Opressionist Regime!? But they Like Water Sports!

1 03 2010


I’m alliveee!!! Stuck in life, balancing the karma of having an 8 month vacation by working twice the normal amount for the next eight months. I do plan to post every other day, but a couple of issues are hampering me – most notably being my laptop’s security settings not letting me into wordpress’ login page (all https pages, to be precise), so I’m kinda like the locked-out husband. But I’ll keep posting on and off whenever I can, like now.

With the interests of the Western World against Iran at the moment, it is a fair assumption that the regime there is going to be (and is being) painted as an oppressive, alienating, evil, cruel, sadist regime with crime and corruption rampant, the common people being crushed, bloodshed and crime rates soaring and etc etc etc – kinda like the weapons of mass destruction that were lying around on the streets of Baghdad after 9/11.

So it is upto the Iranian govt. to continue to retaliate with their own press (which has a natural language disadvantage) the good things that are happening. But since each media outlet is biased, all opinions are being taken with a pinch of salt.

Here are some photos of women activities in Iran.

Now I feel like going out and playing!!!

Stay Safe.


What is a Ghost ?

3 02 2010


I shall shamelessly repost an interesting read. While I do not, per se, believe in ghosts – there are some things in the text below that are read-worthy.

“What is a Ghost ?

by Sharon Sinclair

I do not always see ghosts, but I sense and feel them, hear them and sometimes even smell them. When we physically die, our souls leave our bodies, and most of the time we move on to the other side. Once in a while a soul will choose, for one reason or another, not to go to the other side. It will choose to stay here on earth, becoming an earthbound spirit or ghost. Our souls are made up of energy. A ghost may have the appearance of our physical body only transparent like a watercolor. Souls can also appear as a streak of light or a ripple of energy, much like a heat mirage. When a soul appears it may also have on clothing similar to that which it wore in life. 
There are many reasons why ghosts choose not to go to the other side. We are in death as we are in life and ghosts are as varied in their personalities as are the living. The souls that stay behind are a small number compared to those who cross over and move on. The notion that ghosts are harmful and evil is not based in reality. The majority of ghosts are simply unhappy, restless, lost and harmless. Remember when dealing with ghosts that you are the one with a body, you are the one with power. Treat them kindly and help them on their way.

Why do Ghosts hang around ?

They are afraid to face their creator because of things they did in their life.

They fear they will not go to heaven so they fear crossing over. 

There is someone that has died before them that they do not want to see on the other side.

They are afraid of letting go of their earthbound identity.

They don’t know that they are dead.

They may have had a sudden or violent death.

Some believe there is no life after death, so when their soul leaves their body they don’t know where to go.

They feel a strong pull of a loved one from this side, so they stay, thinking they are helping them in the grieving process.

They stay to protect a loved one.

If they die from addiction they may hang around looking for another body to inhabit so they can continue their drug of choice.

They don’t feel worthy of going to the other side.

How can you tell if you have a Ghost ?

You can bet if you have one ghost in a house there is a good chance there are more. Most ghosts will look for a house that already has earthbound spirits in it so they do not feel alone. However, they will not necessarily hang out with each other. There are times a house only has one ghost and most of the time that ghost wants to be left alone.

Some common clues that you might have a ghost are:

A doorbell ringing when no one is there

Radio or television going on or off by itself

The sound of footsteps

Sounds of breathing

Tapping or knocking on walls

Water faucets turning on by themselves

You hear voices, but there is no one there

Books or other objects are knocked of the shelf

Material possessions are moved from one room to another 

A definite cold spot in a room where there is no draft or window nearby

There is an odor that moves from place to place 

A white or grayish hazy object floating through a room

The feeling you are being watched or something touches you but there is no one there

A feeling that someone is sitting on your bed or couch

Your house has been for sale for a long time but no one will buy it

Author’s Bio
I began participating in the rituals of Space Clearing at the age of five. Three near death experiences before the age of 17 connected me with the ability to communicate with ghosts and spirits to help them crossover. It heightened my ability to sense and feel energy in the environment.”

Heightened Ability indeed!!!


Bah! Humbug!

12 01 2010


As you can see, I’m not dead.

I could wish I was, or pretend that I was. I could even pretend that my vacations had not finished, but they have. I have been back home, in Oman, at my lonely abode in Qurum, sitting and wallowing in self-pity since December. Doing nothing. Oh yeah, I do go to work everyday. I shop, buy supplies, get the occasional phone calls, have meetings, the lot, but I have done nothing. And my wife is here too, so are my parents, and my in-laws, and a couple of friends of mine visited; I have lots of people around me but still I’m lonely. I’m busy in many different things, but I’m not doing anything. I’m at home, in Oman, but I’m still lost.

