New Year usually evokes feelings of hope and new beginnings. But what I am is anything but usual. The fact that I am so different makes me much misunderstood, rebuked, and even pitied. In some cases for me, I feel there should be no apologies. We are all the same by being unique and different in our ways. And I celebrate this New Year differently in memory of some things that died or have paused, like a seed in slumber, my initiatives that didn’t fly. Continue reading
Almost twenty years ago, I bought part of my friend and Kumpare Jerry Gracio’s library. 175 books sold for a song to a friend who he thought would take care of the books and keep them forever. Jerry is now an award-winning writer/poet and currently Commissioner at the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and I don’t have a single book from that collection anymore. I was proud of that collection and allowed everyone who wanted to borrow the books to get them, trusting they would be returned. None did.
Apologies to William Blake for borrowing the first line of his poem The Tyger which first appeared in print in 1794, for the title of this post. The poem, Blake’s most famous, must have done much to create fear in the minds of people of the tiger’s ‘fearful symmetry’.
For several weeks, tigers have been burning bright for me. Thanks to the Tiger Reintroduction Meeting organized by WWF Cambodia for members of the Mondulkiri NGO Network (MNN), one of the networks I’m advising. It was attended by members of the Tiger Working Group composed of Dr. Thomas Gray, WWF Tiger Consultant, Dr. Jimmy Borah, WWF Greater Mekong Regional Initiative Lead for Wildlife and Wildlife Crime, as well as representatives of the relevant Ministries of the Royal Government of Cambodia. The Natural Resource Management Committee members of MNN came in full force during the meeting.
If you have been reading my blog, you know that I’m incredibly in love with India. I have been to India only twice (2015 and 2017) and have set foot only in four states (Karnataka, Jaipur, Delhi, Calcutta). But my love affair with India started long before 2015.
Let me pay homage to this beautiful country which I love as my own. How do I love India? Let me state the ways.
While I don’t want my blog to be reduced to a blog of lists, I’m doing this as I posted on social media a few days ago that I would. I promise my next post would not contain a list.
So for those who are not yet aware, last week, I set up a Bataris Petition on the right to vegan food. While to date less than a hundred have signed, I’ve seen that it has stirred conversations as it should. I’m sure there are also mental arguments among some who have read the petition, and I think that it’s good. That is exactly one my intentions in putting it out. Each person who sees a new perspective in favor of veganism is positive sign for me.
Although it’s sad that we live in a world where there is no assured access to the most compassionate, earth-friendly, and healthy diet, I think it is an idea whose time has come. I’m actually looking forward to the day that petitions like this are no longer needed. But we live in an auspicious time, where palpable transformations are happening all over, and I’m taking part in the shift by pushing for an idea that could no longer be denied.