Saturday, 5 December 2009

Bolt from the Flu...

Before leaving Costa Rica for India, I decided to take my doctor dearest (the one who nursed me back to health from the throes of a super potent influenza attack) for a drink.

Doctor Danilo and I met at one of my favourite pubs - Misala - located at the Centro commercial de Pako in Escazu.
It was a rainy evening and I sat there enjoying my "Jack con Coca" while the doctor settled for a cup of Chilean White Wine.
As we sat discussing my medical situation and that of Costa Rica in general, Doctor Danilo mentioned the fact that Costa Rica had reported only 4 cases of H1N1 till date.

Now, thank god for the fact that my genetic code has blessed me with an extremely sharp memory - my brain flew back in time to the scene where I was lying on my hospital bed for the second consecutive day and I saw the scene as if it were happening all over again.
Doctor Danilo sauntered into my room for a casual check-up and he happened to think aloud: "I think you caught the H1N1 at this hospital itself. Last week, there were three cases and the third one, an obese woman who was also suffering from diabetes, died right here."

So, while he had spoken of three cases way back in time, he now he mentioned that only 4 were hitherto reported by Costa Rica to WHO.

Either I was the luckiest person alive to know the one doctor who treated 3 out of the 4 known cases of H1N1 in CR - or my genetic code had come crashing down and my memory had been reduced to a combination of dust, ashes and fumes!

My curiosity did not let me rest. On pestering Doctor Danilo, he came out with the shocking truth!

Costa Rica, like any other country, was trying to desperately underplay the actual extent to which the H1N1 had managed to penetrate its population of 4.5 million. As a matter of international pride (and in order to save the ass of it's tourism sector - given that it receives 2 million tourists per annum) the Costa Rican health department had decided to overlook H1N1 cases where the patient survives and report only those where there was a death!

Furthermore, he actually went ahead to tell me that I, as a matter of fact, was suffering from an acute case of H1N1 and not just any ordinary flu! My reports indicated a very high degree of infection and the fact that I was cured by Tamiflu and other intra-venous antibiotics, led the Health Department to issue a second report which read as follows:

Samir Kapur.
H1N1: Negative!

So here I was - I had fought the H1N1 and survived it without ever knowing it - nursing a Jack and Coke in my right hand - sweating profusely despite the cold rainy weather.

My life flashed before my eyes...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

He loved Sonia...

“Get a perspective. It’s just a break-up,” said Sonia, in a stern tone.

These words reverberated against his ear-drum for the next few seconds.
“I will,” he reacted.

“Beep.... “
He had hung up.

-Masterpiece in Progress-

Friday, 30 October 2009

Phew! Close Shave

Just got the good news today - H1 No1! :)

Thank god for that - the heart beat issues still need to be solved - doctors here think im going to have a collapsed heart given the kind of stress im taking.

The fever had my heart beating at phenomenol rates (it has clocked 182/lossa numbers between 150-180 for days/130-150 for the last three days/and now I dunno!)

This wasnt something I was looking forward too!

But thank god them pigs dint fly around me :)

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

H1N1/Samir Kapur 08/11/83

Thats what my wrist tag says!!
[Read H1N1 as "aache uno enne uno"]

Ive been admitted into what is probably the best hospital in Costa Rica.

Been here since Sunday morning - They suspect H1N1 : Im showing all symptoms! Yay!!

All tests have been conducted and now we anxiously/painstakingly await the results!

Keep logging in...!
If the test's negative: you get a lot of amusing incidences often involving abusive references to random things/people/places.
If the test's positive and I survive: you get some great anecdotes with as much gusto as I can manage.
If the test's positive and I dont survive: I love you too!

It feels so good to get my hands on my laptop after 2 1/2 days, I just dont feel like giving it back to mom.

But, shes the boss! Ciao!

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Given that the stone is finally "OUT," the Cricket lover in me could not think of a better remark than "Howzzat!"

The 6mm (in length) Mofo came out the natural way!

"Clink!!" went the stone against the waste paper basket - never have I been happier to hear a Clink before.

A shard of pure Calcium Oxalate - Crystalline in texture, jagged edges, shiny particles - a thing of beauty!

Seems I have to reduce my milk intake. People who know me well know that this is probably the biggest blow nature could have dealt to me!

Showed the stone to the doc - he was surprised I pee'd something that big out.

"Well what do I say doc, I'm a stud where it matters!"

Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Fireworks...

The doctor gave me some news which horrified me...

The bigger of the multiple kidney stones has reached within the pelvis and has only one way out of there: Surgically.
I would have to undergo my 1st surgery ever! 45 minutes of gruelling hell and all for one teeny weeny tiny little calcified stone - 5mm in diametre!
What freaks me out totally is the fact that he aint talking about laproscopy! Hes talking about a traditional surgery...
Now for people who have even 3.24% knowledge of Biology - the method is scary, intrusive, anti gravity and of course totally against nature's will...

I'm only praying I can avoid this as of now - somehow. Anyhow.

Costa Rica is known to be a medical haven for citizens of the USA - providing facilities at par with what's available in the States and at only 60% of the costs.
I'd however never thought I'd have to expereience their low cost expertise first hand!

This trip has had me seeing more of hospitals than anything else (Well thank god the hospitals here look like freaking Taj Bengal).
Iv been jabbed with needles atleast 15 times in the last week.
And the last needle to go into me boasted a diametre comparable to that obtained by sticking 6 cylinderical toothpicks together, along their lengths!
And this baby stayed inside me for a cool 40 minutes... probably the only one lucky to get the chance for this lifetime (pun totally intended).

"Pura Vida" as they say down here in Costa Rica.
Pure Life Truly :)

Friday, 16 October 2009

My First Diwali - Alone

Ive spent my last few Diwalis away from home - but this year is probably the worst one so far: This time Im alone... and unwell.

Ridden with multiple Kidney Stones, Bad Skin rashes (on account of numerous jabs with needles so as to get saline drips into the required blood vessels) and of course the back ache (mainly due to mental and physical stress)

As I prepare to spend my Diwali morning at the hospital, getting tested for god knows what now, my spirit however is not as down and out as it should be.

Thank god for that Diwali spirit which is keeping me going. I wonder if it's all in the mind - or if the spirit of Diwali is something real and alive.

God, on this Diwali, I pray you give me enough physical strength to buy Diyas (or Tea Candles or whatever else I can find here) and light my house up!

Miss you ma, pa.
Would have been great to see home - warm with light and love :)
And the fooooood! Oho!

Wish you all a very Happy Diwali!!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Nick loved her..

She had really been looking forward to this vacation.

With the ongoing recession, she had been forced to work overtime for the last twelve months. Weekends and holidays had lost meaning for her.
Nick had been keeping even busier - having to guide his business through economical turmoil - the new American government was threatening to wipe out almost all of the immigrant workforce. He couldn't even think of taking time off from work to join her for the trip.
It din't bother her - she was desperate enough to go by herself - the nanny could take care of the kids - Nick didn't need to be taken care of anyways.
Plus she liked spending time with herself - she loved being alone.

As she boarded the train, she heaved a sigh of relief - it was finally falling into place.

Even before the train had pulled out of the Salem Amtrak Station, she was imagining herself taking a relaxing dip in the hot springs close to Mount Baker.
She had seen an advertisement in the papers - snow capped mountains sorrounding a valley full of flowers with a lone volcano in the horizon. Something in that photograph had appealed to her - she didn't know what.
Her lips bloomed into her signature smile - the old man sitting across her smiled back.

As the train chugged on through the cold plains of Oregon, she could not help but indulge in reminiscence of the events that had got her to where her life was poised.

She had married Nikhilnanda Ghosh (who preferred using the name Nick, given that it was easier for his business associates and colleagues to address him by that) nine years ago. She was a year into her first job. Nick was an investment banker and worked in a plush office on Wall Street. Their dads knew each other vaguely.
One day Nikhil's parents approached hers - and they agreed to the marriage.
A traditional Indian wedding followed and she was off to the US of A (as Nick called it back then) to settle into a new life.
She had always wanted to live in India - the thought of moving to a foreign land peeved her - but it all happened so fast, she didn't have time to react.

Contrary to her thoughts, America gave her the independence she had always dreamt of. She found a job in the analytics department of a company which manufactured semi-conducters.
Nick had no problems with her working - in fact he never had time to bother.
He only cared about his own work.

Three years after their marriage, she gave birth to their first child - Nikita - her bundle of joy.
Nick's mother moved in with them to look after Nikita so that they could each focus on their careers. (Nick's father had passed away a year ago).

A few months after Nikita's birth, Nick lost his job at the Investment Bank.
The Obama goverment had introduced a bill which disallowed foreign immigrants from working in the countries financial sector - they apparently thought that they could control the ongoing financial crisis better without "outside" intervention.
Nick decided to move to Oregon and join his cousin brother's business - Matrix Consultants - an up and coming 3rd Party Logistics Provider.
She did not want to move to the West - she loved her job - but it all happened so fast, Nick did not find the time to consult her.

She started working at a PR agency in Salem - helping them conduct promotional campaigns for clients and their brands.
The creative streak in her found an outlet at her new job.

Three years after they had Nikita, she gave birth to twins - boys this time. Sahil and Shivir - they were the cutest kids ever.
Nick's mom did a great job taking care of their three kids while she balanced her career and home chores.

Nick's mom passed away a year ago - she was replaced by a Nanny, Mrs. Gruen - a homely lady of 50 years - well educated and great with the kids.
Mrs. Gruen would pick them up from school, play with them and help them with their homework.
By the time she was home from work, the kids would be sound asleep.
By the time Nick was home from work (when he was home), she would be sound asleep.

The last year had been crazy for her. The American economy was in turmoil again - the US Dollar had lost it's importance to the newer Asian currencies. Layoffs were a thing in vogue and she had to give it her all just to keep her job.

The train came to a halt. She shook herself out of her journey back in time, collected her knapsack and got off onto the platform.

