Thursday, October 21, 2010

Simply the Best Job in the World!

Sometime in 2009, there was a job advertisement that had garnered a lot of interest and buzz. Touted to be the best job in the world, it came with a pay package of 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars) and included free airfares from the successful applicant's home country to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. In return, the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, soak up the sun, snorkel the reef, "maybe clean the pool" -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.

The successful applicant, the ad said, would get to stay rent-free in a multi-million dollar three-bedroom beach home complete with plunge pool and golf buggy. The only requirements were that one must be an excellent communicator and be able to speak and write English.
Dream job, indeed. At least for some. I do not know who, if any, got that job ultimately. But we can all perhaps relate with the desire to be in a job which would be great fun, easy and would pay top dollar. It is something which is a frequent topic of discussion among office-goers.

Topping the list of dream jobs would be the position of Food Critic. You get to eat food, critique it and all this is not just free - you actually get paid for it. Seriously, how awesome is that? The only downside I came up with (after wracking my brain hard) has more to do with me – you cannot be a Food Critic if you are a vegetarian. Talk about life being unfair.

Next up would be the Travel Show host. How many times have you watched all the beautiful, interesting places, famous, infamous and totally unknown, on Travel & Living or Discovery channels and wished that you could take the place of the svelte anchor or the smiling guide? How many times have you longed not to be bound by responsibilities and truly see the world? If I had my three wishes from a genie, I would have chosen to be a Travel Show host. You get paid great bucks all for the pleasure of exploring the amazing world out there.

Since we are already talking about the TV anchors, why not discuss the hosts of all those Electronic, Gadgets and Automobiles shows? They get to test drive all the latest, hippest and coolest gadgets and cars and I think, also get to keep what they test occasionally.

And then there’s the Socialite. One of my friends recently commented that maybe it would be great to be a socialite. All you have to do is marry a rich guy or be born into a stinking rich family and then you can just flit from party to party during the nights and attend charity luncheons during the day. Add to that holidays abroad twice a year. And a great, fashionable wardrobe. Hmmm….the last bit, I definitely like. I am just not too sure of the first half of the job definition. But that’s just me. There are a whole host of ladies and gentlemen (yes, them too – in most cases, they are called the Heirs) who totally enjoy being a social butterfly. This breed is definitely here to stay.

My dream job would be that of a Book and Movie reviewer. I would get all the latest books – free of course – and be invited to the premieres and paid previews of all the movies. So, I would have been provided with Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows before most of the world. I would be a respected guest at the movie premiere of the same. And afterwards, people would be paying me to hear my opinion on them. All this for doing something I actually love. I can’t imagine a better life professionally. Sigh.

On that note, I must bid adieu. My real job demands that I return to it. So be it, until the dream job is mine.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Holiday Blues

Is it just me or do other people also miss holidays while still having them? I mean, do you start feeling rueful towards the end of a holiday or vacation? A feeling of bafflement as to where did the time fly. Only yesterday, you were looking forward to these days away from work and regular drudgery of life and just like that it’s come and gone.

I call them Holiday Blues. Typically they strike in the last leg of a holiday. Take for instance, the last four days. My city is celebrating its biggest festival that generally stretches for 4-5 days officially. This year most of these days were during the week, so we got nearly five days off. Now that time is nearly up and I have to report back to work on Monday – day after tomorrow. So, I am missing the past four days of lazy vegetation (wait, make that three. After all, I did spend several back breaking hours on the first day cleaning my room). But the point is that I still have almost two days to go before having to hit work. Yet, here I am. Missing the time off something bad.

I like to believe all the sane and normal people in the world suffer from Holiday Blues. Except for abnormally cheerful and full-of-beans kind who always look forward to tomorrow. Even Mondays. Ugh! And the workaholics. They taught us in school: Work is worship. But these people take it too far. They willingly and happily work on holidays. Extended time off causes withdrawal symptoms. To them, Blackberry is the new Wheel. Of course, they would not suffer from Holiday Blues.

