California home of Hollywood with handsome men, beautiful women, fashionable Queers, a haven for LGBT, the beauty needs are endless. It hosts silicon valley and major cities on the west coast of the US. The state is bustling with a huge population and there are a lot of salons & spas in the state. We have rated the top salons & spas in the area for you. The reviews are collected and correlated from Google, Yelp, store websites, social media handles. After having done all the analysis, the best and top-rated salons & spas are presented to help you visit the stores.
We have covered the best eyebrow threading salons in Bakersfield, San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles
Below are the top salons for eyebrow threading, Brazilian wax, hair needs, skin needs, and other hair removal services.
Top 3 Eye brow threading Salons in Bakersfield, California
New Style Eyebrow Threading – Located at 5535 Calloway Dr, Bakersfield, CA 93312 this salon is one of the top-rated salons in the region with a rating of 5 stars both from Google and Yelp
Star Beauty Salon- Location 2– This salon is located at 3699 Ming Ave Ste E Bakersfield, CA 93309 and has a great rating on both Google and yelp reviews.
Star Beauty Salon – The salon is located at in3300 Buena Vista Rd Ste D3 Bakersfield, CA 93311 and is known for eyebrow threading services and other hair removal services.
Top 3 Eye brow threading salons in San-Diego, California
Beauty by Dolly The salon is located at 3650 5th Ave Ste 101 San Diego, CA 92103 and is best known for eyebrow threading and other hair removal services. The Salon is clean and the best and to-go place for hair services as per customers’ reviews.
Grace Threading Salon Customers have visited multiple times to this store and have had a great experience. The staff is very friendly and wears name tags and hence identifiable by name.
Threading By Aneta Aneta knows exactly what customers ask for, there are many repeat customers to this location. Reviewers have praised the salon for its ambiance and soothing music providing the best services in eyebrow threading
Top 3 Eye brow threading salons in San Fransicso , California
B Brow Threading Amazing customer services 10/10 as per one of the reviewers. Many customers visit here regularly to get their eyebrows done, the staff caters to customers demands and provides the best service.
QueenP Threading Salon Customers have experienced great service, no long waits and appointments can be made by a simple text message.
Threading by USHA Usha is the best in the locality, she has established a credible trust from all the customers who keep visiting for eyebrow threading services and other hair removal services.
Top 3 Eyebrow threading salons in Los- Angeles, California
Rebshan Beauty Salon Long-term customers have reviewed good and promising customer service. Prices are reasonable for the area and great customer service is provided.
Bliss Brow Threading Customers get compliments for their eyebrows once they get done your eyebrow threading from this place. The staff is skilled and makes your eyebrows look pretty.
Tatiana Brow Bar They do everything, chin, upper lip, full face, and all at great pricing. Everything is clean and sanitized.
“When you’re good at something, make that everything.” – Roger Federer
As someone who has played sports for a better part of my life, I have come to realize how important sports is and how it teaches you things that no textbook ever can. I played different kinds of sports during my school life and in parts during my college life. I have been part of teams and have played individual sports as well through which I got to learn the best of both worlds. But this one is not to highlight the importance of sports in my life or in general, I’ll whip something up for that later. This is about the man with the single backhand.
When I was in school, Cricket was the only sport I enjoyed watching and that was the only sport I watched because of the time constraints and my attention span, that’s where my love for No.7 started (Cricket fans will understand). I used to sit with my grandfather and as both of us used to be emotional spectators (I still am), we would watch the game and experience everything, from stress to anger to happiness in those 3-4 hours. But, neither of my sisters were or are a fan of sports as I was or am but they do accompany me at times when I am praying in front of the TV for India to win. Coming back to the matter at hand, I was in 8th Standard when I first saw a lawn tennis match, courtesy to my elder sister, she asked me, nonchalantly, Hey, come and see this match, you might enjoy this too and 9 out of 10 times, I don’t listen to the things she says, that was the one time I did and boy, did I enjoy it! Two gentlemen, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were playing on a grass court at a tournament called Wimbledon and it was the 2008 finals. That was the first match I ever saw of lawn tennis and I sat through the 4 hours 48 minutes of it. While my sister was and is in awe of Nadal, I was mesmerized by the man who lost that match, but still won for me, Roger Federer.
