The big move...

Hey guys,


I've finally made the move. The new site will be hosted at http://www.shanim.me with the blog sitting at http://blog.shanim.me

It is still a work in progress and should be fully up in a couple of weeks. The blog though is there and barring a few tweaks, that's about as far as I can go with customizing code :D

Invisible Man

Something's missing....hmmm...oh right...he ain't smiling!


The Thames always seems to have something different every time I'm there. After running passed the gipsy with a million and one rings claiming to know the future of my hair growth, I noticed this fella sitting on a chair with a couple of missing body parts. Definitely beats the weird Golden dwarf down in Bukit Bintang in KL who pretends to be a statue when we can clearly see he's getting pissed off at the pesky kid who's laughing at him.

To Wordpress or not to Wordpress...that's the question

After a lot of thought....yes the process still does exist although it has been a bit of a rare phenomenon of late...I've been thinking of moving my blog from blogger to WP.


The move, however, is under serious analysis as this would mean pain and effort from yours truly and a sincere effort to really type down words in the right sequence that would eventually make some sense to the world around me....The second biggest hurdle in this troublesome endeavor is the search for the perfect blog domain that can host my photo albums....sigh.....

The decision should be made later this week and hopefully more regular posts shall follow. Watch this space for updates...

What "lah"?

Another hot and wet winter in Malaysia and I'm still here....it's been a whole year and a half since I got here and well....I apparently haven't stopped cribbing. So let me begin with some questions that have been puzzling me since I got here:

1. What's the deal with 90kmph and 110kmph speed limits? Is it just to confuse all humans who have their speedometers with readings that are in multiples of 20?
2. 90kmph speed limit ends here......1km later, 60kmph speed limit begins here....what about the grey zone? Are we legally allowed to confuse the cop who catches us speeding at 160 in that stretch?
3. Where are all the cows in the country?
4. Correction to question 3, where is all the fresh milk in this country?
5. Why is a steamboat called a steamboat when it is not steamed food but boiled food?
6. Why Touch N Go?
7. Why don't Touch N Go cards work?
7.5. Why don't Touch N Go cards work on the Smart Tag lane with an expensive 110RM Smart Tag?
8. Why do people refer to Ringgit as Dollars?
9. Why do women coming the wrong way of a One Way road sneer at a person driving the right way?
10. Is it okay to look into your bag while driving into a wall?
11. Can malay food be made without oil?
12. Am I African?
13. Am I Tamil?
14. Am I Arab?
15. Am I Malay?
16. Why are all the big holes on Malaysian roads always on the fast lane?
17. Why lah?
18. Why meh?
19. How do you define lah?
20. What are the funny devices with numbers inside a cab used for?
21. Why do you have a Police Booth in Bukit Bintang when you can't lodge complaints there?
22. Are all Indians Tamil Hindus who don't eat beef?
23. Why is the English language murdered in Malaysia?
24. Why does KTM have a tiny door for entry and exit?
25. Where are the trains on the KTM line? Do they go missing just before the KL Sentral station and appear just after?
26. Why does the LRT slow down at a station and speed off just as it sees you standing there?
27. Is parking on the main road legal between 12pm and 2pm on a Friday?
28. Why are all signboards immediately after an exit?
29. Why do all signboards say KLCC although it goes halfway around the city before it actually gets you there?
30. Why do people use Shell and Petronas fuel pumps as landmarks?


More questions to come...

PS: Facebook and Twitter has made me lazy

Bon App├ętit

Yesterday while I was at a local mamak having another Roti Telur and Teh Tarik, I was thinking of doing something to kill time this Sunday. I had run out of places to visit to take pics on my beloved Canon 450D in KL (well the only place I've skipped so far is the Bird Park near Masjid Negara).....and then it struck me...the salt in the chicken gravy with my Roti Telur was waaay too much and complaining wouldn't have helped. I decided it was time I did something about it....I had two choices....walk another 50m to the "other" mamak or walk 1k to the Supermarket at Pavillion.


As always I decided to go the longer way and ended up at the supermarket buying myself a pan and a bunch of groceries to start cooking something. After 40 minutes of digging stuff and 40 milliseconds of seeing 100 bucks disappear I was armed and ready for a long and painful journey experimenting my culinary skills.

