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SUDOKU FOR AUTISM Vol.3 Issue 44II May 7-20, 2012

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Don’t look down upon us By Adarsh Madhavan

It does not feel great when we learn that a member of our own tribe is suffering. We, the scribes, who attempt to prescribe the moral (and otherwise) tone of the society that we live in; take up causes, fight injustice and generally make a noise about anything and everything are actually helpless when we have to fight our own cause. When it comes to voicing our own needs and when we have to fight a daily battle upstream to present our cause, words fail us; we become numb; dumb… Our backs bend, our hands shiver, our tongues gets stuck and we stand there nervous with impotent indignation as well as shame; we stand there shaking like a leaf that is about to let go… I do not want to talk in riddles and really want to highlight the full story, but unfortunately I am a victim of my own words. I cannot say more than this as it would not be right under the prevailing circumstances; besides, most of the scribes are privy to this issue of an expatriate journalist fighting a case here. Since the verdict is due, let us not delve into it at all; rather, let us keep mum about that. I am not touching upon the case per se, but, I want to know what happens to scribes who are forced to fight such battles, especially when they are in a foreign land. Who will protect them? Who will come to their side and who will fight their cause? True, scribes are flesh and blood like any, and I don’t mean any special treatment should be accorded to them…or, rather, I mean just that! Why can’t special treatment be accorded to them in such situations?! If not for them, at least to their families? Like, in this case, the scribe’s wife and innocent children are the worst hit. They have to go through the trauma for no fault of their own. Whatever the issue, whoever is right or wrong, my simple question is: why should people who are not

fully related to the issue be pulled into this vortex of suffering? Both the warring parties may have their reasons for going about their tasks exactly the way they deem fit, but why should innocents suffer? Some will say aha when it comes to your own, it hurts, right? Yes, it hurts, right. It is the unwritten law of the world. When your own falls, we rush to pick him/her up. It is but natural. We have not grown to the level where we see everyone as one; at this stage only our very own is ours! Anyway, forget it. Now, what happens to the scribe’s family? And how will they all live here without any job, without any other means? Fighting a battle is alright if you have the necessary ammunition. But, when you don’t have any, what do you do? Can you just scream at the ones who are shooting at you thinking they are going to be intimidated by that? And for an expatriate living in Oman and fighting a case, shouldn’t the embassy concerned be there in the front, not only protecting the person, but also providing the necessary help in this regard? Why are they silent and ‘indifferent’ as reports on this issue claims? When we are in another country, the only place we can run to in times of trouble is our embassy. But, when that embassy does the cold shouldering act, whom do we run to? Where will my brother scribe run to? He does not need sympathy; nor does he need pity. But, his basic needs as a scribe need to be attended to by the embassy concerned. I am actually concerned: Where will we all run to when we are in a spot? What will we all do when the people in authority (who have been appointed to support us) whom we look up to look down upon on us?

4 May 7-20, 2012

Black & White 5



Not bad parenting In the 1960s and 70s, Dr Bernard Remand, the father of a son with autism, who later founded the Autism Society of America and the Autism Research Institute, helped the medical community understand that autism is not caused by cold parents but rather is a biological disorder

Dream of good skin and make it happen wouldn’t dream of 10 Men having skin as good as women, but can’t they just have good skin? Is that too much too ask?



Bitter batter

Something wrong with traffic There is something wrong with traffic in town. Something very very wrong. Everyone is complaining. Everyone says they are getting late to get to wherever they have to go, even if they start early

Help shake off your daughter’s blues


if you are the mother with a depressive daughter, go ahead and give them some much needed advice. At the same time, remember, there is no magic wand to do away with your child’s blues

Published by: Muscat Press & Publishing House SAOC Black & White Postal address: P O Box 86, PC 115, Madinat Sultan Qaboos Office location: Hatat House A, II Floor, Suite No: 212 Ph: 24565697 Fax: 24565496 Website: Editorial: Printed Oman2012 Printers 6 Mayat7-20,

Editor-in-chief Managing editor Work editor Design & production Advt. & marketing

Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Priya Arunkumar Adarsh Madhavan Beneek Siraj Shannon D'Souza Priyanka Sampat

Coming Soon! Oman's first comprehensive online directory

More details: Black & White 7

Oman let down by ‘no show’ stars I did not attend the 7th Muscat International Film Festival (MIFF) because I was away in India at that time. At first I heard from some people that the organisers had let down the public by claiming to bring the Bollywood stars Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor and then announcing that they were not coming (B&W, issue 43). It was only later that I learnt that the poor organisers and the fans of the stars were let down by the stars themselves. It is such a pity that these arrogant Indian celebrities let down the fans as well as let down Oman. How could two individuals who are actually feeding on the devotion by their fans let them down as though they meant nothing to them; how could two arrogant individuals let a country down? Why aren’t the organisers doing anything? Why aren’t they taking these two to court? Bal Subramanian P., Al Khuwair

Let’s talk about those who came I refer to the readers’ column (B&W, issue 43) where you have mentioned about how some actors ditched the MIFF at the last time. I wonder why so much space has to be given to some irresponsible stars. The MIFF happened. So many stars, especially from Hollywood came (I took photos with them), so why are you all wasting time on about those who did not come? This is very silly! All of you so-called movie lovers do not like anyone from Hollywood or the Arab world? And for your information, there were celebrities from Bollywood too! So why waste precious time and space on people who did not turn up?! It is a shame! Abdul Rahim Al Zadjali, Qurum

Absolutely right!

Reader's column

This is a fact! Abs doesn’t come out of the blue (Absolutely no abs, issue 43)! You have to work for it. But, then sometimes, even when you work at it and don’t find any development on your abs, then you realise that there is something wrong inherently. So, those who have problems with developing abs, please bear all of this in mind. Calvin Thomas, Seeb

8 May 7-20, 2012

Better abs It was interesting to learn that water and stress plays a role in the developing of our abs. I believe I have pretty good abs, but I am sure if I look into these aspects, I might get it better. Sastry G, Barka

Fit at 40 or 60 There is no way you will lose any weight by just sitting and procrastinating about it. Especially if you are a woman. I feel that a woman, by her very nature, should automatically lose a little weight because we tend to do a lot of household work. But, in the modern age, women donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really have to do that type of work like in the earlier days. So, although she (a woman) is fully occupied, she is still not exactly doing that kind of work that would help her lose some pounds. Yes, when you are forty (issue 43) you may tend to gain a little more weight than you desire and a combination of age, laziness, and a general feeling of what for might hit a lady wherein she is not able to fully able to attempt any weight loss activity. And we speak of women in their 40s, what about the women in the 60s? I sincerely feel that whatever the age, you need to have a very practical, but equally disciplined, weight loss programme. If you stick with it, you are not just going to lose weight, you are going to be fit! Anita Ramdas, Shatti Al Qurum

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DODGE DURANGO Call: 2458 4530 or email us at Black & White 9

Men read

Dream of GOOD SKIN and make it happen

10 May 7-20, 2012

Men wouldn’t dream of having skin as good as women, but can’t they just have good skin? Is that too much too ask? Today’s men need good skin, make no doubts about that. But, do they need to have their bathroom cabinets filled with thousands of lotions, potions and gels? Not necessarily. Skin problems are not unique to females; men are also equally prone to them. The difference is that women seem to automatically take care of them, while men seem to be a bit lost, or otherwise too lazy to follow a strict regimen. Whether you are upto this task or not, here are some timetested ways to get that skin you were secretly hankering for:

NO SOAP ON THE FACE But, don’t be like Adil who thinks rubbing his face with a soap bar was going to give him good, clean and healthy skin. The first thing to understand is: soap should not be used on the face at all; try to avoid it as much as possible. The soap is for your body, which actually needs it. A soap will ideally help you get rid of all dirt and germs. But, not on your face, buddy! For, when it comes to your face, you need to go gentle and that’s what a facial cleanser does. It is specifically designed for the skin on your face, thus making it free of harmful substances such as detergents, soaps and fragrances. FOAM AND CREAM YOUR FACE According to experts, men need to get good cleanser foams which helps wash away dirt without ridding the skin of its natural oils. Use twice a day - before shaving and before sleeping at night. Cleansing your face before going to bed is essential as the skin goes into restoration mode in the night. There are two types of cleansers - foaming cleansers and cream cleansers. Foaming cleansers are great for removing excess oils while cream ones get rid of only dirt and are good for dry skin. GO AND EXFOLIATE If you are feeling a bit squeamish about all this, relax. Majority of the men you bump into are indulging all of this, but they are not going to reveal it and you do the same. Do it in the confines of your home, your bathroom and who is going to know? After all, the effort is worth it because you are going to get good skin in the bargain. Now, it is not just about getting rid of the dirt on your face. The skin’s surface builds-up a superficial layer of dead skin cells

that make your skin look dull and lifeless. With exfoliation, the dead cells are gently removed and it helps the skin to absorb external nutrients that leads to healthy-looking skin. For sensitive skin, use non-abrasive formulas. Do not use your body scrub on your face and never exfoliate the immediate area surrounding your eye as a scrub is too harsh for the delicate skin around the eyes. An exfoliating scrub with fine grains used once a week is going to give your face a vibrant look. GOOD TO MOSTURISE Now, don’t shy away from lotions and creams because they are great moisturisers, which according to experts, impart antioxidants to your skin. “Rest assured that lotions are good for normal skin, but, if you have dry skin, then it is better that you get more of oil-based creams,” Sarah, a beautician, says. If you think you are aging, that is your face looks old, then the best option is to reach out for a moisturiser. One of the best advantages of moisturising your face is preventing the signs of aging. If you have particularly sensitive skin, then choose a moisturiser that is free of fragrance and hypoallergenic. PICK THEM UP FROM ANYWHERE These skin-care products such as facial cleansers, exfoliants and moisturisers can be picked up from any up-market department store, spas or at a dermatologist’s. However, each of them has several products that are specific for certain skin types for maximum results. So choose carefully and combat bad skin with the right ones. Be aware of exactly what your skin requires before starting any regimen. Consult a dermatologist or any skin specialist at any local clinics to give you an idea about this. Black & White 11




