Thursday, June 30, 2011

Updates in the Fight against Human Trafficking

This past Sunday, June 26, CNN aired the documentary Nepal’s Stolen Children, a segment from the on-going Freedom Project and the fight against modern-day slavery. Unfortunately, I forgot to post last week the date and time so all interested could watch (please forgive!). The documentary follows actress Demi Moore as she joins CNN Hero of the Year Anuradha Koirala in her endless efforts to save young girls from a horrible fate. You can see excerpts from the heart-wrenching and rage-inducing documentary here: Nepal’s Stolen Children

Also this past week, the 2011 Trafficking in Persons report was released. The purpose of the report is to rank countries based on their efforts to combat trafficking, assist victims, and prosecute traffickers. Each country is placed on one of the following lists: Tier 1, Tier 2, the Watch List or Tier 3, with Tier 1 being the highest possible ranking and Tier 3 being the lowest ranking. Sanctions can be imposed to countries placed into the bottom category. Even though critics dismiss the report as one more tool in the box of powerful countries to control less fortunate ones (for example, last year was the first year the US was included in the report – Tier 1), it is still the most comprehensive analysis on existing global efforts to fight the nefarious practice of human trafficking. 

Lastly, check out Demi and Ashton’s DNA Foundation

 - Krasi

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Everyday Superheroes

It might be a little known fact that I am not a fan of superheroes [read: Superman, Fantastic Four, Spider-man etc.], as portrayed by the popular media. And as with all else, I have one really good reason for that well-established dislike. The reason lies in the inherent idea that superheroes/heroines have certain special powers that make them stronger than the common person and as such, more fit to fight the evils of the world. 

I have always been much fonder of heroes, such as Robin Hood and Zorro, mostly because they are all humans with no special superpowers who go over and beyond to prevent injustice. They do not have the power to become invisible or fly or rotate the earth backwards. But they sure have the right skills to make those hungry for power, abuse, and lawlessness suffer the consequences. Most importantly, they strengthen other individuals’ hope and belief that regular people can be powerful too.

What, you ask, caused that rant against the so beloved superheroes of comics and movies? Well, since you asked [I do not hear voices, I swear!:)], it was the video of the “crazy mom” that circulated through all the major TV stations this past week. This is a mom who sees three guys stealing and no one intervening so she runs, jumps on their car (yes, you read correctly) and tries to stop them. She was not seriously hurt and the culprits were later apprehended. The video of this mom reminds me of the episodes of What Would You Do?. Similar shows and mothers like the one mentioned above confirm my believe that there are everyday superheroes and super heroines amongst us and solidify the idea that one does not need a superpower to prevent injustice; all one needs is a strong sense of justice, courage to stand up for what’s right, and oh well, an ounce of insanity. Count me in I say! 

         - Krasi

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wanna Be My Chamak Challo?

Ahhhh another video/song post on Friday...I think this is becoming a tradition ;)

Today's song is courtesy of a hip-hop Bollywood collaboration.

I think it is so fun that Akon learned the words in Hindi!! So the term chamak challo has been used in many old Bollywood songs but I personally think this is the most famous one:

Chamak challo is derived from the word chamak which means jingling and challa which means ring. It's really just referring to the way the girl is someone who is know, like me ;)

So now that you're well versed in some Bollywood....get your chamak challo on and have a great weekend!

- A

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Failure as a Catalyst for Success

I just happened to watch a graduation address given by one of my favorite comedians, Conan O’Brien, during the 2011 commencement ceremony at Dartmouth College. As expected, he kept it hilarious and entertaining, but best of all, he gave the students an excellent piece of advice that I couldn’t help but post here. 

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique.

I can certainly relate to the message above and concur completely. The majority of people do not know what they want to be or do when they grow up; yet, most of them cling to the idea that there is an ideal job, lifestyle, activity out there and that if they reach it, they would be fully accomplished and satisfied. The trouble is the ideal develops by observing others and not necessarily from personal experience. That ideal, or as Conan shrewdly refers to it, that ‘perceived ideal’ is what causes many to succumb to depression and hopelessness. The truth is, unless people attempt themselves a certain activity, there is no way that they can know whether they are good at it and most importantly, whether it makes them happy and helps them feel as if they lead a meaningful existence. 

Therefore, the failure to reach that ideal is not something to languish about. Rather, it is to be accepted as a warning that what we thought would be an ideal situation is not necessarily so once we actually get to experience it. If handled properly, failure can be the impetus for finding one’s true calling. 

 - Krasi

Friday, June 17, 2011

Today Is Your Day

I apologize for the lack of posts but it has been busy here in C.Salad central. More deets later..until then, go out there and seize the day!

Welcome back Shania!

- A

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Enjoying Life

Five years ago I made a promise to myself that I will try my best to visit at least one new place every year. I have so far managed to successfully keep this promise. This past week, however, I really outdid myself by visiting three new locations during one 10-day trip. I absolutely enjoyed each one of them and vouched to go back one day. 