A glance at the map on the station notice board showed her the way to her hotel, The Case de la Valle. She was there in no time.
"Hey. I believe you have a reservation in the name of Sonia Khanna."
(Nick with his nouveau-American standards, had let her keep her maiden name).

Sonia loved the little room - a warm cosy bed with thick white covers, a fireplace stacked with wood, a tray full of assorted tea-bags and an electric kettle!
She drew the curtains aside and stared at the view with amazement.
The hotel was located on the side of a mountain - her room looked into the valley below. There were snow capped mountains across the valley and far far ahead in the distance stood the breath-taking volcano, Mount Baker.
Despite it being winter, the valley was in bloom - it was carpeted with flowers.
The pink flowers brought a cheerful smile on her face.

That evening, she made her way towards the hot springs.
A crowd of people had gathered around the main square of the hotel.
Curiousity got the better of her and she walked towards the crowd.

A rastafarian man sat in the middle of the crowd - his back to her - with a guitar in his hands. He started strumming on his guitar. People started clapping.
A familiar tune started to play and he broke into a song.

"Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place... Where as a child I'd hide..."

She knew that voice. She had heard it a million times - she couldn't place it however.
She moved across to the other side of the crowd so she could see the singer's face.
She was shocked...

The song ended - the crowd clapped and cheered before dispersing.
The rastafarian broke into a smile when he saw her standing in front of him - it was as if he was expecting her.
She stood right there - dumbfounded...

She had been seeing him before she got married to Nick.
She had walked out on him one fine day - she din't think he was the right guy for her.
He wanted to get married to her within a couple of months of meeting her - he wanted kids - he wanted to roam the world with her - he wasn't focused on his career. He wanted to spend all his time with her...He was too obsessive...

He wasn't like Nick. Nick let her be free. Nick let her do whatever she wanted. Nick never questioned her. Nick didn't bother her about the kids. Nick let her have her career. Nick wasn't selfish. Nick loved her.

The Rastafarian put down his guitar and walked up to her.

A lot had changed in him - the dreadlocks, the drastic loss in weight.
A lot was still the same - the beard, the crooked smile.

"Hi. It's been long enough already!"

"W..what are you talking about? What are you doing..."

"I've been waiting for you to come. I knew you'd come here someday!"

"Are you mad? What waiting? I am not here to meet you... Im here on vacation. Have you been following me?"

"I have been living here for the last four years - waiting for you to come. Would you call that Following? Come on Sonia!"

"Im confused..."

"Well Ive been around the world looking for a place I knew you'd come to someday. When I came here, I knew it was it. So I've been here for the last four years, expecting you anyday."

A tear drop trickled down her cheek...
"But why here? Why the Case de la Valle?"

"Not the Hotel Sonia. The Volcano. Mount Baker."

"Why Baker? What made you think I would come to Mount Baker someday?"

"It's the only volcano in the world which has pink flowers growing next to it..."

Monday, 17 August 2009

Sweet child of mine!!

Man! She's a rock goddess in the making.

If only she were a little older... :P

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Travel Tales: Guatemala/Belize

The TACA/LACSA Airlines flight I was on started its descent towards Aurora International Airport, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Sitting on the window seat, I was wondering what to expect from a country notorious for high levels of crime, the highest degree of fire-arm penetration across Central America and the resultant inexistence of safety/security, when all of a sudden my eyes widened with amazement.
The clouds had given way to acres of green top hills. Far in the horizon, a solitary volcano stood out from behind the hills – it was purplish, calm and serene.
As we approached the Volcano, Guatemala City came into view. One word: HUGE! (for Latin American Standards at least).
La Aurora International Airport was pretty empty for a place located as centrally as Guatemala City. Walking into the terminal building, I came across a Cafe Barista (The most famous cafeteria chain in Guatemala by far) and was already smiling :)

The next morning I was to fly to Flores (about 500 kms away) and then drive into Belize (also known as the British Honduras). TACA airways is known for the quality of paintwork they effect onto old, defunct American Airplanes! And the fact that I realised I was to fly aboard a well painted, old ATR, had me leaving my fate in the hands of god.

The approach to Flores was pretty – with the runway strip located on an island in between a lake! Flores Airport was more or less like the multi-purpose hall we had back in B School!

Belize is like a large village.. the roads just go on and on with little buildings, shops and gas stations located at random intervals. I din't realize when I entered Belmopan (the capital) and when I left it! It was hardly a city at all.
The people are mostly Creoles (A mixture between Latinos and the West Indians). Their language is called Creole – something like the English they speak in the West Indies. I had my Guatemalan friends pretty impressed by the fact that I could understand Creole – I must give Michael Holding due credit for helping me develop that ability!

Now, we all know that the Chinese are everywhere. But in Belize? Yes!
They run hotels and serve Chinese food. I was a little hesitant to try the Belizean Chinese food – but was pretty amazed to find that it was something similar to what we get in India.
Dinner was at a Sri Lankan joint: Spicy Prawn Curry with Rice, Potatoes and Papad! Impressive.
The Belizean beer, Belikin is worth mentioning. Smooth and light, it lives up to the meaning of its name (The road to the sea) given the rate at which it makes one want to run to the washroom!

Before flying back to Guatemala City, I did stop by Tikal National Park (Big tourist attraction with ancient Mayan temples and a lot of wildlife). The Mayan temples were pretty cool. The wildlife was scanty. No Jaguars or snakes (as promised by my guide), just a bunch of racoons and howler monkeys.

Highways in Guatemala are pretty well maintained. Road signs however are peculiar given the fact that they have bullet holes all over them. Localites like using the road signs for target practise apparently! No wonder there were signs stating: Respect Road signs! No points for guessing which sings had maximum bullet holes!

Nearly every gas station on the highway had an adjoint gun shop! Gun licences are apparently as easy as buying a coke in Guatemala :)

Back in Guatemala City, I was staying at a hotel in the party district of the city (Zona Viva – ‘The lively zone’ literally, if I translate into English). The place is dotted with restaurants, cafeterias, confectionaries, junk food joints, pubs, casinos, bars and hotels! I hardly got to visit any of these sadly.

Coming back to my favourite topic: Food/Drink/Beer!
The Guatemalan Beers worth mentioning are...
Gallo (meaning Rooster) – a little bitter
Dorada (meaning Golden) – smooth and nice
I also experimented with this local cocktail (Michelada) – a queer mixture of Tomato juice, beer, lemon, salt and pepper! Was fun.

Guatemalan Coffee is probably the best Coffee in the region (I can vouch for the fact that its better than Costa Rican coffee atleast!).
Cafe Barista was pretty good with its shakes and lattes.

Churros (something I’ve been wanting to try since my brother ranted about them like a madman, after he came back from Spain) – not as good as I thought they would be.
I found them to be too sugary - The sugar simply killed the chocolate!

The most eventful day in Guatemala was the day I spent in Antigua, Guatemala. I had read so much about it on the internet and the place surely did exceed my expectations.
It was the Spanish capital of Central America at first and then Guatemala later. Surrounded by three volcanos (including the famous Water Volcano, Volcan de Agua) which in tandem with earthquakes and floods, have destroyed the city numerous times over the past!
Antigua is very Spanish in its design and architecture and is not over-commercialised despite being one the major tourist draws.

Cobbled streets, churches, cathedrals, ruins, souvenir shops, museums and Tuk tuks (RED Auto Rickshaws – branded under the mark Bajaj Torito – meaning Little Bull! Yes. Hamaara Bajaj!) – the place has it all!

The souvenir shops were just like in India! Bracelets, flutes, bags, clothes, charms, Jade stuff, trinkets - New Market totally!

Of course, the restaurants! I ate lunch at a Spanish restaurant – very plush –delectable food – very romantic! Its a pity my companion was married and a mother of 4 :P

The ruins left me amazed. They were so mysterious - somehow it has gotten me determined to go on the Euro Trip I've always dreamt of!

The saddest thing however was the fact that the clouds kept me from getting a shot of the peak of Volcan de Agua. Despite numerous silent prayers to the lord almighty, the recalcitrant clouds held fort over the peak, keeping it from view.

Antigua is a place I could go to a million times without getting bored!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

QLC - Finally

I realized something today...
There's always someone in your past who will help pull you through the rut you are in... despite the fact that you created gaping holes in their's back then.

Experiencing new lows and hoping to relive brighter days, I caught up with an old friend of mine (Fortunately, we're still friends after all the crap I dished out).

On asking what my friend thought of me, I was promptly given the following retort...
"You're a good person... on a very wrong path."

No other answer would have been truer...

[Thanks... Im sorry for putting all that shit for all these years. A lot of repair work to do, eh?]

Another individual I was particularly close to often described me as "a Sheep in the garb of a Wolf!"

I would snort and guffaw at the description back then... What a dick!

It takes two people saying more or less the same thing to get to me... Way to go Tubelight!

Of course I am going to call everyone who I believe is a "close friend" and interrogate! Get ready with your lists - no holds barred. Kill me! :P
(Arpan Singhal not allowed!)

On a serious note, I suddenly seem to have my plate too full - with things to think of:

I need to get rid of my Pessimism ("In sooth, I know not how I caught it, found it, or came by it. What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born, I am yet to learn. It wearies me" - sorry for mangling your lines Bill, but no one could say it better than you)
The strategy I adopted to achieve my goals, needs to be reworked apparently.
My priorities (which had gone for a toss) need to be re-aligned to the larger goal I had set for myself years ago.
I need to stop putting my career on the line for pleasure! (Don't ask me about this one!)
The resiliance of my system as a whole was in question for a bit. But that seems to be up and working again.
My defense mechanism needs to be overhauled. Defense = Offense from now on.

Whoa! All that's practically like creating a new human being out of me.

Quarter Life Crisis they call it, right?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

I Wish...

I wish I was...

