Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Tonic what?

I drink a lot of water (more than 3L a day) so it’s easy to get bored of it. Switched to sparkling water. Am now bored of that too. So I picked up tonic water.


Not being a gin drinker, I don’t think I have ever had tonic water; definitely not had it on its own.

It contains Quinine: C20H24N2O2, a natural white,
crystalline alkaloid that is extracted from the bark of the South American cinchona tree; and has medicinal properties. But because the amount of Quinine in tonic water is very less, it exists for taste.

And it tastes really bad. It tastes like diluted alcohol gone bad with decayed lemon.

I’m glad I bought a ChupaChup.

Blimey Blimp!?

"Roughly the size of two football fields, the Aeroscraft can be used as a military transport for troops, artillery and equipment; as a cargo transport service in the spirit of Federal Express or UPS; as a commuter transport service; and as a luxury travel option."

Bloody hell, I'd be petrified if I saw that in the sky. We so don't need these sorts of slow moving monstors in the sky! Especially not as 'luxury travel options!'

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Lights, camera, serve, whatever!

Went to watch the women’s ATP finals last night: Maria Sharapova (SHE IS 6”2!!! and she grunts really loudly) Vs. Justine Henin. Great tennis. Sharapova was leading 5-3 first set; but she landed up losing that set 5-7 and the tournament. Henin was superb.

I didn’t pay a penny to watch this match, and was seated in the VIP pavilion. Would I care if I had’nt seen the match? Nope. Last year I watched an Agassi – Federer final for free as well. Would I care if I had’nt seen the match? Not really. It’s the Dubai Tennis Open I’ve been watching for the last 5 years. I’m over it.


Wimbledon, Roland Garros, people pay a bomb to watch such matches and would buy their last row tickets 6 months in advance; and that probably would'nt be the finals! Here we are in Dubai, watching world class professional tennis as if it was taking place in my own back yard.

Was so disgusted at the snobbishness whirling inside of me whilst I was sipping my hot chocolate next to Sheikh Hasher.

Guess we are darn lucky. The tennis open is definitely one of the bonus’s of living in this otherwise nauseating Emirate. But when will we care? We probably won’t because we take it for granted. Dubai attitude – needs a slap.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Does your existence matter?

A close friend ran 60K today for charity. Starting 4am, he finished at noon. He did the same two years ago; and he will do it again next year. As much as he loves running, 60K is no easy task - mentally or physically.
My contribution: I was a distance marshal at the 55K mark. (Yes, a bit pathetic)

(Detour: while we were standing at our point in the rain, since we had a cooler box with us, people looked at us strangely - as if ' who are these freaks going on a picnic in this weather! :) anyway, almost every other passer by in a car offered to give us a ride somewhere; that was nice - it's quite rare in Dubai!)

It's also rare that people (in Dubai specially) make use of their hobbies for a cause. Guess where there is a will to give back to society, there is a way. And it doesn't have to be some life uprooting sacrifice.

I have wanted to do some community work for a while now. Although I have done the odd thing, I have always found an excuse not to be part of anything in which my contribution will make a significant difference. Don't have time, Dubai does'nt let you contribute in a way that is fulfilling enough, need to find something 'big' enough to be part of for it will be fulfilling, etc etc.

I had the opportunity to train and run 20K in this run. But no, who's going to train at 6am every Friday.
I had the opportunity to run a donation tent for Tsunami in Dubai, I could have volunteered for a week in Thailand when I was there last year.

Crap huh.

On raving about the thrill of my profession (Public Relations), to a close relative recently - he asked me a very simple yet hard hitting question: How are your communication skills adding value to anything that matters in this world?


A colleague of a family friend, quite a high flying corporate individual, spends a few hours of his weekend at labour camps in Dubai; helping labourers complete their visa/labour forms and helping them understand their rights.

Hats off to him, to my ultra-runner friend, and to everyone who has got their act together and is doing their bit.

I seem to have enough inspiration to do something. Just need to figure out how I can be part of the mix.

Monday, February 20, 2006


My brother walks into my room today and asks me most sincerely 'Didi are you blogstipated?'
My first reaction, ' get lost'; my reaction afer 5 minutes. 'Yikes, I'm blogstipated!'

I blog because I enjoy it. I will not blog for the sake of it, nor because, oh shucks I better blog today since I have'nt in ages. Thoughts don't seem to be flowing at the moment for me, nor does opinion; and I choose not to rant for once. *sigh*

Big deal if I have'nt blogged in a while - I'll be back when I want to! (not that anyone cares - but just thought I'd tell anyone who happens to stumble upon my blog sometimes!)

Besides..I have a few things cooking up my sleeve ;)

Till whenever :)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Has the awakening really begun?

'New Delhi: Five spirited, young men from the best engineering institute of India - with high-paying blue-collar jobs at their disposal and a promise of a comfortable life ahead - decide to take a dirty road less traveled. Frustrated by the existing administrative system, they decide to take up the cause of cleansing it from within and launch a political party of their own.'

