Random Survey (since I’m bored)

Put your music player of choice on shuffle and list the first 5 songs.

Where Do We Go From Here (Charles Bradley); Redbud Tree (Mark Knopfler); Les Nuits d’une demoiselle (Colette Renaud); The Ritual (Avalon ft Mad Maxx); How Am I Different (Aimee Mann)

If you could spend a week anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Would you take anyone with you?

Right now? Saint Gaultier. And I most certainly wouldn’t take anyone with me.

What is your preferred writing implement? (eg. Blue pen, pencil, green pen)

Black ink pen.

Do you ever play board games or other non-computer games? Got any favourites?

Yes, I love board games! Scrabble, Cluedo and Monopoly are my favs.

A musical artist you love that isn’t well known.

I guess this would be very hard. I’d probably pick a band like 1990s or Adanowsky. They aren’t very well known in Oman I suppose.

A musical artist you love that is well known.

Leonard Cohen

What is your desktop background currently?

A picture I’d taken in Dam:

Amsterdam '12

Amsterdam ’12

First colour name you can think of that isn’t in the rainbow

Silver

What musical artists have you seen perform live?

Ahhh, loads: Iron Maiden, Opeth, Incubus, Michel Legrand, Angela Gheorghiu, Joshua Bell, Children of Bodom, Westlife (Haha)… lots!

What pets do you have? What are their names?

An English Springer Spaniel called Rusty.

Name at least one book you loved as a child.

Without a doubt it’s The Secret Mountain (Enid Blyton). I must have read the book a million times.

What things annoy you more than anything else?

Spoilers on social media. Pointless, humourless image macros. Noisy kids in movie theatres. Drivers who don’t use their turn signals. Yeah, humanity in general :)

Furthest away from home you have ever been?

Glasgow, Scotland.

Is there is anything that is guaranteed to always make you happy?

Rusty. Music. And a shirtless Farhan Akhtar.

Is there anything that always makes you sad?

Farhan Akhtar with his clothes on? Haha. It’s a long list. Loads of things make me sad.

How often do you clear your browser history?

More often than is actually necessary.

Do you believe nude photos can be artistic, rather than erotic?

Of course. The Nu Project is ample example.

Would you prefer to be at a beach or in the countryside?

Right this very moment: The countryside. But I’m sure my answer will change tomorrow.

Is there anything you should be doing right now?

Yes, working on my SOP.

Life Before the Internet

A few months back my colleague Rekha came up with a pretty neat idea for the magazine… One topic, two different viewpoints: e-books vs. tree books (FYI, Rekha was for e-books. Yes, yes, I know I’m old school and all that jazz…). We decided to extend the ‘debates’ to our respective blogs and this is the first in a line of many (I hope).

For me it this is not only the perfect excuse to start posting again but I think it also gives us something to talk about (not that we don’t have much to talk about… our extended coffee breaks speak for themselves – yes, that obvious and not-so-funny pun was totally intended).

Anyway, after much deliberation (you’ll know exactly why if you read Rekha’s fabulous blog post) we decided to talk about ‘Life before the Internet’.

To be totally honest, I didn’t have much of a life before the Internet… but erm, come to think of it, thanks to the Internet I don’t have much of a life now either (damn you, Reddit). I guess it would be easier to break my life down into three phases: Before, During (when we used dial-up), and After.

Before: Nothing here. I can’t remember my life before the Internet. I had loads of board games but that’s irrelevant since I still love them.

During: I was 12 when my dad first introduced me to the marvels on the Internet. Before that, all I did was use the computer for MS Paint. Initially however, my life didn’t change ‘During’ either. I still played outside, read books & played board games. I think it was because my parents were super-strict about how much time I spent online and also because my activities were primarily confined to Yahooligans! Oh, I’d also spend time downloading images of [insert name of boy band] for my desktop wallpaper and signed up on various pen pal websites (another blog post about that).

