Spotlight of Book – OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN – by De.B. Dubois

 

OTHERNESS: SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN
by
De.B. Dubois
Cover (2)

Blurb

Who is the brown woman? How does she live defined almost solely by her skin colour and all the history it carries? How do we carry racism deep within us even when we think we don’t? These are questions that require deep thought and reflection, and that’s what Otherness encourages us to do. In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity, here’s a hard look at the realities that lurk within us, both as individuals and as a society.

Read an excerpt here:

Who is the brown woman? How does she live defined almost solely by her skin colour and all the history it carries? How do we carry racism deep within us even when we think we don’t? These are questions that require deep thought and reflection, and that’s what Otherness encourages us to do. In a world increasingly divided along the lines of colour, despite its apparent modernity, here’s a hard look at the realities that lurk within us, both as individuals and as a society.

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About the author

Debolina

 

De.B. Dubois is an Indian-born-Swiss visual artist and feminist writer. She grew up in Calcutta until she stepped out to explore the world by herself. Debolina Dubois-Bandyopadhyay, better known as De.B. Dubois is licensed with International Degrees in Communication Arts and Cultural Studies, as she extended her Fine Arts and Design education in Mumbai, Sydney, Basel and Paris. She is titled with a Master of Arts FHNW in Design from Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst, Basel, with special emphasis on Design Culture, Design Research and Sociology. This apart, she enjoys long walks through nature trails, a good glass of absinthe from Val-de-Travers, and creating visual arts.

                                                           
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Book Review – SOULLESS and RUTHLESS – Book 1 & Book 2 of The Revenge Games Series – by M V KASI

I strongly feel that Childhood plays an important role in any person’s life..Experiences in our childhood impacts our future life either positively or negatively…Blessed are those who had a happy Childhood!!!There are very few people who fight with their traumatic childhood and achieve what they wish in their life..

M V Kasi reiterates the same in her book “Soulless” and it’s sequel “Ruthless”..

In Book one, Soulless, author explains about how Sia Sampath, an emotionless woman, is on a mission to search and destroy her enemy..She is ready to do anything to achieve her goal..She is attracted towards Ajay and she uses him for her own personal agenda!! Situations force her to marry him and live with him under the same roof..What happens next forms the rest of the story.. Author had clearly narrated how she couldn’t stop herself from loving Ajay..

This book is mostly about the Sia Sampath’s traumatic past.. She was abused by her own blood relative during her childhood days..Author talks about her adoption and her life abroad ..Her fears, in secured feelings,her determination for revenge are clearly penned by the author…

In Book two, Ruthless, author tells about how marriage influenced the life of both Sia and Ajay..Both of them lie, hate and manipulate each other but still they feel there is some love that binds them together..They slowly start trusting each other but their urge for revenge acts as a hindrance!!! Whether they are able to overcome and live happily ever after makes the story interesting!!

This sequel is about life of Ajay and his relationship with Sia..His feelings,manipulations, mistakes, professional success in spite of his traumatic childhood, love for Sia are portrayed well by the author!!

Yes, there is  graphic violence and sexual content, but Author clearly warns the readers regarding the same…

Overall, I feel both these books are very interesting and unputdownable!!! They are fast pacing, thrilling, with a lot of suspense and have many unexpected twists!!

The effect of traumatic childhood on two different individuals and the way they deal with the same makes us understand their pain..

My rating for both these books is 4/5..

Disclaimer: I received digital copy of books in return for my honest review..I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the same.

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Book Review – Breathing Two Worlds – by Ruchira Khanna

Name of the book: Breathing Two Worlds

Author: Ruchira Khanna

Genre: Women’s Fiction

No. of Pages:  181

This book is about the story of Neena Arya, who goes to abroad for higher studies and decides to settle down there…Neena grows up hearing stories mythological stories and is portrayed as strong and independent girl..She is professionally successful and blends well with others in a foreign country..She has a live in relationship with her boyfriend Adan!!

Neena returns to India along with Adan as her father is critically ill..Her love for her father and their relationship had been penned beautifully..Further her small fights with her mother and their mutual love is good to read..

Neena finds it difficult to manage the two different cultures and whether she strikes a balance forms the rest of story!!

Author had explained about difficulties faced in adapting in a different country while trying to retain culture and values of our own country..Adan’s character is impressive and the way he adjusts in India is good…

Overall, I feel this book is a light read and interesting one!!!

My rating for this book is 3.5/5.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of book in return for my honest review..I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the same.

