"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought and the freedom to communicate opinions and expressions in a manner that is not contrary to any tenet of Islam" - Article 27 - Constitution of the Republic of Maldives … [THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED IN THIS BLOG ARE MY OWN] … 'Kratos Demos' ...
Showing posts with label Personal Experience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Personal Experience. Show all posts

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Awkward Male’ – 10Rf please… actually 20Rf

So it was a random evening, neither late into the night nor that early into the evening. I found myself in one of those many pharmacies right in front of ADK Hospital on Sosun Magu. As I approached the counter, I received the typical foreign pharmacist grin, the mustache wink (you know what I mean), I am not sure whether he is Indian or Bangladeshi, I asked him for a particular tablet, and then someone tapped me on the back.

Turned around in a reflex, stood a young gentleman of average height, mid 20s wouldn’t say 30, bearded but not “Bearded” in you know what fashion. On sight one would observe two distinct features of this gentleman, 1- He seemed in a hurry as if he has to run a marathon, and 2- He was under the influence of some sort of intoxicate.

“Sir, can you please give me 10Rf? I need to get a medicine” he said in a trembling voice.

The foreign pharmacist gave me a serious look and then shook his head in a motion which I am to take as “don’t give”.

“Sir please I only need a 10Rf to get the medicine, please help” he continued.

“I have only got a 100Rf note, I don’t have a separate 10Rf” I told him.

“Why don’t you get change from the pharmacist?” he asked.

Well, frankly I didn’t know what to do. Avoiding this gentleman may be wrong in two possible ways. 1- He might be actually missing a 10Rf to buy the medicine or 2- He might be associated with some sort of gang and/or might as well have a sharp object ready to strike.

Not wanting to take any risks, I asked the pharmacist for a change of 100Rf, I got the change in one 50RF, two 20Rfs and one 10RF, I gave the gentleman the note of 10Rf, and then he says,

“Actually its 20Rf, can you please give me a 20 also?”

“This is all I have, sorry” I walked out as fast as I can.

I spent three years in India and I have met many beggars, I have actually seen the different varieties and classes of beggars India has to offer. Never did I meet someone in the state I found the gentleman in and never did I feel threatened by one.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lost ...

On a cold December I met an angel, 
on a journey to the crown of palaces, 
Railroads bonded an affection, 
only to be lost for circumstance ...


Love I thought possible, 
life I thought settled ...
Never will we loose, 
I thought commitment ...


Sadly it was only I, 
who thought affection 


I sleep only to run away, 
But I shall face again reality as sun warms up. 
I weep for my misfortune, 
But courage I seek from the day ahead ... 

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Bangladeshi Freedom Fighter: Habibul Alam, Bir Pratik

"... The white Chevrolet rolled into the porch and two people were trying to get out. I threw the second grenade, which landed near the revolting door... It was for the first time that the people who were hanging around Hotel Intercontinental saw with their own eyes that an attack on the government was being made by the freedom fighters ..." 

For those of you who have not met a real "Guerrilla rebel", a real "Freedom Fighter", a real "Hero", a real "Scouter" and a real "Gentleman", all "in one", here is the man you should read about.

Habibul Alam, only a student at Dhaka University, joined the liberation war in Bangladesh early 1971. He fought for a free independent Bangladesh under the command of Sector-2 and K-forces. He made his stand strong and made history witness, his courage and bravery by leading the first group of 17 boys that came into the heart of Dhaka City to fight the enemy. His role in the liberation war till its very end was not just important but necessary. 

For his active participation and bravery in the war of Liberation in 1971 the Government of the Peoples' Republic of Bangladesh awarded him the gallantry award "Bir Pratik". 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

09.09.2011: A mourners day to the students of Hiriya School.

A day to remember... 5 very lives lost... Four students, One very extraordinary Principal, lost their last breaths to the mighty waters. 

I was at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport, Kolkata, when Haneef rang me on my cell and told me of this very unfortunate incident. "Its not clear how many died, no exact figures no official statements were issued by any authorities" he told me ... 

With no internet, no IDD facility nor STD facility in the "International" Airport.  I depended on the different people I spoke on phone. Haneef, Zambe and Azan kept me informed with the updates while Babaa (in tears) and Ahlam Miss confirmed me other details. I was terrified to hear of the death of Ali Nazim and the four students. It was one very sorrowful news I had to digest.  

