Sunday, 30 September 2012

Presentation styles in Conferences

I love conferences, I attend them whenever I have the time, and sometimes I even pay to attend them.  I find them useful as the topics that are discussed are either research subjects by the researchers or professors themselves or by people in the industry who are experts in their fields, or by writers and publishers of books, so in a day you could be reading few books and journals in a capsule. The dissemination of knowledge is so intense that your mind works so fast to understand and also to review, compare and discuss what is being said. Don't forget that by attending the conferences one also meets lots of interesting people who will one day become clients or you will be their client. The networking opportunities are immense, and if you are a smoker then their will be more interactions and discussions on the corridors, rather than inside the lecture rooms

Not sure if you have noticed though how the presenters disperse their knowledge? they either read the slides word by word, or stick by the podium (and if they are short and you are sitting at the back, you don't know who is talking!) as if its going to protect them from the tomato and egg throwing party' Or some just speak in a monotonous way that slowly puts you in a sleeping mode and let you dream of monsters and vampires. Some speakers have so much information and they squeeze them on the poor slide to the extent that it will explode from the number of words on it.  Some times, you will see great presentations but the person is shivering as he or she feels that he hasn't provided enough information; so you will think if he or she are not confident enough, then how on earth do we know if the research is theirs to begin with?

Of course, knowing me, I use the evaluation forms to disclose my anger, as we really get distracted from the wealth of information by listening to people regurgitate the same information listed on the slides.  If I wanted to read the information I would buy the book or check the journal , why should I pay big bucks to attend the conference? thus I feel that the person who is going to submit a paper in a conference, he or she should also provide a video of him or her presenting. at least that way the conference organizer can make sure that the speaker will be well listened to instead of he or she listens to the snoring of those that just had lunch and fell asleep on their seats due to the boring way they presented their case.

Another thing I have always dreamt of doing, is to have a person who will provide a finale to the conference, and rather than just mentioning the various topics that were discussed, the person would make a stand up comedy of the people who presented and make the attendees laugh it out.  For example if a person walks and talks with the hands crossed at the back, then he does the same but tries to fall off the stage or say the same information in a backward way. Alternatively one would have a funny presentations with mixed data of the whole conference and then show the presenters pitfalls on a video and the faces of the presenters drawn comically. I think this will be like a mini candid camera, where everybody leaves the conference with a warm and fuzzy feeling, and will still remember what was said there.  I am sure you are like me, take plenty of notes, and come back home, type them up, save them on your laptop (or blog them which is what I normally do) then forget all about it. This finale that I am suggesting will make people register more for the conference, and there will be more sales. 

Oh, on a final note, I must tell you what happened today, something strange really, but knowing me, I replied to the email. An organization wants to do a conference in Qatar, so they sent me an email asking me to check their agenda to see if they had covered everything that needs to be covered on the subject. My first reaction was to ask them if they were going to pay me if I suggested more things, and then I thought that I will reply and consider it as part of my CSR to the people of Qatar. read what I told them after you finish reading their agenda:



Key topic to be discussed at Finance & Investment Qatar include:

  • Investment opportunities within Qatar from a global perspective – how do international investors perceive Qatar and where do they see opportunities?
  • Bonds vs. loans vs. sukuk – different instruments to target different pools of liquidity 
  • Creating a world class and sustainable transport network ahead of World Cup 2022 and beyond
  • Finance and investment solutions for Qatar’s real estate market: What are the options and where is the value?
  • What challenges are Qatar’s private sector and non-government companies facing to raise capital?
  • Qatar’s plans for developing the Tourism industry as a means of economic diversification
  • Financing Qatar’s energy requirements – meeting the power generation and capacity requirements of a growing population and economy
  • Creating a sustainable oil and gas industry – what needs to be invested into the sector to make Qatar an R&D hub?

