Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Quietness

QUIETNESS

In the smallest crevices of my flesh
Pain has made a comfortable home
It remains with me
It joins my flesh and bones
Flows through my blood
And my heart does to it what a spongy duster does to a blackboard.

Silence is the name of another family friend
It creates space of an infinite universe
Between the heart and the mind
This silence is like fungus in my mouth
It only grows voluminous and demonic
It reminds me wordlessly of all the noise.

And how can I forget love
That tiny expanse of five minute morning
That little peace of half an hour darkness
That memory of a smile walking away from me
That promise I can believe in.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Repeat Offender Syndrome

Live to tell ~ Madonna

Some of us have a habit of listening to the same song till we literally get sick if we hear it one more time. I call it the 'Repeat Offender Syndrome'. I've had it for a very long time. I remember torturing my childhood friend Sushmita with Live to Tell by Madonna for more than a hundred times at one go. I was lying on the bed in my parents' room and the cassette player was on the floor and when the song finished I hit 'stop', 'rewind' and 'play' in exact time for the song to begin again. Sushmita still hasn't forgotten that evening. She will never forget that song or me in a hurry.










I'm ready ~ Bryan Adams

I was sitting in the air conditioned Animation studio at NID at some point in the late Nineties and this song played live by Bryan Adams was on repeat by someone who might have been my musical soulmate. I have no recollection of who it was but I'm forever grateful to that person for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with this beautiful song. The next day I jumped into an auto rickshaw and ran into the music shop on CG Road and bought the Bryan Adams Unplugged album which in fact contains many other gems like "If ya wanna be bad - ya gotta be good" of course you've got to try to be good but if you want to be bad you have Got To Be good. I love that.

I jumped into an auto again and directly inserted the cassette into my Sony Mono Cassette Player. It was a red little thing with a big sound which never ever cracked no matter how much I cranked up the volume. I had been kicked out of the hostel for not having finished my course in time so I lived in a basement room with a tiny window through which the sun never shone. I had zero issues with that fact because it allowed me to sleep for an inordinate amount of time whenever the heck I wanted. But I digress.

I had a talent for being able to hit 'stop', 'rewind' and 'play' in exact time and I used it in abundance and numerous times found myself slow dancing to this tune all by my lonely self with an imaginary man. This unique talent of course became redundant along with my many other talents as technology changed with time. But there must be something to that famous fanda "When you really wish for something with your whole heart the universe conspires to bestow it upon you" because soon after I met my future husband. And yes, we did dance to this song many times and still do.

I was listening to it in the car yesterday and I thought to myself why I got so addicted to the song and never ever got sick of it. I think it's the low whistle by Davy Spillane who collaborated with Adams on the album and the live orchestra consisting of students from Julliard. I mean the words are ordinary but Adams sings them with such passion and of course Spillane's instrumental brilliance kills me. Every single time.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Birthday ballad and Lockdown love song

Does that look like the face of a forty six year old? I don't know, but what I do know is that I look like I spent every second of every minute of my life in grave pain when I wake up in the morning every fucking day. (Don't worry I've had a pretty interesting and mostly happy life) But the thing is my dogs and my husband are for some reason convinced that I'm the most beautiful woman in the world and I'm more than happy to encourage their love soaked delusions on a daily basis.

To be completely honest I haven't looked at my face for more than a few seconds a day ever since the bloody virus showed up and most of the world had to go under house arrest. But I'm one of those people who loved the opportunity to be at home and live with a set routine day in and day out, never ever leaving the divine comfort of my home. So, I completely stopped caring about what I looked like. The thing is you only get worried about how you look when you step out in public and actually want to resemble a human being and a woman. Lockdown to me meant the ultimate freedom of never having to wear a bra. It might be shocking to some of you but most of us women hate those things. I'd love it if men had to wear a corset every single day of their life. Then we'll talk.

But then, June 23rd, 2020 began approaching and I began to get anxious at the thought of looking at the mirror more than a few seconds so I decided to get all dolled up but I'll be damned if I'm going to go to the salon to get "unwanted" hair removed from my body. And as you can see, the universe presented me with two beautiful zits on my face for my birthday and no amount of concealer or foundation could hide them. It's been four days and they are still present and correct but whenever I get a pesky zit, I always remember my dear friend Cybill (He's a boy) who suffered from acne and often said with a wonderful smile,"I love my pimples." He's all grown up and a father of two gorgeous girls and just as handsome as he was in college minus the acne.

