Friday, 11 April 2014

Vol 20: A shrine to the human spirit

Hello Peeker (short for Positivity Seeker!!). How was your week? If it was as great as mine, maybe you’d like to continue the streak with peeks into windows of positivity. If your week wasn’t so great, well, then here’s your chance to turn it around. Begin with staring into these windows. They offer lovely views.

News from the public domain

World’s best acts of defiance
Defiance is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? Telling the ultra powerful that their repressive acts must stop, even if only for a moment, is the ultimate manifestation of the human spirit, I’d think. And here’s a list of 10 inspiring moments of defiance from world history. The Who’s Who of despots are featured in it. Naturally.
Starting a better life
How do you do that? Well, one way is to cease crazy, self-destructive, self-loathing patterns of behaviour. While we all theoretically know what these patterns are, here’s a handy amalgamation of 30 such patterns. Enjoy!
A humorous look at future racial realities
Man, when Russell Peters showed up in the North American stand-up comic scene, people like me were stunned. An Indian-origin comic who spent all his stage time talking about race? Will somebody gun him down at the parking lot? Of course, I then realized that rednecks ain’t the North American majority and a good number of white folks liked to laugh at themselves. Russell made it easier by making us laugh at brown, yellow, black, white and every colour in between.
And now, when the latest scare technique of the right wingers is to remind the United States that whites will be in a minority in 2042, well, somebody better laugh aloud at that fear. That’s exactly what Hari Kondabalu does on the David Letterman show. This second-generation deadpan racial comedy brings all the races closer together, I’d like to think. And isn’t that a lovely development? You are bound to enjoy watching him perform this amazing bit.
Home is where innovation is
What’s your idea of an unusual home? In this TED blog, you will see people living in the following:
  • An abandoned and unfinished 45-storey office tower in Caracas, Venezuela. Elsewhere, this place is referred to as “Tower of David” and the highest slum in the world. But have no doubts that this is a community of inspiring and resilient people who have managed to find comfort and a sense of belonging in an unlikely setting.
  • A not-nearly-clean lagoon in the centre of Lagos, Nigeria. Around 150,000 people like in huts with stilts in this place called Makoko; and they find reasons to smile and celebrate. In fact, despite continuous evictions for “development”, a new triangulated structure on stilts now serves as a school for this community.
  • Surrounded by mounds of garbage, literally. Coptic Christians living under the cliffs of Mokattam Rocks in Cairo, Egypt, earn their livelihood from garbage. Watch how they find peace around the seemingly messy, chaotic place.
  • Underground cave dwellings in Shanxi, Henan, China.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky once famously said: “Man is a creature that can get used to anything.” I’m not sure whether he was inspired or disgusted by this idea. But the pictures on the page above will show you how the human being can carve cozy spaces anywhere, anyhow and how he is capable of finding happiness in the most adverse of circumstances.

In conclusion

Here’s wishing you a stupendous week ahead.
To read the previous volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
To read the next volume of Positivity Weekly, please click here.
And as always, do write in with story ideas and personal contributions. You can reach us at


  1. Loved this edition. Creative writing at its best!

    1. Thank you, Manjula. The world creates. I reflect :).