Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Two-Light?? – The Third Light :D






**WARNING, NONSENSE AHEAD**


Yes, I know I’ve already poked loads of fun at Twilight.
Amongst my friends are die hard fans of the franchise, to whom I must profusely apologize at yet another effort to generate laughs out of the whole Human-Vampire-Wolf Love triangle.

By introducing another angle :D

Heh heh

According to newspaper sources (yeah lets make this sound tabloid-ish)

According to newspaper sources and sources close to the stars, The protagonist of the Vampire saga, the chick also known as Dumbella, is madly in love with a vampire who cannot understand her (or see through her as it may seem).
Why Girls fall for slow guys, and then crib for their entire lives about him being as sharp as a rubber duck, is beyond me. And I’m sure beyond you too.

So as per the movie, she falls for this guy, who, as stated in my previous write up too, is not a conventional model Vampire, he doesn’t burn under the Sun’s rays, no sir, he sticks his tongue out at the sun and sparkles. And he can run faster than Usain Bolt, much much faster. So the sparkly guy is the object of the dumbell’s affection. And vice versa. He digs her coz, for the life of him (or the death of him as it may seem), he can not see what goes on in her mind…..Welcome to the Relationship Club Sparkles…

By mid-term of the school (yeah the vampires go to school to avoid suspicion), Dumbella becomes a “pet” to the family of sparkles.

Mr. And Mrs. Sparkles even host a dinner for her, and the entire family chips in to save her life from the evil vampire who dines on Human blood. The sparkles are “Vegetarians”, so umm…. (WHAT THE HECK WERE U SMOKING STEF???)

Anyway, by the end of the first movie, they are all one big happy family of vampires, with a human “friend”.

Girls went all “AWWWWW THUNKK!!!” over the movie. Paramedics stood by with Defibrillators to revive those stooped females.
Lookie poster below.





And as if the first part wasn’t enough, the movie makers came up with a part 2 of the franchise. Love was already explored in the first movie, hence they needed a new angle in the 2nd one. They added a new angle.

Tadaaa…. Welcome Mr. Hairy Doggy. Yup, since that cloudy misty town in America was luckily where the Vampires were staying, it had to have rivals. Hence the werewolves were thrown in. Among them was one really “hot” werewolf. A guy who runs around in Denim Shorts Only. WHY?? Coz when you transform from human to a wolf, you grow so fast, you burst out of your clothing, so to minimize ur wardrobe you wear a bare minimum. Also, wolves in shorts kinda look dorky. I mean, imagine the wolf found a really tempting fire hydrant. The Stand on 3 legs and lift the 4th leg formula wouldn’t work there. Would it?
Major inconvenience

So Sparkly got bored of Dumbella coz she was like a stuck record, “MAKE ME A VAMPIRE, MAKE ME A VAMPIRE MAKE ME A VAMPIRE” On and on and on and on….Nag Nag nag nag nag nag….(( Again, Welcome to Relationship Club Sparkles ))
So he tells his bro to fake an attack on the human, while he “saves” her and then tells her that his family is too dangerous for him (For real??). And leaves her in the middle of a forest n runs away.

Enter the hairy Werewolf, who loves cliff diving, and swimming ala Micheal Phelps. (This franchise could have its own track and field team)

He loves the dumbbell, who is so grief stricken that she sits in front of a window for the whole damn year. God save the person who had to clean that chair. **Shudder**
Hairy gives her a new lease of life, and well, she starts finding ways of seeing Sparkle’s ghost whenever she’s in danger, so what does she do? Jump from a cliff. I actually let out a whoop and a standing ovation when she did that, only to be drastically disappointed in the next scene where hairy saves her.

And the story drags on and on for infinity and beyond. (chk poster below)
Clearly, this girl has major major issues...

So now that the whole thing’s become a 2 movie success franchise, its time to make a Threequel.

Yup, Vampire saga is going part three.

And keeping in mind the queer attribute of Dumbella to fall in love with the most weirdest of creatures, i.e. a vampire and a werewolf, part three brings to you the most awesome of the three creatures.

He’s tall
He’s muscular
Can fight worth shit
Can run through those forests with more speed, agility and dexterity than sparkly and hairy.

Best of all, he has his own exotic pet which flies.
Say hello to Dumbella Swan’s latest arm candy


Jake Skully :D



KA-CHING !!!!


Thursday, 17 December 2009

Biking Maniacs

There are two kinds of people in the world.

The Bikers……and the rest…….

Yup, it’s a pretty simple classification of petrolheads. I’m gonna go on a limb here and say that biking is by far one of the most complete man-machine-road experiences you are going to get. Yeah, even better than being enclosed in a 4 wheeled room with screaming kids and nagging wives, or vice versa if you are my Uncle Asif.

I’ve always been fond of bikes. The freedom of just being alone with a machine on an open road, on a cold dawn, a bandanna on your head and knuckle gloves on ur palms is unmatchable in any other automobile. Cold air whipping at your face as you gear up 1st and the torque almost pops a wheelie, the air just increasing in its speed at you as you work up the gear box, the howl of the engine through the 3rd and 4th gears building into a scream where your heartbeat increases its credence along with the engine’s, and when the engine can scream no higher, a swift engage-disengage of the clutch with the intermittent gearing up, all in a fluid second, resulting in the fresh howl of the engine in top gear…….

Trust me when I say, it can’t get any better than this. Just can’t.

So you could imagine my childish excitement when I first realized that I’d be biking to work with a friend. Rumour had it that he was a maniac on the road. I remember being a sort of a maniac whenever I used to get a bike. We biking maniacs are the rare breed you see weaving in and out of traffic with surgical precision using instinct as our scalpel and adrenaline as the sedative. Yup, you need to be as calm as an unconscious body to pull of that kind of nonsense and live to tell the tale.

Although, there is one thing about us maniacs worth knowing. We acknowledge each other and respect each other. But we sure as hell don’t get on each other’s bikes without a pretty large chunk of doubt in their menace (unless you’ve rode many times with them, in which case). In any case, the first ride with a fellow maniac is filled with doubt.

Bike in question, Yamaha RX-135. The successor to Yamaha RX-100, which if you are a biker in India, would know that it is more than a bike, it is a Legend. Also the first bike I learnt to ride, popping a wheelie in my first go. The absolutely massive torque in the 2 stroke 98cc Engine was so insane that Indian government banned it. Probably coz they didn’t want the youth sacrificing themselves at the altar of speed, leaving the country in the hands of the TVS Scooty riders. Both these Yamahas were only superseded by the Yamaha RD350. **ALL BIKERS SALUTE**

In terms of pure bike royalty, it would be the RD350, RX100 and everything else comes next.