So you know, the lockdown has been wonderful because I care so little about how I'm perceived by the world. And my hope is that, that will continue to be the case when I do come out of voluntary hibernation.

The day began with a flurry of messages on various apps but Facebook decided to behave badly and even though I tried my best to respond to all the wishes I missed some because they just would not appear and that little frustrating circle kept rotating like a useless broken wheel. My mother in law beat my mother and phoned me at exactly I0:30pm which is exactly 12:00 midnight in India. This has never happened before and when I asked my mother how could she possibly get half an hour late in wishing me, she replied with an embarrassed giggle," Main Crime Patrol dekhte dekhte late ho gai!" (I got late because I got engrossed watching Crime Patrol) My mother's favourite TV shows include the aforementioned and Savdhaan India, both fictionalised versions of true crime stories. She binge watches them. I’m  convinced that my morbid curiosity about serial killers is probably the fault of my genes inherited from her.

The doorbell rang and I received a little bag with bath salts, bath bombs, soap and two pieces of my favourite Pave chocolate cake from Shakespeare cafe (Just in case you ever want to buy me cake). There was a note with it and that's my favourite part of the gifts Natasha sent me. I miss handwritten notes and letters so terribly. It is one of my deepest wishes to receive a letter in the mail. People my age will understand what it means to read a lovingly written letter by someone who cared enough to spend the time and make the effort. I once started writing a letter to my father when I was distressed about something while studying at NID. I never sent it because I knew how worried he would be but the act of writing it consoled me to such an extent that there was really no need to mail it to him.





The doorbell rang again after a while and these flowers arrived with a note that simply said, "NIKKIPON!" This word has a very interesting history. When my husband and brother in law were kids one of them stuck his hand in a shoe and gently caressed the other's arm with the sole and kept saying,"Nikkipon! Nikkipon! Nikkipon!" Kids do the darndest things so it's pointless trying to make sense of it all the time. There's no logic.

Anshuman continued this time tested method of irritating a person silly with me. And believe me it is sooo irritating and yet somehow so incredibly funny to the person who's doing the irritating. I opened up the plastic wrapping and a litre of water poured out onto the dining table and the floor. I mopped and cleaned. I had to cut the stems of the flowers for which I used a scissor and ended up cutting my finger which bled all 

over the kitchen counter. I praised myself for having organised the medicine cabinet recently making it easy to find a band aid. Prior to the said organisation, I knew I had about a Hundred and Twenty Seven bandaids, I just didn't have a way of locating one before bleeding out and possibly dying. And no that's not the infamous "flipping the finger". I swear I just wanted my friends to know I hurt myself on my birthday so they would go,"Awww!" They're the only ones with enough patience to read my blog and understand my deep seated need for being mollycoddled.

The flowers withered eventually and I think after telling me to collect the dried flowers, Anshuman put them in a blender and hit frappe. They ended up in a pretty ceramic bowl smelling like lavender because he poured essential oil into the mix so essentially I now have pot pourri masala which smells like Lavender. I like Lavender and last I heard Anshuman burnt the masala in my stone oil diffuser.

It smelled nice and I'm used to my husband's penchant for pyrotechnics. Moral of the story is that I loved the flowers he sent. I loved the purple roses and the purple gerberas and the white roses and the lone red rose bud which got stuck in there accidentally by the florist. Most of all I loved all the effort he put into thinking about how he could make them last as long as possible. I mean he grinded them into a fine powder but I could appreciate the thought.
Natasha sent me two pieces of cake. I ate one before Anshuman got home from work. I cut the other one and blew out the candle and made a wish and sang the birthday song for myself along with the husband. I always sing for myself on my birthday and am often the loudest. I mean, why wouldn't you sing for yourself? You must. I fed Anshuman a tiny piece of cake and ate the rest of it. I'm not good at sharing things. I can give away my things very easily but I don't do well at all with sharing. It still kills me when I have to share food because I'm an adult. I have declared more than once at a restaurant that I will not share my Creme Brulee. I'd rather get six separate desserts than share mine.

