Monday, April 30, 2007

halke halke rang chalke..jaanei ab kya honei ko hai

so this is going to be a really random post. like dory in finding nemo. some happy, some blah and some not so happy stories.

thumbs up event of the week:

during lunch with some friends someone said that on this small island called manhattan there are about 7000 restaurants and would approximately take you 10 years to visit every one of them .wow. last week, i had dessert at this really nice chocolate place called max brenner, there was a 45 minute wait line at 10 at nite! needless to say it was totally worth it. we ordered the chocolate fondue thing ( roast marshmallows/cut fruit on the fire and dip in diff kind of chocolate). but the embarassing thing was the fire kept rising, im not sure why it was doing that, finally we got really scared that we would burn the place up so we called the waitress who gave us the u-guys-are-so-stupid look and in one motion poured water on it. end of dessert.

moving on the namesake directed by mira nair is pretty good. its one of the first crossover movies that i acutally liked. tabu and irfan khan as the parents are great. kal penn is just ok. i suppose the story line is very similar to the lifestyle of a lot of the second generation desis living here. i just wish it had a better (read happier) ending.

blah events of the week:

traveling in grey hound.(bus service through diff states) my family is always so scared when i travel through greyhound. i guess to a certain extent its not that safe and it usually stinks (a lot). the bus is always 1/3 ful of students and then there is always one or two random desi uncle aunties on the bus. so its not thaaaat bad. and plus its affordable especially for pple like me who "live on the edge" (i.e late lateeefs). philly downtown where the grey hound hub is located is extremely dangerous, and ive heard stories of a few muggings et al. but since we always try and look at the silver lining, where else can you talk about financial matters and have a conversation about wireless service providers with a bum.

next blah event. the movie : ta ra rum pum pum. first of all the title is just neverending its like pronouncing icicicicici bank. so whoever thought they were being smart naming this movie, ive got news for them they were NOT.

ok bad comeback.

the songs suck. and are just random just liek many of the dialogues in the movie. dialogues that are supposed to be touching or serious, made us crack up like anything. there are so many loopholes in the movie its unbelievable, kids taking a shower in a fountain in central park, coz they HAVE to take a shower and theres no water in their bathroom. (can u imagine dogs swim in that fountain regularly...ewwww just ewwww) , making queens seem like a horrendous area to stay in. i dont think too many pple will be happy aobut this, especially considering its the population that stays in that area that will be watching this movie. and then there's NASCAR which is supposedly filled with desis. im so sure in reality this is totally the opposite. and who calls their kids champ and princess? even the queen doesnt call her grandsons prince! then theres a lot of namedropping in the movie, thanks to the sponsors, tiffanys, castro oil etc. anyway final verdict the movie is so random. overall its ok. some parts arent bad and i guess its better than the regular fare thats been out lately. the director's first movie salaam namaste was far better. for the silver lining now: it does have a kind of positive message i.e dont waste money. watch it if you have nothing better to do. and dont expect anything original too.

not so happy event of the week:

kmart(dept store) in union square is hugely overpriced and has really bad quality stuff. but since beggars cant really be choosers, i had to buy the essentials from there. its mostly all martha stewart stuff. (no comment watsoever)my next venue coming up: chinatown. lets see hwo that goes.

well neway while i was shopping this guy comes up to me, while im looking at the iron boards section and is like hey are you getting bored(board). i had my headphones on so didnt hear it the first time, he repeated his statement and was like "are u getting bored..board? get it? its a joke". i smiled my okay-and-ure-point-is-smile. and then he goes maam have u gotten this red ribbon. which is the aids awareness day ribbon worn sometime in december. so anyway i go no and then he goes "we hand these out so that pple can support pple like us who have aids".

now i know aids cannot spread through a conversation but i was shit scared. i know it stupid. im blaming it on Dubai/ the Gulf. most kids there are very protected. i remember once a drug addict had come to the clinic and my dad kicked us all kids out of the clinic so we wouldnt see how a drug addict looks like. needless to say, i still cant make out how one looks like.

anyway, so i know it was stupid for me to be scared, but i was. and i did take the ribbon he was giving out, but i didnt hold it for more than a second and i quickly gave the guy some cash so he would go away. after i did it, i felt really guilty. when you have something like advanced stage cancer that happens idiopathically and then on the other hand you have something like aids which i believe in most cases is caused coz of ones own behavior ( i dont mean small kids who are infected by the virus), i tend to judge the person and despite knowing about the misconceptions of aids i still think otherwise. and i know its not right. i know in both cases the person knows they are going to die soon. this slow death in itself is a big punishment. everyone knows one day they will die, but its worse when you know that its going to happen soon. and i think pple like me who judge the other make it even more worse. shouldnt be so small hearted.


