Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Dubai Again

The first thing that I saw when the flight landed was a Carrefour neon sign smiling at me from a distance and I said to myself “welcome to the world of Carrefours, Burj buildings and everything AL. At the airport a hoarding screamed in big bold blacks and yellows- “send money in minutes- western union money transfer...”and my lips blossomed into a nostalgic smile. I have been in Dubai earlier; I have seen the same landmarks, breathed and smelled the same air, the same smell that reeks of affluence, ambition and a hush sense of nostalgia.
Funnily the last time when I landed, I excitedly went and kissed a Mercedes parked at the airport. This time the hotel guys had actually sent a Mercedes to pick me up. It was a good sign and a rare experience. I almost sank into the seat. From a bumpy Air India ride to the inviting seats of Mercedes, it was indeed quite a progress. Like one of the Silver poets would say, it was such a heightened moment of my life, that I wouldn’t mind dying.
Death could very well wait. There was a better surprise lined up. The hotel room. It was a five star at the very famous Sheikh Zayed Road that’s lined with high rises on both sides. My room looked over the dazzling Dubai city, glittering with life and style. The speeding cars' head and tail lights blended with city lights which further merged with stars in the sky, blurring the horizon.
Different emotions mated in my little head- happiness, joy, ambition, failure, success and pangs of homesickness.
The office and people are thankfully hospitable. The chicks are hot. You don’t even know them from Adam’s yet they rush to you with full gusto, warmth and familiarity to give you a nice assuring welcoming hug and if you are lucky you might find few of them tripping and crashing into your arms. No reasons to complain! After all, for a newcomer what matters the most is a sense of acceptance sans any judgements!
So it’s been a week, two days and 23 hours. The fact that I am effortlessly keeping a track of time shows how much I am missing home and people. My TAG still smiles the IST at me and after a couple of days of excitedly watching “Keeping up with Kardashians” and “Battle of the hotties” on E! I am desperately switching to Star Plus to watch “Sabki pyari Bebo” or catch news on NDTV, the only two desi channels flashing on my hotel’s LCD, my lame efforts of holding on to my roots back home.


I have never felt so many breasts in a span of four hours. That’s the good side of farewell, lots of warm-tight hugs from the fairer sex. The flip side is ‘equal number of stinking underarms.’
Honestly and strangely, it didn’t feel much that it was my last day. It hadn’t sunk in that badly. It felt like I was leaving for a vacation and would be back soon. However I somewhere knew, it was a different day for sure. It meant the end of my three year long stint with Fever.

Goodbye is a funny word, especially the way it is said. Some said it causally, some meant it and some meant it so much that they couldn’t say a word and some said it so many times that one could tell that they didn’t mean a word. However, two of my female colleagues even cried... and I celebrated! Two women crying on your farewell clearly indicates that you must have been good.
So until my hands were tired of waving good byes and my cheeks ached of smiling and my friends got mighty bugged of seeing my face again and again after every good bye, I finally decided to leave.

I crossed the Kasturba Gandhi Marg. I shifted my bag on my shoulder, looked back andfroze for a momengt. The HT building slowly blurred behind the emotions that had emerged in my eyes...