Friday, December 28, 2012



So an era has come to an end. All things come to an end as they should.
 To borrow from a famous Al Pacino speech ‘when you get old in life, things get taken from you.
 You only learn that when you start losing stuff’.  We have just lost the chance to see Tendulkar bat ever again in a one day match. We all may have had strong opinions on when he should have retired. Some said he should have gone immediately after winning the world cup. Others said he should have hung up his boots after scoring that double hundred against South Africa. Most of us were convinced that it was time to go after his 100th century in Bangladesh. How arrogant of us to chase somebody out who had given us immense hope, joy and unforgettable moments.
My first memorable moment of Tendulkar interestingly was not as the prolific batsman; rather it was the slow leg spinner bowling the ultimate over against South Africa in the hero cup semi final. The game was at Eden Gardens and we in our Kolkata home were baffled when he was given the decisive over. He bowled well and got us home. Eden gardens was lit up by burning torches of the ecstatic fans and in my heart admiration for Sachin was lit; the team man who repaid the trust shown in him and made India win.
My second distinct memory of Sachin is again linked to Kolkata. India was playing Pakistan with the feared Waqar Younis and Wasim akram in their side. It was a Saturday day- night match with a post lunch start. As was my dad’s habit in Kolkatta, he worked for half a day on Saturdays and usually came back home by 4pm. That particular day he was home by 3 pm because a certain Mr Tendulkar was scorching the stadium with scintillating shots that had caused the markets to shut. Dad was forced to down his shutters too and come home. That was the power of this twenty something ‘chokro’ which we had realized and begun to adore.
Third and the most exciting one would be ‘that’ match at Sharjah against the Aussies. Day night matches in Sharjah meant that matches would end around mid- night in India. We were in Pune then, cable television was bringing us live English telecast of the Tendulkar sandstorm. Warne; the punk looking, best spinner in the world; was getting spanked all around the park. We lost that match, but qualified for the finals on a higher run rate. In all the excitement of the big hitting, mom, my brother and I were clapping, high fiving and screaming in joy. That caused a very annoyed dad to wake up from his slumber and quiet us down. We pleaded him to stay and watch the miracle of India chasing a high total, rarer in those days than finding honest politicians in the country. He refused to indulge in our mad belief. Alas, he missed what would become a historic moment.
Fourth is a bitter sweet memory. Tendulkar shouldering the burden of an Indian chase as was the norm then, against Pakistan at Chennai in 1999. Tendulkar was in control, India was in control of the test match.  With victory in sight, he developed a back strain. He played through the pain barrier, until he couldn’t bear no more and decided to hit big shots to get India as close to victory as possible.  He got out in this endeavor, the Pakistanis finished up the rest of the batsmen and recorded till date their narrowest win over India. The crowd in Chennai gave a sporting standing ovation to the Pakistanis, Tendulkar was teary eyed behind a towel in the dressing room and we agonized on what could have been. Somewhere we feared our hero was also a mere mortal. A reality which was difficult to accept.
From the turn of the millennium, things began to change in Indian cricket and sport in the country. Tendulkar began to regularly get injured, began to miss games, Indian cricket team discovered some new talent that gave us improbable victories in improbable distant lands where Tendulkar didn’t play a big part. We believed for the first time that we could win without Tendulkar contributing, the game got shorter, six sixes were hit in an over, new cricketing heroes developed, cricket began to slowly lose its sway, football grew stronger, even more new heroes emerged, sport pundits mushroomed on TV and we thought we were knowledgeable enough to know which player should get benched and who should play. I admit that I myself have called for Tendulkar to be dropped for not performing in 2004 and again in 2008. I opined that we could never become as professional as the Aussies because we kept players on reputation, not on form. I was so wrong.
My fifth and best memory of Tendulkar was to see him in the Chinnaswami Stadium at Bangalore, like a phoenix raised from the ashes of bad form and injuries and mesmerizing the world all over again. No one in India would have argued against his inclusion in the team, as he was in the form of his life since late 2010. The crowd went mad every time he took strike, scored runs, scored yet another century and touched the ball during fielding. It was Sachin mania like I had imagined since I was a boy.  I would count myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed a world cup century scored by Sachin in a campaign that eventually won us the world cup. And I was so happy that after nearly 22 years of playing, India had won the world cup and dedicated the victory to him.
There won’t be anymore moments like that. No more classy straight drives, cheeky paddle sweeps, one day man of the match wards and his boyish voice during presentation ceremonies.  To borrow from the Times headline, ‘Colour has gone out of our one day cricket’. Numbers and statistics will be used to debate his greatness but numbers will never tell how he touched our lives and how often he made us smile.
 For that let’s stand up and applaud the little genius. He deserves it after all.
Watch Harsha Bhogle's video blog on the achievement of Sachin.

