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Friday, April 30, 2010

"Mumkin Sura? "Can I please click your pics?

One learns very quickly how to behave and act in unfamiliar surroundings.And coming on top of the list is good old fashioned courtesy..something which can really get a person miles ahead.

What Ive learnt to do in the course of my wanderings across the hamlets and villages here in Oman is to politely enquire everytime I wish to click a photograph.More so if it involves an older person or a lady as thats the only way one can possibly do it.

So there's a particularly interesting phrase- "Mumkin Sura,"(Or May I click your photograph)? Ask and the most likely answer will be a Yes

Thats what I did recently in Al Hamra, the oldest village in Oman( some say, over a thousand years old)and these are what I managed:)

Viva La "Mumkin Sura"

Monday, April 26, 2010

This evening at the Corniche

Most people thought it would rain today, particularly after it had rained heavily in the interiors yesterday.
So towards 430 pm, I headed towards the Matrah Harbour where I wanted to catch the sunset. Then walked around clicking some shots and finally sat by the Corniche watching the sky as well as the sea change colour.
People walked, jogged, laughed and talked.

All the while the promise of rain lingered, right until it became dark.....But it eluded all
So now one waits and watches, for tommorrow is yet another day

Sunday, April 25, 2010

IPLGate- A possible scenario.

IPL Gate-As the saga continues to unfold with stops and starts and its daily ups and downs we can't help but think about its possible outcome...

One of the things I relish most about writing my blog is reading the comments and feedback that I receive, particularly from those I send it on to via e-mail feed. This is what I've just received from my brother, Dr Navtej Serna,a keen "life and cricket watcher" and I liked it so much that I'm sharing  with all.

"This delay could be because suddenly, with Tharoor having to go, the Congress might now be gunning for Mr Pawar, always a rebel and a threat, president of the BCCI, creator of Mr Lalit Modi, and possible beneficiary himself !

But because there are SO MANY potential suspects, AND so much money at stake, in the end, Mr Modi will, like Mr Tharoor, probably quit himself, after fronting some quasi honorable explanations, Mr Pawar might. in another 6-9 months, resign his BCCI Presidency, some other BCCI bigwigs might also leave and then, APPARENTLY cleansed, Brand IPL, with it's billions of dollars, will go on an on and on!!

More Franchises, more billions, more matches, more money for the BCCI and more entertainment and thrills for it's audiences and viewers ALL OVER THE GLOBE."

Think about it, what if this really was to happen .....

What then???

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Going Home

One of the best things that people look forward to is going home at the end of a day.

To rest their 'work weary' bones and relax in the comfort of their own familiar surroundings. Where they can unwind and simply 'be'...

Then of course, there are some visuals that strongly evoke that very same feeling. So here's one that does it for me, tell me if if you feel the same way too...

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Real life can actually be more interesting than fiction

Almost a week after the 'IPL saga' began and with the MOS for External Affairs having already gone, it might well be the turn ofthe IPL Commissioner, Lalit Modi next..

In the bargain, a whole host of other issues that so far had been ignored have come upto the forefront as well. Tales of sleaze, dirty money and wheeling/dealing are growing by the day.As the IT slueths began their  raids on various companies today, one couldnt help but wonder....

Wasn't all of this in the public domain earlier as well? And why only now, is the government taking note of all these 'misdemeanours'?

But then again, this might well be the start of a whole new ball game altogether.Now all we need to do, is to sit back, and watch.

Who knows what the next morning might bring?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

End Game

It really was a matter of time and the writing was quite clearly on the wall.As the news channels had been ominously reporting since yesterday, it was not a matter of 'if', but rather than a matter of 'when' Shashi Tharoor would resign.

Just over twenty four hours after the PM, Dr. Manmohan Singh returned from his eight day foreign tour, Shashi Tharoor went across to his residence in his personal car, a Maruti Esteem, and the next we heard was that he had tendered his resignation.

A mere half hour later and the Government's official statement was out. The resignation had been accepted.


Where does he go from here? And what lies ahead?

