Saturday, September 03, 2011

Enter the Dragon (Bangkok)

Its almost nearing my one week milestone here in Bangkok and Aug 29th Marks the three month Anniversary of my marriage. O boy has it been engaging and hectic but this post is not about marriage (Whole life to write and possibly crib about it) so lets not get into that now.
Sukhumvit Square
When I came back to India from middle east I never imagined that I would be heading out of the country so soon but as lady luck would have it, my company offered me a role in Thailand and I took it with both hands because I was starting to get itchy about Delhi and wanted to get out of there. That place is just not for normal human beings. Never in my life have I undergone so much losses as in my 4 months in Delhi NCR. People are just out there to find every possible way to squeeze you out with your money. Anyways, there is a good possibility that I have to go back to Delhi once this project gets done so I don’t wanna crib about it too much yet.
So here we are in Bangkok, my first time in South East Asia. Everything around here feels so damn weird, so damn new, especially the food. Its not like its my first time Outside India but it was relatively easier for me to adjust to Middle east because in terms of food it was more or less similar. But out here I am mortally terrified to try something new, lest it turns out to be some exotic and extinct species. As it is I have got the loosies because of the change of diet and which is proof enough that I have a super sensitive stomach and I curse god for that!  >.<
Here is a list of a few interesting things that I noticed out here.
They are known as "Taxi Meter"
1. They have Pink Taxi’s (Pukes). Also the cars here are really old, makes me think that Bangkok’ites are not into cars that much. In a very rare case will you find a Ferrari and a Maserati strutting by. And I think it is understandable, because the traffic situation out here in absolutely horrible. I had read about it before and thank god for the really planned and well connected metro trains, it makes life so much easier.  

Need a lift?

2. They still have two stroke bikes in this country :O and they are mighty popular as well which has its benefits as well, as in, they have devised a mighty effective solution for short distance travel. What they have is, mopeds stationed at every street which take you to wherever you wish to, for a small fee as compared to the taxis. They even give you a spare helmet, the only downside is that you have to hang on for your dear life while the dude squeezes through narrow gaps between cars and even narrower lanes.
They like to eat all kinds of balls, I mean literally!
3.  I don’t know where to begin if I have to on the topic of Food. Seriously, if I try a different dish every day for two times for the next three months, I still be left with options. For Eg: Yesterday for Brunch I had, Fried Chicken with Rice, Chicken water soup and for desert, Sticky rice with Coconut milk and Black beans. Beer later in the afternoon. Sweet coconut water(which was heavenly sweet and tons of coconut to be scraped off later), Plums. And then Chicken Fried Rice for dinner (The Thai’s give a bad name to Chicken Fried Rice that you get in India, It was the worst Fried Rice that I ever ate).
I think people out here eat very little. They just have small bowls of rice for their meals and little gravy on top of it, not that I am complaining. Even KFC has their local variant which has Shredded Fried chicken in various curries with one small bowl of rice (This is extremely tasty and in almost comes under budget food).

Tender and super sweet coconut water!

The ingredient that goes into their vegetarian food is absolutely horrible to say the least. And I don’t think Thai traditional Food looks even a little appetising. People here like to mash up absolutely anything and everything and they like everything liquidy, be it rice, noodles or soup. I once ordered Chicken Noodles and what I got was an entire boiled Chicken leg piece in a big soup kinda bowl and boiled noodles swimming in that soup. I was so perplexed as in how the hell is one supposed to eat this, with a spoon or directly drink it from the bowl and I was given chopsticks for the job!!

(To be Continued..)

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

The Great Let Down - II

Continued from Part - I

And then there is “The Money”, oh yes, that's something that made my time here worthwhile but then again even money starts losing its value once the needs are satisfied. I made my first million (INR) in savings that is. Fulfilled all the wishes of buying the gadgets that money can buy without paying any sort of taxes. Not to be snobby but  listing some of them below. 