ARTICLE BY : SHABBIR M LOKHANDWALA - PUNE - Videos from this email


Monday, December 24, 2012


Google CEO Eric Schmidt, in his 2012 commencement address to Boston University, urged the graduating students to designate one of their waking hours every day to being completely free of any communication device at all. Do you see benefits from this, or simply annoyance? How would such a step affect your life? What would you do in such an hour?
(600 words)                                      
 This is the Essay submitted by Bhai Zoher Murtaza B Ghadyali, which will surely make an interesting reading and make us all proud of our DEEN.
 In my faith, during the ten days of Ashura, my family mourns. We do not watch television, go online, or listen to music. Devoid of all of my normal communication devices, I do not have anything to distract me from my faith. Ashura has always been a deeply spiritual time for me but also a time when I feel disconnected from the world. During Ashura, I paint and play board games with my family. Without Facebook, I actually have to call up my friends and hear their voices as I ask them what they have been up to. Ashura is not only a religious experience for me but a retrospective glance into what life might have been like before the rise of computers and Google, a life that is just as rewarding as the one I live now.
I grew up in the dawn of the computer era and for the most part, I have benefitted from it. I learned how to use Microsoft PowerPoint and Word in middle school. I learned how to draw and paint digitally in my graphic design classes. I am on my laptop daily, absorbing information at a speed unparalleled by anyone before my time.
With the rise of computers and the Internet, the world has become a much more connected place. With the Internet, a student here can realize the plight of the disabled in Tanzania and become inspired to travel there and build wheelchairs out of old bicycles. The era of rapid-fire communication has led to increased globalization, a greater understanding of other countries and cultures, and the formation of connections all around the globe. But these benefits come with a price.
When we sit behind computers, we have the power of gods in front of us. Everything is a quick Google search away. We can research any topic at any time. We can learn and adapt at faster speeds than ever before. Behind a computer, we are machines of efficiency. Everything can be accessed, everything can be absorbed and synthesized and used to become even more efficient. We feel this drive to work and learn and surf the internet behind a computer. We can see what our friends are up to on Facebook and Twitter. We can use Wikipedia to quickly summarize vast topics that volumes are written about. We can listen to all the music in the world. However, we are denied the journey, the path we normally take to achieve these things.
Facebook will never replace the pleasure of going out with a friend you have not seen in a while to catch up over a cup of coffee. In a similar way, the Internet will never capture the journey of looking through an encyclopedia for an obscure lizard species, and the joy of finding it. In our era of communication, anyone can be reached through the internet instantaneously. But the journey to that person is lost. When everything is just a quick Google search away, the thrill of research and the success of finding something you never knew before are tempered.
I see the value in spending an hour, or even more than an hour, a day without our communication devices. I see the value in losing the omniscient power these devices give us. Without this constant pressure to be efficient, we can truly embrace our humanity. We can do things we do not need our computers to do. We can create art. We can ask questions that haven’t been answered yet, and come up with ideas that haven’t been blogged about before. We can enjoy the journey this simple, unadulterated humanity takes us on.
         Zoher Ghadyali

Thursday, December 6, 2012

FMB Coimbatore goes online !

FMB Coimbatore goes online!
Every Monday morning, 75-year-old aunty Safiya logs on to a particular website. After feeding her ID and password, she carefully references the calendar and puts in her tick across the days from Monday to Saturday while also considering her family’s weekly requirement.

A few lanes away, Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai Rampurawala and his team collate the large quantities of data fed from aunty Safiya and many others like her and after a few patient hours of organizing these records, create the master list – the precise quantity of food that needs to be prepared during the week.

Welcome to the world of Faiz-ul Mawaid-al Burhaniyah (FMB) Coimbatore, which is perhaps the only in India to take FMB online.

Interestingly, when Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai was visiting his son in Manchester, he was introduced to the online FMB concept pioneered by the Manchester Jamaat, which is at the trisection of strengthening convenience, ensuring widespread availability of food and minimising resource and cost wastages. He applied his learnings and the result was the launch as early as March 2012.

Below are the edited excerpts from the interview with the core team of FMB Coimbatore comprising Sheikh Hakimuddin bhai Rampurawala (Secretary), Juzer bhai Lodhgar, Hussain bhai Rampurawala and Zainab bai Bhinderwala.    

