Broken System

Broken

With a million dreams, I adopted this beautiful country,

Never doubting for a second, the hope, the dreams, the freedom would turn into fear.

Fear, a hidden forbidden feeling none of us accept as our own,

Yet I felt it on my way to dropping my kids to school, on the last day of this year.

The morning news reported a couple of 14-year olds arrested for threatening

to shoot up their friends, their teachers, the quiet and the funny ones,

your kid, my kid, the coach who pushed my kid to achieve, the friend who shared his lunch with mine.

The teachers who show up with a brave face every day in spite of this fear, to teach our daughters and sons.

This ridiculous broken system expects us to act as ninjas, to fight, rather than to prevent.

What chance has a 10-year old against these faceless automated monsters?

For those who love your rights so much, do these children not have a right to live?

Is your outrage not greater than the hatred and the bigotry and the politics?

I am just a mother, all I can do is voice. I do not want to be afraid to send my kids to school, is that too much to give?

 

 

An Arranged Marriage Ceremony

Ceremony

ceremony

As an Indian who has lived abroad most of my life, I find that the most riveting tales of my existence are around my arranged marriage. My friends want to know how it is to live with a stranger, my colleagues want to make sure I am happy. Even my kids are curious if we knew each other’s names during our wedding ceremony.

Well, to be fair, we did know each other’s names, height, weight, complexion.

Did we know at that time that one of us was a sociopath? Probably not. Just kidding!

The ceremony could be several hours long. In some case, it spans over days. We get to see each other a lot. I couldn’t help but whisper to him how dreary the process was. The tons of guests ate tons of food while they waved at us sitting at the podium, hungry for hours.

Each one of them would introduce themselves while we smiled till we had a locked jaw. Of course, I remember every sister of every aunt of every brother in law of every niece.

The priest read mantras from memory that I am sure he wouldn’t be able to interpret either. My sister would remind me to smile while my aunt would remind me to not smile too much and appear demure.

God forbid, if I dozed off, the DJ would suddenly switch to loud party music when everybody converted the wedding hall into a discotheque.

My bridegroom meanwhile figured out how many cuss words I knew as I mumbled under my breath. In spite of the tiresome rituals, there were parts of the ceremony that did mean a lot. At the end it did mean that this stranger would be taking me away from my own family to a different continent. That I placed my entire trust in him based on the promise of the ceremony. I probably made him so nervous he said “Do I?” instead of “I Do”. However, for 15 years now we kept the promises made at that irksome ceremony.

Checkout the book By Vulisetti’s – Motherish Childish

Motherish Childish

My Post

Motherish Childish

Please download my son’s and my first book in the Motherish Childish series.

Why is a poor 10 year old authoring books instead of playing video games? Here is how that came to be….
When Avi was 9, he discovered he had a very good sense of humor. He made all his friends laugh. However, his teachers did not find any of it funny at all. Everyday his mom would pick him and his brother up from school and they laughed as they recounted their day. One day Avi said ‘our life is so dramatic, you should write a book on it – the life of a mother and son, and their rollercoaster of problems.’ This was supposed to be a joke. Unfortunately, his mother had a very bad sense of humor. She made Avi write the ‘Tragedy of our lives’. If the book makes you laugh, please do not let her know, she really thinks this is an Oscar level intense story with grim characters and an intriguing message.
Motherish: The stressed out mother writes how her day was as disastrous as could be. All you moms out there will be shedding tears and laughing at the same time at her unintentionally funny, whiny saga.
Childish: The goofy son writes how the very same day was a completely, comically chaotic adventure that leads to even more chaos.
Not to forget the illustrations, that make it an absolutely beloved, goober family story.

Neglect me not!

Pamper

“Avi, wash your face?”

“I did mom”

“Last I heard, people still used water and soap, not hand sanitizer to wash. And change your clothes…”

“I hardly wore them for a week….they are cool.”

We all get into this banter with our Tweens. I am supposed to head out to dinner, for a change, to a place where they didn’t serve on trays….well I do wish now we had gone to Burger King rather than to these fancy places.

What’s the opposite of pamper – neglect? Some of us do not like to acknowledge some  sections of society are neglected…so let us just say some privileged people in society are pampered more than others. For instance, the lady at the reception takes it up as her job profile to find and pamper those who she would like to wait lesser, treated better, respected. I guess it’s not her fault…how is she supposed to guess you make 200/hour if you don’t spend money grooming your hair.

So…after giving us this look like we haven’t showered for a week, she went on to say she would text us when a table becomes available.

“Ummm…you need my number?”

“Yes, yes” she hits some keys.

After noticing some 20 + empty tables offered to walk-ins, I ask her again. She says she tried to text/find me.

“I was right there…anyway…what’s the number you have for me?”

She scrolls through her waiting list, unable to find my name nor my number. Strange, huh?

Well….everything happens for the good….now my Tween has learnt the valuable lesson in life that he needs to dress like a million dollars, who cares if he is on honor roll or the pride of his family. That he will be judged by the color of his skin and his iPhone version, who cares if he will be the future President of this fancy restaurant or of this country.

