Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Social experiment

There are two kinds of people out there - those who smile when they are telling something funny and those who don't - I prefer the former - else when im not really paying attention, I get caught out...

take this conversation with Alvin a trainer at the Sheraton gym:

Alvin: i eat 17 egg whites a day

Me: isnt that high cholestrol

Alvin: nope, thats all in the yellow - i feed that to the dog. He's dead now!

Not even the ghost of a smile as he says that...cant make out if i should laugh or walk away without turning my back on him...

But im curious will people react ?? And so I shall attempt the great social experiment - tell people morbid stories without blinking or smiling and lets see how they react...results next week..or next year depending on how much fun i have

Saturday, April 16, 2011

the End????

After many many posts, I have decided it is now time to retire this blog.

I started writing this in  Feb 2007 as I was getting ready to leave India for Dubai - had expected to be in Dubai for a year...instead Ive stayed for 4...found my wife....experienced more travel and adventure than any other time in my life till date (I turn 30 next week), made some wonderful friends, acquired some wonderful toys (not what you are thinking, I'm referring to my prized possessions like my laptop, iphone and books), learned a couple of interesting skills..all in all had an interesting journey getting to where I am.

And now life throws another curve ball - one that we've chosen to accept with open arms....we head to Singapore in June 2011 and begin a fresh chapter there.

The Wolf of Arabia has chosen to end his story here..this may not be the very end just yet....but he definitely is making way for a new player....

Readers who enjoyed the wolf of Arabias exploits might consider reading the Lion of Singapore's adventures....coming soon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A matter of perspective

I realized last evening how lucky I am. I used to feel envious of other globetrotters since I always felt that they had all accomplished so much more with their lives than I had. Id wish that I was earning in Dollars so that international travel would be so much more affordable. oR that I had a stronger passport so we didnt have to apply for visas every single time.

Last evening I met Chris and Katie from Canada. Married a couple of years with no kids chris is a golf pro while katie was in finance. Theyd been saving up for a few years and were now making this incredible trip. They landed in South Africa, then came to Zambia where we met them, were then heading to zimbabwe followed by Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia. They wished to visit Egypt but the riots there had given them pause...they were looking to come to dubai (we extended hospitality) and were then planning to head to Nepal, China and maybe Thailand...a 5 month long vacation

How did they get this much leave? They quit their jobs!!

They were not the only ones. Around us, everyone seemed to be taking massive breaks. Kim from germany had just gotten her license for law and was joining her new company in April. One 69 year old man from Australia working as a school bus driver was undertaking a massive Africa tour. We seemed to be the only ones stuck in this quest for getting leave enough to travel...

and then sharon pointed out something...yes we were only making fortnight long trips or less..yes we were staying in smaller little holes than some of these guys and yes we were not possibly blowing tons of cash everywhere....but we were making these kind of trips every year....Weve seen the Pyramids in Egypt, Vic Falls in Zambia, the rocky outcroppings of Cappodaecia... the volcano of Batur in Bali...Ive climbed Kilimanjaro and seen Ngorongoro..shes visited the Masai Mara and Petra and the Jerita Grotto. We've skydived and shark dived, bungee jumped and cave crawled, petted tigers and cheetahs, ridden ostriches and experienced micro-lites and sunset cruises... accomplished a lot in the few years of our lives...shes currently at 26 countries while im at 13..but ive started only about 4 years ago.

We lead good lives....and I now appreciate it more.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dracula's Birthday gift

Spent a lazy Saturday afternoon at my Aunt’s barbecue in Creek Park.
Met with a Romanian lady called Fabiola. On seeing my keen interest in Transylvania, she told me this little story..

Turns out Vlad , known popularly as Dracula used to love impaling his enemies the turks. So, one fine morning, on his birthday when he woke up, his friends had set up a little surprise for him…a gift of 20 Turks all impaled on stakes with 19 of them dead and only one still alive.

Vlad was delighted with his present, clapped his hands excitedly, and asked why was the one turk still alive. To which his friends said…go closer and find out.

So Vlad goes closer…and the Turk says………………

Happy Birthday to You…..

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Things Im learning as the wedding date edges closer...

• The Foxtrot is a 4 beat … 1,2…3 and 4 and 1,2

• The Waltz is a 3 beat …1 and 2&3…1 and 2&3

• The Jive is a 16 beat….I hate footwork…hands are so much easier.

• My wedding ring cannot have the inscription “One Ring to Rule them All……and in the Darkness Bind them”

• I can’t replace the Wedding March with the Imperial March.

• There are wedding cakes available with little ladders with the bride running away, grooms holding guns, getaway cars and more.

• Average credit card bill is AED 14,000 for the last 4 months.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the she-wolf is here

Its been two months since my last i finally giving up on this?,

So much has happened..I don't know where to start. 

Sachin's left for UK. Hopefully we'll work together again in the near future.
Gullis got a new job...I hope that works out great as well.

Im getting married. Now, that I  really really hope will go well :)

Let me explain point no 3 in detail. To the teeming millions who may one day choose to read this, I am getting married in Jan the girl Ive been in love with for close to 3 years now. And as we near D-Day, there are a million things to do..

Truth be told Im more excited about planning the honeymoon (South Africa and Vic Falls). But even there its crazy...we still got to book hotels, visas, car rentals, travel itenaries etc - I dont know wheres the time.

Even the recent vacation wasn't too much fun. There was the visit to the  cake maker, and a decorator, and the visits to the church and the visits to the hall and a dress maker , and a suit guy and a civil registration and dont even get me started on the church...lets write a seperate blog entry for that one(these are seperate from the doctors and the dentists and the relatives and friends.) ...some of these activities were fun....but just too tiring.

Had to take a seperate vacation further east just to get a real vacation.

And there is the weight watching regime. I tried the GM diet and couldn't get past Day1.Gaurav at work was motivated by my resolve on Day 1 and attempted it (he lasted till day 4).The swimming has helped my technique (I can now breast-stroke 30 laps across a slightly less than olympic sized pool in under 20 minutes, something I had to teach myself) but i still cant butterfly.

Well, thats all for now. I think this was just to make myself feel not giving up on the least not just yet.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rohan in the food factory :)

Bombay can be experienced by its unique tastes. heres a sampling from this trip.

Bade Miyan, Baghdadi

Have not visited either of these in well over 3 years, but all sources tell me the food quality has dipped as has the hygiene, so give these two a miss.

Apple Juice at Churchgate Station - As good as ever
(On a seperate note, I also love the Aarey lassi I find everywhere in Bombay)

Jai Sandwich next to National College Bandra

Was shut on Sunday. Hoping to visit and paste a review before the end of this week.

Oh Calcutta, Lokhandwala

Theres no bong food in Dubai, so I make it a point to visit this joint every time Im in town. Great food ...highly recommend the Lychees and Kosha Mangsho as the main course and a particular chicken starter in mustard sauce. Also serves alcohol.