Asmuch as I thought Rang De Basanti was a film with good intentions, I also thought was an extremist moral disaster. I was quite pleasantly surprised to read this article.

With films such as Rang De Basanti, you tend to worry about a negative outcome, or no outcome at all. Takes alot of maturity, balls, commitment and vision to do what these guys have in mind. Hats off to them!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

New music shopping spree

When I go to buy music, I normally know what I want. However, I always buy that one different album that 'sounds/looks' good, and it usually turns out to be a disaster.

This time I went on a bit of a random music shopping spree and picked up artists new to me, but hey they all (actually except one) turned out to be darn good!

Catching Tales, Jamie Cullum: I'm not much of a jazz fan, actually don't like it at all - but this album is quite good. More of pop-jazz, it is easy, joyful listening with just the right amount of great piano and emotion. He is a new artist so I thought his rawness comes through, but in a good way. Something in him reminded me of Robbie Williams and John Mayer, even though their music is completely different. All in all, good stuff.

Calma Apparente, Eros Ramazotti (Italian): Typically Eros, straightforward soft rock - very much for the girls :) I wish I knew what he was saying as it all sounds very romantic but not in the soppy sad way. Nevertheless there is something awkwardly cool about listening to music in a different language. It includes a duet with Anastacia aswell and since Eros style can get a bit monotonous, it is a welcome number.

SpiritoDiVino, Zucchero (Italian): I heard him for the first time in Bombay with a dear friend who had it playing in his car. The album I heard was exceptional and had songs featuring Macy Gray, Eric Clapton, Cheb Mami and Sting - could'nt find that album so settled for this one. It is 10 years old, but the latest of what Virgin had! Not quite sure what this music is: rock, blues, funk with a tad of soul maybe..but great listening. Again, would be good to know what he is saying :)

Nouveau Flamenco, Ottmar Liebert (Instrumental - guitar): This artist was also introduced to me by a friend a while ago; after which I started reading his blog and downloading bits and pieces of his music. Liked what I heard, so picked up this album. Beautiful spanish guitar. Just beautiful.

Incredible India: In the most Indian mood swing that I'm in, I picked up this album. A great set of artists: Ravi Shankar, Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawhney, Anoushka Shankar to name a few. Close your eyes and you will feel you are in India. The tracks on the CD are generally slow, but progressive, with a few numbers in chill-out/lounge mode. I listened to this while I was looking through wedding pics from India, was most appropriate!

Beginners Guide to Cuba: Not happening at all. First of all, I dont know why I picked this up, I'm far from needing a guide to Cuban music. However, this 3 CD compilation promised a round up of Cuban Son, Cuban Jazz and Cuban Salsa. The artists were decent, seemed like a good album to have. Don't buy it. The recording was'nt good (I had to change the volume for each song!) and the choice of songs was not the best. Quite disappointed.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Re-grounded to my roots

Just got back from 12 days in India, and boy were they a great 12 days. Having not been home to India in 3 years, this visit I realised what I was missing. I took glory in watching my driver have a haircut at Raju's 2mx3m barber shop, in watching the panwala across the road oiling his hair with his chuna hands in between making pan for his customers, in eating on the streets and being faced by a cow sniffing around to see if there is anything in my plate for him.

We went to India to attend my cousins wedding. 8 days of family, life stories, scooters, poojas, dupattas, dancing, singing, parathas and kulfi has left me 2 kilos heavier but so fresh and rejuvanated, I'm surprised. Is it just because I have'nt been to India in a while? or having lived in Dubai for 8 years, any whiff of culture and reality is just overwhelming? I dont know.

The only thing I could have done without were the hole in the ground toilets that are slightly difficult to use with a saree on! :)

As is obvious, 8 days of the wedding were in a very small village, so some time in the city was mandatory for an all round, all awakening trip. My last 4 days were in Mumbai where I met my close friends, ate the best food, went to the general post office (?), went to the best bars, checked out the salsa scene, danced to remixes of Kajra Re and drank Kingfisher beer! Mumbai knows how to have fun, I can't wait to go back.

You must have realised that when you land in another country and step off the aircraft, the first thing that alerts you to where you are is the smell of the air. The smell of Mumbai is very distinct: sea breeze, mud and humidity mixed with pollution from the traffic and the slums. These smells get accentuated by visuals as you walk into the airport. The havaldar (police man) in his khaki uniform with a danda (wooden stick) in his hand, the coolies running around to help you with your bags and then the taxi driver tying your 7 bags onto the top of his car and smoking a quick bidi before he makes his 250 rupees he has been waiting for, for the last 18 hours. He still manages a smile and points out landmarks in the city as he takes us home.


I landed in Dubai last night and smelt nothing but plastic mixed with expensive perfume.

Oh well, I guess thats just the way it is.
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