Sunday, 26 August 2018

Travelogue of Kochi: Queen of Arab Sagar-Before Floods.

I was a happy traveler to visit Kochi the queen of Arab Sagar, before devastating floods of Kerala in nearly 100 years.This flood has destroyed the ever lasting beauty of Kochi brewed by the hands of history, It is a world of its own, retaining the specimens of a bygone era and still proud of those days.

Chinese Fishing Nets--Kochi

This Travelogue is dedicated to a magical dreaming colonizing history, charming and tranquilizing beaches of Kochi, offering a breathtaking view and natural beauty mixed with its pristine water and tranquil ambiance.

Kochi the “Queen of Arab Sagar”, the coastal city of Kerala is witnessing something that has never happened before in the history of Kerala. Submerged homes, marooned people, messages pleading for rescue, the stories of old, young and ailing persons, struggling to stay alive are shocking and gruesome beyond belief.

Women selling in Local Market in Fort Kochi

It is very interesting to know that: Kochi was born in 1341, when a flood created a natural safe port that swiftly replaced Muziris (Kodungallur, 50km north) as the chief harbor on the Malabar coastline.

Colonization of India was started from Kochi. Portugal was first to establish its base in Kochi, followed by the Dutch and English. From time immemorial, the Arabs, British, Chinese, Dutch, and Portuguese have left indelible marks on the cheek of history. 

Fort is name of old Kochi. So when visiting Kochi, it must be clear that actually your are going to see the old Kochi town.

The nearest Railway station to Kochi is Ernakulam. So let us start from Ernakulam which is the mainland part of Kochi city and well connected to the rest of Kerala and India.

We boarded a ferry towards Fort Kochi for just Rs.10.00 (to and fro). It was a 30 mt journey. Surprised to get something this cheap. After a slow and yet comforting ride, we reached Fort Kochi.

Ferry Station of Kochi

(1)- ST. Francis church: 
(Where The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama was buried.)

ST. Francis Church is the erstwhile resting place of Vasco-da-Gama.The Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama who opened up the sea route to India, died in Kochi in 1524 when he was on his third visit to India. His body was originally buried in this church, but after fourteen years his remains were removed to Lisbon. 



The first church built by Europeans in India is in Fort Kochi? Christianity was already prevalent in the region. It was efforts of St. Thomas, who arrived in 52 AD. The Locals he converted had followed their religion for centuries before the Portuguese arrived, bringing their own brand of Christianity. 

(2)-Santa Cruz Cathedral Basilica
It is a catholic church. Located close to St. Francis Church. This church was built originally by the Portuguese and elevated to a Cathedral by Pope IV. The foundation stone of the Santa Cruz church was laid on 3 May 1505, the feast day of the Invention of the Holy Cross; hence the magnificent edifice when completed was named Santa Cruz.

When Dutch conquered over the Portuguese in Kochi in 1663, they destroyed many Catholic Churches but spared this Cathedral. When British took over Cochin they demolished it. It then took over 100 years to build a new building at the same site in 1887. Pope John Paul II proclaimed it a Basilica in 1984.

There are frescoes and paintings covering almost every inch of the cathedral, from the altar to the pillars, and walls to the ceiling. The art here is the work of Antonio Moscheni, a Jesuit brother and painter. He passed away just four days before the consecration of the church! 


(3) Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace)

In the heart of Jew Town, Mattancherry Palace is now a small but interesting museum. The Mattancherry Palace was built by the Portuguese in 1545 AD, for Veera Kerala Verma, the then King of Kochi, as compensation for plundering a temple in the vicinity. They even built a shrine to the goddess Bhagavathy, his family deity
It is also known as the Dutch Palace after it was renovated by the Dutch in 1663 and the wooden palace has some interesting exhibits that help bring to life the multicultural history of Cochin but the most impressive is the intricate and well preserved Hindu murals depicting the famous epic of the Ramayana.(4)The Jewish Synagogue, Fort Kochi
It is believed that Jews first came to Kerala to trade in spices and ivory during King Solomon’s reign.Jewish Synagogue, situated at one end of the Jew Street, is at short walk from Mattancherry bus stand or from the boat jetty. Jews fleeing the Spanish inquisition in the early 16th century also reached Kochi, followed by immigrants from Baghdad, Yemen and other parts of the Middle East.