The first thing I had bought was a Nikon P&S, and lost it within a month on an aeroplane.
Then second thing was the Casio EFE -  500D, part of Sebastien Vettel’s collection.
The third thing was the Canon FS- 400 video camera.
The fourth was the PS-3
The fifth was the HTC  Touch Pro, windows phone. My first smart phone sold it after 6 months :P
The sixth was the Nikon - D5000 DSLR. My first SLR.
The seventh was the Sony Vaio VPCEB15FA
The eight was the 32 LG LCD for back home. 
The ninth was the Bose In ear phones. Had wanted it from so long.
The tenth was the Blackberry Bold 3.  
And behold, the latest is the Apple MacBook Air. 

Apart from the gadgets, I always knew I was not going to stay here on a long term so kept my investments in terms of apartments and vehicles to a bare minimum and anyways Dubai has amazing transportation system. This is one thing all the metros in India should learn.  

A few nuisances that I found mighty annoying about this place was the weekend system .I mean why the hell invent your own calendar, can’t we just follow the calendar that the rest of the world follows. My company had the concept of Thursday Half day and Friday which was supposedly the “weekend”. I absolutely abhorred this concept of weekend and even more going to work on a Saturday and Sunday. People said that with time you get used to it but I could do nothing but detest and loathe every single weekend. The second was the prayer calls five times a day, I don’t mean any offence to the religion neither do I have anything personal against it but I just cant relate to it and it is nothing but screeching noise for me which I cant wait for it to stop. I mean, you are sitting their in silence with your thoughts and there he goes off screaming away to glory. If your on a call while being outdoors, this sound virtually acts like a Signal Jammer. And they have one mosque in every single block of the country so there is no way that you can escape it. It gets worst during Ramadan, the prayers start at 4 AM, and the pitch keeps on increasing incessantly, none of the restaurants will serve food and even if you find it somehow, you will have to hide somewhere and eat like a thief. I tried being a part of the festivities and I have to say, the atmosphere completely changes during Ramadan. The amazing sweets and even yummier food made me over look some of the other irritating things.

If all that was not enough, I was once hauled up to the police station and roughed up just because me and my buddy went to an empty beach to take the photographs of the sunset and then the reason given to us was that there was an oil rig, a couple of miles into the sea and we were supposed to be spies and part of some conspiracy to blow it up. I mean seriously, do I look like a spy to you? The cops over here are more psychos than anything else, they will not listen to you if you don't speak Arabic. In all probability if you get into their hands they will charge you for murder and execute you. I mean the legal system rinks of the justice served during the medieval ages (Although I heard they serve Chicken Biryani in the Jail)

The other thing which is prominent here is the rampant and in your face prostitution and open solicitation that goes on in public places. Initially I was completely “culture shocked” and then slowly started accepting as one of the many flaws of this country. This is a mighty dangerous habit and I have seen many a guys wasting away their hard earned money, month after month on this horrendous activity. The cops turn a complete blind eye to the entire thing. 

That concludes my rant. I hope to put all this behind me and get a clean break through. If someone asks me, "Do you ever wish to come back here?", and for sure the answer would be Hell No. And neither would I recommend this place to anyone who is not Muslim.

P.S: To all my muslim friends, this is not intended to offend anyone, this is sincerely my and only MY opinion. I am sorry if I have hurt any of your sentiments or feelings but this is how I felt during my stay and since this is my personal space, I let out everything. I have nothing against any religion, hell I am agnostic for all that matters.  I hope I don't get burnt for this. 

The Great Let Down - I

It is finally time to say Good-Bye to Middle - East which has been my so called home for a good part of last two years. I sit now at the airport, looking back trying to evaluate the good memories from the bad and I am not surprised that more often than it should be, it has been the latter that seems to have left a prominent impression. I have got into trouble insanely lot many more times than I have in my entire life.

When I got an offer to work here, I had set myself a target of maximum 2 years that I will spend here and I am glad that I am getting out just in time. If I had to sit down and literally count, I have spent around 20 months almost equally divided between Dubai and Kuwait. Initially, I was not big on coming to middle east, but circumstances in the previous job and the position offered here prompted me to take this up as a challenge.