The African Sky - Awe inspiring, Infinite and Expressive
A Thunderstorm - Leaving behind Warmth despite being Cold and Wet
Sachin's Bat - Bludgeoning every oncoming obstacle with Style, Precision and Grace
Slash's Axe - Giving birth to some of the most inspirational guitar music ever
A Red Savina Chilli - Butt Burning yet Aphrodisiacal, Tear Invoking yet full of pleasure
The Froth atop a Mug of Beer - Effervescent, Bubbly and always such a Tease
My Girlfriend's Bathroom Mirror - A true reflection of her beauty, her Confidence Booster, her Alter-ego, her constant Companion
Hetfield's Voice - Unconventional, Versatile and Heart Piercing
The Jaws of a Crocodile - Deadly, Determined and Destructive

An Admiral Kalashnikov 47 - Gifting infinite Power to it's holder and certain Death to it's adversary
A Bar of Premium Chocolate - Sinful and an absolute Anti-Depressant
The Amazonian Rainforest - Self Sustaining, Protective and Green
Molten Lava - Flowing ever so Calmly at times, lashing out Furiously at others
Beatrix Kiddo's Samurai Sword - Emiting that spine chilling ring when removed from it's Sheath
The Red on a Ferrari - Symbolical, Loud and Enviable
The Night - Silent yet Noisy, Lonely yet Crowded, Eerie yet Comfortable
Satan - Evil, Feared, Feiry, Worshipped
My Lumbar Vertebrae - To allay their Decay and to slow down their Death
Hope - To keep the Faith

Saturday, 27 June 2009

New York: The experience

My second movie experience in "Gandhidham" (I know say the name with a very very American accent - sounds more like "Ganyi-DAMN" now)... super awesome che!

NEW YORK: The Indian film community has finally arrived!
First Dev-D and now this one. Hollywood ki maa ki...
Let's see if you Amricans can see the beauty of this movie - This flick deserves an Oscar! Move aside Slumdoggy.

The setup
My colleague from Ghana is in town. Finally a partner - I can't go for a movie alone.

Ticket Counter Tales
We went to the newest multiplex in town.
The ticket options were Rubby (INR 150), Diamond (INR 125), Gold (INR 100) and Silver (INR who cares).
Iph ai had ae hawt Guzzu chicks with me, Ai would have surely taken the Rubby tickets!
But the idea of sitting in private boxes freaked the two of us out!
Err.. if you are puzzled, Rubby is a typo. They did mean Ruby...

News Reporter: Piyus Bhai
As we bought tickets, the previous show just got over. A horde of unhappy people walked out of the hall. My colleague (A Turbaned Sikh) took up the name of Piyus and started quizzing people about how the liked the movie.
Apparently, the movie sucked.
There was no story.
The ending was horrid.
Damn! We seemed to have made the wrong choice here. Or did we...

The Movie Hole (HALL)
Red jajjy super reclining seats.
Walls with Red Lightings.
Red Carpetings.
Super Swanky!
All through the movie, Piyus (The worlds first Sardarji Guzzu Bhai) and Jignes (me), tried conversing/commenting in Guzzu! We also tried passing respectably sleajy (yes yes. Oxymoron it is!) comments on Katrina, in Guzzu :P
Behind us, a Guzzu family had come with food, glass plates and stainless steel cutlery - clink clink clink - constant background music.
Talk about Dolby Sorround Sound!
Also...No one in the Hole got the "I just came" joke... Jesus Save Me.

New York
What a movie!
I am impressed...
YRF finally will make some money without SRKs blessings!
Kabir Khan - Kudoz dude! You are the man.
John Abraham - Dude are you on steroids? Nice shirts all through by the way.
Neil N M - Dude can you whine!! Also, you shouldn't have gone for the Ambulance at all silly boy!
Katrina - PHISH! HOT! sweat sweat. TOTTA!!! WOW! oooof! sweat sweat. She does have the most awesum butt! She beats J LO hollow man! She would look horrid after marriage though - watch out Sallu. It's amazing how your college tracks pants dint wear out 8 years hottie! Also, you make me weak in the knees with the way you take my name! Yay!
Daniel - Nice Home Run dude!
People of Amrica - Buck Fush!!!!!
The FBI - Shame on you, you Freaks. What's with the Peeing bit? Get a Life.

The Concept
A very very deep idea - conveyed very very well.
Katrina's butt! wow! sweat sweat!! (Err... dunno where that came from!)
Irfan Khan's timely dialogues make people see where the story is coming from.
Nice run up to the climax - predictable though.

Good. Great. Awesome.
Katrina's song for John (mere sang) captures the essence of the relationship between two lovers:
Men are always going to be weak suckers! Women will always be their Rocks of Gibraltar! :)

The End
Hmmmm.... Now I know why Piyus Bhai's last interviewee never liked the ending.
It was not all heppy heppy - was very Romeo-Juliety instead. Nice though.

5 stars.
Stop Reading.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Her hair...

"Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place
Where as a child I'd hide
And pray for the thunder and the rain
To quietly pass me by"

There was something about her hair... Something I could never pin-point.

It could have been their colour - black like the darkest night.
It could have been their shine - like the moon shines on a cloudless night.
It could have been the way they smelt - enthralling and intoxicating.
It could have been the way they felt - soft and tender like the finest cotton.
It could have been the way they let the wind flirt with them.
It could have been the manner in which they fell over her face.

They would appear so perfectly organised at times, I'd feel scared to touch them.
And at times they'd take up a form so tussled, I'd feel an involuntary urge to help fix them.
I loved they way they curled suddenly, about midway down their length.
As if she was bored of the monotony, and want to bring about a change as abruptly as possible.
Her hair reflected her persona - composed and confident, peurile and barmy, spoilt and recalcitrant - the craziest mix I have ever come across.

I loved toying with her hair - I would be at my playful best.

The sight of her walking on a beach would leave me in a frenzy: The wind toying with her hair - tossing it about playfully. She would try to tame the wind many a times before she would finslly accept defeat. The shortlived grimace on her face would give way to the most cherubic of smiles - one which would turn a lover into a zealous fanatic.

It's funny how her hair played a very significant part in my life - way more than she ever realized. They symbolized the continuity of our togetherness, in a manner which was rational only to me. I had bestowed upon them, the role of being the umbilical cord which would connect me to her in the after life...

"Her hair reminds me of the eternal place
Where in the end I'd lie
And pray for hurt and the pain
To quickly pass me by"

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Her eyes...

"She's got eyes of the bluest skies
As if they thought of rain
I hate to look into those eyes
And see an ounce of pain"

Her eyes were capable of weaving a yarn.
They could allure, captivate and charm.
They could induce, seduce and command.

Her whites were spotless. The irises, a chocolatey brown.

The eyes were deep set. Or rather, they looked deep set due to the highly prominent facial features that sorrounded them. And as if to compensate for that apparent relegation to the background, they'd developed the power to move mountains with just a glance.

Her eyes almost always had a glint in them. It was as if they beheld everything that they glanced upon rather than just seeing them.

Akin to Iris (the Greek Goddess of the Rainbow and the messenger of the gods if I remember my Greek Tales correctly) the divine light in her eyes could communicate what she felt...

They would light up with happiness, glimmer with excitement, burn red with anger and glow pink when she was playing the role of a temptress.
They'd display a fresh green hue when she spoke of mountains, turn a dreamy blue when she wished for it to rain and sparkle with the pied brilliance of a kaleidoscope when she'd to do something naughty.
They'd turn a wee bit lachrymose when it was time to part after our intermittent romantic run-ins and they'd shed a painful tear when she was wronged.

Her eyes had this way of looking at me, like as if I were a helpless little puppy lying on the road, cold and in need of her love.
They would look at me with the promise of tomorrow. They would gently gesture towards the turn to be taken on that fork in the road.

Her eyes had the power of lifting my spirits up and high... until she shut them on me...

"She's got eyes of the brightest skies
As if they could kill my pain
I'd love to look into those eyes
And see them make it rain"

Friday, 19 June 2009

Her smile...

"She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of childhood memories
Where everything was as fresh as the bright blue sky..."

The first thing people would notice about her was her prodigious smile.

Whenever she wanted to respond to emotional stimuli, her facial muscles would interact with the most wondrous outcome ever: The ends of her lips would flex, exposing a beaming, dazzling row of (upper) teeth and giving birth to a billion watted smile.

And the effect of this smile, on it's recipient was neither ordinary nor unique.

I, for one, would react like as if I had been made to smoke an entire stick of Cannabis.
Current would surge down my spine causing my sides to tingle and my muscles to tittilate.
Somewhere in the back of my head Slash's Axe would belt out the awesome lick to "Sweet Child of Mine."
My eyes would lose focus, my mind would start to wander aimlessly in space - my entire body would feel like it was floating - towards that billion watted source of energy.

Interestingly, Cannabis was one of the first known Lie Detectors - when administered, the user would lose control of his/her senses and inevitably speak only the truth.
Not surprisingly, her smile had the same effect on me - out came the truth - with no thought to what the impact of being such a truthful sage could be!

She had the most perfect lips - curving ever so gently. It seemed like they were painstakingly chiselled by the maker.

Her zygomatics were sharp and protruding. When she smiled, they stood out even more - symbolising the pride she took in her being so perfect.

Her smile would make people overlook the fact that her nose was a tad bit bigger in proportion to the rest of her face.

It was as if her face was constructed to look perfect when she smiled.
Smile she did - all the time. And look perfect she did - all the time.

She had mastered the art of communicating with her smile.

There was a smile to tell me she loved me.
There was a smile to encourage me.
There was a smile to tell me that things would be just fine.
There was a smile to make me feel strong.

There was a smile when she had a naughty trick up her sleeve.
There was a smile to show excitement.
There was a smile to show innocence.
There was a smile to show her happiness.

Soon, there was a smile to show her dissappointment in me.
Then, there was a smile to express her sadness.
She also developed a smile to show her anger towards me.
I forced her to come up with a smile when I made her shed a tear.

In the end she was left with one smile for me...a smile to show me her hatred...

When I think of her smile, Slash still plays the awesome lick - the words of the song differ from the original version however...

"She's got a smile that it seems to me
Reminds me of hatred, I created for me
Now everything is silent, like death just crept by"

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The plunderin' lass-lubber...