By Olivia Drake

and spec women b ies elo betw een t , and com ng to diff hem eren mu t infan is a scie nication cy.” – nce s til Bill C osby l in its Dear men, Women are frustrated with you. You can’t communicate for nuts! You can’t communicate with us! Maybe I shouldn’t address all men, some are good at communicating, yet, it is impossible to deal with them anyway. But, I am restricting this to only those who simply can’t communicate. You men can’t even say a proper hi (maybe you are good at saying bye) and you can’t even make a proper phone call to say hello. Ok, you don’t like my saying it, then, fine. But, don’t tell me I did not warn you. You are garrulous when you come to your coffee buddies, but when it comes to us; the cat’s got your tongue! Unless you talk to us, tell us your feelings, listen to ours, and then tell us about your daily life, how you feel and want in life and what you want to do together with us and the like, then it becomes a communication. You should be open with us and tell us everything – yes, which is communication. When it comes to communication, you suddenly develop selective memory and you only speak about things you want to reveal. I simply cannot understand why you have to hold on to some silly things, which you feel only you should know. C’mon, we girls can take it; you don’t have to hide anything from us. We know that you are a bit scared about us and since you desperately want our approval, you hide about the things you automatically feel we don’t like. We don’t do that. In our approach to you, we are transparent, but it is not reciprocated and we feel cheated. We feel that you don’t value us as much as we do, and for you, we are the last priority. In such a climate of unfriendliness and downright distance keeping approach, why should we bridge the gap, break the barrier and come to you like as though we are men starved? Look, we don’t need you! It is the other way around – you need us and you better well know that. You have to chase us, not the other way around – you will chase and that is the way we are all programmed. And why should we waste time chasing you? We have far better things to do. Of course, sometimes we understand why you don’t communicate. You could be the shy type. The vulnerable type. The type that are afraid to risk it with a girl, but, then don’t be so prim and proper to the point of ad nauseam. We don’t like it. In short, we hope you can slowly attempt to improve your communication skills and then practice very hard until you’re better at it. It will take sometime but you will get better at it as times go by. It’s okay to be vulnerable to women. Some of them may not like it, but finally they are going to be okay with it and will not criticize you for it or bring you down. Finally, understand that women feel more appreciated when you open up to them. Communication in relationship is very important, if you are not willing to understand that, then rest assured that you are

Men read

going to lose them. The choice is with you – take it or leave it! Until next time.

12 May 7-20, 2012


My name is not Khan…

all ew h t ff

By Adarsh Madhavan

My name is not Khan. Yet, I was stopped at the London Heathrow (LHR) airport several years back. Not just stopped – I was yanked out of the British Airways flight just when I was getting comfy and feeling nice and happy about being in a flight next to some fun-loving travel companions and was about to get soaked in that enjoyable ambience when someone suddenly rained on my parade. There I was enjoying being pampered and attended to by some really pretty looking and happy-to-serve airhostesses when suddenly there was an announcement asking for ‘Mr A Mad a van’, or perhaps it could have been just a ‘Mr Mad a van’. Whatever, suddenly you find a very worried looking official asking around for me. The man tells me that I had a problem in my passport and I tell him whoah, my passport is with me and there is nothing wrong with it. You must follow me Sir, the man tells me very politely (very very politely uh oh) and the air-conditioned flight slightly turned a bit too cold for my comfort and I stopped sipping whatever I was sipping and got up. Although it was not a big deal but most definitely a consolation, I find that another member of our journalisttravel agent group was also asked to follow yet another official and we both trooped down the same path that we had taken to the flight just 10 to 15 minutes back. Unlike Sharukh, my name does not end with a Khan, but, I always seem to encounter some problem at every airport that I travel to. But, this took the cake. It is not a great feeling to be pulled off a plane before it takes off. That is almost like they were suspicious of us being some kind of anti-social elements. At that stage, I was not just a scribe -- I was part of an official invited tour – probably in 2002 - which the local BA had organised for us and we even had a Muscat Intercontinental representative with us. This tour involved us flying to both the UK and the US on BA and we had a swell time perambulating the two sites,

especially the former. In fact, it was one of the most enjoyable trips ever for me because we could do what we wanted to do and we all felt like kings if not khans. So, it was quite an unnerving feeling when the swell trip ended being a damp squib like this. It left a pretty bad taste in the mouth and when we got out to the airport, we were both told that we had similar problems in our passports. The problem was that our passports did not show clear proof that it was renewed, they said. We kept our cool and showed them the page where it said that the passport needs to be renewed only after 2010. Yes, the officer said, but where is the seal – it needs to have a seal. And they stared at us a bit more than was necessary. Suddenly panic hit us. This was 2002 April alright and 9/11 (2001) was just some months back. And we both, other than our natural born belligerence, were also sporting a goatee and we were both from India. A cold shiver engulfed us as we tried to figure a way out of the situation, which was getting worse with every minute and in that time even the flight we were on took off abandoning us both. Stranded at the airport! And the worst thing was that anything could happen. If they did not clear us, we would both be handed to the security and God alone knows when we would get out – we both swirled nervously close to an impending nightmare but still gritted out teeth and did not show that we were upset. In fact, for once, being level headed helped me, because, as the officer whom we grilled (oh yes) after we were found to be ‘innocent’ told us, since we did not create a scene, which was the norm in such situations, we were not hauled off to the lam…otherwise… And it is not just LHR; I am accustomed to some delay of sorts at the US, Kenya, Thailand or even my hometown airport and I tell you Sharukh this happens to me even though my name is not Khan. Black & White 13

Oman and Lithuania all set to collaborate in the

IT and telecommunications segments

Oman and Lithuania looks set to join hands in the IT and telecommunications sectors here. Exciting new possibilities offered by a recent Lithuanian delegation bodes well for the development of technological ties in the near future. The Lithuanian delegation was invited by Anees bin Issa Al Zadjali, honorary consul of Lithuania to participate in the Comex 2012, the annual international IT exhibition. The delegation participated in the five-day exhibition to represent their country as well as to offer their latest technological solutions and services to the companies and government bodies in the Sultanate. The delegation comprised eight members from various

leading IT and communication companies in Lithuania. The members represented companies like Infobalt, Etronika, Mitsoft and TeleSoftas. Vytautas VITKAUSKAS, president of Infobalt and the head of the Lithuanian delegation said that they were ready to start their businesses in Oman because they saw “big possibilities” here. The other members included Bloeta SENKIENE, export and investment manager Infobalt; Kestutis Gardziulis, Ceo/co-founder, Etronika, Paulius Morkvenas, project manager and Laima Kopylovaite, system analyst of Etronika; Dr Arunas Stockus, systems analyst, MitSoft and Algirdas Stonys, Ceo of TeleSoftas. The delegation showcased the latest IT and communication services to visitors and also met with government and private sector representatives as well as IT enthusiasts.


Musical twins perform at Chennai Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Two young twin sisters, formerly from Muscat, displayed their musical talents at a carnatic vocal concert in Chennai last weekend. Twins Shruti and Sahana, daughters of Raman Kumar, group controller, W. J. Towell Group, and his wife Gomati Kumar, put their more than a decade long dedicated pursuit of music under the tutelage of the popular Indian songstress, Bombay Jayashri Ramnath, to the test. The young singing duo performed in front of top music stalwarts and others at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore, Chennai recently. Padmabhushan Sangeetha Kala Acharya P.S. Narayanaswami, who has taught almost every known name in carnatic music and instrumental in producing many present generation singers, was presiding. The guests of honour were Nadabrahmam violin maestro V.V.Subramaniam and padmashri sangeetha vidwan professor S.R. Janakiraman. Shruti and Sahana grew up in Muscat till 2007 and were students of the Indian School Muscat (ISM). “They started learning carnatic music, when they were just six, from Sudha Raghunathan, a popular music teacher in Muscat. They were regular 14 May 7-20, 2012

participants in all the music competitions in Muscat conducted by the Indian Social Club and its various wings, like the Malayalam wing etc. They were consistent prize winners till such time they were here. Notable among those were the prizes in the annual Keralotsavam and also prizes in the ISC competitions judged by Jatin Pandit of Jatin Lalit duo, in the open category duet, solo in their categories and in the open group songs category, when they were only 10,” Kumar, their father said.

Audi RS Q3 concept

At Auto China 2012 in Beijing, Audi is presenting a themed vehicle based on the Q3 – the RS Q3 concept. Its engine, a 2.5 TFSI with 360 hp of power, and its body – lowered about 25 mm and widened with sharp visual details – explore the potential of the Q3 model series in a new way. The Audi RS Q3 concept’s single-frame radiator grille is framed by brushed and polished aluminum and the black honeycomb grille insert creates a distinct three-dimensional effect. A silver quattro signature is integrated into the lower area of the grille. The headlights are slightly tinted with parts in dark chrome and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). The bumper was also redesigned. The inner sections of the air intakes have honeycomb screen inserts while their outer sections are made of CFRP. The front spoiler is also made of CFRP.

BankMuscat ranked 300 among top global banking brands BankMuscat has moved up again to reinforce its ranking at 300 among the top 500 global banking brands compared to 331 in 2011. The 2012 Brand Finance Banking®500 report, published in association with The Banker magazine, retained the Bank’s brand rating at ‘AA’, while the brand value accounted for almost 9 per cent of its market capitalisation. Elated on the global brand recognition, AbdulRazak Ali Issa,

Chief Executive, said: “BankMuscat is delighted to record sustained

growth in global brand ranking. The Brand Finance Banking®500 report is a benchmarking study of the strength, risk and future potential of the global banking brands as well as a summary measure of their financial strength. BankMuscat understands the relationship between brand equity and key value drivers in the business model and views brand management as a key element to enhance value for all stakeholders.”

