Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Memories of Dubai-Part III:

Thought for the day: A city is a large community where people are lonesome together.

‘They crawl out of the woodwork’- was my thought when I had spent hardly three months in the Purchasing Department. And, after 7.5
years, the thought still comes to mind every few days.

I’m referring to a group of people that I find unique to Dubai, whom we in the construction field term as suppliers ( also referred to as vendors) of the various products we buy. And, the number of people I’ve met in 7.5 years is probably double(or more) the number I met in my whole life prior to coming to Dubai.

The way this market works here, is very different from any other,including India.

Each average/ good supplier keeps at least three nationalities of people in his kitty/payroll- a gora(As we lovingly call Brits/Aussies/Europeans,etc), a local/ Arabic speaking gent and an Indian (generally Keralite) or two(Second one could be Mangalorean) or three(could be any of the rest- Gujju, for example- kept as inhouse salesman, but, used in emergency situations where people like me come from Gujarat).

So, if the client(for e.g. me) is Indian, in comes the Indian, who’ll ask about everything under the sun that he should not know, from family to origin to his friends/stay in Baroda(my hometown) to what I think of the political situation. First, of course, the dialogue begins with ‘Are you from Kerala?’ If I’m not and they feel I’m going to stick to my guns to get the best prices, in comes their second guy, preferably from in or around Gujarat. (Well, this used to be the situation initially-now, many people know me and know that this is not necessary..haha!) . But, yes, when they put the Gujju across the table from me, he begins jabbering away in Gujarati, assuming that Barodawaasi means a Gujarati, and, after I answer 2-3 times in English/ Hindi, realization dawns and the question comes’ But are you a Gujarati?’. When I say no, I’m from UP-Rajasthan side, the guy looks totally dazed for a few moments(Probably running over his company’s employees list to see if anyone’s from that part of India).

The same philosophy is used with the Goras and the locals/ Arabic speakers, when the client is from their part of the world, albeit a somewhat different approach( like pubbing, et al).

Maybe I’ll touch upon this interesting group of people again, later. Also want to write about my experiences on the road- walking, bus travel, things I’ll miss seeing on a daily basis, smiley people like restaurant waiters, etc.
Darn, I missed it. I was asleep till 730 AM, the first day of Eid. So, unlike last year, I couldn’t witness the sight of dozens of people standing outside the restaurant opposite my building, with white thermocole cups of tea in hand, sipping away contentedly like they’d been deprived of the beverage for months(and, not just one month). There were just 8-10 people when I went there and it wasn’t worth clicking a snap. (From the super contented look in their eyes, I think some of them were on their third or fourth cup)
Ah, we did have a nice extended weekend, though. From Friday to Monday. The time flew by, expectedly, with sorting and discarding and packing and so on. I was able to discard at least five kgs of papers- no, not mags/books, just papers- ole bills, welcome letters from credit card people, articles which I used to clip and keep, but, which did not seem appealing to me now, and so on and so forth. Who could imagine that 7.5 years leads to so much collection of stuff?

Next post looks at movies, serials, et al collected in this time.:)

Joke for the day:

A Kanjoos(miser) called a newspaper office and asked: ‘My father died. What would be the cost of an ad?’
Classifieds secretary: ‘Rs.50 per word.’
Kanjoos: Oh that’s too much. Ok, just write "Sohan Bhai Died".
Newspaper: Sir! It should be minimum 6 words!
Kanjoos: Oh ho! Let me think ..ok! ‘Sohan Bhai Died - Suzuki for Sale.’

Till next time, keep smiling.


Lazy Pineapple said...

nice:) waiting for u to move to Baroda and give some chatpati observations of Indians in their native land :)

Arunima said...

i also thought your mother tongue is gujarati. interesting experiences.

Media Junkie said...

lol about the joke.

the supplier things is quite funny - yup, that pretty much sums up my experiences too, even if its not the same sector.

I always get rankled when they ask 'Are you from Kerala?'

a) Do I look like a Keralite to you punk??!!!
b)There are another 25 states in the country, dumbass!

austere said...


5 kilo of raddi paper is quite respectable.

And the state-selection, of course.

Somber undercurrent to these posts? Slight?

Cynic in Wonderland said...

ailla you arent gujju? always thought u were too!

AmitL said...

Hi,LP-haha-chatpati observations is the right phrase!!Seeing that it's Gujarat,the land of the chatpata khaana,from dhokla to bhajiya to gaanthiya.I'm sure Austy agrees.
Hi,Arunima-tks..keep reading..more coming up.
Hi,MJ..haha-you have identical experiences? Gosh,I'd be scared to ask you that question now, specially after point no 2 of your comment..hehe!!:)
Austy,what hailaa?U didn't know?I'm sure u're kidding.Yup,somber undercurrent-slight,but naturally-7.5 yrs is not a short period.But,wait for some more news shortly.
Hi,Cyn-u2 go ailaa?Hahaha.:)