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24 Hour Internet Ban – Every Week

Late last year, around late November, there was a new trend afloat around within my crew. Internet ban for 24 hours.  From seven of us in the crew, one had been toying with the idea to self-impose an Internet ban for at least 24 hours during the week, or rather, for one full day and night every week.  At the time when this was discussed, I brushed aside the idea, thinking that I, out of all the people, was in control of when and how I access the internet, be it on my laptop/PC, tablet or mobile phone.

I was wrong.

Two weeks ago, the same idea, was adopted by an acquaintance of mine.  She casually mentioned it during a late night, unplanned meal, and she and this whole self-imposed Internet ban got be thinking.

Now, I know the era we live in today is regarded, probably unofficially, as the Information Age.  I guess, others may call it Computer Age, Digital Age or New Media Age.   Information surrounds us whether we choose to acknowledge it or not.  What makes this possible is how digital/electronic devices have, it seems, embedded themselves permanently into our lives. 20 years, or so, ago, technology evolved gradually.  As a toddler I remember, In our household and I guess in any other household, you’d find a telephone, TV, audio player with radio and a video cassette player as devices capable of providing information – and that would be all.  The only time you’d replace one of these items would be when the old one broke and the old bloke at the local repair shop said it was beyond repair.  That’s right; you’d literally have local shops that specialised in repairing electronic devices.

Technology is now evolving at a far greater pace than one can and could have ever anticipated.  Everyone, and I literally mean everyone from children, teenagers to adults are exposed to Information Overload.  Infobesity and Infoxication is a reality and people are suffering from this, whether they’re aware or not.  People are finding it difficult to break away from this Information Overload and thus, I believe, have difficulty in understanding how to make decisions which can be caused by the presence of too much information.  By this I mean, people of all ages fail to understand how important it is to make decisions in real life and away from this artificial reality.

The idea for a 24 hour internet ban is to divert your attention and energy into something else.  It’s an idea that, if adhered to religiously, means that you may begin to (re)discover, life around you again.  Life that isn’t lived or viewed through technology or the Internet.  I must admit, I’m not a heavy user of technology and Internet on the move, but at times, I do find myself so immersed that I fail to see the world moving around me.

So, I’ve decided to implement this idea on a trial basis.  See how it works for me and see if it actually makes a difference of some sort.

But, it won’t be easy.

At least, it won’t be easy in selecting which day of the week I have an Internet ban on.  My extra curricular activities and social get together are, all pretty much, arranged via my digital devices – which – I also use to work on and run my businesses.  How and where do I draw the line?

On paper, Wednesday, seems to be a good day to introduce a 24 hour Internet ban.  It will be interesting to know how this works out, and whether I am able to adhere to it, and begin to focus and put more energy in other parts of my life – which currently – is a mix of life-work-Internet-technology.

I hope to provide a regular update on how this turns out, and what impact (positive or negative) it is having.

Would you consider adhering to a 24 hour Internet ban?

Do you think it’ll change anything?

Malaysia Airlines MH370: Jet mystery – how can a plane vanish?

How can the Malaysia Airline 370 simply vanish?

Aircraft such as this, the boeing 777, has an excellent safety record and is full of electronic equipment to tell the ground where it is, even in distress.  It amazes me, that so far despite searching for so long by so many different agencies from so many different nations with all the technology, satellites and intelligence – no one yet find or can explain this mystery?

What has happened to it?

 

 

Life is a darling adventure, or nothing!

Just a quick note:

I know I’ve been absent lately from blogging – I’m sorry.  I haven’t blogged as much as I liked to and I have my valid reasons why.  If this blog was an actual human being – I’d probably have had a number of fights due to neglecting him/her.  I’d prefer it to be a ‘her’.

Unfortunately, this little note is to add to my absence from this platform for a little while longer – well five weeks to be precise.

That’s right; I’m hours away from embarking on a long business holiday, where the first leg is a (series of connecting) flight from London-Heathrow to Florida.  In theory Florida is my official first holiday home.  The plan is to spend four nights there, mainly to complete outstanding ownership paperwork.  Once done, I’ll be heading to Bangalore, India.  There I’ll stay till September 16th.  Long time – Yes I know and it’s purely intentional and desired.

Most of you will know why I am engaged in India so much.  I wrote about it here, an earlier post back in December 2012 about Change.  In short, I have business interests out in India, a place where I find to be another great place for opportunity.

The business venture which I have been working on with my acquaintance from South Asia was launched in the UK on July 31st and August the 1st.  My acquaintance, although in London for another project, managed to pull it off remarkably well and to perfection and it all it went extremely well. The soft launch had already been in flow few months earlier.  My visit to India is to complete this launch and this will be my final stage of launching the venture.

