How is it
That we have a heart
But are driven
By a heartless ego
for the well being
of those around us
We are the only ones
who matter at all
Where well being matters
Is a right
equal in proportion
to each of us
So that we may fly
Category Archives: Values
How is it
Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, we are in a time of absolute uncertainty. We have been slapped in the face with the reality, that our destiny is not in our hands. That nothing is in our hands. That we cannot be certain of what tomorrow holds. The truth is that we have to live one day at a time. We have to make the best of the moment we are in right now.
It is a reality that has been true ever since. But now it has hit us hard and woken us up to the truth – a reality check.
Today, as we keep counting the number of dead, everyday, I realized that it is not death that I am afraid of. It is a life not worth living. A life without means. A life that is worthless. Rather, one in which I will be worthless, or useless to the people around me. The people that matter.
We are valued on how useful we are to others. How much we can provide to others and what we can do for them. Absent of the aforementioned, we have no value. We are not worth being loved. We cannot be loved. What would be the purpose of loving a person without anything, any means, any use.
That is the stark reality that hit me today. In this time of uncertainty, one thing that struck as certain, is that a person who has nothing to offer is of no use, and will only be a burden to others.
Death perhaps, need not be feared so much. It is better than a life without means.
It is yet another Women’s Day. And I am sure the celebrations are going on everywhere. I don’t find “celebration” the right word for the occasion, because women are the most abused, marginalized, victimized – for nothing else, but just being a person of the female gender.
Today, I wished the colleagues on VARU by Atmosphere, a happy women’s day and asked them what their wish was today. Half of those I questioned struggled to find the right answer or said, “nothing”. A male colleague who was present when one answered in that way said, “that is being a woman”.
Many had wishes which were close to their heart – filled with warmth, love, care, happiness and joy, etc. They wished to be with their families and loved ones and be happy. It clearly made sense with what I had written to my colleagues on this day –
As we celebrate this special day in honor of women – aunts, colleagues, daughters, grandmothers, mothers, nieces, sisters, wives, and others – we must remember: it is not about things, it is about a smile, love, warmth, feeling good, a hug, a touch, a shoulder to rest upon, and just being there without passing judgement.
I had a very different answer from one of the colleagues, “I wish I did not have to give up my father’s name when I got married, and also that I was eligible to get a share of my father’s wealth and keep his name. And feel equal.” I also asked her, where do you see yourself 10 years from now. Her answer was spot on, “In my country. Running my own business. Perhaps a hospitality training school.”.
I could not help wondering how beautiful this day would be if we had more thinking women who were empowered like her. Not subservient to a society who loathed control over women. Then close to the afternoon came a very sweet yet powerful wish.
“I wish – for men to pledge to stop their mean behaviors towards women.” And she went on to explain that it included the many women who were made to suffer in silence.
Take a moment to make a woman feel good, for no reason, but just being herself. It is best to do it in person – from near or far. It could be your grandmother, mother, daughter, wife, sister, aunt, niece, or a female colleague.
All you need is to express and share the warmth in your heart.
Dhiraagu Dhivehi League: Deprives one of the basic human right to drinking water if you wish to watch a match in the stadium
Yesterday I went to the National Stadium (known to me as Galolhu Grounds) for the match between New Radiant and Maziya in the first round of Dhiraagu Dhivehi League 2012. When the first half finished, I came out of the stadium to buy a soft drink and something to eat.
When I went in I had the bottle of water which I bought from the corner shop just beside the stadium, in my hand. When I handed the ticket to the guard at the entrance he told me that I could not take the bottle of water into the stadium. It was not allowed.
There are spectators who will be in the stadium for almost two hours; those who do not come out during half time. I just realized how much one has to sacrifice to watch a a football match in Maldives.
It is also an indication of how the decision makers in the country think. It is a culture that I have experienced on various occasions when I have been compelled to avail of public or government service. A culture of complete arrogance and a lack of empathy by authorities. It does not surprise me because the tradition of authority in the country descends from a monarchy intolerant of its subjects for anything but pleasing the Sultan or the Queen.
I was only appalled by the association of Dhiraagu with an event with such low and sub-human practices. It is a more socially responsible corporate citizen in the country and to find that they would have overlooked such a simple basic human right. The right to drinking water.
And I wondered what a 500ml bottle of drinking water packed in a PET bottle could do. The guard did not worry that I may have had a knife under my belt or a patrol bomb in a pocket of my trousers.
