About the Blog

My blog post are of varied topics ranging from personal experiences, travel, wild life photographs, interesting news, of happenings around the world that catches my fancy. In other words i write about anything when i am in a mood to write

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Mouth watering Kebabs - barbeque party

Grilling kebabs is a ritual in most traditional Middle Eastern houses generally when hordes of guests or relatives come home and has been prevailing from ancient ages (prehistoric earth oven and burnt animal bones have been spread across Middle East & Europe has been excavated and is believed to be atleast 250,000 years old). So from a young age our friend Jaibat who is from Jordan has been helping his mother making kebabs and he has been telling us that his kebabs ingredients are different and would taste really good and would like to take few of us out for a kebab party.Thus started the plan for going to beach on a Friday for barbeque few weeks back but then due to inclement cold weather and rains it was getting postponed for over 3 weekend. Finally last few days had been quite warm and hence we planned to go on 11th Feb, a national holiday here at Qatar on account of National Sports Day. All plans finalized, vehicles and people confirmed but for three or four persons from the original list who dropped out of the trip.

Image Courtesy : Google
On 11th morning the wind speeds increased and bought in chill and yet our resolve of going ahead as planned never got diluted in spite of Jaibat having doubts of success of this trip and we all set out to a beach at Dukhan as one person stated that there were picnic roofs with table and benches where we can have our BBQ grill. A little history about the place - Dukhan is the center of Qatar’s onshore oil industry and at the beginning of the 20th century had the only aircraft landing strip in the country. The security-gated complex owned by Qatar Petroleum (not open to the general public) consists of both residential and production areas and includes the first oil well drilled in Qatar, in 1938.

 We reached the beach around 12 noon as the same was around 80KM from Doha and we were very luck to find one shelter which we occupied before anyone else could claim the spot and we unloaded all the materials from Jaibat’s vehicle and the first thing we did was to set up a wind barrier by using a mat which we tied across two posts of the picnic roof area as the winds were blowing with a gusto.. later we came to know that the wind speed was around 45 KM/Hr

Once this was done the next came the setting up the charcoal grill pan that was specially fabricated for Jaibat in his earlier project. First the coal was burnt to make it red hot in a separate container using the some accelerants and once the coal started glowing it was poured in to the grill pan and evenly spread out and was now ready for grilling the meat.

There were chicken and mutton kebabs and also samosas in addition to onions and green peppers that were grilled.The mutton kebabs were out of the world and so was the samosas and chicken and these were made out of special ingredients that Jaibat learnt when he was young. Sumptuous lunch was followed by fantastic tea prepared in a kettle over the charcoal and shisha while sitting beside the grill pan which radiated good heat making it quite pleasant as the weather was chilly and windy.

Normally grilling is a collective effort but then majority of arrangements was done by Jaibat and he ensured all of us ate well all through the lunch time without himself bothering of having lunch.  On the whole all of us had an enjoyable day though it was cold and windy and we now look forward to our next trip planned sometime later when the weather becomes warm.  I now leave you people with few memories of this trip captured in images and videos .

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Dead End

Image Courtesy Google Images
Death by choice in other words suicide is an easy way out of mounting depressions caused by a variety of reasons such as financial hopelessness, professional failures, and relationship discords.  World Health Organization (WHO) data shows that globally close to eight lakh people commit suicide in a year and in India alone over two lakhs of people. Studies further show that a large percentage of suicides are preventable if people get timely and adequate treatment for mental health. 

Yes most suicides could be prevented but then depressed people do not share their problems with anyone, instead keep wallowing in their sorrow till such time it is totally unbearable and the world seems to be crumbing down around them leaving no choice but to leave behind the problems. When a person loses hope, he or she sees only a dead-end. Not all such deaths … nearly two lakhs in India do not get mentioned in news  nor does it appear on the social media except for the celebrities or if it is bizarre like the horrific spree of killings and mass suicides in Delhi-NCR family.
A 25 years old TV actress Sejal Sharma committed suicide on 25th January 2020 leaving her family and friends baffled as to why she took an extreme step for she looked happy and used to keep smiling. So much pain behind the happy and smiling face reminds me of the song from the movie Arth “Tum itna jo muskara rahe ho kya gham has jisko chupa rehe ho “(You are smiling a lot, what is the pain you are hiding). 

Entertainment industry does have a high percentage of depression because Glamour puts a dreadful burden on the performers’ male or female  and if they are mediocre actors the depression is even more for they will not be able to get enough roles to take care of their extravagant lifestyles that needs to be maintained. Well she is not only one from the entertainment industry to take the extreme step suddenly without any indication to near and dear.  Towards the end of 2019 another actor Kaushal Punjabi committed suicide that sent shock waves in the Film Industry. He was reported to be depressed because of family discord and also was struggling to get new assignments. They are many more suicides of famous names from TV industry at Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and so forth and only thing I can say is that this Industry is prone to extreme case of depressions. 

Corporate India has also a sad incident wherein Siddhartha, the founder of India's biggest coffee chain, Cafe Coffee Day (CCD) committed suicide  as he was saddled by debt and tax woes and he saw no other way out of his troubles. For many persons it is difficult to accept that they are in a desperate situation because of their ego and they do not share their feelings or situations with their families or loved ones. Not sharing the feelings instead suppressing these feeling leads to an eruption at some point time leading to a point of no return..Dead End

Depression is like disease and there is medical cure by qualified doctors. But then there is a social stigma attached against the person going to a physiatrist for treatment in our Indian society.  Awareness about depressions and the ways and means to come out of it is a must at all levels of our society. 

