Wednesday, February 28, 2007

the written word

yesterday i visited an investment firm in dxb. after a few moments an elderly gentleman came in and was seated next to me. While talking to the manager, the manager asked if he had an account with so-n-so bank and he said yes he did and his publishers usually send him his royalties there.
at the words publishers and royalties i became very curious. in my head, i kept wondering what did he write, have i read anything by him? should i ask? what if i ask and dont know what hes written? what would i say? what if i ask and actually DO know what he has written? curiosity got the better of me and i asked him, "are you an author?" [in other words, sir i was eaves dropping on your conversation. ] he gave me a smile and said yes i write about pharmachology and chemistry. after he said it, i didnt have a disappointed expression on my face, but i felt it. i did smile back. then he proceeded to ask me are you doing chemistry? i laughed and said no sir, im doing blah blah. hes like i have been writing since before you were born.
that was enough to awe me! and i was like wow. and then asked do you write textbooks? he said yes, a bit. now when i have googled him [all hail google] i notice he has done lot of research, written many a research papers and won many awards and is the department head at a university.
this got me thinking many a times in school at university, we have to buy these textbooks and most of the time its not by choice. at least in my house none of us even read the foreward written by the author. and sometimes we end up buying lots of books just by their titles and we dont even recall who the author is. forget knowing anything about the author. and among my friends too none of us have ever written to an author of any of our textbooks/or even any book that we read and thanked them for a book well written or showed any kind of gratitude.
theres just this one time i remember in my first year at uni, i had read one of the chicken soul for the soup books (books on inspiration life love etc) and there was this one story typical popular sports captain(jock) likes the class nerd. however they keep their relationship a secret, because he is embarassed by her and how she is not considered popular and all that. and his friends make fun of her and in the end he doesn't stick up for her and admit that he is dating her. so they break up and he writes this incident and says that if she is reading he is sorry that he ever did that and that he spent the best moments of his life with her. forward a number of years he is now a sports editor of some magazine. being somehwat of a romantic, i emailed him and said you know why dont you try contacting her and maybe she feels the same way. i was very happy with myself for giving this "brilliant advice" and kept imagining in my head that they will reunite and they will thank me in their wedding speech. i am so velaaaa(jobless) sometimes. he emailed back saying that he did meet her(the her being the class nerd) once sometime ago and she forgave him but now he is engaged to another wonderful person. something like that. [a big puchka for me.] so much for me playing cupid. however, im sure he felt good that someone cared enough to write him an email about his story. ive never done anything like that after that. i hope i dont forget this and everytime i read anything i really like or even if its a topic i dont like but is well written i hope i remember to express appreciation. even if it ends up making me look dumb.


i am me but are you you?

ever notice that when you continuously listen to the same songs on your pc/ipod/discman in a particular order, you instantly start humming the next song before it even starts. and if someone immediately asks you wat song are you humming , it takes you a few seconds to remember which song and who sang it.


poet i am not, but Rumi is

At times we are hidden, at times revealed;
We are Muslims, Christians, Jews; of any race.
Our hearts are shaped like any human heart,
But every day we wear a different face

- #1325, from Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi taken from


Monday, February 26, 2007

of being grammatically correct

one of my friends who reads my blog tells me that my grammar is atrocious. and my spelling is even worse than atrocious. [wats a word worse than atrocious?] i have never used the spell checker on blogger (does it have spell check neway), i am THAT lazy. even on word documents once i hit the four page mark, its "ignore all" on the spell checker. ( i make bets, with umm..myself, that the TA wont read more than 4 pages. fortunetly, i am usually right) ok so, wat else? i dont write full sentences and often my sentences are short and random. they dont even make sense sometimes to even me. i start on one topic and then go off tangent in the same sentence. and often like now i will take a whole paragraph and half (maybe more) to get to my point. very similar to the way i talk. creating unncessary suspense. this is all well and good since this is a blog and it doesnt really matter how polished/good i write. but shockingly (nOT) this writing etiquette (lack there of) is spilling over to my formal letters/emails. my I's have permanently changed to i. its more humble, no? (is that a yes or a no?) my most favouritest mistake is probably this (most favouritest, the most with the est).
admist all this crap, there is only one saving grace. thankfully, I dont suffer the z syndrome. the z of the howz it going? watz up? that, and the mixed caps and small letters syndrome. SoMeThinG liKe ThiS? this is particularly annoying on IM. this bugs me no end. instead of "what". its become "wat".
and i often confuse right with write. so much so that i will read the sentence twice and sometimes even change it to the wrong right thinking that i am write! =)
then there is the hinglish that one suffers from. and words that we made up at university that we use so often, that while talking to someone else we dont even remember to explain. after two mins the person goes umm whats that mean.
case in point "chappa". chappa probably has no meaning in the hindi language. maybe it does, who knows. but whomsoever we've used this word with havent ever heard about it.
for us "chappa" means a weirdo, an unreasonable weirdo, an aashiq awara who is more awara than aashiqable (literal translation -loveable), a fool, a pathetic person and i guess a weirdo again. all interchangeable. or "hero" someone who is ANYTHING but that.
then there are words like "champloosi" (flattery) and recent words, all thanks to hindi movies, like "gandhigiri" (to behave like Gandhi),"desi-giri", "puchka" (an embarassing moment) which invariably form a part of your slowly expanding dictionary.
sadly this has seeped into my formal lingo and im scared once i start work that any momemnt i will be calling my boss "chappa" and doing my own "puchka". i better start doing "chaploosi" from now.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

while looking through my pictures folder, i found this comic strip i had saved from a forwarded message. its from phdcomics. although im not a phd(maybe one day, if i grow three brains),i find this comic funny and so true. wat one does for free food! two days ago, there was an article in I think emirates evening post, or emirates post which was about google and how google employees gain the "freshmen 15" (15 pounds) when they join the firm since it has free food/free snacks etc. The food is not the campus food that you had to eat during your freshman year. its not the free pizzas that would tempt you to attend so-n-so's meeting. i had friends who used to attend the hispanic club meetings coz they had free food. and i KNOW they werent hispanic. and this wasnt anything to do with wanting to assimilate into the new culture. the food served in the ggle caffeteria is really good, they hire high-fundu chefs not any joe doe, and its not repetitive fare at all. and ive heard and even seen that their dessert plates are excellent.they surely are taking the saying, that the way to someones heart is through their stomach, very seriously.

neway my mom reading the article was like "why dont u work for g.o.o.g.le!" well other than the fact that their recruiting process is quite difficult but most importantly its not really my area of interest and to be very technical now its not my major either. after i said it, it opened a whole new can of worms. after a few moments my mom goes "so why didnt you study this, then!". =).
i wonder while choosing a job offer, how important are perks? I know for lot of people perks are very important. espcially in dubai. sometimes, depending obviously on your position,you can get a car a house, paid education for children, and yearly airline tickets for you and your family. i dont know about all the firms in the US, but at least the ones I know of they dont offer any such thing unless you are the MD (managing director) or something. at the most, in temrs of perks perhaps you can get better stock options, a higher signing bonus/relocation expense, longer paid leave, better insurance coverage. mostly money-centric (if thats a word) not tangible things likea house or a car or discounted coupons or free tickets to the movies..etc.

deciding on an offer is very different too in the US when compared to Dubai. In Dubai its probably a one on one interview usually with the head of the group or a two on one interview usually with the manager as well, so you dont really get how the work environment will be. and sometimes you may end up with another group, not even the one you interviewed for. so, really basic job function, company name, the perks and salary are your deciding factor. and in some cases, where beggars cant be choosers its the last two whcih count the most. maybe its not the same for all firms, but at least based on my experiences and my freinds experiences thats what i have seen. in the states you meet with different groups and there are grilling interviews, but mostly its about deciding where you fit in among those groups and whether they think you are a good fit. obviously you dont know the politics that are internal to the office, but for those four hours or so people are smiling and welcoming, on the best behavior and they seem genuinely interested in their jobs. perhaps they are. or they arent. i dont know. however my point is, the work environment has a huger impact on your decision. instantly you get the gut feeling that this is a place that you would like to work in. things like perks and company name then take a backseat.