I decided to wake up early to kick things off...at 10 am I was out of bed (yea yea so the early bit didn't work out :P) and after a quick bath and the usual decision of skipping breakfast 'coz it was too late I stepped into the kitchen....and this is when I realised I had absolutely no idea what I was supposed to do. A distress call followed...the rescue team (also read as my sisters) that I have is luckily spread over 3 time zones and hence it's more or less a 24/7 line. I managed to get two of them for a quick and easy resolution and I was on my way...

A whopping 90 minutes and several big blunders later I was done. Rice and chicken curry, all ready for consumption.

And the results?

Voila!



Happy New Year


A new year and a new Camera. More pics and blogs to follow here in the year of the Ox. Apologies for the laziness.


Gong Xi Fa Cai!


What's changed....

30,000ft above sea level, I finally get some time to pen down my next blog entry. As promised, I was supposed to give you details of what has been happening around me and what has made me more or less a jumper :)

It all started a year back. I got my salary on the first week of August and I noticed how horribly low it was, which was then followed by a horrible session with my bosses in my previous company which involved pretty much everything that should not be said or heard in an appraisal discussion. A week later, I got a call from a company in Malaysia and six months of debating with myself later, I moved out of my previous company...alright...no surprises to most of you, out of Wipro Technologies...and I'm now officially a Technical Consultant for an aggressive startup company....well no longer a startup since it was bought over by a Telecom giant....

I left the Delhi and my job in the end of April, with a couple of tough goodbyes said I had moved on back to Abu Dhabi to be home with mom...and ofcourse spend time with a few of my best pals out there....I was even able to celebrate two of their b'days as well :)....an amazing week in Abu Dhabi (where I often heard "Why the hell did you come when you're here for just 5 days?!?!?") was followed by a trip to the hot and sweaty summer of Mumbai....now this I have to elaborate...

I had a pal, a very goooood pal of mine...who is now in Mumbai....his name...A....yep...my schoolmates (who would've guessed whom I'm talking about) would be laughing already or probably know the rest of this para by now...nevertheless...I'm gonna go ahead yapping about it...two days before I left Abu Dhabi for Mumbai to spend some time with him and two other great pals of mine in Mumbai, I had called A reminded him that I would arrive in the morning....the great buddy that he always has been, he promised to pick me up at the airport in the morning when I landed there......the words "Early Morning" needs to be stressed on here...and this is where I had completely forgotten my buddy....A always kept off from the early bird and the worms that the bugger picked up and had often had broken down a few alarm clocks (which is a similar characteristics of another best pal of mine, V...but we'll leave that for later)...I arrived in the morning at Mumbai sometime at 5am and was out of the airport by 6am. During the one hour that I spent waiting for my luggage and evading customs (something about them gives me the creeps...guess it's the extra bright white shirts and trousers they sport) I was attempting to get through A's cellphone...which although ringing....never got me through to him...yes...Airtel Failed me...The whole connecting people far and wide is all a hoax I say! A few white lies were then spelled out to prevent my parents from high pressure attacks and I finally managed to get through my buddy's phone...only to find him half asleep and shocked to know it was already 7:00am....2 hrs beyond his wake up alarm. A couple of "friendly" curses were exchanged and we finally settled on a plan. I was to get to his place by a cab as it would work out better than waiting for another hour or so for him to get to the airport.

Mumbai has a clever way of telling you that you're huge and ought to reduce weight pronto!....it's called it's black taxis....after a struggle with the door and the windows and everything else in the rear seat of the black Fiat taxi I was finally seated (barely) and my cabbie put the cab on gear and we vrrooomed (literally) to Khar....to my pal's place. 20 mins of Google Maps and confused by-standers later I was in front of my friend's place. I asked him to get down so that we could head out for b'fast once we put the bags in.....and well...I was in for another surprise...the dude wasn't home and was hoping his bro was home to open the door when I got there...sigh....and let's not forget...he stays on the 3rd floor in a building that doesn't have a lift....so yep....25kilos of baggage, a handbag of 5 kilos...and the 90+ kilos of my weight was being dragged up the three floors to his flat. Fifteen minutes of ringing the bell and a few phone calls later I was finally in the flat.....my buddy arrived an hour later....and well...it was fun getting back at him :D ..it's always fun being around the dude...it has been over 2 yrs since we last met in Bangalore and we had loooads to catch up on.....in particular...the music in his PC!

