Monday, 9 January 2012

You need to get away to be you…..

I recently let myself get sucked into the depths of cosmopolitan society. I who never even owned a hair dryer was the doubtful owner of strange contraptions called a hair iron and a thingamajig which promises to rotate on its own horsepower on being held up close to my head and deliver delightful sleekness and curls on demand.

I also now own 14.25 lipsticks (the .25 is the only lipstick I previously owned and brought over) all of which plead with me to try to look like Aishwarya Rai on her latest L’Oreal ad.

I also own (now hold onto your horses) 1)mascara 2)kohl 3)eyeliner 4)blush 5)2 shades of foundation (colors ranging from brown to purply black for pre- and post beach periods).

I also own 20 concealers and a zillion relaxation pills to conceal the wreck that I have become!

Most people wonder at the architecture and construction of Dubai’s towering edifices and buildings. I spend most of my time walking around with my mouth open……staring at the architecture and construction of the women here.

I don’t deny that beauty abounds here in plenty but I also admire the dedication and devotion of the women here to that ever alluring goddess – Beauty.

I stare at the inch long eyelashes seen in all Carrefour lines, accompanied by BeBe tracksuits and Kardashian hair; while tugging my sweatpants into Chanel like cuts, checking to see if I had taken off my showercap and telling myself that the yoghurt on the front of my vest could pass for a double G logo.

However I had an epiphany and one epiphany later was the proud owner of all the above mentioned articles of cosmetology.

And then I went to India for a vacation…………
Where a foundation means a pile of stones…
A dryer is something that unfortunate people with no balconies or gardens use to dry their clothes…
A blush is what you experience when your neighbor catches you desperately hiding the charred remains of the upcoming party’s “blancmange aux fruit trifle” whilst opening a 6 month old canned fruit pudding.
A BeBe is holding one screaming on your hip and clutching another who’s stepping on your toes while simultaneously poking the hip dweller.

Needless to say the epiphanied me was in for a big shock as I saw that dinner parties with pals meant to arrive, eat, drink and make merry – preferably in overalls or an apron (clearing up post merriness wreaks havoc to LBDs).

You reconnect with people who don’t care that slim fits are out but who make the time to read books in old people’s homes. You see friends and family come from afar to see you just to comment on how fat/skinny/tall/short you have become; while carrying your favorite cakes/pickles/vegetables for you, with exhortations to carry back vinegar, rice and spices like you were going back to the Aleutian wilderness back to your career of taking care of wild polar bears.

I roamed the area like a starved wolf hound, ravenously re-absorbing all that I love about life, culture and people. I stared at people doing mundane tasks as ‘come over to give me some coconuts’ and ‘take the whole family of 5 on a scooty to drop into see you’ like I had just been released from solitary.

As I roamed the state with a face as clean as a baby’s, my hair in a purple spotted banana clip and treating jeans and faded tees as haute couture, I felt myself becoming me again.

I guess I may never become a Marilyn but I sure could try to pass off as a Garbo…hmmm

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Itch….

Some people are born to be astronauts, scientists or teachers.

I was born to be a traveler.

Hello everyone! My name is Priyanka and I am a thwarter traveler.

I have been not allowed to make my dream come true due to a problem of cosmic proportion – myself

When I was young all I wanted to be was Indiana Jones. While other kids looked at Boris Becker or Sunita Williams, I wanted to sashay over to Nepal and taste the pine scented air in my lungs and drink butter tea, while twirling my whip around and rescuing damsels (or in my case knights) in distress.

However life caught me unawares and a 6 year college education, 5 years of work and 4 years of marriage and 1 year of bliss with my beautiful bonny little son all made my travel dreams something to be postponed for time indefinite. I always had an excuse – when I have more money, when I settle down career wise, when my baby is older.

But now as I sit on the cusp of being 3 decades old and look at my friends pictures and statuses all over the world, I wonder when am I gonna get there and see their homes or stare at that scene on their car trip.

It suddenly dawned upon me that the only person stopping me was I! I was either scared or just happy to dwell in dreams unfulfilled rather than face a few knocks.

