I was sleeping, as tired as a pig would sleep (not sure I was snoring!). I felt I was flying, high above the air, with stars twinkling beside me! I saw a fairy, a beautiful one, smiling at me and told me something.. She tapped on my shoulder and I didn’t understand why.. Suddenly she said ‘ Welcome to Emirates sir. Would you like to have Veg/Non-Veg??’.. Damn I was just dreaming, except that I am really flying in the air to Dubai and questioned by a beautiful fairy!!!
The flight was comfortable and reached half an hour late. I reached the airport and was wowed by the neatness, space and the technology. It took nearly 15 minutes for me to reach the Eye scanner. Dubai has this eye scanning without which you would not be allowed to the immigration counter. Like ophthalmologists, they examine your eyes to see if you’re a terrorist and send you to the immigration counter! ;) Once the immigration is done, I meet my taxi driver who is a malayali (most of them here are, seems like a Kerala II). He zoomed past the near empty roads, on the right side of course and suddenly stopped with a screech. He was standing for the red light.. lol.. I was like come on man, its 2.30 AM in the morning and I don’t see any dangerous looking men with EPND (Ever Pregnant No Delivery) stomach. There are Kodak cameras all over and you can break signals, damn the place.. I didn’t see our supersonic autos too which felt this place is some other planet. I finally reached my hotel apartment and it was awesome.
It has a swimming pool, gym, washing machine, kitchen, oven, utensils, bath tub….etc! Wow.. I was like dude, posh life man! I was all geared up to see the lovely beach, great roads, lovely European chics, museums, theme parks and what not… and that’s when I received a phone call!
‘Hi Harish, could you please be in office??’… and the last two weeks, I have just been to office!!!!!
And yes, no prizes for guessing, writing from office!!!
-------------------------Middle in the East Part II Coming Soon----------------------
Monday, March 8, 2010
Ramesh, a maths professor was passing by a class where he gives a guest lecture. He saw a sweet looking girl, sitting alone looking over the window, with tears rolling down her eyes. He went near her, careful enough not to stun her by his sudden appearance and placed his hand on her shoulders. She immediately turned, wiping her tears from her wonderful brown eyes and smiled instantaneously. This instantly impacted him, seeing the pain in the girl's eyes, with the fake smile betraying deep sadness, anger and distrust with this world. He felt a sudden urge to help this young woman, so very beautiful yet looking very troubled. So he asked her, 'What happened dear? What is troubling you?'. She held the fake smile, promising everything is ok!
Being a understanding man, he smiled at her, placed his palms on her head and said 'Ok, so be it' and turned away! But she stopped him and said, 'I have heard of you sir. I have heard your an understanding and a patient man, ready to help anybody.. Can you help me? I need answers.. more so, solutions..' Ramesh assured his full attention and Anita started her query with a blank WHY! He was foxed but didn't intervene.. She asked him, 'Why? Why was I born in this world? Was I sent to do something special? Why have I been through such bare times in my life with no luck? Why do I have to work hard for nothing as the end result? Why do I need to smile when I want to Cry? Why do I need to listen to other's consoling when I really don't want them to talk? Why do people who don't deserve rewards get it?'.. the young girl was undergoing conflicting emotions!
Ramesh, took a deep breath and spoke, 'My dear, there are times where you feel nothing is going right for you. You would be most irritated by people who say, 'Arey, don't worry! Its all in the game. You were not destined to get this. Atleast you achieved this which itself is big.. blah blah'.. But what they don't understand is the pain you have gone through to work for your dreams. And when it is shattered, what they see is the broken pieces but not the disappointment and hard work behind it. And destiny is the word I personally hate. I share your sentiments on it. People say, Decide your destiny but then say, its all destiny. What exactly do they mean? I have gone through it all. Believe me its painful. The term 'Why' is a tunnel with never ending curves. Keeps you utterly interested to know the answer for why you are here, what would you achieve and what you won't. But the light is at the end of the tunnel, which is death.'
Anita, crunching in all the information asks, 'Whats the point then? You'll know the answer for all your questions only when you die?'
