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Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

World is a messy place …

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Abdhul Rahman is a mid forties Bangladeshi national selling Miswaak in front of my mosque. It is a very common practice here in Saudi Arabia, where labour class does day jobs to earn decent money in order to support their families back home. Like Abdul Rahman there are thousands of other Bangladeshi national working different jobs in one single day.

Rough estimates suggest that there is a population of 5.6 millions foreign workers in Saudi Arabia and 0.1% of them makes Bangladeshi national. And of these 0.4 million Bangladeshis, if I am not wrong 98% of them does what Abdul Rahman do for living. Most of them doing regular jobs as tea boy or office cleaner, in afternoon selling Miswaaks or water bottles and mainly washing cars as side business. We have to admit one thing that they are business oriented; I wont be wrong in saying that Bangladeshi labour class is hired on just 400SAR per month salary but with their side businesses they do make more than 4000SAR per month; but surprisingly their lives never seems to have changed.

I have been seeing Abdul Rahman doing this work for more than 15 years now, and he is still sitting there selling Miswaak, he also does car washing in the evening which surprises that has he not earned enough in 15 years to elevate himself from this work and do something extra-ordinary or atleast go back home to Bangladesh and do decent investment to live a respectable decent life; it does amazes me. For example, if he sells 5 stick of Miswaaks in one day, 2 SAR piece so he must be making 300SAR per month; and if he washes 2 cars in one month on daily basis for 50SAR each, he must be making 100SAR; total being 400SAR in 30days period, 4800SAR in a year and 72000SAR in 15years i.e. 1368000BDT. Don’t you think 1368000BDT is enough to set up a decent earning business? I know I am getting crazy; but at least this much could have forced him to move out of street shop and car washing business. Yes it does surprise me.

But my surprise give me answer after I analyse the how world economy and businesses have been effected over 15 years. Rise in cost of living, food prices, real estate hike and Wars have no doubt affected every single person living on earth. But Mustafa a car technician from Pakistan has some other story to tell.

Mustafa a Pakistani national is in his late 40s and a professional car technician. I was told that my father has been his customer since 1983, i.e. even before I was born. At that time he uses hold his personal tools and standing outside different workshops just to grab a customer to fix minute faults in a car. But now to my surprise, after more than 25 years he owns 4 of his personal workshops with more than 20 employees working for him. He and his family are living a decent life with his kids studying to be professional engineer.

So what was different for Mustafa than Abdul Rahman, has he not been lucky enough, or the profession he selected was not worth paying or may be his the will power was not that strong? I don’t know what it is; but I know me and my family has spent more than 30 years living and working in Saudi Arabia. Thanks a million to God that HE gave us the best life we wished for and my parents has a very decent and respectable living environment back home in Pakistan which now we are enjoying. But there is always something which stops you; there is always an excuse that we should go on working before settling permanently to Pakistan. Excuse of political turmoil in Pakistan, economic instability, insecurity, lack of basic needs and facilities; I am sure Abdul Rahman also have a fair list of excuses which stops him from doing something different and stops Mustafa to leave Saudi Arabia. World is no doubt a messy place to live in.

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Written by Junaid

August 4, 2011 at 3:19 AM

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Spicy “Khabay” from Pakistan

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A country with more than 180 million populations belonging from various castes, religions, background, speaking more than 70 languages and eating hundreds of different kind of food makes Pakistani cuisine a refined blend of various regional cooking traditions famous for its richness and flavour.

Pakistani cuisines, as locally known as Khabay varies greatly from region to region with in Pakistan. Starting from metropolitan city of Karachi with its variety of tastes from different parts of world to the 1000BC old cultural capital of Lahore; then cuisine from eastern border with Afghanistan to the northern beauty and heavenly place of Kashmir; the tastes, the colour and pleasure to senses varies within every single kilometre. The arrival of Aryan from Central Asia, Afghanis from eastern border and Arabs with Islam made history of food in Pakistan. The taste from Eastern Afghan Empire, the traditions of local tribes, the colours from Persian Empire and last but not least the spices and aroma added to food Mughals enriched Pakistani food.

If you ask me, I cannot even list the kinds of Pakistani Khabay as there are countless dishes made here. Namely “Chicken Korma”, “Chicken Karahi”, “Aloo Keema”, “Mutton Palao”, “Chapli Kabab”, “Sheesh Kabab”, “Palak” and on and on and on; but my most favourite is the colourful, spicy, tasty and aromatic dish of “Chicken Biryani”.

Biryani is a set a rice based food made mixed with many kinds of spices; either with meat and/or vegetables. Even there are more than 20 kinds of Biryani dishes, but my most favourite is “Masalaydar Chicken Birayni”.

“Masalaydar Chicken Birayni” consist of Chicken, rice, yougurt, chilli powder, haldi, coriander , black pepper, hot masala, onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic paste, zeera, cinnamon stick, green chilli and salt; all these simple ingredients are turned into sensual, delicious dish that fire the blood and satisfy the heart. And they taste even better if they are shared with someone you love.

