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On Second Thought.

Byline: Mohana Prabhakar

It's possible that the reason behind the Internet being so fascinating is that it is an endless fount of useless information. I find myself diverted quite easily to earth-shattering links to read stuff like '9 simple rules to make your money last' or 'New Zealand location confirmed for Hobbit films'. This, when I am on the Net researching companies, banks, their stock prices etc; that too on a Friday when the primary focus should have been on finishing work as soon as possible. Thanks to my wanderings, a job that should have taken two hours took about five.

The weather is another thing that I have this strange need to check when I am browsing. If you are nodding perceptively thinking this is only on the occasion of rumours about the impending 'adverse weather condition', - no. I check temperatures compulsively - of places I am going to visit in the future (sometimes in the very distant future), or have visited in the past. How can it make any difference to my life or affect my mental wellbeing positively to know that it's not only 14 degrees, but also cloudy and windy on the Isle of Skye while I am looking out at 41 degrees and enough sun to cheer the whole of the UK?

At a dinner few nights ago, sitting comfortably in the cool living room with a long cool drink in one's hand, the heat is a conversation piece. About how much hotter it is this year, how unbearable it is and you know the rest. The lady of the house pointed out one simple fact which I am sure we have all noticed during most summers. There are people working the whole day in the sun - at construction sites, cleaning up the city, etc. We walk a few steps from our front door to the car, from the car to some other air-conditioned destination and then back. Not finding shaded parking ruins our day.

The quiet old man who works in the gardens where we live, is there every morning till late afternoon. The chauffeur-driven car I see each morning and evening (and sometimes, afternoon) is usually in the same place: car parked in the driveway and the chauffeur

sitting outside enjoying the sun while he waits to fulfil his duties.

I see these chaps delivering lunch to a number of people at various offices in MBD and each time they walk the distance just when the sun is at its hottest. A sandwich costs between 200-300bz and I have seen a guy come multiple times to deliver a single sandwich (and occasion-ally a Pepsi, which costs 100bz) each time someone orders their lunch. How many people think of tipping these guys? Just to say thank you for coming all this way to deliver one sandwich in this heat.

Come to think of it, there is no service tax attached either when you order from the small restaurant round the corner. And yet, a tip is hardly ever offered. Would you dream of not tipping at a restaurant when you went out to lunch or dinner, and where there was a serious service tax included? Of course not. That would be so uncool.

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Publication:The Week (Muscat, Oman)
Date:Jun 3, 2008
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