Wednesday, 23 June 2010

On a BB

There’s too much happening in my life right now and I feel so terrible that I am not able to post regularly. Earlier I used to post twice a week but now I find myself putting up a post once in 2 weeks…...that too with great difficulty.

The realization took a few weeks to sink in and especially after the exit of my lifeline read maid;-(. Past 2 months have been hectic; been busy with guests, the kids’ exams and housework. I feel like a total jerk when I go to the pages of blog friends & realize I hadn’t been there for weeks. Where is all the time flying???
It reached the heights when Anjuli mailed me saying that she was going to mention me in one of her posts & I go to her page in the last week of May to see her participating in a month long blogathon which had just a few days left. I didn’t realize it had been that long I visited her. And I was hopping mad at myself for missing out on the prize she gave away. And what’s worse now is that I realize the lethargy I feel reflects even in my commenting; and that’s really getting me down coz I pride myself on being good commenter.
Blogging was something I started when I had a lot of time on my hands…the company I was working for was going downhill & there was no work at all on some days. It was fun then. I felt privileged when people came on their own and started commenting on my posts. There was so much to say then. Once I left the job the number of posts dwindled but I bravely plowed on. Infact I must be the only ‘regular’ blogger out here who’s been at it for almost 3 years and still not reached her 200th post.

At first I thought I’ll end it all as in stop blogging but I just couldn’t bear the idea of a total termination. I have ‘met’ so many like-minded people out here who have become good friends now. Nope, no way was I going to give it all up.

And so now I’m toying with the idea of a blog break. The summer hols are coming up and I’m going to be terribly busy anyways; nope, not going to be specific and say that I’m going to be away for 2 or 6 months but just hope it’s not going to be for ever;-(.

It actually breaks my heart to do this but I need to get a few things in order. I'm not going to take ur leave and all that jazz coz I wouldn't know how in short, take care everybody, be good, work hard, party harder, drink lots of water and dont do things that I wouldn't do. I hope to be back as early as possible.

And oh, just an afterthought; there are so many of u out there who pass this way, read and go away. Do drop a line, it will make me feel really good and who knows it may be just the inspiration I need to get started again:-)).

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Dune Bashing is so cool really!!!!!

My friend was here in Dubai last week with her son on vacation. They were here for a mere 5 days but the amount of activities we packed into those days left me with no time for anything else. And after she left I needed around 7 days to recover; that’s why no posts for 2 weeks;-P

It was lovely having Chaitra staying with me; though we’ve known eachother for almost 15 yrs there were so many firsts. I have tasted her cooking many times in the past but she never had what I made until now, we spent hours talking and discovered surprising changes in eachother, old times were discussed and reminisced in detail as was marriage and motherhood. And when the children took to each other easily we were overjoyed.

We did the usual sight-seeing and among the experiences was the Desert Safari which stood out; now this is a trip which is a must-do on a tourist’s list to get a feel of Dubai. It is a half day trip where we are taken into the desert and shown what desert-living is all about. Well ok not that ‘real’ but close as they come and they focus on the good bits which makes it bearable. But even then it was summer for goodness sakes.

So when my friend requested me to go along I told her an emphatic NO….for many reasons. For one I like to take my trips in comfort and spending ½ a day in the sweltering heat was not my idea of fun. Secondly there is something called dune-bashing wherein before reaching the camp we are taken into the ‘proper’ desert[where for miles you see only sand and sand-dunes like in the movies] and the 4 wheel drive you are traveling in is made to thrash up & down the sand dunes. The driver deliberately jerks the vehicle up & down and the passengers get a kick out of it.

Now this is what scared me the most. I’m a poor traveller with a motion-sickness problem; infact I’m so sensitive that I get funny feelings in my stomach if I rock too hard on the recliner in the living-room. Yes really;-/. When I was a child the problem was so bad that I always had a plastic-cover tucked away in my school-bag for emergencies. Now I’m like sooooo much better but the fear is still there. The only vehicles I can breathe easily are in the auto and the train, the rest are just tolerated for their uses.

Oh well coming back to the main subject at hand……dune-bashing was precisely the reason why I never wanted to go on a desert-safari in these years. My friend was disappointed ofcourse but understood my fear & didn’t make a fuss & so I call the one person I know in this area of expertise to arrange this trip. In spite of the short notice he agreed to arrange it but was aghast to hear I had never been on one in these 10 years I’ve lived here. And he literally ate my head….he coaxed, cajoled, waxed eloquently on the exhilarating desert-safari experience and made it sound like I would not have lived my life fully if I didn’t go on one. Inspite of my fears I wondered if I was missing out on something all these years. Then suddenly something he said just overpowered all of my doubts and I recklessly agreed. I thought what the heck… those 7 hrs of supposedly pure unadulterated fun what’s a mere 20-30 minutes of dune-bashing. Right?????

