Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Sunday, October 31, 2004


It is half past two in the morning and I am up at this ungodly hour to see to a task that just could not wait until morn. While online, here's an update:
I have a theory about myself. I am a first born, and I don’t blame my parents for all those experimentations I was subjected to while growing up. Here is what it was like. Picture a newly wed couple, all lovey dovey, and both absolute trouble makers in their respective families. Try to imagine the havoc their progeny were to wreck on the world. Knowing very well what they were in for, they prayed for a real good first child. A kid everyone could look up to and cite as an example of extraordinary achievements, behavior…the whole hog of parent’s boring expectations. Unfortunately for them, they were told the only specimen of mankind (tbdl) available fitting their timetable and a suitable hotch potch of their combined traits, physical and mental, was erm…slightly flawed, a wee bit dented in the brain, nothing discernible from the outside and if they took it, who knows what wonders their bringing up could do for it. And there was a huge amount of sawaab thrown in if they took in this particular model. And so they did. To this day I can’t make out if I was accepted because Mom and Pop believed in themselves enough and had hope that I could turn out right despite the dent or was it the sawaab factor that led them to my crib.
And so I was brought up and with each passing day Mom and Pop realized what a rotten deal they had gotten themselves into. Perhaps they should have waited for the next available model, which, it turned out, was not really any better than the first one. But forever optimists, they did not give up hope and did what they did best. Somewhere in between genes got mutated. And since all of us siblings had had a dip in the same pool, the effects manifested themselves. This theory of gene mutation is quite a consolation to my parents. How could all of their kids be the way they are? Oftentimes I find myself wondering how lucky Mom and Pop are to be blessed with us all, and look up to find them staring at each other in disbelief/horror/speechlessness at one of their kid’s recent antics. The thing is, we siblings believe we are just Mom and Pop short of perfection, and Mom and Pop refuse to partake in our idea of perfection, so that essentially means we are perfections personified each pending parent participation.
And did I say I had a theory, well, I thought I did, but see how my brilliantly brazen brain works? And did I say it was about myself? Well, one thing, erm… kid lead to another.
If I am lucky, which I am so far, no one from my family will ever get to this blog entry. Mom and Pop couldn’t be bothered and in any case none of the ideas expressed here would be new for them. My siblings have conveniently forgotten the existence of this blog and I want not them to waste their time reading all this. I am sure they would have better things to do, like run some errands for me, or listen to me talk about all this in person. Life is bliss, follow the loser, dear ones!
And for certain passive readers of this blog who fathomed not how Her Kvetchness could listen to Mahi Ve ad nauseum, here’s an update. I heard Atif Aslam’s Yaqeen on Indus Music and downloaded it from Sangeet Radio. It’s been playing on my laptop since, much to the musical annoyance of those who live with me…Hmmm hmmm, ho hooo, ho hooo, ho hoooooo…
There is something seriously wrong with Asian tastes in chocolate. It does not agree with me…or rather,I don’t agree with the brown slab they proudly call chocolate. I made a big mistake when I picked up these chocolate covered hazelnuts on a whim from the supermarket today. It was swiss chocolate and that more or less settles the matter for me, but when I came home and popped in a hazelnut in my mouth, I was devastated. Too much sugar. Just to be sure, I checked the package and it said, chocolate made in Singapore, packed in Malaysia for….Zurich. It is always the same back home too, any locally produced chocolate and it would be sweetened to massacre the very spirit of cocoa. There should be universal standards for chocolates. And I don’t care who wins the US Presidential Elections next week, as long as it is not Bush and as long as the new Pres. assures me personally that the strictest of AWK compliant standards would be maintained in chocolate manufacture around the world and violators would be assigned the task of writing speeches for George W. Bush.< Rab Rakha!

