What is My Share of Green?

Hello Green Lovers,

You must be wondering what is My Share of Green?

Well, we all know that the economy has been in recession for the past few years and we are facing a triple crisis;
1- Financial
2- Climatic
3- Food

We are all educated and advised to make environment friendly choices and make changes in our life style and habits. I truly support the climate change movement and do agree that we all must look forward to sustainable development.

However, I am unhappy about a few things:

“Right now, 200 million people worldwide cannot find work, including 75 million young people trying to take their first step on the ladder of success”

The above is one of them. If I do not have a job, I do not have an income to rely on. That means either I rely on benefits (UK  & USA) or I depend on my family and friends until I find a suitable job.

In both of these cases, I cannot purchase organic food or other environment friendly products because I simply cannot afford it.

MY ARGUMENT # 1
GREEN MUST NOT BE EXPENSIVE

Be it organic products, eco friendly or whatever fancy name you call it. If it is promoting the environment, it must not be more expensive. And if it is, you certainly make green a luxury that only rich people can afford.

Green largely depends on income and affordability. I am not against greening or sustainable development. But I am against making green a commercialized product, just so some giant business corporations can suck the cash out of our moral guilt to save the planet.

MY ARGUMENT # 2
GREEN EDUCATION or ‘EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT’ MUST NOT BE LIMITED ONLY TO PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOLS

Education for sustainable development is active in primary and secondary schools but not in HE or FE. In fact as we grow up, our priorities change completely. We are not thinking about saving the planet any more. We are concerned with employability and making money.
While looking for jobs, the tough competition does not make things easier. When there are no jobs, any job that comes up has candidates fighting over.

Green jobs are good on papers but when it comes to career choices, how many of us would reject a job with good offer because it is not green???? This brings me to my third argument.
MY ARGUMENT # 3
YOUTH MUST BE PROVIDED WITH INCENTIVES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO TAKE UP GREEN CAREERS
If Green products are expensive, it means they must be making more money and must pay well, right??? WRONG. 
A career in agriculture is normally considered green under the UNEP definition of green jobs. We all celebrate every occasion of our lives with chocolates. 80% of the worlds chocolate beans come from Cote d’ Ivoire in Ghana, harvested by child slaves. 
Is our wage structure fair? Are we paying them what they deserve?
This leads to my last argument on the matter…
MY ARGUMENT # 4
MAKE GREEN EQUALITY A PRIORITY NOT A POSSIBILITY 
It is easy to talk about green products in business rooms. Even easier to debate and discuss green jobs and sustainable development in fancy lecture halls and it is cool to stick a ‘save the planet’ bumper sticker on cars or pin a tiny green globe at the lapel of our blazer.
Unfortunately, the above actions are not enough to do any good for our planet.
We must remember that,
# 1 if we want our general population to make green choices, we have to make it affordable, feasible, convenient and efficient.

# 2 as long as inequality is on the rise, green dream will never be realized. 
Inequality is the #1 contributor of pollution because it harms the environment twice i.e. the double dividend:
1 by forcing poor people to buy cheap non environment friendly products &
2 by enabling the rich to use resources and consume as much as possible, leaving not much behind for others to use. 

This is my concern for MY SHARE OF GREEN.

We are forced to feel guilty with regards to our environmental choices. We are told not to ask what do I get in return for making sacrifices today for the future generations. 
This is a very convenient way to make the rest of us feel guilty and consume less while the others do not give a damn about the planet. 
I am not saying that we must start behaving like those people who don’t care. But we certainly must know about our rights and believe that

GREEN SACRIFICES ARE FOR GREEN TODAY, NOT JUST FOR GREEN TOMORROW.

You must therefore ask and find out:
WHAT IS MY SHARE OF GREEN?
Keep in touch for more green rights stuff…
Love and Light
Shahla
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Is India a Nation of PERVERTS?

Disclaimer: This article is written to initiate healthy debate and/or inform the larger global audience. Hence, a healthy debate is welcome, DOUCHE BAGS are not.

Every Indian might feel defensive on reading the title.But seconds later after they realize what this is about, they would understand its full context. For an Indian living in India, it may come across as offensive even. But for an Indian living abroad, this is a question others ask us and the conversation goes like this:
“Hey, you’re an Indian right?
Yea, indeed I am.
Wow, great…. do you think India is a nation of PERVERTS?”