The hard work will then start.

This venture isn’t about producing a product or selling to a mass market.  It is, in fact, a service for a new elite group of young people who have a ‘seven figure disposable income’ and who reside around the world.  Since the soft launch to the day we went live in London, this venture has exceeded all expectations.

So what does all this mean:  Well, in short, it means I won’t be available from next couple of hours (8pm today) until 16th September.  My personal phone will be switched off for this duration and my international number will be used instead.  It also means that I won’t be blogging during this time, well, I think I wont, but if there appears to be an opportunity then I may drop a line or two.  That said, I do, however, like to switch on my twitter GPS and location option – so you guys can check out where I am – so watch out for my tweets.

When I get to India, and in the care of my acquaintance it will be more hard work to get the final stage of the venture live.  This, I’m sure, will go as well as it did in London.

…and on that note, I wish you all the best and I hope to catch up with you guys sometime soon.

Remember:  Life is a darling adventure, or nothing!

The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One – Series 9: Part 3 of 14

Last week we were truly spoilt by Lord Alan Sugar.  Not only did we get to see the first episode of this year’s The Apprentice a day early (on a Tuesday) we were overdosed by the second episode the following day (Wednesday) – thus sending the blood pressure of us The Apprentice addicts into dangerous territory.

The first episode on Tuesday introduced us to the candidates, a deliberate selection of annoying muppets and arrogant to**ers who would struggle to put a key into a keyhole.  The task was simple, unload a load of junk made in China, count it, prices it, work out the profit margins and figure out best locations to flog it.  The team which makes the most profit wins – simple right but boy oh boy did the girls team get into a devastating mess or what.  I was almost stunned to see a group of girls taking a cat product made in China to, what is known as China town in London, and sell it there when already those shops were stocked up with this product.  Not surprisingly the women’s team lost the task resulting in, the mouth motivator Jaz Ampaw-Farr being fired – and rightly so – God damn she was annoying.

The second episode on Wednesday was a little different.  The boys (Team Endeavour) and the girls (Team Evolve) had to come up with a flavoured beer for punters.  Tim, the constantly moving man who really is a puppet where someone using strings, against his will, moves his arms and head rather annoyingly, was sent over to run the girls team as a project manager – but quickly realised he couldn’t even manage his own moving actions let alone control the tasks.  On the other side it was Kurt who was appointed to lead the boys team.  In all honestly I simply can’t remember him, but somehow he managed to pull off the task and win – especially after his catastrophic decision to send three non-drinkers (including a Muslim) to go actually make, taste the beer – I mean come on.

The boys team pulled it off, somehow, leaving Tim to fight it out with the girls in the boardroom.  It all proved to be too much for animated Tim and was the second casualty of this series.

For me, there is one outstanding character in this series – The Welsh Dracula Alex Mills. He had the best one liner I have heard, well since my preschool days, “Will you be quiet you silly little shit” blasted to the PhD student.  The PhD student from some University had no research knowledge in addressing this comment, and all methodologies failed at this point for him – which resulted in utter silence.

If I had the opportunity to hire anyone of these contestants it would have to be the Welsh Dracula, I mean his eyebrows are amazing, something out of this world – literally.  I’d hire him on the basis that he could scare my competition into submission just by his physical appearance when I take him into meetings, if that would fail he could scare the living daylights out of them by his one liners “just give up your business you silly little shit”.  In fact I am going to find this Welsh Dracula Alex Mills and offer him a job as a personal bodyguard.

What is evident in this year’s bunch of top brass is the attitudes of the girls, if anything, they should be re-branded as Team Delusional.  The boys, including The Welsh Dracula, do have their problems but they proved twice in a row they can meet the task objective and win, but for the girls they are horrible to watch and some are nasty pieces of work.  I am sure that those girls who get fired from The Apprentice will be labelled for life of not-employable.

Today’s episode it’s a challenge for flat pack furniture – bring it on

The Apprentice 2013 on BBC One Starts 9pm Tuesday 7 May

The Apprentice 2013

Are you ready…?  I know I am.  The Worlds UK’s best business minded people are ready to fight for Lord Alan Sugar’s £250,000 investment.  If you’re clever enough – the banks would probably give you more with a good-sound business plan and save you a life-time of embarrassment but then again Series 9 kicks off today BBC One (Tuesday 7 May at 9pm) and can be viewed later on BBC iPlayer.  There are no The Apprentice 2013 spoiler here but only a quick shout out to everyone “that you’re Wednesday evenings won’t be the same again – well not at least for the next few months”.

