Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The year that was

Things that went well
1.Away from home
: now don’t ask me to elaborate but I am glad to be away. Period
2.Europe trip: this will be the highlight of year. It took a long time to plan schedule but I am glad I undertook this venture, first time in my life I have splurged and explored new territory all on my own
3.Positive frame of mind: some years back I used to be in a constantly petulant mood but thankfully since sometime last year, with change of location, I have somewhat managed to keep negativity away. Old readers of my blog will vouch that my current life, if not too exciting is not much depressing either
4.Better work life: I have a better job now and thankfully this year saw some recognition coming my way, only hope it lasts long
5.More moolah: for a job to be better, better money is essential; thankfully have some dough with me now

Things that could have gone better
1.No chicks: now don’t label me a loser but this year was barren for me. Maybe I am too pre-occupied with thoughts of settling down so have not given any chase and also the old flirt chick has got busy with some stupid exam, so the drought continues
2.Shifting abode: it hurt badly when I had to reluctantly give up a good place and shift to the current insect hole. Shucks the old spacious carpeted place was indeed envious
3.Dull and dreary: apart from being peaceful the year has mostly been uneventful. Perhaps Muscat has now started getting to me with its lack of life and spirit but then I cannot complain much for was this independence not what I yearned for?
4.No investments : being away from India I am not tuned to how and where to invest, hopefully new year will shed some light

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

When do you say yes?

As someone contemplating matrimony there is no shortage of proposals but the choices available can leave one confused, what with the options varying from Mayawati to Madonna. In the ensuing confusion at times it can be real hard to decide when to say yes, or even to forget what is right, its a bit akin to searching for lost possessions and then when you search long and hard you forget what you were originally searching for. My condition these days is too a bit similar, since I landed in this city last year and embarked on my hunt I am myself at times a bit skeptical whether to say yes, no or say nothing at all. But before all this one needs to evaluate and decide own criteria and maybe then hunt for the right fit so deciding upon criteria first becomes critical, few of my own are jotted below:

Compatibility: first and foremost criteria since two separate individuals are planning to live their life together. And this does not mean searching for a temporary flat mate, by the way I am looking for one these days, it is much more complex. All other stuff goes for toss here as this defies logic and at times even morality, I know couples who help each other get laid but then they are compatible.

Exposure: while hiring for corporate those exposed to best management practices stand best chance to get in, similarly those who have lived life independently and faced its fluctuations do make a better fit. It must be for some reason that children are sent to boarding schools away from home, some of those virtues attained there remain companions for life and are easily and appreciably evident even years later

Attitude: this is one of the most decisive factors and is simply a no-brainer. Last some years I have seen so many relationships and marriages go down the drain just because one of the two was acting unreasonable (and also maybe because the other person did not have the maturity to handle this difference) that I sometimes feel casinos are a lot safer bet than entering matrimony with an hitherto unknown person, believe me in a bad marriage there is simply lot to lose and sometimes the sole criminal is the irrational attitude of one or both partners

Background: no I do not mean any wealth here; it simply means someone who can be related with. Someone hailing from a professional or services background may make for a better companion for we may have seen life through similar lens, but then this is not a disqualification. As someone whose roots hail from South but has lived in North, another tricky aspect of culture gets added here

Looks : this is last and does not matter as much as it is made out to be or like many wrongly believe it to be. If looks were indeed that important there would never be so many divorces or break-ups in showbiz

Maybe when most of these criterion do match up, I am sure all of them will never match together unless that person is result of some cloning experiment, it maybe time to say yes but then again think twice and bide time before making the all important call.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Face in the mirror

Today morning I stood in front of the mirror and looked at the face in it. The face looked familiar, it could have been of any man, a face so common that it could easily get lost in the crowd, a face one may never notice or remember for long. The face has nothing remarkable about it, infact the hairstyle looks too ordinary with no style whatsoever, lips never break into smile unless forced, some facial hair is present on otherwise clear skin which make up the round face. Those who see this face, often remark that this person is too seedha much incapable of any wrong doing or understanding the pitfalls of life

When I look at this face I often wonder who this man really is? He is someone who enjoys solitude for sure, for he has been alone most of his life. He is someone who hates violence as his calm face amply reflects. Is he someone naughty? Can never be, someone with such straight a face can never be mischievous. Can this person have done something wrong in his life? no no he can never hurt anyone, his composed face has no traces of anyone meddling into others affairs. Then if this person is so straight is he a saint? Maybe yes he is some sort of a saint though he has his own flaws. A quiet man may not have many flaws but then he may have his own needs. He has slept with whores twice but was it too wrong to have done so?

When I look deeper at the face I wonder what this man has gone through. He ran away from deeply tormented relations and is very relieved to be away from chaos. But then there is still a hint of infulfillment somewhere, those eyes may look sad but don’t think they were born to be this way. But wait whats this? There is no trace of any love on this face, it is possible this person may have never understood much about love and care. It is possible he may have been alone most of his life so doesn’t get much about what unconditional love and relations are all about but then he also realizes that life is not complete without love. Maybe he yearns for love and companionship deep within and is seeking fulfillment somewhere or possibly this man is confused as to what he really wants from life

Looking deep into the face, which has a stoic tranquility, I wonder what the future holds for this man. If I ask this man he too may not be having answers, after all who knows what future beholds. But wait this man looks scared, yes in fact he is very afraid of death, darkness and disease. His soft face betrays no trace of his soft personality, which has been exploited by many till now for this man knows nothing about getting back. Didn’t I tell you this man is a saint?

This face also has many contradictions and paradoxes. If he is so straight, his life shouldn’t have had any evil deeds, if he is so aloof how can he have a sense of humor and if he is so simple how come he relishes alcohol so much? Perhaps this face holds many mysteries and is remarkably deceptive, it doesn’t say much but possibly hides a lot, it appears mostly pensive but no one knows what he thinks and it may appear unharmful which I believe it largely is. But this face is potent and has a thinking brain somewhere inside

Have you seen this man’s face anywhere? Do look out

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Parents can’t be tigers

Earlier this year blogosphere was abuzz reviewing or mostly criticizing a new publication with all vigor and disdain. When almost everyone had their knives out condemning a treatise which eulogized the Chinese way of harsh parenting, it caught my curiosity and getting my hands on this book soon became my priority. Battle Hymn of Tiger Mother was unavailable in bookstores of Muscat and Bangalore; so when I was just about to give up hope I suddenly got lucky with a store in Gurgaon which had a copy left

Now some may be puzzled as to what a book on parenting has got to do with me, after all someone who is looking to find a bride for himself should not plan too ahead also. But then parenting is a sensitive and delicate topic which touches all of us in a very subtle way, only those born of a cloning experiment can be counted out. While reading Amy Chua’s book last night one line caught my fancy where in she says that no matter what you do your children will someday grow up only to resent you, maybe Ms Chua has a point there for she makes no bones on how she adopted an extreme and maybe cruel parenting form to groom her two daughters. Her daughters were tortured to concentrate excessively on academics, never allowed sleepovers, grilled with music lessons even on holidays, called garbage in public, made to study to be two classes ahead in math…in short get perfection no matter what it takes. Amy Chua however defends her actions on her website “My book has been controversial. Many people have misunderstood it. If I could push a magic button and choose either happiness or success for my children, I’d choose happiness in a second. But I don’t think it’s as simple as that; it can be a tough world out there, and true self-esteem has to be earned”

When this book initially came out it raised controversy, not only in US but also in India with many mothers getting insecure on whether they are doing their best for their young ones or did they do enough for the grown-up ones. Surprisingly I did not feel much emotion while reading the book, maybe I am not a parent so will never feel those pangs and also because I grew up in a very lonely way. In a way I found myself supporting the Chinese parenting way, believe me this is much better than a world where no one trusts or speaks with each other. However this does not imply a license to suffocate your children or deny them freedom so as to maintain a complete control on their lives all the time. I have been denied many freedoms while growing up, scars of which still haunt me no end and I would certainly not like any one else to go through what I did or maybe many others are still undergoing in many Indian households.

