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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Approaching a new decade-2010

For my last Blogpost of the year, I decided to just focus on all the postives that have been and will be.
The very fact that we are still here on this earth.Healthy, happy and with things to look forward to. For this is much more than so many millions in this world have.

To use a cliche, we tend to focus a great deal on the past as well as the future. In the bargain, we tend to forget the joys of our day to day life, our present.

So shall we make a new beginning, if that is what is called for?
Yet keeping our sights firmly on what we planned to do, but couldn't till now...
And do it in the best way that we can

Wishing all a very Happy, healthy and prosperous New Year and a brand new Decade

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Random thoughts on approaching the New Year- Part 1

As  a  year draws to a close, its normal to randomly run through what that particular year has meant to us.
Or at the very least, think of some ways in which we have changed/moved on/done something different /Or then not?

Some of my random, top of mind thoughts:

1.We thought that the global recession which hit very suddenly and very hard,  was thankfully, on its way out. Then Dubai happened.
And we suddenly began to think otherwise.

2. More recently, the Ruchika Girhotra case has surfaced. Something that had been hidden from the public eye for 19 years,has come out and how.Shaming all those who did nothing about it for so long as well as anyone who is a parent. Or then, anyone at all.
'Justice for Ruchika' is now the new Mantra.

3. Some great movies were released and watched  My personal favourites, 'Paa', 'Avatar', and 'Three Idiots'. To an extent even a different one like 'Rocket Singh'.

4. Micheal Jackson passed away. Despite everything that relates to his personal life, this was a loss to world music and the great potential that he still had.I will miss him.

More musings to follow in my next post....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Muscat Corniche and The Arabian Sea

Some days I write my blog for the express purpose of delighting in the photographs that I've taken, and today is definitely one such day.
After finishing my  planned agenda for the morning and particularly because it was such a wonderful day, I headed towards the Muscat Corniche where one gets an awesome view of the Arabian sea.
And this is what I came upon. 
Such beauty needed compelled me to capture it, so here they are. Pics for all to delight in.....
Because such wonderful mornings don't come by very often...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Great Indian wedding

Indian weddings are great fun  because of all that is entailed.

They are even more so, when they are held outside India.As is the case these days, when a daughter of one of our friends is getting married here.

A time to enjoy the great weather as well as all the festivities associated with the occassion.

For all those who are not familiar with the ceremonies, here's my chance to enlighten you.Irrrespective of whether a match is arranged/of the couple's  own choice, there are certain set events that take place.

The first one of course is the 'Engagement',when the match is treated as confirmed.Rings are exchanged to mark this day.After the Engagement ceremony,follows the Mehendi.( Henna ) It is  believed that the color of the Mehendi signifies the essence of love in a marriage, so it is put on bride's hand to strengthen that bond of love. The bride's family and friends mainly celebrate this ceremony, while henna is put on their hands and feet, accompanied by singing and dancing.

'Pithi' or 'Haldi', the cleansing ceremony is usually on the day just before the main marriage,when the bridal couple are pasted with turmeric powder in their respective homes, as a part of their beautification process.

And then comes the main event, the Marriage itself.The procedure for this varies, depending of course on the particular part of India one comes from.
One of the most significant rituals the bride and the groom perform is the 'Saptapadi' or the 'Saat phere' around a scared fire. It is also during this time that the groom fills 'Sindoor' in the center parting of the bride and puts a 'Mangalsutra' around her neck.
And so they are married.All that remains is the Wedding reception, usually held on the next day, and with that life assumes a whole new way.One in which the couple, as well as their respective families are bonded together.
Considering what we have seen in the last couple of days and which will continue, all I can say is that there really is no other wedding that can rival the 'Great Indian wedding'

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Justice for Ruchika.

Yesterday , after a long gap of nineteen years, the molester of 14 year Ruchika Gehrotra, former Director General of Police SPS Rathore  was punished by a court.

His punishment,  a jail term of 6 months a fine of Rs. 1000 and simultaneously granted a bail to appeal.

The event-In 1990, then IG of Police and president of tennis Association of State of Haryana, SPS Rathore, called up a budding tennis player, a 14 year old girl to his office and openly molested her. She complained, and luckily there was an eye witness( Anand Prakash's daughter), but that was when the ordeal of her  life started.

What followed was far worse, as her brother was harrased to the point when she just could not deal with it any more. For a start, he older brother was arrested on false charges of car theft and  tortured, while he was custody.

The poor girl herself was expelled from her school for reasons unknown,  her father was harassed by his  bank managers.And the icing on the cake..Goondas descended upon the house  and threatened her mother

So Ruchika's ordeal which started that day,  only finished for her three years later after her suicide...because she could not deal with it any more.

The government declared the file closed, seven days thereafter....

Anand Prakash, fought the case on behalf of his daughter's best friend, despite all that he had to face, and continued..... despite all the odds. He said that he did it so that minor girls in India could have a safe future, and knows that the DIG was protected by people art various levels. Not only that, the accused was consistently promoted, and given an honourable pension when he retired.

So what can be done for Ruchika? How can we get her justice?

Here's where the campaign 'Justice for Ruchika' comes in.

Like me, I am confident that all Indians and people who care will take it to its logical conclusion.

