Thursday, 31 January 2013

Attchchoo


 I am a germ machine since I have caught  a nasty flu bug. Now in such circumstances people get headaches, body aches , runny nose, ear pains & irritable throat. Since , I am Gods favorite experiment, i am blessed with severe jaw aches. I know its sounds stupid, but it is the truth.  No matter how much ever medicines one takes, a flu stays for a minimum of 3 days. You may inject jabs and jabs of Vit C, shock the fruit seller by  purchasing truck full load of oranges but nothing will work. Now after three days of misery, my jaws started to ache, so much so that , i feel like beheading myself since that seems the only way to get some relief !! Pretty Picture, isnt it ?
The thing annoying about flu is you arent sick enough to take a day off. and you arent fit enough to survive a day at work. Now thats just leaves you nowhere to go. When you sneeze, you notice the people around you step back. Its almost they are not happy seeing you infront of them. And whats with us human race looking ridicluous when we sneeze ! You can trace my steps easily these days.. just follow the used up boogie-ridden tissues rolled up, follow the trail and you will find me.

I cancelled my meetings today. Had a big one lined at 11 am today. I asked my secretary to lie that i am traveling out of the city since something urgent has come up. Those guys called me, i picked up and i know that they know since i sound so awful over the phone, i am unwell and not traveling.. So not only i caught the flu , i also got caught lying !

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Reality Check

Heres ending a pathetic attempt at Photo Month. January was the month when i had planned that i will upload a photo each day. i have done Nothing !!!! i am ashamed. The month has come to an end, makes me wonder what was i thinking !
From now on, lets keep it simple. Simple Ranting.
For happy readers, stay away from my upcoming posts..

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Haan, maine Gujarat ka Namak Khaya hai..


This is a story of Kutch and its people. One of the most striking features of this district in Western Gujarat is the Rann of Kutch, a salt desert that is wet and dry intermittently. On full moon nights when the silver rays of the moon fall on the white salt of the desert, making it look like a demure bride dressed in flowing wedding gown.
Sunset at the White Sands
The Rann is barren, but even in this stark barrenness, one can see a cascade of colors , costumes, rituals, its people, their way of life and undying spirit. Ever since its inception , I have been fascinated by the idea of visiting the Rann Utsav. The thought of sleeping in tents under the stars of a chilly winter night was a dream. This year I made it happen. The fest ends on 31st January. No way in hell was I going to get a small little tent for myself, since each of the 320 tents are booked well in advance. Thats when I begged Dad to make some calls.


And Voila, 6 hours prior to our flight, I was informed that its all done ! I was not in any tent, but in the "F cluster crème de la creme" which houses Narendra Modi and entourage while his official visit. The tents had double bed, heater, air conditioning, toiletries, tea coffee maker, carpets,  fresh linen, WIFI and toilet roll in a fancy wooden stand. And thats how my dream of staying in a basic tent just got pimped.. Luxury was not one of my expectation.. i went seeking for a rustic experience.


All salt
Can you imagine? In the middle of the salt desert, I had WIFI. Its a shame i didn't upload photo of the days. For which I ‘d blame the salt, you see, water retention made my fingers go all chubby.
I wrote the first half of this draft sitting on the swing facing the white sands. Its 14 degrees celsius. God’s creations are so beautiful. India is so beautiful. I am smitten. I got back from star gazing session. Today planet Jupiter is close to the Moon. I could see Jupiter and its four moons through the telescope.  Apart from the fact that where eight people were breathing down my neck to see what i see, it was magical. Classical music is playing at the back and fresh wood is being put in the bon fire.   I should be going to bed, since I have an early wake up tomorrow. But, I wished to stay up longer. The tents are lit up and the array of colors makes me feel euphoric.
The best part of the Rann Utsav is that it employs all locals from the region. The staff , cooks, housekeeping , chapati makers,  technicians, drivers, each one belongs to the region. And they have done a mighty good job at training the staff. They are polite, cordial and understanding. The tent city is so huge , it takes more than 2 months to build, and approximately 25 days to dismantle. Tents are brought from Rajasthan & Allahbad each year. Everything around the tent city is hand crafted, hand painted .. its as though you are in paisley la- la land. The sink in our tent was rusted iron vessel, the one the construction laborers use to carry cement. In the tent light, that sink looked rustic almost designer. Utsav boasts movie theater, craft village, bouncy castle for kids, camel safaris, man made pond, array of folk dance performances, international  dance performances, open air auditorium and medical center.


