Friday, April 27, 2007

A Small World

Yes, we all know how the internet has made the world smaller and more connected and more accessible, and yes everything is “a click away” and all that rot. But when this cliché hits you like a bullet rattling a can, you suddenly start to realize how small this 510,065,600 km2 of Earth is.

Facebook is God. It keeps outdoing itself, and is one of the main reasons as to why this world has shrunk. Having gotten admission at University of Texas-Austin, I decided to “Facebook” potential university-mates. I quite easily bounced upon a few Facebook Groups - “UT Class of 2011”, “UT Internationals”, “UT Desis” and so on, which basicallty consisted of similar direction-ed people. Exciting. Very exciting. Obviously, the obvious formalities with a few obviously random people were exchanged [obviously, a little more with the opposite sex]. And obviously, everyone part of this “exchange” was trying to figure out how exactly the other is. Is he/she a player? Smart? Stupid? Attitude-filled? Boring? Fun? Interesting, but-keep-your-distance type? Gay? Loud? Over-enthusiastic? Potential-filled? Cute? Ugly? Yup, it’s bloody exciting. But then there is always a limit to how much you can get from a few typed messages and with a few looking-good pictures of people. However it does make you feel [or rather, will make me feel] a little less of a stranger when you do land into “the new world”.

All this is all “cool and all” and fine, the world is “small” and all, bla bla, but it’s when you start finding weird connections with the most random people that makes the “small world” theory a lot more interesting. I found this person, who lived most of her life in Dubai, moved to Texas a while ago and is going to the same university as me. I didn’t know her when she was here, but Udai did, and a few more of my decently close friends also did. Hell we already have something in common! Then this other dude, who is currently in Bahrain, and is going to UT-Austin, knows a long lost random friend of mine who I was once half close to. Apparently the dude and this long lost friend knew each other in Bahrain when they were babies [somehow]. Wow. See, it’s fascinating. Oh, and Facebook also helped me come across a person residing in Dubai heading for UT, and she turned out to be a friend of a friend! WOW. These things blow me away. The world is bloody small. It is weirdly interconnected, perfectly imperfect and it never fails to amuse. Yeah I know I have said this more than enough already but all this makes the future bloody exciting. It’s exciting to restart your life, re-build your reputation and meet a whole new breed of people, and clash with a whole new type of life.

Tejas then made everything a little emotional. I was Facebooking – going through fellow Longhorns, when he said, ‘Shit Anish, in a year or two, you are gonna be hanging out with those people [pointing to the screen]. They are gonna be your new Romits, Alis, Harrys and Tejases, and we are gonna be heading down our own paths, with only memories binding us together.’

Apart from being small, the world also moves bloody fast.

P.S. The last “fast” bit would be more appropriate with respect to life, but hey, I needed to connect things. Also, the late post is because I have weirdly, crazily busy doing work, and also tossing a bit of fun in the mix. And also, I used "bloody" 4 times. Sorry Didi!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

AUS & Dubai & My Weird Way Of Connecting The Two

UAE and Universities don’t make sense to me. I thought UAE could not have a good university, or rather does not have a good university. American University of Dubai seems to have a decent campus, but somehow the people and the atmosphere just exude negative vibes. The Knowledge Village is not appealing at all (maybe Dubai Academic City will be, but I won’t be here). Skyline, ACD and others just seem to have a blah feel. I don’t know how and why I have reached such un-researched and arrogant conclusions, but I just don’t like the idea of studying here.

American University of Sharjah changed that a little (we [Redial Entertainment] had a show there). The University is beautiful. The humongous-ly huge campus, the 1000-seater-state-of-the-art Auditorium, the Pizza-Hut-Burger-King food court, the spacious areas where you can just sit and the artistic dome-like structures [buildings] just blew my wits away. Finally, a university in the UAE almost seemed worthwhile to study in. Almost.

