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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Care and affection among female siblings !!!

One evening while the family was just sitting and discussing general issues happening in our lives my younger daughter stated that she has more rights on her elder sister than me…. For a moment I was stunned with her statement and I started telling her that I have more rights as I am their father but then thinking back after sometime I concluded that each of us have rights over one and another ….me as a father and she as a sister and these two are quite different and unique.

Most sisters always have a special bonding throughout their lives especially when they are twins or if age difference between them is small and in my daughters case it is just an year. They share all secrets among themselves ,both me and my wife would have no clue until one of them blurts out the secret by mistake. My sisters who are three years apart share similar relationship and the bonding is very strong in spite of difference of opinions at times.

Seeing all these I feel bad that I have no male sibling with whom I could have shared a similar rapport ……but then not all relationship between brothers are as strong as between sisters.

Your thoughts on this !!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Flip side of Valentine’s day celebrations

Always wanted to know more about Valentine's day and the reasons for why it is being celebrated as Lover's day and i found that there is no relevance to the centuries old tradition of feast on the February 14 and today's celebrations


From 276 AD February 14th has been celebrated by Roman Catholic Christians as a day of feast for Saint Valentine . Historians state that there has been more than one Saint Valentine (derived from Valens meaning worthy, powerful) and till the 14th century there has been no romantic link to the day of celebration. In the 14th century Roman Emperor Claudius II wanted to expand his army and he found that young men who were married we reluctant to join the army and hence brought out a directive that no young men should marry. However there was a Saint Valentine who was marrying the young men in secret and when the emperor learned of this Saint was immediately caught and was sentenced to be executed. The evening before the saint was executed he wrote a note to his beloved … jailer’s daughter whom he had healed and befriended and the note read “ from your Valentine”. This I suppose was the start of the tradition of exchange of cards, gifts between lovers .

Present times….

As I grew up 14th Feb has been just an another day except that Roman Catholics used to have a feast on this day in the honor of Saint Valentine. During the last 10 years with the advent of electronic media (TV & Internet) a immense hype has been created around the Saint Valentine’s day and the present generation has lapped up the same and added a new dimension to the day.
Peer pressure of the youth  today has diluted the traditional Valentine’s day celebrations of love and affection between intimate companions. It is a status symbol among the younger generation to have a partner on this day and celebrate the day so if you notice most of the couples may just be a casual acquaintance or someone with whom they have interacted over the Internet in a social networking sites. I do not mean that all couples celebrating this day are not following the traditional ways.

Today the Valentine’s day can be termed as a day of one night stand for majority of the couples…..With so many social networking sites couples married or single meet each other and generally make it a point to meet on this day and invariably leads to one night stand without any commitments especially when one of the partner is married.

Valentine’s day is a money spinner too in India and approximately 10% of the global Valentine’s day sales are in India. Roses has been replaced with mobile phones and other expensive gifts and most shopping mall all over India have a whopping sales during this period and gift giving ritual seems to be more prominent among the younger generation in India unlike the other parts of the world. Some not so good news of Valentine’s day are the suicides being committed by young couples due to restrictions to their love and rapes. 

In spite of  Moral policing by some political parties ,honor killings, suicides and rapes it does not seem to deter the younger generation from celebrating this day and Valentine’s day has entrenched itself in India’s popular culture.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ali Baba …………….

A fictional character from ancient Arabic literature made famous by the story Ali Baba and forty thieves in One Thousand and One Nights wherein he outwits forty thieves and takes home the treasure they had hidden within a cave. Most Arab friends I know use the term Ali Baba in their speech and it means a thief. Now you must be wondering why I have chosen this topic out of the blue…well last couple of days I have been hearing of thefts in various houses of my colleagues which has taken place during the last two months including two of them in the building I stay. Last two years in Salalah I have not heard of such incidents taking place there but then Muscat is different in all aspects I suppose.
One friend who was in Salalah for over 3 years was owning a Harley Davison motorbike relocated to Muscat and within 3 months of coming here the bike was stolen from his house and even this day he is running pillar to post to claim the insurance money. Another colleague who stays in the next wing of the building I stay went out with his family for weekend shopping and when he returned 2 hours later he found to his surprise his locked front door ajar…burglars had pried open the door and stole the jewelry and money kept in the cabinet… poor guy lost over 300 Riyals!!!
Once upon a time it was prided that one could leave ones door open and go and yet not a item would be taken….times have changed Muscat for now even a locked door is not safe. 

I have added two more locking arrangement to the main door to deter such incidents from happening and moreover as I am proceeding on vacation I need to take extra care and I do not want to come back and see my flat empty.
I fail to understand the reason for increase in such incidents in the capital and how the culprits do not get caught. I only hope the authorities take stringent action to apprehend the culprits engaging in such activities and make the city of Muscat safe for both Expats and locals.