Forty-Something Years in Ninaland

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.




Photo by Ari He on Unsplash

We are all sitting with our laptops in a row. Some are macs, some are PCs.

We know nothing about what’s going on around us, we are these computers, we have entered them as if they are a world in and of themselves. There is no identity anymore that is separate from our device. There are lovers sitting across from us and we don’t even notice how the man kisses the woman’s shoulder. Because that is not in the realm of our technology.

We are under the delusion that we think for ourselves, but these thinking machines have taken over. They show us pictures and give us the ‘news.’ These machines compute our existence. What does one human being equal if we were to quantify ourselves? Are we all just mathematical problems someone in the universe is trying to solve?

What’s your favorite number? Does it help to add that number up and does it in some way equal you? If you were to divide yourself, how many parts would you have? Does any of this even make sense? But in many ways, we are just numbers and cells and dirt and water. We are nothing more than another thing.

According to grammar, we are a noun, a person, place or thing. According to chemistry, we are a bunch of chemical reactions that have somehow formed matter. According to biology, we are a bunch of cells that make up organs. But what are we really? Are we our brain? Are we our minds? Where exactly is the mind? What exactly is the mind?

And if we are more than just a mind, and we have a spirit, where is that? Where do we keep our spirits? Is it in our every cell? I mean I’d like to see a cell of mine, like have a conversation with it. What are they doing, these cells? Are they dancing, my cells should be dancing, if I had any say in the matter.

I hope they dance.


Random Ramblings About Nothing…


Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Much Ado About Nothing is a play by Shakespeare. It is funny and it is true, so true that it brings us down to our knees thinking that life is but a ridiculous puzzle with missing pieces that the dog ate and we will forever be searching for.

I wonder sometimes what I should write. What do you want to hear? I could talk about politics and how we may be entering a world war. It’s quite depressing but really true. I could lament about my personal problems like I haven’t lost a pound in a while. Or about my work, I think sometimes I should use bigger words. But if I use a word no one understands, then what’s the point?

What is the point of this I wonder?

I mean you must have better things to do than to read the rantings of this woman you hardly know. But you and me, we are not that different, are we? What do we want out of life? You ever sit around, just wondering what it is you want out of this thing we call life? You know, I’m sitting here at eleven o’clock at night, I have the TV on but muted. I’m watching The Daily Show but listening to some tunes on Spotify. Why do I need all of this stimulation? I have my computer on also, and I periodically check my phone because I’m waiting for a friend to text me.

Why all this song and dance with the technological toys and the muted TV? Don’t you see, it’s late at night and I’m alone. I’m really alone. I’m not lonely, but I’m not, not lonely. I keep all these distractions going so I don’t realize that in the end we will all die alone. How do you distract yourself?

So what am I rambling about? Sometimes I feel like I would be more articulate if I had a British accent. Doesn’t an English accent make people seem more intelligent or should I say intellectual?

Sometimes I think I should have a name like Valarie, or Veronica, I don’t know why with the V’s…It’s just so unique to have a name that starts with V. What’s your favorite letter? I would read the Encyclopedia Brittanica in the letter V section. Like Venezuela, doesn’t it seem like you have to be pretty if you are from Venezuela?

I was looking for the meaning of life the other day. I think I found it. I think we came here to love one another. I know, know, that is a huge revelation. How did I come up with that? But I mean really I don’t think there is much past love, or more than love, or other than love. Everything else is just some kind of game.

Photo by Farhan Siddicq on Unsplash

What are we playing? Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? It’s a deliberately offensive and hilarious game. I think life is quite similar. The person with the most creative or funny answers wins the game. But what about the unfunny things in life, the ones we are afraid to talk about. The ones that are not hilarious but are just offensive. And what about your hand, how much you want to risk for it?

You’d think there was a point in all of this, all of this that I’m talking about, and maybe in this post itself. I wish I could say I had a grand agenda other than to explore things, say things, be things, be me. I wish I could circle around and make some astounding grandiose statement about our very existence. I got nothing.

I’m nervous, nervous that I have nothing valuable to share anymore. That there are only a number of things to be said in the universe and they have all been said. Can anyone say anything new? I think so, but what is new? It sometimes seems like it’s all the same story since the beginning of time. We just keep retelling the events as if they mean something different every time.

Sometimes I think every problem in the universe could be solved with chocolate. Yes, I’m serious. If everyone just shut up and took a taste of the brilliance of chocolate, wars might end, people might stop being so cruel to one another if they just shared a little chocolate. Is that inane? A little bit? Come on that is a pretty ridiculous thought and I wrote it down for everyone to read.

