Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

Bandit Queen


Photo by Avnish Choudhary on Unsplash


American beauty, European doll

Indian princess, I spoke to them all.

We are not so different

the queen of life

comes to me in her own dreams.

We are we are not just visiting here,

we belong we belong to the sounds, to the sun, to the air.

These are not just words

Show me how to be a woman I asked.

And heard no response.

There is no way, is there?

We are, we are all.



Photo by Debashis Biswas on Unsplash



Photo by Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash


Love is a fire, it cannot feel itself burn.

We walk in circles with the sand between our toes.

Do we even know we are here?

We close our eyes in order to see the sky.

It is much foggier now

since we spit at it with our mad poisonous tongues.

There is no water here, there is no water here

and we talk about the weather as if it’s raining inside us.

As if water is perfect, and we are the flawed ones.

I can sing your songs, and talk your talk

but we cannot stand together because

there is not just you and I

we are more than this small day.

We are all someone that cannot know no one.

I don’t know if you are another person

or just a part of me that is somewhere

You stand there, as if.

As if.


Dear Mind,


Photo by Miguel Salgado on Unsplash

I am always wondering what is going on with you? Lately, I have felt flat like there is not much going on in my mental capacities. You think you control me. I don’t want you to control me. I want to be in control of you. Then who am I if I am not you? Where are you, anyways?

Do I need to use you, to control you?

If I decide to watch my thoughts as they go by, then I’m watching my mind’s activity, but am I not doing that with my mind? There must be another thinking, feeling part of my body that is not my mind, through which I can control my mind.

I think it’s my soul.

You, my mind, have to make friends with my soul. This relationship is very important, for me.

Sometimes I think you have taken over my very being. You think I am nothing without you. But I can conquer you, you are full of negativity and repetitive boredom. How many times a day do you worry about the same thing over and over again. Whether it be you worrying about money, or relationships. Money again.

Why do you think about money so much? I know I don’t have enough but to repeat the anguish over that over and over again is like torture.

When I lose you, do I make you crazy or do you make me crazy?

What do you really want, you, my mind? What do you want from me? Do you want me to focus on frivolity instead of really being present in my life? When I’m sitting with another human being, why do you want me to think about the grocery list?

Why are you not always my friend?

Remember, I own you, not the other way around.

I want us to be friends. I want you to do what I tell you to do, and I want you to tell me to do what I want you to do.

Basically, you serve me, and not the other way around.

What do you want me to be? I want to be free. So free I don’t even have to answer to you.

And again, do you even exist? Where are you? In my brain? In my left arm?

You can make or break me, you know that. Make me. Make me who I want to be. You may be the worst part of me, but I want to get to know you. Get to know me. Find out who I really am. Help me be that person.

I hope you don’t mind, but if you don’t do that right thing, I mind.

To meditate is to be outside of you. To live, to be, to really be present, is to put you aside.

Come with me, I will show my garden.


Nobody Knows…


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

The dishes are piling up, the pans I used to make shrimp dumplings last night have soy sauce stuck to them. The floor needs to be swept, the popcorn I ate for breakfast spilled on the floor and I missed a few when picking them up. Yes, I had popcorn for breakfast.

It’s not a good day. I slept too much, could not get out of bed. Don’t know what to say or if I have anything at all to say. I didn’t water the flowers which have been doing pretty well since I have been taking care of them lately. The dead red impatients need to be clipped and I should probably give them some plant food.

I fought with my mom this afternoon, something about my attitude. Don’t even remember what I said. I was supposed to do, and do and do, and I did nothing. I ordered a take out spicy salmon bowl from Sushi Ya, they forgot to give me chopsticks which annoyed me. There will be an eclipse soon, and I’ve made no plans to see it. What else am I missing out on in life? I’m reminded of the song, “Total Eclipse of the Heart.” Can’t decide if I like that song or hate it, never could decide.

I prayed today, prayed things would get better.

I started with a new commitment on a health plan. I can only hope it works this time. I’m shakey, shakey about what’s to come next in this life. I watched the news for a moment. Note to self: news is not a pick me up. Bad idea. News is about the sad state of this country, which seems to be going downhill. I don’t want to know about white supremacists, they are not people, tell me about people.

