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Calculate your LIFE Score!

How’s life guys!

Now before you start bombarding me with stories about how miserable or how amazing your life is, please remember that ‘How’s life’ is only a greeting and not a question.  Actually if you come to think of it, life these days is very easy.  I mean, not even looking far back, if you just ask your parents, how life was in their days, you’d think that they lived just after the Stone Age.  If you remember how you used to adjust the antenna to get a TV signal, how you used to sleep on the terrace during summer vacations, ride on a wealthy friend’s new cycle to school, well then, you too are not that far off either.  And to think that even kids think Life is unfair if they don’t have a PSP…

So I thought, what would constitute a life really lived?  Have most of us in the current generation, even got a taste of what LIFE actually is? How much have you lived.

Here is my latest Creation – ‘A LIFE Score Calculator’:  30 Questions to tell you, precisely How Much Life have you lived?

Just award yourself the assigned points for each question that you answer in a ‘Yes’.  If you can, please add short descriptions of what you think are the most interesting events in your life.  Please note that the assigned points are the highest you can score for each question.  Results are in %age.

Calculate Your LIFE Score!

Two Point Questions:

  1. Have you ever been in a Flood / Cyclone?
  2. Had a permanent tattoo?
  3. Had a surgery?
  4. Been through High School?
  5. Failed an exam?
  6. Read a book?
  7. Delivered a speech / Played a sport in front of a large audience?
  8. Have been arrested?
  9. Been injured in a fist fight / assaulted on the street?  (School brawls don’t count)
  10. Ran from home for at least a night?
  11. Been robbed or Robbed / someone or some place? (Yes, Shoplifting counts)
  12. Travelled on a train with NO Ticket?
  13. Been fired from a job?
  14. Drowned in a pond / river / sea and had to be rescued?
  15. Contested an election?

Four Point Questions:

  1. Have you been in an earthquake / tsunami / volcanic eruption? (Stranded in a city because of an ash cloud doesn’t count)
  2. Slept hungry / Borrowed for necessities?
  3. Had any body part amputed?
  4. Had an affair with more than one person at a time?
  5. Been discovered that you’re having an affair with more than one person?
  6. Have done embarrassing things when drunk?
  7. Beaten by the police?
  8. Been married?
  9. Divorced / re-married?
  10. Had a child?
  11. Shot someone with a gun / Been shot at?
  12. Bought a house with money you earned?
  13. Took at least a continuous week off work to do charity / social service?
  14. Took a back packing trip for at least a month in unknown lands?
  15. Bungee jumped / Scuba dived?

And if you noticed, if you have done all of the above, you still would’ve only lived 90% of your life.  Coz. You can never say you’ve lived your life to the full, as long as you’re still alive.

So go ahead, take it up, post it on your blog (Don’t forget to publicise me – the creator 😛 and Don’t forget to drop me a link in the comments)

My Score?  Well it is a measly 42%.  I think, I should get out more.

PS.  Do you think, I’ve missed out any Life changing events?

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Gender Sins – Typically me!

(Humble request: To be taken with a pinch of salt)

Ok, I’ve been tagged by Deeps, Hitchy and Masood, been dropped hints in comments and even threatened to take up this tag.  Why did I just not do the tag?  Well believe it or not, I was trying to be nice to the women folk all around reading my blog.  But since you asked for it, here are few of the things I might have done which I feel are so womanly 😛 

  1. I get bored of chess very easily.  I feel, it’s unnecessary to use my brains too much;
  2. Sometimes I’m in this mood where I’m frustrated for no reason and I make a fuss about the most trivial of things;
  3. On some days, just to get back, I irritate my wife by asking her to keep reminding me how much she loves me… every 5 minutes;
  4. And if she’s out of the house, I keep calling her every half an hour to check whether she’s hungry and remind her to keep drinking water;
  5. Sometimes I just hate it when my wife praises her dad;
  6. And sometimes, I am such a pathetic driver.  I don’t give indicators, am not sure of where I really want to go and meander along leisurely on the highway; Once even my car shouted at me to wake up and drive;
  7. I love gossip and I love reality tv;
  8. Sometimes, I don’t get intelligent jokes.  I keep waiting for the punch line… and then people around me start laughing;
  9. I spend 40 dollars for my haircut;
  10. On some days, I just feel so dumb.