Great Punjab, Bandra

Decent food, nothing to write home about...also seemed slightly expensive. I would recommend checking out Persian Darbar, just a few minutes away on the same road.

Nice Stall near Sacred Heart Church Santacruz
A little stall that serves kebabs and tikkas -40 bucks a plate..up from 20 a couple of years ago. Decent food and one of my haunts earlier. Unfortunately no more seating outside, but still wortha  visit.

Biryani Centre
Nice Biryanis. Dont know where exactly it is though... :)

Nandos (In Orbit Malad)
Limited menu; but has a large play area right next to it.Dump the kids there and talk to the adults.

Mama Mia next to Elco in Bandra

Has a pizza known as the mother of all pizzas. It certainly is in size and price (1000 bucks) but not so much in taste.

Snowbite Ice-cream store  near Mehboob studio

The black currant milk shake is worth killing for. It was fabulous. I can honestly say ive not had a better milkshake in Bombay.

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream , Bandra
Unusual and tasty...worth checking out

Persian Darbar Bandra
 This is on my list of places to re-visit. Order the 3 in one raan for a thousand bucks - you need at least 3 people. It is well worth the experience.Coming up Next : Reviews on the places that serve Goan Food in Bombay - Cafe Goa, Martins and Soul Fry.

A popular haunt in Juhu, this place is still good but seems more pricey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Return to Bombay

My first trip to Bombay with S didnt start quite the way I hoped...The most glaring change appeared to be the weather. Bombay had turned from the cool equitable climate i so enjoyed, into a raging furnace...

Still all said and done it was an enjoyable experience. The weather cooled down noticeably after a couple of days and light showers (something I'd been hoping to experience anyways - Bombay rains ). The first week was brouhaha with every lunch and dinner engagement being about meeting different people. In between that, and the suits I had to stich, the clothes she had to shop for, the books I had to buy, the restaurants that I missed, her mom coming down, she meeting my parents, me meeting her mom...well, lets just say hectic doesnt begin to describe the past week.

So, Im going to tell you'll all about this experience in a series of quick posts...but i did feel this time, bombay has lost a lot of its charm - I love the city and am usually fiercely passionate when defending it, especially to Delhiites, but the traffic situation has worsened, food prices have increased by over a 100%, public transport is more expensive , not to mention confusing and the wonderful food experience Ive usually enjoyed here dont seem that wonderful anymore....

So coming up next...a quick look at some of my favourite haunts when it comes to experiencing the taste of Bombay.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Favourite Things Done in 2010

Watching Hurley reading a comic of Y the last man in lost and then seeing the names of the writers of the tv series  as they flashed on screen - one of them being Brian K Vaughn, (the writer of the above mentioned comic)

Reading Jim Buthcher's Dresden files and the Alex Codera - 18 brilliant books that entertained me for a month .

Also, reading the 10 Gabriel Allon Espionage books. Also highly entertaining.

Finally finishing Supernatural, Lost , Heroes and Prison Break...

Climbed the Wafi Overhang...been meaning to do that for 3 years now

Finally moved to a division when I trust the people around me - another thing Ive been trying to do for 3 years.

to be continued....

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My  favourite quotes from the movie:

I'm telling you right now,British women do not age well.You know, I mean, years ago,yes, she was a luscious treat.You know, she probably looked like,you know, Baby Spice.

But now she could look like--Old Spice.

"Sara, you know,it's a wonderful thought.The idea that all of life,that every single event is part of some master plan...designed to lead us to our universal soul mate.

But if that's really true,then what's the point of living?Or making decisions?Hell, why should we even get out of bed in the morning?

For the cake?
No. Not for cake.So that you make mistakes.Mistakes like this trip.And if you're smart enough,you learn from your mistakes.You figure it out.You-You think.You realize that lifeisn't some elaborate stage play with directions for the actors.Life's a mess, Sara.It's-It's
chaos personified."


When love feels like magic, it's called Destiny. When destiny has a sense of humor, It's called Serendipity

Saturday, July 31, 2010


At the climbing walls in Wafi

Guy in a T-shirt that reads "The Children of the Corn"!

Me in a T-shirts that reads " Kilimanjaro"!

Guy looks at me, points at my t-shirt  and says "Hey, Have you been there?"

Me: Yeah!

He: You climbed the mountain?

Me: Yeah!

He: Wow that's cool!. Thinks for a moment, looks at his t- shirt and then says "Well Ive been to a corn field! "

Next week, when he comes, I'm wearing my sky-diving t-shirt :)

hang over

 I have discovered that I love climbing. I do it 3 times a week sometimes even 4 and its still not enough...Its right up there with swimming (in a slightly heated pool)

Part of the renewed interest is because I would like to  do some serious climbing in South Africa. A popular place for this sport in SA is Waterval Boven which has a little restaurant people call "The Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe"
Anyways, the point of this post is that I finally climbed the Overhang at Wafi Mall. Its a wall about 3 storeys in height which i had been hoping to successfully climb for over 2 years now. Partially due to time constraints,  expense, disinterest in doing it alone, I put off the attempt.

Finally after half a dozen attempts (on different days) I cracked it. Its a Grade 5 difficulty route - I need to be a Grade 6 climber at least to be truly content with myself.

Its a plus having S also climbing along with me -so it feels like a fun sport for us to do together. Along with swimming.

To anyone interested I would highly recommend lose well over 900 calories in a single hour more than any other sport..And you learn a fun skill that might be of help if your not a Michael Scofield

Friday, July 9, 2010


For those who dont know him Paul the Octopus is  a popular soul who predicts World Cup matches. Unfortunately not many people appreciate his predictions , particularly when he is right.

Here are a couple of choice phrases I heard over the past few days

#1: Octopuses are meant to be delicious not intelligent

#2"He should just stick to....well whatever it is that octopuses do instead of predicting football matches"

#3: I cant believe that stupid octopus was right. Tomorrow we are having octopus for dinner!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Its a bird! Its a plane! Its ...Blam! A Dead Man...

Read a headline this morning saying that Superman was dead.

The full story revealed that a mystic called himself superman because bullets couldnt kill him (or so he claimed)

All it required was one non-believer. He shot him.

Turned out Supes wasnt that super after all :-)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Let there be light.....

Me: I want to get laser optical surgery

She: I can do it at home on you, if you want

Thursday, February 4, 2010

And all this before childbirth.....

Meet D, Mother of two; Works in my office. She had an interesting perspective on a rather common occurrence

D: “You know whats the biggest scam in the world? Its pregnancy. Your body’s sore all day, you bloat up like a balloon, everything pains, yr nauseous, you don’t get sleep, your feet swell up , yr throwing up, yr constipated, yr hormonal and so irritable all the time.....and it goes on for 9 Frikkin months!!!

And then tell you it’s the most wonderful loving experience any woman can have. What a load of bull!!