But the thing is, I can’t be like this. There are flowers hanging right outside my window. They need me to keep them alive. I need them to keep me alive. There is music playing in the background of my life…I’m listening to that song…”We’ve got the dreamer’s disease.”

And I still dream. I have nightmares when I sleep too much, but the dreams I have when I am awake, they are sometimes better than reality. I was watching a new show on Netflix called Atypical. The reality is I’m Atypical. I’m not normal and I’m OK with that, I never really wanted to be normal. I just want to be good.

Does that sound cliche, wanting to be good? How about just wanting to feel good?

It’s almost ten o’clock at night and I want to eat something sweet. As I mentioned I started a new weight loss plan, well let’s just call it a healthy lifestyle, shall we. Let’s not use the dreaded word diet. But it’s a diet.

I’m a little hungry, a little annoyed and my head feels a little heavy. I recently changed medications and I think I’m having withdrawal symptoms. That’s why sometimes I withdraw from the world. Because it doesn’t make any sense to me. None of this makes sense.

I’m not depressed because people in the streets are chanting about hating people like me, I’m depressed because I’m not out there fighting against it. I haven’t gone to a rally or protest or anything. I’m still having trouble leading a regular life, much less trying to change the world.

You know, I used to want to think about changing the world, especially about race, but it seems rather pointless to think in such broad terms. I can’t even change the fact that if I came home with an African American man my parents would freak out. And I’m not the only Indian person with this problem.

I don’t know how to change people, and I’m not sure how to change myself. It’s days like these where I wonder if there is a point in doing anything at all. If we should all boycott life, like I sometimes do, and stay in bed all day. My father who really isn’t really a racist loved Obama, but wouldn’t want his daughter to marry a Black or Muslim man, said that all minorities in America should boycott work, like the peaceful protests in India. We should all just take a day off because we have to fight against the bully racist that is running this country.

I like any idea that promotes taking a day off of work. So why do I say my dad is not a racist when he sort of is? Well, he is very much against the racism in this country. He can be a hypocrite, he is complicated. As am I. He is trying.

Is it good enough? Is any of this good enough. Are any of us good enough?

We don’t know, no one knows for sure who is assessing, who is counting, where the measures are being made.

I’ve decided instead of measuring I will meditate and leave the rest up to the universe.


Photo by Victor Lozano on Unsplash



Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash


Let’s change the world before halftime, intermission,

by being ourselves, by being real.

The show is almost over and we are still sitting in the back

taking pictures instead of being able to feel.

We want to capture moments instead of being in the moment.

I’m standing right in front of you

where did you go when I said your name?

Life is a gamble but it is not a game.

To know yourself is to really look at a flower,

to be yourself, if even for an hour.

Infinity is your friend as you

wait for tomorrow.

Don’t cry, don’t you cry, this is still your life.

It doesn’t need to be recorded or put on the Internet.

In order to have validity and be a sacred journey.

It needs to be felt and discovered as you walk and as you sit.

You are amazing, there is no one like you

don’t you walk away from this life,

no one else is going to be you

you have to fill your own shoes.

You don’t have to wait for the light to turn green.

All of us are watching,

we won’t run you over if you break the rules.

This is it, this is the only chance you get to be you

don’t wait for congratulations

you have always been free to spin around

and move a different way when you lose.

In a world that is spinning in the universe

you can move in your own circles

there is no one here testing your path.

Take the road, take any road,

it matters little which one you choose.

We will keep time as you run through the avenues,

you are the one who is racing yourself

win or lose.



Join my cult…we’ve got Kool-Aid!—Repost


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Join my cult…we’ve got Kool-Aid!


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

So did I ever tell you about the time I met a guy who was in a cult?  Yeah I mean it was a serious like voodoo kinda cult. Was I little interested in the cult before I knew all the details of the weird supernatural shit they were doing?  Yes…little bit.  Did I have to have a good friend talk me off the cult ledge?  OK, I admit it, I was gonna try the cult on for size.  

So maybe I’m not the most reliable source when it comes to spiritual practices…just sayin’…I may have almost joined a cult.