Happily and carelessly
I played the game aimlessly
Irresponsible, wanton and boyish
To me it all seemed so toyish

The game kept me young and on my toes
My life was full of happiness and devoid of woes
Poised with a new challenge at every passing stage
Conquest after conquest made me forget my age

One day however, the game took a turn
The rules changed, the player felt a burn
I was suddenly mesmerised, and a lot about me changed
I started behaving differently, almost mentally deranged

I took time off to think
And seperate reds from the pink
What I treated like parrots, this time, was a Dove
I stared in disbelief, for I was surely in love

It was difficult to move a finger
When I wasn't around her to linger
Living apart from my beloved was a task so hard
Days passed like months, time seemed to tard

I came out with a clean slate, as a sign of penance
With an aim to seek support, sick of self defense
The knowledge of my past would render circumstances better
In sooth, I believed, my dreaded past wouldn't matter

Then suddenly one day, light was killed and darkness hired
I had spoken too much, too soon. Upon me it all back fired
The rules changed again, the player left all alone
Mentally sapped this time and unwantingly danger prone

From there on I began, with myself, a long fight
In no time at all, my blacks turned to a tense white
In vain I tried to go back to my old ways
Soon to realise, a reputation tarnished never pays

Sadly however, I soon accepted the cardinal thing
My actions only made me lose, to the me within
I gave up fighting with my self, torn and distraught
My new life stays devoid of battles to be fought

It's hardest to handle betrayal from the one who taught you to trust
Despite feeling new lows, live on you must
The greatest learning here is about the law of averages:
Every plundering pirate meets his end, at the hands of wandering savages...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Brunchie/Snackie (Food Review: Cote d'Ivoire)

After that wild Saturday outing - when you reach home at 3am - your belly full of beer; your pocket a few hundred dollars lighter after yet another unsuccessful run at the casino; exhausted after hopping from pub to pub, yet elated after the awesome drive from Cocody to Riveria and back (atleast twice!) and of course fresh from conversing with random officials of the Gendarmerie pretending to have known them forever - all you can think of is sleep!

And you inevitably wake up at that time on the following Sunday when it's already too late for Breakfast and is still quite early for Lunch.

Well you have reached the ideal stage which opens you up to the very Western Metrosexual concept of Brunch! While in India we loosely use the term Brunch for any meal which substitutes lunch and takes care of that breakfast you missed out on, in a city like Abidjan, it is a trend - If you are metro savvy, you would be having Brunch on a Sunday!

A round up of my favourite places in Abidjan serving Brunch and Snacks...

Pako Gourmanderie - a cafeteria, a confectionery (Patteseria), a bakery (Boulangerie), a Snacketeria, a Chocolatier and an Ice Cream Parlour (Glacier) all rolled into one, open from 6am in the morning to about 9ish at night, this place is a foodie's delight.
Pako offers exciting meals for the keen Brunch-maniac - Eggs cooked as per your choice, Sandwiches, Burgers, an exciting range of Breads, Hot and Cold beverages, Crepes and Beer...BURP!

Have to try: Chocolat Chaud, Crepes (Miel, Chocolat, l'Orange), Chausson de ananas (Delicate patties filled with tender Pineapple filling), Mini Beef Burger, Pain de Chocolate (Bread Rolls with a light filling of Chocolate), the Pizza slices and the Croissants.

Patteserie Abidjanaise
A French Confectionary where everything looks as good as it tastes, this place is colourful not only in decor but also in terms of the delectable food they have on display!
Located in a desolate lane off Rue de Marseilles, initially I used to be scared to drive up to this place in the dark...Silly me :)
From Cakes to Pastries to Chocolates to Candy, the place has everything one desires when on a trip to sate ones craving for sweetmeats.
One can decide if one wants to sit on tables places alongside the road (with local folk) or up on the terrace (with upscale French citizens) - the former totally beating the latter in terms of an experience!
The coolest thing about the place is that its open 24x7. Hurrah!

Have to try: Panini Poulet (Chicken Paninis), Pizza Reine (Mushrooms, Tomato and Onions), the Chocolat Milkshake, Chips de Crevette (Prawn chips - Calcuttans know what I'm talking about!), the Pastries and the Apple Pie.

Al Bakawat (Not Bagawat!)
Located on Rue de Marseilles, the place has a very Arabic feel to it.
Located across the Lagoon (which blows a constant breeze into the place) and with outdoor seating, the place always has exciting Lebanese music playing. Nearly every individual is puffing on an argeulih (Hookah).
Having spent numerous evenings at this hotspot, we came up with our famous Rating Scale Game here! (Boys can get in touch with me to know more about that!)

Have to try: Argeulih - Pomme/Raisin (Apple/Grape Flavoured Hookah. Warning: They like it strong!), Brochette du Poulet (Lebanese Bread served with Spicy Leb. Chicken Tikka), Kebe (Mutton Kebabs - Granular and Rugged) and the jus de Ananas (Pineapple Juice).

News Cafe - Why O Why did you shut down :(
The most awesome place we ever knew! It was more of a Bar than a Cafe - though we'd go there mostly for the Chocolat Chaud (Hot Chocolate) and the Donuts! Also, very very classy Frites (Finger Chips) and an exceptionally cold Pression. Perfect after the heated training sessions we were made to undergo!

[I dedicate the awesomeness of this place to UK - the place where Mani's curse ensured that our fortunes remained entwined for the next year or so! Cheers to when we left the ENMITY (:P) way behind, replaced it with competition and finally let kinship and camaraderie take over. And to Battrick - for the role it played and continues to play in our lives!]

Located in the ever popular mall Capsud on Bvd VGE, Debonairs and Steers were fast food joints from South Africa.
Debonairs serves the most awesome Pizzas and Steers is known for its delicious Burgers. With tables places on the mall floor, this was always a popular vantage point :P

Have to try: the Mumbai Masala Pizza (Chicken and Lots of Green Chillis), the Bacon Burger (Beef patty with strips of tasty tasty Bacon and Cheese), the Pression (again!), the Ice Creams (The only place where you'd get Carte d'Or Ice Cream bars like Vienetta - imported directly from South Africa)

Castle Fried Chicken

Ape-ing the Western concept of KFC, Abidjan boasts a franchisee of the South Africa CFC - but lands up falling seriously short of the awesomeness which the Finger Licking Good Stuff can make you feel!
The place serves nearly everything the other places in the list serve but is simply superb when it comes to the Manaiche it can prepare! A Manaiche is a Lebanese Paratha laced with Zaatar (A dry mixture of Thyme and Sesame Seeds, fried ever so lightly in Virgin Olive Oil - Try it now if you haven't yet!) or Fromage (Cheese).

Have to try: Apart from the Manaiche avec Zaatar, you have to go for the Tiramisu and the Chicken Cheese Burger available here.

Man! That was a mouthful :)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Food Review: Cote d'Ivoire

Well, what better way to talk about a place I love, than to use food as a reference parameter!
I will be itilizing my regular framework while trying to sum up about what added 13 kilograms to my body weight: The Drinkie, Brunchie (new addition to the framework), Snackie, Mealie and the Dessertie.
Also, given that I spent 18 months in Cote d'Ivoire, I would like to do justice to every kilogram I tediously put on and would hence be talking about each stage in details and hence in individual posts.

Drinkie (Cheers!)

One simple word.


Liquor of all sorts can be found easily available in supermarkets and general stores!
And if that is not enough, drinking and driving is not a crime.
Drinking while driving is also not illegal...
See! Heaven's the right word....

Of the local beers available in the Ivory Coast, the ones worth mentioning are Flag and Castel (the spelling is not wrong). Any die hard Kingfisher fan will not mind settling for one of these in exchange.
Recommendation: If drinking one of these, ask for a Pression (French for Pressure; and indicating a Draught Beer).
Of the imported Beer Corona ruled the roost (within the city atleast). A few others like Becks, Desperados (Beer mixed with Tequila) and Guiness are extremely popular.
The Indian restaurants stock Cobra and Kingfisher for the Indian who wont budge.

Lifestyle Tip: Drive from Abidjan to Assinie on the weekends (after 2pm prefferably). Use a 4x4 SUV. Do not drive below 100 kmph. Ensure you have a like minded friend with you. Carry (atleast) 3 pints of Corona per person, for the drive. Load your CD player with Audioslave, Staind, Metallica, Nirvana and the likes...

An erstwhile French colony (with ties that have not been severed), Cote d'Ivoire is the ideal place for any wino to fulfill his fetish for almost any variant of the formented grape juice. No matter what your budget is, you can find a wine to match it (Red, White or Rose).
My personal recommendation:
Muton Cadet Reserve (By Baron Rothschild); Margaux; St. Emillion; Cabernet Sauvignon; Pomerol among the Reds (anything from 2004/05 to render them affordable).
Sancerre for the White Enthusiasts.
Rose Wine...Chee!
Sauvignon for Chilean winos.
Sirrah/Shiraz for Aussie mates.
Californian wine??? Wine???

Lifestyle Tip: Drive from Abidjan to Assinie at night! SSSShhhhh. Carry two bottles of red wine atleast. One for the way. One for the beach. Lets hope you make it back from that scene buddy!

Vietnamese Wine
Had to mention this one. Visit any Vietnamese restaurant and you will surely see large glass flasks. Those with weak hearts should look away immediately.
Those with a twisted sense of life should go in for a closer look...
You will find the flask full of snakes, lizzards, scorpions, newts, toads and some red fernlike plants immersed in a transparent liquid!
These creatures are apparently caught alive and kept sealed in these flasks for years at end. Their dead and decaying remains (along with the toxicity they are famous for) ferments the liquid and renders it with magically potent aphrodisiac like properties.
This is drunk in traditional China cups which have a peculiarity in their design. As you drink, the falling meniscus uncovers the portrait of a voluptuous lady (who happens to be stark naked) on the inner wall of the cup! Pornographically potent!

Lifestyle Tip: Click snaps. Peer into the jar. Fulfill your curiosity by tapping the walls. Dont bother trying to drink it buddy. Vommit isnt fun!

