Monday, December 25, 2006

Facebook please?

The latest guilty-pleasure to rapidly pervade through the world-wide-web is Facebook! So first step for all non-facebookers should be: Get a Facebook, quick. []

Why? It's one the best ways of keeping in touch with people. MSN Messenger is good, this is a as good, if not better. The beauty of it is its user-friendliness and it's really easy build a network of randomly connected friends. Picture-uploading is awesome, and shite easy and wall-posting is brilliant. It's easy, not complicated, and very, very addictive. It keeps you updated on everyone you want to be updated on even though you are too scared to admit so. :P

Not convincing enough? Ask anyone who has a Facebook! In short, get one, it's worth it! And add me. :P

P.S. Merry Merry Christmas to everyone, especially to Jesus' followers.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dubai International Film Fest – DIFFing Around

I volunteered for this “prestigious” festival, thanks to a few ads in the newspaper, some positive Ish-related motivation and due to the convincing nature of the DIFF website. For all the hype it created, DIFF was just okay, at least volunteering-wise. Fine Shah Rukh Khan showed up and got jumped by the usually fanatically over-eccentric gals, and so did Richard Gere – wow! Old ‘Hot’ Guy – YAY! Stop making such a big deal out of it. *8-|*

Initially when Romit and I went for the “Volunteer Recruitment Session”, I was awed by the good organization and the convincing positive speeches, making it sound as if volunteering at DIFF was everything you could dream of. I have to give it to Bob and the gang – we volunteers were treated too damn well. We got Dhs 45 vouchers to places like Dome and Schzzam for our “40-minute” lunch or dinner breaks. Obviously, “40 minutes” didn’t happen, but a couple of hours did. We got a lot of goodies, a lot of free screening vouchers, a funky-enough t-shirt, a lot of food and a lot of ‘make-us-feel-important’. Well done you guys, but hey, face the facts. We volunteers were actually doing shit. We were tearing tickets, clicking counters to count the number of film-watchers, ushering guests, ushering guests to the other ushers, flirting with the so called “hot girls”, eating great food, making once-and-only friends, and trying to feel important. We weren’t even half important. I feel they had enough paid ushers (the ones in the blue shirts) to handle the event. Also, there were just too many of us volunteers to the extent that unthinkable jobs were being created. This was so over-free-employment.

Okay fine, maybe I am being a little too negative. I must admit I had a decent time. I definitely enjoyed the food and got to know a couple of really nice and interesting people who I hope I will keep in touch with. I also got to know a group of DPS guys, who knew me (somehow) and found out why our school is so much better and more intellectual than the other Indian schools. These DPS guys were cool, but were too damn Bollywood for me. They were worried more about getting the most funked out phone than anything else, and what blew me away was that they were trying to justify themselves. Though one of them did genuinely entertain me, all of them were automatic-unintended entertainers, if you get what I mean. Fun-fill-ment indeed. I also got to spend time with a long lost friend who I only only meet when this other person is in town, whether this other person is there with us at that moment or not – weirdly enough.

I attended 2 of my 3 shifts. The first one was at the Mall Of The Emirates which was half decent – had a scrumptious lunch at Schzzam with 5 other people out of which I think I will never see 4 of them again. Note: At Schzzam there was this really awesome Magician who really and brilliantly, truly brilliantly entertained us while we awaited our food. Tejas, this Spanish Magician-dude would have made you go madder than you have ever gone before.

My second shift was at the Madinat Arena, i.e. The Red Carpet Zone, which was also half decent. Ishika was great company on a very ‘honest’ day (go figure) and so where the other 5 people who we will also, probably never meet again. Food was once again scrumptious, but painstakingly late at the Dome. We were eating like kings. Anyway 2 half-decent shifts make one decent experience, right?

Bob and the other Volunteer-In-charge people did a good job of handling the volunteers. The problem was that there weren’t enough genuine volunteers. Some wanted the girls, some wanted a learning/fun experience (like me :P) and only a minimum few actually wanted to make the most of this Film-Fest experience, beyond just the ticket-tearing and guest-ushering. And that was kinda sad to see.

When it comes to the Dubai International Film Festival itself, it was glorified with all the “big names” and the “big movies”. It was just about putting forth a grand image of the festival. I almost fell into the superficial “grandeur” of the event, but thanks to a local film-maker, I was bestowed with the right facts. A film festival is not about “big names” and “big films”, it’s about showcasing those off-beat films that don’t make it to the cinema theaters. It’s about giving an opportunity to the opportunity-less in a rapidly growing industry. It’s not about showing popular films that will hit the theaters soon. DIFF failed to uplift the true essence of a film-festival. Yes it did make an effort by hosting an Local Short Film competition, but there was too much concentration on the popularity aspect of films. But I guess the commercial approach is important for the sustenance of the festival. But so much of commercialism? Maybe not.

