27 November 2008

Luck's sure been a lady!

I was supposed to leave for Mumbai today, and I can't believe what happened last night and still going on in Mumbai right now. People are saying oh it's so sad what's happening in Mumbai but honestly, right now, I don't feel sadness, I'm just angry. I can't feel anything else.

I canceled my tickets, travel guy told me I didn't cancel within the specified cancelable 24 hours, so no refund. Story of my life. I don't even care. At this point, I can choose to be difficult and sulk about not getting back my money, or just be happy and thankful that I am here alive and well.

I can't get over what a close shave it was. Our only plans for this Mumbai weekend was shopping and Cafe Leopold, so watching the news last night of Cafe Leopold's overturned chairs and tables and empty bullet shells, I just had to thank my lucky stars that I was just a day away from being there. I could've been one of the bodies they were wheeling away!

But enough of all this. All the world's talking about now is Mumbai, and pain, and killing, and I know good people in the world are praying for the victims. But if you feel like you need to taken away from all this, and to be reminded that despite all this ugliness, there is so much sweetness and beauty in this world that you never ever want to die, these pictures of Bozo will definitely do the trick for you :-)

20 November 2008

This is not Wright - II

Number 2 woe: On number 1, I cribbed about never sitting next to someone cute. Number 2 woe arises when fate deflects from that woeful path, and takes a different woeful path. You actually run into someone cute, but what happens then.

Well, not a lot to write. This is simple - if you meet someone hot in or around an airport, what will happen are any one of the following -

(1) He caught you doing something dumb & embarrassing.
(2) He saw you being caught doing something dumb & embarrassing.
(3) He talks to you, and you say something dumb & embarrassing.

Example 1: I'd just landed at this airport, and just when I was walking out, I saw this hottest-ever security guy. He stopped me, and in his deep, manly, sexy voice said "Miss, your paper says you have an animal product with you. May I ask what it is?"

Me: "Ummm..ahh..a dead Octopus."

Hot Security guy: "What??!"

Me: "It's dry. It's not fresh." (Nothing better to say)

Hot Security guy: "Well Miss, I'm not sure what our rules are regarding dried Octopuses, can you please go and talk to (some other officer)." (Trying to suppress a smile I could tell)

And no, don't ask me what I was doing with an Octopus in my bag. Too long a story, and too embarrassing.

(But the extra dumbness that I wasn't caught for was this: I thought I had only one Octopus, and Homeland Security was none the wiser it seemed. But when I finally reached home, my 6 year old cousin gave it a quick glance, and pronounced with his many missing teeth that there were two. I laughed, called him silly, told him I knew because I was the one who got it, and it was just one. "Octopuses have 8 arms, there are 16 arms in there" he said without a hint of showiness while the rest of my family smirked.)

Example 2: Another airport, and the security check-in line was longer than we expected, and unbelievably rigorous. We were even asked to take off our shoes and belts. We were getting late, and in our hurry to pack, and also because we were packing in the dark half-asleep, we had stuffed a whole bunch of liquids on our cabin bags, so we had to go back out, move or discard the unwanted items, then get back in line. By the time we were through security checks for the second time, we had about 5 minutes to get to our plane. And it was a massive airport, so we took off running without putting our shoes or our belts back on.

I will never forget what I wore that day. Black pants that were a size too big, which kept falling down my waist, and carrying my luggage with both hands, and running like a world champion sprinter meant my pants couldn't get a lot of help from my hands. I could hear our names being called out, and we ran frantically, barefoot, my pants falling and half my underwear showing. I think my friend had it better because his jeans at least fit.

We missed our plane anyway. And I was so angry, because the person at the counter actually admitted that our plane was still on the ground. We must've been quite a sight - no-shoes-all underpants me begging and pleading with tears in my eyes, my smartly dressed but barefooted friend trying to drag me away. I finally gave up, turned around to walk towards the waiting area, and what did I see? A Brad Pitt look-alike amusedly staring at us. And as we passed, he gave a little smile, a "Lady-where-are-your-shoes-and-by-the-way-your-undies-are-showing" smile :(

My friend got me coffee, with a packet of creamer, which when I put into my coffee didn't mix at all! So I tasted it, and found out it was mayonnaise and not creamer. I am not a crier at all, but that day it was difficult to keep myself from sobbing out loud. My friend tried to comfort me saying it was alright.

But it's not easy to say it's alright when you've just missed your plane, and you just humiliated yourself by running through the airport barefoot, and tons of people saw your underwear, and you have mayonnaise in your coffee.

And all while Brad Pitt-2 stared away.

