Saturday, April 24, 2010

Once more a foreigner

I wanna go home. And this desire, and longing is becoming so intense as the moments pass that it's leaving a burning hole in me. But...I can't be home. Home is thousand miles away from where I am, even then I'm not sure if it is my home any more. I left Dubai with a strong headedness so travelling and settling abroad. However, my fate missunderstood me and brought me to this place where I am right now.

My entire life I have been treated as an expat, a foreigner, at my home. It hurted to be called that because it made me realize that I didn't belong there. Now that I am in the country of my passport, I'm an outsider once more; not that it hurts as I don't belong from here.

Though now I am seriously starting to question exactly where is it in the world that I belong to? Where's my home?

Guess for now it suffices to say the answer is: NOWHERE!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning new language: German

I've been having free-time at my hands lately and thank goodness broadband connection (which given my current situation is truly a good thing). Anyhow, for some time now, to be honest since the past 7 months, I’ve had been really interested in learning German. Why – because I fantasized of perhaps working for few months in Germany and visiting Demark, Austria, and Switzerland, where mostly people understood and spoke German, whilst there. Here’s a neat software for downloading called Before You Know It or BYTI which can give you a heads-start on grasping at least a few basics i.e. if you download free version of it.

A day’s achievement so far: know my days of the week and numbers in German. Target for today: learning the quick start list.

Guten Tag! Also-bis bald! (Good day! Bye for now!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Untitled

I know you are hurt I can’t make it stop
You ask me for a reason even if a drop
Your hands trembling, your feet are cold
Every tear flowing like a piece of gold
Your cheeks flushing with watery eyes you look
I wish to hold you tight without a doubt
An angle you are made with purest love
Know this my sweet, for I would give
All that it takes to write your fate again
To be your strength, to give you joy and grin
Through the darkest hour of night you’re passing
Know this my sweet, the dawn will soon be approaching

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

When you tell me!

When you are telling me its alright,
dont be scared, it's alright.
Suddenly my fear is gone,
I feel myself high n strong,
I fly with no wings,
I have lost and yet I win,
...when you tell me its alright!

Untitled

if you know how much I love you,
if you that I care just for you.
you're in my thoughts awake or sleep,
you're in my life near or far,
your resonating voice echoes,
your sweet smile is carried by the winds.

and if you know how much I love you,
you'd know your touch is what I long for,
your smell still lingers in the sheets,
your beauty still glows the room,
your teasing whispers,
and your soft caress,
your deep long kiss,
and your shining eyes,
make me miss you more everyday,
makes me fall in love all over again!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Untitled

I am falling to pieces,
got no wings to fly away,
and all my hopes, and strengths are washed away,
there's nothing left to build from.
Leave me alone,
I don't need your piety,
I don't need your care,
even if my soul falls apart I will not despair.
Just leave me alone!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Transit!

never experienced a transit flight
nor a wait or a delay
yet here i'm with my bags all packed and not knowing my way
is my life on wait?
or do i catch the next flight?
or will it be turning to a new destination?
my hearts a mess filled with hesitation
my love lost in the mist of betray
the guiding light is gone
along with moonlight and glow
my tears of pain wouldn't stop flow
I sit alone asking fate
where is my love?
where is my way?
who robbed my heart of glow?
.... & wondering when i'll be through this transit..!

...dream of a man who's mine

If I could have a dream come true,
I would dream of a man who's mine all the way through,
he would hold me hand with no care of world,
he would treasure my smile like gold,
he would say he loves me because he does,
not for motive or lust,
he would steal my heart and keep with care,
never let it rust or break or tear,
if apart we would connect through love,
he would make me cry only because of joy,
or cry with me if i were sad.

And if i can't dream of a man who's mine,
I would only wish to find the one who's mine,
I wish if he had to leave he won't break my heart,
he won't show me dreams just to say they aren't true,
and he won't make me stop believing in love.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A day without you


A day without you is like a century
A century without a drop of water
A century robbed of all laughter
Where the sun is never bright
Neither the stars seem to shine
Where there is neither color
Nor fragrance to make everything right

A day without you my love,
Is like a test so enduring
Like a heart cut and left for bleeding
Like pain with no end or beginning
Like tears dried on their wayA day without you is not a day.


I miss you much!


The dark curtain has fallen again
The moon is shy, the twinkle going to hide
And in the darkness, I hear your whispers
I see your smile, I feel your touch
Like the dew drop sliding on the petal of rose
Or the wind blowing gently on the ocean course
Sweet dreams my love, I miss you much.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Don't stop me


Give me all your tears,
Give me all the fears,
Give me all the pain of world
If that’s not all, then don’t stop.
Just let me go toward my dream
And it will be all that I need.

Forget me if you will
Hate me all that you want
Don’t even give me an ounce of love
Don’t even give me anther look
Please don’t stop me from my dream
Because that is all I got

If you want I will forget all pain
If you want I will never complain
But don’t stop my dream
Or my heart will scream

Through the thicks I survived
Through all vain I have lived by
On a pursuit I have been
With a hope and a grin
Now that I am so close
Why do you keep your heart close?
Midway a long road I am
Midway a long goal I am
So please don’t stop me
Because this is all I got!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just be true!

If there’s a secret you, I hope it’s not true,
If you never loved me, I wish it’s not true!
It’s not true!!

Because your love makes me strong and bold,
Your touch lights up my very soul
Your kiss takes me to a magical place away
And if all that is just not true, I won’t know what to believe in next,
If that’s not true, then I am sure that it is true,
That there’s no love for me at all.

Here I am given all my love and self to you
Here I am wishing upon every wish for you
And here I am dreaming just of you
If you not true baby, then you are not true
And I don’t know now to believe in dreams again.

A fantasy I never thought I had in me,
A place away from reality I go with you.
And then you tell me that everything is true
Then you tell me that ever word of yours is true
I believe in you I believe in everyone else
I see your kindness, I see your sweetness
I’m amazed by your gentle heart.
Now if you not true, then you not true
Nor is everyone else in this world I know.

When I feel scared you hold my hands
When I would cry, you would hold me close,
When I would jump with joy, you would jump along
When the night would spread, and the storm alive,
You would whisper, ‘Honey, I’m with you’.
Now, if you not true, oh baby, if you not true,
I have only fear to fear, and lifetime of loneliness

If you not true baby! If you not true
I don’t know how to dry my tears away
I don’t know how to smile again
I don’t know how to live again
And I really don’t know what to say again.

Because … if you not true…
… my life will end again
You bought the joy, you bought the smile
You make me believe, you make me go,
You showed me the other end
You told me to be myself
Now every night I long for you
Now every night I love you more
Please baby just… be true!!!
Just be True!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No clue

My frustrations are not baseless
My expectations are not hopeless
The mystry is known by exploration
Even admission or declaration
The first ray of light originating life
The first wrong ending in crime

You say you know me
Like a rose stripped of its petals
Or a riddle void of clues
You say you understand me
Like the stanzas of the poets
And patterns of ocean
My word you know not
My light you forgot
And if thats not true
Why is there a mystry with no clue?