I am not a tea guy, so I wont bother talking about Tea. Coffee however deserves a special mention since it's so close to my heart.
Coffee in the Ivory Coast? Bad Idea at first!
Almost anywhere, the cafe au lait will leave you dissappointed!
Italian Capsule Coffees however can be very interesting shots to take. Available in a variety of flavours and strong enough to keep you awake all night, these are typically drunk in small cups and without milk. One does however have to acquire a taste for these babies. Mint candy would really come handy once you are done dunking a couple of these shots!
There was a cafeteria called "Beantown" which opened with the promise of Cold Frappes in a variety of flavours. It shut down almost as quickly as it opened!

Recommendation: Turkish Coffee. Available in the Turkish Cafeteria in Pleateau, this baby will soothe your throat

"What is a city without its pubs?" - Samir Kapur :P

Of the million Night Clubs/Pubs and Bars in Abidjan, each with its own speciality and catering to a loyal clientele set, here follows a round up of my personal favourites...

Havana Cafe
Definitely the best pub in Abidjan, I have never had enough of this place. The place is actually a sports bar in the guise of a rustic Hawaiin Shack.
There are two Harleys (in perfect working condition) that you walk by as you enter the pub. These ladies make you feel like you want to get drunk enough to pretend you can ride them :P
Other attractions are the surf boards across the cieling and the life size motorised water scooter by the far side.
A projector beams sporting events from around the world onto the wall of the pub - Football, Rugby, Tennis, F1, Snooker and Cricket (at times when we have managed to convince the owner of its importance!).
People in here are always in a good mood. The music is always right (even when they belt out Ivorian tracks!).
The waitresses here are on the lines of those you find in Hooters (Knock Knock!)
On Saturdays, a local Ivorian band creates a riot. The lead singer (who sings in Both English and French) can also manage to pull of an awesome rendtition of Knocking on Heaven's Door with a Reggae twist when he's in form. Pay him a small amount of money and catch him dance like the craziest thing you've ever seen!
The place boasts a variety of Cuban Cocktails apart from your everyday stuff and the experimental drinker can have a ball here.

Le Giraffe (2.5 litres of Chilled Draught Beer which comes in a long glass tower with a tap at the bottom). Be a man... Bend low onto the floor and Chug!!
Mojito - the real deal and unlike anywhere else - take my word for it.
For the foodies - Calamers (Squid. Gross but worth a try), Beignets de Accra (fritters made of fish and egg) and the Chilli Con Carne (Good Old Beef Chilli).

Lifestyle Tip: Get to the pool table early. You will eventually get challenged for ownership rights to the table by either the Aissie Gang or the Lebanese Gang (winner plays on). Accept the challenge. Lose gracefully. Smile the Indian way. Dunk your beer! Challenge them again just to get another game ;)

Experience of a lifetime: Convince the owner (An old Frenchman, Hell's Angel Club Member - long dirty hair, tattoos, ripped muscles, dirty sweaty stinky persona et all) to show off his Harleys. There was this one time he rode it into the pub and started revving the engine up full blast. He drowned the music out and covered the pub with sweet Harley Smoke. Nothing can get better than that after you are five beers down!

Desperation to get there but cant due to exhorbitant tickets, a very long flight and the painful yellow fever vaccination?
Try Totos in Mumbai (about half as good as Havana) and Buzz in Gurgaon (about 33% as good as Havana). In fact, I have never come across a pub which comes closer than these two everr can to Havana Cafe!
Mr. French Owner, you owe me free drinks for all this promotion I am doing!

Che Cafe

Chic, classy and very French, this place is famous for its Karaoke nights (French only). Here, you can rule over the pool table since you're probably the only one who is interested in playing pool at an expensive place like it!

Recommended: Le Margherita - Simply scintillating!

La Prive
Strictly for dancers only, a non dancer like me has always found this place to be a waste! Amazing ambience however, great laser lights, superb decor, a well stocked pub and always choc-a-block full, this is the place to be on Friday Nights!
With great dance music playing aloud, the who's who from Abidjan's social circle hang around here.

Recommended: Eye Candy. Also, too much of candy can be injurious to health!

The Piano Bar - Cafe de Rome

Located below the Casino at Cafe de Rome, this bar/pub boasts a great Band. With Ivorian Lead singers and a South East Asian Guitarist (Who puts Santana to shame with his version of Black Magic Woman), the place is ideal for big losers (at the casino :p) to come and relax!

Recommended: Le Margherita. The Chocolate Mousse (Freaking Awesome!)

My learning from this post: Two Beers and you've got rid of your Creative Block!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Abidjan - Le Paris de Afrique l'ouest

I was very queasy aboard the 11 hour flight to Abidjan - the fear of flying coupled with the sheer lack of knowledge about the Dark Continent is enough to get to anyone I'd say.

We were four of us on the flight - bright exponents of the concept of "Brain Drain" armed with apparently coveted educational degrees (a sham if you ask me for my personal opinion)- having each conducted cartloads of research on Cote d'Ivoire on Google. We spent quite some time comparing notes. The fact that we could find only three common points amongst the four of us increased manifold the uncertainity that had set up abode in our minds, apart from telling us that each of us had a very different style of google-ing!

1) Abidjan in it's heyday was known as the Paris of West Africa
2) After the civil war in 2004, Cote d'Ivoire was labelled as an extremely dangerous place with strict warnings issued to potential travellers by the US/UK government on their respective websites
3) Cote d'Ivoire was the largest producer of cocoa in the world

The rest of our flying time was spent quizzing each other on the meanings of mal-pronounced French words. (We were each armed with a copy of a French to English Dictionary, given that we were relocating to a country where French was the most common means of communication and English was virtually unknown!)

The sight of Abidjan Airport was very appealing to my eyes. A country ravaged by war and with an ultra-modern airport... yeah baby!

But horror of horrors struck us when we finally de-boarded the aircraft! The apparent concept of the Visa on Arrival worked well only if your local guide was present to recieve you on time! And in case your name was mis-spelt on your invitation letter (as was my luck) the process was even more tedious!

After a brilliantly funny/scary 40 minutes of trying to understand questions being cannon balled onto us in French (using our dictionaries to the maximum and with close to negligible success as far as outcomes were concerned) we were bailed out by our local guide.

The drive from the airport to town was particularly fun for me. There were men decked in green military uniforms, standing at nearly every corner, brandishing guns and how! As we passed a group of them showing off their Admiral Kalashnikov's I litterally jumped out of the car in excitement. Thank god for the thin line between literally and actually!!!

Now Abidjan is a breath-taking city. Built around the Ebrie Lagoon, the city is divided into zones (as will be described to you in future posts), each with something special (at least to me).

As I sit here in Gurgaon, on a perfect night and with nothing much to do apart from sleep, the only place I wish I'd rather be is Abidjan.
Somehow, it will always be like home to me - probably the only place where I can be on my own and not feel alone.

Le Paris de Afrique l'ouest - je t'aime!

Monday, 8 June 2009


Aviatophobia has plagued me through a greater part of my childhood. The fear peaked when I lost a second cousin of mine to an air crash. I never knew him well. Id probably only met him thrice in my life even though we lived in the same city all our lives. And then he was no more...

Taking up a placement in West Africa was probably one of the toughest desicions I ever took in my life. The mental preparation was immense... way more than the 11 hour flight time from Dubai to Abidjan.

The second time I went to Africa was the worst time Ive ever had flying!
I missed my flight from Dubai to Abidjan for starters. To make matters worse, I was bundled onto a Kenyan Airways flight, which hopped like a frog from Dubai onwards.
Kenyan Airways... a different saga altogather! I was flying on the same route where a crash had taken place 4 months ago. The flight was mostly empty. I managed to get 4 seats all to myself somewhere on the plane, knocked myself out on a few shots of liquor and crashed for most of the 6 hours from Dubai to Nairobi.
When the flight landed, almost every passenger on the plan broke into an applause - directed towards the gods and not the pilots who stood there with faces beaming with the glow of achievement!
After a wretched, boring and expensive 9 hour wait at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi, Kenya, E Africa), the next Kenyan Airways flight took me from there to Cotonou Cadjehan Airport (Cotonou, Benin, W Africa).
From there on, it was one flight to Kotoka International Airport (Accra, Ghana, W Africa) and then the final one to Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport (Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire, W Africa).
I reached my destination almost 24 hours later, dead tired and with a broken back and sadly had to report for a 4 hour meeting almost immediately.

A close second to this experience was my my flying experience from Lagos to Abidjan. I flew Ethiopean Airlines from Murtala Muhammed International Airport (Lagos, Nigeria, W Africa) to Accra, before changing over to Air Ivoire for the last leg to Abidjan.
My plane landed in Accra like a bouncing tennis ball and sscared the life out of me. In fact, I held onto my boss like there was no tomorrow!

Simple conclusion: African Airlines - A Strict No No!

A few things worth mentioning however...

Abidjan Airport.
Any first timer into Africa would be pleasantly surprised seeing this Airport. Modern in architecture and facilities, one would surely not expect something like this after seeing the larger, more popular airport in Accra. Great duty free outlets, nice waiting rooms and 100% aerobridge enabled, the airport is a great entry point into probably the most exciting country in the West of Africa.

The take off from Abidjan.
With the airport located on the edge of the ocean, the flight takes off into the ocean. The beautiful African skies, mixing with the serene blue waters dotted with a few thousand fishing boats (almost all of them sporting white sails) bordered with the Golden Sandy Beaches is one of the most amazing set ups to take off into.

The take off from Nairobi, West ward Ho.
The weather at Nairobi was amazing when I happened to be stuck there (in the month of September). The air was chilly and laden with rain. The flight took off and almost instantly flew over the Masai Mara. One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, the green canopy is only broken by brown peaks and blue water bodies (Lake Victoria being one of these). The Africa sky is in general very different from the sky elsewhere, and more so in the case of Kenya. The clouds stretch across it forming patterns which will make you gape in awe.