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Coups and other trivia

Disclaimer: This is a real girlie rant, you may or not agree with what all comes, read at your own risk. Actually, now that you are here, why not read it through? It can’t be as bad as some of the older stuff you have wasted your time reading?
It is a conspiracy, I tells you all. Just when my credit card limit is at its end, just when I am financially in dire straits, just when I am depressingly depressed and the only ray of light in the gloom is shopping, the whole of Sharjah goes on sale. And I am not talking of any measly end of season sale…I am talking of Sales at every nook and corner, at the small grocery down the street, at car garages, at optician’s shops…and *gasp* a whopping up to 70% sale at Lifestyle…and G2000…and ShoeMart…Jumbo Sony…can you imagine? How unfair can life get? Sure I can max out my card but I don’t want to commit payments when I can’t cough up the amount. I am not brand reliant, in fact I’d rather be my own brand ambassador but I need to have things on me to promote them right? Oh, yeah, this is a trivial, shallow rant, but what do you expect?
Actually, my brain, that lazy lump of grey cells, thinks it is oh so high and mighty and refuses to do work any more than is necessary. And when I am out of work, or bayroazgar, it simply freezes all thought processing operations and goes on vacation, leaving me feeling vacuously like a zombie. So I go about shops in search of it, knowing how its idea of vacation is ogling at window displays and working out the status of my wallet contents to buy things it deems worthy of spending over. I stopped by at the butchery corner at CarreFoure and eyed all brain offerings displayed. But a coup was not to be as my wretched body retched at the very idea of an animal brain hoisted in place of that missing brain. Such loyalty is hard to find. I even tried reasoning how a goat or even a hen’s brain would do more work than that officious lump but no. It did not, however, object to buying some fresh chicken that ended up as a delicious meal. Poultry was to be a part of me, one way or the other, so there, both won.
Some days ago I had invested in a blusher brush and some lovely spongy make up sponges. Today I washed my face after erm…some days and set to painting my face. It did not take much time, the task, that is how small my face is, so amiably and oft reminded by Waj and Bhai. And so I first wet a sponge and evened foundation on my face. Then I took out the blusher brush and two large strokes gave color to the cheeks. The brand new eye liner bought at sale from Lifestyle yesterday was painstakingly traced over the eyes and finally, I fished out a long forgotten lip liner and lipstick from the caverns of my bag and voila! A spectre to behold! And since I am done with cleansing my face for the day, what comes off it would be due to splashes of water from wadhu. Yawn. I slept yesterday, throughout the day and only woke up for iftar. By that time Waj had come home and told me off and then tooted at me enough that I went with her to, not one, not two, but three City Centres. Torture, nothing but torture of the thirdest degree. I mean as it is I am not in a condition fit to be taken to places where things are sold and then I am taken to three shopping malls…all selling amazing stuff for peanuts (or so it would appear to a bulging wallet) Moi? My wallet is bursting too, with receipts and four sad looking notes in green. They are green because they get sick every time they think of a parting from my all natural fibre wallet and ending up in a nauseating leather one, and because that is what their color is. Which reminds me again…where is that newspaper I had asked the grocery wala to send? And where is my brain? Not that I need I, but I feel safe when it is tucked away and contentedly snoring away in my cranium, its rightful place of repose, and not lurking about shops.
Later: Oh my god! It just occurred to me…what if it has decided that Eid shopping is more fun back home than here? Come back you idiot, don’t you know prices rocket to the skies in Ramadhan? It is here that prices are reduced for the Holy Month, and choices varied and shopping more fun…Oh please come back…I promise I will allot a whole day to you and your dilpeshawari and take you shopping, just the two of us, my brain and me…in a borrowed car you can guide me not to bang anywhere. Just come back. It ain’t the same without you.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

I was working a proper blog entry when I found an e-invite in my inbox, to re-join a young Pakistani outfit. Attached was a form. I started filling it out as it should have been (and expecetd from normal beings) but by the fourth box the kvetcher in me wanted to stage a coup. As I perfected my kvetchy answers, my real self started showing through.

Following are the answers as i filled them in. Of course I held back on some of the Q and A's.

Full Name: A ((Traxwemex)

Date of Birth:*** ** 2758 XLY

Emirate of Residence: DXB

Designation: TBA

Employer's Name: TBA

Employer's Address: TBA

Professional/ Vocational Qualification: Ph.D: "Kvetch & Dawdle: Challenging the intellect." Tangaloloo Goocol, Xantranox.

Telephone (Office/Residence/Mobile/Other): Keeps changing. I am an undercover agent.

Why do you want to join ***? To network with fellow OP's in Dubai and Sharjah specifically and UAE in general. I am on a special mission from Planet Xantranox and was briefed to contaminate as many OP's in UAE is possible. So far local OP's have influenced me more than my stated mission. Need to reverse it soon lest I am annihilated by the Supreme Command. Not a pleasant sight that is...and a most unpleasant feeling.

How can *** benefit from enrolling you as a member? I am not sure what the Almighty had in mind when He sent me in this world, waht can I ever say of the role I see myself in at ***? Dang! I forgot I am on a special mission. Read above.

What activities would attract you in ***? I have been a member for a year now and try to make it to most of its activities. A book club or a literary society would be great however. I would so want to meet up with well read people and discuss the written word with them. This, I believe would give me an insight into the OP psyche and enable me to work towards my mission.

