Idol ~ Idol immersion and water pollution !

I came across is thought provoking article and wished to share it with you.  If any of you have been watching or have watched Aamir Khan’s TV programme, “Satyame vijayte”,  you could get a deeper understanding of where we stand in India, as far as “ENVIRONMENT  which includes Water is concerned. It is shameful that we are so ignorant in this age and time to conserve water, stop it from being polluted and being responsible in its wastage.

Perhaps like many other things, even in this case, India will only wake up when its all-too-late !

Religion is a very touchy subject in India and far too many riots have taken place all in the name of religion. Heck, we even had a full fledge partition of India ~ all for “RELIGION” !!!!! But inspite of all this, I personally still feel, “educated people” must come forward to make the changes in order to protect the environment. We have rotted mother earth in hundreds of different ways ~ all under a huge blanket of  excuses like ” traditions, parampara and culture” ~ Without hurting anyones sensitivities, people have to wake up and change habits, lest they find themselves rotting in the same pile, in a not-too-distant future.

The link to the article are :- http://zeenews.india.com/ganesha/story.aspx?aid=654035

Idol immersion – not ideal at all!

Preeti Panwar

India is a multi-cultural country of myriad festivals. We participate in the celebrations of various deities round the year and it seems quite impossible to remain aloof from the accompanied pomp and show while paying homage to the gods.

Some of these festivals involve ‘idol immersion’ in water as the celebrations finale. Beautifully carved and decorated idols are drowned into water bodies like rivers, ponds and lakes with prayers for success, happiness and peace. Two major festivals in India that involve idol immersion are – ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’, dedicated to Lord Ganesha and ‘Durga Puja’, dedicated to Goddess Durga.

Harmful effects

However, amidst the celebrations, people tend to forget the ill-effects of the practice. The most serious impact of idol immersion is on the environment. It disturbs the ecological balance by polluting water and adversely affecting the flora and fauna.

The idols of deities are made of non-biodegradable materials such as plastic, cement and plaster of paris and are painted with toxic dyes that contain harmful and toxic chemicals.

When they come in contact with water, it becomes poison. This results in contamination and death of marine life.

The reason behind this is those materials that do not dissolve easily in water, thereby reducing the oxygen level and increasing the level of acidity in water.

If consumed, it can even cost us our precious lives, as even a gulp of the chemicals can prove to be fatal.

The poor condition of river ‘Yamuna’ is a visible example of water pollution. Measures to prevent Water Pollution

Thankfully there are ways through which we can carry out the ‘idol immersion’ practice without harming the environment. Some unique and creative methods can be adopted to make ‘eco-friendly idols’. We should follow the ancient tradition of constructing the statues from natural clay and paint it with flowers based dyes.

Also, the government should take stringent measures during the procedure of immersing idols. Authorities should make sure that devotees remove all clothes and heavy-metal ornaments from idols before bidding farewell to the deities. There should be some strict guidelines and norms which must be followed prior to idol immersion across the country.

Surveys should be conducted at various immersion-sites to check pre-immersion, during-immersion and post-immersion water purity results.

There should be a ban on the immersion of plastic-made icons into lakes, rivers and the sea. Recycling of eco-friendly statues and creative, judicious and wise use of natural products in creating statues can be of great help in maintaining the ecological balance.

We as devotees should understand that if we do not respect nature then we can never respect God.

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Flea Markets in Dubai

Actually, its rather the lack of flea Markets in Dubai !!
 
I know, some of you may have totally different opinions about friends and making “real” friends in the blogosphere, but I have been fortunate enough to have bumped into some very thoughtful and creative friends thru the blog world. Its always a joy when you “meet” someone who is practical, creative, has the same hobby as yourself, and is a mom ! One such friend and I, have been enjoying exchanging a bunch of links.  What links ? you ask ? 
 
Well, one of the most fullfilling feeling I get, is when I see an old piece of furniture get a new lease of life with a fresh coat of paint or a new fabric to cover up old spoils. Things like how you can reuse, recycle or refurbish a room are abosolute joys to me. I used to virtually spend hours dug in, links into links into links ~ lost in a beautiful world where common people like myself are making a difference, one object at a time. One such fantastic site is :http://betterafter.blogspot.com/ Amazing transformations here.
      
