Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Vows So Dear

I'm assuming, that this is that time of year they call The Wedding Season. I base this conjecture on the fact that I just got back from watching two of my closest friend's tie the knot / bite the dust. The issue of Emirates Bride that just plopped on to my work desk, and the sudden flurry of brochures for a few upcoming Bridal Shows might also have something to with it.

Either that or this is The Divine’s way of telling me to buck up and get a move on. Eitherway I’m going to consider this as incentive to wipe off the dust on my neglected blog.

I personally love weddings. Not so much for the food (it’s hard to eat when you’re all dolled up anyway) or the fake pleasantries you have to air-kiss your way through, but the fact that the ceremony to most couples is the permission slip that entitles them to officially start living their life together.

But lamentably we’ve strayed quite far from the original concept of communion. The awarding of ‘I now announce you man and wife’ has morphed into a frightening likeness to the Oscars: ‘And the best wedding of the year goes to...!’

Long gone are the days when the very heart of a marriage was reflected onto the ceremony itself. The pageantry involved, the formalities so strictly adhered to in deference to one’s own preferences, and the pressure on the family to keep up with those darned Jones’s, has brought up the cost of an average wedding to an estimated $20,000 (excluding the expenses of the honeymoon and rings). It’s a wonder the hosts are able to enjoy the function at all, what with that scorching hole in their tuxedo / dress pockets.

It’s not so much anymore about giving away their daughter, so much as it is giving away my daughter in style. Even for those with the genuine intent of hosting an intimate ceremony, the burden of social duty quashes any such dream.

The number on the guest list is a carefully calculated formulated equation, where:
The grand total of invitees = The no. of guests you’d actually like to invite X 3.

Members of The Committe of Comparative Analysis will have none of that ‘small function shmunction,’ or a wedding cake that’s one tier too less. The bride's dress is scrutinized, the quality of food is analyzed, and the inadequate lighting of the hall is nit-picked with such passion that you might as well leave them comment cards to fill out, and for you to collect on their way out.

It’s now a given, that the wedding is the bride’s and the bride’s alone (all the groom has to do is manage to fit into his suit and show up on the day), or in our case the bride’s family and the bride’s family alone.

The wedding dress is custom made, the wedding singer is flown down from someplace, and the location selection is based on whether or not they can make the drinks to match the theme.

The attention to detail in every aspect of planning involved, more often than not acts as a catalyst to a series of pre-wedding disputes and brings out the Bridezilla in even the most timid of brides-to-be. At the end of the day, the function might go off smoothly, but the run up to the day has been so stressful that you’re too exhausted to enjoy your own big day. Also, so consumed are you with all that hoo hah that you tend to forget what your presence there is really meant to mean. Oh right, today’s the day I become a wife.

I might come off as condescending here, but please note I have nothing against the good folks who have every intention of pulling out all the stops for their big day; provided you can afford it of course. Sure, if you’ve got a few $10,000 dollars to spare, by all means go for it you lucky girl, you!

It’s just heart-breaking to see parents / husbands-to-be fork up their entire life’s savings on just one day; on imported chocolates that most guests can’t differentiate from a local variety, or on an ice sculpture that probably won’t even make it through the night.

Is it really worth all that? Who is it all for really?

As you can tell (and to the disappointment of most people I know), I’m not all that fussed. This might come as a surprise to most of you gentlemen, but not all of us girls have had this mega-bridal master plan written out ever since we were 5. Some of us haven’t even give much thought to it until we’re forced into deciding whether the white petunias should go at the centre of the head table or flanking it.

I don’t mean to say that I don’t want a wedding, nor am I trying to imply that I couldn’t care less about what I’ll be wearing. I just wouldn’t mind so much if the flower girls are taller than the paige boys, or if the waiter’s uniforms clash with the theme.

We’re all quite capable of delivering a night to remember without having to splurge on unnecessary extras.

So Mother, if you’re listening, let’s not go OTT alright? And Dad, no matter what they tell you, the imported gift baskets were NOT my idea.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

All The World Is Staged! OR I Wuz Framed!

