Signs of Allah – Do you really need to watch to believe

October 21, 2009

Signs of Allah have ever since been there for those who see. However for those who have to watch in order to believe a recent report from Russia claims that an infant male child has started showing verses from the Holy Quran on his body. These verses are clear, readable and verified against the original Quranic transcript.

Report says that where this news has created interest amongst the locals, from a Muslim stronghold, in their religion it is also being termed by the local Imam (cleric/keeper of mosque) as a sign of nearing of the ‘Judgment Day’. The local politician such as Local MP Akhmedpasha Amiralaev said: ‘This boy is a pure sign of God. Allah sent him to Dagestan in order to stop revolts and tension in our republic.’ The polarity in the interpretation of the supposed Quranic markings clearly suggest the difference in orientation.

Whether truly the work of the hidden hand, an attempt by parents to instant fame, a skin allergy or a media gimmick the real message is not in watching but in seeing the signs in our daily lives. Media stories can at best achieve some temporary viewership, a short-lived look-back to religion or spicy social gossip. A Believer does not need stories. A Believer is not born. A Believer is not created with religious education. A Believer can’t be programmed with TV news. A Believer can be anyone hailing from any religious setting. What truly makes a Believer and sets them apart is the feeling & the yearning to connect with truth in their respective roles. How does this feeling develop? By opening up to the space around oneself and merging with reality. It is easier said that done. Belief is not easy it requires consistency, determination and resolve.

Are you a Believer? Do you see or must you watch too?


Million, Billion, Trillion – Lakh, Crore, Arab: Made Easy

November 10, 2008

You are welcome!

I know you’ll thank me for putting up this conversion table online for reference of all you desi-hood always confused over how much is a billion in crores and whether a million is Das Lakh or Ek lakh!

Numeral Conversion Table - Western and Pakistani/Indian

Numeral Conversion Table - Western and Pakistani/Indian

I can relate to it myself and colleagues of mine in the office sometime I see grappling with a coversion issue in their language translation from Urdu to English or in reverse. It’s a fun sight you know. They go all around the office asking this person and reconfirming from another one. Actually there is seldom any re-confirmation if ever. Most of the times I see people frantically searching the net for an “authentic” source in order to officially report a conversion to a client or the media. I wonder if there is a website that compares numeral systems of various origins especially that of the West and South Asia i.e. India and Pakistan.

Here is a start and I’ll try posting more relevant information and links when found. Meanwhile all the best with your conversions.

Oh yeah with the authenticity of the table shared here; he he he he he…well I have used it in my official communications and has been correct all the time. See guys I have taken risks so that you desi-buds don’t have to bear no trouble no more..atleast not under a Trillion 😀 haar haar haar haar…no seriously go ahead and use the table with confidence!

The Ethical Gap: Getting Caught in between the Corporate and the Brand

November 22, 2007

Key Excerpt: The ever increasing gap between corporate ethics and brand practice is increasingly involving societies in moral, cultural and economic crunch. With no distinct corporate reputation, raising advertising budgets, promoting blind consumerism, fabricating profit-centered values are all only to cover the family feud between the brand and the corporate.

Looking around one observes a large variety of brand identities. Where they are important in providing the commercial differentiation in competition they have another obligation to fulfill; uphold family values! Of this I speak from both the organizational and social perspectives. Any brand in any of the commercial messages where penetrates consumer for differentiation and preference also injects a set of its ethics into the psyche. This translates into liking of a brand to respecting its company. We can relate this with the personal liking for a tobacco brand like Marlboro but not having the moral attributes for a public defense. Or relate to PEPSI commercials that represent our cricket stars like Shoaib as party animals and women pleasers. This negative perception directly travels to the corporate reputation. Relate the standard query, “which company’s brand is this?!” with this scenario. Here starts the feud!

This ethical gap is increasingly becoming the focus of most of the corporate reputation debates. Is it a product brand that determines the corporate reputation or is it the other way round? In the state it is right now, most of the corporations in Pakistan including popular MNCs and big national companies have no unique and even stable corporate identity in actual practice. The blind profit-run has where damaged the company reputation even greater are the marks on our social fabric. The induced “foreign look and feel” has only left our society in a self-identity crisis. Such strength and influence has the corporate ethics practices on social economies. The effect of these amplified in societies in the USA and the Indians. “Search for roots” is the social grievance in the former and “Whom do I belong to” is the manifestation in the later. We are still undecided even what to think of?

A lot of public relations representatives that I meet suffer in this “gap crunch”. With top management only accessible at crisis moments and routinely subjected to brand marketing’s “lavish ignorance to corporate ethics”; these PR custodians are only left with minimizing damages and avoiding media calls. The brand profits blind-folded management has increasingly become easy with the approach of “need based priorities” where the top priority is the ridiculously high profit margins. This holds especially true for the Tobacco, Telecom, Satellite Broadcast, Mobile phones and Carbonated Drinks industries in Pakistan. Most of the brands in these categories have jumped on the band wagon to catch the younger market with perceptions of phenomenal sex, success and spotlight.

Even the line adopted by these industry competitors are without class and creativity. Telecom service providers have a very run of the mill girl-boy friendship story line (Telenor), Tobacco tries to cough life into a manly image (Marlboro), Satellite entertainment channels pose to lead liberty of mindless expression (AAG), mobile handset companies flash phone against the naked skin of the fairer sex (LG KG series phones) and carbonated drinks pop the bubbles on some failed celebrity’s unpopular life (PEPSI with Shoaib)World's Most Ethical Companies 2007

An interesting list of “World’s Most Ethical Companies 2007” is shared here. This research is done by ETHISPHERE Magazine that isWorld's Most Ethical Companies 2007 an influential publication of the CR and brand ethics field. The list indicates companies in respective industrial categories placed in order of their rank top-bottom. The country of origin for each company is also indicated with each.

The list reveals that many of the international MNCs operating in Pakistan especially in Food and Beverage (Nestle, Cadbury, Coke) , Consumer Electronics (LG), Computers (Intel), Oil & Gas (Caltex, British Petroleum) and Software (Microsoft) industries have not even made to the final ranking list. Does this reflect on our soft and designed for tax collection policies, our industry’s weak moral values or us consumers own moral standards. This remains to be seen.

Concluding I would say that it is high time for corporations to decide on their reputation focus inline with their business deliverables. A core system of corporate ethics and brand practice integration has to be incorporated as part of the management group that lays down the interpretations of the ethical standards into brand practices. This integral component right now does not exist either in a matrix or dedicated format. Societies on the other hand have to decide if they are going to derive the brands or be remote controlled into a fantasy land that has no practical meaning whatsoever!

Category Intro – Integrate

April 30, 2007

Fitting together the various pieces of socio-politico-economic existence to locate ourselves in the bigger stage and the greater design.