As I grew older, I had more freedom when it came to Internet usage (and uh, also figured out the password *evil grin*). By then ICQ, MSN & Yahoo! Chat were all the rage. We’d use ICQ/other chat applications to “talk” to our crushes (mostly seniors in our school) and they became the preferred mode of communication for those with boyfriends.

After: Well, we all know what ‘After’ comprises. MySpace, Orkut and then Facebook. I can’t seem remember most my life during ‘After’ either. Seems like I’ve come full circle.

Day 4: My Closest Friend (s)

I’m not the kind of person who makes friends easily. I’m socially awkward, have trust issues and generally not the one to warm up to random people. But I have been lucky enough to find friends in the most unlikeliest places… friends with whom I’ve shared my deepest, darkest secrets, my fears, insecurities… who have listen to me rant, who have supported my crazy decisions and then stood by me when I was on my knees picking up broken pieces of my messed up life. Yes, when it comes to good friends, I’ve been very lucky.

Today, I’m just going to write about ‘one’ such friend. (I literally picked up chits to decide whom to write about.)

Milan I’ve known Milan for – omg! – close to a decade now. She was one of my roomies (we were four girls) back when I was an undergrad student. I remember the first time I moved into the tiny room… we spent the first night quizzing each other about our likes and dislikes. Later, I wrote in my journal “My roomies are really sweet though. Not bitchy or difficult to get along with… but I’m sure we’ll never be ‘best friends’, know what I mean?”

I have never been so wrong about anything in my life and for this, I’m glad. We turned out to be more than just ‘best friends’. And I’m happy to say that even today, Milan’s one of my closest friends.

We shouldn’t even be friends, actually. Milan loves Shah Rukh Khan and watching Hindi movies while I prefer Almodovar or Wong Kar-wai (and ahem, totally despise SRK). She enjoys music from old Hindi films and I’m more of a metal-head. She loves cricket and her favourite player is Dhoni while I’d pick football and Iniesta over the former any day.

But somehow we found a balance in our friendship. I used to tag along with her to watch Bollywood movies, rolling my eyes and tut-tutting throughout and she’d accompany me to watch Harry Potter. She made me listen to, and then fall in love with, Hum Bewafa and I introduced her to Lighthouse.

We love dogs and if given the chance, would leave everything behind to simply travel the world. We both love Love Actually and still faithfully watch Grey’s Anatomy. But most importantly, she’s always there when I need her. She listens without judging. And believes in my dreams, even when I don’t.

Milan, thanks for everything. You’re a star!

Day 1: Five Ways to Win Your Heart

This blogging thing is addictive! Rekha and I have embarked on another 30-day challenge. And this time it has been directly inspired by Melissa’s blog, A Boles Undertaking. So, five ways to win my heart?

1. Be kind. I’m talking about straight-from-your-heart, unadulterated type of kindness. Kindness that’s reflected in your eyes, smile, and voice. Kindness that isn’t contrived. Kindness without an agenda. Be kind to me, to those around you but most of all, be kind to yourself.

2. Love your life. Every minute of it. Be that person who lives – or at least tries to live – a full life.

3. Amuse me. I am instantly enamoured by people who possess a wry wit. Be punny. Some women like sweet nothings whispered into their ears – I’ll take a double entendre please.

4. Reddit.

5. Don’t support ManU or Chelsea – or even Bayern for that matter. Oh, and don’t be a frickin’ bandwagoner ;)

Laziness…

You know those lazy Thursday afternoons when you don’t feel like doing anything at all? No? Nothing? Really? Alright, I’ll just tell you then. It’s too hot to go outside, you’re sick of reading… all you want to do is veg-out… And today happens to be just one of those days. Usually, I do randomly idiotic stuff… things that I’m too chicken to otherwise admit. If you’re curious (if not, just skip this blog post and try your luck some other time) here are some ridiculously stupid ways how I kill time:

– Delete people from my friends’ list on Facebook. Yep! In fact, the number of friends on my list is inversely proportional to how much free time I have. People with whom I haven’t spoken to over two years: Delete. People I know I’ll never meet again: Delete. People I’d like to completely erase from my memory: Delete. Show no mercy : )

– Organise my iTunes library: Like, categorizing my music according to genre. Missing album cover? Add that. Wrongly spelt song titles/artist names? Fix that too. As mundane as it sounds, I love it. Apart from all the fun that comes from organising things (yes, you indeed read that right), I get to re-discover the ‘lost’ tracks and sometimes come across music I don’t even remember having.