I knew Nazim Sir as the Principal and Group Scout Leader of Hiriya School. He was a kindhearted gentleman who always met me with a warm smile. During the brief encounters we had, he would always ask me how I was doing and how my studies were going on. He would speak very politely, with respect in his tone, to who ever he addressed. I have never seen him say anything loud or seen him rage at anyone.  

Last I saw him was in August, while I was on vacation. On road late night while I was heading home with Azan ... he comes up on the side on his Motorbike very calm and informal, actually it was the very first time I saw him not in a formal wear and in shorts, says hi in his very cheerful tone. There he was with his warm welcoming smile greeting me and Azan. (I remember this last meeting with him all too well because he was taking home some Coconuts.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

With Family in Chennai ...

It was 8:30 when I boarded the train destination "Chennai". I arrived there on the morning of 12th January. This was not a sightseeing visit nor a study trip ... It was a FAMILY REUNION ... umm more like a family medical trip ... last I met the family was in my second semester holidays in Vacation back home; MALDIVES

As soon as I came to out of Chennai Central I headed to meet with the family.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Keffiyeh; a symbol of Palestinian nationalism

The keffiyeh/kufiya (Arabicكوفية‎, kūfiyyah, plural كوفياتkūfiyyāt), also known as a ghutrah (غترة), ḥaṭṭah (حطّة), mashadah (مشدة) , shemagh (شماغ) or inPersian chafiye (چفیه), and Turkish puşi, is a traditional headdress typically worn by Arab and Kurdish men fashioned from a square, usually cotton, scarf. It is commonly found in arid regions to provide protection from direct sun exposure, as well to protect the mouth and eyes from blown dust and sand. Its distinctive woven check pattern may have originated in an ancient Mesopotamian representation of either fishing nets or ears of grain. 

I have always been inspired by this Arab headdress ... Its a symbol of Arabs.

The keffiyeh became a symbol of Palestinian nationalism during the Arab Revolt of the 1930s. Its prominence increased in the 1960s with the beginning of the Palestinian resistance movement and its adoption by Palestinian politician Yasser Arafat.

Friday, August 13, 2010

21st World Scout Jamboree, 2007 UK: Badge Collection PART TWO

21st World Scout Jamboree Contingent Badges - My collection ... All badges were collected during the World Scout Jamboree in UK 2007!!



Netherlands Contingent

21st World Scout Jamboree, 2007 UK: Badge Collection PART ONE

21st World Scout Jamboree Contingent Badges - My collection ... All badges were collected during the World Scout Jamboree in UK 2007!!


Maldivian Contingent

Scouts of China (Taiwan) Contingent

Scouts of Canada Contingent

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

27th APR Scout Jamboree and 3rd international Patrol Jamboree. Suncheon, Korea

The 27th Asia Pacific Regional Scout Jamboree and 3rd International Patrol Jamboree kicks off in Suncheon, Korea on 4th August 2010. Over 12.000 Scouts from 43 countries from all over the APR and the World has gathered in Suncheon the Ecological city of Korea to take part in this event.
I took part in the Jamboree as APR YAMG and as YAMG we were assigned to look after and manage the Jamboree International Service team (IST) and to facilitate and run the Scout Youth Environment Forum. However we also launched the opening of the 6th APR Internet Jamboree for the Jamboree participants from APR Village in the Jamboree site.
YAMG present include: me, Ari, Benz and Hafiz. Jessy also took part in the Jamboree however since she is also staff at the KSA (Korea Scout Association) she was already busy in tasks that KSA has assigned her.
The IST crowd we had were totally AWESOME !!! it was fun to work with the guys and we all had a good time. We ran all the activities in the APR Village. Participants who completed APR Village activities got the FRIENDSHIP AWARD.

The YAMG made a Patrol and we completed all the tasks of the Hwarang Award 2010 which was given by the Korea Scout Association. The YAMG members; me, Hafiz, Benz and Ari now hold the Hwarang Award.

The IST was made up of Scouters and volunteers from India, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Taiwan, Korea, Maldives, Indonesia and Thailand.

The Youth Scout Environment forum during the Jamboree was facilitated and run by me and Benz since Ari was in charge of the Internet Jamboree and Hafiz was handling the APR Village the two of us were left to run the Forum.The forum went on great as the participants divided into three groups and each group taking part in outdoor observations making evaluations and preparing presentations based on their findings. Scouts concentrated on waste management, disposal, recycling, re-using and also general cleanliness.