RX135 is a more tamer version of the RX100. So I didn’t give a second thought to the fact that I was sitting pillion with my friend, wearing the dorkiest helmet money could buy. I wont even put you through the agony of having to imagine what it felt like. All I can say is, I’d rather be shot dead at point blank range with a howitzer cannon than wear a helmet like that again. But it was Yamaha, and it demands you keep your helmetty pride aside.

He kicked, and the engine howled to life in the car-shed of my building, resonating and waking up every person in the ground and first floor, (For better waking effects, try a YEZDI ROADKING or a BULLET)

The air was chilly and wind was at about 14knots. And the highway was free. From Dubai to Sharjah, morning traffic is almost nil. From Sharjah to Dubai, its Hell. Imagine a 5 lane highway, about 10 kms long, taking you not less than an hour (in the least) to cover. Yeah, people spend 1/3rd of their lives here with their butt on the carseat.

But my side of the highway was open, and the maniac at the handle went beserk.

4 lanes of highway, when compared to the dual carriageways of India, are huge. The wind whips around the light bike like it was made of cardboard, and holding it steady is more a challenge than it seems. I was getting suspicious that I just might be getting into a wee bit of trouble, i.e. my last bike ride.

The bike would scream itself hoarse on the top gear, and just when the road ahead cleared off with someone changing lanes, he’d gun the throttle higher, damn thing had torque even in top gear.

We did come to a traffic jam, its inevitable. But when we did, we just passed between the hundreds of cars and casually walked right up to the front of the signal. Its like being in a ticket line for a movie everyone wants to see, and you come from behind, walk through the queue with a sarcastic “Excuse me, hehe, pardon me, haha, Ooops sorry about ur side mirror, ROFLOL” (except of course you cant ROFLOL on a bike, but you sure can LOL)

And then you get to the front of the queue, and get your thing done, and no one can say or do a bleddy thing about it.

Heights of sadistic pleasure that….;)

The lights turned green, and he took off. My legs were like…. “LETS GOOOOO,” and the rest of my torso was like, “NAAH maybe next year….”

I kid you not, I felt quite a crazy pull in my upper thighs whenever my friend gunned the engine. He had told me he’d installed an RX100 Bore in the engine, I understood the implications of that now. To those who dont, imagine Pierce Brosnan with Sean Connery's heart....

I peeked over his shoulder to see the speedometer to gauge what speed we were going at, and I saw the speedometer needle broken and just spinning round and round and round.

Suspicion had turned into Conviction….I was dead meat.

A curve in the road approached, and at the speed we were going, we had to lean the bike over so as to keep the turning radius of the curve. And then my friend did the best thing a maniac could do, half way through the curve, he gunned the engine. Oooooh the centripetal pull of the bike in the cradle of the wind….It gives you a rush which makes you forget all your worries and think, you are indestructible to the problems of the world.

Who says bikers cannot be thinkers??

I didn’t have a full face helmet, so at that speed, the effect of wind to my skin was equivalent to a sandpaper on peanut butter. And my frame was bigger, much bigger than my friend, so every time he changed gears, the bike threatened to lift off into a wheelie, for which I had to consistently move myself around on the back seat so as to keep the centre or gravity pushed in the middle of the bike.

Painful journey, although fast.But worth every screaming groaning howling decibel of the 14 horses. I got off the bike with a big grin on my face, and arrived at office feeling fresher than ever in the last 6 years of my grown up life. :D

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Bugzapping on a Holiday

I’m pretty sure most of you have heard of parasites.

You probably know them by other names, i.e. Relatives, Exes, material friends and boring people.

There is however, another kind.

The one who suck your blood. I know all the above do it as well, but that is metaphorical. The real parasites suck your blood….for real.

Eg. Mosquitoes, Bedbugs, Leeches etc.

We know how to handle mosquitoes, being from india, we grew up with them. They are easy to handle. Simple coz they are pretty daft. We kill them all the time with Claps and slaps.

Bedbugs on the other hand (as my article will tell you) are not so easy.

They are slow and daft too, slower than mosquitoes. But, they breed like no tomorrow. You kill 1 bedbug, and a 100 take birth in his/her place.

Old people say, never smash a bedbug (Shucks !!) Throw it away in water. No idea why, so don’t ask. But we do it religiously; we pluck em off the walls with tapes n throw em alive. Yet, in my room, they thrived.
I don’t know if it was the ambience of lazy bachelorhood living that made them feel welcome, or simply that they wanted to irritate us. As you might have read, all bedbugs are named Martin.


“Hey martin, what do we do this weekend?”
“I dunno martin, lets go infest Faraz’s room”

“Good Idea, fat bugger has loads of blood in him, and its easy too, like filling a syringe from the ocean”
“Haha, very funny Martin”
“Thank you martin”

So they came to my room and nested all over the place. They favour cracks in the walls and those plastic wire holders.

Bedbugs are essentially Indian or Chinese,

  1. They survive almost anywhere
  2. They suck your blood
  3. They all have one hobby, Procreation.

Essentially, my populace seemed to be Chinese, coz they were over-staying their welcome. Like, arrite guys come on in, have some blood, enjoy yourself, and GET LOST. They took the first few invitations punctually, and happily ignored the GET LOST.

I was stuck with little china. Filled with bedbugs.

And they happily moved on expanding their colonies.

Imperialistic Bedbugs.

So feudal Bedbugs were making a massive attack on my room. And well, I never really suffered from them as I took Gandhiji’s way. Absolute Non Co-operation. I refused to acknowledge that they were there. I saw them, and pretended not to. My roomies would run around with tapes to catch them, I slept soundly. Even when they bit me on rare occasions, I never got up in my sleep abusing the biting bedbug’s mother or sister.

All in all, I reallllllly pissed them off.

And well, my peers suffered their wrath.

So last Wednesday, on occasion of the National Day, we had a day off. So we decided to do a mass-execution on them bedbugs.

We received 2 canisters of Phyotoxins from the municipality.

Most of our roomies had ran off to India. Left back were me and Tabraiz.

Tabraiz was the Don who planned it all, I was the executioner elite :D

First step was to seal off any possible entrant point of fresh air. This was going to be a concentration camp for them. Ergo, the A/C ducts were sealed off with a big dustbin bag. And loads of tapes. Next was the huge window we had to the balcony. Sealed from every corner, also granting me a nice deep cut on my finger. Oh well, no war is won without the spillage of blood. (Thanks I inherit the melodrama gene from my Ammijaan)

So then, I had to mask myself, pulled out the canisters from the storage. And placed those tablets all over the room.
Boy do those things stink. I mean, 2 minutes of straight dosage is enough to knock you straight out. And I mean DEAD. And as I realized this, my mask started to slip. And the tablets got stuck in the canisters. Brilliant eh. The manufacturers of the toxins thought it was funny to make the openings of the canisters smaller than the tablets themselves. Sadistic morons.

