Sunday, February 28, 2010

Missing my mind

I never sit at home on off days. But this time I was forced to do so. For the second day I remained voiceless, thanks to throat infection. Cough syrup Benadril made me so drousy I slept almost entire day.
By 6pm, I shook out of bed and began to walk towards City Centre. Two stout guys asked me the way to the mall. When I tried to explain I realised I could not speak. The first one hit the other on his head and said in Urdu: “Why do you ask fools? He can’t even speak.” They went away looking at me like a cat would at a rat.
I was feeling drowsy and just had a look at the T-shirts section. Two T-shirt slogans attracted my attention.
One read: “All men are not fools, some remain bachelors.” (Shucks, why I din’t see this before tying the knot?)
The second read: “Of all things lost, I miss my mind most.” (hehe me too)
This reminded me of the best ad slogan I came across long ago. It was for a blood donation campaign and read: “Blood is meant to circulate, donate.”
I rounded up the day with a Pizza Hut salad. Missed you guys and gals.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Silenced by virus

I am down with severe throat infection and woke up to find in horror that I cannot speak. The words just refuse to come out. I tried to ring up my mom in India.
“Bahhh,” I went off.
Already in her eighties, my mom wondered which ghost was haunting her.
“Bahhhh..bhooooah?” she replied.
After minutes of struggle and a couple of dirhams lost as phone charge, I convinced her it’s me.
Then I went for my walk.
The tailor of Max mall, a daily acquaintance, expected me to scream as usual “Hiiiiiiii.”
Seeing me mum and just waving, he rushed, shook hands and asked, “How’s everything?”
“Bahhh,” I replied.
“You are always funny,” he laughed and patted me on my back. Actually he slapped me in the guise of a pat.
“No fun. Throat gone for a toss,” I managed to tell him through sign language.
Thank God, yesterday when my boss rang up to ask about the progress on report about Dubai Aquarium tank leak, I was OK.
Otherwise, my job would have gone for a bahhhhhh.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Painter who ran in fear

My room in Sharjah has just been whitewashed by the builder.
I remembered a painter in our building in Mumbai. The dark guy mostly appeared coated in colour paints with only his eyes visible. My daughter would run and hide in fear seeing him.
This guy had four daughters and was not giving up. He wanted a son and worked hard for that. At last he was blessed with one. When my second daughter was born, he told me: “Don’t give up.”
“No thanks. Hum doh, hamara doh, (We two, ours two),” I replied.
Once we asked that painter to whitewash my house. He kept his material at my house and went for tea. The inquisitive monkey brain of mine suggested that I should try my hand.
I opened the kits and started brushing the walls even before they had been scratched. Within minutes, the place was in a mess. Paint splashed on my hands, face, hair and floor.
I heard the doorbell. My wife returned with some vegetables.
“Whaoooooo?” she screamed.
The painter was stepping in behind her.
He saw me and this time it was his turn to run in fear.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ups and downs of life

When things go upside down, better stand erect and face the situation. Wow, what a famous quote by Global Madrasi. OK, what do you do, when things are monotonous and humdrum? Just stand upside down.
Hehe, this is what I did in Jumairah beach, Dubai, this Saturday.
I was with Mr Subbu and Mr Rafiq. We could see the world’s highest manmade structure Burj Khalifa from the beach (Not in photo).
Why don’t we do something different? asked Mr Subbu.
“You want me to stand upside down or what?” I asked him.
“I am sure you won’t dare with people around watching,” challenged Mr Subbu.
“I want to be a sport. Challenge accepted,” I replied.
“Try, I will shoot (hey, with a camera, boss),” he said.
The result is for you to see. Not bad, hehe?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Monk with a tail

“Can you keep yourself happy 24/7?” asked my friend.
“No. Nor could my dad, or his dad or my/your predecessors,” I replied.
“Sorry to say, you sound hypocritical. Remove Say Cheese 24/7 from your blog header,” he said.
“It is like this. The universal spirit or the Atman as we say in the East has happiness as its base. It shines in everyone’s hearts 24/7. But just like dark clouds block the effulgence of the sun, desires and ignorance cloud our shining spirit,” I replied.
“Oh you think you are a monk?” he mocked.
“My dear friend Frenny Maneckshaw used to call me that,” I replied. “Only she added two letters “ey.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Valentine shock