Q. What was the inspiration behind taking FMB online in Coimbatore?
A. With the dua and raza mubarak of Maula Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin (TUS), His Mansoos Syedi Wa Maulaya Aaliqadr Mufaddal Bhaisaheb Saifuddin (TUS) initiated Faiz-ul Mawaid-al Burhaniyah (FMB). With the active encouragement, support and involvement of Sheikh Saifuddin bhai saab Rangoonwala, Coimbatore aamil saab, we realised that FMB was an excellent initiative to not only ensure food for all but also weave our Coimbatore community closer, much along the lines of the famed saying ‘Families that eat together, stay together’.

With a view to stay with the times and embrace the latest in technology, we created a seamless platform where recipients in our city could easily place FMB thaali requests, modify their servings, view weekly menus and lodge change/ cancel order requests – all online with the simple click of a few buttons.

Q. So you are saying that recipients could simply go online and place requests from wherever they might be?
A. Absolutely. FMB Coimbatore was created with the overarching purpose of strengthening anytime-anywhere access. So recipients can log on from the comfort of their homes or from their smart phones or tablets while commuting to work. The biggest advantage of this all-pervasive infrastructure is that our recipients are never too far away and can easily access the Web site to modify or cancel placed requests if they have to leave town on a short notice or if they have to attend a sudden invitation.

Q. What is the procedure for registering online?
 A. When we were creating the Web site, we were clear that it needed to be simple, non-cumbersome and user-friendly. The result was that all one had to do was log on to, enter the Ejamaat number and password, modify the password and simply select servings (‘1’ corresponding to single tiffin for serving two or ‘2’ corresponding to double tiffins for serving a family of four) or cancel orders.

For enhancing convenience, especially among those who do not have access to the Net, the order is placed by FMB members. The menu for the particular day is also visible alongside the date and users can also write in their feedback and read notices.

Q. What happens once the master list is created?  
A. The Web site has been designed such that registering and placing orders can be done on every Monday for the whole week. Once we know the number of single and double tiffins that have been requested, we can easily calculate the precise quantity of food that is required to be cooked on a daily and weekly basis.

Q. What is the biggest advantage of the master list?    
A. The master list triggers a series of events that comprises placing the correct purchase order for meat, grains, vegetables and other resources with a view to minimise wastages. Since raw material procurement represents the single biggest cost in the entire operation, the master list is vital in helping us allocate and budget procurement costs and keep these in tight control.
y closer, much along the lines of the famed saying ‘Families that eat together, stay together’.

 Q. What happens thereafter?
A. All incoming raw material resources are checked for their quality, quantity, expiry date and consistency before they are dispatched to the kitchen for thorough washing and cleaning. The cooks and helpers are mandated to maintain hygiene and cleanliness and sudden and surprise checks helps maintain vigilance. The food is also sampled intermittently and once cooked, is packed into the respective tiffins and placed in large racks for easy pick-up. For the sake of convenience, each family has two tiffins for alternate usage.

Q. What is the science that goes behind creating the menu?
A. We are a team of 20 members with clear, segregated responsibilities. One among us is a qualified dietician in charge of creating a menu that is nutritious, wholesome and well-balanced so that a family dependant on the FMB thaali will not suffer from deficiencies. We are careful to use only rice bran oil, olive oil and pure ghee and do not use artificial colours or food essence.

Q. If I were to ask you the biggest outcome of taking FMB online, what would it be?
A. Clearly the fact that that there is minimum wastage in the entire food chain. What is cooked is balanced off with what is distributed. The imposition of penalties has also ensured an almost 100% compliance between order placement and collection. After gathering reams of data from the Web site over months, we have strengthened our forecasting and budgeting practices, integrating our procurement chain and saving on costs through proper inventory management.

However we believe that the biggest result of taking FMB online is that individuals in our community have been introduced to the computer and Internet and there is a greater level of enthusiasm especially among the seniors to embrace this medium.

Q. Have you been approached by peers from other cities?
A. We have received quite a few representations from several FMB committees from India and abroad to understand our model and we believe it is only a matter of time before other such groups embrace this cost-effective and far-reaching medium. 

Word from the author: 
This article has been prepared with the objective of recognizing the ability of our community members to embrace the new and stay ahead of the times. It is also a source for common learning and implementing tried and trusted best practices.   

Please feel free to circulate this article as widely as possible.

Adnan Hamid

I commend the efforts of Bhai Adnan Hamid and hope his well conducted interview and 'write up' will motivate others in the khidmat of FMB world wide to pool in their talents and resources, the ultimate aim is to make the entire 'mohim'  one of the best in the world and the A'la niyat is the khusi and doa of our beloved Aqa Moula (TUS) and his a'ali qadr Mansoos Sayedi va Moulayi Muffadal Saifuddin Moula (TUS)