For anyone who is unaware of who Roger Federer is, Roger Federer was born on 8 August 1981 in Basel, Switzerland. He is a Swiss professional tennis player and is ranked No. 8 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). He has won 20 Grand Slam men’s singles titles and has won 103 ATP singles titles. He has been felicitated with the Stefan Edberg Sportsmanship Award 13 times. He has also won the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award a record five times. These numbers, though, do not even begin to capture the magnanimous player Roger Federer is.
Having limited access to television and mobile phone at the time I was in school, I only saw a couple of matches but by the time I was in 12th standard, I was following the four Grand Slam titles and the Masters 1000 events and I enjoyed games of other players too but it was Federer’s matches in which my heart and mind were invested. It’s not an obsession though, It’s admiration. I was not aware of lawn tennis at an early age so I missed his ponytail hair days when he used to smash rackets and was allegedly said to be arrogant in his demeanor. By the time I started to watch the game, he was the fan’s favorite and someone who breezed through post-match presentations.
My father is not a sports aficionado, but one day when I was watching one of the Federer matches and he was struggling through the match, my father saw me and asked me why are you so sad? I said, Pa, Federer is losing to which he replied, Okay, let me sit with you and help him win, which might sound funny to you but then, I explained the rules to him that day and to this day, he sits with me to watch his matches. In fact, my whole family sits and watches Federer play. My younger sister, who doesn’t even enjoy lawn tennis, was heartbroken when Federer lost in the quarters this year. So, it’s a family affair now.
I wanted to write this pre-Wimbledon but I am glad that I am writing it post because I along with millions were lucky enough to see him contest again at the 2021 Wimbledon championships. I am not going into the details of his win-loss records or his rivalry or whether he is the greatest player of all time or not. That has been written about way too much for anyone’s good. I want to talk about the player that he is. I am not someone who has any technical knowledge of the game so, as a layperson, simply put, Federer plays majestically. He is not a perfect player, in any sense, and there are flaws in his game which he has continuously worked upon and will keep working upon. But, the way he glides on the court like his legs are made of feather, his footwork which is just optimum for the shot needed, his butterfly arch when he hits that single-handed backhand, the racket speed he generates just by keeping the tension in his wrist so light, the 8 types of serves he has in his arsenal which baffles the opponents at times, the balance he has on the court which comes from the fact that he doesn’t run blindly, the effortless drop shots he makes, the volleys that he makes look so simple, the wizardry he performs with his Wilson wand and his whole game exudes elegance.
I remember watching the 2016 Wimbledon semi-final and Federer slipped on the court during the fifth set after having knee surgery for the first time in his career earlier that year, and the next day that image was plastered across various articles saying whether this was the dusk or probably a goodnight for his career.
But just like Fawkes (Hello, Harry Potter fans), Federer took the year off, entered in as 17th ranked at the Australian Open 2017 on the back of a couple of matches, and nobody expected him to reach the quarters or semi-final let alone win the tournament. I read an article in which it was quoted, “Federer doesn’t have the balls to beat Nadal”. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, both of whom were coming back from injuries and were not the favorites for the Australian Open 2017, even going into the final, Roger wasn’t the favorite to win and then the umpire, in the 5th set of Australian Open 2017, said, “new balls” and rest is history. I still remember the 26-shot rally Federer played to break back at 2-3 in the fifth and went on to win his 18th Grand Slam title.
You could see the joy on his face, it was unlike the 17 he had won, and the way he kneeled on the court after the win showed how much effort had got into that one. And in the post-match presentation, when he graciously accepted the Norman Brookes Cup and said, “There are no draws in tennis, but if there were, I would have been happy to share this trophy with you tonight, Rafa.” And everyone watching on the court and on any medium realised that this guy is not only an eloquent speaker but an epitome of grace.
There is such hue and cry about men showing emotions, and then there is this 37-year-old man, at the stage of Australian Open 2018, he has won the finals against Cilic, and in the post-match presentation when he is overwhelmed by his emotions, he cries, like he has, so many times, in front of millions of people watching live and in person, and takes his time to regroup and the gracious people in the crowd show what that actually meant to them through a 15-minute standing ovation with Rod Laver clicking a picture of that moment. And that has been one of the things that stuck with me, in an era where men are subjected to stick to manly mannerisms and crying is portrayed as a symbol of weakness, he goes out there and shows that being emotional doesn’t make you any less of a man. It’s not only his game that makes him special, it’s his candor, his emotions, his vulnerability, and how stable and sure he is of his own self. The presenter, when calling Roger on to the stage said, “Your 2018 Australian Open Champion, from Switzerland but loved all around the world, Roger Federer”, it echoed every person’s feeling about Roger. He is loved all around the world.
