Will the real China please stand up?

So I’m writing a paper outlining the current political conflict between China and Taiwan. The main body of the paper is about proposed solutions to the current conflict. It’s all very silly and complicated so to bring you up to speed there is this handy youtube video by these guys with lovely accents. Watch:

Ok, get it now? Taiwan wants to be recognized for the independent sovereign nation it is, but China threatens to attack if it declares independence and has also threatened economic sanctions on anyone who has diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China still believes Taiwan is a rogue territory that will come back under its communist rule at some point.

So basically I’m proposing a three part peace plan:

#1 China and Taiwan continue to emphasize relations that have proven to work aka trade, investment in each others economies, trust-building measures such as cultural and educational exchanges, etc

#2 A timeline for mutual political recognition. At this point, both governments of China and Taiwan identify themselves as the sole government of China. That makes no sense but at the same time neither are quite yet ready to come together and talk it out so hence, a timeline. Goal: mutual agreement that they are separate nations and that its going to stay that way. This talk is only going to happen though when China agrees to recognize the Taiwanese government and when the people of Taiwan stop fearing their politicians will cede Taiwan to China.

#3 Mutual disarmament and decreased US involvement. The US is currently Taiwan’s #1 arms supplier which kinda pisses off China and the US has said that if China ever invades that it will be “of the gravest concern to the US”…whatever that means.


…lifts us up where we belong

…makes the world go ’round

…is all ya need

it is not a feeling but a state of being.

“i have forgotten all my learnings, but from knowing you I have become a scholar…”

it has to start from somewhere deep inside yourself. if you don’t have an understanding of what it means to be in love with you, how can you be able to love anyone else? everyone else is a mirror.

no one will ever be good enough without first loving yourself.

strength must come from that infinite place,

you came alone and alone you shall leave

and in between there will be beautiful people and place to love

and that is the beauty of life

it expands you

it flows through you and makes you look at the world with child-like eyes of wonder

“The lovely one whispers under her breath, and you go mad, witless, no reason left…O Lord, what is this chant, what magic art, that weaves its spell on even a stone heart?” ~Rumi

where your thoughts end, love begins

“…en el amor como agua de mar te has destado:

mido apenas los ojos mas extensos del cielo

y me inclino a tu boca para besar la tierra”

“…in love you have loosened yourself like sea water:

I can scarcely measure the sky’s most spacious eyes

and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.”

   ~Pablo Neruda

where there is love there is no question.

in love, the impossible becomes possible

No one can measure, not even poets, how much a heart can hold.

How much passion can one heart hold?

just leave me here love

I just get so filled up with…well, with what? Love? Oh god that sounds so cheesy. Lust for life? Maybe.

I bet you have already heard this song already but it is one of those ones you can’t listen to just once in a row. It amazes me how relevant this song is for so many people I know right now, myself included. This song has everything going for it, good lyrics, good vocals, good background music. Oh and not to mention the music video is captivating. Raw.

Whatever it is, it makes me want to throw all social norms out the fucking window and dance and sing at the top of my lungs. There are not many things I can do in a daily routine that will quell this thirst of self-expression.


I want to be in the woods. I want to commune with the trees and the natural cycles of life, not this concrete jungle that force feeds me lies of an ethnocentric, consumerist culture focused on the individual.

I’m figuring out how to channel this energy into more productive things than dreams. Dreams ain’t gonna pay the bills or save the world* (my #1 priority)

a piece of my heart was left there

I love how he just belts this out, and the guitar is pleasantly reminiscent of Vampire Weekend.

*I have a healthy understanding that no person, no matter how amazing can “save” the world. It is just too long and wide and contains way too many conflicting interests for anyone to feel burdened by this grand task. There is no need to place so much pressure on yourself. Still, I am an optimist and will never give up the hope that maybe I will be able to effect some positive change that will last.

….   w  h e r e    do we go from here……..?

Internships/ Job-y things

Sooooooo I’m still trying to figure out this whole life after college thing. I’m looking into internships with organizations in DC related to peace or development work. I’m also starting my application for a Fulbright grant to go back to India and study. Fingers crossed.There are a few other options in the works, graduate school for conflict resolution or sustainable development within the next 3-4 years for example. Peacecorps is also a possibility (that I could do+get a masters, its called Masters International).