Thursday, February 22, 2007

coz procrastination can be an art

i wonder if this is the official list of things to do one day. its not very awe inspiring. bolded are the ones ive done.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink

02. Swam with dolphins (does regular fish count?)

03. Climbed a mountain (small mountain.)

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive - hehe i so wish, this is soooo doable

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid (does the transitive property of parents being inside the pyramid count?)

06. Held a tarantula (err. Hell no)

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone

08. Said 'I love you' and meant it ( one should only say it if one means it =))

09. Hugged a tree (many a times)

10. Done a striptease

11. Bungee jumped (maybe one day if I can control that tingling feeling in my feet)

12. Visited Paris (yes, but cant wait to visit it again. could have gone with my friends, but was too stupid and so missed out the opportunity)

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea (yes, very scary)

14. Stayed up all night long, and watched the sunrise (sadly true, mostly while pulling all those all nighters. nothing romantic about it watsoever)

15. Seen the Northern Lights

16. Gone to a huge sports game (goooo penguinss)

17. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

18. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (yep.yep.yep)

19. Touched an iceberg

20. Slept under the stars (and counted them till i fell asleep)

21. Changed a baby's diaper ( one of the most doubtful moments ive had - is it right, is it ok, will it come out, is the baby comfortable. cant the baby just put it on itself. babies and their nakhreis. =))

22. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon ( yea like thats EVER going to happen)

23. Watched a meteor shower ( a wat shower?)

24. Gotten drunk on champagne

25. Given more than you can afford to charity

26. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope (and seen mars)

27. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment (many worst moments, sometimes laughing at someone’s face. Someone you don’t even know at all. and then having them come up and tell u WHAT is so funny. very mean, i know)

28. Had a food fight (never wasted food like that, but pillow fight. Many. Pencil fights too. Don’t ask)

29. Bet on a winning horse (can this be counted as a winning man?. horse.. man. same thing. hehe)

30. Taken a sick day when you're not ill (Gutli no 1)

31. Asked out a stranger

32. Had a snowball fight (yea and that too in austinnnnnnnn. just imagine. )

33. Photocopied your bottom on the office photocopier (why would anyone with half a brain do this?)

34. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (at who?)

35. Held a lamb (yes, and the name was alexandro. named after the main protagonist in this arabic dubbed spanish soap opera, which we used to watch religiously. hehe, we are so lame. i know)

36. Enacted a favorite fantasy (too many to list, forcing others to particpate in it too. all hail siblings)

37. Taken a midnight skinny dip

38. Taken an ice cold bath/shower (yes, but not very happily. hot showers always! even in 50 degrees celcius)

39. Had a meaningful conversation with a beggar

40. Seen a total eclipse (yep, in birmingham. after having been forbidden to look at it)

41. Ridden a roller coaster (yea after having been tricked that the 40 feet drop Jurrasic Park ride in Disney was a bacha ride. It is soooo NOT a bacha ride. far far from it)

42. Hit a home run (many a home runs, i wasnt so bad in baseball and rounders. especially after i had negotiated with the fielders. hehe)

43. Fit three weeks miraculously into three days (many many a times. procrastination is my middle name. sadly quality is far from acceptable)

44. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

45. Adopted an accent for an entire day (not a day maybe 10 mins. i can speak like an irani woman trying to speak urdu/hindi)

46. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors (but didn’t feel a single thing)

47. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (not just a moment, many a moments. im fortunate. Thank you God)

48. Had two hard drives for your computer (im a geek, wat to say)

49. Visited all 50 states

50. Loved your job for all accounts (yea rite. i would double bold hated your job for all acounts)

51. Taken care of someone who was shit faced - (what does shit face mean?)

52. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (maybe bill gates. but then would he be ever wasting time doing this dumb quiz type thing)

53. Had amazing friends (alhamdulilah, have and shall have inshallah)

54. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

55. Watched wild whales

56. Stolen a sign

57. Backpacked in Europe (inshallah)

58. Taken a road-trip (quite a few. sadly we never could rent a convertible. the recommended car for road trips)

59. Rock climbing (Hatta, outskirts of dubai)

60. Lied to foreign government's official in that country to avoid notice

61. Midnight walk on the beach (corpus christi)

62. Sky diving

63. Visited Ireland

64. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love (everyone has their sob story..)

65. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them (well not meal meal but coffee. amateur trader who uses astrology to make her trades, lived in UK all her life and now in nyc coz her fashion designer daughter lives there. hates all things american, and loves all things british. and despite being indian, considers britain the motherland of india. i, of course, had no words. Still an interesting conversation.)

66. Visited Japan - will do so very very soon, inshallah

67. Bench-pressed your own weight (whattt my weight?)

68. Milked a cow (hell no, that is our own laloo prasad yadav's tasks)

69. Alphabetized your records

70. Pretended to be a superhero (how about just regular normal heroine. hehe)

71. Sung karaoke (yea, with or without u - U2, highly beisura and highly embarassing too. Many actually but that is my favourite song so remember that pretty well.)

72. Lounged around in bed all day (I can be very lazy)

73. Posed nude in front of strangers

74. Scuba diving

75. Got it on to "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye

76. Kissed in the rain

77. Played in the mud

78. Played in the rain

79. Gone to a drive-in theatre (not exactly fun)

80. Done something you should regret, but don't regret it

81. Visited the Great Wall of China

82. Discovered that someone who's not supposed to know about your blog has discovered your blog (yea that would be L)

83. Dropped Windows in favor of something better (only for school projects)

84. Started a business (inshallah)

85. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

86. Toured ancient sites (Turkey)

87. Taken a martial arts class (want to)

88. Sword fought for the honor of a woman. (errrr...? whaaaaaaat. i wonder who has done THIS)

89. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (wats D&D. but whatever it is I don’t think I have ever done something for 6 hours straight, maybe other than sleeping and snoring)

90. Gotten married - inshallah

91. Been in a movie (my aim is to be a sidey in some movie. In the background)

92. Crashed a party

93. Loved someone you shouldn't have - (hmm..maybe abhishek bachan and kunal kapoor)

94. Kissed someone so passionately it made them dizzy (yea sure, if 93 had potential to be true

95. Gotten divorced

96. Had sex at the office

97. Gone without food for 5 days

98. Made cookies from scratch

99. Won first prize in a costume contest (stars wars character, one of the old villains, most embarassing moment of my life. i have no clue why i had that to wear. couldnt have something normal like a fairy or snow white or something)

100. Ridden a gondola in Venice

101. Gotten a tattoo

102. Found that the texture of some materials can turn you on (Wat The..)

103. Rafted the Snake River

104. Been on television news programs as an "expert" - one day perhaps inshallah.

105. Got flowers for no reason - not flowers other stuff

107. Got so drunk you don't remember anything

108. Been addicted to some form of illegal drug

109. Performed on stage

110. Been to Las Vegas.

111. Recorded music

112. Eaten shark (does hamoor count?)

113. Had a one-night-stand

114. Gone to Thailand

115. Seen Moulin Rouge

116. Bought a house

117. Been in a combat zone

118. Buried one/both of your parents

120. Been on a cruise ship (bahamas cruise, we ate, played, ate, ate and ate again. all in all a great trip.haha)

121. Spoken more than one language fluently

122. Gotten into a fight while attempting to defend someone (yea and then i became the bad guy while they two patched up. hahaa. they suck)

123. Bounced a check (no but had another person check bounce while I try to encash it)

124. Performed in Rocky Horror

125. Read - and understood - your credit report - when ill have one i probably will read it and understand it

126. Raised children - inshallah

127. Recently bought and played with a favorite childhood toy

128. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour

129. Created and named your own constellation of stars

130. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (if I knew how to ride a bicycle!)

131. Found out something significant that your ancestors did

132. Called or written to your Congressperson - i might but the question is who should I write to and will they even read it.

133. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over - will never do this, im used to the usual

134. ...more than once?

135. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (Beautiful)

136. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking. (yes, coz the windows werent open and my voice wasnt audible. haahah)

137. Had an abortion, or your female partner did

138. Had plastic surgery

139. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived (dont know about shouldnt but wouldnt have is more like it)

140. Wrote articles for a large publication

141. Lost over 100 pounds

142. Held someone while they were having a flashback

143. Piloted an airplane

144. Petted a stingray (yayyy, i did this and that too recently. never knew this is such a big deal)

145. Broken someone's heart

146. Helped an animal give birth (sure, cookie, bunny and gaddu)

147. Been fired or laid off from a job

148. Won money on a T.V. game show - one day on KBC, fingers crossed

149. Broken a bone (does twisting your ankle count)

150. Killed a human being - astaghfirllah

151. Gone on an African photo safari -(yep and that too at nite!)

152. Ridden a motorcycle

153. Visted Australia

154. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (yucks never)

155. Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol

156. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

157. Ridden a horse (in kashmir)

158. Had major surgery.

159. Had sex on a moving train

160. Had a snake as a pet - eeyucks

161. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon

162. Slept through an entire flight: take, landing, during

163. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours

164. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states

165. Visited all 7 continents

166. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days

167. Eaten kangaroo meat

168. Fallen in love at an ancient Mayan burial ground

170. Eaten sushi (and it tastes terrible!)

171. Had your picture in the newspaper (sadly my 15 mins of fame are over)

172. Had 2 (or more) healthy romantic relationships for over a year in your lifetime

173. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about

174. Gotten someone fired for his or her actions

175. Gone back to school (hopefully the last time ever)

176. Parasailed

177. Changed your name (yea, well the spelling of it. had a common name with a dacait in india, which resulted in us being stopped a gazillion times. finally my parents decided to change the spelling.)

179. Eaten fried green tomatoes (tomatoes can be green??)

180. Read The Iliad

181. Selected one "important" author whom you missed in school, and read him/ her

182. Dined in a restaurant and stolen silverware, plates, cups because your apartment needed them (how cheap is THAT. ok fine. i have done that in hotels, stolen shampoo and conditioner. )

183. ...and gotten 86'ed from the restaurant because you did it so many times, they figured out it was you

184. Taught yourself an art from scratch ( the art of cooking. heheh)

185. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (hell no)

186. Apologized to someone years after inflicting the hurt ( never hurt someone to apologize. im nana farishta. hehehe. no just apologize immediately or nearly immediately, its not worth the heartache for you or for them.)

187. Skipped all your school reunions (all, coz we never had any reunions!)

188. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (sign language, zindabaad)

189. Been elected to public office (THAT will be the day)

190. Written your own computer language (does your own operating system count?)

191. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (still think it)

192. Had to put someone you love into hospice care (khuda na khasta, ever that should happen to my beloveds (!))

193. Built your own PC from parts (wanted to but no one let me tear apart the old ali baba ke zamanei ki PC )

194. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you. (some things are never for sale, and sometimes even if they are no one wants to buy them. hehe)

195. Had a booth at a street fair (mehendi something like that )

196. Dyed your hair - this is in the near near future

197: Been a DJ

198: Found out someone was going to dump you via LiveJournal (thats sad, has this ever happened to anyone?)

199: Written your own role playing game

200: Lost your Best Friend for reasons of death - (khuda na khasta)

201: Fallen in love over the internet

202: Sung in a Barbers' Shop Quartet

203: Eaten a live animal

204: Been best friends with someone who no one knows about. (that would be K and maybe I)


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

chizi nist.

is it better to be a. happy and ignorant, b. sad and intelligent or c. indifferent and average?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

im not crazy, im just a little unwell.

after bugging and i mean bugging HR to let me start early, they have finally succumbed. who says nagging doesnt work. haha. but rather than being elated and totally psyched im confused, scared and dont really want to start that early. in fact, i just like being at home. despite the strict timings for everything. i had applied for a job here in dxb and they want to interview me next week. i was even looking forward to that. but i guess this wont be happening any time. at all. this is the problem with me, just dont know what i want in life. bas ghoom tei raho gol gol


coz we are each a drop of the ocean.
eklavya was the movie of the week. and all i can say is im glad about three things. one its less than 2 hours. two there are no songs apart from one lullaby types and 3 amitabh bachan, sanjay dutt and saif ali khan rock in this movie. the story is very symbolic to the myth of eklavya in the mahabarata. The movie tries to answer whether dharma, your duty, should be blindly followed or not. theres a scene in the movie where they mention these 3 sanskrit words that i cant remember and i really wish i did. even my moms second language was farsi, so no matter how much i bugged her to remember, she couldnt. if anyone watches the movie pls remember those words and let me know.
theres a scene in the movie where bachan goes dharma knows no reason and dharma knows no debate something on those lines. one has to do what he must, in the name of duty. but is that really what is our duty, to blindly follow even though it goes against what our heart/conscience says? when i think about this it reminds me so much of what is happening in the world today. lot of killings done in the name of religion, in the name of providing "protection", the highlighting of passages that focus on killing the other - taking it completely out of context and proclaiming it to be the word of God. true it may be written but is it not our dharma to understand why it was said so then and why it is not applicable now. and is it not our dharma to make decisions with our heart and not because it is what one "should" do.
on a more lighter tone, i can now totally get why vinod vidhu chopra gave bachan a rolls royce. eklavya is a total amitabh bachan film from start to finish. i cant imagine how this 65 year old ish person can be so active. his acting is remarkable and theres a scene where he is crying over the scarf he burns, the whole scene is very symbolic and i wont give out the story but the way he cries in that is just so heart wrenching that you want to just give him a big jhadoo ki jappi =). on those lines, munnabhai part 3 looks really funny and there is no one else i can imagine in the film other htan our sanju baba and warsi. heres a line from the trailer. THAT, i remember..
[on learning english]
aw: bhai, hey chal hat hawa anei do ko ya kehtai hai english mein
sd: hey you, move sideaways, let the air flows come in.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

yei bentley mujhe deidei amarrrr!

when i was a kid my favouritest (ok i know thats not a word) car used to be a ferrari. not becoz i understood what a ferrari meant, or how much it was worth, or even if it were on the road, i dont think i would have been able to identify it. it was only becoz it was the ultimate thing for everyone else. and coz we used to go to this furniture shop, right beside the ferrari showroom. and we would all be like wowwww. we never went inside though. when i became a teen, my favourite car became the
wrangler jeep. (dont ask). i still like it. =) now my favourite car preference has been diluted with others opinions. i like the beetle, any lexus, the infinity coupe. and after helping a friend decide on his car im now a fan of the bmw M models, the honda civic coupe (!), porsche carrera (if only) ..etc. so much so that if i had to buy a gaddi without caring how much it costs, i dont think i would be able to. its a blessing in disguise that in nyc no one drives, or rather no one can afford to.

all this gaddi talk brings my favourite filmy family, bachan family to mind. first it was amitabh who was said to have gifted his son a bentley on his 31st birthday. why on his 31st? im confused whats so milestone-ish about your 31st, is what i would like to know. then the news came out that amar singh, politician-friend of the bachans had paid the duty tax. controversy broke out regarding the address of the car which was listed as the bachan residence. two days later, amar singh said he hadnt gifted the car to abhishek. after that amitabh bachan went on record to say he hadnt gifted the car to abhishek either. so basically abhishek is driving around a hugely expensive car that no one has gifted to him. lol. these things never happen to me!

im guessing it is amar singh's car. case in point some months ago there was an article about his being denied a car loan by a foreign bank in india. the writer of the article was like banks dont want to lend to people who can understand and read the fine print. okaayyyy. but perhaps they dont want to lend to politicians who can easily change the laws to suit them. maybe, thats why. so neway i think its his car and he probably gave it to abhishek bachan as a gift but didnt want to tell the media, coz if the car is treated as his gift to abhishek, who is not related to him, the actor will be under legal obligation to pay duty on it. its just a hunch, i dont know if this holds any truth. i dont think the bachan family should really care, especially after vidhu chopra gave him a white rolls royce. after all, when it rains, it pours. =)


