Thursday, December 23, 2010

Welcome to 'Airport Village'

Papa and I were at the airport yesterday evening, waiting for the Lady of the house to arrive.

Hunger pangs made me get down from the car in search of something to eat. We still had three quarters of an hour to kill and I was quite starved. I was looking for the sign board that would direct me to the food joints there. And this is what I saw:

“Welcome to Airport Village”. That’s what the green and white neon sign board said. I chuckled to myself. I was amused. Whatever gave them the idea to call the place a village? An airport it is, that I can see. But a village? Did I overlook something here?

So, instead of just idling away time lounging by the car, waiting for Mamma, I decide to take my magnifying glass out and observe the tell tale signs that render the airport, I am so fond of, a village.

I love the way the landscaping has been done at the airport. The array of vibrant flowers and trees. The Laqshya – advertisement boards, I just love the way they advertise themselves. “Watch your brand fly!” The long breaths of clean air and the long drive on a wonderfully maintained road and on the longest flyover of the country. It is exhilarating.

The airport in itself is another story. I had fallen in love with the way the airport when I had seen it first, for the way it has been designed. Chic. Utilitarian. The cleanliness maintained. I think it would make Howard Roark weak in the knees if he were to see the simplicity of the design and the convenience of it. A building entirely made of glass. It looks beautiful, especially at night. It gives you the feeling of having come somewhere else, abroad. Doesn’t seem like the place belongs to India, to Hyderabad.

So, if it’s the lush green trees and sprawling lawns and the fresh air that reminds you closely of a village with spawning fields and shady trees and a cool breeze, then call it a village if you wish to.

But I can’t say that my first impression has been an everlasting one. Its changing bit by bit with time. I have driven to the airport at all kinds of times. Driven down at midnight, at early hours of the dawn, at 12 in the noon, in the rush hours of the day and the dusk both. So technically, I have seen the airport in all its grandeur, at all times. Having gone to see my friends off, on journeys abroad, I have been at the airport at some unearthly hours of the day, or rather the night.

I have found myself surprised to see beggars and laborers occupying the benches there, sitting and admiring the magnificent structure. There have been times when I have seen these men spend the night out on the pavements, spreading their sheets and making their beds under the starry sky. But all that was long back, back when the airport was still under construction. And I thought that the poor people find it difficult to commute there and have that’s why probably set up their lodgings just there, till the construction is complete.

Now, a little more than 2 years since, I still see beggars begging for alms near the arrival and departure drop/pick-up points. Auto-stands, bus-stops, railway stations. It is common for beggars to throng these places. But AIRPORTS? What in the world are beggars doing at a place situated a good 25-30 kms off from the city? Or is it that they still spend their nights sleeping on the benches there? Makes up for a decent home, if you ask me! :X

The escalators are another thing that caught my attention. They moved at the pace of a bullock cart. It would not have taken me more than half a minute to go down by the stairs, whereas it took me twice the time to go by the elevator. People walking up and down the escalator rather than riding it is a pet peeve to me. And yesterday, I found myself just in the perfect situation to do it.

A village it is really turning to, in the sense that it is becoming more rural than urban! Let us just bring in a few cattle and let them graze the lawns there, use a ‘phatak’ instead of the toll booths and a proper village it will be! :-|

P.S: My spirits are high because Mamma is back. But, I really can’t see my beloved airport turning out to be village. It’s the one place in the city that I like to brag about. :D

ODC Rants

Two weeks in the ODC has taught me this much:

1) You are a pain in everybody’s neck till your ID is active. You have to keep pestering somebody or the other to door-keep for you!

2) It is best not to stray outside the ODC till your card is active, because you will have to keep filling in plenty of columns in a log register every time you either come in or go out. Stay put till your card is active.

3) The ODC is in the oldest building of the campus. And the lift sounds like a lift from some jail. It is all rickety. You will find the stair-way a better option.

4) The washroom here is way too small as compared to the new buildings. And the number of people in the ODC are much more than in the other building. Thus, never hold on till the last minute. Go and relieve yourself when you first start feeling the pressure. Going at a time when you are literally jumping like a kangaroo, ahem, because of the urgency of the call, you will find all the stalls occupied, and with people who have gone for long visits in there. Minimum waiting time = 5 mins.

