December 31, 2008

New Year Resolutions

What is so special with new years that we redraw our old plans, reflect on failed goals, chart riskier routes. Is it the revival of hopes and expectations from yet another wasted year (vice verse) or is it just the awakening to passing time. however you put it we always come with a new or a set of new resolutions every year, expecting to full fill the grand plans with a pinch of pessimism in the deepest corners of our minds. Then eventually the pinch mounts and mounts to cloud the goals. So what are these resolutions ? plans to improve on something, plans to remove some habits, plans to acquire some other, materialistic goals,targeting spiritual awakening what and what not.

But this year will be unlike any other, the gloomy financial conditions, continuing international conflicts, first black president in office, alarming rates of global warming, falling crude prices, loosing jobs, in short it looks more grim than merry. But i believe there's nothing like a bad year or a good year it is all in the mind a good idea is always in demand however bad the economy is.
Now back to me and my resolutions, if you haven't made any dont do it, this is for people fascinated with to do lists and living on reminder alarms. I have never made any resolution till now but since i have had 25 new year's without resolutions why not try one with them.

I have still not decided on the number of resolutions will it be 5, 7,10 or unlimited with a clause to add a resolution every other day. As the pinch still tells me iam not gonna achieve even one why not have many, then when i go down on them i will have many excuses tooo. finally i have decided on five which looks like a strong number to bid on.

Loose weight- as long as i have existed i have had this war with the weighing scale which has always been a loosing battle. Every year i put on more and more weight and the bloody step stool with zig zag running numerals always thrust the sword through my heart. now it feels like my weight was ok that year, it was not too bad the other year and it kept on changing. 2008 has been the year of 50 year old bollywood stars trimming down to 6,8, 10 (10 is reserved for Sanjay Dutt) pack abs and putting all the youngsters into a workout frenzy. if you don't feel like reducing now you will have to wait for Boman Iranis dozen pack abs. So i take the oath of reducing my weight before the year 2009 ends (since blog archives ae not easy to access i hop you will forget it by the time i put on more weight)

The second goal for 2009 would be to learn a new language, atleast tit bits or useful words like please, sorry, thank you, etc. the choice of language is not decided yet since i am planning on taking the effort it might as well be Spanish, it has got a special touche to it. so dont be surprised if my next new year post is mixed with Spanish jargon's. This goal looks more realistic because i f iam asked to choose between double burger with cheese and few five letter words in Spanish you know who will win.

Now that i have lost some weight and acquired a new language my next step would be intellectual and possibly a little bit spiritual. I plan to read at least 20 new books in 2009, i have made up my list, i wont bore you with the details. this looks like a more realistic goal given my taste for boring books and unlimited time spend on them. the problem with reading books like writing blogs is the lack of initiative (AKA laziness). So i will be more smart and knowledgeable by the next year end.

The eternal quest for true meaning of life, finding the elixir of life called love can be an interesting entry to the list. Since the marriage season has already started and iam getting cornered by the day, i have to give some thought on the possibility of getting married sooner or later. So the choice is between the fulfilling the family tradition of finding my own choice or accepting the age old practice of arranged marriage. My choice would be to wait for another year as 2009 doesn't add up to a good fadic number and we already have so many gloomy news to await, then why add one more. But if i have to surrender the struggle to give up wont be very evident and earnest. Hopefully i wont have the chance to add a prefix to some poor girls name this year.

One thing iam earnestly looking forward to do in 2009 is to do a sky dive. Ever since a dear friend has completed this task this year and he has started starting his conversation with phrases like "when i was in the aeroplane ready to jump" when i landed after the free fall " i have made up my mind to do it this year. But there are more things than resolution that stops me from jumping out of a sky diving plane like my lightness (antonym).

So now you know that iam above the mandatory weight for sky divers. So first i will reduce my weight, then learn a new language, read some interesting books, escape all marriage proposals and jump out of a plane expecting the parachute to open in time. But even if it doesn't open i will have the benefit of dying in a different way (optimistic to the last heart beat) and it will look good on the tomb stone Born December 6th 1982, Died jumbling out of a plane from 4 kms in the sky.