So well, a step that was supposed to be done in 4 minutes flat took me almost 15. Which culminated in a ceremonial radioactive de-contamination shower. Sadly, we had only water to make do with.

We put a sign on the room door after taping it shut, so as to warn the neighbours and other visitors that this room shouldn’t be entered for the next 24 hours.


The rest of the 24 hours passed in a beach trip and staying over at a cousin’s place. Early next morning, we returned to a devastated room.


Dead bodies all over the place, a deathly stench of homicide (by pesticide) hung in the air. I saw small clusters of bugs lying dead across the amirah. Seems like they were heading back home from the pub when the deathly cloud engulfed them and sucked the life out of them.



Me and my roomies exchanged Hi-5s and set about airing the room out. Proceeding with 2 hours of tedious cleansing, beginning with removing the ash powder which was all that remained of the toxic tablets



Unlike most of my blogposts, This has no point to make in the end of it. Except maybe, If you’ve visited my room in the past 4 months or so, get a pest controller down to your home. Or pay my air fare and 3 Star accommodation and I’ll do it for ya.


All Said and done……This is just one of the ways to kill bedbugs. Become Inglorious Basterds.


Sunday, 22 November 2009

The 8th Wonder of the World

INDIA IS MY COUNTRY AND ALL INDIANS ARE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS”

How many mornings in your life have begun with this pledge? Innumerable right. And yet, it says something about our country that we seldom fail to understand.

It stands for the deep rooted conviction in the fact that all Indians are brothers and sisters, related by motherland. Since we have ONE mother (i.e. India), its safe to assume that the siblings share one father.

This is something which every Indian proves every day when he is on the road.

When he rides, or drives or walks……He is living proof that the road….is his BAAP KA MAAL, (Father’s Property)
Think about it, the road is India’s and we are its children. So the next time when you are riding haphazardly, and someone screams behind you, “TERE BAAP KA ROAD HAI KYA??” Proudly say, “YES !!!”

In fact, go ahead and say, “HAMARE BAAP KI HAI BHAIYA.”

I was in India this October. One of those holidays, I had rode all the way to Jayanagar from R.T.Nagar. Its like a 45 minute ride. On the way back, my brother accompanied me, on another vehicle. Honda Activa. 102 cc automatic step through scooterettes, and might I add, one of the finest on Indian roads.

He overtook me at one point, and I did the same after a while. Little did I know, this was as good a gesture for a challenge as slapping his face with a gauntlet. Hence began a road race through some of Bangalore’s most crowded roads. And boy was it a rush. In my prime I was uncatchable on Bangalore roads. Junior here seemed to carry the gene pretty well. I always considered myself an instinctive rider. He does too.

The first leg of the race was through the metro-work-in-snail-pace-progress filled roads ofBasavangudi. And well, he thumped his friend’s activa over humps of every size imaginable, while I glided his activa with care. I mean, the vehicle wasn’t even 6 months old. Babies’ necks don’t stand straight in 6 months, this was a machine. So I rode quick, but carefully.

I saw a grey figure whip past me, one hand on the accelerator, and the other showing the “L” Sign with the thumb and forefinger, raised up high.

Bed-wetting-teddy hugging Junior was taunting me.
The race continued on an even pace, until I got lost somewhere near Golf Course (curse those new deviations) But he knew the place like the back of his hand. And by the time I had got back on track, he was home sweet home. I could imagine him and his smug grin and the “L” sign on his hand. I gunned the vehicle to almost 70kmph on the last 2 stretches. But the damage was done. I lost to my toddler bro.

What amazed me was the subsequent observation I made of the Indian roads.

The world complains that it is haphazard and unruly and crowded. Arjun wrote on his blog about the many many hazards on Indian roads. And I agree with him. Our roads are crowded with 2 wheelers, 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers, 18 wheelers, 2 leggers, 4 leggers, and during Dasarah, 6leggers (Mahout and Elephant) The 2 wheelers can be further broken down to engine and non-engine. The non engine can be further broken down into pedalled, hand dragged, hand pushed,seater skate boards for the physically impaired, so on and so forth.

So if you are a foreigner reading this, this would be a right time to drop your jaw.

If you are an Indian reading this, lets see that proud smile.

Coz believe it or not, these unruly roads are our lifeline. And these unruly roads make us some of the best drivers in the world to be reckoned with. Roads laden with potholes which the whole pro-western crowd cries about are actually a boon. A road with potholes keeps all drivers on their tippy toes. Show me one Indian driver asleep on his wheel (unless he is drunk). You just wont find them. We are precision drivers who have to keep an eye on the road’s skin structure.Coz it changes more often than Paris Hilton’s boyfriends. The pothole you saw last weekend might just be filled up, and a new pothole would be available a few co-ordinates north-west to it. The topography keeps changing, and the Indian driver needs to be alert. I’ve seen cases of drivers asleep while at the wheel, over here in Dubai and heard fatal cases of sleepy drivers in Saudi and Qatar. And the roads are impeccable. Other than a few over-worked truck drivers inIndia, the common public using the roads are actually more alert than F1 Drivers. We are pretty much the top guns of the road, the world over.

When I joined a driving school in Bangalore. I was told to adhere to one rule only. “LOOK STRAIGHT”

The usage of the side mirrors is a joke in India. If you have them on your new Maruti today, they wont be there tomorrow. Believe you me, the best way to keep your side mirrors intact is to keep them folded, or keep them at home.

This one rule of LOOK STRAIGHT. The drivers who are in a hurry will look to their right and left and over take you anyway. But for safe driving, just look ahead. And you’re halfway there already.

Owing to the crowds on the road, The average speed an Indian rider can reach is about 50kmph. This is about the same speed as the Mongolian Wild Ass.


High speed accidents in Dubai cause this.


High speed accidents in India cause this.





You see, the Indian roads are pretty perfect as they are.

