The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Month: December, 2011

2011: Year In Review ‘I Fight On’

For the last few days, I have been drafting 2011 Year in Review post in my head.  It’s the first time I’m writing such a post, since my blog is less than 7 months old.  If I am to really explain year 2011 it will indeed be a very long post – but I’m going to attempt to explain it, in as little information as possible and how I feel about it.

All praise is to the lord above us, who, has blessed me with the biggest and most valuable gift one could ever imagine, I made a wish late 2010 and early 2011 that the Lord above granted true for me, and for this I am for ever indebted to the Lord above.

2011 compared to my previous years, has probably been the best year for me, as each year brings its blessings.  I can only pray and hope for more blessings going into the next.

Yes, at times, there have been downs, disappointments, periods when I wanted to be left alone, where I cried and looked to the heavens above for help, guidance and reassurance.

And Yes, there have been ups, delight, periods when I enjoyed the blessings bestowed upon me, when I laughed, smiled and looked to the heavens above to say ‘Thank You’, for guidance and reassurance.

Going through ups and downs in a period of 12 months (or longer) is part of human nature.  We, hope to do our best, be the best we can, help ourselves to help others, and to remember the bad moments in the hope to reflect, learn and become better individuals.

The world in 2011 has changed dramatically, it’s our responsibility to remember what we have, and appreciate everything we have in our lives.  If we count the blessings we have in our lives the moment we wake up till the moment we go back to sleep, we would no doubt lose count.

We seen mother nature show us her force in many parts of the world, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes and so on.  We seen human beings at the lowest, when we fought each other for our own desires, greed, and for ill intentions.  2011 was no exception, and we witnessed enough losses that we never seen before.  We as humans, need to reflect on our purpose, reflect on our actions – not towards the end of the year but throughout the year – in the hope that we can lead better lives and live in harmony with each other and with our surroundings.

I’d like to share the following quote from one of my favourite personalities that once ever walked on this earth Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi:

God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly, not one.

That said, I pray for everyone that we embrace 2012 as a year of success, good will and positive energy.  Where we put aside our differences and work together for a better and brighter future.  Yes, we do have many obstacles ahead of us, Yes we need more courage to deal with these obstacles, Yes we may experience ups and downs – but remember the quote above so we may indeed have two wings to fly, not one.

Good Bye 2011 and Welcome 2012

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il dies

Well well well, this is a shocker.  Kim Jong-il dies aged 69.  I wonder what is in store for North Korea, further more, I’m interested to see how South Korea reacts (if they do react that is) to this news.

North and South Korea have had a love hate relationship for a long time, the later to be more accurate in recent times.  What has kept both sides adrift is support from other nations with similar interests, for North it was China and for South it was the US.

No doubt, this news will come as a surprise to everyone, and the focus of the world will gradually shift from Kim Jong-il to his successor, his son Kim Jong-Un – who already was appointed not so long ago.

This indeed is an interesting news, the reaction of the world is going to be interesting.

Last US Troops leave Iraq – Yeah Right..

Today, the US stated the last of US troops have left Iraq, but who are they trying to fool this time around.  The second World War ended in 1945, and guess what, the US (and its allies) still remain in both Japan and Germany.

I’m not fooled by this news.  Especially considering that on Iraqi soil the US have created the largest military base and US embassy in the world.  The question you then ask, is this to be a war launching pad for either Pakistan or Iran?

What really upsets me about this news is the blatant bias of the west, the media and war mongrels who thrive from making war.  The media here in the west has been reporting that “almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives [1]” (so the small figure comes before the large one – how interesting) but what about those who have died out side of combat zone, or those who have gone missing (and never found) and those millions of men, women and children who have been injured during this (illegal) war in Iraq?

I oppose any war, whether its in Afghanistan, Iraq, India, Pakistan or on the Moon.  War is bad, no freedom can be bought by attacking another nation, especially not when lies after lies are blatantly aired to brain wash us.

I can’t stop thinking we (UK) have already signed up to a war with Iran, where history is repeating itself for when momentum was building up for a show down in Iraq.  I oppose any war and I will do anything in my power to voice my protest at war.  I am not a member of a party but I can tell the difference between right and wrong.

Back in 2003 millions of people (in the UK) took to the streets to protest the war in Iraq, similiar and much larger protests repeated around the world – but that got us nowhere.  There are two things that this system understands and that is blood and money.

I have added a video below of George Galloway, who I have no connection with and have never met, but what he says in this video is along the lines of how I feel.  Please, I’d advice you to watch and listen to this youtube talk.

It’s upsetting, it makes me angry and sad that we are going to sleep walk into another war, one which has already been planned and executed behind the scenes.  Much like, Libya was, much like Iraq was and much like Afghanistan was.

Jhootha Hi Sahi Bollywood Movie Review

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of watching Abbas Tyrewala’s Bollywood movie ‘Jhootha Hi Sahi’.  Released October 2010.