Written by Junaid

April 28, 2011 at 3:02 AM

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BURRRP! Excuse me

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Well I have to share my drinking experience with you. It’s not like what you are thinking; drinking all night, having headache or hangover in the morning and not remembering anything, nope never; I am more into non-alcoholic beers or malt beverages most precisely.

It all started when I was a kid, I don’t exactly remember the age but I remember to be kid … :D; anyways I had my first malt goes by the name MOUSSY or I call it The FAT MOUSSY. It was small but fat looking bottle with text claiming to amuse my nerve while dirking.

I opened my first dead cold silver coloured bottle, I remember the fumes came out to pleasure my sense of smell, my eyes closed and I felt fresh at the moment. Brought the opened bottle close to my thirsty lips and had my first sip of pure non-alcoholic malt; mmmm … what the **** … yukh!!! That’s very bitter. I took it as the first and last attempt to have malt, but I was not able to forget the refreshing feeling I had when I opened it for the first time. After lot of waiting and grinning, Big Fat LEMON Moussy malt came to rescue. It was friendly, tasty, and yummy and the world became so better after that; Moussy ruled me for next years.

But life has never been fair. There is always someone getting himself ready to bite you; that what happened to Moussy, it got its competitor.

“Ladies and gentlemen please put your hands together for the one who has come to pleasure your sense of taste, smell and quench the thirst of dry lips, here she is, the one and only … Miss BARBICAAAANNN!!!”

She is slim, tall, tasty, yummy and not alone; she brought team of Lemon and Apple Barbican with her. She was the drink of my dreams; it is Apple flavoured malt of Barbican. She ruled for next coming years, she was with me all the time. And not only that, she kept on growing by bringing strawberry and pineapple to me. Those were good days but unfortunately the sad reality is that every rise has its fall.

News was everywhere, there is someone new coming to take over Barbican; someone more tasty, more colourful and more enchanting. Suspense grew everyday, thirst increased every moment and eyes waited every second.

The moment of suspense came to an end when Mr. BARIO came to us beating MOUSSY and BARBICAN with it mature looks, colours and taste. Mr BARIO came with his whole team of apple, lemon, pineapple, strawberry and coolest of all The Berry. Now it is BARIO who is my friend, my mate, my companion who is always there for me. Even right now I am not alone Bario with its Berry flavour is amusing me with its amazing taste and thirst quenching powers. BURRRP!!!! Excuse me … 😉

Written by Junaid

April 20, 2011 at 3:37 PM

An Interesting Taxi Driver

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I was assigned job by my current company in eastern region of Saudi Arabia. I stayed there for almost 6 months if I am not wrong, which made me come back and forth to my home after every couple of weeks. Either I take car or train or even sometimes go by flight.

This time I decided to take plane to eastern region which is 1 hr 30 min flight and as the airport is almost 60 km out of city and heavy traffic on the road can keep anyone on the road for more than an hour from airport to city centre. I took taxi from King Fahad International Airport Dahran to my office on Khobar-Dammam highway which took me one hour, where I met a very interesting taxi driver.

Initially we talked in Arabic; he was trying to speak in a way so I can understand. He was from old eastern city of Hafouf and was dressed traditionally; the way normally eastern region residents do. After having brief introduction in Arabic my knowledge of Arabic reached its limit I gave up and told him sorry that I am not able to understand you.

Out of no where he said, “Do you speak English?” I was no doubt surprised to see an english speaking educated taxi driver where the core language is Arabic. From here we hit it of, he took much interest in Pakistani culture, he asked me from he can buy Pakistani stuff especially Pakistani clothes. I told him the thing I know. But the conversation got more interesting when he come to know about my telecommunication profession.

He took many ideas from me saying that he want to make his taxi a well-entertained ride by putting screen in his car with internet facility. He asked whether it is possible or not, I informed him the latest internet technology available these days and time might come that you will have internet everywhere in every single device. I did want to make the conversation much technical so thought this information might be enough.

But that was not enough; to my surprise he took one dairy out of dash-board and said, “This is my traveller’s diary.”  For the first in my life I met a taxi driver who is interested in making his ride more entertained and keeps travellers diary where every visitor put his comments. He told me to write whatever I want to and I can read the comments put by other riders too.

There were comments by south-african, by British, by Saudis, Pakistanis and many other nationalities with suggestion and even complaints about the problems they have faced during their stay in Saudi Arabia. Well I was so impressed by his concept of keeping his taxi that I wrote two page long letters, where I praised his work, put something about myself, my country and invited him to visit to know my people more closely.

Well in nut-shell, it was no doubt the most interesting one hour of taxi ride. And I started believing, no matter what you do, whatever profession you have; it’s up to you how you want to enjoy it and make it more entertaining for you and for people around you. May be his small contribution is just another small way to make this world a better place to live.

Written by Junaid

March 2, 2011 at 1:08 AM

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Waste of time … !!

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This is Junaid, Pakistani by national, Engineer by profession, Muslim by Religion and human by nature. I started writing to sort out my thoughts just to understand why I have been sent to this world. I have always wanted to be a good writer to the level that people could understand what is buried inside me, how I see the world and how I want the world to be.

But it’s been more than 26 years since I put my first feet in this world; still my mind is not able to understand its creation and existence. May be my participation in blog sphere will pave a way for me to write, to meet and to understand the very existence.