  1. Dynamic potholes keep drivers guessing and thereby more alert
  2. High speed accidents result in a broken headlight and black eyes
  3. Cows are nature’s moving speed breakers
  4. Girls are nature’s moving speed breakers –THE SEQUEL. (At the risk of sounding an MCP, they actually drive like the car/bike was a nuke submarine in a mine field, which is awesome. We need them like a nuclear fission needs slow and fast moving sub-atomic particles)
  5. Crowd means less boredom, look around at the “speed breakers”
  6. All are equal. Whether it’s a millionaire in his E Class Mercedes, or a bespectacled nerd on ascooty, the road doesn’t discriminate. Ask all the silver sedan owners who cover up the infinite scratch marks with stickers and their wives’ mascara.
  7. You need papers to drive on those roads, they come in denomination of 10s, 20s, 50s and 100s with Gandhiji on them (Depending on the size of your vehicle)
  8. Two words : DHOOM MACHALE
Print it in the Lonely Planet and all the tourism guide books of the world. Indian Roads are the 8th wonder of the world. Which operate so efficiently based on Trust, Instinct and sheer dumb Luck. If you doubt me, Youtube Indian Traffic / Indian roads. Enjoy ;)

All those who say that the current situation of roads in india is a cause of accidents, trust me, 80% of the developed nations in the world also have deaths on the roads. I’ve seen some of the best roads in Dubai and Riyadh. Yet ppl keep banging around here a lot. And there are no potholes even. They need to get some of those.


Goes to say that an accident isn’t necessarily the fault of the road. It’s the imbeciles who are given the driving permits. They just don’t have the necessary traffice sense. We Indians don’t have it as a sense, we have it as instinct.

Infallible.

Think about it, why change something that’s actually perfectly fine. So you waste a li’l time, big deal. Tokyo is one of the worlds most expensive cities, and the most congested. Same goes forLondon, Dubai and quite a few ‘Merican cities too. Consider your city in the elite group of such cities.

So relax with all the “BETTER OUR ROADS” grumpy nonsense. In fact, petition a few more potholes.

When I become President of India, I’ll order all cities to host a day every 6 months where the elephants will be taken onto the roads and allowed to play Hopscotch.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

You meet the most awesome people in a Toyota

Honda might kill me for taking their line and rehashing it, but then, I just couldn’t make do with a title carrying other words.

This is my consecutive third post regarding the people in the public transport industry, and I’m beginning to think, that I’m beginning to learn more from these people than a lot of wise cracking teachers I knew (not all, but most of them who haunted me through the schooling years).

Anyway, I left office in a real stressed out mood today. Morning began with a training and presentation session I had to give at a client’s office, which was a cleanly coordinated disaster, I mean, it was like I had planned for my train of thoughts to conveniently derail in front of the more experienced engineers. But well, I managed to hold off somehow.

Anyway, NOT the point. I rushed back to office and had quite a bit on my hands which I completed way after my closing time. Followed by frustration that A project I had worked on for a while with a lot of effort was seemingly gonna go down the drain ‘coz some other sonnofagun had outdone mine and my colleague’s awesome design. Although I am sure the other design is a dud.

I finished my prayers, after which I caught a bus from my office (first time, as I usually use the taxis there). The bus ride was okay, and Instead of catching another bus to Dubai, I got down at the square in Sharjah and jumped into the next taxi available. A Toyota Camry (Same as Khan Chacha)

At this point I questioned myself, was it worth paying 20 AED extra for the taxi, to save me the 30 minutes of walking. I was too tired to answer that question, so I rested.


The taxi driver in question was a burly man, again a Pakistani or Afghan, the kind who beats people to pulp when he’s bored, with bare hands. With a close cut beard. Nothing like Khan Chacha’s amiable face. This guy had a rougher exterior. He looked like those Pathan bakers who pull out scalding hot bread from the tandoors, with bare hands.


I’ve this thing, I sit in the rear seat of the taxi, not because I like having the feel of being driven around, but its because I have the whole seat to laze up in. I rest my head on the C pillar and doze off listening to, in today’s case, Mohammad Rafi.


The taxi caught up in the middle of a road, traffic jams for the simple reason that it was the weekend. I closed my eyes, and after a while, I had the feel that our car was still standing still. What the heck, I continued listening to Rafi saab crooning.

The nagging feeling didn’t leave me, that we were standing still for a while longer than necessary. I opened my eyes a peep, and I see Tandoor Khan half on his seat and half hanging out of his door.

Goes without saying that my eyes peep popped open. I was thinking, “HUHHHH?????”

I must tell you that this was one of the main roads of Sharjah. Where crossing the road is nigh impossible. This guy was hanging out of his door, touching the road. My brain was thinking, “DUDE, you dropped a quarter??? Here have mine, Lets just go before a trailer uses us for a tire wall.”

But nooo, he continued reaching down for the quarter as cars whizzed past him. I was too shocked to even ask him what he was doing. And just as I am thinking, “GODDAMN QUARTER GET IN HIS HAND.” He goes from Doing the unthinkable to doing the abso-frikkin-lutely Stupid. He reaches back to his belt clip, clicks it open and jumps out of the driver seat to go after the quarter.

Needless to say, I am smashed with the realization that I am sitting in a driverless car, without the handbrake up, in the middle of a busy road on the weekend (where motorists use the freeway as a speedway). I might as well have started saying my prayers, when I saw him pick up the quarter and stand up.

One second I’m like, “PHEW, FINALLY GOT HIS QUARTER”

And then he runs, across the front of the car and towards the shops lining the main road.

And I go, “I AM A SITTING DUCK IN WABBIT SEASON !!!”

He runs to the place between two parked cars and bends down and throws the quarter on the ground and runs back towards the car. My mind thinks, “HOLY CRAP IT WASN’T A QUARTER IT WAS A PIECE OF TISSUE OR SOME GARBAGE HE WAS CLEANING OFF THE ROAD, followed by HUHHHHHH?????”


My eyes remain fixed to the ground where he threw whatever he did. As he ran back to the car, My eyes opened as wide as possible to see a little greyish thing. The thing opened its wings and staggered towards the pavement.

My jaw dropped, and immediately closed in a big grin as realization struck home. Tandoor Khan had stopped in the middle of the road, risking a minimum fine of AED 500 (more than a day’s target), not to mention the wrath of the police out there who are insufferable, to save a dis-oriented pigeon who wanted to commit suicide by jumping in the middle of a busy road.

My mind raced back to the hundreds of pigeons, dogs, cats and other animals who’ve been mercilessly run over by cars and bikes here and in India. And realized I was sitting with a rare breed of road users.

Tandoor sat back in his seat, gave a last glance to the bird to make sure it was headed back to the pavement and not towards the road again, and gunned the car down the road in case the police were following. I gaped at him in awe, as he resumed his burly manner, listening to the urdu news crackling through the AM frequency.

I closed my eyes with a grin and rested on the door cushion, thinking, This guy made my day, so did that suicidal pigeon. What are the odds ?!?!

I opened my eyes a peek to get glance at him, and saw him look at me, sprawled on his backseat with my head on the window sill, in the rearview mirror. I closed my eyes and rested with Rafi saab crooning “Aaya re khilone wala” and I heard the soft click of the doors being locked. And the grin widened.