Friday, April 20, 2007

intezaar..aetbaar. tumse pyar..kaisei karoun?

the wedding of the year has to be of abhishek bachan and aishwarya rai. as filmy as i am, i wish i knew someone who was invited to this wedding. even someone who knows someone who was. sadly, i dont. my sole claim to fame is that my sister's inlaws live very close to the bachan residence and can see thousands of pple around the area who have gathered to wish the couple. but security is tight and i cant believe they put sound proofing. what a smart idea though!

im sure there are lot of pple who are criticizing the media to stop reporting such stuff and focus on the more important things in the world. true, i agree. but there are still lot of people and i mean all kinds of people from various parts of the world, from different social status who want to see something good happening. and believe that they actually know these actors. and want to share their happiness. i think its really nice that pple care. even its for actors who sometimes reciprocate and sometimes dont. isnt a wedding in your house your sole focus and attention for those few days despite your having many problems at the back of your mind.

that being said, there should be a pact between the media and the actors. oblige the media for a bit and then the media should give them the right to their privacy. its bad enough you have criticism from the invitees. ("omigod shes looking taller than him" "why is the bride laughing with the 32 teeth, tell her to stop laughing" "why is she looking so unhappy maybe she doesnt like him" "her wedding dress is not that great". ) imagine to have your wedding telecast and have a million pple criticizing you.

i hear they have sold their wedding rights to some international media house for some huge amount of money. if this is true, then thats just too too pathetic. again my opinion, not necessarily the best opinion. i really dont think thats right, considering its acting in indian movies they are more popular for. they shouldnt ignore the indian media. but wunki zindagi hai, and though i disagree, i do agree that they should be allowed to do watever they want to do.

onto more filmy news. richard gere poor fellow will avoid all desi celebrities now. thanks to these lunatics. these political mobs will only target some celebrity to get their 15 minutes of fame, are they removing morchas for rapes being done in our country. sadly not. bunch of humbugs.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"Life is a succession of moments. To live each one is to succeed"-Kent

ive started getting used to the sounds and sights of manhattan. the nicest thing about my studio is that it has two huge oversized windows and from the fifth floor of my five storey bldg I can look out at the high rises. I often wonder when Im about to fall asleep, this habit of mine from when I was young, I often wonder when I look at the lights on in the apts of a high rise building. Is the person just returning home from work? Is another working on a project deadline? Is it a kid whose just scared to sleep in the dark? Is it a couple cooking a late night dinner? is it a parent helping their child complete a school project? is it a couple talking to each other about everything and nothing in particular? is it someone who started reading a book that they just cant put down? is it someone watching the daily show?

often during these wonderments (spelling!) I fall asleep oblivious to the traffic noise. the same noise that would wake me up at 3 in the morning has become like one of those familiar sounds at home like a sibling snoring, like the buzzing sound of the insect repelling machine,like refridgerator noises, like the sound of water running from our aquarium, or like creaking furniture. all without which it would be too too quiet and would take longer to fall asleep.


pieces of the puzzle

tagged myself from ashraf's blog.


"These are hard times for dreamers" - Amelie

i was reading yesterday at barnes and nobles (book store) on the upper east side and this was a conversation that took place.

*an elderly lady trying to pass a boy perhaps aged 15 or so in the aisle*
lady: excuse me
*boy moves out of the way*
lady: what are you reading?
boy: actors handbook
another person who i couldnt see : hes going to be the next sidney poitier
lady: *smiles almost a little sadly* well, hes certainly studying for it

Hard, but not impossible no?


Thursday, April 12, 2007

and was YOUR day?

my orientation day at work will go down as one of my most embarassing moments. the day where im supposed to be friendly, smart and articulate. I became the antithesis of all that. stepping on the guy next to me toe with my 50 inch heel (that can automatically qualify for a weapon), having the HR guy tell me "gurlll, organize yourself", asking another recruit "so which uni did you go to?" three times in three mins, becoming pale, sniffling and then sputtering and coughing during a lecture, nearly puking on a new hire, and many other embarassing moments which i cant really mention coz its just tooo tooo(exponential to the infinite power) embarassing.

not only was i embarassed for myself, but for the guy sitting next to me, who was quite uncomfortable in the midst of blue and white collared sea of shirts (major trader crowds so quite quite formal). well this guy in the middle of the compliance lecture puts his both feet up on the chair. Woaaahhhh. that requires guts. anyway the compliance lecture was quite interesting, mainly it was a dont-do-this-dont-do-that kind of lecture and how one shouldnt mention on their work email that their boss is a jerk. (how can anyone be so stupid) and how one shouldnt be talking to the press, or giving their opinions to them either, or talkign to anyone about anything about work (being superficial is key here), disclosing ALL your assets. in case of conflict of interests.

