Malaysia Airlines MH370: Jet mystery – how can a plane vanish?

How can the Malaysia Airline 370 simply vanish?

Aircraft such as this, the boeing 777, has an excellent safety record and is full of electronic equipment to tell the ground where it is, even in distress.  It amazes me, that so far despite searching for so long by so many different agencies from so many different nations with all the technology, satellites and intelligence – no one yet find or can explain this mystery?

What has happened to it?

 

 

Elusive PhD

Recently, I’ve had a 3 letter word allot on my mind – it doesn’t, for once, begin with an ‘S’ and end with an ‘X’ (joke intended).  It begins with ‘P’ and ends with a ‘D’.  Yup – that’s right it’s my PhD research.

I bet many of you have probably forgotten that as well as everything else, I am, still, a (part-time) PhD research student and if you didn’t know – now you do.  Majority of you, I know, don’t have a ephemeral memory – thank god.

One main reason why I’ve been away, especially from this blog-platform, is purely because of my PhD.  I realised and it hit me hard, while I was in India (business-pleasure vacation) (Dec 2013 to Jan 2014) during a Skype meeting with my University supervisor, that I needed to scale down my travelling dramatically, especially seen that I am now entering a critical demesne phase of my research – the dreaded practical lab work.

I use the word ‘lab’ loosely (and you can probably see the academic PhD language coming out here) as it covers a multiple areas including recording the physical behaviour of subjects (which is another academic/scientific name for human beings) including their vital signs.

In a perfect world:

  • I’d be able to complete my ethical approval request with ease (by the way is a thesis in itself).
  • Submit it to the University ethical approval department.
  • Where the ethical approval board/committee would meet, sit and approve it in record time.
  • Which would then be forwarded and thus allowing me to repeat the same process again but this time to the public healthcare service (trying to avoid using the name here but you might just get the idea).
  • Who would meet, sit and approve again in record time and I’d be on my way to the next step.

However, and unfortunately, the world I live in isn’t so damn perfect, and having submitted my ethical approval request (or rather thesis) for the second time earlier this year, I am yet to hear the verdict (either its granted or more information is required) – talk about wanting this to be more cynosure.  I have, however, been assured, after knocking on a few doors, that a response will be with me soon.  In an academic dictionary the word ‘soon’ has no definition (according to me).

Once I have the ethical approval from both the University and public healthcare service, I will then need to spend a considerable amount of time, close to about a year, with subjects (remember real human beings) where I can perform some activities with and record their behaviour (from both close proximity and long distance) thus fusing together technology and medicine to help subjects with various forms of clinical illnesses.  I was told during this time by my supervisor that I will be mentoring some final year under graduate students – a total of 3.  I asked “do I have a choice?” he laughed and after a long pause replied “No”.  I then said to him “give me all female students, or, let me pick my 3 students”.  He responded with a raised eyebrow.

So I guess you kind of get the idea of what I mean by lab work.

On this very blog, excluding the other two (remember I do have two more blogs where I’m the author and run with the help of a team) I haven’t talked much about my PhD research other than mentioning it very briefly in my ‘about me’ section.  I don’t want you guys to get the impression that I’ve suddenly woken up in the middle of the night and said “damn, I have a PhD research to do” which in a panicking fashion led me to manufacture this blog post.

The fact is that I have been hard at work and it hasn’t been just a dalliance or halcyon approach.

Not only handling my business(es), a newly started venture (well by that I mean just over a year old venture), existing property development and expanding my portfolio, travelling and career in the healthcare sector, I have been engaged in studying and making a conscious effort in doing so.  Having an apartment in Leeds and Knightsbridge London where I tend to stay during the week and where I commute between the two, and a home (an actual house) in a nice part of Leeds, it can become extremely challenging and imbroglio to study everyday, especially since my study and research material is scattered and can be anywhere (Leeds or London) along with my equipment and journals/papers.  In the past it has been a tremendous amount of pain in the backside having settled down to study only to realise I’ve left something behind at my last location.  So now I have to ensure that no matter where I am, intend to stay, travel to, or how I travel – I need to take with me everything (books, equipment, laptop(s), journals, research papers and more books) even when travelling to Florida or India for vacation – Yes it’s been that crazy.