In case in my sleepy stupor, I happen to pull the door handle, I might fall off right? He made sure I didn’t.

This blog is named after a bird I adore.


Tandoor Khan saved 2 pigeons. One from death and One from absolute irritation at the whole world and possible falling out of a car.

2 Birds with 1 Stone. Couldn’t have been more apt.

Narated By Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "While a man was walking on a road. he became very thirsty. Then he came across a well, got down into it, drank (of its water) and then came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. The man said to himself "This dog is suffering from the same state of thirst as I did." So he went down the well (again) and filled his shoe (with water) and held it in his mouth and watered the dog. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him." The people asked, "O Allah's Apostle! Is there a reward for us in serving the animals?" He said, "(Yes) There is a reward for serving any animate (living being)." – [Bukhari Vol. 8, Book 73, #38] & [Muslim Book 26, Chapter 39, # 5577]



P.S.

I’d like you, dear reader, to try and tell me what can you guess about this man from reading this episode.

Because I have made an inference. I just want to check if I am right.


P.P.S.

I questioned myself if it was worth it. Needless to say, every penny paid :D

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Epilogue to "Khan Chacha"

Epilogue

In hindsight, Encounter with Khan Chacha and Satan clearly marked out the stark differences between that generation and outs.


Them:
1. Passionate about whatever they do. Giving 100% not because they can, but because that’s the only way to do stuff.

2. Planning in advance, with a contingency plan.

3. One word, Experience. Being a driver, chacha knew about the problems a car would face.

4. The world survives on helping each other.

5. Style and Pure Class. He would gun the car on stretches of road where it was needed, and was very careful about his positioning in the lanes.

6. Still make sacrifices for the younger generation.

7. Patient.

8. Striving to better self. Chacha’s target was 300 AED a day. He did 400 as his basic target


Us:
1. Selective Passion, depending on whether we want to do it, or because we have to.

2. Too much in the speed lane to stop and plan.

3. Yet to learn the importance of knowing the intricate details about what matters most to us. 8 out of 10 among us cant differentiate between a sound made by a loose bearing and Himesh Reshammiya bellowing through our stereos.

4. Help yourself.

5. Had the speed of a cheetah, and the manoeuvrability of a penguin.

6. Wouldn’t sacrifice our afternoon siesta for the sake of even Armageddon.

7. Always bladder filled.

8. **SNORE**

Khan Chacha

Wisdom is an ability in which you learn most profound things, from the least expected sources.

To elucidate, knowledge is thrown at us from all possible directions, some useful, some crap. Its upto us to pick them up and process them. Specially at times when we don’t want to be educated.

I wouldn’t say I am a wise person, but I did come across one. Who was kind enough to share it with me. Which led me to think, “I am such a numbskull !!!”

He’s a Taxi Driver.

Tuesday evening I got dropped off at a signal by my friend, from where I jumped into the nearest taxi available. I was greeted by this man who is old enough to be my grandfather.

He was fairly wheat skinned, possibly an Afghan or Pakistani, white hair crowned with a black prayer cap. But his best feature was the snow white beard framing his face in the most regal manner. The kind of royalty on his face that makes you immediately respect him. And the kind of a big broad shouldered frame which made you want to cuddle in his arms and crib about everything in the world. Okay I’ll get out of my 5 year old self.

I was having a rough week as I had had two major brawls with my close friends. For trying to be honest about something. This apart from other issues haunting me.

Me : Assalam Alaikum Khan Saab, Bur Dubai chale

(Peace be on you Mr. Khan, to Bur Dubai please)

Taxi Chacha : Walaikum as salaam, Main to nahi chalunga, par doosra driver bhej dunga aapke saath. Sach baat batau to poora din zaleel hua hu, abhi abhi workshop se nikla hu aur meri halat bohat kharab hai.

(And Peace be on you as well. Well, I wont be able to take you, but I will have another driver drop you, In all honesty, I have had an insulting day and returned from the workshop just now, I am very tired)

I asked if I should get down, and if he wanted to go home and rest. He said he would go home anyway, but would leave me with his partner driver to drop me to my home.

For those who don’t know, In UAE, every taxi has 2 drivers. One for the daytime, and his partner for the night. This way, taxi operates 24x7, and drivers get to decide with their partner which shift goes to whom.

There on ensued a conversation which made me realize some simple truths I’d conveniently chosen to forget in my week long cribbing mode.

Apparently, Chacha’s driving partner was a younger man, a newbie in the taxi world. I don’t know his name either, but I will use the name chacha gave him……Satan.

Apparently Satan was the reason why Chacha had had a very very bad day at work (sounds familiar doesn’t it). So Chacha had told satan for quite a while to get the car serviced, seems some bearings had come off, and satan kept procrastinating saying, “karenge karenge”. Which means, “I’ll do it, I’ll do it.” Which in turn means, “HAAAH In your dreams!!!!”

Eventually, Chacha let the car in the workshop on Monday evening, and early morning on Tuesday, went to the workshop to get it, which was again delayed for almost half a day…or maybe 3/4ths of his shift. No surprise that the workshop will filled with Satan’s minions. So After a lot of pushing and pulling at that front, he got the car, and by the time he was on the road, he had managed to do just 1/3rd of his daily target. Which meant his monthly target percentage would come down. Which meant he would get lesser salary this month. All because Satan was too lazy.

Chacha went on to tell me how satan had once jumped a red light, got caught by a policeman, and had no knowledge of Arabic or English. The smart cop told him, “Accept either that you jumped the signal, or you were speeding and couldn’t stop on time.”

Satan weighed his options and thought, “Haah, a light should be a lesser punishment than the speeding, speeding could have killed”. And he pleaded guilty for Red Light Jumping.

Cop went, “HAAH, Sucker!!!”

All in all, He was slammed with a fine of 30,000 AED. Which amounts to about 3.9 Lakh Indian Rupees. Obviously, Satan came crying to chacha for help.

And Chacha told him a loophole through which his fine could be waived. Chacha’s condition was simple, “DO NOT TAKE MY NAME.”

As you might have guessed, He got the partial waiver, AND he took Chacha’s name.

Another story about how the front tyre had gone bald and Satan was too afraid to go to the depot to get a change. He sent Chacha instead, saying that “I have a red mark in my file, they will fine me for the bald tyre and lack of Stepney”

Chacha promptly went and got it done, and when the question came about who was responsible, the authorities knew his partner was the clumsy oaf. Chacha had a clear record.Because of this, Chacha wasnt being assigned a new taxi either. As his partner had the Accuracy of a pelican.

I told Chacha to stop helping him.