Phew.  Now let the brickbats begin.  But before you leave this blog with a promise to never return again, please continue to read.  Whatever I’ve written above is just a silly joke.  It was just that I had read this tag so much and by the time I turned around doing it, almost all the ‘cool’ womanly traits like “I love cooking” and “I love pink shirts” had been taken.  So, instead of making it vanilla plain, I tried making it funny.  If you find this humor sick, please let this post pass, and don’t hold it against me.  Trust me, I do not believe any of the above traits to be strictly womanly (except maybe the one about not getting intelligent jokes! Oh ok, not again, sorry).

And also, I’m not tagging anyone coz. everyone has done it.  Please send me the pink shirts that were promised. Thanks.

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The ‘Lucky Chinese’ Tag

All this while, I was obsessed with 7 – the lucky number. And yet I remained unlucky.

Why? Because, the number 8 is considered to be lucky in China just like the number 7 is considered to be lucky in the west. And India is far closer to China than the west. Now I know why I am never lucky. I was not born on the 8th, neither in August, neither in the 80s or even in 78. My phone number doesn’t have an 8, neither does my house number. All these do have 7, though. I guess, I have enough evidence to make a conspiracy theory as to why the west exported 7 as a lucky number to the whole world. I think I can even sue them now.

Nevertheless, thanks to Nancy because of whom, I found this fact about the Number 8. So I take this tag and further it, in the hope that the God / Goddess (this is the result of reading too much of IHM) of 8 will finally accept my prayers…

8 TV shows I like to watch: (confession time)
1.  Bigg Boss (I download it every day and watch it on my laptop)
2.  Swayamwars (Rakhi and now the one coming soon… Rahul)
3.  Friends (at times)
4.  Seinfeld (at fewer times)
5.  I don’t watch any more TV
6.  Nope, still don’t
7.  Counting further won’t make me watch any more TV shows
8.  Are we done?

8 favourite places to eat (and drink)
1.  McDonalds – No Cheese, extra lettuce I’m lovin it
2.  Chin Chin, Satwa
3.  Any restaurant in Century Village for the ambience
4.  Harvester’s Pub, Crowne Plaza
5.  Peshawari Keema at Ravi Restaurant
6.  Fish and Kingfisher at Britto’s, Goa
7.  Breakfast at Poonam Nasta House, Adipur (I know, none of you would know what I’m talking about but this is the first place I visit as soon as I reach home for some awesome Dal Poori and Alu Tiki)
8.  The garden outside Baracudda beach resort after shopping from the Wine shop there 🙂

8 things I look forward to
1.  The New Year and the work deadlines that come with it…
2.  Learning rock climbing (But I keep postponing doing this)
3.  The next private sector holiday (After Moharram, there isn’t one for the next 6 months I guess)
4.  Friday. No actually, Thursday afternoon
5.  Seeing Yuvaan & Hayaa join school and enjoy it as much as they enjoy play school
6.  Seeing the kids learn a new thing, almost everyday
7.  The CAs cricket match on Friday
8.  Completing the promise of No Shopping for myself till 1st March 2010

8 things that happened yesterday
1.  Watched City of Life, the UAE’s first feature film. Enjoyed it.
2.  Spoke to two stuck up old Brit ladies in the theatre who thought they should’ve been allowed in without having to wait in the queue even though the tickets were sold out
3.  Avoided the craving to have Ice-cream after dinner even though my wife asked me ten times
4.  Got wet in the rain while coming back from office
5.  Got stuck in very bad traffic just 5 minutes from home
6.  Downloaded a Bigg Boss 3 episode (Actually, this happens every day)
7.  Fell asleep while putting Yuvaan off to sleep (and forgot to keep an alarm for today morning)
8.  Woke up in the middle of the night and set the alarm

