July 30, 2014

Take a walk with your child

Friday mornings in Male is the time those parents who do care about their children take them out. Others may think this is the day for them to sleep in. But if you are one of those who do venture out on Friday mornings onto the blissfully deserted streets of Male, it would be better for you to take them out for a walk rather than for a round on your motor-cycle. True, your kid may enjoy the thrill of the movement and speed and for you too it maybe easier than the walk if you are one who has got so used to the seat of a motorbike, and you feel that you have done your parental chore of performing your share of being with the child on a day when you could sleep in. Well and good for you, but for the child, the walk may indeed be better -- and if you think a bit deeper into this, for you too, as it takes you off that motor cycle on which you perch all of your working week. 

Yes, there is magic in walking because you are then interacting with the environment around you and between you both rather than just witnessing these as you would as you whiz on a motor-bike. The touch of your hands, the voice of your conversation, and the protracted time for taking in the scenery with its myriad nuances to sink in indelibly, would all add to the richness of your moment together. With the absence of that speed and the suffocating wind in your child’s face, you now have the time to observe, touch, feel and reflect on the objects of the environment around you. These personal moments they call ‘quality time’ are what move the soul from a mundane existence to one charged with spirituality and pure being. Such moments will help you and your child mentally and spiritually and of course for you, physically too for waking up – even weekly -- those lethargic muscles that linger idle as you perch week-long on that motor-bike. 

May Allah give us the awareness to be our best in a changing world!

July 28, 2014

Eid Mubaarak

Dear Family and friends;

The holy month devoted to peace and prayer, love and forgiveness is now past us in yet another year of our lives. The month comes but once a year, and it is a chance to redeem or mend lost family and other relationships and appreciate the Grace of Allah. Let's hope many of us were able to make some transition for the better in our lives.

On a more mundane level, it is (was) also a great opportunity to make some life-style changes such as stopping the smoking habit or seek to beat that desire to eat and drink unnecessarily and empathize with our less fortunate brothers and sisters in humanity. Just imagine, you proved your ability to hold those outlandish habits at bay for 12 hours (kudos for your eemaan!), and kept going for 30 days. If we were thoughtful and serious enough to make change, this was a golden chance. But don't lose hope, you have the "ha-roadha" also, six momentous day to rethink and revive your physical self.

There is also a spiritual anomaly in our fasting that I noticed. We say intoxicants are forbidden in Islam, and so how come, we deny these for 12 hours each day, inject new energy into prayer and giving, and then at the end of the day, we do what Allah forbids -- light up intoxicants, and indulge in being unkind to our bodies by downing all those energy drinks that reek in calories to give us the artificial high, and gorge on all kinds of foods the rest of the night to essentially neutralize much of the whole purpose of our fast.

This is not to lament a Blessed month gone by, but just to reminisce of opportunities we may have forfeited in the neglect of the blessings that Ramzaan had to offer. Don't feel bad, another Ramzaan will come. but then, there may not be another for many of us -- even those who may not be chronologically closer to the other end. The point perhaps is that everyday is a chance for us to make ourselves better human beings. But Ramzaan however, offers a golden opportunity that is touted as just that for the betterment of our inner-selves -- what we call the soul which is the only entity within our selves that will survive our mundane existence.

Good luck and may Allah's Grace be with you in this interim period to guide you.

July 9, 2014

Environmental day is gone!

The day has come and gone but Male, our square mile of home, sits in its daily litter. While bill boards for Wall's ice-cream for "tasting the joy of Cornetto', and that for energy drinks for "energy for holidays" and for "it all starts with Nescafe" has come up on our beautiful waterfront blemishing the scenic beauty of the scene we are to behold beyond  our turquoise waters, the tree-bases that line our main avenues and the sea front waters also still keep the litter of our populace after enjoying the above. The day has come and gone, I hear, with the hype of strong messages of taking care of those who litter. Yet little result is visible.

The aware part of our populace did indeed survey the content of the litter on our streets as a part of their contribution to the environment day. They collected and sorted the content and found pet bottles, empty supari sachets, cigarette packet covers, energy drink cans, and empty Milo packets and the like to be the gist. Seemingly these items point to youth action and alas, they are the future of our society.

We need our municipal authorities or those in whatever name to take urgent action to curb this advance to a Male that can be the dump of our Region while our neighbors are valiantly attempting to clean up a littering past and succeeding.  This blog will be I know only a smattering in the wind as regards progressive action, but many such smatterings offered by other concerned citizens of Maldives will add up to a meaningful attempt.  If our elected authorities will not take action for their term in office, we the citizens must make our youth aware of the irresponsibility they exercise, and what this could mean for the future of our society.

Democracy is certainly not this!