(This transformation is an absolute joy from “three boys“. Kindly follow the link to view the other amazing projects too. )
                                            
And another one of those “viewing” passions, is the Flea Markets in America.  Its amazing to visit just a few of them on the web and feel so enchanted by the vast variety of different period furniture, clothes, suitcases, antiques and what not.  It is a such an eye candy just visiting those booths with a cocktail of items from jewellry to boots to a swing !
                                             
In Dubai however, things are different. Being a melting pot of cultures, nationalities, languages and traditions, people of different mentalities feel certain inhibitions towards using second hand stuff. There is a large population of labourers and maids from India, Pakistan, Srilanka, Bangladesh, Philipines, indonesia, Ethopia and a few other countries too.  Then there are the clerical workers, mostly Asians again but not very handsomely paid for their 6 days a week, 10 hour a day job ! If anything, such sales would benefit them the most.
 
One of the most generous groups of people in Dubai are the super affluent locals (Emarati’s), who would generally handover their clothes and accessories to their drivers and maids, while the furniture is traditionally changed every year and the old ones are simply “dumped”. Thats right, you read it right, dumped by the dumpster !  They would generally consider it below their dignity to sell it in the second hand market. 
 
There is a large second hand market in Dubai which caters to mainly furniture goods. Some of the shops in Karama are the favorite haunts for new lower income asians to pick their furniture from. One of the things I love about Dubai ~ theres a place for everyone to find what they’re looking for, be it food, accomodation, grocery or clothes.
 
Ofcourse the advent of “Foreigners” ~ aka Americans, Europeans, Australians, and New Zealanders did bring about the concept of garage sale or yard sales in Dubai. What with ads for garage sales in the Jumeirah and Mirdiff areas in the 1990s and ofcourse with the boom of the property era, areas like the Greens, Marina, Lakes, Arabian Ranches, falcon city ~ have all followed the traditional annual spring cleaning followed by garage sales. These sales are generally community based run by word of mouth or a flyer on the community market notice board or an advert in the local classified section of Gulf News.  They are so popular especially coz nearly everyone is benefiting from them.
 
Our Arabian Ranches Market Day is a huge hit, and you’d find everyone selling and buying toys, clothes, shoes, stuff, that kids have outgrown, or lost interest in, grown up, and sometimes, even unwanted “gifts” !!  People from all walks of life, are seen buzily buying and enjoying the family time together becoz the management sets the school ground as a family day park  for the residents, putting up food stalls and bouncing castles for the children.
                                                              
                                            
For a long period of time, The Feline Friends garage sale was hugely popular. You had people lining up from early hours of a friday morning in the sultry heat, hours before the gates opened at the factory outlet in Al Quoz where they would temporarily pile up heaps and heaps of clothes, toys, shoes, furniture, house decor and so much much more into a dozens of mini mountains. Word spread amongst the labour community and these became very popular. With designer trousers going for dhs 1 !!!!! why wouldnt it !
Now these sales are a rare event in some villa courtyard in Al Barsha, maybe once every couple of months but definetly nowhere close to the amount of stuff and crowd as it used to attract before.
 
                                        
I have been an ardent visitor to the FF Garage sales. It gives me tremendous satisfaction knowing that I have not blown away 3 workers salary on a single branded handbag or an entire years salary of one labour on a pair of branded sandals !! Its truly a joy, knowing your putting in your bit by trying to recylcle and reuse. For whatever reason, those sales are not held anymore, unfortunetly.
 
Generally folks living in villa’s, leaving the country for good, would initially give away most of the things to their maids and helpers and sometimes put up a “Leaving Country” sale. If your lucky, you could hit jackpot. Years back, I remember, I heard of one such sale from a friend of a friend of one Mary who was then running the scrapbookers network in Dubai and when she was leaving her house she put up a sale,  although I was late in attending it, I remember, feeling like I was in a crafters paradise !!!!  
For someone who was looking for clothes, purses and cooking utensils, her crafters scrapbooks or rubberstamps would’ve meant zilch, but to someone who saves for every copic marker, it was BIG !!
 
You’d be amazed at what is seen lying in the bylanes of Umm Sequeim or Jumeirah or Nad Al Sheeba !! To the westerner who cannot even come close to imagining, to what extent the Rich are Rich here, a close up of their garbage bins, is a good place to begin from 🙂
                                         
I remember, in the 2008 economic melt down, we remember, seeing a group of maids rumaging thru a heap of garbage bags in one of the communities of Ranches. On a closer look, I saw one of the maids toss a handbag behind which I recognized was a PRADA. No not the fake ones. Having been gifted the original thing, I knew how to differentiate them.  There were 11 such designer bags in that garbage bag !!!!!!!!   There were several such garbage bags scattered everywhere…  Naturally, they belonged to some filthy rich but unfortunate lady,  who had to leave the country in haste lest she get stuck in the jail for defaulting on her bank loan payments, decided Prada was not worth her freedom !
I was super happy some time back, when they started a flea market, in Safa Park, jumeirah. In the summers, they kept it in the adjacent school auditorium and it was attracting a crowd and people were leaving happy with their shoppings and vendors were not too unhappy too with their sales. It is a good platform. Unfortunetly, I feel they have not really marketted themselves well and I feel, alot of vendors are now bringing stuff from India etc trying to sell it there. Not alot of people are aware of them in the different areas of Dubai. Look them up here at : Dubai Flea Market. Dubai Flea Market
 
