Saturday, January 16, 2010

Kuwait… A Shoppers’ Paradise, A Fashionista’s Dream!

Desert life is taking its toll on me… boredom has seeped in to the marrow of my bones… to the extent that I have weird thoughts of skydiving from the 19th floor of my building (hey, with proper equipment!)

I don’t believe there could be a more boring place on earth than Kuwait. How do people survive here? There is absolutely no way a person can engage any of his senses here… at least, not in the conventional way – entertainment, literature. I can’t say there is no cultural activity here… there is a beautiful Arab culture hidden somewhere in the non-existent sand dunes of Kuwait… just that I haven’t yet caught more than a tiny glimpse of it.

If you have deep, and I mean really deep pockets, you are gonna enjoy Kuwait. It is a shoppers’ paradise. There is no brand, designer or run-of-the-mill so called prêt-à-porter houses, you wouldn’t find here. From GAP to Gucci, from Promod to Prada, from Next to Nina Ricci, from Marks & Spencers to Marc Jacobs, from Debenhams to Dolce & Gabbana, Vava Voom to Versace and Valentino… you name it, you would find it here. What is difficult to find is a normally priced piece of cloth you can wrap around yourself when you just wanna feel comfortable and not like an overworked supermodel! But, Kuwaiti women are very fashion conscious, even under those all covering abayas… though a lot of them prefer to let their designer brands show. But I have to admit, it’s after I came to Kuwait that I realized that even a somewhat religious garment like the abaya can look very pretty and alluring… black silk with Swarovski crystals… coy sophistication!

Notes to Self... Painting again!

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I have started painting… again! I wouldn’t have thought that I would ever pick up a brush and a palette again… but here I am, once again with a drawing pad (no easel here) and a few brand new brushes, some water and acrylic colors (to start oil again... I would need some more time) and a bunch of oil pastel sticks.

Was in pain for two days after I bought my art supplies (no, art doesn’t scare me) and so couldn’t really settle down to start a full-fledged painting. But I still managed to sketch a flamenco dancer… I love to draw the female form… and she is been dancing in my head for a while now! :)

Now, I do need to bring her to life… let’s hope I get the time for it today. It is funny, I have loads of time actually but I am an expert at making excuses and making 24 hours seem too less.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Mumbai trip – Dec ’09

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There is that special place in a person’s heart which stores all of his/her favorite memories, things and places they like the most, sights and sounds that please them… It is quite something when one finds a city that contains all that the special place in the heart holds.

A city that’s witness to every special memory; has every one of your favorite things; is filled with the sights and sounds that fill your senses in a beautiful way and of course, it is your favorite city – yes, that’s Mumbai / Bombay . Call it by whatever name, the city is pure magic!

One has to stay away from the city for a long period of time to actually experience the delight, the strange sense of belonging and an unexplainable joy that is experienced as the wheels of the aircraft touchdown on the tarmac at the Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport , Mumbai. I have heard it many times from my expatriate friends about how lovely that feeling is… but a first hand experience tells me that no words can do justice to that feeling - A feeling of being home.

This time in Mumbai, I found new bus-routes by the BEST and NMMT bus services – Volvo buses, extremely comfortable and convenient, a host of cab services which give the ubiquitous black & yellow taxis and the omnipresent rickshaws competition and company.

Then there are some things that never change – the roads that are always dug up – in the past the culprits were MTNL, Reliance and BMC and now it seems it is development – Metro, Monorail and Skywalks. Traffic crawls as ever it used to and it is strange that when I was residing in Mumbai, I was so used to the traffic snarls and the creeping pace that it never bothered me and now as a visitor I only find all that endearing. :)

Finally, food in Mumbai – nowhere in the world can one find the variety or the awesome taste that is found in Mumbai. The road-side dhaba with it’s cutting chai to the five star restaurants of the affluent side of the city – equally yummy and absolutely delicious.

And as sone pe suhaaga (icing on the cake) – meeting my boyfriend after years… see, Mumbai is once again witness to the most beautiful moments of my life.


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A poem I read when I was a kid... but it is stuck forever in my head... a silver moon!

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon;

This way, and that, she peers, and sees
Silver fruit upon silver trees;

One by one the casements catch
Her beams beneath the silvery thatch;

Couched in his kennel, like a log,
With paws of silver sleeps the dog;

From their shadowy cote the white breasts peep
Of doves in silver feathered sleep;

A harvest mouse goes scampering by,
With silver claws, and silver eye;

And moveless fish in the water gleam,
By silver reeds in a silver stream.

- Walter de la Mare

A series of notes to self... to remind awaken me...

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To leave the armchair, to take wing to all those places I have been to, a million times in my dreams.
To Egypt...

To stand in the shadow of the Great Pyramids of Giza and whisper a question 'how were they made?...and see if the great stones would whisper the answer,

To ask The Sphinx a riddle which will make his absent nose twitch,

To stand in front of the Temple of Abu Simbel and blow a kiss to Ramesses II and see if the Lady of Abu Simbel - Nefertari would mind,

To float on The Nile, fall down the six Cataracts of the Nile, to close my eyes and picture the beauty and splendor of Thebes, Luxor and Karnak when Osiris walked Egypt in each pharaoh,

To see for myself if the Nile crocs are as vicious as their reputation goes and if the lazy hippos mind a canoe bumping into them,

To ride a camel across the beautiful sand dunes on a moonlit night,

To hold a handful of the sand which might have witnessed the victorious return of Ramesses II after the great Battle of Kadesh,

To hope a khamsin would transport me to Ancient Egypt.
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