The Apprentice is one of my favourite TV show (if I can call it a show or should I use the words side-splitting entertainment) and I find it extremely…erm what’s the word(s) “I can’t believe I’m watching this stuff” while I grit my teeth and remain calm at the TV, especially when the UK’s best, sorry Worlds best candidates fight their hearts out in each task climbing to the top, get hired then decide to take Lord Sugar to court.

Let me introduce you to the candidates, starting with my favourite first:

Zeeshaan Shah, Age: 27, Career: CEO of Property Investment Company, Location: London

Francesca MacDuff-Varley, Age: 32, Career: Dance and Entertainment Entrepreneur Location: Leeds

Jaz Ampaw-Farr, Age: 41, Career: Literacy and Education Company Director, Location: Milton Keynes

Leah Totton, Age: 24, Career: Doctor, Location: London

Luisa Zissman, Age: 25, Career: Retail Entrepreneur, Location: St Albans

Natalie Panayi, Age: 30, Career: Recruitment Manager, Location: Rickmansworth

Rebecca Slater, Age: 35, Career: Medical Rep, Location: Wigan

Sophie Lau, Age: 22, Career: Restaurateur, Location: Bristol

Uzma Yakoob, Age: 32, Career: Entrepreneur and Make-Up Brand Owner, Location: London

Alex Mills, Age: 22, Career: Company Director, Location: Cardiff

Jason Leech, Age: 29, Career: Historian and Property Entrepreneur, Location: London

Jordan Poulton, Age: 26, Career: Business Analyst, Location: London

Kurt Wilson, Age: 26, Career: Health Drink Entrepreneur and Health & Safety Manager, Location: Liverpool

Myles Mordaunt, Age: 39, Career: Marketing Company Co-Founder, Location: Monaco

Neil Clough, Age: 32, Career: Regional Manager – Soccer Centres, Location: Altrincham

Tim Stillwell, Age: 23, Career: Mexican Food Entrepreneur, Location: Birmingham

Bring it on…

Me, her and Keeping up with the Kardashians

I choose my acquaintances based on their attractiveness, their sexiness, their style, class, ability, age and profession – the latter at times can be compromised or negotiated but is rare.  As a guy It’s hard work, and at times it requires long exhausting hours of research into their lifestyles, background and their intended future aspirations, before I make my move or orchestrate an engagement.  I guess, my interpretation of acquaintances is different from the norm.

One thing I wasn’t prepared for is how serious ‘some’ take a reality TV show – that too unscripted, as my recent acquaintance would have me believe.  Despite an exceptionally high appointed role working for a watch brand known to the world as Rolex, and despite ticking all the boxes for being on par for an ideal acquaintance, she has brought with her an unimaginable rift between us.

Allow me, going forth, to refer to this acquaintance as Priya – who is the most adorable personality you would find in a woman of 31 years of age – that I can’t take away from her. Her assignments for Rolex give her the power to travel around the world (for which many envy her profession and career) connecting and networking with high profile individuals, including members associated with Hollywood, Bollywood and government officials in the west just to highlight a few.

Her recent business assignment brings her to West Yorkshire and in particular to Leeds.  I first met Priya in London during the build-up to 2010 International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) which was to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  It was there, in London, where we first interacted and engaged but departed until her presence in Leeds few weeks ago.  She instantly and immediately struck a tone in me and ever since we have kept our communication ongoing.

To keep focus on the unimaginable rift she has introduced between us, I cannot put what I am about to write in any easy or simple words, and I must express this as it formulates in my head.  Priya’s life can be divided into three whole sections – and by no stretch of the imagination can what I write impede her personality and her status – two parts out of three of her life I can handle and in all cases with pleasure, but the final part I am not prepared to compromise or negotiate on, and I must reject it wholeheartedly.

The first part of her life is work – which is impressive and attractive, the second part to her life currently is our close interactions and engagements – again impressive and something I have no problem with, but the third part of her life is spending every second when she is either not working or when she is not with me, watching the US reality show known as Keeping up with the Kardashians.

The Kardashians or the actual word, admittedly, is not oblivious to me.  It has, in the past, popped up in discussion with other people I know – all being females, but since my physical engagement with Priya during the build up of 2010 IIFA event in Colombo, I have understood exactly who the Kardashians are.

Priya, literally is obsessed in keeping up with the Kardashians, she has gone as far as setting up my Sky HD box at my apartment to record every possible program that is aired on Sky relating to the Kardashians, whereas in the past my Sky HD was programmed to record programs such as ‘The Apprentice, Dragons Den, programs relating to cooking and property development and Sport games’.  If Priya is not at work and not with me she will be at the home cinema in my apartment keeping up with the Kardashians, and if she isn’t at my apartment watching it, for sure, she will be at her hotel keeping up with the Kardashians.

