#god thoughts in hindi
desi culture is being called "angrez ki aulaad" and "leanr to appreciate ur own culture"
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The Picnic Date
Eugenia Lightwood x Kamala Joshi
Fluff Fluff and more fluff
Tw; they discuss period typical homophobia briefly.
Eugenia Lightwood prided herself on her ability to remain composed, she had once told herself that if she could make it through a ball where every single person was discussing her and her ruined reputation (and not in a kind manner) then she could make it through anything.
She was currently sitting cross legged pouting on her bedroom floor while her idiot brother laughed himself to hysteria at her expense. Sitting on HER bed too.
"Genie it's a first date not a mission! You absolutely do not need a 'plan of action'" he exclaimed still laughing at her.
Eugenia looked back down at her list of potential topics of conversation for her date with Kamala and flushed. Glaring at Thomas she said "It is better to be prepared! Did you not plan out what you would say to Alastair?" "Not for out first date! We just talked about whatever came to mind....it came naturally to us" he trailed off with that ridiculous lovesick look in his eyes and Eugenia's heart swelled with happiness for him. Of course as his sister her duty was to tease him, and as such she threw a cushion at him with a disgusted sound.
"Genie.....just enjoy it as best you can, either she likes you or she doesn't! If she doesn't then we can eat our weight in cake when you return" Thomas told her smiling fondly down at her, Eugenia snorted "I couldn't possibly eat your weight in cake Tom you are a giant".
Thomas threw the cushion back at her.
Swallowing down her nerves Eugenia knocked on the Bridgestocks door, she was quite surprised to see Kamala herself answer it smiling before turning behind her and calling out "Goodbye Mama I will be back in a few hours" and closing the door.
They stood for a moment smiling openly at each other before Eugenia took Kamala's hand and pulled her to the carriage giggling with excitement. Once they were both inside sitting across from each other Eugenia asked "Just so I can have my story straight, where do you parents think you are going?"
Kamala looked at her carefully "They know that I am going on a picnic with you, but they do not know that it is not as friends" she said cautiously, she seemed to straighten her shoulders and tilt her her chin up. As if expected an argument. Eugenia smiled at her happily "That's good then! The best lies are the ones that are closest to the truth......I hope that they were not upset that you were spending time with a fallen girl?" She asked her smile slipping slightly, the idea of Kamala getting in trouble over her making her stomach tighten unpleasantly.
"They expressed a concern over it, but as I reminded them...thanks to Charles I too have a ruined reputation. And besides reputations or not you and your family are good shadowhunters and quite well liked" Kamala rushed out. She eyed Eugenia for a moment before the carriage hit a stone and the both of them jolted, Kamala who had been leaning forward knocked her head against Eugenia's with a cry. "Oh I am so sorry!" Eugenia exclaimed horrified but at the sight of Kamala's mortified face she burst out laughing, the other girl soon followed suit throwing her head back like a little kid and it took them a few moments to compose themselves.
"Genie...you understand that I have no intention to ever tell my parents the truth about my preferences? I don't mean it to upset you but perhaps we should discuss the matter before continuing" Kamala spoke in a voice so quite it was almost a whisper, and the nerves and fear were unmistakable in her voice.
"Kami I.....I understand that I am incredibly lucky. I am not lucky in every way, but in this way I am. I understand that you cannot tell your parents and that that fact is completely separate to what you might feel for me, or even what you want to do. I will not force you to tell them, nor have I any intention of making you feel bad for not. My parents are aware but I swear to you they will never tell a soul, and Alastair and Thomas would never tell either. I would love to live in a world where we could tell everyone but we simply cannot, and as such I do not need the whole clave to know. If I and whomever I love know we love each other then that will be enough for me" Eugenia didn't let her voice waver once, absolutely certain about every word she spoke. When she noticed the tears collecting in Kamala's eyes she felt a bolt of fear strike through her body and immediately reached for her, hands grabbing hers. She squeezed and waited for Kamala to catch her breath "I am so happy for you to have that love in your life, and thank you for understanding" she whispered squeezing back. "Perhaps one day we can tell some friends too? If all goes well" Kamala asked quietly "That would be fantastic" Eugenia responded, there was a feeling then that the conversation was over without them needing to say it. Neither had let of the others hands yet and were just gazing at each other besotted.
"You called me Kami!" Kamala said suddenly quite dramatically breaking the moment. Eugenia felt herself blush from her chest all the way up to her cheeks "I didn't even realise! I am so sorry, do you not like it? I will never say it again if you do not!" "Oh no! Do not stop that would be quite a pity" Kamala said winking.
The carriage had stopped and so Kamala dropped Eugenia's hand and hopped out of the carriage, somehow gracefully. Eugenia who had frozen for a moment after the wink quickly made motions to follow her. Grabbing the picnic basket and blanket on her way.
The sun was blazing so they decided to search for a more shaded spot, it took a few moments to find one under a tree that was not already occupied but they passed the search by making up stories about other picnicers and challenging the other to come up with something more ridiculous each time.
Eugenia handed Kamala the basket while she spread out the blanket, then gestured for her to sit down and the two of them began unpacking the food. "Goodness are we planning to feed a battalion?" Kamala asked laughing brightly "In my defence I didn't know what you would like!" Eugenia had responded smiling. Truthfully there was an absurd amount of food; cheeses, crackers, sandwiches, cakes, ginger ale, iced tea, and Eugenia's favourites: strawberries which she immediately grabbed one of biting into it. The juice dribbled a little on her lips and she chuckled at herself. Her eyes locked onto Kamala's who was watching her looking enraptured before reaching a hand forward to hold Eugenia's chin and swipe her thumb across her lip catching any juice, as Eugenia watched Kamala dropped her chin and brought her thumb to her own mouth smirking.
Eugenia watched her eyes wide and attempted to swallow despite her mouth going dry.
"I will have to give you a nickname now too" Kamala declared happily before leaning back onto he hands, "oh well it must be simply legendary then in order to match me" Eugenia said cheekily.
"Indeed" Kamala said softly, "how about priy?" She asked gently "it is from my first language".