It’s raining outside, I love when it rains. It’s so serene as if the sky came down to tell us a story. I don’t like this recent ideology that we are headed towards doomsday. Yes, things are looking kind of ugly, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still hope that good things can prevail.

Shakespeare said, “This life…it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Do you ever wonder if you are the idiot trying to tell the tale of a story that means nothing after all? That we mean nothing after all. That we are mere specks in the universe.

But I can’t, and I won’t believe that. My life means something to me, I mean something to some people. I have to believe that I am something in order to go on. Because if this is all just a song and dance, with no purpose, then I won’t want to sing and dance. Maybe singing and dancing is the purpose of it all, along with some chocolate and a glass of red wine.

I would love to say that that is the answer. But there is no answer is here.

I forgot the question.

I forgot why I came into this room on to this computer to type words you would read. I forget sometimes that I have a face. I forget my hands are moving with my brain’s consent. I forget that this all conjecture.

That nothing and everything matters just as much as it doesn’t matter.

That whether I’m standing or sitting, the world will still spin and rotate. It will do this all without my consent. Without asking me my opinion. Do I want all of this? Do I want a life?

Yes, I say yes.

I’ve said enough, but what about all the things I haven’t said?


Letters to the Editor—Repost


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Image courtesy of iosphere/

Dear CNN:

Stop showing us madness; we have enough in our own minds.  Every time you show us suffering show us peace, we want to see real life not just terror.  We want to see regular citizens living real lives, not just people who are famous or who you think are important.

We would like to see the ‘real’ problems in this world.  We think there are people starving in this world, in a lot of different places in this world, that we do not even know about. There are human rights violations and human trafficking.   Show us the forgotten people sometimes.

Then show us good things also, a blend of good and bad.  You seem like you are currently brainwashing the world that the end is coming.  You chew on the bad news.

I’m a minority.  When is the last time you covered news about Sikhs? Do you even know what a Sikh is?

You are making celebrities out of shooters; they think that if they commit these horrible crimes they will become famous.

Stop it.



Dear World,

Stop being so bad.  I’m serious; we are turning into a bad, bad world.  What happened to human kindness?  Love?  Charity?

What happened to us?  Where exactly did we go wrong?  Why are there so many bad stories to report?

I’m not suggesting we all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbyaa!’  I am suggesting we calm down.

We as a society are creating the rapists, the murderers, and the mass shooters.  Even the terrorists, we are to blame for them.

What are we doing wrong?

Look at our entertainment.  Is art reflecting life or is life reflecting art?  Either way, it’s bad news.  Movies don’t sell without some sort of twisted violence.  We are obsessed with superheroes in comic strips because we cannot handle the reality:  there are no superheroes and the bad guys are winning.

I know you don’t think you are not a bad guy, you who are reading this, but how good are you?  We could all benefit from looking in the mirror and seeing our true nature.  If we were all good there would not be this chaos in the world.



Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Dear god,

What’s up?  You created a monster.  This creature you call a human being is doing horrible things.  If we were created in your image, what does this say about you?  Are you really good or is there this sick twisted side to you as well? If you are everything then you are the bad stuff too.  If there is no opposite of god, then you embody all that is beautiful and all that is terrible.  What’s up with that?

I have to interrogate you as I would interrogate any other being of suspicion.  I’m suspicious of you.  We hear you are made of love, but where did all the love go?

You want us to worship you?  What does that say about you?  Maybe it’s just a myth that you want to be worshipped.  I think you just want to be loved.  Like the rest of us, I think sometimes you get lonely.  I don’t think you are so different than us.

Why did you make this mess?  What is the point of it?  Why are we here?

I’ve heard, word on the spiritual street is that we are here to experience love.  That we have to experience its opposite in order to understand it.  I don’t understand why there is such extreme violence and hate: I just don’t get it.  Why did you create that side to us?  It’s getting so bad that there are those living in absolute fear, violence, and misery.  How can we have signed up for this?  Why was this even an option in your creation?

I blame you, for it all, in this way.  This is your show.  The show is taking a turn for the worse.  Is it going to be canceled?

I know you are pure love and truth.  So why all this madness: not the good kind of madness.  Why all the hate and violence?

Is this the eventual result of free will of people whose souls are made of love.  Give love a choice and it will do wrong?  Is that the way it goes?

I don’t understand why I just don’t get it.



Photo by Dương Trần Quốc on Unsplash


Dear nina,

What are you doing with your life?  You were given a good home, good people, good friends, an education, a beautiful body, and soul.  Why are you not living up to your potential?  Do you even know what your potential is?

