The British Asian Blog

Life as it is @tbablog

Category: Social Networks

24 Hour Internet Ban – Every Week

Late last year, around late November, there was a new trend afloat around within my crew. Internet ban for 24 hours.  From seven of us in the crew, one had been toying with the idea to self-impose an Internet ban for at least 24 hours during the week, or rather, for one full day and night every week.  At the time when this was discussed, I brushed aside the idea, thinking that I, out of all the people, was in control of when and how I access the internet, be it on my laptop/PC, tablet or mobile phone.

I was wrong.

Two weeks ago, the same idea, was adopted by an acquaintance of mine.  She casually mentioned it during a late night, unplanned meal, and she and this whole self-imposed Internet ban got be thinking.

Now, I know the era we live in today is regarded, probably unofficially, as the Information Age.  I guess, others may call it Computer Age, Digital Age or New Media Age.   Information surrounds us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  What makes this possible is how digital/electronic devices have, it seems, embedded themselves permanently into our lives. 20 years, or so, ago, technology evolved gradually.  As a toddler I remember, In our household and I guess in any other household, you’d find a telephone, TV, audio player with radio and a video cassette player as devices capable of providing information – and that would be all.  The only time you’d replace one of these items would be when the old one broke and the old bloke at the local repair shop said it was beyond repair.  That’s right; you’d literally have local shops that specialised in repairing electronic devices.

Technology is now evolving at a far greater pace than one can and could have ever anticipated.  Everyone, and I literally mean everyone from children, teenagers to adults are exposed to Information Overload.  Infobesity and Infoxication is a reality and people are suffering from this, whether they’re aware or not.  People are finding it difficult to break away from this Information Overload and thus, I believe, have difficulty in understanding how to make decisions which can be caused by the presence of too much information.  By this I mean, people of all ages fail to understand how important it is to make decisions in real life and away from this artificial reality.

The idea for a 24 hour internet ban is to divert your attention and energy into something else.  It’s an idea that, if adhered to religiously, means that you may begin to (re)discover, life around you again.  Life that isn’t lived or viewed through technology or the Internet.  I must admit, I’m not a heavy user of technology and Internet on the move, but at times, I do find myself so immersed that I fail to see the world moving around me.

So, I’ve decided to implement this idea on a trial basis.  See how it works for me and see if it actually makes a difference of some sort.

But, it won’t be easy.

At least, it won’t be easy in selecting which day of the week I have an Internet ban on.  My extra curricular activities and social get together are, all pretty much, arranged via my digital devices – which – I also use to work on and run my businesses.  How and where do I draw the line?

On paper, Wednesday, seems to be a good day to introduce a 24 hour Internet ban.  It will be interesting to know how this works out, and whether I am able to adhere to it, and begin to focus and put more energy in other parts of my life – which currently – is a mix of life-work-Internet-technology.

I hope to provide a regular update on how this turns out, and what impact (positive or negative) it is having.

Would you consider adhering to a 24 hour Internet ban?

Do you think it’ll change anything?

British Asian Bloggers List – Resurrection

I have resurrected the ‘British Asian Bloggers List’ on my site.  Now is probably a good time to bring this section up to date.

So, if you’re a British Asian Blogger or an International Asian Blogger, for that matter, and want your blog(s) to be discovered then visit ‘British Asian Blogger List’ above or click here

All you need to do is fill out a small form and I’ll add you to the repository.  You can also help by getting others (and like minded bloggers) to submit their blog details.

Thank You!

 

Am I Charlie? The Problem of maintaining a moderate view

Source: Nury Vittachi

[Author]

‘Je suis Charlie’I am Charlie – is the rallying call in Europe and even around the world but … am I Charlie? Can I really identify with the men who died and what they stood for? And if not, then who do I identify with?

We were all, quite understandably, shocked and appalled by the massacre at Charlie Hebdo and the subsequent murders which took place in Paris. Every form of media outlet was awash with stories, claims, opinions and debates and the social media busied itself with endless shares of cartoons from around the world. Overnight #JeSuisCharlie became a household term and the largest march of solidarity in French history took to the streets of Paris joined by many of the world’s most important people.

No one, to my knowledge, is condoning the attacks (bar the rants of radical extremists)but the sound of reason is certainly being drowned out by those who would have us believe it is right to point the finger at Muslims and condemn them in every conceivable way. We seem to believe that ‘incitement to hatred’ is a one-way affair – that only Muslims are – and can be – guilty of this. If you’re white, Western and (preferably) atheist then it is quite reasonable and acceptable to mock, jeer and call for an end to whole ways of life for billions of people. My aim in this post is to highlight some of the important articles on the internet which tell a different story in the hope (possibly vain) that this might redress the balance a little.

Although I have, of course, been following the news regarding the murders last week and their effect on whole communities of people, it was after reading a post on Facebook by writer Nury Vittachi that I felt the urge to add my contribution. Nury asserts that though it is right to condemn the barbarity of the attacks this doesn’t mean it is right to condone the actions and beliefs of Charlie Hebdo itself. He points out that it is a lie to believe we have the right to uncensored free speech:

EVERY country implants limits on free speech. Most commonly, defamation is banned… Hate speech is banned in almost every country. Material that can be seen as incitement to violence is banned… The publication of matter which violates “the offense principle” is prohibited to stop people causing a significant degree of offense to society or segments of society.