Eugenia felt somehow as if this was something very private between them "it sounds lovely, what does it mean?" She asked. Kamala grinned wickedly "find out yourself" she teased.
Eugenia fully intended to, she hadn't been blessed with Thomas's gift for languages but she could damn well try.
They passed several hours like that flirting and telling stories, laughing at a poor child who got chased by some angry ducks (Eugenia filed it away to tell her uncle Will about later, he was hilarious to listen to talk about ducks).
They were both desperately disappointed to end their time together, as they walked back to the carriage Kamala took the arm that wasnt carrying the picnic basket in hers, Eugenie knew that that was not unusual for women to do but she felt incredibly pleased all the same.
Upon setting off Eugenia noticed that the other girl was looking at her strangely, she had chosen to sit beside her this time. "May I kiss you?" She whispered into Eugenia's ear. A shiver went through Eugenia's body and she nodded whispering a desperate "yes".
Kamala's lips were softer that she could ever have imagined, her perfume filled Eugenia's nose and then Kamala's hand were at her jaw holding her reverently, thumbs stroking her cheekbones and when Eugenia gasped Kamala took the opportunity to deepen the kiss. Immediately Eugenia reached her own hands to wrap around Kamala’s waist. She had on occasion briefly kissed Augustus, and it had been fine, nice even but it had been a candle flame this felt like wildfire, spreading through her body and igniting her in an entirely unfamiliar but delightful way.
When they pulled apart poor Eugenia felt like she had been drugged she was so delightfully dizzy, she was sure must look a sight but she couldn't care much because Kamala's lips were swollen from kisses and her eyes were bright with happiness.
With one last quick kiss and a promise to write and arrange another date Kamala exited the carriage, Eugenia stayed until she got safely inside and then made her journey home, smiling like a fool the entire time.
When she came through the front door of her family home and had closed the door she slide down to the floor with a happy sigh.
"I needn't have made cake then?" Came Thomas's joyful voice from the kitchen doorway.
Eugenia looked up at her brother once again and with a huge smile said "don't be daft we can still eat the cake, it's celebratory cake now".
Thomas laughed loudly and helped her to her feet "Well then tell me about her" he exclaimed.
Eugenia thought her smile might never fade.
Tagging: @thechangeling @niagotthomastair-inthesanctuary @delusioneon @panicatwallmaria*she stops in confusion as she tries to remember who follows her for thomastair and who follows for Eugenia/Kamala @doitforthecarstairs @fictionally-fantastic @ilovefandoms @justanormaldemon @nott-the-best @anarmorofwords
Please if you want to be added or removed from the taglist (honest to Gods I do not mind so please tell me) just let me know! Xxxxx
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This is it—there’s no going back now. Tenth grade starts tomorrow. The Board year. The year of insurmountable pressure. The year when uncles and aunties will ask you nothing but padhai kaisi chal rahi hai? / Boards ki taiyaari thik hai na? at a freaking birthday party and you’ll force out a smile, saying haan ji, sab thik hai. Then they’ll begin that same lifeless story about how their son scored some good numbers in his tenth boards, then cracked NTSE, then scored well in a dozen other competitive exams, then topped in twelfth boards, then cracked JEE and blah blah blah. God, this is a fucking party—let me BREATHE! And you’ll wish you hadn’t given in to your mum’s chal beta kitna padhegi and just stayed at home, reading the fuck out of your stupid textbooks.
But none of it yet. Tenth grade starts tomorrow, after all. I have a couple of hours between today and tomorrow. Hopefully, I won’t dream of school tonight. Last night I had this extremely weird dream in which I was running through the laburnum trees at school (funny, we don’t HAVE laburnum trees at my school) when I looked up and saw through the golden canopy two guys making out in a flying motorcycle. Then the dream-me grabbed a girl standing on the pavement and we ran into a closet in the school building and just hid there for no reason. And later I was this really sparkly peacock (WHYYY) on top of a human pyramid and the teachers were taking pictures but my picture apparently came out terribly so the teacher deleted it and told me to get off and give up, but the vice-principal (who was a demon in the dream) smiled creepily at me and showed me a perfect picture. What was that dream omg? Why do I even dream of school during holidays?! God.
My point is, I’m chaotic and impulsive and all over the place… kind of like an ivy creeper. I don’t think I can be a rose bush with a clipped foliage, a topiary marvel for display. I’m really unhinged and disorganised. If you give me a week to colour Nemo, I’ll colour everything on the very first day, except for the eyes, which I will swiftly scribble when the person before me submits their work. Every person who journals, who schedules their events on Google Calendar, who can follow their timetable—mad respect for you, my dude. You make me feel like you’ve got your entire life planned out, while I’m just here mindlessly wondering what to do next while untangling my hair. Whenever I look at you, I discreetly sweep my latest missed deadlines under the rug. Oh, I’m also super extra and irrelevant (like rn, why are you even reading this?) so a definitive year like this, which I can easily mess up with a single wrong step, feels very daunting. It’s almost like playing minesweeper when you have no idea how you play it. One wrong step, and BOOM, game over. The fact that I usually score good marks makes it worse, honestly, what if my usual technique doesn’t work? How fast will I adapt? What if people ask me how much I want to score? What if I don’t study hard enough? What if I don’t realise my mistakes? and endless more untranslatable fears.
They say everything’s funny as long as it happens to someone else. They don’t lie. Till last year, it was fine: some aunty nagging some poor tenth grade girl at a birthday was just a source of wry amusement, something to look at when SRK’s moves on the TV screen got too cliché. But now, it’s all too real: it’s happening to me, after all. With my shoddy photo editing skills, I paste my face unto the girl's body and replay that moment, the aunty's voice preaching about the wonderfully distracting nature of boys and how it is “tempting at this age but it is best to stay away from them”. I hold in my laughter, she should probably have mentioned girls too. But I keep my mouth shut. Because, Golden Rule when dealing with annoying adults you can’t snipe at: keep your mouth shut.