I once asked her “if there is or was a person who you would aspire to be, who would that one person be?” thinking the response will be on par with Ghandi and Jesus or someone to this level, her response was unimaginable and signalled the seriousness of her Keeping up with the Kardashians condition, and she uttered with passion “it would be…hhhhmmmm….Kim Kardashian out of the three sisters” at which point my jaw, my jogging pants and the mug of fresh brewed coffee dropped (and this scene, is on replay in slow-motion in my mind ever since).  It was clear that Kardashian is not a one man army but a clan, and there were more of them – Jesus Christ indeed.

To give her a fair trial, since she puts up with me and my habit of watching dragons den religiously with a notepad and my thinking cap on, I decided I would cave into her request of watching at least one episode of keeping up with the Kardashians with her – so I did.

The one episode that I watched with her, good grief I couldn’t help but clench my fists and grit my teeth all the while Priya found it romantic, while the I watched this disaster she rested her head on my somewhat tense lap with tense thigh muscles, the episode was so crazy, embarrassing and emotionally charged that I wish I hadn’t agreed to watching it.

In this episode, Kris Jenner happens to bump into her ex at a tennis practice, she, somewhat decides to pursue her ex which in the end results in agreeing to have an evening dinner – in the disguise of wanting closure from their relationship (considering they haven’t met each other for over a decade).  All the while, her current poor husband Bruce Jenner is left in the dark about what was brewing behind his back.  One of the Kardashian daughters along with Rob Kardashian realise the mother is up to something and decide to follow her, spy on her moves suspecting their mother having an affair – but their pursuit of obtaining evidence runs cold when they lose track of where their mother has vanished.  After spending the evening dinner, in close proximity with her ex, flirting and somewhat reliving old memories, Kris decides to go home and come clean with what just happened, so she wakes Bruce up from his bed, brings him out to the kitchen area and explains what happens.  For the sake of sanity and idealism I wish not to go any further in describing this episode.

As the episode drew to a close, I couldn’t help but regret having sat there watching this crazy reality TV show, if I can call it that.  I should receive an award for handling this episode so well and living to tell the tale – I guess the award should include words such as ‘brave’ or ‘extremely brave’ in the title.  What was more regrettable was Priya actually enjoyed it, which goes to show that I and Priya are on two different planets entirely.

Priya is checked into a hotel a stone throw away from my apartment, but she pretty much spends her time when she isn’t working at my apartment.

So almost two weeks ago, I decided to ‘politely’ eject her out of my apartment for a few days so that I can a) reclaim back my Sky HD box, b) delete all of the programs recorded that relate to the Kardashians and c) to teach her a lesson in making me watch this crap, where the time I spent watching that one episode is something I will never get back, not to mention the distress caused at the time. Harsh – I know.

Last weekend, almost 11 days later, I finally opened the door to Priya.  In those 7 days days I have had no contact with her other than mobile communication, but I’m now glad that she has realised that its either keeping up with the Kardashians or keeping up with me, happy that she opted for the later.  In saying that, as she fluttered her eyelashes I did back track on one thing though, which was that she could watch her unscripted, reality TV show at her own hotel room – as and when she pleased, but not in my premises.

As for the Kardashians, well, they can go take a long walk and occupy someone else’s home cinema as far as I am concerned.

Simren, Simren, Simren….

SimrenSimrenSimren

Simren…Simren…Simren…

Please don’t do this to me…Please:

Ishq ne humien rula diya,
Jis par par marte they usne he humien bhula diya..
hum toh unki yaadon mai he jee leyte mgar,
unho ne toh yaadon mai he zeher mila diya..

 

As straight as a gun barrel

I believe I’m an erudite person who knows and understands how to be a gentleman and behave like one.  I must extol the virtues of life of those men who lived before us and used to uniform, condition themselves and conduct like real gentlemen, where the younger generation loathed to following in the footsteps of such eloquent, articulate individuals – impersonating and mirroring their real men styles both physically, ability and behaviour wise.  Where women would shimmer and glisten at the mere confidence of being handled by a real gentleman and at their chivalry.

I’m the first to admit that I’m an inveterate of these gentlemen principles, and that my habits, life-style, way of conducting business and handling or interacting with women are conformed and obsequious to these exact quaint principles.

You mustn’t take umbrage at a fact that in one area I have obtusely overlooked and has now come to haunt me more than in one way.