Does the material published by Charlie Hebdo violate any of these principles, in France, or in YOUR country, or in other countries? The answer is almost definitely yes.”

I shared his post on my Facebook and was immediately engaged in discussion with someone whose views worried me immensely. This man made it clear he considered all religious beliefs – particularly the concept of blasphemy –  ‘ridiculous’ and was offended that people are ‘required to respect these fairy tales’. He spewed out commonly cited extremes of religious thought to back his claims and would not accept my argument that, for many people who have a faith, insulting their God or prophet(s) is the same as abusing a family member. ‘How would you like it,’ I argued, ‘if someone called your wife or daughter a whore and jeered at you publicly day after day, encouraging others to do the same?’ Call my wife a bitch and sooner or later I’m going to snap I said – and his response was chilling: “If you do commit murder because of it, you’ll rightly go to prison. That said, at least your wife is real…if you can’t see the difference, there’s no helping you is there?”

His intolerance towards religion is chilling because I see comments like his repeatedly – incensed and violent in language – all over the internet on every media platform and daily wherever religion is discussed. Atheists have taken such a stronghold in every social and political stream that people seem to be blind to their own intolerance. It’s a given fact that religious people hold silly, made-up beliefs and no argument to refute this is accepted.

A friend, over Christmas, shared a link to a small news item where an English church minister blurted out to children during a service that ‘Santa Claus doesn’t exist’. My friend was angry at her cruelty but then labelled her a hypocrite because of her own beliefs. I was a little shocked that he equated a belief in the words of Jesus (a man rooted in history) with the fairy-tale of the fat man who climbs down several billion chimneys every Christmas Eve. I was stunned that a woman telling the truth (for no adult believes in Santa to my knowledge) was condemned for it on the basis of her own faith alone. It was a silly thing to say – no argument there – and the article made it clear she regretted her words the moment she said them, giving an apology straight away. It was an offhand remark and one that drunken uncles are guilty of every year at family gatherings. It is, after all, nothing but a story to entertain small children with and adults forget this sometimes.

It wasn’t so much the news item as the unquestionable assertion that religion has no basis in reality which concerned me considering nearly 6 billion people on the planet believe in some kind of deity or spiritual realm. I maintain that it is this arrogance which is the root behind the religious motivated acts of terrorism more than any other factor. When your religiously-centred culture is under constant attack – in word and deed – from others who believe you ridiculous and even, at times, inhuman is it any wonder that some of the disenfranchised rise up and take matters into their own, bitter and angry hands?

Corey Oakley writes about these attacks specifically on Muslims:

“For the last decade and a half the United States, backed to varying degrees by the governments of other Western countries, has rained violence and destruction on the Arab and Muslim world with a ferocity that has few parallels in the history of modern warfare.

It was not pencils and pens – let alone ideas – that left Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan shattered and hundreds of thousands of human beings dead. Not twelve. Hundreds of thousands. All with stories, with lives, with families. Tens of millions who have lost friends, family, homes and watched their country be torn apart.

To the victims of military occupation; to the people in the houses that bore the brunt of “shock and awe” bombing in Iraq; to those whose bodies were disfigured by white phosphorous and depleted uranium; to the parents of children who disappeared into the torture cells of Abu Ghraib; to all of them – what but cruel mockery is the contention that Western “civilisation” fights its wars with the pen and not the sword?”

Oakley goes on to assert that we ignore facts like the persecution of Algerian Muslims by the secular French (the two gunmen last week were Algerian) and other secular attacks. In fact, if we were to score secularist against religious terrorism in Europe the secularists would win hands down. What the press doesn’t like to admit is that just 2% of terrorist attacks in Europe were religiously motivated!

terrorism EU 2

This is a staggering statistic.

Beenish Ahmed asserts that Islamic-based terrorism in America is also all but non-existent:

“Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, has called Muslim Americans “a minuscule threat to public safety.”

In his most recent report tracking Islamist militancy in America, he included this startling figure. “The United States suffered approximately 14,000 murders in 2013. Since 9/11, Muslim-American terrorism has claimed 37 lives in the United States, out of more than 190,000 murders during this period.””

One could begin to suspect that there is a conspiracy here to ghettoize Muslims in a manner reminiscent of Nazi Germany. That far right groups are gaining political ground in Europe makes this more than mere rhetoric. It wasn’t for no reason at all that Le Pen wasn’t invited to the march in Paris last week.

Elizabeth Plank takes up exactly this theme when she revealed that the Charlie Hebdo attack was not the only terrorist action which took place over the same 24 hour period. Yet why was only the Paris attack given considerable air time? she asks:

“On Tuesday morning, the NAACP offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado, came under attack when someone who is believed be a balding white man in his 40s dropped an explosive device that went off a few feet from the building. And on Wednesday morning, news broke of a horrifying mass shooting at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France that left 12 dead and several wounded.

Both acts were motivated by radical ideology, but only one of them is being covered by the 24-hour news cycle. What gives?”

She goes on to demonstrate how language is used completely differently to report the two attacks. The bomb planted by a white man was ‘isolated act of violence’ but the Paris murders was ‘an act of terrorism’.