And the last thing that happened that night was that I smelled something burning very faintly. I went downstairs to the kitchen and realised that I was craving a late night Maggi and had left it simmering on low flame. There was smoke everywhere and I had to open all the windows. The pot was charred so I threw it out. I decided to stay downstairs in the heat and humidity without air conditioning on one of the hottest nights of the year. I sat on the couch sweating for almost three hours and eventually closed the windows thinking Anshuman will never find out but when I did a sniff check the distinct fragrance of burnt noodles hung in the air like a little kid who always tattles on his naughty classmates.

It's really quite useless trying to hide things from someone who knows me like the back of his hand so I wrote him a WhatsApp message at 4:00am on 24th June, 2020 apologising for being an idiot.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

For the love of cricket

I used to despise cricket for a very long time. At first I was just disinterested but I think the intense hatred specifically began one evening in Simla on our honeymoon in the month of October, in the year 2000 when we were supposed to be going out and my newly minted husband was so engrossed in a cricket match on TV that he paid zero attention to the fact that it was getting late and that words were falling out of my mouth. So, naturally I blew up at him, following which I began to comb my hair and he took a picture of me. I know that the sequence of events sounds bizarre but that's how things happen in real life as opposed to Korean Romance Dramas. When I saw that picture after it was developed I hated it and complained so much about why he would shake the camera and take a picture of me so out of focus. Then Mukul, my cinematographer brother in law from the esteemed FTII saw it and instantly loved it. I had to look at it again due to Mukul's stamp of approval which I always take very seriously especially about image making. Here's that picture. I fell in love with it. Eventually. I stuck it in an album that I made myself painstakingly, and lovingly captioned it 'Caught looking in the mirror at the Peter Hoff Hotel in Simla'. Clearly I didn't need the memory of his cricket watching and my consequent eruption in my brain but as you now know, it fucking stayed.

In the following years Anshuman continued to watch cricket and I continued to sulk/blow up at him. Then one day I glanced at this big, blonde and cute dork called Andrew Flintoff on the screen and was instantly smitten. I found it really adorable the way his tongue was always hanging out of his mouth. Actually, I later read that he thinks  he is ugly and it's possible that most people would agree. But I think I liked him just the way I would like a big furry blonde Golden Retriever pup with his tongue hanging out looking utterly adorable. My husband, who happens to be extremely shrewd took this opportunity to watch any match where a 'white' team was playing by repeatedly reassuring me that,"Andrew Flintoff will definitely bowl the next over, baby! Just wait!" And that's how I began watching cricket in all earnestness waiting for my sweet Freddie to show up on the screen with his tongue duly hanging out. Anshuman owes this man an immense debt and acknowledges it. Freddie actually has a house in Dubai and spends a great deal of time here but I've never had the pleasure of seeing him in person. One day.

Over the years I began to understand the very basics of cricket. I mean I still don't know what on side or off side is and I can't tell when someone gets dismissed LBW. I know they show it in the graphics and all that technical jazz but I'm always very impressed when Anshuman almost always gets the LBW decision right. Of course he played cricket all through school and was Captain of the college team so he has a lot of experience. I still remember him playing an inter office indoor cricket match. He hit a six and I was so thrilled that I was jumping all over yelling his name like a groupie before I noticed that everyone including his colleagues were watching and that I was no longer a teenager suited to such behaviour and that I was an embarrassment to my husband. I'm still so happy thinking about that day and have never regretted my actions. Not once.

I think cricket commentary might be the most soothing sound second only to the waves in the sea. Sunil Gavaskar is my favourite commentator. He has an extensive vocabulary and a voice that has the ability to lull me to sleep on the sofa. As someone once observed Test cricket commentary can have an even more soporific effect. Thank you so much for having been my companion on many sunny days.

Sri Lanka is one of my all time favourite places. If I could, I would retire amidst the lush green beauty of Nuwaraeliya or at least see it again. My favourite Sri Lankan player is Sanath Jaisurya. I have zero memory of ever having seen him play but what I do remember and love is his billion watt smile. The man could light up a continent with that grin. And who doesn't like Kumara Sangakkara, such a gentleman and so well spoken. Anshuman once gazed at my face for a while and said with a smile," You look like Sangakkara." My response was a baffled,"What??!" My husband still grinning said,"What? He's a very pretty man!" Well, I'd have to agree with that. Sanga IS quite pretty. And so is his country. Please visit when it's safe to do so. And everything is super cheap so shopping there is like heaven. I'll stop now.


