Category: Life

I’m sure you’ve heard this famous quotation many times in your life. It can be applied to almost any situation and has a real honesty about it. “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence”. Today, I’m talking about this from a relationship perspective. You know; when you have someone you thought was fabulous, things begin to die down and you think of the other guy or girl that you could be with. Well I’m here to explain to you why that isn’t such a good idea and my perspective on how life works in terms of male and female relationships.

I think the whole friendship routine between a guy and a girl is slightly unnatural and flawed. I mean this is probably hypocritical coming from me as I have a few female friends and I think their company is brilliant. But I mean, why do guys and girls become friends? We tend to favour people from the same sex as we have more in common, similar interests and a comparable way of thinking. With the opposite sex, I have my own theory on how and why it happens and I’m going to explain it now. When looking for a spouse; we have a psychological check list that needs to be satisfied before we consider a subject the one”. This check list is a number of necessities that we as humans require and if the person you just met covers around 70% – 100% of that list, you move in for the kill! Humans have an animal like instinct and often we don’t realise it because it’s psychological. When you meet a person, regardless of whether you have a spouse or not, if this new person covers 40% – 69% of your check list (yes that same check list you use for your spouse) they become friendship material. Gosh, it sounds a bit complicated and scientific doesn’t it? Let me be a bit more literal, I think your friends of the opposite sex have a good selection of qualities you think would be amazing in a spouse, but they don’t have enough, they’re just short and that is why you’re “just friends”.

Example, lets say you’re a single guy called Bob (I know, I’m so imaginative), you’re not really looking for a girlfriend but you meet Jane who is pretty darn amazing. She’s funny, cute, kind, intelligent, into fast cars like yourself, loves to party, all the good stuff. You think she’s incredible, so you ask her out and to your delight she says yes! A week before this, Bob met a girl who was chirpy, quiet and into fast cars, he did not ask her out but he got on well enough to be friends with her. Rewind further a week before that, Bob met a cheerleader (which he hates), who was pretty cute, and quite a nice person….Bob doesn’t even bother keeping in touch with her. This is what life is in real. More often than not, your closest friends of the opposite sex have around half of the things you want in a partner. Think of your friends, think why they are your friend and what it is that keeps your friendship going. I could prove this further by saying there are some friends who you rely on for certain things that not even your spouse can cover. This is because that 1% – 30% that they don’t cover, someone else in your life will. Ever been darn interested in a particular topic and your better half has little or no care in the world for it? Frustrating right? Why not talk to someone else about it? No problem, but whatever happens, do not speak to a friend from the opposite sex about it.

Let me explain. When you have just had an argument with your better half, the topics you argue about are often in regard to the boxes on your check list they do not tick. Example, Bob want’s to have a night in when Jane wants to hit a club and party the night away. The pair bicker, Bob complains that Jane shouldn’t ask this of him when he’s not into it and does not want to go. Jane complains that it is who she is and she loves doing it. They have a row, Jane storms out and Bob goes to sleep haha! This is where it gets interesting. Jane goes and meets her friend Jason….he is a DJ at a nightclub, she’s known him since school and he has a bit of a crush on her. They party the night away, he comforts her because she’s upset, and what is happening is that the one thing Jane is missing in her life, Jason is covering. He talks to her, dances with her, parties with her and suddenly Jane wishes Bob was more like him. Jane has a one night stand with Jason and now her relationship with Bob is damaged beyond repair.

You might think, good for Jane and Jason, Bob was a boring loser anyway. But, and this is where the quote makes sense, Jason has nothing else which interests Jane. She doesn’t see this while she is upset and wanting to party, but when she dumps Bob and goes to Jason, she understands the scale of the mistake she has made. You cannot give up something fantastic in your life, for one incredible night of fun, so many people do it and most end up regretting it. When you have relationship troubles, the best thing to do is take a deep breath, step back and maybe call someone who you think can calm you down and talk to you, preferably of the same sex! This gives you a chance to reflect on what you have and realise how special it is. Don’t jump over the fence and fill the small irrelevant gap that you think needs to be filled. The fact is, if you find someone in today’s day and age who gives you 70% of what you want in a spouse, you have in fact hit the jackpot. For those of my readers who have hit the jackpot, I congratulate you. Be good, don’t do anything stupid and cherish what you have. This is the Arainmunda, signing out.