No doubt I was impressed by AUS, but I still can’t ever imagine studying in this country. It’s not like I hate Dubai, or this country, I just seem to be sick of it. I hate the restrictions. I hate how our Indian school segregates boys and girls (now how does something like that not promote homosexuality?). I hate how the Dubai Police once ordered us to go to our houses and get some sleep when they saw us outside our houses with a camera at 3:00 AM in the night. I hate how spoilt we are with everything being available to us at the snap of our fingers, I hate how superficial people here can be. I hate the local taxis. I hate the Dubai Public Transport (the other emirates almost seem to be public-transport-less), Dubai Shopping Festival is the most traffic-filled pain-in-the-ass ever. Basically I need to get out of here. Yeah, some of the above generalizations can be viewed as “unfair” and “arrogant” and “debatable” to the random reader, yeah, some of the above statements can be applied to any place, and yeah, right now a lot of negative energy is flowing through my veins, but I can’t help but get annoyed with Dubai & UAE.

It’s not that I hate everything about Dubai – the tax-free life rocks. Dubai has 6 months of gorgeous weather. We do get spoilt by watching big names perform live in Dubai with ease and at a relatively low price. I love my friends here in Dubai and will miss them loads once I leave. But all that’s not good enough right now.

I am really excited about Texas-Ausin.

P.S. Wow, this was supposed to be more of a AUS-related post. Please forgive the arrogance and the over-use of “I”.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Taxis & Dubai

There are probably a million different taxi-supplying agencies in Dubai, and probably a billion taxis roaming the streets, but getting one taxi for myself, a 18 year old, brown Indian, is many a time, near impossible. Fine, yes I am exaggerating a little, but only a little.

Let me start again. There are 5 major taxi suppliers: Dubai Transport, Cars Taxis (“Cars” – yeah I know taxis are cars painted up, but that’s one non-sensical shitty name), National Taxis, Golden (really?) Taxis & Gulf Radio Taxis (hai?). They supply a good number of taxis for the small city that is Dubai. Hell, these stupid taxis make up a big chunk of the dreaded traffic that is partially drowning Dubai.

Okay, there are a good number of taxis, then why does getting one taxi at 11:00 AM on a Thursday in Deira for an 18 year old, brown Indian seem as impossible as men conquering Mars? Empty cabs go by, without as much as glancing at you, so the finger that is upright also becomes redundant. Some half-decent ones that at least stop, say that they have to go pray, or that they are being awaited by someone else. Fine, but if I was this stunning blonde, with enough exposed skin to light up any man-eyes, the “praying” and the “awaited persons” would disappear, right? And getting a taxi won’t be that big a problem. Here I talk with experience. A few months back, a fellow Indian cab driver with an empty cab drove right past my wavering hand. I was like fine, he must be going home. But then he suddenly stopped 50 yards ahead of me, for this considerably fair woman. Wow, a fellow countryman betraying his own people - very confuddling.

Going to Sharjah by cab is not a possibility. However white you are, Sharjah is a big no-no for taxi-drivers. It’s not like they aren’t allowed to go there, but they just won’t – “too much traffic”. Yes I sympathize with them, when it comes to traffic and shit, but it’s their friggin’ job! They are meant to take people from one place to the other, irrespective of whether the bill is 5 dirhams or 500 dirhams, or whether there is heavy traffic or not. Fine, these poor bastards are not paid that well, and are exploited, but taking it out on their passengers is not nice.

Every cab driver I have been with is always on the brink of bursting out. The way these drivers abuse their fellow road-buddies is more than hilarious. Fine, these guys are visibly stressed, but when they act racist with their own people, it’s not cool. Every taxi-driver wants a pretty passenger who wants to be taken from Deira to Abu Dhabi on Friday at 9:00 AM. But that’s so not happening.

I can’t wait to drive. It will be quite a relief not relying on these turned on, racist tax-drivers. But then a whole new problem will unfold – parking. Bloody hell!

