Just felt like sharing some of my lesser-known personal likes / hobbies / favourites, and a bit about myself:
Besides the very obvious cricket, Formula 1 racing – Michael Schumacher, his brother Ralf, and now, Vettel (co-incidentally all German). I think Fernando Alonso is a diva and Hamilton, a prima donna, or is it the other way round? (The Brits can disown me, I stand by my opinion!). NBA basketball – ever since I first saw Magic Johnson & the Showtime Lakers in America. Currently, I back LeBron. Rugby – not gridiron, but what the Southern Hemisphere plays so well, the All Blacks & the Boks, particularly. Football (soccer), every 4 years, during the World Cup.
Music – a rather eclectic taste, across genres. I’ve been a childhood fan of Abba, then 80s rock, can shake a leg to disco and now having matured, also enjoy the occasional Indian folk & classical, maybe even Jazz, Fusion and re-interpreted Classics. But no contemporary Bollywood and I absolutely cannot stand Rap!
Reading. Anything. Everything. All the time. But fashioned out of paper, please! I’ve even spent hours while on holiday, at bookshops or libraries, keeping irate wife and daughter in waiting. Museums, I find boring after the first half hour.
Big, big aeroplane buff. A childhood passion, an obsession. Both, military and civilian. I have tomes and tomes of old books, collected with saved pocket money or given as gifts over the years. And still go back to them! I scour the net for info on secret planes, stealth aircraft and other exotics. And I have letters written to renowned authors, manufacturers and other fans, stored away.
I love New York (OK, many of you knew that!), but also Rishikesh (a small, holy town in N India, through which flows the Ganges). And Hong Kong, too! I guess I have a fetish for cities that have an odour about them! Bali is another place I’d love to go back to, it’s got a certain something. In my own country, Rajasthan (the princely, desert state), Kerala (in the south), the relatively virgin Shillong (in the hilly northeast). Goa – I find overrated, except for the cheap seafood & beer.
Places as yet unvisited? Oh, plenty! Australia/NZ, Canada, Latin America, Morocco, the Sahara, S Africa, Israel, Jordan, Prague/Budapest, Spain, Scandinavia, Angkor Vat… Pakistan (as an Indian, I’m intrigued by the “other side” and want to experience it first hand!). The mountains over a beach, any day, anywhere.
The cold! I’m comfortable in an undershirt and a couple of layers in most kinds of weather. I get heat stroke and migraines easily, so I need to avoid direct sun. The rains? I’m not sure – I kind of alternate between yes & no. Never actually experienced snow of the swirly, flurry kind. Well, some day…
My search for the holy grail of food would be the perfect steak, medium-well done (shhh, don’t tell the cow vigilantes back home). Ribs, prawns, bacon welcome, too, cholesterol be damned! But nothing too experimental, whether animal or bird or plant. And certainly no insects! The healthy me would relish a salad bursting with freshness and flavour. Avocado, asparagus, palm hearts, broccoli, artichokes, quinoa… Soups of all kind. A Chinese stir-fry of bok choy (pak choi) or gai lan. Kebabs or anything tandoori, with a mint chutney. A simple Indian khichdi (rice & lentils) is my go-to comfort food, tendli (ivy gourd), my favourite Indian veggie. Never developed a penchant for fruit, except chikoo.
Well-made Bloody Mary or Margarita, a big yes! Otherwise, dry white wine, cold beer, the occasional whiskey. Malibu & Coke, but that’s bad for the waist. As is vodka & Mangola (an Indian mango drink whose sweetness masks the taste & the potency of the alcohol till it seriously hits you). Coffee over tea, except for when I have a headache and then ‘masala chai‘, the desi way, with ginger, pepper, clove, lemongrass and other spices, is welcome.
I love clothes. French cuffs as much as shorts, dressing up as much as dressing down. And perfumes. And shoes. I once owned funky coloured socks, now I’m older and more mellow. Orange is my go-to colour. Has been ever since. On women, give me pearls any day. Elegant and understated, as compared to flashy diamonds.
Cooking is relaxing, without the chopping and cleaning. Shaving is a boring chore, which I try to avoid when I can.
Massages to iron out the many knots in my muscles and simply feel good. Nicely scented cremes, oils and lotions are welcome! Hot water is a must for a bath. I could earlier spend hours under a shower or soaking in a tub, but water conservation now is top of mind.
Doodling, scribbling, drawing. All over my office diary, on scratch paper, while whiling away time or trying to focus on something. Cars, aeroplanes, cartoon figures.
Fruit Ninja, an addictive nuisance of a game.
Dogs. Not cats so much. As much as I like the former licking me all over and jumping onto me, I dislike the latter rubbing themselves against my leg, it gives me the shivers. I’m nice to flies, simply shooing them away, I will swat mosquitoes, but loathe cockroaches so much that I whack them with a vengeance till they splatter (sorry!)!
I’m a nervous traveler. Hate flying. And don’t much fancy driving, at least in Bombay traffic or on bad roads, either. I get sea sick. And don’t have the courage for adventure sport. So you certainly won’t find me scuba diving or bungee jumping, I’ll go as far as trek, otherwise I’ll be with a book or getting a massage! I also shy away from the sight of blood, so even on the occasions that I have donated mine, my eyes have been squeezed shut!
And although I studied to be an engineer, I think I’m more right-brained, I’ve never had the fascination to break open things and tinker with their mechanicals; much to the chagrin of the wife, I’m no Mr. Fixit.
So, I’ve shone some light, peeled away a few layers, but we’re still nowhere near the core. We’ll continue another time, yes?