Flying over the Nile and Luxor (Egypt).
The flight from Abidjan to Dubai flies over the Nile while over Egypt. Ive done this leg thrice and each time, it has been dark. Despite the darkness, the Nile is visible very clearly. On the banks of the Nile lies the Egyptian City of Luxor. From the air, this looks like a collection of lights forming squares and dashed lines (of light again), connecting the three squares. A very pretty sight, more so since it signals the end of Africa and the on set of the Red Sea!

Ever since I moved back to India, flying has been a weekly affair for me. Somewhere along the way, I got over my fear of flying. In fact, I feel at home when I am flying now.

A few great sights I came across recently...

Taking off from Mumbai, Northbound.
The flight takes off over Juhu Beach (on the right) with Versova Beach further to its right. The number of people dotting the beach is amazing. Coloured dots cover almost every inch of the beach and extend into the water. The plane then turns rightwards over Madh island and comes back over Versova beach on its way up North. This sight is particularly pleasing to me, since Versova Beach happens to be a personal favourite (for whatsoever reason!).

Landing in Mangalore.
The landing strip in Mangalore lies on the falttened top of a hill. Trees stretch on either side of the runway and along its length. The entire set up is like landing in a rain forest! A very beautiful landing on the whole, with green hills on either side beyond the trees.

Hyderabad Airport.

Very international in feel and a somewhat smaller version of the Dubai airport, Hyderabad airport definitely ranks high up on my list of favourites. Well designed both externally and internally, the entire experience is a welcome change from the regular rigmarole of boring airports like Delhi/Mumbai and Kolkata. A lot, of course, is lacking when compared to Changi and Dubai (my top two, in that order).

Bon Voyage!

Sunday, 7 June 2009


Its been so long
Since youve been gone
And I'm still holding on
To memories

We spent yesterday
Planning for tomorrow
But I'm left holding on
To memories

My sun wont shine
My grass wont grow
Time stops in its tracks
The tide just wont flow

I wish you were ordinary
And easy to forget
Cause I hate holding on
To memories

Bereft of tomorrow
I live in yesterday
So I just hold on
To memories

My sun wont shine
My grass wont grow
Time stops in its tracks
The tide just wont flow

Im holding on
To memories...
Of you and me...

On my journey towards becoming a Rockstar (I wish :P), this would someday hit the charts at No. 1. Now if only I had my guitar here with me....And if only I could play the damn thing :P

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The third verse...

If I were to label a song as my favourite song of all times and across all genres, it would undoubtedly be Sweet Child Of Mine by Guns and Roses.

I clearly remember the first time I heard this song. I was still in school...
The introductory guitar chords just blew my mind out. The words managed to paint a beautiful picture in my mind. And from there began my search... for my Everly!

The song has been right on top for me, since then. It has also been the ring tone on my cell phone for the last 3 odd years, my alarm for the last 8 odd months and what not!

It's amazing how a simple poem written by Axl Rose to his then girlfriend (Soon to be wife... and soon to be divorcee) Erin Everly, turned into one of GnR's masterpieces.
They were unsure of the music they had given to it...
Slash's intro was laughed off at first!
They did not know how to end the song... "Where do we go now?" aquestion asked by Rose actually ended up as part of the song...

It seems Everly took Rose back to the happier parts of his childhood.
It also seems like he felt protected when he was around Everly and that he hated seeing tears in her eyes, which were probably brought about by him.

I happened to come across my Erin Everly some time ago and in no time the meaning of the song was clear to me.
Not surprisingly, the fate of me and my Everly were starkly similar to that of Rose and his (save for the marriage bit :) )
And Everly's surely do bring out the creative best in their Roses!
My creative juices have been flowing a little too much...

Someone give me Axl Rose's phone number I start tormenting you with a Third Verse of my own :P

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

A hint of rain...

This morning I was amazed to see dark grey clouds stretching across the sky! And not a trace of sun.

It looked like rain. It did not however feel or smell like rain (Calcuttans will surely get the meaning of this statement).

As I stepped out of my house and sat in my car, a beautiful Peacock ran across the road, its long blue tail partially fanned out. I was dead sure it would rain now :)

And Voila! Little drops of rain fell down on the dry dusty Earth... for exactly 45 seconds. Before I knew it, the sun was out and shining like there was no tomorrow.
Boy! The entire thing has left me feeling so low! I feel betrayed... and cheated by the rain gods.

But then again, I am in GDD. I could not expect things to come as they seem.

The entire episode reminded me of the time when I bought 4 bottles of chilled mineral water, only to realise later that they bore the brand mark of "BERISLI" and not BISLERI!
Same green colour on the cap and the label, same bottle shape et all.

Somethings always fishy about water in GDD :P

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Food Review: Gujju Fare in GDD

Coming to my favourite topic : FOOD!

Being a hardcore Foodie, the degree of love I develop for a place is totally dependent on the quality of food available there. If Africa is heaven for a Foodie, GDD is hell!

Now let me clarify that the being a Foodie comprises of being a Drinkie (if I may use that term), a Snackie (pronounced Snakey, given that I am in Gujju-land!), a Mealie (Im sure youre getting the drift now) and finally a Dessertie!

On the Drinkie front, GDD is probably the worst place one can find himself in, and this is not only due to the dryness! The Nimbu-paani, The Chaas (very very important due to the dry, dusty loo) and the fancy "Mock"tails leave you wishing you'd stuck to aereated drinks! The tea and coffee available here (a customary offering no matter where you, you can't say no) are probably the worst Ive had anywhere im my life!
Thus, living here has made me forget the Drinkie aspect to being a Foodie.. and frankly speaking, that reeks!

As far as Snackie satisfaction is concerned, the place scores and how! Packets of Theplas (called Theplis here for no apparent reason) served with the most awesum Mirchi ka aachar are by far the tastiest Ive ever let onto my tongue! The next thing which ranks high on my list in this category are "Dhabelis." (Thanks Mrugank for introducing me to this concept of Snacking).
For those not familiar with this Snake, its some awesomely spicy Bhaaji, laced with sweet and spicy chutneys as per your taste and packed into a traditional Pav using a layer of spicy peanuts. Simply heavenly! And the cheaper they are, the tastier they get. Available for 5-10 INR each, these never seem to agree with one's stomach however :)
Add to this a wide variety of fried snakes (Bhujias, Coated Peanuts, Gathias and almost any other oily snake you can find anywhere else) and roasted snakes (Soya sticks, Lentils and other such stuff, the credibility of who's being roasted is forever in doubt) and you finally get something you can consume!
One thing that really surprised me is the absence of Dhokals! Beat that! I thought Gujju food and Dhoklas were synonyms. I believe I was completely wrong all along. While one may find a variety of other types of Farsaan (Snakes) here, including Khandvi, Dhoklas are extinct. Dhoklas have always been a crazy part of my diet (Mom would call the term "essential" an understatement) and the dissappointment has been very hard on me!

Again on the Mealie front, the place leaves you dissappointed.

North Indian Fare: Well you could get decent rumaali rotis here. But what good are they when your curries and sabjis are light years away from the scrumtuous stuff one can manage to get almost anywhere in Delhi/Cal!

South Indian Fare: The one place which could actually match up to the National Dosa Standards (exists in my food guide atleast!) was shut down after a short stint of just three weeks! And I cant for the life of me understand why they'd need to shut down when one would have to wait in lines for 45 mins to an hour in order to get a damn table.

Chinese Food: Hahahaha. I cant stop laughing when I think of what they pass off as Chinese Food here. Let me not bother writing about it!

Junk FoodS(:P) : The place boasts of two pizzerias who home deliver for free. No matter where you call from, you are always Out of Delivery Zone! Also, while one of them is affiliated to an International Pizza Chain (U.S. Pizza), the other newer one decided to call itself Uncle Sam Pizza (US Pizza in short). None of these clowns can come remotely close to what you can conjure up at home using FunFoods Pizza Sauce and Amul Cheese! You also get some weird Sandwiches which cost more than a Sub and taste like.... cant get the term!

Finally on a sweeter note, the desserts here leave you wishing you'd let the taste of Dhabelis and Theplis linger on. Gujju desserts like Shrikhand have always been a weakness for me...till I came here. I avoid them like the plague now.
With no credible Ice Cream brand being distributed here (No! Not even Amul Ice Cream) they are not worth touching.
One can manage a good variety of Indian Sweets here.


In no time you will find yourself living off cartons of Milk, Cornflakes/Muesli, Milk Bikis, Juice and roasted snake items! Of course you can throw in a Dhabeli/Thepli here and there, but it would always leave you hungry.

Hurrah for Weight loss! (and Im talking inches, kilos and also in terms of what the mirror shows) :D

Sunday, 31 May 2009

The Quest for Coffee...

Now I'm known to be one hell of a Coffee Junkie.
Apart from the large crude Cold Coffee I have every morning, I need one/two large mugs of Strong Hot Coffee to keep me going through the day.
And if even one of those mugs are commercially sourced, my day is a party.

I woke up on Saturday morning, to realize that it had been 22 odd days since my last cup of commercially sourced coffee!
Oh... in case you have not got the picture, there is no Cafeteria here in Gandhidham! And the only South Indian place which actually served some decent filter coffee, shut down a month ago. (It had only been open for 3 weeks!)

No sooner than later, I was craving for Hot Coffee. The morning Cold Coffee only made this urge stronger.

Soon I was day dreaming - walking into a Costa Cafe.. Ordering a Medium Cafe Mocha on the go.. Holding that magenta paper cup in my hand.. The first sip.. The warmth going down my throat.. and that taste.. YEAH!

I had a ton of work awaiting me at office. That would keep my mind away from the aroma of roasted Arabica for sure. Or so I thought...

At work, I happen to log onto Costa Cafe's website - just to confirm that they did not have an outlet at Gandhidham! I scoured the websites for Barista and Cafe Coffee Day also, but to no avail. (Talk about lowering of standards)

Newsflash: Even the Amalgamated Bean Trading Co (with 783 Cafeterias in 105 cities) had missed a spot on the map of India. And I happen to be living there :)

By the time I was over with lunch, I knew I had to do something about it.
The websites had it all wrong.
The localites I knew we're hiding their cafeterias from me.
I knew there was a cafeteria of some sort, sitting elusively in some corner in the city.
And I had to find it...