 That is a question that only Dr Shashi Tharoor can answer, and in fact, right now, he too  probably has no clear answer. It was only a year ago that he came into politics, a savvy, career diplomat, with a wealth  of intellect as well as experience. Many people had a lot of hopes 'for' and 'from' him. Most particularly, his constituents in Kerala..

A very complex situation and one for which there are no clear answers. All I feel right now, is some amount of sadness. Here was a man who had it all.


Friday, April 16, 2010

'Tharoor-gate'-just the tip of the iceberg

The last three days have seen a new drama playing itself out-in Parliament, on the news and just about everywhere one looks.

It all started so innocously-with just one simple 'Tweet', where the IPL Chairman Lalit Modi exposed who had bid for the Kochi team.It so happened that one of the major stakeholders is a lady who is currently closely associated with Shashi Tharoor, something which was brought to the forefront in a matter of the next few hours.

What followed, was something that absolutely no-one, including Modi himself could have visualised,not  even in his wildest dreams.From then on, it has become a dangerous game of one-upmanship, with Tharoor and Modi hurling allegations and counter-allegations.

While the government of India has promised a full and final enquiry to ascertain the real facts in this case, I seriously wonder what this whole episode will bring upto the forefront.For it is very clear by now, that this is merely the tip of the iceberg and that once people find out who the real stakeholders in so many of the IPL teams really are, or more importantly, where the money is actually coming in from, the Pandora's box will be well and truly opened.

I'd like to hope that a completely impartial enquiry will be put into place and that when the report comes out, it should be something well worth the paper its written on, otherwise it will be a case of first pulling the wool and then some more... over people's eyes.

Only thing is that people by and large, have really come of age, and can easily sift the wheat from the chaff...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The best meals in life are also...the most ...

I absolutely love a Juicy Burger, accompanied by French fries and a ( Diet)Coke.
Or rather there was a point in time that I 'used' to, having given up this indulgence about ten years ago.
That was because I became aware of what was really going inside my body when I devoured my burger and fries.

But then do we have to give up almost everything that we like to eat or drink, simply because.....?
Yet again, shouldn't we?

Such a dilemma and one for which every person will have to find his/her own answer.

But this is what makes great sense to me and I've decided to share it.
Figuring out healthier options at one's favorite fast food burger chain can actually be quite tricky.
A typical meal at a burger joint consists of a "sandwich", some fries and a drink, which can quickly come in at over 1700 calories for something like a  Triple Whopper with a large fries and a 16 oz. soda.

A better option, would be a regular single patty burger, small fries, and water, which is about 500 calories.

Alternatively you may enjoy a veggie burger smothered in grilled onion and mushrooms. Or if you want a large beef burger, then skip the fries and soda and have a side salad and water instead.

Here's some more food for thought

We also  love all types of sandwiches: hot, cold, wrapped, foot long, and usually eaten with a salad instead of fries. Most of the the ads promote the health benefits of sandwich shops. But this is easier said than done...

Studies have found that many people tend to eat more calories per meal at a sub shop than at a regular Burger chain.. But ironically, it then may happen that  because people feel so virtuous eating “healthy” like the ads promise, that they go on and reward themselves with chips, sodas, or extra condiments.

So here's the thing- Eat that burger, as an occasional indulgence, but let it  not be a regular way of life and living.As can then be the case for so many,many other old favourite foods or drinks.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tum Milo to Sahi- A Different kind of movie

This evening we saw 'Tum Milo to Sahi' . It was a different kind of movie and one that has something in it for everybody. For it successfully reaches across all age groups and tells a story from their perspective

The film is primarily a story about three  couples: The olderst being Subramanium (Nana Patekar)who  is a retired, cynical person. With nothing more to do in life, he meets Delshad (Dimple Kapadia), a spirited Parsi woman who is running the Lucky Cafe  who finally shows him what it is like to really fall really in love.Probably for the first and only time in his life...

Amit (Suneil Shetty) and Anita (Vidya Malavade) "were" in love. But now that they are going through a mid-life crisis, love is not exactly a part of their life.Along with a hundred work related issues that he brings home with him each night

Bikramjeet (Rehan Khan) wants to have some fun before joining the army, so he comes to Mumbai. That's where he meets Shalini (Anjana Sukhani) and somehow manages to ...