Jorge and Alexa Narvaez

I consider myself a mature and hard working guy, with a dedicated nature and one who can set an example to youngsters and give them guidance. However, I often don’t act my age and skiving work and going through the internet looking for humorous viral videos is one of my flaws. I watch vloggers, am quite keen on the YouTube community and sites like FailBlog. From watching these vloggers and YouTube channels I have had some huge laughs, been inspired and sometimes just gotten ticked off. One of the channels I follow is =3 by Ray William Johnson. He’s a young, intelligent and humorous guy who is fast becoming one of the most famous people on the internet. He started his show =3 , as a politics vlog and then it slowly changed direction and became a comedy show reviewing viral videos. He was an impressive “15th most subscribed person globally on YouTube” around a year and a half ago and now it’s just a matter of time before he takes the number one spot. Not only that, he has other channels that include comical music videos that are flying up the YouTube rankings and currently more popular than his =3 show! The guy is a machine, and what’s sensational about him is that when he reviews a video, it will have around 100,000 views, once he’s done reviewing it, they tend to sky rocket and go well beyond this, one has even gone on to around 40million. See below for a typical episode of =3.

Ray William Johnson isn’t the only person on YouTube I follow though, probably my favourite YouTuber is a 24 year old Australian girl named Natalie Tran. Her channel, named CommunityChannel is just awesome. Her show consists of her speaking about the day to day activities of life, offering her take on certain things and making you laugh out loud at her realness! She is absolutely hilarious, mocks herself like no one else and is just hysterically funny. See below for a typical CommunityChannel video.

Humour is great, but sometimes when I’m down or when I need something to cheer me up, humour doesn’t do it. I mean jokes just aren’t as good when you’re depressed right? If I were upset I’d want something to touch my heart in a special kind of way, not an episode of =3 or a CommunityChannel video, with respect to them both. Enter Jorge and Alexa Narvaez the adorable and lovable father-daughter duet. You know, words can’t describe how touching and magical their videos are! I bet they could even make the hardest man say “awwwwwww” and they’d do it with ease! What makes them so amazing is the sweetness of their relationship and how they enjoy what they are doing so much. They look like they love each other like a father and daughter should and when you see how rude children are to their parents these days, it’s even more touching. This beautiful double act actually got so famous they appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres Show and well done to them because they deserve all the credit they receive. I’ll end on this, anyone who thinks Alexa isn’t one of the cutest things ever, must be mentally disturbed! See below for the video, check some of their others and enjoy. Arainmunda, signing out.

Pregnancy and the bump

So the weather has been pretty fabulous in the UK recently. We’ve been treated to temperatures of 20-25 degrees centigrade, which for April is impressive! With good weather in the UK comes a lot of people flaunting their physique and flashing that skin. The problem is, the British and Irish aren’t accustomed to the sun, and what happens is they end up going pink! Brits don’t tan well you see, but it’s all good as I stay away from beaches and the parks I visit tend to be plentiful in space, no pinkness can bother me there! I do feel for the Brits though. I mean, I’m Kashmiri, therefore permanently tanned and when sunlight hits me, I tan even more! If I could, I’d share my colour with all the less fortunate pinkies, I know they’re itching for a tan more than I am anyway!

So it’s a wonderful day, and I’ve just played a good session of badminton in central London. Walking back to the station I notice a pregnant lady walking past! She was wearing a short, tight white top and half of her bump was visible. I always have a sense of joy when I see a pregnant lady, especially on London Underground where I jump at the chance to offer them a seat. The whole nature of pregnancy is beautiful, but do you know what ruins it for me? When people show their bump in the flesh and think it’s natural or normal.

I’ll probably split opinions here, but I’m of the view that when a lady is pregnant, cover the bump and keep it covered. Showing it off to the world destroys the beauty of it and always leaves me wondering “where shall I look?”. I mean staring at it is rude, and then not looking at it is difficult since it is so out there. What put me off this more than anything was that the top she wore was absolutely not designed for someone pregnant. It was a tight white vest top that appeared to be forced over her bump and just did not want to stay down. Predictably, as she walked the top would slowly roll up, and low and behold her gut would then be on display. This woman in particular is not the only culprit and celebrities who do model shoots in their birthday suit while pregnant make me cringe even more! I don’t care if you’re Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Alba or Eva Longoria, I don’t want to see you in nude shots with your bump! It destroys the beauty of pregnancy and makes most people feel squeamish.

Pregnancy is amazing when women wear simple clothes. Those typical pumps they wear so their feet don’t swell, the simple white bottoms that go loosely around their waist, the warm coloured top that goes comfortably around their bump and is accompanied with a cardigan to help the mother and baby stay warm! I mean they do need to stay warm right? JM said in her immortal words “She’s gotta keep the baby warm and protect it from the draft!” I couldn’t have said it any better! So I ask pregnant women out there to cover your bumps, dress modest and inspire other women to have kids of their own with your beauty. This is Arainmunda signing out.

The hooked trout

I read an amazing quote today which I loved and felt the need to share with everyone. It goes something like this.