I spent a tense 90 minutes driving around town...I drove through every resedential colony, office block and market place. I revisited the main market again.
Each time, I was dissappointed.

That evening, at about 6, I drove out to town one more time!
I was sure I'd missed the cafeteria. Heck I actually drove all the way to a neighbouring town - hoping that a man with amazing foresight had opened one there, waiting to make use of the fact that towns expand to envelope neighbouring towns, while on their path to becoming a city!

It's Sunday morning now.
Despite indulging in multiple quantities of Bournvita and Flavoured Bru Coffee, the craving still lives on. And it probably will till I dont travel the next time..

In the meanwhile, If any one of you is interested in investing in a Cafeteria in Gandhidham, call me up.
Apart from 50% funding, I promise you sales of 3/4 large cups of your premium coffee every day :P

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Gandhidham... The shock!

A day after I penned my thoughts down about the impediments to driving, I found a cure for my Insomnia!

Are they linked? You bet they are...

En route to a meeting, I was driving down the highway at my usual 70 kmph :)
A 10 wheel truck was parked up ahead to my left... his motor running...
All of a sudden, the dude decided he wanted to turn right - and he did just that - no warning shots fired here! His truck and trailer flew across the road in an infinitesimal particale of time.

CRASH! Thats what I felt... not Heard... Felt.

The back of his vehicle rammed into the front of my car - taking bumper, headlight, indicator all with him.

The truckie just sped off! I doubt if he even realised what has just ensued on account of his big behind :P

Well...We in the car were in a state of shock.
It felt like a sudden slap on the face - Shocking!

The shock lingered on... I drove home super carefully that evening.
Every truck coming my way seemed like a bully to me :)

To my surprise, I crashed at 10pm or somewhere around there!

The insomnia that had been pretty much a part of my life here in GDD, had vanished albeit for one night.

Here's to hoping I don't need to re-employ similar methods to keep the Insomniac in me at bay...

Monday, 25 May 2009

Gandhidham again...


Sunrise: 0625 hours
Unbearable heat starts: 0745 hours
Unbearable heat stops: 1900 hours
Cricket can be played till: 1930 hours
Sunset: 1935 hours
Darkness: 2000 hours

Avg Max Temperature(May): 38 Degrees Celcius (Heat Index: 45 Degrees Celcius).
Avg Max Temperature(Jun): 48 Degrees Celcius (Heat Index: 50-52 Degrees Celcius).

The Heat is On!

I spent Sunday at home mostly - waiting for the sun to stop trying to burn down the dusty terrain. The end of the unbearable phase of heat provided the Christopher Columbus in me with a window of about an hour to go exploring the town. The resolve to protect my bum from baking meant another 5-7 odd minutes to let the interior of my car cool down!

The idea of exploring GDD wasn't a good one though. I'll try to paint the scene out to you...

The streets have lights, which havent worked in the last THREE Years! And no one seens to complain.
The roads here have more potholes than plane surfaces. Falling into any of these holes can send a rude long-lasting shock up your spinal cord!
Add to this the heavy traffic from Kandla Port (Trucks and other huge machines have to customarily pass through GDD en route to alomst any other place). Ever heard of the saying: Size does matter? Well...come to GDD to see people treating that saying as their raison d'etre.

So... You decide to pay no heed to the small obstructions in your path and you're cruising on an empty road at a comfortable speed of 60 kmph.
All of a sudden, you see an eerie monster dashing past across the road up ahead.
The limited light wont let you identify what you just saw, so take my word for it. It was a lady rider on her scooter with another lady riding pillion! (No offence meant towards anyone here - Im stating merely what I have seen a million times over).

Adding to the horror of your driving experience are the thousands of man-handled Two Wheelers. Scooters are a very popular mode of transport here for women. Gujju-bens, Grandmas, Mothers, Daughters, Kids, Younger Kids...everyone!
And they exhibit a very peculiar habit of dashing across roads and intersections without bothering to look, check or even lower their speeds marginally!

Thus, the entire scenario that I have painted, ensures that you need to reduce your driving speed to a comfortable 30 kmph when cruising with regular correction to almost 5-7 kmph when you encounter one of the million pot holes.

Thus, in the 50 minutes I got to explore town, I barely managed to enter town! (I forgot to mention, I live about 8 kms away from the centre of the town. One of those plush resort kind of places - away from the city. Such a haven of peace that nearly anyone and everyone lives there now!)

After the abrupt end to my thirst for discovery and exploration, the IPL final helped me while away my evening.
It's sad the IPL is over. If I am here next weekend, It would be horrific!!
End of Story

The sun seams to have decided to burn the town down this morning. Just heard of someone succumbing to a heat stroke...

Rain you ask?
Naah! Doesnt rain here.
There are showers for about 3-4 days in a year.
The rain waiter then lingers on for a week or so due to under-developed drainage systems and people celebrate by taking their "Monsoon Breaks."

Short lived, but Im sure it would be a good respite from sitting in an air conditioned room 24 hours a day!!

A bientot...

Friday, 22 May 2009

The little pink flower...



The tree lined road winds into the distant mountains.
The azure sky is spread out till as far as the eye can see - cotton like clouds moving ever so lazily across it.
Meadows, dotted with flowers, carpet the earth and blend into the sky at the edge of the universe.
Purple mountains stand tall and proud at one end of the road - their snow capped peaks breaking the monotony of the horizon.
The scene is a perfect mixture of green, purple and blue - serene, calm, pastel and comforting.

A lonesome traveller is treading upon the winding road – seemingly sure of where he’s headed.
Dressed in pristine white, he carries a stick for support. A white satchel hangs by his side.
His hair is white. His wrinkled face is covered with a long white beard.
His black scabbard gives away the fact that he is not merely an old wise sage.
He is a warrior. Out to seek his destiny. Out to fight his fate - Towards attaining his goal.

Nature seems to be aiding the warrior. The trees provide him with shade from the rays of the sun.
A gentle breeze blows along the path carrying the refreshing scent of the flowers to him.
A bunch of berries fall off their tree. He picks them up and places them gently in his satchel.
The traveller feels tired and sleepy. Raindrops fall onto his face as if to shake him out of his stupor.
He walks on with grit and determination. Something keeps him going. Something keeps fear out of his mind.

Night falls ever so gently. The clear night sky is bejewelled with a million stars.
He looks up at them every time he feels lost. The stars glisten as if to point his way out to him.
The sage can hear the gurgling of water nearby and he knows he is close to the stream.
He knows it is time for him to move off the road and into the forbidden forest.
He decides to wait till it is morning. He lays his white robe onto the side of the road and sleeps like never before.


The traveller wakes up. Something has changed around him. Green has been replaced with fire yellow and brick red.
Unnerved, he gathers his belongings and deviates off the road, into the dense forest.
Dried leaves and twigs hide the forest floor. Tallow and Pine grows everywhere interspersed with thickets of Bamboo.
A gentle stream runs through the heart of the forest. Water flows merrily over rock, stone and boulder.
The warrior walks with measured steps. He walks ever so lightly. Not a twig snaps under his foot. Not a leaf crumples under his weight.

The sage feels he is losing his way. He ties blue silk on trees he passes. He marks out the past and heads towards his future.
He hears a faint rustle amongst the dried leaves on the ground. A ratsnake slithers out and dashes into the bushes.
The warrior follows in the hope to find some eggs. He follows the snake to its hole.
With his bare hands, he searches the inside of the lair. He pulls out a dozen white eggs.
He sits in the bamboo thicket nearby and eats the eggs, the berries still safe in his satchel.

A raging gale starts blowing from the East. The sage did not expect it. It catches him by surprise.
It rushes through spaces in between trees - silently at first and with a loud shrill whistle thereafter.
The gale starts making play with the leaves on the forest floor. It hurls the yellows up towards the sky. It hurls the reds up towards the sky.
The muddy forest floor is exposed for a second. It looks dull and lifeless. It looks mean and haunting.
The Reds come raining down. The Yellows come raining down - the forest floor is carpeted again.

The stream swells all of a sudden. A wall of water comes rushing along.
The stream overflows on either side. Water smashes against the stones. It dashes against the rocks. It crashes against the boulders.
The forest floor starts to flood at a frightening pace. The flowing water takes twigs and leaves along with it.
Wet starts conquering dryness just beyond where the sage stands rooted/
Soon his wooden clogs are wet. His ankles are submerged. He walks on. Undaunted. Unperturbed.


His face is calm. His eyes wide open. His breathing is normal. His exterior gives nothing away about the state of his mind.
He wades through knee deep water - still tying blue silk to trees as he passes them.
Nature is testing his allegiance towards her. He knows she will accept his loyalty and let him pass peacefully. He has faced the test numerous times. He has passed it every time. He knows he will pass it this time.
His mind still believes that the change in his environ is temporary. He takes it to be an abberation. An infinitesimal amount of chaos in his scheme of things.

As if reading his mind, nature shows him what she has in mind.
The azure sky is instantly covered with dark grey clouds. No white and blue to be seen anymore.
Large drops of rain erupt out of the sky. They fall menacingly onto the forest floor.
Each falling drop lands with force large enough to create a splash. Ripples arise on the surface of the water.
The ripples move with astonishing force towards the Tallow. They race towards the Pine. They dash towards the bamboo thickets.

Tallow and Pine tremble. Bamboo comes crashing onto the waterbed. Leaves, Stalk, Bark, Trunk. All.
The rain seems to be falling with one purpose in mind - destruction.
A Pine trunk comes crashing down in the distance with a loud noise. Leaves, Bark, Stalk, Trunk. All.
The sage looks towards it. His face is undisturbed. His mind is elsewhere. This infuriates nature.
Bamboo, Pine and Tallow crash onto the forest floor everywhere. Leaves Stalk, Bark, Trunk. All.