Perhaps what Amy Chua forgets in her lucidly written book is that strict parenting at times breeds hatred and resentment. In her book her younger daughter rebels and shows the light of the day to her strict mother, but what if she had bottled up those feelings and later in life simply drifted away? A prime reason for me moving out of India was to be away from the restricted environs that I had been subjected to all my life; I knew that moving anywhere within India also may not solve my issue for I seriously need to break away and even after coming to this sweltering country at times the past continues to haunt me. Self esteem and respect are basic human rights and when a child is denied them by his own kin, self-confidence can get irreparably punctured thereby denting own self worth for many years to come

Being a parent is not easy and I recognize that; no matter what you do someone will say you could have done better or worse someone may lament or even curse your well-intentioned actions. But then to be a good parent it is important to be a good human being first, its only in fables that I find sages being born to dacoits.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Meet my potential dulhans

My trip to India was exhilarating and enjoyable, thankfully all went as per plan without any glitches or unwanted nuances. I was a lot apprehensive before flying as I would be with my folks after long and did not want any twitch in the already fragile relationships but thankfully apart from few ignorable smirks it all went smoothly and I am thankful for it. Travelling across cities I observed that Indian metros are changing a lot and that too very rapidly and for someone visiting motherland after more than a year, this change was all too evident; however keeping the bustling metro life aside I completed a hectic tour of Bangalore, Gurgaon and also stopped at few other smaller cities. Besides I also managed to shop, call old folks, visit Vaishno Devi and yes somewhere also stole a date with an old flame from college days (over cold beer she seemed all the more hotter). But more importantly I was on a dulhan ki khoj this time and this is where all the action lay as I interacted with a few girls this time. Was it fun? Take your guess as you read below

Girl 1
I met this girl at a marriage bureau in Bangalore, she smiled a lot and was crackling with energy in her slim frame and white salwar suit. This chick was a contrast of my reserved disposition and seemed too bubbly, chirpy and a bit pimply for my liking; yes she was all that and more as she smiled bit too much for no reason. The most interesting part of her was her father who looked like a villain from South Indian films in his white kurta pyjama and super dark complexion; whats more he even spoke like a villain when he asked me in his masala dosa accent “whaaatzz your ssaalarieee?” I really pity the guy who will have him as his father-in-law

Girl 2
This girl was the surprise pack of tour as this meeting was fixed only few days after my arrival, Mom and myself had to travel up north to meet this chick and her folks. This was a somewhat decent family though of modest means, the girl was young and working in Pune though her small town upbringing was all too evident. She had a very portly figure and was very nervous when we were left to talk alone. Had she been a bit slimmer and maybe smarter (or sexier) call here would have been different, but I am not very sure if a small town Tun Tun can be a good fit for me

Girl 3
Now this was like an old classic Doordarshan serial, we had travelled to an old South Indian town to see this girl but never knew about the awaiting surprise. The girl’s house seemed as if it had never seen Nerolac paint and appeared more of a clean cow shed than a living place with red brickstones and huge walls. This was a very traditional family and even more traditional house, it seemed as if I was visiting some ashram; also this girl’s father looked like a servant as for long I couldn’t place who that slum dweller seated on the nearby wooden chair really was. The girl on her part was too excited and could not stop talking when she was left alone to talk with me, when I told her I had studied at Hindu College she told me she had heard about this College located near a temple in Delhi! Seeing her and her house reminded me of Gandhi’s vision for India, he would have been proud of their family

Girl 4
Now this is what happens when you meet a hip metro girl after small towners. Have you ever tasted cappuccino after drinking filter coffee for long? The difference between new and old India is so amazing and was starkly evident when I met this attitude girl at a posh Bangalore hotel after having met all other low maintenance and less complicated chicks that I was completely caught off guard. This proposal was one of the best that I had received so far, coming from a well to do and close family friends who had been chasing us for more than two years. However after the meeting I am not sure who was more disappointed as I was completely taken by surprise by this girl’s approach. She asked about my job, career and future plans in minutest details and it was she who was always in command of our conversation. Coming from a very wealthy family I could easily detect her liberal upbringing and affluent lifestyle, which makes me all the more unsure if this will be the best match for me. What was more demeaning was her parting line at end of our talk “We will let you know”. Now I don’t think I was appearing for a job interview here

After meeting all these girls I am back to square one and also back to Muscat, not sure when I will get hitched. But who is in a hurry? After all marriages are made in heaven and suffered on earth

Thursday, October 27, 2011

India here I come

There are certain things in life which are expected to evoke and incite emotions, but when they don’t cause much scratch it puzzles more than it amazes. Tomorrow morning I fly to India on my first and only trip this year; while visiting back home should be exciting I am not very sure as to what I am feeling right now. Maybe it is because that it took a lot of effort for me to get here that I am not giving much to going back or maybe I am finally relieved being away; but whatever no one can deny that home is and will always remain home

I have an interesting menu on offer this time, after all I am now looking for my very own dulhan; tomorrow I fly to Bangalore where I will be joined by Mom along with whom I will scout around for couple of days before proceeding up north on my hunt. A week later I return to sadda Dilli; same environs I left back last year and not very sure if and when I will return. Apart from this there is other usual stuff – trip to Vaishno Devi, buying Indian authors, exploring investment options …visiting home can indeed be a stuffed bag

Being away from India, few things at times look a bit too different like for instance last year I found Delhi to be very noisy upon landing and total city to be too congested. However it is the same noise that we all are made of which I missed like anything yesterday when I had to pinch myself repeatedly to believe it was indeed Diwali for there were no loud celebrations visible in this Indian dominated city. Having got so much used to crackers, noise and smoke that make up Diwali I was badly missing the euphoria so decided to celebrate my own way and trudged off to watch RaOne premier, after a long time I could enjoy a typical Bollywood potboiler. In this city I have watched all sorts of films, its not that expensive here and also there’s not much else to do, so after going through all that mundane cinema seeing a real entertainer was good fun

On the aside going back also brings my own apprehensions to the fore; I was never too comfortable living with my folks and always wanted to be away. After coming abroad this will be my longest visit back, so don’t want any demons of past to come and haunt. There is no bigger wealth in the world than peace of mind and there is no bigger happiness than to be content in life; now that I am finally getting to taste a bit of what I desired I don’t want any of the bad days or any memories of it to come back

Looking forward to positive things, I have to wind up many things here before I fly and only have a day left, I am still listing down things to do as I type this. Its funny how we are always short of time, no matter how much we plan; those last minute runs are so much built in that they hardly surprise anymore. But hey am not complaining, all said and done its fun to go back…India here I come

Monday, October 17, 2011

Expect the unexpected

My life till now has not been too exciting that I can expect moons out of it but then I do not think I am wrong if I expect some stuff to go right sometime. But then someone up above seems to be having different plans for me each time something pertinent comes around

If you have read some of the below posts, you will know how much I cursed and cried while shifting to my new place. I have not settled in here fully yet and many times wonder couldn’t I have stayed back there a bit longer? Perhaps good things in life do not come often and when they do perhaps they are not meant to last long

Staying outside India, managing finances becomes a different ball game whose ropes I am just now beginning to understand. Thumb rule of the game is that it is easier to predict catastrophe but the fluctuating exchange rate should never be chanced upon; I am still ruing upon spilt milk as the exchange rate went up unexpectedly, a bit of prudence here and I may have made a bit more

In middle of all this my personal life or the lack of it, seems to have unexpectedly beaten all expectation of bearing any fruit. The year is almost drawing to a close with neither any signs nor any suitable marital prospects around; maybe there are some games I need to master a bit more

Meanwhile if all this was not enough, comes the unexpected and disturbing news of my firm reducing headcount in head office in Dubai. Last year after arriving in this country I had thought of doing away with job hunting and switching for a while, almost since the time I have started working I have always been looking around so thought its time to relax a bit but then for me perhaps it is a crime to expect any comfort even for a while. I started updating my resume only yesterday which itself seems a big chore now, maybe in this corporate jungle one has to be always on the go

Expectations are best mood spoilers for they cause dissatisfaction setting the bar too high at times. Perhaps life will become a wee bit easier if you always expect dirt, believe me then atleast the probability of getting hurt will diminish substantially. As I write this I am having a running nose and symptoms of cold, which again is unexpected in this hot desert country. How the fuck can anyone catch a cold in a place where 39 degree is considered pleasant? But then as I said expect the unexpected

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Who owns you?

For the first time in my life I decided to buy a book immediately after reading its review. As evident the storyline was so compelling that I could not hold myself back and immediately rang the bookstore to reserve a copy for me. My sister’s keeper has a storyline that is not only unique but touches a sensitive chord deep down somewhere in almost everyone who has a family. Some of you may have read the long back released book (2004) or seen the film (2007), so I will not elaborate any contents here but the book triggered such a forceful thought process that I have to pen down my own reflections.