The Blues can be better borne when there is another holiday (read, weekday off) in sight. Even if it is not as long as the one being lamented currently. Something’s better than nothing, right? It is like Manna from Heaven. A freshwater spring for a man dying of thirst in a scorched desert etc. etc. You get the gist.

Like I have a Friday off in the coming week. That will sustain me through the endless week that inevitably follows a holiday. I do not know how people think that they feel energised when they rejoin work after a longish time-off. I feel all the more lazy and it takes longer for me to get into groove.

Nonetheless, I will now go and take my medication for the Holiday Blues. A book to forget that a working Monday is looming and my afternoon siesta. And a two minute silence to mourn the passing of my holidays. May they come soon again. Amen.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I wish, I could count the stars,
I wish, I could sparkle.
I wish, I could live a dream,
I wish, I could dazzle.

I wish, I could row to the moon,
I wish to be a firefly.
I wish, I could churn the seas,
I wish to know the highest high.

I wish, I could slay a dragon,
I wish for adventures real.
I wish, I could treasures hunt
I wish for realms magical.

I wish, I could have wishes three,
I wish for a boon.
I wish, the boon is granted
I wish, real soon!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sky High

I will start with an admission: I do not like flying in an aeroplane. It makes me feel nauseous, my ears ring and my head is a like a leaden weight on my shoulders. Seriously overweight co-passengers who hog armrests and the plane-is-my-mansion kind who recline their seats regardless of whether you are eating, reading or sleeping make things worse. But the absolute pit is getting the middle seat. Or wait, getting an aisle seat with co-passengers who want to go to the restroom every fifteen minutes or so probably takes the prize.

Yet, of late I have chosen to book a flight because it saves time – time that is better utilized with family and friends rather than travelling from Point A to Point B.

So, last week, when I decided to take a seriously needed break from work, I booked air tickets with the extra pre-caution of selecting the seats in advance. I chose window seats – a luxury that airlines have been denying me for years now.

And it was a fortuitous decision. Because it reminded me of the only thing I love about flying.
I boarded an evening flight for my destination. The moment I had made the obligatory call home, I switched off my cell phone, put on my seat belt, took off my sandals, curled my legs under me and prepared to pass the two and half hour journey with my book and iPod. The plane took off in the usual roaring manner, with yours truly gripping the armrests and closing the eyes and hoping that the tinny noise in my ears would not last long.

Thankfully, the take-off was smooth and the plane soon righted itself. I opened my eyes and looked out of the window. And had my breath stolen.

It was after a long, long time that I was taking an evening flight and also had the window to myself. Outside my window, a glorious sight met my eyes. I was going west, so it seemed as if I was flying into the crimson sun itself.

The plane was far above the clouds. A melange of colours had lit up the beautifully soft and dense world of white below us. Red, pink, orange and all the possible shades in between were playing within the cloudy folds. I wanted to taste them really bad. Would they taste slightly sweet and cool, like candy floss? And I wanted to touch and roll in them. Know their feel, remember their texture.

It was a fairy land below me. Surely those spires of marsh-mellows belonged to the castle of the fairy queen. I half-expected faery creatures to peek out of clouds and wink at me. As if I was the only one to know their secret. Imps, goblins and leprechauns walking down the rainbow to the pot of gold. Tiny, little Tinker Bells with gauzy, sparkly wings and naughty smiles.

I also saw a huge polar bear with wings, flying alongside the plane – a knight escorting me to my destination, sworn to protect me against all misfortunes that could befall me. And then there was Pegasus being born right in front of my eyes – the head and torso rising out of the clouds and the wings taking shape, stretching white and magnificent. Mesmerising.

When the sun set and the white world beyond my window went dark, I returned to my book with a rueful smile. But of one thing I was sure. I could not ask for a better and more beautiful memory to begin my vacation.

To windows and flights, then.