Satire — When Religion meets Reason

Michelangelo, creation — sun, moon and stars, source: Wikimedia

Science and religion are on a collision course again in this pandemic, with news about God’s faithful congregating for worship and defying lockdown orders. While not all the religious are blind in their faith, a vociferous minority seem to believe that God will protect them from the virus because he is bigger than the virus. There can be no doubt that God is bigger than the Covid-19, because He created the novel Coronavirus just like He created us. Hence, it is logical to assume that the Creator is bigger than the creation.

But, if the presumption is that, we …


The Hypocrisy of Philanthropy

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

It is all over the news how Bill Gates predicted the current pandemic some years ago. The man is not an epidemiologist or a doctor, but one of his many charities focuses on pandemics. Therefore, he has become a Nostradamus for predicting this pandemic and the ones in the future.

I wonder if he foresaw how the Trump presidency would turn the greatest democracy on earth into a banana republic, because the federal government’s efficiency does play a critical role in controlling the epidemic.

In 2009, when the H1N1 flu pandemic broke out in US, over 60 million people were…


Poetry

Character Soliloquy¹ — Social Media

An aging dandelion with white tufts, ready to be blown away, in blurry green background with, blurred leaves.
An aging dandelion with white tufts, ready to be blown away, in blurry green background with, blurred leaves.
Image by Shelly Paul

I like what I like and I don’t have to like anything else,
Dictate the designers of social media.

If I like only what I like and if I don’t have to like anything else,
Then I don’t have to know anything else that I don’t like.

If I don’t have to know anything I don’t like,
Then what does truth or reality matter?

If I only have to like what I like,
Then I become an unquestioning conformist,
Impervious to truth or reality,
Living in a bubble of incurious apathy.

As I live in the bubble of incurious apathy
That…


Small Town to Big City Experiences

Monochrome image of a train at a station, with a mother and son on a platform bench.
Monochrome image of a train at a station, with a mother and son on a platform bench.
Image by Shelly Paul

I grew up in small communities, where everything was within walking distance, where most faces were familiar even if they were unacquainted. Moving from one such small town to the neighboring Chennai city was a new, unexpected experience.

To go from an idyllic life to the noise, the traffic, the crowd and the sheer size of the city took a little getting used to. One curious scene that held my attention were the public buses during the morning rush hour. These vehicles were so stuffed with people, that the door-less entryways at both ends bulged with passengers who hung from…


Social Commentary

Promiscuity gets a Glamorous Makeover

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The word ‘promiscuity’ seems to have gotten yet another makeover. Last time it was called ‘open relationship’. This time, it got glammed up as ‘polyamorous relationship’. I do think this sounds way glamorous than ‘open relationship’, which frankly sounds a little on the nose.

Let us try to understand the term. The word ‘poly’ means many or multiple and the word ‘amorous’ means horny or lustful. Therefore, the word ‘polyamorous’ means ‘multiple-horniness’. If horniness multiplies itself constantly, then there is no time to commit to an earnest relationship. So, let’s drop the word relationship, because that word is redundant. …


Personal Essay

A Tribute to my Friends

Silhouette of two children frolicking on a beach.
Silhouette of two children frolicking on a beach.
Image by Shelly Paul

My little world is populated with friends — spanning continents, religion, age, ethnicity and other social fragmentation that exists. They give me strength to soar to the skies, because I know they will catch me, should I fall.

My friends also come from a large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins and second cousins — seemingly incongruent by their many personalities, yet their collective bond, an oasis of strength and comfort. I can see myself in them and ’am blessed to be part of their lives.

My husband Murali, is my closest friend. I draw…


Essay Series

The Malice of racism cuts both ways

Pair of black crocs on a beach.
Pair of black crocs on a beach.

Immigrants — People who move from one nation to another for better prospects or they are just fleeing for their lives.

The land of the immigrants has turned against migrants. The current President of the immigrant nation, who has married two foreigners, denigrates migrants at every opportunity while the Republican party leaders protest feebly as they watch him spew pernicious lies. The devotees at the Trump rallies are exultant. They revel in this topic more raucously than any other subject at these fanatical events where blind hatred and lack of reason is celebrated with singular fervor.

The 45th President of…


Viewpoint

How history seeps into the present

Urban landscape juxtaposition of rich high-rises against poor dwellings.
Urban landscape juxtaposition of rich high-rises against poor dwellings.
Image by Shelly Paul, Flickr

It was inspiring to see the young people take to the streets on behalf of Mother Earth, demanding that their governments act swiftly to remedy the situation, so that they can have a future.

A lot of these governments especially in the impoverished countries are corrupt, greedy and violent. How can anyone expect these government to properly formulate and implement the right reforms? Most importantly, how did these governments get to be this way?

Most of Africa, Asia and Americas were colonized by Europeans for several centuries. These colonizations came at a cost of bottomless cruelty and bloodshed of the…


Viewpoint

The Farcical Presidents of the GOP

Photo by David Everett Strickler on Unsplash

In the nearly two decades of living in US and following American politics, I’ve noticed one distinction between the Presidents of the Democratic party and the Republican party.

Whenever we elect a democratic president, he seems to hold all the powers and responsibilities of the office. But when it comes to the GOP presidents, it seems as though we do not elect a president, but we only elect a face, while the actual powers of the Executive Office is in the hands of unelected powers.

This is evident from the election campaigns. While the Democratic candidates discuss issues and policy…

Lekha Murali

I write what impacts me, what strikes my imagination. These expressions become poetry, stories or essays.

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