But okay. This year will be beyond that. When you overlook the outrageous number of pages each chapter takes up, you can actually kind of appreciate the content. There are so many cool things in Science this year. Hopefully Physics is more conceptual and less formulae now. Hopefully Hindi is still Hindi and doesn’t do unnecessary crossovers with Sanskrit and Urdu. Hopefully they’ll have fewer biographies in English. When it slips from your mind that you’re studying for Boards, you’ll actually have fun learning whatever your eternally-pissed-off Biology teacher teaches you. Hopefully you don’t binge Jimmy Kimmel during Political Science lectures. Hopefully, you study something this year and manage (a semblance of) balance between everything.
Hopefully you’ll be able to meet your friends without feeling guilty. Hopefully you’ll not have your books open all the time so you don’t feel bad about not studying. Hopefully you’ll still be able to have fun with your family. Hopefully you’ll still enjoy the 15th year of your life. Hopefully you’ll learn fantastic new things, both academic and otherwise. Hopefully, you’ll see hope beyond this seemingly unnerving situation. And hopefully, you’ll score better than the son of that aunty at the party so you can rub it in their faces later.
With hope and optimism for a new academic year (starting tomorrow),
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mausi... ma ‘si... ma jaisi...
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how is Ramadan less than a month away 😐
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From the countless number of words, thoughts, and actions one has at one disposal, one picks the one that is the most important one at that moment of time and situation. We are always making the most important decisions, choices, and actions. How long it becomes important changes due to the reactions and results from others, from the situation, and from the environment.
We are always making the most important decision, even when you are distracted, bored, lonely, with friends, and any other situation. The feeling one has now, is the most important feeling at the moment because you selected that particular feeling. The thoughts you have now are the most important thoughts at the moment because you selected these words and ideas. The action you are doing now is the most important action at the moment because you selected this particular action from all other possible actions.
The question is what made us to pick, at the moment, this particular word, this particular feeling, and this particular action? Most of the time, the environment, our conditioning, our habits, and our past desires and memories are picking what is important for the moment. Where is the growth in this? Where is the freedom away from this?
What is really important? Some dogma? Some practice? Some idea?
To an atheist, there is no soul and what is important is the progress and future of the human race. To a spiritual person, the soul is important. In both, discovering what makes us pick one word, one thought, one idea, one desire, one action over others at the moment develops us!
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भेदभाव कछु न कोई, ब्राह्मण कुल सब प्राण |
प्रभु न करयो जब सोई, बाँटे क्यों भ्रम ज्ञान ||
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Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of essays I like/find interesting/are food for thought; I’ve tried to sort them as much as possible. The starred (*) ones are those I especially love
also quick note: some of these links, especially the ones that are from books/anthologies redirect you to libgen or scihub, and if that doesn’t work for you, do message me; I’d be happy to send them across!
Literature + Writing
Godot Comes to Sarajevo - Susan Sontag
The Strangeness of Grief - V. S. Naipaul*
Memories of V. S. Naipaul - Paul Theroux*
A Rainy Day with Ruskin Bond - Mayank Austen Soofi
How Albert Camus Faced History - Adam Gopnik
Listen, Bro - Jo Livingstone
Rachel Cusk Gut-Renovates the Novel - Judith Thurman
Lost in Translation: What the First Line of “The Stranger” Should Be - Ryan Bloom
The Duke in His Domain - Truman Capote*
The Cult of Donna Tartt: Themes and Strategies in The Secret History - Ana Rita Catalão Guedes
Never Do That to a Book - Anne Fadiman*
Affecting Anger: Ideologies of Community Mobilisation in Early Hindi Novel - Rohan Chauhan*
Why I Write - George Orwell*
Rimbaud and Patti Smith: Style as Social Deviance - Carrie Jaurès Noland*
Art + Photography (+ Aesthetics)
Looking at War - Susan Sontag*
Love, sex, art, and death - Nan Goldin, David Wojnarowicz
Lyons, Szarkowski, and the Perception of Photography - Anne Wilkes Tucker
The Feminist Critique of Art History - Thalia Gouma-Peterson, Patricia Mathews
In Plato's Cave - Susan Sontag*
On reproduction of art (Chapter 1, Ways of Seeing) - John Berger*
On nudity and women in art (Chapter 3, Ways of Seeing) - John Berger*
Kalighat Paintings - Sharmishtha Chaudhuri
Daydreams and Fragments: On How We Retrieve Images From the Past - Maël Renouard
Arthur Rimbaud: the Aesthetics of Intoxication - Enid Rhodes Peschel
Tragic Fable of Mumbai Mills - Gyan Prakash
Whose Bandra is it? - Dustin Silgardo*
Timur's Registan: noblest public square in the world? - Srinath Perur
The first Starbucks coffee shop, Seattle - Colin Marshall*
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai's iconic railway station - Srinath Perur
From London to Mumbai and Back Again: Gentrification and Public Policy in Comparative Perspective - Andrew Harris
The Limits of "White Town" in Colonial Calcutta - Swati Chattopadhyay
The Metropolis and Mental Life - Georg Simmel
Colonial Policy and the Culture of Immigration: Citing the Social History of Varanasi - Vinod Kumar, Shiv Narayan
A Caribbean Creole Capital: Kingston, Jamaica - Coln G. Clarke (from Colonial Cities by Robert Ross, Gerard J. Telkamp
The Colonial City and the Post-Colonial World - G. A. de Bruijne
The Nowhere City - Amos Elon*
The Vertical Flâneur: Narratorial Tradecraft in the Colonial Metropolis - Paul K. Saint-Amour