And I thought to myself – will I be sitting down staring hungrily at national geographic pictures in another 3 decades as well?

Frustration and unfulfilled dreams are not what I want my epitaph to read!

So now I will set forth where no man has landed before (theoretically)…misty Bhutan, freezing Lochs, emerald Sri Lanka …here I come.

All I want from you is a decent place to rest my head, new friends (oh I pray so!) and to assimilate your language and culture.

All in all I want to come there to become myself. Can I?

Monday, 25 October 2010

Motherhood:A constant guilt trip...

I truly used to believe that all the mothers who used to spend hours talking gibberish to their 4 month old babies on the phone while also typing out a corporate report were slightly maniacal...until i had my own baby a year ago...

suddenly i tune off writing an email with profound thoughts of diaper rashes and baby formula techniques..proceeding to then check it out with the worlds best childcare expert - Google!

Most women when asked to describe the condition of motherhood would say bliss or profound happiness..I would sum it up in one word- sheer unadulterated guilt!

all mums whether working or stay at home face the same old symptoms..while at work i wonder whether he wil be emotionally devastated sans mommy at home. when at home i desperately try to spend as much time with him to make up..and proceed to bore him with 'developmental games' and 'sing alongs' till he wants to stuff that rubik cube down the nearest drain or my throat (nyone who has to hear me warbling soon wants to throw up)!.

sometimes i chase him around the house pleading with him to play blocks with me (ensure motor eye coordination as per the box) as he toddles away as fast as his chubby legs can take him away from his maniacal mommy

i realized that guilt is a purely mom centric thing the other day when i saw my husband spend time with him playing and then calmly fix football game appointments or watch his fav tv shows post work..the only way i let myself out solo now is when im threatened with a axe and pried away from home with a crowbar!

so iv decided to be a cool and calm mommy..join that arabic/french class i wanna join..go out for romantic dates with hubby n keep friends by not talking about baby eczema..

now i can start all this as soon as i finish googling for 'cure to baby eczema'.....

urs guiltingly pp

Thursday, 30 September 2010

AHH solitude!

Sometimes it’s important to be alone.

I am an eclectic mix of a total loner and a complete extrovert – I teeter between “I can’t breathe without people around me” to “I need my space”. I know most people want their solitude and people time both..But in my case I can take this to the extreme in a span of a few minutes.

In other words I’m a hostess’ nightmare !! My family organized a party when I was down in India. I spent the day hiding behind closets and mountains of food, ducking people I don’t know who were coming to smooch me on my cheeks and exclaim “ How thin/fat/old/young/weird you look now?” I even had a nice little lady ask me if Ive become taller this past year! I mean at 29 that would be a medical miracle or perhaps she thought I regularly hang out of windows!

So back to the party, I volunteered to make sandwiches till I discovered that those sandwiches don’t just involve spreading innocent pastes onto bread, but grating a humongous cabbage, boiling n shredding numerous chickens and then mixing the whole things into a mayonaisy sludge, which was to be inserted precisely into a teensy roll which had to be cut exactly 2.25 cms.

Needless to say the sandwiches were the only thing that people did not touch that day! In fact I went around n gently nudged people to try em at the table, but all these ladies started looking panicked and made ridiculous excuses of bread allergies and hearing non-existent children call. I guess my loudly exclaiming in public that I misplaced the face cream while making sandwiches didn’t help. Well I guess alls well that ends well as I’m not actually covered for comprehensive party insurance!
Ladies of all descriptions who were making all sorts of food in the kitchen gave me dirty looks, so I trudged sadly outside and decided to help make a nice lettered background for the party.

One person who walked by the house asked whose funeral was being conducted, as I had made the whole thing in black stating “God will hold you in his hands” – PS it was a 90th birthday! Hey we could have had a Goth themed birthday rite?!! I would have been willing to wear leather in artistic support of anyone …but all my ideas were met with cold deathly silence..Believe me people there is nothing more scary than being at the center of a circle of silent women.. I then fled to the upper levels while some ladies desperately sprinkled gold dust on the sheet to look more festive!