It’s not the first time this has happened either, Plank points out:

“…after a white man in Texas purposely crashed his plane into a building known to house IRS staff and left a note describing his plans for mass murder in 2010, a police chief described his acts as “a criminal act by a lone individual” rather than terrorism. When Elliot Rodger espoused his radical anti-woman ideology and killed six people near the University of California, Santa Barbara last year, newspapers like the Santa Barbara Independent , described him as a “lone gunman.” And Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said Rodger’s acts were “the work of a madman.” “

It really does seem the media want us to believe separate things about similar acts. But it’s not just the hypocrisy of reporting terrorism (or not) but the blindness towards our own acts which concerns me greatly. As Jared Keller notes concerning the political leaders found ‘linking arms’ on the march of solidarity with 3.7 million others on the streets of Paris, many of them had no right to be there.

“But as Reporters Without Borders points out, their policies at home are far from compatible with the solidarity for free speech on display throughout France.

The organization said Sunday that it was “appalled by the presence of leaders from countries where journalists and bloggers are systematically persecuted such as Egypt (which is ranked 159th out of 180 countries in RWB’s press freedom index), Russia (148th), Turkey (154th) and United Arab Emirates (118th).””

He quotes the tweets of student Daniel Wickham which list the Human Rights record of 21 of the 40 world leaders who gathered in Paris for the march. The mind boggles at how easily we lay aside what we know about our leaders when we hear the rallying call to solidarity.

Human Rights records brings me back nicely to the issue of religion with which we started. The person who commented on my Facebook post seemed adamant that religion is responsible for so much inhumanity in the world and he’s right – it is. But what media and scholars rarely tell us is that secular states have Human Rights records just as appalling. Over half of the countries listed by the IHRRI at the bottom of the ranking are secular states. China, North Korea, Vietnam and many more have terrible records and we should not forget the awful death toll in communist Russia especially during Stalin’s time where some experts estimate more than 20 million people were killed in the name of secular government.

The final big lie we all seem happy to swallow is the one which implicitly suggests all Muslims are secretly condoning the terrorist actions of Islamic extremists. ‘Why don’t they speak out against it?’ we ask ourselves. ‘If they were really one of us then they would publicly condemn these actions. But they don’t’.

This, I believe, is our worst crime in many ways (speaking as a white westerner). As filmmaker Kamran Pasha reveals, every single major Muslim group in the USA has spoken out condemning terrorist acts. You can find a list of these here but Pasha’s article links to many other sources as evidence to his claims.

His addendum to the article fills me with despair. No sooner had he demonstrated that Muslims are active in their condemnation of terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists than he was then accused of it being nothing but empty words:

“In response to this article, the new meme is being promulgated: “Muslims condemn terrorism, but it’s all talk! Sure, Muslims say they condemn terrorism, but there’s no action!”

Where do I begin to respond to this kind of nonsense? There are 1. 5 billion Muslims living their lives in peace, trying to put food on the table for their families. Over six million of them live here in America as patriotic citizens. They work hard, pay their taxes, and have ZERO contact with the criminal underworld where these terrorists breed.

I have never, ever met a terrorist in real life (it is ridiculous that I even have to say this). If I met one, I would turn him in to the authorities, as would every other Muslim I know. Since I don’t have access to this shadowy underworld, I live my life on the surface in broad daylight, working in my community to promote interfaith cooperation, peace and prosperity. It is that grassroots effort that Muslims do to promote good in this world that receives ZERO coverage in the media. I could list every single good thing I and other Muslims have ever done to make the world a better, safer place, but people who hold this attitude don’t care. It will never be enough. If I listed 1 million positive things Muslims are doing in their daily lives today on this planet, they would respond: “Why can’t you name a billion things you’ve done? See, you’re not doing enough!”

So I ask those who are outraged at this supposed Muslim inaction: “What have YOU done to defeat racism in this world?” List every single thing you have ever done to fight the Ku Klux Klan. List it here, right now. Times, dates and hyperlinks please. The response would be that I am crazy — average Americans have nothing to do with the KKK, and don’t need to justify their daily actions in support of righteousness to me or anyone else. But that same common sense response is rejected when a Muslim uses it.”

Which brings me to my final point (which in turn brings us back to my initial questions). Can I say Je suis Charlie? For all I’ve stated above, I do believe in the right to free speech and the right to live our lives in peace without fear of violent action against us. But I also believe that it is human nature that when you throw stones at people sooner or later they will hurl rocks back. The cartoonists and journalists at Charlie Hebdo are being hailed as heroes because they knew their lives were at risk and persisted with their work. The latest edition out today has sold in millions rather than its normal circulation of tens of thousands in part as people pay homage to the men. But I can find only one hero among the dead.

While #JeSuisCharlie went viral around the world, so did #JeSuisAhmed and rightly so. That a Muslim police officer died protecting the rights of others to offend him has not been lost on the world. This is the only man to come out of this unblemished in my opinion. He caused no offence, killed no one, committed no act of insult or terrorism – and was executed for his pains.