The rant that follows is long overdue. It's a splatter of pent up answers and comebacks;an accumulation of everything I’ve wanted to relay over the past year. What can I say, I’m all shook up.

I’ve probably had a million conversations that go like this:

Person I’m Meeting After A While: Hey, It’s been ages! What are you doing now?
Me: Oh, I’m in PR at the mo. Also trying to start up some freelance creative writing on the side. And you?
PIMAAW: Whoa…hang on. Didn’t you do a science-something degree?
Me: Biotechnology.
PIMAAW: Yea, that. What happened??
Me: Oh, just expanding my horizons. Next on the agenda is space travel.

And as we chuckle at that little cliché-quip combo, I secretly congratulate myself on the successful avoidance of yet another of that tiresome dialogue.

So what??” I really want to say. “Want to take this outside??

But of course (and lamentably) Shakespeare was just being symbolic when he likened this world to a stage.
And West Side Story is sadly, purely fictional. So any chance of a ‘rumble’ was quashed, while afore-mentioned PIMAAW walked away from the conversation assuming that I was yet another confused soul who didn’t know what she wanted out of life.

There was a time when just knowing how to read and write made you the brightest of the lot. Then, a high school education became a mandatory prerequisite. A couple of decades down the line, a Graduate diploma was vital for some semblance of recognition, and now it’s either a Master’s degree or nothing.

The 5-lane highway you initially started out on eventually leads into a 3-lane road. We take a right and find ourselves on a 2-way street. We keep on going, and only when it’s too late do we finally comprehend that we’re stuck on a one-way track with a predefined destination.
Some of us are comfortable with our vehicles being set on autopilot. Others would rather get lost a little, experiment on the way, and maybe finally come to a conclusive decision on their route of choice.

What we fail to realize here, is that more than qualifying us for a profession, sectarian academics is actually paving us a very restricted path when it comes to life choices.

I remember my first day of 9th grade, when we excitedly clamoured around a roster announcing where each of us were to be 'allocated' for the years ahead.
Attaining an overall average of above 70% meant you were ‘worthy’ of the Science field of study, and the rest who didn't make 'the cut' were shoved into The Arts or Business stream irrespective of whether they preferred it or not.
I remember feeling darned good at having made it (albeit barely) into that seemingly 'elite' club. Before I had even begun my syllabus, I'd felt smarter already.

But in retrospect, I now realize that the very notion that Science is more challenging a field than Accountancy for example, is a stupid, let alone archaic assumption.
We stage protests against racism, caste-systems and the like, but when we drop our picket signs to head home, we're ironically resuming a life where we do just that. Segregate.

There is no pressing need to classify intelligence in the first place. Nor is there an urgency to put down in numbers a quotient with which to measure brilliance.
For if we’re learning something new every day, how often must we be tested then?
Literacy might be justified by numbers, but Knowledge most certainly cannot.

So as we leap from speciality to speciality, we ourselves are moulded into believing that we’re capable of only what we’ve been trained our whole lives to do.
We don’t even attempt escape, governed by the fear that we might fail trying; under the allusion that maybe it's not worth the effort after all. Even if the fire you initially started out with, is now just a half-baked flicker struggling to stay aflame.

The probable logic behind this streaming of the masses, is that we as people are not comfortable without a hierarchy of sorts governing everything we do.
We've carved ourselves a little niche with this herd mentality, so much so that anything that strays even slightly from the norm is deemed ‘rebellious’ or 'irrational.'
We like to have things clear-cut, so that each one of us can fall in line.
Black or white? Optimist or Pessimist? Fat or thin? Yes or No?

Then what about the Browns, the Realists, the Average-sized and the Maybe’s?

We’re all brain-washed into thinking that each one of us has this incremental slot in society we’re obligated to fill.
But if you think about it, it’s actually quite hard to sieve the global population on basis of profession. Try classifying the function of a Teacher for example.
As a university professor, you’re teaching a subject. As a mother, you advise your children against making wrong decisions. At work you train new employees. As team captain you coach your fellow players. And just by re-telling a story, you’re educating your listeners.