Ok, enough talk about the future…its scary.

Lets talk about Gandhi. This is one of my favorite quotes from his autobiography. I like this passage where he talks about his vow of celibacy.

“I realized that a vow, far from closing the door to real freedom, opened it. Up to this time I had not met with success because the will had been lacking, because I had had no faith in myself, no faith in the grace of God, and therefore, my mind had been tossed on the boisterous sea of doubt. I realized that in refusing to take a vow man was drawn into temptation, and that to be bound by a vow was like a passage from libertinism to a real monogamous marriage. I believe in effort. ‘I do not want to bind myself with vows’ is the mentality of weakness and betrays a subtle desire for the thing to be avoided. Or where can be the difficulty in making a final decision?

I vow to flee from the serpent which I know will bite me. I do not simply make an effort to flee from him. I know that mere effort may mean certain death. Mere effort means ignorance of the certain fact that the serpent is bound to kill me. The fact, therefore that I could not rest content with an effort only, means that i have not yet clearly realized the necessity of definite action. ‘But supposing my views are changed in the culture, how can I bind myself by a vow?’ Such a doubt often deters us. But that doubt also betrays a lack of clear perception that a particular thing must be renounced.” (207).

Self-doubt is my worst enemy…aaand Kashmir…er Led Zeppelin?


My mind is the only thing standing in my way. It pulls me into a black hole of doubt that holds me down and tells me I’m not worth it. I can’t possibly do it. No way. What was I thinking? I do a lot of things, but yet, I still feel there is a voice of fear that is keeping me from reaching my full potential and striving towards my dreams.

I’m starting to get fed up with this fear shit.

I’m at the point now where I’m challenging it. It is still there, but I go for what I want anyway.

Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

There is this class through the conflict and dispute resolution masters program that recently opened up some of their classes to undergrads. So, more than half the class is grad students, which is more my level at this point anyway, but it’s still overwhelming. The class is basically a mixture of political science, history, econ, foreign policy and some all mixed in together to look in-depth at 7 major national conflicts around the world. Examples: China and Taiwan, Israel/ Palestine, Kashmir (India and Pakistan), etc. It has been absolutely kicking my butt, and the teacher is super intimidating, which has made me slightly nervous when I need to talk to him one on one but also motivated me to study more so I don’t sound like an idiot when I talk to him. I’ve become really interested in the current conflict of Kashmir involving Pakistan and India which is potentially the most dangerous conflict because it is the only one in the world where both sides possess nuclear weapons. Yikes.

The conflict with Kashmir, like many border conflicts still going on today dates back to those British dunces who, with their outdated, poorly drawn maps, divided up land into different nations at their leisure. “…it had been created rather off-handedly by the British after the first defeat of the Sikhs in 1846, as a reward to a former official who had sided with the British.” It was connected to India through the Punjab, but was at the time, 77% Muslim so everyone assumed that it would eventually become part of Pakistan. After India declared independence in 1947, Kashmir had the choice of becoming part of Pakistan or India.

After hesitation (and thoughts of just making an independent Kashmir) a mutiny of Muslim regimen broke out in Kashmir and Maharaja Hari Singh implored India to help. India agreed on the condition that Kashmir accede to India. This is what is now Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Conflict continues because the population is majority Muslim and many want to join Pakistan. Many want to be part of an independent Kashmir. It was always assumed that the Kashmiris would be given the opportunity at some point to vote on what they wanted, but that is yet to occur. I find this conflict especially interesting as I am half Punjabi and Sikh and my family was in the Punjab during the time of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1947-1948, also known as the Partition. Not to mention that Kashmir used be part of the Sikh empire under Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

And I just had to add this song “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin. I’ve never been a huge fan, but I appreciate his passionate performance and they may just be growing on me.

Oh let the sun beat down upon my face, stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and all will be revealed

Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate, the story was quite clear
Oh, oh.

Oh, I been flying… mama, there ain’t no denyin’
I’ve been flying, ain’t no denyin’, no denyin’

All I see turns to brown, as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand, as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where I’ve been.

Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June, when movin’ through Kashmir.

Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear

When I’m on, when I’m on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way, you stay-yeah

Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, when I’m down…
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well I’m down, so down
Ooh, my baby, oooh, my baby, let me take you there

Let me take you there. Let me take you there