I don’t know to what extent I can say I am Charlie or I am Ahmed for I am too distantly removed to truly say I stand in their place. I don’t know to what extent I want to, if I’m honest. But I do know that the claim of secularists that ‘at least we don’t kill people for our beliefs‘ is a stupid and dangerous one. For while we choose to ignore one side and build up the other, while we dismiss one opinion and overstate another, while we consider it our right to abuse, ridicule and offend but cry foul when some choose to retaliate – while all this continues whatever flag we choose to wave will have blood on it and we’re all responsible for that.

[source and reference]

[kenthinksaloud]

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?

 

 

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‘.

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.

The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One – Series 9: Part 4 of 14

Lord Alan Sugar hand picked world UK best apprentices put on a magnificent display last week.  The Apprentice 2013 Series 9 and part 3 gave us a glimpse of what was truly in store for us and that these apprentices are truly exceptional people.  Two bright individuals quickly jump to my mind, or rather a couple of scenes flash in my memory.  The first scene – Lusia passionately painting Jordan’s toenails matt-black and probably the only task to date where both Lusia and Jordon have worked so passionately, second Alex the Welsh Dracula with his killer eye-brows taking on the know-it-all Natalie in a race to achieve the unbelievable milestone – to answer the telephone to receive next task instructions.  Why can’t my staff show such ‘extraordinary’ enthusiasm when the phone rings?

The task was simple (as always) innovative storage space solution flat-pack furniture.  You know, the stuff you supposed to find exhilarating in your home/apartment and forced to say  ‘wow can’t believe this wasn’t thought of before’, but since this is The Apprentice, we need to be a little less excited and more realistic, and aim to get some good solutions from our hopefuls.

In a nutshell – The Girls team lost led by Natalie, between the best brains in the world country they could only come up with (in theory) a multifunctional cube, which could do this and that, that and this all the while being just a cube.  When it came to putting the theory into practice they failed miserably and all they made was a nail-free-not-a-cube-looking-rectangle-box-on wheels and finished their masterpiece in the colour grey.  Lord Alan Sugar asked the teams to produce something which involved thinking outside of the box, the girls gave Lord Alan Sugar the box instead – on wheels.

On the other hand, the boys team powered by Alex but led by Jordan produced something a little more exciting.  A table which could be folded into a much needed table.  Not surprisingly the boys team won the task by selling more to their customers.

Natalie brings back the chief product designer Uzma and the not-so-enthusiastic Sophie back to the boardroom, where Sophie ends up falling victim to Lord Alan Sugar’s finger.

It’s clear, the girls are having a disaster of a time and I can’t imagine the impact it will have should they fail the task today – or Lord Alan Sugar may simply mix up the teams so save further embarrassments.

Today’s challenge involves some farmyard shop fun.

The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One – Series 9: Part 3 of 14

Last week we were truly spoilt by Lord Alan Sugar.  Not only did we get to see the first episode of this year’s The Apprentice a day early (on a Tuesday) we were overdosed by the second episode the following day (Wednesday) – thus sending the blood pressure of us The Apprentice addicts into dangerous territory.

The first episode on Tuesday introduced us to the candidates, a deliberate selection of annoying muppets and arrogant to**ers who would struggle to put a key into a keyhole.  The task was simple, unload a load of junk made in China, count it, prices it, work out the profit margins and figure out best locations to flog it.  The team which makes the most profit wins – simple right but boy oh boy did the girls team get into a devastating mess or what.  I was almost stunned to see a group of girls taking a cat product made in China to, what is known as China town in London, and sell it there when already those shops were stocked up with this product.  Not surprisingly the women’s team lost the task resulting in, the mouth motivator Jaz Ampaw-Farr being fired – and rightly so – God damn she was annoying.

The second episode on Wednesday was a little different.  The boys (Team Endeavour) and the girls (Team Evolve) had to come up with a flavoured beer for punters.  Tim, the constantly moving man who really is a puppet where someone using strings, against his will, moves his arms and head rather annoyingly, was sent over to run the girls team as a project manager – but quickly realised he couldn’t even manage his own moving actions let alone control the tasks.  On the other side it was Kurt who was appointed to lead the boys team.  In all honestly I simply can’t remember him, but somehow he managed to pull off the task and win – especially after his catastrophic decision to send three non-drinkers (including a Muslim) to go actually make, taste the beer – I mean come on.

The boys team pulled it off, somehow, leaving Tim to fight it out with the girls in the boardroom.  It all proved to be too much for animated Tim and was the second casualty of this series.

For me, there is one outstanding character in this series – The Welsh Dracula Alex Mills. He had the best one liner I have heard, well since my preschool days, “Will you be quiet you silly little shit” blasted to the PhD student.  The PhD student from some University had no research knowledge in addressing this comment, and all methodologies failed at this point for him – which resulted in utter silence.

If I had the opportunity to hire anyone of these contestants it would have to be the Welsh Dracula, I mean his eyebrows are amazing, something out of this world – literally.  I’d hire him on the basis that he could scare my competition into submission just by his physical appearance when I take him into meetings, if that would fail he could scare the living daylights out of them by his one liners “just give up your business you silly little shit”.  In fact I am going to find this Welsh Dracula Alex Mills and offer him a job as a personal bodyguard.