We saw it in Jessica Lal's case. Let us see it in 'Justice for Ruchika'.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A picture can say a thousand words

Since a picture can say a thousand words, Im going to use both of these to try and illustrate the point. These are both taken in about the same spot, of course at different times of the day,
The one taken  at approaching dusk gives one the feeling of things 'yet to happen', and looking through the windows of the rooms one can try and think of what might be going on inside the hotel.
Let your imagination run riot and explore the myriad possibilities.

The second one which I took one late night at low tide, is the more interesting one. The day is done, but then the night is still young.
And life goes on, particularly inside  a hotel which runs 24 hours.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

Random thoughts on the rain and coffee

1.Its been three wet and rainy days here in  Muscat, and from what it looks like, this is likely to continue for a few more.
Day 1 was fun, because of the novelty, Day 2 was tolerable and yesterday felt a bit of a drag...

The other more worrisome aspect is the very real fact of the 'wadis' rising upto a point when they then become flash floods and wash away everything that comes in their way, including cars, buses, debris and a whole lot more.

I'm aware  that there have been a number of deaths in these three days, some of which were distinctly preventable. If only people had listened to the warning sent out by the Authotries asking them not to venture anywhere near them.

But what seems actually ridiculous is when people actually come to gape at the swollen wadi, as if its some kind of a tourist spot and then stand as close as possible, clicking photographs.

When will they ever learn??

2. Coffee- Where there is a will, there really has to be  a way.
I have got over the coffeee withdrawal symptoms and actually managed two weeks w/o my favourite beverage.

One of life's lessons learnt..there is nothing that one can't do without.
If there really is that great desire to accomplish it.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Real life heroes- Donating a kidney

I didn't know of anyone who had donated a kidney till two days ago.
But now I do and consider him to be a true hero.
Someone who took a decision to donate his kidney to save his cousin brother's life....

The decision to donate can never be easy for anyone and so it must have been for him as well.

But its probably when one sees a close family member who has End Stage Renal Disease(ESRD) and will not be able to live much longer without a new kidney,  it pretty much must be a real reason in changing an individual's perspective.

A whole lot of soul searching and discussions with Doctors and close family members are entailed when it comes to taking the final decision.Donors need to be should be in good physical condition and between the ages of 18-70.

While it is true that one can lead a normal , healthy lifestyle with only one kidney, the risks associated with a kidney donataion are  much the same as those involving any major surgery--viz, the bleeding and the risk of infection. Yet in today's world, the option to the old fashioned way of surgery is that of laparoscopic surgery.

And while our friend recuperates in  tne hospital for the next few days, we can only and wish him all the very best.Along with applauding  him for his decision and the courage  that it must have taken..

Monday, December 7, 2009

Climate change and what it really entails

About four years ago, I happened to see a movie called 'The Day After tommorrow, starring Dennis Quaid.It stayed in my mind because it was a tecnically very well made film and its special effects excellent.

But even more than that, it stayed in my mind because of what it portrayed...a world which changes completely because of the effects of climate change and the havoc that can be wreaked on all those who somehow manage to survive.

Then last week I saw '2012', another movie with the same theme, only this one one seemed much more real.

The reason for that is not too difficult to look for, as a whole lot has been said and done on Climate change during this period.Not the least by Al Gore and his team winning the Nobel Prize for their pathbreaking work on this.

Now over a 100 world leaders have gathered at Copenhagen where they hope to look for some real and lasting solutions.So that the next few generations could have a future.

According to Ban Ki Moon, of the UN, "The objective of the Summmit on climate change is to mobilize the political will and vision needed to reach an ambitious and agreed outcome based on Science at the UN Climate talks in Copenhagen."

Today, the  issues at stake are very critical and the success or failure will depend on economics, and not environmental science.This also entails things like moving away from carbon based energy sources that one has depended on for a long time.

Countries like the US, Canada and India, will have to stringently monitor their oil and manufacturing industries and this is bound to have major potential economic and political causes of imposing stricter limits on greenhouse gas emissions-most notably for their coal, oil and manufacturing industries.

All that is for governments and countries to deal with, but on a more personal level- What exactly are we doing about this?

Let us all really take a deep look at what our own way of life and living is all about and make a conscious resolution.

Simply that we too will do our bit..
Because every drop makes an ocean, and hopefully tommorrow will still be another day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Life without coffee

Day 6 and counting.
For those are the number of days that I’ve managed life without coffee.

Reason- Coffee does not go well with the Homeopathic medicines that I’m currently having.

For someone whose day had been structured around the number of cups of coffee in a day, life is not easy, giving up that same basic premise.

Then of course, there are the very real withdrawal symptoms.
The headaches, the loss of concentration, not feeling like my usual composed self, et all.

Along with dealing with the fact of having to avoid all my ‘associations’ with coffee. Because these are the very real triggers that just might make me crumble.

Such as not going anywhere near Starbucks, Darcy’s, Costa. Simply because even the slightest whiff of that delightful fragrance of coffee that seems to floating come out of the open doors, tempting even a non coffee drinker, might just do me in.

I’ve also tried very hard to fill up that vacuum with a range of other hot beverages that might possibly substitute for the real thing- hot milk, a range of teas, or even cocoa, but nothing seems to do the trick …

Yet, I doggedly persist, for I know that the first few days are usually the hardest and that if I was to cave in now, I might not be able to do it ,yet again.

And suddenly realize that I have a whole new found respect for all those people who’ve ever battled with other issues such as quitting smoking…or then alcohol…