That my current status: busy, tired, lost and lonely.

Things have been happening. The New Year started, blessings to you all. I did not send a single message, email, card or call on the 31st/1st. Rumors of new labor laws are abound, *shrug* so what! Nothing new, expats are already under pressure. There has been a massive crackdown on VoIP users and Internet Cafes… good riddance, never used the damned thing anyway. Free/other sponsor-visa workers have been massively curtailed, good for the govt. to show on paper, bad for the economy. Now there is no labor to do odd-jobs and the pocket-pinch is hurting even more. A 5 R.O job is now costing 15 Rials, excluding transport. And one would imagine that by stopping other-visa employees, the govt. would increase labor clearance rate…. No Sir! Now the labor office even sees your physical shop/business office and also determine the workforce amount you require. The other day I had a dumbass come to a sister concern of ours, look at the 20 ft x 45 ft office space we’d leased – and remarked “For this place you do not need more than 12 workers, you already have 12. So we cannot give you a clearance.” If I were in the mood, I could have let my jaw hit the floor and shit my pants, simultaneously! How the heck can a bureaucrat determine MY workforce, MY workload and MY business volume based on leased office space. If I want to cram 200 south indians in a 10×10 space, that is MY concern. Why can Al-Habib do that with their labor force and I cannot do that with MY workforce!!! Ergh!

Ino ther bad things, I haven’t had a chance to visit a single blog on my blogroll since April this year. Considering I used to go through them atleast once a week, I’d say my ratio has gone titsup. Add to that the complexity that my workplace PC has some problems with WordPress’ sign-in certificates which I am in no mood to resolve, I can’t even leave a comment at any of my fav blogs. yayyy. life rocks. -_-

And I dont even know whether anyone is reading this or not. If you are, leave a comment, please. It doesn’t even need to be meaningful or something readable. Just leave a fullstop or a question mark or something, so that I know someone read this.


Back to Pavilion

8 11 2009

Hiya All. I should be glad to announce the fact that I’m back in ‘comfortable areas’. Not back home as yet, but after a whirlwind tour spanning 7 countries, the UAE seems almost home. I think a little bit of macro-level detail is allowed here.

So here I am, back in the UAE, after about a year. The roads are the same, the traffic is almost the same, the people are definitely the same and the nightlife has increased even more, if nothing else. Jumera Beach Hotel has even shorter skirts and whiter flesh on display, while Ski Dubai has more and more people packed into less and less space. Overall, there is a sone of slowing down, as I see it, but the people who were not slowed down are still going strong. Ofcourse, there is some scaling down of the middle-classes, but then again, those poor people are always scared by the class below them. George Carlin has some famous words on this (article). There is also a video clip of this, but I can’t find it right now (sucky cellphone, y’all).

Anyway, things have slowed down. I’ll most probably be actually back home round about the Eid holidays. But ofcourse, since we’ve got holidays, we’ll have to go somewhere right :p. Maybe I’ll sleep the entire week! 🙂 But any idea how many hols are there going to be? I’ve missed the usual office-gossip, speculating on “If eid is on a Saturday…..” 🙂

The world is going around the same, I see. Shame it didn’t go on a hiatus when I did. A glance this copy of the Khaleej Times tells me that today the health minister is going to “kick-off the campaign” and be innoculated. With all respect, dear sir, I think the Europeans have it right. I, a mere visitor to their country, was given the vaccine, without any payment, because, as per the health officer “You’ll be walking around in crowds and eating out, you need to be safe dearie”. However, I don’t by any stretch, visuzalise the Hon. Minister walking around City Center and being in a position to be infected by a stray sneeze. And I’m sure the vaccination shall follow the heirarchy, right? Minister, Asst. Minister, Dty. Minister and so on, until after 3 months, and the end of winter (atleast here) common people shall get the vaccination.

And what’s the hulabaloo surrounding the vaccine? I’m hearing things here (in the UAE). That the vaccine is a live virus and it is untested and people shall be avoiding getting the shots and people get sick after the vaccination and it takes 7-8 months to be effective and blah and blah! Wowzer! Someone’s undies are in a knot!