P.S. Any experience is an experience, good or bad, and it teaches you something or the other. So I apologize for the pessimism.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Kickstarting Footballism

Footballism officially starts. To all my ignorant blog-readers, Footballism is this other blog I have started to divert all my football energy away from this blog, keeping the contents of this blog more general, and preventing un-required judgmental Bajpai comments as to how football-oriented this blog is. Footballism now has it's first proper exclusive post, and will be, hopefully updated frequently, especially after mega encounters like Arsenal-Chelsea for instant. Man Utd-Liverpool: umm maybe not - those teams aren't that great now, are they?

Anyway visit it here:

P.S. Good luck to Harry and the other guys for their Inter School One Act Play Competition. We know you guys are gonna kick ass, so please do it royally.

Monday, December 04, 2006


Guess who is joining the Premiership Rat Race (PRR) of use-lots-off-wealth-on-team-to-become-rich-and-famous – our very own, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum the proud ruler of Dubai. Yes Govind, you can partially rejoice – his Highness is planning to pitch in 480 million pounds to buy the living hell out of Liverpool. So, that somewhat means ,that Arsenal is the only nor-foreign-bought club, which ironically has a non-foreign coach and only 1 English player in its top playing 16. Right. The English, I tell you.

Anyway, why Liverpool is all happy is because now they can get a new stadium, and be totally wannabe’s of Arsenal. It’s okay Govind, it’s only natural for any club to do so. What Sheikh Mohammed is going to be doing is clearing all Liverpool debts (which not surprisingly is about 80 million pounds), buying controlling stake worth 180 million pounds and investing in the new stadium that will be built in Stanley Park. He, the owner of Dubai International Capital (DIC), is one rich man. Respect sir, and please don’t kick me out of the country.

It’s also fun, yes plain fun, to note that Dubai now indirectly owns major chunks of 2 clubs - Arsenal, with all the ‘Emirates’ sponsoring and Liverpool, with the latest DIC take-over bid. What’s even more fun to note is that now the premiership might turn out to be a 3 way battle – The Americans (Glazers & Man Utd) v/s The Russians (Abrahamovich & Chelsea) v/s The Middle East (Sheikh Mohammed & Liverpool). Boy oh boy – World War III indeed.

On a more saving-my-ass note, actually quite seriously, I have deep respect for our ruler Sheikh Mohammed. He is one hell of a strategist, and his vision is boundless but practical. Dubai is where it is because of him. Hats off on a great job sir, and good luck with Liverpool.

P.S. This post is a mixture of football and Dubai, so you’ll find it on both of my blogs. =)

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I rock. From 6:30 AM on the 27th of October to 10:30 PM on the 28th of October, I did not sleep. This didn’t even include a 15-minute nap or a ‘siesta’ or what some call a few minutes of ‘power sleep’. Hah! It was the longest day of my life. From reaching the pinnacle of tension, to having the highest amount of adrenalin flowing through my veins, to dislocating fingers, to "DIFF"-ing, not only was my day friggin’ long, it was as eventfully dramatic. I most probably failed in my physics exam, dislocated my pinki, barfed on the school doc, and missed the entire inter-house cricket season. Shit, that ain’t any good. Damn. I suck.

Having never touched my physics book, on the eve of my second term physics examination, I am somewhat confident that I would be able to study enough to get the passing marks. But as I tread along, slowly, on the path to physical enlightenment, my fuel tank hits empty. Enter Red Bull. Time to revert to a previously non-existent plan B. My aim: to survive the night and reach as close as I can to the sweet grapes of physical thoroughness. Also, even if the plan fails, I would at least be able to gloat about the great over night survival. 24 hours of nocturn-ity complete.

The morning dawns, faster than it should have. My studies progress, slower than they should have. I finish half the portion, and my time is up. Red Bull seemed to be quite a saviour. It is definitely inspiring for it has printed on it: “Only drink in times of great stress. It will help provide extra energy and enhance your performance”. Inspiring indeed.

I finally reach school, buoyed up with drug-like energy, thanks to the ‘wings’ that I have received. Assembly ends on a sour note – the swimming team are told that they will not take part in their Inter School Meet due to a lack of practice, and my unfortunate self is a part of this team. However, it turns out to be just a threat, but anyway I don't go for the meet, because my eventually, my pinki betrays me.

