Dubai. The entire city is a man-made miracle. Its a fine example of what great vision, honest leadership and innovative business models can build. Its beautiful, clean and safe as any city can possibly be. And we’re sad to leave!
We had our own challenges moving in and out. But the journey in between was full of memories. I can’t express what it means to arrive in a new country and find an old friend Continue reading The sun sets on Dubai. Adios!
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” ― Kurt Vonnegut
After two phenomenal years of launching apps at the Landmark Group’s Web Team, I’ve decided to move on. But before that, I wanted to thank the incredible people and fabulous products that made this journey truly remarkable.
My B2C Debut
Firstly, a big thanks to Arjit, Ziyaad, Daniel and Savitar for sensing potential in my B2B Product skills and entrusting me to lead consumer products. Also Derrick, for offering a wide range of responsibilities ranging from E-commerce to Loyalty strategy, Continue reading Goodbye Web Team
This day, 11 years back, was when Mumbai came to a standstill. Rainfall reached the 1000mm mark after showering 22 hours non-stop. Power was cut, people were stranded and cars were submerged. For the first time, the Mumbai Airport remained closed for more than 30 hours. It was my third year studying engineering away from home, at the hostel. Below is my experience surviving alone and getting back home as jotted that day in my 2005 journal.
26th July, 2005 – Day #1
14:00 Heavy rains have just begun. College was as usual. Dad reported heavy rains in Mumbai. Reached hostel & went to sleep.
17:00 Woke up. No water supply. No electricity since 15:00. Water has risen 1/2 ft above the road. Trains have already stopped.
19:00 It’s raining heavier. Water level up to 3.5 Ft in some places. Going for early dinner. No way to speak to Mumbai with mobile & landline networks already down.
20:00 Finished dinner at the only one open. Shopkeepers are busy applying plaster of paris or white cement on the shutters. Water level has risen to 1.5 ft on the road.
21:00 People living in the A-type houses & B-type apartment ground floors have begun evacuating as water level inside the rooms is above 3 ft. Nothing else to do, so off to sleep.
27th July, 2005 – Day #2
01:30 Heard people screaming & animals crying. Lot of noise in the hostel. Woke up to find water was already 1.25 ft into the house, about 4.5 ft above road level. Together with the boys, we started moving the landlord’s refrigerator, washing machine, dressing table, television, computer, clothes, mattresses, grinder & other things to the 1st & 2nd Floors. Continue reading Flashback: The Mumbai floods of 2005
As I promised on the Musandam camping post, here’s a complete checklist for your next camping adventure. If you have any favorites that I missed, please note them under comments, and I’ll merge them back.
- Firewood/Coal briquetes*
- Matchbox/Jet flame*
- Lighting Fuel
- Greasing brush
- Plastic plate or metal containers
- Clamp grill (for smaller items like prawns & veggies)
- Cleaning brush
Food & Beverages
- Drinking water*
- Spare water*
- Laban/Milk (great to cool down your system)
- Garlic bread
- Bottle/can Opener
- Lemon juice
- Coffee sachets
- Swiss/Kitchen Knife
- Disposable plates/cutlery*
- Cooler box/Thermal bag
- Ice cubes
- Dish washing soap
- Hot water kettle
Long weekends are hard to find in the UAE. And with the weather getting better for a change, it was just the right time for camping. As amateurs, Balan & I picked up the entire kit from Lulu and packed it in the trunk. Yes, the camping list is planned for another post.
After a lazy start, we set on the road to Khasab via Ras Al Khaimah. We got a bit lost and instead landed on the road to Jabal Jais – the highest mountain in the UAE. It’s a 30 min detour that goes uphill through rocky mountains and serves a view from the not-so-high summit.
We headed back to RAK to join the coastal road and stopped by at a local bakery for a quick bite. The freshly baked pizza & assorted fatayer were just delectable – only to release that the delivery boy had baked them in absence of the chef 😉
Next stop was the border. On the UAE side, we had to park to get exit stamps. This is where they verify that the visa is eligible for visa-on-arrival in Oman. There’s an exit fee of 35Dh per head, only accepted via the e-Dirham card. So if you have one, carry it along. We were given a slip mentioning the number of people & vehicle number which we had to give at the UAE border exit.
We stopped again in about 100m at the Omani border to get our visas. Lucky for us, there were no queues. The visa fee of OMR 5 (~50Dh) is not accepted in Riyals, so we paid by card. A 30 day permit was stamped in exchange for the fee and a small form. Back in the car, Omani customs took a quick peep in the boot and let us go. 5 minutes in to Oman and the views were heavenly. We were just in time for sunset.
We kept driving on the coastal road for the next 40 kms and kept finding camping spots that we’d marked on GPS. We thought Continue reading Camping trip from Dubai to Musandam, Oman
After a saddening experience in Izmir, we were back in Istanbul for the last day of our Turkey trip. Weather was once again not reliable, but we still headed to Princes’ Islands after breakfast.
We took the cheapest ferry to Princes’ Islands for 6TL one way.
On the train from Selcuk, I was reading about how close Greece was to Izmir. With daily coast-to-coast ferries, I regretted not planning a trip despite of a valid Schengen visa. On arriving, we were all extremely hungry and headed to a cafe on the main street connecting Basmane station with the coast.
We noticed an unusual transition in the anthropological scene. Instead of an European influence, we noticed more Arabic features. We saw garment stores selling life jackets & tubes. Some suspicious men were walking in and out of the cafe. In a flash second, all dots connected in my head. Izmir was the starting point for refugee death boats headed to the Greek coast. The unraveling of facts and accompanying images only saddened us.
We woke up in the morning to go around the city, Continue reading Day 7: Saddened by Izmir’s refugee death boats