My reply:
To begin with, if I want to attend a finance and investment conference, I will do it for networking opportunity to talk to investors and find if one or a few of them are interested in investing, also to know their terms
The second thing is on why bank lending is so expensive
Who is allowing the banks to charge exorbitant interest rates, what is the role of central banks
Why the banks are not user friendly
Why do banks charge a lot charges and without telling the clients
What is the CSR for the banks, and how are they dispersing the funds?
Are the banks investing in future of human capital? Are they training the students from the schools? are they doing what they can to help elevate the financial crisis
How to prevent sub-primes from happening again
Why are banks screwing people?

You asked the wrong person for an opinion, as I have issues against the financial sector and its sole responsibility in ruining the world. However if you need more let me know.

On a more positive note, I think Qatar is a big deal, and we can do a lot to help that country in having the best 2022, we can all support them in doing that.


Of course I do not think that this organization is going to talk to me again. I assure you though, that the presenters are going to be real sticks and if they adopt my stand up comedy suggestion, then it is going to be a hell of a conference, and if there is a competition on the best conferences in the world, this one will take the prize.

I am too sleepy, so please excuse me if I said a bit too much. good night everyone.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Positivity of Islam



It maybe strange to hear that I am not really a very religious person, it suffice to say that I am a believer! These beliefs make me interpret everything that I hear in various ways, rather than stick to one side of the story.  Having a belief is not as easy as it sounds, but with a lot of practice, one can master the mathematical operation that is created in the brain due to having that belief. So let us hear this story 

Freedom of expression is something used by the western world to defend what their people do against other people in other part of the world. People are free to do what they like to do, free to say what they like to say and free to criticize whoever and what ever they want to criticize. However this is only valid in the west, for the west and by the west. Islamophobia is a term used to make the west hate Muslims and Islam, and at the same time the western people are misled by the media to believe that Islam and Muslims are here to burn or kill all of them. That process had created hatred and is the reason for having all of the problems that we are having in this millennium.

I will mention three incidents only to prove that freedom of expression is a one way road. The Novel by Salman Rushdi, the caricature and the movie. I will not bring out the burning of the Quran in Guantanamo or the other acts of mass killings that the Muslims had had since time memorial.  The Novel "satanic verses" was one of the most humiliating books, but the west celebrate this person, and invite him to give the opening speeches at major conferences that are well attended and well paid for by Muslims; no one was listened to, and Muslims were criticized because they asked to have that story removed from the shelves the reply was he had freedom of speech. The Danish person that created the caricature about Prophet Mohammed was disillusioned by the word “freedom of expression”, he will not apologize nor would he remove that work. What happened? A mass boycott to the products and other things in Denmark. Then off late the film that is a shameful piece of art created by an ignorant and defended by the west as being part of the freedom of expression? It doesn't matter how 2 billion people feel, this person is free to do what he likes even if it means we humiliate the prophet that is classified as the most influential person in our world. Of course everybody boycotted google and youtube. However is this really a matter of freedom of expression?

Ok, now lets look at another incident, a french magazine published photos of princess Kate in the nude, isn't that the so called freedom of expression? The royals sue the magazine (http://www.canoe.ca/Canoe/Royal/news/2012/09/14/20199741.html)

And an Iraqi artist called Layla Al-Attar drew a caricature of George Bush the father on the entrance to Alrasheed Hotel, what happened to the artist? A missile hits her house and kills her. Where is the freedom of expression here? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Layla_Al-Attar)

This preamble is dedicated to all of those that fight for freedom of expression to be for everyone in this world. However what we need also is the respect for everybody in this world. As both freedom and respect goes hand in hand.  Those that do humiliating acts against other people are not doing a favor to themselves nor to the subject of freedom of expression itself.

To those that oppose our prophet and our religion, I would love to gift to you some interesting findings about our religion which has nothing to do with what the media portrays about it.  

I have read many books that talk about positivity and how if we are positive we will be able to reach our goals and we will lead a life full of happy surprises.  When I dug deep into these books I found clear resemblance to what the Quran keep on telling us.  The things people in the west know about Islam are only 1% of what the Quran mentions, and are delivered to the west in a way that makes them scared of the religion. 