Speaking about India, on my last visit to India I screwed up by leaving a large about of study material (all very important) at the apartment of my acquaintance.  Although we had spent plenty of time together she ended up in Maldives with her family (a break well deserved considering how hard she had performed worked) and during the 2014 New Year celebrations she ventured off to New York, which meant my study material was locked at her apartment as I headed home – but thank god, after having scraped myself off the ceiling and virtually crying to her over a Skype call, once I got back home in the UK she arranged for the material to be DHL’d and was back with me in around 10 days.  You see, no matter where I am, or go, I am still a student.  My acquaintance in India finds it fascinating that I am so dedicated to so many things in my life and she doesn’t falter in constantly reminding me – especially when, at times, she has woken up 4am and found me studying in a surreptitious fashion outside the bedroom in her kitchen only to look at me slightly bemused and left scratching her head as to the sight of me scattered all over her kitchen.  She is right and I am totally dedicated.  Once I’ve committed to something I need to see it through come what may?  I’m just like that.

My supervisor, who I need to see desperately face to face as oppose to Skype and phone, is always concerned about my progress and at times does give desultory and evocative hints.  He’s not the only one – I am too.  With so much to do, read, work on, plan and discuss he finds that I am all of the place, by that he means physically not academically (I hope).  The truth is, when I first embarked on this PhD path, part time study was my personal choice – why – because it allowed me to keep a balance between family, life, business, money, work and everything else.  Yes, being full time ‘could have’ meant finishing my PhD research allot quicker, but imagine what else I would have missed out on?  So, when he complains I am left scratching my head (even on Skype) thinking “well you knew I was going to be all over the place – hence why I did it part time”.  I have to, however, remember and take into account his concerns, after all he is a Professor as well as my supervisor, and has seen it all before and knows the signs of when someone is on the path of screwing up badly.  So to ensure I am not going to screw up I have made some extremely critical and vital decisions, all which aid me in becoming more of a research student (that too at a PhD level) and less of a – well – everything else I’m known as.  My cohorts on campus find it funny and amusing that I arrive on campus in a large four wheel drive, suited up and carry a briefcase (yes  I do, I’m old school) and a rucksack.  Other than to the cohort I appear to be a young lecturer of some kind (as the old folk usually appear to be wearing a 20 year old cream/brown coded trousers, a jumper and a 20 year old bottle green jacket).  The truth is, I’m just another student on campus who 1) hasn’t had the time to get changed into something-more-student-like-wear or 2) simply can’t be asked getting changed from Professional into something unprofessional clothing.

I embarked onto this PhD research, not because I didn’t know what to do after I graduated with a Masters, or because I need to up my qualifications to get a better career, the fact is, I have a good career, I own and run multiple businesses with good (outrageous) turnover, I have no money worries.  My PhD research was a ebullience challenge I set myself – and despite having contemplated quitting a couple of times – I know how important it is for me to complete it.

As my father once said, before he left me at the gates of my boarding school – somewhere in Berkshire “Son, remember, don’t trail and track money – trail and track your passion”, and so, this one statement has guided me to where I am today.

Once I’m in I’m in.

Note:  This post was written via a iPad and my smart phone – both I find unconventional in writing and churning out such material, so if you find lack of creativity or errors than please do excuse me, I can only get better while using such technology and tools.

This part of my life is called ‘Rules Of Engagement’

Ever since I was a child, the one thing I was good at or rather ‘extremely’ good at was to get myself organised and ready for obstacles of tomorrow.  I was good at preparing myself, in all forms, for the future, especially in the face of new and different challenges presented to me and at times at extreme short notices.   Over time I’ve grown more confident, secure and positive in handling pressures that come with this, especially when stepping into unknown territory.  Today, I’m no different, and with age has come wisdom and a wealth of experience.  I’m still having to understand the limits of my will power.

