Thursday, 25 December 2008
There is an amazing provision for richer buyers, which because of the way I look, speak and dress I was expected to avail- i.e. for an additional fee of just 650 Rupees I can get a unique registration number of my choice. Now, when asked which one I needed, I fumbled, because I didn’t have anything specific in mind. So, I conveyed I didn’t need any choice number.
I then thought harder, and realised that all the previous vehicles bought in my family had numbers totalling to 13. People say that this is an unlucky number and the least in-demand number. Doesn’t looks nice. So, looking to influence this, I asked if this total can be avoided. A simple request, but I am told in return that this cannot be ensured. Because, the computer generates these numbers randomly.
And, I will be given the registration number after two days.
Tell me, what can be done?
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
The world famous BBC has a well designed web page which tries to be as resourceful as it can be. One of the features (on the right hand side) of any news item is a tag called RELATED INTERNET LINKS. I have found this useful many a times. Now this news piece too has an internet link. Where to? A centralised health care trust in Birmingham!
Probably, now, every English or BBC website reader must learn from the Dutch experience that samosas are unhealthy.
Read the full article, how the journalist eases off the matter towards the end.
Typical British humor which usually is unable to extend from the cliché of double meaning jokes, heavily draws its inspiration from either animal genitila or tatti-pishaab.
My point -
The fair is one of the solitary and beautiful events I think every admirer of a rural life should be proud of. See one of the links for description. Why do you think that these Dutch tourists went there? and probably the BBC reporter too?
Come on Bee Bee See - Gimme a break.
Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Friday, 17 October 2008
What guidelines the government should, if it does, issue to the crowded gatherings? And, more importantly, to the institutions called temples? A nice and a respectable letter for the latter to put up signs, provide sufficient exit routes, or install loudspeakers to remind the mass that escape is easy if an incidence happens - and a stampede wholly avoidable?
While the current shame and blame game will continue, we will forget as time passes, and somewhere it will happen again. Also, chances are, this ‘nice and respectable letter’ will be seen as state's interference on religious matters. Meanwhile, the god, safe, smiling and pretending, has his right hand raised emitting the unseen aural beam. Bend, is trying his best. He has his table tennis racquet, desperately trying to deflect the beam - - Ping : Shouldn't the health ministry draft a memo and issue it asap? - Pong : Or does the mass needs a divine intervention in the 21st century ? - Ping : Is there another better way to deal with this? - Pong : Just needs some common sense from mass and priests?
Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Monday, 6 October 2008
from north to south and up high,
purple and brownish houses,
in silver screen left and right,
some splinters of red or blue,
a stray yellow somewhere in sight;
could have looked different,
but there aint any light.
Some droplets escaped the clouds,
difficult to sniff new air,
for a brief the sun shines,
confirms something has to exist,
right now it's bad luck,
one up head other right here,
only rescue this pub,
warm inside have some beer.
Ugh, I get some variation,
the only one perhaps,
historical but a well adapted,
system of class,
rednecks with their fags,
sophisticates with neck low,
either their apologies or their amuses,;
Chinese busy making Thai meals,
A Pole delivers the pizza,
Running north to south,
T (soft) thank you for a tip he didn’t expect,
The curtain falling,
Saturday, 4 October 2008
Friday, 26 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Tuesday, 26 August 2008
The incidence was a slight wrong coincidence when my mind assumed that the cluster of lights leaking through the coarse voids of a dense shrub looked beautiful, and then on top, a heavily improbable coincidence that the cop car zoomed past. The two cops, well communicative, and nicely spoken told me it was nothing personal and they want to be really polite (!), but in the recent climate, and under the terrorism act which has some number 41 to it, they are bound to stop and question me. We talked a little, he took my details with my full cooperation. Surprisingly he didn't ask me to show the picture I took.
Or, the other coincidence can be just me, just me, an individual who always has this luck, whether at home India or the foreign UK that he gets caught and questioned by the cops... Kyon bhai kya kar rahe ho!
Sunday, 24 August 2008
One can clearly see that how much the Kashmir issue has been raised to unassuming proportions by the Indian media, when the world media I found was too busy with the Olympics, Georgia conflict and ones of their own. After all, like me it is the banner of democracyness they operate within. Interestingly, if you noticed, this news is mostly being read by Indians who outnumber others as the best value consumers. But to my dismay, I am surprised that apart from a concerned few in letters to editors no one is talking of the principle of Secularism that the Indian union stands for. Take notice, this secularism does offer the space to the people and the air in Kashmir they badly need.
