What next????!!!!!!!

Well well….my eyes almost dropped out of their sockets when I read about it in the newspaper….I mean how can they take such a life-changing decision so nonchalantly……without a care in the world……

Hmm…sorry for the ambiguous intro…just shell-shocked! Well, the University of Mumbai was planning to make mathematics optional after grade 8! I mean how silly can that get! As time passes, they’ll slowly make other subjects optional too…..like now its maths, then science, then social studies and then STUDIES itself and a day will come when we’ll have the paanwala on the roadside selling HSC pass certificates at Rs.2/- per person!!!! What an idea!!!!

Jokes apart, how can someone make mathematics optional…..and the subjects offered in place of it are environmental studies, handicrafts and some other such stupid vocational course……Those things that can be learnt by anyone, anytime and with minimal effort. I’m not undermining those courses but surely they can’t be replacements for maths……

I’m not a fan of mathematics and I’ve had my trysts with the subject…..it’s not easy and math after eighth grade does spiral up to a higher level but its practical utility is far superior than many other subjects to simply scrap it without giving it a second thought. People argue, asking whose going to go about town measuring the heights of trees using trigonometry (that’s the greatest example of the utility of trigo as was given in my math textbook of grade 9!!) but then geometry and trigo claim to enhance a person’s imagination and abstract thinking power. Algebra is meant to improve a person’s ability to comprehend things and apply common knowledge in unommon territories. Arithmetic is of course the basis of mathematics and has practical utility in every sphere of human existence.

Given that maths has such an important to role to discharge in our life, the idea of making it optional seems almost indigestible…….and the arguments to support the move….even more far-fetched! Parents claim their kids fail in high school because mathematics….what nonsense! Students fail either because they don’t study or because they are not taught properly. People say half the things we learn are never applied in life……..well, they may not be directly applied anywhere (as in the trigo example) but they definitely add to a person’s knowledge and indirectly affect all areas of studies….mathematics has immense application in sciences like physics, chemistry, commercial fields like accountancy and even humanities and economics…..how then can people allege that it has no practical utility??

And above all, basic mathematical skills are required by any ordinary man in the course of ordinary life…….planning a family budget is the most common example of the use of maths. Other uses are in cooking (quantity of the ingredients and proportions), operations in the share market, decorating our home (as in interior designing…not indepth knowledge but a basic idea of size, shape, suitability and mensuration), etc.

That maths has no practical utility is complete trash!!!!!! I assert that mathematics is not one of my strong points either and I need to put in a lot of effort in the subject to do well in it but then I would never, in the name of God, advocate making the subject optional!!!!!! I hope that in the face of the strong opposition that is coming in from parents and teachers alike……this move would be scrapped or it can seriously affect the future of scores of deserving students who only consider the subject tough due to some misconception or simply because they’ve never tried hard enough!

Another stunning (rather stupid, by my standards!) move that has been initiated in the interest of kids is by ICICI bank……that of issuing savings accounst with the facility of debit cards for kids aged between 8 and 18……hmm…..very soon we’ll have people who go to work in huggies and drive cars when they are a day old!!! I am dead against robbing kids of their childhood……their innate innocence and their carefree life. Well, debit cards robs them of none of these…..I just feel it is a meaningless move because most of the transactions are to be manned by the parents anyway so the only advantage it confers on the unassuming kid is that he has a debit card in his name! A savings account is acceptable and even appreciated but a debit card for a kid who barely knows his numbers right is dumb! All bloody publicity stunts targetting people who don’t know what to do with the money they have….

Thank god I’m from a middle class family………….I know the value of money and don’t fall prey to such atrocities!!!!!!! And I’m 18+ anyways so, what the heck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, whatever….been long since I blogged but I didn’t consider it prudent to blog just for the sake of blogging so I thought I might as well blog only when I have something meaningful blog about!!!! Too much blogging is bad even for the compulsive blogger….what say!!! So thought I’ll just keep my trap shut and go about my own business!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nothing much otherwise…..waiting for your comments on this one friends….wanna know your views!

Till next time, from Slo, this is……….Tally-ho!!

