Monday, November 16, 2009

Did he play politics?!

Sachin was told not to play politics and stick to playing cricket by Thackeray. I wonder who gave him these rights to decide who plays what. Commenting through his own news paper, Saamna, he reacted to the comments made by Sachin that he is first Indian and then a Maharashtrian, which of course he is proud of. Agreeable. But as one of the comments that I read, what will the Thackerays write for their nationality??? Indian or Maharashtrian? Its time to open the eyes and be open minded.

Such comments from a so-called leader were never expected. Where do he and his people disappear when there are terror attacks? How come they have high levels of energy to contradict the views of noted figures across the country? There was also another incident when a senior minister was taking an oath in Hindi which is our official language and was man-handled for not taking the oath in Marathi? This is the height of ignorance. Such narrow mindedness is not at all appreciated among us Indians.

I think we are moving backwards in this regard when the world is opening up new ideas and is welcoming peace pacts. I personally believe that Thackeray's comments can be ignored as it bears no consequence to any of us cricket fans. He could very well be termed as a man of words without actions.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All in the name of a game!

In some corner of Middle East (I'm avoiding the locations here!), the news broke out stating that an angry wife left her husband accompanied by their only son and the poor guy has filed a complaint with the cops. The cops with the help of the immigration department say that they will try and trace her, as well as do the needful.

Now, it all began when they both started to speak about the football teams of their respective countries which were to clash in the qualifying rounds!!! Yes, I said it right! They started to argue on the team that would win and finally he has ended up in this situation.

I have heard of couples getting divorced with many reasons but not something like this! Indeed, I praise and respect their patriotism but not at the cost of their relationship. Needless to say, such situations are faced by couples at different junctures which they handle tactically.

There could also be many other reasons for their decision of separation but has erupted with this argument and has made them face it. Football?! None would have expected it would end with the name of the winning team.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Where are the songs?!

Where are those wonderful numbers that I used to listen while on my way to work? Whichever channel it is, whatever is the time, all I get to listen is more of advertisements and those RJs going blah blah blah blah, rather than songs!

Is it mandatory for those radio stations to follow a particular ratio? Are they running behind targets just as the sales guys do? What's happening?! Give me a break...!!!

Its too irritating to listen to those questions like, "Its this color, does this and does that. What is it?" Come on, grow up people. I was laughing my heart out on one of those amateur jokes. Just on the name of passing time, don't keep yapping about something that doesnt do any good to the listeners. All the guy on the phone would win is a ticket to some movie or a music concert. Nothing more than that. I bet people would get hooked on to the channel if good numbers are played rather than this blah blah stuff which everyone is irritated with.

At least, talk about health, give some tips, talk about safety while driving, talk about how people could make their day better. Please dont give crap which people would get irrirated with, first thing after we get out of the house. No offences to anyone or any channel, its my view.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My plight with Dubai Taxis

Taxis in Dubai, a name that is dreaded by most of the passnegers. Few months ago, the situation was much different than what I am witnessing now-a-days. The drivers didnt seem to acknowledge the calls and requests of passengers, though large in number and would vroommmm away without performing their duties. Or they stop next to you, lock the doors from within and lower the window pane to ask where I would like to go, just ignore the drop off request and move on. Many a times I've almost felt the tyres on my feet. Or they would not bother to stop even if they are travelling empty. My calls to the toll free numbers to complain on such indecent behaviour has fallen on deaf ears of the authorities.

After a few months, now, with many of the expats back to their countries due to their loss of jobs in the UAE, taxi drivers are willing to take passengers, be it a short distance of couple of kilometers. Of course, with some revision on the rates by the authorities, its beneficial for them too.

The other day, I had to drop off my friend in one of the main streets in Bur Dubai and was on a call talking to another friend. In the span of around 10 mins, I could see numerous taxi drivers slowing down their vehicles near me to see if I needed their service. I think they have learnt a lesson. With the termination of drivers with improper behaviour and with the inclusion of new fleet and well trained drivers, things have changed a lot. Now-a-days, the waiting for a taxi hardly lasts for a few minutes whereas it was for hours earlier.

'More passengers and less accommodative taxi drivers' has changed to 'less passengers, well behaved taxi drivers and more vehicles'. Hats off to the authorities to take serious measures to see to it that policies are adhered to. I still remember days when I used to wait for the taxis during mid-day, with mercury levels as high as 45 deg C, my blood boiling with irritation and frustration I've walked to my workplace rather than grumbling and complaining about the system. Many a times I've picked up a fight with the taxi driver who bluntly ignored my requests. I found that its no use of increasing my blood pressure by talking to these guys and rather find my own solution to transport myself to the destination.

