Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Wish you all a Happy Easter.
Loads of happiness, love & luck.

Image: here

Friday, March 29, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Say no to plastic bags!

The volume of plastic bags used in DXB is insane. Shameful.
Each trip to the supermarket is suicidal. The staff members don’t help either, in fact they don't minimise but maximise the number of packets consumed. 
Back home, we don’t use plastic bags at most places. Let’s bring the ‘Say no to plastic’ culture to DXB too.
I am going to be carrying my cloth bag each time I go grocery shopping from today. Will you join me too? 

Image: here

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Holi Hai!

Am playing with colours on paper!

I am all nostalgic.
I need…
A ground full of people I love.
A tap with cold running water.
A record playing rang barse.
A plate full of crispy-moist gujiyas.
A dozen buckets hidden at many many spots.
A handful balloons.
A plate holding gulal.
A bag with a variety of pukka rang.

I need colour. I am missing rummaging my cupboard for a pair of old denims and tee. I am missing the shrieking and screaming that used to fill up the air as early as eight am on Holi. I am missing oiling my hair and hands & legs before leaving home. I am missing eating gujiyas to my tummy and heart’s content. I am missing running fast, faster, fastest…to save myself from insane friends. I am missing biting into bhang pakodas and then giggling incessantly. I am missing feeling too tired to take a shower. I am missing spending hours getting the colour off me. I am missing sleeping for hours to refresh. I am missing waking up in the evening, and still feeling tired. I am missing attending work the next day and smiling at colleagues with red & pink faces.

I am missing home.  

And since I can’t really go out and play with colours I am playing with colours on paper. There's no point sulking! Right?
I’d say you bring in a pop of colour to this day too – gorge on colourful candies, adorn the home with a colourful posy, dress up the Govinda way & more! What say?

Here's wishing all you lovely people a day full of bright, brighter and brightest shades of life. Happy Holi! 

P.S: If one more person asks me to celebrate Holi on a Friday at some Holi Bash I will bash him/her up :) 

Image: Personal Album

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Maid in Manhattan…oops…Dubai!

The maids in this part of the world make me nervous.
The way they come dressed in business suits and assume your washroom is free for them to walk in and change into work clothes. They don’t stop for a minute and 'act' courteous.
They announce they don’t like the cleaning products in the house.
They make phone calls while at work.
They work by the clock but don’t understand simple mathematics.
They never turn up on time.
They hardly smile.

Eeeks… They are so no like the pleasant & lovely ladies back home.  
It’s been five months and I still haven’t found a help that both cleans and smiles! 

Image: here

Monday, March 25, 2013

Awesome Mausam!

I stepped out to a lovely weather! Oh yes, Dubai has its good weather days too!
The flowers that I see from my window are all smiles and that's what got me to lift the brush & paint!

Image: Personal Album

Make some noise for the Desi Boyz & Gurlz!

When we, Indians, leave behind our homes to call a new land our home we adapt ourselves. We start dressing up differently, we experiment with spices of a new kind, we accept that water is a paid commodity, we learn how to greet and be grateful in a foreign language and a lot more. In short, we change. But one thing that we refuse to let go, one thing that remains the same is how we dance. Place us on a dance floor in the cold Arctic or the hot Dubai we refuse to give up on our ways of dancing!! Last Thursday was my first ‘Desi’ night in DXB. And while I came back humming ‘Desi Boys’ I also couldn’t stop wondering & smiling at how ‘we’ danced in this foreign land!

So ‘Desi’ nights are apparently very big in DXB. In simple words, Bollywood and Punjabi music rules the playlist and needless to say Indians rule the guests list. We attended one at a club called Velvet Underground in Bur Dubai, for it was a dear friend’s birthday and she is apparently a huge fan of all things desi And it goes without saying the DJ was an Indian! We reached the club around midnight, which by the way is early by DXB standards. The psychedelic lights welcomed us to the ‘Little India’.  

The music was ear deafening loud and lovely. From Band Baja Baraat to Angreji Beat and 47 Weight Kudi Da to Hookah Bar – they played it all. And the crowd hopped, swirled, jumped, screamed and twirled in ways only Indians can do. If you’ve ever attended a Punjabi wedding you would know how the crowd dances – each with his individual style and big smiles. From a distance it looked like the moves were synchronised in a way that no one was copying the other yet looked alike! It was a leaf from the overdose of enthusiasm and energy that I had last witnessed at a club in Delhi. There was pulling the flush, swinging of hips, shoulder shrugs, beating the dhol and more. The steps were familiar, as was the shrieking, singing and whistling. And so was the discipline in the musical party chaos - courtesy the staff & bouncers.

The loud was being given company by the suave and quiet. They just sat and clapped. Some shared jokes (screamed) in the noise. A few perched themselves on lounge sofas and just watched. Many got ‘non-Indians’ to swing to Honey Singh. Each one of them loved it. And almost everyone drank. We smiled at a few unknown faces too. Their moves and smiles said they loved Bollywood as much as we did.

It was only at three am when I walked out of the club I realised I was not home! The sight of cabs and that of luxury cars brought me to the reality! But then as long as DXB’s hot & humid air is Bollywood rich, I am not complaining! Right?