Saturday, February 17, 2007

jaanei kyun logh ghar kareed thei hai...(dil chahta hai style)
so we went to see the palm jumeirah, after having read in the newspapers that people have gotten possession of their apartments. and one of the real estate agents we know offered to take us since some parts are restricted, something like that. i cant say that im spellbound by the work done and that it looks very awesome or something. we saw the shoreline apts and it looks very normal, nothing spectacular. no fancy architecture or anything. apparently there is a rumor doing the rounds that the canal that was being built has been scrapped. the signature villas on the branches of the palm are built so close to each other, almost like u can stick out your hand and touch your neighbours window.
however, the choknei wali cheez (suprise factor) is that its all built on water and that is truly remarkable. the real estate agent was like i think its still quite risky, especially after tsunami happened. even then not a single apt is up for sale from the original property development company, all are in resale.
we went to see another projects in the international city. its in the middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of the city, very sandy area of dubai. perhaps like 50 buildings or so, are all ready and hardly anyone stays there. even the real estate agent is like we dont know what is going to happen but we take a lot of risk, "jab tak chalta hai chalnei do"
recently a very famous construction company came under fire, after having promised investors that a 10% down payment is all they need and 90% would be financed by the loan giving company. the loan company refused on the basis that they couldnt guarantee the materials being used for the construction and of course whether the company was profitable enough. the construction company sent a notice to their investors that they are cancelling their contract. but not only that, that their 10% was not being returned. some pple fought it out and got back their money, some didnt. and some just couldnt.
the agent mentioned that there had even been a case where someone in sharjah had duped a whole lot of people in purchasing freehold property in one of the buildings. recent news came out that the man had no building, it was a fictitious office and he had ran away with many peoples hard earned money and perhaps their only savings.
its so sad, i cant understand how one can trick another and feel no remorse or no guilt. conversation grew randomn and we started talking about doctors duping others, something ive already written about. but what shocks me is that i used to think its perhaps poorer people, people who arent educated, people who perhaps have seen little less of the world and its ways that are easily duped. but surprisingly it includes those who are in a cut throat competitive industry, supremely educated are being duped. there is a "doctor" (read quack) in mumbai who apparently sells this miracle tonic. its made of certain chemicals, and can be used for any disease/illness. an uncle of ours who during his medical checkup was found to have 3 blocks in his heart swears by it. wat crap. how can there be one treatment for any and every illness. he has even tapes where a deaf and dumb girl starts talking after using his treatment. wat madness. my sister and my mom went to his "clinic" to check it out. which was in a very shady area. but neway, my sister asked him what degree do u have,w here did u study from. he replied zero degree. how can u cure something that you have no knowledge about? alrite, how about where you do your research? at these questions, he grew very agitated and irritated. at the end of the cross examining =), he asked my mom to take his cards and recommend her patients to him and send him some patients. first of all, no credible doctor will advertise like this or ask for recommendations so shamelessly, and if you're treatments are any good patients will get to know about this. H-uncle still thinks hes feeling a whole lot better after having gone to him. perhaps, they are vitamins which make you feel better. perhaps its psychological. but will vitamins and psychology make blocks go away. no. it wont. another "hakim" my aunty had gone to, used this oil to give massage, but not only that he would stand on the patients feet, imagine a 60-70kg man standing on an elderly's feet. it sounds so ridiculous.
sadly people will try anything for immediate relief. and sometimes they will make themselves believe that they are getting better. in this madness of living and trying to make a living we forget ourselves and we neglect ourselves physically and emotionally too. the people who are duping pple perhaps they are increasing their wealth, but im sure they are super stressed of being caught one day too. all this will have its toll on their health too. wat goes around eventually does come around


Thursday, February 15, 2007

har haal mein,har daud mein... hamein muskurana agaya

yesterday i had read an article in emirates day about the soaring divorce rates in dubai. or in the uae, in general. ras al khamaih, one of the least populated cities of the uae had 71 last year. cases where the woman had initiated the divorce. im not sure how much it is in percentage. this was something which was unheard of. however, now increasingly no of women dont want to stay in a bad marriage and are opting out. the main reasons are that they arent treated well by their husband/husband's family. abuse cases, the husband is taking all her hard-earned money...etc the crux of the article was that these women dont have it easy even after divorce, there is still the negative connotation associated with a divorcee. especially, if shes a woman. it exists, not just in the arab society but in the asian society as well. and after the divorce she sometimes has to lose custody of the child, has very slight chances of getting married again or ends up being the second/third.. wife.
lot of people here blame it on mixed marriages. of which there are a few. not a whole lot though. the culture difference is considered too wide. perhaps. i dont agree with it though. u can be of the same culture and have differences. ive seen cases where one is married in their extended family and it doesnt work out. i.e in their same culture, their same social status, and even cases where they practically know everyone in the family. so its not freakin scary when you meet the other side. but still, it doesnt work. on the other hand, there are many stories of couples from mixed marriages who have been married for two decades plus and still maintain that respect, lvoe and compassion for each other.
in conversation with some friends the day before, many at their jobs are noticing this trend too. i dont know too much about the statistics, but i believe the higher percentage would be of working women being divorced. there was a huge debate then, is it because women are working now and consider themselves self-sufficient which is why they dont want to put up with any crap. of course, it could also be that becoz they are divorced they have to work to support themselves. so its not a really good example. my mom thinks its perhaps a case of high expectations.
i dont think its the "high" factor which is the problem. i think its just the expectations which is. i think its important that you understand the person and the family that one marries into. you should know things like how the other will react to a certain situation and they should know how would you react to the same situation.
some people thought that earlier people (older generation) didnt get divorced, they had more compassion then now. i dont know if i agree with this, have people really changed? dont the stupidest thing make us upset? dont we fight on the same things? dont we say things we sometimes dont mean? i really doubt that its coz people have lost the compassion. i think earlier if people were stuck in a bad situation, they accepted it and in their hearts they created threads of "what-ifs" and "why-mes". a close friend of mine when talking on this was like im totally ok to divorce. i was a bit shocked and said dont say that, how can you say this before even getting married. but having seen her cousins miserable situation, she has mentally prepared herself that if it doesnt work, it doesnt work. Na mile na sahi, kuch na rahe to na sahi
at the same time, im not saying that all reasons for divorce are correct. a friend of mine working in collections had to once deal with this emirati fellow who had racked up his credit cards bills just so he would be able to save face with his friends in terms of their lavish living. and his wife got fed up and was on the verge of divorcing him. when you hear stories like this, unconsciously we (which includes me ) tend to judge people. sometimes we think his wife should stick by him and show him the correct path. but none of us know the reality. and sometimes its just a one sided truth. maybe she tried and hes just beyond help. who knows?
still, i dont agree with movies like kabhi alvida na kehna. if two people are sensible and sane enough, and have some compatibility of some sorts you can work things out with kindness, lots of patience and respect. but at least both should be sensible somewhat. everyone goes through rough patches. we go through them in our friendships, even in our family. but we dont ditch them. at least, we shouldnt ditch them. its the same thing, i think.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

hum honge kamyaab....

ok so i went to pick up my atm card. the card that was retained by the machine of the bank which refused to take my calls and answer my requests. yea, that card. the first hurdle was the security guard at the bank. he asked me for id and i gave him my drivers license. he looked at me and was like "not license id!". i cant understand how your drivers license which has your full name in BOLD and your picture CANNOT be considered as a form of ID. i have no words. anyway wat happens next is left as a poll, no prizes for guessing though. lalaj buri bala. lol.

so,here are the options KBC style.

a. the guard refused to let me in and i sneaked into the building and realised its not even the correct building.

b. they refused to give me the card, and in true rebellious spirit i refused to leave the manager's office and proclaimed a bhookh hartal (hunger strike) simultaenously pocketing two pieces of chocolate from the managers valentine gift. (obviously when she wasnt looking)

c. they punched my card, now making it absolutely useless. and pointless for me to have gone and gotten it. with my eyes, many a arrow were shot (definetly not cupids arrows..hee hee)

d. they gave me my card and in replacement i tricked the office boy in giving me the bunch of roses he was delivering to some one in the card center. sucker! and ended up distributing the roses myself to the staff who were then quite happy to issue me as many cards as i want.

