Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A morning thought



Anyone nurturing the idea that a man loves to shave would be grossly mistaken. This is one hardship he has to routinely undergo every morning. I do agree that as teen aged boy, he might be counting days to step in to the new world of grownups, but when the realization finally dawns it is too late!   Today while I was in the act, old memories suddenly rushed in. I remembered as a child watching my father shave in the morning. During the early days he used to have the saving soap in the form of a bar packed inside a round container which subsequently gave way to present day saving cream. All Through my adulthood I never noticed a shaving bar in the regular super market shelves.
Growing up in the north eastern corner of India I can boast of experiencing things which had then become obsolete in other parts of the world.  Though a state capital it could not be in termed as a city in the golden seventies. I graduated into the ranks of shave-able person and got started with a safety razor and a tube of saving cream. As I grew old and independent I gradually kept switching between Shaving cream, gel and foam of different brands. Due to advancement in the consumer products industry and invention of NICE marketing terminologies like customer satisfaction and strange abbreviated words the bar soap never got a lease of life. I reflected to my childhood days and did a mental comparison. What I could easily conclude was that as the product continued to progress from a shaving soap to cream and further forward, so did the wastage of material.
Now a days I believe that the bar soap like many other extinct product is staging a comeback via the sustainability, earth or green route. But whichever term one decides to use it is now a luxury product.
This perhaps does some justice to the saying that “progress comes at a cost”.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The wrath of Mother Nature

On 11 March 2011 we woke up to the devastating news of a massive earthquake striking in Japan and that was followed by massive Tsunami waves. As we sat in the comfort of our living rooms and watched the news break in our TV screens, we were terrified. We were awestruck as we watched buildings, cars and ships thrown around as if they were pieces of LEGO toys.
I heard the news commentator mention repeatedly that cities, villages and towns have been washed away by those 10m high waves. I did not realize the extent of the damage till I saw these set of satellite Photos which compared the images taken after the devastation with the ones taken before the Quake and Tsunami.



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tale in Two Cities


There are turmoils occurring around the world starting from the later part of 2010 and it looks like it is going to continue through 2011. On one side there have been natural disasters in New Zealand, Japan and Myanmar and on the other hand there are plenty of manmade disasters going on in many countries around the world.  I would not make any political comment or put forward my personal opinion on any of those conflicts here in my blog.
In this post I share two incidents as narrated by two individuals through their emails. This gives an insight into people’s life that happens to be inside the conflict zones.

Libya - February 22, 2011
“This was a great evacuation from Libya.... its horrible experience by all expats. My passport which was in Libyan immigration, Misrata (300km from Tripoli) which was with protester was destroyed as the immigration office was burnt down. I was asked by my company at last minute to request Indian embassy for a paper. February 22, 2011 is unforgettable day in my life. I have taken high risk to meet Indian ambassador, helped by Libyan taxi driver (having gun in car)...met ambassador and after my humble request she had given me an emergency certificate (a  temporary passport).
Our company arranged a charted flight for all staff and we escaped.  We were evacuated safely to Malta where we had taken rest in hotel and finally from there we got flight home via Cyprus and Dubai.
Thank God... I and my wife with 1 1/2 yr kid kissed the freedom.
But many Indians are still waiting for their safe evacuation, please pray for them...”

Bahrain - March 16, 2011
“We woke up to sounds of gunfire (most likely rubber bullets and tear gas shells) just before 7:00 am. Within no time cars were speeding across on both sides of the street in front of our house. The more practical ones fleeing the action while the foolhardy (or the brave heart, depending on which side of the fence you are) and emergency vehicles, going towards the action.
 It started to get difficult to breathe inside the house with the acrid smell of tear gas filling the house. Firing continued unabated. Soon the entire Pearl roundabout was shrouded in thick black smoke. After that the earth shaking noise of the propane tank bursting. The crowd slowly started disappearing from the road in front of our house. A few pickups and four wheel drives with their rear doors open sped across with the wounded. Then there was the eerie calm on the street but the gunfire continued in the background.
 At about 8:30 am there was a rumbling sound of heavy vehicles and slowly 3 armored personnel carriers came into view from my kitchen window, followed by foot soldiers and riot police. They were accompanied by 6 Land cruisers with turret mounted machine guns. They asked everyone to get away from the windows and balconies. To emphasize their point they started firing shots in the air. 
The security forces have now started moving into the dens. The “cleansing” operation is likely to continue. Hope some sort of normalcy returns in the next two days. I am waiting to take off for as soon as possible.”



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Out Of the Office Window

In earlier times photography was not what it is today. I may sound like a centenarian but the fact of the matter is that the world has changed a lot in the past  2decades. When we were in the college photography was a celebration like life's many other trivial things in today's perspective. Today the world is moving towards a single gadget .. a gadget that is everything to him and does everything  for him. A notebook, a digital diary, a calender, a camera a navigator, a radio, a music player and also a phone to name only a few. Its only after 2004 that I have started to click pictures on the go..... not to mention the effect it had on the quality!
A have posted a few pictures which records the view out of my office window over the past few years. Some of these are directly out of my seat and some are from colleagues'.


Dubai
Dubai
Dubai
Dubai
Dubai
Dubai
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
Kuwait
My present office is in the Project site in Doha and unfortunately does not have any external window!! But when I go up to inspect, I can see the whole of Doha ... well a lot of it actually.