anyway parting words of advice: there is such a thing as drinking way too much water.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Avval akhar aap nu jana (The beginning or the end I know just the self)

u know how u make your mind after so much confusion and once you are ready to take the plunge, something else happens. this has been my state of mind for buying furniture for my place and most importantly buying my first biggest possession of my life (that would be a car for most pple or a house for others for me its *dramatic silence* a TV). pretty sad, i know. i am one of those weird kids who never had a TV in her house in all her undergrad years and her graduate year. and frankly i have never needed one. i didnt have the time to even watch tv. well not so much time, rather never had the urge to. this of course is the total opposite when im at home and im usually flipping through channels deciding wat to watch and end up watching a quarter of everything. i know, irritating habit. and i dont know if this just happens to me, but usually when i want to see something everyone else wants to watch TV. or when im watching something good every channel has something good to watch. so u cant make up ure mind. but when you want to actually watch TV, theres nothing good to watch on ALL channels. ok, maybe its just me.

well neway, after doing many a research (i.e googling) i zero in one TV. but as luck would have it, its out of stock at the store. and this was after trying to get an employee to talk to me for an hour or so. i think the bestbuy store at least here in nyc is very badly managed, they have a gazillion pple in random things like dvds
(pls tell me who has questions about DVDs!!. u either like the movie or NOT.) but there are just like two pple in the whole of the TV section. and although i was first in line, they decided to service these 3 men in suits. just coz they looked like they would buy a lot. i think they were buying for the lobby of their office and they zeroed in on ONE 32 inch tv. so i went online coz they didnt have the tv and the website has so many broken links. and they dont even pick up their hotline. (the apt name would be superslowline) and u kno when they have a survey on their website,(which no one ever fills) but iw as by then so frustrated that i actualy filled it out and marked them low for everything. my elder brother in law swears by best buy and for him its the equivalent to what toys r us is for kids. well neway, when i asked them about wall mounting the TV, they dont even mention that its going to cost you $350 for installation service. and since im such a gulfie (born and brought up in the gulf), we are so spoon fed and things like wall mounting is free is a given. or at the most 15 bucks. so i naturally translate that everywhere. must remember no free lunches or good deals. only good bad deals.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

apnei bhi dil mein basaye huei kuch iradei hai..dil kei bhi kis hi konei mein bhi kuch aisei hi vadei hai.

a conversation between me and umm..i guess me again.

me 1: why do you have so much junk? what are you going to do with these?
*this being elephant sized paper weights, a small quite obviously chipped statue of smiling buddha, an alarm clock with no back cover so basically doesnt work, 500 bundles of tape, four can openers! (and this is when i make it a point to buy things that have a removable cap, that can easily be pulled using your fingers rather than having to use a can opener) .. etc* ( i have a huge list)basically useless small things that have no use but look good or rather looked good and now just add to my never ending clutter.

me 2: i dont know im just saving it for a rainy day?

me 1: sure, coz tape is going to be scarce in the near future. and coz buying more can openers will threaten the cans to open up by themselves. you DO need to use them. not just buy them.why did you buy all this?

me 2: i dont know. i guess i forget that i already have these things.

me 1: ure pathetic. and why do you have all these receipts from ali baba kei zamenei ki.

me 2: ummm u never know, someone might have charged me more than they should or i might want to return something. u never know

me 1: arghhh..well theres more chances of rain in july in dubai than that ever happening. coz you prob will never find the receipt when you need it.

me 1: and now WHAT is this? (This being a scruffy looking stuffed animal thats been buried in the bottom of my box, im chucking this out! and this, (this being a torn shirt with two teeny tiny holes )but is the most comfortable shirt to sleep in)

me 2: noooooo. too many memories attached to those. i give up, im not going to throw anything.

heres to moving in and accumulating more junk!


Friday, April 06, 2007

but we're never gonna survive....unless we get a little crazy

ok so one of the major things that have been on my mind is not work but furniture. when you are setting up your own place you are allowed to go as mad as you want and become as creative as you want of course within your own budget. of course this is adding constant pressure on urself coz you really do want to find the perfect chair, the perfect table and not only do you want it, but you want it cheap too. and as previously explained there are no arbitrage opportunities.

well anyway i bought a rug for my living room/bedroom/study (all 3 in one) (refer to below pigeon hole story). i went pretty mad and drove the sales person mad too. but he obliged me and beared all my nakhras. after i went home, i opened it and flattened it out and didnt like it. and went back immediately. he wasnt least bit surprised to see me, in fact looked positively happy like he expected me to return for the other rug that i was confused about. then we discussed the rugs and thank God i liked the second one better, or it would have been embarassing to return back with the same rug.

i always tend to ask the sales person their opinion. i guess i need the reassurance that im doing the "right" thing. more often than not they point me towards the more expensive one, and sometimes they have really bad taste which i would immediately veto. despite all that i always try and ask someone their opinion. especially if its an expensive thing. so i can always blame the sales person if no one likes it. hahah. just kidding.