I noticed Faf du Plessis when he started playing for Chennai Super Kings. I loved the fact that he looks neither nervous nor calm and the only way to describe him is professional. You know that when he walks in he's going to do his best and he rarely fails. I've always enjoyed his game. Plus he's ripped. No wonder they paid him to do an underwear ad. Beckham should bend the knee to this man.

And then there's the other South African who is truly a red blooded and insanely passionate little guy called Dale Steyn. I love the fact that when he runs in to bowl I feel like he might actually butcher the batsman and go right back to bowling the next ball with that same crimson face as all the blood rushes to his head. Commentators often refer to him as a tiny stick of dynamite and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if one day he actually explodes and destroys all ten of the opposing team's batsmen.

Yes yes I was going to get to him. Kohli, the best batsman in the world and all that. I've heard all sorts of superlatives and praises being sung for the Captain but I love him the most when he's getting mad like the typical Delhi guy that he is and spewing the choicest of abuses in Hindi. He often gets into 'arguments' on the field and has been, and will be criticised for it but if you take the Dilli out of a Dilli boy's dil (heart) he wouldn't be what he is. Of course he's a brat and someone should occasionally slap him on the back of his crew cut head and tell him to wait just.one.second before he bursts into a song of abuses on the field. But that still remains to be one of my favourite parts of watching him on the screen. I enjoy trying to lip read what he yelled/muttered under his breath in Hindi. The TV crew helps these days by slowing down the visual which makes it so much easier and so much fun. Ben Stokes has repeatedly claimed in the media that Kohli is not really spitting the Brit batsman's name at the opposing team's players and often the India boys themselves.

And last but not the least the man responsible for inspiring today's post ~ M S Dhoni. Recently I wrote a post on Facebook stating the fact that people born under the sun sign of Cancer are truly wonderful. My mum in law joked saying I was blowing my own trumpet. Well, I was but that's not all that I was doing. There really are some amazing people born in late June and July months including Faf, Jayasuriya, Steyn, Gavaskar, Ganguly and MSD. It's his birthday today and it made sense to write about cricket and my all time favourite cricketer. He's a typical Cancer who doesn't want to draw attention to himself but clearly enjoys it when it's showered upon him. When asked repeatedly why he doesn't show emotions on the field he simply said,"If you do that they'll write about it tomorrow." He remains unfazed in the face of immense success and I love the fact that his power only becomes obvious when he's hitting the ball. Like an axe murderer I might add. I don't see him caring too much about appearing elegant. I think the only thing he cares or thinks about is winning. And that's what any game is all about, isn't it.

MSD came to Dubai to play a couple of IPL matches and of course I wanted to go see him. Anshuman assured me that he would get free passes. I was neither convinced nor content with what he said and nagged him repeatedly about the passes. As the days went by I missed seeing a couple of matches that he was in and then finally when it became obvious that passes were not going to materialise my darling husband bought two tickets for a Chennai and Delhi match at a price that would have made my mother shake her head at me and proceed to tell me how utterly spoilt and irresponsible I am with money. And she would be right. (P.S. Mummy, I've improved so much since the world shut down) But in the event that Anshuman had failed to procure those tickets I might have stabbed him in his sleep.

On the day of the match I wanted to make a big placard and carry it to the stadium saying," MSD! MSD! MSD YOU'RE MY LSD!" My husband almost always suspects that he might be embarrassed in public thanks to the woman he chose to marry so he forbid the placard. He reasoned with me by saying that in a country where illegal drugs can get you into huge trouble, carrying a placard like that might actually get me thrown in jail and he would not bail me out or pay for a lawyer. I pouted a bit and let it go. I saw MSD play. He hit two fours and a six.  Chennai won. I was happy as a kite.

Last night at exactly 10.30 PM my husband said to me ever so sweetly,

"It's your boyfriend's birthday today, baby"

"He's not my boyfriend!! And I really like his wife!! And his birthday is in one and a half hours."

