Still have to die?

Why 'Independent Woman',
Is still an enigma?
Why honor is not attached
To dignity but to her vagina?

Slowly but surely,
Things are changing,
With education and experience
Mother India is evolving.

However, for those
Who are comfortable with
Patriarchy and misogyny,
‘Azad Naari' is still a myth!

I yearn to come back,
But I fear for my dignity,
Would my choices be accepted
Or will I face hostility?

I collect a handful of
Courage everyday,
To return and serve,
My motherland one day!

I dream of surrounded by
Women of all ages,
Learning and sharing about
Freedom from our cages!

I can hear the chuckles,
I also expect tears,
Oh, the energy of togetherness,
Will chase away the fears!

I visualize walking together,
On a higher road,
With our chins high,
No-one will our hope erode!

May the honor and dignity,
Of your women,
Oh mother India, always
Flourish and sustain!

Our historical heritage,
will guide us to Unity,
In spite of any differences,
We will bond with integrity!

In our society, those who
Inject hatred and violence
Daughters of India,
Will demonstrate defiance!

O India, my motherland,
Your daughter longs to return,
To caress and serve you,
And to contribute and learn!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Colour Of My Skin

The colour of my skin,
Didn’t matter to me,
‘Coz when I was born,
I was colour free! 

Then eventually,
The colour of my skin,
began to take shape
and come into being,

It crawled into,
the definition of my beauty,
Unwelcomed, unplanned,
It became part of my identity! 

There were some people,
Who liked and disliked me,
For the colour of my skin,
The 'inner me', failing to see!

They said, ‘coz I was dark,
I wasn’t pretty,
Little did they know,
I was way too witty...!

I continued to rise above,
The colour of my skin,
Not letting it bother,
The young woman within! 

Just when I thought,
I had conquered,
The colour of my skin,
Another place, I entered.

A nation, that thrived
On its diversity,
But undermined it too,
By tolerating perversity! 

I faced a new reality,
Now my race was linked
To the colour of my skin,
In a manner very distinct! 

The colour of my skin,
developed into a bigger affair,
Somehow, it represented my being,
In a manner not quite fair! 

People of the new place,
Were more discreet,
Without mentioning my colour,
They made it hard for me to compete. 

Recently, I was handcuffed,
By a white turned scarlet!

And every now and then,
I feel a subtle ‘something’
Hampers my advances, with which 
My capacity has to do nothing. 

I am often left confused,
Is it my colour or is it me?
If it's me, I will improve,
But my colour, will still be. 

There are days,
When I am weak,
I wish for another colour,
Or plan to leave.

But how can I give up,
We have to build on
the struggle of millions,
Who, despite all, marched on! 

Thanks to their fight,
There’s still hope,
Their pain gives me courage,
Their resilience inspires me to cope.

And how I can give up,
I know my seed will grow,
With the same colour of my skin,
For him, this wall I have to blow! 

Maybe one day,
The colours of our skin,
Will be just that,
And we will be appraised from within! 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

I am Many Women

I am the little girl,
who was told,
She was silver,
and her brother was gold.

I am also the girl,
who let her silver
be carved and polished,
and look she too does shimmer!

I am the young woman,
who couldn't follow her heart,
because she was a woman
and wasn't as smart.

I am also her,
who didn't stop dreaming,
Created her own world,
and continued devising.

I am the woman,
who was exploited
by the one she loved
'coz she was taken for granted.

I am also the woman,
who fought a good fight,
to protect her dignity,
and made things right!

I am the assistant,
who was paid less with money,
but lots with complements,
Did her work get appreciation any?

I am also the assistant,
who left the job one day,
not because she gave up,
but 'coz she were to fly away!

I am the female worker,
whose capability was questioned
because she was a battered one,
Yes, her boss was cautioned!

I am also the same worker,
who proved herself every time,
became her own competition,
To her side converted the clime.

I am the wife,
who turned stale,
felt rejected,
was her honor so frail?

I am also the wife,
who decided she wasn't
a meal that becomes stale,
but a reality that is always current!

I am the mother,
who became a nuisance,
for a son who's becoming a man,
shaking her very existence.

I am also the mother,
who will teach him one lesson,
that he not only respects her
but each and every woman!

I am many women,
and I will always rise,
be victorious on this earth
and conquer the skies!

Friday, February 3, 2017

I Will Speak Up for My Sister!

Right from my childhood, I was led to believe that I was a outspoken and argumentative little girl. I was instructed many times to learn to behave like other girls who focused on studying and taking care of the household. But I was busy being myself, wondering why things were as they were. As a little girl I would wonder if I was being treated equally as my brother. If not, why? If I was expected to cook 'roti', Indian bread, and my brother was not, I would fight and sulk. My innocent mind, without reading Paulo Friere or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, aspired for equality.