The Orphanage…

This is a poem I wrote because I truly feel strongly for the plight of orphans. They are deprived of parental love and affection and subsequently of many opportunities but, they are still very much in the running in today’s mad rat race! I find them to be our true heroes from whom we stand to learn a lot, especially the lesson that, “Where there’s a will, there’s always a way!”

The Orphanage

The baby weeps and weeps, longing to be in its mother’s loving arms
Until the matron picks it up and wipes its tears with her dutiful palms

The young Boy stares out of the window, hoping against all perceptible hope
That his life of loneliness and sorrow is just a bad dream or joke

The teenager toils all day and in her respiteful evening hours
Ponders with tearful eyes as to why fate’s been so harsh

The orphanage fulfils all their needs and gives them shelter and warmth
But it lacks the familial milieu and is but a raw substitute for home

It lacks the presence of mom to wipe away their tears
To give silent support and to warrant off their fears

It boasts of no dad to give them sound advice
To scold them when they’re wrong and to pat them when they’re right

Its inmates have a hard life, unlike yours and mine
They study, cook and work and are busy from nine to nine

They only derive comfort from the fact that they’re not alone
They live as brothers and sisters, taking pride in calling them their own

They learn to wear permanently, the disguise of happiness on their face
By smiling while their heart pines for true solace

They smile all day only to weep into their pillows at night
But they steel themselves enough to face each challenge with might

They are the unsung heroes who live each day
With renewed hope and fervour in their war against fate

They are the phoenixes, who rise from destiny’s ashen chars
To refuse to succumb to fate and to rise to reach the stars!!!!

So that’s about the orphans – our real-life heroes! There’s just one thing that I’d like to mention here, which is that we should always remember that the last thing these people want is pity. They need out support and love, not out sympathy and pity. Let’s learn to treat them just like one amongst us because that is truly the status they deserve!!!!
Otherwise, life goes on……the same old humdrum of eating, sleeping and studying…….gosh, my exams are just 15 days away……please, Please, PLEASE let them go well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yesterday was my grandparents’ wedding anniversary and we had all my relatives from Mumbai over…..I’ve had a blast with my uncles/aunts and little “chintia-pintia” cousins!!!!!! It’s been a great weekend…..looking forward to rocking week………have fun pals!!!!
More later….Tally-ho!

It’s Vishu today!

To all my dear South Indian friends reading this blog……Happy Vishu…that is the Tamil/Malayali new year!

Well, Vishu is celebrated every year on the 14th of April. The celebrations are rather sober…..The previous night, a big plate is placed in the puja arena and filled with an assortment of fruits and a couple of vegetables, rice, pulses, money, gold/jewellery and all of these are arranged in such a way that they are reflected in a mirror. Among the things adorning the plate are usually apples,oranges, mangoes (raw and ripe), tomatoes, a snake-gourd, jackfruit, grapes and bananas plus a bowl of rice, dals, some gold/silver and money in the form of coins and notes. The morning of Vishu, we walk blindfolded (as in, with eyes closed) and the first thing that we look into is the plate. The idea is to usher in the new year by first looking at things that please the eyes……..it’s like this!

You look at all those pulses/rice grains and ask god to give you enough of them to last the year. The fruits/vegetables are a luxury you further seek. And the money and gold are pleasures and richness, fortune and luck that we wish befall us in the year to come! Looking at oneself in the mirror renews the faith that one has in oneself and signals the fact that “Each person is special in this world in their own special way” and that “Everyone of us is one of the beautiful creations of God”!!!! It’s all about pleasing the senses in the light of a new dawn that is expected to bring with it new hopes, dreams and opportunities! On this day, people usually wear new clothes as the day is auspicious, new beginnings are made and people visit the temple! (I did, too!) On this day, the elder members of the household give some money to all the younger members as a token gift……

The rest of the celebrations associated with Vishu are in the feast…..there is nothing particular that is to be made or consumed…..just anything that one considers special for the occasion! A sweet dish is a given item on the menu!

So that’s about Vishu…..it’s celebration time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For me, more than anything, its the spirit of the festival that is exciting…the prospect of actually spending a few moments early in the morning looking at some of the things that we ordinarily wouldn’t so much as glance at, to appreciate the goodness of the little things in life and to thank God for each new day!!!! So, Happy New Year once again friends!!!

While at beauty, let me have the honour of presenting my thoughts on true beauty embodied in this poem of mine!!! Hope you like it!!

