Saturday, December 29, 2012

Pride of the Emirates- A Drive with Steve

Emirates (Arabic: طَيَران الإماراتDMG: Ṭayarān al-Imārāt) is an airline based at Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 2,500 flights per week,[1][2] from its hub at Terminal 3, to 122 cities in 74 countries across six continents.[3] The company also operates four of the world's ten longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, and Houston.[4][5][6] Emirates is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which has over 50,000 employees, and is wholly owned by the government of Dubai directly under the Investment Corporation of Dubai.[7] Cargo activities are undertaken by the Emirates Group's Emirates SkyCargo division.[8]
You see that long building behind me, it has the largest indoor space in the entire world! Isn't that something!
The airline ranks amongst the top 10 carriers worldwide in terms of revenue and passenger kilometres, and has become the largest airline in the Middle East in terms of revenue, fleet size, and passengers carried as of 2007.[14] In 2011 the airline was the fourth-largest airline in the world in terms of international passengers carried,[15] and largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown.[16] The airline was also the third largest in terms of scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown.[17]

Emirates operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and is one of only nine airlines to operate an all-wide-body aircraft fleet,[11] whose centrepiece is the Boeing 777. Emirates also has orders for 90 Airbus A380s with 20 of them already in service and became the second operator of the Airbus A380-800 after Singapore Airlines when their first aircraft was delivered on 28 July 2008.[12] Emirates has won numerous awards and is an industry bellwether for aircraft purchases, purchasing over 130 aircraft in 2007 alone.[13]
That's what you fly eh Steve? No! That is what your son flies and he likes it, it is the fastest plane in the fleet!
Emirates has built up a strong brand name as a leader in the aviation industry, particularly in terms of service excellence, and its very rapid growth, coupled with consistent profitability.[18][19]
In February 2011, Air Transport World gave Emirates Airlines the title of "Airline of the Year" for 2011. The award has been given based on recognition of its commitment to safety and operational excellence, customer service trendsetters, financial condition including a 22-year consecutive annual profit.[20]

Falcon City of Wonders - A Short Walk.

 ‘Falconcity of Wonders’.
The Falconcity of Wonders, announced in 2005, is a project being built in Dubai that will feature life-size replicas of the seven wonders of the world such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and other famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal and the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is a part of Dubailand, covering an area of 100 acres (400,000 m2) with an estimated cost of $36.5 billion.
In the modern world, Dubai has emerged as a city with no parallel. A city that embraces modernity while proudly maintaining its rich cultural heritage and unique identity.
Falconcity of Wonders LLC (FCW) is a privately owned company that was founded to develop Falconcity of Wonders, a real estate mega project. Being under the umbrella of Salem Ahmad AlMoosa Enterprises, gives FCW immediate access to more than 30 years of experience in the real-estate sector.
The Residential villas of the Falconcity of Wonders are situated in the falcon wings. The Villas guarantee a superb life style and each owner has the option to choose their house design from four distinguished themes.
And to imagine that not twenty five years ago all these were desrt land . Nothing but sand and small clusters of bushes and palm tree scattered here and there.
what impact owuld this have on the whole climate system of the planet when the desert is turned into a garden?
There seem to even be an increase in the bird population since i last came here what with all the trees and bushes. No doubt there is allot of watering for the plants daily and a good amount of plant growing soil to be placed to replace sandy soil.
The patch outside of the fence is taken care of by the corporation maintanence while the house owners implement their own gardens. Many has done such good job at it as you can see while taking your morning walks.
What powers water have to life! Most of the vegetation and plants you see are mostly imported and not native to the area and yet they thrive especially in winter when the weather is a little cooler.
This house must belong to a private owner as so much is being inveested into the landscaping.
My son's front yard is bare as he had his ways in terms of decorating and so is his backyard.