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Book Review – OTHERNESS:SOULS OF BROWN WOMEN – By DE.B.DUBOIS

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Do you think discrimination still prevails in this 21st Century?? What makes some people to discriminate others based on skin color,religion, country of origin,spoken language, gender, etc?? Do you know the pain and struggles faced by them due to discrimination??

In this book, Author answers the above questions and also explains how life can be to a brown woman – specifically of Indian origin – living in or outside their country of origins…Author says that this book is heavily inspired by “The Souls of Black Folk” by W.E.B.Du Bois..

Author narrates the discrimination faced by Indian women during their early life in  India and also in another Country where she lives..

Author feels that she was discriminated due to her gender in India even when she was very young..Her grandma didn’t give her enough toys to play as she was her daughter’s daughter and not son’s!! She grew up in an environment where more importance was given to a person’s color – Beauty products, soaps, fairness creams, powders, were used by many as they didn’t like their own skin color and wanted to be white!!

Regarding Child abuse, author feels that Indians must stop telling their girl children what she must and must not do, instead teach men not to commit the act of rape..A girl shouldn’t be held responsible for any mishap that might happen to her!!

She often hears that women should be married earlier or else she will become strong-willed and it’s difficult to tame them…There is no gender equality and women are perceived to be naturally weak..

She tries to escape and runs towards the west..But there she has to face more problems there – In addition to gender, she has to face discrimination due to race,country,language, etc..

A brown woman often faces following question when she lives abroad – “Where do you come from??” – She is judged according to her Country of origin!!! Being a foreigner is a strange experience and residing in a place where you are not accepted is very difficult…

Many brown people living abroad primarily have two struggles – One is to work hard to send money home and another is to face discrimination!!! Further, many people in West don’t know the history of India and have their own wrong perceptions – Brown folks have to face questions from them and it’s really difficult to answer them back!!

A Brown woman in West may be educated, independent and hardworking – But this doesn’t stop her from being bullied, discriminated by her angry colleagues..She has no rights to question them and if she does, she is labelled as a problem creator!!! She is perceived as a threat and spat at and yelled at by white strangers due to their own insecured feelings..

These western brown women digest everything with hope that one day they will belong – they will also be people again and not just brown women!!

Author had also mentioned a long list of newspaper articles collected over thirteen years in India which explains the oppression of Indian brown women..

Overall, I feel that this book is good to read..This is not a story and Author had explained the real life incidents which many of us would have faced in our life..

This book is not a light read and I loved it as it had bitter truth (about discrimination faced by women in India and abroad)

My rating for this book is 4/5.

Disclaimer: I received a digital copy of book in return for my honest review..I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the same.

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Book Review – Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life – by Neeraj Deginal

Name of the book: Zero Debt: Break the Debt Cycle and Reclaim Your Life

Author: Neeraj Deginal

Genre: Non-Fiction, Self Help

No. of Pages:  112 pages

“To Err is human” – Our life is defined by the way we bounce back from the mistakes done by us!!!

In this book, Author narrates his own experiences in dealing with financial journey in his life..He speaks about how he fell in to a debt trap and what he did to rectify his mistakes…

He explains about how he grew up in a middle class family as an over protected child..He didn’t knew anything about the importance of money or how to use it effectively..He had a comfortable childhood with all his needs taken care by his parents..He moved to another city for his post graduation and it was the first time that he had to manage with money alone..He was asked by his parents to show list of expenses that he made..

He completed his studies and joined in a job..As usual, his parents took care of investments or savings with his salary..After some years, he joined in another job and relocated to new house near his office..This is when his life changed – He enjoyed his freedom and started spending his salary as per his wish..He bought mobile phones, credit cards with higher limits and really didn’t have any clue of how his money disappeared from his bank account..

He got engaged and for his marriage expenses he applied for a personal loan..After some years, he had personal loan,car loan, home loan, credit card dues and he felt stressed as he couldn’t manage everything..He was hospitalized for a major health problem and he realized how he had complicated his life due to financial issues..

He then talks about how he analysed his situation rationally and steps taken by him to stay debt-free in life..He shares about the dilemmas faced by him during execution of the same..His opinion is that being debt-free leads to total freedom,be it, financial freedom, emotional freedom or freedom from stress.

Overall, I feel that this book is interesting and good to read!!! It is not preachy – Some of us may connect with the experiences of Author..I accept with his view that parents have to teach their kids about the concept of money and how to deal with the same.