 

TRUE BEAUTY

We speak of beauty
As though it’s a commodity;
We see beauty in the seas and skies
We also speak of beauty in the face and eyes!
But when we use the term beauty,
With so much variety and diversity;
I doubt whether we really realize
What beauty truly signifies!

When we speak of beautiful faces
We may be pointing at those
Who have striking features
Like hazel eyes and a chiselled nose!
Beauty is often equated with good looks
Like a svelte frame and silky locks
Sadly, the term fails to permeate
That treasure which is innate!

When we speak of the seas and skies
And rains and rainbows
Or thrushes, robins and magpies
And pigeons and crows,
We say that they are replete
With beauty of a kind
That appeals to all the senses
And brings joy to the mind!

What does this imply?
What am I trying to say?
I’m convinced that true beauty
Lasts for longer than a day!
Beauty is not that
Which catches the eye
It is that which penetrates the mind
And gives you a high!

Beauty is not just looks
That would be just pretty
But beauty is more than that
It’s a heart of gold and a glimmer in the eye!
It is free-flowing love and compassion
Towards everybody
That makes a person appear beautiful
To all and sundry!

Beauty is that which gives joy
Beauty induces the mind’s eye
Beauty satiates all the senses
Beauty is a part of life
Beauty exists in everybody, waiting to show
Beauty is self-evident, in the facial glow
Beauty revels and happiness brings
In all of life’s littlest things!!!!

Hope we are all able to spot the beauty in all we see and appreciate it as a means to eternal happiness!!!!!
Tally-ho!!

My nondescript today!!!!

Well, today was a pretty nondescript day…..nothing special….same old humdrum…..wake up, read the newspaper, eat, sleep, study, eat again and sleep again!!!!!! Gosh, when will the exams get over…..why can’t tomorrow be the 2nd of May??!! Why can’t the damn tension just end??!!!!!!

Sigh! I guess some questions have answers that only time will tell…or worse still, no answers at all!!! So maybe I should just stop grumbling and fretting about things that I can’t change!!!

Anyway, tomorrow is another day!!!! A new sunrise brings new hopes and new dreams. Well, Dhiraj, please forgive me for quoting you in this post but I really liked what you wrote in the mail so just thought of incorporating it here. Well my friends, Dhiraj says, “Live your dreams….coz if you dream for the stars, you will surely get the Sun (which happens to be our star!!) and once you reach the sun, the farther stars are just a stone’s throw away!” So let me revel in my tomorrow and not worry about my “nondescript” today!!!!!!! And maybe all of you should do the same, too – JUST a suggestion ;-)!!!!

Hmmm……not feeling very philosophical today and neither am I in one of my literary moods!! So maybe I should relieve all of you the painful experience of reading a post with no feelings and depth and just get going……

Tally-ho!

The 5 elements of Life!

Hello friends….

Hey Shruti, thanx for that cool comment but somehow, I still feel that friends should be few and good. My argument is that when you have fewer friends, you are able to give each of them individual attention and let them know what they mean to you. And like I said, I’m not against being friendly with everyone but I somehow feel that to be able to connect on a warm and personal level, you can do better with fewer people. And you know I’m a very private person…..i don’t open up to everybody…for me, I prefer having a couple of friends who know me inside out than a whole army people who claim to know me better than myself!!!!! And also, I feel lost in a huge group…..for me, a few good friends make life worth living! But like you said, its all a matter of perspective!!! So, its your opinion and I respect that!!! Thanx!

Now, all my friends, put your seatbelts on for another philosophical rundown!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here we go!

 

The 5 Elements of Life

Traditionally, the 5 essential elements of life are Air, Water, Fire, Earth and Space. But when I gave it a thought, I came to believe that these are not elements in themselves, but are symbolic of the qualities and essentials of a successful human being. The equivalent of these elements as I have seen them are not necessarily qualities that are existent in all individuals; they are traits that SHOULD be imbibed and inculcated by one and all. Let me explain.

For convenience purposes, I ask to begin from the last one, i.e. Space. Having said that let me assert that the order is only for convenience and not even one of the elements is any less important than any of the others. They are all incomplete singularly and each one of the 5 elements has its own irreplaceable role to discharge.