8 things I love about winter
I hate winters except when it’s the Dubai winter which is more like the spring.
1.  Driving with the windows down
2.  The parks and barbeques
3.  The camping trip and the beach visits
4.  Feeling comfortable wearing suits and ties (Have to wear them even when it is 50 degrees)
5.  Standing in the balcony and showing kids the rain
6.  Sleeping with the window open without air-conditioning
7.  A morning drive on the weekend (though it rarely happens. Weekends are for sleeping, no?)
8.  The absence of body odour at crowded public places

8 things on my wishlist
1.  Travelling all across India backpacking… alone (coz. my wife hates the idea or maybe with Yuvaan when he’s old enough)
2.  Backpacking anywhere… alone
3.  Getting a Diving license
4.  Getting some job as a free lancer writing something… anything.
5.  Visiting Everest base camp (Actually, if I had the time and motivation to train, and the money to pay the bill, I’d love to attempt a climb. But I know it’ll never happen so being reasonable, a base camp visit would be good enough)
6.  A Harley
7.  Chrysler 300 (Not now but after a few years)
8.  Winning a big lottery in Dubai

8 things I am passionate about
1.  Work (as in what I do)
2.  Movies
3.  Writing… crap
4.  India
5.  Ensuring the kids grow up to be good human beings
6.  Making a positive difference to as many people’s lives as possible in whatever way
7.  Preaching tolerance
8.  Passion… lol

8 words or phrases I use often
1.  No?
2.  Thank you, Shukran
3.  Wow
4.  Awesome
5.  Babbu / Gudda
6.  Umma de do, pappa ko umma de do
7.  almost
8.  seriously

8 things I learnt from the past
1.  Money isn’t everything. And you can never have enough. (Though I know this as a fact, it doesn’t stop me from wanting more. But thankfully, I’m at least satisfied)
2.  People love to Hate
3.  Grades / marks / percentages are so overrated
4.  I was often told, Studying CA is the most difficult. Once you pass, life will be easy. Discovered that passing CA was the easiest; the toughest part begins after you pass.
5.  You’ll never be able to buy at the LOWEST and sell at the HIGHEST
6.  Luck truly depends on stars; Some people never win and some always do
7.  I’m NOT Lucky in Gambling
8.  But I don’t know when my luck might change. So I should keep trying 😛

8 places I would love to go, visit or see
1.  All over India, backpacking
2.  Maldives (Diving)
3.  Everest Base Camp
4.  Rainforests in Malaysia (Trekking)
5.  Big 5 in Africa with the kids
6.  Natural wonders in New Zealand
7.  My dad’s home in Karachi, Pakistan
8.  Goa, again (and again and again and again)

8 things I currently need or want
1.  Contacts (as in contact lenses)
2.  Time
3.  A good nursery for the kids
4.  Sleep (I always need sleep)
5.  A tummy trimming device; something that makes me get 6 packs without exercise (Ok, even 4 packs would do)
6.  A Business Development Executive (for office)
7.  A good head massage
8.  Sleep (Did I already say that? I’m really sleepy)

And I need to tag 8 people…

The first 8 people to leave a comment are tagged. No, seriously. I’ll add your names to this post once you comment !

As promised, the ones who bit are…

1.  Aarti
2. Swaram *Luckily for her, she’s already done it*
3. Vee *He’s done it as well*
4. ISH
5. Pixie
6. Hitchwriter
7. Lubna
8. Monika

Ok All of you, get going !!!
And the ones after the first 8, you’re free to do it as well 🙂

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A to Z

I’m sorry I know I haven’t done a lot of tags that you’ve bestowed me with. I’m trying slowly and gradually, i’ll finish all of them. Vee tagged me this one. Since my son has learnt his ABCs in playschool, he sings it loud everyday, especially the part – ELLO MENO P. So thanks to him, I didn’t have much trouble in doing this tag…

A – Available/Single?
Err… Umm… Not Single… But never unavailable…

B – Best friend?
Depends on the activity I’m looking forward to. Movies with my wife, Drinking and cards with others, camping with others, coffee and conversations with others. Can’t do everything with the same best friend.

C – Cake or Pie?
Neither but if you insist… Cake.

D – Drink of choice?
Water, Beer (Corona, Kingfisher) Red Wine (In no particular order)

E – Essential item you use every day?
Toothbrush with paste giving my breath freshness – (talk to me baby) I even gave a toothbrush to my gf as a gift so that she would think of me every morning 🙂

F – Favorite colour?
God, this sounds like those slam books I used to fill in 5th standard.