A couple of hours later I was in an auto..headed to Juhu...my first ever visit to the ever famous beach that we often see in movies...u know...the one with the chats and stuff....a ten minute wait resulted in me being completely drenched and dehydrated....my pal was late...and sigh....with my luck going all perfect....it was hot...and when I mean hot, I just don't mean hot...I mean humid, hot, sweltering, melt chocolates in your pocket type hot! Thankfully Mumbai does believe in air-cons and I was in a chilled Cafe Moka sipping toblerone shake in seconds....

The mumbai trip was amazing...I've always loved that city...barring the fact that I can never survive there...since I have a fear of going anywhere near a local train station and that I still can't figure how the meters on their autos work or that fact that I still can't understand how people pay 27k for a single bedroom house...but nevertheless...the city is amazing! and has given me some of the most wonderful friends in my life :) I could go on and on about the place and the fun times I had there but for now, I shall move on...else I'd never reach my final destination :) to brief it up...I was out in two malls...had over 6 snacks/meals in the one day that I was there....lost two games of bowling...watched a movie...damaged an escalator....saw ranvijay (the MTV Roadies guy)...or rather almost got him to fall off the escalator that I assume I damaged...spent a night walking around the streets of mumbai with a sandwich big enough to feed 4 people and a coke good enough for half (the sandwich ended up in the bin and the coke boiled over)...and spent 3hrs plus in Mumbai autos (staring at the meter and trying to figure out wat the numbers really stood for and trying to make conversation in broken Hindi with a Dilli touch to it...you know...with the whole "Dikath"s and the "Koi Nai"s)

Next stop, God's own country...a week spent with my most favorite person in this planet....my DAD :) It started off with a friend's wedding and then followed by a trip to all my relatives in the span of 3 days....shockingly I managed a visit to a backwater resort and the beach as well. The trip was unfortunately dead short...and I had to head to Bangalore to kick start my new job....

A quick break here....will continue in the next post which I shall pen down in Chennai airport as I wait for my flight to KL....till then....cyaz!

PS: I never got to writing the next blog in Chennai...the Laptop's battery died on me. Will pen one down soon

Confessions of a Lazy blogger

Yes Yes! The truth is finally out....I've become lazy...and we aren't talking lazy of the kind who doesn't like getting up in the morning, but the kind who "gets up, walks to the couch with four packs of potato chips and 2 large bottles of pepsi and turns on the TV and stays put till late afternoon when the tummy grumbles for attention" lazy! It's been ages since I blogged, and I know it more than all of you do....'coz well.....hehe...the goldfish that I am, I f'got the password again ;)

So wat's been keeping yours truly busy you ask? Aaaah...it eees wonderful how life has changed from a boring routine wake up and get to work to a wake up and head to the airport, fly a thousand miles, head to the hotel and walk to work routine ;) Confused....don't worry...Shanim's here to solve your troubles and get you away from the terrors of a shrink. I quit my first company...yipeeeeee...ok not so yipeee but yipee nevertheless....felt the job was not challenging anymore and decided on making my first change in careers (not counting the brief stint with Tyco in Abu Dhabi where I kinda screwed up their design for the Central Prison....kick the access control and you're home free...Prison Break would surely be a bore if it were shot in the Central Prison I designed :D). I'm now a consultant traveling the world....or atleast one side of it.

And now...after 8 flights in two months, I'm headed back to the place that started it all...Delhi....

How? What? Which? Where? Will the internet at KLIA get faster? All these questions and much more in my next post....till then....Selamat tinggal

Lost and Found

The things ppl lose at airports these days....phones, babies, baggage, pens, money, planes......PLANES???

Ooooh yeaaaa....apparently the new Airport at Bangalore is so confusing, the govt owned Indian apparently couldn't find it's plane in the tarmac and got my laughing away in a coffee shop sooo loud, people around me thought I had finally lost it. Now that's what I call lost and confused :D

In the Name of God

What's the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of Islam?