I had a great time with in Korea ... Hope to be there soon again.

Vacation back home; MALDIVES

Its been real long since I had posted anything up here. So here I go.

After the APR Leaders Summit in Bangalore I came back to Mysore, to renew my residence permit in India and took a ticket to Male' via Colombo. Dad wanted me back in Male' where there was unfinished business that I had to be present.

The flight from Bangalore to Colombo was delayed for about 2 hours, then when I arrived to Colombo (where I had THE LONGEST transit stay) again the flight was delayed for like 2 hours. This was one of the disadvantages in taking a Srilankan Airlines UL flight (UL - usually late). However when I arrived in Male' International Airport I was greeted by familiar faces, Dad, Nadhutha, Samman, Shahud, Ahpi, Azan and the crowd.

I was in Male' from the 6th July to 30th July 2010, 25 days of wonderful time and fun. Naturally I was doing a lot of scouting and a lot of spending good time.

During the time in Male' I was helping the Hiriya School Scouts as they were preparing for their investiture. Also got to attend the Investiture of Majeedhiya School Scouts (1st Male' Scouts).

There were two fairs which I was able to contribute to as well. One was the Hiriya School fair where we made a web tower for the kids to climb and the other fair in Kalaafaanu School where we made a monkey bridge and made a obstacle course scout style. It was good to do a lot of pioneering, which has been some thing that I love from the beginning of my scouting. And it felt much better to have our old crowd work together, bringing a lot of memories and leaving behind yet more memories.

On the 23rd on July, which was also the Maldivian Scout membership day (the day the Scout Association of Maldives got membership form WOSM) our crowd organized a REUNION BBQ in Hulhumale'. Where all most all of us attended. Me, Shahud, Samman, Sammah, Fitte, Ahpi, Azan, Shifzan, Anna (Shahud) and Babaa all of us had a good time. Must say one of the best BBQ I have been to. IT WAS A BLAST!!!

latter on the 26th of July, I was involved in the Independence day celebrations where I was part of a group of swimmers which included my little brother Abaa, who swam from a Close Island (funadhoo) to Male' where President Mohamed Nasheed was out to greet us.

Finally after spending an AWESOME time back home I came back to Mysore again on UL from Male' - Colombo - Bangalore. UL kept its name it was usually late again ...

Friday, April 16, 2010

3 hours in Queue -- BANG slammed the door -- LUNCH BREAK

Another beautiful Friday morning in Mysore, a calm usual day like any other, energetic lads enthusiastically heading to their busy occupations ...

10:24 ... and there was me making the usual the unusual ... fast steps ... almost running heading to College.

10:28 ... Ohh for gods sake ... there it was, couldn't believe my eyes!! it was "THE QUEUE" all the way down the hallway ... there must have been somewhat at least 70 - 80 in line. Didn't have much option there, it was either PAY EXAM FEES TODAY or expect the QUEUE to grow day by day up till the deadline!!!

10:30... the office door opens and it begins !!!

A guy comes ... "hey, get back you !! get back !!! Make sure its a single line !! wait for your turn !! no one out of the line get it!!" now that was a very clear command!! and so I waited in the line ... waiting for my turn ... Waiting in the single line ...... waiting ... waiting for my turn ... and waiting ....

10:50 ... Now I have a classmate who is actually the only other Maldivian in first year at the College, now this certain someone is a SHE!! she walks into the hallway waves at me and joins the "LADIES QUEUE" now this here is the part I really want to criticize on rights and equality... I have always been hearing WOMENS RIGHTS and EMANCIPATION of WOMEN .. EQUAL RIGHTS ... but here in this case the female species get served faster and quicker while the so called dominant male species stands in the line not being treated special!! 11:30 ... off she goes again waving me bye bye this time, her job done.

11: 31 ... One Hour and a minute in Queue and waiting .... waiting and more waiting ....

Something I found rather amazing being in the queue standing in a single line without being able to move about and without being able to move forward, not even a footstep. This happens to be a very normal thing for the locals here! apparently it looked as if they were enjoying it. Reminded me of the Maldivian saying said when a person or somepeople keep standing without sitting :-"hmm Sit down dude!! Are you standing there so that you can join the Army??" Well in this case here you ll have dozens ready for the Army!!