P.S. The metro will help! I can’t wait for that to kick in, but I won’t be here to experience it. The Public Buses and their routes suck. Shit, everything seems useless when it comes to transport and Dubai.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Tribute To An Economist

Mrs. Usha Balachandran taught me the brilliant subject that is Economics in Grades 11 and 12. Ma’am was always on top of her game, from explaining convoluted concepts of DMRS to lecturing us on morality and on the principles of life. But what separates her from the rest is that she is a true entertainer of her own sorts. Her one-liners would crack up the entire classroom even at its deadliest hour, and a subsequent little chuckle from ma’am would convert the heated class-discussion into a light-hearted rapport. We enjoyed Economics, and besides all the fun, Mrs Balachandran worked hard for us and drove us to do well. The amount of reference material we received was overwhelming, but what mattered to us was that she would have us fried if we didn’t perform. Believe me, a threat like that works. Thank you Ma’am for everything. =)

The Modern High Economics Boys Batch of 2006-07 will never forget:

“You will deal with me, not Amartya Sen.”Mrs Balachandran

“Comb your hair properly and everything will be in place.”Mrs Balachandran to Aaron Gomes for his incomplete work.

“One swallow does not make a summer.”Mrs Balachandran

“You like to be seen even in the dark, as light bulbs.” Mrs Balachandran to Zafar Bava, Akshay Mehta and Amir who returned late to class as they were busy handling the lights and sound in the school auditorium.

“It’s good to be Malabari sometimes.”Mrs Balachandran

“Your respect does not add feathers to my hat, I don’t wear one.”Mrs Balachandran to us, after punishing us, despite our efforts to reconcile.

“When I said 2 minutes work, I did not mean 1 minute, 30 seconds!” – Mrs Balachandran to Zafar Bava, holding up his inadequate homework.

“Don’t clean your eraser on my school wall.”Mrs Balachandran to Mansoor Ali Khan on 7th of September, 2006.

“I have such a vast ocean in front of me, I don’t know how I am going to cover it.”Mrs Balachandran commenting on our 2nd term portion.

“You are a new player to the game, unlike all the seasoned professionals.”Mrs Balachandran to Abhinav Sinha for not completing his homework for the first time.

“Economics is maths.” Mrs Balachandran, when we were about to begin the chapter on Statistics.

“You are drowning and pulling me down with you.”Mrs Balachandran to Sunny Rajput when he received low marks in his Economics exam.

“Guesstimates”Mrs Balachandran’s word to describe something even more inaccurate than estimates.

“I thought peeping was a bad habit.”Mrs Balachandran when Dr. Khan interrupted the class to point out that Harendra Kapur was sleeping.

"If the marks are there, I can weave, I can spin…” Mrs Balachandran on recommendation letters.

“If you have thrown it out, I will throw you out.”Mrs Balachandran to Ameya Chatim when he told Ma’am that he had thrown out his Holiday Homework.

“Don’t stab him from the back, stab him face on!” Mrs Balachandran to Arnav Jhunjhunwala for pinching Nawaz Kazi from behind.

“Take IT for instance, hardware is no where.” Mrs Balachandran talking about international trade.

“If we don’t do this, then the Government of India won’t earn any money.”Mrs Balachandran to us, when she was explaining ‘Sources of Revenue’ to us.

“No one’s going to become an actor on Broadway. If you become, I will cut my right ear off.”Mrs Balachandran (obviously, when she was furious) to Harendra Kapur when he was not paying attention in class.

Harry you need to get back to Ma’am on that last one. By the way, please note that the quotes quoted above are very accurate. Tejas, Unmukt and I made a note of them in class, behind my notebook, since the day they started amusing us. Ahh, I’ll miss our Eco classes. Not now, not yet, but soon.

P.S. The “India” post can wait, and umm, Superman is the coolest superhero ever.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Live Crash-Course on the NBA

I am admittedly a little blogstipated. It’s just that I don’t want to rant about how everyone is leaving, and how I am supposedly “lonely” and all that rot. So I choose to blog about NBA Live 07.