What is evident in this year’s bunch of top brass is the attitudes of the girls, if anything, they should be re-branded as Team Delusional.  The boys, including The Welsh Dracula, do have their problems but they proved twice in a row they can meet the task objective and win, but for the girls they are horrible to watch and some are nasty pieces of work.  I am sure that those girls who get fired from The Apprentice will be labelled for life of not-employable.

Today’s episode it’s a challenge for flat pack furniture – bring it on

The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One Starts 9pm Tuesday 7 May

The Apprentice 2013

Are you ready…?  I know I am.  The Worlds UK’s best business minded people are ready to fight for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment.  If you’re clever enough – the banks would probably give you more with a good-sound business plan and save you a life-time of embarrassment but then again Series 9 kicks off today BBC One (Tuesday 7 May at 9pm) and can be viewed later on BBC iPlayer.  There are no The Apprentice 2013 spoiler here but only a quick shout out to everyone “that you’re Wednesday evenings won’t be the same again – well not at least for the next few months”.

The Apprentice is one of my favourite TV show (if I can call it a show or should I use the words side-splitting entertainment) and I find it extremely…erm what’s the word(s) “I can’t believe I’m watching this stuff” while I grit my teeth and remain calm at the TV, especially when the UK’s best, sorry Worlds best candidates fight their hearts out in each task climbing to the top, get hired then decide to take Lord Sugar to court.

Let me introduce you to the candidates, starting with my favourite first:

Zeeshaan Shah, Age: 27, Career: CEO of Property Investment Company, Location: London

Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Age: 32, Career: Dance and Entertainment Entrepreneur Location: Leeds

Jaz Ampaw-Farr, Age: 41, Career: Literacy and Education Company Director, Location: Milton Keynes

Leah Totton, Age: 24, Career: Doctor, Location: London

Luisa Zissman, Age: 25, Career: Retail Entrepreneur, Location: St Albans

Natalie Panayi, Age: 30, Career: Recruitment Manager, Location: Rickmansworth

Rebecca Slater, Age: 35, Career: Medical Rep, Location: Wigan

Sophie Lau, Age: 22, Career: Restaurateur, Location: Bristol

Uzma Yakoob, Age: 32, Career: Entrepreneur and Make-Up Brand Owner, Location: London

Alex Mills, Age: 22, Career: Company Director, Location: Cardiff

Jason Leech, Age: 29, Career: Historian and Property Entrepreneur, Location: London

Jordan Poulton, Age: 26, Career: Business Analyst, Location: London

Kurt Wilson, Age: 26, Career: Health Drink Entrepreneur and Health & Safety Manager, Location: Liverpool

Myles Mordaunt, Age: 39, Career: Marketing Company Co-Founder, Location: Monaco

Neil Clough, Age: 32, Career: Regional Manager – Soccer Centres, Location: Altrincham

Tim Stillwell, Age: 23, Career: Mexican Food Entrepreneur, Location: Birmingham

Bring it on…

Round Three: Simren 1 – 2 Me : Chronicles Between Simren and I,

Note – This post was originally written in August (2012) but I never published it and it sat in my draft folder till now – since I last blogged about us much has happened between Simren and I.  I feel, now is the right time to publish this post and continue on sharing the ups and downs in our relationship.

Disclaimer – This post may turn out to be a long one (although it was my intention to keep it short and to the point).  As I have always said – I swear to tell the truth, nothing but the truth and if what you read, shocks you to the bone, then appreciate my honesty in confessing the Truth – it never been easy.  The truth needs to be said for this to work.

Before I continue sharing the saga or chronicles around Simren and I, I wanted to show you guys this first:

First text message

First text message

Second Text Message

Second Text Message

These text messages were sent to me by someone (who is known) to me, and who realised that I had expressed ‘unofficial’ or unsanctioned interest in Simren.  I use the word ‘unofficial’ because it was (or is) something no one else knew (or knows) about, arcane if you like, apart from Simren and I – that I was (or I am) interested in her.  Oh, and you guys – my dear readers and visitors – who caught up with the story here on my blog.

While, right now, I should be writing the story behind these very text messages: who sent them?, why they sent them? and why they were written in such a way and sent to me?, I feel the need to write about something else first, and without writing about this something else, the story around these messages will seem and feel as if a big chunk (or chapter) of the story has gone amiss.

So while you ponder about these messages let me get you up to speed with the anecdote till date:

I met a girl (a distant relative of mine) called Simren at a wedding few months ago back in April of this year (this story can be found here part 1), instantly and within a flash, a person like me who is always in pursuit and detection of amorous adventures and who enjoys his inveterate (casanova-libertine) lothario lifestyle, suddenly is lost in a world where only Simren existed (this story can be found here part 2).  She, on the other hand, despite knowing everything (and allot) about me, refused to associate herself with me in anyway, including refusing to speak to me.  Simren’s acuity of me isn’t good at all.  Her insight of me (or rather her perception of me) is simply made up of rumours, chinwag and lies, which have swelled in my community by those old folks who don’t see this young gun in a favourable way but see me a threat to their very (old) establishment.