The same friend who saved me from dancing with the devil, calls Christianity a cult, she was raised Catholic.  I’m gonna take the fifth on that one.  As someone I know put it all religions have something I like and something I could care less about.   

I don’t know if it’s a good idea to talk about my personal spirituality.  Look I don’t want to sound preachy and weird.  But let’s face it, I’m preachy and weird.  

So what is in a word?  I mean a word is just a word, it’s a symbol actually.  Without the meaning we give it, it means nothing.  I choose to meditate on words, it’s no wonder since I consider myself a wordsmith.  I’ve tried silent meditation, where you watch your thoughts silently, but I can’t seem to always get a grip on that, so I use what they call mantras. Which are just words that have sort of an eternal meaning.    

I use the word, Waheguru, because that is what I was brought up with.  It’s actually a breathing technique.  The word just means Wonderful Teacher.  Sikhs use this word. 

I feel an extreme amount of peace and bliss when I meditate.  I don’t do it cause I got nothin better to do.  I do it because it centers me and makes me feel connected to the love in the universe. I have felt love, I have been in love, and I have been loved when I meditate.  

I think the word is a guide, like a guru, or teacher that stops my mind.  You don’t have to use a word.  You don’t have to do anything.

I mean when you think about it why would you go around just chanting a specific word or phrase, it sounds absurd.  Until you do it and realize you start to become what you chant…

There are thoughts, which create things in our life, and there are words which create more things in our life, and then there are finally actions that create the biggest things in our life.  You can go around chanting OM or whatever and if you kill your neighbor, well buddy you will probably be killed yourself in some metaphorical way.  The universe gives you what you put out there.

Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

I try to put out love, I try.  I don’t always succeed.  In fact, sometimes I want to punch love in the face…I’ll admit it.   

I mean I’m so strange, I talk to god like he’s a friend, according to me, me and god are buds.  I don’t sugar coat my prayers as if I’m talking to some kind of alien.  I have said four letter words to god, yes I have.  Only because, well he has heard them before and he is aware when I say them to my best friends.  He is one of my best friends.  Why would I pretend that he is other than real?    

God is usually thought of like this alien being who judges and punishes us.  But we are the ones judging and punishing, god simply is. She is there. In fact, she is here.    

Look, I will do anything for love…but I won’t do anything…When I say, love, I mean love of self and of the universe as a whole.  

I’ve read many books about repeating love chants.  One woman said to say, “I accept myself,” another said, “I love myself,” ancient scriptures say to go to your real identity:  God, Allah, Waheguru.  They say if you repeat the name of god over and over and over till your blood boils, you will be godlike.

Call me crazy, but does that sound cultish to you?  “I love myself, I love myself, and on and on and on”  “Allah O Akbar, Allah O Akbar”…and on and on and on.

Well, truth is I’m so unsatisfied with my life, I’m doing the crazy deed.  I’m repeating.  Over and over again.  WA-HE-GU-RU.  

The reason again I’m not doing the “I love myself” thingy is because I feel like an asshole when I do it and I’m naturally enough of an ass as it is.  And why not, if I’m gonna do the whole repeat a word over and over again, why wouldn’t I want to become goddess-like?  So I’m going to the source, skipping the just loving myself.  I want to declare how I love the universe like god does.

But that’s just me.  I’ve heard miracles happen with a lot of different affirmations and mantras.  I don’t think it matters what you choose.  But please do choose.  Just choose a word or phrase that means something to you.  I mean if you want to get into to all this biz whiz…I totally respect you if you think it’s wacky. 

I don’t know if something mystical is gonna happen to me.  I believe I’m destined for great things though, I always have.  I kind of realize that even if I sell a best seller or get married, there ain’t no guarantees of happiness in those things.  I think the real greatness I’m talking about is inside.  

I think I’m destined to be happy.  I’ll let you know how it goes.


Face Colors


It’s 9:30 a.m. and I already want to take a nap. I had to take the trash out and one bag was too heavy, so I dragged it and it ripped open. Spaghetti noodles went flying everywhere, then a V8 bottle rolled down the street and some sort of flour went flying all over the grass. I ran after the huge expired V8 bottle before the red liquid leaked from it. It was a mess. I’m sorry to say I didn’t pick up the noodles, I just left them there. I should have put the expired V8 on top of the expired noodles and made expired dinner or something. I was very frazzled. I know, I know, I littered spaghetti noodles of all things!

