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Friday, May 6, 2016

Prophet Nabi Ayoub or Prophet Job

Browsing through my old photographs taken during my stay at Salalah I came across the images I had captured at the tomb of Prophet Nabi Ayoub or Job (English name). I did write of this tomb briefly in another blog about 3 years back but did not delve into the background then. Prophet Job or Ayoub has been mentioned in the Old Testament as well as the Quran. Christians often refer to “Patience of Job and Muslims refer to Ayoub’s Patience and try to emulate him in the face of adversities. 

Ibn Kathir, a famous Islamic scholar has written about Prophet Ayoub and the story is based on the Quran. As the story goes Ayoub was a descendant of Noah and he was steadfast in devotion of God and was considered as the best man of the generation. He was very rich with two wives and 15 sons living a humble life and Satan’s heart was filled with jealousy. Satan attempted to distract Ayoub from his prayers to god & the righteous path he was following but Ayoub remained resolute and remained as he was before. Satan rage grew and he then complained to the God that Ayoub is so devoted worshipper because the God had given him wealth, health, happiness and processions. God then allowed Satan and his helpers to destroy Ayoub’s wealth and possessions. Satan and his helpers then went on to destroy Ayoub’s wealth, children and his health and yet the Satan could not destroy the steady fast devotion of God in Ayoub’s heart. Ayoub endured the ordeal without any complains and he became frail and weak with maggots on his body. Because of his conditions he had to leave the place of his birth since he was unwanted and unwelcome there. He then came to Dhofar region and it was when his wife who accompanied him through this ordeal left him and went elsewhere he called upon God begging for mercy. Pleased with the unflinching devotion God told him to stamp his foot down on earth and Lo when Ayoub did that a small spring of water pour out from that spot and this water cured Ayoub of his illness and he recovered to once again to be healthy and his possession slowly came back including his wife. He went on to live for a very long time after that in the similar fashion as he was throughout his earlier life. (This story is pieced together with help of Google and I apologize if I have made errors in the story

The spot where Prophet Ayoub stamped down by his foot is imprinted and is still visible just outside the tomb where the remains of the Prophet rests on top of Jebel Ittin, about 30Kms off Salalah. The first thing you would notice is that the foot print is quite huge and as you enter the building housing the tomb you can visualize that Prophet Ayoub was a big man around 12 to 13 feet in height and about 4- 5 feet wide by seeing the burial spot. I have not comments of this since I was not able to find physical attributes of Prophet Ayoub. The walls of this building is adorned with sacred writings as seen in the images shared

Today this spot is a tourist attraction and during Khareef seasons tourist’s throng to this place in thousands. Beautiful road to the top of the mountain is filled with mist and is very scenic and I am sure most of you would enjoy this spot.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kabini Diaries -04 Giant Indian Squirrel

The Giant Indian squirrel or the Malabar squirrel (Ratufa Indica) is a large tree squirrel native to India. It is a large bodied squirrel and it is the state animal of Maharashtra. Here are couple of images of the Malabar squirrels

 The Indian squirrel is herbivorous and is often found on the tree tops and hardly ever seen on the ground. 

The Malabar squirrels has conspicuously two or three tone color which may be tan, rust brown, dark seal brown or beige . The underside of it is generally cream color. Raptors and leopard are a threat to this squirrel and when in danger it does not flee instead flattens itself on the tree trunk .

Monday, May 2, 2016

Depression and Suicides

Image Courtesy-Google Images
Recent spurts of suicides by persons from the films and television medium and has been widely reported in Electronic & Social media networks. The recent one being that of a TV artiste Pratyusha Banerjee who supposedly committed suicide. There are scores suicides that take place among farmers of rural India that hardly get a mention in the news unless being stoked by political parties. Come to think of these deaths, the causes in most of the suicidal deaths have been due to depression. So logically depressions can kill you unless you are able to overcome the same. 

Depression occurs when one feels burdened beyond an extent… it may be non-repayment of loans or mounting loans, no success in chosen field, lack of love, lack of companionship and so forth and some of the reasons may be out right silly too. Depressed people will never admit to being depressed as they think that they would be ridiculed by their peers. Most of us do feel low sometimes but then if you are suffering from depression the down period is for a longer duration say weeks or months. This feeling of depression is considered by most people as very trivial matter and not a medical condition but then they are very wrong and they should consult a doctor for this condition since this can be treated by medications. If left untreated it could lead to the person taking very harsh steps in life that cannot be retraced. Here I wish to narrate an incident that occurred in Gulf where I work, a colleague of mine was totally depressed since he had an affair with a Vietnamese woman who was insisting on marriage though he was married with two children. This caused him to neglect his work, stopped communication with family, friends and colleagues and was suicidal in nature. He was sent back to India for treatment and when he returned he seemed to have overcome the depression since he was able to convince his first wife to accept his second marriage. All was well for a year or so and then the second wife travelled to Australia to her higher studies and there she delivered their first child for which he had gone and come. During her second visit to Oman she came back pregnant with someone else’s child for which my colleague threw her out of the house after taking custody of the child. Now he was alone at Muscat with a 2 year old son and somehow was managing work as well as home. The second wife being Vietnamese brought in lots of pressures on this person to release the child to her custody and one such letter to our management from this woman and also from the Indian embassy pushed him beyond all control. He then one weekend afternoon smothered his two year old son to death and then hung himself to death. 

