What Happened To The ‘Napalm Girl’?


“The fire spread through my arms and across my body, peeling my skin, which hung behind my back, and burnt my clothes. A soldier helped me by pouring water over me, the pain was unbelievable.

I fell down unconscious, later realizing that Napalm is a deadly liquid that intensifies the burns when it comes in contact with water. Which is why I fell unconscious after he poured water.”

The ‘Napalm Girl’ Kim Phuc, had tears saying this while recollecting the incident which made the then nine year old Vietnamese-Canadian famous for the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, during the Vietnamese War on June 8, 1972.

The chilling photograph captured this nine year old, running naked on the road near Trang Bang, a southeast region of Vietnam by Nick Ut, a photographer who worked with the Associated Press.

This photograph was a wakeup call to many about the horrifying reality and damage done by the war. Napalm, is a flammable liquid which was used in the war. It sticks to the skin and causes severe burns when on fire and later peeling off the skin, due to the mixture of a gelling agent and petroleum.

Kim Phuc, was hospitalized for 14 months, and the doctors doubted whether she would survive. Going through years of therapy and several operations, Kim found it hard to come back to reality. The ‘ugly scars’ on her body reminded her of one of the deadliest attacks in human history, the cries of her cousins burning to death in front of her eyes, the smoke, flames and the smell of the chemical had become hard to forget.

Yes, the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize for perfectly capturing the deadly moment of the war, but to her the image was a haunting memory. She never wanted to look at the image which made her go through sleepless nights.

The emotional turmoil and physical pain she went through made her routine horrible after the war, she lost appetite, sleep and even couldn’t pray or meditate to forget her past. She never thought she would get married, every time she looked in the mirror she could not only see the scars but also hear the sound of the blasts and feel the burn of the chemical.


However she was married and have two sons, “If anything, the scars make me love her more”, says her husband.

Kim Phuc believed that her survival served a purpose. And that the event was necessary to teach her a lesson about helping and forgiving others.

In 1996 she founded the Kim Phuc Foundation, that helps other child victims of war. That same year she also became a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. She found joy in helping people, visiting other victims of war at hospitals and giving them hope. Her strength to forgive, positive attitude and tireless efforts to help others inspire everyone she meets.



On Veteran’s day, 1996, Vietnam war veterans gathered to the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. Kim was also there. She gave a speech about the attack she survived. She talked about how she no longer felt anger towards those responsible, as she had found the strength to forgive them. Suddenly, John Plummer, the pilot who was in the plane that dropped the bomb, stood up and started moving towards Kim. He shouted to her that he was responsible and that he was sorry.

Kim came down from the stage and hugged him, and told him “I forgive you”

Halifax- The Titanic’s Burial Ground


Take a stroll around the scenic waterfront in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and you’ll find cozy restaurants and high end coffee shops. Also you can go for relaxing bout tours, but there is a past to Halifax.

A past no one wants to remember.

104 years ago, Halifax’s beautiful bustling seaport was turned into a maritime mortuary.

History’s worst maritime tragedy happened in the early hours of April 15, 1912 when RMS Titanic, the British passenger liner collided with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK to New York City, US in the North Atlantic Ocean. The death toll raised to 1500, making it the deadliest maritime disasters in the modern history.

Not many know about the city of Halifax, the burial ground for these unlucky souls.

For those who lost their lives aboard the ill-fated ship, Halifax, an Atlantic Ocean port in eastern Canada, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia is where the story ended.

A 10-15 minute cab ride from the harbor sits Fairview Lawn Cemetery, where you’ll discover the final resting place of many of the victims of the Titanic.


It’s impossible to describe our feelings. So many headstones bearing the same date; April 15, 1912”.

It is not certain that each victim died on April 15th, it is assumed that due to the freezing temperatures no one could have survived that kind of exposure to the elements. Therefore, each marker bears that date.

Most of the gravestones, erected in the fall of 1912 and paid for by the White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic, are plain granite blocks.  In some cases, however, families, friends or other groups chose to commission a larger and more elaborate gravestone.

All of these more personalized graves, including the striking Celtic cross and the beautiful monument to the “Unknown Child”, are located at here. Just recently the boy was identified through DNA samples, but his family prefers that his gravestone remain nameless as a remembrance for all of the other unknown victims.