What I liked about it is -that this movie is about relationships, the numerous ups and downs in life, and more importantly,what it really takes to stand by what one thinks is right. Above all, the film is about the coming together of souls, minds and hearts.

See it, if only to come out thinking- Dimple and Nana Patekar have really played their roles to perfection. In fact, I'm seriously wondering, was this Dimple - Delshad Irani really the same person 'who came in as the sensational 'Bobby'?

Then I remember, that was well over thirty years ago. Time, like tide, really waits for no-one...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Unforgettable-A trip to Tiwi and Wadi Shab, Oman

Beautiful shades of the Gulf
Sometimes we reach a particular spot which surprises us with its unexpected beauty and then that becomes a benchmark for many future expeditions or trips that we might undertake in the future.

Thats exactly what happened some time back when I was in Tiwi and Wadi Shab (Oman) for I saw and managed to click some of my most unforgettable shots ever.

Shots that I choose to go back to time and again......then again... if only to relive the sheer beauty and magnificence of that place.

 What a view

Wadi Shab is a must see destination in Oman, located 40 kilometers southeast of Dibab along the coast road (though the signs are not very helping). Wadi Shab has a set of amazing natural pools ;waterfalls in the midst of the desert, and all of that with a crazy turquoise water colour. The swimming is very refreshing since it is usually hot. In 2012 it was the final stop of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 

There wasn’t too much to see until we reached the first of the Wadis in the afternoon, Wadi Shab. The entrance to the Wadi is marked by the main dual carriageway slung across the entrance, we parked the car and headed into the Wadi. Throughout the Wadi you will find lush vegetation and turquoise pools of water. After about one hour we reached a  final pool, and inside the enclosed cave was a beautiful water fall.

As I started by saying, "Its the unexpected that can really bowl us over."

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shoaib/Ayesha/Sania-Some marriages are not made in heaven

Did they/Didnt they? Or then again Did they?
Marry in haste and then repent in leisure?

These were the questions that have been raised over the course of the last week as the drama of Shoaib/Sania/Ayesha marriage/s played itself out on our TV screens.

Till yesterday, Shoaib categorically denied that he had married the lady Ayesha who claimed she was his wife, saying instead that he'd "been had" as he'd seen pictures of another young woman altogether and that this person was actually her Maha Appa( sister?!?)

And then just this evening we heard that he had divorced this very same Ayesha/Maha Appa.

But the point is, how could he have divorced her, when he hadn't married her in the first place?

Questions, questions and more questions with few, if any, answers.

Now that all has been said and done and a lot more besides, I'd like to  think that Sania Mirza will finally get the 'happy marriage' that she was so looking forward to.

Yet, I also think that sometimes when she looks at her new husband she might wonder, what if/maybe...?For the human mind is very strange and paradoxical thing, never really and completely satisfied.

Always,but always wondering........

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sheer coincidence or Divine intervention?

Say you decide to take the Shatabdi Express from New Delhi station to Chandigarh...something that you've done at least a hundred times earlier.But this time, there's a real difference. For just after you've boarded the train and reach out for your wallet to pay the Coolie, you disover that you've been pickpocketed...

Far more important than the money you've lost are your ID cards, particularly those related to Health and Insurance, which might take upto six months be re-made.

But then you console yourself...and finlly shrugging your shoulders, you tell yourself that it could have been far worse.And then you carry on with your way of life and living.Exactly two days later, your front door bell rings and standing there, are three young schoolboys. After having introduced themselves, they hand over your wallet...which is now much lighter, but still has ALL YOUR 6 ID cards.

Looking at your open mouthed surprise, they decide to enlighten you. They were on a school trip to Delhi Zoo and saw this wallet thrown in a bin just ahead of the monkey's cages.

So they did simply what they thought they must..And brought it back to you.

Now this would be a story that I would find hard to believe, but i did. For it was told to us by my own Father in law, earlier today, who is delighted with this sheer coincidence.

Or I'm left wondering...Should I re-phrase it as 'Divine intervention'?

PS- I'm repeating this Blog post, but thought it needed to be done...