The thin line between smart puns and distasteful jingoism

India defeated Pakistan to be in the Cricket World Cup Finals 2011. The social networking world (at least for people from the subcontinent) has been a frenzy of activity with people posting newspaper articles, status updates, comments, discussions, strategies and analysis before / during and after the match. It all made for some interesting reading (for us) and some annoyance for some others (who don't follow cricket and wondering why this word that sounds like the name of an insect has taken over your friends' pages).
Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites have given people a chance to express themselves in ways that we could not have imagined before. However, it has also made people believe that one can get away with saying anything. Comparing a cricket match to war, bringing politics and mythology into it, using profanities and attacking the opponent's culture does not show your support for your national team, it just shows your lack of character. For every 'retweet' or 'like' you might be getting, have you thought of the people whose sentiments you might be hurting ?
Attacking the opposition's culture will not help your team win. Cheering them on will. Hate messages on social networking sites does not make you more of an Indian than anyone else. However, it makes you less of a human being.


During a time that everything seems dark, all we can do is focus on the bright spots that seem to appear from nowhere. Wishing hope and courage for the people in Japan to recover from this calamity.  


Where you live shapes who you become

I recently started exercising again. I have always been doing it, on and off, after college. Initially, I did it because my parents wanted me to. After I moved to the US, I restarted after the first year because I felt it was a shame not to use the facilities we were being given. I joined group exercise classes, and it felt great to try something new and make new friends.

Although I can wax eloquent on the health benefits of exercise, weight loss has never been a reason for me to exercise. I do it because it makes me feel good. Physically, mentally, emotionally. (Yes, if you are my parents or brother or husband,  you know why being emotionally fit is important - more to them than to me).

My recent foray into the world of work outs and conviction to stick to it is for a completely different reason (yes, the fact that I have paid money for a whole year has something to do with it too). For the first time, I have a reason to be fit and more active. I want to be able to run / bike along the charles river in the summer; I want to be able to run in the cold on the sidewalks like all the people I see on the street. I want to be able to hike for hours and feel good about it. I want to be able to bike to a far-ish picnic spot, lay on the grass all afternoon and come back biking in the evening. Also, sometime in the (more near than far, I hope) future, I want to be able to run at least a 5k.

The fact that the outdoors are much more accessible now has inspired me. Which brings me to believe in the title of the post, "where you live shapes who you become".

P.S. In the process, if I have nicely toned abs and calves, I wont be complaining :)