See what I’m getting at here?
Just because we’ve chosen a particular path for ourselves, doesn’t necessarily mean we're restricted in doing solely that.

Maybe a Broadway star wants to make a shift into Advertising. Maybe a Mathematician would like to switch to an English major. Maybe an ex-marine is considering taking up crochet lessons.
And who are we to stop them?

Unfortunately for us, we’re living in an age where materialism reigns supreme over genuine drive.
They couldn't give a toss if you're passionate about the position. Going for a job interview without a degree(at least one)to fortify your resume is like a fashion designer sending her/his models down the ramp naked.

I'm not trying to rally against the educational system. Far from it. What I'm truly opposed to is the limitations created by society on education.

The point I’m trying to make is this.
Halfway down the line / up the ladder (use metaphor of choice), I’d like to have the liberty to change my mind. Or at least ponder what I'm doing there in the first place.
You might argue that it's too expensive to start all over, or too tedious to re-trace, but don’t ever tell me it’s too late. Don’t ever tell me that I can’t.

Annnd, cut! Sorry for that emotional outburst folks, but thanks for listening.
Over and out.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sri Lanka -

As written for Khaleejesque:
Images courtesy of Dinidu De Alwis:

Sir Arthur C. Clarke once very famously declared: “The island of Sri Lanka is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery and climate as some countries a dozen times its size.”

The wise man couldn’t have phrased it better.

Sanskrit for sacred island, not many people know that before the name Sri Lanka was coined, the country had many a title before the one it holds now; Ceylon when under the reign of the Portuguese, and Taprobane to the Ancient Greeks. But most beautiful, and probably the one that holds most true was the name appointed by the Arabs of yore: Serendib; derived from the word serendipity.

Cradled by the Indian Ocean and located right under the Indian Sub-continent, this tiny Island is often referred to as ‘The Pearl of The Indian Ocean.’ But don’t judge an Island by its size.

This ‘little’ emerald isle stakes claim to a history spanning centuries, and has many a tale to tell; of ancient battles and overthrown monarchs, to the Portuguese, Dutch and British invasions, and the recent civil war. Before the onset of the bloody civil war that held the island captive for more than 2 decades, and the tragic onslaught of the 2001 tsunami, Sri Lanka was once on par with the world’s top Travel and Honeymoon destinations. And now with the war declared over, and the tsunami just a bad memory, the once wary tourists are finding it safe to visit again.

And why wouldn’t they?

Almost synonymous with seductive beaches and it’s seemingly endless expanse of tea plantations, Sri Lanka is ideal for that easy, yet pocket-friendly escape. The climate is comfortably temperate, and although Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of the nation, English is widely spoken in the city and most tourist hot-spots. The currency (the Sri Lankan Rupee) is fairly easy to comprehend, and with regards to accommodation, tourists can either choose to set up camp in the hotel industry’s big-names (Hilton, Galadari, etc.), or the many ‘Boutique hotels’ and ‘Eco-lodges’ located across the island.


Colombo: The city of Colombo might resemble any other South-Asian city at first glance, but on closer observation one will notice the easy infusion of cultures representing the island in the Capital itself. Amongst the busy streets of school-going children clad in white, and the street side vendors exhibiting their wares, you will find the representation of cultural variation in the food you eat and traces of history in the monuments of ancient architecture hidden amongst the modern-day edifices. The majority of the 20 million strong population are Buddhists; but in addition to the prevalence of eggshell-white Temples and frequent sighting of larger-than-life-sized effigies of Buddha, a steady presence of Kovils, Mosques and Churches reflect the country’s accommodation of religious diversity.

Anuradhapura: A few hour’s drive from Colombo, this ancient city was once the capital of the island, and is the cultural hub of the country. The impressive ruins and intricately carved moonstones, remind us of the architectural marvels that once stood, and the massive stone-carved statues of the Buddha are enough to satisfy every culture-buff’s quest for heritage.

