Happy Earth Day

This beautiful Earth we have long taken for granted, and still do. It does not matter how many environmental campaigns are launched, people around the world are still the same. We still litter. We still pollute. And in the last decade, violence. The latter also ruins our planet, our home. Killing of innocents. All in the name of terrorism or religion. Are we also on the eve of nuclear war? Only time will tell.

Small island Mauritius. A few years ago, we would have thought it nearly impossible to have floods or other environmental calamities of such ‘intensity’ here. Just a month ago we have been proven wrong. Lives were lost. The whole country was shaken. Our region’s environment conditions are changing. We recently had a cyclone which acted in a real bizarre way. The Mauritian Meteo experts have never seen the likes of it before. <Sigh>

We all know that there is no going back. The damage has been done. We just have to bear the consequences. And pray that God has mercy on us all.

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Anyway, In My World wishes you a Happy Earth Day! Make the most of it, while it still lasts. 🙂

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Success comes with Hard Work

I find it baffling how some people forget, or choose not to acknowledge, that success comes with hard work. Some of the reasons for that forgetfulness are perhaps envy, jealousy, wanting more than the other person or not wishing that the other person has more.

It has been said over and over again that when a person has a goal they want to reach, or a dream they wish to come true, all they need are motivation, discipline, hard work, a little bit of luck and the will not to give up when faced with failure and to keep going until the end result is to satisfaction.

All I want to say to those people is that whoever they see building a big, beautiful and cozy home, or driving an Italian car, or wearing designer clothes, remember that they are able to do  all these things because they have worked hard for it! Remember some of those successful people spent 18 to 20 years of their life studying: late nights, tests, exams, stress. Remember that those people invested and took risks. Remember those parents who give everything to their children so the latter can achieve what they themselves only dreamed of. Nothing happened by magic.

Instead of wallowing in self-pity, wake up and at least try to make something for yourself. Instead of envying others for their success, be thankful for what you have and always wish the best for yourself and others!

Dream Big. Work Hard.

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The Power of a *true* Smile

A smile. A simple curving of the lips or a teeth baring smile. It does not matter what kind of smile it is, it has a powerful impact.

A smile changes the most severe of faces.

A smile can stop someone’s tears from falling.

A smile beautifies a ‘thank you’.

A smile, along with a good morning, shows it is good to see one another.

A smile can say ‘I like you’.

A smile can say ‘I appreciate you’.

A special kind of smile can say ‘I love you’.

A smile can say ‘It may be hurting now, but you’ll be all right’.

A smile can say ‘Do not be afraid’.

A smile shows encouragement.

A smile shows complicity.

A smile makes you approachable.

A smile can get you a discount. 😉

All in all, a smile brings happiness, in yourself, and in others. So Smile! Not often, but ALWAYS! At yourself, at your mum, at your dad, at your brother, at your sister, at your neighbors, at your friends, at your colleagues, at people you do not know…Anywhere, Anytime baby! <Winks>

And isn’t it a little bit funny how even the smallest of smile is contagious? Smile at someone, and you’ll most probably get a smile back!

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The Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] said: “Do not abuse anyone, do not look down upon any good work, and when you speak to your brother, show him a cheerful face.”
[Sunan of Abu-Dawood, Hadith 1889]

Abdullaah ibn Haarith said: “I never came across a person who smiled as much as Prophet Muhammad [PBUH]. Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] regarded smiling to a brother as an act of charity.”
[Tirmidhi]

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” 
― Mother Teresa

“Nothing shakes the smiling heart.” 
―Santosh Kalwar, I am Dead Man Alive

Rainy Days

Mauritius has been under the clouds for the last couple of days. It has been raining incessantly in certain regions, day and night. And as usual, things are chaotic. Some roads are completely under water, some bridges not accessible, Impossible traffic, schools closed, businesses closed, some offices closed. Homes flooded. Mobile network down. Long queues at Hypermarkets and ATM machines. No running water. Over-excited radio stations. They have got news to report all day long. A meteorological station that serves no good purpose. Over-crowded bus-stops. And stupid careless drivers who splash water on pedestrians going to work. Anyway, a very chaotic situation.