11:55 ... At last I was able to get 2 steps forward in line ... yey!! this was actually the first time I felt the queue even move...

Was so bored thought of sending a SMS to Haneef in Bangalore

my sms:
2 hours in line ... yet only 4 steps forward .. :(

Haneef's reply:
Fast steps in the field of development might lead to failure .. be optimistic :)

Yea right!!!

12:30 ... Two hours and and yet only 4 steps did the queue move .... Boring .... Slight movement ... very boring .... feeling hungry .... didn't have breakfast (wanted to go first in line and get it over and then come back home to have a good meal ... screw the idea) .... Ohh and I am suppose to have an ENGLISH Class NOW!!! ... hmmm ... English can wait ... Fees first!!!

12:45 ... waiting ..... waiting .... still waiting ... hmmmm .... zZzZZZzzzzZZz .... hmmm .... waiting and still waiting .... more waiting

13:05 ... lines moving ... getting a bit fast now!!!! good sign I guess !!

13:15 ... a guy walks marking a number on each students paper ... I happen to get 11 ... this was the queue up number ?? pretty soon to get one ...

13:20 ... "BANG" !!! DOORS SLAM SHUT .... "OFFICE CLOSED!! LUNCH BREAK!!" re-opening at 14:30!! all in queue please disperse !!!

..... what the **** ..... and there I was after 3 hours in the Queue ...

wasted 3 hours missed class and breakfast .... truly a broken man left the college heading home ....

Ohh I did come back latter anyway ... 13:05 tired and legs shaking after paying the fees and getting the application form ... sigh ... tomorrow yet again need to join the 'FORM SUBMITTING QUEUE" ...

Friday, March 5, 2010

ATM's Ruin my day!!!

All this happened on the 25th February 2010!! All events took place while I was trying to reach Bangalore International Airport to catch a flight to Singapore.

I arrived to Majestic bus station, Bangalore after a three and half hour trip from Mysore. As soon as I was out of the station I took an Auto (Rickshaw) to the nearest ATM. My card; which was an BML Visa card, did not work from this ATM, I knew at once this ATM doesn't read foreign cards so I asked the Auto driver to take me to another ATM. I did tell him that since I have a Maldivian card take me to a ATM of a major Bank of India! He takes me to a HDC Bank ATM. It worked!!! I withdrew money enough for me to pay to my agent who booked my Singapore ticket, which as agreed I had to pay for when I arrive to Bangalore. I met him and paid for the ticket.

As I was done paying my agent I asked the same Auto driver whom I had hired to take me to the Airport Bus. Somehow the Auto driver managed to convince me that I should take a cab to the Airport rather than a Bus which he says would consume a lot of time and since I was already a bit off my schedule so naturally I agreed with him and asked him to take me to a Cab instead of a Bus!! As he takes me to this cab, and asks me to pay him IRS 350 for the Auto. Which I assumed was somewhat reasonable for all the troubles he took for me.

The Cab driver tells me he has to be paid IRS 500 to take me to the Airport. Which again was reasonable since it was late night and the distance ... So I agreed to this guy. But since I had not planed this cab ride earlier I told him that I will be needing to stop to an ATM to withdraw enough money to pay for the ride! I did tell him that my card works only with certain major Banks in India so take me to one of those ATM's. He agrees and tells me "Not to worry there are plenty of those ATM's on the way to Airport!".

The story begins

The first ATM he took me was in a shopping complex on the way to Airport. As I inserted the card into it the ATM tells me "INVALID TRANSACTION". I come out of there and head to the next ATM which was across street. Here again the ATM tells me "INVALID TRANSACTION". At this point I was very sure that this is definitely a problem with Indian banking system and Indian ATM's.

I go back to the cab, tells him the situation and he tells me again "Not to worry more ATM's on the way"

The cab driver takes me to a SBI ATM, here again the ATM wouldn't let me withdraw any cash!! However was relived cause this ATM recognized my card, after all SBI is the State Bank of India!! I tried several times again but no luck. At this point of time I was really very p***** off!! feeling very disappointed. I go back to the cab, where the Cab driver was quite suspicious of me, for a moment or two I had the feeling that he had the picture of me trying to run off without paying!!

He tells me there are couple of ATM's in the Airport!! "So lets get going shall we?"