The trolley problem problem - James Wilson
A Brief History of Death - Nir Baram
Justice as Fairness: Political not Metaphysical - John Rawls*
Should Marxists be Interested in Exploitation? - John E. Roemer
The Discomfort You’re Feeling is Grief - Scott Berinato*
The Pandemic and the Crisis of Faith - Makarand Paranjape
If God Is Dead, Your Time is Everything - James Wood
Giving Up on God - Ronald Inglehart
The Limits of Consensual Decision - Douglas Rae*
The Science of "Muddling Through" - Charles Lindblom*
The Gruesome History of Eating Corpses as Medicine - Maria Dolan
The History of Loneliness - Jill Lepore*
From Tuskegee to Togo: the Problem of Freedom in the Empire of Cotton - Sven Beckert*
Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism - E. P. Thompson*
All By Myself - Martha Bailey*
The Geographical Pivot of History - H. J. Mackinder
Rim of Life - Manu Pillai
Exploring the Indian Ocean as a rich archive of history – above and below the water line - Isabel Hofmeyr, Charne Lavery
‘Piracy’, connectivity and seaborne power in the Middle Ages - Nikolas Jaspert (from The Sea in History)*
The Vikings and their age - Nils Blomkvist (from The Sea in History)*
Mercantile Networks, Port Cities, and “Pirate” States - Roxani Eleni Margariti
Phantom Peril in the Arctic - Robert David English, Morgan Grant Gardner*
Assorted ones on India
A departure from history: Kashmiri Pandits, 1990-2001 - Alexander Evans *
Writing Post-Orientalist Histories of the Third World - Gyan Prakash
Empire: How Colonial India Made Modern Britain - Aditya Mukherjee
Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947 - Aparna Basu
The Epic Riddle of Dating Ramayana, Mahabharata - Sunaina Kumar*
Caste and Politics: Identity Over System - Dipankar Gupta
Our worldview is Delhi based*
Sports (you’ll have to excuse the fact that it’s only cricket but what can i say, i’m indian)
'Massa Day Done:' Cricket as a Catalyst for West Indian Independence: 1950-1962 - John Newman*
Playing for power? rugby, Afrikaner nationalism and masculinity in South Africa, c.1900–70 - Albert Grundlingh
When Cricket Was a Symbol, Not Just a Sport - Baz Dreisinger
Cricket, caste, community, colonialism: the politics of a great game - Ramachandra Guha*
Cricket and Politics in Colonial India - Ramchandra Guha
MS Dhoni: A quiet radical who did it his way*
Brega: Music and Conflict in Urban Brazil - Samuel M. Araújo
Color, Music and Conflict: A Study of Aggression in Trinidad with Reference to the Role of Traditional Music - J. D. Elder
The 1975 - ‘Notes On a Conditional Form’ review - Dan Stubbs*
Life Without Live - Rob Sheffield*
How Britney Spears Changed Pop - Rob Sheffield
Concert for Bangladesh
From “Help!” to “Helping out a Friend”: Imagining South Asia through the Beatles and the Concert for Bangladesh - Samantha Christiansen
Clothing Behaviour as Non-verbal Resistance - Diana Crane
The Normalisation of Queer Theory - David M. Halperin
Menstruation and the Holocaust - Jo-Ann Owusu*
Women’s Suffrage the Democratic Peace - Allan Dafoe
Pink and Blue: Coloring Inside the Lines of Gender - Catherine Zuckerman*
Women’s health concerns are dismissed more, studied less - Zoanne Clack
How Food-Obsessed Millennials Shape the Future of Food - Rachel A. Becker (as a non-food obsessed somewhat-millennial, this was interesting)
Colonialism's effect on how and what we eat - Coral Lee
Tracing Europe's influence on India's culinary heritage - Ruth Dsouza Prabhu
Chicken Kiev: the world’s most contested ready-meal*
From Russia with mayo: the story of a Soviet super-salad*
The Politics of Pancakes - Taylor Aucoin*
How Doughnuts Fuelled the American Dream*
Pav from the Nau
A Short History of the Vada Pav - Saira Menezes
Fantasy (mostly just harry potter and lord of the rings)
Purebloods and Mudbloods: Race, Species, and Power (from The Politics of Harry Potter)
Azkaban: Discipline, Punishment, and Human Rights (from The Politics of Harry Potter)*
Good and Evil in J. R. R. Tolkien's Lengendarium - Jyrki Korpua
The Fairy Story: J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis - Colin Duriez (from Tree of Tales)*
Tolkien’s Augustinian Understanding of Good and Evil: Why The Lord of the Rings Is Not Manichean - Ralph Wood (from Tree of Tales)*
The Hidden Cost of Wildlife Tourism
Chronicles of a Writer’s 1950s Road Trip Across France - Kathleen Phelan
On the Early Women Pioneers of Trail Hiking - Gwenyth Loose
On the Mythologies of the Himalaya Mountains - Ed Douglas*
More random assorted ones
The cosmos from the wheelchair (The Economist obituaries)*
In El Salvador - Joan Didion
Scientists are unravelling the mystery of pain - Yudhijit Banerjee
Notes on Nationalism - George Orwell
Politics and the English Language - George Orwell*
What Do the Humanities Do in a Crisis? - Agnes Callard*
The Politics of Joker - Kyle Smith
Sushant Singh Rajput: The outsider - Uday Bhatia*
Credibility and Mystery - John Berger
happy reading :)
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रुक्मावती की हवेली
Rukmavati Ki Haveli (1991)
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cultural appropriation in ATLA (hinduism edition)
i’m sure there’s already a ton of posts about this, but whatever, i’m still making one idc.
ATLA’s cultural appropriation, everyone knows about it, the white people don’t speak about it, and the asian and indigenous people get ignored. we know the cycle. but i wanted to come here and highlight some of the most prominent examples of ATLA abusing hinduism, as i am kinda sorta hindu (i was raised in a hindu household, i go to chinmaya mission, that kinda shit). i might forget some things so keep that in mind.
this is gonna be divided into 3 main sections, since there are different ways that they disrespect hinduism that i don’t wanna lump together.
and i’d say i know a lot about hinduism but that doesn’t make me an expert, obviously, so if other hindus have anything to add and/or correct then please do !! and if anyone else wants to share how their cultures were appropriated then please do that as well !!
so let’s get started shall we?