Misunderstood

When life offers roses,
The thorns prick me
When life offers me sunshine
Darkness covers me
When life offer my joy
Tears fill my very soul
When life offers love
Betrayal befriends me
Take my pain just this once
Lend me a hand and a glance
Seriously misunderstood by life
And the essance of life

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Things they don't teach you in the school of business


Okay, my experience in the business world is limited and I may not be fully aware of things taught by all top-notch business schools around the world. So what I write here is purely from my own personal experience or lessons shared with me from my friends and people I have met during my work experience.

Lesson 1: Unclear roles - Live with it!
In a perfect world you would start your very first day at your very first job, with an Job Description already emailed to you and a exact plan of your first day and the months ahead. In this perfect world you would have a mentor at work or a boss who will always be there to help you and answer your questions. If ever you felt overwhelmed or lost or confused you would have someone to talk to. Guess what? Perfect world or workplaces are rare occurance. Don't be shocked if you have no clue of your role, or if no one seems to care if you are lost or you got a zillion questions swamping your mind. at the end, you have to act like a professional and live with it. The business world is competitive and if you dont catch up someone else will. a moment of doubt or a moment of panic from your side, and it will only take seconds for tables to turn. remember, you will be tested on major assignments or even a minor task like making a hotel reservation. and unlike unversity where to get to drop the worst quiz score, everything counts.

Lesson 2: Take the initiative
my very first assignment on my full-time job was to sort the bsuiness cards of my boss. my project list increased from my second month onwards. how? because i took the initiative. the trick with initiation is that you should keep your eyes, ears, and mind open all the time. if there is an opportunity that can benefit your department or the business functions, regardless of its size, seize it! make that recommendation to your boss, even if he rejects it. and take my word for it - of all the ideas or suggestions you put forward only 2-5% of them will be accepted. but the game doesn't end here. your boss might have an idea for a project but no specific action plan, take the first step and volunteer to devote your time to it, even if you are clueless. This shows your eagerness to learn, your professionalism, your determination to succeed, and lets not forget your initiaion. however, the last impression that this will leave on your boss mind is - "Hey I can depend on this person."

Lesson 3: Objectivity please!!!
I learnt this lesson the hard way. here's the lesson: never ever, and i mean ever times inifinity, show your emotions; always stay objective. a project may drain you physically and emotionally. Stay calm! you may end up tearing away all the hair on your head. Stay calm! you want to scream and talk your heart out to anyone. Stay calm! Why? because at the end of the day its only work. and take my word on this - your boss will tell you the exact same thing, "Its only work. nothing to get upset over." remember, this is also a test of your endurance. you are new at your job and your boss and the top management don't know you. they dont know if you have the ability and willingness to go that extra mile and live up to the responsibilities of senior positions. so in the end it is a test that you have to pass and go through. you cannot let your emotions control you. and if you ever feel this happening take a break: go for a walk, have a cup of coffee.

Lesson 4: Self-Reflection
The above brings us to the next lesson: Self Reflection. I am still trying to master this. But its a lesson a friend of mine shared with me. What he says is that you have to act like a professional at all time and with everyone regardless of their position or level in the organization. Every time you work on a project, make a presentation, write a report, talk to clients, are in a difficult situation, or merely talking to a colleague. Step back, think about what happened, what did you do right or wrong, and how could you have made the situation end in best possible way. This exercise will not only help you realize your strong points but also you weak areas. remember the idea is to be the best at your position and be the star of your department. and this exercise will help you achieve that.

Lesson 5: What is the purpose?
Every business communication starts with the purpose in mind. This is the most stressed on point and dont be surprised if your boss cuts you to ask you 'what is the purpose?'.

Lesson 6: Going beyond your area of expertise
I work in Human Resources Department. Big deal! When I meet with an Accountant, Cost Control Engineer, or anyone for that matter they would expect me to know exactly what their work process is and what their role/duties. Not knowing all these pieces of information would make it seem as if you are acting stupid on purpose. So a piece of advice: take time out and sit with people from other departments to know their department process and job role of their personnel. And again you have to take the initiation; no one gives you the information you want!

Lesson 7: Birds of feather always speak together

We have been taught at university that respect diversity and cherish it. However, in work life diversity is nothing more than groups the key to entering to which is language. From my personal experience in UAE, nearly all the Arabs will talk in Arabic when together even in a meeting without giving second thought for translation for non-Arabs. And complain as long and hard as you want; this is the part of working culture which they will neither acknowledge nor ever change.


Lesson 8: Thou shall always be a professional
I am not sure if this is true for other professional but from my experience as an HR Assistant I have had people asking me all sorts of questions to check if I have enough knowledge about various aspects of HR. they might have read of some terminology or best practice and want further explanation or they might simply stating their disbelief in its practicality. Bottom line: as a professional in your field you will be expected to know everything and be able to explain the same convincingly to others.

Lesson 9: Thou shall not make friends at work
Ever heard of office politics? This is how it starts; people trying to cross the line to become too friendly and get details about your personal life from you. Then they mix the facts from your personal and work life and start giving you their own opinions; all of which are then discussed with others when the topic of conversation is changed to you, and of course behind your back. Be friendly but never cross that fine line. You may be spending a major part of your life at work and in office with your office mates; but never cross that fine line because the world beyond that fine line is purely political and extremely dirty.

Lesson 10: Word of a manager is the last word

So you did all the hard work and at the end of the day you get no appreciation, simple “Thank-you” or “Well Done”, and worst your boss presents your work as his/her to their senior. What can you do? NOTHING. Even when your boss may be good for nothing and making you do everything. You can do NOTHING. Even when you boss is biased and always favors that one person; giving them the best appraisal, rewards and everything else in their power. You can still do NOTHING. Because the truth is that the word of your boss will always be given more importance than yours; even to the top management despite presenting them clear and convincing proofs.


Lesson 11: Your career is yours don’t trust anyone with it!
The HR Department of any company will you that they have a career, training & development plan for you; or if there isn’t one that they will be working on one for you. However, you have to be the judge of how true this really is. In an ideal company you really may have a wonderful career plan outlined for you and already receiving training of some kind or the other. But if you are not; then here’s the thing you have to take your career in your own hands at all time. Trust no one but yourself to enhance your career, to move from position A to B, to enroll in that training course that you always wanted and which will get you the promotion you deserve. Things don’t happen, you have to make them happen.

For now these are the few lessons that I can think of. Do feel free to share your comments, ideas, suggestions, advice and definitely lessons.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

My Struggle!


Not a doll am I, nor a silent portrait
Is who I am the reason you don’t treat me great?
Your world a concern, your life a struggle
Your joy the focus, and a tussle.
Envy me not, disgust me not
Take pride if you have the gut
I am not a doll, nor a silent portrait
My gifts I explore, myself I toil
A world of my own I search
Because from yours I have been hush
You reason and question
You forbid and deny
A candle left alone,
With no light to glow.
It matters not, nor do I deny
Dream is the light, dream that always justify!


Friday, November 24, 2006

Book review: How to Succeed in your first job - Tips for New college Graduates

Here is a book I read recently. I quiet agree with the authors and the 12-steps (listed below) that they propose in this book for anyone who is working on their very first job. They argue that succeeding in your job starts with first you, then your colleagues, then organization and then the job. But I believe that when you finally manage to get your first job, you already possess some elements of the 'right attitude'.