Ten seconds of pondering and I'm sure your answers would've been something in the lines of anger, war, Taliban, Al Qaida, terrorism, or something similar. And this about a religion that has preached peace to all it's followers. A religion that has asked never to bring hatred in conversation or in action. A religion that has meant to protect......but reality is far from it.

Now you may ask, why is Shanim of all people preaching about Islam? The answer...."Khuda Kay Liye".




Shoaib Mansoor and the rest of his team has done an amazing job in portraying what Pakistan was and is going through post-9/11. A must watch for sure! And yep...check out the song as well :)

Punctuality

As promised, I begin my short but totally weird stories of my life at work in Delhi. I work for my client, an American Telecommunications company. We are setting up a Cellular network for our customer, the Government Telecom Operator in Delhi (don't want the name to pop up in searches so let me give it a fictitious name, Doorsanchar).

A couple of months back, I was asked to get some work done in one of Doorsanchar's sites and complete it as soon as possible. Being from an environment where work starts at 8:30am and goes on till late evening, I had planned on getting to work a notch early. Since Doorsanchar's working hours (as stated in their employement policies) is from 9:30am to 6pm, I decided on getting there at around 9:15am and working on my task till a little after 6:30pm.

I managed to get to the Metro station on time and after a 35 min ride on the Blue Line of DMRC, I was finally at the site. After a quick breakfast at a local store I was at the gate of the site. The security was standing up in front of me and stopped me there.

Guard: Who are you and why are you here?
Me: Sir, I'm here for the new project on the 4th floor. Here's my gate pass for today.

After a long glance at the paper stuffed with 7 signatures and some horrible writing by some Doorsanchar Officer, he stared back at me......his pan clad teeth almost got me nauseous but I managed to keep a straight face.

Guard: Oh but you are early. The office opens only at 9:30, come back later.

With a confused face, I looked at my watch...the whole discussion had apparently taken over ten minutes and it was now 9:27am.

Me: Sir, it is 9:30 already. Take a look at my watch.
Guard: No it is 9:27, come back after 3 minutes!

..........a silence followed and I found my way out and sat down on the pavement, waiting for another 180 seconds to get done with......so much for punctuality!

Freezing again

A reminder that I'm still in Delhi - "It's freezing cold!" (To all the guys and gals in Europe and America...yea yea...temps are lower but you guys have heaters to cut the crap! :P)

A lot has happened since I last started a conversation with you guys. For one, I've moved out of Dwarka and am now in East Delhi, a degree warmer and a lot closer to civilization. After 3500Kms being clocked on my bike, I've finally found Delhi interesting. I no longer crib that I'm missing Bangalore 'coz yes my dear friends....I now officially have a life! yipeeeee! (To all those weirdo pals of mine back in Bangalore...nopes, I didn't get married! :P)

Just thought I'd start off with a teaser and remind the world that I'm still alive...will get back to blogging as soon as possible...keep watching this space for more as I bring you - "Working with Govt Officials...A Revisit!" This is a sequel to my very first blog and should probably go on for a couple of posts.....so why am I going back to the same lame topic? Quite simple....I'm surrounded by them!!

Where's my beer??



Click! Click! Clik!

A friend of mine introduced me to the magic of flickr recently. I'm hooked onto it like flies on garbage now :)

Take a look at my shots at moi flickr page

http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanim/

A comfortable job...

As all my blog posts start off with "It's been a long time..." I shall refrain from repeating myself as the statement is now implied :)

I was browsing the net in search of some information on Ramadhan and when it would start (apparently I'm lazy to go to a masjid and find out from there) and I stumble upon this new article on Khaleej Times. This made me think....how fun would it be to have a job just looking at the moon? They have a committee that works once a month, stare at the sky and search for a moon. Their conversations at work would probably be....