You may have noted that my posts, here on this very blog have gotten fewer and more far between of late.

I arrived back in the UK on the 19th September, after spending a very long time in India, where I had the opportunity to visit Florida and Dubai.

Since being back, I’ve been, with great effort and perusal, trying to get myself organised – especially since the new challenges in my life will require more of my attention, time and effort.

Other than the new challenges in my life, which I have written about before, in October/November 2012 I made myself accept a new one.  In a weird way, this challenge was a shock to me that I had decided and accepted to do it.  It has a direct impact on blogging and my desire to write.  I purchased two separate domain names along with hosting solutions.  These two domain names were to become my second and third blog along with related twitter profiles.  These two new blogs went live in November 2012.  This blog ‘The British Asian Blog’ still remains my first one.  One fundamental difference with the two new domain names is that they don’t include the extension “.wordpress” in them.

I hear you!  Why would I create two new blogs when I was clearly neglecting this one?

Yes, it is true that this blog was with ‘intention’ neglected.  Not because I was put off from writing or blogging or that I couldn’t find the time considering how busy I generally am in life and it wasn’t a case of being obtuse.  In fact, the absolute truth is that I had focused all available time and energy, when not running my businesses or involved in new ventures, in churning out content for my new second and third blog and spending time playing about with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help people discover the blog and its content more conveniently, of course online.

I hear you, again! What exactly are the other two blogs about?

Good question, and let me be honest.  This blog ‘The British Asian Blog’ was originally setup to fulfil a desire, and it was out of pure desire that I created a platform to voice my views on British Asians.  Since British Asians are making rapid forward progress it was my opportunity to talk about the Good, Bad and the Ugly vociferously, but overtime, I somehow have lost the focus and became wanton.  Instead of sticking to a dedicated area of interest, I began, without control to mix wide-ranging topics including my personal life and business interests, with posts concerning British Asians but the latter should have only every been published here.   I guess, one can argue that mixing a wide-ranging topics can be viewed as a British Asian life-style and what I go through would be a true representation of a British Asian or in other words, killing many birds with one stone, but I’m neither content nor satisfied with this, and so, two new blogs have been born as a result.

The new blogs (which I’ll refer to as ‘second’ and ‘third’ blog) have been created and executed to up a few levels in so far as blogging and writing is concerned, but also to get myself organised for the future.

The Second blog is intended for life writing and purely based on my private life.  The content is extremely well structured and is about reliving my life from as far back I can remember to the very present moment.  It contains memories of my childhood, my teenage years, my life at boarding school – the people I boarded with, lived with and where they are now and what they are doing, my family and friends, my acquaintances and the shenanigans, tomfoolery and waywardness I have got up to in the past and involved in right up until this very day, and everything else which is classed as private.

The Third blog is dedicated to my entrepreneurial side, and is purely based around understanding money, business, achievements, failures and how to be successful.  I use the word ‘successful’ loosely, as it is my belief that no one can ever achieve true success as the idea of success is based on individual interpretation.  The idea of this blog is extremely simple and with one, long-term, goal in mind – you see, you get people who spend a large chunk of their lives, be it hours, days, weeks or even months, reading and studying books written by wealthy people.  Wealthy people who claim to reveal their secrets.  Those individuals who get involved in reading their books or material often hope that their inspiration will rub off on them giving them that spark, confidence and know-how to go out and become equally successful and wealthy (and in some cases it does happen).  Well, I am not like that, and I don’t want to be a reader or customer of these books but an actual author of one.  The blog is dedicated to my experience and hard work from the very beginning till this very day.  The structure of the blog is simple but extremely effective.  It’s also a diary of how my new venture with my acquaintance has formed into a viable, prosperous, affluent and moneyed venture where already we have successfully launched in London and Delhi.  How I plan and organise to take it further.  I provide and make visible my views, tips and guidance to people who ask for my opinion along with an opportunity for readers/visitors to directly contact and engage with me.  The idea, as mentioned before, is to over time build up a credible platform with enough content for me to write it into a book or a series of books, hopefully.