How much of rights does one have over one’s offspring? How much of obligation does one have towards one family and more specifically siblings? Even in a Western society, where dominance of parents is much lower when compared to restricted Asia, child can be forced, albeit under very special and extraordinary circumstances to be a lifelong slave donating blood and body to save a dying kin. After kid gets some senses and begins searching for own identity, it is unable to separate its existence apart from being reduced to a savior of its sibling

The brilliantly crafted storyline does raise many wicked questions which have no answer. It is no secret that parents have a bias towards the weaker child which at times is seen as ignoring the better one. However the pertinent question raised here is of control than any undue favor. Do parents have a moral right over the child that they can dictate the way child lives? True that children owe their existence to parents but are there any boundaries that define the limit after which child is free to live his or her life. Don’t get me wrong for I know parents have the best of intention for all their children and even in this book they did the best possible for all three, but to save a dying child they had to specifically conceive another one who would act as a life long donor, only that life saving kid rebelled after growing up putting all in a moral quandary

It is true that parents have created us and given us boundless love; it is also true that they love us more than any wealth or fame and would selflessly stand by us fighting against the whole world but it is also true that all human beings have their own identity which no one can deny to them. No one owns anyone, neither mind nor body; its own attitude, ability and destiny which decides who gets what.

Consider this: will you give your kidney to save a close kin? Almost all of you will. Will you give your life if it could save someone you value? Some of you will. But are any of you willing to erase all your lived life and give up all your thoughts, actions and identity for any one? Think hard before answering

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To be or not to be

When I was growing up as a kid there was a huge tree near our playing area which all kids wanted to climb. I never ventured to climb the tree myself and was also baffled as to why everyone wanted to be up there, staying at the ground you were not losing anything and climbing up that tree was not making you wealthy or entitled to kisses from beauty queens. But then everyone around wanted to climb, boys and girls included, as if it will give them a stamp of approval and some recognition or acceptance. Not that those who somehow successfully climbed were always happy, infact some very enthusiastic climbers met a lot of pain on the way and their agony was indeed too big to be concealed. I don’t know why but one day I too decided to climb the tree myself thinking it will complete me in some way; till today I am not sure why on that day and at that age I wanted to climb

It is the same doubt which grips me today when I have decided to get married and am frantically looking around for someone compatible. Like the climbers on that tree I have seen many before me tying the dreaded knot and the experiences of all have been very varied to say the least. One blogger who I have been reading for more than 5 years now is feeling pangs of marital agony in a pitiful way and makes no attempt to conceal her misery; another ex-colleague simply goes offline whenever I bring topic of marriage forth and then there are others who are trying to keep everyone else except themselves happy.

A couple of years back my thoughts on settling down were way different from today, which I guess has something to do with the new and changed circumstances of life. While in India I was yearning to get away and now that I am finally in another land, it is completing the next stage of life that I look forward to. But simply having a good naukri does not mean a you look for a good chhokri, one has to be ready or made up for it; simply following those climbing the tree can even lead to broken bones.

What makes me more scared of marriage is my insipid disposition; I am not sure how I come across on this space but I am very far from being a mast kalandar. For starters I don’t smile and always keep a straight face, I don’t mix easily with new people and it is only when I am comfortable that I open up, I get pissed off by complications of females and hate shopping, my daily schedule is tad too disciplined from which I rarely digress….the list goes on and when I read “My Desired Partner” on matri sites, it makes me crouch badly. All these attributes make me an easy fodder for a sharp female and as my horoscope predicts, marital bliss is something I should not count on too much

Manytimes I ponder if I lack anything, I am now doing reasonably well in life and am sort of content after a long, long time. Getting hitched will bring its own basket of complications but the million dollar question is if jumping in marital fire worth it to risk everything?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Birthdays then and now

20th birthday

•Excitement builds up days in advance with much planning on how to blast the day
•On the day reach College early after attending morning calls from stinky relatives; thankfully not everyone had mobile those days so once out could easily escape
•Receive trendy gifts from trendy friends; Archies gallery was a famous stop those days to buy candy floss stuff, not sure if it still exists in Delhi
•Feels nice when close friends wish; feels nicer when someone wishes with a kiss
•Head out for day celebrations to nearby joints. Nirula’s used to be my favorite over McD and other vilayati invaders, loved the taste of chicken there
•How can I forget loads of daaru in hostel before returning home; if not anything atleast daaru made girls sneak into boys hostel
•In evening have a family affair with cutting of cake and evening dinner

30th birthday

•Till few days before I do not even remember my day is approaching as I have to shift to a new house which forces me to prepone my shifting by a day
•On the D day or rather B day, I wake up by the smell of dirt all around in my new flat as unpacking is yet to be completed. Sometime later I start receiving calls from India
•Later in the day I am confused when someone congratulates me, new house has taken much of my thought to think of anything else
•Since I have been forced to do something special, I head to a nearby quiet, elegant place for lunch with office folks. During lunch a bit of stoic silence follows since everyone is engrossed in their office politics thoughts
•Some people wishing ask me how old I have turned and when they hear 30 some reply “its high time”. Now birthdays are days to get high but perhaps my single status is a real bother for others
•I also receive calls from India and when they learn I am 30, next question is when coming back to India and settling down. I guess being 30 and single is punishable under Indian penal code
•Again few drinks in evening but without thrill; of course hiding and drinking in hostel gives a different high
•Before switching off for the day my thoughts again wander - no not planning for future but on how to set my new place…

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Europe travel diary (with details)

Day 1
I land up in Brussels Airport around afternoon all tired after long flight and as instructed take the bus below Arrivals which drops me at the hotel door. As I am being driven around I take a long and hard look at Brussels, which appears like a chocolate factory with all centuries old architecture on display. I enter my hotel and find it to be a Paharganj type place with narrow stairs and creepy surroundings. In the evening I step out and venture in wrong direction trying to explore the city and end up wondering where in the world have I come! God I want to return soon

Day 2
I go to the nearby square to catch the city tour bus and am on way to see Brussels. The city is not bad at all but you must carry an umbrella with you and have loads of patience to wait for your bus otherwise the Grand Palace and city square is a delight. By late afternoon I am finished with city touring when I spot the City Parade. Wow what fun it is with those fancily dressed babes, all people bless God for creating white flesh. In the evening I have couple of beers after which I head to a nearby city strip bar but near the entrance I spot a rogue looking creature eying me badly. When we are alone he unzips and exposes himself seeing which I run like hell. No more bars on this trip

Day 3
I wake up completely tired with legs aching from previous day. I have to take a long train journey to Luxembourg but thankfully tickets are not pre-booked so I can schedule my day the way I like. Luxemburg is a tiny country with nothing much to offer and would have been better skipped although it is an ideal camping destination but then I didn’t come here for camping. While returning I make friends with a Pakistani seated on the opposite train seat, only time I speak at length with someone

Day 4
Thankfully legs are not paining much as I have to be in time for train to Paris. Missing a train here is not option for it leaves you stranded with nowhere to go so reluctantly I walk to Brussels Midi station. Train arrives on time in Paris and once I board the city bus Paris makes my head go round and round. I have never seen anything so regal and grand ever in my life nor do I think many cities can match Paris for its grandeur. I am yet to visit NYC but yes I have seen Paris in this life

Day 5
By now I am a lot tired and am wondering why I did not think of a shorter trip before. I have had a bad night so am half asleep when I check out of Brussels for Cologne. Train arrives on time in Cologne but city has nothing new to offer, I am also grossly tired and only take a small city tour which proves listless. Germany, unlike France and Italy, is not a major tourist destination so Germans too are colder and less acceptable to browns. Only thing I liked in Cologne was my lovely hotel located near the cathedral which turned to a bustling hip meeting joint after dark

Day 6
I arrive in Amsterdam before noon and the city on first impression appears shady; every 5 minutes I keep checking if my Passport and camera are intact. I check into my hotel which is a bit more than a military barrack after which I head out on the city hop on-hop off bus. The city has nothing much to offer except paintings of Van Gogh, Rembrandt, hiding place of a Jew teen and the Royal Palace. During evening I head out to Red Light district and this is where action is. Girls in bikinis pose invitingly in dimly lit cubicles behind which are small rooms with narrow beds. Negotiation and service is so open that many females and families also walk around casually. I spot a young Indian couple also exploring around; though not sure what they wanted. I ask a chick if she will reduce her rates for reduced action but she blasts me off

Day 7
I leave Amsterdam and arrive in Brugge by late afternoon. It’s a long journey with train switching at Antwerp but must say Brugge is pretty. I again get a good hotel by the train station and after lunch march off to the city. There is nothing much to see if you are looking for something specific but Brugge is pretty as pretty can be. Narrow canals, open chocolate factories, centuries old buildings, traditional European architecture, horse drawn carts still in use – Brugge appears to be straight out of a Hansel and Gratel book. I go around a bit and then settle with some wine and food at the city square; this city is safe so one can stay outside after dark

Day 8
Its my last day and I am glad to be heading back. I check out of hotel early and after buying beer to sustain me on train I reach Brussels Airport to be early for my delayed flight back to Muscat. One journey ends many more yet to come

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Europe travelogue

I returned from my much awaited Europe trip yesterday and must say it was all what I thought it to be. Europe cannot be described in words much because not many words can express the beauty of the place or the vibrancy of those open cities but must say all the countries and cities I travelled to had a lot to offer

For starters a visit to Paris in your lifetime is a must. I have been to few international places and am still outside India but Paris beats anything that you have seen by long. At first glance city looks like an antique piece and not the modern city I expected it to be, but once you start going round the places the city will simply take your breath away. I landed in the complex of Louvre museum and could not keep my mouth closed after seeing the mind-bogglingly beautiful complex (and mind you I did not even enter the museum because of the long queue). Later on Eiffel Tower, Sienne river, French military academy and Napoleon’s Tomb followed but bhaiyon behenon Paris is something uniquely different, and I say this after visiting four other countries on the way.