Space is often mistaken for emptiness. On the contrary, it refers to completeness and purity. My equivalent of Space is the human character. Character is common to all, yet each one gives their own individualistic definition and touch to it. Human character should be strong and assertive. Nothing that anyone says or does should be capable of staining one’s character, as it is the most valuable of all human possessions. It is something that cannot be alienated from the person and is a barometer of his or her goodness as well as greatness.

Earth is the basest of the elements because if it was not for our dear Mother Earth, it’s hard to fathom where I’d be typing this from or where you’ll be reading it!! Jokes apart, Earth, in my opinion, represents Education and Common Sense which sustains humans in today’s world of cut-throat competition. Education builds a strong foundation on which we base our entire life. Our values, thoughts, actions and generally the way in which we conduct ourselves in society, are all indicative of the kind and level of education that we’ve undergone in our formative years.

Fire, the double-edged sword that can cook our food and also burn our skin, that force which can keep the fireflies away and keep you safe at night, but also that which can bring down your house! Yes, Fire can be a good slave, but a very bad master. So also, our mind. The Human Mind is what I perceive as fire. If you don’t control it, it will control you – the number of criminals and psychopaths in jails and mental hospitals is sufficient proof of what your mind can make of you if you don’t use it judiciously! So the mind should warm hearts and not burn hands!!

Water is what keeps you alive. What better equivalent than Health? Health is highly invaluable and without being healthy, it’s almost impossible to be happily alive for long. Bad health is the biggest worry of all humans as it makes one dependent on others. On the other hand, a healthy person is a happy person. Just as water relieves us on a swelteringly hot day, good health relieves our worries all through our life. Just like water is clear and transparent, our Health should be clear and free from illness.

Air, it’s all around you. You can’t see it and sometimes, you can’t even feel it. But you know it’s there. The parallel emotion or quality is nothing but Love and compassion towards all and sundry. Not just that, but also the radiance that one is able to emit. What I mean to say by radiance is the impact you have on those and that around you. It is the ability to make a positive impact in the world. Just as it is not possible to breathe in the absence of air, it is impossible to live in the absence of love and positive energy in the cosmos.

Thus, each of the 5 elements that have ruled the world from time immemorial signifies a human trait which ought to find its way into the life of each one of us. To sum up, Our Character should be as pure as Space. Our Education should build a foundation as strong as the Earth. Our Mind should be the Fire which warms everyone’s hearts. Our Health should be in sound enough condition for us to live the life that we do happily and be clear of illness just like Water is clear of parasites! Lastly, we should spread Love and Joy in the world and our radiance should be strong enough to encompass the world, just like Air, of which there is sufficient and more for everyone and still enough left! If these traits become a part of you, then there is no stopping you on the path of success, because, if you are a good human, you will find success at your feet!!!!! Good Luck!

******************************************
Disclaimer: This is one of my earlier articles which even got published in a magazine……I’m damn proud of it and hence, decided to publish it on my blog! Hope you like it…….I’d love to have your views on this one as I want to know what you people consider the 5 most essential elements of life!!! Lemme know!!!!!!!!
That’s for today……..more food for thought…but tomorrow!!!!
Have fun buddies and keep freaking out!
Tally-ho!

Friendship!

Hello everybody…..a day’s break and I’m back into the attack!

Well, what’s friendship?? Who’s a friend?? We’ve seen loads and loads of email forwards about who’s a friend and the A-Z of friendship and the difference between a friend and a true friend and a best friend and so on and so forth! But I doubt whether any of us really stop to think what a friend means to us, what difference do they make in our life and how they affect us mentally, emotionally and socially!

As far as my understanding goes, a friend is a person who has a measurble impact on our life, someone whom we care for, someone whom we want to see happy – Always! A friend is that individual with whom we can just shed our inhibitions and be ourselves. As the adage goes, “A friend is one who reaches for the hand and touches the heart!” Yes, truly, a friend is one who makes a place for himself in our heart.

Let me go a step further and highlight the qualities of a friend. In my opinion, they are not the conventional ones that people have been quoting over the years. With time and the changes that have come into effect in the world, society and our gullible minds, the concept of friendship has to undergo a change…which unfortunately, it has not – there are many misconceptions about friendship and these are what I’m out to highlight and clear through my post!

