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Round Peg

Location: Muscat, Oman/ Bangalore, India

Round Peg....in a square hole. That describes me! All my life I have never quite fit in ... now I have just given up trying to live up to the expectations of the square hole or trying to find a round one!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Just want to talk

When the brat was at Al Shumus, I used to meet this guy (non-gulf Arab) coming into our building just as I was leaving armed with the brat, a snack box and assorted toys of the day. The brat would invariably wave out to him and we graduated to a pointed where we would greet each other – a smile, a nod, that’s all.

Then one day this guy thrust a visiting card towards me telling me I was welcome to call and talk anytime. After a few days of no phone calls from me, he asked me for my phone number. Just to talk he said.

I was at a supermarket the other day browsing at a counter which was being attended to by a salesman – Indian.

The salesman said he was getting additional stock soon and would be happy to call and let me know when that happened. Too polite to say no, I gave him my phone number as requested.

A few days later he called and I thanked him for the information about his new stock. He then asked me if he could call again. A bit riled, I asked why. ‘Simbly. Just like that. Just to talk’ was his answer.

Now what do I make of that?

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Move over Al Fair...

My heart leaps up when I behold. today's date on the AlMarai milk cans.

Move over Al Fair, Lulu Hypermarket here I come!!

When the brat used to go to Al Shumus, the Sarooj Al Fair was the logical place to stop and shop. Now that the brat has moved to TAISM, I decided to check out Lulu Hypermarket bang on the way for me and boy do I love it!!

I actually get fresh milk at this place. Skimmed and the regular variety. All the major brands stocked aplenty.

At Al Fair, getting today's milk at 9.30 in the morning was something like a rainbow in the desert. At Lulu, I get fresh milk at 8.30 in the morning and what is more I get shaded parking slots as well.

So its good bye to Al Fair. For my 'white goods' (milk, yoghurt, laban) purchases at least. However I reckon the bakery section of Al Fair still tops the list.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Shafaat Ahmed

Just a few lines in the papers announced the passing away of the tabla maestro Shafaat Ahmed. The few lines did not do justice to the talent of Shafaat Ahmed.

The tabla came alive in his hands and he reveled in the music he created so much so that the joy spread and very often the entire audience had a big grin on their faces.

Shafaat Ahmed was too nice and well mannered to hog the limelight the way some tabla players do. He was never raucous, never cut into the music of the artistes he played with and never played a game of one up-manship that often ruins a concert.

One of the first times I heard Shafaat Ahmed was when he played in Bangalore with a young pianist called Adnan Sami Khan. Those days Adnan Sami Khan was a Pakistani and a classical musician. I still remember the Yaman, Adnan Sami Khan played in a sort of Jazz style and the impromptu but brilliant tabla support that Shafaat Ahmed gave.

That was a music concert at its best - the musicians played for the sake of music, both enjoying the music they made and the that enjoyment was so infectious it remains with me to this day.

That’s the Shafaat Ahmed I remember. Always smiling, willing to experiment, playing with a sense of fun and as always playing marvelously.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Titan's FasTrack hoarding

Passing by the Cauvery Theatre Junction the other day, I came across this hoarding for Titan's Fastrack watches. Nice pictures as usual but what amazed me was the headline that said 'How many you have?'

The headline is jarring. And when it comes from a company of the stature of Titan, it is disappointing. I am curious what the former (founder) CEO of Titan, Xerxes Desai, known for his command and love for the English language (and keen sense of aesthetics) thinks of this headline.

I did not get a good picture but here is a picture of another FasTrack hoarding taken from magindia.com

Google threw up an article written by R Sridhar, CEO of Brand-Comm, which argued that Titan may be forgiven or imperfect grammar since the headline is pithy, catches attention and probably speaks the language of its target audience (15 -24 year olds) but then maintains that imperfect grammar is imperfect grammar at the end of the day. True.

Which brings me to the second and perhaps more important point - I thought command over the English language is one of the reasons why more and more work is being 'bangalored' to India.

If we start speaking like the FasTrack advertisement, work will be 'bangalored' out of India!

An aside - Fragrances from Titan?

When we were in Dubai we saw an advt on a hoarding for fragrances from Titan. I was a bit taken aback. I wonder who Titan's target audience is.I can't imagine too many people buying perfumes from Titan in Dubai.