At the Airport I tried the ATM's there but no luck!!! I was very embarrassed and felt very ******, I had a cab driver besides me who looked angry and I had a flight to catch in an Hour!!
I didn't know what to do!!! then it came to me I had a $10 with me. I went to the money exchange at the airport exchanged the $10 and paid the cab guy his money!! ( he did take IRS 50 more for all the trouble!!

As soon as I paid the Cab guy I waked into Departure. There was one thing in my mind!!! I cursed Indian ATM's!! Suddenly my cell rings ...

"Man, so you in the flight?"
"Asif, yea!! I am in the Airport, I hate Indian Banking and ATM's"
"why what happened?"
"My card don't work at any ATM here!!"
" ... ummm ... did you withdraw somewhat USD 400 today"
".... let me think ... yea I paid for ticket + I had withdrawn back in Mysore as well today. why?"
" Ohh ... BML, Maldives they allow only USD 400 per day!!"
"Ohhh ... I see ..."

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Merlion, Singapore


I was in Singapore for a Regional Scout meeting last week!! The Merlion was one thing I found remarkable in Singapore!!

The Merlion was first designed as an emblem for the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) in 1964 – the lion head with a fish body resting on a crest of waves quickly became Singapore’s icon to the rest of the world.

Originally located at the Merlion Park by the Esplanade Bridge, the Merlion and the Cub became a popular tourist attraction for visitors. The installation ceremony took place on 15 September 1972, officiated by the then Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

Today, the Merlion has found a new home just 120 metres away from its original location, adjacent to one Fullerton.

Measuring 8.6 metres high and weighing 70 tonnes, the Merlion statue was built from cement fondue by the late Singapore craftsman, Mr Lim Nang Seng. A second and smaller Merlion statue, measuring two metres high and weighing three tones, was also built by Mr Lim. The body was made of cement fondue, the skin from porcelain plates and eyes from small red teacups.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Great Memories in photo ...

Every photo has a story ... Every photo has a memory ... Every photo takes me back in Time ...

Pundit Jee!!!! hahahhaha :) During CHSE ... This picture has a great story ... hahaha :D

In 2005, Alimas Carnival, During the JOTI / JOTA ... this was while I was still in 10th grade!!!

CHSE crowd!!! After School Juicepetty ... on photo from left to right Haneef, wadde, Lubaab, Raani, Hasna, (me), Mahoo and Ulaa ... the good old times ...

At the 21st World Scout Jamboree held in Hylands Park, Chelmsford Uk 2007. Maldivian Contingent!!! In photo from left to right: Shaxa, Saeed(kajurey), Thian, (me) Abdulla Rasheed (seedhibe), Shafaa-ath, Shinan and Shaaniz. we had a good time and great memories!!!

My First JOB: At the Presidents Official Residence, Worked on the President's Special Project on Archiving and History. Me (left), President Mohamed Nasheed (center) and my good friend Hussain Mohamed Haneef (right). Worked at Muliaage for Three months after which I came to Mysore for my Degree.

Male' International Airport... Leaving back to Mysore after a great Holiday Back Home in Maldives. On Photo from Left to right: Azan, Naanu, Shifxan, Shahud, Ahpi, fittey, M.I, (me), Haneef and Samman. Thank you guys for the wonderful time.

Annular Solar Eclipse Photography on 15th January 2010 in Male', Maldives. On photo from left to right: Samman, (me) and my DAD!!! Find the Annular Solar eclipse photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/em-squared/sets/72157623347946589/

At the Taj Mahal in India this was after taking part as a facilitator at the SAF Scout Friendship Camp held in Hariyana, India. Had a good time with in the camp!!! was Awesome!!!

At Starbucks Malaysia, Meeting with the 22nd World Scout Jamboree Promotion Team. In Photo: Cleopetra from Uganda, Steve and Big MaC from the PNG, (me) and Tebo from Kiribati. We had a lot of Scouts in the promotional meeting. :( Don't think I can make it to the Sweden WSJ in 2011. :(

TEAM SF: the name SF is a long story :D !!! this was after the Earth Hour Walk which TEAM SF coordinated in Maldives 2009. In photo: from left to right: Samman, Ahpi, (me), Shifzan, Fittey, Shan and Farish.

At the 23rd Asia Pacific Regional Scout Conference in Malaysia, Kuala Lampur. In Photo from left to right: (me), Ahmed Ali Maniku(Kennedy) and Asippe!
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