April 06, 2008

The Ultimate Competition

My lifestyle goes through dramatic changes every few months. 11 months ago, I was checking into a hotel in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, now I’m in a hotel suite on Sheikh Zayad road in Dubai. This is by the way, a road I call the Nile of Dubai. The entire city has decided to expand along the sides of this road. In fact, if you travel down the entire length of the road, you will pretty much have seen the new face of Dubai. The other night I went up to the swimming pool and from the rooftop I could see Dubai beneath my feet. It was almost a similar feeling 11 months ago, only then all the neighbourhood buildings were smaller when compared to mine. Here I could see Burj Dubai, the Tallest tower in the world by far, and growing raise its head almost as a gesture of pointing fingers to someone up there in the heavens. Anyway, as I was changing for the jacuzzzi, I couldn’t help but chuckle. It would be good fun to do a comparison. And so I did. Here are the results –

7:00 am – in Muzaffarpur you wake up to go into the bathroom, which typically is an Indian style one, unless of course you are a big shot regular, or perhaps the local politician or the local don (if they are different) or if you are a foreigner. Here normally they would have the western toilet. But wait. Here too, there’s a distinction. My guest bathroom is the ‘Indian’ one, with its water sprouter as well as its tissues. But my own bathroom has only tissues, no water jet and obviously no mugs. Now that’s the complete western if you might please call it so.

8:00 am – Sales has taught me the importance of breakfast. You almost never get to have a decent lunch when you are out in the markets. So whether I like it or not, I try not to skip breakfast. So 11 months ago, I forced extremely unhealthy puri bhaji made of pure ghee down my throat day after day and here being a vegetarian I push extremely healthy bowls of fruits and cereals down my throat. But whether healthy or unhealthy, if the menu remains the same almost every other day, you tend to make an effort to actually push it down.

Market Trips – 11 months ago, I would have a nice comfortable rickshaw taking me to every market worth its salt. Here normally, is the AC car. But there, I could actually put the salesman behind me and ride away to glory on his bicycle, here probably if I try to drive, I’ll get arrested.

Spa and Sauna – It’s tough for an Indian to appreciate Sauna or Spa. Why would someone in their right senses, living so close to the tropics want to go ahead and inflict torture upon himself or herself? But the good thing is that here while I have to climb up to the roof top for the spa, my room in Muzaffarpur had a natural spa. In the late nights of an Indian summer when the room was almost on fire, you perspire enough to make it feel like a natural spa. I tried not to use the cooler much there. I continue to try use the ACs in both my rooms as less as possible here.

Swimming pool – Villa Rotana Suites has a rooftop swimming pool. During the floods in Bihar, Hotel President had developed a puddle on the terrace. I could splash about there. I splash about here. There I could look into the skies for a speck of sunshine and hope that my boss remembered I existed. Here I look into the skies to wish spectacles were not needed while lounging in a unisex pool.

10:00 pm – 11 months ago, I used to go to bed knowing fully well that I might feel extremely tired next day morning as the bed is really uncomfortable. Today I am going to bed knowing fully well that I might feel extremely tired tomorrow morning as the bed is too comfortable.

But while the competition was neck to neck till now, guess how I decided the winner. A simple question was asked…

If the President of India visited either of these cities and decided not to stay in a government accommodation guess who’d have a greater chance of having a room beside the President?

That seals it.


Anonymous said...

Muzzafarpur won right?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

Was there ever a doubt? :)

Vernon said...

what was that line about the spectacles again?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Vernon - Spectacles - A pair of lenses for correcting defective vision.

While swimming you can't wear specs, so you don't take them to the lounge. As a result...