Our cleaning lady had emptied out our pantry and she found a lot of crap in there that needed to be thrown out, but she has this habit of putting too much garbage in one bag. I’m not She-Ra or whatever, I’m just a woman with relatively little muscle tone. So it was a trip to carry the heavy bags. I know, I know, first world problems.

So I decide that I’m frustrated and I need an iced coffee that’s already made for me. So I’m in my pajamas, a nice turquoise t-shirt with striped turquoise pants. I look cute for sleeping, not for going to Starbucks. But hey, there is one not too far away that is a drive-thru.

So I get a vanilla sweet cream iced cold brew, with light ice, and a blueberry oatmeal. As I’m driving I get a phone call from my dad. “We don’t have milk, pick some up on the way, I have to make chai.

“I can’t go to the store, I’m wearing my night suit.”  Now let me explain. Indian people call pajamas “night suits.” I have no idea why and I don’t care. But very few Americans understand this. Or they call it “Pajama,” singular.

Anyways, my dad was like, “You went to Starbucks in your pajama?”

“It’s a drive-thru” I protested.

“Don’t you know, you are colored,” he actually said to me. “The police could tell you to get out of the car. Don’t you know what is going on these days?”

“Dad, why would they tell me to get out of the car, what am I going to get arrested for?” I ask in dismay kind of laughing, kind of wanting to cry.

“You are colored. They don’t need a reason.” My dad called me colored, so that happened. He was half serious and half joking. I’m sort of half serious and half joking about it myself.

I got the mail on the way back to the house. It’s true, I avoid getting the mail, sometimes until the box is full. Why you ask? Because it’s not like I get anything good. What could possibly be good about the mail? So I look through the tons of mail in the box and there they were, the love letters I get every month from my credit cards. I guess I should explain how I racked up some debt in the first place. I had a manic crazy shopping spree a couple months ago. Let me explain.

So I have super duper sensitive skin. I used to use bottled water to wash my face, that’s how gentle I needed my cleaners to be. So I have this delusion that I have Rosacea and every time face gets even a bit red, I freak out. I don’t have it, I just have sensitive skin, I can’t even use hot water to wash my face.

Over this year, for some reason or another, I bought two or three enormous makeup kits. I don’t use most of the products, but I have eyeshadow in every color known to man. And lipstick in every shade a lip can shade in. In fact one of the kits I have is like a small carry on suitcase, it has like compartments and shit. Yes, this is what I spend my money on.

But a few months ago, out of the blue, the fucking blue I tell you, I decide I’m going to completely change my face washes, moisturizers, and makeup. I’m convinced my skin can be smoother. Let’s just be realistic here for a moment, I have good skin. I don’t have acne and I don’t have wrinkles. So what is my problem? It’s psychological of course.

Anyways, so I first discover Pinterest and find out that all the specialized makeup for sensitive skin. I become momentarily obsessed with Pinterest makeup sites.  I found like several different brands and products that may or may not work for me. I may or may not have bought all those products at the drug store.

Yes, I realize, it is a bit bizarre. At this time I got two new credit cards as well, so I thought I would use them. I mean why not? Isn’t that what you are supposed to do with credit cards? Since I was on this mission to get new makeup, I did extensive research on sensitive skin and what products to use, in fact, I should probably have a Ph.D. in sensitive skin care by now. It’s one of my unofficial degrees, in case anyone is interested.

This is when it starts to go haywire. Drugs store prices are reasonable, but I started to read about this product line called IT, that stands for Innovative Technology. IT Cosmetics are too expensive to be sold in drug stores. Now I’m not a spokesperson nor am I getting paid by IT Cosmetics, but I will tell you it is the best brand out there, period. (I am not officially endorsing them, but I will take money from them if they are interested.)


I decided I would go IT all the way and stop using all other products. This was before trying the IT products, mind you. This is what insanity looks like up close. I tried to return as many of the drug store products that I could, but I had opened them up and tried them so it was really a bust. Apparently though FYI: CVS will let you return anything even if it’s opened and used. Score!