Misconception Number 1:
A friend is someone who stands by us in times of need………WRONG……a friend is someone who stands by us at all times…..He is the person who is with us in times of joy to see that the happiness doesn’t go to our head and he’s by our side in times of distress to lend a helping hand. He’s the one who multiplies our joys and divides our sorrows.

Misconception Number 2:
A friend is someone whom you meet often, either lives close-by or studies/works with you…..WRONG again…grossly wrong! A friend can be miles away and still be as close to you as he would be if he were sitting right beside you! Distance is hardly a matter of concern between friends. Sometimes, it does feel like distance matters, but between friends, if they know that each one cares for the other and is always able to lend an ear to one another, distance can easily be bridged! I should know…..a lot of my real good pals are miles and miles away from me – Shravan, Shruti, Aarti akka, Shweta, Manisha, Sami, Shriram, Vips are you all reading this??!!!! So, in today’s e-world, our friend is always just a click of a button away! Distance in no way diminishes the feeling of friendship – it SHOULDN’T!!! Because after all – Distance makes the heart grow fonder!

Misconception Number 3:
A friend is someone who shares the same interests as you……how misinformed can people be!!!!!!! If your friend is a carbon copy of yourself – or let’ s move with the times – a xerox copy of yourself (!!!!), then where’s the scope for a mental rebuttal of ideas?? And if there’s no clash of ideas, no war of opinions and no arguments, then what’s the good of that friendship?? I’m not saying that there should be fights, but a friend should be the person who can make you look at that side of a problem or situation or whatever which you would have otherwise overlooked! A friend is someone who can counter your views on a topic and make you see a whole new spectrum of ideas flowing out of you…..He’s the one who can make you see light where all you see is darkness!!!!!!!!!!

Misconception Number 4:
A friend with whom you can talk to forever! Well…..this is surely not entirely wrong….but there is another side to it. A friend is someone with whom silence is as comfortable as babble!!!!! A friend is that person with whom you can spend an entire evening without saying a word and walk away feeling it was the best evening you’ve ever had!!! That’s because a friend is someone who understands your silence as much as he understands your words.

Misconception Number 5:
Well, everyone expects that their friend should understand them to the ‘T’……I don’t agree. This is inspite of the fact that I mentioned in the previous para that a friend should understand our silence….What I mean is that a friend cannot be expected to understand us completely because, at the end of the day, he is a different individual in a different skin. The understanding that a friend should have is the ability to empathise, to be able to see things from your point of view. To understand silence doesn’t mean to understand what you want to say….it means to understand that you want to be quiet and to acknowledge it…..A friend cannot be expected to be the proverbial “antaryaami” and know your mind and thoughts and feelings!

Misconception Number 6:
“My friend doesn’t care for me the way I do for them”………Well, that’s too much to ask for……If a person doesn’t care for you the way you want, it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care for you with all he has. As mentioned earlier, it is wise to acknowledge the fact that you are the best of friends, but that doesn’t make you one person. You are still two different people. It is quite probable that one is more expressive than the other, that one shows that he cares and the other doesn’t……that in no way means that the care is not there. It is up to you to identify it…..and even if you can’t identify it, you should know its there!

Now with the airs cleared, I can say who is a friend!!! Ahem ahem!

A friend is one with whom we can be ourselves with absolutely no inhibitions. A friend is one we can trust with all our heart, a person who is honest to the point of bluntness and with whom we can be the same! A person who doesn’t take everything to heart and with whom we can just have unadulterated fun! A person who we believe in and a person who can relate to us and vice versa. A person who can stand by us at all times. That is a friend!

I believe in the age-old saying, “Books and friends must be few and good!” Don’t know about books but friends – they must surely be few and good……That is not to say that we mustn’t be friendly. There’s a vast difference between being friendly with people and being friends with them. It is important to know whom we are friendly with and who are our friends. Being friendly is about having an amicable relation with people, keeping in touch and helping each other out. Beingfriends is about just being there for one another, being each other’s secret-keeper, being the companion in times of sorrow and the pal in times of joy – Always!!

So….there’s what I feel about friendship and friends!! I assert that these are just my views but I feel that somewhere, everyone will be in a position to relate to them!
My post on friendship would be sadly incomplete if I don’t thank my stars here for having a lovely bunch of friends who care for me and who I feel completely at ease with!!!!