In fact Islam is the religion of peace and it is totally against killing, and against committing terrorist acts that have no real value but to create hatred-ism and phobia in the minds of people around the globe.  

Islam is against killing ones self, and thus those suicide bombers are not really following the teaching of Islam.  There are many articles that mentions Jihad, but in most of these articles Jihad is the fight against the self. One must prevent oneself from committing acts that are going to do harm to humanity, and that is the real meaning of Jihad.  However the west portrays Jihad as a synonym to what the Crusaders have done to the Muslims in Jerusalem, I agree that there were some atrocities created by both the Muslims and other religions which I consider against humanity, but these atrocities are a result of misconceptions and misunderstanding of what Islam as a religion is. 

Islam was supposed to be the religion that will help people reach their goals, be happy, lead a stress-free life, be rich, be healthy, against depression, for love, for education, for lifelong learning, for happy marriage, for happy divorces, for protecting of human rights, for treating people well, for owning great morals etc. 

Each of these attributes are a subject by itself and there are articles in Quran to prove each and every point. I will list only a few that talks about love, money and depression.

Money:
Alaaraf (Elevations):
32. Say, “Who forbade God’s finery which He has produced for His servants, and the delights of livelihood?” Say, “They are for those who believe, in this present world, but exclusively theirs on the Day of Resurrection.” We thus detail the revelations for people who know.
Alraad (Thunder)
26. God dispenses the provisions to whomever He wills, and restricts. And they delight in the worldly life; yet the worldly life, compared to the Hereafter, is only enjoyment.
Alnaěžl (The Bees)
71. God has favored some of you over others in livelihood. Those who are favored would not give their properties to their servants, to the extent of making them partners in it. Will they then renounce God’s blessings?
Alisra (The Night Journey)
30. Your Lord expands the provision for whomever He wills, and restricts it. He is fully Informed, Observant of His servants.
Alqusas (History)
82. Those who had wished they were in his position the day before were saying, “Indeed, it is God who spreads the bounty to whomever He wills of His servants, and restricts it. Had God not been gracious to us, He would have caved in on us. No wonder the ungrateful never prosper.”

Alankaboot (The Spider)
17. You worship idols besides God, and you fabricate falsehoods. Those you worship, instead of God, cannot provide you with livelihood. So seek your livelihood from God, and worship Him, and thank Him. To Him you will be returned.”
62. God expands the provision for whomever He wills of His servants, and restricts it. God is Cognizant of all things.
Alroom (The romans)
37. Do they not see that God expands the provision for whomever He wills, or restricts it? Surely in this are signs for people who believe.
Sabaa (Shiba)
36. Say, “My Lord spreads out His bounty to whomever He wills, or restricts it; but most people do not know.”
39. Say, “My Lord extends the provision to whomever He wills of His servants, or withholds it. Anything you spend, He will replace it. He is the Best of providers.”
Alzamr (Throngs)
52. Do they not know that God extends the provision to whomever He wills, and constricts it? In that are signs for people who believe.
Alshura (Consultation)
12. To Him belongs absolute control of the heavens and the earth. He spreads the bounties to whomever He wills, or reduces it. He is aware of all things.
27. If God were to increase the provision to His servants, they would transgress on earth; but He sends down in precise measure whatever He wills. Surely, regarding His servants, He is Expert and Observant.
AlTalaq (Divorce)
And whoever fears God—He will make a way out for him.
3. And will provide for him from where he never expected. Whoever relies on God—He will suffice him. God will accomplish His purpose. God has set a measure to all things.