Professional: Writing, editing...thinking up excuses to ward off work. Not always vocal of course. I have an enviable ability to procrastinate and strongly believe that it is an art perfected through years of practice. Today I can proudly say I have achieved the maharishi status in the subtle art of procrastination: looking busy doing nothing.

Sports & extra curricular activities: I have always been a multi-tasker. Here's how: Lounging about on a sofa, reading a book, channel surfing and straining for strange noises and smells from the kitchen announcing my latest culinary effort is charred, again. I am also very sporting; I can easily flick off flies trying to attack mangoes in Pakistan. Great with a fly swatter and a deadly reverse sweep. Inter-galactic Champion Tattle Tad player.

Social & Cultural: Excel in all that defines and confines the growth of an average Pakistani and an above average Xantronoxian. The situation seems to be reversing these days though, at an alarming pace.

Would you like to be contacted by other members if you skills/services are required? (Y/N) Can't see why not when it only helps me towards my goal. Yes.

Would you like to receive commercial or promotional emails from YPP members? (Y/N) No thanks, anything I want to know about I can come back and check on the website. You do update it regularly, don't you? <

Please note: this information will not be passed to any other organization without your prior approval. This information remains the property of *** and will only be used to contact you with respect to achieving the goals of the group.

{*evil laughter* I never signed up for such nonsense. I will, I am in fact, posting all this on my inter-galactic means of communication. Mothership is the hub of all Earthly connectivity. Our onboard plate of the tawde screening system monitors all blogs.}

We would like to thank you for showing interest in *** & taking the time to fill this form. Please email the completed form to ***@****.com. The facilitators of the group will review the form to approve your membership. You may also be contacted for verification or additional information purpose.

What do you reckon are my choices of getting such a form past the powers that be at this group? Serious replies please. ;)

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Perfect Roti

That`s what a perfect roti looks like. I actually took a risk leaving it on teh tawa and rushing out the kitcehn to get the cam.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

I have a confession to make:I am a Kit Kat addict. and some time back i thought i had gotten over my cravings for the chocolate covered wafers. Apparently not. My waste paper bin at work gets redder by the hour as i unwrap Kit Kat after Kit Kat.

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Things to do this week

2/29/04 Email this photo Permalink Things to do this week:1. Stop eating off disposable plates.2. Do the `real` dishes and place them where they should be: in this dishrack.3. Try to cook something at home instead of ordering everyday: not good on health, not good on budget.4. Try to assist and not get in the way of house help.

Sunday, February 15, 2004


missed on the best dusky time to photograph this ujra hua darakht; result: Koi veerani si veerani hai? this poor extremely 'autumnized' shorn of all its verdant glory, gnarly branched tree wasn`t alone in its wretchedness, only my camera could not fit in other 'naked trees' as well. also, i wasn't sure what i was photographing at that time in the night!

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

When it Rains: Then and Now

Today: I have to kvetch now. It’s been raining since morn here. Nature decided it had been ignored long enough and came back in all its verdant glory. The roads are awash, glistening with the purest form of water, pitter pattering on roof tops of cars speeding on the highway. Plants sway with unmasked joy at being watered by Nature itself instead of a desalinated sprinkler slapping harshly at their delicate roots and shoots. Btw I did spot some sprinklers along the road trying to compete with rain drops! Then: It is a sin to sit inside in such beimaan weather. I miss the times with my family, the winter rains in Abu Dhabi and Pa taking us out for a drive, all of us comfortably swaddled in warm jackets, pockets filled with chilgozas and moong phali, Momsie and Popsie turning back every 15 seconds to check we aren’t trying to catch rain drops in our outstretched hands, us pleading and wheedling till Pa stops somewhere and then rush out in a flash, running wild. Rain does that to us, all of us, from Ma and Pa to the youngest brother, that naughty imp. We seem to lose all our senses, particularly the hearing ones, as Ma and Pa have had their share of getting wet and stand in shade, starting with pleasant smiles seeing us jump up and down with sheer wet joy, then move onto voicing their concerns of bathing in winter rain, and then go onto a warming exercise i.e. their tones get scoldier, until they’ve had enough and Pa has to come out from his shelter and drag and dump us in the car. There’s no way any of us can stay indoors while it’s raining, so we drive all around Abu Dhabi, timing our return with final raindrops of the evening. Warm baths, hot chocolate milk and then hitting the sack. Now: Have to fend for myself. Drive in rain is the journey from apartment to campus. No chilgozas, no moong phalli, no Mom concerned of enough layers of clothing to ward of cold. Hot chocolate replaced by a steaming cup of tea. Can’t stay indoors still, a walk in the rain leaves my headscarf wet. And a tell tale feeling in the throat announcing the amad of flu. No Popsie to get a panic attack at the first sniff. No Momsie to attend flu-induced food and drink whimsies and most of all, no bros and sis to get nasty at and attribute the grouchiness to flu. Shukr hai the Sun is out would have wallowed and gone on all day getting miserable missing my folks. I really hope you all are feeling as bad as I am without you, Ma, Pa, Behn Bhaion…sniff sniff…atischoo!

