Ask Amma

Father, tell me about Kashmir

In How on 23 July 2016 at 11:00 am

A young boy asks his father, “What happened in Kashmir?”

father son sunset

Those of us sheltered from the daily horrors that have become a way of life in far too much of the world may be unprepared to answer honestly when our children ask us questions like this.  How do we reveal much less “explain” the violence in the world, when we don’t quite understand it ourselves?

Fred Rogers said about talking to children about such events – “look for the helpers.”  In any horrible scene (e.g. that you might read in the news) there will also be people who are helping, even if it is only the reporter bringing public attention to it.

Going one step further, one can try to be a helper – even from a distance, as this father tried to do.

“B, We have to go a protest today. Do you want to come too?”
“What is this protest, Acha (Dad in Malayalam)?”
“It is about a place called Kashmir. A lot of people have been killed and blinded there by the police and the army.”
“What happened there?”
“Ok, Let me tell you…..”

Priceless Birthday Presents

In How on 12 June 2016 at 2:43 pm
As I was sending out invitations for our daughter’s birthday party, the question of gifts crossed my mind.  A long time ago I read in one of Miss Manners’ advice columns that it was bad manners to expect a gift.  Therefore, it followed that it was was not polite to offer any instructions about gifts to give or not give.  Although Miss Manners made a slight concession for children’s birthday parties, I agreed with her logic and simply kept gifts out of our vocabulary when inviting friends for parties.
Her concession, as I recall, was that one could, for example, decorate the invitation with images of say, books or trains, as a hint to parents wondering what to bring as a gift.  From the perspective of a parent of a child attending a birthday party, I can appreciate that it is nice to get such a hint.  But surely we can do better than that?  Can we not take the time to give a gift from the heart?
Also, let’s face it.  It’s 2016.  We know the Story of Stuff.

 

No one wants birthdays to be about accumulating more stuff.  But what is the alternative?

We All Live in Bhopal: Sign Petition to White House

In Call to Action on 8 May 2016 at 12:50 pm

The Mother hiding her face with one hand and carrying her child in the other, weeps for all of us.  This is the Memorial Statue honoring the victims of what many call the world’s worst industrial disaster, the explosion in the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal on December 3, 1984.  Survivors have been struggling for justice for over 30 years and are now petitioning the White House meet US obligations under Treaty & international law by immediately serving notice upon Dow to attend court in Bhopal on July 13, 2016.

Sign here: Tell the US Government to Stop Shielding Dow Chemical from its Crimes in Bhopal

We all live in Bhopal – please SIGN the PETITION. And please share widely. It’s what Julia Ward Howe, who proclaimed Mother’s Day in 1870 would do.

About the Artist & Sculpture

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