Hierarchy – Part 1

Layered

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Our society adheres to an open social stratification system; meaning society works mostly in an hierarchical order based on merits or one’s efforts. Most Governments have a head and the ministries or departments support the head. Corporations have hierarchies too. A CEO usually is at the top and the reporting structure is usually a pyramid hierarchy. Look at the family structure, there is a hierarchy as well, though sometimes not formally defined. Hierarchy in the family is dynamic. Depending on the type of task, the decision maker is sometimes the mother and at other times father. Hierarchy in all these examples is power/responsibility based.

Let us look at the Consumer side of things. There is hierarchy here too. There are membership levels like platinum, gold, silver, etc. When it comes to shareholders of a corporation, there are some who are preferentially treated; these are preferred shareholders. In transportation industry you have first class, business class, etc. On the consumer side it is mostly based on consumer’s worth.

Human society has established and found its best fit over many centuries. I wonder if there will be  peace and order without hierarchy. As long as humans are dependent on each other, resources are limited and decision making is involved, there is hierarchy. A select few make decisions for the whole. These select few who are the top of the decision chain are better decision makers. They are perceived better at decision making either because of experience or wisdom or intelligence.

There is one area where everyone is treated equal. Elections in democracy. I am talking about the popular democratic nations. Every person  has one vote. No more and  no less. Why is that the case? As in most cases some processes were started long back and have been followed without change for we humans don’t like change. Processes made sense the way they were because of limitations in past. We had tremendous advancements in the human society and most of these limitations in the past are no more limitations. We don’t have to follow the same traditions/processes. Should all be given one vote in elections? In almost every arrangement of humans there is hierarchy or preference. With all the technological advancements at hand is it not possible that elections be based on an algorithm involving multiple factors rather than simple entitlement.

So how do we aim for this election system that is algorithm based without creating a bias? There is an argument that the government should be run like a corporation and president should run it like a CEO. If country is a corporation, the voter is a shareholder. Not all shareholders are treated alike by a corporation. There are preferred shareholders. So why not preferred voters. May be  people who give better share of their salary as tax should be given preferred vote. If you pay 30% tax then your vote is counted as 1.3. If you pay 0% tax then your vote is counted 1. The rich (who may pay more tax in terms of amount) are not necessarily favored here but the person who is paying higher percentage of tax. With so much digital data and computing power we have in this age, it’s not difficult to do this computation.

It doesn’t have to be tax based alone. It can be based on multiple factors such as military service, residency status, age. The decisions made by the government have short term and long term effects. But most decisions’ effect takes place in decades that follow. So the younger people have more at stake in the decisions as it might affect them for a longer period than the old. So why not give them more preference. People in 20s get 1.1 votes, people in 30s get 1.3, in 40s get 1.4 and everybody else gets 1. The  40s group in the younger lot get preference for they have experience and wisdom to make a better decision.

Some might argue that some are disadvantaged by this. They might say that they are not getting the fair share. They are not entirely taken out of the voting system but are given lower priority. When we give the responsibility to the CEOs, Presidents, etc. we trust them to make better decisions. When we give more preference to some voters we are giving that preference to make better decision.

If we look closely at the electoral college in the united states, it has come down to giving preference to some states because of the political leaning of the states. The people in these states have become more important. Replacing electoral college with voter weighted system won’t do any bad. If  we can debate this weighted voter idea and let universities do research,  we will have a better understanding. In this world of fake news, people being angry for their economic situation a learned and measured decision is hard to come by. But a dialog is important….after all what is democracy.

IRMA

Penchant

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We would like to be on opposite sides across various tables but the thing that still binds us together is the penchant to be human. To all my fellow Irma survivors, seriously how many of you could get a wink of sleep in the days and nights it took for the howler to cross the state. If per chance, you were like me and forgot your faith I am sure you remembered all your childhood prayers, be it Hail Mary, Om Shanti or Allahu Akbar. In my part of town, Jacksonville, the power vanished when it was probably 100 mph outside… who knows… the constant commentary of the weather channel silenced now. I did not even know the dodge baller Irma actually came pretty close to us. I walked around with a candle checking to make sure my kids didn’t get blown away. My son said, “Mom you were scarier than the storm….crazy candle lady walking around at 2 am.” Jokes apart, in the morning I discovered the true spirit of the USA that so many of us fell in love with when we got off our boats/planes.

In a world where freedom to choose is the root to so much evil, a simple person can make a choice to be kind….and God how much difference it makes. It makes all the difference between a monster hurricane Irma defeating man versus humanity defeating hurricane Irma. Kudos to every lineman in Florida who worked their behinds to restore power, kudos to every neighbor who extended their generator to the family next door, kudos to every fish market that gave out free ice to everyone who asked and so much more kindness to go around, it is hard to list it all.

In the state of fear we have been living in these days, where blacks fear whites, browns don’t belong and whites feel uprooted, I have seen my entire community come around, all colors and orientations, to clean up debris, open up their homes to evacuees, hand out water and ice, rescue people on boats. These people will probably never be acknowledged but they did what they did because of love. And as long as there is more love than hate in this world (and I have learnt my evacuation route by rote), I will feel safe.

 

When a monument of death, is a distraction of a lifetime.

Ooh, Shiny!

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