Just a Thought – Victim or Perpetrator in #MeToo

While all my heart and soul goes to victims (men and women) of sexual harassment, some of the accusers in #MeToo movement do not seem reliable. Money, Politics or Vendetta might be the reason. However, these kind of accusers are damaging the credibility of real sufferers, who should have all the support and love. As the global #MeToo movement gains momentum in India, there is intense speculation and suspicion.

However, who’s right and who’s wrong…the dividing line is really thin.

Our only prayer – may the real perpetrators get caught, suffer and perish!

Image courtesy Google

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First Impression of Jeff Johnson – Candidate for Governor in MN

When I first saw Jeff Johnson, Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 2018, these two words came to my mind – Courteous & Nice! Yes, Minnesota Nice! No, he did not have the flamboyance of President Trump (though from the same party) or spell binding oratory skills or intriguing personas of renowned personalities but what struck me most was he sounded honest. An honest politician? The perfect example of an oxymoron!

The ‘Meet and Greet with Jeff Johnson’ was hosted by my jovial friends Johnson Madamu and his amazing wife Vishali – the most warm and good natured couple I have ever met. Their house always exudes an aura of abundance and cheer.

I mostly try to be apolitical but last Sunday I jumped over the chance of closely observing a politician at the meet. I’ve had a chance to observe many politicians while in India ( I am a former journalist) but in the US, this was my first occasion. I’m glad I went because it was an informative and memorable event.

It was a pleasant day and the aroma of mouth watering Indian delicacies filled the backyard of our generous hosts. Vishali was making sure everyone felt at home. Here and there people stood in groups waiting for Jeff.

He arrived with his wife, Sondi Johnson and running mate Donna Bergstrom ( If elected, will be the first Native American lieutenant governor). Affable and friendly, he mixed with the crowd without any airs. There was a substantial number of persons from Indian community, all waiting to know his take on immigration, school system and several other topics of their concern.

In his welcome speech, our genial host, Johnson Madamu, thanked Jeff for coming over and underscored the politician respects and values people from all races. His presence at his house was a perfect example of his respect for Indians as well as all communities. He also talked about Jeff’s support of legal immigration. Johnson Madamu’s sincere and jolly words made everyone feel settled and ready for more.

I watched intently when Jeff Johnson took the mike. He thanked the host stating that they had struck friendship recently at the state fair. Sans glamour or sugar coating, he stated plain truth backed by facts – Minnesotans are looking for a change and he has a different vision to bring about that change. He stated that he has met tens and thousands of people from different walks of life – women, child care providers, farmers, laborers, small business owners – all demanding change.

He also talked about the unprecedented enthusiasm of the public regarding the upcoming elections in November, where he would fight against leading Democrat candidate Tim Walz. He looked hopeful regarding his win.

Amidst other questions, the question on immigration was raised. To which he replied that he does not want Minnesota to be safe haven for illegal immigrants otherwise legal immigrants are welcome here. He also explained that most people in America are immigrants and his forefathers were from Norway.

Jeff also stated that his style is different from President Trump, because they have different approaches, may be because he is from North Minnesota. He agreed that some people will not vote for him because of President Trump and some may vote for him because of President Trump, but people should consider him as a different individual. The session ended nicely after great many rounds of questions and answers.

I have not seen or met his opponent Tim Walz and do not know what his ideologies are. Before Sunday, I did not have any idea about Jeff too but after observing him, I feel goodness can come a long way too. How further he’ll go? I do not know. All I know is Jeff Johnson looked like a man of integrity.

I can only wish the best for Minnesota. May the best man win!

Small Things#12 – Man Kid!!!

Last weekend, the kids were playing in a park close to baseball and soccer fields. And I was busy finishing some artwork on a nearby bench, when the little one came running towards me at full speed. Excitedly he pointed out towards a bunch of baseball players who had decided to hang out in the kids’ park. I saw my elder one as well as other younger kids stop and look at them with interest.

‘Mamma, look, do you see him? The MAN KID!!!

Man Kid?? It was then I realized he has never dealt with the likes of them before. He has always been with either kids or grown ups. They confused him, hence the words – Man Kid!

I smiled, looked at those dynamic boys and girls, bustling with energy and excitement with care a hoot attitude, and whispered to the little one – they are called teenagers!!!

Images courtesy Google

Small Things#11 – Magic in our neighborhood!

This Summer not only flowers but magic blossomed in our neighborhood.

Driveways got filled with chalk art and innocent secrets were shared. Every beetle was observed and ants ran for cover as little scientists scaled the grounds. Stories happened and games got invented! There were nasty fights, cuts and falls but all was forgotten.

There were songs sung in chorus and amazing dance moves! There were dirty hands, feet as well, and soaked muddy shoes. Round eyes laughed and ruddy cheeks sparkled as they got engaged in charming chatter.

I saw stars in their wild hair and music in the shrieks. Imaginary characters came to life and so much was make belief.

Yes, I saw it all from my brown chair…experiencing it all like lines of an old prayer.

Many many years back, I was a part of the magic… now, sadly, just an observer!

Flashes of India in America

This Summer, coincidentally perhaps, I’m enjoying flashes of India in America! Last week, I marveled at this amazing poster at one of the leading home decor shops of America. There were exotic products from my country – bright, lively, vibrant – reminding me of street bazaars of New Delhi.

And today, Indian culture, heritage and food was celebrated at Downtown Minneapolis in an event called IndiaFest. It really felt like being in India there, with tantalizing aroma of Indian cuisine, classical dances and crafts. I even saw things I didn’t know about India.

(Story being conveyed through paintings- ancient form of storytelling)

At the fest, it was India everywhere. I felt proud that even the next-gen Indians participated and perfected classical dance moves.

It was fun strolling and reliving India in America. We met up with some friends, bought mouthwatering street food and had a wonderful day at IndiaFest.

If I see another flash of India, will let you know. To know about the festival, read here.

Stay well, friends!

(Some images courtesy Google)

The Wrong Ferry

He looked at the beautiful lady standing next to him on deck of the departing ferry and wondered – Has she won a trip to Duluth, too? She wore a period costume, similar to Kate Winslet’s in ‘The Titanic’.

He cleared his throat and casually remarked about the weather but she seemed lost in thoughts. Her pale blue dress matched with her eyes while the turquoise waters of Lake Superior provided a befitting background.

Aha, photo time, he remembered! His wife, Mrs Sharma would kill him if he didn’t keep her updated with photos and messages. She had reluctantly let him go on this trip, alone.

He took out his iPhone.

“Do you mind taking my picture, pleeeeease…..”

The lady turned to him angrily. Her face changed, got distorted and eyes emanated fumes of red. Blood froze in his veins as he realized he had boarded one of the famous ghost ferries that haunted Lake Superior!

(This my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the amazing Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Thank you Ted Strutz for the image. Please CLICK HERE for more.)