May 28, 2011

The storm over Baby Storm

If you have not already heard about Baby storm, a couple in Toronto, Canada has decided to keep their child’s gender a secret from the world so that he or she doesn’t have to fit a stereotype while growing up. Apparently, the society doesn’t like this. They think this will harm the child.
Why did they decide to do that? Well, they have two sons before baby Storm and they let them dress the way they want, instead of stereotypical boy outfits. Apparently, society don’t like that either. So they decided to raise baby Storm as a genderless baby so he or she can choose to wear whatever he or she wants and don’t face discrimination like his or her older siblings. (I heard the story over the radio in Canada and can’t find the link).

This has become an international controversy. The major complain I have heard (it has been worded in many different way) so far is how this child will be ostracized by the society (you think?)/ how difficult it will be for the child to function in the society without a gender!
What do you think? 

On a side note, have you heard about Androgynous life style? Also did you know the pink and blue color assignment to girls and boys was a commercial endeavor and has only become popular in 20th century. A 1918 trade journal, The Infant’s Department, said:
"There has been a great diversity of opinion on the subject, but the generally accepted rule is pink for the boy and blue for the girl.  The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for a boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl." (Guess I belong to that century - Blue is my favourite colour despite being a girl!!)
The babies before 1900 wore white dresses. No blue or pink. No gender coding at birth. Somehow I like the concept. Why do we, as in society, need to know the gender of baby anyway? Will it change their behaviour if its a baby girl or baby boy? If not, then why colour code babies or tod?

If our society become a bit less obsessed with stereotypes, life will be so much easier for all of us. Men won’t be expected to be macho and hide their feeling, women won’t have to prove themselves at every turn of their career and still get discriminated. 

May 27, 2011

Travel Diary: Canadian Tulip Festival

The year was 1943. The Netherlands was occupied by the Germans. The Royal family was in exile. While the rest of the family stayed in London, Princess Juliana was in Ottawa, Canada. She was about to give birth to her third child, Princess Margriet in Ottawa Civic Hospital. The Governor General of Canada passed a special law granting the room of Princess Juliana in the hospital as extra-territorial so that the infant was born as exclusively Dutch instead of having two nationalities. This allows Princess Margriet to be in the line of succession. The Canadian government flew the Dutch tricolor flag on parliament's Peace Tower while its carillon rang out with Dutch music at the news of Princess Margriet's birth.

As an expression for her gratitude to Canada when Princess Juliana returned to the Netherlands in 1945, she sent 100,000 Tulip buds to Ottawa. In the year’s following her donation, Ottawa became famous for its Tulips. In 1953, the Ottawa board of trade and photographer Malak Karsh organized the first “Canadian Tulip Festival”. It became an annual event to be held in Ottawa every May.

This year I get to attend the Canadian Tulip festival. So I can tell you first handedly, the Tulips of Ottawa are beautiful. Actually, Ottawa in Spring is beautiful. That is, if its not raining. The blue sky, white clouds and beautiful flowers makes the scenes perfect. But that’s a post for another day.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words so here are few thousand words for you to explain the beauty of Canadian Tulips:






Hope you like them!

May 26, 2011

Wet: The Indian way

That’s my father playing Holi with my nephew or basically emptying the bucket full of colored water at him. These were my early days of photographing (2004 to be precise) with my simple Kodak camera. Well it is a Kodak moment.


This is the post for this week’s Thursday Challenge, Wet.

May 18, 2011

Thursday Challenge: Happy and Steel


She didn’t touch the cake till her parents came. Isn’t she a delight? This is my entry for this week’s Thursday Challenge, Happy.

And since this week’s Thursday Challenge has two topics, here is my second entry on Steel (couldn’t make any connection between the two topics, hence the separate entries):


This is Atomium, the steel structure representing a unit atom of iron (get the irony?). Its located in Brussels and is one of the most popular spot in Belgium. Personally, I preferred the view from inside:


I also think the view inside the Atomium was more impressive (Luckily, I wasn’t claustrophobic back then):


May 10, 2011

Only thing that matters

So one of the facebook friend posted this video:

It’s a TED talk by one Ric Elias who was in the US airways flight 1549 that landed in Hudson river when flock of Canadian Geese struck it. Actually, it should be other way round, when the flight struck the flock of Geese. Don’t we human always make it sound like it’s the animal/birds fault even though we are the one invading their home? Do we really expect the geese to stop flying because we want to travel by air? Anyway, I digress.

So the video is about his experience during that flight and things that he learned during that day (transcript here). His message being: “Are you being the best parent you can?” . His only goal in life being: “to be a good dad.”

Okay, it might make sense to all the parents out there and may be it’s a great message too but aren’t there people in this world who can’t, and quite a few times by choice, won’t be a parent. This video seems to send a message that people who don’t or won’t have kids are somehow don’t have anything to look forward to. To them death will be a welcome change. Okay, I am exaggerating but still think about it. No kids => no one to watch grow up => no reason to live. Doesn’t it have an implication that everyone should be a parent or their lives are useless? Is our goal in life is to breed?  Do we really need more children in this world, especially given the population of world outgrowing almost all the resources we have on this planet?