December 11, 2008


The magnanimity of hope strangle's us all to its bosom,
Gasping for life we struggle every other moment.
Waiting for a long awaited sign of relief,
We all struggle to the last breath in our soul.

He comes though never and ever, even now,
The vanishing faith of the hopeful lays barren.
And the dream, the hope, and the illusion you may call,
All remains just as any other delusion called life.

He tempts you with his imminent signs and shiver everyday,
You lay awake for a better day yet again betrayed.
The reprieve, so short lived like an early morning dream,
Looked so real and close yet never near to bear true.

He plays games with your senses and emotions,
You yield like a child ignited by the strange new toy.
The element of surprise still alive and woken by hope,
Still thinks the day of relief has arrived at last.

He scoff’s and sneer‘s at your unending efforts,
Like you were never meant to be happy ever again.
Till you loose your hope and all that was keeping you alive,
And fall beyond the depth of faith you can fathom .

You may call him hope today and faith some day later,
You may live with just him as your guardian angel till the end.
He may come to you maybe not today or later,
Yet you breath every breath in his name forever.

December 7, 2008

Dirt Cheap Ideas for Weekend's

With a global recession playing full house and a depression that might be around the corner, money spend should be some money well spend. To all the millionaires and luxury freaks snubbed by the insignificance of the amounts mentioned, it will be a great idea to spend less money for a change. Everyone is looking at optimizing, leveraging and cost cutting in professional lives and we are not far from implementing this in our personal lives too. Like one of my great friend says "Maximum Enjoyment with Minimum Investment", so without further ado

1. Spend a day at the dubai library (not advisable to anyone who gets a migraine when near a book) spotted at various locations but never bothered to enter, free reading, cheap Internet browsing (only AED 3/Hour). You can go through all those expensive magazines like Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, National Geographic etc. for free. Another surprise is that a five year membership with unlimited Internet access only costs 215 dhs and borrowing charges are free till 14 days (it can't get cheaper than this).

2. Watch a movie at the Plaza in Bur Dubai, the last place to watch a movie forOnly 20 Dhs, no they dont play old movies and yes they do have wide cushioned seats. The best thing about this place is its location, set between the bustling crowd of Meena Bazar on one side and the Creek abra riding commuters on the other, crowded but very interesting.

3. Take the abra ( a small wooden boat charting people from one side of the creek to other) from Sabka to Burdubai, costs only 1 Dhs per ride lasting10-12 Min's per ride. There is a great eatery galley (a small street) which serves hot samosas, kachories and spicy chilly fries (5 Dhs, Full Stomach), gulp it down with a fresh lemon juice (3 Dhs) and take a stroll on the walkways along the abra. This is a short term course on Dubai history, this is where it all started, the tallest tower, the biggest island what and what not. Ride an abra back or walk through the secluded Shindagha walk way under the creek.

4. Walk into the historical Iranian Market in Al Ras and bargain with (you don't have to buy) the smart and cunning traders out there, it is a great learning experience and a beginners exercise on the basics of negotiation. Don't be mistaken by the size of their shops or the state of their clothes, most of these shops ship a container or two in a day (see it to believe it). There is a secluded juice shop on the creek side near the gold souq abra which serves great refreshments at really cheap prices. Try out the Iranian falooda (very different and tasty) (only AED 5) and the most mind boggling Lassi (only AED 3) for quenching your thirst.

5. Park your car (for a Change) and Walk into Ghubaiba or Gold Souq Bus Station and board a random bus and travel to its last stop (try out the new fancy double Decker bus or the trailer Bus). Make it more interesting by buying some snacks and drinks for the journey, when you are travelling without any time constraints and deadly deadline's it can be very enjoyable. The round trip, parking charges, refreshments will cost you nothing more than 15 dhs for spending a minimum of 3 hrs. This idea might sound really absurd and silly but believe me you will feel really relaxed and revived after a journey like this, travelling without knowing the destination and unaffected by time constraints.