People in Kashmir want to get on with their lives, but who would let them do so. It doesn’t happen either in Iraq or Afghanistan or Georgia, or Tibet, then why should Kashmir be a special case? In Iraq, the troops vouching for democracy are building newer and higher walls everyday so they can manoeuvre more easily to claim things to be under better control. And the media loves to distinguish between Shia, Sunni, Shitte, instead of highlighting the complex cultural intermingling with which these communities have progressed since ages. And look here, in Kashmir where the media won't think twice before distinguishing between protestors as Hindus and Muslims. Today the division is between Hindus and Muslims, tomorrow it will be one sect of Muslim with other… and then will come professional divisions, and so on till we don’t have anything more to divide us and a brother starts hating his sister.
In Cassavets movie "Opening Night", Gena Rowland protests to her stage writer that the play delivers everything, except one thing. And that is “Hope”. A not so appropriate example to transfer here, but the word "hope" is at least. And dammit, we thought it was there in Kashmir a few days back. Wasn't it?
Saturday, 16 August 2008
Just a few steps away, I noticed two men with their yellow helmets engrossed in some casual conversation. The one who was curiously listening had his helmet held between his left waist and arm, and seemed was comfortably resting although he was standing. The vocal one was leaning with his upper back resting on the road-sign pole stuck firmly into the futpath. They had their one elbow bent because they both held their white cardboard cups close to their lips, just about to take their next sip of tea. I took a few strides closer to them and asked if either of them knew the directions to bus stand, and also subsequently, where they were from. The vocal one turned towards me, smilingly he said, 'Bihar se'. He seemed eager for a conversation, so with a few hand signals and words he explained me the way to the bus stop, which I realised was so close to my office and I saw it everyday. Yes, everyday, and I knew where it was!! I think it was just the heat. Then he asked me where I was from, and I told him that I am from Gujarat but originally from the hills of Uttaranchal, but he is free to assume that I am a Bihari too. After all we both worked for the same construction site! Also, I must admit that there was a common wavelength. He seemed glad too. Then instantly came L.P. Yadav in my mind and I started praising his recent achievements, one of them being how he wittily handles the opposition in the parliament nowadays. But in our conversation in next fifteen minutes he nearly convinced me that it’s only because of Lalu that Bihar is so far behind. A man whose illiterate wife becomes the caretaking chief minister, a man who never cared about real issues when in power, and so on. The new chief minister is much much better. The other guy, also a Bihari just watched, and nodded, but it seemed he agreed to us both. The talk was going towards politics in Bihar but my mind was thinking something else now. Confusedly, I thought- inspite of all the global cry about construction workers mistreated in the UAE isn't this Bihari much happier here? There are Bihari's all over in India working as migrant labourers. Their working conditions aren’t any great and look how they were treated in Assam and Mumbai recently! Either gunned down by ULFA or humiliated in streets by Bajrang Dal. Now I expressed I should proceed on my way. We exchanged see-yous and asked to take care of one-self. I started towards the bus stand which was my only gateway to escape out of Dubai for some time.
Monday, 11 August 2008
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
One Indian shop helpboy told me he was given a wrong salary figure before he had left for this place. He gets only a half of what he was told - 600 Dirham a month (6000 rupees) and now reels in a debt of a couple of lakh Rupees - thanks to his agents in India. Now he plans to go back to Mumbai and work and hope to pay back selling VadaPav. Think why? Because, The pressure is rising... To One of these Two (the one who needs) the middle east governments were paying peanuts until now, but times have changed and they will have to dole out nuts double in size. Not only because they cannot offer anything else, the other reason is Dollar falling down, so is Dirham (UAE’s currency) that pegs itself to it. With inflation, things are getting expensive. So the lower earning group lives even more tighter. The other group only cribs feebly about this inflation which he realises when buying groceries in supermarkets.
This difference is very well reflected in the present lack of public transport. One hardly earns enough to afford the only available taxis. Buses are rare and run limited distances. Even though taxi is cheap here for the richer there aren't many around, and waving for one to stop is an effort that will easily build your triceps, accompanied with limitless perspiration and traffic smoke. Therefore, this richer group prefers to use the multilane roads to zoom by in latest Japanese models. So, if you are waiting for a taxi, wait alone and if for a bus, then in queues.
Interestingly and disappointingly, either group feels that the other is enjoying their lives living in foreign shores, and it's the luck that an individual has brought with himself. I suggest, if you are an Asian the best deal is to work as a taxi driver, so your own transportation problem is solved, and you will earn six times than your kind. If you are a European, then somebody has misinformed you - or maybe you are really sick of your own country? Apparently, both these two groups are here to work, not to live. In a country that visions itself as a top hotel and shopping tourist destination tomorrow. So, is there anything to expect from the rulers who lay such a strange vision for a country? Probably not.
Monday, 23 June 2008
What a shame!
The north of country got flooded again.
Something same happened in the east,
Where waters flowed like beast.
Who is to blame?
The people put it onto rain.