Anyway, there are no qualms. I can only offer that I got vaccinated, and apart from half a day of pain in my arm (where i was injected), there have been no after-effects – and I have’t dropped dead, full of swine flue virii – till now.

Rest all is okay. Be in peace.


Remote Shores and Weird Feelings

20 10 2009

TFK is not down and out for the count. True, that the count has reached 10, 9, 8, …4 and I have only 3 digits left, but I still don’t consider myself down and out.

I’ll start by apologizing to the readers who visit the page (or check their feeds) and don’t see an update or a post. Then I’ll apologize to the bloggers whose blogs I used to read, then I’ll apologize to my wife for leaving last night’s cake in her slipper and lastly I’ll apologize to my Workplace for me not appreciating the Oh-Lord-Wonderfully-Free-And-Fast internet connection that I had in my office.

Remote shores, where I am, are wonderful. While they are a tad bit weird (we are approaching summer where we are; winter is ending), the sky is a different blue, the sea is a different green and the air tastes funny. But still they are nice. But then again, being the un-thankful being that I am, I do miss a lot of things:

– I miss being a billionaire so that I can extend this vacation another couple of months.
– I miss not coming here before, so that I could have booked the better room down the hall.
– I miss Mum n Dad!!
– I miss the weirdly obnoxiously awesomely blinged out cars that slowwly drive around Shatti Qurum twice, with loud music, before driving away.
– I miss the strange strain of human beings that are found in City Center Azaibah on a weekend.
– I miss the Asian spin we have put on “Italian” dishes in Asia. Real Italian food is… it takes time getting used to! 🙂

And I also face some problems:

– In the last hotel we stayed in, THE WORDPRESS LOGIN PAGE WAS BLOCKED GODDAMMIT!!!!
– My foot hurts (We’ve have walked a lot.. a LOT)
– I have lost my iPod Shuffle (I think I left it in a taxi)
– The list of ‘gift items’ to take back home and the Amount of gift items is inceasing exponentially, making me think we’ll have to buy another airplane ticket just for the cargo.
– There are very few good cars here. Practicality takes preference over luxury (atleast where we are for the last 3 weeks)
– I still feel uncomfortable driving a moped.
– My wife is a better moped driver than I am!!!

Since I have to present myself as a likeable person, I’ll have to include the list of things I’m lovin:

– The weather. Seriously, it is blissful. Get this weather to Oman & I assure you it’ll be the best-est place to be.
– Privacy in the middle of everything. You feel as if no one is trying to invade your space. You can sit in the same place for hours or you can jiggle and pop all day long, no one will notice or interrupt you.
– Diversity. I’ve found Indians, Sikhs, Asians, Thais, Europeans (duh!) and all sorts of people here. While that is not a very strange thing, but the amicablility and willingness to talk and be friendly is pretty nice. Strike up a conversation and you’ll, in 9 cases out of 10, get a smiling reply. The 10th person is usually drunk! 🙂
– Food variety. I had to spend 10 days searching for an authentic Italian Restaurant in Oman. (Eventually found the one in Grand Hyatt – Tuscany; Recommended!! )

So, all in all, here we are. Far away from the regularities of life. No work to do, no schedules to meet. The Mrs. says that she is going to start searching for a job soon, we;ve been here so long. And indeed, we have. The local money exchange cashier knows me and Oman by name. He even knows about Azaibah and Sohar now! Our hotel staff know our eating and sleeping habits pretty well. We’ve been here so long that I even started to look like a local!!

But I’ll be back. And we’ll be back on our blog posts. Matters of the world, politics, Oman, activities, local scene, all that jazz.

Till then, Ciao!


Dubai 2020

5 07 2009

After the recent villian-esque media reporting on Dubai, a move from Dubai was on the cards. Again, I was expecting something like a regional tournament or something like their tennis cup or golf cup, but Sheikh Maktoum has upped the ante by announcing the start of investigation of Dubai hosting the 2020 Olympics.

Pic unrelated

Pic unrelated

Whilst a wee bit ambititous, Dubai can certainly pull it off. The other interested parties are places like Doha, Kuala Lampur, Delhi & Cape Town. What strikes is that all these cities are kinda “2nd-grade citizens” in ther international fraternity of cities. These are all cities (and countries) who have something to prove. So with Dubai entering the race, it just makes it a bit difficult for the rest to get a winning bod. Dubai certainly has the bits and pieces to make it happen.