Thanks a tonne to all my friends!!!!!!!!! Out there in Dubai as well as here in Aamchi Mumbai.

For now…..this is it….an overdose already I guess…..so, Tally-ho!

Success!!!

Hi Pallavi……thanx for ur amazing comment….and the compliment about being PERFECT…well, that was unexpected from a writer of ur calibre!!!! But thanx loadz anyways!

After all the intros and title justifications…..its time for me to start putting in my own veiws and ideas on this page which is my very own haven! The subject I’ve chosen for today is Success…….that which is everybody’s ambition and penultimate dream! That which most people would go to any lengths to attain and also that which is a measure of a person’s standing in society.

Gone are the days when a person’s worth was measured just on the basis of the jingle in his pocket….today, it’s success which floors people…..which grabs the attention of the media…which has a person splashed all over the place. A person may be rich but if he’s a perfect ZERO in everything, he’s not going to be spoken about and he’s definitely not going to be remembered!!!!!

My views on the ingredients of a success story are embodied in my poem printed below! Check it out!

 

A SUCCESS STORY

With stars in her eyes and head held high
She forges her way through the journey of life
Slow and steady, upward is her flight
Step by step, her goal in sight!

She plans her moves and charts her route
Anticipates trouble, provides for it, too
Readies a Plan B to boot
Should Plan A fail, B should shoot!

She stumbles on her glorious path
But picks herself up and restarts
Never does a failure impede
Her dreams and ambitions to succeed!

Many enemies she may make
Of those envious of her stake
She lets not rivalries to shake
Her stance and makes no mistake!

Many friendships she may forge
With those in a league as her own
She wins people with her charm
Is a true friend, warm and calm!

She views not obstacles as a pain
But from them, volunteers to gain
Accepts challenges, grips the reins
Of her life again and again!

She fears not of doing the right
Takes on the world with all her might
Stars in her eyes and head held high
She strides towards success, goal in sight!

(I’d like to believe that poem was me…..well, well……the fantasies people have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
So, that’s what I feel about Success……No pains, no gains. There’s a saying……”Life is like a bank, you can’t take out what you haven’t put in!!” That’s something I so totally believe in……..Success is achievable. You just have to go all out and achieve it!
So, good luck to all of my pals (and in a reasonable measure to myself, too…..really need that now…especially for the exams!!). Never be afraid……all you need to have is immense faith in yourself and your abilities and the prudence of distinguishng the right from the wrong! So, forge ahead and ascend on the stairway to success….not stopping till you reach the very summit!!!!!!!
That’s for today…..tally-ho!!

The Title!!!!

Hello……

Hmm….was wondering what to input into the blog today…….thought and thought and thought!!!! And then i saw the title of my blog staring at me and decided instantly……Sugar Spice and Everything Nice…..why not?! I could explain the title of my blog!!!

Why did I choose this as a title…..well, the reasons are many but they are pretty simple.

For one thing, I’d like to believe it describes me!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

Secondly, I have always believed that if you look hard enough, you can find something good about every situation, every occurence…..if only you look behind the dark cloud and spot the silver lining! I’d like to emphasize on the siver lining aspect of our life in my blog by way of my posts…..I happen to be a compulsive thinker and you’ll find a lot of my so-called “philosophies” coming to the fore in this blog in the days to come….and they are all about enjoying life on your own terms, identifying happiness in everything and loving yourself!

Thirdly, Sugar is sweet and Spice is…well…spicy! And that is just the point that I want to drive home…..that life is a perfect blend of the sweet and the spicy, the good and the bad, the successes and the failures, the love and the hate!!!! We need to accept the whole package and separate the wheat from the chaff…….the good from the bad….and at the same time, it is wise to remember that perspectives differ…..just like what is spicy for one may not be so for the other…same with sweet…..what is wheat for one, may be chaff for the other. What is desirable for one may be absolutely undesirable for another. But it’s the bad that highlights the value of the good, the spice that makes the sweet sweet! It’s the whole comprehensive package of life that makes it worth living.

