March 26th, 2017

Monday’s draft …0

Decided not to go to work, for the second day today, for no reason. Had taken the trouble to send an SMS to boss yesterday. This morning it did not sound like too much of an an original idea, and could not come up with another way of informing him without having to talk to him, so decided to let him figure it out by himself. He proved a smart guy, and did great on the figuring out by himself part.

Why did I not feel like going to work? Well, for one thing, I hate to go back to that desk and stare at that report that I was supposed to submit September the 5th, and have yet to really get started on same. Secondly, I think I am too tired from our trip to Al Ain and back, and need a bit of rest. Thank God we had Aziza driving us back, or else if I had to do that too, I would have had to take a whole week off, and in a week’s time even my docile boss would have got tired of figuring out (every morning) that I were not coming….

Al-Ain, the garden city, the city which amongst other things can boast of being the only place in the world where yours truly was born. A distant second in its list of distinguishing features is a mountain called Jabel Hafeet, which is not too high really, but is probably the highest point in the UAE, and the coldest … or least hot if you may. The road leading to the top is beautifully lit, we had gone there in the night, and has two tracks going up and one coming down. Atop the mountain is a flattened and paved area of considerable dimensions. My sense of measurements stinks, so I can’t tell you what the height of JH is or how wide the paved area was in exact terms … But, I can tell you this that the mountain is high enough to be visible from half of the city inhabited by 350,000 people, and my guess is the paved area is in the vicinity of a 1000 square feet. A pleasant wind greets you as you step out of the car at the top, and this in September when the day time temperatures still hover around 40 degrees celsius.

We found ourselves a corner, and while the kids played, and Wifey and Aziza strolled, VGA and I indulged in a high scoring scrabble game – a game that was brought to an abrupt end when the princess accidently kicked the board away…. The prince spent the whole evening running after his ball.

We left about a couple hours past midnight, and Aziza drove us back, which was a lot of fun since she was alert in the driving seat, and VGA was alert right behind her…. woken out of her slumber by the realization that she was about to be driven by Aziza on the highway … Aziza, whose license still carried the finger prints of the traffic police guys. I had a nice nap, at least between the times Aziza stepped on the gas and the needle went the wrong side of 100km/hr.

Reminded me of the time, I had passed my driving test, and Atif’s mother had handed me their family car’s keys the same evening … three days before I had got my license. The fact that she’d sat through the whole ride with one hand on the dash board is of course another story …

Work Woes!0

It takes a nut to do this, and by setting new standards in the procrastination phenomenon I have proven myself one of the highest calibre.

Its the 22nd today, almost 4 in the morning, and I am sitting here wondering if I should start work on this file worth 3 Million worth of contribution to my target of 12 Million, and it is 17 DAYS PAST THE FIRST DEADLINE!!!

Of course, there have been other deadlines; two per week since the first one elapsed, but the procrastinator in me refuses to make room for the possibility that it just might be the time to get started on this file. This beats all my past records – especially when considered in terms of its monetary repercussions – for someone. Feels great to be able to (not) call the shots on matters of such high monetary value.

The boss has actually tried everything from co-ercion to cajoling (of late) to get me started on this, and of course I have never failed to give him the standard procrastinator reply to all his queries – “I am working on it”. The truth of the matter is, I have not at all worked on the file. I sit here at this late hour of the night, or early hour of the morning, however you wish to put it, in the vain hope that I might just get started – I do know for a fact that once I do get started it will only be a matter of hours before the whole thing is done with… but starting on this is something I have managed to shun brilliantly so far… this blog entry being the latest testimony to that brilliance.

Why so, one might be excused to ask. Well, it is plain and simple. I do not feel like doing it!!!

Must I do it then?

… One might be tempted to resort to the tested formula that one must do what one must do, which may also be stated as “One need not do, what one need not do”. The question here is thus simpler… Need I do it?

Well, I do not … I should, but I need not. They should let me go when I want to, but they do not, because they need not. Fair enough?

Unprofessional, you might say. But hey, whoever staked a claim to being one? No-one in this outfit.

Today…0

Today…

The world will always know this day as the day the twin towers came crashing down after allegedly self-styled Jihadis rammed aeroplanes into them. I am not going to dwell on this for long. The media will be talking about it the whole day anyway.

