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Showing posts from November, 2017

Myanmar, military and mystery -2

Mingaladon airport was way too quiet after the hustle and bustle of Dubai airport. Immigration and other formalities were over in no time though I didnt come under the counter for ASEAN or Myanmarese nationals. I had come armed with an e-Visa procured at $50 online (to prevent hassles, my profession was given as English teacher instead of journalist). There were a couple of men holding CCA placards to receive me. They directed me to a gentleman from New Zealand who had come in another flight. We were requested to wait for a couple of others coming in another flight. Airport wifi was patchy and disappeared after a brief while, so I walked around, drinking in the sights and getting some local currency after leaving my luggage with David the Presbyterian minister. We did chat a bit though his accent and my blocked ears made it difficult for me to understand everything he said. He had already been waiting an hour, and we waited together another hour. I was amused by all the longye-clad m…

Myanmar, military and mystery

Myanmar is one of the last places an Indian would think of going on vacation. One still gets the feeling it is under military rule plus the recent flushing out of Rohingya Muslims from Rakhine state. The only redeeming factor is that it's Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi's land and her party is at the helm of affairs now. But she has received much flak over her handling of the situation.
Anyway, here I was left with an offer to visit Yangon, the old capital, for an ecumenical conference in late October.  A job application I had made to a Christian organisation in Thailand gave me a week's chance to be part of the media team.
I was excited yet confused since it meant leaving my young children in Vs care.  But I reasoned to myself that it would help them to be a little more independent.
After a month of fervent anticipation I finally boarded the Emirates direct flight to Yangon at 9 am _ while guests from India had to travel via Malaysia or Singapore! To my surprise, the flight…

Children's Day/month

Mira came to the kitchen sleepy eyed and announced she's not going to school. There won't be any lessons today, she said, just Children's Day celebration. I categorically said she has to go, studies aren't the only purpose of going to school, it's days like this you will fondly remember as an adult.
And in times when India is getting communally polarised or have duds at the helm who come up with crazy laws, it's nostalgic to remember Nehru, India's visionary first prime minister. Commemorating his birthday is all we can do to show a willingness to adhere to secular ideals.
Now that mid term exams are over, it will be a month of activities at the school. The whole of November has been dedicated to the fitness programme exhorted by the crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan. It's a wonderful initiative in times many people swear by chicken burgers and cheesy pizzas, and can barely manage to shuffle their portly bodies. Diabetes and obesity rule.
So Mira has…