“When a trout rising to a fly gets hoooked on a line and finds himself unable to swim about freeely, he begins with a fight which results in struggles and splashes and sometimes an escape. Often, of course, the situation is too tough for him. In the same way the human being struggles with his environment and with the hooks that catch him. Sometimes he masters his difficulties; sometimes they are too much for him. His struggles are all that the world sees and it naturally misunderstands them. It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.” – Karl Menninger.

Now I have no idea who Karl Menninger is, what he does or if he is still alive! But he really has hit the nail on the head with that quote. I read it and immediately could relate to what he is saying. You often look at the people you love, they are struggling massively with something and you yourself just don’t see what the fuss is about. The free fish will look at the hooked one and think “That is easy, I could get out of that predicament with no issues” but could it really? Likewise when I am in a predicament and people look at me thinking “what is the fuss…just do this”, no sir it just doesn’t work. My heart and brain function in a certain way and I struggle to deal with certain issues. I wish I could, but I’m no Superman. On a pretty depressing Monday morning, I feel like I’m on a hook, I hope I can wriggle free and move on but right now I’m struggling. I hope everyone who is stuck on a hook like myself, can wriggle free, put to bed any issue they have and be happy. On that depressing note, this is Arainmunda signing out.

The burqa ban

It’s been in the news for quite some time and it’s created a storm across the world. On July13th 2010, France became the first country to impose a burqa ban which forced any Muslim woman (who wore one) to be arrested, fined and potentially take citizenship classes. The ban it self is supported by the majority in France, a poll carried out by Pew Research Centre suggested that 80% of the country were behind monsieur Sarkozy. The ban didn’t kick in immediately, they gave any Muslim who wore a burqa eight months to get adjusted before the law came into force properly. For those of you who don’t know what a burqa is, let me explain. It is a loose garment that is worn over the top of normal clothes and designed to hide the figure of a woman. It would cover your hair, arms and legs. This part of the outfit is called a jilbab and is a very common over garment worn by Muslim women across the world. If you were to go to east London, Luton or Bradford you’d find thousands of people wearing this part of the outfit. It’s massively disliked by the vast majority of British National Party, English Defence League and UK Independence supporters and even some Conservatives aren’t too fond of it. But if they dislike that, then the veil attachment which makes the jilbab a burqa will be something that particularly disgusts them. The purpose of the burqa is that it covers the face of the woman so that no male can gaze their eyes upon her except (a) her husband, (b) her father, (c) her grandfather, (d) her brother and  (e) her maternal or paternal uncle. The hijab (headscarf) and jilbab are also designed for these purposes, but the burqa is seen to take it to a different level by many across the globe. They can have different designs and be any colour, though they are typically plain, simple and black.

First of all, before discussing the moral and legal issues surrounding the burqa ban and whether it is right or wrong, let me give you my opinion on the burqa it self. As some of you may know, I’m a devoted Muslim and take my religion very seriously. I believe if you wear a burqa in a western country such as France, USA, UK you are putting yourself at a higher risk than you realise. The purpose of the burqa is to protect a woman and keep her secure and they definitely work. Think of rape, when was the last time someone was raped wearing a burqa? I mean from a rapist’s point of view, it’s just not worth it. Get through the veil, then the jilbab, then you have the clothes that are underneath! A rapist wants an easy target and a woman wearing a burqa is not. Furthermore the rapist cannot see what this woman looks like and immediately any attraction would be extremely limited. So does the burqa work? Whether people like it or not, the answer is an emphatic yes. Statistics prove it does, logic prove it does and ask anyone who wears one if they get stalked, harassed, sexually abused or assaulted, I’m certain the answer would be no. But, and this is a big but, does it protect them from these people any more than a jilbab (burqa minus the veil)? I don’t think it does. I think that in western countries, the jilbab and burqa are equally effective so that there is no need to wear the latter unless you really want to. Also, if you wear a burqa you are likely to draw more attention and hate from racists and fascists than you would if you wore just a jilbab. I think when you weight up the pros and cons, in a western country a jilbab is more appropriate for a Muslim woman who wants to cover up. In an Islamic state like Saudi Arabia, Egypt or Yemen, a burqa is common and therefore makes sense, but the west you’re probably better off with a jilbab. This however is purely my opinion and I could be horrendously wrong. Furthermore I have no issue or problem with anyone wearing a burka, everyone should be free to do what they want and wear whatever they like. My sister in-law wears a burka and never has it changed the way I see her, speak to her or in anyway hamper our relationship. So that is my opinion out of the way, what about the law in France it self?