– Reddit: The sole reason why I have no friends or social life. But hey, I got Karma.

– Check airfares to random destinations. Sometimes I plan out vacations in my head. Puerto Vallarta, Cape Verde, Samos… you get the idea. I’ll check airfares, places to see, things to do… and then just leave it at that.

–  Watch tutorial videos on YouTube. Ok, I’ll be a little more honest here, I mainly watch make-up tutorials. Nail art tutorials, date-night eye makeup tutorials, Anime inspired girls’ night-out look tutorial, double your underwear as a scrunchie tutorial… It’s all very fascinating!

So there you have it. Just a few ways I kill time, when I’m not in the mood to do anything else. Many a precious weekends have been spent doing ‘nothing’. When I step into the office, first day of the week people usually ask how my weekend was. I just shrug and say, “Pretty uneventful!” Now you know what I mean : )

Daily Prompt Post: Far from normal

Today’s Daily Prompt:

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

Right. I have no delusions about my existence. Right now my life’s pretty mundane and predictable. However, I’m sure I can dig up some odd bits about myself for our entertainment… (some odd, some not so much)

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1. I live in Oman. Might not be unique to some, but when I go travelling it’s always fun to meet people who have never heard of Oman before. I always say, “Muscat (the capital city and where I live now), is a four hour drive from Dubai.” Yep, people have heard about our posh neighbours the UAE – but Oman has a charm of it’s own.

2. Some of my closest ‘friends’ are my ‘cousins’ (by association) – ages ranging from 14 to 19 – and I often go ‘partying’ with my parents and their friends. Yes, this is true. We have a very close-knit circle of friends and I’ve grown up around them… and sometimes I prefer hanging out with them over anything else.

3. I (like to think that I) have an eclectic taste in music. Have had the chance to watch artists/bands like: Incubus, Joshua Bell, Children of Bodom, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Angela Gheorghiu, Dimmu Borgir and Michel Legrand among many others.

4. I write letters which I’ll never post, to people whom I’ll never again meet… (usually deceased friends).

5. At 28, I have no clue what I’m doing.

6. I haven’t watched Sholay. Trust me, if you’re Indian – this is a BIG deal.

Random Top 20 Highs

1. When your last meeting/appointment with a client just before the weekend’s about to kick in, gets cancelled. (Awesome! The weekend starts a whole hour early.)

2. Entering your home after a hard day’s work to be greeted by an enthusiastic and overly affectionate pet.

3. When your iPod magically predicts your mood and plays your favourite song (when it’s on shuffle mode).

4. When a dress you’ve secretly been coveting gets it’s price slashed.

5. Re-discovering your favourite band.

6. Successfully separating the yolk from the white.

7. Reading old journal entries, laughing and thinking, “I can’t believe I actually wrote that!”

8. Making an accurate medical diagnosis solely based on your Grey’s Anatomy watching experience (hehe!).

9. Watching your favourite childhood TV shows (TMNT & Duck Tales specifically).

10. Unexpectedly winning a round at Tekken just by pushing some random buttons on the controller.

11. Getting a strike (in bowling).

12. When the shampoo & conditioner get over simultaneously.

13. When your favourite football club wins the Champions League.

14. Watching your favourite band perform live.

15. Driving around with my girlfriends, listening to our favourite songs and singing at the top of our lungs.

16. When you wake up with awesome hair.

17. Hearing someone speak with a Glaswegian accent.

18. When you drink water and it’s at the perfect temperature… soothingly cool.

19. When you wake up in the morning just to realise it’s the weekend.

20. Laughing about silly stuff with your folks.