"But in India it already is!"

So, here's to you MS! Even though in India it's already over, here in Dubai I can still wish you a very happy birthday! Live long and prosper!

Sunday, July 05, 2020

My brother

A couple of days ago Mukul, my brother in law sent me this picture taken by Som his friend. Som took this picture and although I have no memory of this being taken, I do remember Som very clearly. He was very sweet, rather shy and studying Chemistry when I met him. Now, he's a splendid chef judging by his Instagram account but that might just be a hobby of his and he might be a genius scientist somewhere. I haven't talked to him in ages, so if you're reading this Som, please accept my deepest gratitude for having kept this picture with you all these years. You were, and I'm sure still are a sweetheart.

Now let me get back to this image which was definitely not shot in1994 because I met Anshuman and his family in 1999. But yes, it's one of the few pictures of me and Mukul before I married his brother. I'm almost 99 percent sure it was shot somewhere in Borivali and I'm very curious as to what that yellow thing on my right is. I think it's a dustbin. But then why would someone stick a dustbin on a pole at that height. I know it's strange but I'm a little perplexed by it.

The next thing I noticed is that I'm holding on to a plastic bag and it made me wonder what was so precious inside that bag. So naturally I zoomed in and detected the beginnings of the Disney logo. I must have been about 25 years old in this picture and was carrying something from Disney like my life depended on it. My best guess is that it was that illustrated book of the Cindrella animated film. It happens to be my favourite fairy tale. I unashamedly love it despite the fact that I am now 46 years old and ideally should at least have moved on to the "updated" versions they keep spewing out to make the female character appear stronger. Don't get me wrong, I watch all of them but the Disney version still remains to be my favourite.

When I met Mukul he was possibly the most polite person on earth. And then I got to know him better. And then on the way to becoming family he truly cared for me and drove me crazy with his constant teasing. It's a big brotherly thing to do and I just wasn't used to it and once yelled,"Fuck!" at the dining table in the middle of lunch with Mukul and my future father in law. It's the only time I've ever uttered that word in his presence. Why? Because Mukul continued to tease me about something despite several warnings from me delivered to him under my breath. He simply enjoyed riling me up too much and never having had an older brother I was just not used to it and sometimes blew my fuse.

As we grew up together we began to understand each other better and I had the pleasure of having a deeply caring, amazingly talented and loving brother for life. I am always so touched and moved by the way he takes care of the people around him and gives so much more than he can even afford out of sheer love. I have so much love and respect for him and I wish when I'm born again I will be his older sister and bully him to his wits end. That's the dream. 

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Checking in

It's been a while since I came here. What can I say, life took over like always but now things are in a good place and I felt like saying something. Something about my new puppy Pablo. He's eight months old and I got him about six months ago when he was tiny little nugget. It was love at first sight. I fell for his big soulful eyes as I picked him up and he looked straight at me.

It hasn't been easy because he's the naughtiest little pup ever. He has already chewed up several pairs of shoes and slippers, multiple chargers, my ashtray, a book and anything that fits in his mouth. We were told that dogs calm down after they are spayed/ neutered but this guy just never slows down.

Despite the fact that he drives me nuts with his shenanigans I love him to bits. I love that he wakes me up everyday with wet sloppy kisses and things he has destroyed that morning. I love squishing him and cuddling him. He's a good boy most of the time as long as I keep an eye on him. The moment I leave him alone in the house he finds ways to keep himself "busy".

Mili loves him and licks his face everyday in a show of affection. Once in a while he licks her back. Though I must mention how much he hates it when I kiss his face. He tries his best to get out of my grip and get away but I kiss him to my heart's content anyway.

So that's all about Pablo. I promise to try and be regular here. Bye for now!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jordan the rest of it

Different coloured lights lit up AL Khazaneh (The treasury) There was a sculpture, sort of an image of a bedouin there and Apu take a picture of it. Here it is lit up by the lamps.





the sun shines down on Hercules' temple...










 We walked through the passage to al Khazaneh the next day and got drenched in the rain. As you can see the water is flowing freely on the ground. Our pants got wet. Our shoes got wet. We got wet. But we kept on walking.















There we are again, freezing in the cold and rain!


















