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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Fried out

It was 2007 July ,one of the hottest periods in the Gulf and I had the first taste of summer in Al Ain then
I reached U.A.E precisely on July 12th  and landed in the  Abu Dhabi Airport .
Tawam Hospital receive their staff on the first visit with a  friendly chaperon and a chauffeur driven vehicle .

Smiling Sidhu was my first glimpse of my Hospital hospitality and he made  a reasonably good impression .

As we sped through the smooth neat wide highway to Al Ain I was intrigued by the signs that came before me .
Though travelling away from Abu Dhabi city once in a while the board Abudhabi  exit came on my right side !
This was surprising for someone fresh from India as we expect it to be in  the opposite side of my travel as I was moving away from it later Sidhu filled me that this was the way one returned back by an underpass ,no  U.turns or junctions in highways ,it was one smooth ride of 140 Km in an hour and a half .

we passed the huge horse roundabout as  we approached AlAin city and I  looked at  Tawam Hospital ,it was huge and sprawling with the Faculty of Medicine near by ,
we sped swiftly into the flower bedecked roundabouts and  the neatly pavemented city of Al Ain went through the busy areas and reached the other side of the city and went into the Hilton hotel to be  my home for more than a month from then .

I was promptly deposited in my fifth floor room with a nice little balcony facing the main road with the speeding cars   ,of course at that time of the year one wouldn't venture into open balconies for the sun  would fry one till late evening !
Slowly I made the  hotel  my home ,commuting  to  the hospital in the official car and coming back in the evenings ,the long weekends of Friday and Saturday ( in UAE the week starts on Sunday ) stretched in front on me with nothing much to do but gaze into the TV and think of home food ,it would be November by the time AlAin climate changed from torrid to warm to cold and it would be real nice in December     Jan and February pleasant 10 to 15 degrees .

But this happened in the height of summer and we are talking of 45 to 50 degrees
One weekend afternoon after a long nap I slid the glass door of my room moving aside the curtains and stepped into the veranda ,half sleepy
 I wanted to take a breath of fresh air and I then did something  which I regretted immediately .

I slid the door back and it promptly got locked into place from inside !!!!
I remembered reading an instruction precisely not to do this !

Not a pleasant  proprosition to get caught in a blazing verandah under a fuming sun in the  Gulf summer and to add to my discomfiture I was ill dressed in a lungi without even a shirt to cover my chest  and a  growing paunch !
within minutes I was in sympathy with all the eggs I fried in my life ,karma getting back so fast !!

The sun was just shining away and  wickedly smiling at my agony ,
I  could see my mobile lying on the bed sadly far away behind the impenetrable glass door and my voice sounded feeble and hoarse as I tried to beckon a taxi driver 5 stories below in front of the lobby ,he didn't even glance up .
 why should he ?
Even no birds were in the sky !
my foot bare and  burning made me do some kuchipidi steps  as I attempted to withdraw into a small patch of shade .
I had to look out for someone  to call in distress if  I did not want to die of sunstroke and be packed home in a steel box .
Finally I  found my saviour
A posh Arab had just  got out from his BMW and happened to gazed up .

He should have got a shock to see a half naked fakir gesticulating like a wild monkey on the fifth floor balcony making guttural sounds .
The script unfolded like below

Arab : Hey whats up ?
Me  : Everything ,I mean , me stuck here and  door locked by itself u know  ,
 save me  , tell in  lobby pleeese

Arab  : why the hell did you lock yourself out !
ME : dont know ,sure will tell you once I get the answer !

This made him chuckle .

Arab :   Ha Ha you look burnt ha ha !!
ME :    I feel burnt too
Arab :  Shall I get a fire engine for the  rescue what ? they could hose you first
ME :  easier way is to tell the manager please....
Arab :   ha OK well should have had my camera missed it ( those days mobile cams weren't that famous )
ME   :Ya what a photo op ? just like a kingfisher model

Well the angel of an Arab did the right thing after giving me a smile ,he went straight in and out came the manager and his gang .
the script continues as below

Manager and co : Doctor it is you ha ha ? What made you something like that ?

I was sure producing all the humor Al Ain could get that summer and I felt i would become a  national celebrity by the evening !

Within minutes there a lot of banging and tapping in front of my room door double locked by the safe me before going for sleep !
somehow they managed to open it and  then  opened my sliding door and  I  stepped into the bliss of the AC inside !!

I collapsed into the sofa grinning with embarrassment at the amused waiters and the  manager one of them even bringing a thoughtful cool drink with him to cool my embers
 The manager  gave me a tut tut
why in heavens did you do that my dear Doktor just imagine if no one had seen you what you would have done ?
slowly after lot of laughs and giggles they left me alone to sizzle out 

I collapsed into the bed thanking my stars that I was dressed not just in my lungi alone or else a lot of me would have gone fried that day !
Nuts !!!

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