Sep 7, 2015

Closing time

Growing up means handling heartbreaks better.  Or does it? Just the other day I was thinking oh so complacently, in the face of issues in office with the Boss and the state at home, and I was like the only thing I have learnt how to deal with effectively all these years from 16 to 32 would be  heartbreaks and rejections!  I think feeling heartbroken was such a familiar emotion for me. It was comfortable and  I was so at home being rejected and heartbroken. I had my break up songs that would be playing on a loop. I had my girls in every city I went. There are coffee shops and watering holes you go to and drown in green tea and cocktails and smoke copious amounts and bitch and bitch until you can bitch no more. You rip the object of your former affection apart piece by piece and at the end of the outing your brigade has convinced you how you are too good for him. Sigh!

 I even found a new set of girls to crib and whine to in Singapore as and when I felt the rejection. Sigh! I haven’t that here. I wonder if I will, I doubt I will. My people that is what I miss. I need to meet my girls and talk this thing out. Any one will do. Two of them would make my cup overflow with happiness. I miss my friends so much that it hurts. It happens every single day. I am like what am I doing here without my friends? Without them and  my loved ones I am nothing. They make such a large part of me and if you cannot find a new band then its time you move on. There has to be something that roots you to a place. Sadly this place for me will not have roots. Just holidays to Europe will not keep me going. They are mere oasis’ in my otherwise barren life here. I want more. I want green pastures, I want freedom, I want the liberty to be myself, I want love and laughter and giggles, I want magic and the feeling of being whole. That is what I want. I want the opposite of loneliness. Absolute opposite of loneliness. 

May 30, 2015


My only form of vice these days is tea. I have two cups of tea on working days in office served at my table by this young Bangladeshi chap called Azeez. I always talk in Bangla with him though there is a distinct difference in our dialects but we understand each other perfectly. I love the tea he makes. It’s a cross between the bubble tea I had in Singapore and the homemade tea with milk and sugar in Calcutta.

Some days I feel I never left India. Some days I feel I have been here forever. Besides Indians are everywhere in this country, if not Indians then Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. How am I supposed to feel remotely out of place? If truth be told then in Sharjah it is practically impossible to feel like an alien if one is an Indian. I was forewarned  but it is reinforced every day. I am not even complaining.
This country didn’t hit me hard on my face or punch me right there on my gut like Singapore had. Is it because I came here with a job and not as a penniless graduate student ? I didn’t have to look for a shelter over my head or figure cheap transport out  to work nor think of where my meals shall come from. At some level it was all handed to me on a platter. 

I walk everywhere, to office, to the gym, for my walks to the park, for movies to the mall, for grocery shopping to any one of the hundreds of departmental stores that this city is dotted with. I walk and I walk in the peak of summer in the Middle East and I don’t mind at all. I have my eureka moments here every now and then, while walking through the streets and I spot a sign of a book shop only to figure out that it is actually a stationery shop! Dayyymmm! The salons are so affordable that I almost shrieked in delight the other day after being told a manicure will cost only so much.

The hottest part of the day I am in office and by evening it does cool down relatively. What I miss the most, if I have to talk about superficial material comforts, would be the cold water showers. The feeling of the cool water against my skin, at the end of a long tiring day at work, will be a long distant dream now. The water is perennially hot here, even at 10 at night. All those tall claims about a cooling system for the water tanks were all eyewash. The only cold water(read as normal water in Indian standards)  showers I took was in Dubai at my friends’ places who live in the better off parts of the city.

Dubai fails to dazzle me. I am thankful to have friends there. Not just anybody, but my roomie from Singapore and a very old and dear friend from my Pune days. But if I had to record my observations on the city, as a complete outsider who has never visited this part of the world, I’d say it is big, dizzyingly grand, intentionally imposing (they try too hard to intimidate with their loud architecture I must say), so very bling and a complete concrete jungle sprinkled with man-made green patches here and there. What sold Dubai to me, if at all it did, would be the rows and rows of Gulmohur trees planted liberally all around the city. The sight of the fiery red blossoms gladdened my heart and filled me with a strange sense of bonhomie towards the city. I wasn’t so far from home after all. 

Apr 27, 2015

Because I am leaving

Because I am leaving. And I am already feeling home sick before I have left home. Once again.  It happened when I least expected it to. Because I keep moving again and again. Because last year all I wanted was to get out and do something that would count. I would be sitting in the bus on my way to office and close my eyes and want to be anywhere but where I was. I would imagine I was back in Singapore, doing the one thing I had wanted to do for the longest time. I got to do that for a year. I came back and hated every bit of working life, loathed it and made my very own personal hell until I realised I cannot possibly survive this way and may be this time I ain't getting out. I made my peace with that and rejections and disappointments became a way of life. But I did find my own little haven. Just when I get all comfortable and cosy this happens. I'd be lying if I said I am not excited but then the apprehension once again. I had more to lose the last time. But hell that year seems magical even now.  And this, whatever is in front of me, well I hope it lasts longer and doesn't slip away from between my fingers.A different city, a different life and the older me. Heyllo! Guess whose back!!!!