The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Month: February, 2012

BBC One – Sir Alan Sugar’s – The Apprentice 2012

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One of my favourite TV series of all times is BBC One’s The Apprentice.  I normally don’t get the time to watch TV, I’m either working or studying but there are those few TV series for which I make the effort to watch or at least catch up on – The Dragon’s Den being the other one.

The Apprentice 2012 will be aired sometime in late March 2012, as has been led to believe by Sir Alan Sugar tweet(s) “Lots of people asking, so only for those interested The main Apprentice series will be back in late March”.  To my surprise it’s on a little earlier than previous years.  According to me it’s news to be welcomed.

As a Project Manager myself in my professional career – I often find myself kicking and screaming with episodes of shock when I see the manner and problem solving skills the contestants use to achieve their desired result on The Apprentice.  In other words, I cry in laughter when I see how they project manage their tasks, either as a leader or individual person executing a task given to them.

Over the years while watching this TV series – I somewhat rejected the notion that these contestants are selected because they are UK’s (and at times world) best individuals in their fields.  Although on TV they fall short of my expectation in being the best, they never fall short of my expectation of drumming up pure entertainment.

Often is the case that after watching each episode, at work we discuss the ‘flops of candidates’ and how they should/could have done things different – it’s a bit of a laugh.

Below is one example of the entertainment:

Now that I have this blog, I will be sharing with you my thoughts and views and at times criticism of each episode and each candidate as the series hits out on TV sometime in March.

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Adele: Someone Like You – What’s all the fuss about?

AdeleSomeone Like You – What’s all the fuss about?

I’m not the type who can find his feelings inside a song sang by someone else – so I’d like to take up this opportunity to personally thank Adele for her work.  Not because I have changed and could relate to her song – sorry to disappoint but it’s going to take much more than Adele’s Someone Like You song to even arose my attention.

So why am I writing a (mini) post thanking Adele?  Well because of her (and song(s) sang by her) I am on the receiving end of wrath and fury.  For the first time in a long while I have had to do what I’ve been told to do:  In the last couple of weeks I have had so many female associates (if that’s the right word to describe them) ‘highly recommending’ me to listen to Adele’s Someone Like You for somewhat needed hard look at myself, that I have lost count.

So, after listening to her complete list of songs:  Someone Like You, Make You Feel My Love and Rolling In The Deep and I Can’t Make You Love Me but to name a few – I can honestly say “I still don’t know what the fuss is all about?” and “what exactly am I supposed to learn from her songs?”

In the interest of ‘do what I have been told to do’ I have spent yesterday evening and this morning practically listening to her songs (and some more than a few times) in the hope that I may get the hint, and miraculously learn my lesson, but I now feel I have wasted my time.  So for the record I have listened to the following songs by Adele (other than the ones mentioned above: Set Fire to the Rain, Turning Tables, One and Only, Hiding My Heart, I’ll Be Waiting, Don’t You Remember and the rest you can find here.

I have honestly tried but still I don’t know what the fuss is all about?

Whitney Houston dead aged 48

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This is truly a shocking.

IT's My Thoughts

20120212-015033.jpgPublicist Kristen Foster says singer Whitney Houston, the multi award winning singer, has died at the age 48.

She was found dead in her hotel room. Other details are not clear yet.

Houston won two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards during her record-breaking career. Her album “Whitney” was the first female album to ever debut at #1 on the Billboard Charts. She has sold 200 albums world wide said TMZ.

Houston had one child, Bobbi Kristina, with husband Bobby Brown. Houston and Brown were married from 1992-2007.

She was famed for her hit role in the film Bodyguard starring alongside Kevin Costner.

