Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Mission Kashmir

So my dear, dear friend Anthony was visiting me during his forced holiday (don't you just hate people who earned so much leave that they are forced to take a vacation or loose the time) and we decided to take a weekend trip to Srinagar, Kashmir (I had won a free ticket on Go Air, and we've both been wanting to go).

Kashmir, turned out to be more beautiful than we expected. The scenic beauty of the mountain range which surrounds the Kashmir valley cannot be done justice with mere words. Alas, I do not have any pictures because Anthony refused to give me copies, much like the pictures from Spain that he took that I am eagerly awaiting.

Our getaway also took us to Gulmarg, the epicenter of India's skying industry (who the fuck new India had a skying industry!?).

Between the warm and beautiful people, the meat-heavy food (there was this one meatball dish, which is 1-part meat to 2-parts fat, boiled, fried in butter, and then covered in a cream sauce - you can actually hear your arteries clogging) a wonderful time was spent.

All I can say at this point, is that I HIGHLY recommend a jaunt to extreme north of India. Maybe someday, when Anthony deems it worthy to share the pictures I can write more.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Technical Difficulties

To continue my never ending streak of bad luck since I have moved to Mumbai, every piece of technology that I own or am associated with has died, malfunction, or just plainly crapped out.

For my move to India, my father arranged for a laptop for me. Though, it's a bit on the older side, it did everything I needed. It was a savior for me in being able to work from home. In Kolkata, there was no office space, so with out my own laptop I couldn't have worked. In, Mumbai, it's just easier to work from home. However, in January the motherboard died. Sigh.

Right before moving to India, I bought myself a new digital camera as a birthday present to myself. I kinda splurged. It wasn't exactly top of the line, but it was really good and I loved it. I really didn't use it much since I moved to Mumbai. I became a bit photo-lazy. A few months ago, the motherboard died. Sigh.

As a graduation present from Grad School in 2005, the ever lovable Chris and Dave (the sponsors of my trip to Capetown in March) gifted me an iPod. This simple device is a godsend (for those of you who do not own one yet - come it's 2007 already, get one!) when you are stuck in traffic, on flights or at the airport, at the gym, everywhere really. It's like your own little escape. Mine decided to stop working six months after moving to Mumbai, right after the warranty expired. Since India does not have an Apple Service Center, I gave it to Anthony to send it to the shop in London. I recently found out that the motherboard died. It would cost more to fix it than to buy a new one. Sigh.

I didn't even know iPods and cameras had motherboards!

Since I've moved to Mumbai I've gone through 2 different pen drives. I didn't even know they could break. My office computer needs to be services every other week. The office Internet doesn't work for more than 3 days at a time. And for the past 2 weeks the net at home and office decided it didn't want to work anymore. Double Sigh.

So now. As I sit at the net cafe trying to catch-up with email and other online business. I wonder what kinda of rite/ritual/ceremony can I do. To get rid of this technological black cloud that is plaguing my existence.

PS: Anthony in a rare act of compassion decided to give me an early birthday present and gifted me a new iPod. Thank You Anthony! Let's see how long it lasts.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


In India, or Mumbai at least, the act of going to the gym for what one hopes is some sort of productive physical activity has its own verb - Gyming (I think Indians love making up words in English - maybe it's their personal way of getting back at the British for two hundred years of colonial rule).

I know that I'm never going to be "third-world thin", but since I will be back stateside in 3 months I have to make sure that I don't look "industrial-nation fat" either.

Yes, the subtle encouragements of Asif did have something to do with dragging my sagging ass to the gym again. But it was more when fat people starting commenting on how much weight I've put on that I started to get worried.

The thing is that I don't think I'm fat. Out of all the issues I may have, body dysmorphic disorder is not one of them. No I'm not buff or toned, but at 5'11" (180 cm) and 172 lbs (78 kg), that is a BMI of 24 - technically on the normal side (if even if it's in the shadow of overweight).

But still conform it's hard to be judgemental on others if you ain't looking so hot yourself.


Ameet - I think this one beats the vanity of the previous one :-)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

On Male Models

Has everyone out there seen Zoolander? Well, My life has became part of that movie :-( or maybe :-) depending on perspective.

In November, my friend Asif needed a place to crash temporarily.

In December, he started paying rent.

Keep in mind that I have a 1 bedroom apartment and he's a straight single male.

Sweet as pie, adorable as a teddy bear, hot as fuck, not the brightest bulb in the box.

Now the living room belongs to him. We share a bathroom. And I have to put up with comments like "You know Andy, you could be really hot if you worked out" or my current favorite "Have you gained weight, you look kinda fat." Sigh. The sad part is he really doesn't mean anything by it. He's just being friendly.

Here I am trying to work on my self-esteem issues and I have this guy walking around in his underwear.

The cool part is that I get to go to all the fun parties in Bombay. But to be honest that gets really old, really fast, and I just don't have the energy for it anymore.

So for now, I just smile and nod, help him with his English. Teach him how to do laundry and wash dishes on your own (unlike most Indian households we don't have help). And for the most part enjoy the company.

He's a nice guy even if he doesn't have any body fat, but I guess they can't all be perfect.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Indian Racist Hypocrasy

Shilpa Shetty, an Indian Bollywood actress, has been getting a lot of attention due to racist "bullying" she was subjected to as a contestant in the British show "Celebrity Big Brother".

The Times of India, had an interesting commentary on racism in India. And as an outside observer I would have to agree with the author.

I don't think any Indian would deny that in India looking east Asian or "African" is not really a good thing.

The blatant discrimination against black people may possibly only be surpassed by the discrimination against women.

But still Indians were up-in-arms when they were the victims of stupid racial slurs.

Don't you love the fact that we as people can "dish it out, but we can't take it." Sigh.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It Could Have Been Worse!

The ever bubbly Erin pointed out that whatever happened to my lip "hey it could have been worse." Which I guess it's true. But I just don't really feel it when I look at the mirror and see a giant scar splitting my lip in two (it looks like a have a mini-butt on my bottom lip).

Then Erin sends me this article:

And I said, yep it could have been worse. At least I still have lips!

Anthony had mentioned Pete Burn's botched lip job, but I really had no clue what he was talking about. I just smiled and nodded.

So, now a week a way from the date the docs said I would be fully healed, it does not look like my lip will be back to normal. It honestly doesn't look that bad. But my vanity prevails as I remember what my lip USED to look like. Sigh.