Sometimes the question is subtle, other times more direct.

Is India a Nation of PERVERTS?
No, the above question is NOT racist because I am an Indian woman and it is about my own race.
When you are born in a specific country, you get a tradition or custom or some natural resource as a ‘Legacy’. If you are born as a female in India, what you get as a Legacy is: rape, sexual assault, molestation, harassment, shame (for being a woman), another person controlling your sexuality(and much more including your choice to dye your hair) and the gift of ‘man-child’ in the form of male companions.
You may detect some extremism or some form of psychological hostility in my statement about Legacy for Indian women above, but let me take this further.
Recently, Mulayam Singh Yadav, a renowned Politician (of a state where I lived) recently said and I quote “rape accused should not be hanged. Men make mistakes… Handing death sentence for rape is not fair… boys make mistakes… there will be changes in the law if we come to power. Efforts will be made to change such a law so that those misusing it are punished. Those filing false reports will also be taken to task. When their friendship ends, the girl complains she has been raped.”


Read more here and here.
(By the way, when I was at the State’s national university, University of Lucknow, this politician’s son was my junior. Every single student and staff at the university can tell you the tales of these young men(him and his supporters) harassing female teachers and coming for an exam only to place a gun on the table, get a book out and copy paste on their answer sheets)
Similar remarks were heard from various other politicians when the Delhi Gang-rape event of December 2012 brought international shame to India. From ‘women crossing her limits by going out in the night’ to being a straight prostitute if she has a male friend or wears a jeans, we have heard it all.
See here
A recent video called NO COUNTRY FOR WOMEN puts it best. It is so far the perfect picture of India where women are either placed on a pedestal as Goddesses, as objects of sexual desire in Bollywood or as animals, beaten up and humiliated for being women. They are treated as everything but human.
The culture in confusion

The sorry  state of women in India has turned barbaric in the recent years or has it always been like this is difficult for me to say because I have lived in India during the 2000s and what was it like before, is unknown area. But what I do observe is a very ugly cultural dilemma.
The younger generation is obsessed with Westernization. Be it clothing, music, cinema or lifestyle, to be modern in India is to talk in English and consider Hindi speaking crowd as a bunch of uneducated or illiterate low lives. The problem with embracing Westernization is that it is far more complex than a pair of shorts and Bruno Mars. Westernization or Western culture has its own merits and demerits but one of the best features of Westernization is ‘open mindedness. A pair of jeans does not make you Western, but embracing the thought of choosing your own attire and letting others chose for themselves is modernity and Westernization.
The rich society of India comprises of kids of politicians, actors and high profile businessmen. A portion of this pie would wear Western clothing, enjoy pubs and night outs etc. The extremists on the other hand try to act like cultural police or moral police who hide across the country and find opportunities to attack these men and women as a defense mechanism to ‘protect the heritage and culture of India’. The middle class is divided between the two life styles and try to grab a slice of both pies. For example, while in school or college, young girls try to experience this so called modern lifestyle by hanging out with male friends, have relationships, travel a little, smoking, wearing revealing outfits etc. They do this behind their parents because until you are married, your parents have much more control over you in India as compared to the control of parents over young adults in Western countries.
This is because they are very well aware that once they get married, they will be totally under the husband’s control and have no personal freedom to live life on their own terms. And did I mention ‘arranged marriage’? The fact is and I quote again, “At 34.2 percent, India’s rate of female participation in the labor force is the lowest of any of the BRIC countries, according to U.N. statistics. Women make up 42 percent of college graduates in India, yet even those with diplomas are expected to let their careers take a back seat to caring for husband, children, and elderly parents. 

