Now here I am writing the whole thing again. Sameera and I went gallivanting again this morning to attend the TEDx talks at IMT Dubai in Academic city. The first talk was about how networking helps business. The second one was about this NGO in India called Rang De which provides loans to small entrepreneurs. I quite liked the way he ended his presentation with a slide on which his epitaph said,"Born in a developing country, died in a developed one." That is a cherished dream for a lot of us and I hope one day it will come true.
There were a lot of students volunteering towards the smooth running of the event which was nice to see. There was a twenty minute break during which I wolfed down an apple and muffin with a cup of chai while people interacted with the speakers about the points and issues raised in the talks. I smoked with a couple of girls hanging around in the corridor at the designated smoking area. I was unable to find the smoking zone and a young helpful boy led me to it and promptly went and got a print out which said,"Smoking Area". He tried sticking it on a pillar but it kept falling down. After a while he simply gave up and walked away. There's only so much diligence you can expect from a college boy.
I chatted with the young girls one of whom was looking very chic and every inch the stylish college girl in her cool aviators, faded jeans and a scarf. They are studying marketing and finance respectively. "Serious people you are!", I said. They laughed and replied,"No, not really." I wondered if I was half as sweet and stylish in college and an image of myself in a huge tee, printed salwar and rubber chappals flashed across my mind. No, I don't think so. I don't think I was stylish at all. I wished the girls all the best for their upcoming exams and attended two other talks. One was about the process of learning and the other was about the life of an Arab American, linguist, poet and calligrapher. Both were interesting. Yes all the talks were interesting though didn't quite fit in with the theme of lateral thinking. It was good to hear different people talk about their experiences.
We went to The Farm for lunch and usually they are all booked for lunch especially the tables out in the open. Fortunately for me Sameera has excellent skills of persuasion and we were soon sitting in the open surrounded by greenery. I had the Thai green curry which was flavourful but not too spicy. Perfect. Sameera slurped up her viciously spicy red soup with glee as it opened up her blocked nose. I had the creme brulee (I'm not even going to bother with the correct spelling. You know what bloody creme brulee is.) It wasn't very good, not really sweet and the crust was not done properly. Sameera mentioned it to our server and he immediately took it away and brought back another one which was absolutely perfect. I would never have said anything and simply eaten it. Going out with Sameera Anand has distinct advantages. I highly recommend it.
While driving back we were talking about how entire Dubai is filled with Petunias. Sameera informed me that they are in fact seasonal flowers and that,"They don't actually kill themselves. You have to pull them out." An image of a depressed petunia hanging itself on a palm tree branch flashed across my mind and I laughed so much, tears ran down my cheeks. She explained that what she meant was that the petunia plant does not dry from the root and get absorbed in the soil and has to be physically pulled out when you want to plant something else. I finally understood. She was driving as always and dropped me somewhere in the middle of Barsha and instead of asking for directions to get back to Sheikh Zayed Road I decided to trust my sense of direction for once. Huge mistake.
I roamed around the streets of Emirates hills and decided I quite liked the area. The villas are quite nice and I wouldn't mind living there. I put the music loud and tried to make the best of my poor sense of direction. Finally I went over a flyover as I saw the sign for my area going past right below me. I had my first ,"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!" moment of the day. Fortunately I managed to land in an area I know somewhat and finally got home. And that's that.