**sigh** Why oh why do hot men only appear while I'm a total joke?!

17 November 2008

This is not Wright! (My Airplane Woes - I)

Many things are right about flying high above the earth, but then, there are so many things that are not - right from booking tickets to landing and walking out of a plane! You're never really safe until you're at least a few kilometres away from the nearest airport. I have so many woes I will have to break this up into several small parts.

First, starting with airplane woe # 1 - Why in the world do I never get seated next to a hot guy in a plane?! It's a modest enough wish - to want to sit next to a hot guy, or even if not physically hot, someone who is capable of mind-blowing conversation to help kill the time. I don't expect it to happen every time I step inside a plane, but I think it's fair to hope for some good luck just once in a while. I mean, how simple is that? Especially when you're on a 24+ long flight, when your butt aches, and your muscles cramp, and you're bored stiff, a nice guy would definitely help.

But no. Never happens, not once in a while, not ever! I sit next to sleepers, snorers, annoying children, very old people, or just rude-looking people, the type that looks at you like you're prey, or people I share no common language with - EVERY damn time! There will be cute guys in the plane, fate will just see to it they are seated as far away from you as possible.

I was on such a morbidly long flight once, hoping that I'd get someone fun. And guess who I landed? This man from Punjab, 60 something, spoke no English, French, or Mizo :P Hungry all the time, complained a lot about the Indian meals they served, and when he wanted extra bread (or anything else), he would just raise his hand, and shout at the top 0f his voice 'P-R-R-E-A-D'! And me sitting on the aisle seat meant almost all the heads that turned to look would only see me.

I think this is a joke that fate likes to play on me. I mean, just think, what are the chances of landing a Punjabi seatmate in San Francisco!? Not a lot right? But yep, it happened to me! And that is just one of many instances.

Airplane woe # 2 - Woe, because all my life's saving is with big airplane companies, and not in my bank savings as they should be. What the frig is with the airfares in India?! I just went and booked tickets for my Christmas trip home. I had a friend with me who was booking tickets for her Christmas trip to Zurich. And I will understand if you think I am lying, but I paid only Rs 100 less for my Aizawl ticket than she did for her Zurich ticket!

Zurich, Switzerland from Hyderabad, India, and Mizoram, India from Hyderabad, India - a 9+ hour long flight, and a 3.45 hour long flight, both round-trip flights, and just a hundred rupees difference. Yeah I know, WHAT THE HELL!

Incidentally, this same airfare to Mizoram is more than what I paid for my Thailand tickets. But why am I even wasting my breath? I should be used to this great land where we are forced to pay first class prices for third class services all the time! But I'm still so unsatisfied with Indian Airlines and their crappy planes, sulky attendants, and terrible food (esp. Kol-Azl flight ).

(And yes, if you have been dreaming of a trip to Switzerland, but have always thought it'd be too expensive, it's not if you can afford to travel within India. You can afford it, so go in peace and book your tickets now. It really is that cheap!)

Airplane woe #3 - Air Deccan and their stupid no-refund policy! You know how they have that thing about canceling, but not getting your money back, but having to redeem that amount minus cancellation charges to book other flights with them within 6 months. Well, I think that's got to be the most ridiculous, absurd, money-grabbing scheme ever! What if it's someone that don't even travel a lot?

I once booked a flight for almost Rs 7000 that I had to cancel later. Naturally, since I had all those funds stuck with them, I had to fly Air Deccan even though I think they suck big time, so I used the money to book a Rs 2000 flight a few weeks later. I traveled several times during the course of the remaining 6 months, but had to travel by different airlines as Deccan didn't have tickets available for my desired times/dates. And before I knew it, my 6 months was up, leaving my Rs 4000 something balance stranded with Deccan. Air Deccan, is this kinda like a punishment for canceling my flight in the first place? Well anyway, f*** you and I will never book any of my flights with you again, even if it means traveling by donkeys! And much safer not to anyway, all their planes look and sound like they can fall apart any minute.

Also, Thai Airways took almost a month (or was it even more than a month) to process my refund. Anyway, what is it with these airlines in India? I'm afraid all my frustration with them will kill my love for traveling. And I know they are never quite this difficult in other countries. When it comes to horrid customer service, I think a lot of these airlines are second only to....Citibank. Citibank's customer service is the stuff of nightmares, so I won't even go there.

Whew! End of part 1. And if I come across as a major whiner, and I know I may be one at this point, but I'm really only angry that I have all this Christmas shopping to do, and my iPod died, which means I need a new one, and all my friends seem to be having their birthdays this time of the year, so that's a lot of expenses, AND then booking all these flight tickets is no way to be Mother Teresa-like for sure!