Living outside the country I realize,
How as people we fail, as humans we rise.
Why every year I read again?
Same newspapers, same story, same game.
Same beautiful pictures cleverly,
blended with misery,
doesn’t matters who suffers,
as long as it has the allure,
and some striking colours.
So, how much is the loss, and how much is the claim?
maybe some hundred lives or maximum a gold chain.
Ask me how I counted this figure,
I had met a construction worker.
Who like me was flood struck,
I was turning back but he had to go to work,
I was only some hours away but he was ages,
He told me he looses his few next daily wages.
Yes, but I could not ask or measure,
Life of some kids, who I came to know,
were siphoned through the gutter.
So, who plays this game?
Some officials rolling dices who clearly are so lame.
That rather than building some dams,
or making some good plans,
will buy some boats,
or will pull up registers to count dead goats,
so we all can continue this hypocrisy.
So who else shares this responsibility same,
in a country where gods live we proclaim.
Where inevitable is imminent but we shall survive,
even when till the ears the waters rise.
Resilience of people, known the bestest in the world than anyone,
Calmly we wait for the next year to come.
Friday, 6 June 2008
Just after crossing Khor Fakkan we leave the sort-of-freeway by taking a small turn to left. This leads us inside the rocky mountains. After a few miles, the landscape changes into bigger mountains and valleys. The rocks become wilder and stranger. Soon the paved road ends and a little further comes a point where it is not possible to drive the taxi. We temporarily abandon the taxi and the driver shuts off his meter so the waiting charges will not apply. This waterfall, according to Rafiq, is just after the small rocky cliff which we can see. Rafiq is a short lean underage looking immigrant taxi driver from the cold hills of Afghanistan Pakistan border. He is my voluntary guide and maybe he expects some money later. Driving taxi here doesn’t gets him the kind of money he was expecting to earn before he left his native for working in the middle east. Rafiq corrects me - we aren't going to walk the cliff but rather taking the vertical path down. It is an odd 100 feet high, almost a vertical man made track. We occasionally hold the warm rocks for support, and carefully sliding and slipping reach the bottom in no time.
Here, we find a couple of SUV’s already parked as we walk on the big round rivery gravel stones and head towards the oasis. At a distance, a bunch of some Arab youngsters are billowing fire in their full partying and barbeque mood. Also, at a distance I can see some random groups of people playing and jumping into some small puddle of water. The temperature because of the rocky and stony ambience is so high, that I can feel the heat going right into my head through my ears. My head, already light and numb begins to feel normal as we walk closer to the rumble of this tiny waterfall. The waterfalls waters fall on randomly arranged stone boulders backed by a cliff and ends into the pool at bottom. This is the oasis - for there exists nothing around in summers but this. The water is surprisingly chilly cold and very relieving. The source of water is somewhere underground in between the rocky pores. This oasis is nothing giant but feeling the circumstances and the situation where it exists and water would flow perennially, many comparisons end. Further up on the waterfall stones, which looks like is naturally made for a man to walk through, the water is still and clear. The best thing to do here is to submerge your legs and then dip your head - everything becomes quiet. I could see a few centimeter sized fishes running for their lives.
Looking around I wonder, this impeccable group of Emirates so good in managing construction waste from their cities, why are equally bad in managing the plastics and bottles which the people just carelessly leave behind. After all it’s a small oasis - who cares!
Saturday, 17 May 2008
“When you worked for Dominy you were always terrified of the page-eight syndrome. If you handed him a memorandum and page eight was missing, he’d call your supervisor and say, ‘Get that asshole off the job. Put him in a hole someplace.’
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Now, eating the home (self) cooked food I also watch a Lebanese channel in the local cable TV. Trust me my cooking is pretty decent now, also trust my claim that 60’s was a golden era for Lebanese movies. No, I haven’t seen even one completely but recently read about them. Only the logo on right top saying ‘LBC’ is probably the closest I could comprehend. Almost all the time slow paced and laidback movies are shown. Anyone lacking even a bleak idea of what Zee Cinema is is sure to confuse this with Bollywood. Good food and laidback movies- if a society can produce these two what can be more creative?
So lately, I have been learning about Lebanon. Moreover, I could not avoid it as it has started coming up regularly on major news channels. This time it’s about the civil war conflict looming over its head. By the way Lebanon is a really small country, shamelessly small with some 4 million populations to be called a country. It roughly has equal number of Muslims and Christians and that's why their parliament follows confessionalism – a form of government which has an equal number of seats in the Parliament for Muslims and Christians. But if you ask me to identify this distinction by looking at a Lebanese face I won’t have any clue. I only know about their movie channel, Dubai’s restaurants and that they are some two groups of divided two who are continuously in cold war and many-a-times shed some blood too.