e. they gave me my card and alls well with the world now.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

YOU and ME
sk: yei dulha dulhan, ki marriage arranged thi? ya laouve marriage thi ?
rm: what do u think ?
sk: i dont know. ...arranged? .....ohhhh laouveee
rm: no. both.
sk: both matlab
rm : matlab sameer aur mein college mein ek saath parte thei. we became great friends. wusnei mujhei propose kiya, i said ok.
sk: just like that? ok.?
rm: woh sensible hai, smart hai, mature hai. hes not like YOU. towliya lao types. sk: toweliya lao types? matlab?
rm: jo nanei jaata hai, aur chila tha hei- mera toweliya kahan hai
merai jhootei kahan hai? newspaper kahan hai? aaj sirf matar paneer banei hei? In short - toweliya lao type.
sk: tumhei lagta hai tumhara sameer shaadi kei baad toweliya lao nahin kahega.

rm: *slightly unsure now*

sk: *laughs*. oh u poor thing.

and for the translation....

sk: so was it an arranged marriage or love marriage?
rm: what do u think?
sk: i dont know. arranged? ....ohhh laouve?
rm: no. both. me and sameer were in college together. we were great friends. he proposed to me and i said ok.
sk: just like that? ok?
rm: hes sensible, smart and mature. not like you. the bring-my-towel-types
sk: bring-my-towel-type?
rm: yea, the one who goes to have a shower and goes wheres my towel, wheres my shoes, wheres the newspaper. in short bring-my-towel type

sk: so you think after marriage your sameer wont ask you to bring his towel..

rm: *slightly unsure now*

sk: *laughs* oh, you poor thing!

- Hum Tum (Kunal Kohli)

lol. this is one of my favourite scenes from the movie "Hum Tum" (You and Me) . can be considered a cult movie in recent indian cinema. there are a lot of good scenes in this movie. a must watch.
to the toweliya-lao types and the non-toweliya lao types and their better halves wishing y'all a great valentines day! =)


Monday, February 12, 2007

laathon kei bhoot baaton sei nahin mantei

so my last week's saga of the ATM machine continues. i must have called the call center at least 20 times. and all of them promised to call me in 10 mins. i wonder why everyone says 10 mins, why not 5/15/20/25/35 etc or something like half an hour or one hour. finally i lost it. when the 20th person asked me can i get your details and i will look into it. i was like WAT. i keep giving my details again and again and repeating the same ole story like a broken record. and i could sense the person snickering. it reminded me so much of this time when i was interning at this bank and they had put me in customer support coz they were short staffed. not a great idea. some guy called up and was like listen you keep using my middle name in all the correspondence you send me. and its just like floating around the office randomnly. and i think he may have said something else. but i just found the way he said it funny so i laughed. and he caught it and was like you find this funny, its not funny! i obviously apologized and said i will see to it immediately. later on, when i told my colleague about it they told me listen its all being recorded, you can get into deep trouble. oh oh.

so neway, back to my story i flared up quite like that guy from my intern days and was like listen are u going to give me back my card or not, if youre not then just tell me so i can arrange a replacement. after i said it, i was like shit wat if they call my bluff and say "ok we cant give it back. get a replacement." thats even a bigger problem to get the card replaced. thankfully they didnt, and when he said ill call u back in 10 mins, i was like will you really everybody just tells me that. im sure met with more snickering. but they did call me (After a half an hour) to tell me that they have found it (yay!) and that i can pick it up tomm. (yay intensity going down). i have lost faith in all banks.


an apple a day..

a visit from one of the medical reps led to some discussion and debate on the standards of medical practices, here in dubai. the increasing medical charges by many of the doctors. and the mushrooming of polyclinics everywhere. recently lot of patients have come to my mom where the doctor has so to say taken the patient for a ride. asking them to do tests which aren't necessary. prescribing medicines that arent necessary..etc.
a particular hospital where many a patients were being reffered to, since it was the one which had the least "magaj maari" (headache) and probably was one of the more affordable ones. but now ever since they changed their salary scheme for their doctors from a fixed pay to a pay based on salary + commision on pathological tests, the "treatments" have extended from one visit to three/four visits. not to mention the "international" hospitals that keep popping up and charge an arm and a leg(almost like youre staying in a 5 star hotel) for one nite. as one doctor friend puts it its the pits for those without medical insurance here. theres a certain rumour doing the rounds that a mere consultation at the dxb health city will be a good 2000 AED ( approximately 600 USD).
lets face it no one really comes to the doctor coz they want to. or feel like it. its only when they dont feel like it, they do. =). and mostly people go to the doctor when "paani sar sei upar hogaya hai" i.e when you're in the worst state. there is also no, of lack of a a better word, "output" so to say. no fancy haircut/manicure as when one goes to a parlour. or great clothes to show off after a visit to your favourite store. many think its an added expense, and sometimes there is so much attitude by patients as if its the doctor's fault that such a thing has happened to you. of course this doesnt apply to a gynaecologist or a plastic surgeon. so you can imagine how much whining is going to occur for those hike in fees. but fikar not, one still has medical insurance. at least we think so.
its a different post altogether about how insurance companies remind you to that reading the fine print is somethign you should always do. a friend of mine's medical insurance company refused to pay her bill on the grounds they didnt cover such a case. her brother who is a physician read through the contract, took out the medical dictionary highlighted passages in it and sent a photocopy of it back to the insurance company. the company succumbed and paid it. isolated incident. but how many pple will actually fight back or even know that htey can?
so whose to blame here, the doctor who is threading in dangerous unethical waters. perhaps they have their own majboori, rising costs, spouse and kids demands. medical insurance companies? is it the government who keeps increasing prices? is it the divide between the rich, richer richest and the poorest? who is to say. i really dont know.


Sunday, February 11, 2007

kao, peeo aur kisko

one of our frequently made and easy to make recipes. parsi chicken cutlet.

for 500 gm minced chicken meat
1.5 tbsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger
1 tbsp coriander powder
salt to taste
finely chopped green chilis

make the kababs with the above mixture and roll them over breadcrumbs. before frying roll over a mix of egg beated well.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

"This is still better"
on the weekend we watched a movie called rehguzar, starring jimmy shergill. its a story about an individual who makes it big and the backdrop is dubai in the movie. its been shot in labour camps. so, i had huge expectations from this movie since 1. its shot in dubai. 2. the video-walla said so, well he said that about apna sapna money money. and i really dont want to start on that. 3. its shot in dubai. =).
ok, so the verdict the movie sucked big time. the acting is terrible, especially the actress.but theres a scene in the movie where she is supposedly doing a documentary on labour camps in dubai and takes a picture of the actor and he gets mad. it reminded me so much of this time in the US when my mom was taking a picture of a homeless guy on the street and he got wild and ran towards my mom to take away the camera. and my mom was wearing a sari so she couldnt exactly bolt into the car either. it was a pretty scary sight. and my dad quickly intervened and apologized. and then the dude asked for cash. my dad gave him a dollar and then he (homeless guy) gestured to my mom take more pics. :0)
however, theres a certain apathy that sets in when you get older. when i was young, when we were in turkey. i remember there was this elderly man selling napkins and me and my sister felt so bad we gave him our pocket money and when the poor fellow gave us the napkins in exchange we didnt take it. when we used to visit india we used to have a purse full of petty change specially to give those who used to beg on traffic lights. or if we went to haji ali. and we would always make eye contact with them and always feel sad. its so different when you are older, its almost like youve become immune to it and you see everyone in the same light. you try to rationalize things that "why cant they work, they are fit enought, they just dont want to. begging is easier". very different from when you were a kid and you took things on face value.
in dubai its very different, theres no begging on the streets. so you dont face that guilt. im saying guilt for a lack of better word. its probably not guilt but that feeling you get that you arent in that position. coz u were lucky not to have been born into it. when i came to the US, to my shock, there were homeless people. in the worlds most powerful country. and shockingly some were coz of their own will. once, i was with a friend and we saw these two teenage girls who were obviously homeless. my friend started talking to them where what why etc. both run away from home. drop outs from school. one of them had run away with her boyfriend, the other one just didnt want to stay in the countryside anymore and wanted to be in the city. most of their money went into smoking pot. but were still begging coz they hadnt eaten in two days. my friend took me aside and was like listen can we treat them to lunch. i was like huh? part of me was like why should i buy lunch for these girls who are totally undeserving. and have so to say done "apnei per mein kulari marna". then part of me was like stop being so cheap and its ok. "kisikei pet mein gaya" so its alrite. its the thought that counts. so we treated them and then later when they were done eating. they didnt thank us and my friend who is part of a religious church gave them this invitation to a church get together. at first, i was very cynical and was like she only treated them so they would come to the meeting. or like initially when we became friends she would urge me a lot to come to these get togethers. but when i thought about it, whats the harm in going. one theres so much to learn in this world. why should one remain ignorant. and when i did go, it was very interesting lot of the things that were said were so similar to islam. and plus you have interesting dialogues and peoples and your misconceptions are cleared. and i got one thing out of it is that all faiths teach the same basic thing that one is to be good and do good. and perhaps by coming to these meetings the girls have a change of heart and decide to go back to school. basically what im trying to say is there is good in everything. its just upto your perception.