Image: here

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday blues

Sunday was a day we used to watch the Ramayana.
Sunday was a day we spent in pyjamas.
Sunday was a day no one asked us to take a shower.
Sunday was a day we enjoyed a lavish brunch.
Sunday was a day we slept till late.
Sunday was a day we read the newspaper at leisure.
Sunday was a day we over ate.
Sunday was a day we waited for the rest of the week.
Sunday was a day each corner of the house was cleaned.
Sunday was a day mom made rajma chawal.
Sunday was a day we made dinner plans for the night.
Sunday was a day we loved the most.
Sunday was a day we loved doing nothing.
Sunday was a day we ignored work calls.
Sunday was a day we cribbed about how it would be Monday soon!!

Sunday was never a day we worked!!

Image: here

Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I miss bargaining!

I miss bargaining.
I miss it so bad that I think I am having withdrawal symptoms.
I miss saying, “Bhaiya, thoda toh kam kijeye (Reduce the price a bit).” I miss saying, “Bhaiya, hum pehli baari thodi na le rahe hain (This is not the first time we are purchasing this item).”
I miss how we all used to compare notes on who got a better deal. These deals depended on our skills, purely. I like the 10,001 online deals but I like to put my Indian skill set to use.
I miss how during college days my friends made me feel little when they bought the entire wardrobe for a few bucks from Janpath. For the uninitiated, Janpath is the heaven for bargain queens & kings in the capital. From shoes to bags and clothes to artifacts you can bargain for it all & take home a dozen & more of shopping bags!  
I miss how we could bargain with not just the vegetable vendor but with almost anyone/anything. Remember how as kids we used to bargain with our mothers for an extra five minutes of sleep too?
On that note, I miss haggling with auto wallahs too! I like the cab meters (not that we don’t have them back home) but the frustrating and annoying conversation with the auto wallahs had their own charm!!

I think bargaining is therapeutic just like gossiping.
I miss bargaining.

Do you miss it too? Would love to hear from you.

Image: here

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

15 X 17 =???

When I was in the primary school we had to appear for these mental Math tests. I fared pretty well in the dodging of tables section and that’s kind of what came in handy when I reached DXB. My Maths was put to test each time I paid a cabbie, bought a carton of milk, et al. Ask me the table of 15 and I will shock you with my speed and accuracy!

Do you also suffer from the conversion disease? I know of a lot of fellow Indians who can’t help but instantly multiply the AED by 15 and get the INR amount!  1 AED = 14.82 INR!! So we round that up and stick to 15 for convenience sake. It gets pretty annoying at times, shocking at others, depressing mostly and insanely hard to stop doing it. The currency converter on our mobiles is another friendly tool of course. I wonder if I’ll ever stop doing that. I wonder if it is healthy at all!!

A wise man recently told me that my life here would be a dream if I stopped converting the currency each time. The wise man could even multiply 217 X 15 within seconds! Not all wise men say all the wise things! :) :)

Image: Here & Here

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Khusiyon ki home delivery!

Once upon a time our daily dose of veggies & happiness were delivered at the door step. We would  bargain, nitpick and chit-chat with the delivery man. They'd weigh the veggies for us, put it in a plastic bag & award us with a bunch of dhaniya & chillies absolutely free!! Miss those days?

Image: Personal Album

Now that's an image that would make you smile, nostalgic & thankful for little mercies! 

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Big Bachchan Theory

Our mothers love him as much we do. No, I am not talking about our dads. Am talking about ‘The Amitabh Bachchan’! No man wears his wrinkles better than him. Period.

Ask an Indian to describe his life and he’d divide it into two – Before/After he started watching Bachchan movies. Yes, such is the impact of the syndrome. As a rule whenever I feel lonely in a foreign land (when travelling for work or fun) Amitabh Bachchan comes to my rescue. Tell the tour guide or the hotel staff or a fellow trekker that you are from India and watch his/her face brighten up.  The likelihood of the individual saying ‘Amitabh Bachchan’ the very next second is extremely high. And from there on the two of you will have enough to talk about.

Over my years of growing up in a home & country teeming with Bachchan fans I have begun to identify them. Here’s how. They often act melodramatic and force the following dialogues/references into almost every conversation.
The angry young man.
Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. If given a choice they would all change their names to this!
The baritone voice! The umpteen efforts made to imitate that.
Billa no 786 is not just a number.
And now the white beard. Sexy personified. All the men want to grow up with that kind of beard. Though I still feel that this man refuses to get old. He even makes Saif’s ‘Kareena’ tattoo appear so lame & small in front of his on-screen tattoo – Mera Baap Chor Hai!

I sincerely feel a lot of issues could be addressed (if not solved) if Big B was to act as the Pied Piper! Would we not all love to transform into rats & follow him blindfolded?

We have two coffee table books on Big B at home! In addition to books on the making of Deewar and Sholay. Do you have any Bachchan paraphernalia at home?
Want to pep up a dull evening? Play the eternal Sholay game! See who knows how many dialogues!

Is there a Big B fan following in DXB as well? Do people get together on a Thursday evening to soak in the charisma of Bachchan. We do that. We play our favourite Bachchan movie & sit down with a tub of popcorns & our friends & family & get both nostalgic & weak in the knees!

Till we meet next, here’s a little Bachchan coming your way. Raise your hands if you have grown up listening to these & still not tired of it!
Mere paas maa hai!
Muchein ho toh nathulal ji jaisi!!

Have any Bachchan experiences to share? Do drop in a line!

Image: Here