Shoaib- ‘SA NIA’ YET SO FAR

This is with reference to the recent media reports. Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik and Indian tennis star Sania Mirza’s upcoming marriage has become an international media spectacle especially in India,Pakistan and also UAE,where the couple intend to settle down post marriage.

The reasons are not very difficult to fathom.A typical marriage in the Indian subcontinent is generally a very chaotic and emotionally draining affair with everybody and anybody connected with the bride,bridegroom and their respective families having their own unique take on the matrimonial alliance.The marriage is conclusively given a thumbs up or down by a host of ‘ well wishers ‘ even before any actual wedding ceremony takes place.

Against such a backdrop, take a glamorous, ‘skirting’ with controversies, feisty bride belonging to a traditionally conservative society and city, add a flirtatious, fairly controversial foreigner bridegroom belonging to a country historically perceived as hostile. Garnish this with allegations of bigamy and cheating by an allegedly spurned and wronged women.
Add a dash of counter allegations of treachery, internet fraud etc. to an already potent mix.

Spice this up with some right-wing rhetoric from both India and Pakistan, one condemning and warning the bride as her heart now ostensibly beats only for the enemy country while the other asking the bride to forsake her land of birth and play ball only for her new home team like a good Asian wife.

Now stir shake and then ground the groom with a police case and confiscation of his passport and mobile phone. Fan and stoke the flame and let the whole thing simmer continuously for only a short while and Voila! One has a mouth watering, piping hot dish being served by print,electronic and digital media continuously for the past two-three days.

Without going into the rights and wrongs and taking any sides,this is one marriage that may have been made in heaven but is definitely muddled by the media.One only hopes that the groom does not end up saying, Sa Nia and yet so far.

Uniquely Dubai

They say,Dubai is a cultural melting pot where nationals from more than 150 countries peacefully co-exist with all their differences and foibles.
Like any other cosmopolitan city Dubai and its inhabitants exhibit certain quirks and traits on a day-to-day basis which are uniquely dubai-sh.These include:

Chairs that face each other – In any office, in the manager’s cabin, across his/her desk, the two chairs for the visitors will always face each other instead of facing the desk and the person they have come to meet. New arrivals to Dubai are perplexed by this and attribute this to a previous uncouth visitor until they visit another office and find the same arrangement.
Possible corporate logic for this ,if things do not turn as planned, one can always deny ever having a face to face meeting.

Missed Call Syndrome– At the grass root level, everybody is giving somebody a missed call in Dubai and not for the heck of it.Depending on the established hierarchy between the two parties, the person who is in a position to assist or convey something important will almost always give a ‘ missed call ‘ to the person who needs access to assistance or information.The onus is on the receiving party to call back and do the needful.
Not surprisingly the perpetrators of recent ‘ phone scam’ tasted spectacular success initially as they would simply give a ‘missed call’ and the intended victim, would immediately call back thinking it had to be something important.

Parking Principle – Loath to pay parking fee, when push comes to shove,and a coin has to be dropped in the parking machine, a Dubai resident will ensure that he extracts full worth of his hard-earned 1 Dirham by simply manufacturing additional work to fit the whole paid hour of parking time.Where there is a fil, there is a way.

Salik Allergy– Most Dubai’ans or Dubai’tes will take a long detour or risk being stuck in a traffic jam simply to avoid going through the Salik Toll gates, which debits Dirham 4 from their Salik account.That they end up spending more money on petrol is immaterial.

Driving License & Road Rash – For people belonging to the asia sub continent, a person’s social standing is directly proportional to whether he has a valid driving license. It goes up considerably if he/she passed the driving test in the first attempt.
Residents from other continents write long treatises to various newspapers in the country about the assorted perils of driving in dubai.

Friday Brunch – A jolly good idea gone controversial due to the antics of few sozzled souls who sometime decide to shed more than their inhibitions after a hearty, liquid fuelled meal at many dainty restaurants.Consequently,the number of people at Jumeirah open beach increase on friday afternoons and evenings in anticipation of a ‘ unfolding human drama ‘.

Water Worries – Agreed that Dubai borders a desert area but does that justify the fact that one always has to pay extra for drinking water even while dining out at an expensive that eatery.Almost, all households use packaged water for their daily needs despite the availability of advanced water purification systems in the market. This one is truly inexplicable.

Have Button – Will Press – This one caused quite a stir in the early days of Metro’s launch but is now under control.The good people of Dubai, are used to pressing a button while using public utilities, be it pressing the button to disembark from the bus or pressing the button at a traffic junction to cross the road.This has become matter of routine and comes automatically to us.So naturally when people wanted to disembark the metro train ,they simply pressed the most visible button in sight without bothering to read the accompanying caption which read ‘ Emergency Only ‘.
The driver less newly launched state of the art train would groan and grind to halt and the puzzled first time user would wonder what the fuss was all about.This practice was curbed by RTA threat of Dirham 2000 fine.

Spinning a yarn -Don’t know if this is a global practice but a very famous supermarket chain prices almost all its merchandise,about 25-30 fils short of the nearest Dirham for example apples at Dirham 13.75. At the checkout counter, the balance 25 fils is never returned unless persistently asked for.The money thus siphoned is possibly utilised for the benefit of the ‘ Spinsters ‘.

These and many such characteristics and incidents make living in Dubai a truly diversified and enriching experience. Viva la Dubai.

PS-Off course this is a sensitised post. I still live here mates.