My works since arrival in Dubai

I find the quiet and spacious villa to be most conducive towards my being able to create my works. Perhaps it aso has to do with the fact that it is my son's home and as such it feels safe and secure for me as i have bever had a place of my own in my entire life. The painting above if an X-Ray taken of my son's shoulder to mend his injury. Too bad i cannot get the picture rotated for better viewing.
I did this painting when i was last here in Dubai but did not finish it. Now it is finished and framed; not too bad. Strong colors and rough textures to give the effect of a foreboding landscape with a red star falling out of the sky.
This piece done on a circular canvass was done when I first visited Dubai in 2008 but it never got much appreciation as it too is still waiting for the final touch and what that may be is yet to happen.
This is what the living room at the Villa looks like; a make shift studio for his father, how can you not love the guy! This too will come to pass but for so long as i am here it is my studio where i will pour out my passion to create works of art.
These local scenes of the Dubai skyline is something a friend of my son has asked me to do and I have attempted three instead of the one she asked for.

Still in progress of the Burj Dubai, one of the most outstanding piece of modern day architecture.
This piece was done without much planning and the idea came through my sitting meditation the morning before. It is a simple theme but quite effective in execution, "Blue Moon". 
The Malaysian (Mayan) calendar completed on 21 - 12 - 12 at midnight.
The Dubai Creek city skyline is an interesting combination of the old and the modern building, still in progress.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Good Bye 2012 - Hello 13

The year 2012 survived the Mayan prophecy and has managed to keep on trucking perhaps into the next millennium. I am still myself with my self doubts and perturbations, product of an ignorant dual thinking mind of which I have accepted as who I am. practice hard as I may in trying to come to understand who I am or what my potentialities might be i am still stuck with the same old rut of being caught in the routine of self doubts and low self esteem. i say this because i cannot give up in being subjected to this sense of comparing, measuring and adjusting my state of being to the next guy i confront. Its desire to be more than or better than or greater than the man who looked at me in the eye when he passed me by in the corridor. God help me, after all these years, the practices, the attempt at discipline the vows of celibacy and what not, look at where I am at.
 Yes another year is slipping by and i am one more year older in this physical form, one would think that i have learned something worthwhile about life, but no, all i know is that life is still suffering and suffering is even for those who think they are free from the trials and tribulations of life. I listen to so much pains, so much uncertainty and so much disconcerted state of being here and back in Penang that I am beginning to feel like there is no end to it. What is it that we are all looking for, what do we expect, what we do we hope for: why?
Yes the world is still spinning out of whack! look at it whichever way you like, unless you are totally blind to the suffering of those in Palestine and Iraq in Syria or Libia, then you deserve the medal for being a Buddha incarnate as Buddhas are beyond caring for these worldly vexations. But if you are human and profess to save human beings from the life of suffering then you have to still sit and contemplate the state of this planet as it is; not much to brag about really. As you are the universe, it is imperative that you carry the burden of rectifying the causes of  these suffering that has fallen upon humanity; unless you are ignorant of the fact that you are the universe. In which case then you look for a scape goat to take the fall for what is transpiring around you and God is a good place to start with.
The Creator, the One who made it all happen, the One you had been taught to place your trust, faith and believe in, how could he let humanity drift into such a decaying state where life itself has become a waste.
Yes there is always the scapegoat and why not? Are you not a product of this divine madness that has allowed for the chaos that is slowly engulfing this planet and threatening to exterminate humanity itself? Why are we allowed to exist amidst our greed, hate and ignorance so much so that we have become much worse than animals? Why are we exposed and possessed by so much delusions that we have lost our sense of being human, being compassionate, being caring and forgiving;are we merely tools for some experimentation, pawns in this game of life? Good versus evil? Light against darkness and positive as opposed to negative? Are we the guinea pigs for some extensive research into what makes man better or lesser than the rest of creation?
Make your fried rice, bake your beans and punch the clock so you are on time to be where you are supposed to be; is this why you are here? Is this all there is to your life after which you are hoping and praying that it will all end and you ending up in some more pleasant environment where you do not have to worry about the fate of this planet or humanity itself anymore? Heaven, that is your ultimate goal, the place you are aiming for and if you play your cards right the seventy two vested virgins is all yours for the taking; what a lame excuse to being a man! God would have expected more out of his prime creation than just being able to stay clean enough to qualify for a place of milk and honey: He created man to excel on His behalf against all odds but man has little faith in Him only seeking to save his own skin while the Lord's Creation falls into decadence.