The newcomers, called paradesis (foreigners), constructed their own synagogue in 1568 just 30 yards from the maharajah's palace.The lane leading to the synagogue has lots of shops selling local handicrafts, and caf├ęs for you to sit and relax. Just walking through the area is an interesting experience. 
This orthodox synagogue houses the sacred Torah scrolls written in goatskin and gold crowns gifted by various kings inside the carved red and gold tabernacle. The 18th century Chinese hand-painted blue and white tiles are a unique feature of the Synagogue. None of these exquisite 1100 porcelain tiles are identical.
The Synagogue also has Hebrew inscriptions dating back to the 14th century. The painting gallery at the entrance depicts the history of Jews in Kerala from the times of King Solomon.

This orthodox synagogue houses the sacred Torah scrolls written in goatskin and gold crowns gifted by various kings inside the carved red and gold tabernacle. The 18th century Chinese hand-painted blue and white tiles are a unique feature of the Synagogue. None of these exquisite 1100 porcelain tiles are identical.

The Synagogue also has Hebrew inscriptions dating back to the 14th century. The painting gallery at the entrance depicts the history of Jews in Kerala from the times of King Solomon.

(5)Jew Street,Fort Kochi

The Jew Street of Kochi, one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The place tells us about the life styles and customs of the communities that coexisted in the past.. Still having the charm of the old people happened to live here.

These days, walking on the Jew Street in Fort Kochi, one can still find the busy spice market, which once had a sizable number of Jewish people engaged in spice trade. Nowadays, one would also come across curio shops run by those from Kashmir; selling mostly wood carvings, oil lamps, spice boxes, snake boats and books on Indian subjects. Most of the Jewish settlers here have now left for their homeland Israel. 

(6)Chinese Fishing Net – Fort kochi 

The ever lasting beauty of Kochi, brewed by the hands of history, It is a world of its own, retaining the specimens of a bygone era and still proud of those days. If you can smell the past, nothing can stop you from walking through these streets.

The Chinese fishing nets are the most recognizable landmarks in Fort Kochi, and are most visited for the fascinating sight they provide against the setting sun. However, there is more to them, than just their appearance. There are many stories about how these nets came to India.


The nets work on the concept of a cantilever―a pile of rocks is tied to ropes on one end, while the other side contains the net. A group of men raise or lower the rocks, while one walks on the bamboo pole to balance the weight. 

Itenenry of Kochi is incomplete without a walk at promenade of Marine Drive and shopping in Lulu Mall,the India’s largest shopping Mall.
(7)Marine Drive of Kochi


The Marine drive in Kochi is one of the best places to spend quality time leisurely in the city and provides an amazing view of the sea.The promenade is with a walkway of about three kilo meters. The best thing about Marine Drive is that it is well maintained and cleaned properly and also has sitting arrangements for the visitors. 

Beauty of this place is the backwaters, with ships anchored at the harbor and that interests the tourists even more. The sound of the water gently swishing away as you gaze at the skyline of Kochi is an amazing thing to behold, and will certainly transport you to a world of your own.
(8)Lulu Shopping Mall, Edapally

Kochi also has India’s largest shopping mall in Edappally – Lulu Shopping Mall owned and operated by EMKE Group. For a shopping experience in Kochi there are lots of markets but a visit to Lulu Mall is a treat with air conditioning and 300+ food outlets, stores and restaurants. Spanning 17 acres with a total built up area of 2.5 million square feet, the mall has a total retail space of 1.7 million square feet. 

This is end of my Travelogue of Kochi where I was before Floods. I walked back to home Aligarh with charm of Kochi the Queen of Arab Sagar engraved in my memory for ever. My camera was full of such memories.The ever lasting beauty of Kochi brewed in the hands of history, frozen in time and takes it to the rich colonial heritage.

There are innumerable heritage buildings, some dating back to the times of Vasco Da Gama, the first Portuguese sailor to India. If you can dream the past, nothing can stop you from walking through these streets of Kochi.