Our driver lent me this umbrella which was a saviour. I eventually lost it.
















Just like one of the mosaics I'm standing in front of the Al Khazaneh in front of a camel. I don't know how else to say it

















My jeans got totally wet and they were coming under my shoes so I had to roll them up. I was freezing and the one sip of chai I had was heaven. I had only one sip because my horse carriage came before I could finish my drink.
The horse carriage guy totally fleeced me but I had no choice as it was raining and all I wanted to do was get to the hotel and have a snooze.











We went to the ST. George cathedral and found this beautiful map made in mosaic.

















here's a closer look at the beautiful mosaic.

















This is how they make the mosaics. One stone at a time.



















A little bit of Picasso in mosaic.

















 I loved these parrots but they were way beyond my reach financially.


















There she is with the amazing minerals doing their work on her skin. I chose to go to the spa in the hotel where they slather you with dead sea mud and then cover you with a plastic sheet. I also got a massage and it was really good. The masseuse used her forearms to massage my muscles and when I cried out in pain she said," Your muscles like stone!" I let her do as she pleased.















No one drowns in the dead sea! Apu floats with a magazine in her hands.















The temple of Hercules in Amman. Large hands were found here which could only belong to the demigod hercules,













In front of some more ruins...











Doorway...



















Lamps from a century ago...












The flag of Jordan


















The Roman amphitheatre in Amman














Me at Hercules temple... the end.






Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Jordan journey

It's been such a long time since I wrote anything here, but my trip to Jordan rejuvenated me and I want to share it with you all! The Emirates ride was good aside from the fact that I had to wake up early to catch  the flight. I watched 'The Big Bang Theory" all through the journey to Amman's Queen Alia airport.

We were met by an effusive Jordanian gentleman called Yousef who got us through immigration in record time. So far so good Phew! He introduced us to our driver also called Yousef. Our itinerary was pre-decided so we drove on to Wadi Rum which is about a four hour long drive from Amman at the other end of the country.
There was a beautiful sunset that accompanied us on the way. We made a stop at a souvenir shop and I came across these beautiful mosaic tables that I absolutely fell in love with. The tree of life is a recurring motif which occurs in mosaics all across Jordan. Below are some more of these beauties.




This is a mosaic in larger size of stones reflecting the Al Khazaneh (The Treasury) with a camel to finish the lovely scene.
















Click on the picture to see the wonderful details depicted on these gorgeous tables.












And the journey continued with a single lane road going both sides. Sometimes I was really scared when there were no street lights and I could see the blinding light coming in from the vehicles that seemed to be coming straight for us but fortunately we had an experienced driver and he drove very well with care.









Just look at the fabulous detail on this mirror. I really enjoyed photobombing Apu in this one!















Our driver told us it was a full moon night and what better way to spend the night than in "The Valley of The Moon" Wadi Rum. We took a walk in the expanse in the night and it was so soothingly bright somehow. I know the two words sound like an oxymoron but that's the only way to describe it.















We checked into Captain's camp which is nestled into the lap of Wadi Rum. It's basically a lot of tents with walls made of stone adjacent to each other as you can see a little bit in the picture. The weather was freezing cold and the tent was pretty basic from inside. All we really cared about was that we had three blankets, enough to keep us warm. They had also provided mosquito nets but in the cold I don't think any of them could survive.








I think all of you who really know me know that I love tea but my romance with tea in Jordan took on epic proportions. I actually walked out to the reception and asked for a kettle of hot water, which we did get. Apu carried teabags, milk sachets and sugar. We sat in our little tent and had the most satisfying cup of tea in the world.

I got into the three blankets but I had to cover my head with a shawl before I could drop into a dreamless, sweet sleep.


The next morning after breakfast we set off for a Jeep Ride with our driver whose name I can't remember. All I remember about him was if we asked him something he always answered," That will be ten dollars hehehehehe!"





Apu and I taking a picture by the magnificent rocky terrain. My little Chiyo, isn't she adorable!

I've nicknamed her Chiyo because she is fluent in Japanese and cute like her nickname.






Little Chiyo sitting in the Jeep. The wind was really blowing hard that day and it was so cold with the sun shining down upon us. I loved it.