My rating for this book is 3.5/5

Disclaimer: I received a copy of book in return for my honest review..I didn’t receive any monetary compensation for the same.

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My First Love!!!

Are you a kid?? Why are you doing like this?? 

When will you grow up??

Why are you spending unnecessarily ???

Don’t you get bored??

Are you crazy???

Whenever some of my family members, friends, guests, visit my house, they ask the above mentioned questions without fail!!!

Yes, I am talking about my collection of Teddy bears!!!

Teddy bears are my first love and I adore them a lot!!! I don’t know why am I so much attracted towards it..I have many of it in my home..I couldn’t and wouldn’t come out of this love!!!

I really don’t understand why people connect my age and my love for teddy bear!!

Yes, I know, I am now in my 30’s…Is there any rule that toys are restricted to age of a person???

I usually reply them back that I would never get bored and I never mind spending my money on buying what I love…

There are some guests who tell their children “Aunty has many toys..She is now grown up and she doesn’t play with this..You can ask her and take some of her toys”

I don’t play with  toys – But that doesn’t mean that I have to give it to others… I love collecting them and arranging them in the way I like..I tell those kids that I need those toys and I buy and gift them some new ones!!

I don’t really understand why some people are like this?? Why they feel that a person is immature if he/she loves toys?? Every one have different interests and I have my own!!

I love buying teddy bears and books since my childhood days and I wouldn’t change  myself… I would stop collecting toys when I feel like doing the same and not due to others’ comment!!!

So, What do you think?? Do you think love for toys is related to your age??

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How to curb Indoor Air Pollution?? Royale Atmos – #CleanAirBeautifulHomes

There is a wrong perception among many of us that we are affected by air pollution only when we are outside our homes.. Hard bitter truth is that indoor air pollution also exists!!!

Indoor air pollution is  very real and more dangerous, as it is far more concentrated with pollutants than outdoor air..But we can always try to reduce indoor pollution by ourselves unlike the outdoor one where we have to depend on government and other agencies for cleanup..

Indoor pollutants:

Some of the indoor pollutants which we usually overlook  in our house are:

  • Formaldehyde: This is an invisible dangerous indoor pollutant with a pungent smell and it causes Cancer..It is an organic compound that exists as a gas at room temperature..Formaldehyde sources in indoor environments include furniture and wooden products containing formaldehyde-based resins such as plywood and also glues, adhesives,etc.
  • Dust, smoke and Volatile Organic Compounds released both by natural and man-made materials.
  • Cooking habits: Few people in our country still use wood or gobar as fuel to cook food in their homes and it pollutes the air..Exposure to cooking fumes causes respiratory diseases and lung infections..
  • Inadequate ventilation: Some of the houses don’t have adequate windows for ventilation and it results in stale indoor air!!!
  • Some Paints,Varnishes also causes indoor pollution..It is our responsibility that we have to select good quality paint to avoid the same!!!
  • Pet dander and hair and dust from shoes, carpet, etc also causes pollution..
  • Household products that we use like Pesticides, Synthetic fragrances and beauty and spray on products like deodorants, perfumes, etc also act as indoor pollutants!!!

Six steps to reduce indoor air pollution and ensure clean air:

1.Use Best Quality Paint:  

I strongly feel that to breathe Clean air at my home, I have to start with Paint like Royale Atmos by Asian Paints.. This paint not only looks good but  also helps in purifying air and improves air quality inside house..

I am attracted towards the idea of using Royale Atmos because:

  •  It’s Activated Carbon technology reduces harmful pollutant Formaldehyde and makes air cleaner..It is tested and proved by third party lab that Royale Atmos can reduce formaldehyde levels by 80-85% in 24 hours under standard test conditions.. Further it will continue to reduce formaldehyde for up to 2 years post application!!!
  •  It makes air fresher by absorbing malodours and foul smell..
  • It gives smooth matt finish to walls and has a fragrance, instead of normal chemical smell..
  • It comes with Green Assure Seal which means that it is VOC safer and environmentally friendlier.
  • It is equipped with Teflon which imparts excellent stain and scrub resistance.

(Please visit https://www.asianpaints.com/atmos for more details)

2.Grow Indoor Plants:

We can have a healthier “breathing area” in our house by growing some house plants like Aloe Vera, Areca palm, Snake Plant,bamboo palm,English Ivy, etc..

These plants helps to reduce the effect of pollutants and manufactures clean air inside our house..They are natural air purifiers!!!