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

My Contest DSF 2004: Think of an apt title to this post

You are disbarred from making any statements of having attended the Dubai Shopping Festival if you have NOT:
• Visited all the 38 country pavilions at the Global Village and bought at least a trinket from each of the stalls
• Had your insides jostled at the crazy rides in a) Global Village b) Al Riqqa and Al Muraqqabat Streets in Deira Dubai.
• Roared at by pre-historic reptiles at the Dinosaurs World, seen a violent display of inhuman behavior at the World Wrestling Championship, oohed at the The 2nd Police Academy Stunt Show Sponsored by Jacky's HP and aahed at The Modified Cars Exhibition & Workshop and Yamaha Motor Bike Zone, Al Muraqqabat Street.
• Laughed at the Clowns at The International Italian Circus, and appreciated the various troupes of street performers, Al Riqqa Street
• Spent all your weekend at the Night Souk, Al Seef Street, Deira
• Been greeted with Orchids at the Dubai International Airport
• Cruised on the Sheikh Zayed Road at 120+kph gaping at the glassy architectural monstrosities lining the Road.
• Traveled through time and witnessed everything traditional at the Heritage & Diving Village.
• Seen the wonderful fireworks light up the sky above Dubai Creek.
• Shopped senselessly at the various malls, bagging what you think are great discounts.
• Won at least a teeny weeny even insignificant item at the countless raffles.
• Driven along the Beach Road, marveling at the sleek curves and contours of the Burj al Arab in the day and snickered at its gaudy lighting by the night; seen the frenetic pace of work on the Madinat Jumeirah, a canalized project nestled right next to the Burj; stopped by to see the The Palms Jumeirah taking shape; been awe struck by the spires piercing the sky out of their clawed based on top of the twin residential sky-scrapers of Dubai Marina .
•And lastly, you can never say you visited Dubai unless you have marked it down in your itinerary and given me a chance at hospitality. To think you came so close to my office and did not have the courtesy...!

Monday, January 19, 2004

Have your Hijab ban and don it too

Frankly speaking I don’t see any hopes of the French revoking their ban of Headscarves/Hijabs. When has any govt. taken back any of its laws? At the most there is an amendment to placate the protesting masses. So here is the amendment I suggest to the French govt. and in my humble reckoning, it is quite workable too. Instead of banning headscarves, the French Govt. should ban ‘starched’ headscarves. These stiffy bits of square cloth, doubled into a triangle, are so difficult to manage aren’t they? I would know. Why did I ever decide on donning this attire this morning? My otherwise lifeless hair seem to have gotten a life of their own and insist of playing peek-a-boo both on my forehead and the back. After being smothered by a starched safety-pinned dupatta they lie down low a bit and then spring into action. Now isn’t this a cause of much concern?? How many minutes must a starched hijab clad lady must have to waste in her vain attempts to rein in unruly hair. And however much of an anguish laden exercise it must be to battle with a starchy hijab and force it to do its supposed job i.e. cover the head entirely and not join the hair in its erstwhile quest for freedom and more air even if polluted/corrupted? An unstarched Hijab means not having Bad-Hair-Days, ever, whereas a starched hijab robs one of this bonus and also adds to the problem to such an extent that when you do take off the hijab at the end of the day, the person staring at you in the mirror looks more like an Einstein forehead up and onwards. How does that add to feminine vanity? So banning starched headscarves will see to it that no woman is ever subjected to a bout of unnecessary angst and self torture by tearing madly at her hair. Both sides win too. The French can smugly sit aside and say that they effectively banned hijab, while the pro-hijab camp can do a :P and say thank you Monsieur Chirac for having rid us of the oppressive starch!

Friday, January 09, 2004

Quaid e Azam

One of my most prized possessions: A picture of the Quaid e Azam.Actually its digital picture of an analog picture of a framed picture of an archived, enlarged and framed picture. And I have more of him too. Will post them soon.

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