When tires gave up
I did go out of the tent city to visit small villages around. Most of the Kutch region inhabits Pakistani refugees / immigrants who crossed the border at the time of Indo – Pak partition. Even today they retain their culture , their rituals, customs & way of life. If you ever wondered, in the film Refugee, why did Abhishek Bachchan chose a stylist who had rather feminine instincts for bright colors and floral prints ? , I have found you some sense behind those brave decisions. The men of Dhorda , Lodhiya etc , small villages in Kutch wear bright kurtas with a contrasting embroidered scarf. And these scarfs have bold prints on them. You could see a two wheeler coming at a distance, and wonder.. ohh pretty girl in bright printed clothes riding a two wheeler, only when they come closer you see a burly man. Poor Abhishek , was just playing the part.  You see men riding their chakdas (modified two wheeler) in short, when a motorcycle is raped by a rickshaw. I wanted to ride of of the chakdas, that didn't happen. No chakda owner would trust me with their modified vehicle.


Village woman
I visited small villages that are famous for handicrafts, woven hand embroidered textiles, puppets. Ladies of these homes are dressed in colorful costumes all day welcoming tourists to buy their products.  I had lunch at a dainty dhaba,roadside place which had broken chairs, peeled off plaster.. the cook welcomed us with 100 volt smile. You know food is fresh when you see a little boy running in to the kitchen with the dough. We had bajra rotis, deal , potatoes and fresh ghee and jaggery. The food was delicious. 

However i failed to solve just one mystery. Who managed to get Amitabh Bachchan on board for Gujarat Tourism Ad campaign ? At present,  the whole of Gujarat is taking exclusive credit for this mighty idea. I am not even joking. Throughout our stay , we met Rann Utsav officials, ministry people, IAS officers, Govt officials , managers , staff etc.. and i kid you not, all of them on different occasions would say "Pssst , yeh Amitabh ko ad mein daalne ka kiska idea tha ????    *sparkle in the eyes* MERAAAAA... "   
{English Translation :   "whose idea do you think was to get Amitabh Bachchan (India's 60+ something superstar) on board ? Who do you think convinced him ? On whose insistence did Mr Bachchan budge"    ME ME ME.. }

After the 6th person saying the same thing.. just before the person would say "Pssstt".. I would jump of my seat and scream "I am sure it was your idea to get Mr Bachchan".. And thats how i managed to get first row seats for the cultural show blocked .. and chicken for dinner ;-) "

The shit got serious when , our over enthusiastic guide claimed that he took Amitabh Bachchan for recce !!! i was like "OF COURSE, it was you !!! "

People of Kutch are loving, caring and welcoming. They are transparent and kind- hearted. A devastating earthquake in 2001, of magnitude of 8.7 Richter scale had crippled the state beyond repair. The ruins still stand in some parts of Bhuj city. The spirit of these people has now brought the state to become on of the flourishing states to attract tourists’ from all over the world.



Ruins are beautiful

I'd reiterate ... Breathe in a bit of Gujarat !!!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Dopamine Galore!!

A store close to home sells cupcakes that are divine. All the extra pounds I gain this month, the credit goes to them. But you know what, they taste like bites of heaven. I kid you not fellas..  I addicted to red velvet cakes.. 
Here's how the rainbow cake looks like. It's tastes even better..
Who knew sugar could act like LSD..

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Therapy



 I went book shopping yesterday. Not just that i gobbled on some red velvet cupcakes and coffee along with my book therapy. Entering a book store is like entering a Spa...only less uncomfortable at the beginning right before you.. you know undress to fit into tiny disposable inner wear..  *losing the plot moment*
Due to lack of parking space in Bombay, i chose to walk in to a fancy book store. I have always loved those little book vendors by the street selling old books stacked in their tiny kiosks. 
Nothing beats the smell of an old yellowey paged book.. Sat on the couch and finished reading a book..
A sunday well spent !
 

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Miss you Ayee

Last evening , I was in Vital Care Clinic, to show Mom and Dad's routine medical reports to the Doctor. The first person that comes to my mind when someone mentions the name is Ayee. We lost her on 21st November 2012. In her last few weeks she was admitted here. There was time she was so frustrated with the deteriorating health that she had pulled apart the window blinds. That still remains. I miss her. God bless her soul.

The Battle Within

I wish the mind and heart thought alike. Or even better, our emotional decision making nerves worked like machines. Need a change ? Simple.. Jot down a few complex looking statements/ commands and feed into your system. I learnt C++ ages ago in school. I am sure even the tribals from Papua New Guinea have upgraded to better programs that find them roots and tubers in the jungles. So in class they taught us, you need a program, feed in the right commands that the computer comprehends and BHAM ! Job done. I want my brain to work just like that. I am i tired of  these thoughts entrenched deep in my mind , how do i get rid of them ? I need a brain cleanse. The reason I have turned down Vippassna  time and again is only because i fear what will be the outcome. My brain would explode of the whirlwind of all those thoughts and issues stacked in some inaccessible part of my brain (if any). I am suffering from dichotomy complexity syndrome. Dunno if this is even a word ! But that's what is going on in my peanut sized brain. My mind know, its bloody damn knows what should be done and what is the ideal step to be taken. It knows. I know. And my heart doesn't follow that. It sings an altogether different tune. Its like my heart and mind are playing a "i know it all" & " YOU the hypocrite"  blame game. If you have reached to read this line, i want to sincerely thank you for reading this crap i keep writing time and again. Sometimes i wonder why do i have to blog ? But them , not that these posts are being featured in some fancy fancy blog worlds that i have to worry about. Its just who who reads me. and thank you.