Overcoming the tragic past, Halifax has a lot of stories to tell.

The Maritime Museum is the oldest and largest museum in Canada with a collection of over 30,000 artifacts. A special permanent exhibit explores the sinking of RMS Titanic with an emphasis on Nova Scotia’s connection to recovering the bodies of Titanic victims.

The museum has the world’s foremost collection of wooden artifacts from Titanic, including one of the few surviving deck chairs. The Titanic exhibit also includes a child’s pair of shoes which helped identify Titanic’s “unknown child” as Sidney Leslie Goodwin.


Also, the city of Halifax is famous for finger licking produce of fresh seafood, preservative-free chocolates and its unique ways of making Kebabs from Middle East.

Every streets have colored walls, and these walls become canvases for artists. The colorful streets are a determinant to cheery people of Halifax.


Even though the ‘Titanic City’ is a home to different horror stories and encounters, it is recovering over the decades with hope and courage of its tragic past.




Hunger Killing Childhood


Here is something from my personal experience put up for the first time.
While I write this I try not to tear up.
I happen to visit my extended family who lives in my hometown, last week.
This was the first time I was going to meet them, though I have heard much about them from my parents.
While leaving home my dad asked me for the fourth time whether I took all the goodies, neatly packed it had a variety of things, chocolates, sweets, biscuits, flavoured drinks and much more.
I kept wondering the whole two and half hour drive, what’s so special about them to give them this pack of treats.
I kept asking my parents to which they preferred ignoring me. Blissfully.
The journey killed me, traffic, the long drive, hectic day and finally while I was busy having a power nap, my mom woke me up.
Our car was now parked in a remote area, I felt I ‘time travelled’ to the past.
Never have I seen such a place, dusty, gloomy, and most importantly no humans around.
We walked a little and found something that didnt really look like a house, a low built room with a verandah, it had three doors that led to three matchstick box sized rooms inside.
The husband, wife and three children came out. Their eyes sparkled seeing us.
We went inside and they offered us three small chairs to sit.
The aunt told me to take care of my head while I walk inside, the mud ceiling was very low. I smiled and walked in.
There was no light inside, the daylight helped us see each other.
I handed the neatly packed treat to the children, they jumped seeing them, on the table. I said “the chocolates might have melted, refrigerate and have it later.
They looked at the father, and he told me “we don’t have a refrigerator, it pulls lot of electricity”.
“Ohh” was only my answer, I didnt know to react, he smiled at me which probably meant “its okay”.
I was outside walking with my three new tiny friends, around the place.
I asked them whether they liked school, they weren’t much happy to answer.
They replied “We try to like, our classmates get tasty food in the lunchbox, but don’t let us have them, they say we never get any such food from our home.”
“I told my mother she says, rice itself is costly now, you both don’t share from their food. Problem solved.”
I regretted and was guilty for thinking why I should give this packet to them.
I wiped a tear off my face, not because of their condition but because I had to hear this from a four year old in this 21st century, who only wished to eat tasty food.
Today, I regret the times I was upset when I could not try the new cuisine from the exotic restaurant.
Whenever I go to Pizza Hut or a McDonald’s, before ordering I always remember the three gleeful faces, which were so happy even though they had nothing to satisfy their basic needs, and I often return empty handed.
Do not strive to make the world a better place, or dream to solve hunger across the world.
Instead, make sure the next time you walk into a store, you satisfy atleast one needy person.
Because that changed me, I am sure I will visit my three new tiny friends the next time with bundle of joy and happiness they will be waiting for.

Gamophobia : Are you a victim ?


