Friday, 24 December 2010

A Wish, A Note of Thanks

JINGLE. It is that evening when we typically await Santa Claus with his bag of goodies and tonight I am among those keeping vigil and listening to the patter of reindeer hoofs on our roof. For this one fleeting Christmas eve, I am making myself hostage to the childhood tradition of hanging a sock by a limb on the tinsel tree hoping that the wish contained in it would be telegraphed to Santa and eventually granted. My feelings are beyond excitement; they are almost pleading for Santa's bag bearing the gift I've asked for.

Two weeks ago, I announced that I am feeling 'less happy' this Christmas -- for some good reason then which was related to developments in the workplace. Little did I know that the mild ailment that ma cherie was nursing at that time would develop into something more painful, more remarkable, and prolonged. It is the latter which makes my Christmas definitely 'less happy' than the previous years. While the condition isn't life threatening, it diminishes one's self-confidence particularly in a period when healthy lifestyle had been a theme from day-to-day. Unlike previous holidays, we are staying in-country this time in order to find the appropriate medical remedies until before the frenzy of the incoming year snows us down.

I am certain that we shall eventually overcome this challenge by hedging our bets over time. But the feeling of 'less happy' unfortunately prevails in me preventing those spontaneous smiles and laughter which I know is a temporary state.

Hey it's Christmas, I suddenly remind myself. In two hours, Santa will alight above us with his goodies that include the gift that I wished for.

I realized that I have not been as prolific with my posts, thanks to disturbances such as this on many fronts in my life. Despite that, I have been surprised and gifted this year with friends whose photos/avatars have shown up on this blog space. The experience of this discovery was humbling and numbing. Having met, read, and exchanged with great people like you was a progressive Christmas gift, something that Santa sent well in advance of this day. Thank you to all, may our friendship endure into the next years, and I hope that those bursts of emotions in every post and natural responses from each and everyone continue onwards.

A Joyful Christmas to all.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Yum. On my way home, I pass by some hole-in-the-wall eateries that are frequented not only by nearby residents but by folks from elsewhere judging from the number of vehicles parked outside. Apparently, the customers are enjoying food and company despite the simple and barren interiors, the seemingly unbearable heat and humidity, and the smell of burnt food from the grill. If only most small establishments in our City were patronized by as many people everyday, I am inclined to believe that an important stage to the distribution of economic prosperity throughout social classes is at hand.

A perennial problem however in developing nations is the stranglehold of the oligarchy on the instruments of wealth creation and accumulation.

Likewise, I am witness to the mushrooming shopping centres and supermarkets owned by one super-wealthy family whose name has literally been transformed into a brand. That's the same story in regard to similar families -- very rich, owners of large industrial empires, in control of huge economic levers, mutually reinforcing, motivated by monopolistic objectives.

I feel very strongly against monopolies or near-monopolies. These practices are undemocratic and seriously undermine the economic health of nations. Furthermore, they rob us of the ability to exercise choices and to benefit from efficiencies (such as lower prices) attendant to a variety of choices in the market. Their presence in effect kills enterprise. In some sense, they are consumer terrorists.

I pray for the end of their era in much the same way that the big US banks have been shuttered on account of uncontrolled greed. I'd like to see flourishing small businesses with authentic products and genuine interests. May that time arrive soon.