Monthly Archives: August 2012

Liono! Lord of the… Fridge?! By Nusrat Osama posted on May 4, 2012

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It was not just an ordinary cat that had found its way in our house. It was a delightful, loveable and spoilt Siamese whom I purchased for a handsome amount from a vet. Purchasing a cat was unheard of in my circle, since pet cats usually were either picked as stray kittens that meowed their small lungs out of hunger and scratched at the front of kitchen doors. When fed milk or a piece of meat, they adopted the household instead of the household adopting them.The idea of purchasing a cat was brought home by my daughter who had seen a lovely Siamese couple playing in my brother’s house. She was so enthralled that nothing short of at least a small kitten, if not a couple, could stop her constant pleading. I gave in and so a small furry kitten came into our house who was instantly named Liono; after its feline relation with the lord of the jungle.

Liono soon assumed the role of the ‘baby of the house’, it was fed, looked after and taken care of in the same manner. The hunger clock of his tummy rang exactly on time and it would go and sit in front of the fridge, I would take out the frozen ball of meat and put it in the micro-wave oven to de-frost, while the plate in the oven went round and round, Liono’s eyes followed the circular movement and then from taking it out and putting it in its feeding bowl was the most trying time, Liono would lose patience and its meowing would reach the highest pitch. It was the most impatient cat I had ever come across. Read the rest of this entry

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The 7 habits of Highly-Effective Mom-In-Laws by Nusrat Osama Posted on Aug 10 2012

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To become a mother in law is as traumatic as becoming a daughter in law (because once upon a time the mother in law was the daughter in law too). Young girls have nightmares of their potential MILs (mom in laws), appearing as dragons and witches. But mark my words that MILs have similar dreams of their DILs (daughter in laws). I do not boast of being anywhere near ‘the Best’ but after successfully graduating as MIL of three DILs and one SIL (son in law) I guess I am eligible to write a few tips that might help the to-be MILs. Bringing a young girl from a different family and then accepting her with all her good and maybe some bad points too is a big deal. No one is perfect in this world, after-all your household is also not the best in the world. You have your good and bad points too. When a new member comes to live in a family both, the incoming member and the family have to make an effort to adjust with each other. While the effort from the girl is apparently more, the other side that is the boy’s family also suffer nightmares and struggles to adjust. While SHE leaves her parental home and looks up to her new family to get acknowledged the family also makes room for her to share their social and personal lives. A marriage is a deal and a package that must be accepted as a whole. There are no two ways about it in fact, according to Stephen R Covey there are seven ways of going about this inevitable and precarious relationship. Let us see how the famous seven habits can be applied in the MIL-DIL situation. Read the rest of this entry

A Classic Case by Nusrat Osama Aug 6 2012

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Today, like any other day for the past two years, I am sitting like a dumb in front of my laptop. My fingers have barely moved over the key-board for the past hour. It is a futile attempt at writing the book I have been wanting to since I left job after retirement.

Writer’s Block

It is a beautiful day, although it is July yet the temperature has fallen considerably after the heavy downpour the night before. I am sitting on the balcony of the 19th floor of a residential condo where I am staying with my daughter. My daughter has gone to work, her husband is busy with his photography project. I look down below, the shanty houses of the workers who dwelled there were removed a day before as construction of another high-rise condominium has resumed. A little away from the street the greenery of the thick rainforest, typical of Kuala Lumpur, give a soothing effect to my eyes. Tired of watching the greenery, I try to concentrate on my writing. Read the rest of this entry

Management by Harassment By Nusrat Osama Jun 8, 2012

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Looking for an ideal boss? Read this:

This typography is made by Afifa Khalid for Ideas Evolved

The boss is always right … rule No 1.

If the boss is wrong … refer to rule No 1.

‘Bad bosses play checkers. Good bosses play chess’

When I take a long time, I am slow. When my boss takes a long time, he is thorough.

These and many similar adages describe the qualities of bosses. Bosses like ‘boxes’ come in all shapes, sizes and colours. Somebody might think what is the relationship between a boss and a box, well there is: boxes and bosses resemble in their holding capacity. The emptier, the noisier. There are good bosses and there are bad bosses, some are remembered with reverence and some with a shudder and some not at all.

Not all bosses are bad but those who are, are capable of making lives of their  subordinates hell. Some time back I read in a magazine that , ‘When we see people acting in an abusive, arrogant or demeaning manner towards others, their behavior almost always is a symptom of their lack of self- esteem. They need to put someone else down to feel good about themselves.’…. this made me think of the ‘Fauji Bosses’ I had during the long period of my service as a teacher and as an administrator. Read the rest of this entry

Kyal Rest House – ‘My’ Dream Come True by Nusrat Osama posted on April 14 2012

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The year was 1978, month July, destination Kyal Rest House, on the route Karakorum Highway.

I fell in love with the place at first glance. It was a grey stone building built in steps on the banks of the River Indus. At the back of the building were Karakorum Mountains and in front the mighty Indus. The building was at a lower level and the river fell down like a noisy waterfall at some distance from the building; one could take a shower in the constant spray of water that arose when the river fell. I had never before seen a sight that was pretty and scary at the same time. The bank of the river which was much lower than the rest -house and its court yard, was made safe for stray walkers by huge blocks and rocks that lined the route of the river. Read the rest of this entry

The Pleasures Of Grand Parenting By Nusrat Osama Posted on: Feb 24 2012

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It wasn’t until I held that blue furry blanket from under which two large eyes looked at me and locked my heart forever. Two experienced and searching eyes held that little gaze and the two of us were bound in an indomitable bond of love and friendship. Such is the chemistry that flows between the first and third generation ….. grandmother and grandson. He came into my life like the fresh morning breeze and filled my being with vitality and joy.

I remember searching book after book and combing dictionaries for names of newborns. Hours were spent discussing the meanings, spellings and connotations. Sometimes a name was dropped from the list of selected ones simply because one of the family members remembered someone of that name with a not-so-good-reputation or because it was the name of someone’s arch rival during school or college days.  Anyhow, a list was finalized with due deliberation and mutual consent of the to-be-chachas, mamoos, khalas and phuppo. Read the rest of this entry

Spare The Rod By Nusrat Osama posted on Jan 23 2012

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I was walking past the VP’s office, an unusual sight caught my attention, a young student, probably a seventh or eighth grader, was standing very close to a tree, his arms around its trunk. I went closer and asked him why he was standing like this.. ‘Ma’am, I have been punished.’ He replied. ‘Oh!’ I said. I was rather amused at this mode of punishment. Though I am sure the poor kid was cursing himself and the tree too. This and many other similar scenes of students being punished for ‘offences’ are a normal sight in our schools.

In the past when a child was admitted in a school, the father would say to the teacher ‘his bones are mine and skin yours’. Meaning you can inflict pain without causing him injury. The teacher thus, had the license to deal with him. From then onwards the poor child, like a dirty linen, would be beaten on a slab and quashed with a rod to ensure that learning was ‘going home.’ What happened at the end was either he emerged a learned gentleman  (like most of our fathers or fore fathers) or run away to become a labourer. Read the rest of this entry