Friday, February 09, 2007

around the world in 4 hours.

so finally on the last day, since procrastination is our motto in life. we made it to global village and as my younger cousins call it "gv". the first signs of generation gap. "err..umm a wats gv?" and my cousin with a did-u-just-ask-me-that-look goes "H apa its global village!".haha. ok so global village is an area on the far far outskirts of dubai which tries to bring a piece of each country together. india pavillion wasnt very good and most of the stalls were selling shawls. and since we "know" the market and are super bad bargainers. we have had scenarios like "bhaiyaa yei 40 mein do". "maadam ( read mad maam) yei 30 ka hai". err,oh.
so we decided to avoid buying things that we can get in our own friendly neighbourhood of bur dubai. but it was not to be done and we succumbed in the pakistani stalls and ended up buying cotton suits and gazillion shaan masala packets, like they were going out of fashion or something. ok, thats not a great analogy. theres an interesting thing i observed here too. the herd mentality. there were these two stalls. one with the loud salesmen who was like in urdu, "last day of sale, excellent prices, very cheap, my flight is at 10, will sell everything and go." its true its the last day but probably his flight isnt at 10, but this got many people into the store and seeing the crowd in a store, more people want to get into the store. we too are guilty of that. and if you observe people and their spending patterns, you will notice in a crowded area. most people will look at things another person is looking at. sure, they may have the same taste. but if someone else likes it as well and shows interest in purchasing it, its very likely that even if you didnt like it that much you will buy it. i might be wrong, but at least thats what ive observed. we ended up buying two suits from there.
on the other hand in a neighbouring store, where the sales person wasnt loud at all and had far better quality suits at the same price, there was hardly anyone there. when we went back home, my mom sifting through the suits we bought was like you know i dont like these two so much (earlier one), unncessarily we bought it. =)
anyway, moving on. the chinese pavillion is filled with those thigns that you dont need but you end up buying coz they look nice and when you have to move houses you end up making a box named miscellaneous so you can dump that stuff in it. other than that i liked the singapore and iranian stalls. otherwise everything looked the same to me. still worth a visit. or many a visits.


Thursday, February 08, 2007

purani jeans aur guitar.

as everyone says you have the best time of your life in college. i did too. those days of sitting with friends and doing nothing. often we used to write notes to each other in the library. one of my best friends N forwarded me these conversations, she had saved the pieces of papers we used to write on. some of these still hold true. and some are supremely cheesy. but all still make me smile.

***Practical Life Theorems (by N)***----
Theorem #1
----Formula: looks (proportional to) 1 / IQ
statement: a guy's looks are inversely propertional to his IQ-----

Theorem #2
-----formula: good-looking guy => (has GF) V (is gay)
statement: gook-looking guy at *insert universtiy name* implies either he has a girlfriend or he is gay


*** conversation about F and stinky desi (between N and H) ***

N: i think that F is trying to hit on this stinky desi
H: even i think so...good she's gonna buy him deodrant but also i think stink-bomb desi likes NA...she even shifted position but that stink desi is hitting on's an isosceles triangle.

and then those conversations when everyone is talking.

*** totally random coversation: multiple characters ****

P: i think many pple moved out of *some apartment complex*?
N: (don't know which N) loves --- (name is scribbled out)
N: this guy sitting behind u - desi - looks decent
Ni: yeh bahut baat karta hai - mr. hero
N: he became very interested in listening to your dilemma


*** everybody's favorite song (on a tissue) *** [since we dont waste]
HD: time after time
DM: total eclipse of the heart
NS: everybody wants to rule the world
PP: my heart will go on...
NiM: breaking my heart again

My first soap opera episode based on my best friend N and her aashiq awaras, AM, Pr, S and Nz. In reality none of them are awaras, just plain ashiqs. things have changed majorly now. now two are married and AM and N are together. This sad scene (haha) was penned a long time ago. and its just funny how life turns out. one thing didnt change though: my ability to waste time.

*** Kahin Deep jale, kahin dil - ek anokhi kahani ****(first play attempt by HD)

AM: Pr, mein N kei prem mein pagal ho gaya hoon...kaisei bataoon...kaisei...

Pr: tu fikar mat kar yaar, koi na koi haal nikal hee ayega (thinks) i hope not, main bhi hoon pagal N kei prem mein

S: main bhi

Nz: aur main bhi

N: don't worry boys, we shall have a swayamwar as according to tradition. first of all, all of you have to describe the ideal date

AM: you are my ideal...anywhere and everywhere we go will be ideal

N thinks: what a bore!

AM: but my ideal date would be dinner date in some desi restaurant (as i know now) that the way to N's heart is through her stomach and that too via indian food. and before that, i will play racketball with her and lose since she will think that i'm the perfect gentleman letting her win, which in truth i can't play myself.

Pr: loser, i will take her in my car for a spin. mere paas Ph.D. hai, gaadi hai, good looks hai, bad jokes and PJs bhi hain...tumhare paas kya hai?

S: mere paas dil hai, dil (dream sequence song: is deewani ladki ko koi samjhaye) my ideal date would be like the first time we met. after coding/programming for about 23 hrs straight, my eyes tired and wandered across the room and there in the midst i saw my apsara N sitting and coding like me...kindred spirits...this would be ideal date, me and her debugging forever and ever and ever...together.

Nz: watever you loser...pyar aisei nahin kiya jaata...pyar ho jata hai...i have thebiggest advantage since i'm as you all know paki (eat my dust)

Unknown person: KHAMOSH! N sirf meri hai...mein hi hoon lambi race ka ghoda....

The others: kaun ho tum?

