Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
I was born in a small yet historically relevant city in God’s Own Country (Kerala, in South India) called Calicut, a.k.a Kozhikkode (historically because that was where Vasco de Gama landed almost five centuries back.) But I didn’t stay there for long considering the fact that my father was one of those millions who had shifted base to the oil-rich Gulf in the 1970’s. (and yeah, I am the only one born in Kerala among my siblings. Both my brothers were born in Muscat, Oman.) So sooner than later, I was in the Middle East getting used to the constant air conditioning and biriyani or ghee rice on Fridays (it used to be a tradition for up until the late 1990’s in our home – Mom used to make neychor (ghee rice) with chicken curry or different biryanis on Fridays, so that the whole family sat together and ate peacefully after the men came back from the Friday Juma prayers). Oh yeah, I forgot to mention – the sweltering heat, even though nobody ventured out before it was at least 4 in the evening.
I vaguely remember where we used to live when I was really very tiny (I have to ask ma mom one of these days about it), but yeah when I was around 5 years of age, I clearly remember staying in this flat in Muttrah. It had huge halls and there were around 10 apartments within that hallway. It was fairly a huge apartment with two bedrooms and very friendly neighbours. It was the 90’s, people did talk to each other then. My mom, used to being the clean and practical one used to even get out of the way into cleaning the hallways, clearing it off the cobwebs and dust from time to time. I remember a Malayalee family, with whose children I used to play around with. When my mom left for Hajj, dad used to make us breakfast in the morning, cover it with a plate and head off to his office. Me and my brother after having our breakfast (which mainly included bananas or Upuma) used to head out to our neighbour’s place, where we played our hearts out until it was evening and our dad came back. It was a fairly nice place to stay. I remember my mom walking me down the steps towards the bus to take me to the school, which was situated towards the Corniche side of Muttrah (and yes, this very school would metamorphosize into the once prestigious Indian School Al Wadi Al Kabir).
That apartment was also the site of one of my worst personal accidents. I had burned myself real badly when I knocked over a mug of boiling hot water, which was being used as a vaporizer to clear off blocked noses. Ugh, the pain of having my skin peeled off when my dad pulled down my shorts to help take the scalding hot water away from my body was absolutely excruciating. For the next one month, I had to visit the hospital every day to have new dressing on both ma thighs. But that was just one of those many things, that you will encounter in your life. You will never know when the next incident that will scar you for life can come along.
But all honeymoons get over. Sadly, my Dad hit a rough patch after his Sheikh expired and people were in danger of losing their jobs. He decided to send us back to India at least for the time being. So there, after almost 12 years in the Gulf I was heading back to the place I was born in - Calicut.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I mean how much more hilarious could life be? You have people getting married left, right and centre. What is it with people and getting married so young? Well with the kind of things happening around us, I believe that they are taking the Mayan belief that 2012 sure is the end of the world (courtesy my buddy Ashwin Gopinath - yeah we discussed this seriously idiotic topic and why people can't just go suicidal instead of getting married). But c’mon now, does that mean you get married even before you get a job, even before you can stand on your two feet, even before you’ve seen the world, before you’ve even had a hangover or two? You know what it is? It is ridiculous? Now don’t tell me that you’ve done all that even before your 23rd birthday. And no I’m not being jealous nor am I being stupid. But that’s the deal people. You got so much more to do. If it were me, this would be a list of things to do before I hang my heart out:
- Take a road trip to Ladakh
- Hike across the Himalayas
- Get wet in the rains of Cherapunji
- Be in a band (again) and play to an audience equal to that of the number of people out on the street during India’s Cricket World Cup win
- Gift Dad and Mom a foreign holiday for their anniversary
- Drive MY car around one of the two drive-in beaches in India
- Enjoy the littlest moments (a promotion, a raise, an award – it can be frikking anything – even your first swim with sharks) with your friends, no matter how busy any of them are
- Put a smile on the face of everyone who cares for you and not
- Get a book published (which is almost partially fulfilled ;))
- Grow my hair long (It’s been like this unfulfilled wish for so long! ;))
And so much more people. So much more. If I continue with this list, I don’t think i’ll be able to finish it anywhere now. It might even take me time until my bachelorhood finishes, thereby guaranteeing that I will still have so many things to do before I get hitched. As for 2012, I tell, bring it on. I can wait. As long and as peaceful as I want.