Love
Albaqara (The Heifer)
177. Righteousness does not consist of turning your faces towards the East and the West. But righteous is he who believes in God, and the Last Day, and the angels, and the Scripture, and the prophets. Who gives money, though dear, to near relatives, and orphans, and the needy, and the homeless, and the beggars, and for the freeing of slaves; those who perform the prayers, and pay the obligatory charity, and fulfill their promise when they promise, and patiently persevere in the face of persecution, hardship, and in the time of conflict. These are the sincere; these are the pious.
190. And fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not commit aggression; God does not love the aggressors.
195. And spend in the cause of God, and do not throw yourselves with your own hands into ruin, and be charitable. God loves the charitable.
205. When he gains power, he strives to spread corruption on earth, destroying properties and lives. God does not like corruption.
216. Fighting is ordained for you, even though you dislike it. But it may be that you dislike something while it is good for you, and it may be that you like something while it is bad for you. God knows, and you do not know.
Al Omran (The family of Omran)
14. Adorned for the people is the love of desires, such as women, and children, and piles upon piles of gold and silver, and branded horses, and livestock, and fields. These are the conveniences of the worldly life, but with God lies the finest resort.
31. Say, “If you love God, then follow me, and God will love you, and will forgive you your sins.” God is Forgiving and Merciful.
32. Say, “Obey God and the Messenger.” But if they turn away—God does not love the faithless.
57. And as for those who believe and do good works, He will give them their rewards in full. God does not love the unjust.”
76. Indeed, whoever fulfills his commitments and maintains piety—God loves the pious.
92. You will not attain virtuous conduct until you give of what you cherish. Whatever you give away, God is aware of it.
134. Those who give in prosperity and adversity, and those who restrain anger, and those who forgive people. God loves the doers of good.
146. How many a prophet fought alongside him numerous godly people? They did not waver for what afflicted them in the cause of God, nor did they weaken, nor did they give in. God loves those who endure.
148. So God gave them the reward of this world, and the excellent reward of the Hereafter. God loves the doers of good.
159. It is by of grace from God that you were gentle with them. Had you been harsh, hardhearted, they would have dispersed from around you. So pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them, and consult them in the conduct of affairs. And when you make a decision, put your trust in God; God loves the trusting.

Deppression
Alhajar (The Stone)
55. They said, “We bring you good news in truth, so do not despair.”
56. He said, “And who despairs of his Lord’s mercy but the lost?”

Alroom (The Romans)

36. When We give people a taste of mercy, they rejoice in it. But when adversity befalls them, because of what their hands have perpetrated, they begin to despair.

These verses are borrowed from this site http://www.clearquran.com/ which unfortunately doesn't let you do any searches, I had gathered these verses by reading the Quran and understanding its meaning of Money, love and depression.

If you notice, there is a host of verses that talk about wealth, and love but if you want to find those verses that talk about going on a crusade, you will have to dig deep, and most of the times, these are not found.  Basically the Quran which is our main source of inspiration, encourages us to believe and once we believe we can acquire the worldly needs and also to hope for an eternal life in Heaven. 

The difference between the books that are written about positivity and its power like for instance "The Secret", that it assumes that everybody on earth can obtain what they want, just by believing that it is going to be there, however in Islam, we believe that anyone can acquire what one wants if we believe in God Almighty and we ask for our needs and wants to be granted.  Sometimes these needs are not granted due to a reason beyond our comprehension, but we must not give up and we must not think that we have been deprived from these requests. 

Not a single request from God is too large, God is great and we can ask for infinite amount of wealth, happiness, health and wisdom.  We are asked to work for our needs of course, as these will not be fulfilled without working towards them, unless of course one is asking to win the mega lotto, in that case we still need to buy the ticket.

At the end of this preamble, all I want to insist upon is that, we all need to learn from the teaching of prophet Mohammed, and learn that freedom of expression when granted it has to be available for all, and it has to come with some amount of respect.