:) ive never quite heard it described that way, but now that i think of it....she has a point :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Virgin Sale

Its been a really good year...lots of new toys to play with (PS2, Merlin, I-Phone, :) ), lots of new stuff to watch (3 terabytes and counting), read some nice books (Outliers, King of Ithaca, Mike Carey's naming of the Beast ), new books Im savouring and will read slowly over the next few months (Superfreakonomics, Howto move Mt Fuji) ( brilliant comic arcs (in case I havent said it before, I highly Recommend Conan, Punisher, Amazing Spider-Man and New Avengers), reconnected with old friends, explored East India, played a nice couple of board games I thoroughly enjoyed (Star Wars Monopoly, Kingdom Quest) , visited Turkey, lost weight, yadda yadda...

I also had a lucky break this year by not missing the Magrudys sale - though I went overboard and bought over 40 Lonely Planets (@5aed when the normal price is 120 AED)

And now comes the purpose for writing this blog entry...the Virgin mega sale only for Citibank card holders. Heres a sample of what I picked up (every one of these has an original price of 200 AED) and was sold at 10%

  • Roswell Season 2
  • 3 Seasons of X-Files
  • 4 Seasons of Stargate SG-1

Among the classics (all 1930-60's approx)

  • John Wayne Collection
  • Humphrey Bogart Collection
  • Sherlock Holmes Collection
  • Elvis presley Collection
  • Leading Ladies (Bette Davis, etc)

All in all a very profitable weekend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Im a self proclaimed foodie....though my staple diet at home is rice, dal and a side course (usually fish). Every trip back to India has me making a little list of places to go and food to sample...this blog entry is about the tastes that make Bombay...

My favourite Jai Sandwich in Bandra is close to 50 bucks now….my staple college Vada Pav is priced at Rs5 (though the famous Santacruz Stn Vada pav is now gone up to 10 Bucks) Sahibaan still serves good food, I didn’t get a chance to taste the Aarey lassi , did try the sugarcane juice….ate the undescribably glorious Martins food twice …literally wolfed it down…couldn’t catch my favourite Dosa vendor (Godrej beach) but managed to eat the Jamun-e-Jannat of Kailash Parbat (Andheri)….didnt visit Toto’s but spiked a couple of bottles and drank outside a wedding…. Ate a 25 inch Mama Mia special (had help of course) which was delicious, returned home nearly every morning at 2 am - Amar Juice Centre is still open till the wee hours, the quality and portions of Bade Miyan and Baghdadi have reduced, the Lucky rolls still hold their charm, Pop Tates has been renamed to Jugheads, Kalcutta Club recently opened is the 2nd place I know in Bombay that serves good Cal food...(love the fare at Oh Cal but find it a wee bit pricey). My newest discovery in the culinary delight that is bombay was this little hotel just outside lower parel station that serves an excellent Kesar Falooda.

To a non Bombayite, most of the above would sound uninteresting...but i know for a fact that people who have lived here will know most of these places.

This is the third in a series of write-ups on Bombay. This thread shall resume once Ive posted more entries on my Sikkim trip else that will soon be just a distant memory...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Changing Face of Bombay.....

Bombay has changed a lot in the past one year. Thankfully though its not a superficial change…this looks like deeper more significant upheavals have taken place in the way people think.

For one, there are now new trains and new buses across the city…the old ones are still present but I feel happy seeing that the city’s infrastrructure is changing…a new suspension bridge is reducing the heavy traffic on arterial roads, walkways are being built at various points in the city (im not quite convinced about how great an idea this is), a metro is in the works which will move from east to west (Bombay’s railways are laid out North-South ) thus making a huge difference to the hundreds of thousands of people switching daily between the Central and Western line during their Work-Home-Work commute….

High Speed Internet appears more affordable since the last time…prices of electronics have fallen enough for people to actually evaluate and decide whether we should buy from India or Dubai (About a year ago…it was definitely Dubai…now its ‘Probably’ Dubai) can even call an AC cab to drop you from one spot to another...Juhu to Borivli worked out to 300 odd bucks by the metre(the device, not the measurement)

Still, the changes Im happiest about are attitudinal…the hutments along Tulsi Pipe on our way to IMRb have been cleared all the way till lower Parel , The BMC invited people to paint their own graffitti or images…hundreds of people turned out….overall though I didn’t actully see it, everyone I know had something nice to say about it…I think its nice that the BMC asked residents to do this rather than having this painted in some garish looking colour because a political party was leaning on them …..(This is a rant related to the local govt’s attempt a few years earlier to repaint the buses of the city in saffron) ...whats even nicer is how enthusiastically people responded...All the way from Colaba and Chembur people came on a Sunday morning to paint the wall..

A , unsurprisingly drew a zombie with entrails hanging out, M even more predictably drew a Superman logo, lots of people did lots of different things….ranging from childish scrawls to seriously good work…

Other stuff happening in the city…Trafalgar Chowk is replaced with Café Bandra…a place with a poetry night, or a short film night…a couple of places have stand up comedy….Cafe Mochas have been replaced with something else…a few cofee shops are now frequented by people playing Board games - I played a few games I quite enjoyed and had never played before….Kingdom Quest , Tribe and Star Wars Monopoly ( wih rules for the Dark Side or Light Side…one that I loved if your on the dark side involves throwing a six followed by a number higher than 4 allows you to steal someone elses property :) etc )
This is the second in a series of write-ups on the city. Stay tuned for the third where I describe the choicest food outlets I visited in my brief couple of weeks over there.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

In Train-ing

Riding trains in Bombay is a unique experience. Just yesterday, I felt a surge of pride when I obtained my favourite spot after a minor clash of wills with one of the other contenders.

To non worshippers of the wind god, this favoured spot Im talking about is the front edge of the door in each coach (for convenience sake I call this the vanguard). Theres another which is the back edge of the door (rearguard). An average of 5 people can stand comfortably at the door but these two spots are particularly preferred since once there you cant be dislodged. On a bad day as many as 7-8 people will squeeze into this narrow corridor that receives fresh air in a regular local. The disadvantage for these poor blighters is that they need to keep getting off as people enter or exit at stations. But you stand in the 2 magic spots and you are protected. Of course veterans of the daily battles within each coach know the necessary tactics to be employed which might dissuade the faint of heart, even if they have occupied these vantage points.

The first of course is the scowl and snarl tactic. Might intimidate an amateur...the correct response is to snarl back if your in the appropriate mood, ignore the snarler or infuriate him by just grinning broadly .

The most commonly used method to dislodge an adversary is the brute force attack. Fortunately the vanguard is invulnerable - I have never yet lost my spot when the competition uses brute force. For the BF can only be employed sneakily at stations during the chaos of the entrance/exit. Non-sneaky BF may result in open conflict and nobody wants least they don't.