What is the purpose of your position? You need to start with first understanding the role of your position in your department and your organization. Have a look at the job description and job specification documents for your position. Understand why is each responsibility of your position important. Once you have a clear picture of your position and what does it fit in department and the organization, then you focus on other issues: like adjusting your expectations, understanding the organization culture, taking time to socialize with your colleagues, understanding the current proccesses of your department and the organization in general, taking the initiative, and understanding how your current position will help you achieve your future goals.


The 12-steps proposed by the authors:
Individual focus
Step 1: Adopt the right attitudes
Step 2: Adjust your expectations
Step 3: Master breaking-in skills

People Focus
Step 4: Manage the impressions you make
Step 5: Build effective relationships
Step 6: Become a good follower

Organization focus
Step 7: Understand your organization’s culture
Step 8: Adapt to the organizational system
Step 9: Understand your new-hire role

Work task focus
Step 10: Develop work smarts
Step 11: Master the tasks of your job
Step 12: Acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities you need

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Living Everyday Without You!


Saturdays are okay and wishful,
Sunday work starts and I become restless too,
Mondays and Tuesdays you keep running in my mind,
Wednesdays I try to be hopeful and say you are fine,
Thursday the heart’s search is on,
Friday it struggles and misses you and cries on,
….then Saturday comes and I am okay and wishful again,
But every second, of every minute, of every hour, of everyday, of every week….
I wish to be with you, and in my arms you forever remain.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

I miss you.......!


When the sun is out I miss you,
When the rain starts to pour I miss you,
When the night is cold I miss you,
When I see a star I miss you.

When there is no one to talk to I miss you,
When there is no one to hold on to I miss you,
When I want to say I love you, I miss you
When I want to hug you, I miss you

I miss you at every passing hour
I miss you like a fading flower
I miss you and I miss you so bad
…all I want to do is hug you tight
And tell you…. now that I have you I am so glad!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

One Lie!

Because of you, I feel piety for me,
Because of you, my heart weeps but my tears have dried,
Because of you, I don't believe,
in love, or hope, or destiny.

I gave you my heart, you ripped it off,
I gave you my sould, you crushed it all,
I gave you my dreams, you showed no care,
I gave you love, and you just lied.

Why say, "I love you"?
Why say, "I will stay forever"?
Why say, "you are my sunshine"?
... when you have no feelings for me at all.

You were my first love,
and I was so true,
Why betray me so harshly,
when all I did was give my life to you!

I live everyday, with an empty soul,
I hope for best, with no hope at all.
Now, I need some love in life,
But I cannot find trust or love in me!

See the damge you did to me,
see how you have runied my soul,
see hoe you have destroyed my life,
... just by your one lie!

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A dream


A dream to succeed,
A dream o end all grief,
A dream to be courageous,
A dream to be religious.

For all my dreams to come rue,
Need to believe all the way through,
Need to have heart as wide as an ocean,
So to forgive, taking love as a potion.
Need to smile through even and odd,
Need to be helpful when others won't.
The world is mine nor yours,
Its a station for us all.

A dream to reach my destiny,
A dream to love my honey.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I will not give up!

Every second of every hour of every day,
Bits of happiness and hope fly away,
Like a well empty of drop of water,
I am hallow and robbed of my laughter,
My inner calm, my hope of love,
My strength, my ability to be tough,
My sprituality and my very soul,
Have left me all alone to attain my goal.

A friend I seek to listen me please
Without any judgement, thats what I need,
Don't feel sympathy nor sorry for me,
Just hear me speak, without feeling sad,
Because I may be empty and have no spirit,
But I will not let go my dreams and feel regret.
I will smile even if there is no happiness,
I will love even if there are no roses,
I will fight even if I have no chance,
I will be confident even if no one gives me a glance,
For my dream, I will live again,
For my dreams, I will hope again,
And for my dreams, I will change the fate,
Because without them, is neither me nor a fate!

Friday, July 07, 2006

On Becoming a Leader - Book Review


*This book review was part of a team assignment for my MGT 303 course. Still a pretty good read.*

Background on the author:
Described as a management guru, Warren Bennis is a professor of business administration at the University of Southern California.

On Becoming a Leader was written by Bennis in the 1980’s and consists of “an important series of insights into the qualities which make for successful, long-lasting leadership abilities.” (The Midwest Book Review).

Why leaders are required?
Looking back at history, it can be noticed that people have always needed leaders who could guide them through adversities and create a vision for them that would enhance their current condition. However, history also tells us that not all leaders worked for the welfare of their people. Some may have their own self-interest set as the first priority. But whatever the situation might be, Bennis has found similar qualities among all the leaders. Some of these qualities are as follows:

· Relating well to others
· Motivating people and attracting [them]
· [Applying the] golden rule, “the leader treats people the way he likes to be treated”.
· [Showing] trust in others
· Vision, inspiration, empathy, and trustworthiness – are manifestations of a leader’s judgment and character
· Competence - a true sense of mastery of the task, level of human sensitivity, tact, compassion, and diplomacy.
· Ability not to give up.

“To master the competitive environment [Bennis said that] leaders must first understand the challenges of the 21st century. [The] second step is to change the culture [of the organization to adhere to the challenges]”.

Step 1: Understanding the Challenges:
“To become a true leader one must know the world as well as one knows oneself.”

Understanding the challenges involves two things. First, studying the environment or the changes taking place in the market the organization competes in, recognizing the opportunities and making the best use of these opportunities. Looking at the challenges of the 21st century, Bennis mentions 5 potential forces working [currently] on the world and on organizations:

· Technology
· Global interdependence
· Mergers and acquisitions
· Deregulations and regulations
· Demographics and values

Second, the leader must know and understand himself well. This is because “leaders are not born, but made, and usually self-made”. Bennis mentions 4 lessons that help a leader in knowing himself better:

· Lesson 1: “You are your own best teacher”
A leader knows his own strengths and weaknesses better. For him “learning is experienced as a personal transformation”; whereby he teaches himself the lessons of the life that cannot be passed on.

· Lesson 2: “Accept responsibility. Blame no one”
This lesson can be summarized in the words of John Wooden, “failure is not crime. Low aim is”.

· Lesson 3: “You can learn anything you want to learn”
Kaplan explained this when he said, “Unless you have the appetite to absorb new and potentially unsettling things, you don’t learn… part of it is temperament. It’s a kind of fearlessness and optimism and confidence, and you’re not afraid of failure.”learning from experience involves looking back into ones childhood and adolescence and understanding what happened to oneself then so as to make things happen now. It also involves looking at ones experiences that occurred in the present, taking risks with the knowledge that failure is as vital as it is inevitable, looking at the future as an opportunity to do all those things that one couldn’t do, and finally to use ones instincts and seize the opportunity that are offered by life.

Apart from understanding the challenges that the organization might face, a leader should also be involved in innovative learning; this is when the leader anticipates (that he is being active and imaginative rather than passive and habitual), he learns by listening to others, and he participates in shaping the events rather than being shaped by them.

Step 2: Changing the Culture:
For a leader to initiate change in the organization he needs to have strategic thinking; this requires a leader to have a vision of where he wants the organization to be. He then finds all possible ways to reach that vision by using the techniques of altering, connecting, comparing, and revising. Once he knows his options he selects the best one, alters it by looking at its positive and negative aspects, examines it objectively, and finally devises a plan with detailed tasks to be accomplished to make the vision come true.