This problem Sarkozy and the rest of France have with veils must be terrible you say. Think of all those veiled people walking around Paris and scaring away tourists and honeymooners, it must be awful for them? Well of the 62,616,488 people that live in France, it is estimated around 2,000 people wear a burqa. 2,000 people! That is 0.003% of the French population. So there has been debate, outrage and hatred towards a small group of women in France, most of which will be devoted housewives and never go out much anyway? That is absolutely absurd. They talk about it like it is a world wide issue that needs to be addressed and when you examine the details it is a minuscule amount of the population who are supposedly harming the heritage of France.

Coming back to Sarkozy the man who was so passionate about imposing the rule, just what type of person is he? I am not a fan of him and think the guy is a joke. He’s so self conscious and concerned about such irrelevant things in life that it makes me think, how on earth he became President of such a major country. When he has photographs taken with a group of people, he’ll purposely make sure they’re shorter than him and when he goes on stage he has a step up on the podium. He’s only 5’5 which is no big deal I mean hey, genetics are genetics and not everyone is blessed with height. The idea is to embrace it and be proud of who you are. The fact he is insecure about it and is leader of a country is preposterous. You need a head strong leader who doesn’t give a damn what people think and is fully focused on his job. Further to this insecurity is the colour of his hair? To me it says a lot when a man approaching his 60’s dyes his hair to appear younger. So let me get this straight, your face looks like a worn out leather belt, but your hair is suspiciously brown. I know I’m talking about appearance only here, but it boils down to the same thing, if you are insecure about your height and hair colour, then you should not be in charge of nation. You might say “everyone is human and has insecurities” which is true, but then they should be worthwhile ones. George Bush was a dimwit who created his own words but he didn’t appear to have any major insecurities. Back to Sarkozy, what further fumes me about this guy is probably something that winds up women too. Two failed marriages and each time he was divorced he went on to marry someone younger. When he divorced his second wife Cécilia Attias , he proceeded to marry someone over 10 years younger than her, and she was previously a world famous fashion model. What I don’t understand with him and Silvio Berlusconi (the Italian Prime Minister) is they had life long partners who looked after them, stuck with them in their battle to become leader of their country and then they’re kicked to the curb, divorce papers are filed and a new young model (or several in Mr Berlusconi’s case) come in. It says a lot about Sarkozy’s character that he is this shallow and when you couple this with his insecurities what you have is a man who in my mind should be addressing his personal problems before stepping up to try and run one of the worlds most powerful nations. He’s been involved in affairs, public scandals and like most politicians around the world, is a huge hypocrite. He was quoted in Saudi Arabia saying Islam was “one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has known” and then two years later bans a garment that is authentic to that same religion, if you really think it’s so beautiful Nico, why are you banning something Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged people to wear?

I’ll conclude with this. Can you imagine if the Saudi King visited France? It’d be amazing. King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz (with a suspiciously black goattie) would arrive with one of his wives and she’d be in a burqa. Oh…wait, she’s gonna be arrested, fined and given citizenship classes isn’t she? What is Sarkozy going to do in this scenario? Seriously? Is he going to force his wife to remove her veil? Will he call the police and have her arrested? What will he do!? It’s obvious isn’t it? He isn’t going to do a damn thing. I mean King Abdullah is a big fish and if you mess with him, things aren’t going to end well for you. We’re talking about the man who controls around 80% of the worlds oil, we know how important that is to the west. So if King Abdullah’s wife can walk around in France without a burqa, why is it the 2,000 Muslim women who actually live there can’t? The law is a sham. It is controversial, fascist, entices racial hatred and is bullying the minor burqa wearing population of France into leaving the country. It’s okay for a woman to walk around in a skimpy bikini in Paris, in fact Sarkozy will probably be checking her out, but if she’s wearing a burqa it is breaking the law. There is something seriously wrong with a country that doesn’t mind semi naked women walking around but makes it illegal to be fully covered. I could discuss this further, but the more I do, the more my blood boils. Mr Sarkozy and the supposed 80% of France who support this law need to take a good look at themselves, sort their morals out and stop picking on such a small number of people who aren’t harming anyone. The most worrying thing of all is that, most of the time racist and fascist people tend to lack intelligence and blame others for their shortcomings in life. This burqa ban is being applauded by intelligent and educated people. In October 2010, a 60 year old French lawyer racially abused, assaulted and then ripped off a 26 year old innocent Muslim woman’s veil in a clothing store. What right does this narrow minded cow have to do such a thing? In the aftermath of this attack, both women were arrested, neither were charged and the old hag was lauded as a national hero. Let me tell you guys something, and if anyone in France is reading this, even better. If England bought in such a fascist law, and a woman who committed racially motivated common assault was propelled to national heroin status, I would pack my bags and leave. No if’s and buts about it, I’d leave. And I really think those 2,000 burqa wearing Muslims and their families should do the same, because they are fighting a losing battle. On that slightly depressing note, this is Arainmunda signing out.