There is the creepy butt feel (countered with the toe crush) , the emotional appeal"Can I please stand there - my station's coming" countered with the power of "NO!!" and even the inadvertent Spitting Typhoon aatack (where the guy in the compartment up ahead decides to sneeze or spit and the wind blows it towards you (the only defence to that is to be 'Ever Vigilant')

And Yet there is one weapon that can drive you away...there is no defense against it....there isa select breed who walk around with this weapon..Most deadly within the compartment, it has effects even at the edges.It is called the Smelly armpit WMD. When you, dear reader see, or rather expoerience far spot, no matter how wonderful is worth it.

This is the first in a series of write-ups on my city. Coming up has Bombay changed since i left?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Forgotten Yearz Trip #7 - The Journey East

Around 7 years ago, after the first trip made by us (Gaurang, Sachin, Poppins, Nandita, Ashwin, Venkat and Myself) Ashwin made a group on yahoo and labelled it as Forgotten yearz.The name stuck

Every year Fyearz takes abreak from the hustle and bustle of Bombay - 5 times in a row it was Goa...but the past 2 have been different places.

The core composition remains the same - Ashwin, Poppins, Gaurang and myself have successfully attended every trip. Nan has missed one, Sachin has missed a couple, Prateek has missed 3 and Venkat has missed 4..New people have joined us Princila and Renuka for 2, Basi, Kashi, Mihir, Reema ,Arpita for 1 each

This is the story of the 7th Annual trip of Forgotten Yearz - A trip to Darjelling, Sikkim and West Bengal. Will sketch it out in more detail but heres the twitter version of the trip

  • Day 0 - Landed at Cal - Walked around then caught a train to NJP
  • Day 1 Landed at NJP - Drove to Pelling
  • Day 2 Drove from Pelling to Gangtok
  • Day 3-Guru Dongmar ;Night 3 at Laiching
  • Day 4 - Zero Point Night 4 Lachung
  • Day 5 Gangtok Night @ Little Italy
  • Day 6 Nathula Pass -evening at a Pub called Live and Loud
  • Day 7 -Gangtok Sightseeing Night @ Khagen's Hotel
  • Day 8 - Travel to Richenpong.
  • Day 9 - Travel to Darjelling. Visited Wildlife zoo and HMI.
  • Day 10 - Visited Lava. Stayed in Jungle Lodge
  • Day 11 - Went to Rishabh. Stayed there
  • Day 12 - Kalimpong Market. Night caught a train to Cal from NJP
  • Day 13 - Caught flight back to Bombay

This was the longest and most travel intensive of the 7 Annual Trips so far. Theres a feeling of accomplishment at the end since we have thoroughly explored Sikkim (I can even scratch Bhutan off my list, since Bhutan is supposedly Sikkim with better roads and a hundred more monastaries). The flip side however is that there is just too much travelling..and the roads are bad, because of frequent landlides. However, travel was a necessary evil. Id rate this as Trip No 6 when I rank them all primarily becuase of the heavy travel. (Trip #1 was Rishikesh in 2008, Trip #2 Was the first Goa Trip)

Id like to write more but I think photos will say a lot more than just words. The total cost of this trip for me worked out to Approximately 35K including tickets to and fro (5K) and all hotel, travel, food etc. Sachin and me did the first leg of the trip until Day 6 by ourselves and were joined by the rest of the gang after that.

To Be Continued...

Monday, October 5, 2009


I'm on the streets of Istanbul , trying to explain unsuccessfully to a bus driver my destination. A turkish man steps in and helps. As I thanked him, the following conversation took place...

Me:Thank you

He: Not a problem. Where are you from?

Me: India

He: India? Hmm? Where is that?

At this point I found myself stumped. I never thought the location of this country of 1 billion will be called into question.

Me: India? Its...well..its (Im struggling to explain this)

He: Is it small country?

Me: Uh..No

He: Hmm, never heard of it

Another individual watching the whole thing unfold interjected helpfully...."Its near China"

Turkish man "Aah, ok China" (He probably thought I was the oddest Chinaman he'd ever met!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Roads more travelled....

Its been an interesting few weeks since my return from the Kingdom.

In less than a week, I flew back this time to Jeddah for a couple of presentations.

Working on a top level and strategic document that might win brownie points by the end of this year

Making a quick trip to Turkey. Simultaneously involved in the planning of the India trips to Sikkim and W. bengal in November and S.America hopefully in 2010.

Applied for a field trip to Malawi based on some UNICEF charity work done last year.

Some work lined up in Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar...but Im not too enthusastic

Hoping Emirates boy will not forget that we have planned to make a few trips together :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Random Thoughts

Found a hilarious link out here which makes fun of facebook

Heres an excerpt :

Surpanakha poked Lakshman.

Lakshman took the quiz – “Who has a crush on you?” and got the result – “Surpanakha”

Surpanakha changed her status from being ‘Single’ to ‘It’s complicated’

Ravana added the application “Mob wars” and recruited Maricha

Maricha took the test “What kind of animal are you?” and got the result – Beautiful golden spotted deer

Click the link above to see the rest. Quite funny!!

  • Theres a connection between Heroes and Star Trek. Sulu from ST featured as Hiro's father. Uhuru from ST featured as that smart alec Kids grandmother. And now Sylar from Heroes plays Spock. Everything's come full circle.

  • Theres also a circle of sorts in the David E Kelley shows with everyone criss crossing. Except for Chicago Hope which is too boring, I like all the rest...Practise, Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, Boston Public and Boston legal

  • Been watching this most amazing History channel programme called Battles BC that I downloaded. One of my favourites so far. Also began watching Tudors a historical programme on Henry the 8th. Not yet as gripping as Rome, it still shows plenty of potential.

  • According to feedback from all those around me, ive lost a lot of weight and grown fairer. I somehow doubt this will last. Dubai has a way of increasing your waistline.

  • Finally got Neville to download the Tv serial Jeremiah by J Michael Strazynski (writer of Rising Stars and the most Amazing Spider-Man run ever.)

  • Im being bitten by the travelbug again. Need to figure out the road ahead...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tales from the world of Research #1

Interviewer at a cake product test:

How filling would you say is the cake that you have just eaten?

  • Very Filling
  • Filling
  • Just Right
  • Not Filling
  • Not at all filling

Respondent : Hmmm, Not filling

Interviewer: First of all, you are eating a cake for free, then you are saying this is not filling?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bring yr Dota to the slotta

A long time ago, I played Blizzard's Warcraft III decided it was strictly an Ok game and walked away.

Last evening Milbert re-introduced me to Warcraft III . And to a particular map called DOTA (Defence of the Ancients)

I played it for 9 hours last evening stopping only for 1 hour in between for dinner. The game is terrifyingly addictive.

DOTA has got 3 roads between your camp and the enemy base. The soldiers for both teams are auto generated…no resource gathering or towers that you can control.