The sage is now wading through chest high water. His face is still calm. His exterior guards his feelings well.
In the distance, he can see the craggy peak of the Volcano. His eyes light up with anger. His face hardens. His exterior toughens.
He knows he has reached the edge of the forest. He can see his goal - He increases his speed.
With perseverance alone can he reach where he wants to. He has to try even harder if has wants to outwit nature.
Water comes crashing onto him. In a trice he is pulled under. Nature wins the battle this time around.


The sage wakes up with a gasp. He finds himself lying on a hard snow covered surface. His robe is still a pristine white. His satchel lies at his side.
He stands up. His eyes open wide in amazement. No matter where he looks, he can see but one thing.
A thick carpet of snow covers every inch of ground visible to him. He realizes he is atop the rugged mountain.
In his mind he recollects the image of the craggy volcano peak. He knows he has to go towards his goal. He is ready to perish but not ready to fail.
He starts his descent down the mountainside. He moves slowly and sharply. He uses stone for support. He uses rock for support. He uses boulder for support.

Something comes to life behind him. A loud rumbling. A faint tremor. A few more tremors. The ground starts to shake.
He turns backwards. An avalanche comes hurtling towards him.
He tries to look for a place to hide. A precipice. A ledge. Hollow. Hole. Geyser. But in vain.
He holds onto a boulder. He breathes deeply. He can feel fear gripping his heart. He can feel weakness taking a toll on him.
The wall of ice comes crashing down. It takes stone with it. It takes rock with it. It takes boulder with it. It takes the traveller with it.

He cannot feel his pain. He can only feel the weight of the snow piled up on him.
He cannot feel his breath. He can only feel the lack of oxygen.
He cannot feel his strength. He can only feel his weakness.
He cannot feel his brevity. He can only feel his fear.
He cannot feel his determination. He can only see his goal.

He tries shifting under the layers of snow. He kicks. He nudges. He claws. He fails.
He regrets his loss to nature. He regrets having befriended her. He regrets having trusted her.
He knows he is trapped in this snowy grave. He knows he is at the mercy of nature.
He feels the power of nature. He feels the weakness of man.
His mind focuses on just one thing. The volcano peak. His goal.



Nature has humbled the sage. She was weakened the warrior. But something is wrong. She rumbles with fury.
She can feel failure deep within her belly. She feels her awesome power is not enough to get the better of this mere mortal.
She sees him kicking and grunting. She senses he wants to give up. She senses he wants to give in.
But something keeps him going. Something stops him from yielding. A force he respects more than her - His goal.
She shakes Earth with all her might. Tremors rip across the icy plain. The snow starts to move aside from over the sage. He lies helpless and exposed on the cold plain.


She smiles. She laughs. She chuckles. Until the sage moves.
She can see him crawling towards the North - in the direction of the volcano peak.
She still hasn’t got the better of his desire. She still can’t control his wants. She cannot tame his yearning. She can’t bewitch his determination.
She feels fury rising up from her belly and into her throat. She feels her anger gathering in her mouth. She blows it all out.
Whirlwinds rise up from the ground. The sage is sucked up into them. He revolves round and round till he feels his head will burst. He then drops to the ground with a loud thud.


She senses accomplishment. He lies there lithe and listless. His sword and satchel are not on his side.
His wooden clogs are not on his feet. His stick is nowhere to be seen. He is lifeless and devoid of energy. He is weak and devoid of strength.
Surely his mind won’t be on his goal! She smirks! He would want to save his own life. He wouldn’t dare move.
Her face loses its substance all of a sudden. The sage is on his knees. He stands up. He takes a step towards the North.
She creates a treacherous wall of water. It picks the sage up and hurtles towards the volcano. It crashes into the wall of the peak leaving the sage on the foot of the volcano.


She decides to destroy him when he is on the verge of attaining his goal. She is not someone who can be challenged. She is not someone who can be beaten.
She waits and watches. The sage is lying bent and broken. His pristine white robes are torn and tattered. They are dirty and bloody.
She smiles. She knows he won’t move. His goal is right in front of him. But will he dare try again?
He moves. He is trying to climb the rocky walls of the volcano. She seethes in anger. Her heart vents its fury out. The volcano erupts.
Hot molten lava gushes out of the mouth of the volcano and flows down its sides. The lava destroys a solitary pink flower on the edge of the mouth. He sees his goal dying. He lets the lava submerge him.


The little pink flower was dead
His promise was broken
His lover would scorn
His life he had to spurn

He was young when he embarked
On this journey long and arduous
He trudged on from city to kingdom
Gaining knowledge and wisdom

Brave and Fearless
With a mind so sharp
He fought every odd
With the blade of his sword

He rankled nature
He fought earth and wind
Tamed water and fire
In the search of his lovers desire

When he came across what he was seeking for
He was too weak to gain
He was not a youth anymore
His body was old, his feet sore

He challenged nature one last time
His mind could see only his lover's smile
He fought but in vain
Nature in her fury had gone insane

The little pink flower was dead
His promise was broken
His lover would scorn
His life he had to spurn

Dancing Shoes

Last night I had this vivid dream
Life was a bowl of peaches laced with cream
As the tender fruit went into my mouth,
It brought about a pause in life's continuous boxing bout

There I was, Mr. Hunk
All dressed up and ready to slam dunk!
There you were, Ms Dimple,
So hot, so cute, so suave and yet so simple

We were going out on our first date,
To drink red wine and eat a full plate.
As we sat across a table, a candle in our middle,
Lo behold! musicians started to fiddle.

I looked into your eyes. Boy! Them do I dig!
I asked if you and I could do a little jig.
You pondered, you thought, you ruminated,
before you hesitantly agreed and that left me elated.

With a grin on my face, I took you by the hand,
And slid my arm around your waist band.
With your hand lodged in my palm,
I looked at you and got captivated by your charm.

The music played softly and soulfully,
You and me swung across the floor so gracefully.
Here i was, so madly in love
With you, my pretty pure dove

From here to there we would rhythmically prance,
A wind started blowing, laden with sweet fragrance.
As we were lost in each other, savouring every moment,
Down came the rain torrent after torrent.

There you were, drops of rain glistening on your hair and face,
The most beautiful sight ever, in time and space.
I held you closer, I hugged you tight,
And all of a sudden shone this strange white light.

Bathed in it, you looked like an angel
And in front of your beauty, I felt like an ordinary brinjal
You opened your lips and began to speak,
"Arise my dear, from your deep slumber awake."

Then it dawned upon me - it was all a dream, a joke,
What a chopsee! What a jack ! What a poke!
With you that night, I had my best dance,
Albeit only in a sleepy trance.

The boxing bout now continues. As I receive another spank,
I smile and give dude almighty a heartful thank.
That in getting ready for my dreamy rendezvous with you,
I had the good fortune of putting on my dancing shoe!

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Why did I find the need to start blogging again?
Well....I suddenly found myself in the strange town of Gandhidham!
Or GDD as I call it affectionately!

Why blogging again?
Well....I found myself with nothing constructive to do after 9pm on Weekdays and through Weekends!

Why blogging?
Well....Its to feed your brain with some superb stuff!

Blogging is where the emotional me lives. And the emotional me needs a home again. So... Here goes.

Well...a little about Gandhidham...
Located in the Kutch district of Gujarat, this dusty, dry town has a population of 3.5 lakh odd people. Since it is located only about 12 kms from Kandla (which happens to be one of the busiest ports in Western India), the town is home to a wide variety of people, all of whose business card would merely state "Import Export" ireespective of what they really do! (For more gyaan, cut to Wikipedia please!)

Also, the town is located only 60 kms away from Bhuj (the epicentre of the devastating 2001 earthquake, which measured 6.8 on the Richter).

My current job as a trader in an MNC (in the true sense) needs me to be stationed here in this dry town (please note that the word DRY has numerous implications and is one of the greatest causes of worry to me! Not to mention the weight loss it can cause!).

The town is a hub for people dealing in a wide variety of goods and commodities ranging from Textiles to Cotton to Rice to Timber.
Coming to Timber. The town is simply a collection of houses sorrounded on the periphery by large timber yards! One can look North, South, East and West and one would only see Logs! and Saw Mills! and Planks! and Bars! and Saw Dust!!

There happens to be an airport (err...aerodrome sorry) dedicated to the city. A quaint little pink building serves the purpose here! No baggage carousel! No extensive secutiry check! No waiting room! Heck...Its more like a waiting room at a train station with an X-Ray machine! It serves as an airport for exactly one hour every morning (from 7am-8am). This is simply because it caters to one sole flight which comes in from Mumbai every morning and retraces its flight path almost immediately with Mumbai bound commuters.

The work culture here is very simple.
People hate the sun. It is sunny throughout the year.
Work starts at 10am every day (9am for people like me who enjoy the status of being employed by an MNC!) and carries on till its lunch time. Then its all about siesta time till 5ish before getting back to wwrap up with work for the day!!
Evenings are typically spent trying to beat the 'dryness'!! Their ability to "import" (using diplomatic and legal terminology!) dryness busters from neighbouring states amazes nearly everyone.

A peculiar thing about the town is the fact that a significant part of the population is comprised of by Delhi-ites! One step closer to home I must say.

Another amazing thing about the place is the real estate boom its undergoing and has been experiencing ever since 2001.
Industrial property prices have appreciated by around (Hold your breath!) 4000% from 2001 through today!
Yes! I did say 4000%!
Makes you think you missed the bus eh? Boy! You sure did!
Well....after the earthquake which destroyed nearly everything, land was cheaper than a lot of other assets around. The localites, being the visionaries that they are, pumped all their family fortunes into land. Add Narendra Modi into the equation along with the increase in importance of Kandla port and Lo Behold! We get Crore-patis many times over...

The town also has multiple hotels. Small and Smaller, these cater to all the temporary traders who come in here as part of their day to day business routine. Also, not to mention the 'phoren' shippeies who land up at Kandla port in one of their merchant vessels.

Finally, the town has 3 multiplexes! Yes 3 multiplexes with 3-4 theatres each! At any point in time, it is rumored that only 5/7 seats are occupied and that too by serious movie-goers! Well...not too surprising when the only movie playing today is Dostana!! Haha...

More updates later. Ciao for now...