1) the avatar
we’ll start with the most obvious example: the avatar itself
i know that there are parts of the avatar mythos that are taken from other cultures as well but the idea of the avatar itself is primarily from hinduism.
basically in hinduism, the term dashavatara refers to the 10 reincarnations of lord vishnu (the god of preservation), with avatar(a) meaning form or incarnation in sanskrit, and das(a) meaning ten. it was said that whenever the world was out of balance, lord vishnu would come down to earth in a certain form to restore balance. Each reincarnation is considered a different life with a different story. the avatars of lord vishnu are often considered the saviors of the world.
so basically, the central idea of the show and the actual name of the show is largely based on hinduism.
many different indian religions have a concept of chakras (chakra meaning wheel or circle in sanskrit), but hinduism is the one that primarily preaches the system of seven chakras, the version used in ATLA.
chakras connect the physical body to the ‘subtle’ body (referring more to the spirit and the psyche) by connecting parts of the body to aspects of the mind. the idea is that through different forms of steady meditation you can manipulate the different chakras and allow the pure flow of energy through the body.
the whole idea of chakras on ATLA is that aang has to unblock them all to let the cosmic energy flow through him so that he can go into the avatar state at will. so yeah, pretty much that whole idea was taken from hinduism.
these are just a few terms that were taken from hinduism. i’m pretty sure there are more that i can’t think of right now but yeah.
i’ll be honest i don’t know where the ‘kai’ part is from, i don’t think it’s from hinduism but if it is well fuck me i guess.
‘agni’ in hinduism is the god of fire, so the creators used it in ‘agni kai’, the name for a firebending duel.
this is in reference to the hindu word for ‘earth’, which is bhoomi. this is also in reference to our goddess of earth, bhoomi devi. also this doesn’t really bother me but i wonder if the creators knew that bhoomi is a name typically used for women (as are most hindi names ending in ‘i’/‘ee’).
in general, concepts like having multiple complex gods (the spirits) who are capable of good and evil and the reincarnation cycle are prominent in a lot of asian cultures, including (and arguably primarily) hinduism.
now we get into the mockery of hinduism in ATLA, because it is very much there.
1) whoever the fuck that baboon guy in the spirit world was
now what the fuck was this.
i mean i wouldn’t say this is the most egregious example of them making fun of brown people but lord why did this even need to be there? this random guy from the spirit world has an indian accent ? and is fervently chanting ‘om’ for some reason, and it’s clearly meant to be seen as comical. also portraying brown people as monkeys....... really.
2) combustion man/sparky sparky boom man
when rewatching ATLA in 2019 i actually had no idea that this was a thing, because the last time i had watched it was as a kid and i didn’t finish it.
so lord was i in for a surprise when i saw...
now... now what.
if you didn’t know, combustion man’s ‘third eye’ is designed to replicate the hindu god of destruction, lord shiva. right down to the vibhuti on his forehead (referring to the three line markings around the third eye).
in hinduism, lord shiva’s third eye is used to reduce people to ashes, though as far as i can recall, not very frequently. the primary significance of the third eye is that it represents the ability of higher spiritual thought and higher consciousness.
the ATLA writers take the ACTUAL significance of the third eye, throw it out the window, and then take its destructive abilities to make a super duper cool and dangerous new firebending technique.
and if that wasn’t bad enough, the actual person who uses this technique, and is meant to emulate a GOD who is PRAISED, is a scary, burly, half metal man who is a villain and an assassin. not to mention the design of his facial hair replicates that super duper scary “terrorist” depiction of brown people, particularly of muslims, that white people are so thoroughly terrified of for no reason.
this is a parody of a god, and they portrayed him as this terrifying, maniacal fucking assassin who, along with p’li, the combustion bender from LOK, is constantly referred to as a “third-eyed freak”. i’ve made this analogy before and i’ll do it again, this is like making jesus into a hitman.
now onto my favorite example...
3) guru pathik
ah, this motherfucker.
i don’t really have any problems with him as a character, i mean hell, must’ve taken a fuck ton of patience to handle aang’s “why would choose cosmic energy over katara” bullshit.
but we all know it, we see it plain as day, don’t even try to deny it.
“guru” literally just means teacher or guide, so i don’t really know why pathik needed to be referred to as “guru” so distinctively from aang’s other teachers and guides, but that’s just extremely trivial compared to all the other issues with this character.
first of all what is this character design? what is he even wearing? if they’re trying to replicate the clothes of swamis and priests and stuff this is already wrong, realized people don’t dress like this. and why the fuck does he have an indian accent? and why was this indian accent done by a non indian (brian george)?
once again, the poor but extremely heavy indian accent is clearly meant to be mocking, if it wasn’t, they wouldn’t’ve gone out of their way to get a non indian person to DO an indian accent, and instead they would’ve just gotten an actual indian person to play the role.
and oh yeah, the onion and banana juice. because hindus just eat weird shit right.
whether it’s actually weird or not, the show certainly portrays it as weird. and as far as i know no hindu actually fucking drinks onion and banana juice.
ironic because brown people can absolutely destroy white people in cooking. but i digress.
i know what you’re all waiting for. because the guru apparently didn’t have enough fun with guru pathik, so they just had to come back to him in book 3:
where do i begin.
so this is obviously john o’bryan’s super funny and hilarious depiction of pathik as a hindu god.
usually when a god has multiple arms it’s to carry an array of things, from flowers to weapons to instruments, and one hand is typically free to bless devotees (ie. goddess durga and lord vishnu respectively):
but of course white people see this as weird and so they make fun of it, hence guru pathik having multiple arms just flailing about aimlessly (save for the two that are being used to carry the aforementioned onion and banana juice).
then there’s the whole light behind pathik’s head which is usually depicted in drawings of hindu gods to show that they are celestial.
also what the fuck is he holding? is that supposed to be a veena? because this is what a veena looks like:
and i assume the reason this was added was to mock the design of goddess saraswathi, who carries a veena:
but that right there in the picture of pathik looks more like a tambura than a veena.
and it also just kinda looks like a banjo?
but i guess the animators just searched up “long indian instrument” and slapped it on there. actually no, that’s giving them too much credit, they probably didn’t search it up at all.
and then the actual scene is pathik singing crazily about chakras tasting good or something while playing the non-veena and it’s all supposed to be some funky crazy hallucination that aang is having due to sleep deprivation. just some crazy dream, just as crazy as talking appa and momo sparring with swords or tree-ozai coming to life.
our gurus and swamis and sadhus and generally realized people are very respected in hinduism, they’re people we look up to and honor very much. and our GODS are beings that we literally worship. and the writers just take both and make caricatures out of them for other white people to laugh at.