This probably isn’t a post that the majority of you guys will enjoy reading, but I love discussing things that inspire me. On Saturday, I had an amazing day at my friend’s house. We had a thoroughly enjoyable birthday get together with a barbecue and lots of random shenanigans (as always). I got home at around 3:20am and wanted to go to sleep, only I knew I’d have to wake up to pray at 4:40am. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a devoted Muslim who prays five times a day, so given the fact one of the five was timed for around 4:40am, I decided to stay up an hour and twenty minutes. Problem is, I was seriously tired. I mean I’d been up on Saturday since 7am, I’d played badminton for 2 hours, been at a barbecue stuffing my face all day and was in my room with my bed calling me at 3:20am, that hour and 20 minutes of staying up was going to be difficult.

I climbed into bed, sat up and figured I’d watch TV but I notice my Sky box is actually recording something already? Really? What on earth did I set to record at 3:30am on Saturday?! I switch to the channel in question and it hits me, boxing! I’ve never discussed boxing on this blog, but it is without a doubt my absolute favourite sport, I love almost every aspect of it. The passion, skill, dedication, aggression and the glitz and glamour that comes with it. I love all sports but I think that boxing is cut from a different cloth. I mean athletes train to be fit right? Then they use that fitness in the sport they’re trained in? But do they do that while getting punched in the face? Boxers do. This is what makes it the most difficult sport and this is what makes me love it. No diva shit, no showing off with no reason. These guys get punched in the face all year and the majority of them are more humble and likeable than the footballers of the English Premier League! Boxers have a hard life, only a really small percentage of them make it and earn real money. Of the ones who earn real money, too many of them end up in unfortunate circumstances. With slurred speech, brain damage, no friends and no life. Heck look at Evander Holyfield and Mike Tyson. Remember they had their infamous ear biting fight? They were both massively successful boxers and multimillionaires, especially “Iron” Mike! Now they’re both broke and Holyfield is still boxing at the age of 48 just so he can pay his child support bills. A sad future awaiting you is common in boxing. You do get the happy endings as well though. There are plenty of boxers who are retired and happy now, just look at “Prince” Naseem Hameed and Ricky “The Hitman” Hatton. They’re both fat little men, they’re enjoying their retirement and imagine they made a boxing come back? Those podgy bastards would be heavyweights! Haha!

Prince Naseem (Before/After)

Before and After. Looking good Prince....errrr not!

Ricky Fatton

Ricky..err Fatton?

So the fight in question was between Erik “El Terrible” Morales and Marcos “El Chino” Maidana. In case you’re unsure who these guys are, Erik Morales is one of the greatest boxers of all time. He fought in the lower weight classes through the 90’s so won’t be someone who casual fans will know. He (like most Mexican boxers) has a really small frame and in his heyday fought at 122lbs and 126lbs. That’s pretty small for a guy and I bet a lot of women weight more than that! There is a lot less money and glamour in boxing when men are small, people tend to think it’s all about the Middleweights and Heavyweights, but it really isn’t. The lower weights are more often than not, more exciting and fun than the heavier ones but they just never got the recognition they deserved, Prince Naseem changed that. He made a lot of people take notice of the lower weight classes, with his brash character and arrogant manner. Manny Pacquiao then took that to a whole new level with his success, but people don’t realise guys like Erik Morales paved the way for the likes of Pacquiao to do what they do today. In fact, do you know who the last person to beat Manny Pacquiao was? El Terrible himself, Erik Morales! Morales gave Pacquiao a real lesson on how to box and sent him back to the Philippines with his tail firmly between his legs. Of course Pacquiao bounced back and beat him later, but Morales has become a shadow of his former self. Morales fought 57 times professionally and 114 times in the amateurs. That is a long, tough career and it was to get worse fighting one of the worlds deadliest boxers in Marcos Maidana. This tough son of a gun is one of the most ruthless fighters of the modrn era. He’s from Argentina and has the nickname “El Chino” because he looks slightly Oriental (“Chino” is Spanish for “Chinese”). Maidana was the guy who recently fought Amir Khan and almost had him knocked out on his feet in the 10th round, Khan looked lost, his senses weren’t there and he could easily have lost right there. Maidana is a beast, no doubt about it.

So on one side you have Erik Morales, a guy who spent most of his career at 122lbs and who had fought 7 or 8 times too many. On the other side you had the young hungry beast Marcos Maidana, who is at the pinnacle of his career, fights at 140lbs and punches like a mini Mike Tyson. Absolutely everyone wrote Morales off, they thought he wouldn’t last 3 rounds with a guy as vicious as Maidana. Not only did he last the full 12 rounds, but he gave Maidana a trip to hell and back in the process!