I can handle everything that’s thrown at me, be it lies, threats, misinterpretation, slander, character assassination and so on, but one thing I really find difficult to deal with, is that people have this perception or acuity that I am some sort of (white-collar) gangster a sort of business bully, which overshadows the hard work I put into attaining success and to think and do things differently.  I am certainly not a white-collar gangster or any type of bully and it makes my blood boil and it pushes my rage to a volcanic eruption when people look at me in that way.  I have learnt one big lesson in life which is:  it’s not that you (as an individual) can’t be successful, it’s because people won’t let you be successful – so either you worry about these people and get embroiled in their smoke-screen distraction or simply side step them and attempt to attain success.  I have made my decision.

Eventually after pulling some strings she finally agreed to meet me (this story can be found here, part 3).  To go any further in reading this post, I would strongly suggest you read part 1, 2 and 3 first in order to really understand the entire picture.  If, on the other hand, you have checked out the links, then that’s you all caught up to my saga and we can continue.

Since then, I met Simren in person on a few occasions:

The first time we met was Wednesday 25th May.  She arrived into Leeds train station after finishing from University.  On this day, she arrived a little earlier than when she would normally arrive.  If you have read part 3 to this story, you will know that Simren had sanctioned me to 3 conditions for when we meet – which I agreed to with alacrity otherwise she was not willing to entertain the idea of meeting me, these sanctions were:

1.   I was to pick her up from Leeds train station when she commutes back from University.  She didn’t want me driving all the way up to her University and picking her up from there.

2.   I don’t pick her up in anyone of my cars; a taxi will do for her.  She simply didn’t want to be seen with me or in my car.

3.   No suits or professional wear, projecting the ill-perception people have of me as a white-collar gangster – just casual wear is what she would prefer.  In her view, I had a bad name, a bad reputation and one of the reasons (albeit a trivial one) was my appearance and image.

Despite, at the time agreeing to the sanctions or conditions, the only condition I could realistically keep to was point 1 (to pick her up from Leeds train station).  Point 2 (not to pick her up in my car) was something I just could not do.  No offense or umbrage to any taxi driver or taxi services in Leeds but I rather be in my own car and more to the point, I have nothing to hide or be cautious about with what I drive or own.  As for point 3 (casual wear) this was a little difficult, especially when I was at work for most of the morning, entertaining a handful corporate colleagues from the United States of America on business visit to our Leeds offices.  Besides, casual wear is something I simply don’t do especially during the day, when I am up to my neck in balancing my personal businesses with my corporate and professional lifestyle.

To summarise this first engagement or meeting with Simren (in the interest of keeping this post short and to the point) was simply ‘house on fire’.  Despite my reservation of where Simren decided to go for our initial drinks and then early dinner, I realised that Simren did all she could to make me feel comfortable and was very amiable, especially in places where I wouldn’t normally go for drinks, lunch or dinner.

Freakish as it may seem, but up until Simren uttered the following words “…honestly, I know you’re not a bad guy, and we have known eachother since kids.  It’s just the type of business you’re involved in or associated with freaks me out…” and where she continued “…and the fact that you have this casanova lifestyle which majority of girls are too well aware of simply makes me feel sorry for you…”  I was a total nervous wreck, which according to my records is a first but I acquiesced to her words.  The other thing I was nervous and somewhat confused about was how this girl, single handedly, managed to change my entire world literally in a flash, but yet had no idea of what she was doing or had done?  Does this really happen, or, am I just a one off?

The initial drinks went well, and I was glad in one respect, that she had decided to make the most of the time with me.  Looking back now, if we had just gone for a meal, I feel we wouldn’t have had the time to really relax and try to understand each other, and each others concerns about one another (or rather her reservations and qualms about me).

During the initial drinks and later, the early meal, there were some close encounters which could have potentially made matters worse for me, or bluntly put, could have screwed up things for me.  To help you understand let me try explaining what I mean.  Leeds and Yorkshire is my home turf or territory, and as the person that I am, my business and ways of doing things means engaging with many people of similar interests and business, and at times, getting involved in situations/business where no one else dares to.  As such, people either come to know you or come to know of you.  So when I’m out-and-about its normal for people to walk up to you, acknowledge you and ask your well being.  This, for Simren, was something different and something which she never really experienced.  Luckily, Simren was sarcastically impressed by my popularity (amongst these people) but I was glad that Simren didn’t feel too uneasy with what she witnessed and was going on.

The other thing was the location which Simren decided to go for our early dinner.  It was a restaurant of a known associate, someone who knows me all too well – as such is my relationship with the owner that – no matter when or who I go there with (according to past experiences) the owner never bills me, and at times giving the same treatment to people associated with me for the privilege of eating at the restaurant.  So while, Simren echoed where she planned to have our dinner, still while we were sat having our initial drinks, I couldn’t help but to worry that the owner may simply land me in it by treating me different from his regular customers and even worse, not charging for the privilege of eating at his restaurant.  So while, I made the excuse to use the mens room, I sent a text message to my friend saying “..,heading to beeeep beeeep, get it sorted with the owner…” which simply meant, I was heading to the restaurant and he should get there before me and tell the owner not to treat me any different from his regular customers and to accept payment when offered.

The plan worked wonders, and the owner didn’t give away the slightest indication that I was getting special treatment, although I could see some nervous waiters running over to our table to my slight twitch of the hand or a distant but blank glare at them.  Overall it made everything appear normal and it kept Simren in her skin and stopped her reminding me of who I am and of my reputation.