I can probably write a novel, but to save you from that, and to conclude, there will be debates about who is the greatest of all time, who is the best player and the rankings, the numbers, and everything. Though I believe that there can never be a single person who can be the GOAT in any field, there will always be someone who will be better but that in no way lessens the greatness of the people who have done the unimaginable. As a spectator, all I can say is, I, like millions, am willing and beyond elated to see Federer play till he wants to, and will be heartbroken, to say the least, when he hangs up the racket, and that’s okay because that’s how it goes. But whenever lawn tennis is going to be discussed in any situation and in any era, tomorrow or 100 years down the line, Roger Federer would be synonymous with the sport, Always!
As Rolex said in one of their ads, “From here on out whatever the scoreboard says, his legend can only grow, because, in time, Roger Federer’s legacy will prove more perpetual than any number.”
For all of us who might be unaware, LGBTQIA+ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual. The plus allows the term to cover all different subsects like allies, pansexual, androgynous, and polyamorous.
As June and Pride Month is nearing its end, I am sure we all have seen the rainbow light up in logos, advertisements, and social media channels and I must add, they look beautiful and the significance of it is much more powerful which makes me hopeful that a good part of society is celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community. You see, we as humans are most of the time apprehensive about change. We resist change because we are scared of the unknown. Any big change in our history has always met resistance in some form or the other because our minds tell us to stay in the zone we know. This is what happened and is still happening to the LGBTQIA+ community.
A little background about Pride Month, LGBTQIA+ Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was a tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. In the United States, the last Sunday in June was initially celebrated as “Gay Pride Day,” but the actual day was flexible. In major cities across the nation, the “day” soon grew to encompass a month-long series of events. Today, celebrations include pride parades, picnics, parties, workshops, symposia and concerts, and LGBTQIA+ Pride Month events attract millions of participants around the world. Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the commemorative month is to recognize the impact that individuals of the LGBTQIA+ community have had on history locally, nationally, and internationally.
My sister asked me one of these days, why do we celebrate Pride Month and why is it that we should be proud only for a month, what about the rest 11? And she gave me food for thought. I am an ally of Pride Month, but to squeeze a celebration of one’s identity should not last for a day or a month, or a year. We should be celebrating our individuality every day. Being gay or lesbian does not diminish any individual. We all are made of atoms at the end of the day, if we really wish to go into the science of it. But we differentiate. Our society has killed, tortured, and bullied people and continues to do so in many parts of the world just because a person decided their sexual preferences would be out of the standards set by society.
Some data to prove how we as a society treat people who wish to be different from the established norms:
More than one-third (36 %) of LGBT undergraduate students have experienced harassment within the past year, as have 29 percent of all respondents.
Those who experienced harassment reported that derogatory remarks were the most common form (89 %) and that students were most often the source of harassment (79 %).
71% felt that transgender people were likely to suffer harassment, and 61% felt that gay men and lesbians were likely to be harassed.
Forty-three percent of the respondents rated the overall campus climate as homophobic.
Hate crimes against LGBT+ people increased by 36% in Germany in 2020.
49 people were killed, and 53 injured, in a shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub on June 12, 2016.
On February 19, 2017, a 20-year-old university student, Marcos Valdevino, was punched in the face in public in Olinda, Pernambuco, while waiting for his friends to arrive.
2020 has already seen at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the majority of which were Black and Latinx transgender women.
Anjana Hareesh came out as a queer person to her family. The admission prompted her parents to forcibly place her in a “de-addiction center”, where she was given a heavy course of medication, she said in a Facebook Live video on March 13. When she tried to resist, the workers there slapped her.
These are some of the horrific experiences people from all over the world go through and this is not even 0.1% of what people from the LGBTQIA+ community go through every day of their lives. Imagine, going to your school, college, workplace, or to the Grocery store for that matter, and get harassed for the way you walk or talk or look, every day. And taking names is not the end of it, brutal torture, surgical operations, and violence that leads to death at certain times is the end of it. Imagine, hiding that you like the same sex or you don’t like any sex from your family and friends for your entire lives and imagine being forced to live with people who cannot understand let alone accept your preferences.