A call to all the people of this world, it is a horrible time, when oppression, poverty and ignorance are the main ingredients of our living conditions, we do not need to be against each other, instead lets unite and find out about the treasures of science, engineering, philosophy and other fields of knowledge that are not discovered just yet. I say that we have all suffered enough, and it is time to heal our wounds, love and respect each other and serve humanity.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Massage or "Dalaleh"

To begin with I must explain what dalaleh means, its when you hold the arm of your baby and rub it softly back and forth to make him or her sleep, this trick was introduced to my daughters by a friend, and since then they always want a dalaleh, of course I am rough, so they try to lead my hands to achieve the same sensation of becoming sleepy and dozing off and most of the time I fail, I think I will only get the hang of it when my little grand daughter shows me her little face which I am going to squeeze I am sure!

Anyway, I love massages, and will always choose the type that is so deep just to get rid of the knots in my achy muscles; I tried many places and in every country I go to I must venture into a massage shop to just see if they can do the right thing and relieve me from those knots.  Once in Hong Kong I stumbled on a whole building that has massage houses. I did their reflexology, deep tissue massage, Shiatsu, Thai massage, Swedish massage etc, some of it was fine, but mostly I got hands stroking my skin to put me to sleep. My sister in law Shazoo is a brilliant Massage shops finders, I try her shops too but cannot believe that they are not the type that appeals to my muscles, so I am still on a massage shop hunt, and will let you know when one is found. 

So today my daughter wanted to treat me to a spa experience.  She booked the place, drove me there herself (I don't have a car that's why!!) and sat in the lobby waiting for me.  Of course the spa is in a hotel, and to reach the place one needs to walk for a long time, climb stairs and pass by swimming pools and gym equipment. The massage place was lovely, smells of lavender; they give you a whole folder to choose the type of massage you want, the places they need to concentrate on, and those they have to avoid, and then another piece of paper that ask you what type of tea you want to drink, and what type of music that you want to listen to? of course I couldn't recognize the various teas even though I am a tea person (in the evenings only) so just to be on the safe side I ticked Jasmine tea and ticked water for the music!! Lovely.

I was so thrilled about this experience, and was longing to those hands that is going to chew those muscles and straighten them up, did that happen? no and hell no, all I got is a dalaleh. Now I know why my daughters wanted those strokes, they felt sleepy after they continuosely been brushed with those soft hands.  Ok, I did go to sleep, but did my muscles feel those hard hands (or shall I say soft hands) and did the knots go? I don't think so! of course I will see more masseuses and will visit more massage parlors on the hope of finding the place that knows how to relieve those knots.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Having a day to reflect each week

I have to do this even if I am in Dubai, I must take a day without the hassle and bustle of life, without the phones and just go somewhere to relax and find what is nagging in my small brain.  Last night I went for a couple of hours walk, refreshing even though it was very hot.  I watched the people sipping coffee in cafes, smoking sheesha, some playing cards or other games, some only talking, others having picnics on the promenade, some only holding hands and walking.  Some have their dogs with them, some with kids, others on their own, probably like me, I mean on a trip on their own.  The sellers on the streets selling hand made Jewelry, knickknacks, waiters luring people to visit their restaurants. Basically, life is going on! Who knows what tomorrow brings!  Then I set somewhere and see the messages and news on my phone, videos about the film that was produced about our Prophet and how everyone is saying that it is evil. My brothers and sisters on the group just praising each other and gifting each other words and picture gifts, or telling each other off or swearing at each other, I open the group of my own family and see that even though each one is far away but still so close, then I have other friends in Dubai who just formed a group and keep on sending nice videos (this will cost me a lot in roaming charges but I cannot resist opening them), some friends only send jokes so one cannot but smile.

This morning I decided to go for another walk on the promenade, it's Saturday so people are lazing about, the birds are watching the amateur fishermen catch their fish with the hope that one fish will go to their peaks! All the Cafes are open again on the 6 kilometre Promenade and almost all the seats are taken.  Of course here there is wifi in all the places so you are not stuck if you feel like writing something.