Unknown: Main hoon.....(to be continued)


the one with the ATM machine.

there are some things which are from the word go jinxed. recently someone got access to my card details and for the first time in my life i was involved in credit card fraud. i contacted my bank and the places where the person made their purchases, hallmark and gas stations. probably around christmas time. im thinking a kind hearted thief who wanted to buy gifts for everyone. ok, lets not get benevolent. ive had a good patka thanks to him/her. anyway so even after blocking my card, the person still managed to make transactions and obviously the people who faced my anger and frustration were the banking employees. that why what how, can it be possible. the bank apologized profusely, and sent me a new card and an affidavit where i can claim back the money. so far not so bad but no so good either.
over the past two days i have been trying to use my card at regular ATM machines here in dubai. luckily, they have been those swipe kind of ATMs and not the ones where you have to put the card in. and for some reason it didnt work, i contacted the bank again this time ready to blast them again. but th elady was like listen you need to first activate it to work. my assertion evaporated and all i could say was an "oh". so activation done, i tried again but this time as luck would have it, in an ATM machine where you have to insert the card. and as my luck is, it got retained. i know its partially my fault, i shouldnt have taken the risk. i never listen to my gut feeling. and then i land into a fix.
so anyway, i go inside the nearby exchange house which is supposedly responsible for the ATM. the customer service totally ignores me, its probably a competition between the staff whoever looks up has to deal with me. so for two mins no one looks up. finally some sucker does. and coz now that dubai is going the red tape way, they cant solve my problem in one shot. they ask me to contact the bank. some dude who is overhearing the conversation is like let me see and he goes out to the ATM machine and get this actually bangs it with his fist. for a split second i had this omigod-did-u-just-do-that look. its a ATM machine not a vending machine. haha. ok one shouldn be kicking vending machines either. alrite fine its allowed if no one is around. haha. anyway im sure, they have CCTV those camera type things. at least i hope they do. but i really hope they dont think im with that guy. =) i have enough problems on my plate. ok so im dissing the good samaritan. at least someone who was kind enough to mean. so anyway,the customer service in dubai does what they do best. give me the number for the bank and ask me to call them. yea, pass the buck on.
so i called the local bank and they put me on hold for half an hour and then hang up. not once, not twice but thrice. theres a limit to my patience too. finally after calling again and again, i got one lady and she took my details and said she would call me back. in a desperate attempt im like what, when will u call me. shes like i call you in 10 mins. i was like i can hold for 10 mins. i can hold for more even. (seriously one becomes patient after a while) shes like no maam i will call you. finally grudgingly i hang up. its been 6 hours and she hasnt called me back. i finally caleld back again and they tell me it will take 5 days to get it. and they cant speed up the process. atrocious.
10 years ago, i would have gotten my card within hours. i dont know if its coz there is a sudden increase in population in dubai. but there are so many banks also mushrooming left, right and center. why is this such a long process. i dont get it. this isnt my story alone. recently some lady travelling to morroco had her card retained and the bank didnt do a single thing to help her out. imagine being in a foreign country having no money and no friends to help you out. in sharp contrast, ive heard of stories of people with a lot of money and immediately the next day the card was expresssed to them. probably people who dont badly need it and have other cards that they can use. why is eveyrthing becoming so hard, shouldnt you service those who badly need it first. or is just that money talks. this really does suck. i really really miss my old dubai.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

You wait and see when the smoke clears

"goa mein aa kei mera wife, hippie hogaya"
- honeymoon travels, Zoya Akhtar

todays most pathetic ad award goes to ponds anti aging cream. *applause* i cant find it on youtube, but ill give the briefing. a lady is sitting on a red sofa and goes "we spend all our time going to sport bars and he spends time with his friends. then one day he took me to my favourite restaurant. call it a coincidence or wat, ever since i started using ponds cream i have got my old husband back". hahahaah. made me crack up. if only, it were so simple to get ones husband "back".

speaking of relationships, on the news a pair of skeleteons in an embrace position were discovered in italy. more research is required to know exactly what the ages of the couple were, and what happened and whether they are actually embracing and not strangling each other. =) [ ok the last part is my addition]

more on those lines, yesterday while waiting for s, near a starbucks, i noticed a couple fighting. i couldnt overhear the conversation, not that i was trying to =) but it was obvious they were fighting in public. ive never seen that in dubai. ive never even seen two people fight. like fist fights and all. or like regular fights even. perhaps ive seen pple get into an argument when theres a road accident but not fight fight. and definetly not couples fighting. so it was a first and the girl started crying and the guy walked off and left. pple sitting nearby were looking at her. not just looking, staring. this is a very common thing in dubai for people to stare at you. sadly, nobody really got up and asked are u ok?

its quite embarassing to be caught showing your emotion in public. years ago in my undergrad year i was reading this book called "The BathHouse" by this iranian author called Farnoosh Moshiri. Very very good book but very sad. and also after a recent death in my family, I was reading that book in starbucks, all of these things added up and I started crying and as much as I tried to stop I couldnt. Sitting closeby was a fellow student from one of my classes, who i didnt know at all. he looked at me once and tried not to look again. i know this coz he did get a bunch of kleenex and left it on the table close by. After that, I avoided him since i was very embarassed. But honestly, I appreciated it, if someone is having a bad moment in public, im of the opinion that you should leave them alone and try not to make it obvious. coz not only are they emotionally in a bad state, they look it too. running noses, blood shot eyes and massive headache. on the other hand, there are some people who prefer that someone, anyone, come and talk to them. which is fine too. but in no circumstances one should stare at them.


ab kya karenge bhai, ab kahan jayengei bhai.

most of the patients at the clinic are children. probably between 0-6 years. many of them when they come in and are sitting in the waiting area are initially pretty calm, some not so calm. some are agitated, some are curious and want to explore the different rooms, some are stuck to their parents and if you so much as look at them they bury their face in their moms arm. some will converse with the lab technician and the receptionist. some will run around the area and bang into some wall and start crying afterwards. but everything is generally under control. however, once they enter the doctors room its a whole different story altogether. my mom usually has a stock of candy and lollipops for these young visitors. so many of them who know my mom will enter the room and start eyeing the candy immediately. some who arent well trained will rush towards the drawer and pull some out. others will whisper in their moms ear and sometimes the mom may be embarassed to ask for candy for the kid. sometimes not. then there are some kids who look at my mom's white doctors coat and start crying. the crying pattern usually starts with this whimpering sounds and then a monotonous crying and suddenly it will be these loud shrieks. in 5 mins its all over and the kid is hopping and skipping out of the room. usually with some candy in their hand. like nothing ever happened.

today, this kid maybe 2 years old came in and my mom just touched her and she started screeching. no tears just screeching. my mom trying to reason with her was like "ronei sei kya fayda hoga". (whats the use in crying). the kid is probably thinking lady there are a gazillion uses of crying. hahaah. for some seconds the kid stopped crying, probably trying to weigh the pros and cons of crying and figured its best to continue. =). i wonder if ones personality forms from childhood, are we who we are as kids. are we born to be stubborn, moody, extroverted, introverted..etc. or do we become who we are as we grow up. and if we do change, which in these parts of our life were we our true self. the one we were as children, or the one we are now. or are we intrinsically the same and all we do is adapt to different situations/people and once alone in our domains we revert back to our true selfs.

alrite, i know i think way too much.

moving on. recently in dubai i had heard many of these educational institutions which are run in villas have been shut down. the charges have been that they arent affiliated/recognized enough, arent well run, dont give a quality education etc. today, i was in a neighbourhood of dubai and while passing by i noticed this institute and decided to check it out. the institute allows students to obtain their masters and bachelors in computer science/commerce and business and is affiliated with a university in india. it sounded pretty normal. and looked alrite from the outside. inside was a different story altogether, the counselor didnt know which programs they had, they didnt know who was teaching them. many of the students were standing outside and looked totally bored. the counselor was irritated and asked the receptionist to tell them to go inside. it was major chaos. and there was definite lack of respect between the management and the students. its probably too much judging from my side, in 10 mins i come to the conclusion, this isnt a well run institution. perhaps they are doign their best and perhaps they know not of any other way to react. perhaps its just the system. i oftne wonder why teachers are paid so less. when they are the ones who actually impart the knowledge and are probably the backbone of the school/uni etc. i majored in math not cause my parents wanted me too nor was it discussed at home a lot that it became my initial interest and something i just knew i would do but coz i had an excellent teacher which made me love the subject. but when i reached undergrad, math wasnt all it was made out to be =) and i developed mixed emotions. i wanted to major in french even but peer pressure and the whole-what-will-you-with-it-be-a-french-prof-deterred me. i think a lot of people have similar stories to mine. its a noble profession being a teacher, but so few people want to go into it. the only reason i can think of is due to the lack of money. i know that in US efforts are being made, to up the salary of teachers but sadly in dubai in schools and universities alike it remains, when you compare the qualifications required and the work done, in the lower range of payscales.


