Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bur Dubai

I have my mamaji and family AND mausiji and family settled 15 minutes away from each other in Dubai. Mamaji, who is unreasonably warm and unconditionally hospitable! My mainji, the coolest. Charmingly sweet and very friendly. Nanaji and naniji, who are sweethearts! And 2 very spontaneous, young, smart and excitingly interesting cousins.  As if this wasn't enough, my mausaji is cheerful and extremely pleasant, mausiji just the way I would have imagined her and the most adorable cousin sister i could have asked for!

Now that I have described about the people who took real good care of me in Dubai, let me come back to my blog. Like few new borns are unleashed into this world with names already thought of by their parents, I unleash this post into my blog world. As soon as I got to know that the new Dubai beyond the creek is called bur Dubai, I knew it would be what I name my next blog.

Lets start with a few interesting facts:
- There is no 'P' in the Arabic script. So, Pepsi is pronounced Bebsi and Par Dubai meaning the Dubai nadiya ke paar, becomes Bur Dubai.
- There are 7 emirates which form the UAE and the sand from each emirate is of different colour! 
- Everything beautiful, except for the Arab ladies, in Dubai, is man made.
- The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, is 80% unoccupied.
- Driving in India seems tough because no one really follows rules, but honestly, driving in Dubai where all rules are being followed is equally tough if not any less.
- All cars in Dubai are automatic, unless you are Dune Bashing.
- DPS expands to Delhi PRIVATE School. Because you cannot own property in UAE unless you are an Arab.
- The TV we watch here and in Dubai are the same for any channel (eg. Sony) but the ads there are sourced in Dubai and are different. 
- I didnt know of the relatives I visited in Dubai a year back.

Thanks to Neha, my cousin who added me on FB a year back and explained to me how I was her 2nd cousin. To my pleasant ignorance I realised I hadnt known of my nanaji's part of the family tree till last year. He passed away when I was really young and most of the part of the tree has its branches abroad. But inexcusable because those were the branches ladden with the juiciest of fruits!

Dubai is known for its shopping festival. And why not, the only thing the King has done, apart from ruining Dubai's economy, is build huge, magnificent structures in the form of malls, offices and even residential complexes. The prices are not very different from what we have in India but it just feels better to shop there...

I, for the first time in my life, had a speed boat ride. 80 miles per hour in the open sea with an ear to ear smile out of excitement and occasional weird sounds from my stomach. It was one of the most enjoyable rides I've ever had, dune bashing being a quick second. When you sit in a 99.7 lakhs worth SUV by toyota and the driver makes the car jump in open desert, with you in it, its called Dune Bashing. I also rode a ATV for around 30 minutes. It took me aprox. 3 laps to figure the vehicle out and then there was no stopping me! Inspired by the Dune Bashing, I rode it with its accelerator twisted as much as it could have been. After the 6th lap I wouldnt slow down even at the turns... One of a kind experience!

Fast mechanics wasnt the only exciting thing there, the desert safari offers a very charming arabian dance. They promise you a belly dance but trust me it wasnt the belly dance I was expecting. I even have doubts if the girl was really arabic. She looked more Russian! Anyhow, she was worth watching!

Of all the amazing days I spent in Dubai there was this one day which was supposed to be the Gold Shopping day. If you didnt know, Dubai has a whole market (known as sukh in arabic) dedicated to Gold called 'The Gold Sukh'. And I swear on the heaviest Gold Necklace in that market that it had not even a single shop selling anything apart from Gold. The closest object apart from Gold jewellery which the market could offer was Gold Watches. I got to know that for me, 5th April born baby, diamonds and aquamarine are the lucky stones. I always knew I was high maintenance. Anyways, I passed time clicking pictures, while mum shopped and dad sweated.

The most important factor of any new place you visit is its local cuisine. I am talking about the Arabic food. They believe in starting their meal with a Roti which they call bread with which they have various kinds of chutneys. They turn any random vegetable into a chutney and have it with the bread. Not very impressive. It looked like a deep routed conspiracy as I found that after that course of the meal, came the real treasures of tikkas and roasted delicacies.

