"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Iqbal_Hadi_Zaidi
Full Name: Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
User since: 26/Aug/2008
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Language riddle in Jakarta

This is my second time not only to be in Jakarta but also staying at the same hotel-Ritz Carlton, Pacific Place which is in the very much located in the posh area cum commercial hub of the city. Last year, my friend or more correctly my brother, Kuwaiti Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia H. E. Nasser Bareh Al-Enezi had invited me and my wife Shireen to attend Kuwait National Day celebrations in Jakarta. I did come on time according to the wishes of my host but she had her classes at Kuwait University hence she came three days later and we both returned on the same flight after my eight days stay in the metropolis.  This year too we both had the invitation to attend the same but with more fervor and grandeur simply because this year Kuwait has three reasons to celebrate (i) 50th Anniversary of Independence (ii) 20th Anniversary of Liberation and (iii) 5th Anniversary of Amir assuming the leadership. This time too my wife had visa and air ticket to fly to Kuwait-Jakarta-Kuwait but for some unexplainable reasons she did not feel like coming hence I flew in all alone by myself to initially stay in Jakarta with my host from 21st to 24th.

I am always, last year and this time too, chauffer driven on 24 hours basis and truly speaking the driver is my photographer too and I had taken some very good photos and I did not change much so far as photography in concerned even though now I am one year older than before but yet the love of photo did not die out yet.  Last year my and our photos were taken by the driver and to the best of knowledge and belief we never ever faced any problem on taking photos rather once or twice the driver parked the car at a no parking area to take our photos and unluckily police patrolling car came right on our head but after seeing diplomatic number plate on the car, police officer just gave a smile and sped off. Under the given situation I did not get any chance to do the photography at my own.

However, on 22nd, around  7 in morning I took my camera and came out of the hotel on the main road to take some photos. I being all by me had to ask Security staff posted at the hotel check point to take my photo but they regretted, more through body language than in English words though they were too fluent in their own national language Bahasa which is absolutely alien language to me. I simply could not understand the rationale as to why and how I cannot take photo. I crossed the road and talked to the security staff of the opposite imposing commercial building and handed out my camera to a security staff with a humble request that he should take my photo but he too refused which really shocked me. I have brought two cameras (digital and roll), of course, in addition to mobile telephone with built in camera facility but alas I cannot take photo. I stopped a couple and asked them to explain as to why I cannot take photo. Luckily, the female could speak a little bit of English and she after consulting her male companion in Bahasa, told me that Ritz Carlton Hotel and surrounding area is classified as sensitive area hence photography is strictly not allowed but if I walk off to some distance then perhaps I can. I asked the girl if she can tell me which bus I should board and to what extent I travel so that I am out of the sensitive area but it was way beyond for her to understand my question. She signaled me to walk to right side of Ritz Carlton and perhaps the other side could be safer place to take photos. I thanked her and him for their time and effort to guide me.

I walked to some distance and found some green lush spot which was too tempting and I simply could not help asking a passerby to photo me but the stranger said no in English and rest in Bahasa and it relay shocked me to death and I was dumb and numb what to do next lest I return to hotel without taking even one shot but I still did not surrender. I saw a few private security guards at a smaller building and asked them to take my photo but as the bad luck had it, they regretted. Now it was very much nerve breaking for me to be turned away at each and every point and, in desperation, I did not lose my exposure but yet did ask the name and contact of the top boss / manager to discuss the problem and thanks Allah, one of them could understand my question and asked me to go the concerned boss on 12th floor of the nearby offices complex to seek his/her permission. What a beautiful building I was heading to which was very much opposite to the right side of Ritz Carlton in any case. I entered the office complex and took a lift to reach the concerned office. The receptionist girl said that the boss will come at 9 and it was almost 8-15 and I was clueless what to do next-to wait for the boss or return with pulled down face.  As a last resort, I explained to her what my problem is and she understood me and explained to me that permission is needed only if the buildings are to be photographed but if I want to be photographed myself behind the buildings then I do not need any permission.

I came back very happily and after long hassle I succeeded in getting myself photographed right in front of entrance of Ritz Carlton Pacific Place which I very much wished in the first instance around 7 and not 8-30 but had to struggle and run around in circles simply because I did not know Bahasa and the others did not know English.

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