I finished my book yesterday on the flight, it has taken me forever to finish this one, so at last I can say that I read another book of Paulo Coelho, The winner stands alone, where he kills a lot of people just to get his wife back and at end he killed her too! Silly, but the amazing information about the fashion industry is a must read, if one of you want to borrow it please tell me, it's not mine anyway, I myself had borrowed it from a friend. 

I know now what I like to do on holidays. Walking, shopping but not expensive stuff, eating, drinking coffee, and preferably talking to some of the natives if I can get them to speak my language of course, some places it's just impossible to converse with people.  I noticed this in many countries, and always thought how on earth did we become bi or tri Lingual? Like for example in Thailand, Turkey and Slovakia, if I find someone that speaks English it would probably be a one in a hundred.  Of course they all can say the greetings and all, but to have a normal conversation? No it will not happen.  So learning another language for us is a must if we want to go to places.  What amazes me though is that business go on as usual, no one is hurt, things are sold, coffee is brought, water is served. So even though we cannot talk about our life, kids, weddings, jobs, etc, we can still have our needs answered be it by sign language, or saying few words in the other language.  

Ok, let me go and enjoy the scenery now, the place that I am sitting in is based in an old fish market which was refurbished and made into this magnificent shopping market.  When they were trying to dismantle it, the people prevented them as they said that the architect is the same person who built the Eiffel tower in Paris.  I tell you guys, it a well deserved place and certainly a must see in Izmir.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Retunrning home and thinking about Engineering

I did a count today about the number of transport items I have used on this trip, which is the longest since I started my work.  Well, I must say first the the trip is enjoyable, leanrt a lot, seen a lot, and met hundreds of new people who were very hospitable and knowledgeable. However, I am thinking of the Engineering and logistics that goes behind the transportation system that made everything in this trip possible and on time (apart from missing my appointment at one of the universities due to not knowing where the shuttle is!!).

Just reflect on this for a minute, in a matter of 3 weeks, I used 6 airplanes, used the bus over 20 times, went on the tram 4 times, used the underground 6 times, took the ferry once, hailed taxis many times, and of course the famous train between Dublin and Galway that had WIFI? all these transportation items had the nicest look, where clean, speedy, the seats were comfortable and had drivers that are very experienced to drive them.  The system that runs these transportation items is also mind boggling, from the ticketing to the roads, to the safety measures, the people that drive them, the people that help the passengers, the airports, bus stations, train stations, ferry stations and all the shebang that goes with that.

It is mind boggling to think of how this all had started, and the thought that went behind their creation, the people that invented them and the humiliation that they had when others made fun of them, those that died while trying them as they had fault in the early stages of their experiments! think of Abbas ibn Fernas, think of the wright brothers, think of those that spent hours to perfect a steering wheel, or the wheel itself, from square to round and so on?  utter perseverance, ingenuity, hard work and  most importantly, intelligence and thinking about us the people.

Remember how our ancestors used to cross the desert on camels, and how they died on the way, remember how a pilgrim would spend almost a year on the road? I think we are blessed and our future generation will be more blessed too, as now we are thinking of the flying car, the steaming bicycle, the maneuvering motorcycle, the Airplane without a pilot, and the airspace rocket. this last item has tickets on sale now for those of us who want to spend romantic time on the moon. When the price of the ticket is affordable, I will go too.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Taking drugs

What breaks my heart when I hear of someone taking drugs is that they had forgotten that there is a mother that carried them, a god that protect them, a family that will be so heartbroken if something happens to them. They forget that the money they are using to buy those drugs could be used for other more interesting stuff than just to feel high??

Well, this is a simple sentence to say, isn't it.  I am not talking here about hard core drugs like Heroin, LSD, Marijuana or the other types that kills, I am talking about the normal medications that are sold in our drug stores, pharmacies, supermarkets and health shops.  These medications are dangerous even though they are classified under the safe medicines.  However our kids, being so intelligent, they figure out a way to use them in conjunction with another off the shelf medication and if they are taken together, in certain quantities the person taking them will have the same effect that he or she will feel if they take hard core drugs.  Also that lethal drug called SPACE that comes to our countries via the internet and regular post, is not traceable in urine or blood checks.  So a person having the over the counter medications, or space will never be tested as drug addicts, but he or she are.  who is responsible?? us the parents.

