Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Smile or Smirk, do it Australian style!

These questions about Australia were posted on an Australian Tourism website. Obviously the answers came from fellow Aussies.....just trying to help:
Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia? I have never seen it rain on TV, so how do the plants grow? (UK)
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.
Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? (USA)
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.
Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? (Sweden)
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water...
Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane, Cairns, Townsville and Hervey Bay? (UK)
A: What did your last slave die of?
Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia? (USA)
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe. Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.
Q: Which direction is north in Australia? (USA)
A: Face south and then turn 90 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.
Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia? (UK)
A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.
Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? (USA)
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.
Q: Do you have perfume in Australia? (France)
A: No, WE don't stink.
Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia? (USA)
A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.
Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia? (UK)
A: You are a British politician, right?
Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? (Italy)
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.
Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia? (France)
A: Only at Christmas.
Q: Are there killer bees in Australia? (Germany)
A: Not yet, but for you, we'll import them.
Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? (Germany)
A: No, we are a peaceful civilisation of vegan hunter gatherers. Milk is illegal.
Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. (USA)
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.
Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia, but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees.(USA)
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.
Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? (USA)
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.
Q: Will I be able to speek English most places I go? (USA)
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

At ease with being difficult...

Guy X : Arent you being difficult now?
Me : Well, a girl woman would rather be called difficult than easy!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Yeah well....

Me : blah blah blah.....
Guy X : Ha ha fuck you 
Me (serious face) : By the way Indian girls take a serious offence to guys using that phrase in front of them.
Guy X : Well, its just like you smoking in front of a non smoker like me
Me : Fuck you!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Silver Lining Playbook

A rare combination of realism and romance!

Cooper is excellent with his impeccable timing. His prowess as an actor clearly shines through his accurate portrayal of wide ranging emotions and of course his proven success in comedy. And the lead actress (Jennifer) does one heck of a job matching him on all fronts. She is quirky, she is talented and she is hot!!

Has something for everyone - From big themes around football and dancing to being crazy in love and otherwise :)
Special bonus - Deniro's usual brilliance on screen delivered ever so naturally and Anupam Kher's special appearance!

All in all, a great watch. Simple yet profound and doesn't try to be pretentious (at least i thought so!). Makes you realise that crazy is just another dimension of real life which can co-exist with love, romance and happiness. But more importantly reiterates the importance of human connections over anything else in life!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Peace in a break... OR Break into pieces?

So how do you know if you have all that it takes to be a companion to someone? I mean not for someone in particular but in general. What if you realise that you are a misfit for the concept? Do you embrace the realisation or fight it?

What if you think you are a decent human being and have many friends to endorse it but no one really special to call your own? What if you are open to accepting people for who they are and let life take its course but others you meet in this context aren't? Will you still keep going single handedly to make it work or let it go on the premise that if it was meant to be, then it would have started kicking?
How long can you keep telling yourself that the its not time yet, and when the time comes you will indeed meet that one person meant for you? What if all this is a farce and there is no such thing as "one meant for you" ?

What if you find yourself toying with the idea of putting a stop to this companion quest and just let it be? Should this bring peace or scare you even more?

What if you think you have found the things you are looking for in principle like compassion, intelligence, being grounded yet fail to find that spark? Would you settle for that or would you not?
What if you find all that and the spark but the other person is not on the same page? Would you then try to make your point of why you think its worth exploring, or just let it go on the pretext that if the other person cant really see why it would be a great fit, is it really ever going to be great fit after all?

So I have moved countries - from Egypt to UK. And by the virtue of the fact that I am now here where there are loads of my fellow countrymen, the pressure of finding someone has started to take its toll on me. I guess I was better off in Egypt , at least I didn't expect anything on this front all this while that I was there - something like being in Civil Engg, when you see all other batch mates from other disciplines of Engg sweating it out for interviews etc but you are at peace knowing no company comes to your college for recruiting civil enggs

I think I need a break - but then again, how do you take a break from yourself?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lets keep the faith alive!

Bomb blasts in a Coptic church in Alexandria
- A suicide bomber killed around 23 people and wounded dozens on the fist day of the new year with this bomb blast.

