Catching the travel bug…

Once you catch the travel bug, there really isn’t a permanent cure. You just have to live with it, making the best of the situation, cramming in trips when you can and pretending to be sane the rest of the time.

For me, it creeps up slowly. One morning I wake up and there is this image in my head of a place, or a name, and I know I must simply go there. There is no reason to it… which is how I came up with Istanbul and Budapest. It was just there one morning. And I didn’t even try to make sense of it.

Right now, it is the beach. I know it is summer and bleaching hot. It will be sticky and humid and roasting. Which makes me hesitate. But ever since a friend put beaches in my head, there have been beautiful images of the cool breeze and the sun and the shimmering water in my head.

It isn’t beach sports, swimming in the ocean etc that attracts me most to it. It is just… the ocean itself. The entire blue/green/gray/orange-reflecting/purple-hued water. The ocean always contained a mystery that I can never put into words. So now I can dream of myself there… spacing out.

And spacing out right now is much required. I am realising how many hours exist in a day and I am working all through them and there is still more left. I don’t mind the work. But the timing could’ve been better, for various reasons.

Of course, now the question is also – what counts as a getaway and what should be the budget? I’m really really trying to budget myself  (not too successfully, but I’m trying, oui?)

Song of the day: We are going to Ibiza: Vengaboys (Party time people 🙂

If marriages are really made in heaven…

why the hell is there such a huge fuss about the Sania-Shoaib deal?

Yes, I am going to devote precious blog space to this little drama that has been talked about so much for the past few weeks.

Personally, I don’t even like Sania, so couldn’t care less who she married. I could never really say if she is really talented or made it to the top 40 through a combination of some luck and a bit of talent. Or if she is really talented, she just let it all go waste due to fame. She definitely did have the potential to be one of the top players… but that is a different story.

But why was there such a fuss about the guy she chose to marry? True, he is from Pakistan but such marriages occur routinely. A mere line between two countries cannot separate the bloodlines that flow through the lands.

I read this article on The Guardian which says the Shiv Sena *rolling my eyes* called her various names which meant unpatriotic. Apparently, if she had chosen a guy from India, she would really belong to India. Which brings me to a comment someone made on one of my earlier posts. He said “No matter how much you love them (Muslims), they will always love Paks).”

If she had chosen to marry a Muslim from the US, would there have been the same fuss? Isn’t a Muslim a Muslim, regardless of the land? Or do the Pakistanis have something special we did not know about? Madhuri Dixit married a guy from the US… various Bollywood people routinely date and marry Westerners but nobody comments. So why is this little girl being parodied for choosing a guy from the neighbouring country?

The thing that struck me most from the article I mentioned is this graph about “male chauvenism” – And in a culture where male chauvinism is practically compulsory, that is precisely what has happened in the case of the Malik-Mirza marriage. The Pakistani boy is perceived to have won the Indian girl, and Indian male pride is hurt.

SERIOUSLY?!?!? Did the woman have no choice in the matter? And he won her… like what? In a game of cards? In a game of cricket?

And the other ridiculous line – Apparently they expect this couple to start of more peace talks and create a common platform for peace between the two countries.

How? If they were someone like… say Sachin, I could perhaps believe they had influence. But Sania? Really? The one match wonder? And Shoaib? Maybe Imran Khan, Waseem Akram who are legends…

Seriously… let the media get out and let that couple try their hands at marriage.

***
The iPad

I cannot believe I have not mentioned the iPad yet!! I must be slipping. The first thing that came to my mind when I saw it was – “I WANT THAT”. Seriously!! Apple’s products always look fabulous. And this was something out of sci-fi movie.

But then I realised… how useful is it really considering that you can’t use Adobe Flash on it? And about half the things in cyber space use flash. Least all the stuff I look for.

That is one special thing about Apple – that exclusive control they have about the gadgets allowed in their world. Add that with their current tiff with Google and you wonder what risks you would be taking by buying an Apple product, particularly something like an iPhone or iPad.

I want to buy an iPhone. Seriously… I tried to talk myself out of it for quite a while and my current phone is an absolute beauty + it is sturdy. But I want an iphone. But I wonder… what if Apple one day decides you can’t use google on it? Yes, in the land of US of A, antitrust laws will kick in. What happens in India? In fact, how useful is a phone like iPhone in India… particularly in these pre-3G days.

But my point was the iPad and Apple (and I shall not digress like Shobha De)… The only space where I can really think of using it is to read books and magazines and for that you’ve a much cheaper version of Kindle and its relatives. If you can’t use Flash on this, what is the point of having the iPad?

Now if only Apple makes these allowances, I would be the first in the checkout queue for one.

Of course, when i heard about my friend with an ipad, sitting in Starbucks, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy *sigh*

***
As I mentioned Shobha De and digressing… the reason why I thought of it was this column I read of hers in BT today morning. Of course, BT aka Bangalore Times is quite a tabloid supplement to a paper which is quite tabloidish itself. Except BT proudly mentions only entertainment news – meaning movies and gossipy cricket news.

And now they squeezed in a “column” by Ms. De.

Today’s column was supposed to be about how Goa is losing its brand as a tourist destination. Except, after the first graph (of 3 lines), there was no mention of the topic till the last line. The rest of the article was filled with mentions of how other movie stars have lost their Brand value – including Sania who was dropped by Cadbury.

Shobha De can write well. She also has a sharp brain but then she uses her brand value to write nonsense. And when she cannot come up with nonsense opinions, she just takes a topic, writes one line about it and fills the rest with, well, nonsense.

It is true that Goa’s image has been tarnished by the rise in drug-related deaths and rapes and such. It is a pity… because Goa was one place where I could go and face no policing and the one place where you could light up a joint and feel at home. The one place where you wear a short dress without raised eyebrows. And it is getting fucked up… as all things do I guess. But either you write about that or you write about your buddy movie stars. Why mix both? Unless one of them was caught doing something in Goa and was responsible for this problem.

And the last bit of the news considering brand images – why did Cadbury really drop Sania?

Let’s speculate:
A) The whole marriage drama, as Shobha De and other says

B) Sania hasn’t really won a match or played in any decent tournament since… who knows when. So they really woke up to the fact that they had a ‘brand ambassador’ who made more news via her ads than the stuff onfield. And they played it safe and dropped her.

C) They figured that age-old backlash in India that married women face – the loss of a sex symbol status (if she ever was one). And they figured they didn’t want a plain jane/married woman as their brand ambassador because Indian men are weird that way (though they would ogle at every other thing in a skirt/sari walking on the street)

D) They just got bored of her, realised she wasn’t really gaining them anything and used this as an excuse to drop her

Pick one. Or come up with another option.

Song of the day: Aaj hai sagaai: Pyaar toh hona hi tha