‎"So long as there shall exist, by reason of law and custom, a social condemnation, which, in the face of civilization, artificially creates hells on earth, and complicates a destiny that is divine, with human fatality; so long as the three problems of the age—the degradation of man by poverty, the ruin of women by starvation, and the dwarfing of childhood by physical and spiritual night—are not solved; so long as, in certain regions, social asphyxia shall be possible; in other words, and from a yet more extended point of view, so long as ignorance and misery remain on earth, books like this cannot be useless."
- preface to Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
The year 2012 is coming to an end, the year of the dragon by the Chinese calendar, an auspicious year  where revolutionary changes was meant to take place and taken place it had in many countries especially the Middle Eastern countries. As we count the days and the hours towards the new year and as we add one more year to our ages, let us contemplate, let us meditate, let's stop for a moment and take a brief look upon how far or how near we have come into being able to self exterminate ourselves through our sense of self serving justice towards our fellow man. Let us not forget our children for they will hold us accountable for what is in store for them in the future. Let us make it our vision, our goal our aspiration to leave behind us a place worth living, a place free from all the strife and chaos that our present course is leading us to end up with. If change we must then let us change for the sake of humanity each and everyone of us or there will be no change at all. You are the world and the fate of this planet is in your hands like it or not. Look closely into the eyes of your grandchild or your children and say otherwise.
As the new year approaches on the horizon let us welcome it with a renewed spirit of faith and virtue in our self and our belief, let us propagate the sense of liberation from all our ignorance and negativity and embrace the sense of Love and Compassion that is the Essence of the teachings of all the religions of our forefathers. Let us all awaken from this slumber we call life and become enlighten like those who have gone before us in a blaze of glory not in infamy. For the sake of our future let this coming year be the year we make a collective pledge to heal our decaying planet and restore it back to its former glory. Let us renounce wars, let us purify our corrupted ways and let us abandon our thirst for power and self aggrandizement. Lets us look into our hearts or hearts and claim our right to being humans again.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Dinner with the Emirates Crew -J's Birthday

Not too long ago I was sitting at the 'Mamak' coffee shop on the corner of the street very close to my home in Penang having a 'Roti canai' which cost about 3 Dirhams about 2RM Malaysia and was worried about where to get the money to fill up my gas in the Kancil (possibly the smallest car made in Malaysia). I was taken to dinner to celebrate Jason's birthday at one of the restaurants located in the Palm Resorts area; I did not ask how much it all cost!
When he was younger he wanted to fly into outer space and perhaps still has the same dream today. On the subject of teeth many horror stories were swapped between those whose teeth had been fixed by the dentist appointed by the Emirates Air and the cost is not the only issue.
I always reminded my son the be aware of not forgetting the ground he walks on when his head is far up there in the clouds as every now and then the ground has the tendency to rise up and take a bite at his rear end. The image that often creeps into my mind about this is the Movie 'The MUMMY' where in one scene the Mummy rose up in the form of a huge mouth in the form of sand from the desert below to swallow up a small plane in mid air.

Agreed! The largest piece of steak I have ever seen about to be devoured and he did do a number on it and I wondered where he shoved it all down into. It is like the shark he has in the tank back home, it feeds on a whole piece of large shrimp with one swallow and that seemed impossible to fit into his mouth in the first place. Again you do not want to ask how much that plate cost; best not to unless you are paying for it yourself.

Yes not exactly like father like son when you look at us, the artist wannabe and the pilot to leave for Pakistan or India, one of the short flights.
Nope you don't want to mess with this guy, if there is anything he takes after his dad is the mean and ugly temper which is best left untested. But underneath it all is still a heart that cares about others to a fault. Often enough it has become his undoing when it comes to being generous towards those he cares for.
It has been almost forty years now and I am watching my son with pride and much concern like all parents do. I can feel we are drifting apart as men now each doing his own thing and taking his own path and destiny in his own hands. A father can only hope for the best that his son will succeed in whatever endeavour he strive to achieve in his life and career. But there comes a time when one has to let go and simply hope and pray that the path your child walks no matter how much older and wiser he has become will not be a difficult one.
There is no measure in the value of friendship and fortunate is he whose friends are as close to him as his own family or more than so. It is not easy to earn the respect and trust of your peers but having done it it is much harder to honor and keep this forever ; there is no measure of value in who you truly are except through the relationship you have with others.