Before I proceed, you must read the disclaimer below:

Disclaimer:  What I write below is no way meant to offend anyone, or their life-styles or their beliefs, if while reading the post you feel somewhat offended, then, this, I’m afraid is life so don’t let the door hit you on the way out and still I’m not a gay.  It is important for me to state here that I stitch together this post via my iPad from the Carnegie Pavilion at Headingley today, during the failed attempt (due to rain) to see day 4 of the second test against England and South Africa.  Considering where I am, and its my first time using an iPad to blog and write this, I may not have got the feel to this blog right, and it may not have gone the way I wanted it to go.

Last few months have really been an eye opener for me.  This is not a vociferous whining of a matter which I will talk about but a growing candour concern of how common it has (started to) become in my life, and the worst part is, I don’t know why?  This no longer is clandestine which I kept to myself and the cajole to talk about this is now more than important for me.

The zenith of this problem was reached on Monday 30th July after work, but before I continue, allow me to explain a little more about this predicament or problem if you wish in some simple words.  The quandary problem is this:  In the last 3 months, I have had three gay men hit on me to which I’m finding it hard to understand why, why and why?  I have no enmity against gay men – as long as they leave me alone.

Allow me to start with the most recent episode of what happened on Monday 30th July.  My routine is to escape from work at 4:45pm on those days that I am in Leeds office.  I have a set routine which I take, a five minute walk to the car park where my car (or motorbike) is usually parked.  On this day, I decided to walk Amy (accounts personnel, a 23 years of age single mother of one child, originally recruited by me) to the train station first, not because I was heading in that direction but merely because she was clearly overwhelmed by the amount of baggage she had with her.  As I offered to walk her, I opened my umbrella and shielded us both from the light drizzle.

We walked towards the train station with me now carrying most of her baggage – half way there; I decided to close my umbrella as the rain had pretty much stopped.  I paused to do this while Amy stood by my side watching me struggle to close the bleeding umbrella.  Just then a chap walking somewhat loosely, walks right up to me with a smirk and says “Hi”.  While still struggling to close my umbrella, I glanced at this chap and uttered the words “Can I help you”.  What follows is the conversation to the best of my knowledge:

Chap:  “I’ve seen you around the city few times, just wanted to know whether you are actually from Leeds or not?”

Me:  “Yes, Indeed I am”

Chap:  “Oh good, I’m from Oxford and working in Leeds for a short term assignment”

Pause conversation:  My eyes flickered between Amy and this chap, my perusal could see Amy’s face blush with a little excitement, and instantly I could see Amy’s face starting to show signs of her drooling at this chap.

Me: “Yes, Good and how can I help?”

This chap, grinned with a rather large smile exposing his extremely white teeth and with a jelly-like posture put his hands to his head, somewhat nervously and uttered:

Chap: “Well, I’ve seen you around a few times, and I find you extremely striking with a real gentleman feel and I was hoping to share this with you when I got the opportunity, and now I managed to catch you at the right time”.

My instant reaction was to turn my head towards Amy’s direction, my heart suddenly stopped pumping and the bloody rushed to my head in total fear or was it rage?  I could see Amy put her hands to her mouth in slow motion as if to say “Oh my GOD” and she continued to scan this chap head to toe which looked like an expression a porn star would make in a porn film.

My heart finally managed to pump some blood and the blood rush to my head somewhat eased, and I realised right that moment what the situation was.  This chap was a gay and he was hitting on me.  I simply and physically could not acknowledge this wanton and I returned with a rather short response:

Me:  “Excuse me, I don’t understand?”

Chap:  “I was wondering if we could meet up some time this week, even if it is just for a drink or something.  There is something about you that is really attractive”

This surely can’t be happening to me, again.  This is what you say to a woman not to a guy.  I’m a bloke and I couldn’t believe another bloke was saying this to me; I am not a sycophant I screamed inside my befuddled mind.

Despite the urge to simply headbutt this guy a few times, I freakishly continued to smile at him – pretending that I wasn’t taking him serious.  But deep in side I just wanted to get the hell out of his way and nadir situation but just then I managed to find the energy and buoyancy to say a few more words along the lines of:

Me:  “Mate, I’m sorry but I’m not who you think I am.  Sorry”.  I nodded at Amy to get her attention, but she was hypnotised by this chap and her facial expression said it all.  I quickly picked up my share of Amy’s baggage and took her by the arm and got both of us out of harms way.  Just as we shuffled past this chap, he made his final knock out blow and bluster:

Chap:  “Can I have your number or email address, it will be good to stay in touch”, still grinning and sort of waving with is left hand.

My response was “Sorry, but you’re mistaken”.

