August 15th, 2018

August – the month.9

I had planned to update on August 14th. It was to be a heartfelt post which would have explored my relationship with my motherland, my love for the green flag, given that I am one, the perspective of an Azad Kashmiri as a Proud Pakistani. However, work happened.

Actually, the day did not start that great, with I getting into a nasty tiff with my boss in the early hours of the day over some trivial stuff, like me not making my targets. It got better eventually though. The highlight of the day was the new radio station 104.4 Awaz, which played some of the best national/patriotic songs on the day. Their playlist included such classics as Tera Pakistan hai, yeh mera Pakistan hai, Is parcham ke sayey tale, the ever green Ae Watan, Pak Watan which has also been the soundtrack of my blog for the longest time, the more recent hits like Ae Jawan, Jazba-e-Junoon, and of course the second National Anthem of the country Dil Dil Pakistan. I kept my tradition of buying sweets for all the office on the day, and not just any mackintoshi/galaxyic sweets, but authentic Pakistani sweets from Nirala. I was pleasantly surprised though when I found them to be almost sold out at around noon, when I had gone there to pick up a tray of habshi halwa. I had to settle for ladoo motichoor, which no-body had bought but which turned out to be a great choice in the end, since the awam at office devoured them like anything. They showered such praise on them that even a strictly non-ludoo eater like me had to try one, and then some. Hats off to Nirala!

The next day, I happened to saunter into HPN’s office after my day’s work, and we got around to talking about how I could club my posts under pertinent heads, and the ever-enthusiastic, techy-to-the-core, and hyper-enthusiastic-about-all-things-techy HPN ended up getting me a domain, and putting up this lovely lay-out for me. Fact is this place would have looked a lot more interesting, and would have been loads more informative and user friendly (user being me) had it not been for my constant suggestions to the contrary. Kudos to HPN for maintaining a civil and non-violent disposition through-out his ordeal, and props to him for getting it to look like it does despite me. His wife, Lil-Baji, had it easier when she had constructed the lovely and genuinely “me” lay-out for my blog almost a year ago – she did not have me around to find her way around. Subhan-Allah and Alhamdu Lillah for lovely and loving (read restrained and patient) friends.

August 17 is a sobering day every year, and has been so for half a decade now. This was the day five years ago when wifey had actually followed through on her “yes”; and when her parents had actually allowed us to drive away into the horizon in the back seat of a” just-married” car. It was a humbling day too this year, as wifey went ahead and added on to her list of achievements on this day when she got her “Valid UAE Driving License” in her first attempt. For those not residing in this country, allow me to elaborate so that the importance and gravity of this development can be better grasped.

UAE is a country with not much of a public transport system, the state of Dubai being essentially the only state out of the seven with any semblance of a transport system. Fuel is cheap, and so are automobiles. Cabs/Taxis are prohibitively expensive, or are driven by obnoxiously ill-mannered cabbies. The weather is not conducive to walking to any place. To top it all, driving without a license is a criminal offense, as it is in most countries, and the penalties can include hefty fines, and/or deportation for the offenders. (One needs to remember that almost 90% of the country is inhabited by expatriates, let me correct that, almost 90% of the population is comprised of expatriates inhabiting some 25% of the country. Deportation, therefore, is the scariest and hence the most effective penalty in the department of justice’s quiver.) All these factors make the need for what is normally called a “Valid UAE Driving License” most pressing, and the fact that getting one quickly is notoriously impossible gives people like yours truly, who got his in his second attempt, reason to boast about belonging to a superior race. It was a humbling moment. She is the second person and the only lady I know who got her license in her first attempt, and my only wife to do so. I have one – for the record.

Empirical data suggests that August 17th is a good day for my wife. She got me on this day, and she got her V.U.A.E.D.L on the day – both in first attempt. A colleague of mine, one I compete with every day for the elusive corniest-person-alive spot, cornily suggested that perhaps her getting the license in her first attempt on this day was divine compensation for ending up with me on this day. He is unmarried, so far, what does he know? Plus he is only the smartest person in the office, and a very very good friend with an excellent sense of humor, in that he gets my jokes and I do his – really cannot take such people’s comments at face-value.

August is also the month after which I will be left with just four months to deliver my targets, which means I will need to pull my socks up, start working late, and continue braving the heat – which by the way has hovered around 46-48 degrees but has been reported at 42-43 degrees celsius officially, but more about that, if at all, later.

Here is signing off for August – tentatively.


Of decisions, eggs, and soap bars!0

Some decisions one takes come back to haunt one; others start the haunting from day one.

The more I take stock of the decisions I have taken in my life, the more convinced I am of my extraordinary ability to push through with decisions against my better judgement; that is decisions taken by me against my better judgement, and pushed ahead with, yes! you guessed it, against my better judgement.

This is not to admit, however that I have mostly taken wrong decisions in my life. It just implies that my better judgement is not always the best judgement. It must rank amongst the most sophisticated and evolved defence mechanisms in the history of humans, this extraordinary attribute of mine to withstand, and often stand up to, the folly of my own under-developed intellect. Statistically, the possibilities of my choosing a potentially less hazardous of available options, while exercising my better judgement are minimal. Do not ask me “how?” I was never very good at statistics, but I have seen the term used often enough to know that whatever the possibilities be, and there are always possibilities – minimal or maximum, they are always more reliable and convincing when stated statistically.

One only has to look at the number of my friends to know that even minimal in this regard is a sizeable number.

There are other more tragic times, however, when I have taken decisions against my better judgement, and exercising all my above-mentioned talent have pushed ahead with that decision only to end up with egg in my face. This, however, proves nothing. I know perfectly well that had I taken the decision favored by my better judgement I would still have ended up with egg in my face. It just proves that there are times when there are no right decisions, and one must just wipe the egg off one’s face and live with the stink until the faucets have some water to offer, and there is a bar of soap, preferably scented, handy. One must also remember that long after the soap and water have done their job, there will always be the memory of that stink, and of that icky feeling when one had hosted an egg (or two) on one’s face.

Just goes on to prove that the chicken had come first. They had to; the annals of history are full of people who had ended up with egg in their face, and if so many eggs were so speedily being used up, the poor chicken would have had a tough time amasing enough numbers to help the chinese with the discovery of drum sticks. It was a survival thing for them; they had to come first.

Having said that, I am sorry for all the wrong decisions I have taken instead of taking the other wrong decisions I should have taken, and the consequent pain I have caused to people; most of all, to myself.

But hey, look at the bright side – the water bills are high, and the soap factories are doing roaring business!

Breaking News…0

We interrupt the serenity of this blog for an important announcement.

JB has updated. Actually updated this time. Blogistan just got more interesting.


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