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Monday, May 26, 2008

Driven in Dubai








After getting a driving licence I was raring to roam in Dubai and Abudhabi in the weekends .
Al Ain where I stayed was a drivers delight with wide roads ,neat pavements bedecked with flowers ,palm trees ,and sedate traffic ,but Dubai was a different story , a nightmare for someone who didnt know his way around ,with diversions springing up every other hour ,
it was also huge with multiple flyovers ,tracks ,speeding vehicles and construction everywhere .
Abudhabi was more pleasant with its straight roads dwarfed by multistoreyed buidings .
I did drive a couple of times to Dubai and Sharjah but with a safety mechanism of a friend sitting in the right .
So when this meeting came about in a weekend in Dubai I felt it as an oppurtune moment ,I requested my senior collegue to guide me as I drove behind him .
I could manage to keep pace with his 130km/hr with sudden decelaration for well placed speed cameras .( regulars know exactly where cameras are placed ) it wasnt a cake but I managed ,and in an hour or so I saw the high rises and entered into the city via the famed Emirates road .
This is the main arterial trunk connecting most of the emirates of the UAE and was mammoth with around eight tracks on each side ,giant powerline crossing above ,so many exits left from this road to different places in the city and to other emirates .
Like Marys little lamb I faithfully followed my mentor feeling lost in the maze of speeding cars and lanes , my lead kept changing lanes and roads with full confidence ,I cursed vehicles which tried to seperate me from my umblical cord but finally managed to reach the hotel in one piece with him .
Meeting over at midnight we moved to another hotel near the airport for our stay ,Dubai was as crowded then as it was in the day in fact more so . Friday morning I had the road all to myself
( friday is weekly holiday and mornings are generally empty every place )and I managed to cruise to Deira city centre without much ado ,as my confidence grew I drove back to the hotel .
This is when I got into trouble !
The person who created signboards of direction in Dubai surely had a sadistic sense of humour ,I found a sign pointing a right turn to Garoud bridge on the way Rotana Hotel but the real way which I learned later sadly was straight instead of right

When enquired Dubaites told me but by going right too you can turn and come back to the bridge ,great news !! glad to hear that dearie !!
So In Dubai ,say if you want to reach the nose you have directions in both ways ,round the head or across the face . All you do is choose it .
For someone with an inborn error in directions and a congenital infarct in that part of the brain managing this vital function ,( that is yours truly )this was disaster with a big D .
( u know when someone asks me to turn left as i drive I usually look at my hands to search for left ! )
so I passed my hotel on my opposite side , sadly looking at it because there was no u turn or any way to reach it !
( how nice India is you can u turn or even about turn anywhere u want )
I had no other way but to go up a winding flyover and reach the other side of the moon ,well literally ,I was in a god forsaken place with maniacally speeding vehicles .
I managed to cuddle up in the side with flashing lights and rung up my cousin living in Dubai ,he answered my distress call and told me " harietta stay cool till I come "and I did just that ,difficult with the mercury hovering 45 outside .
He led me by the nose and we came back to the hotel .
He parked his car ,came to mine and sat on my side and we went on a small orbit in and around Dubai .
Burr Dubai ,karama ,Deira ,Airport ,al Muktam ,al Gharoud ,so on and so forth , so many bridges ,tunnels with the metro construction activity going on all around .
The prestigious Dubai metro will shortly become a reality in record time ,look at our Kochi metro zindabad started before the survey itself !!
We went into the Sindhuga tunnel ( this is a tunnel built under the creek connecting Burrdubai to Deira ) and over the floating bridge ( floats on the creek ) .
Dubai was at its busiest on that friday evening with thousands of cars cruising along its roads .
Airconditioned bus stops had a rare few waiting for a rarer bus !

We went via Emirates road upto the turn to Al ain road and returned back to Sheik zayed road with its 8 tracks and huge buildings .
we stopped and posed with the tallest building in the world the Burj dubai behind us .
The blur of cars that zipped past us increased as dusk settled down the clear desert night,there was a ting in the air as the sun receded with the heat .
Dubai has no nights as lamps glowed like sunlight ,people were too busy on thier friday night as they sped past the poster of the architects of this country ,the rulers of Dubai ,hats off to thier vision !to have made a city of dreams from a desert
but after all this driving in Dubai to me is still "to be driven !!!! "

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gods own swamis

Gods own is teeming with swamis and swaminis these days ,multifarious speices with exotic labels surface every day and plush ashrams decorate our tv monitors
The Interpol swami alias Santosh Madhavan was the first one to be unearthed ,handsome with dark locks and a serene beard the cool facade of his demenour hiding facts and truths ,
his confesssions could but would never bring out the men and mice behind him ,for then the skeletons in the cupbboard of Keralas murky politicians and big officials would come tumbling down like the proverbial jack and jill .
So he would go down in history just as a swami who had his fun frolicking with teens in his palatial suites and recorded it for posterity and his slimy underbelly would go hidden and so would his supporters go unexposed .
The man knows this and is smug of the fact that he would be back in action before one could spell Amrita Chaitanya


The gun toting Ernakulam Swami himaval maheswara bhadrananda !!!!