This is where I feel representation is so important. Our minds tend to accept the things we see or hear about in our everyday lives and partly the reason for resistance towards the LGBTQIA+ community is that there is not enough representation in schools, colleges, workplaces, and in serials and movies as well. I would feel proud to tell you that the picture isn’t as gory as painted, but it is. But what I do feel proud in saying that things are changing. I have personally felt them changing. I didn’t know anything about the community that existed beyond boys and girls when we were in school and it is partly my fault because I didn’t educate myself that there are people who do not feel the same way I feel about my sexuality and that is completely normal. But partly, it’s the fault of the education system and the people who were teaching me things including my friends and family. There was no discussion around the fact that there are genders beyond Men and Women, there are sexual preferences beyond the opposite sex. The trans people are not only the ones showed stereotypically in movies dancing in baby showers and weddings. I didn’t know what LGBTQIA+ meant till I was in college.
But, this is not the case now. There is awareness and acceptance in families, adolescents are aware of the community and are openly talking about it. My younger sister asking me that question made me hopeful because she knew what she was asking, she has friends with whom she discusses and sometimes makes them aware. I am proud that a show like Schitt’s Creek, props to Dan & Eugene Levy, was made and loved all over the world. I mean, Schitt’s Creek is the perfect education and representation we all need to see because it doesn’t differentiate, it just understands and accepts. I can write pages about the show but let’s not get carried away. The repealing of Section 377 in India makes me hopeful, seeing pictures of gay men and lesbian women getting married makes me hopeful, seeing so many people at Pride March makes me hopeful, seeing a female Vice President participate in a Pride March makes me hopeful, seeing so many organizations share stories of their employees who have come out proudly makes me hopeful. But it’s a long road that is left walk but something we all can do is, be aware, be understanding, and be accepting. Be an ear to a family, friend, or a complete stranger to listen to their inhibitions, be an ally to the people who have identified their truth, and above all be kind because it might just help someone to accept themselves.
And I would like to conclude this by sharing my 2 cents on CHANGE, Change, a small word for something which means life-altering at times and different if not difficult the other times. The word that can be associated with change is different. We are apprehensive about the change in our lives a lot of the times because we built a comfort zone around us and going out of that becomes difficult, it’s similar to our mindset, we see things, we have been told things and our thoughts and minds shape around that and the moment we see something which is not from our territory, metaphorically speaking, we are quick enough to either reject or diminish it. But, it’s not up to us to reject, diminish or even for that matter interject with anyone else’s choices. We force people to live in the invisible boundaries that the so-called society has made and take the basic right of choice away from them in the name of doing the right thing which might be the absolute worst thing for a particular person. So, the next time you see someone who is different than you in any sense, try not to judge or comment or negate them if you can’t be supportive. The next time you see a man loving a man, a woman loving a woman, or either of them loving both or none, don’t form an opinion. All I want to say is, the next time you see someone who is not like you, take cognizance of that, and let yourself and them be.
We all have been in the state of mind where we thought to ourselves “What is the purpose of my life”. Once you channelize your thoughts, our minds tend to work towards it, and hence now in the age of the internet, we immediately start browsing and watching related videos, and before we know, cookies on the web ensure that this content keeps popping up in every single page that we visit. I have been in that situation and probably had come to the acceptance that this very question is a very overrated one, and one should just lead a life like any living being on earth and hence no one has any purpose in life. But this would contradict the very main reason why homo sapiens (human beings) evolved intellectually while our other monkey cousins did not. The power of thinking is because of this, our species has evolved into the kind of beings we are today. It is because of this thinking, that I am today able to write, and any one of our 7 billion folks can read this. So, I started having a slightly different take on the very same thought, if it has occurred to me, it has also occurred in the past and will continue to occur in future generations.
Every philosopher in every culture across time and space has thought on this and explained what would be the purpose of life? The closest explanation which I came across is from Ikigai (Japanese), Iki meaning life, and Gai meaning reason. Ikigai meant reason to live, and it explains what needs to be done to live a life. But, more so in recent years, this concept is very selfish driven, things to do to keep one satisfied and contented rather than to find out the real purpose of life.
Since my birth was into a Hindu family, I have lifelong followed Hinduism and have been following its rituals, prayers, and its way of life. It is for sure one of the incredibly old religions. As a kid I always wondered and questioned thewhy’s in every single ritual followed, a physical explanation was given which sure was enough for an 8-year-old, but never taught in a spiritual manner, why? Let us worry about the reason at a later stage. Every ritual, procedure, and mantras have a spiritual meaning attached to it. The time has come to such that, people have forgotten to focus on the spirituality aspect of it.