From the opening bell, Morales got hit hard in the eye. Oh my, it was pretty gruesome, he had a lump the size of a tennis ball! It was if someone just thumped him in the head with a sledge hammer. I think this happened around one and a half minutes into the fight, I was literally cringing and hiding under my quilt at the thought of one of my favourite fighters being knocked out so badly and getting life long injuries. His eye was completely swollen shut, from round 1 on, he’d have to fight with his left eye only against one of the toughest meanest men on the planet. You might think I’m exaggerating how bad his eye was, but see below for proof!

Erik Morales Eye

Yikes, it gets worse every time I see it!

So it was looking like a formality. Maidana beating on Morales, bullying him, dishing out punishment and simply making him look his age. Then suddenly, from rounds 2 till 10, Morales just found something. I can’t explain what it was, only he can, but he started hurting Maidana, hitting him with smart accurate punches, coming up into his face and bullying the bully. Maidana looked completely stunned. In rounds 7 and 8 in particular, Maidana was back peddling, trying to get away from the “has been old man” so many labelled Morales. He fought with his heart on his sleeve, fantastic determination and amazing skill, what more can you expect from this humble and talented warrior. By round 8 I was literally jumping up and down shouting “knock him out El Terrible!!!” as if my cheering would inspire him to do so haha! Fortunately for Maidana, Morales got tired in the last few rounds and this allowed “El Chino” to do more damage in the final stretch. By the time the fight ended no one knew who had won, it seemed too close to call and I had no idea who would get the decision. In the end, Maidana prevailed by a close margin, but many boxing fans (reporters and experts included) thought Morales had sneaked the victory, or that at the absolute minimum it was a draw. I was bitterly disappointed, but overjoyed at the same time. I mean almost everyone wrote Morales off, but he defied the odds and critics to put in a performance most of us could only dream of, and he did it well past his prime. Before the fight he asked the media “am I the only person who thinks I can win?” it was greeted with silence, and perhaps a lot of people would have laughed at the idea of him getting the victory. He may not have won the fight, but he sure as hell won the occasion and who do you think is laughing now?

When I went to bed, I couldn’t sleep, I was too excited at what I’d just witnessed and I pay tribute to Erik “El Terrible” Morales. The guy is an inspiration for everyone and let me tell you why. In life you have your critics, you have people who laugh at you and say you don’t have the ability to pursue your dreams. There are people who dismiss your accomplishments and try to put you down whenever they can, sometimes they have reason to but even when they do, it’s a rough feeling. However, if you get upset about it or give up, those critics will have won. Prove them wrong. Prove them wrong with determination and heart. Prove them wrong because no goal is impossible and even if you think you’re not good enough to do it, give it a shot and you might just surprise yourself. The outcome of this fight didn’t go Erik Morales’ way, Maidana won. But in the future when we look at history, people will remember it for Morales defying the odds and proving us all wrong, not for Maidana winning. This should be a lesson to all of us, sometimes losing gives us more opportunities in life than winning, the most important thing in life is to try as hard as you can. The sky is the limit. Arainmunda signing out.

Erik "El Terrible" Morales

Erik "El Terrible" Morales, living legend.

The question used to be “do you have an online profile?” but that question is horrendously out of date. The question now is “how many profiles do you have?” because lets not kid ourselves, Social Networking has taken over our lives. The fact there has recently been a film based on Facebook called The Social Network and it was nominated for countless Academy Awards speaks volumes on how popular online profiles have become. There is another film called Catfish which has a lot to do with social networking too, but admittedly I haven’t seen either film. So where and how did this whole thing begin?

Who remembers their first email account? And the first time they went into a chat room? Oh my gosh I remember. My first account was with AOL in 1998. My user name was crazyav, yikes the thought of it is making me cringe!!! What did I do on this account? I was only 12 at the time dammit, what networking does a 12 year old need to do? Well in the early days I’d go into a chat room and be like “hey asl” to any random girl. And it was the same old shizz! “Hi, 19, female, California”, I mean this was AOL, almost everyone was American back then! “What do you look like?” I’d say all so eagerly. “I’m blonde, blue eyes, 5’6, really hot”….which means she was a brunette with brown eyes 5’3 and a bit podgy, but naive little arainmunda always believed them. They’d ask me, “asl and what do you look like”. What do you think I replied?? “12, male, London and I’m a paki with brown hair and brown eyes” or do you think I straight up LIED and did the same thing as her? Yep, you’re right, I LIED! What was my description back then? GOD it makes me cringe so bad. I’d say I was 6’2 even though I was about 5’3. I’d say I was very athletic, well…on the PlayStation I was. I’d say I was handsome, well…I might have been a little cute, but if anything I was ridiculously goofy. I said I had blonde hair and blue eyes, but that’s a given isn’t it? Everyone had blonde hair and blue eyes on AOL from 1995-2000! I said I drove a Porsche because I got 1502 in my SATs and my parents gave it to me as a gift. I didn’t even know what SAT’s were, but I knew 1502 was a high score! The only reason I knew was because (my then idol) Zack Morris from Saved by the Bell got the same score! I lied so much I made Fletcher Reede look like a trustworthy guy, and that was my warm-up act. I’d chat for an hour or so, then get bored and find someone else to talk to, same description, same lies, same 12 year old misbehaving. I mean can you imagine me with blonde hair and blue eyes? God, that’d be scary, I can see it now….