For leaders to make changes in the organization, they have to undergo the following steps:
· Define the organization’s mission, so as to frame its activities and inform its work force.
· Create a flexible environment in which people are not only valued, but encouraged to develop to their full potential, and treated as equals rather than subordinates.
· Reshape the corporate culture so that creativity, autonomy, and continuous learning replace conformity, obedience and rote; and long-term growth, not short-term profits, is goal.
· Transform the organization from a rigid of autonomous units.
· Encourage innovation, experimentation and risk taking.
· [Constantly] anticipate future by reading the present.
· Make new connections within the organizations, and new relationships within the work force.
· Make new alliances outside the organization
· Constantly studying the organization from the outside as well as the inside.
· Identify and respond to new and unprecedented needs in the work force.
· Be proactive rather than reactive, comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty.

Way for companies to encourage and stimulate learning:
Bennis mentions 3 ways in which companies can stimulate learning of leadership skills in executives in their early career.

· Opportunity = empowerment
Bennis explains this as giving the opportunities to the executives to lead projects, practice their skills, and learn more through job rotation. However, these opportunities should be challenging for them. “The higher the stakes, more opportunity there are for learning – of course – the more opportunity there is for failure and mistakes. Failure and mistakes are a major source of vital experience.”

· Meaning = engagement
Bennis explains that companies should have clear mission statements so that its employees will know how their efforts will be rewarded.

· Learning = leading
Employees should not just be given the opportunities, tests and rewards to learn. Rather they should be motivated to learn to work as team and with other members of the organization.

“Universities…contribute…to make a dog obedient to you”:
Bennis mentions at the start of the book, “Schools or universities are better at training than educating. This is unfortunate since training does not contribute in making a leader but to make a dog obedient to you.”

At another place, Bennis criticizes universities for “producing throngs of narrow minded specialist who may be wizards at making money, but who are unfinished as people. These specialists have being thought how to do, but they have not learned how to be.”

However, we believe that Bennis does not justify when making these statements. A true leader recognizes the opportunities in the environment, creates a vision, develops a plan to make the vision come true and then translates the vision to the employees in a way they would understand it better. Universities undertake projects to make its students experience the work environment and work in groups. Students are made to think of ideas for these projects and then they work as a team to make their idea work. Bennis said, “True understanding comes from reflecting on your experience”. However, these projects are short term, thereby giving little time for the students to do reflective thinking while working on the project and exhibit their leadership skills to full extend in it. However, students do learn, to a certain degree, how to work in groups, delegate tasks among themselves, and to make the best use of the available skills (resources) on the team.

Conclusion:
In short, leaders recognize the changes taking place in their environments and take the incentive to make the change. The qualities of the leaders include that they manage the dream, they embrace, they encourage reflective backtalk, they encourage dissent, they posses the Nobel factors of optimism, faith and hope, they understand the Pygmalion effect in management, they have a certain “touch”, they see the long view, they understand stake holder symmetry, and they create strategic alliances and partnerships.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

True love!


A feeling I feel of where you are,
Yet I dont know who you are.
A love I feel for you alone,
A dream I have with you alone,
An adventure we take every night,
Holding your hand I reach for the height,
Your smile takes my tears away,
And filles my heart with butterflies,
With you the night glows bright,
Since you are the moon by my side,
With you everyday is wonderful,
Since you bring the colors to fill my life,
I love you deep and love you a lot,
From the core of love itself comes my love for you.
Yet i dont know who you are!

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A Wait!


A wait, long endless wait,
Between leaving and staying.
A life of freedom I want to live,
A flight from suffering I want to take.
Yet the heart aches for thier love,
And guilts over the leave.
Cry not my heart over love you have not,
I will love them regardless.
Despair not the wait,
I will be patient.
Donnot be scared of the uncertain,
I will still dream and hope.
True the wait is long,
True the wait is scary,
Yet wait I must for things to unfold.

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Monday, May 29, 2006

Love Stinks!

What is love? If love is to have them feel as if I am a burden for them, then I love them. If love is to bear all the physical pains because if I complain to them then they just confirm that I am being punished by divine power for hating them, then I am in love. If love is to give all you can to them, so that they can discourage you from pursuing your dreams and always be the taget of their anger caused by others, then I love them. If love means giving yourself compeltely to someone else so that they can rip your heart into pieces and leave no hope for you in life, that I loved them so very dearly. If love means to bear all their atrocities in silence and never say a word, then I love them. If love means letting go of them because they are much happier with someone else or spend more time with someone else, then I loved them. If love means ending up all alone, heart broken, with all hope gone, then I had truely loved. I truely loved them all!

And if love means never to complain or never to except love in return then I will do exactly that. If it means having my loved ones with me only for a moment and spending the rest of my lifetime without them, I will do so. I will do all that is required to give out my love to people around me. And who cares if I don't get any in return because like an invisible wind, I will leave one day and no one will ever miss me or see me disappear!

Go, leave me alone, its okay
Lie to me, its okay
Hate me, its okay
Treat me as you will,
Causing my tears to spill
Its okay!

I am NOBODY
Just a name in time
Forget me its okay
No love in life, it okay
Because love actually STINKS!

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Monday, May 08, 2006

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: The leader of Dubai


I like to learn from people around me. Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum is one of them. Below are few of his quotes that inspire me:

  • Truly, the most powerful thing in the world is the right decision, made at the right time.
  • The word 'impossible' is not in leaders' dictionaries. No matter how big the challenges, strong faith, determination and resolve will overcome them.
  • To dream of the future is one of the most beautiful things in life. We are not content only to dream, we also work hard, because our ambitions are great and so are our dreams.
  • A leader does not necessarily need to be the most intelligent member of the group... rather he is the one with the clearest and most far-reaching vision.

A link to H.H Sheikh Mohammed's website: Here

Monday, May 01, 2006

Analysis of: Airline cost cuts offset rise in fuel prices for now

Here is an article from Gulf News titled: Airline cost cuts offset rise in fuel prices for now.

Global airlines body IATA said on Thursday that surging oil prices, which are driving up costs for carriers, have been partially offset by cost-cutting but its forecasts for the industry's 2006 earnings were under threat.

"We are forecasting a loss of $2.2 billion this year with a full year average price of $57 per barrel for Brent ... this could easily change," IATA chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said in speech to industry executives in London.

"With oil prices rising 25 per cent in the past two months, this could easily change. Each $1 added to the price of oil increases industry costs by $1.3 billion. Fortunately, at the moment, this is balanced by some positive factors."

Two things are happening above. First, due to increased oil prices, an economic factor, there is a negative effect on the profit margins for the airline industry. Second, due to a change in the economic factor there is a modification in the business strategy of firms in the airline industry.

One of the implications of the above could result in an increase in the competition of the current firms in the industry as firms would be competing for cheaper sources of fuel. Also, airlines firms which depend on cheaper and effecient sources of energy might be able to gain more market share in the airline industry as they would have an advantage over the firms with huge costs coming from fel consumption.

He said IATA member airlines on the whole had hedged on about 50 per cent of their fuel needs and cost-cutting efforts across the industry had raised the breakeven fuel price from $22 per barrel in 2002 to $48 per barrel last year.