My experience yesterday is not unique. It is a typical mentality of people who get into positions of power in the Maldives. They have a control-mindset, and a fear of ordinary people. They will do anything and everything to keep the people at a distance and strip the ordinary people of everything that they fear. And they fear the tiniest possibility to respond.
I am sure there will be a day in the Maldives, when people will be charged a fee for watching Dhivehi League matches at home, and no one will be allowed into the stadium for fear of attacking the players in the game. That of course will be our fate when we allow ourselves to be ruled and led by people full of fear.
However frustrated I was, I finished the bottle of water and went in to see the match, which New Radiant won, of course.
The Maldives Parliament or Rayyithuge Majlis (meaning the People’s Chamber) has deliberated on a revision of the Pension Bill, to give one third of salary to any MP who completes one five year term in the Majlis.
Parliamentarians are paid three times the highest paid civil servant and more than what any civil servant or private sector employee can expect to earn with over twenty years service and with a decent education and experience. Their self-centered approach to giving themselves a salary and allowances of nearly a hundred thousand Rufiyaa (8,000 US Dollars) a month has thrown the pay structure in the country into complete chaos. A possible pay commission that was called for has not still come to function.
Now these hyprocritical MPs (who call themselves the Honorable Respresentatives of the People) have again showed their greed by asking for over 20,000 Rufiyaa (1,600 US Dollars) a month on completion of their “name-calling” and filth-filled discourse in parliament for five years. This would be equivalent to the take-home remuneration for the highest paid civil servant.
What a Parliament we Maldivians have been blessed with!
This is the second call I had today.
Just now it was from an expatriate project manager that I know who is from a neighbouring country. He said that he has a 100,000 US Dollars that he can sell and was looking for a willing buyer. He also told me that as I know, the market rate is now 13.75 Rufiyaa and that he could give me a better deal if I knew someone who was ready to buy. You know what that means!
This morning the call was from a CFO in a reputable company in Male’ who had 200,000 US Dollars that he wanted to sell. He said that the rate was 14.00 Rufiyaa. He had given me a call because I had requested him for some assistance in meeting our dollar purchase requirement. I told him we did not buy from the black market, yet.
Both the calls came from people working for and in reputed business organizations. I don’t know whether they were trying to make a quick buck for themselves personally or for the company. Some of my friends tell me that I don’t have proper business acumen because I think this way. They tell me that a thriving black market is here and we have to embrace it or perish. These are the same people who believe that the government is corrupt and are up in arms to combat the wrongdoing.
In the meantime, agencies of the state seem to be unable to design and implement policies to regulate the financial market to deal with the challenges of the day.
The other day I was having a conversation about doing business in the region with a foreign investor over a glass of fresho orange juice. He is a Muslim.
During our conversation I asked him what the biggest difficulty was that he faced in doing business in Maldives. He said almost spontaneously without a second thought that it was “gossiping”. He went onto explain that it was known as “gheeba” in their country. I did not tell him that we have the same word in our vocabulary too. I asked him what he meant.
He then went onto explain, that it was talking about other people in their absence. I told him that I quite agreed, and that this was wrong also because it did create unfounded stories and rumors about people which were not true. He told me that it was not only talking bad about other people. That “gheeba” was talking about others what they wouldn’t want even when what is said maybe true. He claimed that proper human rights would be to completely refrain from talking about other people without their permission even if what is said maybe true. To him, that was the true Muslim spirit.
I am sure this investor must have had quite an experience to say it so spontaneously and in such a pin pointed manner. I was not surprised!
Let’s see how our People’s House (the so called Majlis) can be made “gheeba” free, in the first place. A place which upheld the true Islamic Faith that they so passionately made to be the pillar and guiding principle of the August Constitution. Perhaps, the ordinay folk will follow the leaders of the nation, and make this country worthy of investment by businesses without hesitation then.
I give my vote for an “gheeba” free Maldives. How about you?
We just came back from a visit to my brother in Bangalore. It was a good family retreat with a lot of fun and enjoyment. I think it is time I got out of my writers block and got back to blogging. I guess this post is a new beginning to a new year and back to blogging as usual – perhaps with a touch of novice to it.
Happy New Year to all!
This morning I met a friend who was furious about the way new year celebration was portrayed in an article in Aafathis Daily. Apparently the celebration is said to be an occasion for all sorts of social ills. He was concerned about this “propaganda” that was being fed into the minds of ordinary citizens!