Visiting temples was a weekly or sometimes multiple times a week affair, I often observed a tree exists in pretty much every temple, we also, saw that those trees are worshiped. Underneath a tree is where the majority of the gurus sit and meditate. Lord Buddha achieved his nirvana under a bodhi tree. I have visited such temples numerous times and have even done the rituals of circling around the tree and praying for a good life but since no one explained what the real spiritual meaning is, I had to figure it out myself as I matured in life. It kind of started making sense finally.
The real reason for having a tree near the temple is to sit under it or circle it and practice spirituality and wonder how we can ourselves be like the tree itself.
Here is my take on 5 parts of the tree which will answer the purpose of life.
The trunk is the backbone of the tree, all the branches, roots, fruits, and flowers emerge out of it. One needs to be like the trunk of the tree, our goal and reason of life should be to support all the life forms and not expect anything in return. Be as selfless support as a trunk of a tree or think about what the trunk of your life is. Either be support for yourself or for others as many people as possible.
These are the important foundation of the tree which holds to the ground and provide nutrients and water from the soil, the roots go as deep to keep the tree alive. Be like roots of the tree which go unnoticed but still so essential for survival, roots also have regenerative capabilities. Even if the upper part of the tree is cut, roots ensure the tree grows back, be like roots, support yourself and even if you are cut off or beaten down, rise again and never lose hope. Extend to other people in life, try to reach and be root to others in life.
Leaves are an important part of the tree that provide food for the tree through photosynthesis and most importantly provide oxygen for other animals to survive. Be like a leaf that provides oxygen for others. Oxygen here is a metaphor, one must understand and self-contemplate to know what value you can give to others, could be any qualitative value like love, knowledge, wisdom, advice, etc.
4. Fruits & Flowers
These are most certainly the byproduct of the tree, but several living organisms are dependent on survival from these. Be like these fruits & Flowers for other living beings who are directly or indirectly dependent on you. Identify what are fruits you can give to people. These are quantitative in value could be money, clothes, food, shelter, etc.
These form the defensive mechanisms for some of the plants if not for trees. They really defend and protect the tree or scare away the organisms/animals which try to attack. There are a lot of bad influences or negative thoughts or sometimes even negative people, be like thorns and resist and shun away all the negative influences.
Overall, if you see a tree only provides us with all the items it has to offer. It never asks or even expects anything in return. We all need to focus our energies and only provide for others in life. The more you try to follow these in life, the closer you will reach towards finding the purpose in life. The more you must give to others, the lesser one will be bothered about the purpose of life. Give away and do not expect anything, in turn, if you have met this, you have met the purpose of your life.
It all started with just one video of CrossFit games, the 2018 finale, after watching Mat Fraser crushing the games, I became a huge fan of the man first and then the CrossFit games. These extremely fit athletes make those workouts look like a child’s play when you are watching it for the first time. An average fit person, like myself, would think “Ah I think that’s doable”, only to realize later “I am so wrong”. My binge-watching began and I watched the 2015 to 2019 CrossFit games in less than one week. This was Mat Fraser’s primetime in the games. I was in awe and hence continued to follow the games in 2020. Mat had easily crushed 2020 games as well. All this while never had I thought that I will be joining a box (a place where people do CrossFit, kind of a gym just that it is called a box). Covid-19 did delay my plans but once businesses re-opened and we all learned how to handle the situation better, at the beginning of 2021 I joined the box. A quick google search found me in a box close to where I live, “I know right, the universe wanted this for me”. My first thought, “let me join today and the very next day I’ll start with the power snatch”. If a cross-fit trainer overheard my desires, then his response would have been “Ha Ha you are funny “.
CrossFit is a completely different genre of workouts and I will explain it another day. For now, let us know that it is a combination of gymnastics, strength training, and aerobics. You know that guy in the gym who deadlifts and shows off his strength, well CrossFit is something doing 10 rounds of deadlifts, then running for 500 meters, then doing 10 pull-ups – does not stop here, keep doing as many of these rounds as you can, they call it WOD (work out of the day) and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) – yeah you heard it right.
These workouts help increase your fitness, strength, stamina, and endurance, they are also a byproduct of any workout, it may be quickly achieved with CrossFit. Nevertheless, I will talk about this as well another time. What I want to focus on is how I was surprised to see other qualitative benefits which come along with it which I have personally experienced. It has been around 2 months since I have been going to the box (3-4 days per week) and here is my take on the top 6 qualitative benefits of CrossFit.