It’s worth noting that, I am big in understanding women psychology, and throughout our first meeting I read her clearly.  For example, when she realised after receiving her in Leeds train station that I had arrived in my own car, she raised an eyebrow and while giggling a little and leaning into my side as we walked towards my car, she punched me on my arm, indicating to me that she knew I was going to pull a stunt like this, so it didn’t come across to her as much of a shock or disappointment.  During the ride to our first destination for drinks, she somewhat felt scared and nervous, as she practically hugged her bag through the short distance to our destination.  In the second half of our time together, she began to relax a little, especially when she touched and fiddled with my cufflinks unknowingly all the while we relaxed and comfortably conversed.  You see, for her, she probably didn’t even realise that she was touching me, but for me, it appeared loud and clear on my radar.

To help you understand, how much this girl means to me in such a short time – let me give you some trivial statistics:  In the entire time together, she touched me or some part of me 11 times.  She checked her phone only 4 times in the entire time she was physically with me.  She said my name 16 times, she yawned 0 times and she smiled all the time.  Get the picture?

As I drove her home, around 9:15pm, after spending 6 hours and almost 45 mins together, I could see she was relaxed, not just by her posture but by placing her handbag in the back seat of the car, whereas as earlier she had hugged it as if it contained a gold bar or something of equal value.

As we approached her house, I pulled up my car just before her driveway, as I was slightly nervous and somewhat reluctant in driving my 4×4 roaring up to the side of her house.  We parked, and there was silence for a few precious moments – neither of us uttered a word.  I guess, in my mind, I was thinking whether today she had found me guilty or would she reconsider my plea of ‘not-guilty’ and pardon me – since she was hell bent on convicting me over my reputation with other women and perception of being some sort of gangster, albeit a white-collar one.  If I was to guess, during the same silence, she was thinking whether this was for real, whether this was some sort of bait to lower her into a trap or connive and whether this was something I do with all the other women – something which I was too well known for doing, but she, on the flip side, could have been thinking that maybe she got me wrong, and there was, afterall, another side to me and my reputation.  Either way, as we acknowledge that our time had come to an end for today, I quickly jumped out of my car, and rushed over to her side, and as any gentleman would do, I opened the door on her side and lent her my hand to help her get down from my 4×4 car.  As I watched her walk up her driveway, she turned and uttered “…are you going to call me?…” to which I replied “…no…”, she twitched her eyebrows in a cute manner, smiled and said “…why…”  I paused and then replied “…I want you to think about today, take your time and then think about today some more, then call me…”  She then gave me this warm glare and turned and vanished out of sight.  I was still, somewhat, nervous of me and Simren.  Was this one meeting enough for her to see who I am and what I am like as a person?  or, would today only scratch the surface of what she really thought about me?  It was then that I was convinced more than ever before, that this girl was the one for me.  She had to be otherwise why was I feeling so weird, different and like an excited child again?

Nonetheless, while contemplating and reflecting on how today went, exactly after 11 mins of dropping her off, I got a text from Simren, which read “…thank you, you’re not a bad guy, I’m still thinking…”.  I pulled up my car, and decided to send back a “;-)” and leave it to that.

It then took Simren 26 hours and 13 ever so long minutes to finally send me a modicum text, and in this text came a new opportunity for me, an opportunity which I thought I would never get or deserved to get – her text said “…thinking over, y’day when u dropped me off, I saw mum in lounge she asked me a question through her smile, and t’day evening when I got back from Uni, I replied back to mums question w’d my answer a smile too 😉

Our relationship from here on grew at a comfortable cumulative pace.  I wasn’t in her face all the time, something which I’m known to do, and she wasn’t in mine.  This meant that we both knew it needed to go at it’s own pace, not because we didn’t want to rush into anything quick (if it was up to me, I’d whisk her away immediately and get married to her), but because both of us have allot on.  Me and my profession-business-personal-student lifestyle and Simren with her final year and Law exams.  I was more convinced now than ever before that Simren was the one for me – everything felt new, bright, and refreshing, and as it stood, I would ‘do anything’ to win her over and ‘at any cost’.

As time went on, I contemplated changing my current lifestyle, which involved many ‘no-strings’ attached relationships with acquaintances, including those who possessed wealth, money, power, beauty and fame.  Simren was that reason for me to walk away from such a lifestyle, say goodbye, to never look back and begin to live a lifestyle where everything evolved around one person, Simren, and where it remained demure.  She would be my lust, my acquaintance, my wife, my desire, my ambition, my world, my yearn, my crave, my covet and much more.

The following few weeks and months, we began to talk and text more frequently.  It seemed the power above was sending down blessings all at once as all family get togethers, barbecues, weddings, mehndis (Hinnah) and birthday parties meant another encounter with Simren and her family, each one more aromatic than the previous, more energetic than the last.