I still remember when I first walked out of the Dubai Airport, as soon as I stepped out, the humidity hit me like an invisible force and my spectacles were all fogged up, I was like WHOA, WTF! I was totally mesmerized by the concrete art in form of futuristic buildings on the SJR. I was truly enchanted by the sight of the Burj Dubai now better known as Burj Khalifa, It was still under construction back then but stood there looking like a towering giant over the city. I was put up at Discovery Gardens, a nice and quiet neighbourhood, almost like an Oasis surrounded by the desert all around. I would lie if I say that I didn't take an immediate liking for this place, I was happy by the spacious furnished apartment provided, a small garden patch where you could relax in the evenings and beautiful view from the balcony.

Picture Perfect!
I guess the first thing that I started noticing about this place was the cars. Yes, those gorgeous metal beauties. This place was like a paradise for me, I felt like a little boy again watching all those super-cars come to life which I had only seen on the posters of my bedroom wall or as wallpapers. And of course the R1’s and the Harley’s. Half the time here was spent drooling over every passing super-car and there were many!

The seductress
The second thing was the babes! The one I am talking is more of the organic variety. If I say, I was completely blown away, would be an understatement. The English, the Americans,  the Russians, Germans (my own boss was a hot and tall German) and the chicks from all the other European countries completely nailed my jaw firmly to the floor. There has to be a special mention of the Arabian chicks, especially the ones which had nothing else but their eyes visible. One glimpse of those eyes and it was enough to keep you going for weeks. I mean there was something about it, that you just cant forget. And then there were the other Arab chicks who had their complete face visible. Layers and layers of makeup, marinated in perfume which you could get a waft from a mile long and the kohl giving a finish to every outline on the face, like a border on the painting. Still they had oodles and oodles of oomph just oozing all over the place. Lunch times were usually happy times in the mall, completely spent ogling and staring. The Indians and others Asians were ofcourse there but hardly worth a second look, mostly because they were either married and tagging along with their husbands and children, not even MILF title deserving. Well to be fair, I have seen nothing but them all my life.

The first month went by like a breeze, the work place was good, nothing like the horrible stories I had heard from people. ‘Almost’ treated as an equal, friendly colleagues, good work ethics, decent but aged boss, not exactly a challenging job profile which left a lot of time for me to persuade other activities. I took to the European food and Arabic cuisine that the Ibn Batuta mall had to offer like a bee does to a flower. I almost ate at a new place and a new food course for almost a month or so. I always loved experimenting with food, so it was absolutely a paradise.

I didn’t have much of a social life since I hardly knew anyone out here except Vikram who was in Sharjah at that time and neither am I big on making random friends. So I had to depend on my colleagues to show me around. Still, the one thing that I like about this city is that it never makes you feel that you are alone, since all around you see people on their own, doing their own thing. Despite of that, I managed to cover a lot of places here in Dubai, almost all the beaches (loved the crystal clean Green/Blue water although a bit extra salty), Desert Safari, Bull Fighting at Ras Al khaimah, The Dibba - Oman - Musandam Dhow cruise, The Burj - al- Arab, The Burj Khalifa and the musical fountain, Gold souq and all the stupid and boring malls. And in Kuwait, The liberation towers, The Kuwait Towers, The parliament house, The holy family church and the Salmiya beach front. Kuwait is so small that you can circumvent the entire country in 2 hours flat. 

A special mention has to be made of twitter here. Within a month of coming here, life did a complete U-turn on me, in simple words had a break up for the most annoying reason which I cannot digest, it was really some kinda big ass karmic joke. I was in depression for a month or two and solitude that Kuwait provided really helped. I was introduced to twitter out of sheer boredom. I mean how many movies can a person watch and going through the breakup of the century didn’t help either. Twitter is the kinda place where you can strike up instant conversations and there is someone or the other always available. It provided a comforting distraction and it works so well that I would recommend anyone who has had a break-up, to ‘twitter therapy’. I met quite a lot of new people over Twitter meet-ups knows as "Tweetups", some are still good friends and some I found uber annoying. I mean I am not a crowd kinda person, it totally creeps me out to strike random conversations with absolute strangers.

