I'm grateful that dog was there with me that day. I don't know if he was the catalyst or spark that led me to my higher self-awareness, or if he just happened to be there at the "right" time. All I know is that that that early morning at Juhu Beach was a momentous occasion for me.
Thus when we purchase new clothes, shoes, televisions, couches, they are clean, look good and make you feel good, but we do we ever see or feel the blood, sweat, tears and fears of the workers assembling and packaging our presents?
I'll never forget the story of two girls in particular, no more than 15 years old. Pushpa was a Dalit, an untouchable, and Susheela was a Brahmin, the priest and artisan caste. In their communities, this meant absolutely no mixing together. Their friendship challenged long-held traditions.
As a young gay male looking for LGBT success stories in the media, I have to wonder if the success of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge is really a victory for a collective "us." My fear is that the media will exploit their story as something more representative of LGBT issues than it really is.
Self-proclaimed Hindus ought to have a position on the centrality of class and caste. While Hinduism is known for its tremendous diversity, for "Hindu" to be useful category, there has to be some religious claims and teachings that are agreed upon by all who proclaim to be Hindus.
In Beyond Molasses Creek, Nicole Seitz deals with an interracial romance in the South of the '50s and '60s, as well as the current state of child labor in Nepal. How she merges these areas is a testament to her talent as a writer.
Whenever I travel, I revisit certain recurring themes -- how little I really need to be happy, the quality of food in other countries, the relative costs of things around the world, and the nature of wealth. This trip, the theme that ran most through my travels was the concept of class.
As the lines to the back of the jet get backed up with people, the commoners get a glimpse of what is offered in front of them. They are teased as the upper class fidgets with their electronic massage seats while sipping on cold red wine and munching on salted nuts.
Contrary to the wide academic conflation of caste and Hinduism, the practice of caste-based discrimination is in contradiction to the Hindu teaching that each individual is equally divine and has the potential to realize God based on his effort.
Some 60 years after India's "untouchables" gained equal status under the law, many of their fellow citizens still see them as the lowest of the low. But in one boarding school, Dalit kids are treated as equals.