I couldn’t help thinking, much of this movie is aimed towards University students, graduates or early adulthood and getting to know society and relationships.

What attracted me to watch this movie over other options was that it’s rare to find a movie which is based around British Asians, living a typical life, typical routine and typical humour amongst friends.

The first scene of the movie is indeed a very funny and hilarious one.  John Abraham playing Siddharth Arya has fallen asleep on the sofa while watching TV (Typical bachelor) who receives a call from someone who is about to commit suicide.  Siddharth thinking it’s a one off manages to talk the person out of it.  Few moments later another phone call from a different person with the same intention arousing his suspicions that this is a joke and a prank and responds to the person sarcastically.  Later he is made aware that his home number by mistake was printed on a Asian suicide helpline posters and leaflets that had been circulated.

Midways through the movie, I couldn’t help thinking that this movie was trying to imitate popular television series Friends.  A bunch of friend, all of them fond with each other, free and open with mixed relationships.  There are other characters such as a Pakistan brother and Sister living together, the sister is pregnant and is seeing a Chinese, while the brother is constantly engaged in fighting with Siddharth’s girl friend.

The movie is embarrassingly hilarious, with some scenes simply side splitting.  What really works well in this movie, is the constant piss take of each other and the situations they are in.  Something which is typical in everyday life.

Soon as Siddharth agrees to become a volunteer after having his home number accidental printed on Asian suicide promotion material, he happens to meet a lone voice of a girl called Mishka (Pakhi), who simply calls him but never utters a word in the first call.  Surprisingly, Sid (Siddharth) manages to recognise her silence and bring her to talk with him.  They become good phone friends and Sid never tells her who he is over the phone.  They then meet each other in real life, Mishka unaware that he is the person on the phone, whom she has named Siddhartho.  Sid lives two lives, playing a helper to her trouble life over the phone and being a friend in her real life.  What makes Sid appear to be two different people to Mishka is the fact that Sid has a problem in that when he is with beautiful women he stutters and when on the phone his words flow naturally.

On the acting front, John was good and managed to balance the funny side of his character and his serious side successfully.  Pakhi on the other hand appeared to be a little mature, a little old for her role – but I’m not sure if this was intended or not.  But the chemistry worked well between them both.  The chemistry between the friends was hilarious at the beginning but slowly turns to some serious scenes.

The movie overall (for me) is different to the regular stuff we get from Bollywood.  As a British Asian much of what the friends go through is something we would have experienced in real life.  What makes the movie enjoyable is the side splitting scenes which are executed fantastically well.

One song for me which stood out the most was by A. R Rahman called ‘I’m thinking of you’ which I have added a video below.  If it sinks into your mind and you find yourself humming it throughout the day, then please don’t blame me.

Because, the movie is different, and is made in our home ground – it makes it more believable and realistic.  If the scenes were set in any other country, I’m not sure if this movie would have had the same impact on me.

Overall I would rate this movie as 8 out of 10.  A high score simply because it’s more appealing to me being a British Asian

 

I’ll be waiting .

Force Bollywood Movie Review

Back in September I wrote about an upcoming Bollywood movie called FORCE.  That post was written prior to the movie being released.  Unfortunately I never got around to watching the movie in Cinema – due to a busy lifestyle, but as I mentioned then that once I had watched the movie – I’d share my views and opinions around the movie – well a little late but here I present to you my brief review.

Prior to the movie being released, speculation had it that this movie was a remake of a Tamil movie called Khakha Khakha.  Although, I’m not sure at the time whether the speculation was true or not, or if it actually mattered at all, but I don’t think anything was taken away from Force movie.

The movie was directed by Nishikant Kamat, who directed Mumbia Meri Jaan.  I’d like to give him credit, since he kept the movie alive and interesting throughout.  There seemed to be a good balance between art and violence, between a love story and creativity.  Force to me appeared to be a commercial movie and stood strong in all aspects.

John Abraham, I believe executed his role really well in this movie.  At times, when watching the movie, you can’t help thinking that John was emotionless or performed poor in different scenarios but as the movie goes on you understand that John’s character is one of a machine.  A guy, who takes no crap, has no feelings or emotions and he is dedicated in doing one thing – do his duty well and provide justice – be it the hard way if it works.

The female character, Genelia D’Souza seemed a little disappointing.  As always, she appeared to be childish, immature and at time poor at showing a serious side.  To me she seemed to be a lonely character, without her own life style.  If this movie was a spring board for her, to launch herself as a serious character and setting a bench mark, then I’m afraid she failed to achieve this.

What made the movie interesting throughout was the combination of choreography and cinematography.  The blend was good and kept the movie watchable throughout.

The story line was not fantastic but would qualify as good story.  It was slightly straight forward without any twists, Movies like Gajani and Wanted all seemed to be in to surprise the audience but with FORCE movie the acting and seriousness of John lead role was enough to make one believe that the movie didn’t need a twist to keep people excited or entertained.  The romance or love story within Force was not big, but appeared to be a casual part of the movie.  Some movies like Gajani, seemed to be based around love stories and tend to keep the love part alive throughout.  Force was a little different, in the sense that a point was made that love can overcome anyone no matter how stone hearted they might be – but the ultimate focus of this movie was to bring in a gang and provide justice the hard way.

