Today in our RTHA(railways tunnels harbours and airports) class, there was a quote on screen from an IATA(International air transport association) magazine which said “3 kms of rail gets you downton, 3 kms of runway gives you the world” and all that came to mind was how that is the most profoundly awesome parenting advice I’ve ever heard.
Well, since I got this phone, chief among the many questionable things I’ve done with it are install and regularly mess around with photography on instagram. Here’s a random bunch from around Muscat.
Qurum beach road (with the shit filtered out of it :p)
Midway through putting up our tree
I don’t think they sell cards for these anymore….
Post squash chill out (^.^). Because ‘eff you exercise, that’s why.
Walking around taking pictures, I know not why…..
In an arcade :O . Yes they still have those.
Poker night. Instagrammed.
Here’s the thing. It was incredibly hard to keep up with my blogworld this semester. It was.
Now, I have myself an s3 and a wordpress app…
Obviously posting from a smartphone will more mean tumblr-esque posts…
Luckily that will be offset by my inability to stick to a point for 5 minutes. So everyone who finds my cluelessness playing out to the tune of 500 characters can chill out.
That said, there will be more pictures and short posts with random thoughts so anyone who might find that too spammy…. you’ve been warned.
Also, I’m on twitter 24/7 @AntonyJustin1.
My default state may be compared to that of a shut in. I love spending time by myself, I am perfectly comfortable and free around my thoughts and for that reason they feel free to fuck with me as they please.
However, I am also smart enough to know that no matter how good of an understanding I develop of myself over time (it’s not a finished thing), I’m never going to be able to keep up with where the world is headed from the confines of my room and mind. For this reason and because I realize what being in situations that are not in your comfort zone does for you, I’ve taken up blogging.
See, I don’t like the life of a social bee, yet that is what I seem to have evolved in to as my way of coping with my lack of comfort with being around people ALL the time. There’s only a certain level of closeness I’m comfortable with for a person I’ve known for a specific amount of time and that’s that. As a result I’m there in every social circle and yet never fully in any. It’s a sad, sad thing to acknowledge but the truth is, this blog being my attempt to discern a middle ground of rational behavior that people accept in a social setting and one that works for me in the long term, I have to acknowledge the extremes; as that of solid comfort with myself accompanied by an unwillingness to spend too much time with the thoughts of others and flitting from group to group but never really tying in with anyone.
Bottom line, I’ve overreached in an attempt to counter my tendency to cocoon but I’m now finding middle ground. Why? Why bother trying to fit in? Because I remember a time when I used to understand the rules. I’m getting back in the huddle.
There is no such thing is beauty. No, really, there isn’t. There is only that which you see in a moment, make your peace with, in the next and think back fondly to thereafter. That which you first saw, it wasn’t beauty but a spark. A spark of life. A violent, bewildering, free thing. It’s as ugly as the manure under a flower, as rotten and as despicable. Then the seed blooms and beauty presents as something your mind has manifested as that manure’s present and by extension it’s past and entire life.
India is a mess, it’s rotten, it’s unruly and despicable. It was never a thing of great beauty or a poetic battleground for justice, that is what we choose to see it as for all the ugliness of death and corruption and greed and deceit that it flowers over. We are where we are. I am in it.
There’s a reason I still call Bombay ‘Bombay’ and not Mumbai. Russell Peters explains it best: It took us about half a century to realize that ‘Hey, wait a second! We can call this place whatever we want to#%@!^#’. If it takes that long to gather up the collective genitalia, then sorry but I’m not listening to a word you have to say. Bombay it is and that’s where I spent a month this summer interning with L&T ECC (Larsen and Toubro, Engineering construction and contracts div.). No it wasn’t a paid internship, it actually wasn’t so much of an internship as it was an industrial training thing…… Obviously, seeing as I had no actual job skills before this summer. Anyways, this wasn’t my first trip to Bombay; it was the second trip after a previous one about a decade ago, the last one having been a five day trip last September. This time around I was there for a full month, and had an hour and a half long commute both ways and worked from mon-sat. Among other things, my best friend from school, Prateek was also there interning with another firm and so we got to hang out quite a bit too.
My own pics taken during that one month were all, consistently bad. If you do want to see some rather good pictures depicting life in Mumbai, I’ve also found an expat blogger based in Mumbai whose posts are simply brilliant. Do take a look.
I’ve had to edit most of my photos and here they are:
That’s what I saw when I looked out the 8th floor window on the first day. I was staying with my Uncle who’s in the Navy. Navy nagar as it is known is the southernmost tip of Bombay. The lighthouse from that window is it. As anyone who has been to Bombay will tell you, Colaba causeway is among the busiest places in Mumbai, filled with unrelenting traffic and crazy touristy types. Keep driving down the causeway 2 minutes from the end of the shopping segment and you’ve reached this incredibly quiet un-Mumbai like locale barely 5 minutes from the heart of the city. Another thing I’ve learnt is this; sure, you can Photoshop a sunrise….. Doesn’t mean you should.