I do not understand how two days of heavy rain can cause such havoc in such a small country like ours. What would we have done if we got rain like that in India, or the floods like those in the US? We would be erased from the map. Seriously, we are in 2013! The Government always boasts about how Mauritius is doing so much better than the other countries in the region. Still when it gets hit with heavy rain, it is paralysed!

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I know that we do not have control over the weather, or can predict it with perfect exactitude and natural calamities do happen. However, 1 day of torrential rain is hardly a calamity! It is just bad weather! But the country looks like it has been hit by a terrible cyclone.

One thing though, we have been blessed with copious rains and the reservoirs are in a good health. But knowing the state of countries ‘plumbing’ system, it will not be a surprise if the Authorities raise the alert of a drought in a few more months.

On a completely different note, some of us really enjoy this kind of weather. One where we want to stay cosy in bed, with hot coffee, chocolate or tea. Prepare nice food: Roti, Chicken Soup. Have nice music on. It is a different mood. However, I always like to keep in mind that some other people are not as fortunate as I am: to be under a safe roof. I thank God for all the little and big favors bestowed upon me. I pray He helps the people who are in a bad situation right now. I also pray that those still working , firemen, policemen, hospital personnel etc get to their homes safe and sound, and be given courage for the amazing job that they do to help those in need.

And yeah, it does not matter how luxurious our cars, how big our home, how glamorous our shopping malls, how new our mobile phones, Mauritius is still a third-world country. There is still a long way to go.

Grammar. A Lost Art?

Is grammar gradually losing its importance? Is spelling following too?

Sometimes I find it shocking to find so many grammatical and spelling mistakes in what people write. Not just in letters, emails or text messages. You can even find them in online newspapers (the only kind I read these days).

I know we all use short-hand, especially when chatting and sending text messages. But is using it too much causing us to start neglecting grammar and spelling? I would think yes and in my opinion, it is a bad thing and that, irrespective of language.

Can you imagine there are people who hesitate or do not even know the difference between ‘their’ and ‘there’, ‘its’ and ‘it’s’? Or when to use apostrophe? Or how to use commas? Seriously?! This is so basic! And what I hate the most, is when someone write in phonetic short-hand. Like ‘Zis’ or ‘dis’ for ‘this’, ‘Z’ for ‘the’ and the list is very long.

Teenagers and those under 25 are the ones who use this way of writing most of the time. It drives me nuts to read their texts or when I chat to them. It is almost alien! And I am pretty sure that sometimes they really do not know how to write certain words and they just go with the phonetics. How many teenagers actually read books nowadays? I have been to the library the other day and there were mostly adults there. Yeah, books can be obtained online too. However, I strongly doubt it that they would bother to read a whole book in soft copy.

I am not saying grammar and spelling should be perfect all the time. Sometimes mistakes can slip in. It is forgivable. But writing like that all the time on purpose? NO! NO! NO!

I, for one, tend to avoid this as far as possible now. I really do not want to be among those who send an e-mail to the boss writing ‘u’ instead of ‘you’ or ‘Deer Sir/Madam’ instead of ‘Dear Sir/Madam’.

Women as Commercial Objects

I just hate all those stupid commercials and advertisements, Mauritian or International ones, where women are ‘used’ to sell products that has nothing that directly revolve around the woman. Or the subject of ‘femininity’.

I am far from being a feminist and I am not speaking based on my religious convictions. However, as a woman,  I feel deeply concerned that the woman body keeps being used like that. I know this has been going on since a long time and many voices have been raised against it. Why are those voices falling on deaf ears? Why letting the female body be ‘exposed’ in such a way?