Sigiriya: This ‘Fortress in The Sky’ is an amazing geological rock formation that stands 200m tall, rewarding all it’s climbers with an exhibition of ancient paintings en route to the top, and a spectacular view of the surrounding plains.

Kandy: The next most-populated city after Colombo, Kandy is known for the temple that hosts the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha. The same tooth relic that is paraded around the city every year (around July-August), with a pageantry-like fanfare in what is called the Esala Perahara. Most tourists co-ordinate their trip so as to catch this annual parade, with even the locals lining up, not wanting to miss out on the march of glamorized elephants, fire-breathers and Kandyan dancers.

The National Parks: For that true Safari experience, the Yala National Park boats the largest population of leopards in Asia, and a chance to catch some of Sri Lanka’s 92 mammals in their natural habitat. The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage gives tourists an opportunity to ‘adopt an elephant’ and watch these tusked creatures bathing, eating, and even dancing!


The culture-buff’s fix can be satisfied (even satiated) with just the smorgasbord of food the country has to offer.

Start your day with some traditional Sri Lankan Kirribath; unsweetened rice cakes often spiced-up with a local concoction called Lunumiris.
For lunch, make sure you order yourself a packet of Lamprais (pronounced lump-rice). Of Dutch origin, this midday meal comprises of a portion of stock-cooked rice and it’s curry accompaniments wrapped for function and flavour in a banana leaf.
Satisfy that mid-day sweet craving with some Wattalapan; a jaggery and egg-based pudding of Malay origin.
Ask for Kotthu-roti for dinner; a flavourful (and spicy) medley of vegetables, meat and of course roti.


- Book a window seat: And on your flight over, make sure to take a peek out just before landing. The expanse of green is breath-taking, and gives you that teasing taste of what your trip has in store.
- Take a ride in a Tuk-Tuk: These three-wheeled rickshaws might seem precarious, but whizzing around the streets of Colombo in one these multi-hued taxis is an adventure on it’s own.
- Drink some Thambili: No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a drink of coconut water straight out of the King Coconut; the fruit of those towering trees flanking the island is enough to quench the thirst of any weary traveler.
- Visit a tea plantation: Make time in your travel schedule to visit one of the many tea plantations that contribute to the county’s main export produce. On having finally understood the process involved in the making of your daily cuppa, don’t forget to sit down and savour a cup of Sri Lanka’s finest!
- Speak to the locals: Your hotel/tour operator might have your agenda all planned out, but nothing beats the insight of good old street knowledge on places to eat and visit. The locals are friendly, and you might just be surprised at what you almost missed out on.

So sure, the name of your tour guide might be a tad hard on the tongue, and the local food might be spicier that what you’re used to, but on that flight out of the Island you’re guaranteed to look out that window and commit that view (and trip) to memory.

Was it the drive through the hill plantations, or the lure of the beaches that gave you that lasting impression? It could’ve been that heady rush of staring into the eyes of a magnificent Tusker. Or maybe it was the endearing smile of the mango-vendor on the pavement.

You’ll want to come back and find out.

TEDxDubai - An Idea Worth Spreading

As written for UAE Community Blog:

Not many events (let alone free media events), make the cut, here in Dubai. And by ‘cut’ I metaphorically refer to that fine, slice of meat; perfectly extracted, excluding everything unnecessary to produce a prime, well-done steak.

The purpose of TEDxDubai was to do justice to the concept of TEDx (an abbreviation for Technology, Entertainment and Design; the ‘x’ representing an ‘independently organized event’), a non-profit convention that started out in California, with the intention of hosting ‘forward thinkers,’ all connected by the common goal of spreading the power of positive thinking.
What TEDxDubai aimed to achieve was to bring together like-minded individuals from the emirates under one roof, and bounce off ideas that would otherwise seem unfeasible.

Delegates entered the event location with high expectations, but frankly, expecting the worst. As is the norm with most conferences / events / concerts here in ‘Dubayy,’ a parking predicament was expected, lousy customer service was anticipated, and a disappointed lot of speakers was prophesized.

