With wife around (tomorrow I become a married bachelor again. She returns to Chennai), it was party time, and we, along with a few wonderful friends, were out most of the time in Dubai. Throughout, you - yes you - my buddies were on my mind.
Yesterday, we were in Dubai’s empty Wafi Mall and a shopkeeper started a discussion.
“Do you know what’s happening in Kashmir?” he asked me.
“Not pretty much,” I replied.
“Over hundred people were killed recently just because they were protesting peacefully. Curfews are clamped regularly, women are harassed and children cannot go to school in peace.”
In a few minutes, he was in tears.
“All we want is a peaceful life. Why can’t Kashmiris be left alone?” he asked.
I and friend Subu felt sad and moved to the next shop, where a Syrian salesman greeted us. He was smiling throughout.
“Are you married?” was his first question.
“Once, but don’t mind again,” I joked as my wife stood outside the shop.
I blurted a few words in Arabic and he happily passed on a handmade soap as a gift.
In the morning I had been to the dentist.
“You need to remove four caps. You may be having an infection. Wait, I will give local anesthesia,” said the doctor.
“No need for anesthesia,” I replied. “Just tell me the fees and I will become unconscious anyway.”