Popular as the Gateway to the East from West, and vice versa, Lebanon, since the recent half century has been an open battle playground in the Middle East. The vertical axis of evil can be drawn here - right along the lintel of this doorstep- Bushtard on one side and Lowdaen on the other. Leaving the airport in London, I had thought that it would be interesting to be in a conflict zone with a lot happening around. But believe me, it doesn’t taste normal when you are right in the middle of it. It has subsequent miseries too – so much visible in Dubai. To ease this effect on me, now I am contemplating reduced watching of news channels- especially BBC 24, which all the time only moans about problems in the world, in its own self-righteous tone. Alongside, I also wonder where this small and mountaneous country, which looks beautiful from afar has gone wrong.
Sunday, 4 May 2008
From the hotel pickup to the hotel staff, everyone was amusingly casual. After all they were all Indians. And also my office staff, not Indians this time, assumed that I ought to take it a little easy. I now realised that I am in the east and more so, in the middle of it. I didn’t have to rush to the office inspite of everything being arranged. So I took a nap.
Slowly with slowness, I have begun to assume that this is how things work here. Now writing this, I think I am getting used to this slowness and now don’t feel it anymore. The heat has hardened me and the humidity ripening. Arabian dust which is not that easily avoidable and the warm slow-breezy nights have something in the air. Inevitably, a good amount of carbon can be added to the list. Booze is an option if you believe in party time and shouting loud– here you will mostly find Mites from either Britania, Europa or some neighbouring countries of Arabia. The baton of the typical rock music that I grew up in my college days is now owned by Philipinos. In any such venue, or even the main roads, don’t expect not to be disturbed by the whores, who all look similar distinguishable only as either Pilipino or Russians. Otherwise easy chatters are available in plenty – just take a pause wherever you are walking and you have an option to talk either to a driver, watchman, construction worker, waiter or similar. Or spend long hours at work which will keep you busy, probably, and wonder what kind of life you are en(gulf)ing in.
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Now, if this loan waiver does not totally relate to suicides, then it must be for some other reason. Will Mr. Chidambaram or someone enlightened care to explain?
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Vibrant Gujarat's chief minister Mr. Modi had another of his foreign trips recently. Sir went to Israel for a 3 day visit. So happens, some great inter-exchange of culture investments etc. Israeli dairy farms coming up right in Amul’s backyard. Also happening is guests Israelis shoved up after accused of obscenely dressed during Navratris. Patels too will have new bijnesses in place now. It's all happening, progress for both sides.
Similarities resemble and debaters debate.
Sixty years ago the pure Aryans roasted a million Jews. Divide the figures by ten and move thousand miles south, the God fearing Hindus played their part by roasting the Mullas. Their same genocide leader now extends a handshake, and seems is happily reciprocated, by the descendants of the same decimated Yehudis. Also I can picture, sacred Hindu cows milked by advanced Jewish machines. Holy Cow or Holy Christ, Mr. Modi here has his chance to make some amends.
Friday, 22 February 2008
Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Pearl Jam, Yield
Today the harmless London suburban yobs reminded me of Altrincham - an extension of Manchester where I used to live a few months back. Every Wednesday (or probably Thursday, in case I am wrong) the town’s local newspaper used to find its way through my door’s brassy letterbox groove. At one such instance, the full front page of this newpaper was dedicated to the passport sized pictures of some eleven or fifteen young men. Relatively new to the town, I was intrigued. Here we go - the new local football team! Looks like a young one this time. But then! After a sustained look I find that all these faces have a slightly different expression. And then I read the large roman fonts, which I had clumsily missed earlier, explaining that the people shown is a list of law offenders who were failing to turn up in the local court. Chiefly, for petty crimes, therefore, ‘at large’.
Disappointed I was now - not with the boys (yes, literally boys) in the photographs, but with this sensation intended front-page scoop. How could, how could, in a small community like this the ever-righteous judges, these ever-critical journalists and the ever-responsible police could easily go ahead with publishing something like this? Isn’t this a little harsh and a lot insensitive? I thought that the whole aim of the law here was to reform a young individual than to blatantly demean him. No one is perfect, right?
Monday, 4 February 2008
I recently came across a statistic that more than surprising me shook me. “17,060 farm suicides in one year” said Sainath’s article: - http://www.hindu.com/2008/01/31/stories/2008013150240100.htm . According to his article - since 2002, every 30 minutes an Indian farmer chooses to kill himself.
I can easily conjure that, somewhere on this planet, natural disasters kill thousands every year. I have also come across figures telling that approximately thousands in big cities are killed on road accidents every year. But what strikes me here is that these seventeen kilo suicides aren’t any fortuitous deaths. This is a choice that these men made, or probably, have been forced to make. We all know in
I have always been made to believe that