What you have to control is a hero. And the more you fight the more your hero levels up which gives him more hit points, and mage skill. If your hero dies, you respawn back at your base but the delay in spawning could result in your enemies leveling up and pressing further in. Also enemy grunts that you kill gives you gold which you can use to buy armour weapons and magic

There are 96 heroes to choose from, over 200 magical items and 600+ powers. Plus recipes (magical objects used together results in new and different amulets and weapons. The game replay value is virtually limitless. You can destroy your own towers to deny enemies the hit points and gold, teleport behind enemies, blast them with ice, fire poison and stun bolts, summon beasts, become invisible, freeze time, perform combo attacks with your own powers or with those of your companion heroes, heal your troops, kill your allies (absorb their life essence), web your enemies, create illusions, launch a lightning strike, drop a cloud of fog, raise a sandstorm, start an earthquake, shoot a sniper rifle, hack with a sword or axe......I could go on and on and on.

If you are a gamer, Warcraft III : DOTA is a must play.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Random Convos #4

RM used to live near Juhu beach. He is very passionate about his city :)

SA used to live in Pakistan.

SA : Ive heard Juhu beach is so well known primarily becuase of the people who go there every morning with a lota (vessel)

RM: Ive heard Pakistan is so well known primarily because of your training camps....

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wrist in Peace

I strongly suspect I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Its probably due to my climbing though I got winked at lewdly by one Phillipino bloke when i told him its caused by excessive strain put on my wrist...

Aug 10th

Its a guy thing... the MD looks at my bandaged wrist and says "Thats a sign of a bachelor alone in Saudi"... :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Horn OK Please

Rohan is from India...

Milbert is from Phillipines

The two are sitting in an Egyptian Restaurant... Saudi Arabia.

The following conversation takes place

R: Im going to Sikkim this year

M: Oh. Ejaz was telling me theres a place in India where theres a one horned wolf...Is that near where your going?

R: One horned wolf?

M: Yeah, it grows from the middle of his head

R: Are you referring to a Rhinocerrous

[Meaningful Pause]

M: Is that what he was talking about? Why couldnt he have just said Rhinocerous? I know what that is.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Riyadh #7 - Scare port

Part 1 : As I was attempting to exit KSA, we discovered I had overstayed my welcome by a day – the fine for this is 10,000 SAR. Was taken aside by airport security and asked why do I wish to disobey the laws of the land? I told them (quite sincerely) that I have no intention of overstaying (seriously!! Except for the internet, I cant think of what could possibly appeal to me out here) Anyways, I was let off with a warning.

The company has recently paid the fine for another of their employees following which theyve laid down rules ... youve done the crime, then you do the time. I was lucky I got through without a hitch.

Part 2:

Everything seemed perfect in Dubai….the calm before the storm.

Saw a new HP laptop for 3900 AED with 1 GB Video Ram ….Sorely tempted. May buy
Bought an IOMega Passport 500 GB for 439 AED from Sharaf DG (thanks to the gift vouchers for the work done for the SRC
Visited Kinokumiya and picked up a few interesting books

  • Night of the Dragon (Sequel to Day of the Dragon by Richard Knaak) which should tie up the Warcraft story to a satisfying conclusion
  • The Silver Eagle (Book 2 by Ben Kane) of the Roman soldiers captured by the Parthians following the defeat of Crassus
  • Hood (Book 1 by Stephen Lawhead)

Part 3 : The Return

I had my hard disk in my bag. Was stopped, taken aside, asked to give my passport and hard disk to customs….they ran a check but found nothing UnIslamic (ie porn or propaganda) . Which was very good, since my phone battery had died and if I was arrested, I wouldn’t have been able to even inform anyone that I was in trouble. Though as tense as a bowstring, I quietly read a book and looked unconcerned as they scanned my hard disk – there were just a bunch of TV serials on it, but even small flashes of skin could incite the radicals (In KSA, any bare skin gets blurred on television (if its govt controlled)

My air of nochalance had an unexpected impact. One guy from Airport security asks me if Im British. :) With my most polished accent I told him "Oh No, not really!" For some reason that amused me a fair bit, once I was safe.

Walked out with a song on my lips (not too loud though - Singing in Public is banned here)

This concludes the second month of my exile. One more month to go and I shall be free....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


It was a dreary work day.

Im sitting at my desk slogging away when unexpectedly i get this mail

 /dræft, drɑft/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [draft, drahft] Show IPA
Use draught in a Sentence
Pronunciation note:Draught is a variant spelling of draft and is normally pronounced the same way, ] is sometimes heard for draught, perhaps because -aught is frequently pronounced
 elsewhere, as in caught and taught.

I responded promptly as below :

Oh cool!!

A random word game with no background or context!!

Me too!! Me too!!

Onomatopoeia or onomatopœia, from the
Greek ὀνοματοποιία (ὄνομα for "name" and ποιέω for "I make"), is one or more words that imitate or suggest the source of the sound they are describing. Common occurrences include animal noises, such as "oink" or "meow" or "roar". Onomatopoeia are not universally the same across all languages; they conform to some extent to the broader linguistic system they are part of; hence the sound of a clock may be tick tock in English and tik tak in Dutch or tic-tac in French.

Exactly 10 mins later I get another mail....

f@#$ing idiot
A moron who knows absolutely nothing about life or anything at all. Often dig their own grave and jump in as well as ruin other people’s lives and their own. Are basically an all round F@#$ing dickhead.

Guy 1: Man, did you get that email from Rohan about different noises people make?

Guy 2: Yeah, what a F@#$ing idiot!


I ve been laughing for the past 2 days on that one :D

Monday, July 20, 2009

PS vs X-Box

The votes are in.

About a week ago, I asked people if I should go for a Playstation or X-Box.

I got abt 5 votes for the X-Box and 7-8 for the Playstation. A couple of them also suggested the WII but the lack of great games for that platform made it non-viable.

What swung me towards sony was the
Red Ring of Death, people with the X-Box kept encountering .

That and this very well written article comparing the two. My sincere thanks to the author.

So I think I'll buy one sometime soon. Need to figure out where to keep it :)

And whether I should buy the PS2 or spend 5 times as much and go for the PS3.

Fun decisions to make!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Riyadh #8

A quote from 'If' by Rudyard Kipling, springs to mind...

If you can stake all of your winnings on one turn of the toss...
And lose...and start again at the beginning...and never breathe a word abt your loss.

With all due respect to Kipling...there were no blogs in his time. Im pissed off and this is my space to vent.

I, recently suffered a major reversal of fortune. After downloading 5gb a day for 30 days, my hard disk crashed and I lost everything - a partial list of the same being, Titus, Men Behaving Badly, Picket Fences (all 4 seasons), the Practise, Family Guy , American Dad, Babylon 5, around 20 odd gb of comics.

A mobily USB connection costs 300 SAR for the first time and 350 SAR as the monthly subscription. Ive just lost 450 SAR by that logic (since Im supposed to be there for 3 months). Plus a late payment fee by Citibank of 150 SAR (coz of a signature mismatch) and you can see why this week has left me extremely annoyed.

Fortunately Ceto has promised to download for me, so thats a big load of my mind.