Other places I visited were also interesting but very similar to each other. Almost all places in Europe offer the same menu – World War memorials and architecture, few museums, zoos, strip bars, cathedrals, churches and a happening city square where you can relax after a hard day of sight-seeing with a beer or wine and ogle at all the whites enjoying around or some even making out. Brussels is a good European city but after a couple of days has nothing much to offer; Luxembourg is tiny and small; Germany and Germans are the coldest people possible; Flanders upwards in Belgium is a scenic delight; I was expecting a lot from Amsterdam but it is actually a Bangkok in disguise with only flesh on offer

This trip has blown a big hole in my pocket and manytimes even while going round the city tours I often wondered if this really is worth all that I am doling out. I was all alone for the journey without company so its not that as if I had a big blast with friends or girl friends but I have my reasons for this extravagance. I am still a bachelor and for the first time in life have some pocket change so wanted to make the most of it. As far as being alone, Europe is safe and organized and to be honest I never had a chance to feel alone since almost everyday I was in a new country. Perhaps the only time I could feel pangs of loneliness was during those long train journeys when I could only stare out of the windows as goras don’t mix-up much with browns

Maybe a shorter tour would have been better and a bit economical but then again you live life just once so no regrets. While in India I never even got to see Taj Mahal properly and now I am here having completed a good Eurotrip

Europe is definitely an ideal holiday spot worth every penny spent. For anyone wanting to see Europe on a budget, camping in Brussels is a good idea for the city is cheaper and safer compared to other flashy cities and importantly from there one can take day trips to Paris and Amsterdam which will give a good flair of Europe. Else watch DDLJ again and wish you too had a Raj or Simran for company!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Off to Europe

How excited can you get when something you have been planning for long finally comes near? This weekend I fly off to Europe on a much planned vacation and as I type these words, I can already feel the excitement pumping up. Since May I have been busy on finding the right spot to vacation and the numerous changes in plan have made me a Europe expert of sorts; initial plan was Greece but then it was ticked off, now it is west Europe and somewhere in between Britain was also on map until London erupted. There were hurdles innumerous too; never easy to plan with friends in another country as a result my buddy from Doha will not be joining and I will have to do it alone now

I am spending a bomb on this trip and this morning I was awake thinking if it is worth it to dole out so much which will leave nothing much apart from Facebook snaps. It is only last year after moving out of India that I have some dough with me and spending so much so soon may not be exactly prudent but then my excitement past few months was way too high to limit myself anywhere. Perhaps I should have reduced my days when I knew I would be alone but then Europe is too inviting to limit one’s plans with almost all places nearby and connected. So I land up in Brussels and from there take trips to Luxemburg and Paris before moving to Cologne and then Amsterdam (God save me from whores here, I will be alone at night) before returning back to catch return flight via Flanders in northern Belgium. Almost everyday of next week I will be in a new country (5 countries in 6 days) and will be spending a lot of time on trains or maybe even waiting for it

Since I will be alone I have been warned to be cautious especially in big, bad cities and also advised to turn back after dark which will sadly make me miss a bit of much desired bachelor fun but then no point in taking unnecessary risks. Also since I will be travelling a lot, either on foot or on rails I will have to do away with my lovely laziness for a while and be punctual for no one helps in angrez land if you miss your scheduled train and end up with no place to hide

So much for now doston, will surely update here first after return

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Things I am looking forward to

There are things we look forward to in life and keep ardently praying for them to materialize but as it happens often in life, when one niggling thing belatedly settles down the other shortly raises its ugly head making the bucket list change constantly. However at present I do have some stuff on my plate keeping me on the edge

Moving to new place: if you have read the below post you will know that shifting abode now is my least favorite activity. I had just begun to settle into this place when I have to again find a new one. I have looked a couple of places around and am also applying for a rent advance from my firm, but somewhere deep down I keep wondering: couldn’t I have stayed here for some time more?

Europe trip: I had initially booked tickets for Greece but had to alter my plans going by the disturbances there. Now Brussels, Amsterdam and maybe some other cities stand on agenda but sad part is I may have to do this trip alone as my buddy was denied a Visa

Driving license: getting a driving license in this country is akin to getting a PhD. I have never been a good driver but the miserable performance I have given in my two tests so far, it seems ages before I will get my ticket to drive. Getting a license is also an expensive process here and I am already bleeding with the high costs

Planning India visit: for most, planning annual visit to India includes stuff like gifts for family, meeting friends, visit to local shrine etc. For me it includes all this and more as I will also be travelling down South on my long bridehunt. I don’t know why in this era also caste continues to play a vital role in Indian arranged marriages, I guess India actually lives in five centuries – there are those who raise the roof in male strip parties in Mehrauli and then there are also those who are still ruled by khap panchayats not so far away

So some of you guys think this is not enough? If so tell me I am ready to trade places here!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving out sucks

On this New Year’s eve I moved in to a new apartment; first time I had seen this place I was over the moon because the well-furnished, carpeted and spacious place was coming at steal of a price and I knew that I wanted to live there forever. My joy was all the more because I had got robbed at the previous place like anything, I was charged a high rent as the crooked flat guy was aware that I was new to this country which made me an easy prey. He was also not willing to return my deposit later and it took intervention of local authorities and much swearing by him to part with a fraction of my deposit. My new flat mate although much elder in age (most people in this city are oldies for that), is a real angel compared to him - he prepares breakfast for me on weekends, shares all his stuff including washing machine and we also hang out sometimes. And if someone is living with me he will soon know my idea of good time has to include booze, so yes he is company. Living with him is real bliss, I only have to ignore his extra-marital affair (his sexy daughters also have stud boyfriends in Delhi so guess it sort of runs in the family)

Last evening after dinner he dropped a bombshell when he told me that he is moving out as flat owner is increasing rent and he plans to shift to another cheaper locality nearer to his workplace. Now he had been hinting for a long time that he may be vacating for varied reasons but somewhere deep down I was praying for him to continue as I knew getting such a luxurious place in the main district at this rent again was almost impossible. His moving out has caught me by surprise and bad one at that for it was after a lot of searching and newspaper ads that I had found this hidden heaven; the idea of going through the grind again in less than eight months does not excite me one bit

Since last night I have been toying with idea of renting a complete apartment myself and then sub-letting a part of it to share the rent which seems a better proposition rather than me jumping into someone’s abode. In my previous place I was all the time eagerly looking to move out while in my present place I never wanted to quit, but I guess fate always has other plans. My own plan of settling down in life is taking a lot of time as the bride hunt is yet to yield any fruits (unsure if it will be sweet or sour), so as of now I will have to plan living in a bachelor shanty only. Renting a complete apartment also makes sense as I do not have any plans of moving out of this city anytime soon, so taking up a place and then gradually setting it up seems logical

Living a bachelor life alone in a distant city is surely exciting and has its many gains but then one also has to fend for oneself all alone. However this freedom is something I have craved for long so I cannot complain but hey I have to fix a good, cheap and comfortable place for me first…anyone around listening?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

That Push

Today morning while aimlessly surfing I stumbled upon a new blog of a young married woman who is getting attracted to another man. Her husband is a straight scrupulous bloke who is everything good that good can be but I guess is not much of fun while the other man is a bit of adventurer and has an attractive streak in him, which has not diminished even after fathering two kids. She is in a dilemma whether to take her illicit affair to another level now, obviously she is lusting for the new man which she can’t hide but it is the moral scruples which is holding her back. I make-out that its not as if her husband is less affectionate, but any thoughts of her receiving any adulation at home makes her want to sleep with new man even more

Perhaps after sometime she will sleep with her new man, perhaps she will enjoy the thrill of doing it and may make a habit of it, perhaps the new man will give her all she wants except commitment and not perhaps but sure she will be left with a broken heart and more misery at end of it. I am also sure that the woman in question is aware of all these consequences and knows the road she is contemplating to travel upon will not have a pleasant end but at same time she is irresistibly unable to hold herself back, even after fully knowing that her chosen path is badly doomed. Her story is not an isolated case for I know of so many young females who fall for men being fully aware that promised Eden is never going to materialize and someday soon thorns are going to prick and prick deep; but for their own weaknesses cannot control themselves and yearn to join a long list of dumped and wounded mistresses. I know it is the bad boys who attract more and why should they not, no one wants to sleep with goody two shoes who is totally lacking in passion; after all everyone knows what thrill making out with a tall dark bad boy in a hidden dingy shack can give.