G – Gummy Bears or Worms?
No, I think 4th standard.

H – Hometown
Adipur (Kachchh) Love that place. I try to be there every year during Navratri.

I – Indulgence?
No, can’t be explicit. So I’d say Books, Movies, Cards (teen patti – the desi version of poker)

J – Jealous or Benign?
Benign. (Obviously)

K – Kids & their names?
Yuvaan & Hayaa (My brother’s daughter but she calls me Pappa as well – Chotu pappa)

L – Life is incomplete without?
People

M – Marriage date?
26 Nov. Unfortunately will be remembered forever for as a dark day for India.

N – Name? Your real name!
Rakesh

O – Oranges or Apples?
Mangoes

P – Phobias/Fears?
Somehow, I don’t seem to have any Phobias yet.

Q – Quote for today?
Not only for today but for everyday – Live the moment

R – Reason to smile?
If I could make someone else smile

S – Season?
Anything but cold depressing winters (In Dubai however, Winters are the best time)

T – Tag 3 People?
The first three comments [Now come first 🙂]

U – Unknown fact about me?
is unknown for a reason 😉

V – Vegetable you don’t like?
Love vegetables, maybe dislike Bitter Gourd (Karelas) but again depends on how is it prepared.

W – Worst habit?
Limited concentration. I get bored of stuff pretty soon.

X – X-rays?
Back, molar

Y – Your favorite food?
Plenty – My wife’s Mutton or Chicken Biryani (as well as a few restaurants here), Khavda’s Rasmalai, Bhindis, Nawab’s Mutton soup, Moti Mahal’s Chicken Kali Mirch soup, Tasty Bites Chicken Shawarma, Pizza at Go Bananas, brownie with Vanilla ice cream and hot choc. Sauce (especially at Chillis or Yoko sizzler), I could go on and on…

Z – Zodiac sign?
23 July (Some books say Cancer, some say Leo, I think Human)

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First Born Daddy Tag!

Recently, there was a tag which I thought was very feminist. The First Born Tag. Women went on about their first borns and we men seemed to be left out. It even felt weird thinking whether to even comment details about whether it was normal or a C-sec. And then, since it is an equal world (or so the women who rule us say), Solilo tagged me on this one asking my wife to do it. But I guess, she suffers from what I call “BSS (Blogger Spouse Syndrome)” – a condition wherein the spouse of a blogger develops a jealousy induced allergy towards the blog. So actually, I thought of doing it myself. Felt weird but after almost two weeks of being away from my wife and son, I guess, it got to me. Time to chuck the corona chronicles and be a loving husband and doting daddy :).

1) Was Your First Pregnancy Planned?
Yep, my wife’s first pregnancy was planned; And planned with a lot of preparation. I stopped all vices (didn’t have many btw). I stopped drinking beer / wine at least 6 months in advance. I didn’t tell this to anyone, else they thought I was crazy but wanted to make sure, not a drop remains in my system. I know it was just psychological but was satisfying.

2) Were You Married At That Time?
Yes, married for 3 full years.3) What Were Your Reactions?
Happy obviously, and Proud since this is the ultimate proof of manhood. He he

4) Was Abortion An Option For You?
Nope.

5) How Old Were You?
My wife was… (wait I can’t reveal her age). I was 30. My wife is 7 years younger!

6) How Did You Find Out You Were Pregnant ?
Home Test Kit but my wife was not convinced unless she saw it herself on the ultrasound.

7) Who Did You Tell First?
My brother and bhabhi first of all coz. we live together, so if they don’t count, My parents back in India and then her parents at a dinner.

8) Due Date?
07/07/2007 (My fascination with the number 7 was thus reinforced).

9) Did You Have Morning Sickness?
My wife actually lost weight in the first trimester because of morning sickness and her lack of desire to eat. She used to drink so much Digene that I thought my baby would be born with Pink hair.

10) What Did You Crave?
She craved for anything that was not at home at 12 in the night. And more than that, when we went out to find that elusive snack, she’d be just happy with the drive around town at night.