As both Amy and I got a few meters of distance between us and this chap, I rediscovered my intrepid attitude, Amy quickly turned around and shouted “He is single; I wouldn’t give up if I was you”.  Right at this moment while shrugging Amy by the arm, I turned and this chap blew a kiss in our direction in a lurid way.

What happened in the next few minutes is really a blur and all I can remember is Amy uttering the words “Oh my God, what was that all about”.  After seeing Amy off, I took the longest route possible to my car.  I was literally in total disbelief and in infamy of this crime or incident which just took place.  This really can’t be happening to me?

The next few days, Amy had pretty much told everyone of this incident at work.  I was being approached by everyone (almost), asking me what had happened, this, no longer was an arcane anymore.

In the interest of keeping this post short and limiting the details of embarrassing moments, I will briefly update you on the two other incidents.

The second episode and incident was when I was jogging at my local park.  I usually go for a quick jog in the evening as I get back from work.  On this day, the park was busy with the usual regulars, some jogging, some walking their pets, and some simply reading or listening to music.  As I jogged, I realised a guy jogging ahead of me, but slightly slower.  As I overtook him, just then, he seemed to have increased his speed to match mine.  He turned his head towards me and said “Hiya” to which I simply replied with a smile.

Thinking nothing of it, I continued.  Some moments later, while my jogging speed was constant, the same chap happened to catch up with me.  Again, I didn’t think anything of it and continued to jog.

The guy entered into a conversation with me, mainly about the weather, the park and his diet all the while we jogged.  As is common in Yorkshire, people generally start conversations randomly with other people and its not uncommon for such conversations to take place between two total strangers, and as such, (thinking nothing of it) I continued to chat and jog together.  I’m not entirely sure, how long we jogged for together or how we separated but I remember jogging back to my car and as I got semi changed near the boot of my car, the same guy reappeared.  At this point I got the sinking feeling that this guy was upto something.  He continued to express his interest in jogging at this park and as I continued to get changed he simply refused to take his eyes off me.

Just then, he launched the same knock out blow to me (as the chap in the first episode) and asked if he could have my number as it would be nice to jog together ‘regularly’.  I simply paused – I was shocked and somewhat nervous of this guy.  He seemed to have enough confidence in what he was saying or asking.  My natural reaction was to walk right up close to this guy, stare into his eyes, and I remember saying something along the lines of “My car is a four wheel drive, and it weights about 2.5 tons, how would you like the weight of my car on your head?”.

For a moment, this guy, nervously laughed at what I was saying, but he realised my expressions were still serious.  His face and his laughter turned into a gulp of air when he realised I was staring into his eyes and standing up-close to him.  He, somewhat stutteringly, replied “You, you j-j-joking r-r-right?”, and my reaction was to raise my one eye-brow as I usual do to assert the mere fact I mean what I say.

What happened next is a slight vague memory, but I do know, he sprinted off in total panic.

The third episode or incident was at my local gym in Leeds.  After a long cardio session and a shower, while getting dressed another gay chap had a pop at me.  During this incident, I was way too polite and I refused to give my number, he simply wouldn’t take no for an answer and in the end I simply told him that I was engaged to a woman, who happens to be waiting outside for me.  Indeed there was a female waiting for me outside but she wasn’t my fiancée but an acquaintance.

The very recent incident with Amy was a true eye opener.  It has promoted me to discuss this with few close friends and work colleagues, merely to seek some guidance in understanding what made these guys hit on me and not for any elated reason.

Some fed back that I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but considering all incidents mentioned above, I would hardly call it being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  It must be something else.  A few have been a little more specific and pointed out that my slick hair-style with side parting is to blame.  Others say it’s my slim suit appearance and while some have made some crazy suggestions which I rather not repeat here, but in all honesty, I chide at all the suggestions made above as they are utterly nonsense.

Without being impertinent or impudent I believe the incisive resemblance of a gentleman is something of interest or attractive to gay men and this is why I have been hit on so may times in recent months.

Let me reiterate and reconfirm:  I am not gay.  I am as straight as a gun barrel.

The song below from Dostana 2008 movie, echo’s a little of how I feel and what’s been going through my head about the whole gay-hitting-on-me thing, enjoy:

The British Asian Blog turns ONE – A Year of Blogging

On June 14th 2012, this blog turned One and amongst the ‘daily happenings’ that ‘had’ engulfed my life, I missed the moment to celebrate my blog turning one.

Admittedly it’s a small fry in the grand scheme of things but pretty epic achievement in my view.  I never really expected to celebrate such an achievement in anyway other than being prompted by an acquaintance, last weekend one evening in India, that my blog had turned One, thus prompting me now to share this news with you today.  So the fact that so many followers and readers have found their way to my blog in the last 365 days (plus some) is cool.