Coming back to the should-I-sleep woman, perhaps all she needs is a push to take the bold step; a nudge from anywhere telling her what she is thinking is not a crime but only natural and she will willingly jump to bed, after all she is half obsessed and half desirous of the bad man. I am ranting off for her because some years back I too was in a dilemma, given in to lust and somewhere deep down wanting to hit the bed but held back by moral pangs until some bloggers around here encouraged me to go ahead. We all need a gentle push, a nudge or a nod approving and recognizing innate dark desires; asking us to take the plunge in deep waters and not muse too much at the shores; believe me it takes only one voice of support for unzipping to start, consequences be damned

Later today I will comment on her blog asking her to chose a good hotel

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Better to be away

Few days back I received disturbing news of demise of an acquaintance from India. At first I was a bit down but got over soon however what made me think hard was the strange behavior of her brother, a childhood chum of mine. After their father’s suicide, for no apparent known reason till now, my friend had abandoned his family and relocated to a distant city refusing to return ever. All pleas by his grieved family to come back fell on deaf ears with him even refusing to even recognize his folks, a pledge he maintained to an extent that he bizarrely skipped the last rites of his deceased sister. Perhaps he may have discovered some dark family secrets after his father’s suicide which may have prompted his self-imposed exile but we will never know

Another example which rushes to my mind is of a cousin living in Delhi who too left his folks and moved out to Dwarka following a tiff at his place. He also has been pleaded frequently to return but he too remains adamant never to come back and I am somewhat convinced that he too will never walk back

Now its no secret that I too am not excessively fond of my people back home and was long craving to leave dusty shores of dear motherland but thankfully I had the option of coming out for career reasons. Being a working professional comes with a perk of exploring options in different parts of the world and even exploring an alternate career which may at times bring you to an alternate city. Coming back to the new fashion of abandoning home, I could not help but think how many of those languishing in dysfunctional families back home would actually be yearning to run away. The above two examples are extreme for both of them perhaps had no options with neither having a good career to talk about, which limited their options of moving out with grace or valid reason. In a way I am grateful that I moved out, albeit a bit late, but without any unnecessary acrimony or rancor which could have spoiled the already delicate relations irreparably

However I must confess that past some time has been a bit different for me; although I still feel the painful pangs of sour relations but I guess distance has smoothened and balmed things in a way. The earlier abhorrence and resentment is still there, and may continue for some time, but it doesn’t come with that earlier gargantuan force now. What may have contributed to this good change, apart from the obvious distance, is that now I am looking forward to some good things in life like future spouse, holiday in Europe etc and also have a somewhat better career here. I guess time and distance do heal things somewhat, which may thankfully be the case with me too; but I guess for harmony and acceptance to first set-in, it is always better to be away

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A bit of pondering, torrid heat and planned holiday

There are times in life when mundane routine sets in and things which seemed exciting previously now become kind of habitual, its like if you party every weekend then the excitement withers off a bit for how much of a joy and high can the same wildness give. Perhaps that’s why I see so many around indulging with opposite gender to keep up the excitement pump though some also suffer hard falls and gut wrenching heartbreak, maybe my regular blogpals will understand this more. In a way its good to take a break and lead a dreary existence for a while, getting habituated to too much fun and adventure makes one inadaptable and prone to misery; my close buddy is leaving this country soon kicking away a brilliant career just because he misses Bandra and is unable to find a glamorous lifestyle here. A good dating life and frequent one night stands can give unparalleled ecstasy but can also lead to doom sooner than anticipated, its like a cracker which bursts bright but what eventually remains is a black burnt hole. Quest for excitement may bring new things but not all of which maybe exactly undamaging

Speaking of new things heat in this city comes with a new force every year around, its hard to imagine any place hotter than this. Both my balls are nearly burnt by the sweaty perspiration; perhaps the only way to remain cool is to sit inside an air conditioner rather than near it. Last night I was so drenched in sweat that even bedsheets had got a bit wet, no its got nothing to do with me touching myself. Even walking upto the car park can induce a burning sensation all across limbs and ribs; I am not sure if survival is possible if it gets even a bit hotter than this, my face has already turned a bit dark and may soon resemble the complexion of my lovely balls if the heat persists

Meanwhile I have booked my tickets for Greece in August end; it took a lot of thought and cost research to decide amongst the European destination choices fitting in my kitty but as of now it’s the Greek islands and beaches which await me, the only possible hitch being the economic turmoil in that country which may cause a last minute change of plan. However I can’t keep myself from surfing every now and then about the exciting white beaches and the accompanying abundant skin display; maybe that’s what is the required necessary excitement I was talking about!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Varieties: chose your bride

With some of my blogpals now contemplating arranged marriage, it may be helpful if I show the way around a path I have been attempting to traverse for some time now. Finding a right match for yourself is never easy, saying No is even tougher and being confident about your choice is the toughest. Scouting around though is not hard in this internet age, you can always use this very machine you are reading this from; logging on to matri-sites does give a lot of interesting and hitherto unknown options some of which can leave one baffled and puzzled. However it should be kept in mind that writing about one self to attract right life partner is tricky and many present their garden with different shades of roses and thorns

Juhi Chawla types
“I am a simple loving caring and giving girl and these are the qualities I look forward in my life partner also. He should be honest sincere and understanding, in short someone who can keep me happy and treats my parents the way he treats his.”
Don’t know why but this reminds me of Juhi and her innocent charm

Khadoos baap types
“Our daughter is right blend of tradition and modernity. She is homely, respectful and hardworking; does not have any show-offs and is emotionally content. Convent educated with a B Sc in Nutrition and diploma in hygiene, now working in a big company. Boy should be decent without any bad habits”
If above was Juhi then his must be her father from Hum Hain Raahi Pyaar kein…

Fun types
“Can dance at night, recite Shantaram from page 1 and enjoy going out. I am a very fun loving person who can give anyone good company. My hobbies include dancing, painting, singing…….My family and friends mean the world and I can’t live without them nor can they be happy without me. I am looking for someone who can be a part of me and expect all he wants in return.”
You seen Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na….Genelia D’Souza anyone?

Air India types
Namaste! I am Khushbu presently working as a customer care executive in a reputed firm in Noida. I have completed MCA from Noida and currently pursuing MBA from Pune. My friends describe me as fun and confident”
Reading this reminds me of Air India welcome Namashkar Air India ke vimman main aap ka swagat hain. Kuchh hi der main hamara vimaan Dilli ke liye rawana hoga, aasha hain ki aapki yatra mangal may ho. Dhanywaad”

Practical types
Looking for someone who can understand me and be a support in all my ups and downs. If you feel you can support and respect a person and not feel jealous of anyone’s success then contact me. Those who want just a doormat as wife stay away”
Reading this you can imagine her in bespectacled frame and no-nonsense look

In middle of all varieties I am as confused as a kid when asked to chose between kebabs, dosa or omelets – they are all so different and can’t be sure if it will be as per your taste or liking.

Lastly I am not sure if arranged marriages are only for convenience, may be a bit like Abhishek- Aishwarya who look so loveless and look miles apart as if strangely put together

Sunday, May 22, 2011


You know you are leading a content life when

•You can afford to get up late everyday because you don’t have to drive to office which is at a stone’s throw from your door

•In office you have a corner seat where you can surf with no one watching the hidden monitor

•You enjoy your work and are grateful to be working here

•If you don’t have much work in office you can do what you like which these days includes planning a holiday in Europe

•Slowly your thoughts ponder to planning for a bright future rather than grimace about morbid past

•You get to booze with friends a lot and if that’s not happening visit cabaret bars on weekends

•You have been watching so many movies off late that hardly a weekend goes without hitting nearby cinema hall

•Your old buddy tells you that you look much relaxed in latest snaps than the grave expression you always carried in India

•You have not planned your next trip to India because you like this city and what it has offered you

•You look at your bank balance and are thankful to atlast have risen above earlier penury

•You are so relaxed these days that can’t think of a topic to blog!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who knows thou?

One of the reasons bloggers remain anonymous is because it allows a greater freedom of expression; there is no fear of being judged or being caught with your pants down. Anonymous blogging does allow one to let go and not hold back, infact it leads to self-discovery and individual identity in ways more complex than simple. It is not as if anonymous bloggers get away with murder or remain beyond law simply because they are unrecognizable, it just gives them a veil which removes fear of being judged to some extent; I add emphasis to some here because I know one blogger who is unwilling to be too candid even in comments section lest she be judged although she is anonymous!