I know there are lot of you who don't agree with any of these, whose idea of a weekend is galaxies away, but it can be a great experience to live as a simpleton for a day or two. There might be some very interesting ideas out there, please let me know about them.

December 6, 2008

Birthday's and Memories

The title might sound too cheesy, but i will try to make it as interesting as possible. The relevance of the topic is that i have passed the iconic 25 years mark and entered the 26th year of existence as on 6th December (this is a high value secret as i cant keep acting like the self proclaimed intellectual). I could have made the previous sentence simple by putting it like " iam celebrating my 26th birthday" but that will be very untrue because iam not celebrating it at all, what is so good about celebrating a passing year, an added number to your toll, absolutely nothing.

This is all about my memories (good, bad, funny, slimy, beaten up) associated with birthdays till now, includes only what i remember and luckily for you guys i remember very little. I will try to follow a chronological order and forgive me if the facts gets mixed up.

My earliest memory (What i remember now could change with my improving or deteriorating remembrance skills) of a birthday could date back to 1992 when the babri masjid was demolished in India, from then on my Bday has been declared a black day (very inspiring). I still remember my uncle rushing home hearing the 144 crpc imposed (i didn't know it then).

Then i remember taking sweets to my school at home and scolded as it was not legal as per the school laws. (so far bad memories). I guess this was in 7th standard.
From Eighth standard onwards i had become a part of the boisterous hostel crowd where birthdays are meant to be celebrated vehemently, violently and even forcefully. Birthdays were the day of reckoning when you will be beaten up for all your wrong move, it was a tradition to punch the birthday boy as many times as his age on his arms, this was supposed to be an act of reminding the passing years. But this was highly misused and misinterpreted, this was the day when scores were settled, revenge taken for getting beaten up on your birthdays or for anything which you thought was not just. I still remember those blue black marks and the aching pain in the arm. It was not all horror, the cake cuttings were a big attraction, the taste of the cake was not the cause like you guessed it was all the cake throwing, smearing cream on the face and hair, stuffing cake into the mouth etc. This was the routine till 12th with varying shades of blue black marks and messed up hair and clothes. I was exempted sometime thanks to the black day connection, we had bandhs and holidays to save me.

Then came the college era where we were on our own. self assessment, self control and the worse self destruction. College birthdays were the best it always involved lot of fun and frolic. The birthday boy will be woken up at 12 in the midnight, beaten up till the safe limit, a bucket of preplanned filth and crap which could include expired pickles, prestored curry, sampar, rotten eggs and more mixed to form a very slimy and smelly liquid, this will be poured on the birthday boys head to body (if you don't vomit with this you are an alien). Then he will be kept at a distance and target practised with eggs, it can be very painful as it hits your head and it could even bounce off without breaking the number of eggs depends on your luck, friends bank balances and popularity. I got belted with 50 eggs which was not the record as i had organised a target practise of 150 eggs on a strategic friend. You will always be given a good gift or gifts by the rascals. I had devised a revenge technique which involves hugging all the throwers with your filth covered, egg smeared body ( very effective and highly revengous)
After the college got over the importance of birthdays have been diminishing over the years, lesser parties, smaller cakes (if any) , smaller crowd etc. I remember the anticipation in getting birthday wish calls at midnight, birthday songs and all and now even when the clock stuck 1:00 i have not got a call yet and i am least bothered about it too. The only good thing is that Orkut reminds some people to put in an empty scrap wish which reduces the lonely feeling.

The way it is going i can understand how you can surprise people with birthday parties as i am pretty sure i will be forgetting my birthday within a year or two.
P.S All images used are purely for illustrative purposes, sorry for any inconveniences caused.

December 4, 2008

Mobile Phone's and Amnesia

The consequences of a lost phone or a crashed PDA is far greater than the financial distress or the sim card replacement procedures. We have become so depended to a mobile phone that it has become a necessity for day to day living. We have all our contacts, bank details, emails, Birthday's, Anniversaries, Appointments what and what not.

Try this exercise, write down the contact numbers of your 5 nearest family members and 10 friends without looking into the contacts, write down the birthdays of 5 of your closest friends. As i have found out the success rate is close to 40 % for my answers and i don't think it will be any better for yours. We have become so dependant on these gizmo's that one day if the machines raise a war against us, the first thing we will loose is our ability to contact others, network, foundation of human relationships.

