The COVID – 19 Language

Just have a good look at the news we hear, people we speak to and messages we read….we come across some very interesting words and phrases:

Co-vivid Phrases: Use of hitherto lesser known words and phrases, that too quite frequently, such as ‘Lockdown’, ‘Social Distancing’, ‘Flattening the curve’, ‘Quarantine’, ‘Hydroxychloroquine’, ‘Distance Learning / Online Classes’, ‘Pandemic’ and WFH (Work from Home)!

The Spell Bee: We are now so familiar with some of them that we can spell ‘Quarantine’ in a jiffy! We can even spell ‘Hydroxychloroquine’ without any difficulty!

Same Words but ‘New’ Meaning: Some words have assumed new meaning (and opposite of its original meaning!): ‘He is now positive and keep away from him!’ Earlier, we were advised to surround ourselves with positive people!

Unprecedented: Some other words which we often come across are “Unprecedented’ and ‘Crisis’. Many a times these two words are used together!

Risky Words: Guys and gals in Finance and Risk management are frequently churning out words and phrases such as ‘Fiscal Measures’, ‘Monetary Measures’ (Often without realizing the difference between them), BCP (Business Continuity Plan), ‘Deferment’, ‘Zero Cost Repos’ etc.

Beyond Zero: And the world now has moved beyond ‘Zero’ – it is now negative! Negative Interest Rates and Negative prices of Oil Futures!

A brand new Phrase: It was interesting to come across one more phrase ‘ Pandemic Paralysis’ which is the shortcomings of regulators and administration in providing quick responses to emerging challenges!

A matter of envy: These days I am envious of people who have shining baldpates! Earlier I was proud of all the hairs on my crown! With all the Barber Shops shuttered, I wonder whether guys prefer having a ‘hair cut’ at home administered by wife as ‘Wife-cut’ or rather do hara-kiri with ‘Self-cut’! The ‘Kesh’ Management is proving to be a challenge, just like cash Management!

Hot Spots: ‘Self-cooking’ is; perhaps, more inconvenient than ‘Self-cut’ and many of my friends in Doha, Qatar have no option but to enter their kitchen / pantry (which were avoided like ‘Hot Spots’ until now) and try to conjure up something edible! They have found out that sometimes ‘things fail to fail’ and they have something tasty to eat!

Quotes, now back in circulation: Then, there are some forgotten quotes which came back into circulation like “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”‬ ‪- by Vladimir Lenin‬!‬‬‬


Wow…It’s already ten years in Doha

Saturday, 7th June 2008 feels like it was just yesterday! Landed here in New Doha International Airport (NDIA) on that day, from Kuwait where I was employed in a bank for past two years and seven months. While I was fairly new to the Middle East, I was also prepared, in the sense that I thought I knew what to expect! I was ushered into a nice hotel by name Grand Regency near the ‘Sports Round About’ in Al Sadd, a part of Doha. Next day, on Sunday the 8th June 2008, I joined the Risk Management Team at a new Investment Bank.

And now, New Doha International Airport is no longer operational and a new, sprawling, high tech, all glass and chrome ‘Hamaad International Airport’ (HIA) has taken its place. Sophisticated and efficient, this new airport leaves a lasting impression on any traveller’s mind, though NDIA was no less efficient and no less beautiful! The hotel Grand Regency is now Wyndham Grand Regency, Sports Roundabout is no longer in existence and in its place, we have a nice, smooth and multi-lane intersection. Then I have also moved on to Qatar Central Bank (QCB). As far as the ‘being prepared’ aspect, Doha continues to surprise me, continues to impress me and continues to grow in my esteem for its character!

Steve Jobs is one of the few persons whom I idolize! For Steve Jobs, success was all about getting it right in terms of designs, colors and functions. Had he seen the topiary plants, florescent flowers and manicured lawns of Doha, he would have instantly fallen in love with this city! Doha is as much functional as it is beautiful. Ambition played a big part in the life of Steve Jobs. His ambition to bring out great products made him reach amazing heights. On several occasions he set goals which were seen as impossible and then……… he achieved them! Similarly, Doha is a city with ambition. “Expect Amazing” was Qatar’s slogan for its successful bid for 2022 FIFA World Cup. This success was, earlier seen as impossible!

Passion for excellence was the cornerstone for the success of Steve Jobs. Doha too has such a passion for excellence. Whether it is hosting international sporting events and film events, building beautiful townships, museums, parks and libraries or supporting cultural and educational initiatives, this passion is very much in evidence. The biggest achievement of Steve Jobs was to make us feel that we are holding future in our hands! Doha too, often, makes us feel that we are living in a futuristic city. Look at things we have, such as district cooling, which is yet to catch up even in the developed world, state of the art ‘Katara Village’, and ‘The Pearl’, upcoming beautiful townships at Mshreib and Lusail, functional and friendly ‘Barwa Village’. Then we will soon have a futuristic Metro Rail Transport System. And we have some of the leading Universities, and a great Qatar Airways. Ambition, Passion, Vision and Future – Doha has it all!!!!

What makes Doha a great place is its people and governance. People here, have a kind of belongingness. Even when things were difficult due to geopolitical developments, governance saw to it that residents were not put to any inconvenience.

As the things around me have changed for better, I am also having fulfilling career in banking regulation and am contributing to establishment of a vibrant and stable economy. A challenging, yet immensely satisfying work life with good work life balance is what I cherish.

I have learnt quite a few life lessons.Inspired by Doha and Qatar, I have realized that nothing is impossible and one grows by facing challenges. Another important lesson is that our beliefs shape our reality.

I am sure that the time I spent in Doha is going to be the best in my life. I will cherish those beautiful parks with sprawling lawns, the Corniche (i.e., the waterfront promenade), crisp weather in the winter months with flowers all around and wonderful Qatari hospitality.