Monthly Archives: November 2011

Black Gold:Oil palm crop Boosts Malaysian Economy,Defies Rain Forest Defense


Article first published as Black Gold: Oil Palm Crop Boosts Malaysian Economy, Defies Rain Forest Defense on Blogcritics.

 

The oil palm tree is neither beautiful nor imperious like the oak, mango, or neem. Oil palm trees usually spread a canopy above with branches venturing out in all directions. The trunks of the trees are generally broad, thick, and brown. They display a grand elegance.

The oil palm tree is lanky with dark black trunks and a cluster of green fronds at the top. There are scales in the trunk which depict a peculiar insert. In between the fronds we can locate the black fruits. The fruit consists of thousands of black berries which turn yellowish-red when they ripen.The tree yields fruits all throughout the year.

Oil palms earn much revenue, outscoring tea and coffee plantations. They have replaced the rain forests of Malaysia. Conservationists believe that their presence poses a threat to the environment. The rain forests controlled greenhouse gas emissions. The growth of oil palm plantations in Malaysia has also endangered the flora and fauna of the region, although the composure of the plantation is such that there is vegetation amidst the trees sufficient to protect the orangutans.

The concept of sharing is in vogue in the cultivation of the oil palm. Land sharing helps in conserving the species and acquiring good revenue. Most plantations are not manned. There is free movement of animals and reptiles. Man and animal co-exist without harming each other. The cry from the Western world goes unheeded in this part of the world. Westerners feel that rain forests are being destroyed for man’s greed. No. it is not so. They are being cleared for man’s survival. The West says the orangutans are being eliminated. But Malaysians defend themselves by pointing out that they cultivate the oil palm for their betterment, they grow oil palm for their prosperity. If the West bans oil palm products there is an even bigger market ready in China. Restrictions set by Western countries would not dampen the Malaysian spirit.

Harvesting the fruits is an experience in itself. The harvester uses a long rod fitted with a sharp sickle. He looks up at the tree and identifies the ripe fruit. Then he accurately places the sickle on the frond that holds the fruit. He pulls it first, then sharply hacks the fruit. It falls down with a thud. Ripe fruits should be plucked. Unripe fruits yield less oil and affect the quality so would be rejected by the oil mills.

The fruit weighs between 20 and 25 kilograms. The harvester moves to the next tree. Some may hold two or three, some only one. The plucking needs great experience and greater skill. Less skilled workers collect the fruits and dump them in mounds near the paths so lorries can motor in and load the fruits. Each lorry accommodates 7 to 7.5 tonnes. About 350 fruits go to make up 7.5 tonnes. The harvesting is carried out once in 15 days.

Oil palm is affably referred to as “black gold.” It’s true that this fruit is a money spinner. It requires timely application of fertilizer and periodic application of pesticide. It is a high consumer of nitrogen. It needs no irrigation as it is in rain-fed areas. Trenches are dug between the rows of oil palm trees to contain the moisture.

Malaysians have become affluent. Their standard of living has gone up. We find small plantations by the roads, near the houses, next to the kiosks. Every fortnight the small grower earns a handsome amount of money. The country has a robust economy. The people have become self-sufficient. There is a remarkable difference in the approach to life. Some three decades back the scenario was pathetic, but at the moment there is good cheer and happiness all around.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/black-gold-oil-palm-crop-boosts/page-2/#ixzz1fCTbBPfO

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Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/black-gold-oil-palm-crop-boosts/#ixzz1fCTMSLMY

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Air Asia :Alliance in the Blue Skies


Article first published as Air Asia: Alliance in the Blue Skies on Blogcritics.

“Now everyone can fly,” the byline of Air Asia, kept haunting me all through. To me, a lover of literature, it brought to mind Shakespeare’s words, “If wishes were horses beggars would ride.”Air Asia

Air Asia is a low-cost airline, very practical and without frills.   It provides what it spells out. To pick a seat you have to pay. To carry luggage weighing more than seven kilograms you have to pay. For a glass of water you have to pay. For your meals you have to pay. They do not pamper you with drinks, with sumptuous meals, with dark chocolates, with soft pillows, with musical gadgets. Neither do they have business class or executive class; everything is basically economy.

They do not take you in a bus to board the aircraft. All you have to do is walk to the plane. Sometimes it can be more than a kilometre. They extend a walking track to you to make you fit for the long flight where you have to sit tight for long hours. If it rains they give you an umbrella. So much so fine.
walking

Inside, the leg room is adequate. The cleanliness is good. The service is excellent. They keep time. Departure might be delayed a few minutes but any delay is compensated for during the flight.

They land you on time. They attach no jet bridge – again you have to walk a kilometre or so to the terminal. Well, your sagging muscles get toned up, helping you to proceed briskly to the immigration check if you are on an international flight.

Browsing through their fares we find them most competitive. It is time that helps you. If you book a flight say eleven months ahead of time, you save enormously. They go very cheap. The price of tickets for domestic flights is cheaper than bus fares. It costs RM 29 to fly from Kuala Lumpur to Penang while the bus fare is RM 50. My jaw dropped when I saw that the cost of one trip to Melbourne from Kuala Lumpur was Rm 158 per person. Of course there were the tax and fuel charges. But the basic fare was only RM 158. It was so alluring and very attractive. Working up the tax and fuel price the ticket went up by another RM 100. Even then it was cheap, dead cheap. Air Asia gives you training in planning too. Here the early planners snatch the best deal.