21st Century.
Where relations break over a text message. Where beauty is valued over personality. Where divorce happens within a month. Where marriages scare young minds.
The society has been following the sacred concept of marriage for centuries. When we look back, marriage often is seen as the institution where both the partners are bound to stay together due to a legal contract even though they are happy without each other.
The much steaming topic that is discussed today in our culture is not same sex or different caste marriages. It is the fact that an alarming amount of couples choosing not to marry at all.
This is the very reason for increasing number of live-in relationships.
Young couples do not want to take a risk by involving the government in their relationship and making it legalized by calling it a ‘wedding contract’. They are probably the ones in the society who fear and could not afford a divorce or what the society would term them as a “divorcee” if their relationship fails.
According to these couples, marriage is what the society needs. The society cannot digest the fact of a live-in relationship. They have to be together only after you have legalized this ‘togetherness’.
An article in Newsweek, named “Yes to Love, No to Marriage” Bonnie Eslinger wrote that marriage is not necessary to demonstrate the love and commitment she feels for her partner, Jeff. “I am a 42-year-old woman who has lived life mostly on my own terms. I have never sought a husband and have still experienced intense, affirming love.”
Among many different comments by the readers of the Newsweek, there was a beautiful piece of comment which I personally liked the most in the bunch.
It said “If she is really in love with Jeff and she plans to stay with him forever, then she should marry him because he asked her to. Obviously it means something to him. In addition, if she doesn’t marry, she’ll miss out on the deep, loving place her relationship has the potential to go. I had no idea that I could love my husband any more than I already did. Then after we got married, the intensity of our relationship deepened to a place I never thought it could. I am more madly in love with him today than I ever have been—an extraordinary state of happiness I wouldn’t be enjoying if we never married. I agree that a marriage certificate is no guarantee for a lifelong relationship with one person. Too many people rush into a marriage and then it fails. That is not a good reason to bash marriage. If your relationship is that strong then instead of being the free thinker that you claim to be, get married. It won’t ruin your relationship, I guarantee it.”
This was a brilliant comment among all I read below that article, where everyone supported, while she talked with much maturity and stating the fact that love could never be destroyed in a marriage if it’s true and passionate.
Marriage is a public institution and not merely a private commitment. Instead of being ‘me-oriented’ marriage gives you an opportunity to discover your abilities together. Society has weakened the concept of marriage, this only gives an incentive to get it back on track and strengthen this vital institution.
A wedding is a ‘piece of paper’ but a marriage is no such thing. A marriage is the commitment that two people enter into that state they will honor, protect, love, sacrifice all they have to the other person.
I once read a quote by a women from Canada, when surveyed why she gives importance to her marriage and she replied “I never felt satisfied when I called him my boyfriend, lover or fiance as much as I call him my husband today. The sense of family and affection increases with the name itself.”
Because coming back home to your family at the end of the day is heaven.

Cannes Film Festival – More Than Fashion ?


Cannes, a busy tourist destination located on French Riviera, France – is the host city of Festival De Cannes or famously known as Cannes Film Festival – The most prestigious and invitation-only international film festival in the world.
Nandita Das, a renowned Indian film actress and director wrote an article which stated her view saying that every time she returned from Cannes, she was constantly asked about what she wore and why few photographs.
While she was a jury member all she was excited about, was the brilliant movies that came across the globe and the eagerness to watch them.
Not many among us would be excited to open the newspapers to see the list of movies that made it to the Cannes, the variety of genres and the beauty of direction that the won hearts. But instead would be eagerly waiting to see what Kendall Jenner, Emma Stone or Sienna Miller flaunted. We would love, not to miss the looks from the Red Carpet to the after parties.
Does this prestigious film festival only grab eyeballs because of the big shots and the flawless outfits by British designers like Giles Deacon?
Should the media also focus on some of the great work by directors and scriptwriters around the globe?
Cannes 2015 had its presidents, American directors and producers, Coen Brothers to Abderrahmane Sissako from Mauritania, a place I hadn’t even heard of where the jury consists of nine renowned members from the cinema background.
Why is the media having a strong obsession with fashion? The women, at least in Hollywood faces opposition against this obsession.
Nandita Das, was asked several questions by the media on why she always chooses to wear the same old sarees every time to Cannes. Last time she went to watch and enjoy some great work, she never looked into this ‘Media Obsession’ with fashion and glamour at the red carpet, until this year when she extensively was giving replies and responses to end number of people on why maybe the Cinema as a very strong art form should be looked into much seriously.
Cinema, glamour and fashion does go hand in hand but many a times the fascinating work captured by brilliant artists on the screen may go buried over the diamond studded beautiful Giles Deacon Gown.
Let us not forget to appreciate the work of great personalities that build up with efforts and experience over the years.

What is the best way to beat mental stress of competition?