Later in her career, the toll of drug use had got to her and her album sales plummeted. Last year at the 02 in London she performed in front of a sell out crowd however many fans called her performance…

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‘Orphan girl’s rape and slavery ordeal’ – Ilyas Ashar, 83, and wife Tallat, 66

I often hear that British Asian people are well respected in their South Asian homeland, be it India, Pakistan or another nation.  Although, the respect that is shown is indeed a good thing, I often wonder the reasons behind it.  Is it because we (as British Asians) have survived in a foreign nation which was one time alien to us?  Is it because we have sacrificed our homeland, and travelled to a place for economical reasons, so that those (often referred to ‘families back home’) who were left behind could have a better standard of living?  Or is it because, by showing us respect they could win us over, show trust in us so that we may have sympathy for them and as a result we make arrangements, and often go out of our way to help those who appear to be in need.

Whatever the reason, we continue to show equal amount of respect – despite on occasions knowing the real intention for those who require our help.  That said, our British Asian community are not all innocent in with their intentions and dealings with those people who require our help back in the so called ‘home land’.

Let’s take for example this couple:  Ilyas Ashar and his wife Tallat Ashar.  This couple from Eccles, Greater Manchester trafficked a deaf girl of the age of 10 into Britain and kept her as a slave for nearly a decade.  During her ordeal living as a servant and slave, she was repeatedly raped as well as beaten and locked in the basement every night.  The basement served has her sleeping place, with no bed just a concrete floor.  Without access to either water or a toilet in the basement, she suffered mentally as well as physically, despite having disability she received no sympathy from her ‘owners’.  You can read more on this here, here and here.

The following is taken from a new article following this case:

The girl was never paid despite being made to cook, clean and do the washing, the court heard.She was also allegedly forced to clean the houses and cars of the couple’s family and friends.Mr Cadwallader said: “She was physically abused. She was sexually abused, which included being raped by Ilyas Ashar.”She was exploited economically, in that benefits, state benefits in this country, were obtained in her name, the money being kept by the Ashars.

“At night the door at the top of the stairs down to the cellar was locked and bolted so she could not get out during the night.

“There were no washing or toilet facilities in the cellar so that if she needed to use the bathroom during the night she had to bang on the cellar door in the hope that she was heard and the door opened.

“On other occasions, during the day, presumably when she displeased Tallat Ashar, she was pushed into the cellar, pushed down the stairs and the door locked.

“She would sit there for hours crying and locked in.”

The girl knew no one in Britain, had never been schooled in either country and cannot read or write.She was only taught to write her signature so her name could be used to claim benefits, it is alleged.Both defendants deny two counts of human trafficking into the UK for exploitation and a single count of false imprisonment.

Ilyas also denies 12 counts of rape, Tallat denies one count of sexual assault and unlawful wounding and the pair along with their daughter Faaiza, 24, deny charges of benefit fraud.

This reminds me of an post by a fellow blogger Bikram who not so long ago wrote about a similar problem identified in London.  The title of his blog post is ‘London dreams sad heart breaking’ which I strongly suggest you read.

Both what I have highlighted here and what Bikram highlighted in his post, echo’s a similar concern of how we as a British Asian community are failing in our responsibility towards our British Asian community and that community which we left behind in our home land.

In this instance, this girl had her entire childhood taken away from her, her teenage years where systematically and culturally raped from her and as a consequence her entire life has been traumatised.

What makes matters worse that the community in which this evil couple lived stayed quiet and unresponsive to this terror that was inflicted on this poor child.  I feel disgusted, ashamed and angry towards this couple, their immediate family, relations and friends – but more importantly the wider community who turned a blind eye for over a decade knowing full well of the treatment of this child.  If anyone has questions along the lines that ‘maybe no one outside of this household knew what was going on?’ well let me bring them to the reality of British Asian community – news spreads like fire, affairs of British Asian families are not secret within the same community, so that theory of no one else knowing simply is false and almost impossible to imagine.

I wonder whether this case is an exception, and I wonder whether this is just a one off.  No matter how much I like to deny this – it remains almost factual that their probably are more people out suffering the same fate.

Is this a moral decay of our British Asian community or are we just not able to cope with the growing influence of our status as British Asians in our foreign home?