Travel Point partners with Big Bus Travel Point LLC and Big Bus Tours LLC, UK, have entered into a joint venture to announce the introduction of City Tours into ‘Oman’, the Arab Tourism Capital 2012. Tour Oman, which is the inbound division of Travel Point and a full-fledged DMC, will handle the operations of the Big Bus in Oman. Big Bus Tours already operates sightseeing tours in 12 cities around the world, and this new tour, will provide visitors with the perfect introduction to the city of Muscat. Customers will be shown all the finest sights of the city, from the historic Muttrah souk to the glistening waters of the Gulf of Oman; and from panoramic mountain views to traditional forts and palaces. The service is starting out with a two hour panoramic tour of Muscat, departing at intervals throughout each day from Muttrah souk. A dedicated tour guide will provide an entertaining and colourful commentary, providing valuable historical information and a real insight into the ways and workings of the city.

Mike Lees, general manager, Big Bus Tours, Dubai, said: “We are delighted and excited to bring our tour to the city of Muscat. It will provide the growing numbers of tourists in this destination with a great opportunity to discover the city and its history, with the combination of informative commentary and breathtaking views from atop the buses; making this tour an essential part of the Muscat experience.” Sunil Prabhakar, group general manager of Travel Point added, “We are very happy to partner with Big Bus Tours and excited to showcase Muscat and its beauty to both tourists and locals alike. This is a wonderful project that will provide visitors the perfect introduction to all that Muscat has to offer.” Both the companies intend to expand the itinerary of the tour as well as the route to offer a very comprehensive view of the Omani natural beauty. All the tourist will have to do is sit back, relax, and take it all in from the vantage point of big red, double-decker open top bus. Black & White 15

Oman Drydock Company organises

Duqm beach cleaning campaign

Oman Drydock Company (ODC) recently organised its social contribution programme to the society by initiating and completing the beach cleanup campaign in Duqm successfully. In all, there were 60 employees from different departments who participated in this event. The campaign lasted for almost two hours. All participants did involve with excellent enthusiasm and abiding cheerfulness in accomplishing this cause without failure. This campaign was organised by

HSSE department to raise the environmental awareness among the employees in a way that will, eventually, result in motivating them to conduct their daily duties in an environmentally friendly manner. Due to the encouraging results of the event, other environmental campaigns will follow in the future as part of HSSE activities of the organisation with the involvement of other departments.

Further, continual effort will be directed towards this cause in order to maintain a good environmental status within the shipyard as well as in the surrounding area here in Duqm. Moreover, the ODC will always pay great consideration towards the environment by complying with all the applicable environmental regulations of ministry of environment and climate affairs’.

Giordano spring series collection Giordano launched the finale of its 2012 spring collection series, featuring new style wrinkle-free shirts for men and on trend shoulder ball tops for ladies. “At Giordano, we continue to spice up our offerings with stylish clothes with an uncompromising commitment to quality and look,” said Ishwar Chungani, executive director of Giordano Middle East, India and Africa. “Our customer is always our focus and we want to make sure that every time they visits any of Giordano’s 226 stores across the region, they will find something that meets their needs.” The Giordano’s final phase of spring collection is available in all Giordano stores across the Middle East starting May 1.

Novel design premium Malaysian furniture brand


Dawood group of companies announced the opening of the first franchisee showroom of the brand Novel in the AGCC and choosing Oman as its first destination. The citizens of Muscat will have lots to look forward to in the 1150sqm outlet which will be located at the Markaz Al Bahja Shopping Mall. With more than 35 years of furniture fabricating experience, Novel has gained the highest appraisal from its initial concept, design, material to the final product quality. 16 May 7-20, 2012

Chrysler 300C has best interior North America based Ward’s AutoWorld is well known for its annual '10 Best Engines' (also considered as the engine Oscars) list, but the prestigious trade publication has now added a second award category – ‘INTERIORS’. Ward’s AutoWorld rebranded the list in 2011 by naming the coolest car cockpits under the '10 Best Interiors' tagline. The 2012 Chrysler 300 C is one of the winners this year of this coveted award. This year’s winners are a relatively diverse lot, with hatchbacks, sedans and crossovers all making the list. Chris Edwards, general manager of Dhofar Automotive, said: “We are delighted that the 2012 Chrysler

300C sedan has received this prestigious accolade in US despite tough competition from brands across the globe. From the onset, the model was designed to be the most luxurious and fuel-efficient Chrysler flagship sedan ever. The executive edition combines ultra-premium features that was once limited to some of the most exotic and expensive Italian luxury cars.”

ESO awarded Hima Fund Grant to research Egyptian vulture on Masirah island

The Environment Society of Oman (ESO) was recently awarded the Hima fund to conduct a research project on the Egyptian vulture in Oman. Hima Fund is a regional fund, established to provide grants to conserve Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the Middle East. Hima is a traditional system of land designation

and customary practice and aims for the protection of land, and the sustainable use of natural resources by the local communities. Masirah Island has been designated an IBA in 2001 and is home to numerous bird species, both resident and migratory. The island is an important site for wintering and migrating waterbirds in the Middle East.The Egyptian Vulture or Neophron percnopterus, is believed to be an abundant passage migrant and winter visitor to Oman and the Island, and a resident over the summer season. It is listed as an

endangered species on the IUCN Red List (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) and is a priority for conservation work. Through this project, carried for a period of 11 months, the society will seek to understand the status of the existing Egyptian Vultures population in Oman to support any conservation action. Few challenges are expected to be faced throughout the project as ‘the bird is not very popular on the Island of Masirah as its local name, al rakhma, is often used as an offense among the local population’ says project manager Maia Sarrouf.

Jadavpur University alumni's ‘Sanskriti – 2012’ Jadavpur University alumni, Oman chapter, orchestrated ‘Sanskriti 2012’, as an extension of the popular university campus festival, recently. Indian ambassador J S Mukul underlined Jadavpur University alumni’s remarkable presence in Oman with its multifaceted social, educational and cultural activities. ‘Sanskriti 2012’ opened with ‘Dontorongo’ a one-act play performed by alumni members who attracted a round of applause in the auditorium. This was followed by Karma’s unique fusion of Indian classical music and contemporary jazz, Afro-Cuban styles and Mediterranean music. Karma’s band members – tabla maestro, Grammy award nominated Pt Subhen Chatterjee, Grammy award winner Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt of Mohan Veena fame, award winning singer Raghab Chatterjee, wonder drummer Sambit Chatterjee, young guitar virtuoso Subham Mitra and keyboard wizard Subhas Mondal presented a musical euphoria for Muscat’s music aficionados. The electrifying melody and power house performance of Karma attracted enthusiastic applause from the audience. Black & White 17

Nissan Micra 2012

launched in Oman

Suhail Bahwan Automobiles (SBA), the exclusive importers and distributors of Nissan vehicles in Oman, unveiled the all new Nissan Micra, the zippy and smart compact hatchback. Coupled with its trendy looks, characteristic agility and distinctive lifestyle appeal, Micra is sure to offer a highly-rewarding driving experience to its discerning consumers. The glittering launch ceremony was presided by Ahmed Suhail Bahwan, chairman of SBA and Divyendu Kumar, managing director of SBA and other key dignitaries in the presence of select customers and the media. Commenting on the occasion, Ahmed Suhail Bahwan said, “In a short period of seven years since inception, SBA has carved out a strong niche

for itself in the automobile market in the Sultanate. Driven by customercentric philosophy, we have been continuously offering new products and value-added services to our valued customers. The introduction of the All New Nissan Micra, after launching Nissan

Sunny last month is a testimony to this fact”. Divyendu Kumar, added, “The All New Nissan Micra 2012 is a powerful, safe and fuel-efficient city car possessing all the features required to become the segment leader in the Sultanate."

OCTAL petrochemicals plants 50 frankincense trees in Salalah Affirming their commitment to environmental sustainability, OCTAL Petrochemicals employees planted 50 native Frankincense trees at the company’s 47-hectare PET Complex in the Salalah Free Zone in honour of World Earth Day 2012. The trees, provided by the Environment Society of Oman, were added to the company’s greenbelt which is comprised

of a variety of indigenous flora to further support the biodiversity of the region. Ahmed Al Najjar, director of government affairs at OCTAL, explained that the tree planting exercise is part of the company’s efforts to mitigate the impact of carbon emissions and combat desertification while helping to restore the diminishing population of frankincense trees among other native trees in Oman.

Suhail Chemical Industries ISO 9000 certification Wordpress

Suhail Chemical Industries LLC (SCI) has been accredited with ISO: 9001:2008 Quality Management System certification by Velosi Quality Management International.

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Mazda awarded ‘Superbrands’ status in Oman Towell Auto Centre’s (TAC) Mazda brand has recently emerged among one of the strongest consumer brands in Oman, and has been awarded the highly coveted ‘Superbrands’ title. Having a marketing programme that breaks conventions, and lays emphasis on the building of long term relationships with customers, Mazda joins the aspirational league of some of the Sultanate’s top most brands, thereby highlighting its distinctive image and position in the Omani automotive market. Speaking about winning the coveted accolade, S. Kasthurirengan, Ceo, TAC says, “We restructured our marketing

department about six years back and have been consistently investing in marketing and branding initiatives for Mazda. I am proud and happy to learn that the hard work put in by our marketing department has received a global recognition. Everybody in our team is absolutely committed to delivering exceptional levels of customer service and the winning of the ‘Superbrands’ title proves the ever increasing strength of the Mazda brand in Oman, which is also reflected in our huge gain in market share figures across the country.” Annurag Chawla, head of marketing and communications, TAC adds, “Known to be a celebration of many

Pizza Hut call centre agents training

Pizza Hut Oman recently conducted a rigorous training programme for its call centre agents as a part of its quality initiative to provide excellent customer service that matches its world-class standards. This training was conducted in association with Khimji Training Institute, Muscat. The programme focussed on areas like: identify the characteristics of excellent customer service; demonstrating professional call etiquette; improving the agents spoken English; identifying and explaining the elements of the call flow including special training on dealing with difficult customers. The programme was designed to enhance excellence in customer service. Yogesh Shah, general manager, Pizza Hut Oman said, “As one of the most preferred family dining restaurants in Oman, Pizza Hut has been serving the best ingredients of pizza’s and pasta’s to its valued customers over the last 23 years." “It has been more than a year since I started my career with Pizza Hut Oman. I feel confident about my knowledge and skills attained during this period. The techniques imbibed by our team during this interactive training session will definitely help us to serve our customers better,” said Hanaa Abdulhadi Nasib Al Harthi, Call Center Agent at Pizza Hut Oman.

a country’s high profile brands, ‘Superbrands’ is a highly aspirational accolade. Winning the ‘Superbrands’ title is very special for us, as this is probably the first time that Mazda has been awarded ‘Superbrand’ status in the AGCC and the region, and we are delighted that we’ve achieved this coveted title amongst some extremely stiff competition.”