Ramesh smiled and said, 'But 'Why' is a tricky path to tread. You have got to be watchful and alert, as certain times of your life, there would be a small creak on the tunnel, giving you a glimpse of brilliant sunshine.. which in other words answer to your prior questions. This would provide a clue as to why you are here and why you possibly didn't achieve certain objectives in the past. Catch here is, the answer would lead to more Why's and you would be caught up in a maze. Personally, I was caught in that maze and it took me a while to come out of it, accepting life as it is. This doesn't mean I lose a hold on my life, my aspirations, etc. I still hold a respectable position in this college, leading a great life with my family. But what I learnt from my quest, is to find the answer for Whys is I lost track of my present. I lost track of my current enjoyment with friends and family.. lived for the future and not the present. I was not positive, lost hope, felt defeated, felt cheated.. but did I achieve something? Did I gain something? Did I know the answer for the misfortune? No.... Absolutely not! I was in your age then, my dear child and I lost few precious years due to this. I request, you buck up.. stand up straight again.. Be more positive, look forward to what you have got in your pallet and draw the most beautiful painting of your life. You are your own painter.. it is up to you to decide whether your life is to be colorful or to be gray!
Anita replied - Thanks so much Ramesh. I understand that this whole thing is complex, but I feel I have got a clarity and a direction. A thought provoking discussion.. I promise I would put my heart and soul to be positive again.. Refocus on the current opportunity I have and build on it.. But I had a small question which I wanted to ask you...
WHY, WHY and WHY did I meet you????????????? Is there any reason?? WHY????
And no one has ever heard of Ramesh ever since!!!
Sunday, March 7, 2010
My car started with Grrrhh... Grrrhhh.. It was a very polite way of it saying - 'Dude, I F@#$%^& need a service'.. So, at midnight (8AM, Sunday morning), I started to Ikatutangal Hyundai Motor Plaza (Sorry to my north indian friends, u need training to pronounce these names).. I had my A/C on and moving into top gear when I saw a bout of red liquid flying past my wind pane.. I was dumbstruck seeking for the worst - a deadly accident. Alas, I was wrong.. it was our bald marwari who spat his pan and smiling with his ugly tainted tooth with pride on his face. Using few holy words, I moved on.. I reached HMP with no further qualms and gave my car for service.. The technician greeted me with a pleasant face and wrote down the pampering the car requires - Approximate bill - Rs. 3,000. Wonderful, I thought.. Now is the time to save the money.. So I reached for the bus stand - ready to board a bus after nearly a decade.. I heard about the newly bought buses and its 'Deluxe' seatings... I got in triumphantly and next 30 minutes was heaven..
Mr.Conductor asked me for ticket ticket - I gave him the 100rs note.. He said ' Change illaya..?'. When I provided a meek no, he was cursing the IT companies for the bloody money power and rising prices! I was to protest the way we work as bonded labors in an A/C environment... but trailed off looking at his big menacing mustache.... Next was the uncle near me.. He reminded me of the foreigners who used to come to Chennai with minimal clothes.. Except that he presented a sweet aroma from his arm pits due to heavy perspiration.. Damn, I cursed the Chennai summer and dug my nose into my heavily scented shirt.. I moved on when suddenly a woman tapped on my shoulder and gave me money - However badly I needed it, I said 'No its ok, I have taken the ticket' when she gave a snarl and told me to pass on saying 'Two tickets, Beach'. Damn, another embarrassment..
I reached half way through the journey with no further qualms when the bus suddenly stopped in Guindy. It stood for an eternity and the hot sun was sapping my already diminishing patience and energy. To add to the woes was the conductor piling in more people on the already full bus. I was pushed, turned, kicked, stamped and bulldozed literally all the over the bus and was close to tears. Suddenly God answered my prayers for a seat and a lady got up and I sprang into the seat, just like a kid would jump for a candy when his mom was not around. I gasped for breath, recollected my senses and turned to face the horrific face I have ever met in my life. She was as large as the bus, occupying two tickets for one and with ruthless tone told me 'You don't see whats written there', pointing to whats written on the bus. Unfortunately, my literature in tamil isn't great and it turned out to be the ladies seat! Damn.. 33% even here........!! Finally, I reached my destination and got off to find that there was no auto. I cursed myself for coming by bus and walked all the way home.
I came home in tatters, frustrated for my unusual intention to save the extra buck and reached for the A/C only to realize that there was a power cut!!