4) other shit
before we move to the next portion i just wanna mention there are also smaller backhanded jabs that i can’t really remember now, but one example was when zuko was all “we’ll be sure to remember that, guru goody goody”. or when a character would meditate and say “om” only when the meditation is supposed to be portrayed as comical or pointless. or in bitter work when sokka was rambling on about karma. small things like that. but moving on.
south asian representation, or lack thereof
now i finally get to the “losing” hinduism part. by this i mean the lack of actual representation there is of south asians (the region where hinduism is primarily practiced) despite the fact that hinduism plays such a big role in the show’s world design.
i think it’s safe to say that broadly the main cast consists of aang, katara, sokka, zuko, toph, azula, iroh, mai, ty lee, and suki.
a grand total of none of these characters are south asian. the writers don’t even attempt to add any south asian main characters.
there are characters with dark skin, like haru and jet, but a) they’re not confirmed to be south asian and don’t have any south asian features or south asian names, b) they’re side characters, so they don’t count as representation, and c) even if they were south asian and main characters, jet wouldn’t even count because he’s portrayed as a terrorist.
the ONLY truly south asian character we get is fucking guru pathik. so yeah. not representation.
i don’t get how the creators of this show rip off of hinduism (among many other south asian cultures they rip off of), mock indians, and then don’t even have the decency to HAVE a main character who is south asian.
i’ve never gotten a chance to compile all this, and this definitely isn’t all the creators have done, but i hope this was somewhat informative.
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Noor Hindi, “Self-Interrogation”
[text ID: At the airport terminal, a woman is crying.
Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me, I —
I need to focus. On something besides.
The rush of migration. The lights so loud.
The unending sound. Of a newscaster’s voice.
Dear God. Dear Bones. Dear Mother.
Please, forgive me. I want to call in dead.
Just last week, there was a child in a yellow
dress reading a poem. For minutes on end,
we could not be indifferent to anything.
Not the grass, dying yellow. Not the bombs,
twisting limbs. Not the cages. Not the —
Yes. there is a woman crying at terminal six.
Yes. I used a newspaper to cover my eyes.
Yes. I thought of the child in a yellow dress,
the tiny silver heart she placed in my palm.
Yes. I threw it in the trash, minutes later.
But I promise. I promise. I promise, I —
meant it as an act of survival. Maybe love.]
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So, fair warning to all of you that is this a very chaotic disorganised brain barf kinda bulleted fic about my boy James because I refuse to accept that he is a white boy, sorry not sorry. But i LOVE Indian James so so much and I just HAD to write him a lil something. so enjoy!
First off, I refuse to believe that James is not the chaotic Indian child that I believe he is. No, I will not be taking any suggestions
But imagine young James running around his neighbourhood on Holi, playing with the neighbouring kids.
The amount of PRANKS oh my god. it is absolute PANDEMONIUM.
Of course, Mrs Potter makes Kachoris and thandai and Dahi vada.
James is SUCH a mother’s boy it’s not even funny. He loves her to death
But let's be honest here, who wouldn't? That’s Euphemia potter right there; you can't help but love her.
James being waAAAAaayy ahead of everyone in his class in all the general muggle subjects when he gets to hogwarts because he studied ICSE.
There was a time when Sirius thought he knew everything in the world cause he knew all the maths and science and social science that ICSE taught him (RE: James potter is an adorable nerd)
James curses in Hindi so he rarely ever gets in trouble for foul language.
Remus is insanely jealous
So naturally, James teaches Sirius and Remus all the Hindi cusses he can think of. (he spends half his time rolling on the floor at their accents. It’s brilliant.)
Cue Snape being the slimy git he is; he puts bright gold dye in James’s shampoo
James: “ABBEY MADARCHOD BHAES KE LAUDE TERI TO-”
Everybody is Very Confused ™ but Sirius and Remus can barely hold him back for how hard they’re laughing. James looks like an enraged Oscars trophy
Sirius picking up little bits of Hindi from when the potters adopt him and soon their notes in class are almost all in Hindi.
Added bonus: barely anyone can figure out their maraudering plans now; they’re all in Hindi.
Okay, James smuggles SO MUCH Maggie into Hogwarts it is UNREAL.
I’m pretty sure he could feed the entirety of Hogwarts for a full year, and they’d still have some left over.
And of course, nobody grows up around Euphemia and doesn’t know how to cook.
So whenever his boys are upset, James sneaks down to the kitchens and makes them all Indian food.
BUT IMAGINE THE MARAUDERS’S FIRST BIG FESTIVAL TOGETHER!!!!
I’m gonna go ahead and say it's Diwali cause why not?
James absolutely forgets that his parents speak Hindi too, and he casually calls Sirius bakchod or something and his mother raises an eyebrow at him across the table.
THE FOOD THE FOOD THE FOOD THE FOOD
The boys take a whole day to drive around the city eating every Indian street food imaginable.
It is bliss.
Both Sirius and Remus vow never to have any other kind of food again
James promises that he’d always cook for them whenever they wanted
JUST INDIAN JAMES OKAY???
translations and context:
- ‘ABBEY MADARCHOD BHAES KE LAUDE TERI TO-’: you motherfucking son of a buffalo im going to-
- Kachoris and thandai and Dahi vada.: Traditional indian food typically made for Holi: the festival of colours
- Maggie: aka my favourite thing EVER. its essentially indian ramen and it is WONDERFUL you have to try it
- Diwali: the famous festival of lights!