Every tourist wishes to take back memories from the place he/she visits, gifts for the near and dear ones... For this, tourist locations have souvenir shops! Dubai had a Souvenir mall! The 7 sands captured in a frame, key chains with the Burj Khalifa, decorative plates with images, apparels, pens, bookmarks, mouse pads and what not! We brought back quiet a few for our friends and family.

Talking of friends, I got to meet a lot of wonderful people at a restaurant called Cactus Jack. It was a mexican place where Neha arranged for her B'day treat. Neha is a passout of IMT Dubai and has friends  for there. I was so impressed to see how random and lively the group was! And they let me gel in as smoothly as a knife slides in butter. Not to mention, 2 drinks down, every guy says to every other guy, 'Arey! Tu to mera bhaaai hai re!!'  But really, would never forget the night!

Overall it was a very nice trip... We all came back very happy and satisfied. Its a very nice place to visit but I have my apprehensions about staying there. If you want to settle in Dubai you should know that you would never be a citizen there, you would always be on visa, to be renewed every 6 months. The day you loose your job, you are kicked out of the country. Secondly, because you are always in A/C your kids become very delicate. Even mosquito bites look like tumours on their skin. Thirdly, healthcare is very expensive there. Finally, you are deprived of natural beauty, of green, of the birds and the animals. But yes, if you like to live in amazing houses, work in lavish offices, drive expensive cars and eat delicious roast and tikkas! Dubai is definitely the place to be!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I have successfully completed a little more than a month at home reading 3ish pages of The Hindu everyday, watching TV for endless hours, making at least 5 unsuccessful attempts a day to beat Manchester City at pro level in Fifa '12 and enjoying my dose of family guy on my priced laptop.

I had kept myself away from the hideous outside world and confined myself to the luxuries of indoor existence for quiet a while after I came home. Lately I have started moving around, catching up with old friends, watching movies and grabbing a beer once in a while.

The vague plan to visit my cousin in Dubai has finally taken shape and I shall be off on the 27th for a long 9 day vacation! Its interesting to note, how strangely yet easily ideas or wishes could turn to reality! I wish all my ideas could have the ability to do that. I wish my hair was more sorted and my fingernails leaner.

Most of the people I meet relate Dubai to shopping.... I am not sure what or how much would I shop there! I relate Dubai to sheikhs, cars, infrastructure and IMT Dubai! :P

A close one had recently bought a Ertiga, a new MUV by Maruti so I checked it out at the nearest Maruti dealer. Well, good job as far as the car is conserned, available in both petrol and diesel. Only if Maruti could add something new! With the bonet of a Ritz, interiors of Swift and the body of an elongated Dezire, Ertiga is the same fries with new sauce. I hope that metaphor makes sense! Anyhow, its a good buy with decent looks, good interiors and decent space inside. Due to its overall length, the boot space does suffer but when you have a large family, Ertiga would be just the car for you. It being cheaper than the innova makes it even more attractive for that segment. 

I have a facination for cars. I would even like to work in a automobile company a few years down the line. Well, another one of my wishes. I even keep evaluating cars to figure out the best one to be my 1st. The choice keeps on changing as weeks pass, from diesel to petrol, from a brio to swift to a polo to a fabia and then back to the swift... and so on... Currently I am eyeig the new Swift.
Anyhow, in my fancy I had applied for the Civil Services exam this Feb on which I haven't really worked on. I wish I could magically clear that as well! :P The exam is on 20th May. It was more of out joblessness (or ironically early employment at IMT) that I had so much of time to nurture such noble thoughts in my head and aspire to be an IAS officer. However, when I dived into the stream of preparetions I realised its not a fast stream like the CAT, its more of the deep blue sea which needs calm, organized and regular efforts. Being devioid of all the three qualities I still stand appearing for the prelims on 27th April.

I recently broke my laptop's screen when half asleep I swung my expensive leg and kicked the laptop off my bed. After the episode, I realised why people like to be tucked in before they sleep! (Bad one I Getting it repaired wasnt much of an issue. I called up the Dell helpline and the sweet lady on the other side was kind enough to tell me that the warranty was over and I could choose to pay 9 grands for the damage or live with a dumb lappy. She was also kind enough to give off her personal number for better communication. Ahem... She might even be doing it as per protocol but its always good to have your ego boosted once in a while. Anyhow, I got the thing fixed from a nearby market for approx 4 grands. 

