Thursday, May 18, 2006

The friend and the taxi ride

I finally made a friend I thought. This woman, who comes to my yoga class. I have been very impressed with her because she can not only touch her toes but actually hold them at the same time touching her nose to her knees.

I have been told by the teacher that I am not making an effort. I want to tell her that my stomach of concrete comes in the way of me touching my nose to the knees.

There is a big shop called Choithram's, close to where my new friend stays. I decided to walk with her to this shop whose name honestly sounds like a hardcore hindi cuss word. She invited me to her place and have something. I saw a lot of things in the shop but the new friend did not stop at any of the aisles and then breezed out of the shop with me following sullenly behind. I think may be she was in a hurry to be with her young son and daughter.

I met her daughter who is all of one n a half years old. My favourite kind of child. She easily came to me and according to her mum never cries even when she's hungry. I used to bring the house down as a baby I'm told. What a pain it must have been for my mother.

We sat down and chatted about stuff like husbands and our identical lamps from IKEA. After a while she asked me what I wanted to have and as usual I said, 'Nothing'. I thought she would insist in the truly bhartiya tradition but we moved onto some other topic. She asked me again and I realised it was my cue to get going. I waved bye bye to the little girl and the mom with a cheery' See you sunday!' Going down the lift I wondered if she counts as a friend, rather what counts as a friend?

And then the killer traffic wiped my mind's slate clean. I got into a taxi which takes me 5 to 7 minutes to get me home.
The Arab taxidriver asked me, “No Arabi?”
"No Arabi” I said
"Arabi la, no arabi.” He said
”No Arabi, Arabi la.” I mimicked
”Yamin left. Yamin?” He asked
”Left.” I replied
”Left?” He asked
'Yamin.' I replied
'Yasar right. Yasar?' He continued my education
'Right' I said
'Right?' He asked
'Yasar' I said
'I love you - Habibi' And then he laughed like the idiot that he obviously was.
'Now where?' he asked
'Yamin' I said
' Shukran' I said as I got off and didn't look back.

Got home and had four slices of toast with heavenly peach preserve and a cup of tea. There is something so divine about that last sentence.


delhidreams said...

perhaps m feeling the heaven in ur words... u r floating in bliss these days, may God keep ur life as beautiful as it is... always


Anonymous said...

Sample taxi conversations from January 24, 2005 to May 20, 2006:

1. Me: "Air India building jaana hai."
Driver: "Aap airhostess hain kya?"
I switch on the i-Pod and mask my laughter to strains of Kula Shaker.

2. Me: "Shopping festival cancel hua. Ab traffic kum hoga na?"
Driver: "Shopping festival ki bund maaro. Accha hua...kameenon ko insaaf milaa. Saale, hum logon ko chooste hain aur phir goron ki gaand laal karte hain."
I look out of the window and tell myself to keep my mouth zipped next time.

3. Me: "Al Qusais. Dubai Grand Hotel."
Driver: "O yaar...woh Grand Hotel nahin hai...Raand Hotel hai...shabaabi kisam ke maaloom padte ho."
I get down 7 minutes before Grand Hotel and walk home in the sultry mid-evening heat.

4. Me: "Boss, change nahin hai."
Driver: "Hamaare life ki yahi problem hai. Change hi to nahin hai."
I remember to use these words of wisdom in the novel I never wrote and make a note in my diary.

5. Me: "Grand Hotel jaana hai."
Driver: "Yahin toh hai Grand Hotel. Aap full tully ho bhaisaab."
I make a note not to get so piss drunk again. Where, I can't remember.

6. Driver: "Aapke paas koi job hoga mere bhai ke liye?"

Wrd_Nrgy said...

hi. nice blog.

taxis do tell you a lot of the city you are in.

i'm doing this short film with the taxi drivers of dubai..and i have got pretty interesting footage on thier own fundas and opinions on people, money, the city they live in and yes of course traffic.

interesting, twisted somewhat happy people.


glenn said...

amidst the clamour and chaos of life in Dubai.. It is hard indeed to find new close friends. I agree !!

Everything's heavenly about peach preserve!!

Fingers said...


Banno said...

Loved this, Parul.

delhidreams said...

c'mon buddy, this is too much, u r not supposed to delay this long, ppl. do wait for ur next update