Coming back on what i was going on about, i am suffering from some weird mental state at this moment. A state where i have to assess, "Am i happy ?", "Am i sad ?" o_0 "Am i being me ?"

The matter of fact is, I know what has to be done. If only i allow myself to refrain from such deadly procrastination.

Confused ? .. Me too. I am sure Dalai Lama can explain.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Gift Like an Egyptian

Received this statue from a dear friend from Egypt. It symbolizes love and wealth in ones life that may be showered upon by the Almighty.  Here's wishing you all the same in this year 2013..

Happy 3rd Birthday DaniYal !


Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Impossible


Last night i saw the film 'The Impossible', a touching story that narrates a young family's story caught in the Tsunami. With the seas that look so calm, its hard to believe that it could get so monstrous and destructive. I battled tears while seated in the cinema watching the family reunite. Its a story about love & togetherness. One realizes the other persons value while they are gone. The catastrophe devastated many families, wiped out millions of humans. My heart goes out to each one of them. This true story is a happy one. Majority of the affected were unfortunate not to have a happy ending. They now carry a piece of the debris along with them in their hearts.

Tell the person you love, how much you love them. Don't Delay (anymore). 

[ Watch Laya Project  Music that brings us all together ]

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Dont ask why !!


  • A crocodile cannot stick out its tongue.
  • A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds. [ Mr perfectionist Ghajini would be very upset knowing that someone is better than him ]
  • A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
  • A snail can sleep for three years. [like many people i know]
  • A duck's quake can't echo. [ yeah.. lets take a duck up the hill and check]
  • Al Capones's business card said he was a used furniture dealer.
  • Almonds are a member of the peach family.
  • An average American, in his whole life, will spend an average of 6 months waiting at red lights.
  • An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
  • Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
  • Butterflies taste with their feet.
  • "Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
  • February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.
  • In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
  • Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
  •  No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
  • Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
  • Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite.
  • Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
  • "Stewardesses" is the longest word typed with only the left hand and "lollipop" with your right.
  • The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
  • The cruise liner, QE2, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
  • The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
  • The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" uses every letter of the alphabet.
  • The words 'racecar,' 'kayak' 'level' and "Malayalam" are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes) .
  • There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
  • There are more chickens than people in the world.
  • There are only four words in the English language which end in "dous" tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order "abstemious" and "facetious."
  • TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one periterrow of the keyboard.
  • Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
  • Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself.


I know your lives wouldn't have functioned as normal without having to know this 'life -saving'  &  'brand new ' information..
 Thank me later..

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Corporate Curry


Seated in cushy chairs of a fancy conference room, a meeting that didn't go very well. And this one is my first.  Reasons could be counting on people who are nothing but all talks. They say one door shuts , somewhere another few open. Awaiting to hear the sound of another door opening.. 
As soon as i hear door open I shall leap..

Friday, 4 January 2013

Vroom Vroom


Meet Ashwin & his rickshaw.. Ashwin was kind enough to let me ride his rickshaw. He patiently waited till my peanut sized brain registered the controls.I have never been more amused.Now onwards, driving a car will always be boring.At the end of my escapade, an ecstatic me hugs him. 
I want to take this rickshaw home.   Ashwin blushes.
As my car pulls out, i roll down the window and scream,
"Ashwin, Thank you.. I love you"..
He yells back, " Same to you.. thank you"

See you later, aLLigator


Today , I had to say goodbye to some very good friends. 
Deb , you will be missed, until our next cuppa tea.. Xx

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Damage Control


This plump penguin is never set out for the cold. Boiling hot water is poured into its belly and sipping that keeps my head calm through out the day at office. Gazziliion cups of Green tea symbolizes that holidays are over. Need a gallon of green tea to detox. I am back in the office with shit loads of unanswered emails, got less then 7 hours of sleep in the last 4 days.. and some crazy memories that mark the beginning of this year. *happy feet dance*

Flag off


The magical sunsets I watched for hours at end in Bintan Islands.
 The mystics of the skies fascinate me.. Hoping the year goes by as beautifully as this picture.
(This post is for JAN 1, didn't get my hands on a laptop all day yesterday)