There is a widespread misgiving that anonymous blogging allows one to do or rather write mischievous stuff which may not have been possible under real name; I agree to this to some extent but being anonymous also allows an unhindered expression of hidden self thereby resulting in a free flow of words and emotions; can anyone blog about his loneliness, desires, broken relationships etc under real name? Some people do and I commend their bravery but imagine meeting a sweet smiling face with no apparent traces of corruption visible, but a quick search on Google will soon spill the hidden secrets behind the camouflaged smile; nobody wants to be there for whatever it may be worth

However remaining anonymous does not deprive one of any blogging joys that real name bloggers may enjoy, infact every blogger has an own support group who understands the real person, no matter if real name is not known. Blogging does give a shoulder to cry, a place to rest and solace to the despised; I for one can vouch with both my hands up that my blog is my best friend for I share secrets, rejoice and cry with it like I do nowhere else even if it doesn’t know my odd sounding name

A major criminal forcing some bloggers to hide their real identity is Google baba. I used to write a blog way back in 2004 under my real name but the blog died prematurely as unknown people soon started knowing less known stuff about me; infact I gave up expressing on WWW altogether since dirty curiosity had now become everyone’s favorite pastime. I recall at about same time that I was attempting to blog Indiatimes ran a contest wherein readers had to write about their first sexual experience and like a fool I wrote in from my real name e-mail ID. Soon I started receiving gay proposals and requests for gay encounters, some were even willing to pay! Years later that write-up still showed on my real name Google search, a major cause for my remaining edgy in all job interviews

Lastly remaining anonymous is not a license to sin, it is only a convenient mode to express without guilt. Blogging is about being free and unleashing the hidden character uninhibitedly, it is very less to do with real name; after all whats in a name?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mood swings

I am not sure if there is a male version of PMS or if any hormonal changes take place with change of season but I have been climbing up and down mood elevator once too often for past some days

*Holiday in Swiss Alps – planning a holiday in Switzerland is a guaranteed mood elevator; no matter if you can travel or not only the planning of what you will do in Zurich or Interlaken is enough to give you a spring. Only thing do not go too much into the cost aspect or try discovering hidden costs in fancy tours, which can be a real spoiler. Just sit back and plan, you will be surprised to find yourself in orbit for sometime

*Good appraisal brought down – now we all crave appreciation at work and I was delighted to find good words about me in my appraisal form. Being my first year in this job I was delighted to be recognized; however superbosses in Head Office had other plans and brought down my rating in name of moderation. Now that royally sucks

*Old college pal tying the knot and reminiscing old days – always good to exchange mails with old chums especially if they have been with you through the most exciting days. I was happy for my friend tying the knot and sending me pics; only wish those carefree days could last a little longer

*Morbid thoughts on marriage – deciding to getting married is like buying an expensive lottery ticket, you see only a handful winning and smiling while majority lose out, only extent of loss and despair vary though all had bought lottery tickets with some dreams and plans. Off late I have really been thinking is marriage so essential?

*Best buddy may not come – I had been planning which cabaret bars to visit and which booze to buy when my close buddy comes calling but now it seems Muscat may not be in his tour diary. There was so much to talk, holidays to plan but that will have to wait for sometime

*Landlord leaving – lastly you come home after a hard moody day at office and last thing you need is a house vacate notice! My landlord has made up his mind to return to India and soon I may be on the road; I had moved in only recently and was on the moon to get such a well furnished comfortable place dirt cheap but I guess someone up there is keeping a watch on my happiness and never allows it to go too high, pulling the rug at most inopportune moments

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Muscat I love you

There is an old practice of introducing a new chicken to a farm when all other chickens are asleep. When other chickens wake up they mistake the new chicken to be one of their flock and treat the new entrant as if it had been a part of them for long, seeing the bonhomie the new chicken also forgets that he is new here; my initiation into Muscat, exactly one year back, was also something very similar

It was with a mix of emotions on this day last year that I took a flight out of India and stepped into this new country unsure of what awaits me; I was not at all confident if I would be able to survive here let alone thrive and armed only with courage and fortitude I had no choice but to make a success of my stay here battling all odds.

I vividly remember the first few days of my new life discovering Muscat and its people; it all seemed so familiar that I now think I always belonged here. Looking back I guess within a fortnight of landing I was all at home and knew living here would never be tough, infact it has turned out to be much more comfortable than imagined. As the days passed by I surprisingly discovered more about myself than the new place. First I can live alone or rather live better when alone; second I seek and enjoy company of like minded folks but doesn’t mean I can’t survive with others; and lastly the basics of myself will remain same irrespective of where I stay and I mean this in a positive way

It is amazing the kind of relief a long desired dawn can bring, more so if it happens after an agonizingly long wait. Now it seems the long wait for Visa was worth it; I have found my feet here and am grateful to be away from all the ills that had dogged my life before I came here. However when I say that I am enjoying myself here it doesn’t mean I have painted the town red, this city is a bit lifeless still I am thankful to be here for many characteristics of Muscat match with my personality – well organized with all elements present in balance, not too loud, free and liberal lifestyle, absolutely unchaotic though slightly sleepy and an under running underbelly with all dark deeds happening in darkness keeping many unaware.

Oh in the middle of all this I should not forget that I also got a bit of romance and flirting, it was so much fun when it was going strong; sadly this has gone on a bit of back burner off late with the chick getting a new job but there is always hope

As I conclude first year of my new life, I sincerely wish that it stays with me for long; it has taken a good time to arrive and it is only fair that it should not leave or disappear in a hurry. I look forward to seeing more raunchy dances in cabaret bars, more boozing with pals, a holiday in Europe, recognition in my job and maybe a new chick who is a bit more uninhibited…but more importantly I now look forward to life with hope, enthusiasm and anticipation

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Its love that matters

Yesterday morning I woke up in a foul and grumpy mood, which is not too unusual for someone trying to wipe out scars of a suppressive past and afraid to face the predicted acrimonious future. While getting ready for office and bathing under the shower dark thoughts of morbid past kept cropping up and my perpetual insecurity of having a future as joyless as some days in past kept raising its ugly head time and again. Thankfully when I moved into office I had a lot of work in store and being an HR guy many employee issues had to be sorted; while I was banging my head with some irate employees deep down I was also thankful that at least I have some respite from dealing with my own demons, work pressure is peanuts if you have dealt with depression ever, maybe not depression per se but that aloofness arising from uneasy relations.

By afternoon I was again about to slip into that dreaded sad and melancholic state, when I received a reply to my earlier e-mail from an old buddy. Now this guy was my colleague and langotiya yaar from previous job, who is now relocating to a nearby place in this part of the world from Bangalore. Seeing his mail made me jump with joy and after more exchange of mails, we started preparing our holiday plans; doesn’t matter if the holidays are still six months away. The first plan was for a suggested vacation in Seattle where we have another buddy; I called up US embassy here in Muscat but the long drawn Visa process and huge costs punctured my mood, now why on earth does this country have to have such Visa procedures even for a short visit! Next on line was London, but this guy has been there couple of times before so not sure if he would be game. I checked few other destinations in Europe, all too glamorous and expensive but c’mon this is going to be a real vacation, and for someone who has never been to West, a bit of cost should be okay. We ultimately decided that if nothing works out we will make a dash to Istanbul, cheap and nearby; so yours truly may (a big may that is) fly out in August

What was remarkable for me was that after back and forth exchange of these mails and the exciting travel plans being drawn up, my despair of morning had totally evaporated. After those two hours of frantic mail exchange post lunch and my promise to my buddy to show him cabaret bars around and our plans to raid some exotic international locale, I was so cheerful and excited that I myself was surprised. What had changed so soon was perhaps abhorrence and resentment giving way to fondness and liking; I am fond of my friend hence elated at the prospect of an exciting bachelor vacation, I despise some left behind folks so have been avoiding my visit to India though its due now

In life nothing matters as much as love; I love my buddy hence dance at his impending visit and the good times we are bound to share, I do not love some other folks so much whom I end up cursing. Its love that matters, rest all is worthless

Sunday, April 3, 2011

10 things to learn from Dhoni

1.Inspire self- belief – this win would not have been possible had the leader not inspired; all world champion teams have been led by inspirational captains like Kapil, Imran, Border and Waugh

2.Take bold decisions and back them – leadership is all about taking decisions and backing them. Dropping Ashwin and bringing back Nehra in a high pressure game was indeed bold but it paid off

3.Mask your emotions – I have never seen Dhoni go hyper on field or vent out emotions; even after lifting the Cup his face was calm. This counts a lot in tense moments with billion eyes watching you