I know, there is one store in a small mall in Satwa, where ladies (the super rich class )  who if they wish to give away their “Original & Only Designer ” handbags, scarves, accessories etc can put them up there and they sell them for a relatively good price instead of dumping them in the bin. Imagine a Versace or a Channel, visiting something close to the dump !! Criminal, isnt it ????
 
In my experience, I have found, one good option in selling and buying second hand goods in Dubai is Dubizzle. Thats an online market, where, you just register without having to pay any fees. I have sold my ikea egg chair and a fax machine thru dubizzle and was amazed by the spontaneous response, I got. I never thought it was so popular but I suppose, online shopping has finally caught up in Dubai.
                                        10.1 Flea market,Athens
 
Ofcourse for those of you, who are interested in a good reading, dont forget to join the second hand books fair, that feline friends hold with the Arte Market at Times Square. Imagine a good book, and the proceeds goes in the upkeep and the feline neutering programe.
 
I still feel, there is a huge market here for selling used goods, not necessarily for workers but there are so many many, low income families who would benefit too. Having a proper flea market could and would answer alot of problems. Its a way, in which your trash is going to benefit someone. A hole in a sweater may mean a good bye from you, but for someone who decides that a 20 dhs sweater may be too steep a price,  would be overjoyed to have yours for free or even if it is for dhs 1 or 2 !! Please remember, what you give, (eventually after completing the whole circle) , returns to you.  
 
If you have enjoyed this article or benefitted from it, kindly leave a comment. I would appreciate it alot.
 
Naush
 
Photograpsh: courtesy Google Images.

Toy Garage Sale

Alittle after Sam came home after his surgery, one of the enormous tasks pending on my to-do list was arranging the boys room and organizing the toys. Now organizing the toys also implys getting rid of that huge mountain of toys piled up for the last 2-3 years. Every 8 months, we get rid of toys that have either broken or the boys have just lost interest in them coz they have grown and moved on to a more challenging / attractive toy. There is a very nice masjid in Bur Dubai, close to the Imperial suites, which accepts toys, clothes, household stuff etc. Thats generally where I would donate the toys in good condition.

However, Bilal, having moved on to more gadgety toys, with sawaab in tow, Eman is left with a huge heap of toys. The little guy likes his tiny army men and forts and ofcourse his war hammer and stuff. So we decided to put up a garage sale.

The boys were so excieted. It was decided that the money collected would go into buying playstation cds or computer game cds. Needless to say, they all put up their socks and were fully charged up. We put up the advertisement in Le Marche, on the spinneys board and on the AR Website.  The boys even placed direction posters around the Al Reem area !!  Our sales was to begin from 11 in the morning. Our first “customer” was a couple with 6 kids who had been waiting since 10:15 !!!!!!!!

Please remember, recyling toys is helping the environment. Why dump or throw toys down the garbage bin, when some child can happily enjoy them for a couple of months or even years more.

Here are some of the pictures :

 

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Ofcourse the sale did turn out good enough to help the boys buy a handful of cds, however, it was my first time experience with garage sales and some of the things that i realized are noted below  :

  • Make sure, you have placed all your toys on the tables, shelves, chairs, cartons,  etc a night before instead of waiting for the 11th hour. It helps~ you feel more organized. An organized display is attractive even if someone is not going to pick something. Its like eye candy !
  • Never place your telephone number on the advert. You’ll be strangely surprised as to how many people call for anything but toys, inspite of writing in large bold letters “ONLY TOYS FOR SALE” !!!!
  • Keep the time short. I made the mistake of keeping it on saturday coz friday was the royal wedding so naturally the turnout would be expectedly low. But where I was wrong was that I kept it from 11:00 to 5:00. The real buyers will be there in the first two hours. So the best time for the sale should be kept between 9:00 to 12:00 or even earlier especially for toys.
  • We kept the prices in the range of max dhs 15 for furniture (and otherwise dhs 1 – 5 ) which was “extreme underpricing” .. why ? Becoz people are people and even at that, they wanted to know if it could be negotiated ?????? HELLLLLLLO !! Even a tiny dinosaur the size of my pinky, costs dhs 25 in ELC and here your getting a full size work table and two chair from Ikea in good condition and you want a discount on 15dhs ???? Solution. Dont price it at dhs 15. Keep it at 20-25 so if they insist, you can always throw it down to 15 !! satisfied ? I manged to sell the egg chair thru dubizzle for dhs 25. Original price being dhs 225 from Ikea ! Then again, the idea was not about “making” money.
  • To reduce the confusion and better traffic for the sale, make sure, you draw or print a map of your house location on the advert. Alot of people are visual based and it helps tremendously.
  • Best to keep some water ready at hand in glasses on the kitchen platform instead of rushing into the kitchen everytime someone asks for some water.

