Sunday, January 28, 2007

Holidays and the Circus

Yes, after a verrrry long time, I went on a holiday - brief, but memorable and loads of fun. We drove to the east coast of the UAE to calm Khorfakkan. Rocky hills on one side and a gorgeous blue sea on the other, it was peaceful and rejuvenating, except on the second day, when it was cloudy and wet and we couldn't go out. Anyway, that evening the wind really picked up: I've never seen chairs and lounges end up in a swimming pool before!!!

What I loved best was the sea because it was the real deal, not like the man-made Corniche at AD. Of course, the Khorfakkan sea is also flat, but at least its got more personality than the artificially still waters of the AD Corniche. When we weren't on the beach, we ended up at the Al Safeer store (on all three days). Not surprisingly, we ended up buying quite a bit, but it was quite cheap actually, so my conscience wasn't all that troubled.

Its a quiet life there, especially for the citified types used to the hustle and bustle of crowds. But that, and the fabulous private beach at the Oceanic Hotel , makes it worth the cost and the 4-hour drive for a quick and refreshing weekend getaway.

I was sorry to leave, but had plenty to look forward to the next day: I was going to watch the Cirque du Soleil!!! And what a performance it could throw in all the superlatives and still not do the show justice, so I'm not going to try. I just hope I'm able to watch another show someday, perhaps treat my family to it. Inshallah!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Firsts...

This is something I'll keep updating, as & when I remember them and as & when they happen: a record of the 'firsts' in my life, or at least most of them. Just a thought that struck me this evening. So here goes - my first time:
  • caught in a sandstorm - Jumeirah Beach Park, Dubai: October 1997
  • parasailing - Coral Island, Thailand: Summer 2001
  • receiving a birthday surprise - Mumbai: 2002
  • at a disco - Mumbai: July 2002
  • at an open-air dance party - Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad: January 2003
  • trekking (sort of!) - Khandala: October 2004
  • receiving a paycheck - Mumbai: May 2005
  • (and hopefully last time) wading through waist-high floods - Mumbai: 26th July 2005
  • at a gym - Mumbai: November 2005
  • baking (all by myself) - Abu Dhabi: June 2006 onwards
  • taking swimming lessons - Abu Dhabi: August 2006
  • in near-freezing temperatures (although artificial) - Ski Dubai: 31st Dec 2006
  • watching live juggling and flamenco acts - Mall of the Emirates: 12th Jan 2007
  • watching the Cirque du Soleil (Quidam) - Ibn Batutta Mall: 19th Jan 2007
  • in Europe!!!!! - June 2007
  • playing with real snow - Switzerland, June 2007
  • eating caviar - Abu Dhabi, August 2008

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


You know how sometimes you're emotionally blackmailed into doing something you don't really want to, but you give in just to see the other person happy? That's how I ended up going to watch Apocalypto on one of the last days of 2006. Watching the trailer earlier, I was interested in the story, and being directed by Mel Gibson, I knew it would be worth it. But the sight of the pierced-and-painted cast disturbed me - I wasn't sure I could sit through the whole movie. Still, accomodating and generous soul that I am :), I went along.

And I'm so glad that I did. Not only was it one of the best movies I've ever seen (the underwater birth and the scene where the blood spurts after the hero strikes the sadistic guy had me gasping in shock!), but it had a message that has become my personal mantra. It was when the hero's father tells him not to be afraid - that fear taints the heart and leads to downfall. For me, 2006 was a year that brought the biggest changes in my life and the pessimist in me taking over. I'm not a natural optimist; I've always had to consciously boost my positive side, but this time, I wasn't able to do that. I was wallowing; despite knowing it, I couldn't seem to fight off the gloom.

That movie got through though. That one sentence, one thought about not giving in to fear struck a chord. I'm quite conservative, wimpy even, most of the time - there's always been some sort of fear in my mind: fear of what others think of me, fear of failure, of embarrassment, of rejection, of the future. And I realise now that all these fears have, many times, kept me from doing things, experiencing things, I might have enjoyed.

So I tell myself now, everyday, to live each day and open up to whatever chances and opportunities come my way. I am not afraid.