May God help Kerala in battle of worst flood of century.Any how your believers say “Kerala is God’s own land”.
Kochi “The queen of Arab Sagar” is facing the worst floods of century which have devastated Kerala the “God’s own land”, killing scores of people and forcing tens of thousands into relief camps.
Written posted and photographed by Engr Maqbool Akram.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

God’s Own land Kerala: Worst Flood Of Century

Kerala is often referred to as God’s own country – A poem in green and gold. ‘God’s Own Country. This beautiful land is rightly called the paradise, given to its lush green scenic landscapes and crystal clear beaches that will leave you awestruck. Blessed with natural beauty and ecological diversity.

God’s own Land Kerala is facing the worst floods of century which have devastated Kerala the “God’s own land”, killing scores of people and forcing tens of thousands into relief camps.



As per reports --Kerala had inflicted a loss of about Rs 200 billion on the state’s economy.At least 400+people have been killed in flood-related incidents, “Over a million people are in the 1,500 relief camps. The casualty figure is expected to go up.


The floods have damaged hundreds of kilometers of roads and disrupted train and air services. The airport at Kochi, the busiest city in Kerala was closed.


Kerala, God’s Own Country! Who could curse God’s own country? Of course it would have to be man.  The floods in Kerala, the worst since the 99 floods witnessed in 1924, have already claimed nearly 400 lives and lakhs are homeless.

It is a widespread belief in the old generation of Kerala that the cause of this great flood was a major breach of the Mullaperiyar Dam. That is why the flood was so powerful, even at Munnar, and tore apart even a mountain as big as Karinthiri.  
 Old generation in the affected areas of Kerala - who are still alive - is the source of this information. There is no evidence to prove this as Kerala had seen floods even before the construction of the dam.

 "It is astonishing that the Munnar region, located about 6000 feet above the sea level was also submerged under floodwater."


While the 1924 disaster followed an estimated 3,368 mm rainfall across three weeks, the 2018 disaster comes in the wake of just over 2,000 mm of rain since July


The complete place, almost 80 percentage of the place in the Kerala state, is flooded with water. And the water is up to the second-floor level.


It is completely full of water. There is no land to be found. Kerala, Gods Own Country! Who could curse God’s own country? Of course it would have to be man.  

Helicopters and disaster management teams have been battling heavy rains to reach flooded areas of Kerala in order to evacuate people stranded in homes or on rooftops.
The images of Kerala “God’s own land” ,that is facing worst flood of century shows---submerged homes, marooned people,messages pleading for rescue, the stories of old, young and ailing persons, struggling to stay alive are shocking and gruesome beyond belief.

The scale of relief operations gives a sense of the magnitude of the tragic flood disaster. Massive rescue operations underway are witness that—Kerala is facing worst flood of century.

\
May God help Kerala in battle of worst flood of century.Any how your believers say “Kerala is God’s own land”.

Written and posted by Engr Maqbool Akram, with the help of reports by various news agencies and photos as available on net with thanks.

Friday, 17 August 2018

Signals your Boss Doesn’t Like You: And You May Be Fired.

Imagine what happens when your boss doesn’t like you. Certainly you are likely to be fired. It is time to analyse whether you are a bad employee or your boss is a bad manager. May be, your Boss will not open his mouth. He will transmit signals that Boss Doesn’t like you, and your job is at risk and you are likely to be fired. You must be wise enough to understand it.


Signals: Your Boss Does't like you

Your strong relations with your boss may make him your strong advocate. However, just because your boss doesn't like, it doesn't mean you to put up him with abuses.
Your boss's impression of you is important, since he or she largely controls the projects you work on and whether you are promoted or fired.



Agreed you  are sincere  towards your job, have a good team sprit  and maintain good relationship with the rest of your team members, but less concerned with developing a strong relationship with your boss. Then it is possible that your Boss may not like you very much.

If you feel that you and your boss have been on strained relations. It is time to set up a meeting to discuss your concerns. Your boss might not say what he or she really thinks.

But if you're still not sure whether your boss is just a bad leader or just don't like you; here are eleven warning signals that your boss has little or no respect for you. It means your Boss Doesn’t like you.

Signals: Your Boss Doesn't like you

(1) Boss is Micromanaging You


One sign that your boss doesn’t like you is, he or she checks up your work before it is due, dictating details that he should trust you to figure out, and generally displaying a lack of confidence that you’ll do your job well. Micromanaging might just be some bosses' work styles, if you feel that Boss is micromanaging, and then your boss might not like you.