(To Be Continued...)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"Singles Awareness Day"

So this doomed day has befallen on all of us once again. It should more be called as "Singles Awareness Day" I believe this day is the ostracization of all the singles in the world and its like specially tailored for one look like a fish out of water on this day of extreme mush-ism. I am pretty sure, if someone looked up for the statistics, they will find a lot more suicides by perfectly healthy single humans than any other day. (New Years Eve comes second.) 

I received much flak for speaking out and bashing of this day on twitter. So I will resort to speaking my mind here. 

1. For all the couple DP's with cling-on's like they would run away if you leave them alone - Die.
2. For all the love quotes suddenly spreading like a psychotic virus  - Die.
3. For people suddenly acting extra horny by proposing every girl in sight - Die
4. PDA = DIE
5. All the people who are depressed cuz they don't have a valentine - Die.

When I got up today, I had this thought in my head. What if like St.Valentine there was a St.Narsimha who would preach the message of hate instead of love. At least the balance in the universe would be restored. But truly, that dude will cringe in his grave if he came to know what mockery has been made in his name. For this particular day, I am even ready to conspire together with MNS and Shiv-Sena to burn all those V- day cards and even beat the hell out of couples coochie-cooing in public parks. 

Its not like I am anti-love or something, but I don't believe in making a display of it. The one I love knows how I feel about it and thats enough for both of us. And I don't need just one day to make her realize that. I am pretty much old school when it comes to that. 

So here comes the shocker! Are you ready to be surprised? 

I wrote a post, couple of days back for a blog of friend of mine @defiantprincess . She almost threatened if I didn't write a love story. Its called The Prodigal Valentine A complete fictitious story based on my imagination alone. So don't start getting any ideas there. 

The amount of feedback and "likes" I received for that story is just mind-boggling. Its like people still like all that cheesy love stories. A tip to all the commercial writers, abandon all that gore and thriller stories, just write a heart wrenching love-story and people will just lap it up like hungry dogs. 

Sad, but true.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Perdition - III

Part 3 of 3

Continued from Part - II || Part I

..“He owes the prince 3.5 Mil”

“Could you please repeat?” My jaw just dropped to the floor, I just couldn't believe my ears. How could a guy like him owe freaking 3.5 million to anybody.

I tried to enquire further, “How did Caelan manage to lose such a lot of money?”

“He played at the high stakes poker table, was a regular here a few years back, he was the next big thing which earned him an entry onto the no limits table but luck as they say is a bitch and when it decides to take you down, it takes you down hard.”

“Caelan’s dad is a filthy rich businessman, I am sure he will arrange the money” I tried telling them but it was really more to convince myself.

Two more hours went by in trying to just digest the fact that the fucker lost that kinda money gambling. The money that would take me at least 4 years to save up. Another thing that was bothering me was that I hadn’t seen Nina after she served drinks and I still could not forget that look that she gave to Caelan.

So I asked them again, “Do Caelan and Nina know each other?”

“She used to be your boy’s girl, and the only reason prince kept her alive was because he knew Caelan would come back here someday. She was the one who called up prince to sell his punk ass off. Caelan broke her heart when he ran away alone and left her here to die for the sharks.”

I knew then, I was a dead man, a sacrificial goat, he is not really going to come back. Now it all made perfect sense, his disappearance 2 years ago and why he was so reluctant to come to this place. I knew one thing even if Caelan did come back, he was not leaving this place alive. Something did not feel right and it made me cringe to even think something bad was in store for Caelan.

Four hours were almost getting over and as if bang on cue, Prince was back. He did not look happy. A chill ran down my spine. He asked to bring me up to him.

