NEED came a while ago..

It’s a dream. A dream many would find so simple. But in his world, it’s a big one. His mom picked up a third job to help him. His dad works all day, everyday, to try and give him what he wants. He puts in so much effort. He wants to make his parents proud. He wants to give them a better life, a better world. He repeats his mantra to himself every morning, I’m going to turn this around for them. I can! Or rather,

He could have.

Today, the world teaches you to think “positively” and turn yourself away from the face of negativity. We’ve become so focused on this that our positive thinking is now just ignorance towards the things that matter. And I don’t know how to make sense to a bunch of people that break the internet over something as irrelevant as a photograph of a dress with #TheDress. But I’m going to try. And I’m never going to stop trying.

Because “I donate a lot of money for charity” isn’t good enough anymore. Because his parents were looking forward to the day they could go to his university and watch him graduate. Because his parents went to his university to identify his dead body among 140 others.

Because I’m terrified that the level of ignorance is directly proportionate to the increase of dead innocents. Because we as a society are empowering people to get away with this by not shedding enough light on something as important as human life.

Because I’m not a blue and black dress. And this post is never going to be as relevant as optical illusion. We cannot break the internet. Not the problem. Not the dead university students. Not the thousands dying everyday for no fault of theirs. Not the selfish that cause this level of destruction of human kind.

People often talk about the tyrant that killed so many innocent people through a harmful gas. Little do we realize, for the one monster that died, there are a hundred more today. Every one of them claiming to have a reason – the religion, the race, the spirituality, the tradition, the culture. So what about the human being?!

Paparazzi gets paid thousands of dollars for a picture of a new celebrity couple. Did you know there are pictures of the dead students from Kenya? Every one of them more disturbing than the one before. But it’s not gossip. it doesn’t get the world going. it’s not as pretty a sight as two celebrities who constantly wish for privacy. How can someone not see why the entire concept of this is so unbelievably wrong?!

But what if it changed? Just for a day. 24 hours. If every celebrity in this world chose to talk about nothing but war zones and gunfires and dead innocents. If for one day, the paparazzi published nothing but news. If for one day, every government head in this world used every ounce of their power to track down the monsters that create such tragedies. If for one day, someone drops the gun and refuses to fight the war. If for one day, the loving parents could have their son back..

We’ve waited months, years, decades. We’ve hoped for world peace. We’ve prayed for world peace. We’ve created campaigns. We went on strikes. Until we put our hands in the air and gave up. We turned our faces away because we told ourselves, “What I’m doing is not going to save the world.”

We focused on better things like the weather and the Box Office. We cried when Paul Walker died because he played a bigger role in our lives than some kid holed up in a university room that called her parents to tell them she hears gunshots and doesn’t believe she’s going to make it out of there alive.

She was right.

And we’ve waited this out for a long time now. We’ve told ourselves that when they want our help they’ll call us.

But we’ve turned away for so long that we didn’t notice when the want came. When the want transformed into something more desperate. When the evil destroyed families. We were drowning in new age music, we didn’t hear the loud scream of the mother who saw her baby die before her very eyes. We were buying that new pair of expensive denims, we didn’t see the thirteen-year-old get raped. We were reading our favorite gossip spread, we didn’t notice the girls that got kidnapped for wanting to learn how to read.

We were so busy living our lives, we didn’t turn to them when their want came. We were so caught up with our problems, we didn’t pay attention when the want was replaced with need – the need for help, the need for support, the need for protection, the need for someone to look at them and see what they’re going through.

The need that is now turning into death counts.

And you’re still waiting… for what?!

The Bigger Problem

Glossophobia. Do you know what that means? I didn’t. In my first year at university, I stood in front of my entire class and instead of flawlessly explaining the cultural differences, I froze. Two weeks later I wrote a very long paper on that word. Glossophobia – The fear of public speaking.

We humans do this very often. We tend to not notice something until we have the need to do so. There aren’t a lot of things on this planet we learn about willingly.

Unfortunately, the people that aren’t a part of our lives fall under that category.

If you had looked at my History book at the end of an academic year, it would have looked brand new. I hated history. I was very clear – Somebody killed somebody. They’re both dead and I couldn’t care less.

And I know there are a lot of people that agree with me about that but even they cannot deny the fact that though History may be insignificant, the future will always matter. And I don’t want to wait until I am left with no choice again. Because Glossophobia – it is the smallest of our problems. There are bigger problems with fewer support groups that nobody talks about. But I want to talk about it.

Because the fact that my mother wakes up every morning and knows I’m going to be fast asleep and not dead is actually a privilige – That is a problem.

I’ve tried to put this thought into words for a very long time now and luckily someone else did it for me. Because this – this moment when we realize that someone out there could be smarter, better and absolutely amazing at doing exactly what we do but with no means to show it – this is the truth.