Chacha let out a sigh and told me, “I don’t bother much now. My elders used to tell a story of a traveller who saw a scorpion sinking in a bucket of water. The scorpion struggled to get out, and the traveller put his hand in, and took the scorpion out, which conveniently stung him. The man dropped it back. And people asked him, “Why did you put your hand, you know it’s a scorpion and it will sting.” And the traveller replied, “It is my habit, I cant let him drown, and he stung me according to his own habit.”

Just like that traveller, I cannot change this guy, but if he is in trouble. I cant stop myself from helping.”

And then he pointed his forefinger to the sky and said the magic words. “I do it in the name of Allah. He knows my deeds and my intentions. And those who do it for him, they leave it to him with faith."

Here was a personification of the phrase, “Neki kar aur dariya me daal” (Perform Good deeds and throw them in the ocean)

A big grin crossed my face and I opened my eyes to this age old lesson.

What made the maximum impact was, that even after all this crazy day antics he had been through, his shoulders were still firm, his neck was held upright, he had the same voice which makes you call out to your enemies and say, “Touch me, my grandpa will tear your limbs with his bare hands.” And his demeanour was nothing but Energetic.

I was Stunned. This man was fighting to survive and keep bettering himself, at an age when he should be snoring on porch chairs with a cup of tea resting by him alongside open books written by dead poets. And he was full of life at it. Not a hint of complain.

I felt like saluting him, and slapping myself. I couldn’t help but deciding that this is how I am gonna live my life.

Journey was coming to an end, he slowed down searching for Satan to take over.

Now I knew for sure this wasn’t the same satan who possesses little children and makes them talk in weird voices. But when I saw him, All I could think of was, “You serious?? This guy?? He isn’t even capable of possessing his own undergarments.”

He turned around and gave me a grin like he was happy to be alive. And then he drove like he wanted to die.

P.s. Chacha is going to get a new partner, an old timer like himself, from his own village back home. And both the old timers are eager to get started. And they will be getting a brand new car too :D

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Thank you for being Happy

When you step out of K.K. Manzil at #3333, Anegundi Road, Mysore, the road stretches from the seemingly quiet Eidgah area to your left into the bustling old city market area joining Sayyaji Rao Road, right into the middle of a speeding life where standing still is punishable by death. And this transitory road passes right by my doorstep. Facing me on the threshold of my home is another house which is almost half the age of my century old manor, and is known through the ages by a catchy name. Sher Ka Bungla (The Lion’s Bungalow).The reason for this name is the relaxing lions built on the corners of all the bungalow’s roof.

Towards the left of the Lion’s bungalow, one can always find a few rickshaws waiting.

How many times I have travelled to school or college using these rickshaws, I couldn’t count. There were 3 auto drivers I remember specifically. An elderly man named Sardar Bhai, who drove an old front engine spluttering vehicle. Maula Bhai, who was a maverick among the drivers, and the third one whose name I never asked, but he always smiles when he sees us, so we’ll call him Hasmukh Bhai (spare the eggs).


This time when I went, his smile was as prominent as ever. He had been sitting in the nearby tea shop, talking to the passers by and the tea shack frequenters. He saw me and walked with a quick step to his vehicle. Greetings were exchanged and he asked me how I was, where I was coming from, and where I was going to. He made a passing comment how I didn’t see him the last time I passed by from that place.

I asked him how he was doing. As we ask almost everyone. He replied with a reply he probably gave everyone, but the tone was as though it really mattered to him that I asked.

He asked me about my life in Dubai, and my job. And that is where I started feeling queasy. I tried changing the topic from MY life to the happenings around my old area. I asked him how was Sardar Bhai. I could sense his smile go quiet, he turned around with a grave look and whispered that Sardar bhai had passed away almost a year ago. Then he turned back around to keep his eyes on the road. And he proceeded to tell me that from all the people I knew, He was the only one still about. I didn’t dare to ask him what he exactly meant. He figured my queasiness and changed the topic, He told me about how people who used to give them new clothes (read used clothes) during festival time, forgot him and his friend this time around. This was followed by small talk. But my brain was already in hyperspace. Far far away from the snaky ride up the DhobiGhat area, my mind was free running through the past.

These men, seemingly unimportant as they may seem, at one point of time, played a very important role in my life. They were, metaphorically speaking, the men who gave me piggy back rides in their rickshaws to and fro the places I had to go. Agreed that they charged me, but what separates this relationship from a pure business transaction, is that even today, after almost 6 years, they still care to ask me where I am, and smile when they know that I have progressed from a uniform clad school boy to a decently dressed young man. In that smile, they give you the warm feeling that even though life for them is at its saturation point, that they have done all they could and this is a last plateau of their career graph, they still are very happy to see that your graph is snaking upwards.

My own uncles probably wouldn’t grin as much as Hasmukh Bhai did.

Needless to say, guilt hit me like a bolt out of the blue. I felt guilty at how I had used them. They had given me a step up, and not only had I taken their hands, I’d taken a step on their shoulder, paid them for it, and moved on. And never as much as thanked them.

That’s right, it all comes down to a little feeling of gratitude I never had for them, or showed them, which made me feel like a miserable pathetic materialistic human that I am.


How much would a rickshaw driver earn?? How much property would he leave for his children? You can answer that question as well as anyone. We stand on the threshold with potentially the whole world before us, our entire lives waiting to be “cashed” in. And these men are at the end of that road, without having made any contribution to their lives.

Yet, they made a contribution to my life. And the best part, they never rubbed it in, or felt jealous that I had moved on, while they remained pinned to their fate in time.
This made them much better human beings. Humanity is derived from being human. And if smiling at other people’s fortunes isn’t humanity, I don’t know what is.

I said a silent prayer for Sardar Bhai’s soul. And an apology, that I never really thanked him for being happy for me. How he passed away, how many people attended his funeral, what his family went through, I may never know. What I will know is this, that he left a mark on my heart. And I know that I am not the only one.

When someone wins a major award, they stand up and thank the Almighty, their parents, their friends and family members, their pets and lovers (I’m making no connection trust me).
But if we all looked into our lives, we all have a Sardar Bhai and a Hasmukh Bhai who’ve made maybe a miniscule, but a pivotal contribution to our lives.

This is a big thank you from a lousy human, who might never have the ability to undo this aspect of his past, to all the people who made a contribution to me.