Second Cup

summer new drinks Second Cup Oman has introduced four ‘irresistible’ drinks that have been delicately blended to offer a revitalising experience, as temperatures begin to soar. This is part of the coffee house’s ongoing commitment to delivering on the promise of providing customers with variety. From hot to cold beverages which feature rich flavours of, the newly introduced options are part of Second Cup’s product development strategy. Describing the four new additions to the Second Cup extensive menu Jannat Moosa, marketing director at Bin Mirza International explained that the “Mint Lemonade Chiller is expected to be hugely popular given its zesty taste and cooling affect. The Chocolate Chai Latte is available in both hot and cold variations and is made with the finest imported cocoas, lightly spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. Bringing the best of both worlds, the Coffee Toffee Latte combines velvety caramel with creamy mocha. The newly introduced drinks will be available until midMay of this year at Second Cup branches located in Qurum, Shatti Al Qurum, Bareeq Al Shatti and at the Omantel’s Headquarters in Mawaleh.

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Muscat Kathiyawadi Pariwar marks Gujarat

Day with dance festival

A fully packed hall witnessed rocking performances of nearly 130 dancers in different categories (solo, duets and groups) at the MKP dance festival – 2012 presented by Muscat Kathiyawadi Parivar at Rise Vision Hall, Darsait, recently. The event, which was held in association with Abu Muneer Al- Hashmi Trading LLC, was to mark the Gujarat Day celebration. Colourful dances from all parts and varied cultures from across India were presented by MKP. In spite of closing the participation before 15 days, 110 youngsters showed their talents with classical, semi-classical, Bollywood, folk and western dances.

“Whenever Gujarat Day is celebrated, we see focus on garba and dandia raas dances. Though garba and dandia represents the Gujarati culture, we wanted to expand our horizon to include dances from Kashmir, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and offer a beautiful dance festival on such an important day,” Dipti Raval, the chief programme director of MKP said, adding that MKP had organised many other

The Sultan’s School raises money in continued support of the


Sindbad mobile library Primary students at The Sultan’s School have raised an additional OMR940.400 for the Sindbad Mobile Library, a joint project between Al Roya Publishing and Dar Al Atta’s ‘Let’s Read’ campaign. An active supporter of the Sindbad Mobile Library, primary students from ages 3 to 11 raised close to OMR2000 earlier in the year through a non-uniform day and coin lines during Maths Week. Participating in community projects is part and parcel of The Sultan’s School’s ethos. The school recognises that not every child outside Muscat is privileged enough to access quality books every day. By supporting this very valuable resource and worthy cause, students of The Sultan’s School are able to appreciate the importance and value of education while ensuring similar opportunities are possible for others. 20 May 7-20, 2012

quality programmes before. This programme was sponsored by Sky Falcon Trading, Silver Shell Trading & Contracting, NAPCO, Al Mudhish (Oman Foodstuff Factory), Ramniklal B Kothary & Co, Majdi Spices (Towell Group), Pizza Express, Shang Thai, Rajdhani Restaurant, Tawa Magic Restaurant, Al Azb Pure Drinking Water, Pran Juices, Taiseer Electronics, Modern Square Trading, Color Impressions, Country Club Holidays and Shah Nagardas Manji.

Win 100 free trolleys in exciting sultan center promotion Customers at the Sultan Center in Qurum this month can win their trolley load of groceries absolutely free! The contents of 100 free trolleys will be given away over the 15 day extravaganza during which time the Sultan Center will ‘Spin the Wheel’ and surprise up to seven lucky shoppers every day. At random times during the morning and late afternoon, the wheel of fortune will be spun and a cashier number selected. The customer at the selected cashier at that time will win the contents of whatever is in their trolley absolutely free. Dana Geadah, marketing manager, Sultan Center said, “The more you put in your trolley and the more frequent you shop at Sultan Center the more you can potentially win in our newest and most exciting promotion to date. Being in the right place at the right time is something we can never predict so the element of surprise makes this giveaway even more thrilling for our shoppers!” The ‘Win 100 free trolleys’ promotion runs until April 30. Visit

In Black & White

In Black... We hope to make a difference this year and we hope to help the autistic as well as create more excitement to Sudoku lovers Mohamed Issa Al Zadjali Editor-in-chief

THIRD EDITION OF SUDOKU When we started the numbers game, we were apprehensive whether we would be able to create enough interest with our readers as well as the public. It is a numbers game that needs no professional expertise. Anyone and everyone can do it and it is said that Sudoku is a game beyond borders since it does not require any language. Every time I travel, I see someone or the other diligently filling in a Sudoku puzzle featured in a newspaper either at the airport lounges or inside the flights. I was always fascinated by the game and I am sure there are many out there who are good at it. Last two years we saw over 300 to 700 participants, from kids to ladies to people of all ages, trying hard to finish the game ultra fast, all of which ensued in a nail biting finish. The first editionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Omani champion Marwa told the B&W team that she was only good at Sudoku and she was waiting for someone to start a competition,

and when it happened, it was dream come true for her. And she was very fast. All of this gave us an impetus to go ahead and make it an annual competition. This year again we have entries from all over Oman. We hope to see this competition become more regional and international soon. GEORGE WIDENER AGAIN The Sudoku event is an autism awareness event and this year we will have the world famous autistic savant George Widener back with us to promote the cause. He had impressed Oman two years back in 2010, when he displayed his calendar calculation talent to the audience. He is an artist par excellence, a simple human being, but an intellectual giant with dates and numbers. We hope to make a difference this year and we hope to help the autistic as well as create more excitement to Sudoku lovers. We want you to not only read about it, but also to come and participate in the event. Not just the Sudoku game, but to just be there. Your presence alone will help this cause. So, be there on June 1 at the Oman Auditorium of Al Bustan Palace hotel!

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B&W B B& &W Xclusive X lu Xc usiivve e 22 2 May M 7-20, 7-2 20, 0, 201 2012 01 012 12

Your daughter is not autistic because you are a bad mother! â&#x20AC;&#x153;Is it because I am a bad parent that my daughter is autistic?â&#x20AC;? Sabah Al Zadjali (*), a mother of an autistic child genuinely asks. One is pained to hear the question. Despite the work done by so many here to promote the cause of autism, doubts like this still arise among the parents. It is not that they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know. It is the sheer desperation among parents who do not know how to cope with a child who has autism.

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While all of us may still be groping in the dark to find out the real cause of autism, rest assured that it is not because of bad parenting or cold mothers. Indeed, many years ago, Dr Leo Kanner, a psychiatrist, made this bombshell statement that autism was caused by cold, unloving mothers. Bruno Bettelheim, a renowned professor of child development supported this misinterpretation of autism. Their promotion of the idea that unloving mothers caused their children’s autism created a generation of parents who carried the tremendous burden of guilt for their children’s disability BIOLOGICAL DISORDER In the 1960s and 70s, Dr Bernard Remand, the father of a son with autism, who later founded the Autism Society of America and the Autism Research Institute, helped the medical community understand that autism is not caused by cold parents but rather is a biological disorder. So even though Sabah Al Zadjali might like to whip herself, the underlying factor is that it is not because of anyone’s fault.

B&W Xclusive

UNWANTED GUILT But, somehow, the guilt continues in some parents. Alaa Ghalib Hassan, mother of Zaid Nizar, a seven plus year old son, remembers how she felt when the latter remained silent. All he would do was make some noises, clap and his movements were not with much aim. Alaa’s husband work involved travelling and so there were many occasions when she was the only one with her son and initially she thought that his silences were because of that. But, luckily for Zaid, Alaa was made of different material. She was a one-woman army against autism and soon her persistent efforts to bring her son to normalcy worked. Zaid is a different boy today. Her efforts paid off and after a long haul, she began to see positive changes in her son. “But, it has not been easy,” she confesses. It is this hard trek that makes many parents baulk at the long road ahead of them when they have an autistic child. ONE OUT OF 150 But although more people are working, not just in Oman, for the cause of autism, even today, the exact cause of autism is not very clear. What is clear though is that autism affects 1 of 150 kids. The brain contains over 100 billion nerve cells called neurons. Each neuron may have hundreds or thousands of connections that carry messages to other nerve cells in the brain and body. The connections and the chemical

24 May 7-20, 2012

messengers (called neurotransmitters) let the neurons that help you see, move, remember, and work together as they should, but for some reason some of the cells and connections in the brain of a kid with autism –especially those that affect communication, emotion, and sensesdon’t develop properly or get damaged. Scientists are still trying to understand how and why this happens. About one in 10 persons with autism spectrum disorder will have special skills, or, they are islands of geniuses with special skills in music, art, math or virtual-spatial abilities, Dr Darold A. Treffert, a world renowned savant expert tells us. “Also, autism is not due to faulty parenting,” Dr Treffert stressed. “There is no evidence to suggest such a link and my work with the many families of children with autism have shown them to be very caring and loving parents with no hint whatsoever that bad parenting had anything to do with the presence of autism. NO BIOLOGICAL TESTS Unfortunately, there are no any biological tests that can be done to detect if a child is suffering from autism or not, the diagnosis of autism depends solely on observation and also educational and psychological testing. An autism-specific screening tool, such as the Modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers (MCHAT) should be used. The MCHAT is a list of simple questions about the child. The answers determine whether he or she should be referred to a specialist, usually a developmental paediatrician, a neurologist, a psychiatrist or a psychologist, for further evaluation. However, autism does have a genetic component, which can be triggered by certain environmental or other factors, Dr Treffert points out, adding however that research is continuing in order to fully establish the exact link. NO EMOTIONS People with autism tend to have problems with ordinary

language or day to day communication. “They also tend to be quite isolated and alone and have difficulty with social skills, socialisation and just ‘fitting in’,” Dr Treffert noted. People with autism are unable to feel emotions or develop personal attachments. However, with time and effort, such barriers to feelings can be overcome so that the autistic persons can still give and seek affection.

retarded range prior to therapies and treatments. More than 50 percent of children with autism who do not receive early intensive intervention will remain nonverbal. There was a time when these grim statistics were lifelong probabilities, but today, with recent advances in educational interventions, autistic children can make astounding gains, sometimes even losing their diagnosis of autism,” a report notes.