My earlier post on same suicide and depressions along with an incident involving a colleague of mine can be read Here

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Death from above

I was reading a news report of an asteroid that that hit the earth’s atmosphere at Caribbean on 22nd July this year. Fortunately the size of this asteroid was only three meters wide so no major damages. NASA admitted that it did not have any idea that this was coming thereby reiterating the need for a constant watch on the sky in case a massive asteroid comes hurling through space and crashing down the earth, which could cause wide spread damages to earth and all living beings.

Apophis -God of chaos Image Courtesy Google Images

An asteroid named after Ancient Egyptian god of evil, darkness and destruction Apophis of diameter 370 meters noticed in 2004 is on a potentially collision course with the earth. NASA have stated that it will not strike the earth but will fly close to earth in 2029 and the scientists will study the asteroid for a better under understanding but cannot rule out the possible impact decades later in 2068 as the close encounters with earth may affect some changes to the orbit and shape of the asteriod. In the event this 27 billion kg asteroid strikes the earth the impact blast would be equivalent to 65000 times powerful than the atomic bomb on Hiroshima which is worrying matter indeed. 

One leading cosmochemist Natalie Starkey, who revealed one could even hit tomorrow. We need to understand what these things are made of and what their orbits are so we can actually protect the planet. “I think everyone should be concerned about it, but not worried. “I don’t think we need to be worried that tomorrow we’re going to all die in an asteroid impact, although it could happen. “I think it’s something we need to be concerned with for the future.” 

As per NEO (Near Earth Object) watch group of NASA there over 20,000 asteroid  large enough to be tracked in space before striking the earth. I just mentioned only one asteroid Apophis in previous paragraph and now imagine the probability of a asteroid strike on our universe... it is quite frightening isn’t it. 

Earth has been through five mast extinction and the last one was nearly 66 million years ago wherein the entire dinosaur species along with nearly three fourth of all other living beings were killed. There are two different theories put forth by the scientists to explain the fifth mass extinction. One is known as Alvarez Hypothesis which states that a massive asteroid of size 10-15 km wide slammed into the earth and thereby filling the atmosphere with gas, dust and debris that drastically altered the climate of the earth and thereby killing most living beings.. This theory gained some traction with the finding of a huge impact crater along the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. Some scientists say that evidence of massive asteroid impact is not conclusive and the culprit may be the earth itself. Ancient lava flows in India known as the Deccan Traps seems to match the time of the fifth extinction resulting in volcanic rock coverage for over 200,000 square kilometres in layers that are in places more than 6000 feet thick and this could possibly mean that there had been a vast and massive eruption that would have choked the skies gases and thereby altered the earth’s climate drastically leading to the extinction.

Since the killer asteroid that struck the earth 66 million years back, many smaller asteroid and space rocks have struck the earth and thankfully we are yet to see a large object fly towards us. NASA says such events happen once in few million years and as a result the scientists are certain that sooner or later it is bound to happen and we have to make preparations to protect the earth when it happens.

I am sure that most people would have watched the blockbuster science fiction movie of 1998 named  Armageddon  wherein few people fly on to a huge asteroid heading to earth to drill and plant nuclear bomb to blow the asteroid to pieces may become a reality in future with multinational task force to protect the earth from asteroid impacts. With so much progress in science in last few decades i am sure scientists will come up with a solution to protect the earth in such events. 

So finally guys/gals do not be worried of death from above.. live your life as it unfolds....Cheers

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Once a failure does not mean failure always

Last couple of days the media has been harping of the lunar mission by we Indians and our news network (Indian) have been shouting (NDTV) hoarse that the mission is a failure. In contrast the International Media have been lauding the Indian scientist for having pulled off a complex mission with notable success on their first attempt. Yes the Lunar Lander Vikram lost communication with the ground station while just 2 kms above the moon surface. It would take time to analyze all the readings for the scientists at ISRO to pin the reason for this glitch and accordingly use this knowledge to rectify the same for future missions. USA had 11 attempts, Russia 7 and China 5 before they could succeed. 

In life as well as in science a failure once does not always mean always a failure. In fact most successful and famous men in the world have failed repeatedly and have endured these failures in their life. They did not give up, but got up and kept going on towards their goals and have succeeded finally. Some sadly did not find success but their work in turn has inspired others to take up the thread where it was left and complete the same. What happens during this pursuit for success is generally not known to public and there may have been multiple failures in the path to glory and  may be revealed only in the event of success.
If we have to make new discoveries in science or life then it means that we have to leap into the dark and the chances are that it may be a failure for there are no set guidelines in the dark and it is a new frontier with untold probabilities. People who fear failure will not take this leap and be just another human leading a risk free normal life. 

Image Courtesy Google Images
In science there are failures and rejections much more often than success that are recorded over a period of time and it has never stopped committed scientist to brave all these pitfalls and prevail in the end to help mankind in all fields of science. So much progress today is due to unrelenting pursuit of life changing discoveries that these people undertook and just to name few here are Nicholas Copernicus, Galileo, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Louis Pasteur, Alexander Graham Bell, Wright brothers, Faraday, Alexander Fleming, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and lot more. The list of scientist and people who have contributed to the mankind is large and would run into pages.

So never give up... Keep trying and trying and am sure you would achieve your goal.