Every time I enter my Dad’s office I hear one or the other staff member screeching and shouting either on the phone or at each other. Totally for business reasons. Probably. The Manager cribbing at the General Manager as he could not take the higher seat, on top of their voice.
The United Nations carried out a survey in 2011, which said the stress level has rapidly increased by 40% in the time duration of 5 years.
Higher the competition, higher is the mental stress in a person. We live in a world where you would not mind your son failing in a test provided your neighbor’s son fail too. In simple words.
This leads to a situation which creates a mental pressure on the kid too. No more he would be willing to learn something out of curiosity but only to desperately not come second in his class.
Many institutions across the globe provide valuable suggestions, tips and even courses for beating mental stress. Increasing competition leading to lesser job opportunities and business pressures are creating health problems, depressions and causing mental stress.
Progressive organizations are adopting proactive ways to build employee resilience to avoid stress and exhaustion, based on the understanding that mental health is as important as physical health for wellbeing.
The very first way to beat mental pressure of competition is, instead of facing your competitor with jealousy and frustration; face them as a reason to your perfection and progress. It may not necessarily be easy as it sounds. Many big organizations provide training programs to reduce mental stress referring that competition should always be in a healthy way leading to progress.
Always be a puzzle solver. At least try to. The best way to overcome mental stress is to start analyzing and understanding your competition so that you come up with more solutions rather than getting tensed about the situation and worrying and being disturbed fast.
Make sure you take a break. Even the well paid and successful people do require a break. One of the major solutions to mental stress is going off on a vacation, reading a book or spending quality time with your friends and family. Not always success, profits and competition stand high, your wellbeing equally does.
It is always necessary to know your limits. In the struggle of competing make you are not crossing your limits of work pressure and priorities. Understanding and acting according to your ability is a major factor and not imitating or trying to do what is beyond your capacity is foolishness.
Maintaining healthy social networks helps extensively in reducing mental stress. A good group of friends and colleagues will always keep your mind fresh making you realize amidst the work pressure, competition and worries there is a much more to life.
Most important of all these factors is that one best way to beat mental stress is the power of conversation. If you are wise and smart enough to cut down your competitor with words, half your stress is eventually sloshed.
Today with increasing competition, each person has forgotten to smile. Smile with confidence. Spreading awareness, the world celebrates National Stress Awareness Day on the 6 of November.

If You Cannot Redo Things, You Can Never Be An Expert


12 years had passed since their marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Agrawal they were proudly called. A week before they tied the knot, they had promised to share their worries and happiness, failures and successes and everything that may affect each other’s life. Just like any other couple.
Until this day, when Mrs Agrawal sits across the dusted bench in the Marriage Counseling Center with her divorce lawyer explaining why she believed her wishes could be fulfilled without a partner.
But she never said, not once “ I don’t believe in love anymore “ even after 12 years of marriage. I say this because, 3 years later she found a man who realized she was a really strong woman.
Assuring life would give you a second chance, why give up?
If you have the courage to face your mistakes with an acceptance of someone who did wrong, you are indeed a strong human being.
As someone once quoted “The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. “
Many a times during the hardships life is taking us through it becomes difficult to accept what it has for us, but most of the times it teaches us a lesson. A valuable lesson. Redoing something because you failed for the first time does not make you weak, on contrary makes you an expert.
By looking into the life of Mrs. Agrawal, any woman at such an age, 12 years later of marriage would never even take the effort of finding love or would give up. Yes, age truly just a number. Giving her relationship a second chance, she turned an expert. Expert of sacrificing. Expert of mutual understanding. Expert of believing life is just once, satisfy yourself, before others.
You are a real defeated person if you fail to resolve your problems just because you lost the first time and sit there with your head in your palms frustrated and yelling blaming your luck and destiny.
When in reality you need to pull your sleeves up to give your luck a knock on the face saying “There! You made me believe I could not, and I showed you how I could. “
I would not use the term failing, but not succeeding at the very first attempt would only make you do it again, this time with more passion, intensity and enthusiasm. The more the attempts, the more is the expertise in the field. Understanding of the subject helps you to do it with efforts and eventually you will be reaching heights with flying colors.
Every time the sun rises over the horizon, there begins a new ray of hope. A new beginning, where life gives us many chances to overcome our troubles, not just a second chance. Believing in those chances and redoing our given up wishes and aims is our very own duty. Understanding that life is a mixture of ups and downs, difficulties and enjoyment, worries and happiness is the first step in trying to give it a second chance and being an expert of different experiences in life.
Because never, an effort is wasted. It is just valued.