CrossFit sessions are group-driven and not a one on one. So, if you have signed up for a particular day’s class you cannot miss it since there are other members who could not get that day’s spot. It is not ethical to miss the class once committed. Also, the membership fee of a CrossFit Box (gym) is a lot more than a typical gym. So, a class lost is money lost. These factors make you more disciplined in terms of attending a session. Once, you get used to it then it becomes part of your life and then you start missing it if you did not happen to attend one because of whatever reason you have in mind.
Increased will power
Work out of the day (WOD) is a timed activity. There are 3 movements or exercises, and it looks something like: a gymnastic movement, a strength movement, and an anaerobic movement. You must finish the said number of rounds or do as many as possible in letting us say 20 mins. When you are continuously doing these strenuous movements, one starts to focus on attaining completion (I still lag a bit behind, but it is only a matter of time!). This mindset has a positive effect in life, where I found an increased willingness to do day-to-day tasks to a better level than I used to do before. For example- If I had no/ little I will do the night’s dishes the next day, now I would clean it right away.
A mix of all variants of exercises in CrossFit increases one’s endurance and strength. This has a direct implication on your day. One will see high energy to pursue any activity. The mind is sharp all day and helps in one’s productivity.
CrossFit might not be a team sport but for sure it is almost always a group session. The person next to you might be stronger than you or weaker than you, it does not really matter, because every single minute your focus is on finishing your work out and reaching the target set by your trainer. Most importantly, the transition to the next level always humbles you down. If you can lift 20 lbs. today and become an expert on it in two weeks, try lifting 40 lbs. next time,60 lbs. the week after, and so on, this alone will crush your so-called ego. There is no bigger achievement unless you participate in the CrossFit games and keep winning it like Mat Fraser, but on the contrary, to reach such a position one requires to have developed a great sense of humility.
When you start, you barely know anyone at the box but slowly when you start seeing the same faces again & again you establish a connection. CrossFit gyms have this amazing culture of starting with small chitchat before the workout begins. This is a short and sweet ice-breaking session and because we keep doing this every day, we get to know each other very well. This additionally reduces the fear of talking in public and helps everyone develop a sort of mutual respect and understanding. One gets constant support from other comrades when we are struggling with the AMRAP, or applause when we do a muscle-up.
Even if you are not competing in a CrossFit session, somewhere in the corner of your mind, just by following others and looking at other competitive souls, the spirit seeps in. The competition in essence is with yourself, to become stronger each day. And the box helps with inspiration. After a workout, you go home with a sense of achievement.
All these qualities become a part of your life. Subconsciously, we adapt and everyone around us will start observing these changes soon. There will surely be a lot of physical changes as well, but a lot of positive mental changes will happen too. My teacher always said, “A healthy mind in a healthy body”, aptly fits CrossFit. I work out at CrossFit Nassau, click here to know more and their tagline aptly says it all- “Technique before consistency and consistency before intensity”
I am a little late to the party but how could I miss writing about one of the most talked about interviews after the 1995 Princess Diana’s scandalous yet intriguing interview.
But, now that I have your attention (The Office viewers will get this), before getting into the invigorating details about Meghan and Harry, I wanted to discuss a lesser interesting topic that I read a couple of days ago and you might have missed it (maybe you didn’t) as it doesn’t hold much significance in our lives. I am talking about the World Happiness Report 2021.
The World Happiness Report is a publication of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. It contains articles and rankings of national happiness, based on respondent ratings of their own lives, which the report also correlates with various (quality of) life factors. The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared. It’s aim was two-fold, first to focus on the effects of COVID-19 on the structure and quality of people’s lives, and second to describe and evaluate how governments all over the world have dealt with the pandemic. In particular, it tries to explain why some countries have done so much better than others.
A total of 149 countries are ranked by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be according to various parameters.
The rankings are based on polling (Gallup World Poll) which looks at six variables:
Gross Domestic Product Per Capita (Purchasing Power Parity).
Healthy life expectancy at birth.
Freedom to make life choices.
Perceptions of corruption.
Respondents are asked to rate their own current lives on a 0-10 scale.
Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world for the fourth consecutive year and it is followed by Iceland, Denmark, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Norway.
India was ranked at the 139th position in World Happiness Report 2021 and Afghanistan at the 149th place. India ranked 140th in 2019 and 144th in 2020. Let’s talk about this for a minute. I can’t say that we haven’t improved but this improvement is like, I was scoring 32 marks out of 100 and the next year I scored 33 because that was the passing score. The improvement of India, 6.88%, in this context is very slow and I don’t know whether we can afford this slow growth or not. For the fourth year running, Finland has come out on top in the annual list powered by data from the Gallup World Poll. Check here for ranking country wise and continent wise on Human Development Index.