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Have you seen the interview with indian hostess? The boys are all over her except for yoongi lmaoo I kinda wanna know your observation/ outlook analysis about it for each of the boys
saw it days ago and it's a flirting masterpiece (and very well-done interviewing technique), i knew someone would point it out here. and it’s true that body language hardly lies no matter how you wanna hide it ✍️
yoongi being yoongi, you could see he knew what was coming right away. smiled suspiciously, too, don’t worry. got some real tunnel vision at his turn. but, also wasn’t afraid to strike a serious tone and wanted to convey something deeper. also, did y’all notice he was at the edge of his seat? not as laid-back as usual 😉 sat even more still than ever at the end, suppressed reactions. we’ve seen yoongles thirst hard over fansign ladies but all in all, he focused on what she said, not her looks, polite man. also, damn he was he a tired zzzZ kitty that day. and didn’t realize what happened behind him lmao (new meme format).
hehe huhu, our confident jin threw the finger guns for especially long AND TWICE! he's tried very hard to conceal his smile but alas 2:20 exists. otherwise professional, drifted off a little at the end because i think his eyes hurt or he was tired as well, though unusually talkative for an interview, hmm. definitely fired out some flirt bombs. also, this right here happened:
so this sexy lady... passed every vibe check. smug and staring taehyung was finding sakshma very fascinating and delicious (lip licks everybody) and lost all his words at his turn 😂he even, slyly, did a kissy face twice right at her. dude, he was suddenly a HUGE mess of hormones. so eager and overactive, he pointed out which questions belong to whom before they could be translated. like "hey, everyone pay attention, like i do!" also, did the same gestures of every member whose turn it was and teased them like he did when hobi’s donation was a topic.
it’s another mochi meltdown for the books. typical libra man he is, jimin was literally gossiping to RM mid-interview (like, ‘did you just hear that?!’) and cried tears about all the compliments she was whipping out. they were all smiling hopelessly and roasted each other over their reactions though. bet a huge discussion fest broke out when the camera was off and jimin was the leader of it 😆the last row also zoned out like there he goes again! hilarious.
cheesy announcer joonie put lots of effort into his tangents. holy hell, the facts were raining down on her. wanted to make sense at all costs. that's why the compliment about him being articulate hit absolute home. clapped to himself to boost his confidence at his turn. definitely wanted to stay on top of the situation and go the extra mile. figured out exactly what she wanted to hear and how it should be said with the squinty eyes. 😋 typical moni move, very IQ.
hobi was alert and instantly responsive but didn't try to hype it up further cuz he knows when situations need energy and when not. i see his crossed arms and little head shakes as if he couldn’t believe what he heard. i think he wanted more distance in some way. but also, nervous fidgeting during yoongi’s turn big time. draped his coat like a million times. looked a lot an namjoon for support to do well. was more interested by the members acting up than sakshma herself imo.
jungkook massively lowered his voice (!!!), got shook, and wanted to articulate himself especially well lmao! hit the members who got the hindi phrase wrong 😄 took a few damn deep breaths while talking, too. did the cutest hand gestures — snap and clap and finger hearts— he always does that when flirting i swear, it’s always genuine and so unexpected, this guy is something else. giggled so nervously oh my god. verdict, he’s precious and i love him.
when i look at sakshma (and you thought i wouldn’t figure her out as well): she likes jin, and she like kookie. but oh boy, namjoon had the most effect on her. jungkook noticed. she was soooo impressed and focused on RM. touched her hair all the time. this lady literally looked at joonbug like this.
joonie stans, you have a new member.
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Hey, so I just read your Cultural Differences fics and I thought they were great. But I really have to ask you about this double-standard I've been noticing in reader insert fics. Like, you write specifically for an Indian Reader but you also blog about inclusivity in reader-insert fanfic. How is this inclusive? I'm sure if someone wrote a reader fic and tagged it as a white reader, people would get so upset about inclusivity. Idk, what are your thoughts on this?
All right, so I came home from a long day of lab work (all day on a fucking Sunday running probably 20+ samples, a good two-thirds of them were for my lab-mates & not me), and saw this bullshit. And I’ve been spending all evening trying to figure out how to respond properly without getting angry or letting you know exactly how much you’ve gotten under my skin. But you know what? Fuck it.
You wanted to know my thoughts? Here are my fucking thoughts.
I’m assuming you are a white person because no person of color is going to ask me such an inane question. You have probably never experienced what it was like to be an outsider and unwelcome in most spaces. And I’m not just talking about reader insert fic, I’m talking about the fucking world. And because you have never experienced what it was like, I don’t expect you to understand it, but I do expect you to educate yourself and have some respect, which you clearly don’t.
If reading about a South Asian reader bothers you so much, you could have just merrily skipped right the fuck over my work. Because guess what? It wasn’t written for you. It was not written with you in mind. In fact, ALL OF MY FICS, regardless of if I choose to earmark them, were written with a reader of color in mind (I just chose to be vague in Angels of Mercy so other readers of color could benefit). Sorry to burst your bubble, sweetheart. Maybe that’s difficult for you to hear, but I really don’t care.
Have you ever actually taken a moment to read most reader-insert fanfic? I don’t think you have, or if you have, you’ve never paid attention. Because white-coded reader inserts are all over the fucking place. You don’t see it because it’s normal fucking stuff for you. But for someone like me, I not only recognize the white-coded language and actions, it bothers the shit out of me. Because the whole fucking point of reader insert fanfic is for the reader to INSERT THEMSELVES IN THE STORY.
Please explain to me how exactly I am supposed to insert myself into a story where a reader is described as having milky skin (or heaven forbid, a blonde). Or maybe less obvious to you, but my own personal favorite, are the implications of family dynamics. I once read a story where the reader was cooking for the character & said something like “I’m going to make my Nana’s secret meatloaf recipe.”
Honestly, this didn’t offend me so much as it made me laugh at the sheer absurdity of how unrealistic this would be in my regular life. I am of Indian descent. My family speaks Kannada and Tamil (because you know, not everyone in India speaks Hindi). I most certainly do not call my grandparents Nana and Pops (If you would care to know, I call them Avva & Tata and Aggie & Tata). And neither grandmother would have a recipe for fucking meatloaf. We keep a strict South Indian, vegetarian diet. The idea of my grandmother giving me a recipe for fucking meatloaf is just...god you would never understand how laughable it is.
The sheer absurdity of this put me off the entire fucking story. And I was only probably two paragraphs in.
Look, I get it. I cannot expect writers to cater to my exact circumstance. It’s impossible, and I don’t expect it at all. Reading reader insert fics require you to suspend your preconceived notions and just...enjoy the story. But I can only do that to a certain fucking point. Some days, it doesn’t bother me as much (because as a woman of color, I’ve been conditioned to take whatever I can fucking get and not get angry about it). If I enjoy the story and am in a good mood, and I see subtle white-coded language, I’ll grumble but ignore it. But some days I just cannot do the mental gymnastics around the blatant lack of inclusivity--the stupid meatloaf story was one of them. And I have plenty more stories where that came from.