( This guy has a sense of humour indeed ) shoots with his mouth while toting a pistol ,his wrambled dialogues resemble of someone talking in the fumes of marijuana ,his pandora box too would be securely closed to gaurd its contents while the channels replay his pistol antics in the police station where unifromed lawkeepers are all around him but never try to grab his pistol The prime time drama with commercial breaks are in all channels with a pistol shot as climax and the swami nursing his hand .



Chandran swami the clerky swami smiles beingnly as women fall on his feet and wait in que to do just that and then we now have an egg headed palaniswami denying accusations with a gentle smile and telling his interviwer "Swami never asks for all this but his devotees want to give what to do "?

To the minister for religion of Kerlala all this as a GOD given ( sic ) oppurtunity for his take off on swamis in general specially in Kerala ,cant blame him for that because he has enough reason to believe so and the man who has made hindu bashing his hobby was at his best as he prescribed a stake in the posterior for these swamis ( same sentiment arises in many of us for these politicans too )

With fakes masquerading everywhere the gullible fall prey ,if the minister is really sincere he should have a grading comitee which quitely asess the facts behind all religous institutions and try to seperate the wheat from chaffe ,no political connections should be a barrier to this exercise .
One is reminded of recent investigations against divine centre Chalakudy which was said to have revealed large hordes of antidepressants being used by priests to give to many pilgrims attending the sessions ,this was hushed up and a hue and cry made on intimidating minority run institutions .
It is also suspected that much goes behind religious activites in Kerala and much is conviniently hidden by the powers who expose only what they want to .
the unearthly silence of several politcal bigwigs in the present scenario rings the bell indeed .
Religious organisations which are genuine and serving people over time are marred by these accustaions as everyone is attempted to be put in the same basket .
For the powers that have been systematically undermining majority religion and its symbols this has come as a convinient and timely handle ,fair enough .
It is the responsibility of the Government to investigate religous organisations and grade them in total fairness to help the gullible from falling prey .

Swami Vivekanada called Kerala a lunatic asylum ,today it is not one but full of lunatic asylums

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

reply to tag

I have been tagged by Maddy ..so here goes

1 .last movie you saw in a theatre ?
innathe chindavisayam : when you see a satyan anthikad directed meera jasminse mohanlal acted movie you dont expect anything else but a great movie ,well this preconcieved notion fell flat after seeing this one ,creativity tapers off after some time i think seeing this lacklustre creation of a great director ,actors have done thier bit but a poor story line and poorer direction makes it a tepid one .
2. what book you are reading ?
SUN AFTER DARK by PICO IYER .after reading place falling offf the map i am Iyers fan his travelogues are off the usual both in places and style ,he creates a new genre himself ,this one on his tour to exotic places bring us true insight ,would recommend this to all .
3 Favourite board game ?
Iam bored of them .
4 .favourite magazines ? The WEEK ,Front line ,India Today and National Geographic .
5 Favourite smells ?
lemon ,lavender,smell of food !!
6 .Worst feeling in the world ?
to be helpless
7 . what is the first thing you think of in the morning ?
being an eternal pessimist ,oh god let not the sword fall on me today .
8.Favourite sounds ?
tinkling bells or a distant flute .
9.Favourite fast food place ?
KFC
10.future childs name ?
psst my wife will hear .....( am 50 yrs )
11.finish this statement ..if .i had lot of money .....?
Travel ,travel and help the really helpless
12 .do you drive fast ?
I like to but people say Iam slow !
13 .Do you sleep with a stuffed animal ?
leading a forced bachelor life now the pillow is the only substitute .
14 .Storms cool or scary ?
As long as it doesnt trouble me cool
15 .What was your first car ?
Herald
16 .Favourite drink ?
Grape juice ( Iam Mr Walker )
17 .finish this statement " if I had the time I would ...?
Write my book
17 .do you eat the stems on brocolli ?
if they are tasty why not ?
19 .If you dye your hair what would be the choice ?
golden brown
20.Name all different cities and towns you lived in ?
Chennai ,Cochin,Al Ain ( small list )
21.Favourite sports to watch ?
none ( my son will kill me )
22.One nice thing about the perso who sent you this ?
Maddy .Great writer ,informative, broad minded and somebody I would really like to meet
23.Whats under your bed ?
nothing wish it was gold biscuits
24.would you like to be born as yourself again ?
nopes somebody better
25.Morning person or night owl?
night owl but get up in morning not very late
26.over easy or sunny side up ?
both
27 .Favourite place to relax ?
in front of computer !
28.Favourite pie ?
nil specific all sweet things I love
29.Favourite ice cream
butterscotch
i pass this on to my niece Ujwala

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