I’m more interested in the cultural part. Apart from well-developed facilities, perfectly working systems and events, proper security, a large part of Olympic success is fans screaming for their team to win, people lining up for tickets, audiences all along the marathon route, face-painted screaming tourists arriving for the event, media frenzy and a general spread of the Olympic Spirit everywhere. Is this possible in Dubai? Has this happened in Dubai? To the most part, no. To a smaller, localized extent, yes. Can they develop it? Dunno. They can pay people to line the roads, they can force people to attend the events and all that, but Dubai does not have the manpower resources that China had at its disposal.

And what about our quaint li’l village downtown? Maybe we’ll get to see an extra influx of visitors coming here and spending some dough,  perking up the businesses a bit, buying overpriced items from Shatti! 🙂 Maybe Oman can even sell some extra resources to Dubai, some cultural performances, some extra electricity kinda.


Kill ’em Infidels!! Saudi Arab’s power struggle

4 07 2009

I routinely follow blogs on Saudi Arab. Some are personal, some deal with specific media and some a general voice on the socio-political activites of the country. But a common undercurrent in all of these varied, independant (mostly female) report(er)s is the existance, promulgation and active enforcement of the silliness, whackiness, stupidity and a general lack of common common sense in making laws and applying them. Being interested in the country (and planning a Hajj trip this year, InshaAllah) makes for sure-fire fodder for a 1k-word rant on the existing state of the law there. For a country where flagrant disregard for the laws is the mark of power, where being able to opress someone is the mark of power (the more powerful person you opress, the more powerful-er you are). Varied sets of rules of different sections of society. Wear a dishdash, climb into a Rolls Royce and you can go through all the traffic signals regardless of the light’s color. Prove yourself a Saudi and you can beat any ticket, if, a policeman dares stop you.

And don’t get me started on the mutawwas. The CPVPV (in arabic, apparently English is a vice)(wiki) is as true an implementation of George Orvell’s 1984’s “Thought Police” as I would like manifested. The activities are arbitrary, the arrests are astoundingly dumb and the proposed rule of sharia has more holes than Spongebob Squarepants after being repeatedly shot with an AK-47 at close range.

Circa 2005/6/7, there was a spate of arrests and seizures of caches of weapons in SA (11 arrested Apr 2007, 170 arrested Apr 2007, ‘group’ arrested Dec 2007, 11 arrested Apr 2009). The media gave its usual spin, as is fashionable, & blamed any/all activity on al-Qaeda. But, at the risk of it being called hearsay, the actual story might just be soemthing else. Call me aconspiracy theorist, but there is too much money and oil in SA for them to allow ‘any’ terrorist organization to even think of establishing base, let alone extending operations.

Saudi Arab, in terms of being ruled, is being ruled by a bipartisan governorship. The Family of Saud manages the, what we shall call, secular part of running the country, while the Mufti handles the Islamic part. Both wield immense power and resources to utilize. The House of Saud are virtual owners of the country’s (and the world’s) most lucrative oilfields, and are in charge of the billions and billions of dollars pouring in as a result. The Muftis control the largest annual pilgrimage in the world, the Hajj, where (at the most) 2.6 mill people descend per year. Addly. there exists the most scared sites in Islam & the most sacred cities to Muslims, and that too of all sects. This ensures a steady stream of visitors, pilgrims and money, all at the disposal of the Muftis. All this is complemented by the power of the Muftis in issuing “fatwas” or religious decrees, that are, in theory, mandatory for a follower to follow.

The title “Custodian of the 2 Holy Mosques” is a way of the House of Saud to claim ‘some’ control of the Islamic branch. On the other hand, the Muftis, after 2005’s most populous Hajj ever, thought they were onto something, and tried using their powers/influence/brainwashing to extend their share of the Royals’ power and a bigger part in ruling the country (and getting to the oil money). This even led some over-zealous ones to leak out fatwas-to-be against activites that the House of Saud was firmly engaged in. Thus they started some movement. And they were nipped in the bud by the govt. Thus the arrests. The 170-people arrest had a huge number of official priests (more than 50, by some counts). Thus, also, the reporting of the arrests in the media. Thus the establishment of the rules and regulations limiting the post-arrest activites of the CPVPV (no on-spot interrgoations, handover to police etc). This gave the Islamists a firm check on the direction they were heading in and was a not-thinly veiled messge to the Muftis to stick to their job and keep their hand out of the cookie-jar. They cookie they were being handed was more than enough, or else. The semi-officical agreement reached was “you do your job, we’ll do ours. You don’t tell us what to do, we don’t tell you what to do”. And this is a state that persists till today.