That is where I did my Industrial training, well actually no, 95% of my time was spent in the office of which 80% was spent waiting for project managers to free up time and the rest reading briefs and contract documents, design drawings and all manner of things they could give us to keep us occupied. Larsen and Toubro is a massive, massive organization and I hadn’t realized just how massive till I spent a month with them. They have their hands in everything from road works to Nuclear power plants. They are pretty good at doing airports and have been/are involved in a bunch of airport constructions as the contractor or through joint ventures. It’s actually an Indian mnc set up by two Danish engineers in India in the 30’s.
I was working on the new Mumbai airport terminal’s construction project.
Mumbai is full of gorgeous old architecture like that, from British times. Victorian architecture is it? I dunno, my cousin who lives in Mumbai and is studying architecture was going on about this sort of thing. All I know is, that looks pretty damn cool.
That mosque out there in the sea which you can’t quite see because of my awesome photographical skill and my tendency to take pictures out of moving vehicles is called the Hajji….. somethingsomething. Ok I forgot the name but if you go over to Bronwyn’s blog and look at the header image, you can get a pretty good idea of what I cannot photograph, not in a million years. It’s quite an inspiring sight.
That’s the famous Leopold café. Established… I suppose around when they claim it was and an iconic Mumbai hangout, it’s been patronized by the crazy types for a long long time. It’s involved in some of the key moments of one of my favorite books, ‘Shantaram’ and even though I made sure I visited it on my last trip to Mumbai I ended up going there again with Prateek and a friend of his. It gained a bit more notoriety when it was targeted during the Mumbai terrorist attacks.
Earlier in the day, Prateek’s aunt had taken us out for lunch to this tiny little restaurant called Trishnas which was in the midst of this quaint little clump of old-ish buildings. Insanely good seafood. That was a pretty good Sunday actually, dinner was steak at the navy club, out exactly 3 feet away and 8 feet above the water at the southern tip of Mumbai. Ok, brilliant Sunday.
Like I said, I met up with Prateek and like the geniuses we are, we jumped at every chance we got to explore the fascinating, anything-can-happen, grimy reality of Bombay….. and decided to spend every single moment we got hanging out at a mall they call the Palladium for some reason. Ok so just the cafés and the pub…. And the food. But then again, that’s what we dooooo (^.^) .
Bombay’s famous marine drive and boy is it packed with people on a Sunday evening. Walked a bit up and down, caught up, enjoyed the scenery, inhaled the air… and then some. That would be the Sunset from Marine drive.
I was in Dubai over the summer and while it was not my first trip there, it was the first in a decade. So really, the first time since all the crazy shit went down…. Like just about 90% of everything Dubai is known for today. I got to experience the famous gridlock first hand, spent half a day inside the IKEA store, cricked my neck, got lost in a pseudo city was familiarized with Nini cooper.
Dubai’s international borders all have iris scanners as part of the security. What they do is link each retina with a passport. That’s supposed to put an end to international hit squads using Dubai to do their dirty business like that incident a few years ago where a hit on some terrorist type (allegedly) was caught on camera and about 10 forged passports of half a dozen nationalities were involved. Anyways, I was pretty happy after it was all done and I was across the border.
I once went on a trip to the turtle beach at Sur when I was in the 6th or 7th grade; it was a trip from school with my friends. When I got back, people were rather annoyed with the sheer number of pictures of random scenery, rocks and just about everything else, everything other than people. There was just one solitary picture of all of us testing the bed springs at the hotel. Clearly times have changed and I’ve started to find human photography as a tad bit more interesting than the rock option ( by very little, mind you) ….. narcissistic tendencies aside.
My head really isn’t shaped like that. *Scouts honor*
Me on the right, younger sibling on the left. The mall of the emirates houses Ski Dubai, yeah that crazy indoor ski slope. I thought I’d try it out before I actually got there….. as it turned out, there was no service to clean beginners off the wall at the end of the slopes and the other area with the ice slides were full of teeny tiny kids I would’ve squashed…..
One of the Dubai metro stations. I would’ve made love to that thing if it had been any smaller, I swear.
Hey! Will you look at that! Someone put up a giant dong in the middle of the desert!!
Seriously though, pretty damn cool.
That’s the fountain wall inside Dubai mall. Absolutely gorgeous thing, that. We stood there and took pictures from a hundred different angles.
Inside the Dubai mall aquarium. If you want to get a sense of what they’ve gone for while theme setting, get this: the aquarium offers three packages platinum, diamond and ultimate aside from the other diving and stuff…… since when did gold not make the cut?
Clearly the one meant to go on facebook.
With the cast of finding Nemo .
At the rear of the Dubai mall, the complex where the Burj Khalifa lies. We were there to see the fountain show and there was quite a crowd.
The lights, the water and the music; Whitney Houston that evening .
You know those tired old days when you’re propped up on your pillow, looking out at a grey sky, all manner of wrappers and empty packets littered on your bed? At some point, you’re going to crumple up some of that junk and take a toss at the bin sitting ….. in all probability, at the corner of the room farthest from you. Chances are you’ll miss and in time, you’ll haul your lazy ass out of bed and fix that half hearted attempt.
The garbage can’s full, your aim only as good as you think it is and any real chance of you making that shot stick in is if you go there and push it in yourself. Such is life.
I don’t know why I talk like this…… really have no ‘effin clue.