11) Who/What Irritated You The Most ?
Dunno really but she used to be upset a lot of times without reason.

12) What Was Your First Child’s Sex?
Boy.

13) Did You Wish You Had The Opposite Sex Of What You Were Getting?
My Bhabhi just delivered a girl a month before my wife’s delivery. So honestly, I was hoping for a boy to complete the family.

14) How Many Pounds Did You Gain Throughout The Pregnancy?
I guess, she gained around 12 to 14 kgs in all. And now she’s lost all of it and more 🙂

15) Did You Have A Baby Shower?
No.

16) Was It A Surprise Or Did You Know?
Not Applicable.

17) Did You Have Any Complications During Your Pregnancy?
None of the medical kind. But a lot of complicated thoughts seemed to occur to her.

18) Where Did You Give Birth?
A Hospital (Al Wasl) here in Dubai.

19) How Many Hours Were You In Labour?
A long long time. I mean, don’t really know when she was taken to the labour room but was very long. I was in Amsterdam at the time. Wait wait, there’s some explanation required here before you start cussing me. My trip to Amsterdam was purely business and I was supposed to be back a good week before the due date. Everything was going fine till I left. And even when she was in the hospital on 28th, I felt, I’ll make it before him. But he’s my Son. How could he let go of this opportunity? After all, this means, every year, my wife will make me give him a really expensive b’day gift (in addition to all the gifts I’ve to give her for managing this on her own) (and yes, in addition to all the times she gets to tell me “you weren’t there” in jest or otherwise).

20) Who Drove You To The Hospital/Birth Center?
My brother, mother, father, her father, mother, grandmother and brother – the whole Gang drove her.

21) Who Watched You Give Birth?
Her Mom. My new friends watched me listen and react to the news in Amsterdam when I was in the train on my way to the airport.

22) Was It Natural Or C-Section ?
Natural.

23) Did You Take Medicine To Ease The Pain?
Yes, She called me from the room asking if she could opt for Epidural. I said yes. I didn’t know what else to say.

24) How Much Did Your Child Weigh?
Around 2.5 kgs

25) When Was Your Child Actually Born ?
29th June – 6.20 pm.

26)What Was Your Reaction When The Doctor Announced The Sex Of The Baby?
My mother in law told me on the phone. I somehow knew it would be a boy so wasn’t surprised. I was almost expecting her to say “It’s a boy” and she did.

27) What Was Your First Reaction On Seeing The Baby?
I saw him almost 24 hours after he was born. Strangely, my first reaction was “he doesn’t look one bit like me”. I was all the while in the flight expecting him to have a longish face, loads of hair and droopy eyes but he was the exact opposite – Chubby round face, no hair, not even eyebrows and big eyes (like his mom). He completely resembled my brother in law.

28) Did You Cry?
No. I mean, I thought, I should cry but I didn’t feel like. I just felt happy like crazy. I was scared of hugging him too tight so was controlling myself. He seemed so fragile. So I just took out a hand of his and was trying to make him hold my finger. In the process, he woke up and started crying. I didn’t cry.

29) What Did You Name Him?
We thought long and hard about the name. He was born under special stars so the naming ceremony had to happen after 40 days instead of the normal 6 days. I didn’t want a name that ended with “sh” coz. I thought those names were out of fashion – Rajesh, Rakesh, Suresh, Ramesh, Haresh, Paresh, Rupesh etc. etc. I wanted to have a name that’ll be in style after 20 odd years. So we took the entire 40 days to decide. Yuvaan, it was. Btw, these naming sites on the internet are all crap. Out of the 10,000 names that they claim, you can’t find one descent name on the alphabet you’re looking for. Almost all the names there, are either too complicated and ancient or too Spartan and common.

30) How Old Is Your First Born Today?
Today he is 20 and half months old and he’s away with his Mom in India, celebrating Holi and poking his tongue at me!

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25 Revealing Statements on a Truth Serum

Goofy Mumma injected me with a Truth Serum. I was reeling under its effects and blurting out truths about myself. But then IHM gave me an even higher dose. I ended up revealing 25 facts about myself.