3. Adequate Ventilation:

Ventilation is very important to reduce indoor pollution..We have to open windows early in morning to let in fresh air and it is good for our health..Please open windows in kitchen while cooking  or use chimneys/exhaust fans!!

4. Regular Cleaning:

This is very important to minimise indoor pollution..Carpets, beds, furnitures etc have to be cleaned regularly so that dust is not accumulated..

Air conditioning ducts have to be cleaned periodically..

5.Avoid smoking indoors:

Smoking is a big health hazard and it can also pollute air inside our house… So it’s best to avoid smoking indoors!!!

6.Avoid moisture:

We have to prevent moisture as dust and mites strive on moisture…High moisture also leads to mold growth!! So, we have to make sure that there are no leaky plumbing issues in our houses..

These are the tips that I believe will help in reducing Indoor pollution and help us to breathe clean and fresh air!!!

My Five Easy Ways To Have A Healthy Life…#ApneTareekeSeHealthy

Our body is our most priceless possession and it’s our duty to always stay healthy…Ways for being healthy differs among various individuals..

We usually compare ourselves with others and try to follow their fitness routine and dietary habits..I personally feel that it is a mistake that we often do while trying to stay healthy!!! If we want to lead a healthy and fit life, we have to figure out our own ways to stay healthy and should follow the same regularly!!!

Given below are my own ways of being healthy in my life:

Feeling good about myself:

I should have a positive body image –  I should love myself and be confident irrespective of  whether I am thin or fat…I shouldn’t hate myself  based on my physical appearance!!

This self-love  is the first step which will  definitely motivate me to stay fit and healthy in my life!!!

Physical activities:

Some of us go to gym and do cardios and other exercises daily to stay fit – But, many don’t have time to join in a gym…I feel that we can always be fit if we do any physical activities like walking, running, cycling, sports, dancing, yoga  for at least half an hour a day!!!

I always walk to near by shops from my home to buy anything needed and if it is far away, I prefer cycling to that place..I don’t use lifts often and climb up the stairs so that some of my calories are burnt!!!

Don’t stay hungry and eat healthy:

I often have my food in time and avoid staying hungry..I try to have a well-balanced diet with lot of vegetables, grains and also fruits..I would always stay hydrated and drink more water and fresh juices..I prefer knowing what I eat..Oil is most important in Indian cooking and so I select my brand very carefully!!!

We tend to eat many unhealthy snacks mainly due to our laziness ..I usually cut different varieties of fruits and store it in refrigerator..Whenever I am hungry, I have those healthy fruits..I don’t buy those snacks which I feel is not good for my health..So, I am not tempted to eat them!!!

Doing household tasks :

I have a maid who usually do sweeping, mopping, and washes dishes in my home..Whenever she is on leave, I do all the above mentioned works..Sweeping and mopping is a great upper and lower body workout..Cleaning dishes is a good exercise for our hands!!!

I usually bend and do some work in my house – It is equal to “Squats” that we do in gym..If I am taking something from bottom drawer of my kitchen cabinet/ wardrobe, I hold myself in this squatting pose for few seconds, before standing up straight!!!

I  also do”Counter top push ups”  when I am cooking and waiting for my dish to get fully cooked.. For this, kitchen counter top should be dry first –  I move my feet slightly away from the counter while my hands are firmly placed on its edges for support. I lower my chest slowly towards the counter in a push-up motion and push back in slow regular rhythms!!

There are some objects which can be used by us in our homes as dumbbells ( which are used in gym) like canned goods, plastic bottles, books, etc!!!

Have a good sleep:

Having a good sleep is vital to stay healthy and sleep deficiency causes many diseases and also increases the risk of obesity!!!

These are the ways that I incorporate in my life to strive to be #ApneTareekeSeHealthy

 

I am joining Saffola #ApneTareekeSeHealthy initiative and sharing my ways of being healthy in association with BlogAdda.

How do I deal with Betrayal???

I feel that Trust is the most vital ingredient in any relationship and for me, even love comes only after trust!!! I really can’t love a person if I don’t trust her/him..I always take time to trust someone but if I do so, I believe them fully and will love them to the core!!!

I know that I am sensitive and if any person breaks my trust and betrays me, I couldn’t deal with that very easily…I never shout/argue with them but ignore them totally – For me that relationship is over that second when my trust is broken – I can never forgive them nor forget the incident..

Betrayal is one of the most painful human experiences… It comes in many forms and it is not only about “affair”!!! We may face betrayal from our co-workers, friends and even close family members!!!

