Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Nosy pests

There seems to be no dearth of nosy fools.
How much is your salary? Are you a south Indian? Which religion do your practise? Who was that lady with you last week?
These are a few sample questions I have been asked by some mannerless people. “None of your -- business,” is what I would like to retort, but I hardly do that. I just change the subject and move on.
You may have heard this story:
A landlord, who stays on a ground floor apartment, insists that his tenant should not make any sound/noise on the first floor. A bachelor accepts the condition. The tenant returns from job late in the evening, throws his heavy shoes with a loud bang and the owner appears immediately. “Sorry, it will not happen again,” pleads the tenant. The next day, the tenant reaches home and again throws his first shoe in a similar fashion, when he remembers his promise. He holds back his second shoe and merrily goes to sleep. The restless owner appears at around 3.30am, wakes up the tenant and asks: “What happened to the second shoe?”

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Not funny

I entered Al Wahda Street on my morning walk and saw my gardener-friend from Lanka holding a man’s hand and yelling.
“Will you give the money or not?”
“Get lost,” came the reply.
 “Tomorrow if you don’t reach here with the money, you will get a punch,” shouted my friend.
“Get lost.”
I played the referee. “Hey, stop the fight.”
They laughed. “Oh, you thought it’s serious. We were just joking.”
Shucks. Weird sense of humour.
I have this nasty habit of getting into trouble playing the umpire.
I remember an incident in my earlier newspaper office when a jumbo reporter had a tiff with a rabbit-size (hey, don’t take it literally) colleague and began chasing him. The rabbit ran after passing a four-letter comment. The jumbo caught the rabbit at the corridor. While others watched, I ran to break the brawl.
By that time, the jumbo had taken control. Clasping the neck and pushing the rabbit’s head down, the jumbo got set to pack a punch, when I thrust my head in between.
I received the punch and screamed.
“Sorry, sorry,” repeated the jumbo, but the rabbit escaped.
The other colleagues’ mocking look said it all: “Dumbo, why do you think we did not interfere?”

Monday, April 18, 2011

Here's (y)our award

Now this award is from sweet buddies Sanand and Stranger. Lucky me, I have such wonderful friends. Herewith dedicating the award as usual to all the visitors of this blog.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tail trail

When a dear friend called me out, “hey monkey,” I did not object.
After all, I consider him like my brother.
“Let’s go to Al Ain zoo this weekend,” he suggested and I agreed.
Just a few minutes at the well-maintained wildlife park pushed in a realisation in me on how far humans have moved away from ever-beautiful nature.
Chasing the crows, throwing peanuts at squirrels, imitating the parrots, scaring away the sparrows, dancing around mischievous monkeys, thrusting coins on elephant trunks – my childhood days had more connection with feathered friends and awesome animals.
Technology has deleted the link between man and nature and the reality of “virtual reality” bites hard.
I was thrilled to notice the majestic White Lions of Sanbona at the park. One of the rarest animals, the White Lion is almost extinct in the wild. Lofty giraffes tried to pick grass placed on poles making it look like a basketball game, Arabian oryxes and sand gazelles roamed free, but the naughty chimpanzee refused to cheer when my friend performed a funny ape dance outside the cage.
Talk of turtles, tortoise and the tall ostrich – they were all there.
I also found the “Nocturnal House” concept interesting. An enclosed air-conditioned walkway offers a sneak peek into the fascinating lives of nocturnal animals. One can watch stealthy sand cats exploring the dunes and busy hedgehogs scurrying from bush to bush inside the zone.
Forget the rat race. Saying hello to our “speechless” friends at least occasionally has its own charm.
(PS: Plz forgive poor quality of pix. Blame it on my cellphone as usual.)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hello carpenter

Relocating home brings its own challenges. My new house has huge windows with sunlight penetrating through the rooms.
The first reaction of my wife on entering the apartment was: "Go and arrange for curtains."
The carpenter was summoned. He surveyed the rooms and said: "You need three curtain rods and nails. Do you have them?"
"Then come with me to the hardware shop," he dragged me.
My wife was too happy to push me out with him.
The shopping spree over, the carpenter had nails, cutting saw and lengthy rods that can stretch up to a full room.
We came out of the shop and the guy suddenly remembered something.
"Hold all this," he thrust the things on my hand and vanished from the middle of the road.
After five minutes, he screamed from the shop: "You proceed home. I will go to another shop."
Embarrassed, I looked around praying no friend sees me. Fortunately, no one did. But everyone on the road gave me strange looks. The lengthy rods were uneasy to carry and I could hear horn sounds all around. I decided to hold the rods vertically like a flag pole.
When I reached my building, the rods did not fit into the elevator and three people were running away from me, looking worriedly at the sharp cutter.
Seeing me as a carpenter, my wife laughed out. 
Thankfully, she also had a taste of the medicine, when the worker arrived, finished his work and told her, "Ma'am, can you please clean up all this mess?"

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Flying book

Back from vacation, I was busy setting up things at the new third floor apartment taken on rent in Sharjah, when I received a call from a close friend.
“I can see your building but not your room. Can you wave your hand from the window?” he suggested.
I merrily opened the pane little realising that I had kept a heavy book to support the window screen. The apartment faces a busy road and off went the book plunging into the street.
For a moment I did not know what to do. The negative mind insisted that someone must have gotten hurt right on their head. To see or not to see was the immediate dilemma. But my good sense suggested I should face the consequences, whatever it may be.
I did so and heaved a sigh of relief. The book was lying on the road tattered like a crushed tomato.
But when I rushed down to pick it up, there was no sign of the book.
A worker was busy cleaning a car at the sport and the place looked full of activity. I returned quietly to my apartment scared to enquire from anyone about the book.
Thank God, just a few minutes ago there was no one there. And what if I had kept a heavy object near the window.
Lesson learnt.