It was very amusing to watch the broken screen come out of the laptop skeleton and new one being fitted in. The uncle there gave back the broken screen, now separeted from my lappy, to carry home! I have been playing with it since evening.. and now its more than broken.

Well, I guess we've arrived at the climax of this post as I have run out of things to write about and the patience to do so as well. So, Adios!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Family Guy

It has been a few days now since I arrived in Hyderabad. I missed clg a lot in the first 2 days, then, I started getting bored! I love my home, but then at home, like a 2 year old with no school to go to, no work to attend to, I was bound to get bored. I had a lot of friends in hyd! Sadly they all were able enough to get into awesome jobs... Some are in Bangalore, some in mangalore, some still in Hyd but then they all have jobs, so they are busy!

I dont really get bored so easily. I am mostly upto something always, even when I am alone. I tried making an omlette myself.. which i screwed up bad! And because I got disgusted with the mess I created I didnt even clean it up :P Mom did it for me instead, when she got back from work. Moms are the sweetest things in the world! They make you eat till u have a pot belly, they spoil you and love you without reason.

I got an idea to go on a family vacation, to implement which I convinced mom and dad to take a week off from work and plan our travel! Well, initially we were planning a family reunion trip with realtives in Delhi etc.. Then we started considering our own trip to Dubai to my cousin's place! The planning is still on...

Whenever we speak of Dubai, shopping comes to mind! Well, when it comes to me, shopping means, shoes or watches or electronic gadgets! Right now, I have nice adidas shoes, a recently bought Tommy watch and I have my BB which I love. iTouch: check, Speakers: check, Laptop: check... mmmm... I even have my B'day coming up.. I could really get something I want... but what do I want?!

Its a part of life.. while we run after something, we forget what we actually want or why we wanted that something in the first place. Like we run behind high paying jobs, goodlooking girls, high speed cars, we are basically looking for satisfaction! But to get the money to afford that car, we work 24X7... when we actually get it, we hardly drive it for fun! When we get the girl we alwyas dreamt of, she seems routine, when we get the job we wanted, we have our eyes on a better one!

Our aim might be satisfaction, but it keeps on changing, cause we dont know what exactly will satisfy us. How much would be enough. The answer I'd say is nothing will ever be enough, unless we stop running! Unless we stop being greedy and being fooled by glimmer and glamor! Unless we realise, that happiness is not dependant on material belongings.

A man should never be judged by his clothes but by his attributes! Similarly a girl which would make one happy might not be the hottest one in the shortest of clothes, similarly a car which would make one happy might not be the costliest one. It depends on what we actually require and would be satisfied with.

I guess its improtant for everyone to step aside from the fast lane to enjoy life at some point. Those who wouldnt think the same, probably would always keep running. But maybe that is their calling! May be thats what keeps them satisfied - an unsatisfied mind, wishing for more everytime! :)

Monday, March 12, 2012

What goes around...

For a very long time I used to think, like anyone else would, that what matters is what we take back from an experience, an opportunity or a situation. Very recently did I realize that, that is not entirely correct. We live our lives in phases. School, then college, then a job, then a PG and finally another job or so... after each phase, we get a chance to rejuvinate ourselves. Learn from the previous phase and be better in the next one. 

Every time we move to the next chapter of life, we tend to evaluate the previous one by counting the tangible or intangible takeaways from it. Say, I got my vo wala bestie from my school days, and met that irritating guy at college. How much fun I had at the Sutta hangout and what not! 

Looking at it the way I do, how about, we evaluate these phases by what we have left behind? How about we ask the questions the other way round? Who all would actually stick around and consider us their besties? Or how many hate us for the things we did? This is what WE would have left behind. 

Most of us, consiously or unconsiously, addmitted or denied, care a little too much about our image and what others around, would think and percieve of us. But this happens only in day to day little tasks. When it comes to the things that matter, this image and concious observation  of conduct goes for a ride. This may be due to narrowed outlook or inability to see the larger picture but then this probably is the case most of the times. 