Today…

Six years and a day since we graduated. We, the 17th batch of MBA. What a batch that was. The institute had to redefine its scholarship policy, because there were too many contenders in the batch for it. It was also the batch that was dominating every other aspect of the institute’s activities. We had sportsmen, comperes, writers, singers, musicians and models amongst us. For yours truly, it was a humbling experience being a part of this batch. No matter what I fancied myself good at, there were always a couple or more people who were better at it than I was. And then there were Riya and Madi, who between them could beat me at every thing I did, at anything I thought I could excel in. Thankfully, we were on the same team. And boy! What a team we made. Today, we are in three countries, rarely get to talk to each other, have loads going for us to be thankful for, and if I may speak for the other two, still look back at those few months as the best times in our lives – times we made life long friendships in.

Today…

I got a call from Madi. No occasion, nothing special… just a call to touch base.

Today…

Decided to stay away from work. Called in sick. Spent the day trying to zap the virus/worm/trojan, whatever it is that is residing in that box, and after having a won a round or two, it seems the worm is turning the tables on me. I still keep getting signed out of MSN.

Today…

56 years since the Quaid passed away… and his country led into everything it was not supposed to be or have, by a bunch of self styled intellectuals and half naked claimants to the title “Artist”. Only a matter of time, before the state media starts being apologetic on March 23, and August 14. It has already started this September 6th. Haven’t seen anything happening about the Quaid’s anniversary on PTV today. Jalali Baba was incensed about some “Cultural” activity in Lahore on 6th September, Indian food festival complete with a pundit “asheerbaading” the visitors! So much for the defence day of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Who the heck is running this country?

Next thing you know we will have a National Holiday declared on Noor Jehan’s death anniversary, and Nahid Siddiqui’s birthday… and before you know it, Gandhi will be called bapu in our books too.

Today…

I could stage a coup… and a bloody one at that.

The Bedouin Cop.0

The four of us were sweating. The Land Cruiser lad, the two policemen, and yours truly. It had been some fifteen minutes since the accident, and the policemen had arrived in less than fifteen minutes from the time I had called 999.

I had had a chance to inspect the damage meanwhile, and it looked like the Land Cruiser guy would be taking my car and then some if the police report found me the guilty party. The front right side of the land cruiser looked more than deformed. The light was broken, the bumper badly dented, and the area above the wheel looked like it had been put through a juicer blender. Blackey, my cute li’l 190E had escaped with a few scartches by comparison. Sure, the tail light was gone, but hey what’s a tail light when you get hit from behind by a spanking new Land Cruiser, while you are cruising at a 100 kms per hour. It was a miracle no-one was injured. It was a bigger miracle I had not rammed into that bus! This Land Cruiser guy had appeared out of nowhere. One minute I had looked into the rear view mirror and it was just the empty road. The next time I looked up, I had the Land Cruiser smelling blackey’s fumes, and blinking incessantly to stay concious. I had begun changing lanes, when I saw the bus come out of that bus stop. It was less than a 100 meters away, and I was doing a 100 Km/Hr. Anxious to avoid landing into one of the bus seats, I hit the brakes while mid-way on lane changing. The dork behind the Land Cruiser’s wheel had already sneaked into the area I had begun vacating. He hit me… and as I came to a screeching halt, missing the bus by a few meters, I saw the Land Cruiser veer past me struggling to steady itself. The last thing I remember having seen before I had pulled over on the side was the bus going away into the horizon… and ofcourse, the kvetcher still babbling on the phone.

So, here we were. Yours truly shaken from the experience, slightly if I may add, the kvetcher busy on the phone with VGA, and passing on the minutest of details of the incident to her, and the Land Cruiser parked in front of us with the hazard lights blinking. The Land Cruiser guy turned out to be a UAE national, barely 19 and slightly taller than the shortest lady in our office. He probably bought a gillette every birthday, and possibly had yet to invest in his second shaving foam bottle. That did not keep him from swearing a li’l when he had been over to the right side of his car.