Bisignani added the air travel industry was also being helped by strong demand, noting first quarter passenger traffic grew by 5.9 per cent.

According to the above, even through the cost cutting methods, the fuel prices that the airline firms have to pay has increased over time and add to that the increase experienced in the number of people flying. Cost cutting methods, will help these companies to use their finacial capital wisely while keeping their physical capital stable. however, with a increase in their customer base, they will have to develop price structure in such a way that not all the cost of high fuel is tranferred to the customers, in order to retain them.

"We (global airlines) may even show a profit in 2007 but fuel remains that wild card and difficult to predict," he said. Airlines overall last posted a profit in 2000.

According to the above information, the profitability of the airline industry is questionable, what with rising high prices of fuel. however, this can have an effect of their potential sources of acquiring financial captial, because if they are not profitable for a continuous time then the airline industry can be perceived as risky.

Bisignani defended the airline industry's record on environmentalism, saying airlines contribute just 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions while generating 8 per cent of the world's economic...

The above piece of information indicates that the airline firms have to lookout for the concerns that may arise from environmental group and take active steps to handle them before they become a major non-marketing issue.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Softside of management: By Professor Ravi Chinta

So yesterday, my entrepreneur professor, Ravi Chinta at American University of Sharjah, passed this article of his in our classroom. Being in the venture captalist business himself for quiet some time, this artile titled "softside of management" is his view on how people should be managed in a start-up business. Below I have the article, with permission from my professor to post it on my blog:

People management simply means managing yourself and your employees and it requires getting the right answers to the following five questions:

1. What is expected of me? Tell employees what the vision and goals of the business are and how their job fits. This can be done through regular meetings and updates. You can also tie in goals when you delegate work.

2. How am I doing? Employees want feedback on a regular basis. In fact, it’s one of the biggest reasons people leave their jobs. They never hear anything from the boss unless they make a mistake. When they do something that shows initiative, problem solving, or any application of talent, let them know. Senior Management also expects managers to confront problems and give an employee honest but respectful coaching.

3. Where do I stand? At least once a year, employees want to know how they stack up. This is an opportunity to talk about all the things they do right and how important they are to the business. If they did have some problems during the year, they want to know how that fits into the total picture.

4. How can I improve? Even your best employees want to know how to get better. If they have a performance gap, work with them to develop an action plan. It can be something small. The key is that it will improve their overall performance.

5. How can I grow and stay challenged? Most people start to get bored after a few years on a job. If they don’t have anything new to learn, they start to develop bad habits and lose their energy and drive. Each year, ask employees, “What was most challenging this year?” “What new things did you learn?” “What new things would you like to learn about next year?”
These five ingredients are just the basics. Excellent leaders take a personal interest in their employees. They also involve employees in decisions that have an impact on them. If you treat employees like you treat your valuable customers, you will never go wrong.

If you view your role as a “servant leader,” that is, a manager who serves the needs of his/her staff, so they can provide the best services to their customers, you will be a boss employees want to work for.

At end of the day, the best compliment you can get is when the employees say that they did the work all by themselves. And that is a reliable people management process.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Analysis of: "China's internet heros gather to discuss future" (assignment 4)

David Barboza wrote his article, “China’s internet hero’s gather to discuss future”, for New York Times News Service. Being a strategy student of Professor Starling Hunter, I couldn't help myself analyzing it from the frameworks we learnt from the course so here it goes - below is an extract from Barboza's article:

"These are the internet legends of China," said Ho Ben, 28, a participant at the conference and the general manager of a toy company that sources online goods through alibaba.com.

Before I begin, the "internet legends of china" here refers to Charles Zhang, stylish founder of the web portal Sohu.com, William Ding chief executive of Netease.com, Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba.com and Ma Huateng the founder of Tencent.com. These "internet legends" serve as key human capital for not just their company but also for China. According to Jay Barney, "a human capital includes the training, experience, judgment, intelligence, relationships, and insights of individual managers and workers in a firm. In addition, the above also indicates that the service provided by Jack Ma's alibaba.com provides fulfillment and support to companies dealing in a B2B (Business to Business) online market. Fulfillment and support, from Gary Hamel's framework, is defined as "the way a firm "goes to market", or how it actually "reaches" customers.

Ma - the architect China’s biggest Internet deal this year, a partnership with yahoo - convened this annual gathering of some China’s largest internet companies to discuss the sate of the business.

First of, the partnership mentioned above is part of the value network for Ma's company. Gary Hamel defines partners in a value network as those who "typically supply critical "complements" to a final product or "solution. Here Ma will be providing Yahoo with infrastructure services, but it is not clear from Barboza's article what Yahoo will be adding such a partnership. Second, in the last part of the above sentence, is mentioned the real purpose of gathering of the "internet legends of China. Using Gary Hamel's framework, implies that Ma is using relationship dynamics (defined by him as "the element of business model [that] refers to the nature of the interaction between the producer and the customer") to strengthen the relationship with his customers by involving them in a gathering where he was to discuss the state of internet business. However, interpreting it from Jay Barney's framework indicates discussion of performance of the internet industry and firms in this industry.

This year, it seem China's small cadre internet moguls has many reasons to celebrate America's largest internet companies and venture capital firms are now flocking to invest here.

Here the last sentence indicates that due to the increased interest and investment from American companies Chinese internet companies, there is an increase in the financial capital of the companies these investments. Barney defines financial capital as "all the different money resources that firms can use to conceive of and implement strategies".

The biggest deal came early last month, when yahoo agreed to invest $billion in the 6-year-oalibaba.com.om. As part of the deal, yahoo even agreed to hand over its yahoo china operations to Ma, who is considered on China's internet pioneers.

Using Barney's framework the first half of the paragraph can be interpreted as an increase in the financial capital Ma's alibaba.com through the investments from its partner Yahoo. However, Michael Porter's 5 forces framework would reveal that such huge investment in a partnership deal creates a barrier to entry for potential entrants, as they would be expected to have capital requirement involving huge financial resources, competencies and physical capital for IT infrastructure design.

The last part of the paragraph indicates that yahoo realized that Ma is a key human capital in their partnership, which is why they handed over China's operations to him. That is true. However, Ma does not only serves as a human but also an organizational capital. According to the definition of Barney, an organization capital of a firm "includes a firm's formal report structure, formal and informal planning, controlling, and coordinating systems, its culture and reputation, as well as informal relations among groups within a firm and between a firm and those in its environment”. I believe that Yahoo's management must have been sure that managing a partnership with employees who are not only located half way across the global, but who are all completely different than their organizational a national culture; would not only be extremely challenging but a closure of great opportunities in Chinese internet market if the partnership fails and ends up creating negative image of yahoo in China. I also believe that it is important for foreign companies to respect the collectivist culture of china, which has precise limits related to various functional areas of business. If these limits are crossed even in error, consequences can sometimes be substantial, which finally may result in government regulation.

To avoid all these potential problems Yahoo decided to make Ma in charge of operations in China. This action of their's is described by Baron as a strategy used for addressing non market issues, specifically that of anticipating and acting to affect which issues arise and how they will be framed.

Last month also brought spectacular NASDAQ debut of
baidu.com China biggest search Engine Company. Its shares soared on their first day of trading in one of the most successful initial public stock offering since the end of the internet bubble in 2000 and 2001.