FUTURE IS NOT BLEAK So, the future should not be all that bleak for those afflicted with autism. Early intervention and treatment benefits most children with autism and treatment can help adults with that condition as well. Experts in Oman note that studies have shown that early intensive intervention is directly correlated with positive outcomes in children with autism. In the sense, if a child begins intensive therapy at a very early stage, the chances that the child will lead a productive life is a distinct possibility. But, at the same time, without proper intervention, the future for a child with autism is often bleak. “Seventyfive percent of children with autism test in the mentally

Dr Teffert notes that resources to provide early intervention are now becoming available in most countries. Research to find even more effective treatments and to share such advances and insights are now there with families, caregivers and treatment personnel. But, what is required in Oman is a much more concerted and bigger effort because only fledgling work has been done so far. Parents of autistic children and the latter themselves need support. Without support, the road ahead is not that easy. (*) not real name

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What happens when autistic children grow up? Autistic children do not remain children for ever, notes a top Omani campaigner of autism. DR YAHYA AL FARSI, assistant dean for training and community service at the College of Medicine & Health Sciences, SQU noted at a recent conference the need to understand that autistic children finally grow up and stressed on the need to look at those aspects too. He was speaking at a conference on autism in March this year when he made the above observation. As part of an initiative to establish a national centre for autism in Oman, ‘The First International Conference on Autism: Accepting Difference’ conference was organised by the Language Centre Social Committee, in association with the College of Medicine & Health Sciences at the Sultan Qaboos University some months ago.

The conference provided professionals and parents of autistic children with a clearer understanding of the diagnostic criteria for autism. Dr Yahya Al Farsi spoke about how over the last two decades, the world had been witnessing an incredible increase in the prevalence of autism. “Despite all efforts made to study and support autistic children, the fact is that the world appears to be not ready yet to provide full range of services that those children deserve. People with autism are often referred to as ‘autistic children’. We need to realise that they do not remain children for ever. They grow up to adulthood and look for successful social and professional life, like any other person in the society,” Dr Al Farsi pointed out. So, what happens to autistic kids when they grow up in Oman? Do they get to have a family or a job?

Does their quality of life get better, worse, or stay the same? What kind of support or services do middle aged people with autism need in Oman? What do they get? Are they happy? Looking at efforts in this direction in other countries can give parents real cause for hope. There are cases of speech impaired children becoming pretty successful adults, but after several years. A significant number of disabled autistic kids grew up to have families, jobs and a self-described decent quality of life. Most people got better – not worse – with age.

B&W Xclusive

‘Autism in Oman’ was selected for strategic research fund in 2011 On the occasion of 11th Annual Day of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU), six research projects were selected for Strategic Research Fund for the year 2011. One of the qualified projects for 2011 was: Autism in Oman, Epidemiology and Etiology (Principal Investigator: Dr Yahya Al Farsi, assistant professor, department of family medicine and public health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences. Until 2008, little information has been known about autism in Oman. On September 2008, the newlyformulated Autism Research Group (ARG) at SQU initiated research activities which resulted in important findings, namely estimation of prevalence in Oman, quantification of malnutrition among autistics, and ascertainment of a strong association between suboptimal breastfeeding and autism. The generous funds donated by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said will be used to support long-term, multidisciplinary strategic research projects of importance to the Sultanate. The aim of such projects is to generate new knowledge and discoveries leading to substantial socio-economic benefits to the Omani society in the long run. Researchers are expected to obtain major results and identify anticipated direct benefits to prospective users. This type of research is expected to help the University build an infrastructure for “centres of excellence” in vital areas, in addition to making a solid contribution to the advancement of University’s academic programmes.

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The 3rd edition of Black & White 'Sudoku for a Cause' Preliminary Competition is scheduled at Indian School Ghubra premises on Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 7pm. The Grand Finale will be held at the Oman Auditiorium, Al Bustan Palace Hotel on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 7.30 pm

Marwa and Vishwanath -- first and second year Sudoku champs Black & White has managed to successfully connect the popular puzzle, Sudoku, with autism for the last two years. And, in the first edition itself an Omani girl won. Marwa Al Wadhahi became the Sultanate’s first-ever Sudoku champion. Do bear in mind that although Sudoku is a very popular puzzle game, it was only in the realm of newspapers and it never got beyond it. Thanks to the cause and the way

it was connected with the puzzle, Sudoku leapt out of the papers and became a major hit. Marwa, who was just 19 then, took 12 minutes to complete a very complex puzzle created by former Sudoku world champion, Thomas Snyder. She competed against other Sudoku wizards at the final of the first-ever Black & White ‘You Play Sudoku’ Open to All Competition – 2010,

which was held at the Oman Auditorium of Al Bustan Palace hotel. Kalpana D’Silva and Madhvi Kumar were the first and second runners up, recently. In the second edition, S. Vishwanath, a chartered accountant, was crowned the Sudoku champion. He was one among the eight contenders who went into the final of the Sudoku event. The final session were contested between Vishwanath and Premlatha Muralikrishnan. Black & White 27

Preliminary on May 30, 2012 7 pm at Indian School Al Ghubra

Let's under

rstand Autism

Grand Finale on June 1, 2012 7.30pm at Oman Auditorium, Al Bustan Palace Hotel

B&W Xclusive 30 May 7-20, 2012

Find happiness from something you are good at: George Widener tells the autistic The life of prodigious autistic savant, George Widener, is a story for all to learn from – even those who are remotely related to autism. George was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1962. He showed clear signs of autism as well as giftedness as a child. However a combination of growing up in a poor, multi-racial Appalachian family and the public lack of understanding of autism (in this case high-functioning autism known as Asperger’s Disorder) in the 1960s allowed him to remain undiagnosed until he was into adulthood. As a result, George spent years living hand to mouth, often working ‘day labor’ jobs and staying in homeless shelters. He also spent his time in libraries reading and making his drawings. George has thousands of specific historical trivia and facts in his memory, often strange and even tragic details which he finds obsessively fascinating. Give George Widener any date in history and he can, within seconds, tell you what day of the week it was. Numbers follow George wherever he goes, he finds comfort in them, and he considers them his friends. George says no-one ever taught him to calculate calendars. In fact, he insists he’s not calculating at all. George’s skill is phenomenal, but it comes at a cost. He suffers from a form of autism, a brain disorder that leads to awkwardness and social isolation. As a child, school was a place of fear and dread, but a chance encounter at his grandmother’s house when he was seven changed his life. He met another child who was fascinated with his grandmother’s calendar. Today, George is perhaps the world’s greatest calendar calculator, but he is not unique. He belongs to a select group of people known as savants. In 2004 he easily defeated a former NASA scientist (“What day of the week will June 25th be in the year 47,253?”) who was using paper, pencil, and formulas (and eventually a laptop computer) in a ‘contest’ shown on a Japanese TV science documentary. Despite being autistic, progress has been made in George’s life by emphasising his strengths rather than trying to ‘correct’ his weaknesses. All his life George has

made various drawings and had numbers in his head and so this is what he focuses on today versus trying to have some career with broader interests. He is a lightning calendar calculator with a seemingly unlimited range. He also has instant recall of thousands of historical trivia, facts, world and US census figures (“Population of Boston, Mass is 589,141 in last census”) that has had some sort of interest to him. Mention the ‘Powers of Two’ to him and he might reel them off in rapid fire progression up to 20 digits (1, 2, 4....1073741824, 2147483648....) or so. George graduated from college when he was 37 while in a special education programme for learning disabled persons at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, eventually earning a general Liberal Arts degree, Cum Laude. George has drawn all his life and his early artwork was of a more stereotyped savant style, a sort of recording of something he was looking at or had seen in the past. He drew landscapes and portraits. His very talented draughtsmanship gives him a range of technical abilities. He has had to work to overcome his literal nature and visual memory to create original artwork. George’s emergence as an expressive, original artist came as he began to place his revered numbers, calculations, calendars, facts, machine parts, and letters into works on found paper, often napkins. George was the first savant who literally introduced the Sudoku for Autism event of Black & White to the public at the inaugural edition of the charity cause cum competition. This year this prodigious savant and date genius with ‘outstanding computational ability’ is here once again to promote the cause in Oman. As he himself tells us, he was once struggling and actually lived on the streets several times, in Dallas, London, and Amsterdam... But, today world famous ‘rock stars’ are known to buy his work and they invite him to their mansions in Europe. It is important, he tells those afflicted with autism, that they find what they are good at – some type of work or activity -- and then attempt to find some happiness with it. Black & White 31

