Reflections

Blood Relations and Bloodlands

People in Europe want manufacturers here to stop selling arms around the world because they seriously fear total nuclear annihilation. Since governments seem totally out of sync with this sentiment of ordinary citizens, people have taken it upon themselves to do what they can against militarization. And artistes are once again in the forefront.

Cross-border smiles

Nothing works better than a big smile and a tight hug when it comes to making friends. These are time-tested principles and I saw them work their magic once again on women and students from Pakistan who visited Mumbai recently.

Five Pakistani women were hosted by the sociology department of Mumbai University and the Austria-based NGO Women Without Borders to contemplate on the 26/11 terrorist act in Mumbai three years ago, and to together look for new ways forward to a more happy and healthy relationship between India and Pakistan.

Caucasian, and not so Caucasian

It is difficult to believe some of the changes taking place around me here in the heart of Europe. In all my 30 years of living in Vienna I have seen many a face wear a frown. But a frown to match a pair of torn shoes? Never!

I have seen this same person not once but several times, and each time I have wondered what prevents this dignified Viennese from buying a pair of good shoes? Surely, the reason cannot be rising prices and the economic crisis that has reduced stocks to half their worth!

Naked Celebrity Realism

After Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), I wondered how much worse the life of the 62-year-old would be today if he had refused to allegedly chase a 32-year-old chambermaid in the nude in a $3,000 per night Manhattan hotel suite?

The misplaced desire to thrill the self for a few seconds has cost the former French finance minister nothing less than the French presidency, and thereby deprived the world of his brilliant ideas on how to contain the current monetary problems in Europe!