Finland, a Nordic country located in Northern Europe with a current population of 5,546,856. This small country in relativity has been at the top of World’s Happiest countries for 4 years now. But how has Finland been able to sustain at that level for 4 years and the thing to ponder about is whether Finland is making some changes or whether countries like ours are making none in this regard. Talking about Finland, It has extensive welfare benefits, low levels of corruption, a well-functioning democracy, and an instilled sense of freedom and independence, which is a big part of what makes this country the happiest. In addition to that, progressive taxation and wealth distribution has allowed for a flourishing and world-leading universal healthcare system. Though, what strikes me as different and one of the most influencing factors of Finland being the leader of this report is its leadership. Sanna Marin, at 34 years-old, she is the youngest prime minister in the world. The prime minister’s coalition government was formed with all five party leaders being women. Finland’s cabinet features a significant number of women: twelve portfolios are represented by women, seven by men. Almost half (47%) of the country’s parliamentarians, are women. This might come across as different to a lot of us as we are used to seeing our leadership being dominated mostly by one gender. And I am not saying this is the only factor that makes Finland stand on the top of World Happiness Report 2021 but it has to be a major contributing factor.
Now, Lets talk about India.
India is a country in South Asia. India’s 2020 population is currently estimated at 1,380,004,385. The question of the hour is, Why is India or Indians so unhappy that we are in the bottom 10 countries of the Happiness Index?
India is a developing nation with an estimated nominal GDP of $2.8 trillion. It is the world’s sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP and the third-largest by purchasing power parity (PPP). However, the per capita GDP has been comparatively low. Similarly, the distribution of capital has also been unequal to substantial amounts within the country. Thus, spending is lot less than it it should be. Now, GDP is one of the factors of the WHR 2021 which is gradually but constantly improving, but factors like social support and corruption are bringing the overall ranking of India down. Talking about deaths by suicide, India reported an average of 381 deaths by suicide daily in 2019, totaling 1,39,123 fatalities over the year, according to the latest NCRB data. The causes of suicide have been listed as Family problems, Illness, Drug Abuse and Mental Illness among others. Corruption and social unrest has been another major factor in the Happiness Index. Since 2010, there has been 100s of scams amounting equal to or more than INR 100 crore. In 2020, apart from various incidents of mass lynching, two major riots shook the nation resulting in 56 people losing their lives and more than 300 people were left wounded with loss of property, the amount of which is unascertained. I will have to write a separate post for criminal activities and environment damage.
I can’t say that the picture isn’t as gory as its painted out to be, It’s worse. I know, because I live here. But, there are positives, India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. India has attracted a total FDI inflow of USD 58.37 billion during April to November 2020. It is the highest ever for the first eight months of a financial year (F.Y.) and 22 % higher as compared to the first eight months of 2019-20 (USD 47.67 billion). India has been a leader in handling the pandemic way better than developed nations with resources much lesser than them. India has developed a vaccine in such a short time with great efficiency. India is currently in the process of vaccinating people with 44.6 M vaccines administered and 7.48 M people have been fully vaccinated. Foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, when addressing the Asia Economic Dialogue 2021 said, India has lived up to its talk on a collaborative future by exporting vaccines to more than 70 countries and will be adding 40 countries to this list soon.
As Indians, we all are responsible for the good and the bad. We have a tendency to overshadow the bad with the good and that is perhaps the reason, we are not improving the way we have the potential to. It is not only the job of the government to do everything and we can’t hold them responsible when we are not. A very basic example of how callous and irresponsible we have become is, I see people cleaning their houses and throwing the garbage on the road and if you ask them to not do that, they have the audacity to talk back and start an argument with you. This is a very small and basic example of how we are failing at not being responsible citizens but just failing at being humans. Let’s be better, let’s make this country we call ours actually ours, let’s help in cleaning our country and recycling the garbage not throwing it outside. Let’s raise our kids with morals along with mobile phones and tablets. Before, teaching them coding, let’s tell them what is wrong and right. Let’s talk about depression, let’s not talk about gender equality, let’s start implementing measures to make that happen. Let’s talk about secularity and not believe everything that is on the news like gospel. Let’s be objective instead of judgmental, let’s be kind before being doubtful and let’s be humans before being anything else.