“I have never understood why some people are lucky enough to be born with the chance that I had—with this path in life. And why across the world, there’s a woman just like me with the same abilities and the same desires, the same work ethic and love for her family who would most likely make better films and better speeches. Only she sits in a refuge camp, and she has no voice. She worries about what her children will eat, how to keep them safe, and if they’ll ever return home. I don’t know why this is my life and that’s hers…” – Angelina Jolie, Governers Awards Speech

And I have wondered for a long time how it is fair that I get to wake up in the morning and her innocent, darling child didn’t. And the truth is, it’s not and I would love to be the individual that changes that, that changes the world and brings about world peace but I can’t. I can’t do this alone.

I can’t stop poverty alone. I can’t stop wars alone. I can’t save those kids with amazing talent – the ones being shot in war zones, the ones dying of hunger, the ones struggling to jump from one refuge camp to another and the ones that might not wake up tomorrow – and help better their lives.

“She speaks more languages than anyone in the family. Because she plays with all the children in the street.”

This was a quote describing a little kid on Humans of New York. It makes me feel sick that a child has the ability to see something so simple that we as adults have failed to understand. That she has the ability to look at a child and see just that. She doesn’t see where they come from or who their parents are. And if only we could do that.

Do you know about the photographer, Kevin Carter? He killed himself after shooting a picture of a kid in starvation. I can’t count the number of times I’ve looked at my mother and said “I’m going to die of hunger. Feed me now !”

I wanted to put up that picture on this blog but I just can’t bring myself to. I can’t look at it. It may have been taken a long time ago but I assure you, there is still a kid somewhere in this world that looks like that and is going through that. And yes, there are people rallying about it and screaming about it but nobody with a life takes the time to listen and that is a problem.


Is it fair that we get to whine about not having pizza for dinner? Is it fair that I get pissed with the Universe for not letting me travel the world when some kid out there can’t even travel home? Is it fair that this life that I don’t do much with, some kid would have used to the best of his ability and maybe even cured Cancer with but he’s sitting in a little room made of plastic scraps and wondering where his next meal’s going to come from while struggling to ignore the mental images of his dead parents?

And should we really wait until we are left with no choice but to listen?

Generation Gap

“Today, 2 year olds can unlock an iPhone, open and close their favorite apps all by themselves. When I was that age, I was eating dirt.” – This was my friend’s status message on Facebook recently. What an honest statement. 

When I was a kid, playing meant hop-scotch, dumb-charades, hide and go seek. Reading a story always meant lending a book from a local library. Summer vacation meant sleepovers – which automatically meant BOARD GAMES !! “Stupid” was a bad word, Tom & Jerry was entertainment, Ice cream felt like heaven and candy was the best thing ever ! 

Translating that into a modern day kid’s world – playing means Temple Run or Candy Crush or Angry Birds. Reading a story means getting a Kindle or just buying an e-book. Summer vacation sleepovers are pretty useless as every person is lost in their own world of technology. A third grader knows the f-word, apps on their parents’ tablet is entertainment and the latest smart phone is the best thing ever !

What happened? How did we go from “I can’t wait to go outdoors!” to “I can’t wait to get home!” ? When my dad got me my first mobile phone – a very very basic one – in 8th grade, my mum was convinced it was a big mistake as it was going to help me elope with some boy. Today, I rarely see a 8-year-old without a smart phone. 

When I was young, when I missed my cousin, I’d go visit him/her. Today, the kid just video conferences. 

 But why?! Why is the kid on the train so engrossed in that game on his tablet instead of looking around and noticing his environment. At the different people around him. Asking random naive questions that only kids can manage to ask?!

 It upsets me that someday in the future, a child will not know what it’s like to hold a printed book in their hand. The smell of it. Losing yourself in that world without having to worry about its battery draining out. That a child will never experience slipping and falling when trying to hop around on one foot. Guessing things that have absolutely no connection to what the person is acting out in a game of dumb-charades. Triumph of dragging all the money and cards to yourself when you win a game of Monopoly.  Giggling for no reason after lights-out during a sleepover. The pretend sword fights with your brothers. The forts you make in your bedroom. Those secret hiding spots in your town, around your house, around your school. Those hidden treasures buried behind the bush of your childhood home that you promise to someday return and find.

 This kid, that looked to be about 11, while waiting at my Dentist’s, walked up to me with his dad’s smartphone and asked me if I know how to play a game on his phone. I said I didn’t and that I’d never even heard of it. He smirked at me and said, “You old people miss out on so much.” I was offended. But then I later realized, he’s wrong. He couldn’t be more wrong. 

 Technology – that’s all you’re going to be using as an adult. Especially by the time the current and future generations grow up and start working. But there are certain things you can only do as a child. Certain acts where instead of calling you stupid, people smile at your innocence. Like believing that you’re going to be a fireman. Or trying to catch fireflies in a bottle and making wishes. Looking out the window of your parents’ car and freaking out about the moon chasing you. Today, I can honestly say, I had the best childhood I could’ve asked for. A childhood where having to put away my toys was the worst thing I could imagine. Especially, when playing with LEGO’s and I was asked to demolish my creation and put it in a box. That broke my heart every time.  A childhood where everything was an adventure. A childhood when fighting usually involved the window seat in the car, my turn on the swing or “I want more ice-cream!!” A childhood that has so many stories that I now sit and talk and laugh about with my family. A childhood that the future generation is missing out on..