This is to all the auto drivers, Sardar bhai, Hasmukh Bhai, Maula Bhai and Saleem bhai (My school automan). To all the baker men who gave fresh hot piping biscuits on cold nights and cold drinks on warm ones. To all the provision stores guys who were a source of love in form of stickers and teasing jokes amongst the boring days. To all the maintenance and non-teaching staff in schools and colleges whose eyes pop wide when they see me so grown up (physically atleast). To Ibrahim bhai at the canteen, with his sons, To Babu bhai at the photocopy & tea shop and Chandru at the STD Booth, to the bus drivers in my old school, and To the didi who cleaned my messy room and helped me tidy up my stuff, I love you all, and sorry I am so late in realization.

Thank you for making me the person I am, and the person I will be.

May Allah reward you for your deeds, forgive your sins, bless you in this life and the next.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Take a Hike !!!!

Each one of us, at some point of time or the other, emulate someone famous.
This is the story of me emulating Robert Freaking Frost (excuse the tone)
I for one do not hate the guy, I mean, he was nice. My legs on the other hand, beg to differ.

Thursday 1st October 2009.

I was to go home from office, and I was stone broke. Stoopid bank didnt want to transfer my money, knowing that I'd be waiting for it. Oh well, shit happens right? So what do I do...easy, I have awesome roommates who are like brothers to me, so I can hail a taxi and allow them to pick up the tab and score brownie points with the guy upstairs.

OR
I could choose a "route less traveled by."

Robbie Frost wouldnt have written that poem if he hadn't taken the Other route. And I wouldnt be writing this if I hadn't either.

I chose the latter too. To Walk ! From work to home, or atleast to a point where I could say to myself WOW !!!

For those who do not know, I work within the trade boundaries of the Sharjah Airport International Freezone. Which is in one corner of this meteorological hell, and I live in Dubai, the other corner. From my office to Dubai border, its a distance of roughly 8-9 kms if I choose the highway, which is frequented by cars whose drivers have to take a leak, ergo rushing at atleast a nominal speed of 120kmph. Or take the route into the city and then onwards to Dubai, slightly longer, but a piece of cake (HA !!) And yet again I choose to be Frosty.

I take off from my office at 5.30 pm. And as soon as I step outside the gates, I realize that i've been pretty much on a liquid diet the whole busy day. Wicked !! Here is what the route looks like when you step outside the freezone authority





That horizon is about 2 kms away. And continues onwards to exit onto the Emirates Highway bridge which will take me straight into Dubai. An "Easy Peasy" Grin crosses my face.. The moment I stepped onto the pavement of this road, I was shaken awake from the grin with a car whooshing by at the speed of a dog from a neutering doctor.

The walk to the Bridge exit took abt 30 mins. Good speed I thought. I stopped on the bridge for a bit of a lookie at the sunset. And that is when it dawned on me, what I was doing was for a reason. A lesson by the Boss upstairs. You see, the week was going pretty rough. And I was in for a rough weekend too. The sunset always fills me with a calm (yeah I know everyone says that) and I looked into the dusk thinking of the simple rule which governed time. Sunrise n Sunset. So it had set, no one in the world could do anything about it. But it will rise again, and yet, no smartass in the world can do anything about it.
In that moment I realized, No one can control my bad time into lasting forever. And no one can prevent the good days from dawning even if he is named George Bumbling Bush. Thats simple philosophy, yet, the effect it fills you with, i.e. a HOPE FILLED SMILE. That is pretty powerful.




I took a prayer break and gulped down liters and liters of cool water from the Mosque taps. A weird thought came to my mind, about the bladder being overloaded. A phonecall from my brother distracted that.

The walk continued, pretty much uneventful until I reached a bridge called National Paints Bridge. I stood there and watched the hundreds of labourers and bachelors milling around the shops. Most just sitting by on the pavement in the humid evening (although it was a cool atmosphere, within the industrial region, humidity is always there) For a moment i was shaken by the living conditions which were so crowded. And I saw them laughing and doing their weekend chores with casual carelessness.
A line spoken by someone wise came to mind, everyone is fighting their own battles, in their own ways, in their own worlds.Also a line from the Quran which says that No soul is burdened beyond its capacity to bear, yet no one is free from tests and problems to solve.
Shitty human tendency,that we tend to feel better when we hear that we're not the only ones having Gigantic Crap in our lives. Again, another smile, this time, one placing a reassuring arm around my shoulder saying I wasnt alone.

I continued at the same speed for another hour or so, occasionally stopping by under bridges to watch the cars zoom by. I was probably passed by a few thousand cars every hour. Trust me, heavy rush on weekend evenings. A particular car caught my eye, or rather my ear. A Red Toyota Supra with a specially loud silencer (oxymoronic on purpose)

I crossed the Sharjah-Dubai border and I could choose to stop. Yet somehow, as I kept pondering to stop or not, I passed on and on along the Dubai Highway. I dint feel like stopping. The route was getting a bit tougher as I had to walk across the sloping banks of the highway. Yet a voice inside me kept asking a question, How far would my fitness regimen help me walk. And to get that answer I kept walking and walking, leaving exit after exit into the city.Further along the highway I walked. A particular song played on the mp3 player. Reminding me of a special buddy of mine who always has been encouraging me saying that I had more in me than I knew, that I was stronger than I ever realized. A grin widened, the wet Tshirt gave a cool hug and I kept walking.

Came to a point where I saw this particular view. Some worker's expression of love. And the grin turned into a laugh in the middle of the highway. Have a look






In the middle of an unforgiving desert, this sight is awesome to say the least.

My roommates started calling and screaming at me for my stupidity. feeling guilty that they didnt come 2 pick me up. I told them the straight truth, that I did what I did not to prove anything to them. Or make them feel guilty. But to see if I could do it.

5 Hours after the start of the walk (with an hour or 45 mins of break) and 17 Kms of walking, the feel good factor was at its peak. And then I realized I had done it all with a 6-7 kg Backpack on my shoulders. It was like Mr. Hilary stood on everest and Gave a little jump, just to prove that He had been higher than Mount Everest too.

Oh, btw, the 4 hours of walk (give or take a few mins) did teach me a lot of stuff.

1. Begin with the end in mind. (I had the image of a cool shower and angry roomies pictured in the mind, their faces)
2. Sunsets are ALWAYS followed by Sunrises. Hope never gives up on you, choice is yours if You wish to give up on it or not.
3. Everyone has battles. You arent alone in cursing the elements
4. Some battles are tougher than you could dream of.
5. Always take breaks in life, if you wear urself out, you will cover lesser distance in the longer run. Chill out, live longer.
6. Always have friends who will scream and kick you (Yup, my roommates kicked me right after they saw me, AFTER THE 17 KM WALK, THEY KICKED MY &%*$*"("$ LEGS) --- Shows that they care
7. Marathon runners never stop for loo breaks coz they sweat it out.

And the most important lesson

8. Never take such long walks In a Jeans !!!!!!!!



P.s.