The amazing part of all this is that since November last year, I’ve asked for help from a IT/Tech professional who works for me on a different business, to spend a little of his time playing with SEO for both blogs.  The chap understands SEO remarkably well and with him chipping in I’m glad to report that both blogs and associated twitter profiles have achieved and generated extremely large following and traffic since November 2012, especially the Third blog, much more than what I had in mind or expected and it isn’t serendipity.

So, where does this blog fit in?

Well, this blog will continue to operate as usual.  For now, my intention is to build up this blog to a reputable platform and continue to focus its content to British Asians.  The downside to this blog is that its platform is extremely limited, other than publishing content and tweaking the end-user interface; there isn’t much else I can do with it.  That said, going forward this blog will benefit from receiving equal amount of attention and focus from me in comparison to the Second and Third blog.  The long and short of it is that I have plans for this blog too.

In my world, nothing ever is by chance but orchestrated with intent.  As Steve Jobs and Apple quoted in one of their commercials in 1997 “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do” and that, my fellow people, sums it all up ‘perfectly‘.

Life is a darling adventure, or nothing!

Just a quick note:

I know I’ve been absent lately from blogging – I’m sorry.  I haven’t blogged as much as I liked to and I have my valid reasons why.  If this blog was an actual human being – I’d probably have had a number of fights due to neglecting him/her.  I’d prefer it to be a ‘her’.

Unfortunately, this little note is to add to my absence from this platform for a little while longer – well five weeks to be precise.

That’s right; I’m hours away from embarking on a long business holiday, where the first leg is a (series of connecting) flight from London-Heathrow to Florida.  In theory Florida is my official first holiday home.  The plan is to spend four nights there, mainly to complete outstanding ownership paperwork.  Once done, I’ll be heading to Bangalore, India.  There I’ll stay till September 16th.  Long time – Yes I know and it’s purely intentional and desired.

Most of you will know why I am engaged in India so much.  I wrote about it here, an earlier post back in December 2012 about Change.  In short, I have business interests out in India, a place where I find to be another great place for opportunity.

The business venture which I have been working on with my acquaintance from South Asia was launched in the UK on July 31st and August the 1st.  My acquaintance, although in London for another project, managed to pull it off remarkably well and to perfection and it all it went extremely well. The soft launch had already been in flow few months earlier.  My visit to India is to complete this launch and this will be my final stage of launching the venture.

The hard work will then start.

This venture isn’t about producing a product or selling to a mass market.  It is, in fact, a service for a new elite group of young people who have a ‘seven figure disposable income’ and who reside around the world.  Since the soft launch to the day we went live in London, this venture has exceeded all expectations.

So what does all this mean:  Well, in short, it means I won’t be available from next couple of hours (8pm today) until 16th September.  My personal phone will be switched off for this duration and my international number will be used instead.  It also means that I won’t be blogging during this time, well, I think I wont, but if there appears to be an opportunity then I may drop a line or two.  That said, I do, however, like to switch on my twitter GPS and location option – so you guys can check out where I am – so watch out for my tweets.

When I get to India, and in the care of my acquaintance it will be more hard work to get the final stage of the venture live.  This, I’m sure, will go as well as it did in London.

…and on that note, I wish you all the best and I hope to catch up with you guys sometime soon.

Remember:  Life is a darling adventure, or nothing!

Letter to my, then, teenage self

Letter to my younger self

Dude:

I’m writing to you using my Samsung Galaxy S3 smart phone.  Never you mind.

You’re 14 and you’re going to rock (later) in life.  So far it’s been notoriously dazzling.

Regards

The future You – Age 20-something.