I don’t know, but like a million plastic surgeons and dermatologists worked on the IT product line. So I tried to find some of their stuff at Sephora. It turns out that Sephora has very little IT Cosmetics. So I find out that Ulta has a lot more of their products. Slowly but surely, I bought four foundations, a face sculpting kit, mascara, powder, etc. etc. Then I proceed to order one of their kits online, that you have to call to stop or you will get a new kit every month. I realized in my second month that I had to cancel since I had so many IT products, I didn’t have space to store them. I also bought all of their moisturizers and face cleansing products.

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What is a face sculpting kit you ask? They also call it contouring, it is makeup you put underneath makeup. It supposedly sculpts your face so it looks more defined, so your features look better and your cheekbones look thinner. It just so happens when you try to sculpt your face and then put your regular makeup on, you may or may not look somewhat like a clown or a drag queen. Not that there is anything wrong with either of those kinds of people, hey clowns have feelings too! And drag queens are enormously entertaining, no? But you don’t exactly want to look like a performer in your everyday life. Even if you are going to a fancy party, do you really want to look like you have paint on your face? Do you ever, in any situation, want to look like you are wearing so much makeup it kind of looks like you got botched up plastic surgery that resulted in obvious colored streaks on your face?

I will tell you that IT cosmetics are brilliant for my skin. Period. End of sentence. I have been looking for this stuff my whole life.

When I first discovered makeup, I was like fourteen. Let’s just say less is more was not something I understood at that time. I would just wipe that stuff all over my face and expect that it was making me look beautiful. I didn’t know about the putting on makeup to look ‘natural’ phenomena yet. This was the early nineties, we were just giving up the heavy makeup of the eighties in our culture. And also, like the style of the eighties, I wanted to look tanner than I already am. Which is counterintuitive and a bit ironic considering that I have tan skin.

I had no idea that I was wearing too much foundation and too bright lipstick, but people were not shy to point it out to me. Oh well, you live, you learn. Then because I was using very bad products, I broke out into terrible acne one year. It was devastating, I’m not kidding. Especially for someone as vain as I was. But it subsided after a year and didn’t last long enough to leave scars.

Ever since then I have been paranoid about my skin. But now I’m paranoid about my debt. I mean we are not going to reveal numbers here, but I managed to rack up some credit with all the IT purchases. Now I use one of their foundations (that is allegedly going to make my skin better) and a couple other products. I do use their face cleanser which is absolutely fantastic.

I’m wondering now why I told this story. I don’t know, the moral of the story is, don’t waste your money on tons of makeup, you only need to wear very little to still look human. If you are a guy, stop saying that you want your woman to look good without makeup. It’s annoying to us who need a little help from products. And for those women who don’t wear makeup, I think you are awesome. I’m too insecure to not wear any at all, but I respect the actual natural look very much. Kudos.

P.S. I think men should start wearing makeup. I’m serious. I mean why not? They should have to try for us. I realize Michael Jackson botched up the whole men wearing makeup thing, but he was weird. Prince looked hot with eyeliner on.




I like to think my identity is Untitled. It has no name, no color, no race. I am just nina. But I live in the real world, and in this life, people like to call me Indian American. I’ll take it, but I know better.

It is India’s Independence Day today. The reason I bring this up is that India’s Independence and America’s Civil Rights Movement have similar qualities. Both India and America broke away from oppression in similar ways. In fact, Martin Luther King learned peaceful protest from Mahatma Gandhi.

There has been some serious violence in the US for a few days now over race relations. It’s hard to watch fellow humans rioting for white supremacy. But this is obviously not the first time this has happened in human history. When my grandfather was working in India, he worked for the British and he would talk about places where there were signs that said, “No Indians and No Dogs.” It was very much like the “White’s Only” signs they used to have here in the U.S.

What is supremacy really about, whether it be white supremacy or patriarchy? It’s about fear. What are these relatively average white people so afraid of when they go around screaming hateful epitaphs to anyone different than them? Racism and sexism and any such kind of ism is institutional, isn’t it? There is a system in place. Nobody even remembers how they got there in the first place, all they know is, they must fight to stay at the top of the ladder. No matter who they have to push down.