She’s hardworking, highly intelligent, enterprising…You add synonyms.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” I wrote to her.
“Hi brother,” she replied instantly from Canada.
I felt a tremor in my heart.
“I warned you not to entertain naughty thoughts,” my colleague laughed.
“Did you, rascal?” I asked myself.
“No, it’s just that we used to discuss so many things that friends do, not sisters,” I reasoned.
“So that’s the end of your friendship?” I could see the glee in my colleague’s face.
“Nope. We used to hug (virtually). Now we will hug more often. And this time it will be a pure affectionate bond, free of polluted, nasty thoughts,” I replied.
I could feel the earthquake in my colleague’s heart.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This post may not click

This Saturday visited a night market near Dubai creek. Clicked a few photos with my mobile and naturally the picture quality is poor. I have to repeat the quality is poor. Who knows one of my wonderful blogger friends may think of a brilliant idea of gifting a new mobile. Hey, where are you running away? At least, see the photos.

Ahmed is an "Arabic tea" seller from Syria. Tamarind is used for the tea.

A carpet is being weaved and sold at the same spot.

Well, this's a floating restaurant.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Avi, Avi…

I can’t forget this guy Avinash. He was with the technical support cell of the newspaper. Very friendly chap.
One day when he passed by I called him with a grim face.
“Hey, I heard you are spreading words about me.”
“Who said man?” he got serious.
“I know everything. Lemme tell you straight on your face. I don’t like this.”
He was almost angry. “Temme who said?” he raised his voice.
“Arre. Everyone says that you go around telling I am an enterprising guy, intelligent and charming.”
“I swear I never said anything like that,” he replied instantaneously. And then fell silent for a second.
When everyone else laughed he realized the joke.
“Shit. Why will I say such lies anyway?” he smiled.
I continued.
“So are you sure you never said anything like that?”
“Then go and spread the word at least now.”
He laughed and disappeared.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

African connection

Had been to Global Village, Dubai on Saturday with Mr Subramanian. Nothing much exciting. Hence settled for a pose with two African brothers. BTW, Mr S had to pay AED10 ($1 is AED3.67) to the artistes for the pose.

Ego massage

This human mind…what to tell you ya?
I was crossing a side lane linking the main Sharjah road.
A car was about to turn. I stopped. The motorist was talking on the mobile while driving and applied the brake close to me.
The moment I stopped, he started the vehicle. Then he stopped. I started to cross. But he started.
Payithiam…(Mentally challenged)..I was cursing him in Tamil. Four-letter words were lining up in my mind. I looked at him with fury.
He halted the car close to me, took off his mobile and smiled, “Sorry boss.”
Pusssss. It was just like removing the air valve from a cycle tube.
“Hehe..No problem, sir. It is not your mistake…”
You should have seen me gratifying him.
Just one sorry. What an ego massage.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Serial record breaker

I am always proud of my friends’ achievements.
Buddy BB Nayak, who is a seven-time Guinness record holder and 11-time Limca record recipient, established his 12th world record at Sidhivinayak temple, Mumbai, recently by doing fastest 1,000 crunches in 16 minutes and 53 seconds.
He also set two world records on a single day at Mood Indigo Challenge at Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay last month, thus completing 35 knuckle push-ups involving a clap in a minute which was followed by 111 knuckle push-ups in one minute.
Hundreds of students challenged him but nobody came close to his mark.
The show was arranged by Limca Book of Records and IIT-Bombay, which was exclusively covered by the National Geographic Channel and will telecast in April.
The photos are by Sasmit Choudhary and Satish Jadhav.
As my friends are your friends and yours mine, I am sharing this amazing news with you.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Morning of nightmare

This is a report I wrote for The Gulf Today, hence longer. You may skip if time is a challenge:

