Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
- Trainees are paid a pittance as "stipend" (Inas gets Rs. 1200 per month, which is the best from among all the hotels that train students in Mumbai; by the way, that translates to under $ 40/= per month).
- Compared to the measly stipend that they get paid, they are made to work like dogs ... at least 10-12 hours a day.
- Standards of food and general hygiene are as poor as at lesser prestigious hotels once you peek behind the glamorous and ostentatious exteriors; Inas tells me about this and has pledged never to eat at the hotel. She says she has actually seen the cooks cutting coriander without washing them, dicing vegetables and adding them to the pot without washing them, etc. She also saw a cockroach gaily sauntering among the various pots and pans!
- Food served to the employees is not even 10% of that which is served to the guests, is often repetitive, and rarely something to look forward to. Internees can expect little more than what is given to the permanent employees.
- Inas' life was limited to dressing up and going out at about 6 a.m., and returning at 7 p.m. or so, daily. She would take a quick bath, have the one meal at home and go to sleep by 9 p.m.
- Many of our own day and night time activities and household chores had to be tailored around Inas' schedule and Hannah, my younger daughter, and I, had to do the work that normally would be shared among the three of us. We could not attend night programs, watch night-time movies, or go for last shows to theatres.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
The government, on its part, is also trying to do a lot to reduce the impact of fireworks on noise pollution, and many extremely noisy crackers have been banned this year, e.g. the sutli bomb. NGO's like the one run by Sumaira Abdul Ali, are also into the act of monitoring the menace of noise pollution caused by fire crackers. Here is a report written by her on the evils of noise pollution: click here.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
There were equal supporters for "contributing to the upliftment of the school buildings and the staff" and for "starting new institutions of excellence and advanced studies" in Science and Technology (to be named after Mr. A.H. Mulla, our beloved principal who passed away in March) and in Mass Media and communication (to be named after Mrs. Banoo N. Cama, still very much alive and in her eighties).
As a result of the deliberations of the meeting, an online Yahoo group has been created where Bhardaites can come together to interact. To visit this group, please click here.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Values have changed so much, that often, what seems like a "ghor apradh" to me, sounds like a "all in a day's work" to my children! They think nothing of ignoring your requests to this household chore, or postpone the purchase of a 4 GB card for the time being, or wait a little while to have lunch while their father is on the way home, negotiating the killer traffic at Bhendi Bazaar. To them, retiring to their own rooms when my friends come to the house is, to put it bluntly, their bounden duty. It matters not that their mother (my wife) comes home after a hard day's work, hungry and thirsty: if I nudge one of them to get up and get her a glass of water, or to unburden her of her handbag or something, they will immediately turn the other way, or tell me to ask the "other daughter"' or, they will get her the water, and then refuse to do the next task asked of them, saying that they "already got up once to get mom water".
It is not only frustrating, but also demeaning, to hear them shout at each other at 11:30 p.m. to "give me more space on the bed, and to shift there."
I am sorry if this diary sounds like a public lament of my daughters, but I am using my examples to illustrate what is, I am sure, a general experience of most parents.
Coming to adult values, it is too late when yesterday's teens realise where they went wrong. Their own ghosts come to haunt them later on. Values never change, only perceptions do. And yet, false values have gradually seeped into the moral fabric of the society. Petty behaviour, insulting an elder to that person's face, speaking rudely to one's own teacher/boss/superior, ignoring the pleas of one's own parents or elder siblings, etc. are now so acceptable, that the youth does not even consider it as wrong behaviour. To a large extent, the open sky policy and the invasion of channels from the West have contributed to this moral depradation. Music today has words like F@@K and so on openly weaved into the lyrics. In such an environment, how can the tween remain untouched?
The need of the hour is to sit with them and talk to them, to sensitize them to their follies, and to do all this before it is too late.