But boy, were we pleasantly surprised.
Parking was plentiful, the volunteers were always on deck, the catering was delectable, and the line-up of speakers was nothing short of mind-blowing.
So obviously, the atmosphere was proportionately abuzz with intellectual conversation of TED-happy delegates.

What does it take to pull off this successful an event? The organizers obviously knew what they were doing when they set down the guidelines:

(a) Remove the price tag: Your delegate badge had to be ‘earned’ by filling out an application form on the TEDxDubai website; one that never asked for your nationality and social standing, preferring instead to deem you worthy depending on what you thought was an ‘idea worth spreading.’
(b) No black market sales: Since your invite to the event was non-transferable, and valid photo identification had to be presented on entry, not a soul even attempted to sell their tickets; even if they wanted to (which is hardly conceivable).
(c) First-come, first-serve seating: Self explanatory. The earlier you arrived, the better view you got. And if I recall right, the 1,000 seats of DMC’s Palladium were almost completely filled up before the session even began.
(d) Come-as-you-like mentality: No stated dress-code, meant that you were free to wear whatever it was that kept you comfy throughout the day. Presence of flats amongst the ladies and flowered shirts amongst the men were proof enough.
(e) Enlist speakers not on the basis of their job title, but on the principle of the vision / message they have to relay: Speakers varied in nationality (Emarati to Indian), age group (13-40), and subject matter (biophotonics to comic book characters); each speaker more inspirational than the next.

Bruno Guissani, European TED director, inaugurated the event introducing the audience to the concept of TED, and the many projects that have launched as a result.

Leo Laporte advocated the benefits of new media vs. old, while Paul Bennett stressed on the importance of ‘moving beyond scale and into substance.’
The Al Awadhi brothers of the contemporary Shawarma store Wild Peeta, and Mohammed Saeed Harib of Freej fame, all highlighted the significance of having faith in your dreams, and running it through.
13-year old Dubai Abdulla Abuhoul, took the stage as living proof that it was not age that mattered, but instead the drive to succeed, while Dr. Naif Al Mutawa, creator of THE99, planted humour into his talk with the same ease with which he glided us through the creation of the region’s first internationally-renowned comic strip.

Masarat Daud shared with us the vision and success of her 8 day Academy, emphasizing on the need for ‘education that functions,’ while Samar S. Jodha drove us to tears with striking visuals from the Indian village of Phenang, and his message of ‘finding the larger cause in your art.’
Bashar Atiyat brought to our attention the need for breaking stereotypes, while Jamil Abu-Wardeh had the audience in splits with his witty take on the importance of comedy in the region.
Mohammad Gawdat addressed the crowd on the internet’s role in non-manufactured information, and Ian Gilbert achieved his goal of making our brains hurt while underlining the necessity of promoting ‘independent thinking’ in today’s classrooms.
Jiochi Ito advised us to ‘invest in our failures in order to achieve that Google’ while Abed Ayyad brought in the science factor to the conference, delving into the ‘magic’ of Biophotonics.
Khulood Al Attiyat spoke of her innovation to bring back a Renaissance in Dubai, and Qais Sedki talked us through achieving every goal on ‘life’s table of contents.’
Ernst van der Poll helped us comprehend the importance of bringing today’s youth to explore nature in order to better understand it’s value in the circle of life, while Thomas Lundgren walked onto the stage barefoot, and stressed on the gravity of true happiness; stating that ‘without passion, nothing extraordinary in this world can be achieved.’

When the final speaker left the stage, and it was time for the organizer’s curtain call, the entire Palladium rose for a much-deserved standing ovation in honour of the Mad Men behind the scenes; Giorgio Ungania and James Piecowye. Mad because they took up the challenge of putting together a world-class act, purely because they felt it was their duty to make sure the Emirates was not deprived of such a phenomenon.

We, the delegates walked out an inspired lot; now reassured that we’re capable of achieving whatever it is we aspire for, provided we’ve got the passion to back that dream. ‘If they can do it, so can we!’