So I spent most of the event in the upper levels – shamed and named. Im sure the people below who heard thumps on their ceiling (hey in my defence I was practicing my swing on the Wii) would shake their heads disapprovingly and pityingly saying “ Aah that one is above” – just like an old batty relative who is relegated to the upper reaches, away from the rest of the sane population !

Friday, 21 May 2010

Beach bums

Its been a year since my last post! God im getting more n more narcissistic and have forgotten the more imp things in life i.e. dumping kiddo with hubby and foregoing the great decision of whether to paint my toes trampy red or virginal pink. having done the former n left my toenails to peel (half n half is the new french manicure) iv sat myslf down to rejoin the world of blogging

now the funny thing about dubai summers is that it gets so hot here that all one can do is mall trawl..add one whiny husband and infant who acts like he has been put in his stroller as an act of inhumane cruelty n u have an exploding mommy a la eyjafjallajokull

having lived in the hawaii of india - goa was always being jaded by the notion of going to beaches..however desperation found me tramping down to jumeirah beach with a baby on my hip, hubby trailing submerged undr a mountain of baby stuff and a giant yellow baby float, all the while grinning shamefacedly thinking 'oh lawd is this me on a beach'

jumeriah is no hawaii ..i leapfrogged over the gazillion people who littered the beach..dodged the smooching couple, leaped over the arab family sitting on chairs bbqing their kababs away, ignored the customary men slinking around trying to see some booty and finally after setting up our stuff under the 1x1ft of space of beach left...we zigzaged our way to the water

now the water was best tepid with chunks of concrete on the seabed along wth strange arab men floating around n screaming 'yalla samer' or ' taal ahmed' i honestly didnt know whether id had to break up a few fights or be witness to a long time family reunion! i just put baby in the strange yellow float left him wt the gang n then swam like an eel to the open eel i mean literally as had to avoid all the floating bodies.. i mean it looked like ww2 had been fought on the 1km shallows

so me n our pals swam out to the deeper end (translation in jumeirah beach terms its anything more than 4 ft deep) to catch some free space

swam out deeper..choosing solitude over hideous beach games ..n presumed to float staring at the sun..thinking aah this is y i was born!

stayed in dreamland till hubby called out askin if i ws trying to travel cheap to india n whether he could have my side of the bed if i didnt return

so naturally i turned back (my side gets the stronger ac breeze - something i never want him to figure out ) so i started swimming here n there like an aimless turtle..keeping a sharp ear out for the jaws theme song..planning to leg it out pronto post hearing that..u know song then shark then helpless surfer (as there werent ny surfers i could be the sharks option of a quick n easy take away meal a la quick chicken mc grill)

aah i have been born again - converted into a beach bum , will be haunting dubai beaches catchin a summer tan n developing swimmers hair

god this is great ..i finally have the solid excuse for a summer beach wardrobe (i already bought my summer wardrobe but then this is v v diffrent) to give my hubby while i snatch his credit card on my way out mall trawling to be a good beach fashionista

toodles babies Im back!!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Pregnancy Brief