Next we stopped at a bedouin's tent and he offered me tea as our driver and him chatted in Arabic. I took the cup of sweet tea and when I was finished he offered me another with sheesha(Arabic version of the hookah) but I declined the latter and accepted the former.




At one point while all of us were talking I picked up the driver's tea and drank from it. It had sugar. He asked me," How's the sugar?" I said," I told you no sugar!" He couldn't stop laughing as he told me I was drinking his tea!

I bought some vaseline laced with perfume from the bedouin and two cakes of different fragrances as well. Apu could smell the vaseline fragrance from feet away! I love the smell and even now when I apply it liberally on my hands I'm transported to that bedouin tent.



These magnificent rocks were abundant and the blue sky the perfect counter point.












Apu's profile at the bedouin's tent with the blue sky peeking shyly.














Naturally formed table. Our driver insisted on taking a picture.










The customary picture with the camels.














I look just as scared as I am petting these rather large creatures not necessarily menacing but a bit daunting nonetheless. Actually I was just scared that the camel would spit on me as I petted it!









Our driver stopped here and asked us,"What does it look like?" And we both said in unison,"A face!"


















A face with a face. Our driver took this picture. I love it!
















Another tent, with another bedouin selling the same stuff I'd already bought. I don't know who the man in the uniform is. I photobombed Apu again!
















All of nature's elements come together. Beautiful blue skies checkered with clouds. Rocks eroded by nature. Icy winds making everything come alive!










Here's a picture of our driver and the magnificent rocks sprinkled around Wadi Rum.













A lone windmill in the middle of nowhere set off by the grey ominous clouds. By this time we were on our way to Little Petra.











Right this moment, this little girl is freezing because she's forgotten to wear a coat as she got out of the warm car! Love it!













We had lunch at a place called Mother's recipe. I ordered grilled fish and it was taking an inordinately long time so Apu asked the server,"Why is it taking so long to come?" the server replied,"Do you want it raw?" But to be honest it's the best grilled fish I've ever had. So totally worth the wait and the server's audacity.











This mountain goat climbed all the stairs there were! I stayed on the ground and took pictures.



















The first glimpse of things to come at Little Petra. Look at the beautiful hall carved into stone and the mysterious caves.















At a man made huge gate to a hall at the enrance of Little Petra.

















A shop selling arabic patterned scarves and jewellery. Be careful what you buy because a lot of the stuff is not silver but they'll try to pawn it off as real.










This reminded me of that British series "Upstairs Downstairs". The owners live upstairs in posh surroundings while the servants reside in caves.












Here's a truly interesting character. I asked him," Where do you live?" He replied," I have a house in the village and I have a cave I live in." I asked surprised," You live in a cave?" He said," Yes, it is more peaceful. There are no beable (people) there." The arabs generally pronounce 'p' as 'b'.

Apu thought he was the long lost brother of Jack Sparrow! I tend to agree. I was looking through his shop and found nothing interesting.










The rocks were something else... eroded by nature and yet magnificent.










The visitor's centre which is the entrance to Petra has a small museum and I saw this beautiful bust there. This is Dushara, the equivalent of Zeus for the Nabateans who created the lost city of Petra. Zeus in Greek mythology is the King of God, the ruler of Mount Olympus where all the Greek gods reside.













Petra by night is another experience altogether. The path to Al Khazaneh (The treasury) is lit with lamps. As I was walking the two kilometers of passage that leads to one of the new seven wonders of the world a thought occured to me. It's absolutely dark aside from the lamps on the floor, what if there's a murder? It would make the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie novel.













As all of us sat in front of Al Khazaneh we were told to keep the flash of our cameras off but some people didn't listen and it annoyed me to no end. As I took a picture the elbow of the woman in front of me would come into the frame and that annoyed me even more.

And then the performance started. A bedouin played the flute and we were transported into history. It was absolutely beautiful. I stopped taking pictures and silently wished everyone else would too but they didn't. I took very few pictures on this trip. I stopped because I wanted to be in the moment and not remember it through my phone. I wanted to BE there. All of me. The woman in front of me couldn't stop fiddling with her phone as a bedouin sang a mesmerising song accompanied by the Rabab (Arabic instrument, father of the violin). And yet it was beautiful and then as we walked back filled with memories, the day ended.