B&W Xclusive 32 May 7-20, 2012

Sudoku is addictive: US champ He took seven minutes and seven seconds to win the United State of America’s first national Sudoku championship. But, his fastest time to solve a Sudoku puzzle was just 52 seconds. THOMAS SNYDER, whose puzzles are being used for the Sudoku for Autism event, is a famous former Sudoku champion. Snyder has won the US (2007) and World (2007 & 2008) Sudoku championships and a five-time US Puzzle Champion (2006 – 2010)

For Snyder, solving a Sudoku puzzle comes naturally. “My pencil goes from one square grid to another,” he says. While there are many reasons that people enjoy Sudoku, one of the main reason for Snyder is the “‘rush’ of entering the last few digits of a Sudoku and the positive feedback of getting better at solving the puzzle after you’ve played it for awhile”. Snyder wants to compare the last moments with a Sudoku to the last moments with a jigsaw puzzle (the puzzle most often associated with autism). “You can easily spend over a week trying to piece together a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, where it can take awhile to place even one more piece as you get started, but as you get very close to the end, and have just 20 pieces, then 10 pieces, then 5, then 1, then finished, there is a real sense of excitement and accomplishment (unless of course there is a missing piece which leads to intense frustration!). In a Sudoku, it is easy to get stuck on a puzzle and take awhile to even place one more digit. But as you finally break through and approach the end, there is the same sense of excitement and accomplishment (unless you realise you wrote the same number twice in a row or column and have a mistake!). Getting to the exciting point of a Sudoku requires much less time than a jigsaw puzzle, so its much easier to want to do another right away, and I think the release of endorphins that comes with finishing a Sudoku puzzle contributes to its addictive qualities.”

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We have been thinking of it since quite sometime now. Finally, we have taken the plunge to bring home to you some offbeat stuff. Here goes, if you like it, give us the green signal for more; if not, just take it with a pinch of salt. For this fortnight, here is some nitter natter for the B&W Bitter Batter:

There is something wrong with traffic in town. Something very very wrong. Everyone is complaining. Everyone says they are getting late to get to wherever they have to go, even if they start early. Everyone is getting stuck in the road and traffic seems to be moving mostly at a snail pace. When things are going slowly, why are accidents still happening? Accidents should be down, right? Wrong. Cars are moving slowly, but accidents are happening; cars are damaged, people are injured and fatalities are also continuing like no man’s business. All in all one fears getting into a car and driving on the road these days. Either you reach late, or you don’t reach at all.

Journalism is more than a business

When we first met Anasudhin Azeez, he was a young journalist of an English daily in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Today, he is an award winning editor of a fortnightly in Britain. Azeez, a Keralite, came to Oman on a very serious mission: a cousin of his had committed suicide here in a downtown area and he wanted to not only get to the root of it, but also finish many formalities. I remember him arguing with the then head of Air India on setting a precedence of sending the human remains of Indians who have passed away in Oman free. I am not sure if the man did allow them to send Azeez’s cousin’s remains free, but then somewhere down the line it has happened. A precedent was actually set then… Today, we learn that Azeez is doing quite well in Britain with Asian Lite, a fortnightly focusing on British Asian events and issues. In fact, he even won the prestigious ‘How-Do’ newspaper of the year award for this year (2012). A judging panel comprising BBC veteran Jim Hancock and Google’s Andy Barke selected Asian Lite as the Newspaper of the Year 2012 from the shortlist of eight leading British titles, including Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corporations’ The Times; Newsquest’s The Bolton News and Johnston Press Group’s Lancaster Guardian. Asian Lite was the only British ethnic media title shortlisted in the 18 award categories. The award committee said Asian Lite, published by New Asian Media Ltd, bucked the current British trends in declining sales and circulation in publishing and derived innovative solutions to identify new models and revenue streams. “In the papers five-year history, we never took a single advert of psychics, astrologers, faith healers or premium-priced chat lines. Journalism is more than a business and we are trying our best to serve the community in a better way,” Azeez is quoted as saying.


Something wrong with traffic

34 May 7-20, 2012

Hair of a woman

We don’t know if an official complaint has been made, but the male staff of a medium-sized company in town have targeted a female member and have laid out various traps to catch her red handed at a task she has been accused of doing. Want to know what the drama is all about? Since some weeks now the male staff have been stumbling – well, not exactly – slipping, shall we say, not that either, well they have been confronting slightly long black hair either on the floor, their work stations, the meeting room and yes, even in the pantry…and the yuck factor seems to have incensed the male members, most of them sporting thinning and receding hairlines (one must quickly add), who although accusing one lady of the hair fall, have not fully been able to catch her in the act of shedding, so to speak. “It is just a matter of time,” one of the main members of this ‘no hair shedding in office allowed’ group says. But, shouldn’t they be spending time and effort on their office task than indulge in such non hair-raising issues, one would want to ask.

Tic tic bang bang

Smirk, smirk. “We are doing this event and we are going to bring this famous star and another great celebrity…” we said. She went smirk, smirk again. Must be a facial tic, we thought and dismissed it. Of course, not in the level of Leonard Lowe (Robert De Niro) in the 1990 movie, Awakenings, but people can have tics and they need not be in the style portrayed by Oscar winning actors, we told ourselves. So, let it be, we said. Let her smirk, smirk, tic tic. But the more we spoke about the event, the more smirk smirk tic tic, she went. Time went tick tock tick tock and she went smirk tic smirk tic toc and suddenly we saw red. Hey lady, you gotta stop it, we growled. What, she asked as she continued with her smirk smirking, tic ticking… Our fingers twitched; our hands shook; our lips trembled and our tongues were ready to lash vitriol. Our hands went violent again to the point we thought we were going to go bang bang burst… Stop it, we rumbled as we furiously cut air between two gnashing set of teeth. Stop it, we told the other senior person with this lady and added that if she did not stop her tic, we were going to toc, sorry storm out. The man quickly cut in, telling the lady with the tic to stop smirking and behave herself before their guests and apologised to us. We stood up to leave, but then she immediately stopped her tic tic ticking (oh, we gotta tell Dr Malcolm Sayer – aka Robin Williams – of Awakenings that we have a medicine better than his L-Dopa drug, which might work for tics) and we sat down again for the discussion.

(Note: Readers who have something bitter to chatter about can either email on or call 99218461)

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Black & White 35

Lakshmi Mittal – the world’s steel tycoon

Management talk

By Dr CK Anchan

Lakshmi Niwas Mittal’s life is a rag- to-riches story with a twist, as in he literally went from rags to riches. As a youth, he lived on bare floors and slept on a thin, rope mattress. Today, Lakshmi Mittal owns a majority stake in Arcelor Mittal - the world’s largest steel company. Mittal is the richest man in India, Asia and the Kingdom, and is presently the 21st richest individual in the world with a personal wealth of $20.7 billion. He is the 44th “most powerful person” of the 68 individuals named in Forbes’s Most Powerful People list. In 2003, he acquired the Kensington mansion, said to be the world’s most expensive home, from Formula One racing’s Bernie Ecclestone for 70 million ($128 million). His daughter Vanisha Mittal’s wedding was the second most expensive in the recorded history of the world. Mittal was born in 1950 in Sadulpur, India, a desert village in the state of Rajasthan. His family moved to Calcutta in the early 1960s, where his father became a partner in a small steel company that began to prosper. By 1969, Mittal had earned a degree in accounting from St. Xavier’s, a prestigious college in Calcutta (now Kolkata), and joined the family steel business. In 1976, he traveled to Indonesia to look into a realestate investment for his father, and convinced him to purchase a rundown steel mill there instead. The roots of Mittal’s empire were in that Indonesian mill. He founded his own company, which he called Ispat, the Sanskrit word for “steel,” and modernised the mill. It was a formula he replicated around the globe over the next decade: Mittal acquired mills in Trinidad, Mexico, and Algeria, and turned the enterprises into profit-making plants. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, he recognised new opportunities for his company, because the heavily industrialised Eastern Bloc boasted many immense steel mills. In 1995 Mittal made an enormous investment in one in Kazakhstan, Mittal spent $1 billion to buy and renovate the plant, and it became one of the showpieces of his growing empire. Mittal returned to the headlines in Britain in October of 36 April May 7-20, 7-30,2012 2012

Dr Anchan C.K. managing director, World Wide Business House

2004 when his company merged with the International Steel Group, a holding group of five major U.S. steel mills. With the purchase, Mittal Steel became the world’s biggest steel producer. In 2005 Mittal acquired a stake in China’s Hunan Valin Iron & Steel Group for $314 million, which gave him 37 percent ownership. Industry analysts were not surprised that Mittal had ventured into China, which is the world’s single largest exporter and importer of steel. Mittal scored another coup in June of 2006, when he emerged victorious in a bitter battle to acquire Arcelor of Luxembourg, the second largest steel company in the world and Europe’s biggest. One business strategy that Mittal employed to reach the greatness of business excellence was through always desiring for new and fresh grounds of business. It is true that had Mittal decided to remain in India, he would not be the wealthiest man in Europe today. He however decided to change his business worldview to suit the international market through switching from India to London. Business also entails doing something novel that will add value to the already existing business world. Mittal invented the use of Direct Reduced Iron or scrap as a suitable substitute for steelmaking. In today’s world, this trend is the most used for steel manufacturers. It is therefore, not a mistake that Mittal, as a pioneer of this scrap business has enjoyed the biggest shipments as well as profits in the world out of this business. Today Lakshmi Mittal is the face of a steel empire called Arcelor Mittal. the world’s largest steel company which accounts for 10 per cent of all crude steel production. As the president and Ceo of the company, he has steel-making facilities in 16 countries across four continents that serve his customer base spanning 150 countries. His success can be expressed in his own views: “Hard work certainly goes a long way. These days a lot of people work hard, so you have to make sure you work even harder and really dedicate yourself to what you are doing and setting out to achieve.”

Sudoku is a number-placing puzzle based on a 9x9 grid with several given numbers. The object is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in the empty squares so that each row, each column and each 3x3 box contains the same number only once.