Depressions can cause a person to become alcoholic, violent, withdrawn, and listless. At extreme moments it sure can make a person suicidal and this tendency may dissipate if they are able to communicate their thoughts to either a family member or friends. Communication plays a vital role in helping people who are depressed and hence it is said that not to keep your feelings bottled up inside you but to vent it out to your companion, friend or relatives thereby avoiding volcanic eruptions of the feeling that can hurt the people around and self. It is very easy for us to call a person who has committed suicide a coward but then it takes immense courage to take the final step in the suicide. I have known of a friend who took this extreme step within a blink of an eye by taking poison but repent after having done the act and we could not save him because it was too late and the poison had entered the blood stream. Had he communicated his worries and thoughts to someone and maybe he would have been alive this day.

I am sure that all you readers would also have come across various incidents that would have resulted in a suicide and when we think about it find it to be a very silly reason to have thrown the precious life away. Do share your thoughts

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Save the Planet Earth

The planet earth is dying all around us at a pace that has not been seen from the time of extinction of Dinosaurs and the major cause of this is the human greed. We continue to pillage the forest cutting down trees, extract ground water much faster than it can get replenished, extract fossil fuel from the earth that takes millions of years to form at a rate that it will not possible for the earth to recoup.  The scientists say that the extinction of mammals and vertebrates in the last century alone is equivalent to 800 to 10,000 years of extinction without human interference.  The earth’s biodiversity is being depleted at an alarming rate by humans and if allowed to continue at this pace then we would lose many of the benefits of biodiversity within the next three human lifetimes.

It is as though that we are sawing off the branch we are sitting on and being aware of the consequences of the actions being taken. We humans are sure in for a very bumpy and a hard ride in years to come if we do nothing to reduce the damage being done to the planet earth. Heat waves due to global warming has people sweltering, water scarcity in many part of India, devastating earth quakes around and so forth already have started to happen and would keep intensifying year on year and hence we humans have to take urgent steps to prevent or curtail the onset of the 6th Extinction , which some scientists say has begun.

Leonardo Dicaprio in his acceptance speech at Oscars this year stated this “Making the Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world. A world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in recorded history. Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow. Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people out there who would be most affected by this. For our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed. I thank you all for this amazing award tonight. Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted”
I do concur with the statement made by Leonardo and so do all those who love nature… we should not take this planet for granted and all of us have to collectively act  in order to ensure that earth is able to recoup itself from all the damages being done to it on a continuous basis  instead of dying out on us !!! 

Washing dirty linen in public

The definition of the phrase “Washing dirty linen in public” is to discuss personal and private matter in public and I guess most of us have been taught not to do that right from the childhood. But this does not apply to celebrities who just do this so as to garner media coverage on to themselves even if means that they lose their privacy. A classic example of this phrase is the ongoing  spat between Actors Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Raut about their alleged relationship.

This has been dominating the social media and the news media with each slapping legal notices on to each other. Our starry eyed public is lapping up these spicy tidbits that are being released in spurts akin to new movie releases. The legal issue has taken an ugly turn to such an extent that each of the actors are washing their dirty linen in public that should have been privy only to them. The electronic media is going gaga over these tidbits and it is the trial by media instead of waiting for the civil court judgment. Cannot blame these media houses with them wanting to increase the TRP’s are publishing unverified items such as emails and images and are keeping the people engrossed in this spat.

In a recent development few emails that has been supposedly written by Kangana Raut to Hrithik has been leaked ( Read here) to the press and it has created quite a storm and as per these mails it seems Hrithik is innocent. But Kangana’s legal team states that genuineness of these emails has to be ascertained as they claim that the actresses email has been hacked and she is not the one writing these mails. Further today an image of Hritik hugging Kangana in a suggestive manner is circulating in the electronic and social media making this case even murkier. With each passing day the case is becoming murkier and accusations flying around these two people. This happens if one tries to wash their dirty linen is public

Your thoughts and comments on this enfolding drama are welcome