Here is the first indication on the performance of the internet industry in China. The "soaring" shares of the China's biggest search engine company shows not only show better financial performance (if using stock price as an absolute means of performance), but also confirms the fact that the internet industry of China has a great potential for growth. However, growth in the market size would also initiate competition among the current rival according to Porter's framework.

EBay has also made big moves, acquiring China’s biggest online auction company, eachnet.com and promising to invest $ 100 million in china this year.

Here again, it is evident that the immense capital requirement for new entrants, to enter the internet industry of China. The above acquisition of eachnet.com by eBay will result in an increase in its financial capital.

Much of the excitement has been ignited by reports that there are now more than 100 million internet users here, ranking china second only to the United States.

The above shows the reason of an increased interest in China from foreign internet companies. Being the world’s most populated country and an ever increasing customer base for internet users, China is the target of companies seeking to expand their product/market scope. Hamel defines product/market scope as, “the essence of where the firm competes – which customers, which geographies, and what product segments – and where it doesn’t compete”.

And with internet use growing at a phenomenal pace, up from about 2 million users in 1998, venture capital firms are descending upon China, hoping to find the next Yahoo, Google or eBay.

An increasing customer based for internet usage, shows that the market for internet-based businesses is also increasing. Increased market size is also causing rivalry among “venture capitalists” and other established companies in US to increase their market share in China. These investments show that there is huge strategic stake (according to Michael Porter) in the Chinese internet market for these companies.

This year’s summit, however, was partly overshadowed by reports last week that Yahoo had provided information that helped authorities in China sentence a Chinese journalist to 10 years in prison for leaking “state secrets” to a foreign web site.

Yang, Yahoo’s co-founder, declined to discuss details of the case, in which the 37-year-old journalist sent anonymous e-mails messages to a web site based in America, according to court documents. But Yang said that Yahoo had no alternative other than to comply with Chinese law.

“I don’t like the outcomes of what happens with these things, but we have to comply with the law,” he said during the conference.

Using Michael Porter’s framework would indicate that since Yahoo is a new entrant in a partnership deal with the Chinese Alibaba company, they are playing cool so as to avoid any government policies or restrictions that could end their partnership contract or make it less profitable. Personally my interpretations of the above, is that since Chinese is a collectivist country, its citizens are expected to act in the best interest of everyone in their community. Maybe the journalist, received 10-years of prison because he might have been perceived as acting in his own self interest, by passing on company secrets of Yahoo to its competitors. Or maybe, such actions in general receive similar sentences in China.

Concerns persist about whether the major Western internet companies help Chinese authorities monitor and censor content on their web sites and even whether they help the authorities crack down on dissent or imprison political opponents.

If the above concerns are in fact true then applying Baron’s framework would reveal that the Western internet-based companies are using “prepare the firm to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and address issues before they become a problem” as a strategy to address any potential or present non-market issues. However, I personally think that if these companies were to help the Chinese authorities in “imprison[ing] political opponents” they might face problems in their own countries if such actions fall within the constraints of the First Amendment.

But the conference did little to shed light on that issue. Attendees were more interested in talking about new profit strategies and even some social issues, like whether Chinese youths were becoming addicted to online games.

Several participants, including Ding, once listed as China’s richest man, said they were cooperating with the government to combat online game addiction.

The above fits perfectly in Baron’s framework of 4 I’s: issue, interest, institution and information. Baron defines these as: “Issues are the basic unit of analysis and he focus of non-market action”. “Interest includes the individuals and groups with preference about, or a stake in the issue”. “Institutions include government institutions such as the news media and public sentiments”. And finally, “information pertains to what the interested parties know or believe about the issues and the forces affecting their development. Information also pertains to the risks associates with individual products and the technology”. Here the issue is the addiction of Chinese youth to online games. Interest groups are their parents, the Chinese government and perhaps child care watchdog groups. Institution here are the public sentiments, news media present at the conference and will also include any government legislation against the issue. And the information here pertains to the risks associated to the health, personality and any other negative effect on Chinese youth.

While most of the big internet players in China showed up for the summit, including Wang Yan, the head of sina.com, one of the major portals, the absence of executives from eBay and Baidu was conspicuous but hardly surprising. EBay is facing stiff competition in china from taobao.com, a subsidiary of alibaba. Baidu, in which Google has a small stake, is considered a strong challenger to the new alibaba-yahoo partnership. And Microsoft is now battling Google in a Washington court, accusing one of its former Chinese executives of violating a non-compete clause by joining rival Google earlier this year.

The above shows intense tension between the current companies in the B2B internet-based market. And such a tension is caused due to the intertwining value networks of Chinese company Alibaba and is subsidiary Baidu who are both involved in separate partnership deals with the rivals from US, Yahoo and Google. But this also raises a question: can a subsidiary enter into a partnership with a company who is a competitor of another company who is also in a partnership deal with the subsidiary’s head company? Where is the line drawn?

The flamboyant Ma, who stands just over 5 feet, is one of china’s oldest internet moguls. He is also one of the richest. After his deal with yahoo, privately held alibaba.com is now valued at about $4.2 billion, making it China’s most valuable internet company. Ma, a former English teacher, is also skilled at attracting publicity for Alibaba, which is based in Hangzhou.

Jack Ma, is a key human capital for Alibaba. He is not only the driving force for the company but valuable enough to not just bring financial and physical capital for Alibaba but also positive publicity, thereby emphasizing the image of his company.

But onstage, china’s internet entrepreneurs acknowledge tat they were facing plenty of hurdles in making their companies profitable and successful.

They said that competition was intense and that online payments systems were problematic. But they also said their companies had matured during the last few years, when fierce rivalries had evolved into heated accusations and even legal battles over intellectual property.


“Four years ago, we were na├»ve. There was fierce fighting,” said Ma of alibaba. “Now all of us are survivors. We are more calm-minded.”

And finally, Barboza mentions the problems that the China’s internet industry is facing, at the end of his article. First is the intense competition. Second is security issue involved with online payment. And third, is the clear definition and ownership of intellectual property, which can end up in exhaustion of financial capital of companies involved in law suits.

But it is the final comment of Ma that is very interesting: “There was fierce fighting. Now all of us are survivors. We are more calm-minded”. I don’t believe that the Chinese internet-based companies are calm-minded. Because if they indeed are survivors then it would mean that they have caught up on their learning curve (as stated above “companies has matured during the last few years”) giving them a competitive edge over new entrants as they now possess not only economies of scale, experience, human capital, financial capital, physical capital, organizational capital, valuable partnerships, but have also increased the entry and exist barriers by possessing these. Any sense of new entrant, new competition, or new opportunity will have these “calm-minded” companies aggressively shunning down the new entrant and competition and proactively seizing the new opportunities in the market.

Tags: Jay Barney Resource based-view Gary Hamel Business concept innovation Michael Porter 5 forces 4 I/'s Baron internet legends of china David Barboza Charles Zhang Willian Ding Ma Huateng Jack Ma Jerry Yang Yahoo Alibaba.com alibaba.com eBay Google

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Book review: How to become CEO?

