Monday, 10 June 2013

When is it okay to like zombies?

Life sets up interesting challenges when you have a child. Life is a bit more interesting for me because I have two... one of each flavour, so there are no lessons learnt earlier to fall back on since they like different things.

I got a call from my son this afternoon asking that he wanted to make a book with some photos he looked up on the internet. He said it was book of monsters (obviously he would since he just turned nine), he told me that he had all the pages ready and all I had to do was print the images for him on separate pages and staple them together.

I promised him I would when I got home.

It was when I got home that he presented me with my first glimpse of images. The first was a ghost... a really silly black & white mirror trick image circa early 19-somethings (fine), the second was of a werewolf (kind of gory, very gothic and an artist's rendition... fine). The third was of a sexy vixenish teen vampire with a come-hither look, sharp incisors and blood lust mouth, circa Twilight vamp (a deep breath but fine, boys will be boys, right?).

Then it got a bit more interesting and a tad bit disturbing...

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Managing the time to time manage

Given enough time, I have seen that I can make the hours stretch into nothingness and successfully, to my utter dismay, have absolutely nothing to show for it (or is that just the point?). When I look at my last blog post, I am shocked that my last entry was in October last year and not in March this year as I would have myself believe.

I mean what sort of blogger am I that days pass through into weeks and into literally months! All I can say is while my one true fan hasn't complained I have probably lost a couple more 'regulars' thanks to my lethargy(?). I imagine I shouldn't label it 'lethargy' as the months have been anything but. Perhaps the word to coin in this instance is 'selected lethargy' or more like it 'selethargy.'

Which makes me to wonder, how is it that so many people manage to get so much done in the span of the same 24 hours that I get? Or am I imagining things? Simple problems have simple solutions usually and the answer could be that more gets done mainly because while the same number of projects may be initiated, much fewer were being concluded in my case. But that's not right either, considering the number of tasks that are concurrently run and completed. I would venture to guess that the real reason is that or I have a more varied area of operations.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Which way is up, again?

One can study the political climate in Bangladesh until one is blue in the face and not arrive at an answer as to what kind of democracy we practice.

In 20 years of democracy the nation has been brought closer and closer to its knees. Given the current trend and that no respite seems imminent one wonders what kind of a nation we will celebrate in 2021 when Bangladesh turns 50.

Corruption has been ingrained into the very fabric of the nation's psyche – so much so that even the youth engaged in good jobs in the private sector providing good pay are indulging in corrupt practices. It's like no matter how much they make, making some more 'under the table' can only make life more fulfilling.

When I and my contemporaries were in our twenties – which was about that many years ago – I believe we all put in an honest days work. We were not paid as much as we would have wanted probably but there was honesty and dignity in what we did and how we did it.

Boys and girls of the same age in 2012 can't seem to be paid enough to warrant keeping their noses clean or feel loyalty to the company they represent. I don't really blame these young people as the whole country seems swamped by people who benefit by practicing outside a moral code.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

A morbid death story

Death is a certain eventuality... but there are things called 'good' deaths where the recently departed passes on with his family around or perhaps peacefully in sleep.

Then there are 'bad' deaths such as in accidents, conflict, and animal attacks, to name just three. Naturally most people would like to die a 'good' death, but it must be said that those who deliberately live on the edge have the cards stacked against them.

While not necessarily a morbid person – I would rate my morbid curiosity as less than or equal to (certainly never more than) a normal psychologically balanced person's – I noted news of 'bad' deaths time and again; sadly 'good' deaths rarely make it into the papers or the online public domain.

While living in South Africa, I came across news of deaths or news of near deaths in shark attacks, pit bull attacks, rhino attacks, lion or cheetah attacks, attacks by crazed bull elephants, hippopotamus and crocodiles. Basically news of deaths because someone was caught at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Wow! Can I touch it?

I had always been fascinated by all things with four wheels. As a young person my tastes in cars touched on all the great sports car designs. And in the 70s the greatest super car to a young formative mind was the Lamborghini Countach – a design that was every little boy's wet dream (he just hadn't realised why then).

The Countach was something that defied every single design element in a car in the 70s; it was an anti-car – a vehicle that looked as much home in the air as it looked out of this world on the streets. The Countach probably stretched or challenged every design parameter for a car in its time. There was nothing like it.

Fortunately for me during my wee formative years we lived in Hong Kong where you could see a Lamborghini on the streets alongside countless other current models from other manufacturers. Something that would have evaded had I spent those years in my native Bangladesh. So when I first saw a Countach, I knew there was nothing like it on the roads (and I was right).

I should confess that while speed and power were on the top of needs in a car when I was younger they were not high on list as was design and how the design made me feel. Between amused and aroused, when it came to cars I'd rather be aroused.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Man or beast in belief

Perhaps because I am not a overtly religious person I find the intolerance among people who portray themselves as the keepers of the faith as the biggest problem we face in this modern world.

Most incidents of conflict in the world today sprouts from intolerance for alternative thought.

For example, incidents of burning of the Quran and defaming Mohammad - the most revered prophet of Islam - in the name of free speech is a missed opportunity to better understand the faith by people who react in fear without understanding.

In my opinion unlike Islam and Judaism, Christianity has been allowed to evolve and the regiments of the religious order been allowed to relax. Having said that, of course, one cannot discount that Catholics are not so relaxed in their teachings as are the other tenements of Christianity and preach a more restrained and binding outlook, offering fewer liberties.

Ask me if this is a good thing and I will not be able to conclusively provide any form of answer. As a rather liberated muslim myself, I would like to believe that a more relaxed religious order makes it easier to live in good faith – as prescribed as moral and civil order in the sacred text.

Far be it for me to preach that a liberated outlook in this modern world is correct – given an opportunity many might (and do) take additional liberties and at one point abandon religion and subsequently any semblance of self-restraint and morality altogether; civil society and civility dies when that is allowed to happen. After all self-imposed restraint for the sake of civility is what separates man from the beasts.

[Of course even beasts can teach man a thing or two – namely only take what you can consume and not one bit more.]

But I digress...