Guy A: Hey is that the moon there?
Guy B: No stupid, that's just the lights off the Burj Dubai
Guy A: Oh yeah...how had i missed that??
Guy C: Hey there there the moon!!!
Guy B: hmmm...let me have a look at it...ok this calls for a conference, get Moon Sighting Committee in Dubai on the line

135kms away

Dubai: Aloo alooo....yes yes...we are the moon sighting committee in Dubai...how may we help you?
Guy B: We think we saw the moon did you?
Dubai: Aaah...come to think of it, we were supposed to do that tonight right? Just a min...
(a couple of screaming and shouting later)
....yes yes...we too see it.
Guy A: Alright so we have seen the moon. Call the press, and we'll see ya next month.

Ka-Ching! Salary in the bank....

Now that's what I call a good job. Alright now if that was a weird job, let's move onto another scenario...this I am narrating out of a real life experience I had and although I'm known to stretch the truth a little, the following is as-is!

It was a bright Sunday morning....possibly 'coz it was 12pm...but nevertheless it was bright and it was well....uhm...(ok ok let's just take it as 11:59am)...morning! I had finally decided to have a haircut after 2 months. Those of you who don't know me, this is normal my hair doesn't grow much...and to those who do...."I DO have hair!!!". A friend of mine had suggested a certain hairdresser in South Delhi and said they did a wonderful job and wasn't too expensive (by this he meant it didn't cross 500Rs). I was in a mood to spoil myself so I thought I'd give it a shot.

An hour long auto ride and I was in Vasant Vihar. A quick bite at McDonald's and there I was at the store, wondering if I should go ahead and give them a challenge of a lifetime....ie. to cut my hair! My decision...as you may have all guessed...was to go in after all.

I walked in and my first query was with their charges. They had different rates for a hair cut and a cut with a wash inclusive, the miser in me decided to choose the former and I was stuffed in one of those fancy chairs in front of a mirror that did anything but show you your reflection. The barber (uhm....I learnt later that he was a 'hairdresser' and took quite a huge offense when I called him a 'barber' out loud...yes yes...and I've learned never to mess around with a man who cuts your hair and is armed with a couple of sharp objects) said my hair was too messy and required a wash...$$$$ was the only thing in my mind then...but I remind you once again...I never mess with a guy armed with sharp objects...

The pesky assistant kicked off his long and irritating conversation just about then. His questions ranged from "Where did you cut your hair before this?", "Are you losing hair?", "Sir, your blackheads are showing", "Are you from Delhi?","How much do they charge for a haircut in Bangalore?","Why are you looking so tired sir? Shall I suggest a facial?".....little was he to know that I was plotting a murder...the victim...as you may have guessed was right in front of me...all I needed was to distract the hairdresser for a few seconds and arm myself with one of his weapons....alas...it was not meant to be :(

I was stuffed back in the chair and was now staring at my face...which looked tired....and voila...enter hairdresser with a utility belt stuffed with scissors of various shapes and sizes and a wicked smile on his face. He observed his canvas for a while...and flinched...this was probably not one of his lucky days...he spent a whole 10 minutes staring at my hair...and occasionally shaking his head wondering why he was selected on this bright day with his toughest challenge. He finally decided to make conversation and asked me "What would you like?" to which I said that anything that looks presentable is fine. There was a momentary smile and then he went back to observing his canvas. And then without any notice, he picked up his scissors and was at work.

I spent the whole time observing how this artist was working on his masterpiece (if you may call it that). A clip here and a clip there, it was amazing seeing him go...after 15 minutes of intense struggle, he was done! The pesky assistant was now back and he began his questions once again as he banged my head into position (this is a certain thing exclusive to Indian barber shops...oops hair stylists :P). The hairdresser was back and he put on a hair styling cream and whacked my hand when I attempted to style it myself. He had a look that would probably get a lion to run for cover and once again I remind you...sharp objects. The final question that the pesky assistant left me with was "Sir, do they tip in Bangalore?"...My answer (quite predictable).."No we don't"...to which his immediate response was "But out here they tip a lot"...I smiled...He insults me about my hair, my face, my poor nose and then bugs me every two seconds with totally meaningless questions and now has the nerve to ask for a tip....yea right! The armed man took over and led me to the cashier. I was forced to pay for the wash as well and I made a quick exit...watching as I left, a tear on the hairdresser's eye ('coz of his miserable failure) and the disappointed face of the pesky assistant.

I get home and finally got to see myself in a mirror....sigh...and once again I'm in a loss of words....and hair!!