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The Ego
My cousin's (whom I shall call Anan henceforth) friends parents were not in the Taj as my last post mentioned, they were in the Oberoi.

And they're dead.

The news came over to their house about an hour back. This senseless killing has left an innocent 13 year old and her sibling orphans. Just called Bombay to speak to my aunt, my Fui ... they're all with the children right now, who are devastated.

What else can I say? What can anyone say about something like this?
The Ego
A personal update on this... not a good one... but...

My 13 year old cousin, who has the voice of an angel, has been affected by the attacks in more ways than one. Her classmate was shot dead yesterday at the Taj Hotel. And her best friend's parents are still stuck inside the Taj. No one has been able to get in touch with them in the last 38-39 hours since the attacks started. As of now, they're just hoping that they are alive.
The Ego
Woke up this morning... Mum told me, "There were blasts in Bombay last night". I shrugged it off in my just-woke-up-so-am-still-groggy state, thinking, oh well, they always happen don't they...

Then I saw the news for myself. Pictures. Accounts. The places mentioned that were attacked last night...all places I frequent when I'm in Bombay. That scared me. Especially the Taj Hotel. When I'd gone to Bombay this time in July-August...I had gone to the Taj specifically for the Sea View Lounge because it's amongst the best (and therefore very expensive :P) cafe style food I've ever had. Since I was a child, I would go there very often. When my aunt was going out with my uncle (before they were married ie), he'd take her to that Lounge and I'd tag along as well... good memories.

Then, I see these pictures.

That is not how I want to remember Bombay. Not how I want to remember the Taj and the Oberoi or Colaba.

This is the road that the Taj is situated on... a busy road... always been busy...

This is how I remember the view from inside the Taj... Gateway of India... the sea... I used to love just gazing out from the Lounge windows while hogging on the super food...
Inside, the Taj was beautiful as well.

Senseless isn't it? Now people will bandy around the words "Hindu militant attacks" or "Islamic fundamentalist blasts" ... who gives a f***ing shit? At the end of it, to me, it doesn't matter whether a freaking Scientologist did this... the point is, someone did. People always do stupid things like this. And more often than not, the causes have been labelled as being religion-based. I don't know any religion that encourages violence. So the idiots who harm others like this and proudly claim their religion and say they did it for their religion no less... are the most foul people ever. They first of all kill people, take another person's life...and then tarnish the name of whatever religion they belong to.

This one hit close to home. It made me remember that if they'd done this in the first week of August...I could've been inside the Taj and become one of the statistics in the news.
It could've been me. Could've been anyone from my family... Bombay, especially South Bombay is full of them...


Note: if anyone is wondering why I keep typing 'Bombay' instead of 'Mumbai' ... well, I've never called it 'Mumbai' even after they officially changed it ... not sure why... just never have.
The Ego
... if it'll work out.

Basically, my graduation is in March. In UK. I have to send the confirmation letter to the university by mid-January, so today I started bugging my parents about it again, reminding them that they need to tell me how many tickets to ask for and what's going on etcetera etcetera.

My father (who was furiously doing his yoga - yes that's an oxymoron I know; how can anyone furiously do yoga when it's supposed to be calming and all that - took a few deep breaths before paying any heed to me) said that he's not coming (big surprise; he's not even coming for my brother's concert which is in 10 days in Dubai itself...coming to UK, in retrospect, seemed a far stretch) so I'll have go on my own. I stared at him dumbstruck for a bit, wondering what he was on about. My Mum put in her two cents saying that even if she comes along with my brother, they wouldn't be able to attend the ceremony. Which I agreed with, unless we wanted the grave ceremony interrupted by unintelligible noises in the middle and possibly followed by a free-show of womanly flesh (which btw happened to me 2 days ago; couldn't control him and in one of his tantrum-y states, he raised my shirt and basically showed everything I'd rather keep between myself and my partner to the shoppers around the shop we were in).

So it's highly possible even my mother and brother would not even come to UK. Who's left? Me apparently. So my father went on about how if I wanted to go on my own, I'd have to fund myself and he would not pay a penny. Which is all very well, but although technically I am earning money...for god's sake, the peanuts that I get right now is hard to part with!

I checked the prices of tickets...going and coming would cost me almost 80% of my one month's salary and I'm not even including living expenses/rent over there for say, a week.

I even stared at my seemingly innocent parents and point-blank asked them if this was one of their long-standing scams where they say "Yes, yes go ahead and do this" and when it's AT THE POINT of committing with finality to something, they say "Oh God no, how can you do this?". They, again very innocently, said it was nothing of the sort and my father then launched into his "What-to-do-in-UK-and-to-be-back-in-my-lodgings-by-6pm" speech. I told him to save it for when I actually go.