The horror!

Good look for me no?

It’s okay, stop hiding behind your chair, sit back on your seat and worry not. In fact scroll down so you can’t see the horror of what a blonde hair blue eyed arainmunda would look like! Now where was I? Oh yeah, so after the whole AOL craze some years had passed and I began to be a bit prouder of who I was. Not only that, the typical rich white internet user sterotype had died down. The online craze was spreading across the world. Common folk could now use it and it wouldn’t cost £50 a month like it used to, thanks mainly to Freeserve! Now that there were more ethnic minorities and a less racist attitude on the net, I started telling people who I really was, relief all around! Still did the chat room thing, but sometimes I would just go into a forum looking for trouble! I’d go into a KKK chatroom and be like “F*** all you wannabe Casper gaylords” then I’d proceed to rant and rave, before I’d run out of energy and leave haha! Those were the days. A shy 14 year old asian kid who had a regular life by day, was an internet troll by night!

Then the social networking craze took a turn with the introduction of FacePic and FreindsReunited. Who used FacePic? Do any of y’all remember it? If you didn’t use it let me explain; it was like Facebook, but the original. It had everything you could possibly need to network, heck…my brother met his future wife on FacePic!!! As for FriendsReunited, that shizz was no good. You had to pay around £30 a year to have a proper account? Really? £30? No wonder it failed. Some time later Hi5 and MySpace kicked in, and this is where things really got going. Social networking was becoming fun and I met so many people on both of them. I remember on MySpace, someone added me randomly from Kenilworth, I had no idea where that was when they added me and I accepted thinking who is this? They then dropped a comment on my profile saying “hi u alrite? im bored?! up to much? luv me xox” I had never met or spoken to this person in my entire life, yet the first message they dropped me was as if they’d known me for years!!!! Completely bizarre! We were friends for a while, but it slowly died down for various reasons. Hi5 was even better, it was there that I first gazed eyes on my woman. Quite strange now I think about it.

Then came Facebook, I was the first amongst my friends to join and I persuaded them all to jump on the bandwagon. It was and still can be so much fun. But it’s fizzled out somewhat? Why? Is it that social networking isn’t fun any more? Am I just growing out of it? Or is it privacy issues? I’m pretty sure it is the latter. What gets me is, back when I joined Facebook, it was only the cool cats who were on my friend list. They could see my life on Facebook, I could see theirs. But when Facebook relaxed the restrictions on who could join, it became a lot less fun for me. It used to be university students only but now if you’re a hobo on a street corner you can join. And of course, everyone has a right to do what they want, participate in what they want and become a member of any society they want, but one of the reasons I loved Facebook was because it was a youngsters only zone. And not just youngsters only, intelligent youngsters only. Now I sound pretty ignorant and I’m not implying that intelligent youngsters only exist in university, but from a social networking perspective it was such a good way to filter out the weirdo’s and oldies. Now I find myself on Facebook, with three fresh pot cousins, my mum, several aunts and uncles all on my list! It won’t be long before my 100 year old grandfather takes an interest in my Facebook! Now I’m not saying I don’t like some of those people being on my list, I enjoy seeing their pictures and being able to keep in touch with many of them. But suddenly I feel like my youthful private life is under constant scrutiny. My trip to Scotland for example, I loved it, but I know several aunts will be raising their eyebrow knowing I went there because a special someone lives there. People are too assuming and critical. They won’t know any details on what I did in Scotland, but they’ll assume I was up to no good, they’ll then spread lies, Chinese whispers will prevail, and I’ll come home from work one day with my dad saying “I heard you went to Edinburgh, got married to a white chick, drank whiskey and assaulted Alistair Darling“! Then when I tell him none of that occurred, that its all lies, he’ll believe me….but he’ll still have that image painted in the back of his mind. This is my beef with the Facebook revolution. The problem is, Facebook itself has become quite an important aspect in my social life. Leaving something I joined and have used daily since 2006 is no easy task. So what will come of my predicament? Who knows. Arainmunda signing out.