Ok, we have a responsibility to educate our kids so they don't take medications.  We also talk to the schools, other parents, and to any person that we come in contact with.can we be with the kids 24/7 rather than go to work, and look after the rest of the family? who should we trust in the society? should we trust the owners of pharmacies? supermarkets? or other health shops? do they know that the medications that they are selling is becoming a lethal weapon that is killing our kids? or making them walk like zombies and affecting their brains and make them vegetables?

The schools apparently have no idea that sale of over the counter medication as well as space is actually happening on the grounds and inside the classrooms.  A whole gangster operation is occurring as I speak in public and private schools in the UAE as well as other gulf countries.  All our children are falling victims to this phenomena and no one is doing any thing about it.

I will not say that its the police job, I will not say that its not their job, this is the responsibility of the whole society and we all should be taking care of our children and checking them thoroughly when they enter or exit the home.  I think that there shouldn't be an over sale of over the counter medication, for example I was in Boots in London and tried to buy 4 packs of panadol, they refused to sell me more than two? why? because that can be used for some sort of drug addiction if combined with other medications, so if they British drug stores are doing it, why are we oblivious to this fact and continue to make a quick sale?

This is the second time that I am writing about this subject, as another of my nephews had fallen a victim to these killer drugs, and that too he was the most intelligent of all the nephews.  He almost finished writing his book, and discovered a mathematical formula. what happened to him? I have no idea.  God help his mother.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Staying at friends' houses while on holiday

There are couple of my friends that I continuously stay with when I go for work or holiday, I love doing this, as I get to know them very well. The first one is in Oman, and we had known them for 31 years.  They used to visit us often but we never actually went to Oman until we started our work and that stretched to Oman (lucky for us), since then we always stay with them and have loads of discussions and they got to know us and we got to know them very well.  Just last month I stayed with them for 5 days when I drove to Oman for the regular meetings that we have with various families and organizations; I cooked for them, and funny enough they liked my cooking!!  I love driving to Oman, as you see the gradual change that is taking place there and recognize the areas you are driving in, of course that four and a half hour also give me time to reflect;  if my husband was driving I will be reading or doing some work, so no time for reflection, but being on ones own, and no tablet or smartphone on hand makes the mind wonder,  lovely really. 

The second family live in London, they have 6 kids, and every time we visit the kids had grown in inches and in intellegence, and the mother still looks the same, as young as possible, which surprises me as she is running around doing errands and chores for the 8 of them put together.  I wonder at times if she doesnt want to run away as it would get a bit too much on the person to do the same thing day in and day out.  Anyway, today I had sometime on me, so I spent it with the two elder girls in their room just chattering about various stuff.  One of them loves reading, so I asked her about the type of books she reads and why she is reading them.  What she likes to do and what not, while the other one was painting her little sister's nails. Both girls love travelling, and of course both are engaged so i asked them if they are saving for their flats and honeymoon! no was the answer.  Then I had to break it out to them, I told them off for having such messy rooms.  I loved their replies!  the elder one said that she has a systematic mess? she knows where everything is located, so all she needs to do when she wants something is to bend and pull it out of the pile.  The younger one, admitted that she is messy, and she prefers if someone else does her room and arranges her cloth, while she keeps her books and notes organized.  She is studying to be a doctor, and thinks that she has no time to do the menial jobs, and the stuff would be better off if they are touched by hands other than her hands.  So I told them that I am going to blog about their rooms and the amount of stuff that they have in them. and that they must do a garage sale like the girl in the movie the Shopaholic.