Lastly, “Sugar, spice and everything nice” is what I’d want all of my pals to expect when they open my blog….so when they see the title staring them in the face, I’d want them to smile to themselves and revel in the title!!!!

So you see…..that’s how much thought that has gone into just the title…..don’t be surprised if you find honey and mead oozing all over the place on my blog in the days to come!!!! That’s for the sweet…as for the spice element…..wait and watch!!!!!

Hmm…..that’s enough philosophy for the day!! Signing off! Tally-ho!!!!!!!!!!!

Dubai – to describe it in one word – PARADISE!!!!!!!!!

Having spoken loads about Mumbai where I currently am, I’m now liable to tell you guyz something about the vibrant city that’s DUBAI! I’ve spent a big chunk of my life in that wonderful city.

Dubai is the commercial capital of UAE (just like Mumbai is to India). It’s an ultra modern city buzzing with activity all through the day and night and all through the year. To me, Dubai is just a modern version of Mumbai, complete with the crowds (which is cosmopolitan but dominantly Indian), the streets, etc. The difference is that DXB is spick and span and there’s no way you’d find people openly and indiscriminately littering about the place – they do it discreetly!!!! Being a small country, UAE is a lot easier to manage than Mumbai, yet the cleanliness has got to be appreciated. Dubai has developed immensely in the past 10 years mainly and I’ve seen it grow in front of my eyes. One day I travel on a road and there’s a multistoreyed tower under construction and the next time I go there, the tower is fully occupied and operational and not just that – there’s a new skysraper springing up beside it!

The latest feather in Dubai’s proverbial ‘cap’ is the emerging of The Palm and The World – 2 prestigious man-made islands coming up pat in the middle of the Arabian Sea and where someday, I hope to own a plot and a sea-facing bungalow!

Dubai is culturally very rich too, and at the heart of all the modernisation is a Dubai that is still rooted to its…..well….roots! Ladies and girls are respected and have zones reserved for them at all public places. The Holy month of Ramadan is a period of fasting from dawn to dusk for the followers of Islam but also a period when mutual respect for relegion is displayed in all its fervour as people of all faiths refrain from eating/drinking in public. All festivals – be it Muslim or otherwise – are given due respect and celebrated with aplomb – crackers are burst and festivities abound for Diwali, Onam and Christmas alike! There is freedom of religion out there….they don’t stop you from practicing your religion and culture – all they ask is for you to respect theirs!

It’s quite safe at all times though the perennial risks of theft or crimes of a more serious nature are always there – but then I’d like to see some place in the world that’s insulated against these risks! The public transport system is amazing and its perfectly possible and even easy to survive there without owning a vehicle.

As is well known, Dubai is a tourist and shopper’s paradise – it’s a melting pot of all cultures in the world, Its brimming with pristine beaches (clean ones too!), sprawling and lush gardens, amusement parks and a few zoos and the world’s best hotels and resorts. Dubai’s climate is not as bad, considering it is bang in the middle of a desert. The months June to September are unbearably hot and frustratingly humid but the lovely months of December to February are so pleasant, cool and breezy that they almost make up for the heat! The other months are generally pleasant. The occasional showers in the winter months are an absolute delight and a thrilling respite from the regular heat!

Phew……………that was some post – I feel like I’ve just written an essay! Well, Dubai’s an awesome place but it kinda makes u accustomed to luxury to such an extent so that u don’t know challenges. I have no regrets about having been there n have loved it with all my heart! But yes, there’s just no place like home! And Mumbai’s home……..

The best thing about Dubai is that it is a foreign country and still so close to home – a hop, skip and jump away! Dubai has made me the person I am today and I have loadsa memories associated with it – More on them in the days to come!!!!!!!!!!!!

For now, Tally-ho!!!!!!

Mumbai – the city of dreams..that come true!

Hey….back for more. Thanks pal Shravan for that lovely comment….made my day!

Picking up the threads from where I left them yesterday…….life in Mumbai is every bit more exciting and challenging than that in Dubai! Be it the transport or the roads or the level of independence or the people you come across…..Mumbai teaches you to live. I’ve always believed that a person who can survive in Mumbai can live anywhere in the world! Following are a few pecularities about Mumbai!