I found this book in hiding between others in a corner of the library of American University of Sharjah. Written by Jeffery J. Fox, the book is full of rules or guidlines for people to rise to the top of any organization they work in. Below are some of the rules that I like the best:

  • Always take the job that offers the most money
  • Avoid staff jobs, seek line jobs
  • Keep physically fit
  • Do something hard and lonely
  • Never write a nasty memo
  • Keep and use a special “idea notebook”
  • Skip all office parties
  • Friday is “hoe ya’ doin’?” day
  • Make allies of your peer’s subordinates
  • Arrive forty-five minutes early and leave fifteen minutes late
  • Don’t take work home form the office
  • Don’t get buddy –buddy with your superiors
  • Be visible: Practice WACADAD (words are cheap and deeds are dear)
  • Always take vacations
  • Always say “yes” to a senior executive request
  • Never surprise your boss
  • Make your boss look good, and your boss’s boss look better
  • Never let a good boss make a mistake
  • Add one big new thing to your life each year
  • Overinvest in people
  • Over pay your people
  • Never panic… or lose your temper
  • Treat all people as special
  • Please, be polite with everyone
  • Put the importance on the bright idea, not the source of the idea
  • Emulate, study, and cherish the great boss
  • Don’t go over budget
  • Never underestimate on opponent
  • Record and collect your mistakes with care and pride
  • Live for today; plan for tomorrow; forget about yesterday
  • Treat your family as your number one client
  • No goals, no glory
  • To teach is to learn and to lead

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Best picture collection!

The universe around us: Here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The sports cars around us: Here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The flowers around us: Here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

The hotels around us: Here, here, here, and here.

Hugh Grant: Here, here, and here.

Orlando Bloom: Here, here, here, and here.

Nature: Here, here, here, and here.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Book review: The heart of a Leader, By Ken Blanchard


This book is full of quotes about being “business smart to become an effective leader and manager”. Here are some of my favourite quotes from the book:

· The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right.
· No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
· None of us is as smart as all of us.
· Success is not forever and failure isn’t fatal.
· When you stop learning, you stop growing.
· Anything worth doing does not have to be done perfectly – at first.
· If you want to know why your people are not performing well, step up to the mirror and take a peek.
· Love is being able to say you’re sorry.
· Life is what happens to you while you’re planning on doing something else.
· Without vision the people perish.
· Your game is only as good as your practice.
· Inquire within.
· Choose work you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.
· There is not pillow as soft as a clear conscience.
· Positive thinkers get positive results because they are not afraid of problems.
· Knowing where you’re going is the first step to getting there.

Tools to reduce stress from life


Last semester there was a presentation in American University of Sharjah, on stress management. The presenter (whose name I don’t recall) came from Denmark and here are six tips from him that help in managing stress in daily life:

  1. Keep contact with family
  2. Make friends
  3. Respect other’s culture but love and live your own
  4. Make sure small details get done but getting big tasks done are essential
  5. Don't delay. Just do it!
  6. Enjoy everything you do everyday!! (Live the passion!)


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Reflections of past.


She pressed her face against the cool window, leaving fog circles and hand smears, hoping for just one more glimpse of it; and couldn’t see through the darkness of the night. But she remembered everything about it. She remembered, “Because it was her past”, she told herself as a tear slide down the side of her face. She shook her head and reminded herself again that she will not think of it anymore because it bought her nothing but pain. However, regardless of how hard she tried, her past kept haunting her. She wanted to forget. She was on her way to making her dreams come true and didn’t want ghosts of past stopping her in anyway. She was making the right move.

She opened her bag to retrieve her diary, in an attempt to forget everything by writing it down. In the background, Caroline, the flight attendant spoke into the microphone, “Etihad Airways flight 501 is now ready for departure to Toronto. Please fasten…..”

June 15, 2006
Dear Diary,
I am finally leaving for my destiny Toronto. In fact the flight attendant is just making this announcement. I am so excited. I can finally live the life that I have always wanted. I can finally be, the real me in front of people and have them accept me for who I am. The world is my horizon and I can achieve anything that I want to.

But why do I feel this pain in me? Why do I feel guilty for leaving my parents and the life that they had planned for me? Oh.. Did I say leaving with out telling you the whole story? Let be step back then.

The last time I wrote to you, my fears were confirmed. I was right that my parents are talking about getting me married and are serious about it. The next day they told me to come home early from college because we will have some guests over. Except that they were the Mohammad, his mother, sister and aunt. They had come over to see me. Or should I say to test me if I really was the type of person they had heard about. I didn’t realize that until after 3 days when they came to our house again, only this time with an engagement ring. Without even asking me for my opinion about the guy, my parents fixed my marriage with him.

The world stopped when his mother took my hand and put the ring on my finger. I couldn’t believe that it was my hand. I of all the people, who had always believed that marriage was based on love rather than arrangement from parents, was getting engaged right then with this guy I hardly knew. I couldn’t breathe. My world was just snatched from my hand and I was put into a prison the first sentence of which was this engagement.

I didn’t sleep that night. I couldn’t sleep. The tears that I had controlled so hard the whole time I was surrounded with people, started flowing uncontrollably. I kept telling myself that this was not happening to me. I didn’t want to believe. And in that moment, a lifetime of memories flashed my eyes.

…. I was up one night during my sixth grade, when my parents had changed my school, and I was failing in most of the subjects which were taught in my national language. The disappointed look of my parents couldn’t make me sleep and that night I made a commitment to myself that no matter what I do in life I will always make my parents feel proud of me. I also made another commitment that one day I will leave my mark in the world…

…. My last 4 years of high school were filled with hard work so much so that I topped in my class during those 4 years. But not even for once did I receive a single praise or appreciation or congratulation from my parents. Their praises were reserved only for my brothers….

…. The curses of my mother when my brother had his first accident because she believed that it was my entire fault since I was sitting in the car…

…. The day when I was declared an ill omen for my family when my parents heard the news that my grandmother passed away; and my mother blamed it all on me since that year I had visited her back home….

…. The time when I had to tell my parents that I want to study further and told them that I had already been accepted to a university, their disappointed look rather than any sign of happiness or being proud; bought more tears to my eyes…

…. All those times filled with taunting comments of my brothers, my parents, my relatives, that I am just wasting my time studying when I am good for nothing....

…. And my father’s comment just a week before Mohammad’s family came to see me, “…because of you I am getting bankrupt. You have no consideration for anyone. You love no one but yourself. You think that by going to university you are smarter than others when in fact you are dumb then I curse you and your studies. God knows what you do when you leave home and with whom do you roam around with. You have been nothing but shame for the family. I wished I never had a daughter…” All because I wanted to spend some time alone in my room and not with my family because I was tired…

Those memories bought nothing but pain to me. My chest tightened as if my whole body would fall into pieces if it didn’t tightened. My tears kept flowing as if my heart to hold on to no more pain and wanted to get rid of it all. I cried out silent screams asking, the same questions that I have now: Why can’t they love me? Have I been nothing but a burden on my parents since the day I was born? All my efforts to make them be proud of me, meant nothing to them? My love, my respect for them was all useless? Am I a curse for them? A curse, which they want to get rid of on the first opportunity that they get? What is my crime? My being a daughter, is a crime? Can they not see that I want be someone special in my life?