Since the birth of my blog on 14th June 2011, I have noticed that this blog has started to gain momentum.  I have not done justice to my blog and have somewhat fallen short in writing content as much as would like too – but I believe the hardest part has been achieved by reaching this milestone; the only ingredients left now is to build up its reputation and credibility.

In the one year of my blog, I have made some fantastic friends, despondent enemies, zombie readers and dedicated acquaintances, albeit all on-line.

So, for all those people who visit and have visited my blog a BIG THANK YOU.  I hope you continue to visit, harass, threaten, engage, stalk me and share your views with me and other readers.

On that note, this is for YOU:

The Lovers
will drink wine night and day.
They will drink until they can
tear away the veils of intellect and
melt away the layers of shame and modesty.
When in Love,
body, mind, heart and soul don’t even exist.
Become this,
fall in Love, and you will not be separated again.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Round Two: Simren 1 – 1 Me

If you are up-to-date with the story of Simren and Me, then carry on reading.  If you’re not then I strongly suggest first reading my last post– otherwise you will baffled as to what is going on.

Following on from my last encounter with Simren, exactly 10 days ago, my mind has been racing with 101 questions, mainly about how she views me and my reputation, what she knows about me, how she managed to gather so much information about me and why?

That evening, where earlier I was tormented by what Simren had to say, I took a walk out in the pouring rain.  I needed the walk and that 1 hour and 20 minutes of time to myself, despite the ugly but refreshing rain, allowed me to regain my focus in ‘what I wanted to do next and how to achieve it’.

During my walk, I was totally drenched and I continued to receive text messages from Simren.  Her main concern was that she upset me, which was visible on my face during the get together, and to see if I was alright.

I needed to see her again, it was important.  Other than to make peace with her I had to get her to see the reality of my life, and more importantly to ‘try’ correcting her perception and image of me.  After consulting with a few friends close and afar, it was highly recommended and strongly suggested that I make the move and invite her to meet me, even if it was just for coffee.  Deep inside me my fear was that she was scared of me, of my reputation. I felt she wanted to keep her distance from me and didn’t want to be seen in public with me.

The following day on Sunday, exactly 9 days ago, I decided to text her and the following is our text conversation:

Me:  “Hi, despite what has happened, I think I need to meet you again.  It’s important – can I call you?”

Simren:  “Please don’t, I don’t want 2 b associated with u. Please don’t complicate my life”.

Her text summed up her nervousness and fear of me.  So I decided to call her up anyway and considering thinking she won’t attend my call, she actually did.  The first words out of her mouth after I said hello was “I think I really need to break your legs now”, at which point, the tension and fear I had around how the call will go eased.

It remains a mystery to me as to why she seems like a different-difficult-stubborn person over text messages and yet on the phone, she is entirely approachable. Anyway, I offered to take her out for a drink and despite all my attempts, and all the banter I used, she still refused. Just then, as I was losing hope, I could hear Aunty Jee in the back, not letting this opportunity go to waste I asked Simren to pass the phone to Aunty Jee. Despite Simren’s refusal to do so, the phone somehow ended up with Aunty Jee, and the conversation flowed along the lines of:

Aunty Jee: “Hallo”

Me: “Oh Hi Aunty, It’s me”

Aunty Jee: “Haiy mera putar, all OK son?”

Me: “Yes Aunty, how are you?”

Aunty Jee: “Jee Putar, I’m good. See son, Simren now answer your phone, I told her, she no mess you around now”

Me: “Aunty, that’s all good, thank you. Just one more thing Aunty Jee – I wanted to meet Simren and you for tea, in Leeds, in coming days. It will be good”

Aunty Jee: “acha, but son, Simren go to University and come back late. Esah karo ke tum Simren ko lay jao Unibersity (University) ke baad (it’s best if you take Simren, after University), I think it will be best”

Pause conversation – There is a saying common in South Asia, if you can’t take the butter out with a straight finger, bend you finger to have a better chance. My straight way of getting Simen to join me for a drink wasn’t working, so I resulted in using an indirect way via her mum. This is the moment, when you turn to a mirror on the wall, while on the call, and give yourself a smile. Continue conversation.

Me: “Aunty you sure, it will be good to see you too”

Aunty Jee “Yes, bery (very) sure, plus you joung (young) generation need to spend real time together, not only on basebook (facebook).