5) Drink very little water, ensuring that you have to visit the loo less frequently.

6) Using the pantry sink is a better option than using the washroom’s basin. There is only one basin in there and too many people hovering around it, it being the ladies room.

7) Do all the net surfing that you want to, but with your window minimized to that extent that only you can see it. Remember, you are new in here. And you are supposed to work. Or at least pretend to.

8) The ODC is a place for fun and enjoyment. So if you want to work really seriously, and not be disturbed by people around you, plug in the headphones to cut out the noise.

9) The ODC is not a safe place to leave your coffee-mugs around. My Roadies-jumbo-coffee-mug has been snitched! :(

10) The first week in there can be really boring because you wont find the communicator or the blogs there, the two things that you get addicted to when on bench. :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What should I buy?

“Why did you buy this? How much did you buy this for? Oh! You spent much more than you should have.”

“I don’t have anything of this colour. What will I wear this with?”

“You know what? My sister’s friend gifted her the same type of pendant on her birthday. Couldn’t you come up with something original? Copy-cat!”

“I already have this.”

Guys really have a tough time keeping track of the countless accessories that girls own. Same goes for clothes. Poor guys! They might have never seen her in a particular dress because she still hasn’t come to that stack of clothes in her cupboard. She is still to finish the other stack. Mind you, she hasn’t repeated anything from there yet. And there is always the option of wearing something from her mom’s or sister’s cupboard. :-|

“You should have got me something of your choice. What was the point of buying me something that I like.”

*Shouldn’t you be happy I gave you something that you like? No. That’s not how things work. Buy something of your choice that I may like.*

“XYZ (her friend) already has this. I cannot own the same thing as she does.”

No girl likes to own the same stuff that other girls do. Yes, it is a rule.

You actually undergo the trouble to exchange it for something else, hoping that this is something that her friend doesn’t own. And…

“Hmm.. This is nice, but I liked the previous one better. This isn’t as good as that.” *a forced, tight smile*

The list of these kind of (agonizing) dialogues is quite endless says my (guy) friend. According to him, it is very difficult to buy a gift for a girl. It is too much of a hassle. This is how the process goes:

1. Shortlist a couple of things that you can gift her.
2. Fix a budget.
3. Do a thorough survey of the shortlisted items.
4. Re-think the budget. Anything that you fix your mind on, will turn out to be more expensive than you had bargained for.
5. One gift never suffices. There has to be something more than a single gift. Backup options. If not this, that. You hope that she will like at least one of the things that you bought, without complaining.
6. Ask your mom, sis or girl pal to accompany you along. You need somebody to try on the stuff that you are planning to buy.
7. Call up as many friends of the girl and find out whether she will like the gift or not.
8. Cross your fingers and hope that she will like the gift. Or be prepared to repeat from step 1 to 8. ;D

Some guys are just smart. They simply take the girl out shopping and let her choose what she wants for herself, and pay for it. Mind you, it can turn out to be an expensive affair, because most girls are shopaholics and guys wanting to stay in their good books would never ever let it out that the budget is fixed or that the number of items she is allowed to pick is limited. There goes your money worth 3 months of partying, boozing and biking. Abstinence, here he comes!

Well, what are guy pals for! You can always borrow. Try telling them that you donated the money or spent it on a medical emergency and you will return empty handed after hearing lame excuses. But, if you tell them the truth, that you overspent it on a gift (or rather gifts) for a girl, they would sympathize with you and believe your story without much ado. :P

The other side of the story…. Selecting a gift for a guy.

1. Select something that you like. Anything.
2. Check if the colour will suit your friend.
3. Check for size.
4. Gift it. Get a hug back with a big smile and a thank you.
5. Also, get a party free, free, free! :D :P

All of the above is, as told to me by a guy, from a guy’s perspective. I haven’t put in my two cents because I, as a girl, find the task of buying a gift for a guy equally challenging.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Blues of ‘Pinks’ !!

Tears roll down my eyes, even as she tells me to hold on tight. She patiently positions my hands in place and tells me to firm my grip as she does her job.

I tell the lady its my first time. I plead, to myself, to her, to anybody who would listen, I don’t want to do it. She pushes me down on that chair. They are going to need chains/belts to hold me down there, like in an electrocuting chair. She laughs at my plight, at my innocence, my immaturity.