The Alt-Right Protesting

I watched the movie Gandhi in two very different settings. One was many years ago in high school in a class with a white male teacher who truly believed in equality and expressed his love for diversity. He was very interested in my culture and showed a deep respect for its traditions.

The second time I watched Gandhi was a few years ago in a classroom with a teacher who I was working under as a student teacher. He was a white male of a different sort. He made me feel as though I had dark skin and my skin is not that dark. I have this problem where when I am in a room with someone who makes me feel uncomfortable about my ethnicity, I feel my skin getting darker.

As much as this teacher professed his love for Gandhi, he did not know how to handle a real Indian woman who the students loved and respected more than him. How do I know he was racist and not just a regular asshole? I mean he did show the movie Gandhi in his classes. There is this feeling, women know the feeling and minorities know the feeling. It is a feeling that someone thinks they are superior to you because of their gender or race, or both. In this case, I believe it was both.

I don’t remember the specifics of how I came to the conclusion that this man was uncomfortable with my race, but I do know that he looked at Indian culture as if it were an exotic, oriental, other thing. It was similar to some men who I have met who have Indian women fetishes. He was interested in my culture but in a way that otherized and exotified it. India was a feature film to him, but when he had an Indian standing in front of him who wasn’t Gandhi, he did not understand and eventually fired me.

I don’t think he fired me because of my ethnicity, but I do think it was a factor in his dislike for me. I think the real problem was his students disliked him and loved me, so he began to dislike himself. I was stepping on his boundaries. I don’t think he has any idea that my ethnicity was a factor in my dismissal, and that’s part of the problem. When racism is so ingrained within the system, those who practice it often are oblivious to their actions. He eventually tried to prove that I was liked by the students because I was too lenient and was incompetent as a teacher. I had more college degrees than he did and most likely a better teaching style for the modern student.

He was an old man who was stuck in his ways. You know the type, they don’t hate your gender or your culture, just don’t get in their way. We, minorities, in this country, are getting in the way of certain white people who are set in their ways. The technology field, the medical field, and many other fields are being ‘taken over’ by minorities, especially Asian Americans.

We are getting in their way, people. Things were fine when we were just driving cabs and running motels. But now we are playing in the big leagues. The CEOs of Microsoft and Google are both Indian. We are calling the shots and people are getting uncomfortable. Instead of looking down on us, many people have to look up to a boss who is a minority. White supremacists don’t hate minorities because they are ignorant, they know what they are doing, but they don’t like what the world is doing. The world is becoming cosmopolitan. In a few years, the majority in the US will not be Caucasian.

This used to be a country run by white people through oppression. This country was founded by oppressing Native Americans and Black people. Just like the British came to the United States and took over, they did the same thing in India. India did not belong to the British just as much as America didn’t belong to the English settlers.

Now the US may become a country where people are so mixed race that no one can assign another to a certain race or nationality. We will all just be international citizens of the world. I guess if you were to ask me my identity, I would say I’m Indian American. But I am neither fully Indian or fully American or fully mixed. I am something entirely different altogether. I’m far more complex than these labels.

After a while, after we are all sort of brownish because of the mixing of race, it won’t be clear to those white supremacists who they are supposed to hate. In reality, they hate themselves. They can’t get into Med school because Asians have taken over that realm. They can’t get a house in Silicon Valley because the real estate is mostly owned by Indians and other Asians.

You know what the real kicker is? Indian Americans and Asian Americans don’t hate white people at all. In fact, we speak their language, eat their food and often marry Caucasians. We don’t give a shit about race, really, we just want to be accepted for our mixed heritage and we don’t want to have to fight for this acceptance anymore.

My ancestors fought the British in India, my grandfather was in the army during the Independence of India. Only Indians and Pakistanis know how many people were killed for the Independence of India. How much more fighting is there going to be before we have independence from white supremacists in America? African Americans and Native Americans know how many people were killed before Civil Rights.

We now have a president who is being complicit with the racism in this country because he benefits from it. His cabinet and close advisors are known racists. I don’t think Donald Trump is racist. I think he’s ambivalent about race and too stupid to even think about it.  I think Donald Trump just likes the fact that racist people vote for him. It’s so twisted it’s almost worse.