“Looks like he has ditched your sad ass just like he had ditched Nina in the past. Where is he?” He reached for his gun.

“I don’t know anything. I have been just sitting here, but I am sure he must be on his way.”

“Call him. Ask him where he is.”

I dialled his number but there was no answer, I panicked and I pretended that he picked up the call and started having a conversation as if he was on the other hand. Prince sensed that something was not right, so he snatched the phone from my hand and there was none on the other side. This just pissed him off and he landed a hard low punch straight in my stomach. The pain was so excruciating and numbing that it made me see stars in broad daylight.

“You wanna fuck with me, you think this is funny? Do you see me laughing Bitch!”

I was in so much pain that I was not sure how much long it would be before I pass out. And just then I heard Caelan’s scream for prince to stop. Never was I so happy to see someone in my entire life but at the same time it frightened me to think what was in store next.

“Where is my money?”

“Its in the car, let Scott go and I will bring in the money”

“You know, you are in no position to bargain here, get me the money now and I might just let you both live.“

Caelan went out again and soon was back with 2 duffel bags. Prince asked his cronies to check for the money and after they confirmed everything was there.

“You and I have some unfinished business,” Prince had a smirk on his face.

“Look man, I am sorry for whatever happened in the past, you have the money now, just let us go.”

“You really thought it was gonna be that easy, didn’t you punk. I can see it in your eyes that you believed you could walk out of this, at least that will make it look interesting what I am about to do next.”

He took out his gun and shot him in both his knee caps. “That was for running away.”

Caelan fell to the ground, he was in agony and I just could not believe what was happening in front of my eyes. I begged prince to spare his life but he was like a man possessed and I knew he was not done yet.

He sat down and caught Caelan by his neck. There was blood everywhere on the floor but Caelan had not let out a scream yet. I tried to rescue Caelan but the guards had got me pinned down and there was nothing I could do about it other than just watch as a spectator.

“This is for ever thinking you could fool Prince and just walk away.”

And with one swift motion he twisted Caelan’s neck like a branch twig and his body slid to rest like a lump of dead meat. His eyes, they were still open, accusing me for everything that happened.

I was just too blank and numb to think or react anything further. It wouldn’t matter anymore even if Prince decided to kill me next. I just wanted to get done and over with it. But as luck would have it, he decided to spare my life and left me with a warning that if I told anyone, I would face a death far more painful than Caelan’s.

The guards collected the money bags and left. Nina was waiting for them in the car and just as they were getting into it, they all heard a strange loud continuous beep that seemed to emanate from the duffel bag and just then, Prince got a message from Caelan, that read.

“Tick Tick Tick, see you on the other side fagot

The end.

P.S: Special Thanks to @69fubar @_NidhiG & @defiantprincess for listening and assisting me with the storyline.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Perdition - II

Part 2 of 3

Continued from Part I
...He almost fell of his seat as he tried to get up.

I turned around to see what had warranted such a reaction from him, and saw four huge guys walking towards us fronted by what looked like a guy who was wearing a mask.

I sneered, "Are you kidding me, who are these freak shows?"

I was about to get up but he told me to shut up and sit tight and let him handle the situation.

Those dudes, although a little over the top, looked menacing and meant serious business. This was not the kind of evening I was planning to have. 

I tried to overhear the conversation:

The guy in the mask said, "Boy, you come back in town, and don't even inform your old hommies"?

"I was about to, I just came day before yesterday, and I was about to call Nina"

"Now that there boy, is what you big city folks feed us, black lies. Do you see STUPID written all over my mask?"

"I am really sorry, you have to trust me, I swear I was about to come to you."

The man in the mask chuckled and turned around to his cronies "The motherfucker wants me to trust him, like I did two years back. Hell no boy. You got some balls to come back in this town after all these years. Did you really think it would all be just forgotten, like it never happened? And you will be greeted with Hawaiian girls in coconut bras and grass skirts?"

"You have to believe me man."