Its a relief today to see how the passengers are taken care of with neat interiors, car fragrances in all taxis etc. I remember those malls where people used to wait for a long time to get a taxi whereas now-a-days, taxis wait for the passengers for a long time. Situation has indeed changed a lot in this regard.

My first ride - Dubai Metro

"Hey, lets take a ride on the metro" my room mate said. Anyways, its Friday, the rides start by 2.30pm, good time to catch up with it after the lunch. Four of us friends gathered up our energies (After a lazy Friday morning) and went to the nearby Burjuman station. Huge crowd waiting outside the station took us for a surprise. We all decided to finish our lunch so that we can have the ease of moving around the station to know things better, since we were going in for the first time.

With our tummies full, we all slowly propelled ourselves to the ticket counters 3 floors below the ground level. NOL card, as it is called, is a prepaid card ticketing system. We had to go one more floow below to reach the platform. Excitement started building up as we all knew that its the first ride on metro in Dubai for all of us whereas I could see people in their calmness and the familiarity was shown off on the faces of people who frequently travel by metro.

As the announcement was made about the arrival of the train, we could hear the swoosh of the train passing through the tunnel and it came to a halt. We stepped in to find ourselves squeezing in, as the train was quite crowded. Of course its a crowd of the weekend. With limited number of steel bars to hold on to, we could support ourselves somehow to avoid being jolted time and again when the train speeds up, stops and turns. I was ready with my Nikon D60 to capture the moments and also the Dubai that we were veiwing from a higher perspective. I could take some pictures, though not too many. Burj Dubai was one of the best!

Sheikh Zayed road was quite different to be seen from this height. We indeed enjoyed the ride. Volunteers were seen moving all over the stations as well as in the train to guide the passengers, if need be. The only challenge I felt for the RTA, was to make sure to maintain the trains. With people from all over the world, from different walks of life concentrated in Dubai, most of them would use the metro on a daily basis. With many of them without civic sense and social etiquette, I am sure the trains would cease to be the same. Stringent fining system would help the authorities to keep the miscreants at bay.

Hats off to the RTA and all the other departments to make it happen! Though I've travelled a lot in India by train, being familiar to this kind of a transport system, the Dubai Metro is indeed a great achievement for the city and is surely noted for this, worldwide.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Denial of information

My day begins with the updates on the news over a cup of coffee. This normally gets me out of the daily blues to get up and get ready for work. The thought process in the morning is so complicated with puzzling thoughts criss-crossing about home, work, finance and much more.

Leaning back on the couch, sipping my favourite coffee (self-made!), I switch ON the idiot box (my frustration is making me call it so). All I get to see are Ads, Ads and Ads. With frustration building up, I browse through the other news channels where I could get some updates but in vain. Am not naming the channels, but its really frustrating when you have limited time to catch up with things happening around you through the idiot box and all you get to see and listen are stupid advertisements about losing weight, new car in the market, credit cards to tempt you buy stuff that you have been dreaming of, so called cricket stars now playing actors, shampoo that would make your hair strong to work like steel wires etc etc etc...The most frustrating part is that all these news channels have timed their Ad-slots in such a way that at a given point of time, every channel plays some or the other Ad, denying the viewer the options to get what he/she wants.

Now, I have learnt a lesson - not to depend on the idiot box but to get updated through various websites. Its quite relieving to know things at the click of a mouse. No need to wait, just keep flipping through the sites, keep browsing and all the news are in front of you. Sigh! I wonder when things would be different. With all due respect to the media & marketing industry (I'm in the same industry, lol), its high time to think of ways to time the Ads in order not to hamper the schedules.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Sushi Way!!!

The first ever Sushi that my wife, Sandhya tried. Though I have relished this unique Japanese preparation earlier, this time it was a wonderful experience with Sandhya and me tasting sushi at one of the malls in Dubai. Being vegetarians, I had to choose from couple of options available and the chef was kind enough to give me more options of non-vegetarian sushis that could be used as veg sushis by including some vegetables instead of the seafood.

I chose, ordered and waited. I could see the excitement building up and the order was ready within a few minutes.

"Is this what we are gonna eat?" asked Sandhya.

"This is what you wanted right?" I replied.

I am a bit familiar with the chop sticks and started carrying out my job of munching them sushis. I could see a strange look at her face with the first sushi being tasted by her. She seemed to enjoy it but this fun lasted only for a few seconds within which the seaweed in which the rice and vegetables are wrapped began to give her a weird taste.

Not being familiar with these tastes, she couldnt continue anymore. Finally, I being the 'blessed soul' to complete the content, use up the soya sauce, other ginger and chilli servings along with the sushi.

A wonderful experience indeed. I would surely continue to have these tasty preparations by the Japanese.