Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The nest that should not fail…

It was a few months back that the local and national media was abuzz with the Kerala real estate fraud. As usual, the buzz died in its infancy and those who lost money continued to suffer. Although the main builder in news was 'Apple-A-Day', there were many more that were either intentionally cheating their clients or got caught up in this frenzy and went down.

"It's for realising the dream of owning a house in one's native place that NRIs like me invested over Rs. 45 lakh each in the project. But even after 5 years, nothing has been completed," said R P Abdul Hameed, a victim.

It was during this time that one of Hubby’s friends in his late 30’s was admitted in the hospital due to a mild heart attack. In fact, Hubby was totally unaware of it until this friend called him and told him about it. This friend used to come home mostly during the weekends to chat with Hubby and to exchange movies that they download over the net. He seemed to be a perfectly healthy chap and used to tell us that he walked daily and was maintaining his health thus. But when this heart attack came up unexpectedly, I did mention to Hubby that it could be because of some shock; maybe the real estate fraud? Finally he came after a long trip to Kerala where he got a thorough check up and medical advice. We broached the subject of the fraud and then it came tumbling out. Yes, even he is one of the victim. But though he did not say that this is the reason for the attack, I continue to suspect so. This builder is a famous cine artist in Kerala and hence our friend had no reason to suspect him, but the apartment complex was not completed even after 4 years. And more over, the construction has now been completely stopped in the original place and the reason the builder is giving is some union/labour issue. The investors are being promised of the project at a different location but not the money they invested. This friend is yet to sign the new contract.

Here in Kuwait, the builders from India make their yearly visit with the aid of a few sponsors (mainly private banks) and catch the willing clients. 

I am sure there are many more such victims here in Kuwait itself and most of them are keeping quiet out of shame or since they feel that it is a lost cause. But is it really so? A colleague’s friend faced the same problem but since the victims united and filed a case in the consumer court, the builder was forced to complete the project and also pay compensation for the lost time. The financial compensation was calculated by the rent amount for the said period.

But as seen on the facebook group for “apple a day” victims, they seem to be still grappling with it. The latest news is that the builders have been granted bail.

In Kuwait, there are hundreds of associations but I am yet to see even one for such reasons. Today the local online portal for Indians too, mentions about the “usefulness” of these associations.

I think associations can be put to use very well and one way could be a resident association comprising of the future tenants, from the start of the project itself. Something similar seems to be a success and you can see it for yourself here.

In GVK’s words,

We have common concerns, and there is much that can be done if we discuss issues, share info. and come up with ideas that could make life and living on OMR a shade better than we now find it.

Taken from one of the blog post…

Mantri, good or bad, it's my money, its my HOME and I will do whatever it takes along with the help of all our neighbours to make this place a good, up-class and liveable place. That is the mantra for the residents who have moved in till now and that is what was decided even in our last meeting.

Anyway, now that people are more cautious about real estate, something else seems to be on the horizon; the kuries. While the kuries have been in Kerala since ages and some may be indeed trustworthy, the frequent, pesky, senseless advertisements on TV seems to be pointing towards yet another scam/fraud waiting to unfold for the Keralites.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Please join them..


If you lock up businessmen, will investment come: Law Minister.....

This minister has the nerve to say that the judiciary should take heed of the "political economy"  before doing their job!

If his concern is genuine, then it is time he joined these businessmen in jail so as to give them good company and the nation a big favour.

But is this not an offense in itself?

Is he not abusing his power?

Source: indianexpress.com

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In response to a comment

Below post is in response to the comment by Uptake...since the comment section was not giving me the space...

...thanks for the link.. Was nodding my head throughout the article since she has written it all very well….everything which I could not express myself. But I wonder if your statement that Indian women never discuss spirituality can be generalized. I think they do. And maybe not often, because of the general tolerance that Indians have towards every religion.

Now, the below may not have been the reason or answer for you posting the link.. but still let me.

I have placed in italics the statements that I borrowed from her article.


Christianity - Indian Christianity : In search of the Christ within

Ironically, inculturation was the basic nature of Indian Christianity long before the West entered. Christianity here is believed to have been introduced in AD 52. This is when Thomas the Apostle came to Malankara, Kerala (a southern Indian State). Thomas converted many caste Hindus and established a church that, in every way save religious, was Indian.

 I come from a family whose forefathers are not recent converts and even if many want to do away with St. Thomas landing, they could not have been converted during the British times or the Portuguese. Many Hindu traditions which existed in the Church / marriage rituals continue even today. Things like getting the horoscope done continues even now among a section of Christians. This is maybe because there was a void after St. Thomas left and the Christians may have turned back to the Hindu way of life while preserving the belief in Christ or they never left the Hindu way of life from the beginning but incorporated Christianity within Hinduism.

During our recent vacation, we visited a church at Thiruvithancode in the Kanyakumari district of Tamilnadu state, which is believed to be one of  7 and a half church (arappally in Malayalam language) that was built by St. Thomas. Though the visit was not a pilgrimage, but in search of the grave of Hubby's Father's brother who is buried there...once we reached there it created much interest in me especially since I found the structure very simple and in the style of a Hindu temple. We were told that there were no idols of Christ or Mary in the old building (it was placed much later) but just a simple building with an object in stone for the baptism ritual plus another object in stone to wash one’s feet before entering. Except for the roof, the structure has not undergone modification.
The Church
The structure for baptism ritual

To wash the feet

Image of Christ

Why this hue and cry over conversions then? The answer lies in the pluralistic nature of Indian Christianity. Even as mainstream Catholic churches are pulling back, Indian Christianity is being influenced by the Pentecostal believers who originated in the USA. (but in Kerala there was always a section of Christians who never entirely rejected the Hindu/Indian way of life and was always proud of their Hindu roots)

Going under names such as Born Again Christians, they practice a form of Christianity that identifies knowledge of God solely within the Biblical context. In contrast, inculturation focuses the discourse within the Christian body, not outside it.

Where Jesus meets Brahman

I was Indian whether or not a Christian. I have always loved Indian culture and tradition. I am inspired by our holistic way of life with its reverence for nature and values which emphasize giving, serving, and self-realization. They are so wise that I subscribe to them without hesitation. And for the past few years, I have moved towards a life that is Indian at the core: in values, attitudes and philosophy.  (here I do not understand how just being a Christian she did possess those values and hence had to move towards it)

I never felt that my roots militated against my Christianity. I find most of Christ's teachings resonating in the Hindu texts. And his own rejection of organized faith (he drove the moneychangers out of the temple) convinces me that He would not want me to remain swaddled by an inherited faith.

Christ not only drove the moneychangers but we read that the ones who sought ardently or lead the crowd for his crucifixion, were the leaders of the Church that existed during his time. Though I am moving away from the topic, let me say that the same happens even today in Christianity. The present Church leaders have moved away from the simple teachings of Christ and in turn may have left an entire generation and the onlookers too in confusion  :) Maybe this explains why this lady had to move towards the core values, that Christ taught in a very simple manner.

As for me, just like some Hindus, I now do not depend on organized religion or rituals. Let me once again borrow her words to explain my religion or spirituality or whatever one wants to call it..

"I fell in love with Jesus Christ. I became (am) a Christian because I found him fantastic." At the living heart of the faith is the person of Jesus Christ—a towering figure of love, compassion, and wisdom. How does one remain unmoved by his preference for the poor, the prostitute and the publican? How to remain unchanged by his injunction to love the other enough to turn the other cheek?

Hope I made some sense to you :)..

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