My Voice Towards Men


When the world focuses on women, let me being a woman focus on men for a change.
Before my readers go against me quoting that I am doing something unfair by not writing, supporting women issues and women rights and freedom, let me put forth my point of view as to why I chose to tell the world it’s not easy to talk about men issues which the media loves to ignore: First, women “pretty much objectively” are facing issues much worse than men. Second, how could you speak up about problems men face, it may affect their “manliness”.
The modern world have seen much more problems than the past. After the morning coffee when we open the very first page of the daily newspaper there could be nothing but terrific crimes especially every page with the headline in bold of 5 year and 6 year old rape victims, domestic violence on women, slaughtering wife for dowry, female infanticide, and girls made to work at tender age without education. After all, these issues are enough to make your morning hard to face your life ahead, regretting waking up and starting your day.
Is it just me or did anyone else notice that all the incidents I stated above does not even cover one issue the men face in the modern world?
Is it because there isn’t any problem men face or is it because they may not get enough importance as any women abuse would? I strongly believe the latter.
Let me take you through some of the much ignored ones where the male dominated media is strangely silent about.
Masculinity, nothing is more offensive and more damaging than belief of their own masculinity. Because even today as a society we teach men to hide their emotions. Or else it may kill the ‘manliness’. Fathers teach their son to be strong and not to cry. Crying never solved any issues, it’s only for women. They have the sole right to cry. But not men. Never.

Education, is another major problem affecting men significantly. This matter is much silent than any other issue. Many women face lack of education across the globe. But so does men. Many of them are not able to complete their education or not allowed to in the circle of life to get a well-paid job. They are often suggested to leave education once they get into a well-paid job. And in case of unemployment, men go through mental torture stating the reason for their unemployment may be their lack of skills, confidence and potential.
Hell of a lesson. “We don’t want to learn new things, we’ll only work till death”
Domestic Abuse, Depression and Violence are next I could think about. It’s a depressing fact of life that some people get off on controlling others. Since life is horrible, this often translates to marriages where one partner physically or emotionally abuses the other. Usually, the victims are women and the abusers male – hence the existence of women’s shelters and charities and so on.
In a survey taken: shockingly, more married men were victims of abuse than women in 2012 – yet men’s shelters remain almost non-existent. Suicide is the single biggest killer of young men in Britain, the cause being depression. Men are horrible at spilling their emotions and feelings. A study by the national poll stated the biggest killer of troops in Afghanistan is not bombs, gunfire or terrorism. It’s suicide. By rights this should be a national scandal. But because of our dumb ideas of masculinity no-one even wants to talk about it – and young lives continue to be wasted.
How many among us have had the guts to talk of Prostate Cancer? Honestly: according to the National Cancer Institute, one in eight women will get breast cancer in their lifetime, while one in seven men will get prostate cancer. There are countless number of fund raising for breast cancer research, but hardly for prostate cancer. My point is simple. Breast cancer is a killer. So is prostate cancer. It would be nice to see an equal amount being raised for prostate cancer research, especially considering the risks involved are nearly-identical.
If I go on with the hidden and not-talked-about problems men face, I could cover pages.
While writing this I strongly believe I did justice as I equally respect both the gender full heartedly without any trace of bias.

