Jul 22, 2011

Spicy cooking

Whilst the world at large fretted about the solvency of Greece and the United States, were traumatized by the Mumbai blasts and crowed about the fall of Murdoch, my attention was drawn to the screaming headlines on Page 3 of the Arab Times: HOUSEMAID ARRESTED FOR RUINING SPONSOR's FAMILY THROUGH MAGIC.

Before I go on further, let me admit that the world at large was probably more focused on the break-up of J-Lo and Marc than any of the above.

The incident, reported by "agencies", involved an Asian housemaid who was detained by the police following a complaint by her Kuwaiti lord and master that "there was a high degree of confusion" in his house and the maid was likely doing black magic. Apparently, his children were walking around dazed and confused which was attributed to strange chanting and other magic being practiced in the kitchen (the deliciousness of the Gobi Manchurian was also attributed to the same).

In case any of you worldly nay-sayers have started snickering at this, let me assure you that the case is closed. It was reported that "during interrogation, the maid is said to have admitted to this act". She now awaits deportation (or will use black magic to beam herself back home, though the police have reportedly seized all her magic charms). Inshallah, the man's children will now no longer look dazed. Stay tuned.

Jun 28, 2011

With God on our side

He first called his son. In the boy’s time zone, school had not yet let out for the day so he left a voicemail. “I am leaving now son. It will be difficult to call the next few months so we’ll just do that Skype thing, okay. Be good at school and enjoy the ball game. Love you, bye!”

He then made a second call. This time, he did not need to leave a voicemail. He discussed mundane everyday things, offered some advice on how to get the computer up and running (“and if that does not work, call Dave”). He ended with “Don’t forget your medications, and remember to refill them when you run low. Awright, gotta go now, I’ll see you soon, dad”.

He hung-up and went back to horsing around with his buddies who were all being deployed to Bagram Air Force Base.

It’s a scene that Hollywood has used often with great success, but I found it to be even more effective without the dramatic pauses and the violins. Maybe it was the 3-D effect, since it happened in the seat next to mine on an airplane to Kuwait.

My other neighbor had trouble with his headphones. He had an old-fashioned one that did not work with the socket on his hand rest. My set was missing from my seat pocket and you cannot get an United airlines attendant to help you even if you offer a bribe. My first neighbor offered to share his airline headphones, since he had a personal one. When he took it out however, we found that the cord was frayed and on the verge of snapping. He grinned, displayed a gold cap. “War is hell, ain’t it?” he said.

A friend of mine thinks that everything reminds me of a song by Bob Dylan. I would like to keep that delusion alive, so here goes:

".....the reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side"