Posts Tagged ‘life’
Its been four months since I last updated my blog … seems like forever. I do have lot of excuses; you can consider them lame but there are some reasons, on the top being “My Job”
Its been crazy nowadays. I never would have thought that my whole life will just become job, job and job; doing job, worrying about job … leaving late from work; working on weekend! its like my whole universe is circling around work.
Now the point has come that I have started thinking ‘is it really worth it!?’
*Thanks a millions to God what Je has given me, but I have got the right to think*
Is it really worth it to dedicate this all time for work? Am I getting in return what I really deserve? Its not about financial pay back … its about what I am getting as a human being, as member of society or as a family man. Or or what am I giving back to society!?
Is my whole dedication to work just for greedy corporate world. Just imagine … *I dont want to be big mouth* but … I or we as corporate slaves work for hours just for the benefit of big corporations; our work make them millionaires and all we got is little pocket and they also take our LIFE from us.
May be I am being too sensitive or exaggerative but even the corporate culture is changing now; going from bad to worst. Because of financial crisis, more education, more man-power but less jobs has made this corporate world a living hell. Now its not about keeping your employee happy for the productivity of company; now its about threatning them to loose their jobs or die with hunger if you dont work for them.
I dont know why I become engineer but I know it was not for feeding these couple of corporate giants literally ruling the world.
May Peace, Love and Justice prevail in this world.
Note: This blog was updated while lying in bed and trying to sleep thinking of job tomorrow … so never mind
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.
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.
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 … 😉
I believe we learn more from experienced person, than from books. It is always great to be surrounded with men, or women for that matter who have the world of experiences. And who can have experienced the world or reality of life than the older people. I really enjoy sitting with them who have worked, lived and experienced this world. I enjoy listening to them and just listen without saying anything. This is can be because I didn’t get much time to be with my grandparents. They left this world very early, when I was young and had no idea of life. May Allah bless all of them and give them highest place in Heaven.
So, what can be more educative sitting than with your old universities fellows? We surely can share some stories or experiences. I graduated from oldest and largest engineering university of Pakistan, which is University of Engineering and Technology Lahore. Historically, Lahore has been a centre of cultural heritage for many civilizations. It successively served as regional capital of many empires; the Shahi kingdoms in the 11th century, the Ghaznavids in the 12th century, the Ghurid State in the 12th and 13th century, the Mughal Empire in the 16th century, the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, and it was the capital of the Punjab region under the British Raj in the mid 19th and early 20th century; and my university, short as UET is located at the heart of this cultural city.
Just like Lahore, the history of UET goes way back. It was initially Railway Workshops which was built in 1890s. Then for the training of its employees classes were also built. The technical education started in 1921 as the ‘Mughalpura Technical College ’, later it became the ‘Maclagan Engineering College’, a name given to it in 1923. In 1932 it was affiliated with another old University, the Punjab University and started awarding Bachelors Degrees. After independence of Pakistan in 1947 university grew more and in 1961 it was named “West Pakistan University of Engineering Technology, Lahore” with it’s another campus in Dhaka (now Bangladesh). After 1971 university was officially named University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore; abbreviated as UET Lahore which still exists.
You can guess that just like its history, university must have produced great scholars and professional with various experiences over the period of time. I had a chance to meet some of them, all together at one place. I was once invited to dinner at one of my relatives and to my surprise every person sitting there was ex-student of UET Lahore and had studied there at different times. They were sharing their university experiences with each other, it was blessing in disguise.
One of them graduate from UET in 1953, I wasn’t even born at that time. He spent most of life in Pakistan Railways and even after his retirement he is still respected in his field, still visiting and providing consultancy even outside Pakistan. One of them graduated in 1987, I was 3 years old at that time. It was time when political tension was high in Pakistan and politics have entered in universities. He talked about protests, boycotting of exams which led to delaying of his degree.
But most interesting experience was from the one who graduated from UET in 1971, the time when East Pakistan was separated and became Bangladesh. He was bright student; though he was admitted in UET Lahore but was transferred to UET Dhaka as exchange student on scholarship. According to him, his provisional passing certificate says East Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology Dhaka but his degree is awarded by University of Engineering and Technology Lahore.
He shared while reminding his past, when he took his final exams in UET Dhaka; the 1971 war broke out between Pakistan and India, which ended with creation of Bangladesh. At war-time Pakistan Air Force took all the Pakistani students from Dhaka in C130; the large cargo airplane used by air force which flew them to Srilanka as India was not allowing Pakistan to use its air-space. After couple of days he was taken to Lahore. Then University of Engineering and Technology Lahore decided them to award degree with its new name.
Amazing! I was surprised to learn that time make you experience so many things which we never imagined of. One day may be, I will be retired 70 years old engineer and sharing my university life experiences with my juniors. Who knows!? Life is a big university of its own teaching you at every step.
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.
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.