The next day at college I could think of nothing but what will happen to me. I saw myself five years from then, being a housewife, with kids living a life and doing all that my husband or his family wanted me to do. The sight stopped my breath and I felt the world slipping from under my feet again. The little girl in me who made the commitment with me at 10, that I would make my life special, was crying with me. She was crying because she saw herself dead in future and I was crying because I saw myself as being fully poisoned.

But then a part of me stopped me and asked me what I crying over. Parents, who never love me for who I am? For being treated as someone who is a burden and a curse for the family? Or for being forced to give up my dreams and get married? That part of me told me that if I was crying over any of the above then I am just wasting my time and will be crying over these things and more for the rest of my life. So what if any of those things are true. They really don’t matter because I love myself for who I am. And I know what I am capable of. I cannot let the little girl die in me or break the commitment that I made to her.

The only was out was to run away. I had always wanted to go to Toronto so if I can run away there then they will never find me because first of it will be very far away and second they will never believe that I would run away outside this country.

But how? How could I just run away like that? I was going to get married in 1 month and just getting the visa would take more than that. And I only had 30,000 Dhs saved up. I would need more money than that. But that part of me was not ready to give up so easily. It fought back with all it had against my negative side. We will ask my best friend for a loan and since her father has great connections surely he would be able to help.

With trembling hands I dialed the number of my best friend and told her everything and then asked her for help. Lucky for me, her father was to meet her that day and she wanted me to talk to him directly. Two O’clock in the afternoon was when I was to see him. I had no idea what I would tell him. For me this meeting was the most important for my life and I had to convince him to help me. Time flew that day, and even my talk seem with my friend’s father seemed to get over in a rush. But I guess that day even destiny had to change itself for me, and he agreed to help me. Here was his plan: Within four days he would get a visit visa for me in Canada on the basis of urgency, and he would arrange for my departure from here, he would make all the necessary arrangement I Toronto for me; while I had to act being happy about my marriage and keep up that act till the day I could run away.

The divine power was determined to help me. My mother used to spend a lot of time either with my relatives planning the wedding or going shopping with them or planning details with Mohammad’s mother. Those four days went by quickly, but were the longest of my life because I wanted them to end as soon as possible.

On the sixth day, it being a Saturday was the day of my escape. I left for university as always and I met my best friend’s father (let’s call him Mr. X for convenience) there. I knew that at 10 the house would be empty. My brothers would be in their colleges, my father at work, and my mother at my relatives. I called my house at 10, while waiting at a distance watching it, to double-check that no one was at home. The phone rang till I got the convincing reply from that that no one is at home. I was to go inside and pack my things while Mr. X would be waiting for me in the car in front of the entrance gate. With a pounding heart I opened the front door, listening to every sound from the house. It was dead silent, and my body was still in a fearful state. Not wasting any time I ran up the stairs and to my room. I pulled the suitcase and stated opening the closet doors in a hurried way. My heart was beating even faster now, my hands were trembling, my keens kept going weak; but I managed to throw all my books, my clothes, my extremely important stuff in the suitcase. I closed it, went back to the stairs and pushed it down it; without waiting to see what happened to it, I ran back to the room. I pulled my trolley hand bag and dumped my camera, my laptop, my teddy bear, my diary, all my beauty items, bank account papers, and my piggy bank in it. I had one last look at the room, making sure that I didn’t forget anything important and also because this would be the last time I would be seeing it, and ran to the stairs. The suitcase survived my horrible push, and I had to first drag it to the car, and with Mr. X’s help we had it in the trunk of the car. I went back to the house and got my trolley bag and ran to the car. I locked the house and we were off to the airport.

I don’t remember how long it took to reach there because my body was still scared and I kept expecting someone from my family to meet me during that drive. But nothing happened. I didn’t meet anyone from my family. I would never be meeting any of my family.

We entered the airport and got my luggage booked. Mr. X gave my all the necessary document and my ticket and told me about all the arrangements that he had made for me. with tears in my eyes, some out of gratitude for his help, some out of fear, and some out of the loss that I was experiencing at the moment, I turned to him and asked him how should I repay him for all that he has done for me. His only reply was, “be someone great in life and make good use of your life. That will be your payment to me”.

My dearest diary, that is what happened so far. A part of me that had great hope of being accepted for who I am by my parents if feeling bad right now for escaping like that. But I had no choice. I couldn’t let my dreams die in me.

- - -
XXX

She closed her diary and kept it back in her bag; and heard her strongest self talk to her. It was tell her that she is moving on in life. She didn’t need the horrible reminders of past to haunt her for the rest of her life. Her escape today took real guts, which shows that she can do anything in the world. She didn’t need the reminders from the past…she is moving on. She has to let go of it… let go… just let go. All you need is yourself and nothing more…

With a determined look, she took her diary for her bag and went to the washroom. She was angry at her past for making her weak. But now she was ready to start her life even though she had no idea what it will be like. Page after page she tore from the diary telling them that she didn’t need them in her life any more, and threw them in the toilet. When all the pages were torn, she flushed them all down, with no regret in her heart.

She went back to her seat, and smiled for the first time in what seemed like ages, and went to sleep; for she had a long way ahead! But before going to sleep, she told herself:

I was a bird in captive, I am taking flight,
Forgetting all relations I am reaching for the heights.
I maybe a loner making no difference to anyone,
But someday I will be the one for someone.

THE END*
* This is not an end but a start because this is a story of every girl wanting to live her life.


Saturday, March 11, 2006


burj al-arab at night Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 10, 2006

Gemstones: Can’t get enough!


I am crazy about gem stones, especially those related to my birth because then I can believe that they were made especially for me. I must have searched Google so many times to get specific details on gemstones. And during my searches I came across a lot of sites: some were helpful while others were totally useless. So for all you gemstone lovers around the world, I have made you job a bit easier for you by combining all the great sites, which I came across, here.

If you want to read some interesting facts about how people in ancient times used to use gemstones here is a site for you. Click here for information according to different months. Click here for information according to each gemstone.

Here is one site that gives the specific gemstone based on the birthday of the person along with details on each stone; and they have details on about 47 stones. Click here. Below are details of different gemstones that I find interesting from various websites combined together:

Garnet: signifies illumination, and steadiness. Also represents friendship.
Amethyst: improves complexion.
Aquamarine: represents youth, fidelity, hope, and health.
Diamond: represents love. Also protects person from plague, pestilence and evil eye.
Emerald: represents love, faithfulness, and unchanging love. Also sharpens eye-sight and mind.
Pearl: represents well being and happy marriage. It is an emblem of modesty, chastity and purity.
Peridot: symbolizes eloquence and persuasiveness.
Sapphire: it is an all-purpose medicine.
Opal: symbolizes hope, innocence, and purity.
Topaz: it is a protective talisman against plague, bad skin, evil thoughts, bites of snakes, and other venomous reptiles.
Turquoise: brings happiness and good fortune. It also wards off evil eye, and warns the wearer against death by changing its color.
Jade: projects universal love, health, wealth, and long life.
Lapis Lazuli: wards off calamities and if it touches the body it improves mental, physical and spiritual conditions.
Moonstone: helps in mental inspiration, brings success in love, and good fortune in business.
Rose quartz: insures peace, fidelity and happiness.

The picture of Burj Al-Arab included in one of my earlier posts, "My views on DP World's takeover of P&O", is made entirely of gemstones and white gold and the last time I checked the miniature was worth Dhs 1.3 million.