The Real Story Of The Dead


Cultures all around the world believe in spirits that survive death to live in another realm. In fact, spirits or ghosts are among the most widely believed of paranormal phenomena.
I am not here to tell you spooky stories and scary incidents or encounters, if so there would not be any difference in me and Google. I am here to tell you why Harvard trained psychologist Doctor Gary Schwartz at the University of Arizona, said how some had uncanny ability to acquire information that could only be known to the deceased.
There basically exist three categories of people:
a) The ones who believe in spirits (Mostly ones in white sarees roaming at the stroke of midnight on the streets)
b) The ones who do not have time to believe in themselves, forget spirits.
c) And finally, the ones who probably have not thought much about this, which means if there happens a personal encounter, they may start falling in Category A.
I am writing this assuming that my readers fall in the third category.
Anyone who has ever watched the hit reality program Ghost Hunters knows that ghosts often signal their presence by interacting with electronic gadgets. Probably the best known of these devices is the EM-Meter, which measures electromagnetic energy in the environment. It becomes interesting, however, when an energy spike has no evident rationale behind it (such as an appliance or wiring being nearby). Evidence of a ghost? Not necessarily, but possibly evidence that “something” is interacting with the environment that is not easily explained away.
Someone would not completely ignore the existence in souls or spirits after referring the Ed and Lorraine Warren cases. For all who do not know them, they are American Paranormal Investigators and authors who are associated with investigating around 10,000 cases of haunting in their career.
Adobe Photoshop proved to create a disbelief among the people by forming images of ghostly figures with their friends using tricks and tools to scare their mates because after all, who doesn’t like to hear a good horror story and when it is quoted with “my personal experience” the crowd thickens.
Despite of all this fake images, videos and footage’s the 2005 Gallup poll found that 37 percent of Americans believe in haunted houses — and nearly half believe in ghosts.
It is widely claimed that Albert Einstein suggested a scientific basis for the reality of spirits. It seems like a reasonable assumption — unless you understand basic physics. The answer is very simple, and not at all mysterious. After a person dies, the energy in his or her body goes where all organism’s energy goes after death: into the environment. The energy is released in the form of heat, and transferred into the animals that eat us. There is no bodily “energy” that survives death to be detected with popular ghost-hunting devices.
As basic physics tells us that energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow be manifested as a ghost?
Because if you believe in ghosts, you are not alone.

The Thinner Shall Win?


She tried a pretty navy blue gown in the trail room of Pantaloons, looking in the mirror staring at herself she said “I never thought I could look this gorgeous”. When she opened the door there stood the Sales Woman who said to her “Maybe you could lose a bit of your flab around the waist and then take them. You look fat.” She turned around towards the mirror to have one look again. The Sales Woman was right. She did not notice it earlier maybe because she was mesmerized how she looked in the pretty dress as she has never worn such dress before.
She hated the fact that she was fat. She was depressed she could not buy that pretty long gown, just because she was fat. She made up her mind, “I will start steroids or diet pills for immediate results, and then maybe by next week I can buy the dress for the Dance Night 2015.”
That has to be the worst decision someone could take. Going on extreme diets, not eating from restaurants, cafeteria or junk food and taking up strict vegetarianism just because of your dread of becoming fat or disgusted with how your body looks, eating and mealtimes may be very stressful. And yet, what you can and cannot eat is practically all you can think about.
Anorexia Nervosa is a complex eating disorder. It is caused by inappropriate eating habits or rituals, obsession with having a thin figure. It is diagnosed 9 times more in females than in males.
Thoughts about dieting, food, and your body may take up most of your day—leaving little time for friends, family, and other activities you used to enjoy. Life becomes a relentless pursuit of thinness and going to extremes to lose weight.
But no matter how skinny you become, it’s never enough.
Today, there are 24 million people in the world who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa causing the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, starving to death. Individuals with anorexia may engage in other harmful behaviors, such as smoking, excessive caffeine consumption, and excessive use of diet pills, along with an increased exercise regimen.

1870 saw one of the earliest of Anorexia Nervosa case study published from the medical papers of Sir William Gull.
There are numerous symptoms of this deadly disease like dry hair and hair thinning, vomiting, refusal of eating around others, food restriction despite being underweight, dramatic weight loss, frequent sad or lethargic state etc.
I myself learnt very recently how eating habits of a person matters a lot. Medical experts across the globe suggest that children between the age group of 13 to 20 years undergoes this disease. There are a number of rehabilitation centers in different parts of the world to treat such patients not only through eating habits but also treat them mentally why appropriate eating is a crucial factor especially in this age which later controls the body elements in the older stage of life.
According to World Health Statistics, 75% of the population are unaware of Anorexia Nervosa, which creates the reason for death to crawl in much faster.
Friends, Anorexia is an awful thing but you yourself get into it, and only you can get yourself out of it too!