Nonetheless, I firmly believe as respectable and responsible British Asian Community we need to uproot such illnesses from within us, we need to show those who brought us to this country and this part of the world, that we are capable of appreciating their sacrifices and hard work to bring about a better society which they dreamed of achieving.  

Fabio Capello quits as England manager

This is a big deal, Fabio Capello quits as England manager the Football Association has confirmed.  Does this have anything to do with the decision to remove the England team captaincy from John Terry – to which Fabio Capello publicly challenged the decision.

Yet again, the England International Football team is heading towards yet another disaster.

It will be interesting to see how this story develops in the coming days, but admittedly I am both shocked and surprised, but lets see what happens.

The following is the table of managers to England football team:

What are your thoughts and views on this news?

War on Fast Food

Most of you won’t know that I am part owner of a fast food restaurant/business.  This is one of my entrepreneurial achievements thus far, proudly owning 55% of the business, with another two partners.  In so far as entrepreneurial achievements, this is not the only business I part own, to add to the portfolio I part own a Gym and a Printing Firm.  I’m barely past my mid-twenties and I would regard my professional career as a Project Manager in the healthcare industry to be my main focus, at least for now.

Besides, as a British Asian, my family (and especially the elder clan) regard my career in the healthcare industry far superior and more respectable than the businesses I own, despite my accountant’s figures saying otherwise.

Having a professional career and owning businesses pretty much takes up all the time I have.  As well as working hard, extremely hard, I’ve got into the habit of being smart and staying few steps ahead of the game.

Making good use of every minute I have has got me to overlook, neglect and compromise some parts of my personal life, i.e. my health.  Being an owner of a fast food business definitely has not helped me.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not over-weight, or obese in anyway – I’m still slim as I was in my teenager years, still have the physique and in some ways its more toned than it has ever been, but the trouble I have is saying ‘NO’ to fast food.

In November 2011 I declared war on fast food, I came to a decision that my diet needed to be controlled and that the amount of fast food I eat needed to be reduced to the bare minimum.  Being so busy in coordinating business and managing my career, I got into the ugly habit of eating while on the move – meaning either eating out in restaurants, at my own fast food business or generally ordering something already made to eat at home.  This has made me aware and cognisant that if I’m not careful in what I eat and when I eat it, I could be heading towards a life with increased waist line and reaching a point where I can no longer see my toes if I was standing up straight.  I’m sure I don’t need to give you all a lecture on the impact fast food has on our health and wealth.

My parents, brothers and sisters never fail to make the point that I no longer join them at the dinner table, and when I eventually do, I eat in such a hurry as if the world is about to end in seconds.  As a British Asian family, food variety has never been an issue in the household, every day of the week there is something different cooked and praise is to those individuals who make every effort to keep our stomach full.

So, as a result of my contemplation in November of last year, I decided to phase out fast food from my diet.  Almost 3 months have gone past and I’m happy to share that from eating fast food 3 to 4 times a week I have now limited it to just 4 times a month (every Friday with family).  I’ve become a good boy so to speak and make the extra effort to eat dinner with the family at home.

Admittedly, it’s not been easy in taming my will power.  I can wisely tell myself that eating fast food ‘junk’ is not doing me any favours – health wise and finance wise – and at times, when I’ve had a scent of Garlic Sheekh Kebabs sizzing on the grill, or the sight of chicken donner sitting on the soft-moist-buttered Naan, or when I’ve covered a shift for someone, or seen the pizza come out of the Pizza conveyor belt, my will power declares war on me and threatens to teach me a lesson.  That said, I have managed to stay focused and managed to fight my will power pretty good.

So guys, despite being a part-owner of a fast food business – I have declared war on eating take outs and fast food.  I know physically I feel more alive, less lazy and more alert – whether this has anything to do with the change in diet – I don’t know.  But one thing for sure, I feel much happier that I’m winning this war.

For now, the above is enough as an update on this war, there is however more details available which I’d like to share – but will share them in upcoming posts.

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