Monday, December 17, 2007

arbi khuranon sei poonkh poonkh rakhna hai qadam.

so once upon a time in a small village of india, a chota chota larka (ok itna bhi chota nahin, but i need to add that for dramatic effects) had these barei barei sapnei. sapnei of going to dubai and opening his own typing center. yei typing center bhi kamaal ki cheez hai. it is a business that can perhaps only survive in the gulf countries and in the subcontinent i suppose. basically the typing center is the medium by which you can tadi par the red tape of the government. typically owned by some desi, grew up in india, came to dubai worked as an errand boy, now speaks arabic as his second language much more than hindi and in his typing center he provides and fills out visa application forms/birth certificate etc all in fluent arabic. he knows how to get a visa, how to get a trade license. he knows exactly what paperwork one needs, what one doesnt need. he knows the loopholes and he knows how to circumvent them.

so anyway, this larka comes to dubai decides to open his own typing center. but he requires a local sponsor, as does any business in a non free zone area in the UAE, a contract is prepared the sponsor is chosen and for an annual fee of 8,000 AED (1 USD - 3.67 AED) the local agrees to give his "name" to the business. the local does not participate in the running of the business, provides no capital, it serves as a kind of yearly tax, regardless of how much loss or profit the larka makes, the local does not profit from it or does not bail him out in times of loss. and he pockets his fee regardless.

khair, accepting that this is how one does business here, the larka opens a typing center. it starts of slow and then gradually business picks up and he locks in 20,000 AED a month. everything is going well, he is able to send home money, at home he becomes the son of pride. busines has few hiccups. only the occasional negotiations with the local sponsor to increase the annual fee from 8 - 10K. one fine day, the father of the nation, HRH beloved Shaikh Zayed dies, the city goes into mourning for 21 days. at this time, larka decides chalo business is slow, government offices are closed might as well go back to india for a holiday. he informs the sponsor, and leaves.

after a long happy vacation he returns to the city (ie dubai) , hands over the passport to immigration officer for the visa stamp. the immigration officer scans his passport and becomes irritated/befuddled when he reads the description on the screen, he calls over his senior, the police is informed and the larka is jailed for a month. while the larka was on leave, the local took over the business and sold all the printers and photocopying machines, which were bought by loans. the local then cancelled the larkas visa and put a 6 month ban from the UAE on his visa. with no one to listen to his woes, the larka spends a month in jail and is deported back to india. he returns to his village penniless.

4 comments:

Alok,  1:46 AM  

This is second such incident which you have highlighted, though in the first case i read in the paper that the king had "pardoned" the poor rape victim for her sin.

Isnt their some human right body in the country, which can take up these cases? My guess is in such cases one does not only looses his money but his will to live & survive is dented for ever.

Ashraf's Pen 2:41 AM  

Number one is this true???

Number two-- sniff, sniff(tears being wiped) is there a moral to the story or a point being made. Or are we being treated to a tragedy.

Number three- Classic hollywood movie. COuld fit bollywood but u need to give it a positive twist.

Like since all the equipment was on loans , he ended up being the gainer in the end. Got the profits for some months and did not have to pay the loans

Anonymous,  11:55 PM  

alok: yea i read that too. the King pardoned the victim, but I do believe its because the case received a considerable amount of international media attention.

i dont think there is any human rights body here within the country. But there are a lot of global human rights bodies and many of them highlight the problem within the Middle East, and they go beyond the glittering lights, tall buildings and hotels, which is why many Middle East countries have come under fire recently in terms of labour, worker rights etc. Its going to take a really long time before things change and who knows it might be too late then.
That being said, I do think there are a lot of good things here. I will write a post about some good stories as well. Its human nature to point out the bad and take the good for granted =)

ashraf:
Number one: Sadly yes.
Number two: LOL no moral of the story. You can learn whatever you want from that story. Im just trying to point out that these things happen. I doubt anyone whom this applies to woudl change their mind and their ways by reading
this.
Number 3: LOL. yea i sshould have introduced a romantic angle with the larka falling for the locals daughter. Or some revenge walla twist the larka does some plastic surgery becomes a model returns to dubai and takes over dushman ka empire. there are no dearths of the positive make believe spins one can give, however reality is far from that. =)

i dont really know exactly but I do believe the loans were used to purchase the equipment and he hardly had any cash of his own. perhaps the locals name was given as a guarantor which is how he was able to get the loan.

Ashraf's Pen 1:08 AM  

There is a line in "The insider" movie that I love. When the head of television reporting who had given in to corporate pressure on realizing his mistake says--
"Oh it does not matter. the public will forget it after five five minutes".

The reply he gets from his boss is eloquent.
"Oh you are talking about fame. Fame lasts for five minutes. Infamy lasts longer".

The point of the tale was that one bad thing can malign a hundred good things.

Anyway I just realized my latest entry on the blog is even more tragic. ;)

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