Teenage followed by that childhood wasn't easy either. I remained within the social order but every now and then broke the unwritten rules. I often cut my hair short, dressed like boys. I loved to wear my father's and brother's clothes, loved to ride my brother's bike and hung out with boys. I remember assisting older boys in flying kites on the roof and helping younger boys to sneak in the swimming pool during 'family time' pretending to be their sister (in Delhi, at the time, a boy couldn't swim with other girls if he didn't come with a female family member). I loved hanging out with boys because they just seemed freer and carefree. They had my kinda gender!

By the time I was an adult, I continued to my efforts to take control of my life. One of the big ones was to get married to someone I liked, in spite of the 'arranged marriage' culture in India. And I did, married a guy I liked and failed miserably. The marriage didn't work because I had made a bad choice and moreover, I was set up to fail. I was mostly ostracized by my side of the family. How was I supposed to succeed in a task that I was doing for the first time with no support and guidance? After struggling for over 5 years, I moved out and moved forward! People were quick to blame me. Some were just happy because I had fallen flat on my behind and failed. There were only a handful who truly supported me and I will be eternally grateful to/for them. They stood by me no matter what! If not for those people, I would not have been able to continue my journey towards a freer life. They were just there to support me even if it was in private. It wasn't about money, it was about the emotional support and the validation I needed desperately. And it wasn't all women, there were men too. In addition to God and my inner strength, I owe my survival to them!

Now, I want to be 'them' in other women's lives, women who are on their way to freedom and independence just as I am! I want to support those women who are tired of walking alone or have gotten weak because of frequent fights in their lives. I want to stand up for women who are standing up for their cause. I want to tell them you are precious, your opinion is valued and you will survive this. Not that I want to exclusively help women, if I can, I will help others too. However, I do want to speak up for my sisters and I want to urge all my sisters around the world to speak for our other sisters. For thousands of years, we have tolerated, we have suffered, we have ached alone and have watched each other being violated by others and have kept quiet. There were times when we even sided by the perpetrator. Not anymore!

When we see a woman being bashed by people on social media, stand up for her. Don't ignore her plight because you hate her husband like in Melania Trump's case. Don't keep quiet because she happens to be your competition in the office. It is okay to like or dislike a fellow woman. It is ok to provide constructive feedback to a sister in private or within a trusted circle is cool too. But if we see one being bullied, let us take a stand for her. Today it might be her but tomorrow it could be you or me. The written history, our physicality, our religions, the social norms, cultural practices and our goodness have made us the weaker gender but when we focus on our inner strength and come together to take collective action, we are simply unbeatable! Let's fight for equality and dignity for all with love!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Letter to President Donald Trump: Let’s Make America Great!

Dear President Trump,

Hope you are feeling good with all the work you accomplished during your first week. No matter what my friends say, your focus and ability to get things done is impressive! I also think your motivation for doing what you are doing is good too, you want to keep our country safe, bring back jobs and keep the danger away from our homeland. 

Sir, while you’re trying to honour most of the promises you made during the campaign, you might be falling short on one big one. Didn’t you want to make America great again? 

I am not sure how by limiting America’s role on the international forum, you will make America great. I am not sure how by restricting America’s generosity to those who are desperate for help, you will make America great. I am not sure how by violating International Humanitarian Law by allowing torture, you will make America great. I am not sure how by violating The Principle of Non-refoulement  by turning refugees away, you will make America great. I am not sure how by ignoring the plight of women and children, you will make America great. 

If any of these actions are backed by empirical evidence that they will keep Americans safe 100%, I am all for forgetting the promise of making America great. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety and security comes way before becoming great! Unfortunately, the more I read, talk to people on both sides, reflect on learnings I collected in the last 15 years of travelling in over 100 cities around the world, I am not sure if marginalising people based on religion, race or nationality increases national security. On the contrary, it makes things worse! 

I am guessing you still want to make America great because you are a man who is known to make great things happen. According to the Oxford Dictionary, ‘Great’ is defined as ‘of an extent, amount, or intensity considerably above average’. So according to this dictionary, aren’t we supposed to go above average on the values that this country stands for. Oh, I am not talking about the liberal secular ‘stuff’. I am talking about our Christian values and the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Mathew chapter 5, verse 42, Jesus says, "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you". In Mark chapter 12, verses 30-31, He says,  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” 

I could go on and on about how Jesus teaches us to practice compassion and mercy. One of our Founding Fathers, Samuel Adams once said, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous flee to it and are safe (Proverbs 18:10). Let us secure His favor and He will lead us through the journey of this life and at length receive us to a better". Are you saying the teachings Jesus commanded us  and the values our Founding Fathers gave us are no more the way to being great? If that is the case, please make it clear so that there is no confusion. Would you mind telling us what are the set of values you are using to make America great again or have you given up on that promise in your very first week? 

Very respectfully,

Anjana Dayal de Prewitt
An American Citizen who wants to see America great! 


It’s all about the roots! Our roots don’t pull us down, they enable us to grow farther away to explore the unknown skies! #roots #trees ...