Before I forget, Oprah was a great interviewer and Meghan and Harry were great interviewees. That’s all!
As I was wandering through the lanes of my mind on a lazy Saturday afternoon with a burger in my hand, I was somewhere lost between pondering about love or burgers or both, but as the sky was beautiful and maybe it was the influence of the songs (Agar tum saath ho and Simply the best) I was listening to, I chose to give my thoughts to love. As I started to think about Love and the complications that come along with it, this is a bit of what went through my mind.
We have so many ideas and expectations of love, as I have written earlier, millennials think love is complicated – Modern Love, but, really
Love is not always dressed in a pretty black dress waiting for you at the end of the hall
Love is at times in jumpers with crooked teeth crossing the road in front of you.
Love is not dinners at restaurants whose name you cannot pronounce,
Love is having cup noodles at 4 a.m. in the winters.
Love is the butterflies you have while holding their hands
Love is looking across the room filled with people and meeting their gaze somewhere in the middle.
Love is not about marriage or societal tags
Love is about seeing through eternity together.
Love is not about being happy all the time,
Love is having the strength to live through the sadness.
Love is dancing in the rain; love is having a bucket of ice cream to ourselves.
Love is in every tiny bit we do. Love is simple, it is us who complicate it by our expectations of love.
And I finally got up to not ponder but dig into the burger, after all love is also in eating a delicious burger.
Being mother is hard. Not because of pregnancy or labor, but for every second we are in strain. The baby screams at night, we feel someone could have held her for a while, but holding her, we are restless listening her cry. When she clings, we feel we need some space, but even few minutes away from her makes us hold her in tight embrace. We wish she could handle all her deeds, but if she does, we are no more in need. Handling all responsibilities makes us feel wish she could grow up fast, but when she grows, we miss her past The feeling of wasting time being a fulltime mom goes away the moment the feeling of being a mother takes control. We wish we could hang out with friends, party & shop but without her, our minds are constantly worried about whereabouts of her Sometimes we feel we should be little less attached but could someone who has grown as an organ inside our body be so easily detached. Sometimes they get on our nerves and we reprimand only to realize that our guilt cannot be controlled. We restrict them from using screen time overall, but isn’t it what even we are doing as being adults? We wish to lead a carefree life like before, but we would even then be longing for a kid to adore.
Times like these, when we’re confined to the walls of our homes, gives us time to ponder, that we need to rethink what we have been doing in the past. Our methods, our ways were not designed to live but just to exist. Now, when we see ducks swarming the canals of Venice or a clear blue sky in Mumbai, or dolphins in Italy’s waterways, we must realize that there is something wrong with what we have done in the past to the environment we live in. We have taken it for granted and not paid enough attention to it. And as we realize that there is no bigger force than nature, we should treat it better. Think about using a plastic bag and throwing that in the ocean, think about using a car to the grocery shop near you, think about your eating habits, and think that you’re not bigger than this planet. Nature is simple, you take care of it and it takes care of you. This planet is our home, and we have to take care of it or else there would be nothing left to take care of.
For any change to take place, a fire has to be ignited in the hearts and minds of people. A fire that inspires, motivates and compels us to be better. Any revolution in history started from a spark that turned into a fire and transformed the world we live in. In the current scenario, I believe a spark wouldn’t be enough, a fire as potent as the sun has to be lit because the time for metamorphosis has arrived and if we still remain oblivious, then like ash, all there will be is remains.
I remember her voice, It was amalgamated I heard hope, helplessness I felt pain and desire. She was, is, not ready to leave
All this while
Words hang in between Unsaid by you and me. Silence precedes, Eyes search across the Nile Gaze transfixed all this while A moment stretched in time Few words sewn in rhyme Lips curve, evaporates a smile, Hearts start on a journey of many miles.
‘What makes someone work hard every day?’, I often ask. Motivation is temporary, Discipline can have an exception, Passions can wither, Love is an unknown! What, what keeps people going day in and out?! Survival? The desire to excel? The aspiration to make history? To utilize time efficiently? What, what, what? Ignorance, maybe?
I want to write a book. There is no story, though. Just words Pressed by lead in a diary Spanning years Spanning continents. The pencil still looks new The grip a little soft And the holder evolved
I get bored of nothing. Stayed home, watched T.V., ordered food! Mind evaded work first, Then created an illusion
I strung some words together And it made me happy. I have my stomach full.