These are just a few of the points I figured from our first sale. We still have piles of toys stacked up in boxes which will be going to the Masjid soon enough for donation. But for now, we are a less loaded and crowded home 🙂

Oh and if there is anyone out there who stays in Dubai and is interested in picking up some/any of these toys, feel free to contact me. They will probably be sitting there in the boxes for atleast two weeks before they are donated to the masjid.

I hope this little article helps you in realizing :

  •  the less cluttered our house is, the more space, there is, to grow ~
  •  the more, we are relaxed ~
  •  the more, it is easy to clean and frankly,
  • there are only so many toys, a child can play with !!

If any of the points have :

  • helped you or
  • helped to make your sale successful or
  •  inspired you to put up a sale,

please do leave a comment. Your comments are always precious to me !

For now, thank you for stopping by and sparing my article, some time.

Naush

Care for some tea ……. bags ?

 Samie is not an ardent tea lover, but he has his morning tea to wash down some of his toast. Inspite of loading a large amount of earl grey’s and lemon tea’s while he had first been diagnosed with Carcinoma, all of them rest as medicinal or exotic teas, sitting happily in the snack bar ! So back to Lipton, it is. However, what I have been enjoying lately is the bonus pleasure that lipton is providing to its end user .. not the consumer, in this case. .. yes, their little quizes to check how intelligent the female folks are who prepare tea for their husbands or have they turned into complete numb nuts. Have a go at some of these optical illusions and quizes.

Have started collecting them to make a quiz pocket note book for the boys, that is, when I have atleast a dozen of so, becoz many of them are also in arabic.

Enjoy :

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Salt Dough Activity.

Sawaab arranging his alphabets

Sawaab arranging his alphabets

I feel amongst all the activities that I generally experiment with kidz, children enjoy sculpturing the most. Perhaps its one of the only activity that helps them with touch, feel, see and shape abilities. There is a sense of an achievement everytime a young one manages to make a model of a fish or star or anything remotely simple. It is incomparable.    

Either it is entering double digit or its boredom or its being hooked on to the tube thingy, but I can sense Bilal is drifting away from his art retreat.  I feel he has to join us by his own will and need and not becoz I would want him to, so we did’nt force him but the boys and I had a good time with salt dough. This time, I almost made 1 1/2 kg. Part of it is stored in an airtight container in the fridge. 

I gave Eman a free hand at whatever he wished to do. However I did not want them to use cutters and shapers this time. They rolled and punched and egged on the dough. I think we can continue this next week too, coz we have plenty of dough on us still. I made alphabets. Eman’s octopus was the cutest.

Can u spot the octopus ? He managed to make sandwiches, pizzas and burgers too

Can u spot the octopus ? He managed to make sandwiches, pizzas and burgers too

salt do 004
table full of designs

table full of designs

Trash to Treasure – 2

Remember I told you in an earlier post, how people here in Dubai, dont mind dumping perfectly good and intact stuff out ! Well, here are another two of my latest finds. They are two paintings… thats right .. original pieces of someones work !!!!!

This one is an oil paint I think.  I like the way, the painting has a border of the same flower pot divided on the frame. Frame looks like Mdf and has a rough paint finish over it.  But it is a very beautiful painting and whats more, it is signed !

wud u want to dump it in the thrash ?

wud u want to dump it in the thrash ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one has a wooden frame and the painting is created to look aged with a couple of dark lines drawn in halves. And a little paint kinda scraped off on the right corner. Its beautiful, the little teddies have such cute expressions.

bunch of cute little puppies having some fun.

bunch of cute little teddies having some fun.

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whats more, both frames and painitings are in excellent state without even a scratch !

Heres a close up.

the close up.

the close up.

Dubai is truly a land of oppurtunity ! So next time when your in Dubai , pass thru a trash bin, keep your eyes wide open. You never know, whats around that corner .. .. ..