It was the last week of December 2002, only a year and three months after the 9/11.The world was still raw after the attack on the Twin Towers. My daughter and I were travelling to USA under our surname Osama, a name that had become controversial, notorious and world famous overnight from a noble-man’s to that of an outcast and terrorist. As the plane landed at Los Angeles airport and we came out of the plane, I froze. On both sides of the chute armed soldiers carrying stein guns stood alert with their guns pointing down. I caught my daughter’s hand and whispered ‘We’ll die together.’ But of course, they were not there to shoot us down just because we were ‘Osamas’, the Americans were wary of all Muslim passengers and airliners. The 9/11 incident had changed the way the world looked at Muslims specially. Read the rest of this entry
‘Hey mom! I thought I would be seeing an old lady with a stick in her hand, but you look as young as I last saw you,’ I heard my son say this with a twinkle in his eyes. ‘Not younger than before?’ I teased him. ‘May Allah keep you like this.’ He smiled as I embraced him. I was meeting my son after quite some time since he had moved to Muscat for his job assignment. This was my first visit to Muscat. Read the rest of this entry
Destination 1. Singapore: Singapore is where my heart is. This is my debut journey to Singapore. I board ‘Aeroline’ a double decker luxury bus, my journey starts from ‘Corus Hotel, KL.’ The bus has all the amenities of an aeroplane including Wi-Fi, movie screens and a hostess to serve. The seats are comfortable and can be extended and withdrawn. I settle down and soon the journey starts. I sing a tune to myself. It is an old Indian film song ‘dekho ji dekho sunn lo ye baat, jeevan mein ek baar aana singapore’ I remember I was very young when I had heard this song on radio. At that time I use to wonder what is so special about Singapore that a song has been made on it. Now I was going to find out. Read the rest of this entry
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
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
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.
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
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