I can feel the thread sawing at my skin. Out comes one hair at a time, plucked from its follicle as she moves that white thread to and fro. I clutch my sandals hard with my toes to prevent myself from kicking out. I try to immitate a body stuck with rigor mortis, not wanting to look like a person undergoing torture. The girls waiting for their turn in the queue think i am being a sissy and making a fuss out of nothing at all.

Why did I ever sign up for this? My brow is red and swollen. I come out from the execution room and walk back quickly, retracing my steps to the desk. I make it a point to look at the ground instead of looking ahead, pulling down the hood of my jacket and hoping not to bump into anybody i know. I decide i wont respond even if somebody calls out to me. I will pretend to have not heard. I dont want people looking at my face just yet, trying to figure out whats gone wrong there.

I swear I am not moving out of my cubicle for a couple of days, till it grows back. No going around, greeting people early in the morning. I may chance a trip out of my cube sometime close to noon when people are glued to their screens and wouldnt look up from it to acknowledge your presence.

I had once sworn that I would never get my eyebrows plucked until and unless a special occasion calls for it. I dont know how this qualifies as a special occasion, but I was coaxed into it…. So much for a Fashion Show. Sigh!

P.S: A round of applause to all those ladies out there who get it done once in a fortnight without batting an eyelid. They say its cake-walk.

P.P.S: 'Pinks and Blues' is the name of the beauty salon in my office!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Once upon a time, in the same land as now, being camera conscious was different from being image conscious. The camera conscious people were those who found it difficult to stand in front of the lens and get their picture taken. The image conscious people were those who were careful about the impression they made on people around them, by the way they spoke, behaved and dressed.

These days, the difference is reducing . People make their images and impressions by how they present themselves on social-networking sites. All the pictures that they put up, add up to the image they are trying to create. The whole purpose of clicking pictures is to put them up for others to see and comment upon, not for memories.
You wouldn’t be even back home yet from a social do, but your photos would have preceded you. The whole wide world would know where you went, what you did, what you wore, whom you met and blah blah blah!

It’s a trend amongst the teenagers to change their profile picture at least once a week. A display image that sticks on your wall for more than a week implies that you are not the ‘in’ thing. Hence the madness to carry the camera everywhere you go.
For what reasons would you carry a camera to a movie theatre? You aren’t going to shoot the film in it. But, nah! The camera has to go to the mall with you. You must pose in front of the life-size posters and banners in the malls. Maybe even pretend to kiss or hold your favorite actor’s poster… the photograph is proof that you have been there and done that.

Sometimes, by chance, you bump into somebody you knew long back. Voila! The camera or the phone is out, even before you can manage a decent hello and find out their whereabouts. The spark from the relationship would have died down and you might just be formal acquaintances now. But, still a pic is taken with a fake smile that stretches across your face, to show people how you close you are to your oldest friends. Up it goes with a fashioned status message…

It is funny how people are paranoid, that others will forget them until and unless they are constantly reminded of how they look!

1) I got a new dress – yay! Get the cam out. Let my friends see how pretty I look.

2) I washed my hair today – it looks nice, silky and shiny. See how it falls perfectly in place. Get the cam, I will pose.

3) Look I tried this brand of makeup today – Click. Click. Click.

4) Oh! I ate a burger today. The last time I ate it, was on the roadside stall yesterday and I didn’t have my cam. Today I am at McD. - Ronald and me in the frame please!

5) I am carrying my shades today. See how cool they look. - It doesn’t matter that its 6 pm and the sun has set. Zoom. Click.

6) This is the craziest thing I ever did till date. Ate a pizza with my hands and the ketchup is all over my face. - Somebody capture this moment. This day will never come again!


There are people who keep taking re-shots till they think they look perfect in the pic. All thanks to the era of digital cameras!

Also there are people who have defined smiles for all kinds of moods and occasions. They practice for hours in front of the mirror to see which kind of a smile looks the best. The smile must be perfect. Everything from how wide should you stretch your lips, how many teeth to be displayed, whether the mouth should be open or closed, whether your eyes hold the correct expression or not, or whether your cheeks look too full like you have ‘rasgullas’ stuffed inside… it is all manipulated.

I wonder if there is anything like a natural smile or a natural photo anymore!