4.If you show confidence in your folks, chances are they will deliver – some years back Sehwag was dropped for a final in Australia and instead Praveen Kumar was picked. Praveen responded by picking four wickets

5.Admit mistakes – not many captains would have admitted giving last over to Nehra was a bad call but this guy did

6.Never mix personal and professional life – Dhoni could have had flings with actresses or been a party boy like Jadeja or Yuvraj, but he remains a private person. I really admire his marriage, the way no known had a clue about the wedding or the chosen girl

7.Keep your feet on the ground - I never thought that this gawky wicketkeeper with long hair chosen for Bangladesh tour in 2005 would one day be such a big star. But this new age Kapil Dev has never forgotten his small town roots

8.Body language makes lot of difference – right from the time he promoted himself up the order and came out to bat in finals, his body language meant business. Remember Viv Richards and his famous swagger? Many opposing teams lose on field when they see so much confidence

9.Be aware that team is made-up of different characters of which no two are similar – Dhoni has never tried to reign in Sreesanth or Yuvraj, he knows they are different characters and need some antics to perform

10.Lastly dream big and believe in them, one day they will come true – Dhoni is about a month younger to me and like him I too dreamt of India winning the World Cup one day. I am sure like me, Dhoni too would have stood in front of bathroom mirror while growing up and imagined speaking from Lord’s balcony or lifting Sachin on shoulders for a victory lap. Only difference between me and Dhoni is that my dreams broke with the mirror

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last night I had a dream

Last night I had a dream. I was alone seated in dark when Fear passed by; I jumped upon seeing Fear upon which Fear laughed and said “I thrive in darkness, you keep light away and still jump upon seeing me..hahaha” I then looked around and found Loneliness and Anxiety staring at me; I wanted them to go away but they would simply not move; I tried to shoo them away, warned them to leave and spoke loudly but they would not budge. Loneliness looked at me and said “Why do you want me to leave, I am your constant companion; you look back at your life and I have always been with you. Now that your life is seeing a new dawn does not mean I will leave all of a sudden. I will keep coming back, no matter if you like it or not.” Anxiety also looked at me and said “I have been visiting you for some time and I will keep appearing in your life now and then; but hey don’t think you can do away with me. After all I have been invited by a distant cousin of mine Self Doubt; he gives me a buzz and I come running here whenever he wins over his bitter rival Confidence”

It was dark all around but I started running as fast as I could; away from Fear, Loneliness and Anxiety. After some hard running I stumbled and fell down with a big bang when I heard laughter; it was Pain shining in glory. I looked quizzically at Pain and he retorted “Don’t look surprised my friend, I am an inevitable part of everyone’s life. Those who accept me live better, but those who keep running like you always fall on their face, the way you have done. My friend Fear would have met you and running scared from him always brings people like you to me; Fear is my best friend for he helps bring pigs like you fall in front of me” I tried to get up and run away but could still hear Pain say “run as fast as you can but I am inevitable”

I continued running till I found some familiar surroundings; I wanted to relax here but instead started feeling restless, I looked around and spotted Despair grinning at some distance “hey where have you been all these days, have been missing you for sometime now. I gave you good company but now I miss you”. I was aghast and replied “I never miss you, in fact I am happy to get rid of you, now get lost” I turned around and saw Past staring at my face but unlike Despair he was not smiling. Breaking his frown Past blasted “where do you think you are running? I will always come back to haunt you whenever you try to run. I and Despair used to be your constant companions and at times Pain and Anxiety too joined in but now you want to run! Let me see where you go for you can never rewrite me”

Ignoring Past I ran again but no matter how fast I ran I could always see Past somewhere behind. Still I ran and ran till I came to a spot where I felt somewhat relaxed; a passerby offered me some water after which Past looked blurred, I was extremely pleased and expressed my gratitude to the strange looking passerby who introduced himself as Relief; I must admit I have never met a better person, I am sure anyone will be happy to meet Relief

I continued running and upon going some further distance I saw Anxiety again waiting for me, I turned around and suddenly saw Hope; with Hope nearby Anxiety was nowhere to be seen. Hope put his hands on my shoulder and gently said “my buddy Relief told me to find you here. Don’t worry unnecessarily about Anxiety; he never comes around when I am here. But remember you need to have faith in me else that rotten scoundrel Anxiety will keep coming back. I know you yearned for me even when Past was grilling you, but you need not worry as long as I am around. I am sure you know that well by now” I again looked at Anxiety who looked blurred with Hope around; I clung on to Hope and saw Anxiety disappear.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Is it really worth it?

As someone who is contemplating matrimony self doubts keep creeping in now and then and when combined with external factors manifest themselves in such big forms that I shudder at what I am getting into. Few days back Mom called up informing what some stupid astrologers had to say of my horoscope, if astrology is to be believed I am nearly committing suicide because my wife will be dominating, cruel and spiteful; now I have been advised on the acrimonious marriage predicted in my horoscope since time immemorial which makes me wonder is marriage worth it?

Idiotic astrology aside I am aware marriage is and never will be easy, more so for me. At times I wonder whats wrong with my single life; I never feel having missed out on anything and am kinda saved from all the complications that tangled relationships bring. But sub-consciously I am also aware that if and when I do settle down, leading a harmonious existence will be tougher than finding Yeti; read below if you want to know why

*I am too soft and non-assertive as a person and till now have only been dominated. I have had it in life if I end up with someone who is tez and chalu chant
*I don’t know how I come across on this blog but I am kind of cold, reserved and distant. Successful marriages demand partners who are loving, caring and affectionate; virtues which are somewhat unknown to me
*I get ticked off by girly things and tantrums; infact I can’t stand nakhras and hate shopping
*I am too much seedha and anyone can take me for a ride; moreso the teda fairer sex who are known to have good doses of greed and jealousy
*I like my solitude and many times don’t feel like coming out. Also I don’t mix easily and tend to become choosy in selecting company
*I kind of lack care and sensitivity and become too curt when ticked off. I know this is explosive & inflammable stuff in any relationship
*I am a bit melancholic and lead a dreary existence, a far cry from the fun and excitement which relationships demand
*Now this is something I have never said before but I avoid responsibility, perhaps why most stuff in my life has got delayed
*Its no secret that I have uneasy relations with my people, an easy picking for anyone wanting to make mincemeat of me and rule the roost
*I know that I sometimes write funny stuff but in general I have a serious disposition and mostly look for intellectual stuff not shopping bags

With all the sacrifice and pain that marriages and relationships bring I can’t help but wonder is it really worth it?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Life changes every four years

Cricket World Cups are indeed one of the most exciting and looked forward to events in our country; infact I doubt if anything parallels the euphoria and excitement of this event, tinge of which I can feel even here outside India. World Cups are an important milestone and after having watched repeated reruns on TV of past World Cups during bygone weeks, I couldn’t help but smile how my life has changed with every Cup that I can recall

This was a young boy just understanding the game and life. An age of pure innocence, the world seemed to comprise of Hansel and Gratel characters; I wish growth was less associated with loss of innocence

The young pup had now begun growing up and was grappling with adolescence, that too in a hostel with hardened molesters for company. I recall the India Lanka game in Delhi, many had escaped to watch it live on ground and remaining were glued in TV room, while I had a sizzling hot make-out, one of my firsts, in a closed dorm

This was the age when dreams were made. I had just finished high school and was about to change cities moving to Delhi, where I would reside for the next decade. I was also dealing with my first heartbreak, something so common for this tender age; infact I don’t think cricket was much on my mind as I now discover many hitherto unseen games of this edition during numerous TV reruns

The malaise gripping my present life had just begun to set-in, only I had failed to recognize the initial symptoms. I was about to finish my studies in a year and was eagerly looking forward to life, planning many things but did not know someone up above had a different script in store

Life had hit a nadir and much like this World Cup, my life was non-descript by all standards. I sometimes wish 2011 was 2007 but then those agonizing years taught me patience and tolerance; hopefully virtues which will never again allow me to be cynical about life

This is a bright young man who is enjoying his new found life, all the more gratifying as it has come after a long wait. He now understands that life has its crests & trough, at times life does throw lemons but also has its share of surprises; only those who take rough with smooth survive. Also he is now looking to settle down in life, a phase of life that he recognizes will bring its own challenges

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What guys look for in girls and what girls look for in guys