Wael , and Egyptian in office (pronounced Vile) took me to a guy named...... Dr Hard Disk!! I found that name quite amusing particularly as M decided to conduct a little monologue "Why Hello Dr Hard, How are you feeling today? Hard?" The guy must be around 60 with a long beard - his office is at Computer Centre. Unfortunately he couldnt do much - which meant a 400 SAR Hard Disk was now officially useless.

The one (and only) nice thing in this week was the MD handing me a bunch of City Centre vouchers for services rendered in my stint in the Go Green club. Enough to buy me a new hard disk.

Lets hope the next week is better.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Riyadh #7

One thing about Riyadh is that you will find yourself shocked at least once during your stay here. Literally.Something about the low humidity and hot temeprature results in an electric discharge when you touch metal. Laptops, taxi cabs, you name it - its non lethal of course, but its extremly annoying getting zapped 5-6 times a day.

Anyways, last night I visited Batta. Batta is a market place of sorts. You get stuff thats illegal in the Kingdom like porn and pirated dvds and for this my enthusaistic young friends from the Phillipines decided to make that trip while I mostly from curiosity accomanied them.

A PS2 costs 430 SAR, An X-BOX 360 2000 SAR, A PS3 1800 SAR and a WD 500 GB Passport 380 SAR.
No idea what these stack up like against prices in India or UAE, but I will find out. Overall, from what I gather, stuff in the kingdom is relatively inexpensive.

I dont think theres an equivalent market of sorts in Dubai, in terms of sheer size.

Anil mentioned sheesha cafes here that are massive...close to a thousand people in a single cafe + over a hundred waiters - Id like to visit one of those, Will do so soon and continue posting....

Friday, June 26, 2009

The King Pops!

Michael Jackson passed away.

I went through one phase in my life where i fervently believed he was the only singer worth listening to (1995-96) .

I used to play Heal the world and Black or white over and over again. They used to be the last song on Side A and the first Song on Side B of the Dangerous album and so I would keep running them through over and over.

Black or White was also (to the best of my recollection) the first video I ever downloaded coz I liked it so much.

As I may have stated before on this blog and through other means, I have always believed he was innocent of all charges.

RIP MJ. Your music shall stay with us forever.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Riyadh #6

Visited Jarir last evening – the fabled largest bookstore in KSA –

It was a disappointment. It was large and spread over 2 floors but only one floor was books and half of them were Arabic, The lower floor sold Laptops and Computer Accessories , Cameras, mobile phones, and movies and TV serials.
As a bookstore it failed to impress…Very low breadth, number of genres/writers and very little depth (number of books within a writer). One notable exception was Dragonlance – (a set of 3 trilogies that I read before Lord of the Rings and consequently have always liked more) – found quite a few of them (Chance or do Arabs just have a thing for fantasy?) I was surprised to find ‘Girls of Riyadh’ on the shelves – it’s a book I thought would be banned

Books are slightly cheaper than in Dubai by about 10-15 Rials. Computer accessories though are pricey. A WD 500 Gb Passport costs 400 AED in UAE – its 25% more expensive in KSA.

Finished off and went to Tandoor, a decent Indian restaurant within walking distance from Jarir. Women/Families sit in an enclosed claustrophobic area while bachelors sit and enter the restaurant through a separate entrance. Ate a hearty meal - skipped the Saudi champagne (Saudi champagne is a large jug of apple juice that looks quite like beer …or champagne I guess) Its quite popular here given that alcohol is banned.

Something id been meaning to write about which I shall do here. A lot of restaurants use a unique way to cool their premises. 4 poles are placed so as to form a square. A pipe is passed from the top...water is sent through the pipe with a certain degree of pressure and nozzles pointing upwards are inserted at different points on the pipe. The water from the nozzles does not fall on the ground -it evaporates. This is particularly effective in dry and hot climates...the area inside the square feels much cooler as compared to outside. Given the heat in peak summer is expected to touch 66 degrees (something I still cant quite imagine) this is a life saver.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Saddened and dismayed on hearing the news about Sampath. He passed away yesterday after a bike accident.

The suddenness of the whole incident has been a big shock.

Wherever you are Sam, I hope its a much better place. Amen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Riyadh #5

One of my clients has a wife who happens to be a nurse. He informed us 3 days ago that the first case of Swine flu has just been confirmed last week in a hospital in Riyadh

Of all the places in the world, I honestly thought this was the one which would remain untouched. It almost seems...ironic.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Riyadh #4

Didnt visit Jarir after all. Visited another place, just as fun. IKEA

A cab to IKEA from my place costs 15-20 SAR. Cabs in KSA arent bargain in increments of 5. Given my 'disability' when it comes to directions, I reasoned an extra 10 bucks to wait for me is quite good value for money. So I hopped into a cab driven by Pakistani driver Arshad and stepped into IKEA with the promise that I'll only be there for 20 minutes.
But, the plans of mice and men as they say... Soon found myself lost in IKEA and trying to get out. It doesnt help that only one in every 50 people speak English, or that practically everything is written in Arabic and most importantly Sallah (prayers) began and everyone disappeared. And then by chance, I saw a litle door that said "Emergency Exit Only" So i thought to myself - cabs waiting, im lost, this qualifies as an emergency. Pushed open the door and then.....the most deafening alarm began to ring trough the store. I quickly shut the doors but no just kept on ringing.From a distance I saw security running towards the door which I had quickly moved away from

Meanwhile good ole Arshad is waiting for me. Ive recently figured that I seem to bring out maternal instincts in a lot of people (either smother him with love or just plain smother him). Fortunately it was the former. He stepped in, spoke Arabic, waited in a line for me, helped carry the cupboard and mirror on my trolley - It was overall very nice on his part.

To cut a long story short, 2 days later my furniture arrived - I now have a scary looking mirror in front of my bed ,a brown cupboard, a black set of drawers and white walls. Why so mismatched you may ask? Well, becuase as Frasier put it.."It's eclectic" . And if thats not good enough , well anyone else who considers it an eyesore will hopefully be enjoying it a lot longer than me..

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Riyadh #3

Houses in Riyadh are cheap. A 3BHK will set you back by 28000 SAR annually. 1 SAR = 1 AED (approx) . But a 1 BHK in UAE will cost not less than 80K right now (when we are in the middle of the recession) One peculiarity Ive noticed is that there are no terrace flats from which people can look down. Or to be more precise, there are terrace flats but the walls are at least 8 ft high, most likely coz nobody from another house can look at the women of the household.

Winters are harsh here in Riyadh upto -5 degrees centigrade. In Peak summer the heat has crossed 55 degrees centigrade. Most places with harsh climates toughens the people making them more brutal more violent, yet more hardy. Afghanisthan for instance…Or the Mongolians under Genghis Khan. Here however Obesity is nearing the 50% mark.