This has opened a bit of wisdom in my crazy brain.
Whenever in life you feel there are insurmountable obstacles,here's a simple advice

Take a Walk.

The road never ends ;-)





Sunday, 30 August 2009

Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani

Disclaimer: I am not being racist, Just a tad too factual.

So I land in Munich airport once again. Always a nice feeling to drop down below the clouds and see a carpet of different shades of green lain out to welcome your 350+ tonne behemoth. Not to mention the peaceful countryside lined with sloping roofs and a feeling of being on a vacation from the first sight.

And then you land at the airport, and the feeling is thrown into a nuclear reactor.

Airport authorities of the world these days are in a bad mood, between terrorists and carrier diseases, they’ve their work cut out in a real sad manner.

Germans are pretty much right up there in the Bored and Silly mood list. The guy who stamps my passport gave me a glance and stamped my passport. Now this is not very usual, I sport a beard, and most of the times I get the look of suspicion wherever I walk. This guy didn’t give me a second look, I was perturbed. Ah well, the feeling of meeting an old friend didn’t let me give it a second thought, and as I walked out, a cute lady officer smiled at me, I smiled back, and she said, “Excuse me sir, Customs Check.”

MENTAL NOTE: Never smile at ladies in uniforms. Never even Look if you can help it !!!

Nevertheless, like I said, meeting and old friend was worth all this.

But the next few days I spent there in Germany, gave me a pretty clear idea of the people.

Earlier, I didn’t know what they spoke (In my last trip I mean) So I thought they were an okay bunch, just a tad cold.

This time, I caught quite a few mannerisms of speech which went out to say, Dude they aren’t cold, they’re frikking 40 Below Zero.

I don’t know what it is, but Germans get a lot of business from foreigners, who wish to escape a blistering 45C desert heat for the cool shades of Bavaria. Yet, when they look at foreigners, its with a look of contempt. Trust me, I’ve got that look from many many old people there. Its not a good look I’ll tell you that.


Here’s an instance to elucidate. I was sitting in front of the townhouse and sketching the entrance. Medieval architecture always fascinates me a great deal. The moment I started sketching, an old lady (the age of my grandma in Bangalore) walks by in a blue ensemble holding grocery bags and looks at me as if I just dropped a load of horse dung on the road. And she mutters something. I beg her pardon, and she huffs and leaves. What do I care, she’s Nani’s age. What got my noodle was, she passed by me atleast 3 times with the same look, grumbling something. Now here is a lady I’ve never seen before, and never will probably, and in the few minutes that she saw me, she made me feel guilty.

I Love my motherland, The only problem is, when we have foreigners, we are like kids on Birthday mornings who cant wait to show off their gifts to anyone willing to look.

I understand Europeans being proud of their pristine nations, but seriously, you need to go back to the first rule of Kindergarten…Share !!!

Here’s another event that happened and it got my noggin as well. After a long day of walking around, I was on my way to the hotel with my friend. He suggested that we take a Pizza for dinner. I agreed and we stopped by a place nearby our hotel. For some reason we couldn’t fathom, the owner had named it KRUELLA’S PIZZA. For the uninitiated, Kruella De Vill was the evil lady who wants to skin the 101 Dalmations for her fur coats.

We walk in and try to order a pizza. The chubby german lady took our order and we sat down to wait. I looked around the interior and suddenly over the door of the kitchen, I noticed a thread binding a few green chillies and a lemon. I was stunned. Trust me, it’s a feeling of absolute unparalleled joy in a foreign land when you see something familiar. I pointed it out to my tired friend and he was pleasantly surprised. We loudly discussed the possibility of an Indian head cook or something. We got the feeling of being stared at, and we looked over the counter to see a pair of familiar eyes gazing at us with a forlorn look. “Aap log Hindustani hain??” (“Are you people Indian??”)

The grin that crosses your face at that line, Amazing !!

We both replied in the affirmative. And Our host, we learnt was an immigrant from Punjab who had spent around 30 Years in Germany. Words fall short to describe the feeling of conversing in Hindi with someone in a place you least expect. He asked me about my job, Dubai and how things are. I was only too glad to yak my lungs out with him. He offered us Beer, which we politely refused. And when the Pizza came, we stood up to pay and leave, And he refused to take money from us. Stunned again. We were speechless and mumbled incomprehensible words of refusal at his Kindness. He wouldn’t budge. Neither could we.

He told us, “Its not everyday I get an Indian guest here. Please, its on me.”

We insisted and he consented to taking a Euro or Two (although the Pizza costed more than that). We walked out of the restaurant with a dazed look in our eyes.

I turned to my friend and said, “That right there is the heart of a Hindustani” My friend silently agreed. He told me how his grandmother had taught never to take anything free if you are not able to return it. I remember same virtues.

Yet, that was the most amazing Pizza I’d had in a long long time. I remember the smiles of the Indian crew in the restaurant, who came one by one to peek at us. It never fails to make me smile. The Pizza, an Italian invention, made in German ovens, reeked with fragrance of the heart of an Indian hospitality which left a deep mark on my memory of the place.

Europeans will smile at you, they will serve you as their duty is. But never once do you get that glowing warm feeling that you get in a desi smile. Maybe they get it amongst themselves. Maybe not. When I see Germany in these parts of the world, they don’t care much about foreigners, and to a large extent, don’t care much about people from back home either, (You may beg to differ but I have seen a few examples of this). They are actually a nice bunch to be with.

Goes to show that A German is a German only in Germany. But an Indian is an Indian all over the world.

Proponents of Indian History say that Indians are a hospitable race who love to love others, which is one of the reasons why We never conquered any other country.

I beg to differ. The way I see it, We’re pretty much conquering the World. And continue to do so everyday, in simple ways like the Pizzaman from Sadda Punjab.....

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Conversing with a Photograph

Here is a little story, heed as I tell
Beyond the majestic guardian Alps’ Bell
Is a place known by few, yet I know too well
As here does a little angel dwell

She’s made of chocolate, and sweetness abound
She talks like a child, but with maturity around
Like melting butter from a buttery mound
She’s a treasure out here, waiting to be found

Her laughter echoes with childish glee
Like an albatross she soars, high and free
Her smile makes you forget what you ought to be
She’s just the perfect gift god sent to me

As playful as a butterfly, she’s a blessing to all
If you want to jump, she’ll be there to break ur fall
They say the world is big, but I feel its too small
To hold her big heart’s love, yes, its too small

Forsooth they don’t make friends like her
She’s as honest as the softness on a bunny’s fur
She’s a voice of warmth, like a kitten’s purr
In the world of friendship, she’s frankincense and myrrh