So, we are grown up and told at schools to study hard and get a degree but NOT to make a career; just to impress an educated ‘man-child’of a guy who can control our lives.
Hence, the confused culture.
Read here.
The dilemma of shame

Rape is a lot to do with consent and allegedly with shame. There is no doubt that cinema impacts our lives and our culture vastly, specially as young adults, the typical age of high dopamine and testosterone. Bollywood is fantastic and I am a big fan of Yash Chopra movies, but the culture-cinema team implies a very unique picture of sexual consent in Bollywood and hence in Indian culture.
From early movies until the 90s ones, a typical hero is the turned on freak who is trying to chase the ‘shy’ heroine and convince her for sex. Watch  here and here. The heroine is supposed to say ‘no’.  If she initiates sex or does not act ‘shy’ and chaste, she is automatically judged as a loose moral slut. This makes a very important point about the perception of consent in Indian culture.
Don’t get me wrong on the songs. I adore all these actors, singers and music but I also admit that this created a horrible perception about consent in the minds of Indians about females consenting for sex.
In this particular song, just notice the expressions of the heroine. If it was not the 1966 but 2014, he would go in for molestation straight, (at least in non Asian countries). And the heroine is cursed because she is interested in him but notice the way she is expressing consent (by turning him down over and over again).
Another noticeable fact is the difference between the songs above and the songs from the recent past (watch NO COUNTRY FOR WOMEN for the best summary). There has been a transformation, a major one to be noted. And that is from the chaste, shy and self controlling woman to an object of sexual desire. At least in these old songs, the only consolation is that they were treated like humans and there was decency and respect.
For some reason, we put a hell lot of emphasis on “shame” or in  Hindi- ‘IZZAT KA SAWAAL HAI’… 
But the concept of shame is different for males and females. What is shameful for a woman to do, is a matter of pride for the male. Masculinity and femininity are so far apart that the amicable connection between a man and a woman is like a distant dream. 
To sum up, either an Indian female is a sexually controlled chaste moral robot of a human or she is a tissue, an object of use and throw. She is either so full of shame that she’d kill herself if you touch her or she is shameless. I wonder who invented the word ‘shame’…

“Masculinity is so much to do with shame. Men would kill for shame and women would die for it”

– unknown


The gift of a ‘man-child’


I mentioned in the opening paragraph that Indian women get a ‘man-child’ of a male life partner through the system of an arranged marriage as a Legacy of the so called Great Indian culture. The process of finding the holy, so called God chosen, destiny MAN cum OWNER of a females life (even in highly educated and wealthy families) begins with advertisements. Yes, you read it right, kind of like the ones we place on Gumtree looking for a flat or for an old couch to sell in the UK or Craigslist in the USA. See these pictures and you will know what I mean.

And………….
The reward for being a fair, slim, beautiful and educated girl in the early twenties is a ‘MAN-CHILD’.
I have a statistical proof to use this term. 70% of Indian women suffer domestic violence which means 70%of men are beating them up. This attitude of domestic violence begins with throwing tantrums when they don’t get their way or feel emasculated for some silly reason. For example, I am sure you have encountered some kid at a grocery store at some point, asking his mom for a candy and when she refuses, the kid is straight on the floor banging his head, yelling and screaming as if someone has taken his kidney out???
It’s OK for this kid in the grocery store to some extent because it’s a kid after all. Another version of this kid is when he is married and has kids of his own, he asks his wife for tea and if she forgets, gets late or plainly refuses, instead of banging his own head on the floor this time, he will bang the wife’s head and yell and scream at her, the same way, ditto. This is a ‘man-child’.


Other characteristics of a ‘man-child’ are that the wife is supposed to wash, dry and fold his laundry, feed him, clean after him, place hi wallet, keys and shoes at set places when he arrives home, provide him tea every 30 minutes like a born barista assistant, not pick up phone calls when he is around because he just might need anything any second and she cannot be busy, stay away from old school and college mates because it might trigger his freakish jealousy induced mood swings etc etc etc
So, is INDIA a nation of perverts?