In day to day life, everyone tries to 'do the right thing', till the time it does not affect them. Everyone is an amazing judge of right and wrong till the time they are not involved in the situation at hand. The moment they are involved, all the rules of the game change. All of a sudden they go blind to all possible logic. The only right remaining is as they see it and everything else is categorized wrong. But lets not be so harsh, lets just say in everyday life, everyone wants to do the right thing in their own stride. Coming to answering the why... IMAGE!? Everyone wants to be seen as good, rightious and noble.

When we get into a fight and our opponent punches us, we are tempted to punch back! This does not relieve us of the pain but Arey! I had to give it back to him! There were 4 other guys in front of whom he hit me! How dare he?! So, this is just an example of image mantainance. In this case its the guy's ego in question. May be he saves it at that point but if now we ask what he is leaving behind, it would be an arch enemy lookign for another chance to punch him across his egoistic face! In case he would have kept quiet and left the place, probably he would have left behind an ashamed, angry lad, who might have even realised his mistake in time. Appologising and becoming friends would possibly be too far fetched, but anyways. 

This was all about how we treat RIGHT. Now lets talk about the WRONGS around us. We, the keepers of moral conduct, the epitomes of nobility, don't really do anything to right any wrongs. Instead we do what smart people should, just keep away. Well, so lets talk about preception again. Who defines the rights and wrong? Who grants us the authority to judge and even give conclusive decisions on anyone and everyone? So may be we are looking at things differently so they appear different to us. What seems wrong might not be the same in another prespective. But who would go ahead and burden oneself to actually explore all possibilities and decipher what is right and wrong, specially when none of this concerns him/her.

Easy way out, stick to what we think is right and act like gentlemen and declare the person in consideration, guilty. Follow the mob and fit in!

Diplomacy is something which would feel left out in all of the above discussion as it feels left out in our daily lives. A, B and C are friends. A and C fight. B has to choose a side! Or B is friendless! Not it doesn't matter who was right and who was wrong. In fact in most of the cases there is no right or wrong! Its just a difference of opinion. 

I guess, I have derived what I intended to from this article. I was trying to find an answer to these very thoughts and as I type, I can see the answer. It takes a little bit of maturity and a bit more of courage to stay away from the right and wrong battle. 

The point is not choosing the right or the wrong, what matters is how far can you keep situtaions where you would need to justify your right! And even if you can't, stick to what you truely believe in, because somewhere, someone will always consider you wrong. That's just the way the cookie crumbles!

Friday, January 6, 2012


It has been ages since I wrote... It has been ages since I did something creative in my personal space... It has been ages I stopped looked back and evaluating myself... It has been high time.

Long ago I wrote in this very blog, my dream, to earn a lakh per month.. It has come true.. I wrote I wanted to buy a car of my own and be independant. Its only a matter of a few more months and it shall be done.

Talking of earlier posts, I also wrote I'd learn from my mistakes and be a better man.  I am not sure if I've done that. I wrote I will be wiser and better in whatever I do. I cannot testify to that either.

May be I should try someting else instead of making promises which I don't keep and things which are too intangible to evaluate.  May be I need to be stronger. May be I need to be more serious about things in life.

As of today, everything is perfect. But then there are things which I would not want to let out. I have realised one thing, we never really value what we have. Even if we have strived for it and worked our asses off for it. Either it falls short of our expectations or it just becomes routine once we have it.

In these past 2 years at IMT, I have made the dearest of friends and lost a few of them as well. I have learned a lot. Uncompareable  amount of experience and maturity squeezed into these two eventful years of my life. But in the end, will I be able to walk out satisfied? Satisfied with the relationships I could manage to have inside this campus? Satisfied by the outputs of my work, may be in the placement committee or in acads or in my own personal life? Satisfied by myself?

Its often said that even if you loose, in the end, what matters is that you tried. I differ in thought. You cant always have an escape with this theory. You fail once, its fate, you fail again, may be bad luck but you cannot fail over and over again. You need to retrospect where you are going wrong. May be your efforts arent well directed or are misdirected may be! 

What remains constant over the years in my stream of thoughts is that NOW is what matters. It doesnt matter how many promises you broke or how many times you led yourself down. What matters is what are you doing about it now? There is always the red pill and the blue pill. You can have a thousand reasons to select the blue one. But only one reason to choose the red. The efforts should be to get yourself together to face that one reason and to make the right choice.