13 November 2008

Old photographs

Been uncovering a few here and there, and they're hilarious. They always make me either cry or laugh, or both. In a really good way.

First, the old, old days....
"Only in sleep I see their faces,
Children I played with when I was a child...

- Z.M School - Mount Carmel
Only in sleep Time is forgotten --
What may have come to them, who can know?
Yet we played last night as long ago,...

- St.Paul's High
The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
I met their eyes and found them mild --
Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
And for them, am I too a child?

Then, the recent old days :-) .....

Those college days, and the worries, and the hard work...
And the craziness! Decking up your male housemates in your clothes...and what made it priceless is the sense to take a picture of them all decked up. [B - forgive me, I couldn't resist! But you're not recognisable anyway :)]
And my first job, and getting my hard work officially recognised for the first time - IBM & the 'Shoorveer Award' :-)
(And how in the world did I not notice that cute guy with the cute smile at the time?!)

06 November 2008

Buy me a rose

I have been working so hard these past few months have been a blurry haze to me. Office work, house work - both. I have always felt ashamed to be 'young' and healthy and able-bodied but to be hiring a maid to wash my clothes, clean my room, wash my floors, cook me food. ..so I don't, much to the chagrin of most of my friends who believe a maid is one of the basic necessities of life.

'Hired helps are cheap, so why not?' they say, and sometimes I ask myself the same question. But the thing is, I just don't want to. And I know no maid will clean or cook as well as I do :-) I'm painful that way because when it comes to work - of any kind , there's no one I trust more than myself. So there. That's why I am maid-less to this day. And probably will be for the rest of my life - or as long as I'm able.

But the flip side of all this is when life gets too hectic, and I work my ass off, and I go home and even if all I want is something as simple as a nice cup of tea, I have to do it all myself - on any normal working day. We do get to go on nice trips and vacations, but when vacations are over and you're back, tired from long trips, and there is dusting and unpacking and suitcase full of laundry to be done - and who else to do them but yourself? So even taking vacations are not all that restful, the aftermath is just too tiresome.

I was bemoaning my fate to a very sympathetic friend one night. "I wrack my brain trying to think of ways to make my clients happy, to make my family or friends happy, to make their lives easier, all the running arounds I do for them but there's no one trying to make my life better!" (Selfish selfish I know, but still...I can lament a bit can't I?).

My friend, caring and loving as he was, was alarmed to see me like that because I am most of the time annoyingly chirpy. "Tell me what you want me to do for you and I'll do it!" he said. I said there was nothing. "What do you want? I'll get it for you" he offered. Men always think 'buying' is the solution to everything. He immediately thought what I wanted was something to be bought, something available in a store...But the thing is, if buying something was to make me that happy, if it was that simple, I would buy it myself. And even if someone buying me something would make me happy, it's just not that special when they do it because you asked for it. I want something that's unasked for, even if it's just a cup of tea.

As sweet as the sentiment was, it just made me unfairly angry with him. I know I have wonderful people in my life who genuinely love me and care for me. But sometimes I think they all think I'm Super Woman - made of steel. But I want some pampering sometimes. Have you heard of Kenny Roger's 'Buy Me a Rose' - that would pretty much sum up what I'm trying to say, just without the romantic connotation.

He thinks she wants a three car garage
Her own credit cards
If he could only read her mind
She'd say -

Buy me a rose,
Call me from work,
Open a door for me,
What would it hurt
Show me you love me
By the look in your eyes
These are the little things
I need the most in my life...

Or maybe I should just focus more on what I have. When I went away last week without telling anyone, and most of the time keeping my phone locked in my hotel room, Superman on my last day finally called a friend of mine who happened to be sitting right next to me at the time so I took the call. He yelled at me - "Why did you go away like that without saying anything!? Where is your phone? Why were all my calls unanswered? Not answering emails, never present online! I have been worried sick!" But to know that I was alive more or less satisfied him. Maybe that's as good as buying me an unasked-for rose?

Maybe not :(

04 November 2008

Thusly back

Really want to write long, boring, lengthy post, but way too laden with work - emails waiting to be written, voicemails begging to be played, clients to pamper, nails to paint, stomach to be fed, eyelashes to flutter....

But I really hate cobwebbed blogs, so I'm leaving pictures, just for the sake of an update. This is where I was for the last 7 days. No, not the Coroner's office like some feared. Thankfully :-)
The company I kept :-)

And oh, almost forgot - my new tattoos :P