Grand Finale

On Friday June 1, 2012 Preliminary

On Wednesday, May 30, 2012 By Dave Green


2011 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



Difficulty Level


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SOLUTION: 2011 Conceptis Puzzles, Dist. by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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1 2

2 4 3 7 5 8 6 9 1

4 3


6 9 5 4 3 1 8 2 7


Difficulty Level




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Here are some trivia on what causes tsunamis and some interesting information related to these great walls of water that can cause so much destruction

40 May 7-20, 2012

The Japanese word tsunami literally means ‘harbor wave’.

Many witnesses say a tsunami sounds like a freight train.

Tsunamis are sometimes referred to as tidal waves but this term has fallen out of favour because tsunamis are not related to tides.

When the ocean is deep, tsunamis may be less than a foot high on the ocean’s surface, can travel at speeds up to 500 mph without being noticed and cross the entire ocean in less than a day.

Tsunamis are huge waves of water that are usually caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. As a tsunami approaches the shore, water may recede from the coast, if it is shallow enough the water may be pulled back hundred’s of metres. If you are in the area, observing this is a good indication that a tsunami is on the way. Regions in tsunami danger zones often have warning systems in place to give people as much time to evacuate as possible. When tsunamis hit shallow water (often near the coast) they slow down but increase in height. An earthquake in the Indian Ocean off Indonesia in December 2004 caused a tsunami that killed over 200000 people in 14 countries. In March 2011, the Tohoku earthquake off the eastern coast of Japan caused a tsunami that was a major factor in the death of over 15000 people. The tsunami waves created by the Tohoku earthquake reached heights of over 40 metres (131 feet) in some areas, wiping out coastal towns and causing a number of nuclear accidents. A tsunami is a series of sea waves caused by an underwater earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption. More rarely, a tsunami can be generated by a giant meteor impact with the ocean. A tsunami is not just one wave but a series of waves or a “wave train.”

Tongue twisters

Tsunami waves can be as long as 60 miles and be as far as an hour apart. These waves can cross entire oceans without losing much energy. Flooding can reach land 1000 feet (300 meters) from the coastline and the dangerous waves have enough force to lift giant boulders, flip vehicles, and demolish houses. Scientists can accurately estimate the time when a tsunami will arrive almost anywhere around the world based on calculations using the depth of the water, distances from one place to another, and the time that the earthquake or other event occurred. Hawaii is the U.S. state at greatest risk for a tsunami – they get about one per year and a damaging one every seven years. The biggest tsunami that occurred Hawaii happened on April 1, 1946, where the coast of Hilo Island was hit with 30 foot waves coming in at 500 miles per hour. 170 people died as a result. In 2004, the Indian Ocean tsunami was caused by an earthquake that is thought to have had the energy of 23,000 atomic bombs. Within hours of the earthquake in 2004, killer waves radiating from the epicenter slammed into the coastline of 11 countries, damaging countries from east Africa to Thailand. By the end of the day, the tsunami had already killed 150,000 people. The final death toll was 283,000. Not counting the 2011 tsunami in Japan, there were 26 tsunamis that killed at least 200 people or more in the last century.

Whether the weather be fine Or whether the weather be not, Whether the weather be cold, Or whether the weather be hot, We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the weather, Whether we like it or not Black & White 41

Salads Galore Cooking

Fresh summer tomatoes need almost nothing added to them. Tossing ripe tomatoes into a salad brings out the best in their flavour, and also provides the most nutrition. Here are a few easy salads that will keep your menus cool:

42 May 7-20, 2012

TOMATO ONION SALAD Ingredients 3/4 lb. plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise 1/2 sm. red onion, thinly sliced 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 2 tbsp. dried basil leaves 2 tbsp. vinegar 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 sm. clove garlic, minced 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper Method In medium bowl, combine salad ingredients, mixing well. Refrigerate. Toss salad just before serving. Makes four servings TOMATO BREAD SALAD Ingredients 8 cups Italian bread cubes 3 cups chopped tomatoes 1 cup minced fresh basil 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil 2 tablespoons cider or vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon pepper 1 garlic clove, minced Method In a large bowl, combine the bread, tomatoes, basil and onion. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients; drizzle over bread mixture. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes before serving. CHERRY TOMATO CORN SALAD Ingredients 1/4 cup minced fresh basil 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 teaspoons lime juice 1 teaspoon sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 2 cups frozen corn, thawed 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber Method In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the basil, oil, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper; shake well. In a large bowl, combine the corn, tomatoes and cucumber. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

Black & White 43

Your TAURUS April 21-May 20

GEMINI May 21-June 21

It is time to change tactics at both work and play, so step outside your comfort zone and you will catch others off guard. It’s all about rebooting and restarting this week so forget the past and focus on the future. Long distance travel may seem out of your reach but it could still happen.

Edgy conversations could lead to a standoff but think long term before making major decisions about work or love. Calm down. No matter how hard you work or how much effort you put in, it seems you’re the only one who misses out on the rewards, and you’re getting fed up with it.

Trust your inner voice to give you the guidance you need over an emotional situation this week, even if you have to work hard. You haven’t played fair in the past and now need to work out how to make amends. It is only fair, especially if you’ve been a taker and not a giver. Sort it out.

CANCER June 22-July 23

LEO July 24-August 23

Home is where the heart is usually rings true for you, but this week home and hearth seems like a lonely place. Mid week jolts your attention over work matters, so attend to them first then maybe you’ll get the respite you need when you return to your abode.

Filter the wild off the wall ideas out of your mind over business matters and concentrate on the tried and tested ones that you know will work. If a friend needs a shoulder to cry on this week, be there for them. They’ve been supportive of you in the past and got you through some hard times.

ARIES March 21-April 20

VIRGO August 24-September 23 The impact of Mercury your ruling planet makes you more outspoken about money, but try to be sensitive to those with less than you as you can be rather brusque in your delivery of the facts at times. Allow your softer side to break through. You’ll get your own way anyway.

ALFREDO JAMES "AL" PACINO (BORN APRIL 25, 1940) is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy and Tony Montana in Scarface, though he has also appeared several times on the other side of the law — as a police officer, a detective and a lawyer. His role as Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman won him the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1993 after receiving seven previous Oscar nominations, one of them being in the same year. He made his feature film debut in the 1969 film Me, Natalie in a minor supporting role, before playing the leading role in the 1971 drama The Panic in Needle Park. Pacino made his major breakthrough when he was given the role of Michael Corleone in The Godfather in 1972, which earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor were for Dick Tracy and Glengarry Glen Ross. Oscar nominations for Best Actor include The Godfather Part II, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, ...And Justice for All and Scent of a Woman. In addition to a career in film, he has also enjoyed a successful career on stage, picking up Tony Awards for


Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie? and The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. Pacino has received numerous lifetime achievement awards, including one from the American Film Institute. He is a method actor, taught mainly by Lee Strasberg and Charles Laughton at the Actors Studio in New York. 44 May 7-20, 2012

stars LIBRA March 21-April 20

SCORPIO April 21-May 20

It’s not only you who have problems and issues this week, so stop being such a martyr and see if there’s anyone in your circle you can help. Embrace the unexpected and see where it takes you over work and love, and you might be happier with the new direction you’ve been pushed into.

Your emotional energy needs to be controlled this week to ensure your decisions are effective not chaotic. Money still seems to be an edgy issue but focus on work and health matters before thinking of your cash flow. It’s a weekend to separate fact from fantasy and truth from exaggeration.

CAPRICORN December 23-January 20

AQUARIUS January 21-February 19

Although you know you’ve got commitments to meet this week your heart’s not in it. That’s not to say you wont do your bit, you will, but grudgingly. You need something major to happen in your life that will restore your faith and optimism in everything and everyone. Make it happen.

If loved ones are feeling vulnerable, you’ll need to be patient with them, even if they stretch your last nerve. You don’t seem to be getting the results you want from work situations, but make the best of what’s going on. Home and family need your full attention at the weekend.

SAGITTARIUS November 23-December 22 A growing inner confidence in your decision making skills puts you in the mood to experiment, but don’t take too much of a chance or you’ll feel out of your depth. Focus on health matters, so up your activity levels and get moving.

PISCES February 20-March 20 Feeling impatient? Restless? Impulsive? Try to get a focal point to direct your energy as if you scatter your focus as you’ve been doing, nothing will get done and you’ll have wasted time and energy on nothing. Try to see the best in others at the weekend. They’re trying their best

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It's my life

Mwah Mwah Mwah…

Vandana, award winning author (‘360 Degrees Back to Life')

By Vandana Shah “Oh God I hate this food! Can I get something else immediately?” “Sure, Mwah Mwah”. “I think I look fat and ugly in this outfit”. “Not at all, you look very nice”. “No one loves me”. “Mwah Mwah Don’t say that, I love you so much” The only person who can do Mwah Mwah to you when you are being a big fat pain is the universally loved Mom. Bollywood has its own versions of mom which pretty much reflect mothers across the world. They are self-sacrificing who give up everything for the children. Moms are one thing that haven’t changed over a period of time. They are made from such a mould, created in God’s kitchen, that doesn’t crack, doesn’t change, loves unconditionally and is resistant to all kind of breakages especially by children. They don’t go deaf with our constant whining, demands and desires and always try and fulfill them. They always draw upon their strength to take us through our tough times. No one has yet been able to create 'Maa ke haath ka khana' i.e. food made by mothers. I am sure the MNCs would love to do it but have failed miserably because who can replicate her love. In this ever changing and ever demanding world one thing I can be sure of is my mother’s love even if I come home in tattered clothes having lost every battle in this world she will hug me real tight and put a smile back on my face. So on this day and month of Mother’s Day and every other day let’s all give all our MWAH MWAH MWAH….to our Mums. I’m sending mine to Heaven as my Mum’s there. Till next time love and hugs!