"Is that so? Fine, then let’s get down to business. Where is my money?"

This was going from bad to ugly and I knew I had to intervene, so I moved to get up, the man in the mask noticed and hollered with a silver gun in his hand, "Put your bitch ass down, right where it belongs and do not try anything funny."

I felt fear like I have never before in life. This was the first time a gun, a real GUN was pointed in my direction. Blood seemed to have stopped flowing through my veins, I just couldn't move a single muscle in my body even if wanted to.

"Please leave him out, he has nothing to do with this." Caelen said.

The man in the mask smiled and pointed the gun to Caelen’s forehead, "I'll ask one last time, WHERE THE FUCK IS MY MONEY?"

"Let me make some calls, I'll have it here in no time."

"Go get the money, but till then your friend stays right here. And if you do not show up in 4 hours, you know what we gonna do to him."

He walked back to me "I am really sorry Scott, I didn’t want anyone to know about this. I'll be back soon, I promise."

"At least tell me what did you do? What is all this about? How much do you owe them?"

He whispered "Didn’t I tell you, anywhere but this place, and now is not the time, I'll tell you everything when I get back."

When I saw him walk out of the door, a voice at the back of my head wondered, what if he does not come back? Although we were like brothers, last couple of years had changed him. But still somehow I convinced myself that he will be back with the money.

An hour had gone by, the man in the mask had left leaving two of his bulky friends behind. Strange thoughts were spiraling in my head, and when torn between trust and doubt, doubt wins hands down. I tried to recollect anything that would explain the situation I was in, but my mind was as blank as it could possibly get.

I could not just sit here and wait for him to come back, so I mustered up the courage to walk up to one of the guys, “Look guys I really have no idea how much Caelan owes your boss, but I’m sure there is no need for any violence. I am sure he will be back soon.”

Either of them refused to acknowledge my presence. I wondered for a moment if they would notice if I just sneaked out.

I tried again, “Listen man, can you at least tell me how much does Caelan actually owe?”

One of them turned to me, “He owes the prince 3.5 Mil”


Friday, February 04, 2011

The Perdition - I

Part 1 of 3

I said to Caelan, “Let’s go out for a drink or a Shisha”

I could sense that he was reluctant to go out, but I somehow convinced him that from the time he has come down, he has not stepped a foot outside the house. It was like something was bothering him, and I was hoping when I take him out for a few drinks he will open up. So, we got off the apartment and flagged down a cab.

I gave off the directions to the cabbie, "Marina, North West Avenue, Cafe Mondegar" and I was telling Caelan about the awesome ambiance of the place and when I turned to see him, his face was ghostly pale, like it just got drained off of all the blood.

I asked him, "Dude! WTF is wrong?"

"Let’s go anywhere but there," he was alarmed.

"Don't be silly, it’s a pleasant place and you will completely fall in love with the beautiful oceanic view and the breeze."

I tried to cheer him up with some more small talk, while he just nodded, pretending to listen while looking away from me. So I let him be quiet for the rest of the way.

We entered Marina, the evening sky looked beautiful by the sea, like a thousand colors were strewn all over the horizon. Saw the faintest of a glint in his eye when he noticed the view, but he was still reluctant to get out of the cab. I felt disappointed, that I had to drag him like this, almost told the cabbie to turn around and take us back. He noticed my chagrin and got out of the cab for my sake.

A familiar face greeted us as we entered the cafe, I knew Nina far too well, but somehow she made eye contact with Caelan first and I saw a kind of strange fear in her eyes. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening around me. First him acting all strange about this place and now Nina, it was like the world as I knew it to be, had completely transformed.

Nina took us to our tables, which was completely on the other side of the cafe. It was like the VIP section of the cafe, which I did not even know it existed, although I was not complaining one bit, it had an amazing view of the harbor. We ordered for a pitcher and waited for our Shisha to arrive. The place was deserted and I could not understand why he was so uncomfortable and kept twitching and looking back over his shoulder.

