You Rotten So-and-So

While I am deeply grateful for the brains of the world who invented or created stuff like the telephone, ice cream, balloons and firecrackers, I am a bit let down by the fact that no one has yet come up with a machine that can help you yell some choice epithets at those crraazzzy drivers who seem to be growing in numbers on Dubai’s roads. (And no, before you think it or say it, I am not of a scientific bent of mind otherwise I would have created this machine myself).

The other day I had a wacko driver cut in front of me at a speed more suited for the race track. My guardian angel was surely looking out for me cause he managed to cut across three lanes and take a u-turn without killing me or anyone else on the road. There were about 4 drivers who could be seen yelling swear words at that moron. But what is the use? As he sped away it was also obvious that he did not care two hoots for what we had to say as he could not hear us.

Which is why the machine that I mentioned will come in real handy. The idea is to have a machine that hollers out the epithet of choice and also calls out the make of the car and it’s number. Something along the lines of “Hey you rotten so-and-so driving the dirty white, dented Nissan Sunny U12345. Next time you cut in front of another law abiding citizen without bothering to indicate, you will break into hives.”

Ooohh… what fun it would be. But until such time I will be carrying a loudspeaker in my car. You rotten so-and-so drivers out there better watch out.

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After the signal CALL ME…

It started out as a routine order for home delivery of parathas from Paratha King. Hubby and I had tasted their delicious parathas the other day at a friend’s house and had fallen particularly in love with their spicy Chilli Milli paratha. Suffice to say that despite scorched taste buds and smoke from the ears, one is left wanting more. And since mum and dad who are visiting had not tasted these parathas yet, I decided to order for home delivery.

I placed my order at 5.30pm to the outlet in Karama. The manager was a friendly man who told me that they would deliver it to where I lived (a 20 minute car ride away) only if the order was for a minimum value of Dhs100. That was honestly not a problem – cause we LOVE food. He then told me that the hot parathas should reach me by 7pm. This was good enough for me as my five year old has her dinner by 7.30pm. I give the manager very clear directions using popular and hard to miss landmarks. It went something like this – ‘ask your guy to come down Al Wasl road (which is as straight road as ever will be). He should cross the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal (and this is a signal that is hard to miss) and go straight down on Al Wasl road. He will come across another smaller signal up ahead. He should turn right before the signal. Then ask him to call me and I will guide him.’

At 6.50 I get a missed call from the delivery guy who is on a bike. I call back and he asks “isn’t your house behind Life Pharmacy?’ Kindly note that I had not mentioned Life Pharmacy at any point of time. I tell him that there are at least two to three Life Pharmacy on Al Wasl road. Which one is he referring to? He tells me “the one near Emirates NBD.” Now this place is nearly ten minutes away from my home. I am flummoxed but keep my cool and tell him that I have no idea why he thinks my house is there, but it is not. And then I proceed to give the above directions again.

At 7.20 or so there is another missed call. I call back and he says, “I have taken the right and I can see Sayana restaurant. Where is your house?” I am beginning to lose my cool. I tell him I have never come across such a restaurant  and ask him to spell out the name. He spells it out. So I tell him that the Zaina Restaurant turning that he has taken is the wrong one. It is in fact before the aforementioned signal. And I now give him renewed directions to get back on Al Wasl road. I ask him to give me a missed call after he crosses the signal.

At 7.40 I decide to call him. He picks up the phone. I ask him, “Where are you?” He says, “I am headed towards the Irani Hospital.” I lose it. I ask him what makes him think he is going to reach my place if he drives in the opposite direction. He says, “Oh!” I give him the directions to the signal again – which goes like this – “take a U-turn and drive straight. After the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal stop the bike and give me the missed call.”

For added measure I call his manager up and let rip. Then take a few calming breaths and give him the directions again and tell him to call up his delivery guy and explain the idea of coming down a straight road to him.

By now my daughter is hungry as hell. My husband wants to order pizza. But I have made it my mission to get this guy to deliver my parathas to my home. Come what may.

At 7.50 I call him again. I ask him, “Where are you?” He sweetly says, “I can see Spinneys on my left.” I close my eyes, meditate, count to ten and then ask him, “Why are you there? I asked you to call me after the Safa Park-Union Co-op signal. Not only have you crossed that signal, but you have crossed two more signals!” So this man (who I am sure is a test sent down by God) asks me, “Oh should I take a U-turn and come back?”

I mentally stab him and then say, “Yes you should.” I proceed to give directions to my home now from the other side of Al Wasl road. Finally at 8pm the man lands up at my doorstep. He is sheepish and apologetic. But I am too tired to yell at him. My mother also steps out to make sure that I don’t kill him. She needn’t have worried. I didn’t have the strength to do anything but pay for the now cold (but must say still yummy) parathas. Hubby says that that night I kept saying, ‘go straight, cross the signal and call me’ in my sleep. Do you blame me!?

Procra…

What is the distance between point A and B? Pretty short if you decide to take a direct route. But if you are anything like me, it is going to be via D with a stopover at G and a mini break at J. This will be followed by a mini detour to M and then some unexpected delays due to S and T and finally catching up with Z and then hello B!

I started out this day with extremely good intentions of starting work on my magnum opus – well, my first attempt at writing stories. And before you go wow! It is not a novella or a God Of Small Things part Two. But it is a book for small ones. Have finally decided to put down on paper some of the stories I have been filling my daughter’s head with. What are my qualifications for the same? None. Zilch. Nada. I am not even a celeb like Madonna or Geri Halliwell. But I am mum to a 5 year old and I guess that counts for something.

Anyway what I have been trying to say since I started out was that I started out wanting to put down all those ideas on paper. But first I had to squeeze in a visit to my mother’s brother’s wife’s sister’s son’s house (after all family is family). And then I had to wipe all the windows down (ever lived in a house with too many windows and a 5 year old with innumerable best friends?). Then I had to take a nap because I was just so tired. Got up, had tea, pretended to be a horse for my daughter (Arabian steed no less) and then powered up the laptop to write – finally! And then instead of working on the stories, started blogging! Somebody help me!

And now it is too late to open the document because hubby and I are heading to Irish Village with some friends for some much deserved beer (for him) and wine (for me)… not to mention the accompanying fried goodies.

As for point B, I guess I will be saying hello tomorrow for sure.

Sorry Chacha Nehru

Like most netizens I have received funny emails about the world seen through the eyes of kids. I had a similar experience for real recently. On Nov. 14th (Children’s day) Sakshi heard about Chacha Nehru at school. Coincidentally Suresh and I end up talking politics at home and Sakshi asks, “what is government ma?” So I try and simplify things for the 5 year old and say that it is a group of people led by the President and Prime Minister who take care of the country. So Sakshi says, “Oh like Chahci.” Now I am not the most on-trend person in town (Mickey D and all – that is another story altogether). So I am thinking maybe that is what kids are calling our President, Pratibha Patil, nowadays. But I am not sure. So I ask the inevitable question – “erm… who Chachi?” Sakshi says, “You know he wears the white cap and the red rose.” And before you take up cudgels and blame me for not teaching her Hindi, and gender differentiation, better, you must understand that we are Malayalis who are based in Dubai and speak a mixture of Malayalam, English and Hindi at home. And since she speaks English the best of the three, she thinks she is English (we are working on changing that notion). Anyway the bulb over my head lights up and I say, “Ah! Chacha Nehru. Do you know who he is?” And Sakshi says, “Yeah. He is the first prisoner of India.”