World Mental Health Day 2017

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I have written about my own struggles with mental illness and so for me everyday is like world mental health day. I keep in mind that people need empathy and compassion. My own mental health is quite peachy when compared to many others who suffer from psychosis, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Not to say that anyone who suffers from moderate anxiety and depression like I do has it easy. At some point, what really is being mentally healthy? Think about it, the neurotransmitters in our brain and our nerve connections are what keep us from getting up in the morning and killing ourselves! If it were not for our in borne ability to maintain a favorable mood, we would all just be trying to commit suicide. That is a scary thought. Our brains are programmed to continue to let us live. There is a push that gives us the will to live, once that push is gone, life is hopeless and meaningless. So find purpose and find hope. They will keep you going.

 

Happy world mental health day everyone!

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Done with grad school… and now I am back

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My last post was 1.5 years ago . A lot has changed since then. I graduated with a Ph.D., but only after applying to get an extension on my Ph.D. candidacy so that i would not have to retake my candidacy exam. So my biggest fear almost came true.  I even posted about it in June 2015. And it almost happened. I knew it would get ugly… and it did. But I was so close to graduating they gave me an extension. Otherwise i would have been humiliated. Although I have to say that what i went through was humiliating enough. I wish I had not let it get to the point it did.  But I  got past it and published a paper and graduated. I then got a job as a postdoc, and became a dad (best thing ever!). But I’m still stuck in the same old university I got my PhD from, just at a different lab (for personal reasons). 

Yup, it’s been 10 months since I got my PhD – 1 year since I defended my dissertation. (Wow… it’s been a YEAR?!) 

Anywho let’s get right to it… I am still depressed. I am not on medication anymore …. I have been seeing a different doctor – I can’t see my grad school doctor anymore since I am no longer a student . But I want to get back on medication . I have only been off for 4 months but it is starting to take a toll. 

Why? Well, because of several reasons :

  1. I don’t know what the next step will be in my career. For sure I cannot land a tenure track faculty position – those are insanely difficult to get. So what do I do? I feel like I have no transferable skills for a non academic position, despite what people tell me. Amd then there is the fear of what people might think of me if I do leave academia. I know they will take a jibe at me… to make me feel like shit… 
  2. To top it off, it has been 5 months in my new lab and I have NO data. None. The experiments have either not led to anything exciting or are not working for technical reasons. 
  3. I have become very cynical. I dislike people even more now. Not my family of course. Just… well, everyone else. I feel like I am defending myself against EVERYONE. And I am exhausted and drained. 
  4. Not sure what the heck is the meaning of all of this… so yeah… a bit of an existential crisis.
  5. My therapist keeps postponing our appointment. The last I saw her was 8 months ago. She says she has been having family emergencies but I think she is trying to avoid me. It’s bcoz I was late to my appointment a couple of times . I am sure that is the reason. She is probably just making excuses to not see me.

So yeah. I feel like shit again. So hello again peeps!!

Contributions of ancient India to Science

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On Facebook, Hinduphobic/atheist/secular forums repeatedly ridicule some exaggerated comments made by a few Hindus about ancient India’s contribution to science. Lost in all of this ridicule is what ancient India actually did contribute to science and math. Any attempt to mention ancient India’s contribution to science (including from myself) has been met with censure, silencing, anger and even banishment. Such is the level of jealousy and hatred against Hindus.

Yes, there are some ill-informed Hindus. So, the following article might clear things up a bit.

http://swarajyamag.com/culture/ancient-aircraft-to-pythagoras/

A little payback…

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So I was on an atheists forum today and the moderator banned me because he didn’t like the answer to the challenge he posed to me (don’t ask me to be specific if you are not going to like the details, bro!). This is typical childish behavior from their end, so it’s not surprising. So, anyway, I put together this image that shows their mindset. Hindus, enjoy!

SICKULAR LOGIC

Silencing of the progressive Hindu

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Ten days after my post on how anti-Hinduism is parading as secularism, the HuffPost posted this blog by academic Vamsee Juluri who analyzed why Hindus ignored secular critiques of their community and chose to elect a controversial Hindu leader.

There are valid lines of reasoning to deter Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) into entering political dialog, let alone becoming incorporated into India’s constitution. Yet, the liberal media often targets Hindu nationalism while turning a blind eye to the clear violation of secular principles by its fellow ideologues in India. The irony is that Hindutva has grown BECAUSE of separate laws for muslims, Haj subsidies, carving an Islamic state out of part of India, and government control of temples (while staying distant from churches and mosques) to name a few causes. No other self-proclaimed secular country does this and gets away.

Reading the posts and replies by people on such forums should remind us that Hinduphobia is alive and well. In fact, this monster is growing stronger everyday and will inevitably face its other ugly counterpart – Hindutva. 

Vamsee’s assessment is being proven right – the silencing of liberal Hindu voices extends beyond academia. From Hindu genocide denial to indifference regarding Hindu voices supporting women’s rights to apathy about denying religious freedom to Hindus in Kashmir and Malaysia, the guy next-door simply closes his ears when a liberal Hindu points out the hypocrisy of ‘secular values’. The only thing that catches the mind of the secularist is sensationalizing Hindutva.

So what is the solution? To me, there clearly needs to be a more progressive Hindu voice that needs to shout louder so that it can be heard even when the hand of Hinduphobia covers its mouth.

HINDU TERRORISM

A brilliant piece highlighting why Hindus are saying enough is enough.

FRANCOIS GAUTIER

Is there such a thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’, as Home Minister Shinde is heavily hinting at? Well, I am one of that rare breed of foreign correspondents — a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated and non-Hindu, I do hope I’ll be given some credit for my opinions, which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my education or my atavism, but garnered from 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Geneve and Le Figaro).

In the early 1980s, when I started freelancing in south India, doing photo features on Kalaripayattu, the Ayyappa festival, or the Ayyanars, I slowly realised that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu you meet in a million villages possesses this simple, innate spirituality and accepts your  diversity, whether you are Christian or Muslim, Jain or Arab…

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