An airport is dedicated to Air Asia in Kuala Lumpur. It is located some ten kilometers from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and is rightly called the Low Cost Carrier Terminus (LCCT). BaliThe airport is full of Air Asia flights flashing the tag “Now everyone can fly.” The airline’s service reveals an enlightening philosophy. It takes you to places as near as Singapore as well as to places as far as London for fares unbelievable, for comforts reasonable.

Air Asia has proved its vitality.  Flying is no longer a fascination. It is an experience thrown open to all irrespective of wealth. Air Asia honcho Tony Fernandez has wrought wonders. He acquired this money-losing airline for RM 1 and transformed it into the most successful low-cost carrier in less than five years.

Tony fernandez
Tony, generally seen sporting a red cap, sees the sky from the land and the land from the sky as all do but with a different perspective.

It looks as though the sky has descended halfway and the land has risen up halfway to notch up an alliance midway in the blue skies.

Yes. What Shakespeare might have written in late 16th century has come true now with planes replacing horses: “if wishes were planes, beggars could fly.” Wishes can be realized for a pittance.

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/air-asia-alliance-in-the-blue/page-2/#ixzz1fCR3N8Gx

Circular Mapping


The impudence of the kin,

The arrogance of the kith,

The  disregard of the near,

The disdain of the dear,

Lasts  not for a year.

 

They change with the seasons,

Cold is their feeling in Winter,

Friendly is their attitude in Summer,

Endearing is their advance in Spring,

Indifferent is their thought for autumn

 

They vary with periods of the day,

Pose a smile in the morn,

Look displeased in the afternoon,

Express a sneer in the evening.

Ensue a threat in the night.

 

Their  endearing and exuberance  persuade

Their shrug and shriek dissuade,

Their jibes and vile intrude

Their provocation and condescension delude,

The mind ,thought and whatever not.

 

Ever be ready to attack them

Not with weapons but with words,

Let them be scathing and sticky,

Conducting a hurt so brutal and  poignant.

Befitting their taunts and tantrums

 

 

A Swindle Over There.


A large swindle was up there,

Looking above it was sparkling,

The eyes  lost its power of seeing,

It was a powerful wind up  over there.

 

A great swindle was going on a little away,

Espying keenly it was amazing

The eyes got stuck up to a fixing

It was a gigantic sweep over there.

 

A top swindle was going on right before,

Reviewing the progress it was tantalizing,

The eyes closed  itself  to a  shooting,

It was a thorough plunder over there.

 

 

An entire swindle  was going down below,

Noticing the preemptive it was shocking,

The eyes opened itself to a  cracking,

It was an absolute devastation over there.

 

All these were enacted in the exchequer,

The nation’s reserve was looted,

Scams in various forms erupted,

Putting the nation to a desolate laugh forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Rub and a Rebuff.


It was a harsh rub,

A brush on the wrong side,

A bruise to the heart,

A hurt to the ego,

Killing to the core quoth she.

 

It was a rough trial,

An attempt to deface,

A conspiracy to efface,

A bash on the face,

Humiliating to the essence quoth she.

 

Well,it is their nature,

Made of such stuff abrasive,

Ever ready to be incisive,

Always intending to be reprehensive,

Assaulting  to the depth,said I

 

It is  an affectation very likely,

Presenting a broad smile outward,

It is fever and fret inward,

Casting a distraught onward,

Directing an onslaught  absolute,said I.

 

Well it is their way of doing,

Beat them with a wordy sway,

Slash them back as you may,

Retort and rebuff at a bay,

Shrug them off with repulsive strain,said I

 

Born out of a wedlock prime,

The mother stern and sincere,

The father wise and revered,

You a child of meritorious steer,

March ahead ignoring their  lowly deride,said I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Monkey Family


A monkey was hopping around,

It was playing in and around,

Jumped on the telephone line,

Lo! down fell the line.

 

Two others were up to hide and seek,

One  hid under the roof in meek,

The other landed crashing on the top,

L0!The roof fell in a flop. 

 

A little one entered the garden,

Pulled the plants in a style modern,

Out came the roots and stems,

Lo!The garden was damned.

 

The monkey family was into the house,

Leaving the main family to browse,

How to chase them out en mass?

Lo! the thought kept them engrossed.

 

Before they could disperse,

The entire household was  in reverse,

How to resume it to original?

Oh!  it would consume hours  terminal!

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful May Morning.


It is a beautiful May morning,

The grasshoppers are busy flying ,

The butterflies  are buzz buzzing,

The  birds are  sweetly singing,

Depicting a scene most relaxing,

It is then the Sun comes out of the sky.

It is a beautiful May morning,

The baby is crying,

The elder boy is crazily drifting, 

The Lady is  attentively cooking,

Expressing a mood most exasperating

It is then the Sun came out from the sky.

 

 

It is a beautiful May morning,

The street is actively bustling,

Cars are incessantly plying,

People are  hurrying,

Enacting a plight most ruminating,

It is then the Sun comes out from the sky.

It is a beautiful May morning,

It is  a mood most relaxing,

The morning scenario is galvanizing

The routine  activities are  thronging,

Presenting the most plausible enthralling,

It is then the Sun comes out of the sky.

 

 

It is a beautiful may morning,

The dawn is amazing,

Punctuated by the episodes enticing,

Referred by the instances appealing,

Graduated by  regular happenings,

It is then the Sun  comes out of the sky.

.