He made me promise, one Pitcher and we are out of this place. I told him to relax.

Nina soon came along with our beer, she was generally a warm person but I could see that she still had that look which read I don't want anything to do with you guys. She was in a hurry and almost spilled the beer on him. It was so unlike her and I wanted to stop her and ask her what’s wrong but then decided against creating a scene.

Two pints down and the evening was nicely moving along, he looked more relaxed and started talking freely. Told me where he was for the last 2 years, lying low, learning his father’s business and how happy he was to come back home.

I prodded further “Why did you leave so suddenly?”

He just stared into the ocean for what looked like the longest time. He knew this was coming and there was no escaping from the tough questions. And just as he turned around to answer, his eyes were filled with horror. He almost fell of his seat as he tried to get up.

(TO BE CONTINUED.. I promise this time :) )

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The lone journey

Travelling to a holiday or vacation alone as far as the Indian mind-set is concerned is a big No-No, almost to the extent its frowned down upon. A friend rightly said travelling alone is so under-rated. I was quite unsure myself at first about planning on a trip on my own, but the very grain in my body refused to spend a 3 day weekend at home doing absolutely nothing. So I started floating the idea around friends regarding destinations for a short vacation and from the responses I got I decided to go for this. Musandam-Dibba-(Oman) The price was quite reasonable, considering all the things on the offer but had a hard time trying to get a seat because it was the weekend and everyone was trying desperately to get on it. Still managed to get on one with last minute frantic pushing.

So, Mr. Badshaah Khan on D-day wakes me up at 7 AM, telling me to get to the pick up point in fifteen minutes or so. I almost banged the phone on him thinking he has got the wrong number but then it suddenly stuck me and the world felt like it was gonna come crashing down on me. As usual I had forgotten to set an alarm. I was probably thinking I wouldn’t be able to get any sleep in excitement of the impending travel (Yeah that’s me :|). I told him not to worry and I'll be there on time although he didn’t sound too convinced. 

I have a special routine redesigned for such emergencies, where we stick to bare minimums to get ready on time, if you know what I mean. And I convinced myself saying "Anyways I have to go swimming later in the day", so having a bath wasn't really that necessary and neither am I fan of having early morning bath on a holiday. Plus I am a responsible earthling, I am against unnecessary water wastage, so with a generous dab of deodorant I managed to get out of the house just in time since I had got my bag packed the previous night. 

A glorious morning waited as I stepped outside the flat, the birds singing tunes of autumn and dew glistening on the parked cards. I was quite happy with how the day was turning out so far. I was almost Halfway near the pick up point and like right on cue as if the universe had a way of leveling things with me, I remembered that I forgot my SLR. I felt like banging my head on the nearest wall. I had to run back almost a quarter mile and finally the lactic acid build up kicked in and had to walk the rest of the way.It was a quick grab and deploy mission and I decided that I was not going to run my way back. Let the driver wait if he has to. In the end I was still early, that's the greatest tragedy of my life lately, I can never be late, even after trying hard. 

Mr. Badshaah Khan was on time and after picking up the other fellow passengers which involved a lot of circling around unknown neighborhood’s for what felt like an eternity because some blonde chick refused to be picked up from anywhere else but in front of her doorstep, we were finally on our way. The road ahead was straight like an arrow with the weather still kinda dull and hazy with the sun shining on with pleasant warmness and sand engulfing us from all sides. I was left to my devices with nothing better to do and with a Autestic kid sitting behind me making weird noises and pulling my hair from time to time, I started experimenting with the SLR and the 300 lens and then there was this unusually beautiful section of the road which literally looks like the hump's of a camel's back. 

And soon enough we crossed the Sharjah border into Oman without any major security screening process, I guess the border security were least bothered even if we had been carrying a huge crater of RDX we would have been just let go into the Sultanate of Oman, with just the odd wave of the hand. I could feel the humidity increasing as we were getting close to the land's end and the horizon up ahead disappearing into bottle green vastness...

(To be continued...)