Monday, October 26, 2009

quote: time for everything yet nothing at all

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."
-John Burroughs

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Giving a room a glow

I always enjoy researching and looking up new and interesting ways of building houses and interior design, especially on our travels. We were in Washington DC in the summer of 2008 for a family gathering and a wedding and I noticed that a lot of the newer houses there had some something called Travertine tiles installed. Travertine is a natural stone that comes from southern European countries like Italy, Greece and Turkey. The stone has a smooth and creamy texture.

Travertine has been used to build several important buildings in history, with the Coliseum being the most famous one built with it. Apart from Travertine, Accent Glass Tiles can also add to the architectural detail and design. These are a good alternative to ceramic tiles, although the cost is slightly more. Glass Accent tiles are also great for small spaces since they give a "glow" to a room, as they add depth and make the area luminous. These tiles score high marks for durability so offer good value for money.

weekend funnies of a different kind

The people here love to read advise columns of all kinds. The weekend papers and magazines have several of them, from legal advice to career planning, ayurvedic solutions with acne products, doctors diagnosis columns and so forth. I like to read the legal one, since it always has some question or the other about visa issues or landlord hassles, all stuff that one really needs to keep a tab on for one-selves, but the other ones are really quite complicated and convoluted. But it does make for funny reading!

oh for god's sake!

Since I love to go out for walks and am slim built, I often get asked about my reason for walking. Some people outright ask me if it's part of some weight loss diet kind of plan. No, No, No. I just love to walk, can't it be as simple as that. Walking is a habit for me, right from the time I joined boarding school at the age of 8 and 1/2. We had to walk or march everywhere, up and down slopes to the dorms, to the class rooms, to the dining hall, to the playing fields and so on until it became part of me. It's as simple as that.

Sorry, to cut the post short, but I'm off to make a sign that says all this and carry it around when I walk...maybe that will work as weightlifting too :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

on a morning walk

Morning walks are something that I have really enjoyed in Dubai. Apart from June to mid September, one can really enjoy the early morning time here. I like to go really early, just after sunrise, so I can have a good 25-30 minutes of walking before the sun comes up over the buildings. It's also nice to go early to avoid the morning rush hour and the school buses, which ruin the tranquility with their impatient horns.

There are all villas in the area we live, all single or double storey homes, with high walls and elaborate gates, which makes it quite interesting to walk and admire or gasp in horror at the sights. There are also a large variety of bougainvillea bushes, oleander, jasmine, plumeria and other flowering shrubs for me to refresh my eyes and take photos.

Here are some shots of my walk a few days back. The strings of light decorations are the typical decor for weddings here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the price of looking good?

At the grocery store the other day and in my shopping cart, I found someone elses list! How interesting, I thought, I wonder what all she bought! And innocently hidden amongst the lettuce and suntan lotion was an entry for diet pills. Hmmm, I thought, I just can't seem to go anywhere without being bombarded left, right and center with these things.

Everyone knows about the Dubai Stone, the weight that all expats put on after moving here, but then it's also a very looks conscious city and people who look good do get better paid jobs, perks and all the stuff that comes with it, but the obsession with looks can wreck havoc on one's health...but then who's bothered about that...most of the people who come to work here are young and could not be bothered about it at all!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

re-post: My beloved A2

seeing green....
Old wine bottles in the kitchen windowsill of our Bombay apt.

We moved from Bangalore to Bombay in February 2005 and after loving everything about Bangalore, I had a hard time settling into life in Bombay. My blog was a place of lots of rants from that time, thankfully not many people came to my blog those days and some of the rants have since been removed :-)

I was working after several years and I simply hated the commute, till I started traveling on the A2, which is the ac bus that travels through Lokhandwala to south Bombay along Linking Road. As someone who'd never used buses before, I was excited to do the Bombay thing and use public transport. The A2 stop was quite close to our apt in Tarapore Gardens in Lokhandwala and my workplace in Khar was right next to the stop as well, so it was quite perfect.

Here's the post I wrote on 13th May, 2005 as I was adjusting to the city of Bombay.


Initially, one of the worst things about living and working in Bombay was the terrible commute. So much time wasted each day going and coming, that could be used more productively. I used to dread the commute so much that it overtook my life and my job as well. I just could not deal with the crowds, the smells, the heat and the endless traffic.

The AC bus has been my savior. Now, I look forward to this part of my day, as it has become my reading time. Since I started traveling on the A2, I have been able to finish a book every 2 weeks. Its incredible how this turnaround happened. I love my 40 minutes of private reading time that I get each way to and from work. It is what makes me realize that after all the initial struggle, I too am beginning to balance and juggle home and work in this chaotic city.

Reading is my passion and not being able to read on a daily basis makes me cranky and irritable. My other passion, Crosswords, have not fared as well, as the roads are too bumpy and traffic too chaotic to do them.

I just finished reading a very interesting book called Ragtime in Simla by Barbara Cleverly. Its in the vein of MM Kaye's Murder in Kenya. Set in the 1920's, the events slowly unfold to tell the story of a murder that takes place on the road to Simla at Devil's Elbow, just after Tara Devi, where one gets the first sight of Simla. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the landmarks and buildings of Simla as I am familiar with them and it brought back lots of memories. The people of Simla, the culture, the levels of society, the importance of gossip to this town have come through well. Overall, a recommended read.

Monday, October 12, 2009

and the searching continues

As a researcher, I find the Internet as an invaluable resource. I know if I search right, I can find out everything from how to build a carburetor to the paperwork required to file for disability appeal. It makes it all very convenient for me not only to find information but also to connect with people. It doesn't matter where in the world I live, just as long as I am connected, I am able to work. The Internet has changed the way so many people work and live and earn their livings as well. Me included.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

...and another Yay!

In continuation of my Yay post in early September, Lonny magazine from the former editors of Domino magazine is finally here. See the mag online here....for me it just wouldn't load in Firefox, but opened right up in Internet Explorer. I love that one can browse through the mag just like a real mag, mouse over the pics and you'll see a link that you can click on to go to the source, even for the advertisements....take a look, you'll love it too!