I’m not black, I’m not white, I fall somewhere in between, commonly called brown. Come on people, we can do better than these stupid colors. We are not crayons. My skin is olive colored. My ethnicity is something altogether different.

However, I get privilege because I’m not black. People think I’m smart because I’m Indian. I need to acknowledge my own privilege before I scream about how white supremacists are terrorists. How am I benefitting from institutionalized racism? I am a fair skinned North Indian. Do I have more privilege than a darker skinned South Indian? Probably.

You know what we need to do is stop staring at all the commotion on the T.V. and start staring at ourselves in the mirror. As a society, we have created these racist monsters. Ask yourself the question, where do I benefit from racial privilege? People happen to think I’m Hispanic, Arabic, Native American, etc. They often make judgments about me because of what they assume to be my ethnic background.

Let me tell you this: the next time someone asks me where I come from, I will say Earth. I don’t know any other place that I belong to. When they ask me what I am, I will say a Human Being. These white supremacist neo nazis call themselves human beings.

It’s our job to remind them what it means to be human by being that way ourselves.


Poker Face


Photo by Farhan Siddicq on Unsplash

You didn’t play this hand…

You said you needed space.

But the real question is:

Can you read my face?


We mutter things in the mornings

many untrue words…lying over coffee.

We play hooky for the rest of the day.

Thinking this somehow makes us free.


The elephant in the room is doing yoga

and we play guitar to know our names.

But this is not a joke

we’re not laughing when we play these games.


You said it was the whiskey, I said it was the rice.

Neither one of us knows why we can’t digest life.


In a room full of tables, we sit on the floor.

Let’s sit in a circle and take out the booze.

We are dancing together without any shoes.


We make believe we know our lines in the play.

The truth is the trumpet

it is so loud as to drown out our voices.

We don’t know how to sing anyway.


We can talk about it while playing a hand of poker

but which one of us is bluffing

we will never know until it’s over.


We remember TV shows from the eighties

but don’t know where we kept the remote.

Let’s talk about life for once

and ignore the news,

let’s sing and dance to nineties tunes.


Take a pill this time

without reading the side effects.

We are going to die regardless of what we do or say.

We need to accept the hand we get

no one else will share their cards.

So we might as well learn how to play.


What do we know about suffering?

We sit in our carpeted rooms.

We play dead when they come for us.

These are our plastic tombs.


We don’t know the difference between real life

and what’s posing as life on the Internet.

We hardly know what to give,

in order to get.


We are part of this show

we have been given dice to throw.


Put on your poker face,

come on you know the drill

How much you wanna risk?

How many times will you swallow this pill?



Possessing the Secret of Joy


Photo by Joshua K. Jackson on Unsplash

There is something I know, that maybe you don’t.

Something about living, love, and happiness.

The lies they say about these things are thick like molasses,

they stick to you no matter how hard you try not to eat them.

They taste sweet, and you want to fill yourself up.

They tell you that other people will make you happy,

then you are alone and you wonder where to find who to find happy.

But nothing is difficult, nothing is hard if you know that love is not a possession.

There is mischief in your eyes, in the things you say you don’t know.

I will tell you that living is a chess game with missing pieces.

You’ve read the instructions, you know the game, but are you the one missing?

I’m missing my king, in the middle of the night, I miss being queen.

But love is not always love, not like we name it, and love does not always love.

And the joy we know is not ours to own, but something floating in the air.

You don’t contain love, it contains you.

And we all stand far away from it as if it is contagious.

It is a disease, and you can catch it by standing next to it for too long.

It is transferred through breath.

We breathe in love and breathe out all our sadness.

Joy is next door, but we don’t know how to knock on that door.

The special knock, the mysterious key that unlocks our real self,

is hidden inside us, inside the words we say, the thoughts we think.

Chardhikala, the word for joy in Punjabi.

Chardhikala, Chardhikala, sing it in your shower.

Sing it on the way to the world, in your car.

Sing it loud and clear, because it recognizes its name.

It will come to you only when it is recognized,

as the true force, the real truth behind your truth.

In the end, you may find that bliss blurs with beauty

and becomes a triangle of truth:

Remember your happiness, love, and living.

Remember you came here to know this,

and only this.