P.S.  July and August of 2013 will be a key milestone and a turning point in your life in so far as finance and wealth is concerned, its make or break time.  Oh, and the crazy, eyebrow raising and funny experiments you’re going to do with food, when you return for 2nd term at Berkshire in Sept, will later on in life make you a guy who can cook impressively – the creativity and no-short-of-magic will work with them each time.

 

Me, Her and Him – The Enemy From Within

I felt somewhat mortified and disgruntled after receiving those texts from RHK*, not to mention livid and extremely revengeful (catch up with the previous chronicles here).  How dare he, out of all the people, get involved in my affairs and tell me to back off. His actions didn’t surprise me, although at the time a little shocked, but what worried me more than his actions was his knowledge of Simren and me.

Those messages exchanged between RHK and I took me back to a memory lane which I was reluctant and averse to visit, but had to as they shape up the relationship between RHK and me.

RHK and I are blood related.  We are first cousins, where my father and his father are biological brothers. My father has five brothers, where my father is the youngest.  Four of his brothers live in the UK, One in South Asia and One in America.  We are a big clan. My father is the youngest sibling in his family and I’m the youngest in mine.

Our clan, by that I mean first cousins, is around 35 in total – I’ve not actually counted, it’s an estimate.

RHK is 14 months older than me.  Before I appeared in this world, my mum and dad with the rest of my 5 siblings use to live with his brother (RHK father) in a large house in Leeds and RHK was the youngest member of the family.  Few months before I was born, my family moved into their own family house, one which my father was slowly renovating in Leeds.

RHK and I have been extremely competitive from day one.  As toddlers, we would fight with each other over anything.  Before long, my siblings noticed the constant hostilities and war between us as toddlers and recall on few occasions how the elders had a go at each other because of us.  I was a big baby when I was born, but by the age of 2 I was well on my way in catching up with RHK in growth.

Our personalities clashed and these became more apparent and noticeable to others around us.  I can’t pinpoint why we clash, why the tension between us all the time – it’s just that we are simply two different people with different characters.

The family (my father and uncles) have gradually made it a ritual, a custom, to send most of their children to boarding school.  For the boys at the age of 13, and for the girls at the age of either 12 or 13 depending on which boarding school it was.  This meant, as a kid there was no getting away with extra home tuition that too at an extremely early age.  When RHK hit 13 he was given admission to the same boarding school where the rest of the unfortunate elder cousins had been sent and where I would go 2 years later.  This boarding school resides in Berkshire, and it was then while RHK began his new life there I began to forget him and the rivalry between us.

In the two years that RHK wasn’t around, other than summer holidays and family vacations where our families would connect and re-engage, the rivalry between us eroded away somewhat.  We both matured and the constant bickering between us lessened.

Finally, at the age of 13 and some months – I landed in the same boarding school as RHK. I remember the induction day, where I knew I had no other choice but to commit, no excuses not to go to school anymore I was practically living in the school.  Previously, I had been there a couple of times before mainly for the various entry assessments I had to go through, surprisingly somehow I passed them, and this induction day was the start of my new life, one which I hadn’t experience the anxiety and mixed feelings – it was simply one big confusing picture and a big blur.  From here onwards, my life would no longer be the same.

My family and RHK family were confident that both of us at the same boarding school would be a good thing.  The very least, being a newcomer RHK would show me the ropes, look after me and get me up to speed with living there.  In other words, I’d be more comfortable with RHK living there too.  They and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I think our families realised the troubles between us when towards December of my first year, my father received an unwelcomed, unexpected letter from the housemaster, in which he (the bastard) explained in graphic terms how a friendly cricket game between the houses turned into a type-of-riot.  He painted a picture so dreadful that it made my father drive all the way from Leeds to Berkshire to have words with me, in front of the housemaster (the bastard), few academic staff (equal bastards) and RHK.  What really happened was RHK and I ended up in a fight, what I do remember is we were on opposite teams during a regular cricket game between (two) houses.  I remember coming into bat when RHK and few others begun taunting me, name calling and so on.  I did something (which is a little blurred right now) and the situation exploded and descended into an all out tussle where punches and kicks flew in all directions, it also forced other teams members and friends to get involved until we were pulled apart by our house mates and academic staff.