Losing six members of the family in an air crash may be tragic, but waiting for the bodies without much hope nine days after the disaster can be much more devastating.
This is the plight of a Sharjah-based Lebanese couple, Jassem Farhat and Hiba Khazaal.
Hiba lost four of her close relatives on Jan.25, which turned out to be a “morning of nightmare” when an Ethiopian airliner carrying 90 people plunged into the sea off Lebanon just after takeoff in stormy weather. Two relatives of her husband passed away in the same disaster.
“Many questions have not been answered. We are mourning without even the bodies,” said the tearful couple in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today.
Hiba works as a teacher in the Early Learning Section of the Victoria International School of Sharjah, while her husband Farhat is a Ras Al Khaimah government employee.
"Among the dead are our direct cousin, a new bride and his mother in law. My cousin, 33, was newly married and was travelling with his bride just a month after marriage," Hiba fought back her tears. Jassem added: "My cousin was 44 years old. He died along with his brother-in-law."
Hiba came to know of the news through parents who came to the school where she works. "They were all travelling to South Africa. How could one imagine they would land in the sea? I heard people talking about the tragedy in the lobby. I never dreamt that my relatives will also be among the victims. One of the victim's sister lives in Sharjah. A family member called to inform her," she revealed.
The plane, bound for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, burst into flames and plunged into the sea minutes after taking off from Rafiq Hariri International Airport amid violent storms on Jan.25. All 90 people aboard, including seven crew members, are presumed dead.
The exact cause of the crash is still unknown, although Lebanese and Ethiopian officials have ruled out sabotage as a possible factor. Agency reports mentioned that a body thought to belong to a victim of the plane crash was pulled from the sea on Tuesday. Rescuers reportedly found the body at a distance of five kilometers off Naameh coast.
Search teams have recovered 15 bodies and pieces of the plane, but hopes for finding any survivors have dwindled. Eight Lebanese citizens and an Iraqi have been identified, while five bodies are awaiting identification.
A DNA database has been compiled from blood samples taken from victims' relatives to help identify passengers.
"We agree that the Lebanese government is doing a lot. But much more can be done and in a better way," argues Jassem. "There is a major lesson to be learnt. Such disasters should not be allowed to happen again," echoed the couple.
"I could not control my grief and decided to return to work. My colleagues, family and friends have been a great support. Parents and wellwishers sent e-mails, flowers and other messages which helped me feel less tense," Hiba said.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blogger on noble mission; thanks Ria

Good-hearted blogger Vineeta of Bangalore is on a noble mission to help senior citizens.
This is what she wrote: We have a crèche for small kids and I felt I just needed one for older kids :) Why not a place where all such people can come together, meet, play, share and learn new things together. I just needed to bring them together, make them meet other like minded people and help them grow younger!
I guess I found one. But I need your help here!! It is meetup group opened in Bangalore. Since many of our elders hardly use internet, the onus is on us to help them join it.
Check out -
You can as well help by volunteering for this initiative!
A pat for Vineeta from GM
(Why you blinking? GM is Global Madrasi ya).

Thanks Ria
Thanks Ria Ghosh for the new look Global Madrasi header. BTW, Ria is an animation artist with splendid creative skills. The youngster says she is looking for challenging work in her field.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Appointment with disappointment

Dentists. My God. And that too, female dentists. I dunno why this happens.
I told you I had trouble in Chennai and somehow managed to return to Sharjah with a swelling in the gum.
A cute dentist stays in our building and I went to her clinic last week. She prescribed antibiotics. One week now and I am much better.
Today I was on my usual morning walk and our paths crossed. She smiled, I smiled.
“How do your feel now?” she asked.
“Much better, thanks,” I replied and without realizing I was on the footpath, opened my mouth to convince her am much better.
“Gooddd..,” she almost ran off.
That gossip leader NM, the gardener, was unsparing.
“What were you showing that young lady?” he rushed to ask.
“My teeth.”
“Oh, that’s all?”
What a disappointment! Dirty minds.