Firstly, it is highly weird to see any computer game besides the Fifa franchise or the PES franchise installed on my computer, but the reason why this NBA game has successfully fought its way into my Godly-awesome computer is that I know two shits about the NBA, i.e. nothing about the NBA.

Now I have decided to head to States, Austin-Texas to be precise, to take up Sport Management as my undergrad degree. Yeah I love sport, and sport fascinates me bla bla, but two sports that I genuinely hate are American Football and Baseball. I can’t pinpoint any reason, and yeah you can screw me on my stubborn-ness, but keeping all that aside, this hatred of mine needs to change. My brain needs to sprout a new leaf that will embrace these “sports”, one being a wrestling-wannabe of Rugby, and the other just a mockery of throw-your-bat-Cricket. Basketball, on the other hand, - I play it. I don’t love it, but I am somewhat starting to like it, thanks to NBA Live 07.

NBA, in general, is energy personified. Players running up and down the court, flying towards the hoop and dunking their buttuties off, is quite a sight. The fakes, the moves, and the crowd’s grooves, makes the sport seem so fun. The commentators make it even better - bloody good, they are. Ask Tejas. The spirit is glaringly overflowing, and there is this distant equality among the teams. Yes, there are the usual favorites and the supreme teams, but it’s almost like every team seems to have half a chance of upsetting the giants. Good shit, quite contrary to Cricket. Upsetting India doesn’t count, they suck. Oh wow, that’s something to blog about. Later.

NBA Live 07 succeeds in bringing out all the above facts. It transcends NBA 2003 that Aaron Gomes possesses, and brings you freakishly close to the NBA atmosphere. Wow, that was friggin’ formal. Anyway I enjoy playing it, because firstly, I get to know more about the NBA so I can enter the States as an informed chappie, and secondly, because Tracy McGrady kicks ass.

Oh, now since I have somewhat taken a liking for the NBA, I need to have a favorite team, right? Now you can’t just start supporting a team, there is always something that draws you to a particular team, and unfortunately you need to wait for that. I haven’t watched much of NBA, but I know I am going to Texas. Houston Rockets are from Texas, so yeah, it kinda adds up to: “Anish, support them”. Also, Yao Ming is tall, and Asian, like me. For all American readers, I am Indian, and India is a part of Asia, so that makes me an Asian, even though I don’t have chinky eyes. Sheesh.

Anyway to conclude this random post, if you want to learn more about a particular sport, play its computer game. It suddenly becomes a lot easier and can be a bucketful of fun. Next on my list are Madden 07 and the latest release of Triple Play. Maybe I’ll review those too, actually no, I am not that blogstipated.

P.S. I know my next post. Sneak peak: The Cricket World Cup is boring… =P. Sorry Bharath.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Niche - WK002

This is an advert made by us [Redial Entertainment] for a store called "Niche". This shop will sell art-related goods such as canvases and sketches, body art ("henna"), accessories, etc at the Young Entrepreneur Competition that is going to be held in Reef Mall, Dubai from the 3rd to the 5th of April. Special paintings done by the students of the Dubai Center For Special Needs will also be up on sale, and all proceeds from the sale of these paintings will go to Dubai Center For Special Needs.
Visit their website @:

This is Redial Entertainment's newest project, and we really enjoyed doing it. It was completely shot by us, and Romit's back is living proof. [see below]

To shoot at a height parallel to ground, with the camera perpendicular to its usual position, we came up with what I would call the "Redial-Ninety-Degree" setup. We piled 2 tables on top of each other, and our famed camera man, Romit, then took the honour of holding the tripod parallel to the ground at a particular height (as shown in the picture) for the whole of 7 minutes. Romit died. Almost, but that hero did hold on well.

Yes the girls took only 7 minutes to paint, or well "doodle", the final picture, with ferocious instructions being shouted from us directors. Anyway, we really enjoyed making this video, and are proud of what we have achieved. Yes, there is scope for improvement, but there always is. Anyway, let's hope it's the first of many.

P.S. Good luck to Niche!