(2) Your boss keeps you uninformed



You are part of some projects, and your boss deliberately keeps you out of the loop. Have you ever felt un-informed about important points of a project or not being invited to significant briefings.
You are always informed about critical details from co-workers? It may be because your boss is intentionally keeping things away from you. 

If you notice that boss is friendly with other team members, leaving you it could be a reflection of what your boss thinks of you. Let’s say you only hear from your boss when he needs something from you or there is a scheduled meeting. You’ve tried to have a casual conversation or even just say “hello” in the morning, but boss seems completely disinterested. This too is a signal that your Boss doesn't like you.

(3) Lack of Eye Contact: The body language
Your boss may not look you in the eye or pay attention to you when you're talking. They may also seem more pre-occupied with their phone than your conversation.
When you say “good morning”, are you met with a grunt and no eye contact? It could be a hint to get lost. (On the other hand, if you get an eye roll, that’s a pretty clear sign, he hates you.) It is also possible that he thinks you’re annoying and wants you to go away forever.

Boss Doesn't like You

Their body language can be a sign too: Are they standing with their arms folded and closed off?" This could also involve communication via tech. If they're avoiding your emails or your text messages that could also be a clear indicator that they are not interested in you.
(4) You are turned down for a raise without much explanation.

Turning down your salary raise request isn’t the sign of a problem on its own, since there can be reasons that have nothing to do with you, like budget constraints.
But if your manager values you, he will  explain why he can’t grant the raise, and often explains when you can expect an increase in the future or how to earn one.

(5) They are not concerned with your well being

 This is one more signal that your Boss doesn’t like you. After you are out sick, your boss jumps right into everything he needs you to do without taking few moments  to ask if you are feeling better. When you have to miss work for a personal obligation, he asks if you can skip it or move it to a day that’s more convenient for him.


These are sure fire signals that your boss doesn’t like you and care about how you feel, physically or emotionally, and only cares about things directly related to work. It’s not your boss’s job to be your friend, but they should still care about your well being.


(6) They Ignore or Insult Your Ideas
A boss who doesn’t like you may purposely insult your ideas in meetings in front of others or completely overlook your suggestions. Instead of praising you and giving you credit for your work, a boss that doesn't like you will keep you down making jokes at your suggestions, ideas and work.

(7) Nothing you do is ever right


Is your boss constantly heaping criticism on you? When every other word out of your boss mouth is negative, it may be a sign to start clearing out your desk. Try asking your boss if there is anything you can do to improve your performance. Try incorporating the suggestions, but if nothing changes, you’re just fighting a losing battle.

No matter how good your work is or how much effort you put in, your boss only points out your faults without acknowledging your effort.

On the other hand, a person who respects you will always encourage you and state the positives, along with stating your flaws with a hint of positive reinforcement.

(8) He passes you over for projects

You’ve expressed interest in projects that you think you’re qualified for, but you are never chosen for the role. Instead, your boss takes the lead or gives it to someone else.
Your boss either doesn’t listen when you share your goals, or he hears them but blows you off. This is a sign that your boss doesn’t care about helping you accomplish your goals. It could also be a sign that he doesn’t trust you or thinks you’re qualified to lead the project.


(9) Your boss is being overly critical
No matter how good your work is or how much effort you put in, your boss only points out your faults without acknowledging your effort.
On the other hand, a person who respects you will always encourage you and state the positives, along with stating your flaws with a hint of positive reinforcement.

(10) Your boss doesn't have time for you

Given that everyone today relies on technology to communicate. If your boss doesn't take time out at all to speak to you in person, you should know that you are not held in high regard.
Before jumping to conclusions, ensure whether your boss does this only with you or whether everyone else also gets the same treatment.

(11) You are assigned to menial tasks

A powerful signal that your boss doesn’t like you is: when boss assigns you projects below your standard. Having hard tasks might seem terrifying, but it's one of the best ways for you to grow as an employee, especially when you want to be promoted. You may notice that your boss gives others in your group opportunities to learn and grow, attend training classes and take on more challenging responsibilities.



These eleven Signals are only few among many signals of clear indication that “your Boss Doesn’t like you: And You may be fired very Soon”.


You should therefore ask yourself why you're being singled out in this manner. Make sure none of your actions or words have led to these consequences. Either you are a bad employee or your boss is a bad manager.