It just goes to show that it’s not the monuments we erect that put us on the map, but projects like these that put us on par with the rest of the world. Here’s hoping that the success of a humble event such as this will motivate our GCC counterparts into bringing the TED experience into their region.

And I’m quite certain I’m not speaking for myself here when I say, I was actually quite disappointed. Disappointed that the much-awaited TEDxDubai had actually come to an end.

Turns out the best things do come for free after all.

For more information on what you missed out on, visit:
For more inspiration, visit the main TED site:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Digital Detox

Hullo. My name is Shaahima Fahim, and I've been clean for 30 days.

What started out as a spiritual sacrifice, turned out to be a social experiment of sorts, when I decided to quit the biggest banes of the cyber world for a good, fat, month. Namely Facebook, Twitter, YouTube (or YouTwitFace as a friend once cleverly pointed out), MSN, and any other URL I deemed a waste of time.
So, armed with only the luxury of email (one must not be too harsh on oneself) I braced myself for the month ahead.

You gasp? I say it's possible folks; I've lived to tell the tale.

Day 1- Day 3 was the most arduous of my 1 month stint. Not that I was ever an 'addict' in the first place; but a user is a user all the same.
So, as with anyone who goes cold turkey, withdrawal symptoms began to manifest. My fingers twitched longingly, to type in what could have been the perfect Tweet. My wrist would instinctively direct the mouse towards bookmarked pages, and I'd wistfully 'mark as read' emails titled 'Soooo funny...must watch!!'

But once you've conquered that one insurmountable-seeming week of rehab, you finally come around to the realization that there's actually lot to do outside the cyber kingdom. Now unfettered by the shackles of your computer chair, you're free to read more, take a drive or two, or just take out time so often wasted to smell those metaphorical roses.
It was quite the humbling experience, I must say. I texted instead of Tweeted, I'd pop a call instead of a wall post, and I'd leaf through actual pages instead of their digital counterpart.

But what probably really brought me to terms with this so-called experiment was when I came across a stack of forgotten photos I had once stuffed into a drawer (on deciding to take advantage of the lack of distraction to de-clutter). Photos as in the sort we used to need to get developed. The sort we couldn't delete because 'my eyes were closed in that one.' The sort that brings back more memories than the perfected shots we've got on Facebook / MySpace / Flickr.

Whoever it was that predicted the day humans would be governed by machines, couldn't have made a more accurate prophecy. We've unknowingly licensed a cunning exchange of dominions; our 'real' existence for one behind cyber-bars.
I never did comprehend it before, but maybe my daily Reuters RSS feeds will one day negate the need for me to actually read the newspaper. Maybe I'll reach a stage where I'd much rather hook up with friends through a webcam than in actuality.
It's a scary thought, but the fact that I've already replaced my calendar, thesaurus and journal to online versions is proof enough. Most lists I make are on an Excel spreadsheet, and whatever articles / blogposts I do pen-down (note irony) are via keyboard, while my dejected little collection of stationery slowly wanes away at my desk.

We use the excuse of convenience, and while that might be a valid argument, we're losing out on what we love(d?) most about communication; the human touch.

So yeah, I might be back in 'civilisation,' but I've decided to not conform this time around. Here on out, I will make an attempt to reduce to a minimum my online time. I'm going to start a snail-mail correspondence with a willing friend, and I'm going try my very best to 'just call to say I love you.' ;)

Laziness and convenience are hardly discernible anymore, and more often than not we choose to give the latter the benefit of the doubt. I say 'choose,' because if ever we reach that stage where we're under the mercy of an automaton that we ourselves have created, we've no one to blame but ourselves.


Friday, June 26, 2009

MoonWalk - The Final Step

I've never written a eulogy before. Never been asked to, and never been inspired enough. And i've sure as hell never once considered taking time off to express onto paper (or website) emotion for the loss of a man i've never met.