So armed with a light lunch, anti-motion sickness tablets and plastic covers we boarded the vehicle. My better-half who has a bad back and my younger daughter opted not to come. My elder daughter and my friend’s son were so excited. On the way the vehicle stopped to pick up a Portuguese couple and soon we were on our way. After an hour or so when it didn’t look like we were reaching anywhere soon I gave into my thirst, opened a can of Mirinda & took 2 tiny sips.

Almost immediately we reached a camel farm where we clicked pictures of camels & fed the curious animals with bread and the rest of the Mirinda[yep they love fizzy drinks] after which the dune bashing started immediately. It didn’t take me 3 minutes to come to the conclusion that drinking the Mirinda was one of the idiotic decisions taken in my entire life. I bravely pasted a smile on my face but went a deathly white. While the rest of the group shouted “Whooo-hoooo” and “faster, faster”[show-offs, they were all slying looking at me everytime they were saying it;-/] I was grimly hanging onto the thoughtfully provided handles on the top. The driver, a Syrian had this curious habit of saying “bye-bye” in a sing-song voice everytime he going to plunge down the side of the dune; the car would then slide down the slope almost like as if it would topple over and my stomach would plummet in the same speed making me swallow uncomfortably.

My daughter was laughing delightedly and shouting “Faster, faster” with a half-crazed look on her face. I looked at her wryly wondering how she could be so different from me, then narrowed my eye-brows suspiciously and thought back to the time she was born. After all she did lie in the nursery along with many other kids, was there a possibility my own flesh and blood got switched with this brat. Goodness I really have to discuss this with the better-half….maybe a DNA test…..

And I puked, but not before I fished out the plastic cover and buried my face into it. Just when I was congratulating myself for hitting it right into the cover the vehicle bucked & it spilt. If you are thinking “yecch, ewwwwwww……sick” just imagine me. The vehicle stopped, there was a deathly silence filled with pity, guilt[u know coz they were enjoying & I wasn’t] & a sour Mirinda stink….I was so embarrassed & hopping mad at myself. Everybody scrambled out eager to get away. My daughter loudly criticizes “Mama, you didn’t hold the plastic cover properly, you should be more careful”. Giving her a piercing “wait till I get you alone” look I stumbled out & cleaned up. The rest of them walked around clicking pictures and I breathed deeply drinking in the surprisingly cool breeze in the middle of the beautiful barren land.

They were standing at the edge, contemplating sliding down the dune and ran the idea by us. We vetoed it ofcourse.

The rest of the trip went off fine. We reached the camp, witnessed a glorious sunset, rode on camels, got henna tattoos on our bodies, carried falcons on our wrists, watched a documentary on Sheikh Zayed[the founder of UAE], gorged on Arabic food, watched belly-dancing & other curious forms of entertainment. The belly-dancer was gorgeous and not at all like the thin fair creatures you see on tv; she was a mature, dusky Moroccan woman whose graceful movements mesmerized us from the start. I could see Nikita watching all her moves closely and had to hide a smile when she whispered sadly that she wont be able to do a particular dance-step; well I had to agree coz the belly-dancer was balancing a long stick horizontally on her generously endowed upper torso;-D

When I think about it now I’m so glad I took Nikita along. I almost didn’t coz I didn’t want Naina to feel bad[Naina[6yrs] I knew for sure wouldn’t have enjoyed the dune-bashing, and so when I explained how it was going to be she willingly stayed back with her father]. Nikita threw herself whole-heartedly into having fun and reveled in the whole experience. She even got up to join the belly-dancer along with the others at the end of the performance. And in the middle of everything she found time to make a sand-castle too; I smiled in indulgence at her boundless energy but it was wiped off almost immediately when I realized she was using up all the water in the unattended Aquafina bottles, to make it;-/.

As for me I’m glad I went for it. So many times I say NO without thought and miss out on different experiences. I doubt I’ll ever put myself thru another round of dune-bashing but I don’t for a moment regret the one I experienced and there is this decision I made that I will open my mind to all ideas and experiences and give them a fair chance. Who knows I may even end up enjoying a few like this one. All but for one thing….it will be a long time before I drink Mirinda again.

And as to how the friend finally convinced me to go on this desert safari…..

He said something like “Just think about it, you can blog about the whole experience when you get back” and believe me when I say, that very minute all my reservations went flying out of the window;-D