  • The fastest way of reaching anywhere is to take the local train….it could be packed to the point of explosion, it could make you look haggardly by the time you reach your destination, it could be actually be a theatre for all the wonderful scenes that you encounter in there…..but the bottom line is that at least you’ll reach your destination somewhere around the stipulated time! If you are thinking of taking the bus or car, you better plan to leave atleast a couple of hours in advance or banish all hopes of making it in time!!
  • Roadside food may be unhygienic but it is a means of subsistence and sustenance for many!!!! The sandwich-walas, chaat-walas, chana and sheengdana-walas make roaring business…..some people eat to satisfy their hunger, others eat to pass the time during long journeys and yet others eat simply because the stalls are there!!!!
  • Slums and skyscrapers complement each other. In most places in the city, these two exist alongside each other. It is the norm rather than the extraordinary!
  • Mumbai is often branded the “most dirty metropolis” yet, you will always find a few BMC (that is Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for those caught unawares!) workers sweeping up the roads and sidewalks – that it makes no perceptible difference is another matter altogether! People are about as indifferent as they could be – they’ll be screaming about the lack of cleanliness and that the BMC doesn’t do this and doesn’t do that and yet,remain blissfully ignorant of their contribution, or lack of it! They’ll litter all over the place like it nobody’s business and still have the audacity to grumble about the dirt and filth! Silly People!
  • “The city that never sleeps” – another name assigned to this vibrant city . How true! At any time of the day or night, it’s impossible to find the roads or railway stations or any part of this sprawling city empty. The city is agog with people att all times of the day. People who go out at night always ask themselve the question, “where the heck are all these people off to??” And then, realization dawns on them in that they too are off to to somewhere at this unearthly hour and so may others!!!!!!

So that’s Mumbai for you! There are about a zillion lessons that Mumbai teaches its residents: Some of them are as follows:

  • If you are lost, never think twice about asking for directions….chances are that the people around you have already noticed that you are lost and are waiting for you to ask! Don’t make a fool of yourself and your inflated ego by going aroud in circles too shy to ask!
  • If you are at the railway station waiting for the train and the train arrives bustling to the brim with people, don’t worry. Just jostle your way in – there are usually more people at the door than inside…..So, even if the compartment looks like it’s going to split into two the next moment……its not…there’s always enough place for you (its healthy to think so!!), anywhere you go….anytime!
  • Jump queues at ticket counters and registration counter and wherever else queues are formed (rather supposed to be formed!) but if someone else does it, raise up such a hue and cry that people around stop to watch and admire your guts!!!!!!
  • If you’re ever caught by a traffic cop for speeding, all you need to do to get out of the mess is hand him what he demands because he’s not going to leave you anyway and chances are that the corruption begins at the top level……so don’t stop to argue. You can try to bargain if you’re good at it but if you’re not, then its better to shut up, pay up and leave the scene!
  • Of the many good things about Mumbai is the fact that people here are always willing to help. At first sight, everyone around may look like hooligans – unkempt and without a care in the world – but should something untowardly happen to you, the people are all set to rush to your aid. Appreciate it and be a part of it, too!
  • Don’t take nonsense from anyone. Gone are the days of Gandhiji’s generous philosophy of extending your right cheek when someone slaps your left. The mantra now is to slap on both the cheeks of the other person, should he so much as raise a finger!
  • And Most importantly, Mumbai is the city where dreams come true. So never stop dreaming…….dream all you want and go all out to achieve them…….Be sure that this wonderful city will not fail you!!!! So, DREAM ON!!!!!!! Just don’t follow the adage that “your life revolves around your dreams…so go to sleep!!!” On the contrary….wake up, buck up and fulfil them……”no pains no gains” formula operates but given the slightest effort from you end, you just can’t fail!

Well, well……it doesn’t end here but if I had to go on, I’d be at it all day and still have loads and loads to say! So I’ll just give it in doses!!!!!!!! At the end of the day, the fact remains that Mumbai ROCKS and if you know to go along with the rhythm, you can really have a blast in this exuberant city!!!!!!

Well…now something about my life……..life’s going on and about as nondescript as ever! That’s not to say I’m studying 24/7 for my upcoming CA exams from May 2nd to 6th but then the thought that the dreaded exams are just around the corner haunts me all day! Just keeping my fingers and toes and whatever else crossed that they go fine!

More later……..tally-ho!