A man I can never say i've met, but a man I grew up with all the same. As a 6-year-old I owned tapes of all his music videos, knew the lyrics to all his scores, had managed to attain VIP tickets to his 'Dangerous' World Tour...and even forgave him when he cancelled.

Michael Jackson, The King of Pop; and even Wacko Jacko some called him, attaching a title to his many eccentricities. As with every star who's made it big, controversy hounded him like a boxer to his shadow.

But at a time like this, all his peculiarities seem insignificant. We forget that he was once tied with sexual allegations. We turn a blind eye to rumours revolving around his obsession with surgery. And we don't give a hoot anymore how deep in debt he was.

What we do remember, is what he was always meant to be remembered for. For his magnanimous contribution to the music industry, as a phenomenal performer with an irrepalceable sense of artistry and style.

We loved him for his infamous red blazer, that outrageous crotch-thrust, and of course...the moonwalk; the walk more popular than Armstrong's itself.
We remember the man who took entertainment to a whole other level, his music serving as a portal to bring out in the open, issues of race, war and love.

The reason his passing has come as quite the shock to most of us, is probably because like him, we thought Michael would live forever. It's hard to conceive that a legend is mortal after all.

But unlike other mere mortals, MJ leaves behind a massive fan-following, music that's bridged the gap of generations, and a legacy of dance; earning his place in The Hall of Fame...our Hall of Fame.

Maybe now he'll finally get the peace he deserves.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunny Side Up

Hurrah! It's Summer folks! Summer has landed!!

Don't look at me like that. Like i'm mad. Like the heat's finally got to me.

Pardon me if this happens to be my season of choice. And in this part of the world i'm not exactly handed a smorgasbord of seasons to choose from; the best of the 4(spring and autumn) are non-existent.

Yes, I do realize I live in the Middle East, where a 'low' of 45 degrees centigrade is an auspicious double-digit. Where it's probably cooler in that oven with the rotating, roasting chickens than it is outside smack in the middle of August.

But again..pardon me. Pardon me for preferring sun burn over frostbite (blue is not my colour). Pardon me for not loving days where I set off to work in pitch black, and head back home way after Monsieur Sunshine has called it a day. Pardon me if i'd rather not layer myself with clothing like a sugar-addict icing a cake.

Sweating is healthy. Freezing is just a reflex response.

In winter you're lazy.
You're too comfy under your duvet to get yourself out of bed each morning. Your teeth are too busy chattering to yourself to have conversation with anyone else.
Your lips crack until it hurts to smile. Your fingernnails turn an unclassified shade of blue, and you forget you have a nose at all until you realize that you are in fact still breathing.
You envy fat people for their deposits of warmth, and the concept of burning yourself with the lone flame of a cigaretter lighter is so appealing, that you actually consider living with a 3rd degree burn-scar for life if it means just a few seconds of heat.
You pretend you like someone just so you can hold their hand, and run around in an an un-called for hugging-spree not because you're overtly friendly, but purely for the sake of mustering whatever warmth you can scavenge.
You walk around the house in socks and a hoodie looking around for scraps of wood with which to build a fire in your living room, your demeanor and gait resembling one of the many corpses from MJ's 'Thriller' video.

It's no wonder Ebeneezer Scrooge was grumpy during Christmas time. It's no wonder Big Foot has an agenda. They're freezing.

But summer. Oh summer! With it's beautiful beaches, and the permission slip it hands you to start wearing open-toed sandals again. Those ugly dull-coloured fuzzies are replaced with a wardrobe of bright, thinner attire.
A little too much sun? Just slap on your shades and a blob of sunscreen. It's nothing a cold shower and big fat glass of chilled watermelon juice can't cure.
You don't have to fear for your digits from May through September. You can go for a drive with the AC cranked up. You can finish a whole tub of ice cream, quashing the guilt with the theory that you'll sweat off the calories.
You can grab a natural tan just by popping over to the community grocery store. You can hit the rink. You can hit the stores (summer sales)! You can hit your brother and blame it on heatstroke!!

Now this...this is the season to be jolly.