Vandana Shah, Author 360 Degrees Back To life, editor of Ex-Files. Email me what you’d like to say on Follow me on twitter Vandy4PM

Black & White 47

Shape n sound 48 May 7-20, 2012

your inner beauty By Olivia Drake

Admit it. Some of us women are never going to be as beautiful as these women who grace the covers of various magazines. For, those who dispute this theory, well and good. Hats off to you ladies for looking as good as these cover ladies, and perhaps better.

But, my words are addressed to those who know they don’t look as good as these cover ladies and to those who know that they are far from perfection. And that is fine. You got me, that is fine! You are never going to be as pretty or as striking as these ladies, so let it be. Let us start off on what you can be, if not that. Knowing you women, you would have huffed and puffed and ran to look in the mirror to see if there was some way that you could prove me wrong; somewhere you will find some lines, skin tone, some features that will redeem you from the overall flaw-ridden face that you think you have. Ok, am I playing some mind games here? Not really. I am in the business of calling a spade a spade and so, I am stating it as it is and as it will be. There is no point in believing that some of us, who are born as we are, to suddenly transform ourselves from our plain ordinariness to something quite extraordinary. But, there is a way out, and this is where I come in: BEAUTY LIES WITHIN Yes, you heard this so many times, ad nauseum. But, bear it within you for this is one fact that will not change. The true essence of you, the real beauty within you, the woman, is not what you look like; or what you portray, or your makeup, or the fashion statement that you make. Nope. You have got to understand that if you want to find the beautiful you, look deep within you. It is not your skin that matters. It is not your colour that matters. It is not your weight that matters. It is not your

height, your clothes, or your high heeled pumps…there are millions out there who could have all of this and more and rich to boot but are very poor within. Why is it so tough to understand this? And why do you want to be like them when a treasure trove rests within you, waiting to be discovered and uncovered…? MIRROR, MIRROR, ON THE WALL… No, I can’t ask you to stop gazing at yourself in the mirror. But, why gaze at only your imperfections? If you are the type who are going to be influenced by your own visual self, then let it be known that the mirror, mirror on the wall…will be the biggest betrayal of them all. Women are known to be consumed by their desire to outgrow their age, their wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin and bodies, and so, when they are before the mirror, these are the areas that they automatically check. And if they find that nothing has happened; no miracle has occurred and their imperfections remain as they are, they slip into a mode of depression. My request is simple here: even if you are mirror conscious, please don’t focus on your imperfections. No two women are alike and so celebrate your difference. Enjoy what you are. Has your body shape shaped the way you are as a woman; as a daughter, as a friend, as a wife, as a mother…? Think! So, why worry about your shape and focus on the inner shape that has led you to be what you are – a successful woman!

Black & White 49


Shape n sound

is a puddle away

50 May 7-20, 2012

Chivalry is just a puddle away from realising for women. Or, is it? If there is a puddle between you and your lady, all you have to do is to throw your coat on top of it and let her daintily step over it. Sure, this can be done, but, imagine if it is more than just a puddle? What if it was the roaring rapids? It is easy for men to become chivalrous in a small situation, but what if it was not that simple, would the man wilt under pressure? Okay, let it stew for a while as we go over the issue of whether men are actually chivalrous as they are meant to be or are the chivalrous ones slowly disappearing into the sunset? With feminism still on a roll, there are so many areas where a man might feel overwhelmed by the task ahead of him – the task of being courteous and the responsible task of being chivalrous. HOW WILL HE KNOW? How would he know – in a world riddled with feminism too among other things -- for instance that what he shows as courtesy or chivalry that it is not downright condescending? How is he going to know that by keeping the door held long enough for the lady behind her to enter is not going to view it as an insult (“Why, what makes you think you have to hold the door open for me? You think I cannot do it?)? That is one extreme and if a man has been rebuffed by a woman to whom he extended chivalry, he is going to think twice before opening the door for a stranger lady for fear of getting his foot jammed there. Women are known to be hostile to men when they are approached by strangers with offers to help. It can be due to a variety of reasons and most are genuine, but men who have undergone rejection are known to think twice before crossing the line. MANNA FROM HEAVEN At the other end is the woman who

represents a different type of plaint: she has had the door slammed in her face so many times that any sign of politeness (forget chivalry) will be seen as manna from heaven and she may not even be able to react to it properly. But, deep inside them, there is this hidden desire in many women to be treated like a woman and neither as a doormat nor as something beyond every man’s reach. Women won’t mind it if their men put them on a pedestal, but, if it is so high that their men themselves find it tough to reach them, then all of this is without any purpose. NOT SO INNOCENT ACTS Yes, eager to please men do quite often stumble on their idiot stub toe of overzealousness and are often chastised by their women for doing it all wrong. And women are also wary and weary of those who try to disguise outright sleaziness in a not so innocent act of chivalry. HELP IN INDEED But, imagine if a woman is really in trouble: her car breaks down in the middle of the road (couldn’t go beyond the commonplace example) and she has no clue as to how to even open her car’s bonnet and then there comes along a young man who knows not only that but also even how to fix the car. He is very courteous and good looking to boot and the woman would be all in a flutter. MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE The truth is that the world needs a bit of chivalry here and there. And if not for anything downright chivalrous, at least a bit of courteousness would go a long way in making this world a better place. And what is wrong in displaying a little door holding love? That will cost you nothing and would mean a lot to many women. Black & White 51

Help shake off your DAUGHTERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S blues


Mom, is your teen daughter showing signs of depression? This is a question to be asked to all mothers who have daughters at home. Before you tense up, this is to quickly remind you that almost all girls go through this phase, and well, you yourself have gone through this phase, although you may not remember it today.

52 May 7-20, 2012

Earlier studies have shown that a percentage of adolescents, between nine and 18 have suffered from depression at some point of time, with some of them even undergoing major depressive disorder. But, if you are the mother with a depressive daughter, go ahead and give them some much needed advice. At the same time, remember, there is no magic wand to do away with your child’s blues. In fact, you are the key person here who can actually set about managing your daughter’s stress, anxiety and depression: SHE IS UNIQUE; SHE IS SPECIAL Most of the kids (male or female) are sometimes suffused with negative thoughts like, “I am a failure” and therefore, “I should give up” or “He/she hates me”. These thoughts alone can be the root of the problem. So, start with that. Explain to them how unique they are and how special. Tell them how you love them and appreciate the sheer fact that they are daughters and how every mother feels how special a daughter is to them. Then, detail to them the essence of being, and how they are unique creatures of God. Be with them, take them out, cheer them up, buy them gifts, get them a new haircut, or ask them to polish their nails and dress up…there, she is feeling better already! MOOD LIFTING FOODS Now, look at it a bit scientifically too. Every kid’s body

needs vitamins and minerals such as iron and the B-vitamins. So, feed her plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are mood lifting agents and could even help in bringing down depression. Here is a quick list of some of the foods that are rich in omega-3: oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines; ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and omega-3 fortified eggs. Vitamin B 12 and Folate are also important for mood. Some scientists believe that these vitamins create serotonin, which normalises mood. Vitamin D also increases serotonin and can be especially helpful with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Milk and soy milk are full of Vitamin D as are egg yolks and fish with bones. EXERCISE THE BLUES AWAY Stop their non-stop television viewing. Yes, this one is going to be hard. But, let it be known that too much TV and too little exercise drive you to the edge – of depression! So, push her off the sofa, plug off the TV set and push her out. Why not go with her? Go for a jog, momma and daughter. Not that she needs to lose weight, but tell her that she is going to look great (like her mama). So, get her (and yourself) into the great outdoors, or buy her a tread mill and tell her to blaze on it! The thing is, get her to do some exercise, and you will find all her dark moods uplifted and she will be feeling light and happy.

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Ladies first?


By Priya Arunkumar You speak of equality, right, go make your own tea, smirked my colleague. It is called chivalry, make a cup for me, I retorted. No way, you ladies want to be stronger and smarter, so work for it, pat came the reply. But what has making a cup of tea got to do with equality and strength? It is just a cup of ordinary tea? Anyone, beyond genders can do it? He turned around and said: ladies first, make your tea first! And then he turned around laughing: Do you know the tradition behind ladies first? To my utmost grief, he started narrating: Well, long long ago, there was this young couple, who were in love, doted to each other, body and soul. But in those days, love was forbidden; society did not allow them to live together and the young couple had no other choice rather than to run away and commit suicide…? I acted as if I was not listening. He continued his story, am sure it was to my benefit: So there they went, one fine morning, well determined to join in death, if not in life. They chose to jump to their death and lo, the man jumped, without any doubt and dilemma! He was committed to love. Men are just that from time immemorial – loyal, determined, committed, he added his own spice to the story! Hmph! And he jumped first, as he could not bear to see his love jump to death. Well, you know what the young lady, did, she was so heartbroken and horrified that she didn’t jump! The lady didn’t jump! How absolutely lady like! He reiterated, as if I was the lady in

context! Well, well, well, could only be true! It is not just a story, am sure you all can Google it, this is the real story of the Ladies First term usage and tradition. You can’t trust a lady to be committed; we men need to ensure she does it! That was his punch line. Period. So what are you men trying to do? Ensure ladies jump first always? I almost responded. It is amusing when men take up feminist attitudes, trying to prove a point. They are no match and do not know what the result of a conversation could be. I know there are speculation abounds about the origin of this tradition. Some believe it stemmed from soldiers being protected during wars and walking behind women in order not to lose soldiers! There are many versions to the ladies first usage. Some say it began during Victorian times. Another say in times of crisis, earthquakes, floods women folk and children are saved first… If it is up to the men, women would remain as shields ever, someone else chipped in! Who wants equality? I don’t think there is one woman out there who wants equality, all of them want a life of self respect and it has nothing to do with equality… at least I think so! What started as a cup of tea, ended up in heated arguments and discussion, hotter than the tea! All for just a cup of tea? Next time someone says ladies first, am going to ask them why!

Black & White mag Issue 44  

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