Tuesday, January 15, 2008

In Bahrain? Just Chill.

Brrrrrrr.......Itttts Ccccoooold.

And this weather is the coldest in 20 years I understand. Or that's what GDN says.

And just look below at what I saw on Bahrain's weather website this afternoon. Can you believe it? 7 degree celsius ! In Bahrain!!!

These days, my wife and kids look like eskimos on a visit to Bahrain. Wrapped up in mufflers, gloves and socks, apart from layers of sweaters. The heater - turned up to the max - is only making futile attempts at buzzing away cold. I must get two more blankets today, if I have to cover the three-layered blankets even more securely for my two little kids. The water-heater is the only saving grace....but we can't even wait for the cold water to run out of the tap before the hot water gushes out. Its taking its own sweet time. Brrrr.....The warnings from newspapers are just adding to the tension.

On the personal front, I also discovered that a man with hair on head is a lot more luckier than me. Because the icy hand of winter can be placed more firmly and flatly on a bald head like mine, than on those with good hairy heads. :-(

I also realize that God in his infinite wisdom, made feathers for those birds, and fur for all those animals to prepare them for these days.

But its sad to see school kids and working people waking up to meet their tryts with the same enthusiasm as on the non-cold days. But then, I know there will be some who'll say, "you call this cold??? Come and see Canada, USA, Greenland or the North pole"

Well, whatever they say, Bahrain is ccccccccoolddd.

And, some like it hot.

No...nowadays..we all like it hot.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Indians in Gulf - An Opinion

Surprised? To see Arabic here?

Well, I found this interesting opinion on Global Voices (its english translation is below it) and wanted to share with you all.

The author, Hafez Bucheery is thinking about the development of the Gulf societies in general; he writes about the role South Asians, specifically Indians, have played over the years:

جاؤوا وما علموا بأنهم كانوا وراء نهضة قد امتثلوا, يختبئون خلف السطور الأولى التي تقترف النجاح, سطور سطرها أصحابها بابتذال, وكأن البنيان شيّد في محض من الخيال, أو كأنها سقطت من أعلى السماء. تناسوا في لحظة أن هنالك أناسا يعملون ليلاً نهاراً في دعك الاسمنت وصف الطابوق فوق بعضه البعض, أحداً منهم ينظف طرقاتنا المتعفنة, ويا ليته ينظف معه ضمائر شعوبنا المتخلفة, وأحداً آخرٌ يسهر على تنظيف ما نرمي من أوساخ خارج بيوتنا وداخلها, إخلاصاً منه في العمل, ورغبة منه في البقاء.هكذا حرضهم فقرهم, وحضهم على بلوغ الصعب من أجل تحقيق معنى الإنسانية, معنى ثقافة الوجود, معنى أن يكون للبشر قلب يضحي ويتقاسم الحياة مع من يحب بشرف. لا تغره تلك الحياة في لحظة من لحظاتها المنتكسة, ولا تستطيع أن تحرك فيه ساكناً من أجل الانحراف. لا نقول هنا الجميع, فطبيعي أن في كل قاعدة شواذها, ولكن يبقى الأصل في المسألة هو ان هؤلاء الفقراء علمونا كيف للبشر أن يعمل, كيف للبشر أن يخلص وأن لا يكون اتكالي, ينتظر وضع اللقمة في فمه, من بعدها ينتظر من يمسح له مؤخرته.فصرنا نفتخر كوننا أشباه هنود في ما مضى, لم نجد ذلك الاعتزاز صدفة, أو أنه تكون معنا لمجرد الإفراط في كمية الدهن في شعراتهم, وليس لأنهم يصنعون من ” السمبوسة ” وجبة عظيمة, بل لأنهم هم من نذروا أنفسهم للعيش الشريف, وحققوا الهدف السامي في الحياة بالرغم من التفات ضوء الشمس عنهم, وتجريد الناس ثوب الحياة منهم. شرفٌ لهم أن يكونوا أحفاد غاندي, وشرفٌ لنا أن يعيشوا في أراضينا بسلام

They came without knowing that they would be behind a boom, hiding behind the first lines which celebrate success, lines which its owners have penned with excess, as if what was being built was a figment of the imagination, or as if it had fallen from the sky. They pretended to forget for a moment that there were people working day and night in mixing cement and putting bricks on top of each other. One of them was cleaning our rotten streets and I wish he would clean the consciences of our backward people too. Another was staying up late cleaning the filth we throw inside and outside our homes, out of loyalty to work and a desire to survive. This is what their poverty had pushed them to do, and encouraged them to face difficulties to achieve the meaning of humanity, the meaning of existence, the meaning for humans of having a heart which sacrifices and shares life with those you love with honour. He isn't taken in by this life in any of its changing moments, and you cannot alter his stride. We don't say here that everyone is like this, as it is natural for every rule has its exceptions. But what remains in this issue is that those poor people have taught us how humans work, how they can be loyal and not depend on others to feed him and then wait again for them to wipe his behind. And so we were proud to be likened to Indians in the past and that pride did not come to us by chance, or was formed from admiration of the excessive oil they use in their hair, and it isn't because they create a great feast from samboosa, but because they have sacrificed their lives for an honourable living. They were able to achieve the noble goal of life despite being away from the spotlight, and despite their dehumanisation at the hands of others. It is an honour for them to be the descendants of Gandhi and an honour for us that they live in our countries in peace.