1.Sex appeal
– men adore women who have good sex appeal, one of the key factors which initiates attraction. Its straight and simple, needs no elaboration
2.Attitude – no point having sex appeal if not backed by right attitude, its like wearing school uniform over sexy lingerie, spoils everything. Men especially like bold and broadminded females who can take own independent decisions
3.Compatibility – all men like to relax after a hard day’s work with friends over a drink or two. Now its essential to be compatible as friends first before entering the complicated world of relationships
4.“Trophy” factor – now this is important as men like to flaunt their possession; it always gives a high when you know others are envious of you. I won’t be surprised if Facebook soon comes up with a new button which captures expressions of old mates when they first view your sizzling new companion
5.Understandability – men have certain needs which women need to understand although it may not be easy for them. Men like if their wives understand and allow them to visit strip bars, maybe tag along once in a while
6.Values – now this may seem a surprise and a bit contradictory too but guys actually don’t like sluts


– a very key factor as no girl wants to be seen with a dumbo. It’s a guy’s intellectual capital which makes the first pull
2.If not height then charisma – girls like men with personality, someone tall and handsome whom everyone wants to meet and greet, someone who can hold his own anywhere and someone who actually has a pull
3.Wealth – need I say more, deep pockets are a must else all is waste. Now don’t curse me, I know this is not the be all and end all hence not put it first
4.Emotional security – ever wondered why girls need men? It’s a man’s heartfelt love which gives an unmistakable security
5.Career – no point in being seen with a tall handsome and caring toilet cleaner, he may love you with all his heart but ultimately its that hot-shot investment banker who matters the most
6.Sense of humor – girls like men who know how to use their mouth (not literally, ummm…maybe literally too!). All girls want something new, something exciting, something funny – a man with a good sense of humor can have good conquests too
7.Commitment – I put this last because this matters the most. Commitment is to women what sex is to men. Period

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Bridehunt: dilemmas abound

As someone looking for a life partner through the arranged mode many thoughts, views, suggestions keep pouncing in my mind and unsolicited opinions from self-proclaimed gurus further complicates the process. I know I am not the first one facing these dilemmas nor will I be the last but that doesn’t make it any easier for me

Chick from Delhi/other metros vs smaller cities – Metro girls are perceived to be fast, demanding and into boyfriends (not my humble opinion but what I hear from bade buzurg) while small town girls are more adjusting though what I have seen is the other way round - metro folks are more exposed and more in sync with life

Working vs non-working – I have been advised that housewives look after domesticity well while working wives are spendthrifts and do not share their incomes but instead send it to their parents. Again my observations are a bit different with all girls being shopping freaks across every breed and creed, better if she shops with own income. As far as sharing salary is concerned, it boils down to DNA of person - whether she wants to build a home with me or remain stuck with her parents

Staying with parents vs staying alone – girls staying with parents are thought to be more controlled, obedient and disciplined. Maybe true but a bit of independence can work wonders; caged existence is no good and breeds contempt, who knows it better than me

North vs South divide – now as someone having roots in South but having been bred in North a major dilemma with no clear answers is if to look in North or South. I maybe a Southie in terms of linage but I am a hardcore North Indian in terms of taste and living, so there is a language and culture issue with Southies but a caste issue with Northies. I myself don’t know which world I belong to, both being so different and contradicting (reminds of 2 States by Chetan Bhagat)

Modest family vs well to do family – again bade buzurg are of an opinion that someone from a modest background will be more adjusting and compatible than someone who ushers in own wealth. There may be some wisdom here but I have mostly seen humble originers become shopaholics and spendthrifts post-marriage, its a bit like atoning for something missed out

Lifestyle issues – now this something I may have to work out on my own for I am neither a party freak nor can I boast about having trendy friends but am also not averse to having a good time. Finding the right balance is tricky

In middle of all this basically what I am looking for is just a person with whom I can connect somewhere – am I demanding something too much?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dagger In My Heart

Few days back I was having a late night booze session with C, who has become a sort of my best buddy in this city. Like me he is a bachelor from one of the Indian mahanagars coming to grips with life in this city and country; unlike me he is also a wild party animal and sometimes finds this place a tad too stale. During the past few months we have come to know a bit about each other and being bachelors living close by, we meet, eat and drink a lot often. I am aware that he has a steady girlfriend in Mumbai (whom he calls every hour) and plans to settle down soon; so it was with no misgiving or suspicion that he shared with me how he recently received a marriage proposal here in Muscat.

Apparently he met a wealthy client here as part of business and soon the client started enquiring about his personal status with a lot of interest. The client then disclosed that he was looking for a match for his daughter; C politely declined and buried the issue. But what got me curious was the details of chick mentioned seemed too familiar – wealthy background, US educated, jobs in Chicago and Dubai; I suddenly recalled that I too had met this chick’s parents sometime before. I did not mention to C, nor I ever will, that I too had been approached by her parents and sadly rejected a few days later

Some days after our chat we had gone to watch a new flick at a nearby cinema hall where we learnt that some more friends will be joining us. One of those friends happened to be this chick, who to my surprise was with her boyfriend! Now imagine her parents are going around town looking for a match whereas the daughter is painting the town red with her boyfriend. Upon checking with C my surprise only increased as everyone was aware of her having a boyfriend

Last evening I had been to a happening commercial complex for a bite, when seated in the open air area outside McDonald’s I spotted this chick with her happening friends having a smoke and good time. Howsoever hard I tried to ignore her I could not take my eyes off her and my uneasiness only grew seeing her uninhibited ways

There is something about this chick, not her in particular but those of her ilk, which makes them more desirous. Someone like me who is now searching for a match would be eager to have a trophy like her; her well known history overshadowed by pretty geography – this chick is amazingly beautiful, is trendy and partying types, wealthy family and very modern parents; in short the kind you can always boast of and make everyone envy around

I have never interacted with this girl before, nor do I think will we ever get to chat around, though we have crossed paths many times in past but I don’t why, the more I think about her and her enjoying with other men around, I inexplicably feel a dagger in my heart

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Delhi’s Power Killed Jessica

I was curious to see No One Killed Jessica and for good reason too, after all it was one of the most high profile cases in the last decade which involved the high and mighty embroiled in a show of strength trying to make a carcass of justice. I was not disappointed on seeing the film, it is one of the rare occasions that film makers have stuck to the facts, including Jessica’s attire on the night and the entire sequence before the actual hit, with only Rani’s character being a fictitious one

At the start only film makes it clear that D-d-d-dilli is all about power, the one who has more power rules; Jessica’s killing was a show of power after all, she was shot because someone thought she was powerless to refuse a drink, the person who shot her nearly got away because he had more power, people who saw her getting killed saw nothing because they did not have power to tell the truth and public which had nothing to do with Jessica enjoyed the show for after all it was a game of power

In a way the supreme struggle for power was the media campaign following the acquittal verdict itself. There are many more heinous crimes committed everyday in Delhi but none having the glamour and power that Jessica murder had; media surely had a field day in 2006 feeding and intensifying the public outrage after the court verdict. There are many Jessicas killed in Delhi everyday; girls are openly molested, rapes go unreported, school girls are abused – if not the life the soul of many Jessicas are murdered each fucking day of the year, let it be the blistering summers or like the current frozen winters; but none of these common folks had the power and clout that Ramanis, Jethmalani or Amod Kanth had

I doubt if Jessica Lal could have ever got so much publicity in her life as she got after her murder. To be clearer I am no sympathizer of Jessica, after all she was not a saint. Living in a plush bungalow in Safdurjung Extension she was lone earner in her family; any time of day or night she used to be picked and dropped by people known and unknown. Under the garb of high flying party life, many manage to escape from clutches of morality and bask in a life of glitz and glamour; however I do not mean to belittle Jessica or her lifestyle here, after all its her death which made news and not her life

Coming back to the film, it is a good watch even for those who may know little about the case. As for me I will wait for another film coming out after two years: Who Killed Arushi!!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

11 things I want to do in 2011

1.Have a happy and long stay in my new bachelor abode – I shifted my place recently and got a real nice reasonable place. Hope I get to hang in here for a good time

2.Find appreciation in my job – I am in this city and country because of my job and it is doing well here that should be my utmost priority

3.Find a suitable marriage proposal – now I also need to settle down and with wedding bells beaconing, I need to find a girl soon

4.Try to save more money – although I earn decent dough now I somewhere need to plan my savings a tad more carefully

5.Stay fit and healthy – thankfully I have shed a few of those extra kilos in last couple of months, but I need to watch my shape and take care of my health

6.Holiday in either Singapore or Istanbul – now c’mon a last holiday as bachelor is not a bad idea at all and I have these two places in my mind either due to proximity or friends

7.Get to kiss my chick atleast once – I have come close in past but never managed to steal a peck, hope it happens this year

8.Drink lots of daaru and enjoy with friends – I like boozing with friends and hopefully will continue this year too

9.Book a flat – this is not a top priority but I need to invest and plan now; after all I will be turning 30 this year

10.Help someone get a better life – past year saw me get a better life, will be happy if I too can help somebody

11.And lastly get a bit of Holy Grail – be somewhat happy and content , after all that’s what really counts