In the light of the above incident there have been many christian - muslim protests on the streets, creating religious tensions between the followers of these two religions in Egypt. Of course all people with a rational mind are condemning this act of terrorism (Christians , Muslims alike). However whenever something like this happens, the emotional tide runs high. And this time is no different. The whole of social media is full of links to religious philosophies (the good), the videos & news pieces about the atrocities on one religion stemming from some other religion and so on. I have heard from my Muslim friends here that some Christian friends of theirs are taking it too way too personally and are sending smses to the effect of "Dont call me ever again"

With this, the endless phenomena of debates on religious differences have surfaced again, sometimes in the form of a heated discussion and sometimes a calm & civil exchange of ideas - whatever be the case, it stays conclusion-less....... and all this only goes to strengthen my staunch belief in- One world, One religion "Humanity"

Recently a dear friend (Muslim but agnostic) was telling us how a fundamentalist muslim friend of his was asking him if he hates the Christian Cross and how my agnostic friend was a bit agitated by this question, was trying to make his fundamentalist friend see the point (made some very good points!). He wrote an article about the incident and shared the same before publishing the same on Facebook (to check if the volatility quotient of the religious content was too high or passable for a media as open as Facebook), with some of his friends from different religions / countries (I believe). There were some very interesting viewpoints in terms of both the content itself and the expression used to convey authors point of view. I wish I could publish the article and the comments by different people here, however I cant for obvious reasons (no permission from the authors of the comments / article).

So I thought of sharing what I can - My point of view.

Copied & pasted from the comment box on the article.
Dear Friend,
I totally understand the feeling behind your retort. But you know maybe, just maybe we could just smile at the ignorance of these people who ask such questions.

My two cents....

I think "faith" should be a personal thing and should be treated like that. Dont get me wrong, no harm in opening a healthy intelligent conversation - but I feel it would be much easier if we just have some kind of a social rule about not questioning / scrutinising / opening debates on the topic of faith and just let people be.

Sometimes I wonder how people have no problems accepting & following the social rule of not asking / discussing/ commenting on subjects like income/finances (as an example - among many other such things) when talking to someone as its considered rude... however the very same people dont even bat an eyelid while giving unsolicited opinions on the other person's faith / religion.

What is so difficult to understand in the fact that "my faith" can be "what I want it to be", without having an iota of impact on "your faith" on "what you want it to be" - That, existence of differences is not always bad (Had that been the case, variety wouldnt have any positive connotation, now would it?)

In my opinion, GOD was created because the concept of goodness needed a form, a personification for people to easily relate to.So how does it matter if different people choose to manifest this personification in different ways... as long as it enables you to stick to the path of goodness (You could argue that goodness can be a relative term, but if you think about it, is it, is it really?)

All faiths ultimately boil down to having one guiding principle - some call it love, some call it sacrifice, some justice, some truth / knowledge, some tolerance ... and some call it something else. They are all meant to ultimately do the same thing , deliver the same message - guide you to a better living and to teach you to love yourself and everybody around you.

I guess we should just remind ourselves (whenever we tend to get carried away) that all faiths in some way or the other were created/ to cater to the following human needs
1.Create Hope for the good for people to go on in their weakest moments
2.Create Fear of the bad to ensure a harmonious co-existence between billions of people on this earth.

If you really look closely, the above mentioned (Optimism & Compassion) are the 2 fundamental principles of "Humanity" required fior a peaceful , chaos-less living. So does it really matter who you are - a Muslim, Christian , Hindu , Jew etc .. if you are following the principles of "Humanity" in the end , but just with a fancier / different name?

Sometimes i think that we people have just way too much free time on our hands to indulge in the childish "my-religion/faith- shinier- than-yours" debates.

P.S. - Since the last 3 years (since I moved to Egypt) , the number of times I have been asked this question about which religion i belong to.. is not funny! The funny part is that despite the fact that i am from a country which hosts almost all religions present in the world, this question is still new to me... or maybe its just the frequency of the question.
Not that we dont have religious differences/ propagandas in my country , still somehow i dont remember people asking me about my religion. Then again, maybe our names are perfect give aways of our religions... Any which way, I just wish people would stop asking me / anyone this question!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Me to a female qualitative co-ordinator in my office - "When the consumers arrive for their indepth interviews, please inform Mr Ahmed" (my colleague who is supposed to conduct these interviews)

Qual Co-ordinator : "Mr Ahmed? No!"

Me : "Errrr.... ok..."

(Awkward silence)

Me : "Ahhhh u r kidding... ok ok"

(Qual co-ordinates straight face, no smiles. Me thinking - Good sense of humour, but a smile from her side wouldn't have hurt)

(Me back to my seat)

(Desk phone ringing)

Qual co-ordinator on the other line : "Gina, Mr. Ahmed - NO!"

Me : "Whats, whats wrong?...."

Qual Co-coridnator : "Gina I am telling Mr. Ahmed - NO!"

Me : "Ok just inform me and i shall inform him"

Qual co-ordinator : "we will send a mail to him"

Me : (thinking what the hell did Mr Ahmed do to this woman that she doesn't want to speak to him at all, and is expressing the same so vehemently in such an outright manner) "Dear, what seems to be the problem.I understand that you dont want to speak to him , so i am suggesting that you just tell me and i shall tell him. He might not be at his desk so he might not see the mail for some time"

Qual Co-ordinator - "Gina Mr. Ahmed NO... "K N O W"....."

.... yeah English is a tricky language!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009