As the police arrived, he advanced towards them with alacrity and proceeded to give them his version of the accident… in Arabic. He had been driving within the speeding limits of the fast lane, and then I had come speeding from the right lane (the slow lane) and had swerved in front of him in my attempt to cut past the bus in front of me. I was not surprised, somehow I had expected him to lie. He was young, local (UAE National) and probably thought I was an Indian who did not understand Arabic at all. I waited for him to finish, and then told the policeman my story in English. Seeing that I had disputed his story, the local lad asked for the matter to be referred to the police station. It is normal procedure. If the two parties do not agree on what had actually transpired, the matter is referred to the police station where traffic police specialists re-enact the scene basis damage to the cars and arrive at a conclusion. I did not want that. The damage to the cars did not tell the whole story, and in the police station it would be his word against mine. A local boy against an expatriate. My prayers were answered as the second policeman, this one looked more bedouin because of his darker complexion, got out of the patrol car and refused to refer a simple matter like this to the “Markaz” – the station. We inspected the exact spot of collision, the damage to the cars (once again), and still could not agree on one version of the accident. The non-bedouin looking policeman seemed sympathetic to the local lad, and it did not bode well for me. However, the bedouin policeman took charge of the proceedings. He heard our stories again, and arrived at the conclusion that we were both at fault. I should have seen the bus coming out of the stop, and Land Cruiser should have maintained reasonable distance. This was not entirely wrong, but this verdict meant I had to repair my own car and he his. I wasn’t willing to part with any money because the shaikh’s son was not tolerant enough of the expatriate vermin plying on his country’s roads when he was testing the limits of his spanking new Land Cruiser VX-R. The bedouin seemed to read my thoughts, and clearly stated that as far as he was concerned we were both citizens of the city, and he was doing his best to arrive at a just conclusion. I was relieved. This time when I spoke, I spoke in my best arabic. After admitting that I should have seen the bus coming, I underlined the fact that had the shabab (youth) maintained his distance from me, and not snuggled into my lane before I had completely left it, the accident would not have happened. More importantly, had he not been tailgating me there would not have been the panic stricken attempt to change the lanes in the first place.

He agreed, and gave his verdict. The UAE lad was wrong, and I was right. I think the local lad protested a bit about how they were not siding with their own and all, but the bedouin closed the case saying he had arrived at the conclusion. In the process he cast aside his partner’s meek suggestion that the matter could still be referred to the station.

I got the green chit, testimonial that I was not the wronging party, and that all my damage would have to be paid by the local lad’s insurance. He got the red chit, meaning just the opposite.

We shook hands, all of us. The local lad walked over to me, and apologised. In all the hoopla, the Kvetcher had complied to my request and gone ahead for her driving class, which is where we were headed in the first place. Ironic, isn’t it? To be driven to your driving class, where they teach you the nuances of driving, and ways to avoid denting and painting expenses, and be given a practical lesson in lane changing along the way.

I knew I had been helped by my colourful and abstract arabic… but somehow I felt that even if I had not been able to speak in his language the bedouin would have ensured that a fair decision was arrived at.

This was the umpteenth time I had seen, first hand, why the bedouin tradition is so looked up to in this part of the world. They are fair, truthful, and do not hesitate to call a spade a spade. But that… let me cover in another entry.

For now, if you see a black 190E with a broken left tail light and a dent above the rear-left wheel cruising in the fast lane, tailgate it all you want, there is little chance I will change my lane in a hurry!

Aik Siski…0

Kis samt se chaley gee hawa,
Kidhar ko jayegi?
Kis ke lehrain ge gaisoo?
Kis kee qaza aayey gee?
Waqt ke chakkar main..
Kaun aata hai nahin?
Lamhoon ke daaman se….
Kis naam kee sada aayey gee?

Main sochne kee salahiyat se mahroom,
Samajhne ka rawadar nahin,
Khauff ka partow bhi gehra hai,
Ghazab kee tehreek se faraar nahin.
Lahoo ko daudne se fursat hee kahan,
Zaree jo aankh bhar aayee hai..
To ruk kar hairat se dekhta hai usko,
Aur phir usi raftaar se bhaag khada hota hai.

Ik talatum hai soch ka,
Khadshaat ka rela hai,
Dabez ghani shab-e-taar,
Aur guman-e-bad ka mela hai.
Koney main dil ke kahin,
Dabi hui hai siski,
Dabak kar baithee hai,
Rauzan-e-ayyam-rafta zara waa hota hai,
To bhaag kar nikalti hai!

Tuloo-e-sub’h jab laut kar aati hai,
Baal pareshan, haal pareshan,
To shaam tak lahoo aur saans ka khel dekhti hai,
Phir jab gumaan lashkar shaam par chadhai karta hai,
Dabak kar bath’ti hai…
Rauzan ko nigahoon main baandh kar…
Par taul kar, dam saadh kar…
Hai bechari…!

Wrote this, this morning and edited it now. Working on another version, maybe… just maybe … I will be able to make that into something better. Let’s see…

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