One might argue that I have cherry picked these examples and this is a very selective, subjective or biased way of looking at India. Actually, it is not. It is all bare disturbing truth, fortunately now recognized by various organizations, philanthropists and young Indians. The answer for the above question thus is “we are more than half way there”.
We will be titled as the nation of perverts if we do not bring an end to these orthodox ancient rules about the so called chaste woman’s consent. If we keep excusing our sons for rape and treating our daughters like objects of control and limitations. I don’t know what Sita did and why she was punished because to be honest it is doesn’t matter anymore. It is a mythical tale of Hinduism and with all respect to the faith itself; it is a tale of the past. What the present and the future need is peace and freedom. Instead of chanting of 1957 tales of India’s Independence, we rather battle for freedom that has now been castratized by own men and women.
While there are perverts and man-child of guys out there in majority, there is a very tiny, small minority who do not think that way. If they embrace Westernization, they do so with an open mind. And if they chose to keep their values traditional, they respect women and care for them as true companions. Either ways, this small group does not judge women but rather supports them. Women can be perverts too and there are many out there. The ones that believe that men have all the right to beat their wives up; the ones that believe that their sexuality must be controlled by a man because somehow they are dumb enough to mishandle it!?!?!
Pervert Politicians make pervert nations. That is for sure. But in a country where a penny worth of aluminum mug in the public urinals (for washing up) has to be chained to the wall for fear of theft, I am sure it needs much more than an intelligent politician. If you are an Indian, please save India from being a 100% Pervert nation, one pervert at a time. Begin with yourself, right now.
Love and Light
#domesticviolence #mulayam singh #rape #india #debate #perverts #arranged marriage #consent #sexuality #control #hope #women #feminism #feminist #westernization #revolt #shame #masculine #TOI #BBC #NDTV #Yami Singh

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Congratulations You've Failed by Shahla Khan

Congratulations You’ve Failed

by Shahla Khan

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Congratulations, You’ve Failed…..BOOK Giveaway

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Congratulations You've Failed by Shahla Khan

Congratulations You’ve Failed

by Shahla Khan

Giveaway ends July 01, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

What/who do you turn to for peace?

Are you connected with the best platforms of life?

Social Media platforms are a part of our life today. We all have some sorts of virtual accounts that connect us with thousands of others. I am sure you have come across viral videos and research lately that is pointing out the psychological damages of virtual networking on each user. We have this illusion in our minds that we are “connected” with so many people but the fact is we were never more lonely. Likes and status updates is just a bid for attention or an attempt to provoke envy, say the researchers.

I do have accounts on few platforms and while I cannot deny some benefits, I do agree with their negative aspects as well.

Anyways, this led me thinking, instead of Social Media Platforms, how about I focus on my Spiritual Media Platforms?

Don’t know what that is?

No worries, its simple and will improve the quality of your life by 100%…

“Spiritual Media Platforms are those networks or connections that do not need technology and words.”

Let me quote my example. I notice that the solution to most of my problems come from water, in water or around it. After a long tiring day, I need a long hot bath. After a long hot day, I need a dip in a cold pool. When it rains, I can spend hours under the bare sky. When I need to cry, I am in the shower. When I need inspiration for new ideas, I am in my bubbly bath, creasing my brows in deep thought as I pour fist fulls of water from one palm to another or scoop up some bubbles in my palm and blow them slowly as I think harder.

My spiritual connection is with water. Unfortunately, there is no beach near my home and I don’t have access to the larger bodies of water (neither man made nor real). But I turn to water in whatever way I can, to find that spiritual connection and find my peace.

If you don’t know your spiritual contact yet, you must focus on what has worked in the past. It could be-

1. Silent praying

2. A chat with your Mom

3. Gardening

4. Feeding the fishes or birds

5. Watching the stars glow

6. A walk in the park

7. Lay flat over the sands of an Arabian desert 

                     ……………………………………. the list goes on.

I am sure you have one too. Always cherish your connection with that one thing and spend more time with it than you do on other social media platforms that mitigate the quality of your life with crowds of school friends you never spoke with even when you sat in the next row to them.

I would love to hear from you about your spiritual connections. Let me know about some interesting and quirky connections you have made and how do they make you feel.

What/who do you turn to for peace?

The KILLER TOOL to achieve success in your mission…

If you fail to plan,
You are planning to fail…

I am sure you’ve heard that before. I’ve heard it so many times, I don’t even know who actually coined it.
Nevertheless, the importance of its message is classic and timeless.

Instead of giving you a great long lecture on goals and ambition, let us just jump right into it today! Let us begin:

1. Download the worksheet I have uploaded for you.
2. Sit down in a relaxed environment with just a pen and the print out.
3. Take your time and fill each section.
4. Remember to write only about your opinions and feelings, not what others think you should do.
5. When you’re done, stick the sheet around your work area or bed.

6. (Optional)
You can write and let me know if this simple tool helped you and your experience with breaking down your goals.

As Jim Ron says, “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”


Have a wonderful time with your thoughts and may you succeed in your endeavors.
Until next time,
Love and light
Shahla