Jean Sassons book Princess would describe the plight of women in KSA in detail. For a more humorous yet accurate and condensed lesson, watch American Dad Season 1’s Episode titled Stan of Arabia 2. There’s a 3 minute song in it that’s hilarious and sums up things perfectly.

Food here is cheap though its very difficult to communicate what you want since most people don’t speak English or hindi. The exceptions are the Indian restaurants which also (thankfully) deliver if your order is large enough, but these are the exception and not the norm.

My rooms AC doesn’t work. The idiots who designed the building basically made the AC’s of the two rooms face back to back so the warm air causes it to trip.

Jarir bookstore is the largest bookshop in KSA. Tomorrow I’ll probably visit – since tomorrows my weekend. And choices of entertainment are limited…..

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Riyadh #2

A less verbose rant than the last...this place is growing on me...

There are limited movie options here in Riyadh for people who dont speak Arabic. One point of interest is that the city is huge...the roads are very wide and thus traffic is a lot less congested as compared to Bombay/Bangalore/Delhi or Dubai.

For a country with such harsh and severe punishments such as lashing and chopping of hands , crime is still prevalent (Refer my previous post) Im not sure yet whether this is due to poverty...or boredom since being repressed in every other way leads the youth here to more violent urges..

Home delivery is not something most stores or restaurants do here. This is usually because they dont want a strange man coming to the doorstep. (It cant be a female delivery person, because, in case Ive not mentioned this before, women arent alowed alone on the streets unless they have a man with them)

The V-Man yesterday came home ecstatic.He had with him the panacea for all our woes - The secret recipe for brewing wine at home. Im personally not too much of a booze guzzler, but for those of you who cant imagine living in a dry country, here's the magic number - 44211

Decoded it means...

  • 4 Litres of Grape Juice (or other fruit juices)
  • 4 litres of Water
  • 2 Kilos Sugar
  • 11 grams of Yeast
  • 21 Days to Ferment....

Ta- Da!! Stick around ladies! After a couple of weeks out here, I'll be able to post up recipes for bomb making as well.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Riyadh #1

Im in Riyadh,

Its hot and dry, the AC isnt working and the scarcity of furniture in my "apartment" would make a Spartan cringe. I havent yet unpacked since there is no wardrobe. The lats exhaust fans need to be on at all time else when duststorms take place (which are quite common here) the entire place gets covered with dust.The houses incidentally all look alike.

Still, the flatmates are nice. So far. There are limited Indian restaurants in this area and language is a bit of a barrier. Havent yet met the religious police which is a blessing since my tattoo would cause a problem (Tattos are apparently against Islam)

Despite all that I had heard, I think Saudi airlines were very efficient. My plane took off on the dot and landed 15 minutes early. This was compensated for by the ground staff who made me wait for over 3 hours in the passport control line. But once I got through that and figured where my bags were, it was quite swift.

Getting a local number took less than 5 minutes. Sim cards for Mobily are sold by most retailers and dont require passport copies etc.

The area I stay in isnt safe. A friend of mine got mugged there only last week. Even though the office and flat arent too far (7 blocks away) once the sun sets, you shouldnt walk out alone.

Theres very limited entertainment out here. As one guy put it "Last week, I even spoke to a couple of women"

Seriously! speaking to a woman is considered entertainment . What kind of place is this?? :)

I know I should be worried but Im strangely excited.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The fortnight that was...

Life’s been fun. Returned from my recent trip to Jeddah with an original Season 3 DVD box of ‘Charles in Charge’ a serial I used to watch while in school. It’s a bit predictable but it’s a nice soundtrack and brings back memories.

Attended a friends housewarming over the weekend – I love the house. It has a pool table in the centre, a mini swimming pool in the back lawn, one of those Gujrati swings facing the front lawn, a little aquarium as you enter through the main door, a miniature golf thingy (course??) 3 bedrooms and a top floor. A little far from the rest of the world though. It brought back great memories of the Villa I was living in until last year. All it needs is a little Shisha bar and it would be perfect.

Sumeet was kind enough to download a very large game for me – Medieval 2:Total War. Its amazing so far. Similar to its predecessor Rome: Total War but with quite a few variations which make it extremely engrossing, such as building alliances with various factions by marrying off my princesses to them, joining Holy Crusades, assasinating Inquisitors, Heretics ,enemy merchants, even the Pope if he excommunicates you . Unfortunately it a wee bit too good for my humble little laptop ( or rather my blasted graphics card). Its a good thing I havent yet bought the latest in the series Empire:Total War

I watched an episode of Californication which involved the hero getting a vasectomy. Decided this is not my cup of tea and switched to Everybody Loves Raymond. Turns out good ole Ray is also out to get a vasectomy. As one girl cheekily put it…”Maybe god’s trying to tell you something”

KK told me he loved ‘Rome’ which pleased me immensely. I also got Sharon to like ‘Sarah Connor Chronicles’ and she likes that as well. Ive not yet figured why I cant be bothered about what people might think of me, but I get all excited when people like stuff I like.

Watched Wolverine and Loved it. Hoping to watch Star Trek this week.

Switched over from Rock climbing to Swimming in part becuase i wanted to take a break and approach it at a later point. Although I am arguably in better shape than I was last year around this time , (based on the number of laps i can do) it doesnt yet show :)

After all the hemming and hawing, all the delays around my trip, its all put into place - I should be flying out end of this week.

And with that ends another glorious blog entry.

Coming up soon : South America : The Planning begins here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stuff Im envious of...

  • A close friend of mine spend 28 days backpacking through 14 countries in Europe.
  • A guy ive been friends with for over a decade gets sent by his company to Amsterdam!! Amsterdam - the land of sex and hash brownies!
  • One chap I keep encountering in my daily "bus" to work has come from Morocco. And went to Kenya on work.
  • A friend in office is attending a conference in Brussels
  • My ex-roommate studied in Paris
  • Me ...Im heading to a land filled with camel humping zealots, blistering heat and sand....

Monday, May 11, 2009

So Queued

I have discovered a pet peeve. Something I hate. Waiting in Queues. I can feel my life ebbing away as I stand in them. Literally. Even the line pops into my head every single time Im in a queue which goes like “ Your life is just pasing you by while you stand in this queue”

After one particularly long wait in Jeddah, for more than an hour at passport control, I decided Im not going to suffer through this at the Dubai airport. The plane landed, doors opened and …Bang!! I was out of the door like a shot, walking as fast as possible in the closest approximation of a run I’ve ever seen without looking too undignified. Cameras would have probably picked me up as a blur as I zigged and zagged and weaved my way through the people. Mothers rushed to grab their babies, youngsters gave startled looks of fright, there was a mad rush to move suitcases and sidestep out of my way as I went tearing through the airport…

Skipped the crowded escalators and took the stairs , 3 at a time. Though my legs were protesting my mind was urging me on “Rest in the stupid line” I kept consoling myself.