It took me many years to realize that I am punishing myself for others’ fault!!! I think that ignoring people who betrayed me is correct, but I shouldn’t  always worry about what they did to me!!!

My self-analysis taught me the fact that I have to deal with betrayal in a better way so that I could live happily.. To achieve mental peace, I believe that, I have to practice the below:

  1. Realize : I have to realize the truth that I am not the only person who is betrayed!! Everyone of us gets betrayed at any stage of life and it is not uncommon..
  2. Acceptance of Betrayal : It is important to accept that I have been foolish enough to let others betray me and my innocence is shattered totally  – Believe me, I feel this is the most difficult step, as I have to throw my ego out and accept my stupidity!!!
  3. Expression : We would definitely be angry at them for their betrayal – If you like to shout at them, you can do that… But if you are like me, then please ignore them and it is my way of showing my anger!!! I usually express my feelings in a diary or in my blog and it definitely helps me a lot..It is important that we shouldn’t suppress our feelings as it may lead to health problems for us..
  4. Learning : Betrayal  teaches us a good lesson not only about others, but also about us.. I shouldn’t take the betrayal personally and I should free myself  from blame. I have to  live my life happily and move on with positive thoughts..
  5. Removing myself : I should detach myself from them both socially and emotionally – It is difficult to practice, but I have to treat them as strangers!!! I am practicing this and it helps me a lot!!

I  haven’t mentioned about forgiveness purposefully here – To be honest, I know I would be never able to forgive them in my life!!!

I am aware that everyone, including me, do many mistakes in our life and no one is perfect –  I can forgive “n” number of mistakes done by others, but I really couldn’t forgive or forget when there is even a minor breach of my trust!!!

So, What do you think?? How do you deal with Betrayal??

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Please don’t run away!!!

When we are very young, we may adore few persons apart from our family and friends, and  think that they are our role models..One such person was Radha** Akka** to me when I was studying in School…

Radha Akka and I used to travel in same bus to nearby town for our studies..She was in her final year of B.SC..She was very brilliant, beautiful with a smiling face.. I admired her a lot for her humbleness (despite of being born in a very rich family), helping tendency, down to earth approach and her knowledge in academics..She was much older than me but still we both had a good time during our travel!!!

I still remember the day when I heard the news that Radha Akka had died suddenly..I was so young and asked my Dad whether she had heart attack ( I was so naive that I thought people die only due to heart attack or due to accidents)..My dad replied in negative and said that she had committed Suicide!!! I didn’t understand the meaning  and was told by my Dad that it is killing ourselves…He further added that it was a wrong thing to do and I was so young to understand in-depth regarding this…

I cried and I missed her a lot..I couldn’t believe that she is no more and felt very bad in seeing her parents who had lost their only daughter!!! My parents told me strictly that I shouldn’t discuss anything about her!!!

This was the first suicide that I heard in my life…I still don’t know the real reason  and there were many rumors that she died as her parents’ didn’t agree for her marriage with her lover..I am not sure whether it is true or not!!!

I have thought about her many times in my life – Why she took this extreme step?? – If she had been alive now, she would be working in a good company as per her wish and would have enjoyed her life!!!

Every one of us have problems in our life and might feel depressed – Yet, we move on in our life!!! But there are very few who commit suicide – If they think even for one second before, they would never kill themselves!!! I know about a person who was admitted in a hospital before some years for suicide attempt  due to depression and saved..He was given treatment for his depression and he used to tell me that he was foolish to kill himself – He said that time heals everything and he should have been patient earlier..

I feel that awareness about depression is very low in our country – Some people don’t even know that there is treatment to come out of depression and if it is not done, it   leads to suicide…

Some young students commit suicide if they fail/get low marks in their board exams!!! Recently there are some suicides due to Blue whale challenge game!! Parents have to closely monitor their children and have a friendly relationship with them to avoid this..

I strongly feel that it is possible to prevent suicide !! We have to help our friends and even ourselves to fight against depression..We have to be patient enough to hear what they feel and should spend time with our loved ones so that they don’t feel alone..If we are depressed, we have to accept the same and seek medical help – It is just a disease which can be cured by medicines and by love!!

“Please don’t run away from Life -Because if you kill yourself, you’re also going to kill the people who love you to the core!! Face the problems with smile and with support of your loved ones”

(Note: Radha*** – Name changed to protect identity, Akka** –  a word in Tamil which means “Sister”)

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