My Cultural Differences series is a space that I created, specifically for South Asian (and Hindu) fem!readers (like myself!!!) to come and enjoy fic where the author wrote the character for once, with them in mind. And for once, I hope, they didn’t have to do the mental gymnastics around inclusivity and see a realistic picture of what actually being a part of the story would look like as a South Asian reader. While everyone is welcome to read this, it was not a series created for white readers. And so many readers, who are white, have enjoyed it despite that! And for those who couldn’t relate, or didn’t want to try, they just skipped over it without sending me such a stupid anon.
And of course you would send this to me on anon, because this isn’t something that you would have the guts to own up to.
So in conclusion, fuck this. Fuck this ridiculous entitlement you seem to have that I, a woman of color, should do the work to create a space for white people when white people haven’t given one ounce of thought to people like me. And black readers. And indigenous readers. And East Asian readers. And Pacific Islander readers. And latine readers.
Just fuck you.
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Power of Symbols
To understand symbols, one needs to understand thoughts, words, ideas, and beliefs as they all originate from personal observations of your experiences. All are on the same level as all are connected to words, a string of words. There is no real discoveries, nor scientific breakthroughs. Only a rearranging of combinations. We just go along, creating our own combinations from our “unique” personal experiences of our interactions with the world around us.
Our knowledge are just from previous insights. The power of symbols is to penetrate through our network of thoughts, rules, and self-organisations.
How does this come about? For example, we hold ourselves as the template of our universe. Not that we are the center of the universe, but our concept of the workings of the universe comes from our understanding of our own perceptions. For example, I have the thought to raise my hand and then I raise my hand. I observe that it is me, inside my body, has the power, ability, and means to raise my hand. Thus, we assume this to be the same principle with all other objects and particles. That energy is within each thing. Each thing has this ability.
However, this is wrong. Perhaps there is a force in the universe at every point that moves everything. Even the neurons in my brain. Then, there is some insight that does not come from observations as my observations are distorted with the view that I am the originator and creator of raising my hand. So, can I rely on observation? Can I rely on scientific discoveries and reasonings as they too are distorted in the same manner?
Symbols penetrate through your distorted observations. Pierces as did the soldier piercing the body of Jesus on the cross in which blood and water gushed out. The cross, or tree, is a symbol. Blood and water are symbols as when does it ever happen that water is separated from blood? We can only guess to the meanings of their symbols. Does not matter as one can have own symbols to penetrate, to pierce through the distorted observations and beliefs we have.
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चलो उनके द्वार चलते हैं एक दिन
ख़्वाजा के दरबार माथा टेकते हैं एक दिन
मोहब्बत का मालिक सबकी सुनता है
मुलाक़ात कर देखते हैं एक दिन
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this is an announcement because yo girl just cant stop giving PSAs
okay so this one is about desi tumblr.
I know there are desi blogs out there who feel excluded and ignored, so this one is for them (and some others dw i'll discuss about them later in this post)
There are things everyone needs to know.
what desi means.
who's desi and who's not
So first of all, by the basic definition of desi we mean south-asian. Indians, Pakistanis, Sri Lankans, Nepalis, and such.
Desi is a culture and if you fall in these countries, youre desi. I know some people don't want to associate with the desi title because of reasons which make total sense and thats perfectly fine. No one is forcing you to pick up the label. Do whatever makes you comfy.
[Very important note: you dont have to like mainstream media to be us. We are a culture, and its not bound by the languages we speak, the food we eat, and other things we do. You dont have to take part in everyday discourses to be a desi blog. This is super fucking important and I hope everyone, and i mean everyone, understands this.]
I, as a desi, think I'm inclusive, and I love when I interact with new blogs. I hope people understand this and know that I would accept them as they are. Damn, siblings, your language and the things you like might be different but that doesnt mean you're any less desi.
Some more very important things with personal examples:
Hindi is not the only language. You don't have to be a hindi speaker to be included. (three of my fave frens here (rey, billu and clove/alagar/strudel) cant speak hindi fluently i love them as much because a language doesnt bind us)
Indian-themed-things are not the only things. I know this happens and I want to make this point very clear. (I have two pakistani (noor and hazel) and a Sri Lankan (uvi) sister here and i love interacting with them.)
A lot of discourses are political and it's okay if you dont want to interact or if you dont relate to them. Most of us are minors and we aren't conditioned to have opinions all the time. (no personal examples here, but I mean this.)
Personal note 1: please send an ask if you want me to edit/add a point. (I dont respond to dms as quickly and I dont want to ignore this)
Another very important thing:
I have heard about the existence of a fabled inner-desi-circle, and apparently me and my close mutuals are a part of it. And some people have been passive agressive to me about it. This has been happening for quite a while so I thought I should talk about it.
I want to make this very clear, and I am very sorry if I sound offensive.
We are friends and we are accepting people. I mean this very seriously, by the way. Do not throw shade on us just because we are friends and we exist.
There is no such circle, and trust me when I say I would be lost without them. Most of us are friendless irl, and it feels really shitty when someone is being shady because we show our affection here through posts and inside jokes. Let people exist.
And if you ever felt excluded because of us, I am really fucking sorry. We didn't think that telling our friends that we love them, or making a personal reference would hurt you. I am sorry.
personal note 2: I am very sorry if I have ever made anyone on desi tumblr feel excluded, i didnt mean it. (I swear to god I am not being sarcastic, I really am sorry. I am usually not being sincere, but I am being very sincere here.)
Personal note 3: the others and I are interactive people, trust me. I sure as fuck am. You could totally send an interactive ask, and we would sure as fuck reply. Please dont assume you're not one of us.
I know a ton of desi peeps here, and all of them are lovely people.
So once again, repeat after me:
It's okay if you're NRI.
It's okay if you dont speak hindi
It's okay if you dont relate to discourses
It's okay if you're new and still figuring things out
It's okay and you're desi enough.
You're still a desi disaster
This is the desi tumblr and I hope you enjoy your stay!
A fuckton of love,
Aadya, the certified babie sis
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