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I'm here but I'm really gone
And what it all comes down to
Is that I haven't got it all figured out just yet
I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving the peace sign
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
-Alanis Morissette, "Hand in my Pocket"
today we went to have lunch with a friend of my parents at noodle house in emirates towers. four years ago, or maybe more cant remember, when it was just constructed it was empty and deserted. ek parinda bhi par nahin marta tha so to say. and today it was bustling with businessmen. foreign delegates. the works. there was no place to sit, and they dont take reservations. its the middle of the week. we went after 1:30 so it was past lunchtime. but it was still jam packed. much to my shock.
the restaurant is quite nice. the decor is very minimal but classy. they have those hanging lights which are very starbucks-ish/barista style. and they are bench like seats and you end up sharing your table with three other parties. initially we were seated near this local man, his kid who was having the most yummy looking icecream ever. i was eyeing it quite a bit, although trying very hard not to. (bechara bachei kei pet mein dard na ho) and there was these two arab ladies and im guessing a south african businessman. the waitress asked one of hte ladies to move over so i can be seated next to her and she gave me a really disgusted look. jeez, bite me. i have really no shok of sitting next to you either. anyway, watever. the food is pretty good and i want to go back and try their chilli prawns.
im seriously contemplating opening a cheesecake factory in dubai. with the same decor same style everything. restaurant business is one of the best businesses. i love eating in restaurants which are crowded. im not really fond of those quiet kind of dinners. id rather have noise but like pple noise not super loud music to drown out the voice. classical indian music in restaurants is quite boring too. any kind of soft live music is good too. i have so many ideas but cant implement any coz im brave but im chicken shit. i just wish i had enough capital and contacts. its hard to do anything in dubai without the right contacts. lets see inshallah.
neway moving on. this friend's kid has gotten admission in eton college. yep, thats right. the one in UK. the one where prince charles' kids went to. the one where queen elizabeth's grandsons went to. its definetly awe inspring. and awesome! and apparently to get into this boarding school you have to apply before your kid is 9 years old and then they have a written exam and and oral exam and they get interviewed at 10! and then finally at age 12-13 they get admitted. and all this only from 9th till 12th grade. but his dad has his kid's life all planned out after eton he will either go to oxford or harvard. and of course anyone getting into harvard and oxford is guaranteed a plush job. theres more. they have a scholarly exam to take as well. at the grade 8 level they are asked material of grade 12. and if they ace that they are chosen as a scholar. highly prestigious. and the school fees which is super expensive is maaf (not required) then. its like the UK equivalent of our own desi IIT. i had friends in undergrad who went to the States coz they didnt get into IIT, or flunked out in their first sem. really smart kids and from 7th grade it was ingrained in them that this is their goal. and no matter how well they are doing now, they never forget their stepping stone was always not getting into IIT.
i wonder if its all worth it. this stress on your kid. you miss out on watching your child grow up. the time where your child is no longer that, and is slowly turning into a young adult. you miss bonding with them. maybe it is a sacrifice and maybe it is right, i dont know. after all parents do what they feel is best for their child. but do they really know, all the time. i wonder. how about the fact that your child missed out on all the fun things that kids do. but then people say, on the other hand you dont even remember half the things you did as a kid so why not cultivate that time in doing something constructive. furthermore, there is no guaranteed correlation that u will be supremely successful if you go to these top institutions. there is of course a definite advantage, people treat you differently, you have access to excellent resources. there is a certain respect that comes with this added name. but in the end i really doubt whether these names matter. its ultimately your intelligence, your right-risk-taking-ability, your charisma and your hardwork mixed with a bit of luck which pays off.


Monday, February 05, 2007

where this randomness has no name

today while watching a rerun of rendezvous with garewal, there was this clip with simi and preity zinta and she asked her, if you could be one person for a day who would you be. and zinta goes "george bush" and shes like okayy and what would you do if you were him. normally people would go stop war in iraq or change foreign policy or tax breaks watever.

but zinta answers "i would kill myself". hahahahaha.

ok, i know its cheesy but its something i would say. so i fiound it really funny. the other funny thing i found was when jaya bachan was asked who would she go on a date with and after lots and lots of thinking shes like maybe bismillah khan (in the whole wide world she finds him only to go on a date with. weirddd. well, what do i know, maybe there are people who want to date bismillah khan) and abhishekh ribs her and says yea rite you would and shes like yea, why not i listen to his music all the time and he goes yea you would go on a date and then tell him "bajao". hahahaha. the other one i found funny was dev anand going on a date with hillary clinton. i cant imagine how weird the conversation would be.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

thats just the way it is

"i do desire we be better strangers"
- shakespeare

they say that one's hairdresser/ beautician etc is your pseudo psychiatrist. some movies have depicted this also. like rahul bose's "everybody says im fine". i wonder, what is it that makes you say things, things that you wouldn't tell most pple, soemtimes not even your best friend, but you would tell someone you meet probably once or perhaps twice a month. or like these internet relationships (both friendships and romantic) . that you tell someone you have never even met, things you've never told anyone. this doesnt stop here. its extended to your family physician, your dentist, the person you sat next to on a flight whose name you cant even remember. but you remember their story of their disinterested husband and his not wanting to grow up and accept responsibility. you remember that you smiled sadly, you remember that you said words of encouragement that things would inshallah get better for them. words that you did mean. but you remember that once the flight was over, you forgot their problems and dealt with your own. you remember you probably will never see that person again. and if you ever do, you remember that you cant even remember how they look like.
so what is it, that makes one tell people they hardly know important things about oneself. and i mean really dont know, what makes them tell things so near and dear to their heart to a somehwat ajnabee. at the clinic today, a mother came in with her daughter. one of my parents old patients. her mother wanted my mother to talk with her about things that were troubling her (i.e the daughter). while her mother waited outside, my mom asked and the daughter told. but she wouldnt tell her own mom. maybe coz its harder to tell your own and expect them to understand, since perhaps you feel they wont give you their honest opinion coz they would be biased. perhaps maybe you just need to get a fresh opinion from someone who will be impartial. perhaps the stranger will be more sensitive to your issue. perhaps all you want is not to be judged.
after the appointment my mom told her mom that shell be fine and to let her deal with it and not to worry. and that was it. and after i asked my mom what did the daughter say, she didnt tell me either. stupid hippocrates oath and all that. bah. in reality, i do respect that. every profession has their rules of ethics. like my friend who wont tell me which company will go ipo, never giving me the benefits of insider trading. but has no qualms in telling his dentist or hair dresser, im sure. =)


Saturday, February 03, 2007

and when tomm comes we'll just do it all again.

'So Young' from the album Talk on Corners, by the Corrs. Another one of my all time favourites.

and of course the below

and yup the "blueeee" part was for my chorus/back up singers


kehta hai, babul

sumundaron ka paani koi na pi saka
akela khaara jivan koi na ji saka
kehta hai baabul
o meri bitiya
tu to hai mere
jigar ki chitthiya
katega kaise lamha
tere bina bata
jiunga kaise tanha
tere bina bata
- from the movie Baabul

recently one of our aquaintances daughter ki baat paki hogaye and is getting married. her mom in conversation mentioned now that dsf is going on she will start buying gifts for the pairamani (spelling!) (ie gifts to the grooms family ) and for her daughters dahej. (gifts to her daughter) muslim aur dahej? strange? no,not really. the problem is its already interserped within the culture this notion of you have to give something to the grooms family and you have to give something to your daughter. otherwise it looks bad. earlier they used to display the stuff on a bedspread and relatives would come and examine and pass judgement. obviously, becoz they are such "experts", no? i just dont get it how its anyones business. theres lot of arguments against this. i know pple want to give their children something and i know pple like to give something as a token of affection to the other family. but then what happens when you give something which is below their expectation. or perhaps what you get is not as nice as what you gave. i.e below ure expectation. are we all mature enough to appreciate anything wat may be. and perhaps you forget to gift someone in the lambi chori list of gifts to the groom's family/bride's family. then someone feels bad. its just a lot of unnecessary stress both emotional and financial on parents and even on the children.

i know slowly and surely this is changing. recently a friend of mine got engaged and when i asked him what you going to gift your inlaws. and he said perhaps a vase. i was like. err, thats all? hes like yes i dont want to burden them unncessarily and pressurize them to give me or my family something.


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