so neway heres something else ive noticed. neighbourhoods change by the street. i.e within a few steps. one can be living in a really good safe neighbourhood and in the next block the area is quite dicey and isnt as safe. the outer look of a building may be horrendous and look like its from the 1920's but when you walk inside its almost as if you are in a hotel. im not kidding. when i was looking for apts, the broker showed me a studio in the five story walkup building where the chairman of a big bank lives. and apparently hes renting too. why in the world will someone with so much money rent? they can just buy the whole building! when i asked that, the broker was like oh they are smart they dont want to waste their money on a crap building!! so basically its crappy to buy but its OK to live in! weirdd..

neway manhtattan reminds me so much of mumbai in many ways. in dubai not many rich people will take the bus but here there are a lot of well off people here who take the bus. its very interesting to see these extremes live so close together and for the most part they get along.

other observations: small family owned businesses like restaurants thrive in manhattan, there is almost an unsaid rejection of bigger chain like restaurnts like cheesecake factory or bigger firms like a walmart and target. (major departmental stores). and of course with family owned business comes bargaining, you can bargain a lot here. you also tend to pay a lot for convenience, its evident that regular household things would cost more in a smaller shop than say a huge departmental store (coz of the whole buying in bulk reducing cost thing).

but strangely enough this extends to food and groceries too. the same newspaper in my neighbouhood convenience store costs more than the same newspaper in the subway. this is a first for me, in dubai certain things (bread, eggs, milk etc) have the same price throughout the country. should their not be a control on this??

but like many a places and among all the age groups one thing remains constant. the increasing number of happy faces when today was declared a good friday and most pple had half day off. some kids on my floor have decorated the whole floor with stickers of rabbits and easter eggs. the excitement is quite contagious and i hope the kids have lot of fun and eat a lot of chocolate =)


Wednesday, April 04, 2007


the human mind is complex. we know that. sometimes we may think in one way and some thing else happens. there sometimes are no reasons why such a thing occured. to question certain things is indeed futile. i think everyones soul is unique and primarily good. but harsh words said and wrong paths we sometimes take detoriate our soul little by little and finally our well being. and then there comes a point where the soul is beyond repair. and beyond care. or at least its what we feel at that point of time. and that there is no reasoning with them. moments pass and seasons change. and we continue to believe that there is hope that the soul will regenerate. it doesnt. is it destiny or is it your fate. kismet mein jo likha hai, is it for the best. or do you try to make the best of it.

be kind to each other. watever goes around will come around.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

look before you leap

my sister and my brother in law were visiting me on the weekend. I have never lived in an apt which has an outside fire escape and frankly its a bit scary looking. (the fire escape in old apt buildings in nyc is equivalent to a winding staircase outside the apt window)

so this is just before dohr ki namaz when im wearing my dupatta (head scarf). this is a more have to be there kinda moment but watever.

b-in-law opening the window: h do you know you have a fire escape
me: yea
bil: you are supposed to use this as an exit during the fire
me: yea, i know. *considering my fear of heights i would probably risk being burnt than climbing down the fire escape*
bil: so how about doing a demo
me: yea sure.*sarcastically* imagine me coming out the window wearing my white duppata. the next thing you know pple on the street will freak out and the police will be here in seconds.
bil: *laughing* yea i can imagine the headlines on TV "al qaeda's wife caught in new york coming down the fire escape"
me: *laughing* yea but u know al qaeda is not actually a single person.
bil: true, but that h is US media for you.


Monday, April 02, 2007

and this is how you remind me

conversations of the day(s):

it was my sisters birthday and i wanted to buy chicken pastries. i go into a local bakery store

me: Excuse me, do you have chicken pastries?
guy no 1: huh *calls guy no 2*
guy no 2: u want chicken pastries?
me: yes
guy no 2: we dont have. they have at the indian store. are u indian?
me: yes, i am. are u indian?
guy no 2: *with an offended look* no im bangladeshi.

a great big of a deal. jeez. its all the same to me. well, maybe not. especially after the world cup debacle, no one wants to be mistaken as indian.

after seeing an apt which, i kid you not, had the kitchen inside the closet. imagine opening a closet and finding a kitchinette. just to get an idea of the neighbourhood i ask this elderly man coming out of the apt how the area is and how the building is

man: this building has given me high blood pressure and stress.
me: oh god, why?
man: too much noise i cant sleep at the nite
me: is traffic that bad
man: no not traffic, neighbours. they make too much noise
me: i see, thats tough.
man: a muslim lives on top of me and at 4 oclock makes too much noise.
me: hmm
man: so where are you from?
me: im indian.
man : oh indian. indian doctors did my nose job and my ears. so polite. indian doctors very good. so are you a doctor?
me: no im not.

i make only 1 out of the 3 criteria. i guess i wouldnt fit the bill of being the ideal neighbour.


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