Our relationship at this point was cemented – we would never get on.  It meant our families had confirmation of our relationship and the enmity between us – so ensured we were never alone together when with families.

By the time RHK’s education finished at the boarding school, his father (my uncle) had moved to America – with the intention of living there permanently.  The main focus for my uncle was to participate in expanding my other uncles businesses in America.  This meant RHK moving to America and getting admission into a University there.  Over the years, my uncle did extremely well in America, where he established a number of businesses, including a real estate and two restaurants.

Two years later from when RHK finished his education from Berkshire, I too finished and prepared to enter a true student life at University.  I was glad to never face RHK again. Over the years RHK become a distant memory.  Of course, we knew what was happening in each other’s families, on at an extremely high level.  So it wasn’t that bothering anymore.

Until

About 15 months ago RHK and most of his siblings (including his mum) returned to the UK to seek new opportunities.  ‘Seeking new opportunities’ in the Asian dictionary means ‘Seeking marriage proposals’.  I remember when RHK and his family got settled back into Leeds, they were traditionally invited over for dinner at my mum and dad’s house.  I was continually getting phone calls from my mum, my brothers, sister-in-laws and my sisters to confirm that I was coming and making sure I turned up.  I think they feared that had I not turned up, not shown my face it would look bad on our relationship, it would raise eyebrows and make people/family – RHK’s family speculate.  So despite my reservations about RHK, I did turn up and strangely enough, RHK and I could actually have a civilised discussion.  The strangest thing about seeing him again in flesh after so many years was how similar both of us looked I mean, anyone could guess we were first cousins.

Somehow and somewhere RHK has started gaining interest in my life, what I do, who I am associated with, what I’m involved in and who I surround myself with.  These interests has reignited his competitiveness with me and fed his feral side.  I must admit, RHK up until he text me, didn’t bother me anymore.  I know he is successful considering the portfolio of businesses he and his family have both in UK and America, but I’m no longer the same 13 year old kid – I too have expanded my reign and occupy territory and have multiple businesses and a career in healthcare.

The real problem with RHK is, and has always been, his desire to have what I have.  It is as simple as that – a despot in the making.  Of course, RHK keeping a close eye on me meant it was matter of time until he would click on about my interest in Simren, and unfortunately, somehow amongst my generation people started speculating about me and Simren – which naturally would and eventually did reach RHK.

Without wasting time, he did what he does best, interfere in my life.  That to with something I expressed so much interest in – Simren.  Yes I am shocked, Yes I am angry and Yes I feel revengeful – especially since RHK and I haven’t even spoken properly, haven’t been in the same room no longer than an hour or so – yet within matter of months he has the nerve to text me such message and stake his interest above mine and being so truculent.  I know, right now, while I put this post together he is doing nothing more than to connive, deride and turning Simren against me, exploiting what happened between me and her.

I have two clear options: One – I can avoid the clash with him and indeed move on, or Two – I can do what I have learnt to do – fight for what I feel is right and this is exactly what I intend to do.

I hope, after reading this, you understand the type of person I am dealing with.  I feel, had I not written this post about RHK, you wouldn’t have understood why I feel so threatened, upset and angry.

Despite what RHK throws at me – I will never give up.  Because I am an open book on this blog – I can write exactly how things have been in the past, are right now and continue to be going into the future, and I must admit that I am scared, scared of losing someone that I want so badly – who I feel is the key for me to change my ways and a companion for life.

…and so, it all begins – yet again.

* Name hidden to protect identity.

And so…

…It doesn’t get any easier or better.

It isn’t pain no more but complete numbness. Only if I had ignored the heart, remained arrogant and narcissistic, maybe – just maybe – I’d remain sane.

Nothing further to say…