Deep down I am expecting a line regardless since there will be other planes regurgitating their load of passengers as well…

So you can imagine my shock when I race to Passport Control and then look around. I’m the only one there. It felt like an episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’ –The guy processing my visa kept peering behind me to see where the remaining passengers are….even as i disappear towards baggage claim, still no one has arrived, almost like I had chartered a plane and stepped off ….I had successfully won the race…possibly because nobody else thought of it as such.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Wheel of Life

Theres this concept called the wheel of life - Career, Friends, Relationships, Wealth, Family,Health , Personal Goals/Accomplishments etc. You rate yourself on a 10 point scale on each of these parameters.

And then you see where are the places you dont have a perfect 10...and try and do better. Or you can apply a new school of thought (aka Marcus Buckingham, William Gladwell and the rest) and focus on your strengths, since those are where the maximum results of your efforts will be seen.

Without Knowing about the concept until recently attending one of these motivational speakers, I did have my own mental rating process I have been following since I was a kid (except career was school, at that time).

And when I used to take stock, invariably there would be something or the other that wasnt right -somethinn that I would think to myself "If only this would be taken care of, life would be perfect...

Right now, for no apparent reason, though Im not in a relationship, work wise Im heading to Hell on Earth, I ve not done much on Personal goals in this year and Im far from family and friends....Im still incredibly content.

I hope this lasts...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My earliest memory is of me when I was 4 staring out of a window....

The first 10 years since then were joyous and wonderful. I look back wistful when I think of how simple things were then..a time so innocent and happy

The next decade was when I studied. Topic after topic , whether I liked it or not...but learned neverthless becuase it was some ways even the early work years could be classified as a form of studying itself...learning the ropes, practicals, whatever you would like to call it...I still love history, still suck at geography and still get boggled down unfortunately by physics and chemistry

My twenties have been a voyage of self discovery - most people are moulded by the experiences of their childhood...i think i just took a while...there was plenty of studying here as well , but this was of my own volition...finally had the funds to really indulge my reading habit, the occult and the arcane, cartooning, a musical instrument. even the quick little attempts to learn French and spanish (languages incidentally are not my cupof tea, though I think Spanish is a waay cooler language than French)...the move to dubai. This phase was stagnant for a while like milk that simmers without overflowing when set to boil on a slow flame....and then like a massive explosion... a quick sucession of events unfolding..bitten by the travelbug, stretching my own boundaries, climbing to new heights, diving to new depths, experiencing life in a hundred new ways...making new friends, living away from home and family.I actually found a model at work (one we sell to clients for potloads of money) that i refer to in social scenarios (who says you shouldnt mix work and pleasure?)

Another year has ended. Id like to hope the next decade is more peaceful, but I know thats not going to be true. My own palm foretells (refer the reference made above to the arcane and the dabbling in palmistry was one of those experiments) a marriage in the next decade, at least 2 tumultuous events, a major hospitalization, a phase of bad luck, large phases of good luck, great financial success and completely unexpected developments in my life that Ive not planned for....

Ive just turned 28. And Im top of the frikkin world!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A change of plans

Outside Fab India.

She: Heres the plan. We get in there and select a sofa cover thats red white and black!

Me: Ok, do you mean, 'and'?? Couldnt it be only red? Or only Black?

[Meaningful Pause]

She: Here's the plan. I'll select a sofa cover. You just stand with me. Dont touch anything.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

The 9th Circle...

Im going to Saudi.

I’m not quite sure yet how bad a place it is but I have a fairly good idea. Met a guy just yesterday who owns an ad agency currently but stayed in Saudi for a couple of years when he was 20 – washing dishes to make a living since his work permits got screwed and he was stuck there. He lived in a labour camp – which are hell holes btw, sold raunchy texts for 1 SAR each to make some extra bucks (possession of those would mean being lashed today) and probably execution at that time (10 years ago). His stories greatly amused me particularly one where he's singing La Bamba at Saudi Airport while playing his guitar because the custom guys ordered him to while they clapped and cheered .

Another guy (from work) found himself in KSA travelling between two rural towns in a 6 hr cab ride. For company he had a couple of chickens and a goat in the cab with him.

Fortunately I don’t have it quite so bad. The company will take care of an accommodation for myself, I'll get a little 'kharcha paani' and i think by nature I adapt with only some initial discomfort. But life otherwise may not be too much fun. Id be lying if I said I wasnt a little worried - Its a hot conservative place where one such as myself who anyway isnt very 'socially and politically correct' might land up in a world of trouble.But its also an opportunity and I think this is happening at a very significant time (more on this perhaps later)..

This will give me time to sort out plenty of thoughts that I never have enough time to dwell over under normal circumstances.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Global Village

The following took place between 22nd March and 31st March...

Me : Hi, what’s your name?
Girl #1 : 3
Me (huh? What did I ask?) : Im sorry, what was that?
She: 3
Me: (I wanted to ask if her surname was ‘some’ :) )
Ok, how do you spell that?
She : T-R-I
Though I didnt ask, I did wonder if she was the third child. Imagine meeting 'First' and 'Second'

TRI was nice and sweet and an air hostess (Emirates) from Indonesia. Also very warm and friendly and very very good at rock climbing.

Girl #2 – Iran

Me: Hi, whats your name?
She: (stamping her foot and pouting) :You always forget my name Rohan!
Me: Huh? (Ive only met her once before)

Girl #3 – Mexico

Hi, Where are you from?
Me: Aaah, tu hables Espaniol? (You speak Spanish)
She (with a look of delight) “ Si, BLrbbba blrrgga bzzzpooba brabrabra? )
Me : Uh, sorry, I just know that one sentence

Girl #4 - New Zealand

Hi, whats yr name?
Me:So what do you do?
She: Well Im a mum, with 2 kids, and thats a full time job.
Me: ........

Girl #5
Hi, where are you from?
Im from Raaa-shhh- eee-aaaaa
Me..... (time to move on)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Save the Planet...go Kill yourself!!

It's 9'0 clock on a Saturday
The regular crowd trickles in
There's an old man sitting next to me
Making love to his tonic and gin.
- Opening Lines from the Piano Man by Billy Joel

All of the above is true except the last line. Today is Earth day. For an hour between 8.30 and 9.30 pm hundreds of thousands of people across the world have switched off theirlights, televisions, Air conditioners and computers in a bid to save the planet, slow down global warming and protect the environment.

So here I am in Gloria jeans - my favourite coffee shop, (thanks largely to its nutty mocha frost) - Will sit for an hour while I leave my home in darkness. I feel nice doing this. ive always liked doing my bit for the environment - and I like to believe every little bit counts.I could think of naughtier ways to spend an hour in the darkness...maybe I could do them next year :)

Old man next to me is attacking some dish with gusto. I cant get the song out of my mind. Keep wondering if Good Ole Billy was referring to the old mans acitviities as a figure of speech or literally :)

To my fellow bloggers - Happy Earth Day. May we all soon live in a cleaner, greener planet