This was my informal introduction. Formally, I was born in 1984 in my home city of Lahore, in the lovely country of Pakistan. This makes my constellation of Sagittarius and Chinese zodiac of MOUSE; I don’t know I shall be proud of it or … but one of my friend convinced me that MOUSE is considered as the leader zodiac animal in Chinese legend. Though I don’t believe in zodiac and constellations, but it was interesting analysis about my personality.

I passed my secondary school level in year 2000, just between us I scored highest in my school among boys and girls and was awarded scholarship for being in the highest 60 students all over Pakistan. After passing my higher secondary in 2002 with second position overall, this time one girl took over me, no hard feelings by they way; I got admission in the largest and oldest engineering university of Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology Lahore. I did my bachelors in electrical engineering with majors in Electronics and Communication in the beginning of 2007. No doubt these 4 years were most exciting and learning period of my life.

In 2007 I entered the so-called practical life, the real world where I met many people just like me. After doing small job in one telecom subcontractor I joined ZTE Saudi Arabia branch in March 2008. Woking in world largest telecom vendor with more than 80,000 employees around the world is definitely an exciting and thrilling experience. I hope working in ZTE, blogging and writing for ZTElite might help me understand the world.

Written by Junaid

March 1, 2011 at 12:07 PM

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Talking Impressively

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I have enjoyed a very interesting respectful school and college life. I wasn’t bad with friends, teachers didn’t hate me, I could debate; definitely not up to standards of politicians or orators but of school level. One interesting thing that I was filler for any missing person in the morning assembly … I mean to say, if there was no one available to recite the Holy Quran to start the day, I had been available to do that; if there was no one to sing the national anthem, at your service; if there was no one to make morning speech, I was always there.

Here I want to share one of the morning speeches I did at my school morning assemble, as it was extempore so it was never documented. So, here it is after almost 10 years.

“Today I will try to explain the difference between casual talking and talking impressively. By casual talking I mean, the normal style of chatting by using usual words we do every day. Impressive talking can be the way of expressing ourselves by selective specific words so the listener can be affected. I will try to explain by two examples.

Take an example of final match of badminton tournament. I have played the final match and lost it; and if I have to break this news to one of my best friends, there can be two ways to do that. I can say, “Sorry, I lost the final match”, if he is very good friend of mine definitely he will share my feelings and will feel sad, which is a natural response. But If I tell him that, “I stood runner-up in the badminton tournament” definitely my friend will be very excited by listening to this good news. So you can see that, to difference sentences having same meanings but totally different expressions of the listener.

Once upon a time there was king; more like my childhood story … 😀 …. Anyways, there was a king who had a dream which was making him crazy. He needed to know what that dream meant and why it has been driving him crazy. He called upon one dream teller; after listening to the king’s dream the teller said, “Your family will die in front of you.” This made the king very angry and he ordered his men to chop off his head. He called upon other dream teller who was famous for his wise. When king asked him about his dream, the wise dream teller said, “You will lead the longest life among your family.” This made king very family and granted him gold.”

This story might sound childish, but you can see that two sentences completely different from each other but having same meanings had exactly opposite effect on the next person.

So always talk impressively as it affects the feelings of the other person … :)”

Written by Junaid

February 21, 2011 at 4:36 PM

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I forgot my charger

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You people might be thinking after reading this article that Junaid is crazy, this article doesn’t make any sense. But what can I do, these stupid things go through my mind all the time.

So the story I want to share is that, today I left my laptop charger at my office. Yes!! My laptop charger, not my wallet, not my official documents, by LAAPTOOOP charger. Then I had to go back to office to pick it up as my laptop battery is not healthy enough to live more than two hours.

I came home and turned on my laptop to skype with my family back home. I searched my bag but wasn’t able to find the charger. If I want to chat, I got to have the charger otherwise I will be disconnected very soon. So I took my car and started driving towards the office. It took me almost one hour to reach my office with congested traffic and crazy drivers on the road. When I reached my office, entered the building and looked for my charger. Got the charger but found couple of my friends there doing overtime, chatted with them for couple of minutes asking what they are doing and how is their work going. Talked little bit about and what projects are going. On my way out of the building greeted the security guard, went to my car and started driving back home, again one more hour drive with crazy traffic. On my whole way I kept on thinking what the point of this? What have I done within these two hours? What I achieved by doing this? Seems like there are many things we do which are pointless, having no meaning and having no reason on the face of it.

We have always been told that time is an essence and we should be utilizing ever minute of our lives productively. So what the productivity of the one hour I spent to go back to work, chatted with couple of friends, took my charger, hello hi the security guard and again drove back to home. Don’t you think I have wasted almost 2 hours of my day for nothing?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone have such non-productive hours in their day. Like I said going to work in one hour, why can’t I just fly to work or appear automatically without wasting any time. Like cooking, why can’t I just by magic cook my meal in a second so I can save hours of my cooking time? Like trying to write good article for more than an hour, but still not able to. I hope someone can explain me these parts of our lives.

Written by Junaid

January 20, 2011 at 12:09 AM

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