Anyway, my physics exam begins, and the more I read the question paper, the more I forget. In the compulsory section, I half-confidently attempt only 5 questions of the 20. Not bad, huh? Section A of Part II, are worse, I attempt 2 subparts of 2 big questions instead of attempting the entire questions. Section B and Section C are not as bad, but aren't that pretty either. Anyway, all is not lost, I might just scrape through.

The exam ends, and I am glad that I don't have to come home and study, instead I have swimming practice. Practice is good, except for the fact that I learn that my kicks are very poor compared to everyone else’s. I don't have any strength in my legs. Now this definitely hurts the pride and ego of an individual who is considered to be a good sportsman. You start questioning God and the human body. How can you run decently fast, kick a football decently hard, but not be able to kick the water hard enough in swimming? I am confused, but it is explained to me that for different activities, a million different muscles are developed, and those swimming-kicking muscles of mine were very weak. Right.

Practice done, time for our Inter-House cricket match. (Please note: Right now, I haven’t devoured any sort of food. All that has sustained me is my second Red Bull. It has been 30 hours since I have slept.) The cricket match starts, and after just 3 balls, my inter house cricket career ends. Junaid plays a cut shot, and I try and dive for the ball. The ball reaches the boundary, buy my tiny left pinki (i.e. my left tiny finger) gets stuck into the ground. My body, however, continues under the physical force of momentum, and that dislocates my dear pinki, and it almost lies hanging at an angle of about 75 degrees. Not pretty. I relocate it back to it’s place with a “thuk” and then run to the doctor. My body then takes its turn to betray me. It decides to take advantage/revenge on the pain it’s feeling, by sweeping me with nausea and dizziness. I then vomit, and try to control vehemently, but I cannot prevent myself from spewing a bit onto the unfortunate doctor. But the puking helps. I regain self control and apologize profusely to the doctor. The Principal, the Headmaster, the Senior Supervisor, the Admin Officers, the English teacher, the Cricket teachers, the Afternoon-Activities coordinator, and the remaining world suddenly come bursting onto the scene. Lying in bed, due to the nausea, I am told unanimously by all: you will be okay!

I am then ‘rushed’ to hospital, and I go quite reluctantly, only after having a verbal war with the nurse – “I want to watch the cricket match.” But that isn’t good enough. Then I am very thankful to Ali, Tejas and Romit who succeed in entertaining my ass off. They want to come to the hospital, but are blown away by the furious nurse, who had earlier given me glucose, that actually tasted really good. I am fine, no real pain, only a slight niggling pain when I move my little left pinki.

The journey to the hospital is boring. Dad’s a doctor, and he works at Welcare, so obviously I exploit the situation. Even then it takes me an hour before I get to see the doc. Meanwhile I am observing a Filipino wife in her black ‘Burkha’ with a broken leg ordering her Arab husband around. That’s weird indeed, but common in this part of the world. The x-ray shows nothing, but the doc assumes ligament damage. And then finally I reach home without any big plaster to show off, but only this small piece of scrap bandage. Boring patch of the post I know – but still. :P

Well any reasonable human being would have then gone to sleep, especially when there was puking, breaking fingers, etc involved in the previous 6 hours. But I don’t follow normality. It has now been 36 hours without sleep. Mum tells me to sleep. I ignore. I have the DIFF, i.e. Dubai International Film Festival Volunteer Recruitment Session, to attend. The Red Bull energy is still pumping, I make my way there, despite my sister’s warning of a ‘sudden collapse’. Don’t worry nothing of that sort happens, at least then.

Finally we, as in Romit and I, reach the Knowledge Village Auditorium, which I am pretty impressed with. We see a bunch of Modern High girls there. Obviously. What follows is a long lecture and a lot of, “Eh, she’s hot man” and “No, not my type Anish” (note: I am not referring to any Modern High girls there, so please prevent pervasion of rumours). I meet an Al-Mu’atmaar ex-mate Alex, who is btw, a girl, and who is also half-Irish, half-Punjabi. Yeah, don’t ask. She doesn’t remember my name, but at least she remembers me, so kudos to her on that. The evening, otherwise isn’t that exciting. We register for three 6-hour shifts as ticket-checkers or line-keepers or seat-showers – yeah not too exciting either, but it’s an experience in its own way.

Romit and I then eat some heavy KFC and then make tired conversation on our journey home. I arrive to greet my sister, and an official collapse hits me. My sister, the darling she is, irons my school clothes for me, as I treat my semi-broken pinki with ice. I then look at my watch. 10:30 PM – 40 hours. Wow. One hell of a rollercoaster, and one hell of a ‘long’ day.

P.S. Song to listen to: Matchbox 20 – Long Day.
And today, this one person that I care about, and who apparently cares/cared about me, asks me to give up on her. I cry and then laugh at ‘God’, and then at world.