Thursday, June 17, 2010

Gulf Oil Spill: What a Mess

It’s been almost two months since one of the worst environmental disasters occurred in the gulf of mexico which claimed 11 lives and injured several others. Enough has been said and written about how it could have been averted and why BP failed to put safety measures in place. The fact remains that millions of gallons of oil has spewed into the gulf, top kill has been unsuccessful and little do we know when we will be able to recover from this catastrophe. The impact on environment and the wild life is beyond imagination, “small people” whose livelihoods depend on the fishing industry and tourism have suffered tremendously.

While the tragedy itself is far from over, every party involved is busy playing the blame games, saving their faces or trying to make the most out of the situation. BP is trying hard to protect its reputation by offering numerous apologies and taking the responsibility to compensate for the losses and recovery. Fitch is in the news for dragging BP down by six notches close to near junk status. BP, in turn is blaming Transocean, the owner and operator of the rig hired by BP to carry out the drilling work. Other oil giants like Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips are just too ecstatic that it wasn’t their rig that exploded. They are behaving like a bunch of school kids pointing fingers at BP, whereas their own safety measures aren’t exactly applaud-able. The stocks of BP have taken a dip, and the shareholders are sad to see their dividends go to the recovery fund. Many Indians, who are not a party involved at all, are disappointed over the enormous compensation of $20 billion dollars, because Union Carbide victims didn’t get paid as much. Grow up, will you?

On the other hand, some owners of the otherwise diminishing businesses in the gulf region are said to be making a fortune out of the compensation. Search engines like google, yahoo and bing have made their share of the profit by selling the keyword “oil spill” to BP. Some enthusiastic developers have even created an application for iPhone that could provide the location and pictures of the marine life affected. Nalco had its own two-minute crowning fame when it was revealed that their dispersants were being used in the recovery operations. Media, as usual is leaving no stone unturned to explode and scrutinize every bit of information related to the gulf tragedy. They have found a blazing subject to give them enough coverage for weeks, by converting a purely technical problem to a more political matter. Hayward is under the fire from Obama, who in turn is terrified that this could cost him the next elections. The president is looking for a rear to kick while the oil companies are busy trying to save theirs. Meanwhile, the rest of us are content watching Messi do the honors on the field.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Time Management is the Key

This post is dedicated to all those people whose excuses in many conversations start with “I really want to, but don’t have time to…..”. Assuming that they are not lying, I am absolutely in awe of such folks - how come they don’t have time to execute some basic tasks, unless they live in a parallel universe that has only twelve hours on the clock. Hello, do you know that a clock gives you two rounds of twelve hours in a day?

I am sure there are many more occasions where lack of time has been used for defense, but following are the issues I have come across more frequently:

1) No time to call your friends – You don’t have time to call your friends because you are occupied at work or school and are super-busy at home, cooking, cleaning, personal time – yeah, yeah, yeah; point noted. Call when you are driving or shopping, invest in your friendship, buy a bluetooth. (this one may sound like a telemarketing ad, but seriously guys, find a better reason).

2) No time to exercise – Being physically active in any form, be it spending time in the gym, or going for a walk, has become more essential with the introduction of computer based work culture. The president of the United States has time to work-out, don’t tell me that you are busier than he is. If you are employed, go during your lunch break, or work-out after work. If you are a stay home parent, go when your children are sleeping, or join a fitness club that has a childcare. I am sure everyone has heard of Wii fit or yoga that can be practiced at home. In short, where there is will, there is a way!

3) No time to supervise children – This message is mainly for parents who let their toddler children roam around in the neighborhood without any adult supervision. I don’t mean to be a social police, but come on, your children deserve better. It is immoral, unsafe and especially unlawful to leave your child unattended. Yeah right, you need a break too, have fun until someone calls up the child protection services or god forbid, if there’s a mishap. Once you are in the lockup, you will have all the time in the world to focus on these trivial matters.

4) No time to socialize – By that, I do not mean social networking on facebook, orkut or twitter. If you have enough time to tweet, scrap and comment on every silly update of a contact sitting in another continent, then you most certainly have time to socialize with people around you. Trust me, it is absolutely normal to hang out with real people once in a while.

5) No time to pursue a hobby – Hobby is not a part of your schedule, but an activity that interests you beyond your routine. So, of course you need to put in a little extra effort to take time out of your agenda, be it music, arts, computers, sports or blogging. Even if you choose Farmville as your hobby as opposed to gardening, so be it. So what if you are harvesting in an imaginary world, you are still having a good time, right? If you still aren’t convinced that you could squeeze in your favorite activity in your lifestyle, then I know the one that’s perfect for you – clock collection.

So people, please don’t give time crisis as an explanation for things you really want to do. If you do, you are projecting yourself as an incompetent and disorganized loser who is leading an unfulfilling life. Next time a friend asks you why you haven’t been in touch, just say that you have been lazy. Laziness is far more acceptable apology than lack of time.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sorry Mom, No Gift for you this Mother's Day...

As we celebrate this special day for mothers, my thoughts wander to the millions of homeless children, who have never experienced the simple pleasure of having a mom. I wonder who they come (home?) to every day, who cares if they eat or not, who makes sure that they sleep well, who hugs them when they fall down and kisses their forehead when they have tears in their eyes. Do they remember that someone irreplaceable, who introduced them to the world and then departed, leaving them behind with a void? Buying a greeting card or a bouquet of roses for my mom seems so worthless when I think about these little angels who have dreams in their eyes, but no-one to share them with. So many questions that go unanswered, plenty of stories to tell, but no pair of ears patient enough to listen.

I have always believed that people are responsible for their lives by making appropriate or otherwise choices and I have always found luck factor illogical and absurd. However, this is one argument that I have no response to - what about these unfortunate kids? What choices did they make that they were born to have an under-privileged life? Why are they deprived of plain comfort and affection that seems so essential and eternal? It’s not about the expensive toys or cozy beds, it’s about the presence of the creator of their existence, a sole entity that could help them overcome their fears, guide them in every walk of life and love them unconditionally. I know that my Mom will be proud of me, if, on Mother’s day, instead of nurturing an already flourishing retail business, I assist in a social cause that’s extremely close to my heart.

This is also one dimension of life I would have never comprehended, but thanks to my son, he has made me realize how fundamental my subsistence is for him. Today, I feel that I am privileged enough to have a mother, who, sitting thousands of miles away, still prays for my well-being and gets worried when I am in the least predicament. She is someone I can talk endlessly to and confide in with an unspoken assurance. I am not only thankful to my mother for everything, but also to my lucky stars that I have a Mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starting a Blog!

Being a strong headed, undiplomatic and opinionated person isn’t that easy as it sounds. It is complicated to be truthful, courageous, and straightforward, to some extent careless and yet political to make a balancing act in discussions and debates. The biggest challenge in a disagreement is to stand by your principles without sounding rude and sarcastic. We seem to offend people around us more often than usual just by calling a spade a spade.
Therefore, I have decided to enter the blogosphere where I can put my thoughts into words and express my views in broad-spectrum without the constant fear of rubbing people the wrong way. However, in no way do I suggest that the blogs I will be writing will be prejudiced beliefs and outlooks. In contrast, the satisfaction of presenting a two-dimensional perspective is what I am looking forward to. I also expect to enjoy the healthy discussions on board thus opening the doors of my wisdom further. I will be writing about my family, some singular experiences, my humdrum days and sometimes about the current affairs that hold my attention. It is also my irresistible love for writing that has brought me to this juncture. I would like to believe that if I was not an Engineer, I would have refined my scripting skills to make an occupation.