Being the youngest in my family, it didn’t take long for my siblings to figure out something was brewing between me and Simren.  My sisters and sister-in-laws, who never fail to have banter and repartee at my expense, quickly and deliberately bribed me in doing things where the reward would be having an encounter with Simren.  It often meant accompanying them to mehndis and family dinners, or boring-long desi shopping.  To make matters worse, one of my nephews who is 7 years old even had the nerve to say “…Cha-cho, is Simren going to live with you…” in front of my brothers and sisters.  (Cha-Cho = Uncle)

In short, the tide was changing.  A once, stone hearted, insensitive to the feelings of the opposite sex, heartbreaker with intention, a casanova, a lothario, person was suddenly contemplating a change and that too for the good.  On the other hand, Simren too had begun to accept me as a person who wasn’t after all that bad from what she initially thought.  She expressed some of this during a few phone conversations and physical encounters.  Admittedly, it would take a lot more to really get Simren to fully trust me, especially with the reputation I unknowingly had.

Simren even asked for my advice in how she should tell her friends about our interaction(s).  If you have read the previous parts to this story, you would be familiar with how her friends viewed me as nothing more than a spoilt low life, insensitive and a complete prick with no respect for others, and you will be familiar with the fact that, I did not spare her friends from my target list (although, at the time, I didn’t know they were Simren’s friends ). I discussed how best to break this news to her friends and we worked on a plan, it seemed things were falling in the right place for both of us.

Until when disaster struck:

The stone hearted person that I am, there is one thing I do really good and that is ‘hurting’ other people, mainly people of opposite sex.  At times its unintentionally but majority of the times is intentionally.  As such, I did the same with Simren.

Over a tiny misapprehension which is not worth mentioning one bit, I hurt Simren badly.  So bad that she felt as if I had done everything to win her trust, lead her out to a new world of unknowns holding her hand, where everything is possible and then suddenly find that I simply abandoned her all alone, scared, derided, used and abused.

Over this little misapprehension, which Simren wasn’t aware of, I decided to drive Simren away from me.  It was all my gratuitous fault and zero blame goes towards Simren for this.  Each tear that she cried was that one reminder of who I am, each tear she cried was that one reminder of how impertinent and bad of a person I am, each tear she cried was a reminder of how much pain I put her through.

Following this misapprehension Simren had fallen out with me good and proper.  She shut off from the world or the world which I knew off and it was practically impossible for me to get in touch with her – until, not so long ago at a family gathering to celebrate the engagement of another couple that I managed to see her.  As my eyes landed on her, while she walked into the hotel lobby, my heart sank yet again.  That nervous feeling that had clenched my chest, my stomach and my throat resurfaced again.  She was, as always, a pleasure to see, that freshness that entered my life, she was that reason that I needed to change, for a person like me, nothing but a miracle could change my lifestyle and she was that miracle.

Every moment that past, every second that ticked away at this engagement celebration – I dedicated it to Simren – she had occupied me, my mind, my thoughts all this time.  Despite, Simren interacting with everyone including my family – she never once acknowledged me.  From a distance I could see Simren, and I felt that she knew I was watching her the whole time.  An opportunity to speak to her arose when the ladies were handing out drinks to everyone.  As she approached me, I thought of all the possible words I could say to simply speak to her again, sincerely apologise to her and to make her see that my interest in her is like no other and genuine.  She didn’t bother asking me what drink I’d like to have, and she reached out for a glass topped up with my favorite drink Irn-Bru and said “I got you your favorite, just for you”, and with a smile she handed the glass to me, conscious of the fact that she doesn’t make any hand to hand contact.  With a warm, refreshing and beautiful smile – she then leaned over to my right side, inches away from my ear and uttered “…your reputation speaks for itself and you know what – you will never change…”, these were the exact same words she used in our first encounter at the wedding (part 1) and she made a point by uttering them again.  These words echoed in my head, I don’t even remember if I actually finished my drink, or what happened in the ceremony after this.  All I remember is feeling weak, ill, nadir, worried, nervous and in a constant blur – I finally met my match.

Ever since then, Simren has done everything in her means to avoid all contact and communication with me, and continues to exercise taciturn.  I, on the other hand, have gone back to my same lifestyle where it’s all work, business, study and plenty of pleasure.

Until:

A very close acquaintance of mine who resides in South Asia, who not only is available to my beck and call (and likewise), but goes out of her way to help me as and when I need help irrelevant of how busy our lives are.  I must extol that at times when were sensible she injects sensible thoughts into my head.  On this matter, she has been exceptionally understanding and considerate.  I confided in her without any barriers or restrictions, she has ever since strongly pushed me towards making amends with Simren after perusal of the situation.  According to her ‘My Truth’ is hard for women to handle, and as such advised that I simply put all this right – as Simren is every bit worth fighting for.  I’m glad someone other than myself sees it from my point of view too.

Concentrate your energies, your thoughts and your capital. The wise man puts all his eggs in one basket and watches the basket – a wise quote.

There and then, I decided to put all my eggs in one basket, and give this a go one more time with everything I have or I can do, as I repudiate this situation.

As I prepared for battle, and conditioned my mind to be truculent in fighting what she throws at me, I was sent these text messages (which I displayed earlier in the post) which simply meant – it now wasn’t just about Simren and I, but another person has entered this war and, he, for sure isn’t on my side or wanton.

The story about these messages, who wrote them?  Who is this person ?  Why did this person write them?  What is my relationship with this person?  will all be revealed in my next post.  But as you come to read the last words of this post, consider yourself all upto date with my story with Simren – as from here onwards, you will walk with me into this battle – failure indeed is not an option.

This song captures the very mood that I am in and best explains my feelings for Simren:

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