I'm being sceptical. Been disappointed by them too many times before. But in any case I'll go ahead with the planning.
Worst case scenario: I'm disappointed. Again. Big surprise.
Middle case scenario: My Mum and bro come with me and I attend the graduation alone (but this is ambiguous ground; terms of who will pay in this situation has not been decided upon).
Best case scenario: I'll have a week or slightly less on my own and on my own terms. Big whoop!!!
The Ego
Okay ... so if readers of this blog don't know by now... I LOVE COFFEE! Even in the months that I did not get to have any (was on homeopathic meds, but went off them after I realized that I cannot be apart from my!) I would just smell coffee beans to get happy and move on in life.
I do frequent coffee shops quite a bit, but mostly with one particular friend. If we ever meet outside our homes, you will most definitely find us in a coffee shop if not a cinema theatre.

And now? It looks like I won't have my coffee buddy till the end of December. If I do manage to get a coffee/movie meet, I think I'll be lucky.

It may sound like I'm being whiny or something...but I don't mean to. I'm just truly going to miss her and our coffee meets a lot. I'm hoping this is just me being pessimistic (oh goodness this sounds like Stained, doesn't it?) and that I'm over-reacting and that I will get to meet her like we used to... but ... anyway, let's see how it goes, shall we?
The Ego
Why does MOE bother putting up signs on the doors leading to the mall, saying "Please wear respectable clothing. For example, shoulders and knees should be covered" when inside I could see more than 50% of male and females put together wearing shorts, halters, spaghettis and the like, with no one saying anything about it? Sign is just for show or wot?

To be honest, I really don't care if people wear shorts or halters or not. It's their personal choice, right? But if they're gonna make a rule like that, then why aren't they enforcing it? They're better off not putting up such signs and letting things go on as they are, rather than putting up signs that no one bothers following anyway simply because there are no repercussions even if they don't. Besides, what's wrong with showing shoulders??? Or even knees!?!?

I wish they'd just take that sign down. They already had one before with a mixed group of rules about PDAs and stuff like that, which included guidelines to dressing. I'm confused as to why they made a separate one specifically instructing people (who will never listen) to cover their joints... weird.
The Ego
It takes all kinds of people to inhabit this world... smorgasbord of them really... A look at few encounters with this mixture...

- Okay, look ... you know when the windshield of your car is dirty or dusty and you switch on the wipers and the water to clean it up a bit to increase your visibility? do NOT do this while you are driving on the road...get it??? All it serves is to flick the dirty water to the car behind you... which happens to be MINE.

- I was driving in Deira one day near the J.W. Marriott, just on the internal road next to the Muraqqabat police station... one car suddenly turned onto the road from the Marriott parking lane without looking, with no indicator and cut in front of me to take the U-turn between Marriott and Warba Centre... I obviously honked as I had to brake and he cut in front of me with no indication etc... know what the moron did? While taking the U-turn, he rolled his window down, stuck his tongue out at me and sped off. Bloody a*****e.

- About 2 days back, I was near Ghurair Centre between 9am and 10am doing nothing but waiting for someone... I'd put my hazards on and was double parked since there was no parking spot available. I couldn't even go into the mall parking since they wouldn't let me in before 10am. Anyways, a parking spot opened up and before I could see it, one old pathan caught my eye and he pointed it out to me. I nodded and eased into the empty slot. Since I wasn't getting out, I didn't get out of the car to get a ticket. This man went and stood by the parking meter and alternated between staring at me and his wallet and the meter for about 5 minutes... finally when he realized I wasn't getting out the car, he walked away. What do you think he wanted?

- Today had the unfortunate privilege of meeting lukhas. Basically useless bums. Streetside goon types. Anyway, this was for a focus group for a marketing company yeah, so they had the members of said focus group introducing themselves and mentioning their hobbies. All 3 lukhas (who were one hour late mind you) mentioned something about smoking sheesha and clubbing. And only one was above 19 years. Sadakchhaap lukhas I tell you with nothing better to do in life except bum their way on.

- This isn't a person ... but I saw a rooster... running about wild and cock-a-doodle-doo-ing away that morning I was near Ghurair. It was walking about in the sandy lot behind Ghurair. I don't know... never seen a rooster walking about free like that before in Dubai.

- There is a particular person who insists on jumbling all the vowels in my name and giving me an entirely new name with a not so nice meaning even after reminding that person what my real and proper name is, with enunciations et al. How hard is it to remember my name?!?!!?

It really takes all kinds to inhabit this world... ah well ... c'est la vie...
DISCLAIMER: All opinions expressed on this blog are the bloggers private thoughts, not meant to cause harm. Take everything with a pinch of salt.