Both girls have a minimum of 200 tops and other clothing items, as well as hundreds of accessories, shoes, bags, scarves, and anything that you would like to have is there sitting in corners of their rooms.  I for one will not be able to enjoy myself if I am staying in their rooms, but of course I am staying in one of their rooms, and here sitting in front of me heaps of books, storage boxes, boots, glasses, frames, perfumes, and heaps of other stuff that I am not sure why would one  need them. 

I am not saying that I don't have a lot of stuff myself, I have hundreds of books, among other stuff.  I can find things too, systematic organisation, not systematic mess. It reminds me of my own girls, of course I am one of those lucky ones who have a house keeper that organises every room every day, as well as cleans, cooks, wash the cloths, dishes, gardens (basically does what my friend does in her house every day). I feel for my friend, but I dont know what I shoud do to help her?

Back to my story, when you stay in people's houses, you don't only learn about the people, but you also get to know their habits, their likes and dislikes.  Its great, and I should continue to do the same.  It reminds of who I am and what things I must keep in myself and what things I have to change.  As for my friends, there is nothing that I want to change about them, they must stay as lovely as they are.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Life can begin at 60


I didn't write this, a friend had sent it to me, and I liked it very much so i thought of sharing it with you.  we are all approaching this dreadful age, so we better learn from others.  not sure about the writer, b ut who ever he or she is, we need to cheer them:

Life can begin at 60, it is all in your hands! Many people feel unhappy, health-wise and security-wise, after 60 years of age, owing to the diminishing importance given to them and their opinions. But, it need not be so, if only we understand the basic principles of life and follow them scrupulously. Here are ten mantras to age gracefully and make life after retirement pleasant.

1. Never say I am aged' :
There are three ages, chronological, biological, and psychological. The first is calculated based on our date of birth; the second is determined by the health conditions; the third is how old we feel we are. While we don't have control over the first, we can take care of our health with good diet, exercise and a cheerful attitude. A positive attitude and optimistic thinking can reverse the third age.

2. Health is wealth:
If you really love your kith and kin, taking care of your health should be your priority. Thus, you will not be a burden to them. Have an annual health check-up and take the prescribed medicines regularly. Do take health insurance coverage.

3. Money is important:
Money is essential for meeting the basic necessities of life, keeping good health and earning family respect and security. Don't spend beyond your means even for your children. You have lived for them all through and it is time you enjoyed a harmonious life with your spouse. If your children are grateful and they take care of you, you are blessed. But, never take it for granted.

4. Relaxation and recreation:
The most relaxing and recreating forces are a healthy religious attitude, good sleep, music and laughter. Have faith in God, learn to sleep well, love good music and see the funny side of life.

5. Time is precious:
It is almost like holding a horses' reins. When they are in your hands, you can control them. Imagine that everyday you are born again. Yesterday is a cancelled cheque. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is ready cash - use it profitably. Live this moment; live it fully, now, in the present time.

6. Change is the only permanent thing: We should accept change - it is inevitable. The only way to make sense out of change is to join in the dance. Change has brought about many pleasant things. We should be happy that our children are blessed.

7. Enlightened selfishness:
All of us are basically selfish. Whatever we do, we expect something in return. We should definitely be grateful to those who stood by us. But, our focus should be on the internal satisfaction and the happiness we derive by doing good for others, without expecting anything inreturn. Perform a random act of kindness daily.

8. Forget and forgive:
Don't be bothered too much about others' mistakes. We are not spiritual enough to show our other cheek when we are slapped in one. But for the sake of our own health and happiness, let us forgive and forget them. Otherwise, we will be only increasing our blood pressure.

9. Everything has a purpose:
Take life as it comes. Accept yourself as you are and also accept others for what they are. Everybody is unique and is right in his own way.

10. Overcome the fear of death:
We all know that one day we have to leave this world. Still we are afraid of death. We think that our spouse and children will be unable to withstand our loss. But the truth is no one is going to die for you; they may be depressed for some time. Time heals everything and they will go on.