Me: “Aunty Jee, that’s great advice – well now I just need to convince Simren. Let’s hope she can make it”

Aunty Jee: “make it, son, she will have no choice, thair (wait)”

At this point, I assume Aunty Jee turned towards Simren and said:

Aunty Jee: “Hay, Simren, you go and have tea with boy, eva na puttar ke tang kar (don’t tease my son)”

I could hear Simren mumble something back – but wasn’t clear.

Aunty Jee, wished me good bye, asked how my family was and passed the phone back to Simren. When Simren had the phone, there was a bit of a pause and I could hear Simren run up some steps and then a few doors opened and shut, then:

Simren: “Is this how it’s going to be – involve my mum in stuff that doesn’t go your way?”

Me: “(I laughed a little and said ) OK, Give the phone back to Aunty Jee – she will sort you out”

Simren burst out in laughter, which added some hope to the entire conversation. We continued chatting for a little while longer. When I asked Simren (yet again) so can I take you out for a drink? She replied she need time to think about it, as going out for a drink with me wasn’t as straight forward, with anyone else it wouldn’t be a problem but with me – she needed some time to think.So I took the opportunity to give her some time. I explained that I’d wait and she could take as long as she likes (just days not weeks).

A few hours later I got another text from Simren, which read “I don’t think it’s a good idea, ur complicated n please don’t complicate my life”. A little disappointed, I gave my reply a little thought. What does she mean by “complicate my life”?  Am I missing something here? My mind yet again raced with 101 questions: Is she already with someone? Considering how beautiful she is – why wouldn’t she be? Is she scared to tell me, in case I pay her boyfriend a visit (which I wouldn’t do for the record)? Or would I be the complication in her life?

I replied with the following text “Simren, one drink, even if it’s for 10 minutes, plus you tea wasn’t that good, want to treat you to a real cup of fine Yorkshire tea”.

Almost seconds after sending my text to Simren, she replied “Really, was it that bad 😮 I will make a disappointing wife”. This text was a key turning point in her mentality, although it may contain simple words but it did have a deep insight to her psychology.

After a few more text exchanges, she finally agreed. Which was a massive relief and I felt as if this battle I won. The one thing I had to concede to was that the day, time and place will be of Simren’s choice. If this wasn’t bad enough, she attached the following conditions:

1. I was to pick her up at Leeds Train station, when she returns from Uni.

2. I don’t pick her up in any one of my cars – a taxi will do.

3. No gangster suit – just casual.

My acceptance of her conditions above was conditional – that instead of a drink, it had to be a meal at a restaurant of her choosing and that she couldn’t say no. After a very long pause, which spanned for about 35 minutes, she agreed. I now had to wait for her to decide on what day and time I was to pick her up.

While I waited, somewhat anxiously – something was bothering me. No girl till this day has ever put up such a fight, and with Simren it was just for a drink (well, now a meal instead) and her determination not to meet me, bugged me. Was it really me and my reputation that embarrassed her and was scaring her? Or was she seeing someone and didn’t want me to know?The later was important and I needed to know – somehow without getting this information from Simren.

In the next 24 hours that followed, I called up an associate who owes me favours, my objective was to know whether Simren was single or not, or was it more complicated than that? So, without wasting any more time, my associate sent out his scouts to her University in a fact finding mission.

I felt somewhat nervous and yet excited, my method of gathering information about Simren may be frowned upon, but let’s face it – it was important, especially if Simren was scared to tell me herself.

On Wednesday, last week, my contact asked to meet me – as such business shouldn’t be discussed over phone or any other medium. So I invited him to a local Italian coffee shop that same evening – where we could chat in private and amongst other business he could provide an update on what his scouts reported back to him with. When we met, he updated me with the following information – as best as I can remember:

1. Simren is single and isn’t seeing anyone other than a few lunatics who constantly chase her around and pester her.

2. In a large group of friends mainly consisting of women, she has no engagement with a particular guy.

3. It’s a pretty much a case of her commuting to University, getting her stuff done and then back home.

This was music to my ears, as I sat with my mates in the coffee shop watching the Apprentice – I ordered a round of pure orange juice , to which my friends raised a cautious eyebrow(s) and said “you don’t drink orange juice” and with a smile and a toast I replied “The sun will be out next week”. During this time I contemplated that it must be me and my reputation that really do scare Simren. I could be the complication in her life.

Over this weekend, Simren confirmed that she would be happy to meet this Wednesday and the fact that she will be leaving University early than normal meant she could spend a few more hours with me. Let’s just hope that the restaurant she chooses to eat at isn’t one that is owned by a friend or known associate, or one where the owner is petrified of me – otherwise I’ll be back to square one with Simren.

The sun is indeed out this week and I believe this round belongs to me.

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