Btw, Sakshi confronted me with a list of questions during this serum induced state but I couldn’t listen straight so I just said what came to my mind. Hope most of your questions are answered as well Sakshi :).

  1. When I was in school, I thought I was a batting genius but wasn’t even selected for my class cricket team. Few years later, forming our own team, we entered a day night tournament. I also considered myself a bowling genius by then. I got hit for 25 runs in my first over.
  2. When I was a kid, I stole match boxes from my home and sold them back to the grocery to earn 25 paise each.
  3. I have a streak for Gambling. I love cards, have tried lotteries, cricket, matka, vending machines, roulette, stocks etc. Fortunately, have learnt to curb these instincts.
  4. I hate sightseeing. I’d prefer lazing in the sun or an interesting activity any day over visiting parks, lakes, sunset points etc. My wife is the exact opposite. She thinks lazing around in the sun is such a waste of a holiday. I love adventure, she loves Europe.
  5. I love bhindi (lady finger) in any form. I’ve also noticed that those who love bhindi are usually good at maths.
  6. I love carrying my communicator everywhere so that I can keep writing whatever comes to my mind. Most of this post was written on it and the craziest ideas occur to me when I’m on the thinking seat when I’m downloading.
  7. I try and end with the number 7 for no apparent reason. Both my vehicles in India were numbered 3007, my mobile number ended with 007 and in Dubai, I choose a mobile number which ends with 7.
  8. I’ve become very sensitive since I became a father. Earlier most of the stuff didn’t affect me much. But now, I’ve a lump in my throat at the slightest emotional excuse.
  9. I drink tea only on Friday mornings at home and only if my wife makes it (with cardamom and ginger).
  10. I’ve failed once in my life in an exam – CA Final and the subject was TAX. That is why probably, I love my work in Dubai J. And ya, I also failed my driving test once.
  11. I missed my typing exam in the 10th standard because I forgot about it. I used to bunk typing classes and go and play video games. On the day of the exam as well, I was playing video games. Thankfully, I was allowed another chance by the typing center.
  12. But I always used to win debates and elocutions during school and college and once even one a trophy for my college at State level competition held at H.L. College, Ahmedabad. My senior won 1st while I won 3rd place and our college got the trophy.
  13. I always had a very strong opinion about things and I argued a lot when I was in college. But someday, while arguing, I told a friend, Life is not a debate competition. Actually I said it to him but it struck me harder. Ever since, I’ve started considering other viewpoints a lot more seriously. Can’t say that has made me wiser, but has definitely confused me a lot.
  14. Our favourite pastime during college was sitting at the corner shop, sipping pepsi while munching on Sing Bhujia.
  15. I and one of my friends were the only two guys who rode cycles in college. We bought those Hero Hawk cycles together during second year.
  16. I guess, my only self-indulgence is I spend 40 dollars (US) on my haircut.
  17. I hate the fact that I’ve become very materialistic in life.
  18. I so wish to go on a vacation alone, loose myself in a beach town like Goa or Phuket for a month, living as a paying guest and roaming around wearing shorts and tees on a rented bike, lazing on the beach, reading etc. etc. I wanna do this one day before I’m old.
  19. Though I’m not so much of an extrovert, I love talking to strangers – in the train, in the lift etc. Especially I love talking to tourists. I’ve given a lift to tourists twice in Dubai after striking a conversation while waiting somewhere.
  20. I hate shaving during holidays.
  21. I hate winters.
  22. I love dancing in weddings / baraats. Any baraat where I’ve been present, I’d be the one dancing in the front (except my own).
  23. I enjoy watching Bigg Boss (Can’t believe I confessed that).
  24. At times on weekends (Fridays), If I’m lazing around at home and not going out, I err… skip my bath. (God help me, the truth serum is working)
  25. I have a very high opinion of myself. I think God send me as his gift to the world and I try to prove him right.

Now as per the rule, I’ve to tag 25 people. But the thing is I’m not popular enough to know 25 bloggers and I enjoy knowing you bit by bit through your posts. Though I’d love to read really embarrassing facts about you. So whosoever is Game enough to be injected by the truth serum, please inflict it upon yourself and drop me a comment letting me know about your misery.

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