We become so paranoid when we misplace a phone, become so stressed up when the software crashes. Something common in our nightmare is getting stranded in a deserted island without our mobile phones, it cant get worse than this. Before it gets really late we should do something about this memory handicap, some practical ideas are
  • Try entering the number to dial before searching the contact to make a call

  • Cross reference storage technique (i just made it up now) exchange names and numbers so that you will have to learn matching names and numbers.

  • Forget your girlfriends or wife's birthday, wedding anniversary, they will make sure you will remember it next time (high success rate)

  • Improvise Usual memory techniques like visualising something to remember the content, try visualising the consequences of loosing a number or a date like getting beaten up, loosing a contract, missing an interview etc.

This is a very apt time to write this article as my phone has crashed, SIM damaged and going thought the ordeal of identifying voices, matching accents and names, recovering phone data etc. Moral of the story is that we should get less dependant on these gizmo's and use some natural high powered brain memory.

December 2, 2008

The cry of a Victim

The merciless killing, the endless deaths,
Where is this heading and who is doing all the final calls.
When will this brutality end, when will the innocence stop being crucified,
When will the gun shots and bomb blasts stop their scary roars?

I did not do you any harm to be killed so brutally,
I dont even know your name or the place you come from.
Someone might be waiting for me didn’t you know,
Where will you hide all this anger and curses thrust on you?

I could have been someone you dearly loved ,
Your mother, father or lovely wife, don’t you recognize me ?
I could have been your unborn son or the brother you lost,
Or still someone who loved the world and the life to live.

Where will you bury all this curses, the anger and despair?
Will you be able to sleep a night without a single nightmare?
Even hell will forbid your entry, coz your sin is too much to punish,
You will suffer forever for this inhuman torture and gore.

I had a dream to follow and a destiny to fullfill,
You cut short my path with a stray bullet and a fierce sharpnel.
You broke my castle which was still in the air, the dream that never was,
You killed a thousand dreams and a million hopes with yet another empty blast.

I died a merciless death, a miserable way to die for any mortal,
What did I do to deserve this ruthless revenge my slayer.
I didn’t even know your name or the color of your flag,
I was just there by destiny when you wielded your cruel plan.

A Journey of Terror

The pool of blood all around, the deafening cry's and pleas,
Through an aimless path i ran, where death might be waiting.
The slimy smelly blood and the stench of fear all around,
From head to toe soaked in my own sweat and unknown blood.

Where am I going through here, is it safe to do that yet,
There in the far I hear yet another shot, someone lost his soul.
He will comeback here with his guns and grenades,
I might be next, don’t wait keep running for the exit.

There he is asking me for help, soaked in blood and thirsty,
I look for a drop of water but there was nothing but blood.
The deafening blast sounded so near I shivered in fear,
But even then I was spared and someone died to my despair.

Picked up the cell to make a call, maybe my last,
Dialled home to let them know iam safe.
Even then I had bullets and blasts in the backdrop,
My safety didn’t sound very convincing neither to them nor me.

The cry on the other side neither helped me reach anywhere,
I was baffled by the enormity of my trouble, made my hope bleaker.
I still kept running like I had never done in my life aimless and hopeless,
I was hoping against hope that I would make it out alive.

But destiny was against me as usual, my hopeless stars betrayed,
There he was waiting in the corner pounded on me with all his bullets.
Death was iminent, this time my number came atlast too,
The phone kept ringing unknown to my cruel destiny.

Picked up the call with all my strength and blood soaked hands,
This time like the bullet and pain the blood was too mine.
Fumbled with some words to say goodbye to my dear ones,
But my slayer sprayed a bullet again and cut short my call with a cruel bang.

I could still hear all the cries, the whimpering wails on the other side,
I had lost my battle for survival, now it was sure my time had come.
My brothers I have lost my life for nothing, a fallen broken dream,
You have to wakeup and fight this evil till its end for me and our home country.