It’s OK I understand that some things went wrong some of the time, but things go wrong some of the time for everyone.  Now is the time to fix up those things.  Now is the only time to do what you need to do.

You don’t have to have a husband or kids to fulfill yourself.  Your cup should be full, then you can share it with other people.  The greatest people have fallen down many times, it’s time to stand up regardless.

You are doing great.  You could always do better.  Think about your mind, body, and soul and work on all three together.

You are perfect just the way you are.  You are wonderful exactly as you are.

Be happy.



Dear Reader,

Who are you I wonder?  What do you think about?  What do you think about when you read all this weird jargon I spread?

Do you want to express yourself too?  Why don’t you?  Do you give yourself permission to be yourself?

What’s your favorite color?  Your favorite word?  Your favorite person?

Do you think you know me because you’ve read about it?  Do you really think you can read someone and know them?

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?  What is the best thing you have ever done?

Do you wish you could be crazier?  Do you want to be better?

Why do you sit where you sit, why do you stand where you stand?

Do you wish you were kinder and maybe nicer?  Do you wish you were younger and thinner?  Do you ever wish that you weren’t you?

Who would you want to be?  What would you want to be?

Are you sad?  Do you know why you’re sad?

You could be happy.  I promise you that.


Let Your Hair Down


I ask him to wash my hair, my long dark brown curly hair…and in return, I want to shave his face I will shave around the goat-t. We only have buckets, standing in a cramped wooden bathroom in Aurangabad, India. He pours a bucket of water over my head so my hair is thoroughly wet, it feels like a rainfall, a waterfall, it feels like real water. Water has never felt so wet. My hair straightens under the water. I put my head back and feel the hot water race down my back. Neither one of us is dirty, but we are here to clean ourselves.

I want to tell him how important my hair is to me. That it is sacred, like water, falling all around me. It used to be religious, the sacred aspect of my hair. But now it is spiritual, I feel something about my hair as if it communicates with the divine. As if there are receptors in every follicle that do a dance with my spirit.

I want to dance with him in the water, in the puddles on the wooden floor. But he is intent on doing his job. Washing my hair, he is good at what he does, so meticulous. Each brown strand feels like it’s being taken care of with each of his fingers. He rubs my head will all the energy of a man on a mission as the shampoo bubbles around us. He slows down a bit and massages my scalp. I can feel the softness of his fingers mixed with the coconut shampoo. I wish we could all be this clean, in a moment I will shave his face. Will I cut him by accident?

Will I make the man I love bleed? I worry, I worry that I hurt him in my ways, in my deep sick ways. I worry that he is standing next to me, waiting to be cut. His face is so gentle, so pretty and I can’t do it. I can’t take the razor and touch it. Because I know, I know I am full of accidents. I will make a mistake. I have so many questions he still has not answered. If I do this, blood will be the only answer.


It was the year


Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash


It was the year I had a panic attack for the first time in my life,

when I thought for a moment that I could not move my legs.

My blood pressure went up so high, I thought I would die.

Apparently thinking that you will die is not a valid cause of death.

And when I told the handsome Middle Eastern doctor what had happened,

he guessed that it had happened before.

He didn’t give me a prescription guaranteeing it wouldn’t happen again.

Men will exploit you, they will harm you, my mother told me that night under the yellow light of the kitchen table.

I remember the light on her face, her skin looked so yellow when she said this.

It was the year I talked in abstractions about real things

and talked real about abstractions.

It was the year my dreams died of a disease.

They vanquished and reality spray painted its hue into

graffiti on my soul, in a language I have yet to learn.

It was the year there were those who would say long sentences to me

and I would not remember their words but only the shapes their lips formed.

I could taste the spit on their tongues.

I never cut myself, threw up food, or took too many pills like some girls I knew.

I just sat there sometimes and didn’t move, not even to breathe.

Although apparently breathing was happening without my written consent or a prescription from the doctor

who wrote me the script for chill pills.

I took the chilling seriously, really seriously.

It became my job, my profession, no my career, to chill.

For a while, I did nothing else.

This is the year I woke up from a deep slumber.

I had put myself to sleep, not with drugs, but the sedative of a sanctuary.

My bed had become my home, I needed to nest there for a while.

This is the moment I look back at my journey

and realize that the world is going on here with or without me participating.

It is the year I decide there is no time

I have not lost anything, time is not something we own

time is a vessel through which we see that we are existing

but it is not the measurement of that existence.

It is only a window.

It was about time I opened that window.

Who knew there was so much air to breathe?

It was the year or was it the lifetime, that I forgot I existed.

This is the moment, I remember.