Can I do it? I don't know. Can you? Do tell me!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
If someone saw me in real life, they would immediately remark that I have a rather huge belly. If you've seen my photos here and elsewhere, you wouldn't guess that, would you? And yet, it is true. Years of chai and indiscriminate eating has caused my belly to bloat up. My belly measures 39 inches. God! I have been trying to shed this flab off and on. I made my first serious and fairly successful attempt in 2007. In this, my first attempt, I passed with flying colours, as I lost nearly ten kgs within six months, and the belly shrank by nearly 3-4 inches!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
In other news, Murtuza's family and mine, are treating Dad on his just passed 75th birthday (he turned 75 on the 20th of May). We have invited him and mom to my place for dinner and to gift him a little token of our love. Murtuza's daughter Umme-Salma continues to run a slight fever since the past three days. My aunty Asma Sawliwala had a stroke last week, and is admitted at Prince Aly Khan hospital ICU as a result. She is unconscious and is being artificially ventilated. Inas keeps running for her duties to the Taj, and Hannah is at home, reading books or whiling away her time seeing television or playing a game on the computer. Nishrin's work is going fine, and mine is too.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Since I last wrote in here, my elder daughter Inas has begun her industrial training at the Hotel Taj at Mumbai. For those not aware, Inas is in the second year of the Hotel Management (three-year degree) course of the Mumbai University. As part of the course, students are required to complete a six-month hands-on training at any of the designated hotels in the city. As Inas was one of the best students in the course, she got a chance to take the training at the famed Taj Group Hotel located at the Gateway of India ... the very same hotel that was attacked by Pakistani terrorists in November 2008. Initially, we were wary of sending her to that spot, but in the end, common sense prevailed. She began her training on the 2nd of May. Every day, she is required to be there for 8-9 hours, and her first 1 1/2 months' posting is in the Kitchen Department. This is one department that she dislikes. However, she is in, whether she likes it or not. Just yesterday, she told us that she had to peel over 250 onions! In the process, she accidentally nicked three of the five fingers of her right hand, and had to apply "Band Aid"s on the tips of all these! She has been called the "Chop Chop Queen" in honor of her "accident" :-)
Okay, Hannah continued going to school for a fortnight more, and her last school day was the 1st of May. Her results came that day, and I am happy to inform you that she did well, scoring 77 % marks in Marathi ... for the first time in her career. Her overall percentage climbed a healthy 7 % ... from the earlier 59 % to over 66 % this time. Within a few days, her tuitions for the Xth standard have also started, and she is barely able to enjoy 2 free days every week, the rest being interspersed with tuitions in Hindi, Marathi, Math and Science. Once her school restarts, she will have tuitions in French as well. This will be her final year in school, and then, it will be college life for her from June 2010.
Nishrin continues to work solo in her parlour after having removed her one and only assistant in November-December 2008. This is taking its toll on her mental peace. There are days when there is a rush of clients and she has to refuse some; there are days when there are hardly any, and she sulks around at the parlour and even weeps at times on her misfortune. To inform the readers, I should add here that she had to remove her assistant because the latter was stealing her work and attending to her clients outside the parlour at the clients' residence by doing home visits after finishing her work at the parlour.
What about me, you ask? Oh, well. My practice picked up a lot more than I had expected, but still, I was doing worse than what I did last year in April. I finally got a letter allowing me to admit patients in the 'general' class at Noor Hospital, and to date, I have admitted quite a few patients there! I am sure that the hospital trustees will have to consider giving me full privileges in the year to come. My writing work at WDC attracted prizes again. My gymming had to take an unscheduled break when I developed severe back spasm in mid-April ... then I re-joined in late April, took yet another break as the spasm acted up again, and have now re-joined and have resumed muscle training since the past four to five days.
That's all for now ... but I would like to end this post with a small bit of news: May is a month full of birthdays in my extended family. My youngest brother's both children, my own Hannah, and my dad, all have their birthdays in May! My nephew Shabbir was born on the 7th of May in 2002; my niece Umme-Salma on the 8th of May in 2008; Hannah on the 14th, in 1994, and my dad, on the 20th, in 1934. My brother Murtuza invited us all for cake-cutting and dinner on the eve of the 8th. My brother's wife Sakina had cooked the dinner, and it was okay. My other brother Kaizar, did not attend owing to some problems.
Hannah will turn 15 this year, and Nish and I plan to give her 15 gifts, of which one will be sponsored by Inas. We are also planning a surprise party for her and are inviting 7-8 of her best friends for an evening of fun and frolic. Let us see how this goes ...
Monday, April 13, 2009
Thursday, April 02, 2009
Financially, the last twelve months were a complete disaster, and not just for me,but for almost all people in India and also all over the world. American citizens were the most hit, but no one anywhere in the world was spared. The inflow of cash is not a worry as much as is the inflow of patients, which is something that can cause doctors to get extremely bored and incapable of action.
I would have written more, but that will have to wait as I have too much other work at hand.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Today, it was the turn of his younger brother Aslam to visit us at the clinic. His wife Shabnam was also with him. Aslam and Shabnam continue to dwell in Dubai, and their son Husain was also with them today. I gifted them with a small token of my appreciation that they all came to visit us.
Tomorrow, Nishrin's relatives -- her fufi, her first cousin Pinky and her family, are coming down from Chandigarh to spend a few days with us. We are all looking forward to them being with us. They would be going to Nanded next, and finally, to stay with another relative before going back to Chandigarh on the 29th of this month.
So, what does a visit by a relative mean? It means a rejoicing of sorts, as it rejuvenates both sides. It also awakens slumbering emotions and makes people yearn to hope for more.