The reason I mention my passion for traveling is not to simply brag about my exciting trip (although I can't hide that it was fantastic!:). I am more amazed by the reaction some people give me when I tell them about the trip. There are certain personalities who place the emphasis on the fact that I am so lucky to be able to do it. All I want to tell them is that it has nothing to do with luck, or money, or time. I am a strong believer that if a person wants to do something, then s/he finds a way to accomplish it. And in the big scheme of life, there is really nothing more important than leading a meaningful and enjoyable life. I am certainly no follower of the belief in reincarnation and having the chance to do it all over again so I encourage all to enjoy life now while they have it and while they can. 

It is just sad that so many young people feel bored, anemic, annoyed, dissatisfied and empty. They go through life as if it is a chore. Or worse, they go through current situations dismissing them as an annoyance and convincing themselves that one day, luck will strike and they will enjoy what they think they want, or need. Such a waste of precious time! Didn’t someone famous state that there is no time as the present? The best part is each individual has the power to make it whatever they want it to be.  No one has to wait for the ideal job, or for the ideal family, or for the ideal lifestyle to start living and enjoying life. Seriously, waiting is just a waste of time. 

Anyway, I am certainly not waiting and I try to do what I enjoy as often as I can. And if anyone else is interested in traveling and spending time in the outdoors, below are the places I visited during my trip. I guarantee you’ll find them absolutely phenomenal!





                     - Krasi

Monday, June 6, 2011


Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.

- Les Brown

If that doesn't get you motivated, maybe this will

I don't know about you but eye candy definitely gets me motivated ;)

Happy Monday! Go out there and take charge of your dreams!

- A

Friday, June 3, 2011

The Help

If you haven't read The Help yet, I highly recommend you do! While watching Oprah's last show (*tear) I saw a preview and was *literally* squealing with delight (don't judge). While I know that it will not be as good as the book (when are they ever?) I am looking forward to it! August 12 has been earmarked in my Blackberry (again, don't judge).

The Help follows three courageous women and some not so nice *bleep bleep bleeps* in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi. Skeeter, a young unmarried *oh the horror* woman decides she wants to write a book on the experiences of the African American house maids. Two brave maids choose to participate even though it is extremely dangerous to talk about. Events in the book illustrate what happens when good people stand by and do nothing and the inevitability of good to win (not without some casualties though). The book made me cry, made me violently angry, and made me hopeful that we can all affect change individually. It may seem like 'those times' are behind us but look around: there is always injustice in the world. Opportunities to stand up for what is right are abundant. What are you going to do about it?

Have you read the book? What did you think? Will you be watching the movie?

- A

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stagnant Revolution

Have you guys seen Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? The documentary series, which airs on ABC, follows British chef and food activist/reformist Jamie Oliver as he attempts to bring change to America's food system. Last season he was in Huntington, West Virginia and this year he is in L.A. One would think L.A., home of the celebrities, Hollywood and all around pretty people would be completely on board with change but so far (I've watched only one episode) the L.A. school district is being more difficult than Huntington!

Why is it so hard for people or rather institutions to be willing and ready for change (easy answer: money. Read Food Politics if you want an in depth answer)? It is one thing to put inappropriate things in our own bodies but if we can't protect and guide the children in our care then what is wrong with us?! I once had a 'debate' (more like an argument) with a high school teacher who vehemently opposed the removal of vending machines in schools here in Texas. His logic? They're adults, they can make that decision. Since when are 15-18 year olds adults? We won't talk straight to them about matters like sex because we're afraid that they don't have the maturity to handle it but they amazingly have the capability to make decisions that impact their health in a significant way, leading to obesity, diabetes, not to mention concentration issues that directly affect the purpose of education.

Let's also talk about what it takes to be an adult. Children are *supposed* to be taught right from wrong along the way to adulthood. When sugar and fats are being shoved down their throats starting from pre-K, do they really have the right skills or worldview from which to make the appropriate decision?

I'm all for personal responsibility and individualism (which I think are key arguments for people who believe that obesity is a personal problem) but both these concepts apply to the food problem in the U.S. as well. It is our personal responsibility to teach children good eating habits. Is it really individualistic to feed children mass produced unhealthy food?

Once again, the agencies that are supposed to protect us (USDA, I'm talkin to you) are failing us. You may feel like a small voice against a strong loud arsenal of government agencies and large corporations but we can't let the revolution go stagnant. Significant changes have been made worldwide (for example, flavored milk is no longer offered in any school in Europe) so what the heck are we waiting for? I strongly believe in Jamie's message; I wish I could say that change will start at the top but in this case, its not going to. We all have to band together, us 'little' folk, and make change happen. It starts with us and it

What do you guys think? Should we regulate what children are fed or should we keep the system as it is? Will you get involved?

Get involved:

Sign the petition

Local Initiatives

- A