After watching the movie, you will understand how hard John has worked on his physique and on his acting to remain a stone hearted person who knows just one thing – to do his job well.

Overall I would rate this movie a good 6.5 out of 10.

British Asian Bloggers List: Your Help Needed…

Back in August – I decided to put together a directory or a list containing details of bloggers who are either British Asian or Asian living around the world – the idea was simple and you can read more about it here and here and here.

To keep the momentum going, I need your help in growing this directory and list – so please ‘if you are not on the list, or not registered then please do so’ its FREE and will allow others bloggers to connect to you and find you.

So please – you help is required.

Thank You

I Own Something Special: Steve Jobs Biography

I finally own Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Isaacson.  There was no particular reason why I waited this long.  Maybe because I wanted to absorb the news that Steve Jobs was actually dead, so the more I waited to get hold of his biography the more I’d appreciate it as time goes on.

So, on Saturday, while I visited my local town centre – I happen to pay a visit to my local Waterstones store.  My real intention was to search for a another Project Management related book and have a coffee – but the Bibliography of Steve Jobs caught my attention.  This is no way a promoting post for Waterstones but to be honest, they had reduced the book to only £11.99 making this the cheapest place to buy the book after Tesco at £14.00.

While, I sat in front of the fire at home, I happen to take Steve Jobs biography out of its bag, and just simply hold it in two hands and stare at the front cover – his photo.  I felt as if I was holding something special in my hands, not felt like this before with any other book or biography – was I holding a revolution, a piece of history one which I was very much part of?  I don’t know – but whatever was in my hands seemed to be special and I could feel it.

As a result of my feelings around this biography – I have decided to put all other reading materials aside, and to make reading this biography a priority.  I honestly don’t know what or how I might feel after I have read it, but something tells me – I’m in for some inspiration.  I guess a lot is due to the fact that Information Technology (IT) is a big part of my life, something I was fond of since a child, through my GCSE’s to College, and then through University.  I studied Software Engineering, Software Development Applications and later e-Commerce and e-Solutions for the World Wide Web.  My career although is in healthcare the main area is mainly focused around Information Technology – so I can no doubt relate to the visions of Steve Jobs, probably since childhood.

This was a brief post, just to share my feeling with you all.  I will however share my views and thoughts with you once I have completed reading the biography and have absorbed the information.  When I get the feeling of being a little nervous before reading a particular book – I know something special is in it.

 

 

Smoking Ban Poll Results

Smoking ban Poll Results : by The British Asian Blog

I asked my readers a question “Should smoking in cars be banned?” in a post exactly 3 weeks ago, with a follow up post few days later.

As part of the discussion, I created a poll – enabling people to have their say with measurable results.  Admittedly, the discussion was interesting.  It encouraged a discussion and at times it became a light debate, and all comments made were valid and interesting.

The question I asked in the Poll was:  Smoking ban – how far should it go?

37% of people said ‘Smoking in cars should NOT be banned’

32% of people said ‘Smoking should be banned altogether’

16% of people said ‘Smoking should not be banned anywhere’

11% of people said ‘Smoking in cars should be banned’

5% of people said ‘Smoking ban in public places is far enough’

So we have it, majority of people don’t believe smoking in cars should banned.  One result which really surprised me was that 32% of people simply wanted smoking to be banned altogether.  In my opinion the results of this Poll leaves the debate wide open.

Although, the results largely showed that people simply didn’t think smoking ban should be extended to cover cars – I am left assured that people simply do not approve of smoking altogether – That a total ban is also an option.  I know this will never happen, or at least not in the near future but I have to admit I am surprised by this result.

Thank you all, for participating in my discussion and Poll.  I would like to read your views based on the poll results.

Have the Poll results echoed your views on this matter and would you agree with the majority of people that either: Smoking should not be banned in cars or smoking should be banned altogether?

Please help protect the Open University, sign the e-petition

Ahead of government proposed cuts to Universities, supporters of Open University need to obtain a parliamentary debate to discourage the government from actioning their proposed cuts to funding.

100,000 signatures are required to achieve this.

In the current economic crisis, Universities have been hit hard.  For UK nationals its become a uphill struggle to go to University.  Much harder than ever before.  The Open University is therefore a safety net and an alternative option.  It now can compete against bricks-and-motor universities.  The Open University needs to grow in order for it to be a alternative to other forms of higher eduction.  Education which has become more and more expensive, difting further away from the reach of the UK population.

Please help the Open University, Please sign the e-petition:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/22316

When I wrote this post, the number of signatures had reached 22,845.  I’m confident people will understand the importance of the Open University.  It needs to grow in the current climate, it needs your support.  Lets achieve the target of 100,000 quickley.

 

 

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