To all my pals who will go through pregnancy in their future lives I thought you'd like a heads up on the strange occurences and phenomena that you will experience thanks to pending motherhood.
1) You'll lose memory of how how feet look like. When do u catch sight of them through the use of strategically positioned mirrors they will look like two walking talking size 10 flippers who have a life of their own!
2) Never plop down on beanbags or carpets as you may require a crane or other heavy machinery to lift you up.
3)Being as large as a quarterback sure helps in shouldering ur way to the head of a buffet table or to shove ur spouse away from an open fridge door.
4) Your main focus in life will be how to shove your foot into that pair of designer shoes that you bought as they were flats, as u didnt anticipate your feet swelling at the same rate as ur tummy.
5)you may need to overcome your spouse's price tag related objections by lying to him saying that only Gucci makes maternity clothes/shoes/accessories (your success rate increases exponentially if he has no sisters who have given birth!!)
6)You will end up growling and snarling at people who are ahead of you in line to the office microwave at lunchtimes! Please remember to apologize to all colleagues post ur delivery for any physical injury or epithets you may have flung at them and that includes the President and the Ceo!
7) Managing fashionable work maternity clothes will become a major pain as most retail companies seem to be under the assumption that the moment a women confirms her pregnancy she will send resignation faxes to her boss while simulataneously send ing applications for spa memberships and mall discount packages. So all they design is cutesy little flowered tops with jeans and little skirts.
8)Going to a maternity hospital is when u get checked out by all the other women in the waiting room thinking "HeHe her tummy is much smaller than mine", "How the hell does she still get into size 12 clothes", "Hahaha her butt is so big that if she jumps for joy she will get stuck!!"," Now why didnt i get a Louis Vuitton bag to compliment my babybump".
9)In designing a hospital layout placing the labor room or the pediatric facilities close to OBGYN facilities is always a mistake as screaming women hardly allow you to retain a semblance of ur "maternal glow" and watching harassed mothers scream at their screaming kids and look at you pityingly thinking "SUCKER!!!" will always induce a to be mum to run to the OBGYN asking for a pregnancy reversal!!
10)Getting into an out of a car is a gymnastic event for which tickets should be definitely sold. It doesnt matter what kind of car - if you own a sleek low slung sedan then u need a strong husband to pull you plus 25 pounds out of the seat.. If you own a higher SUV then you 'l require a similarly strong husband to push you and your bottom up and into the car. Needless to say it will consume 1 min of your daily life while providing 1 min of entertainment to all your neighbours who come out into the balcony to start their day with a good laugh!
11)Before I forget thereis the penguin walk. You get used to ur tummy entering rooms before you. Several times ur husband starts talking to you saying "Honey Im glad your in the room as your favorite TV serial is on" and you will yell "WHAAAATTT ?I cant hear you.I'm still walking from the bedroom to the living room"
Well these are just a few stimulating observations seen in my current daily life! I would love to tell you more but its now time for me to heave myself out of this damned chair, waddle over to the fridge and not be heard of for the next 20 mins!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter in Dubai

Festivals in Dubai are kinda disorienting.. I think its due to the multitude of cultures and communities living in the country that one ends up celebrating festivals in ways that could get u burned at the stake as a heretic in your home country/culture!! :)

Beware of making festival dinner plans at home with friends on a weekday as the average dubai resident (unless blessed by the traffic god) spends 1-2 hrs on average in travelling home in the evening. So to make it for ur party he must:-
a) come from work n end up looking like a stuffed shirt or freshen up and change clothes in hiscar and stun paralel cars into accidents thereby further reducing his chances of ever reaching ur party
b) he can go home , collect his family and then wipe his face with a babywipe before facing the rush hour traffic again from one suburb to another via the expressway!!!

In summation ur party will resemble Enron as a debacle and end up with just you and desperate bachelors who will drive across all 7 emirates just to eat something cooked in a house kitchen (unless Im cooking which means even the most homefood deprived bachelor will develop "I need to work late so sorry i cant make it" syndromes!

Centres of worship know that non-islamic festivals are not given a public holiday here in a mood to boost footfall hold strange assemblies/sessions starting 5.30am to 8am and 630pm to 12pm trying to lure the one-a-year devout to church/temple pre/post working hours.

Firecrackers are banned in the country and so are most oil lamps (due to fire hazards) so if you attempt to celebrate make sure u have an adequate supply of electric light to ensure it is really a "festival of lights"!!

I mean I have spent Vishu in KFC gnawing at some plascticy thing masquerading as a drumtick, Easter (yday) in a Pakistani restau pulling away at a roti as big as a Pathan and Diwali in my office food court trying to distinguish between the various coloured goo on the plate!

The reason I spend all my festivals in such outlandish restaus is becoz no Indian restau worth its weight in sand will be available either for takeout or sit-in as most women go on strike n order in a whole sadya. So orders have to be placed 1 week in advance and non-planners who require a reminder sms from India like me might as well try to eat at Rashtrapati bhavan!

So I guess most ppl like me will be eating burgers or subways tomorrow for Vishu while the rest attain nirvana via sambhar!

Sigh...Cest la vie!