Woman represents beauty and sensuality. This has been true since the dawn of time. And I agree that it must be ‘appreciated’. But are those commercials and advertisements really ‘appreciating’ feminine beauty? They certainly ain’t. Instead, they are trivialising it. In addition to that, they are projecting the false image of what truly constitutes the real beauty of a woman. How many teenagers and adults are being influenced in ‘shaping’ their bodies into those most-of-the-time photoshopped models? And that, at the expense of their health?

Somehow, women have driven themselves to this point since this world is becoming more and more materialistic. Money. Sex. Greed. Selling her body to ads companies is an easier way to make money. And it pays a lot! Moreover, they have to make the most while they still can. Some don’t hesitate to go the extra mile as physical beauty does not last forever.

I am really at a lost as to what can be done to stop using scantily dressed girls and women in everything called publicity. Still, maybe The Little Red Book launched in February 2011 by the Association of Advertising Agencies (AAA) on its Code of Advertising Practice for Mauritius, is a step in the right direction. It can be read from that code of practice that “women must not be treated as objects in advertising especially when her image has no direct relation with the promoted product or service” and Advertising must take in consideration the evolution of the respective roles of women and men in society . . . It must represent women as equally capable, responsible and independent in the conduct of their activities. In addition, neither the picture of a caricature denigrating the role of any person in a couple, nor the representation of an excessive dependence of the character with respect to the products promoted must be displayed. Advertising must respect the dignity of women and men.” Now, how many will abide by these is left to be wondered!

I cannot see how this ‘situation’ can get any better. I cannot see the time when women will say enough is enough and we would actually see an alcohol ad being about alcohol, chocolate being about chocolate, cars being about cars, tools being about tools…calendars being about months.

Abortion

Abortion is a pretty hot topic right now in Paradise Island. This is because the Government has decided to make it legal in some contexts. I can already imagine the English teachers having a great time in GP classes. 🙂

Abortion, according to the new proposed amendments, will be legal in cases which present a danger to the life of the mother and her sanity, severe malformation of the fetus and those resulting from rape and incest. I am completely for these amendments. They will modify a law that was written ages and ages ago, in 1838 to be exact.

Life of the mother and her sanity

I believe that terminating a pregnancy because the mother’s life is in danger or may cause any other harm to her being is a legitimate reason. Save the living. Also, the mother can have other children when her health is better, whereas the child cannot make up for losing the mother.

Severe malformation of the fetus

I am not much of a scientist and not at all a doctor to really explain this well. A quick search on google will do that. But seriously, we are living in a modern world, where new technologies allow you to know if there are any major problems with the fetus at a very early stage of pregnancy. A child born with handicaps or other malformations leads a very difficult life. And most often than not, providing for them costs a lot of money and many parent cannot afford that.

Rape and incest

In fact, for me, if the law was changed to just include this bit about rape and incest, it would have sufficed. I have seen girls, aged 10 – 20, in a Shelter for young children and women. They have been victims of rape and incest, often from their close family members. One girl was raped by her own father at the age of ten. She became pregnant and eventually gave birth. Who is that child to her but a reminder of such a cruel and violent act against herself?  Will she be able to love her baby?  Will she, a child herself, be able to provide the attention and care required by the being she brought to life?  Putting an end to a pregnancy in such cases is definitely not murder!

I know there are many arguments against abortion. ‘Abortion’ is murder, they say, especially those so-called religious figures of Mauritius. I’d like to tell them to go and stuffs their stupid faces. If they were doing their job well, girls aged 10 would not be getting raped by their own fathers! May be they should take a very good look at the mess that is the spiritual state of the Mauritian Society before going to yell in a microphone how abortion is a crime.

However, it is true that great care should be taken when considering the different cases where an abortion is being requested. Qualified personnel should be assigned on such duties. It is good to want to bring change but it has to be done well.

I would like to see these amendments voted and implemented.  It took a long time coming, but better late than never!