That epic weekend

It really wasn’t meant to be that good! A weekend away to a place colder and more gloomy than London. A weekend that involved driving for around 17 hours (though admittedly I was only there for 8 of them). What made the weekend so special? The presence of some of the most important people in my life. My parents weren’t there, nor were my siblings. It was just that good old arainmunda with the girl of his dreams and some of his best friends. Who’s that girl? When I say she’s the type you dream of, I’m really not exaggerating. She’s got this flawless beauty, you don’t look at her and say “she’s buff”. You don’t look at her and say “she’s fit”, “hot”, “pretty”, “chung”, or “peng” nope! None of them words do justice. The word I’m looking for is “beautiful“, because no other words do justice. She has this glow on her skin with a slight red blush on her cheeks, and no its not makeup. She has a sparkling set of eyes that you can get completely lost in; so lost that it’s probably best to look away sometimes! But I’m not just talking about physical attraction, she has an inner beauty that is equally unrivalled. I’m talking about the kindest, sweetest, most loving person you’ll ever meet. And again, no exaggeration, stop with that “oh he’s so whipped” business, if you met her you’d know. I could go on and on, but (a) I’d run out of superlatives, (b) you’d get bored and (c) we’d be here all day!

It was the first time I’d seen her several days in a row, I never had that privilege before. Normally I’d fly to Edinburgh for a day, meet for a few hours and then the day would come to an end. This was different, I got to spend more time with her than before. And while it was sometimes confusing and quite a bizarre feeling, it’s got me wanting more! Remember Oliver Twist going up to ask “please sir, I want some more”? That’s me right now! Another bowl won’t do, I want a lifetime supply of this stuff!!!

If that isn’t enough, what about the sensational seven who kept me company while I was there. Think of your closest friends. Think of the time you had most fun with them. Now multiply that by ten and you have what I get with these guys every time I’m with them. What’s so good about them? Let me tell you.

jjo – What an absolute gem of a guy. Will make you laugh until you cry, and then again until your sides split. Without a doubt, the one who keeps us most entertained. You might not see it, but he has a great sense of maturity, an ability to look after everyone and be a reliable friend when you need one.

jm – Mature, thoughtful, intelligent, energetic and most of all, unique. Have never met anyone with such a sense of purpose and an “I do things my way, if y’all don’t like it, tough” mentality. Her opinion will stay firm and that’s because she’s a strong character.

asb – Around this time last year I was a little worried. I thought that this guy in particular was starting to get so busy with all the things going on in his life that we might just slowly see him less and less. How wrong I was! This guy has a thousand things going on in his life but is still always on the scene making his presence felt. He’s with us even when shit hits the fan, and he’ll be there until the end. The one person in the group, who if I was told “he’s your long lost cousin” would not surprise me in the slightest. A real family man and incredibly funny.

akd – I have a lot of time for this girl. Stepped into our rowdy circle, being (a) the youngest in the group and (b) from a different country and what did she do? She only went and blended in so smoothly that I actually can’t remember what it was like without her!! Incredibly kind, with a real loving nature. Cares about us all, and along with jm, looks after our group tremendously.

ns – The person from our group that I first had a real conversation with. Back then he came up to me and spoke in a very muted way, oh how times have changed! Loud, hilarious and does the best damn Indian accent you will ever hear! Whenever I am with this guy, I have a serious laugh. Jokes aside, what I admire most about this guy is he is proud of who he is. If he does something you might find perplexing, diss him all you want, you’re the loser for wasting your time as he just won’t give a damn!

ak – Oh what a delicious individual this guy is. Properly honest, and has a hospitable nature that can’t be rivalled. He has the FUNKIEST beard designs you will ever see and I’m still waiting for him to do a shape up with his name written across his face! What gets me most about this guy is how incredibly funny he can be! A lot of the time it is unintentional, but gosh, if you want a laugh, just wait for this man to say something interesting and you’ll be in hysterics!

fh – Last but certainly not least, the real girly of the group. Have known her since my first year of uni, but only really became friends in the summer after that year ended. Extremely sweet and like ak has a real loving nature. The thing that gets me most about her is the amount of effort she always makes to be with us. Even when she is busy, she’ll be there! If she can only spend one hour with us, she’ll spend two, that’s a quality you simply can’t buy.

Wow, reading it all back, it makes me think…how blessed am I? How blessed am I to have such an incredible, tight-knit group of friends around me? I couldn’t ask for any more and will be eternally grateful to God for giving each and everyone of them to me. Arainmunda signing out.

From L-R: FH, NS, AK, Arainmunda, ASB, AKB, JJO & JM ❤