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Peace

What is 'Peace’?
Peace. Pax. Shalom. Salaam. Shanti. It’s a popular word in so many languages. And a popular concept too. But is it really as popular as we think it is? I remember reading once that there are about 100 given wars going on anywhere in the world on any given day. Apart, of course,  from the obvious great wars of the last century. Cold wars. Hot wars. Proxy wars. Everyone says they want peace, yet wars persist. Why is this?


Why is peace difficult to obtain?
Because for reasons best known to certain countries and individuals, peace is not acceptable at any price. Yes, everyone wants peace. But they want it on their own terms. Our terms may not be acceptable to others. That is the crux of the problem. Are our terms acceptable to others? If not, why? And are others’ terms acceptable to us? Maybe not. How do we get everyone on the same page, wanting the same things? It’s not at all easy. Ask any negotiator.
Striking a balance
As societies grow, change and evolve, conflict eme…
Recent posts

Five Ways Social Media Has Changed Our Lives

Has social media changed the way we live? You bet it has! I’ve been in India for 22 years and have visited home in Ireland maybe half-a-dozen times. The biggest challenge about this, for me, has always been coping with the difficulty of making contact with old friends and family. However, that’s all over now, thanks to Facebook. I check my phone every morning and read that uncle Ned in Dublin is furious over the biased referee in the boxing match or that my cousin Paula in Dublin went to see Take That in concert (or whoever!). I speak to my cousin Veronica in Scotland every few days thanks to WhatsApp. We haven’t spoken this frequently since we wrote to each other as kids. Social media has definitely changed our lives forever. I can think of at least five ways that social in which it has affected life as we know it.


Social media makes the world more accessible to us. This is a fact. The world is at your fingertips. Find out which of your friends and family are on Facebook and once you …

Consumerism

There has been more than one culture clash in my life recently. Attitudes to money would be the main reason for that, in my humble opinion.

My husband grew up in an era when one rupee (that's the Indian currency) had some value. Money was hard-earned and didn't come easily. When money had to be spent on items other than food, it was spent on items that were expected to last. That was the era of the lifetime guarantee. It would have been similar in some ways for me, although things had begun to change in the western world by the time I was growing up.


Life has totally changed. I remember when I bought my first mobile phone ten years ago. It was a solid little phone, no bigger than a bar of chocolate. It could make phone calls and had a little calendar in it. I loved it. But one day, when I'd had the phone about three years, it broke down. I brought it to a repair shop to get an estimate for the repair. The repair cost was the price of the phone itself. I knew it was time to g…

Impatience

Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…

The Supernatural

The supernatural...
Do I believe in the supernatural? Yes, I do. My husband and I were both raised in homes where faith and religion were given the utmost importance. Although the religions were different, certain basic beliefs were the same. We both learned, in childhood, that this natural world is in a certain dimension, but there are other dimensions which cannot be easily seen or sensed in this one. We believe we have come to this life for a certain purpose and that there is a higher power, known as God, to whom we must answer when the time comes for us to cross over into the next dimension after our death in this world.
Common knowledge and belief
What's so unusual about that? Millions believe the same thing, in some form or another. Even the most primitive humancommunities live in constant awareness of the supernatural dimension. In fact, they're even more aware of it, living, as many of them do, at the mercy of nature. 
My native Ireland is full of supernatural stories. Sto…

The Missing Bride: Loyalty - A Different Perspective

Recently, I connected with Nabeel, a young man of a particular community through a mutual interest in comparative religion. This happened as a result of our meeting through a WhatsApp chat group. This young man is of Indian origin and extremely erudite. He is very well-versed not only in the Holy Qu'ran, the scripture followed by the various Muslim communities, but he has also read and studied the Holy Bible (King James Version). It isn't difficult to track down people once you know certain contact details about them and I soon discovered my invisible friend's Facebook account. I took a good long look at his photographs, both past and recent. It appears that through the maturity which comes with age, my distant friend, who resembled a Bollywood hero just a few short years ago, has now 'got religion' in a big way. His appearance fairly screams his religious affiliation in a way that it didn't just less than three years ago, when he took unto himself a wife, as t…

Global Lucknow Gathering

Lucknow's Glorious Past

Once upon a time, Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, was a cosmopolitan city with a distinct and renowned culture. A sort of 'Paris of the East'. In modern India, Lucknow doesn't get as much attention as it deserves. It has become just another state capital, appearing to lag behind the more prominent Indian cities such as Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. But it really shouldn't be that way. A survey, jointly conducted by marketing company IMRB International and electronics company LG, found Lucknow to be one of the happiest cities in the country.

Global Lucknow - Registered Society

With its graceful elegance (apparent in the manners of the city's inhabitants, as well as the  the heritage buildings), its Persian influence and its amazingly absorbing atmosphere, Lucknow has a fabled, glorious past. A few of Lucknow's citizens got together recently to set up the Global Lucknow Society, a registered body which is dedicated to promoting a…